Furuzeki Warzone IC

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  1. “Who is that?”

    “Damn kids.”

    “Is there a convention in town?”

    These words followed her everywhere. She was used to them now and hardly ever used her ‘normal’ old form anymore. Id didn’t feel right to pretend to be normal after everything that had happened, everything she’d done. Miaka was dead, the Amethyst Witch was what had taken her place.

    “You should try and keep a low profile you know.”

    That voice, she didn’t need to look to know that the small purple cat would be there. “What I do is none of your business.” she sneered back. “there’s only one reason you’d come to me so tell me where she is.”

    “You’re my avatar, everything you do is my business. Remember that. She’s in Sushima school, only just awoken.”

    Without a word the witch changed direction and started walking in the other direction tossing a few count at a stall and grabbing a bag of fried meat without stopping, the tiny small animal scampering to keep up. “What about Higanbana? That’s her territory?” “What about her, if she tries to stop me again it will be a two for one special today. No girl, or team will keep me from my goal.” her voice was a low determined hiss that to a human would send shills down their spine.

    “And what goal is that?”

    “To win the war, of course.”

    She kept walking, crumpling the now empty bag and tossing it into a trash can before dodging into a western fast food place, it would at least have a bathroom where she could change. “It’s been a long time hasn’t it?”

    The mascot was sitting next to the sink as Miaka examined herself in the mirror. “Are you talking about this form or the school?”


    “She’s new, right? Just a rookie. I’ll go in, find her, kill her and get out. It won’t take long.” She exited the cramped room and was out the door before anyone noticed it wasn’t the ‘cosplayer’ exiting but just an ordinary schoolgirl.
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  2. It was the height of summer in Furuzeki City. Even at night, the atmosphere was sticky. The cicadas continued to buzz as the street lights began to flicker on. Business men fanned themselves, because they were wearing their ties and business suits. Some of the younger men had taken their jackets off already. Some college aged women giggled at their inside jokes. All in all, Furuzeki City was a seemingly average city. However, there was a war being fought here. Not one involving bullets and rifles, this was conflict was one of a kind. This was a war being fought between magical girls.

    “I’m telling you, I saw a girl running around in armor! She reminded me of a magical girl. I ain’t lying!” One of the women exclaimed. “I know what I was seeing was real!”

    “Hahah, it sounds more like you’ve been making too much kid’s anime again.” Her friend said.

    “I do not! It was like a legitimate magical girl. I swear on my pinky toe!”

    “She was probably just a cosplayer. They’ve been running around lately. I think there was some convention last week.”

    A young woman with glasses was walking just behind the chatting women, keeping her distance from them. They made the girl feel uncomfortable; the first woman that spoke was her young aunt but she didn’t seem to notice her. On the teen’s side was a large blue duffle bag with a cute little flower on it. She didn’t seem the type that would stand out much from a crowd. Everything about her just screamed mundane or average. That’s exactly what she wanted. She was Hotaru Tachibana.

    Few people had seen her in months; even her aunt seemed to have trouble knowing where Hotaru had gone off too. If one would have asked where Hotaru had been, they would probably say that she had been put into the hospital or transferred away. What was the reason for this? She was a magical girl named Higanbana. This is why she kept her distance from her aunt. While she loved her family, the very fact that she was a magical girl could put them into jeopardy if anyone were to find out.

    “Armored magical girl…I know who that is.” Hotaru thought to herself. “What is she doing in these parts though? We’re in a cold war at this point. If that Amethyst Witch comes my way, I will one-up her again!”

    Just then her aunt turned around and caught a glimpse of Hotaru.

    “Excuse me for a moment.” She told her friends. Her aunt then came running towards her. Somewhat hurriedly, Hotaru entered deeper into the crowd, while her aunt tried to squeeze into it. “Hotaru! Where have you be-.” Her aunt exclaimed.

    Before her, she saw a girl with two red ribbons her hair. At first glance she looked somewhat like her niece. Though as far as the aunt knew, Hotaru never wore ribbons because her hair wasn’t long enough.

    “Whatcha need, college brat?” Hotaru asked, now in her ‘true form.’

    “C-college brat? Hey respect your elders! Jeez, I am sorry. I thought you were my niece for a second. My apologies.” Her aunt said.

    “I ain’t got an aunt. However, if I ever see your niece, I’ll let her known that ya are lookin’ for her.” Hotaru said.

    “T-Thank you, my name is Aoi Kondo. What’s yours?” Her aunt said.

    “Don’t worry about mine, Kondo. If I find her, I’ll send her back your way.” Hotaru said. “Anywho, laters.”

    Hotaru then disappeared back into the crowd. Her aunt blinked. “What a weird girl…”

    As Hotaru reached an interaction near the center of town, a police man came out of his sentry booth and halted her. She was back to looking like her normal self. Since so few people knew about the original Hotaru, it was sometimes a better disguise than always going around in her magical girl form.

    “Young miss; you’ll want to be heading home soon. There is a curfew still in effect. A lot of mysterious kidnappings of girls your age have been happening in these parts.” The police man said with a smile. “There are rumors about a gang of mafia thugs being involved.”

    “O-Oh, I am so sorry! I’ll pick up my pace. Busy day at school and clubs! I-I am sure you know how that goes. Hahahh.” Hotaru said. Her cheeks flushed with embarrassment. Great, she had to use her old personality in order to interact with a boring old cop.

    The policeman then just waved his hand, “It’s alright. Just a reminder I have to give all the young people. You don’t seem the type to be a trouble maker. Sorry for holding you up.”

    Hotaru did a quick bow, causing her glasses to slide off her nose. “Oh, d-drats.” She said as she began to scamper away timidly.

    Several moments later she came across a store front window. She did not pause to look at any of the fancily dressed mannequin. She started at her reflection. Instead of the brown haired teenaged girl with a boyish haircut, Hotaru saw Higanbana. Her red ribbons were a distinction and to Hotaru made her somewhat unapproachable.

    “You’re pathetic looking like this.” The reflection spoke to her.

    “I-I know…B-But I can’t just go around looking like Higanbana all the time. Someone is bound to n-notice that we’re the same person o-or that I am m-missing.” Hotaru apologized.

    “Geez. Are you even listening to yourself? I thought you made the contract with the monkey in order to be better than this. Someone with pure confidence and a badass kicker of butts, don’t ya know?” The reflection said. “Besides, if you just would have used my face for a while, your auntie wouldn’t have noticed ya. You ain’t missing out on the world as your namby-pamby self. Trust me on that!”

    “Shuttup! I don’t care what ya think of me!” Hotaru then yelled back.

    She then blinked when she noticed that her current reflection was her causal tank top with skirt and glasses, though she was clearly Higanbana at this point. Hotaru then took her glasses off and placed them into her duffle bag. She was always glad to be rid of those infernal frames. People said she looked cuter with them on, but she disagreed.

    “Seriously…What the heck? This is the fifth time this week I’ve been yellin’ at myself.” Hotaru said while she lowered her shoulders. “Oi. This gettin’ stupid. Old “me” is the mask, not the other way around. Seeing auntie probably screwed me up, that’s all.”

    Hotaru knew what the matter was. It had been a little more than five months since her longtime partner Ume had been killed in battle. Hotaru had no idea that magical girls could be slain. Everything about that seemed so different from the colorful shows she watched as a child. Sure, there were powerful foes but you knew that they’d make it through. Ume’s death was the breaking point for Hotaru.

    “That’s right. Wear a mask long enough and it’s no longer a lie. It’s a truth that you are no longer who you were meant to be. You have become your mask and it is here to stay…” A squeaky voice then said. “Yo! There you are Higanbana!”

    Hotaru turned her head to the left to see a small monkey with wings. It was a tannish color and a trapezoid mark centered on its head. To most, it’d be a cute novelty plushy, but Hotaru knew better. This was Saru, the being that she contracted with to become a magical girl.

    “YOU!” Hotaru growled. She then shouted, “Seele.” By doing so her hands began to have flames appear from them. Hotaru then threw fireballs at Saru. The monkey easily dodged them.

    She was displeased with this magical being. He was supposed to act as a mentor for her and Ume. However, after the first few fights with her first few fights with the allies of the Amethyst Witch, he just stopped showing up. If only she knew that the Amethyst Witch was capable of killing off magical girls, she probably would have stuck to Ume’s side all those times that she was told to leave. Ume wanted to make sure that she had no blood on her hands. That was an enduring thing to do, but Hotaru was a soldier just like she was…Why did she always tell her to leave?

    “I don’t get why you always keep trying to kill me. It’s a futile effort, Higanbana.” Saru said.

    “It’s because it makes me feel happy. Now you’d better have some useful information to give me. You haven’t bothered showing up ever since I drove that armored witch away from this section of the city.” Hotaru said with malice.

    “It is most joyous news!” Saru exclaimed with glee. “There has been a new girl recruited for Team Cream! You will no longer be all alone.”

    Hotaru’s eyes widened. “W-What did you just said, you damn furball!!!!”

    “Why are you confused? I said that we found a new team member for you!” Saru smiled.

    Hotaru’s lips curled up in disgust. Without thinking rationally, she drew out her flame sword. She then attempted to strike Saru down with it.

    “If you stop trying to kill me for a second, I can explain…” Saru said.

    “I don’t want a new partner, ya stupid monkey! I’m fine on my own!!!” Hotaru yelled.

    “That’s not a good battle plan for the future. What if your foe gets a new team member?” Saru asked.

    “Then I’ll just cut her down! I’ll give that damned witch a taste of her own medicine!!!!”
  3. It was a normal day at school for Yuri. Sushima High was not prestigious prep school, but it was nicer then the school down the road. Sure her parents had wished she got into the Academy, but her brother had gone to school here and thus they were not disappointed.

    'Man, math is so boring,' a stray thought flittered through her mind as she watched Tanaka-sensei explain how to solve the problem on the board. It was not her thought though, but the thought of Youko, one of the ghosts that now lived within her. There was now a murmur of commentary in the back of her mind all the time and because of that Yuri had become somewhat flighty and inattentive. That was why she was trying very hard to pay attention to class, after all you couldn't bluff your way out of a quadratic equation.

    The class bell rang and Yuri quickly grabbed her lunch. Normally she would have eaten in the class with a few of her friends, but she wanted some time alone. Since that was impossible she wanted some time away from everyone that noticed she was acting a bit odd. She didn't want to worry anyone after all.

    As she walked down the hall she noticed a figure she hadn't seen in a long time. As if seeing the person triggered memories, Yuri realized she should have been worried about not seeing her. It had been far too long and suddenly Yuri felt guilty for not even noticing. It didn't matter now though, everything was alright because her nee-san was there!

  4. Miaka had buried herself in the lunch rush, her shoulder bag open and her hand inside, gripping the small crystalline wand hidden in it's depths. Her target was close and she could feel it as her impassive face examines as many of the passing students as she could. Most would consider it reckless to transform and pick a fight in the middle of a crowded school but the Amethyst Witch had yakuza after her even of top of making herself a target by being dangerous and unafraid to kill other girls.

    So close, Miaka could almost taste the new girl's aura and she was about to raise the wand to look through it to see who it was when she head a voice she hadn't heard in a long time calling her name.

    Her mouth opened slight in surprise, someone still knew her?


    She hadn't seen the younger girl in what felt like a lifetime, long before she had sacrificed her innocence on the altar of combat. Log before she knew of the war, or of magic... Part of her wanted to run from this reminder of how she used to be and for a second her knees trembled...


    Miaka, stood over the 1st year as the people who had been bullying her backed away. The poor girl had been teased enough and Miaka had stepped in. They all knew who she was and who her parents were and luckily that was enough... this time.

    "Don't cry..." she said softly kneeling down next to Yuri and smiling. "From not on you're not alone, okay? If you need anything or have any problems you can come to me. I'll protect you..."


    Miaka turned away from the girl who had called her name and started walking. That wasn't who she was anymore and now she had lost the trail because... someone remembered her...

    She stopped and half turned back, her eyes locking onto the familiar face and she tried to smile, as every part of her screamed to transform and use the confusion to escape.
  5. By this point Yuri was waving at her old childhood friend as she jogged through the mass of students. "Miaka," she called again before after ducking between two guys from the judo club she got to Miaka's side and grabbed her arm. "It IS you! It's been ages!" In Yuri's mind's eye, Miaka was the person that looked out of her when she was little. Maybe that's why she hadn't seen Miaka in such a long time, she wasn't exactly a little girl any more that needed a big sister to look out for her.

    That didn't mean Yuri didn't want Miaka in her life. Despite their many differences, Miaka had been a alley in those strange younger years when everyones learns how to express their personality. Miaka wasn't a constant presence, but she was a comforting one even if she was rough around the edges. It was strange, almost fortuitous to see the older girl once more as her life started to become rocky once more. Not that Yuri had any intention of burdening Miaka with what troubled her, but Yuri thought perhaps just her being in her life again would help strengthen her.

    But those were all selfish thoughts and Yuri had a tinge of worry for the older girl, had she gone down the dark path her family followed? Despite that she had to ask her friend, "Where have you been?"
  6. A simple question but not an easy one to answer. "Busy..." was her first reply with no clues in her tone as to how deep the rabbit hole went, just a kind of detached air that hinted that is wasn't a good kind of busy. "I haven't been at school much anymore. Sorry." why was she apologizing? Why was she even talking? Where were the brakes before she said too much.

    She sighed, there was no use trying to find the new magical girl now so instead she pulled the hand from her bag and let Yuri hold onto it as she walked. "Going to lunch? I'll walk with you and you can tell me how you've been." letting Yuri talk was a much smarter idea, Miaka wasn't sure she couls still carry a normal conversation. "You've gotten bigger, do you still have people picking on you?"

    I'm sorry I can't be here for you anymore.
  7. "Well I'm just glad to see you back!" Yuri told Miaka with a smile when the older girl apologized. After all, she was here now, and that was the important thing. There was no need to press her with more in depth questions. Yuri knew that if Miaka wanted to express herself, she would in her own time. Yuri always tried to return the favor of Miaka sticking up for her by being a good listener. Not that Miaka unburdened herself to the younger girl often, but when she had, Yuri had been as supportive as anyone could be.

    With Miaka back, maybe they could go to the record store after classes. That had always been a fun way to waste time when they were younger. "Yup, I packed my bento myself!" It was a silly thing to be proud of, but she was regardless. She was about to make a sarcastic comment that she wasn't sure in what way Miaka meant she got bigger, when her nee-chan asked a question she should have been expecting.

    "Picking on me?" Yuri blinked. Were ghost invading her body picking? Were they even really people? Those were inconsiderate thoughts. She had agreed to help them, even though it wasn't always pleasant, and dead or not they were indeed people! Yuri scratched the back of her head with her free hand. "No, just still agreeing to help too much I think!" She then gave Miaka a big grin to let the older girl know that she didn't mind however.
  8. She managed a small smile. That was Yuri for you. "Don't lose that part of you." she said matter-of-factly. No she couldn't be as easy going as she used to be able to relax aorund Yuri... because she wasn't relaxed. Somewhere close by was her enemy and possibly one of the few who had managed to beat her. The mention of lunch had her sighing though... she knew she had forgotten something, or rather she hadn't planned on eating lunch at the school.

    Polling out a few crumpled notes she counted them, making sure there was enough... very different from when she used to have the fanciest packed lunches in the school and a bodyguard/driver never too far away. "I will have to buy lunch."
  9. "Buy lunch? But you know the lines are always horrible! Tell you what, you can share mine. In return you can use your lunch money to take me out for ice cream after school!" It was the perfect plan. Yuri had plenty of food that neither of them would be starving in class and then afterwards they could have some fun. Also Miaka wouldn't feel obligated to try to deny the plan, or so Yuri thought.

    In Yuri's mind she had it all planned out. They'd eat lunch outside under the sakura trees. If they were lucky they could even get a bench. They could talk and laugh and soon it would be like no time had passed. She would make this work, because deep down she feared if she lost sight of Miaka right now she might never see her again. It was horribly irrational, but it sat in the pit of her gut regardless.
  10. "That won't be necessary." she said deciding to eat after she left the school grounds. Going for ice cream sounded like a a very normal thing to do... dammit you purple cat, where were you when you were needed. She walked with Yuri until they were outside and heading for a familiar set of benches. She wouldn't take any of her food, that was already decided. "I'm not at school for long today and I'll eat after I leave."

    She sat opposite Yuri and couldn't seem to take her eyes off her. None of the other student had shown signs of recognizing her but Yuri had. Why? It felt like the answer was dancing just out of her reach. "You know in spite of everything it's good to see you Yuri, It's been so long I worried you didn't remember me... I hope you're having a nice normal life."
  11. It was the height of noon. The stuffy weather from the previous night was still lingering around in the air. Hotaru was not happy about moving out and about in the daylight,

    “Alright, monkey. This better be the right place…” Hotaru said while she finished off drinking a can of tea from a vending machine.

    “Of course it is, Higanbana.” Saru said. “Have I ever steered you wrong before?”

    No shit you have….” Hotaru mumbled.

    “Just give me the low down. What’s her name, hair color, and all that other important jazz.” Hotaru said.

    “Her name is Yuri and she has really light hair. Her personality is pretty similar to Ume’s!” Saru said.

    “Don’t assume hiring a replacement for Ume will make me like ya and your stupid battle system again. It won’t. Now were exactly are we?” Hotaru said.

    She glanced up and saw that it was a high school. Her face turned somewhat pale.

    “I cannot enter here!” Hotaru exclaimed to Saru. “I didn’t go to school here! If I go walking into it, then I’d have to explain why I am here if I get caught! The only cards I have on my person is for the Academy and that’s in the suburbs. Bah, if I say I came half way across town to eat lunch here, no one will believe me!”

    “You don’t have to worry about that! You’re Higanbana, not Hotaru anymore! No one here will know you!” Saru said with glee.

    Bah. Of all the places in town this new girl had to be selected from, it had to be a high school. Ballocks! We couldn't have waited until nightfall.” She said under her breath.

    Hotaru then sat down on the street, leaning her back on the vending machine. She had to come up with a plan with how to get into the school without being noticed. Hotaru wasn't well known to be the type that came to a place well prepared. She was the type to go with the flow.

    I’ll have to find the gym and to copy the school's gym uniform or steal some. I doubt that the teachers here are that resourceful and know every student that is wandering around.” She thought.

    She pondered her moves and decided to use her magic to leap over the concrete wall that surrounded the high school. Saru floated behind her, not really caring what his charge was planning.

    Upon finding an opened window, she landed towards it. Luckily for her it was a storage room for the gym supplies. She peered around. No one was around. She then walked towards the doorway and opened the door just slightly. It looked like there were a few girls playing basketball. Getting a quick glance of the gym uniforms, Hotaru made a crude copy of what she saw.

    “Those outfits are so odd. Why do they make the shorts that short?” Saru asked.

    “Really, that’s the sort of thing ya’d ask me while we’re on a mission?” Hotaru asked.

    “It is not normal to make observations?” Saru said back.

    “No! Now just tell me where the girl is. I don’t want to waste my time here if I don’t have too.” Hotaru snapped back.

    “My sensors tell me that she is nearby. I would check the tree line; you’re good at making friends with other human girls. This will bore me. So, in the meantime, I am going to sneak into the cafeteria and try some human food! It smells like rice cakes today. Boy, oh boy!”

    “Ya are useless! Just go I can take care of this myself.” Hotaru growled.

    In order to look more like the average student, she traced a copy of her old eyeglasses and slipped them on over her nose. They slid down slightly and by a force of habit she readjusted them. She then started to do a light jog. Scanning left and right, she was beginning to sense some elements of magical powers. It was difficult to lock onto it though. There seemed to be multiple ones coming from the same source. So, Hotaru decided to head towards the cherry trees.

    She then saw two girls chatting back and forth with each other. One was a white haired girl, probably around the same age as Hotaru was. The second one was slightly older. She looked vaguely familiar. However, Hotaru really didn’t care who she was.

    Hotaru sighed; even with having a bolder personality, making new friends was never something she was good at. She stopped her jog and waved at the other two girls. With a forced smile, she stood in front of them with a curious look upon her face.


    “E-Excuse me, would you happen to be Yuri?” Hotaru then asked.
  12. Normal? Yuri remembered normal, it wasn't all that long ago really. Miaka though wouldn't understand how unnormal her life was now though. Instead of answering her nee-chan though, she put a cucumber roll in her mouth and offered up her box, still trying to tempt the older girl to take some food. It worried Yuri that Miaka seemed so unperpared for school and was planning on leaving. Did she have a falling out with her parents? Was Miaka at school for a transfer? For tests?

    Before Yuri could come up with a good question to ask the girl she looked up to another girl's shadow was on her. Yuri looked up and was overcome with waves of images, memories, but they were not her own. Yuri's knuckles whitened and her jaw clinched as she resisted the ghost's urge to call out to this girl, this... "Hotaru, hello, it's nice to meet you."

    It was amazing how calm she was able to say that. She felt her own being vibrate. She knew who this Hotaru, no Higanbana. Her partner. Well, probably her partner, she was the ghosts partner. Why the hell were they meeting now at school? Sure she had been planning on eating lunch alone and if Miaka hadn't been here it would have been perfect, but now Yuri was conflicted. Both girls held an important place in her life. One her past, one her future.
  13. Suddenly they were not alone and the spell, was broken causing what little emotion that had been on her face to slide off of it. "I cannot take food from you Yuri." she said, standing. "I can't let you go hungry." there was a forced slime as her eyes slid over the other girl. Something was wrong, she could feel in in her gut. The newcomer was older then Yuri, or looked that way. Was this who was watching over her now? Miaka almost smiled, almost. Yuri wasn't alone even if in her heart there was a pang of jealousy. They had normal lives unmarred by why Miaka was forced to do. Killing didn't come naturally to her and...

    "I should probably go home now. It was good to see you Yuri." The mission was a failure, she would have to try again, maybe in disguise so she wouldn't have this same problem again.
  14. Hotaru blinked. This girl already knew her name? Well, it was fairly obvious to her that Yuri had probably already met Saru. That’s how she knew her new partner’s name from the start. It still caught her off guard somewhat. Maybe it was because she wasn’t used to be being known by someone right off the bat.

    “Yea, that’d be mean.” Hotaru said. She then coughed, making sure that she didn’t speak with her ‘distinctive’ punk accent. “I mean, yes. That’s me!” Hotaru forced a smile on her face.

    She noted that the other girl that Yuri was with was going to leave. There was something familiar about her. Hotaru quickly scanned her over, but didn’t find much of anything to recognize her from anyone else. She was probably just a friend of Yuri; nobody she needed to be concerned with.

    “Did I come at a bad time, Yuri?” Hotaru asked, once very formally. “If so, I can try to chat with you sometime after school.” She didn’t really want to wait, she hated being at a school she didn’t attend. Furthermore, she could be doing magical girl things like protecting people and get rewards for doing so….
  15. Yuri reached out and grabbed Miaka's wrist. She didn't want her to go, if she left then when would she see Miaka again? Yuri was concerned. More then concerned, she was genuinely worried, and though Yuri wondered if there was anything she could do for her friend she had to try. Miaka had done so much for her after all.

    "No!" Who was it directed to, Miaka or Higanbana. Why did this happen now? She needed Miaka to stay, but it wasn't good to put off her meeting with the other girl now that she had come out this way. What was she to do? "We should all sit and eat!" This was not a brilliant plan, not by a long shot, but what else could she do?

    The muttering behind her eyes was low. The ghosts it seemed understood her dilemma. They told her that soon Miaka wouldn't remember her, and so how Miaka recalled this meeting would soon not be important, but that also made it more important for her to see if there was a way she could put right anything in her big sister's life before her new life took over. The ghosts also reminded her of the danger of being a solo magical girl, and not for her safety, but Higanbana (Oh how she should not be suffering any of this was the lament of one ghost). She couldn't let her go either.
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  16. Her gaze dropped to Yuri's hand. She was actually touching her. At first she didn't know how to react to this. She could tear her arm away and leave anyway or she could... no, that would hurt her.

    "Alright Yuri, we'll do this your way." she didn't say what 'this' was, but her eyes kept looking past the others at the table at the students going about their lives behind them even as she wondered what she would do is she somehow managed to spot her target. With a sigh she gave up and looked at the newcomer.

    "Sorry, I forgot my manners. My name is Miaka." she offered, her old ingrained polite tone returning. "Yuri and I were just catching up, we haven't seen each other in a long time."
  17. “Um…A-About that,” Hotaru muttered, “I didn’t bring a lunch to eat up here. I’d rather not impose…”

    She really didn’t know what to make of either Yuri or her friend. While Hotaru knew that Yuri was a magical girl, her friend in some shape or form seemed to have a very familiar energy to her. It was masked very well; however. Hotaru couldn’t even begin to guess if Miaka was a magical girl or not. It probably didn’t matter anyway; it was not like the witch would even be on this side of town. So in the end, Hotaru just shrugged that feeling to the back of her mind.

    “But who am I to say no? It is nice to meet ya, Miaka-san. My name is Hotaru.”

    Hotaru knew that she had to somehow make a convincing story that she knew Yuri from all the time they spent together in class. Of course, anything she said would have been a bold face lie. Then again, Miaka had said that her and Yuri hadn’t meet in a few years…

    “Ah hah! So old friends, yes! That’d explain why I’ve never seen ya around the school grounds before. I am a newer student here myself. I used to go to one of the preppie schools on the other side of town. I didn’t really like it there so much…So far this school seems nice. I like the gym room at least. Hahahah. Isn’t that right, Yuri-chan? I’m always…in the gym room.”
  18. "See, isn't this nice?" she said to the two girls. She stopped herself from saying 'nice and normal' because even in her mind it sounded forced. She didn't need Miaka worrying, since she obviously had enough on her plate. She also didn't want Hotaru to think she was blowing her off.

    "Here you go,” she said, handing her potential partner a roll. The ghost that knew Hotaru commented on the girl's food preference. It was one of those absent thoughts the ghosts seem to have when triggered with memories. This was harder then Yuri thought it would be. So many memories, and she had to encourage the ghost to bring out the good ones.

    Yuri blinked. "The gym? Oh... Yes..." The problem was she was sitting. She needed an activity. Something to do while she reconnected with Miaka. "I think you're there all the time because of your love of double beach icecream! I was telling Miaka she should go with me for icecream. I know you'd like to as well, wouldn't you?"

    Too late, maybe Hotaru would just think she was a lucky guesser. "We can go window shopping around town too!" It would be an easy excuse for Hotaru's patrol of the area, and fun besides. Yuri looked between the two girls. "Does that sound good?" She grinned.
  19. So they had met before, Yuri knew her favorite icecream. Miaka relaxed a little, and even reached out to steal a morsel from Yuri's lunch. "I'm paying you back by paying for your icecream." she insisted by way on agreeing to go with them. It would be strange with three of them but then it would always be strange to hang out with Yuri again.

    There was also a feeling, a feeling that something wasn't right. Yuri recognized her instantly, Miaka's 'companion' was nowhere around and... something about Hotaru that put her on edge.

    "Yuri, do you remember where I said you should go if you even need my help?" she asked giving the younger girl a significant look. "You can still find me there if you need me." She didn't trust Hotaru, almost out of instinct...
  20. Hotaru once again moved her hand to the back of her head and gave a nervous laugh. “Yeah, hahaha…It’s very nice.”

    She then blinked when Yuri handed her a roll. Hotaru didn’t know what to say. Being given food was one of the means to get her to stick around. It was because of Umi’s offering of making meals every day that drew Hotaru to hang out with the team she once belonged too.

    That team was known as Eternal Aries Five, or so their flamboyant team leader Makoto had dubbed them. It always struck Hotaru odd that the team named didn’t include their armbands of cream color anywhere. Hotaru never really liked the rich girl’s attitude and they often clashed. Umi would generally step in as the elder sister sort and tried to keep everyone along the same lines. As the Aries, they were supposed to defeat the rouge magical girls that wore purple.

    The two sides often clashed but it seemed that until the Amethyst Witch appeared, the Purple side kept getting more and more girls. Of course, since Hotaru was the youngest of the lot, she was never allowed to really hone in her powers. However, that started to change when Makoto was the first to disappear. Hotaru thinking about it now realized that the rich girl had probably been killed. The other two girls, Nanami and Yuko, decided to disband the team and they went off on their own. As far as Hotaru knew, those two were still alive and well. Though, their territory had been absorbed by the Witch….

    Hotaru shook her head and stopped dwelling on the past. “Sure. I don’t mind going for some peach ice cream…I-I am not so sure that I’ll be much fun taking on window shopping though. I ain’t a big fan of looking super fashionable…”

    She then moved her focus back towards Miaka. There was something in the air that made Hotaru feel uneasy. Why was she so protective of Yuri? That didn’t strike her as something normal…
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