The Fate of the Stars

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Lady B, Oct 30, 2014.

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  1. The year 1997 according to the Gregorian calendar, somewhere in outer space...
    ...A seemingly uninteresting lump of rock moves along at a steady pace, with no apparent aim or goal. But the barren, inhospitable surface hides a highly developed society, not unlike humanity, bearing a billion year old grudge, and a thirst for vengeance.

    The sound of boots' heels clacking against the marble floor as an otherwise calm and collected figure hurriedly made its' way to the throne room, bewildered by the sudden, and certainly very unexpected discovery. "Your Highness, your Highness!" The words were sputtered as the person flung open the doors, made of a material alien to, and therefore indescribable to an earthling, leading to the ancient throne room. The one sitting on the throne was less than pleased by the unannounced intrusion of said person, and tilted her head while examining the nuisance. "What's the meaning of this? You better have a good reason for disturbing me while I'm practicing my magic." The person quickly threw themselves into salutary position, not wanting to seem any more impudent. "Your Highness, you see, we've... We've..." "You've what? Come on, spit it out already before I tire of you." "We've found it, we've finally found it! We picked up some familiar signals, and we never thought it could be true, but after running some scans, it's confirmed that they're a prefect match to the ones of Sentinel X!" The queen sat dumbfounded. She could not believe it to be true. "But, the only way for Sentinel X to still be radiating signals is if... That means..." Tears started amassing in the eyes of the news-bearer, who could not contain her excitement one ounce. "It means the hard labor of our ancestors has not been in vain! It means we've at last located the coordinates of the Gold Millennium Crystal remnant!" The queen chuckled quietly under her breath, but it soon developed into full-blown, hysterical laughter. "Excellent! Superb! Absolutely fabulous! I trust you haven't told anyone else?" "No, your Highness, only the higher-ups of the research department are aware." "Wonderful. Run down to the control room and tell them to change our course and destination. Then spread the word. We have a lot of preparation to do, but tonight, we feast. A grand feast it shall be, to celebrate this monumental day." With a look of complete admiration and devotion one her face, the newsbearer and likewise head of the research department, gave a final salute before leaving the throne room. "Yes, your Highness!" Once the doors had shut completely once more, the queen took a deep breath, grabbing the staff that was resting next to her. She stared into the deeply purple coloured, lotus-flower shaped jewel at the end of it. "So it has become my duty to fulfill the promise of ancient Pandora... Very well, as it is the task I have been prepared from my birth to carry through, I will stop at nothing to ensure that the Gold Millennium Crystal finally ends up where it belongs."

    Fast forward 17 years...
    "... And that concludes our interview with Kujaku Toshiko, governor of Tokyo, and one of the top candidates for the post of prime minister in the upcoming elections. Now, onto the weather..." Hoshino Kiyomi stirred her morning cup of tea, waiting for it to cool down, while watching the news. "Such an intelligent and outspoken woman... Beautiful, elegant, and graceful, too. I wish Hikari could be even just a bit more like her." She thought to herself and sighed. Just then, footsteps could be heard tumbling down the stairs. "Ahh, I'm gonna be late! Bye mom, see ya after school!" And with that, Hikari was already out the door. Kiyomi sighed again. "That girl really needs to learn some responsibility. She didn't eat any breakfast, and she forgot her lunch. I hope she brought some money with her, or she's going to starve for the rest of the day." The house-cat, Taiyou, jumped up on Kiyomi's lap, meowing in an agreeing tone, before settling down and starting to purr.

    At school, during lunch, Hikari's stomach growled. "This is bad, really bad... I forgot my lunch, and my wallet, so I don't have money to buy anything from the cafeteria..." She leaned forward towards the boy sitting in front of her, who was way more sensible than her, and looked at him with puppy-dog eyes. "Hey, Emiya-kun, you don't suppose you could share your lunch with me? Or lend me some money? I seem to be in quite the pickle here..."
    #1 Lady B, Oct 30, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 30, 2014
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  2. Hisao looked as he always did when he woke up - sour enough to make a lemon feel insecure about itself. He himself, however, was far from miserable. Or happy. In fact, he was far from anything at all. Emiya did not have the energy to think about doing anything, and was merely dragging himself along out of instinct. His parents seemed to respect his lack of energy, and didn't bother talking to him much - their morning greetings were as warm as always, however. Not that Emiya registered it. he barely even seemed to register that his body was moving at all.


    Lunch time was Emiya's favourite part of the school day. It was just him, the classroom, and a few students that rarely ever bothered him. The teacher was there sometimes, but only occasionally. It was somewhere that he could just sit down, relax, and collect his thoughts.

    The food he had wasn't anything particularly astounding. Just a simple ham and lettuce sandwich. But that was why he liked it, as opposed to lunches other students brought with them. While their lunches were fancy and sometimes a chore to prepare, a sandwich was easy and rewarding. It served its purpose, and with minimal effort.

    "Hey, Emiya-kun, you don't suppose you could share your lunch with me? Or lend me some money? I seem to be in quite the pickle here..."
    Emiya lowered the triangular half he'd picked up, and looked to Hikari with an immensely tired look plastered across his face. He would have been lying if he'd said that this wasn't exactly the sort of thing he expected of her, but what annoyed him was that she was asking him for a favour. He never really paid much attention to it, but he assumed she had friends that she could ask, making him wonder why it was him she had chosen.

    But he was, as always, eager to get her out of his hair so that he could eat his lunch. Not that he hated her, but at that point in time, he would be far happier eating his sandwich.
    "Um, just give me a second... I've got some money in my bag... Ah, here we go. Go buy yourself something nice."
    Emiya handed her some money - not much, but she could probably buy something to tide her over until she got home.
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  3. Hikari's face lit up with a bright smile as she accepted Hisao's money. "Ahh, thank you thank you thank you! I promise, I'll pay you back as soon as I can!" She got up from her chair, ran out of the classroom, trying to get to the cafeteria as fast as she could. One of her friends passed her in the hallway, wondering why she was in such a rush. "Hey, Hikari-chan! You'll be scolded for running in the hallway again!" She turned around while maintaining her running pace with her feet. "Hehe, don't worry, I'm so fast, the teachers won't even see me coming!" And with that, she was off again.

    She returned to the classroom with a soba-pan and a bottle of juice, which she gladly sunk her teeth into. "Thnks agn fr lnding me mney, Emya-kn!" She mumbled, mouth stuffed full of bread and fried noodles, with a stupid smile stretched half across her face. She swallowed, and then took a big gulp of the juice. "Pfweh, that hit the spot!" She looked over at Hisao's ham and lettuce sandwich. "Hey, what'cha got there? So simple, yet cute and elegant at the same time... Looks delicious..." She licked her lips, eyes glistening with greed. She was a glutton, and she just couldn't hide it. She really wanted a bite out of that sandwich...
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  4. Emiya was glad to see Hikari leave. All he wanted to do was eat his sandwich in peace, and not have to deal with her. From what he could tell, she was - by her very nature - a human dynamo. All you had to do was hook her up to the power grid, and she could power a third-world country for at least a few hours. He sighed, and leaned back in his chair, mentally patting himself on the back for a job well done. With any luck, Hikari would be stuck waiting, leaving him in peace until he could be bothered to move somewhere else.

    Alas, this was not meant to be. The human equivalent of a vat of espresso bounded into the room before he was even halfway through his first triangle, leaving him with an even more tired expression.
    "Hey, what'cha got there? So simple, yet cute and elegant at the same time... Looks delicious..."
    He looked to his sandwich, and then to her. In that moment, he weighed up his options. He could give her some, and hopefully she would be satisfied enough to leave him alone. But she wouldn't. He could get up and leave. But that would be rude, and even he had standards. Excuses had never been his strong suit for something as trivial as this. And flat-out refusing ran the risk of being pestered incessantly. It was a lose-lose situation.

    In that light, he opted for the easiest option.
    "It's a sandwich. Ham and lettuce. Want some?"
    He was reluctant, yes. But it was the easiest, and potentially most effective, course of action he would take.
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  5. "Oh, really? You would give me some? Well, really I shouldn't... I mean I already owe you money, I shouldn't take from your lunch as well. It does look quite delicious, but I wouldn't want to be an inconvenience. But, if you insist, I will accept..." The words left her mouth, but her glittering eyes and the, although very small, drop of drool hanging from the corner of her mouth spoke of her true intentions. She leaned forward, breaking off a piece of Hisao's sandwich. "I wouldn't want to be so rude as to decline such a generous offer, after all." She put the piece in her mouth, and after the first chew, immediately started making very satisfied noises. "Mmmh, so delicious! The soft, fluffy, almost cloud-like bread, accompanied by the salty, flavourful ham and the crisp, fresh lettuce... It's simply a match made in heaven!" How anyone could rejoice so over a composition of such simple ingredients was a mystery, but Hikari was a glutton through-and-through, and thoroughly enjoyed every little bit of food that entered her mouth. As soon as she had finished eating her piece of Hisao's sandwich, she continued scarfing down her own soba-pan. When she was done, she took a swig of the juice, and finished that as well.

    "Well, I'm stuffed! Thanks for treating me Emiya-kun. Haha, but don't worry of course I'm going to pay you back." Satisfied, she clicked her toungue and stretched her body out, almost like a cat just waking up from a pleasant nap. "Now I'm completely energized for next period. Which is what, by the way?... Oh, that's right, English. Wait, didn't we have..." With an expression of panic, Hikari realized she had forgotten to do the homework due today. "Oh no, what do I do!? Let's see, I asked Yukko-chan for her notes in math yesterday, and I asked Mio-chan last week..." She ran through all the friends who could potentially help her in her head, but she found that she had asked all of them just recently, and doing it again so soon after would be awkward. But, she had one final resort. She leaned forward, again, and tapped Hisao on the shoulder. "Hey, Emiya-kun, you don't suppose I could... Borrow your notes for next period? I know, I know, I've been asking for a lot lately, but please, you'd help out a fellow classmate in need, wouldn't you?" She scratched the back of her head, and laughed pathetically.
    #5 Lady B, Oct 30, 2014
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  6. Emiya's ability to restrain a look of abject horror was pushed to its limits by Hikari snatching a piece of his lunch directly from him. It wasn't like he wasn't going to give a piece to her, but the fact that she had just gone by herself was just astonishing to him. Even worse - to him - was how she practically inhaled her lunch. He understood that she was hungry, but he was far from being used to seeing someone wolf down their lunch like that. But, ever the stoic, Emiya simply ate his lunch, doing his best to ignore Hikari's hyperactive shenanigans. He wasn't even sure if she would be able to register anything he said at this point, anyway.

    Ad then she remembered what lesson was next. He had suspected that she hadn't done her homework - he'd seen people like her before, and he would have bet money that half of them would have forgotten their heads, were they not attached to their shoulders. So, initially, he made nothing of it. She could just ask a friend for notes. The break wouldn't be over for a while yet, and he assumed she would be able to find somebody willing to assist her. No need for him to get worked up. It wasn't really any of his business.

    His expression when she asked him for help was a sight to see. It was, in no uncertain terms, the face of someone who was at their limit, whose ability to restrain themselves was being tested to ridiculous levels. Taking a deep - but subtle - breath, Emiya, mumbled something about waiting for a moment, and began digging around in his bag once again. What came out was a sheet of his notes. Though they resembled what would happen if a drunk medical practitioner decided to write a novel during an earthquake, anybody actually able to decipher the psuedo-code he'd written in would see concise, well-organised notes. Perfect for getting homework and revision done. But terrible for reading unless you had a translator on hand.
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  7. Hikari smiled in anticipation as Hisao dug through his bag, pulling out his notes. "Thank goodness! You're a lifesaver, you know that?" With a smug grin on her face, she dug out her own notes and a pen. "Hihi, don't worry, I won't take long at all. Behold, the great copying powers of Hoshino Hikari!" She started copying Hisao's notes, and by copying, it meant she really did nothing less. It looked as though she had scanned his papers in a copying machine and printed it out. Every little detail about his hand writing was on point, down to the very last scratch. It was a very strange skill, but very useful for someone who basically survived school by copying the notes of others. "Annnd... I'm finished! Again, thank you very much~" She handed back Hisao's notes, and looked down on her own papers. "Now, let's see what we got here..." She read it several times but couldn't make out what it said. "The... The verb is... James rode the... The picycle?..." She tried sounding it out, but she couldn't make out what it said. She didn't even understand the translation notes. Once more she leaned forward, tapping Hisao on the shoulder. "Um, excuse me, Emiya-kun... What does it say, right here?" She showed him the paper, but pointed nowhere in particular. Basically, she didn't understand anything written on it. She flashed another pathetic smile, hoping to win some sympathy.
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  8. Emiya had no intention of beholding any powers. The only power he would be interested in seeing is her being able to make people vanish. Herself, preferably. However, as a courtesy (and to make sure that she didn't do anything to his notes that he didn't approve of), he watched. He was actually a little impressed at how well she managed to replicate everything he'd written down, but given how bad his handwriting was, Emiya wasn't particularly sure how much this would benefit Hikari in the long run.

    Emiya took his papers back, and was just about to put them back, when Hikari once again called for his attention. Emiya held back a sigh when he saw what the problem was. It wasn't that he was unwilling to help - revision would be good for the both of them. The problem lay in the fact that he wasn't terribly proficient in English. While he wasn't terrible (by his class' standard), he was certainly no genius, and it showed.

    But he'd given her the notes, and he knew he'd look like an idiot if he couldn't even make use of them himself. Thus, reading from his own sheet, he attempted to solve what he thought was her problem. He wasn't particularly sure, but it was all he could do.
    "Er, let's see... We need the verb, so it's the action. I think. James? No, that's a name. Bicycle? no, that's a bike... I THINK it might be rode. Don't quote me on this one, though."
    #8 Laggy Lagiacrus, Oct 30, 2014
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  9. "Ah, I see..." Hikari jotted down what Hisao said, but she still needed help with the rest of the notes. However, time was running out before the next class, and she didn't wanna bother him with having to explain the whole thing to her. Even she had a limit, and she was starting to feel a bit guilty over taking advantage of him. "Well, that should settle things. Thank you, I appreciate it." She went back to trying to decipher Hisao's notes, but it didn't take long before the teacher came in, and Hikari had to struggle her way through another one of her least favourite subjects.

    On her way home, Hikari was thinking about lunch break. "Boy, I hope Emiya-kun doesn't think I'm too annoying... I must remember to pay him back tomorrow, or he'll think I'm a real good-for-nothing!" Just outside her house, Hikari noticed Taiyou playing around with something. "Hey, Tai-chan, whatcha got there?" She bent down to have a look. It looked like an old fashioned golden compact, encrusted with different coloured gemstones. "Whoa, it's really pretty! I wonder if it's worth a lot?" Then, Taiyou started meowing loudly, staring intently at Hikari. "What's the matter? You want me to take it?" Taiyou silenced. "Oh, alright then. Hey, don't tell me you stole this from someone just to give it to me?" Taiyou rubbed herself against Hikari's leg as she picked up the compact and pocketed it, meowing innocently. "Not that I'd mind if you did, but don't tell anyone that, okay?" Then, Taiyou jumped away, turning around to look at Hikari and continuing to meow, but more loudly. It wasn't unusual for them to take walks together, how unusual that may sound, but the cat seemed more eager today for some reason. "Alright, alright, I'll come with you, just calm down."

    The two reached a park, or rather, Hikari was led by Taiyou to a park. They were walking down a small path, and Taiyou seemed more tense than usually. It was quiet and calm, but suddenly, Hikari could hear a strange song coming from behind some trees... "What a peculiar voice... I've never heard anything like it before. It's... So pretty..." She strayed off the path, trying to find the source of the singing, looking among the trees. She came across a small grove, with only a park bench and a small, decorative fountain. A man was sitting on the bench, and he seemed to be dozed off. Strangely enough, Hikari was starting to feel a bit tired herself, even though she was usually so full of energy. The singing, which she found so enticing, was coming from above. When she looked up, at the top of a tree, she was met with a very bizarre sight. "Wh-who are you!?"
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  10. "Well, what do we have here?" The mysterious woman jumped off her perch, flapping her wings once before settling down on the ground before Hikari. "I thought my singing would put all humans to sleep as soon as they heard it. And so far, they have. I wonder what it is about you, little girl, that makes you so different from the rest." While she called Hikari 'little girl', she herself was actually of much smaller stature than her. "I am Lorelei Nightsparrow, but you can just call me Lorelei. Not that it matters, you won't remember any of this, after all." The bird-like woman who called herself Lorelei reached inside her dress, pulling out what looked like a small, black pearl. Her fingers were slender and unusually long, and ended with almost equally long, very sharp nails. She placed the pearl against the fountain, and it seemed like it melted into it. "Hatch, Egg of Pandora, and release all evil unto this world!" Suddenly, the fountain began to transform. It sprouted legs and arms of stone, and the marble bowl on top formed some sort of head. The creature, a monster in every sense of the word, growled. Lorelei cackled with a high pitched voice, very unlike the beautiful tones that had left her lips just moments ago. "Go on, my child! Seize that brat and bring her to me! I'll absorb her crystal energy once I'm done here." She raised her hand and claw-like fingers towards the man sitting on the bench, and golden particles seemed to be pulled from his face to her palm. Meanwhile, the monster trudged itself towards Hikari, who could do nothing but back away in fear.
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  11. Descending from nowhere, the Masked Shadow appeared, balancing atop a tree branch. His costume was simple - a long black coat to obscure his body, and a mask to hide his face. He had no special markings, seemed to have no superpowers, but something about him wasn't normal. Without even saying anything, the mysterious stranger exuded an aura of power, an aura of fear. Even with everything going on below him, he said nothing, and moved not an inch. For someone to seem so collected, even when faced with such danger, he had to be incredibly brave... Or incredibly stupid.

    The lone stranger moved abruptly, with no warning whatsoever. He was but a flash of black, a silent shadow. He landed in front of Adore, and though his eyes could not be seen, the intensity of his gaze was unmistakeable. But she would not have long to process it. The Masked Shadow didn't like to waste time. As swift as the wind, and as silent as the darkness, his fist shot out towards her sternum. It was a left jab - not nearly as other moves in his arsenal, but quick enough to catch somebody off-guard. And to leave them open for further blows.

    He didn't know who this new foe was. He didn't care. She had declared herself as evil, and she had unleashed a monster she had clearly stated was not particularly nice. The fact that he recognised the girl being targeted only gave him more reason to drive off the stranger.
  12. Lorelei barely had time to block the sudden attack, and the blow sent her backwards "What the!?..." Despite looking very young, Lorelei had been through harsh training for a very long time. But even with her sharp reflexes, she was still caught somewhat off guard, not expecting to be hit so out of the blue. You little brat... I could've been hurt there, you know!" She had clearly been angered. "Hmph, not that such a puny blow like that would've put even a scratch on a Pandora general like myself, but someone ought to teach you some manners. Don't you know you don't hit strangers, you uppity little brat!?" The nails on her fingers grew even longer, and even sharper yet. With a flap of her wings she set off at high speed towards the mysterious masked stranger, aiming to impale him with her claws.
  13. The Masked Shadow barely moved, even when Lorelei was addressing him. He had an image to maintain, and he couldn't back down now - it was highly likely that he'd get torn to ribbons if he even so much as considered turning his back on her. It wasn't like he'd expected the blow to deal much damage. She had summoned a massive monster, so it was likely that she had used some sort of magic to bolster herself, or that she had at least worked on her physical abilities enough to last against someone who got in close.

    Lorelei was fast. This much was certain. But the attack she launched was unrefined, and had little technique to it. She was just flying towards him. Someone who had trained to dodge, block, and parry blows a hair's breadth from him. Had she actually put some effort into turning him into a human shishkebab, he would have felt threatened, but right now, this wasn't anything he felt he couldn't handle.
    In one fluid motion, the faceless superhero stepped to the side, and raised his knee at what he thought was the most opportune moment. The aim was to catch Lorelei in either the stomach or the ribcage - the reality of it was that he claws scratched his calf, and that whether he was going to hit or not was uncertain.
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  14. Just as the Masked Shadow stepped out of the way and raised his knee, Lorelei made a maneuver in the air and barrel rolled out of the way. She settled down on the ground, and gave him a sour glare. "You better watch out, brat, I could've taken your leg there." While that might be true, there was also the risk that her hand would've broken due to the impact, because of her velocity, and she didn't feel like having that happen to her. She was being reckless. Surely this brat was nothing to get worked up about, right? "Hmph, I suppose I have to hand it to you, though. You've got some pretty quick reflexes for an earthling. Tell me, who, or perhaps what exactly are you?..."
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  15. Hikari thought she was done for. A monster was headed her way, and an evil bird-lady was sucking the 'crystal energy', whatever that was, out of some poor man... She wanted to help, but fearing for her own life, all she could do was stumble backwards. Then, completely out of the blue, a masked stranger appeared, and started fighting Lorelei. Hikari saw her chance, and ran behind one of the tress to hide. She crouched down, covering her head. "Ahh, what do I do, what do I do!? This situation is absolutely mental! I, I want to help, but I should probably just run away..." She could still hear the fighting going on behind her, and the monster getting closer. Then, a familiar face appeared before her. "Tai-chan! It's you! Why are you-- Oh, that's right, we were on a walk, I forgot... But now's not the time for that! Argh, I wish you could just start speaking and tell me what to do..." "Hikari, use the compact!" As if she hadn't experienced enough strangeness for today, Hikari could now swear she heard her cat talk. "There's no time to stand there like a fool! Quick, hold the compact up that I gave you before and shout 'Sol Prism Power, Make-Up!'" There was no doubt, the cat really was talking. Hikari was hoping that someone would give her a thorough explanation of this and that right soon, or that she would wake up from whatever strange dream this was. But for now, all she could do was to trust Taiyou. "Umm, let's see..." She fished around in her pocket as the monster drew closer, grasping the compact and holding it as high as she could. "Sol Prism Power, Make-Up!"

    Suddenly, the compact began to glow and shine in a bright light, almost like the sun. It opened up, and Hikari began to transform. The light wrapped around her body like ribbons, undulating and twisting, forming a new set of clothes not on top of her old ones, but replacing them entirely. She could feel warmth spreading through every inch of her body, even through her scalp, as her hair was straightened out. 'Make-Up' was an understatement for this complete and total change Hikari was undergoing. The last remaining streak of light coiled itself around her arm, forming a serpent-like, golden bracelet. Finally, the open compact attached itself to her chest, like a brooch. A thought shot through Hikari's mind, almost like someone flicked a light switch on. She went out from her hiding place behind the tree, and faced the monster head on. "I am the pretty soldier in a sailor suit, guardian of love and justice, Sailor Sol! In the name of the sun, I'll punish you!" Just like that, it came out of her. Why she had acted so confidently and strong, or where she got that speech from, she didn't know, and now that she was standing face to face with the monster, she was starting to sweat more than before. The monster leaped at her, and she jumped out of the way, picking up speed while trying to run away. "Kyaaa! What is this thing!? What's going on!? Someone, please, stop iiit!" "Sailor Sol, calm down! That thing has been imbued with a dark soul, and you need to purge it! You're the only one who can do this!" "Ehh!? But how do I do that!?" "Point your right arm, the one with the bracelet, at it and shout 'Solar Bracelet Purification'!" Hikari didn't really understand, but she turned around, and pointed her arm at the monster. Just as it was about to pounce her, she shouted the command. "Solar Bracelet Purification!" And with that, the bracelet shot off her arm like a coiling beam of light, wrapping itself around the monster. It screamed in pain as the bracelet constricted it, tightening its' grip. Then, in a bright flash, the monster was purged, and returned to being a small fountain. "What... Was that?"
    #15 Lady B, Oct 31, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 31, 2014
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  16. The Masked Shadow remained silent, ignoring the blood seeping from his leg, and focussing instead on his foe's movements. Lorelei could say anything she wanted, and make any motion she felt like making, but it would be fair to assume that he would not be affected in the slightest. Like a statue, he stood there, as if he were waiting for something.
    Lorelei's question remained unanswered. He did not have the time nor inclination to tell her anything. As long as she remained there, his job remained unfinished. Throwing his hands up into a guard, he dashed forward, moving frighteningly swiftly for someone whose leg was almost destroyed.
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  17. As the Masked Shadow rushed at her, Lorelei flew up into the air and landed behind him. "Hey, you're really starting to get on my nerves, brat! How can you not answer my question, completely ignore the wound I gave you, and just recklessly try to rush at me like some maniac!?" She turned her head around, trying to see what had happened to the monster. "And isn't that child taking way too long? Capturing a little girl like her shouldn't be all that difficult..." That's when Hikari appeared as Sailor Sol, and purged the Child of Pandora. "S-sailor Sol!? No, there's no way... You can't be from that stupid place! It was destroyed billions of years ago!" Lorelei's eyes flicked between the girl who called herself a 'pretty soldier in a sailor suit' and the Masked Shadow. "Tsch, just my luck... Listen to me, you brats! Just because you caught me by surprise doesn't mean I won't be back. I'll make sure to punish you thoroughly for getting in my way today!" And with that, Lorelei flew away.

    Later, at an unknown location...

    The woman sitting at a desk in front of Lorelei took a breath of smoke from her cigarette. "Lorelei Nightsparrow... Out of all my generals, you are the one who has brought back the considerably least amount of crystal energy to me. Would you care to indulge me for a moment, and tell me why you find it appropriate to slack off while on the job?" Sweat was starting to break out on Lorelei's forehead, who was bowing deeply in remorse, and out of fear of being punished. "N-no, your Highness, I wasn't slacking off, I promise you! It's just that I ran into some unexpected issues..." The woman took another deep breath, slowly blowing the smoke at Lorelei. "Go on, tell me. What are these 'unexpected issues' you speak of? And please, just spit it out already. You know I hate waiting." Lorelei gulped. The sweat was spreading all over her skin, making her uncomfortably wet. "W-well, there was this strange man in a black cloak... He tried to hit me, and avoided my attack, but even though I scratched him and he was bleeding he didn't react, and just rushed at me! He didn't speak at all, not even when I asked him who he was! And then..." "And then... What?" "There was a girl, dressed in a sailor suit. She somehow purged the Child of Pandora I summoned, and she called herself... She called herself Sailor Sol, your Highness!" The woman slammed her cigarette into the ashtray in front of her. "I can't stand hearing that word!" She leaned back in her recliner, trying to calm down. "Anyway, Sailor... Sol, you say? Perhaps, she was also sent to the future by that wretched woman? Maybe she was sent to protect the crystal?... Lorelei!" Lorelei twitched. "Yes,your Highness!" "I trust you with the mission to find this girl, 'Sailor Sol', and dispose of her. If you succeed in this mission, then you'll have my forgiveness. And, perhaps I'll give you a title better suited than mere general. You are dismissed." "Certainly, your Highness!" Lorelei left the office, and closed the doors behind her. She was about to head out, when she was stopped. "Hey, Lorelei, are you sure you don't want my help? You say you'd be able to handle it like there was no problem at all, but we don't know the extent of this persons' power. Wouldn't it be safer if I came with you?" Lorelei turned around, looking at the person who had been waiting for her behind the door. "You overheard our conversation? Eavesdropping is rude, you know." "No, I just..." "I don't want to hear it, sis! You're just after the title her Majesty offered for completing the mission! I can handle it on my own without you butting in!" And with that, she stormed off.
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  18. Hikari watched as Lorelei flew away. "Ah, she disappeared..." She then turned to the masked stranger. "Um, excuse me, but, who exactly are you? Do you know who that woman, or girl, or bird, was?" She noticed the blood trickling down his leg. "Oh, but never mind that, you're hurt!" She ran up to him, crouching before his knee. "It's bleeding pretty badly... But I don't have anything to stop it with... Hold on." She looked around, trying to find a suitable compress. She looked at the man sitting on the bench, still sleeping. He was wearing a scarf. "Ah, perfect! I don't think he'd mind if we borrowed it. It's for an emergency, after all." She went up to him, and began pulling the scarf off his neck.
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  19. The Masked Shadow flinched when Lorelei flew away, fully expecting her to swoop back down and attempt to eviscerate him. However, it soon became clear that she had indeed left, and wouldn't be coming back for the time being. It was at this point that he allowed himself to look around, and survey the situation around him. Thought it had been short, the fight had been intense. He hadn't been able to focus on anything else. But, now that everything had calmed down, he could get to work trying to make sense of everything. or, at least, he wanted to, but Hikari was still up and active.

    Unsurprisingly, he was silent throughout their entire (one-sided) exchange. It was understandable - he couldn't let anybody know what he sounded like, what he looked like, or anything else about him. He was a mystery, and he intended to keep it that way. Which was why her turning around to take the man's scarf was nothing but a stroke of luck. Hikari could only turn around for a moment, but that moment would be all the Masked Shadow would need to silently vanish, without as much as a goodbye. Hikari wouldn't even be able to follow a trail of blood - it was likely that he had a plan for that as well.

    The Masked Shadow left as he had entered - undetectably.
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  20. "Alright, got it! Now let's get that wound all wrapped..." Hikari turned around, and noticed that the mysterious man was no longer there. "Up..." She looked around some more, making sure he was really gone. "What a strange person, appearing and disappearing just like that. Almost like a shadow. And I wonder what that mask is for?" She went back up to the man, and wrapped the scarf around his neck. "Sorry for taking this, it seems like I didn't need it after all." Hikari sat down next to him, sighing. "Such a weird day. Just a few hours ago I was still in school, completely unaware, and now I somehow got wound up in all this." As she leaned back, trying to think things through, Taiyou jumped up next to her. "Ah, Tai-chan, there you are! Please, you have to tell me... What's the meaning of all of this? And, when in the world did you learn to talk!?"

    "I suppose I do owe you an explanation... Well, first of all, you might have noticed before that I'm not exactly an ordinary cat. The mark on my forehead, you see, is the crest of the royal family who lived on the sun a long, long time ago." "Wait, lived on the sun? But that's impossible! The sun is a star, a burning ball of gas! There's no way anyone ever lived there!" "Please, just calm down and let me explain..." Taiyou explained to Hikari about the ancient civilization on Sol and the other planets of the Solar System, the Gold Millennium Crystal, the ruin of it all caused by the people of Pandora, and the souls and the crystal shard that was sent to earth, with only a slight modification. "... So you see, Hikari, you are the reincarnation of the princess's life guard." Hikari looked up at the sky, covering the strongest rays of the sun with her hand. "Ehh... So my soul really came from such a place, huh?" "Yes. While I wanted to wait longer before awakening you for you to mature, the fact is that somehow, the people of Pandora found the Solar System again, and they are looking for the princess and the crystal. Your mission is to find the reincarnations of the ambassadors, and fight Pandora together with them. But don't worry, I'll help you look." The man next to them suddenly started moving, groaning under his breath. "Quick, Hikari, undo your transformation!" "But, I don't know how!" "Touch the brooch, and wish for it to disconnect from your heart." Hikari did as she was told. The brooch absorbed all the light it had radiated earlier, returning Hikari's clothes to normal, and turning back into a compact. The two started walking away, heading towards the house. "Um, so, I have a question." "Yes, what is it?" "Even though everything is all crazy like this, will you, when we're at home I mean, still act like my cat?" Taiyou stopped, and laughed a little. "Ha ha, of course I will. As a governor, it is my duty to look after you girls, and if that's what you want me to be, then that's what I'll be."
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