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Author Topic: The Circle of Three [CONCLUSION: 28: Ascension]  (Read 49467 times)

Offline rokun

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Re: The Circle of Three [7: Questions]
« Reply #40 on: November 28, 2007, 02:04:15 PM »
Sorry for the later update! I took a break from just about everything over Thanksgiving. I hope everyone else who observes it had a good one. :) Anyway, onto the next chapter! This might be a bit slower and I hope not too boring, but I had to do a bit of character development. Hopefully TakaGaki fans will at least enjoy it. :)


Chapter 7 - Questions

“You’ve been awfully quiet since the weekend, Ai-chan,” Risa said as the two girls walked from their last afternoon class. Risa’s arms were full of books, and Ai couldn’t help but notice the girl glancing at the mere one textbook and notebook that Ai clutched in her own.

They did have some homework to do before the weekend, but Ai hadn’t felt motivated since the run-in with the Skulls several days ago. Something as simple as studying suddenly seemed not so important anymore, no matter that there might be important college entrance exams coming up before too long. Then again, according to popular legend around Seishin, Circle alumni don’t seem to have trouble getting into any college they want. She made a mental note to ask Maimi and Saki about that sometime to see if there was any truth in it.

“Ai-chan…?” Risa continued in a hesitant voice, clearly trying to get her friend to talk, but nervous of how far to push her. “…Is the Circle keeping you busy?”

Ai turned her face to stare at the girl. “I’m sorry,” she said finally. “Yes, it’s keeping me busy. I’m always distracted since I…” Seeing the look of concern on her friend’s face, she stared back hard and decided something in her mind.

“Nii-chan…” she began, slightly hesitantly. Maimi might literally kill her, but she needed support from somewhere other than the other Circle girls she wasn’t even sure she could trust yet.

“Yes?” Risa said, showing obvious interest at Ai being willing to talk to her at all.

“When we get back to our room, there’s something I need to talk to you about.”

Risa looked hard at her for a minute. “All right,” she responded, and they took another step forward only to find a girl blocking their way.

Tanaka smiled innocently up at them, her hands held behind her back as she tilted her head. “Well hi there, senpai of mine,” she said in almost a sing-song voice.

“What do you want?” asked Risa, looking down her nose at the younger girl. In all her time here, Risa had never thought much of the Skulls. While Ai watched her glare at the girl, she wondered. Might Mikitty have had something to do with that?

“Well I haven’t seen our great leader since I put her in her place, so I thought I’d come and have a little chat.”

It seemed like Risa’s glare couldn’t get any harder. “You’ll do well to learn some respect one of these days,” she said in a steely voice. “Teenage girls might get out of your way because they’re scared of you and your little gang for some reason, but you’ll find it’s a lot tougher bullying people around in the real world.”

Tanaka just smiled at her without concern. “You think so?” she asked. She gave Ai a glance before looking back at Risa and continuing, “What was your name again?”

Noticing her friend’s eyes narrow even further, Ai jumped in before she did something she might regret. Unfortunately, Ai knew this girl a bit better than her loyal friend. “What do you want, Tanaka-san?” she asked in a short yet careful voice.

“Oh, so she can speak, huh?” Reina asked, looking back to Ai. “I thought you didn’t do anything other than just stare at the sky anymore.” This time, at the girl’s words Risa turned her gaze on her friend, but Ai avoided her eyes.

“You sound so confident,” Ai said, feeling slight anger bubbling up inside her. “But you know what? I don’t think you knew any more of what you did than I. The storm just followed you around, and you didn’t even react to it until I started playing with it… You wouldn’t be anything more than a pile of ashes if I’d been able to deal with the mess you created.”

The younger Skull stared coolly back at her. “Be that as it may, I wasn’t the one who ran away with her tail between her legs.”

“I didn’t see you making any move to follow!” Ai barked back, and feeling someone pulling at her, she realized she’d been leering at the Skull, who met her advance with her own, leaving the girls’ faces only centimeters apart until Ai was pulled back.

“Ai-chan,” Risa said, still tugging at her. “I know she’s the scum of this school, but that doesn’t mean she’s worth losing your temper at. Besides, you’re a Circle member now. You can’t go around yelling at obnoxious children like that.”

Ai blinked, breaking her line of sight with the other girl, who backed away, surprisingly ignoring Risa’s insult and furrowing her eyebrows, still peering intently into Ai’s face as if surprised at something she saw in it. She was losing her temper. That seemed to happen a lot more often since she was inducted into the Circle. In fact, she always was one of the most even-tempered girls around. Risa even complained that she was too boring sometimes. Judging by the girl’s worried look when she glanced back at her now though, she didn’t think the change was entirely welcome.

After relaxing in her friend’s grip she looked back at Tanaka, who still stared at her sternly. She scrunched up her face in an attempt to rein in her temper before asking quietly, “So was there something you actually wanted, or was it only to harass me?”

“Actually,” the girl responded, now appearing thoughtful. Ai hadn’t seen the look on her face often, but strangely it actually seemed to suit her. “I thought that since we seem to share…” She glanced at Risa. “…a common interest, that we might want to compare notes.”

She seemed to hesitate before continuing. “You might be right that neither of us knows much about our seemingly mutual skill. I thought we might be able to learn something from each other.” She looked steadily into Ai’s face as she spoke. “That is, if we could stop yelling at each other for long enough.” She seemed to throw that in at the last moment with a slight twist to the corner of her mouth.

Ai stared at her, but Risa gave the girl a response. “What are you talking about?” she asked impatiently. “You don’t take any classes together, do you? Or… did you both join a club or something?” This time Ai noticed her glancing between both of them.

“No…” Ai said finally. “We did run into each other last weekend though.” Seeing her friend’s questioning look, she tried to convey wordlessly that she’d tell her about it later and turned back to the Skull. “I’ll have to think about it,” she told her.

“Take your time,” the girl replied, and with another glance between the two of them turned her body as if to walk away. “I’d be careful how much I listen to your fellow Circle members though.” She gave Risa an uncertain look before continuing. “There’s something mutual among you all too, and I think those two have grown too comfortable with it.” She looked carefully into Ai’s eyes again as if searching for something that she couldn’t find. “Maybe you’ll find that right now, despite our loyalties, we might have a bit more in common.”

“What could she possibly have in common with you?” Risa growled, looking at Tanaka as if the girl was something unpleasant stuck to the bottom of her shoe.

“Nii-chan…” Ai pled, tugging on her friend’s sleeve, but it seemed to have no effect.

“Ai-chan doesn’t run around beating girls up with all her free time. Nor does she skip classes as regularly as she goes to them. Nor does she spend every possible breath she has challenging every little bit of authority that’s visible! Nor does she…”

“Nii-chan!” Ai scolded lightly, but firmly enough that she finally seemed to get through to the girl. “That’s enough…”

Tanaka never took her gaze from Ai’s face though, and shrugged at her words. “Suit yourselves,” she said. “I just think this might be something bigger than any of us, and that it might be worth exploring what we can do together.” Then she turned away.

“That girl…” Risa grated as the two girls resumed their course to their room. “What is she trying to do now? Ingratiate herself? Bad enough that last year Fuji—“

Turning her head to catch Ai’s sudden look of interest, Risa broke off suddenly. “I mean,” she corrected. “Just who does she think she is?”

“Of course…” Ai said, nodding at her friend and patting her on the shoulder. “I have no intention of working with her on anything, so don’t worry yourself over it.”

“Oh,” Risa said, acting as if surprised Ai agreed with her. “All right then. She’s a bad influence Ai-chan, and especially now that you have such a respectable position, I just have to do my best friend’s duty and make sure you don’t associate with anyone like her.” The girl smiled at what Ai supposed was meant to be a flattering comment she was able to throw in, and she smiled back.

“I wouldn’t dream of it,” she responded.

However, despite her words, in actuality she wasn’t as sure as she made it sound. What the girl said had made sense. Wasn’t that what had been stamping down her motivation all week? Seeing what she could do, and what others could do… It had made her think there must be something more than entrance exams and endless studying, even though she’d done all right by them so far in her over six years at Seishin Gakuin, and really throughout her whole life. Getting into this school definitely had not been easy, after all.

Honestly, she wanted to take the girl up on her offer. Maimi and Saki had acted warm and open about their abilities, but there was also a distance with them. For example, they admitted they didn’t even really know what Ai could do or maybe even how to do it.

Now though, she had found someone else who seemed to be able to do at least some of the same things as herself. Tanaka had done something with the weather that night. It had rendered Ai unable to do anything with it, at least at first attempt. She’d seen a few of Maimi’s and Saki’s abilities, but never did they show any affinity with the conditions around them that Ai seemed able to claim. And really, she only had hints about what their true powers were. She was even slightly scared of Saki, especially since earlier that night the girl had come running to them with blood all over her in a right state, which sent Maimi into a frenzy leading to their encounter with the Skulls.

Despite her logic and rationality telling her to maybe talk to Tanaka though, something deeper within her and at least as strong was arguing hard against it. Don’t trust her, it said, and thoughts of the things she heard the girl and the rest of the Skulls had done in their time at Seishin assaulted her memory. Is this, as Risa said, really someone you want to be associating with?

Ai had always been a model student. Maybe not the most brilliant or the “choirgirl” Tanaka had called her, but she worked hard. Her teachers always praised her for her effort, and she thought no few of them seemed proud she was now part of the Circle, even if it did take nearly her whole career here to get to that position. It wasn’t her fault that Yoshizawa and Iida stayed around so long though. Randomly, she admitted to herself she’d thought of joining choir once…

“Ai-chan…” Risa said again, and Ai stared at her as if just remembering they were walking together. “Were you being honest to me a minute ago? You seem pretty deep in thought for someone so certain of her path.”

Ai stared at her another moment before responding. “I said there was something I wanted to tell you, Nii-chan.” Looking around her, she noticed they had neared House Nakazawa. “Come on.” She hurried the rest of the way in and past other students who peered curiously at her. She’d definitely been no stranger to attention since she was named head of the House.

Closing the door after both girls had entered their room, she turned back to see Risa smiling patiently up at her. At least, it looked patient. Ai could tell in her face though that she was being driven crazy by anticipation.

“Okay,” she said finally, and Risa’s unceasingly attentive look made her walk over to her bed and sit next to her. She looked over into the girl’s face and for some silly childish reason felt like blushing, though thankfully she managed to stop it before it showed.

“You can’t tell anyone else what I’m about to tell you, ever,” she said, studying Risa closely though trying to keep her gaze fixed on the girl’s eyes.

“Okay,” Risa said, still seeming at ease and giving Ai a disarming smile. Feeling more at ease herself at the girl’s attitude, Ai tried to gather her thoughts. Now, where to begin?

“You know how I went with Maimi and Saki to be ‘initiated’ into the Circle, as they put it?” Risa nodded. “Well, they performed some kind of ceremony there, and ever since then I’ve been able to do things.”

“Do things?” Risa asked with interest.

“Well, it started when I got angry and threw Tanaka-san across the room…”

There was silence when she said that, and after a few seconds she gave Risa a sideways look. The girl stared at her, that fixed smile still on her face.

“Threw her across the room, huh?” Risa said, clearly just in response to Ai’s apparent expectation of one. “Well, I imagine she probably deserved it, but…” The girl broke off and began laughing.

Ai frowned at her, and seeing that she wasn’t joining in with her merriment, Risa’s laughing died off quickly. “You’re being serious?”

“Are you really my friend?” Ai asked in disbelief.

Risa grabbed Ai’s arm and lifted it up between them. “Look at this!” she said, waggling it up and down. Ai was used to her friend’s playfulness, so she just let the girl have her way with her. “Who are you gonna throw anywhere? Much less someone like Tanaka! I’ve seen some of her fights. Most girls can hardly touch her. Or don’t you remember what happened with the weights in gym class a few years ago?”

“I didn’t throw her with my arms,” Ai said, pulling her captive one out of her friend’s grasp. “I just got angry, and I felt something tingle within me, and next I knew I was looking at the girl flying across the room and slamming into the wall.”

Risa looked at her levelly for a moment before raising a hand to Ai’s forehead. “Are you feeling all right? You have dreams like this often?”

“I’m being serious!” Ai said, now beginning to get a bit frustrated.

Risa slowly took her hand away, looking carefully into Ai’s face. “Okay, Ai-chan,” she said. “I believe you.”

By her words and through her anger Ai thought the girl was scared, but looking at her she realized she wasn’t, and her calm expression allowed Ai to calm down too.

“You heard Tanaka-san and I talk about running into each other the other night,” she said, giving her best effort toward relaxing. She didn’t know if she liked this; getting angry was not something she enjoyed. “I’ve found when walking outside that it feels like I’m connected with the environment. It’s… hard to explain, but I feel like the breeze is talking to me, and that the clouds are listening to me.”

“…That’s kinda creepy, Ai-chan,” Risa said, considering her friend calmly still.

“It is, isn’t it?” Ai asked in response. She lay back on the bed, staring at the ceiling, even now feeling the attention of what was outside and beyond it, and even around them in this room.

Risa didn’t join her at first, but she went on. “I was with Maimi and Saki when I ran into Tanaka-san and the other Skulls that night. It was late, and Maimi and I had only come out when Saki ran into our lounge while…” She hesitated a second. “…in a right state. But when I went outside, it was like one of the strangest feelings in the world. The wind still spoke to me, but it was like it was distracted somehow. It made me curious all the way until we ran into the Skulls, but then… I found at least some answers.”

Risa broke into her field of view as she leaned over to look into Ai’s face. “I’m sorry Ai-chan, but I think I’m getting lost in your metaphors. What kinds of, er, things was the wind saying to you?”

Ai just shook her head. “It’s not a metaphor.” She thought a moment though before continuing. “Actually, I guess it kind of is. We weren’t actually speaking of course, but I was definitely communicating with it. I realized I could communicate with everything contained in the air around me.”

“So, you could talk to trees and stuff too?” Risa asked, clearly trying to be as patient as possible with her.

“I’m sorry,” Ai said, sitting up and causing her friend to settle back as well. “I’m sure I must sound crazy.”

“No,” Risa said intently. “I can’t say I understand what you’re talking about, but I believe you’re having these experiences.”

Ai smiled. “That’s not even all of it. When we met up with the Skulls, Maimi started going at it with them. Saki had… reported that something happened to Natsuyaki-san, and maybe the others, and Maimi completely freaked out. Then she freaked out more when we ran into them and found that they, especially Natsuyaki-san, hardly even had a scratch on them. I was surprised too after what Saki said, but Maimi let her temper get the best of her and—“

“Like you almost let your temper do?” Risa asked quietly.

Ai looked at her. “Yes…” she said. “I suppose so. Anyway, she then somehow made this… ball of fire… in her hand, and threw it at Tanaka-san. Natsuyaki-san did something though, and it vanished half-way there.”

Risa was very quiet as the two girls continued looking into each other’s faces, Ai with an insistent look and her friend with an unreadable one. “…I thought the Circle might be a bad influence on you, Ai-chan,” she said finally. “Are you… are you doing drugs? Something had to have caused what happened to you.”

Ai shook her head, and even barked a short laugh. “Not as far as I know,” she responded. “Although something weird did happen the night I was initiated. When we finished some sort of ritual, I felt strength flood into me. It made me feel powerful, heated my blood. The main sensation only lasted a moment, but after that was when I started feeling the connection to things around me.

“I told you that night it all seemed distracted as if something else was influencing it, and after Maimi failed at her attack on Reina, she… asked me to try something instead. I didn’t want to of course,” she added hurriedly at Risa’s raised eyebrow, “But tensions were high. Something had to be done. Only, when I tried, it’s like the clouds heard me but resisted for some reason. Lightning struck all around us, but it couldn’t do anything…

“That was when Tanaka-san spoke up. She looked at me and said it was her storm, as if she was challenging me, and I lost the little control I had over things. That’s when I realized it seemed she could do the same things as me. At any rate, it apparently spooked Saki enough, and she convinced Maimi to back off and we left. We didn’t talk the rest of the night, even though I could tell Saki at least wanted to. Maimi wouldn’t have anything though, and has for the most part done her best to ignore us since.”

“Ai-chan…” Risa said in a low tone, and she wrapped an arm around Ai’s shoulders. “This is serious. There’s something going on here that’s way beyond anything we want to be involved in. I noticed you haven’t been studying this week, and now I think I get why. You’re on your way to a good school,” she implored. “If you can just lay low in the Circle for the year, you’ll have an even better reference. Don’t ruin it for yourself.”

Despite Ai’s inner turmoil, she felt strangely comforted in the girl’s embrace. Things were always like that with Nii-chan. She thanked whatever higher power there might be once again that the girl was such a good friend. Although… with the way things looked now… what if she herself was now a higher power?

She shook her head. “I don’t think so, Nii-chan,” she said slowly and with effort. “I think I’m already involved, and that I can’t go back.” She looked deeply into the girl’s face. “I don’t know if I want to go back.”

“Aww, that’s so sweet,” came a voice from the door as the two girls noticed it swing open, and Maimi walked in followed by a pensive-looking Saki. Ai was amazed at how the girl was so small and wispy that sometimes it seemed she could even disappear into the shadows. “I’m glad to see you two finally getting it on.”

Regretfully, Risa’s arm quickly pulled away from around Ai’s shoulders, and at a quick sideways glance she saw her friend’s eyes lower as her face flushed. Tact was one thing the Head of House Matsuura could definitely learn.

“Oops,” Maimi said, as she stopped a pace or two away from them. “Did I let out a secret?” She glanced over at Saki, whose expression didn’t change in the slightest. “Well if we’re not going to have a show, can you get lost? We need to talk with Ai-chan.”

Risa did rise after the girl’s words, but instead of heading out the door at the girl’s command, she walked up to Maimi, and though she didn’t raise her eyes to look into her face, her voice lowered the temperature in the room far more effectively than any trick Maimi had yet pulled.

“I don’t know what you did to her, but I want it to stop now,” she hissed. “She’s a year away from being out of this school and on her way to a wonderful future. I won’t let you ruin her life.”

Ai felt her body tense with every word that emanated from her friend’s mouth. Nii-chan… she thought and wanted to say, but for some reason hadn’t the voice to.

Maimi’s eyes widened slightly, and she gave Ai a look before returning back to Risa. “A wonderful future, you say? What, is she going to go to a nice college so she can get married to a guy from a good company and live happily ever after far away from you?” She lifted a finger to Risa’s chin as she spoke and raised her face slowly up to hers. “You can’t tell me that’s what you want.”

When Risa’s face rose to eye level with Maimi’s, Ai saw only a blur as the girl’s arm raised, and a sharp crack filled the air. She gasped as Risa clenched her fist in the air after turning the Matsuura girl’s head to the side with a violent slap that left red prints blooming on her cheek.

Ai didn’t even realize she was holding her breath as she stared at the scene as if it was frozen in time. Even Saki looked on as if taking an interest in the encounter. Finally Maimi turned her head back, pulling her hand from beneath Risa’s chin to rest it on her own cheek. Then she looked beyond her at Ai.

“You know, Ai-chan,” she said in an oddly amused-sounding voice. “I like her. She’s got backbone. You’ve made a good choice.”

Ai helplessly looked on as Risa’s hand flew up again, but this time Maimi caught her wrist in her hand with impossibly fast reflexes, and returned her attention to her assailant.

“It does no good to use it on me though,” Maimi said. “I presume you’ve told her about our little gifts, Ai-chan?” Ai couldn’t even tell if the girl noticed her slight nod with her eyes still fixed on Risa as they were, but Saki definitely noticed it.

“What would you like as her replacement memory?” the small girl asked in indifferent tones. Ai appraised her for a moment, and wondered what happened to the girl who before she joined the Circle seemed so active and energetic. It seemed every time she saw her recently, and really ever since she was raised a couple years ago, she became more and more distant.

“No,” Ai said, rising and joining the other girls. “You’re not messing with her head.” Risa finally tore her eyes from Maimi and looked at her, concern flooding her eyes as well as what Ai thought was slight fear. Ai reached out for her arm and pulled her back to her side, then finding her hand to grasp tightly. “She’s my friend and confidante. I need her at least as much as I need you.” She didn’t look at her friend as she spoke, but felt the girl squeeze her hand back strongly and fought back the urge to smile.

“Oh come on,” Maimi said. Ai thought her sarcasm was a bit lost this time though with the large handprint now showing on her face. She looked over at Saki in mock exasperation. “These two seriously need to get a room! Oh wait…” She looked around them. “We are in a room.” Then she looked back at Ai. “Suit yourself. Though know there will be more than hell to pay if word of this leaks out even more. You know what I mean.” For some strange reason, Ai felt she did. It was one of many things she somehow understood since her initiation night.

“Well,” the girl began again, and looked around before settling herself in a love seat, gesturing Saki over next to her. “Then we might as well have our talk together here. Please, have a seat,” she said, gesturing to the bed with a smirk on her face. Ai glanced at Risa, who seemed to hesitate, but at a firm nod from Ai the two girls sat, hands still clasped tightly together.

“We’ve spoken with the Headmaster for advice,” the girl began, appearing to be all business once again, despite the red mark on her cheek that apparently would not disappear. “Of course, advice is all he gives us. Any final decisions rest with us, but Saki-chan and I agree it’d be best if we leave the Skulls alone for the time being. We still can’t have word of our power getting out, and any confrontation with them likely would make that quite difficult. We also think it’s best if we get back to things as normal. All this avoiding each other has done us no good.”

Ai nearly ground her teeth at that. Avoiding each other? It was her that was avoiding the two of them! She looked at Saki as if barely considering Maimi’s words and asked her, “What do you think? We have these abilities. They also have these abilities. Might it not be more useful to find out the common ground between them?”

Maimi looked between the two other Circle members, and acted as if she was going to say something more, but at seeing both holding each other’s gazes and ignoring her, stayed blessedly silent.

“Our abilities are granted to us as the Heads of the Houses of Seishin…” Saki began in a deliberate tone. “It’s been that way for as long as there is recorded history of the school.” Ai felt Risa’s fingers tighten around her own once again. Now the Goto leader did spare a glance for Maimi, if a short one.

“These other students are an unknown. You could probably tell by how they used their powers that they are raw and untrained. It’s likely they don’t even know where it came from. I…” she gave Maimi another glance, “agree that we should stand back for now and observe in case there might be unpredictable aspects to their… abilities… and make sure they pose no threat to the school.”

Ai stared at the girl, and she was sure her mouth must also be hanging open. Was she hearing her right? Were they really concerned about the school? Everything she’d observed about Maimi at least seemed to indicate completely otherwise.

But then again, did it? Saki seemed calm at nearly all times. For example, it was her that caused them to back down and not continue what might have gotten even uglier the other night. And Maimi… Yes, the girl was an arrogant bitch, but what had she done to cause harm to the school?

Before Ai became involved with the Circle, like all other non-Skull Seishin girls she’d respected them as protectors of the school, and they always seemed to be there for their charges. She’d almost fried Tanaka-san of course, but Ai wondered if there were really that many girls in the school who would have missed her. Aside from probably nearly half the population she’d been a part to beating up, the Skulls’ reputation was anything but clean and shiny. Thinking of Mikitty with something hard in the pit of her stomach, she recognized she knew that as well as anyone. The amazing thing was that they were still around the school at all.

That led her to her conversation with the girl just a short time ago. After the verbal jabs, the girl had actually seemed almost friendly to her. And she was still a student here, after all. Was there something more to all this that she was missing? She was confused, and felt like she didn’t know what to do anymore.

She turned her head to look at her friend, who was already gazing sympathetically back at her. If nothing else, she had one person who she knew was unequivocally on her side. The problem was, she seemed to hate everything about any of her other associations, including the girls sitting across the room.

“Come on,” she heard Maimi say in a smooth voice. “Kiss her. You know you want to.”

That of course caused both Nakazawa girls to blush and look quickly away from each other again, although their hands didn’t part. At the edge of her vision Ai caught Maimi grinning at them, and even Saki smiling at them warmly. They appeared at the moment to be nothing other than close friends trying to hook up one of their own. Maimi could have completely gone off at Risa when she slapped her, but didn’t. It truly was confusing. She thought about all the things that had happened as well as possibilities and plans for the future. What was she to do?

Offline JFC

  • Miki's Birthday Twin
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Re: The Circle of Three [7: Questions]
« Reply #41 on: November 28, 2007, 11:00:52 PM »
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Then again, according to popular legend around Seishin, Circle alumni don’t seem to have trouble getting into any college they want.
Hmmmm...interesting.



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In all her time here, Risa had never thought much of the Skulls. While Ai watched her glare at the girl, she wondered. Might Mikitty have had something to do with that?
Well, considering that Miki had "happy fun time" with Aichan problably irked Risa a bit.



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She was losing her temper. That seemed to happen a lot more often since she was inducted into the Circle. In fact, she always was one of the most even-tempered girls around. Risa even complained that she was too boring sometimes. Judging by the girl’s worried look when she glanced back at her now though, she didn’t think the change was entirely welcome.
Well, given what she's been exposed to over the past little while and what she's having to cope with in terms of her confusion, it's not surprising that she's flustered like that.



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“Actually,” the girl responded, now appearing thoughtful. Ai hadn’t seen the look on her face often, but strangely it actually seemed to suit her. “I thought that since we seem to share…” She glanced at Risa. “…a common interest, that we might want to compare notes.”
Reina wants to talk to Aichan about their new powers?  Assuming that she's not secretly planning/scheming something, sharing what they know with each other could prove beneficial to both of them.



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“I’d be careful how much I listen to your fellow Circle members though.” She gave Risa an uncertain look before continuing. “There’s something mutual among you all too, and I think those two have grown too comfortable with it.” She looked carefully into Ai’s eyes again as if searching for something that she couldn’t find. “Maybe you’ll find that right now, despite our loyalties, we might have a bit more in common.”
Well, Maimi and Captain HAVE been Circle members longer than Aichan has, so it's certainly possible that they both know more about their powers than they're letting on.  From what Reina says here though, it's also implying that The Circle may have some hidden/secret questionable agendas that Aichan doesn't know about yet.



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“I just think this might be something bigger than any of us, and that it might be worth exploring what we can do together.” Then she turned away.
Perhaps "enemy" isn't going to be so clear-cut after all. :?



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She’s a bad influence Ai-chan, and especially now that you have such a respectable position, I just have to do my best friend’s duty and make sure you don’t associate with anyone like her.” The girl smiled at what Ai supposed was meant to be a flattering comment she was able to throw in, and she smiled back.
Risa means well...awww.   :wub:



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Maimi and Saki had acted warm and open about their abilities, but there was also a distance with them. For example, they admitted they didn’t even really know what Ai could do or maybe even how to do it.
If those two are planning something, then it might be that Aichan's just a pawn to them.  She should be extra-attentive to what they say and do.



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“You know how I went with Maimi and Saki to be ‘initiated’ into the Circle, as they put it?” Risa nodded. “Well, they performed some kind of ceremony there, and ever since then I’ve been able to do things.”

“Do things?” Risa asked with interest.

“Well, it started when I got angry and threw Tanaka-san across the room…”

There was silence when she said that, and after a few seconds she gave Risa a sideways look. The girl stared at her, that fixed smile still on her face.
Risa not quite know how to react, or did she misunderstand and think that Aichan physically grabbed Reina and shoved her?



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Ai frowned at her, and seeing that she wasn’t joining in with her merriment, Risa’s laughing died off quickly. “You’re being serious?”
...

Risa grabbed Ai’s arm and lifted it up between them. “Look at this!” she said, waggling it up and down. Ai was used to her friend’s playfulness, so she just let the girl have her way with her. “Who are you gonna throw anywhere? Much less someone like Tanaka! I’ve seen some of her fights. Most girls can hardly touch her. Or don’t you remember what happened with the weights in gym class a few years ago?”
Looks like Risa's thinking the latter.  :O



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“I’m being serious!” Ai said, now beginning to get a bit frustrated.

Risa slowly took her hand away, looking carefully into Ai’s face. “Okay, Ai-chan,” she said. “I believe you.”
Does she really? O_o



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“I’m sorry,” Ai said, sitting up and causing her friend to settle back as well. “I’m sure I must sound crazy.”

“No,” Risa said intently. “I can’t say I understand what you’re talking about, but I believe you’re having these experiences.”
She believes that Aichan believes, but that doesn't necessarily mean that she doesn't find Aichan's story a little farfetched (to put it mildly).



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Saki had… reported that something happened to Natsuyaki-san, and maybe the others, and Maimi completely freaked out. Then she freaked out more when we ran into them and found that they, especially Natsuyaki-san, hardly even had a scratch on them.
Wait, Captain knew that something had happened to Miyabi? How? She wasn't there when it happened, was she?  Or...[bgcolor=black]did she meet up with Miki during that time when Miki was MIA?[/bgcolor]



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Anyway, she then somehow made this… ball of fire… in her hand, and threw it at Tanaka-san. Natsuyaki-san did something though, and it vanished half-way there.”

Risa was very quiet as the two girls continued looking into each other’s faces, Ai with an insistent look and her friend with an unreadable one. “…I thought the Circle might be a bad influence on you, Ai-chan,” she said finally. “Are you… are you doing drugs? Something had to have caused what happened to you.”
Aichan's story is certainly outrageous enough to make it seem like that, isn't it?



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“That was when Tanaka-san spoke up. She looked at me and said it was her storm, as if she was challenging me, and I lost the little control I had over things. That’s when I realized it seemed she could do the same things as me. At any rate, it apparently spooked Saki enough, and she convinced Maimi to back off and we left. We didn’t talk the rest of the night, even though I could tell Saki at least wanted to. Maimi wouldn’t have anything though, and has for the most part done her best to ignore us since.”
They obviously had no knowledge of The Skulls having powers at all, let alone have the ability to wield them as well as they could wield their own.  Surely Maimi and Captain figured they'd be able to easily dominate The Skulls once Aichan joined them and received her powers, now it looks like they're going to be up for a struggle.



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“I think I’m already involved, and that I can’t go back.” She looked deeply into the girl’s face. “I don’t know if I want to go back.”

“Aww, that’s so sweet,” came a voice from the door as the two girls noticed it swing open, and Maimi walked in followed by a pensive-looking Saki.
Uh-oh.



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“I don’t know what you did to her, but I want it to stop now,” she hissed. “She’s a year away from being out of this school and on her way to a wonderful future. I won’t let you ruin her life.”
If only Risa knew (and believed) what she was dealing with.



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Maimi’s eyes widened slightly, and she gave Ai a look before returning back to Risa. “A wonderful future, you say? What, is she going to go to a nice college so she can get married to a guy from a good company and live happily ever after far away from you?” She lifted a finger to Risa’s chin as she spoke and raised her face slowly up to hers. “You can’t tell me that’s what you want.”
She's making it sound like Aichan no longer has a choice in the matter, as if she's destined to do only what The Circle demands of her.  Definitely starting to wonder what they're really all about.



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When Risa’s face rose to eye level with Maimi’s, Ai saw only a blur as the girl’s arm raised, and a sharp crack filled the air. She gasped as Risa clenched her fist in the air after turning the Matsuura girl’s head to the side with a violent slap that left red prints blooming on her cheek.
:o 

Go Risa!



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“What would you like as her replacement memory?” the small girl asked in indifferent tones. Ai appraised her for a moment, and wondered what happened to the girl who before she joined the Circle seemed so active and energetic. It seemed every time she saw her recently, and really ever since she was raised a couple years ago, she became more and more distant.
Whatever The Circle has been planning, Captain must be deeply involved in it. It could also be that she's had to do things over the years that just sucked the proverbial life out of her.  From this it's pretty evident that at least Captain has been hiding from Aichan the true extent of her powers. Being able to replace people's memories? That's serious. Makes you wonder how many times and how many people she's done this to, and for what reasons she did it.



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“No,” Ai said, rising and joining the other girls. “You’re not messing with her head.”

...

“Suit yourself. Though know there will be more than hell to pay if word of this leaks out even more. You know what I mean.” For some strange reason, Ai felt she did. It was one of many things she somehow understood since her initiation night.
So now The Circle is resorting to threats? That's rather arrogant and almost dictatorial in nature. Aichan REALLY needs to watch her back, as well as keep an eye on both Captain and Maimi.



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“We’ve spoken with the Headmaster for advice,” the girl began, appearing to be all business once again, despite the red mark on her cheek that apparently would not disappear. “Of course, advice is all he gives us.
The School's Headmaster is in on this too? :scared:



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“Our abilities are granted to us as the Heads of the Houses of Seishin…” Saki began in a deliberate tone. “It’s been that way for as long as there is recorded history of the school.” Ai felt Risa’s fingers tighten around her own once again. Now the Goto leader did spare a glance for Maimi, if a short one.

“These other students are an unknown. You could probably tell by how they used their powers that they are raw and untrained. It’s likely they don’t even know where it came from. I…” she gave Maimi another glance, “agree that we should stand back for now and observe in case there might be unpredictable aspects to their… abilities… and make sure they pose no threat to the school.”

Ai stared at the girl, and she was sure her mouth must also be hanging open. Was she hearing her right? Were they really concerned about the school? Everything she’d observed about Maimi at least seemed to indicate completely otherwise.
This was indeed surprising. Maimi and Captain had appeared to be concerned solely about their own selves and of The Circle up until this point. Their schooling and the lives/welfare of anyone else (even those within their respective houses) seemed to take a backseat.



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But then again, did it? Saki seemed calm at nearly all times. For example, it was her that caused them to back down and not continue what might have gotten even uglier the other night. And Maimi… Yes, the girl was an arrogant bitch, but what had she done to cause harm to the school?
The only reason why Maimi hadn't done anything yet to the school was because Captain kept her in check and calmed her down before she could seriously lash out. 



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At the edge of her vision Ai caught Maimi grinning at them, and even Saki smiling at them warmly. They appeared at the moment to be nothing other than close friends trying to hook up one of their own. Maimi could have completely gone off at Risa when she slapped her, but didn’t. It truly was confusing. She thought about all the things that had happened as well as possibilities and plans for the future. What was she to do?
What Aichan needs to do is keep a close eye on the two of them and to NOT let down her guard around them. The two of them (Maimi and Captain) have a Jekyll/Hyde thing going on. Once second they seem like they're on your side, the next they're wanting to do things that you'd never dream of. Aichan shouldn't be so quick to relax around them as she doesn't yet know which side of them is real and which is the act.

JPH!P :heart:'s Fushigidane, ChrNo, Jab & marimari. Always.

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Re: The Circle of Three [7: Questions]
« Reply #42 on: November 28, 2007, 11:38:38 PM »
So, is it that Ai having doubts about being in the circle? Stick in there  :yep: 

I can see how Risa isn't buying Ai's story at first. I mean the circle members (imo, to the other students) seem like just normal-regular house leaders, so Risa probably thinks that Ai's story is a little unordinary.

Ha,Maimi being a bit of a buzz kill when she entered the room. It must have hurt a little bit for Risa hearing how Ai's 'future' could be. Oh crap, Risa slapping Maimi  :O  I was a little "what the heck Risa!", but then I found it funny when the hand-print wasn't going away, but Maimi deserved it, I've never seen that side of her, she was acting like...a bitch!  but by not slapping back, or charging up another fireball, it showed that Maimi can control herself from lashing out. So the girls get their abilities when the join the circle? Makes me wanna join now. It still makes me curious of how they join, or how they are recruited(I hope I didn't miss that part). 

TakaGaki  :wub: :wub: :wub:
"Under the beautiful blue sky"

Offline g4rfield

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Re: The Circle of Three [7: Questions]
« Reply #43 on: November 29, 2007, 01:53:24 AM »
Uwaaaa....now we got the answer as to who attacked Miya that night. Saki is the werewolf!!! I suspect as much.
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“Come on,” she heard Maimi say in a smooth voice. “Kiss her. You know you want to.”
  :mon misch:
I noted the Takagaki situation that seemed to flourish atm. Much appreciated, thank you, though I do wish you follow Maimi's direction. :mon lol:

I like how you make Risa NOT freak out upon hearing that her best friend, the Circle and possible the entire Skull got weird powers. It's always nice to know you got your own personal supporter when things get tough.

I think Ai-chan will have a talk with Reina and possibly be civil enough to start train together or at least discuss how to better control their powers. I wonder what the rest of the Skull think about this development as we know for sure The Circle cringe in disdain at the mere mention of any Skull member.

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Maimi could have completely gone off at Risa when she slapped her, but didn’t. It truly was confusing.
Yeah, she could. So why didn't she? What's in it for them if Risa were to support Ai-chan as her lover?  :mon huh:



Offline rokun

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Re: The Circle of Three [7: Questions]
« Reply #44 on: November 30, 2007, 12:41:22 AM »
Wow, people have quite varied ideas of what's going on!! I'm happy, it seems I have you all right where I want you at this point in time. :yep: Some of you who are making some guesses are right about things, and some guesses might be a little off base. :D I was gonna do a little rundown of what we know of the characters so far, but I think my time tonight will be better spent writing the next chapter. :) I already have potentially half of chapter 8 done, and things have already shaken the world... or at least the school. I'm kinda going out on a limb with this one... but it's time for things to really start getting hot...

So we have one person who thinks Ai should be very wary of the Circle, another one who thinks she'll conspire with Reina, and another who wants to join the Circle too. :lol: Poor Ai-chan has a lot of choices ahead of her. Good thing she has a lot of experience under her belt (with many things...), and what seems like a good head on her shoulders. That's usually a pretty winning combination. How will she be able to handle Maimi?

On the other side of the coin, the Skulls are just realizing what they can do, yet are already being aggressive in trying to figure it out. Then again, they seem to be a pretty aggressive group to begin with... They've used the "power" of their gang in the past to harass other girls and make many enemies. How will they handle things now that they might have some real power? And will they be able to win Airi over?

Also... What is the deal with Saki? She's being darn creepy, isn't she???

Why am I asking questions about my own story?!?!?! XD

Stay tuned...
« Last Edit: November 30, 2007, 12:51:38 AM by rokun »

Offline rokun

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Re: The Circle of Three [8: Prophecy Girl]
« Reply #45 on: November 30, 2007, 09:10:19 PM »
I said there were questions? Well here are maybe some answers. This chapter is maybe in between as long as chapters 6 and 7, so if you think you don't want to read it all at once feel free to stop at the "...". I'm not chopping them up though, so enjoy the full monty when you can. ;) This chapter was fun. Fun fun fun...

P.S. I didn't get the chance to edit this since I don't have time at the moment yet just really wanted to get it posted. I bet it'll still be fine, but if I'm able to I'll try to edit it later tonight or tomorrow. Cheers~


Chapter 8 – Prophecy Girl

“Did you have any luck with Takahashi?” Miyabi asked as she walked into the Skulls lounge within the confines of House Nakazawa.

Reina looked up at her entry, along with the other two girls in the room, who were both still halfway in their sleeping bags. They had a little slumber party the night before, but being unable to find Shimizu easily before they’d turned in for the night, Miyabi was up early to try and catch the girl off-guard. She caught her of course, but…

“I couldn’t say…” Reina said, looking thoughtful. “She had some kind of friend with her that obviously hated my guts. The good thing was for some reason I had the feeling both of them weren’t crazy about the rest of the Circle either. Takahashi sure doesn’t have the look of the other two, and her friend seemed a bit… overly protective.”

She paused a second to a yawn from Koharu before going on, giving a glance to the newest Skull who still lay in her bed with an almost pained expression on her brow. Miyabi smiled, remembering how that felt at first.

“She also didn’t flat out refuse me, which also shows she has quite a different attitude than we’re used to seeing. Maybe there’s something useful about being raised so late.” She lolled her head as she sat in her sprawled way in her chair, her long T-shirt somehow being enough to cover her completely. Not that Miyabi had never seen anything more before. “How about Shimizu? You finally hunt her down?”

“Yeah,” Miyabi responded blandly. “She hardly even talked to me. It almost looked like she was scared of me the whole time, but honestly it was the look in her eyes that scared me.” The girl’s eyes had been hollow and dark, and Miyabi avoided them as much as she could because when she looked into them she could hardly even reconcile that she was talking with a human being.

She’d liked the girl back before she was raised, even though she was a shrimp, but aside from being a Circle member now, she definitely was no longer very sociable. Not that Miyabi would willingly socialize with her anyway under normal circumstances. Circumstances since a week ago definitely had not been normal.

“I think she might still be sore about that night,” she said in an attempt to sound cool, needing no explanation of what night she meant. A new world had definitely opened up for her since then, although for the most part she was wary of what she could do.

“Yeah,” Reina agreed. “I’m afraid that’s making it hard for Takahashi too. Of course, if I’d been so totally owned like that I’d probably act the same way…” She trailed off, and Miyabi wondered if they were thinking the same thing. She wondered if things had been different, and if it was a little more even playing field with all sides prepared, whether the result might not have been a bit different too.

“Are you really feeling that bad?” Miyabi asked suddenly, addressing the youngest girl still lying in her sleeping bag. A pained moan was her only response.

Walking over to the small tub lying on the floor, which was now full of mostly water with a few small chunks of ice, she dug a bottle out and tossed it at the girl, where it bounced on her stomach and rolled off just past her, eliciting another muffled groan.

“Have s’more sake,” Miyabi advised. “It’ll make you feel better.”

Chisato turned her head to look at her. “Really?”

Miyabi widened her eyes in innocence, glancing over at Reina who rolled her own slightly wonkier eyes, smirking. “Sure, kid,” Miyabi responded, and Chisato rolled her head to frown at the bottle lying at her side.

“It’s so nice having four of us again!” Koharu said, rising from her bright pink and yellow slumber bag. “It makes things like we did last night like real parties!”

“They are real parties,” Reina said, lazily curling a finger in her hair. “Nothing else like Skull parties. Ne, Miyakko?”

“I’ve got no reason to doubt that…” Chisato said in a slightly slurred voice – well, more slurred than usual at least – as she chugged a couple gulps of the bottle Miyabi threw at her. That of course resulted in her jerking to the side in a coughing fit, which itself caused the other Skulls to break out in laughter.

“She’s right though,” Miyabi said, crouching down to a chess game between her and Reina they’d never finished. “It was quite a fun time, and much better with a bit more varied company.” After peering at the board a moment, she moved a bishop halfway across the board, flicking a knight she captured off the board with a finger. “Checkmate,” she said, and dove for her own blankets where she wrapped herself tightly in them. It had been cold walking all around campus so early this morning!

Out of the corner of her eye she caught Reina’s eyes dart to the board at her claim, and after staring at it a second jumped off her chair, crawling over to inspect it more closely.

“It definitely gave a good distraction from all the crowing you two have been doing all week,” Koharu said. “’I owned Yajima’ this, ‘Did you see Shimizu’s face?’ that. It all became rather droll.”

Choosing not to make a comment at the girl’s misuse of vocabulary, Miyabi rolled over to get a better look at Reina, who still examined the chessboard closely, and smiled. “Just give it up. You know I don’t lie in chess.”

“But…” Reina said. “This queen…”

“Blocked by my knight,” Miyabi stated through a yawn. That quieted her captain again for the moment.

“Well I think I’ve had enough of this…” Chisato said, scrunching her nose at the bottle in her hand. “I feel well enough to… ow,” she said as she tried sitting up, and held her head. “I need to go find Osuzu. She’s probably already in the library trying to find out why I should disown you guys.”

“You need a reason?” Miyabi asked, rolling to look up at her. “Okacchan, Okacchan… Have you learned nothing from us yet?”

Chisato stared at her as if Miyabi had sprouted horns. “Um… okay,” she said in a very slow voice.

“If you’re going to meet her,” Reina said, finally rising from the chessboard but with a fixed grimace on her face now. Apparently the girl had finally admitted she lost. “Ask her again about joining up. All it takes is a request…”

“It’d be much easier if you’d let me tell her that, you know!” Chisato said exasperatedly. “There’s no way she’d just know that since she was involved so much with my audition she wouldn’t have to go through another one herself, and to join all she had to do was ask.” The young girl adopted a sour face as she spoke. Ever since they told her of that rule she’d seemed rather offended that it would be that easy for Airi to join with what she had to go through. What did the girl think her friend went through to end up tied up deep inside that cave? Miyabi smiled at the memory.

“That’s the point,” she said, as Reina just rolled her eyes. Miyabi hated when the girl did that, because when she did her wonky eye appeared to just dance around inside its socket. “Plus, if she’s really studying our history, wouldn’t she find that out for herself?”

“Fine…” Chisato responded in resignation as she buttoned her seifuku and donned her cap. A cap sure looked different on a girl in seifuku, but Chisato somehow had the fashion sense to pull it off. “Well you guys have fun. I’ll come back if she’s still just being boring.” With that, she disappeared out the door.

“I really hope she gets that Suzuki girl to join soon…” Koharu said in a slightly whiny voice. “four’s better than three, but five would be even more fun. Plus then we’d have two young ones to pick on!”

“For you to pick on you mean,” Reina said, now examining her fingernails, the chessboard apparently forgotten. Miyabi knew better though.

Koharu stared between the two of them. “What are you talking about?” she asked disbelievingly. “You were the ones pushing all that sake on her!”

Reina tossed her head to look at Miyabi. “Is she really this dense?”

“Hey!” Koharu demanded, fists pressed against her hips. “I don’t know why I put up with you two…” she grumbled, and quickly headed out just like Chisato had.

“Alone at last…” Miyabi said, grinning at Reina. “People could think we’d get up to something.”

“Right…” Reina huffed, returning quickly to the chess board. “Like much wilder rumors aren’t already all over the school. I just would die to see what happened if Yajima-sama’s favorite became a Skull. I might even already have my legacy as Captain set…” Miyabi sighed. Her and her legacies. “Hey,” the other girl said in a more serious voice. “Come over here. I want to play you again.”

“No,” Miyabi responded shortly.

Reina glanced over at her. “What? You’re not gonna let me get even?”

“You know I’d just kick your ass again,” Miyabi stated as if it were fact as plain as day.

The Captain’s eyes narrowed. “Keep talking like that and I will literally kick your ass.”

“Bring it on,” Miyabi responded, and yawned, rolling away from the girl’s gaze and snuggling under her blanket. “I need a bit more sleep first though. It was tiring dealing with Shimizu. It’s like the girl sucks the life out of a place. That’s one thing I’ve gotta learn how to counteract.”

“Do you think you can?” Reina asked, this time in a different voice.

Miyabi turned her head to see that the girl had come closer, and now sat with her legs crossed beside her. The girl wasn’t going to let her get any sleep, was she?

“I suppose so,” she said, forcing another yawn down. Thank kami-sama for the sake last night, or she’d really be feeling bad this morning. “I mean, I stopped her other attacks, didn’t I?”

Reina now was just looking down and picking at her foot, and appeared quite brooding. “I didn’t tell you before because I didn’t want everyone to know, but something else happened when I met with Takahashi.” Miyabi perked up. The expression the girl had now told her she was really being serious about something that might be important.

“While I was talking to her, at one point I saw her eyes glow red.” She hesitated. “At first I thought I might be seeing things, but the more I think about it the more I knew it’s what I really saw. And Miya…” she continued, now looking up into Miyabi’s own eyes. “When her eyes went red, I wasn’t looking at Takahashi anymore.”

Her attention now fully captured, Miyabi sat up, keeping the blanket up around her waist. “Is that so now?” she asked vaguely.

“I also wondered…” Reina said tentatively. “Did anything like that happen when you spoke to Shimizu?”

Miyabi shook her head. “No,” she replied. “You know how she is though. Hasn’t been the same ever since joining the Circle. I didn’t know Yajima before she joined, and I doubt anyone else we know did either. It’s too bad we can’t compare all three.”

“Miya…” Reina said, now looking earnestly into her face. “You’re still… you… Aren’t you?”

Miyabi stared at her a moment before coughing out a laugh. “What are you talking about? Have you been into the sake this morning too?”

Reina shook her head slowly. “I’ve been thinking. If something happens to the Circle, now that they have those powers, that makes them different, will that happen to us? I mean, we seem to be able to do the same things… Will we start changing too? How will we know? They definitely don’t seem aware of it.”

“No,” Miyabi responded confidently. “The same thing won’t happen to us. Nothing really changed with us, did it? We’ve always just been Skulls, and can you imagine any group of girls more in contrast with the Circle? Besides, there are three of them.”

“That’s something else that makes me worried,” Reina said softly, clearly not fazed by Miyabi’s answer to her question. Despite all their differences, the two of them really did work well together, including the ability to have productive discussions.

“There are three of them, and just the two of us,” Reina stated. “It seems like what I can do is similar to Takahashi of course, from what we’ve seen, and you can combat Shimizu. It all is almost an eerie reflection, don’t you think? And if so, who’s Yajima’s opposite?”

“It’s probably just a coincidence,” Miyabi responded dismissively. “They’ve all got something in common; we’ve got something in common. We tested Okai and Kusumi. They can’t do anything special. Have you heard of some other rogue student zapping people and throwing fireballs at them? Who could it be?”

Reina didn’t answer for a moment. “Somebody who has some connection to both of us…” she said as if ticking off a point. Somebody from Yajima’s House…” She looked up at Miyabi before continuing. “It’s obvious it has to be after all, right? Don’t tell me you’ve thought the same about Takahashi and I, and you and Shimizu.” Miyabi furrowed her eyebrows. What was the girl saying? “I don’t think I’ve told you yet Miya. You remember the shock you had involving a certain girl? I felt the same thing after Okacchan’s audition…”

Miyabi stared at her. Was the girl implying what she thought she was? But there had been no sign of anything. There was nothing special about her. A face appeared in her mind and she couldn’t help but smile. Nothing special, eh?

Her train of thought was abruptly broken though by a distant scream from outside that sounded as if someone was either being tortured or was completely scared out of her wits. Feeling her body seize at the shock of the sound, Miyabi shared Reina’s intense wide-eyed look.

Miyabi became even more excited when they both glanced out the window, and it must have been lost while they were in conversation, but the only light that spilled in was as red as if the whole world were burning. The two girls didn’t wait any longer before jumping to their feet, and after Reina hurriedly pulled on a black skirt to go with her T-shirt which had only a large mikan in the middle, running outside.



“Airin…” Risako whined. “How long are we going to spend in here?”

“Until we find something about the Skulls,” Airi responded in a voice that brooked no nonsense. “We know they’ve been around the school a long time, and so surely somewhere in the school’s records there’s something that talks about why they are just so… so… crude!”

“I don’t get it, Airin,” Risako said, yawning. “It’s eight in the morning on Saturday. And we’re spending it in the library! Tell me again why I’m here with you?”

“Because you love me,” Airi said offhandedly, not even looking up from her book. Truthfully, she was just reading the same word over and over at the moment as she grinned on the inside. The Goto girl grunted, and when Airi shifted her eyes slightly to see her looking longingly at the library door, she imagined the truth of her words was being considered very carefully right then.

“Actually I hate you…” Risako said under her breath, and turned back to the large volume splayed open in front of her. This time Airi let the smile appear on her face.

Honestly, she was getting fairly tired of this herself. She’d been in here, at times with and at times without Risako, in most of her free time the past week. She was, to put it mildly, concerned by what she’d seen of the Skulls, and just needed to find something to convince Chisato that hanging out with them was a bad idea. Freaked out might be a better phrase to use.

Her close friend had been doing that a lot this past week. Airi would see her every night of course when she returned to their room, but her time out seemed to get later and later every day.

It wasn’t like she ignored Airi – in fact, the girl invited her along many of the times she went out to do something with the Skulls – but each time Airi politely declined. She wanted nothing to do with the almighty Skulls at the moment. Particularly Natsuyaki Miyabi. Like usual, she couldn’t stop herself blushing at the thought of that girl. It was things like that which needed to stop! 

“Don’t tell me you’re thinking about Natsuyaki-san again!” Risako said, interrupting her from her thoughts. She looked up from her book and stared at the girl, who was giving her a very fed up look. She wasn’t that obvious. Surely…

“I am thinking of nothing of the sort!” Airi defended. “I was just reading a particularly adult-oriented story in here that I’m sure weren’t meant for innocent eyes like mine!”

“Oh?” Risako asked, nonplussed. “Show me,” she ordered, and she reached over for Airi’s book. Before she touched it though, Airi snapped it out of her grasp and to her chest.

“I couldn’t!” Airi exclaimed. “My eyes have been corrupted enough by reading it. I couldn’t live with myself if I allowed your purity to be tarnished too…”

“You’re weird,” Risako said disparagingly, and frowned back down at her own book.

“Yes, but you still love me,” Airi insisted.

“I thought we already cleared that up,” Risako replied, not looking up. “I hate you, remember?”

Before the exchange could continue, Airi heard a low whistle from over her shoulder. She turned with her eyes bugging out at someone actually paying attention to them, but calmed quickly when she saw it was just Chisato. In fact, in contrast her mood became quite dour indeed.

“You guys are something else, you know that?” the other Matsuura second year said, pulling out a chair and spinning it around to straddle it, leaning her chin on arms lying across its back. By the way she held her head, it looked like there was something wrong with it. “I think all this studying is literally driving you crazy.”

“I agree!” Risako proclaimed, and sprang up, arching her stiff back, before walking away toward a washroom without a backward glance.

“You don’t need to pull her into this, you know,” Chisato said in a much more serious voice meant only for Airi’s ears. “I know what you’re really about in here. You’re trying to dig up dirt on—“

“—The Circle!” Airi finished for her. “That’s what I’m doing! They have such a squeaky clean image, you know something’s gotta be hidden behind the curtains of the ivory tower!” The ivory tower was what the Skulls had taken to calling the secure roundish compound that contained the Circle’s private areas. Chisato had taken to using that term too, and Airi tried her best to lampoon as much of the girl’s new vernacular as she could.

“For example,” she continued, overriding her friend’s attempts to break in. “Did you know that in 1284 an alumnus of the Circle married a leader of the resistance against the Shogunate and nearly assassinated the emperor herself? These are evil people. Evil I tell you!”

“…Uh huh,” Chisato said, giving Airi a glazed look. “You won’t find any disagreement from me there.”

“And look here… look here!” Airi insisted, pointing to a spot in her book. “This even mentions a legend that goes all the way back to the founding and to the first Circle, which consisted of students hand-picked by the founders, and says that they—“

“Founders?” Airi heard Risako say from behind her, and she then felt the girl peering over her shoulder at the passage she was pointing to. “That sounds more hokey than adult to me! In fact, I don’t see anything bad in here at all!”

“Fine!” Airi said, rising quickly and slamming her book shut. “I recognize when my friends have deserted me. I’ll just go back to my room and learn the secrets of this school myself!” She began stalking toward the library door. “Nobody else cares anyway…”

Making her way out into the hall, she kept her teeth clenched as she walked quickly down it and out across the grounds to her house. She was being overdramatic of course. Risako still was there after all, although it was obvious the girl found the material not worth studying by a league.

As for Chisato, she wondered if the girl even studied anything at all anymore! And was that sake she smelled on her breath this morning? What had the girl been doing all night! She hadn’t returned to their room since saying she was going to a party with the Skulls. Natsuyaki’s face suddenly flitted through her mind’s eye, but she quickly shook it away.

Though she neared her house, she wasn’t paying a whole lot of attention to where she was going, and as she stomped along she didn’t notice a girl cross into her path until she slammed into her, causing her book to fall into the dirt and come open to the page she’d just marked, and her to fall back on her rear, her legs splayed and hiking her skirt up well above her knees.

“Hey, watch it—“ came a voice from above her. “Oh, hello there cutie.”

Airi recognized the voice immediately, and with extreme trepidation lifted her eyes to find Maimi beaming down at her. She saw the older girl’s eyes travel down her body, and she grinned wider, causing Airi to look down too and quickly snap her legs together, pulling them underneath herself while she tugged her skirt back over them.

“You should know by now that you need to be watching out for me at all times. I never look where I’m going,” Airi said with almost a pout.

Maimi crouched down to her level, still smiling at her. “Hey…” she began almost tentatively. “I’ve been inspired by a new friend of mine to think differently and more progressively about some things. Would you like to come to one of the side lounges in the Circle building with me sometime? There’s one especially that’s set up with a Playstation 3. We could catch some games or a movie together…”

Airi couldn’t stop staring at the girl, while at the same time feeling her body tingle all over. Was she… was the Head of House Matsuura asking her on… a date? “I…” she stuttered, any studious train of thought completely gone from her head. “I… um…”

“Wow, I made you speechless huh? I guess I’m more striking than I realize. I’ll have to brag to Saki-chan about it.” For some reason the girl gave a very broad smile while saying that.

“I…” Airi tried again, and finally slapped her brain into shape within herself and was able to put a short sentence together. “I don’t know, Yajima-san. There’s actually…” She snapped her jaw shut in horror. Was she just about to say Natsuyaki’s name???

“Yes…?” Maimi asked, clearly not giving up. Airi shifted her eyes, unable to meet the other girl’s gaze. “Well,” the girl continued after a moment. “Maybe I can give you a taste of what could be in store for you if we get all cozy and cuddly in there…” She then reached her arm out and touched Airi’s shoulder. Airi felt a warm but small rush of pleasure emanate from that spot before her body suddenly seemed to sear with tides of raging heat.

She lost all sense of her environment for a split second, and when she came to found herself bent over, staring at the ground which seemed to glow red and move as if it was a river of lava. She fought somehow and got the torrent within herself under control, but it still felt like her blood was boiling, and could hear it pumping from her heart a hundred times louder than normal.

“Suzuki-san!” she heard Maimi cry out, hugging her arms as if afraid to reach out again toward her. “Are you all right? I’m sorry. I didn’t intend to do anything more than…” The voice hesitated. “I’m sure I didn’t do anything more than… I just wanted to give you a little taste, and right now I couldn’t do much more even if I wanted…”

Airi began breathing again, although heavily, and her vision began slowly returning to normal. However, soon it reddened again, although it was different this time. This time it was no longer surreal, and the light coming to her eyes really was becoming redder. And also dimmer… In addition, it was no longer just her vision that was being affected. She felt like her body began to expand and reach out toward… something, and the burning invaded her whole being.

Maimi had for once become silent, and Airi looked up slowly through the flaming torrent flowing through her, and even though that was the only way she could describe it, it wasn’t unpleasant. Far from it in fact, and eventually she felt as if she could even obtain control over it.

Upon finding Maimi’s face, she saw that the girl was staring up and away from her with her jaw hanging open. She also began to notice girls stepping warily out from the front door of House Matsuura, and although a couple of them looked over in their direction and pointed at their leader and what seemed a sick second year, most stared up as well.

Now unsure if she wanted to, but with an inescapable urge, Airi looked up too as her world seemed to become awash with a dim reddish glow to find the Sun blocked out in a sudden eclipse, its edges radiating a crimson red around the dark orb blocking its light and bathing the world below in the same hue.

Having identified the cause of the strange event, many of the other girls began whispering and giggling to each other, obviously excited at witnessing what must be something very rare. Airi with her inquisitive personality would have been at least as excited as any of them, if not for the rush that she still felt beneath her own skin, but she still couldn’t tear her gaze from the ball of blinding light that was for the moment blocked from sight. Even though it was blocked, she knew it was still burning as it always did behind the obstruction. She could almost see it in all its splendor within her mind, and far from being the violent giver of life she’d always known it as, it glowed at her as a warm companion.

Looking down at her arms, she was sure the skin would have burned off, but it was there as it always had been. Where was this indescribable sensation coming from then?

“It’s amazing…” Maimi said, still looking up at the rare event.

“Yes, it is…” Airi agreed, at least as much awe in her own voice.

“I’ve never seen anything like it…”

“I’ve never felt like this before…”

Then as if out of some instinct, Airi reached out and grabbed Maimi’s wrist. The moment she did though, the girl’s attention was diverted totally back down to earth as she let out a blood-curdling scream, causing every face within sight to dart toward them and look on nervously, now even more curious and slightly worried at what was going on between the two.

With the scream the burning suddenly ceased within Airi, and she collapsed to the ground, nearly losing consciousness. As she opened suddenly heavy eyelids she noticed the redness around her give way once more to familiar white light, though the return to normalcy did not cause anyone to go back inside their houses since they’d just seen a member of the Circle cry out as if she was being murdered.

Airi blinked more, trying to get some kind of bearing of her surroundings through her dull senses, but only was able to see Maimi curled up in a tight ball facing away from her, writhing as if in unbearable agony with her arms held in front of her blocked from Airi’s sight. Before long though she heard steps reverberate through the ground beneath as if people were running up to them, but once they stopped she heard nothing but silence at first.

“Maimi…” a girl said, and she saw a small figure kneel and bend over the jerking form in front of her. She thought she recognized who it was by the voice and size together. Shimizu…? she thought through the fog inside her head.

As if the girl could hear her thought, she looked back at Airi warily, and with the help of another girl who came up on Yajima’s other side, pulled the House Matsuura leader up and began walking her between them and away, Saki occasionally throwing glances back to her that were very cautious indeed. Where were they going? Why were they leaving her? Airi tried to move, but felt like she had no energy.

“Osuzu?” she heard Chisato say as her friend’s shadow fell over her after a length of time she couldn’t specify. “Are you all right?” When Airi didn’t move, the girl’s shadow disappeared and she heard her friend call out, “Oi! Reina! Miyabi! Come here! Something’s wrong with her…”

Soon she felt more forms around her, and pressure on her arm as someone must have gripped it. “Stay calm…” she heard a voice say above her. “I’m not sure what you’ll feel here…”

At first she felt nothing. But after a few seconds, it seemed like a cool tide washed over her body, and her senses returned to her. Before long she was even able to sit up, and blinked blurry eyes at her current companions.

When she sat up Tanaka released her arm, a look of concern as well as caution on her face. Chisato seemed almost distraught, and not far behind even Natsuyaki stood watching her with a cool and unreadable expression. At Airi’s glance, the older Goto girl turned and looked in the direction she remembered Yajima being carried off in.

“They didn’t even stay to see if she was all right…” Natsuyaki growled through her teeth barely loud enough for them all to hear. “Some leaders of the school.”

“Their interests only involve the school,” Tanaka said, seemingly satisfied now with Airi’s condition and turning toward the other Skull. “Not necessarily every student in it.” She turned back toward Airi and gave her a careful study. “Especially one involved in whatever made one of them scream like that.”

“Ya gotta admit…” Kusumi said. Airi turned to look at the girl who stood a few paces off to Tanaka’s side. She hadn’t even noticed the final Skull was even around. “It was kind of satisfying to hear…”

“Something like that isn’t satisfying to hear from anyone,” Reina said grimly, still studying Airi.

“What…” Airi began in a choked voice as if her throat had been scalded dry. She coughed before going on. “What happened?”

“We thought you might be able to tell us,” Natsuyaki said, turning back to her. Airi looked into the girl’s eyes, a girl she’d been thinking of all too often lately. The look she gave her now though was anything but warm and flirtatious.

“I…” Airi began, at a loss. What was she going to say? That she felt like she caught fire, the sun disappeared, and when she touched Maimi… What had happened?

She looked aimlessly around her, mostly down at the ground in her embarrassment, while fishing for a response. Something caught her eye though from the book that was still lying open beneath her, and furrowing her brow she forgot about the other girls and bent down to look at it.

The ink for some of its words had become red somehow, and they almost glowed their message up to her. It was a passage she’d read part of before, but this time through, and as she read further, her eyes widened and mouth slowly fell open. It was a message apparently passed down from the Founders themselves to the first Circle. The writer, presumably one of those Circle members, related it verbatim but did not seem to understand it.

On a certain day in the dawn of the Third Age, the sky will run red as if stained by the gods themselves. So shall this prophecy be fulfilled, and our Destiny be set on its road to fruition.

Airi noticed that below the red print was a section that she remembered was nothing but a blank page before. It was that which detailed this mysterious plan and piqued her greatest interest.

“I knew you were too serious a student, Osuzu,” came a young and quick voice from above her. “But this is overdoing it. We have to get out of here. With whatever happened to Yajima… The Headmaster might even be here soon to investigate.”

“She’s not wrong, sweetheart,” Tanaka joined in as Airi looked up at girls she just remembered were also present. “We need to get lost.”

Airi looked around her. “We?” she asked, but her attention was drawn back to the book. “But there’s something important here…”

“There’s no time,” Miyabi said, and reached down to grab Airi’s arm and pull her up. “Come on.”

Airi was half-dragged and half-ran unsteadily along with the girls, protesting this course of action and urging them to look in the book too. “Once we’re safe,” Reina said, helping Miyabi in pulling her along, and though Airi struggled rather successfully against Miyabi at first, she couldn’t overwhelm the two of them.

Eventually they reached House Nakazawa, where some girls still stood outside, but carefully avoided looking at the Skulls running up toward the building. It probably appeared to them as if they were kidnapping another of their prey and dragging her off for who knows what, and none of them wanted to get involved in that when only one Skull was involved, much less all four. It hadn’t taken long for word to spread that Chisato had joined them.

As they stumbled into a room Airi had never been in before that had blankets and sleeping bags strewn across the floor as if their occupants had fled on a dime, they finally released her and she straightened herself up, huffing heavily.

“Excuse me!” she said. “I will not have you dragging me off to… Where are we? Nakazawa? Is this supposed to be a safe place?”

“It’s as safe as you’re getting while we try to sort this all out,” Reina retorted, now seeming to get annoyed. Miyabi still hovered very close to her, and Airi felt heat rising in her body that she knew had nothing to do with what she’d conjured earlier.

“Sort all what out?” Airi demanded. “I don’t see how this involves any of you.”

“What’s that?” Miyabi asked, having apparently caught a glance at something and peering over into her book. “Kinda weird to have red ink in a book like that.”

Airi pulled the book away from her. “It’s got nothing to do with you!” she stated.

Because of the direction she pulled it though, Chisato was now able to get a look at it. “What are you talking about? Red ink? I don’t see anything.”

Airi looked at her about to burst out with another complaint too, but at the sight of her friend’s face her expression softened, and rational thought finally returned to her. “What?” she asked. “It’s right here,” she said, pointing to the passage.

“I don’t see anything,” Chisato responded. That half of the page is blank.

Airi stared at her, but suddenly she felt arms encircle her waist, and when she froze at the unexpected touch let down her guard, and Tanaka snatched the book away. “Hey!” she said in reflex, but the grip on her tightened, and for some reason felt all too intimate, and she turned her head to find Miyabi’s face right beside hers grinning at her. Of course, now realizing the situation she was in, she couldn’t help but blush.

“’On a day…’” Tanaka read, peering down at it. Apparently she could see the red text. “’The sky will turn red as if stained by the gods themselves…’” She hesitated, and gave a quick glance up to Airi. “’So shall this prophecy be fulfilled and our destiny set…’”

Now everybody stared at Airi, and though she’d turned quickly away from Miyabi, her blush definitely didn’t go away under the scrutiny. She noticed Tanaka and the girl who held her exchange glances before the leader of the Skulls looked back to her. “I think…” the girl began, “that we need to talk.”
« Last Edit: November 30, 2007, 10:36:13 PM by rokun »

Offline Amarghetta

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Re: The Circle of Three [8: Prophecy Girl]
« Reply #46 on: December 01, 2007, 02:49:45 AM »
“While I was talking to her, at one point I saw her eyes glow red.” She hesitated. “At first I thought I might be seeing things, but the more I think about it the more I knew it’s what I really saw. And Miya…” she continued, now looking up into Miyabi’s own eyes. “When her eyes went red, I wasn’t looking at Takahashi anymore.

Oh, interesting! It made me think that maybe she got a glimpse of Nakazawa. A very brief, limited to skilled girls kind of glimpse... :yep:

And since there's also that paragraph which Chisato cannot see, whereas Reina and Miya can, it suddenly doesn't seem so farfetched.   :)
« Last Edit: December 01, 2007, 02:52:24 AM by Amarghetta »

Offline g4rfield

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Re: The Circle of Three [8: Prophecy Girl]
« Reply #47 on: December 01, 2007, 03:05:20 AM »
So, I was right, Airi IS the other one!! She's the powerful one. Just awake and already she could make Maimi screech like that. I almost feel sorry for the girl.
Saki could be the werewolf, or rather all three of the Circle could, since they seem to have changed by having the ceremony performed on them and thus having the power. My guess is they don't realize the power is changing them because it worked quietly and maybe the power is molded to the heart of the user. So if you have what's required to be the head of the house but your heart is black then that's how the power is going to corrupt you more. The misuse of the powers eh? Ai-chan doesn't seem to realize this but she might since she was just initiated. But...glow in their eyes?? Hmmm....
The Skulls does not seem to be affected by their powers. Wonder why that is.

I also wonder if Fujimoto was granted the same power when she was still the head and now that she is the Master, did she have the knowledge and the power or nothing at all? Then, what is Skull? Why was it created? Did I miss the answer to this on previous chapters?

The chosen girl could read the glowing red text on the book = The book must be something special.

Sorry I didn't comment much on this chapter, I lost my train of thoughts when I read this and it was a couple days ago late at night when my brain is too tired to think. Kinda crappy I know. I'll make it up to you in the next chapter. However, I do have an excuse. My brain stopped working after I caught a cold, and now it's getting better though the cough is still there. Anyway, can't wait to read the next chapter. I want it to be awesome!!!
« Last Edit: December 03, 2007, 12:32:50 AM by g4rfield »

Offline JFC

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Re: The Circle of Three [8: Prophecy Girl]
« Reply #48 on: December 01, 2007, 05:29:48 AM »
Quote
“Did you have any luck with Takahashi?” Miyabi asked as she walked into the Skulls lounge within the confines of House Nakazawa.

...

“I couldn’t say…” Reina said, looking thoughtful. “She had some kind of friend with her that obviously hated my guts. The good thing was for some reason I had the feeling both of them weren’t crazy about the rest of the Circle either. Takahashi sure doesn’t have the look of the other two, and her friend seemed a bit… overly protective.”
If The Skulls are lucky, they might be able to use Aichan's apparent growing distrust to their advantage somewhere down the line.



Quote
“She also didn’t flat out refuse me, which also shows she has quite a different attitude than we’re used to seeing. Maybe there’s something useful about being raised so late.”
Again, useful for The Skulls.  By not being raised earlier, Aichan hasn't had as much time to become indoctrinated into The Circle's way of thinking/doing things as Maimi and Captain have.  It's pretty evident that the latter two are pretty much towing the company line, so to speak, whereas Aichan has had a chance to mature a bit and learn to think for herself more.



Quote
“How about Shimizu? You finally hunt her down?”

“Yeah,” Miyabi responded blandly. “She hardly even talked to me. It almost looked like she was scared of me the whole time, but honestly it was the look in her eyes that scared me.” The girl’s eyes had been hollow and dark, and Miyabi avoided them as much as she could because when she looked into them she could hardly even reconcile that she was talking with a human being.
Considering Captain's "zombie-ness" in the last chapter, you can't help but wonder if she's somehow doing something to herself when she uses her powers (or even if it's detrimental to her just merely having those powers).  It's like she's had the "genki" sucked out of her.



Quote
“I think she might still be sore about that night,” she said in an attempt to sound cool, needing no explanation of what night she meant.
That is certainly possible too. Up until that point, Maimi and Captain had believed and known that the two of them were the two most powerful girls in the school. In the blink of an eye, that changed, and all of a sudden there were others (though untrained) who now had powers just as powerful as theirs. Worse for Captain, she was defeated right in front of The Circle's new member, which definitely wouldn't help her confidence/general disposition much.  At the very least, she'd be embarrassed, but it's more likely that deep inside she's absolutely furious at what happened, and that anger is building up within her.



Quote
“Are you really feeling that bad?” Miyabi asked suddenly, addressing the youngest girl still lying in her sleeping bag. A pained moan was her only response.

...

“Have s’more sake,” Miyabi advised. “It’ll make you feel better.”

Chisato turned her head to look at her. “Really?”

Miyabi widened her eyes in innocence, glancing over at Reina who rolled her own slightly wonkier eyes, smirking. “Sure, kid,” Miyabi responded, and Chisato rolled her head to frown at the bottle lying at her side.
Poor Chisato.  :lol:



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“Well I think I’ve had enough of this…” Chisato said, scrunching her nose at the bottle in her hand. “I feel well enough to… ow,” she said as she tried sitting up, and held her head. “I need to go find Osuzu.
Airi? Yikes she's going to have a fit if/when she sees Chisato all plastered like this.  :shocked:



Quote
“Ask her again about joining up. All it takes is a request…”

“It’d be much easier if you’d let me tell her that, you know!” Chisato said exasperatedly.
REALLY NOW? :stunned:

Can't help but wonder if this is an actual rule or if Miyabi was just trying to find a way to make it easier for Airi to join because she "likes her-likes her". :D



Quote
“I really hope she gets that Suzuki girl to join soon…” Koharu said in a slightly whiny voice. “four’s better than three, but five would be even more fun. Plus then we’d have two young ones to pick on!”

“For you to pick on you mean,” Reina said
Ah, touché. :hee:



Quote
Reina now was just looking down and picking at her foot, and appeared quite brooding. “I didn’t tell you before because I didn’t want everyone to know, but something else happened when I met with Takahashi.” Miyabi perked up. The expression the girl had now told her she was really being serious about something that might be important.

“While I was talking to her, at one point I saw her eyes glow red.” She hesitated. “At first I thought I might be seeing things, but the more I think about it the more I knew it’s what I really saw. And Miya…” she continued, now looking up into Miyabi’s own eyes. “When her eyes went red, I wasn’t looking at Takahashi anymore.”
:stunned:



Quote
Reina shook her head slowly. “I’ve been thinking. If something happens to the Circle, now that they have those powers, that makes them different, will that happen to us? I mean, we seem to be able to do the same things… Will we start changing too? How will we know? They definitely don’t seem aware of it.”
It might be that it's a side effect of receiving the elder's powers that the descendants were never told about.  Who knows, there might have been an ulterior motive in mind when the elders made it so that they could pass on their powers to the future house members.



Quote
“That’s something else that makes me worried,” Reina said softly,

...

"It seems like what I can do is similar to Takahashi of course, from what we’ve seen, and you can combat Shimizu. It all is almost an eerie reflection, don’t you think? And if so, who’s Yajima’s opposite?”
:scared:



Quote
“Somebody who has some connection to both of us…” she said as if ticking off a point. Somebody from Yajima’s House…” She looked up at Miyabi before continuing. “It’s obvious it has to be after all, right? Don’t tell me you’ve thought the same about Takahashi and I, and you and Shimizu.” Miyabi furrowed her eyebrows. What was the girl saying? “I don’t think I’ve told you yet Miya. You remember the shock you had involving a certain girl? I felt the same thing after Okacchan’s audition…”
Ooooooooooooooooooooooh...wait a sec...what house was Airi from again?  :?



Quote
Her train of thought was abruptly broken though by a distant scream from outside that sounded as if someone was either being tortured or was completely scared out of her wits. Feeling her body seize at the shock of the sound, Miyabi shared Reina’s intense wide-eyed look.

Miyabi became even more excited when they both glanced out the window, and it must have been lost while they were in conversation, but the only light that spilled in was as red as if the whole world were burning. The two girls didn’t wait any longer before jumping to their feet, and after Reina hurriedly pulled on a black skirt to go with her T-shirt which had only a large mikan in the middle, running outside.
Oooooooooh THAT cannot be good. :mon scare:



Quote
“I don’t get it, Airin,” Risako said, yawning. “It’s eight in the morning on Saturday. And we’re spending it in the library!
Eight in the morning...in the library?  On a SATURDAY??? Ouch. :dizzy:



Quote
Tell me again why I’m here with you?”

“Because you love me,” Airi said offhandedly, not even looking up from her book. Truthfully, she was just reading the same word over and over at the moment as she grinned on the inside.

...

“Actually I hate you…” Risako said under her breath, and turned back to the large volume splayed open in front of her. This time Airi let the smile appear on her face.
:P



Quote
“Don’t tell me you’re thinking about Natsuyaki-san again!” Risako said, interrupting her from her thoughts. She looked up from her book and stared at the girl, who was giving her a very fed up look. She wasn’t that obvious. Surely…

“I am thinking of nothing of the sort!” Airi defended. “I was just reading a particularly adult-oriented story in here that I’m sure weren’t meant for innocent eyes like mine!”

“Oh?” Risako asked, nonplussed. “Show me,” she ordered, and she reached over for Airi’s book. Before she touched it though, Airi snapped it out of her grasp and to her chest.

“I couldn’t!” Airi exclaimed. “My eyes have been corrupted enough by reading it. I couldn’t live with myself if I allowed your purity to be tarnished too…”
XD  XD  XD



Quote
“You’re weird,” Risako said disparagingly, and frowned back down at her own book.

“Yes, but you still love me,” Airi insisted.

“I thought we already cleared that up,” Risako replied, not looking up. “I hate you, remember?”
Friends, gotta love 'em.  :rofl:



Quote
Though she neared her house, she wasn’t paying a whole lot of attention to where she was going, and as she stomped along she didn’t notice a girl cross into her path until she slammed into her,

...

“Hey, watch it—“ came a voice from above her. “Oh, hello there cutie.”

Airi recognized the voice immediately, and with extreme trepidation lifted her eyes to find Maimi beaming down at her.
Coincidence? I wonder... O_o



Quote
Maimi crouched down to her level, still smiling at her. “Hey…” she began almost tentatively. “I’ve been inspired by a new friend of mine to think differently and more progressively about some things. Would you like to come to one of the side lounges in the Circle building with me sometime? There’s one especially that’s set up with a Playstation 3. We could catch some games or a movie together…”
Maimi must have the same hunch about Airi that Reina has, which would explain her sudden interest in her.



Quote
“Well,” the girl continued after a moment. “Maybe I can give you a taste of what could be in store for you if we get all cozy and cuddly in there…” She then reached her arm out and touched Airi’s shoulder. Airi felt a warm but small rush of pleasure emanate from that spot before her body suddenly seemed to sear with tides of raging heat.

She lost all sense of her environment for a split second, and when she came to found herself bent over, staring at the ground which seemed to glow red and move as if it was a river of lava. She fought somehow and got the torrent within herself under control, but it still felt like her blood was boiling, and could hear it pumping from her heart a hundred times louder than normal.

“Suzuki-san!” she heard Maimi cry out, hugging her arms as if afraid to reach out again toward her. “Are you all right? I’m sorry. I didn’t intend to do anything more than…” The voice hesitated. “I’m sure I didn’t do anything more than… I just wanted to give you a little taste, and right now I couldn’t do much more even if I wanted…”
Trying to lure Airi with a sample of the power that she's been given, is she? She must be really determined to get her in with The Circle to do this.



Quote
Maimi had for once become silent, and Airi looked up slowly through the flaming torrent flowing through her, and even though that was the only way she could describe it, it wasn’t unpleasant. Far from it in fact, and eventually she felt as if she could even obtain control over it.

Upon finding Maimi’s face, she saw that the girl was staring up and away from her with her jaw hanging open.
Looks like Airi already has some power within her, and Maimi might have triggered them.



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“I’ve never felt like this before…”

Then as if out of some instinct, Airi reached out and grabbed Maimi’s wrist. The moment she did though, the girl’s attention was diverted totally back down to earth as she let out a blood-curdling scream, causing every face within sight to dart toward them and look on nervously, now even more curious and slightly worried at what was going on between the two.
Ah, so it was Maimi screaming that Reina and Miyabi had heard.



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“Maimi…” a girl said, and she saw a small figure kneel and bend over the jerking form in front of her. She thought she recognized who it was by the voice and size together. Shimizu…? she thought through the fog inside her head.

As if the girl could hear her thought, she looked back at Airi warily, and with the help of another girl who came up on Yajima’s other side, pulled the House Matsuura leader up and began walking her between them and away, Saki occasionally throwing glances back to her that were very cautious indeed. Where were they going? Why were they leaving her? Airi tried to move, but felt like she had no energy.
Whatever power Airi has/can wield, it's big, powerful, and obviously dangerous enough to have Captain worried.



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“What…” Airi began in a choked voice as if her throat had been scalded dry. She coughed before going on. “What happened?”

“We thought you might be able to tell us,” Natsuyaki said,

...

“I…” Airi began, at a loss. What was she going to say? That she felt like she caught fire, the sun disappeared, and when she touched Maimi… What had happened?

...

Something caught her eye though from the book that was still lying open beneath her, and furrowing her brow she forgot about the other girls and bent down to look at it.

The ink for some of its words had become red somehow, and they almost glowed their message up to her. It was a passage she’d read part of before, but this time through, and as she read further, her eyes widened and mouth slowly fell open. It was a message apparently passed down from the Founders themselves to the first Circle. The writer, presumably one of those Circle members, related it verbatim but did not seem to understand it.

On a certain day in the dawn of the Third Age, the sky will run red as if stained by the gods themselves. So shall this prophecy be fulfilled, and our Destiny be set on its road to fruition.


Airi noticed that below the red print was a section that she remembered was nothing but a blank page before. It was that which detailed this mysterious plan and piqued her greatest interest.
So the message was hidden in the book, and would only be seen once the first step in the prophecy that it mentions had been taken (namely, Airi's powers awakening).  As is the case with many prophecies, this one is cryptic and vague. Exactly what "destiny" is it that the Founders were speaking of, and what role does Airi have to play in it?



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“What’s that?” Miyabi asked, having apparently caught a glance at something and peering over into her book. “Kinda weird to have red ink in a book like that.”

...

Chisato was now able to get a look at it. “What are you talking about? Red ink? I don’t see anything.”

Airi looked at her about to burst out with another complaint too, but at the sight of her friend’s face her expression softened, and rational thought finally returned to her. “What?” she asked. “It’s right here,” she said, pointing to the passage.

“I don’t see anything,” Chisato responded. That half of the page is blank.
It must be that only people who have the special powers can see it, right? They did say that they checked Chisato out, and she didn't have any. But we know that Miyabi and (now) Airi have them, and they can see the ink.




JPH!P :heart:'s Fushigidane, ChrNo, Jab & marimari. Always.

Offline mode107

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Re: The Circle of Three [8: Prophecy Girl]
« Reply #49 on: December 01, 2007, 06:20:05 PM »
I couldn't imagine girls like The Skulls having a slumber party, but since that was the case, they must have had to discuss some 'business'.

Saki being gloomy and hollow-like, I kinda wonder if Maimi had something to do with it. Maimi seems like a nice girl, but after that encounter with the skulls, when Maimi yelled at Ai and Saki to do something, which they didn't, it seemed like Maimi would penalize them for it. But then again, Saki's gloominess could be the result of whatever power she has.

Chisato drinking :lol:, funny stuff, but Chisato hanging out with The Skulls now, and doing things like that, I'm sure her relationship with Airi is going to become distant.

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“Fine…” Chisato responded in resignation as she buttoned her seifuku and donned her cap. A cap sure looked different on a girl in seifuku, but Chisato somehow had the fashion sense to pull it off.

Damn Straight! :rockon:

Now, with Maimi coming on to Airi like that, I'm wondering is she's really interested in her, or if she sees something in here which could be a benefit to the circle. If its my first thought, then Airi go for it..o wait, there's Miyabi  :P. I really like that Miyabi came to Airi's mind at that part, when nothing much has happened between the two except for blushing. Airi has hope

 :O Airi's power is awakened? What the heck is up with those girls giggling? Surprised that they were not awed.

This whole scene and through was written well. UPDATE NOW!  no I'm kidding, take your time please  :yep:
"Under the beautiful blue sky"

Offline rokun

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Re: The Circle of Three [8: Prophecy Girl]
« Reply #50 on: December 03, 2007, 04:52:13 PM »
Hey everyone! There are some different reactions to this story than I expected, but I'm glad to see that people are commenting on quite a variety of things also! It's nice to see that there's not just one major thing happening that everybody mentions their opinions on. Maybe length has something to do with that. :) Speaking of, chapter 7 was of course relatively short, with 8 a bit longer, but hopefully it's not a problem for most people.  ^_^ It doesn't seem too bad... These last couple I actually haven't even been paying attention to length, just writing until I'm satisfied with this specific leg of the story, so hopefully it might even be a bit more natural now.

I'm glad you're beginning to pick up on the separation of these six girls from the rest of those at Seishin. There definitely is something special about them, and the next chapter when Airi and the Skulls have their "talk" should help illuminate a bit what's going on. For now I'll just say that's a very interesting book Airi found. :D The fun thing will be when the Circle find out about it... You can imagine they'll be very interested in Airi after what just happened.

g4rfield: I like your theories about what underlies their powers! I put a good bit of thought into how all that works, so I'm glad you're discovering it's not all just random happenstance. :) Of course... this isn't to say you're right. :glasses: Something that I did believe you all mentioned - the eye glow - is actually a key hint to their nature. One thing you maybe stumbled onto a little...
Quote from: g4rfield
The Skulls does not seem to be affected by their powers. Wonder why that is.
Amarghetta mentioned something similar too...
Quote from: Amarghetta
Oh, interesting! It made me think that maybe she got a glimpse of Nakazawa. A very brief, limited to skilled girls kind of glimpse... :yep:
I'll leave this topic at that for now though. :)

modesta, I like your different comments as to the relationships and random little things that I throw in. :lol: These are perhaps the things that make me happiest while writing, even though they may not necessarily apply to the broader plot. They're just fun, and I think help flesh out the characters. Honestly, when I first started developing this story I got a plot in my head, then decided who would play what role. It was after all that I thought, "So... what should relationships be? Those are usually the most fun!" The funny thing was, with roles assigned, relationships just kind of fell into place. There are patterns to some, and maybe not to others.

Risa and Ai have been best friends for years, and have always been very close. Risa's also been in love with her for a long time, but felt unable to act on it since she wasn't sure Ai would even "swing that way", and Risa, for all her assertiveness, has had trouble with her self-confidence after a long time in Ai's shadow (for example, Ai was the one, even though Risa's also a 7th year, who was selected for the Circle, no?). Risa's doubts about that disappeared when Ai and Miki had their affair, but that, as you know from Risa's character at this point, made things even more complicated.... Until now, when Miki's out of the picture.

Risako and Airi have also been friends for years - at least from elementary school. That's how they're so close while being from different houses, and also why Risako and Chisato may not be that close yet... Their relationship is different from Risa and Ai's, but they have a different modus operandi in relation to others. Their problem, at least at the moment, is that the same girl likes them both...

As for Maimi and Airi, I believe Maimi really is interested in her. I don't think she would have tried to do something as normal as asking her on a date if she wasn't. Maimi acts like she's in control and above everything most of the time, so I just don't see her lowering herself to something so "normal" without some real motivation. :) Of course, after what happened in the last chapter it may have made things a little stickier...

JFC... I want to say something to your very welcome long and thought out responses, but I think I've covered most of it so far and with what I have left! One thing I wanted to compliment though...
Quote from: JFC
Looks like Airi already has some power within her, and Maimi might have triggered them.
You guys have been talking about these triggers for a long time now. There really is something specific going on. If you want, you might want to glance back to when Reina's and Miyabi's powers "awakened".  ;) Although, Miyabi's might be a little tougher to pin down unless you put it together with a guess about something else. Which leads us to...

Saki. Like I said before, I'm glad she's coming across as creepy. Her powers and the reasoning behind them are perhaps the most mysterious... as well as creepy in their own right. Hers are probably the darkest of anyone, and I'm a little scared about what kinds of things she might do in the future with them... what she's done already... :mon cweepy: Maimi's the controlling one right now. Ai's finding her place. Saki almost always just seems to be there. If you remember some of her in-depth answers to questions though, she knows an awful lot. I'd shudder to think what'd happen if she got hold of Airi, who is learning a lot herself... or something... :mon unsure:

Well, there's my in-depth reply for the time being. I think I squeezed a lot into this response, which is longer than I realized... gomen lol. Don't read it if you don't want to. :lol:

Offline rndmnwierd

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Re: The Circle of Three [8: Prophecy Girl]
« Reply #51 on: December 05, 2007, 09:47:23 PM »
I definately need to start commenting on this story now, too. It's so interesting to try and figure out where exactly where you're taking the plot and what the girl's powers really are. I'm also trying to keep up with who is in what house and who's an ally or enemy. Not ready to make any guesses yet, maybe I never will be, but I'm looking forward to the next chapter. Is that when everything starts coming together?

Offline rokun

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Re: The Circle of Three [9: Embarking On Destiny]
« Reply #52 on: December 07, 2007, 12:49:53 AM »
When did I post the last chapter? I don't know! Time for another!

This chapter gets a bit wild and zany, and I know I'm tired out after writing it. I can't imagine what it'll be like after reading it! The moment I at least have been waiting for has finally arrived. Oooh the horror! Enjoy!


Chapter 9 – Embarking On Destiny

Feeling a mite nervous and a little upset, Airi somehow found herself face-to-face with Miyabi Natsuyaki. Tanaka and the girl had held a discussion, while Kusumi looked on curiously and Chisato looked among all of them as if just wondering if she was allowed to talk to her friend. However, when Airi was able to catch her eyes, the girl actually seemed afraid… of her.

Just when she was beginning to fall into thought herself about what had happened, and gave a few glances at the book Tanaka still clutched in her arms, the girls had turned back to her. Miyabi approached her, and they ended up alone in the back lounge of House Nakazawa, the others having vacated somewhere for a reason Airi couldn’t fathom. She wondered why she even let these girls keep her here, and by the looks she received as the others left, apparently she wasn’t the only one with that thought.

“I’m impressed,” Miyabi said in a monotone voice, bringing Airi back to the present. “Rei-chan was actually right.” Airi frowned at her. “I could tell it was hard for her, but for some reason she thought it would be better for me to talk to you first. She felt you’d respond to me better.” She continued gazing at Airi, who sat in one of the vacant sleeping bags she hoped was Chisato’s, from a chair she’d spun around to sit in backwards. “Apparently she was right.”

“Wh…” Airi began, and scolded herself for stammering. “What do you want with me?”

“Oh there are many things I want from you, Airi.” Airi noted with an odd excited feeling in her stomach that the girl actually got her name right, but it quickly cocooned into butterflies when she saw the smirk appear on her face. However, the trace of mirth rapidly vanished.

“But now…” she continued, and rose to drop down next to Airi on the fluffy blankety bag. Airi’s stress level rose a small bit. “I’m just curious to hear what you have to say about what happened outside,” she finished, smiling pleasantly over at Airi.

“Wh…” Airi pinched herself on the leg and winced before continuing. “Why should I tell you about it?”

“Because I’m so charming,” Miyabi responded, still smiling. At the moment, Airi couldn’t exactly deny that. However, she would not let herself be caught in the girl’s trap. Before she could speak though, her captor went on. “Actually, we… believe we might be able to help you if we know what’s going on.”

Airi stared at her. “Why should I believe you could help me with anything?”

“You’ll just have to trust me,” the girl responded, and from all Airi could tell, she was quite sincere. For some reason, at those words Airi felt another feeling rush through her, and she felt more at ease, and even comfortable with the girl who was part of something she’d hated as long as she’d been at Seishin.

“All right,” she responded. “I trust you.”

Miyabi blinked as if she wasn’t expecting such ready assent, but promptly smiled. “Good!” she said. “I’m glad to hear that. So… is there anything you’d like to tell me?”

“Well…” Airi started. Where to begin? “I was just walking back to my room after becoming annoyed with Chisa and Rii-chan, when I literally ran into Maimi. The girl is so rude and never watches out for when I’m walking! Anyway,” she said, and didn’t notice Miyabi’s reaction to her words. A suspicious and slightly surprised look had appeared on her face.

“We start… talking…” There was no way she was going to go into more detail about that to this girl! “And then she touches me, and I feel like I’m on fire. I fall down, and then everything begins to turn red…”

“She touched you?” Miyabi asked astutely. “Are you two…” She hesitated before going on. “…close?”

“Um…” Airi said, rapidly feeling like she wouldn’t be able to keep her secrets much longer. A sudden rush within her made her much more confident though, and her expression changing, she happily continued, “I guess… maybe? She was asking me on a date…”

“A date?” Miyabi asked, and she was definitely thrown this time.

Airi nodded. “Not just any date either! She wanted me to come watch a movie or something with her in a private room in the Circle building.”

“She asked you to the Ivory Tower?” Miyabi asked, her eyes widening and clearly surprised now. “Did… did you accept?”

“Well,” Airi responded, the exchange between the two girls becoming fast-paced, “I hadn’t really answered, but that was when she… touched me… And when she did, like I said I felt this strange feeling run through me. It was very nice at first. Well, before it started making me feel like my skin was going to burn off.”

“That doesn’t sound very nice at all,” Miyabi commented blankly. Airi shook her head, and in response for some reason Miyabi shook hers too before going on. “So why did she scream? That was her screaming, right?”

Airi nodded, fear invading her a little bit as the memory returned. “Yes. I felt this sudden urge to grab her arm, and so I did, and… apparently it hurt her…”

Miyabi looked carefully at her. “Yes, it looks like it did. I don’t know how much you were able to tell from the ground as you were, but she held her arm in front of her like it was broken… or worse. We haven’t seen her since Shimizu walked her away though. They seem to have locked themselves up in the Ivory Tower.”

“She’s… she’s going to be all right, isn’t she?” Airi asked plaintively. “I didn’t want to hurt her. I don’t want to hurt anyone…”

“I don’t know,” Miyabi replied with a slight shrug. “From the look of it though, her arm was all that was bothering her. In that case, she can’t be in too bad of shape.” Airi nodded again, and the girl returned once again to her questions.  “When did you get this feeling to… grab her arm? What was happening at the time?”

Airi thought back, although as far as she was concerned, the quicker she could blot the memory from her mind the better. “The sky was red… I felt on fire… but… it was like it was part of me. The Sun that was blocked out, I could feel it. I felt its heat, but it wasn’t beating down on me. It’s like…” She looked nervously up at Miyabi, knowing that the girl wouldn’t believe her. “It’s like it was inside of me.”

Miyabi observed her quietly a moment. Airi would have given anything to know what was going on in the girl’s mind, but she didn’t share anything. Instead, she finally asked her another question.

“You have this book,” she said, nodding to the volume sitting on the floor in front of them. “The passage glowing red that apparently not everybody can see, do you know what it’s about?”

Somehow regaining her will back at mention of her discovery, Airi glared proudly at the girl. “I can’t say,” she said in an even voice.

Miyabi sighed. “I’m not here to take anything away from you,” she said. “There are just certain… things… going on at this school lately that have us worried about what they mean. For some reason Reina thinks your book has something to do with them.”

“Things?!” Airi asked demandingly, thinking that it was about time she start asking questions. “What are you talking about? Have you guys found ingenious new ways to bully other helpless young girls?”

This time Miyabi’s eyes narrowed. “That has nothing to do with this,” she said flatly. “If you must know, it concerns run-ins we’ve had with the Circle. We’ve discovered things about us all that… seem somewhat similar to what you just went through. We want to find out if there’s a connection.”

“Why would I be connected with anyone in the Circle, much less you!” Airi retorted, but before Miyabi could answer the door burst open and the girl jumped to her feet.

Airi looked into the doorway, but all she saw was the petite figure of Saki Shimizu. However, her small package seemed to radiate an aura of foreboding and command that completely belied her size.

She looked around the room quickly, registering that it was just the two of them there, and shut the door hard behind her. “What are you doing here?” she hissed at Airi. “Don’t you know what kind of place this is? I could have girls placed into detention for even going near this place.”

“I’d like to see you try it,” Miyabi countered in a voice that sounded almost as hard, and the Goto Head flashed her glare over to her housemate.

“And you,” she said. “You were such a promising student. You could have been the pride of House Goto. But you decided to get yourself involved with this lot.”

“Yes,” Miyabi responded forcefully. “I did. And I have absolutely no regrets.”

“I need to talk to the Matsuura girl,” Shimizu continued, still staring hard at Miyabi. “You can leave.”

“Not happening,” Miyabi replied casually but firmly, and true to her word she didn’t move from her spot. Airi looked up at the girl, and with sharp fear of the Circle member building up steadily inside of her, she was thankful for the protection.

“Fine!” Shimizu spat. “You can stay here and cower in the corner then!” As if to punctuate her order, shadows seemed to coalesce in front of her, and they seemed to leap out toward Miyabi in a grotesque visage of fangs and claws. Airi fell back, but Miyabi jumped further, her back hitting the wall and her face appearing terrified as if she was actually face to face with her worst fear. Airi certainly felt like shivering herself, but she thought the other girl stronger than what she showed. Since whatever Shimizu did apparently wasn’t directed at her, it made the fear in the pit of her stomach rise to new heights.

After she blinked though the shadowy form was gone, and Shimizu just stood glaring at her younger housemate, who still stared back with the fixed horrified expression.

“That’s enough,” came another, but weaker, voice from the door that Airi just now noticed swung open. Maimi walked up next to her fellow Head, and even laid a hand on her wrist. Airi’s gaze though was fixed on her other arm, which was held tenderly in a bandaged sling.

Shimizu looked over at the new arrival, the anger in her face giving way slightly to concern. “You shouldn’t be here,” she said. “I can take care of this girl... find out what she did to you.”

“It’s all right,” Maimi said. From the moment she came into the room Airi noticed the girl couldn’t take her eyes off of her, even while speaking to Shimizu. “I don’t want you getting too worked up.”

“I’m not…” Shimizu began sharply before biting off her words. Then she glared back at the other two girls as if it was their fault and took a couple steps back toward the wall. Once there, she crossed her arms. “I’m staying here though to make sure the Skull doesn’t try anything. You’re too weak to defend yourself.”

Maimi finally took her eyes from Airi to give Shimizu a crooked smile. “Thank you very much,” she said in a tight tone, then looked over at Miyabi, who was still hugging herself against the wall as if she wanted to be anywhere else except there. “I don’t think she’ll be trying anything too soon though.”

Then she turned back to Airi, who peered over her knees as she held them in front of her. “Now, Airi…” She began. “Airi…” There was an amazing amount of warmth in her voice toward someone who had just horribly injured her arm. She walked over to Airi and crouched down in front of her to meet her level. “Tell me… Did you cause that eclipse?”

Airi blinked at her, some of her fright vanishing at the insane question. “What are you talking about?” she said before thinking, and even coughed out a laugh. “How could I have caused that?”

“Stranger things have happened,” the girl responded mysteriously. “Your… friends…” she began, grimacing over at Miyabi, who actually seemed to be recovering, as if she was something unpleasant stuck to the wall, “have surprised us lately. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that someone else could surprise us too. Especially someone like you, who I knew was special in some way.

The girl became distracted as Airi noticed she caught sight of the book lying a meter or so away. She bent over to it and picked it up, looking at the passage containing the red text. “This book is… very interesting,” she said, apparently having forgotten what she was just questioning Airi about. “A prophecy? From the Founders?” She directed a startled gaze up to Shimizu, who gave one just as startled in return, and then turned back to Airi. “Where did you find this?”

“It was in the library,” Airi replied, feeling a bit of her strength return. Out of the corner of her eye she saw Miyabi blinking as if trying to shake off grogginess within her head.

“The library?” Maimi asked sharply, then turned back to Shimizu. “Do you know anything of this?”

The other girl walked up to them, and the closer she got the stronger desire Airi had to back away from her. There was definitely something wrong about that girl. The image of the shadowy wolf came into her mind again.

She looked down into the book, and appeared to read the red text and what surrounded it quickly. “No,” she said quietly. “I’ve never noticed this before.” She gestured Maimi to turn the book so they could see its cover, and she continued, “I do know the volume though. Precepts of the Trinity of Seishin. It contains most of the guidelines set down by the Founders as related by the first Circle. It was called the Trinity before the name was changed in the Muromachi Period due to protests as Christianity began to spread.”

“I really need to learn this kind of stuff…” Maimi scolded herself, frowning at the book.

However, Shimizu was glaring at Airi again. “Why were you reading this book? Is Murayama-sensei having second years study the ancient history of Seishin now?”

“No,” Airi said coolly, proud at how she was conquering the feeling of fear from the girl that seemed to be attacking her emotions. She shifted her eyes just enough to catch sight of Miyabi, who appeared to have come fully to herself now, and seemed about to step toward them. Airi gave her a hard look, and quickly went on.

“I actually was researching the Skulls because I saw them do some strange things that I wanted to get to the bottom of.” Her mention of Miyabi’s group stopped the girl in her tracks, and she now looked at Airi warily. Airi guessed the look was because she hadn’t told Miyabi this information yet, but honestly, the girl hadn’t asked!

“There’s nothing about the Skulls in here,” Shimizu stated with an impatient twist to her mouth.

“Yes, I realized that,” Airi replied patiently. “However, I found elsewhere that they seemed to be actually as old as the Circle, and thus the school, and this was the only book I could find easily from that period.”

Shimizu didn’t seem to have a response to that, but Airi noticed a spark suddenly come to Maimi’s eye. “Airi…” she said with a warm smile once again, laying the book down and apparently forgetting it for the moment. Shimizu frowned at her, and she looked up at her comrade in the Circle. “Could you leave us alone for a little bit?” she asked. Shimizu darted a look at Miyabi, who had smartly adopted a faraway air again, but before she could protest Maimi continued, “I’m sure I’ll be all right. What’s this little girl going to do to me?”

Shimizu frowned at her arm as if that were a case in point of what exactly this little girl could do to her, but nodded her head and rose up to head out the door. Maimi turned back to Airi. Apparently she wasn’t concerned about Miyabi hearing whatever she wanted to say to her alone. In fact, she seemed to hardly recognize the girl’s existence at all, causing Miyabi to refocus her own glare at the girl again. Airi barely held herself back from bursting out into giggles.

“Do you remember my offer, Airi?” the older Matsuura girl asked. “You… noticed what I might be able to do for you,” she said with a slight hesitation. Airi wondered how the girl could be so good at ignoring reality. “So how about it? We could catch a movie in a pleasant atmosphere… maybe have some mochi… talk…” She threw in that last as if in an afterthought, but Airi knew what her intentions were now. At least she thought she did. “And if things go well, maybe other things too,” she finished with a grin, and even made Airi blush. Out of the corner of her eye she saw Miyabi glancing anxiously between the two of them again.

“Are you sure you want to be so near to me for who knows how long?” Airi asked, and cast an obvious glance to her bandaged arm. “Are you all right, by the way?”

“Oh I’m fine,” the girl insisted. “It was just a scratch. I don’t blame you in the slightest. I must have fallen and hurt myself.” She scooted closer to Airi, who was beginning to feel a little flustered. “So how about it?” When she reached out and took Airi’s hand, albeit carefully, it became too much for her and she jumped to her feet.

Maimi rose slowly too and arched an eyebrow at her, but Airi, her mind blanking in response to the situation, avoided the girl’s look and found her eyes resting on Miyabi, who looked on quietly with a very tight expression. Feeling some unidentifiable emotion course through her, she made a spur of the moment decision and acted before she thought. There were reasons Airi Suzuki did not normally do that, and this one might have them all beat.

Releasing and recoiling from Maimi’s hand, she turned and walked swiftly over to Miyabi, reaching up to the surprised girl’s neck and leaning in to press her lips against her mouth. She held them there for a moment as she realized what she just did but couldn’t possibly think of what to do now. After all, she’d never kissed anyone before. Oh my god! she thought. I just kissed Miyabi Natsuyaki! That thought froze her body completely, but she knew she had to do something else eventually.

The decision was taken away from her though when she felt the other girl’s arms wrap around her waist, and Miyabi tilted her head which, Airi realized, allowed them to kiss more easily. Then she realized something else. The girl was actually kissing her back!

She lost track of time for a while, but when she came to she found herself still in Miyabi’s arms, and she opened her eyes to see a stone-faced Head of House Matsuura standing not two meters away. She noticed that for some reason Miyabi smiled at the girl and gave her a look that was almost… triumphant?

“So that’s how it is?” Maimi ground out through gritted teeth in a barely audible voice. “Instead of wanting someone who could give you fortune… respect… anything you desire, you instead go for this… Skull...” she spat. “This… slut?”

Airi suddenly came out of the paradise she was in and glared at the girl. “Miyabi’s not a s… s…” She couldn’t finish the horrible word.

“Yes she is!” Maimi roared, tearing hear arm out of the sling to clench both her fists at her sides. Airi almost gasped at the blackened skin she saw beneath the freshly torn bandages, but if it was painful the girl didn’t even seem to notice. “They all are! Even your stupid little friend who got herself involved with them!”

Now the girl had gone too far, and Airi’s fury boiled within her. At least that’s what she thought, since it seemed to rapidly become quite hot in there. She jerked as if to jump at the girl, but Miyabi held her tightly against her side. Airi looked up at her with a disbelieving questioning look. Why wouldn’t she let her at the girl?! She’d maimed her once, so what’s to say she couldn’t do it again?

Suddenly though the heat disappeared, and she saw a look of concentration on the face of the girl who held her. Airi looked around. Waves of heat seemed to hang in the air throughout the room, but she now felt like she wouldn’t even break a sweat.

“Are you going to insist on frying yourself?” Miyabi asked Maimi lazily. “That’s all that’ll happen if you keep this up.”

“How little you know of me,” Maimi hissed in response. “You didn’t seem so sure of yourself when Saki-chan was around earlier.” Airi felt Miyabi tremble slightly for the first time, and she made sure to hug the girl’s waist as comfortingly as she could as if she had any experience with such a gesture.

The corner of Maimi’s mouth twisted. “That’s right,” she said. “You’ll soon learn to respect us.” She looked at Airi with eyes that portrayed the deepest loathing. And yet, strangely, Airi thought she saw nearly concealed hurt in them too. “All of you!”

She looked down to the book, which still lay open between them, and picked it up, slamming it shut. “This belongs to us!” she proclaimed. And after she turned and walked out the door, slamming it behind her, the room seemed to return to normal.

Miyabi maintained that look of concentration, but after a minute or so she slowly seemed to relax, and Airi began to feel slight warmth in the air around her again, even though it was nothing like when the Circle member was in the room.

“Are you okay?” Miyabi asked her, craning her neck to look at Airi since she was leaning her head on the girl’s shoulder. Airi nodded, and Miyabi darted her eyes around the room anxiously. “Um…” she continued after Airi made no move to shift her position. “Are you going to let me go?”

“No,” Airi said with a smile, trying to push down the butterflies that were filling her own stomach. Trying to push Maimi aside for the moment, she realized she had to face the fact that she’d just kissed Miyabi Natsuyaki. As a defense mechanism, she tried her best to make the other girl feel uncomfortable too. “You’re my hero, after all.”

Miyabi blushed, but made no move to separate them. So the girls stayed like that for a few minutes, with Airi’s head on her shoulder and their arms around each others’ waists. “Airi…” the other girl said finally.

“Mmm?” Airi said, beginning to feel quite comfortable and as if she could even drift off to sleep on her feet. She’d woken up early that morning after all, and it had already been quite a long day. She enjoyed the sublime protected feeling she experienced in the Skull’s arms. The Skulls… What was a Skull again?

“My legs are getting tired…” Miyabi replied.

“Oh?” Airi asked, doing her best to keep the girl off-guard even in her torpid state.

However, at that moment the door swung open again and Tanaka and the rest of the Skulls hurried in. Becoming fully alert very quickly, Airi pulled away from the last Skull, which resulted in quite a disoriented state at the sudden movement. But she was still too late.

“What the…” Tanaka began, staring at the both of them. Kusumi’s mouth curled up in a evil-looking smile, but Chisato’s eyes looked like they’d pop out of her head. Airi hugged herself, rapidly becoming quite embarrassed.

“Here I thought you two might have been in trouble when I saw Yajima stalking out of here and almost dragging Shimizu with her, but all you’re doing is getting it on!” Tanaka continued. Airi honestly felt like she couldn’t blush any deeper.

“We weren’t…” Miyabi spluttered, although in a much more composed way than Airi could have managed right then. “...getting it on…!” she finished. “Yajima was in here, but then Suzuki kissed me and—“

“She kissed you?” Tanaka asked, a taunting smile definitely forming on her face now. “She kissed you??” Then she began laughing uncontrollably, so hard in fact that she fell into the nearest chair. “Our champion seductress! Our supposed great leader! She kissed you!”

Now even Kusumi and Chisato were staring at their captain as if she had gone mad. Miyabi however looked almost as embarrassed as Airi felt. What? What was the problem? She looked over at the girl she’d kissed, but she avoided Airi’s gaze.

“Well…” Chisato said, still frowning at their elated leader. “They always wanted you to join the Skulls, Osuzu. I didn’t know that was how it’d happen though!”

“I’m not—“ Airi began hastily, but cut off when her brain managed to kick in. Wasn’t she? She may not have officially been invited and joined them, but didn’t going out with one of them automatically make her part of the group? She’d kissed her after all, and it was, she blushed as she thought it, definitely returned, so didn’t that mean they were going out?

Her eyes widened. She was dating Miyabi Natsuyaki! Her perfect child world came crashing down within her head. She’d never be taken seriously at the school again! But… even so, it just felt so nice… She tilted her head and smiled at the other girl, who clenched her own fists at her sides as if she was restraining herself from something too. The room didn’t become a furnace for her, though.

“Osuzu!” Chisato cried, and now even Kusumi had started laughing. “Stop mooning at her like that! It’s so… weird!” Airi blinked and blushed again, but Miyabi had apparently had enough.

“I need to get some air!” she announced, and strode to the door as if she was trying to do so as respectably as possible through the howling of her friends’ laughter.

When she was gone, Tanaka and Kusumi were finally able to calm down, and Chisato bustled over to her, pulling her down where they both had a seat in what Airi finally had confirmed as her sleeping bag. “Oh my god!” she whispered excitedly. Even though she tried to keep her voice down, if Tanaka and Kusumi weren’t virtually crying themselves they surely would have heard it. “Did you really kiss Miyabi?” She stared at Airi in awe as if she was some kind of hero.

“Y-yes…” Airi stammered out. Her mind was a mess of jumbled emotions right at that time. “I don’t know what came over me, Chisa! Maimi was hitting on me, and after what happened outside I was just feeling uncomfortable, and then, I dunno, I just walked over and kissed her! What did I do, Chisa?!”

“Yajima-san too?” her friend gasped, her awe reaching yet another level. “What did you do?” she asked, as if it were the most ridiculous question ever conceived. “Much more than I ever could, I’ll tell you that!” Then seeming to suddenly realize what she said, she hurriedly followed, “N-not that I have any wish to kiss Miyabi. Not at all!” She now seemed completely defensive, and Airi just stared at her. The other girls seemed to calm down enough that they could hear their exchange, and they grinned at each other as they listened.

“I’m not saying you do…” Airi said in a very slow and patient voice.

“Good!” Chisato exclaimed. “Because I don’t! Honest!” She then looked around them, but without seeming to notice the audience of the other two girls, leaned in closer to Airi. “Do you… do you like her?”

Airi, who was very aware of the other girls’ very amused gazes, hesitated at the question, although Chisato seemed insistent. “Um…” she finally said. Looking between Tanaka and Kusumi she resolved herself. Who cared what they thought? “I… suppose so.”

“Of course you do!” Tanaka said, and hopped from her chair to head over to the two seated girls. The sudden voice and motion caused Chisato to almost jump, and she spun her head to face her leader. Tanaka continued on, sitting down to lounge on Airi’s other side, and wrapped an arm around her shoulders.

“You know, you’re a lucky girl,” the Skull Captain informed her. “If you must fall for any of us, she’s the one to go for. Me, I like to have my fun, but a relationship is like a plague as far as I’m concerned. And I won’t even get started on Mikitty.

“Kusumi…” she began thoughtfully, and turned to appraise the Nakazawa girl, who gave her a funny look as if wondering how she was going to verbally abuse her this time. “I’m not sure about her yet, but she’s an idiot, so probably best not to tap that in any case.”

“Hey!” the girl protested, albeit weakly.

“You didn’t mention me…” Chisato said, with a look like she was feeling left out.

Tanaka blinked at her. “You? Well I thought that was obvious. You’re the best friend. Unless you’re me, that’s not gonna happen. What? You want her?” Airi felt another blush coming on.

“N-no!” Chisato defended, giving Airi anxious looks as if to ensure she didn’t get the wrong idea. Airi smiled reassuringly at her friend. “I just…”

“Well then that’s that!” Tanaka said. Then she studied Airi again. “Miyakko on the other hand…” Her face twisted into a grin. “Boy I’m gonna have fun with this one!”

“You be nice to her!” Airi demanded, giving the girl a fiery look.

Tanaka laughed and patted her back. “Don’t worry. Chill, chill… I won’t go after her.” Airi nodded, but the girl wasn’t finished yet. “…too much.” She grinned, and Airi thought it best to let it be this time.

The Captain kept studying her face though. “Y’know, I suppose I should welcome you to the Skulls. Normally it takes a request, but I’d say if you’ve made it with one of our best members, I don’t know how we can really deny you,” she finished, grinning while she spoke.

“But I don’t want to be a Skull!” Airi complained, although she had a feeling she was fighting a losing battle here. “I’m not taking orders from you… nor obviously Miyabi,” she threw in after a small hesitation.

Tanaka still looked at her thoughtfully, but Chisato spoke up. “They don’t really give us orders…” she said. “We pretty much do what we want. Of course they make sure to let us know we’re new…”

“Y’know what?” Tanaka resumed. “I think you’re right. We shouldn’t treat you like any other new member, or maybe even an old member who’s not the Captain.” She donned a small smile as she spoke, almost as if she was being very careful with what she said, but was also very satisfied with it. Airi couldn’t begin to imagine why, although it was good they realized she wouldn’t be listening to them.

“…I’ll think about it,” Airi admitted after a moment.

“Think all you want,” Tanaka said, withdrawing her arm from Airi’s shoulders and standing to move back to her chair. “It won’t make any difference. After your friend’s audition, as well as what happened today, you’re a Skull whether you accept the fact or not. Actually, I’m a little disappointed in you. I thought you’d been doing a lot of research, though apparently you haven’t learned anything.”

Airi tried to make sense of what the girl had just told her, but in the end felt like she was just willing to let her call her whatever she wanted. She wasn’t going to fight anymore. She looked back at her friend, who smiled at her with intense pride, and she couldn’t help but smile back. Plus, if it was going to allow her to spend more time with Chisato - as well as Miyabi, she had to admit to herself with an internal blush – she may not mind it at all.

Besides, she’d kissed the girl and so now the two of them were dating, right? Once word of that got out, the insignificant matter of whether she was a Skull or not would be rather meaningless. Plus, there was the whole deal with the Head of House Matsuura… and she supposed she now needed to add the Head of House Goto to her list too. She wondered for a fleeting second what she was really getting herself into, but realized in actuality it was all her doing. It didn’t have anything to do with the Skulls – that was only a label she either did or didn’t use for herself.

Who knows, maybe she could even try to reform them from the inside and make them decent again? She wanted her best friend to be decent, after all. Looking at the smiling Chisato and really being able to pay attention to her for the first time in all the chaos of the morning, she noticed the girl was chewing something. She could most definitely start with that!

“Spit it out,” she ordered, sticking out her hand below the girl’s chin.

Chisato’s chewing suddenly stopped. “Huh?” she asked.

“The tobacco,” Airi explained. “It’s a gross habit, and I’ll not have you doing it. That goes for any of you!” she said, looking around the room. Koharu stared at her as if she was crazy, but Reina was obviously holding herself back from bursting out laughing again.

“But it’s not—“ Chisato protested.

“Spit it out!” Airi commanded again, and the girl quickly heeded her this time, a second later spitting out her wad of bubble gum into Airi’s hand. Her face coloring, Airi noticed that Reina apparently couldn’t hold her laughter back any longer.

“Unruly indeed!” the girl cried out, and for some reason, amid all the embarrassing laughter, Airi felt that despite her much better judgment, this was where she belonged.

Offline Yukari

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Re: The Circle of Three [9: Embarking On Destiny]
« Reply #53 on: December 07, 2007, 01:26:33 AM »
ooooooooh i love this fic  :luvluv1:

now i like Airi  :wub:

and AirixMiya  :nya:
 
they kissed... and now "dating" XD XD

Offline Amarghetta

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Re: The Circle of Three [9: Embarking On Destiny]
« Reply #54 on: December 07, 2007, 01:41:05 AM »
So, The Skulls triad is complete now. Miki's gonna have so much fun when learns about it...  :w00t:

It's funny how The Skulls are supposed to be the bad girls, but they seem cooler and more relaxed about things. Unlike The Circle, they don't seem to have a secret agenda; well, besides Miki, that's it.  XD

Oh, and I wonder about Socko's reaction to the news. Her two friends are Skulls now! That's gotta be quite shocking, especially after Airi's initial dislike for them.  :P

Offline mode107

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Re: The Circle of Three [9: Embarking On Destiny]
« Reply #55 on: December 07, 2007, 02:42:41 AM »
So it looks like Miki was right about Miyabi getting a girlfriend :lol:

Woah, harsh outburst from Maimi there! I feel bad for her, because you had said she was interested in Airi, but now in this chapter you can see what her intentions were, and after Airi kissed Miyabi, I can't help but wonder if Maimi felt a little heartbreak along with that anger(poor her if that was the case). So Maimi as a possbile antagonist? I have have never read of an angry(or maybe evil) Maimi, so this is really going to get interesting

Updates on two of your stories in one day?!... your awesome!
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Offline JFC

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Re: The Circle of Three [9: Embarking On Destiny]
« Reply #56 on: December 07, 2007, 06:06:51 AM »
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The moment I at least have been waiting for has finally arrived. Oooh the horror!
Prelude to the climax?



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Airi somehow found herself face-to-face with Miyabi Natsuyaki. Tanaka and the girl had held a discussion, while Kusumi looked on curiously and Chisato looked among all of them as if just wondering if she was allowed to talk to her friend. However, when Airi was able to catch her eyes, the girl actually seemed afraid… of her.
Does Airi even remember what she just did?



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“I’m impressed,” Miyabi said in a monotone voice, bringing Airi back to the present. “Rei-chan was actually right.” Airi frowned at her. “I could tell it was hard for her, but for some reason she thought it would be better for me to talk to you first. She felt you’d respond to me better.”
Makes sense, considering they're probably in the same grade, PLUS the fact that other than Chisato (who, as the group's newbie, has no idea what's going on herself), Miyabi's the Skull member Airi has talked to the most (what with Miyabi's flirting and all ;D).



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Before she could speak though, her captor went on. “Actually, we… believe we might be able to help you if we know what’s going on.”

Airi stared at her. “Why should I believe you could help me with anything?"
It's got to have something to do with the book Reina has, right? Right now Airi probably fits the description of something/someone that is written in the book (hence the title of the previous chapter), and that something/someone is probably supposed to have a BIG impact on things.



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“Well…” Airi started. Where to begin? “I was just walking back to my room after becoming annoyed with Chisa and Rii-chan, when I literally ran into Maimi. The girl is so rude and never watches out for when I’m walking! Anyway,” she said, and didn’t notice Miyabi’s reaction to her words. A suspicious and slightly surprised look had appeared on her face.
Airi really should start watching out for herself instead of expecting others to watch out for her. :P


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“We start… talking…” There was no way she was going to go into more detail about that to this girl! “And then she touches me, and I feel like I’m on fire. I fall down, and then everything begins to turn red…”

“She touched you?” Miyabi asked astutely. “Are you two…” She hesitated before going on. “…close?”
Something tells me the relationship between the two people involved must be a factor in the events happening the way they do.



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“I guess… maybe? She was asking me on a date…”

“A date?” Miyabi asked, and she was definitely thrown this time.

Airi nodded. “Not just any date either! She wanted me to come watch a movie or something with her in a private room in the Circle building.”

“She asked you to the Ivory Tower?” Miyabi asked, her eyes widening and clearly surprised now. “Did… did you accept?”
Hmmm...Maimi already knew the power that Airi had within her? If so, what was the purpose of going to that tower?



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“The sky was red… I felt on fire… but… it was like it was part of me. The Sun that was blocked out, I could feel it. I felt its heat, but it wasn’t beating down on me. It’s like…” She looked nervously up at Miyabi, knowing that the girl wouldn’t believe her. “It’s like it was inside of me.”
Airi was channelling the power of the Sun itself?  :shocked:



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Miyabi observed her quietly a moment. Airi would have given anything to know what was going on in the girl’s mind, but she didn’t share anything. Instead, she finally asked her another question.

“You have this book,” she said, nodding to the volume sitting on the floor in front of them. “The passage glowing red that apparently not everybody can see, do you know what it’s about?”

Somehow regaining her will back at mention of her discovery, Airi glared proudly at the girl. “I can’t say,” she said in an even voice.
Which means that either The Skulls are still a bit lost themselves, or they have figured out from the book what Airi is and it says she's a threat.



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“If you must know, it concerns run-ins we’ve had with the Circle. We’ve discovered things about us all that… seem somewhat similar to what you just went through. We want to find out if there’s a connection.”
It could be that they're all receiving these powers at this point in time for a specific reason, or more likely for a specific purpose.



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“Why would I be connected with anyone in the Circle, much less you!” Airi retorted, but before Miyabi could answer the door burst open and the girl jumped to her feet.

Airi looked into the doorway, but all she saw was the petite figure of Saki Shimizu. However, her small package seemed to radiate an aura of foreboding and command that completely belied her size.
Uh-oh. Which Captain are we going to get here? The one that messes with your head, or the one that seems like she's zombified?



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She looked around the room quickly, registering that it was just the two of them there, and shut the door hard behind her. “What are you doing here?” she hissed at Airi. “Don’t you know what kind of place this is? I could have girls placed into detention for even going near this place.”

“I’d like to see you try it,” Miyabi countered in a voice that sounded almost as hard, and the Goto Head flashed her glare over to her housemate.
Probably an idle threat at best. Something tells me it wouldn't be in either The Circle's nor The Skulls' best interests to do that to Airi right now and leave her "unchecked".



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“I need to talk to the Matsuura girl,” Shimizu continued, still staring hard at Miyabi. “You can leave.”
Yeah right. Like that's gonna happen.   :roll:



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“Fine!” Shimizu spat. “You can stay here and cower in the corner then!” As if to punctuate her order, shadows seemed to coalesce in front of her, and they seemed to leap out toward Miyabi in a grotesque visage of fangs and claws. Airi fell back, but Miyabi jumped further, her back hitting the wall and her face appearing terrified as if she was actually face to face with her worst fear.
Shit, there she goes messing with Miyabi's head. :dizzy:



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“That’s enough,” came another, but weaker, voice from the door that Airi just now noticed swung open. Maimi walked up next to her fellow Head, and even laid a hand on her wrist. Airi’s gaze though was fixed on her other arm, which was held tenderly in a bandaged sling.

Shimizu looked over at the new arrival, the anger in her face giving way slightly to concern. “You shouldn’t be here,” she said. “I can take care of this girl... find out what she did to you.”
Yeah, and knowing the types of power/skills Captain has, in trying to figure out what happened Captain would probably severely mentally/emotionally traumatize Airi.



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“It’s all right,” Maimi said. From the moment she came into the room Airi noticed the girl couldn’t take her eyes off of her, even while speaking to Shimizu. “I don’t want you getting too worked up.”
So it's important that Captain NOT get too worked up? Must have something to do with her strength and her ability to control it.



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“I’m not…” Shimizu began sharply before biting off her words. Then she glared back at the other two girls as if it was their fault and took a couple steps back toward the wall. Once there, she crossed her arms. “I’m staying here though to make sure the Skull doesn’t try anything. You’re too weak to defend yourself.”
Seems a little odd that between The Circle members, Captain would be the group's "muscle".



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“Now, Airi…” She began. “Airi…” There was an amazing amount of warmth in her voice toward someone who had just horribly injured her arm. She walked over to Airi and crouched down in front of her to meet her level. “Tell me… Did you cause that eclipse?”

Airi blinked at her, some of her fright vanishing at the insane question. “What are you talking about?” she said before thinking, and even coughed out a laugh. “How could I have caused that?

“Stranger things have happened,” the girl responded mysteriously. “Your… friends…” she began, grimacing over at Miyabi, who actually seemed to be recovering, as if she was something unpleasant stuck to the wall, “have surprised us lately. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that someone else could surprise us too. Especially someone like you, who I knew was special in some way.
Ah, but if that's true, exactly how did Maimi know that there was something unique about Airi? Also, when did she start thinking this?



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The girl became distracted as Airi noticed she caught sight of the book lying a meter or so away. She bent over to it and picked it up, looking at the passage containing the red text. “This book is… very interesting,” she said, apparently having forgotten what she was just questioning Airi about. “A prophecy? From the Founders?” She directed a startled gaze up to Shimizu, who gave one just as startled in return, and then turned back to Airi. “Where did you find this?”

“It was in the library,” Airi replied, feeling a bit of her strength return. Out of the corner of her eye she saw Miyabi blinking as if trying to shake off grogginess within her head.

“The library?” Maimi asked sharply, then turned back to Shimizu. “Do you know anything of this?”
Ooooooooooooooooooooooooo...so The Circle didn't know about the book or the prophecy, did they?   But then, where did the book originally come from, and how/why did it end up in the school library?

...

Wonder if Miyabi can at least hear/understand the convo that they're having?



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She looked down into the book, and appeared to read the red text and what surrounded it quickly. “No,” she said quietly. “I’ve never noticed this before.” She gestured Maimi to turn the book so they could see its cover, and she continued, “I do know the volume though. Precepts of the Trinity of Seishin. It contains most of the guidelines set down by the Founders as related by the first Circle. It was called the Trinity before the name was changed in the Muromachi Period due to protests as Christianity began to spread.”
Hmmm...was the book originally in the possession of the Circle, only to be lost/misplaced and then found by someone who brought it to the library, or did someone hide it there deliberately? If the latter, why?



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Shimizu was glaring at Airi again. “Why were you reading this book? Is Murayama-sensei having second years study the ancient history of Seishin now?”

“No,” Airi said coolly, proud at how she was conquering the feeling of fear from the girl that seemed to be attacking her emotions. She shifted her eyes just enough to catch sight of Miyabi, who appeared to have come fully to herself now, and seemed about to step toward them. Airi gave her a hard look, and quickly went on.
Airi has seen with her own eyes that the others are scared of her capabilities.  Hell, Maimi knows first hand about Airi's capabilities. Could it be that Airi's confidence is because she's starting to accept and even control/channel her power?

...

Or is she just stalling for time so that Miyabi can recover?



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“Do you remember my offer, Airi?” the older Matsuura girl asked. “You… noticed what I might be able to do for you,” she said with a slight hesitation. Airi wondered how the girl could be so good at ignoring reality. “So how about it? We could catch a movie in a pleasant atmosphere… maybe have some mochi… talk…” She threw in that last as if in an afterthought, but Airi knew what her intentions were now.
With what she knows know from the book, it's pretty obvious to anyone that Maimi simply wants Airi's power to be on her side should another conflict with The Skulls happen. One could almost say that Maimi was power-hungry.



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“So how about it?” When she reached out and took Airi’s hand, albeit carefully, it became too much for her and she jumped to her feet.

...

Releasing and recoiling from Maimi’s hand, she turned and walked swiftly over to Miyabi, reaching up to the surprised girl’s neck and leaning in to press her lips against her mouth.
Oh...my.  :stunned:

Well, I guess Airi's decided who's side she'll choose.



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“So that’s how it is?” Maimi ground out through gritted teeth in a barely audible voice. “Instead of wanting someone who could give you fortune… respect… anything you desire, you instead go for this… Skull...” she spat.
Sore loser.



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Now the girl had gone too far, and Airi’s fury boiled within her. At least that’s what she thought, since it seemed to rapidly become quite hot in there. She jerked as if to jump at the girl, but Miyabi held her tightly against her side. Airi looked up at her with a disbelieving questioning look. Why wouldn’t she let her at the girl?! She’d maimed her once, so what’s to say she couldn’t do it again?
Never mind the fact that if Maimi got seriously hurt, there would be questions asked, a LOT of questions. Right now public attention is the one thing that these girls DON'T need. Another thing is Captain. Right now Maimi seems to be the only one who can keep her in check. If Maimi's out of commission, and Captain goes nuts, it'll be very, VERY hard to stop her. 



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“Are you okay?” Miyabi asked her, craning her neck to look at Airi since she was leaning her head on the girl’s shoulder. Airi nodded, and Miyabi darted her eyes around the room anxiously. “Um…” she continued after Airi made no move to shift her position. “Are you going to let me go?”
Well, Miyabi did want to get closer to Airi.  8)



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“No,” Airi said with a smile

...

As a defense mechanism, she tried her best to make the other girl feel uncomfortable too. “You’re my hero, after all.”
:lol:



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Tanaka and the rest of the Skulls hurried in. Becoming fully alert very quickly, Airi pulled away from the last Skull, which resulted in quite a disoriented state at the sudden movement. But she was still too late.

“What the…” Tanaka began, staring at the both of them. Kusumi’s mouth curled up in a evil-looking smile, but Chisato’s eyes looked like they’d pop out of her head. Airi hugged herself, rapidly becoming quite embarrassed.

“Here I thought you two might have been in trouble when I saw Yajima stalking out of here and almost dragging Shimizu with her, but all you’re doing is getting it on!” Tanaka continued. Airi honestly felt like she couldn’t blush any deeper.
Airi =  :mon ko: :mon ehh:
Miyabi = :mon ko:
Koharu =  :mon misch:
Chisato =  :mon spit:
Reina =  :hehehe:



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“Well…” Chisato said, still frowning at their elated leader. “They always wanted you to join the Skulls, Osuzu. I didn’t know that was how it’d happen though!”
:pimp:



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Her eyes widened. She was dating Miyabi Natsuyaki! Her perfect child world came crashing down within her head. She’d never be taken seriously at the school again! But… even so, it just felt so nice… She tilted her head and smiled at the other girl, who clenched her own fists at her sides as if she was restraining herself from something too. The room didn’t become a furnace for her, though.

“Osuzu!” Chisato cried, and now even Kusumi had started laughing. “Stop mooning at her like that! It’s so… weird!” Airi blinked and blushed again, but Miyabi had apparently had enough.

“I need to get some air!” she announced, and strode to the door as if she was trying to do so as respectably as possible through the howling of her friends’ laughter.
Oh the embarrassement! So cute!  :wriggly:



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“You know, you’re a lucky girl,” the Skull Captain informed her. “If you must fall for any of us, she’s the one to go for. Me, I like to have my fun, but a relationship is like a plague as far as I’m concerned. And I won’t even get started on Mikitty.
Yeah, it's probably better that Airi not hear about Miki-sama.  :grin:



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“Kusumi…” she began thoughtfully, and turned to appraise the Nakazawa girl, who gave her a funny look as if wondering how she was going to verbally abuse her this time. “I’m not sure about her yet, but she’s an idiot, so probably best not to tap that in any case.”

“Hey!” the girl protested, albeit weakly.
BURN!!! :mon lmao:



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“Y’know, I suppose I should welcome you to the Skulls. Normally it takes a request, but I’d say if you’ve made it with one of our best members, I don’t know how we can really deny you,” she finished, grinning while she spoke.

...

“…I’ll think about it,” Airi admitted after a moment.
Might as well. Considering how she just totally rejected Maimi and the Circle, Airi would do well to have some backup.



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Looking at the smiling Chisato and really being able to pay attention to her for the first time in all the chaos of the morning, she noticed the girl was chewing something. She could most definitely start with that!

“Spit it out,” she ordered, sticking out her hand below the girl’s chin.

Chisato’s chewing suddenly stopped. “Huh?” she asked.

“The tobacco,” Airi explained. “It’s a gross habit, and I’ll not have you doing it. That goes for any of you!” she said, looking around the room. Koharu stared at her as if she was crazy, but Reina was obviously holding herself back from bursting out laughing again.

“But it’s not—“ Chisato protested.

“Spit it out!” Airi commanded again, and the girl quickly heeded her this time, a second later spitting out her wad of bubble gum into Airi’s hand. Her face coloring, Airi noticed that Reina apparently couldn’t hold her laughter back any longer.
:on lol:



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for some reason, amid all the embarrassing laughter, Airi felt that despite her much better judgment, this was where she belonged.
Funny how sometimes you feel the most comfortable in the most unexpected situations.  :)

JPH!P :heart:'s Fushigidane, ChrNo, Jab & marimari. Always.

Offline rndmnwierd

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Re: The Circle of Three [9: Embarking On Destiny]
« Reply #57 on: December 07, 2007, 07:00:20 AM »
Go Airi, lol. So what is the deal with the powers? Will we get a true, full backstory of the school soon or are you just going to tease us some more?

Offline AmberSan

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Re: The Circle of Three [9: Embarking On Destiny]
« Reply #58 on: December 07, 2007, 09:06:01 AM »
lol they were finally getting it on XD

it seems like the reason the skulls were formed was to balance the Circle so that each Citcle member had a Skulls member with the same powers.

waiting for the next chapter 8)

Offline g4rfield

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Re: The Circle of Three [9: Embarking On Destiny]
« Reply #59 on: December 07, 2007, 10:08:43 PM »
Hehehehehe.....wohooooooo!!! Airi kissed Miya...and their dating!!! and this is where things went wrong cuz it's all in Airi's head. Miya never once said that they are indeed dating, and who's to say when you kissed someone you automatically dating them anyway. The more I think about this the more it became a potential problem source in the future chapters, of course that is only if I'm right.  XD

Maimi is burned, and burned hot she is!!! I'm intrigued by the questions she thrown at Airi and their importance as well as with the book she took with her. Does she know something? She must be otherwise she wont be getting that mad. I think Airi is like the key to a great power or something that whoever hold her heart will have everything, and Maimi must have realized how special she is to be so mad when Airi declare she choose Miya....by making out with her, among other reasons. :lol: Yeah, that must BURN like hell!!

 I like analyzing your stories Rokun, but this chapter doesn't really having much to be analyzed. I still enjoy it tho, esp. the kissing scene,  :grin: I would love to see how Miya handle this, and Airi with her unwillingness actually start to feel at home with the Skulls.




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