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Evening of the Seventh

 
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Mallory
Old Wyrm
Old Wyrm


Joined: 03 Sep 2016
Posts: 323
See this user's pet
Jobs: Apothecary, Alchemist
Can Be Found: The Lyceum or Kabuki Street, most of the time
22109.26 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:26 am    Post subject: Evening of the Seventh Reply with quote

Kabuki Street was packed when Tanabata came, filled with lanterns and streamers, stalls for food and others for games, and parades of marchers and dancers in brightly patterned outfits. They had set out paper lanterns for the four fallen members of the rengou-kai at dusk, before most of them were ready for the evening festivities, sending the floating memorials away on the wind from the top of the Zama Shrine; but the solemn mood among the delinquents did not survive the festive atmosphere for very long.

Mallory met Eri at the bottom of the steps of the shrine, somewhere between each of them asking the girl manning the omikuji box for a fortune. The witch planned to ascend the steps, purify herself and say a little prayer in a minute, but that could wait. She caught the edge of one of the sukeban's sleeves and tugged gently.

Eri looked back at her with a bright smile. "Mal!" she exclaimed. "You look great in your yukata!" She leaned in to kiss her, lips still tasting of the watermelon she'd just finished.

The kiss threw Mallory off kilter, still taking in the unfamiliar sight of her girlfriend in a beautiful yukata, with her hair done up with a floral pin. She hummed happily, and she could feel how pink her cheeks were when they drew back. "You look..." God, they burned. She let out an embarrassed laugh. "You look beautiful."

They weren't alone. Her brother calling out a greeting, and Penny making her way over, snapped her back to reality. There were people she wanted to talk to, and she still had to receive her fortune and make a formal offering up at the shrine.

Soon she was climbing the steps, up through the gate and off to one side, and as she climbed she stared up at the roof of the Zama Shrine and the beautifully dark blue sky beyond, glimmering with starlight...

* * * * *

Suikawari, the fine art of being blindfolded and spun in circles and hitting a watermelon with a stick, was a lot harder than it looked. Mallory could hear people cheering on their chosen "champions" and yelling advice, and did her best to totter away from them and towards her target. One step... two... three... four...

When she got to ten, she raised up the stick high over her head and brought it down as hard as she could.

She was expecting the sound of a melon rind being split, or more likely, the crack of the stick hitting the pavement right before it bounced back and hit her in the face. Instead, she heard a whiff, a gasp, and a loud splat followed by startled shrieks and stamping feet.

"Abunai!" she heard Eri cry out helpfully.

Mallory hitched her blindfold up with her thumb and stared around the cardboard playing area, devoid of any sign of her watermelon, not even a single seed. "Hey, where did it go?"

"Mm, you made the one in a million shot!" Eri declared, gesturing to a cluster of festival-goers shaking chunks of watermelon and watermelon juice from their yukata. Some of them looked less than pleased, though others were laughing, and she thought she heard a speculative cry of "Food fight?!" somewhere deeper in the crowd.

Mallory took in the sight of her misfire with wide eyes, reached out to snatch Eri's hand and whispered insistently to her: "Amscray."

Eri blinked in confusion as the witch tugged her away from the contest to run. "Eeh? I haven't gotten to take a swing yet!" she protested, clopping along after the witch in her geta with surprising speed and balance.

"No time for that, we've been made!" Mallory countered as they darted through the crowd, squeezing through the line for a ring ross game, narrowly missing Penny and Trick as they made their escape. "Disguises," she said, and pointed to a mask vendor down the way. They hurried over, throwing cash from their handbags at the startled merchant while they picked two masks at random, still putting them on when they dashed off again!

Mallory's was a bright yellow fox mask that made it difficult to see, with long black-tipped ears, while Eri's was a red tengu mask that she giggled through as she followed the witch. Their loudly clacking geta finally clattered to a halt as they reached the low retaining wall by the shrine, giggling breathlessly as they claimed a seat together.

Mallory sighed through her laughter as she pulled the mask carefully up to the top of her head, mindful of her hairpin. "Hey," she said to Eri.

There was an ominous thump from the direction of the harbor, and both of them turned to look, though no explosion seemed to follow and only a pinpoint of light. The Swiss experts were firing an observation mortar as a test shot, in a prelude of the show to come. Eri looked back at Mal, laughing as she pushed her mask up as well. "Hey, Mal."

Mallory's grin widened, taking on an almost goofy effect. Her vibrant green eyes ticked around slightly, taking in all of her face. She was weighing something. "When you... came back," she said slowly, though her smile did not diminish at the subject as it usually did, "...what's the first thing you remember hearing from me?"

Eri thought about that for a moment, turning her head to look up at the sky. "Hmm... I remember seeing you. And being calmed down. 'Cause first I wanted to wreck the place since I was frustrated I hadn't been able to get out of the cavern. Then the next I remember, I was waking up again and finding the note you wrote me."

"You didn't see us at the temple, then," the witch said quietly. One of the rengou-kai's young "shrimp" found her, someone she'd sent out to fetch drinks for them earlier. The adolescent delinquent gave her a wide-eyed look, sensing the gravity of the conversation, and thrust a couple of beers at them before scampering off.

Eri nodded. "Only at the cavern entrance," she said, and took one of the beers from the delinquent and set it down on the low wall. "I only remember seeing you there. Were there others close?"

Mallory nodded and removed the mask from the top of her head, turning it over in her hand thoughtfully. Thinking of the broken one she had left in the temple... "Roka and Saori, not far behind me." Her eyes roved restlessly over the pavement and the passing crowd. "Could you hear me?"

Eri thought on this longer, not noticing a second test shot over the harbor this time. "I could hear you. You were speaking to me. But by the time I could get back to the house and where my body was, I couldn't remember if I heard what you said to me." She frowned over that for a moment, but soon brightened with a burst of her usual optimism and added, "I kept the note you left, though! I have it framed."

Mallory turned pink, both at her own thoughts and when Eri mentioned framing the note. She reached over and squeezed the delinquent's hand, and turned her head in the direction of the second test shot. "...I'm glad I have you back," she said, lips curling into a smile as she watched the western night sky.

"Mal, you turned pink again!" Eri exclaimed as she watched her. She was thinking over her return to the world, but she beamed a smile nonetheless when she felt and returned the squeeze to her hand. She leaned over to sneak in a kiss to her curled lips before looking west as well, just in time, as the show began.

It was a carefully coordinated and choreographed barrage of fireworks, incorporating all shades of flare and timed patterns, as well as the custom effects that made this an award-winning team.

Mallory giggled softly at the kiss pressed to her smile, and gave Eri's hand another squeeze as the first bursts of fireworks went off over the harbor, some of them loud enough to thud in her chest, where her heart was beating about a mile a minute. She heard Eri sigh, and her smile widened when she felt the delinquent rest her head on her shoulder.

She finally set her mask aside and slid an arm around Eri, holding her closer. "I love you." Just loud enough to be heard over the boom of the fireworks.

Eri looked away from the fireworks to admire Mallory as she leaned back, illuminated by the bursts of light. "I love you!" she declared, raising her voice to be heard. Even with the sounds of the crowd exclaiming over the effects, she kept her gaze on the witch.

Mallory grinned at Eri's shout, her gaze moving over to her and the way she looked at her. "There's something I really want to tell you...!" She had to raise her voice too, now, to be heard over the fireworks show and the rise of the music, as it changed tracks and the fireworks burst to the beat. She turned her head to her ear and spoke in a loud, low, clear voice: "You're the most beautiful creature I will ever know."

The words she had spoken to her at the temple. If Eri couldn't remember them, she deserved to hear them again; Mallory needed her to hear them again.

Eri's beaming smile was able to reflect the colors of the show, and the glow made her even more radiant as she listened to what the witch said into her ear. Eri made a delighted sound and reached out to wrap both arms around Mallory, planting another kiss on her lips.

Mallory squeezed Eri tightly with both arms, giggling softly into the kiss, and drew her face back enough to tip their brows together. Her hands came up to hold her jaw, drawing her thumbs along her cheeks. "Will you marry me?"

Eri's eyes widened with surprise that momentarily stifled her giggling. She nodded quickly, vigorously. "Yes, of course I will!" she shouted, audible for a moment between explosions. "I couldn't imagine ever not being with you," the delinquent added with a sniffle, tears reflecting the lights as her eyes looked directly into Mal's.

Mallory giggled at first, surprised at herself, then at the two of them, her tears mirroring Eri's own as she looked into Eri's eyes. Then she laughed louder, a high, delighted peal of it as she squeezed the delinquent to her chest, tugging her away from the wall to spin with her. Eri clung to Mallory strongly as she spun about on the sidewalk. In her delight her giggling resumed, though hardly audible now over the dramatic swell of the orchestral score, as the fireworks show reached its grand finale.

The witch giggled her way through the last of several more kisses, and forced herself to take a step back from the delinquent. She made a small gesture with her left hand as she willed a trinket out of a small planar pocket, now clutching something in her fingers there, and held out her other hand for Eri's. She knew the finale was going off right about now, based on the rising music and the noise of the crowd and the more frequent and dramatic booms from the fireworks, but she couldn't tear her eyes away.

Eri was still giggling, with streaks of tears now visible on her face. At Mallory's gesture, she gave over her hand. She seemed to have lost track of the sounds around her as she stared at the witch.

It was a dark blue sapphire ring on a white gold band, a familiar color; the stone itself was a match for the ring they had plucked from Mist's mine. "It's, uh." Mallory laughed tearfully, forcing her to sniffle. "I've been thinking about this for a while," she admitted, and slid the ring onto her finger.

Eri could hear Mallory's words, but for a moment was gazing with a glittering gaze at the ring that Mallory held. Her blush was visible, even in the odd lighting of the last of the fireworks. "I thought about it too," she admitted, cooing happily as she held up her hand to admire the sight of the ring there. She rose happily to tiptoes for another kiss.

Mallory returned the kiss, enfolding her hand in both of hers as their bodies met again. The sounds were dying down now, she realized, and she finally looked over her shoulder at the smoke clearing over the western sky, then back at Eri. "We're gonna have a lot to talk about it in Japan," she said through another grin.

"Yes, I think we will!" Eri said with a tremendous grin, noting only now that the fireworks had ceased to the applause of the festival goers. "Hm, it's a good thing we planned to visit my family, ne?" the delinquent pondered with her usual upbeat cheer.

"I might've been thinking about that..." the witch admitted with a sly curl of a smile. She shifted until they were leaning against each other, shoulder to shoulder, and held up their hands with their fingers laced together, watching the dark sapphire as it caught the light.

((Adapted from live play with Eri, with references to Trick, Penny, and Collie at the Tanabata live play event, with thanks!))


Last edited by Mallory on Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Mallory
Old Wyrm
Old Wyrm


Joined: 03 Sep 2016
Posts: 323
See this user's pet
Jobs: Apothecary, Alchemist
Can Be Found: The Lyceum or Kabuki Street, most of the time
22109.26 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mallory was at the Lyceum that night, gossiping with Safiya in a low voice as they both leaned on the counter, mostly done with the process of reviewing their inventory. The witch was in a tank top and jeans and boots, all stained with soot and ash and brightly colored dyes (along with her fingers), and she looked to be in good spirits if a little tired.

From the sound of their words, the pair were speaking in Koine, Ancient Greek.

Eri had memorized the map that Mallory had drawn for her and found the nearest Lyceum door, which had disappeared after hours but manifested when it sensed the delinquent's approach. She was dressed up in a fancier outfit than her usual delinquent or summer wear: the green dress she wore wasn't a new one, but the shoes were. She had a shopping bag in hand, and was peering curiously around the shop as she came through. "Mal?" she asked, following the voices to the shop's pentagonal counter.

Safiya turned and saw Eri, giggled, and promptly flushed with embarrassment. Mallory swatted at the mage's arm as she strode away, a couple of ledgers tucked under her arm. "Congratulations," she intoned to the delinquent as she exited.

Eri flushed slightly at the giggle, but also looked particularly glowing as she smiled and bowed. "Thank you," she replied in her soft diminished voice. "Hey, Malallory," she greeted as the mage departed, the lock clicking after her. "How was the shop today?"

"Good! Think I got us another customer through the duels," the witch said, stretching until the tank too bared her midriff as she sauntered over. She settled her hands on Eri's shoulders and looked her over. "You look very pretty all dressed up," she observed, and tilted her head and grinned. "What's the occasion?"

"Oh, did you summon the apparition?" Eri asked, having seen it at work at the bazaar previously. Her head tipped until the witch's hands settled on her shoulders, and she straightened to beam proudly at her compliment. "Thanks! I went shopping at some places I was afraid might try to take advantage if they knew I was a delinquent. But I had Yuko along for technical advice too." She paused for a moment, nearly bursting with excitement as she said, "Close your eyes!"

"Yeah, the specter, it seemed like a good way to drum up -- oh -- okay!" Mallory held her hands behind her back and closed her eyes. Even giggled once. "Safiya shouldn't be coming back tonight, but we should probably go upstairs just in case," she said, completely misunderstanding her intentions.

"Eeh?" Eri hadn't grasped the misunderstanding yet. She saw the way Mallory's hands were held behind her back and couldn't resist rising to her tiptoes a bit to press a kiss to the witch's mouth. "Well, soon! But first I need to see your hand for a moment," she chimed in a lyrical singsong tone.

Oh! Well, Mallory's smile crept wider, and her lips twitched as she tried to control that, and held out her hand as instructed.

Once she was certain Mallory wasn't peeking, Eri got the box from the bag she'd carried in, opening it and placing the ring in the witch's hand. It was white gold to match the one Mallory had given her, and that she was wearing continually since. The look was a bit different, and featured a small but quality star corundum. "Okay, now you can look!" came the piping declaration.

Mallory's eyes opened, and she gasped. "Eri, that's so pretty..." Her eyes were damp, and she huffed a soft laugh as she tugged a glass band off of her left ring finger, the one marked with the beginning of the tattoo of the red bondage rope. Then she held it out for Eri to slide the ring on, though her gaze kept flicking between it and Eri's face.

Eri made a delighted sound at Mallory's reaction. "I thought I could easily imagine it on you, this one particularly," she agreed with a happy humming sound. She happily took the ring to slide onto Mallory's finger, admiring the way it looked next to the tattoo. "I'm happy! It looks just right there!"

"It does. My bond to the Veil... second," Mallory said, tapping the tattoo on her ring finger, "and my bond to you... first," tapping the ring. She leaned forward to lightly brush a kiss against Eri's lips, and grinned at her. "Come home with me?"

Eri's eyes glittered at the words Mallory said, grinning radiantly. Her head was canted just so to be kissed, and she broke into a grin again in unison with the witch. "Sure, let's head home, and head uptairs there instead!" she added with a giggle.

Mallory laughed brightly as she tugged on Eri's hand, opening the door for them with a flourish. It slammed on its own once they were gone, and vanished soon after.

((Adapted from live play with Eri, with thanks!))
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