1526/The High Road

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The High Road
Date of Scene: 28 May 2016
Location: Pikarigaoka - Seiyou Public School
Synopsis: Runealy, her Guardians, and Fate were all once villains in their own ways. Now, they seek to do good in the world by joining Virtue.
Cast of Characters: Tadase Hotori, Amu Hinamori, Runealy Waldia, Hinote Kagari, Fate T. Waldia, Gaofele Doiru, Valeria Barun


Tadase Hotori has posed:
It's a wonderful day in the Royal Garden - a saturday afternoon. And while it's a giant greenhouse, it's just the perfect temperature inside, as always - wether magic or an effect of amazing engineering is left unknown.

The summer varieties of the smorgasboard of plans are blooming, and the whole place is ideal. Up at the top of the dias where the Seiyou Guardians sit is Tadase, knocking out some paperwork (as usual, some of the other guardians (Kukai, Yaya) have not been pulling their entire weight.) while waiting for today's guests to show up. Kiseki is sprawled out on the table, drawing pictures of himself (of course) on a tiny notepad.

But Tadase is obviously a bit excited - as he usually is when more people are coming to join the cause he feels most strongly about. Perhaps more strongly than his partner here today, Amu, he considers. But that's a different concern.

On the table in front of him, on the side closest to the door, are an array of Virtue's special magical phones - colored appropriately for each member of the Waldians.
Amu Hinamori has posed:
Summer is probably Amu's favourite time of year, and it's coming on soon. The weather has turned warm outside, but here in the greenhouse, it's cool and comfortable. Suitably, Amu is kitted up in a black jean skirt with an overall bib, over a pink teeshirt with black horizontal stripes. The teen has her pink hair up in a side-pony, and she's reclining at the table, leaned back with her white sneakers and up on the table, reading a magazine while Tadase works.

Nearby, a trio of small fairies are busy having tea together--one drawing, two gossipping, as they also take the time to relax. Amu doesn't look terribly excited, but she does look relaxed, which is probably as good.
Runealy Waldia has posed:
Runealy has made gestures about this in the past, but something has always interferred. Today, she had some misgivings about the meeting but opted not to delay it any further... there is something on her mind, but it can be brought up during the talks. On the ride over, she seemed nervous even as they got out of the limo to arrive at school and begin marching toward the garden. "Maybe this will be a chance for us to make good on what we said we'd do if we got through the Barrier restoration... is everyone ready?"

She has brought few special materials to this. Dressed formally, but otherwise bringing little else of note and constantly looking back from friend to friend.
Hinote Kagari has posed:
Hinote Kagari arrives along side Runealy in the limo. He is wearing a white shirt, with a stylized ruddish redorange suit jacket with stylized buttons that seems to be embossed with some sort of design of wrapping vines up a post. He has a tie. He is wearing black dress slacks, with fancy- probably too expensive shoes. He looks snappy as ever. Only the bottom two buttons of the suit jacket at buttoned.

He notices Runealy's nervousness- something he's come accustomed to picking up. He pats pats her shoulder. "It'll be okay, Runealy." he assures the Princess. "They're not going to scorn us or turn us away. If they do, I have strong words." he insists.

"I'm ready." he says with a soft matter of fact nod as he withdraws his hand. "Lead the way Princess." he says reassuringly.
Fate T. Waldia has posed:
    Fate Testarossa is here with Runealy, in a plain white summer dress. The whole concept of this is kindof weird. After all, she fought against Virtue a number of times, and she never officially sent in any letter of resignation to Eclipse (though her sudden disappearance after being purified certainly gave everyone a strong enough hint). In a way, she feels a bit like a traitor. Not to her mother, no, but to Euphemia and Takashi.

    Yet, this is the crowd she ran with now. These were the people who were kind enough to take her in when she had nowhere to go. Runealy has always been nice to her, and Fate really isn't cut out to be a villain. That's what Ayana said they were, isn't it? Villains?

    "I'm ready, Rune-chan... I hope I don't cause too much of a problem," says Fate apologetically.
Gaofele Doiru has posed:
"About as ready as I'll ever be," Gaofele replies with a wry smile. He had been putting extra effort into his schoolwork as of late, and while his grades were pretty good as a result, his mind had been a bit preoccupied.

Still, this meeting is important, so he had put some focus into it. From habit, he had dressed with a similar mindset as when he attended royal functions with Rune back in Waldia: match the formality, but in a subdued manner so the princess could shine in comparison. Of course, the clothes are an Earth suit instead of Waldian fashions, but the concept is still there.

He nods to Hinote. "Hopefully it won't come to that," Gao notes. "I'm not sure how it'll go, but I trust in Rune's diplomacy."
Valeria Barun has posed:
    Sometimes words of encouragement and comfort are needed. Sometimes a small pep talk and a reminder to trust in yourself can do a world of good and all the difference. But there's also times when small worries needn't be addressed, times when sorting them out or simply working past them on your own can provide self assurance and confidence in one's own actions in the future. As Valeria arrives at the greenhouse with the other Waldian's she estimates this is one of those latter times, for Runealy. Diplomacy is an important trait for a leader, a Princess, a Queen, and one Runealy could use some confidence in, so rather than offering words of encouragement she instead aids with her mere presence.

    She's wearing her favorite green and white dress, perfectly appropriate for important formal meetings, walking with her back straight and her head lifted- though not too much. Ease, calm, and confidence practically radiate off of her as she walks slowly with perfect Waldian manners.

    A warm smile shows on her face as she nods her head once to Runealy, "I am. They'll surely see how serious about showing our gratitude for their help and kidness, Rune." A short glance is sent towards Fate after she speaks, and she gives the young girl a briefly warmer smile. She was, after all, one of those that provided that help.
Tadase Hotori has posed:
Tadase is... actually rather bad at maintaining formality in a general sense, and today in a special sense. The Waldians (plus a midchildan and a waldian adoptee) are able to all get inside the doors and start walking before Tadase is able to pull himself mentally away from his current source of distraction.

And when he does see them all, he stands up rather rapidly, hand in the air waving them over. "Hey!" he shouts, a big smile on his face. This is obviously not some terse diplomatic function. And in fact, as the others come forward, it's Seiyou's King's Chair who ends up trying to pull out chairs for every member of the group to sit down at. "I'm glad you finally decided to meet with us. This is Amu Hinamori, and I'm Tadase Hotori for anyone who doesn't know. I handle this sorta thing for Virtue."
Amu Hinamori has posed:
When the Waldians enter the garden, Amu looks up from her Magazine and leans forward, dropping feet to floor. She smiles, "Runealy-hime!" she calls, waving to her fellow pinkelette excitedly. Rising, she greets the princess and her entourage with a warm smile.

"It's good to see you guys," Amu says, though Fate is definitely new to her. "How's your new place working out? I hope the evil artwork demon's all gone, now."
Runealy Waldia has posed:
"I don't think we'll need 'strong' words for this, but thank you," Rune nods to Hino's assurances. Fate's caution is met with a blink. "You've helped solve more problems than I could have ever hoped, you know. Not worried about you 'causing' any."

"It really won't 'come to' things like that... I have a few things I'm not sure about," she remarks to Gao, "but they're a big part of why we're standing here, alive. I'm more worried about a few problems we've had lately that they might be concerned about, but they're definitely going to work 'on the level' with us at least. I know that much. Glad you're here, though. It... means a lot."

Vale's own insights back this up, and get a relieved glance. "Hope so. I'm going to just come out and admit what they ought to be worried about, and then it's up to them how they feel about it. Maybe it'll still work out okay."

Once they're inside, she blinks as things turn /very/ un-formal in one heck of a hurry... and shyly returns the wave. "You do? I had no idea... we've met Amu before though, she helped with..." A nod over to Amu, "With that. Yes, it's doing a lot better after that. We've had a few fights near it, but it's pretty good for the most part! Actually..."

She takes a seat, turning nervous as her gaze wanders from friend to friend, then to their hosts (who are also friends). "There is just one problem you should know about. I think most of us are absolutely fit to join, and are serious about helping you back. Even Fate... maybe especially her; she has changed so much in the last few weeks, for the better. The problem is me. I..." Her gaze lowers. "...I believe I killed someone. The one with the knives, working with the White Flower. Several people have been attacking us lately, furious about that... that 'murder.' Murder, that's the word they keep using about it."

She is half right. Half wrong. People have been seeking revenge, but the princess doesn't realize it's over someone else entirely and not the blade-wielder who tried to kill her for fun, only to instead be buried in debris. She speaks as though that terrain-based attack was fatal, apparently unaware it was not. "So I'm asking that you at least let the others in, as they had nothing to do with that."
Fate T. Waldia has posed:
    Fate smiles sheepishly as Rune says that she's not worried. Well, Rune can go ahead and not worry, because Fate will do it for her. When they enter the greenhouse and meet their hosts, Fate stares up at Amu and... doesn't enter as quickly as the others do. Fate clearly remembers her from at least one fight. Maybe she'll forget? Or not notice? Or not care?

    Either way, Fate's not making a big deal of herself right now, sitting at a chair when invited and not saying much aside from a very softly spoken, "Hello."

    The young midchildan looks up at Runealy as the princess talks. Even if this meeting is informal, it's still a bit awkward for the little girl. Maybe if she doesn't say anything...
Hinote Kagari has posed:
Hinote Kagari raises a hand and gives a soft wave. "Hello, Tadase. Hello Amu." he says with a warm smile. He crosses his arms afterwards, just softly against his chest as he nods contently. Then he lets the Princess talk as he listens.

"Fate's a friend. She's staying with us." he insists. "One of the people who helped saved Waldia." he insists. "Remember."

He does however, frown heavily when accusations of murder come about. "I refuse to belive that's the case. The only one that came closest to killing anyone during our affair was me. When-- when that stupid magic battery took over me and made me try to kill Homura." he mutters.

He keeps his arms crossed uncomfortably now as he talks after.

"Regardless. We can't prove that one way or another, but I'd be apt to belive some sneaky, poison using girl who stabs people in the back." he takes a seat softly as he sits down. He uncrosses his arms.
Valeria Barun has posed:
    Tadase's wave prompts another smile from Valeria, who upon seeing the tone of the presumptive leader of the other side of the meeting lifts her right hand to shoulder height and waves with her fingers. She'll let Runealy return the greeting first verbally, as is proper, before cheerfully replying, "Thank you Tadase, and good afternoon." To Amu she gives another wave, "Happily we've had no further encounters with that particular problem, in large part thanks to you."

    The seat is pulled out for her and whether or not Tadase pushes it in as well she dips down in a curtsy, "My thanks, good sir." The gesture given she carefully takes a seat, sitting down and smoothing out her dress in a single practiced motion, hands folding neatly in her lap afterwards.

    Her smile shifts momentarily to a frown as Runealy brings up the recent attack and links it to... events she knows very little about. Her eyes turn to Hinote as he speaks, and she gives a nod of agreement, "That woman was issuing slander against you and your family. Her tactics were similar to a Demons; underhanded and vile. Though she seemed to believe them her words may merely have been an attempt to distract and upset us."
Gaofele Doiru has posed:
Gaofele Doiru glances around at the plants in the greenhouse, nodding approvingly. Definitely not the same as a wild forest, but a good variety and lots of growth nonetheless -- certainly a plus in his book!

He nods to Tadase and Amu. There's a moment's hesitation as he debates whether to take the offered seat or remain standing, then he sits down while the others recap recent events. "Even if she wasn't a demon, she certainly seemed to agree with their line of thinking," he agrees.
Tadase Hotori has posed:
"I'm glad to hear that you guys have already worked so well together." Tadase says, regarding the pink-haired girls. "Because that's really what this meeting, what Virtue is all about. Helping each other out. Stopping threats together." he continues, with a smile as he finds his own chair.

"I've been made aware of some of your story, Runealy-hime, but I would still at some point like to hear the whole thing in your words. But what I do know is, you've become one of the things we appreciate the most, one of the things that reflects what Virtue stands for."

"You, and those around you..." and there's a nod to Fate too, here "were once our enemies, once fought us for reasons both real and false. But now you're here today with us as friends, as allies, standing with us against the darkness. And when you get right down to it, that's the core of Virtue. We want to protect everyone we can - even those who might today call us enemies, because tomorrow, they may yet become friends."

"That's why the fact that you've decided to allow us to call on you for help, and call us on for help in return, is such a big deal to me personally. Your story is one that starts sad but has now become happy."
Runealy Waldia has posed:
Rune is visibly surprised to see others shoot down her attempts at blocking herself from joining Virtue. She blinks several times as they point out their objections, gaze drifting from friend to friend, as they refute the implications. As Tadase shows absolutely no interest in some sort of 'everyone but Rune' application to the group. "We still need to figure out what's going on, but... okay. Maybe you're right," her face snaps up, sweeping eyes across everyone gathered here.

"In that case... yes, I'll tell you everything, whenever you'd like. For this very moment though, I'll be 'what you appreciate most.' Maybe not everything is happy yet, but we're working on it. And part of that is being here with you, so... I'll let the others speak for themselves, but I?"

She stands up, expression turning very serious and determined. "I'm formally asking to join with you, to help take care of Earth and Tokyo and people here, and see who else can become a 'former enemy.'"
Fate T. Waldia has posed:
    When Tadase points Fate out specifically, she sheepishly shrinks in her chair and mutters, "S-sorry..."

    ... but no one seems to be mad at her, and no one seems to be mad at Runealy and the rest of her Guardians, either. When she's sure that it will be okay, she sits up a bit more straight. On the other end of a telepathic link, Arf is telling her to have courage.

    After listening to the others give their piece, she nods. "That's right. I don't like to hurt people if I can avoid it, and if I can I want to make things better, or at least stop them from getting worse."

    To protect everyone they can? That's certainly a different philosophy from Eclipse, but it... feels right. More natural to her.
Hinote Kagari has posed:
Hinote Kagari looks from Tadase to Amu as he nods matter of factly. "I'm with Runealy on this of course." he says. "We still have a debt to repay. That will never change. This is the start of that. Not in full. Never in full." he says.

He looks down at Fate and shakes her head. "No need to apologize. You've done enough, Fate." he smiles at her reassuringly. People saying Sorry.. always kinds of bothers him when it's unwarranted. "Things are better now." he says.

He looks back up to Tadase.

"That's right. There's other people there who were like us at first. Maybe just worried and confused and desperate." he says.
Gaofele Doiru has posed:
"In a way, not much has changed," Gao notes in a quiet voice. "I still seek to protect our worlds from those who would prey on ordinary people." His lips quirk upward into a slight smile. "There's now just fewer conflicts with those that also fight against the would-be predators."

He nods to the rest of the Waldian (and hosted) contingent, then gives Tadase and Amu a huge grin. "I would be honored to be affiliated with Virtue," Gaofele declares.
Valeria Barun has posed:
    "If we continue working together as we have been then I'm sure true happiness will come," Valeria adds to the conversation. "Turning enemies to friends is a noble cause, and from what I've seen and what Princess Runealy has told me you live up to that cause and that mission."

    She stands carefully from her chair, gripping the corners of her dress carefully and dips herself in a formal curtsy, "I too would submit myself to your membership, if you would approve it." Afterwards Valeria's smile widens brightly and she claps her hands together, "The formal declaration of friendship is a cause for celebration, is it not? I believe our futures are made only brighter by binding them together in this way. We do have worries and challenges to face, but how much more capable we are when we do so together!"

    She steps back away from the table and opens her arms to motion to the others, "I feel festive! Such an occasion is a new beginning to be cherished. Perhaps music and wine?" she suggests, looking between the others assembled with her bright, inviting smile.
Tadase Hotori has posed:
Tadase laughs a bit. "No wine, but we can certainly have some snacks I can pull out of the back. Now I kinda wished I'd ordered pizzas or something!" he adds.

"Well, I have to say, it's good to see you all smiling. I mean it..." Tadase leans forwards and pushes one phone towards each of the new arrivals. "I know you're probably used to royal pomp and circumstance and while... I'm actually pretty good for that, it turns out it makes some people uncomfortable."

Kiseki pipes up from his sketching. "Commoners. It makes commoners uncomfortable." Kiseki says, then goes back to drawing. Tadase rolls his eyes.

"Anyways... these phones really are more than just phones. They connect to a special, magical channel. They'll keep your henshin identities secret if you care about that sort of thing - and they'll give you a link in to HEARTnet, our messageboard. Keep an eye on it and you'll have a better idea about the sort of things that are going on." he says with a smile. And you can use it to broadcast calls for help, and pick em up."
Runealy Waldia has posed:
"They're a big part of why we're here," Rune comments to Valeria. "When I was really, really sick and we finally decided we were done draining people... they found us in the abandoned store, and asked us to live in one of their 'safe houses' instead. That did a lot to help." She speaks in a serious tone, recalling just how bad those circumstances were. Nonetheless, Vale's plans meet some agreement and she smiles at first: "That said, sure... music and wi-- wait," confusion replaces the smile. "What?"

Tadase has somewhat different ideas. "Pizza would have been fine, but I'm sure what you have is good too!" When a phone is offered to her, she reaches out to take it with a slow, anticipating hand. Once it touches her fingers, the phone flashes in light... and makes a somewhat expected change: It is now primarily red, with a white streak in the center. The back and top-front gain a shield-and-heart emblem to them, a nod to her national identity. While that's no surprise given her priorities and sense of self, she looks wondrously impressed all the same. "That's amazing..." She's being less 'royal pomp' and formal now.

Smiling? Tadase spoke of that. Once she finishes inspecting the new phone, Rune enthusiastically looks to him with just that on her mouth. "Thank you! Hey," She looks around to everyone else, "What'd your phones turn out like?" She's very curious to see what sort of things happen with Fate's, Hino's, Vale's, and Gao's phones... what will theirs do for customization?
Fate T. Waldia has posed:
    Fate looks at the phone that's pushed towards her, then up at Tadase, and back to the phone again. She remembers having a phone like that, but these certainly look different. She reaches out to touch it, surprised as it suddenly changes in her hand. A black and yellow color scheme, with a silhouette of Fate's henshin, all black except for her hair, which has been stylized to look like lightning.

    "Neat," she comments.

    She taps on the screen a few times, digging through the files. "Oh hey. Games! My last one didn't have an-- err..." She looks sheepish again, despite what people told her earlier, but she recovers a bit more quickly this time. "Thank you!"

    Upon being asked, Fate shows hers to Runealy, especially making sure to show Fate's silhouette on it.
Hinote Kagari has posed:
Hinote Kagari gives Vale sideeye. Wine. Yes, that's totally what we need. Except we're all incredibly underaged for Earth and he knows it's scandolus on Waldia, too. Still he just politely shakes his head and sighhhhs out, in a more teasing manner.

"Vale, I need to start teaching you about 'Earth Nobility' soon." he insists. "Really I need to learn what that's like on the Waldian side, too. Soon alright?" he asks. "My Dad's dragging me to a function soon. So that might be best." he says.

He looks back to Tadase as he reaches out to touch the phone and take it into his hand. It's orange! It gains a tiny sword sigil- backed by some sort of flame sigil. He purses his lips and nods. "That's about right." he says. He flips through the phone a bit as he pockets it softly-- but only after showing it to Runealy, who seems curious, with a slight smile.

"Snacks would be nice, Tadase, thank you." he says softly.
Gaofele Doiru has posed:
There's a green flash from the phone that Gao takes, and it likewise takes a fitting form. The casing is a bit thicker, with the sides textured and colored like leaves and bark, while the back resembles foliage. The top-front has a crossed bow and quarterstaff for an emblem, and the emblem on the back is the Waldian shield-and-heart (in contrasting shades of green, natch).

Gaofele looks at his phone, then nods appreciatively and shows it to the others. "This will certainly make it easier to lend a hand," the forester nods, pocketing the phone after a few moments. "And snacks would be much appreciated, thank you."
Valeria Barun has posed:
    "Snacks will do nicely, thank you," Valeria happily responds. At the mention of being used to pomp and circumstance she smiles, "It is equally enjoyable to me to see how the people of Earth enjoy themselves." An amused look is given towards Kiseki and she adds, "Even the commoners."

    When Runealy emphasizes the role Virtue played Valeria looks to Tadase and nods her head graciously, "Thank you. It comforts me that Rune was able to meet people so kind and noble." Runealy reacts to her mention of wine with confusion and Valeria's reaction is equally confused, "There is always wine presented at formal celebrations, is there not?" A short pause and she mistakenly realizes, "Oh! But this one was not intended to be so formal after all." She recovers and inclines her head towards Hinote, "That would be lovely; I haven't been keeping up on that aspect of Earth's culture as well as I'd hoped."

    Her eyes go next to the cell phone presented to her, looking at it with avid curiosity. When Runealy picks up hers and it magically alters to better suit her she lets out an impressed, "Oh!" It doesn't take her long to reach out and pick up the one placed in front of her, having the advantage of expecting the sudden change that happens, silver filigree appearing and covering the back of the phone, small green gems that match her earrings and necklace appearing ornamentally laid out on the screen as her background. When Rune asks to see them she holds her phone out so she can see, showing both sides.

    Once she's done showing it off Valeria immediately starts digging into the non-standard functions of the phone, namely HEARTnet, to see what it's all about.
Tadase Hotori has posed:
Tadase smiles as everyone takes their phones and the 'magic happens' so to speak - the automatic customization might be a small thing, but the personal nature of their devices says something about Virtue - in Virtue, nobody is replacable, everyone is valuable and valued, and everyone's worth something.

He gets up and heads to the back and comes back with loads of odangos and pocky and chips and sets them down only to return with a two-liter of soda and some cups. "Like I said... we uh... may not do fancy real well.. but the food's good! Sorry, if Nadeshiko wasn't so busy I'd have asked her to cook. Maybe we'll have to schedule a real fancy dinner so we can do that right." he says with a smile.

"But please, dig in anyways. It's my pleasure to welcome the newest members of Virtue." he says, sitting down and reaching for a stick of pocky. "Is there anything you'd like to ask us, or anything we can help you with directly? I know some of you have talked about this being some sort of a payback, but I really don't keep debts or anything like that. I want to know if there's anyway we can help you, as much as any ways you can help us."
Fate T. Waldia has posed:
    Fate is all smiles as she looks around at the Waldians and their excitement over the phones. She giggles at their reactions, and then looks up expectantly as Tadase vanishes and returns with snacks. She reaches out to take a stick of pocky and gleefully bites from the chocolate end.

    Cheerfully, she says to Tadase, "Thank you! It doesn't have to be fancy. I'm used to um... junk food meetings." After a moment she blinks and then holds up her hands apologetically. "I mean... not that this is junk! These are good snacks! I just... mean... um... how do Earth people say it...?"

    She clears her throat, and holds out her right hand, where a yellow triangle rests on the back of her black fingerless gloves. "Bardiche, Confirm."

    A single black Jewel Seed rises from the triangle, surrounded in a sparkling dark magical sphere. The red letters VII glow on its surface. <SERIAL SEVEN CONFIRMED>

    "There's one thing you can help with, and this concerns the city, not just me. I don't know how much you know about the Jewel Seeds, but it's important that they don't fall into the wrong hands. Or really, they need to be kept away from anyone who would use them. They're dangerous to the user, I know that first hand, and... some people in Eclipse want them. My mother does, too."

    The jewel seed vanishes, and Fate looks away. "... anyways. That's something we can talk about. I know a lot of us have other problems. Someone's been attacking us recently. I don't know that much about it."