Practice Makes Progress (Rashmi Terios)

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Practice Makes Progress (Rashmi Terios)
Date of Cutscene: 05 June 2017
Location: Park
Synopsis: Rashmi fine-tunes her Labyrinth Barrier, and has something of a conversation with her Boost Device.
Cast of Characters: 2648

bing! << LABYRINTH BARRIER. >>

Rashmi managed to keep from staggering as the magic rushed into the triple-layered circle at her feet, then coalesced into a roiling, seething yellow-orange dome around the world. Nicomachea warned that even with the optimization the energy costs would be immense, but it still surprised her just how much *work* it was to fire off spells of this magnitude, despite the fact that there was very little physical effort involved.

But between Mizuno-senpai and Nicomachea, Rashmi was swiftly learning that there was a great deal more to working magic than she'd ever thought possible. Some of the calculations involved in the simpler spells were beginning to make sense; not so much that she could cast them unaided, but enough that tweaking the basic spells she'd learned was beginning to seem like a doable prospect, and not far beyond her ability.

"Okay, Nicomachea," Rashmi said, dabbing at her brow with the sleeve of her free arm, more out of reflex than to get rid of sweat, "Show me where the weak point is every time space gets refolded?"

<< ACKNOWLEDGED, >> said the book, and to her right and above her a bright white light flashed, accompanied by a bell chiming. A few seconds later, another flashed to her left closer to eye level, followed by another bell. For the next few minutes, as space around her was refolded again and again and again, and Rashmi frowned to herself as she noticed a pattern developing. "Nicomachea, the locations are looking pretty random, and that's good... but every time I count to four, that's when the weak point changes. Can you fix it so the time is as random as the space?"

bing! << ACKNOWLEDGED, >> the book said again. << COLLAPSING BARRIER CONSTRUCT, MASTER. >>

This time, Rashmi was braced enough for the moment that she could only describe as her Linker Core drawing in a huge breath, causing a rush of dizziness to pass through her. That she didn't move very much this time, she noted with a small amount of pride. "Thanks, Nicomachea," she said as reality asserted its proper color and shade around them. "How long d'you think it'll take to set up this new version?"

bing! << REFERENCING PRIOR COMPILATION INDEX... ..... ....... ..... ...FOUR HOURS, MASTER. >>

"Enough time to get dinner and see if Mami needs help grinding the cardamom," Rashmi murmured, bobbing her head. "Okay! Thanks, we'll pick this up again after I'm done with homework?"

bing! << ACKNOWLEDGED, MASTER. CAUTION ADVISED -- REPEATED EXERTION WILL REQUIRE EXTENDED REST. >>

"I know," the redhead said, releasing her Barrier Jacket as her Device shed its ornamentation in a flurry of flakes of golden light. "But we need to get this done right. It's not just Mercury-senpai that's counting on us, it's everyone. There's no one else that can do this if we can't. I know that means a lot of work for you, and danger for all three of us." She cupped the sunburst-shaped charm in both hands, eyes on the glass-like cabochon at its center. "I'm sorry about that, I am. But we're it, y'know?"

Silence from the book, as Rashmi gathered her things. "Do you understand, Nicomachea?"

bing! << UNDERSTOOD, MASTER. ALGORITHM OPTIMIZATION COMMENCING. >>

While the Device's voice managed to sound paradoxically wise and inhumanly monotone, Rashmi had come to recognize the nuances in Nicomachea's behavior. Picking out the subtext from its responses was hit or miss at best at the moment, but this was an easy one. "Thank you, Nicomachea... And thanks for caring."

<< ACKNOWLEDGED, MASTER. >>

Though she was still a little woozy, Rashmi's step was light as she wove between the park trees, and back to the sidewalk. Progress was measurable on several fronts, and Papi was making hot-pot for dinner.

It was pretty a good day.