Noroiko Report (Miho Kagami)

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Noroiko Report (Miho Kagami)
Date of Cutscene: 17 March 2019
Location: Kagami residence
Synopsis: While recovering from being drained by Poderoso during the evens of Mistakes Were Made, Miho writes up a report describing everything she knows about Noroiko, the Life Blessing, and the Death Curse. With Noroiko reading over her shoulder.
Cast of Characters: Miho Kagami
Tinyplot: Life and Shadows

Miho sat in her bedroom in a forest-green nightgown, typing up a report on the computer. When she'd come home from "Maria-chan's" place yesterday, her parents had been worried due to her apparent sudden "illness", and now Miho was staying at home and resting.

She knew full well that magical purification and healing wasn't enough to recover from being energy-drained by a vampire, after all.

Still, she felt like she was mostly recovered. Her parents might not even get in the way of going to school tomorrow, in fact. But there was one complication which suggested that she wasn't fully recovered yet.

"Oh, MAN, you're typing up a whole report-thingy!?" said a shadowy fox-eared silhouette, reading over her shoulder. "These computer things are awesome!"

"Don't you have anything better to do, Noroiko-san?" muttered Miho without looking back.

"ABSOLUTELY NOT!" shouted Noroiko. Ever since they'd discovered that mundane people couldn't see or hear her after her father walked in on the two of them, Noroiko had become considerably more obnoxious. "Remember? I'm not physically capable of interacting with the world." She grinned. "Otherwise, you'd be in much worse shape, Life Mage Joy."

Miho shrugged, tuned her out, and typed up the report.

Okay so: I'm Miho Kagami, aka Life Witch Joy, the bearer of the Death Curse and the Life Blessing. I am writing this while recovering from being partially drained by Poderoso, the evil jerkface vampire dude who is the source of Lacrima becoming a vampire. A fox-spirit named Noroiko is sort of attached to the Death Curse, and as a result of the draining, she's just, like. Not going away. She went back into my shadow after the fight with Poderoso, but now she's come out again.

Here's everything I know about the subject. Some of you already know most of this, but I'm putting it out so it's all in one place.

Noroiko is basically this smug kinda jerk who wants me to die. The --

"Yep!" Noroiko gave Miho a thumbs-up.

-- Death Curse is held in check by my Life Blessing. However, when I become subject to negative emotions, or i.e. I've been drained by a redhead jerk vampire, the Life Blessing becomes weaker. At the moment, it's nowhere near enough to be a danger or anything so far, but I'm sorta waiting to recover before I try to do anything intense, it's kinda worrying my parents today. When the Curse is strong enough compared to the Life Blessing (i.e. now), Noroiko is able to manifest as this shadowy foxgirl silhouette who can't move very far away from me, but it looks like mundane people can't see and hear her, and she can't interact with anything. Literally everyone who's met her thinks she's just annoying.

"Really!?" said Noroiko. "Never woulda guessed!"

The Death Curse and the Life blessing were passed down from mother to daughter, with the origination being my great grandmother and namesake Miho Oujino. So about seventy years ago, in 1949, Miho-baasan was kidnapped by a spider-demon named Kagekumo. His goal was to sacrifice Miho-baasan to an artifact of doom called the Shadow Jade, into which Noroiko was sealed some unknown time ago, with the goal of unsealing and releasing Noroiko. However, Miho-baasan was rescued by a group of heroes which included the previous bearer of the Life Blessing, Life Mahou Wonder (civilian name unknown), who blew up the Shadow Jade and sent the shards flying in all directions. This resulted in the Death Curse hitting Miho-baasan, so Life Mahou Wonder implanted the Life Blessing in her and --

"It became embedded in her soul," Noroiko said curtly.

Miho blinked and turned. "Wait, what?"

"You still haven't figured this stuff out, ugh." Noroiko smirked. "Near as I can tell from the inside," she said, "the Death Curse became embedded in your ancestor's soul, Kagami-san. In order to effectively counteract it, the Life Blessing had to be implanted to the same extent." She gestured expansively. "Neither of them can be removed without killing you."

Miho stared at her, mind racing. This was not good news. This was not good at all.

One question stood out, however. "How does one implant the Life Blessing in someone else?"

Noroiko snorted. "You'd know better than I would, Life Mage!"

Miho considered this. "I ... faintly remember Life Mahou Wonder getting other magical girls to help her with it," she said. "From, like, your memories and things. But that's about it."

"Yeah," said Noroiko. "I don't know anything about the practicals of implanting it, either."

Miho turned back to the computer.

Okay. Noroiko has just informed me that as far as she as she can tell, the Death Curse became embedded in Miho-baasan's soul (and therefore mine), which means that it would be impossible to remove it without killing me, and the Life Blessing's the same way. Neither of us knows the exact mechanics of doing stuff with the Life Blessing, we just know it involves help from other people.

I feel like Noroiko's kind of annoyed at me not knowing stuff. I'm --

"NO! You think!?" said Noroiko.

-- taking this with a grain of salt, but it all kinda makes sense to me, so ... I'll sort of accept all this until further notice.


She really wants the Shadow Jade to get put together so that she can actually be freed. To that end, she's been having the shards of the Shadow Jade "possess" various youma and boost their power; I call the result a "Shard Youma." The Death Curse inside me can be used to locate the shards, and apparently if I was ever kidnapped, they could use me to locate them; I encountered two Shard Youma a whole year ago, which used the resonance with my Death Curse to try to lure me in, but there haven't been any since I started transforming right after that --

"Because I'm not an idiot," Noroiko said dryly.

Miho smirked. "You don't think a Shard Youma would be able to capture me?"

Noroiko snickered. "I know my limits!" she said. "And even if it could solo you alone, you're smart enough to bring other people with you. I figured that much out from the incident with the Shadow Witch's familiar."

-- because Noroiko, according to herself just now, is "not an idiot."

There's apparently a whole line of Life Mahous, all of them bearing the power of the Life Blessing, and each with their own sorta 'emotion', i.e. "Life Mahou Wonder" or "Life Mahou Joy". However, the line is somewhat malleable, hence how I was able to change myself from a generic Sailor PreCure to Life Witch Joy; Noroiko has always insisted on calling me a "Life Mage" for some reason even though I've never been called that, so I'm pretty sure that's what the original title was before it became "Mahou" or whatever. I still have no idea where the Life Blessing actually originally came from, but --

Noroiko suddenly started giggling uncontrollably.

Miho turned back to face her, frowning. "What's so funny?"

Noroiko started giggling even more.

"Like it's not even annoying me," said Miho. "You're just being weird now."

"You just ..." Noroiko snickered. "You just keep looking into that!" she said. Still giggling, she walked right up to Miho, sank into her shadow, and vanished.

Miho stared at her shadow for a moment.

Then she turned back to the computer.

Okay, that was weird. Noroiko just giggled a whole bunch, told me to "just keep looking into that", and then disappeared into my shadow again.

This ... has a bunch of weird implications. I'm not even sure what they all are. But I think it's pretty obvious her reaction just now is another piece of the puzzle.

I dunno what she's going to do next, or even what Kagekumo is up to right now, but you know I'm gonna be taking this really carefully while I get ready for what happens.

— Life Witch Joy

Miho looked it over a few times, then posted the report on HeartNET. Then she emailed a copy to a few non-Virtue members, including Lacrima and Jiaying.

And then she lay back on her bed and sighed, staring at the ceiling. She still wasn't fully recovered from the draining, after all.