Before the Nightmare

Hokuto and Seishi discuss plans for the Nightmare Prince, and the Future.

Date: 2017-06-16
Pose Count: 15
Hokuto Minase 2017-06-16 01:15:42 78782
It's been a few days since the 'Princess of Nightmares' showed herself, and Hokuto finally has a free evening. She'd called and left a message for Seishi, letting the older girl know where she would be, and she's made her way down to the Crown Parlor to relax a little before they meet. A few rounds at the Sailor V arcade machine prove uninspiring, however, and she takes her remaining coinage upstairs to indulge in a milkshake while she waits for Seishi.

Right at the moment, she's sitting at a table, a novel in one hand and her milkshake in the other, paging slowly through the story while she sips at the shake.
Seishi Tamashige 2017-06-16 01:41:06 78788
Seishi's looking slightly harried as she arrives, still carrying her school bag with her like she hasn't yet been home. She takes a moment to scan the arcade before she spots Hokuto at the table she's staked out, and quickly hurries over to slide into a seat. Her bag lands on the floor by her feet with a quiet thump.

"Hey," she says with a quick flash of a smile. "Sorry, I hope I didn't keep you waiting for too long. Doing okay?"
Hokuto Minase 2017-06-16 01:53:14 78793
Hokuto finishes a sip of her milkshake, then takes a moment to insert a bookmark (no bending over corners for this girl!) and set her book aside. "Hey, Sempai. Glad you could make it. And it's never a long wait when you have a good book."

She waves a hand expansively at the booth, and says, "Welcome to my not so humble home away from home." If she's cracking wise, she can't be too bad off. "Got any plans for Tanabata?" Sure, it's still a couple of weeks away, but better to plan in advance! Especially if one plans to go in costume.
Seishi Tamashige 2017-06-16 02:10:53 78798
"Not that I know of," Seishi replies, very wry. "'Dealing with the potential end of the world' seems like a possibility at the moment, but maybe we'll sort things out before then and I'll be able to hit a festival or something. You?"
Hokuto Minase 2017-06-16 02:21:11 78802
"Really hoping that one way or another it'll be over before then. So we can celebrate our victory... or have something to cheer us up, after." Hokuto smiles, somewhat forcedly, and reaches for her milkshake - more just to have it in her hand than to consume.

"I'm sorry I seem to've missed episodes two through n-1 of this one, though. Family stuff... had to make a little trip of my own." Sometimes the life of an Onmyouji has its own ... demands.
Seishi Tamashige 2017-06-16 02:32:46 78806
Seishi nods sympathetically. "Not too much trouble, I hope. That kind of thing can't be helped," she says. "I'll fill you in the best I can. Just stop me if I start telling you stuff you already know, okay?"

She stops there, long enough to draw in a breath and organize her thoughts a bit. "Basically... we're up against a guy who calls himself the Prince of Nightmares. He's gotten really busy recently, attacking people's dreams and corrupting dream guardians to his side if he can. That's what happened to Ariel's mom, until we broke her free the other night."
Hokuto Minase 2017-06-16 02:36:33 78809
Hokuto nods, "Or killing them. Like that pilot guy from a few weeks back..." She sighs softly. "That was cool. I want to try flying sometime." Sure, she flew a helicopter in a dream battle, but that was just her imagination running wild with a lot of old American television. Flying for real? Different matter.

"Glad we could get the girl's mom free, though. Turning parents against their children, sister against brother.... just not right." She starts to clench her fist, then realizes she's holding the milkshake in that hand just before she manages to explode it out the top of the cup. Instead, she brings it over to take a sip. Mmm. Strawberry.
Seishi Tamashige 2017-06-16 02:52:50 78816
"Yeah." Seishi's voice is soft, and for a moment her gaze drifts down to the surface of the table in front of her. "It's been rough on Ariel, too. At least we were finally able to lift that worry from her."

Looking up to meet Hokuto's eyes again, she grimaces. "The thing is, the Nightmare Prince used to be a dream guardian himself once, a long time ago. We found that out recently. Something terrible happened to him, and he... fell. Now it seems like he wants to make everything like himself."
Hokuto Minase 2017-06-16 02:59:24 78817
... oh. That, well, that explains a lot. "Crap... I hate that kind of thing." Some of the picture is beginning to come together for her... "So, do we have a plan?" she asks. "Only this guy's starting to remind me of some of the dai-youkai in my old family stories. The kind that takes the whole clan to put down, and even then we lose people." It's how her parents died, after all....
Seishi Tamashige 2017-06-16 03:20:21 78822
A very solemn nod from Seishi confirms Hokuto's assessment. "Tuxedo Kamen-san tried to have a talk with him, hoping that he could persuade him to turn back. I, uh, think it kind of backfired, though."

She's looking very awkward suddenly, glancing away and reaching up to fiddle with her hair. "The thing is..." she says slowly. "What caused him to go wrong originally... was the Eater of Dreams. So in a way, he connects back to the same past that I do."

She breathes in, lets it out in a soft sigh. "As for a plan beyond talking him down, if that's even possible... I'm not really sure."
Hokuto Minase 2017-06-16 03:27:42 78823
Hokuto looks down at the table, then back up at Seishi. On a more ordinary occasion she'd spend some time admiring the older girl, but for now... well, there just isn't as much there there as there used to be. "This whole thing is starting to wear us all thin... If we can't manage it..." She shakes her head. "We can't afford to hold back on this one. Either we get through to him... or we get through him."

She isn't usually the one to talk about killing. Even most of the youkai she fights, she just banishes back to their own realm, rather than destroying them. But this... this one has her scared. Maybe it's the dreams, the black dress, the hallway, the be-ribboned doorway... no, no, don't think about that now.
Seishi Tamashige 2017-06-16 03:37:23 78824
"...yeah." Seishi looks uncomfortable herself, whether because of the particular subject at hand or something more indirectly related. "The other problem is, he's a creature of dreams himself, so it's not like we can just chase him down. That kind of thing we'll need to rely on Ariel for - I can bring people across dreams, but I have to go fetch them one at a time. It comes a lot more easily to her."
Hokuto Minase 2017-06-16 03:45:06 78825
Hokuto nods, "So I've noticed." She muses for a moment, then asks, "You ever try dreaming something up just for fun? Somewhere you can go do... whatever... that you can't do in the real world?" She takes another sip of her shake, then stops as it starts to make that sputtering noise that indicates it's just about empty. Apparently she's gone through the whole thing while she waited.

"We could just go somewhere fun... maybe a spaceship, or a fantasy castle, or something... have a nice little dream vacation." The idea seems to appeal to her, as a contrast to the bad things that have visited her dreams of late.
Seishi Tamashige 2017-06-16 03:48:48 78826
The suggestion seems to bring Seishi up short; she pauses, blinking, as she processes the idea. " know," she admits wryly after some moments of thought, "I've never really tried it. Mostly if I'm not in someone else's dreams I'm pretty much just talking to Akashimaru."

Resting an elbow on the table, she props her chin in her hand and gives it some further thought. "It might be good to give it a try sometime," she muses. "After all, it'd be a waste if all we ever got out of the ability to travel dreams were nightmares..."
Hokuto Minase 2017-06-16 03:54:14 78827
Hokuto nods. "And we can get away from all the stress and fighting for a while, too... and schoolwork." She makes a face briefly, her eyes dropping to her schoolbag, tucked away inside the booth, before returning her attention to Seishi.

"Just the two of us..."