A Different Set of Tai Chi

Miho and Masu head off to a park outside of Tokyo to practice Tai Chi ... and then Masu learns the identity of that magical girl who keeps showing up to interfere with her.

Date: 2018-10-17
Pose Count: 25
Masu Yogoshi 2018-10-17 23:55:40 99072
Masu Yogoshi was sitting outside the park, leaning on one of those wooden pole things that were excessively large and durable and covered in tons of delightful splinter making pieces. Sheh ad a cigarette sticking out of her mouth and... Wait. No. It was a sucker stick. Oh. Right. She WASN'T a troublemaker. She'd walked here, since it wasn't too far out of the city.

Actually she'd used dark energy to get here, so... It wasn't too bad. At least her empathic abilities let her tell when no one was around.

She tapped her feet impatiently, humming a little to herself as she waited. She tapped on her feet, humming a song. She'd been here a while, having come early and done some things on her phone. "Note, test a compound with 4% silver, then 6% silver. Attempt mixing..." she mumbled as her phone logged all the details.
Miho Kagami 2018-10-18 00:02:48 99073
That's about when Masu's empathic abilities would detect a familiar mind approaching at the speed of a bicycle.

Miho arrives, wearing a backpack, a dark green hoodie, her usual black skirt, and shorts under the skirt. She comes to a stop and hops off the bike. "Hey, Yogoshi-san!" she says, starting to walk her bike over --

She suddenly and glances down, stops just in time to avoid the pedal smacking into the back of her leg, and she adjusts her stance as she resumes walking her bike over. "Uh, anyway," she says, "sorry, am I late? I kind of misjudged when the taxi was gonna get me out here."
Masu Yogoshi 2018-10-18 00:09:47 99074
Masu Yogoshi stared at her for the longest time, before nodding. "It's okay," she finally said. "You should be careful. It really hurts when you hit your leg like that. Are you bringing it with you or locking it up here?" she asked, putting her phone away.

"I kept myself busy by focusing on homework. Chemistry things," she said before she turned and started walking up the path towards the woods. Her voice, as always, was mildly bored and... bland. Devoid of feeling. Monotone. "Have you been well? Slain any bastions of evil? Help any old ladies cross the street?" The last one was said with a smile, obviously teasing her lightly.
Miho Kagami 2018-10-18 00:20:26 99075
Miho grins. "Oh, I know! Hitting my own leg with a bike-pedal was literally the first thing I ever healed with my Blessing!" She shrugs. "I don't see a reason not to bring my bike along. Unless we're going something where I actually can't take it?" Her own voice, as usual, is a bit scratchy and somewhat androgynous, but bit by bit, she's been improving it over the past six months.

She giggles at the gentle teasing. "I helped reseal a vampire ghost that tried to crash my best friend's birthday party, does that count?" She shrugs. "I mean, as far as slaying bastions of evil, I should say I've never killed anyone." She shrugs. "I mean even aside from how traumatic it'd probably be ... I have absolutely no idea how my Death Curse would react, and I'm not too keen on finding out the hard way."
Masu Yogoshi 2018-10-18 00:25:42 99076
Masu Yogoshi blinked a few times and nodded. "That's good. I didn't want to say anything but your whole magical... people thing does make me nervous sometimes. It's far too easy for peopl with... uncontrolled and monitored power like your own to begin seeing themselves as judge, jury... and executioner. And I'd rather not spend my time around a group who considers themselves to be the law," she said firmly.

"Also, a vampire ghost sounds.... excting. Did they sparkle?" she asked as she walked. "And you should be fine with your bike. And I've been meaning to ask you... Your voice. Did you have surgery on your throat?" ... Oh my gosh. "If so, I know a speech therapist who should be able to help you with that. My mother knows her through work."
Miho Kagami 2018-10-18 00:37:18 99077
Miho nods as she follows along after Masu. "The people I work with ... we don't even consider killing anyone unless they've shown themselves to be, like ... totally irredeemable monsters who just to do literally nothing except hurt and mind-control people and show no sign of stopping even after zillions of attempts at persuasion, basically," she says.

She chuckles. "Not really, the guy was more ... shadowy," she says. "He was basically this murderous evil harpsichord-player." She shakes her head. "Crazy business."

She goes very ... quiet at the other question for a moment. "I'm doing fine without vocal surgery, thanks," she says finally. "And I kind of have been doing pretty good without speech therapy? I got kinda lucky in the voice department, I guess. You should've heard me a year ago." She pauses. "Not that I don't have something that's goals, but, uh ... yeah."
Masu Yogoshi 2018-10-18 00:54:07 99078
Masu Yogoshi nodded. "Ah. Wait. Mind control people? That sounds horrible!" she said, sounding genuinely diggusted. "Taking the will of another... That's atrocious," she mumbled, shaking her head. "I can see why you'd resort to such measures, then."

She nodded. "I see. That's.... disappointing. I read a book about vampires that sparkled once. IT was quite good."

Then blinked. "Vocal surgery? Why would... Oh!" she said. "R-right. My apologies, I forgot about..." Her cheeks burned a bit red. Well. That meant she forgot about her condition. "And this is why I'm trying to become a chemist and not a doctor. I would be a really bad doctor."
Miho Kagami 2018-10-18 01:08:30 99080
Miho nods. "I've only been transforming for a few months, so I've only had to ... fight one of them." She shrugs. "Burned away my ability to get intimidated by strangers, I tell you what. Doesn't help a lot of other things, but ..." She shrugs. "I felt bad enough just blasting the non-sparkly vampire-dude when I knew he was just going to be sealed, not killed."

She blinks and giggles nervously as Masu hits that verbal stumble. "Hey, don't worry," she says. "I'd take it as a compliment, really. There's like ... eight different ways it could've been so much worse. Like not figuring out I was trans until I was in my twenties, for one thing." She pauses. "Or until after my powers started manifesting, since they, like, only appear in the girls in my family. That would've just been uncomfortable."
Masu Yogoshi 2018-10-18 01:13:28 99081
Masu Yogoshi almost choked then, coughing into her hand. "A-ah. If it's any consolation, aside from the... incredibly high levels of stress and anxiety, you've only ever felt like a girl to me... Likely why I forgot and... not to imply I... I do not have a good bedside manner. But yes. I suppose there are definite strange and bad ways to gain magical powers. Still, cool," she said with a smile. "You;'re quite lucky."

She nodded. "Well... That's good. But.... do you ever have difficult separating work from.... your personal life?" she asked, eying her.
Miho Kagami 2018-10-18 01:25:22 99082
Miho shrugs and nods. "Yeah," she says, smiling. "I'm like a thousand percent sure it's my soul itself that's 'a girl' ... or something like that. I mean, I've been 'a girl' my whole life, it just took until the beginning of middle school to figure it out, basically."

She considers the other question, walking her bike along. "... You know what, I just realized I don't actually have any friends who aren't magical or in-the-know," she says. "Like, from my second day of school in Tokyo, it's basically just been all 'running into magical people' all the time, I kind of only meet new people when there's some kind of 'magical business' going on." She shrugs. "Or I'll randomly bump into someone like you, who just turned out to have powers of your own. So ... apart from the fact that my parents are a hundred percent in the dark, I dunno if I have something to separate." She pauses. "Unless you meant something else?"
Masu Yogoshi 2018-10-18 01:44:21 99083
Masu Yogoshi nodded. "Makes sense. Seems fairly common amongst the handful I've seen." She paused. "I don't run into it much though so.... I'm hardly an authority."

She cocked her head. "Really? None? Wow. I have a few. Mostly people from the game shops I go to. I guess they're... more acquintances," she said, before... Reaching into her pocket and holding out a sucker. "Want one? And no. I meant turning off... I don't know. Magical Girl Miho or whatever your magical name is. And yeah. I've been seeing more of your kind lately. IT's weird. You were one of the first. Then you started popping out of the wood work. I wonder if this means I'm supposed to get powers soon."

She then snorted. "Maybe it's almost time for me to make a 'wish'," she joked. "But I more mean... There's your magical self. and then there's your non-magical self. You ever hear of work-life separation? Basically turning off your magical side entirely and just being a normal girl?"
Miho Kagami 2018-10-18 02:02:13 99084
Miho nods, accepting the sucker with her free hand, and she considers the question for a while as they walk along. It seems as though she's putting some serious thought into it for a while.

And then she finally nods. "Every time I'm out of henshin, basically," she says. "The friend I mentioned whose birthday it is? She works for UMBRA. ... And I mean even when I am in henshin sometimes? You'll see why in a minute. I, uh, I'm gonna transform to do the exercises, since like I'm pretty sure I mentioned, I'm using tai chi to help me handle my Life Blessing."

... Uh-oh.
Masu Yogoshi 2018-10-18 02:04:39 99085
Masu Yogoshi blinked and nodded. "Huh. So I'm finally going to see your great and powerful powers, then? Today must be my lucky day. Tell me. Do you rock the 'way too short skirt to fight in' look, or 'Oh my gosh why is my spandex too tight' look?" she teased. Finally, they stepped off the path and... came to a small, isolated area, off the main path a bit, but cleared.... She likely used it a lot.
Miho Kagami 2018-10-18 02:12:06 99087
Miho grins at Masu. "I rock the 'overly-frilly knockoff of both a Sailor Senshi and a Pretty Cure' look," she says cheerfully. She puts down the kickstand of her bike and walks towards the middle of the clearing. "So, option 1, basically." She turns to Masu with a grin. "I mean, like, seriously, see for yourself!"

She thrusts her right hand into the air, more-or-less in the Saturday Night Fever pose. "Life Blessing, Wake Up!" Mint-green right spirals around her arm, becomes a column of light, and then ...

... Uh-oh.

"My title is 'Life Mahou Joy' in this form, by the way," says Life Mahou Joy, in that familiar clear and bright voice which only slightly sounds remotely like her voice out-of-henshin. She has an easy smile, too. "I even inherited this weird sort of catchphrase, 'in the name of all life' and all that."
Masu Yogoshi 2018-10-18 02:18:05 99088
Masu Yogoshi blinked a few times... and... "Ah. I... don't really know what that looks like," she said. And then... silence. For the longest time. She just stared. Finally... "Huh."

OH MY GOSH SHE WAS JOY! OH MY GOSH SHE ALMOST BROKE HER! OH MY GOSH SHE LITERALLY BLASTED HER INTO THE GROUND SHE WAS A HORRIBLE FRIEND GAHHHHH! She pulled out the stick of her sucker and pocketed it. "You look cute," she said, keeping her face calm as, internally, she panicked a little. She hadn't actually hurt the girl. No. She didn't WANT to hurt anyone. So it was okay either way. But she couldn't believe the girl who like. Had shown up to ALL OF HER STUFF was THIS ONE WEIRD GIRL!

For a moment, a dark idea formed. It would be so easy to eliminate her. Wait for her to de-transorm... Snap her little--

Nope, nope nope. She motioned a bit away. "Go ahead and show me your starting stance."
Miho Kagami 2018-10-18 02:28:27 99090
Joy takes note of Masu's momentary silence, but she just beams at the comment about her cuteness. "Thanks!" she says. "Oh, uh, you can just call me 'Miho' in this form, by the way." She smiles. "But yeah. I'm quote-unquote 'fully female' in this form, so ... I just chill out playing Sonic on my Switch sometimes, or just relaxing and stuff." She shrugs. "I sort of hope there's a more convenient way, without having all this frilly nonsense and blue hair."

She nods, moving into the stance. "I'm still, like, just barely starting, so I kind of do best when I have someone to guide me," she says. She grins. "So, having you take me on this little trip is doubly good!"
Masu Yogoshi 2018-10-18 02:35:27 99091
Masu Yogoshi nodded and then adapted her style. "I use the sun style, I'm sure you've seen it. It's been in a few anime and shows over the years and is more of a... smooth, gentle style. More about redirection. Try to follow my motions, as smoothly as you can. Take as long as you need, there is nothing timing you..." she whispered, and as she moved... Masu was like fluid. Smooth, gentle, guiding.

"Playing games while... Heh. That makes sense. You are quite lucky, finding a... cure like that."
Miho Kagami 2018-10-18 02:43:41 99092
Miho nods, watching Masu's movements and following them as best she can. She's lagging behind just a little bit, but she's actually doing pretty good for a beginner. She's had plenty of practice with Hokuto's version, and she finds it easier to follow along with this new iteration than it was to start from nothing.

"Heh, it's not really a cure," she says softly. "Regardless of how pretty it is. It's more like ... treating the symptoms, I guess? But yeah."
Masu Yogoshi 2018-10-18 02:47:30 99093
Masu Yogoshi nodded, then moved over to... correct her, as she saw mistakes. Before beginning again, moving through her movements. "Let in the bad emotions... accept them... and then let them melt away. Acknowledge they exist, but also acknowledge that they are not important. That if they drift away, the world does not end. They can be dealt with later. When you think on them. When you focus..." she whispered, slwoly, gently guiding her movements.
Miho Kagami 2018-10-18 02:59:50 99096
Miho accepts Masu's guidance; she's clearly experienced there, too. "Well ... heh." She was about to object to Masu's guidance about her emotions, but there really is a recurring undercurrent of anxiety there. This, at least, makes it easier to get a handle on. It's nothing enough to interfere with her concentration, especially when she's doing something as simple as exercising ... but Masu's words are clearly helping her there, too.

In the meantime, the Life Blessing is flowing along with her movements. There's nothing visible yet; however, she can subtly feel it underneath everything else, protecting her from the Death Curse, and feeling like she could call upon it more easily if she needed to. But not yet. Not yet.
Masu Yogoshi 2018-10-18 03:17:39 99098
Masu Yogoshi nodded, and moved with her, listening to the other girl's emotions. Using them to guide her as she moved. It was easy to understance why she swore by this, however. With her abilities, the calming nature of her meditation had to be incredibly useful to keep them in line.

"Have you ever been scared while using your powers?" she asked as she moved.
Miho Kagami 2018-10-18 03:27:30 99101
"Yeah ... I mean, not in and of themselves," Miho says softly. Her movements are getting better and better as they keep going. "The biggest case was in the final fight with that ... person I mentioned who'd been mind-controlling and hurting people, and she tried to break reality." She feels a twinge of an echo of how she felt; that was a bad time. "Mostly it's been when friends of mine were badly hurt, and I was afraid for them." Another twinge, this time much smaller. "Especially the two cases when I had to save someone's life. One of those, I needed help, because of a curse." Nevertheless, there isn't even a break in her movements; they're all old feelings that she's already more-or-less dealt with. She continues moving in time with Masu, still doing basically perfectly well.
Masu Yogoshi 2018-10-18 03:34:59 99103
Masu Yogoshi nodded. "I'm sorry to hear that. It seems like you've had a difficult time. But.... At least nothing major seems to have hurt you. That's lucky." She hummed and starting moving into different motions. "It sounds like you're fighting a battle all the time.... and the fact you haven't been harmed yet is a miracle in and of itself," she said firmly. She smiled gently to the girl. "Tell me, what is your favorite part of what you have done?"
Miho Kagami 2018-10-18 03:43:30 99105
Miho nods. "Really lucky," she agrees, smiling. "I mean, there was one time I got hit by a dark energy glitter bomb, and I subsequently discovered that my own healing powers interact badly with my curse when it's more than just a scratch," she adds. "But ... yeah. I haven't needed healing attentions from anyone else." She shifts easily into the new set of motions, once again having less difficulty.

The question is easy. "Saving lives," she says promptly. "Or just protecting people from monsters, and other dangers they don't even know about. Or just helping a friend who got laid out by some Belkan r-- uh, an alien robot, so she didn't have to miss school or anything." She smiles gently back. "Been thinking of becoming a doctor myself."
Masu Yogoshi 2018-10-18 03:50:13 99106
Masu Yogoshi nodded. "I wouldn't recommend it. It's..." She trailed off. "People are.... ungrateful. I've seen it a lot. It's a really tough line of work and people... well... They can get burned out. It's your choice, but I'd make sure it's really something you want to do... Now, this stance is going to stretch some muscles you're likely not used to, so take it slow...."