Waking Friendships

Narumi and Hokuto arrange a meeting, where they chat about Maboroshi no Manako, and video games.

Date: 2018-11-05
Pose Count: 37
Narumi Nendai 2018-11-05 02:01:10 99809
Yukari and Reimu -- er, Narumi and Hokuto exchanged phone numbers during the skeleton party in the dream world. (The name "Manako" might have been familiar to Hokuto, too.) So now Narumi has called up Hokuto to arrange a meeting, and decided on the botanical gardens in the park.

Narumi is wandering around, but staying near the entrance, dressed in a long-sleeved blue dress. She's trying to maintain a curiosity, but ... nope, it isn't really grabbing her. Oh well, it was at least worth a shot after her conversation with Arina yesterday.
Hokuto Minase 2018-11-05 02:09:35 99810
Halloween season is often a busy time for onmyouji, but aside from the skeleton party Hokuto's has been -- mostly -- sedate. So an invitation to meet up with 'Yukari' is welcome -- it gets her away from the family, after all. And the Gardens are a good choice, seeing some nice green will help her avoid being depressed at the approach of winter.

So into the gardens she comes, dressed in a white blouse and matching coat over bright red denim jeans. She looks around, pausing near the entrance, searching for a familiar face....
Narumi Nendai 2018-11-05 02:14:19 99812
Narumi pokes her head back out just in time to see Hokuto. "Oh!" she says, and hurries over. She shoots Hokuto a lopsided smile which nevertheless betrays a slight loneliness. "Um, hello, 'Reimu-chan'!" she says dryly. "Um, Minase-san, was it?" Once again, she's demonstrating that she is definitely not Yukari, regardless of what sort of powers she has in the dream-world.
Hokuto Minase 2018-11-05 02:17:56 99813
Hokuto looks up, a smile spreading across her face as she hears the name 'Reimu' called, and turns her attention to the newcomer. "Hello! 'Yukari'-chan, I suppose?" She steps closer to make a gesture of meeting her half-way, then sticks out a hand, still grinning. "Good to properly meet you."
Narumi Nendai 2018-11-05 02:20:43 99814
Narumi smiles and nods, taking Hokuto's hand and bowing. "Narumi Nendai," she says. "You know, I've, um, I've met Lacrima-san and Ariel-san in the waking world before, but I'm pretty sure you're the first human I've met in the waking world after I first met them in the dream world." She pauses, and looks Hokuto up and down. "... unless you being Reimu and me being Yukari was way more ironic than I thought it was?"
Hokuto Minase 2018-11-05 02:30:08 99817
Hokuto is more of a handshake girl than a bow-er, but she does return the bow after a moment. "Well," she answers, "I thought choosing Reimu as a costume was kind of ironic to begin with, given my 'day job'." She shrugs casually.
Narumi Nendai 2018-11-05 02:34:01 99818
Narumi nods. "That's fair," she says, still with that faintly lonely smile. "So, uh, yeah. Most of the time, my power in the dream world is lucid dreaming ... which basically just means I'm a magical girl princess sort of and can throw whatever attacks I want up to a certain point." She shrugs. "But, uh, that was actually the second dream I've been in where I had my actual powers messed with. The first time, this Nightmare sort of switched everyon's stuff around, I became a Lacrima and this fox-girl got my lucid dreaming."
Hokuto Minase 2018-11-05 02:38:50 99819
Hokuto nods and hmmms, turning to walk along the garden path, waving for Narumi to follow her. "Lucid dreaming's a useful skill, yes. Took a while for me to get the trick of it. I'll admit I've never tried 'being a magical girl' in a dream, though." She shrugs as she walks. "Usually too busy running from demon wolves and such."
Narumi Nendai 2018-11-05 02:50:34 99825
Narumi blinks, and nods as she follows Hokuto. "I dunno if I'm anything special, really," she says. "I ... might ... have something, since I can see some magical things that most people can't." She hesitates, then adds, "But if I do have something, it might not be in a way that's actually good or useful. To me in particular, I mean."
Hokuto Minase 2018-11-05 02:54:42 99826
Hokuto nods, not bothering to ask just what that might be. If Narumi wants to tell her, she will. "I'm sure you'll work something out you can do with it," she temporizes. "It will take practice. I needed years before I could do anything."
Narumi Nendai 2018-11-05 02:56:16 99827
Narumi nods, considering this, and walking in silence for a moment. Then she says, "I made a bargain with a Nightmare called Maboroshi no Manako for something I was desperate for at the time, and in exchange, she had terms which would basically allow her to possess me." She shrugs. "And Lacrima-san and Ariel-san and my mom and I still haven't figured out what her actual goal was."

... Well, that's something.
Hokuto Minase 2018-11-05 03:04:17 99829
... Oh. Yeah, that's something, alright. Hokuto pauses, turning a little, and looks more closely at Narumi. "A Nightmare... I see." She pauses again, then: "I can see how that might worry you."
Narumi Nendai 2018-11-05 03:09:58 99830
Narumi nods. "And Lacrima-san says that she'd been causing trouble in the waking world." She's oblivious to the fact that Hokuto personally helped fight her off during the first of such incidents. "And I'm pretty sure she was just ... stopping me from telling anyone about her until a month or so ago." She shakes her head. "No idea what changed, but she hasn't come to my dream at all ever since then."
Hokuto Minase 2018-11-05 03:22:30 99832
"Mmm." Hokuto considers it. Probably going to need to be exorcised... but best to be careful. Wouldn't want to do any harm to the girl in the process. "So..." she muses. "She's been... hiding? No, that doesn't sound right. How often does she, er, possess you?"
Narumi Nendai 2018-11-05 03:26:36 99834
Narumi shrugs. "No idea," she says. "Originally it was, uh, supposedly so she could watch life in the waking world. She used to be a 'happier dream' called the Dream of the Night Sky." Yozora no Yumemi. "But ... Well, she never seemed to actually take me up on the offer ... but literally every time the subject came up when I talked to people who know about magic, I always felt as though I shouldn't tell people about her, so ..." She looks away. "... for all I know, 'constantly'?"
Hokuto Minase 2018-11-05 03:32:59 99836
Hokuto nods, considering. "Mmm, might well be." It's not like she hasn't dealt with posessions before, but this is a bit subtler than most cases she's seen. "It could also be a simple binding... if it is, maybe something broke it and she just doesn't care enough to renew it."
Narumi Nendai 2018-11-05 03:37:29 99837
Narumi considers this. "Yeah, maybe," she says uncertainly; in the end, she really doesn't know all that much about magic. She hesitates some more, and then says, "Okay, uh, the thing I wished for was ... I was born as a boy, and I wanted a new body and for her to change all my paperwork to have my new name and things." Which clearly doesn't seem to be a proportionate exchange, and her tone suggests that she's at least somewhat aware of this. "And ... the problems she's caused have been while she was doing the second one, I guess?"
Hokuto Minase 2018-11-05 03:43:37 99838
Hokuto pauses again, surprised by the admission, then turns to look at the girl more closely. "She seems to have done a good job at the first part, at least. I couldn't speak to the bureaucracy bits." She smiles a little. "Happier with that little problem corrected?"
Narumi Nendai 2018-11-05 03:46:20 99839
Narumi immediately tenses up under Hokuto's scrutiny, and nods. "Heh ... yep," she says softly. "Which ... is really one of the things we're worried about, if ... exorcising me will just, um, undo that." This sounds like it would be a worst-case scenario for her.

She shakes her head. "The thing was ... apparently Lacrima-san said something to Manako-chan that made her want to ... I guess get exorcised or whatever? And go back to being Yumemi. I think. Maybe." She shrugs. "So that might be another factor. Something makes me kind of worried about it, I think it ..." Her voice trails off as she thinks about it.
Hokuto Minase 2018-11-05 03:50:10 99840
"That does make it a bit less simple," Hokuto agrees. "I wouldn't want to rush ahead with an exorcism of an entity like that anyway... but that's definitely going to be an important factor, yes." She hmmms softly. "I think the fact that you wanted it, and it isn't malicious or corrupting, will help safeguard it, though."
Narumi Nendai 2018-11-05 04:04:48 99841
Narumi nods, thinking about this for another moment.

And then she says, "The problem is, we don't know if it isn't malicious or corrupting," she says. "Like ... I mean obviously it's exactly what I wanted, but ..." She shakes her head. "Lacrima-san talked about this ... Well, uh, thirty years ago, my mom refused to make a contract with, um, that Kyubey guy. And Lacrima-san said that the magical girls who make contracts with him always end up turning into monsters. Even if they seemed to get what they were wishing for." She seems to be going on third-hand information there, and she's having a terrible time articulating it. "So, like ... I don't even know what Manako-chan really wanted. And for some reason I feel like she hadn't gotten it yet."
Hokuto Minase 2018-11-05 04:21:56 99844
Hokuto resumes walking as she listens, making her way along the garden path. "Sounds like your mother was a smart woman," she muses. "I've not heard good things about this 'Kyubey' either."

She pauses and turns to look at Narumi again, musing. "And she's letting you run around telling people about her despite having not gotten all she wanted... Hmm." Ominous. "She never gave you any indication what it was she really wanted?"
Narumi Nendai 2018-11-05 04:29:21 99847
Narumi nods. "To be honest, my mom has been a lot smarter about all this than I have," she admits.

At the other question, she shakes her head. "Haven't the foggiest," she says. "But, I mean, if she has been persuaded ..." She shrugs. "... then this might be a better situation than I hoped." She doesn't sound remotely convinced, though.
Hokuto Minase 2018-11-05 04:37:36 99848
"Might," Hokuto agrees. "I wouldn't count on it, but I wouldn't despair, either. There's a very good chance we can do this." She turns about to look at a bed of flowers, preserved here against the autumn chill. "It'll just take time and research."
Narumi Nendai 2018-11-05 04:40:11 99849
Narumi nods somberly. "I hope you're right," she says softly.

And then she laughs mirthlessly. "Wow ... I came here to meet someone who was cosplaying as Reimu for Halloween, and so far we've spent the entire time talking about this crap." She shakes her head. "... which is at least partly my fault for getting into this mess in the first place, but, uh ... yeah."
Hokuto Minase 2018-11-05 04:45:18 99851
Hokuto chuckles softly, nodding. "Indeed, indeed, 'Yukari-chan'." She twirls about, her coat flying around her with the movement, to face Narumi properly. "I must say, it was rather fun to have another Touhou to play off of. Marisa would've been even better, but Yukari was a great choice."
Narumi Nendai 2018-11-05 04:49:49 99852
Narumi smiles and nods. "Yeah," she says. "I had fun, too! I ... heh, I definitely wouldn't have been able to pull off Marisa, at least in terms of getting in character, I was having enough trouble with Yukari." She shrugs. "... I was half-expecting to get 'possessed' by the costume or whatever. But I guess those skeletons weren't actually malicious after all. Just as well I didn't get a chance to use any Spell Cards ..."
Hokuto Minase 2018-11-05 04:55:12 99853
Hokuto chuckles softly, reaching up to scratch at the back of her head. "Mmm, yeah. I did kind of get really into role-playing there... But Reimu-chan's kind of fun, don't you think? I'm not sure I properly did her justice, to be honest...."
Narumi Nendai 2018-11-05 04:59:20 99854
Narumi shrugs, and smiles. "You did fine!" she says. She hesitates, then says, "Y'know, I should admit that I'm not actually all that good at the games." Her smile is looking just a little bit less lonely. "... My favorite games to play are mostly Kirby, really, but I like the characters in Touhou more, I think."
Hokuto Minase 2018-11-05 05:08:25 99855
"Well, thanks!" Hoktuo grins, brightening at the complement. "And that's okay. I mostly know it from the manga, myself." She waves a hand dismissively. "Does Kirby even -have- any characters?"
Narumi Nendai 2018-11-05 05:09:48 99856
Narumi giggles. "There's a couple of recurring bosses, and people and NPCs and stuff who show up." She considers this a moment. "... I dunno if any of them actually count as 'characters' though, by Touhou's standards ..."
Hokuto Minase 2018-11-05 05:16:56 99857
Hokuto snorts. "Do any of them even have more than one line of dialogue at a time? Or any hint of personality beyond 'mwahahahahaha'?" She shakes her head. "No, that really doesn't count."
Narumi Nendai 2018-11-05 05:21:32 99858
Narumi brightens slightly. "Oh! Actually! The newer games have characters with actual dialogue!" she says. "Like Taranza, and Susie! And, and Kirby Super Star also had dialogue in places."

... And then she sort of droops. "I, uh, still don't have a Switch, though." Almost immediately, though, she shakes her head and perks back up again. "Eh. I'll catch up eventually, I guess."
Hokuto Minase 2018-11-05 05:24:37 99859
Hokuto shrugs. "The switch is kind of overrated," she asserts. "But it's not bad." She sighs softly and leans against a park bench. "So, you're a Yukari fan? Or was that just a whim?"
Narumi Nendai 2018-11-05 05:30:52 99860
Narumi promptly nods, and sits down at the bench. "Definitely a Yukari fan," she says cheerfully. "I dunno, I guess I just sort of like powerful women are just that self-confident in themselves."

She smiles up at Hokuto; it really seems like she's started to let her guard down. "... Wow, two new friends in as many days." She pauses. "... the other one was a knight from Waldia, I dunno if you know about those guys. She just mentioned they have a princess?" She shrugs. "She, uh, sort of needed help with Earth stuff. She didn't even know what Halloween was."
Hokuto Minase 2018-11-05 05:33:27 99861
Hokuto nods, musing. "I think I've heard of these Waldians, but I don't know that I've ever met any of them." She shrugs. "I think there's a decent yatai or two near the park. Want to go get something to eat?"
Narumi Nendai 2018-11-05 05:34:54 99862
Narumi blinks, mildly surprised. "Um, okay!" she says, and then giggles. "Wow. Two new friends in as many days who I chatted with over snacks, as well!"