Her Last Chat

Maboroshi no Manako meets Lacrima in her usual dream, and chats about the prospect of escaping the darkness and returning to being 'Yozora no Yumemi'. However, things end on a relatively ominous note.

Date: 2018-11-07
Pose Count: 14
Lacrima 2018-11-07 00:55:21 99871
Lacrima's dreamscape is a weird, odd place, but penetrable for a nightmare or dream denizen that wants to purposefully enter it. Most 'normal' things instinctually stay away. There's no dreamer here. There's no dream here. It's..... odd.

The main 'entrance'-- the path of least resistance-- exits into the middle of a courtyard under an old, Spanish trellis in a courtyard of some sort of manor castle. You can figure that much out since you can look upwards and see at least two parapets of some sort of tower into the grey, overcast sky that looks and feels like it's going to threaten to drizzle at any moment- though it does not. The walls of the courtyard has four doors on each side of it's square form. Three are grown over, held tight with old overgrowth and vines. Impenetrable. Humanity, locked off. The courtyard shows signs of being maintained- fairly recently, otherwise. Weeds kept out. Tall grass trimmed. There's not a lot of flowers, but those that are here and carefully apparently maintained.

There is a fifth door labeled 'Garden Closet'. There is an uncovered, unlocked door of the four however.

Beyond that is a grand, old ballroom. It's seen better days but shows at least some upkeep of a single person. There's ballroom instruments on a small stand. There's a broken old 1800's phonograph. It has springs comically shooting out wooden cracks at the top Like it's been broken.

Lacrima looks at least a little different than she does here than she does 'in the real world' as Lacrima. First and foremost is the appearance that her skin is a normal skin tone, rather than that pale. The deep violets of her features are more of a light lavender. But this is otherwise, clearly Lacrima.

Wait what's she doing? Well she's on her hands and knees with a hammer and a chisel painstakingly and carefully removing one of many many damaged ballroom floor tiles from the ground. There's signs that at least many many more had been replaced in at least the recent months, one by one.
Narumi Nendai 2018-11-07 01:11:09 99872
Lacrima isn't alone.

The thing is, ever since she fought Masquerade, aside from when she spoke with her old enemy Amalthea and withdrew her possession of Narumi, Maboroshi no Manako has spent the entire time ... moping, basically. But when she noticed it was two days shy of a month since she'd even spoken with Amalthea, and that it was the better part of two months since Lacrima hit her upside the head with a justice speech, she resolved to at least do something.

Now, into Lacrima's dream flows the familiar roiling mass of shadows covered in eyes, with the single fuchsia eye and cat-ears. The Phantasmal Eyes are spread out more than she had been in battle, but not in a threatening way. In fact, she almost seems somewhat relaxed.

Lacrima might be able to sense the presence of Manako as a fellow creature of darkness. She's not invading the dream, it seems. She's simply entered the dream, came to a stop at the very edge, and is now just sitting there. Waiting.
Lacrima 2018-11-07 01:27:05 99873
Tink, tink, tink... creak. The broken tile is removed. Lacrima places the broken tile to the side and raises a hand and creates a new tile... by imagining it. She can make small things like this. Mamoru taught her how to take control of her own dream. But she can't just change the entire structure with a wave of her hand. It's why she's fixing tile, by tile.

She's about to move onto the next one when she takes a deep breath and looks around. She places down the tools and brushes her dress off. (Which has managed to not accumulate dust, somehow.).

She steps out of the ballroom and moves to sit on the bench underneath the trellis. (The aforementioned easiest access point.).

"Hello." she says. "That's you, isn't it? You can come in more properly." she says. "I just ask you not touch the flowers." she says softly. "I don't even touch them." she says gently.
Narumi Nendai 2018-11-07 01:33:53 99874
There's a few seconds of awkward shuffling, in a 'mass of shadows' sort of way, and then Manako carefully flows over towards Lacrima. "Indeed it is," says her odd triple-voice, as she draws near. "We believe that ... we ... have been rather remiss in following up with our ... conversation, from last time."

... Is the monstrous eye-covered abomination embarrassed?

"... First, we do have a question," she adds. "Where did you acquire that Device of yours?"
Lacrima 2018-11-07 01:47:21 99875
Lacrima shakes her head. "You need to handle this at your own pace. Trust me." she says softly. She settles some more as she looks up at Manako. She doesn't mention that she spoke to Narumi with Ariel. She's assuming that Manako might already know. Or that if Narumi wanted Manako to know, Narumi would had told the Nightmare by now.

She head tilts. "A friend made Paige for me, at my request. I was tired of being a danger to my friends when I tried to help. I'm not terribly strong with it. I don't think I ever will be-- but it's better than spreading some sort of toxic energy around, empowering the other side with it." she says lightly.

"May I ask why you're curious about that?" she asks. "Devices are common upon mages. But I'm not a mage. So I can't really use the device as well as I hoped." she says.
Narumi Nendai 2018-11-07 01:55:39 99876
:nods slowly, considering this. "Understood," she says. "Well. We simply found ourself curious, is all."

She considers this a moment. "We must confess that the terms of the 'contract' we referred to were rather ... well, why mince words." She does that odd shadowy shrug. "In all candor, we phrased them in such a way that they would permit us to possess the wisher. We ... have not spoken to the wisher since then, but we released them from all possessive control after a conversation with ... well ..."

There's a pause. "... Amalthea-san. The mother of Ariel." And there's just something about her tone of voice which suggests that the connection to Ariel is neither the only nor the most significant way Manako knows about Amalthea.
Lacrima 2018-11-07 02:10:18 99877
Lacrima takes a deep breath. "-and she'll suffer no ill effects from your removal of this control?" she asks. It's concern, but not accusatory. She just shakes her head. "Regardless. That's a good step forward." she says softly.

She jumps a bit when 'Amalthea' is said and looks around rather rapidly. "...oh wait. She isn't..." she shakes her head. "Ahaha--s--ssorry!" she says. "Mother... of your girlfriend and all... who spent hundreds of years hunting things like me and you worry about it sometimes." she says with a nervous smile. She takes a deep breath.

"I know she says she's retired but-- ahaha it's irrational worry.--" she shakes her head. "How do you know Ari-chan's mom, if I may ask?" she wonders.
Narumi Nendai 2018-11-07 02:21:13 99879
Maboroshi no Manako nods. "Correct," she says. "We never inflicted more than ... a subtle kind of control. And even then, only to prevent her from revealing our contract or existence, for the most part."

The fuchsia eye blinks at Lacrima's nervousness. "... heh ..." It's obvious that she still isn't feeling very comfortable. But that display was just a little bit of non-malicious amusement. "We know perfectly well that she hunted creatures such as you and us," she says dryly. "That is, after all, how we know each other. Indeed, she often bested us in battle." She settles back down a bit. "When she retired ... we decided that we respect her enough not to attempt to bring her out of retirement."

She sighs softly. "I will speak plainly," she says, switching to singular forms. "There is a significant part of myself which believes that this is all pointless -- that I am better off calling myself 'we' and serving the Obsidian Pact and the Prince of Nightmares, in that order. And that even having this much of a conversation with you is a waste of time." She pauses. "... Is that sort of thing to be expected, in creatures such as you and I?" she asks. "I will say that on the other hand, as of late, my memories of my existence before I became a nightmare have also been weighing heavily in my mind. Ever since I encountered the wisher ..." She's still being cagey about Narumi's name. Or her old name, for that matter.
Lacrima 2018-11-07 02:45:38 99880
Lacrima nods a little as she relaxes again. "Those feelings are natural to you and I." she says. "I often feel like that. That..." she says. "...like you are wasting yours and others time, and better off doing anything else. But the fact is, by letting those feelings control your every action, you're just letting yourself drift further and further away into it." she says.

"You don't want the dark having control." she says softly.

She frowns a little deeper as she looks down. "The Prince of Nightmares. Is lost in the darkness too." she says. "We have information suggesting that something terrible happened in his past that made him that. That what's he doing isn't what he truly wants." she says.

"---but that's a stronger problem. We can't get through to him. Or rather. I think we did. But it didn't matter." she says. Remembering his sad look during that horrid night last year.

She isn't seeming to poke her use of names too hard, well lack of using them. "Narumi-chan, you mean." she says softly.

She purses her lips as she seems to think. "I was a normal human. Named Norie Okana. I bought a necklace in a secondhand shop, that I didn't know was cursed- of course. It stole my body from me. Replaced it with this. Started poisoning my soul." she says. "I used to be a mess. Used to not be in control. It took lots of work. I won't say that... it's easy. But. I'm glad I didn't give up, because I wouldn't even be here speaking to you right now if I did."

"I know you didn't ask that. But I wanted to offer my story, before I asked...." what she says.

"....who we're you before you we're..." a pause. "Afflicted with your current condition?" she asks. "What led to you being... as you are now?" she asks.
Narumi Nendai 2018-11-07 03:08:00 99882
"Indeed," says Manako. "For most of my existence ... well, I have allowed myself to be controlled by the darkness within me. Perhaps I shall force myself to escape the embarrassment, and simply speak more with the wisher. As for The Prince ..." She tilts her 'head' and looks at Lacrima sidelong. "... These words shall not leave this dream, but ... I would not be surprised if your words to the Prince did bear fruit in the end."

The Fuchsia eye blinks. "Yes," she says. "Rumi-chan. She spoke with you, did she not? She was given your phone number, some time after I faced your Masquerade, and some time before I ceased possessing her." Well, this matches what Narumi told them.

She listens thoughtfully to Norie's story. "Hmm ..." At the question, her 'head' turns away from Lacrima, and all her other eyes also seem to shift slightly so that they're looking anywhere but in Lacrima's eye.

Finally, she says, "... Yozora no Yumemi." The Dreaming of the Night Sky; the same name Narumi gave. "I ... was a nekomata, who conducted light and shadow as my art." She reluctantly looks back to Lacrima. "I ... was corrupted by the forces of darkness, and transmuted into the nightmare I am now," she says. "I was only sixteen years old. Now I am six hundred forty-three." She hesitates. "... How old were you, Norie-san?"
Lacrima 2018-11-07 03:26:22 99884
Lacrima listens and shakes her head. "I'm not sure about The Prince. He tried to kill me after. To spite Ari-chan." she says softly. "But... when one languishes in the dark and doesn't debate it, it takes over again easily." she says grumpily.

She listens and purses her lips as she does, tapping her bottom lip. "Light and Dark are opposite of one another. One is always going to eventually outweigh the other." she shifts.

"I've only been like I am for three years." she says quietly. "-but I'm functionally immortal so that's three out of... well probably about that many as you are eventually. Given some purification doesn't kill me. The being that had this power before me lived for about 400 or so until he angered the wrong person." she says.

"So I was about twelve when I bought the necklace." she says.
Narumi Nendai 2018-11-07 03:41:53 99886
Manako nods. "That is fair," she says. "Perhaps it is simply ... 'Yumemi's' idealism which has garnered that conclusion. But I am reasonably certain of this much." She extends an 'arm' of shadow and points it at Lacrima. "In the coming years, you and Ariel will have ample opportunities to reach out to him again."

She looks Lacrima over. "... Perhaps we have more in common than I realized, you and I," she says. "Yozora no Yumemi, and Norie Okana. Hmm ..."

She puts on a thoughtful air. "To escape retribution and vengeance for my defection from both the Prince and the Pact ... would require a considerable amount of finesse," she says. "I don't imagine I shall have to tell you how terrible such retribution might be. However, I do believe that such finesse is well within my abilities. And ..." She looks away again, but only with her fuchsia eye. "... I shall have to speak with Rumi-chan about this." She does that odd shadowy shrug. "In the meantime ... might I request that you inform Ariel that she might have a nekomata-nightmare to purify relatively soon?"
Lacrima 2018-11-07 04:04:26 99889
Lacrima nods. "Corruption isn't fun to deal with." she says. She eyes Manako a little as she mentions having more opportunities later. She nods. "....I am sad to say. I am not an expert on... 'escaping retribution'. Most certainly not currently." she says with a grim tone, that seems unrelated to the current topic at hand.

"But I will let Ariel know what's going on, you can trust me on that. If she's unable to do it, we know others that might be able to." she says.

She head tilts. "You may feel free to just 'enter' next time you wish to visit too. I just ask, as I asked earlier, you don't touch the flowering plants. Each one represents a link to someone important to me. I'm not sure if touching them or trying to prune them would hurt me in some way. I'd rather not chance it." she asks meekly.
Narumi Nendai 2018-11-07 04:21:18 99891
Manako nods. "Indeed not." She shrugs slightly at Lacrima's reaction. "Once you reach my age, I am certain that you will learn to recognize patterns as well as I have," she says. "The Obsidian Pact has access to information regarding very many battles, very many events, a great many of which I have personally witnessed. And I am equally certain that you shall acquire similar skills at evading retribution."

She seems to straighten up. "It was a pleasure, Okana-san," she says. "Perhaps our future meetings shall continue to be more auspicious than the encounter at the school. If so, I look forward to our future meetings and endeavors."

She moves to leave, her fuchsia eye turned away from Lacrima, but she pauses at the edge. "... and contrariwise," she says, "should we not return to being Yozora no Yumemi ..." She's gone back to using the plural. "... Well. We don't imagine that we need to elaborate."

And with that, she leaves Lacrima's dream.