Lending Her Strength

Right before they head out for their daily training, Akari has an interesting request for Millie: she wants her to use Rubindorn and Ritterglocke so that they can have a better picture of Akari's situation. However, their subsequent walk from the coffee shop is interrupted.

Date: 2019-01-26
Pose Count: 26
Rosalie Janus 2019-01-26 01:20:45 103018
It's the usual time for after-school training and practice. Today, though, Akari sent Millie a text asking if she could drop by the bunker.

Akari is sitting in room 3 with the door open, dressed in her usual blue track suit, with the bag with the two training swords sitting behind her; the bell-like Device, Ritterglocke, is sitting on the bed next to her, and she's holding Rubindorn in one hand in pendant-form.

"... does that even make sense?" Akari is saying.

<<SOLLTE ARBEITEN,>> says Rubindorn. Should work. Her voice sounds ... a bit less like a whisper now. Nowhere near her normal volume, but she's clearly getting there, even if she's favoring shorter sentences. <<WARE SELTSAM, WENN NICHT.>> Would be weird, if not.
Millie White 2019-01-26 01:40:35 103019
The usual after-school training and practice wasn't usually held at the bunker, so when Akari had requested her presence there, it had caused a bit of concern. Even so, Millie had responded to the text immediately with a confirmation that she would be there.

Millie wore her usual attire as well, right down to her favourite faded green overshirt and worn brown boots. The Cure made her way down the closet stairs and paused in the doorway of Room 3. Even though the door was open, Millie politely knocked softly on the door frame before offering her friend a lopsided smile.

"Hey Akari-san." Millie said quietly with a nod of her head. "How're you feeling?" Her gaze flickered to Ritterglocke and she couldn't help the concern that flashed over her expression.
Rosalie Janus 2019-01-26 01:46:00 103020
Akari brightens slightly when Millie arrives. "Hi, Millie-chan!" she says. "I'm ..." She sighs. "I spoke with Lacrima-chan the other day at Chiba-san's place. We ... talked about a few things." She chuckles weakly. "... It turns out, she was kind of blaming herself, too."

Rubindorn lets out a soft, irritated ping.

Akari sighs. "Um. I kind of feel like I'm improving in ... a few ways," she says. "Ruby still has trouble with whole conversations, and I can't check on myself using Ritterglocke ..."

She hesitates. "... which ... is ... actually sort of why I invited you down here. Since your Linker Core is better ... or mostly better ... um, do you think you could ... use Rubindorn and Ritterglocke yourself for a bit, before we head out for practice?"
Millie White 2019-01-26 02:04:31 103021
Oh Lacrima... Millie didn't know the vampire well at all. They had only met a few times, but from what she knew of her, of course she would blame herself. No doubt Akari hadn't let her blame herself though, so she wasn't as worried as she could be.

"I'm glad you're feeling better." Millie offered first before grinning. "Of course, Akari-san. I'm uh... not sure how to use them, but I'll give it my best shot." What, had Akari actually thought Millie might say no? There was no chance, no way, that that would ever happen.

"What do you need me to do?" She asked, moving into the room proper.
Rosalie Janus 2019-01-26 02:16:08 103022
Akari smiles. (Her smiles have been getting bigger, and more genuine.) "Just ..." She takes off her pendant. "Sit here with me, and, and hold onto Ruby and say 'Rubindorn, Activate.'" She shrugs. "In ... whatever language, I guess."

As soon as Millie does this, she'd feel ... a faint tug of magic, as if she was using her Pretty Cure powers, it's just from a different source.

Rubindorn's gem flickers, and she lets out a full-volume ping. <<OH, WOW!>> she says. A pause. <<OKAY, MILLIE, DEIN LINKERKERN IST NICHT VOLLSTANDIG GEHEILT, ABER VIEL BESSER ALS AKARI.>>

... and regardless of how much German she knows, Millie would be able to understand it perfectly: Okay, Millie, your Linker Core is not completely healed, but it's much better than Akari.

Akari sighs, and smiles at Millie and Rubindorn. There's tears forming in her eyes.
Millie White 2019-01-26 02:32:57 103023
Millie nodded and sat next to Akari, accepting Rubindorn carefully in her hands. She hadn't ever held a device before... it was strangely warm to the touch, and she held the device so very carefully, as if she might break it.

"...Rubindorn, Activate." She said softly to the device. A familiar warmth flickered to life in her chest, yet it felt different at the same time. At Rubindorn's louder voice, Millie smiled broadly.

"Thanks, Rubindorn. It's good to hear you again." At the mention of Akari's linker core, the smile on her face flickered for a moment.
Rosalie Janus 2019-01-26 02:44:23 103024
Rubindorn pings. <<ES IST SCHON, WIEDER GEHORT ZU WERDEN!>> It's good to be heard again!

Akari smiles weakly. "You doing okay, Ruby?"

<<JA,>> says Rubindorn. Yes. A slight pause. <<DU?>> You?

Akari shrugs. "You heard what I said to Millie-chan," she said. "I'm getting better ... slowly."

<<RECHT,>> Rubindorn says earnestly. Right.

Of course, the flicker of Millie's smile didn't get missed, either. "... as for my Linker Core," she says, lightly tapping the bell-shaped Device. "Ruby, can you handle Ritterglocke? If Millie-chan can't speak Belkan or use the commands."

<<BESTIMMT, HERRIN!>> Certainly, mistress! And then a slightly embarrassed pause. <<OH, UH ...>>

Millie would feel a sensation of 'prompting', from Rubindorn. A Device can't channel its wielder's magic without permission; Millie is using Rubindorn, after all, not the other way around.
Millie White 2019-01-26 02:58:52 103025
The exchange between Akari and Rubindorn eased the worry in Millie's features, if only slightly; she knew just how much her friend missed speaking to her device. As they talked, the Cure's other hand curiously reached out and laid carefully atop of Ritterglocke before she felt the prompting from Rubindorn. Millie closed her eyes and smiled.

"Go ahead, Rubindorn." The Cure gave the Device full access to her magic with a polite nod. She wasn't quite sure what to expect from either Rubindorn or Ritterglocke for that matter, but she trusted Akari. By extension, that meant she trusted Rubindorn too.
Rosalie Janus 2019-01-26 03:14:25 103026
As soon as Millie gives the command, a holographic screen appears above Ritterglocke, with ... a more-or-less unintelligible script. It's full of scary-looking warnings, though.

Akari turns to read over the screen. "Okay, let's see ... my Linker Core is slowly recovering, and it's already producing barely enough mana for me to use it more, I'll be able to transform in another week or two ..." She snorts. "It's complaining that my dark energy levels are at zero ... and ..."

She scrolls a bit further down. "... well, that's interesting," she says. "Apparently, the cause of the glitch was that there was an error in my limiter." She looks back at Millie. "... So, when I'm in my human form, my mana output was suppressed in order to make me seem like an ordinary human compared to my combat form. Which is why this form was barely corrupted at all."

She turns back to the screen. "So when I transformed back into this form while my Linker Core was in the process of getting forcibly removed, the limiter got, uh, glitched to bits. When Sakura-imouto turned on auto-repair, it was glitched out badly enough that the simplest way to repair me was to just disable the limiter altogether while it fixed it. But then she passed out before it could work out the glitches."

She smiles faintly. "... The bottom line is, I'll still be able to transform and use magic while I'm in this form."

Ping! <<UND ICH WERDE WIRKLICH UMSTANDLICH!>> And I'll be really cumbersome! Rubindorn's sword form alone is longer than Akari is tall in her current form, after all.

Akari blinks. "... Right, true."
Millie White 2019-01-26 03:30:57 103027
Millie stayed silent as Akari leaned over and began reading the screen. This worked out due to the fact that... well, Millie herself couldn't understand a single thing on the holographic screen that had appeared. As Akari explained what information Ritterglocke was outputting, she nodded to show she understood.

"I'm really glad the glitching isn't anything serious." The Cure mentioned quietly, trying not to think about how Akari looked laying on the pavement and glitching out.

"You should rest though, alright? Until your linker core is in better shape." The concern in her voice was evident even if her eyes were closed, concentrating on both Rubindorn and Ritterglocke.
Rosalie Janus 2019-01-26 03:42:51 103028
Akari shrugs. She hesitates, as if she's not sure she wants to say what she's thinking, but then just comes out and says it. "It probably was serious, if it was messing with the actual way I get mana into my body," she says uncomfortably. "But ... well ... it's obviously not going to be a problem now."

She smiles at Millie, and puts a hand on her shoulder. "Well, of course," she says. "I won't use my magic until Rubindorn gives me the go-ahead."

Ping! <<GUT!>> Good!

Akari smiles. "Well, Millie-chan," she says, "are you ready to head out for non-magical practice?"
Millie White 2019-01-26 03:56:55 103029
Millie didn't want to think about it. The terminology she had used was incorrect, and she had known it. It HAD been serious... but it wasn't NOW. And it would stay that way, especially if she had anything to say about it. Even if Akari wanted to use magic, Millie wouldn't give her the chance.

"... Yeah, alright. We should probably head out, shouldn't we?" Millie opened her eyes and smiled, removing her hand from Ritterglocke. Carefully, the Cure handed Rubindorn back to Akari, but not before giving the Device a gentle squeeze, almost as if to say thank you for always looking after Akari. She could feel a slight drain due to using magic, but it wouldn't be a problem for non-magical training after all.
Rosalie Janus 2019-01-26 04:06:50 103030
Akari smiles and nods, and puts Rubindorn back around her neck. "Thanks, Millie-chan," she says softly.

She hefts the bag with the two swords, and leads Millie back up out of the bunker and out of the coffee shop. There's something slightly relieving about being able to just get back to normalcy.

"Oh right, remember that Puella we met, Erato Ishin-san?" she says, as they start heading down the street. A faint blush crosses her cheeks at the memory of Erato asking if Akari and Millie were a couple. "Someone on Infinity's kendo team mentioned her, it turns out that she's actually an idol singer for ... some croup with an overly-long name, it's shortened to 'Anata'." Japanese for 'you'.
Millie White 2019-01-26 04:32:28 103031
Millie followed Akari out of the bunker and then out of the coffee shop proper, shaking her head at Akari's thanks. This wasn't anything she needed to be thanked for; stuff like this is what friends did, after all, right? As the two walked, Akari suddenly brought up the Puella they had met before, the one who had defeated a Witch.

"Ishin-san? I remember her, yeah." Millie responded in her low and slow Japanese. Either she didn't notice Akari's blush, or she was choosing to ignore it. If Millie was being honest, the only other person she had ever been 'grouped' with like that was Alexis... and that was only because of some far flung rumours that had been spread about Verone.

"She's an Idol? Huh...I'll have to see about taking a listen to her stuff then. She did mention having to sing to be able to control that whip properly." Millie remarked. "I only heard her humming, but I bet she's pretty good."
Rosalie Janus 2019-01-26 04:41:37 103032
Akari nods. "I listened to some of her music on Youtube," she says. "All I could think was how neat it was to see someone I met, having a job they're so passionate about. And it fed into her magical girl stuff, too." There's a faint glimmer of Akari's usual enthusiasm somewhere in there; she's always liked hearing about what other people were into.

... There's a strange sort of foresty or summery scent of magic from a nearby alley just ahead, tinged with darkness. Akari doesn't notice, and Rubindorn's just conserving her power ...

Akari slows down slightly. "... I confess the ... other thing Ishin-san said has, uh, has also been on my mind," she adds. There's ... even a bit of bashfulness there?
Millie White 2019-01-26 04:54:25 103033
The way Akari was speaking was almost nostalgic. The slightly taller girl had always been excited to know and hear about other peoples' passions, and Millie was glad to see that Ishin-san had evoked that familiar feeling within her once more. She would have to thank Erato later, for both sharing her music and for helping Akari.

The Device user was beginning to slow down now, and she was definitely saying something, but Millie only half heard her words. It had something to do with Erato's comment about them potentially being a couple, but Millie couldn't concentrate. The Cure sniffed the air lightly... there it was again, a mana scent signature!

"Akari-san...!" Millie's hand shot out and grabbed her friend's shoulder, pulling her back away from the alleyway and positioning herself protectively in front of her magicless friend. "Smells like dark magic. Stay behind me!" The Cure reached for the ChangeMirror at the small of her back clipped to her belt, looking around to check if there were any witnesses or potential victims. What rotten timing.
Rosalie Janus 2019-01-26 05:02:05 103034
Akari is visibly startled when Millie grabs her shoulder, and ... goes slightly more red as Millie moves in front of her. "R-right," she says, stepping back. "... this is just like when we met Ishin-san, too," she adds flatly.

There's a few people wandering around at the moment, but as the smell seems to move closer, there's no sign of any victims ...

... until a foul-'smelling' beam of lavender light shines down onto the two of them from directly above, shone from the antennae of a ten-foot moth-youma as it starts trying to drain their energy! Akari yelps and staggers, and there's screams from the other pedestrians and drivers, who immediately turn and start fleeing the scene.
Millie White 2019-01-26 05:21:51 103035
There were people around, she couldn't henshin in front of them without risking her identity! One sniff told her that the youma was getting closer, and she turned to Akari just as the lavender beam of light enveloped them. Immediately she could feel the intent, if only by the foul smell; it was draining their energy. Akari stumbled and she could hear other pedestrians screaming... she didn't have a choice.

Millie grit her teeth and pushed off from the ground, all but tackling Akari around the waist. The motion sent the two of them tumbling into the nearby alleyway, but also out of the direct path of the beam. They landed with Millie kneeling over her friend in case the moth tried to shoot anything else at them. Thankfully the alleyway gave her cover, even if the pedestrians had already begun fleeing.

The familiar green light enveloped her when she slammed down on the activator, and a No-Nonsense Cure Shield now knelt over Akari. "Jadesteel!" The face of her shield began to glow a white hot green, and Millie drew a long sword made of green energy from it. The Cure was able to flash Akari a glance that clearly meant 'Take cover!' before she was dashing out of the alleyway to get the attention of the moth youma off of Akari and any other pedestrian that might still be around.
Rosalie Janus 2019-01-26 05:30:32 103036
Akari lets out a grunt as Millie tackles her into the alleyway. She ... doesn't blush deeper when she find Millie on top of her; she's seen that episode before, and now is simply not the time to be a comedy anime. Now it's time for business, and Akari ...

... grimaces as she realizes she's completely helpless at the moment. She firmly grasps Rubindorn, more for comfort than anything else.

Even as Cure Shield draws her blade, the moth floats down until it's only ten feet off the ground. It lets out a low screech, and flaps its wings, unleashing an attack into the alley that seems to be made of white cherry petals -- but the attacks don't injure whoever they hit. Just drain and debilitate.

Akari takes Millie's hint, and bolts deeper into the alley with a yelp!
Millie White 2019-01-26 05:40:47 103037
Cure Shield skidded to a halt when she saw the moth hovering about ten feet off the ground. The screech acted as a warning, and the green knight was able to bring up her shield in time.

"Emerald Guard!" The green barrier exploded from around her shield, growing in size until it covered from one side of the alleyway to the other. The white petals hit the barrier and could go no farther into the alleyway, appearing to disintegrate on contact. The shield held and, once the petals had all but cleared, she immediately launched her counterattack.

Cure Shield's barrier disappeared as she ran and leaped between the two buildings' walls that formed the alleyway, gaining height before she launching herself at the moth youma. The Canuck slashed her sword in a downward arc in mid-air at the creature, hoping to clip its wings.
Rosalie Janus 2019-01-26 05:48:32 103038
Akari gasps and slows as Millie throws up the shield. If Millie could smell emotions, Akari's relief would be palpable. She lets out a groan of frustration, however, at her complete inability to participate.

The moth mostly seems befuddled as Millie starts wall-jumping. It tries to evade once she leaps, but it's a little too slow, and Millie tears the wing in half! The moth youma plummets, and clatters to the sidewalk, limbs flailing. It's not completely dead, however, and it immediately points its antennae at Millie, firing that energy-draining beam of light at her! Akari, meanwhile, lets out a squawk and throws herself to the ground so she doesn't get caught in the crossfire.

... The energy-drain seems considerably less effective on someone in henshin.
Millie White 2019-01-26 05:55:48 103039
She watched as the Moth dropped like a sack of bricks, and the Cure allowed gravity to take hold of her own form as well. As she fell towards the Moth it shot another lavender beam directly up at her. Her shield wasn't enough to block it without using Emerald Guard, but she now knew the effectiveness of it against someone who was henshined; much less than it had been a few minutes ago.

Instead of getting out of the way or trying to block it, Cure Shield growled and continued her free fall straight towards the moth, tanking the beam and aiming to drop sword first into the creatures centre of mass.
Rosalie Janus 2019-01-26 06:00:23 103040
And the moth-youma takes the hit. It lets out another screech, flailing and twisting around the sword embedded in its body for a few seconds. And then it simply disintegrates in an explosion of white cherry petals.

Fortunately, these cherry petals don't seem to be harmful; in fact, they look semitransparent, and slowly start to fade away.

Akari steps forward cautiously. And maybe a little unsteadily, too. "... wow, that was terrifying," she says. She's looking a little teary-eyed. "Ahaha. Wow. Was this how you felt when that, uh, stormcloud-youma showed up?"
Millie White 2019-01-26 06:11:34 103041
That... had been easier than she thought it would be. Was this just a weak youma? Or had she gotten stronger? It was hard to say, especially since she wasn't at full strength at the moment. Cure Shield stood slowly and turned back to smile at Akari, the storm of white petals billowing around her before fading away.

"Something like that, yeah." She chuckled as she made her way towards the Device user. The Cure put a hand on Akari's shoulder to steady her. "Are you alright, Akari-san?"
Rosalie Janus 2019-01-26 06:20:20 103042
Akari responds by wrapping an arm around Millie's shoulder and leaning slightly. "I haven't been all right since December Thirtieth," she says. Of course, this whole attitude is a sign that she's doing better than she was four weeks ago. "But I'm not hurt or anything."

She frowns. "... I wonder why that drain hit me harder than you."

Rubindorn flickers. <<DEIN KORPER IST ENERGIE?>> she says softly.

Akari shrugs. "Yeah, maybe," she says. "Uh, she said my body is energy." She sighs. "M-maybe we should take a rain check on the practice. I am not feeling up for exerting myself ..."
Millie White 2019-01-26 06:31:53 103043
The Cure immediately grasped the arm around her shoulder, using her other arm to help stabilize Akari as well. As if on cue, Cure Shield's henshin flickered and broke, leaving Millie in her place to help get Akari back to the bunker. Admittedly she was still figuring out how much mana she could afford to expend with a damaged linker core, and she had made a few mistakes before. Still, everyone was alright and things had worked out in the end. What a relief.

"Of course, lets get you back to the bunker. I'd kill for a nap right about now myself." Millie joked with a flicker of a lopsided grin.