A Lesson to Keep One Awake

Icela introduces a class to the substitute teacher of their nightmares, but dream defender Kotomi saves the day.

Date: 2019-02-11
Pose Count: 17
Yasumi Yumeji 2019-02-11 00:30:21 103466
Kotomi isn't close friends with anyone in her class. She's sort of ... surface-level "I know her!" acquaintances with everyone, mostly due to being "out and proud" about being trans, but her shyness with regard to basically every other topic of conversation has made closer friendships nearly impossible.

This doesn't seem to stop her from getting perfectly good grades. Her mother wanted to make sure that Kotomi and her younger sister Kurumi went to the best school, which more-or-less meant Verone by default, as far as she was concerned.

It's midmorning on a cloudy day. The math teacher is droning on, and Kotomi is studiously taking notes. She's doing her best to more-or-less ignore the presence of ... well, basically everyone else in the room aside from the teacher, and just focus on doing the schoolwork. She's succeeding just fine, though; even if it's mildly uncomfortable, she's been going to school for nearly eight years now, it's not like it's a surprise for her to deal with.
Icela 2019-02-11 00:37:42 103467
While strictly speaking, the pale figure that appears is coming from a faint gateway that just happens to be on the wall, it's easy to assume for any magically aware people looking in that direction that she came through the wall. The fact that she looks so much like a ghost doesn't help. "Maths." She says in a resigned monotone as she wanders through the classroom, perhaps catching a few glances but surprisingly going unnoticed by most, "Almost makes me think I'm going to be doing them a favor." She says this right when passing by Kotomi, clearly not expecting anyone to notice her. "Ah well. I'm sure this will be satisfying for someone."
Lacrima 2019-02-11 00:42:42 103468
Maria Hanazawa is on a teacher's errand. She has to deliver something to fancy school way down the road. She's always chosen for this... she bleeds that sort of exotic solid dark elegance that makes her stand out less at a place like Verone.

Mainly, it ends with her being stopped less and so she gets done what needs to be done fast. She completes this and is heading back to the outside and back to her school when she stops in front of a classroom and blinks.

"....Huh...." she mutters to herself as she peeks in through a window on the door to see... Oh-- oh it's... it's that girl from that odd dream and some nightmares....

What the heck is she doing? She carefully peeks her head down to keep a less obvious eye into the classroom from the door window.
Yasumi Yumeji 2019-02-11 00:45:21 103469
Kotomi's head jerks around to look towards Icela. "Erk ...!" She shrinks back in her seat away from the ghostly eidolon!

The girl sitting next to her frowns, looks in the direction Kotomi's looking, and ... her eyes just slide off Icela. "What's up, Kobana-san?" she murmurs, as gently as she can.

Kotomi looks like a deer caught in the headlights. "Uhhh ..." Something other people can't see! This is the worst-case scenario! Wait no, this means something magical is happening right in front of her! ... And she ... has no idea what to do about it!

Maria's presence seems to go entirely unnoticed.
Icela 2019-02-11 00:55:41 103470
"Oh, phooey, you're going to make this difficult aren't you?" Icela says with clear annoyance when she notices she's been noticed, but doesn't seem to be too worried. "I just thought this teacher of yours isn't going to teach you the lessons that really matter, you see, so I was going to help out." And with that, Icela acts, reality shimmers around the class, as the school seemingly fades out of existence and a new school is in its place. The teacher is nowhere to be seen.

"Don't worry, I don't think it'll hurt." At this point, the Eidolon draws in a nightmare, recklessly and without regard for who might come. What arrives is a pale elderly man who takes the teacher's seat, and raps his knuckles on the desk. "Alright children." His rhaspy voice little more than a whisper, "I'm Mister Fai L. Shou. Your teacher has had an accident and I'm your substitute." For some reason, the class doesn't quite question it. "To gauge your aptitude, I'm going to need you all to do a little test. Anyone who gets fewer than seventy points on the test will have to follow additional remedial lessons."

He conjures a stack of questions and another stack of answer sheets, "Take one from each stack and pass to the next." He instructs, "Don't let me see a pen or pencil until I tell you to start."

The Eidolon slinks to the back of this nightmare class, clearly pleased with where this is going.
Lacrima 2019-02-11 01:09:45 103471
Maria Hanazawa frowns when the world shifts into a--- weird dreamscape? Other world? Feels like a dreamscape---but. She looks around for Ariel. She isn't here. So either she's here first or Ariel isn't coming. She frowns a little and gently lets herself melt into a black puddle on the ground and slide under the door and then forms back up somwhere behind Icela as the purple haired-- but still solidly dark elegant Lacrima-- and not directly behind. Just... 'behind'. She frowns a little.

"Do you have anything better to do today?" she asks flatly.
Yasumi Yumeji 2019-02-11 01:18:19 103472
Kotomi gulps, eyes going wide, and she furtively looks around the nightmare version of the classroom! Even-worse-case scenario!

Okay. Okay, okay, no need to panic. She's been trying to step up her lucid dreaming game ever since the carnival, she just needs to focus! She --

She lets out a squeak and whirls around as Lacrima speaks up -- oh. Oh! She's talking to the spooky ghost-girl, that wasn't directed at Kotomi!

She sits down, hides her hands under her desk, and concentrates. "Light," she mutters. A tiny marble-sized orb of light appears. She flinches back slightly as if stung, and the light vanishes.

... Lacrima might notice a faint pallor of darkness over Kotomi as she tries to get her lucid-dreaming to work.
Icela 2019-02-11 01:29:38 103474
"Is there really anything better to do than vengeance?" Icela answers Lacrima, turning to face the girl. "And don't worry about me. You have bigger problems, like that nightmare that's teaching this class." She smiles when she says it, "Unless of course you don't care about these students, that's fine, too." Almost sugary sweet the way she puts that.

The students begin passing the questions on, and when everyone has one 'Mister Fai L. Shou' announces, "Turn over the page and begin, you have ten minutes to answer these." the first question on the list is simple enough. 'How much longer will you live?' as a multiple choice question, its answers are equally simple. ten minutes, half an hour, an hour and two hours. As soon as the first student gets a 'wrong' answer, swords begin to lower from the ceiling, one above each student, each held up by six thin threads. Every time a student gets an answer wrong, one of their threads snaps loudly.
Yasumi Yumeji 2019-02-11 01:38:01 103475
Kotomi eyes question 1, then peers up at the swords. "Okay, no more miss nice mahou," she mutters. "Uhh ... let's see ..."

She focuses as hard as she can, eyes squeezed shut. "Nrrrrghhh ..." Briefly, she's surrounded by a purple haze just like the one created by Yasumi ...

And then it disappears in a flash of lavender light, and Kotomi is standing there in a black and white and lavender magical girl costume with a couple of butterfly emblems, as well as a few star emblems here and there! "Um, wow!" she says, and her voice is slightly more feminine now. She opens her eyes, revealing that they're now a brilliant shade of violet, and she looks over herself. "Whoa, I didn't expect this to work that well!" She giggles.

... She probably isn't paying as much attention to her surroundings as she probably should be.
Icela 2019-02-11 01:45:09 103476
Icela remains in the back, she doesn't have a sheet of questions, nor a personal sword of damocles. The nightmare teacher, however, does act when he notices what Kotomi is doing and clearly states, in that same tone of voice, "Students are not permitted to use magic during class. I will have to give you a demerit for such uncouth behavior."

Apparently, said demerit is the ball and chain that materializes near Kotomi's feet, the chain rushing out in an attempt to wrap around an ankle and lock in place, meanwhile the class continues answering these vile questions, though they are taking their time, as much as they dare anyway. So far, none have made more mistakes than two.
Yasumi Yumeji 2019-02-11 01:54:16 103477
Kotomi jumps in surprise as the teacher-nightmare speaks up! As soon as the ball and chain appears, she leaps up onto her desk. "Yeah, how about no," she blurts back. "Uh. Wow, I can't believe I'm ..." She shakes her head. "Yeah no, now's the time to be, uh ... to be ... a dream defender!"

Glowing butterflies of purifying light start swirling around her left hand. "Butterflies ..." Five-pointed stars appear around her right. "... stars ..." She thrusts both of her hands forward, and sends them flying towards the teacher, twirling around each other in a double-helix pattern!

And then she realizes that an attack like this should probably have an appropriate magical girl sort of name. "Um ... Shining Double Helix!" she exclaims uncertainly.
Icela 2019-02-11 02:02:17 103478
In the back, Icela has manifested a bowl of popcorn, eating some as she watches, a clear and distinct glee on her face as she sees the students sweat. Still, she does offer some helpful advice to Kotomi, she isn't a complete monster. "I'm sure defeating the nightmare is important, 'dream defender.'" She comments, "But what victory would it be if your charges suffer his wrath." As though to make her point, one of the students makes another mistake, and another thread snaps, three remaining.

Mister Fai L. Shou's face turns red when Kotomo dodges the ball and chain, and winces quite clearly when he gets hit by the shining double helix, doubling over. He doesn't hesitate to respond in kind, however. "Detention, a thousand lines of 'I won't hit my teacher'" He calls out, and countless pieces of paper materialize, each only capable of inflicting a papercut, but each rushing towards Kotomi to inflict just that. Every piece has that line on it.
Yasumi Yumeji 2019-02-11 02:18:24 103479
Kotomi yelps! "Um. B-Butterfly Shield!" she exclaims, and a two-dimensional butterfly emblem appears in front of her! It doesn't last very long against the onslaught, however, and she dives out of the way as it shatters, suffering a few papercuts in the process. "Ow ow ow ow!"

She quickly jumps to her feet. "... um ..." She raises her hands. "SLEEPY WORLD! T--" Nothing seems to happen; whatever she's trying to do, it seems to be beyond what she can actually do at the moment. "Crap! Uhhhh ..."

A lightbulb goes on. That is, she literally creates a cartoony image of a lightbulb over her head.

She gathers power into herself. "HaaaaaaAAAAAAAAA!!!!" And then she fires a whole bunch of stars and butterflies, one for each student, aimed high. The stars are aimed to cut through all threads at once, the butterflies aimed just ahead to push the swords so that they fall away from the students.

Kotomi gasps, winded by the exertion of firing off that much at once, and she leans heavily against the nearest desk, panting heavily. "Gah ... holy crap ..."
Icela 2019-02-11 02:25:56 103481
And thus, the students are saved from death by failing a test. Icela takes another handful of popcorn and eats, watching Kotomi work really hard. "Pretty impressive stuff, what's your name? I am the Ephemeral Eidolon Icela." She comments, clearly not too bothered by Kotomi's apparent success. Perhaps by this point she's come to expect it.

The nightmare is much less relaxed about it, "Helping your entire class cheat on their tests? The gall! You are expelled!" He gets a stack of sharpened X's and begins throwing them towards Kotomi much like an anime ninja may throw shuriken, twisting and turning to come from all directions.
Yasumi Yumeji 2019-02-11 02:34:22 103483
Kotomi glances back at Icela, struggling to catch her breath. "I'm ... I'm ..."

But suddenly she has X's flying towards her. Her eyes go wide, and she gulps.

But wait! She can fight fire with fire! She thrusts her right hand into the air and holds her left hand off to the side. Magical girls all need some kind of super-cool finishing move, right!? And she probably isn't in a team, so, like, it'll be a solo thing!

White stars and lavender butterflies swirl around her hands, gathering up energy. "TWINKLING ..." She waves her hands in a double spiral, then thrusts them forward. "... NIGHT!" A brilliant white beam shoots towards the nightmare-teacher, all the butterflies and spirals corkscrewing around it!

She flops back down in the desk she was originally sitting at. "I'm Dream Defender Kotomi!" she blurts out. "A-and, and don't you forget it!"

Her face goes red. Did she seriously say 'and don't you forget it'!? Ugghhhhh, embarrassing!
Icela 2019-02-11 02:37:33 103484
The nightmare teacher gets destroyed quite handily by that attack. "Well done, well done. You seem worthy of the name, dream defender. There's too many of you, but I'll remember you." Icela applauds as reality returns and the students get to focus once more on the mundane terror that is mathematics. Despite reality reasserting itself, Icela isn't there.
Yasumi Yumeji 2019-02-11 02:41:02 103485
As reality reasserts itself, Kotomi finds herself back in her school uniform. She blinks in surprise. Well, that was different!

She glances under her desk. There's still a couple of papercuts on her leg from the thousand-lines attack. Which means ... that really happened, and Kotomi is technically a magical girl now.

She has a very faint smile as she resumes working on her math problems ...