Dreams and Reality

Rune finally gets a chance to speak more calmly with Seishi, who has seen the princess' dreams and nightmares of what could happen... and whose actions helped bring about something far different.

Date: 2015-12-27
Pose Count: 18
Runealy Waldia 2015-12-27 23:35:43 19590
(Backdated Scene note: This scene takes place on approx. Dec 8 2015.)
Seishi Tamashige 2015-12-27 23:54:35 19595
Waldia has been an experience.

It's probably true for everyone - how often do you get a chance to visit another world and be welcomed there as a hero? - but there's an extra layer for Seishi, the deja vu of having seen these places before when she's walked in dreams. She's already had something of a tour around the city, been greeted enthusiastically by the people there, and as gratifying as it's been, it's started to get just a little bit overwhelming.

She asked if there were a place in the castle that gave a good view of the city, a chance to get some air, and she was politely directed here. So now - still transformed and wearing the distinctive scarlet of her alter ego - she stands with her hands in her sleeves, looking out over the city from a slightly more removed vantage than she had earlier when she was walking around in it. Contemplating.
Runealy Waldia 2015-12-28 00:02:32 19598
The interesting thing about it is the people from Earth have been recognized as heroes no matter their guise. The people can't see through secret identities, but the 'concept math' is easy: They were told people from the other world came here to help just in time, just as the truth of the spreading red 'demon blight' in the sky could no longer be hidden because it was finally visible in the horizon from the capital on Salvation Day. So even when untransformed, the offworlders are met with enthusiasm and gratitude; the underlying assumption is the likes of Seishi and Mamoru and all the others did /something/ to help, even if chronicles of the event only clearly note the presence of their transformed identities.

In this case, seeing Akashimaru on the central balcony, the one flanked by twin Waldian banners (red sides, white center, silver shield with a pink heart centered on the white field) on each side prompts people to point up in admiration, but they're too far away to really talk to her. Others are less observant, and go about their day in the capital city below. Some people tend their bakery or blacksmithing tasks, others work market booths. The winter weather has slowed down, but not totally stopped, these activities.

The commotion nonetheless helps Rune; her room's balcony let her see that people were worked up over something... and a bit of looking around brings her to join Akashimaru.

Rune is untransformed, opting for her usual dress that looks fancy but nonetheless 'in period and in-fashion' around here. Approaching Akashimaru's balcony, Runealy offers a quiet smile. "There you are. I've finally had a chance to think things through, was hoping we could talk sometime. Right now though... you okay? All healed up, getting by alright here in the capital?"
Seishi Tamashige 2015-12-28 00:11:37 19602
When she notices someone below pointing up at her, Akashimaru waves at them. A bit of acknowledgement seems little enough to ask, after all.

Whatever the samurai girl was contemplating up here on her own, she leaves it as she turns toward Runealy, answering the smile with a lopsided one of her own. "I'm fine," Akashimaru replies, spreading her arms slightly in demonstration: see, all in one piece.

Then, as she lets her hands fall to her sides, she tilts her head and regards Rune with curiosity and just a hint of concern. "How about you?"
Runealy Waldia 2015-12-28 00:18:29 19605
Even a handwave is enough to have pretty much made someone's day, in the same way a personal acknowledgement from a famous singer or sports player on Earth might.

"Getting there," Rune responds. Obviously three days is not enough to emerge bouncing around super happy. "You've seen what I saw pretty much every night since before we even came to Earth. These last few days have been some of the first where I haven't woken up immediately scared about everything that could go wrong. You saw why, and..."

A few headshakes. "It didn't happen. Instead of having to be worried about how everything is going to end, now I've got to figure out how things are going to /be./ Because of that, there's something I wanted to ask of you."
Seishi Tamashige 2015-12-28 00:28:40 19609
At Rune's reply, Akashimaru's head dips a little, a small nod of acknowledgement. "It takes a while to get out of the habit, I guess."

It's habit as well that has her tucking her hands back into her sleeves as she regards the princess curiously, brows lifting. "Something you want to ask me?" she echoes, and then nods again, decisively this time. "Okay," she says. "What did you want to ask?"
Runealy Waldia 2015-12-28 00:32:56 19611
"For a little more help. That's pretty mean, when you've already done so much for us, I know... but this isn't dangerous." Rune is quick to point that out. "We've been on Earth for half a year, and I still barely have any idea how life is like there because our routine was 'go to school, hide, observe people, attack them.' I can tell you how to get around Tokyo, and that's about it."

With all this laid out, she gets to the point: "We're going back, and I'd like to have some kind of idea what to do. I can't speak for everyone, but at the very least I'd like to ask you to help me learn. I know there will be monsters and generals of invading empires to deal with, so I'm asking about everything else. Not fighting, but /living/ there."
Seishi Tamashige 2015-12-28 00:43:14 19613
Akashimaru listens attentively as Runealy speaks, serious at first, nodding slightly to show that she understands and encourage the other girl to continue. Her eyes widen in faint surprise when Rune makes it clear what she plans to do - but only for a moment, and then Akashimaru smiles.

"Well," she says, "that doesn't seem like very much to ask. I wouldn't mind helping with something like that, however much I can."
Runealy Waldia 2015-12-28 00:49:57 19615
"Really?" Rune seems slightly surprised by this agreement, but quickly pleased by it. "Thank you! I can pay you for it, of course, and while we're here we can do it the other way around."

Finally showing more than idle movement, she steps beside Akashimaru to point at the nearby city. "Have you had much chance to go through there yet, find anything to bring home with you?"
Seishi Tamashige 2015-12-28 01:02:46 19618
Akashimaru's eyes widen again at Runealy's words, and this time she laughs, a bit incredulously. "Pay me? Why? You don't have to do something like that." Smiling, she shakes her head. "I mean... you spent six months in our world, right? It'd be a shame if you didn't get a chance to enjoy being there now that the trouble here is dealt with and you can finally stop worrying."

Her eyes track Runealy's gesture out towards the city, and Akashimaru's shoulders lift a little. "I had a nice walk around," she says. "It's hard to decide on what would make a good souvenir, though." Glancing back to Runealy, she cracks a grin. "Is there anything you'd recommend?"
Runealy Waldia 2015-12-28 01:09:43 19621
"I'm just used to..." Rune cuts off, realizing explaining this to Akashimaru probably won't lead anywhere useful; if she doesn't want some sort of 'tour guide pay', that's honestly fine. Doing this as friends rather than on some more 'capitalist' basis is probably better. "Alright, nevermind that then. Thank you!"

As for what to get here? "I could suggest all kinds of things. Food is nice and you've probably tried some already, but you can't really take that back with you. So beyond that, it depends on what you'd like. We've got jewelry of course," just not in the sheer quantities available on Earth with modern jewelers setting up mainstream shops for it. "And clothes in all sorts of fashions. Art, books, woodworking, leather, blacksmithing... we have everything you'd need." A hurried look around ensures they're alone before she speaks of technology this world simply isn't ready for: "No cell phones, but we get by without those."
Seishi Tamashige 2015-12-28 01:22:31 19625
As before, Akashimaru nods, her smile growing as she listens to Runealy talk about the things that her people make. And laughs quietly at the mention of cell phones. "It's kind of hard to imagine," she quips. "But after all, they haven't been around all *that* long in my world, either. Anyway... I'll have to think about it a little more," she decides. "I'll have another look around before it's time to go back. Maybe something will catch my eye."

Her expression slips back into one more of contemplation as she looks, now, away from the city and instead toward the castle whose balcony she's standing on. "It's still a little surreal to be here in person," she admits. "I'm glad I got the chance to see it properly."
Runealy Waldia 2015-12-28 01:35:28 19627
"They haven't?" Rune's eyes raise in unrestrained surprise, turning away from the city to face her new friend. "I kind of figured Earth had them for a long time, /everyone/ has cell phones and people look at me funny for not knowing much about them. What's 'that long' in this case?"

"Well, we can look all you'd like. I can go with you, we'll get a few guards to make sure we've got some breathing room, and we can browse. It'll be fine! Maybe you'll find something along the way. And... yeah. I'm glad you're seeing this. The thousands of reasons I went to the 'Unknown World', reasons whose faces I won't know or names I'll ever hear. Then there are the hundreds of reasons I /do/ know, and the few dozen who mean everything to me. The Shrine as it's /supposed/ to be, the castle when it's... well, kind of normal. Take pictures if nobody's looking. I have. We're going to remember the walls and carpets and shops and people, and... thank you. For seeing it, for talking with me enough to get me thinking about other options, other choices... you're part of why we're standing here, and I'm not going to forget that!"
Seishi Tamashige 2015-12-28 01:43:43 19632
Akashimaru's laugh is a little sheepish. "Well, I mean, we've had them for as long as I can remember. But I think they only really started coming into use around when my parents were our age... something like that. Weird to think about, isn't it?"

She brightens a little at Rune's impromptu speech. "I'm glad," Akashimaru says, voice warm with feeling. "Really glad. I had no idea, you know, those times I blundered into your dreams... if I was helping or making things worse for you. It's hard to tell. I'm glad that I was able to help after all. And," her eyes take on a sparkle of enthusiasm. "I'll definitely take pictures. I wasn't sure if it'd be okay, but - well, I'll make sure nobody sees me who doesn't already know. I want to remember, too."
Runealy Waldia 2015-12-28 01:52:05 19634
"So about twenty, twenty-five years or so?" Rune's head tilts down a little as she ponders this. That's longer than she has been alive, but it's enough of a frame of reference. "I wonder if electricity is that new for you too, or automobiles for that matter. Kind of amazing to think that through!"

As for the effects of seeing her nightmares, Rune admits in a lower tone: "Both. It scared me to think someone knew, in detail, what was going on and that meant any of the invading empires on Earth could find out about it from them, like it or not. But when you get scared enough... you either freeze up, or do something."

"So my friends did something, told me 'no', and I was forced to try a new choice. So it helped in the end, even if it hurt at first. So you take all the pictures you want, and hold on to them. Whether it's here, the city, the shrine, the hills, the lake..." She's describing nearby natural scenery, some of it as normal as it would be outside Tokyo, "you get them. Because I want you to know, every single day, that you're part of why a lot of people still have their lives and why I'm asking about the future on Earth rather than the end of everything ever. And if you /ever/ need help for anything, whatever it is, come ask. I'll get right to it! Whether it's finding something to bring home, or fighting monsters or seeing some event in Tokyo."

Those last several words are said near breathlessly, both from self-imposed awe from these thoughts and from finally being a bit low on breath; Rune has had a lot to say, and done so in very sharp intensity.
Seishi Tamashige 2015-12-28 02:11:46 19641
"Things like electricity and cars go back further," Akashimaru says. "I think the internet is about the same as cell phones, though. It's kind of crazy when you think about it... how fast the world changes." Her voice drops as she says it; for a moment, it's the samurai talking, more than the modern girl. Only for a moment, though, and then it's past as though it never was.

She winces a little as Rune talks about what it was like having someone else witnessing her dreams - but, well, she already knew to some extent, and what's done is done. They found their way through to a resolution, and that's enough. She listens to Rune's passionate words, her expression serious, and when the princess is done Akashimaru lifts her hands from her sleeves to place one lightly on Rune's shoulder. "I will," she promises. "Thank you."

And then, stepping back again, she smiles. "And if you need help with something down the road, you can ask me. Because... we're friends, right?"
Runealy Waldia 2015-12-28 02:17:42 19642
"...What's an 'internet'?" Rune asks this immediately and sincerely. "I think I've heard the word once or twice and that's about all I know." She asks this despite Akashimaru's hand on her shoulder, which seems to have been nearly magnetic to those coming from Earth to help.

The question is met with an enthused, smile-returning "Mm!" It's not a specific word, but an eagerly confirming noise.
Seishi Tamashige 2015-12-28 02:21:50 19645
'What's an internet?', Rune asks, and Akashimaru is once again left blinking in surprise. Presently, she starts laughing. "...I don't think I can explain," she says. "I'll have to show you when we get back to Tokyo."

The princess did ask for help learning what it's like to live there, after all...

"We'll make it your first crash course on life in Japan!"