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Io at Terauchi Temple

@The Irish Tree

Io's eyes widened ever-so-slightly at Liliana's size trick, subtly betraying her surprise - split evenly between the trick, and the sword's seeming synchronization to the fairy's size. "Very interesting. I suppose that is handy for-" Io cut herself off before she blurted out something inappropriate. It wasn't necessarily because she had a sense of shame, but she figured policing her words might be best with so many people suspicious of mamono already. She briefly stole glances around, as if looking for someone overhearing the conversation. Of course, it didn't seem like anyone was. "Well. Many things." Io somewhat ungracefully ended her sentence, before quickly moving past the topic. "Pink... Yes, it is a good color." She nodded, sharing a brief sense of solidarity with her fellow pink-haired task force member.

She briefly glanced over to another returning party. They, too, had a prisoner. Io wondered if she may have put an unnecessary strain on the group by taking prisoners of her own, umprompted, but... Well, she could take care of that if it became an issue. She kept an eye on them either way, as she wanted to see what they were up to since they finished up another task.

Io remembered something as she watched the other task force members. "Ah. I realize now..." Io retrieved a scroll of hers - this one was a simple scroll of enhancing strength - and held it out to show. "I did consider the potential for giving scrolls to task force members to help them, but... Given your usual size, I may need to reconsider how I made them..." Io didn't want to prod, but she assumed that Liliana didn't have much care to stay the size of human all the time. If anything, Io understood the sentiment. "Creating scrolls with legible, effective runes that are to fairy scale... Now that's an interesting challenge." Io's eyes briefly glimmered with enthusiasm at the thought.
I'll try to get an Iopost by the end of tomorrow, sorry for dropping the ball this week.
Happy birthday! Take the time you need, of course
Io at Terauchi Temple

@The Irish Tree

Io stiffened almost imperceptibly at the mention of a magic-breaking field. While she had contingencies for that, it was mildly concerning that such a thing could come at seemingly random - and from a teammate, even. While she was sure that Liliana wouldn't intentionally dispel all of her scrolls, Io wouldn't want to have to transcribe all new ones. Io quickly tried to de-escalate the situation by picking an example that was relatively benign. "Tricks... Like this?"

Io gently brushed her hair with her hands, letting her pale pink hair flutter in the wind for a brief moment, and pulling her hood back down once more. Mouthing a quick incantation, she invoked the scroll that she used to disguise herself as a normal human. Her pallid skin turned to a more natural tone, and her unnatural hair color dulled to a blonde. "It's a disguise. Down to the skin's warmth. Though, I think I may need to alter the hair color..." Io suspected that a blonde wasn't a common sight, but that may have just been a coincidence. She'd need to see more people of the island to be sure. "It's not quite on the same level of summoning a cow, though... I wonder how you could use that to your advantage...?"

Io wondered to herself if Liliana already had summoned cows to Shizuyama... and what confusion could stem from such large terrestrial animals appearing from nowhere. 'Hopefully the locals can make use of them, I suppose?' Io figured that would be a safe enough bet, provided the cows didn't have some kind of magical strings attached to their summon. She made a mental note to check any she saw Liliana summon to see if they were truly mundane cows and not some strange Wonderland variants.

Alex bade farewell to Michael after a walk that felt too long. In another situation she might have felt a little weird at having a boy walk her home... but it was the least of her worries right now. She made no attempt to hide her late return home. She knew that her parents wouldn't care.

Alex's room was a comforting place to return to after the frantic experience of her stint at Midnight. The blinds eternally shut; the lamp just barely casting enough light to allow walking without tripping. She just wanted to fall into her bed and sleep for several... dozen hours. Pulling her hoodie off her head, she sighed. At the very least she should do something to relax.

Alex returned to her room from a thankfully uneventful bath. The sweet smell of strawberries helped calm her down, at least. She was just glad she wasn't visibly covered in bruises thanks to Michael's healing. That would have been far too awkward to explain at school, she thought. 'Not to mention what would happen if my counselor decided to-'


'-meet with me.' Alex's phone chimed in to interrupt her thoughts. She already knew what it was. She had set up her phone to use a specific tone for that number.

"Hello?" Alex put on her most even voice for this. Her counselor never called unless something was up.

"Alexandria. I've heard reports from the Rhean Police Department about an incident." She cut straight to the chase. As expected of a professional.

Alex feigned surprise. "Oh no! W-Well I've been at home all day, so it's a good thing-"

"Some of the people there said there was a girl with an eyepatch throwing around 'spells.' They said she cracked the foundation of the building with a single punch."

"A-Ahaha... I suppose there are all sorts of bodybuilders out there..."

There was a brief pause, and a faint sigh over the phone. "Alexandria, I'm trying to look out for you here. If you get caught up in the wrong place, with a Gift like yours, there's no telling what would happen. Not to mention that your parents didn't answer my call..."

"W-Well they probably didn't answer because nothing was up! I was home all day, of course."

"Well. I'm going to schedule a meeting during club period at Laurels. You've been resting at home all day, so you'll be attending class tomorrow, of course." The statement left no room for argument.

Alex looked over her uniform, which was hanging up separately, away from her other casual clothes. It was far too ornate for her tastes, stained far too easily, and had too many layers. She would have loved if her enrollment due to remedial schooling included a clause that waived the dress code for her. "Right. I'll be there." Eventually.

"Stay safe, Alexandria. The incident at Midnight was very dangerous. And please tell your parents to contact me." The call ended with a click.

Alex fell backwards onto her bed, sighing with exhaustion. 'No chance of that happening. Sorry, counselor.' It was bad enough she had to go to classes tomorrow at all. Alex had already gamed out the amount she could miss without being flunked, and tomorrow would have been totally fine. As she fell back onto her bed, she could only wonder to herself:

'How will Wolf react when I come to see him... After all this time?' Her chest felt tight with the thought as she laid in bed.

The next day...

Alex's sleep proved to be terrible, mainly due to watching videos in her bed late into the night to drown out her own internal anxiety. Looking back on it, Alex considered it better than sitting in a dark room alone with her thoughts. She'd do it again. ...She may have to do it again, depending on Wolf.

Of course, her entire body was sore from the exertion of the fight at Midnight. She hadn't a clue how she was going to hide that from her counselor - She could barely stand from a chair without groaning. Maybe she'd just stand up the whole time. Or maybe she'd blame it on gym class... which she has a pass from due to her hospitalization. Alex frowned as her brain tanked her own potential excuse.

Perhaps worst of all, she hadn't brought any lunch. Given that it was now lunch time, she was becoming acutely aware of that issue. Unfortunately, she had not drawn the spell that summons food; she blamed it on not offering anything to her shrine the night before. Stalking the bustling hallways of St. Laurel's Academy, she tried her best to avoid bumping into other students, though her slightly off-balance gait made it clear that she was both sleep-deprived and running on fumes.

'Forget after school... I'm not gonna make it to my counselor's meeting...' Alex couldn't help but think to herself. No doubt it would be clear that something was wrong if her counselor heard that she was sent to the nurse's office during class today, and then her entire cover story would be blown. 'Get it together...!'
Io at Terauchi Temple

@The Irish Tree

Io nodded at Liliana's explanation. At least she herself admitted that Wonderland was crazy. It was obvious, but something about it being directly acknowledged comforted Io. "Things are never so simple. But it was worth asking." After listening to Shizuka's farewell, she thought more on the situation. "The best course might be to simply observe." Of course, that was usually her response to most things - but this time it probably was also the right move for others as well. "Trying to 'fix' things may worsen the situation. Too many variables."

She watched Shizuka take off... With an automaton? Io quickly realized that she was so focused on the issue of Alice to the point of not noticing that another task force member had appeared. "Ah." Io's hyper focus was rapidly becoming an issue. Her previous endeavor had her alone for such long stretches that she now found herself missing things as they happened. "Liliana. Remind me to be more in the moment." She said it, though she wasn't sure if the fairy would quite get what she meant.

'This fairy is a good model for living in the moment... Actually, perhaps too good of a model.' Io thought to herself. She doubted she could ever reach such a level, nor would she want to, but she was working with living things. An adjustment of time scale was necessary. She gave an ever-so-slight smile as she stole a sideways glance at Liliana. '...Her sword is still an abomination, though.' This time Io reviewed her own thoughts with amusement. '...A lich calling something else an abomination? What a strange day today has been.'
Io at Terauchi Temple

@The Irish Tree @AzureKnight

Io nodded at Shizuka's explanation. "Interesting. That is a rare situation." Io felt like it might be worth studying for the sheer combination of factors at once. Io had to wonder how popular Alice was to get that many things vying for control.

Io had to rapidly sift through the torrent of information that Liliana went over - it was almost like a puzzle, where part of the explanation made sense, and the other part was encoded. Or rather, that was the only way Io was going to make heads or tails of it. "From the description, a few of those could be the offending mushroom. The last one you said, particularly." Though she feared that the answer might make less sense than the information before it, Io had to ask: "Do you know of any remedies for these mushroom's effects? ...Could we simply take the mushroom off of her...?"

Io felt like whatever was going on might be above such simple logic, but it was worth asking. Given the strange effects, there was a high likelihood that the remedies would require something that defied a normal approach to curing parasitic infections. Io wondered if any restorative magic she attempted would simply bounce off, given the otherworldly nature of Wonderland.
I'm gonna need to edit Io's post, I missed something! I was a silly billy and started the post a bit ago and came back to finish it and missed Shizuka's post that happened in the meantime. Bear with me.

Edited the post now. Sorry again for skipping you! ;~;
I'm gonna need to edit Io's post, I missed something! I was a silly billy and started the post a bit ago and came back to finish it and missed Shizuka's post that happened in the meantime. Bear with me.
Io at Terauchi Temple

@The Irish Tree

Io quickly realized that she had went a little too far in her explanation. It had been a long time since she gave any lectures, she supposed the desire to ramble on about magic was building for a while. However, if she wanted to continue lecturing she realized that she would have to adjust for her pupil's level of magical knowledge. It would be... a challenge.

Io took some time looking over the fairy's sword as she talked, trying to find the right word to describe it. Such a chaotic and vigorous type of magic was the antithesis to Io's structured, cold magical designs. It was like an artist looking at spilled paint, trying to find a still life within it. She nearly smiled at the absurdity of the weapon. It was strangely fascinating, though Io feared what would happen if it got close enough to interact with the various enchantments she interweaved into her own body.

Io had once again found herself completely sucked in by the allure of magical analysis, noticing that a long pause of silence had fallen. She quickly regained track of the conversation, eventually breaking her eyes off of the sword. "Hm. It would be interesting to see if fairies can achieve lichdom... It would be strange. I'm not sure if I should share those kinds of secrets..." Another thing Liliana said sparked Io's curiosity, and she followed up with a question of her own: "How many books are there at your home? I'm curious what fairy literature is like. Or what literature fairies prefer." A concept of fairy literature at all seemed... Well, Io didn't want to label it as "a paradox," but there may not have been a better term for it.

Before she could get an answer, another task force member came in to ask Io a question. This came as sort of a relief to the lich, given the erratic qualities of the fairy. By comparison, Shizuka was a beacon of rationality.

"I not too versed in cursed weaponry or in the finer properties of mamono not native to these lands. But, there seem to be combative ids in the girl that are at odds, competing for control. While she wasn't entirely at fault, it caused her to lash out at some of the other members. Do you perhaps have any insight into what may be going on with her and a way to effectively aid her?"

Io furrowed her brow. "Ah. Cursed weaponry." Io had made her fair share of them, though the first few were on accident. The rest... Well, it was the adventurer's fault if they found them, given she left them in a very private place, far from where she was now. "I believe Lady Kyouko said something about this. Would need to study it. There's so much variance for us. Psyche. Magical inclinations. Desire. But a different id within a weapon... No easy feat." Io considered the question of how to help, realizing she was going off on a mental tangent about its creation. "Ah. Helping her. Well... I will need to work with Alice. It depends on the details. I might be able to confer with the weapon directly, barring other options."

Io refrained from adding, 'Because I'm not that different from a spirit inhabiting an object myself.' The similarities were there, but she probably didn't want to draw comparisons to something that was putting the task force members in danger. Plus, her body was far superior to a meagre weapon. Even if she didn't need it, she took pride in it. Its magical enhancements were like a beautiful tapestry; a mere cursed weapon was a charcoal scrawling on cave rocks in comparison.
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