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Though it was slightly disappointing that the young fawn was disinclined to follow her as she headed back to the village, Misaki could at least take solace in the fact that the matter with the Kyrinth had been settled... In a way. The rest of the walk back had gone without incident, and she had ultimately come out of it all with whatever spare plants she had gathered in the process.

With those in hand, the foxgirl silently followed Nobunaga back into Enli's house, listening in silence as the older man gave them a quick synopsis of their mythology. Given that this was a world predicated on magic instead of science (for the most part), Misaki could not discount the possibility that the myth that had been summarized to them had some ounce of truth to them. Given what she had heard from the Kyrinth, though, it seemed obvious to join hands with a being willing to parley, rather than one who would throw others aside for their own ends.

"Forgetting knowledge, I suppose I can understand... But beholding 'infinite' possibilities is where the logic of this story falls apart. There is no way that they could know every secret of the world, else the place we are now would be vastly different..." she mused to herself, considering how to tackle the issue of rewriting the issue in their favor. "The impossibility of the omniscience of humans... Would it be better to create an Enlightenment-esque revolution as they did in the west? Treat this world as one not of gods, but..."

The foxgirl continued to brood to herself for a moment, thinking about what to suggest, before finally nodding her head towards the other two in the room with her.

"Inciting a desire to learn is one thing, but feeding the curiosity of the young and old alike should help to weaken the hold that this so-called 'God' has over them more than anything else I can think of. I understand the importance of tradition, of course, but given the recent issues that the residents here have had as of late, would it not be prudent to experiment and try things you might not have before? Improvements in the designs of your tools, the quality of your products, and so on and so forth... Wouldn't finding any of these both increase the quality of life of those living here and reduce the dependency that they have towards this god that gave them 'everything'?"

It was a long shot, admittedly; the Kyrinth had agreed to act as a teacher, but that only worked insofar as the natural world was involved. Things that could be done with techniques rather than observation—in other words, the world of practical sciences—was something that they would have to pursue for themselves.

Uehara Shou

Shou returned the sole acknowledgement to his existence with a smile as he took a seat, pulling out his phone to check on the day's news (and to refresh himself on what he had to finish before the next lecture) as he waited for their food to finish cooking. There wasn't anything pressing to discuss—not at this point in time, at least—but a single article did catch his attention.

"An explosion at a dorm? That seems... Less than ideal," he mused to himself, slowly scrolling through the details before his buzzer began to light up. Their burgers had taken less time to prepare than he had expected, but it was hard to hold back his curiosity about how this odd Japanese-American fusion burger would even taste like in the first place.

After paying and bring the platter of food back to the table, Shou unboxed his burger and, after looking at it in mild curiosity, decided to simply let his curiosity play out and took a bite.

"...Mmm. Not bad."

The odd mix of sour and salty notes on a burger was not by any means unpleasant, and when mixed with the vegetables layered within, Shou could reasonably see why this odd specialty burger was still being sold.

Before he could even get halfway through his meal, though, a deafening explosion rattled throughout the building, and the young man almost instinctively ducked, his back against his seat as debris flew overhead. With a frown, the onmyoji slowly glanced around from behind his seat to look at where it had originated from, only to see the kitchen and front desk nearly completely decimated. The injured and bloodied bodies of a few of the workers and customers laying about were by no means a pretty sight, but what really stood out to him was the tanned Lancer with her shield aloft and the thuggish student (presumably her Master) standing in shock behind them.

"Looks like that bastard was waiting for us again, huh?" she spat, an irritated look on her face as she lowered her shield. "Damn, can't even get a bite to eat without something blowing up."

Her Master, looking equally as irritated after recovering from the shock of what had just occurred, slowly took a step back to survey the damage before noticing that a few people had managed to avoid the brunt of the attack.

"Oi, if you value your lives, it might be a good idea to leave before things get any messier," he called out, pulling a small carved object out of his coat. "Maybe drag a few of these people out with you on the way, hm?"

@KoL@VitaVitaAR@Raineh Daze@Rune_Alchemist@Pyromania99

Alter Ego — Meltryllis

Despite her Master's obvious lack of grace, Meltryllis found at least some part of her wishing to eat. She was far from used to being limited by someone else's capabilities, and having to eat food to lighten the magical burden upon her Master felt like a bit of an inconvenience. At this point, though, the matter was less about her eating than it was Nanako eating.

"I think you should eat, if anything," she sighed, shaking her head in mild disappointment. "Who knows how long you've spent dozing off already? I might at least be able to do something if you're not still bedridden after the fact."

Knowing their luck, though, that stupid AI could send them off on another wild goose chase before she was even halfway done...

Despite her apparent silence as she continued to pet the deer at her side, Misaki almost instantly snapped to attention the moment she heard Lazirha's name mentioned by the Kyrinth. Rather than worrying about any diplomatic relationships between the two groups in question, the fact that she had been called out by name emphasized that there was more to her than she had initially thought. Of course, it had been Lazirha who had set them down this path in the first place, so a relationship between the two was already possible, but that didn't make it any less noteworthy.

"I thank you for your time in speaking with us," she finally said as the conversation concluded, standing up and bowing towards the Kyrinth before giving the younger deer one last scratch under the chin. As much as it seemed to have taken to her, bringing it back and away from the forest it called home didn't feel like the right thing to do. If it followed her on its own accord when they returned to the village then by all means she would keep it as a companion, but ultimately it was still a wild animal.

Or, well, 'wild' by a modern definition of the term, at least.

The foxgirl's move to start leaving with Nobunaga was paused by the person who had abruptly entered the conversation in the first place, and Misaki had no desire to deal with him after seeing how he had acted thus far. She could not deny the intent he seemed to have, but the way he carried himself and spoke...

It just rubbed her the wrong way, and that dislike only seemed to intensify once he attempted to sidle up to them. As much as she would have preferred returning to town and speaking with the other team that had left with Lazirha (because this was most certainly relevant to them), not speaking up about the way he was acting now would be difficult at best.

"What do you mean, 'we'?" she finally asked, breaking the awkward silence that had come about as a result of the young man's assertion. "Our goals may be similar, and I cannot speak for my companion, but I have no intent of working with someone so flippant as you."

There was a variety of reasons for leaving things at that, but speaking bluntly about all the reasons why she didn't wish to associate with him wasn't something she would do unless pressed for that information.

With that, Misaki nodded towards Nobunaga before starting down the path back to the village, come what may.

Speaking of (sorta) reviving this thread:

Pairs shuffled around; Old Li now paired with my Master, Vita's new one paired to Beni. Things should proceed with retcons from there accordingly.

Just making the statement as a case of recordkeeping here.
The fact that the deer seemed to not shy away from her touched gave Misaki more than enough of a push to actually begin petting the animal, her hands scratching behind its ears and under its chin as she might a dog or cat. The foxgirl took care not to be too rough with her touch—though it did seem to enjoy what contact she had given it—and the reaction given in response to that was positive enough for her to keep going.

It was this action that she chose to use as cover against the newcomer's words; if she did not yet trust the others who had so suddenly come up to her the day before, then what reason did she have to act the same towards this one? Reasonably speaking, though, their desire to return to Earth was not something unwarranted, but considering that statement brought to mind her last moments. "Going back" probably wasn't an option for her, loathe as she was to admit it, which meant that their goals did not so easily align.

It wasn't like she had a clue as to what this person had in store or if he could be trusted, either, though.

Nobunaga's suggestion, though, had caught the young woman off guard. To suggest that the Kyrinth be a teacher to the residents of the town... The thought hadn't crossed Misaki's mind, but the way it was framed made it seem like a fairly reasonable way to repair the broken contract between the two factions. It wasn't foolproof, of course—if there were people working against the Kyrinth still milling about, then it was possible that they could incite ill will as rogue agents. That much needed to be addressed, else their efforts go to naught before 'proper' negotiations began.

"I think that replacing that 'god' would go a long way," Misaki began, slowly turning to face the Kyrinth as she continued to pet the deer's head, "but that's not really a 'true' solution, is it? People aren't ants or bees; not everyone will unilaterally agree on a course of action. But it might be better to at least reward the ones who maintain this relationship, rather than only punishing those who do not."

What that might entail, though, would probably fall to the townsfolk; it seemed that they already feared the Kyrinth prior to their meeting now, so turning it into something more benevolent (in their eyes) rather than purely terrifying... Logically speaking, it'd probably be better for everyone in the long run, right?

Misaki listened to the Kyrinth in silence, taking in everything that it had said as she tried to piece the situation together within her mind. Taking the deer-god's words as pure truth was not something she was inclined towards doing, per se, and as much as she wanted to simply grasp onto the first thread given to her and hold onto it, the possibility that it wasn't the whole truth left her slightly wary. Skepticism was natural, though—at least, to her it was—but until she had a clearer picture of the situation, then the foxgirl thought it best to simply hold back from making any assumptions.

An objective viewpoint was the best in this sort of situation, after all; she was no politician, so any thought of costs and benefits were less important than finding the truth of the matter that lay beneath.

Of course, with Nobunaga having taken control of negotiations, Misaki was free to simply stand by and listen to their back-and-forth. The deer to whom she had given the remaining reeds to seemed to have taken a liking to her, though, and the memories of her trip to Nara once again floated into her mind. If anything, she could at least try and pet the animal while they continued their conversation... Right?

Misaki crinkled her nose in slight distaste once the smell of the burning reed hit her nostrils. She had encountered something similar once in the past—on a brief trip overseas to America—but even with this little, the stench was almost enough to warrant her backing away entirely. Even so, there was still a job she had to do, even if it meant putting up with... This.

Maybe it was her sensitive nose speaking, but the intensity of the burning smoke felt so much stronger than it should have been; given Nobunaga's reaction, though, that was likely the case. As her companion played the flute, though, the foxgirl placed her attention elsewhere—mainly towards the deer who, at this point, had focused their attention towards them instead. It was expected, yes, but no less unnerving to experience.

As the song reached its end, a massive deer broke through the woods, causing the foxgirl to immediately snap to attention. Its appearance was certainly awe-inspiring—like something out of a proper fantasy story—and the way that it spoke so easily to them only served to further cement that mental image within her mind. At the very least, introducing itself as the Kyrinth made everything a lot easier to digest. She wasn't any more religious than her Japanese peers, but it was a different matter when seeing a divinity in the flesh.

Of course, Misaki was promptly snapped out of her awestruck stupoqr as it addressed her. As Nobunaga spoke to the Kyrinth, the foxgirl nodded and slowly walked up to the fawn that had been following them and, after a brief pause, left the untouched reeds in front of it.

She wasn't in any position to negotiate, nor did she know how to do so with someone of this stature anyhow, which meant leaving the matter to Nobunaga seemed to be the best option anyhow.

Uehara Shou

Though the desire to try everything could have been seen as admirable in some regard, doing so at the expense of having to eat nothing but burgers for the rest of the week wasn't something he was all too excited about. Sure, he could afford everything she was ordering, but whether he would or not was a different matter altogether. Given that he was still the one with the wallet, though, it was still up to him whether or not to carve into his funds for the month. With the power of holding the purse strings on his side, the young man made the executive decision to simply... Not buy everything.

"Let's not get carried away here," he cut in, holding his hand up in an attempt to stop his Servant from continuing to rattle off everything on the menu. "We're here to eat lunch, not order catering for a party. Think about how long it'd take to get everything; we may as well be here until dinner, and I don't think only eating a good way to spend the rest of the day."

With his reasoning (hopefully) sound enough to convince the Rider, Shou finally took some time to look over the menu itself. Beyond the standard burgers, there were a few odder ones on the menu, which made his Servant's desire to try everything all the more understandable.

Didn't mean he'd renege on his statement now, though.

With that, the young man walked up to the counter to place his order; he'd let his Servant decide on something more rational for her order. Or, well, hopefully she'd decide on something more rational when her answer wasn't 'everything on the menu'. Stepping in again wasn't something he really wanted to do, but if it was the budget at stake, he'd bite the bullet regardless.

"I'll have a Shoyu Yuzu Burger, some fries, and a small drink," he said, handing his card to the cashier before stepping off to the side to let Trieu make her own statement. In the interim, though, the college student slowly let his gaze pan around the restaurant, only to notice that a few people he recognized were also here with what seemed to be their Servants. Given that they were all happened to be in the same course with that former Lord at the helm and had spoken briefly before, it was hard not to recognize them. Of course, the young man was respectful enough to give each a light wave and a slight smile before the cashier handed him his card, along with a device to notify him when their order was done and a receipt for the order. With a bow and a statement of thanks, Shou stepped out of the way as he moved towards a table to eat at.

He could look at the receipt again there.


Alter Ego — Meltryllis

The sound of a scream followed by an exaggerated 'thump' of a body hitting the floor clued Meltryllis in to what was going on inside of her Master's room. She had been getting tired of waiting around, but to get up in such an undignified manner (and possibly injuring herself right after recovering from a wound) was...

Impressive. Not in a good way, of course, but impressive nonetheless.

Casually walking over to Nanako's room and pushing the door open with the spike on her knee, the Alter Ego leaned against the doorframe and glanced over at the mess on the floor.

"Well? Have you finally awoken, sleeping beauty? Or is your brain still too addled after deciding to take your first step out of bed with your face today?" she asked, crossing her arms as she gave the young woman another once-over. "Though I suppose you don't have much else to worry about today..."

Given the fact that the deer didn't simply bolt off the second that she moved to take some of the reeds, Misaki found herself wondering how exactly the people of the village dealt with the deer. It had been surprised by her, obviously enough, but given that the only deer that she knew of that weren't anxious around humans had basically been raised from birth by humans, it wouldn't have been odd to see it run off regardless. Seeing as how there were hunters within the village and that meat hadn't been scarce in the least, it wouldn't have been surprising for them to have had a natural aversion to those who looked like predators.

Seeing as how the deer also shied away from her companion, it at least seemed to recognize that weapons were dangerous, though. That, at least, was a sign of at least some degree of intelligence; how far that extended, though, remained to be seen.

The fact that the deer continued to follow behind them as they proceeded towards the location in question only lent more credence that the deer was likely no simple animal; after all, despite being aware of the danger of weapons, the animal had chosen to follow them. What that meant, though, the foxgirl could only wonder.

The rest of the walk to the shrine had nothing else to note, and the shrine itself was about Misaki would have expected of such a place. The amount of deer in the area was striking, but what was more interesting to Misaki was how they didn't even turn to look as they entered the area.

"...Huh. What odd deer. I guess using Earth logic to figure out how to deal with them might not actually be all that useful, huh?" she muttered to herself as she moved up to examine the structure in detail. The feeling of being watched despite the lack of eyes on them (besides the deer they had just met, it seemed) was mildly worrisome, but at this point it was definitely too late to have second thoughts.

"...Huh. Do we treat the reed like incense...? Actually, given how fresh it is, how well would this plant even burn...?" she muttered to herself, looking over everything a few times before shaking her head. "Maybe the bowl would be the logical place to burn what I have, then? I don't see what other purpose it would serve here..."

With that, the foxgirl placed the reeds in her hands into the bowl before realizing one crucial problem.

"Wait. How am I supposed to start a fire?"

With that, Misaki turned towards Nobunaga, hoping she would have an answer. Failing that, it would probably have to fall to trying to make a fire with magic, but given how that could pan out...

Well, it was a risk that she wasn't sure she'd like taking in the first place.

Uehara Shou

Setting up days off on his class schedule was one of the best decisions Shou had made in his short time at Fusang. As exhausting as the days in between could be, having these free days gave him ample time to explore the city. For the moment, that was what had enraptured him; he was, of course, no stranger to city life, but a city life without anyone breathing down his back?

That was something he only could have dreamed of until now.

And to have had the luck to have summoned a Servant on top of that? 'Luck' wasn't the best way to describe it, especially given the amount of Servants already walking through the city, but it was most definitely more fortune than he had been expecting.

That being said, it was still a day off, and with the academic year only having just now started, there wasn't actually much left for him to do.

On the upside, though, it was lunchtime, and the Rider at his side seemed more than willing to try out some food with him. There was an American burger restaurant that had apparently recently set up shop here in the city, and with his only experiences with burgers having been fast food...

Well, this seemed like a good a time as any to try something new for once.

The restaurant itself was, unsurprisingly enough, bustling with activity. A majority of the other people who came here were students, as far as he could tell, and the clean (though slightly rustic) feel of the decor seemed to do a good enough job at keeping them from feeling out of place. A lot of people seemed to be taking their meals to go—probably so they could meet with their friends or something—but the sight of a few open tables caught the onmyoji's eye as he walked inside.

"Anything you want to try?" he asked the woman at his side as he stared up at the signboard overhead. The amount of variety was... Surprising to him, but given where they were in line, he had a bit of time to choose.


Alter Ego — Meltryllis

It went without saying that the purple-haired Alter Ego sitting on the couch in front of her was by no means pleased with the current state of affairs. Her Master, foolhardy as she was, had decided that taking an arrow to the shoulder in her stead was the best course of action. Though she had managed to prevent damage to her Servant, the fact that the young woman (who was, at this point in time, sleeping as whatever medications she had been given did their job) had decided that putting herself in mortal peril for someone like herself...

It was, quite frankly, suicidally absurd. And after all she had tried to keep her distance...

Annoying. That was the only way she could describe it.

Of course, the ever-irritating AI that seemed to love meddling in her affairs seemed to have quieted down ever since the incident—which, quite frankly, she was a bit of a reprieve from being shipped about—which gave Meltryllis time to roam about the city on her own terms. This city was far more different from the world that she knew of, after all, and staying holed up inside that cramped apartment would only serve to make her want to fly free anyways.

With all that said, the Alter Ego still returned back to Nanako's apartment once her curiosity for the day had been sated. However long that took varied, of course, but for the moment, a simple morning sweep of the nearby blocks was sufficient.

All that was left to do now was wait.

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