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Himari Tsukikage

There will never be enough therapy...

0 · 211 views · located in Araragi-cho

a character in “Orchid Town”, as played by XianEvermor



Name: Himari Tsukikage
Name Kanji: 陽葵 月影
Age: 37
Hair: Auburn, kept in a high pony tail most days.
Eyes: Normal bland brown. While transformed they take a brilliant ruby shade.
Height: 5' 10''
Weight: 147 lbs
Familiar: "Quiet." an unassuming house cat of normal proportions whose fur is an unnaturally deep shade of black that seems to suck the light out of the air. She's almost more of an inky black, cat-shaped shadow with piercing amber eyes than an actual animal. The one defining feature Quiet has is the brilliant crimson crescent on her forehead.

Active Period: 1993-2000. Middle school, extending through high-school.

Alias: Luna Lightning.

Team: Luna Triad

Team Role: The muscle... Himari was the only real fighter on the squad, with the trio having one Senshi with dedicated healing powers, and another with largely support magic, the duo lacked any real offensive strength until they roped Himari into the crew. At the time Himari was studying Aikido and Kendo and was the only one in their group with any sort of combat experience, rudimentary as it was at the time.

Team Members:
Luna Iyasu (Group healer): DECEASED
Luna Heiko (Support Magic): ESTRANGED

History: Himari and her friends were normal middle-school girls until one of them accidentally slipped through the layers and became a magical girl. What a middle school dream! Cute uniforms, magic powers, protecting the innocent and the world! Everything was dreamy for Iyasu, so she convinced her friend to join her as well and Luna Duo was formed. Well, with healing and support on their side, they naturally ran into a problem that was too tough for them to solve on their own... enter Himari: a young and naive student of Kendo and Aikido. Himari was manipulated through their crush on Iyasu, and tricked into slipping through the Layers under the pretense of going on a date. Problem solved, they had a perfect trinity of teamwork and Luna Triad became one of the most successful magical girl teams in the mid-90s... and then they suddenly stopped. Iyasu vanished, Heiko suddenly transferred to a new school, and Himari was catatonic for nearly six months following reports of demons dragging three girls through the Layers into a flaming rift

Recent History: Himari lives alone in a small apartment and does not speak about her magical girl days if she can help it, outside of therapy at least. She's become a normal functioning adult with a normal, boring 9-5 job as an accountant.

Magical Girl Outfit:Image A uniform in the style of classic Sailor Senshi. White sleeveless bodice with a V cut navy ascot, clasped above her sternum by a wing-shaped brooch inset with an enormous ruby. Navy blue knee high boots with white trim, and matching navy skirt with a burgundy stripe along the hem coupled with thigh-high burgundy tights. She also wears silver gloves that go up past her elbows with crimson accenting bracelets. Other noteworthy accessories are a black choker, heart-shaped ruby earrings, and a gold circlet with a ruby gemstone set in its center. Her hair is tied up with a crimson bow, and a large red ribbon tied into a bow sits in the small of her back.

Weapon:Image An enormous gold and silver greatsword and shield which Himari wields easily one handed. The sword can be locked inside the scabbard to transform the weapon into a great-axe.

Powers: Electro-kinesis: Himari can absorb and discharge electricity, as well as imbue most objects she can touch with lightning. The electrical source does not need to be exposed, she can draw electricity out of conduits, street lamps, devices, even underground wiring. Storms are big dick power.
Himari does receive a higher than normal boost to her agility as a result of her transformation, but it was never enough to achieve flight, like some other Magical Girls. She can, however, generate discs of electrified mana solid enough for her to stand on. Coupled with her increased agility, is typically enough to keep up with any airborne colleagues. Theoretically she could use this to make barriers, but she was never able to manifest one larger than a couple of hand-widths.

Transformation Sequence:
”So tell me about your ‘sequence.’”

"Okay. Well, first I reach into my familiar-"


"Yeah it’s as unsettling as it sounds. Quiet only looks like she has physical form though, so it’s like forcing your hand through a squirming furry sack… retrieve the wand, say the silly incantation…," Himari trailed off, flicking an eye up at her therapist.

”Like a call out? Like… ‘Prism Power,’ or ‘Venus Star,’ like that?”

"Like a full on spell incantation straight out of Anime… Ugh, I was a thirteen year old edge lord that suddenly had magic powers okay, I know how cringey it is."

”I want to hear it.”

"God. Fine. It went: ‘Justice, fallen upon the infallible boundary, appear now as an intangible distortion. I desire for my torrent of power a destructive force without equal. Return all creation to cinders and come from the abyss, Luna Lightning," Himari half muttered.


"We were thirteen! And then lightning would hit me and… whoosh all my clothes."


"All the clothes, whoosh. The rest of the transformation was basically the lightning printing the uniform onto my body, then ribbons, flashes of light, some twirling, and then a group pose,” Himari finished, rolling her eyes a bit.

”And it was never interrupted?”

"Supposedly the incantation stops time or something, so to the outside world it all happens in an instant… sure as fuck feels like forever to me though. You know sometimes I wonder if time isn’t really stopped, and the bad things just like watching the sequence and the implied nudity…"

”Hah. Maybe… You ever had a ‘Dark Transformation?’”

"… I don’t think I’m ready to talk about that yet."

So begins...

Himari Tsukikage's Story


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Character Portrait: Aoki Kaho Character Portrait: Himari Tsukikage
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Ebon talons. Hulking forms of muscle flanked by fire breathing hell hounds. Few forces were as powerful and destructive as lightning, and bending it to her whim while it lashed against her tenuous grip was the most empowering feeling. Go here... gather, strike... away from the path of least resistance. Flurry, staccato beat... deflect blow, punish error. Fuck that one monster in particular. There was no being wishy-washy when it came to lightning. Her will had to be the path of least resistance; her body the conduit of destruction.

Lightning was one of the most terrifying destructive forces on the planet... equally as terrifying as having that power abandon her like a rebuked child in a time of urgency. So now she lay there with the metallic taste of blood in her mouth, uniform shredded and mustering all her will simply to pull herself slowly along the ground like a worm. Isn't this where she was supposed to get her second wind? Her sparkling flash of renewed magic to smash the monster in the face with the power of friendship?

Something grabbed her ankle roughly and started dragging her. Fear welled up inside her chest and she struggled to escape the iron grip, clawing at the asphalt for any kind of purchase. The searing heat of flames was washing over her back more and more intensely as she was pulled. She didn't dare look, but she knew what it was: a flaming rift into the Layers. Her fingers dug desperately into a crack in the asphalt but her grip was tenuous at best. She felt her body lower slightly as the demon gripping her ankle braced itself to heave.


She jumped like a startled cat, knocking over a cup full of pens and showering her desk with multi-colored paper clips. Himari's heart thundered in her ears and her face was drenched in sweat. Her eyes flicked down to her keyboard to meet the piercing yellow eyes of her familiar, Quiet. Right. It was a Monday in September. She was a 37 year old accountant, not an 18 year old Luna Senshi. It was 4:48 pm.

"You okay? You were zoned out pretty hard," asked her coworker... we'll call him Steve. Himari had worked with him every weekday for the past several years and had never bothered to learn his name.

"Uh. Yeah," she hesitated, mainly because her hands were trembling like a five point earthquake. "I'm uh... not feeling so great all of a sudden, I think I'm gonna call it a day," she said, more or less shooing him out of her office. When he was gone she let out the breath she hadn't realized she was holding and locked eyes with Quiet for a long uncomfortable minute.

"I know what you're thinking, and you can clean up your own mess," Quiet huffed, narrowing her eyes at Himari.

"Mehmeh mehmeh memememeh meh," Himari muttered back in an annoyed tone, flicking a handful of paperclips at the cat to get it off her desk. "Whatever, I'll deal with it tomorrow. Let's get a drink," she said as she got to her feet, digging a handful of paperclips out of her blazer pocket and letting them drop haphazardly to the ground. She scooped up her purse and shuffled out the door as Quiet leapt up to her shoulder.

"Kaho has the support group on Mondays," informed the cat.

"Ah fuck," Himari hesitated at the elevator for just a moment before rapidly mashing the button. "If we get there before all the wierdos she might still serve us, and hopefully nobody we recognize shows up." It was a brisk walk to Sin Eater from her office, but she managed to make it there just as Kaho was exiting, presumably before the support group arrived for their session.

"Kaho-Cha..." A sonic boom interrupted her, drawing her eyes up to a streak of purple energy in the sky... and a Thoughtless. Himari skidded to a halt and Quiet dug her claws into Himari's shoulder to keep her perch. Its wing got clipped and now it was falling. Morons... you don't clip a flying opponent unless it was a deathblow, otherwise it might fall on a bystander... Or... was it curving towards her? She blinked, just to confirm... that yes... it was going to land in or on her vicinity. Quiet inhaled an excited breath and began to say something, but Himari spun on her heels and began briskly walking in the opposite direction.




Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aoki Kaho Character Portrait: Himari Tsukikage
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Kaho walked quickly back up the street quickly as the slammed down on the roof of the building, scrabbling for purchase against the tiles before slipping down to the street below, bits of tile and cement clattering around it. Kaho grit her teeth in annoyance as the creature thrashed around in the street, hissing and trying to pull itself back into the sky. Her cigarette drooped dangerously low as she chewed the butt of it. What kind of imbecilic novices would drop this damn thing in the middle of downtown?

Wait, did someone say her name?

Speak of the dumbasses, and they shall appear. two magical girls, one purple, the other red, descended onto the street between her and the Thoughtless.

"I told you to wait!" the red one chastised, smacking her companion over the head. Her wand vanished and was replaced with a large, heavy broadaxe, the blade shaped superficially like an apple wedge.

"It's not running away anymore, is it?" the purple one spat back, thrusting the point of her spear in the monster's direction. Neither seemed to really be paying attention to it, instead falling into a back-and-forth of name calling and blame-shifting.

Kaho eyed them down the bridge of her nose, the tip of her cigarette pointing further and further downward as she chewed the end of it. Neither seemed to be older than twelve or thirteen, so some rookie mistakes were to be expected, but to stand in the middle of the street bickering while a Thoughtless stood behind them? Just how brainless were these kids?

The monster hissed and rose up its head to strike. Kaho dropped her cigarette to the ground and exhaled a cloud of cigarette smoke over the heads of the two magical girls, and when the Thoughtless lashed out at them its head slammed into it as if it were solid. The two kids flinched at the sound of the impact, looking first in Kaho's direction and then at the recoiling Thoughtless.




Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akihiko Fujioka Character Portrait: Aoki Kaho Character Portrait: Himari Tsukikage
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This is stupid, I'm stupid, why am I even doing this? Akihiko ran down the street as fast a pace as he was willing to push himself right now. Having magic powers made you a bit better then the average person of course but he really wasn't sure if he could go as fast as he used to. Years of sticking to a "normal" routine and not attempting to push your abilities past the norm meant that Aki was rusty.

Thank god his cardio wasn't terrible as he followed after his familiar . . . who was leading him through a shortcut that happened to leave a tall chain link fence in his way. Cause of course Kiki would pull something like this now of all times.

This bird is trying to get me killed I swear. He wasn't confident or arrogant enough to think he could jump something like that so easily with being as out of practice as he was, and Kiki was not as stupid a familiar as he would like to claim. Which only meant one thing. She was expecting him to ghost through the fence.

Aki skid to a halt in front of the fence and glanced up, Kiki was perched on the fence and cawed at him a few times to get him to hurry up. He squinted at his Familiar and grumbled. "If this doesn't work and i injure myself I'm plucking some of your damn feathers." He then backed up to give himself a few feet of space from the fence and concentrated. Alright I can do this. Just got to remember my old mantra . . . . . its just a small fence. baby steps. He let out a controlled breath and kept his eyes on the fence. You are empty . . . you are a ghost . . . As untouchable as smoke . . . The fence practically isn't even there for you.

After what felt like a few minutes of hard focus Akihiko's body started to have a faint pink glow to it, followed by his form becoming somewhat see through. Kiki cawed with excitement and took to the air again as Aki dashed forward and passed through the fence. The glow flickered away just as the ends of his coat fluttered through the fence. A breath he didn't even know he had been holding escaped His lips as a sigh of relief. "D-damn, I was scared i was gonna put myself in the hospital with that." He glared up at the bird. He would complain to her later.

It was another minute of running before he turned down a street corner and saw the thoughtless thrashing in the street, desperately trying to get itself off the ground as two novices seemed to be bickering with each other while a couple of adults watched the scene play out. Aki took a moment to catch his breath and stay a bit out of sight. Old habits die hard it seems. He kept an eye on the rookies and quickly looked back at the thoughtless thrashing about, wondering why the kids weren't hurrying up and ending the fight already. Kiki landed on his shoulder, If birds could have a face that translated to wanting to face palm, kiki was making whatever was close to it. "I don't want to sound old, But i feel like back when we we're that new even we knew better then to drop something that big downtown." Aki pinched the bridge of his nose. debating the looming idea of possibly having to transform for the first time in years if things went any further south.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akihiko Fujioka Character Portrait: Aoki Kaho Character Portrait: Himari Tsukikage
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"W-wait!" Quiet exclaimed, clawing to climb back onto Himari's shoulder as she briskly walked away from the scene. "This could be a significant sign!"

"Nope," grunted Himari. "You're not gonna trick me with that 'there's no such thing as coincidence. Stand Users are drawn together' bullshit again," she grumbled, squeaking loudly as the thoughtless thumped against the barrier behind her and quickening her pace.


"This is ridiculous: I'm arguing, in public, with an invisible talking cat over whether the cosmos are conspiring to get me involved in the magical world again. This isn't a goddamn anime! If it were, something dumb would happen to force me to stay like my heel breaking or turning a random corner and comically colliding with a future teammate," she argued.

Himari was shuffling towards said corner while checking over her shoulder as she was finishing her sentence before barreling straight into Akihiko. She recoiled, but managed to catch herself and remain on her feet, and was opening her mouth to apologize when she laid eyes on him. They locked eyes for a solid several second before her gaze traveled slowly up to the brightly colored bird.

"Ooh, a romance flag!" Quiet blurted excitedly, which seemed to snap Himari out of the daze.

"No! No! Nope, uh uh, hell no! This isn't happening!!" She flustered, turning on her heels again and walking straight into the street, to the dismay of several drivers. "This is a bad dream, clearly I'm still flashbacking... you can't die for real in a dream, the monsters aren't my problem anymore, and I don't have to fight them anymore," she muttered under the screech of tires, blaring horns and screaming drivers while clutching her head against the impending migraine.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akihiko Fujioka Character Portrait: Aoki Kaho Character Portrait: Himari Tsukikage
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Well, this was underwhelming. Or maybe just whelming. Kaho was… whelmed. She’d been concerned about her bar being damaged, but as it stood she doubted the Thoughtless in question could damage much of anything. Granted, these sorts of low-level monsters had always fallen a little outside her personal experience, but this one seemed kind of pathetic. Weren’t these things supposed to have weird powers or whatever? Watching it swipe fruitlessly at the young and (generously described, in Kaho’s opinion) inexperienced magical girls as they took potshots with their wands while circling above it, it just seemed like a big, stupid goat-fish.Is this what magical girls were fighting now?

Speaking of… Kaho cast her eyes to the sky and around the street. The situation wasn’t exactly subtle; a number of passers-by watched nervously from the sidewalk, and she could hear a line of cars honking away behind her, and a screech of tires and frustrated shouting at a retreating pedestrian further down the street in the other direction. Shouldn’t it have drawn more attention by now? These two surely couldn’t be the only magical girls in the city, and they almost certainly crossed at least one invisible boundary or another on their haphazard aerial pursuit.

The Thoughtless beast sat coiled back on its slick, eel-like tail, clawing at the two brightly-clad girls firing orbs of magical energy at it from the air. It reared its shaggy head back, jaw opening wide to show off its sharp, canine teeth, and for a brief moment Budou and Ringo had the thought that it might actually intend to spit some kind of fireball at them, quickly veering to the side to avoid it.

Instead, it screamed. A shrill, quavering timbre like the buzzing wings of a thousand thousand insects that shot across the street like a shockwave, knocking the two magical girls out of the air, cracking the pavement where they landed. Kaho inhaled sharply, her teeth aching and feeling like a hundred pound weight had just slammed into her at top speed and grabbed on, trying to weigh her down.

”What is that?!” Budou groaned, her spear flashing back into her hand as she struggled back to her feet, her free hand clamping down against her ear.

”How am i supposed to know?!”

”Shut it up already!”

Ringo planted her feet solidly on the cracked blacktop of the road, a small sparrow flying out from her tangle of red hair and looping over her head to fly down in front of her. She clapped her hands down around it, then pulled them apart, sliding them along the shaft of a heavy broadaxe as it manifested before her. She charged the Thoughtless, stumbling a bit at first before adjusting to the weight pressing on her, her weapon’s apple slice shaped blade throwing up sparks as it dragged along the ground. The monster swung its razor-sharp talons down at her, barely missing as she stepped to the side at the last moment. The creature was far more of a threat now that the magical girl’s had lost their aerial advantage, and it fully intended to leverage that.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akihiko Fujioka Character Portrait: Himari Tsukikage
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I don't want to do this, I'm out of practice. My powers are probably weak. Why am I even here? oh yeah, because of the damned bird . . . again!? Akihiko was on the verge of pulling his hair. This had started to become a thing for the past month. Just casual spectating at first but Kiki seemed insistent on getting him closer and closer to the action. He was ready to turn and leave when something, or more aptly, Someone crashed into him. Kiki cawed in surprise and Aki was quick enough to snap out of it and catch his footing before being toppled over.

He blinked before scowling in annoyance, ready to tell the woman that had crashed into him to watch where she was going when the cat on her shoulder suddenly spoke. . . . the cat that was far too dark to be natural and with a crimson crescent on on its forehead. the romance bit turned Aki's face a nice shade of pink while Kiki tried to hold in what almost sounded like laughter.
The woman glanced at the bird on his shoulder before becoming flustered and- wait was she walking straight into the god damn street!?! Most people stopped and started honking. Unfortunately not everyone was paying attention to the road it seemed given that a truck was heading right for the woman.

Time felt like it had suddenly slowed down. Fight or flight working its magic on the brain. Akihiko didn't say a word or cry out or call for the woman to snap out of it. What he did do, was move. His legs suddenly carrying him with a degree of speed he hadn't felt in years.
A second passed in a blur. He had tackled into the woman. Aki could see the truck. He wasn't going to push them out of the way in time. NO. There was a pulling in his chest. A thrum of power rippled across his nerves. Another second passed. All the truck driver saw was a sudden puff of pink smoke that barely obscured their vision.

On the other side of the road, Akihiko flopped onto his back. He wiped away a bit of sweat that had formed across his brow and let out a breath he didn't realize he had been holding. "H-holy shit . . .ha. . . I haven't blinked in . . . .forever . . . oh that feels weird." He turned his head to the side to see the woman and her cat sprawled across the sidewalk. she was probably going to have a scrape or two, but that was better then getting hit by a damn truck. "Lady . . . Please don't just walk into traffic, I hear its bad for your health."

Kiki Fluttered down to land on Akihiko's heaving chest. "Wow, You actually saved someone after all this time. Almost thought you didn't have it in you anymore boss." The birds features looked more animated and expressive now as she looked down at her partner. Aki blinked a moment before slowly sitting up, forcing the bird into his lap, and looking at his Familiar with a bewildered look. "Your talking again?"

He wouldn't have time to get an answer just yet as a wall of cacophonous sound blasted into him. It didn't take a genius to know what was causing it either. Aki and Kiki swore and covered their ears. Why hadn't those girls killed that damn thoughtless already?!?


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akihiko Fujioka Character Portrait: Himari Tsukikage
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Himari sat up from the pavement with a groan. She opened her mouth like she was going to say something to the man that pulled her away from the sweet release of Truck-Kun when the Thoughtless' shrill scream interrupted her. After the putrescent sound stopped she clutched her stomach, leaned forward, and retched her meager, half digested lunch of a hard boiled egg and fragments of a salad straight onto the pavement. Quiet scrabbled around Akihiko to escape the splash zone, peering back at her from around his knees.

"Okay," she muttered with a note of defeat, wiping her mouth on her sleeve. "I think I'm done. Change me," she grunted with finality, spearing the cat with an annoyed gaze. Himari dismissed Akihiko and his bird as if ignoring them would just negate the fact that they'd used magic to get her out of harms way. She couldn't help feeling violated at being teleported and glared daggers at him while she waited for Quiet's response.

"What?" Asked Quiet, with a note of indignation.

"Change me, I'm gonna kill it," she answered, her gaze unwavering.

"That's not how this works: you have to say the incantation," the cat remarked stubbornly, sitting down on her haunches and grooming one of her paws demurely.

"Fucking what?" She blurted out, staring at Quiet in disbelief.

"You have to say the incantation."

"That was twenty years ago! It was a minute long song and dance! I can't remember all of that! Change me!" She nearly shouted after flustering for a long time.

"I don't make the rules."

"Wh- YES YOU DO!! You can't have it both ways you little pest!" Himari replied, shoving herself to her feet and glaring down at the cat with Aki between them.

"Himari... what are you doing?"

"Getting my wand," she replied grimly. The pair squared off on either side of Akihiko, and Quiet would take a step in the opposite direction whenever Himari made a move to get around Aki. They jockeyed back and forth several times before Himari lunged for the cat, and they made an entire circuit around him. Himari dug into one of the pockets of her blazer and hurled a handful of multi-colored paper clips at the cat over Aki's shoulder, spooking the animal out one side. She tackled the cat with a diving lunge and plunged her arm fiercely down to her shoulder into the squirming animal's abdomen.

"WHERE IS IT?!" She screamed over the sound of crashing dishes.

"Aaaah! It's in the refrigerator! You used it to stir a pitcher of iced tea last week! Say the incantation!" Himari growled in frustration. She paused for a long moment before rummaging around loudly one last time inside her familiar's body. Himari withdrew her arms and folded them with a huff and a scowl. They were both silent for a long time: Himari simmered with her gaze averted, and Quiet's tail flicked while she watched her master with what could only be described as the most cat-like amusement.

"It's silly," she muttered, tracing spirals on the concrete absently with one of her fingers. "And we're in public."

"Right, because being in public has done so much to keep you from acting like a crazy woman"


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akihiko Fujioka Character Portrait: Himari Tsukikage
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Right around the time Aki stopped mentally cursing the now screaming thoughtless and getting somewhat used to the noise that felt like it was close to making his teeth vibrate. He finally noticed the woman and her familiar arguing while ducking back and forth around him. Aki opted to stay stock still until the woman had her arm going straight into her cats abdomen. Is this really happening? And who the hell uses their wand to stir iced tea?? Aki looked down at Kiki who was equally as baffled and confused. There was a good moment where Aki looked between his familiar, the woman he had saved, and the thoughtless that was still being attacked by the other magical girls. "Screw it, we're doing this." The usual worry of being in his lacy, frilly, ribbon covered magical outfit more fit for someone a lot more feminine then him faded away entirely.

He sat up and began cracking his knuckles while glaring at the thoughtless. Kiki landed on his shoulder to look at him quizzically. "Your actually serious right now. Would it be wishful thinking to ask if you plan on transforming boss?."

The bird's question was met with a smirk and shake of the head. "Yeah, I'm serious. But we are going to have a talk about you giving me the silent treatment up until now." He pated Kiki on the head gently.

The Raven pecked at his hand and let out a giggle. "I make no promises, you remember how we do this right?"

Akihiko rolled his neck and threw his arms out wide. "To uphold justice and all that is good," Kiki suddenly flared with magic and looked more ghostly. she laughed and took flight from his shoulder. "I have been waiting for this, Show time!" The raven proceeded to bank before divebombing straight into Akihiko's chest, in no time the man was enveloped in a swirling vortex of black and pink with simplistic ghosts and spirits flying about within.

The feeling oh his costume forming across his body as his old magic power surged forth was exhilarating in a way. dozens of ghosts giggled and formed into his costume in the seconds that passed. It was surreal going through the transformation after so long. like working a muscle you hadn't used in ages. He was sure he was going to do something wrong but if the thoughtless was dead by the end of it and everyone was in once piece then he would count that as a job well done. funny considering that he was trying to argue the fact that he was retired to his own familiar this morning.

As the last ghost flew into his face and became his mask he knew the transformation sequence was wrapping up. A part of his brain was still always surprised at how fast these transformations were actually compared to how they felt. a different part of him however was cringing over the fact that he was going to have to say those lines to finish the transformation or something might go wrong. Really wish my younger self had been less corny and dramatic right about now.

He reached up with his right hand and grasped the last ghost that soon became his wand. "I will scatter all evil like petals on the wind," He swing the wand to the side, causing the vortex around him to disappear after what had to have been three second had passed. Kiki then flew out the of his back and circled around to land on Akihiko's shoulder once more. Aki let out a long sigh and didn't project his voice much. "The rose colored reaper, Pink Skull is here . . . "

"Loving the new look boss, sure beats what you had to wear back in the day. you still got a skirt though and are pretty pink. I can start making those gothic lolita jokes again hehehe." Aki resisted the urge to smack the bird with his wand before taking a good look at himself for a moment. "Still look ghostly, and I really cant complain given how much skirt I had before . . . this is definitely an upgrade." He rubbed a hand on his chin and paused, finding his face completely smooth now with no stubble. Magic is so damn weird.


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Character Portrait: Akihiko Fujioka Character Portrait: Himari Tsukikage
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"Ooh," chirped Himari, as she watched the transformation.

"See? Look at how silly that was, and what he's wearing! Incantations are perfectly normal!"

"H-... How come he gets to have skulls? I want skulls!" Himari shot back with an accusing glare. "And I really like that color, my costume is so bland. Now I'm really not gonna do it," she huffed, folding her arms again.

"Really? Gonna let a man in a skirt show you up? Okay," Quiet remarked, getting up and trotting away from the scene while Himari glared in disbelief. She threw suddenly threw herself to her feet.

"You manipulative-" Himari thrust her hand into the air. "Justice, fallen upon the infallible boundary, appear now as an intangible distortion!" The magic crackled around her feet, swirling around her as thunder rumbled across the city. The magic seemed to suck the light straight out of the air and in a crackling crescendo, her silver and ruby crescent moon scepter appeared above her hand in a flash of electricity. "I desire for my torrent of power a- EEUGH!" Himari recoiled as she closed her hand around her wand, and it clattered to the ground without fanfare. All the magic and thunder suddenly vanishing.

"It's all slimy!" she complained, spearing Quiet with an accusatory glare.

"Oh. My... It's been in the refrigerator! What were you expecting?!" Himari picked the scepter up gingerly with two fingers as though it were a disgusting rag and held it over her head squeamishly while trying not to let it drip on her.

"J-justice, f-fallen upon the inf-fallible boundary, appear n-now as an intangible distortion I d-desire for my torrent of p-power a destructive force without equal return all c-creation to cinders and come from the a-a-abyss L-Luna Lightning," she stammered, though it appeared to be enough as a bolt of lightning streaked out of the sky and struck her in the hand, nearly causing her to drop the wand.

She sucked air through her teeth as electricity writhed over her body, and starting with the knee high navy blue boots, and ending with the pink bow in her hair, printed the Luna Senshi sailor uniform onto her. She grunted and stumbled back as a bolt of lightning struck her in the chest, leaving a feathered broach with a large ruby. She squealed in surprise as a bolt of lightning then struck her from behind, and a large pink bow with long trailing ribbons unfurled from the crackling electricity. Finally, the power welled up inside of her crackling ominously around her eyes as they turned from plain brown to a luminous, gem-like, ruby red. Himari exhaled a slow, quivering breath. Her whole body was thrumming with the pent up magic, and she could already feel the electricity around her testing her will.

"Hold on. What happened to the ruffle?" She asked, fumbling with the hem of her navy blue pleated skirt like she was trying to stretch it to cover more of her rear.

"It's magic, Himari. Your uniform evolves over time to suit your personality as you mature," answered Quiet academically.

"The ruffle was classic..." she muttered with a note of disappointment as she continued to try and stretch her skirt down... clearly she felt like it was much too short now.


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Character Portrait: Akihiko Fujioka Character Portrait: Aoki Kaho Character Portrait: Himari Tsukikage Character Portrait: Kaito Otsuba
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"Ruffles are always good, yeah. Nothin' to bat an eye at, a good 'ol ruffle."

His voice was a tired, lazy, mildly irritated drawl. A puff of cigarette smoke floated from between his lips and out from his nose as he breathed out. Kaito sighed and came to a stop beside the now transformed magical girl. The sparks of lightning and voltaic light that the girl threw off as she transformed were enough to at first give him pause, but at the gentle pressure of Kari's thoughts, he moved forward.

His day had started out fine, Izakaya had brought him a letter from his boss before pointing him in the direction of another izakaya that he could drink at. Then Junpei had come over, and even though it was technically Kaito's day off, Jun' had wanted him to come to the new build site to take a look at their next steps of their contract. Kaito was grateful to the man but... God. He just wanted a day to sleep.

He had been on his way to the new 'izakaya' that Izakaya had pointed him towards, when he saw it.
Or at least, saw them. Purple and red were streaking through the sky after some amalgam thoughtless.
The beast was spiraling down now, careening to the ground as the two colors went darting after it.
'Amatuers...' was the unbidden thought, quickly squashed by 'Kari and her mental implication. 'Don't be rude. Dumbasses have to start somewhere, dumbass.'

His throat cracked out a bark of a laugh he had no chance of holding in, a rueful smile splitting his otherwise sour expression. “Yeah yeah I know. Sorry.” He continued at a languid pace, choosing to move no faster than what could charitably be called a ‘steady meander’.
He wanted to go witness the ‘babies’ defeat their first Thoughtless, but didn’t exactly want to show up on the scene with the risk of someone knowing who he was.
Hopefully the infamy had died—

His head snapped up as the creature began its scream, and as ‘Kari gave a small mental push, Kaito took off at a dead sprint.
Either those girls were dead and dying, and the Thoughtless was announcing its’ victory, or the idiots hadn’t managed to actually do anything worthwhile.

He had arrived down the street from some girl— some lady— arguing with herself and a small cat. He had been about to say something to her when he was witness to her shoving her hand into the animal. Recognition bloomed across his face, and he had moved forth to speak to her when she spoke her incantation… And brought lightning to life around her. Yay.

You’re gonna need a cigarette…’ Krakari whispered to her companion, laughing darkly at his mental reply of ‘Yeah no fuckin’ shit.

So! You’re ah, a magical girl, yeah? You gonna step in on the uh… Screamin’?” came the drawled question, a pair of nigh apathetic, pale blue eyes, boring themselves into the eyes of the Lightning Queen. Her outfit was… Fun? Fun. It at least had more flair and pizzazz than his own, not that he was wearing it at the moment.
Not that he really remembered how the damn thing looked.
His thoughts meandered out of his mouth, molasses slow, yet more cigarette smoke curling out from the corners of his mouth as he spoke again.
C’ld probably take care of the entire fight just by yourself. If y’r this old and still alive as a … y’know. Magical girl.
His head nodded in the direction of the still screeching thoughtless, locking eyes on the back of what looked like a man in a pink skirt, with a bird flying by his shoulder no less.

Another sigh, another cloud of smoke, another push from ‘Kari. She wanted to join the fray. To put the damn thing down and make the caterwauling cacophony come to a quick end. There were people staring now too, and one woman was taking a little too close of a look at Kaito and his (relatively forced) chatting companion.
There was a woman in relatively well dressed attire too, watching the entire thing with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth. Huh.
Another smoker. Nice. She certainly looked… Annoyed? Disappointed? Hm.

This was quickly becoming a clusterfuck. Hah!


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Character Portrait: Akihiko Fujioka Character Portrait: Aoki Kaho Character Portrait: Himari Tsukikage Character Portrait: Kaito Otsuba
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Ringo hefted her axe up to her shoulder, swinging in a sideways arc at the beast’s midsection where slimy scales gave way to coarse fur. It was clumsy and imprecise, her senses dulled by the screech in her ears which seemed to drain away her strength, barely penetrating through the creature’s hide for lack of power. Ringo stumbled backward as she pulled back her axe to try again, spitting out a curse as the blade banged against the ground. Budou rushed forward with her spear, trying to get an opening to strike and help her teammate, her feet clumsy but determined. The Thoughtless’s talons came at her from the side, a threat Budou caught an instant too late to react, and she braced herself against the pain-

That didn’t come. Budou cracked one eye open, then widened them in dull surprise at the sphere of translucent smoke which enveloped her, the claws of the monster pressing against it in a futile attempt to break through.

”You two already got far enough to summon proper weapons, and something this weak is still giving you this much trouble?” Kaho scoffed at the two magical girls from where she stood, flicking the ash off the end of her cigarette. It instantly regenerated back to its full length, still burning. ”Are all kids these days this clumsy?”

The thoughtless roared in frustration, its strange, shrill screech cutting out as Kaho took another drag off her cigarette. It coiled back on its tail, drawing back its claws and gnashing its teeth as it prepared to lunge. With an exhale of the smoke in her mouth, the protective sphere Kaho had generated burst outward with a wave of force, slamming into the mishmash creature and throwing it down the street, straight at the trio standing on the sidewalk.

”Hurry and get this over with. I had plans.”


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Character Portrait: Akihiko Fujioka Character Portrait: Aoki Kaho Character Portrait: Himari Tsukikage Character Portrait: Kaito Otsuba
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"I'll take care of this in a single blow," growled Himari as she held a white gloved hand aloft. The air was suddenly charged, nearly vibrating with power as she felt the magic lash against her will. Not this time! An invisible force blew her hair upward as electricity crawled out of the cement, pulled forcefully out of their underground conduits. Lights flickered and went out abruptly, and electricity arced fiercely from street signals and lamps to her body, building up tremendous power.

This was it.

She was 100% in control.

Himari's will was the strongest force; the path of least resistance. Until...

"Ruffles are always good, yeah. Nothin' to bat an eye at, a good 'ol ruffle," some stranger drawled at her from MUCH too close.

"Wh-What?!" She exclaimed, flinching away from him. All her power immediately fizzled, allowing the lights to come back on. An almost snickering crackle of thunder rippled overhead.

"Oh, this will be entertaining," chirped Quiet from Kaito's feet with a flick of her tail. "You four don't have any metal fillings or implants, do you?"

"I'll have you know-...!" The color drained from Himari's face as lightning blasted away a sizable chunk of the sidewalk at Akihiko's feet, showering them with debris. "This may have been a mistake," Himari muttered under her breath, hoping the angry bleat of thunder would cover it up.

Compounding the matter of her out of control magic was the thoughtless that was now hurtling towards them... though there wasn't much that she could do about it. She took a step to intercept the thoughtless and a rogue bolt of lightning striking the street at her feet made her leap back onto the sidewalk. Even though Himari was largely immune to the effects of electricity, the forces of being struck by a rogue bolt could still potentially injure her.

"I am your master!" She spat at the sky. "You have to do what I say!" She screamed, shaking her fist.

A peal of thunder cackled back at her.


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Character Portrait: Akihiko Fujioka Character Portrait: Aoki Kaho Character Portrait: Himari Tsukikage Character Portrait: Kaito Otsuba
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Aki couldn’t help but smile with a bit of satisfaction over Himari’s apparent envy over his outfit. It definitely could be a lot worse. Memories of a large frilly skirt with glitter that got everywhere made him shutter. This broke away to a severe case of secondhand embarrassment as Himari began to fumble through her own transformation.

Kiki winced at the stumble mid incantation, only to squawk in surprise when the lightning struck. The familiar soon let out an impressed whistle somehow with her beak at the woman’s completed transformation. ”Can’t beat the classics can you, not many adults can pull off the sailor scout look.” meanwhile Akihiko huffed in slight annoyance. ”Yeah, and she complains about her look when she gets lightning powers of all things. That’s just badass.” The bird just squinted at her partner silently. As if he was one to talk.

The two snapped to attention hearing a woman yell at them to get this over with. A look towards the thoughtless revealed a blonde woman defending herself easily with her own magic as the two girls from before were still trying, and failing, to deal with the screaming thoughtless. Yeah, this has gone on long enough. Aki grabbed hold of his wand with both hands and focused. The wand soon appeared ghostly and seethrough as he pulled its handle in two directions, causing the wand to elongate and curve. At the same time, a scythe blade feted out from one side of the wand’s top, completing the wand's rather brief transformation as the weapon took on a more solid state. He flourished his weapon a bit. Even after so much time had passed it felt natural in his hands.

Before he had the chance to ready himself to charge in, Himari announced her intent to end it in one blow. That put a sour look on Akihiko’s face.Sure, why not. Make us feel stupid for even transforming in the first place of your just gonna do that.
Unfortunately, some other random guy decided that was a good time to interrupt Himari mid spell. She instantly began to lose control as her familiar earned the rest of them about having metal fillings or implants. Aki was confused for a moment until Himari’s stray lightning began arcing towards him.

Kiki ruffled her feathers and flapped in a panic. ”Boss, your leg!” His leg? Leg. Oh shit my prosthetic. The pink reaper instantly became ghostly and dodged away from the incoming electricity with a yelp. After getting some distance from the lightning girl and random dude, Aki got his bearings and realized how bad the situation had turned. The thoughtless was suddenly thrown in their direction now to make matters worse.

”Alright, enough's enough,” He became solid again and readied his scythe. ”I want a drink when this is over.” With that, he charged to meet the thoughtless. Kiki took to the air to get out of the way while Aki began to pick up speed. When the thoughtless was close to landing on him, Aki teleported himself straight into the air In a burst of pink smoke, appearing above the still falling thoughtless while hooking his scythes blade around the monster's neck. With a grunt, he pivoted mid air while grasping the scythes shaft to try and generate enough momentum to pull the blade. The whole scene was rather impressive for someone supposedly out of practice in using his magic and fighting the thoughtless, though any well seasoned magical girl or boy could tell how sloppy and rusty the movements were. He hoped the combined force of his attempted spin and the Thoughtless’s own weight still falling would be enough to cut clean through its neck to take the head right off. A spark of dread bloomed in his chest when he didn’t feel the blade go clean through. Shit.


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Character Portrait: Akihiko Fujioka Character Portrait: Aoki Kaho Character Portrait: Himari Tsukikage Character Portrait: Kaito Otsuba
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"Oh the pirate looks out on ahead... With his hands on the cane even on the land... He roars loud enough to wake the dead... Whup! Jamboree!"

The shout is drowned out by another peal of thunder, with the sensation of 'Kari cackling brightly in the back of his mind. Her voice, seeping with amused sarcasm rings out clear in his ears as her tentacles ripple up and out from his back, her 'giant' body floating up into the air beside him as the light begins seeping out from his hands. Water soon follows. "Oh you know damn well that wasn't necessary... But I'll give you points for being a good sport! Play ball my Knight! Show these idiots how to really shut a bug up!"

Kaito huffed and smiled as he felt the water spray out from his hands, his shoulders, his shins, his ankles, and his throat. Light burst forth from his body, rippling and refracting through the water that swirled about him. His smile only grew wider as his costume took shape around him, a long black leather sailing coat forming around his torso, along with a plain white collared tunic, a matching gray vest taking form along with. The entire outfit rippled as if he were underwater, and as a pair of off-white trousers formed, along with a pair of brown, leather tilly-jackboots, his magic pulsed. Gold designs and imprints of tentacles, coral, and a massive anchor on his back, came aglow on his costume. The water that streamed around him came to a burst at his head as a black and gold trimmed tricorne hat came to rest on his head. From the three corners dangled silver-cradled jewels. A ruby, a sapphire, and a topaz. The topaz sat in the front, with chains of silver linking each of the jewels together.

His feet were moving as the transformation continued, throwing himself into movement as he drew nearer and nearer to the Thoughtless and Akihiko, the latter beginning to come down from his assault with the beginnings of panic blooming on his face...
The transformation finished, Krakari laughed once more, and Kaito huffed a brief chuckle as he slammed into the panicking Akihiko. Kaito's shoulder slammed into the magical-man, and with a burst of tired laughter, he threw the pink-clad fellow onto the ground not but four feet behind the Thoughtless.
He tumbled along with Akihiko, rolled over the man, and popped back up onto his feet as smooth and practiced as when he used to do this shit full fuckin' time! His hands flashed, and as Kaito stood, a column of water burst up from underneath the Thoughtless, blasting the creature up into the air with the scythe still caught in it's neck. A bubble of swirling water quickly encapsulated the thing, and Kaito's brow furrowed as he forced the damn thing to float above the roofs nearby. His gaze leapt back to the lightning-chick, and his voice barked out, loud as he could possibly get it. "Oi! Do your damn thing! You got this shit!"

He returned his gaze back to the Thoughtless, slowly closing his hands into fists as the creature found the bubble of water beginning to fill with a tremendous pressure. He had to focus. And focus he did, as all other noises faded from his mind. Hell, his vision narrowed until all he could practically see was the Thoughtless. He used to be able to focus on so much more, but the last time he had transformed and actually used his magical powers was so so long ago... No! No time for regrets. Gotta focus.
"Hah... Fuck." He breathed, before going silent as he hoped desperately that the magical-woman would do ... Something. More lightning? More lightning.


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Character Portrait: Akihiko Fujioka Character Portrait: Aoki Kaho Character Portrait: Himari Tsukikage Character Portrait: Kaito Otsuba
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Himari was so focused on getting her wild magic back under control that she didn't notice Kaito's transformation. She painstakingly grasped each thrashing tendril of mana and painstakingly coiled them about her body to subdue them. She was just grasping the last thread of rogue mana when:

"Oi! Do your damn thing! You got this shit!"

"Wha- aaaaww," groaned Himari as the magic thrashed against her control unexpectedly and ripped away all of her carefully coiled threads of mana, as well as most of the magic stored in her body. She stumbled and fell to her knees as the escaping mana sucked the wind from her lungs.

"Oh, that's going to happen... pretty definitely," chirped Quiet in an amused tone from Kaito's feet. "You're both in the splash zone," she giggled, and then dissolved into black mist.

In an instant, the air surrounding the water pillar was saturated with mana. It thrummed loudly and tendrils of electricity began to crawl up the column, arcing between the rogue droplets. As the sphere around the Thoughtless compressed, exposing the Scythe's handle the tendrils streamed towards the sky menacingly for an uncomfortable second.

A blinding flash, accompanied by a cacophonous BOOM! shook the street. The force of it knocked Himari to the ground, and when her eyes adjusted she could still see the forked trail of plasma fading up into the clouds, which flickered and rumbled ominously. A bolt of lightning as thick as an old oak had splintered down from the sky and smashed Kaito's pillar of water clean down to the street, showering the whole intersection with steaming hot water. The thoughtless lay in a steaming puddle of water and melted asphalt with nearly a third of its body blasted apart. Aki's scythe was still miraculously lodged into its neck, glowing orange and smoking where the lightning had hit it. Himari pushed herself to her feet in the awkward, unnatural silence, clearing her throat after a while.

"Th-that's how a pro takes out the trash," remarked Himari unsteadily. She posed a handful of feet away from the Chimera, silhouetted by the steam, gazing down at it with one of her gleaming red eyes through her fingers. Her hand deftly covered the majority of her face... and combined with the steam hid her furious blushing.


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Character Portrait: Akihiko Fujioka Character Portrait: Aoki Kaho Character Portrait: Himari Tsukikage Character Portrait: Kaito Otsuba
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In the middle of his panic, Akihiko found himself flung to the side as someone tackled him. The rolled on the ground on reflex into a three point landing position to see what once was the man that had interrupted Himari before was a full blown pirate, that was using water magic to restrain the injured Thoughtless. Aki blinked owlishly at the sight. Kiki appeared on his shoulder in a puff of pink whisps.

Aki’s previous panic died as a chuckle escaped him. ”Wow, how many retired magical girls and boys does it take to clean up rookie messes?. Kiki let out a snort. ”Four apparently.”

The two didn’t have much time to be amused as Kaito called for Himari to end it already, herself seeming to only have the barest control over her lightning. It only took one glance between the thoughtless in front of him and Kaito then Himari to realize what was about to happen. ”Yeah . . . This is gonna get loud.” Akihiko and Kiki’s forms shifted to resembling pink ghosts not a moment too soon as the world around them was enveloped in a bright light followed by a deafening roar of sound that rattled the bones.

When Aki became solid again everything was covered in still evaporating water, as well as the half melted thoughtless with his scythe still in its neck. The thing was still glowing orange from conducting so much electricity. Even so, the thing was slowly starting to twitch a bit. He stood up with an annoyed sigh.

”Were these things always this resilient? This seems a bit much to take one stupid Thoughtless.” Akihiko rolled his shoulders and pulled his hood down. ”Don't know and I really don't care at this point. Shows over.”
He patted Kaito on the shoulder before blinking up towards his scythe, hands appearing ghostly to grab the electrically heated weapon without any worry. Aki’s eyes flared bright pink as his magic surged, causing the scythes blade to expand in size and become ethereal while still in the struggling Thoughtlesses neck. All Akihiko had to do then was quickly rotate his body and spin with scythe in hand, finally decapitating the monster and landing with his weapon held behind him in a pose he hadn’t struck for a few years now. ”Rest in Peace.” Once those words left his lips, his scythe snapped back into its wand form before disappearing into pink whisps.

All in all, he thought that went pretty well considering literally everything that happened.


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Character Portrait: Akihiko Fujioka Character Portrait: Aoki Kaho Character Portrait: Himari Tsukikage Character Portrait: Kaito Otsuba
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”Geez.” Kaho rubbed the back of her neck, steam rising off the street as the Thoughtless bubbled and faded away like a summer mirage. Bit much for one bug. There was a large black scorch mark in the center of the street, and she noted several cars with bald spots where the flash-evaporated water had damaged the paint.

”AWESOME!!” Budou exclaimed, running over to where the monster had fallen. She jostled Akihiko, spinning him around briefly before jumping back a bit to gawk at his outfit. ”Are you a magical girl too!? Boy? Man? Whatever! That was awesome! And you!” She spun on her heel, racing over to Himari, energy almost leaking out of her into the pavement. ”What was that lightning!? Where’d you learn to do that!? Can I do that? Omigawd, can I do that?!

Ringo took a breath to steady herself, her broadaxe vanishing in a spark of red light. Her eyes were fixed on what could only be described as a pirate standing less than 10 feet from her. The way this guy had showed up out of nowhere, effortlessly the Thoughtless under control and directing the other two… She stepped forward, opening her mouth to say something, then after a brief hesitation stepped back. ”Budou!” Ringo called out to her teammate. ”We need to finish patrolling!”

”Eeeeh…?” The purple magical girl deflated somewhat.

Kaho took a long drag off her cigarette, reducing it to half its length before it grew back to full size seemingly of its own accord. She checked the time on her phone, then glanced back over at her bar. There wasn’t really enough damage for anyone to care about, right? And all other… participants… in this little street show seemed to be suitably distracted. Fantastic. She spun on her heel, intent on making a quiet getaway.


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Character Portrait: Akihiko Fujioka Character Portrait: Himari Tsukikage Character Portrait: Kaito Otsuba
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"Eh?!" Himari recoiled as the exuberant magical girl ran up to her, cheeks still flushed from the embarrassment of not being able to control her powers. Her eyes flicked momentarily towards the less enthusiastic girl with the broad axe before she smiled awkwardly. "It uh...," she stammered, unsure of what to say. "I bet your magic is even more impressive!" She emphasized her statement by squinting a glare at Kaito and Aki.

Don't you dare crush these girls' spirits, I will melt this whole damn intersection...

This thoughtless didn't feel like a particularly high level threat... or maybe it was and they had just become powerful enough that even in their rusty, unpracticed state a high level Chimera wasn't a big deal to them? Were the monsters becoming more powerful? Or was the current magic generation just too inadequate to handle base level threats? Himari nearly reeled with the barrage of thoughts, but managed to keep it under control for the time being.

"What were you two doing out here with such a powerful enemy by yourselves anyway?" She asked with a note of concern, peeking past them down the street to where Kaho had been standing and noticing that she'd left.


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Character Portrait: Akihiko Fujioka Character Portrait: Aoki Kaho Character Portrait: Himari Tsukikage Character Portrait: Kaito Otsuba
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"Hmm. Yeah, maybe answer 'Ruffles's question before y'two leave, hm? Y'all handled that pretty well before we showed up, but uh... Yeah. Ah, is it just th' two of you? That lady's bar," Katio's sentence drawled out, a quick breath taken as he went to continue. He nodded his hat topped head towards the... Smoker? He didn't know her name, and was perfectly content to call her by a descriptor until otherwise told, "Was kinda nearly trashed from the ah, Thoughtless, y'know?"

Kaito went to take a drag of his own cigarette, blinking in stupefied confusion when the soothing burn of smoke entering his lungs didn't come. A quick peek at his hands revealed no cigarette, and further more, that even if he wanted to smoke, his hands were perpetually wet. Welp.

He chuckled to himself before sighing, moving over to a nearby wall and sliding down it to sit down. "'M too damn old to do that shit on the spot... Y'all were good though, again, good job." He smiled at the duo, before turning his gaze towards the smoking Kaho, and then towards Himari and Aki, not yet knowing their names.
His eyes lingered on all of them for a bit too long, before he shrugged and whispered to 'Kari.

His costume dropped, his magic flashed, water flowed across his skin, and he returned to his 'civilian' clothes. Then, quick as a flash, he dipped his hand into his pocket, grabbed a somewhat mushed carton of cigarettes, popped one in his mouth, and topped the whole situation off by patting his pockets before speaking aloud to the group. "Ah... Uh. Anyone got a light? Heh."