justaflowergirl: Smiling Yuka (Default)
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Yuka was in the middle of a field of sunflowers. There was nothing else in sight, no one else to be seen. But that didn't strike her as unusual. Here she could be alone with her beautiful sunflowers.

And then, without anything to mark the transition, she was not alone.

"Hello, Yuka."

Yuka didn't respond. Why would she be talking to anyone, here in this place?

"Are you ready? Please step forward."

But wasn't this where it had changed? Where another had come to her once before. The one who wouldn't leave her despite herself. Without even really thinking about it, she stepped forward, seeking a glimpse of that presence.

"Every journey begins somewhere. You have taken the first step towards Utopia."

Utopia? It didn't mean anything to her, though it was obviously something the voice considered very important. It didn't matter. There was a door appearing before her, and she went through it without hesitation.

This wasn't a place to stay anymore.

On the other side, many things had changed. Sunlight was replaced by moonlight, although it was still bright enough to see easily. The sunflowers were gone, a grassy field speckled with dandelions in it's place. And off in the distance... well, there was a distance now. It had been strangely lacking before. She began walking, without any further destination in mind than 'whatever was over there', flanked by a shadow that grew more solid as they went.

"Do not be afraid," the shadow says, in a familiar voice. "I am here to help you."

Should she be? It seemed strange to suggest. And what help did she need that had not already been provided?

"To find Utopia, of course."

This struck Yuka as making some interesting assumptions. But that wasn't important right now, was it?

"Will you fight?"

She stopped and turned to stare. Would she fight? At her worst, she might have forgotten that. But now she knew. Fighting was how friendships were born. How you learned hidden truths about yourself. And, of course, it was just plain fun. Going through life without fighting would be like going without sunlight.

It was quite possibly the most abjectly stupid question Yuka Kazami had ever heard. And it was up against some strong competition. (Those three fairies that had given Daiyousei so much trouble back in the day came immediately to mind.)

"To fight is the only way to achieve victory, you know. The only way to achieve Utopia."

Of course it was. Yuka's shadow was proving to have something of a one-track mind.

Apparently her staring conveyed enough meaning to qualify as an answer, for the shadow continued. "The pact is made. I am yours." It took her hand and pulled it towards a glowing spot on it's chest; in her surprise she could offer no resistance.

"Draw your weapon."

Yuka reached in and pulled. Out came her familiar parasol. She had had it for so long, carrying it with her everywhere she went, that it felt almost like a part of her, and not a separate object... although she hadn't noticed lacking it until this moment. Now, it seemed, it truly was a part of her. Still... "It's hardly an elegant way to fight," she commented.

"But one you know."

She couldn't deny it. That particular variant of the Spell Card Rules had been in fashion during the Scarlet Weather incident, and Yuka had derived great satisfaction from beating that looney celestial about the head and shoulders with her parasol. Even if satisfying Yuka had been the only thing it had accomplished.

There was a whisper of air behind her, followed by a thump as some flier settled to the ground. The shadow did not acknowledge whoever or whatever it was, although it surely would have been able to see it. "This is you," it said. She heard footsteps receding behind her, the sound of one moving to their optimum range before beginning the attack. "A power that dwells within you and within everyone."

Yuka began turning, to face her assailent head-on. "It's name is..."

Name? Her parasol had never had a name. It had never needed one before. What sort of name might it have now?

"...Shazra."

Something familiar. A snatch of a mysterious language told to her by a distant friend. An appropriate name for one such as her.

The figure had already launched it's first shot, but Yuka was ready, popping open her parasol to deflect it and responding with a spray of sunflowers of her own. She quickly settled into the dance of move and counter-move. It was obvious that this was an enemy of the most dangerous sort, one who knew all her capabilities, all her best tricks, and how to counter them. But that was a sword that cut both ways, and gradually she gained the upper hand. Finally, with one last jab of her parasol, her opponent flew backwards and fell to the ground, it's energy spent.

"You kept your vow. In payment, take those coins."

Coins? Yuka gave the shadow a puzzled look. But when she turned back her opponent had disappeared, and on the ground in it's place there were indeed coins, slightly less ornate than the ones she had seen before, but easily recognizable as some form of currency. It felt to her like something was missing from the scene, but lacking any reason to do otherwise she picked them up.

Now the shadow was leading her, a curious reversal of the usual order. Soon enough they came to the first artificial structure she had seen in this land. It was a small, but fully functional shopkeeper's stall that had apparently grown out of a large bucket. Unusual rings, charms, and other things were displayed on it's walls, although it looked like most of the stock was kept elsewhere. It seemed like a strange place for a jewelry store. Apparently a good one though, as there was a customer, a figure in a hooded cloak discussing prices with the girl whose lower body also seemed to disappear into the bottom of the bucket. (The last part, at least, did not strike Yuka as particularly unusual.)

"Forty Raks for a memory charm." The customer handed over something, and received a pendant the shopkeeper pulled from somewhere in the bucket's mysterious depths. After giving the shopkeeper a small bow, she headed off at a rapid pace.

Yuka's attention was promptly drawn away as she began examining the wares on display more closely. All were somewhat interesting, and all somewhat mysterious, but there was something about the memory charm that seemed particularly compelling. "I'd like one of these."

"That'll be sixty Raks," the shopkeeper replied.

For a moment, Yuka was distracted by the last word the shopkeeper had said. "Raks? Weren't those the things Marisa was complaining about in that game she was playing last week?"

"No, it's those coins you're holding."

"Ah." Yuka looked at the coins. Then off to her right, where the previous customer had gone (and since disappeared while she wasn't paying attention). Then back at the shopkeeper. She smiled.

A look off to the right again.

Smile.

"How about forty?"

"Sold!" Yuka handed over her coins, and received another of the pendants. "It's been a business doing business with you!" the shopkeeper said just before disappearing completely into the bucket. By some process her eyes couldn't quite follow, the entire stall folded up and slid into the bucket, which itself disappeared with a pop moments later. Odd.

She felt a strange sense of amusement from the shadow, which smiled at her and said, "It goes on the chain around your wrist." She looked down, and saw that there was indeed a chain there, although it seemed strangely out of place. "And Yuka?" the voice continued, still with that feeling of amusement, "Do remember to eat."

"Of course!" Yuka replied, sounding a bit shocked. "It's important to give delicate plants the appropriate fertilizer... ?"

Her voice trailed off as another sound penetrated her consciousness...

This is a very simple story that everyone knows...
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justaflowergirl: Smiling Yuka (Default)
Yuka Kazami [AU]

July 2012

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