|A visit and betrayal|
As the lighting moves to strike down upon the ground, three ofuda suddenly fly outwards from within the shrine itself, intercepting the bolts of light before they have a chance to hit. The paper burns easily, but the owner of them doesn't seem to pleased that someone would try to do harm to a place of worship. In her usual shrine apparel, Rei slowly makes her way out onto the staircase, looking down towards the courtyard to just who caused this disturbance. In her left hand is a broom, giving one the impression that she was sweeping the interior of the shrine before being summoned out like this.
The lightning smashes headlong into the three ofuda, but doesn't really seem to notice that they were there as it plows on it it's passage to smash into the ground with a rumble, a whirlwind forming around where it struck, the bolts not even leaving the ashes of the paper in their wake. Gradually the whirlwind begins to abate as the ambient winds, thunder, and lightning die down, revealing the outline of two forms within the whirlwind, one taller than the other. Both appear to be female, but details are impossible the make out as such at the moment.
There is a brief silence from Rei as she watches her wards crumble, narrowing her eyes at the shadowed arrivals. "If you wish to cause chaos, I'd suggest you go elsewhere." She quietly moves back towards the entrance of the shrine, propping the broom against the entrance, only to make her way back to the spot she originally was standing upon.
Hild-sama's voice comes out of the dissapating winds,"Causing chaos is my job Miss Hino. Without chaos, life would stagnate after all. Regardless, we are simply here for a visit." And as the winds finally die out enough to reveal details, you can see a tall and beautiful white haired woman, parts of her dress and her hair falling down and back into place as the winds give up their hold on them. Red stars adorn her forehead and cheeks. And standing next to her, a somewhat shorter, also white haired, and pretty familiar, young lady with blood red moons on her forehead and cheeks.
Well, there's one detail Rei might notice from the smaller of the two forms... a very distinctive hairstyle. Rather than give in to her impulse to chide her new mother figure for being so bloody dramatic with the teleportation in, she remains standing, calm, hands at her side. She waves a tiny bit sheepishly. "Hi Rei."
There is an obvious look of surprise, then sadness upon Rei's face. "Usagi..." She clutches her hands, then turns her gaze towards Hild. "What do you want?" Her voice comes out hollow, no emotion behind it whatsoever.
Hild-sama smiles indulgently at Rei, "I'm only bringing a friend to visit Miss Hino. Why do you believe I want anything?" she rests her arm around Usagi's shoulder. "Is there something wrong with visiting?"
Usagi turns her head to look up at Hild. "Shoulda teleported a block away then walked..." she comments, thinking of the flashy teleportation in, then turns back to Rei. "To talk. To give each other updates on what's been going on, little details like Ami being wisked away to the afterlife by the collapse of the Integra Arms a handful of weeks ago, and not the good one either. Or, how about the one where I tried to jump start becoming Neo-Queen Serenity to be worthy of you all and hopefully provide some stability and ending up like this instead?" She shrugs, spreading her hands wide. Okay, so she missed a few steps here and there, that's the essense of things.
"That isn'y my friend. That is someone who merely took her body, and her appearence. However, that is no longer the Tsukino Usagi I knew." Rei's voice seems to waver a little bit as she says this, obviously a bit upset by this. She closes her eyes, and then opens them. "You have no right to be talking about any of us. Leave. Don't ever return. The Usagi I knew would have never allowed herself to become tainted like this, for any reason. You are not her, so don't ever return here."
Hild-sama smiles at Usagi, "It wouldn't have mattered dear. She'd have felt me the moment I stepped into the courtyard. She had quite a few wards up." then turns to look at Rei and frowns a bit, "Now now, none of that. This is the same Tsukino Usagi. No one has taken her body or her appearance. She's simply grown up and learned a few truths about the universe is all. She cared enough to want to come visit you."
Usagi nods once, sadly, as if she had been expecting this response from Rei. "So, I guess this means you won't help in trying to rescue Ami from Hell then." She had been expecting this rejection, so why does she still want to cry at the confirmation of it? "Rei, even though you don't think it's me, and never want to see me again..." so many words want to spill out, but she chooses them carefully, "I'll always do my best to keep you safe. If you need me, just call."
"I told you to leave." Rei's voice seems to have a bit of finality to it, as she turns her back. "Do not return. I will await for the /real/ Usagi to return. But until that day comes, this shadow who thinks she is the real thing, will be delt a harsh punishment if they ever return." The tone of her voice is cold, yet very serious. She reaches into her kimono, and pulls out an ofuda, which she then places upon the doorway of the shrine.
Hild-sama's frown deepens, "Miss Hino. Do not presume to tell me or my daughter what to do. II assure you, this IS Tsukino Usagi, once daughter of both Mr and Mrs Tsukino and Queen Serenity. Perhaps you should talk with her and find that out instead of dismissing her at first glance." She smirks a bit at the ofuda. "Really now Miss Hino."
Usagi reaches up to lightly touch Hild's arm, giving a small shake of her head. Like letting Rei know the extent of any abilities they may or may not have is a good thing while she's so opposed. It'd scare her off worse. "Let's try to talk to her again later, after she's had a bit of time. Trying to force the issue won't get anyone anywhere."
"I don't speak with liars." The ofuda seems to be incomplete as it stays firmly planted on the entrance of the shrine. She turns, and bows towards the two women, before moving to pick her broom back up, to only start sweeping the top of the stairs.
Hild-sama frowns again at Rei, then touches Usagi's hand, "Miss Hino. Because you are Usagi's friend, I won't take you to task for your insult today. I have done my best to not damage your temple with my teleportation and have tried to speak to you in good faith only to be turned back by insults. By rights, I should cleave your soul from your body and send you to your eternal reward for that. Even my husband would not dispute my right to do so." then her smile returns, "But, as I understand your reluctance, I will offer you my word, my bond, as Daikamaicho of Niflheim, that this IS your friend and princess Tsukino Usagi." She reaches up with a fingernail as she holds out her hand and makes a cut across her palm, allowing her blood to drip onto the ground and form itself into a rune seal of a contract, "By my blood, I swear this." as the cut heals up. Of anyone, Usagi should realize the lengths that Hild is trying to go for her. Then turns to Usagi...
Now THAT causes Usagi's spine to stiffen, and she entertains a thought about sending Belldandy here... nah. "Whatever else you might think of me, Rei Hino, I will not speak untruth in front of you or any of the senshi." She might twist words, now, but each word spoken is true. At the seal forming, her eyes widen slightly and dart towards her mother, a look that's both worried and greatful. "Shall we go elsewhere for lunch?" she suggests, the thought of Rei dying too much for her, even now...
Rei turns and reaches into her kimono, pulling out what appears to be a pen with a planet atop it. She thrusts the pen down towards Usagi, narrowing her eyes. "Leave. I want nothing to do with either of you. You have no rights to make claims upon this land, demon. In your world, you may be the god of evil, but there are plenty of others here in this realm that hold that title as well. Just like there are others who hold the title of Kami-sama. Titles mean nothing. You speak only lies to me, and expect me to believe it as truth? My friend would NEVER do this. She'd have saved Ami, not allowed her to be taken to hell, and she'd have slapped you around and sent you packing to whatever hole you crawled out of." The pen clatters loudly on the ground, and slides across towards where Usagi was standing. It seems to be her henshin pen.
Hild-sama frowns at Rei once more. "Usagi didn't know about Ami until afterwards Miss Hino. But you can rest assured that we are attempting to find her, without your help." she glances at the pen then looks to Usagi, "Did you have someplace in mind dear?" before turning away from Rei and starting to walk away. After a few steps she stops and looks back over her shoulder at Rei, "Know this Miss Hino. There is a special place in Hell for those that betray their friends, not to mention their Princess. You, Hino Rei, formerly Princess of Mars, have done just that. I will eagerly await the day your soul departs the mortal coil for there. Pray to whatever gods you believe in that we never meet again in your lifetime, for I will never forgive you the hurt you have caused my daughter this day."
Rei says, "I've betrayed no one. My princess betrayed me."
Usagi leaves the pen where it lies. "Deny me, deny this," she gestures to the pen, "All you like. It does not change the truth. I am working to save Ami. That pen does not belong to me, and never has. No matter what else happens... you are Senshi. And I have not betrayed anyone." She turns her back to Rei, following Hild away. "Some place with alot of ice cream," Usagi says firmly, needing the comfort food after that confrontation.
Hild-sama sighs and shakes her head, "To believe I had thought to leave an innocent child with her. Better to have her raised in Niflheim than with someone like that." then nods to Usagi, "Yes, ice cream sounds lovely. It's been ages since I've had a bandanna split."
Public> Mei says "crush crush crush and demorish~"
Hild-sama glances at Usagi, "Do you think perhaps Makoto and Ami would like to raise it? After what happened to the child in life, it deserves a chance at happiness."
Usagi nods. "We should ask, when we get Ami back. If not, maybe Mei? She seems like she'd raise a child well." She links her hands behind her back as they walk along, seemingly oblivious to the fact that they're still within earshot of Rei.
Hild-sama says, "Perhaps. For the moment, she's in a kind of limbo while I decide what to do with her." she looks to Usagi, "This was another one of those cases. The girl's mother died and left the father alone to care for her, but he turned abusive and beat her to death on her 8th birthday." she smiles, "I personally saw to it that he's being punished. And I snagged the soul before it could pass on." she holds up her hand where a soft blue glowing ball forms. "I thought perhaps giving her life again as a newborn and giving her to some kind person to raise would be the right thing to do."
Usagi leans over towards the soft blue ball, and coos softly. "Sounds like a very good idea. Don't want to keep it in this form for too long... second chances, one hopefully without the trauma of the past one..." she pauses in thought, remembering Hotaru. "Will she age at a normal rate, or will growth be accellerated until she reaches her natural age?"
Hild-sama smiles, "She'll have a normal life. It's not that hard to reincarnate a soul. I could have brought her back to life as it was, but I suspect that given the choice, she'd prefer the life without any pain." she glances back towards Rei, "I had thought that giving her to a shrine maiden would have been a good thing. Perhaps Mei would be the better choice for this one. Another will come along eventually for Makoto and Ami, once we find her."
Usagi huffs slightly, forgetting her status a moment. "Not that hard for you, perhaps. And yes, I imagine she would. It'll be figured out, and I imagine this time would be somewhat restful for the soul at the moment, not having to worry about any of that."
Hild-sama smiles, "Not so hard for you either Usagi. Perhaps I'll allow you do handle the next one." before tucking the soul away wherever it came from. "Now, perhaps the UR? The food there was pretty good the last time."
Usagi nods. "Yes, to the UR," she echoes with a smile. "Decent food, decent service, and never boring!" she chimes in with a faint giggle.
Hild-sama smiles and rests her arm about Usagi's shoulder again, "Works for me. No need to work my cooks overtime. Though I'll have to take you down to Hell's Paradise sometime."
The Usual Restaurant
Hild-sama smiles as she leads Usagi to a booth, "Perhaps we should take a trip to visit your sister soon. I'll keep an eye out for when she's home."
Usagi nods. "That would be nice, though, she might find it a bit odd if we just show up without letting her know ahead of time. Think Hallmark makes a card for this kind of situation?"
Hild-sama chuckles, "I rather doubt they have a card that says 'Your Demon Mother and your new Demon Sister are coming for a visit." she shrugs, "Last time I dropped in, she called me first." then she smirks at you, "And I believe a friend of yours is in that world too."
Usagi's eyes widen. "Oh, is -that- where Faith had gotten to after all this?" She looks down at herself, a sudden hesitation sweeping her. "I hope... she reacts better than Rei did..."
Hild-sama nods a bit, "Another friend took her there when the Arms was destroyed. He told her that you've gone dark as well." she shrugs, "I'm honestly not sure how she'll react to meeting you. But it'd probably be best if I wasn't there for it."
Usagi nods. "And, as she's the Slayer, and with the whole thing... maybe I should learn to teleport first, just to be on the safe side." i.e. if Faith freaks worse than Rei, she won't be trapped without an exit.
Hild-sama smiles, "We'll have to check what your transport medium and energy source are before we go. Your power won't be at full for a long time yet, so you'll need both." she hrms, "Do you really think she'll be that upset?"
Usagi bites her lower lip briefly. "I thought Rei would think me brainwashed, not reject me outright," she points out. "She's a friend, and I don't want to think of her as dangerous towards me, but, no reason to be stupid about things."
Hild-sama smiles, "Well, I'll let you figure out how to handle her." her smile turns teasing, "Maybe if you kiss her again it'll convince her?"
Usagi eeps and blushes. "At least it might convince her it's me and not some evil twin... I didn't know you knew about that..." hrm, come to think of it... stupid building falling down killed all the firewine, too.
Hild-sama shrugs, "You've seen the hall Usagi. Don't you think I'd have looked at the highlights of my daughter's life so far." she smiles, "Though it doesn't tell me how you felt about it or anything. But it's nothing to be embarassed about. It's actually not all that uncommon."
And some things, like how it felt, should remain that way. "We got along well together, and, it reminded me of just how long it's been since I've actually spent any time with Mamochan..." dry spell made worse by the thought of virgin till wedding night.
Hild-sama shrugs and smiles, "Whatever you want is fine with me Usagi. It doesn't matter to me who you end up with, as long as you're happy. Just because I'm married to who I am, doesn't mean you have to follow in my footsteps."
Usagi nods. "I'm not one for solitude," she says simply, knowing that if Hild has watched her life, then her mom knows exactly what she's talking about, how her true strength has always been drawn from those around her... a thought. "Hey, do you think... that source of energy mentioned might have something to do with interacting with others? Even before, when things got desperate... it was from my friends that I drew the strengh, literally, to keep going..."
Hild-sama shrugs, "It's possible. I'm not entirely sure where it draws it's power from."
Usagi shakes her head. "No, I mean... my energy source, the one you said I should find along with my transport medium before I go."
Hild-sama ahhs and shakes her head now, "What your recharge method is gets set by Niddhog. It's usually something that you can easily get your hands on. For instance, Urd's is drinking Sake."
Usagi nods. "Is there a file where we can look it up?" She asks curiously, watching the skutters out of the corner of her eye. What can she say, they're neat!
Hild-sama smiles, "Certainly, once we go back home. Likewise with your transport medium."
Usagi nods. "I hope the transport medium isn't too esoteric. It'd be gross if it were something like sneezes," she says, making a face at that odd mental image. Where'd it come from? Best not to ask.
Hild-sama says, "It usually isn't. I has to be something useable. Urd uses TV sets. And Marller, one of my agents, uses CDs." she smiles, "Most things with even slightly shiny surfaces will work."
Usagi thinks a second, and giggle. "With my luck it'll be something impractical, like sunglasses."
Hild-sama smiles, "I wouldn't think that would be any worse than CDs or Cameras."
Usagi nods. "Yes, it totally would. I mean, depending on what side a girl emerged from, one could end up in very embarassing positions," she says with a firm nod of her head.
Hild-sama blinks, "I suppose. We'll see when we get back I guess." she smiles, "Now, I believe you wanted ice cream..."
Usagi nods. "Lots of ice cream. Banana split sounds good, especially if they have the kind where you get three different flavors of ice cream and not just vanilla." Yes, she adores baskin robins where you can point and go, that ice cream, that ice cream, and that ice cream. "Course, I'd go with whatever flavors of chocolate were available... mmm, could really go for some chocolate at the moment, actually."
Hild-sama glances to a skutter, "Well, you heard my daughter. Bring us 2 bannana splits with whatever kinds of chocolate you have." and the thing scurries off to get your order.
Usagi giggles. "Now that'd be a teenage girl's dream, an excuse to have as much chocolate as she wants, when she wants it."
Hild-sama snickers, "You hardly need an excuse dear. It's not like you can gain any weight from it anymore."
Usagi giggles. "Yeah, but that dosen't break a lifetime of habits or social conditioning..." she makes a face. "I'd say I've been hanging out with Ami too much for using those words if she were here..."
Hild-sama smiles, "I'm sure you'll get used to it. You'll weigh what you weigh now 10 millenia hence."
Usagi smiles. "Well, that means the clothes budget is going to go down, once I get a wardrobe established. No more growing or shrinking out of clothes."
Hild-sama nods, "You are right there. Not that we need to buy clothing remember. We can wear anything we want to with a thought."
Usagi nods. "Still working out the bugs with that, but I'll get it down soon. Haven't really wanted to practice without knowing what it'd take to keep from feeling wiped out afterwards."
Hild-sama nods as the banana splits arrive and smiles, "Well, we can go find out after we finish our sundaes. Then perhaps you can go visit your friend."
Usagi starts digging into her ice cream. "Sounds good to me!"
Hild-sama smiles and starts eating her ice cream as well.