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[EV-22] Tanabata Celebration!

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Stumbling up to the 22nd floor again, Macradon was ready, more ready than he had ever been before. As he arrived, the abundance of people gathered showed him that he was indeed late, but for good reason. He spent most of the time wandering around the plaza, looking at the different stalls, the different celebratory activities one could indulge themselves into. As he walked around, the knight, not clad in any armor, waltzed around the plaza, trying to tie his obi like Baldur had instructed him to, but to no avail. The Gaijin Samurai, though not of oriental descent, had more skill in oriental clothing than this Asian kid.

MacImono.png

He shrugged when he finally got the obi sitting, but just barely. The first thing to come was the railway event, he had heard the rumors, and the rails had just showed up as a possibility when crafting, it was weird the way they just appeared, but he felt like he needed to work on it, as if no one else would. Walking up to the boys, Macradon would smile and open his inventory, “Macradon the Imperial Topaz, Vanguard Commander of the KoB, First Grandmaster Blacksmith, Arbiter of Zeus, Yeeter of Dragons, has come with aid.” he said, proclaiming all his fictional titles as he began to extract the rail tracks by stacks.

“They just began to appear as a possibility for crafting, so I took some time off from everything else and dedicated some full-time on these bad boys. I heard you needed 200 of them? I think we only need 14 more, then we’re all set. The Grape Vine had also told me that another Blacksmith has been working on some rails, so we should essentially be done on that front. If anything, I’ll come back to you guys with some more, take care.” he said and left the 180 rail tracks for the boys to play with.

With that out of the way, the first person he would look for … was the one he knew had holed herself up in the house, she always were unless a boss raid or anything like it was under way, searching for her here would be futile, but he wanted some hope, some hope that the romance he felt with her wouldn’t wither away like that. He walked around, nearly aimlessly, retying his obi every ten to fifteen minutes before finally stumbling onto someone he was happy to see, the one he actually needed to see, @Mari.

“Good to see you, friendo.” he said with an awkward smile and tied his obi one last time, tightening it as best as he could.

Item Name: Rail Tracks
Quantity: 75+105+6 = 186
Evaluation Link: 
http://www.sao-rpg.com/topic/8010-macradon-the-blazing-typhoon/?do=findComment&comment=617604
http://www.sao-rpg.com/topic/8010-macradon-the-blazing-typhoon/?do=findComment&comment=618750

 

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"Mmmm..." Mari tapped her lip with a neatly trimmed fingernail. For the occasion- it had been painted a brilliant orange that complimented her hair. Should she go up to the booth? It was tucked away in the corner of the festival. Hidden further down the path, past the bamboo festivities. One side had been blocked off, by the look of it Mari guessed it was some sort of habitat, and from the warbled bird sounds - that must be where the magpies were kept. "I did tell myself I'd attempt all the activities..." She thought aloud. After all, she was known for being a little abrasive - this would help with that image, right? Heck - she even had someone approach her and ask to be a part of the guild.

Speaking of...I wonder how the others are doing...

She hadn't heard much from any of the other Pillars. Perhaps, after this - she'd reach out to them. Make sure everything was okay. Oikawa especially, had worried her. Mari went to take a step toward the path that lead to the booth but stopped when she heard a familiar voice call out.

"Good to see you, friendo."


She  

"Here..." Mari placed her hands on Macradons' shoulder and spun him around. "Let me help you with that."  Mari wasn't born in Japan, but she had spent a few years there - and had much of the same struggles he did with his Obi. "You know, I buy mine pre-tied- you can do that these days. At least back in Osaka." Mari jutted her thumb behind the belt to give Macradon some breathing space as she adjusted the tightness of the thick band. "Here, you should wear the sash at your hip. It's masculine." Mari said as she shifted the bow slightly to his side. Finally she finished tying the knot at the front and folded it underneath the band. "There." Mari said as she took a step back to admire her work. "It's not perfect..." She mused, she could see it was a little askew - and the bow at his side uneven. "But it'll do."  It was better than his attempt at least.

"It's nice to see you here." Mari said as she shifted her hand to tug on her hair. A sense of unease and caution bubbled up, she had worn her yukata a few times now but she still felt it odd, unnatural. She wasn't used to wearing them within Aincrad - and she was dressed far more plainly than others. Even Macradon's attire was more extravagant than her own. Mari swallowed and gave herself a firm nod. She could do this. She would do this. Push it down. Push it down. Breathe. Mari drew in a breath and painted a smile on her peach coloured lips. "I was about to go look at the magpie taming area. Looks like we  could get something from it. " Mari lifted her hand to gesture behind him. "You could also write your wishes or...err..something?" Mari coughed. She wasn't exactly good at events like this. 

"At least there aren't any punch bowls here, eh Mac?"

@Macradon

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Edelgard in a Beautiful Kimono : Edelgard

Cordelia tugged on the sleeve of her newly tailored kimono with an awkward laugh. "A-are you sure it's fine for me to take this for free..?" she asked, her gaze shifting over to the man who had offered it to her. She wasn't one shoo away something for free but something as beautiful and well made as this shouldn't be given away so carelessly without proper compensation. She got that it was in spirit of the holiday but this was really too much..!

"No, no. I said it was free of charge, did I not?" the man huffed in amusement, a warm smile playing on his lips. "Now go enjoy yourself on this beautiful night. This only comes once a year you know," he mused, waving her off in a joking way before he went to go tend to another player who had stumbled upon on his shop. 

The girl sighed, knowing that any attempts to change his mind would prove fruitless. "I should know better than to try to sway an NPC," she muttered, shaking her head. 

"... Really though, this thing looks far too expensive to be free," Cordelia whispered under her breath, her neck craning as she tried to look at the exquisite designs on the fabric. "He didn't have to give me a free hair ornament either..." she added, her fingers brushing against the flower-looking hair piece just lightly before her hands dropped to her side.

The her previous worries now behind her, she looked around. "Oh, where did Oscar go-?" she murmured confusingly. Oh, it didn't matter anymore. It was only inevitable before they were to get separated. In a bustling festival like this, she was surprised they hadn't sooner. 

In an attempt to enjoy the rest of her night, Cordelia walked around the festival, admiring the bright lights, taking in the smell of absolutely delicious food, and even doing a bit of window shopping. In a span of half an hour, she already had a small paper bag in hand filled with tiny little trinkets and snacks that she would save for later. 

Her movements stalled as a certain stall grabbed her attention. It didn't really stand out from any of the other food stalls, but something about it just seemed to scream at her. Maybe it was the figure behind the stall? Yes, he certainly did look... interesting. If you could say that looking like you're about to bite someone's head off is interesting, at least. She rolled her eyes around with a small laugh before she approached the stall, paying no attention to the intimidating figure. The guy seemed to display a whole bunch of stuff. Yakisoba, yakitori, and... Cordelia's jaw nearly dropped. 

Takoyaki. 

Ah, the street food of the heavens..! But before she could express her absolute love for the classic festival food, a hand outstretched right in front of the doughy ball of goodness, right in her face. 

"What d'you want?"

Cordelia looked up at the red-haired chef, a deadpan expression blanketing her face. "Is that how you treat all of your customers?" she questioned, her brow quirking up. 

He snorted, rolling his eyes. "No, just to the people who drool right in front of my product," he retorted, giving her a once over before rolling his eyes again. 

Cordelia's eye twitched as she balled her hands into fists. "Why you..!" she exclaimed, already ready to punch the living daylights out of him... but, now wasn't the time for that. No, she was supposed to enjoy tonight, not get aggravated by some random bozo. She sighed, pressing her fingers against her temple in exasperation. "Fine, can I just get some takoyaki?" she asked, her shoulders drooping in frustration.

"Nah, I'm afraid we've run out."

"But there's some right there-!"

A loud sigh from the boy interrupted her. "Fine. Since you're so insistent, I guess I'll just have to make some more," he declared, giving her a smirk before her. "Watch and learn." He went on to show his brilliant skills - which, if it were any other food, probably would've been super cool to watch. Takoyaki wasn't really that exciting to make. He flipped a bottle around a few times and cut the octopus super quirk, but other than that, she wasn't really impressed. 

"Thanks," she said with a blank face, swiping away the food from his hand before dropping a small bag of Col in it. "Later, I guess," she sighed, ready to get the heck out of there.

Edited by Cordelia

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Shay quietly walked around the carnival grounds, looking at all the booths set up selling foods and fabrics of all kind, not to mention a few of them that were handing out sparklers and ones that had fun games set up. If she was younger, she might have wanted to take part in ring toss or something but she felt a little to old to find enjoyment out of something like that now. Her perusing was interrupted by Chase's voice. He was concerned about the developers of the game watching.

"I imagine that machinations of the death game was solely in the hands of Kaiyaba Akihiko. Blaming the coders and developers for this mess hardly seems fair, as they likely didn't know. As for Kaiyaba, I imagine that he is. Perhaps he set up several of these events prior to the game's release. If not, he's still pulling strings from outside the game I guess." Shay said casually, finally finding the Tanzaku table. "Here, write down some wishes and relax a little."

[Receives Tanzaku]

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Oscar looked over the questions on the pages placed in his hands, his eyes widening in surprise. "What's up with this deep-ass question," Oscar muttered to himself. With an annoyed sigh, he pressed the pen to paper and considered how to answer it. The first question was rather perplexing. So much so, in fact, that Oscar needed to find a place to sit and contemplate. Luckily, he didn't have to look far to find a place to sit. This was a festival, after all. Oscar was able to find a bench in a relatively quiet corner around the perimeter of the bamboo forest. With the din of the festival somewhat lessened, Oscar was able to tap the few brain cells he had and put them to work meditating on the question at hand. With the chaos then ordered, Oscar looked down at the slip and twirled the pen deftly between his fingers. Perhaps he was putting too much thought into it, but he didn't really want to just ignore the spirit of the event. At least, not too much.

Spoiler

What would you wish for the rest of your stay in Aincrad?
The obvious? Oscar clicked his tongue and looked to the sky thoughtfully. He supposed that 'no more deaths' would be entirely too optimistic and one-dimensional. Despite his insistence and not dressing the part, the festival being in full swing had put him in the mood so to speak. Unwilling to just give an easy answer, Oscar gave this one some thought. It was difficult as Oscar wasn't wont to lose himself to his own desires. His wants were simplistic. Primal. Survival, love, lust. Humble and well within reach. Oscar quickly scrawled down a single word and folded the page. Contentment. 

 

Spoiler

What would you wish for the better of people around you?
These questions were deceptively complex, Oscar was finding. What would anyone wish for their neighbors? Correction. What would anyone reasonable wish for their neighbors? The way you treat your neighbors is telling but what you secretly wish for them? Even more so. Oscar had to bite back the urge to read ahead. Somehow he figured if he did, he would lose all desire to answer these questions. Being that he was trying to give this particular event a "fair shake," it only muddied the waters that much more. His desire to give a clear answer was in direct opposition to keeping people out of his innermost thoughts. Whatever, he thought. Pen met paper. That they get what they give.

 

Spoiler

What would you wish for someone you care about?
"What," Oscar stated flatly. He had to read over the question again. Shifting so suddenly from complicated to simple was giving him whiplash. He could only imagine if everyone at the festival were being given the same set of questions. Just how many of them would say the same thing. Safety, love, prosperity or some combination of the three. Aren't they the things that everyone seeks and also wishes for for their friends? Although, that supposition was enough to cast doubt in and of itself. Was anyone going to read these things? Oscar certainly hoped not. Narrowing it down to a single individual, Cordelia sprang to mind. Perhaps that was what this question needed. A personal touch. Oscar didn't even have to think. He knew what he wanted for her more than anyone else. The world.

 

Spoiler

What would you wish for someone you would like to know better?
There was simple. There was complicated. And then there was this. Who even did Oscar know that he would like to also know better? The people he gave a damn about, he already knew about. The people he didn't, he knew all he wanted to know about them. This entire question made little sense. There were few people that were like a stranger to him. Most of the people he'd met thus far he either had an established rapport with or they were in his Guild. He didn't really want to learn any of them better. In fact, for some of them, he wished that they were better strangers. Would that do? The person that sprang to mind at that thought was Pinball. It didn't take a psychologist to realize that he was a maladapted child trying to make his way through the world. That he would find peace.

 

Spoiler

What would you wish for yourself?
Finally. The meatiest question of them all. It was rather disconcerting how such an innocent-looking event could then force him to confront the deep psychological flaws that he knew he had. He'd been rather standoffish with himself. He'd never really pursued things because he wanted them. He pursued concepts. Success. Generosity. Things that he could never really hold in his hands or say that he owned. One can be successful yet never truly attain success. One can be generous but never personify generosity. The journey towards the desires held more value to him than the desires themselves. Perhaps, then, that was what he desired. A wish to continue wishing. To work hard yet never be satisfied. Consume lift with a ravenous hunger - to experience all that he could before he inevitably expired. That I will continue to walk tall.

 

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A quiet place from the busy nature of the event, to seek clarity and a moment to fill out the tanzaku without interruption. A sway of her silver locks she has trouble sitting from the rather snug yukata wrapped around her frame, as it turns out she was not as proficient fitting such regal attire by comparison to armor and battle ready equipment. A soft exhale as she positions her legs underneath her with a fold, in the dust that began to sully the knees of the dressing. 

What would you wish for the rest of your stay in Aincrad?

Spoiler

A twist of the pen in her hand draws Japanese katana to the slip of paper, a twirl of her hand and wrist wrap her hair from her eyes. Not completely sorted her thoughts raced with what she would write, before she started to fixate on what mattered.
I Wish, I continue to grow and excel at what I do best
she transcribes to the slip of parchment, content with her answer as it flows through her fingertips. The sentiment sticks long after it was written as a reflection of what she strove for with every passing sunrise in this digital prison.

What would you wish for the better of people around you?

Spoiler

Shifting over the next slip she reads with a darting of her cyan blue eyes, yielding an understanding and allowing it to soak in for a bit before she would write her answer. A bit of heat in her chest at the thought of what had happened between her and the rest of the guild. The stagnant pause ends as her tool begins to move again, writing a short phrase that put her feelings to the tanzaku:
That they heed the warnings they were given, work together without failure, and strike true and cause fear as I will.
A pearl of grown wisdom betrayed her age.

What would you wish for someone you care about?

Spoiler

This next was curious, who was it she cared for? A scatter of her memory brought her back to the blackened hall with a shattered blade across the wooden floor, in hindsight she saw it as the destruction of who she used to be. Like her, it would need to be reforged better. It took her to the chairs she was looking at in that darkened interior, to which she could not shake the feeling of wanting to be at the owner's sides without knowing how. With this epiphany the girl began to write again:
I hope that they do not die before I do, and I bring pride in my actions and not discomfort

What would you wish for someone you would like to know better?

Spoiler

A shuffle to the next tanzaku being near the end of the grouping, each seeming more difficult than the last to answer with an almost overwhelming heat in her chest and face, threatening to make her melt. A flash of faces she had seen only in passing, those she had failed to be introduced to but the presence in the guild hall confirmed their additions. Wiping the sleeve of her yukata to her face to dab up the typhoon of emotion that was leaking from her eyes. The pen begins to move:
That I will be of use to them instead of a hindrance

@Ruler@claim@Kiluia Seiko@Haine@Katoka@Freyd - The Whisper in Shadows

What would you wish for yourself?

Spoiler

The final sheet that needed to be filled before she could add them among the myriad of other dreams and hopes that dangled from the wooden spires, it being the most troublesome to answer. A knot in her throat seemed as though like her words it would stop her hand from finishing the job, but she was no coward. Pushing through her regrets and failure, the scratching of the sharpened point wrote the katakana to it:
That I do as I was taught and shown, that I do as my master would wish. That Sam was right and I belong with Firm Anima

[Setsuna Completes Wishes 1-5]

Edited by Setsuna

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Kasumi1.thumb.png.c4c1ba7f87c60d4e94b2f309e93186f4.pngA moment of peace and clarity could not have come sooner for the girl, Kasumi was enjoying every moment away from the hardships that Aincrad offered on the daily. Further, still the event reminded of her of home, of a mother she had had to leave and come into this mess. A tinge of regret lingered in her head, but she would not allow it to sour the relaxation that Tanabata would offer her. A small stall with a kind male barely old enough to offer her what he was selling rushes to her side:

"Yo miss, kinda hot stuff aren't cha?" he barks trying to flaunt his youthful nature and hit on her, to which she pats his head causing him to become a bit flustered. "Quit it... I am not a kid!" he yelps and shoves her hand from his brown hair. "Here!" shoving a pack of sparklers into her hands and extracting himself in embarrassment, his masculinity threatened. "Wait come back." But he was already long gone, she felt bad for not paying him for his attempt as courting her to which she was oblivious.

Followed further she peruses the available stalls, a food stall ran by a guy with blazing red hair. A flare of showmanship beckons Kasumi to pay a clap of praise, folding himself into a bow with a growing ego. A meal and fireworks, and a stop from another it seemed as though the entire festival was filled with friendly faces.

"Free of charge, for the length of the festivities." A rather chiseled looking tailor stops her dead as they make eye contact. "You there, Need a Yukata?" to which she looks down at her gii and then looks to him with a smile "Yes please." they retract and the girl was finally ready to attend fully, in a different world than the one around them. Shared bows she accepts his gift, perhaps she would pay him to keep it.

A final booth with a firecracker of a girl offers her a kit of wishes with an added pencil "Thank you kindly" with a wide smile she felt more comfortable than she had in ages.

[Kasumi accepts Tanzaku!]

 

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Lifting herself from her kneeled position and tapping her knees and with a sniffle she wipes her eyes, trying to conceal what had cause it to become rather flush. Taking the slips of paper by the small cable cords at the tops of each, she silently moves to one of the trees adorned with more of the same. "For new beginnings" she remarks in her signature cool tone, seemingly devoid of any sign of emotion aside from her reddened eyes. One by one she places them to branches among the others that swayed in the gentle breeze, as if collectively she was joining the rest of the players who had done so as well. It takes some effort given her stature and rather strangled state, she was glad that no one she knew was around to see her so vulnerable else she would have to cut their tongue from their mouth.

[Setsuna hangs Tanzaku]

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Chase looked at Shay once she seated herself, frowning a bit and thinking about himself and his own behavior the past few days. It hadn't been anything but rather... ignorant, so to speak, of their current situation. It wasn't long before they had gotten started, and all he kept himself occupied with was leveling in the 'game' and getting his numbers to increase, seeing it as a game and nothing else. He never took time to relax whatsoever, just pushing himself to get it over with. He couldn't do it though. He nor so many more could do it, what was going to change?

It was a tough call, but Shay was right. He had to just take it easy. With that, he took a deep breath and slowly sat down, finding the kimono quite an odd piece of clothing nonetheless as he wasn't used to it whatsoever. "You're right. What are these wishes about anyways?", he asked rhetorically and began to raise an eyebrow, looking at Shay. "No need to be specific, right?"

[Chase has received Tanzaku.]

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Shay started writing her own ahead of Chase. They were normally things that people wanted to accomplish, and it seemed that there was a prompt that guided the questions. She slid the paper over to him so he could see the questions as well. "Just write some short responses to these wishes. Usually they should be something that you can feasibly accomplish. You'll hang them up on one of the bamboo trees and when the wish comes true later down the line, you come back to the tree and take your wish down. I think it's one of my favorite things that I did as a kid for this holiday." Shay mentions whilst scribbling down her own wishes on the tanzaku. She wouldn't allow him to see the things that she wished for.

The questions themselves did require some time to think on. It wasn't something you would normally think about.

[will write the wishes soon I promise.]

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"Huh? Let me read this.", the boy said and quickly skimmed through the questions, furrowing his eyebrows and lifting his head to look at Shay. He was already very thoughtful about this whole predicament and trying to get his mind off, this didn't help. Alas, at least it was a fun activity rather than a life or death matter like all the rest he'd encountered up to now. He tried to take it easy and gave a nod, scratching the back of his head nonetheless. "The papers are so small though... You really have to write something short then... I'll need to do some thinking.", he admitted, having noticed how Shay was already down to writing.

"So I have to think about these wishes and... find some way to write them concisely on the papers... This is going to be hard.", Chase returned to the confines of his mind where only his inner dialogues could be heard, closing his eyes and resting his head on his arms for a few moments before opening them, grabbing a pen and beginning to write them down.

Spoiler

What would you wish for the rest of your stay in Aincrad?

The boy gave it some thought, furrowing his eyebrows at the question. It didn't take too long to understand exactly what it was that he wanted out of his stay- that being to get out- but he'd have to settle with what he wished the most during it. He didn't want himself or Shay to be in any imminent danger, at any point. Danger meant possible death, and death meant that he couldn't see Lily or his family ever again, the same way that Shay's time would be cut short from the world she desired so much, Aincrad. With the pen, he wrote down on the paper. "Safety for me and Shay."

Spoiler

What would you wish for the better of people around you?

Now he was beginning to get doubts. The way he'd answered the first question, he'd partially answered for this too. With a deep sigh, the boy gave it some more thought and got stuck up on the fact that these will be publicly hung for anybody to see. Oh well, the only person that really stayed around Shay was himself, so there was little to be guessed by this point. Then again, he thought it better to reflect on all the newbies he'd helped, to think about NIGHT, Ariel, even the pinkhead Yuki... "I want to get stronger so I can protect my companions."

Spoiler

What would you wish for someone you care about?

By this point, Chase had gotten engrossed into the whole tradition. He was letting his creativity and true emotions come out, and the only thing that came to mind before whatever else was Lily. It took much less thinking than the rest as he almost instantly wrote down on the paper. "Stay safe in the real world. Wait for me.", he finished, a tear almost coming to his eyes. He did his best to endure however and get over it, simply giving a melancholic smile as he moved on with the next question. "I'm letting my feelings all over the place, try to keep yourself together damn it...", he thought before giving it a quick read.

Spoiler

What would you wish for someone you would like to know better?

On one hand, he'd begun to realise he was getting a bit too sentimental over a stupid event like this. He quickly raised a hand to yawn, using that mostly as a cover to quickly wipe his eyes and look at Shay. The question was what drove him to do that mainly though. "Someone... someone I'd like to know better...", he repeated inside of his head, letting out a sigh before he looked back down on the tags. "I hope she feels comfortable with me around.", he wrote concisely, trying not to give away the names too much from here on out.

Spoiler

What would you wish for yourself?

This was the question that caught him off guard. Up to now, he had no purpose. To clear the game, to get stronger to do that and to protect Shay by acting as a tank for the duo. Was that really a wish though? No. So far he'd simply mentioned it here and there, but this was a good stepping stone to take it seriously and truly try to find out what had been bothering him so much ever since that encounter with Ariel. With a deep breath, he wrote the final of the wishes with a confident, honest smile on his face and a serious expression to go along with it. "To find out the secrets of Unique Skills.", Chase wrote down the goal he wanted to pursue during his stay in Aincrad, placing the pen on the table at last.

It had been a few minutes since he started writing them, now picking all the papers up one by one and holding them together before he asked Shay, showing the same excitement as a child by this point. "I want to hang them, where do we do that?", he chirped, a childish glimmer in his eyes. As for whether she wanted to see them or not, he didn't mind showing, but seeing as she was keeping more private with hers, he was going to tell her to look at them when he hung them first. He didn't want her to feel any more uncomfortable with him, after all.

Edited by ChaseR

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Cordelia angrily munched on her takoyaki as she went off to explore the rest of the festival. "No, just to the people who drool in front of my product..!" she echoed mockingly, her voice raising a good octave before she sighed in exasperation. Why did they have to make such a mean NPC? She just wanted food, not an excuse to throw her fist at someone's face. 

"Gah, he's so lucky..!" she exclaimed in frustration, one hand tangling itself in her hair while the other crumpled up the now empty paper tray. "- lucky that I didn't throw this at his stupid little face."

Cordelia sighed in defeat, her hands loosening before the crumpled paper dissipated into flecks of blue. "Whatever," she mumbled, her hands dropping back to her side, "he's just some stupid NPC," she told herself slapping her cheeks lightly before she huffed in determination. "I'm not going to let a bunch of numbers and zeroes stop me from enjoying my night!"

By the time she had gotten herself back together, she had realized that she good bit away from the festival, at least, from the center of it. "Oh gosh, where did I wander off too," she whispered, scratching herself as she looked around, finding herself in an unfamiliar forest filled with tall stalks of bamboo. 

“Wanna give it a shot?

Cordelia's head whipped around in surprise, only to be face to face with a girl with bright orange hair, seated behind a small table topped with dozens and dozens of small pieces of paper and art supplies. "Uhm... sure?" she uttered confusingly, taking a step closer to the stall before looking down at the girl with a questioning expression.

Just write down your wishes here on these papers, and then hang them up on one of the stalks over yonder. Maybe it’ll help you clear your mind!”

Cordelia deadpanned. Did she witness her mini-breakdown a minute ago, or was her frustration just that obvious? "... Uh, thanks, I guess," she mumbled, taking the sheets of paper and prompts from the girl before offering her a small smile.

“If you need any pencils or crayons, we’ve got those here too! I’m only asking that you return them to me after you’re done,” she said, shooting Cordelia a smile of her own.

"Alrighty, will do. See you later, I guess," Cordelia remarked, giving the girl a small wave before she began to walk deeper into the forest.

“Thank you! Hope you enjoy the rest of the festival!”

 ▶ Cordelia Receives Tanzaku

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Tanabata.png.abcd8ace45e6cb73e92882ff2f97ccd3.pngElora's face was burning from embarrassment, the blush now extended to the bases of her ears. She hadn't expected to encounter anyone at this event. This was just supposed to be a safe way for her to explore another floor. "H-hi, I -- uh, yeah, sure" Did that even answer anything he asked? Elora nervously regarded the other women. It was difficult for her to feel confident in this sort of encounter with how out-of-place she felt. Meeting new people in social settings was usually second-nature for her, but for some reason, she had always had trouble with making female friends. 

Fireworks began to erupt and crackle in the night starry sky. All of the lights, noises, motions, and memories culminated into a daze. She felt so disoriented and unsure of what to say or do next, so instead, she just began walking. Wherever it was they would be heading, she would absently follow behind. As they meandered, she couldn't help but glance over to study Freyd's accessories, particularly his mask. How had I been able to recognize him underneath that? I guess his hair and eyes MIGHT have given it away. Or maybe, it was the awkward prolonged stare they had exchanged as both of them had tried to decode the other's appearance. Yeah, that was probably it.

 

@Freyd - The Whisper in Shadows @Haine @Kiluia Seiko @Vie

Edited by Elora

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Game.png.11ccd790dc4cecf8eb6f882e5a7b6691.png

Finding the cork game was damn near impossible. He didn’t think that the game would make it. Instead of the cork game, he found the balloon game instead. This was fun as he reached over and found a spot next to a kid. A grin was seen as he paid his col and began to started trying to hook balloons. This was hard for him as he didn’t have a steady hand. Eyes of amber were focused heavily at the orange balloon. The balloon was hooked and he pulled it with a grin. He pulled it and it stuck with him. Soon he placed it in front of him. He won himself a little tanuki doll. He would save this for someone.

He walked over to the table and noticed that Elora and the rest of them were closer than he had expected. No matter, he would find a table and set the tanuki doll in front of him. He began writing down his last of his wishes and sighed. It would have to happen sooner or later.

Spoiler

What would you wish for someone you would like to know better?
The thought of this question made it difficult for him. Who would he like to know better? What would he do in order to make that happen? The only person he could think of was Asmura. Despite just meeting her, he wanted her happiness to take precedence other anything at the current moment. Then again, he wished for everyone’s happiness. Was this unfair of him? No, he was just wishing for the best for everyone but she felt… almost like a daughter. It was a strange new feeling.

I wish for Asmura’s safety and happiness for the of her stay here in SAO.

Spoiler

What would you wish for yourself?
The thought of wishing for himself seemed extremely selfish. He sighed softly to himself as he looked at the question. He knew one thing he wanted to wish for. His wish changed since he had been with his beloved. He slowly started writing.

I wish for the courage to ask Haine to marry me and to say yes.

He was looking at the answer and stared at it for the longest time. He did not want to write anything else but felt foolish for asking for such a request. Was it foolish? Was it childish? He wanted to ensure that he had optimal success when it was time to ask the question. Will you marry me was something he was scared to speak about, but he would have to conquer that fear.
 

He stared at the wishes and then slowly hung up his wishes. Amber eyes softened as he felt this wave of happiness and sadness. It was the first time he had ever done this, so he was happy that he was with all these people. He was sad because he knew inside that their fates could end at a drop of the hat. He sighed and soon headed away from the group once more. Would they spot him? Maybe but he was trying to win as many toys as possible!
@Elora @Haine @Freyd - The Whisper in Shadows @Vie @Setsuna @Asmura

Edited by Kiluia Seiko

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A pause of activity and with one of the collections of five sparklers now burned out, with a wide smile she finds a place to sit and begin to go through the tanzaku she was given so abruptly but enjoyed the sentiment. "Let's see here." she flipped the first over and read its premise. "These are tougher than I am used to." she mutters softly before the scratching of a pen is heard as she transcribes the first.

What would you wish for the rest of your stay in Aincrad?

Spoiler

She thinks for a moment, placing an extended pointer finger to her chin and a tap of the writing tool against her thigh. "I've got it" she remarks and hunkers down her gaze at it writing it in hirugana.
That every day is as beautiful as this one
Looking to her surroundings and the festivities of color she found it fitting. Placing it off to one side to move to the next, as a pair of younger players scattered by with sparklers like the one she had used, albeit slowly in their yukata with grins that threatened to escape their faces.

What would you wish for the better of people around you?

Spoiler

Another tough one that causes her mouth and eyes to twist as she was thinking, looking up to the night sky and at the stars overhead. "Doesn't hold the punches any does it." she remarks with a stretch. Working her pen vigorously she writes upon it the same as the ones before, etching her faith into the tiny slip of paper. It reads:
I look to them to enjoy the bonds they have made and heed to safety above all else.
With the words written, Kasumi shuffles on to the next as quickly as the first two as it was starting to get good.

What would you wish for someone you care about?

Spoiler

This one once read instantly strikes home, a feeling of unease beginning to boil in her chest. The thoughts of her cousin and the mess he constantly found himself in came to mind, It was only a short time ago she was pulling a large glaive out of his torso. Although painful this one seemed rather easy to write by comparison, and with the given tool in use she pens it rather quickly:
That he does not die protecting us or the ideals he has set, that he would learn to rely on others as he expects them to rely on him.

What would you wish for someone you would like to know better?

Spoiler

Once this one is turned over she looks rather perplexed, contemplating who for her this would be referring to. There was a couple on her mind and she would find it strange to try and select just one of them. Aiming for a more broad spectrum that would be for them both, with Eruda and Setsuna held forward she begins to write her wish to the tanzaku with a feverish draw of the pen:
I wish that they would learn to let their feelings pass and let them out instead of bottling them up, no good will come of it.

What would you wish for yourself?

Spoiler

The last slip of paper, one with a query she had no compass for which to travel. With her mind searching for a way to answer the small wishes interest in her personally as if a friend who wished for her to search her feelings. She settles on words spoken to her in the past that regarded that her methods would not stand in a game such as this. Finding it suitable as a focus, her pen begins to wiggle albeit slowly across the page.
That I do as I must, and fill my cousin with pride of my accomplishments

[Wishes #1-5 Completed!]

Edited by Kasumi

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Mari gave @Macradon a final slap on his back with the flat of her palm. A warm smile upon her features as she let her hand linger there. "There, all dolled up - if Kairi comes along I'm sure you'll sweep her off her feet." Mari removed her hand and used it to brush away errant strands of ginger hair. "Well, I'm gonna go check out those magpies - they look kinda interestin'  You know I used to feed a few of them in my backyard at home?" She turned her attention to the enclosure. "I...kinda miss hearing their sing-song calls in the morning, so hearing them now...It's kinda nice." 

And with those words to Macradon Mari shifted away from him and headed toward the stall. The closer she got the more it...smelled. Not entirely a bad thing bu there was a distinct avian vZsG0VB.pngsmell about the stall. One part had been blocked off for the large habitat Mari had noticed earlier - closed off from the rest of Aincrad with a mixture of netting and chicken wise. It was decorate with rocks, plants, and trees - It reminded Mari of her local Zoo - and the walk through bird enclosure they had. Bags of what Mari assumed were seed littered the entrance of the stall.  Sitting in for gramps this year..."  The NPC began, she continued to talk but Mari admittedly tuned her out, instead - reading the popup in front of her - so she had to go find a magpie? That seemed easy enough.

"Yeh. Sure." Mari said with a dissmisive wave of the guitar-playing NPC. Whatever she had to say was probably just flavour text anyway.

"Let's see...picking a magpie...." Mari saw a rather scraggly magpie, it looked young as it still had a lot of its down feathers. Pin feathers also littered the poor things head. Mari snorted. It reminded her of the magpie that hung around her home, 'Dude' she had called it. Mari turned to the NPC, who looked miffed at Mari. "This one. Please." 

"Whaat? You want that one?" The NPC shrugged as she shifted, moving into the magpie enclosure and carefully grabbing 'Dude 2'.  "Gramps has some weird birds..." She mumbled as she exited the bird enclosure and released Dude 2 into the habitat.  "There ya go, try to get the guy to like you or somethin' " The NPC seemed just as disinterested in Mari as Mari was with her. 

Listening to the NPC Mari stepped into the habitat, jumping slightly as the red-eyed NPC shut the door behind her with a loud metallic clang . "Get the bird to come to me..." Mari mumbled. If she had come prepared, she'd have grabbed some mealworms or mince meat or - well - anything. As it stood...right now...she had nothing of value to -

"OH."

Mari blinked, she had something. Mari opened up her inventory and pulled out the Hoya trinket she got a few months ago - a glittering teardrop shaped gem on a necklace. She never had a use for it. Didn't have anyone to give it to. So why not offer it to a fledgling bird? Mari carefully lowered herself down to a kneeling position and held out out patiently, and silently for the mangy bird she had dubbed 'Dude 2'  The magpie ruffled its feathers and cawed softly before attempting to land beside her. It...didn't go well. Dude 2 landed with a fwump. A pile of black and red feathers in front of Mari. 

"You really are quite young, huh?" Mari asked softly as she lowered her offering so that the magpie could nip at it. Dude 2 nipped at it once, then turned and ran - disappearing into a nearby bush. "I uh..." Mari wasn't expecting that. She had half expected him to take the trinket and fly off. 

Instead, Dude 2 returned - a few minutes later. Struggling to walk as he held a package the same size as him in his beak.  Mari picked it up from his beak. "Oh, THank you?" She said as she reached out to scritch the pinfeathers on his head.

"So, I guess that was easier than I thought..." Mari said as she stood up, still in the enclosure she glanced out to see if Macradon was still doing okay.

Step 1 Roll
ID:163622  CD: 2
Step 2 Roll
ID:163623 CD: 5
Step 3 Roll
ID:163624  CD:11

Total: 18


Nebulae Yokan Block x1
Tier 1 Perfect Dessert | PROSPERITY III
A small block of jelly, packaged in a delicate, colorful paper. The dessert looks almost crystalline. In its medium is a variety of wispy colours, capturing red, white and gold sparkles in its hold. It's signed off with a flourished black 'R' in marker.

Edited by Mari

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Tugging at the ribbon behind his head, Freyd released the mask from his face, letting it de-materialize into his storage.  Somehow, he didn't feel like it was needed at this moment.  Gently placing a comforting hand on Elora's shoulder, he felt her wince slightly at his touch. 

"Relax," he said, his voice barely above a whisper.  It was meant only as advice.  His eyes eased, small worry lines visible atop his cheek bones.  He seemed older, suddenly, as if untold recent events might have taken some silent toll upon him.  Tilting his head, he raised a curious eyebrow as he spotted a bright orange strip of paper stuck in the chestnut-coloured hair sticks she had used to put up her long, silken green hair.  Reaching up from her shoulder to grasp it, he whispered into her ear.

"You're more than a match for any of the other women here.  Be proud of yourself, and fearless."  Pulling back the strip, he nodded reassuringly, though his face hardened again as he noticed the hand of the script upon the Tanzaku.  It was his own.  Something flashed across his face, like a painful memory of loss or regret.  It was unusual for him, who usually  expressed so little that many wondered aloud whether he even had any feelings.

He managed a forced smile.  

"Please, enjoy yourself.  Many from the guild are here.  This is a good opportunity to get to know them and others better."  There was something behind his eyes as he summoned back the mask he'd only just removed.  It was needed again.  Putting it back into place, he politely excused himself and wandered back over the special bamboo trees.  Pausing to re-read his third wish again, he ran a thumb across the crinkled surface of the paper as he did, reinvesting his devotion.  Fastening it to the tree once again, he also assured himself that the others were secure.  Turning to over his shoulder and pausing in thought for a minute, Freyd then slowly turned away and wandered towards a nearby exit. Obscured in shadow, he disappeared into the crowd without making another sound.

[Needed a separate, third post to hang Tanzaku]

@Elora

Edited by Freyd - The Whisper in Shadows

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The walk back was quiet.

It had every right to be. What floated between the two entities, player and construct, was a silent, silver tension only broken by the liveliness and the spirit of the star festival itself. The warm light reclaimed their forms from the shadows as they stepped into the confines of town.

NIGHT looked around, trying to avert her gaze.

She'd started on one way, once she'd decided where to go. But a tug on her sleeve made her feet stop and her head turn instead. Two wolves, meeting eye to eye.

The second mouthed something to the former. A second passed, and they let their finger slip from the cloth.

Their hand was only picked up by an index looped around their own. A biting stare through darkened hues where her vision was supposed to leak through. Then came four words formed without voice, before the woman started to drag them forward.

'You're under my watch'.

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He'd settled on reading only the few at the edge of the forest in awe, before getting too excited and unpacking the small kit in his hands, a grin plastered across his scrunched up face. Deft fingers slipped the band over the papers -- he'd picked up the plainest one first to examine it over. Because it was most likely to be discarded, so better get its contents out of the way before he'd set it aside for disposal.

 

Oh, a prompt sheet? From the writing (and it was, thankfully, translated), he could tell that the instructions provided to him was to answer accordingly to these questions if he didn't have any idea for what to jot down.

Well, Basuke was always one up for a challenge! That, and his head empty, one braincell. He'd looked over the page's back to ensure that it was empty and that he hadn't missed out on any more crucial information, before he unpicked the metal case in his other hand.

He'd fished out a few coloured pencils (dark blue, bright green, blood red) before taking a seat by a larger stalk, beginning to go through the list's contents.

Spoiler

1. What would you wish for the rest of your stay in Aincrad?

Spoiler

It'd taken him a minute, but Basuke knew what he was about.

No more rock quests, the boy wrote down. Maybe peace, maybe shelter. Oh, and safety. And maybe some good entertainment too. And--

In the next, he'd completely hit the edge of the paper with his fervent large scribbling. He'd grunt in dissatisfaction before pulling out another slip of paper from his pack, looking it over to see how better he could address his own thoughts. To condense his words? Or to do his best to write smaller?

He'd tried the latter, only to little avail. But his best attempt at keeping things concise was:

[ No more torturous quests, please! >__< ]~ Basuke

2. What would you wish for the better of people around you?

Spoiler

"Huh?" The boy tutted, looking over the prompt, dumbfounded. "The better of the people..."

Did everyone get the same set of questions to answer to, too? He'd kept his little kit in his pockets, a little lost in his words. What should he write about? After being away from most of Aincrad and only recently starting to get back into the swing of things, there was little he knew he would be able to wish upon others. And yet, maybe some other responses might aid him in the phrasing of his own.

The boy shuffled around the forest. Some were marked, others left with unknown authors.

Almost all of them were really wholesome.

[That you find acceptance, and the strength to face what you must.]

3. What would you wish for someone you care about?

Spoiler

The people I care about...

... He hadn't heard from Giovanni in a while. A sweeping, lost gaze swept the crowd in a half-hearted fervor, before his sights immediately fell to the yellowed paper in his fingers, heart sinking in the dark. In fact, he hadn't heard from anyone in a while. It was almost sad that he'd come to a somewhat social event just to find himself alone and without company, very much unlike the other players at the event.

He felt small.

Basuke wrote down something personal. In the interim of his hesitance and his scribbles, he'd let out a hushed curse under his breath.

A tiny wrinkle near the bottom of the page. He hoped it wouldn't ruin the tanzaku.

[Don't forget about me.]

4. What would you wish for someone you would like to know better?

Spoiler

--And just as quickly as his sadness came, the taste in his mouth only soured and bittered with the gut-punch of a feeling he'd received on his fourth prompt.

Basuke hated moments like these. Biting his lower lip, he quickly drew out his friends list, only noticing a handful of names on it.

What would he wish for them? Could he count on them to have his back?

 

For some reason, despite the number of experiences he'd gone through with them countable on a single hand, a small welling pride grew within him. His instincts of faith. That he wouldn't be mislead by the wrong people. That if he ever needed help or company, they would be players he could turn to.

... He hoped.

[Stay safe out there. DM me once in a while!]~Basuke

5. What would you wish for yourself?

Spoiler

By the time he'd set side the fourth, Basuke was in no mood to humor any more of his dreary emotions. He'd spent so long alone with his dark thoughts that any single one more might cause him to burst at this point. Slow breaths, a pinch on his skin.

He was still here in reality, so he should live in the moment. Maybe a good feast would make him feel better. Get some one to doll him up looking fantastique for once. The boy was nearly certain his attire was a good few years outdated by now. So much for keeping on trend, right?

 

Basuke sobered up.

[One foot in front of the other. To get through every day with a smile!]

 

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Reason for being late: she didn't know how to tie her yukata.

...Or the sash thingamajig that went around the garment's waist? That was certainly a part of a yukata, but was it called any different?

An knew she had her answer somewhere in the back of her mind, clumped with other bits of info she dubbed 'fun, but kind of useless' — her favorite category — but at the moment, her thoughts were simply muddled with a confused mix of wonderment and twice the usual jitters. Clothes like these were just so tight and impossible. How did the others do it? Her steps were never long in the first place, but the mere feeling of a 'restriction' had her doing some sort of awkward shuffle. She wanted to twist around a little more in her outfit, maybe find that fit that was just comfortable for her, but when she found that she was approaching the edge of the festivities, the girl forced her hands to her sides. A deep breath; maybe you'll get used to it.

A gentle-looking sort of man with a yellow cursor looked at her flailing attempts at maintaining any sort of grace and gave an approving nod.

Wait, what?

"A fine yukata for the occasion." Oh, the yukata. Saved by the very root of her problems! Around the NPC's stall were racks of fabric and clothing, and colorful accessories to match. Its opinion had some authority, if it weren't already proven by how well the entity wore the traditional Japanese garb. An managed a grin. She did like her yukata's pattern. It called to her mind the image of flowers blooming in the midsummer dusk. "I’m sure we can find something that might complement your attire," the man added when he noticed her staring. “How about it? Free of charge, just for tonight.”

Duh-oh. As nice as the thought was, she shouldn't be calling attention to herself while she still lacked any sort of familiarity with her outfit. "Thank you, b-but... maybe later?"

An was out of there in a jiffy!

She didn't know how long she wandered about. Yellow and crimson lights strewn from one roof to the other passed overhead, cheers and laughter abound. Moving on from a line of game stalls, An stopped by one of the less popular stall, her bright smile mirroring its keeper's. The first days of festivals were always lively, if a little chaotic, and she steered away from the more popular attractions. Long lines were no fun! Especially for someone who was alone.

Maybe she'll get a shot at that rental boat when the excitement had calmed a little...

(╥﹏╥)

She was fumbling a little less with her gait when she passed by an enclosure.

Are those... magpies?

Nearby, a woman set down her guitar. "A go for you?" It tilted its head toward the larger cage. A closer look at yielded dozens of shiny little items scattered within. An was immediately hooked.

She put away her snacks. "Tell me how to play!"

Unfortunately, even the bird keeper's concise explanation wasn't enough to circumvent the initial clumsiness. It was all down to dumb luck, but An still thought to mull over her options as she was led to the emporium. The NPC had left the choice up to her — and the later steps weren't any easier for a total beginner, so while she still had some degree of control over her chances of succeeding the challenge, she should take advantage of it now.

One problem though.

They all looked the same.

"Um." An shifted her feet. She tried to look at the enclosure from another angle, but quite unexpectedly, it didn't turn her into a bird expert like Senpai was. After a pause long enough for the NPC to fall into the idle animation of walking to the other end of the stall's front and then back, An pointed. "That one?"

A small hatch was flipped open and the bird she'd randomly chosen hopped onto her index finger. Scarlet eyes widened, warmth blooming in her chest at the sight of the little creature staring back at her. Gingerly, she brought her hand closer to her face.

The magpie did a little flit with its wings, inching down her finger to rest on the side of her hand, and chirped.

Aaaaaaa ( ≧Д≦)!!! Her heart was melting! It's SO CUTE!!

It was with much reluctance and also having completely forgotten to give instructions that An let the bird leave its perch. She watched, hands clasped over her chest in anticipation, as the familiar took a pouch into its beak and flew back to her. She extended her hand when it reached her and it deposited a little package. The magpie stayed long enough for An to gently stroke its feathers as a reward, then returned to its keeper.

She left the stall with a smile.

Low-tier reward... but maybe one of the best things to remember Tanabata by.

//i have zero art of An in the yukata i described. have something totally unrelated.

Spoiler

Taming of the Magpies
[1] ID: 163960 | CD: 4
[2] ID: 163961 | CD: 7
[3] ID: 163962 | CD: 3
Total: 14

Quote

Bird Seed x5
T1 Rare Snack | VITALITY II
It’s a handful of seeds. But a bird refused to eat them just to bring them back to you. That's sort of sweet, in it's own way.

 

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