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  1. Mishiro's eyes narrowed in suspicion. "Close enough." He was fumbling, caught off-guard by the sudden question, and if he thought the asking price for her lenience was a single awkward smile that just so happened to overshadow the usual melancholy that colored his face, then he was half-right. She caught herself wondering if Pinball wasn't conscious of it -- like so many other times prior -- as she lifted the tome with one hand and very lightly thwapped him on the head. "Did you not pick this one in particular because you've made house in the ruins of a fallen civilization also?
  2. Another day drew to a close. As the sun crept beneath the horizon, the pendants above the bar and tables automatically switched on, a warm yellow tone illuminating the cafe's interior in place of the natural light that flooded in through its wide glass windows during the day. [DELILAH] always closed at sundown. A number of its patrons were beginning to leave their seats, wrapping up murmured conversations or the things they had brought with them. Watching the flow of people in her peripherals as she went from table to table gathering up empty plates and glasses, she noticed a customer rem
  3. For a while, there was nothing. The girl at his side would not stir even if he called. But she was still listening to the castle. Half-awake and half-asleep, her thoughts passed through her like ghosts. The water flowed down the stream by their feet and the branches of the tree that dwarfed the shelter knocked against the roof above their heads. She felt, very faintly, the rhythmic rise and fall of Pinball's breathing, the careful movements of his arm. She heard the occasional rustle of a page being turned. He read at a slow pace. It was a difficult text -- the sort that only Pinball woul
  4. Another cold morning. That time of the year when the days were short drew ever closer. She woke at the first hint of light through parted curtains, the lingering scent of ashes in the fireplace. Blindly, she reached past herself, feeling about in the space beneath the blankets for the warmth of another person. Her fingertips met fabric. Nothingness embraced the mind in lieu of the body's anchor. For a short moment, everything was still once again. The unnamed dozed off for a few seconds longer. Then she sat up, blankets pooling around her waist. A downward swipe of two fingers o
  5. "...Don't." A hand laid firmly upon the hilt of Raidou's blade. The matador had a foot propped on the edge of the stage and she was peering up at him from where she stayed faithfully on the audience's side. Her hands were bare. "You: a foreigner dictating that these nations indict one of their highest officials over your suspicions. Do you understand the weight of those claims, Raidou? Do you have proof, or are you about to draw your sword because you intend to carve it out yourself?" She drew her hand back, her voice icily calm, even as her words shifted to a more beseeching tone. "
  6. She nodded against his back. She chose not to elaborate further, intending it as a blanket affirmative. At least he'd stuffed himself full of those sausages; she didn't think it likely that he'd make any more for the offered brunch. And besides that, she currently didn't have any preferences. She drew her arm back from Pinball's side and took a sip from her cup, using the pause to repackage her thoughts into words. "They lost me when they started arguing after that player asked about Ronbaru," she said honestly. She felt the need to clarify when, because when weren't they? Her focus
  7. this is a strange way to start, but one really does not know what to expect with andromeda -- eternally scatterbrained merchant girl. the world could literally end and an would still be apologizing over the most inane things she can think of. it’s only good fortune that this hard left turn landed them someplace meaningful. she didn’t know there was a misunderstanding. she’s trying not to be too rigid with her criteria for friendship. it’s not that complicated, she concluded years ago in an entirely different world when a group of students adopted her, a complete foreigner, into their cliq
  8. "--keep that tongue of yours in check. Else I will--" "Did you know that they have a refreshments table?" "Mn." "--sowing distress with no grounds. Unwise for anyone without--" "That guy needs an ego check bad. And cocktail weenies." "I need a cocktail weenie," she said automatically. And that was that. Pinball needed her somewhere so she was thoroughly rerouted. She didn't really know what cocktail weenies were – her immediate assumption was that they contained alcohol, which she was averse towards but not entirely unwilling to try on occasion – so when they arri
  9. the merchant girl has been typing for twenty minutes straight -- mishiro leaves her to compose her dissertation in peace. her pen resumes its original course across the paper, copying over her earlier writing with a steadier hand. she is in the storage room on the second floor of luther's residence, temporarily converted into sibyl's study. every invaluable thing its owner had chucked in here to be forgotten was carefully packed into crates, and the crates stacked one on top of the other, pushed up against the walls, freeing up enough space to summon a meeting table and three stools, that
  10. "--but I can't for the life of me figure out how or why." Mishiro nodded. "Thank you." They were getting there. Ideally, they would have spoken amongst themselves more the moment they realized there was a solid case for the attacks being connected, but this wouldn't be so much of a game if it solved itself at the slightest hint of player input. She already had an inkling as to the attackers' motives, and possibly a way to nudge the leaders in that direction, but she wasn't going to monopolize the floor any further. She hung around near the front of the stage, just long enough to
  11. “--if I may, this is not an area to blindly throw out accusations--” Mishiro stood up. Wordlessly, she left her seat and made her way down the aisle. “--only because I find the rest of your statement far more--" The theater was not dark because they were not watching a play. There were movements among the audience but very few towards the podium. But she wasn’t in a hurry, and if she happened to catch a few onlookers’ eyes, they would sooner return to being enraptured by the spectacle unfolding onstage. This, they could do. “--because I actually care. I wish the rest of the
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