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Mouikkai Musume Mohitotsu
After weeks of strange dreams about another life, Madoka has a series of encounters with supernatural beings that will change his life.
Author(s): Rellawing | Editor(s): Trismegistus Shandy | 3 Warnings!
Content Keywords | Status: Completed | To Disqus!
MyReviews: 1
Madoka learns that there are reasons to fight on yet!

Chapter Twenty Seven : The Miko Who Became Something More
Posted: 2018-12-19 10:02:23 | Updated: 2018-12-19 10:08:23
Words: 7017

Tatsuo leans against a low wall as he peers towards a large building. He spies two large men standing on either side of the single entry point. He frowns and wonders.

Is Riri-chan truly some kind of a rich girl? I wouldn’t be surprised, since she’s a friend of Emi-chan’s. Speaking of which, where is she? How is Madoka doing?

He fishes in his pocket and looks at his phone for a long moment, and he sighs. Riri will think I’m a creep if I call her and say I followed them. But it wasn’t easy with all the people biking and walking through the streets on the way, particularly when they went up these narrow streets it was easier to follow!

“Sir… why are you loitering here?” a voice says loudly directly in front of him. One of the big men is staring down at him. Wow, this guy is way bigger than me.

Tatsuo blinks. “Oh… uh… taking a break. The building looks interesting. I’m taking a break. I have a belly full of ramen. Phew… you know how it is. If you walk with all that in your stomach you need a break.”

“Ramen?” the man inquires, frowning.

“Yeah… don’t you like ramen? It’s the best thing in the world!” Tatsuo grins.

“Well, I suppose it’s pretty good, but I have to watch my figure,” he comments.

Tatsuo blinks and suppresses an urge to gape at that comment. “Ah… haha… I should probably lay off the ramen a little. I’m not in the best shape… I’m getting a little flabby around the edges… so maybe that’s a sign I should take better care of myself.”

The man chuckles. “So you decided to lean against this particular wall… well, I suppose I can’t do much about it, but I suggest you move along as soon as possible. This neighborhood doesn’t approve of loiterers. If you start bothering someone too much, you might find a policeman wandering up this street.”

“Eh… really? Well… alright. I appreciate the heads up.” Tatsuo turns on his phone and flips to his map application and puts a thumbtack on his location. Well at least now I know where Riri-chan lives. What kind of a girl is she? he wonders as he turns off his phone.

“Sure thing. You going to move on?” the guard suggests more firmly.

“Yeah. I’m rested enough, though I think I might pick up an ocha. Can you point me to the nearest conbini?” Tatsuo casually slips his phone into his pocket.

“Oh yes…” He points. “There’s a FamilyMart up this street. Just keep going for four blocks. You can’t miss it.”

Yeah, I know. Tatsuo grins. “Ah! Thanks! I appreciate it.” He casts a last glance towards the building and slips his hands into his pockets as he steps away.

Tatsuo stiffens and looks over his shoulder briefly as he walks away. Did he just murmur ‘nice butt’?

Kozuke looks pensively out the window of a cute room, staring down into the street. Ah… he has more guts than I would have credited him, he thinks.

Finally he turns to the bed and walks briskly over. He seats himself by Madoka on the bed and sighs. “There’s something eerily familiar about this situation,” he murmurs, patting Madoka’s shoulder. “Are you going to wake up any time soon, Mistress?” He places his hand to her forehead then. “I wonder what’s going on in your mind.”

Kozuke looks up towards the doorway when Riri enters. “How is she doing?” she inquires.

“There has been no change so far. She may just be exhausted, but she was out cold the whole while I carried her. I feel as though there may be more to it than just that, and I feel as though she still has more,” Kozuke comments.

“Still has more?” Riri asks.

“More energy. I think the problem is mental. How could she not experience some trauma? She’s been through a lot.”

“A trauma… well, I hope she wakes up soon. Madoka-chan! Hurry up so we can have barbecue tonight! You have plenty of time to get better!” Riri approaches the bed and smiles. “If she doesn’t wake up, I’ll use a futon, or curl up with her. Maybe she could use the warmth of another person? Well, in any case, I need to go, Kozuke-san. Ran-san will want to talk to you about your credentials. You said you would pass a check. I hope it goes well. If you can’t stay, though, I’ll do what I can to care for her in my free time. I’m sure the girls would pitch in too.” Riri smiles warmly.

“I appreciate that, Riri-san. Thank you for your care,” Kozuke murmurs.

“No problem! See you!” She winks and salutes with two fingers and turns. Her skirt flutters about her as she exits the room. Kozuke watches and chuckles. “Ah, the life of an idol... I wonder if you’ll end up following that path. You may need to find some way to pay your way forward in life,” he murmurs.

“You fool! Why did you allow them to humiliate you?” Yoshimaru glares sinisterly towards his follower.

“Y-Yoshimaru-kami-sama… Ah, but we won the battle!” The dark follower frowns behind her oni mask and bows low.

“The means don’t justify the ends, cretin. You need to consider your appearance and my reputation. Don’t dishonor your position.”

“K-Kami-sama!” she exclaims. “I thank you for gifting me another yukata!”

“Hah… the way of the kami…” Yoshimaru snarls as he paces back and forth.

“Y-yes, Kami-sama! You must be concerned with appearances, of course! It’s that classic menacing quality of your visage…” the follower trails off.

“Follower, you’ve done well enough that I have decided to bestow a name upon you. I gift you the name Ashes.”

“Ashes?” Ashes inquires, bowing low.

“Yes. Render all who oppose me to ashes.” Yoshimaru chuckles.

“As you say, kami-sama!” Ashes murmurs.

“And now my plans are coming to fruition. Gaining the power of Madoka is the lynchpin, but it is not necessary. An important leyline is left unprotected. There’s yet another avenue of success. My exaltation is at hand.” Yoshimaru laughs loudly as waves of darkness ripple from his form and surge around him.

The miko floats in darkness. Bubbles drift away from her form as though she is lost in a dark ocean. Occasionally, flickers of voices drift through the darkness. The miko curls up, slowly drifting in the darkness. There are only those sounds that echo through that keep her company.

“I am lost and forgotten…” she murmurs softly. “It’s a cold… cold… place…”

“You are not,” comes a response. Suddenly incandescent light shimmers all around her, rippling throughout her and consuming all the darkness around her, and yet seems to be the same substance. She opens her eyes and sees nothing. The energy fills her, and a light kindles in her core. It flickers and ignites. She floats now in light and the light outside pouring into her, filling her, pales in comparison to the light within her. Yet where there is light, there is darkness, ever present though in the presence of light it is, and you will not see it.

“You are ready… Come into the world…” The voice comes again.

“Love you… thank you so much… Kami-sama!” another voice says.

“Gave us so much, please look upon us favorably!” yet another voice murmurs filled with hope.

“W-what…” the miko gasps. “W-what is this?”

Suddenly the world bursts as though the darkness she floated in were a bubble floating in an expansive place which her mind cannot fathom the depth of.

“My skin tingles…” she gasps, and as she curls up, she realizes she’s covered with a hot warm sensation. She looks around her and blinks her eyes blearily. She stands slowly as though her legs have not been used for a very long time. She stands and drinks in the warmth of the sun high above. A soft breeze caresses her wet body, and yet the energy of the sun seems to pale the incandescent energy within her. She looks around her. A torii stands nearby proudly. She turns towards what looks like a shrine. It seems familiar to her. All around, the world seems to end with this shrine on an oddly square island, and yet the world does not end. In the distance she sees mountains rearing their proud crowns high above. A wind sweeps through, and her hair flies about her face, caressing it. Ah… this is a rooftop somewhere… it’s an unimaginably tall one in a world where no other buildings are as tall, or is it the only one? Or is this just some sort of lofty platform in the sky?

Kami-sama,” a voice murmurs behind her. She turns and sees the speaker. It’s a pleasant looking man with a serious expression. His hair is golden and there’s a quality to his appearance that reminds her of a fox. The voice is familiar to her.

“You… your voice. You called to me,” she murmurs. She looks down to herself and knows that she is nude. She doesn’t blink. It doesn’t seem important that she’s standing nude before another.

“Yes, Kami-sama. I am Kojiki. I’m your guide to your new existence. I assume that since you were a Miko, you are familiar with the way of the kami?” he murmurs.

“The way… it means harmony,” Kami murmurs softly.

“That is very true. You were loved for your service and your sense of duty towards humans. Kami aren’t in harmony until they embrace all that they are. This is the essence of kami.”

“I understand.” Kami nods. “Why am I now a kami?”

“I explained that, Kami-sama. Perhaps you are too modest to realize. Your people enshrined you when your shrine was destroyed. They have re-enshrined all the kami you served, and now they serve you foremost as a local hero.”

Kami laughs softly. “They truly do?”

“They do. It’s not a small thing when the wishes and faith of mortals exalt you.”

“What do I need to know?” Kami asks.

“The first thing you need to know is that raiment is a state of mind. You stand before me naked now.”

“The birth of a new kami-sama… how amazing!” a youthful female voice chimes in. Kami looks over her shoulder towards a grinning fox.

“Little sister, you should not be here,” Kojiki chastises the newcomer.

“I go where I please, brother.” The fox grins as her tongue lolls out.

“You’re audacious! Have modesty!” Kojiki scowls stepping towards the fox. “Begone. You’re a nuisance!”

“Wait… she harms no one,” Kami murmurs.

“Oh, kami you’re so beautiful! How amazing you are!” The fox bounds over to kami and rubs against her leg. “You’re just my type…”

Kami sighs and focuses; her skin ripples, and in a winkling, a kimono appears on her. Along with it, a hagoromo forms and wraps itself across her shoulder like an affectionate pet.

I could not remain nude with the eyes of this fox on me…

“Ohhh… did you have to cover that unblemished kami flesh? I admire your sense of style, however.” The fox’s tongue lolls out. She transforms and becomes a girl in a silvery kimono with stars and clouds inlaid upon it.

She quickly drapes herself over Kami.

“Sister!” Kojiki barks.

“Oh, enough, brother. Kami-sama will be needing a steadfast companion and guardian. I knew you were quickening to your power.” She grins impudently and turns to Kami. “I want only to be close to you. Please take me under your service, kami-sama… I’ll ever faithfully serve you.” Her eyes undress Kami.

“You’re annoying me,” Kami gasps. “Stop clinging like that!” She blushes.

“You were such a chaste woman… perhaps you’re bashful… perhaps you never experienced the touch of another?” the fox purrs as she runs her fingers over kami’s arm.

“Enough!” Kami gasps. “Step away from me!”

“Do as she commands. She’s a kami!” Kojiki stalks over and grips the fox’s arm and pulls her away forcefully. The fox gasps and clings to Kami’s raiment.

“No… leave me alone, brother!” the fox gasps desperately.

“You’re offending me!” Kami snaps.

“Offending? How? Why? I only want to love and worship you! I humble myself before you… please allow me to stay near you… ah, brother!” the fox yelps as Kojiki throws her down.

“Leave now!” he barks.

“Why are you being so horrible, brother? You know I’m not hurting anyone.”

“You’re disrespecting Kami. You can’t be trusted! You don’t understand the way of kami.”

Kojiki turns to Kami. “You will need a guardian and messenger. You will want to find a servant.”

“A guardian? Why? If I’m a kami, why do I need that?” Kami frowns.

“Servants are important, kami-sama. You need capable and powerful servants to carry out your will,” Kojiki answers.

“I see…” Kami frowns. “Your sister is not suitable?”

“I am suitable! Few are as powerful or as accomplished as I. Brother stands high above myself in the eyes of kami,” the fox girl murmurs.

“It’s the way of the kami! You never cared for it, nor did you ever understand it.” Kojiki scowls. “Why are you still here?”

“Please allow me to prove myself, Kami-sama!” she gasps.

“How will you prove yourself?” Kami asks.

“My power! If you stand in my path I will break you down, brother.” The girl snarls and suddenly transforms. Her form is enormous now and her tails thrash agitatedly.

Kami gasps and stares as Kojiki himself transforms into a similar-looking fox. Whereas she is silvery, darkness and light wreath around his golden form.

The fox snarls as she darts forward to snap at his neck. A burst of golden shadow-wreathed power streams up from Kojiki as he quickly moves and brings a paw down on the female fox. Kami watches on as Kojiki follows up by snapping at her ruff. She seems helpless and his jaws close on her ruff. She explodes like a water balloon. Kojiki gasps as he looks up, sodden. The silver kitsune comes streaking down from above. A bolt of lightning comes down with her.

Kojiki snarls and smokes as she comes down on him and tears at him with her jaws.
“Tricks are all you have, little sister. You have much to learn.” It looks as though he has only one massive tail, but his tail divides into thousands of tentacle-like limbs. “You can never compare with my thousands… you only have nine, foolish sister.”

“Tails don’t mean a thing! Power is in your heart!” she growls, and yelps as a jut of earth erupts from the ground which is the roof of the amazingly tall building with the shrine atop. The jut slams her and launches her higher into the sky. She lands heavily on her legs on the rooftop.

“You have heart sister, but that’s all you have. Power does not follow.” Kojiki’s tails arch towards the female kitsune, his tail assembled in an array around his form. Energy corruscates around each and blasts of shadow and light launch from his tails. They combine and an enormous blast launches towards the female fox.

She yells and foxfires erupt around her. Silvery light is fired to focus into a large beam to meet Kojiki’s, almost belatedly. She squeals as she struggles against his power.

His golden shadow power swiftly overpowers her silver light. “Retreat from this battle. You prove nothing but your failure.”

The female fox shrieks as his attack overpowers her. She struggles to stand against it, but she collapses and her form reverts to that of a human.

Kojiki reverts to a human form and he steps towards the girl fox. He reaches down to lift her up by her obi. He looks to Kami. “I will dispose of my pesky sister,” he murmurs and steps over to the edge of the rooftop shrine. He holds her over the edge of the roof. “Think about your disrespect. Don’t come again,” he murmurs as he releases her body. In a flash, Kami’s hagoromo zaps over to the girl and wraps around her body.

Kami smiles slightly as she feels the girl lowered to the ground below.

“The compassion of kami is important,” Kojiki says. “But don’t hesitate to punish where it’s warranted, Kami-sama.”

“Do not worry,” Kami murmurs, and her hagoromo returns to her shoulders. “If she returns I will humble her myself.”

“If I may suggest, with proper training and discipline, my sister may be a suitable servant.”

“I’ll take it under consideration. I don’t like how her eyes disrobe me. I’ve faced that many times. It makes me remember it. No, I think I need a servant who will not behave in such a manner.”

“There are many spirits here who may be suitable. Many would require purification, such as my little sister, but there is also the possibility of exalting a worthy soul. All you need to do is exert your will, if they consent to serve you.”

“That’s an excellent idea. I’ll have to consider that.” Kami smiles.

Madoka floats in darkness as though it is an ocean. She gasps softly, drowning in her thoughts.

“M-Mama…” she murmurs softly. “What have I done to deserve this? All I wanted to do was live and be happy… oh no, Mama… where are you?”

She floats and voices drift through the void with her. She can’t understand the words around her. She sniffles and cries alone.

Go… sa… a…

“Is this hell? Some horrible limbo? Where am I?”… a… pl… en… e…

“What are those noises around me? I don’t understand them…”

Kozuke gasps. “She has a fever!”

He jumps to his feet and reaches to touch her forehead again. He winces. Her forehead is soaked. Heat emanates from her body.

“I’ll hurry back, mistress!” he exclaims. He rushes to the door of the bedroom. He quickly yanks the door open and runs up the hallway. He casts his eyes around desperately.

“Kozuke,” a familiar voice speaks up. “What are you doing?”

Kozuke blinks and looks to see it’s John. “Oh, John-san,” he murmurs.

“The mistress… the girl I’m caring for is ill. Can you show me to a kitchen? I need to prepare a wet towel. She has a horrible fever,” Kozuke explains.

“That girl? She’s sick? I see… I’ll show you the way. I was told to keep an eye on you for a while, but you need to speak with the manager soon.” John gestures and leads in the opposite direction. “There is a kitchen on this floor. It’s here for the girls to prepare their own meals if they wish. Many of them usually eat out, but some like to cook.”

“I… see... “ Kozuke murmurs as he’s shown into the kitchen. He looks around the empty room. “Ah… why isn’t anyone around? I understand that there are many girls living here,” Kozuke asks.

“Yes… there are. They’re all at practice. They take their careers very seriously.” John shakes his head. “Do you know a thing about where you are?” he asks.

“Yes… they’re young idols, aren’t they? I’ve gotten that idea amply from briefly meeting them.” Kozuke chuckles.

“That’s accurate. From your lack of understanding, perhaps I can trust that you aren’t an undercover stalker.” John laughs.

Kozuke hurries about the kitchen and searches all the cabinets, finding dishrags. He brings one over to the sink and soaks it through with cold water. He looks to one of the refrigerators and rushes over to open its freezer, but he notices that there’s an in-door dispenser.

“If there’s nothing else I can do for these girls for allowing my presence… I can cook. I’d be happy to serve up meals, if no one else cooks for them,” Kozuke says as he triggers the dispenser and ice pours down into the wet rag. He wraps it around the ice.

“As a matter of fact, sometimes they have someone cook for them, but while you’re here, if your cooking is good, you could help quite a bit. Many of them eat bento they purchase at conbini.” John chuckles as Kozuke hurries out and he follows. “You seem a very dedicated sort,” he comments as he follows Kozuke up the hallway.

“I am. Service is my life. It always has been,” Kozuke murmurs. “For the moment, I serve my mistress Madoka.” Kozuke stops at the correct door and turns the knob.

“A butler, huh? You look the part.” John nods. “Alright, take care of that little mistress of yours.”

“Thank you for your help,” he murmurs as he steps into the room and closes the door after him. He dashes to the bed and touches Madoka’s forehead. Her sweat is steaming off her forehead. He winces again and quickly places the icepack on her brow.

“I don’t know what’s going on with you, mistress, but please feel better soon!” he exclaims, and closes his eyes for a moment, taking a deep breath.

Kami-sama… bad news. Madoka-chan has a terrible fever. She isn’t getting better. It’s getting worse!

After a moment, Kami responds.

My faithful servant, thank you for your care of Madoka. I’ll do what I can to help, but I think… She trails off and suddenly; a hole opens on the other side of the bed and Kami steps out. Kozuke opens his eyes and bows low.

Kami-sama!” he murmurs.

She places her hand on Madoka’s cheek and sighs. “This child… she’s in turmoil. Her power is quickening. That wouldn’t be a problem, except now she has a mental block. She rejects her power while she has embraced it. This isn’t good. Madoka will need to overcome this problem on her own. There is nothing I can do to help her, or more accurately… nothing I should do. She won’t be able to do anything if she can’t come to terms with her situation.”

“You could save her life!” Kozuke exclaims.

“And she would lose everything. She must struggle onwards. Without this struggle, she won’t become what she must.”

“Why must she, Kami-sama? Why do you need her?” Kozuke asks concernedly.

“She’s very important. She’s the center of all of this. Yoshimaru, her, even you. I could not help being drawn into it. Her circumstances and her bonds with others tie yet others to her. I suppose myself as well,” Kami murmurs.

“Even someone such as you, Kami?” Kozuke gasps.

“Even someone such as I. There’s a mysterious connection. Something about her that connects everything and everyone. She was fated to face this struggle. Yoshimaru would have ground her into the dust. He too must be drawn to her. Or perhaps simply to her power.”

“What a horrible curse… I wonder what would free her from such a fate?” Kozuke asks.

“Only death would free her. Neither of us desires that, and Yoshimaru would still be a thorn in my foot.” Kami sighs. “Kozuke, please continue to look after her. Care for her and we’ll see what the result of her battle within herself will be.”

Madoka gasps as she feels a hand on her shoulder. She opens her eyes and blearily sees a shadowed face framed in lustrous dark hair.

“I dream… as you do. Who are you? You call to me…” the girl murmurs.

“I dream? Or are we in hell?” Madoka asks.

“I don’t think so. I’ve seen my own hell. If this is yours, this is tame in comparison.” The girl giggles.

“And you laugh about it?” Madoka asks.

“Yes… why not laugh when you can’t change things. Laugh and smile. Find ways you are able.”

“How can I? Mama’s dead!” Madoka yells and sobs.

“Mama’s dead… oh, I know…” The girl sighs softly. “I’m not happy, either… but I think about what I have. He hurt everyone… he was so selfish…”

“Selfish? Y-yoshimaru?” Madoka sniffles.

“Ah… I don’t know who that is…” the girl replies softly.

“Then what do you have? How does that compare with what you’ve lost?” Madoka cries.

“Love! I found love… and determination. It was a choice of whether or not I wanted to be weak and dependent… or strong and independent. That’s very important,” she murmurs.

“Love? Love… but I lost love. Oh, my mama… no… there’s no evidence that she’s… but I can’t help… oh, no…” Madoka sniffles.

“And you lost love, too? That’s really sad. Did the love of your life die?” she asks.

“No… I’ve never… I’ve never truly loved… Not except for my mama…” Madoka mewls.

“That’s truly sad… haven’t there been any people you could love?”

“Yes… there’s… K-Kiyomi… Harue… and there’s also Aoi… but she can’t…”

“Oh! I love that name! Blue is such a soothing color…”

“She’s cooling off a little…” Kozuke murmurs, stroking Madoka’s forehead with the depleted ice pack. Moisture is pooled around the pillow her head is cradled on.

“Blue is such a beautiful color…” Madoka gasps. “A-Aoi! Where are you?” Madoka calls out into the darkness around her.

There is no response, and the girl has disappeared.

“Where did you go… there’s no one else here with me… without your comforting words…” Madoka sniffles.

“What makes you think you can’t recover?” a new voice asks.

“But… Mama’s dead… and I’m all alone! Father could die at any time! Yoshimaru has been relentlessly attacking me… what else can he take away from me?”

“What else? Your power. Your will to fight. Will you let him?” the voice asks.

“No… how could I? He’s an evil bastard! I have to destroy him! How could I give up? How could I give it to him?”

“You’ve surrendered. If you hadn’t, you wouldn’t be all alone. Goshujinsama, it’s time to talk about it.”

Goshujinsama?” Madoka asks. “I… I don’t know you… who are you?”

“You don’t know me… I’m not surprised. I doubt I made that much of an impact on you. I know you. You’re shutting their voices out. You desperately cry out for them, but you don’t want to hear what they would say to you. You don’t know me.”

“I don’t. Your voice is not familiar. There’s nothing here that would tell me who you are.”

“You’re on your own. Take the only thing I can offer you, my voice,” the voice murmurs.
He begins to sing, his voice soulful even without music accompanying it.

“The first time I laid my eyes on you I knew

We'd spend this life side by side

I still feel the same though you're so far away

I swear that you'll always be my”

Madoka gasps. “Who are you? Do you love me? Are you a stranger?”

The voice doesn’t reply, only continues their song.

”Forever love

I promise you

Someday we'll be together

Forever love

I won't give up

No matter what

I'll be waiting for you

Forever love”

“Wh-what?” Madoka gasps. “N-no! How does this help me? A stranger declaring passionate love for me?”

”Minutes and hours and years may go by

But my heart knows nothing of time

So don't cry, just keep me right here in your dreams

And hold on to these words of mine”

“Th-This song is familiar… What is on your mind? What are you trying to do?”

“Remember me, Goshujinsama… It’s not passionate love… only the love of friendship. Unlike the others, except for Kanna’s, perhaps, my love for you is only true friendship.”

He breaks into song again.

Love is the road to our destiny

Nothing can change what is meant to be

Forever love

“What am I supposed to think, except that you love me?” Madoka laughs.

“It’s not what you think. Do you remember it?” he asks gently.

Oh, I won't give up

No matter what

I'll be waiting for you

“I won’t give up. I’m waiting for you to remember me. Patiently. Please remember so I can save you, Madoka!”

“You don’t love me, then… that’s a relief.” Madoka laughs.

“You’re on your way, Goshujinsama. You can laugh,” the voice chuckles.

“I guess I can at least laugh. It doesn’t change anything, though.” Madoka sighs.

“It changes everything. Stop thinking about loss. Think about the future. Think about your power to do what you can. Don’t be an idiot. You don’t need me to do everything for you, not like Eiji.”

“Like Eiji?” Madoka gasps. “Wh-why…” Madoka gasps as the darkness ripples and bursts. Suddenly she stands in a classroom. She casts her eyes around desperately to find an answer to why she’s here.

Eiji stands and all the students filling the classroom stand with him.

“Stand, bow!” Eiji calls out. Everyone bows to the teacher. Madoka gasps and blinks and bows, standing to the side.

“Today we need to talk about the school festival,” the teacher states. “We’re putting one on as usual this time of the year. Who wants to organize it?”

Eiji blinks and looks around with a blank expression.

“Well Ejij-kun is the class president, shouldn’t he be the one?” Kanna speaks out. Madoka blinks and grins, waving. No one seems to see her.

“I agree.” Another girl stands up and grins broadly. “He stepped up and decided to be the class president. Just leave it to him.”

“I’ll do it. You can bet on it!” Eiji grins, posing cooly for the class.

“Hahaha… way to go, pres!” another student laughs.

The sun lowers in the sky outside and Madoka blinks to find that the teacher is gone and the students have pushed their sets into a circle.

“So what are we going to do, pres?” one boy asks.

“I’m not sure… I like the idea of a maid cafe like I said this morning. I still think it’s a great idea.”

“Baka pres… make it a butler cafe. Don’t be such a sexist pig!” Aoi criticises him.

“Aoi-chan! Hey! I’m here! Are you listening?”

“Fine! We’ll do both, like I said! But I’m not wearing a maid costume!” Eiji grumbles.

“I like the idea of baka pres wearing a maid costume.” Another girl laughs.

“I don’t like the idea,” Eiji snaps back.

“Why not? It suits you.” A young man with glasses and short dark blue hair speaks up. “Just humor the girls.”

“I don’t see why I have to humor a crazy idea like that! I don’t want to sacrifice my image just for…”

“That’s not very fun, stupid pres,” a girl pouts.

“Why are you so obsessed with the idea of putting me in a dress?” Eiji growls. “There are way better things we can do!” Eiji grumbles and stands up from the seat he was straddling. He paces away.

“Aw… baka pres… don’t be like that,” a girl calls out. “It’s not the end of the world, you know!”

“I’ll talk to him…” the boy with dark blue hair murmurs to the group.

“We don’t need the idiot,” Aoi scowls.

“It’s better to work together. It’ll only be an amazing production if all our efforts are on it,” the boy states gravely.

“Way to say it, shadow-pres!” The girl who spoke grins and cheers.

“You can do it!” Kanna cheers.

The boy stands and strides over to Eiji. Madoka pouts as she circles the students. “Am I just a ghost? Why can’t you see me? Is… is this one of those visions?”

“Eiji! I didn’t think you were such a jerk!” Madoka glares towards Eiji.

The boy puts a hand on Eiji’s shoulder. “You can’t be like this. Just do it, man. You need to protect their smiles. It’s your duty to work towards what the class wants. It seems like the majority of them like the idea. Just suck it up.”

Eiji scowls and continues pacing anxiously. “You don’t understand it! Why don’t you wear one too? You stand there with all your cool dignity. What are you losing in this?” Eiji yells, and grouches, slapping his forehead. “I’m out for a few.” He stomps out.

The boy rushes after him and Madoka follows. “Who are you? Are you his friend?” Madoka asks, not expecting an answer.

Suddenly the boy turns and smiles, acknowledging her presence. “Yes… I’m his friend, and yours too.” He smiles and puts a finger to his lips, turning back towards Eiji, who has stomped down the hallway to a bank of vending machines.

“Man… you need to relax. Stop taking it so seriously. What is it really costing you? Do you take yourself so seriously? You’re not as cool as you think,” the boy calls.

“You don’t think I’m cool. Like that’s some kind of a newsflash. It’s not like I don’t realize you don’t have a great opinion of me.” Eiji takes a long swig of canned coffee.

“No… it’s not like that, idiot. You’re a well-meaning leader. You’re right up front where you can be seen and you aren’t ashamed of it. I admire you for that, you know, man.”

“What? You mean you actually see something in me?”

“Well, I’m here, aren’t I? We go for bowls of ramen and hang out in the arcade. What else would tell you that I’m invested in your success, man?”

“Why do you care?” Eiji asks. Madoka blinks.

“You’re the class pres and my friend. It’s my job to make sure you do a great job.”

Eiji laughs bitterly. “The power behind the figurehead, right? Oh man… dude… why didn’t you ever stand up and get yourself elected as school president? I mean really… you’re so capable, man. Why are you letting that shy nature hold you back? You could rule this school. You’re way too perfect. Why think small? Why settle for just being class pres?”

“Because you’re the sun. I’m the moon. You shine. I reflect your shine. We bring balance together.” The boy smiles.

“You’re just the moon, really? I think you’re a sun, man.” Eiji laughs.

“It’s your time to shine. Maybe later I’ll become the Prime Minister. You can support me then,” the boy replies.

“You have some amazing dreams… a prime minister?” Madoka gasps. “So cool… you guide Eiji? But he’s…”

“I’d be delighted to, man.” Eiji grins clapping his hand to the boy’s shoulder. “You know, you’re right. Let’s make them happy. I don’t see why the guys aren’t backing me up. I think they just want to see me take one in the face.” Eiji sighs.

“Probably. It’s entertaining.” The boy chuckles.

“Let’s go back and smile like you said.” Eiji leads the way back. The boy turns to look at Madoka again. “Do you remember me, Goshujinsama? Please let me help you like idiot pres.”

“You’ll talk me out of giving up? Like he almost did? Is that it?”

“Yes… it’s a parallelism. Don’t give up, Goshujinsama! While Eiji can sing out loud and belt a song out, rhythm is my specialty. Smoothing things along and making it easy for people to dance in that dance of life. It’s what I do,” he murmurs, leading the way back up to the classroom.

Madoka watches him go and then follows with a smile. “That’s really amazing. You don’t get enough credit for what you do.”

He leads her back into the classroom, where Eiji is standing in the circle with a silly broad grin. “We’re going to do it; we’re going to be put on one heck of an awesome festival. I’m counting on you, Tsukimi-san.” He looks to Kanna who smiles brightly.

“You can bet on me, pres!” She winks and looks to the boy who leads Madoka. “Wonderful job, shadow pres!”

“Yeah, shadow pres is awesome!” The other students echo the sentiment over and over.

“Sh-shadow… pres…” Madoka gasps, putting a hand to her head. She gasps and closes her eyes. “The shadow pres… rhythm is…” Madoka gasps and opens her eyes, and the noises of arcade machines surround her now. She walks over to a nearby bank of rhythm games. The boy from before is dancing up a storm on one of the DDR machines. Every step strikes the platform precisely and “perfect” flashes on the screen over and over again. J-pop blares from the machine. He leans against the bar behind the machine and his legs fly impossibly quickly.

“W-wow… you’re super fast…” Madoka gasps.

“It’s my forte! It’s what I do, Goshujinsama. Let’s restore your rhythm and boost you forward. It’s time! You’ve been feeling sorry for yourself for a long time. You’ve been paralyzed by those feelings. It’s time to dance!” He grins.

Madoka gasps and somehow switches places with the boy, and her legs fly to try to hit every note. She fails over and over.

“You can do it, Goshujinsama. Find the rhythm. You can dance. You CAN dance!” the boy cheers for her. “The other you couldn’t dance with me, but you have the power. You can do it!”

Madoka gasps and stands for a long moment, not even trying.

“You can do it! Try, Goshujinsama! Get moving!” the boy urges her gently.

Madoka sniffles and chews her lip.

“Think about the future. You don’t want to be mired in failure, do you? Life took a lot from you. You have to start dancing. You have to fight for your future,” the boy urges.

“It sounds like great advice,” a small girl with long hair comments, sitting in a wheelchair nearby. Aoi stands behind her, looking blank. Eiji stands nearby and starts playing at a Love Live arcade machine.

“This song will never end until you dance. Start moving those legs!” the boy urges, patting Madoka’s shoulder.

“I don’t know what you’re going through, but you should dance. I know I would want to,” the girl says. Madoka gasps and stares at her for a long moment when she fades and disappears. “You’re… you’re me… you want to dance.”

“Yeah… she wants to dance her heart out.” The boy grins.

Madoka laughs and stares at the screen for a long moment. It hasn’t stopped. The same song plays endlessly; the arrows pop on the screen. Madoka takes a deep breath and takes a step and another. She misses notes, but she keeps going, and after a while she starts laughing and smiling. “D-dancing feels so good…” Tears pour down her cheeks.

“It sure does, Goshujinsama. Keep it up. You’re doing wonderfully,” the boy compliments her.

“I-I… hahaha…” Madoka giggles and pants as she dances. “I… I’ll dance my heart out!”

“Wonderful!” Kanna exclaims. “Madoka-chan!”

“Your rhythm is great! Keep it up, Goshujinsama!” Eiji chimes in.

“Oh, Madoka-chan! Keep it up!” Aoi laughs delightedly. “The other you lost everything, and she kept dancing. You’ll do that too! You can dance!”

“I-I will! I’ll keep dancing!” she cries as she moves her feet. She may not hit every button at the right moment, but it feels so good!

“Do you remember him?” they all chime in at the same time. “He’s there for you when you falter,” Kanna finishes.

“Shadow pres… I know him… the awesome Ippei-san…” Madoka gasps.

“No, just Ippei for you, Goshujinsama.” Ippei grins at Madoka. Suddenly everything fades, but she’s surrounded by all four of her Shikigami. They smile warmly at her, and put their hands on her.

“No! Enough!” a voice roars, and the four shriek as they fade away to nothing. “You’re worthless. You can’t do anything! You’re just a shill! What can you do with that stupid power of yours? Nothing! Give it up, you foolish child! Don’t forget it!” A menacing mask appears out of nowhere and its fanged jaw opens wide as though to devour her.

“Your father’s life is in my hands! If you think you’ll fight back, you had better think it over!” Yoshimaru roars, and his voice, laden with dark power, strips Madoka bare.

Yay! Another story chapter is released! It's been a long time since I've written a message for my writers in an end note! I hope you enjoyed this chapter. Thoughts? :D

Please share them! I haven't heard from my readers in almost a month! You'll make me feel like my story isn't good anymore if you stay silent! :D Writers need love you know!

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Avatar So So much! by Yuki 2018-12-19 17:29:50

So much happens. Ippei the shadow prez finally reveals himself to Madoka. Had a feeling it would go that way. She's got the power to push forward past Yoshimaru, like Ippei said. The more she learns about her other self the more powerful she gets, it seems. As for the Kami segment, it's interesting to me. Is it a look at the past, or the future? it seems to be the past, especially with Kiyomi hanging around.
All in all I enjoyed this chapter~

Rellawing's Reply: *grin* A good chapter has a lot! I probably could go into more detail about certain things, but otherwise I'm happy with it! *winks*

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