Behind the Den- Err Leblanc: Madoka vs Sayaka
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A young girl with pink hair wanders through forgotten city streets, a bow in her hands and a spear on her back. She's dressed in a black leather coat, concealing what if one looked closely they'd realize is a suit of armor. Not metal to be sure, but some kind of fibers woven together.
"Geez... Guess there's no turning back now, gotta go ahead and do this no matter what."
She'd mutter a groan while walking to the building's side... And smash a card against her bow while a large armored woman appears.
"Heat Riser D'Arc!"
The girl would be engulfed by a bright glow for a few seconds, stepping forward as her Persona vanishes once again. And feeling magical power flow through her body while finally stepping behind the old rundown cafe fully.
"Now I just wait... Let's hope this works out."
“Looks like I don’t have to wait then.”
A few swords, solid metal bars shaped like a Katana fly towards Madoka from the building’s roof. Their thrower leaps from the building, landing a few feet behind Madoka with her cape billowing in the wind.
“I’m not gonna hold back of course. So you better take this seriously.”
The girl spins around in a blur and steps back, narrowly dodging away from the flying weapons with a smile on her face. Though one of them does manage to scrape against her left shoulder, tearing up some of the jacket and revealing a bit of her armor which looks slightly scratched.
"Well, glad to see you aren't wasting any time. No how's it going, no bad jokes, nope. Just straight to it huh Sayaka, alright then!"
She'd raise up her bow, light gleaming from the weapon and bursting forth at a rapid pace. Not actual arrows, but merely quick blasts of holy magic that the girl lets loose far faster than any normal archer would be able to fire, if any hit Sayaka, she'd also notice they don't fade away, instead plunging into her flesh and staying put there while Madoka moves backwards.
"I intend to though, to be sure... Wouldn't do to go and lose after I said all that, after all."
“I saw you prepping ahead of time.”
Sayaka draws her cape around her, allowing the cloth to completely cover her as she bends down. Madoka’s arrows rapidly approach, only to find the cape falling to the ground, empty.
“I couldn’t just wait.”
An instant later, Sayaka dashes at Madoka from a few feet to her left, blade in hand, aiming first for Madoka’s weapon. For now she seemed satisfied changing making it a close-quarters fight
As Sayaka rushes forward, she'd find her own movements smashing a blue card to bits... Along with that towering figure appearing directly behind her with its sword and shield in hand.
"Fair enough, sadly I can't really keep up with you normally so I kinda gotta rely on that magic for this... My Persona however, has far fewer issues with something like that."
The girl's bow just... Vanishes, not unlike what happens when Homura changes weapons in fact. Only for Sayaka's sword to be quickly met with her spear being dropped down in the place it, though she's put onto the defensive and losing ground...
Of course, there's also the tall armored Persona to contend with, her blade sparking with lightning while aiming to stab straight into Sayaka's back with utterly inhuman strength and speed.
"I'm honestly a little surprised that you wanted to do this, but oh well. How ya been though, beyond the obvious issues."
"You really shouldn't underestimate me."
Sayaka draws out her left blade from its sheathe, rather than actually swinging, she lets the weapon drop behind her, where the blade splits and expands into a series of roped pieces, which automatically latch themselves onto Jeanne's spear to drag it towards the ground.
"I very well can kill you."
with the persona's weapon momentarily tangled, Sayaka aims to press her advantage, spinning to slash upwards towards Madoka's face before immediately following it with a harsh kick aimed at the other girl's side
Sayaka would... strike true with her kick, Madoka having been slammed into by it after dodging the slice of her blade. But that didn't slow down her Persona at all. Sayaka would hear the sound of D'Arc's weapon vanishing into thin air and her hands clapping, upon which she's encased by a small box of solid light which gives her nowhere to run at all.
"Yeah, yeah okay... Just like she said huh. What would Homura Akemi do..."
The girl's spear vanishes too, replaced by... A shotgun that's gleaming with light magic channeled into it. A slight hole opens up in the box, and a burst of magic flies out from the weapon towards Sayaka's chest. Again, if it hit it'd stay lodged in her body.
"Well, I already know how she'd react to this kind of threat but I'm not her. Rest assured I'm taking you deadly serious, but I'm kind of curious what the hell happened with you too."
“What’s the matter?”
Sayaka didn’t need any room to run from this, instead she simply needs a fraction of an inch, from which she conjures a circle of blue notes at her feet.
From the circle comes a massive sword, one significantly wider than Sayaka that the girl brings up to act as a shield. Though the hand Sayaka hold it in would likely get some flak, it’s not enough to bother the girl in the slightest
“I thought you wanted to show me how strong you’ve gotten, but all you’re doing is running.”
Sayaka tilts her new weapon, wedging it’s blade and holy between opposite sides of the light barrier and using its leverage to apply her full strength to both ends in an effort to shatter it
“My job hasn’t changed at all, you’ve just been running from the truth.”
The barrier does break... But it takes a few seconds for that to happen, and Sayaka would find an ear peircing sound ringing out alongside a horribly bright light in her face as soon as she gets through it.
She'd also be faced with Madoka moving faster still and striking with even greater strength, briefly engulfed by that same light she'd started the fight using. Now her spear called forth once again is being used with strength that's damn near as good as the magical girl's, and speed that might just equal it.
If the attack struck true, upon being ripped out Sayaka would also feel spikes of light forming in her body, simply staying in there and causing pain while shredding any flesh that tries to regenerate as Madoka smiles slightly.
"There's more to being strong than rushing head-on... But it has uses too. And I wasn't asking about your job, but that's a fine of way of avoiding the question."
“Now you’re just making excuses.”
Sayaka closes her eyes and focuses, knowing her sight and sound might be useless, so instead she reaches out her left hand to create a barrier out of her music notes. She was never particularly good at making shields, so it would be broken with little effort.
However, once it’s shattered it acts as a warning system,allowing Sayaka to shift the hilt of her sword to intercept Madoka, forcing the other girl’s speed to strike her chest upon the weapon’s hard hilt, likely knocking the breath out of Madoka.
Of course, this would leave Sayaka well-within the range of the girl’s other spear, leaving a nasty gash that refuses to heal.
Sayaka steps away, providing Madoka some time to recover as she speaks
“You’re seriously trying to bleed me out? You know full well there’s only one place you could hit me that matters.”
Sayaka’s soul gem, now stained with some of the girl’s own blood, nevertheless glistens in the light
“But you don’t want to face that either do you? I could never lose to a coward who won’t even say what’s bothering them.”
The girl just smiles a little more while being struck. The armor she's wearing, combined with the growing magical power flowing through her makes that blunt strike more annoying than heavily imparing. As for Sayaka's words...
"Won't say huh... I'd have thought you could figure it out, but I guess not. I'm bothered by the fact you're practically acting suicidal, by the fact you seemingly don't care about living or dying at all. And I wasn't expecting blood loss to kill you, just waste some magic."
Even as she says all that her Persona rushes once again, sword still vanished. Instead, gleaming yellow energy forms into a massive cloud above the being's head. Before crashing down across the entire field with electrical power. Madoka doesn't seem all that bothered by it though, and makes an Inhumanly fast lunge for her friend's right knee cap with the spear, once again ensuring it won't heal if she hits true.
"Call me a coward all that you like, but from my viewpoint you just sound like you stopped caring about anything. That's what's bugging me, I just don't get it."
"Terrifying right? That's what I've been told."
Though Sayaka would receive a massive jolt, singing her clothes and tearing straight through her body, the girl doesn't seem to react at all. Madoka can see her singed flesh replacing itself almost immediately, without Sayaka even seeming to notice.
Similarly, the wound in her side doesn't seem to bother Sayaka at all as she lifts the magic blade she made earlier, one almost as long as Madoka's spear, and points it at her opponent. A soft click can be heard the moment before Madoka connects, sending the blade launching at Madoka's at an incredible speed. As close as they are, Madoka'd be lucky if the weapon, easily as large as Madoka herself, didn't impale her.
"Y'know, you're better off going for the kill than draining me. We both know what'll happen if I run out right? Then you'd have to kill me anyways."
The girl raises both her hands up, light rushing from them and forming into a thick shield of magical energy... It still isn't enough to entirely block the blade rushing for her, but it's enough that Madoka merely gets grazed across the cheek by moving away while her friend's weapon clashes against the magic.
With that done, she'd just smile a bit more and shake her head while laughing slightly.
"Terrifying...? Haha, is that what people think? I guess that they would if they don't know you. But no, I'm not really scared by it in the least."
She sighs while... Putting the spear away and just staring towards Sayaka, her Persona now floating behind her with its shield raised.
"And yeah I do know what'll happen... Was hoping you'd stop before then, but that's dumb. This is all stupid. I didn't come here to prove some silly point. Not really. It was always about you, so let me ask you a question, why do you feel like this Sayaka?"
She's just... Stopped making any efforts to keep up the attack, merely staring curiously at the blue haired girl while preparing to block if she must.
"Man you're annoying. You think this is some kinda therapy session?"
Sayaka lets out a sigh. It was indeed harder to fight this way, when her opponent wasn't planning on fighting back, but its why they came here, so Sayaka wasn't just going to stop.
The girl makes a sudden dash towards her opponent, aiming two swift slashes before spinning around and pulling an even larger sword, one of those classically oversized buster swords, and thrusting it with enough force to crack the ground beneath her
"Don't act like we're supposed to be friends. Different timelines remember? I don't even know you."
Once again, light engulfs the girl and she gets faster still while just staring at Sayaka with a frown...
"They're not that different, remember all those times you dragged me to music stores? Or Hitomi making silly comments about forbidden love?"
Madoka is forced to dodge rather than keep speaking though, at least for a while. It's not that hard when she's focusing entirely on defense, rushing forward past Sayaka as the blades pass by her. And the ground shaking blow would find itself intercepted by D'Arc's shield as the persona moves forward in a blur.
"Is that why you want to act like we aren't friends, or is it something else?"
Sayaka stumbles forward a bit, slow to turn back around to face Madoka. She remembered of course. Remembered every day how wonderful life used to be.
"None of that matters now. We can't go back."
Sayaka faces Madoka, her cape billowing dramatically in the wind as she breathes out a sigh. Suddenly, the girl kicks up a trio of weapons from beneath her cape, flinging them not directly at Madoka, but rather at the ground around her.
"No, I won't go back."
Sayaka rushes Madoka again, however this time the three swords she threw earlier would unravel, aiming to entrap and impede Madoka's attempts to escape as Sayaka aims another thrust at her opponent
"You can't ask me to sit back and let people die."
Madoka just... Stares and tilts her head in confusion while hearing the reply. She's not entirely sure where this impression came from, but it's not quite accurate.
"I never said anything about doing that, I know things can't go back. And I didn't ask you to just sit back either."
As the three blades rush towards her, D'Arc reacts. Not by lashing out, but by rushing forward and placing a gleaming magical barrier all around the girl which would cause Sayaka's attempt to entrap to fail. Though her stab does clash against it as Madoka speaks up some more.
"I'm not even saying you have to stop being a magical girl, it's your life Sayaka. I'm just asking you to let people help. And why you keep trying to push us away."
She'd speak in a calm and friendly tone, waiting patiently for a response even as the attack upon her Persona's shield strains her.
Sayaka pushes forward against Madoka's shield for a moment, before finally just breathing out a sigh. The girl stops her attack, instead turning around and sheathing her weapon
"You should know the answer to that. Its too dangerous to let people be near me."
Sayaka reverts to her normal, clean uniform, done fighting, at least for now, as she looks at the blue, egg-shaped gem in her hand.
"After all, I'm just a monster waiting to hatch. That's why I have to stay away, so I don't hurt Kamilla.. Or anyone else who matters."
The girl stares with a look of horror for several moments as her barrier and persona both vanish. She'd finally speak up in a quiet voice while moving closer.
Madoka just mutters for a bit before standing face to face with the other girl and starting to form actual words again with a worried tone.
"What the hell convinced you that's all you are!?"
She'd shout with watery eyes and a higher voice.
"You aren't just a monster, you're a person. And one I happen to care about!"
Madoka sighs and rubs her eyes for a moment before going on.
"You say you can't sit back and let people die, but you except me to do the same with you? Because that's all this is, a drawn out and terrible death. Trying to push people away isn't going to make us stop caring... I can't make you do anything, but I'd rather risk my life trying to help than just abandon you!"
She just stops at that remark, pausing and rubbing her forehead.
"That's just how it is!"
Sayaka turns back to Madoka, a fierce look in her eyes as the girl shouts back at her former friend.
"Magical Girls either die fighting, or they become one of those... Things! A monster is it. I mean come on!"
Sayaka draws her sword, and stabs it through her own heart. Though it clearly ought to hurt, the girl simply coughs up a bit of blood, before slowly pulling out her weapon, seemingly none the worse for wear
"What kinda person can do that? It doesn't even hurt anymore. We're monsters, through and through. And the sooner we're gone, the better it is for everyone. Its not like anyone needs us Magical Girls anyways."
Sayaka lets out a huff, a twinge of guilt briefly passing across her face before reassuring herself
"There's nothing wrong about killing a monster."
"It might be hard, but please refrain from interfering."
Kohaku is met by another girl, not much older than she is, waiting on the roof beside her. The other girl wears a long, samurai-styled Magenta dress with a pink gem in a flowery ornament in her hair. The girl's face is deathly serious.
"They're in the middle of a very delicate process, its better if you wait for now."
I wanted to.. but didn't think I should..
She turns around to the girl, surprised.
How did you?...
N-no wait.. better question...
My name's Kohaku
How did you?...
N-no wait.. better question...
My name's Kohaku.
I'm a magical girl...
Who are you?
She keeps an eye on the two as she addresses this new... Magical Girl? Probably...
Kohaku doesn't seem too cautious or on guard though
"You may call me Nanaka, Nanaka Tokiwa. A Magical Girl like you"
Nanaka briefly bows to Kohaku, before turning to the other girl with a smile, one hand over her chin
"As for how I guessed, I have a bit of a talent for reading people. You two are friends, are you not?"
"How did you notice me?" She was going to ask, but she decides not to correct the girl.
Stalking is suspicious behavior after all. No point in appearing suspicious.
Kohaku looks back at the two upon being asked, a little bit of a lonely look on her face as she smiles back to Nanaka.
No. I'm really just a stranger to them that's trying to help out.
They're friends though.
She returns the bow, no point in being rude after all.
I'm just.. keeping an eye out.
I'm not very smart, so...
She shakes her head.
Madoka just stares at the girl for a long hard moment, she seems... Entirely unbothered by the blade going through Sayaka's chest, and a few seconds later the blue haired girl would find herself being hugged a bit tightly.
The girl just sighs heavily while fighting back sobs, finally going on after several moments.
"None of that matters at all. Monster, villian, hero... All of those things are just stupid labels when you use them on people! Go back far enough and people would have called me a monster for... You know why."
She pauses for a second before stepping back away and rubbing her eyes.
"I don't care what you can do, or what could happen. Your power doesn't define who you are, your actions do that... And there's always time to change those as long as you're still alive."
The air goes quiet as she finishes speaking, just absently leaning back against a wall while looking over at the other girl.
“I suppose you could say I’m much the same.”
Nanaka replies with a smile that gives away no intent. The girl seems to giggle a bit as the situation unfolds
“Seems like miss Miki has rather good friends. In any case it seems to be starting.”
Sayaka pauses for a moment, looking down at her hand, covered in her own blood. Imagining the sorts of things she's done... The girl remains silent for a bit as tears well up from her eyes. Soon, her voice can be heard, but its not coming from Sayaka
???: "That's right. If we aren't monsters that just makes us murderers. What was it we said? Some people out there are even worse than Witches?"
Sayaka: "Who.. That's not.."
A soft song, the mournful tune of a lonely violin flows through the air as a third person? Makes themselves known. They resemble Sayaka, however their shape seems darker, almost like a Shadow. Yet unlike a shadow, for they lack the bright, yellow eyes. Instead their eyes seem to be shaded, perhaps covered by their hair
???: "We can't go back to the way things used to be. But we can't move forward either. That's the reality we face."
She sees the other Sayaka's approach.
I think I should interfere now...
She turns to the other girl... Nanaka?
What's going on?
Madoka's first instinct upon hearing the other voice is to pull out her phone and very quickly attempt to text Homura, unless they're already in some fucky supernatural place that should work in which the girl would show up well. Not instantly, but as soon as possible. Her second, is to pull out her spear again and hold it towards the... Shadow? Sure looks a lot like one to her, except the eyes are off. Maybe a different strain? Either way she begins speaking out in a casual tone.
"So, are you just some completely unrelated being that happens to look very much like a Shadow? Or are your kind manifesting outside that world now too...? Either way, I guess we're doing this huh."
She'd turn over to the actual Sayaka with an encouraging smile.
"And as for what she said, I wouldn't say that's entirely accurate. It might hurt, it'll be hard. But you can always try to move forward... In my experience, the way to start is by facing up to that thing over there."
Of course it likely won't be so simple even if they are the same or similar, and in that case well, she'll do what needs to be done.
Nanaka closes her eyes with a faint smile, breathing out a satisfied sigh as she looks to her past
“It... Would be difficult to explain, far better to witness it. What some would call “Salvation”.
Nanaka opens her eyes again, brushing a few stray hairs out of her face as she adds
“You’re free time do whatever you want. I shall simply continue to watch. I’m not much of a fighter I’m afraid.”
they are, indeed, still in the middle of the street, so Madoka's phone works just fine.
The shadow? pays Madoka no mind, it simply continues playing its solemn song, heedless of the world around them.
However, Sayaka at the very least, heard her. Sayaka takes a deep breathe, focusing herself again before asking
Sayaka: "So I'm just... Supposed to kill it?"
???: "Death, destruction. That's always our first response. We can't change who we are."
It speaks only in response to its charge, as if the world were made for just the two of them, bringing naught but a low, sorrowful tune with them
Sayaka: "H... Don't take things out of context. I'm... I have to move forward.
???: "it would be difficult. Impossibly so. We've never been as strong as Mami. Why even try, knowing we'll never live up to her memory."
Sayaka: "That's not... I know I'll never be as good as her, but that doesn't mean I can't try."
tired, perhaps, of listening to their other self, Sayaka does the simplest thing she can, letting a single blade drop from her cape to toss at the shadow? It doesn't move a muscle, allowing the blade to sink deep into its flesh. Yet the being is entirely unbothered as the weapon slowly slides out, brought down perhaps by gravity.
???: "You can weep, if you want. We deserve it, as much as anyone. For everything we've been through."
Sayaka: "I... Uh..."
The blade continues to fall out of the shadow? Leaving an injury for only the slgihtest of moments. If anything it seems to be healing even more quickly than the real Sayaka
Kohaku jumps out from her hiding space and addresses the "Shadow"
That's a lie.
A complete baldfaced lie.
People can change.
People can move forward no matter the difficulty.
People are as strong as they let themselves be.
They just have to push through.
And when you can't push through yourself, you rely on the people who support you.
The only time you're weak is when you out right give up and stop trying to do what's right.
Her voice has a tinge of aggression, clearly something has struck a nerve with this girl.
And of course someone's first thought is violence when all the foes they're faced with are mindless creatures.
Just like how a person who's foes are aggressive monsters in their actions's first thought is to run away.
And if a coward can change and stand up against the fear that keeps them hidden, even if difficult, then a Hero can change how they do things.
Madoka stares for a moment... Blue flames build up behind the girl as she keeps on looking, not to truly call her persona forth. But merely a manifestation of resolve made visible within the world.
"Mami Tomoe... You say you'll never be as strong as she was? That's a joke, right...? You've kept going, despite learning what I assume to be the truth. You're already stronger than her and you don't even know it."
Hearing that name frankly brings bad memories to mind, a girl with blonde hair and guns aimed at them all... No, she didn't take reality well at all.
"Violence isn't the answer here though, that's true at least. I think, if it's anything like a Shadow then well... You've seen how to stop one of those already, haven't you? I can't be sure that's the right way here, but maybe. And yeah, Kohaku is right too."
She just stands there quietly for another moment while watching the other Sayaka curiously. Finally speaking up in a calm voice.
"Whatever happens though, I'll help however I can. That's a promise. For good or ill, I'm with you to the end of this."
“And what’s wrong with being weak?”
The “shadow” asks, without a hint of emotion in its voice. The creature stops playing it’s violin to let out a long breath
“We became a murderer, it’s hard to do worse than that. Completely disregarding and disrespecting everything Mami.”
Sayaka: “S.. Stop that, I’d never spit on her memory like that!”
???: “it’s alright. We don’t have to hold ourselves to their standard. No one could for long.”
Sayaka pauses, looking over to Madoka for support, after all they did just promise, but the “shadow” merely looks down at them and scoffs
???: “You’ve replaced us before. You’ll do it again. Everyone’s like that.
Still, they’re right about one thing. None of us can last here long without friends. And I’m the best friend you could possibly have.”
The shadow begins to grin and talk much more excitedly than before, as if lost in their own little world
???: “I am your desire incarnate. Anything you want, I want too. If we’re sad, we can let loose a song of our sorrow. If we’re lonely, we can sing a song to draw in friends, friends who cannot leave or replace us. If we wish to hear Kyosuke’s voice, we can sing it ourselves, and let the beautiful music wash over us. We’re already a monster, becoming a Witch can’t be much worse.
All those two will ever do is demand things, thinking they know what’s best. But they can’t provide us a peaceful rest. Such a thing doesn’t exist in this world.
This world doesn’t need us, and we don’t need it.”
The “Shadow”, which looks more and more like Sayaka every moment looks to Madoka and Kohaku with a smile
???:“Neither of you could hope to offer as much as I can, could you?”
Kohaku listens intently, but as the Shadow speaks it's monologue, She gets steadily more and more bored until she deadpans, in complete sarcasm.
Oh yes. Just give in to your base desires and become the thing you fight.
That's clearly what's the right decision.
Next thing we know you're going to be saying "The only way to save the world is to destroy it".
You sound like a generic RPG villain.
Miki-senpai is a hero.
She might be discouraged, but that's what friends are for. To provide encouragement.
To provide help and support.
You are a sad existence if you don't understand even that.
She closes her eyes and takes a breath.
This isn't my fight, I know. It's Miki-senpai's.
But the world is a terrible enough place.
Villains run amok. Fools who give into their desires, things like you, and do nothing but hurt others for their own sake.
For their own comfort and pleasure.
Miki-senpai isn't like that.
Everyone faces their weak part eventually.
Everyone wants to just lay down and rest, and to just give up at some point...
But the HEROES are the ones who don't!
The ones who gather their friends and stands up!
The ones who fight back against the disgusting side of themselves!
It sounds idealistic... it sounds like a kids story..
But those stories exist for a reason!
The difference between a Hero and a Villain is choice!
A Hero chooses to fight their darkness!
A Villain falls into it and drowns!
And in the end, no matter what mistakes a Hero makes, No matter how hard their journey is!
They always win! And they ALWAYS get a happy ending! And the Villain ALWAYS ends up sad and alone!
She looks at Sayaka, Her eyes perhaps reminiscent of her own past idealistic self mixed with a determination that honestly, looks rather out of place for a girl of her supposed disposition.
The question is Miki-senpai...
Will you choose to be a hero?
Or will you choose to be the things you've been fighting...
The things you became a magical girl to protect the innocent from?
(edited by Kohaku_Iroha)
Madoka... Has her own thoughts about the nature of such things, far less black and white ones by this point. But she can agree to an extent, the difference between doing 'good' and 'evil' is always a choice. Even if such terms aren't always so simple.
"Well, I don't know if I'd call it entirely right but... Kind of on point in a lot of ways if you ask me. And what's in the past doesn't decide the future, either Sayaka... I don't know about always working out, but I know this. Things can't get any better if we don't try to make them!"
The pink-haired girl just stares forward for the moment. She... Doesn't have much more to add, and frankly she's a bit more concerned with how exactly to handle this if it all comes to blows.
Kohaku got well, most of what she wanted to say so Madoka's attention is elsewhere mostly. And with any luck if violence does end up happening it'll be by the time Homura's shown up. Not that she's counting on it.
"But as for the thing's point, I wouldn't say I'm going to demand anything. It's always been your choice, all I can really offer you is a willingness to try and help, to be there if you want. It's hardly much, I know. But I'd like to think it's something worthwhile."
She'd just smile over at Sayaka while saying that, no grand statements on the nature of life to be made. Just a simple reminder of the fact that whatever happens, she's still going to try and care. It isn't much, but it is clearly sincere and comes from the heart.
Sayaka takes a deep breath, looking back at Kohaku, but before she can actually say something the shadow bursts out, shouting
???: "This isn't some stupid fairy tale. Try all you want no one can't change how the world works. 'For every bit of happiness you wish for someone, someone else is cursed with equal misery'. No matter how hard we try we'll never be able to.."
The shadow is interrupted by one of Sayaka's blades passing by its face. It hurt, not physically of course. The minor injury is already healed by the time the shadow brings up its hand to touch it, confirm that they had been hurt.
But nothing would match the fury in the real Sayaka's eyes. Though its not true anger, hatred. Its more of an annoyance, that of speaking to an insolent child
Sayaka: "You're not a very good listener are you? Maybe it is just a dream, but that's no reason to just run away from things. We can be better than that."
The shadow doesn't say anything, it just stares at its hand, the hand that touched their injury as its fury slowly builds up, though it doesn't move, it almost seems to be shaking
???: "But we're not, we've only ever been deluding ourselves. We're not a hero, and that standard's only going to bring us more misery. THEIR standard."
The world changes around the group as the creature's form begins to twist, a barrier seeming to form itself around them out of nowhere.
The city streets fade away, replaced by an old-fashioned flower garden. It might remind Madoka of the garden atop the hospital back home, though its grander by far, blooming with flowers from all around the globe, and some flowers that don't exist at all.
In this space, the "Shadow"'s form twists, spinning around and in on itself until reforming into a shape both Kohaku and Madoka would likely recognize, a towering mermaid, their upper body covered in an old-fashioned knights armor. Their once beautiful tape seems torn and ragged, as if lost at sea for months, finally leading up to their helmet, surrounded by a heart-shaped frill around their neck.
Oktavia: "We could be free if it weren't for them. I'll show you."
Oktavia lets out a wail that shakes the barrier, their cry has no words, for no words could contain the rage conveyed through emotion itself, a cry that aims to pierce the hearts and ears of all who hear it.
Madoka stares as the grip on her weapon tightens more and more by the second. Their standard indeed...
"I wouldn't say you've gotta be a hero just to keep going, I'm not to be sure. At the end of the day, I'm just some normal girl, but here I am anyways..."
As Madoka trails off, somewhere else in the city... Well, it's rather nearby in fact, an inhuman blur of motion rushes through the city, a rifle in her hands and a katana resting on her back.
She doesn't catch the 'shadow's speech, but she'd burst onto the scene panting and sweating just barely before the barrier forms.
H: "I... Huff, guess I made it in time huh...? Yeesh, least I'm starting to get used to my new magic..."
Madoka looks a bit concerned by her friend's clearly exhausting rush to show up but says nothing for the moment. Instead, her eyes focus upon the...
Witch? Sure close enough, both of the girls would look towards it as blue flames build around their bodies.
H: "Anyways, guess we're doing this huh? I haven't got any clue what's going on here, but come Lilith!"
M: "I've only got a guess myself, but somehow I don't think we can get by with just talking from here. D'Arc!"
The beings would form in an instant, white and black magic rushing across the field of the barrier as both girls wince a bit from the witch's shout of rage.
It doesn't stop the spiraling magic from rushing towards Oktavia and colliding into a grey mass of pure power which explodes violently after meeting at her chest.
But it does slow the attack down some. Homura would also take note of the fact this barrier doesn't look how she recalls Oktavia's being, but she can't quite place a reason for that fact yet.
(edited by Madoka-Kaname)
This thing again... does.. does it belong to Miki-senpai then?
Recognizing the creature she's fought once before.. though in a different arena than this, Kohaku charges some magic into her palms and jumps back to make distance between her and Octavia.
NOW it's time to solve our problems with violence!
She fires the charged bolts at Octavia, one aimed at the head and the other at the arm holding the sword.
Oktavia meets the spiraling blast with her sword, blowing it up early and covering the area with a magical smoke, which is momentarily lit up by Kohaku’s bolts, flying straight and true.
However, by the time the smoke clears, what injuries had been delivered would heal almost entirely, leaving Oktavia seemingly unharmed.
The witch’s voice echoes throughout the garden as it glares at Homura
Oktavia: “Wonderful, now I can get rid of you all at once.”
After taking a second to recover from the shriek, Sayaka charges headfirst at Oktavia. The witch, much bigger and stronger than Sayaka, swats their real self off to the side with their right arm, leaving Sayaka momentarily concealed by the flowers
Oktavia: “Out of the way, I’m trying to help you.”
Sayaka: “You’re trying to kill my friends.”
Oktavia: “I’m trying to kill Homura.”
Sayaka reappears off to the side, where she was struck down, her determination unwavering
Sayaka: “she’s my friend’s friend that’s just as bad.”
Oktavia: “We can avenge Mami, she’s the one who let her die.”
Sayaka: “Mami wouldn’t want that.”
Oktavia: “Who cares what she wants she’s dead!”
Sayaka: “I do! I care a lot actually.”
Oktavia gives, not an argument, but the constantly sidestepping phrase of a child who refuses to admit they’re wrong.
Oktavia stabs her blade into the ground. After a second of rumbling a blast of high-pressure water comes out of the ground, aimed directly for where Madoka and Homura are standing.
In addition to this, four blades seem to form themselves from the air around Oktavia, they launch themselves to the sides, curving around before attempting to impale a Homura from two different angles
Kohaku fires off four shots, each aimed at one of the blades.
One shot however, she charges a bit before she fires, and once reaching the sword it was aimed at, instead of destroying or knocking it's blade offcourse stays attached to Kohaku's arm as a rope, grappling onto the blade as Kohaku swings her arm in he direction of Octavia as a sort of whip.
How do you beat a healing enemy?
She begins charging a single orb with both hands together.
Let Mami... Die? What the fuck? That never happened, that's all both girls can think before they remeber oh yes timeline nonsense.
H: "I'd like to inform you I did not in fact let Mami Tomoe die ever, as far as my own memory goes. I'm sure it happened as you recall, but I guess I never got that far..."
M: "Yeah, Homura wouldn't do something like that!"
Before the pair can get anywhere near lost in thought on the matter, Madoka would hand her friend back the gleaming magical vial she stores weapons in as Homura begins getting to work.
The clock pattern on Lilith's black dress begins spinning, spinning faster and faster as her master grabs hold of Madoka in a bridal carry for a moment.
The pair would be moving so fast they almost seem to have vanished for a few seconds, the water and blades flying by them though neither can do more than evade for now.
Their Personas, on the other hand, are a bit less constrained, Lilith rushes forward past the weapons with that impossible speed before it fades once again, pointing her hands at the witch as they gleam with a bright white light which aims to connect to her target.
Drain, no longer the physical devouring of its prior form but merely a beam of Almighty magic which sucks out lifeforce and magical power alike for the attacker to use.
D'Arc for her part aims her shield at the Witch as glowing white spears about four feet long and two wide begin to rush out, a rain of the things aiming to stab in hard and stay manifested for some time to riddle Octavia's body with obstructions to healing.
As for the summoners who've now tried to move wherever seems decent cover, Homura looks a good bit worn out already while setting her friend down.
H: "Geez... Getting over here this fast was tough work, damn. I can keep going for a little while though."
M: "Alright, try not to overdo it if you don't have to though..."
Oktavia: "See? They're quick to turn against you."
Sayaka: "I'M not the one accusing them, you're just making things more confusing!"
Kohaku's blasts knock three of the blades away. However, when she tries using the fourth against Oktavia, the towering Witch simply catches their blade in their open hand.
The Witch doesn't move, confident in its own invulnerability, it allows its energy to be drained. However, rather than restoring her energy, draining the Witch gives Homura an unsettling feeling, passing on only a piece of the curse that fills and powers a Witch. Similarly, the Witch's body is riddled with holes. However, it doesn't take long for the pressure of its healing to simply snap through the light-forged spears, with little to no inconvenience found.
Though it seems to slow a little, the creature's fury remains strong. Oktavia firms its hold on the other end of Kohaku's blade, and jerks it towards them, aiming to bring Kohaku flying towards her.
However, Sayaka quickly leaps to cut through the connecting magic, preventing the Witch from grabbing Kohaku
Oktavia: "Stop fighting already. You can't possibly deny fate. Its only a matter of time."
its earlier attempts at attacking thwarted, Oktavia lets out another wordless cry, not a cry of anger and hate, but one of sorrow and despair, a voice of raw emotion that seeks to pierce and stun the hearts of those who hear it, if only for a moment.
For a moment is all they seek, immediately after the cry Oktavia makes a slash with their left cutlass, sending a razor-sharp wave of water across the ground at Kohaku, Homura, and Madoka and leaving hundreds of destroyed flowers in its wake.
Kohaku is indeed yanked, though thankfully the magic is cut, so she's not forced to be pulled where the witch wants, She decides to go with it, and surrounds herself in a magic barrier and begins charging magic around her entire body as she hurdles towards the witch's midsection.
Naturally being airborne causes her to avoid the swing of the large blade.
Homura... Doesn't seem as bothered by the curse as one might expect, Lilith just grins a little bit and lazily waves her hand at the witch.
Sickening purple light engulfs the thing's whole body in an instant, leaving it weaker in every way before that scream hits. After taking a few moments to recover, D'Arc would rush in front of both Madoka and Homura, a gleaming wall of light forming in the attack's way as she aims her shield towards it. Homura speaks up in a shout as the other girl quietly focuses.
H: "Can't deny fate...? How ridiculous! Out of all the things I've learned, one of the most obvious is that there's no such thing as an unstoppable destiny! Your 'fate' was to die years ago Sayaka Miki. But here you are anyways! So giving up now... Don't even think about it, I know you may not think so, but I'd actually be disappointed. "
(edited by Madoka-Kaname)
D’Arc’s shield proves to be good enough, though the water leaves a gouge in it, they’re able to redirect the water around Madoka and Homura.
Oktavia: “Just stop! If you really cared...”
Oktavia is interrupted when Kohaku slams into her, leaving the rest of their sentence unknowable as the Witch is knocked back
Oktavia: “I’m just trying to protect us.”
Sayaka: “I don’t need your ‘protection’”
Having recovered herself, Sayaka launches herself towards the Witch. Oktavia swings her blade at her real self, but drained and debilitated as they are, their attack is slow enough for Sayaka to vault over the sword and strike her own weapon into the Witch’s head.
Unlike the previous attacks, this blow is accompanied by a satisfying spurt of shadow-like blood. The Witch simply looks up for a moment before, finally finished, it shrinks down, taking the darkened form of Sayaka once more, sitting on its knees staring at the flowers below it
Oktavia: “So in the end, you’ve rejected me too.”
Sayaka closes the short distance between her and Oktavia, looking down at the other with her arms crossed
Sayaka: “*Sigh*... Don’t be like that. We’re supposed to be a hero ri-“
The shadow interrupts Sayaka, looking back up at their real selves with almost pleading desperation.
Oktavia: “Heroes aren’t real. It’s pointless to-“
Sayaka: “Just Listen will you?”
Sayaka shouts, shutting Oktavia up for a while to finish
Sayaka: “Yeah, I get it. But it doesn’t matter if those stories are real, they’re not pointless! They give us hope, and inspire us to be better than we are. Isn’t that enough? Even if it’s silly, or childish, don’t you want to believe in them again?”
Sayaka offers Oktavia her hand, the Witch simply staring at their real self for a moment before smiling, and grabbing their hand
Oktavia: “..... I’d like that. I’d like that a lot. I just have one request.”
As Oktavia fades away, she looks out towards Kohaku, Homura, and Madoka.
Oktavia: “Don’t forget about me. I get lonely too, sometimes.”
Homura's persona vanishes into a card, a card which she stares down at for a moment with a slight smile before nodding to Oktavia. Madoka would focus a bit more before a gleaming blue light engulfs the group, healing most of the damage that may have been suffered. Not that Sayaka needs it, but the rest do. With that D'Arc would vanish as well.
H: "Mmm, makes sense... Doubt I could forget even if I wanted really."
M: "I wasn't planning to. Just please don't hurt Sayaka anymore."
As the witch finishes fading Madoka would walk over towards the blue haired girl... Alongside Homura.
M: "Well, that went... Better than I had expected honestly? I think? I'm not really sure how a witch manifesting works but seems to have gone alright."
H: "Don't get me guessing... And hey, we should talk sometime. I realize I haven't exactly been the most friendly to you either, but I'll be dammed if I really remember why."
Homura shrugs a bit while smiling at the other girl while waiting for a reply, absently leaning against Madoka's shoulder. Mostly because she seems to be immensely exhausted by now.
Kohaku stands up and dusts herself off.
I didn't think that would actually work...
She turns and watches the exchange from afar off, opting to slink back into the shadows again.
She's not really involved in this after all.. this is between a group of friends.
Oktavia vanishes with a smile on their face, leaving Sayaka to scratch the back of her head with an awkward smile
Sayaka: “beats me. First I’ve ever heard of it, but I don’t really wanna think about it too much.”
Sayaka breathes out a sigh, looking towards Homura with uncertainty
Sayaka: “yeah... I guess I haven’t really given you a fair shake either.”
Sayaka extends a hand to Homura, her usual cheerful smile returned
“Let bygones be bygones?”
Kohaku goes her own way through the flowery barrier. It was a little weird for a barrier to remain after its master is defeated. And surely enough she’d notice the barrier beginning to dissolve from the outside in, leaving the city streets to reform around her
Homura would pause for a moment, she does want to think about it. Quite a bit even, but there's no sense in bugging the other girl if she's not feeling up to it right now. Instead she'd simply allow Madoka to speak again.
M: "Heh, yeah I understand Sayaka... I'm just gonna have to believe it's for the best then. Just try to remember that people do care okay?"
As Madoka smiles and keeps her unsteady girlfriend from falling over, Homura extends a hand out to the blue-haired one with a smirk on her face.
H: "Hah, yeah that was kind of the intent... It's been a while, and take it from me that living in the past isn't really healthy. I'd know better than almost anyone after all."
She can make light of it now, some. But the truth of the matter is Homura Akemi's still straining not to crumble under the stress of what happened those two years ago...
H: "Oh right, I'm kind of curious though. How much do you know Sayaka? About uh, my past, Madoka's too, kinda..."
It's fairly obvious that she means about timeloops which once happened, at least if one knows the context.
M: "Mmm... We'd be happy to try and explain more if you have any questions. Though really, Homura knows a lot more than I do, naturally."
Sayaka shakes Homura's hand, going easy on the other girl in light of their condition
"Yeah yeah I got it. Geeze, don't you think I've been lectured enough today?"
The girl jokes with a laugh, letting go of Homura's hand now that she's done. The girl scratches the back of her head and shrugs
"All I really know is that Homura was kinda a prick in my world, and my Madoka never became a Magical Girl, and neither of those are true now."
as the group talks, the flowery barrier around them would dissolve, leaving everyone back in the city streets.
Where they are greeted by a girl wearing a pink samurai's coat with a similar magenta flower hairpin, who briefly bows
Nanaka: "apologies, it seems I've interrupted something. I simply wished to congratulate Miki-san on meeting her doppel."
Sayaka: "And who are you supposed to be?"
Sayaka casts Nanaka a confused glance, she might have been suspicious of them earlier but a lot has happened today. As for Nanaka, the girl briefly narrows her eyes before her usual calm smile returns
Nanaka: "Nanaka Tokiwa, of the same Tokiwas who started the kashinryuu style of flower-decoration. Its a pleasure to meet you."
Kohaku keeps watching in the shadows.
Homura laugh a bit and stops talking for the moment, absently thinking before she goes on with a slight wince.
H: "I... Do have a theory about that matter. I suspect the Homura Akemi you're familiar with was... Significantly older than myself."
Madoka blinks at that remark, taking a moment to process it and then grimacing. Soon enough though they're interrupted by Nanaka, who the black haired girl greets with an absent wave.
H: "Oh, hey. Wasn't expecting to meet you again tonight... Doppel though, you know what thing was Nanaka?"
M: "Um... You two know each other Homura?"
Madoka is a bit confused by the exchange, tilting her head while waving to the newcomer.
H: "Oh, yeah met each other once. GYM and all."
M: "Ah... Well, Madoka Kaname, nice meeting you I guess Tokiwa-chan."
Nanaka: “:I’m glad to see you remember me Akemi-san *giggle*. Though I don’t remember giving permission to address me so casually.”
Nanaka lets out a sigh, quickly glancing at Madoka before she continues to answer the question
N: “of course I do. The power known as ‘Doppel’ originated in my home city of Kamihama, where some call it a form of salvation. However, it’s details are largely kept secret, which led to some... Unfortunate misunderstandings.”
S:”Hey! Don’t look at me, I haven’t done anything.”
Nanaka casts a meaningful glare at Sayaka, much to the other girl’s distress. But neither girl presses the matter, with Nanaka continuing her description
N:”it would be best compared to the ability you call ‘Persona’. One can call forth their slumbering Witch in times of crisis.”
S:”So like this? Doppel!”
Sayaka had seen personas be summoned many times before, so she swiped her arm through the air and loudly announced the word... To no avail.
Nanaka simply sighs and shakes her head
N: “As I was saying, there are two major components to keep in mind. First, Doppels can only form in an unstable area, much like a Witch’s labyrinth. Second, is that summoning a Doppel is the same as falling into the depths of despair, so it’s not something to take lightly.”
(edited by Nanaka_Tokiwa)
Homura just shrugs at that remark, she doesn't really bother with such things anymore... One might wonder why anyone does, here. But moving on.
H: "Eh, most people around here don't bother with honorifics. Sorta got outta the habit... Don't know about you were thinking though, Madoka."
M: "Uh right... Back to the point?"
Madoka would stare between both of the others as the tension rises, Homura just sort of absently checks over some of her guns as it goes on. By the time Nanaka is done speaking, she'd once again speak herself.
H: "Conjuring something from the depths of despair... I feel like I should caution against that, but I guess I'm in no place to judge considering how my persona started out... I do have to wonder if there's some connection to be found between these things, a common link in the power we hold..."
There's a pause as the pink-haired girl just looks on curiously, Homura finally choosing to speak up with a slight sigh.
H: "Well, it's all conjuncture by me really, but if I had to guess the only real link is both are powered by emotion. Though in rather differing directions, ultimately magical girls are sorta meant to be unstable from what I've seen, Personas grow stronger with stability though..."
Madoka's head would shake as her friend is once again lost in thought, she's clearly spent too much time pondering these things recently, and looks a bit spaced out while doing so more.
M: "Um anyways, thanks for explaining that Tokiwa-san... Is there anything else to go over?"
N: *sigh* “I suppose it’s too late to worry about formalities now. I merely wished to stress the importance of remaining careful. After all, most people are judge another’s worth on first impressions. For a girl that would be their appearance and their mannerisms. That’s why it’s important to always give off the appearance of...”
Nanaka begins ANOTHER lecture, clearly incited, in part by their seeming nonchalance towards a passionate subject, however before she gets too far into it she’s interrupted by their casual friend
S: “Gee, don’t you think we get lectured enough Tokiwa-kun?”
N: “I.. *sigh* unless you’re actively trying to annoy someone that is. Then it can’t be helped.”
Sayaka wears a stupid grin, much to Nanaka’s continued irritation. Not wanting to overstay... This, if she can avoid it, Nanaka clears her throat to regain her composure
N: “Anyways, I’ll have to agree with Akemi-San whole-heartedly. A Witch’s power fueled by curses. It can’t possible be trusted. But if you’re desperate enough the ability called “Doppel” is incredibly powerful.
Now, I believe I’ve overstayed my welcome. I’ll be going now.”
Nanaka bows to the other girls before heading off herself, with little more reaction than a sigh as Sayaka sends off one parting shot
S: “Bye-bye Tokiwa-kun. See ya tomorrow.”
"Should I follow her? or....
They were looking for Miki-senpai.. right?
It would be trouble if they couldn't find her again...
Maybe I should keep an eye out.. just in case?
I bet she doesn't trust me though... And me following her wouldn't help....
I guess I'll stick with Kaname-san and Akemi-senpai...
She'd probably hate me anyway..."
Kohaku resists the urge to follow Sayaka, instead coming out in the open towards the people still around.
Uhhhh... I can't delete it, so pretend the previous post doesn't exist please
Homura just laughs at that subject, she's not trying to be rude. She just... Doesn't care at all anymore.
H: "Eh, if people want to stupidly judge me for bad reasons let em. I don't really give a damn about that kind of thing these days."
Madoka would wave Homura on, very clearly stating this isn't the time even without saying a word. The black-haired girl just shrugs again and watches for a bit. Untill Nanaka begins heading out at which point she'd wave before turning back to Sayaka and... Offering a high five.
H: "She's really not so bad, I think. But hah, that was actually kinda funny."
Madoka would just stare at that with a raised eyebrow, she has known the other girl to respond via snark lately. But that's a bit surprising as she goes on after sighing...
M: "I'm glad you're amused. Anyways, this seems like it went a lot better than expected. Good thing we're all okay."
Sayaka gladly accepts the high five, jumping to meet Homura's hand before giggling herself
"She seems like one of those uppity snobs to me. Totally worth it."
now that everything's over, Sayaka switches back to her regular uniform, her white chape vanishing in a flash of light as she breathes out a sigh
"Yeah, seems like that's it. I'm gonna... Oh, wait."
Sayaka snaps her fingers, seeming to just remember something as she rapidly turns to Madoka to ask
"Didn't you talk about having Camilla with you? I... Should probably go pick her up."
Sayaka gives the others an awkward grin as she scratches the back of her head, awaiting their answer
"Ah.. that's right.
If Akemi-senpai is here then Camilla-san is all alone..."
Kohaku decides it's probably best for her to bail now, and heads down to where Camilla is, just to keep an eye on her.
The black haired girl snickers a bit, well she doesn't mind Nanaka all that much. She can see why Sayaka's got the impression she does. As for the girl...
H: "Oh, yeah. And hopefully the repairs are done... I um, might have kicked down your door? Kinda had to pay to get it fixed pretty fast, so with any luck it's done now. Sorry about that I was sorta expecting things trying to kill me."
Madoka sighs and shakes her head a little bit, watching the other girl look rather sheepish while she explains that bit to Sayaka.
M: "Yeah. And yes she was staying with us, leaving her alone for too long didn't seem wise... So we should probably get going."
Homura frowns a bit while heading off, she does have to wonder about several things after all. These Doppels, how do they work. Is there a connection between them and her Persona's former state...? Questions for another time though, right now they need to get back after all.
H: "Yeah, that's best. This has raised some questions, but I've got the feeling we won't get any answers today."