Mercy Killing 2: Mirror, Mirror

From Magical Girl Noir Quest Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

The clang of metal. A stern lecture, peppered with a few choice insults, and a quiet whimper in answer - her sister always had been a little too harsh - as she stood to the side of it all, showing both encouragement and concern in turn for both parties. In some ways, obviously excepting the weapons, it was just like their old home.

The three Katayamas - Mizuki, as well as her sister Mitsuko - had spent the bulk of their days in the orphanage known as the Mitakihara Children's Home, occasionally known as the Second Chance Institute. Like almost every orphanage, hospital and the like in the area, the Third had a heavy hand or investment in it if not outright ownership. As Harumi would always explain, it was an expression of Sanbey's generosity, his eagerness to help the weak and helpless around him, as shown by how those were often the first he would approach to grant wishes. It held up well enough, with everything he had done. They were prime examples themselves.

They could never quite remember what brought them to the orphanage, and by and large, did their best to keep it that way. It was too early in their lives to recall, and there was nothing to be gained from learning a now-irrelevant portion of the past. They might have clung to it if their lives had been bitter, but - and really, this only underlined the incubator's generosity - the Mitakihara Children's Home was nothing like the nightmarish institutions that dotted fiction at every turn. It was, indeed, a pleasant enough place to live out their years, and Harumi herself had regularly come to inspect the premises, as well as bringing gifts or sweets for the children there.

As much as they had liked it there, when Harumi came to offer them a chance for their own home - they would, at first, be staying at her house before taking a dormitory at the Third - they were all too eager to accept. Eventually, after much needling, they managed to drag the answer out of her, reluctant as she was, as to just what it was that she did. Too modest, much too modest. A magical girl of the Third Officio, as they discovered. Helping the incubator on his quest to save the universe from its eventual fall by creating all the hope they could in the world. Hunting witches and doing Sanbey's work throughout Mitakihara. What could be more noble? What could be more exciting?

She relented, after a few days of begging, and agreed to talk to Sanbey about the matter. They were, of course, overjoyed when they heard that they would be allowed to take a contract. In their eagerness, a wish had been more or less secondary, a formality that they could think of no adequate answer for, not after one wish had already been granted. A selfish wish seemed somehow... inappropriate, given the circumstances, and so they had decided.

Mizuki would bring happiness to those around her - after all, wasn't that what this was all about? - while Mitsuko would help others reach their true potential. It wouldn't do, after all, if they were anything short of flawless in their work for such an important cause. And so they-

Oh. Oh dear. This was all going a little too far.

The girl in the orange dress - their latest... friend? Pupil? It was something like that - was bleeding from a few gashes, the few that hadn't been cauterised by burning light. Slashes from... what was Mitsuko using, now? Some sort of wrist-mounted disc launcher. She always found the strangest things. Crying, too, but not from the injuries. Must have been something her sister had said.

"That's enough, I think." Her voice rang out across the training room, gentle but insistent, and the two stopped immediately: One lowering her arm, and the other a plain, unadorned broadsword. It seemed a bit silly, a Vanus helping to teach an Eversor in combat, but that was seniority for you. Practice could make such a great difference, her sister had experience aplenty in combat; if she wasn't being deployed for interrogations, Mitsuko was generally on the front lines.

Or finding someone to fuss over, as was the case here. But then, that was a mutual obsession of theirs, in a way.

"There, there. You both did well. Don't listen to Mitsuko TOO much, now," she cautions with a look towards the Eversor. "She's always been a bit too... well, you know." But not wrong, never wrong, when it came to picking out the flaws of those around her. Some said the sisters' wishes had changed their nature, in some way. How could it have? They were only doing what they could to help people, it was an absurd claim.

She glances across the hall, and smiles as she catches the eye of the third Katayama sister. "No one's too hurt, right? I think we need to stop here for now, then." The Eversor beamed at the praise - it was, for a new recruit, in rather low supply - and gratefully received the bandages offered to her by Mizuki. She would then thank Mitsuko, the elder of the two, as she was showered with a caustic litany, a list of every flaw in her style and reflexes alike that left nothing unexposed. It was her own sort of kindness, Mizuki liked to think. ...Though the other girl's voice was shaking a little, by the end.

The Katayamas made a rather contrasting pair even in appearance. Mitsuko in a yellowish dress that shone with sometimes-blinding golden light and a soul gem to match, offset by blue eyes and flowing purple hair. Mizuki dressed in drab colours topped, in costume, by what amounted to a grey raincoat, and a soul gem once again in the same colour, with warm dark eyes covered over by blonde hair as the sole splash of colour. ...The hair was dyed on both counts, but that could be their little secret. Everyone seemed to take it in stride anyway. Mitsuko was trivial enough to pick out at a distance, while Mizuki had a certain tendency to blend in even mid-conversation. Truth be told, it was how they both liked it.

A pat on the head and some murmured reassurances later, their latest student - for the life of her, Mizuki couldn't remember her name - had calmed down somewhat, ready to proceed. The Callidus was all too happy to prepare and set the stage, though she would never dream of taking it herself. It just wasn't her place. Instead, she pulls out a pair of folding chairs and brings their violin cases over, along with a bottle of water each. It was the little touches that made the difference. Goodness knew all the shouting left Mitsuko's throat dry, if nothing else.

"I can only assume by the noise that you're attempting to strangle a cat," came Mitsuko's dry, even-voiced objection before long. Clearly weary of the company and all that it brought.

"I-is... is it really that bad?" Stammering a little, she really was a nervous one. It must have been the way they were the first to come to her when she joined the Third that made her scramble for approval like this. At least they were here to help, as always.

"I can promise that your music touched my soul," in a voice as dry and cold as a mausoleum. There was that smile again, all the same.


"If only to drag it into hellish, burning misery." She grabbed the Eversor's hand in hers, adjusting its position and moving the bow herself by way of demonstration.

"That... really hurts-"

"Would you play better with a broken hand, I wonder? At least it would be quieter." Oh, there she went again. That was the cue to step in, surely.

"I didn't think it was that bad, Mitsuko." What could be, really? ...Though it certainly wasn't an instrument that took kindly to a lack of skill, she knew that.

"You don't think much at all." The quips never really meant anything between them. Part of the ritual, part of the... well, calling it a show seemed wrong, somehow. Their dynamic, in a way. It helped to make all this come together, anyway.

"Do you really need to be that blunt about it?"

"Always." ...Well, of course.

A while longer, and the lesson comes to a close, amidst comforting words and smothering praise that sends the Eversor scampering back to her quarters with renewed glee and a touch of fear. She would redouble her efforts now that her mistakes had been exposed, no doubt, and Mizuki's encouragement would save her from breaking. ...Not everyone could take it, despite their best efforts, but surely it was for the best. They were only helping others bring out the best in themselves. With each one holding the third Katayama in one hand, they made their way towards their quarters for the night.

"You weren't quite that mean when you were sparring earlier."

"That was a matter of life and death. This is a hobby."

"...So?" She was a hard one to understand, sometimes.

"So it matters to her personally. Holding back would be cruel."

...She was a kind one, in her own way. Not many realised just how much she cared, and that seemed to be how she liked it, but in Mizuki's eyes the Vanus would always be a warm-hearted guide. There just wasn't any other way to look at it. Still, she knew better to press the point, and so they walked into their dormitory together. Spartan furnishings aside a few scattered snacks and books. They lived most of their days away from it, in the company of others, and never bothered to use the room for much more than sleep. Well, sleep and keeping a few essentials, speaking of which...

Setting down her compact mirror, Mizuki watches as it turns from a circle to a square, then grew to a full-sized mirror leaning on one wall. A minor enchantment that she was, to this day, rather grateful for. She simply couldn't bear to go without it, after all, and Mitsuko was no different. It meant the world to them, though so few knew it. The looks they would get were... well, strange indeed. An hour later, when the two were almost asleep, it would start.

An insistent tapping. Knocking. Irregular, sometimes emphatic and at other times half-hearted, a hand against glass. It had become habit, over the years, to look up at the window to spot the source. The lack of a window in their room certainly simplified this part, at least. Instead, with a faint smile to contrast the frown in the bunk above, she looks over at the mirror and smiles to the third of the Katayama sisters. She always had been a loud one.

"Shh, it's late now. I'll talk to you tomorrow, don't worry."