Author Topic:  Everybody Needs a Little Help Sometimes [Kikuchi]  (Read 598 times)

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Offline Sakamoto Yuki

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Everybody Needs a Little Help Sometimes [Kikuchi]
« on: January 11, 2017, 11:16:05 AM »
Mahoutokoro Library, Ongoro Island, April 3rd 2001

It was an unusually dark afternoon during the first week of April. The pitter patter sound of rain hitting against the windows could be heard throughout the Mahoutokoro library, and thick dark clouds completely obscured the sun from view. There was a tense silence throughout the main area as students worked on their individual projects. It was a stressful time of the year as end of year exams were slowly approaching, and this was especially true for the students who had opted to take the Seishin no Mezame later in the month. Students bursting out in tears, due to the stress of it all, was not unheard of.

One of the students who had opted for the gruelling examination was currently located in one of the side rooms, which was reserved for students who had been assigned to work in a group, and thus discuss the project as they worked, or those who wished to practice the practical aspects of their studies. Sakamoto Yuki had bags under her eyes from a lack of sleep, the Japanese girl's light brown hair had been pulled up into a bun and her sakura coloured robes had a dishevelled look to them. The fifteen year old bore the serious countenance of someone on a mission, which in today's case was to summon a Kudan Shikigami and persuade it to do a small task for her. She wanted to be certain she had maintained a mastery of both the basics and the more advanced aspects of Summoning she had studied to date.

Surrounding the fourth year was a circle of magic she had taken the time to personally form and an empty scroll in the middle of it. The supposed muggleborn took a deep breathe and summoned to mind the words of  Kikuchi-sensei. Once she was convinced she remembered them she began to incant the Onmyodo word for fire, huô, repeatedly, until she felt it had been imbued with enough power for the summoning.

It was just as Yuki was preparing to enter the next stage of her task that the door swung open to reveal the sensei she had been thinking of moments before. A light tinge of red imbued her cheeks as she suddenly realised they had arranged to meet today. She had thought it was later in the week and today was to be a practice session for her. How foolish she must look! While not the most fashion conscious of girls even the tom boy twin would have taken the time to straighten out her robes had she remembered he was coming.

"Kon'nichiwa, Kikuchi-sensei" She greeted before bowing her head to the man as a sign of respect and humility. The Tschui had the flustered air of someone who had just encountered something unexpected. "My apologies; I forgot we were due to meet today. I thought it was later in the week". Others may have tried to bluff had they found themselves in a situation. They may have pretended to have purposely set up the room for the mans arrival, but Yuki did not have a dishonest bone in her body. So she waited anxiously for her senseis response and hoped he would not take offence.

@Kikuchi Shoichi
« Last Edit: January 11, 2017, 11:31:21 AM by Tristan Ross »

Offline Kikuchi Shoichi

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Re: Everybody Needs a Little Help Sometimes [Kikuchi]
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2017, 05:18:43 PM »
Kikuchi-sensei had made a point to shoo all of his third-year Summoning students out of the Secondary Room of the West Dojo immediately at the conclusion of Third Session at 1:55. One of his fourth-year students, Sakamoto Yuki-kun, had requested to meet with him today for some last-minute tutoring before she undertook her First Rank Test, for which Kikuchi had endorsed her. He would have enough time to reach one of the few practical rooms in the library, since both Dojos were full-up at 2:00 - provided he went through the courtyard, a practise he usually avoided to keep his robes clean. But Sakamoto-kun was a very promising student and he did not mind making the sacrifice for her, this one time.

Rasetsuten held open the door leading out to the courtyard for Kikuchi, as singularly attuned to each other as the shōkanji and his nakagami always were. It was good that the shikigami was in his flesh form rather than his paper form, since the dark clouds above were drizzling a dreary April rain. Rasetsuten was in his element, of course, as a storm spirit, but he wordlessly offered one of his billowing sleeves over Kikuchi's head as they departed the Dojo. "I thank you, my friend, but it is not necessary," Kikuchi smiled at his partner, taking out his wand and just as silently casting Impervius on his face and his robes. The rain still hit him, even on his head, but it did not stick and keep him wet.

On his way through the courtyard he felt it incumbent on himself to present himself at one of the shrines that dotted the courtyard. Mahoutokoro took its studies of yokai and kami very seriously, the school's notoriety for its closeness to the plane of magical spirits a well-earned reputation. Kikuchi and Rasetsuten headed directly for a Tsubasa shrine under one of the cherry trees between the Nishi Dojo and the Library, and conjured an offering of a single raven feather to rest in the winged statue's bowl. In light of the dark skies, Kikuchi hoped the black feather would also be seen as a nod to the Yami-no-kami, the dark spirits.

Finally they reached the library. This time Kikuchi opened the door, and Rasetsuten went inside, funneling himself into a smaller paper origami form since his larger flesh form made too much noise moving and would not fit easily in some of the aisles and bookshelves. The folded rakshasa alighted on Kikuchi's shoulder as the human himself moved to the interior. Together they navigated among the students involved in study or other "extracurricular activities" until they reached the study group rooms. Kikuchi opened the door to room 117, to find Sakamoto-kun already knee-deep in a Summoning ritual!

Sakamoto-kun stood and bowed respectfully, greeting her sensei and apologising for forgetting their meeting. Kikuchi's slight frown deepened a bit. While it was out of the ordinary for a late fourth-year student to be allowed to perform any true summoning rituals by themselves, it was true that Sakamoto-kun was a quick study and had demonstrated extraordinary responsibility thus far. It wasn't so much that she had started by herself that bothered Kikuchi, so much as that she had forgotten their appointment. At least, as always, she was honest enough to explain herself immediately and without any fumbling around with stories.

"Kon'nichiwa, Sakamoto-kun," he inclined his head and then stood up straight again to allow his student to do the same. "You must be very concerned about your First Rank Test to have forgotten something so particular. I commend you for your earnestness, but do not lose sight of your everyday tasks while your eyes are set on a distant prize." His mandatory admonition having been completed, he allowed himself to forgive her lapse of judgment and favour her with a small smile. "At the least, it appears that thus far you have done everything correctly. Your preparation is very organised and all of your components readily at hand." He tasted the air and added, "You will be attempting to summon a Fire or Anger spirit, then?" referring to the two types of kami that corresponded to the element huô, or fire. @Sakamoto Yuki
« Last Edit: April 12, 2017, 03:12:08 PM by Taed »


Offline Sakamoto Yuki

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Re: Everybody Needs a Little Help Sometimes [Kikuchi]
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2017, 09:25:46 PM »
A tinge of colour suddenly appeared on the fourth years face as the older man admonished her for her forgetfulness. Sakamoto Yuki felt ashamed of her actions. It had been very kind of Kikuchi-sensei to not only endorse her application for the first rank test, but to also offer some last minute training, and how had she thanked him? She had forgotten about the appointment. The Tschui would not have blamed the man had he chosen to turn around and leave in response to her slight. How stupid she must appear in his eyes. “I apologise sensei. Your words are wise, as always, and I will endeavour to learn from them”. The words were spoken with genuine humility as Yuki eyed him with a countenance that most likely conveyed the bone chilling shame the fourteen year old currently felt.

Thankfully, the tension filled moment quickly passed and her sensei had moved on to commenting on her work thus far. In spite of herself, Yuki felt a surge of pride flow through her as the man complimented her efforts. She always tried to complete any task to the best of her ability, and the Tschui felt pleased she had succeeded in matching his high standards.  When the elder of the two queried about her summoning the dark haired girl nodded before offering her response. “Yes, Kikuchi-Sensei, I struggled most with summoning an Anger spirit in the past. I wanted to be sure that I had truly mastered the skill before the test” she explained in a serious matter of fact tone. It was a demonstration of the attribute that made the tom boy such a promising student. She was a perfectionist. It was not enough for Yuki to successfully complete something. The fourth year had to master it before she felt satisfied.

The fourth year’s attention then turned back to the circle before her. The dark haired girl’s actions were not about disrespecting her sensei, but displaying a sense of responsibility for the task before her. She needed to be fully focused on the summoning if she was to succeed. “Now, that I have enchanted the scroll I must remove any mismatched elements from the circle to ensure the kami does not get confused.” Yuki attempted to speak the words in a knowing and confident tone, but a hint of questioning remained nonetheless. The girl stood with her wand in hand, but refrained from using it. She was clearly waiting on Kikuchi’s consent before continuing the summoning. To do otherwise would be disrespectful and she had no interest in earning her sensei’s ire.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2017, 09:25:59 PM by Tye »

Offline Kikuchi Shoichi

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Re: Everybody Needs a Little Help Sometimes [Kikuchi]
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2017, 03:38:25 PM »
Retrieving a cushion from a stack against the wall and seating himself outside of Yuki's summoning circle, Shoichi acknowledged his student's heartfelt apology with a nod and listened attentively as she explained her reasons for the procedure, as well as how she was planning to proceed.

Her attentiveness to detail once again captured Kikuchi-sensei's respect and reminded him why, contrary to his usual procedure, he had endorsed Yuki for the Seishin no Mezame. Typically he refused to endorse anyone that was not at least a fifth-year student in their sixth semester of the course, but Yuki was a completionist and perfectionist with a natural talent for the art. The very fact that she was pursuing the type of shikigami she had the most trouble summoning was proof of that.

After announcing the correct next step, Yuki stood perfectly still with her wand in hand. Shoichi was a bit perplexed at first; hesitation was not like this student of his. Then however, he realised that with her professor present, she was probably waiting for permission to proceed.

"Good, Sakamoto-kun," he said quietly, "and you have my full permission to proceed with each following step as you are ready to do so. You will not be given prompts or permissions in your Seishin-no-Mezame, so you may as well use this time to practise a wholly independent summoning." If things got out of hand, he and Rasetsuten would step in, but he did not feel the need to voice this out loud. It might put the very idea itself of failure or making a mistake into Yuki's head, and he was certain that she was confident enough in the knowledge of the art to pull the Summoning off.


Offline Sakamoto Yuki

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Re: Everybody Needs a Little Help Sometimes [Kikuchi]
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2017, 03:03:48 PM »
The fourth year brushed aside a strand of light brown hair that had been blocking her eyes, and a deep breathe escaped Sakamoto Yuki as she raised her wand and bore a determined countenance. The words of Kikuchi-Sensei had instilled a resolute need to succeed in her current endeavour. She needed to show her professor that his faith in her was not mistaken and the only way to do that was through succeeding in summoning an Ika spirit without his help. After all, if she couldn’t do it today then how would she manage to succeed during the more stressful first rank test?

With her mind set the half-blood placed her wand just inside the circle and began to sway it back and forth just as she had seen her sensei do in lessons. "Demoveo Shuǐ", she intoned in a low, serious tone as she began to suck all of the water energy from the circle. The process was slower than Yuki would have liked, she was still relatively new to the art after all, but she ultimately succeeded in cleansing the circle of her desired kami’s counter. “I always begin the cleansing with the element that directly contrasts the element of the kami I wish to summon”. The dark haired girl believed that as anger spirits belonged to the sphere of fire then water would be their natural counter element. Yuki knew that her preference wasn’t strictly needed, but she liked the idea of ridding the circle of the element most likely to cause confusion first. With a soft smile of satisfaction she proceeded to allow the energy to disperse throughout the rest of the room.

Remembering her sensei’s earlier words, the fifteen year old did not wait for his permission before she returned to the circle and carefully rid its core of all sky, earth, lake, mountain, thunder and wind energy. The process took roughly five minutes as the completionist wanted to be sure it was truly completed before she continued with the summoning. “I have cleansed the circle of all other elements making it an ideal space for the kami I wish to summon”. The words were spoken in a formal tone as she briefly turned to eye the man. Her decision to verbally confirm her actions was due to a desire to demonstrate that she not only knew what she had to do, but understood why she needed to take each step. Yuki had found too many of her peers haphazardly waved their wands about without truly comprehending the magic they yielded.

“I am now going to begin the actual summoning of the Ika spirit I wish to bargain with. As anger spirits are of the sixth rank my incantation is as follows Elocutio irisextus invoco”. She did not wait for clarification before she began to work on summoning the spirit. However, unknown to Yuki, she was not speaking with as much confidence as she should. It was not necessarily enough to make the summon fail, but it certainly made the process harder for mortal and spirit alike.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2017, 09:32:54 PM by Tye »

Offline Kikuchi Shoichi

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Re: Everybody Needs a Little Help Sometimes [Kikuchi]
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2017, 02:46:53 PM »
Shoichi tensed up. He was not sure where Sakamoto-kun had gotten the idea that she could safely summon and contain a rokudan ika-no-shikigami. Of the many different sixth rank anger spirits, the one she was most likely to attract here was an ashura. Twenty-one years ago, before Sakamoto-kun had even been born, this was the same spirit that Shoichi's predecessor and former schoolmate Kei Chigusa had failed to properly contain during a Summoning demonstration. While protecting his students and trying to banish the ashura, Kei-sensei had been killed. On his shoulder, Rasetsuten sensed Shoichi's alarm and seemed to raise its paper wings expectantly, but it paused to see what Shoichi wished it to do about the situation.

One thing in Yuki's self-narrative might have explained where she was going wrong - she had said that 'anger spirits are of the sixth rank.' Perhaps she thought that all ika-no-shikigami were sixth rank? "Sakamoto-kun," Shoichi cautioned with a stern tone in his voice, "at best you should only be attempting to summon a hachidan shikigami, not a rokudan. This building is not equipped to contain stronger shikigami, and if I was not here and you had brought the spirit into corporeality, it could consume you." He paused and added, "If you are planning to summon it for your showcase that is another case entirely, as we will have the arena prepared for such an event. But here it is not so wise."

By this point he had noticed that Yuki's initial invocation had not brought about any results good or bad, so he relaxed back into his cushion and went on encouragingly, "I suggest that you start with something of lower rank. A Gaki or an Akume, for example. Your formulaic invocation was correct for what you declared you wished to summon but as I said you are too young to be trying to summon a sixth rank spirit in a public space such as this. Your knowledge of this art is extensive, and your confidence quite healthy. Do not let the upcoming test shake that faith in yourself."

Rasetsuten folded itself back down into a nesting shape as Kikuchi-sensei gave Yuki a reassuring nod and waited for her to continue.