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Private Two Heads are Better than One

Discussion in 'Misty Hollow' started by Chise Hatori, May 9, 2018.

  1. Chise Hatori

    Chise Hatori The Ancient Magus' Bride
    Dearest Child of the Night

    Posts:
    368
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Council Secretary
    Location:
    Silverwood
    Race:
    Human/Sleigh Beggy
    Age:
    16
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good
    Directory:
    link
    @Ruth

    May 1st
    It was just after midnight when a really bright flash of lightning struck somewhere in Misty Hollow and immediately after it, the barrier disappeared. Chise was still in Misty Hollow at that point, having lost track of time while going around town. Her eyes widened as she saw the barrier just fizzle out of existence and she realized she needed to get out of town fast.

    She began running towards Silverwood, having a long trek ahead of her since she was still in the area that used to be surrounded by the barrier, but it didn't take long for things to start going awry. She heard the sound of a monstrous growling coming from behind her and when she looked back, she saw a huge plant creature with a giant mouth filled with very sharp looking teeth coming after her. Was that a fae, or was it just some monster...?

    Whatever it was, it just further motivated Chise to keep running away as fast as she could. Fortunately, years of running away from all the fae that came after her had made her able to keep running for a long time before getting tired. This didn't help, however, when the things chasing her had some way of quickly shortening the distance between them. All of sudden Chise felt something around her belly and she looked, a vine had wrapped itself around it.

    She began being pulled back towards the monster, but then she saw someone appear out of nowhere with a big knife in hand and slashed the vine apart, freeing her and making Chise harmlessly fall on the ground. Chise would usually appreciate that help but... the person who saved her was... herself...?

    "W-What...?" Chise muttered, staring at the other her with complete bewilderment

    "Come on! Get up!" The other Chise started helping her get back up. "We need to keep running!"

    Her voice snapped Chise back to reality as she remembered that the monster was still after them and they needed to keep going. Things hadn't changed a lot from how she started, it was just that now instead of running away alone she had been joined by... herself.

    What was even happening that night?
     
    Ruth likes this.
  2. Ruth

    Ruth The Ancient Magus' Bride

    Posts:
    11
    Occupation:
    Familiar
    Location:
    Silverwood
    Race:
    Grim
    Alignment:
    True Neutral


    It hadn't been very long at all since he'd found himself in that field. Maybe a few hours of wandering through the copse of trees, trying to make sense of everything.

    Not that it had been easy.

    Ruth couldn't exactly remember how he'd gotten here. All he could remember was walking Chise home, then a horrible lurching sensation. Which, oddly enough, hadn't exactly stopped, yet. Actually, within moments of arriving in this field, he'd begun feeling some kind of...pulling sensation within himself, almost recognizable if it weren't for the fact that he felt like he was being torn in two different directions.

    He'd been stumbling near-blindly for a few hours now, following first in one direction and then the other. Not really making any progress any which way. And Ruth couldn't seem to make sense of anything in his head.

    And then, suddenly, a bright flash of light erupted a short distance away. Ruth felt a shockwave of excess magic ripple through the air, sending a shiver down his spine. And he realized the twin-pull tearing him apart had metamorphosed into one enormously strong desire drawing him towards the direction of that flash of light, and then he recognized what that pull was.

    Chise! He leapt forward, flying as swiftly as his paws would carry him towards that light. Following that pull towards his Master.

    He ran, and ran, and ran. Until two young girls came into view, one he surely recognized as Chise. They seemed to have stopped but Ruth couldn't focus on either of them at that moment. He'd already caught sight of the creature behind them. A large, plant-like monstrosity; whether faerie or demon, Ruth didn't know.

    The only thing he knew was the fear and adrenaline now surging through him through the bond he shared with his Master, that this thing was after Chise. He also knew he wasn't going to let it anywhere near her.

    The Grim dashed passed the pair of girls at inhuman speed, blackish-red hellfire flickering in his snarling maw. He used his momentum to leap onto the creature's vine-like appendage it had reached for them with before kicking off of it and twisting in midair. With a furious roar, Ruth unleashed his burning breath into the monster's faces, causing it to reel back. Landing fluidly back on the ground, Ruth released another spray of hellfire across the ground, warding the creature off further.

    "Hurry, Chise!" He spun around to make sure both girls were alright -- and stopped dead. The sight before him...well, needless to say, it once again turned his head into a confusing mess. "Ch-Chise...?" No, not just Chise but...two...Chises.


     
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  3. Chise Hatori

    Chise Hatori The Ancient Magus' Bride
    Dearest Child of the Night

    Posts:
    368
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Council Secretary
    Location:
    Silverwood
    Race:
    Human/Sleigh Beggy
    Age:
    16
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good
    Directory:
    link
    As the two Chise ran alongside her other self, suddenly she felt a familiar voice in her head and not a minute afterward, she saw a black blur move past them. The two of them stopped and turned around and could hardly believe that he was actually in Pandora, arriving just in time to save them.

    "Ruth!" The two Chises spoke in unison, their voices sounding both extremely happy and relieved to see the Grim once again.

    Then, of course, Ruth noticed the obvious problem in that there were two of her. They exchanged looks with each other and then the other her looked back towards Ruth and became alarmed. When Chise looked, she saw that while the first monster was being kept in check by the fire, there were more coming behind it.

    "I'll explain later! Let's just go!" The other Chise hurried, her tone being unusually commanding give who she was.

    The two of them took off running once again, expecting Ruth to follow after them. Now that they had the Grim by their side, their odds were looking much better and, although she was still focused on survival more than anything else, that couldn't completely hide the happiness she felt at seeing Ruth again.
     
    Ruth likes this.
  4. Ruth

    Ruth The Ancient Magus' Bride

    Posts:
    11
    Occupation:
    Familiar
    Location:
    Silverwood
    Race:
    Grim
    Alignment:
    True Neutral


    Being confronted with two separate Chises was definitely bizarre. Ruth's first thought was that it must be some kind of trick, some deception by a powerful faerie. But he knew instantly the truth of the situation. He could feel it in his bond with the girl.

    Or, well, in this case, bonds.

    He and Chise shared everything with each other. All he had to do was turn himself inward and he could feel that ever-present connection. Chise's thoughts and emotions brushing up against his own mind without him even needing to reach out very far at all. Now, though, was different. Somehow, in a way he couldn't possibly decipher, he felt both Chises, through two separate connections to them.

    Ruth couldn't possibly imagine what it might mean, but he didn't really have the time or place of mind to try and puzzle it out.

    The sheer happiness and relief he felt flow through him from his connection to both girls filled his mind with an odd bubbly feeling he hadn't felt since he was much younger, laying his eyes on the infant Isabel for the very first time. And Ruth was completely incapable of preventing his unnaturally long tail from wagging giddily in spite of their current circumstance. He may not know what was going on or why there were suddenly two Chises, but the Grim could hardly even want to stop the feeling of happiness that swelled within him every time he looked at her.

    One of the Chise's calling out again broken him out of his brief stupor, and he watched the girls start off at a run. The Grim cast one last glance back at the creatures before quickly following after.

    Unfortunately...Chise had never been great at running. Ruth usually stayed back to allow the girl to stand on her own. But it was obvious now that, at their current pace, they wouldn't be able to outrun the plant monsters for long. Ruth focused on himself for a moment, at his awareness of his own body. Fae were fluid and malleable creatures, and the Grim was no different.

    After an extended moment, Ruth's body began to expand centimeter by centimeter. A few seconds later, and the Grim was noticeably larger in size. Large enough to carry two teenaged girls on his back. He sped up his run, pulling alongside both girls and giving them a glance. "Hop on!" Ruth normally would rather die than let someone, let alone a human, ride him; but Chise was a bit of another story entirely, especially when the girl's life (lives?) was in danger.

    He waited until he was sure both Chises had climbed onto his back and gotten a firm hold of him. Then, he picked up his pace further, turning into a full out gallop, faster than mortal horses.

    The only problem now was he had no idea where he was going. He still had no clue how he'd even wound up here.


     
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  5. Chise Hatori

    Chise Hatori The Ancient Magus' Bride
    Dearest Child of the Night

    Posts:
    368
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Council Secretary
    Location:
    Silverwood
    Race:
    Human/Sleigh Beggy
    Age:
    16
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good
    Directory:
    link
    They just kept on running and fatigue was starting to catch up to Chise. She wouldn't be able to keep this going for much longer, but fortunately, Ruth had just the answer to that problem. His body had grown larger, something that she hadn't seen him do before and seeing him that big was honestly kinda weird, but that meant that the two of them could get away more easily.

    As instructed, the two Chises hopped on his back and held on to him as Ruth could run much faster than either of them. Soon enough they would begin losing the monsters while going through the streets and then they would be able to reach the woods. Chise could sense that Ruth could barely make sense of what was going on and, given how their mental link only resurfaced in the last few minutes, he must have just arrived too, which meant he had no idea of where to go.

    "We're losing them!" The other Chise cheerfully stated, raising a fist to the air and almost losing her balance on Ruth in the process.

    "Ruth, there's a lot of things that need to be explained but, for now, run to the woods outside of the town and look for a brugh on a hill, that's where we're staying." Chise instructed, panting a little from all the running.

    The spoken directions weren't very helpful, but now that Chise could leave the running up to Ruth, she had time to clear her thoughts. She painted a clear image of the brugh and gave directions to her familiar all in her mind and that would give the Grim a good idea of where to go, even if Silverwood was often tricky to navigate.
     
    Ruth likes this.
  6. Ruth

    Ruth The Ancient Magus' Bride

    Posts:
    11
    Occupation:
    Familiar
    Location:
    Silverwood
    Race:
    Grim
    Alignment:
    True Neutral


    Ruth gave his head a shake as he ran, a wasted effort in trying to dismiss the questions and confusion buzzing in his head. He couldn't think about any of that, right now. He has to get Chise, both of them, to safety. Luckily, Chise herself was able to help him with that.

    He followed the path in her mind, racing down brick streets and dirt roads, trying to avoid populated areas as well as places that reeked too much of bad magic. Subconsciously, the Grim cast an aura around them, a Glamour. Any humans that spotted him would see, at most, a lone dog (albeit abnormally large in size) running about. Anything else, well...if it was benevolent in nature, hopefully it wouldn't bother them. Ruth had enough on his plate making sure those creatures couldn't follow their trail.

    What kind of town is this? Ruth sent the thought to Chise, the one he recognized more readily, as he brushed against her mind again. It was odd. The Grim could rationally remember talking to Chise just hours ago, and yet that brief time when he hadn't been able to feel their bond had seemed like an eternity.

    Maybe it was the still-canine part of him?

    As much as he lamented having to admit it...

    There's an unusually high amount of magical energy here. He knew Chise would be able to see as much with her gift, but conferring the thought to her made him feel better about it. Well, not better, per say; but more like he was seeing things correctly. And what was that burst of light from before? That was perhaps the most alarming thing, aside from their encounter with those monsters.

    As he conversed with Chise through their bond, he followed the map in her mind out of town. He hesitated only briefly when he came upon the forest before dashing in, navigating his way through the trees until he came to the hill he saw in her mind. There, he stopped.

    "Those things won't be able to follow us all the way here." Even if the creatures had followed them into the town, which was unlikely itself, there's no way they're be able to track Ruth through that strange town all the way into the forest. Lowering himself towards the ground so the girls could get down off his back, he continued, "You're living on a hill...?" Something about that idea itched at Ruth's memory.


     
  7. Chise Hatori

    Chise Hatori The Ancient Magus' Bride
    Dearest Child of the Night

    Posts:
    368
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Council Secretary
    Location:
    Silverwood
    Race:
    Human/Sleigh Beggy
    Age:
    16
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good
    Directory:
    link
    "It's a town called Misty Hollow, it usually has a barrier that keeps evil things out, but for some reason it disappeared and they began invading." Chise's worried thoughts answered Ruth's initial question, her eyes focused on the path they were taking as they conversed. "But that flash was lightning and the barrier fell right after it, so those two things must be connected."

    "Odd that there was a single lightning strike and nothing else..." The other Chise thought as she looked back towards the town, being similarly worried though for different reasons.

    Eventually they came to a stop close to the hill where the brugh was located. There was no way those creatures would have been able to follow them that far, so Chise could rest easy and let the adrenaline run out. Once she got off Ruth, she walked in front of the Grim and looked at him for a second, before crouching down and wrapping her arms around his neck with a smile on her face.

    "I'm so glad you're here, Ruth," she spoke softly, the relief in her voice being palpable.

    "She was taken there by a new magic teacher when she was taken to this world months ago. He just happens to live there." The other Chise answered Ruth's question, a big grin on her face as she watched the cute reunion in front of her.
     
    Ruth likes this.
  8. Ruth

    Ruth The Ancient Magus' Bride

    Posts:
    11
    Occupation:
    Familiar
    Location:
    Silverwood
    Race:
    Grim
    Alignment:
    True Neutral


    The mystery of the lightning and its effect was worrying, to say the least. But Ruth had plenty more questions swirling around in his head. They could all wait, though. For now, he simply wanted to make sure Chise was okay. Er, both of them.

    As they dismounted from his back, the Grim's body shrunk back down to its normal size.

    He watched Chise circle around him, but the hug took him by surprise. Ruth stood there blankly still for the briefest of seconds before he sat on his haunches and leaned into the hug, resting his head against Chise's. His chest, feeling tight from the moment he saw the girl in danger, relaxed and Ruth breathed out his own sigh of relief. He didn't bother mirroring her sentiment, Chise would already be able to feel it through their bond. I'm here, he thought. Wherever 'here' was, he wasn't fully sure.

    As the other Chise spoke, he shifted his gaze to her. He didn't quite know what to make of her words; although, he was fully capable of seeing the truth of them in Chise's memories. But that wasn't what was important at that specific moment. "Are you both alright?" He gently pulled away from Chise's embrace so that he could look the pair of girls over, examining them for any harm.

    He couldn't feel anything alarming through their connection, but he'd rather have the physical evidence of his eyes telling him the same as well.

    "Whatever that thing was, it wasn't Fae," he paused, nose twitching before continuing, "It reeked of...something else." As an afterthought, Ruth swung his tail behind him, curling it around himself and the two Chise's in a wide circle. He'd rather not have the possibility of something else equally dangerous sneaking up on them.


     
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  9. Chise Hatori

    Chise Hatori The Ancient Magus' Bride
    Dearest Child of the Night

    Posts:
    368
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Council Secretary
    Location:
    Silverwood
    Race:
    Human/Sleigh Beggy
    Age:
    16
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good
    Directory:
    link
    It felt very comforting to touch Ruth's fur once again like that. He was her big brother and, although Chise had gotten used to the new "family" she made in Pandora and was quite happy with them, she still had missed him dearly. She almost didn't want to let go of him, but she knew they couldn't stay like that forever so once Ruth pulled away, Chise stood up.

    "I'm fine." She reassured him with a nod. "There are a lot of creatures in this world that aren't fae, just... monsters. This world has all kinds of creatures within them and sometimes it can be hard to tell just what you're dealing with." She sighed.

    "Yeah, I'm pretty sure it was just bad luck this time instead of us being Sleigh Beggies that caused trouble." The other Chise spoke in a lighthearted tone and even giggled, trying to remove some of the weight of the atmosphere around them.

    This brought Chise's attention to her apparent twin and the mysterious circumstances surrounding, well, everything about her. There were so many questions in her mind, but it all came down to one simple one.

    "Who are you?"

    There was a pause, as the other Chise seemed to be thinking of what she was going to say, tapping at her chin and her eyes glancing up at the sky above them. It took a few long seconds, but she finally opened her mouth.

    "You could say I'm a creation of this world. A lot of people here have been having identical copies of them appear in Pandora. Well, in appearance anyway, the personalities can vary wildly. Some of us are nice, others are evil as it can be." She explained in a casual tone of voice, as if it was a perfectly normal thing she was talking about. "Don't worry though, I'm not here to cause trouble. I'm sure Ruth can confirm that." She added, her eyes then focusing on the familiar.

    Indeed, the thoughts going inside the other Chise's head were all benign, about how she wanted the real Chise to become a happier, more confident person, as well as her feelings being of genuine happiness at having gotten the chance to meet with the person she was a copy of, as well as an important figure in the memories that were planted inside her head.
     
    Ruth likes this.
  10. Ruth

    Ruth The Ancient Magus' Bride

    Posts:
    11
    Occupation:
    Familiar
    Location:
    Silverwood
    Race:
    Grim
    Alignment:
    True Neutral


    "She's telling the truth." The shock in Ruth's voice wasn't to do with that fact, though, but instead simply from the sheer ridiculousness of what she was saying. There had been many marvels and sights he and Chise had borne witness to back home; possession, magical transplantation, illusions and tricks of all sorts, shapeshifting. And yet, Ruth had never seen anything quite this bizarre.

    He could see the truth of it all through his bond with this other Chise. Even the very fact they shared a bond at all. This Chise was just as much herself as his Chise was. Although... there was definitely something different about this Chise. There were less shadows in her mind, less nightmares hiding in them. The radiant confidence she seemed to boast was also certainly new.

    "Even so," Ruth continued, eying the other Chise worriedly, "if this is happening to other people, it could be a problem. Especially if their personalities are muddled." His frown was evident enough in his voice.

    Such a thing meant that they had to be careful even with the people in this world with whom Chise held fond memories. There'd be no certainty that they'd actually be encountering the real individual or some doppelgänger who could potentially be quite a bit more sinister. "Maybe we should return to that town and investigate a little," he suggested.

    Ruth shifted his gaze back to the real Chise, waiting for her decision.

    Belatedly, the Grim realized that at some point during Chise's hug, his tail had begun to wag. And even this shaky topic of discussion hadn't been enough to stop it from wagging. Not that he was about to keep it from wagging, either. As much as a part of him might resent some of his more canine quirks, he didn't see any problem with showing he was happy. Not when that happiness came from his little sister showing him affection.

    That went doubly so now, considering the fact that he essentially had two little sisters at this particular moment...

    Still, right now he had to focus. So, with tail still wagging joyously away, Ruth considered their situation. If they went back, they ran the risk of encountering those monsters again. But the first time, all three of them had been caught off-guard. If they proceeded on more wary terms, they might have a better advantage. Of course, there was still danger involved. But, ultimate, Ruth would leave the decision up to Chise, preferring to differ to her judgement as his Master.


     
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  11. Chise Hatori

    Chise Hatori The Ancient Magus' Bride
    Dearest Child of the Night

    Posts:
    368
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Council Secretary
    Location:
    Silverwood
    Race:
    Human/Sleigh Beggy
    Age:
    16
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good
    Directory:
    link
    Ruth immediately confirmed everything the other Chise was saying was true, so that put the real girl at ease with the situation. At least she didn’t have to worry about any trickery coming from her as long as Ruth was around. She didn’t even want to think about how bad things could’ve been if her familiar hadn’t arrived in Pandora today.

    The familiar suggested going back to the town and investigate more of the situation, but Chise couldn’t agree with it. As much as she worried about some of the people that lived in the town, she felt that going there would just mean getting herself in danger or, worse, drawing danger towards bystanders and people she cared about.

    "No, it’s better for us to stand back for now. It’s not that I doubt that you can protect me, Ruth, but there’s no way of knowing what we could run into there."
    Chise answered, not happy with her decision, but trying to act rationally, for once.

    "Yeah, by the time we understand what we’re dealing with, it might be too late…" The other Chise agreed, similarly unhappy though it manifested with an expression that looked just a little bothered by it all.


    The waving motions in the corner of her eye drew Chise’s attention to Ruth’s wagging tail. Seeing it, she managed a small smile, glad that at least someone could find something to be happy about. Actually, she also had something. Ruth was in Pandora with her now and she felt like that just hadn’t quite sunk in yet, but slowly her mood was starting to improve.

    "Let’s go. I guess you need to know where we’ll be living from now on." She pet Ruth on the head affectionately.

    "By the way!"
    The other Chise perked up, almost jumping with excitement. “It’s really nice to get to actually meet you, Ruth!”