“I usually speak the truth, but I do my best to put it in polite terms. Besides, it was exactly as I meant. You are a wonder with that… body contortion, and you are a mess from crawling around in the walls,” she said, gesturing to Vulga’s clothing. “Unfortunately, I don’t think I have anything that would fit you as a temporary replacement.” She was a rather petite and slender woman, this Vulga.
As she walked around the workspace, Magda did make sure to keep an eye on her. This was something she did with every new visitor, not that there were many new ones these days. But still, it was smart to see how every newcomer behaved while here. She was usually never the sort to tell someone not to touch things, but she was happy to see Vulga look with her eyes and not with her hands, though it did not go unnoticed how she lingered around a few items. Perhaps a deterrent would be needed in the future.
“This room is my life,” she said with a smile, and likely the seamstress meant that rather literally. “And yes, Alcina appreciates what I make for her and for her daughters. As for how I got into this role, would you believe that all I needed to do was ask for the position and it was provided to me?” In actuality, it was a little more complicated than that.
Magda had not intended to come to this village, but she was hard pressed to say no when the passenger van she had been riding in demanded a bit more in terms of a fare; something she didn’t have. So she was left by the side of the road. The village itself she knew of, but only because her family had moved out of it a few generations back. They never said why. So there was a little bit of an ironic humor at the notion of her being stuck here now.
Rather than beg for money from the locals, especially since all doors she approached closed upon sight of her, she saw a few lights on in the nearby castle and made her way towards it, thinking if she could make enough money to get out of here, that was the place to do it. She should have turned around and left when the castle doors opened so easily but there was no one to greet her. By the time the daughters appeared, it was too late.
‘Rarely do we have food arrive so willing,’ the one she later knew to be Daniela said gleefully, as she was dragged back to where the Lady of the House resided. Shocked by the size of the woman, she barely had time to plead her case and give them a reason not to fill wine bottles with her blood. Magda had noticed the current worn state of the dress the Countess had on and immediately made promises to craft better garments; ones of higher quality and out of gorgeous silk fabrics. She had gone to school for this, she knew she could be of use to her! She wasn’t entirely sure of what all she said, but something clearly had enticed Alcina, allowing her life to be spared.
“She had dresses that needed repairing. I offered to fix them. The rest, as they say, is history. That was almost seven years ago.”
As the second fight between me and Anastasia raged on, I was clearly at a disadvantage… this time I found myself being held by the throat. “Here’s a lesson I learned the hard way, Mason…” Anastasia said as she continued to hold me in the air. “Don’t show mercy to the enemy, they will not do the same for you.” She told me before she hit me in the gut with her free arm, hard. I fell to my knees and coughed up blood… but she wasn’t done with me: She kneed my chin, making me fall onto my back. She looked down at me with a cold stare. “Get up… surely there’s more to you than this right?” She asked me as I struggled to get back on my feet, wiping off the blood that I coughed up and rubbed my chin. “Almost done... Just a few more seconds!” Suisei yelled in my head and I entered a defensive position. This time, I tried something new: In one swift motion, my right hand grabbed her left arm while my left went for the right side of her head. She was about to raise her left leg in retaliation before I shuffled my position so my right leg could wrap itself around her waist… “HAVE A NICE TRIP!” I yelled before I put my technique into action: By forcing her upper body to move to my right side, my left leg has enough leverage to sweep her off her feet. Literally. “Wha?!” She yelled before her back slammed against the ground. Immediately, I saw my opening and prepared an aura sphere in my right hand and thrusted it at her head.
That’s when the unexpected happened: instead of dodging out of the way, she used her legs to propel herself upward, meeting my attack head on just when it was about to reach full speed. The aura sphere hit her forehead and exploded, making a smokescreen in its wake. I immediately jumped away and landed a few yards away from the smoke, hoping not to get caught in whatever scheme she has in mind this time. Just when I thought that things could get any worse, the opposite happened: The power that Suisei used to protect me yesterday is back. This time it’s more stronger than anything I've ever felt: my entire body was shrouded by a complex silver, purple and blue aura consisting of rippling, fire-like energy, complete with sparkling particles traveling upwards and I felt myself being lighter… “This is the best I can do right now, It’s not complete… I'll tell you why after this fight, given that Stardust Veil should be enough right now.” ‘Stardust Veil’… is that the name of my new power? I looked at my new found power with awe before I sensed something on my aura radar: Anastasia’s about to move again and I’m able to read her mind like an open book.
Did Stardust Veil somehow manage to enhance my aura sensing and psychic abilities? If so, this will be more than enough to out play her and I wonder how strong I'll get once this newfound power of mine is complete. I wanted to give her a surprise by lowering my arms and waiting for her to make a move, when a sphere of yellow light emerged from the smokescreen and was headed at me like a bullet. I wasn’t surprised, considering that I knew what she was planning with my enhanced mind-reading skill. I charged twin aura spheres in both hands that each radiated a silver and blue aura before jumping at least ten feet in the air, dodging the focus blast before landing at least two yards behind Anastasia. “This… IS OVER!!” I yelled before throwing both of them in rapid succession at her back. Anastasia had enough time to turn around before both of my aura spheres stuck home: one hit her chest, the other, her face. But I didn’t stop there, I concentrated more energy in my hands before placing the bottom of my palms together in front of me to bombard my opponent with a barrage of blue and silver blasts. Anastasia was yelling in pain and in surprise to find herself backed into a corner.
But… during my bombardment, something was wrong. Each time I fire more aura spheres, the weaker I get. This must be what Sui meant by ‘it’s not complete’... “Alright, one more…” I said before I raised my right hand above my head before generating one final aura sphere, one made out of silver, purple and blue light. Once the aura sphere was complete, the aura that was protecting me is now gone. But, it didn’t matter… I’m still going to beat her and take back the vase Amber picked for our mother. “I… WIN!!” I yelled as I threw the cosmic sphere at Anastasia, who was still recovering from my bombardment of aura spheres and didn’t have time to dodge. The moment my final attack connected, it caused a massive pillar-like explosion that engulfed the bug woman who screamed in pain. “AAGGGH!!” Anastasia yelled as my attack continued to damage her. The pillar of flame continued for at least a few seconds before it was extinguished, leaving a charred Anastasia in its wake. “W-well...done…” She said weakly before falling to her knees and I barely had enough strength to rush in to keep her from falling over.
“You alright?” I asked before I took out a sitrus berry from my jumpsuit pocket and gave it to her with my right hand while my left arm kept Anastasia from collapsing. She was caught off guard when she saw what I was giving her. “Y-you do realize that you’re helping someone who’s *Cough* a wanted criminal, right?” She asked me with a concerned look. I simply shrugged and smiled before answering: “Hey, if you really wanted to kill me, you would’ve done that a long time ago.” Anastasia opened her mouth to say something before she sighed and chuckled. “You really are… a kind fool.” She said before she took the berry out of my hand and started munching on it. “You are good at fighting, have powers normal pokemon don’t have and yet… you lack that killer instinct. Unlike a certain someone I met... not long ago.” She told me after finishing the sitrus berry and dusted herself off. “That power you had though… it’s something to behold. Try to keep it a secret between yourself and those you trust, OK? I don’t know where you got this power, and I don't care. But…” Anastasia said before she went to the place where she hid her recent spoils and came back to hand me two objects: The red glass vase and what appears to be a USB flash-drive. “My word of advice is you should only use that trump-card when you absolutely need to. Powers like that can draw some attention, both good and bad. I’ll show you out...” She told me as she started leading me towards the portal that we came out of.
I noticed that the sun was setting before I was three feet away from the portal when I heard Anastasia said: “Oh right… one more test: let’s see if fighters like you can land on your feet.” I turned around and was about to ask ‘why?’ when I received two high-heels to the gut. Right when she kicked off of me, I yelled: “WHAT THE HELL??!!” Before I was sent flying into the portal at breakneck speed. I clutched the red vase to my chest and frantically put the flash drive in my jumpsuit-pocket while flying through the portal to keep them from breaking. It was at least a minute before my back hit cement and I coughed up more blood as I felt something breaking in my body. “SAI!!” I heard Amber yelling before she ran up to my right side. I realized that the force of the attack was so strong, that my impact created a crater the size of a car. I saw that the portal overhead vanished before I turned my head to see my shiny, almost-crying fennekin sister “Ugh… hey, sis… look what I got…” I weakly said as I slowly handed her the red vase that she chose. “This is… why?” She asked me as she nuzzled against my face. “Well… I knew you picked it out for our mother… and I… I couldn’t bear myself to see you cry…” I weakly said as I used my eyes to look around to see my mother’s hands over her mouth and on the brink of tears as well. Sirens from two police cars and an ambulance were drowning out the many voices that are questioning others about what had happened.
Eventually, as I was about to be put on a stretcher, a familiar voice called out my name: “SAI?! SAISEI!!” I turned my head to see my new friend Umbra rushing forward and knelt down at my crippled form. “You… you idiot!! Why didn’t you tell me you were fighting against her?! You didn’t stand a chance at your level... and yet… and yet...” “I beat her…” I said with a smile on my face and that stopped the lucario swordsman from giving me a lecture. “What…? You… beat Anastasia? Then…wha…? how?” Umbra was lost for words and I chuckled softly before my left hand touched his own. “Umbra… I… I want to become stronger. I have to.” Umbra looked at me with shock before he smiled and a tear rolled down his left check. “Alright... the doctors told me that you’ll be completely healed by 10 am tomorrow. I hope that you’ll be ready for what comes in the afternoon on that day.” He said after wiping his face as I was put in the only ambulance that came along. While the ambulance was taking me to the hospital, I secretly pulled out the flash-drive that Anastasia gave me. I saw some words drawn by a red marker that said: “Toland’s Dimensional Diary.” Who is this ‘Toland’? And why did Anastasia give me his digital diary? I just hope that I’m allowed to have my laptop at my room in the hospital…