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The moment Mana wears her backpack, it lit up with faint pink light. Still, nothing much happened to her grandma other than the fact that she's more resembling human now, but still... she's completely still in her place, just like the tea cup on her hand. Something is still missing afterall? Ryouta wondered what's left, but... He noticed the clock. It's not supposed to be like that, isn't it? But then again, it's quite far above them... Ryouta turned to Mana, pointing at the clock.
"...Is it supposed to be dead or something? If not, then... it's impossible that it's at that time, right? Maybe it's the last piece? Still, it's a bit too tall for me... wanna me lift you and help you fix it instead? Or do you prefer it if I grab some chair from the dining room and bought it here?"
Still, whichever the method they use, if they fixed the clock, the time will move again and Mana's grandmother would do whatever she would do usually... and most probably notice Ryouta... OOC: Would you like to RP Mana's Obaachan or should I do it?
Well, it seemed that her wearing the backpack had an effect, but it still there was something left to fix. Mana gave out a relieved smile when her grandmother began to look more and more alive with her efforts; only a little more... and she'd be the same obaa-chan Mana remembered in her childhood. If she was honest with herself... she had missed her, and wanted to talk to her again so badly, to feel her somewhat weak, but caring embrace and her callous, yet soft and caring voice again.
Luckily, Ryouta had found the missing piece of the puzzle, the clock. It was stuck at 5:34. Right! She didn't know why she hadn't noticed that one earlier! It was impossible to be that time if she was supposed to be going to school! She smiled at the boy as she began to speak. "Yup, most likely it's that, Ryo-kun! You're so intelligent!".
Blushing a bit at the idea of him lifting her, but accepting it, she nodded to him. After being lifted, she fixed the time to the current one, and just as she did it, the time started flowing again, and Obaa-chan began to... do her stuff. Probably she'd be just having breakfast and then she would watch the news or do other house chores. Yeah, even if she was really old, she insisted on doing them. Maybe the stubborness ran deep in the family.
OOC: If she's going to say things relevant to the plot of this thing, I think you should do it. Otherwise I'm fine with either.
So they did it. Ryouta lifted Mana up and they fixed the clock. A small content hum could be heard from Mana's grandmother, before... there's a sound of clay cup hitting the table. Ryouta turned right on time to see Mana's grandmother eyeing him rather suspiciously. Quickly, Ryouta put Mana down, albeit gently. He's too used in lifting young kids afterall.
"A-ah! A-ano... errr... your granddaughter asked me to help her fixing the clock, and um... I'm... I'm Noguchi Ryouta! I'm... Mana's far cousin! You know errr... Kayo-obaasan---"
"Kayo-san? You mean Kayo-san from Hokkaido?"
Ryouta was quite surprised that the woman know his grandmother, but regardless, he need to fix the misunderstanding-like stuff between them before it got too suspicious.
"Yes, yes! Her! Um, I was nearby and... errr..."
"Oh it's OK, son, you can rest easy in here... So, Mana-chan, did you know about him coming...? Oh, and are you going to s--"
"O-Oh, no, thank you! Um, I'm staying in a friend's place and... I really just want to come because Kayo-obaasan told me that I have an extended family here! So yes, um... Nice to meet you, Obaa-san! I just meet with Mana-chan outside... and we kind of... get close really fast!"
"Oh, is that so! Well, then, Mana-chan, I know that you'll be excited that this Onii-san came... You did said you want to know more about your extended family, right? But soon is the time for you to go to school... Good kids should not skip school days..."
After the sound of clay hitting the table, Ryouta set Mana on the ground on a gently way; turning, he saw her grandmother alive and kickin', and that just made her eyes get teary; maybe she had missed her too much. She didn't run to hug her because she knew that she was somewhat fragile (and that they had a trial of sorts to do), so she just kept watching her, with tears threatening to flood her cheeks anytime from now as she talked to Ryouta about why he was here. He seemed to be a somewhat bad liar, but at least his lies had a quota of... truth? Apparently, she and Ryouta were... related someway? Dang, she felt really awkward to be crushing on one of her relatives, but at least they seemed to be quite distant, so it was okay. When finally she refered to her, she nodded rather vigorously.
"Oh, no, I didn't! Ryou-nii just came here and told me if this was the 'Tsumura residence' and I said 'yes'! And then he told me that we're actually family! Isn't that great, Obaa-chan? And don't worry, I'll be a good girl right now! Ryou-nii even agreed to accompany me to school! He's a really nice onii-chan, don't you think? Anyway, I should be leaving, bye obaa-chan! Don't try to push yourself too far today!".
Having said that, she began to tail Ryouta out of her house. This thing had been rather easy as of now; what could follow up from this?
"...So we're related... wow?" Ryouta commented when they're far enough. "Honestly, you'd think that I'll be a good liar in such a harsh world but... nope, not at all. Still, I don't know what's the full relation, though..."
The mist is clearing up slightly outside, but still, there's a strange amount of uneasiness now. "....Speaking of which, I don't know if I've said this, but... It's odd... really odd... puzzles for trials like this is too easy... unless there's other catch to it... so let's review a bit..."
He pulled her gently somewhere else, asking for either pen or pencil and paper. If she gave it to him, he'll write this. If not, he'll just write it on the soil with his finger. Basically, it's set of the rules given by Dark-Yuuki and there's some little hints and bits from experience.
1: There's an Oni 2: You'll start at point 0 if the Oni catches you (which probably back to the time where you meet me the first time) 3: I'm not the Oni because I touched you so many times already (doesn't makes sense like this) 4: There's puzzle, and apparently there's some people that need to be freed this way 5: We both have our version of this world. Some are in discrepancy. 6: Correcting the discrepancy will free the people.
When they were far enough, Ryouta commented the fact that now it seemed that they were family. "Yup, it seems that we're actually related. Weird stuff, huh? But well, I guess that you're just full of surprises. My Ryo-kun's gonna be so puzzled when he hears about this! But I digress" Mana responded with an smile "You need some serious work with your lies, though. I actually lie better than you, and I'm the worst liar I knew before you. Period".
Ryouta then addressed his concern about the puzzle being too easy, even if the mist had cleared a little after that incident. So, asking for pen and paper, she brought them out of her backpack and handed them to him. He began to write the rules he know about the test, and that pretty much made it. Even if Mana's memory wasn't the best, she could clearly remember those rules. After all, they weren't that hard. "Well, I think that we should talk about what we're seeing as we walk together, that way we can figure out if something is different between what I see and what you see. But now that I've this thing with me" she mentioned gesturing her backpack "I think that the most obvious place to go would be my school? Otherwise I'd pretty much clueless".
Having said that, she began to walk towards her school, but stopping herself if her descriptions and Ryouta's ere different, or if he changed his way for some reason.
"Heh, he sure will... also, I'm the worst liar ever. That's why I just mixed some lies with truth... I don't like to lie, that's why I'll just say stuffs without any stupid lie in it. I'll probably just attempt to be smart and tell some misleading stuffs, but yeah, I can't tell lies. I'm a bad liar."
Mana told him that maybe they would find more stuffs if they walk and correct stuffs as they did so, but for him... that's way too risky. Ryouta quickly grabbed Mana's wrist and crouched down to her height. He stared right at her eyes... there's an obvious look of concern in it... Pain, worry, fear... it's all mixed in his gaze. It's clear that he think he know who's the 'Oni'.
"...If we go to school that fast, he might catch you and he might make you relieve that memory again... I don't want you to be his porcelain princess... I want you to clear this trial soon... or we'll be in trouble... We need to know how to ward off the Oni... I know one way... it's that bean throwing event... setsubun. So, beans might be the answer... still... I wonder if it'll be right way to do it."
Before she could get her plan into action, Ryouta was already rooting her on her place by holding her wrist; her grip was definitely stronger than any strength she could muster at this age; heck, she was sure she couldn't move even if she struggled with her thirteen year-old body. He looked at her with a mix of so many emotions that Mana could barely distinguish them, yet... his words froze herself in her place with an expression of utter horror; she hugged him tightly as she started to cry. "Don't say those two words ever again, okay?" she told him softly, obviously refering to 'porcelain princess', even if that nickname was rather fitting for her right now, with her longish hair and pale skin "I don't want to relive that, Ryo-kun. I really, really don't want to relive that".
After calming herself a little, she finally wiped the tears on her eyes, hearing that word 'Setsubun'. "I guess that's some shinto practice?" she inquired, oblivious to the meaning of the word "I don't know why throwing beans would ward this 'Oni' guy, but I don't have a better idea, so... lead the way, Ryo-kun. I'm totally ignorant about that as I'm catholic, but if you think that there's a way to do that, maybe it's worth a shot".
"Sorry, Mana..." he hugged her tighter, but understanding that he has made a grave mistake. He tried to calm her down, but apparently, she calmed down herself. It'll be a long day apparently. However, he was rather surprised that she have no idea about Setsubun.
"Huuuh? Not even an idea about Setsubun Matsuri?" he asked, rather surprised she have no idea. "...I guess your family is that conservative, huh... uh... let's see... How to say this... Shinto believes in 'Oni'... There's a bad oni, there's a good oni. Setsubun specifically refers to the bad oni exorcising. Setsubun is done in nearing the spring... There's a person acting as Oni and there's the exorcist... the exorcist tossing beans at the Oni while chanting 'Oni go away, good fortune come!' This is because we believes that that Oni brings bad luck to you," he explained. "By the way, the bean must be roasted... But the problem is... where we can find those?"
At Ryouta's surprise, she just sighed, before becoming a little angry. "Well, yes, of course I don't know anything about it!" she said, almost thinking that he was believing that she was joking "Nobody told me anything about that. How I'm supposed to know about something nobody has told me about when I don't even know by heart the names of Jesus' disciples! Anyway...".
She began to hear Ryouta's explanation about the thing, but not without noting how conservative her family was, only to be answered with a frown for the time being. Apparently, it was a ceremony to exorcise the evil ony guy by throwing him beans, and driving away the bad luck because of that. It sounded a little... weird, but hey, she wouldn't be prejudiced towards other's beliefs, specially since she had got her fair share of that while she lived in here.
"Well, there's the Saya Mart nearby where all kinds of foodstuffs were sold, at least if my memory's accurate, which usually doesn't happen, but I think that we've no other choice as of now, so... what if we go there? I don't know if roasted beans come in cans, as I'm somewhat ignorant when it comes to cooking, but maybe we can find them and roast them ourselves... or better said, you. Probably I'll just burn them if I try to roast them".
And so, if Ryouta accepted, she'd begin to lead him that way.
"Whoa, whoa! Sorry sorry! I thought it's common for all people in whole Japan!" he apologized. "It's because Karin's family also done it, so... so I thought that you're the same... Gee, sorry, really sorry... But yeah, it's a tradition that stems from somewhere, but gotten popular apparently... But eh... I don't remember when is Lunar New Year in this time... Well, then... I guess we have no choice than to buy some soybeans..."
Still, despite that, he follows her to where this supermarket would be located. The thing is, he wonders if it's fine for them to simply go to the supermarket when she was supposed to go to school... will they screw anything, or will something else happened? He just hope that it'll be a smooth ride...
Yet he's in for surprise... actually, THEY would be in for surprise.
Mana sighed and smiled. Yeah, she had overreacted to Ryouta, but wasn't he supposed to know everything about her? Well, if she was honest with herself and they were indeed orphans in his world, I guess religion would have been a lot less important they were focusing on saving the world (or not getting killed, as he had presented it). "Okay, okay. Sorry for making an tsunami from a glass of water, Ryo-kun. It's just that I don't like when people don't take me seriously, specially when I really don't like lying, but I digress. You're forgiven; let's just go to the supermarket, buy those things, exorcise that oni guy and go back; I'm starting to miss Ayaka a little and I'm really starting to wonder what had happened to Yuuki, you know".
And so, she began to go to the place were the supermarket would be located; everything seemed to be fine as of now, and that made Mana feel a little more relaxed, yet... it also made her have the sensation that something fishy was about to happen. She could only hope to be prepared about the upcoming whatever that this world had in store for them. Otherwise... thing that she'd really not like would happen.
"Well, sorry, it's just that... let's say, I really have no idea nor have the leisure to ask in my world, OK? Plus, rather than not taking you seriously, it's more to disbelief that you don't know it, not that I thought you're lying or something like that... I know better than to expect you to lie to me anyway. Even if you do, well... I don't think I'd mind... I did lie to you before about how I actually a---"
It's right then that he saw something, but somehow, for Mana, there's nothing there. "...No way... no way!! Why is he here!? He's supposed to be in school right now, right!?"
He's pointing at somewhere subtly, but there's seem to be nothing on Mana's vision. Nothing, just the working shopkeeper and the shop. However, in Ryouta's vision, it's instead that... that pedo freezing on the shop, seemingly buying something. He... he really doesn't like it, not the slightest.
"...Mana, he is inside in my vision... and he's frozen in time. I don't know if he's the oni in this case, but I don't like this... if he's the Oni, then I'll be forced to start at point zero, and I don't know if I can meet you again that way... but... well, what do you think we should do?"
Mana waved with her hand at Ryouta's extended apology. She just had had an outburst; more apologies were unnecesary. "I had an outburst, don't make it a big deal about it, Ryo-kun; let's just not speak about lies or liars, okay? I don't know why, but I just feel a lot more prone to be... childish with this body. Don't ask me why, because I don't know that myself".
As they were reaching the store, Ryouta's began to become frantic, she stopped some steps ahead of him, but as the girl was about to ask to him if he was already, Ryouta uttered the worst anybody could say to her, at least at that moment. She yelped and flinched, stepped back until she reached the boy and hugged her waits with all her childish strength. Yet... she didn't saw anything; she was about to ask if that was a bad joke until she remembered that their visions were actually separated one from another. So... he was actually in Ryouta's reality? But why he was frozen? The last time they saw someone frozen, it was clearly seen by the two of them... just what was this? And then... Ryouta asked her a question that she wasn't sure she could respond. Yet... she tried.
"Okay... apparently, we have to... fix things for people to unfroze themselves. So, if we fix whatever is happening in here, maybe he'll be released? I don't really like how that sounds. Well, second choice is for me to enter the shop and buy the beans myself while you wait here? That seems a little more viable. But if your guy's frozen, that means that mine's too? I don't know, this is just too confusing. Anyway, from now on, if anobody of us is forced to start at point zero, we'll meet on my house, okay? I think that's the safest place so far".
"If you said so... I'm just... feeling really guilty, alright?" he confessed, staring worriedly at her. "...Sorry, I guess I tended to get really worried, too, especially because... well, best not to talk about it." Back to the set where their vision somehow got separated, though, the man is still there in Ryouta's vision. Ryouta hugged Mana back when she come to his side to hug him out of fear.
"...I... I don't think I want that, Mana... I'll go with you, we cannot go alone like that, or... or... or I might lose you again! I don't want that... seriously... I don't know what to do if we got separated..." he stroke her head again. "...Sorry, I guess I let myself got too emotional... well... it's up to you, but regrouping in your house sounds good enough..."
However, should they go together to the supermarket, once they entered it, their vision will be switched. This time, in Mana's vision, that man is there, while in Ryouta's vision, it's the shopkeeper instead. From his expression, it's clear that he doesn't get what happened.