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Dec 01, 2020 12:07 AM
magical girl sasuke faceplants on luthien
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She'll thank him, then follow Luthien.

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The trees go on for a while; it seems implausible that they wouldn't have an edge, but if they do, it isn't in evidence. There's a song from up ahead. It's also ridiculously, absurdly good, to the point that it's obviously inhuman, but it's not as good as Luthien is. There are a few of what must be Quendi wandering about this new area of the underground forest and singing. The main part of the noise is still coming from elsewhere, but it's not clashing from the different volumes, and now Luthien joins in and harmonizes with the song and it's back to indescribably pretty.

After a few more minutes, they reach a river. It's got a quaint little bridge, hanging between two trees, just a little off the ground; stone and metal, but carved to look and sway like actual wood and rope. There's a staircase up to the bridge, and down on the other side. Once they cross, it's only a minute before Luthien leads Sue to an honest-to-goodness treehouse, and sings down a - ladder, it looks like, but so beautiful it might well be a work of art in it's own right.

"I hope you'll like it!"

 

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"It's pretty," she sends. "And isolated. I think I will."

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”Some people just need space! That’s the feeling I got from you, I’m glad I got that right!”

Inside the treehouse is, unsurprisingly, as gorgeous as the outside. There’s what looks cute little bed by a window with lightproof shutters. Two of the walls have tapestries so fine that even up close the threads are essentially invisible, depicting scenes from a forest that look as though the animals might come to life at any minute. There’s what looks like an extra room, or maybe a closet, behind a brilliantly embroidered curtain, and a table with chairs in the middle of her room that look to be elegantly carved from a single piece of wood. If Sue has been paying attention, it’s possible to tell that this is actually wood and not carved stone like outside, but it’s not easy. The floor is carpeted and very soft, and there are what look like a few woven baskets by the wall.

The sound of singing can be heard, still, although it’s quieter in here.

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"Thanks for the thought." She goes to sit down on the bed, and, because she's getting the sort of achy she does when she's been using magic a lot (regardless of whether she clears her soul gem), she dismisses her magical girl outfit. The crisp, sharply cut white-with-black-accents blazer and skirt fade into white glittering flecks, revealing her usual loose jeans, t-shirt, and open jacket.

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”It’s no problem at all!”

A beat, and then.

”How long to humans usually sleep for? I was going to offer to show you around when you got up again, but I don’t actually know how long that’ll be.”

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"Most humans sleep seven to nine hours out of every twenty-four hour period, sometimes more or less. I can go without but it's tiring, and I separately need time to think. Ten hours should be sufficient? A second is this," and she sends a sensation of the amount of time, "a minute's sixty of those, and an hour's sixty minutes, for reference. Or five twelfths of a day, assuming our days are the same length."

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“That sounds about the same, at least. I’ll let you sleep.”

Luthien heads out the door, and it swings shut without even a whisper. Despite the door closing, the room is still well lit from the windows, which open onto the forest at tree-height; the not-sunlight goes mostly unhindered through the branches above.

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She sits, regards her magic and her current grief seed, and sort of - twists her hand, and a white box materializes in her palm. She wants to keep most of her seeds at a low usage, for now, especially since setting one off in the middle of her hosts' city would be dangerous. So she stashes the seed she's got, hesitates over her sister's seed, then grabs Bridget's - it's recently reset and Bridget makes for an easy witch to beat, anyways. (She's strong, but so's Sue, and Bridget was always straightforward.) She closes the box, and with another twist it vanishes.

Clearing her soul gem and stashing the grief seed in a secure pocket is almost second nature.

Then she lays back, and settles in to start trying to figure out paths back.

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Once Sue starts looking, it becomes immediately clear that this place is blanketed with magic, but not of any sort that she’s familiar with. No, blanketed is the wrong word; this place is magic as much as matter. It’s hard to focus through at first, although far from impossible.

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Interesting. It seems congruent with Luthien being confused magic could be a limited resource, and with her statement that magic is basically the same thing as crafting. She probes - she can reach her pocket dimension, can't reach through it (though she does remove a pad of paper and pen, and leave a note for Sakura on the off chance it's reachable from either side).

She doesn't get far, and does eventually sleep.

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Sue sleeps uninterrupted; this isn’t near the center of Menegroth, so even without closing the curtains the sound isn’t that distracting. The fact that it’s pretty probably doesn’t hurt either.

When she wakes up, there’s sunlight streaming through the window, at a different angle than before, and the room is perhaps a bit brighter than it was the night before.

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She stretches, grimaces down at her old clothes, but decides not to change for now - it's not like they get sweaty while she's in her magical girl outfit.

She'll take some time to herself, just resting, before sending to Luthien: "I'm awake now, if you want to give me that tour."

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“I’d be delighted to!”

If Sue is listening closely to the music, it should be clear that Luthien isn’t that far off;  she’s harmonizing with a group of Quendi, and her voice is still audible. She’s not the closest person to the treehouse that Sue can hear, but it’s less than 10 minutes later that Luthien dances up.

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She's already jumped down by then, and is loitering at the base. She nods at Luthien when she comes into view.

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“Hi! Do you have any idea where you want to start, or should I pick somewhere? Oh, and let me know if I’m not explaining something or you have question, I might not realize what stuff isn’t common knowledge.”

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"I don't know what there is to see."

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“Lots! There’s the gardens, and the concert hall where Daeron usually plays - he’s really really good - and the treetop meeting grounds, the central clearing, you saw the throne room - there’s the city, although lots of people don’t like it there because it’s too crowded; we could go see the river, it pools up into a lake over that way, and I guess we could see the Naugrim but it’d be kinda hard to get much out of them since you don’t speak Sindarin.”

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"Why wouldn't this work with them?"

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“Dwarves minds can’t be effected, not even by Melkor. If you try thought-sharing with them, it’s as though they don’t exist. It was kinda a problem, early on, but things are better now and then having the immunity is probably for the best, at least until The Valar fix things.”

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She shrugs; there's a chance her telepathy works differently enough, but she doesn't care enough to test it. "The river or the gardens, maybe."

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The river In question is the same one they went over yesterday. It’s a cute little thing, burbling it’s way across the ground. Further down, it thickens out a bit, but doesn’t seem to be any slower.

”The water here all comes from the Esgalduin. The Naugrim dug us tunnels so that the water could flow, without letting in people in case they somehow got past the girdle. She could make it herself, but apparently that’s not the best idea so she only does that when she needs to; if she made too much water, it wouldn’t be good for the oceans, and then Ulmo would have to fix it. She still controls it, though, some areas she raises the temperature, or makes  it bubbling, or calmer.”

There are a few Elves bathing in the river; one of them calls out to Luthien and Sue via song. Sue might be starting to get the idea that these people really like pretty things. And, apparently, they have no modesty, although whethe that’s because they don’t expect people to look or not might not be immediately obvious.

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"She who?" She's not looking at the naked people. "And - do you have modesty rules? Like, ways it's inappropriate to dress or groom around strangers."

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“Queen Melian. You saw her on the throne next to dad earlier."

Luthien blinks.

I'm sorry, I didn't think; we don't with bathing, and it's not very serious otherwise, but I know there are a few groups of Quendi that do and the Naugrim have their own rules. Um. The lake usually doesn't have very many people in it at once, and I could find out what parts of the river are clear to look at?"

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"I'm fine. Don't super care."

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