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Aug 20, 2019 12:33 PM
magical girl genghis khan versus the world
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Narangerel is growing increasingly tired of her life. Her family has shrunk, cast out on the edges of society without even a magical to protect them. She dislikes her stepmother. Her little brother's okay. She loves her son, but a single infant isn't enough to tie her here and, anyways, infants are portable. The lesser Khan of the nearest band has been talking about taking her under his wing the few times they've met. She's not sure if she likes him, but, well, it's an opportunity she won't have out here.

She is seventeen, a few months from the cut off for magicals, when a Messenger appears before her.

Narangerel nods respectfully to the Messenger, even as she continues milking her goat. Gods can wait. Goats can't. 

(In the back of her head there's a lurking ambition, but, well, Messengers sometimes do appear for reasons other than granting power.)

"You honor me with your presence," she says, quietly.

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"Hello!" the Messenger chirps directly into her mind. "Do you wish to change your destiny?"

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She finishes calmly, turns, picks her bucket up. "You could say that," she says. "There are many things about my destiny I dislike."

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The Messenger jumps down from the boulder she'd perched herself on, walking beside Narangerel. "You can make a contract with me, then, and become a magical girl!"

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So she is here for that.

Narangerel has heard the stories, of course. The wishes that have changed the fate of her people - the one that guards the people of their blood from the witches, the ones that have strengthened their herds, the magicals who adopt nonhuman bodies, the magicals who turn the tide of a band for months or years or decades...

She thinks, as she walks. "Could I wish to expand the protection on our people? To make the immunity to the Kiss spread by ritual, or to make us longer lived, or more resistant to disease..."

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"You don't have enough potential for that. Your wish needs to be something you care about greatly. Your deepest desire."

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She goes through a few more possibilities, but...

Narangerel doesn't care enough about the abstract good of her people, even as she would name it one of her greatest goals given unlimited power.

She cares about getting out of here. About reaching her hand out, and grasping whatever she wants. About building a better world, sure - but about being the one leading the horde. 

She stops walking.

"Messenger, I have my wish."

Probability manipulation is out of her potential. Mind control is, too. But magicals can improve their own bodies effectively endlessly.

And one thing she cares very strongly about is a mind to match.

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The Messenger jumps up so she's level with Narangaral's head, gazes meeting. "With what hope will your soul gem shine?"

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"I wish to be able to master any skill I set my mind to, with a speed greater than any other, and for this to be intrinsic to my mind." It's vague, but her intent's firmly in her mind, and something with wiggle room seems most likely to go through.

She doesn't want to magically know things. She wants her mind to actually work that quickly.

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"An interesting wish," the Messenger thinks - 

And it goes through.

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The power rushes through her - her mind's like crystal, like the sharpest of winds - a world of possibilities, of hope unfolds in her mind's eye - everything is reachable, everything obtainable, if only she can grasp it - 

And then she crashes, and she's trapped in her body again (no, in the delicate casing for her soul...), the vistas of eternal opportunity closed to her but her perfect mind remembers, knows what it feels like to see a world at her whim -

Her raiment settles over her, red like blood and embroidered with black like death, traditional robes cut close to her flesh before flaring out around her hips, the dense embroidery telling a story of a bird rising and falling and rising again, in flame and out of ruin...

She can't form words, not now. Not for the enormity of this.

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"You're a magical girl now!" the Messenger sends to her. "Congratulations."

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"...Thanks," she mutters, shaking herself. She'll need to - inform her step-mother, maybe, then talk to the local Khan...

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Kyubey walks alongside her. "I can help you find the local magicals, or any free witches."

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She hums. "How long until I need to hunt?"

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"I'd suggest within a week, but you could go two without running against the edge, as long as you don't use more than maintenance amounts of magic in that time."

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She shakes her head. "No, I'll contact the local magicals before then - I want my first hunt to be properly ritual, after all."

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"Understandable. Will you talk to your family first, then?"

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Narangerel nods. "It'd be rude to leave without informing them, and my mother is watching my son right now, anyways."

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"Very well. I will accompany you for now."

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"Thanks."

And off to her step-mother, who is annoyed to say the least to be losing Narangerel's labor - and protection. Their herd is small, more goats than horses, but it's been under threat lately, and Narangerel's step-mother is unwilling to move into the Khan's protection, even if Narangerel's new position would grant her respect.

It's frustrating, but Narangerel collects her infant son, says goodbye to her family, and leaves with Kyubey for broader horizons.

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The Khan's encampment is near, for a magical girl who isn't afraid to burn her magic by flying at least. It'd be two days' ride on a horse; it's maybe an hour at a leisurely pace for her, even carrying the Messenger, her son, and her small bag. The Khan flies out to meet her, perhaps having recognized her - or been alerted by Kyubey. He's the same youthful face as ever, rich black furs edging an outfit of luxurious blue and black brocade, and he smiles when he comes close to Narangerel. 

"Daughter of my friend!" he calls, for the Khan once knew Narangerel's birth mother, and indeed the first part of her name is after his before his ascension to Khan. "It gladdens me that you've found your calling!" He stops in midair, half turns, and gestures. "Come! I can welcome you properly at the royal ger; Altan is watching over things."

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She smiles, and follows him.

Altan isn't someone she knows well, being a wandering magical girl who's only recently come to their area - but she made no attempt to fight the locals, and even brought gifts of worked jade and strings of pearls and a finely woven rug, from what Narangerel heard at the last summer's gathering.

The royal ger is the grandest structure she's ever seen, an enormous white circular tent. The inside is welcoming, thick rugs blanketing the floor, cushions for seating, and even a good bit of wooden furniture - all easily collapsible for transport, of course.

People wave to her as she passes, greeting her as a magical, well above her usual station of poor girl oddly favored by the Khan.

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Altan is in her raiment, bright yellows and black and complexly layered and patterned, making her look a lot bigger than she is - which is rather small. She's either chosen to keep a young form, or is actually a youth - she can't be any older than fourteen, and is likely younger.

She rises from where she'd been seated and nods to the Khan and Narangerel as they enter. "This is the new girl?" she asks, voice quiet and husky.

The Khan nods, beaming. "Yes! Narangerel, the daughter of an old friend - it's good she's wished. She's smart, and strong."

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"My pleasure to meet you," Narangerel says, nodding and smiling. "And I'm hopefully smarter, now. I am Narangerel, and this is my son, Möngke." She holds the boy up demonstrably. He's awake, and squirming a bit, clearly wanting to explore this odd new place. "Is it alright if I let him down?" she asks, "He crawls, but does not climb, yet."

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"I haven't met any magicals with children," Altan says, coming to peer at him. "How strange."

The Khan laughs. "It's possible if you have them before your wish," he says to Altan, and then, "Of course; nothing in here should be dangerous to him," to Narangerel. "Möngke is a good name. Auspicious."

Altan hums, poking Möngke's cheek and giggling when he fusses at her. "He's cute!" she declares, then, "What did you wish for?"

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