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No title.
(2013-08-04 - Now)
No description.
Leida Midday is one of the best times to be out and about in Central Park. While most of the average workers are still cloistered up within their cubicles or filling the wide sidewalks like an unending stream of ants in a hunt for their daily sustenance, the lush greenery is relatively free of clutter.

Save for the occasional hotdog vendor hawking his wares and the fitness nuts that can be found jogging the winding paths through the forest at all hours of the day, the shade of the towering trees offers a place of solitude for Leida. As usual, she makes her way on foot from China Town, hopping on the occasional bus to cut some of the lengthy travel time down to something managable. The hood of her light jacket is up, its loose folds casting her features into shadow and, more importantly, concealing the blantantly obvious features that set her apart as inhuman.

It takes the better part of an hour to reach her final destination. The small girl makes her way through the park along a familiar path that steers her away from the majority of the other visitors, cutting through the heart of the trees until it deposits her in a small clearing. Leida slumps down against the broad surface of a tree several feet away from the trail, hopefully keeping any random passersby that happen to come along from spotting her and growing curious.

Finally alone within the faint shade of her favorite spot, the demonic princess pulls her hood back. A light gust of wind ruffles her bangs almost immediately and she closes her eyes to enjoy the sensation for a few moments. The grumbling in her stomach sets her to the business at hand, however, and she unwraps a light lunch from the small bag she carries.

Today's meal is something of a treat. A small selection of premium sushi and a sweet potato is set out on the small cloth, a delicacy that cost her the better part of her spare income. The nightmares that have been plaguing her for the last few weeks have left the already frail girl in a state of poor health, so much so that her irritable penny-pinching boss even told her to get some rest. Hopefully this small feast will aid in taking her mind off of things.

Leida peers down at her lunch with hesitation, idly clicking a pair of cheap wooden chopsticks together. Now, where to start? It's been so long since she had a proper meal that she's not quite sure which part to enjoy first.

The decision is made for her. The shadows deepen around the demonic girl's body, turning into an oozing mass of inky black from which a pair of slender but lengthy arms arise. The arms, strangely out of focus and blotchy, almost like they were created by an artist using long unbroken brush strokes, casually reach down and snatch up one of the pieces of sushi each. Leida smiles as the first gently brings the bit of raw fish and packed rice to her face.

"Oh, you think I should start with that one? As you wish. Ahhhhh..."
Saitei Dennou They tell you to stick to the paths in central park, you know, when you're a kid. They say there's /weirdos/ in the bushes. They're right.

Most of them lurk, or you'd get that impression, but this particular one just happens to be going somewhere. in a fairly straight line. What? It's not like it's any easier to follow all these twisty little walkways, three blocks out of your way when you're just trying to cross the damn thing.

"Oh but you have to start with the tuna, this one heard that." This one pops out from the far side of that very tree to interrupt Leida's leisure.

Someone's gotten hold of Saitei finally and forced her into clothes that make sense, so she only looks like a /mildly/ eccentric art student. Surely the park is lousy with her type this time of day, and it's just poor luck that one of them has tripped over the demon princess in mid-snack.

"Or, wait, do you even have tuna there?"
Leida The voice chips in as Leida is mid-bite into the first of her succulent treats and the poor girl's heart practically jumps out of her chest. As it is, she bites the sushi roll in half and starts to choke as her intake of breath sucks it down the wrong pipe.

While normally they would have vanished in an instant upon being discovered, the demonic arms are now trapped with the need to rescue their mistress from choking, her face even now starting to turn from it's usual shade of pale to a faint blue. One of them quickly presses against her chest, holding her steady while the other begins to pound away at her back in an attempt to dislodge the offending bit of food.

After several attempts, Leida finally coughs violently and a sticky bit of rice and fish flies into the grass. The girl inhales deeply and slumps backwards, sucking in fresh air greedily while the shadowy arms cradle her protectively. She remains like this for several moments before remembering that she's been discovered.

The princess sits bolt upright, quickly tucking the shadow arms behind her back like a child caught with something they shouldn't have, though at this point she can hardly pretend they don't exist. Peering through the curtain of her loose bangs, Leida takes in the visage of the young woman who has so casually ruined her perfect hiding spot.

"U-um... I... please do not be frightened... I... I can explain..."
Saitei Dennou Saitei waits out this performance, still peering out from behind the tree in case Leida decides to explode or something maybe. ", that's, that's," she makes placatory gestures. "Maybe you don't like tuna? This one's sure someone doesn't. Maybe."

Her speech pattern might be vaguely familiar. Her face might, too. Vaguely. Eventually it occurs to her that she has in fact wandered into Leida's lunch and scared her stiff; you can watch the whole process, even.

"...didn't realize you were here," she fields a quiet excuse, and steps fully into the clearing. "Sorry."
Leida Despite being flustered almost to the point of tears, Leida picks up on the familiar mannerism in the other girl's speech. Her head tilts up slowly as a look of confusion and curiosity plays across her exotic features and she stares at Saitei as if trying to put the pieces together.

"N-no, please, do not apologize. This place does not belong to me," she says, her soft voice almost as gentle as the wind.

Leida's eyes dart between the ground and the face of her guest, shyness and curiosity warring within her. She gives a start, after a moment, a hand flying to her mouth as she gasps.

"Oh, how terribly rude of me! I am Leida. Please, um... would you like to join me?"

The princess indicates a spot on the grass across from her and the small meal she's laid out.
Saitei Dennou Well, it's probably the polite thing to do. Saitei takes the indicated seat, and examines her host more closely. Certainly an interesting look for this neighborhood, but she doubts Leida would've drawn a second glance around Fluorgis, say.

Confusion is a common response to Saitei Dennou, and not one that upsets her anymore; she's got no room to complain, anyways. From her purse (which clanks) she extracts a few corked bottles, probably not acquired locally, and adds them to the spread. Fair is fair, after all.

"Saitei is mm, my name," she nods. Leida. /Leida/. Someone else she's expected to know, it feels like.
Leida The small meal doesn't look like much; just a dozen or so pieces of neatly wrapped sushi topped with various pieces of raw meat arranged on a small tray and the lone sweet potato which, by the small vapors of steam still rising from its surface, appears to have already been cooked.

Fortunately, Leida is both exceedingly polite as well as petite to the point that most people mistake her for being nearly half a decade younger than she actually is. Since her unexpected lunch companion hasn't yet shown any signs of screaming or running for the hills, the small princess relaxes a little and the shadowy arms reemerge from hiding to slide the tray towards Saitei in a rather elegant fashion.

"It is an honor to meet you, Saitei-san." Leida leans forward, folding her body into a kneeling formal bow towards the other girl. "Please... have something to eat."

'You look like you need it more than I do,' she thinks.
Saitei Dennou Well, in truth, she probably does, but Saitei would like you to believe that she doesn't make a habit of ambushing random girls for their lunches, especially not when she's within five blocks of what passes for home these days. She returns the bow, sort of; not a gesture she's practiced, exactly.

"Neat trick, that," she notes, conversationally, and selects, yes, a piece of tuna. You gotta make room for the tuna.

"You're... from out of town, too, huh? This one has a feeling." I mean, she could be wrong, New York has some seriously thriving enclaves, but she doubts somehow that there's one for little girls with horns.
Leida "O-oh... thank you."

That's the first time anyone has referred to her particular set of skills as 'neat'. Well, there was the one guy back in the Arcade who seemed to have an unhealthy interest in her ability to leech the soul out of people but it is certainly not the normal response she is used to.

The shadowy arms allow Saitei to take her pick of the sushi before plucking another one free and passing it back to the small demon girl. Leida mumbles a thanks, which seems rather odd. She is the one controlling these dark creations, is she not? Perhaps it's just a little game she plays.

Leida nibbles on her own piece of sushi for a few moments, eating with a great deal more grace than her first attempt. She finally nods in response, staring carefully at Saitei again at her use of 'this one.'

"That is correct. I come from... another place."
Saitei Dennou "This one comes from Hawaii, supposedly, but her sisters are around here somewhere." Saitei says of herself as though she wasn't sitting right there sharing sushi. Perhaps it's just a little game she plays?

Maybe the staring thing is, too? She's prepared to excuse a certain amount-- I mean, look, she knows she's a bit odd, but you're the one with horns and ghost arms-- but there has to be something to it, at this point. And Saitei's head is still filled with, well, the feeling that she ought to have a feeling of some sort.

Heaven knows what this whole argument in Saitei's head looks like to Leida, of course.
Leida There it is again. Leida looks thoughtful for a moment, trying to guess the odds that there just happens to be another group of people who refer to themselves as 'this one'. Legion never mentioned another sister though that doesn't make it impossible. Perhaps they just forgot? They are a bit odd at times like that.

Once she finishes her sushi, the girl rests her hands in her lap and takes a soft breath. "Um... I do not mean to be rude but... is it possible that you are related to a small group of identical sisters who call themselves Legion?"

Certainly nothing odd about that sentence. The shadow arms set about cutting up the sweet potato and examining one of the bottles, trying to discern its purpose as though able to see through some eldritch magic.
Saitei Dennou The bottle is green glass with a wax cap, more or less the right size for a beverage, and currently unlabeled. Looks like it might have had three or four different ones at various points in its career. The other two are similar. Saitei extracts one from the clutches of the shadows, and doesn't do anything else with it because Leida has just asked her a thing.

", yes? This one is... /related/ to Legion." She looks it, too, or would if you had Ami sat next to her perhaps. Suspicion dawns on Saitei that this is why she's feeling like she recognizes Leida. "How about you, then?" She asks, conversationally.
Leida The shadowy hand recoils slightly, giving off the impression of surprise as the bottle is taken away from it, but merely retracts to hover near Leida. The small girl smiles faintly upon having her suspicion confirmed.

"Ah, I thought that was the case. You look very much similar to them."

She inclines her head again, this time using a bow to cover up a sudden flare of red in her cheeks. "I am... w-well... a f-friend..." There is a moment of awkward silence before she continues. "Legion never told me that she had other sisters. Atleast, none that survived those horrible experiments that she mentioned."
Saitei Dennou Saitei peels the cap off her bottle, and upon some consideration, offers it to Leida. Or to whoever's operating the shadowy bits. A f-friend, is it...

"That's complicated, you know. Well, you do know, probably." She doesn't seem especially bothered by the horrible experiments, which is probably a normal Dennou reaction.

"Anyways, anyways, I," she seems to emphasize that oddly, "came later. Not a production model, like." She wonders if perhaps her sisters are keeping her a secret, or trying to. If, perhaps, she shouldn't be out making their jobs harder.
Leida Leida nods a couple of times. The shadows surge forwards again to take the offered bottle, carefully pulling it into long clawed fingers and the small girl in turn takes it from the demonic hand with equal amounts of care.

Another hand rises up from the ground and delicately brushes the loose hair away from Leida's face in a doting fashion as she lifts the bottle up to drink from it. The stinging bite of cider burns at her tongue but she manages not to spill any. She's tasted far worse things. The bottle is passed back to Saitei in the same fashion.

"So, that is why you look a little... different?"
Saitei Dennou Saitei accepts the bottle back. Sure, it's not great, but let's not consider what the alternatives were. "Probably. Dr. Abramson had other plans for this one, apparently." You're one to talk, though, Leida.

"...actually, you might know, then, if they're in town?" Not that it's going to change Saitei's plans if they're not; she's crashing on their couch either way. Perhaps Leida will blush about it some more.
Leida Dr. Abramson? That names sounds somewhat familiar though she's not certain if Legion mentioned it directly or she heard it in passing. Either way, it seems obvious that this person is the one who created them.

Leida nods at her again. "Yes. Actually, that is why I moved here, so that I could be closer to them. They are..." She hesistates again. Well, it's likely that she'll find out one way or another, especially if she's connected like the others. "W-we are more than just friends. Our relationship is... complicated."

And a bit weird, all things considered. "I have not talked to them recently, however. They seem to be keeping busy with their work." Not mention she's been hiding ever since the nightmares started. While she loves Legion dearly, they seem to have an extreme difficulty with keeping things private and the last thing she wanted is the TDA being suspicious about her yet again.
Saitei Dennou Saitei takes a long sip of cider, and looks thoughtful. This is going to be /really/ hard to explain, when it comes up. Still, the Dennous basically are complicated and a bit weird.

"...this one admits to having skipped out, lately," she allows, eventually, perhaps implying, haha, that she were in some way gainfully employed and not instead living on Mercade's largesse beceause Emi will disassemble him otherwise.

Further comment on Leida's relations with her sisters are not immediately forthcoming, but it seems that Saitei may be quantifying some of her own unbidden reactions to the demon girl.
Leida Leida busies herself with another piece of sushi which is helpfully provided by the strangely subservient and seemingly sentient shadow arms. There is an awkward silence that lingers for a while as she tries to think of some way to turn the conversation elsewhere.

Eventually, she perks up and peers at Saitei once again. "So, when did you cross over from... your world? Legion tells me that it shares much in common with Manhattan. My home was much different than this place."
Saitei Dennou "This one was born in Hawaii," she believes she mentioned, although perhaps not specifically enough. "Legion... are her /older/ sisters." This is the only world Saitei has ever known, 'this' to include Traverse and Fluorgis and Archades and the Darkness and everything.

Oh, /especially/ the Darkness. "Hawaii is an island, way in the tropics, so it's pretty different from Manhattan too, Dennou supposes." She supposes additionally, just looking Leida over, that that wasn't what she meant.

"What's it like, then?"
Leida Leida flushes slightly at that. "Oh... ofcourse."

Saitei spoke it like she should already know that so the princess just assumes ignorance is her fault, as usual. Fortunately, she doesn't dwell on that fact.

"Ah... my home was... much more primitive than this world. We did not have advanced machines or even electricity. Our cities were still quite large, though not nearly as tall, and often surrounded by large plains or mountains or forests."
Saitei Dennou "It sounds like you might like Archades, this one makes several large assumptions." Well, Saitei also really liked Archades, that might've played a part. Practically anything is more fun than the inside of a volcano.

"But it's not so bad here if you're not driving." A condition that neither of them are terribly liable to, Saitei doesn't think. She goes a bit pinkish herself, for unclear reasons. Rather than dwell on /that/, she snatches another bit of sashimi.
Leida At the mention of driving Leida pales even further, turning practically white as a ghost for some reason. "N-no, I do not use motor vehicles."

One of the shadow hands pats her on the head gently and the small girl relaxes. Leida shakes her head as if to clear the thought away.

"I have never been to Archades. I spent most of my time since coming to these worlds in a place called Fluorgis." She frowns slightly at the memory. "It is pretty enough I suppose but... I am not made to withstand such heat and sunlight."
Saitei Dennou Saitei makes an airy gesture. "Hawaii." That'll excuse her from the driving /and/ the heat, not that she, or her sisters, really look like they're made for the burning coast or anything. "No, but, it's nicer than that once you cross the desert, you know."

...look, she isn't any good at small-talk. "Oh, but here is nice too, isn't it?" The food is better, for one.
Leida Small talk isn't really Leida's cup of tea either but her years spent in court have given her atleast a small measure of skill at creating and participating in it. She scarfs down another piece of sushi, suddenly realising that she's actually quite hungry, but makes sure to leave plenty for Saitei as well.

"I see. Perhaps I shall have to visit some time and see for myself, then."

The princess glances around at the park surrounding them thoughtfully for a few moments. "Hmm. I suppose it does have its charms. I am not particularly fond of the crowds, though. There are more people living on a single block than populated an entire town in my world."

That might be something of an exaggeration. But the shoulder to shoulder flow of traffic on the sidewalks is something she could very easily do without.

"I take it you are staying with your sisters?"
Saitei Dennou Saitei shrugs. "This one lives with the Agency, more or less." Less, lately. "Mostly in Traverse. Did you try Traverse? You should come to Traverse." What a silly question, though, of course she's been to Traverse if she used to live in Fluorgis.

"Or wherever it is you're staying, here, this one supposes. Rooms are so expensive in Manhattan."
Leida Leida gives a little knowing smile at that. "I have little frame of reference to compare the amount which is requested of me for the meager living space which I have acquired. Though I must say, if the peasants who lived under the protection of my father were taxed as much, my sympathy for them has grown tenfold."

Her gaze drifts back down to the ground as it seems to do when she's either embarrassed or upset. "Traverse is a fine city. However, its new guardians are a little intimidating."
Saitei Dennou Aww, but don't do that, it'll be fine. Or anyways, Saitei isn't much worried about who's guarding what. She doesn't seem like she worries about much, honestly. "What would you have to worry about from them? You're perfectly nice. Apart from the horns, this one teases."

She reaches over to pat Leida on the head, gently. "Legion wouldn't let anything happen to you there, anyways."
Leida The small girl closes her eyes and smiles in an accomodating manner, quite used to being patted on the head after hanging around Legion for several months.

"Thank you for saying so. However, most people are quick to judge based on appearances, I have come to find. And I would not wish to impose my problems upon Legion."

Leida shakes her head softly, after she's made sure Saitei's hand is clear. Her horns are quite sharp, after all. "I think it is better if I stay here. The portal to Traverse is close enough, should I wish to visit."
Saitei Dennou "That's... true," Saitei supposes. But, look, she's eaten half of Leida's lunch already, and is really beginning to have trouble keeping herself to herself.

"Well. This... well. /I/ hope that you wish, and Legion does as well." A bit stiffly, Saitei stands, and brushes herself off. "Legion is likely to be all stern and flustered if this one doesn't show up soon, though. Thank you for the sushi, Leida."
Leida That causes the small girl to color up again but she manages a shy nod in response. The extra bottles of cider and scooped up by various shadowy hands and held out towards Saitei as she rises.

"You are welcome, Saitei-san. Please, feel free to visit me any time. Oh, do not forget your bottles."

Leida gets to her feet as well, offering another formal bow to see the Dennou off properly. "Have a safe journey."

This scene contained 31 poses. The players who were present were: Leida, Saitei Dennou