[full] worry → soothing thoughts

- 122nd tide | | the wait -

[Voice]

[There's bit of static before Umi speaks into the device: she still sounds weak, but considerably more rested and in a far better mood than those she talked to during the last days may remember.]

...Sorry it took me a while to check in. May as well now I CAN without someone trying to snatch the device from me. There was some huge rushing down our hall just the other day! Tons of emergencies. Something... about people coming in with their feet cut off?? Ugh. Another curse? October's still at it, huh?

Um. Is everyone alright out there? I'm not the best person ever to ask for a headcount, over here. But, whatever. I'm worried.

Aw, and... I'm doing fine, by the way. Doctors said there's been a BIG improvement, so, good news! At least that. Still not sure how much longer we'll be here, but... yeah. [A rustle of bedsheets.] Things ARE working out. Bit by bit.

[A sigh, and a little pause. Umi's tone becomes fond but wistful.]

Syaoran went home, by the way. To everyone who knew him... I'm sure you'll miss him as much as I do.

[End Voice]

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[fret] [////] → YOU shut up!!

- 121st tide | | repentant -

...I'm going to spare you all the awkward apology for once. I'm pretty sure there's been enough of those around the Network since that nasty week ended.

It was the stupid curse, NOT ME. EVERYONE knows I'm not like that! And though I hate --and I'll say it again, HATE thinking of what a hard time I gave all of you... I also had it pretty bad myself when it was over. You can be sure of that.

To all the guys I... yeah. I didn't mean what I said! Or... DID. But there's no need to tell you that because I doubt any of you took me seriously, huh?? ...Jeez, please tell me you didn't.

Kazuo, I---

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[evil] uh-huh → a little crush?

- 120th tide | | sinful -

[Video]

[That's a very uncharacteristic grin Umi's flashing at the camera: a lot like the one those who know her will identify as her teasing one, but ten times more mischievous and, obviously, FLIRTY.]

...I've always said this place makes us put off IMPORTANT STUFF, but really! Talk about not paying attention to things that matter. Looks like today I got a little wake up call on that. I better start working on making up for the lost time right away...

[The devious grin becomes predatory. Oddly, she's wearing her hair down and flips it behind her shoulder seductively.]

Big city, lots of people... somewhere out there there's got to be a guy who knows how to give a girl what she wants, right? Fit the job description for a boyfriend. [A soft, evil giggle.] Say, I can think of a couple of POSSIBILITIES on my own right now...

[She gets up, turning off the video feature with one last smirk.]

[End Video]

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[ ! ] cheek → y-you mean...?

- 119th tide | | heritage -

[Accidental Video]

[A soft click and the video starts. From a good vantage point this once: a counter where just the uplifted corner of a scroll obscures the image, the device set down among a pile of these.

A lovely sunlit shop with several shelves containing jars, flasks, several antiques, lines of old books comes into view. And standing there looking rather overwhelmed is Umi. Her back is to the camera at first. She's garbed in her usual Bridge of Birds uniform.]


All these...

[The Water Knight turns to face the camera as she gazes around the room, her expression wistful.] So then. The books, the potions, the magic ingredients, talismans... stuff... BOY, even the magical armory?? Everything. It's... a lot! Mister Clow, you really thought I could take care of all these things?

[A sigh. A smile comes to Umi's face as she returns to pick her device up without ever noticing it recorded.]

[Switch to Voice]

Um! ...Hey. Sorry I took a while to get back at some of you after that mess. Guess what? Looks like I'm taking care of two shops from now on! Isn't that SOMETHING. To those of you who're wondering, Mister Clow's Bridge of Birds will still remain open. [A brief pause.] We'll make sure of that.

So! Any wizards, magicians, sorcerers and whatnot: no worries, okay? You can still come get your materials over here!

Yeah... and, Syaoran?? We should talk.

[A sigh, followed shortly by a click.] Jeez, but running a flower shop STILL counts as management experience, doesn--??

[End Voice]

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[hmm] turning → show your true self

- 118th tide | | storm front -

[Video]

[The device's camera abruptly focuses on Umi's face after panning along the seashore. She looks quite out of breath and is sweating profusely, looking as if she were in pain.]

...Alright. I usually wouldn't be one to vouch for what the deities say. And like hell I'm starting NOW. But... everyone? This may get serious. Maybe not as awful as the last time, but--- [The Water Knight sighs and pauses for a second to wipe her brow with the back of her hand. Her breath is heavy but calming down. Then the image becomes unsteady as she obviously starts walking.]

It feels WRONG. The sea's restless. Grouchy. The air's damp and... I can't explain it. But I fear it's going to happen. I mean-- WORSE THINGS have, right?? We can too expect a flood of epic proportions! Jeez, the whole Noah thing's nuts enough to fit this weirdo place...

I don't know about you but I'm going to get busy with building that thing right now.

---Hikaru? Fuu? Everyone in the house!? You're going, right?? Aya, Ken?? You guys are pairing up for this, aren't you? [She frowns with resolve and picks up the pace, all but running now.] Because there's no darn way I'm going without you!

[The last the device records is a blurry glimpse of the construction site before Umi turns it off, muttering to herself.]

NOT until everyone's accounted for...


[End Video]

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[talk] suspicion → now's your turn

- 117th tide | | hushed -

...Okay, so I'm the first to expect the worst when it comes to curses. Everyone who knows me can tell you that much. But, that thing the other day? That was LOW. As in, a subterranean kind of LOW. Making people talk about their private feelings like that's just not right.

Most of those had to do with childhood memories! There's stuff we wish to keep to ourselves! The sort we'll only discuss with those we really trust...

Venting this sort of thing all over the Network ---FINE, it may have brought some people a bit of relief and that's SURE something to feel grateful for. But, me?? I'm just glad I managed to stay away from it. Prying's the last thing I'd have liked. The devices do that for us enough already.

This place has no right to make us remember things we'd rather

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[smile] sigh → worrying too much

- 116th tide | | fortune -

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Yesterday proves one thing, huh? That there's no ordinary WHATEVER this place can't up a few notches on the Weird scale. I mean those fortune cookies. Did all of the things they foretold end up happening? Or WILL happen...? Do you think

I'm not sure about it, but--- I don't really think ALL OF THEM said bad things. I'm sure there may be one or two that were actually GOOD. Or at least sounded so! Um. Okay, nevermind. It's like Yuuko said. CHOICES. And it's not like we should pay much attention to this anyway.

Aya, Syaoran? Mister Clow? I think I'm ready to go back to work. Vacation's over! Looks like we're going to be moving to the beach house permanently anyway.

...And you know what?? HOUSES with roofs are a GREAT idea, don't you think?!

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[sad] down → learned through pain

- 115th tide | | dusky -

[Video]

[The camera catches a blurry glimpse of green with a faraway backdrop of ocean until it levels to show us this strange plant, looking rather bald and sorry. There's a heavy sigh and the image quivers again.]

...It's a no-go alright. Ruined. Just look at what that curse made us do. Fine, so it was a thousand times better than the decapitation spree but-! ...Jeez, why this... [Umi's voice sounds sadder than bothered.] Now I've no clue how to fix it...

Clef would've known. He likes this fruit. Why--- ...good timing, City.

If anyone knows their gardening, I could really use a hand with this! I know: florist girl talking. But I'm a beginner anyway, and... this plant's from Cephiro. One of a kind. WHO KNOWS what sort of weird care methods it calls for.

[The camera shifts abruptly downward to show a basket filled with egg-shaped golden fruit.] Hikaru, Fuu and I felt this weird compulsion to pick all these at once. The fruit's really delicious, trust me. If anyone wants some feel free to ask. I doubt we're going to eat all these anyway. Maybe I should make some jams with it.

[At last the device is turned toward Umi: her expression gives away her melancholy mood. She smiles sheepishly.]
Sorry about the whole thing yesterday, too. I hope we didn't annoy anyone... too much.

There you have it...

[End Video]

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[full] hurt → the abyss will stare back

- 114th tide | | slaughter -

[ sadHgasy35rwt9098dmlspqFTDWY ERROR: invalid command entered_ ]

[ ERROR: cannot process command → VOICE_ ]

[Video]

This is... I-I didn't mean to. I swear I don't know what's up! I just-!!

...I-- is this today's curse...?

[The murky darkness barely illuminated by some sickly light will be easily recognizable to anyone who's ever been relatively deep Underground. The image shivers, as Umi's hand holds the device loosely. We can't see her, only hear her heavy breath.]


GROSS. I-! ...I-I think I'm going to be sick. But it's so strong... I have to-!

[The camera's angle moves, catching a gory scene: a pile of monster corpses lie around, dark blood pooling the floor, their heads arranged in a pile. Some of them look slightly frozen. Umi's coughing, the stench making her dizzy. The angle shifts again to show her still holding her bloodied sword.]

...H-- Hikaru. Fuu... Everyone? I think maybe... DAMN, no 'maybes'! It's better if I stay away until this weirdness wears off. Alright? I'll be-

[Something groans and stirs beyond the reach of the video. A sharp intake of breath, and the image goes blurry with movement again.]

No way... [A disembodied growl, a flash of blue, and the feed cuts off.]

[End Video]

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[smile] armour → dazzling wavebreak

- 113th tide | | cutthroat -

It's that time of the year again, fellow victims students! Time to pick up the activities that'll do at least a bit to ease the huge BOREDOM that comes with school. No worries: we're here to save you! You got the chance to enter a world of elegance, precision and outright STYLE.


JOIN OHTORI'S FENCING CLUB
Ohtori's famous for its quality fencing program. Our team could use some new elements to pass on the art to! Tryouts are next Friday at 4PM. We'll be going through the basic exercises and sort the beginners from the experienced. Some say fencing's a violent sport. I laugh in the face of THAT. True, a match against a skilled opponent's no walk in the park for anyone! But it's all about technique sooner than brute strength. You can go join the boxing club for that. Blades aren't toys. Not even guarded foils are. As long as you got that clear things should go great.

...Aw, and I'll take this chance to remind you the whole school could run as smoothly as our fencing team does. Yours truly's campaign for student council president is on! Being managed by diligent Miss Fuu Hououji. Your vote decides what's best of our school! You should make the right choice. Don't miss out on our free homemade muffins PR program, either.

Pay no attention to any shady rumors about some old lab incident at Trinity, by the way. School politics sure involve lots of badmouthing.

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