Description: Facing a world shaping tournament is a burden easier to bear when in the company of a friend.
It was pitched as a tournament free of the media blitz, the on-camera interviews, and the world-wide buzz of corporate spin and profiteering; a pure tournament where all that mattered were the participants' fighting prowess in traditional one verses one combat. The idea was alluring as the invitation was mysterious, and, riding high on the adrenaline of climbing to the peak of the King of Fighters tournament, Athena had pursued the invitation.
And of course, what would be another trip abroad without Momoko?
There had been reservations at first, concerns that they didn't know enough about what they were signing up for... on the other hand, an island retreat without no outside observers sounded like a good chance to spend some more time with the girl she had hoped to make her own protege.
The voyage aboard a rather dilapidated sea vessel was the first unignorable clue that something about this whole thing was terribly off. And it never got any better the moment they were dropped off at the shore with their luggage.
Sure, the accommodations were lavish - as invited champions from King of Fighters, they were afforded large rooms on one of the upper floors of the sprawling palace - a privilege Athena only came to appreciate at she started to learn that many of those on the island were dwelling in shared bunk rooms, and even dorm halls lined with bunk beds to share. The food was exquisite at the offered meals, no spared expenses, and every other material need they could ask for would be provided by the servants who always seemed to appear just when needed. Except for electricity, it seemed, and the lack of a functioning blow dryer was a mild inconvenience!
But in spite all the luxury treatment, there was the unshakeable impression that the two fighters from Japan were somewhere they didn't really belong. For starters, there were the guards and monks that seemed to be everywhere throughout the palace. Disinclined to conversation and generally unhelpful, it was hard to figure out a purpose behind their presence. What were they doing standing around? What was there to guard on a remote island?
Then there was the unseen element, the sense of unfathomable loss, a background ambience especially noticeable to the psychic duo. Sadness beyond comprehension blanketed the palace though no specific origination could be identified. Everyone else milling about always came across anxious and disquieted and it quickly became apparent that no one seemed to be enjoying themselves here.
Then finally came the banquet before their matches when they finally saw the old serpent who claimed to be master of the island and host of the event. Then came talk of Elder Gods and their gifts, other worlds and their grievances, and of kombat and its edicts, all of which was almost impossible to follow for the uninitiated except for one unmistakable detail - they were told that they were fighting for their very lives. Had they unwittingly ended up in some kind of secret blood sport? Death matches among the strong, where the only prize is to survive and reign over the defeated in strength?
Athena had wanted nothing to do with any of it and the last thing she wanted was for Momoko to participate. But as the words of the sorcerer were considered, the premise that they weren't just fighting for their lives but something as preposterously incomprehensible as the fate of all humanity, she couldn't help but feel a certain resonance in her heart - something told her that, as impossible as it was to believe, everything was true: this was a battle for Earth, their strength would be put to the test for their world. How could she walk away then? Was this what she had been training for? What would her ethics amount to if she couldn't stand up when the real trial appeared before her? She had wasted no time charging off to her own match, resolved, determined, and terrified.
That was four hours ago. It is night now, the palace is still. Where the time had gone she couldn't rightfully say. She could remember the fight, elements at least. It all happened so fast, lasting sixty seconds from the time she charged onto the bridge to when she was flung free of the collapsing structure, witness to the Demon at the Pass's challenge as he fell into the abyss. Never quite blacking out, yet not entirely aware either, she has no idea how much time passed before the psychic swordsman she had met in Southtown pulled her back into the here and now, offered a calm anchor for her storming thoughts, and provided a few words of counsel.
Her hand rests on the handle to the room's door before she pushes inward, still feeling as if she's moving through a dream, her thoughts foggy. The hall is empty around here even though the man in worn crimson had been at her side an instant before... or was it an hour ago? She remembered vaguely the idea of him helping her wipe herself clean at a fountain, the blood and tears on her face washed away, the dust of the bridge smudging her skin no longer turning her a dirty grey.
But she still looks like she's wandered out of a war. Hanging open from her shoulders is a crimson Kung Fu jacket, its sleeves shredded to her upper arms, her dusty pink uniform pants missing anything below her knees. Her arms and shins are scraped, cut, and dotted with bruises.
But she's alive. Which is more than she can say with any confidence about her opponent. Had she killed a man? Well, not her, but that other that interceded in the end? If so, it had to be considered self-defense, his murderous intent was not something anyone could miss. But who was that? And why did she feel like half of her was missing now, an emptiness she could neither explain nor ignore? Staring into the room for a long moment, she finds herself forgetting why she was there, trying to sort through the maelstrom of confusion making it hard to think straight.
She had been talking to Kenshi, he had affirmed, to her dread, that it was all true, they were trapped on this island of tears to fight and very likely die for the sake of the world, and that they were the few foot soldiers Earth had fighting for it. Panic about Momoko had overcome-
That's right, Momoko. That's why she was here. Lifting her hand rub across her violet eyes as if trying to cover from a deep slumber, Asamiya limps into the living quarters, closing the door behind her with slow, deliberate movements, as if having to think consciously through each motion and finding it a touch confusing to do so.
The door closed, the shellshocked fighter crosses over toward the bed occupied by the Momoko-sized blanket lump. She can sense the girl from here, her fear, her sense of being overwhelmed, but most importantly, that she's alive. Staggering to a stop next to the lavish bed, she turns and sits down on its edge, releasing a quiet sigh as she rests her arms against her legs and bows her head forward.
Beneath the protective canopy of the thick silken sheets, she cannot see anything. It might be strange that an upbeat and adventerous soul such as her would seek shelter in such a place but in a land full of horror and death the darkness has become her unlikely ally. Perhaps she draws some comfort from the lingering memory of the guardian that once stood watch over her mind, a creature of darkness and grim resolve of her own making. Sitting here in the dark void created by the veil of cloth, she hoped that some of that strength might come to her now.
As with her her beloved mentor, Momoko had been overjoyed at the prospect of another opportunity to spend time with Athena. It offered her many opportunities, to refine her talents and gain experience, to see new places and experience new cultures, and - most importantly - the chance to strengthen the bond that she hoped would someday allow her idol to understand her true feelings. She had experienced a brief taste of that passion in the heat of the moment after being saved by Athena for atleast the dozenth time but it was but a drop in the ocean of affection that flows through her heart.
However, as seemed to often be the case when such opportunities arose, not everything was as it seemed to be. It did not take a psychic talent to sense the sinister and omnious energy that surrounded the island but for those who do possess the ability to commune with the lingering emotions of years gone by, the mere act of laying eyes upon this blighted ground had been enough to sink her heart into her stomach. From the outside, it looked completely stunning. Beaches and statues and lush jungles surrounded the palace, which itself was a marvel of ancient architecture. Even the great Coliseum of Rome and the old castles in Europe paled in comparison to the sheer size and craftsmanship of the towering fortress. If this were anywhere else, she would have practically swooned at the notion of being able to frolick and play among the sand and trees. Instead, she had to fight off a wave of nausea that constantly threatened to emtpy the contents of her stomach onto the floor.
Her own fight had gone rather differently than Athena's, though she had been fully expecting it to be the sort of terror-inducing deathmatch that had befallen her mentor. Instead, she was overwhelmed with series of confusing events that somewhat resembled a fight, but instead of blood and guts, she ended up covered in ketchup and a few small bruises. A miracle? Some kind of twisted joke? There was no way for her to tell.
The relief at still being alive afterwards had nearly overwhelmed her ability to remain coherent. She had fled to the halls of the palace as quickly as her legs would carry her, searching in vain for some signs that her friend had returned from her own bout. Eventually, the combination of fear and panic had gotten too strong and she was forced to retreat the one place that she was sure that Athena would return to once she had completed her task. She would return. Of that, Momoko was certain, allowing no room for doubt. The very possibility that this 'mortal kombat' would manage to claim her one lifeline to something familiar and comforting was completely shut out. She would return.
The squeaking protest of the ancient door does far more to alert the sole occupant of the room to the arrival of a new presence than the battered and weary girl who pushes it inwards in her muddled state of confusion. Perhaps too dazed to find the time to complain about her injuries vocally, Momoko can nevertheless sense the mixture of pain and worry radiating from the individual as they stagger into the quiet abode, the emotions an almost perfect mirror of her own.
The lump remains motionless and quiet for several seconds, making no indication that it is aware of Athena's arrival nor any reaction to her presence when she slowly drops to a seat nearby. Then, slowly, it shuffles forward towards the edge of the bed and flops over into her lap. The bundle of silk sprouts a pair of slender arms and they wind around the idol's waist, drawing her into a tight squeezing embrace.
Momoko remains silent for several long moments, enjoying the familiar softness of her mentor's body, but eventually she speaks, her voice soft and wistful.
"One day, we'll go on a normal vacation, right?"
There is something off about the familiar presence seated on her bed now - something different about her psychic signature. It's still definitely her, there is no question about that, with all the layers of complexity inherent to a teenaged hard working yet sometimes overwhelmed high school aged prodigy fighter. But that doesn't keep it from seeming like something is off - and it isn't just her sea of emotions whirling about her - remorse, regret, confusion, anger, defiance, hope, and awe.
Just who was that passenger of light that intercepted the fatal blow intended for her? She feels the hole left in her heart by its sudden, abrupt absence, as if having a family member she never knew existed ripped from her life the moment they met. But there are so many other questions - was it just along for the ride, and if so, why? Was it using her for something? Was it controlling her? Influencing her? Guiding her or steering her without her knowledge or consent? What is she now that it is gone?
Head lowered, she watches the floor with a thousand yard stare as the blanket lump draws near. Who is she now? Is she even the same person anymore? And what about the blackouts in fights, the sections of some of the most intense battles she had been in that she couldn't remember at all? And... what about her entire life from before she was twelve, the entire adolescence she remembered nothing of? No knowledge of parents, no family, no education that she could remember even though she seemed to know all of the appropriate school material for a student her age.
Arms wrap around her waist and Asamiya doesn't seem to notice, not even a flicker of acknowledgement on an emotional level - her deepest thoughts are hidden far beneath a thick shell of abject bewilderment that even the sliver in her thoughts she had left open for Momoko barely seems available to the also traumatized Psycho Soldier. She leans into the embrace when the squeeze comes, however, though her eyes remain unfocused, her hands in her lap, her mouth slightly agape as she still tries to process the profound loss she faces.
But when the voice comes, she blinks slowly, finally showing signs of life, head canting to the side slightly at the pause as if interested in hearing what else will be spoken by the familiar, stabilizing mind of a comforting, dear friend.
When Momoko finishes her question, Asamiya doesn't respond at first, eyes blinking again though failing to find anything to focus on. It's as if the very effort of wrapping her mind around the question has left her dumbfounded for several seconds of her own delay.
And then she laughs, sitting up straight, lifting her head, her hands raising from her lap to reach over and embrace the blanket lump and pull it more tightly toward her. The sound of her voice is lively, almost musical, coming naturally as if a dam of emotions has just broke and the only one to flood free through the shattered wall is happiness unrestrained at the simple question with so much complexity behind it.
She has to relax her hold to lift her right hand and wipe across her eyes, tears rolling down her cheeks as her laughs begin to catch in her throat, so overcome by the burst of emotions that she can hardly contain herself. Thoughts of their previous disastrous outings flash into her mind. Maybe they really should have known better than to venture to an island tournament.
"When we get home," she finally finds her voice, "No more tournaments on lost islands, okay?"
She pulls the blanket-covered girl close to her, finding solace in the company of the friend she unintentionally shared so many trials with since their fateful meeting.
"Oh, Momoko, I'm so glad you're here." she murmurs, resting her cheek atop other girl's head, closing her eyes. She pauses for a couple of seconds before adding, "But we need to find a way to get you away from this horrible place as soon as possible."
The silence between the question and the response is worrying, more so the turmoil that Momoko can sense now that she is touching the other girl directly. It is a faint thing, Athena's mind smothering it with layers of protection much like the blanket that currently engulfs her own body, but it is there. That alone is almost enough to break the small girl. She had been counting on the experience and resolve of her mentor for stability and comfort, her constant light a raft to which she might cling for safety as the world heaved around them. Was she mistaken or was that light now missing?
The sudden burst of laughter almost gives her a heart attack. Momoko instinctively twitches at the suddeness of it, squeezing tighter to her friend's waist as her mind reels briefly at the bizarre shift in gears. It only takes her a moment to adjust, however, happiness coming as naturally to her as breathing. The empath absorbs that outpouring of joy like a spongue, soaking up every ounce of the other girl's emotion and feeding upon it until she feels like she might burst and when she can no longer contain the relief it explodes from her in a fit of girlish giggles.
The pair of them laugh together like fools. The joke wasn't particularly funny but a thirsty traveller in the desert takes what water is offered and both of them were in desperate need of some shred of mirth to wet their parched souls. By the time their laughs have begun to die down, Momoko is in no better state than Athena, her eyes moist with a mixture of happiness and relief.
The blanket slides down away from her head to reveal her round face and she presses it against the idol's chest in a tight hug in response to the idol's affection. This is what she needed. It isn't a ticket out of this hellish nightmare but as long as Athena is nearby, she can make it through anything.
"Sounds like a good plan to me," she agrees, her own voice coming back more quickly and easily. There is little more in the world she could possibily want than to get away from this foul island and it's aura of suffering and death. "But I'm not leaving without you!"
How rare it must be for the echo of laughter to fill any inch of the prison island of the damned? The sound of mirth untainted by an undercurrent of malevolence seems shockingly out of place in a battleground of death where the fate of the world purportedly hangs in the balance. Together, the two form a small oasis of humanity in the grey misery that blankets the palace all around them, strengthening each other even as they commiserate the unspoken suffering they each have gone through.
Lifting her head, Athena raises her right hand to rest atop Momoko's head, nimble yet strong fingers working their way into the vibrant girl's thick brown hair. Blinking her eyes to scatter the last of the tears down her cheeks, there is a life to them now, a window into the resolve starting to take root in her heart even as she continues to wrestle with the unfathomable price paid for her victory and her survival. Did a goddess die so that she might live? In what world would such a sacrifice even make sense?
Momoko says she is not leaving without her and Athena suddenly realizes that in spite her own dread of what might come in the days ahead, she has no desire to leave in the slightest. If she walks away from the war, abandoning the cause to others, perhaps more fitting, to fight, how can she ever hold her head high at home? Were Master Gentsai's efforts with her for naught? And what about the infinite library of unanswered questions she has now? Will she ever find the truth anywhere besides this desolate place where the line between death and life seems more diaphanous than anywhere else?
The lack of an answer right away might start to dawn on the younger girl eager to escape the horrific burden of the island - a realization that the eagerness is not echoed in the slightly older girl trying to be her mentor and protector in one. Faced with the realization that she can't get Momoko to leave without her also accompanying her home, Asamiya is frozen in thought for several seconds.
"I-" she starts then stops, blinking her eyes again, "I understand that. But..." Her left arm slips from around Momoko to reach up to the side of her head and remove the crimson plastic hair clip she has always worn since the day she met Kensou and Chin Gentsai and her memories began. A golden star decorates the right end of it as it has always done and it is to that which she focuses now, mouth forming a faint, contemplative smile as she considers it intently.
Where are the nasty, angry souls now? Were they eradicated as she grasped each of their cores in order to survive the violent onslaught of the devil's murderous strikes? That a being of pure light died that she might live is undeniable, but that she even survived to that point is no less a byproduct of her greedily consuming each of the souls in turn for her own life. And... if what Kenshi described to her is true, she needs even more. Which means more fighting.
"There is something I must do here before I can leave. The last fight was... a living nightmare, and the price of surviving it cost me more than I even understand yet. And in order to regain what I lost, I have to get stronger, I have to win more challenges, and then... then I will have to see." Her brow furrows, pure, unfiltered concern radiating from her as she looks down at Momoko hugged against her.
How could she ask her to leave while she remains behind? Asamiya knows in her heart she would never do the reverse - to leave Momoko to fight some war on her own while she retreated for the safety of home. "I don't know very much about what is going on here, but I do know that with each victory I will get closer to gathering the strength I need. And I understand you won't leave without me, but you... you don't have to put yourself at risk anymore than you already did. There is no reason for you to fight here anymore."
Slowly, the surge of warmth and joy that had risen up like a geyser around the two psychics begins to ebb and fade away, a brief moment of repreive to their suffering. All too quickly the familiar aura of dread begins to return as Athena remains silent and with it the realization that her mentor has no intention of leaving. She senses the answer before a single word is uttered and her heart sinks a little at the idea of spending even another moment on this island doing anything other than trying to escape its foul shores.
And yet, that is exactly what she is going to do. Resolve floods into her before the question as to how she will respond to this knowledge even enters her conscious stream of thought. If there is something that Athena believes is worth remaining here to do then she could not in good conscience leave the island and allow her to face that trial alone. What, precisely that might be, she cannot but wonder. Perhaps it is a simple as the words spoken by their host, a fight for the fate of the world. If true, then running away would do nothing but to delay the inevitable. Worse, she would face the days to come knowing that she had done nothing to stop it.
Fear and uncertainty flood through every inch of her body as she battles to come to terms with the idea of fighting the horrors that would chose to live in such a place. This was all too much for her to handle. She isn't prepared, isn't trained for this; but what else can she do? Nothing, she realizes. Nothing but move forward.
Momoko takes a deep breath to calm her nerves. It works, but only a little. She turns to look up at the face of her mentor and puts on her best smile, drawing upon the deep well of enthusiasm and optimism for which she is well. It's her job to smile and to make others smile. She had done so by accident with her off-hand comment before but this time her intent is deliberate and to the point.
Momoko lifts one of her fingers up to the curved piece of plastic in Athena's hands, resting the tip against the golden star. It is a symbol with which she is well aquainted, the very same that her own power manifests unto. The air shimmers a little as she draws upon her talent and a sparkling haze of pink light dances to life around the star making it glow and twinkle as if alive with power.
"If we have to stay, then we'll face whatever comes..."
The girl's voice remains soft, almost a whisper, but there is conviction behind it. She smiles fiercely up at Athena, radiating as much confidence as she can muster. It's a simple trick and one that the elder girl would likely pick up on without any effort. A little bit of psychic cheerleading to lift her spirits. Perhaps it would have little to no effect on someone as powerful as the idol but maybe the gesture was enough to get the point across.
If only she could spare Momoko yet another trial by fire. Behind Asamiya is at least years worth of training, instruction, and sage wisdom passed on to her by the old, oft-inebriated yet still insightful Chin Gentsai. Even those years are hardly enough to forge her into the kind of soldier the world seems to so desperately need yet they are an entire education worth of experiences compared to what little preparation her petite friend has had to prepare her. Each trip, each turn along the way, it seems that the younger girl finds herself in one life threatening peril after another. Is it any wonder that she had so stalwart a defender deep within the core of her passions?
Violet eyes shimmer as Asamiya watches the emotions shift in her friend, feeling them permeating the room around them, particularly strong as they sit so close in each other's arms. Painful questsions surge to the surface of her confused, conflicted thoughts:
What am I doing?
How can I be so selfish as to do anything that would put Momoko at further risk than I already have?
The girl would follow her into the jaws of hell - and, if anything, she already has. One need only feel the aura of abject lifelessness carpeting the island to wonder if everyone here might already be dead. Doesn't she have a duty, a responsibility to spare her all of this?
Eyes flick to watch the touch of her comb's star, a smile, soft and pained working its way into her face. "I-" she starts to protest as Momoko speaks up. She has to get her out of here. Choosing to remain may very well be choosing death in a unwinnable war that the world will never even know was fought except for whatever dread consequences might spill over it in the aftermath.
The gifted child continues, a surge of her own radiant emotions flooding around Asamiya, a supportive effort that is impossible to miss and hard to ignore. And as the violet haired girl basks in it, and suddenly another powerful question forces its way to the forefront of her mind:
How can this girl be so selfless?
"Momoko, I don't-" the words catch in her throat.
Pulling the smaller girl back against her, her comb dangling from between her fingers at the younger soldier's back, she continues, "I was only thinking of what I need, what I want, and not enough about you. I promised that I'd do everything I possibly could to keep you safe, no matter the cost. But this time... I don't know if I am protecting you by leaving this place with you, or if staying and fighting with all I have is the truest way of keeping my promise."
Shaking her head, she breaks eye contact to look away, "I hope you understand - I don't have all the answers. I- I don't even know as much about myself as I thought I did." She looks back, worry evident in her countenance, uncertainty about the future. How can she even tell what the right choice is? She doesn't even know what she is! "I'm sorry, Momoko, I wish I could be sure about what to do. I don't know why you are willing to support me in this selfish effort..."
Breathing in, her eyes close, the girl releasing a pent up sigh as her shoulders fall a little, "Either way, I don't deserve you, and I know that now more than ever before."
Momoko remains silent as her words and gesture of devotion are absorbed. She watches the mixtures of emotion play out across the features of her mentor, discipline and duty waging war against uncertainty and fear on her pretty face. It is a battle with which she is well familiar. It times past, she faced those dangers with a protector at her back, a silent guardian to ward her mind against the darkness. Though she does not fully understand the situation that Athena now faces, from what she's been able to piece together so far it would seem that she now also has suffered some sort of loss within.
It had been a terrifying thing to lose that guardian, even more so for her as one who does not possess the training and skill necessary to properly ward her mind. It had taken her some time to come to terms with the idea that she would face the rest of her life without that comforting familiar presence. Truth be told, she still has yet to fully accept it. There is a hole in her heart, like someone scooped out an important piece of her soul, leaving a gaping ragged wound that refused to heal. She would never have wished such a thing on anyone but perhaps there is a small silver lining in the fact that her friend now suffers from a similar ailment. She, if no one else, understands.
Momoko shakes her head and leans away from the embrace, sitting upright. Her hands rest on her hips and she puffs her cheeks out petulantly, frowning up at Athena, though the tone of her aura never waivers from its inspiring warmth.
"I'll be the one who decides that, if you don't mind!"
Her frown fades into a wry grin after only a few moments and she lifts a hand up, wagging a finger at Athena, one eye sliding shut into an extended knowing wink.
"Don't go trying to take everything on by yourself, okay? You might not have all the answers but I don't know anyone else who does. Besides, it'd be really boring if there weren't any surprises!"
Her head turns away and she makes an unpleasant face, whispering an aside that it clearly meant to be heard. "Not that I'm too keen on the kinds of surprises we're likely to find here, but..."
Her bright smile returns just as quickly and she beams it up at Athena. Her hands clasp behind her back and she sways from side to side like a blade of grass in the wind, cutely tossing her hair back and forth.
"We'll just have find out the future holds together, okay? As long as I can, I'll be there to watch your back because I know you'll have mine. And that's all anyone could ever ask from a friend."
Momoko's prompt disengagement and retort causes Asamiya to open her eyes again, blinking at the adamant demand that such a decision be left up to the younger of the duo. A smile breaks into her forlorn expression at about the same time the shine if a grin works its way into her friend's face, her moment of encroaching despair scattered by the unshakeable support from her stalwart if smaller ally.
She breaths in as her hopeful protege continues, asking her to try and not shoulder the weight of the world. At least, not all by herself. Releasing a soft sigh, she bows her head as if surrendering, "Very well, I will agree to your demands." Her voice unable to hide the hint of teasing in her words as she looks back up, eyes sparkling with renewed strength, Momoko's indomitable upbeat aura of cheer rendering it impossible to feel too down. Maybe someday she can tell her friend about what happened on the bridge, about the clash between devil and goddess, about the victory that felt like the worst loss of her young life. But not now, the wound is still too fresh, her mind still reeling at the nearly impossible idea of it all.
"Together then, as you said." She slides forward, resting her hands on Momoko's shoulders, looking at her friend face to face. "I'm going to change into something less..." She glances at her tattered clothes, "War-torn. And then maybe we should make sure that whoever is footing the bill for the food around here feels the the vengeance of our hunger. I smelled something delicious on my way in."
Asamiya quickly leans forward, pressing her lips to Momoko's forehead to leave a light peck before drawing back to slide to her feet, placing her crimson haircomb back into her hair. "I want to hear about your own experiences, and I need to tell you about a man named Kenshi that you can trust. There's also these shard things... We have a lot to catch up on."
A sudden cramp in her stomach makes Momoko wince, her belly rumbling noisily at the very mention of food. How long had it been since she last ate? Time had been easy to lose track of on the island, especially within the depths of the palace's cold walls lit only by the golden glow of torches. It's almost like the people who built the place had some sort of religious taboo against having a window more often than every hundred yards. What little attention she had to spare towards such things had been devoured by the darkness as she'd sat huddled underneath the blanket. It could have been hours, maybe even days, for all she remembered. Now, however, the full weight of her nigh insatiable hunger comes storming to the front and she almost drools openly.
"I shall unleash a terrible reckoning upon their pantry!"
Fortunately, her own fight, if it could be considered as such, was rather tame. Momoko's clothes look little worse for wear than when she first arrived on the island, save perhaps their casual and pedestrian nature being that much more emphasized next to the assortments of fine silk that had been heaped upon many of the more prominent contestants. She is actually a little jealous.
The kiss on her head makes Momoko giggle and she nods her agreement. It's never a bad idea to talk about things when you're confused and there's a great deal going on here that she is completely clueless about. The name mentioned is unfamiliar to her but if this man has Athena's trust then he has her's as well by default. It would be nice to know there are atleast a few more allies lurking about.
"Sounds good to me!"
Log created on 23:37:12 10/12/2016 by Athena, and last modified on 20:30:25 10/15/2016.