December 18, 2018, 06:45:51 PM

Author Topic:  [MP] Fall Seven Times, Stand Up Eight  (Read 690 times)

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Kikuchi Shoichi [ Professor ]
18 Posts  •  52  •  upāsaka  •  played by Ταeδ
[MP] Fall Seven Times, Stand Up Eight
« on: August 14, 2018, 07:24:06 PM »
It lacked but one minute to the 2 o'clock bell on Wednesday afternoon the fifteen of May, and muffled murmuring filled the packed stands that surrounded the forest arena west of the Mahoutokoro outer wall. Kikuchi Shoichi was unsurprised by this. As far as "exciting" academic events went, the Showcase - the culmination of the Seishin no Mezame - was the most anticipated every year. Shoichi had been impressed by what he had seen of this year's applicants so far. There were maybe just a few less than in years past, though in reality it fluctuated based on the braveness (or foolhardiness) of the students that were attending Mahoutokoro. He himself had sat in on the first half of Tung's tests that very morning, in the rotation as one of the "attackers" while the applicants performed their three assigned spells. But Ogami had excused him an hour and a half before lunch, to allow him to prep for the afternoon festivities. In his twenty-plus years at Mahoutokoro, this was only Shoichi's second time moderating the Showcase.

The bell on the Shōrō Pagoda floating above them rang out twice, and Shoichi stood up immediately, attired in his best kyōjutai with the Mahoutokoro-embroidered hirao-no-tare descending from his belt. Though his voice held a solemn quiet tone, he had already used the Sonorus charm on his throat prior to climbing up into the professors' box, so all of the students filling the stands around the arena would have no trouble hearing him. "Good afternoon," he intoned, and after the sound of students rising to their feet briefly filled the arena, a hush fell across the well-cultured student body just as if he had cast a Quietus spell. "All of you but the first-years have faithfully observed this fine tradition of our school before, so I will keep the explanations to a minimum.

"The students you are about to see demonstrating their prowess have applied to be students of the First Rank. Those who are preparing their showcase piece are those that have passed all three measures of the Seishin no Mezame thus far, which began on Monday. Having endured tests of the Mind, Body, and Magic, they are prepared to show some of their independent studies and the things they have accomplished based on their education at Mahoutokoro.

"During each demonstration, spectating students will not speak, distract, interfere with, or interrupt the applicants. Failure to adhere to this rule will result in removal from the arena, detention, and possibly a forfeiture of your year-end exams, meaning you will repeat your current year," Kikuchi-sensei spoke clearly and sternly, pausing to make sure everyone understood the consequences. Each year's moderator said the same thing and in Shoichi's entire tenure here no student had ever violated the rule, but one never knew when discipline might fail. A little reminder just made sure everyone present understood the seriousness of this rite of passage and the severity of derailing it.

"If we are all clear, spectators may be seated once more." Another brief rumble of students returning to their chairs, and then more silence. Yet again Shoichi was pleased with the level of respect the student body gave to their instructors and their peers. Turning his head to either side and meeting the gaze of all his fellow professors, and lastly Headmaster Ogami, he nodded and intoned once again into the large open space.

"Applicant 1, you may enter."


OOC: All Mahoutokoro students are REQUIRED to post here at least once in order to age up for the following year - bearing in mind Kikuchi-sensei's warning about being disruptive. Spectators may post at any time.

Applicants may post in any order they wish. Enter the arena from an enclosed wing and describe your performance feat with as great a detail as possible. The more impressive (but realistic) the feat, and the better it is described, the better score you will receive toward your final Seishin no Mezame score and the chance to become a first rank student.

Good luck!
« Last Edit: October 01, 2018, 03:26:15 PM by Taed »

Nyima [ Kaze ]
28 Posts  •  18  •  lesbian  •  played by Ταeδ
Re: [MP] Fall Seven Times, Stand Up Eight
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2018, 01:50:09 PM »
OOC: As an additional aid, if you would like to see a sample post, please see Nyima's roleplay sample on her profile, which is her Showcase presentation from two years ago when she underwent the Seishin no Mezame.



Nyima's last Showcase. As a student, at least. It was a bittersweet realisation, but she was determined to enjoy the festivities no less than otherwise. The professors at Mahoutokoro demanded great things from any students that thought themselves ready for the Seishin no Mezame, regardless of their age, so by the time they reached the Showcase only the most accomplished of student witches and wizards remained and their presentations were always wonderful to behold. The system that Mahoutokoro had in place for student ranking, a system she inferred the other wizarding schools of the world did not have, set the bar high and encouraged the student body to continuously work hard to better themselves and their skills. That's why Mahoutokoro was the best.

She was sitting "alone", sort of, in the top row of the forest arena, between the Kaze and Tsuchi "sections" since many students tended to congregate with their own Housemates. Still, the cooperative spirit that Mahoutokoro also fostered was so imbued in student life that the mons of all five Houses could be found scattered all over the oval-shaped amphitheatre, and there were three or four Kitsunebi students and a Kukan sitting just a few rows below Nyima, chatting merrily with some of her Kaze Housemates. The Showcase hadn't properly started yet.

But just as the thought passed through Nyima's mind, a loud metallic peal rang out, surprising her and raising her hands to her ears even though she had known the Shōrō Pagoda had been floating above them; the volume still shocked her and she had to calm herself even as Kikuchi-sensei's magically amplified voice called out. She stood solemnly and silently along with the rest of the student body, wincing from a faint ringing in her right ear, listening to Kikuchi-sensei give the brief introduction to the ceremony, before allowing the students to be seated once more. As she did so she gently ran her pinky fingertip along the rim of her ear canal in an empty motion of trying to eliminate the last of the ringing, and then sighing (silently), looked back to the professors box to wait for Kikuchi-sensei's announcement of the first applicant. When he did so, Nyima turned her attention immediately to the ground entrance of the arena, wondering who had inherited the dubious honour of being "Applicant Number 1."
« Last Edit: October 01, 2018, 03:26:37 PM by Taed »

Ding Na Xia [ Mizuchi ]
11 Posts  •  15 Years Old  •  Heterosexual  •  played by Heather <33
Re: [MP] Fall Seven Times, Stand Up Eight
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2018, 10:35:21 PM »
Na Xia had studied hard for the Seishin No Mezame for the duration of the year. She tried her best not to miss out on events, nor friendships, but it came down to proving to her family that she was a good student by passing every single part this year. Last year, she failed the last part of the examination, which was rather shameful to come home and share. Instead of giving up and being deemed a someone to have no luck, Na Xia vouched to try again. She trained her mind, body, and soul, on top of making sure her magic was greater than it was previously. The witch closed her eyes as she sat on the floor with her back against the wall for a silent moment.

She passed all three parts of the test this time, though it was equally as challenging as it was before. The difference was her confidence. During part one, she passed with a 46, and although she wanted a perfect score, she was equally happy to have passed the written test. For the second part, Na Xia trained herself for, and she pulled through, though barely, all the way to the end. She even tripped once, and almost crumbled in sadness, but she wouldn't let her own self get in the way. The last part of the exam, Magic, was difficult and challenging, but Na Xia had survived through it, completing the difficult spells while dodging other spells. That was what she failed the year prior, and when the third part finished, she couldn't help but celebrate and jump for joy.

The witch smiled silently to herself as she zoned out into her own world for a brief reset. She didn't want her nerves to get the better of her, but truly, Na Xia wanted to do good at the showcase for herself, her family and for Sensei Roe Yong-Sook who graciously sponsored her entry. Her eyes fluttered open the moment she heard her number.

Applicant 1...

The fifth year gracefully got up from her meditative position and walked out onto the arena in silence, her delicate fan dangling from its strings as she bowed to the crowd before her. Her wand was delicately held in her hand. She stood still for a brief moment before she turned around in one motion, bringing the fan open behind her back. Much that she had learned, was that a wand was an extension of oneself, as much as a fan. With that, she began her showcase.

Moving gracefully, she began a summoning ritual, to summon a shikigami of which would require a great deal of strength to contain. Her eyes laid upon the floor before her as she circled, her wand flicking every few moments. She chanted for the spirit of Enenra, the monster of smoke and darkness. The moment the middle of the floor caught fire, Na Xia fluttered her fan, giving breath to the creature appearing before her. The Enenra arose from the flame, like campfire smoke taking on a shadowy form.

She circled it in a fighting stance, her wand pointed at the creature as it briefly remained motionless. While some students went for dangerous acts, the Enenra wasn't inherently an evil creature of evil doing. No, that wasn't why she summoned it. She summoned it because it was difficult to contain. That was the point. She wanted to contain a smoke monster. She gave a brief shout, and indication for it to move, and the smoke monster shifted and began to move.

Na Xia placed her wand within her ceremonial updo, much like a fancy chopstick to hold her hair. She then pulled out a barrier rune, and held it up to the crowd as the Enenra moved away from her. She looked at the monster, bowing before it as it tried to escape the arena getting close to the crowd. She concentrated on the rune within her hand in order to form the barrier she needed, and the fan within the other, and quietly spoke words as the smoke creature hovered over her fellow students. It began to shrink, and she waved the fan toward herself, as a strength of beckoning. The monster twisted and squirmed, changing into a multitude of shapeless blobs.

She continued her focus as it continued to struggle over the crowd against her trapping spell and it got smaller and smaller, darker and darker, like a fishing net crumpling up into itself. The Enenra wiggled its way free from her barrier, much like catching smoke with one's own hands, and she momentarily frowned before directing the fan in its direction, beconing it once more. It drew closer and smaller, darker and more black. The containment spell was working, and if she wasn't trying hard to concentrate she'd probably jump for joy. But at the moment, the young lady was sweating profusely as she concentrated and channeled the magic within her to contain the smoke monster. She didn't doubt she could do it, she knew she could, it was a matter of proving to everyone else she was worth the title.

The smoke monster found itself within a tight blackened sphere, floating within the air before Na Xia. She rested her delicate fan beneath the smoke monster, and the rune above it. She didn't dare take her eyes off of the smoke monster's tiny form as she crushed the barrier into her fan. A bright light burst from the barrier as the monster dripped itself into the fan. The fan's color faded before everyone's eyes to pitch black as it trapped the Enenra within it. To ensure her audience understood what happened, she whipped the fan from left to right in front of her body, streams of smoke trailed the brief wind.

The Chinese girl silently bowed, the fan still outstretched before her, and she gave a small smile to the floor. Her heart was racing, sweat was dripping on the floor, and she felt rather weak. The summon, trap, contain, and seal ritual was complete. All of the things she had learned in advanced Kekkai and Fuuin. She was sure Roe Yong-Sook was proud. She felt it within her soul that she did a good performance. Na Xia left the arena, fan in hand, as she went to go look for a place to rest, calm herself, and towel herself off, before joining the rest of the students to watch the remaining performances.

丁娜霞

Murakami Ryūnosuke [ Inactive Character ]
38 Posts  •  17  •  no  •  played by Elena
Re: [MP] Fall Seven Times, Stand Up Eight
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2018, 12:00:08 PM »
Ryūnosuke had mixed feelings about having to attend the Showcase as a spectator. Considering the fact that both his parents have voluntarily dropped out of Mahoutokoro during their sixth year, this school year had been the most stressful for him. Of course, his professors had only words of praise regarding his studies and work, but somehow that wasn’t enough. For Ryūnosuke, until he would see himself in the summer vacation, actually having successfully passed his sixth year, nothing else would work to calm him down. Then again, once summer would be here there would be the question of whether or not he will actually graduate and pass his seventh year. He wanted to be successful academically, he wanted to graduate, and he wanted to do what his parents so nonchalantly rejected to.

Having to watch the Showcase wasn’t helping him at all; seeing others pass when he felt his own future was so frail wasn’t helping with easing his anxiety. Ryūnosuke therefore had decided not to stay alongside his dormitory mates for this Showcase, and made his way to the top row of the forest arena, somewhere between the Kaze and Tsuchi sections. He’d taken note of the presence of one of his most respected senpai and zero rank @Nyima, and gracefully bowed as he passed by her, showing his admiration as per usual. Ryūnosuke however didn’t take a seat next to his senpai, but instead left a decent amount of space between them. The three seats between the two of them weren’t occupied, or not yet – but the Tsuchi would have rather had them empty, for he really didn’t need other students commenting and therefore causing him even more anxiety.

The speech that Kikuchi-sensei offered had been perfectly flawless, as usual, nonetheless it did not soothe any of Ryūnosuke’s worries. It was only when he’d seen Na Xia on stage that the sixth year had managed a small, soft smile, and the boy arranged his glasses so he could properly pay attention to his friend. If anything, him attending the Showcase was worth just because he wanted to be there for the younger Mizuchi. Ryūnosuke did not have many female friends, for girls generally approached him with other thoughts in mind, so he appreciated Na Xia and valued her highly. He was sure that she will succeed, for Ryūnosuke was aware how hard she’d worked this past year. She deserved the golden robes, perhaps more than any other candidate.

Ryūnosuke watched her display quite focused, but calm. He was sure of the income, of his friend’s success. And Na Xia soon managed to trap Enerna within her fan, causing a satisfied smirk to appear on his face. As his friend elegantly bowed, Ryūnosuke had been tempted to get up and go look for her, but decided against it. It would be disrespectful towards others. But as soon as every other candidate would finish their test, he would definitely meet up with his friend and treat her with some sweets. Perhaps they could go to the cat café together later on. Na Xia definitely deserved a great prize for all her hard work.

w h y   d o n ' t   y o u   t e a c h   y o u r   h e a r t   t o   f i l l   a n d   g i v e   y o u r   l o v e   l o v e
m u r a k a m i   r y ū n o s u k e

Nakamura Yuki [ Mizuchi ]
9 Posts  •  14  •  Heterosexual
Re: [MP] Fall Seven Times, Stand Up Eight
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2018, 03:23:28 AM »
Truth be told, Nakamura Yuki had opted to take the Seishin No Mezame on a whim, and while she had studied for it, many of her friends had already decided that she would not pass the exam, something that made her even more determined to do her best. Nevertheless, as a third year student, and as someone’s whose weaknesses were mostly academic, their doubt made sense. Yuki wrote her mother several times seeking advice but the kind woman had simply encouraged her to do her best. There was no pressure to succeed, in fact, even her mother was surprised that she had opted to take the exam at such a young age when even her brother had not done so. However, the young Mizuchi longed to prove herself—longed to show that the Seishin No Mezame was not simply about academic prowess but was also about determination, something that the young witch had an abundance of.

However, Yuki was also a reasonable person, or at least tried to be whenever possible and after the dreams of passing with a perfect score and leaving those who doubted her in awe, she also realized that there were four stages to the test and as such, it was imperative that she take each part with equal amount of seriousness so she had studied. Studied harder than she had ever done so before in order to prove herself worthy of the title should she be able to receive it. The difficult of the first three tests exceeded her expectations and as such, at the end of the first three parts she was riddled with worry that she had not passed. Never one to be too confident to begin with, she mulled over each question of the Test of the Mind with care, passing with a score of forty-five points, much to her delight.

The Test of the Body was a challenge, especially as Nakamura Yuki had never had much athletic ability. Not to mention, anything related to combat had always been the girl’s weakness. The obstacle course was even difficult for fellow test takers that were active in athletic clubs at the school, how much more so would it be a challenge for the young girl? Regardless, Yuki was unrelenting and although she did not complete everything flawlessly, she was more focused on completing it than looking graceful doing it, considering that the showcase would be the final portion of the exam, she finished with a passing score.

Surprisingly, Yuki performed much better in the Test of Magic portion of the Seishin No Mezame than anything else and part of that she attributed to becoming better adjusted to the usage of her wand. She had sought the help of other classmates and professors as many times as possible during the year and had even gone as far as to make that a part of her daily regimen of studying in preparation. But in the end, here she was, the girl whom some believed would not make it past the first portion of the test and thinking about that brought a smile to herself. Yuki had managed to surprise herself, and even if the outcome was not as she wished it, knowing that she was capable of getting this far was a sort of encouragement in itself. The serene expression on her face quickly shifted to one of nervousness, however, when her number was called. Looking over to the shamisen propped against the chair, she grabbed it delicately and went on her way.

She took a deep breath, giving herself a determined nod before stepping out into the arena. Yuki was beyond nervous, and could feel it in the way her hands shook as she took in the size of the crowd, her eyes sweeping to see if she saw any familiar faces before she shook her head and looked down, that would only make her much more nervous, especially if she saw the face of her sempai, Murakami Ryunosuke. She wanted to impress him, of course, but she also knew that impressing him would not give her the mental and physical strength to complete the challenge and so she reminded herself over and over, like a mantra of encouragement, that she not only could do it, but would.

Yuki had considered how she wanted to perform the showcase for some time, particularly because she knew that in those brief minutes, if anything went wrong, she would be devastated with her failure. Therefore, rather than to choose something that would take extra time to learn, she had chosen something more simple, something that she was quite familiar with: the shamisen. Yuki had been learning how to play the instrument for some time and while it was not a part of everyday conversation, she did play it. Taking a seat towards the middle of the arena, she began to play the instrument, chanting along with the music as she began the summoning ritual. Yuki had opted for something simple, and hesitated slightly when she caught sight of the nekomata, the forked-tail cat that looked at her as it made its way casually towards her. Yuki had remembered to pack something in the folds of her kimono, a few dried fish to lure the cat and it seemed to be working. The nekomata looked at her cautiously and as it got closer, Yuki abruptly stopped the music and set the instrument down, cautiously rising to her feet.

The nekomata became suspicious, obvious by its sudden defensive stance as she reached for her wand and it was then that it lunged towards her, transforming three times its size as it did, the fireballs at the end of its two tails seemingly coming to life in a similar manner. Yuki took a step back, just in time to protect herself by creating a barrier of energy around her, and she waved her wand, pushing the nekomata back as it growled ferociously. Yuki suddenly felt frightened by the monstrous creature, her heart pounding in her chest. But her protective spell diminished once the nekomata caught sight of the crowd around it and threw a fireball in the direction of the audience. Yuki had not considered that, and as such, panicked before using her wand to cast a spell to protect those in the line of fire. Alarmed, she acted quickly, concentrating as she focused her energy on confining the nekomata to the shamisen before her. All things considered, the shamisen was probably not her best idea but it would have to do, she had to do something before the entire showcase was out of her control. Even though it took a few moments, Yuki could sense that the spell was working as the nekomata became somehow more docile in nature, the aggressive behavior and contempt he held towards the crowd and towards her, seemed to slowly but its facial expression stayed the same. It was working, oh, it was slowly working, the strength of the nekomata becoming less and less until it seemingly dissipated into a shadowy purple mist resembling a flame that engulfed her shamisen before quieting down. Yuki fell to her knees when the mist disappeared, taking several heavy breaths as she did. Looking up, she remembered that she was still in the showcase and embarrassed by her sudden display she stood to her feet shakily, bowing in the direction of all sides of the student body before leaving the arena in a hurry.

Yuki was not sure if she had demonstrated the type of showcase that her sensei expected but she had done it and to that end, even if she were to fail, she was still quite proud of herself.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2018, 03:23:48 AM by Mel »


Miyahara Misaki [ Kitsunebi ]
14 Posts  •  11  •  ?  •  played by Kita
Re: [MP] Fall Seven Times, Stand Up Eight
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2018, 08:42:42 PM »
So this was the mighty showcase. Misaki had been looking forward to seeing the event with her own two eyes the entire year. She was eager to see what all the fuss was about, why this was her goal, why she'd spent her life so hung up on the moment that she would be waiting behind the arena to do the showcase herself. The gong sounded and she obediently rose with the rest of the student body, and listened intently to the explanation of the event. Sitting down when the student body was instructed to do so, the young actress leaned forward in her seat, desperate to see the first applicant.

Misaki's eyes widened as a girl she knew stepped into the arena. She was from the Ding family, a family with which the Miyahara family had had friendly contact with. The actress was even more hopeful the Ding girl would succeed. The Kitsunebi waited with baited breath as the student began summoning something. Misaki did not know what the incantations were summoning just yet, but she would soon learn it. She had to. The Japanese witch gasped in shock as the floor caught fire and she rubbed her eyes in disbelief as a smoke monster appeared. For Misaki, that was impressive in and of itself. Sure, the high-maintenance witch didn't appreciate the fact that this smoke monster was heading in her direction but, as if Na Xia had read her thoughts, she began containing it and making it somehow smaller and smaller. Misaki tightly gripped the edges of her seat in sheer awe of the witch's talent. "Woah," she breathed, surprised by the bright light made by the contact between the rune and the fan. As Na Xia moved her now blackened fan around her, Misaki realised that the smoke monster was now in the fan. "That's so cool!" Misaki whispered, mainly to herself. She had to ask the Ding witch to help her and she would not take no for an answer.

The second applicant soon appeared and the actress had to make a double take. She looked very young for a potential first rank, and yet had somehow gotten through all three tests? Misaki wiggled in her seat, smirking a little. If this girl could do it, then why couldn't she? She played a pretty instrument with an equally nice melody whilst summoning a... cat yokai? Well, that isn't as impressive as a smoke monster! It seemed like an angry cat too. This was why she had Dorayaki, her nice lovely little Shiba Inu. Dogs were way better than cats. A frown formed on the actress's face, as she began to worry a little. This younger applicant didn't seem very in control of the situation. A fireball suddenly came in her direction and Misaki couldn't help but gasp again, ducking her head to protect herself, not waiting to see if the applicant would take care of it for her. The Kitsunebi cautiously raised her head, partly, then once she saw it was safe, returned to normal. Somehow, the girl had actually done it. But Misaki felt that there was no way she'd passed. How could she? She'd almost set a famous actress on fire! Her manager would not have been happy.

Misaki looked back out towards the arena, hoping that the remainder of the applicants would be more like Na Xia rather than the girl she'd just seen.

Akiyama Rei [ Kitsunebi ]
26 Posts  •  15  •  Heterosexual  •  played by Olivia
Re: [MP] Fall Seven Times, Stand Up Eight
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2018, 01:02:56 AM »
The May sunshine flooded the stands as Rei weaved her way among the spectators, settling quickly into the first empty space she found. Normally surrounded by friends, the Fourth Year preferred to sit alone this afternoon. She’d been tormented by whether or not to sign up for the Seishin No Mezame for weeks, and had ultimately decided she was not ready; and now that the day was upon them, she was half-wondering if she’d made a mistake.
The clangor of the Shōrō Pagoda’s bell brought her automatically to her feet, and Kikuchi-sensei’s welcome and conduct advisories filled her ears; but her brain still buzzed with uncertainty.

Barely moving her head to see who else was in her immediate vicinity, she spotted Misaki-chan towards the end of the row and instantly felt a combination of relief and guilt that her cousin was a little ways away. Rei adored the younger girl, of course, but she had a sinking feeling that the First Year would ask her why she wasn’t participating and Rei wasn’t sure she wanted to have that conversation. They weren’t permitted to speak or have side-conversations during the trial, anyways, but the physical distance put the fifteen-year-old slightly more at ease. She knew she shouldn’t feel ashamed for not feeling prepared as a Fourth Year – and yet, she did all the same. The witch had always been ambitious and eager to take on challenges… but not exactly this one. And the news that a Third Year had made it to the final task certainly wasn’t helping her internal struggle.

Kikuchi-sensei bade them be seated and she did so obediently, clasping her hands tightly in her lap so she wouldn’t be tempted to fidget with them.

The first applicant was a Fifth Year Mizuchi that Rei knew by face but with whom she was not particularly well-acquainted. Within the first few moments it was evident that Summoning would be the first phase of her exhibition; sure enough, an Enenra appeared shortly thereafter, tendrils of smoke curling from its ethereal form. Rei found herself drawn into the performance, forgetting her own worries, nearly forgetting to breathe as she vicariously took on the older girl’s current stressor: containing the notoriously difficult-to-contain Enenra. When the task was complete, she exhaled slowly and applauded politely along with the rest of the crowd as the Mizuchi bowed and took her leave.

The crowd quieted almost instantly out of respect for the next applicant. But the Kitsunebi heard a sharp intake of breath as the Third Year took the stage, and it wasn’t until an older student nearby fixed Rei with a curious look that she realized the sound had been her own doing. The Fourth Year ducked her head sharply in acceptance of the admonishment and attempted to rearrange her expression to one of neutral tranquility – despite the waves of anxiety and self-doubt that rolled through her, prickling her palms and causing her heart to slam against her ribcage with much more force than was necessary. Surely, she didn’t want the younger girl to fail; she didn’t wish failure on anyone. But if this Third Year felt she was ready, and was successful… why wasn’t she, Rei, when she was a whole year older?

The younger girl began to play, and after a few moments a curious but wary nekomata appeared.
Unease prickled at the small hairs on the back of her neck as the nekomata became increasingly agitated. Was she trying to provoke it? What—?
Her thoughts were interrupted mid-stream as the nekomata snarled again, turned abruptly away from the applicant, and proceeded to launch a fireball in the direction of the crowd. Rei flinched involuntarily and reached for her wand on reflex – but as her fingers wrapped around it, the fireball abruptly dissipated as it struck what appeared to be an invisible barrier. She wasn’t sure whether the shield charm had already been put into place by Kikuchi-sensei prior to the showcase or whether the applicant herself had hastily cast it herself, but it hardly seemed to matter. The hand still clutching her wand trembled inside the pocket of her robes and she kept it safely there for the time being, watching the remainder of the performance in a detached sort of manner without truly processing it. What would have happened had she drawn her wand, even in self-defense? Had she even been in any real danger, though? One thing was for sure: it would have interfered with the showcase… which meant she could have been forced to repeat Fourth Year. The mere notion made her feel intensely nauseated, and she spent the next few minutes trying to avoid showing everyone in the vicinity what she’d had for lunch. She hadn’t processed what the end goal had been, save for the fact that the nekomata had seemed to disappear altogether.

By the time the applicant bowed and departed the stage, Rei’s fingers had begun to cramp but the trembling had mercifully stopped. She closed her eyes briefly and joined the crowd once again in polite applause. She could only hope the rest of the showcases were less… stressful… for both the applicants’ and the spectators’ sakes.
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this is the correlation of salvation and love
don't drop your arms
don't drop your arms, I'll guard your heart
with quiet words, I'll lead you in

Nakamoto Madoka [ Tsuchi ]
3 Posts  •  16  •  Bisexual  •  played by Kei
Re: [MP] Fall Seven Times, Stand Up Eight
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2018, 03:19:56 AM »
There was no telling what could happen, Madoka had thought he had his whole Seishin planned out, but everyone was doing so well. He felt that if maybe he could be strikingly unique in a way, then maybe he’d have somewhat of a chance. He had…very little expectations for himself, and to him, that’s okay with him. It’s fine if he fails, it’s okay if he doesn’t really do as well as the others. Not to say that he had worked so hard for this moment, this whole year was filled with him just preparing for this moment. Now, now he was a bit frustrated. Mostly because he had prepared so much and— still, had very little idea of what he was going to do.

Somehow, somehow he had passed all three parts of this test. Nevertheless, it was extremely tough, but he had a feeling that it wouldn’t even be the hardest part of the exam. He had heard from others that after the three tests, the ending would be particularly simple, as long as you managed to blow people away. From what he had observed from the people before him— what was it? Two others? He shook his head, trying to clear his thoughts, chewing on his lip and starting to pace. From the other people he had observed, there was that one girl, he couldn’t really remember her name, but she looked rather familiar, she did well, containing a smoke monster? She did it very well indeed.

The other girl, she was definitely interesting. She had done something with a nekomata which then ended up with a fireball soaring towards the audience, many of them ducking down, it was honestly a dangerous showcase but— she had handled it well, despite being a little scared, from what he could tell. Nonetheless, he could see why people thought she may have done ‘badly’ but in his opinion, it was a great spectacle which included a small fright, in fact, she made it looked planned, almost. For this reason exactly, he realized that his whole routine, might have to be revised a bit. He had to do well, for his father, for his sensei, for himself. Madoka needed this.

And, of course, right when he had thought of a grand plan, his number was called, and he was forced to walk out onstage as confidently as possible, his hair bouncing as he walked, his hair messy and his glasses slumped on the tip of his nose, he can do this, he’ll be perfectly okay.

He sat down, crossing his legs and bowing his head, his hands down on his thighs, crossed. His hands start to move in a water like motion, hands trying to emulate the flow of water. He stands up, inhaling sharply and flowing back down to the ground, his body basically rippling, his kimono flowing prettily down. This, in short was his summoning ritual, repeating these movements over and over again— he realized, that he was dancing, the summoning ritual was a dance that would hopefully do the trick. And then small body of water appeared in the stage, and with it, a Kappa.

He was shocked that it had actually worked, a Kappa was in his presence. One that he actually summoned, his chest swelling with pride as he stood, looking over into the pond. A creature, the size of a human child but looked like a reptile humanoid, bright red with scales, was in the pond, swimming around. A dish-like depression at the top of its head. Perfect. He stepped into the pond, wading it and attempting to lure it out— and suddenly, speedy fast, it jumped the boy, claws digging into his shoulder.

He lunged back, crawling back and almost kicking the animal off him, but before it could it was already scrambling back into the water, not wanting to get back onto land, he groaned softly, sitting up, pointing his wand at it and walking around it, trying to seem less intimidating, incase the yokai were to jump out and attack him again. These yokai fed off human entrails, and something that Madoka only wanted to use when he really needed. Right now, he needed to lure the creature out and tame it, force it to be his friend forever— before letting it free again.

He was indeed, lost in his own head, too busy thinking to do anything else, he had turned around when he was knocked backwards, rolling across the stage with a grunt, the yokai was extremely determined, and Madoka was deterred. He stood up shakily, looking at the yokai with a smirk— it was on land. He drew his wand out further, reaching into his kimono and taking out cucumbers, basically running away from the Kappa, using his hand to break the cucumber in half, staying still and rolling it over to the little thing.

The Kappa instantly devoured it, and just as Madoka was about to bow, the Kappa passed gas. A terrible pungent smell emanated the area, Madoka coughed, using his wand to create a barrier before the strong stench could really make out to the audience, but just as quick as he put it up, many things happened. The Kappa jumped back into the water, and the shield went down, not paying much attention as the smell permeated the area. He quickly cast a spell to clear the air, walking around and grinning at the Kappa, he was frankly sick and tired of this, wanted it to be over. He bared his teeth at it, the yokai reacting angrily and lunging at Madoka, the boy dodged it, barely.

He broke the other half of the cucumber, laying it out and chuckling as the yokai eats it quickly, instantly bowed down as far as he could go. The yokai then followed his movements, the water at the small dish depression on his head flowing out, and he jumped in glee. Shuffling over to it and muttering something along the lines of a command, standing up and backing up, the yokai following his movements, he commanded for it to go and clean up the cucumber pieces that were left, and it worked, thankfully, the Kappa throwing it into the pond. Madoka did a little dance, the Kappa copying his movements. For a while, the Kappa went around dancing and cleaning before Madoka commanded it to stop, sitting back down in a meditation stance, muttering a spell to contain the Kappa, making sure everything along with it would disappear, he did the before hand movements, this time ending it with his hands touching the stage, and the Kappa along with the pond, disappeared.

He stood up shakily, bowing towards the crowd and walking off stage, hoping that this would be enough for everyone. That hopefully, it was a good enough representation of his skills.

Akiyama Ren [ Kukan ]
96 Posts  •  Seventeen  •  Closeted Homosexual  •  played by Dylan
  • i don't want to throw anyone under the bus here unless they are my enemy or betrayer or if it will help me get where i'm going faster
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  • Gringotts
  • Trophy Closet Participated in or spectated at First Rank Test, May 2002 Participated at the Academy Anansi July/August 2001 Participated in or spectated at First Rank Test, May 2001 Pureblood Character Upper Middle Class Family Member
Re: [MP] Fall Seven Times, Stand Up Eight
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2018, 07:52:15 PM »
It was difficult to sit for the first rank test this year, Ren thought, as he filed in next to his lover. He knew his sister, Rei, would not be participating as he had hoped, and he knew few of the people who would be participating in the test. He forgave Rei, of course. If she wasn't ready then she wasn't ready, and he respected that. Even he hadn't taken  his first rank test in his fourth year. He didn't take it until he was a 5th year, and was sure that she would take it when she was ready.

He sat down next to Natsuo, not worrying about which section he was in. The two of them were near-inseparable now, always sitting together, always talking, always involved in something. They weren't out yet, and Ren didn't think they ever would be, but everyone knew things had changed between them, at least Ren thought that much was obvious. He sat casually next to him, sitting his hand over Natsuo's knee when he thought no one was looking. When the showcase began, he got very quiet.

The show was interesting, but full of summoning. As someone who wasn't very good with summoning, Ren found this to be less interesting the past showcases had been. Ren had done illusions for his test, which was much more in his scope than any kind of summoning magic had ever been. He had composed a literal symphony for the event and played it with magic. He knew he was judging them for being good at something he was not, but he couldn't help feeling bored. Even when fire balls came towards the crowd, Ren was high up enough to not feel phased. Still, everyone did well. Even his cousin, a third year, was showing that she was good enough to be one of the highly elite fourth year first-ranks. He clapped louder for Yuki than the rest, because he knew her better.

He wanted to chat with Natsuo, make some running commentary about the show, but he took the threat of being held back seriously, and would sooner drop out than spend another year in this place. He was ready to move on with his life, move on to something bigger and brighter. This showcase meant nothing to him, anymore. He had wanted it so badly when he hadn't attained it. He had wanted to be first, rank, zero rank, but what did it mean in the real world? He had put so much effort into nothing, and thought that, perhaps, these students were doing it too.
I f   y o u   w a n t   t o   f i n d   o u t   w h a t ' s   b e h i n d   t h e s e   c o l d   e y e s

Y o u ' l l   j u s t   h a v e   t o   c l a w   y o u r   w a y   t h r o u g h   t h i s   d i s g u i s e

Sono Natsuo [ Kitsunebi ]
79 Posts  •  17  •  Homosexual  •  played by Sarah C
  • We all have ways of coping. I use sex and awesomeness.
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  • Trophy Closet Participated in or spectated at First Rank Test, May 2002 Participated at the Academy Anansi July/August 2001 Kitsunebi Tengu
Re: [MP] Fall Seven Times, Stand Up Eight
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2018, 10:13:51 PM »
His last Seishin. It felt a little surreal to be sitting here as tengu, knowing he would never be back here, watching students showcase their talents like he had in his fifth year. Seemed so long ago now. Everything felt different. He and Yoshi were quits, awkward around each other as two intimate strangers. And Ren...

He and Ren were together. His lover, his secret boyfriend, his new-old friend, his band mate. They were rebuilding their lives, piecing a new thing together from old memories and new experiences. The hand on his knee when no one was looking was like a brand, marking him as belonging to the boy next to him. He rested his large, pleasantly warm hand over Ren's. They would graduate, work together to get their band up and running. Ren's connections would help with that. Until they made it big, Natsuo would wait tables and take any odd job he needed to pay the bills.

Natsuo was pulled from his thoughts as the first of the applicants for first rank stepped onto the stage. He was intrigued by her summoning ritual. Unlike Ren, Natsuo had a deep interest in yokai, summoning, and binding. He had considered for a while being specializing in that kind of magic, but then Ren had come back into his life and given him a way to bleed off some of the reserve of emotions he kept bottled inside himself all the time. This gorl did well, and Natsuo clapped as everyone did. The next girl up was someone Natsuo knew much better than the first applicant. Yuki was the younger sister of his former lover @Nakamura Yoshio and he had known her and her brother since they were all children. Natsuo watched her with baited breath, hoping she would gain control of her performance back, sighing in relief and clapping loudly as she contained the cat yokai and walked off the stage.

There was a surprising number of summon performances, and they were all as unique as the students performing them. He linked his fingers through Ren's when he thought everyone was sufficiently distracted by the action on stage, smiling warmly at the other boy. He was tempted to lean in and steal a kiss, but Ren would surely not tolerate that kind of thing in public. Instead he simply kept close, letting his boyfriend feel his affection in little secret touches they shared while the rest of the tests went on below them.
all my sleeves are stained red

from all the truths that I bled

Ahn Jung-hee [ Mizuchi ]
34 Posts  •  16  •  Homosexual  •  played by Sarah C
Re: [MP] Fall Seven Times, Stand Up Eight
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2018, 03:37:57 AM »
It was only last year the Jung-hee had been one of the students down on that stage, shaky and sweaty as he prepared himself to perform in front of the whole school. Somehow he didn't pass out on the stage and he even managed to pass! He had been so excited, almost overwhelmed. Later, he'd cried a little bit while his cousin Ren had hugged him and told him he was proud of him for doing so well. It was one of the best moments of his life.

This year had been a bit of a rollercoaster. He'd started out so high, so sure this year would be somehow different from all the rest. He tried to be someone more confident, more assured. He was surprised to find that he had attracted the attention of his long-time crush,  @Nakamura Yoshio. The two of them got very close very quickly. The helpless Mizuchi found himself falling more and more in love with his new friend. He fought the attraction as hard as he could. He was convinced that there was nothing between them. But before they left for the winter break, Yoshio had kissed him. Jung-hee still blushed to think of what happened after the kisses. They had promised to write, to stay close until the break was over. But even though Jung-hee had written religiously, he never received any response from the other boy.

He was crushed when he returned to school to find Yoshio looking through him like he didn't even exist. Jung-hee had always been rather vulnerable, and this pushed him as close to ending it all as he'd ever been before. Luckily, he lost the will to go through with his plan and Yoshio had found him and asked for his forgiveness. They had been together ever since. Even now, he was sitting next to the Kukan as they listened attentively to the instructions. Of course they both knew the rules. And while in any given year they would be well behaved, this year he was especially on edge. Yoshio's younger sister was attempting the exam. He wanted to support both of them, even though he had yet to meet her. Yoshio had mentioned the two of them finally meeting, and that was terrifying enough for the nervous Mizuchi although he saw it as a good sign for their budding relationship.

So lost in his own thoughts, Jung-hee almost missed the first performance completely, catching the very end as the other students ooohhh and ahhhwwed at the smoke trailing from the girl's fan. He clapped extra hard to make up for his lack of courtesy. But luckily Yoshio's sister was up next and Jung-hee watched very carefully. She seemed a little more nervous, and Jung-hee could relate to that. The fireball caused him to squeak and cling to Yoshio momentarily, but Yuki got everything back under control and finished her performance. The older boy wasn't sure if she'd shown quite enough mastery of her skills to warrant a passing grade but he thought she should be proud of her accomplishment nevertheless.

The next performers were also summoners, and he was amazed at the talent and perseverance of everyone. He was sure that they all did their very best and he hoped that they would be able to pass the Seishin, if not now then in the coming year.

Nakamura Yoshio [ Kukan ]
55 Posts  •  16  •  Closeted  •  played by Katya
Re: [MP] Fall Seven Times, Stand Up Eight
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2018, 10:31:03 PM »
The year had been a rollercoaster. It had steep up and downs that Yoshi wasn’t sure he would have survived. His world was more grounded now. Now that his mistakes had been forgiven. He had nearly lost everything and the Kukan was grateful that he had been in time. His dark gaze shifted to Jung-hee as he reached out to take the other boy’s hand, intertwining their fingers. They had been through so much this year, a lot of it was Yoshi’s own fault. He had been foolish and afraid. Afraid to give in to what he was feeling and what was ultimately right for him. He could hear the instructions as they were spoken but his mind was elsewhere, on thoughts of the summer and what it would bring.

He remembered when he had been down there with sweaty palms and a cool demeanor. He had worked so hard to pass that even after it was all over he felt he could have done better. He could remember, now, when Jung-hee had stood on that same stage. It was strange how the memories of the other boy began to surface slowly. Moments where he had been in the Mizuchi’s presence and hadn’t remembered.  Nothing would compare to the moment their eyes locked in the hall that day. The feeling of all the pieces dropping into place was so overwhelming, even now it still rose goosebumps on Yoshi’s skin. His thumb ran over Jung-hee’s hand just as the crowd came to life and he released the other boy to clap with his peers. He didn’t give much effort, but he did nod along as if it was far more praise than he would normally give.

Yuki. He shifted to the edge of his seat as his dark gaze watched her. He could tell that she was nervous, “You have this.” He whispered to himself as his brows knitted. The same nervousness he had felt the day of his test seemed to creep up on him now. It was more like the ghost of a memory, but it was there. He inhaled as the fireball was thrown but his nod followed just after as Yuki recovered. He was proud of her for taking on this challenge and for being able to handle herself in such an unexpected turn of events. He smiled brightly as the purple mist lifted and seemingly vanished.

He turned to Jung-hee, dimples on display “She did well, didn't she?” Even if the results didn’t go in her favor she had gone for what she wanted. She had faced the challenge as so many had and she had not allowed the weight of it to crush her. He couldn’t say that he would focus on the rest of the test, not completely, but he could say he was happy with the display he had seen.

Hanaoka Tsubaki [ Kukan ]
9 Posts  •  15  •  maybe bicurious  •  played by Mimi
Re: [MP] Fall Seven Times, Stand Up Eight
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2018, 06:04:26 AM »
Tsubaki was glad that she managed to reach the arena before everyone sat down after Kikuchi-sensei’s speech. So far this year she had managed to do a great job at self-exiling herself – before any of her friends could do that – and the last thing she wanted to do was draw attention to her presence and most importantly tardiness. Earlier that day her friends had invited her to go with them and she declined. Tsubaki did entertain the idea of skipping this year’s showcase because no matter how much she tried to deny it, her ego was still bruised from last year’s failure. She had failed by not even trying at all. She wondered why her friends still stuck by her side and tried their best to include her in their activities despite the failure. It seemed like she completely underestimated the power of money!

She took her seat at the outer edge of the arena with a small, self-deprecating smile on her face as she ran a hand over her hair to make sure that it wasn’t too messy from all that running just to get here in time. The first applicant took her position in the arena after she was called and Tsubaki clenched her fists on her lap. As she had feared, she still hadn’t gotten over her failure in the previous showcase and it was rather difficult to watch other people attempting something that she couldn’t. But she could still appreciate the beauty when it was displayed in front of her. The Mizuchi senpai looked delicate and graceful channelling her magic through her fan. She was soo engrossed in the performance that she jumped slightly when the girl shouted at the summoned Enenra. While most would look at the creature however close to the crowd, Tsubaki’s gaze was focused on the Mizuchi. Her focus was something that Tsubaki lacked during her showcase and if she ever attempted to do it again, she would need to find a way to dissociate herself from worldly matters that could distract her and mess with her head.

Giving credit where it was due, she clapped for the girl before preparing herself for the next applicants. When the next applicant entered, Tsubaki briefly lost her composure. While she was not familiar with the applicants on a personal level, she had seen them out and about between classes and if she was not mistaken, the second Mizuchi girl was actually a year younger than her… the same age as her when she attempted the Seishin no Mezame. She had no ill feelings towards the girl but a part of her hoped that she would blank out the way Tsubaki did and… well, essentially fail. So part of her was disappointed at both the girl and herself when she managed to perform her showcase. While it wasn’t perfect, the fact that she did it didn’t sit well with her. ‘Look at her, if someone like her can do it, why can’t you?’ Even if they were not here, she still heard her aunt’s voice loud and clear in her head. ‘That’s right, it’s because she’s not a failure like you and your mother!’ Tsubaki averted her eyes from the stage and screwed her eyes shut as she tried to block the voices in her head, missing the current showcase along with the upcoming ones.

She had completely forgotten about the voices and the way they taunted and jeered at her for every single mistake that she did. As expected, coming to the showcase was a huge mistake.

Song Eun-soo [ Kaze ]
9 Posts  •  17  •  Heterosexual  •  played by Taylor
  • her face was strangely still, as if seen by moonlight
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  • Trophy Closet Participated in or spectated at First Rank Test, May 2002 Earned at least 35点数 during 2001 Bunkasai
Re: [MP] Fall Seven Times, Stand Up Eight
« Reply #13 on: Yesterday at 12:41:09 AM »
"Do I have to go?" Eun-soo groaned and tried to hide her head under her blanket.

Wednesday afternoons were the only time students got off classes early, usually for extracurricular activities. This was the rare day that Eun-soo was not needed at the library; the last Kabuki performance of the year was over, which meant that she did not need to attend rehearsals anymore, even though she had no idea why she was needed there anyway when all she did was paint the scenery for the backdrops. She tried again to burrow her way back into the futon for a much-needed nap, but she was promptly dragged out again. Eun-soo always forgot how strong Mari was for her size.

After much coaxing, she allowed Mari to drag her out of bed, dress her, and eventually shuffle her to the grounds, where the Seishin test was held. There was a slight desire to punch Mari and knock her out, so she would not go on relentlessly about how important it was for her, as a first rank, to come to these things, formalities were important, and so were first impressions. Eun-soo did not think much of these things. Most students already knew her as the first rank who only did the bare minimum, and had literally no house pride. "We will get to know each other at some point," Eun-soo finally responded, if only to shut Mari up for a moment, "If they are competent enough to pass and actually become a first rank. Until then, it will only be a waste of everyone's time. Now hush, I thought you wanted me to watch this thing."

Right on cue, everyone went silent as the first applicant entered. She had to admit that the seemingly fragile girl was vaguely impressive. Eun-soo did not remember her name quite as clearly, but she knew that the Mizuchi girl was from some semi-important family or another. She narrowed her eyes thoughtfully. Looks like there would be a new addition amongst their ranks next term. But the next two showcases? She had to resist the urge to shake her head– a nekomata and a kappa. What had these younger students been learning in class? That was first—or at best second—year work. The shamisen of the second girl was a nice touch, but far too simple to be considered impressive. She rolled her eyes when some of the younger students flinched at the nekomata's fireball, ignoring Mari's chiding look.

The Seishin test was the only way for students to gain a higher rank and receive better perks, yes, but it was more than that. Many of the young students seemed to forget that some of them would eventually have to shoulder tasks such as barrier and patrol duty. The test was not just about flashiness, it was about performing better than your grade so that you could protect the student body as well. Mahoutokoro was a school that always trained its students to be prepared for the unexpected, to have a cool head, and to be leaders in times of need. This year's Seishin test was overwhelmingly one-sided in terms of favouring Summoning so far, and although Eun-soo was not hoping for much at this point, she still stayed on in the spectator's stand to see if the next few applicants would show her something different.

One thing was for certain, if they all managed to make it into first rank they would have some serious catching up to do.

 


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