Having a place of her own, Emily had to go out from time to time to restock on everyday items. On her return from the store, there was a muffled poof sound that seemed to come from a nearby alley. Stepping out into view was a tan girl with red hair and dressed in a white belly dancer's outfit. Glancing around she didn't really see anyone too nearby other than Emily.
Putting on a little smile Ruby skipped on over to the Puchuu girl. "Hello. Looks like you're the lucky one today."
she stated somewhat vaguely.
People emerging from alleyways so suddenly were generally the sort to mug others, so Emily was initially cautious, though after confirming there was no apparent hostile intent she relaxed. "Lucky?"
Clearly confused, Emily tilted her head. "What are you talking about?""Oh, maybe I should start carrying around a lamp. Nah."
Taking a little bow she introduced herself. "My name is Ruby. And I am here to grant you a wish."
The jewelry she wore seemed to shimmer with magic for a second. "You have such a beautiful name! Um, mine is Emily, pleased to meet you!"
Emily returned the bow, albeit less elegantly, and listened to what the girl had to say. When Ruby finished, Emily seemed curious. "A wish? How do you mean? I don’t remember buying any lottery tickets or doing any raffles..."
Of the different reactions she would get from people, ones like these were always fun. Emily was adorably confused and it caused Ruby to giggle a bit. "Aren't you sweet. Your name is beautiful too."
Stepping forward she briefly took the shopping bag Emily carried and set it down. "I was created to grant wishes, so my magic leads me where I need to go. And this time it lead me to you. No purchase necessary."
She added on the little git on the end just to be funny. "So what will it be? I love to hear all the things people decide."
There were times like this where she had to wade a bit through the bewilderment. Since her change though she'd been in a much better mood. "Oh, um, then..."
Emily appeared to deliberate on the choice for a solid few seconds. "I-it doesn't need to be material or something like that, right?"
she asked to be sure. "If not, I would love to befriend more people!"
she told Ruby."It doesn't need to be material. So if that's what you want then you just need to say it in wish form."
She confirmed. "Oh, that's good, then!"
Material gains did not seem to interest her as much considering how happy she looked after Ruby told her that. "Um..."
the request did throw Emily for a short loop, but she figured it out soon enough. "Um, then 'I wish I could befriend more people'. Like that?"
she looked at Ruby to see if she was correct.”Exactly. And that’s a lovely wish.”
Lifting a hand, it and Emily began to glow softly. Unlike some other wishes she’d granted, this one was more subtle. As magic flowed from the djinn girl, Emily would begin to become aware of little things about Ruby. That she was thankfully not feeling sad, things that could potentially lift her spirits, and most importantly ways she could be befriended. Things she wouldn’t realize just yet is that others would have a better view of her, be more lenient if she made mistakes, would find it easier to gain help from others, and making allies would just take a little conversation to work out. She had been given the Power of Friendship. ”Your wish has been granted.”
Feeling the obvious changes to herself and noticing the brief glow, Emily glanced over herself, smiling a bit. "Ooh, that feels a bit strange! But not in a bad way!"
she admitted, gazing deep into Ruby's eyes. "Um, is there a wish I can grant for you, then? N-not that I have any special ability."”Not really how it works if it’s using my magic. Has to be used for other people. I appreciate it though.”
She gave a little explanation."O-oh, well, I meant if I could do you any kind of favor,"
she clarified, picking up her grocery bag. "My sister taught me always to repay kindness with kindness, you see. Um, but if there isn't anything I can help you with right now, then perhaps another time?"”Hm…”
For the most part she could get anything she wanted materially. There was maybe one thing that she could help her with, assuming she could get some other help also. Would have to see about that later. Emily would pick up with her new magic that there might actually be a way she could help give Ruby an actual wish if she used her Mana Channel with someone else. Didn’t look like the circumstances were right at this time though. ”Well I guess I could always use allies. I’m usually pretty safe, but as you can imagine what I can do grabs attention sometimes. So I guess I could be your first new friend.”
She said with a wide smile.
Elated, Emily's smile couldn't be filled with any more warmth if it had tried. Excited about this news, she couldn't help but give Ruby a quick hug, but backed off after a second. "O-oh, sorry, I'm just very happy that you would be my friend!"
A small streak of red appeared on her face as she was embarrassed by her small outburst. Emily then took out her phone. "Would you take my number?"
Ruby put a hand on the girl’s shoulder. ”It’s fine. Friends are kind of new to me to be honest.”
At the offer of a number she scratched her head. ”You’ll have to write it down for me. I don’t have a phone to save it to.”
She said sheepishly. Maybe she could start carrying around a pen and paper just in case. Though right now the list was only like three numbers."Oh, no, that's absolutely fine! I only recently got a phone myself!"
she assured, putting her phone away and reaching into the grocery bag to retrieve the receipt for her purchase, and then her pocket to grab a pen she carried on her. She rested said receipt on the back of one hand and used the other to write her number on it and presented it to Ruby when she was done. "Here! I suppose you'll have to borrow someone's phone or something, but I'll definitely respond if you do call."
Emily looked at her bag. "Oh, are you hungry, by chance?"”Uh, yeah I guess. I don’t really need to eat much but it is nice to do sometimes.”
Tapping her finger on her lips a couple times. ”That would be fun though. I haven’t sat down and shared a meal in ages.”“Um, I have a friend who would change that any chance she gets. Maybe you’ll meet her? She shows up at my place sporadically.”
Emily could’ve seemed happier when describing this person, but it didn’t seem like she disliked it either. “A-anyway, I don’t have the fanciest place, but I try to keep it clean. I hope you don’t mind…A-a-and, um, my roommate is a bit vulgar, but she means well.”
Saying this, Emily urged Ruby to begin following her as she started towards her apartment, which they eventually reached without incident. Using her key, Emily unlocked the door and opened it, motioning for Ruby to make herself at home.”Thank you.”
Ruby stepped in and took a quick look around. The place was nice by her standards. She’d seen many different places, from palaces to dirt huts. So any modern apartment was usually pretty good.
What awaited Emily was something she rarely got to see. It was downright creepy, and quite the surreal scene. Sakura was quite the warped magical girl, and she was indulging in her most unspeakable desires which touched upon a near primordial feeling.
Of course, warped by Sakura standards was herself coyly giggling and humming to herself while carefully doing some trims on a bonsai, all while whispering how cute it was. So entranced the magical girl was she failed to notice the new guests and Emily coming back, until her eyes crossed again.
“Oh, more of them. Fucking great, Em.” She said.
Tilting her head to the side slightly Ruby walked closer. Folding her hands behind her she leaned closer to the bonsai. ”Don’t see many of these around here. I love the look of them but I don’t know if I could ever tend it properly”
She admired the small but well kept plant."Sakura..."
Although Emily was upset, she also seemed somewhat exhausted. Ruby could probably infer this wasn't the first time they'd had this sort of interaction. She looked at Ruby, who appeared relatively unfazed by the rude language, and secretly let out a sigh of relief while she was behind them. "Oh,"
she stood beside Ruby, glancing at the plant as well. "They are pretty little trees, aren't they?"
Emily commented before looking at her grocery bag again. "I should probably put some of this away and start food,"
she said, looking at Sakura. "Please make Ruby feel at home for me, would you?"
Sakura’s eyes narrowed ever so slightly, before a damning scissor snip drew all too close to Ruby’s face, defending the last bastion of her old life against the maddening tides of the new. Pity that Emily, as sweet as innocent as she was… had to say the words. “This is a bonsai that has been taken care of for decades. Not just a random Pretty Little tree. This is just the last hobby I have from my past life, which I have kept it against all odds, pruning the branches relentlessly before the crude reality slams into my face and tells me I cannot even reach the counter, hire an hotel, or act in the very least intimidating while being peppered by cutesy catcalls by half of Penrose’s population and I have to mooch off what is possible the most pure Magical girl in all of the city.”
She let herself catch her breath after her rapidfire rant, as her gaze drew increasingly close to Ruby all the whole time. “So… yes, taking care of them is a lifelong commitment and therefore...not easy.”
The scariest part was that Sakura had not even used a bad word in that entire rant. “Just because it’s you Em. If someone else had asked, I’d have asked to go fuck themselves with a file.” She paused as she put the bonsai on a safe shelf. “So whaddya want from me? A massage? I can set bones pretty well.”
Admiration of Sakura’s work was cut short as the red haired girl jerked back. Eyes drifting over to Sakura, Ruby listened to the rant about all the things she didn’t like about her new state of affairs. ”Sounds like you got dragged into this magical girl thing kicking and screaming huh. That happens a lot. A guy I take it?”
When offered the brief assortment of services Ruby just smiled. ”Oh, I don’t really need anything right now I don’t think. I just helped out Emily with something and she invited me over for lunch.”
From the complaints earlier the pink haired girl struck her as a good candidate for a wish. Not everyone responded the say way to being presented one though, so she’d try and guide the conversation that way.
“No longer. I was pretty manly back in the day, and took crap from no one.” Sakura said. “Unlike Emily. Girl has a pathological need of trying to be friends with everyone. Kinda not half bad as a cook. It rubs on you.” She added, as she began rummaging for a hidden stash, producing a banged up packet of cigarettes. “D’ya mind?” She said as she tried to lit one of said cancer sticks, despite looking no older than 9. "Not at all."
She said as she found herself a seat. "Ah I see. That makes sense considering Emily wished to be able to make friends more easily."
Putting a finger on the side of her face she seemed to think for a moment. "Hmm… I might be able to help you with your being stuck as a girl problem."
She mused out loud.
Sakura eyed her guest with a little apprehension as he opened one of the windows and began smoking at earnest. "Like what, you a magical lamp or something?" She sneered as she puffed. "It would be grand to have my old body back. Or something even bigger. I would forgive not being a guy anymore as long as I can reach the fucking counter. But that's wishful thinking."
Chuckling a bit the girl sat forward. "So at the very least you wish you were taller?"
Generally bringing people back to their old form didn’t fly, so she wasn’t going to push that idea too much.
"Duh". Sakura answered. "Being younger in body than my own daughter is not amenable.""Hmm…"
Mentally poking at her patron for a little while she finally stood up and held out one hand. Magic began to flow through her arm into her palm. With a pop sound an object appeared in her hand, a full sized Red Mushroom from Super Mario. "Your wish has been granted. "
Lifting out her arm she presented it to Sakura. "Touch this, and you will grow taller."
"Uh." Sakura said… before eyeing the mushroom. It then clicked on her, as she shook her head. "I must decline. If such a thing was possible, It would be bad karma to just accept it to get taller." She finally said, frowning. "So no thanks. I guess that wish is going to be wasted."
Blinking a few times, she glanced at the thing in her hand. Tucking it under her arm she stood pondering what Sakura said. "I don't think I understand. Isn't this what you wanted?"
The thing she conjured being rejected didn't seem to bother her so much as confuse her.
"Yes. But it's not what I really wanted. It was just fucking small talk." The tiny girl said."Well, not like a brat like you could have understood at first glance. We just met.""You would like to go back to your old life. Your family. Even I have to follow particular rules though, so I can't give you that."
She would give a little explanation.
"Yeah...about that. I was aware about that impossibility since day one. So wrong again" Sakura said, extinguishing the smoke.
Rubbing her chin a bit, Ruby shrugged. "Well, no big deal. I can just keep this for later. Or decoration."
The space she occupied became empty for a few seconds before the reappeared. "I won't count that one against you since you never used it."
Sakura sighed. “The real answer would be that Yui and Aoi live on happily without me and without any kind of want, belly-chan.” She paused. “You should wise up belly-chan. Otherwise, if those wishes of yours are genuine, a lot of people will be unhappy. Or you could end up causing more harm than good.” "You're not the only one without a choice."
In reality it didn't really matter all that much to Ruby. Not granting wishes meant imprisonment. Also making a mess of things sometimes was fun. She would make her way back to her seat casually.
"Yeah, well. I have fucked up enough lives already… and as you can see, Karma delivers." She added. "Best if you try to improve yourself a little." Sakura said, not exactly specifying who that was referred to.
"Just a ton of money on my daughter and wife bank account will do. Could also use some spare money for myself, but as long as I get a roof and some booze I am not complaining."
Just a few minutes later, the two would then hear Emily set a few plates down on the table. A glance at those would reveal what appeared to be hamburger buns with some sauce and cheese on them. There were two on each plate and there was a plate for all three of them. "I hope I didn't make you guys wait too long!"
Emily walked over to the two of them and offered a smile. "Hilaria made some of these and they were really tasty so I had her show me how. They're called pizza burgers, and they weren't too hard to make so even if it's my first time, I think they'll be good!"
as she got done explaining what she had made, she asked, "Are you two enjoying yourselves?"
Considering what Sakura said, it made sense. Sadly she didn't entirely have the luxury of staying out of other people's business. Not that she would fully tell anyone that. "I'm having fun."
She would hop up and step over to the table. A pizza burger? "Huh, sounds interesting. I'm willing to give it a try."
“It’s all western food to me. But it has extra meat, so It is a plus.” Sakura said, before greedily snatching a piece. “Great stuff, by the way. You would make a good housewife.”
Emily had begun eating her own food when Sakura made the comment, coughing once or twice after narrowly choking on it. “W-what are ya sayin’?!”
she rapidly got red in the face. “U-um, well, there’s no point in thinking about that sorta thing…”
Ruby would take a seat and try a bite of the food. "Mmm, this is pretty good."
She would take a couple more bites as the other two spoke. Wagging her fork a bit she mentioned. "Why not? I think it would be great if I could do that sort of thing some day."“Y-ya do? O-oh, well, it’s just that, um, it’s not easy to settle down in this line ‘a work…”
Emily directed her eyes towards her food and tried really hard to concentrate on that instead, taking small bites out of her pizza burger.
“Downright impossible, I would say. This work is full of loli hags. Still, no harm in dreaming, Emily.” Sakura said, as she greedily took another slice of food. “We need to find you a proper boy, not like those Oreo Lions in Beacon.”
Ruby shrugged a bit. "I guess. My patron wouldn't let me be in a relationship anyway, so you have a better chance than me."
Seeing that Emily was somewhat avoiding the topic, well, the djinn girl could be a tease. "Unless Emily isn't really into boys. You don't strike me that way though."
She would grin a bit.
It had its intended effect on Emily. She only seemed to be getting redder. “A-ahm, b-boys are… I-I don’t dislike them they’re just… h-hard ta talk to,”
she stumbled on her words, continuing to let an accent leak. “W-what about y-you, Ruby?”
she tried turning it around. “U-uh, if ya could, I-I mean!”
Without skipping a beat the girl would answer. "Well I've always been a girl, so that helps. But I've always just liked boys. I was that snooty popular cheerleader of the school so I would have had my pick. That attitude is what got me in trouble and into this gig though. Taught me a lesson."
"Well I was a man among men so feel free to ask, Em." Sakura did say, before tossing a glare at Ruby. Snooty types were one of the things that got on her nerves.
Emily seemed almost jealous. “B-boys sorta avoided me…”
Emily sighed, presumably thinking about unpleasant interactions. But for a moment, she looked confused, yet quickly replaced the look with a strained smile. She didn’t let anyone ask about that, quickly speaking. “A-ah, well, there’s a lotta work to be done, right? Penrose is super busy all the time, so that’s why I think it’s okay to not worry about this stuff! I wouldn’t let it affect my ability to help people, so as long as I have friends, then I’m okay with that...”
Ruby caught the glare from Sakura, but wasn't completely sure why so she passed on commenting. Emily was once again dancing around the subject. "I don't know if it's that busy. We're sitting here right now and sharing a meal. Others seem to make it work, like that Lily girl and Alex."
She would offer more examples, but that was the only one she personally knew about.
"Honestly, I still cannot believe you can still be so pure at your age. Probably for the better. A lot of people would just trick you to get you naked." Sakura bluntly stated.“W-well, before I could e-even think about that, I’d have to find someone I l-like…”
she argued. “...but then I’d have to talk to them and…”
she put her hands to her face and was clearly nervous beyond belief thinking about it. She seemed to be caught in a loop Ruby was perpetuating. “A-ah, well... “
Sakura making her comment didn’t do anything to calm her down. “P-pure or not, it’s cold in Penrose right now! W-who would want someone to catch a cold…?”
she asked, neglecting to mention the fact that cold weather had no effect on her.
“Ah, Em sometimes I forget why you’re cute as shit.” Sakura said, leaning towards the older-looking magical girl, and doing something very invasive. Headpats. “Well, don’t fret about it. Most guys are bastards. If I see any horndog around them I will fix what went wrong in their magical girl transformation.”
Ruby would shrug a bit. ”Never know until you try. And you have Friendship power now, so it will be easier! You’ll see.”
The djinn girl would have to agree with Sakura’s assessment, at least if her experience in highschool was any example. As far as magical boys go that was harder to say since they were few and far between.“Well, I’ll be in your care then!”
Emily caved. “And thank you again for that! I’ll make good use of the ability, I swear! Oh, that reminds me! Ruby, have you gotten an invitation to the winter party?”
she asked."Oh yeah!"
Scooting closer and leaning over the table she would whisper to the other two as if it was a secret. "I'm helping coordinate it."
She would beam.
“Figures.”Sakura said. “You need to start saying no to things, Emily.” The tiny pottymouth said.”At least I’m going with you, people start funny when drunk on that horrid concoction that is eggnog.”
She was confused at first about the secretive way in which Ruby told her this, but played along, whispering, “Then I’m sure it’s going to be a blast!”
Sakura, of course, had to ruin this by mentioning one of Emily’s trigger words. She looked at the short yakuza, surprised. “Eggnog?”
she repeated as a light went off in her head. “Oh, yeah! There’ll be a lot of that, I’m sure!”
she excitedly said, nearly bouncing at the thought. “I can’t wait!”"Eh?"
That hadn't really been a thing on her list. Did Dan want that kind of thing? Well, if people wanted it then she'd check. Most magical girls were older than they appeared anyway. "I have a few plans. They'll have to be a surprise though."
A grinning Ruby would tease slightly.
Sakura frowned, still remembering her past experiences with the horrid concoction. “Yeah...wonderful.” She added.
Emily’s eyes were stars. “Now I really can’t wait!”
her cheerful expression was in contrast to Sakuras, but she didn’t seem to notice. “Would you need help with anything, maybe?”
she asked Ruby.
Mulling over the question, the djinn girl thought it through for a while. ”Well, I think most of it is being taken care of. We’ll have food and games. Unless you have any ideas you’d like to see.”
With Dan covering most of the stuff and herself handling the White Elephant style game it would just be a matter of setting other things up.“Oh, I couldn’t think of anything that you guys haven’t already thought of, I’m sure.”
Emily stood up and would grab any empty plates along with her own, taking them to the sink. When she returned, she looked at her small roommate, who didn’t seem to be near as eager as her for the party. “Sakura, is there anything you might like to see at the party?”
“Real liquor. Some good pork snacks. Chicks in naughty Santa suits if need be.” Sakura grumbled, as her mood darkened to all the prodding. She couldn’t be mad at Emily, she was too sweet, but all these new friends of Emily and their energy were wearing her patience thin.
Ruby would make note of the requests. ”I can see what I can do.”
She would nod. Looking at Sakura for a moment she could see she was getting worn out. Perhaps she should change the subject. ”I think I can take it from there. So earlier you were saying something about providing for your family. If that’s what you want then you’ll have to actually wish for it.”
She tapped on the table a bit with a finger.
Sakura sighed. “Well… no harm in trying.” She said. “I wish for a steady supply of money to keep my family safe and fed, now that they’ve moved to… whatchalit, San Aunt Tuna?” Sakura shrugged. "How selfless!"
Wishes of this like were not uncommon. Holding up a hand she put her index and thumb together. In a flash a card would appear in her hand. Setting it down on the table she slid it over to Sakura. "You're wish has been granted."
On it was details outlining that Sakura's family had been selected to receive funding each month from the Wishing Well Foundation. "They will receive $6,000 every month. That should cover most of their needs and a good head start on savings for college."
"Huh." Sakura said, looking at the piece of paper. "So there's such a thing called wish granting heh. And without seven magical dragon orbs." The pink haired girl.
It was then, when it hit her. A slight tremble as she withdrew her stare from Ruby, choosing instead to gaze at her feet. She was getting a little wet around the corners of her eyes, as she uncharacteristically spoke in a thin, higher voice than ever.
"I will not forget this. It was my biggest regret." She said, almost hiccuping. If there was a time Sakura ever looked like a 9 year old, it was now, at the verge of tears.
She then breathed deep. She had to get a grip. She could not show her uncool side to Emily. She instead focused on the fact there was a wish granting magical girl in front of her.
"Say, could you make me a guy again? Or taller and meatier, like Em?" She ventured to ask.
She would rub her chin a bit. ”I can do those things. You’ve got a couple wishes left.”
“I see.” Sakura said. It definitely was possible. “But no more… I guess.” She paused. She contemplated as she weighed her choices. Her former family had closure now. This weird girl, in so little time, had made reaching her goal of achieving her older body easily. But… had she deserved it? She shook her head. True, she had done justice.
“... I don’t think I deserve them.” Sakura then began to talk, a grave hint in her voice. “I led a life of vice… that culminated in me running over a magical girl while driving. I had… drank a lot… and taken other things.” Sakura then said, eyeing first Ruby and Emily. “I’m just scum.” It was when she stopped.
“And now, by sheer luck… all this penance would be erased. But at what cost, I wonder?” She paused. “It would tempt me greatly, Belly-chan.” She said. “But even Sun Wukong had to learn that he was but dancing in Buddha’s palm. Just like my old master said.” She thought deeply, as deep as she had not done in ages. She wasn’t smart, or even morally righteous.
“You two girls deserve those wishes.” She added. “So here’s my other wish, belly-chan.”
“I wish for you to be freed from the need of granting wishes. You shall have a choice.” Sakura added. “As for Em… what is what you want, Emily?”
Some people might argue about how best to use the wishes. Ruby's place wasn't that though, and she knew almost zero about Sakura and her life anyway. So she didn't really comment. When the girl decided to pass off her wishes to the other two there. With the first wish Ruby would draw back a little bit. "Oh uh.
Sitting awkwardly for a moment she would laugh nervously. "I appreciate the gesture but... I can't grant that wish. It's not something that's within my power to do."
She would try and explain.
Emily didn't seem surprised by Ruby's inability to grant that wish. She turned to her smaller friend and kneeled, looking upset. "Sakura,"
she hugged the girl. It lasted only a brief moment, and she pulled away and looked Sakura in the eyes with a very serious expression. "You're better than you think, you know? Even with a... potty mouth, you've been doing your best to look over me! And look how you've spent your wishes! You do not have to worry about your family with this new life, but you chose to anyway! And even if you just met Ruby, and it didn't work, you intended to spend a wish for her sake!"
Emily wasn't a wreck, but she did have to wipe away a tear. "Please, don't call yourself scum! You're worth so much more than that!"
Sakura eyed Emily for a brief second, stunned. She didn’t know what to say. She was pretty unused to these bright personalities. In the end, she chose to just let out a deep sigh. “If only you knew, Emily. You’re too pure.” She then eyed Ruby. “Figures, there’s no easy way of freeing you of this stupid shit. Then, is there anything you want?”
She then also eyed Emily. “And you?”.
Putting a hand to her head she would fuss with her hair a bit. ”Uhm, give me a minute. Wishes for myself don’t always work so I usually leave that to everyone else to just choose something for me. You can probably tell by now that I’m not free to do whatever I want with this kind of magic.”
Emily tried to hide the embarrassment from having that small outburst in front of Ruby by focusing on the conversation. "Oh, I'm sorry about that..."
she sympathized with Ruby's condition, despite such a power probably being ideal for Emily herself. "And, uh... I'm not sure if I could think of another wish..."
she would grant Sakura the body she wanted if that wouldn't immediately contradict what the girl had done. And somehow, Emily figured ending world hunger was not going to fly. "...really, the best I could do was wish I could find things and people better,"
she sighed. "But it kinda feels like I'd be using Ruby."
Sakura looked at Ruby, then at Emily. “Wish granters often want their wishes to be used, Em. If not they would not offer in the first place, or there would be a terrible catch. Do you truly wish for that, Em?” Sakura said. “And take your time, Belly-chan.”
Rube wasn’t really sure what she could wish for. Pulling one over on her patron wasn’t really a thing with their mind link. Even her loosely cobbled deal with Penny for a perspective second wish was a rough deal now. Lost in thought she didn’t really listen to the conversation going on in front of her.
After a bit she would just sigh with frustration. ”I can’t decide. I don’t want to get in trouble again. Not that I want to dump it on you guys, but I think it’s best if one of you chooses something.”
Emily looked at Ruby with, frowning. "It's okay. I suppose it's a little rude to be so against accepting a gift, so I'm sorry about that,"
she was a bit disappointed they couldn't do anything for Ruby, but such a power was clearly riddled with limitations only Ruby would know. "I-in that case, I'll go ahead with what I said earlier,"
it felt weird that, for once, she had to be the selfish one. So much so that that was all she could think of, even if she could really use personal wealth right now. "I wish that it was easier to find things?"
Sakura did look at Emily and then repeated her words. "I wish that it was easier to find things for Emily."
That was something she could do. The girl would glow a faded red. That wouldn't last long though as the glow collected into her hand. Holding open her palm the outline of a locket would form. Looking at it for a moment it would eventually solidify into a magical item. The item itself looked to be made of brass with a small linked chain so it could be worn as a necklace. "There we go. This should point you in the right direction."
She would produce it to Emily. Flipping open the face of the locket there would be a small needle that would point like a compass toward the thing the user was seeking. They of course would have to have a decent idea of what they were looking for. As a whole it functioned very much like Absolute Direction.
Ackerson looked at the locket with a conflicted expression before pocketing it. She curved her lips back into a warm smile before looking at Ruby. “Thank you very much, again!”
It was not hard to hear the genuine appreciation. And Emily did seem like the type to be beholden to someone who did something for her.
Sakura then pondered. “I wonder… would you rather have me as a guy or as a girl, Em?” Sakura did add.”The magical world could always use more guys.”
Ruby would tease just a bit. Though if the conversation from earlier was any indication it wasn’t that difficult to draw she probably still held her preferences from her high school days.
Emily was taken aback by the sudden prompt. “Um,”
she paused to think it over. “I would prefer you were a guy,”
she told Sakura. “Because it's been hard on you to adjust to a new life like this, right? It may not be your old life, but you would be happier as a boy, wouldn’t you? I think that’s what is important.”
"I see." Sakura did say. "Well, since I cannot do anything for belly-chan, better not waste the opportunity." She said. "I wish I was a 16 year old boy." Sakura did say. If someone as pure as Emily did not mind her being a boy… It should be alright, right? Besides… it was not like she was skipping on her duty to the magical world.
There was a sparkle in the eyes of the djinn girl. Most of the other wishes had been “smaller” in a way. Wishes like these were a lot more interesting. Hopping off her seat she would rub her hands together. ”Alright! It amazes me how so few people ask for this.”
Clearly drawing on significantly more magic this time her eyes began to glow white.
The light flickered for a moment as a halo of light began to glow around her form. Stepping forward she raised a hand. ”Your wish has been...”
She placed her hand down against the top of Sakura’s head. ”granted!”
Magic rushed down through the small girl’s body. Momentarily she would feel floaty, like she’d lost touch with her body. However it wouldn’t be long before a sensation not unlike when she’d first become a magical girl as her body began to shift and change. She would become a he again and begin to age up to the designated age.
Sakura tried to say something, but the magic had engulfed her, changing her once more, as she floated around. When all was said and done, the new figure stopped floating as the now he came to his bearings.
“Did...did it work?”. The figure
would then ask, as he began to pat himself up and down. Specially down. “It’s back… I’m back!” He said, his eyes beaming with illusion. “Mirror...mirror…” He said, before rushing towards the toilette.
“I still look like a girl… but this much is great.” He added, as he posed in front of the mirror, eyeing his new look.
With the boy having stepped away, there was a moment where Ruby seemed slightly taken aback. It wasn't the look she had quite expected. Was Ilum messing with her granting again? Maybe. At least the result didn't seem to have elicited an extremely poor response. Further confusion was curbed a bit as she was feeling a little drained after granting one wish after another. Following after the boy she gave a smile. "Glad you're happy with it."
She would poke her head into the room.
Emily was beside Ruby and also peeked into the room, a bit excited as well. It could be deduced that she was likely suspecting something a bit more masculine, but she smiled still. "You look good!"
she told Sakura, who didn't seem as caught up on the feminine appearance as she thought they might be. Maybe it had something to do with their time as a little girl? "How do you feel?"
“Like I want to get some chicks and beer.” Sakura said, brilliantly, as he whispered his transformation words… “Spark, spark love of my heart.” He didn’t mind it being so cheesy, at least not this time.
...And it was when it went wrong, as the magical energies, fizzled and sputtered… and then a second time, Sakura was thrown up into the air, the energies changing his body once more.
“WHAT THE HELL?!” He gasped, looking at the mirror. Once more in girlish clothes
, it seemed. Well at least he wasn’t a 4 foot tall loli any longer.
“Trying to change the terms of the contract with a third party?” A voice said, appearing now at the sofa. A fluffy white creature sitting on it, and grooming its hairs. “It shan’t do. Especially not after your last slip with the Mirror girl. I was bound to do a little penalty on you, since I cannot prevent you from getting paid.” The voice of Umukamui was heard across the room, as the creature looked at Sakura. “I shall allow you to keep your change of gender and age as it incidentally could potentially make you more effective in combat, but no more than this.”
Some of the confusion was cleared up with the introduction of a Puchuu. Some patron had stepped in. Well… there wasn't much she could do about that. "Ah. You have a particular agreement then?"
She would ask as she turned around and stepped back out of the way.
Emily's expression was a rollercoaster for a minute as she processed what happened. She went from an elated smile, to a confused tilt, to a horrified understanding, until finally, she rested at what was far and away the angriest Sakura (or perhaps anyone) had ever seen her. It wasn't the sort of anger that looked harmless -- she was absolutely livid.
She stomped over to the Puchuu, glaring at it. "How can you be so cruel to someone you're supposed to protect?"
she clenched her fist tightly, knowing the question was pointless and the answer was obvious. She also knew that there was little point in doing anything violent to a Puchuu. "Leave,"
she ordered. "You are not welcome here right now. Go mingle with Jonald or something."
Umukamui eyed at Emily. “We are not supposed to even pretend to understand cruelty.” Umukamui replied. “I shall… affirm your queries to fellow agent Jonald.” Umukamui said, deciding to jump off the sofa… and then it was gone. Just as it had appeared.
“I should toss him into another truck.” Sakura said, eyeing the skirt-based uniform, before quickly dismissing it.”Well, at least I got my manhood back.” He said, before moving onto Ruby, slipping a hand on her waist. “I guess… I will start by making up for lost time, then.” He said, in as grave as he could be in his feminine voice could do."Oh?"
She turned slightly toward the boy. "And what should I call you now that you're you again, hmm?"
The appearance of the boy didn't seem to bother her so much.
“Sakura is also a boy’s name.” He said. “Now, lay on the couch, if you would.” His eyes darted to Em. “I’m gonna show Emily how boys should treat beautiful girls.”
Glancing between Sakura and Emily for a moment, Ruby would eventually move in the direction on the couch. On one hand she was hesitant, but also curious as to where exactly the boy was going with this. She would lay down to wait and see.
Emily's eyes had lingered on where Umu had been, her fist slowly unclenching as she began to calm down. Her heart rate and features soon followed. "O-oh, um, sorry about that..."
she hadn't turned to face them yet. But when she had finally did look at the other two, Ruby was lying on the couch. "Um, what's going on?"
she looked to Sakura, who seemed to be trying to show her something, but she obviously didn't understand what exactly that was. "...?"
Sakura grinned. “You know Emily, when a man wants to conquer a beautiful girl without being… let’s say, an unwholesome individual, there’s a few things one can do. Nice dinner, small talk… and then some skin to skin touch.” Sakura went on, as he carefully grabbed one of Ruby’s legs and traced it down to the ball of the foot.
“And a massage does wonders. Especially the feet. Girls do like shoes that sometimes are torture instruments.” He said, as he began kneading the soles of Ruby’s foot. “And now that I have a guy’s hands, I can finally do it.”
Getting a surprise foot massage, Ruby would relax a bit. Folding her arms behind her head to prop it up she would nod approvingly. ”I can confirm this is quite nice.”
Emily looked between Ruby's foot and her face, gauging her reaction. Emily thought she looked satisfied with the process. "So then massages do feel nice?"
she asked curiously.
“If the one doing them is not a complete buffoon, yes?” Sakura continued to work on Ruby’s foot, expertly finding and pressing the pressure points of the wish-granter’s foot. “I’ll give you one too, but belly-chan is our esteemed guest? Yeah, that, esteemed guest.” The boy continued. “If you want that is.”"Umm..."
Emily looked at Ruby once more, seemingly nervous. But the girl's enjoyment of the massage apparently convinced Emily. "If you're offering... then sure."