Author Topic: Mahou Shoujo Spiritual Sakura (a scene by scene critique needing story thread)  (Read 569 times)

Xamusel

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Xamusel: Before I begin, I'll say that this will be cross-posted between two different websites, FFN and DSM. Of course, as this is the critique thread, I'll post the fixed version in a separate thread for the whole chapters. With that in mind... please tell me what could be fixed in this thread before it goes off to the full version (and I'll post revisions of the scenes here if needed).

Mahou Shoujo Spiritual Sakura
Story idea by Xamusel; Co-written by Xamusel and Takeshi Yamato

Prologue: Derailed Fate

(Tohsaka Manor, December 4th, 1992)

Tohsaka Tokiomi, who was sleeping in his chair in his workshop instead of his bed in the master bedroom, was suddenly and rudely awakened by a loud knocking on the front door to the Tohsaka manor. Flailing about for a short bit while reorganizing himself, he almost regained conscious control of himself, but fell backwards in his chair onto the ground when he over-extended himself.

“Owww… what time is it?” Tokiomi groggily asked himself, looking at the clock as he did so. Upon seeing that the time was 4:45, he gaped, because he wanted to know what (or, rather, who) would possibly dare to wake him up at such an ungodly hour in the morning… assuming that he didn’t oversleep.

Taking care to straighten his clothes out, Tokiomi then walked out of his workshop in his basement, making sure to grab a couple of his gems along the way in case he needed self defense. While he was walking out to the front door, he gave pause to consider who could possibly be able to bypass the Bounded Fields that surrounded the property, but was coming up empty on potentials.

‘Hmm… can’t be Emiya Kiritsugu; according to my sources, he’s in Germany on retirement, and he’s probably nowhere near as good at breaking Bounded Fields to begin with,’ Tokiomi thought. ‘The Matous aren’t stupid enough to do so, nor do they have the means to begin with, with only Zouken being the exception. Anyone else would have been compelled to walk away, unless they were Magi, but they would have had to break the Bounded Fields in a rather messy way.’

With a sigh, Tokiomi reached the doorway. He moved his left hand to grab the door and open it, while his right was holding the gems that would act like incendiary grenades when used correctly. As he opened the door, he was prepared for anything combat-related, but, upon fully opening the door, he blinked in surprise.

It was a man and a woman. The man had dark blue hair and green eyes, while the woman had medium-brown hair and dark blue eyes. Both had asian skin and slender figures, though the woman also had a decent-sized bosom, and had a slight bulge in her stomach that could have been due to early pregnancy, but it wasn’t pronounced enough yet for Tokiomi to tell for sure. The man was wearing a black business suit, while the woman was in an elegant blue dress that came down to her ankles. Both had a gold band on their ring fingers, the man on his right hand, the woman on her left hand, signifying that the two were married.

With a second blink of surprise, Tokiomi eventually asked, “Welcome to the Tohsaka manor. Might I ask what brings you two here?”

“My name is Yagami Rondo,” the man replied.  “Our family and yours were ancient allies, Tohsaka-san, so I felt it prudent to pay a visit.”

“Oh, really?” Tokiomi asked, not out of suspicion, but out of confusion. “Why would you feel the need to pay a visit?” Suddenly remembering his manners, he gestured and moved out of the way, saying, “Please, come in.”

After Rondo and his wife entered the manor, Tokiomi closed the door behind them, making sure to check the time of day and the weather outside. As one would expect this cold December day in Fuyuki City, the sun hadn’t even come out yet, which was something of a problem for people like him that didn’t do well in the morning. It wasn’t a snowy time, mind you, because of Fuyuki’s position in Japan.

After taking a bit to lead the Yagami couple to the living room, Tokiomi took a seat opposite them and asked, “What is it about your visiting that’s prudent, Yagami-san? Is it about a lack of children to train as Magi?”

Rondo frowned slightly.  “Yes, Tohsaka-san, it is,” he said. “My wife, Sakuya, is currently carrying our child, but I have a talent for Precognitive Magic, and have seen that while our daughter will have Magic, it will be a different kind than Magecraft.”

“Wait, hold up,” Tokiomi said, as if interrupting Rondo for a short bit. “You have a Sorcery Trait that allows for Precognition? It’s one of those rare traits that one should never be lost, but near impossible to achieve.” Upon seeing the looks directed at him, he said, “Er, anyway, please continue.”

Rondo nodded. “Furthermore, I haven’t managed to see anything suggesting that we will be around for our daughter, so we are worried that Sakuya will die in childbirth, or that something else will happen to take us from her life before we have another child.”

Tokiomi nodded, aware that it would be a problem for anyone, Magus or otherwise, to wonder what would happen to them while their child succeeds them at a young age. Still, there was a concern of his… “If you were to adopt a child, would you make sure that they were raised like a proper Magus as well as a regular child? I’m only asking, because I walk a very fine line between being a proper Magus and a good father, myself, and I don’t want to make things rough for your options.”

Rondo nodded again. “We would,” he said. “We would raise our adopted child as if they were our own.” He then paused a moment. “You have a child of your own, Tohsaka-san?”

“Two daughters, both of whom should be asleep right now,” Tokiomi admitted. “My younger daughter is about four right now, but without an elemental affinity that fits the mold, instead having a strange Sorcery Trait called Imaginary Numbers.”

Sakuya, speaking up for the first time, asked, “Imaginary Numbers? What’s that?”

Tokiomi looked at Sakuya and answered, “Imaginary Numbers is a trait dedicated to the usage of the Sixth Imaginary Element. In short, she can harness the power of spirits.”

Rondo looked intrigued despite himself. “May we see her?” he asked.

Tokiomi turned to look at Rondo and answered, “Certainly, if you feel so inclined to.” Before they could make it out of the room, however…

A gentle knocking was heard at the door to the living room, indicating one of his daughters. When he opened the door, Tokiomi was shocked to see that it was his younger daughter, Sakura. “Sakura, what’s wrong? Why are you out of bed?” he asked, showing a faint trace of worry in his voice that only Sakura could pick up on right now.

“Father… I… I had a strange dream,” Sakura answered. “In it… I had… w-w-worms crawling in and on me!”

Rondo looked at her. “That sounds ominous,” he mused. “Tell me, did you see anything else in the dream, little one?”

“Hmm?” Sakura got out, before looking at Rondo and Sakuya, then back at her father. “Father, who’re they?”

“They are family allies of ours, Sakura,” Tokiomi said, in a way that was meant to assure her of the truth. “Now, could you please humor us with details about the dream you may have experienced? I mean, including sight, especially.”

“Oh, right,” Sakura said, before breathing in a bit. “Uncle Kariya’s old man threw me into a pit filled with worms, and I was in the pit for three days before Uncle Kariya came to help me, but the old man threw him in, too… I hated it!”

“Where was this, Sakura?” Tokiomi asked, hoping to figure out the specifics of what she was seeing.

“It… it was the Matou manor, Father,” Sakura said, tears threatening to burst from her eyes. “Inside… inside their basement level, with many worms crawling over me!”

Tokiomi, because he wanted it to not be true, was still a bit sceptical of the whole thing. He needed a bit more information on what was potentially going to happen, so he asked, “When were you put in the basement?”

“J-j-january 27th of the upcoming year, Father,” Sakura said fearfully. She hoped that it wouldn’t be true after all… well, so that she was able to avoid it, anyway.

“That almost sounds like a Precognitive Dream,” Rondo remarked with a speculative scowl. “I can certainly recognize some of the signs...”

Tokiomi, perhaps in other renditions of the timeline, wouldn’t have believed Sakura about what the Matou family was like, but here? Well, he was willing to give her dream a chance. “Sakura, I promise you, the Matou family won’t get their hands on you like that,” he said, attempting to pat her head with hands that were not used to doing so.

“The Matou…” Rondo remarked, his scowl deepening. “Even I’ve heard of them - they’re the family that specializes in Crest Worms…”

Tokiomi blinked, then blinked again, and sighed in frustration. “Why were we allied with the Matous to begin with?” he asked himself. Turning to face Rondo and Sakuya, he asked, “Would you be willing to take care of Sakura and make her your heir?” Upon seeing a strange look from Sakura, he turned to her and said, “Don’t get me wrong, Sakura, I want to see you be an heir of Magecraft. It’s just impossible for you to be the Tohsaka family heir for reasons you might not understand. Besides, the Yagami family, the couple you see here, are worried that they might not have an appropriate heir in time, or so I’m understanding it.”

Sakura, even though she didn’t fully understand what her father was saying, simply nodded her head to say she understood.

Rondo and Sakuya looked to each other, seeming to hold a wordless conversation, before they nodded. “Of course,” Rondo said. “I think she would do well with us, much better than with the Matous, and I think she might also have a similar gift to mine, if she was able to see a vision of what would happen to her with the Matous…”

Tokiomi nodded solemnly at that, grateful for the agreement between the two of them, as he decided to talk with his wife, Aoi, about the change in residency for Sakura. Hopefully, given that Kariya wasn’t a fan of the Matou magecraft, he could help Sakura out on the off-chance that she and her future little sister were orphaned.

(Mostly just worried that I wrote Tokiomi wrong, and that Rondo is unlike a proper Magus, which is what Tokiomi looks for in fellow Magi... well, I mean, I'm worried I wrote him wrong in the context of this story.

Anyone willing to say what needs fixing?
)

Cherry Lover

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Well, I think Tokiomi would definitely be worried about Sakura's dream, but I think he's also a little quick to accept it at face value (the promise that he won't let her go to the Matous seems a lot more absolute than I'd expect from him given the situation). Also, how would Sakura know the date? It's not like there's a calendar on the wall in the Matou basement....

Xamusel

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Hrm... good points. I'll have to figure out how to best fix the issues you brought up.

Also, I think there should've been a calendar on the wall inside the main part of the house, but we never see it as viewers.

Cherry Lover

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Main part of the house, yeah, probably, but not in the basement. Given the nature of the dream (and especially her age), I doubt she'd have really focussed on the date on a calendar that in-dream wouldn't have been important to her at all (because she'd know it already) and which only showed up for a short period at the beginning.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2014, 12:26:49 AM by Cherry Lover »

Xamusel

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Okay, yeah, good point. Maybe I should have elaborated that the dream ended with her in the basement by the time Kariya came to free her (as in, it started when Sakura was handed to the Matou family, and she had the chance to look at a calendar before the worms).

Cherry Lover

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Even so, the date on the calendar is not something you'd expect her to focus on....

Xamusel

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True... maybe you have a better idea of what could be asked in that circumstance? Just curious.

Cherry Lover

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Not really. I'm not sure asking her stuff like the date is the right approach here. That doesn't really let him know if it's a genuine premonition.

Xamusel

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Hmm... good point. I'll work something else into that part.