This room was much smaller and darker than the assembly hall. Several small round lamps bathed the room in a purplish glow which didn't quite reach the figure of Miho, slumped in a chair in what seemed a most uncomfortable position. Meagen briefly wondered if the piles of toys and plushies were Miho's collection, gifts from well-wishers, or possibly had some symbolic meaning.
Shadowdancer knelt down, raising the orb in front of her. She examined the contents carefully.
Her eyes widened. For one second, she could swear she saw a tine blue spark flash by silently in the sea of purple.
She shook her head, then looked again, but the phenomenon did not reappear. No reason why it should - the spell had been design to convert all the energy inside it to a type similar to Miho's own, so she could absorb it more easily and without any losses. It had worked perfectly, so even if Meagen had added some of her own energy, no traces of her aura could possibly remain. Shadowdancer dismissed the sight as a sign she was tired.
She raised the orb towards Miho, and prepared to cast one last spell.
"Oh Darkly Cute One", she muttered under her breath, "by the sacrifice of your loyal minions, by the gift of our own hearts, take this energy and be whole once more, to bless us with your power and your style."
As she spoke, the outer layer of the sphere vanished, and the purple fog began to disperse before being drawn to Miho's prone form in long, ribbon-like wisps. The power swirled around her whole body, envelopping her like a cocoon, and then sunk and vanished within her.
Miho Tohya stirred, and slowly lifted her head. As she opened her eyes, they shone with an eerie golden light. She stood up slowly, then very carefully and stylishly stretched.
Shadowdancer, for her part, got up slowly to her feet, then immediatley fell back. Manta was ready to catch her. As she struggled to stay awake, BGMaster walked up to her, making himself fully visible, which caused a bit of a stir.
The drow looked up at him, eyes clouded with exhaustion. "BG-sama...", she muttered.
He smiled. "You've done well. Now, rest." Laying a ghostly hand on her eyes, he cast a simple sleep spell. "Take her up to her quaters", he told Manta, who nodded, picked up his beloved in his arms and left.
BGMaster turned towards Meagen, his trademark smirk apeparing on his features. "You look tired as well", he observed. "I'd carry you home, but there's this small matter of being incorporal."
"Shut up", Meagen muttered, then yawned.
His smirk widened. "Perhaps I should get Hoturi to carry you? He has his hands free for now."
"Shut up", Meagen muttered again, then turned around. "I'm going home. Night-night, miss Tohya", she said, and left.
Miho smiled enigmatically. For just one second, the glow in her eyes turned sky blue.
"Well, I certainly wasn't expecting *that*", Sayaki confessed, falling in step next to Meagen. The brown-haired girl glanced at her blankly. "You actually gave some of your own energy to help Miho recuperate? Why did you do that, I wonder?"
Meagen shrugged. "Because it was funny", she said simply.
"M-hm", the mysterious woman nodded. "I see. It may lead to quite amusing results in the future, too. Well, you do realise what this means?"
"Miho is good as new and safe?", Meagen guessed.
"More than that. Nearly all the Mihoists have given away part of their own energy. Their mistress may be at full power, but they are not. They have lost the edge they had over everyone else... if something happens to threaten the balance of power, they may not be able to single-handedly keep it up, as they had before."
Meagen shrugged, though she didn't miss the way the "if" and "may" in the last sentence stood out like strap-on wings on a hamster. "You seem to know a lot of what... *may* happen", she observed.
"Yes", Sayaki grinned. "Yes, I do. Goodnight." With that, she vanished.
Meagen stopped, looking at the spot where the woman had been for a minute. "...that's two", she said to no-one in particular, then went home to bed.
[AN: Just a short one to finish day 1. Meagen will be sleeping in tomorrow, so the next story post will be by co-author Lightsider. Stay tuned, everyone, and thanks for all your kind words so far!]