“Hey, Madoka. Have you thought up a wish?”
That's what Sayaka just asked me, while we sat on the pure white rooftop of the school. 'What should I wish for?' is a question that has daunted me over the past few hours. I've tried to escape from it, but my mind kept being pulled back to it, as it is a very important question should I choose to become a magical girl.
“Have you thought up a wish, Sayaka-chan?” I ask of her, after expressing how I haven't.
“I can't think of anything” she answered, “I kind of figured everyone would have one, but...”
After trailing off with her answer, and stretching her arms to loosen herself up a bit, Sayaka stood up while more fully expressing her thoughts.
“There's plenty of things I want and things I'd like to do.” she continued, “But I can't get over the “risking my life” part. I don't want anything that
I felt the same way. There's also nothing that I wanted that
bad. Except maybe... and ironically... being a magical girl itself. But it would be silly to wish for what comes automatically from contracting with Kyubey.
“Wow, I'm surprised” Kyubey stated to Sayaka, “Most girls go right for it.”
Sayaka gripped the thin lattice fencing on the side of the roof, while the wind whistled through her air.
“I guess we're just ignorant” Sayaka replied to Kyubey, forcing a smile towards him.
“I guess.” I stated in agreement with her.
“Yeah. Ignorance is bliss” Sayaka continued, “It's not like wishes you'd give your life for are that unusual. I guess lots of people have them.”
Sayaka tightened her grip on the fencing, and I could tell that she was deep in thought, and probably feeling conflicted. It made for an eerily tense situation...
“So if we can't think of any because of how lucky we are...” she continued, “Our ignorance is truly a blessing.”
... I think she was thinking about Kamijo while she said that. It's true that he
would have an obvious wish to make in a situation like the one Sayaka and I were in.
“Why us?” Sayaka asked, seemingly of nobody in particular...
“It isn't fair!” she exclaimed, as she turned about to face Kyubey and me, “There are people who would love a chance like this!
“Sayaka-chan...” I said, as I felt a lot of sympathy for her right now.
She was right. Her and I didn't need a wish, really. We both had our limitations, wants, and dreams. But we didn't have any big
problems that needed fixing. Or any grand idea that could inspire what we wish for. I felt... I felt very small right now. How many of the great men and women of history would have turned this wish into something truly monumental? How many would have changed the world for the better with this wish? And here I was, unable to think of anything...
But just as I was getting lost in thought, Sayaka and I had an unexpected visitor...
Homura came walking unto the rooftop from the far exit, and continued to walk towards us! Upon seeing her, Sayaka made a straight bee-line towards me, and quickly moved in front of Kyubey and me. Sayaka's always been so protective of me. It's a big part of the reason why I feel so comfortable around her.
But right now, I felt very uncomfortable, as Homura remains such a perplexing mystery to me. What does she want with me? Why does she focus so much on me? Is she here to try to kill Kyubey again? If so, I don't know if Sayaka is strong enough to defend Kyubey from Homura, and I think I'd be too scared to fight Homura...
'It's Ok' I heard Mami-san say telepathically to Sayaka and I.
We turned about to see Mami standing on a balcony not too far away from the roof Sayaka and I were on. That's a relief... But while Homura seemed to notice Mami, that wasn't enough to stop her. She walked with such grace and purpose towards Sayaka and I.
“Picking up where you left off yesterday?” Sayaka asked of her, preparing for a fight.
“I have no such intention.” answered Homura, “I wanted to finish him off before he met Madoka Kaname. It's too late for that now.”
She was referring to Kyubey of course. Sayaka still didn't let her guard down, but as for myself, I felt like Homura was being honest with us, so I relaxed a bit.
“So what are you going to do now?” Homura asked, while looking towards me, “Will you become a magical girl too?”
“I...” I began uneasily, as I wasn't yet sure of my answer.
“What gives you the right to ask?!” Sayaka angrily asked of Homura.
Sayaka-chan has clearly become irritated by Homura's unclear intentions, and even more murky motivations. Homura's previous intention to kill Kyubey also seemed very mean and unwarranted, likely to Sayaka as well as me. And yet... there was such directness and purposefulness to everything that Homura did. I couldn't shake the feeling that she had a very good reason for taking the actions that she's taken. I just wish she was more open about them...
“Do you remember what I said yesterday?” Homura asked of me.
I did remember it, yes. But rather than just answering that question, I wondered if I should use this opportunity to try to determine why Homura has been focusing so much on me. I was a bit fearful of what such a determination might reveal, but on the other hand, it's also good to be well-informed.
“Yes, I do. Why are you so concerned about me? If I become a magical girl, I wouldn't be a threat to you. I have no desire to fight you.”
“Wait! Homura!” I shouted out to her, before I began to ask my question, “What did you wish for when you became a magical girl?”
Homura turned about briefly to look at me as I asked that question. Once more I found her gaze upon me to be so piercing... so penetrating. But she didn't answer the question. She then turned away from me, and began walking away. What is she hiding? Why won't she reveal it?! It is
pretty irritating. But I guess she must have her reasons...
After school, Sayaka and I explained to Hitomi that we had something to take care of today. Hitomi... didn't take it too well. Hopefully we can make it up to her somehow. Sayaka, Kyubey, and I then met up with Mami at a nearby restaurant.
“All right, time for your first experience of what it's like to be a magical girl.” expressed Mami with a wide smile, after finishing off her drink, “I hope you're looking forward to it! Are you prepared?”
Sayaka perked up at that, as she saw it as an opportunity to impress Mami-Sempai.
“I'm not sure if this is enough, but...” she began with a confident grin, “look what I brought!”
Sayaka then plopped something on the table, that was wrapped in a grey blanket. She then removed the blanket, and held aloft what it was. It was a baseball bat! Sayaka does like baseball a little bit, and when she and I play Mortal Kombat-style video games, Sayaka always goes for the characters with hand-held weapons, like bats or swords. She enjoys the rush of close-quarters combat, whereas I prefer long-range combatants that enable me to stay a safe distance from the opponent.
“I figure it's better than nothing” Sayaka said, referring to the bat.
“Well, I'm glad you're prepared for that kind of thing.” Mami replied.
“Did you bring anything, Madoka?” Sayaka asked excitedly, eager to see what I might have brought along.
It would seem irresponsible or lame of me to not be able to show anything to Mami-san after Sayaka had shown the baseball bat, so even though I was a bit bashful about the idea, I decided to show Mami-san the magical girl doodles I had done throughout the day.
Mami and Sayaka were both surprised by my doodles, and were really looking them over thoroughly! I hope that they like my magical girl outfit designs!
“I thought I should start with a design” I explained to them.
After I said that, Mami and Sayaka both started laughing loudly for some reason! It made me feel very embarrassed... A small part of me wanted to say something in my defence, but I wasn't sure if I was in the best state of mind to do so right now...
Do and say nothing.
“I know that my design isn't as pretty as your magical girl outfit is, Mami-san, but I thought I should come up with something at least...”
“Well, at least it's better than a bat, Sayaka! Do you really think that'll work against those bizarre creatures we see inside of a witches' barrier?”
After a short conversation, the three of us, as well as Kyubey, all left the restaurant in order to go on a witch hunt! It was exciting, but I still felt a bit of trepidation over it. The word “hunt” brought some unpleasant memories to mind.
When I was a young child, my mama showed me an animated movie that was over one hundred years old! It was the classic Disney film Bambi. That movie left me crying for days... Mama explained to me that she showed me the film since she thought some good lessons were conveyed by it. Lessons about how the world can be a cruel place at times, and that you need to find comfort in friends and other loves ones in times of tragedy. Now that I'm older, I realize that the lesson in the Bambi movie was a good one, but even to this day it leaves me feeling sad. Whenever I think of “hunt”, I think of Bambi, so I'm definitely not a fan of hunting. I decided to keep this to myself, though, since I get the impression that hunting witches is a lot different from hunting deer.
Still, they have at least one thing in common, and that's the importance of tracking! Mami explained to Sayaka and I how Soul Gems can be used to track witches. That's convenient at least. But it was taking us a bit long to find a witch. Between the cloudy sky and the sun beginning to set, the sky appeared golden, but also oddly ominous...
“So, Mami, do you have any idea where the witch might be hiding?” Sayaka asked.
“A witch's curse can have the most impact around crimes and accidents” Mami answered, “So it's best to check major roads and red-light districts where fights tend to break out. After that, deserted areas suitable for suicide.”
“It's worst when they haunt hospitals.” Mami continued, “They suck life force from those already weakened, with no one the wiser.”
Shortly after saying that, Mami came to a stop, and the intermittent glowing of her Soul Gem began to intensify!
“There's a strong magical wave” Mami explained, “And it's close...”
Mami then raced off, using the Soul Gem to track the exact origin of the magical wave. Sayaka and I sprinted alongside of her. We eventually came to the front of an old, abandoned, and wore down building.
“There it is!” exclaimed Mami.
“Mami, look!” shouted Sayaka, pointing upwards, after noticing something.
I tightly closed my eyes, cringed, and cried as I saw a woman throw herself off of a rooftop!
But Mami, to her credit, took quick and decisive action! She rapidly transformed into her magical girl outfit, and caught the falling woman with a net of yellow magical strands. She then carefully lowered the woman to the ground, while letting the magical strands slowly dissipate. Her, Sayaka, and I all rushed over to the fallen woman. She had a reddish butterfly mark on her neck!
“A witch's kiss...” Mami said uneasily, while she crouched down and inspected the fallen woman, “I knew it.”
Mami then stood back up.
“This woman...” I uttered, admittedly a bit panicked.
“It's Ok.” Mami said, “She's just fainted. Let's go.”
The three of us then rushed inside of the old building, while I held Kyubey in my arms. The old building was really in complete shambles! Broken glass, chipped walls, and encroaching tree vines, could be seen all about the building's interior.
Mami carefully walked forward. Her hairpin then glistened, which seemed to coincide with a magical gateway appearing at the top of a nearby flight of stairs.
“I won't let you get away today.” Mami said with a confident smile.
Mami then gripped Sayaka's bat, causing it to transform! The bat became much wider, and more metallic and ornate. It certainly looked much stronger now than before.
If you chose C
for Choice 7
, then read section 7C
. Otherwise, read section 7AB
“This is more for peace of mind than anything.” stated Mami, as she walked up the stairs, nearing the magical gateway, “But you should be able to protect yourself with it. Stay close to me.”
“Okay!” shouted Sayaka earnestly.
Sayaka than sprinted behind Mami, with such zealous energy! I wish I could say I was enjoying this as much as she seemed to be. But it was all very interesting at least.
While I continued to carry Kyubey, the three of us leaped through the magical gateway!
The immediate interior of the witches' barrier didn't seem that much different from what was outside of it... except for how there were a lot
of those butterfly-Pringles thingies all lined up in great number, passing flowers over their heads. The three of us started sprinting up several flights of stairs, eventually arriving at the top of them. Several grotesque-looking weird creatures then began to descend upon us, prompting Mami to shoot off a rifle at them! Wow, she was incredibly good and fast at that!
We then raced down one of the hallways just beyond the flights of stairs. Not long after, we were attacked again! I took a stance between Mami and Sayaka. Mami used her rifle to blast away at these enemies, while Sayaka swung her bat at them.
“St-stay away!” Sayaka shouted at them, while she deflected a couple of the enemies away with her bat.
“Are you afraid?” Mami asked, after we continued sprinting along, towards wherever the witch was.
“... No way!” answered Sayaka, after a brief pause.
Sayaka was adjusting to this pretty well. I have to admit I felt a bit like an useless third wheel on this witch hunt. Sayaka obviously wasn't as effective as Mami was, but at least she was doing something
. I was just riding on their coattails, really. Not only that, but I felt scared.
At least, that's how I felt until I started to notice once more just how effective in battle Mami was. She delivered an incredible
flying jumpkick from above, crashing through a vast array of enemies. As she continued her descent, I focused on her. She was so... so majestically magnificent. So beautiful. So strong! My fears started to wash away, as I found myself having complete faith and trust in Mami.
As such, I sprinted with renewed courage and vigor, following behind Mami and Sayaka.
“Keep going!” exclaimed Kyubey, “You're almost to the focus of the barrier!”
Mami summoned forth several rifles to blast away all of the enemies blocking the three of us from the focus of the barrier. She continued to look so very cool!
We then rushed through four doors, to finally arrive at the focus of the barrier, and the sight of the witch.
The witch... or at least what I think is the witch... was horrifyingly
ugly. It was like a gelatinous bed of roses attached to a stomach organ, which in turn had large butterfly wings! I couldn't help but cringe at the sight of it.
“Look. That's a witch.” stated Mami.
“Eewww...” expressed Sayaka at the sight of it.
“You're going to fight that?” I asked of Mami.
I couldn't imagine even getting close to that, let alone fighting it!
“Don't worry” Mami said, with a brightly bold smile, “I won't lose.”
Mami then took Sayaka's bat, twirled it about, and brought it crashing downward, creating a large funnel of wind! It formed a sort of protective barrier around Sayaka, Kyubey, and I.
“Stand back.” Mami said to us, as she ventured forward.
She leaped unto the grassy ground all around where the witch sat, and she began stomping down the tiny enemies between her and the witch. The witch then growled
like an angered lion!
Mami stretched out her skirt, causing two rifles to fall out of the sides of it. The witch then caused a humongous heart-shaped chair to come crashing down towards Mami. Mami did a backflip to dodge it, and then started shooting off her rifles at it!
The witch then took to the air, and flew about like it was some sort of fighter jet! To counter this, Mami summoned forth seemingly dozens of rifles, and started to pick them up one after another. She aimed each one of them against the witch, shooting them off in rapid succession. But the witch managed to dodge the blasts.
Mami then looked startled as several of the tinier enemies started crawling all over her feet. They then started to kind of turn into a large black vine, wrapping around her. They picked her up and sent her swirling about in the air, hanging upside down! Mami shot off more of her rifles, but this time, it looked like she was desperate. Some of the air of confidence that she had conveyed to Sayaka and me before started to fade away. The vines then flung her against the far wall, causing it to break into billowing dust due to the violent impact!
Mami looked hurt! My earlier faith and trust in Mami had turned into deep concern for her. Sayaka gasped in shock at the sight of Mami being on the ropes!
” Sayaka shouted at her, as she was as worried about her as I was.
Mami's face seemed to twitch and strain a bit in pain, as the vine continued to twirl her about and hold her upside down. But then, Mami seemed to regain her composure.
“I'm fine.” she said, while looking at Sayaka and I, “I'm not going to look lame in front of girls who're going to be my juniors!”
Mami then caused lots of yellow strands that looked like spaghetti noodles to come out of the cracks in the grassy ground. They held the tinier enemies at bay, while also wrapping all around the witch, holding her firmly in place!
“That was disappointing.” Mami said.
Mami then removed her necktie, and used it as some kind of slicing agent to free her from the vine. She then twirled about in mid-air, in order to come to a more upright posture. While she fell downwards, she twirled her necktie about like she was a ballerina... and she made her necktie transform into an gigantic glistening gun!
Mami gripped the handle and trigger of the gun, and aimed it at the witch.
” she exclaimed with such power and poise, as the gun erupted with an almost deafening blast!
The blast struck the witch point blank, causing her to completely disintegrate within a wave of yellowish energy!
Mami then landed on her feet, again as though she were a cat, and... took out a cup of tea, and started drinking it.
With the witch defeated, she tilted her head towards Sayaka and I, smiling at us.
“...She won” said Sayaka, a bit breathlessly, as we were worried for a second then.
“Wow!” I exclaimed, once again so very impressed by Mami.
With that, the witches' barrier faded away, and Mami changed her attire back into her student uniform. She then walked over, and picked up something that had been left behind by the witch.
After picking it up, she showed it to Sayaka and I.
“This is a Grief Seed” she explained, “The egg of a witch.”
It was black and round, with a very pointy end.
“Egg...” Sayaka said, wondering what to make of it.
“If you're lucky, you'll find them on witches” Mami continued.
“Don't worry” chimed in Kyubey, as I held him in my arms, “It's perfectly safe in that form. If anything, it's precious for how useful it is!”
Mami then showed us how a Grief Seed can be used to cleanse a Soul Gem, as her Soul Gem had recently dimmed a bit.
“It cleared up!” stated Sayaka.
“See?” asked Mami, “It restored the magical power I used. That's the reward for hunting witches that I mentioned before.”
Mami then suddenly threw the Grief Seed away... or so I had originally thought.
The Grief Seed had been caught by somebody! It was Homura! Had she been following behind us all this time?
“It has one use left.” Mami stated to Homura, while Homura slowly walked forward as her presence was now known, “Here, you can have it, Akemi Homura.”
“It's her!” Sayaka stated sternly, at the sight of Homura.
This struck me as a very
nice gesture on Mami's part. I was increasingly impressed by her, and I found Mami to be so elegantly endearing... I only hoped that Homura would accept the olive branch, and hopefully the antagonism between her and the rest of us could come to an end.
“Or do you have something against sharing?” Mami asked of Homura, as Homura had yet to reply to her generous gesture.
“It's your prize” Homura replied, “It belongs to you alone.”
Homura then threw the Grief Seed back at Mami.
Mami caught the Grief Seed, while looking very cross.
“I see.” said Mami, in a stern and disappointed tone of voice, “That's your answer.”
Homura then walked away...
By this point, Sayaka was completely exasperated by Homura.
“She really ticks me off!” Sayaka exclaimed, while clenching a fist.
“I wish we could get along with her...” I said.
“That's up to her.” Mami stated.
After we exited the building, Mami went back to the woman who had thrown herself off the building. She gently picked her up, while the woman slowly came to. The woman was clearly in a confused panic, but Mami calmed her down by hugging her and comforting her.
“Case closed, huh.” stated Sayaka, smiling over Mami's success.
I nodded in agreement. It's way too hard for me to decide on a wish that I want granted right away. But I really admire Mami working so hard to help people. She was like a dream turned into reality.
I thought it would be wonderful if I could become as helpful a person as Mami is. With that, I began to colour my magical girl design, deciding to use a lot of pink, the colour of love...
As I rested on my bed after a long but amazingly eventful day, I began to wonder if I was falling in love with Mami, especially given how she has appeared in my dreams, sometimes in a romantic context. I became more and more convinced that I really am attracted more to girls than I am to boys. It was only a question of how I should act on that, and if my friends would accept that. I sadly don't think Hitomi would, but Sayaka probably would. Sayaka... would she feel betrayed if I became closer to Mami than what I am to her?
These thoughts were front and centre amongst many that washed over me. But while I had so many hard choices to answer, I also felt comforted at making a wonderful new friend in Mami. I only hoped that the next witch we encountered wouldn't be as scary as the one we faced today...