Kasumi: Thank god we are farther away from that creep.
Haruka: We made out alright. Nothing to worry about.
Kasumi: For now.
Haruka: Could be worse, you could be dressed like this too.
Kasumi: Hell no. I wouldn’t be caught dead in an outfit like that.
Haruka: Like I said, could be worse.
Haruka cups some water in her hand and takes a sip.
Haruka: Good and cool.
Kasumi shakes her head and sits down for a moment.
Haruka: We’ve still got a ways before we’re completely out of the desert at least, but we’re in a good position.
Kasumi: Well should we get going then? To get you out of this heat so you don’t have to worry about the heat?
Haruka: Need to give the horses a chance to rest and relax. We’re in no hurry right now. And I told you before, this outfit keeps me cool. I’m not melting. I’ll manage.
Kasumi: Alright I’ll just rest here then. (sits down and closes her eyes) Haruka relaxes as well. She tries to pinpoint where exactly they might be within the desert.
Kasumi: (opens one eye) So you know exactly where we are?
Haruka: If my hunch is correct, then we should be close to a town.
Kasumi: Well that’s a welcoming thought.
Haruka: Or at least a village…
Kasumi: Well if we need any supplies we could hopefully find some there then.
The two jump back on their horses. They soon ride into a small village. It was definitely small. It also seemed as though the village was worried about something. They look around and notice that a lot of the people of the village were gathered around a well. The two hop of their horses and join the gathering. It seemed the group was worried about their well running dry. It had already done so and the group was wondering where their source of water would come from.
Haruka: (Thinking) Need water…? Hm…
Kasumi: (looks over to Haruka) She’s not seriously thinking about…
Haruka: We should find a place to stay for the night.
The two find an inn and enter in.
Attendant: Welcome to our humble inn, due to a shortage, we have no water.
Kasumi: (to herself) Well that explains the commotion earlier.
Attendant: Hope we can get you a room today?
Haruka: Room for two please.
It doesn’t take long or the two of them to get settled into their room.
Kasumi: I wonder what’s going on with their water supply.
Haruka: Best bet is that they’ve simply run out. I doubt they get a whole lot of water out here.
Kasumi: Horrible truth...but that's what happens when you live in a desert.
Kasumi: (yawns slightly) Well now what?
Haruka: We get some sleep. We need a night to relax.
Kasumi: Works for me.
The night comes and goes for the village. When the two awake, they are rested. Though Kasumi, still not happy with the outfit, finds Haruka donning it again.
Kasumi: (sighs) Here we go again…
Haruka: You’re not going to go on about this again are you? We’re not out of the desert yet, so of course I’m going to wear the belly dancer outfit.
Kasumi: I heard you the first time..
As they exit the inn, they find the people of the village rejoicing over more water. The villagers seemed ecstatic over what had happened. As the two cross a booth, a figurine catches Kasumi’s eye.
Shopkeep: Oh, I see you’ve met our Goddess.
The figurine was a woman cloaked in a blue outfit, from bottom to top, everything was covered except her hands, which wielded a fan.
Shopkeep: The Goddess. She keeps watch over our water supply. We prayed to her last night and she answered our prayers!
Kasumi: Huh interesting.
Kasumi keeps her emotions in check. She was skeptical about how water could have suddenly appeared like that. Even in her own home, she was skeptical over how the ritual worked of sacrificing someone to ensure that their homes would be safe for another year. Kasumi seemed confused over how a well that was bone dry suddenly got water again. The only person she could think that might play a hand in this was Haruka.
Kasumi: (whispering quietly) That's just too convenient...whatever...
Haruka: So this is your goddess, huh?
Shopkeep: Yep, she’s pretty isn’t she?
Haruka: I guess…?
Something definitely seemed off. Before, Haruka had made fun of her home for attempting to sacrifice people to gods ‘that didn’t exist’ and yet, she wasn’t outright denying this goddess’ existence. Then again, if she did say it, they might be ran out of the village.
Kasumi: (raises an eyebrow) She sure is.
The two continue to walk through the village. Though one question seemed to stick out in Kasumi’s mind. If Haruka did this, where did she get the outfit to match the goddess? The only outfits, to Kasumi’s knowledge, was her original outfit and the bellydancer outfit she had seem to grow fond of.
Kasumi: (sighs and looks over to Haruka with a bored expression) I won’t play any games...was it you who “restored” the water here?
Haruka looks at her confused. She then points to the goddess figurine.
Haruka: Does the goddess have ears and a tail like mine?
Kasumi: The figurine is covered. I couldn’t tell even if I really wanted to.
Haruka: Even so, do you really think people would make a ‘beastkin’ out to be a ‘goddess’?
Kasumi: You never know. Not everyone hates beastkin you know.
Haruka: I didn’t say everyone does. But even then, I don’t have any of this ‘goddess’ stuff that she is supposed to have. Besides, who uses a fan?
Kasumi: But who else has the power to restore water to a well. You are the only one I know of that could do that.
Haruka: To you I’m the only one who could, doesn’t mean I did.
Kasumi: Whatever I give up.
The day comes and goes only for the night to come again. The two had decided to stay another night to relax. Kasumi wakes up in the middle of the night. She looks over from her bed and sees that something was definitely in the other bed. Sheets pulled over her head, like she always sleeps.
Kasumi: (sighs) I guess I was wrong…
She gets up out of bed and goes to the window, only to find the cloaked blue goddess with a bit of mist trailing behind her. A fan just peeking out from the sleeve. This was her chance to find out who the goddess was!
Kasumi: Well time to find out I guess.
Kasumi quickly gets dressed, making a point not to wake up Haruka. She heads down the stairs and keeps herself just out of sight of the clothed ‘goddess’. She watches and follows as the ‘goddess’ goes to the well. She sticks her arm out and a fan pours out water.
Kasumi: Well that's interesting…
She keeps her distance until the fan stops dripping water, and then she decides to confront the ‘goddess’
Kasumi: Well Ms. Goddess nice to meet you.
The ‘goddess’ takes off immediately, seemingly surprised at Kasumi’s appearance. Kasumi does her best to keep track of her.
Kasumi: Oh come now I just wanted to talk.
The ‘goddess’ tries to keep her distance from Kasumi. Kasumi, however, knew of ways to prevent this so-called ‘goddess’ from escaping. Kasumi: I’m not going to give up until you talk to me you know. The ‘goddess’ throw a ball of water at using her fan in what appeared to be an attempt to slow her down.
Kasumi: (holds her hand up using her power to turn the water to vapor) Throwing things at me now? That's rude.
It isn’t long before the two reach a dead-end with a boarded up wall in front of the ‘goddess’.
Kasumi: Now can we talk?
The ‘goddess’ turns to her. With herself hidden by her clothes, Kasumi couldn’t get a good look at who was underneath.
Kasumi: Still hiding from me?
The ‘goddess’ doesn’t reply. it would make sense if she spoke that she would give herself away.
Kasumi: Look I’m just curious as to who you are. I could care less that you are helping this town. I won’t tell anybody.
The ‘goddess’ doesn’t move.
Kasumi: (facepalms) This is getting nowhere.
It seemed as if the ‘goddess’ had no intention of removing her hood willingly. So Kasumi takes it upon herself to reveal her.
Kasumi: Last chance before I take your hood off myself.
The ‘goddess’ makes no motion to stop her.
Kasumi: Ok I warned you. (reaches out to pull the hood off.)
Kasumi then grabs the hood and throws it back only to see Haruka underneath. Kasumi is shocked and confused. How was she in two places at once?
Kasumi: How is this possible..?
Haruka places two fingers and pushes them together.
Haruka: Well not too hard...just had to put some things underneath the covers to make it look like I was there…(nervously laughs)
Kasumi: Why did you lie to me? You could have just told me. I wasn’t going to freak out or anything.
Haruka: You asked me in the middle of a group of people. Do you realize how they would have reacted to my claim that I was the goddess? They would’ve called us blasphemers and ran us out of town.
Kasumi: You could have told me later.
Haruka: I’m used to doing things on my own. Even if I was discovered, and you had no idea, I would be the only one who got hurt.
Kasumi: Well aren’t we supposed to be working together?
Haruka: It just seemed like the best idea at the time.
Haruka: Look, I just wanted to help. If I were to use my powers in broad daylight, I’d look like even more of a freak than I already do. But at night, I can disguise myself, and all I hear is how amazing this ‘goddess’ is who helped the village. I just wanted to feel appreciated for once. (looks down)
Kasumi: (sighs) I get it. It’s nice that you wanted to help these people...at least your powers can do some good even if they don’t know that you are the one doing it.
Haruka: You’re not mad at me?
Kasumi: No. Im just a little hurt that you wouldn’t tell me that's all.
Haruka: Well, I just wasn’t sure how you’d react.
Kasumi: Why did you think I would be mad that you are helping people?
Haruka: The last time I did this stunt, one of the people in my ‘family’ got mad at me. Said I shouldn’t be using my powers so haphazardly.
Kasumi: They are your powers, who am I to tell you how to use them?
Haruka: You...make a good point…
Kasumi: I would only get upset if you were hurting yourself to the point where it could affect our survival.
Haruka: I wasn’t doing that. Its easy for me to create water because when I summon a small amount of ice the heat causes it to create water almost immediately.
Kasumi: See there was nothing for you to worry about then. Because I wouldn’t have cared either way.
Kasumi: Well I should head back to get some rest then.
Haruka: We both should.
The night passes by uneventfully, and the next morning the two of them are ready to head out from the town. Haruka dons the belly dancer outfit again, much to Kasumi’s chagrin.
Kasumi: (grumbles softly to herself before turning to Haruka) Well where to now?
Haruka: Out of the desert. And then you won’t have to worry about me wearing this outfit anymore.
Kasumi: Fine by me.
Haruka: After that you can wear it.
Kasumi: Yea no.
With that, the two ride out of town.