1. Sora Moore (Sora is meeting her M-Mom?!?!)
Sora has been rising through Dimensions after unlocking her father’s side, and let’s be honest, she was struggling against Mofupsi until she just dominated her new little slave fox! Bullet hell Sora’s pretty insane, though!
Now, let’s meet our girl’s cute, awkward mother and finally get some answers!
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Sora couldn’t speak as her mother’s twisted nine copper tails flicked to the other side; Mia’s ears twitched while trying her best not to avoid eye contact with Sora.
She’s … really here? How can she be here … Why does she look like a girl on her first date? What is going on?!
Her mother was young-looking and without the whisker markings of her sister, between twenty and twenty-three, and a lot shorter than Sora, given her slight height gains after transforming. Sora would guess she was near Kari’s height now.
Her flaming hair wasn’t quite as coppery as Sora’s but was similar in every other way, and oddly, she had Irish characteristics, which threw her off a bit; she’d thought it was her father’s side that gave her the Irish looks, but Sora then remembered her mother could change into whatever she wanted.
Mia was wearing a more modern outfit; a green pleated dress, black tights, red shoes, and an orange cardigan. It felt a little weird seeing her mother for the first time, and so unlike her more traditional Japanese-styled aunt.
Is she trying to appeal to my American culture? Why this instead of how she looked in Dad’s vision? Could she be trying to look more like me to make me feel less awkward? This can’t be a coincidence! This is all a big plot! It has to be!
The first thing out of Sora’s mouth was, “Why … are you here?”
“Oh…” Mia reached up to brush back her bangs that weren’t in her face. “Hmm, that is a good question … Huh, well … I’ve been as close as I could get without … neglecting my obligations. I’m … umm, thrilled you’re beyond your time as a human. Heh, I … didn’t like knowing you’d go through that part in your life once Kari showed up.”
Sora’s chest and lips tightened, her vision narrowing while shifting to the only thing she could really focus on besides the strange chaotic mess of semi-liquid substance her multiverse floated within—the dot with a nigh-infinite mass of various universes within—anything was better than looking at her mother.
“Mhm … Yeah, you probably just thought it was a speck in the grand scheme of things. Right?”
“Yes … I did,” she slowly replied, seemingly knowing it wasn’t a good response. “I know that doesn’t sound easy to hear.” Mia hissed out a breath, clearly not liking the way things were turning. A nervous twitch passed through her left ear. “You can see it was so small now … Even if it was big to you at the time.”
“That’s the point, Mom.”
Sora crossed her arms and glared at the multiverse; she might have had vast sensing capabilities as her Intelligence rapidly broke and renewed with her father’s abilities, but if she wanted to actually study it, then she’d need to metaphorically break out her microscope and really dig into the whole process, yet that wasn’t her priority.
Pressing a tongue against the side of her teeth, Sora huffed. “You know exactly how I feel. Yes, okay,” she growled, gesturing at the multiverse before them, “I can see a ton of stuff if I want to—it’s crazy, and I know I was just a tiny, hyperdimensional, or boundless creature living in an infinitely minuscule three-dimensional plane in a remote area of the multiverse you stuck Dad and me in, but to me … to me, I only have sixteen years of experience, Mom—less! I needed you.”
Her mother’s vision fell with her shoulders. “I know … I know. Everything went off the rails three years ago—so much longer for me—but relative to your time when Aiden manipulated Alva’s pocket space to spit her out in your universe … to come to your city and school. I saw a lot of things, but Homā’s children are very … elusive.”
“Mhm,” Sora rolled her eyes, “blame it on Aiden. You chose to not be a part of my life, and don’t say it,” she snapped.
Mia’s fingers tightened around her arm, yet Sora wasn’t finished. “I expect you had this big plan, but I’m not a science project!” her voice cracked. “I’m … I’m your daughter, and you abandoned me when my life was turning upside down!
“You could have sent an Intelligent Construct, like Aunt Inari did, or sent someone—anyone besides a stupid oblivious, practically dead, First Generation Founder cat to try and help me. Yeah, I know, she did the whole thing with the Fenris Brothers, or whatever, but I needed more than just physical protection, Mom! I needed you to be there like Aunt Inari was…”
Mia’s ears had long since fallen back as she listened to her rant, hands held tightly under her chest. “I would have loved to, dear—I really would have had no greater pleasure than to be with you—to see you grow with me in your life…”
Sora took a deep breath, feeling a new sense of abandonment partially fueled by anger that lit inside her Core.
Then why weren’t you there?!
Even if her instincts told her to hate her mother, there was a piece of her heart that wanted a reason—for her to explain it—to do anything to reconcile the hurt she was suddenly experiencing.
Yeah … I see Dad and I would have had incredible lives had her plan worked out … It didn’t, though, and she was left panicking. Aunt Inari figured it out, though, and in such a short time after figuring out I even existed. Mom had … so long. I need answers!
Doing her best to quell the storm in her soul, Sora took a sitting position in the swirl of formless goo that she mindlessly separated from herself via her Null-Void cloak. She gestured for her mother to do the same.
“Fine. We’re here—I don’t even know a fraction of what’s really happening to me, but I can tell our time is limited, so … tell me, why did my life turn out like this? I see bits of Aunt Inari’s hand,” she mumbled, gesturing at the multiverse. “Where’s yours? Nilly? Talking to random Primordials that are somehow friends with you … What’s up with that? Huh?”
Her mother’s mournful eyes didn’t lift as she situated across from her, looking at something Sora couldn’t see. “You’re right, Sora, we don’t have much time—not nearly as much as I’d like, but … but I see a future where we will, and—and I hope we will see it together.”
Right … Right, just like a super dimensional being, Mom. Yeah, the future is where you’re looking; not at me…
Mia returned her focus to the multiverse. “I’ll be as blunt and open as I can be,” she whispered, voice trembling with her closed fists. “I have failed you, my daughter … in many ways.”
Tingles shot around Sora’s chakram and tails at her mother’s confession; she sounded solemn, but how could she trust a person that just sat up in these higher planes of Existence—just watched her go through so many trials without so much as showing a hint of helping her other than sending rather incompetent or very distracted people to aid her.
You just … admit it? Tell me why?! Stephanie was a Primordial; sure, a few people were around, but that was set up forever ago … Yeah, way long ago. Nothing new after Kari came to the picture! There’s also that time … Why?!
“Okay?” Sora grunted, cloak flaring a bit. “The only thing I know about is that Aunt Inari and you don’t get along all that well, and you interrupted my time with her when I first went to her shrine. What’s the deal?”
Mia nibbled on her lower lip, closed fingers digging against her lap as she slowly nodded. “Yes, I … I was overreacting a bit … envious and frightened, even,” she mumbled, hesitantly reaching up to rub her throat. “I could see what her influence might lead to … Cutting you off from me. Your aunt and I did get into a fight from it, which caused more issues … She’s hurt I would hide this from her, which I can understand. As I said, I’ve failed you in many ways.”
Just … tell me it wasn’t your fault! Yes, Aiden did mess everything up—everyone was worried about all the prominent Founders and Primordials showing up in the universe when Aiden started making waves that lead back to us that only they could detect … It’s tricky and not his fault, but whatever, Alva planned … That doesn’t explain her just sitting up here petrified!
It was hard to swallow, hearing her mother admit to her flaws, but she wasn’t finished.
“Your aunt and I haven’t seen eye-to-eye in many ways over the years … Umm, with the death of our family—she learned how to fill that void by turning to vengeance and creating her Kitsune, and I … I couldn’t do that.”
She shifted to the left, pulling around her knotted tails to hug them to her chest. “I scoured the omniverses available to me—sought any measure of the possibility of developing a family of my own … I was obsessed … I really was … because it was the only thing I really had left beside your aunt, and she was busy with her own plans.”
The loneliness in her mother’s voice hit a cord in Sora’s chest, bringing her back to the time Kari drove Wendy and everyone she knew away, leaving her empty. The hotel staff helped a bit, much like what Inari might have been for her mother, yet they were also distant, and if she was being honest, she didn’t allow them in, in the first place.
Right … Aunt Inari said Second Generation Founders aren’t exactly all that close to one another. They band together for the cause, but that’s rallied by the First Generation … After the war, she was alone … Aunt Inari was moving on, and she was stuck.
“So,” Sora scratched her left ear and adjusted her chakram, “Aunt Inari and you … really aren’t very close?”
Her mother sighed, closing her eyes as her fingers clamped around her wrist; biting her lower lip, she reluctantly said, “I’ll … give her the green light to come and tell you herself…”
She’s really pushing herself … I suppose there’s millions of years of history … No, that’s only what I can see. They’ve been through fights and arguments for … longer than I can see back right now. Still … I needed a mom…
A private tingle pulsed out of her mother that resonated with Sora’s Vulpes genetic structure, and she realized only those that shared the same spiritual DNA could detect the weave of magic. “Does…”
Inari appeared on the opposite side of the multiverse, between Sora and Mia. “Well, I’m pleasantly surprised, Mia,” she smiled, looking at her sister before shifting her gaze. “Yes, darling; Emilia would have felt that call; although, it would take some time to raise her up to this level, given her chaotic nature.”
Sora’s gut tightened, feeling a new level of protectiveness. “Meaning?”
Mia’s displeased emerald irises fixated on Inari. “Darling … Humph, the Intelligent Construct of your aunt has sent both her and me the information that has passed within our mother’s private Realm … A place that hurt too much to even look into, which seems to have been a major mistake on our part … She has yet to fill me in on the details of my granddaughter.”
Inari folded her legs with an uncomfortable expression. “Yes, well … you are temperamental, sister … We established that in our last bout that nearly destroyed my Realm and caused me to miss critical details … I have no excuse for overlooking Hikaru getting wind of Sora’s existence, though, and I apologize for that.”
They really did fight over me … Is Mom really that insecure about losing me? Hikaru … he’s so devious … Oh, no … he really could turn me against Aunt Inari if I don’t have the full context of the things she’s done in the past … How that plays out won’t be certain, though.
Mia’s jaw tightened. “Apologize? It could change everything, Inari; I kept Sora a secret from you because of the enemies you’ve made that now see Sora as a ticket for power. You’ve put a target on her back as much as there’s one on Kari’s.”
Mom … Aunt Inari … I’m seeing more of history by the second, and I still can’t keep up with them. I know I’ll still be a bit upset with Mom when I wake up, but … I have to at least keep the feeling that she’s trying. I can see it … even if I don’t want to … but I do … It’s so confusing, but everything needs to be put on hold for Emilia.
Sora’s eyebrows continued to pull in as they spoke. “Wait … what does Hikaru, and all of this, have to do with Emilia and her chaotic nature? I can see he can turn me against Aunt Inari, but he doesn’t know anything about Emilia, unless … I can’t see into Grandma’s Realm?”
Inari and her mother sighed, expressions softening upon returning their focus to her.
“No, Sora … It is so far beyond our current ability after being isolated from the other dimensions.” Mia paused, glancing toward the multiverse with a forced expression. “I love what I’ve heard about Emilia—I’m a grandmother, which is … unexpected, to say the least, given your age, yet the circumstances in which your aunt has created her are … Well?” she asked, turning her focus to the white-furred Vulpes while hardening her tone.
“What?” Sora demanded.
“I…” Inari’s cheeks sucked in, not looking at her sister’s face as she fidgeted with her hands; never had her aunt appeared so nervous and out of her serene character than in front of her mother. “As you know, my Intelligent Construct decided to take the opportunity that presented itself in creating Emilia … And she didn’t have the full scope of Hikaru’s movements while isolated in our mother’s Realm.”
Her left ear twitched, staring at something beyond Sora’s sight. “Yes, there were possibilities that could have happened to save the original Vulpes, but … it might have created other issues.”
Mia’s large eyes narrowed, lips twisting into an accusatory glare. “You just wanted to have a hand in creating a family member of your own, even if not of your own unique genetics—you were jealous of me!” she snapped, causing Inari to flinch, yet she bit back.
“I can’t deny that was a prime motive for me; you can’t tell me you’d do differently, sister.”
What does this have to do with…
“My time’s limited,” Sora growled, still lost on why Emilia was trouble to them. “Okay, so … I’m getting better at sensing things and grasping concepts, but I’m still not following, Mom, Aunt Inari. Is she in danger?”
Mia pulled around a long lock of her hair to play with it, giving Inari a savage stare. “Yes! Yes, she is, and from so many complications that it’s thrown everything out of order that your aunt has set up … undoing so much work. You are not the same as her, Sora,” she said, turning a concerned face to her. “You have a daughter of your own, and…”
Inari hissed, fiddling with her tails. “Yes, Mia, I didn’t even consider the consequences, and you wouldn’t either, in my position. Emilia is not … complete, per se.”
Complete? I’m not complete!
“An understatement, as usual,” Mia clicked her tongue, drawing Sora’s worried eyes. “From what I understand of what your aunt has decided to show me, given my current position prevents me from looking further, Emilia is going through a process very different from yours, my daughter.”
The dots swiftly connected in her mind as the missing pieces of her own transformation filled in while observing the strings of history in her tiny universe. “You’re saying … Frankenstein specially designed my transformation, but … but Emilia doesn’t have any of those safeguards? Will my father’s side activate in her—will it conflict with her Vulpes side and shred each other like mine is doing? Is she strong enough to survive it?”
Mia rose to sit beside her and hold her hand as panic gripped Sora’s chest; the rings on her chakram began to glow and vibrate. “I would love nothing more than to comfort you with sweet lies, Sora, but I cannot.”
Inari’s fingers locked around each other, looking somewhat flustered. “We have time to discover a way to allow her to transition; she has barely even scratched the full process of the Founder conversion.”
“Okay … Which will be?” Sora asked, glancing between her mother and aunt. “We can … Wait, what about Grandma, Aunt Nari, and Aunt Seiōbo … Can they help?”
Mia’s grip tightened around her’s, giving Inari a conflicted glance. “Sora … my little girl,” she cried, “My hope is beyond measure that what you are doing will succeed.”
“I … can fail?” Sora asked, glancing over at Inari with concern.
No … I’ve put everything into making this happen. I went through the entire Yellow District … made people hate and fear me … terrified for their own lives to make this dream a reality. It has to work…
Inari lifted her hand to reveal two swirling spheres of colorless energy. “By no fault of your own, my niece … Much of this falls on your mother and my shoulders.”
Mia nodded. “I’ve done what I can to help your aunt collect the essence necessary to trigger a proper revival—our mother’s magic is certainly powerful enough for it, and it contains her essence of the event, which means…”
“Huh…” Sora looked up at the fathomless depths of the place they resided; inexplicably, it grew smaller, and she could see the sparkles of other multiverses blanketing the vastness of the area she was becoming aware of. “Grandma … won’t have any memories of the Founder and Primordial War … will she? Everything that happened after her nightmare will be gone.”
I can see the traces of war … scars left on Existence itself from the Founder and Primordial conflicts … numberless multiverses wiped out of existence.
A grimace touched Inari’s lips. “She will be aware of a great deal of it by the magnitude of her perceptive scope of Existence, yet … yet it will not be the same as her own personal thoughts … She will be the Vulpes your mother and I knew as children. The other Founders will not be happy about it, I’m sure; it’s a foundational part of our history that she was a major part in, and no one can replace that, given how none of them knew the depths of her true Core.”
That … doesn’t really matter, though. She can make new memories … She’ll be alive.
Sora was confused again. “So … you’re saying it’s going to be awkward for her to meet with the others? I don’t feel it really matters all that much if she’s back.”
Her mother’s lips pulled in. “It matters a great deal, and your aunts will be revived from earlier essence themselves. In a manner, I will be much older than my two older siblings. Your Aunt Nari will be in a particularly … troublesome point in her life that gave our mother a lot of grief, but it is the strongest measure of her magic that we were able to gather.”
A giggle slid through Sora’s throat. “So, she’ll kind of be a teenager … I like that, but can they help Emilia?”
Inari gave her a weak shrug. “We can’t really say, but … if anyone can get Frankenstein to aid us, it is our mother.”
He was so helpful when I met him … Wait, he can get into Grandma’s Realm, but Mom and Aunt Inari can’t? I guess he really is different from the Founders … I can’t sense his presence in history at all.
Sora’s eyes drifted to another multiverse as her aunt and mother rose through dimensions with her transformation. “He won’t help if we ask? When I met him, he seemed kind of nice…”
Her mother played with the back of Sora’s hand, following the patterns at which her unique energy burned with experience. “Frankenstein is a very business-like man that does things for reasons of his own … For your father and I, it was the opportunity to experiment with something entirely unique to him, which was your father, as you’re aware,” she whispered, leaning back to slide a finger across her chakram. “As … as well as fulfilling a request from our mother.”
Sudden knowledge flooded her mind as Sora’s eighth tail finished growing. I’m going to revert back to normal … I’ll only gain a single tail from this, and I’ll be locked out of my Vulpes Founder Magic? No, that’s not … I don’t want to forget!
Fingers closing around her mother’s hand in panic, she shook her head. “I won’t … remember any of this, Mom,” she mumbled in horror. “I’ll only recall a vague feeling.”
Mia slowly rubbed the inner edge of her disk, providing a warm comfort that spread across her entire being; it was like she was hugging her close to her breast.
“I know … I know. It’s scary, but for you to stabilize after experiencing so much and not feeling out of place in the 3rd Dimension, the process Frankenstein created will lock these memories away—including those that you see beyond the 12th Dimension.”
Inari changed positions to sit on her other side, placing a hand on her knee. “I believe Gloria will be waiting for you whenever you reach the heights of … whichever Dimension you find yourself in … She hinted at it when you last met.”
Sora’s tails wrapped around each other, her mind and heart a flood of countless thoughts in her accelerated Intelligence, which was entirely focused on herself rather than Existence opening up before her. “I want to … Mom?”
Visions of her mother’s tireless actions of mending various areas of Existence that would destroy her tiny multiverse in an instant had she not worked at stitching the fabric of their small portion of Reality back together flashed across her mind.
The damage to this area of Existence is the only reason I was so well hidden, and without Mom’s work, everyone I know would be destroyed … She’s doing this as a job, though … She’s working off something, but I can’t see who they are…
Knowing she was running out of time as her ninth tail began to grow, Sora sped through everything she wanted to be resolved; her mother’s past actions were telegraphed across the seemingly endless sphere of the omniverses she’d walked among, yet specific chunks weren’t visible, as if passed through a veil or burned from reality.
One fact hurt her more than any other. “Founders … can’t time travel like we can do for other beings … I can change other people’s lives but not my own…”
“I’m afraid not,” a tear fell down Mia’s cheeks. “I wish we could, but we are beings of an Existence level Dimension … That means time does not operate in the same manner as those below us. We are singular beings in Existence, which gives us great power, yet also limits us in many ways, as well.”
Sora could see it; her life was a fixed point, and her very presence with Kari, Aiden, and to her shock, Jin’s life was unchangeable.
Eyia’s future spanned before her in vivid clarity, and she sucked in her left cheek. “Aunt Inari … how can you move so many events to make these outcomes in our fixed lives … It’s so complicated when multiple Existence entities are involved. I … can’t process it all.”
“Experience,” Inari smiled. “Are you finally able to connect many of the dots?”
“Only so many,” she mumbled, looking at the future as her aunt and mother saw it. “Aiden is such a wildcard … Anything could upset the next action, and there’s no going back when he’s involved.”
Mia’s tender care in mending the holes in Existence was a part of a bigger plan; she could see the work she’d done long before meeting her father, but still not the person involved.
Mom couldn’t stop her work to help me … All of her power is keeping my multiverse stable enough to survive. She put everything in place beforehand to act as a safety measure, but Alva’s intervention with Aiden’s promise blew everything apart.
“I … I’m sorry, Mom,” she cried, reaching over to hug her. “It’s been so hard on you … I love you…”
Her mother’s chest fluttered against her ears as she leaned into her embrace, sliding her free fingers down her intricate chakram as it took on more of its proper form. “I can’t … I really can’t tell you how long I’ve waited for this moment…”
“I know. I know,” Sora tearfully laughed, looking at the time her mother and father met. “Dad was so … rotten! He’s so mean, but you just play with him until … Why was he hurt? You just found him falling between the omniverses … Where did he come from?”
Mia snickered. “Yes, he was a bit rude when we first met, but I pestered him for a long while as I worked … I was going through a depressing moment in my life, as you can see…”
Inari gave them both an envious look. “I haven’t been able to find those particular threads … Where am I missing them?”
Her mother gave her a wry smile. “You won’t find them, Inari; she’s tuning in to her father’s side of it. I’ve burned all mine away to leave no trace of Sora’s possible future, and Frankenstein was very thorough in hiding his involvement.”
“Saying my name?” Inari whispered, and a tear of her own slid down her cheek. “You’ve refused to identify me by name for … such a long time.”
Mia sighed, hugging Sora tighter. “I can’t tell you how many mistakes I made that you righted … All the work I did, trying to buy myself time to help Sora … I threw it out the window in an envious tantrum to confront you … I couldn’t help myself.”
Inari shook her head, squishing Sora from the opposite side as she became an oreo, causing her to giggle. “No … I purposefully taunted you … I knew what would press your buttons.”
“You’re both so bad!” Sora frowned, shaking her head. “Although … except Nilly knew about Dad and you?” The cat suddenly showed up shortly after her parents discovered one another and began pestering them both; in fact, it seemed as if the common pest was what united them. “She’s … terrifying … Dad’s concerned about her.”
Everyone shifted their gaze to their right, as expectedly, the Cat Founder made her appearance, but unlike the previous times, Sora had seen the feline. Nilly was a mature woman in her original bloomers and Chinese-style dress that morphed with her grown figure.
The cat’s curved eyes held a mysterious, feral shine. “Sora, welcome to the Grand Stage; want me to guide you to Goaria? He-he-he, she hates that nickname; I think it fits her well, myself.”
Her mother tightened their grips around her shoulders, Inari doing the same on her knee; Sora could see everything from the patterns burned into Existence by her father; he wasn’t in it anymore but somewhere else, and she could see his path from meeting her mother as he was flung through their Existence.
Nilly was there … She watched him enter our Existence and followed, which is how she knows about Mom and Dad meeting. She hid him from the other First Generation Founders and Primordials … She wants me to know that … leaving it open for me to see … Why?
The time with her mother had drawn to a close, so Sora rose to hug them; when she pulled away, she noticed parts of their clothing had been eaten away by her rapidly growing Null-Void cloak as they became unable to defend against it.
Her mother had tears running down her cheeks, hands gripped tightly against her bare thighs, and her aunt was comforting her.
My chest hurts … It’s like my chakram is breaking in two … I don’t want to leave Mom like this, but … I have to. I can’t bring her with me.
“Thanks, Mom … I know you’re doing your best … I’m sorry for doubting you. Umm,” her voice cracked, “I know Emilia is in danger—but I also know as a family, we can pull together and save her!”
“I’m looking into alternatives,” Inari replied, giving the smiling cat a distrustful look. “I hope your plans are in line with ours, Nilly.”
Her fanged teeth gleamed as her lips pulled back. “Some. Some not. I’m so looking forward to how things turn out … Oh, but we need to go now,” she chimed.
Seemingly vanishing and appearing beside Sora instantaneously, Nilly grabbed her hand and pulled her along; of course, the Cat was simply folding through some dimensional boundary above her. “If we stay too long, you’ll start eating lots and lots of stuff! Sora’s a glutton—fat, fat, big metal glutton!”
She knows she’s … What is her game?
Knowing Nilly was just trying to elicit a response, and knowing she knew Sora knew that, Sora rolled her eyes and let the woman guide her away; there was something ominous about Nilly that her new senses told her, but an oddly familiar sensation she couldn’t explain.
Looking back, Sora gave her mother one last smile; it kind of felt like this was her first day in kindergarten as her mother sat back and forced herself to let her go on her own.
A thankful smile lifted Sora’s lips. “I love you, Mom … And I won’t forget it!”
They faded away as Nilly and her passed through a thick, filmy veil onto a magnificent plane of countless omniverses of vastly different types of energy. It was as if she’d entered a grand stage dubbed the Greatest Hall of Cuisine, where all the best chefs in Existence had gathered to create dishes to suit her every desire.
“Welcome to the 13th Dimension,” Nilly snickered, sharp feline eyes studying her as she let go and spun in a short circle. “This is Existence! It’s what you like to gobble up, and I totally get it! You know, I even tried it once myself—oh, to a neighboring Existence, that is, he-he-he,” she said, pointing at something beyond her sight. “Look, it’s still going through the stages of collapse; I had to eat the big things in there, too, but they weren’t too tasty.”
Sora was still speechless at the scope of it all; the dimensions she’d been on with her mother and aunt were like a slice of pizza in a multiverse. “How … many more are there?”
“Hmm?” Nilly’s long, red-tipped black tails swung with her short skips through the substance pressing in on the omniverses that would eventually stop their expansion and fold them back in on themselves. “Oh, Existences? Oh, like … forever amount? I don’t know! Too many … Oh, Dimensions!” she laughed. “Yeah, we’re goin’ all the way to the 15th to meet Gloria—I mean Goaria! She’s so mad I came, too! I mess everything up!”
“Great…” Sora whispered, brushing back her hair. “Will anyone else be there?”
“Maybe,” Nilly mused. “Gloria’s tricky! She might do something I don’t think she’ll do! We do that to each other a lot!”
“It’s super fun; I like our games.”
Sora looked down to see her mother and aunt still in the dimension below them, talking and catching up a little; they were healing, which warmed Sora’s heart.
Mom and Aunt Inari have been so broken since Grandma and their sisters died … Our family is coming together again—I can have everything I’ve ever wanted.
Nilly appeared in front of her out of nowhere, yet there were four of her walking around, peering into omniverses or swimming around the space like a pool. “Oh! Happy thoughts? We like happy thoughts! Oh! Oh! Let me show you Fenny while we’re here! Over here! Over here!” she laughed, and without noticing, Nilly had taken her hand and was pulling her along. “We’re not that far away!”
Nilly’s manipulating things … She’s buying time for something, but … what? Should I go with her or resist? I can’t tell…
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