As our heroes continue to pursue the final boss, they realise they did a shoddy job of explaining how they got here, so while we still have time, let’s do just that…
This is WordPress City. It’s constantly busy, so it’s never boring, but let’s just say there are some strange…unchecked…things around. The story starts with a relative newcomer to this place, now known to you as Aria, just after one of the community gatherings (the clickbait collab).
Having met at the gathering, Aria and Astral had struck up a conversation, one involving a mutual love of theirs: magical girls. Excited to talk about such a shared interest, they spoke long after the gathering had ended and the sun had almost gone down. Wanting to get back before dark, Astral decided to bid Aria a farewell… until he spied something glinting in the corner of his eye. A small, metallic object in the corner, reflecting the evening sun. His long, pointed ears flickering a bit in curiosity, he leaned down and picked it up, examining it with violet eyes.
Astral: Hmm? What’s this? A pin of some sort? If no one owns it, then I might as well put it back where I found it…
The item in question was a simple silver pin in the shape of a heart.
Aria: (…Why do I feel like I’ve seen this before?) I’ll take it.
Astral: Are you sure about that? Haha it just doesn’t seem like… never mind, ignore that. Anyway, it’s getting pretty late so I’m leaving. Travel safe on the way home!
And with that, Astral left, bundling his long hair up into a helmet before climbing onto his motorcycle and driving away.
The reason he was doubting her was her somewhat androgynous appearance – that sort of accessory would look outright odd against her usual outfit of dishevelled jeans, a checked shirt and shabby running shoes. (In fact, the first time Astral had met Aria, he’d accused her of being a guy, which, unfortunately, happened a lot to her. It was entirely due to him that she was known as “Aria” in the first place.)
Aria: *goes to a nearby shelf, retrieves a thick leather-bound book and leafs through the pages* See you.
With Astral gone and Aria focussing on something, it seemed like the worst time for a monster to attack. However, surely enough, a black amorphous monster rose up from the shadows, red eyes burning with evil intent.
Monster: Seems like a human was stupid enough to take the strange pin I found. Now if only I knew what happened to the other one…
Aria: …a-ha, found it! But what’s it say here? Let’s summon the winds of change and bring hope to the universe…
< One seconds-long transformation later… >
Monster: Now are you done?!
Aria: Er, um…no? I think I was meant to announce my magical girl name, but you made me forget what it is. *scrambles to get the book again* Um, the name’s Aera Heart!
She was more preoccupied with observing the outfit she’d transformed into – it was a white dress that faded to rose pink at the hem, with a semi-transparent yet opaque fabric layered over the top to give it long sleeves. On her neck was a strip of rose fabric, loosely tied to function as a choker, with the pin holding it in place, and she also wore gladiator sandals of the same colour. Normally her brunette hair would be tied up, but now it sat loose around her shoulders.
At this point in time, the fact she was called “Aria” was not public to most people and so even though she was fine with the outfit, she was worried about what people would think once they found out MagicConan14 was actually not a guy at all.
Monster: You sure are annoyingly pretentious for a puny human. I wonder if you’ll understand me when I tell you this, then: me and my kin devour stories, especially the kind involving our foes, who aren’t quite magical girls but draw clear inspiration from them. Ever since the beginning of humankind, you’ve done nothing but take from us! *lunges at Aria*
After a lot of dodging and failed attempts at attacking on Aria’s part, the monster led her out into the night to where another similar monster was waiting with a captive.
Aria: A-Astral! What are you doing here?
Astral:…you’re Aria, are you?
Aria: *facepalm* (Oh, c’mon! Isn’t the point of a transformation meant to be to hide your identity?!)
< To be continued in the next flashback post… >
There’s a bunch of hints to things that happened in real life in this…for example, Astral called me “sir” when he first met me on the Aniblogger Coalition Discord (true story!) and so I incorporated that into this. Come to think of it, we started talking about planning a Princess Tutu groupwatch then, and that still hasn’t happened yet…
Well, we still have Boueibu Happy Kiss (and Astral’s side of the flashback post) to go, so here’s the next part on the Zodiac Room.