The rain fell heavily over the graveyard after that. Luna just knelt in front of the grave. After a long time Luna shivered. “Sorry Terra but it looked like our time is up. Sorry I couldn’t stay and talk with you longer. I’ll try to come back sooner this time but it is possible I won’t. After all if I happen to die then there won’t be anyone left to visit you. Sorry about that.” Luna stood up and stretched a little.
“Bye, I still miss you.” Then Luna began walking away through the graveyard. She felt like there was more that she should have said but even when speaking to the dead there were some things that she didn’t want to say aloud. She reached the gate and unlocked it. When she stepped outside she saw the dark form of a cat standing a few feet away from the gate.
She waited to finish shutting the gate behind her and locking it before she spoke to him, “Blackberry, where you waiting for me.”
The cat nodded, “Yes” He didn’t feel like saying anything else at the moment. It didn’t feel like the right time.
“I see. Were you waiting long.” Luna began the walk down the trail toward the road.
“A little bit. It didn’t feel right to interrupt you.”
“Thanks.” Luna was glad that it was raining. Her face would have been stained with tears had she not been completely wet anyways.
“Is there something you want to talk about?” Asked Blackberry.
“Not really.” Responded Luna. The continued to walked down the trail. After a few minutes Luna spoke again, “My older sister is buried there.”
“Ah, I see. I’m sorry.”
The silence then continued and the rain fell around them. Eventually they had returned to the main road. Finally Luna asked, “Why are you here Blackberry? Good news or bad news?”
“Bad news I’m afraid. During my search of the city today I felt the signs of an intrusion by an Elder Darkness. It must have broke into our world last night. I was lucky to have sensed it when I did, in a few days the signs of entry would be gone and we would have only found out about it when it attempted something.”
“How strong is it?”
“It should be weaker then the one you fought before. Elder Darkness’ of that strength leave much larger signs when they break into our world. Both you and Joy should be able to defeat this one on your own but it is better to be on the safe side for something like this.”
“I agree. Do you know what it is hiding?”
“I got a rough sense. Once the sun sets and it becomes active then I will be able to pinpoint it and lead both of you to it.”
“Good. Any other information about it?”
Blackberry scratched his fir with a paw and then licked it. “There were some oddities.”
“Oddities? Speak clearly and tell me what you are trying to say.”
“While I was scouting out the location of the new Elder Darkness I felt like I was being watched. I know it wasn’t the Elder Darkness because I would have been able to sense that. However it wasn’t purely normal either.”
“What, like another magical girl or maybe a second talking cat which is trying to recruit his own team of magical girls so that he can defeat you in the magical cat defeat Elder Darkness contest?”
Blackberry blinked a couple of times trying to comprehend the question, “Um, no. As far as I know there isn’t anything like a defeat the Elder Darkness content. It also wasn’t a magical girl, at least not like the magical girls I can help create.”
“Really? Then what do you talk about in the meeting with the other magical talking animals?”
“I’m afraid you have lost me now. Was there a point to this conversation.” Said Blackberry in an annoyed voice.
“I was thinking about it and if Elder Darknesses are common enough for there to be magical girls who need to protect this town then wouldn’t there need to be magical girls in other towns as well. Then wouldn’t there need to be people like you in those cities too. I was wondering if you were part of some organization or something. You don’t seem like the type to have put all of this together yourself.”
Blackberry snorted, “So that is what you were thinking. Unfortunately I’m not that high and mighty. There is no secret organization. I *think* there are solutions to dealing with the Elder Shadows in other cities but I am not associated with that. I just have this city that I am going to protect. There isn’t much else to say about it.”
Luna scrunched up her brow, “That is weird. I thought for certain there would be some sort of secret organization or reason for you actions. Why are you protecting this city Blackberry?”
Blackberry ran ahead a little bit down the road. The bus stop was nearby so he jumped up onto the bench under a hanging. Out of the rain he stopped and waited for Luna. Once she reached him he said, “What is your reason for helping me Luna? Is simply protecting the city not good enough of a reason for us? Need there be another reason?”
Luna contemplated the question. While protecting the city was an important goal that wasn’t the only reason she was protecting the city. She knew it must be the same for Blackberry. He was obviously avoiding answering the question directly but Luna thought better then to confront him on it. She had secrets that she wanted to keep from him too. So Luna let it go, sometimes it was better not to ask questions.
Instead she asked a more relevant question to the problem at hand. “Do you have any idea of what it was that was watching you? If it wasn’t an Elder Darkness or a Magical Girl then what could it have been?”
Blackberry looked relieved to answer that question instead of having his past forced out of him. “There are a lot of things that it could be. There are certain naturals who are very difficult to detects.” Blackberry paused and then explained, “Naturals are similar to magical girls except they learned to unlock their own power. You were bordering on a natural before I found you which was one of the reasons you were easy to detect. Elder Darknesses come from a alternate world which is called the Abyss and there are other things that can come out of the Abyss that are not quite as sinister as an Elder Darkness. For example, Ouroboros might be a creature that Joy summoned using her magic.”
“Might?” Asked Luna.
“It is difficult to tell the difference between a thing like that which summoned from the Abyss and between one fabricated through magic. Being from the Abyss that are summon that way usually have a physical body created for them out of the summoners magic which makes sensing the difference all but impossible.”
“So naturals and other creatures from the Abyss. Are there other plausible answers?”
“The other possibility is enhanced magical beings. Usually they are created in some form by a natural. It is a rather broad category because it is common for these being to be able to reproduce and depending on the strength of the enhancement it could pass on to their offspring and permanently create a line of unusually powered creatures.”
“Is that what you are?” asked Luna.
“More or less. Awakened magical girls like you and Joy might qualify too. Instead of awaking to power naturally it was forced open by another being, in this case me, and that causes unusual shifts in how your powers work. The reason there is some similarity in both your and Joy’s powers is because of me. The fact that you transform and have runes of glowing light on your clothes after that is an example.”
“Sounds like an extremely broad category.”
“Yeah. This is also just my method of classification. I’ve met a couple of other people who disagree and like to make a bunch of extra categories but I find Naturals, Abyssals, and Awakened to be the three overarching origins of most magical powers in the world.”
“As interesting as your description of the way magical power works it that doesn’t really help.”
There was the sound of a bus driving down the street in the rain. It stopped in front of the stop that Luna was standing in front of and she got onto the bus. When she sat down in a seat at the back of the bus she felt Blackberry settle down between her feet.
She whispered down at him, “Is not getting noticed by bus drivers another one of your probably illegal tricks?”
“It is more like he just doesn’t notice me.” Came a whisper back.
“Great, I’m traveling in a bus talking with a cat that can control people’s minds. My life just keeps getting better and better.”
“Your sarcasm is noted but I should mention that I can only suggest possibilities to people. I can’t get them to believe anything that they wouldn’t already be willing to believe. Plus anyone with even a moderate amount of magical potential is unaffected by it.”
Luna rested during the remainder of the bus ride back to the city and her uncle’s apartment. It was still a few hours until nightfall so Luna took the time to change out of her wet clothes and into something dryer. Blackberry meanwhile went off to collect Joy and soon enough Joy was knocking on Luna’s door.
Luna answered and let Joy and Blackberry into the apartment. Joy had been there before when she dropped Luna off after they beat the doll but she had been mostly out of it then so she took the time to comment on the place. “Your taste in gothic interior design is quite usual.”
“It’s my uncle, the collects the stuff. He isn’t often around though so I usually have the apartment to myself. However I can’t say that I actually dislike his choice in decoration. The suit of armor however is still a little disturbing. It used to watch over the dinner table but I found that was a little too creepy for my tastes.”
“So you moved it into the entrance way so that it watches visitors enter the house?”
“What can I say, I don’t get many visitors she that hasn’t really come up.”
“Are you sure your uncle doesn’t have a secret laboratory where he raises corpses as animate golems?” Asked Joy.
“Not as far as I know.”
“Enough.” Called Blackberry from the top of the table. “I have brought Joy up to speed about what I know and night is swiftly approaching. If you could both transform then we can begin heading toward the point where I sensed the Elder Darkness. We should get there before it awakens so that we can catch it by surprise.”
Luna stretched out her hands and spoke, “Magical Power hear my call and be set free.” Then the runes of light surrounded Luna. The same darkness as before spread out from her but was eventually captured by the runes of black and white. Soon she stood there in her black costume with white runes embroidered on it.
Joy shuffled her feet and raised her arms as well. She spoke as Luna did and one glowing transformation later she was standing there looking incredibly pink. Luna glared at Blackberry who shook his head trying to deny any responsibility for Joy’s uniform.
Then together the headed to the room. Light was swiftly fading as the two of them began leaping between the roofs following Blackberry’s directions. Several minutes later they were on a roof near an intersection. Blackberry said, “And now we wait. It should show itself any moment now.”
They waited and then the sun set.