Chapter 51:

Interlude: The Watcher from Above


“I wonder what’ll happen at the harbor… Or has it happened already?” The raven-haired kitsune spoke to herself while looking through her room’s window. “I should start taking notes… I’ll need a clock first still.”

Minako wasn’t sure how long had passed anymore. She had been repeating the same actions for way too long now and even the few events she went through seemed like bland repeats by this point.

They also were in any way.

Drawing cards, seeing their results, acting accordingly, and likely dying at the end of the day. Looping this process was the work of an oracle, and the five-tailed girl was the only one of them at the moment who could work with some efficiency.

That was why she came from the main temple to begin with, so there was little she could complain about. She didn’t even dislike this work that much, even more when she was close to her goals now.

Some dying would be a cheap price and things were getting easy with time around here. For example, she only needed half the tries to reach this night when in comparison to what she needed to not fight Anna on day one.

“I wonder if Anna would’ve talked more with me if I noticed that the tea set was gone... It’s sad that making her suspicious of me would be too much trouble.” Minako continued reminiscing about the event that may or may not have happened already, but then sighed and went back to her sitting area. “Why couldn’t she be a white card instead of a joker? It would be so incredible if I could understand what triggers her…”

The red-haired inquisitor was always in Minako’s readings no matter the period she used. She was sure that girl was way more important than everyone thought, but how easily she could turn hostile was a problem. Worse even, each time the kitsune tried to explain what she could do, Annabeth would somehow become better at dealing with it.

She was scared that trying more than the three times she went for it would end up turning the situation into a total disaster.

“It’s also weird that I can’t read her directly, but I heard of artifacts that can do this much. Likely her clothes or that gun has this effect… What do you say cards?” She asked the deck of multicolored cards that had just appeared in her hand and then started to shuffle it.

Her trained hands only kept going at it though without ever drawing a card, though, which was, in fact, because she was unable to. That much was still an answer to her question.

“Not good too… Very mysterious indeed.” The princess smiled in a way that wouldn’t fit her usual appearance but soon controlled herself. “I wonder if I should keep guessing or if I should take a break for sweets…”

Asking for answers she had no tips about was a massive waste of energy, but that was fine in a proper temple. It wasn’t as if she could move outside for now anyway. She had tried to leave already...

Only trying once had almost cost her more than her life and the only thing she got from it was finding out that there was an army waiting. And this much was without even getting to know that said army was made of dolls and that an evil eye was involved in it.

Discovering this much took her two other runs and a silver bullet in the head. The expression on Anna’s face when she started spouting information she had no way of knowing was awesome, though.

Finding out about the evil eyes and about Annabeth’s secret mission was worth it still. It helped a lot in putting her and the other two girls on the right track later, even if doing so ended up putting her shrine maidens in danger.

It was also fun to see that an inquisitor like the redhead would hesitate a little before killing her non-human partner. A very worthy run overall.

“I wonder if I can play around those other two... Annabeth’s clothes tricked me into thinking that she could fall into a honeytrap earlier, but that girl is weirdly resistant.” She continued her monologue while getting a new question in mind and letting her hands draw the right cards. “This temple as the tower, upside down and in grey. Myself as the devil, also upside down, but in white. And then… A white Annabeth under the sun, eh?”

If one would ignore the colors, two-thirds of these cards were the same Minako got earlier today, but the colors meant a lot.

At least, they meant enough to make the five-tailed fox girl sloppily smile again as she watched the figures dissipate and the cards go blank.

“The disaster can be averted, I will be free, and Annabeth will bring success... If I couldn’t read it as me dying and her starting a new disaster to come, then it would be an incredible read.” Her smile died out in melancholy and the drawn cards went back to their place.

The tower was black before and there was no sun in sight, so it should be a plus. Minako would know soon enough either way.

She could go for the last reading before having to rest a little still, but she didn’t have to think at all about what would be the last question. Be as it was, the princess also wanted to join the storm closing in.

“When can I shine?” She asked for her deck and threw the next three cards on the ground.

A praying Minako as temperance in white, a blank golden card, and then, a black reversed card with her crucified body as the hanged man.

“More patience if I don’t want to be a needless sacrifice, I guess… At least you gave me a vision this time.” She then touched the golden card and focused her spiritual energy on it. “Show me what I’m waiting for...”

A rush of images swarmed the kitsune’s mind in less than a moment, but again, she was used to it.

A battle being seen from above. A petite girl fighting against many giants. A surrendered person going to be killed. A gallant figure covered in red in front of the moon. A reaper appearing at the scene. And lastly, a demon vanquished by a weapon oozing darkness.

Four easy-to-understand ones and two that didn’t help much. These many easy ones were likely a record for prophecies... And she had some good guesses about the last image too.

“Weapons that ooze black energy, eh...” Minako noted to herself with her head turned to the door behind her. “Can’t say this one is a good or a bad omen. Knowing this much should be enough still…”

Once more, the images on the cards vanished and they returned to the deck, but this time, the deck itself vanished too. That was a very tiring tool even if all she had to do was wait for it to reappear and then draw some cards.

It would take an hour or two for it to appear again, but the kitsune was unsure if she would even use it.

It would be a little more of a waiting game either way, but waiting was never a problem for the princess. And if all went well, she would get a chance to play around with a real inquisitor…

“I hope it starts soon...” She got up now that she had little more to do and, after ringing her bell for attendants, went to the window again. “Waiting for the end of my boredom is way too much now.”

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