170/Hannah Meets A Miko

From Radiant Heart MUSH

Hannah Meets A Miko
Date of Scene: 28 July 2023
Location: Hikawa Shrine
Synopsis: Hannah visits the Hikawa Shrine.
Cast of Characters: Hannah Steiner, Rei Hino

Hannah Steiner has posed:
It's summer! And so with classes out, Hannah finds herself with far more time on her hands than usual. With an interview later on in the evening for her first Earth Job given the need for actual coin, the Countess-Palatine has decided to psyche herself up with a new route for her exercise session.

Dressed in a track suit, her bowler hat, and those heeled boots of hers (she does, indeed, run in those things the madwoman), the massive fluffy disguise Lyra has taken up is leading her two legged compatriot along the agreed route even as Blauer Greif remains dutifully tucked into a well-tied gold colored waistband in Standby mode. The half-asleep Device idly pushes out vital stats to Hannah's head, but otherwise is getting her much-needed mahou-supercomputer-weapon rest. She's already ancient and not getting any young people!

It's not like Hikawa Shrine doesn't have a reputation, and the outgoing Steiner scion is nothing if not loving of places and people with interesting reputations. Besides, with the general lack of any Sankt Kaiser Churches on Earth, and especially not in Japan?

Certainly Olivie would be as curious about the local customs as she currently is. The many, many stairs reaching towards the height of the Shrine itself are taken as a challenge in both balance and endurance, the young woman actually taking out her Device to help propel herself upward and not risk tripping and breaking her neck.

Boots and her cane rapidly herald her arrival, the tall blonde gaijin as well as her very strange 'dog' are pretty noticable as they rapidly tap-run their way to the overwatching Torri far above.

Hannah pauses, and lets out a long sigh of effort, leaning on her cane and sucking down some of her water before wiping away the sweat on her brow. That's not an insignificant run even for someone so fit.

Then she takes a smell of the air. Ahhh. Lyra happily 'barks', the Veil twisting the lizardish-hiss into something canine, even if something seems off about this pair.

"Such sweet smells! Such glorious height! Why did /we/ not think of such hilltop places of spiritual veneration, hmmm, Lyra?" She questions her companion openly with a warm smile on her face as she takes a brisk but less urgent trip towards the Shrine proper, ears sharp for sounds of anyone nearby. Time for some immersive learning!

Rei Hino has posed:
    At the top of the steps, sweeping the temple grounds, there's a miko. She may look like she has seen better days. One of her eyes is a bit red and the other is covered with a medical eyepatch. But she's still well enough to perform physical labor, but she's sufficiently out of it that she doesn't realize there's a visitor immediately. She startles a bit at the sound of a... What was that? She looks around quickly, trying to find the source of that strange noise. Is she under attack? Here?

    Or was it a dog's bark?

    She squints down the steps with the one eye that isn't covered. Vision a little blurry, unfortunately. She pauses her sweeping for now, and just stands in place with her broom in hands. After squint-glaring down for a little while, she determines she isn't alone, but that's about it. "Something's coming..." she mutters to herself. Her hands tighten around the broom's handle.

Hannah Steiner has posed:
It's....possibly a dog's bark. There's that noise again! A bark and one that's friendly! But still /odd/! Owner and Razorhound inherently hate the necessity of the Veil. It shows, and only draws more attention to that overly-fluffy-pile of guide dog and the young woman she's attached to.

Hannah misses the words, but vaguely picks up a voice.

"Guten tag mein freuend!"

Her words are German with several dialectic shuffles to the left, both familiar and really odd if Rei's ever encountered a natural born member of that country. Her warmth carries through, though, addressing that half-heard sound of Rei's words as though she's known this stranger all her life.

And then there's the smile beamed wide, violently outgoing written on her face for anyone to gaze upon her as she taps her way towards the sound of another person. Lyra barks again, and is leading Hannah on a bee-line towards Rei and her clutched broom!

"Begging your beneficence! Might you do me the honor of guiding me towards...acht..how to put it? This Sankt-loving heathen wishes to avail herself of local customs, und satisfy her own needs of the soul! Unfortunately mein 'Goggling' of such 'Shrines' leaves mein head all a-dire-a-spin! What is the title for a Priesterin here? Mee-Kooo?" She taps the golden griffen head of her Device to her forehead, and tilts her head, playing up the 'lost but trying to be respectful' foreigner angle without a hint of shame.

"I am told the 'Hikawa' is worth a visit." She offers, side-whispered in a conspiratorial yet friendly way! Grin!

Rei Hino has posed:
    Rei just stares. She does not in any way speak German. She tries saying in strained English, "No pictures." assuming this is a foreign tourist here to take photos of the shrine, which is most distinctly not allowed. Her comprehension once the visitor begins speaking Japanese is scarcely any better, but she manages. "The Hikawa Shrine is open presently for visitation. No pictures or filming is allowed, and please don't touch or enter the shrine. My grandfather will probably try to sell you charms, and..." She sighs and relaxes a bit. Rei Hino is not about to subject this girl to her grandfather and his... Proclivities. Instead she smiles and says, "Actually, I'm not busy right now. I could show you around, if you'd like? Maybe I can answer your questions. And, yes, I'm a shrine maiden. A 'mee-koh'."

    With a glance towards the... 'Dog'... Rei moves to lead the way over to a well where she can rest her broom for now, leaned against the wall surrounding the structure with its ladle and pool of water. "Your Japanese is rather good." she says kindly. Very kindly. Because... Yeah. But hey, she can't speak German at all! "May I ask where you are from?"

    She can hear her crows, Phobos and Deimos, cawing incessantly from atop the shrine, but isn't going to react to them right now.

Hannah Steiner has posed:
Smile! Smiiile! Hannah openly laughs at the suggestion of 'no pictures' and shakes her head. "Verstanden, mein freund! Luckily for us both, such violations of mores are rather useless to me!" Comes Hannah, hacking her way through Japanese as bluntly as one would apply a sledgehammer to a wall being torn out. The magical schooling of language wars with her attempts to bend the local language to her own pleasure rather than the other way around. Thankfully she bleeds context through her expressive voice where accent and command of Japanese fails.

A brow rises. "I shall endeavor to avoid charms worthless, however much curiousity guides mein foolish hand! A product should be offered bluntly without pretentions to its' worth. Prole to prole, und Noble to Noble as expenses go, or such wise words beyond mein ken!" Smile! She doesn't miss the trailing words, and simply shrugs.

While wary, Lyra gives a good peer towards Rei with...well, far too much sharpness for a mere guide animal! Of course Phobos and Deimos could well likely of the same animal intelligence, so it may well be a wash!

Hannah rubs her ears due to both crows, the sound like nails upon chalkboard for her. Huff.

"Flattery shall get you upon many heights, Frau 'Mee-Koh', however mein Japanese is a well-tutelaged farcity that gives this country an insult for mein ineptitude! Hold back no insult. I am not made of glass!" Her grin is sharp, and she laughs, opening up her own failures with a smile!

And then the sharp Miko asks her most hated question. "Be mein eyes, if you would. Mmm. A place far removed from here. Nothing you wonderful souls might have heard of!" Her smile is a little weaker, her voice homesick, even as she tries to play down her homeland in open deflection!

Rei Hino has posed:
    The priestess nods along pleasantly. "Oh, don't worry. The charms aren't useless, and their sales help us pay for the shrine's upkeep and maintenance. We do it all ourselves, you know." There's a bit of pride there. Not arrogance, but pride in a duty well-performed. It's not a small shrine, and there's all the surrounding woods... And in Tokyo too. Not exactly inexpensive to own when space is at a premium. "But I won't push the charms on you either." Rei wanders over to the living area where she and her grandpa stay, and carefully seats herself on the patio-like deck that surrounds it. Very little modernization around here.

    She smiles apologetically, detecting the longing in the visitor's voice. "Gomen. I touched a sensitive subject without meaning to. Oh, where are my manners? I'm Rei Hino. My family has tended the Hikawa Shrine for generations." She bows her head. "Welcome to our home."

    The crows shush up finally after Rei gives them a brief glare and frown before going back to smile mode. She knows, okay. She knows something's up. But unless it's evil, she's not going to worry about it. She needs a break.

Hannah Steiner has posed:
Hannah at first considers her pauper-esque pocketbook despite her attempts to gain wealthy contacts thus far, and her nigh-infinate wealth locked up back home. She's stretching things to the limit. Just having a single dress worthy of her off-world high class has been as much luck as skill.

...She has a job coming up. And really, how can she say no to the wonderful fiery raven beside her despite being warned off all at once? Deft fingers produce enough yen for three charms. One clearly for herself, the second for her guide dog! Maybe the third is just her whimsy.

"Quite, never useless! I smell the hard work you und your...family? I suppose have placed upon this hill. Pray accept a fool's indulgence then!" Both brows squint over her black glasses!

The Space German's head bows just a bit in unspoken thanks to Rei's sudden subtlety. She's a Steiner. Such concepts are for others, but it's not like she can't appreciate a good turn.

"The honor, Frau Hino, is entirely mein own! Mein nomen is..." She starts, suddenly straightening up. One booted heel taps formally upon the toe of the other, and she gives a half-bow with her cane in one hand and her other arm across her waist in formal fashion.

Blauer Greif sends her a mental warning before she gives up everything. Rei is just that inviting, and Hannah hates she has to hide it.

"Hannah Steiner, at your honor! May the Sankt bless your House for such kindness und acceptance!" She straightens suddenly. For all her volume and eccentricity, Hannah doesn't give off evil. Just a lot of hubris, and a general love for other human beings despite her open gaijin-ness!

She then sticks out an elbow and lets go of Lyra's lead.

"Let us not stand upon formalities, Frau Hino! I am the invader, und entirely upon your mercy. Shall we? I should like to truly call one with such a pleasant voice a friend." Comes Hannah, both earnest and yet beaming flattery towards the Miko with absolutely zero hints of shame!

Rei Hino has posed:
    Rei smiles and nods through the dialogue she can't understand. "E-eh?" The request to be her friend is a bit surprising. SHe isn't... Very open with strangers. So she is reluctant to agree. "Did you say you live in the area?" she asks to forestall an answer. "I assume you'll be attendinng school as well?" Please don't be attending the school Rei goes to. She isn't sure she has the patience to deal with someone so baffling when she's already dealing with Usagi. It would be like having two Usagi around and that's a bit much for her sanity.

    Her voice is also apparently lovely. Rei has heard compliments on her appearance for most of her life. They don't impress her. But she isn't sure she has had a girl comment on her voice before. Men, maybe, but not another girl. "And... Thank you, Steiner-san! ...I think." What... Exactly is Hannah doing here again? It feels like the explanation has already filtered out of Rei's head.

    Given how many strange people she has met who turned out to be 'special', it's not surprising that the priestess is kind of waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Hannah Steiner has posed:
"For the moment, yes! Foreign exchange student here on...mmm, business! The august souls of Radiant Heart Academy have been so wonderbar as to grant me a dorm with an utterly precious room mate! Acht, dear frau Mizuno is such a precious soul! Not only briliant in mind but shining in soul!" Comes Hannah, ever quick sing the praises of her dearest and first Earth friend.

That's right Rei. Usagi and this mad blonde are in the same school. Good thing they're not in the same grade.

"Acht, but listen to me ramble like an old woman! Mein interest, oh honored priestess, is honoring the local customs und borrowing them for mein own. Should you allow it, of course!" Comes Hannah, bringing things back to the original point. She offers her arm.

"Would you care to walk me through the motions, as it were?" Asks Hannah with a bright and curious smile. At least unlike most gaijin, she seems genuinely curious about Miko'dom and the associated sprituality.

Rei Hino has posed:
    Okay, well, that's one bullet dodged at least. Though considering she still has to meet Usagi at her school sometimes... Sigh. Getting to her feet again, Rei does her best to remain outwardly professional and friendly. Even if it's getting a little bit late for visitors. "Of course..." she gets out, looking at the offered arm with a Vey High Level of Skepticism and Distrust, before going along with it and accepting. "So, what in particular were you interested in seeing?"

    Cue montage of Rei Hino and Hannah Steiner going around the temple grounds, demonstrating how people pray, explaining (but not demonstrating) the purification ceremony that shrine maidens undergo, the purpose of the various charms, the donation box that one can toss yen into for good luck, and so on.

    Her guard lowers gradually as she becomes more comfortable around Hannah, even if she still feels like there's a surprise waiting to pounce her at any moment and like there's just something unusual about this girl and her... 'Dog'.

    "Steiner-san? Can I ask what you meant about taking our traditions and using them for your own? Were you thinking of converting to Shinto?"

Hannah Steiner has posed:
Hannah proves to be endlessly curious, asking questions all while clearly paying attention to and even doing Rei the courtesy of commenting appropriately. She even has the grace to buy quite a few charms with what little pocket money she has, just to make Rei's time worth it for being so magnanimous to a new face!

It doesn't help that she is the type to treat everyone like a friend until they prove they aren't. She's just friendly and charming, not entirely unlike Usagi, though in a forceful and cultured manner. Her love of people is worn on her sleeve.

She practices the prayer a few times, before pausing as they stop by that prayer spot and tries to clarify!

"Mmm. 'Convert' is not quite what I had in mind mein freund. More...showing respect. I am of the Sankt Kaiser's flock. A family tradition. But as this country lacks Churches to the Holy Lady? Well. Were She still among us, I think she would be here too. To praise local believes und come to them in peace, to share traditions is a holy thing to adherents of the Church." Explains Hannah.

"All it takes is a few words. If you would indulge me?" She tilts her head, clearly asking permission for...something.

Rei Hino has posed:
    "Actually there are churches in Japan..." she starts to explain, but Hannah is talking about some kind of... Kaiser... Thing. She has to really listen to try to divine the meaning behind what her guest is saying. However, her heart sinks when she realizes Hannah was showing interest in Rei's beliefs because the foreigner wants to prosletyze at her. Haaaah... So Hannah Steiner is trying to convert the shrine maiden. That's Rei's understanding anyway. However, for the sake of politeness, even if her guard is going half-way back to where it originally was, she nods and says, "If you would like to tell me about your beliefs, you can."

Hannah Steiner has posed:
The misunderstanding comes quickly, and Hannah feels how the other young woman is suddenly tense again. A raised brow at that, and then an easy smile!

"You really should relax, frau Hino. I feel as though should I use the wrong words, I shall be eating a rock to mein skull! Acht, protective of this place I assume? Good! As you should be. But again. I am /not/ an invader mein freund. Just a traveler who wishes to share." Comes Hannah a little more softly and diplomatically to the stiff-backed Miko.

And then she very simply lets go of Rei's arm, falls to one knee, and reverently places her cane in front of her. Two fingers touch the head reverently. Clearly this is some sort of ritual.

Her words are entirely in Belkan. "Oh Sankt Olivie, grant me your peerless grace, your kindness, und your strength and desire to hold our Ancient Accords honorably and true. That peace touch every star that knows your name. That the Seven Shattered Swords find peace, and those that remain untarnished, hold ever to your will und and gift of freedom from the Madness of your predecessor's vanity und greed for all. May the light of the Cradle ever shine und your name und deeds never forgotten that we may be inspired again und again. In the Sankt Kaiser's name!" Then, the knightly Belkan, grips her cane, and slashes the air twice in front of her in a Duelist's Salute to...something. A small breath.

"...Forgive me. You likely understood not a word of that. Allow me to explain. In the distant past, a brilliant soul was born in an age of monstrous Saint-Kings that desired nothing but conquest and war. She was the Sankt Kaiser, a young woman with both martial talent und great strength as well as a hatred for the pain her fellow Sankt Kaisers caused. And so, with her many knights, she brought them to heel. Destroyed many terrors of that age, and gave the world peace again. Und so, to protect others from such evil und the greed of men, we act in her name and traditions for the sake of those that cannot defend themselves."

Hannah shrugs, careful to not let on this has happened in the stars.

"That is it for the most part. We are not this...acht, what did she call it? 'Catholic Church' that runs about trying to push other religions into the local bay. So if you're concerned about that? No. We prefer allies rather than enemies." Smile!

Rei Hino has posed:
    Honestly, the explanation is more sketchy than the unknown language itself. She did accept that preaching wasn't Hannah's intent, at least. Rei has had enough experiences in her lifetime, let alone the last month, to take the story of monsters and heroes as possibly true. She has had visions about something that happened a long time ago that she still hasn't sorted out... Especially how it's possible for her to have been there for said events. Otherwise she would have been a little bit skeptical without her discovery that she is Sailor Mars. She nods from where she stepped away to give space for Hannah when the ritual was taking place (thankfully she did not get whacked with a cane as a result).

    Well, Rei decides to tease her new 'friend' a little bit before they part ways for the evening. Teasing only. After all, Steiner did contribute so much to the shrine's upkeep with her purchases. She nods along to the description of the Catholic Church and their alleged views on other religions, and then, smiling brightly, with her violet eyes a bit squinted, her hands concealed in her sleeves as she holds them together in front of her, she says, "That is an interesting perspective. I haven't heard that view before during my time attending my Catholic school." Sparkle sparkle. Positivity masking potential imminent mortal danger. n_n

Hannah Steiner has posed:
You know, one day Hannah will remember to think before she speaks. Her mouth is often the thing getting her into trouble as much as out of it! And so Rei hammers her right on her suspicious little story!

Twitch! Twitch twitch! Smiiiiiile. Woops. Smiiiiile! Just turn on the charm Hannah Steiner. This is fine! How dare this Rei-chan be so sassy?

"It is merely an observation from a few readings of...wait, a Miko in a Catholic school? That must have been a /trip/! You really should regale me of some stories, hm? Here! Come, come. Invitation to lunch or dinner sometime!" Gods, this foreigner is /way too friendly/! She's trying to shove a card with her number on it. Smiiiiile!

"Und with that, I have a part time job to not be late to! Mein dear Miko of the Lustrous Vocal Cords, I think you once again! Until next time, may you Walk in the Sankt's Grace, frau Hino! Guten tag!" A deep bow, and Lyra and she are off with a wave!

Rei Hino has posed:
    Rei looks down at the card. She had just meant to tease. She isn't Catholic herself, regardless of what school she attends. But now a girl has forcibly given the miko her phone number. She isn't really sure what to make of that Hannah Steiner... She'll need to check with Ami and Usagi though. It might be time to tell them about the visions she has been having.