Gently plucked strings paired with a soft piano. Music gradually swelling to a soaring melody, reminiscent of ancient Eastern times.
While that played, a screen showing a pavilion floating over a glassy pond filled with crimson lotuses. Crimson silk curtains covered its sides, obscuring a female sillouette seated within.
Paired with the glassy pale moon above and the starry night sky, it was a mysterious atmosphere.
@ Fortune telling stream go!
@ Huh? There's only a few hundred watching right now?
@ Is Tsubame too vanilla for people?
@ Shrine maiden waifu is best waifu though?
@ Who cares? It's like an exclusive club!
@ That just means more chances for us to get our fortunes read!
"Welcome, esteemed viewers." Tsubame's sweet voice echoed, followed by the sound of rattling bamboo.
@ Ooh! Are we doing this for real?
@ Hi Tsubame!
@ Aaah, Tsubame's voice is always so soothing...
@ How've you been?
@ Are we gonna do a reading for Asako? She's still streaming, right?
@ lol. Still can't believe she turned a membership stream into a subathon...
"Though this humble shrine maiden does not possess much, I hope that we shall have a pleasant time together tonight. Now... Shall we begin?"
A wind blew across the pavilion, shifting the curtains and sending a few lotus petals flying. Soon after, the screen was covered in red from the petals. And when they blew past, it revealed a close up view of Tsubame sitting across a table.
As usual, she was dressed in her white and red shrine maiden robes. But unlike usual, she had more things with her.
A deck of tarot cards sat on the left side of the table, paired with a small tin with bamboo slips on the right side.
@ It's enough just hanging out with you, Tsubame!
@ Chill vibes are best vibes
@nyx_enthusiast The arcana is the means by which all is revealed...
@ @nyx_enthusiast please god stop
@ Ooh! I love the comfy atmosphere!
Tsubame let out a soft giggle as she picked up the cards. "Thank you, esteemed viewers- Ah." She paused and then smiled. "I suppose that is incorrect. Since you are here, you are my esteemed guests."
@ You hear that? We're esteemed guests!
@ We got promoted!
@ Thanks for inviting us, Tsu-chan!
@ Uuuu~ I can't keep finding all these sweet girls to watch
@ No! Thank you, Tsubame!
Tsubame continued to shuffle the tarot cards and said, "Unlike my dear friends who possess myriad talents to entertain, I can only offer my blessings and a naive attempt to peer into the future for my esteemed guests. I cannot be the shining star to light the darkness in your life. Still, I hope to at least be a guiding light in these troubled times."
@ The concept here is a bit mixed up, isn't it?
@ Wait. A shrine maiden knows how to use tarot cards?
@ You're already a shining star, Tsu-chan!
@ Come on guys! We need to get Tsu-chan up there in views and subs too!
@ So like, how is this fortune telling going to work?
Tsubame reached below the table and pulled out a tea kettle along with a pair of cups. She set the cups on the table and started pouring tea. As she did, she said, "Though I wish I could tell the fortune of every esteemed guest here, there sadly are only so many hours in the day."
She set one cup of tea down at the end of the table closest to the screen and then started pouring a cup of tea for herself.
"I pondered many a nights on how to best resolve this issue... and so this is what we shall do."
Tsubame set her own cup of tea down in front of her and then held out her hands, gesturing towards the tarot cards on the left and the tin of bamboo slips on the right.
"Although I am more familiar with omikuji, I understand that there are many overseas guests who may be more familiar with the guidance of the arcana."
@akihiko_p3 I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS
@nyx_enthusiast THE ARCANA IS THE MEANS BY WHICH ALL IS REVEALED
@marryinkarin ENTRUSTING HIS FUTURE TO THE CARDS MAN CLINGS TO A DIM HOPE
@halfdevil ONE MORE GOD REJECTED
@ Who ARE you people?!
@ Guys, can we not right now?
@ That's true! The overseas comrades do not visit shrines
@ ...Are we in San Fransokyo or something?
@ Tsu-chan is lady luck confirmed?
Tsubame smiled and then said, "For those esteemed guests who wish to have their fortunes read with the arcana and are willing to have it shared with the others, please send a message in the chat with the word 'Revelation.' For those wishing to do the same but with okimuchi, please send a small donation Superchat with the same word. I will randomly choose among both for our session today."
@ More money for fortune readings? >.>
@ Bro. There's no blessing without a price.
@ Isn't it worth more if you give something up?
@ Equivalent exchange, dude!
@ Let the arcana be my Revelation!
@ I want a Revelation!
@ <100 USD> Revelation
@MichaelHawks <200 CAD> Praying for good luck on finals. Revelation please
@ <50 EUR> This is small, right? Revelation
@ Guys! Tsu-chan said SMALL donation!
Tsubame frowned and then let out a sigh. "Esteemed guests... it seems you are a bit too enthusiastic about my readings. It may end poorly..." She shook her head and said, "Well, since my esteemed guests are so hasty, I will say one more thing before we begin. As my esteemed guests, I offer you all a private reading and blessing as well in addition to this session. Please see the community post for directions following the stream. And now..."
A small glass jar materialized in front of Tsubame with folded paper slips appearing in thin air and dropping inside.
Tsubame waited for a bit more for the jar to fill and then said, "Let us begin." She reached into the jar and then pulled out a paper slip. "The first guest shall be... QueenLover?" She paused and read the slip a bit more and said, "Hm. You wish for me to perform a reading on Aoko's behalf?"
@ Ooh! That's a great idea!
@ Yeah, is she ever going to get out of that bet?
@ Queen really be speedrunning getting cancelled though, isn't she? XD
Tsubame set the slip aside and picked up the deck of tarot cards. "I suppose I can do that this time. I am curious about Aoko-senpai's future as well... But please recall that fortune readings are best done for yourself and not others." She looked up and said, "Curses are for other people, blessings for yourself." She smiled and said, "Please remember that."
@ Wait. Can you do curses too?
@ Curse stream when?
@ Since when does a shrine maiden know how to cast curses?
@ Got it!
@ Hypothetically, how much would it cost to curse someone? Asking for a friend.
"Mm..." Tsubame shuffled the cards and said, "Senpai is still in the middle of her bet, so we should not draw an omikuji lest we change her fate. But we should be able to simply observe the current trajectory of her life as things stand without interference..."
The tarot cards fluttered in Tsubame's hands, expertly cut and shuffled.
@ I thought you were new at tarot cards?
@ Aren't those card dealer cuts...?
@ Why do I feel like every girl in Project MirAIs is putting on a front...?
@ Moment of truth!
@akira_joker ALL SHALL BE REVEALED!
"Since this is a foreign set, we should use Roman letters as the count for the shuffles. Aoko Ryuusei possesses eleven characters in that system, so we shuffle eleven times."
A faint azure light started up around the cards as Tsubame shuffled them.
@ That's just CG right?
@nyx_enthusiast Uh, I was joking earlier, but... are those real magic Tarot cards?
@ Where did you get those, Tsu-chan?
@ U-Um... this is just for fun, right?
"There." Tsubame finished shuffling and said, "Now. Great Arcana, please reveal to us the fate of Aoko Ryuusei."
She started dealing out the cards. "One to reveal her thoughts. One to reveal her desires. One for her fears, one for her path. One for what she faces, and one for the ultimate result."
Six cards laid out on the table, five forming the points of a star with the sixth in the center.
The moment they were laid out, a golden star traced out the cards, connecting them all.
@ Why are all the girls in Project MirAIs so extra?!
@ John got that FU money still, huh?
@ W-We aren't actually doing black magic or anything, right?
@ Bets that the tarot card there is an antique set that John loaned to Tsu-chan.
Tsubame pulled her hand back and nodded. "Now..." She looked up and said, "Shall we see what awaits Aoko-senpai?" She reached out to the card at the top and said, "The first card..."
The card flipped over by itself to reveal Aoko walking with a bag over her shoulders across a snowy wasteland.
"The Fool..." Tsubame giggled and said, "Yes. I suppose she would feel quite the fool at the moment. But in this position... Mm. She is feeling uneasy with a need for change in her life... A period of self-reflection?"
@ sounds right.
@ After what she bet, no doubt
Tsubame reached for the next card, moving clockwise around the edges. "The next card representing what she desires most right now..."
The card flipped over, revealing Aoko kneeling on the ground while an angelic golden dragon hovered above her.
"Judgment. It seems that Senpai wants a new start in closing out this chapter and making a brand new beginning."
@ Checks out
@ After streaming for 70+ hours, I would too.
@ But that sleeping stream though
Tsubame reached towards the next card and said, "Now, representing her fears..."
The card flipped, showing an image of Aoko strangling a lion.
"Strength. Ordinarily showing fortitude. But when appearing as a fear... it seems that Senpai is lacking the strength in facing her ordeal."
@ Queen IS flagging a bit...
@ I'd be doubting too if I kept losing for 70+ hours straight
@ I mean, Queen IS facing the world right now...
Tsubame continued and said, "But despite that, Senpai can look forward to..."
The next card flipped, showing a picture of Aoko and Alfi hugging each other.
"The Lovers. New love and commitment, along with joyous and happy times. But opposing it..."
The next card flipped on its own, as if waiting for its chance.
A picture of Alfi with angel wings, holding two golden grails and pouring water from one into the other.
"Temperance... In this case meaning countless obstacles making it difficult to perceive the truth. A time that requires patience and calm to return to normality."
@ So what you're saying is Queen shouldn't have made that bet?
@ Calm? In Queen's life? XD
@ Well then...
"As for the last card." Tsubame reached for the center card.
Like the others, it flipped on its own as if waiting for its chance.
A picture of John sitting on a golden throne in front of a towering gate. The rising sun behind him, along with a coiling dragon in the distance.
@ As expected, John is the solution for everything
@ So John is gonna step in now?
@ That's the Emperor card, right?
"The Emperor." Tsubame picked up the card and said, "It looks like everything will turn out well for Aoko-senpai. Expert success and achievements. Victory in spite of impossible odds... That is what this card signifies in this position. So-"
@ Wait! Aoko just won!
@ #LongLiveTheQueen is trending!
@ That timing!
@ Tsubame is legit?!
@ Uptime of 71 hours and she finally beat chat in a race!
@ Holy crap!
Tsubame paused, reading the chat. And then she giggled. "My. It seems that I am rather good at this?" She shuffled the cards back and said, "I was not expecting much from a first reading, but perhaps my skills transfer? Or perhaps this deck... Hm. Mister John did say that it was one that could scry most events..."
@ I KNEW it was John's deck!
@ Careful with that phrasing there
@ Miss Yue might get mad by you talking about John's 'deck.'
@ Why is chat always like this...
@ Come on guys, be polite! We're in Tsu-chan's company!
@ Do John next!
Tsubame hummed, still shuffling the deck. And then she said, "...It would not hurt to do a reading for Mister John as well, would it? At least one card..."
She stopped shuffling and drew a card to place down on the table.
And then the deck spontaneously burst into flames.
@ HOLY CRAP
@ BLACK MAGIC! BLACK MAGIC!
@ T-That's just acting, right?
@ It's just CG. Definitely just CG.
Tsubame flung the cards along the table, waving her sleeves to put out the flames. "Demons! Demonic spirits! Be gone!" She grabbed her tea cup and flung it at the cards, using it to douse the flames.
Sizzling and crackling sounds echoed. A haze of steam covered the cards as the tea evaporated in dousing the fire.
And like that, a soggy mess filled the table.
Tarot cards covered in tea and ash from the spontaneous flames.
But despite that, they weren't ruined.
By chance, when Tsubame flung the cards, they had all flipped over. The 22 cards of the major arcana she was using for readings were scattered haphazardly across the table top, all flipped up to show the face.
The pictures were burned beyond recognition from what they previously were. But despite that, a clear design remained, traced out by the ashes and bits of flung tea leaves.
A woman with long black hair and green eyes, sitting atop a blackened throne.
Tsubame blinked and then hesitantly reached out for the cards, flipping through them all.
The same design on each card, as if purposefully burned in that way.
"T-The Empress replaced the entire arcana for John...?"
@ Isn't that design Yue?
@ I KNEW Miss Yue had yandere vibes
@ Okay. If this wasn't scripted, that's scary as hell
@ Look at Tsu-chan's expression!
@ R-Relax, Tsu-chan! We don't need any more of that freaky Tarot card stuff!
@ SEE! BLACK MAGIC!
Tsubame trembled a bit, a weird expression passing her pale face. And then she carefully set the cards off to the side. "U-Um... L-Let us stick to what I do best, haha..." She pulled the tin of bamboo slips over and said, "I-I-I hope you do not mind the change, esteemed guests. L-Let us see..." She picked up a folded paper slip from the glass jar of names and said, "T-The next esteemed guest is MichaelHawks who wishes for good luck on finals. As to whether you will..."
Tsubame reached to pull out a bamboo slip from the tin.
And then it exploded, sending all the bamboo slips flying with a burst of flames.
The bamboo slips landed on the table with a clatter, [GREAT MISFORTUNE] burned onto each slip in both English and Kanji.
And then Tsubame quietly stood up and bowed. "...That will be it for today, Esteemed Guests. I-It seems like the heavens are misaligned today, so we shall try again another day. Please be well."
With that, the stream abruptly ended.
The Smith Family residence. Dinner time.
Yue paused in the middle of feeding Aurora from her place on a comfy couch.
John slowly turned to look at her from the kitchen, his phone still tuned in to Tsubame's membership stream that just went offline. "Wifey."
"What did I tell you about using karma magic to prevent people from scrying my destiny?"
Yue turned a bright red and said, "I-I just forgot to take them down! It wasn't on purpose, I swear!"
John sighed and wiped his hands down on his 'Kiss the Chef' apron. "I'll be back. Gotta make sure Suzu-chan isn't too traumatized about this whole ordeal..."