At What Cost Victory Chapter V: Spheres of Influence (
Sana's modest storefront belied its success. Her online trading of rare collectables had made her, if not spectacular ly wealthy, at least comfortable enough that the store could tolerate the occasional closure for a spiritual break. After the last customer left, she would close the blinds, and turn off the lights, lighting candles as she moved about the showroom. She would strip, and cover herself in gauze, then twirl madly in the center of the room until she was breathless. It was then that the visions would begin.
As far back as she could remember, she trusted the visions. They had predicted her mother leaving, her first period, and her first kiss. A similar session gave her the impulse to quit school and start her business; a later one cemented her decision to partner with SimMan. She wondered what the spirits would say today.
She remained motionless for a minute as her eyes darted around the gloom. Then she saw it- a glass ball, reflecting the light. She bolted up and picked the orb up. She resumed her dance, finally settling in front of her register.

"I will see my destiny in the next figure I see in this glass."

She stripped the gauze from her body. She placed a large bowl in the center of the room. Taking a knife from the counter, she cut the gause into small swatches.she lit one on fire and placed it in the bowl, adding some intense as it smouldered.She learned long ago not to burn it all at once. Instead she carefully fed the fire until the pile of gauze was gone. She stood over the smoke, cleansing her body and sealing the spell. She dressed and blew out the candles. She turned the lights back on, and flipped the sign to indicate the store was open.
She walked back to the register and waited.

Kotomi opened the door. She paused at the entrance, as the smell of something burning hit her nostrils.

Sana smiled. The person at the door stood just at the right place that they appeared in her orb.
She approached Kotomi, who already appeared nervous.

"Um, hi, I..."

"Tell me," Sana began. "Are you here to shop? Or to talk to me?"

"Talk to you. But how did you know?"

"The goddess told me you would come. That you would come- with purpose."
Kotomi looked around the room.
"Did you graduate?"

"No, there was no need."

"And you never did gymnastics senior year?"

"Would you consider, joining our rhythmnic gymnastics team?"

That was easy.

"It was destiny. Everything else is just details."

"Details like?"
"I don't want to be in class By longer than I have to."

It's not up to me, Kotomi thought.

"We'll see what we can do. Did you have a specialty when you were on the team before?"
Sana turned to the desk. It all made sense now.
"The ball, of course."