Clarence Gupta's Antique TV Net

The so called ancient device that Gupta had brought in possessed a jack-in port, allowing entry into an area connected to NetVegas net, as many modern appliances would. While the operators would be listening to Alejandro Gupta (or rather, a representation of him, the navis had no such luxury. What they did have, however, was a terribly large table covered over by a red cloth, which hang like a curtain. Two large urns, very similar to the ones in Gupta's room, were positioned nearby it. All manner of divining objects- a crystal ball, a pair of dice, a coin, some unidentifiable bones, an Ouija board, a divining rod, and other knick knacks- were scattered across the cushioned table. The net was pretty typical for an appliance; nobody had put a lot of time into decorating, so the TVs brand name scrolled by on an endless loop in the sky, a never-ending reel of gray and white television graphics. It wasn't the most inspiring sight in the world.

The other navi was already here and waiting anxiously, but no Gupta was around to guide them at the moment. Would they just have to wing it? Presumably not. By the looks of the table, Seer certainly already had a plan.
From the gray, lifeless sky, a tornado suddenly descended, eventually landing and forming into ZephyrMan. Luckily, it was just for show, so not a single thing on the table was disturbed. One of the many advantages of the cyberworld, especially when you were half a tornado anyway. He took a quick look around, but didn't see anything particularly interesting. Which raised a question. "That's strange...looks like we can't view what the TV is displaying. I suppose there's ways around that, though. Well, I suppose we should begin once everyone's ready!" A quick check with the PET revealed that Ariel was off, changing clothes...again. He could only imagine what sort of ridiculous outfit she'd end up wearing in the name of mysticism.
The eyes peering out from the other navi's hood squinted with delight as ZephyrMan took his place. "I cannot wait to begin our portion of Ritual C! If you don't mind me raving for a moment, I feel like we're really making history here. So long has magic a foreign topic to we navis, so far foreign that it practically seems a fallacy to the common man... The average navi would no more expect magic in the cyberworld than a human would expect to materialize a battlechip's weapon in his. But we're going to break ground, you and I... taking the first steps into a true understanding of the nature of mysticism and the net!" she proclaimed in a giddy voice, her body practically shaking with excitement. "It feels like my entire life up to this point is being justified, right here and now!"

The sky of the net suddenly turned dark; only a few rays of strange, orange light shined down, casting a spotlight over ZephyrMan and Seer, as well as a few smaller spotlights randomly across the net. Orange patches in the black cloud of the net ceiling shined like stars in a pitch-dark midnight sky... those stars slowly arranged themselves, forming what looked like a giant face. "Greetings, navis. The two of you are about to embark upon the net component of Ritual C," a voice boomed, seeming to come from the sky like thunder. "Seer, navi of my grandson, Clarence Gupta... You have followed the instructions I gave earlier, correct?"

"I did! I've procured the urn," Clarence's navi announced proudly, placing one hand upon the large urn. "Um, I know you also said to gather anything else I felt familiar with and which may assist in the ritual... so I've gathered all of my other tools-"

"Excellent. The contents of that urn will be vitally important for the completion of this ritual," the voice boomed, seeming to ignore the latter half of her statement. It was possible that whatever entity was speaking to them wasn't programmed to be that responsive to branches in dialogue. "Before we progress any further, it is important that we address another important aspect... The two of you must be fully familiarized and comfortable before we proceed any further."

"Yes, of course. We exchanged greetings a little earlier," Seer responded.

"You followed my instructions regarding your garb, I assume," the voice continued in short order.

"Indeed," Seer verified. "ZephyrMan, the rules of Ritual C regarding navis are not so strict as those for the master magician and his assistant. While you will be the 'magician' for this ritual and I the 'assistant,' our set of rules are more lax... but still present. During my initial instructions, I was advised that we should both wear outfits conducive to conducting Ritual C... the main aspect being our comfort with each others choices. I was given some advice of what I ought to wear," she continued. "So, before I go any further, I will confirm that I am quite alright with what you've chosen to wear, you needn't worry one bit!"

Seer sounded cheery, but the whole proceedings were beginning to seem ominous, especially to ZephyrMan, who had found that shady proceedings had a way of following him around like a black cloud lately (or perhaps like a tornado-chaser, more befitting his character). "Now, if you'll just confirm that mine is alright... Oh, don't worry, I don't mean this," she murmured, her hands moving beneath her formless cloak-cape. The cape began to part, then fell off in dramatic fashion. The first thing that was revealed was the rest of her face: she had a pretty one, with long eyelashes that complimented her otherwise eerie trio of reddish purple eyes. Her hair was indeed held in two lavender tails, each kept over her shoulders and resting across her breasts, with those disturbing eyeball clamps. The rest of her hair was kept neatly brushed and parted away from her forehead, to allow her third eye to see out. If it was disheveled, that eye would probably end up covered by bangs. Perhaps most importantly, her skin was a sort of a soft, pink color, a good few shades paler than her lavender hair. Her lips were a healthy, more vibrant pink color.

Skin was a pretty important subject given the rest of the outfit she'd revealed. It consisted of a purple, silk, somewhat loose fitting one-piece. The upper portion was a halter top, stretching over the breasts and leaving the back mostly open, with straps connecting at the neck and an additional set of straps hanging below the shoulders, although those appeared to be functionless. The halter top connected to a belt composed of red rubies in a chain; the belt fastened at the belly with another eye buckle. From this belt hung a long, silk cloth, nearly dragging the floor due to its length, over both the front and back, leaving the legs mostly exposed. She must be wearing something underneath, surely, but ZephyrMan didn't see any straps indicating panties... She wore no gloves or boots, but did wear silver bangles around her wrists and ankles, looping more rubies around each the thin of each limb. The outfit was filled out exceptionally, as her curvaceous body nearly matched Ariel's own in terms of the erotic ideal of an hourglass figure.

A darker pink blush slowly spread across her cheeks she held her hands out to her sides. "Do you like it? The initial instructions recommended something like this... to boost your performance during Ritual C. Since neither of us have much experience, I want it to go as smoothly as possible," she explained, feeling now the need to justify herself. The halter top didn't restrain her breasts terribly well, allowing them to heave slowly with each anticipatory breath she drew; they swayed slightly with each nervous motion. The eye-styled clamps on the tails of her hair seemed to watch him, as if judging him if he were unable to avoid looking at that very eye-catching area.
While he hated to rain on her parade, ZephyrMan wasn't sure he entirely agreed with Seer on her statement. "I'm not so certain...the way you say that, it sounds like magic doesn't exist at all in the cyberworld, but I've seen some Navis before whose abilities certainly seemed...mystical. For instance, that one Navi on TV...his name eludes me, but his operator hosts some sort of nature show. I've seen that Navi in person, and some of the things he did were simply...otherworldly, it felt like. After witnessing that, it seems like it's a bit late to say we'll be introducing it. But then again, I hardly know what it is we'll be doing, so it's a bit soon for me to talk, wouldn't you say?"

With that, a giant head formed, and the preparations for the fabled Ritual C began. Once matter of outfits was raised, and the wind Navi performed his own brand of magic: the ability to deal with incredibly curvy women without batting an eye. He briefly looked over the outfit, not once showing any signs of lust in the process, and looked her squarely in the eyes. "Well, I, for one, have no objections with your outfit, particularly if it was recommended beforehand!" And that was one obstacle cleared. Now, could it start, or was there more stuff to work out before they could begin in earnest?
Seer's parade didn't seem to be rained upon, thankfully; instead, her eyes shined and she continued the conversation. "On the contrary, I am quite certain that magic exists in the cyberworld! But you and I and even ShamanMan are in the minority as believers," she explained, clasping her hands to her shoulders as if to stop herself from shivering. It was possible that was exactly what she was doing, since she could easily be cold in that outfit. She had managed to recall the show's host by name, a sign that spoke to her pedigree as a researcher of mysticism on the net. "What we need is a teachable, reproducable way for each navi to make his or her own magic. That will prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that behind the net's veil of science, magic is waiting... all kinds of magic, yet undiscovered! The net is vast and endless, but the mystical world is even more expansive and unknown. That said, I don't entirely know what we'll be doing either. I haven't heard the full body of the instructions yet."

On the note of full bodies, ZephyrMan didn't seem to care about it one way or the other. Seer looked surprised, as, in the end, she appeared to be the only was thinking anything dirty about her wardrobe. "O-Of course. I was foolish to think you may have some objection; fate would not have brought us together and carried us into this together, only to so soon shut the book on our adventure," she pronounced, dropping her hands from her shoulders so as to appear a little less self conscious. Her head tilted up so that her three eyes stared into the face-cloud above them.

"I approve of the outfit as well!" the voice announced enthusiastically.

"... Thanks?" Seer responded, apparently not realizing they were speaking with an interactive program.

"We now progress to the first step in the ritual process. The particulars of the liquid in that urn are unimportant. The key will be for the assistant to apply it to her own flesh, slowly and as extensively as possible. Remembering that the larger goal of this ritual is to bring an understanding of magic to the world at large, as Seer stated earlier," the head continued, "It will be your first task, Magician, to record a video of Seer applying the salve. Please save that video to your PET and transfer it onto the PET on which I am contained later on. For optimal understanding and advancement of learning, I recommend that you utilize several different angles and zoom features. Proper cinematography will only make it easier for our message to reach the world."

"That makes perfect sense," Seer agreed with a smile, eagerly moving to uncap the urn. A sweet smell came out as she did. Before either of them had time to think the better of it, she reached her hands inside and gathered up two handfuls of a translucent, gleaming liquid. The goop was a clear, pink color as she used each hand to apply the concoction to the opposite arm, slowly, as the voice had instructed. Her three eyes contracted slightly at the apparent coldness of the liquid. "It tickles, just a bit," she chuckled nervously. The color of the liquid was mostly lost upon her own unusually pink flesh.

"Please, begin recording, ZephyrMan," the voice from above urged the acting magician.
"Ah yes, ShamanMan! That's the name! I feared for a moment that I'd let that bother me the entire ritual! Hohoho!" ZephyrMan was quite happy that Seer knew who he was talking about; it made what he said make a bit more sense. "...I see. I suppose when you put it like that, it would make sense to consider this an introduction of sorts. Though, truthfully, I do wish we had more information on the ritual before starting...but, if that's how it must be done, then it shall be done as such!"

And so began the ritual. First up, Seer had to apply the urn's contents, whatever they were, to herself...and he had to record the process? That was more than a little odd to him. But, well, it'd be downright foolish to refuse after what he'd just said. The windy Navi opened up a channel to Ariel's PET, and started to type in some commands. A few moments later, several cloud shaped cameras appeared at various angles and positions, each trained on the assistant. Being cloud-like, there was definitely no sense in wondering why they were hovering in place. Clouds hovered. End of story. That aside, a window remained in front of him, allowing him to see what the cameras were recording, and control which angle was being used at any given moment. "It has begun! Please, continue the first step, Seer!"
Seer continued on, as per instructions from the acting magician. Before moving on, she rubbed at her bare neck and collar. She winked one eye shut and the other two half-shut as she got closer to her breasts, then gingerly cupped her hands beneath the halter top, so as to apply the liquid fully. It was more than a little erotic to watch and the act of filming only made it feel more so. She continued, snaking one hand down the front of her outfit to get her belly and sides. The places she'd touched glistened with moisture now, defining the contours and hills of her body more clearly.

The assistant turned her mostly exposed back to ZephyrMan and reached her hands as far behind her as she could, but unsurprisingly, there was a blind spot she could only get so much of. "Hmmm... I apologize. It's a little troublesome, but could you get this area for me? I want to do a full application but I fear that I lack the flexibility," she urged him. The way her hair was parted, with the tails hanging over the front, meant that the nape of her neck and the area from shoulder-blades to the curve of her back were entirely bared to him. He noticed that Seer's breathing was somewhat more rapid, for whatever reason... perhaps just an unavoidable consequence of the emotions brought on by the act of rubbing down one's breasts in front of a stranger.
ZephyrMan remained calm and collected as he continued the taping of lovely ladies applying mysterious substances to their bodies. In a way, he was the perfect Navi to serve in that role: one that could resist certain...reactions, while still being able to appreciate the gravity of the entire thing. As such, upon request, he set the video controls to auto, and went over and scooped up some of the strange, sweet smelling goop from the urn. "As you wish!" Gently, yet firmly, he placed his hands on Seer's back where she had motioned, and began to rub in the concoction. He really had to wonder exactly what it was supposed to be, considering its powerful smell, and overall lack of explanation on exactly what it was supposed to be.

It took a minute or two, since the windy Navi was being careful not to have his hands slip or anything, plus the hologram had said it should be done slowly, but soon the back of his 'assistant' was as shiny and incredibly sweet smelling as the rest of her. "Finished! If I'm not mistaken, that should be everything...unless there's an area I'm forgetting you haven't gotten to yet." It was fairly amazing just how routine he was making this whole thing look...well, unless one was familiar with his operator. Then it actually would look a bit routine for him.
Seer turned her head to watch him, as much as she could; she smiled in spite of herself. "This feels like a spa massage, almost. I'm feeling sort of pampered," she laughed, sounding like maybe she was becoming a little more comfortable. Although, when ZephyrMan touched the liquid, it became pretty apparent that some of that easiness was probably not her own doing. The feeling of heat that came from touching the liquid might not be as familiar to him as it was to Ariel, but the tingling in his fingers would make him crave contact, the kind of warmth that made you want to bury them in something else... almost like needing to rub a limb to wake it up. "You know, ZephyrMan, and forgive me if I offend you, but you remind me a little bit of a genie. Your way of speaking and your appearance, I mean," she mentioned to him, trying to make small talk. Seer realized that may have been awkward rather than helpful and her lips retracted into a shy smile. "Sorry, I was just thinking that I like it because genies are sort of magical."

There was some kind of audible, repetitive sound coming from above, like either repetitive rumbles of thunder or the heavy breathing of some enormous creature. "Please, Magician, remember that everything here is colored to some extent by the ritual process. You and the assistant don't really need to be getting intimate or familiar," the voice commanded ZephyrMan, like he'd done something wrong.

"I apologize," Seer apologized, although she didn't sound that sincere, because she probably thought the least she could do in such a situation was try to be friendly. "Thank you, that should be good on my back. I still need to get my legs, though, but I can get those myself." She moved away from him a bit again, then began rubbing the them down herself, moving carefully so that the cloth hanging in front of her discreet areas didn't move too much.

"Ahem, Magician. Be especially careful to capture this part with the cameras. I want you to capture the angles as dynamically as possible," the voice above demanded.

Seer seemed to see an instruction in there for herself as well, and took more time, running her hands slowly up and down her legs. Once she was finished, blushing again, she crossed one arm to her waist to hold the hanging cloth down and used the other to get the area beneath it in what was a terribly erotic looking motion. She didn't spend a lot of time on that last part, realizing what it looked like. "Alright, I should be finished now," she informed them both, crossing both hands at the front of her lap.

"Please tell me you got all that," the voice boomed, sounding authoritative. If it had come in another way, it'd sound like a pretty desperate pervert, but the volume and dignity of the voice was the only thing saving it from being that suspicious.

"Pardon me, but I'm eager to get on to the next step," Seer requested. She looked like she was squirming a bit, probably uncomfortable from being coated in so much of the liquid.

"The next step? Of course. Then... Right. The next step is to begin the evocation. The evocation of magic depends on a few important but easy to complete motions. I see that you've brought a variety of magic tools yourself, but I have another that will be important for this ritual. Please, use this," the voice instructed her. A large hand composed of clouds floated down from the sky, seeming to slap its palm upon the floor of the net... then evaporated, leaving behind what looked like a long rope. "I will elaborate. On each end of this cord is a handle. You must grip these as tightly as possible... Then lift your fists in front of you, with your elbows at your side and your forearms straight forward. Without moving those too much, dangle the rope so that the center length hangs at your feet... Good," he continued, as she'd already picked up the rope and begun to follow his instructions. "Now, I am going to need you to pull the rope backward and you should, yourself, jump over its center length. Good! Now, repeat this motion faster, whipping the rope's length above your head each time to reset its position. It may bring in to mind the old Christian practice of flogging. The physical exertion will be similar, but without the pain. This will attune your mind and give the ritual its optimum strength."

ZephyrMan's assistant looked excited about it, as there were obviously a lot of buzzwords that made this practice seem pretty mystical... but ZephyrMan could also see something else. She may not realize due to her excitement, but the practice wasn't like flogging at all. The voice was quite clearly commanding her to jump rope. The effect was obvious, as her breasts heaved with each jump and the cloths hanging at the front and back of her lower body flapped dangerously with each motion. "Good, Assistant! Just like that, but increase speed as much as you are able, for optimal effect. Magician, please continue to record from various angles. This is extremely important," the voice urged ZephyrMan.

Seer was going at a respectable pace, but not terribly quickly, as she clearly wanted to avoid tripping over the rope. "Ha... Ha... Yes, I think I can feel my mind being attuned! I always suspected that exercise might be closely tied to magic," she gasped, impressively comprehensible whilst jump-roping.

"Good, good!" the voice cheered, sounding pleased. "Do remember, this is not exercise. This is a mystical practice. Any resemblance to recreation or exercise is either coincidental or perhaps a link so ancient it is lost to time and thereby not worth considering."
Unfortunately for the fluid, ZephyrMan's gloves made sure that he didn't particularly feel the effects of it as he rubbed it on Seer's back...though the fact he still managed to feel it a little said something about it. The woman Navi's comments made him nod, having heard such comparisons before. "Oh, you're hardly the first person I've heard say that. I suppose in a way I am, since I tend to have little choice but to grant my operator's wishes, ho ho ho! But, as I've been told, my appearance is derived from that of ancient Electopian and Netopian wind gods, as a bit of a good luck charm. After all, I was designed to pilot aircraft, and what turbulence would dare stand against their own supreme master?"

The hologram's scolding brought a rare angry look to the wind Navi's eyes, as he looked over in contempt. "I hardly think forging a bond between magician and assistant bodes poorly for a mystical ritual of any sort! And if it does, I must truly question the type of ritual we're performing!" His whirlwinds momentarily increased in ferocity, but as he cleared his throat, they dropped back to their normal speeds. "...But I digress. Go ahead and continue, Seer!" He returned to his camera station, making sure to 'dynamically capture' the act of the other Navi cover her legs and...miscellaneous areas. Truthfully, he was starting to feel like a softcore porn cameraman, especially given the hologram's reaction afterward. "Yes, yes, it should be more than satisfactory. Now, what comes next?"

The next part...was for Seer to jump rope. Despite what was said, there was no other realistic way to interpret it. It took just about everything ZephyrMan had to not stare at the holographic man blankly and shout 'Are you serious?'. Instead, he softly shook his head, and started making sure to get the angles that were apparently so intensely reequired. The man's words regarding its similarities to regular exercise made him raise an eyebrow, however. "Who says that mystical practice and exercise can't be one and the same? After all, yoga utilizes exercise for the purposes of spiritual meditation, does it not?" Deep down, he had a feeling there were ulterior motives to all of this. Perhaps he was being needlessly suspicious, but he just did not fully trust this hologram the more he heard from it.
"Don't be a di-" the voice started to respond to ZephyrMan, then corrected itself with a deep cough. "That is, remember that I am here to instruct you towards the realization of lost arts. I am the only one with this knowledge and the only one who can teach the two of you. If the instructions seem strange, I can only apologize, but cannot alter them. It is important that we focus upon the task at hand and, as such, we should maintain impersonal relationships with one another."

Seer didn't respond one way or the other, as she was conflicted, perhaps like ZephyrMan himself would be. She wanted to perform the ritual to the letter, but she also had misgivings about the esoteric (and annoying) nature of the instructions.

The voice went away for a while as Seer jumped rope and ZephyrMan recorded, both performing their jobs adequately. When ZephyrMan raised a complaint with his dismissal of the proposed link between exercise and magic practice, the voice let out a short huff, scoffing at his question. "I say, and I'm the instructor to the ancient lost art of net magic, remember?" it answered, now sounding petty and sarcastic rather than majestic and authoritative. "Spiritual meditation is completely different from what we're doing here. I said 'attune your mind' and so forth earlier, but don't try to compare yoga to what we're doing here. That is a physical exercise. Ours is not a physical or mental exercise, but rather, a new form that reaches beyond the very fabric of our biology into a realm beyond understanding... Not into your body, your mind, your thoughts, your heart, or even your essence... but into another world in which we do not yet exist!"

"I have a question, then! Who are you?" Seer asked, keeping her speech short since she was also jumping rope.

"Me? I am the navi of the great magician. I'm the one you came in to learn from. He was the master of magic on the outside, and similarly, I am a master of the net format of this ritual. I have no name, nor do I have any form. I am a being who is, himself... magical," the voice finished, embellishing the last part of the speech with a flourish that should have sounded cool, but actually came off as cheesy given the context. "Your mind has wandered. You are not focusing on the task at hand. This is where the alternate functionality of that tool you now hold comes into play. It is unfortunate that we have to resort to that, but I'm afraid we must... for the sanctity of the ritual."

Seer didn't seem particularly worried, partially because the speech was so confusing that it was hard for her to grasp what he was saying. She continued jumping rope.

"Please, cease jumping the rope and stand still. Give the tool over to the magician."

She stopped, breathing heavily and looking exhausted now, both with the ritual and the instructor. She closed her eyes and placed her hands on her thighs while she caught her breath.

"Magician. I want you to now follow the following steps using that tool, which are necessary to recover the sacred, undefiled nature of this ritual. Take notes if you need to. First off, twist each knob at the weighted ends of the rope... this will release a segment, from which you will withdraw more ropes." If he did so, he would indeed find such implements. "Next, I wish for you to use the smaller lengths of rope to tightly bind the hands, behind the back, and also feet of the assistant."

Seer looked alarmed now, which made sense, but did not protest, which perhaps made less sense. Her look of surprise turned to shame for having led the ritual astray.

"If you have difficulty performing these steps, due to a lack of knowledge on how to tie the knots, please let me know and I will provide more detailed instructions. Once her hands and feet are bound, use the single, longest length of rope to tie the body tightly. Cross the chest twice over each shoulder, then pull up betwixt the thighs and circle again, to create a vertical line up the body. Continue again down the back and gather a loop... then encircle it beneath the breasts, then again in the opposite orientation. Finish by tying any remaining lengths of the rope around the wrists."

"Please, Teacher... I know it's not my place to second guess you, but I have studied magic my entire life and my one goal is to further my understanding of magic on the net!" Seer protested, as this was all sounding rather uncomfortable.

"Then please, allow the magician to follow my instructions and do not interfere," the voice in the sky rebutted impatiently. "You should do that if you're devoted to our cause."

"Yes, but, my point is that I am already as focused as possible on the task at hand! If the goal of the bondage is to punish me and set my mind straight, there's no need, as my mind is singularly focused on-"

"It's not bondage!" the voice boomed, again sounding very defensive. "This is not bondage. It's an important ritual methodology that must not be rejected, tampered with, nor may be allowed to deviate in any way from the original format. Magician, we contaminate the ritual if we continue to allow the assistant to protest. Please, begin setting the ropes as quickly as you can. And be certain to also take video footage, as you are able."

The magician's assistant bit her lip and stood still, waiting to see what ZephyrMan would do. She couldn't say anything one way or another, so long as she was devoted to learning magic... since, apparently, any further complaints from her would ruin their chances of success.
ZephyrMan remained silent after the admonitions, but he was definitely suspicious of this ritual. The hologram seemed hellbent on the fact that what they were doing was secret and lost and that absolute concentration was needed...yet, why did he need to record everything Seer was doing? It wasn't like that was an option centuries ago. Still, the only way he'd know for sure was if they kept going.

After accepting what very much appeared to be a jump rope, the windy Navi was twist the knobs, and reveal more rope. He did so, and as stated, there was indeed more rope. Truly mystical stuff. The subsequent instruction made him turn and stare at the hologram, but he knew dissenting would be fruitless at this point. He sighed, then took the smaller ropes and went behind Seer. "Worry not. If you become too uncomfortable, or something happens that hurts, we'll stop. But otherwise, as the saying goes, the show must go on, correct?" Hopefully that put everyone at ease...himself included. Let's see. Cameras set to auto...and now for the bonda-er, deep and mysterious ritual. Hands behind her back...and, tied. Then the feet...and, tied. Now, for the body...cross the chest...vertical line...encircled beneath the breasts...and, tied. As he returned to her front and looked over his recent work, he really did feel like he was stuck in a softcore porn. Hopefully Ariel was enjoying things more than he was...if it was anything like this, she probably was. "Finished. What comes next?" Somehow, that question felt about 10 times more ominous than it should've...
"Indeed," the instructor agreed with ZephyrMan. "It's not a show, though. It's an ancient ritual to which absolute gravity and seriousness must be devoted," he reiterated, like a broken record.

Tying up Seer was uncomfortable for both participants for a variety of reasons, but especially for Seer, as she now had a length of rope digging into the area between her thighs every time she moved. Luckily, she couldn't move much right now regardless, besides squirming, which would apparently just be bad for the ritual. The rope caused her breasts to stick out from her body in a more pronounced way, as well as causing the fabric to hug her lower body. It was pretty erotic, but if ZephyrMan wasn't already feeling aroused, there was probably little that could do it for him here.

"Excellent. Next, I need you to blindfold her using this," the instructor suggested hurriedly, descending down another cloud of hologram mist that evaporated to reveal a length of black cloth, intended to be used for a blindfold. While he was doing that, another cloud of mist began to float down, perhaps with another instrument, the voice didn't say anything about it, however... there really wasn't any telling what it was, unless ZephyrMan either looked inside or reached in to grab it. "For the next step, the assistant should prostrate themselves, as if begging forgiveness, with their face against the floor and their hind quarters facing upward." The cloud slowly floated behind Seer as she adopted that position wordlessly. Speaking of wordlessly, he still hadn't mentioned anything about what ZephyrMan ought to be doing with that instrument, nor even revealed it to him. "Very good... Magician, make sure that blindfold is secured."
As expected, ZephyrMan continued to show no signs of being aroused as he tied his assistant up. It wasn't that Seer was unattractive, far from it. But, well, when your operator was Ariel Gail Fuujimoto, you had to develop some sort of resistance to the whole thing, or else you'd be stuck in perma-boner mode. Not a fun mode to be in when your lower half happened to be a tornado.

Once that was done, he received what was pretty clearly a blindfold. Another 'instrument' mist appeared, eventually settling behind the magic Navi's butt. The windy Navi looked blankly at it, having a strong suspicion of what it was. "That other instrument wouldn't happen to be a paddle, or some similar object, would it?" Either way, he wasn't blindfolding her until he knew what it was. This was getting overly suspicious.

"Hey, ZephyrMan! Guess what, they" In a rare moment, Ariel found herself 'interrupting' something, instead of being the one 'interrupted'.

The mentioned Navi sighed, knowing exactly what this looked like. "...You had to pick now to talk to me, didn't you?"

"..." The half-dressed pilot pressed a button on her PET, causing her to become uncomprehendable to anyone that couldn't speak Electopian. "Nan seikō, ZephyrMan?! Anata wa sono shōjo o reipu shiyou to shite imasu?"

Fortunately, ZephyrMan's end of the conversation remained unchanged. "I'm...not as sure I'm not as I should be, given the circumstances."

"Soshite, anata wa nani o shite iru?"

"A fine the way, did you finish your end of the ritual?"

"Watashitachiha shiage. Kantan'niieba, Sore wa amari mahōdesu, honenuki no shōsai..."

"...What?!?!" The surprise made the Navi drop the blindfold. "Are you serious?!"

Ariel pressed the button again, restoring her ability to be understood by all. "Yup, seriously."

"I'd say it's unbelievable, but I suspected as much..." He immediately began to undo the rope's knots, to free Seer from her present stance. "As it turns out, this is not a magic ritual at all! It's merely foreplay!" The blue Navi glared at the 'ritual's' instructor, resisting the urge to fling a whirlwind or two. "You! You've deceived us! This so-called ritual serves no purpose other than to turn you on!"
"No, don't worry about this object. I'm handling this one myself, so don't touch it," the voice sternly advised him. "Please don't presume to understand or anticipate any of the specific steps of this ritual. It's beyond mortal comprehension. I have only mastered it through untold years of study, remember." When ZephyrMan started speaking to his operator, the cloud boomed in further protest. "No outside contact! I thought the instructor was very clear that the operator and navi portions of this ritual were to be conducted seperately!"

"ZephyrMan, wait! You can't contaminate the ritual!" Seer piped in as well, but seeing as she had all of her limbs bound and the gaseous form in the sky seemingly had no limbs, no one was able to stop him. She squirmed in further opposition as her partner untied her. "I... The ritual, though..." she murmured, trying to reconcile her pleasure at being able to move her arms and legs again with her knowledge that the ritual they'd been working at was ruined due to their inability to follow the instructions. Her three, reddish eyes each stared at the ground as she sat in upon the net floor, looking vulnerable and confused. "It wasn't a magic ritual at all? But the video... Clarence and I verified together that the video showed Clarence's grandfather, who was a master magician... Why did he leave behind something like this for Clarence to find? He even used Clarence's name in the opening..."

"Ha! You're so misguided it hurts me to listen to you, Magician," the voice from above laughed. "I think we can all safely agree that your operator is not the wisest to set foot into the arena of magic, nor the most experienced. This recount she gave you is likely misinformation, colored by her own view of the instructions. Do you really think that I would be so petty as to manipulate you two simple programs into pre-copulation, just for my own masturbatory pleasure?"

"Pre-copulation?" Seer asked, raising her two eyebrows and widening her upper eye as well. "Is that a real word?"

"Of course it is," the instructor barked dismissively. "There is still time, Magician. Bind the assistant again, resume filming, and apply the blindfold. We will set the course of the ritual correct again."

"Are you really who you say you are?" Seer interrupted, pressing her fists to her hips as she was clearly not eager to be tied back up. "I don't see why Clarence's grandfather would have chosen such an ill-mannered navi to handle giving us these instructions. Clarence says that his grandfather was a good man and I have serious doubts about you!"

The entity gasped, as if taken back by those words. "I am! Of course I am. What would I be doing in that device if I wasn't?!" it boomed. Finally, it sighed, then spoke up again after a brief silence. "Assistant, please, jack out of the net. I would like some time to speak to the magician. Alone. Once we have finished our discussion, you may or may not be asked to rejoin us. I will set the record straight, then we will finally complete the ritual."

Seer was wary and turned her eyes to ZephyrMan. The entity, if it was irate as it seemed, could be setting up a trap for ZephyrMan. If that was the case, it could be trying to isolate them so that he wouldn't have any backup. "What do you think?" she inquired.
"Well, Ariel? Do you think the figure was Mr. Gupta's grandfather?" First things first. Were the operators being deceived, too?

"I...think it was, actually. He was just looking out for his grandson. Kinda awkward, but I don't think that was a fake."

"I see." ZephyrMan then proceeded to listen, still resisting the urge to fling tornadoes. There was definitely something the voice didn't know about the assistant, though. "While she's not an expert in magic, by any means, my operator knows a thing or two about the mating process! If she says it's that, I have absolutely no reason to doubt her on it. And, of course, there's the obvious can it be an ancient ritual if it requires everything to be taped?! Such a thing has been around for less than 200 years, and that can hardly be called ancient!" The windy Navi extended an arm, and snapped his fingers, causing all the various camera programs to vanish. "There, I've deleted all the footage that was captured for this sham of a ritual."

With that, Seer was requested to leave, but she instead looked at ZephyrMan for his thoughts. He looked over at her, and shook his head. "No. There shall be no more secrets. You shall divulge the entirety of the 'ritual', and we shall determine if it is indeed magical in nature!" The entire time, he hadn't lowered his arm, and now it was revealed why: a small, spinning wind formed in the Navi's palm. If he didn't get answers, it was headed straight at the strange form barking at them. It wouldn't hurt it any, but if that gas was hiding something, it probably wouldn't be able to hide much after that.
Neither Seer nor the voice seemed to see fit to comment on ZephyrMan's reveal that his operator had a wealth of experience in doing the dirty. The instructor jumped right back into argument, however, once the opportunity presented itself. "I told you at the very start of this ritual, the filming was meant to teach future generations how to duplicate this ritual! If it had been recorded before, I'd simply show you that footage and we'd have been done a lot quicker. Not that it matters. Your refusal and that of the assistant have already doomed the exercise to gross failure!" it boomed... it was strange to hear such whining, booming across the sky like thunder. Still, the fact that the partial footage was useless now didn't stop the instructor from lamenting it once ZephyrMan deigned to destroy it. "Gah! Do you know how long I've... You're pissing me off, for real. I'm not even joking here," the voice growled, having trouble putting together its sentences due to its aggravation.

"We can always tape it again if we need to," Seer suggested, still apparently hopeful that the ritual wasn't a crock.

"No! Ruined. End of story," he sighed. "I'm not going to reveal the rest of the ritual, you lot aren't going to perform the rest of the ritual, and its contents and benefits will be lost to all time. Good going!"

The magician's assistant frowned defiantly at him with tears glistening in her three eyes.

"Well, since you've blown it all already... and it sounds like your operators have finished up... I might as well explain what's happening. Alejandro Gupta made this stupid virtual version of himself to teach Clarence how to conduct foreplay. Stupid as hell, but what's even stupider is that he put me on here to distract or otherwise occupy navis so that it wouldn't be awkward for the ops while he was doing it," the voice explained. "Now, imagine my position. I am a real navi, IllusionMan.EXE, with feelings and emotions and everything, like most navis. He couldn't just stick a stupid Prog in here or anything. So I sat here for years and years, inside that PET. No full network access or anything, nothing to entertain or occupy myself. Nothing to do except listen to that program talk about 'Pre-copulation.'"

"Wow," Seer input noncommittally. She wasn't fully convinced this made IllusionMan not terrible.

"So the end result was that when Jughead Gupta finally found me years later, like six years after when he was supposed to, I was a horny bastard. And the first navi I see is you, Seer. You're innocent and loveable, but also spoiled and pampered. You think I wouldn't like to spend each day watching some chick have sex in a freefall airplane, or exploring the secrets of net magic, or whatever? But I've never gotten to do a damn thing, for all these years. So, when I saw you and heard Clarence talking about why you were using the video, I cooked up this plan to trick you into doing sexy stuff, film it, then tuck it away. That way, when I'm discarded again, at least I'll have something to look at for the next millennium while I wait for this PET to finish giving out."

"That's terrible!" Seer exclaimed, looking aghast. It was hard to tell which part she was referring to: the part where Alejandro Gupta sealed a navi inside an airtight box for six years, the part where the navi deceived her, Or the part where he planned to give up and use the next millennium masturbating to a single candid video of her.

"It is, isn't it? But I don't even care any more. Both of you, just leave me alone. I'll just try to use my imagination on everything since the Magician over there just killed my only buzz I'm ever going to get in my whole life time," the cloud face sulked.

Seer was also upset, either because there was no lead relating to real magic rituals or because she felt sorry for their tormentor. "What should we do?" she asked ZephyrMan.
Truthfully, ZephyrMan started to feel bad as the figure, now revealed as a Navi named IllusionMan, explained his story. Yes, he had tried to manipulate him and Seer into doing...things, but given the situation, he couldn't really get mad about it. Though..." operator's only done that a couple of times before. And I didn't actually watch the act." ...But that wasn't what he really wanted to convey. More a handy FYI. "IllusionMan. Did it never occur to simply tell us the truth from the beginning? I can only speak for myself, but I consider myself reasonably magnanimous. I'm sure there was something that could be done without the need for deceit." ...Come to think of it, that was ironic for him to say, considering he was prominently based on a deity known for being a bit of a trickster. "Besides, who says you must be discarded now? You are indeed a Navi, capable of feeling. And Navi and PET are linked, yes, but it's a link that can be severed if necessary. You have served the purpose that caused you to be in this situation. You needn't resign yourself to it being your last purpose, as well."

With that, he turned to Seer, and her decidedly questionable attire. "Surely you and your operator, as fellow magical beings, can assist him. Perhaps he can assist you somehow in the mystical arts? I would think he could be of some help, being the former Navi of an expert magician. Or, I'm sure someone in a place like NetVegas would love to have a magic themed operator. He could become a regular Navi again. There are many possibilities!"
"Well, remember what I said again: I was horny as hell. So I couldn't really ask Seer, 'hey, want to take off your clothes, soap yourself up, jump rope, and let me use a recorder?' Again, unfortunate byproduct of spending six years listening to a guy talk about foreplay," the figure responded with a sigh. "Keen judgment wasn't really there, so much as desperate need for stimulation. I guess I was looking at the short term more than the long term. Unless you guys would be willing to help me get my jollies if I just asked... Would you?"

Seer stepped in to change the subject. "Of course, we can help-"

"What, really?!" the voice gasped.

"N-No! I mean, Clarence and I can help you find a new operator," she murmured, clutching her hands to her lap self-consciously. She was feeling decidedly more awkward about her outfit now that she realized that it definitively had nothing to do with magic and everything to do with arousing IllusionMan (worse, since she'd actually designed it herself). "I'm sure Clarence won't mind taking care of him until we can find a suitable operator. Or, could you help us pursue the mystical arts, IllusionMan?"

"Probably as much as anybody. I mean, I guess having motivation to seek out magic is more qualifications than most people in the world have for the position, right?" IllusionMan offered. "Hey, ZephyrMan... can me and Seer share a PET?"

"I don't believe that's possible," Seer answered succinctly, although she wasn't really sure of the answer. It was pretty clear she just didn't feel entirely comfortable with the idea of living that closely to IllusionMan. "But, ZephyrMan, I wanted to thank you for taking the time to help me with all of this. Is there anything you'd like in return? I know your operator is getting a reward as is, but you played a vital part in this as well," she offered, giving another bow to show she was indebted. A hissing noise ran through the air, likely IllusionMan snarling with jealousy. He was clearly not done being horny. "If you wanted a chip or anything else, perhaps magic instruments or... I can do lessons, too," the magician's assistant continued. She raised her head and slowly met his eyes with her own (all three of them). It was easy to get the sense that she was offering something else, but that might just be the goo affecting either her own judgment or ZephyrMan's perception.
All ZephyrMan did was shrug at IllusionMan's counterargument. "The main point is, you are no longer confined to that PET. As such, you may...'get your jollies' in any way you can think of." He nodded as the conversation progressed, though the question directed at him caught him off guard. Maybe he shouldn't have phrased what he just said the way he did..."...In theory, it's possible for two Navis to inhabit the same PET. In practice, however, it requires some sophisticated programming, which not many are capable of doing. It'd be both easiest and best to just stay in a different PET." Hopefully, that'd give Seer some relief, and IllusionMan a reasonable explanation.

Hmm...was there anything else he wanted? Well, there was the obvious..."Well, to be frank, if you happen to have a spare chip related to the wind laying around, I wouldn't say no if offered it. But you needn't concern yourself with being in my debt. I'm simply happy I could be of assistance." Speaking of being of assistance, he took a moment to see what Ariel was doing. ...Fully dressed, looking like she was all set to leave. Excellent. "Well, it seems I should be going. Take care, the both of you!" One blue beam of light later, the windy Navi was gone.