[x] Are there any other basics of being a shikigami?
[x] How about a stroll outside?
[x] Could you tell me more about Gensokyo, at least as far as basic knowledge goes?
There's a lot you want to ask, but for the sake of Ran, and possibly yourself, it might be best to take things one step at a time. The first of which though is learning how to adjust to your new life as a servant. Since Ran here has apparently been doing it for a very...very long time, it's obvious that asking her would result in the best answer.
"So, are there any other basics to being a shikigami? Anything you haven't yet told me?"
"Well, I think the first and foremost thing you should know is that regardless of how you feel or whether or not you think it's right, you should never disobey Lady Yukari's orders. If she orders you to do something, then you must follow willingly and decisively about the order and carry out what you were told to do." You look at Ran for a moment, that just seems wrong. You're tempted to challenge her on that.
"Regardless of how I feel? Even if I feel that what she's doing is totally wrong, or completely immoral? Doesn't she make mistakes too?" Ran shakes her head.
"Lady Yukari always knows best. No matter how difficult it may seem, what she orders you to do is always the right thing to do, and she would never force you to do anything wrong. Any decisions she makes thataren't always right, she never involves her family in." You can only stare at Ran for a moment before sighing. It's quite pointless to argue with someone as sure as she is. So you decide a change of subject in is order.
"Right, well...how about a stroll outside then? I kinda wanna see what the outside is like." Ran looks at you before holding back a chuckle.
"Well, there isn't much outside of this mansion, due it's area, but I'll accept your offer nonetheless. After all, if we're to be partners it's imperative that we have a good friendship, correct?" Finally, something you can agree with. Soon enough the two of you are taking a relaxing stroll around the mansion outside. Ran was right, there isn't much until the ground kind of fades into nothing, the extend on the border, you suppose.
"Well, the atmosphere here is nice. It's a big change from where I used to live. I might be able to get used to this." You tell Ran, as you look around at the natural trees the two of you are walking by.
"That's good to hear. You will be staying for quite a while, so it would be best if you got to like living here." Ran then looks up at the sky, remembering something apparently. "Oh, I must tell you, as Lady Yukari's shikigami, should she get involved in battle, you should be ready to fight by her side should the time call for it." This is when you stop suddenly, your nervous system suddenly deciding to shut down for a short while.
"W-W-Wait...f-fight?" You look at Ran rather scared, you normally don't show your weak side to people you don't really know, but you can't help it this time. "I-I don't know how to fight! B-Besides, isn't Gensokyo full of people that, you know, are really strong...?" You're not actually sure if that's true or not. You just need a reason to, you know, not get involved in any kind of danger.
"It's alright. Lady Yukari has agreed to try and awaken the youkai spirit inside you. Once you can get in tune with it, you will find battling a lot easier then you think it will be." Ran looks over at you and stops, finding you in a rather sad state. You're turned away, whimpering softly to yourself. You're half upset that that you have to actually fight, and half upset that, yet again, someone refuses to believe you're human. To top it off, your misunderstanding of being human is leading to you having to fight. What a sorry state of affairs.
"Why me...gahhh..." Ran blinks softly, about to reach over to you.
"S-Satoya...?" You then fix your posture and turn back to Ran trying to look strong. (Though it completely fails and you more or less end up looking goofy instead)
"I'm good! Let's talk about something else!" You then bravely march forward through the thick amount of trees trying to distract Ran (and yourself) from the conversation at hand, though you end up tripping over one of the roots of a tree in the process, resulting in you falling to the ground overtop more roots with a sickening thud. Your ribs are in utter pain from the awkward landing.
"Ah, Satoya." Ran goes over and helps you up as you rub your chest in mighty pain. "Are you okay?"
"Y-Yeah, except I landed on a lot of wood...ow."
What happens next astonishes you.
Ran has her hands pressed onto your chest. It's very embarassing, and kinda painful too, since it's still sore. You can't help but blush awfully wildly at this. Then, suddenly, a soft glow emits from Ran's hands and you slowly start feeling the soreness fade away. When Ran's hands stop glowing, the aching feeling is gone, and it almost seems as if you never took a fall in the first place. Ran then retreats her hands and looks at you, and the most you can do for now is just stare back at her, dumbfounded, until you can finally manage to slightly grasp what just happened.
"That...magic?" Ran nods softly.
"Yes. I guess you're aware by now Gensokyo deals in it a lot. It's how we've gotten by, Lady Yukari has told me that the outside world is very different."
"Y-Yeah, no kidding...it really is...so tell me more about Gensokyo anyways. Like, basic knowledge about it." You figured you should ask now while the topic is on it, since you've been curious for a while now.
"Well, about a thousand years ago, the Hakurei clan set up a barrier to seperate a part of Japan known as Gensokyo apart from the rest of the world. It was to be designed as a place where those who could not fit in with the rest of the world would stay. A land where those who couldn't be accepted by the rest of the world at the time went to stay in darkness. As such, a lot of youkai such as yourself and I live here. There are plenty humans here too, however."
"Wow...a thousand years ago huh? Well before my time..."
"I wouldn't call yourself out on that so quickly." You look back at Ran, who has her eyes closed.
"You're a youkai, Satoya. No matter what way you look at it. Your memories may tell you otherwise, but there's always such a thing as fabricated lives. For all yuo know, you could've been living longer then even Yukari."
"You don't know though...I'm afraid only Lady Yukari could tell you anything more about you then that, I do not know myself either. All I know is that you are not human."
[ ] "That's...that's a lie!"
[ ] "Who else would have control over my memories then?"
[ ] "Gah, I guess I should just accept it then, huh..."
[ ] "....."
[ ] Become a weeping pile of despair and cling to Ran for hope
I think I'm in a position to start spicing up the story now. This is where Satoya makes his transition. Make the most of it.
[x] "Who else would have control over my memories then?"
[x] "I'll still keep my emotions, right?"
[x] "If that's the case, I guess I'll go with the flow."
"Who else would have control over my memories then?" You look Ran square in the eye as you ask this serious question. "Aren't I the only one in control of my own thoughts?"
"Well, now that you bring it up, it could be possible that another youkai has eaten your memories, rather then them being self supressed.." You blink for a moment.
"Yes. That's the possibility of something very tragic happening earlier on in your life, so tragid that your mind shut it out and tried to forget it ever happened, and it could've involved your youkai blood."
After thinking about it, you realize that if that's the case, maybe you didn't necessarily want to find out.
"...well what about the first possibility then? There are youkai that eat memories?"
"A select few are capable of it. They might've manipulated you in the past if that's so. I know of a place that I can show you that might shed some light on such a thing." You stop Ran for a moment here, you'll let her continue later.
"Wait, hold on, regardless of this, I'll still keep my emotions, right?" Ran looks at you for a moment before looking down at the ground. This feels like the last thing you wanted to see.
"Well...I will admit, for a youkai, you display a large amount of human emotion. I suppose that if you sincerely want to keep them, as long as you don't give into the demonic pressures in your blood, you will stay hold of them."
"...demonic...pressures...?" You don't really like the sound of that, the look on your face shows it quite well.
"Yes, Yukari has surmised that you are species of youkai that originates from hell, which makes you a demon. Hellspawn, if you will."
Wow. Hellspawn. What a nice title you just recieved. Sounds like one of the things your seniors used to call you back in high school. It doesn't help that Ran makes it sound so casual.
"...o-...o-oh...I...I see...." The back of your mind is currently turning insane at this point. However, as your sanity is draining you snap out of your stupor when your hand feels something extremely pleasant and warm. Ran had grabbed it with both her hands and started holding onto it dearly.
"Don't worry, Lady Yukari will surely help you keep the demon inside you under control. As will I. Because I too know of what it's like to discover a demon sleeping inside you..." You find this very comforting.
Or well, you would normally. But it's been a loooong time since a girl has held your hand like this.
"I-I-Yo-Yo-B-Bu-Wh-Wh-Th-Thank y-you?" You stumble over your words quite a bit, trying to deal with the intense blush wreaking havoc upon your face. When Ran notices your complete embarrassment she lets go and bows a bit.
"Please forgive me if that startled you. Lady Yukari had told me that physical comfort would be best to perform on you in a state of worry. She warned me that you could become unstable in a state of shock, so I wish to help you." You look at Ran for a moment, you're starting to get a bit of a hang of Yukari enough to think that's not all she said.
"Ph-Physical comfort eh? What did she say in particular...?" Ran looks down, seemingly embarrassed.
"Well, she told me to simply have enough contact with you to ease your pain to start out with, though it went in an unfavourable direction. Though, since you bring it up, I've been curious about something she had said. She told me 'eventually you two might do the hanky panky as the outside world calls it.' What does that mean?"
You're seriously going to do SOMETHING about Yukari at this rate.
"A-A-Ah, that....it's probably best if you don't know. Not yet anyways..." Ran looks at you a little disappointed.
"But, you're from the outside world, correct? Please, I need to know. Whatever it is, I'll do it if it'll help you stay under control."
You're not sure if that's the right phrase for it.
"N-No! P-Please don't! C-Come on...I want you to tell Yukari that you will do no such thing, okay?" Ran sighs a bit, not seeming too satisfied with it.
"Alright then...but if there is anything I can do to help, please tell me." Oh, there's plenty of things she could do to help. You really want to satisfy her...wait, no!
After that abrupt thought, Ran is staring curiously at you, though you're in quite a bit of pain from your head having a rathe runfortunate meeting with a nearby tree. It was required though.
"Sa...toya?" You quickly piece yourself back together and look proper in front of Ran.
"I-I'm fine! Anyways, I suppose if that's the case then I'll simply go with it then. If I ever do get curious though, I'll take you up on that offer to see that place you mentioned." Ran nods and smiles a bit.
"Alright then. I wish you luck."
Yeah, luck. You'll need it alright.
After a short while of more casual strolling through the outside of the mansion, the both of you end up on the other side, and walk back in.
"So, when does Yukari intend on trying 'unleash the beast' in me anyways?" You have to say that with intense sarcasm, if you didn't, you're afraid you yourself might start taking it too seriously and that could end badly. Or very nicely, depending on how you looked at it, but you definitely don't want to go down that route just yet.
"Lady Yukari said she would start as soon as possible, but that might be a while yet, since she is a sleep...until then, feel free to make yourself at home, and be ready to serve at any moment." At home she says. Certainly the truth, you'll be here for a very long while. You don't mind too much though, since it's kinda nice here.
"Ah, right. I suppose it'll be a while then before she wakes up?" Ran nods softly. It gives you quite a bit of time then. In the back of your head though you can't stop thinking about Ran's soft hands. It's definitely been a while. Under those long, massive sleeves they look and feel a lot more ladylike then you thought they would. Life's just full of little surprises.
[ ] Ask if you can't spend a little more time with Ran
[ ] Ask if you can meet Chen now
[ ] See if you can't find a way out and maybe explore Gensokyo some
[ ] Go and check out your room
Kinda figured that out by a few ways (and Yukari is usually done as a rather naughty girl)
Heck I think it's widely considered that in bed Yukari has little to no rivals.
And it'd be funny if he came in a room to find Yukari, Ran and Yuyuko scantily glad. (As he is now, he'd nosebleed and faint like a harem lead, not exactly a good thing, most westerns are annoyed by how unmanly they are)
But I will try to get Satoya to loosen up and such.
[x] Go and check out your room
Chen, meh, we'll see enough of her in time. We don't want to waste more of Ran's time and heading outside without Yukari's permission would be a bad idea, though undoubtedly she could find us easily enough.
You breathe out to yourself. You figure since it's come down to this, you may as well satisfy the curiosity of who this last person that was mentioned a couple times is.
"Well then, can I meet this Chen I keep hearing about?" Ran looks at you for a bit.
"Hm, well she's out playing right now but I suppose it is close to dinner time anyways."
"Uh, dinner? Without Yukari?"
"It will be alright. Yukari usually eats at her own pace. It's only sometimes that we all tend to eat together." You also want to ask what's the point of labelling it as dinner if time is at a standstill inside this bubble, but it's probably something complicated that would only distract both you and Ran from the matter at hand.
With that, Ran puts her hands together and you get your first viewing of Gensokyo's so called magic. A light aura appears around Ran as a you realize a large magic circle has somehow formed under her, your shocked expression can't begin to describe your amazement at this. The magic circle slowly spins as the aura around Ran glows brighter and eventually loose clothing on her begins floating up a bit, indicating a large rise in power. You feel as if this is nothing to the people of Gensokyo, but such a light show is certainly a big deal to someone like you.
Is this...a shikigami summon?
A bright light envelopes Ran for a few moments, enough to make you cover your eyes. When you get your bearings back together, you stare in awe as a cute, little girl in a red, chinese style dress almost, with a fanning skirt and a green hat, bows politely in your presence. The most notable feature however, ends up being her cat ears, one with a golden earring pinned to it. After her formala introduction, she looks up at you with a happy face.
"It's nice to meet you! I'm Chen!" You blink for a few moments, still getting over the initial shock of a few other things first. Ran then smiles as she puts a hand on Chen's head.
"Thank you Chen. Well Satoya, I'd like to welcome you to the Yakumo family." You almost stumble over your words and yourself trying to do something in responce.
"Ah, th-thank you, I mean, it's a pleasure, or honor, really..." You then continue staring at Chen. You're still unaware of how this whole shikigami thing works, or how the whole idea of magic in general works in Gensokyo really. You didn't really study it much in the outside world, since the agreement you two had was that as long as it didn't bother you, you wouldn't bother it.
So now it's bothered you. What do you do now?
The back of your mind spends time thinking about this as Ran invites you to help with dinner. Chen helps too, though not with anything too hard for a child. She does indeed look pretty young still. You on the other hand, help with more intensive things, getting certain food cut, washed and ready, setting up a few burners and such. You even end up teaching Ran a thing or two about how to work the stoves, since you can tell from the brand name and having worked with a few stoves in your time that you're experienced with them more then Ran. She certainly feels thankful but anytime she expresses it, you have a weird ringing sound in your ear...it's rather weird.
After a while, the three of you are finally sitting down for dinner, eating a peaceful meal. And of course, conversation strikes up after the first couple bites, courtesy of the newly introduced catgirl, Chen.
"Say, Satoya, how did you become Lady Yukari's shikigami anyways?" You kinda don't wanna answer it, half because it's a long story, and half because, well, you honestly don't know to be quite frank.
"Ah, w-well...uhh...let's see, where do I begin..." You figure that as boring as the truth is, you should probably tell it. "All that really happened I guess, was that I was mailed a weird survey back at home one day and after filling it out, Yukari, I suppose, 'deemed' me suitable for being a shikigami...after delivering something, here I am." Chen kinda frowns a bit, you were a little afraid of it.
"That's it...? That's kinda boring..." Ran keeps herself from laughing a bit.
"Well it's unique, just like Lady Yukari. She said you did very well on your errand, though."
"Really? I didn't do much...in fact, I kinda stumbled around and nearly got myself killed, as if it didn't already seem like it."
"Yes, but you got along very well with the people there. That's what she was looking for." You look back at Ran a bit puzzled.
"Huh? Is that what it was about?"
"Lady Yukari wanted a strong, social person, first and foremost. Someone who I suppose could handle the talking for her." For some reason, this sounds rather lazy to you.
"Oh, I see...interesting. So I'm just kinda her secretary?" Ran shakes her head, rather eager to disprove you.
"Oh no. There are lots of aspects to being a shikigami, you'll come to realize that. She needs you for many things...not just to negotiate."
"But why? If she's so strong, versatile and charismatic, why does she need two servants to do everything for her?" Ran sighs a bit, that seems to have discouraged her a bit.
"I...I do not know...I'm sorry..." You felt like you made a mistake here, so you try and make it up.
"A-Ah, no I should be the sorry one...I guess that's not a question I should be asking." Ran shakes her head and looks at you a bit worriedly.
"No, in fact, I feel just the opposite...for both of us. This decision of her's came about so suddenly, I've asked multiple times about it but she refuses to give me a straight answer. Usually..." Ran has to look away a bit to get the last part out, you can tell she really cares about her master. "Usually, that means she's hiding something that could endanger us or herself..."
"Huh...really now..." You feel intrigued by this now. There was a definite reason behind all this, it seems. However, the conversation is halted when Chen tugs on Ran's sleeve and pulls her out of her state of worry.
"Ah, sorry, that's not something we should be discussing. There's nothing we can do about it for right now...it all rests on Lady Yukari's shoulders for now, all we can do is support her as much as we can." Chen then smiles in agreement.
After the thick air of depression wafts away, things grow quiet...yep, another silence at a table. You feel like you know what you should do, but part of you doesn't feel like doing it. You've done enough talking for one day, you're kinda tired. Though some things still rest in the back of your mind. Looking at Ran and Chen, Chen appears to be rather enjoying her food while Ran is taking her time with it. Conversation wouldn't hurt...would it? Especially after getting over the mess earlier created by your prying questions. Maybe you've done enough prying into personal matters for now...you've only just came here, you have the rest of your life ahead of you to ask any other important questions.
[ ] Ask what Ran does around here to pass time
[ ] Ask Chen's age - not that you're curious for a specific reason...
[ ] Comment on how organized and neat the place is
[ ] You feel a ringing in your ear again...
[ ] Just keep quiet and focus on your food
Sorry about the lackluster update...a thousand and one distractions came together to make this a fifty million hours in notepad situation.
Ugh...your ear is ringing...like earlier. But it's getting harsher. You're wondering what it means. But more then that, you wish it would stop. It's starting to get to you. Ran notices this as you're plugging your ear with your finger quite often.
"Satoya? Whats wrong?"
"Ah, do any of you hear any sort of...ringing sound?" You look at both Ran and Chen and they both shake their heads no, they seem rather curious. "Urgh, weird..." You sigh and put your hand down, but as you do, you're startled when Ran gasps out suddenly, holding onto her chest.
"M-Master Ran! What's wrong?" Ran appears to be blushing quite heavily, whatever it was, startled her too.
"I...don't know. It was so sudden..." You blink for a moment and scratch your head, or well, try to, but you're once again shocked out of it when this time, Chen squeaks out and nearly jumps, causing the table to rock a bit before Ran settles things, thankfully without anything spilling.
"Ah, Chen, are you okay?" Chen is looking down quite embarrassed, holding onto her backside.
"S-Something touched my..." You can only look on in surprise, trying to understand this situation, but it totally eludes you.
"What's going o-" You don't get to finish your sentence, as when you try to rest your hand on the table again, Ran immediately goes back to covering her chest again, almost crying out.
"Kah! S-Something's grabbing my..." This time you put your hand on your head, still trying to figure it out, when once again Chen jumps the moment you doing, whimpering.
"M-M-Master Ran, make it stooop~" Ran sighs soon after keeping the table together goes over to Chen to console her.
You, on the other hand, have found a pattern to this.
As nonchalantly as possible, you reach your hand a bit under the table where you kept resting in on top of, so that it may not be seen. You then firmly grasp the table, and, as you expected, Ran jumps up suddenly, grapsing her chest.
"Ahhhn! W-What's going on...?" You're about to take another feel again, you thought something was amiss when you placed your hand on the table the first time. It felt rather soft for something that's supposed to be made out of wood. You then firmly press your hand up against the table, and it feels very delightful, incredibly soft and squishy. Ran however, isn't particularly enjoying it.
"Master Ran, are you okay? What's wrong?"
"A-A-Ah, don't worry Chen, I-I'll be fine..." You better act part of the play, so you aren't thought of weirdly. Though you find it hard to tear yourself away from the table, as Ran's breasts feel much more supple then you thought they would.
"Ran, do you need help? What's going on...?" As you say this, you can't help but satisfy the little sadist in you, and continue groping her paradoxically exposed mammaries.
"Nnngh! I-I don't know, I feel...uhhn..."
"I think you should lay down, it looks like you're having chest pains." You stop touching for a while after this, allowing Ran to get a hold of her bearings.
"Mmm...I suppose you're right, please forgive me you two." Chen shakes her head worriedly and hugs the poor, defenseless fox.
"You go lay down Master Ran, your well being is important!" Ran smiles and pets Chen a bit before getting up.
"Alright, both of you should finish your dinner then. I will be in my room if either of you need me." Ran then walks away, breathing out and still trying to get over her incredibly strange experience. Even though you vaguely understand how it happened, you can't for the life of you explain why. You look at your hand and the table multiple times but you can't tell what did it.
"Master Satoya...? What are you doing?" You're a bit surprised Chen stuck around, but no big deal.
"Oh! Uhh, nothing really. We should finish eating though for Ran's sake." Chen smiles and nods before she sits herself back down and the two of you go back to eating.
Throughout this you briefly consider multiple times trying out your head but...no. You'd feel far too guilty. Though it's very tempting.
[ ] Ask Chen how old she is
[ ] Get Chen to talk about herself and what she does
[ ] Comment on how nice and organized the place is
[ ] Simply eat your food and shirk back to your room for what you've done
[ ] To hell with it, a cat is fine too
[x] Get Chen to talk about herself and what she does
"So," you start off with, after sipping some noodles up. "What do you do to spend time, Chen? You weren't here when I arrived." Chen looks over at you and smiles, she seems happy to know you're interested at least.
"Oh! Chen usually either goes out to explore or is out with her best friends!" The enthusiasm she puts behind her words you wish you could replicate. Must be nice to be so young.
"Oh, your best friends eh? Do tell." You smile softly as you listen to Chen's story, eating all the while.
"Well, Chen knows an ice fairy called Cirno who introduced Chen to all the friends she knows now. Lady Yukari says she's a 'nine' sometimes though Chen doesn't know what that means...but anyways, Chen plays with Cirno and her friends very often. Chen plays hide and seek with a bird youkai named Mystia, though she's always the seeker because she knows too many good hiding spots and we looked for her forever last time. And Chen also plays tag with Wriggle and Rumia, though we don't play hide and seek with Rumia because she can cheat very easily."
You're trying to wrap your head around this. It all sounds innocent for youkai.
"Chen loves playing with her friends because we always have a good time!" Chen then blinks and looks at you, her mood suddenly coming to a halt. "Uhm..."
"Hm? What is it?"
"Does Master Satoya have any friends...?" You look down, and sigh a bit. Being reminded of the outside world is proving to be a bit difficult for you,
"Ah...well, I suppose I did have some...but it's not like I'll ever see them again." You look over at Chen and notice she seems to be looking at you with pity. It feels horrible, but at least, she quickly puts on a smile and again and tries to cheer you up.
"Well don't worry, Chen will introduce you to as many people as she finds so you'll have new friends!" You smile softly and reach over, rubbing her head a little bit.
"Thanks Chen, I really appreciate it." Chen giggles a bit, really enjoying you rubbing her head. It feels nice that Chen is at least warming up to you rather nicely.
After 'dinner', Chen absolutely insists on you going out with her, but you have to decline as you still have unfinished business here, the most of which concern a sleeping master, who knows when she'll awaken. But soon enough, Chen vanishes and you're left to your own devices. You go ahead and clean things up in Ran's stead, knowing full well she's probably still trying to figure out that weird phenomenon from earlier. Since you thought about it though, you figure it might be a good idea to check up on her.
You walk down the hall and take the time to remember whose bedroom is whose. It gets easy to remember when your bedroom is next door to Ran's. Given that, you go ahead and knock.
"Uh, Ran? Are you okay?" You hear a bit of rustling inside before the door opens, Ran appears to be in a bit better shape then earlier.
"Ah, Satoya, yes I'm fine. What brings you here?"
"A-Ah, I just wanted to check up on you is all really..." Ran gives you a bit of a smile.
"Well thank you, but I'm alright. I'm over what happened earlier." You'd ask what happened if you didn't already know, and felt a bit guilty about it.
"Well that's good, I was afraid something bad had happened..." Ran shakes her head.
"No, I can usually handle myself. I'll admit though, it was very weird and I'm still in the dark as to what happened..."
Man oh man. If she knew. Your stay here would be rather short.
"Well, is that all Satoya?"
Well, you came all the way here, you could make the trip a bit more worthwhile.
[ ] Ask if you can come in and see her room
[ ] Ask if Ran wants to do something
[ ] Talk about Chen
[ ] That's all you needed to know, you feel tired now
Blah, lost all drive to write halfway in. Oh well.
[x] Ask if Ran wants to do something.
-[x] Meanwhile ask about Ran's hobbies.
"Well..." You start off, thinking of something. "I guess, maybe we could do something? Anything you want." Ran tilts her head at you a bit curiously.
"Excuse me? Like what?" You stand there, blinking for a moment. You weren't expecting this kind of reaction.
"Uhh...I...don't know?" You then cross your arms, looking at her. "What do you do to pass time around here anyways? What are your hobbies." Ran simply sighs.
"I'm sorry, I don't get asked to do what I want very often. Any free time I have is usually spent sleeping, or studying more magic..." Wow, your sudden sulking disposition probably hints that yeah, that's rather boring. Though admittedly, it sounds like most of what you did for the past five years back home, for the most part.
"A-Ah, I see..." Ran looks at you and tries being optimistic however.
"Well, is there anything you wanted to do? Between two people it isn't the choice of only one." You look down, thinking for a while. But if you knew, you probably wouldn't have asked.
"Well, honestly, I was hoping you'd have an idea of what to do. I'm at a loss myself."
"I see...well I'm sure as long as we do something together, it'll strengthen the friendship and bond we must share for any time of importance should Lady Yukari require it." Ran then puts a hand to her face, now thinking more deeply. "Hmm, now that I say it, I have an idea...please follow me outside, Satoya." She then walks past you and you just curiously watch her before finally setting out to follow her.
The two of you are just outside the mansion, in middle of a medium sized plain. It's nice and flat, and not too hard to move around in. Ran stands on one side and instructs you to stand on the other.
"Alright Satoya. I can't teach you any sort of magic just yet, but we can work on other things, such as synchronizing." She then focuses her powers and a great ball of light forms in between her hands until it forms a rubbery beach ball." Satoya, I want you to close your eyes. After a while I will throw this ball at you. I want you to try and feel when I decide to throw it at you." You almost look at Ran like she's crazy, that can't be right.
"W-W-What? That's impossible. You're asking me to rely on my luck!" Ran shakes her head.
"There is a greater meaning to it then that. You are not only are you a youkai, but you are Lady Yukari's shikigami, and so am I." She then closes her eyes. "...if I can find the frequency at which your power radiates, then I should be able to tell when you expect the ball. I will admit, this would be much easier if we wait until Lady Yukari awakens the spirit within you, but at least this way, it'll help train both myself and you." You then sigh a bit, looking across over at Ran.
"Well...alright then. I'm putting my trust in you!" Ran then smiles back at you softly. You take this time to get in a couple deep breathes and close your eyes, opening your arms ready for the ball.
"Satoya, are you ready?" You confirm it for Ran and try to get a feel for this 'frequency' Ran mentioned. You'll admit, you do feel something, but it's very faint and ambiguous, for all you know it could be your food digesting in your stomach. However, when you feel a certain change, you then immediately bring your hands together to catch the incoming ball and...
...you're promptly thrust into the tree behind you at blazing speeds. You caught the ball, but it came at you so fast and hard, it knocked you senseless, causing you to fly backwards.
"S-Satoya! Are you alright?!" After a few moments of regaining consciousness, you weakly stand back up, stumbling a bit and grabbing the ball in the process. You then get your bearings back together.
"Ugh, yeah I'm fine...but did you have to throw it so hard?!" You honestly were expecting a bit of a weak throw, judging from her appearance. not a jet propelled afterburner. Ran then bows apologetically.
"Please forgive me..."
Soon enough, the two of you are trying it again. You close your eyes ready for Ran to throw the ball, and this time, you're bracing yourself for a much, much stronger impact.
"Satoya, I will throw the ball at you at similar speeds. So can you be ready for it this time?" You then nod, grounding yourself quite sturdily. You're going to do this, this time.
After keeping your eyes closed for a while, you can feel several things around you. Usually what one can feel by simple meditating. The air, the movements, things all around and inside you. It's hard to pay attention to one specific thing, but you'll know what it is once something big changes, just like last time. Your arms widen further and further as it feels like the time is slowly approaching. You then realize that in your mind, you can see the ball careening for you at incredibly slow speeds. As if time had slowed to a mere hundredth of it's usual flow. You use this to gauge when exactly the ball reaches you. And...
You somehow catch it.
You stand there dumbfounded at the ball in your hands. Your hands do sting quite a bit, considering that the actual speed of the ball still forced you to skid backwards a decent length. But you still caught it, it's almost as if you caught a bullet with your teeth. It astonishes you. Ran, on the other hand, is quite joyous.
"Good job Satoya! You caught it!" You stare back at Ran like your life had just been in grave danger not too long ago, and you kind of simply laugh nervously back.
After the initial shock, you and Ran are sitting on the porch, taking a short break. You have to ask Ran what just transpired.
"Wha...how did that work? You said my...spirit or something or other hadn't awakened, right? But yet, I saw the ball, in my mind, approaching me..." Ran looks over at you.
"Well, you have realized and come to the understanding by now that you are not in fact, human as you've previously though, correct? Perhaps that's all your youkai spirit needed to be able to unleash some of it's potential."
After thinking about it, that might be right. After all, you were very realistic when you were back in the real world. You didn't necessarily disbelieve in the fact that magic and such didn't exist but, you? With demonic powers? You really couldn't laugh harder at the thought, and here you are, utilizing them to help become a servant to some super strong woman who could control time and space. In effect, now that you've seen it with your own eyes, it might not be so hard to believe after all.
"Of course, the simplest and most likely explaination would be that you simply made that up in your mind and I was able to read it..." You almost fall off the porch at that mention. Yeah, that is the most realistic explaination.
"Y-Y-Yeah, that's...probably what happened." You sigh, kind of disappointed, but this is why you don't really get hopeful about things in the first place.
"Don't worry, Satoya, once Lady Yukari awakens the spirit sleeping inside you, you will be able to do many of the things I can do, and possibly even more. For now, however, your powers are very limited. After all, they've been sleeping for a very, very long time." You look over at Ran.
"How do you know this...?" Ran looks at you for a brief moment and looks down a bit.
"I'm...not sure. I suppose you can call it a hunch...after all, if you're a youkai, then that means you must've been living for a very long time."
"Eh, yeah, I suppose so..."
"Well then, are you ready to continue?"
[ ] Continue the training with Ran
[ ] Ask if you can be the one that throws the ball this time
[ ] Ask her what kinds of magic she studies
[ ] You think you're quite done for today
[x] Ask if you can be the one that throws the ball this time
"Sure," you start off with, "but can I throw the ball this time...?" Ran blinks and looks at you a bit puzzled.
"Hm? Well, I wouldn't mind, but I'm unsure if that would really accomplish your training in the intended direction..."
"Isn't the reason why I'm training to synchronize our efforts?" You cross your arms, trying to sound smart. "If so, wouldn't this help improve it even further by helping the other ends of this?" Ran still looks at you a bit worriedly but she complys nonetheless.
"Well, if it is as you wish, Satoya. You may try throwing the ball then." She then walks over to you and hands you the large sphere. The thing's as light as a feather, very comparable to a beach ball when you think about it. You then look over to Ran who's already regressed back to the other side of the field. "Tell me when you're ready, Satoya!"
"Uhh...right. I'm ready!" Ran then nods and closes her eyes, holding her hands out. This is your chance. You should show her what you're made of now. You concentrate on the ball and...you suppose sending Ran the message you're gonna throw it? Psychically? Actually being put in the situation, you realize you don't know how to handle it. Are you supposed to just throw the ball, or is there more to it then that? You don't want to throw the ball and not have Ran expect it, that would definitely look bad. She'd blame you for not 'telling' her or something. Still though, you have no other choice, so you wind up, and...
...throw it a grand total of a couple feet. The ball almost immediately comes to a halt in mid air and gently floats back down to the earth. Ran is looking like she sorta expected it, yet was still disappointing all the same. There's a euphemism for this somewhere...
"...ah, well, it was to be expected. Your full power hasn't awakened yet, so..."
The ball is just simply too big and light. The lack of weight makes it difficult for it to retain momentum and it just sorta putters out before it even goes anywhere. Admittedly, you were never the strongest person physically, that's why you took up teaching. Kinda. I mean, after all, it's not like it pays well. But Ran's difference in strength between you is rather...ludicrous.
"Uhh...maybe you can keep throwing the ball then..."
You spend the next hour or two training with Ran. It's very difficult and wears out on your body, but you get to spend a lot of time connecting with Ran, and she doesn't seem so stuck up anymore. After a while, it feels like she's become more comfortable around you, and actually acting like a real person, rather then robotic maid half the time. After all is said and done, the both of you return inside the mansion, sweating and tired. You much more so then Ran, Ran barely seems to have done much comparitively.
"Ah, that was so nice! I haven't had good exercise like that in a while."
"Haha...haa...you're telling me..." You want to collapse. Right now. But you can gradually feel your strength returning to you the further inside the house you get. Weird.
"Well, please tell me whenever you would like some more training, Satoya. It's important to stay in shape and we'll be able to do much more once Lady Yukari can bring out your full potential." It's so nice to be socializing with a woman that appears happy to be with you. Majority of the females back in the outside world were depressing, angry or just plain rude.
...then again, majority of them were old fogeys that clearly didn't want to teach.
"Thanks, I'll be sure to do that then."
It's silent for a couple seconds after that. You suppose you should do something yourself now.
[ ] Go take a nap, holy cow
[ ] Go check if Yukari's awake
[ ] Sneak out of the household with Ran!
[ ] Spend some time reflecting on the porch
You think that as you sit on the porch. You kind of left Ran in an awkward way, but she seemed to be ready to go do something else anyways. You wonder what she does in her spare time around here, sometimes. It's kinda boring, though the scenery is kinda nice. The sky is always a unique, pastel color, and is much different form the bright blue and dark black the sky is typically painted, and this also means you're relieved from the awful days where it'd be any shade between white and a darkish grey for the cloudy days, since over here, you'd assume there would be none. Although this means the scenery will never change, and it'll never get dark. You also won't be able to admire the stars or stare at any passing clouds zoning out. Always...the same.
Thinking about it, that's what the majority of your life up to this point has been like...waking up, getting ready, going to work, coming back, and then somewhere in between that and going back to bed, you did something, but it was usually either reading a book you didn't really even like all that much, or watching some boring TV programs. Your life in general...really sucked. It was just full of monotony. You'll admit, when Yukari kidnapped you all of a sudden, you were scared, frightened even. After all, such a long time of routine being broken, shattered before you very eyes...it's enough to make most people afraid. But after thinking about it, and spending a bit of time with the family, you're pretty happy. You weren't much at all satisfied with your life, and a total makeover is just what you needed, although this is...rather extreme.
But then another frightful image crops up in your mind. When Ran said she had been doing this for years...no, decades, probably centuries...and that you too could possibly follow in those footsteps, performing the same thing, day in, day out, nothing but routines and schedules...not just for years, or even decades, but whole centuries...fuck, at least college would've made you retire at 65. Retirement is a myth here. You'll be hundreds, maybe even thousands of years old, and still be doing this kind of thing. Hell, you're not even sure if you would age. Just like the scenery, your tasks, and everything around you, you yourself would never change, only mentally would you deteriorate. It's an awful, horrible feeling that makes you feel very uneasy with this whole new lifestyle you're about to take on.
Who knows though, along side this, you get to live with three females in the same house, all a part of your 'family.' There's the little cat girl Chen, who seems bouncy and cheerful enough to always keep you in high spirits as long as she's around and not playing with her friends. Then there's the helpful lady Ran, who is always showing her kindness; to a fault you'd even say, and is in fact extremely loyal to the mature woman, Yukari, who also happens to be your master now, as she's assigned you as her newest shikigami along side Ran. She must have a ton of power, being able to sustain not just two shikigami, but a shikigami who's also powerful enough to have her own shikigami. You haven't seen too much of her though, just how eccentric she can be sometimes. Hopefully that will change later, but apparently, as you've heard from Ran, Yukari likes to sleep a lot, and whenever she isn't sleeping, there's a potential for her to be out drinking too...you wonder how that effects Chen.
Ah, but you're not the odd one out here. You too, are just as youkai as the rest of them. You didn't know this until it was pointed out to you, then promptly drilled into your skull several times before you finally broke down and accepted it. Thing is, there's nothing that really separates you from being as human as any other until Yukari wakes up and supposedly 'awakens' the youkai blood sleeping inside you, or something to that effect. You don't even know what type of youkai you are. Or what kind of past you've been living before you were...born. You don't know, the whole prospect of being youkai is so forgien to you due to the fact that you remember your life as an ordinary human so very well. Maybe more will be revealed when your 'youkai blood' is awakened, since it's apparently very dormant in you right now.
Other then that though...not too much has happened. It's all been within the space of...maybe a day so far? You're not sure. Maybe two, who knows. You don't know how long you were down in that netherworld place, nor do you want to dwell on it too hard, because your memories of that place were none too pleasent, apart from when Youmu and Yuyuko treated you pretty nicely and you even made good friends with them. Yuyuko even said some things about you and Youmu...even though Youmu herself is incredibly enigmatic to you, but at least what you two share is something very important; subordinatehood. Is that a word? You're not sure, even though you teach in college. Or, well, taught anyways. Maybe your knowledge of the outside world could be of some use to Gensokyo, in more ways then one. Yuyuko's mansion was pretty barren of modern stuff, apart from her...kitchen. If the rest of Gensokyo is that way, then...
Oh no. You're going off on a tangent again. That's pretty bad when you can do that with your train of thought. You don't know how much time has passed, and, hilariously enough, even though you couldn't stand using sundials, the fact that the sky never changes is hampering your ability to tell time correctly. You could've been laying here on the porch for hours, never knowing. You wonder how time actually gets told here. It's like everyone here has been living in this stasis for so long, their bodies just readjusted to it. It's a wonder how they manage to get by in Gensokyo while time is actually moving out there. Perhaps...
...oh, jeez, tangent. Again. You better think of something else to do. Your mind is catching a weird ADHD disease and it might end badly if you let it continue on like this.
[ ] Maybe Yukari is awake now...
[ ] Go search the mansion for Ran or Chen
[ ] A nice, brisk walk around the outside of the mansion will do it
[ ] There's still a feeling resembling sunlight out here...maybe you can nap...
[ ] ...or maybe you can just nap in your room
Been focusing on my other story because it's drawing it's conclusion (currently it's about two, maybe 3 updates from completion) and I really want to get a completed story under my belt, even if it's small.
That said, I did just stick a very difficult question on anon's head in that story so this gives me time.
I'll admit, I did kinda forget this story because of that and I deeply apologize. I'll see about updating tomorrow, if I'm not feeling too empty of confidence.
I just realized how long it's been since my last update. So sorry. I really should pay more attention to this.
[x] A nice, brisk walk around the outside of the mansion will do it
As you walk around the grounds outside the mansion, your thoughts empty themselves, becoming devoid of any stressful material that you may have possibly been thinking too much about. Looking around, the foilage and earth around the mansion looks and feels very real, cluing you into the fact that this area might just be more or less 'sealed off' from the rest of the world, like this Gensokyo place is. You still can't find yourself believing such a place exists yet, since you had never heard of it in the outside world until now, and you were a college professor! Well, okay, geography wasn't particularly one of your strong suits, but you're quite positive there's no place in the actual world that has a spot of land called Gensokyo. There's an awful lot you have to learn about this place, like, what it looks like for one.
So far, all you know about it is that it might have a lot of very olden style buildings, like the mansions you've seen thus far, and potentially might have the kind of geography you see here now...maybe. Urgh, it's too early to be assuming such things. You really wish Yukari would wake up already. It's not nice to leave you hanging with so many questions floating around your head. Maybe some of this stuff Ran could've answered but, hey, kinda too late for that now. Although, she seems very helpful, if a bit...innocent. She's very mature, despite that, however. At least, she appears to be. It would be nice if she was, but on the flipside, many of your colleagues back at college were very stuffy and you wouldn't want to think of Ran like that. But...her shikigami, Chen, appears very lively and playful, so maybe Ran couldn't be too bad.
Chen, likewise, comes off as very innocent. Both Ran and Chen appearing this way makes you wonder, Yukari couldn't be as bad as she looks, could she? Then again, Ran seems to be very tired of her antics. There's also no telling what Yukari does behind their backs either. Yukari also looks very mature but at the same time, rather childish and selfish in her ways, not to mention mischievious. You still have no idea why she brought you here. Or why you had to be her shikigami. It might make sense later, but you can't very well prepare for things in the future if you're left completely in the dark. Her intentions are a total mystery to you and she seems intent on keeping it that way. Nonetheless, she seems very, very powerful. From what you were told, there's really nothing you could do against her, so all you can do is follow her orders and try trusting her for now, as much as you can.
...ugh. The walk has been doing nothing. Your head is starting to hurt from all these complications arising. In an attempt to steer yourself from going down the wrong path mentally, you quickly climb the nearest tree and stand on the highest branch you can stand on. Looking around, the sky appears to be a bit brighter, and the air somewhat lighter. Not too much of a different in height and yet it feels very noticable. You kinda wonder what would happen if you could touch the giant boundary, but something inside you tells you that's a potentially bad idea. There's seriously no telling what might transpire. This is an unknown power we're talking about.
As you hop down the tree, it occurs to you that yes, this is natural earth, with natural plants. It's like you're not even in an entirely different world. The air in the netherworld that you were sent to felt very stale and like it was choking you, and the ground felt lifeless despite the many cherry clossom trees blooming there. Here, it feels much like...home. The ground is real, the soil full of life, giving the plants their needed nutrients to survive. That's when it strikes you; the weather. Where's the weather? How do these plants survive without the natural rainfall that occurs back in the real world? Does Yukari or Ran seriously water all this ground? Or...maybe...this is a result of Yukari's amazing time stopping power. But...no, you can feel the life in these plants. They move naturally, things flow like normal out here. As if...time here is totally separate from the rest of the world, not necessarily 'stopped.'
...this space is very weird. Something about it just reeks of bad omens.
After finding your way out of the miniature forest surrounding the mansion, you realize you have no method of telling time...if such a thing does at all exist in this dimension. You have no idea how much time has actually passed since you decided to go for a walk, or went to reflect on the porch for that matter. You feel a lot more uncomfortable now. This space feels very unknown, and nothing seems to work the way it's meant to. It's just filled your mind with more and more questions. This Yukari person...she must be more then just powerful. It's almost...god-like.
Meh, enough deep thought. You've done it enough for one day. If you want answers, then seek the means to find them, don't just sit there pondering about them and ending up with more. Taking action is the best course of...well, action.
[ ] Maybe Yukari is awake now
[ ] Go seek out Ran for a little talk
[ ] Perform some experiments on the surrounding land
[ ] Try and exit the boundary
I know this update should probably be longer but I didn't want to fill it with unnecessary details.
Good news, I'm making a steadfast recovery thanks to the hospital visit. I should fine in a few days.
I'll write either tomorrow or the next day, equating to maybe sometime in 10 hours or 34 hours. Depending. If anyone wants to write in on what they'd like to talk to Ran about in specific apart from the implied, go ahead, you got some time now.
You suppose you'll have a little chat with Ran. You have a few questions that need to be asked. Trying to kill time in this enclosed space is a little hard anyways. Just when is Yukari going to wake up? Oh well. Nothing that can be helped. You're afraid of what might happen if you were to get Yukari of all people angry. Best not risk it. You walk into the mansion and start looking around. Come to think of it, where might Ran be right at the moment? You start by knocking on her door, but she isn't in her room clearly after waiting a little bit. Looking around the kitchen, she seems to be absent there too. Hmm, now it's getting strange. You decide to explore the mansion a little.
In an instant, you're lost. You wander into an unrecognizable area, look behind you, and find that where you came from, you don't really remember at all. You should've brought breadcrumbs. The more you wander, the more lost you feel, and the more detached from the rest of the world you end up. No matter how many times you turn around and backtrack, the scenery further changes. Going into doors leads to more halls, and the halls themselves lead to more doors. Even keeping your hand on the right wall the entire time always following it, you see no end in sight, and further more, you feel like you're only getting farther and farther away from the exit, rather then closer.
At this moment, the walls feel as if they're closing in on you. You know they're not, but it sure damn well feels like it, you know? No matter how much you try to steer your thoughts from that awful idea, it just gets stronger and stronger. The feeling of being in a never ending maze, the train of thought leading into depression, anxiety, insanity...knowing that no matter how hard you try, no matter how much you work, the end never comes, and it only continues to drift further and further away. As if it's indirectly telling you that you'll never amount to nothing, and that your efforts are ultimately useless in the eyes of this challenge. As if it's trying to say...it's absolutely hopeless. No matter what.
Now you feel it. You're certain those walls are closing in! You feel crushed, squished, squashed, crunched, nothing can save you now.
No! You don't want it to end like this! This is miserable!
You can't, you just...can't...
You open your eyes. Upon turning around, you find Ran there, in an apron, what she's wearing apart from that is also a worried face. Looking past her, you find yourself in front of the kitchen.
What...what just happened?
"Satoya...are you okay?" Ran continues. The worried look on her face is no act, that's for sure. Even her tone of voice feels concerned for your well being.
"Ah, well, yeah, I'm fine, I think..."
"Well, that's good. You were mumbling to yourself and ignoring me for a while, I thought something had happened..."
You're not sure what you were mumbling. You're not sure if you really want to know, either.
"Uhh...w-well, don't worry about me. I think I'm good. What were you doing though?"
"Hm? Oh, I was putting up laundry on the clothesline. I came back in because I forgot a basket." Huh, forgot a whole basket full of laundry? How does that work?
"I see...well, I did want to ask you something, actually."
"Really? I'm all ears then."
[ ] How in the world does the wildlife here work?
[ ] Do you know where Chen goes?
[ ] Is Yukari awake yet?
[ ] Do...strange things happen here often?
[ ] Do you need help with that laundry?
[x] Do you need help with that laundry?
[x] Curiously... Do strange things happen around here often? What I mean to say is, have you ever found yourself lost despite having lived here for so long?
Assuming Ran's interests have been piqued...
[X] How in the world does the wildlife... function around here, considering time technically seem to have stopped persay? May seem somewhat silly for me to hold onto something from my old life as a professor but I've not been this intrigued in a long time...
[X] Oh hey I haven't seen Chen as of late, where does she usually go when you're busy?
Just trying to type in some life and personality into the options; whether I've failed or not is another matter.
[x] Do you need help with that laundry?
-[x] Curiously... Do strange things happen around here often? What I mean to say is, have you ever found yourself lost despite having lived here for so long?
[X] How in the world does the wildlife... function around here, considering time technically seem to have stopped persay? May seem somewhat silly for me to hold onto something from my old life as a professor but I've not been this intrigued in a long time...
-[X] Oh hey I haven't seen Chen as of late, where does she usually go when you're busy?
"Well..." you start off with, "did you need help with that laundry, first?" Ran seems a bit surprised by your sudden offer.
"Uh? Oh, you certainly don't have to, Satoya. I can handle it myself."
"You don't have to so nice, Ran. I'm pretty much on the same level as you, right? We should work together." Ran then looks away a bit, you can't exactly judge the look on her face during this.
"I wouldn't really say that since you're Lady Yukari's special choice..."
"Oh! Nothing! Please ignore what I just said. Come, I'll show you where the laundry is hung." You're left standing there somewhat stunned for the time being before finally following Ran out. You're not sure what she meant by that, and while you're curious, you don't know if you're really meant to know.
The area that the laundry is hung out to dry is a bit like the area you and Ran trained in just earlier, but a little less wide open. The forest surrounding looks a lot thicker too. It reminds you of what you really wanted to ask Ran, but that'll have to wait just a little while longer. You notice Ran is trying to give you instructions on what to do.
"Satoya, are you listening?"
"Ah, yeah, I am. You shouldn't have to worry so much though, I've hung laundry plenty of times in my life."
"Really? Lady Yukari always told me that people from the outside aren't used to doing things themselves because they have lots of shikigami doing it for them..." You blink a bit, this is the first you've heard of it.
"Eh? I don't quite get it, but there's no shikigami in the outside world, as far as I know..." Ran then looks at you puzzled.
"Then what are those large box-like things with glass on one side that glows with an eerie light?" You kind of stare at Ran for a moment. Is she...talking about a television set?
"Uhh...well, can you be a bit more specific?"
"A box-like thing! Box-like! It glows a weird colorful light when you 'turn it on', Lady Yukari said!" Ran seems to be getting a little too into this. You've taught lessons before, but this is well beyond what you were ever told to teach.
"A-Ah...are you talking about a TV?" Ran stares back at you for a few moments. You're not sure what she's thinking until she looks up.
"Is that what they're called? A...Tee...Vee..." She's now looking down at the ground, thinking, you guess. This is so awkward, you feel like an alien. "Th-Then! What...what's that light for? It doesn't do anything strange...does it?"
"Uhhh...well, no, it doesn't...it's meant to display programs and such that you watch." Ran seems intrigued again. Whether or not this is a good thing you've yet to find out...
"Programs? What are those?"
"Uhmm...they're like...blocks of time periods where a certain thing is shown on the screen and runs for that block. It can be anything you'd want to watch, like...a news program, or a game show, or even animation."
"Yeah...you...you do have that here, right?" No harm in checking! Ran stands back up straight after you ask that though.
"Yes, we do, but...do they really show things like that?"
"Yeah...all kinds of stuff..." You just sort of...stare at Ran as she appears to be thinking all this through.
"Very interesting..." You could say that's one way to describe this very conversation to you.
"Oh! Yukari's probably talking about things like a washing machine and dryer when she talks about people not hanging their clothes up."
"Washing...machine...? Dryer...?" You look back at Ran, you've completely and totally lost her again. This is so incredibly awkward.
"Uhh...y-yeah. First people put clothes into the washing machine and it washes the clothes for them. Then they put the clothes in the dryer and it dries them."
"Wow...that sounds incredibly convenient. How do they work?"
"Well, basically the clothes are stuffed in until a load is reached..."
"Then once closed, they spin the clothes around, the washing machine spray water and soap in while the dryer heats up..."
"The washing machine spins more vigorously to soap up all the areas then rinses it and spins again while the dryer tumbles the clothes around a-"
"U-Uh!! No! No no no! Clothes aren't meant to be treated that way!!" You have to step back a bit from Ran's frantic flailing about. She's very serious about her attire! "D-Doing all that would destroy the precious fragile foundation of the clothing and rip it apart! I would never allow that to happen!" You a bit taken back by this sudden display until you ask something.
"Ran...did you...did you make all the clothes here yourself?" Ran freezes up suddenly before hiding her now flushed face behind her rather large sleeves.
"Aha, I figured as much. The designer cares about the clothes they worked hard on most. The clothes in the outside world are usually mass produced so they're made to weather such things." Ran looks back up at you, still embarrassed though as she continued hiding most of her face behind those massive sleeves of hers.
"Yeah, basically large machines are made to sow up and produce hundreds of pieces of clothing a day to meet large scale demands. Ran pokes her head back out from behind her clothing, she looks genuinely impressed.
"H-H-Hundreds of pieces of clothing per day?!"
"Well, that might be exaggerating a bit, I'm not sure, but it's pretty close to that."
"That's amazing!! I wish I could see one at work...oh! Satoya, if we ever go out into the outside world, you must show me one!" You can't help but smile a bit nervously.
"Y-You imply we'll ever see the outside world again..."
"Huh? Oh, that's right...there are times where Lady Yukari will occasionally go outside the barrier for any particular reason, though it's usually important. That was how she got the invitation out to you, Satoya."
"Oh...I guess that does make sense." You were wondering how you got it in the first place. It did seem a bit weird. Though, she must be a mastermind at sneaking around. Then again, considering her power, that might not be too much of a surprise.
"So...does that mean she's taken you out there a few times?"
"Only twice. She has yet to take Chen out there as well. So I'm not very experienced with the outside world yet."
"When was the last time you went to the outside world with her?"
"Hmm...80 years ago, I believe? It wasn't that long." Your jaw just dropped. You beg to differ quite frankly. You were thinking that maybe you could escape this twisted world if Yukari ever brought you back into the outside world and you just avoided being taken back, but at this rate, everything you had out there would be gone by that time. Ohhh god.
"I....I see. Guess I'm staying for a while..."
"Oh, speaking of you staying, Lady Yukari might be awake now. Come this way, please." Ran heads back into the mansion, you want to stop her because you still had some unanswered questions but...ah, looks like you weren't given the chance to. You didn't even hang up any laundry. What a weird talk you just had.
You head back into the mansion, following Ran. You stop behind her when you notice she's intently staring at Yukari's door. You're about to say something but she shushes you. Yeesh. What's the big hold up? Is she awa-
It hits you like a ton of bricks. Hell, it even feels like a ton of bricks. Wait...it is a ton of bricks. What?
"Oops...that must've been the wrong gap. I meant to use confetti, sorry Satoya~"
You pick yourself up out of the jumbled wreckage, more or less including your now picasso styled bone structure. Neck bone is connected to the arm bone, arm bone is connected to the foot bone...
"Satoya, are you okay?"
"He'll be fine~ He is the shikigami I picked after all." You notice Yukari giving you a certain look before she turns away. After you get yourself back together, you're finally in the mood to start stirring things up.
"Okay, you know how bad that could've been? I could've died!!"
"Oh nonsense, Satoya. You're a youkai~ You can't die~" You feel extremely irritated, suddenly.
"Rrrgh...I keep telling you people I'm a perfectly normal human being. I've aged as normal, my doctor has diagnosed me to be normal, I certainly FEEL normal, unlike you crazy people, I-"
"Do you want me to show you?" You stop suddenly, you were hoping she wasn't going to say that. She turns around, giving you a smile, a cold one however, with the look of maturity you've long sensed within her, despite her attitude. "If you really want to challenge it, Satoya, I can show you just how deep the rabbit hole goes. What knows nothing can only understand nothing, alone. You're very unaware of the sleeping power held within you...your innocence is exactly what I love about you too~"
You nearly facefault, her astonishing ability to transition from one end of the spectrum to the other never ceases to amaze you.
"G-Get to the point. How do you intend on showing me...?"
"It's quite simple, Satoya. Just give the word, I'll perform the ceremony that will awaken the powers lying dormant within you up until now. It won't all come to you immediately, you must understand that, but once I'm done, you'll eventually come to know the true Satoya, the Satoya that's been longing to be free all this time~"
You stand there for a moment, giving this some deep thought. Ran is looking a bit worried, which doesn't exactly fill you with confidence. Yukari's giving you that usual mischievous grin of hers that you really cannot stand. But...she's not only you only ticket out of here, but your only ticket to understanding this whole mess. Of course, she's given you the choice; you guess there's no immediate harm in putting it off for a little while.
[ ] "Show me then, show me what I really am."
[ ] "Can you give me a little time to prepare first?"
[X] "This ceremony... is it dangerous?"
[X] "Can you give me a little time to prepare first?"
The way I see it, Satoya is not really in denial but in terror at the thought of his previously known life to be an entire lie. That all the effort he's done during that time had been for nothing; especially if nothing spectacular or memorable had happen. To learn that he is some sort of monster and the prospect of that suddenly be thrusted upon him may break his mind which, for the most part, had been rather inflexible despite certain hints staring right at his face. Said hints even conversing with him as well as providing essentials.
While Yukari may not actually make it take effect all at once as she said it wouldn't happen as such, it may be too much for Satoya to mentally handle.
Who's to say he wouldn't suddenly convert into nothing more than some foaming guard dog in a humanoid form. So much for any meaningful conversations for Ran or heck anything else for that matter.
Is it just me or is Ran getting a lot of love as of late? Not a bad thing but still, quite curious.
[X] "This ceremony... is it dangerous?"
[X] "Can you give me a little time to prepare first?"
"So...this ceremony...is it dangerous?" You wanted to make sure first, though honestly if it was, you probably would've been told so.
"No, no~ Not at all, you might feel weird and tingly afterwards but it goes away with time. Of course, when it happens, your levels will be greatly heightened, but that I will explain afterwards~" You look down for a moment, which Ran uses to quickly try to assure you.
"Satoya, don't worry. Lady Yukari will awaken your inner self through a gradual process, you won't feel it all at once. You'll only start to feel it over time. It all just starts with a simple unlocking ceremony." You look over at Ran for a bit. You're not sure how you feel, so your expression is kind of blank right now.
"Yeah, I know. I just...I think I need a little time. Can you give me a bit to prepare for this?" Yukari seems to hesitate for a moment before giving you that creepy smile you've come to hate.
"Sure. Stop by the basement whenever you're ready then, I'll be waiting~" Before you can say much else, Yukari closes her eyes and sinks into an open gap in the floor that closes once she's all the way in.
What are you about to go through...
You walk out into the main room, sitting down to think about things. It's all so much to take in at once. To be swept away from your normal life you've been living peacefully up until now, to just be suddenly told you're not human. That has to be a joke, right? You'd think you'd know yourself best...at least, that's how you've always thought. You don't know anymore. You don't know who you are and that's potentially what's scaring you most right now.
"Satoya..." Ran seems worried about you again, but she doesn't seem to have much left to say. What's been said has been said.
"I'm...I'm alright. This is just so sudden, to be told one day...you're not who you thought you were..."
"...it's understandable. I was like that too, when I met Lady Yukari." You perk up suddenly and then look over at Ran.
"You were human at one point too?!" Ran gives you a nervous smile.
"Ah...no, sorry. Not like that, I'm sad to say." You give a great big sigh. Someone you thought you could relate to. Oh well. "But, what I mean to say is that when I met Lady Yukari, I was a completely different person myself. I didn't really know obediance until she abruptly forced it onto me." Well, that sounds interesting.
"Huh? What did she do?" Ran shakes her head at you, however.
"I won't go into details, but Lady Yukari taught me a part of myself long ago I was afraid to accept as well, but eventually I grew to overcome that fear and I believe you too will eventually succeed in putting it behind you."
"...thanks Ran. You sound incredibly wise and smart, you know."
"Ah, thank you. I just simply wish to help you with this is all, it is Lady Yukari's wish to see you well and over this." Ran sounds like she knows Yukari like the back of her hand. You're not sure how long the two have known each other, though, but it must be a very long time.
"Huh...is that so...well, if you believe she wants to see me through this, then I'll have to trust her myself. Though I still don't know how I feel about becoming someone's slave all of a sudden..."
"Is it that much of a bother? She is providing you with free shelter and food, after all." You sigh a bit, that is kinda true. Just like in the real world, you work for what you need. But the whole slavery business still seem odd to you.
"I guess you're right, but still...slavery and the like went out of style in the outside world a long time ago..." Ran gives you a bit of a smile when you look over at her.
"Then don't think of it as slavery. Think of her as something like a parent."
...ugh. Somehow you felt better thinking of being her slave.
"...ahaha, I...I think I'll pass on that."
"Well, whenever you are ready, I will escort you to the basement as per Lady Yukari's request. Take as much time as you need."
[ ] Anything you want to do before the ceremony, otherwise...
[ ] Tell Ran you're ready
[x] Give one final prayer to those you knew in your old life.
[x] Tell Ran you're ready.
You sigh a bit, and start a couple breathing exercises. You have to get yourself ready for this. If everything they're saying is true...you'll be permanently abandoning everything you ever knew in your previous life, starting completely anew with a new world, a new body, and a new life.
You were a pretty simple person, grew up to be the only child of a modest family. Come to think of it, the only family you ever really heard about were your parents. You were told the rest of your family was 'elsewhere' and you didn't particularly get what that meant. Your parents passed away early on too, when you were still 18. You were very smart however, and you found your own place to live and eventually started teaching as a college professor. The people you met along the way were all mostly uninteresting, but that's not to say you didn't treasure the company. All those people you knew...you wonder what they're thinking now? Now that you're long gone and never coming back, it seems. Not the same, anyways.
You're not sure what you miss more actually. The people you had or just your general lifestyle. It felt so simple, you took it for granted. It was kind of lonely but having all this shoved on you all at once makes the new company feel negilible in some cases. There were only a few notable people back inthe outside world though, only two people you could really call friends, too. One of which was an old friend from high school who went on to be this small convenience store manager, for some reason, and the other was this woman from the college you taught at, named Azusa. She was exceedingly beautiful and smart, and kind too. She taught you everything you needed to know about the campus you taught at and were forever grateful for that. She seemed to drift away from you after you got used to being there though, even if you two still occasionally talked.
Ah...a potential love interest has just been swept away by the dealings of fate, you suppose. Oh well, it's too late now...you just hope everyone and everything you know back home will be safe and happy. You can't say much about your posessions; likely to be thrown away once they realize you're not coming back. But that doesn't matter anymore. What does is that you get this ceremony over with and move on with your...new life. Or at least try to. That's about all you can do at this point without trying to crazy.
"Alright...I'm ready, Ran. Take me to Yukari."
"As you wish." Ran then quietly escorts you down into a nearby hallway, which presents itself to you as leading to a dark, enclosed stairway. From what you remember of Ran's grand tour of the mansion, this leads down into the cellar, but it's a bit darker then you remember it to be, and...isn't there a whole bunch of alcohol stored down there or something?
However, when you walk in after Ran, you notice that the cellar is empty, completely devoid of any sort of items anywhere at all apart from a few torches on the sides of the room, just a big cubical room made of cobblestone in every direction. In the middle stands Yukari.
"Welcome, Satoya...are you ready~?"
"I...I think so. But where's all the wine that was down here..."
"Don't worry, I put all the stuff elsewhere so they can be safe. We'll need as enclosed an area as possible for this~" That doesn't fill you with confidence.
"Hmm, you'll find out soon enough. Come~"
"You said this wouldn't be dangerous, right?" You say as you walk towards Yukari.
"It'll be alright, Satoya. Please have faith in Lady Yukari."
You breathe out a bit, mentalling preparing yourself for it. You're not sure if it's working. Your heart is racing. Your forehead is sweating. Your breathing is irratic. Your body is shaking. While it's all very subtle, it's all most certainly happening.
"Relax, Satoya...it'll all be over soon~"
"Y-You say it like it's so easy..."
"Hmm~ You'd be surprised." Yukari then suddenly stretches her arms outward. "Now! Gaze upon the mighty power I have been preparing for you! Come and accept my embrace~!"
Just then, all the flames on all the torches blow out all at once. It surprises you so much that it takes you a few moments to realize the room is still lit; you look down at the floor and see a giant room encompassing magic circle glowing on the floor. The structure of it....sheer brilliance! Your studies don't lie; chinese characters, english characters, japanese characters, and a few more european languages scrawled out across various points in the circle, all devoted to a different element of the spell, all merging and coming together in one fantastic orchestra.
You were never really interested in magic. Superstition and the like you never thought too hard about. This was the very moment that changed that.
Yukari's eyes are closed, deeply concentrating on her magic. Fierce winds blow around like a mighty hurricane. Yukari begins her ascent off the floor and into the air and her body begins emanating a strange, purple color. All you can do is continue to look on in amazement and gaze upon the beauty before you in her epic demonstration of her powers. Never before have you seen anything like it. You have now seen first hand just one of the many things this woman is capable of, and much less now do you doubt her sheer spirit.
After a few moments though, something goes horribly wrong, at least that's what it feels like to you. You fall to your knees and grasp your chest. It feels like it's going to explode! Your rib cage practically feels as if it's about to shatter with incredible might. What an awful pain, and it gets worse too as the feeling begins slowly spreading over your body. When it starts to more deeply encompass your body, you notice you're starting to get a little odd yellow glow, but you're in too much agonizing pain to really care. It eventually gets to the point to where all you can do is scream in horrifying torture, reduced to all fours.
You don't remember much after that. You think you prefer not to. The most you remember after that is opening your eyes as you lay helpless on the floor. The torches seem to be relit. Yukari is standing over you with Ran kneeling next to you.
First thing you notice about yourself is that...you can't move. You're weak, exhausted, tired, fatigued, whatever you want to call it, you're totally drained of any sort of energy. The other thing though, is that your chest area, particularly your heart, feels a hell of a lot different. Maybe the heart rate? You can't tell right away.
"S-Satoya...are you okay?" That worried and considerate voice is obviously Ran's. Yukari's is the smug voice that you hear next.
"Aww, it wasn't that bad~ Get up, Satoya~" Oh yeah. Easy for you to say. You old hag. "Rise and shine~" As you think that, you suddenly sink into the floor and find yourself randomly on the ceiling, falling back down to the floor, hitting it with an awful thud.
"Oh my, he really is down for the count, isn't he?" Gee, you think? You want to smack her...if you could, anyways. "Well, I entrust his well being to you for now, Ran. I guess I over did it a little, hmm~ I'll be waiting upstairs~" After a few moments, you're done wincing in pain. Seems the fall at least turned you over and you can see Ran hovering above you. She has her hands positioned above your body and they appear to be glowing a soft blue light.
"Please forgive Lady Yukari, she only means the best..."
"A-Ah...y-...yeah..." Urgh. It's so difficult to speak. Although, it's caused you to realize your voice has slightly changed. You're not sure if it sounds deeper, somewhat distorted, or what, but you might have a bit of difficulty getting what it exactly could be. Is this a result of your...unlocking or whatever?
"It is okay, I will heal you to the best of my ability. You reacted very negatively to that, though..."
"Y-...Yeah. Didn't she...say it wasn't dangerous..." Ran looks down a bit, apparently she doesn't really know the answer any better then you do. "...hmph. I can't believe it..."
"Please don't have any ill thoughts about Lady Yukari, I'm sure that when she meant it wouldn't be dangerous, that...it meant you wouldn't die. Not that you wouldn't...get hurt." That's really not any better comfort, but Ran's close defending of Yukari is turning you off of arguing against this so you just conserve your strength for now.
After about a minute of constant healing from Ran, she withdraws her hands.
"I am finished. How are you feeling?" You really want to rest a bit more. Preferably sleep. But you urge yourself up either way and get into a sitting position. You feel a lot better but hell, you ache everywhere. It's like you had a bad time sleeping a night.
"Ugh. a little sore in my everywhere but I think I'm fine. Thanks, Ran."
"Think nothing of it. Lady Yukari is waiting in upstairs." In a bit of an unexpected move, as Ran stands up, she offers you a helping hand. You're kinda stunned for a moment, and kinda touched too.
Eh, no, wait, she's just being helpful. It's not just in her nature but in her command from Yukari. Why are you surprised? You think nothing of it, as Ran told you, and get up with her help. The two of you then have a walk back upstairs.
Another thing you notice is that, despite your soreness, things seem to take a little less effort then they used to. You feel somewhat lighter and it's reflected in the slight increase in the ease of climbing the stairs. It's a small difference but for some reason, it's very noticable to you.
Of course, there she is, standing in middle of the living room outside the hall is Yukari. She seems to have fetched a parasol in the meantime you've been down there. She gives you that familiar smile you hate.
"Ah, feeling better Satoya~? I hope you're ready to go."
"...ready to go? Go where?"
"On your journey to your awakening, of course~! Your first steps towards realizing your innate abilities are of utmost importance and it would be good practice to get started right away." Ehhhh? Already? "You remember the Hakugyokurou right? I sent you there on an errand earlier. We'll be spending a bit of time there. Ran honey will be coming too~"
"You are ready, right~?"
[ ] "Eh, yeah, ready as I'll ever be."
[ ] "Not particularly..."
[ ] "What about Chen?"
[ ] "Would it be alright if we went somewhere else?"
You feel like you're just trying to postpone the inevitable but you're as ready as you'll ever be at this point so it might not hurt to ask.
"Hm? Well if you want her to come along then maybe you should go find her~?" You're a bit puzzled by that, what does she expect you to do?
"Uhh...find her? How exactly?"
"You go out and search for her, silly~"
Does she know how long this could take? You haven't the slightest clue!
"Shh~" Yukari quiets her other shikigami down and looks at you. "We'll be waiting for you at the Hakugyokurou, if you can't find it, Chen will show you the way."
"Now, off you go~!"
Just like that, you fall through the floor suddenly, shouting for Ran's help, but it's hopeless in the end. As you fall down the endless purple abyss, you have to wonder to yourself just how you get into these messes. This isn't what you wanted to do at all. Dammit Yukari.
You hit the ground with a...soft rustling. You get caught by a few branches of a tree, creating a little hammock for you. Your fall could've been much worse, you could've hit the bottom with a rather sickening splat, or worse, you could've hit the branches wrong and get yourself torn up.
You hop off the tree and get a good look at your surroundings. You appear to be in middle of an ordinary forest. There's not much to it, even the foliage is somewhat thin. But there's something off about it...every direction looks the same. No matter which way you look, it's practically going into the same looking area. This is no good. You'll have to rely on your other senses.
Looking up, you find the sun high in the sky. Wow, you actually missed seeing a normal blue tint to it. There seems to be no clouds. You'd wager it's somewhere close to noon.
You then lower your head back down and close your eyes. You can feel a gentle breeze coming from the right side of you, heading left. In front of you, you can hear what sounds like lightly rushing water, a stream maybe. Behind you, you get this vague smell of what seems to be honey coming from that direction.
After opening your eyes again, you've come to the realization that a couple of your senses have been significantly heightened, particularly your hearing and smelling. This must be a part of the youkai process. You almost think you might enjoy being somewhat super-human.
Enough about that though, you have a mission to accomplish. The sooner you find Chen, the better. You'd rather not walk around alone when you're still about as physically weak as a human.
[ ] In the direction the wind heads
[ ] In the direction the wind comes from
[ ] In the direction of the water
[ ] In the direction of the honey
It might be easier to pick up more scents from the headwind then the tailwind. Forgoing the other two directions, you decide to head in the direction the gentle breeze comes from. It's unlikely Chen would be near water anyways, she is still a cat at heart after all.
The gentle breeze feels good after being in two terribly artificially designed places. The area where Yukari's mansion is feels weird to say the least and the Hakugyokurou, ugh, you don't understand how 'training' there would do you any good, the air over there is disgusting, stagnant and filled with death. It's going to be hard staying at your absolute best there considering any energy you seem to expend there doesn't want to naturally come back. Perhaps that's to be expected of the underworld, you only hope your new 'youkai unlocking' has done something to help you with it, though you can only hope.
The forest doesn't seem to change even after a while of walking. The breeze has also seemed to disappear. You get this awful feeling this was the wrong way to go. Not good. You stick to your decision though and keep walking down the direction you chose. You have a good sense of direction so you think you can head back to where you were sent to in case you ever get lost.
You stop though and hide a bit behind a tree upon coming to the edge of the forest and discovering life. Peeking around, you look upon an interesting sight.
"Oh come on, it'll definitely work this time!"
"Like the last few times, Cirno...?"
"Yeah, you sent Chen into some trees before..."
"I've fixed that! When I hit the other side of the totter with a heavy enough ice block, Chen will go soaring faster then any of us ever believed! She'll go at mach 50, just watch!"
...well...on the upside, you've found Chen. She seems to be happily sittong on one end of the teeter totter, minding her own business. Now might be a good time to intervene actually, the blue fairy the other two called Cirno seems to be flying up and preparing an attack.
"Cheeen! It's time to go!" You shout out as you walk into view. Immediately Chen notices your presence and hops off the totter, running over to.
"W-Wait!" You had good timing, a couple seconds after Chen hops off, a massive ice block crushes the other side of the totter, even as far as making a small crater. Poor Cirno looks distraught. "My...my experiment..." Well, one thing's for sure, Chen would've been flying fairly fast.
Chen meanwhile, runs up and jumps into you, giving you a flying hug. It gives you a rather simplistic and happy feeling when you catch her. You've never really gotten along with children before, so it's really, really nice that Chen seems to have warmed up to you so quickly. The other two, a pink haired girl with wings and a blonde girl in a black dress both walk up to you after the gratifying hug.
"Are you Satoya? My name is Mystia, it's an honor to meet you." The girl with wings lifts up her skirt slightly in curtesy, she seems well behaved.
"I'm Rumia! Chen has been talking an awful lot about you!" Well now, you just feel plain embarrassed after that.
"Ahaha, I'm not really that great am I~?"
"Not really but it's nice to see something new happening at Chen's home!"
Previous embarrassment gone. Switching to despair mode.
"R-Rumia..." Even Chen is a little taken back by Rumia's bluntness. Mystia too seems to be looking away. Though, Cirno is still in the background lamenting the loss of her precious teeter totter. "Oh! That's right, Satoya, you said it was time to go, right?"
"Oh, yeah...uhh, well, basically Yukari and Ran are waiting for us at the Hakugyokurou and Yukari wanted me to fetch you I guess." You're not really sure how to put it. Maybe it's the overwhelming dissatisfaction from being called 'not that great', even though you already knew that.
"Oh! Let me lead the way then, I know the perfect route!"
"Take care then, Chen. Don't worry, we'll help Cirno with this one way or another."
"Yeah! And don't let Satoya go pedo for ya either!"
You're most certainly unsure of how you feel about Rumia as of right now. But as for yourself, you want to turn to stone and forget you existed.
A short while later, you're walking through the plains together with Chen. She's been using this whole to try and make up for Rumia's...bluntness.
"Please don't let what Rumia said bother you, she's just uhh...unique."
"I said don't worry about it Chen, enough is enough." Of course, you haven't really said anything about it either to resolve it, and quite frankly, you don't want to. You've only just met Chen, saying something bad about one of her friends would be out of the question as of right now.
"Satoya..." You sigh a bit, you're gonna have to make some stuff up, but feeding white lies to a child isn't harmful, so you pay it no mind.
"I'm fine Chen, it's alright. What she said didn't bother me at all, so cheer up, okay?" Chen looks up at you a bit sadly.
"Are you sure...?"
"Yes, yes, don't worry about it." After you say that, Chen gathers up some courage to put on a happy smile.
"Alright then!" You can't help but smile back. Among the simplest pleasures are making a child like Chen happy. It's so easy and yet, feels so intensely gratifying. Not to mention that she's kinda cute.
The walk seems to be a long one. The plains seem to stretch on for miles. In the distance though you can see a small village, apparently. There's houses clumped up all together. You suppose your route goes through there. It still seems a nice ways away, however.
[ ] Ask Chen about her friends
[ ] Point out the village
[ ] Start talking about Ran
[ ] Just some miscellaneous small talk will do
[ ] The best part about a walk is how silent it is
Sorry about the lack of updates, been swamped with work recently, and it doesn't seem like it'll be letting up anytime soon. :\
[x] Ask Chen about her friends
Well, since you've met them, you may as well ask about them. The closer you are to Chen's friends, the closer you are to Chen herself.
"So, those were the friends you play with often, right?" Chen quite gleefully answers you, appearing happy you asked.
"Oh, yes! Chen has lots of fun with her friends! We play lots of games together!" You just hope it's not games like the one you caught them 'playing' so often.
"Oh, really? What kind of games?" Chen looks up and counts on her fingers as she lists of the many ways she has fun with her group.
"Uhhm, hide and seek is pretty popular, so is tag, let's see...oh! We'll play catch on occasion too...sometimes Cirno and Rumia like to play pranks on people too though...uhh, jump rope is pretty nice too. Oh, and sometimes we do a little bullet play too!" It all sounded like typical children stuff until then.
"Uh? Bullet play?"
"Yeah, we stand at equal distances from each other and try to hit the others with small bullets formed with magic. It's nothing dangerous though and it's a whole lot of fun!" You're kind of impressed, even the children here in this land knows magic. And then here you are totally lacking any sort of it at all. You feel awfully...small. Oh well.
"I'm not sure how fun it actually is but I'd like to see it happen one of these days. I've only seen a little bit of the magic used here and already I'm pretty interested." Chen uses this chance to grab your attention with something intriguing.
"Really? Chen can show you some of her black magic now!" You stop in your tracks and look over at the little cat girl.
"Eh? Right now?" Chen eagerly nods her head. She seems pumped for this. You suppose you can't very well turn her down, besides, you're interested in seeing some of this 'black magic' anyways. "Well, alright. What're you gonna show me then?"
"Just watch!" Chen takes a few steps back away from you and faces back to you. She then closes her eyes and puts her hands forward towards each other. As they slowly part, a tiny red glow can be seen inside until it sparks into a small flame. How cute.
"Ooh, that's pretty impressive Chen." Chen opens her eyes back up and smiles back at you.
"Master Ran taught me everything I know about magic! I'm not very strong, especially when I'm not around her, but I've been training every day to become just like her!" The little tyke really looks up to her master. It's pretty reassuring; youkai as beastly as Ran and Chen have such a strong air of humanity about them that if they weren't sporting animal ears and tails, you'd very likely mistake them for actual humans too.
"I'm sure you'll get there sooner or later Chen. You have Ran teaching you, after all. I think I have a much longer road ahead of myself before I can get anywhere close to that." Chen then seems to look back into her flame, almost forelongingly, it seems...
"Yeah...I'm sure you'll enjoy being taught by Master Ran too..."
"Is something wrong, Chen...?" Chen shakes her head and fully parts her hands, dispersing the flame. She then looks back at you with a cheerful smile, erasing the previous solemn moment.
"Let's keep going! We a have long walk ahead of us so we shouldn't stop too long. Master Ran and Master Yukari are waiting!" You don't get much else say as Chen suddenly runs off towards the village you spied earlier. You're kind of worried, but you're not one to force a kid to talk if they don't want to. Still though...what did she mean by that, you wonder?
A short while later, you finally catch up with Chen, who's stopped in middle of the large group of houses. When you stop, you discover that you're not very short of breath at all, despite nearly sprinting after Chen for a good, long distance, possibly a few hundred meters. You're honestly surprised, but you leave that speculation up for later.
"Ch-Chen, what...what's this place...?" You ask the feline, looking around. The place seems desolate and deserted. There's also an odd air about it. Not like the one in the Hakugyokurou, but more like where Yukari lives...wherever that is.
"This is the magical village of Mayohiga, Satoya. It rests in a unique place covering the entire boundary that surrounds Gensokyo." You look back at Chen after looking around.
"So it's kinda like Yukari's pad? Is this where we live?" Chen shakes her head.
"Close, but not quite! While Mayohiga is a part of the barrier, it's not really inside it like our house is." It's so confusing, it's giving you headaches. How the hell would you put that on a map now...? "Mayohiga is place where wanderers from both sides get spirited away and lost, due to the structure of the village."
"Uhh...lost?" A moment after you finish saying that, an endearing, yet unnerving grin forms on Chen's face.
"I'll show you..." Just then, Chen doubles back and starts sprinting away from you! It really takes you off guard, so you have a slow and fumbling reaction to it.
"Ch-Chen! Wait!!" Oh man, this isn't good, if you lost her, not only would Ran and Yukari possibly be mad, but hell, you'd be lost too; you haven't an idea on where to go from here.
You chase Chen down one of the streets until she suddenly turns into an alleyway. Much to your surprise, when you come around the corner to look down it, there's a clear dead end...with Chen nowhere in sight. You step back a bit and look up. She couldn't have jumped out, she's not on the rooftops, and if she flew out, you'd have seen her from here. Ohh man oh man, what the hell just happened here?
You decide that staying put isn't the best strategy right now and hop to it. Running through the village, it really appears desolate, deserted, and complete devoid of any life. No, that's not true...you sense a lot of life in this village, or rather...is it the village itself that's alive?
You skid to a halt when you come across this revelation. It causes you to look around once more. It's all the same...studying one of the houses, you could swear you've passed by it not once, not twice, probably...more then four times now. You suddenly realize what Chen meant. This village is a natural one dimensional version of relativity, there's no exit, things loop in impossible ways, there doesn't seem to be a way out dictated by logic.
Deja vu is overcoming you. You felt like this back in Yukari's mansion too. You're afraid you might have to start getting used to it, lest you become a part of a mad mobius strip. This time you need to stay calm. Ran isn't here to pull you out of insanity this time. That's what you want to say, but yet again it seems like the houses are all closing in on you. The funky air about this place certainly doesn't help.
Right now, you need to find Chen.
[ ] Stay put and keep calling for Chen
[ ] Walk around the village some
[ ] Check inside the houses
[ ] Break down and cry
You aren't about to wander off again. Not this time. Last time you did that, you nearly cracked. But even though it feels like the world is shutting you in an eternal prison, you have a job to do, a mission to fulfill. God damn, you may be new to this shikigami business but you aren't about to fail at it so easily.
"Cheeeen!!!" You call out to the little girl you lost not too long ago. "Come out! I know you're hiding somewhere!" She knows how this village works, she just told you. In fact, she set this up. You know she's around, watching you somewhere. "Come on, this isn't funny anymore!"
Sheesh, she must've gotten this from Yukari. Little children always have a mischievious side to them.
"Chen! Chen!!" You got no responce, no matter how much and how loud you yell. There has to be another way, someway to entice her to come out...
Master Ran taught me everything I know about magic!
I'm sure you'll enjoy being taught by Master Ran too...
"Chen! If you don't come out...I'm telling Ran you were being a bad girl...!"
Just then you suddenly sense something behind you. You quickly about face, and find Chen standing there, looking guilty.
"Please don't tell Master Ran...I'm really sorry." You give a big sigh of relief. It's over now. You walk over and give Chen a friendly pat on the head.
"It's okay, you came so I won't tell her. Just don't play a prank like that on me again, okay?" You rub her head playfully, and Chen readjusts her hat and smiles up at you.
"Alright then! Let's get going, Master Ran and Master Yukari are waiting for us!"
The rest of the walk goes on uneventful. The village seems to lose it's twisted space and you see things having change again. However, even though the village enters a changing state once more, fog starts to gradually overcome your sight.
"Wow, it's really foggy all of a sudden." Chen then surprises you by grabbing hold of your hand suddenly.
"Yeah, so hold on if you don't wanna get lost like back in Mayohiga, okay? We're entering the border now so it's gonna feel a little weird."
"Uhh...o-okay." What can you say? It took you off guard.
The fog becomes prelavent and reduces your sight to near nothingness. The only things confirming existance apart from your own is the solid ground you're walking on and Chen's small, warm hand. It's kinda embarrassing now that you think about it. I mean, yeah, she's just a child after all...well, maybe not so much a child. She seems kind of mature for that. Maybe preteen? You can't tell, she's a youkai, for all you know she could be a hundred years old. If you were to judge on her appearance though, she could probably pass off as a teenager, depending on how you dress her, she might look cute in a tank top for instance...
...wait, what're you thinking? Fantasizing about the person who's like a daughter to one of your mentors doesn't seem like the best idea. You're aware of what consenquences things might have, unlike other people.
Just then, Chen stops, your delayed reaction nearly causing you to bump into something right in front of you. Stepping back and looking up, you can tell the fog is disappating. What's in front of you appears to be...a gigantic door.
"This is the door to the netherworld. It's normally very hard to open, especially to those who are still alive..." Chen then looks up at you smiling. "But since we're shikigami of Master Yukari it should be no problem! Let's go!"
Wow, she makes it sound so easy.
Just as Chen is about to attempt pushing the door open though, a loud voice from behind shouts out to the two of you.
"That's right, stop right there!"
"You'll regret it~!"
You're kind of startled when you look behind you and see no one, but look up and see three odd girls hovering above you ominously. One has short blonde hair and wears black, the other has purple like medium length curly hair and wears pink and the last one has short brunette hair while wearing red. One thing you immediately notice though is their hats; representing the moon, the sun and the stars.
You have a bad feeling about this encounter.
"Ah! It's you three! Are you going to Lady Yuyuko's place too?" The three girls look at each other before looking back at Chen.
"We were just passing by."
"Yes indeed, practicing our performance!"
"Then we spied you two and thought we should have a little fun~" The brunette girl strikes you as mischeivous, she must be the youngest.
"Oh, well if you don't mind, Master Yukari and Master Ran are waiting for us, so..."
"I'm afraid we can't let you do that."
"That's right! You have an illegal immigrant with you~"
"Immigrant! Immigrant!" The blonde haired one looks and sounds pretty mellow and mature compared to the other two...is she the eldest?
"Wh...What? But what do you mean..."
"We have no problem letting you in."
"No problem at all!"
"It's that human you're dragging around we can't let in~"
...wait, are they talking about you?
"Wait, you can tell I'm human?!"
"That's right, dressed in robes you may be but your power and blood is lacking that of any youkai."
"We can't sit idly by and let the living freely come and go as they please. The netherworld is for the dead and youkai alike!"
"No human could stand going down there, if you were there, you'd be as good as dead, like the rest of them!" The order that they talk in hasn't changed yet, the eldest goes first, the youngest, last. If you could take a guess at it, you'd wager these girls are highly in tune with each other. Almost as if they're all the same person.
"But he isn't a human! He's a youkai! Master Yukari said so!" The three girls look at each other again before looking back at Chen.
"Are you blind?"
"Blinder then a bird~?"
"It's very clear that's no youkai!"
"He has no abilities."
"He has no strength!"
"He doesn't even have blood!"
"Wha...what are..." Chen suddenly seems distraught about this. It's like an awful realization just hit her. Were you and Chen lied to this whole time? Maybe...even Ran?
"We can sense these things."
"Because we're poltergeists!"
"We see everything~!"
"Poltergeists?" You start off with. "Then why are you out here in the land of the living if you're all dead?"
"Ghosts can inhabit the world of the living too."
"We wouldn't expect a human like you to know though."
"Humans are too stupid to believe in ghosts!" You're getting kind of pissed off at them now, just kind of.
"You say you can see everything, but you're not in the netherworld anymore, how could you back that up?!"
"Our eyes don't lie."
"Our senses don't lie."
"We don't lie, we know."
"That's...that's not true! Satoya is a youkai! Master Yukari said so, she's never wrong!"
Chen is standing her ground against these three tenaciously but her will is vanishing quickly, as you can tell. She's nearly about to start crying, it seems. Divine intervention be damned, you need to stop this somehow.
[ ] Youkai or not, you'll challenge these three!
[ ] Try and talk your way out of this
[ ] Leave for now; you'll find some other way
[x] Try and talk your way out of this
-[x] Mention that you've been to Hakugyokurou before and survived.
-[x] If they don't believe that, then suggest they go in and ask Yukari and Yuyuko themselves
"Okay then, if you want conclusive proof that I'm really a youkai..." Not that you've really felt a change of heart by any sort, but you need to get past these doors. "I've been down to the Hakugyokurou, and survived. Isn't that proof enough?" The three look at each other again, and then back at you.
"You feel it is conclusive proof."
"When in fact it proves nothing."
"You could very well be lying, but even if you weren't there are humans that have come and gone without dying before."
"Then why can't I do the same?!" You're really confused now about what these girls have against humans, maybe it's the sole fact that you're living that makes them despise you.
"Those humans had defeated us; we had no choice."
"Strong humans they were! They swiftly threw us away in battle."
"They were humans but they proved their worth!" You growl a bit. If you weren't going down there for the specific reason of training your new abilities, then maybe you could do the same.
"Then...then why don't you go in and ask Yukari herself? She's waiting in there. Heck, Yuyuko knows herself! They're both waiting for me!"
"A waste of time."
"A waste of effort."
"A waste of...oh, I can't think of anything." The blonde haired girl looks rather disappointed at the brunette one.
"This is why we don't trust you to talk." The brunette girl just laughs nervously. What a motley crew.
"What are you saying?!" The blonde haired girl looks back at you, you notice an odd, ghostly violin floating out from behind her.
"A distraction would be all you need. We aren't about to give it to you." A possessed trumpet flies out from behind the purple haired girl's back.
"There's no way people like those would be waiting for you!" A supernatural keyboard wafts it's way out from the brunette girl's rearside.
"We've had enough of your lies! You're leaving now!" Just then, Chen screams out from beside you.
"I'm your proof!! Master Yukari is waiting for both of us!!! Please let us go!!!"
"Enough!" Well, that's it, your apparent lack of negotiational skills has allowed the trio the first strike, and the blonde girl takes full of advantage of it. She sprays a mass amount of magic bullets your way like a mana powered machine gun, Chen quickly grabs your hand and makes tracks out of there. You can barely keep up with her amazing speed, she's practically dragging you away. The large spray of bullets follows the both of you until Chen ducks into some bushes nearby. How the hell can those girls see in all that fog?!
"S-Satoya, are you okay?" Chen is quite short of breath at the moment, as are you.
"Y-Yeah, I'm fine. What..."
"Those are...the Prismriver sisters. The oldest one is Lunasa, the middle one is Merlin and the youngest is Lyrica. They're very dangerous when together so you need to be more careful!" Is it your fault they won't believe you? Maybe you could've thought of something more convincing but...
"W-Well, alright, but they won't let us through now, how are we getting past?" Chen looks down a bit saddened.
"I...don't know. I didn't think they wouldn't believe us..." Just then, you hear the sisters' voices again.
"Come on out. We'll make it quick."
"Yeah! Play with us for a little while!"
"Or are you gonna run away with your tails between your legs~?"
Ugh! They're really dangerous, as Chen said, at least together. You're in no condition to take them all on at once and you doubt Chen is equally qualified despite her abilities. But you need to get past that door...
[ ] Find a way to sneak through the door
[ ] Try to separate the sisters
[ ] Keep trying to talk out of this mess
[ ] Go out and fight, look for weak points
[ ] Escape for now
[X] Try to separate the sisters
-[x] Individually, each is a lesser threat. Focus on eliminating the trio one by one.
I assume this would be followed up with some sort of aggressive action. I don't think just splitting them up will cut it. It WILL, however, make it much easier to take them out individually if we so choose (provided we succeed in splitting them up at all...this option could probably use some specific method to distract the sisters or I could see it backfiring. Chen could most likely help us in this).
Ordinarily I'd try to reason my way out of this or something, but (as in life) that shit don't always fly. Maybe I'm being too gung-ho. Vote subject to change.
>>21051 >Cr-crap. That didn't work out as planned.
I made that write-in in the hope that Lunasa would go in, then turning Merlin and Lyrica on each other so Satoya could sneak through the door. Oh well, time to adapt.
[X] Try and talk your way out of this
-[X] Mention that you've been to Hakugyokurou before and survived.
-[X] If they don't believe that, then suggest they go in and ask Yukari and Yuyuko themselves.
-[X] In the meantime, find a way to cheer up Chen
-[X] If those three poletrgeists tell you to stay put while they go ask, sneak in after them.
I blame my crapshit net connection for not showing full updates.
[X] Try to separate the sisters
-[x] Individually, each is a lesser threat. Focus on eliminating the trio one by one.
--[X] Try to single out Lunasa
--[X] Keep an eye on Chen; she may not be able to handle two opponents at once. Find a way to help Chen calm down and focus.
-[X] You're not totally useless, are you? Use some magic!
Chen said they were dangerous together, and considering their top notch ability to stay in sync, you don't doubt that. So the most debilitating thing you can do to them...is split them apart! You have just the plan too.
"Chen, I'm going to go and distract one and leave the other two to you. I hate to ask this of you, but you can fight, right?"
"Of course, Satoya! But what about you?"
"I'll be fine, I can manage. Is there any sort of short coming the blonde one has though?"
"Lunasa? Uhhm...Chen doesn't really know..."
"That's alright...I think I have a vague idea on what might do it..." You then duck out of the bushes and call out to the sisters. "Hey you! Playing a violin certainly suits an old hag like you!" With your rapier wit in tow, you quickly make haste out of there, hoping Lunasa will follow.
"...an old hag, huh?" Just as planned, Lunasa seems quite miffed at your jab towards her marriagability and gives chase.
"Ah, Sis! Don-Ow!"
"Ack!" Both of her other sisters are pelted in the back by random bullets, below and behind them stands Chen, ready to give the fight of her life.
"You leave Satoya alone!"
That's the last thing you can hear and see of Merlin, Lyrica and Chen, as soon you're completely focusing on dodging Lunasa's berserk shots. You can totally feel that murderous aura leering behind you as magic bullets hit the ground every which way around you.
"Hold still, then I can personally invite you to the netherworld you wish to go to so properly." You dive out of the way just before a laser singes the ground you were just standing on. Yikes! She's serious!
Flipping over, you see Lunasa standing above you, her violin comes closer to her before she grabs it.
"A-Ah, you know I was joking, right? V-Violins are very attractive you know..."
"Yes...allow me to show you." She closes her eyes and begins playing a haunting melody on her violin. It's so captivating that you nearly lose yourself in listening to it. Filled with such emotion, until you realize that emotion is anger, as you jump out of the way just before a small explosion takes place where your head was. Lunasa looks down with contempt. "...I missed."
You duck into some more foilage, Lunasa's bullets hot on your trail. They are all lost the moment they hit the thick jungle of leaves. Hiding behind one of the trees, you try to catch your breath. Ugh, what were you thinking?! Even alone, this girl is dangerous! You can't really recall knowing any magic either, to top it off, this girl is a damn ghost. It's not like you could walk up to her and punch her in the face, could you? Then again, hitting a girl like that isn't very nice. Man, how are you going to escape this situation...
"Come out." You feel the tree you're leaning on shake from the intense impact made by another one of her lasers. "I will make it quick if you beg me for it."
That really does not sound too good.
[ ] Attempt to sweet talk your way out of this
[ ] Try to take her violin
[ ] Beg and plead for your life
[ ] Sneak away from her and back to Chen
There's no point really in trying to charge into the eye of the storm. We've got her mad, I assuume a few more choice remarks would really have her attack the last know hiding spot in a berserk barrage. By the time the smoke clears, we'd be long gone.
There's only one thing you can really think of that could potentially work in your favour that you can do; steal her violin. Yes, there's absolutely nothing that could go wrong with this plan, nevermind the fact that she appears to be able to control it's movements seemingly psychokinetically. This is the perfect plan with absolutely no holes at all whatsoever!
Right away and quite predictably, it proves itself to be a horrible idea as when you duck out from behind the tree you had been taking cover behind, Lunasa nearly blasts your face in, nearly missing you as you trip forward and under the large laser she had pointed at you using her violin. It's remotely controlled, small, and a weapon. How the hell was this ever a good idea? You stick to it though in vain hopes that you can somehow overpower this foe and continue your blind charge at Lunasa. The trip mattered not to you, as your used your arms to rebalance yourself and keep yourself on your feet while retaining your moment. Lunasa sees this coming but the multitude of shrubbery slows her down enough that you still catch up and end up tackling her straight to the ground! She's quite surprised by it, and really, so are you; how did you just tackle her if she's a ghost?
As you're pondering her solidity, she proves it to you right in front of your very eeys, as despite your body pinning her to the ground, she suddenly becomes semi-transparent and falls right through the dirt. A second shock to you again. You quickly take notice that this ended with her violin suddenly losing it's power and falling to the ground beside you. Lucky! You take this chance to grab hold of it. Now the battle is yours!
Or so you thought. Lunasa comes back out of the ground a ways in front of you, she seems pretty pissed.
"Let that go!" With one sweep of her hand, the violin nearly escapes you, but you have both hands firmly attached to the neck of it, and while the strings are starting to grind into your skin a bit, you're certainly not about to let this fish go. Lunasa growls a bit as the violin starts violently swinging back and forth, attempting to leave your tight grasp. You're nearly being tossed around by the sheer force it's displaying, Lunasa continues trying harder and harder to shake you off it. Until, the violin stops suddenly.
You open your eyes after hearing Lunasa scream out. Examining the violin, you see it mere inches from meeting the hard bark of a nearby tree. A quick look at Lunasa tells you that while she looks like she dodged a tragedy, she's ready to truly fling it out your hands this time.
Not a chance.
"Don't move or the instrument gets it!" You say with a cocky voice, rearing the violin back to bat the tree with, using intense force. As corny as it sounded, Lunasa appears absolutely mortified by the thought of her violin being smashed to pieces by an untimely meeting due to a fast ramming into the wood beside you. She's suddenly realized the danger you pose to her precious instrument while in the thick forest. The two of you exchange a long stare at each other. You're giving off your best aura telling her that you're dead serious. The more Lunasa looks at you, the more she realizes this, and the more she sees that you have her checkmated.
Lunasa finally gives in, exhausting all possible outcomes that could end in her favor. She lowers her hand and looks at you with a face ridden with failure.
"Alright. I surrender. I'll let you go. Just this once." You give a big sigh of relief, you really weren't expecting to come out on top but a lucky break proved useful in getting you past this sticky situation.
"Thank you. That's all I wanted." You hold the violin out and Lunasa takes it back with her mysterious power to remotely control it. You cringe a bit looking at your right hand though. Blood seems to run down it like a waterfall in slow motion. The cuts are deep and long, but strangely enough, you can't really feel it much. But you assume that's because the deep cuts have shut the nerves down in this hand. It's a bit unkempt, but you cover it up with the sleeve of your other arm to at least try and stop the bleeding, sadly you don't have much else to do the job, not even bandages. Your inventory is gathering cobwebs, so to speak.
"Hey," you say, stopping Lunasa before she walks off, "why are you so persistant in keeping humans out? It sounds a little heartless, but if what you said is true, then them going down there and dying, sounds like none of your business as ghosts." Lunasa looks at you a bit solemnly. Is she taking pity on you?
"The land of the dead is not for the living. The sheer fact that humans are still capable of coming and going and still retaining life is very troublesome to us. They dare take from us the only thing in death we can truly have." Your mood shifts a bit upon hearing this. You can really see the inconsistency on her part.
"Then, isn't what you're doing now just the same thing? Isn't it hypocritical for you to idle here in the living world as a ghost?" Lunasa's eyes seem to drift a bit downward towards the ground for some reason. She's starting to look fairly upset.
"We're already dead, being chained to this land won't bring us back to life." Lunasa averts her gaze from you, ready to continue back to the others. "No living creature, human or youkai, should ever look upon the dead and feel as if they are missing out..." With that, Lunasa starts walking out of the thick forest. She's definitely someone who seems depressing. You have to take a bit of time to consider what she said, and feel a bit sorry for her. What was her life like before she died, you wonder...?
You hesitantly follow the sister out of the forest. Lunasa doesn't really make so much as a gesture towards you. You're kinda put off by the mood, but it's not like you can help it, you just threatened to destroy something so precious to her. You'd say more precious to her then her life, but of course...
"Tell me..." You're a bit surprised, Lunasa suddenly came out and said something while the two of you were walking. "If you really are a youkai...why is it I cannot sense the blood within you..." You look down at the ground. You're kind clueless about that yourself. It's something you need to bring up to Yukari. But you're wholeheartedly afraid of what answer she might give you.
"I...I don't know. I mean...all I really know is that someone named Yukari dragged me out here and told me one day I was never human, and I was a 'youkai' all along. I don't know who else to believe at this point..." Lunasa seems distracted by a thought, as you notice shortly after saying that.
"Do you know her?" Lunasa shakes her head and continues looking down the path she's walking down.
"No. Forget I said anything."
Really now. You're pretty confused and no one will give you a straight answer. It's somewhat frustrating. You don't say anything though until you get out of the wodded area and back into the foggy clearing, where her siblings are both waiting for her. Chen is absent, however.
"Sister! Are you okay?"
"Yeah! What happened?" Lunasa looks away, unable to face her peers after her embarrassing defeat.
"it's nothing important, they're free to go in, however." Both of her sisters look at her surprised and then look over at you in the same shocked manner. You're not sure how you feel exactly about this, but it does make you somewhat uncomfortable. After the two look back at Lunasa and she gives them a look that clearly says 'don't ask,' they both give you a bit of an uneasy stare before urging Lunasa to leave with them. The three then float off without as much as a goodbye. Part of you wishes you could've ended that better, but at least you got through.
Oh, that's right, Chen. You need to see if she's okay. You call out to her a few times while walking around. Ugh, you can't see anything in this fog. It's like walking through a solid cloud of puff. Like you became a microscopic entity inside a gigantic marshmallow. It's a little disconcerting, to say the least. After a few moments of searching though, you finally see Chen struggling to pick herself up off the ground, appearing in bad shape. Oh great, looks like the two sisters roughed her up a bit. Now you feel worse.
"Chen! Chen, are you okay?" You kneel down to her and help her sit up. Her face is a bit scratched up, her clothes having nondescript tears here and there and bruises all across her body, but regardless of all this abuse, she still smiles up at you, though weakly.
"Hahaha...they kinda defeated me, Satoya~" You're kind of worried about her, she doesn't sound like she's in the best of shape.
"Chen...I'm really sorry I left you here like this..."
"No! Chen fought valiantly, so Chen has no regrets! What's important is that Satoya is safe..." She attempts picking herself up as she talks, though it isn't going too well so you have to help her up along the way.
"Chen, you shouldn't strain yourself, you look hurt..."
"No, no..." Chen balls up a bit standing, and you stand back as she gives off a big, long stretch, one that produces several popping noises, all of them from various points on her body. After the display of flexibility, she gives a sigh of relief and looks back at you. "All better now! Let's get going Satoya!"
"Uhh...but...Chen...what about..." Chen gives you a warm, cheerful smile.
"I'm okay! Really! That was nothing for Chen! We should hurry inside while they're not looking!" You want to argue some more, but you think this may or may not be the proper time for it.
"Ah...right then. Let's...get going."
Chen goes ahead and leads you back to the giant door, the one you stopped in front of before the three sisters came and ruined your day.
"Alright Satoya, start pushing!"
"Huh? Oh, right..." Yeah, with the door this massive, you wonder how you're going to get it open at all. Despite the sheer size, Chen puts her shoulder into it and starts pushing.
"Come on, Satoya...!" Not to let a little girl do all the work for the big man, you give it all your strength too, though as sad as it is to admit, you think Chen is the stronger one here due to your rather human-like strength right now. No matter how hard the two of you put your weight on it though, the door refuses to budge.
"Ugh...Chen...are you sure...we can get in...this way...?"
"Keep...trying! Chen's done this before!" After some more struggling, to your surprise, the door suddenly jolts, and the more energy you put into it, the more it ever so slowly it begins to crack open. After nearly fainting from the pressure, the small opening between the doors is now big enough to let two human-shaped people through. Chen approaches the entrance with glee before stopping in front of it and turning back to you. "Come on Satoya! It's not far now!" You give an exhausted sigh, ready to give up. You're already pretty tired from all the things you've had to go through up until now. Something in the back of your head tells you this is only just the beginning.
"Somehow, I don't believe that..."
When you walk in and see the obstacle the lays before you, you wished you hadn't spoke so soon.
"Ch-Chen...what are these..."
"These are the Endless Stairs!"
It's very difficult to describe the look on your face, you're afraid any combination of words that generally mean despair or mortification couldn't do it justice at all.
"Oh don't worry, they only call it that because it seems like it! It's just a really long climb up!"
"Really long climb up...? But you just said it wasn't far..."
"Well, comparitively speaking, I guess. We're in the home stretch though so we should give it our all! Come on!"
That doesn't make you feel any better, sadly. In fact you're quite sure you're ready to start genuflecting and asking god, why? Why does he allow this?
As you climb the stairs, thoughts of suicide start filling your mind. It's an unpleasent walk to be sure, and you're already quite tired of it, but Chen seems to be in high spirits, despite her visually, slightly battered appearance.
"How...how can you tolerate these stairs, Chen? Do you go up them often?"
"Hm? No, not really. Master Yukari usually gaps Chen into the Hakugyokurou. That's okay though! This is still fun!"
Fun? Hardly your idea of it.
"How much farther is it? How long will it take us to get there? And for that matter, why does it go up?" This last question is seriously burning a hole in your mind, you hope Chen answers it logically.
"Gee Satoya...you sure ask a lot of questions." Okay, now you kinda feel stupid, having a little child tell you that. "But, normally when people go up this, they fly, so I guess walking is a lot slower...that's okay though, Chen doesn't mind even if Satoya isn't able to fly yet!"
You feel so small right now, and worse yet, she didn't even answer your last question...
"Satoya...if you're tired, we can take a break. Chen doesn't mind."
Taking Chen up on her offer is very tempting, but there's no telling how much longer this stairway will take...Yukari and Ran are waiting.
[ ] "No, let's keep going, I don't want to keep your masters"
[ ] "Sure, I could use a bit of relaxation..."
[ ] "Actually, I'm kind of hungry..."
[ ] "Isn't there another way up this?"
[X] "No, let's keep going, I don't want to keep our masters waiting."
>>21107 >The sooner we climb the eldricht stairs we can get scolded by Ran for failing to protect Chen.
I think Ran would actually be reasonable since Satoya doesn't know any magic yet. Given the situation, what could he have done?
[x] "No, let's keep going, I don't want to keep our masters waiting."
"No..." you say as you pick yourself up off the stairs. "Let's continue, I don't want to keep the masters waiting."
"Are you sure, Satoya?" You give a quick nod and pick yourself up from the sulky posture you've been displaying for a while now. The length you've walked from the forest where you found Chen, you must've walked up and down the entire distance of Tokyo by now, possibly more. You've really realized how much you neglected walking in your life back home. This has taken it's toll, even barring your new body.
"Let's go. The sooner we get this done, the sooner I we can see Yukari and Ran." Chen gives you a bright, cheerful smile and grabs your arm with both her hands, pulling you along.
"That's the spirit! Let's get going!"
"Aaah! W-Wait, Chen, th-that's dangerous!" You really would not want to fall down stairs like these. In fact, you're bloody afraid of looking behind you at all. You'd come down with vertigo. It'd reduce you to crawling up the stairs more or less.
After a bit more pulling, Chen is walking up the stairs with you normally. They seem to go on forever...no end in sight. You're afraid to look behind you still, you're certain that you've walked up a massive distance already. For that matter, why are you walking up? Aren't you going to the netherworld? That is to say, down? You don't know how this bizzaro world works at all, and it's quite confusing. The air is becoming familiar however, that stench of death filling your lungs. It's making the climb even more difficult. You're already becoming short of breath from the walk alone, and now the very air is denying you of it, practically suffocating you. In fact, you're very sure it's suffocating you. So sure that before you know it, you're faceplanting the stairs in a dizzy heap, unable to breathe. What a sorry way to go.
"Satoya? Uh!! Satoya!!!"
Sire...when do you think he'll awaken?
Give him time...he was with her for so long. He will be delirious when he wakes up.
Use force if necessary. I'm entrusting his well being to you. He's our only hope of detaining the wench.
Yes, my liege.
Ugh...what? What a weird dream. You could only barely make out those voices. You couldn't see either. But now that you're awake, you try opening your eyes. For a while now, however, you've felt like you've been laying on something...very, very soft.
"Satoya...! Are you okay?"
Focusing your eyes a bit, you soon realize you're staring upward at Chen. Her face is upside down from your perspective though. She appears to be looking down at you with a worried expression. You suddenly realize something though.
Chen's legs are filling in as an incredibly soft pillow for your beaten head. As enjoyable as this is, it's not only embarrassing, but you're afraid if Ran caught you like this, you might be castrated. So, you sit up hastily and get your bearings together.
Examining your whereabouts, it seems you're back in the netherworld again. The familiar cherry blossom trees scattered about in every direction, all in full bloom, and yet, lacking any sort of life whatsoever. The sky is a dark gray abstract pattern, no real signs of clouds of what actually appears to be any sort of sky you're familiar with at all. You look back at Chen who's still a bit startled by your sudden reaction. She's sitting on her knees on the ground.
"Ah...Chen's sorry if she did something bad..."
"Uhh...n-no. I don't think you did anyways...uhh...how'd we get here...? What happened?" Chen gives you the worried look once more.
"Satoya collapsed suddenly onto the stairs so Chen carried him up to the netherworld. Satoya didn't look so good so Chen had to take care of him..." Scratching the back of your head, you think back to how soft it felt rest in her lap like that. You were very unaware that Chen would do something like that.
"Uh...thanks. I guess. Wasn't I heavy though?" Chen shakes her head in response.
"No, not at all! Satoya was very light for a youkai your size!"
"I see...thanks then. Don't tell Ran I fainted though. I don't think she'd be too proud of me having to be carried by her shikigami." Chen smiles and gets up.
"Alright then! We should get going, we're almost there!" You get up yourself and the two of you continue on your grand journey to the Hakugyokurou. You have a bit more respect for Chen now though. Despite your folly, she picked you up and continued up the stairs, and even took care of you at the top. It seems that past her child-like attitude, she's a lot more adult then you took her for. You have this feeling that if Ran and Chen came out to be as good as they are, then Yukari probably isn't as insane as you've been taking her. You sure hope so anyways.
As you and Chen walk through the thin forest of cherry blossom trees, you can't help but notice something. The air is as stale as ever, totally lacking any sort of component any human would reasonably deem to be habitable. Yet, despite this, it isn't having as bad of an effect on you as it was last time you came here. Is this the result of that weird medicine that cat girl made you take? Is this because of your 'youkai transformation' given to you by Yukari? Who was that girl anyways? Is she related to Chen? No, she looked a hell of a lot different from her...
"Hey Chen." You decide to come out and ask something that's on your mind. Chen looks over at you curiously.
"Doesn't this air bother you?" She shakes her head and looks back down on the path the two of you are walking down.
"Nope! It's not very fresh air but Chen is used to it. Chen has had to stay here for weeks once."
Wow, weeks. You don't think you could take it here for weeks. It's not a bad looking place, but it's like living right next to a coal powered energy plant. It's just feels very unhealthy. But you've confirmed that the strange air is not just you. Not fresh would be an understatement in describing the oxygen here, if you can even call it that anymore.
The walk doesn't last too much longer, thankfully. Chen calls out and starts running when the mansion comes into view. You take your time though and continue your stride. Sitting on the porch is Yukari and Princess Yuyuko, the latter sipping tea. By their sides are Ran and Youmu. They all see you arrive while Chen happily dives into Yukari's arms.
"Master Yukari~!" The woman seems to be happy to see the little scamp too. As you arrive at the scene yourself, Ran bows and greets you.
"Welcome, Satoya. We've been waiting for you."
"Ahaha..." You feel kinda embarrassed about this. "Yeah, I know. Sorry about that."
"No, no. Not at all." Yuyuko reassures you. You still kind of have a hard time looking at her from your first encounter with the princess. "We've been passing time catching up with each other so it all worked out in the end." You look over to Yukari with a question on your mind.
"Huh, so you two are good friends, huh?" Yukari returns your look with that sly, devilish expression that you seriously cannot stand.
"That's right~ We've known each other for a very long time. You could say our friendship is rather...intimate~"
You just know she's saying this to give you the wrong idea. You're not about to fall for it for a second. Ran interrupts the exchange between you and Yukari somewhat though when Chen separates herself from Yukari.
"Chen, you look hurt. Are you okay?"
"Oh yes, Chen's fine. We just ran into a little trouble with the Prismriver sisters is all." Ran gives off a bit of a sigh.
"I was afraid you might run into them. They aren't very accepting to strangers still I see..." Yuyuko waves her hand with a smile on her face though, denying the aggression.
"Ah, they're sweet children, don't worry too much about them. They're a bit cautious but they mean well. You should visit them sometime and make amends. They're nice once you get to know them." Youmu puts a hand on her chin though, thinking about the situation.
"Unusual though...they usually stop humans. For what reason would they have to attack other youkai?" At this moment, Chen is about to speak up, but you can only stand and watch as Yukari covers her mouth discreetly and speaks in her stead.
"They were probably in a bad mood. Besides, what with Satoya still only recently having awakened his youkai blood, they probably didn't look hard enough to see him for what he really is~" Yukari looks over at you out of the corner of her eye. The smile she's giving off, she knows you can't say anything. She definitely knows something. "Enough about that however. Satoya, you came here for training, yes~?" You kind of had no choice, you're more or less being forced to. "We should start right away. You may be small now but your abilities will grow over time~" Ran looks at Yukari, stepping forward.
"Please allow me to assist, Master Yukari. I've been helping him get in tune with his spirit, and I believe he has much potential in magic." Youmu looks over at Ran though, providing a counter for this.
"Satoya is a youkai, correct? Depending on what type, he may be better suited for physical combat. After all, he won't be able to handle anything else unless he can unlock that strength first." Yuyuko interrupts Youmu after sipping her tea.
"Really? I always saw Satoya as more of a supporter. With his kindness and heart, I believe he would make a healing power unlike any other~" Finally, Chen stands up to all three of them with her own opinion.
"Satoya is fast on his feet though! And quick witted! He outsmarted those sisters in the blink of an eye! I know he has potential in there!"
The four go on debating and arguing about this for another few moments, all bringing up good and bad points. What's funny is that it's all about you. You kind of feel a little self centered now suddenly. Just then though, Yukari halts all of them by raising a hand.
"Now now. You all make good points. But is it not Satoya's right to decide since it is his training?" The four look at each other and then over to you. You couldn't help but step back a bit. "So, what shall it be Satoya? I haven't given you much choice up until now, but this your life. You should decide on where it goes~"
[ ] I want to become stronger
[ ] I want to learn magic
[ ] I want to be deceptive
[ ] I want to be supportive
Screw staying in the background. Ran and Chen are already decent magic users. We need to get stronger so that not only will we be able to survive in Hakugyokurou a little better than this time, but we can also hold our own in a fight. We only got by Lunasa by almost sheer luck. Plus moving at high speeds sounds fun.
>>21183 I don't think that's the speed choice; but the raw strength one. The deceptive one is the speed choice.
Let's take a look at the Yakumo's specialities
Yukari's: Just about anything?
The reason why I picked supportive is because I'm not sure if the other three have it covered, and it won't be likely that we'll be facing fierce foes alone for the time being. And there's the fact it might be sometime we begin to outdo the others. There's also the teamwork nature of the support class.
Why are so many people are picking physical strength for a character who hates fighting? Satoya will end up losing a lot because he keeps hesitating. Just look at the fight with the Prismrivers: they drew him into it, and he just ran away. He only won because of a fluke.
He HAD to run away because he doesn't know any magic. That fluke may have saved our asses, but it was only because we had no other method TO fight Lunasa back with. If we knew any magic or anything of the sort, we very well could have fought Lunasa instead of running. We also could have given Chen some help.
>>21191 Well if what Yukari said of his type was true, he does have the potential for physical might, but I fear learning raw strength or magic first might encourage a reckless streak. I doubt Yukari will send us on a combat heavy job alone at this point in time.
Couldn't he learn the others at a later date then decide what to specialize in?
If Satoya is going to stand any kind of chance in a fight, he needs to get strong. Just giving boosts to others IS helpful, granted, but if he's confronted on his own...the odds are against him. Besides, if enemies find out he's playing the medic, then he pretty much becomes target practice. He needs to have a way to defend himself, not just have others do all the fighting for him.
>>21204 You're implying that A) Satoshi wouldn't learn other skills later and B) Yukari would send him off on a combat heavy task alone. What happened with the sisters wasn't foreseen by Yukari. If he had support skills during that battle, he could have buffed Chen so she'd be able to take on all three.
Wow, I come back after a couple days, I find a rather...conspicuous "RPG" thread in the board I usually like to write in. Not that I mind, but the premise kinda...feels weird to me I guess.
Anyways, I've been taking a break recently. Not because I haven't been creative, oh no, quite the opposite actually. I've felt massive bursts of inspiration over the past couple days that I'm eager to get into this story. Let's just say that eventually this story will become extremely deep, one way or another.
There's been two things lately. One is Double Spoiler's new introduction of Momizi, which, like many people, shattered my perspective of Momizi. While I was never fond of the "Momi is Aya's slave" deal, I always thought Momizi was very loyal and happy to serve, and that she worked well with the other tengu. I built my image of Momizi on conservativeness and to have the canon come in and kick it to the curb so briskly is a bit of a blow to my inspiration to my other story in /youkai/ so I've been trying to recover that since. The other thing is the coming of Heart Gold/Soul Silver. You know, that pokemon remake a lot of people have been waiting for. Addiction has it's ways of usurping even the most diligent. (not that it would be me mind you)
I'll write again in a couple days, maybe more, depending on what happens. I have a few other things that need taking care of that I've put off long enough. I hope you guys don't lose faith in this story though, it's only going to get better.
>>21251 It's cool man, take all the time you need. I don't think anyone's going to lose faith, just look at all the discussion spawned by the latest update.
As for your Momizi story, you've got an interesting opportunity here: it's possible the two were friendly in the past, but something happened between before DS that caused their relationship to fall apart. You have Momizi living apart from Aya and the rest of the Tengu. You can show what might have caused this rift.
Right, I had something I wanted to say, let's see if I can remember what it was...
Well, recently I've been getting things together so I can write soon. Depending on how I feel though I might end up inadvertently focusing more on a story I'm writing in /youkai/ then here, which I'll take the time to apologize for in advance. I enjoy writing but I've been thinking about the future and it's likely that once this story here is finished, I'll pretty much just retire from writing altogether.
Considering how useless this post is otherwise I'll take this time to say A+ on the discussion. To say something related to the story, I'll go ahead and point out now that whatever you choose will be Satoya's 'focus' more then anything. Being supportive won't mean he won't be able to fight, but he'll be a lot more vulnerable when alone.
And trust me, he WILL have to fight alone eventually.
You should take what I say with a grain of salt, that is, don't let my trip fool you. Getting word from the writer himself can be advantageous but on the other end of the spectrum, I could be saying it to throw you guys off...
Just think of what I said as something akin to just plain old common sense. Satoya wouldn't be able to stick around Yukari, Ran or Chen 24/7, right? Everyone has to defend themselves alone at one point in their lives.
I'll probably end up making a new thread for the next update here...either way. I'm calling the winning vote now to be "Stronger." This will influence Satoya's battle options later. However, you can influence that in itself if you want.
I'll expend the rest of the thread on an auxiliary option. A sub choice to this, if you will. In what way do you want to be stronger?
Decided I would just post this update here and let the next one auto sage the thread, THEN make the next update a good one for the next thread.
[x] I want to become stronger
"I think I want to become...stronger." You look at Yukari as you say that. Her expression doesn't change, though.
"Stronger? Hmm, guess that means you're willing to take the path of the warrior then? I have no complaints."
"It's not just that," you correct her in saying, revealing more about your choice, "I want to become stronger not just physically...but mentally too. Maybe you think it would be best if I just specialized in one thing, but if I have to choose...I would want to be stronger, to fight, to protect, to survive...I want to be able to adapt to my situation, like I've always lived." Yukari's expression changes suddenly, looks like it intrigued her.
"Like you've always lived? Coming from you, that sounds...interesting~" You're rather skeptical at her notion. She sounds like she knows an awful lot about you, but you want to believe this isn't necessarily true. You aren't gonna challenge her on that just yet, however.
"Well..." Ran starts saying, "since you appear to be set on your path, I will help you to every degree I can. Let's hope for the best." Yuyuko then stands up, looking over at you after that.
"Yes, let's, after all, if Yukari sees a lot of potential in you, then you're certainly something very special~" She ends with a bright smile, looking over at Yukari, you can her with a slight smile herself, looking over at Yuyuko. She then gets up and walks over to you.
"Well then, with that decided, let's start right away. Since your strength as a human is fairly low, we'll have to bring out what sort of youkai power is hidden within you. Surely, you've felt some of it on the way here, correct~?" You blink for a moment, wondering where she's going with this.
"Yeah...what of it?" Yukari returns to you another sly smirk as she steps back, and suddenly, from out of bloody nowhere, a massive dumbbell lands right in front of you, enough to sink into the ground a little. Obviously, you're pretty frightened by this. "Wh-What the hell?!"
"This is a one thousand pound weight, Satoya." Your mood goes from frightened to shocked, but funnily enough, your expression doesn't change much as a result when you look at Yukari.
"Huu~ Do I have to repeat that in metric~?" You were taken a little off guard by the snappy attitude of Yukari but you shout back at her once you've gotten your bearings back together.
"You expect me to lift one thousand pounds?! Are you crazy?!" In response, all Yukari does is laugh with that wicked, old woman laugh she has before covering the lower half of her face with her fan and looking at you with that sultry, sly and utterly despicable look of hers.
"Many people have called me that, you wouldn't be the first, and I'm sure you won't be the last either~" Yukari then walks over, closes her fan and gently bends down, just enough to wrap her hand around the handle of the dumbbell. Her hand then glows a mysterious purple light before she lifts the massive weight with no effort, bringing it up to chest level. "See? It isn't that hard." You stare in utter amazement for only a brief moment, before you come to your senses and see the illusion she's playing on you.
"H-Hey! You're using magic to lift that!" Yukari's expression doesn't change though.
"Yeah...what of it?" The way she says it, sounds like she's mocking you, but at the same time, her tone and voice doesn't change at all. How the hell does she do it?
"Satoya, I'm not human. Neither are you. In a true battle among youkai, both fighters will use all their powers at their disposal to win. It's no contest...it's a battle to survive. While this demonstration may show no true testament to physical strength, it is strength nonetheless." You look down at the dumbbell she's holding, whatever that purple light is, it's producing the power to help her lift it with ease. But how much effort would one have to put into making or using a spell like that? "I'm not asking you to lift it with your human strength, Satoya. I know that you can't lift it on that power alone. That is why I'm asking you to tap into whatever locked away powers your parents left you with before you started believing you were human~" With that, she lets go of the dumbbell and the purple glow stays with her while the weight slowly descends back to the ground, softly resting back on it once the glow disappears. Yukari then stands back to let you go at it.
"...fine. If that's what you want. Then I'll give it to you." You bend down and take hold of the weight with both hands. Gripping the handle tightly, you prepare yourself for this. But what is it exactly that you're supposed to be doing? How do you...tap into this so called power? The transition to youkai has done nothing for your mind, as you still retain the simple knowledge of a human being. You're not even sure what kind of spirit or beast that you are. But one thing's for sure, there's obviously something inside you that wants out, and everyone else can see it. Well...some people. The whole thing about your nature as a youkai is frankly very confusing, so you're just going to use that frustration to try and power yourself into lifting this weight, no matter how impossible it might be!
Nope, no matter how hard you try, the thing doesn't budge, not even a centimeter. Not even the tiniest distance possible, that thing is stuck in there good.
"Don't strain yourself too hard~" The way your would be master says it, sounds very condescending. You keep trying as a result, but nothing you do can move this unfathomable weight. "You know Satoya, my other shikigami are just as much my power as you are, you're free to ask for help~" Yuyuko goes ahead and speaks up after Yukari.
"Ah, yes! Youmu would certainly have no problems with supporting you as well. There is no shame in asking for assistance." You can't help but growl at the offers though, your arrogance starting to get the best of you.
"No! Not after that! I'll do it myself!" You keep trying, putting all your force into it, all in different ways, to boot. But nothing, and you mean absolutely nothing is going to make thing damnable weight move. You're just about all out of energy when you decide to take a short break, and this is when Yuyuko starts talking to Yukari.
"Hmm, perhaps this a little ahead of what would be considered good training for Satoya, after all, he's only just started..." Yukari takes a short breath, adjusting herself to the reality that you're still weak.
"I suppose you're right. Well, it's no use trying to unlock potential that isn't locked in the first place. Satoya~" She calls out to you, all you can do is look up at her, deathly tired. Your body is ready to give up and quit already. The funky scent of death in the air probably doesn't help though. "Over here, honey~" Ugh, the way she uses a pet name only makes it sound even more patronizing. Still though, you pick yourself up from the slump you fell into trying to lift the weight and stumble a bit over to her.
"Wha...what is it...?"
"We're going to try something else for the time being. It's obvious that you're unsure of how to communicate with the newly unleashed features inside your body. Which is understandable, since even after you had them unchained, you still denied their existance~" Suddenly, before Yukari goes any further into that topic, she stops herself and turns over to Ran, who had stepped forward.
"If I may, Lady Yukari, I believe I may be able to help. I was training with Satoya a while back, back at home, and I have reason to believe that it was helping him get in tune with the abilities that had laid dormant inside him up until recently." Yukari seems subtly impressed by this.
"Really~? How convenient. That is just the thing I'm looking for." Not to be outdone though, Yuyuko chips in with her own suggestion.
"Excuse me, but how was that training done?" Ran looks over at Yuyuko, a bit puzzled as to why she's being asked that.
"Hm? Well, it involved me and Satoya passing a ball to each other blind, and trying to learn how to expect it coming." Yuyuko then smiles and looks to her side at her short, gardening retainer.
"Sounds like an activity Youmu could do~ Right?" Youmu seems like she had just suddenly been snapped back to reality when Yuyuko finishes, and she replies for plainly.
"Huh? Oh, yes." She doesn't seem very into the discussion, ironically.
"Well, I approve of the method. But to be clear, who are you going to train with?" Yukari asks you, which causes you to look at the girls beside you. Ran is looking at expectantly, as is Yuyuko, though Youmu seems to be staring off elsewhere.
"Huh? I have to...choose?"
"Too many chefs spoil the stew, Satoya. Alternatively, I could assist too~" You have odd feelings about being trained by Yukari, of all people, but if her 'strength' is to be believed, then maybe you'd learn the most from her. After all, she is your master. Supposedly. But there's benefits to having someone else be the training partner too. You should probably choose wisely, someone who has a style similar to the one you want to adapt yourself to in the future, if you ever need to put this skill to good use.
[ ] Ran
[ ] Youmu
[ ] Yukari
[ ] Chen!
[ ] Suggest a different method
Yukari is on a completely different level compared to the rest of Gensokyo that adapting to her wouldn't be of much use. There are several people like Ran and Youmu, but the latter is really distracted right now. Plus, Satoya's already familiar in doing this with Ran.