The fresh smell of tea permeates the air. Your eyes flicker open as you see the white ceiling of your room again, sunlight illuminated the rest of your room. Letting out a sigh, a small smile forms on your face as you sit up, seeing a glass of tea next to you.
“Ah, what a pleasant day,” you remark, silently chuckling to yourself.
You hear a door open as you turn towards your butler, Wilton, entering in with a tray of food. Gently pushing your blanket aside, you sit on the edge of the bed as your butler sets the tray of food down next to the glass of tea.
“Good morning, Wilton,” you greet cheerfully, “How are you this morning?”
“I am quite fine, Master George,” your butler replies, giving you a quick bow. “And what about you, sir, you seem to in high spirits this morning.”
“Indeed, Wilton. I have to say that I had quite a pleasant dream.”
“A dream, sir?”
“Of course, a dream of a beautiful land of mystery and wonder, where the impossible becomes real and where people have adventurers and joyful parties each and every day.”
Wilton lets out a single snort. “Sounds kind of like your life here, don’t you think, sir?”
You laugh in return as you grab the tray of food and start to eat. Pancakes and scrambled eggs, not a bad meal to start the day.
“So, Wilton, did I miss anything? Usually, you bring my tea first.”
“Well, you’re already several minutes behind your morning swim, sir. Shall I reschedule it?”
Swallowing a bit of pancakes and washing it down with tea, you shake your head. “No, no, no, I’ll just simply get dressed now. Can you pack the rest of my things please and get the car started, Wilton?”
“Yes sir… I will do so immediately.” Wilton bows before leaving the room, leaving you alone as you finish your breakfast. Wiping your mouth clean, you get out of bed and quickly make it to your bathroom, taking a quick shower, a little surprised how long it takes for the warm water to turn on. Perhaps the boiler’s acting up today.
After brushing your teeth and dressing yourself, you walk out of your room when your butler returns to the door.
“Wilton?” you ask, surprised to see him back so soon. “Is everything done already?”
“Erm… no, sir, but there is a visitor to see you, sir,” your butler responds. “Shall I tell her to leave?”
“A visitor and it’s a woman? I didn’t expect any visitors this morning…” scratching your chin, you shrug. “Get the car started, Wilton. I’m certain this visitor won’t be too long.”
“Yes sir… but sir… I must tell you…”
“Don’t worry, Wilton, I’ll be able to take care of myself.”
Your butler nods as you walk past him, making your way down to the foyer. At the front door, you give the knob a turn and pull the door in.
“Good day, miss, how may I he…” you begin before you realize that no one is there. Looking around, you wonder if Wilton was seeing things. Wilton’s not one to lie… but he is getting older… perhaps…
“Hello, mister!” a soft voice answers, causing you to look down.
Standing next to the door, much shorter than you, is a strange girl in a red dress and green hat. Looking at the girl, you tilt your head in confusion.
“Erm… yes, miss? Is there anything you want?” you ask the young girl. “Perhaps you’ve got the wrong house?”
“Is your name George?” the girl asks in return.
“Um… yes? Why is that?”
“I’m here to take you away!” the young girl says cheerfully.
Looking at the strange young girl, you rest your head on your hand. Honestly, you can’t understand why this young girl wants you. All she said is that she’s here to take you away.
Maybe she’s actually a secret agent sent by the government to spy on you and your activities. Or maybe she’s actually an agent working for some underground group that wants to kidnap you and ransom your life for money. Or maybe she’s a girl scout who uses the term of ‘taking you away’ as a way to sell you a new line of cookies…
“Um, sir,” you hear Wilton interrupt. “Is something the matter?”
Shaking your head, you look to your side, seeing your butler standing there. Giving him a perplexed look, you see him looking at the young girl, the young girl still smiling.
“Sir, have you found out why this young girl is here?” your butler continues, staring at the young girl suspiciously.
“I told you, I’m here to take George away to a magical land called Gensokyo!”
“Gensokyo, huh?” you repeat, scratching your chin. “It sounds nice, but I have a swim to get to still. Perhaps after my swim, then? Ah, whatever, I’ll just pack after my swim. Wilton, can you bring the car here, please?”
“Yes, sir. And what about this young girl?”
You shrug. “Guess we’ll bring her along for a bit.”
“Sir, I would like to object to your decision…”
“No buts, Wilton.”
Your butler sighs before he gives you a single nod. He soon walks away, leaving you alone with this strange young girl. Bending your knees to the point where you are nearly at eye level with the girl, you watch as she continues to stare at you, still smiling.
It’s beginning to bother you.
“So… do your parents know you’re here?” you ask, still perplexed on why a young girl needs you.
The young girl nods, content to stare at you in silence.
Disappointed, you stand up after your legs start to feel cramp. Then you see your butler driving your car up to the door, your butler beckoning you to get in.
“Well then, young girl, do you mind coming along with me for a bit while we sort this strange mess out?”
The young girl thinks for a few seconds before shaking her head. You think she means that she’s okay, though you could be wrong. Either way, she follows you as you open the backseat, the young girl hopping inside with you getting in afterwards. Slamming the door shut, the car gently begins to move, merging into the main road, the gates to your home closing shut.
Looking at the young girl, you see her looking outside the window. You notice a strange set of tails attached to her dress. Odd. Now that you think about it, she does have a particularly strange set of ears attached to her hat. Perhaps it’s just what the kids are wearing these days.
The car soon comes to a stop.
Leaning out into the front of the car, you give your butler a perplexed look.
“What’s wrong, Wilton? Why did we stop?” you inquire, holding your hands to your side. “Don’t you know that I’m already late for my swim?”
“Yes sir… but…” your butler begins, pointing out to the road. “… there appear to be an obstruction in the middle of the road.”
“What?” you look out and see that in the middle of the road is an obstruction.
A stop sign.
In the middle of the road.
You fail to see the point of why there should be a stop sign in the middle of the road.
Either way, you know that this sign shouldn’t be there, but at the same time, it seems oddly appropriate. Well, the point is that every second wasted here is a second less of you swimming.
[X] Just go around the stupid sign. [X] Find a different way.
My demons are few, resting upon my shoulders, and weighing me down.
“You heard what I said, just go around the stupid sign.”
“But sir, what if there is any significance to there being a sign like that? It’s not like you to disregard the law like this?
You sigh as you lean in closer to your butler.
“Wilton… first off, there’s a STOP sign in the middle of the road. A STOP sign. Not a road cone, not a no entry sign, a STOP sign. You have stopped, haven’t you? You have waited to have the right of way, right? Then you have all right to go around the stop sign.”
“And secondly? Who in their right mind puts a stop sign in the middle of the road? It’s in the right position for someone to crash in if they weren’t paying attention. Or doing something stupid. Now please, Wilton, we’re going to be late.”
The car lurches forward again, moving around the sign. Back in motion, you slouch back into your seat, watching the buildings pass by, paying little attention to your fellow passenger. If anything, she seems to be busying herself with watching the buildings go by as well.
Ah, the perks of childhood. Less stress, less worry, not having to worry too much on problems. Life flies by pretty quickly when you don’t realize…
“The car’s stopped.”
“What?” You look to your butler, who is futilely trying to get the car to start, turning the ignition on but, except for a few rumbles of the engine, fails to get any results. Getting out of the car, you make your way to the hood, your butler accompanying you as well. Lifting the hood, you see a large cloud of smoke starting to billow out.
“Goodness, Wilton, what happened? I didn’t realize that the car was overheating.”
“Neither did I sir. It was working perfectly a few minutes ago before stopping.”
“Didn’t we take this to the shop a week ago? Shouldn’t this not be happening? The mechanics did say they did a good job, right?”
“Yes sir, but I can’t understand what is happening.”
“Perhaps if we let it cool down…”
While talking to your butler, you hear another car door opening and from the corner of your eye you see your fellow passenger run out. Startled, you quickly give chase, telling Wilton to watch the car while you chase after the young girl.
“Little girl, little girl, come back here!”
Chasing the girl, you watch her go over fences and through backyards. Nimbly navigating through these obstacles, you see the girl run into an old, abandoned building on the corner of an intersection. Following her, you enter the building, seeing her climb up a flight of stairs.
“Little girl, little girl, please come back here! This is no place to play hide and seek!”
Making your way up the stairs, you reach the top hallway and glance around, catching a glimpse of the young girl running around a corner. Dashing to the intersection, you see the young girl then dart into a room.
“Please, little girl, come out of hiding. This isn’t a time for fun and games… please, little girl… let’s just go back to the car…”
Groaning, you make your way to the room, a pair of double doors standing in your way. Pushing the doors open you slowly walk inside. The light from the doorway only penetrated a few feet in before being engulfed by darkness.
Everything feels wrong.
Then, stepping out of the light, the doors behind you slam shut, leaving you trapped in this dark room. Though you try to look back to where the doors are, no sign of light appeared to help you find where the doors are. Even your attempts to feel for the doors end in no avail, as if the doors themselves have disappeared entirely.
A woman’s voice pierces through the darkness. Turning around, you watch as a woman in purple begins to walk out of the darkness, holding a parasol in one hand. Behind her another woman, this one with several large… tails? Coming out from her back. Standing next to this multi-tailed woman is the young girl you were chasing.
“Good work, Chen, I am proud to know you were able to bring this man to us,” the woman with the parasol says.
The young girl (Chen?) smiles. “Thank you, Yukari. It’s my pleasure to help you out!”
Yukari… strange… that name sounds oddly… familiar.
“Ahem… Miss… Miss Yukari, correct? What’s going on? Is this child your ward?”
“Ah, Mister George, it’s so nice to see you.”
“Erm… you’re not answering my question…”
“So, Mister George, you must be wondering why you’re here.”
“Actually no… but…”
“You see, sir, I’ve taken to quite a liking to you lately. You’re quite an interesting person in comparison to others I’ve seen…”
“I’m here to offer you a proposition, sir.”
“… I’m listening…”
“I’ve decided that you will enjoy a nice stay in the land of Gensokyo. You can spend your time lazing around my home, seeing the beauty of this mystical land.”
“I’ll show you all the amazing wonders that my land has to show! I’ll show you the beautiful peak of Youkai Mountain, the wonderful estate that is the Scarlet Devil Mansion, a nice trip through the Forest of Magic, and much more.”
“Well then, George, would you kindly join me in a… vacation in Gensokyo?”
A large portal appears, the portal containing a multitude of eyes. Eyes… all staring at you… looking into you… examining you… As if they are putting you in a sort of… trance…
[X] “Yes…” [X] “Sure…” [X] “Fine…”
Yukari is strange She wants us to come with her To strange Gensokyo
While yes I would like to say Yes and go right in to Gensokyo. I'd like to vote as if I were George himself. Think about it a bit, some odd lady suddenly traps you in an abandoned building and whips out a portal to Gensokyo and says "Wanna come?". No thank you, I'm a businessman with a business to run and have no time for odd people who believe Magic exist and want to warp me away to a "magical land" I never herad of.
Plus I'm interested to see Yukari's reaction. Probably will just get shoved right into the portal though.
“Wait a minute, you’re not actually giving me any choice here.”
“I beg your pardon? I clearly am giving you a choice on the matter.”
You groan. “It sounds more like that I have no way to say no to your argument. Hell, how am I supposed to say no? Everything’s so… weird right now.”
Yukari laughs. “Of course I’m giving you a choice in the matter! I’m giving you a choice of whether or not you want to go to Gensokyo willingly!”
“What you’re doing is akin to kidnapping, you know! What are you a criminal?”
“A criminal? Clearly not! I am simply someone who wants to reward people from their boring lives.”
“A boring life? What, have you been spying on me all this time? You know, I could take this to court, my dear. Spying on people isn’t very nice, either.”
“I don’t know, your life looks pretty boring from how I look at it.”
“So, you’re the judge of the quality of life? And what gives you that right, ma’am?”
“Well… will this be my reason?”
You feel yourself being grabbed by several arms, the arms coming out of a gap that appeared behind you suddenly. Struggling against these hands, you see as Yukari walks in-front of you, a sly grin on her face.
“Besides, didn’t I tell you that you don’t have much of a choice on not going to Gensokyo? I’m just letting you decide whether or not you want to go willingly or not.”
You grumble, still tugging against these hands. “Curses, woman! I don’t want to go to this weird Gensokyo place! Now release! Release me now!”
Yukari brushes her hand across your chest, laughing silently as she pulls out a fan and hides her face behind it. “Heh, I love it when you humans struggle. It makes all of this so much more fun.”
“Gah, you’ll never get away with this! You never will!”
Yukari’s laugh bellows throughout the room. “On the contrary, sir, I’ve always ‘gotten away’ with this. You humans are so silly thinking that others could ever stop me.” Yukari then points her parasol at your chest, a sinister grin on her face. “So then, you have anything else to say before starting on your journey?”
Shaking wildly, you furrow your brow in fury. Who is this woman? What is she doing to you? She’s a really strange person and you seriously want to get out of this, but there seems to be no way out at all…
The hands suddenly let go of you, as you feel your jacket vibrating.
“Oh… um… one moment, miss… I have to take this call…”
Walking a few steps away from Yukari, you grab your cellphone and bring it to your ear.
“Ah, Wilson! How are you, my friend?”
“Ha ha, still at it, aren’t you?”
“Yeah, I know, I know, I should be swimming right now but I’ve been held up.”
“Oh sure, sure, I would love to get something to eat right now! It’s not like I haven’t cancelled my swims before.”
“Ah, you know, I make up for that with my afternoon runs. You should join me today!”
“Heh, you really need to take care of your physical health, Wilson. Even if you’re chairman, you still have to take care of yourself.”
“Well, you never know when you have to do some running. It’s good to be fit, you know that? Good for the heart, good for the lungs, you know?”
“Eh, well, whenever you have a change of heart, you know who to call. So, it’s settled, right? I’ll meet you in a bit and we’ll get some food.”
“Alright then, it’s been nice talking to you. I’ll see you soon!”
Hanging up the phone, you put it back in your jacket, looking back to Yukari, the woman giving you a perplexed stare.
“Ah… yes… I’m sorry, Yukari, I’m a bit busy right now. Maybe another time.” Looking around, you reach out. “So… where’s that door… ah, here it is!”
Turning the knob, you pull on the door, light flooding into the room, banishing the darkness. Looking back to Yukari, you give her a shrug as you close the door behind you, the room again being consumed by darkness.
Yukari opens her mouth in confusion, looking back at her two servants. “What just happened?”
“So, shall we take a gourmet feast or a simple meal?”
If we're gonna go jogging I believe it's better if we just have a simple meal. I never did do good if I ate a ton then went running afterwards.
Also I'm glad we refused/vetoed, Yukari's reaction had me laughin' a bit. Although I have a feeling we're just gonna get kidnapped later on today anyways, ah well. Least George was polite enough to his wannabe kidnappers, not many people would be.
Sitting down at the counter next to your friend, Wilson, you gleefully wait for the chef to return. Your friend taps you on the shoulder while you wait.
“Hey, George, did you get a chance to check the news lately?”
“Sorry, Wilson, I’ve been rather busy, you know. Every morning I take my swim and every other morning it’s a quick cycle through the park. By the time I’m done, I already have to get to the office and the mechanics have yet to install a TV there.”
“Not that, George, I was talking about the paper. You know, the words they put on paper and people buy at the street corner? Where young kids go shouting at the top of their lungs screaming “EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT! ODSSEY COMPANY BUYS OUT RIVALS!” you know that kind of stuff?”
“Heh, if I didn’t know any better, Wilson, I’m thinking you’re just using the time to flaunt your business.”
Your friend chuckles under his breath. “Yeah, yeah, but this one’s rather interesting. Here, I actually brought a paper for you to read.”
“Oh? Well let me have a look…”
Paper in hand, you quickly read off the headline.
“Fourth disappearance this month…” you start, continuing down. “… police are at wits end… mass kidnappings scaring the populace… disappearing without any trace…”
Closing the paper, you hand it back to your friend. “Well, that’s very interesting, but really now? People disappearing without a trace? That’s crazy talk. People have to leave some sort of trace. I mean, how do they even know these kidnappings are even connected? They might not be kidnappings at all.”
Wilson nods but quickly opens the paper again and points to a different section. “Yeah, but get this, the people who all disappeared were last seen running, as if they were chasing something. So they weren’t being chased when they were disappeared, but as if they were following something instead.”
“So… this is like some sort of weird game of chase the thing to get kidnapped? Whose stupid enough to fall for that?” you scoff. “I mean, you have to be really dumb to chase after something just to get caught.”
“Well, who knows, George, but what I know is that one of the members of the board disappeared during this timeframe, and he was seen chasing after something as well.”
“You sure he hasn’t just taken a short vacation, Wilson? I mean, isn’t that what we businessmen do all the time? Take breaks when we feel like it?”
“Well, if he was going to take a vacation, he’d tell me about it, don’t you think?” Wilson then gives you a funny look. “And we’re not in any place formal, George. You don’t have to call me by my last name.”
“Ah, but I’m so used to saying it!”
“Well, we’re in an informal situation! It’s not like I’m asking you for a report, you know.”
“Hehe, well alright then, Ulysses.”
Ulysses and you then erupt in laughter, turning back to the counter, seeing the chef reappear with your food. After the chef put your food down, you grab your fork and knife. Thanking the chef, you take a bite out of some bacon, letting out a sigh of content.
“Oh… I think I ate more than I should…”
Groaning, you slowly stumble out of your car, walking to the door of your mansion. Your butler quickly walks in front of you, opening the door. Thanking your butler, you walk inside, loosening your belt and tie and letting them fall to the floor. Making your way to a nearby couch, you collapse there, slowly patting your stomach.
“I think I let myself go there…”
“Sir… shall I prepare you a cup of tea?”
Looking up at your butler, you give him a weak nod before resuming to look at the ceiling. Hearing your butler walk off, you let out another groan. Rubbing your head, you glance about lazily, your stomach still aching.
“Feeling down, George?” you hear, the voice belonging to a woman. “You should have known better than to order the chef’s specialty.”
“Yeah, and I chose it anyway.”
“You humans are so silly, taking so many unnecessary risks that you can’t even tell if it’s good for you or not.”
“Yeah, well you don’t sound great yourself. Come on, what’s going on? I told my butler that I was not expecting anyone at this time.”
“Don’t worry, I just invited myself in.”
“Well, did you at least close the door behind you?”
“Heh, don’t worry, I didn’t need to open any doors.”
Slowly sitting you, to turn to look at the woman, seeing her purple dress and sly look.
“What are you?”
“Let’s just say I’m just a bored woman who enjoys having a good time.”
“Yeah, well, I’m not that kind of guy. Now please, take your leave already. I can’t be bothered with anything so trivial.”
“How atypical… usually people are just begging to take me with them.”
“Well typically I don’t enjoy being whisked away to some crazy land. Besides, I have better things to do.”
“Oh? What could be better than having the time of your life in some faraway magical land filled with natural beauty?”
“Being a businessman.”
You laugh to yourself as you lie back down, letting out another groan. “Now please Miss… I didn’t catch your name again.”
“Yakumo, Yukari Yakumo.”
“Yakumo, may you please take your leave? I’m busy with this upset stomach.”
Closing your eyes, you hear Yukari grumble. Maybe now she’ll just leave you alone now.
“Well, if that’s the way you want it, then I guess I have to…”
“What? I thought I said I wasn’t expecting anyone… ugh, whatever.”
Slowly getting off the couch, you walk past Yukari, not even giving the blonde-haired woman a look. Making your way to the doorway, you hear it knocking again.
“Alright, alright I’m coming, I’m coming, just be patient…”
As you open the door, a young woman runs in, looking panicked.
“It’s Mister Wilson!”
[X] “What? Come on, let’s go!” [X] “Calm down, Penelope, please, and tell me what happened.”
[X] Calm down, Miss Penelope and tell me what’s happening.
“Miss Penelope, please, just take a deep breath and… there you go… and again… just repeat after me… deep breaths… let the heart calm down… okay, are you feeling better now?”
“Yes, Mister Hannelson.”
“Okay, why don’t you have a seat so you can explain to me what happened to Wilson. I want to have your mind clear so you can explain to me in detail everything.”
Helping Penelope on to a chair, you take a seat next to her, leaning in closely so you can hear what she has to say.
“Okay, then, why don’t you start from the top?”
“From the top? Okay…” Penelope closes her eyes as she thinks. “I was talking to Mister Wilson on the phone, I could hear that he was driving. While I was speaking to him, I hear a screeching noise in the background and then I could hear a crash. I was shouting at my phone, hoping that Mister Wilson would answer, but the only thing I could hear was the some noise in the background.”
“I hung up the phone and I came here. I don’t know what to do… I’m worried about Mister Wilson.”
“There there, Penelope, I’m certain Wilson is fine… he probably broke his phone if anything. Now, do you know where this car crash might have happened?”
“I don’t know, Mister Hannelson, I just don’t know…” A sudden ringing causes Penelope to reach in her pocket and pull out her cellphone. “Hello? Yes, this is her. Is Mister Wilson there?”
“Wilson’s on the phone?”
“Yes? Yes? Okay. Okay sir.” Penelope holds the phone out to you. “Mister Wilson wishes to speak to you.”
Grabbing the phone, you bring it up to your ear. “Hello?”
“George, how are you?”
“Ulysses! What the hell did you get yourself into?”
“Ah, just a small crash.”
“A small crash… a small crash? You were in a bloody car crash! How is that small? Are you at least doing okay?”
“Yeah, of course, George, I’m quite lucky to be honest, just a few injuries here and there. Listen, George, can you have Penelope take you to the hospital I’m at? The doctor said I need to hang up in a bit.”
“Well, alright then, Ulysses. Are you sure you’re okay?”
“I told you, I’m fine. Just come over right now. I got a few more things to talk to you about.”
“Alright then, I’ll see you there.” Hanging up, you return Penelope’s phone. “Wilson wants us to meet him at the hospital. Come along now, I’ll have my butler drive us there.”
“He does? Alright then, and there’s no need, we’ll take my car.” Standing up, Penelope quickly makes her way out, with you following shortly behind. However, before you make it to the door, you again see Yukari leaning nearby, giving you a playful smirk.
“My, my, George, isn’t this quite the turn of events?”
“What is it this time, Yukari? Can’t you see I’m busy?”
“Oh, you’re no fun, you know that? Why don’t you live life to the fullest? Go on an adventure, do something interesting for once, instead of all this boring stuff.”
“Yukari, my mysterious acquaintance, my life is quite an adventure already.”
“Really now, George, then tell me what exciting things you’ve done lately.”
Rubbing your chin, you smile. “Talking to you? That’s been quite exciting.”
Yukari frowns. “Oh you humans have grown to be no fun, living boring lives, doing boring things every day. I see all the exciting things you could be doing and all you do is just the same, boring things.”
“Mister Hannelson, hurry up please!” you hear Penelope’s voice. Losing focus for a second, you look back at Yukari, the young woman no longer there.
However, you feel a faint breathing next to your ear. “We’ll keep in touch.”
Turning your head, you see that no one is there. Groaning, you walk outside and join Penelope, getting in the passenger seat. The car moved forward as you watch your home disappear in the distance. Hopefully Ulysses hasn’t gotten himself into too much trouble.
“Chairman, please, you are in no condition to act out your duties.”
“Nonsense, Anthony, I may be confined to this room, but I am fully capable of handling my duties as Chairman.”
“I mean you won’t be able to attend the meeting later this week.”
“Ah, that. But of course, I have a solution already!”
“Vice Chairman. Wilson.”
“Ah, the man I was looking for! George, I want you to be my representative.”
“Wait, what? Me? Why?”
“Yes, Chairman, why Mister Hannelson? Why a man who prefers to take swims and runs, not saying that such things is inherently bad, than someone who understands the board enough to represent it? Why not me? Your Vice Chairman?”
“You’re my Vice Chairman, that’s why! Besides, it’s your duty to keep the board in line while I’m here. You really can’t do that when you’re off on some business meeting elsewhere, right?”
“Perhaps, Chairman, but I am finding it difficult to see through your logic. Nonetheless, if that is your decision, I have no right to complain… though I do hope you know what you are doing.”
“Heh, you worry too much, Anthony. I’m not as rigid as my father.”
“That is what I fear…”
“Are you sure you are okay with this decision? I don’t know if I would be able to properly represent you.”
“Oh, I’m sure you’ll be fine, George. You’re a good businessman, and I know you’ll get the results I want. Now, will you please excuse me, I have to discuss some things with my secretary… Miss Penelope, can you please come in?”
“I can’t imagine the Chairman’s decision… I would assume he’d make me his representative, not you.”
“Hey, I’m surprised about this as you are, Vice Chairman. Although I have my worries, I will not doubt Ulysses’ choice on making his representative.”
“Alright, Mister Hannelson, you listen here and you listen here damn well. If you screw this up, I will personally make sure that the board will have your company removed. This is an important meeting and we can’t let any slipups mess it up. You hear that?”
“Goodness, Vice Chairman, you don’t have to threaten me to tell me not to mess up.”
“Then good, we’re at an understanding… now I have some other matters to attend to.”
The Vice Chairman leaves as you lean back on a wall, groaning. “Goodness, Ulysses, I really hope you know what you’re doing…”
Glancing at Ulysess’ hospital room door, perhaps it might be a good idea to ask if he has some more reasons why you’re going to be the one representing him for this meeting. Then again, this meeting is only a few days away. You really should start getting ready.
[X] Ask Ulysses more about being chosen. [X] Leave for home and prepare for the meeting.
> Yukari frowns. “Oh you humans have grown to be no fun, living boring lives, doing boring things every day. I see all the exciting things you could be doing and all you do is just the same, boring things.”
Well someone has to do those boring things so civilization can continue, unlike Gensokyo, which is ruled by who has the biggest, most seizure inducing stick.
“Why not, George? It seems like something you’d like to do, right?”
“But, Ulysses, I’m not ready! This is so sudden! If you told me about this earlier, I would gladly be able to do this. But not on such a short notice! If you really want something who can do this, have Victor do it!”
“Victor doesn’t need to do everything, George. He may be vice chairman, but that doesn’t mean he’s the one I’m going to automatically chose to do things when stuff like this happens.”
“Still, he has much better skills than me and he knows what the board wants like the back of his hand!”
“Thus more reason why you should go. Sometimes the board needs things that they might not like, don’t you agree?”
“But still, they’ve been supporting your company for a long time, since your father’s time. You can’t go around messing their trust in you.”
“Ah, they’ll be fine. What’s one meeting to them?”
“Just only one of the most important meetings in a long time. It’s a partnership with another large company. We can’t mess up such a good opportunity.”
“Ah, don’t worry, George, I trust you won’t mess it up.”
“I won’t mess it up, huh?”
With your head resting on your hand, you let out a sigh as you watch the city pass by, tall skyscrapers giving way to large houses. The taxi slowly stops on the corner next to a large house; your house.
“That’ll be eighty, sir.”
“Keep the change.” Passing the man a bill, you exit the taxi and watch it drive off. Letting out another sigh, you walk up the driveway to the front door and gently knock on it.
“Ahem, yes? Ah, Master George, what are you doing here? I didn’t know you were coming home.” Wilton stammers, looking a bit flustered. “Why didn’t you call me? I could have come over to pick you up.”
“Meh, it’s alright, I wasn’t in the mood today.” Walking inside, you head for the living room, ready to lie down for a quick rest.
“Ahem, Master George, may I inform that…”
“George, I have a word with you!” you hear a loud voice booming through the house.
“Victor, what a surprise…”
“Cut the crap, George, you know why I’m here. Now tell me that you’re reconsidering.”
“Ahem, Master George, shall I prepare some food for our guest?”
Wilton leaves the room, leaving you with Victor.
“I told you before, George, that I’m more qualified with being the one who represents the company and the board. Now I hope that you understand this.”
Sitting down, you rub your forehead for a bit before looking at Victor. “I’m sorry, but I can’t say no. Ulysses wants me to do this, and he won’t take anyone else.”
“What? Impossible! Tell me why, tell me now!” Victor is at your shoulders, grabbing them with his hands and shaking you a bit. “Tell me, why would he decide to pick you for something so short notice?”
“I don’t know, maybe it’s the accident that’s affecting him.”
Victor groans as he lets go of you, putting his hands on his shoulders. “Great… just great! The Chairman risks everything just so he can give one of his friends an important job.”
“Hey, I didn’t ask for this, Victor, so don’t try to blame this on me!”
“You sure? I know how you are, George. You’re rarely at board meetings, even when the topic is important, and you instead just go swimming and running too much. You wouldn’t be on the board if it weren’t for the current chairman being your friend.”
“Hey, I did the same thing when the former chairman was alive and I was still on the board. Don’t think I’m just lazy. I get things done.”
“If the former chairman were still alive, the company wouldn’t be in the state it is. Complete and utter stagnation, nothing going forward, nothing going back, just stuck in the same part.”
The room stands silent as the two of you stare at each other, Victor groaning again as he sits down across from you.
“So I’m guessing there’s no way to have you give the spot to me, right George?”
“Nope. Honestly, I would give you the spot if I could, but I just can’t, I just can’t.”
“Whatever…” Victor trails off as he stands, squinting out. “Hmm? George, I didn’t know you have other guests.”
“Other guests?” Looking at what Victor was seeing, you groan. “Oh no…”
“Hello, George, I hope we’re not interrupting anything,” Yukari says, smiling a bit. Next to her is another woman with pale skin, pink hair and wearing a peculiar blue dress with pink flowers on it.
Victor walks over to Yukari and her companion and smiles. “Hello, ma’ams, my name is Victor, Victory Anthony. May I inquire who you two are?”
“Hello, Mister Anthony, my name is Yukari Yakumo, and this is…”
“Nice to meet you, Victor! My name is Yuyuko Saigyouji, but you can call me Yuyuko.”
“It is my pleasure to meet you, the both of you.” Victor replies, shaking both of their hands.
“Ugh, Yukari, what are you doing here?” you ask, still not looking at the two of them.
“Oh, have you forgotten already? You promised to take us out for dinner!”
“Dinner?” Victor interrupts, grinning widely. “Why, you don’t have to worry about George, you can have dinner with me instead. I know quite a good place in the city where we can eat.”
Yukari blushes as she hears Victor’s offer. “Thank you, Victor, but I would love if George would be there as well.”
Victor frowns but returns to smiling as he walks in front of you, getting you to stand up. “You know George, I apologize for what I said earlier and to make it up, why don’t we have dinner with these nice ladies? You don’t even have to pay, so don’t worry about that as well.”
“Yes, George, so what do you say?” Yukari asks as Victor turns you around to face her and Yuyuko. “Aren’t you going to join us for dinner?”
[X] “Alright then, if you insist.” [X] “I apologize, Yukari, but I am not in the mood for dinner.”
[X] “Alright then, if you insist.” Maybe wording it differntly for maximum irony later on? "Eeh. Fine. Not like I'd die from it. Need to kill some time anyway." or the classic "Eeh. Fine. What's the worst that could happen?"
“Well, I guess I don’t have anything else to do this evening, so sure, I’ll come with you.”
“Excellent!” Victor cheers, laughing loudly. “I knew you couldn’t refuse such a good night with these two beautiful ladies.”
“Oh, you flatter us too much, Victor,” Yukari replies, blushing a bit.
“But it’s only the truth! You two are as beautiful as any rose. I would be honored to be able to have dinner with you two.”
“So, any place we can go that will accept us in such short notice, Victor?” you ask, still a bit confused by the whole ordeal.
“Of course, when you have a lot of connections, you’ll be able to always get the best spots. Why, I know an excellent place we can go to that has not only great service but even the best musicians in the city!”
“Oh, music!” Yuyuko says, clapping her hands a bit. “I would love to listen to the works of Berch and Moozart!”
You hear Victor let out a bit of a nervous chuckle, perhaps not wanting to correct the pink haired woman. “Well, then, that settles it! I have my limo waiting outside, so come on!”
“Already?” you gasp.
“Of course! It’s been waiting there this entire time, now come on!”
Beckoning everyone to follow him, you watch Yukari and Yuyuko follow him, with you at the back, still feeling a bit uncertain about the whole affair. Soon you see your butler coming back, tray in hand.
“Oh, sir, leaving already? What shall I do with the food?” Wilton asks.
“Um, erm, just put it away for now, we’ll eat it later. Oh, and Wilton, can you go buy me some more wine, please?”
“Yes, sir, for what occasion do you need this wine for?”
“For the occasion where I just don’t want to deal with what’s going on.”
Rubbing your forehead, you open the doors, walking outside to join your fellow businessman and accompanying ladies. And as Victor said, there is a limo waiting just outside.
“How did I miss this…” you groan, walking down the steps to the limo. Standing behind Victor, you watch him usher the two women inside, a confident smile on his face. Victor then turns his head to you.
“Well, you first, George,” Victor says, pointing inside his limo. “I suggest you sit next to Yuyuko, as I wish to sit next to Yukari.”
“You sure, Victor?” you ask, looking at your associate strangely. “She’s a strange woman, that one. I know her a bit better, so maybe I will be better off next to her.”
“Ah, come on, George. Just go in. Yuyuko is actually quite interested in talking with you.”
“I see, well…” you start, before feeling Victor pushing you into the limo.
“Just get in already! We should get going!”
Stumbling into the limo, you slowly pass Yukari, seeing the blonde-haired woman giving you a wink. Sitting down next to Yuyuko, you watch a smile grow on her face.
“Hello again, George!” Yuyuko cheerfully greets.
“Uh, yeah, hello there as well,” you sheepishly respond, finding it weird how cheerfully your fellow passenger is.
Victor is the last to get in, shutting the door behind him. Sitting next to Yukari, Victor waves to the driver, the driver nodding and pressing on the gas. The car slowly lurches forward as it leaves your home, going down the road and heading into the heart of the city.
While Victor is busy chatting away with Yukari, Yuyuko seems perfectly fine at gawking at the different sights she sees, the pink-haired woman acting more like a child than an adult. Though it is rather funny to watch.
Yuyuko turns to look at you. “Hey, what’s so funny, George?”
You quickly wave your hand, trying to dismiss your humor. “It’s nothing, Yuyuko. It’s just absolutely nothing.”
“Oh, you can tell me! I won’t be- OH! What’s that!” And Yuyuko returns to gawking at the scenery.
After a bit more driving, the car slowly comes to a stop. The driver is quick to get out of his seat and move over to the passenger door, opening it for the car’s passengers. The last to step out, you watch as the driver quickly returns to his seat and drives the car off to park it somewhere nearby.
“Well then, welcome ladies, to the finest dining you’ll ever experience in your lives,” Victor announces as he spread his arms wide.
“Oh I love fine dining!” Yuyuko states, clapping her hands together, seemingly amused by the small spectacle Victor was putting on.
“Don’t we all. Now come all! I’m certain we’re all starving!” Victor beckons the two ladies and you to the entrance as he speaks with the waiter, Victor whispering something in waiter’s ear and slipping a thick clip of bills into the waiter’s hand. After a few moments of talking, the waiter invites Victor inside, Yuyuko and Yukari following quickly behind.
For a moment you hesitate. Bribery has always sit foul on your stomach, and for it to be used just to impress a pair of ladies with fine food and wine begins to disgust you. However, you feel somewhat worried for Victor. Yukari is suspicious, and her friend Yuyuko is just plain weird. You resolve yourself to follow them, if only because you want to keep an eye on those two.
Entering the restaurant, you see a large amount of finely dressed people, either eating or watching a band perform some music on stage. The restaurant itself has a second floor, reserved for those who can afford it.
And in this case, Victor definitely afforded it.
“George, come, sit! We’ve been waiting for you all this time!” Victor says, pointing to the open seat.
Obeying Victor, you sit down, sitting next to Yuyuko again. Across from you, Victor is sitting next to Yukari, the two of them already sharing a glass of wine. As you continue to sit, you wonder if you should ask some questions. Then again, Yuyuko also looks busy, the pink-haired woman watching the band play. Looking at the other tables, you feel that you’ll only have enough time for one question.
[X] Ask a question… - [X] To Yukari - [X] To Yuyuko [X] Just wait to order food.
I'm letting you guys decide what question to ask if you want.
BUT ONE QUESTION ONLY! AND ONLY TO EITHER YUKARI OR YUYUKO.
Ask her if she is having a good time. She's acting way too suspiciously, this way, we can safely ask her if
A: She is enjoying herself, while B: Probing for information.
People like her usually open up and will start talking on their own given the slightest invitation. I just think the other question might be a little too personal for her. I imagine she is under suggestion from Yukari not to speak about her daily life in Gensokyo, also.
“Excuse me, Yuyuko,” you say, hoping to get the pink-haired woman’s attention.
Yuyuko slowly turns to face you, Yuyuko giving you a big smile. “Yes, George? Is there something you want to ask me?”
“What do you do for a living?” you shrug. “Your dress, how you act, even your hair color… honestly, what kind of job do you have? Hobby, profession, anything really.”
“Oh, me? Oh, it’s nothing much, really. I stay at home mostly, watching cherry blossoms.”
“So… you’re an environmentalist?”
“I wouldn’t say that, I simply just enjoy watching plants in bloom.”
Scratching your chin, you decide to continue asking. “Well, you still haven’t properly answered your question. What, are you unemployed? Or you live with your parents?”
“I don’t think I can be unemployed if I haven’t been employed in anything in the first place, do you think?”
“That doesn’t answer my question; do you have a job or anything? I’m just curious.”
Yuyuko giggles a bit. “Well I don’t know how to say what I do for a living, but I guess I can say that I deal with the dead.”
“Wait, you’re a mortician? You seem a bit too… cheerful for being a mortician. Of course, I apologize if that offends you. I just never imagined that people like you would become morticians. Wouldn’t you do something more… cheerful?”
“Actually, the job is pretty cheerful!” Yuyuko smiles widely.
“Right…” You decide to stop asking. This Yuyuko is probably the strangest woman you’ve met. Then again, Yukari’s pretty strange as well. You’d ask her a question, but she’s still too busy chatting up with Victor, drinking wine and laughing loudly.
Victor, however, has enough time to look at you. “What’s up George, why you staring at me?” he asks, giving you a somewhat hostile stare. “Let me guess, you’re thinking about Ulysses and how much he’d enjoy dinner with these two fine ladies?”
“Ah, forget Ulysses for once already. Besides, it’s not like he’d actually be able to control himself around such beautiful women. He’s already socially inept as it is. I wonder how you managed to be his friend despite how weird he can be.”
“He’s not weird, Victor!” you defended, feeling that Victor might be having too much to drink to be openly insulting Ulysses. “Besides, he’s a pretty good friend.”
“Oh yeah, I bet being drinking buddies makes it easy to be friends. I bet you don’t actually bother listening to him when he’s sober. The guy is pretty awkward.”
“What, that was just one time! He’s not that awkward.”
Victor guffaws loudly, pouring himself another glass of wine. “Ah, whatever, let’s not bother talking about the Chairman already. I dedicate this toast to his swift recovery and good health!”
Yukari and Yuyuko both raise glasses, both of them looking at you, noticing that you’re not raising a glass.
“What’s wrong, Georgey?” Yukari teases, laughing quietly to herself. “You don’t care about your friend’s health?”
Groaning, you grab yourself a glass as well and pour a single drop of wine. Raising it up, the glasses meet and clang together as everyone sips their wine.
A waiter soon arrives.
“Well finally! I was starting to wonder when we’d get to order some food,” Victor complains as he sits up properly, grabbing a menu from the waiter.
“So, what will it be?” the waiter asks, holding a notepad out.
“The I would like an order of brisket for a starter.”
The waiter then points to Yukari. “And you, ma’am?”
“I’ll have what he’s having,” Yukari answers, pointing to Victor.
The waiter’s pen moves to you. “You, sir?”
“Actually, I would like just the salad. No dressing, please.”
The waiter writes your order down and points his pen at Yuyuko. “And you ma’am?”
Yuyuko thinks for a few moments before setting the menu down and giving the waiter a large smile. “I’ll just have one of everything!”
“Everything, ma’am? Does that include the desserts as well?”
“I shall inform the chefs to work twice as fast for your order then…” the waiter finishes, putting his pen away and taking the menus before walking off.
“Everything, Yuyuko? My, my, don’t you have quite an appetite today,” Victor states, snickering a bit. “I hope you can finish all that. It’d be quite a waste of food if you couldn’t.”
“Oh, I’m certain it’ll fill me right up,” Yuyuko answers politely.
You groan as you rest your head on the table. This woman is crazy…
As you wait for the food, Victor continues drinking with Yukari, the two of them becoming drunker and drunker with each glass. Victor then giggles as he prods your arm.
“Come on, Georgey boy, join us! I know you like a good glass of wine,” Victor offers you the bottle, waving it temptingly in front of you. “Just forget all your troubles already and wind down already. Forget Ulysses. He’s in the hospital and you’re not.”
Seeing Victor continue to get you to drink, you stand up, making up an excuse that you forgot to wash your hands. Though Victor eyes you suspiciously, he doesn’t say a word as you head towards the restroom. Slipping inside, you move to the sink, turning on the hot water and splashing it over your face.
How the heck do I keep getting myself in these situations… You ask yourself, rubbing your face slowly. I should have never accepted the invitation…
After drying off your face and breathing in a few times, you walk out of the restroom. There, you are surprised to see Yuyuko standing just outside of the archway, eyeing you carefully.
“Yuyuko, what are you doing here?” you inquire. “Shouldn’t you be with Yukari and Victor?”
“You know, if you want to leave, Yukari and I won’t mind,” Yuyuko says, the pink-haired woman still smiling at you.
That smile, that happiness, it feels so otherworldly. It’s unnatural. There has to be something more to her than being just a mortician.
“What are you?” the words slip out without you thinking about it. Before you apologize, Yuyuko giggles again.
“Well, I guess you can say I’m not really human, right?” she answers.
“That’s not what I was thinking about but now that you talk about it, you seem to be extremely inhuman for a human. Your hair, your style of dress, the way you act. Really, what are you? An alien?”
“Aliens, George? Don’t tell me you believe in those,” Yuyuko replies, giggling at those words. “Well, I could tell you, but if I told you, I’d have to kill you.”
It’s not the fact that Yuyuko said she’d kill you. It’s the fact how cheerfully she said it. You collapse on to the wall, feeling your legs go numb. What is going on? Nothing seems right anymore. You’ve surrounded by a strange world that you can’t figure out at all. Yet at the same time, it feels a bit… natural.
“Well, George, if you still want to leave, you can if you want. And don’t worry, we’ll take good care of Victor.”
Looking at Yuyuko, you summon up your strength to stand up right, calming your nerves as you say your answer.
[X] “I guess I’ll take you up on that offer.” [X] “Thanks, but I don’t plan on leaving Victor in your hands.”
[X] “Thanks, but I don’t plan on leaving Victor in your hands.” Human alliance, ho. Your bro may be a punk, but he's still your bro. Also don't be afraid to drag Vic out of sicky situations against his will. Sometimes you have to kick a bro's ass, for his own good.
“You wouldn’t actually kill me now, would you, Yuyuko?” you ask cautiously, still disturbed by how cheerfully she said it.
“Oh, I said that?” Yuyuko replies, placing her hand on her cheek. “Oh, I’m sorry, George, I wouldn’t actually kill you. It just slipped out, that’s all.”
“Really, but it sounded so cheerful for something so serious. Like if you threatened other people before…”
Yuyuko shakes her head quickly. “Oh, don’t worry about it, George. I didn’t really mean it at all, honestly! If I really meant it, I wouldn’t have said it so cheerfully!”
“Right…” you give a suspicious stare at the pink-haired woman, a little untrusting of her. Though really, what would you do? Say if she really did mean she would kill you. Would you tell the authorities? It’s not like you have any witnesses or anyway to confirm she actually threatened you. Then again, she is such a cheerful and friendly person, probably friendlier than anyone you’ve ever met. It’s hard to believe such a cheerful person would actually mean such a threat.
Then again, a threat is a threat…
“Well, George? If you want to go home, you can go home. I’ll just tell Yukari that you have something else to do and you have to leave.”
“Thanks, but no thanks, Yuyuko. I’m planning on staying a bit longer. Besides, the food is almost here. It would be a shame to miss out that.”
Yuyuko giggles as she holds out her hand. “Well then I guess you’ll be a gentleman and escort me back to the table, yes?”
A little surprised by this turn of events, you nod and reach out for Yuyuko’s hand. Upon grabbing it, a chill goes down your spine. Yuyuko’s hand is cold, as if it were deathly cold. Hiding your surprise, you wrap your arm around Yuyuko’s arm and walk the pink-haired woman back to the table, Victor and Yukari still drinking even though their food has yet to arrive.
“We’re back!” Yuyuko shouts, waving her hand in the air.
“Ah, George, I see you’ve decided to be a gentleman for once. Please, please, sit, the food is almost here.”
Taking your seats, you watch as the waiter arrives with a large tray with several different food items requested earlier. Your salad is placed in front of you as a glass of water is poured for you. Soon, a cart filled with different foods is pushed up next to Yuyuko, the pink-haired girl clapping her hands in excitement.
“Ma’am, the rest of your food will be here shortly. Your desserts will also be here a bit later when you wish to request it,” the waiter informs Yuyuko.
“Oh that’s okay, just send it in already,” Yuyuko replies quickly, smiling widely.
“But, ma’am, the dessert will spoil if you leave it out here. Wouldn’t you prefer waiting until you are capable of having the dessert before it goes bad?”
“You heard the lady, waiter,” Victor answers. “Bring the nice lady her desserts already. You wouldn’t want to make her mad, now do you?”
The waiter bows down and leaves, coming back with another cart with different sorts of delicious desserts. With both carts next to Yuyuko, the waiter bids your table farewell. Before you can even eat a single leaf, however, Yuyuko has already gone through half her plate. Staring at Yuyuko, you watch her go through her food quickly, part of you thinking she’d eat plates just for the scraps on them.
Though it’s rude to stare, you can’t help but keep watching. You look at Victor and Yukari, hoping you’re not the only one watching this, but they’re too busy drinking and laughing around, leaving you as the only person watching Yuyuko devour plate after plate of meals. You find yourself without appetite anymore. Setting your fork down, Yuyuko is quick to shake your shoulder.
“Are you going to finish that?” she asks, still chewing on some food. You only shake your head as Yuyuko grabs your salad and finishes it with one gulp.
This woman is unbelievable. You have to imagining that she’s devouring her food like a ravenous beast. Yet your eyes continue to show Yuyuko eating through plate after plate without second thought, the dishes piling higher and higher. Are you the only one seeing this? Have you gone mad?
Keeping to yourself, you start to mentally escape the situation, trying to hide away in some sort of idea that will occupy your time until everyone else is finished eating.
A bird would be nice, yes a nice beautiful bird flying across the sky, with no clouds, just a singular sun as it is chased by other birds, wanting to peck its eyes out…
Where did that chain of thought come from?
Returning back to reality, you see Yuyuko is finished with her meals, the tower of dishes being taken away in segments. Across from you, Yukari and Victor share another hearty laugh before glancing at you.
“Oi, George-y boy, you sure you don’t want a drink?” Victor drunkenly offers a glass filled to the brim with sweet red wine. Tempting as it is, you feel extremely uncomfortable. More-so on how Victor is acting despite how strange these two ladies are. Maybe he’s just too drunk to care.
“Oh!” Victor pulls back his sleeve to reveal his watch. “Look at the time! It’s so late! I almost forgot I have an important meeting in the morning! Come on, let’s head to the limo!”
Yukari holds on to Victor’s arm, staring seductively at him. “Oh, Victor, can’t we stay just a little longer? I was thinking about having some desserts.”
“No, no, I can’t be late for this meeting tomorrow. But I’ll get you some sweets later. Does that sound good, Yukari?” Victor smiles widely.
Yukari nods as she stands up with Victor, the both of them drunkenly looking at you. Without a word, you nervously stand up with Yuyuko, the gluttonous woman holding firmly to your arm.
“Alright then! Let’s… head out of here!” Victor starts to shamble forward before he is stopped by a waiter holding the bill.
“A-hem, sir, the bill?”
“Ah, right…” Victor reaches into his wallet and pulls out a checkbook. Pulling out one of the papers, the places it in the waiter’s hand. “Here, a blank check. Take out… as much as you want, okay? It’ll go through, promise.”
“But, sir… erm…” the waiter protests as Victor continues to shamble down the steps with Yukari, you cautiously following behind them. Exiting the building, you watch as Victor’s limo pulls up next to the curb, the driver getting out and opening the passenger doors. Victor smiles as he helps Yukari and Yuyuko in. He then turns to you.
“Come on, George. We don’t want our lovely companions waiting, eh?” Victor asks, grinning widely.
Looking at how smashed Victor is, and then at the two ladies sitting inside, something just does sit right in your stomach. Though you don’t wish to offend Victor, you seriously have a bad feeling that something might just happen if you sit inside. That, or you just don’t like it when Victor is acting so weird. Your butler will gladly pick you up from the restaurant, though it would be quite a bother as well.
[X] “Um… Victor… I actually had something else to do here… you go ahead, I’ll see you again tomorrow.” [X] “Oh, right. Let me just… sit…”
Doing the right thing, or doing the smart thing... No, wait. This is more like doing the smart thing or doing the extremely dumb thing, by which I mean the 'sit in there' option. The true 'right' choice would be to save Victor, somehow. Pull him out of this mess and leg it. ...but you didn't allow write-ins, so I guess I'll have to go with the stupid one.
Seattle. Where the airport wi-fi is actually free.
[X] “Um... Victor... I actually have something else to do... I’ll see you again tomorrow.”
“Victor… uh, I actually just remembered something! I… uh… have to meet my… um… sister! Right, my sister… she’s in town now… and… I was supposed to show her around, like… the good brother I am!”
Of course, that was a lie. You don’t even have a sister. It was unfortunately the only thing you could come up with in such short notice.
Victor drunkenly grins and pats you on the shoulder. “You didn’t tell me you have a sister, Georgy! Why don’t you have her come along? I’m certain she’ll love to have a drink or two with us!”
“No, no, no, she’s quite the teetotaler, she would just be disappointed in me drinking. Don’t worry, Victor, I’ll be perfectly fine. I’ll simply call my butler to take me home.”
A short laugh escapes Victor’s mouth as he steps into his limo, looking a little disappointed that you won’t be able to come along, but nonetheless still happy to be in the company of two beautiful women. Your co-worker grins as he waves you off, his limo heading down the street and disappearing around a corner.
With them out of the way, you relax your shoulders and reach into your jacket. Pulling out your phone, you dial your butler’s number and call him. After explaining your situation, you put your phone back as you wait around in front of the restaurant. Sitting on a nearby bench, you close your eyes as you wait for Wilton to arrive.
“So, George, where’s your sister?”
Jumping in surprise, you turn to see Yuyuko behind you, the pink-haired woman smiling widely.
“M-my sister?” you slowly reply.
“Didn’t you say you were going to meet up with your sister?”
You groan and let out a short sigh. “Yuyuko, can you keep a promise that you won’t tell Victor that I lied? I don’t really have a sister... I just didn’t want to go with him anymore.”
Yuyuko giggles a bit and nods. “Don’t worry, your secret is safe with me! But if you didn’t want to go, why didn’t you say so?”
Glancing away, you tug on your shirt collar. “Well... Victor is quite persistent. If I didn’t come up with an excuse like that, he wouldn’t have let me leave. Hey... why are you here, Yuyuko? I thought you were with Yukari and Victor.”
“Oh... I just like staying with you, George. You’re quite a fun person to be with!” Yuyuko continues to smile widely. “So, what are you waiting for?”
“Me? I’m waiting for my butler to pick me up. I’m guessing you need a ride home as well?”
“Well, I would love to ride with you, but may I come to your house?”
You give Yuyuko a confused stare. “My house? Why? Don’t you have something to do with Yukari?”
Yuyuko giggles again. “Don’t worry, Yukari knows I’m with you. So... anything you want to do while we wait for your butler?”
“Actually... no... I was simply going to wait here for my butler and then head home.”
Yuyuko frowns. “Aww, that doesn’t sound fun at all. How about we take a short walk? I’m certain that’s fun, isn’t it?”
You scratch your chin. “Well... there is a park nearby...”
“Alright! Let’s get going!” Yuyuko grabs your arm and holds it close.
A little embarrassed to have some woman you barely know holding you quite intimately, you slowly take Yuyuko to the nearby park, glad to see that it’s completely deserted. Finding a nice spot near the water, you take a seat with Yuyuko.
Lying on your back, you stare up at the sky, disappointed to see that the clouds are obscuring the moon. With a short sigh, you continue to lie on your back, deciding to just stare at clouds.
“Hey, George? What do you think about your life?” Yuyuko asks politely.
“What? My life?” you reply in a confused tone. “Well... I say it’s okay. I have a good job, I’m capable of supporting myself and anything I want to do. I have more disposable income than some people have value. I’ve got a roof over my head... I have everything that I ever wanted...”
Yuyuko crawls over to you, her head above your face. “You sound like there’s something still missing.”
“Missing... what could I be missing?” you ask in a rather sheepish tone.
“Well, I’m certain there’s something you’re missing... you just have to think, silly!” Yuyuko giggles again, a wide smile on her face.
“Now that I think about it, Yuyuko, there are quite a few things that I feel I am... missing in my life.” Staring into the sky, you continue to watch the clouds roll by. “Even with all this wealth... this power... this affluence... it feels hollow somewhat. Empty.”
“Oh?” Yuyuko asks, the pink-haired woman tilting her head to the side. “Why so?”
“I can’t under what is it why I feel so empty? Perhaps it’s just a longing for more... but what more of? I have more wealth than some countries have people... I live in such a state that some people can’t even imagine. Perhaps I want to own the world but even if I had the world in my pocket... what then? Will that be able to fill this emptiness?”
“Well, what do you think you’re missing then, George?”
Sighing, you slowly sit up, Yuyuko sitting next to you, looking at you intently. “I feel I lack approval... even with all the compliments of fellow businessmen, it feels so hollow... always watching for any cracks that may appear on the surface. I feel I just want someone to approve of what I’m doing, to appreciate all I’ve done... to simply say I’m doing well.”
“What about your friends? You have friends, don’t you?” Yuyuko continues a soft smile on her face.
“Yeah, friends... Victor is hardly someone I call a friend. He’s a very crass person, always flaunting off to others, being proud of who he is and thinking he’s better than everyone. The only reason I put up with him is because things don’t work well if people argue.”
“And what about Ulysses?” Yuyuko asks inquisitively, leaning in a bit closer to you. “What do you think about him?”
“Ulysses?” you repeat before silently chuckling and staring out at the water, watching the reflection of the moon peeking out from the cloud layer. “He’s a good man. There’s just something really weird about him.”
Yuyuko again tilts her head in confusion. “Really? What’s so weird about him?”
“Well, I’d honestly think he’d be more prepared for his job, being the head of such a powerful and wealthy company and what not, but something about him is... tense. It’s like... wait a minute, how do you know about Ulysses? I don’t remember talking about him with you. Or did I?”
Yuyuko giggles again and smiles widely. “Victor told me about him. By the way he talked about him I think he isn’t exactly a model businessman.”
“Well, I don’t like agreeing on Victor on things but... he’s right about that. He’s hardly like his father, a lot more prone to wild whims at times and drinking. He actually spent quite a bit of money getting a mini-fridge moved to his office so he can always have a cool drink with him. It’s rather unlike a normal businessman. But...”
“But what, George? There’s something more to it than meets the eye?”
You slowly nod, still staring at the water. “Yeah. He’s really not a bad man at all. He’s really a fun person to be with, but it’s like he’s always thinking of something else. I can’t explain it, but I just can’t help but worry a bit about him.” You let out another sigh and look back at Yuyuko. “Well, can’t dwell too long on them. Even if I could figure those things out, I would still feel there’s something missing in my life as well.”
“Well, what about family? Don’t you have family as well?” Yuyuko continues, her prying about you a bit discomforting yet at the same time relieving. At least you won’t be sitting in silence.
“Family is a bit... difficult to say. I do have some aunts and uncles, cousins and nephews, but we’ve drifted apart over the years. To be honest, the only close family I’ve ever had was with my parents. And even then it was only with my father.” You slowly start to shake your head, the entire ordeal becoming a bit too personal now. “Can we drop the subject now?”
“If it makes you feel uncomfortable, then okay then,” Yuyuko answers, slowly sitting back up straight, the two of you sitting in silence.
Staring out at the water again, you continue to watch the moon’s reflection, feeling your mind quickly trying to forget everything about the conversation. Soon your phone goes off and you answer it, your butler already at where you were to be picked up. Standing up, you help Yuyuko to her feet, the pink-haired woman holding on to your arm as you made your way to the car.
“Good evening, Master George,” Wilton greeted, quickly opening the back seat for Yuyuko and you. After the two of you get in, Wilton closes the door behind you and makes his way to the driver’s seat, starting up the car and looking back to the passenger seats.
“Shall I suggest a musical piece for the ride home, master? There is currently an ensemble playing some of master’s favorite music right now, if you so want to listen.”
“That’s, but no thanks, Wilton,” You quickly reply as you lean your head on the window. “I prefer not to listen to music on the ride back.”
“Very well, sir. And for the ma’am, are you joining us at the mansion or do you have somewhere else to be dropped off?”
“Oh no, I would love to join you at your mansion, George!” Yuyuko shouts before quickly looking at you. “If that would be okay with you.”
“Well sir, shall I prepare a room for her when we return home?” Wilton asks quickly, the engine humming to life.
“It’ll be fine. It’ll be a good chance to use one of the guest rooms anyway,” you answer before closing your eyes.
“Very well sir.” Wilton says as the car lurches forward, beginning its silent trip out of the city.
The car slowly reaches the paved roadway of your mansion before coming to a gentle stop in front of the main entrance. Opening your eyes again, you hear the engine softly grumble as Wilton exited the car, opening the passenger door for Yuyuko and you to get out of. As you made your way to the entrance, Wilton is again there, opening it for you and your pink-haired companion. Finally home, you feel ready to collapse.
“Yuyuko, make yourself comfortable and don’t be afraid to ask my butler for anything you need,” you inform Yuyuko. “He’ll have your room ready shortly after he’s parked the car.”
“And what about you, George?” Yuyuko asks in return, watching you slowly walk towards the bedrooms. “Aren’t you going to wait for your butler?”
“I would, but I’m dead tired. So I apologize, but I must call it a night for me and retire to my room. Good night, Yuyuko. I do hope you’ll enjoy the accommodations here.” After a short yawn, you walk out of Yuyuko’s sight, making it back to your bedroom shortly afterwards.
Closing the door behind you, you quickly shed your outer layer of clothes, too tired to drop them elsewhere but the floor. Now only in your undershirt and boxers, you make your way to your bathroom, quickly washing yourself up. Satisfied with your work, you return to your bed, collapsing onto the mattress and pulling the blanket over your head as you close your eyes.
The only time you feel at any peace.
You wish you could just sleep all your worries away, but you always know that when you wake up, those problems will come up again. Oh well, nothing left but to enjoy whatever sleep you can get.
Faint footsteps forces your eyes open. Sitting upright, you stare at the clock near your bed. It was past midnight, so it couldn’t be Wilton. Even he would be asleep by now.
The faint footsteps continue to echo through your mansion. Part of you just wants to return to bed, but knowing that there is something walking around in the dead of night makes you want to investigate who it could be.
>>26149 Spooking Yuyuko? I want to snicker about spooking ghosts. The girl is literally too slow to be spooked in the first place. I mean, I bet she would sleep through a tank crashing through her bedroom and driving out on the other side.
And as >>26150 said, we don't even know if it's her.
>>26163 Also many people who update faster than a week tend to burn out, slowing down to a 2-3+ week period between updates. If someone blazes through updates very fast, remember it won't last and things will slow down massively.
The footsteps continue to echo through your room as you gently toss aside your blanket and slide off the bed. Slipping on some pajama pants and slippers, you quickly glance around, thinking if you need to arm yourself. If it were some sort of dangerous criminal, you definitely wouldn’t want to walk out there unarmed. Perhaps...
Of course! You have your sword cane. And umbrella gun. You can use those. All you have to do is get them out from under your pillow and...
That’s stupid. You don’t own a sword cane or an umbrella gun. Or an umbrella grappling hook with tazer attached to it. Why the hell would you have that anyway? And why would you have it under your pillow? It’d make sleeping difficult, having something dangerous poking out from under your pillow. In all honesty, if it was a criminal, you think you would have heard a window being broken, or something more than just footsteps.
Oh right, the footsteps. They’re still there.
Summoning up what courage you have, you tip-toe your way out of your room, silently closing shut your door behind you. Though you know what your hallway looks like when it’s near pitch dark, it’s still a bit spooky, the shadows forming menacing shapes all around you.
Nevermind that, however, you have a real and possible danger that’s lurking in these shadows, a sort of assassin, a murderer, a thief and robber, to mug you of all your wealth and...
Okay, maybe you’re overthinking this a bit too much. If it really was a thief, or murder, or assassin of sorts, things would be going very differently.
Very, very differently.
Maybe not, but still, you have a feeling that whoever is sneaking around isn’t exactly going to shank you in your sleep, or rob you blind. Or shank you in your sleep and rob you blind.
Walking through the darkness, you end up making it to the parlor, checking to see if any of the windows or doors show any sign of forced entry. Upon closer inspection, there is no sign of any form of entry at all.
Then what is with the...
“Excuse me, sir?”
Looking over your shoulder, you see a young white-haired woman standing behind you. Though it’s still dark, you notice a scabbard at her side. Or is it just an umbrella? You can’t really tell these days.
“Excuse me, sir,” the woman asks again. “I was told that my mistress was staying here for the night?”
You blink twice, staring at the white-haired woman for several seconds in complete stupor. Perhaps you really need to get more sleep.
“Wait, what?” you reflexively reply, shaking your head slowly. “How’d you get in here? I don’t remember inviting you inside. I think. Is your name Sasha? Because if it is, I don’t recall ever getting a phone call or text message or... anything really informing of your visit.”
The young woman answers with a confused stare. “I apologize, my name is Youmu, Youmu Konpaku, and I’m actually Miss Saigyouji’s gardener. I was told by a friend of her’s that she was spending the night with you?”
“Her gardener? Now what would her gardener... you know what, I don’t want to know. And let me guess, this friend of her, blonde-haired woman, has an affinity for purple, appears out of nowhere whenever she pleases, name’s Yukari?”
Youmu nods. “Shall you escort me to her room then, sir?”
“Um... I don’t know if you notice but... it’s kind of late. She’s probably deep asleep by now and wouldn’t it be better if you brought her with you later, you know, when she’s awake and when it’s morning?” you ask, scratching the back of your head. “And the name’s George. I don’t really want to be called sir this late.”
“Oh, I see...” Youmu began looking down at her feet. “I guess I should have thought about that at first...”
Another set of footsteps approaches you as you glance out into the darkness, seeing your butler, Wilton, walking through the darkness with a flashlight in hand.
“Master George, I came along as soon as I heard your door open,” your butler says as he shines the flashlight upon Youmu. “And who is this, master?”
“Ah, yes, Wilton, this is Youmu Konpaku one of Miss Saigyouji’s retainer’s. Also, could you prepare a room for her? I wouldn’t want her to wait for her mistress all night.”
“Yes, sir,” Wilton replies with a bow as he motions Youmu to follow her. “And what about you, sir? Will you be requiring any of my services later tonight?”
“No, I’ll be fine, but thank you, Wilton. I just... need to get myself a drink,” you walk towards the kitchen, not bothering to wait for your butler’s answer, Wilton leading Youmu down the hallway. With the two of them no longer in sight, you reach the kitchen, heading straight for the large fridge. Giving the handle a firm tug, light glimmers from inside as you search the contents. Examining the items on the racks, you are dismayed to realize that the only thing worth drinking is some orange juice.
Grasping the juice container in hand, you gently close the fridge door shut and bring it with you back to your room, shaking the container a couple of times as you reach your bed. Unscrewing the top, you toss the cap across the room before gulping down the juice in a single motion, setting the empty carton on your side table before letting out a small belch. Patting your stomach, you’re about to head to sleep when you notice your cellphone next to the empty carton.
Now that you think about it, you did last see Yukari with Victor. Maybe you should call Victor so you can tell Yukari that Youmu is staying with you as well. It would be the polite thing to do. Taking your phone in hand, you dial Victor’s number and bring the phone up to your ear.
You dial again, again the only thing you hear is Victor’s automated message.
A third time, and still no response.
Although you’d chalk it up to Victor being asleep, three times is usually enough to wake someone up. Even if it’s a disgruntled reply, it’s still an answer.
A little worried, you continue to stare at your phone. Maybe you should head over to Victor’s home, check in on him and see if you can tell Yukari about Youmu. Or you could head back to sleep. It would be rude to barge in on someone at so late an hour.
[X] Head back to Sleep. [X] Head out to Victor’s home.
Sorry about the lateness, people. I need to make more time for writing.
Staring at your phone a bit longer, you simply place it back on the side table, deciding that if worse comes to worse, you already have an idea of who to ask. Worrying about Victor might be a noble deed, but working yourself tired isn’t going to make the best of the situation. Resting your head on your pillow, you slowly close your eyes and drift back to sleep, hopefully with nothing bothering you for the rest of the night.
Buon giorno, Giorgio, che fa di bello?
Non sono affari tuoi, Vittorio.
Giorgio, che fa di bello.
Giorgio, che ora sono?
Sono le dieci trentanovo di sera.
Bene! Buno giorno, Giorgio!
What? You already said that, Victor.
Buon giorno, Giorgio!
Stop repeating youself, Victor!
BUON GIORNO, GIORGIO!
Stop it, Victor. I’m starting to get scared here! Why do you keep repeating that!
Non sono affari tuoi, Giorgio. Tu sei stupido!
Are you going to keep saying this to me? Make sense already!
Ha. Ha. Ha.
Letting out an annoyed groan, you roll to your side, not realizing that you were right at the edge of the bed. Falling to the floor face first, you let out another groan. Pushing yourself up to your feet, you reach for your phone and look at the time.
“Gah, it’s almost noon?” you grumble as you set your phone down, scratching your back and letting out a yawn. Walking to your restroom, you quickly undress and step into the shower, turning on the warm water and letting the water splash on your face. After standing in the warm water for several minutes, you grab the soap and scrub yourself clean, waiting for the soapy water to drain before turning the water off. Wrapping yourself up in a bathroom, you take a quick brush and examine your chin, deciding you don’t need to shave yet.
Walking out of the restroom, you head to your dresser, grabbing a pair of brown slacks and a gray button shirt. After grabbing a matching brown jacket from your dresser and blue tie, you quickly get dressed, adjusting your tie quickly before putting on some socks and shoes.
Examining your attire in a mirror and finding yourself satisfactory, you head out of your room, quickly greeted by the sight of Youmu running about, a tray of food in her hands. Confused, you head towards the parlor, seeing Yuyuko dining on a fine roast.
“Oh, hello George!” Yuyuko replies, waving at you. “I hope you don’t mind but your butler was working so hard so my retainer is helping him out a bit!”
“Well, I have to thank Miss Konpaku when I see her again,” you answer. “Yuyuko, have you talked with Yukari yet?”
Yuyuko shakes her head slowly as she continues to eat. “I’m wondering if she’s busy. We usually have a chat by now. I hope nothing’s holding her up.”
Scratching your chin, you leave the thought for later and head towards the kitchen, Wilton busy with the dishes.
You greet your butler with a simple hello, Wilton turning to face you. “Ah, Master George, you’re awake. I was going to inform you that you have a business meeting in the afternoon, but I see that you’re ready for that.”
“Yeah, well I’m heading into the city already,” you answer, Wilton scrambling to put the dishes away.
“Of course sir, I can get the car ready momentarily,” Wilton says, opening cabinets and placing dishes in an orderly fashion.
You stare at Wilton for a moment before letting out a short sigh. “Wilton, listen, you don’t have to get the car started.”
“Oh? Shall I call a taxi for you then?”
“No, it’s not that, I’m going to drive into the city myself today. You’ve worked quite a bit; you deserve a little time to relax.”
Wilton gives you a confused look. “Is there something the matter, George? You usually don’t request I take a day off, especially without any prior notice.”
“It’s nothing, it’s just you quite deserve a day off. So where are the keys again?” you ask.
“Well, they’re in the garage by the door; the car’s keychain is a dark gray one. You shouldn’t be able to miss it. Are you sure you don’t want me to drive you into the city?”
You shake your head slowly. “Don’t worry, I’ll be perfectly fine. It’s not like I unlearned how to drive a car.”
Wilton lets out a strained sigh. “Well, if you insist. Remember, if you need anything, just give me a call.”
“Of course, Master George.”
Leaving for the Garage, you find the keys that Wilton were talking about and head for the car. Getting in the driver’s seat, you smoothly start the engine, the soft humming noise making you feel a bit good, if at least to feel that you’re in control of this car for once. Letting the garage door open, you pull the car out and through the front gate, merging seamlessly onto the road, turning on the radio as you head into the city.
After nearly an hour of driving, you make it to the company building, the guard waving you through the VIP parking. Finding your spot, you flawlessly squeeze the car between the lines, letting the engine run for a few more minutes before turning the car off. Getting out, you lock the car behind you and pocket the keys. Reaching the elevator, you head up to the 22nd floor, a small crowd of fellow board members chatting away in one of the lobbies.
“Ah, Mister Hannelson, you’re early for once,” one of the board members, Mister Johannes, calls out, motioning you over to his side.
“Mister Johannes, you look well! Those therapy sessions doing good for you?” you reply, giving your friend a strong handshake.
“Yes, Mister Hannelson. I am feeling quite better after a few sessions. And what about Mister Wilson? Is he still confined to the hospital?”
“Well, last time I have seen him, he wasn’t doing too bad. If anything, he’ll probably be confined for a day or two. Hopefully we will still be able to conduct business without him?”
“That is what this board is for, of course. In case of emergencies, lead what our companies should do.”
Having a few good laughs and jokes, the board members soon file into the conference room, everyone taking their proper seats. You have to sit several seats away from the empty seat that Wilson should be sitting in, but other than that, almost the entire committee is here.
“Where’s Mister Anthony?”
“Strange, Mister Anthony should be here several hours ago. Isn’t he acting Chairman of the board while Mister Wilson is in the hospital?”
“Can anyone contact that man? He better have a very good reason to be late. And considering this is the vice chairman we’re talking about, he better have a very good reason.”
As the conference room began to erupt in questions, you take the time to slip out, a bit worried that Victor has yet to show up. Perhaps something bad did happen to him. You’re about ready to investigate, but what if you’re getting yourself way over your head? Maybe you should call the authorities, maybe get an actual investigator on the case. Perhaps you should find a way to get in contact with Yukari, and then she’ll tell you everything.
Either way, something’s up and nothing is right at all.
[X] Investigate by yourself. [X] Inform the Authorities. [X] Return home and interrogate your guests. [X] Do a back flip.
You squint as your eyes adjust to the light, your body aching slightly. Slowly pushing yourself back up to your feet, you shake your head a bit, rubbing your nose.
“Hey, George, are you okay? You left the conference pretty quickly and I now I find you on the ground. What happened?”
“Just something stupid, Tim, but that’s not important right now. We should be worried about Victor instead.” You reply as you point at your nose. “Am I bleeding?”
Tim glances at your nose for a bit before shaking his head. “You’re looking fine, George. You might have a bruise, but really it’s nothing noticeable.” Tim scratches his chin before continuing. “So, what’s with all the sudden worry about Victor? Usually you don’t care about him. Did something change that?”
Sighing, you slowly nod. “Yeah, you can say that. I’ll explain on the way out. Come on, let’s get out of here before this whole thing becomes a huge incident.”
A little confused, Tim follows you to the elevator, the two of you stepping inside. After hitting the floor for parking, you shake your head and lean on one of the railings.
“So George, any particular reason why you want to leave now? You hardly ever come to these meetings, but when you do, you always stay. At least until the meeting is adjourned,” Tim asks, still a bit confused by your behavior.
“Well, technically the meeting never started so I’m not missing anything, Tim.” You answer bluntly. “Let me be honest, I don’t really care about these board meetings. It’s just all focused on income and what not, nothing about real problems.”
“Honestly, George if you don’t like talking about stock and the sort, then why become a businessman? You seem quite content with how you’re living life, aren’t you?”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” you hold your hands out in defense. “Just because I don’t like meetings doesn’t mean I don’t like being a businessman. It’s just... I wish our associates weren’t so...”
“Stuck up? Narrow-minded? Unchanging?” Tim lists off a few descriptions. You nod as you return to leaning on the railing.
“To put it bluntly,” you groan, watching the elevator numbers continue to descend. “I don’t know what I’m going to do. Ulysses’ stuck in the hospital, and now Victor’s gone, I’m just hoping the board doesn’t go crazy without them.”
Tim silently agrees with you though he continues to stare with his confused look. “Yes, about Victor. The two of you don’t usually... associate with each other. Word is that you’re supposed to represent our interests elsewhere, instead of Victor. I can imagine Victor was very angry with that?”
“Yes, yes, he was until...” you trail off, hoping that Tim would leave the subject alone.
“Until?” you curse yourself internally.
“Well... there were these two ladies, one thing lead to another and we were having an expensive dinner. Victor’s one to always flaunt his wealth off, buying expensive meals, rides in his limo and what not. To be honest, it’s always a bit uncomfortable to be around him.”
“So why are you bothered with him not being here? Certainly it’s probably just him with those ladies, right?” Tim replies.
“Listen, Tim, what I’m about to say might sound crazy but... there’s definitely something wrong here. One of those ladies, a woman named Yukari Yakumo, she’s a bit of an oddball. She’s a very strange woman, and I could have sworn there’s something really strange about her. Maybe I’ve met her before... a long time ago perhaps. But even if it’s nothing, there’s just something about her that I feel isn’t right, and even though Victor is quite... a brute, it just wouldn’t sit well on me if something bad has happened to him, you know?”
Tim stares at you for a few seconds before shrugging. “I guess. Well, here’s your stop.” The elevator doors open and you step out with Tim. “So, where are you heading out? Should I call someone? Should I come with you?”
“No, no, Tim, I don’t want to trouble you with all this hassle. If anything, I’ll call you later.” You bid your friend good-bye and head back to your car, slipping into the driver’s seat and strapping yourself in. You reach for your keys when you hear your phone ringing. Picking it up, you bringing to your ear.
“Victor? Is that you? I was trying to contact you last night!”
“Ah, worried about me, Georgy? Ah, I’m perfectly fine, man. Well, more than perfectly fine, I’m feeling awesome!”
“What happened, Victor? Why couldn’t you answer me? And you aren’t sounding as irritable.”
“Oh, come on, while you were busy snoring, I was busy scoring!”
“... Oh! Oh! Victor, please! Is this all you’re going to tell me? Please tell me you didn’t?”
“Lighten up, Georgy! That Yukari woman is amazing! Out of all the ladies I’ve met, she’s the best! She even brought me to her home later! Mmm, best breakfast I’ve ever had in a long time.”
“Seriously, Victor? I worry my head off that something bad has happened to you and you call and tell me what a wild night you’ve had?”
“Yeah. Hey, George, Yukari and I are going to watch a show later! You wanna come along? You can bring Yuyuko with you as well; all four of us can have some real fun!”
“Victor! Don’t you remember what’s happening today? You know, board meeting? Very important? You’re the Vice Chairman?”
“Those idiots? Ah, they can settle things on their own. So you in? You know you want to come!”
“Eh... Victor, I’m getting another call, I’ll talk to you later, okay?”
“Alright man, but remember who to call when you want a good time, alright?”
“Alright, Victor, good-bye.” You hang up and groan loudly. “Sometimes I wonder if Victor does this to spite me...”
Dialing home, you contact your butler.
“Wilton, it’s me.”
“Ah, Master George, what seems to be the problem?”
“Nothing, really. Is Yuyuko and Youmu still there?”
“Yes, George. Shall I put them on the phone for you?”
“No, no, that won’t be necessary. Just wanting to know if they’re still there.”
“I understand, sir. Is there anything else I may assist you with?”
“... no, not now. I’ll call you later, okay?”
“Yes, Master George.”
Hanging up again, you place your phone on the dashboard and check the time. It’s well into the afternoon and you’re feeling rather stressed. Perhaps you should take up Victor’s offer. It’s been a while since you’ve seen a show. However, knowing Victor, it’s going to be something crude and uninspired. Yuyuko are Youmu are still at your residence. Perhaps you can ask them a couple of questions still. Or maybe you could just use a stiff drink.
[X] Victor's Offer [X] Yuyuko's answers [X] Grab a Beer and forget everything else
With a single sigh, you pull the car out of the parking lot and back onto the street, the droning noises around you drowning out any sort of other thought-processes you could make. Almost all the time, those meetings ended up with everyone yelling at each other at another failed plan or how someone wasn’t making enough money. This is a perfect excuse to escape yet another boring meeting.
After a half-hour of avoiding traffic and nearly getting hit by some daredevil stunt driver who you could have sworn was not wearing a shirt and had a bottle of jagermeister in his hand, you return to the safety of your estate, feeling a bit at ease as the gate closed shut behind you. Bringing the car into the garage, you let it sit there for a while, engine still running. Maybe you really are losing it, people appearing out of nowhere, strange happenings, and people behaving differently.
Shutting down the engine, you step out the car, slamming its door shut behind you. Hanging the key back where it belonged, you step back inside your estate, feeling drained despite not having done anything truly strenuous. Sure, sitting down for a while might account for while you feel tired, but other than that you chalk it up for being quite a slow day.
Stopping in the living room, you notice it’s strangely empty. Though you expected there to be some trays or pieces of garbage tossed about on the floor, the living room was completely clean. Not a single trace of use could be found. A little unnerved, you decide to spend some time in the gardens, the mild weather perfect for a bit of solitude with nature. Setting your unnecessary baggage away next to the living room couch, you calmly walk out into the backyard garden, the cool air a refreshing change to the thick pollution of the city.
“Hello, George!” a cheerful voice rings out as your eyes move to see Yuyuko sitting on a blanket laid underneath a tree. “Come on over here, this spot is great!”
A little surprised to see Yuyuko, you nonetheless comply with her offer, taking off your shoes and sitting next to Yuyuko on the blanket. The pink-haired woman gives you a warm smile as she holds out an asian-style teacup to you.
“Thirsty?” Yuyuko asks, the teacup held out carefully for you.
Taking the cup in hand, it feels a bit awkward not having any handles to grasp the cup with, though after watching Yuyuko handle her teacup, you do your best to mimic her style. Watching you mimic her, Yuyuko giggles a bit before taking a sip of tea. With a satisfied sigh, Yuyuko turns her attention to the tree that the both of you were sitting under.
“This is a very lovely tree you have here, George. How long have you had this growing? By the size of it, it has to be at least a couple decades or maybe even more.”
Your gaze turns to the tree and you chuckle a bit, taking a small sip of tea before answering. “Oh I had no hand in this tree. My father actually planted it here when I was younger, said it would be nice to have a big old tree for me to rest under during a warm summer day. I have to say he was quite right. I never got to have a tree house, though.”
“Your father sounds like a nice man, George,” Yuyuko replies, taking another sip of tea.
“Yes... yes he was,” you silently answer as you stare into your teacup. “He always did his best to be there for me, to watch my back and keep me safe. We would often spend time here, just relaxing and talking about how our days went. I always enjoyed those times...”
“What about your mother? Did she also spend lots of time with you?”
You let out a sad sigh and lean back, setting the teacup down. “My mom died when I was young. I didn’t get to know her much, but my dad always called her a wonderful person, a kind-hearted soul who could brighten up a person just with a nice smile. I sometimes wish I could have gotten to know her better...”
Forcing out a chuckle, you pick up the teacup again and take another sip. “Look at me, talking about the past. I can’t change the past, and all that’s left is the future. Just have to make the best of it, no matter what. So, what about you, Yuyuko? What about your family?”
Yuyuko smile seems to fade a bit, but she maintains her cheerful disposition. “They were nice, though I eventually had to move on. Besides, I’ve met a lot of nice people as well!”
“Yukari hardly counts as being someone ‘nice’ in my book,” you casually reply, snorting a bit before drinking the rest of the tea. “Anyway, I’ve been meaning to ask you a few questions about her. You don’t mind if I ask, right?”
“Not at all, George, so ask away!”
“Right, she appears and disappears a lot. Is she always like that?” You begin, setting the empty teacup down.
“Well, she’s quite a busy person who always has a lot of people to attend to, so she often can’t stay in one place for too long. But that doesn’t mean she dislikes you or anything. It’s just how it is for her.”
“Okay, next question, how did you meet her?”
“She and I go back as far as I can remember! Though... it’s really fuzzy when I try to recall when I first remember her.”
“Really? That’s fine. Alright... now, let me ask you, is there anyone else that I should know is with her, at least constantly and what not? Because I recall seeing a young girl and another woman with her.”
“Oh those two? They’re like family to her! The young girl’s name is Chen and the woman is Ran!”
“So... they’re like her daughters or sisters?”
“Oh no, nothing like that! It’s kind of complicated to explain...”
“So... they’re adopted?”
“You can say that...”
“Huh,” you scratch your head, realizing that these answers only raise a lot more questions than before. You decide to cut to the point and hopefully get a more definite answer. “Listen, Yuyuko, about Yukari, there seems to be something... strange about her. Something... otherworldly... perhaps you have noticed this too?”
Yuyuko only continues to smile widely. “What do you mean, George?”
“What I mean is that... well... I think she tried doing some very strange stuff to me. There was this one time that I met her in this dark room... and then I felt like hands were grabbing me, but they stopped and what not. It was very strange, confusing, very surreal... maybe it didn’t happen but it just... felt weird. Am I crazy for saying this?”
Yuyuko tilts her head a bit and smiles extremely widely. “Of course not, George! That was all Yukari!”
“Really? So... I’m not going crazy?”
“Want to come to Gensokyo?” Yuyuko suddenly asks, the question seemingly coming out of nowhere.
“Wait, what? Gensokyo? What are you talking about? Aren’t we supposed to be talking about Yukari?” you start wondering where this talk about Gensokyo came from.
“Come on, George, it’ll be fun! I can show you my cherry blossom garden! And maybe we can watch the Prismriver sisters playing a show!” Yuyuko continued to offer.
“Prismriver? Yuyuko, are you even listening to me?”
“Well George? You want to come with me? If you want, I can have Yukari take us right now!”
“Wait, what? You mean like right now, now?”
“Mhm! It’ll be so much fun! It’s been a while since I’ve brought a human to Hakuyokurou!” Yuyuko extends out a hand in offering, Yuyuko hoping that you will accept it.
[X] "Erm... What?" considering we have spent ths much time trying to avoid being taken to gensokyo it seems like it would be a waste to just go there now. besides this seems like a trap, she sprung that way too fast.
>>26275 I think the issue is with who was doing the inviting as the notion sounds better from Yuyuko than Yukari as for one Yuyuko offered to let him stay at her place while Yukari might have dropped him somewhere in Gensokyo for shits and giggles. Which is I think what she did once to him
“Erm... what?” you stare at Yuyuko, a confused look dominating your face.
“Come with me to Gensokyo, George! We’ll have so much fun together!” Yuyuko repeats, still holding her hand out for you to grab.
You shake your head in confusion and a frown forms on Yuyuko’s face, the pink-haired woman’s hand slowly lowering.
“Don’t you want to come with Gensokyo with me, George? Don’t you want to go on an adventure with me?”
“N-no, Yuyuko,” you stammer, feeling a bit embarrassed to answer. “It’s not like that at all, but it’s just... this question is completely out the blue and on such short notice. I mean, I’m already busy with preparing with an important meeting I have to attend in a short amount of time. My goodness, I haven’t packed yet, I have to get tickets, find a hotel to stay...” you trail off as you continue listing off what other things you need done, almost forgetting Yuyuko’s offer as you continue to go on and on about the upcoming meeting.
“Oh, that sounds like no fun at all,” Yuyuko pouts as she leans out closer to you, still holding her hand out. “You could do so much more in Gensokyo than you could here!”
“... and I need a new tie... oh my old tie is definitely starting to show some age... but what if they don’t like the tie I get, then maybe I should get a belt instead, or maybe some suspenders...” you continue to list as you stand up and start pacing around, growing more and more nervous by the moment. “And what if they ask for an impossible offer? Or an offer that I have very little say in but the other members of the board really want to hear? I don’t even know what the board wants these days! It’s always ‘stocks this’ and ‘stocks that’ and ‘oh, that doesn’t look good at all, go burn it in a pit and throw the money in a grinder because it was a stupid investment to begin with’ talk. Yet Ulysses really wants me to represent the board in this meeting, he didn’t even consider Victor as a choice this time. Maybe he really thinks that I’m the best for this meeting, but I have very little idea what sort of meeting this is going to be!”
“George!” Yuyuko calls out as you pace away from her, a look of frustration growing on her face. “You’re over thinking things! You really should just spend some time really relaxing! Perhaps at a hot springs or something! There’s this really good one in Gensokyo that I can take you to!”
“... No, no, no! That’s a bad idea! You’re only going to be there for a day or two, maybe three tops! There’s no chance that I’ll be able to even get a chance to visit that museum. And I have to be back because I have other important meetings I need to go to. These meetings are required for the board and I can’t weasel my way out of those like other meetings... Maybe I should just stay just for the meeting and leave immediately afterwards. But will there be any available flights for that time at all? Everything’s a mess, a complete, utter mess!” You toss your arms up in frustration before burying your face in your hands. “Why did Ulysses give me all this responsibility in such short notice?”
Continuing to worry about the upcoming meeting and the preparations you need to make, Yuyuko begins to slink back to the blanket, a little sad for being ignored. Leaving Yuyuko alone in the garden, you walk back inside, dashing to your room and grabbing a suitable luggage bag for the upcoming trip.
“What to bring, what to bring...” you ponder as you search your clothes drawers, grabbing a few hanging shirts and glancing at them. “It’s an important meeting, but I don’t want to draw too much attention for dressing too nicely. Hrmm, black is too formal for such a meeting, but brown seems a bit too odd. Perhaps gray would work best, but what hue? Dark, light, somewhere in-between? The board doesn’t really care how I dress but this meeting might put my attire into attention... and ties, do I really need a new one? There’s this tie and that tie, some with designs, but I bet designs would be viewed as too informal for such an event.”
“Ahem, Master George,” Wilton’s voice is heard entering your room, causing you to look up from your business and see your butler standing in the doorway. “I have returned from some business I was attending to with one of our guests. Is there anything I can do for you?”
“Ah, nothing at all, Wilton, I’m simply getting packed for my business meeting a few days from now. Which suit should I take, Wilton? The Dark gray or light gray?”
Wilton glances at the two choices you show him and points at the darker option. “Perhaps I can help you pack, sir? You seem to be in a bit of undue stress.”
You quickly shake your head. “No, no, Wilton, I’m perfectly fine. I just need to see what is best to bring with me to the meeting,” you answer as you put the lighter suit away and bring to darker suit to the opened luggage case. “Besides, I’m certain our guests have things they need to attend to. If you can, go see if you can help them out.”
“Of course, Master George,” Wilton bows as he leaves you to your business. You fold the suit up and place it gently into the luggage case.
“Alright... now what else... what else... shoes, shoes, shoes...” you mumble as you open a few drawers and look at the available options. “No, no, no... too bright... too dark... hmm...”
“Need help, George?” a familiar voice interrupts with a small giggle at the end.
“Not now, I’m busy...” you continue as you grab a pair of shoes and stuff them into the luggage case. “Alright, shoes are good... now for extra undergarments...”
Shifting through a variety of underwear, socks, and undershirts, you feel a soft yet firm hand grasp your shoulder.
“You work too hard, George, you know that. You really should spend some time to relax.”
“I don’t work that hard! I go jogging and swimming almost every day!”
“Work doesn’t have to just be a job, you know George. You’re stressing yourself out with so much stuff you’re thinking about.”
“Come on, I spend lots of time idling thinking about things and relaxing how I want. What makes you think you know what’s the best way for a man to relax?”
“Perhaps I can’t, George, but I know what you’re doing isn’t any better. Besides, you say so yourself. You don’t really attend board meetings much, how are you capable of handling such a difficult task?”
“I know, I know! Ulysses’ should have chosen Victor instead! At least he knows what’s going on more than I do. Much more than I do...”
“Perhaps Ulysses’ is trying to help you out by giving you such a difficult task, seeing how you handle things. He does see you as a very good friend.”
“No! No!” you set your pair of underwear down and turn to Yukari, the blonde-haired woman hiding her face behind a paper fan. “I don’t care what you say, Yukari! You have no right to say how I should run my life! This is my life and I’m running it how I feel like it!”
“Perhaps you’re right,” Yukari answers and places her arms on her hips. “But that doesn’t mean I can’t judge. And by the way I look at things, you really aren’t having a lot of fun these days, are you?”
“I have plenty of fun, Yukari,” you reply angrily, pointing your finger at her. “If you’ve been spying on me all this time, then you should know I spend lots of time with Ulysses! He’s a good man to be around with! We have a few beers, play some pool and cards!”
“Yeah, and you listen to all the problems he has, feeling pressured by his own company, and yet you nod and smile, George. You nod and smile and push those problems out the way. Hardly a way for a friend to treat a friend.”
“That... that is very complicated, Yukari!” you shout, Yukari still unfazed by the increased volume of your voice. “Why can’t you just leave me alone! I’m certain this Gensokyo place you talk about is a terrible place!”
“I’m certain you do. It’s not easy to forget some of the terrible things one has done there.”
You pause as Yukari’s words sinks into your mind. “What are you talking about? All you’ve done is tell me about going to Gensokyo and now you talk as if I’ve been there already?”
“Oh, now you’re interested in Gensokyo?” Yukari slyly smiles and again hides her face behind her paper mask. “Human curiosity is quite a fun thing!”
“That’s not answering my question, Yukari! I have never been in Gensokyo at all!”
“Maybe... maybe not,” Yukari shrugs playfully before heading towards the door. “Though, what I can say is that you might know more about Gensokyo than you imagine.” With those final words, Yukari traipses into the hallway, leaving you alone to ponder those words.
[X] “Yukari, wait!” [X] “She’s just messing with me... right?”
So I might just focus on this story for a bit longer and maybe go back to Business before Bullets another time. That, and I'm going to Italy tomorrow. TALLY-HO!
“Yukari!” you shout out, hoping that the blonde-haired woman would return. However, after a minute of waiting, you curse yourself for letting her leave before asking her some increasingly burning questions. Returning to your attention to packing, Yukari’s words begin to sink into your mind, her words making it difficult to think about what to pack. Before long, your luggage bag is a random mess of assorted clothes of varying shades and hues, much more than you were hoping to bring.
Sitting down on your bed, you attempt to reign in these dissident thoughts, trying your best to think of other things. With each attempts, Yukari’s words would continue to interrupt, echoing loudly and forcing you to stand again. Starting to pace, your mind broods on the blonde-haired woman’s words, about your past meetings with her, and about Gensokyo.
A word alien yet familiar at the same time. Yukari talked as if you have been there already, as if you two were passing acquaintances from the past. Though you try to think back, you would imagine you would remember a woman like her, especially how she acts. But all your memories about Yukari only go back to a few days ago, when you met her in that dark room...
You listlessly walk out of your room, not bothering to shut the door behind you. Your thoughts keep you too busy to really take notice of your surroundings, your body compelled to go and get a drink from the kitchen. After retrieving a recently purchased bottle of wine and matching wine glass, you leave for your study, hardly paying Yuyuko any attention after walking pass her indulging on some chocolates in the parlor. Locking the study door as you walk in, you seat yourself behind your desk, placing the glass down as you open the wine bottle, thankful the cork was easy to pull out. Pouring a bit of wine into your glass, you stare at the top of your desk, taking a sip of wine now and then.
The word returns to your mind as you slosh the wine around in your glass. The word is too familiar for you to not remember it. Maybe you have been there, during a business trip perhaps. You’ve been to a lot of places; you might have forgotten it due to how short you’ve been there. Yet this is different. You feel a stronger connection to the word than just some place you had a business meeting. No... there has to be something more to it than just that.
Glancing around your private study, you stand back up and approach one of the numerous bookcases. Shifting around old books that you’ve never even opened, and probably will never, you extract an atlas and bring it back to your desk. Another sip from your glass, you open the atlas and begin sifting through the pages, staring at the places you recall you’ve been to and pointing to them.
“Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle...” you silently murmur as you turn the page, “London, Rouen, Brittany, Madrid, Barcelona... Shanghai, Hong Kong, Dubai, Morocco, Kyoto, Tokyo, Manila...”
Sifting through more and more pages, you continue to read out the names of different cities and areas, desperately searching for Gensokyo on the map. After turning a page, you are greeted with the opposite end of the atlas. Not once have you seen the word Gensokyo. Staring at the blank space, you take another sip from your glass of wine, trying to wrap your mind on what this could mean.
“Mind if I have a glass?” Yukari asks, the blonde-haired woman holding out a wine glass in front of your face.
“Yukari?” you begin before letting out a sigh. “Just help yourself...”
“Oh? No gentlemanly offer? Just simply letting me help myself to the wine?” Yukari fakes disappoint as she grabs the wine bottle and greedily fills her glass to the brim before taking a few sips. “So, George, what are we looking at here?”
“A blank page,” you sarcastically reply, letting out a snort before sipping some wine.
“Oh, a blank page of an atlas, how exciting. And exactly why are we looking at a blank page?”
“There is no Gensokyo in this atlas. I wonder why... Gensokyo is a place, right? Not a metaphysical concept or some noun or verb found in a dictionary?”
Yukari chuckles a bit as she takes another sip from her wine glass. “Of course not, George. Why would Gensokyo be those things? It’s a place, just like any other, but trying to find on a map will be of no use.” Yukari then points at the blank page. “Though, this blank page is quite a good representation of where Gensokyo is.”
“It doesn’t exist?” you quickly answer.
“You can’t find it within your maps,” Yukari corrects, motioning her hands in a fake slap to your forehead. “No, Gensokyo is a bit beyond the... borders of your charts and landmasses.”
You sit back down on your chair, Yukari using your desk as a place to sit. “Speaking in riddles is only to confuse me further. Perhaps you want to say things in... I don’t know... English?”
Yukari leans back in offense. “You’re no fun, you know that George? Nothing like Victor...” she pauses to take another sip of wine. “I see you want a straight answer, no riddles and other confusing words, huh? Fine, but don’t go crying how your brain has shut down because of being unable to comprehend what I’m about to say.”
“Trust me, Yukari, my brain is already shutting down for how confusing you are. I’m certain I can handle a bit of straight forward truth,” you challenge, setting your wine glass down and folding your arms.
“Wanting to cut to the chase, how bold. I might be wrong about you George.” Yukari giggles a bit as she again sips from her wine glass. “Well, Gensokyo is this magical place where all sorts of fantastical creatures and people are. Fairies, magic, vampires, you name it, it’ll be there. It’s where all the fantastic stuff of this world goes whenever people stop believing in them. Well, more or less. I don’t really pay too much attention to what ends up there, I just prefer letting things move, maybe a little of... urging a few forces now and then.”
You stare at Yukari, your face unchanged from what she said. “And what about you? What sort of fantastical creature are you? A goddess? An angel? A demon? Just some woman who wants to mess with my head?”
Yukari lets out another laugh, shaking her finger a bit. “Oh George, you’re so funny. You’re definitely as fun as Victor! And I’m nothing like those things. I’m just a simple fantastical person.”
“Oh, and what makes you so fantastic, oh fantastical person?” you mockingly emphasize the last part of your sentence as you reach for your wine glass, suddenly noticing it wasn’t there. Looking back at Yukari, you see her reaching into a... tear? A tear in space? Some sort of strange... portal thing. Then again, you remember seeing it earlier, when you first met with Yukari. So you guess that really happened. Or maybe it didn’t. It’s all confusing.
Yukari pulls out your wine glass from the gap as it closes. Laughing a bit, Yukari drinks up the rest of the wine in your glass before setting it down in front of you. “Is that fantastic enough for you?”
“No... no! That was simply a parlor trick! A trick of the light! A trick! That’s what it was, simply a trick!” you argue, pointing suspiciously at your now empty wine glass.
“Oh, perverting the laws of space and time and what not is simply a trick of the light? Well, if you say it that way...” Yukari muses as she stares into her wine glass. “I could take you to Gensokyo with me right now. Maybe then you’ll enjoy this little ‘parlor trick’ of mine a bit more.”
You stand up, offended. “Oh, this again! You have no right at all to take me anywhere, Yukari! I told you before, and I will repeat this again, you have no control in my life at all! I do what I want to do and you have no say at all!”
“Calm yourself, George. You’re going to have an aneurysm if you keep this up,” Yukari scoffs as she finishes her glass of wine. “Besides, what fun would there be in taking you to Gensokyo right now? There’s still quite a bit of fun to be had here.” Yukari slides off your desk and dusts herself off, the blonde-haired woman smiling as she retrieves her umbrella from another gap she created. “Well, I guess I shouldn’t waste my time here, I still have to meet with Victor.”
“Wait, Yukari!” you move around your desk, walking up to her. “I still have some questions to ask you!”
“Well, why don’t you ask me then on the way there, then? I could use some company.” Yukari answers, her eyes narrowing slightly.
Not wanting to lose Yukari again, you simply stay close to her, your questions at the ready. Opening the door, Yukari walks through first, with your shortly behind her.
Finding yourself in-front of a large skyscraper in the middle of the city, this sudden change of surrounding catches you completely off guard. Rubbing your eyes, you hardly believe that you’ve been brought to the city all of a sudden.
“Yukari? What did you do!” you shout.
Yukari simply giggles. “I told you, I can take you wherever I want, whenever I want. I just decided to bring you with me here. I hope you don’t mind, of course?”
“Don’t mind? Don’t mind?! Of course I don’t-”
“Georgy!” a loud voice interrupts as you feel yourself getting hugged.
“Wha...” you murmur as Victor squeezes you tightly.
“I’m glad you could make it, buddy!” Victor lets you go and smiles widely. “I see Yukari convinced you to come with us today! I knew she would convince you.”
“Convince me? She hardly con-”
“Come on, George, there’s a show at the opera in thirty minutes and I’ve already booked us some of the best seats in the house.”
“But... but...” you repeat as Victor shoves a ticket into your face.
“Please, George? Victor and I would really appreciate it if you spent some time with us today,” Yukari pleads, winking once.
“But... but...” you continue as Victor continues to hold the ticket in-front of your face.
[X] “Fine... give me that ticket.” [X] “No!” - [X] Run - [X] “Victor, this Yukari woman is crazy!”
Maybe I should make these updates shorter. Then again, I just write whatever comes to mind. And well... this came to mind. I hope it makes sense.
Grabbing the ticket from Victor, you are tempted to rip it up in-front of him and walk away, leaving him with Yukari, but with a defeated sigh, you simply put it in your pocket, Yukari clapping her hands together as a smile grows on her face.
“I knew you’d come around eventually, Georgy!” Victor says, patting your shoulder. “Come on, let’s go have some fun.”
“Alright, alright, but if something bad happens, I’m blaming you. I won’t enjoy spending next week in a body cast if we end up in a terrible situation,” you coldly reply, still a bit angry to have been rudely taken from your home.
“Georgy, Georgy! You worry too much. This is why you need to go out more with me, to relax, have fun, maybe share a few drinks.”
“Strange, I don’t recall you ever inviting me to your more than excessive amount of after-meeting rounds.”
Victor again pats your shoulder, chuckling a bit as he turns back to Yukari. “So then, my purple blossom, let’s grab our seats before the show starts. It would be a waste to miss it now.”
Yukari giggles as she wraps her hands around Victor’s arm, leaning in close to him. “You always know what to say to me, Victor.”
Following closely behind the two, Victor and Yukari continue to talk with each other, their words quickly falling on deaf ears, a part of you still wanting to just walk off and find a taxi to head back home. Still, the fact that you were brought here so suddenly disturbs you. Yukari is definitely more than she looks, that’s for sure, and you just can’t help but feel a bit afraid for Victor. He may be a bit rude to you, but Victor is still a fellow co-worker and Yukari is a strange woman that has only recently appeared in your life.
Glancing at the ticket, you are dismayed to see that the performance today isn’t something you recognize. In all honesty, you rarely visit the theater, the last time you even saw an opera show was when your father was still alive. Resigned to your fate, you silently continue following Victor and Yukari to the opera theater, Victor not even providing you the relief to wait in line, your fellow co-worker using the VIP entrance and bring you straight inside the theater.
With a balcony seat overlooking the stage nearby reserved just for Victor, you settle into your seat, trying your best to be as far away as possible from Victor and Yukari, the two of them still focused on each other, either with affectionate names or a few kisses every now and then. You found the entire thing completely devoid of romance, instead only making you a bit queasy. However, before you could even excuse yourself to the bathroom, the lights dimmed and the performance began.
Resting your head on your hand, you could barely pay attention to the play. The dim lights, the hush sounds, really makes it hard to pay attention. An involuntary yawn and a few blinks later, you doze off, finally being able to escape from this entirely unexpected situation.
“Peek-a-boo, George!” Yukari’s voice interrupts you as you force your eyes open.
You glance about and find that your chair is missing and you’re sitting on the floor. However, that quickly is superseded by the fact you’re now outside sitting atop a hill overlooking a large forest. A single tree protects you from the sun as you stare out into the wide expanse.
“Yukari!” you shout out, unable to see the blonde-haired woman. “What is going on? Did you do this?”
“Mhm, I was noticing that you were a little bored, so I decided that maybe a change of surroundings will cheer you up,” Yukari answers playfully as you felt her hands on your shoulder. You feel a chill going down your spine, feeling extremely uncomfortable despite Yukari’s soft grasp.
“Y-Yukari, where are we?” you manage to say, feeling unable to turn your head back. “Is this...”
“Gensokyo?” Yukari finished as you hear her giggle a bit. “Of course it is, silly. I knew you would be able to find out where we are pretty quickly.”
Yukari leans her head next to yours, the blonde-haired woman staring out at the large expanse, the two of you refusing to even turn towards the other. “So George, let me ask you, this place feels familiar, doesn’t it?”
Staring out towards your surroundings, you make out the forests and mountains. You even notice a rather large lake. You shake your head and rub your temples, your mind starting to hurt a bit.
“Is this even all real? Am I just dreaming all this? Are you even here?” you randomly say, Yukari answering you with another soft giggle.
“Well, that depends. Gensokyo is both real and a dream at the same time. It exists and it doesn’t exist. To you, it’s simply a fantastic land beyond imagination. But you still haven’t answered my question. Does this look familiar to you?”
Looking at the land around you that Yukari said is Gensokyo, your mind plays a few images before your eyes, some undecipherable and others almost eerily familiar. It continues to make your mind throb with pain, though you wonder, could it all be real? Maybe it’s just Yukari again messing with you.
Either way, it’s much better than watching a boring play.
You look out at the land before you, apprehension growing in your mind. Yet still, the land around you feels truly familiar, as if you have been here before. Yukari’s question again rings in your head, images of you wandering through forests, of floating above the land, of gloomy hallways and sleepy villages. Were they dreams? Or were they more? You try to convince yourself that they are just fake, images made asleep, during a summer afternoon of idleness. These images continue to say otherwise.
You nod once and whisper silently.
Yukari cheers loudly as she stands in front of you, leaning down with a large smile on her face. “Now that wasn’t hard, was it? Memories are quite a fickle thing, don’t you agree?” she answers softly. “You feel something important is missing from you, after seeing all this, no?”
Gazing around Yukari, you continue to stare at what you still continue to believe is Gensokyo. The mountains, the forests, the bodies of water, you see them for the first time yet your mind tells you otherwise. These are familiar places, familiar shapes, all of it hiding a feeling of familiarity. Could it be true? Have you been here before? Yet if you have, why is it only now you have any degree of re-collection?
Staring at the ground, you grasp your head, more concrete images forming, sparked to reform due to Yukari’s actions.
A clearing in the forest, sun in the sky, you stand above what appears to be a young girl barely up to your torso. She stares at you, trembling slightly in fear. You kneel down and she tries to step back but you gently grasp her shoulder. A few, inaudible words are said and her trembling slowly fades. Though she doesn’t smile, you feel that she places a strange yet soothing trust in you. You stand up and she floats up and stays near you as you walk back into the forest.
“Oi, Georgy. Georgy!”
You open your eyes suddenly. You let out a loud snort and nearly fall off your chair, only being able to stay seated by grabbing on to Victor.
“Georgy, did you fall asleep during the play?” Victor asks, a look of disappoint on his face. Yukari stands behind him, hiding her face with a paper fan.
“Um, erm...” you manage to stammer as you let go of Victor.
“You did, didn’t you? And here I spent all that money to get us the best seats in the house and this is how you repay me? Falling asleep during the performance? For shame, George, for shame!”
Leaning back into your chair, you groan. Rubbing your temples, your eyes again return to Yukari, the blonde-haired woman giggling a bit behind her fan.
“At least someone is enjoying herself...” you grumble under your breath. Getting out of your chair, you quickly apologize to Victor, saying that you barely had any sleep last night and couldn’t help but doze off. Though he still looks a bit offended, he eases up and rationalizes with your excuse, nodding slightly before turning back to Yukari.
“Well, my sweet, shall we get out of here and go someplace where we can have some real fun?” Victor asks, laughing a bit as he leans close to Yukari and gives her a kiss on the cheek. “Perhaps back to my place for a bit more fun?”
“Oh, Victor, please, you don’t have to be so blunt about it,” Yukari answers, laughing as well. “But what about George? I’m certain it would be rude to leave him out.”
“What, Georgy? Ah, he’s too much of a stick to have that kind of fun. He’d just ruin the mood.”
“I’m still here, you know?” you reply, a bit offended by that comment.
Victor chuckles and tosses you a clip of several hundred dollar bills. “Here, George. Get yourself a cab ride home. You can keep what’s left. Think of it as a gift! A gift of how much of a good friend you are to me.”
“Right...” you sarcastically reply as you exit the balcony, hearing a few more kisses before leaving the theater. Hailing a nearby cab, you’re quick to inform the driver the address and slip in the backseat, noticing that the sun was starting to sink low in the sky. As the driver pulls away from the theater, however, your mind again turns back to the young girl you saw appear in your mind.
After a lengthy and uneventful cab ride back to your estate, you pay the driver plus a hefty tip of the rest of the money that Victor gave you, feeling a bit disgusted that Victor gave you so much money to begin with, almost as if he was mocking you with the wealth he threw around. Regardless whether or not Victor was truly honest in his statement of you, at least it was a free cab ride home, especially after the weirdness of the day; you feel like retiring to your study and spend a relaxing evening not being bothered by anyone.
After a few knocks on the front door, Wilton answers, a bit surprised to see you.
“Master George?” he asks in disbelief. “What are you doing outside? Shouldn’t you still be in your study?”
Passing Wilton, you stretch your arms, exhaustion starting to settle in your body. “It’s a long story, Wilton, and I don’t want to bother you with the details. All I know is that I ended up spending some time with Victor and Yukari. Somehow...”
“Well, Master George, if I may, I wish to inform you that-”
“Hello, George!” Yuyuko interrupts, waving to you from the table in the parlor. “I was wondering where you went! Care for a drink or two?”
“I’m fine, Yuyuko, and I apologize, but I must retire to my study,” you say as you start walking towards the hall when you notice who was accompanying the pink-haired woman.
To Yuyuko’s left was Youmu, her white-haired retainer, nothing unusual about that. However, to Yuyuko’s right...
“Howdy there, mister!” the third person shouts as she turns to you, waving with a huge goofy smile on her face.
This third person, a young girl by the looks of it who seems barely at the cusp of teen hood, leaves you completely frozen. You stare at her light brown hair, following it up to the top of her head and lo and behold you see what appear to be two horns sticking out of the sides, a purple ribbon tied to one of them.
Your gawking at the young girl’s horns allows her to leap out of her seat and approach you, the young girl barely up to your chest as she continues to smile at you and hold what appears to be a purple gourd covered in stickers.
“The name’s Suika! Suika Ibuki!” Suika then holds a purple gourd with what appears to be stickers attached to it. “Ya wanna drink?”
Whether it is because you’re of strong constitution or because of all the strange things that has been happening in your life suddenly, you manage to maintain consciousness. You shake your head and continue staring at Suika, the young girl continuing to smile and offering her purple gourd to you.
“Do I know you?” you ask, pointing a finger at her.
“I don’t know, mister! Maybe you do, maybe you don’t! I should be the one who should be remembering you but I guess if we did met, it was so much fun I could barely remember it!” Suika replies happily as she decides to bring her purple gourd to her mouth, the sound of liquid sloshing about ringing through your ears. “What a good drink! Hic!”
You again point at Suika. “Are you drunk?”
Suika giggles. “Well, I ain’t sober if that’s what you’re wondering!”
“But... but...” you stammer but fail to say anything else. You again stare at Suika, the strange young girl still offering her gourd to you.
“Well? How about a quick drink? It’ll make you feel better, I promise!”
You look at the gourd before returning your gaze to Suika. The smell of alcohol enters your nostrils and although you are filled with revulsion, it smells, and you can’t explain why, familiar. Suika continues smiles, that warm smile making you think back to what Yukari said earlier. However, do you really dare take up on this offer? The alcohol reeks horribly and you can only imagine whatever that alcohol is must be horrible as well.
[X] “Well... I guess one sip won’t hurt...” [X] “I apologize, but I must retire for now.” [X] “No, no alcohol for me, but... mind if we chat for a bit?”
Well, no turning back here. Once Gensokyo enters your life, there's nothing stopping it from taking it over.
Glancing at the peculiar horned young girl, you politely shake your head. “My apologies, but I am not in the mood for drink right now,” you start, quickly continuing when you notice Suika’s smile fading slightly. “However, I would love to know you a bit more, Suika. Mind if we take a seat?”
Suika glowers with happiness as she hops around a bit. “Sure, mister,” Suika replies as she grabs your arm and pulls you to Yuyuko, surprising you at how strong and fast she was moving. You barely had enough time to prepare yourself as you nearly crashed into one of the couch cushions, a quick maneuver on your part preventing any real disaster. Suika takes a seat right next to you, her small body barely taking up the cushion she was sitting on.
“It’s nice of you to join us again, George,” Yuyuko said, smiling softly as she holds a pair of chopsticks. You take notice that the coffee infront of you is covered with several dishes of varying sizes and contents.
“So, I see you’ve been ordering my butler quite a bit while I was gone, Yuyuko,” you remark, pointing at one of the dishes, a plate filled with rows of finely cooked fish with a small bowl of soy sauce next to it. “I didn’t know the kitchen stocked up on fish.”
“Oh, it didn’t. Youmu and Wilton actually went shopping. Youmu told me that the price of fish was rather expensive here,” Yuyuko answered as she used her chopsticks to grab a small morsel of fish.
“Really now? Well, I’ll make sure you are reimbursed whatever Miss Konpaku had to pay for this delicious looking meal. Ah, and this must be sushi. I’ve never actually tried it, but I’ve heard it’s delicious.”
Grabbing a pair of chopsticks next to one of the plates, you attempt to grab a sushi roll for yourself. However, after three tries, you groan in frustration as you set the chopsticks down. Upon hearing Suika and Yuyuko giggling, you blush slightly out of embarrassment.
“Well, I guess I’m no good with chopsticks, now am I?”
“Aww, don’t be like that, mister!” Suika said encouragingly as she grabbed her own pair of chopsticks. “You just got to keep at it and you’ll get it eventually! Like this!”
Watching Suika handle the chopsticks, you stare in awe as she expertly pinches one of the sushi rolls between the two sticks and then without warning threw the sushi roll into the air before catching it in her mouth.
“Well done, Suika, well done!” You applaud as Suika smiles widely. Reinvigorated by Suika’s performance, you again take the chopsticks in hand and carefully attempt to grab one of the rolls. Though at first it seems you were about to fail, you manage to successfully pinch the roll between the two chopsticks and bring the roll up to your mouth. Swallowing the entire roll whole, a large smile appears across your face as Suika and Yuyuko applaud you.
“Very good, George, you’ve learned that quite fast,” Yuyuko commented.
“I know, usually it takes you outsiders at least a few days to get it down!” Suika continued as she took a drink from her purple gourd.
Feeling accomplished, you turn your head to Suika. “So then, Suika, I am quite curious why you’re wearing those horns. Is this some sort of new fashion statement for you youths?”
“Oh these things?” Suika points at her horns. “Pfft, I’ve had them since I was born.”
“So you’re saying they’re...”
“Yep! Want to feel them?”
Suika crawls up next to you, her horns uncomfortably close to your face. Although feeling a bit awkward, you nonetheless slowly touch the horns, following them down all the way to the base of Suika’s head, never feeling anything along the way that would say that these horns simply just fake.
“My word, they... they are real!” you quickly let go of Suika’s horns as the horned young girl chuckles a bit.
“Yeah, that’s usually the reaction I get whenever I meet someone from the outside.”
“Well-- I- I mean-- I’ve never met a human with horns before. I have to say they do look rather... lovely on you, especially the way you dressed them up.”
“Thanks but of course you’ve never met a human with horns before because no human has horns.”
“So you’re saying you’re not...”
You stare at Suika, looking at her horns and then her eyes before giving Suika a quick shrug, “Actually, that makes a bit more sense than being a horned human. Though I have to say, it’s still strange... then again, my life has been taking some strange changes suddenly so I guess I can hardly say this is too strange for comfort. So then, Suika, if you’re not a human, what are you?”
“What, you can’t tell? You humans are so dull if you can’t tell what I am!” Suika hops off the couch and puts her hands on her hips. “I am Suika Ibuki, one of the strongest Oni that there is!”
“An Oni? Never heard of them.”
“What! You outsiders are so weird, never hearing of us Oni. Humans used to be afraid of us because of how strong we are! But now whenever I meet one of you outsiders, you can hardly believe anything I say!”
“Well you are a young girl and although you are quite strong, children are quite energetic...”
“Hey! Just because I look like a child doesn’t mean I’m just a young girl! Why, I’m several times older than you!”
All the while, Yuyuko was giggling softly to herself. “She’s right, George. Don’t let her looks deceive you. She’s a very powerful person.”
“Well I didn’t mean to offend, Suika, but still, I find it difficult since you look so... well so young!” You admit, watching as Suika seems to seethe with a bit of anger.
“Well then, I guess I just have to show you how strong I am! You better old on to your couch mister, because you’re going for a ride!” Suika said as she grabbed the bottom of your couch and lifting it high into the air.
“Ah, what are you doing, Suika!” you cry out, desperately holding on to the couch as she continued holding it up and began to swing the couch slightly.
While Suika continues to hold you up in the air, your butler, Wilton arrives with a small letter in his hand. “Master George, I have just receive- Good lord!” Wilton shouts as he drops the letter. “Miss Suika, put that couch down immediately!”
Suika, either still angry at you or having too much fun swinging the couch around, refused to listen, still holding you up in the air as she continued to swing the couch faster and faster, your grip starting to slip. “Suika! Please! Put the couch down!” you desperately plead as you continued hanging on for dear life.
Still refusing to let the couch down, Suika kept on swinging the couch around. It was then Yuyuko stood up from her seat and glared angrily at Suika.
“Suika, you’ve made your point, now put the couch down before you hurt George,” Yuyuko demanded. Yuyuko glared at Suika, causing the oni to frown as she slowly set the couch down. As you catch your breath, Suika walks up next to you and bows down.
“Sorry about getting carried about, mister, I hope you’re okay,” Suika apologized.
“I’m-- o- o- okay...” you manage to force between breathes. Wilton approached Suika, an angry scowl forming on your butler’s face.
“That was very disrespectful of you, Miss Suika,” Wilton told the oni. “Master George, shall I escort this troublemaker out of your estate?”
“No, that won’t be necessary, Wilton. This was my fault as much as it was Suika’s, so please, she may stay, though I hope she will be behaving better now?” You look questioningly at Suika.
“Mhm! I’ll make sure not to do that again, mister!”
“Thank you, and please, Wilton, you were saying?”
Wilton nods, realizing he had dropped the letter. “Ah, yes, I was saying that I received a letter just now. It’s marked as important, though it’s only addressed to you, there’s no other name on the letter at all.”
“I see, may I have it, Wilton?” you ask, holding your hand out.
“Ah, yes, my apologies, one moment, master.” Retrieving the letter from the floor, Wilton handed the letter to you. Holding it in your hands, it doesn’t feel like there’s much inside, but if it’s marked expressively to you, then it might be something important. However, you’ve just gone through quite an experience. This letter can wait for later.
[ ] Yes, a well-deserved rest in is order. This letter can be read at leisure. [ ] This is an important letter! It deserves immediate attention!
[X] This is an important letter! It deserves immediate attention!
You continue staring at the sealed envelope, curious of who could have sent it to you. Though Suika’s antics have left you exhausted, you feel that this letter has to be read as soon as possible. Better to fulfill your curiosity now than leaving it for later.
Turning your attention to Yuyuko, you give the pink-haired woman a warm smile. “Thank you, Yuyuko. I don’t think I would have known what to do if you weren’t here to help me out.”
Yuyuko nods in reply. “I’m just glad that you’re okay, George.”
“Yes, Suika’s strength caught me off-guard. I feel I should retire to my room to recover from this ordeal. I hope you don’t mind, Yuyuko?”
“Not at all, you deserve a rest from all this. And I’ll keep an eye on Suika, so don’t you worry about her.”
You nod slowly as you turn your attention to Suika. “So Suika, will you be staying the night? I’m certain Wilton will gladly arrange some accommodations for you here if you need them.”
“You think he’ll let me after what I did?” Suika asked in return.
“Of course. Just tell him I’ll allow it. Now, I shall retire. If you two need me, just knock.” You wave the two off before leaving them, the envelope clutched in your hands. You prefer that this be read in private, at least incase it’s some sensitive information for your eyes only. Which it might be if it’s addressed expressively to you.
After returning to your room, you set the envelope aside before you undress yourself. Kicking off your shoes and undoing your tie, you let out a sigh of relief as you put away your outer garments. Taking the envelope again, you sink yourself into one of the chairs, opening the envelope and removing the letter inside. Unfolding the parchment, you notice the elegant handwriting first, the words written in a particular purple color. Though alone, you can’t help but read the words out loud.
“Dear George, I hope you have enjoyed the past few days we’ve had together. I intend to end them soon if you keep acting like this. Yours truly, Yukari.”
You stare at the words for a little while longer, checking to see if there was anything more to the letter. Seeing that there was nothing more, the letter lies on your lap as you start to rub your forehead. Certainly Yukari is only joking, but considering how brief it is and how serious a matter this holds, you wouldn’t imagine it to be an idle jest. And besides, if Yukari really was joking, she’d be here right now, instead of sending you a letter.
Then again, how can you prove this letter is from Yukari to begin with? Certainly it could be someone else. Your mind thinks of anyone else who could have sent this letter, yet you come up empty. Even Victor wouldn’t do something like this, and he’s probably too busy getting intimate with Yukari to even write something under her name. That and you doubt Victor has handwriting this good.
You stare at the grandfather clock in your room, its ticking growing louder with each passing second. Letting out a groan, you set the letter back on top of the table and head into your bathroom, feeling that a quick shower will help clear your mind. Removing the rest of your clothes and placing them inside a hamper, you step into the shower and turn the handle, whistling a bit as you grab the soap. Feeling contently clean, you turn the handle again, letting the water trickle off before walking out, grabbing a nearby bathrobe and covering yourself up before heading back into your room.
“Hello, George,” Yukari’s soft voice answers, your face turning red as you saw her lying on your bed, giving you a seductive smirk.
“Yukari, what is the meaning of this intrusion!” You hold the edge of your bathrobe, feeling your sense of privacy being heavily violated.
“Oh come now, George, I thought you would be use to me appearing when I please,” Yukari replies, propping her head on her hand, causing you to notice how low-cut her dress currently was. “I was just wondering if you were getting lonely without me here.”
“Hardly,” you scoff as you head to one of the drawers, hoping to get into a fresh set of clothes. “I was actually quite pleased to think that I wouldn’t have to see you for the rest of the day. I guess I was sorely mistaken there. And do you mind? I’m hardly decent right now!”
Yukari laughs at your response. “And do you think I mind? You’re in quite good shape, George, definitely a lot better than most of your colleagues.”
You again hold your bathrobe tightly, offended by Yukari’s comments as you grab a fresh pair of clothes. “Shouldn’t you be with Victor? I imagine he would be wondering where his ‘sweetheart’ is right now.”
“Maybe, but sticking with one man is hardly entertaining. Victor has a lot more ‘vigour’ than I would have first thought, but you can only be satisfied by the same person ever so often.”
“Is this what this is all about then, Yukari? You’ve grown tired of being with Victor and now you decide to be with me? Unfortunately, I don’t share your sentiments. Now would you excuse me? I must change!” Heading back into your bathroom, you quickly remove your bathrobe and hang it up again before putting on a fresh set of clothes, feeling slightly more comfortable covered up in the presence of Yukari.
“Come on George; don’t tell me you don’t get lonely some nights?” Yukari asks as you walk back out of your bathroom. “Certainly you at least would enjoy the company of someone like me.”
“If you’re trying to seduce me, Yukari, it won’t work. Unlike Victor, I am a lot more careful with whom I go fooling around with. And knowing what you do, I definitely don’t wish to fool around with you in bed. Now will you please take your leave? I did not invite you into this room so I hope that you will respect that.”
Yukari sits up and shrugs, taking out a small folding fan and obscuring her face with it. “Very well, I see you don’t want me hanging around here for now. However, since I don’t feel like spending the night with Victor, I may have to find someone else to be with.”
“Yes, good, go mess with some other foolish businessman who is easily lulled by your otherworldly charms. And while you’re at it, why don’t you just leave me alone? All you’ve done is pester me with your riddles and puzzles and talk about Gensokyo. I’m certain there are plenty of people who would love your fairy tale fantasy land. Why don’t you bother them instead?”
“Oh I could, George, but where would the fun in that be? It’s not like I’ve done it before,” Yukari lowers her fan, a devious grin on her face.
You glare at Yukari for a moment, your mind processing her words. “What do you mean, you’ve ‘done it before?’”
“And now he’s interested. Honestly, you humans are too easy to entice. You just tell them something interesting and you’ll have them right where you want them.”
“Answer my question, Yukari!” you sternly order.
“Fine, fine, clearly I’ve used up your patience for one night,” Yukari sighs as she hops out of bed and slowly walks towards you. “I’m certain you’ve heard about it, all those unexplained ‘disappearances.’ You can probably guess who’s behind them now.”
You gasp as you point your finger at Yukari. “I knew you were bad news when I first met you! So what about the others? Yuyuko, Youmu, and even Suika? Are they accomplices to your kidnapping scheme too?”
“Oh them? They just wanted to see the outside world. It’s not like it’ll do them much harm anyway.”
“So what about me then, Yukari? Do you plan on kidnapping me? Plan on taking me to your Gensokyo and leave me for dead? Is this what this is all about? Because you sure are taking your sweet time in doing so!”
“On the contrary, George, I’ve taken quite an interest in you. I wouldn’t dare drop you in Gensokyo. At least, not yet. However, if you aren’t planning on letting me stay here tonight, I’m going to have to find someone else to keep me company. And I doubt they’ll have a place as nice as this, George, so I might... have to take them home with me.”
You continue to glare harshly at Yukari, her words continuing to echo in your mind. “Is that a threat, Yukari? If I don’t sleep with you, you’ll kidnap some poor soul off the street and take them with you to Gensokyo?”
“Well, I didn’t say that entirely, but I was just informing you of the possibilities of what might happen. And don’t worry, no funny business, I just want to sleep in your bed. It’s a very nice bed, much nicer than Victor’s.”
Stroking your chin, your eyes narrow in suspicion. “And how can I trust you? How can I know that this isn’t some bluff just so you can have your way with me?”
Yukari shrugs again. “Have you so little faith in me not to keep my word, George? I thought we knew each other better than this.”
“Do we, Yukari?”
Again Yukari hides behind her paper fan. “Well, if you put it that way, can you afford to not trust me then, George? Besides, if I’m with you, I’m not going to wander out and possibly take someone home with me.”
You watch as Yukari returns to sitting on the edge of the bed, still hiding her face behind her paper fan. As much as you hate to admit it, you really don’t want to risk Yukari going out and taking some random person and taking them to Gensokyo. You don’t even know what sort of things go on in Gensokyo, so it might be a one way trip for them. Yet then again Yukari is a very untrustworthy woman. You really don’t want to share a bed with her, but what other choice do you have?
[X] “Fine, but no funny business. I want a nice, undisturbed rest.” [X] “No way, Yukari. I am not going to let you sleep with me.”
I am so sorry about how late this update is. Turns out, I can easily lose track on how many assignments I have to get done.
Glaring at Yukari, your brain whirls with activity as you think of how you can get out of this bad situation. You desperately don’t want to have a woman like Yukari sharing your bed with you, especially how she’s acting right now. Though you want to believe that Yukari has no plans for you if you do let her sleep with you, something inside is screaming that she’s lying to you. Yet, if you refuse, you risk endangering someone else. Sure, it might be some random person that you don’t know, but you just can’t convince yourself to allow someone else to be endangered. It just wouldn’t set well on your conscious. Still, Yukari seems adamant in sleeping in your bed; you just can’t find any way out of this.
Sleeping in your bed.
You hear your brain click as a clever grin begins to form on your face. Yukari is quick to notice as she questioningly looks at you. “George, what are you thinking that is making you think it’s a good idea to look like that? If you plan on running, don’t, you know I’ll just catch you.”
“On the contrary,” you calmly reply, still grinning,” I have no plan on running. In fact, I’ve decided I will honor your request.”
“You are? Excellent!” Yukari smiles as she continues to relax on your bed. “I knew you wouldn’t be able to say no.”
“Of course not, Yukari, it would be wrong of me to refuse the request of a woman. Of course, you will promise me that you will not do anything... undesirable while you are sleeping in my best, yes?”
“You wound me with your mistrust of me, George,” Yukari answers, the tone of her voice obviously faking offense. “Why would I wish to do anything bad in your bed? Certainly you trust me enough to let me sleep in it.”
“Well, of course I do, Yukari, I just first to affirm that you won’t do anything questionable while in my bed.” You lean in, placing your hands on your hips. “It is a rather good bed, and I don’t want it to be marred by any sort of activity you may think of engaging in during the night.”
“I see you want to extract a promise from me. Very well George, you have my word, I won’t do anything to ruin your bed during the night.”
“Do I need to repeat myself, George?” Yukari scoffs, starting to get bored.
You grin again as you nod. “Good to hear. Now, I hope you enjoy my bed, Yukari. I will see you in the morning,” you start walking out of your room when Yukari starts to protest.
“George! Where are you going? Aren’t you coming to bed?”
“Of course not! I would never dream to ruin your good night of sleep! Besides, I have to find another bed to sleep in.”
Yukari starts talking in a fume. “But you said you’ll be sleeping with me, George! Didn’t you hear what I said? And what will happen if you don’t do what I asked!”
“Indeed I have, Yukari. And I clearly heard that you simply wished to sleep in my bed. None of this spending the night sharing the bed with me!”
Watching Yukari, she looks ready to jump out of bed and drag you back, but instead she takes a deep breath and returns to her pleasant, if somewhat mysterious composure. “I see, George, you’re twisting my words against me. Very well, I will concede for tonight, but I promise you this, I won’t look fondly on this night, so you better hope you don’t have any favors you wish to ask me.”
“I would never ask a favor from one of my guests. Now please, I grow tired! Good night, Yukari, I hope you enjoy my bed.” Shutting the door behind you, you chuckle to yourself as you waltz down the hallway, unable to believe that you were able to outwit Yukari. Taking a moment to mentally pat yourself on the back, you silently head into one of the empty guests room. Though the guest room is definitely smaller than your own room, it’s a welcome sight after managing to avoid spending the night with a woman of questionable intent. You temporarily think about getting your butler prepare the bed but after dealing with Yukari, you lazily toss a few sheets and pillows on the mattress and collapse on the bed, quickly falling asleep.
Morning comes quickly, a ray of light blanketing your face, causing you to slowly get up. Looking at the bed you were sleeping in, you noticed that most of the pillows were tossed on the floor. Considering the quality of the mattress, you aren’t surprised you were moving around a bit during your sleep. Stretching your cramped limbs, you gently toss the pillows back on the bed before exiting the guest room, silently walking back to your own room. Walking inside, you quickly notice Yukari is nowhere to be seen. Thankful that you don’t have to immediately deal with her, you quickly change into a fresh suit, heading back into the hallway as Wilton was making his rounds.
“Ah, Master George, I was hoping I could speak with you,” Wilton says as he approaches you. “I want to inform you that I took the liberty to book your flight for the upcoming business meeting.”
“Wilton, thank you for reminding me, I nearly forgot about that. Is my luggage for the trip already done?”
“Yes, Master George, I made sure that you’ll have everything you need for the trip. And a little extra in case you decide to spend some more time out of country.”
You tilt your head. “You didn’t book a return flight?”
“Seeing the current state of affairs, Master George, I thought you could use some extra time on vacation. If you want, however, I can book you a return flight immediately.”
You scratch your chin a bit before shaking your head. “No, if anything, I’ll decide when I’m out of country. Besides, the meeting could last longer than anticipated and I may have to spend longer than intended.”
“Of course, Master George.”
“By the way, Wilton, how are the guests? I hope that they’re pleased with their lodgings?”
“Indeed, Master George. Miss Saigyouji and Miss Ibuki both expressed their thanks. Miss Konpaku also expressed her gratitude though she insisted that she make her own room.”
Smiling, you pat Wilton on the shoulder. “Thank you, Wilton. I don’t know where I’ll be without you.”
“It is my pleasure to be of assistance, Master George.” Bowing, Wilton takes his leave, heading towards the kitchen, most likely getting breakfast ready for the guests and you. Looking around, you realize that this is a rare moment of free time for yourself. With everyone else asleep, you feel that you can squeeze in an activity.
[X] Take a moment to read up on current events. [X] Research on the corporation you’ll be meeting later. [X] Spend some time relaxing in the Estate’s garden.