[x] Take her to Reimu's shrine
The woman is wounded quite badly, her right shoulder having a deep gash in it, what looks like a stab wound on her lower abdomen, and really bad bruising on one of her legs. After heaving her up into your arms, you realize her unnaturally light she feels. Whether or not it's a trait of the tengu, or just you not knowing your youkai strength, you don't know, but its hardly at the front of your mind right now. You quickly make haste out of the war torn battlefield that was once home to the tengu, and start descending the mountain once more.
It's quite the hike. Going down the mountain by itself is one thing, but carrying a load on you at the same time is rather perilous. The mountain is steeper than it looks, and the path down isn't as intuitive as you'd like it to be. Keeping your balance turns out difficult but you eventually reach a more stable ground part way down without tripping embarrassingly. As soon as you're able to concentrate on anything other then your footing though, your thoughts seem to gravitate towards the woman in your arms. She has short, but sleek black hair, and a very clean complexion. Her face is something you wish most women on the outside had. The outfit she's wearing is feudal era in nature, but clearly very new. The sleeves are are attached by a thin net, allowing you to see her bare shoulders, and her legs are not at all covered through the gaps in her skirt. The very shapely looking legs...
Ugh, no. Quickly discard those thoughts. Now is not the time for such things. It is now, you realize, that you've rarely really been so close with anyone of the opposite sex before, much less for this long. You've associated with them a lot and, for a long time, even considered dating a few, but such thoughts never came to fruition, always been laid to the side by your career. Ultimately, that's the price of becoming a college professor at your extremely young age. You notice things like this because it's something your body has desired for a long time, a desire you've suppressed up until now. Now that you think about it, it does feel a lot harder to hold back now... your experiences with Yuyuko, Ran and Yukari make this fact as clear as day. You're not sure if it's because of them, or if they're just the catalyst in letting you know. You're praying it's not related to your newfound inner youkai, but it would to be expected to have unusual complications with something that may as well completely change your body make up.
By the time you're off the mountain and walking on flat ground, you realize this woman's condition might be worse then you thought it might be. There's a distinct trail of blood behind you and you're somewhat afraid the scent of it might start attracting flesh hungry monsters. Though, since it isn't the blood of a human, it might be fine nonetheless. You hope, anyways. It seems like most of the blood is coming from her shoulder, as your right arm is drenched in it. It's amazing how much blood a youkai can shed without actually dying. It's as if the blood just simply forms out of thin air. The trail isn't that thick, but after having walked such a great distance, you begin thinking that this woman has bled enough to make up an entire person by now. Your incessant worrying over a stranger is helping you cope with the fact that you have little experience up close with a member of the opposite sex, so with that determination, you make further haste towards Reimu's shrine.
"And what do you expect me to do?!"
This is the first thing you hear after asking the shrine maiden for help. She's angry. Pissed, you would say.
"I-I just thought--"
"No, you didn't. Jeez, not only do you interrupt my investigations with something so inane, but you even bring a youkai to my doorstep. I'm supposed to exterminate these things. Do you want me to do that?"
"No! No, please..."
"Then stop with this stupidity and leave me alone!" You feel the end of your rope quite quickly with Reimu, being a very intimidating and demanding person when she wants to be, and sometimes when she doesn't even try too. All you can manage is getting down on your hands and knees to plead. You've already put the woman down on her doorstep, so you can't just back down now.
"Please Reimu, it was really difficult getting her here, and I promised someone I would get her help..."
"And what if this youkai turns out to be bad?" You look up at Reimu...
She has a more serious look on her face. This extends past just basic annoyance. She's legitimately upset. As if her eyes were telling you that not all youkai can be good. As if to say, 'it doesn't matter what they look like, like humans they can appear good but turn out to be bad.'
You can understand her logic. There are youkai like Chen, who you can't even imagine harming a fly, but then, there are youkai like Yukari, who are just bad news no matter what way you look at it. Despite this, Chen looks the more threatening one at first glance, having sharp, blood red claws and the appearance of a demon cat, while the most threatening thing about Yukari's looks is her sharp but mischievous gaze. Even her parasol suggests she's but a gentle lady.
It's just like with humans. The most meek looking human can in fact be the most threatening one. All it means is that evil is the state of mind, a state you haven't seen in this woman yet. What can you do though? You can't wait for her to simply wake up. She'll die from all this blood loss before then. You think.
Before you can make up your mind though, you hear a gentle sigh from Reimu.
"Alright, I'll take her someplace where she can be treated. At the very least, if she is bad, she'll be somewhere she can't cause trouble." After pushing this realization through your head, you stand up with a bright smile on your face and shake the shrine maiden's hand generously.
"Thank you! Thank you so much! I'll never forget your kindness!"
"O-Okay, okay! Jeez, don't break down in front of me now. At least do it in front of your lazy master. She might actually get a kick out of it." After a brief scoff, you return to your usual demeanor, recovering from that brief surge of happiness.
"Yeah, you're right. I'll go do that then. Thank you again."
"Yeah, don't mention it. Seriously."
A while later, you find yourself back home. You're uncertain how you got there, but you're beginning to think you're getting better at coming home now, after doing it so many times with help. Actually, it's more like it just happened on it's own. You didn't even pay attention to where you were walking, you just happened upon your own home. This can only mean one thing.
"I'm back. Did you need me for something?" You look at the table where Yukari is seated, elegantly sipping her tea, right where you expected her. No, rather, you felt her being here. This spiritual attachment you have to the Yakumo family has been getting stronger without you noticing, it seems.
"My, whatever gave you that idea?" Your master gives you that typical smile that tells you she's lying.
"I wouldn't have made it here without you. For that matter though, you may as well have just dunked me through whatever you use and teleport me here on my head or something." Your quip doesn't seem to have any effect on her, but you take it in stride nonetheless as you sit down opposite of her.
"That doesn't sound very kind, but if that is your wish I'll happily oblige it." You just simply sigh.
"Spare me. So? What is it?" You're not about to feel totally underfoot of this woman just yet, and you plan on letting her know. If she wants to step on you, she's going to have to grind her heel into your face for you to acknowledge it.
"Straight to the point, hm?" Yukari seems to say this as if just a little forlorn that she doesn't get to play with her toy this time around, but she continues on to business nonetheless. "I know you were out there fighting against the demons that were purged from the underworld to attack Bhava-Agra in a suicidal rush. What do you make of it, Satoya?" You more or less expected this question, but the way she words it puzzles you.
"What do I make of it? How could I make anything of it? I guess now that you mention it, even if no one were there on the mountain to stop it, they wouldn't have gotten far anyways. What was the point?" Yukari slips you a devious smile, a smile that is much like her, and much unlike her all at the same time.
"That is what you were to find out, Satoya, though if you haven't found out anything, then I guess that makes this little excursion a failure, does it not?" You can't help but grimace as Yukari points out the one thing you were hoping she wasn't going to point out. While crisis was certainly averted, it wasn't by your hand, for sure.
"Jeez... what was I supposed to find out then? Who instigated this charade?"
"Not quite, but it'll come to you soon enough, I'm certain." Another sly smile forms on Yukari's lips before they're used to grasp the edge of the cup she starts sipping from. It's beginning to irritate you how subtle and cryptic this woman is.
"What's that supposed to mean?" Before you go any further into questioning, something else suddenly crops up in your head. Why she sent you out in the first place. You can't believe you're so stupid. "Wait, what about Ran and Chen? What happened to them?"
"What happened to them? Well, I can show you, if you'd like." The grating obscureness of Yukari's words finally gets to you and you can't stop yourself from slamming your fist onto the table.
"Stop being so vague and just tell me, damn it!"
For once... Yukari seems to be taken back by this gesture. Not much, but even the slight surprise is enough to bring you back to your senses and calm down, sighing softly.
"... sorry. Forgive me. I would like to just know rather then see." After recovering the ever so slight shock, Yukari returns to her usual demeanor, smiling a devilish smile at you.
"I see. Well, upon returning with Chen, Ran asked me for permission to return to her place of birth for a few days. Apparently she's worried about it after the recent upheaval. Very rare of her. Chen, always wanting to follow in her master's footsteps, claimed she wanted to check up on her 'clan's' well being, though knowing her, it isn't going to be any different from how she normally herds her group of felines. So the two will likely be out for the next few days. Not that you would notice here, but I understand if you're worried about your precious new family members."
The way with words this woman has, it really doesn't sit well with you. It sounds pretentious, and yet there's nothing you can do about it. You try to push your aggravated feelings side for now and think on the current situation. Ran is at her place of birth... you can't imagine what that would be like. Chen is apparently checking on the well being of her 'clan,' which may as well amount to a group of stray cats in some place abandoned. This leaves you alone with Yukari... whether or not this is fortuitous really depends on how the master feels, you suppose.
"If you'd like, my previous offer is still up for you to seize. I'm sure either of them would enjoy your company through a difficult time such as this." The way she makes it sound, it doesn't seem very difficult at all. But...
[ ] Go see Ran
[ ] Go see Chen
[ ] Stay with Yukari
I may be participating in NaNoWriMo this year, so if that happens, this story will be on hiatus for a little over a month. I'll keep whoever reads this sack of crap updated.