Seriously? Does she just think you’re magically in the know about these things?
Of course she does. Old people these days, man. All thinking every young person is exactly the same.
You stare at the words on the monitor, looking for something that might be useful as a nom de plume. Unfortunately, the text is all useless in that regard.
…Unless I mock her a little for her lack of knowledge. A small jab, an acceptable jab, but a jab all the same.
<%Gearhead>Oh, a sense of humor! That’ll help.
<IFeelADraft>That’s pretty obvious
<IFeelADraft>If you were who I thought you wouldn’t know that reference
<IFeelADraft>So never mind that
<IFeelADraft>Anyways, welcome to IRC
<IFeelADraft>People all over Gensokyo can use it for semi-anonymous blathering
<PrincessOnAStick>Oh, hey, new girl
<PrincessOnAStick>Remind me to send you an invite for this game tomorrow
<PrincessOnAStick>Can’t do more today
<Phones>Not sure what you’re on about, but okay
<PrincessOnAStick>A lot of us play
<IFeelADraft>Don’t play with Princess unless you can avoid it, she’s a baddie
<IFeelADraft>Seriously, you NEVER SWITCH WEAPONS
<IFeelADraft>Not even for the fights that hard counter you
<PrincessOnAStick>And yet I’m never the one getting KO’d by
<PrincessOnAStick>Well, I’d list them all, but there are so many you get KO’d by
<Grill2>You best not steal my frenemy, drafty
<Grill2>I *like* having fights with her
You turn your head to look back over your shoulder, and the expression of sheer dismay on Taishi’s face almost makes you copy it out of reflex. “This… this is the public discourse now?”
“As much as I hate to say so,” you reply, “I think it is. As far as this ‘internet’ thing goes, anyways.”
She stares at the monitor, shakes her head sadly, and walks away.
<Spook>So, joke I heard last night
<Spook>Guy walks into a bar, puts this tiny piano on the counter…
You get the feeling this is going to eat up an abnormal amount of your time.
“Our illustrious leader calls, apprentice!”
Well, this study session has gone straight down the tubes. You were just starting to understand the theory behind this tincture, and…
You stand to face… well, no, you stand to look down on Mononobe no Futo. Just like the Prince had said, the process of becoming shikaisen had left her… lacking in height. Unfortunately for you, this seems to have simply turned her into a pint-sized glob of compressed energy. She’s beaming, her teeth white as polished rice.
“Heed swiftly, with haste! Thy future brightens!”
You simply nod and follow. You’ve learned that speaking with her is… a trial, to say the least.
The walk isn’t terribly far – even without Futo leading the way, you have a fairly good understanding of Senkai’s spatial oddities by now. After merely a few minutes of her excited chattering, you step through the door to Miko’s seat of office.
“The Hakurei is pressing us to attend a banquet,” your master announces. “We will attend, of course; it doesn’t present a good image if we simply refuse her hospitality. However…”
“ ‘However’, Prince?”
“We will be seated across from the residents of Myouren Temple.”
Oh, them. Those youkai are an exceedingly odd lot.
“Here.” She pushes a small placard across her desk. Looking at it, it seems to be a seating diagram.
With your name on it.
And across the great table from you… yes, you recognize that name. She’s-
-The most pure of heart of the lot, if certain stories can be believed.
-That incredibly rude little mouse.
-An avatar of Bishamonten, supposedly.
-In a band with that cute bird from the eel cart.