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30961 No. 30961
Old thread
>>30152

I stood there, one second stretching out into eternity. The memory of my previous days flashed before my eyes—so much had happened, just to lead up to this point. Being chased by fairies across a lake, breaking into a manor on the edge of space and time, eating lunch with a vampire...though my life had never been dull, this week ranked pretty damned high on the strangeness scale. And after all that bullshit? I stood with my own two feet upon the surface of the moon, trying to carry out one of the most audacious heists that I have ever tried.

Now, I just had to get of the pesky fairy in front of me. The annoying bint was grinning at me with fireballs in her hands, just daring me to try something. Anything.

I needed something strong, something that packed a punch, something powerful enough to whack this youkai wannabe out of the air and get me out of the door safely. As my thoughts sped, just to the side I could still feel the steady magical pulses of the drum, emanating from underneath the rubble. Like the flirtatious winks of a coy maiden.

Horrible metaphor, but the whimsical imagery somehow made up my mind. I leapt, barely managing to dodge two bolts of energy fired my way, and landed hard onto the rubble. My knee raked against a ripped wooden beam, and I sucked in air through my teeth as I felt a thousand splinters imbed themselves into my thigh. Ow. I swallowed the pain as I started to scramble forwards like a lizard, keeping my profile low to avoid the fairy's potshots. It was like advancing forwards in some demented fairytale version of ‘Nam. I winced as the multicolored bullets whizzed above me, each one of them closer than the last.

And finally, my luck ran out. A bullet crashed into my arm, and I could feel my protective charms whine in protest-- right before I was flipped over bodily by the force of the blow. Something sharp pierced through my sleeves and into my arm, but I bit down on the scream and looked to my goal with watering eyes.

It was close. So close. Gritting my teeth, I lunged forwards for the last time, my hand finally landing on the taut drum skin.

It was electrifying. The pulses roared against my fingertips, deep, coursing, like drumbeats and distant thunder. They pounded in my ears, my head, my entire body. The deep, low thrum latched onto my heartbeat, and they beat together as one. Slow, confident, like they were made for one another.

In an instant, I knew what treasure I wielded, and I tore it out of the debris with a victorious cry.

The gleaming red lacquer of the drum was scraped, cracked, and the drum stick that lay beside it hadn’t fared much better, but the power inside was intact and running strong. The scent of magic was heady, intense, and so forceful I could almost physically taste the ozone on my tongue. The pockmarks and gashes did nothing to disguise the fact that this instrument was undoubtedly of divine origin, torn from the gods themselves to serve in mortal hands.

The fairy saw me stand up, and I could see her expression perk up when she saw my face.

“Oh? So you’re finally up for some old fashioned dueling?” she cackled, rolling up her sleeves and showing deceptively thin arms. They could probably bench press refrigerators too, because youkai are unfair like that. Her eyes flicked over to the drum I was cradling in my arms.

I didn’t say anything. I didn’t trust myself to—anything that came out of my mouth now had the pulse of thunder behind it, and I felt like I could shatter glass with a whisper. I tossed the drum into the air gently, and it started floating, realigning itself until it was behind me. And the drum skin, decorated with three swirls, was aimed directly towards the fairy.

Now, a single bit of uncertainty shone from beneath that eager gaze. “Wait. Is tha—”

With a single backwards stroke, I swung the drum stick. There was no drumbeat. Or if there was, I did not hear it.

A flash of searing white light blinded me just as a crack of thunder deafened my ears, and I was flung backwards in a cloud of wooden shrapnel. Black spots danced before my eyes, and dazedly, I could recall the image of a forked lance of lightning striking straight through the upper floors like the vengeful wrath of god. Groggily, I lifted my head from where it lay—noting that my surroundings have been seared black—and saw two things.

The first thing was the unconscious form of the fairy lying smoking on the ground. Infuriatingly enough, she had a great big smile on her face, but at least she was down for the count. The second thing I saw was Ran, hurrying to the scene. Bless her, it seemed that after she finally dealt with her multitude of opponents, she had torn through a wall (or several) to save me.

...or more likely, hurried over to see what had called down the bolt of lightning that ripped a hole in the roof.

Upon seeing my prone form, she slumped her shoulders and sighed. I couldn’t hear her though, my ears were still ringing something fierce. She said something, and though I still couldn’t hear her, the message was clear enough.

“What have you gotten yourself into this time?”

I croaked a response, and waved my arm bonelessly before letting it flop to the side. My head was pounding, and with that pain came the realization that I was suffering from some form of conjurer’s fatigue, having expended almost every last drop of power inside my body. Now, this was a rare event. Usually, I parceled out my power so sparingly that it had been literal years since I had felt like this. It brought to mind the endless nights I had spent in my master’s basement, struggling to light the candles set before me.

Ran leaned down, and shouted something in my ear. I managed to catch a few words: “the hell”, “alone for a few seconds”, and “trouble”.

“Mrghl,” I commented, rather insightfully. Ran just glared at me. She finally rolled her eyes, and with little to no effort grabbed my wrist and hauled me onto her back. Like I said before, youkai are unfair like that.

My eyes widened as best as I was able. “Dryhmnm. Th’ Dryhmn!” I forced out of my dried lips, the mumbled words coming out in a dry rasp. I waggled a hand towards the drum lying face down on the ground, hoping that Ran could understand.

Ran cursed and picked the drum up, but even in my partially deafened state I could hear her angry words. “I swear to the gods there be, if—”

A loud chattering interrupted her, and the unsettling noise was followed by the sounds of pitched battle. A fairy – several in fact, fairies, plural – crashed through the roof in quick succession, smoking and writhing from danmaku damage. In the gaps through the ceiling, I could see glimpses of Reimu’s companions, Reisen and Sanae, dueling an immense swarm of enemies and leading them through a running battle through the city streets. I bit my tongue nervously as multicolored streams of magic blossomed in the sky. That meant that the black cloud of fairies we saw earlier had reached us, and basically had the entire area filled with hyper competent fae. How the heck would Reisen and Sanae be able to fight of that number on their own?

Ran noticed my look and shook her head. “Those two are strong. Probably far stronger than anything you can comprehend at your level, if I may be so blunt. They won’t win, but they will survive.”

My ears were still ringing, though thankfully it had receded by a bit. “Stronger than you?” I croaked, before realizing what I was saying. It seemed my subconsiousness had commanded me to reply to her jab, regardless of self-preservation.

Ran smiled a thin smile. “On a good day? Possibly.”

She seemed more forlorn than insulted by my remark, which was odd. But the presence of those two prompted an important question: Where was Reimu?

“She’s probably where she needs to be. Like she always is,” answered Ran. At this point, that probably meant the shrine maiden was fighting whoever was in charge of causing this mess. Ran walked forwards a few steps, and knelt down to examine my unconsious attacker. I flopped on her back like a broken puppet.

“Fighting out of here would be suicide,” said Ran, musing. “These fairies are strange. Their flames taunt the heart at a level not possible for your average fae, and their strength is... inconventional.” Of that, I agreed heartily. Outside, I could still hear danmaku bolts peppering the side of the building, as well as the muffled explosions in the distance. She continued, tracing the burn marks on the floor with her fingers. “By myself, I could do it, but with you in your state?” She shook her head, the two points of her funny hat swaying as she did so. “Don’t give me that look. You have more than a dozen gashes and bruises on you. Your mind just hasn’t caught up to the fact that you have them.”

“We should—“ she paused, her brow furrowing. “We should...”

It seemed that the odd indecisiveness that had been her pack and parcel this entire trip was again, making itself known. She always seemed to know what to do, until... well, until she didn’t. She always seemed to need a little push.

And luckily, I was here to give it.

First of all,
[ ] Implore Ran to look around and pillage a bit of stuff. I may have gotten a nifty drum already, but surely there could be more things lying around?
[ ] No pillaging. There was simply no time to waste, a shock team of fairies could drift in at any minute and I was little more than deadweight at this point.

And following that,
[ ] “Carve us a portal back to Gensokyo, Ran. The connection should be still there, and I’ll use whatever I have left to help out.”
[ ] “Hey, Ran. Wanna fight our way out, and watch Reimu fight the bad guys?”
[ ] “The drum is good, but a more liquid and portable asset would be a nice addition. Can we scavenge some more? Please?”
[ ] Let her decide, long as it may take. Plus, I was curious as to why she was taking so long to do so. Waiting for her might shed some light on the matter.
[ ] Write in.



Ayyy, so I know that I’ve been gone for a few months and my credibility is all but shot at the moment, but I’ll try my best to keep on a schedule starting from now. Even if it means small, pocket sized updates from time to time.
>> No. 30962
[X] Implore Ran to look around and pillage a bit of stuff. I may have gotten a nifty drum already, but surely there could be more things lying around?
[X] “The drum is good, but a more liquid and portable asset would be a nice addition. Can we scavenge some more? Please?”
>> No. 30963
[X] No pillaging. There was simply no time to waste, a shock team of fairies could drift in at any minute and I was little more than deadweight at this point.

And following that,
[X] Let her decide, long as it may take. Plus, I was curious as to why she was taking so long to do so. Waiting for her might shed some light on the matter.

Glad to see you continue this.
>> No. 30964
[X] No pillaging. There was simply no time to waste, a shock team of fairies could drift in at any minute and I was little more than deadweight at this point.
[X] Let her decide, long as it may take. Plus, I was curious as to why she was taking so long to do so. Waiting for her might shed some light on the matter.

I'm glad to see this update. Looks like our protagonist lucked out on finding a powerful artifact. I wonder how much it would go for.
>> No. 30965
[X] No pillaging. There was simply no time to waste, a shock team of fairies could drift in at any minute and I was little more than deadweight at this point.
[X] “Carve us a portal back to Gensokyo, Ran. The connection should be still there, and I’ll use whatever I have left to help out.”

I'm very tempted how this fight will play out, but we already got some high-quality loot whose disappearance will probably piss off whoever's in charge and things are getting more dangerous by the second. Better not push our luck.

I'm happy to see this alive, by the way.
>> No. 30966
[x] No pillaging. There was simply no time to waste, a shock team of fairies could drift in at any minute and I was little more than deadweight at this point.
[x] Let her decide, long as it may take. Plus, I was curious as to why she was taking so long to do so. Waiting for her might shed some light on the matter.

Whoa, I'd given up on this one. Always nice to be proven wrong.
>> No. 30972
[x] Implore Ran to look around and pillage a bit of stuff. I may have gotten a nifty drum already, but surely there could be more things lying around?
[x] “Carve us a portal back to Gensokyo, Ran. The connection should be still there, and I’ll use whatever I have left to help out.”

SCAVENGE, then GET OUT.
>> No. 30973
[x] Implore Ran to look around and pillage a bit of stuff. I may have gotten a nifty drum already, but surely there could be something to heal my body or recover my mana lying around?
And following that,
[x] Let her decide, long as it may take. Plus, I was curious as to why she was taking so long to do so. Waiting for her might shed some light on the matter.
>> No. 30975
[x] Implore Ran to look around and pillage a bit of stuff. I may have gotten a nifty drum already, but surely there could be something to heal my body or recover my mana lying around?
[x] Let her decide, long as it may take. Plus, I was curious as to why she was taking so long to do so. Waiting for her might shed some light on the matter.

I'm picking these because I'm interested in what else we may be able to find. In addition, spending more time with Ran is fun.
>> No. 31145
[x] Implore Ran to look around and pillage a bit of stuff. I may have gotten a nifty drum already, but surely there could be something to heal my body or recover my mana lying around?

[x] “Carve us a portal back to Gensokyo, Ran. The connection should be still there, and I’ll use whatever I have left to help out.”
>> No. 31146
[x] No pillaging. There was simply no time to waste, a shock team of fairies could drift in at any minute and I was little more than deadweight at this point.

I appreciate his enthusiasm, but he can barely walk.

[x] Let her decide, long as it may take. Plus, I was curious as to why she was taking so long to do so. Waiting for her might shed some light on the matter.

Great, I'm curious as well now.
>> No. 31147
>>31145
>>31146
check the dates lads
>> No. 31161
>>31147
Fuck.
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