Marisa may be tomboyish and crude most of the time, but she does have a side that seems to tell her to fuss over someone she cares about when they're hurt. Or at the very least, stop them from being hurt further. To that end, she insisted on my sitting down in a chair while the puppeteer finished her business with the grue. I know I must look horrible right now, but I doubt anything's broken, nor are any of the lacerations particularly deep. I made a point of running my non-incinerated hand through my hair to make sure that the bleeding was simply because there's a cut instead of my being scalped. Satisfied with the fact that I've basically taken cosmetic damage, I lean back and await the potential second chewing out for being a reckless moron.
Aya was also giving me a good look over since she happened to be sitting near me, at which point she winces. She does so again when her eyes come to a stop on my burnt hand, though in this case it's mixed with confusion. Rumia possesses no fire element attacks and if this were the result of friendly fire it'd be much more widespread. She opens her mouth to ask what had happened, closed her mouth to think her question through, then opened it again to actually say something. "You really are crazy if that was you who used that weird fire spell." ...Of course she'd guess. There are only two insane fire users in Gensokyo and the other one isn't here.
"That sums up my thoughts nicely." Marisa's still glaring at me for my stupidity, and perhaps because she thinks that this would be far easier on me if I had taken magic and danmaku more seriously. "I keep sayin' that the danmaku rules exist to make this sort of thing a non-issue, but no, you've gotta go and devote your life to alchemy to the point where you've got nothing to fall back on!"
I know she means well, but...
"...I see that my skills are required once again." Alice steps in and deposits a half-naked Rumia on the sofa, while the pitch black dress she wears is rolled up and magically sealed. I notice that the puppeteer is none too pleased with me for damaging myself further when there was little need for it, but doesn't keep the expression up for long. "Next time you want to help, try to use something with less backlash. You're neither a pyromancer nor a fire element youkai, so it's not possible to build up an immunity just by burning yourself repeatedly." She then places one hand on my head as though to ruffle my hair, and begins to heal the damage taken, starting with the more threatening bleeding.
Marisa still looks annoyed with me, but she's not going any farther now that I'm receiving adequite medical attention. Instead she focuses on the more important matter of what to do with the grue. "Hey Alice. You've got this all sorted out so I'm gonna go grab Reimu. It's high time Rumia got sealed back up." She stands up from her previous position, which was on the sofa, to begin walking toward the front door.
"Yes, by all means." Alice gives the forest witch a curt nod before resuming my healing. Once Marisa's out of sight she looks at me and shakes her head. "She is right you know. You've overspecialized yourself without realizing it, and you're hurting yourself because of it." Her tone and eyes are soft, but there's a momentary hitch at the end of the sentence where she seems to have wanted to say that I'm a stubborn moron as well, but she's probably banking on my knowing that by now.
"...Alice, if Reimu's coming to reseal Rumia, then that means Yukari's coming too. I hate to ditch at a time like this and skip out on lunch, especially since you're no slouch when it comes to cooking, but I don't want to be in the same room as her." Aya stands up, bows apologetically, and walks over to the window. "Ivan, once this is all done, it'll be time to start working on what we originally agreed to work on." Her mood picks up a bit as she makes eye contact again. "I'll swing by your house tomorrow, okay?"
"That sounds fine. I'll try to leave a window unlocked." I make a point of at least nodding in response since Alice isn't done yet. "In fact, my apologies over this entire delay. If it wasn't for me we'd be further along than we are." As well as taking responsibility for this. Despite what's been said, I'm still partly at fault over this.
"Nah, it's fine. From what I understand you weren't exactly in the best shape to stop her, and the seal isn't exactly specific about how it's taken off so long as it is." Aya shakes her head in response while smiling. "I'm off then. Any longer and I'm going to have to deal with Yukari. Bye Alice, bye Ivan!" She throws open the windows, and with a hurried goodbye, shoots through them at an insane speed. They close again moments after her departure, though I actually caught a momentary glimpse of the control strings used for that act.
"I wonder why she's so keen on avoiding the gap youkai? Sure she's a bit annoying at times, but hardly someone you'd feel the need to run away from." Alice stares out after Aya with her hand outstretched to close the window, while the other is once again restoring my flesh. ...It's funny how that process can hurt more than the injury itself, but the heat kills off the nerve endings first so...
"She does have an uncomfortable presence though. Friendly or no, I'm not sure what to make of her." On the one hand, Yukari seems to be easygoing and capricious. On the other, she inflicted some rather unspeakable things on Aya for what was written in the tengu's paper. Part of me wants to know the whole story before passing judgement while the other's trying its hardest to ensure that keeping both a physical and emotional distance becomes my default method of interaction when it comes to Yukari.
Alice pulls off the loose, brittle shell of burnt flesh and half-hardened glass while wearing a pensive look. "Yukari is the youkai of boundaries. Comprehending her is more of a matter of what she'll let you make of her, not what you can find out on your own." She walks off to drop the disgusting cast in the wastebin before returning to give me one final look over before saying something else. "It's not really any of my business, but I think you should stick around for Rumia's resealing. Odds are good they'll want to do it on the spot, and it would probably benefit you more to stay than to leave."
Seeing this through to the end. That would be the responsible thing to do here, and since I'm already accepting my share of the blame I may as well stick around and see it through to the end. "In that case, I will stay. Though if you don't mind, I could use something to eat since all the shuffling around made me lose track of time." It's almost smack in the middle of the afternoon, though you probably couldn't tell that just by looking outstide as it's still snowing.
"It's no trouble at all." Alice smiles in response before sending a group of dolls out to prepare something. "I have to ask, what in the world made you decide that you should take better care of yourself? From what I recall, it wasn't uncommon for you to skip at least one meal out of the day, and for the longest time no one could convince you otherwise."
"That's..." I almost start before faltering a bit. Regaining my composure and train of thought is easy though, so the gap wasn't that big. "It's probably for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that a few people seem to have taken greater interest in my own health."
Alice seems to be stuck trying to stifle a laugh or hold back a groan, and it takes a minute for her to stop long enough to talk. "You mean, that yuki-onna girlfriend of yours is around to make sure you take care of yourself. I imagine that having a wife would do you some good."
"We're not that far along yet. It's only been a few days." This conversation is going places I'm not sure I want it to go, but Alice probably won't drop the opportunity to tease me a bit since I left the opening.
"Perhaps it is too soon, but time is of the essence in your case." She has a sly grin on her face even as the sandwiches are brought in. It's enough to warrant a brief conversation change. "Also, my apologies for only being able to make something simple on such short notice."
"No, no, I'm imposing here, it's fine." Besides, simple tends to be good at times. This does bring up some interesting questions about Alice though... "I do have to wonder though, why put so much effort into cooking when it's clear you're a magician youkai with no need to eat."
Alice picks up one of the sandwiches and bites into it before talking again. "Just because I don't need to, does not mean I don't want to. I can essentially feed off the ambient magic in the air, but that gets boring after a while. Besides, it's better to keep ones skills sharp for when she has guests."
"I can understand that, or at least try to." I can't help but look out the window just in case Reimu and Marisa come back by air, at which point a few other questions come to mind.
[X]She says she's merely a magician youkai, but even now you can feel something more eminating from her.
[X]Normally healing spells either accelerate the natural healing process or uses the healer's energy to offset the recipient's own costs. Why then, is there only a normal hunger for the both of us?
[X]I've been rather curious about how her dolls work. Despite the fact that only Shanghai and Hourai display any level of autonomy, the others are never truly idle.
[X]The grue's conscious, isn't she.
[X]Continue the idle chatter for a while. No reason to delve too far into any more mysteries today.
Feel free to ask whatever may be on your mind at the moment, but limit it to one or two questions.