I hear the faint twang of an arrow being fired so we must be fairly close to Eirin's indoor archery range. I find myself in a bit of a dilemma, because I would like to continue having the bunny guide me and go see what the good doctor is up to. I obviously can't do both at once so I'll have to leave it up to chance to decide for me.
Though I can't quite shake the feeling something, or someone is running this way at a rather frantic pace. Given how said footsteps are getting louder I'd have to assume-
"GET OUTTA THE WAY!" I find myself being forced to the floor face-first by Mokou, who I only recognize from the sound of her voice, who then proceeds to bounce off my back and continue running down the hallway at top speed before diving into a side door. I caught naught but the breifest of glimpses but I'm pretty sure Mokou had some kind of frilly pink and red outfit on along with some kind of white tail, not unlike a cat's.
"Ivan, is there anything I can do?" Reisen squats down next to me while I let the pain subside some. It's nice to know she's bright enough to forego the usual 'are you alright?' which would be painfully obvious that I am in fact not alright.
"Just give me a minute..." My back still hurts like hell, but like the show this must go on. I could really use some painkillers though.
"I think I should take you to see master for some kind of painkiller." Reisen ultimately allows me to use her arm to get back up, then her body as a crutch until I feel good enough to walk on my own. Until then we'll move at a slower pace. "You've got some poor luck to get that burn wound slammed twice in one day." She then leads me to a door just past the one Mokou ran through. The next room looks to be some kind of game room, complete with a billiards table that could double as a majong table if the cover is any indication. Another twang, much louder than before. "Ah, master should be just through this door." She knocks twice, then opens the door once she hears Eirin shout 'range clear'!
Wow. When I heard indoor archery range I did not expect something the size of a long, yet fairly narrow field. Eirin approaches from the far end, which must be at least one-hundred and fifty yards out. She picks up the pace when she sees that I'm having to use Reisen to support myself. "What happened? Usually people recover from injuries within Eientei, not suffer new ones."
"Mokou knocked me to the floor when she was running through the hallway. I'm guessing she was running from Kaguya." I then shift my weight back to where I can stand without using Reisen to support myself, and wince when I do. I can walk but it'll mean being in considerably more pain. However, some shouting can be heard from the other end of the field as Mokou tries to put more distance between herself and Kaugya. The latter of the two happens to be keeping pace despite the fact that the former is easily the more physically fit, albiet dressed rather ridiculously.
"I see..." The doctor facepalms when she sees that peculiar sight before turning back to me. "We should get you something to take the edge off the pain, though you really should be resting right now." Then she could have argued against letting me run off all on my own to locate Reisen. Then again, I doubt she could have predicted that the moon bunny was locked in a janitor's closet, or that Mokou would use such a violent method of getting past me. "Reisen, take Ivan to his guest bedroom and I'll be there in a few minutes with the painkillers and lunch."
"Yes master." Reisen responds to her master's instructions, then proceeds to pick me up bridal style. I'm not in the mood to complain about it since it takes the pressure of my back, but this is undignified and reminds me once again that a youkai has no trouble with a typical human. The part that really infuriates me is that I just happen to be a typical human with some skill at creating some unweildly one time use bottled elements to defend myself with, among other things. And as my attempt to flee Mokou earlier today reminds me, I can barely do that much. Had that been a feral youkai I would have been far worse off than I am.
I don't pay much attention to my surroundings until Reisen sets me down on the guest bed. One of Eientei's little quirks happens to be the presence of western-style beds rather than the traditional futon that the villagers, like myself, typically use. "Thank you Reisen, that saved quite a bit of time and effort." The least I can do is thank her for it.
"You did get me out of that closet not too long ago so carrying wasn't a big deal. You're pretty light too now that I think about it, and humans aren't exactly what I'd call light." She does sit her fluffy butt on the bed as she speaks to me, and she's even careful enough to avoid sitting on me. "I apologize if it's none of my business but how well do you eat?"
I raise one of my eyebrows and look elsewhere. I make a fair bit of money off the sealed fire and sealed ice, the former being a convenient heater and the latter being a convenient method of keeping food cold, along with the odd bits other people buy but most of what I make goes into my craft and some of the resulting structural repair. I still manage to keep a nice supply of foodstuffs in the house, but sometimes I get so engrossed in my work I forget to eat. "Two full meals a day on average, less if I get fully absorbed in my work."
"It sounds like you and master have yet another thing in common. Your ignoring of your body's needs." Reisen tilts her head down and her ears slump forward as well. I'm guessing she's had to bodily drag Eirin away from her work more than once. Heh heh, I can imagine Eirin clinging to her desk with an iron grip even after starving herself and depriving herself of sleep as Reisen and Kaguya both try to drag her away.
The smell of warm food immediately catches my attention, the smell announcing the arrival of Eirin, an end to the pain, and a full stomach. A lovely combination don't you think? "It's good to see you two getting along so well. Ivan, you should take the pills after you eat, an active digestion will speed up the process." She sets the tray where I can easily get to it and occupies a chair not too far from the bed. "I really do wonder why you don't let me help you. You could save yourself a lot of pain in the long run if you'd be willing to work with me."
I make a point of swallowing first before I answer since it's rude to talk with one's mouth full. "Eirin, think about it. What's the big difference between you and I?"
"The fact that I have over a thousand more years of experience than you? The fact that I can work non-stop despite Reisen's objections? The fact that people expect great things of me and minorly practical things of you?" She's rattling off a list now! It doesn't help that they're all valid points...
"Okay, those are all true... Maybe I should have said 'similarity' since we both hate taking the easy way out." I'm half done already? I did skip breakfast by accident so I guess it's only natural that I eat with a little gusto.
"Except you're still experimenting. Even I can't produce instant success from nothing so there's no easy way out seeing as I have no pre-existing data to go by." Eirin then shoots down my usual arguement without even resorting to the benefits of working alongside the brain of the moon. Not that she ever does mind you.
"But you're a genius! What would take me weeks, if not months to figure out would take you mere hours. It's a silly answer but working with you would take all the fun out of this." Now that I'm done I pop the pill in my mouth and swallow. I suspect Eirin's given me more that just a painkiller but...
"Master, that wasn't a painkiller was it?" Reisen looks over my sleeping form as she asks Eirin that one little question.
"It was a sleeping pill. A rather strong one at that." The doctor got up from her chair and retrieved the tray before making her way to the door. "Given Ivan's track record, the only way his body will heal is if he's not moving around. A sleeping pill makes the most sense out of the avalible options."
"And you wonder why he doesn't want to work with you." Reisen gets up as well and follows her master out of the room.
Ugh... I open my eyes and look at the clock on the side table. I can't read it in this gloom so I rummage around in my pants for a bottled light and almost immediately curse as a brilliant light floods the room. My next brilliant move is to cover part of it with the blanket so the offensive light becomes more tolerable. "Three AM..."
[X]Test your back. If you're good to go get back home.
[X]See about finding the kitchen, you're hungry.
[X]This isn't worth it. Go back to sleep.
[X]You know, I really need to go to the bathroom. And a bath would go a long way towards letting me wake up properly.