I’ve been wanting to try my hand at this CYOA thing for quite a while, but never had the confidence to actually do it.
I’ve finally found the guts to post this, so... let’s see how this turns out.
------------- Loading... -------------
“We thought we could get our hands on something we couldn’t possibly fathom.”
You place the last item. “Perfect” is the only word that comes to your mind.
You look down at the floor right in front of you, admiring what you have just created. There’s a large circle drawn with blood on the ground; complex, intricate geometric patterns formulated inside. Runic characters are written around the circumference, each and every one representing a command. A Ruby the size of a grown man’s fist is settled precisely in the middle of the circle.
You puff out your chest in pride. Everything is perfectly placed, ready to perform its role. The circle is faultlessly drawn; the blood is of the highest quality; the ruby is just of the right size. You close your eyes in satisfaction. This is it.
Countless past failures suddenly come to the front of your mind; a sinking feeling surrounds your heart. You push the depressing thoughts away, now is not the time to be thinking about that; losing confidence would have atrocious consequences in the process you’re about to perform. This time, you know you’ll be able to do it.
You lift your face to look at your accomplices. The excited look on their faces fills you with regained confidence. This will turn out flawlessly, you reassure yourself.
Your two partners in crime look at you, a wide smile pasted on their faces. They look so foolish, and yet, you can’t help but smile back. You probably look even more foolish than them, but you just don’t care about that right now. Adrenaline rushes through your body, caused by a mix of nervousness and excitement. You try to brace yourself. You can do this. You know you can. Keeping a cool head and a logical mind is of utmost importance right now. Letting your emotions get the better of you would be a fatal mistake.
“Start!” The blond-haired girl to your right gives the command. With just that one word, all three of you start moving. Everyone goes to their predetermined places around the circle; from now on, there can’t be any slip ups, any failures, not even a minimal false step.
Already on place, you start doing your part. You touch the border of the circle in front of you with both your palms, and fill it with your own magical energy. The blood that constitutes the circle; the patterns inside of it; every runic character; all of it lights up, emitting an unearthly red glow.
Both girls give each other a serious look, and nod. Exactly at the same time, they start chanting in an ancient language. Every word that comes out of their mouth is filled with an ethereal energy. With every passing second, their voices grow slightly in volume, an unnatural, deep tone radiating from them. Just by hearing them, you feel the huge the magical intensity their breath carry. Every word, every command, every syllable.
“ᚩᚻ ᛋᛈᛁᚱᛁᛏᛋ ᚩᚠ ᚹᛖ ᚠᚩᚱᛖᛋᛏ,” Their voices echo around the area. They have their eyes closed; their hands extended in front of them, a faint glow emanating from them. “ᚻᛖᛖᛞ ᛗᚣ ᚳᚫᛚᛚ ᚫᚾᛞ ᚫᚱᛁᛋᛖ ᛒᛖᚠᚩᚱᛖ ᛗᛖ!”
Your eyes widen as you feel the dense magical energy that was gathered in the surroundings concentrating in the circle. It’s so thick that it’s visible even to your human eyes.
The concentrated magical energy shakes like lightning, stirring up furiously, but never once leaving the circle. The wind blows fervently, raising the leaves from the floor, shaking the trees with its vigor. Yes, it’s working. You were completely sure that it’d turn out this way, and yet, being just one step away of success is mind-blowing, almost unbelievable.
A thunderous sound rips through your ears, accompanied by a blinding light. Even if you try your best to keep your eyes open, your body fails you.
“Wha-?” One of your friends yelps.
Before you even manage to scan your surroundings for your friends, you feel a powerful push shove you.
You fall on your back, and a sharp pain assaults your rear. You don’t even have time to think before a sudden burning pain runs through your whole body. Feeling as if your blood had been set on fire, you let out an agonizing cry. It hurts. It hurts. You instinctively scratch your own skin, as if trying to take something out from your insides. The unbearable heat seems to increase with every second. Your skin tears from your own scratches, letting blood flow out of your body.
The sounds around you get mixed up, the noise of the tree branches rasping even harder than before, the strong magical energy exploding around you, and, oh, was that one of your friends screaming? The pain robs you of any rational thought you could possibly muster; you ignore everything else, and get completely lost in your delirium.
It hurts. You scratch your skin again. It hurts. It hurts. Take it away. You try to stand up, but even that seems to be impossible. You pound your head on the ground, and with that action, the pain flows away, as if it had never been there to begin with.
You feel your consciousness leaving you. Everything starts fading away.
You do your best to stay awake. Holding your aching head, you try to stand up. You can barely see anything, everything looks disturbingly hazy. The sounds that seemed like they were ripping your ears seconds ago now feel like they’re all far away in the distance. You raise your body, faltering, your own weight almost bringing you down.
“Over here.” An unknown voice. Even though you can barely hear anything else, the voice is completely clear to your ears. You look ahead, trying to find its owner, only to see a smother of colors you can’t make any sense of.
“Over here.” The voice calls out to you again. You feel attracted to it; an overpowering need to follow it assaults you. Ignoring reason, your body starts moving unconsciously towards it.
You force your body to stop. What the hell are you doing? Why are you unquestioningly following some voice just because it told you to come? Right now, you should be worrying about something else. Your friends are... your friends are...
Where are your friends? Alarmed, you look around, but you’re unable to distinguish anything. Have you gone blind? No, you can see, even if it’s just a muddy blur of colors. A sense of dread invades you as you realize you can’t hear anything right now. What does that mean? What’s happening? Minutes ago, you were...
Your eyes widen in fright as a dreadful realization assaults you. What exactly were you doing? You don’t know. You can’t remember what you were up to minutes ago. You scan your brain for information. You and your friends were... Where were you? You can’t even recall your friend’s names, and you can’t help but fear what that means.
Losing your concentration, your body stumbles forward. You feel bitter as you realize how difficult it has been to stay still. You have to exert extra strength just to hold your body in place. Vexation assaults you; it shouldn’t be this hard to stand still, of that much you’re aware of. Your body should obey your commands without question, and yet-
“Enough of this foolishness.” The same voice resonates inside your head. With the words, an unbearable throbbing headache attacks you, threatening to take your consciousness away. Grimacing, you hold your head. It seems as if your own body decided it was finally time to discard your orders, because it starts to advance slowly in spite of your protests.
Your awareness is swept away by the pain. You try to think, but you can’t even manage that. Instead of thoughts, there’s just numbness and blackness. You only realize that you are moving, and there’s only room in your brain for one thought.
A simple command. You may not be aware of anything else, but you know there’s something you must do.
Another step forward. You command wasn’t strong enough, it seems, because you’re still moving forward. The haziness in your head keeps growing by the second, but you won’t let your consciousness go, no, not just yet. If anything, you won’t lose against your own body. It will obey you.
And with that last command, everything turns black.
Your eyes open slowly, and you’re welcomed by the sight of an unknown wooden roof.
How weird, you don’t remember your room having a wooden roof. You try to recall how your room’s roof was, but you realize you can’t. You don’t remember. You scan your memories for information about your room, and are utterly surprised when you come up with nothing.
Forget about your room, then. You scan your brain for information about yourself. Who are you? How do you look like? What’s your name? Your brain unhelpfully provides you with blankness.
Worry assails you as a distressing thought invades your brain. You quickly move your hands in front of you so you can look at them. You have hands and arms. Good, that means you have a body. You don’t really understand why you’re so relieved, but you realize that you have the knowledge that you’re supposed to have a body. “Who am I?” You ask no one in particular. Good, you can talk. That means you do have a mouth. And you apparently know that you need a mouth to talk.
Utterly confused, and slightly distressed by the lack of memories, you try to shift your body into a sitting position so you can better scan your surroundings. You’re distracted by a light headache. “Ugh.” You place one hand on your head. Your brain instantly informs you that what you’re feeling is pain. Good to know.
You notice that you’re sitting on the soft white mattress of a simple bed. You raise your gaze to scan your surroundings. The room is warm, and it’s perfectly illuminated by the orange-ish light seeping in from a round window. The walls and floor are also made of light wood, and there are two paper-sliding doors on both sides of the room. The room is pretty small, you think, before realizing you don’t have memories of any other room to compare it to. There’s a wooden closet on the corner of the room and a small, also wooden, night table by your bed.
You look at your arms, and notice they’re covered in scratches. Who could have done that? Does that mean you were in a fight? Or was it something else? Ignoring the new questions forming in your head, you try to stand up. At first, your knees fail you, having a hard time supporting your own weight. The moment weakness passes quickly, though, and you find yourself standing normally, albeit a little bit tiredly, on both feet.
Setting your mind on exploring the unknown place, you decide to see what’s beyond one of the paper sliding-doors. Opening it, you find an even smaller room containing a sink, a toilet, and a bathtub. Bathroom, your brain tells you. You know what a bathroom is. You decide to take this chance to wash your face; maybe that will clear your head, if only a little bit.
Moving in front of the sink, you raise your gaze, noticing a square reflective glass. Mirror, you think. You know what mirrors are. They are objects that reflect... my image, you think, amazed.
Also, look, I finally figured how to use a tripcode!
Staring back at you from the mirror is what must be a girl no older than eighteen. The first things that catch your attention are the ethereal, almost toxic-looking green eyes looking back at you, which seem to produce a faint glow of their own. Your brain desperately warns you that those are not the eyes of a human, contradicting its own affirmation that you are, in fact, a human.
Ignoring your eyes, you go ahead to examine the rest of your body. Messy chestnut hair falls down from your head, barely reaching your waist; it’s soft and smooth to the touch, you notice pleasantly, slowly running your hand through your hair. Your facial features are slightly sharp, but delicate-looking all the same. You observe there are also a few scratches covering your face. Fueled by a sudden surge of curiosity, you decide to touch one of them. It doesn’t hurt as much as you thought it would, barely stinging at all. Looking at them closer, you acknowledge that the wounds aren’t open. They must have been healing while you were sleeping, you reason. Your arms are slim, your hands delicate. You figure you’re not one used to physical labor. You grudgingly acknowledge that you probably wouldn’t last long in a physical fight. Maybe that’s the reason you were passed out?
You look down at your body, and observe that up until now you’ve been wearing nothing but a white, frilly nightgown that barely reaches your thighs. A hint of sadness taints your eyes as you realize that you have absolutely no idea how you’re supposed to look like. Everything about your figure is so new to you; it might as well be the first time in your life you’ve seen your own figure. What if you don’t look like that at all? What if this isn’t your body? This body may not be yours and you’d have absolutely no way of knowing.
You extend one arm in front of you, and touch the cold glass with the tip of your fingers, smiling bitterly. Your image imitates your movements perfectly. That’s you. No matter how many memories you’ve lost, no matter if this body rightfully belongs to someone else, this is your image.
You decide to push the depressing thoughts away, and hurriedly splash water on your face, rubbing it a few times with your hands before raising your gaze again. Now is definitely not the time to be thinking such disconcerting things. You should investigate the room. Maybe seeing things that belong to you will trigger your memories. Or something. Encouraged by that thought, you quickly go back to the room you woke up in. There’s not much in this room, really, so looking for whatever may trigger your memories won’t take too much of your time.
You decide to start by looking inside closet first. There’s nothing but a simple white kimono with a black sash. Is that yours? You touch the kimono with your fingertips, only to feel disconcerted when there’s absolutely no response from your memories. You figure you should put the kimono on, so that you don't go walking around wearing this very revealing nightgown.
As you hold the kimono in your hands, you hear a faint thumping. Footsteps? The thumping sound rapidly gets louder, indicating that whoever it is, they're getting closer. Fast.
Panic starts taking over you. What should you do? What if they're hostile? You hadn't considered the possibility that there might be someone else in this place. How foolish of you.
"Enough, Tewi!" A female voice surprises you; it's tainted with exasperation, and yet, its natural sweetness is easily noticeable. "I-" a loud crash interrupts the rest of the sentence.
A loud girlish laughter suddenly erupts. "Ahahaha—! You," the girlish voice snorts, "you shoulda seen your face!" If you had to use only one word to describe this other voice, you'd choose mischievous without hesitation.
A groan. "You brat..." Whatever happened, it must have been very painful, judging from the aching tone the voice has taken. “When I get-” The voice is interrupted by another crash, this one accompanied by a disgusting squishy sound.
“Gyahaha—!” The girlish voice explodes in laughter.
These voices are close. Very close. You're at a loss of what to do. Who are they? Are they friends? Enemies? What exactly should you do right now? Meet them? Hide? They honestly don't sound very menacing, and it would be great if you had someone to talk to right now. They might even answer some questions. It could be worth the risk. “Geh! Tewi! You-!” The first one shouts angrily.
“Now, now, comrade. We aren’t supposed to be loud, aren’t we?”
“Ugh... I’ll show you... later.”
You can see their shadows behind the paper sliding door now. There’s a tall figure and a small one. Your panic doesn’t allow you to concentrate too much on them, though, and you find yourself hurriedly trying to find a hiding spot. But is that the best thing to do? They could help you, and it’s not like running away will solve anything. What should you do?
[ ] Meet these people. They might help you.
[ ] Hide quickly. Do your best to avoid being spotted. -[ ] Under the bed! -[ ] In the closet! -[ ] Bathroom!
You can choose to write what you want to tell them if you choose to meet them. If you don’t write anything, I’ll write the default course of action.
Also, does anyone know where to find a proofreader? English is not my first language, and I’m not sure how well I am doing by myself. Some sentences, while seeming good to me, may actually sound pretty awkward and be strangely constructed.
[X] Meet these people. They might help you. -[X] "I'm not sure where I am. Or even who I am."
>“Now, now, comrade. We aren’t supposed to be loud, aren’t we?” For a second there, I thought this was Yuri, not Tewi.
>English is not my first language, and I’m not sure how well I am doing by myself. Your English is fairly good, there's only a few typos here and there.
>Some sentences, while seeming good to me, may actually sound pretty awkward and be strangely constructed. Most of your awkwardness comes from using more words than needed. "Some sentances seem good to me, but may actually sound awkward or have strange construction." >They must have been healing while you were sleeping, you reason. "They must have healed while you were sleeping." You should always strive to be brief, yet concise.
>>24221 And here lies the problem with female MCs. People will do their best to get a cute/sexy/etc scene in detriment of any plot, characterization or a reasonable choice. I suppose this is what means to be a democracy, and it's only a problem from a certain point of view anyway. I don't have any issue with it. In fact, I wholeheartedly support it.
[x] Hide quickly. Do your best to avoid being spotted. -[x] Under the bed!
I was going to update today, but “meeting these people” and “hiding under the bed” are tied. I’ll give it some more time, then. If by Thursday there’s no tiebreaker, I’ll write based on the first five votes.
Also, don’t worry, there’s not really a “stupid choice” as it is. Every choice is there for a reason. Each one will trigger a completely different chain of events, all of them tied to the plot in their own way.
>>24220 >Most of your awkwardness comes from using more words than needed. >You should always strive to be brief, yet concise.
Thank you! You’re right; I’ll try to be more careful with that. I thought my biggest problem was that my writing was too bland. I guess trying to give it more flavor backfired.
Fear takes over as you think about the possibility of them being hostile. What if they’re coming to kill you? You can’t let them find you. Your body moves as fast as it can towards the first hiding spot you can find. That is, under the bed. When you realized what you just did, you were already in your hiding spot.
The sound of a door opening startles you. You managed to hide just in time. Your nervousness doesn’t allow you to relax, though, and you try as hard as you can not to make any sound. Two pairs of legs enter the room. One of them is wearing black Venetian-style shoes, while the other is barefoot.
“If you do that again, though- H-Hey, she’s not here...” One pair of legs hurriedly walks in circles. “Oh no, oh no, oh no, Master is going to kill me.”
“Calm down, worrywart. What if she’s in the bathroom?”
“Y-Yeah, maybe you’re right.” The worried person walks quickly towards the bathroom. “Hey, um... Are you in there?”
The barefooted pair of legs moves dangerously close to the bed. Trying to suppress your anxiety, you berate yourself for the terrible hiding spot you chose. Why the hell did you choose such a conspicuous spot? They’re going to find you easily. And then who knows what will they do to you?
“I’m opening the door, okay?”
The sound of a door being opened fills the room. But you can’t concentrate on that, because in the next second, there’s a crouching girl peeking under the bed, her eyes meeting your scared gaze.
You suppress a yelp. Right in front of you is what must be a girl no older than twelve. She has short, black hair and shining red eyes. Her most striking feature, though, are the rabbit ears hanging from her head. “Youkai,” you think. You don’t give yourself time to think about the definition of that word, though. In your panic of having just been found, you retreat the furthest you can from the rabbit girl. You grit your teeth to avoid screaming, feeling tears forming in the corner of your eyes.
The rabbit girl just smirks knowingly at you, and stands up. What? How weird, she didn’t instantly alert her companion, as you thought she would. What’s going on? Does she know you?
“She’s not there, Tewi! What shall I do?” The person wearing shoes comes out of the bathroom.
The rabbit girl seems to be standing in front of the bed. It’s almost as if she were trying to keep the other person from seeing you.
“Oh, I think I saw someone running down the hallway some seconds ago. Maybe it was her?”
“Really? Ack, why didn’t you tell me immediately?!” And with those, one pair of legs runs out of the room.
What’s this? Why did she lie about your whereabouts? Who are they? Why are-
“Hello!” Your train of thought is interrupted by a girlish voice.
“Waah!” This time, you couldn’t help but let a surprised scream escape your mouth. “W-Who are you?” You gulp. “Are you going to hurt me?”
“No, no. But you will get hurt if you stay here too long.” The rabbit waves her hand, as if telling you to get out of under the bed. “Come, let me explain,” she says, her friendly tone suddenly filled with seriousness.
You automatically obey her. She said she would explain, and answers are what you want the most right now. You slowly crawl out from under the bed, paying extra attention the rabbit girl. In a few seconds, you find yourself standing in front of her, making sure not to stand too close to her. The rabbit girl is wearing a frilly pink dress. Looking at her from this perspective, you notice how much smaller than you she actually is. “S-so... um...” You think about what you’re about to say. Where should you begin? You opt to start with the most elemental question. “Who am I?”
“Whoa, whoa, wait, you’re saying you don’t remember who you are?” The small girl sounds surprised.
“I...” You trail off.
“Well, well, who would have guessed?” The rabbit girl looks suspiciously happy about what you just told her. “Luckily for you, I can fill you with all the information you need!”
Your heart skips a beat. Did you hear that right? So not only can she tell you where you are, but she also knows who you are? You let an excited smile paint your face.
The little rabbit girl expands her arms to her sides. “This is Eientei, the house of eternity.” She points her index finger at you. “And you, my dear friend, are a criminal.”
Everything freezes with that last word. Criminal? Criminal?! You might have lost your memory, but you know very well what a criminal is. “Wha—? I am what?”
She continues, “You were caught by the Eientei corps, an organization in charge of catching and confine dangerous people like you. You’re currently their prisoner.”
You’re speechless. Why did it turn out like this? So you’re currently a prisoner in this place, and you don’t even remember what you did to deserve this.
She smiles at you. “But don’t fret, not all hope is lost. My higher ups informed me that you had been arrested for a crime you didn’t commit, so they sent me on a Mission to rescue you.”
Your eyes widen. “A crime I didn’t commit...? Wait, so I’m not really a criminal?” You feel relieved, if only a little bit.
“That’s right,” she says reassuringly.
You cross your arms. “So why don’t we tell those, erm... Eienti people... that I’m not really the culprit?”
She waves her index finger. “No, no, no. We already tried that. They’re dead set on making you the culprit.” She lowers her gaze. “They already sentenced you to the death penalty. In fact, your execution was supposed to be tomorrow.”
Dead penalty?! Execution?! Tomorrow?! Your jaw drops. “E-E-Execution?” Your voice comes out quivery against your will. Panic assaults you. What should you do? You didn’t expect this at all. This must be one of the worst case scenarios. “I-I...!”
Her hand grabs yours, startling you a little bit. “Don’t worry. I’m here to aid you. With my help, you’ll be out of here before those guys manage to do anything to you.” She winks. “I’ve already made the perfect escape plan!”
This is too much. You woke up without memories not too long ago, only to realize that you’re supposed to be some kind of criminal. And that your death sentence is tomorrow. And that you’re supposed to escape with a little girl who was sent to help you out. And... Wait, this situation is a bit too suspicious. Who is this girl? Who are those higher ups she talked about? Why is such a young girl doing such a dangerous mission? Maybe she’s the one who’s really after you. Or... or maybe she wants to sell you out to them. “Wait a minute... who are you?”
Her eyes widen. “Oh, right, I didn’t introduce myself.” She stabs her thumb in her chest. “I’m Marisa Kirisame.” She looks at you from head to toes, looking as if she were about to burst out laughing. “Nice view, by the way.”
Your blood rushes to your face as you remember that you are wearing a very revealing nightgown. You try to cover yourself, but the effort seems to be futile.
She giggles uncontrollably. “Come on...” She snorts. “Don’t cover the goods!”
You cover your face in shame. So you’ve been in front of her dressed like this all this time. “I... I should get dressed.”
A mischievous, wide smile creeps on her face. “On, no, there’s not enough time. We must get going before that agent comes back.” She pulls your hand. “Come this way. And remember not to be too noisy.”
If what this Marisa girl said is true, then you don’t have much time. You’re going to get killed tomorrow if you don’t act quickly. But is it right to blindly trust this girl you just met? What if she’s the real enemy? What if she’s lying to you, taking you to the ones who want you dead?
[ ] Trust her. -[ ] Do as she says. -[ ] You really want to get dressed first. [ ] Don’t trust her. -[ ] Run away. -[ ] Attack her. -[ ] Ask her more questions. -[ ] You really want to get dressed first...
Here are the rules for asking questions. You can ask her as many questions as you want. Keep in mind, though, that the character might not have the time or disposition to answer all of them, so you should ask them in order of importance. Ask first what you want answered the most.
I’m sorry for the delay; I honestly have no excuse other than lack of inspiration. From now on, I’ll try to update at least once a week.
[x] Don’t trust her. [x] Ask her more questions while you get dressed. -[x] If she were sent to rescue you, then she would know your name, if only from the prison manifest. What is it? -[x] Why were you given amenities like a decorated room with rice paper doors, lavish clothes, and a private bath, rather than an iron & concrete cell, a prison jumpsuit, and bucket? -[x] If the 'Eientei corps' were created to confine dangerous individuals, then why is security so lax? -[x] What crimes did you purportedly commit? -[x] Who are her 'higher ups'? -[x] Is she a youkai?
[x] Don’t trust her. [x] Ask her more questions while you get dressed. -[x] If she were sent to rescue you, then she would know your name, if only from the prison manifest. What is it? -[x] Why were you given amenities like a decorated room with rice paper doors, lavish clothes, and a private bath, rather than an iron & concrete cell, a prison jumpsuit, and bucket? -[x] If the 'Eientei corps' were created to confine dangerous individuals, then why is security so lax? -[x] What crimes did you purportedly commit? -[x] Who are her 'higher ups'? -[x] Is she a youkai?
No. This is not the time to be acting paranoid. Being executed is abhorrent in and of itself, but being executed because you didn’t trust the one person who was going to help you would be absolutely unforgivable. If what Marisa said is true, then you have no time to waste. Is this all right? Blind trust may as well be better than absolutely no trust. You lock your gaze in hers and offer a serious nod, firmly clutching her hand. There is no turning back now, you won’t allow yourself to doubt.
She answers your determination with a sweet smile. “Alright team, let’s move out,” she says cheerfully. With those words, the two of you start moving towards the exit of the room.
You’re not very sure if by ‘team’ she meant just the two of you, or if there are more people involved in this mission. You’re so happy that there’s someone you can rely on, though, that you don’t really care.
Marisa stops you just before leaving the room. “Wait a minute.” She pokes her head out of the room and quickly glances to both sides. “Alright, the coast’s clear, let’s go.” She sneaks out of the room.
You hurriedly follow her, not wanting to be left behind. Crossing the doorway, you find yourself in an incredibly long hallway. Countless doors go along the corridor, and, looking ahead, you notice you can’t even see the end; it’s almost as if the hallway just kept going infinitely. You are slightly taken aback. You didn’t expect this place to be so huge. Big, maybe, but this is a bit too much.
“Hey, you keep an eye over there,” the rabbit whispers, pointing at the space behind you, “We don’t want anyone surprising us from behind.”
“Y-You’re right.” Of course. This hallway is so long, that if someone just so happened to turn a corner, they’d easily spot the two of you. You diligently obey her command, looking out for enemies.
Complete silence surrounds the corridor. Time passes, and you still don’t seem to reach the corner. Actually, you don’t seem to be reaching anywhere. It’s as if you weren’t advancing at all, even though you’ve been walking forward all this time. What’s up with this place? No building should have the right to be this large. The unnatural silence only makes you even tenser; you don’t dare to lower your guard for even a second. After what seems an eternity, Marisa stops.
“Hush.” She interrupts your question. “Over here.” She opens one of the many doors. There’s nothing special in there. It’s just another plain room, identical to the one you woke up in. Marisa walks towards the closet and starts pushing it. She manages to move it without much trouble. She’s a lot stronger than she looks. “If I remember correctly, it was over...” She knocks the wall that was covered by the closet a few times. “Here.” She shoves the wall effortlessly, and it easily falls down. Beyond, there’s a small tunnel. You would have to crawl to be able to get in there.
You can’t help but gape at her. She really had the perfect escape plan.
The rabbit girl then walks towards the door you came in from.
Worry assails you. “Hey, where are you going?” She’s not pretending to leave you alone now, is she? Being without companions in such an alien place is probably the last thing you want right now.
She averts her gaze for a moment. When turns to look back at you, her eyes are brimming with seriousness. For some reason, you can’t help but think that this kind of look doesn’t suit her at all. “There’s something I must do. Please, wait for me here.”
You try to reach out to her. “W-Wait. Please, take me with you.”
She raises one hand in front of her, as if telling you to stop. “No, your safety is the top priority. Wait for me here. If I don’t come back in five minutes, you go through that tunnel by yourself.” For a second, you think you saw the shadow of a smile on her lips, but it’s gone when you try to focus on it. She walks towards you, and gently squeezes your hands in hers. She lowers her gaze. “I know you probably don’t remember me, but... just in case I don’t manage to come back alive, I want you to know that...” She fixes her eyes in yours. Determination fills her eyes. “I’ve always loved you.”
Before your brain even manages to process what just happened, the little rabbit is already out of the room. She loves you? A deep shade of red creeps up to your cheeks. She loves you, and you don’t even remember her? A tinge of guilt presses your heart, even though your amnesia isn’t really your fault (probably). The girl who came to this dangerous place to rescue you is probably risking her life out there, and you’re sitting here like a fool. What should you do? Going out there right now might ruin whatever she has planned. After giving it some thought, you decide to do as she said and wait for her. If she doesn’t come back in five minutes, you will go after her. She told you to go through the tunnel by yourself, but saving your own life might as well be worthless if it means losing someone who is a part of your past. Someone who might be important to you and you don’t even know.
After a while, you realize you have no manner to count time. How many seconds have passed? How many minutes? Maybe the five minutes have already gone by. Maybe it’s still too soon. You start fidgeting unconsciously. You’re so agitated, you can’t even stand still.
The unbearable silence is suddenly broken by the sound of footsteps. Who could it be? Is it Marisa? You feel compelled to open the door and see for yourself, but stop yourself before you can do anything. You’ll be in trouble if it’s someone else. The footsteps abruptly stop. What happened? Did they stop moving? A moment passes, but there’s nothing but silence. Your brow furrows. Curiosity is eating you alive. Not being able to stand it anymore, you burst out of the room. You don’t manage to get too far, though. “Ack!” As soon as you place a foot out of the room, you bump into something and bounce back, hitting your rear on the floor. You hurriedly look ahead, and realize it wasn’t something you bumped into, but someone.
“Ow...!” You recognize the sweet voice. It’s the same person that was with Marisa in the room you woke up in. In front of you, there’s a girl with long, light-purple hair. She seems to be wearing some sort of uniform; there's a black blazer is covering a white shirt and a red necktie, with a crescent moon insignia decorating her left suit-collar, and a short, light-pink skirt covering her thighs. This person also has rabbit ears coming from her head, you notice, but they’re glaringly different from Marisa’s. While Marisa’s are fluffy and spongy, these ones are long and slim. She seems to be covered in some kind of... gooey substance. You don’t want to know what that is.
She opens her eyes to look at you, and you’re met with a pair of uncanny, red eyes. Panic starts boiling in you. “Youkai,” your brain advises you again, just like it did with Marisa. This time, though, the advice feels more like a warning. It’s as if your brain were telling you to get away from her as fast as you can. That those eyes are bad news. That you’re in danger.
“I-It’s you!” Looking as if she’s about to cry, she throws herself at you, holding your shoulders. Your shoulders get stained with the slimy substance she’s covered in. “Thank the earthen Gods I found you!”
You instinctively flinch back. “Get away from me!” You slap her hands away, and scramble to your feet as quickly as you can. “W-Who are you?”
She looks surprised, but she regains her composure quickly. “My name is Reisen Udongein... Inaba...” Her composure doesn’t seem to last long, because, after looking at you from head to toe, her face turns bright red. “Um... your clothes...?” She murmurs, averting her eyes.
Gah! You completely forgot you’re practically running around in undergarments. You mentally slap yourself for blushing. Modesty
Damn, I don't know why the post got cut like that, and I can't delete it... Oh well, here's the rest of the update.
Modesty should be the least of your worries right now. You look around, but there’s no sign of Marisa. “What did you do to Marisa?!” Your voice gets fixed into an accusing tone.
Her eyes widen, and she looks back at you. “You know Marisa?” Panic suddenly taints her expression. “W-Wait, Marisa is here?!”
So she didn’t know Marisa was here? Yikes. “I-!”
She looks at you with a concerned expression. “I’m sorry, but if that witch is here, we’re in all sorts of trouble.”
You huff at her. “Of course you would be; she came to free your prisoner!”
She closes her eyes, raising her goo-covered index finger. “Yes, so—” She suddenly pauses, and looks at you with a blank expression. After some seconds, her face contorts in confusion. “Wait, what?”
How could she not know what you’re talking about? She’s an agent from the Eientei Corps! What the hell is going on? Where is Marisa? Who is this person? What the hell is this gooey thing? Confusion starts turning into panic, and you’re at a loss of what to do.
What should you do?
[ ] Attack her. “You’ll never get me alive!” [ ] Run away. [ ] Try talking to her. She doesn’t look like she’s out to get you. -[ ] Carefully ask her some questions. Try to not give away Marisa’s escape plan. -[ ] Ask her what’s going on. Tell her about your encounter with Marisa.
[X ] Try talking to her. She doesn’t look like she’s out to get you. -[X ] Ask her what’s going on. Tell her about your encounter with Marisa.
This person doesn’t look menacing at all. In fact, the amiable way she acted towards you isn’t that of someone who has just captured a criminal. A sudden thought passes through your mind. “Wait, are you an agent of the Eientei Corps?” What if she isn’t? What if she’s here to help you, too?
“Eientei Corps...? I think you’re misunderstanding something. That’s, well—” She stops talking suddenly, staring at you with suspiciousness. “Wait a minute, you knew about Eientei? I thought you were an outsider...”
You cross your arms. “How would I not know about it? This place...” You lower your gaze. “It’s my prison.”
“Prison?” She holds her chin thoughtfully, raising an eyebrow. Her lips form a sad, crooked smile. “Heh, you’re starting to sound like the Princess.”
Princess? The more she talks, the least you understand her. You resent having lost your memories. You don’t recognize anything, you don’t know anyone, you don’t know who to believe, what to believe. You’re so lost right now. Being forced to take everything as it comes, without having actual comprehension of, well, anything. This is the worst. “Yes. When I woke up, I met this Marisa person. She was the one who told me about the Eientei Corps. About why I’m here.”
Reisen grimaces, looking to her side. “So she was the one who woke you up...” She returns her gaze to you with a start. “Oh, no. What did she tell you?” Her voice rings with worry.
Oh, no...? What does she mean, oh no? “She told me that I was a—”
The sound of a door being opened interrupts you. Both you and Reisen turn towards the source of the noise, only to see Marisa standing there, her lips forming a magnificent smirk.
Your face brightens. If nothing else, you at least know that this person is your ally. “You’re back!” You instinctively run to her side.
Reisen’s face is painted with surprise. “Oh, you’re here. I was starting to wonder where you ran off to,” she says calmly. “I see you had already found her.” Her voice resounds with derisiveness. “And you didn’t bother to tell me.” She sighs, defeated. “Of course.”
And again, you find yourself not understanding the situation at all. So, she’s a friend?
Marisa’s expression doesn’t change. “Oh ho, it’s funny, you saying that. Weren’t you the one who ran off first?” She asks mischievously.
“That was because you told me...” She closes her eyes in frustration, sighing disappointedly. “Whatever, I don’t know why I even bother with you.” She looks at you, smiling weakly. “At least she’s unhurt.”
Marisa crosses her arms. “Oh, you’re such a carefree person, talking here with no worries while Marisa is out there, doing who knows what.”
Reisen snaps, facepalming. “Ah, I completely forgot!”
Marisa snorts. “What an idiot.”
“And now I’m the idiot...”
The two of them go on throwing insults at each other nonchalantly, as if they had forgotten you were even there. Why is Marisa talking to this suspicious person? Wait, what if they’re allies? That makes sense, it’s not like they’d send just one person on a rescue mission, right? Maybe, you’re not really sure. You don’t know how they can be talking normally like this in this kind of situation. You’re in enemy territory, for God’s sake, there should be enough time for talking after you leave this place. Still, there’s something that’s been bothering you ever since Marisa got here.
“Um...” You mumble meekly. “You’re telling her to go after Marisa, but... aren’t you Marisa?” You point at girl in a pink dress. You don’t know if there’s something you’re missing, but it’s been nagging at you for a while now.
The two of them freeze. Is it your imagination, or has Marisa just started sweating? Her face seems to be saying ‘Oh, shiii-’. Reisen’s expression is blank, though. Still, there’s something lurking underneath. Is it... rage? You almost can feel the fury boiling inside her. W-What? Did you say something wrong? You gulp. “Er... am I wrong?” You don’t know what to say anymore, and start fidgeting under this sudden pressure.
The first one to break the silence is Marisa. “Oh, my! Look at the time. I’m terribly sorry, but I must get going.” And with those words, she starts running.
She doesn’t get too far, though, because as soon as she starts moving, Reisen grabs her by the collar, making the little rabbit let out a yelp. “You’re not going anywhere, you brat!” In an impressive act of strength, she raises the little rabbit off the ground with just one arm. “So, Marisa. I hope you don’t mind answering...”
You can’t help but stare at them in shock. What is this, you don’t even...
The tall rabbit girl stares at Marisa directly in the eyes. She looks dangerous. “What. Did. You. Tell. Her?”
The little rabbit lets out a terrified cry. “It came out! The monster came out!” She hurtles her arms and legs erratically. “I’m going to di-”
She isn’t allowed to finish her sentence, though, because Reisen angrily hits her on the top of her head. A loud ‘thump’ bangs. Ouch, it seems like she didn’t hold back. “Stop fooling around, you idiot!”
“Ow! Careful there, you animal.” Marisa glares at Reisen as she starts rubbing her head, tears forming in the corner of her eyes.
Reisen shakes the black-haired rabbit. “I can’t leave you alone for even one second. What were you telling our guest?”
Marisa childishly lets out her tongue at Reisen.
You gasp. “G-Guest?”
Reisen gets her attention away from Tewi, and looks at you apologetically. “I don’t know what she told you, but this girl is a troublemaker. Don’t believe anything she says. Her real name is Tewi, by the way.”
Your eyes widen. “W-Wait, so it was all a lie?”
Reisen glares at... Tewi, was it?
The small rabbit girl offers you a meek smile. “Yes. Sorry.” She smirks, not looking sorry at all.
You feel as if a huge weight had been taken away from your shoulders. “I’m not a criminal, then?”
“No, not at all. I found you passed out in the bamboo forest, and brought you here. That’s all,” Reisen says.
Bamboo Forest? Here? She means Eientei, or was it a lie, too?
“I had loads of fun playing with you.” Tewi makes a V sign with her fingers. “I’m looking forward to our next game.” She giggles.
You gulp. Next game? Does she plan to prank you again? You have just been completely and utterly deceived. Still, you don’t feel as angry as you thought you would. You’re so relieved about not being a prisoner, that the fact that it was all a lie is comforting. “So I’m not in danger...” It’s not a question.
“No... Not yet.” Tewi says eerily, rubbing her hands against each other.
Smack. Reisen loses no time in chastising Tewi, who lets out pained cry.
“I mean, no.” Tewi says, letting a tear run out of her eye.
Reisen sighs. “That means Marisa isn’t really here, then... Honestly, Tewi, there’s a limit, even for pranks, you know...”
“Stop touching me, you’re gonna stain my clothes with that thing!” With a sudden act, Tewi plants a kick in Reisen’s stomach.
Reisen winces in pain. With a quick movement, the small rabbit manages to get out of the other’s grasp.
“You little...” Reisen glowers.
Tewi snorts. “Never lower your guard in front of an enemy.”
Oh, right. Reisen is covered in some kind of slimy substance. She got some on your shoulders, too. “What’s this, by the way?” You touch the... thing staining your shoulder.
Both of them turn to look at you with blank expressions. It’s as if they’re saying, ‘Oh, you’re still here.’ It seems they completely forgot you were there. It kind of pisses you off.
The little rabbit cups her own face in her hands, and looks aside, obviously faking a maidenly expression as best as she can. “That’s Reisen’s bodily fluids.” Her tone is surprisingly timid. She’s very good at faking. No wonder you fell so easily for her lie.
Reisen glares at her. “Shut up, Tewi.” Exasperation consumes her voice. She sighs. “This is...” She laughs weakly. “Well, this was supposed to be your food.”
Your eyes widen. Does that mean they were going to feed you... to feed you with... You grimace, trying to wipe off the slime on your shoulder.
Tewi explodes in laughter. “C-Come on.” She snorts. “D-Don’t b-be like t-that...” She’s obviously struggling to let the words out. “Rabbit is h-healthy for y-you.” She finally gives in to her amusement, and goes back to laughing hysterically.
Reisen looks at her, a confused expression on her face. “What? What’s so funny?” She turns to look at you with a raised eyebrow, probably hoping for you to give her an answer.
You turn away in spite of yourself, a hand covering your now red face.
Tewi falls on the floor, her arms holding her stomach, and starts rolling from side to side. “Oh man, oh man! This is fantastic! Yer the best, Reisen! So generous! So mindful!” She doesn’t stop laughing.
Tewi’s words make you go even redder in the face, if that’s even possible.
Reisen’s eyes suddenly widen in realization, and it’s not too long before her face is almost as red as yours. She looks at you, flustered. “W-Wait! That’s not what I meant at aaaaall!” She turns angrily towards Tewi, and stabs her index finger in the little rabbit’s direction. “And you, stop laughing!” She nervously turns to look back at you. “Hey, that’s not it, ok?”
You still can’t bring yourself to look at her face, and give one step away from her. “Er...”
“Look at me, please! T-That’s not my, um... bodily... fluids.” The last two words come out as an almost inaudible whisper. She closes her eyes, breathes in, and lets out a drawn out breath, as if telling herself to calm down. “A-Anyway, that’s a special salve my Master prepared for you.”
Tewi doesn’t manage to finish her sentence, because an embarrassed Reisen kicks her in the face.
Tewi lets out a pained cry.
Reisen breathes heavily. “With herbs.” She turns towards you. “Herbs, ok?”
“I see.” Well, that was to be expected. You facepalm inwardly, feeling pretty stupid for almost believing the words that came out of the little liar’s mouth. Again. “Y-Yeah.”
Because of all the agitation and confusion, you hadn’t been able to notice, but there’s a bunch of rabbit people with curious expressions crowding around the place. They’re keeping their distance, as if trying not to be noticed by you.
“Who are they?” You ask, pointing at the other rabbits.
“Oh, there will be time for explanations later. Right now, I guess you would want to, er, get dressed?” Reisen says doubtfully.
Damn, now that the situation isn’t so dire, you feel all the shame you hadn’t felt before crushing you. “Y-Yes. Thank you.” You gulp down you embarrassment, trying not to lose even more dignity, if you have any left.
“Oh, there’s no need to cover the good stuff, is there?” Tewi breaks in, apparently recovered from the kick, and dead set on humiliating you even further.
Reisen glares at her. “Leave the poor girl alone, Tewi. Why don’t you go and tell Master that she woke up?”
Tewi smirks. “Fine, fine. I see you want me out of the way so you can have her all for yourself.”
Before Reisen can protest, the little rabbit is already running out of your sight.
The long-haired rabbit sighs tiredly. “Please, don’t listen to her. 95% of the words that come out of her mouth are blatant lies.”
You cringe. “Yeah, I noticed.”
Reisen starts walking ahead in the direction of your room, with you following close behind. The crowd of rabbits is still close by. You notice they’re looking this way, snickering.
“They’re going to her room.” “Together.” “Both of them alone.” “What are they going to do?” “Isn’t it obvious?” You blush. Those rabbits aren’t even trying to keep you from listening to their gossip. Damn, as if your lack of memories didn’t make you miserable enough, now this.
There’s still a pretty long way before you manage to reach your room. Reisen’s silently walking ahead of you, not seeming to notice the rabbit’s petty gossiping. Or maybe she’s just not bothered by it.
You... [ ] Ignore the rabbits. [ ] Those rabbits are annoying. Glare at them. [ ] May as well play along with the rabbits. Wink at them.
Also: On the way to your room, you... [ ] Stay silent. [ ] Tell Reisen about your lack of memories. Talk about what you know about yourself. [ ] Ask her some questions about this place.
Please, keep in mind that the rules for asking questions apply every time there’s an option to ask questions.
>“I had loads of fun playing with you.” Tewi makes a V sign with her fingers. “I’m looking forward to our next game.” She giggles.
Me too, Tei, me too.
>“Prison?” She holds her chin thoughtfully, raising an eyebrow. Her lips form a sad, crooked smile. “Heh, you’re starting to sound like the Princess.”
Hmmm... Curiouser and curiouser. So Kaguya feels like a prisoner in Eientei.
[X] May as well play along with the rabbits. Wink at them.
Rabbit harem route.
[X] Tell Reisen about your lack of memories. Talk about what you know about yourself. [X] Ask her some questions about this place. -"Where are we?" -"Who's this Master you talked about?" -"Do you have some kind of princess captive here?" -"Did I have anything else on me when you found me?"
[x] Those rabbits are annoying. Glare at them. [x] Tell Reisen about your lack of memories. Talk about what you know about yourself. [x] Ask her some questions about this place. - "Where are we?" - "Who's this Master you talked about?" - "Do you have some kind of princess captive here?"
>>24415 >Your blood rushes to your face as you remember that you are wearing a very revealing nightgown. You try to cover yourself, but the effort seems to be futile. >You cover your face in shame. So you’ve been in front of her dressed like this all this time. “I... I should get dressed.”
There are multiple other mentions of blushing and embarrassment. Doesn't sound like someone that would jokingly go along with sexual implications to me.
>Discussion about a choice being out of character.
I understand your worries, but please, don’t concern yourselves too much about that. I’ll try my best to mold the outcome of the choice to the character’s personality. Every choice is there for a reason. I’d rather you see the choices as different ways to interact with other characters and actions/consequences rather than character traits.
Since every time I check the votes, glaring at the rabbits and winking at them is tied, I’ll go with the first five. That means [ ] Glare at them. Wins.
You turn your head around and fix your gaze in the most menacing glare you can manage. It worked, because as soon as they see your face, they scramble off at an amazing speed. They weren’t as scared as you intended, though, since they were giggling madly the whole time. Damn them. You sigh; you suddenly feel terribly tired. All that confusion, anxiety and fear must have taken a huge toll on you. When you turn to face ahead, you notice Reisen has stopped, probably to wait for you. You fasten your pace to catch up to her.
She throws you an apologetic look. “I’m really sorry about that.” She scratches the base of one of her rabbit ears. “Please, don’t let them get to you. They don’t mean what they say most of the time. They just do it because they think it’s fun. Angering you was probably their goal.”
You frown, unconvinced. “Then they have a terrible sense of humor.” Your frown deepens, and you almost bark out the next words, “They were mocking me. Us! Doesn’t it bother you? Their lack of respect is infuriating.” You fume. Ah, letting off some steam makes you feel better, if only a little bit. Though you feel kind of bad for growling at Reisen like this. She’s not at fault.
She just smiles sympathetically, and crosses her arms. “Heh, you get used to it after a while. They won’t behave no matter what I do, you know.” She clenches her fists. “The only one they completely and doubtlessly obey is Tewi.” Her ears twitch. “Treating me as if I were some kind of plaything. That filthy earth crawler... Even though I highly outrank her,” she says through clenched teeth.
This must be a sensitive subject for this person, so you consider dropping it. From the looks of it, you’re by far not the first one to have fallen prey to one of Tewi’s pranks. You feel some kind of empathy welling up in your heart; the empathy of a fellow victim, maybe? The mental image disturbs you, so you decide not to put much thought into it. You keep walking in silence, side by side. She stops talking, but still has a frown on her face; she’s probably going through the many pranks the little rabbit must have pulled on her in her mind. Now that you think about it, you haven’t told her about your lack of memories. Maybe she has some information on you? “Hey, Reisen, you said you found me passed out... in a forest?”
She snaps out of her thoughts. “Oh, yes. You were passed out in the Bamboo Forest of the Lost. You had scratches all over, but nothing serious. Master said you were just exhausted.”
“Yes, about that...” You scratch the back of your head. “I don’t know how I got to that place. The Bamboo Forest, I mean. I don’t even know where I was before I got there.”
She stares at you with serious eyes, nodding, as if urging you to go on, so you do.
“When I woke up, I didn’t know where I was, why I was there, or even who I am supposed to be.” You can’t hide the anguished expression that takes over your face. You must look pathetic right now, but honestly, you’ve been humiliated so much today that you don’t care anymore.
“Amnesia.” She whispers, frowning.
You flinch, as if the word had physically hurt you. “Y-Yes, I believe. Regrettably.”
She looks at you with professional eyes, whatever surprise she might have had already vanished. “Strange. You didn’t have any kind of head trauma.” She keeps staring at you, examining your head from afar.
Could it be... “Do you not believe me?” You ask shyly.
“O-Oh, no, I do, I do. It’s just—” She says with a start. She shakes her head. “I guess it’s better if we inform Master of this. She’s the expert, after all.”
“Oh.” Because you don’t know how else to react. You still don’t know who this Master person is. You guess you’re happy there’s a specialist in this place. “There’s only one thing about myself I know for sure, though. I am a human.”
Her eyes widen. “Human? Really?” She looks at you incredulously, and snorts, as if you had just told her some kind of lame joke.
You stare at her humorlessly. What’s up with that reaction? “Yes. It was the only piece of information about myself that was perfectly ingrained in my brain, for some reason.”
Her ears twitch. The amused expression slowly disappears. “You’re kidding, right?”
You grimace. “Why would I joke about this?” Your voice sounds slightly hurt.
Her amused expression is completely replaced by a serious one. “You’re not? But— Oh, we’re here already.”
She’s right. You were so immersed in the conversation that you didn’t even realize you had already arrived to your (well, it’s not really yours) room.
“I guess there will be time to discuss this later.” She stands by the door. “Go in and get dressed. There’s a Kimono for you in the closet. I’ll wait out here. I’ll guide you to my Master after this. She’ll be able to explain your actual situation a little better.”
You nod and start stepping into your, uh, the room.
She tries to put on a friendly smile. “You can take your time, though. Take a bath if you want. Tewi must have given you the scare of a lifetime.” Her smile turns wry. “Use the time to get your thoughts in order. You need it.”
How surprising. She’s really mindful. You smile, radiating gratefulness. “Thank you,” you say honestly. Because there’s at least one person who actually considers your feelings in this place, and you really appreciate that.
She closes the door behind you, mumbling, “Not at all!” And in a few seconds, you’re alone in the room. You’re kind of happy about this little moment of privacy. The rabbit girl is right, you do need to set your thoughts in order. To cast aside all the confusion and stress that little escapade with Tewi caused. On the other hand, you’re just itching for answers. What will this Master person tell you? You feel tempted to meet her as soon as possible.
[ ] Take a bath. Use the time to calm yourself, order your thoughts. It’s important to be mentally prepared for whatever Reisen’s Master might tell you. [ ] Get dressed quickly and go meet this Master person. You have no time to be taking a bath. Now is the moment for answers.
Depending on whether or not there are enough voters around on /eientei/, you could try asking for a tiebreaker instead. This works decently for writers I've seen on /forest/, even if leaving it up to the next John Q. Anon to show up creates another layer of Looking Unfair.
Alternatively, you could announce that you'll call it after a certain amount of time and check back at the announced time. If a tie remains after a Calling It In However Long warning, go with a coin flip or authorial whimsy. I've seen decent success doing it this way, though it does help that the /th/ crowd bandwagons something fierce.
Everything's going to look unfair to someone, because someone will always miss the chance to swing the vote their way, but oh, well.
Oh, wait, voting.
[X] Take a bath. Use the time to calm yourself, order your thoughts. It’s important to be mentally prepared for whatever Reisen’s Master might tell you.
The question of How Other Authors Handle Bath Scenes tends to have interesting answers.
Also, herp derp, sage goes in email, not subject. I am so fail.
>>24464 My steps: 1. Call votes, announce tie if there's one 2. Wait for the next tie breaker vote 3. If there's no tie breaker, I do a best 3 out of 5 coin flip. That or improvise if I end up getting a good suggestion.
[X] Take a bath. Use the time to calm yourself, order your thoughts. It’s important to be mentally prepared for whatever Reisen’s Master might tell you.
Unanimous winner is unanimous.
Your tiredness wins against curiosity, appeasing your desperation for immediate answers. Taking a bath seems too much of an appealing idea to let it pass. Preparing the bath is easy; turning on the water faucet, adjusting the temperature, filling the bathtub; the knowledge of what to do comes surprisingly very naturally to your mind, despite your memory loss. You discard the nightgown and embark the bathtub, relaxing your muscles. Ahh, this is just what you needed.
You submerge your face so that your nose is barely out of the water, allowing you to breathe. Relaxing like this makes you to realize just how exhausted you were. Your muscles ache all over. The adrenaline rush caused by the previous events may have taken your mind off of your fatigue, but it’s glaringly obvious now that you’re not stressed. You’re happy you decided to take a bath; it will help alleviate some of the mental and physical burden.
As you cleanse yourself, you take the time to examine your own body. Slim and delicate. Not skinny enough to be bony, though there’s a clear lack of firm musculature. You cup your breasts in your hands. They fit perfectly. You give them a few soft squeezes, smiling pleasantly; they may not be the hugest of breasts, but they are of a decent size, if you do say so yourself. You are slightly confused by the curious pride that suddenly wells up in you, but you decide to take it as it comes. No need to dwell too much on that, after all.
After washing your body, and making sure your hair is clean and smooth, you take some minutes to just close your eyes and relax. You don’t know how much time you spent like that, and honestly, you don’t care all that much. This is a much needed bath. You look at your wrinkled hands, and decide it’s finally time to leave.
Just as you exit the bathtub, you see a hint of green from the corner of your eye. Or was it blue? As soon as you focus on it, though, it’s not there anymore. Huh, it must have been your imagination. You shrug, and reach for a towel, wrapping it around your frame.
It’s not too long before you see the same hint of green or blue from the corner of your eye. Just like the last time, it disappears as soon as you fix your gaze on it. Strange. “Is someone there?” You decide to ask, just in case. No answer, not even the barest sound. You must be seeing things.
You exit the bathroom and put on the Kimono. Tying the sash is slightly difficult; this piece of clothing is odd to you. Could it be that you’ve never worn this kind of clothing before? It takes you a while to manage to put it on satisfyingly. As you turn to exit the room, you see the same flash of green or blue on the corner of your eye. This time, you realize it’s shaped like a person. A person not of just green or blue, but both. You don’t manage to take a good look at them, though, because as soon as you turn to look, they have already disappeared. Damn, are you going crazy? You rub your temples. Maybe you spent too much time in the bath. You push the vexing thoughts aside and exit the room. Poor rabbit girl must be tired of waiting, after all.
Reisen’s still there, standing dutifully besides the door. She’s not covered with the salve anymore. She probably took the opportunity to clean it away. Is that why she suggested you to take your time?
She perks up as soon as she sees you. “Are you ready?”
You smile sheepishly. “Yes. Thank you, I honestly needed that.” You do your best to let your gratefulness show.
“It’s ok, I know how Tewi’s pranks can be,” she says with a stern expression, not a hint of affection in her voice. Her bad mood seems to leave as quickly as it came, though, and she walks ahead. “Anyway, I believe it’s time for you to meet Master.”
You nod seriously and follow her. “Yes.”
The way is complicated. You turn many corners, and go through doors that lead to other equally endless corridors. Just how is this place built? You wouldn’t be able to remember the way back to the room you woke up in even if you were actively trying to memorize all the turns and doors. Is this some kind of maze? The doors along the corridors seem to be endless as well, all very similar to each other. What lies behind them? How many rooms does this building need?
After a while, you go through a door that leads to a short, blindingly white corridor, a pale door completely unlike the rest of the other Japanese-styled ones standing lonely at the end.
Reisen approaches and firmly knocks the door. “Master? I have brought the guest.” She stands by and waits for an answer.
“I see.” An aloof, elegant voice comes from the other side of the door. “I’ll be there in a minute.” It’s beautiful in its coldness, you think. You can’t help but appreciate its clearness. For some minutes, there’s just a scrambling noise.
The door finally opens, and you’re met with an astounding sight. In front of Reisen is a woman dressed in red and blue. She has silver hair tied back in a long braid. Her equally silver eyes are stern, aloof, and ethereally breathtaking. She’s beautiful, a kind of beauty you’re absolutely sure you’ve never beheld before, as strange as it may seem. It’s unlike Reisen’s modest beauty and Tewi’s simple cuteness; an otherworldly beauty. In your awe, you can’t help but gape at her.
She stares at you for some seconds, as if analyzing your expression, but quickly turns her attention towards her subordinate. “Udonge, I assume you fed her with the salve I prepared.”
The rabbit girl utters a distressed whimper. “I-I—” She fumbles. “About that... you see, I—”
A biting glare from her Master breaks her voice. “I see,” she says, her voice steely.
A quivering whine.
“Udonge, find out about Tewi’s whereabouts, won’t you?” The Master orders, waving one hand in dismissal, and shifts her attention back to you.
“Udonge.” The silver-haired woman doesn’t even bother to look at her.
Reisen stiffens up like a scolded child. Just the word is enough for the subordinate to unquestioningly obey. The rabbit girl straightens up, obviously trying to suppress her distress. “Yes, Master.” She rushes off.
Well, that was a very awkward show. You fidget uncomfortably under her strong gaze, not knowing how to react.
“I assume you have some questions. Please, come in.” She steps aside, making way to the room. There’s no hint of friendliness nor malice in her voice. It’s a completely neutral tone. Just as professional as the image she gives off.
You immediately obey. The room is kind of messy. A desk lies exactly in the center, a clump of papers and books scrambled all over it. There are various bookcases, and cabinets that contain tools you don’t recognize at all. A fancy, cushioned chair lies behind the desk and two simpler ones lie in front of it. There’s a bright, clear light illuminating the room. Despite the mess, the room’s ambience is neat, sterilized. It’s white. Too white. And, is it your imagination, or did the temperature lower a few degrees as soon as you entered?
The silver-haired woman closes the door behind her. “Please, take a seat.”
You comply, going for one of the simple chairs. “T-Thank you.” You can’t hide your nervousness. This woman has no power over you, and yet, her presence feels as heavy as the world itself.
She observes you as you sit down, her gaze measuring your every move.
You feel pressured under her evaluating stare. As of now, you may as well give up trying to hide how uncomfortable you feel.
She sits behind the desk, and crosses her hands in front of her face, her eyes closed. She stays like that for a while. There’s a moment of awkward silence. You don’t dare to look directly at her, not even when her eyes are closed.
She sighs, after a while, and rubs her temple. “I’m sorry about the disorder. Truthfully, I was not ready to receive you just yet.”
“Oh, no; it’s ok.” You wave your hand, trying to brush off her worries.
“My name is Eirin Yagokoro.” She stares at you.
It’s a moment later that you realize she’s probably waiting for you to introduce yourself. “Oh, I.” You frown, lowering your gaze. “Well, I. I’d give you my name, but...” Your lips form a painful smile. “When I woke up, I didn’t know where I was, who I was, or what I was even supposed to be doing. I don’t—“
“Amnesia,” Eirin says matter-of-factly, cutting off your explanation. There’s not even a hint of surprise in her eyes. She brushes some hair out of her eyes and starts writing something in a small notebook. After a moment of scribbling, she looks back at you. “I see.” For a moment, you think you saw a hint of wary disbelief taint her eyes, but her expression is back to its perfect neutrality as soon as you try to concentrate on it. “I assume you won’t be able tell me of the place you come from, then,” she says, scribbling more notes in her notebook. “Or how you managed to pass out in an area of the Bamboo Forest of the Lost no individual, other than the Eientei inhabitants, know of. Or why, as soon as you woke up, your first instinct was to hide and run away.”
You flinch in spite of yourself. How to answer to such an accusation? “Um... I’m sorry?” Because you don’t really know what else to say. “I... I was just... nervous. Very. Waking up in such an unknown place, not knowing who I am, unknown people suddenly barging in...”
“I see. And you deemed acting like a criminal the best course of action.”
The underlying poison in her tone is almost physically painful. You remain silent for some seconds, not knowing how to react. You admit you acted like an idiot, in retrospective. Even though most of it was Tewi’s fault. “T-That was because Tewi told me I was going to be executed!” You say, anguished. “And I panicked. I didn’t know...” You trail off. It was you the one who decided to believe Tewi’s unrealistic story, after all.
A long moment of silence follows. She looks at you as if she were trying to take you apart, look at your insides, and assemble you again. The uncomfortable situation lasts for some minutes, you having no idea of what else to say, and her just piercing you with her glare. After a while, she sighs, as if defeated. “I see.” Her eyes become softer, but not any friendlier. “At any rate, I’m afraid I cannot help you with your loss of memory, since it doesn’t seem to have a determinable origin.”
“Oh...” Your shoulders droop. You decide to tell her the only thing you know. “It’s probably not of much help, but all the knowledge I have of myself is that I am human,” you say, voice filled with doubt.
“I see. I figured as much.” Her reaction is mysterious. Too calm, considering how Reisen reacted when you told her you were human. “I wasn’t entirely sure, since your magical trace is that of a Youkai.” She runs a hand through her hair. “But the blood sample I took from you unquestionably indicates you’re a human.” She holds her chin, as if deep in thought. “Most unusual.” She rubs her chin, pondering about your unnatural condition.
You sink in your chair, suddenly discouraged by how fruitless this conversation has been. You take a deep breath, and say, “I’d like to know about my current situation, please.”
She snaps out of her pondering, and agrees to tell you about the place you are currently in. Gensokyo, a magical sanctuary protected by a magical barrier called the Great Hakurei Boundary. Outside the boundary, magic is rapidly diminishing, so the beings that depend on magic to live seek refuge in here. She tells you about Eientei, the House of Eternity, and the building you are in right now. Hidden deep within the Bamboo Forest of the Lost, the place rejects any unwelcome visitor, rendering it almost impossible to find. Only a few manage to do so, and even then, it’s only with the help of magic. Or immeasurable amounts of luck. Significant inhabitants include Tewi Inaba, the one who holds leadership among the earthen rabbits; Reisen Udongein Inaba, a Moon Rabbit and Eirin’s apprentice/subordinate; Eirin Yagokoro, a lunarian pharmacist, and the only one with enough medical knowledge and tools to treat the few humans who inhabit Gensokyo; and Kaguya Houraisan, the fabled immortal Princess. There are many rabbits living in the Japanese-style Mansion, serving the Princess in exchange for food and housing.
You frown, discouraged by the fact that the information didn’t stimulate your memories in the least.
“What do you intend to do now?” Eirin asks. “Considering your current situation, I believe you don’t have anywhere to go.”
Her voice snaps you out of your brooding. “I...” She’s right, of course. You don’t know anyone in the land of Gensokyo. The best you could come up with is to wander around, trying to find anything that might spark memories. Still, Gensokyo is a very unfriendly land for lone humans, by the looks of it, and wandering around might easily end in your death.
Eirin clasps her hands professionally. “I have an offer for you. You can settle in here, in Eientei, for the time being.”
Your eyes widen in surprise. “Thank you, Eirin,” you say, smiling brightly.
She frowns in disgust. “Don’t call me in such a disrespectful manner, please.” She taps her pen on the table. “Don’t think it will be free of cost.”
Your smile is quickly replaced by a sour frown, which seems to give her a certain kind of satisfaction. Oh, wow, what a snobbish person. Her attitude pisses you off. “My humblest apologies, Madam Yagokoro.” You find yourself unable to hide the sarcastic intonation in your voice, despite your best effort. Angering this person somehow doesn’t seem like a good idea.
“Better,” she says, even though she doesn’t look satisfied at all. “You will have to work for your accommodation. Reisen has been complaining plenty about her workload lately. I believe it’s finally time she gets an assistant.”
You frown, and wonder why not just make one of the rabbits help her instead. You don’t word your doubts, though. It’s a very attractive offer. It gives you a place to stay and a refuge against wild Youkai, and you won’t have to worry about starving to death. On the other hand, staying in one place might not be the best idea if you want to recover your memories.
>>24530 >>24532 It makes perfect sense -- if you presuppose as axiomatic something along the lines of "girls aren't really people". This would explain in one shot both his dismissal of the Reisen route and his insistence that the MC be male.
I’m sorry for the delay, but Skyrim is the new owner of my soul. A lengthy apology is probably not what you want, so here it is, the update.
[X] Accept her offer.
You don’t like this person. You honestly don’t. She’s insufferable and unbearably incriminating. Not to mention her heavy presence. And yet, being an useless person who’s unable to sustain herself would hurt your pride. The idea of being a dead weight is even worse than not having any memories. You don’t really want special treatment; you just want to find answers. Working for your accommodation will make you feel like you deserve it, like you are not a failure as a human being. Also, if you think about it rationally, being left to your own devices in a foreign land would be a terrible idea; especially if you don’t even know who you are.
“I will accept your offer,” you say, a smile plastered on your face. If anything, you would at least love to show this unpleasant person that you can carry your own weight.
Your smile seems to throw her off. Was she not expecting you to accept her offer, maybe? Her disapproving expression is slightly infuriating. A moment of silence follows, before she speaks up. “You seem... oddly happy about being allowed to stay.”
Oh, hell. What is she implying? Is she going to keep up with the ridiculous assumption that you’re up to no good? You clench your teeth, and try to suppress the powerful desire to punch her in the face. “I don’t know what it is that you have against me, but I’m tired of this little game of yours.” You’re kind of proud of your self-control.
She snorts. She’s not taking your claims seriously at all, is she? Is she so sure that you’re some kind of evil person? That’s enough to push you to the edge of your patience. “If I’m so suspicious a person, why offer me to stay here, Madam?” You have to make a conscious effort to keep yourself from barking the words out. “Why even make the offer at all?” Your blood boils, and you feel like you haven’t said enough just yet. “If I’m so suspicious, why not kill me here and now?” You’re too angry to think about the implications of what you’ve just said. You don’t want to be killed, of course, but your level of stress was considerably high before talking to this woman, now it’s just bursting out.
She seems taken aback for just an instant, but recovers quickly. Her neutral gaze disappears, and is replaced by an outraged frown and clenched teeth. She stands up and bangs her hands on the desk.
Her sudden outburst makes you flinch, and the courage that made you spit those words out cruelly abandons you. Could she be considering your challenge? It can’t be, she isn’t irradiating killing intent. It’s more as if she were at a loss of what to do. She probably wasn’t expecting you to say that. You don’t go back on your challenge, though. You may be scared, but your pride doesn’t allow you to let this woman fling such outrageous accusations at you without the slightest bit of evidence.
“You—” She starts, but never manages to finish the sentence.
A loud crash overpowers the sound of her voice, and a person falls on the desk, producing a loud thud noise. You and the pharmacist wince in surprise. You decide to take a closer look to the unwelcome interruption. A girl in a pink dress is lying on top of the desk, debris clattered all around her. It’s Tewi. What is she doing here? Wait, that’s a stupid question. She seems like the kind of person who does whatever she wants whenever she wants. You don’t know if it’s because of the accumulated stress, or because you’re relieved for the interruption, but you find a smile slowly creeping up on your lips.
“Owow, ow...” The rabbit girl rubs her head in pain. She looks up at the freshly-made hole on the ceiling, pointing at it with her index finger. “Man, you need to make that thing of stronger stuff.”
“Tewi.” The pharmacist says, her voice brimming with thorns. She apparently doesn’t appreciate the interruption. Or the hole on the ceiling. Or Tewi’s presence. Or all of the above.
The petite rabbit girl makes herself comfortable on the desk, shifting to lie on her stomach while propping her face on her hands. “What’s up, doc?” She asks, a beautifully innocent smile painted on her face. If the rabbit takes notice of the poison in Miss Yagokoro’s eyes, she makes a wonderful job hiding it.
The silver-haired woman closes her eyes, and takes a deep breath, as if trying to summon every ounce of patience in her. “What are you doing here?”
Tewi just offers her a relaxed smile. “Oh, I was just passing by,” she declares brightly.
The pharmacist rubs her temples. “Passing by. On the ceiling.”
The rabbit waves her hand in dismissal. “Oh, details, details. Stop obsessing over unimportant stuff.” Unimportant, she says, huh. “I couldn’t help but overhear how rudely you were treating my future coworker.”
Miss Yagokoro doesn’t buy the casual act. “It’s none of your business, so-”
Tewi perks up. “Oh, but it is!” She completely ignores whatever Eirin had to say. “You see, I know a lie when I hear it, and this girl is no liar, I say.” She sits up, and draws her face near the pharmacist’s.
Eirin, on her part, tries to keep a decent distance between her and the rabbit.
“So stop harassing the poor girl with questions she couldn’t possibly answer.”
Miss Yagokoro crosses her arms, frowning, as if utterly displeased with the point the rabbit was making. “I will not lower my guard just because you say so, earth crawler,” she whispers in the rabbit’s ear, almost too inaudibly for you to hear.
The rabbit just reaches out to pat the pharmacist on the head, but Miss Yagokoro elegantly sways out of her reach. “Eh, you should lighten up a little bit, doc.” The rabbit girl frowns, but the sour expression quickly disappears from her face.
Eirin gives you a quick glance before sighing tiredly, as if defeated. “Well then. I admit I won’t accomplish anything this way.” She crumbles on her chair. “Tewi, could you take your beloved coworker to Udonge? I assume you overheard our whole conversation, so I can trust you to inform Udonge of this girl’s current state of affairs.”
The rabbit girl smiles brightly. She hurriedly scrambles to her feet and salutes. “Yes, ma’am!”
For the first time, you see a smile so small it’s almost unnoticeable on the silver-haired woman’s face. It’s beautiful, you think, and are utterly disappointed that it’s a sight you probably won’t get to see more often.
Tewi firmly holds your wrist. “Let’s go, soldier!” She jumps off the desk, and hurriedly pulls you out of the pharmacist’s office. You don’t even manage to say goodbye to the woman. It’s a shame, you think. You may not like her, but politeness demands that you at least bid her farewell.
In an instant, the both of you are already in the blindingly white corridor. As soon as the pharmacist’s presence is left behind, you feel an immense sense of relief. You want to stop and enjoy the recent relieve from the stress caused by the pharmacist’s heavy atmosphere, but Tewi doesn’t seem intent on stopping soon. Now that the pharmacist is out of your mind, you can pay more attention to the little rabbit. Her clasp on your wrist is hard; enough for it to actually hurt. And, if you pay special attention, you feel her hand shaking, if only a little bit. Could she also have been scared of Eirin? It didn’t seem like that at all. You can’t concentrate too well on your thoughts, though. The little girl is fast. Unbelievably so, for someone her size. You find it awfully difficult to keep up with her, and running ends up eating all of your concentration.
It doesn’t take too long before keeping up is the least of your worries. She seems to have slowed down for you, thanks the Heavens. Still, just keeping an appropriately fast pace is almost a hell for you. “T-Te— Haah.” You try to tell her to slow down, but between all the panting and wheezing, it’s almost impossible. Weariness and exhaustion overpower you, stabbing your muscles, and making your lungs feel like they are burning with every breath you take. Are you in such a bad physical condition? Tewi’s grasp isn’t the only thing that keeps you moving forward. Your own stubbornness in refusing such weakness also pushes you.
After what seems like an eternity of running, she comes to a sudden stop. Something you are very thankful for. You can’t even find it in yourself to ask what that was all about. As soon as she lets go of your wrist, you crumble down on your knees, propping yourself on your arms.
“Well, that was sca-” Tewi looks down at you. “Huh, you’re this tired? We weren’t even running for five minutes.” She crosses her arms, closing her eyes in disappointment.
Not even for five minutes? It felt like you were running for hours to you. You clench your fists, berating yourself for being so weak.
“H-Hey, don’t be like that. It’s probably because you have just woken up.” Could she be trying to make you feel better? It works, actually. That must be it. You can’t be in such a terrible physical condition that you can’t even run for five minutes. If you just allowed your body to fully recover, you would be able to give a better performance. You hope.
After regaining your breath, you stand, straightening your messed up Kimono. Only now you pay attention to your surroundings. The room you’re in is huge, bigger than the guest rooms you were in before. Even bigger than that disagreeable pharmacist’s office. This must be a dining room. Long tables, beautifully furnished tables are located along the room, low enough so that you’d have to sit on the floor for you to be able to eat properly. No chairs, though. You find that incredibly weird, for some reason. There is an abundance of windows. Looking through them, you notice the sky is dark already. It was around sunset when you woke up, was it? You wonder how much time has passed since then. You wonder how much time has passed since you first passed out.
Tewi snaps her fingers in front of your face. “Heey, earth calling... um...” She trails off. She must have been meaning to call your name, but just now remembered you don’t have anything to call yourself with. “So you don’t remember your name, huh.” So blunt.
You’re actually too exhausted to sulk over it. “Y-Yeah.” What else can you say? Your stomach grumbles all of a sudden. Being in the dining room must have reminded you that you haven’t eaten ever since. Uh... Since before you woke up. Yes.
Tewi pats your back. “Hahaha, you must be starving. Come we should find Reisen. She will give you some food. And we should also discuss what to call you from now on.” She pulls you by the Kimono.
Something to call you from now on. A name. A confusing feeling wells up inside you. Whatever could it be? The idea of abandoning your previous name is very distressing. It’s almost as if you were leaving behind who you really are, your identity. And yet... and yet, you feel happy. Happy for being able to actually have something you can call your own. Something as intimate as a name. Happy for the prospect of forming part of something, of being someone. Damned stress, making you get all emotive over something so silly. You struggle to hold back the tears that threaten to escape. You don’t want to look like a crybaby. Not in front of Tewi, of all people.
“Let’s go, slowpoke!” She urges, seemingly unaware of the emotional turmoil you’re currently in.
“W-Wait.” You stop her. Before going on, there’s something you want to tell her. Something that’s been itching in your mind for some time now.
“About what happened with Eirin...”
[ ] You’re grateful for her rescuing you from Eirin’s accusations, even if that wasn’t her intention. Offer her an honest ‘thank you.’
[ ] It was all her fault. You didn’t appreciate the prank. It was unfunny and made Eirin distrust you. Tell her to say sorry. It’s the least she could do.
Also: You’re almost sure Tewi was trembling when the two of you were rushing out of Eirin’s office. Ask her if she was:
[ ] Scared? [ ] Angry? [ ] Excited? [ ] Actually, it’d be a bad idea to mention it, you think. [ ] Something else?
[x] You’re grateful for her rescuing you from Eirin’s accusations, even if that wasn’t her intention. Offer her an honest ‘thank you.’ The second option had me until "Tell her to say sorry". Who the hell does that?
>“I will not lower my guard just because you say so, earth crawler,” she whispers in the rabbit’s ear, almost too inaudibly for you to hear.
I see Eientei politics are played hardball in this CYOA.
I like it!
[x] You’re grateful for her rescuing you from Eirin’s accusations, even if that wasn’t her intention. Offer her an honest ‘thank you.’ [x] Scared? [x] Angry? [x] Excited?
You gotta get your jollies somehow in this place or the stress alone would kill you.
>girl no older than eighteen >almost toxic-looking green eyes looking back at you >Messy chestnut hair >facial features are slightly sharp, but delicate-looking all the same >clear lack of firm musculature. >they may not be the hugest of breasts, but they are of a decent size
Pixiv being oddly helpful this time. MC is now Eientei's 'Hot Temp' character.