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[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.
What to do?
[ ] Accept her offer.
[ ] Decline her offer.
Important choice, important choice.