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File 14636276153.jpg - (55.25KB, 1100x1100, I have never eaten one.jpg) [iqdb]
26674 No. 26674
Previous Thread: >>26336

[X] Chiyo
[X] Ringo

It takes longer than it probably should to find the medical supplies. Apparently Yuzuki decided at some point in her reorganization that the best place for the supplies to be was wrapped up inside one of the extra tents we have stored in the equipment tent. I didn't know we have the same number of first aid kits as we have extra tents, but I guess that's not the kind of thing that Yuzuki would miss. I could have just asked where to look and found out immediately I guess, but I decided to try figuring it out for myself instead.

Minor injuries like mine aren't really much of a problem for Lunarian medicine. All I really need to do is apply some of the salve stuff that we have. It works pretty much immediately, though it always leaves me with this weird feeling that I'm slightly sticky for a while afterwards. I already feel a little sticky after the whole web thing, but this isn't going to help any.

I decide to just stay in the equipment tent as I patch myself up. It's still raining outside, so I would obviously prefer to be inside somewhere instead of getting wet. This tent works just as well as any other one, plus it lets me put things away more quickly when I'm done.

As I start working on my arms, I hear somebody enter the tent flap. "Hey." It's Chiyo.

I'm actually a little surprised to see Chiyo here. She would typically stay in her tent by herself most nights after we've finished working for the day. I guess the most likely case is that she's here for equipment, given the tent that we're in. "Hey Chi. Did you need something? Yuzuki reorganized a couple days ago, so you might have trouble finding it." I warn her. I know where some of the stuff is at least, so I might be able to help her.

"Nah, just waiting to see if anybody's making dinner." Chiyo says plainly, walking up behind me. Chiyo has a tendency to screw up cooking things a lot, so she usually needs someone to help her or do it for her. I catch the hint that she wants me to do it, but I'm not sure if I'm feeling up for to cook tonight.

"And waiting for the meeting." I suggest. I would think that's kind of the more important thing here.

"Yeah sure," Chiyo responds dismissively. "You think Ringo will be back soon or...?"

"Well I hope so anyway," I answer her. "I know Ringo doesn't like flying around in the rain either, but I doubt that she'll be out for that much longer anyway."

"Alright. That's what I thought, just checking," Chiyo nods to herself and sits on one of the smaller stacks of crates. "I was pretty sure nothing had thrown off my sense of time."

"You've actually been doing really well lately." I try to encourage her. It's true as well, there have only been a couple of times lately when I noticed her reactions being slower or faster than normal.

"I was pretty off when I was at that hermit's house, but yeah I guess so." Chiyo flops onto her back and stares at the ceiling while she talks. "It's just because we've kept so busy. I don't think it will last. I'll probably have an off day pretty soon."

"We were busy before all this started happening though, weren't we?" Gathering information was different than trying to find each other, but it still kept us out all day most of the time.

Chiyo makes a non-committal grunt. I kind of understand what she's getting at though. Even though we were working every day, it was a lot easier before when we were stealthed. Then we knew that youkai weren't going to find us, so there was one less reason to worry. We're a bit more on edge now, though I will say I think things have gone pretty well so far. Nothing's tried to eat us yet at least.

I feel like it's on me to continue the conversation, which I guess is fine. I haven't gotten a lot of chances to talk to just Chiyo lately. "So how do you feel about the whole situation with us being stuck here?" I ask. I haven't really heard her opinion on things.

There's a brief pause, but I think it's more Chiyo thinking about how to respond than her power messing with her. "I think command isn't gonna come get us." She says plainly.

"Chiyo!" I try to cut her off quickly. I admit it's probably more because I'm uncomfortable than because I think she's wrong. I've had that thought before, but it was more just me worrying. It was DEFINITELY not correct.

"No, think about it," Chiyo continues. "You said Reisen was in and out of the portal in a couple of hours right? That's not enough time for one rabbit with no gear to do much damage to the capital. It wouldn't have taken them days to get comms working again, even in an emergency situation."

I don't actually know exactly how the comms work exactly, but I have to admit that Chiyo has a point. "So you think they're just not letting us use them? Why?" I ask. I can't really think of a good reason for that.

"Dunno. Maybe they're planning a big surprise party for us because of how good a job we've been doing." Anybody could guess that Chiyo was being sarcastic despite how completely deadpan she says it, but that's probably not necessary given how absurd the idea is. "They've obviously got some plan anyway, and my money is on them just leaving us here."

"That seems like a pretty big waste of resources," I say, glancing at the crates full of equipment we had moved here. It is pretty old I admit, but I still don't think that command would just throw it away. "And it's not like we've done anything wrong to get exiled over." I add.

There's another pause. "Well we are the weird ones. If they don't need us, why keep us? Rabbits are disposable as far as they're concerned." She says quietly. Wow. I had known that Chiyo had some issues with how she had been treated back on the moon, I think most of us do, but I didn't expect her to have so little faith in command.

I'm not really sure what to say to that, so I let the silence hang while I finish up applying salve to my legs. I idly watch the cuts and scrapes disappear while I think about things. Before I can think of anything to respond with though, I'm interrupted by Ringo bursting into the tent. I'm glad there's only a tent flap there because I'm pretty sure she would have broken down a door.

"Good evening ladies!" Ringo seems to be in a good mood. "Hope you guys got a lot done today!"

"Did you get a lot done today?" Chiyo asks bluntly. Pretty sure she doesn't think Ringo did. I don't know if I think she did either, but I guess that's what the meeting is for.

"A bit." Ringo says happily before waves her arms in the air a bit and then pointing at the ground. That's the kind of thing that Yuzuki will definitely notice and take as a signal to come here, so I guess we're having the meeting in the equipment tent.

"Where did you go today?" I ask. Considering that Sumi isn't here, it's pretty obvious that Ringo didn't find her either, but that wasn't really Ringo's objective today. She had only vaguely said that she wanted to do something productive. That could really mean anything.

"Ah ah ah," Ringo wags her finger at me playfully. "Wait until the meeting starts. Just for that, I'm making you go first." I sigh at that, but I guess it's not really a big deal. She probably would have made me go first anyway.

-

Once Yuzuki joins us, Ringo pulls a crate down from the top of a large stack and sits on it just so she doesn't have to stand for the whole meeting. I can see Yuzuki twitch slightly at the disturbance to her organization system, but she doesn't actually say anything. She may have wanted to, but Ringo starts things off before she can.

"So! This shouldn't be too long of a meeting, unless you guys broke off and did separate things that I don't know about I guess," Ringo begins casually. "What did you guys do today then?"

She did say that it was my turn first, so I begin explaining our day today. "Well, like we said this morning, we were going to try the Moriya shrine to see if they knew anything useful."

"It turned out the answer to that was no." Yuzuki adds. I feel like that's a little bit too blunt, but maybe Yuzuki is still a little annoyed about how things went with the Hina issue.

"Well, kind of yeah," I continue. "It was still worth the trip though. We got a chance to speak with the goddess of that shrine, and she agreed to help search for Sumi on our behalf."

That catches Ringo's interest I guess. "Huh, just like that?"

"Apparently they feel somewhat responsible for not destroying the drone quickly, so we had some bargaining power," I still feel a little bit awkward about the lie, but I have to get used to it. "She did also ask for some information about the drone itself though, so I gave her a little bit but not enough to give anything away."

"What do you think she's going to do with that info?" Ringo asks cautiously.

"I don't know. Apparently she thinks it's a kappa project and wanted to know about it so she can find out who's responsible," I explain, then add a bit more. "She's also just interested in technology I guess."

Ringo folds her arms over her chest and thinks for a second. "Hm... That might actually be an issue," She says thoughtfully. "The kappa have the drone now. If that goddess goes and talks to them, then it'll definitely look like it's theirs. They can deny it, but then they'll just look like liars."

"So what?" Chiyo asks, finally sitting up on her crate. "Let the goddess and the kappa work it out, we can pretend to not be involved. It's not our problem."

Ringo thinks about it a bit more before speaking again. "Hmm... How long did she say it would take her to get information?"

"She wants to meet us again in two days." I say. I hadn't actually thought about this issue, so I guess it's good that Ringo brought it up.

"Well, we'll have to decide what we want to do soon then," Ringo finishes, unfolding her arms and going back to being casual. "We can let the kappa take the fall, or we can try to take the drone back and throw everybody off the trail. If we're going to do anything though, it'll probably have to be tomorrow. As early as possible."

The rest of us look at each other. Chiyo already said how she feels about it, but I'm not exactly sure myself. If we don't take the drone back it could get confiscated by Kanako, but would that even be worse than the kappa? My gut tells me yes, just because she's probably more important, but that doesn't necessarily mean that she'd be able to link it back to us either. I'll have to think about it.

"So, anything else?" Ringo asks. I think she knows that couldn't have possibly taken the whole day.

"Chiyo had the idea to check the caves on the base of the mountain's other side, so we went down there for the rest of the day." I explain.

"Guessing Sumi wasn't down there then." Ringo says jokingly. It's pretty obvious considering the whole 'Sumi not being here' thing.

I still shake my head before replying. "Turns out there's a whole city of youkai who don't get along well with humans and other youkai down there though." I say.

"And Seiran cuddled with one of them for a while." Chiyo adds suddenly.

Okay hold on now, Ringo why are you looking so interested suddenly? Chiyo is lying! "She caught me when I fell down." I say clearly. That's the truth after all. I don't have to mention the flirting. Flirting is not at all the same thing as cuddling!

"And held you close until you had to part, staring romantically out over the city as you snuggled into her arms." Chiyo sighs dreamily before shooting me a smirk.

"That is not what happened." I say tersely. This isn't fair. Ringo and Chiyo are both smiling smugly at me, while Yuzuki appears to be pretending to ignore the conversation. I guess I can't count on any help from her when I also joined in on teasing her about Hina. The best thing I can think to do is keep the conversation focused on business. "Anyway! I was told it would be fine for us to come back any time, so I guess we could consider it a safe area. The chances of anyone underground knowing what moon rabbits are is probably pretty slim. Actually some of them probably don't even know what the moon is."

Ringo laughs slightly. "Okay, might be useful to know I guess. Anything else?" I guess she's not going to continue the teasing, which I appreciate.

"No. I got injured in the cave, so we had to come back here," I answer, happy to move on away from the Yamame thing. "We decided to wait for you to come back after that."

"Alright then," Ringo claps her hands as she gets started on her own day. "Since you were talking about a city you went to, I'll talk about the city I went to. Well, it was actually a village, and it was full of humans."

Wait, really? "THE human village?" I ask, I think I sound a bit more incredulous than I should sound, but I'm just surprised that she would go there on her own without telling anybody. It's the largest human population center in Gensokyo after all.

"Yeah," Ringo says casually. "It was pretty interesting."

"Aren't we supposed to be avoiding contact with Earthlings as much as possible?" Yuzuki asks.

"I don't think we have much chance of doing that when you consider how many youkai and humans and goddesses and whatever else we've already talked to. We're definitely here now, we can't just pretending to be stealthed when we're not is probably going to just be more suspicious," Ringo justifies herself, but continues before anyone can argue against her. "Anyway, I hid my ears and tail and tried to act as human as possible. Nobody called me on it so maybe they didn't figure out I was a youkai. I saw a few people that were hiding it a lot worse than me at least, so I guess the humans there are somewhat used to having some youkai around."

There are multiple things there that I want to comment on, but I'm not sure what to say. Before I can decide Chiyo speaks up. "What did you think you were gonna do there?"

"Information. Gathering." Ringo says confidently, punctuating both words clearly.

Chiyo doesn't seem impressed. "And what information did you gather then?" She asks.

"Well, it's... A work in progress," Ringo hesitantly explains. So that means nothing then? "I picked up bits and pieces of info, but nothing worth talking about yet. I was mostly trying to figure out who the important people I should pay attention to are. Part of the information gathering process is learning who has the information after all, and I also did get a better idea of human youkai relations in the largest human population center."

She's not exactly wrong I guess, but I just don't really see that helping that much. "Would command even care about that?" I ask her. I already know the answer.

Ringo ignores the question though. "We need to care about it. There's lots of humans. There's lots of youkai. The more we know about how those two groups interact, the better we can act like normal youkai and blend in. It's a long term thing."

I can at least see the logic she's following, but for the second day in a row, it just kind of feels like this was something that Ringo wanted to do, did, and then made up the justification for later. Maybe I should put more pressure on her in the future. I look at Yuzuki and Chiyo, who both give me some kind of meaningful look back. I'm pretty sure they both agree.

Still, what's done is done, and Ringo seems to be in a good mood about it, so I don't make an argument out of it. At the very least, what we accomplished today got us help in finding Sumi, so even if Ringo isn't being that productive, we're still better off than yesterday. Ringo adjourns the meeting soon quickly after nobody argues with her more.

-

Yuzuki and Chiyo both leave the equipment tent to head back to their own tents. When they leave I notice the weather outside. It seems that the rain has slowed down to a point where it's pretty much negligible, and is probably going to end entirely in a couple of minutes. I walk over to the tent flap, holding it open as I watch the sky. I kind of hope that the clouds will break up enough to see the moon tonight.

I hear some slight shuffling as Ringo stands up and walks up to my side. "Here. Got this for you. Well, really I got it hoping you would share it with me. I already ate mine. Try one though." She pulls out a paper bag from her pocket and hands it to me.

I look inside the bag and find it filled with little colored circles. Dango. "How did you get these?" I haven't made more yet, and I don't bother to color the ones that I make.

Ringo doesn't really answer me. "Just try one." She prompts again. I shrug and eat a dango. "Good, right?"

It's good. I would like to say that mine are better, but I'm both biased and probably lying. Well I guess it wouldn't be a lie exactly. Opinions aren't lies really. I nod anyway, trying not to look to reluctant about it.

Ringo smiles. "That's what I thought too. It's not filled with love like yours, but it's good." She exaggerates the cooking with love thing again, but I ignore it.

"How did you get these?" I ask again.

"Bought 'em."

Ringo that's not enough of an explanation. "Where did you get human money?" I continue.

"Remember this morning when I was arm wrestling Cirno? That made me think about it and I realized I could probably beat anybody in an arm wrestling contest when I have some dango." Oh no... "So I went and found the loudest, proudest, most obnoxious looking guy I could find and challenged him to a contest for some money. You know the type, one that wouldn't be able to refuse."

"And you won." I finish for her. It's pretty obvious anyway.

"Well, I did yeah, but that's not really the whooooole story." Ringo says slyly. She seems to be having fun at least. "Turns out the loudest, proudest, most obnoxious guy I could find was probably not the best target. When he lost he didn't take it well. I had to rough him up a bit, but it was all in self defence anyway."

"Ringo!" That is not okay.

"Well what else was I gonna do?" Ringo doesn't sound the least bit bothered by my outburst. "The guy was angry. He would've beat me up if I didn't get him first."

"Ugh..." I just sigh.

"Yeah I wasn't happy about it either. I think next time I go there I'm gonna wear a disguise or something. You know where I can get a big bushy moustache? Maybe a top hat?" Ringo laughs to herself.

"Don't you think you're having a bit too much fun?" I feel like I have to ask. This is another thing that's been done, so I can't change it. I'll just have to be careful about letting Ringo do whatever she wants later.

"No such thing."

"Ringo..."

"It's not like I'm not working too. Okay, I will admit that I got a little carried away today, but I couldn't help it. Everything was so noisy and interesting and full of people. It just felt so much more... Alive than home." Ringo explains, somewhat losing steam near the end when she can't figure out how to phrase what she wants to say.

I don't really know how to respond to that, and I don't try very hard. I let the silence hang for a minute before I have an idea. The rain outside has stopped, so there's no reason to stay in the equipment tent now. "I think I will share these." I say happily, holding up the paper bag that's still full of dango.

"Yes!" Ringo says excitedly.

"With Chiyo. She said she was hungry." I walk off quickly towards Chiyo's tent, letting Ringo chase after me. Hey, she said they were for me, I should be able to do what I want!

[ ] Can't sleep
[ ] BANG
[ ] Practice
Expand all images
>> No. 26676
[X] Practice
>> No. 26677
[x] BANG

LOUD NOISES
>> No. 26678
[X] Practice

So will Sumi be found?
>> No. 26679
[x] Can't sleep
[x] BANG
>> No. 26680
[X] Can't sleep
>> No. 26681
[x] Practice
>> No. 26682
File 146395054521.png - (832.06KB, 990x1350, SEEEEIRAAAN.png) [iqdb]
26682
[x] Practice
>> No. 26683
File 146397234832.jpg - (973.79KB, 707x1000, How do you explain all this.jpg) [iqdb]
26683
[X] Practice

The rest of the night goes pretty much how you would expect. We eventually talk Yuzuki into cooking something once the dango that Ringo brought back run out. Yuzuki gets annoyed about us all ruining our appetite, but that doesn't really end up happening. Chiyo and I don't actually end up eating that much while Ringo's appetite is... Ringo's appetite, so nothing actually ends up ruined. I'm pretty sure Yuzuki knew that anyway, it was just the principle of the thing.

After dinner we all end up going back to our own tents for the rest of the night. Even though the rain mostly cleared up, I think we're all tired enough to not want to do much else. For me in particular at least, I still feel sore and a little sticky, even though my wounds are taken care of.

Even though I know it's bad to sleep too soon after eating, I still end up catching myself nodding off soon after getting back to my tent. Eventually I just give up, take my pill, and go to bed. Ringo did say that we might want to get up early if we want to do something about the kappa having the drone before Kanako confronts them about it. I don't really decide if I want to push for us to do that, but I still end up falling asleep pretty early.

-

Considering how early I went to bed, I'm not too surprised when I wake up and realize that it's not particularly bright out yet. I don't think it's as early as when Aya came to talk to us at least, since I can at least see that the sun is out a little bit. I guess that also means that the weather is better than yesterday as well, so that's nice at least. It's hard to convince myself to get up out of comfy warm blankets when I know that I can wait a little bit and still be the second person up, you know? I would rather just stay in bed a bit longer, but as I become more awake over time, I gradually start hearing some noises that I can't quite identify.

I guess I would describe it as an occasional soft popping noise followed by a bunch of light taps. It's something that I feel like I've heard before but can't really place the origin of it. After a few minutes of listening to it happen in short bursts I realize I'm going to have to get up to investigate. Apparently Yuzuki isn't handling it, and she'd be the only other person up at this point. Maybe she's not up yet like yesterday or something. It would be pretty odd for that to happen two days in a row, but I guess it's possible.

I manage to pull myself out of bed and get dressed properly. I don't like doing it when I could just stay comfy, but somebody has to make sure the situation is all okay. I walk out of my tent and look around, trying to figure out which way the sound is coming from. It's definitely not inside of the camp at least, so I have to walk away from our tents once I figure that out. I can feel the grass squish slightly when I start walking. Maybe it rained a bit more over night. The weather seems good otherwise at least, though it's still pretty early in the morning. I move away from camp, toward the source of the sound and quickly see what's causing it.

It's not exactly what I was expecting, but I guess it's not a bad thing either.

Yuzuki is off near the edge of the clearing, periodically shooting volleys of small circular bullets at a large tree. They don't seem to be doing anything to the tree, but that's obviously not the point. I guess she's just practising danmaku, which seems a little weird. It's definitely happened before at least.

One thing about Yuzuki's powers is that they make it so you can't really sneak up on her. She's pretty much always going to be aware of what the people around her are doing. Most people would probably think is a little but unnerving if they really thought about all the implications of her powers, but I've known her long enough to be used to it by now. It does however mean that if you see her doing something, it's because she's okay with you seeing her doing it.

When she finishes with another volley of shots, Yuzuki suddenly greets me. "Good morning."

"... Morning." I reply back after I force back a yawn. Yuzuki goes back to focusing on her shots and I just watch for a bit. Honestly, Chiyo and Ringo are mostly acting the same as they always have, but Yuzuki keeps surprising me and doing things that I'm not expecting her to do. How am I supposed to respond here?

"So, uh... What brought this on?" Is the question I end up asking. She's got to know what I'm talking about, so I guess it works.

Yuzuki continues firing for a moment, then sighs. "You know how I fought that small youkai yesterday?" She asks, turning around to look at me while we're talking.

"Kisume?" I ask. It's not really for clarification so much as it is to make sure that Yuzuki knows her name. I feel like it's kind of rude to just think of anyone as 'that youkai'.

"Yes, I guess that was her name," Yuzuki shrugs. "Fighting with her made me realize just how weak we are down here."

"Just at danmaku." I add. I want to think that we're doing alright in other departments at least.

"In general, we are pretty weakened right now," Yuzuki disagrees. "Our cover story precludes us from being able to use our firearms. If we get into any kind of trouble, we have to solve it with either talking, running away, or danmaku. If only two out of five of us can use danmaku, then the other three don't have much to offer. I'd like to at least move us up to three out of five."

I feel like that's a bit too negative of an outlook. Considering how little fighting we've actually done since losing stealth, there are obviously plenty of important things that the other rabbits can contribute to what we're doing besides offensive power. "You guys have plenty to offer though..."

"Well... I just meant that in a combat sense," Yuzuki clarifies, though she doesn't sound as sure about it as I think she should. "That youkai yesterday was not very strong. She seemed even less impressive than the fairy you fought yesterday. It took entirely too long for me to fend her off, and I just don't think that was acceptable. Since we're stuck with just the five of us and can't get backup or retreat, I think it would be a good idea to increase our combat effectiveness as much as possible."

Well, I guess she has a point. I shouldn't really argue against her trying to improve herself anyway. If she wants to wake up early and do this, I don't really have a reason to stop her. "I guess that's fine," I say, there's not much need to argue this anyway. "How's it working out then?"

Yuzuki stiffens slightly at the question. "It's... Well, I wish there had been a more formal introduction to this." She says, sounding a little uncomfortable. "I have to make it up as I go, which isn't really my strong suit. Maybe it would be easier if I had the actual rules, or more examples of how other people do it."

I kind of have to agree with that as well. Maybe we should try to find somebody who knows that actual rules at some point, but I don't really know who exactly that would be. "Well, I guess I can help you with what I know." I offer. I don't know a lot, but I think this is one of those situations where two heads will be better than one. We're kind of limited on finding examples too.

Yuzuki smiles lightly, looking a bit relieved. "Sure. I was actually kind of at a loss here. How do you shape your bullets? It just feels weird for me to make them anything other than spheres."

We spend the next half hour or so practicing creating and firing bullets. I feel like this could have been much more effective practice than it actually turned out being though. I guess it's partly because I'm not the best teacher, but also because this was all impromptu, so it's not like I had a plan for how to teach this kind of stuff. Yuzuki eventually begins to get better at creating bullets that aren't just perfect spheres, but she doesn't seem to be good at making them very quickly. She can manage small sprays, but that probably wouldn't cut it in an actual duel.

We eventually have to come to a stop for a couple of reasons. First, after so many bullets, Yuzuki starts to feel a bit drained by it, which is normal, though probably needs to be drastically improved for her to be more effective. Secondly though, I start to feel a bit concerned that we're actually causing damage to the tree. Yuzuki says it helps her to have something to shoot at, but most of the time in an actual duel all your bullets would be flying off into the sky anyway. Maybe that's just another part of Yuzuki's mindset that's causing her problems, but I'm not sure.

"I should have been working on this more while we were stealthed." Yuzuki says after we decide to stop, sounding somewhat discouraged.

"Well we couldn't have seen this situation that we're in coming," I try to reassure her. "It's not your fault. I'm sure you'll get better as you work at it more. Maybe...

[ ] "... I can keep helping you when we have time."
[ ] "... You should ask Ringo for help. She's the best out of all of us."
[ ] "... You should work with Chiyo, and Sumi when she gets back. Then everybody would be better off."
[ ] (Suggest someone else)

After that, I decide to start thinking about what I want to focus on today.

[ ] Finding Sumi
- [ ] (Specify where to search, though remember Kanako is going to be doing this today as well)
[ ] Getting the drone back from the kappa
[ ] Finding the earth rabbits that Aya mentioned before
[ ] Go somewhere else to find more information
- [ ] (Specify location)
>> No. 26684
[X] "... I can keep helping you when we have time."

We need the practice at Danmaku too. I don't see much point getting the drone back, how would we be better off for having it? If Sumi's anywhere on the mountain, Kanako is more likely to find her than we are. So I think it's finally time for
[X] Finding the earth rabbits that Aya mentioned before
>> No. 26685
[x] "... I can keep helping you when we have time."
[x] Finding the earth rabbits that Aya mentioned before
>> No. 26686
[X] "... I can keep helping you when we have time."
[X] Finding the earth rabbits that Aya mentioned before
>> No. 26687
File 146423369417.png - (1.72MB, 1000x799, Dumb Stick Trees.png) [iqdb]
26687
[X] "... I can keep helping you when we have time."
[X] Finding the earth rabbits that Aya mentioned before

"Maybe I can keep helping you when we have time." I suggest. Helping her would also mean practice for me as well. Yuzuki kind of has a point anyway, we are pretty weak in the offense department right now. I can't really count on Ringo to work on improving herself, and even if she would, it's better that she not be the only competent one in a fight. Working with Yuzuki sounds like a good idea for both of us.

Yuzuki nods to me, seeming to relax a bit now that she doesn't have to keep creating and firing bullets. "Okay, sure. I would like to set up an actual schedule for this but..."

Yeah, there is an issue there. "But we're making every day up as we go so that's a little tough." I finish for her.

"I'm not exactly happy about it, but yes." Yuzuki agrees. She was always on a pretty set schedule back on the moon. Coming down here was the only thing that changed that.

"Well, evenings are usually pretty free." I point out. I've been using my evenings as a chance to just take it easy a bit and have a chat with one of the others, but I guess they could be more productive.

"That might not be the best idea," Yuzuki points out. "Doing a lot of danmaku at night seems like it would attract more attention because of the flashing lights and colors, along with all the noise."

"I guess you have a point," I look over at the tree we had been shooting at. It's not that bad, but I guess we had only been doing small amounts of bullets. An actual duel would cause a lot more chaos, which would probably be pretty noticeable at night. "We'll work it out though. Maybe we'll have to just get up early like today."

Yuzuki looks a little unsure for a moment. "We'll work it out." She agrees. We'll just have to pick out times when we're both free I guess. It's better than having no plans to practice at least.

One nice thing with danmaku practice compared to practicing with a real fire arm is that there isn't really any cleanup to do or equipment to put away. Since we both decided we were done, all we had to do was go back to the main part of camp. Surprisingly, Ringo's already awake by the time we get back. Well, awake in the sense that she's out of bed at least. She could be asleep again I guess, since I can't see her face. It's lying flat against the table.

When Yuzuki and I approach Ringo makes a sound that's kind of like a greeting, then another one that I'm pretty sure is a request for breakfast. Yuzuki leaves to go get Chiyo up, and I get things ready so we can start the day.

-

"So, anybody have any ideas on what to do today?" Ringo starts off once she's properly awake and fed. We didn't decide on a plan yesterday, so it's kind of important now.

"Sumi." Chiyo says plainly.

"Yeah, I thought about that one, and I'm not so sure we need to do anything for it today," Ringo says casually. "You guys already got that mountain goddess, Kanako to start looking for her. She's been here much longer and has more connections, so we're probably not gonna be able to contribute much when we don't have much of a lead."

That's not quite right I think. "Unless we look outside of the mountain area." I point out. I don't know if Sumi would have went too far away, but it's possible.

"Which is valid and we could do that, I'm just saying we don't have any leads on her," Ringo continues. "It might be more efficient to work on something else today and continue working at it tomorrow if Kanako doesn't get any results. It sucks for Sumi, but she hasn't exactly made herself easy to find. We need to keep working."

I think I hear Yuzuki scoff quietly when Ringo says that, but she speaks next without sounding annoyed or sarcastic or anything. "Do you think today should be spent trying to get the drone back from the kappa then?" She asks, idly moving her and my used silverware into an exact position on the table.

"Hmm, I've been thinking about that, and I'm still kinda torn on it. Getting it back would make us look better when we make contact with command, but other than that, it doesn't really help us," Ringo sounds more like she's working it through in her mind just now rather than having done it last night. "If anything it could expose our cover story. We would have to break into the right kappa workshop, steal the thing back, and get out without being seen. It'd be doable for us, but we haven't done any prep work or intel gathering."

"And we would have to do all of that today?" Chiyo asks. She scrunches up her face as if she's thinking about it really hard, then looks down at her wrist as if there was a watch there. "Yeah, not happening," She decides, looking back up. "Let's just ignore the thing. It's not our problem, and command had to know this could happen when they sent it down with us."

"That's not the point." Yuzuki argues back. "Our job here was to gather information and allow the drone to purify the area. If we let the drone stay captured then we've already failed our mission."

"We've already failed our mission anyway," I remind her. I'm not exactly happy to bring it up, but let's not kid ourselves here. "The drone was damaged before it was captured. Even if we get it back, none of us will be able to fix it enough to let it finish its job." I didn't actually get to see the drone before it went missing, so I don't actually know the extent of the damage. It stopped stealthing us though, and there shouldn't have been a way for the kappa to capture it if it was still purifying things either. It's probably just destroyed.

Ringo turns to me. "I guess you're not in favor of getting it back then?" She asks.

Honestly I hadn't really thought about it that much last night. I guess I just made up my mind now based off of the current argument. I agree more with Chiyo on this. "I guess not."

"Looks like you're outvoted then Yuzuki." Ringo concludes. Nobody points out that Ringo herself didn't vote, but she only could have made it a tie if she hadn't agreed with Chiyo, so I guess she decided her vote wasn't worth mentioning.

Yuzuki continues on, ignoring the slightly smug look on Chiyo's face. "Well... Fine. What should we do then? If we're not looking for Sumi or the drone then what?"

"Portal is still broken." Chiyo points out plainly.

"Do we have any leads on that?" Yuzuki asks back quickly.

"I think what we need to do is figure out what happened when Reisen used it," Ringo answers for Chiyo. "What did she do that made it stop working when she came back? The best way to find that out would be finding Reisen herself."

That's a bit of a jump, though I have to admit I've thought about wanting to find her as well. "I don't think Reisen wants to be found. She's technically on the run as a deserter."

"Well, she attacked us first, so too bad." Ringo answers quickly. She doesn't seem to actually be mad about it, she's just using that as justification.

"She only attacked because she somehow found out we were invading." I say quickly. I'm not really sure why I defend her. She did shoot me a lot. I just feel like saying that she attacked me implies more malice than she actually had.

"But she didn't have to. Sanae told us that she was going to take care of the drone problem herself, but it disappeared before she got around to it." Chiyo adds. I guess I know which side she's on for this one.

Ringo seems pleased at that information. "So Reisen fought us off when there was at least one human who would have done it already. She's put herself into this incident, so we're justified in trying to find out why." She concludes happily.

"Do we have any leads?" Yuzuki asks again, sounding a little bit more exasperated.

"Yes we do." Ringo answers. "The tengu gave us one. Remember Seiran?"

I remember Ringo bringing this up as a lead before, but I thought it was just info on earth rabbits. "Aya said that the rabbit youkai all live in the bamboo forest." I recall. "That doesn't necessarily link to Reisen though."

"It might," Ringo says, tapping lightly on the table as she goes through her reasoning. "If Reisen is like us, she would have hidden the fact that she's from the moon, which would mean living like an earth rabbit youkai. If that's the case, she'd probably be where the rest of them are."

"There are a few holes in that idea." I point out. "Most of the rumors over comms said that she was hiding with the exiled Lunarians. She's not necessarily anywhere near the Earth rabbits."

"True, true, but it's just a lead. We can't know if it'll pan out until we at least look into it," Ringo says. She seems to notice that she's acting a bit triumphant already and reels herself back a bit when she continues. "I mean, I'm open to other suggestions of course, but I think we should look into this while we've got the time."

I actually don't have much of a problem with her reasoning. I didn't really have a better idea for what to do today anyway. I guess it's also true that even if we don't find Reisen herself, finding the earth rabbits would probably give us information to help with our cover story.

Yuzuki and Chiyo don't bring up any other ideas for what to work on today, so Ringo adjourns the meeting. It looks like we're all going together on this one. I'm a little concerned about the camp being secure, but I don't know who we would leave behind to watch things. Yuzuki is too useful for this kind of information gathering, and leaving Chiyo behind isn't necessarily a good idea. I guess it could be me, but I decide not to volunteer. I'll just hope that things work out well without anyone here like they have the last couple of days.

After we clean the table, the four of us get ready to go. We grab a couple of radios, but decide we probably won't need light sources this time. It's just another forest after all.

The trip to the bamboo forest is a pretty long one, even with us flying. It's not that surprising since the mountain and bamboo forest are pretty much on opposite ends of Gensokyo. We've obviously never gone this far in our general information gathering, so we don't know a lot of the specifics of the area, but we know where all of the major landmarks are at least. We had that kind of intelligence before even leaving the moon.

I fly close to Ringo most of the way there. It's a little rude to think of it like this, but I'm kind of glad that Ringo suggested this plan. Since it was her idea and she's coming with us, that means she's not going to be off doing something by herself again. This seems more like actual work towards our objectives than what she ended up doing the previous two days. Maybe Ringo realized she was having a bit too much fun by herself and wanted us with her? I think I can have enough faith in her to believe that. I'd like to anyway.

We're well into the morning by the time we reach the outskirts of the bamboo forest. Ringo signals for us to land rather than have to decide what we're doing while flying. It's easier to hear things on the ground without the wind blowing everywhere after all.

There's no sign or anything, but this is pretty obviously the start of the bamboo forest. I'm a little surprised at how quick the transition is actually. The land goes from being clear to being a giant messy wall of bamboo almost instantly. "So, I've got my own ideas for how to deal with this, but I'm open to suggestions." Ringo says, looking over the mass of bamboo ahead of us. "How do you think we should do this?"

[ ] Just go in and let Yuzuki point out if she notices any rabbits.
[ ] Take it slow, loop around the forest with Yuzuki to let her get an idea of the area.
[ ] See if we can find anybody who lives nearby. They're probably used to seeing rabbits in the area, we can ask them where other rabbits would be.
[ ] We should split up to cover more ground. We have radios, and we can just fly out of the forest if somebody gets lost (specify groups)
>> No. 26688
[x] See if we can find anybody who lives nearby. They're probably used to seeing rabbits in the area, we can ask them where other rabbits would be.
>> No. 26689
[x] See if we can find anybody who lives nearby. They're probably used to seeing rabbits in the area, we can ask them where other rabbits would be.
>> No. 26690
[X] See if we can find anybody who lives nearby. They're probably used to seeing rabbits in the area, we can ask them where other rabbits would be.
>> No. 26691
[x] Take it slow

Goddamm bamboo forest of the lost.
>> No. 26692
[X] See if we can find anybody who lives nearby. They're probably used to seeing rabbits in the area, we can ask them where other rabbits would be.
>> No. 26702
File 14645806316.jpg - (231.67KB, 700x700, It's not a full moon.jpg) [iqdb]
26702
[X] See if we can find anybody who lives nearby. They're probably used to seeing rabbits in the area, we can ask them where other rabbits would be.

I have to think about what we actually know here. The only bit of info we have about this area is the general knowledge of how big this forest is. Unless we get lucky, searching the whole place to find where the rabbits live will probably take hours.

It would take a lot of time for Yuzuki's power to work well in an area like this. I mean, I don't know the exact area she it works at, and she's probably already started trying to increase the range, but I know that an area so full of bamboo isn't favorable for her. It might even be so packed full of obstructions that searching manually at first may be a more efficient use of our time. I don't really like that idea though. There must be some better way to do it.

The biggest help right now would be for us to get more information, and for that, we'd need to find someone who we could talk to. I don't actually know if there are any people near here, but it's worth a shot at least. That's especially true if we can also use the time that we're searching for people to also get Yuzuki a bit more familiar with the area.

"I think we should look around and see if anybody lives nearby." I answer Ringo. "They would probably be used to seeing rabbits around here, and we could ask them where to go."

"Are we still trying to avoid contact with earthlings?" Yuzuki asks suddenly. "I feel like that objective kind of got lost somewhere."

"Eh, it's fine. We have a cover story that everyone we've talked to has believed, so we should be clear as long as we're consistent," Ringo dismisses the question. That's probably what she would have used if I had called her harder on going to the village yesterday actually. "Honestly we probably should have done this in the first place. Talking to people for info is way better than just wandering around looking at stuff while stealthed."

Well, Ringo seems in favor of my idea at least. "So, can you see very far in there?" I ask Yuzuki. I can guess the answer, but I feel like I should make sure.

"I can't 'see' any farther than you can, but I know what you mean anyway," Yuzuki answers, concentrating on the forest. "... I'm at about sixty meters in right now. That can go up, but it will take time."

That's what I thought. "So let's take a walk for now, we'll see if we can find anybody while you increase your range." I suggest again, hoping that my logic makes sense. Nobody really objects to it, so we start walking.

Ringo picks a direction arbitrarily and we spend the next hour or so slowly walking along the edge of the forest. Occasionally Yuzuki notices a fairy or two, but other than that we don't find anything. According to Yuzuki, the forest doesn't thin out any past what we can already see. It's just a thick mess of bamboo all growing at different angles.

I think all of us are starting to feel a little frustrated with the lack of progress when Yuzuki finally notices something interesting. "There's a building in there." She says suddenly, looking intently at some spot that none of us can actually see.

"Already?" Chiyo asks, sounding a bit bored.

"More like, 'finally', Chi." Ringo answers. It has been a while, though maybe Chiyo just didn't actually notice.

"Is there anybody there?" I ask Yuzuki. Just because there's a building there doesn't mean it will help.

Yuzuki focuses for a bit, then nods. "... Yes. She's asleep at the moment though."

"Still?" I ask. I would think most people would be up by now.

"Well we did get up early today. Maybe whoever it is just doesn't have work to do today. Let's go ask then!" Ringo says happily. She quickly starts trying to maneuver her way past the first row of bamboo and into the forest.

"Hold on," Yuzuki stops her quickly. "It looks like there's a path."

The path that Yuzuki leads us to is more like a tunnel in the wall of bamboo. The bamboo here is angled in such a way that you wouldn't notice it unless you were looking for it, but it's definitely meant to be an entrance for something. We have to crouch down and crawl through it, but we quickly reach an actual path that we can stand up and walk along.

The path is only a couple of feet wide, and it seems all the person that made it did was clear out the bamboo and uproot some of the grass. I'm a bit confused why someone would live here like this. It seems like they didn't go out of their way to make it easy to get here, so maybe they want to stay hidden for some reason. I hope we're not bothering somebody who doesn't want to be disturbed.

The walk is fairly short to reach what I guess is our destination. It seems like it's only meant to go deep enough that you wouldn't be able to see this area from outside the forest. All that is here is a small clearing, apparently also created by someone just cutting a bunch of bamboo down, and some kind of wooden structure. Yuzuki had called it a building, but when I look at it I can't help but think of the word 'shack'. It seems like it was constructed by an amateur, or at least by somebody who didn't care if it looked good.

"This... Feels a little shady." I admit somewhat hesitantly.

"It's just some woman's home. There's nothing strange in there from what I can tell." Yuzuki assures me.

"Okay, but why is someone living here like this?" I ask.

"Well we're not gonna know that unless we talk to her!" Ringo says, moving past Yuzuki and I. Before I can say anything, she quickly pounds on the door three times.

After a short pause, Ringo knocks a few more times. "She's getting up." Yuzuki says before Ringo goes for another round of knocking. I'm glad she did so, I'm a little concerned about Ringo accidentally breaking something poorly built like this.

"Who is it?" The door is slid open by an adult woman with long brown hair, probably a human. She definitely looks like she just woke up, with her well worn dress still awkwardly bunched around her legs and one of her hands reaching up to rub her eyes.

"Good morning!" Ringo greets her happily.

"Rabbits?" The woman asks sleepily once she gets a good look at Ringo. "If Tewi sent you, can we do it later?"

"Nope, we weren't sent here at all. We're just looking for directions." Ringo says.

"Huh?" The woman is confused for a moment. "Oh, are you lost?" She asks.

"Nope. Not exactly lost. I'm Ringo, and this is Seiran, Yuzuki, and Chiyo," Ringo introduces all of us. "We're not from around here, so we don't know exactly where we're going. We've recently been forced out of our home, so we're looking for where the other rabbits live to see what they've got going on."

"Hmm..." The woman looks at us, seeming confused for a moment, but gets over it quickly. "So, Eientei then?" She asks.

Ringo shrugs. "Right, sure, if that's where the other rabbits live." She says.

"I don't actually know how to get to Eientei, you should go talk to Miss Fujiwara." The woman suggests. She seems ready to end the conversation there, but Ringo continues it quickly.

"Oh, see, we'd do that, but we're not from around here. We don't know who that is or where she is." Ringo says patiently. "If you could point us to her, we would go talk to her though."

The woman sighs. "Well, she's probably not in on it at least..." She mumbles to herself before speaking out loud again. "It's a little difficult to give directions. I suppose I can lead you to her house though."

"I mean, that'd be great too." Ringo shrugs.

"Fine." The woman says, somewhat reluctantly. "I'll say again though, if Tewi put you up to this, could you please leave? It's too early for pranks."

"I don't know who Tewi is either. We're not lying to you, promise." Ringo assures her.

"Well, okay then," The woman responds, she doesn't sound very convinced, but I guess she wants to get this over with. "Give me a moment."

The woman closes the door, and I use the opportunity to go over the conversation in my head. There was a lot of info in there, and I feel like most of it was given out like it was common knowledge for earth rabbits. There were names there that are probably pretty important. Tewi, Fujiwara, and Eientei specifically. The woman didn't actually give her name though.

This woman seems to be convinced that we're trying to pull some prank on her for some reason. Thinking about it, that makes some sense though. If she's a human living near youkai rabbits, they probably mess with her fairly regularly, since that's what youkai are supposed to do. We don't really have a way to convince her we're not looking to mess with her though. I guess we'll have to live with her being a bit suspicious of us for now.

The door opens again and the woman steps out, seemingly unchanged from before other than the fact that she's now wearing shoes. "It's a bit of a walk, and Miss Fujiwara may not actually be there right now." She says as she comes outside. She closes and locks her door before turning and looking at us.

"That's fine, thanks for the help!" Ringo says happily. She's probably come to the same conclusion that I have. We're not really going to be able to convince her of our innocence, she'll have to see it for herself when nothing bad happens. Well, hopefully nothing bad will happen anyway. And if not, it won't be our fault.

"You're welcome..." The woman says somewhat awkwardly before turning to the side. "This way then."

I guess I can use this walk through the forest as a chance to try and get information.

[ ] Ask who the woman is
[ ] Ask who Miss Fujiwara is
[ ] Ask who Tewi is
[ ] Ask about the other rabbits
[ ] Ask about Eientei
[ ] Ask about the forest
[ ] Ask about something else
>> No. 26705
[X] Ask who the woman is
[X] Ask who Miss Fujiwara is
[X] Ask who Tewi is
and as many of the other questions we have time for.
>> No. 26706
[X] Ask who the woman is
[X] Ask who Miss Fujiwara is
[X] Ask who Tewi is
>> No. 26707
[X] Ask who the woman is
[X] Ask who Miss Fujiwara is
[X] Ask who Tewi is
>> No. 26708
[x] Ask about the other rabbits
[x] Ask about Eientei
[x] Ask about the forest

Into the lion's den
>> No. 26713
File 14648277208.png - (366.70KB, 768x1024, Used to normal hair colors.png) [iqdb]
26713
[X] Ask who the woman is
[X] Ask who Miss Fujiwara is
[X] Ask who Tewi is

I try to be pleasant and continue the conversation as we start moving through the forest. It's not that easy to do though, since it's kind of awkward to try and maneuver through all these stalks of bamboo while talking. "So I don't think you said your name."

Even if she thinks we're from around here, she hasn't actually met us before, so it's a fair question I think. "It's Kagerou," The woman says as she easily twists herself between some bamboo. She seems to be having an easier time of it than I am by keeping crouched lower to the ground and moving on her arms and legs, kind of like an animal. It looks a little weird, and I would think that that dress would normally inhibit moving like that, but it seems to be working for her. "Kagerou Imaizumi."

I stop myself from giving my name in response because I remember that Ringo already did. I want to keep the conversation going though. "And you live by yourself out here?" I ask.

"Hm? Yeah." Kagerou responds easily, as if it was no big deal.

I ask the obvious follow up question. "Isn't that dangerous for a lone human?" I mean, I also live in a forest right now, but I'm not alone, and we have plenty of ways to protect ourselves from youkai.

"Well I'm not... Well, I guess I am, but... It's complicated." Kagerou stumbles a bit over her answer, not really even answering. "I've been fine living out here for a while anyway."

I guess I'll take her word for it. There's obviously more to her situation, but I'm not really in a position to press her for more information. Even if it was any of my business, which it's not, she doesn't seem likely to share. If anything I should be glad that this human is even willing to help us, since Ringo said that humans weren't too crazy about youkai.

"And this Miss Fujiwara you're taking us to go see, who is she?" I decide to shift the focus of the conversation off of Kagerou since she doesn't seem like she wants to talk about herself.

"Hm?" Kagerou seems like she didn't expect that from me, even though I think it's a perfectly fair question. "Oh, maybe you've only heard of her as Mokou."

I guess she's still assuming that we're lying about not being locals. "Uh, no. We haven't heard of her at all." I answer.

Kagerou pauses for a bit as she crawls under a low stalk of bamboo. "Well, she's the human who helps guide other humans get to Eientei." She says after she's through.

"Is it really so difficult to get there that people would need a guide? There's nothing magically misleading in this forest." Yuzuki speaks up from behind me as I move under the bamboo. She probably hasn't noticed it because it's the kind of thing that her power would cover for, but this place is actually a little bit disorienting to walk through. The ground is pretty much always flat, but the way that all the bamboo grows at random angles all crisscrossing over itself messes with your depth perception somewhat. I can kind of see why humans would have a hard time going through. Heck, I would probably have a hard time with it if I wasn't being guided by someone.

"Eientei was magically hidden up until a while ago, but I guess you're right about that now. If somebody was desperate enough they could find it on their own, but they'd be a lot better off asking Miss Fujiwara for help. She just knows how to get there and can keep them safe on the way." Kagerou pauses to explain as the rest of us crawl under the low bamboo. "Now that I think about it, I'm not actually sure how she knows how to get there. I guess she's just been there enough times to remember the way."

"And you haven't?" Chiyo asks.

"I've only been there once," Kagerou replies, starting to lead us again. "From what I hear, Miss Fujiwara is there frequently, both with other humans and by herself."

Well I guess that means we're at least going to be able to ask the right person for the job then. Given how annoying it has been to move through so far, I would hate to spend all day in this forest, looking for a place we have no information on. Being directly taken there is a way more efficient use for our time.

"Do we have to pay her or anything?" Ringo asks. Oh, I guess I hadn't really thought about that. Actually I wonder if Ringo has any money left over after yesterday, since she's the only one of us who has even thought about getting Earth money.

"No, I've never heard anything like that," Kagerou assures us. "She does have to be available today though. I've heard she hasn't been around a lot of the time lately. Maybe it'd be more likely for her to be around in the morning though, I don't know exactly what she's been up to."

"What should we do if she's not here?" I ask. I guess we could just fly out of here and come back later, but without knowing where 'here' is exactly, that might be a bit of a pain.

"Hmm..." Kagerou has to consider it for a moment. "Wait there I guess? Either she'll come back or Tewi will come find you. I really don't know the way to Eientei."

"We're really not from here," I try to stress again. "Tewi wouldn't come looking for us. We don't even know who that is."

"Really?" Kagerou asks.

"Really."

"Hmm..." Kagerou turns back to look at me for a moment. Is there a good way to look like you're not lying when you're not? Maybe being to conscious of trying to convince someone you're telling the truth makes it less believable or something. I don't know. "Sorry about that then." She says. I'm still not sure if she believes it though.

"So who is Tewi?" Yuzuki asks for me.

"Tewi is the head rabbit, as she's pretty proud of telling people. She keeps track of the rabbits, gives them orders, and manages everything for them around here." Kagerou explains. She doesn't sound as cautious now, so either she's convinced, or she's given up on trying to guilt us into telling what she thinks is the truth. "She's also kind of a jerk."

Ringo laughs slightly at that. "Kinda caught that you didn't like her."

"I just hate that she keeps doing all these pranks. I know it's her that keeps setting up dumb traps all over the forest for some reason. It's not like anyone could or would hunt here with her around. She's also tried to get me to give her protection money for no reason a couple of times." Kagerou starts venting. I guess I did ask for it.

"Is that the kind of stuff that youkai normally do to humans?" I ask. I'm pretty sure it isn't. I think there's usually more actual malice than that. Unless danmaku rules make it so they have to be like that I guess. I don't know.

"Not all youkai are like that." Kagerou answers quickly. She almost sounds a bit defensive for whatever reason.

"But Tewi apparently is." Chiyo says.

"Apparently so, yeah," Kagerou goes back to her normal tone again. "Anyway, if you're really not from Eientei, you'll have to talk to Tewi. She doesn't look very impressive, but she knows pretty much every other rabbit, and would want to meet you."

If that's the case, I actually wonder how this Tewi person would react to us. I guess there's not really any way to know before trying. It sounds like she makes it a point to know about all the rabbit youkai in Gensokyo though, so we would definitely be something new and interesting to her in some way.

After a bit more walking, Kagerou finally comes to a stop when the bamboo begins to thin. "We're here." She says, before suddenly backing up a bit when she notices something. "Oh! It looks like she has company."

We're at the edge of another artificially created clearing. Very similar to the one that Kagerou's house was in only pretty much everything seems nicer. The bamboo was cleared away more completely, the grass around the area seems to be actually taken care of, and the house sitting on the side of the area seems well constructed and maintained. I kind of wonder if Kagerou saw this at one point and decided to emulate it for building her own house, then found out that she didn't have the expertise to do it. This place looks much more permanent and comfortable to live in. At least until you consider how deep we are in the middle of a giant forest I guess.

"We can go wherever you want, you know?" I hear a woman's voice coming from the porch on the side of the house. There are two girls sitting there, seemingly just relaxing and talking in the middle of nowhere. From the angle I'm at, I can only really see the first one, who has long white hair and is wearing bright red pants covered with white patches and a plain white shirt.

"Well I don't want to go anywhere today," The second girl responds as she gets up. Once she gets up, I can see that she has two brown pigtails that go down to her shoulders and is wearing a black hat and red glasses, though the rest of her clothes are obscured by a long black cape. She quickly takes a seat the first girl. "I'm tired of tours and exploring for now. I just want to chill."

"Chill, huh? I guess that's fine if it's just that..." The first girl says casually as the second one begins playing with her hair. "Are you having fun back there?"

"What? It's so pretty," The second girl pulls the first girl's hair into a large ponytail, then lets it all go. "Nobody at home has hair like this. Was it always this color?"

"Nah, I guess it just changed at some point," The first girl tries to lean backwards, but is stopped when the second one holds her up so she can start braiding some of her hair. "Can't really remember when."

"It's interesting. Could do with some maintenance though. If I was able to actually come here I'd bring you some kind of shampoo or something to wash it with."

"Hmm, I dunno if I'd know how to use whatever that is."

"You just wash your hair with it." The second girl idly undoes the braid she had been working on before it was really complete.

"I hope you're not just trying to get me in the bath with you." The first girl smirks and successfully leans back this time, before the other starts messing with her hair again.

"Pfft," The second one laughs lightly. "Yeah right."

Are they... Flirting?

[ ] Let's not interrupt them.
- [ ] We should leave them alone for a while.
- [ ] ... I'm a little interested in watching.
[ ] Better to interrupt them now than later. We don't know how long this will take otherwise.
>> No. 26714
[X] Better to interrupt them now than later. We don't know how long this will take otherwise.

Wait has anyone actually used Sumireko in a story before?
>> No. 26715
[X] Let's not interrupt them.
- [X] ... I'm a little interested in watching.
>> No. 26716
[X] Let's not interrupt them.
- [X] ... I'm a little interested in watching.

Voyeur bunnies.
>> No. 26717
[x] Better to interrupt them now than later. We don't know how long this will take otherwise.

Don't think I've seen Sumireko on THP yet.
>> No. 26718
[X] Let's not interrupt them.
- [X] ... I'm a little interested in watching.
>> No. 26720
[X] Let's not interrupt them.
- [X] ... I'm a little interested in watching.
>> No. 26721
[x] Better to interrupt

Contemporary waifu is here!
>> No. 26722
>>26714

NOPE!

[X] Let's not interrupt them.
- [X] ... I'm a little interested in watching.

Tryna see what she's like before interrupting.
>> No. 26723
File 146518215765.png - (889.33KB, 1000x1392, Crushing.png) [iqdb]
26723
[X] Let's not interrupt them.
- [X] ... I'm a little interested in watching.

I'm not really sure which one of these girls is the one we came here to talk to. I mean, it's pretty obvious that one of them is Fujiwara. There isn't really any other conclusion to come to considering that we were lead here by someone else. I guess I can just ask though. Then we can decide what to do from there.

I turn to Kagerou, who has also been watching those girls talk. "Is that Miss Fujiwara?" I ask quietly. I think Kagerou said that her name is actually Mokou, but always referred to her as Miss Fujiwara. I get the idea of last names, even though I don't have one, I just think it feels unnecessarily formal. I'd rather think of people by their first names. I guess it's a cultural thing.

"Yes," Kagerou says back, also trying to stay quiet. Before I can ask the obvious follow up question, she clarifies. "The one with the white hair."

"So who's the other one?" Ringo asks, stepping up next to me and leaning out of the tree line (bamboo line? stalk line?) for a look.

Kagerou shakes her head. "I don't know," She answers. "I've never seen her before."

"Looks like they're pretty close," Ringo says. I think that's probably fair to say considering how Mokou is pretty much laying in the other girl's lap at this point. "You think they're dating?" That might be a bit more of an assumption.

"I don't know, I've never heard anything about it," Kagerou says, pausing slightly as she looks over at the girls again. "I guess that would make sense though. Miss Fujiwara has been away from her house a lot lately, so maybe she's spending time with this other girl."

I feel like it might be bad to admit it, but I'm curious. Like I've said before, dating wasn't really allowed in the military, so I think that's a fair reason for me to want to see what it's about. Not that it's necessarily all that important to me personally since it's still against the rules and all, but uh... I mean, I'm still curious. There shouldn't be anything wrong with that. I am supposed to be gathering information after all! "Let's wait until they're done." I suggest quietly to the others.

"Agreed." Ringo says, turning to watch. I guess she's as interested as I am. Actually, Kagerou seems to be curious too, so it's not just us rabbits I guess.

Speaking of us rabbits, I turn back to look at the others, who seem a bit less enthusiastic. Chiyo seems entirely uninterested and finds a spot to sit down, I guess she's fine with waiting it out. Yuzuki rolls her eyes and occupies herself fiddling with some of the small branches on the nearby bamboo, apparently dissatisfied with their pattern. I guess she can watch without actually looking though, so maybe she's just pretending to not be interested.

We had been discussing over a bit of the girls' conversation, so we missed some of it, but it seems like we start paying attention again between topics anyway. They're still sitting in the same position on the porch, facing away from us. "So, you gonna come less often then?" Mokou asks.

"Huh?" The other girl had apparently still been fiddling with Mokou's hair, and either didn't hear or didn't really understand the reason for the question.

"Just thinking, if you're tired of looking around then are you gonna come to Gensokyo less often?" Mokou clarifies.

"No way!" The other girl cheerfully refuses. "I'm just taking a break for today. I'll definitely keep popping back in whenever I can after this. It's not like I have anything better to do when I sleep."

"You say that, but aren't you supposed to be in school right now?" Mokou asks.

"Ah..." It hadn't really seemed very accusing, but the other girl still sounds a bit embarrassed by that. "Well, kinda."

Mokou chuckles slightly. "Well, I can't make you do anything anyway." She says dismissively.

"Right, and besides, if I only came here when I normally slept then I couldn't explore as much," Well, at least she seems to recover from embarrassment quickly. "Night time still kinda creeps me out a bit after my first trip here, even if I can't actually get killed this time."

"Eh it's not so dangerous once you get used to it and you know what to watch out for," Mokou says casually. "You're strong on your own, and if you're scared you can just come get me. I'll watch out for you."

"My hero." The way it's said, I can't tell if the girl is trying to be sarcastic or not. I guess that's probably on purpose.

Mokou doesn't seem bothered by it though. "Heh, Well somebody should probably keep you out of trouble, and keep you from causing it too."

The girl huffs slightly at that. "I already said I'm not causing any more incidents." She says, sounding slightly indignant as she idly twirls Mokou's hair around her fingers.

"What happened with that anyway?" Mokou asks. "I know Reimu chewed you out about making her work, but did anything else happen after that?"

"I guess Mamizou was supposed to be keeping track of me when I came to visit, but since I was coming so often she decided it was a pain."

"And what'd they do with the occult balls?" Mokou asks. Wait, I've heard of occult balls before. I read about this in the paper.

"All but one of them came back out before I did, and I can't use them again without a full set, even if it wouldn't get me in trouble. I don't know who has the last ball either. I guess probably Reimu, Marisa, or Kasen." The girl explains. "Why, you want to come visit the outside again?" Okay, they kinda lost me again.

"That might be interesting. Probably a ton of stuff to do out there." Mokou says casually, stretching slightly and unintentionally interrupting the other girl's fiddling with her hair.

"A ton of very fun stuff, yeah." The girl responds slyly. There's some odd emphasis on the word fun in there.

"I didn't mean it like that and you know it." Mokou responds bluntly.

"Hm? What do you mean? I am a perfectly innocent high school girl, did you think I meant something inappropriate?" The girl asks happily, humming slightly as she feigns ignorance.

Mokou sighs, apparently okay with letting it drop. "I guess it might be a lot of trouble though. The balls would just make people have to fight a bunch more, and all those urban legends would show up again."

"Oh? Don't you think I'm worth it? I think I'm worth it." The girl asks, sounding exaggeratedly hopeful.

"Hmm..." Mokou cranes her neck back to look up at the other girl's face as she thinks about her response. "Maybe." She says after a moment.

The other girl giggles at the response, but doesn't say anything. After a short moment of the two just looking at each other, the other girl leans down over Mokou quickly. I guess this kind of thing is more normal than I'm used to, but I'm still surprised when I see it. They actually just kissed! It was a quick affectionate peck, but it definitely happened.

Mokou sits up quickly when the two separate. She doesn't seem all that surprised or flustered, but also doesn't look she's in a romantic mood at the moment either. "Hey-" She starts talking, but is suddenly interrupted when a loud beeping noise starts coming from somewhere.

"Ah, crap," The girl scrambles, reaching into her pocket and pulling out some small black rectangle thing. She pushes on it with her finger a bit and the beeping stops. "Uh, sorry."

Mokou sighs. "Time to wake up?" She asks, apparently okay with just dropping whatever she was previously going to say.

"Yeah, I can't really skip my next class," The girl shoves the device back into her pocket. "Should I come back after school?" She asks hopefully.

"Are you gonna do your homework first?" Mokou asks back.

The girl looks strangely relieved. "S-Sure!" She responds quickly. "Homework first, then I'll come back."

"Sure, if you want to." Mokou sits up fully, letting the girl get up from behind her.

"I definitely do!" She says as she gets hops up. She seems to move quickly and lightly, almost skipping as she moves away from the porch. She does a quick twirl to turn back toward Mokou, but abruptly stops when she faces toward where the other rabbits and I are watching from. Oh. Uh-oh.

I can see the girl's eyes widen and a blush grow on her face as she notices us. "Uh-uhm! Ahem!" She stammers out quickly. "Mokou, I think you have guests! I'lltalktoyoulaterokaybye!" She calls out before quickly fading away, seeming to become invisible. I'd be more concerned about how she did that, but I'm a little preoccupied with the fact that we've suddenly been found out. Mokou turns and looks to where the other girl had been looking, and quickly notices us.

Okay, we were definitely just spying on what was probably a rather private moment between two people. In this kind of situation, the best way to handle getting caught would be to...

[ ] Apologize, we didn't mean to spy. (Well, okay, I guess we did)
[ ] Feign ignorance, we didn't see anything.
[ ] Act natural, it was no big deal.
[ ] Hide. Guests? What guests?
[ ] Shift the blame. Ringo, I can't believe you would spy on people!
>> No. 26724
[x] Feign ignorance, we didn't see anything.

We just got here, no big deal.
>> No. 26725
[x] Feign ignorance, we didn't see anything.
Aaww they make such a nice couple.
>> No. 26726
[x] Feign ignorance, we didn't see anything.
>> No. 26727
[X] Act natural, it was no big deal.

Play it cool.
>> No. 26728
[x] Act natural, it was no big deal.
>> No. 26729
[X] Act natural, it was no big deal.
>> No. 26730
[X] Act natural, it was no big deal.
>> No. 26732
[X] Act like rabbits, it was no big deal.
>> No. 26733
File 146544150632.jpg - (670.55KB, 2000x1145, Not the worst place.jpg) [iqdb]
26733
[X] Act natural, it was no big deal.

Okay, I think I can handle this. This isn't even that bad of a situation compared to some of the situations we've had over the past few days. I didn't need to freak out about things then and I don't need to freak out now. There are plenty of ways to handle this.

The first idea that comes to mind is to just pretend we never saw anything. We could have just now got here, there's no way for Mokou to really disprove that if we say it. That would work, but I'm kind of feeling a little tired of lying to everyone that I talk to. I mean, I'm already going to have to do the lie for our earth rabbit cover story, but that doesn't mean that I like it. I guess that makes me naive or stupid or whatever you want to call me. I stand by it though.

I think instead we should just treat this as not a big deal. People dating other people is normal here, at least more than it is on the moon, so we should treat it that way. There's no reason to avoid just acting natural. I decide to try and set the mood of the conversation as positively as I can. "Hello!" I call out, trying to sound pleasant. I don't really do that tone all that much though, so maybe it comes across as forced. I hope not.

Mokou initially does look a little annoyed, but it goes away quickly. It's replaced by a look that seems to be more confused than anything else. I guess maybe she wasn't expecting more company or something. "Hello." She answers back after a short pause.

I glance over to see if Kagerou is going to introduce us or anything. Actually, wait, where did Kageoru go? Did she run away when we got caught? Ugh, okay fine. I admit that the thought of doing that did cross my mind, but it didn't seem like it would be productive. I guess we're going to have to handle this without any help. "Uh, just a second." I figure I should step out of the bamboo so I don't have to yell this conversation across the clearing.

As I walk to get closer to Mokou, I notice that the other rabbits are all following me, so I guess I've been volunteered to be in charge of the conversation now. Why do they always leave these things up to me? One of these times I should just stay in the back and let somebody else take the lead. Everybody else is just as capable of talking as I am! Most of the time anyway. Oh well.

By the time I've finished my internal mini-rant, we've reached a more comfortable speaking distance from Mokou. She had gotten up from her porch and walked towards us as well, so we're just in the middle of the clearing now. I guess I should get things started. "So, sorry if our timing was bad or anything." I can't keep myself from apologizing at least a little bit.

Now that she's standing up and not talking to somebody she obviously likes, Mokou seems a much less enthusiastic. Not that she was acting hyper or anything before, but with her hands in her pockets and her shoulders slightly slumped like that, she definitely doesn't seem like she's going to be all that talkative. She sighs lightly. "It's fine. She was leaving anyway. What do you guys need?"

She's being somewhat familiar, so I guess she's already assuming that we're part of the Earth rabbits that live here. "Well, we're rabbit youkai from around the mountain. We were looking for the other rabbits that we've heard live around here, and Kagerou told us we should talk to you so you could lead us to... Eientei?" I know I'm pronouncing it right, but I still act like I'm not sure just to drive home that I don't know what that place is.

Mokou's brow furrows slightly. "Huh... I didn't know there were more rabbits around. Thought Tewi rounded them all up a long time ago." She says.

Kagerou said something like that before too, I guess there really aren't any other rabbits somehow. "Well uh... Here we are anyway, so I guess not." I say, probably a bit less confidently than I should have. I can't really give any proof of anything because what I'm saying is actually false though.

"Hm." Mokou seems to accept it anyway. I think she has questions still, but doesn't end up asking them. Instead she moves on to a different question. "Is Kagerou not here then?"

Okay, I can at least be honest on this. "Yeah... She was just here but, I actually didn't see when she left." I answer.

"She started running when the other girl noticed us." Ringo adds on. She was standing closer to Kagerou than I was, so I guess it was easier for her to notice.

Mokou makes a small 'tsk' noise with her tongue. "Damn, I wanted to talk to her about next week. Oh well," She shrugs before moving on. "So I guess you guys were here for some time before Sumireko noticed you..."

Okay, just act natural here. I'm hoping she'll agree that it wasn't anything to get upset about. "I wasn't going to make a big deal about it or anything, but yes."

Mokou looks at me and seems like she's about to say something, but then shakes her head. "Yeah, okay. 'Preciate it." Okay, that went well then. She doesn't seem upset, though it doesn't look like it's a subject she really wants to continue with either. Fine by me.

"So, about Eientei?" I prompt her.

Mokou nods. "Yeah, I can lead you there just fine. Come on," She says and then immediately starts walking away from her house. I was kind of expecting a bit more instruction than that, but I guess not. "What are you going there for?" She asks back to us as we move to follow.

Looks like it's time for part two of the lie we've been telling everyone. "Well, our home was recently destroyed, so when we heard that there were other rabbits here we thought it might help us if we met up with them." I explain. Ringo and I try to keep close to Mokou for ease of conversation, while Yuzuki and Chiyo follow behind. I won't really complain about it though, it might be uncomfortable if everyone tried to stay close together, and Yuzuki probably wants to focus on learning the area as much as she can.

"Hm, yeah, Tewi'll help you out on that," Mokou says. "Provided she's around at least. I don't think she's on a schedule."

As Mokou leads us, I notice that the path we're taking seems much more well worn than the one that Kagerou had taken us on. It's not as if this is a properly laid road or anything, but there's definitely been more effort put in towards making the trip from Mokou's house to Eintei easier than the trip from Kagerou's house to Mokou's. Patches of bamboo and other foliage seem to have been cleared out, sometimes by hand and some other times apparently by fire. Regardless of the method though, I can definitely appreciate that we don't have to maneuver around as much plant life as we go through the bamboo forest.

As for Mokou herself, she seems pretty content to stay tight lipped the whole walk. She occasionally glances back to make sure we're still following along, but doesn't seem all that interested in keeping up conversation. Eventually Ringo makes a point to do introductions, but aside from that we don't get very much out of Mokou. I just think that the contrast between how she is with us and how she was when she was talking to her girlfriend is a little surprising. I guess that's what being in a relationship is like, not that I would know.

I don't actually know anything about Eientei, but it's pretty easy to guess when we get close. There's a huge clearing mostly closed off by large bamboo fences. The path that we're on appears to lead directly to the main entrance into the area, where the opening in the fence reveals a huge Japanese style mansion. I imagine it wouldn't be too hard for a lot of rabbits to live in that kind of building, but it seems a little too flashy for rabbits to me. Maybe it's a cultural thing.

Mokou comes to a stop a ways away from the entrance. "Well, here it is." She says unenthusiastically. I guess she's pretty used to this. "If you guys are going to be joining up with the other rabbits, then I'll probably see you around occasionally." She adds, turning to start walking away.

"Wait that's all?" Ringo asks. I kinda share the thought there. This seems a little bit sudden to just drop us off here, or maybe I'm just nervous.

"Well, yeah," Mokou says, sounding like it should be obvious. "Did you need something else?"

"Uh... No." Ringo reluctantly admits.

"Good, 'cause I can't really do much more for you anyway," Mokou laughs slightly. "It'd probably cause more problems than anything if I went in there with you, and I don't want to deal with her today. Just look around for Tewi or any of the other rabbits, somebody will be around that can help you."

I guess that's that then. I'm not sure what we were expecting honestly. Mokou has done pretty much exactly what Kagerou said she would do. She guided us to this place. At least we'll probably be able to get here on our own in the future. Well, Yuzuki probably can at least, so we can just follow her. "Well, thank you very much for your help." I say to her, bowing slightly.

Mokou nods to me. "See you around then," She says casually as she turns to walk away. I guess it's just us rabbits again. Well, we at least know that we should be searching specifically for a rabbit named Tewi. We just have to decide how to go about that.

There is one big concern that I've been thinking of though. It seems like there really aren't any other Earth rabbits around than the ones here. We've heard it from Kagerou and Mokou already, I mean, even Aya said something kinda similar. When we're talking to the leader of all the other Earth rabbits, it might be a bit difficult to keep the cover story that we've been using up until now believable. It gets even worse if it turns out that Reisen is actually here. We may want to upfront with things before we're caught in a lie.

If we talk to anyone, we should...

[ ] Keep the cover story
[ ] Drop the cover story

As for what to do...

[ ] Head inside
[ ] Walk around outside the building
[ ] Sneak around the area, try to get information but avoid being noticed
>> No. 26734
[x] Head inside
[x] Keep the cover story
- [x] Unless Reisen shows up

This gon' be good.
>> No. 26735
[X] Drop the cover story

Well, not so much directly drop it as stick only to the things that are true. "Where we were living was damaged by the incident" and "We had no idea there were other rabbits here" are fine, but don't go saying "We're normal earth rabbits".

[X] Walk around outside the building

Innocent strangers just having a look around because we heard there were rabbits here.
>> No. 26737
[x] Keep the cover story, at least until Reisen shoots it down.
[x] Head inside

Hopefully anyone who knows we're hiding something will know we have a good reason to be hiding it. If they blow our cover, well, them's the breaks.

But aside from that, we really do have business here. No reason to act any more suspicious than we have to.
>> No. 26738
[X] Drop the cover story
[X] Head inside
>> No. 26739
[X] Drop the cover story
[X] Head inside

No way Tewi will be fooled by the cover story.
>> No. 26740
[x] Drop it
[x] Hang around outside

Lying to Tewi and Reisen is impossible, for clear reasons
>> No. 26741
[x] Keep the cover story, at least until Reisen shoots it down.
[x] Head inside
>> No. 26742
>>26741
Wait, um, Reisen isn't here: she went to resolve the incident. Change this vote to:
[x] Head inside
[x] Keep the cover story
>> No. 26743
>>26742
It's been established that the incident is already resolved, and that Reisen has returned from the moon.
>> No. 26744
[x] Drop it
[x] Hang around outside

Yeah I can't imagine Tewi accepting a bunch of "normal" rabbits that came out of nowhere. No way would she not have known about that earlier.

By this time there's no real point of keeping up the "we're earth rabbits, honest" cover story.
>> No. 26745
Yeah, I'm with this too.
[x] Head inside
[x] Keep the cover story
- [x] Unless Reisen shows up

Also, just read through this so far; keep up the good work!
>> No. 26750
File 146578624483.jpg - (968.21KB, 1280x960, The doctor is out.jpg) [iqdb]
26750
[X] Drop the cover story
[X] Head inside

I pause at the entrance to the area. I don't know if anybody else is thinking what I'm thinking, so I should probably bring it up. "So about the cover story we've been using," I start, turning back towards the others. It should be fine to just have this conversation in the open. Yuzuki will mention if anyone is within earshot. "We might want to just be honest here."

"Hm? Why do you say that? I was thinking we wouldn't need to do that unless we actually found Reisen." Ringo sounds surprised at my suggestion, which is a little odd. I kind of figured that she would have thought through the information we've gotten today just like I have but I guess not.

"We'll just look like liars if we say that we're earth rabbits. It sounds like this Tewi person would know us if we were. I just think that we should start things off on the right foot." I explain.

"Mokou said that Tewi rounded all the earth rabbits up a long time ago. It's believable to tell other people that she missed us, but she would know we were lying if she was actually thorough," Yuzuki adds, pausing from casually surveying the area. I guess she's on my side for this.

Ringo considers things a bit. "Hm, I guess that's true. We don't know how long a long time ago was though." She doesn't seem like she's actually arguing that much, so I think she's already convinced, she's just pointing things out.

"Doesn't really matter. If it was a long time ago then that just means she would have rounded up the parents we would have had." Chiyo points out. I hadn't actually been thinking about that, but she's right. There's that whole impurity of birth and death thing here on Earth that the Lunarians always hate.

"Oh yeah..." I guess Ringo hadn't really been thinking about it either. It's not something that comes up much on the moon, especially for us rabbits, so I don't blame her. "Alright, we can be honest here I guess." She shrugs.

I'm actually pretty relieved. I might be acting overly sensitive about it, but I really haven't liked lying to everyone we've been meeting. Most of them seem like pretty nice people that I wouldn't mind talking to, but keeping up the cover story means that I've had to been on my guard all the time. I mean, I guess I still probably won't be able to be completely open, but every little bit helps.

"So I guess we should just head inside then?" Ringo suggests, now that my issue is out of the way. She moves in front of the rest of us, stepping closer to the building.

"I guess so," I agree, though we should probably check around the area, just in case. "Unless there's somebody around outside?" I ask, turning towards Yuzuki. She's just so convenient for these kinds of things.

Yuzuki glances around again, but just shrugs afterwards. "I haven't noticed anyone, no, but I'd need some more time to be completely certain."

"Eh, let's just go in then," Ringo decides casually. "We were led here because Tewi is supposed to be here. If she's not outside we'll just have to go in and find her."

"And if she's away doing something else?" Chiyo asks. It's not like we contacted anyone ahead of time, this Tewi person could be busy.

"Well I doubt every single rabbit will be gone from the place. We'll figure it out," Ringo answers nonchalantly as she walks up to the entrance of the mansion. I feel like Ringo might be a little bit too confident here. Maybe it's just because everything has been working out pretty well so far. "Door's open." She calls back to us as she opens the sliding door. The rest of us hurry to catch up as Ringo slowly enters.

The inside of the building looks just about how I expected from seeing the outside. A lot of the older buildings on the moon also draw from this kind of traditional Japanese style of architecture, so it's not exactly new to me. The entryway that we step into is really just a normal hallway, bordered with a couple of closed rooms on either side before turning off and going deeper into the mansion itself. I'm not sure if it would be a good idea to just start opening doors at random, but we don't exactly have another plan.

"Hello?" Ringo calls out, I guess trying not to be too rude with our investigation. "Is anyone home?"

There's no immediate answer from inside the building, but Chiyo still finds something. She taps on Ringo's shoulder and points over to the wall to our right. There's a sign hanging up just next to the door. The main text says "Waiting Room", with a line under it saying "Please ring the bell if no one is present to assist you."

Ringo reads the sign and shrugs. "Okay, guess we can give that a shot." She says, opening the door and casually walking into the room.

Inside is a decently sized waiting room, with chairs lining three of the four walls. There's a small table in the center with a few newspapers and small books neatly laid out on it. On the left wall is a sliding glass window, left open to reveal an unoccupied office space, I guess for a receptionist. Further away on the left wall is large door, which doesn't at all seem to match the Japanese style of the rest of the room, since it seems to be made of metal.

While I'm looking around the room, Ringo immediately walks over to the receptionist window and dings the small bell that sits there. "Ringo!" Yuzuki and I both exclaim at the same time.

"What? The sign said to," Ringo explains herself, leaning against the window and watching the inside for any movement. There doesn't seem to be any. "This should get somebody out here that we can talk to." I guess that's true, but still...

Well, I guess I can't make Ringo undo ringing the bell, so I just let it go with a sigh. Might as well wait and see what the result is. When I look, Chiyo has already sat down in a chair along the right hand wall, looking through one of the newspapers. Yuzuki and I move to join her.

"Ringo's being careless." Yuzuki quietly hisses to me after a minute or two of waiting. She seems a bit annoyed, but also rather serious.

"Are we in trouble?" I tense up as I ask the question. Yuzuki seems to be in a more serious mood, so she's probably detected something that we don't know about. I consider our escape options. The door to the hallway isn't closed, so we should be able to get out if there's trouble.

"Not exactly, I haven't noticed anyone at all yet, which seems a little odd in itself," Yuzuki explains. "We're definitely being watched though. There's a security system. I noticed one at the doorstep too, but there's definitely cameras set up in here."

"Isn't that too high tech for Gensokyo?" I ask. It wouldn't be at all weird for the moon, but I've never heard of anything like that here on Earth. Not that I've been to all that many places that weren't mountain wilderness.

"Could be kappa made," Yuzuki suggests. That's probably likely. They seemed advanced enough to make something like that. "Too small to have any markings though, and the wires go farther than I can see right now. I don't know why they'd set something like this up in here though."

Yeah that does seem a little strange. If they were trying to protect something shouldn't they have locked their doors while they weren't here? "What's behind that other door?" I ask. Maybe there's something important in there.

"Hm..." Yuzuki focuses for a moment. "Another hallway, then a clinic room." She answers.

A clinic room? "So this is a doctor's office?" I ask.

"I guess it must be. Seems like a weird place to put one. How would they even get patients if those patients would need Miss Fujiwara to guide them here?" Yuzuki asks.

That's a good question, but it's one I wouldn't have the answer to even if it weren't rhetoric. Instead I just add my own question. "Why would we get led to a doctor's office when we were looking for rabbits?"

"I'm not sure, I feel like we need more information about this place." Yuzuki says. It's a conclusion I feel like we're running into a lot. We always need more information.

This place does seem a little odd, but I guess I probably shouldn't have just assumed this was going to be a normal mansion that just happened to have rabbits in it. Kagerou probably would have mentioned that this was a doctor's office if I had asked about it, and she did mention coming here before, so it's probably a legitimate clinic. Maybe the doctor here is just good at helping youkai rabbits and that's why they live around here or something. That seems pretty niche, but I guess we don't always get to choose what we're good at.

As I think about it, there's a short buzzing sound from inside the receptionist's office, then a loud click as the door on the far side of the room swings open. Like Yuzuki said, there's a hallway inside. That's all there is though, nobody opened the door, it happened automatically.

"Soo... I guess we go in?" Ringo asks. She sounds a bit less apprehensive than I feel. I could just be worrying about nothing though. I may do that from time to time.

[ ] Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Go in the door.
[ ] Let's not.
- [ ] It might be a little rude, but let's skip the waiting room and check the rest of the mansion by ourselves.
- [ ] If nobody's here to stop us, let's look through the receptionist's office for info.
- [ ] Let's go back outside. We came here for to find rabbits, not to go to the doctor.
>> No. 26752
[X] Let's not.
-[X] Let's go back outside. We came here for to find rabbits, not to go to the doctor.

The most obvious trap ever.
>> No. 26753
[x] Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Go in the door.
>> No. 26754
[X] Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Go in the door.

Time to say goodbye to caution.
>> No. 26755
[X] Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Go in the door.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how hard are we going to shit our pants when we come face to face with Eirin?
>> No. 26756
[X] Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Go in the door.
>> No. 26757
[x] Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Go in the door.

Sounds like someone's been watching the security cameras... and I've got this weird feeling that someone is Tewi. Who is exactly who we're looking for.
>> No. 26758
[X] Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Go in the door.
>>26755
>On a scale of 1 to 10, how hard are we going to shit our pants when we come face to face with Eirin?
FFFFFF in decimal. (yay, puns)
>> No. 26759
[X] Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Go in the door.

We have got a potentially medical problem - how come our telepathy doesn't work anymore?
>> No. 26762
File 146604685463.jpg - (377.28KB, 711x1482, FFFFFF.jpg) [iqdb]
26762
[X] Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Go in the door.

On the one hand, this is pretty suspicious. Somebody is obviously watching us through the security cameras they have set up. They're also directly inviting us to come inside by opening the door. Despite their obvious interest in us though, whoever it seems to think that it's fine to not show themselves and try to talk. I don't know if they just want to have the upper hand in the situation or they think we're hostile or what, but it just makes me think that we're not dealing with Tewi, who we've never met and who has no reason to avoid us.

On the other hand though, this is probably the quickest way to make something happen. I guess we could just follow the wires in the security devices to find out who's watching us, but that would be a slow and obvious process. We could also try snooping around for some more information, but that might not pan out either. It might be best to just play into this game for now, knowing that whoever is watching doesn't have as much of an upper hand as they think they do.

"We might as well give it a shot I guess." I answer to Ringo while getting up from my chair. I walk over to Ringo while Yuzuki follows me somewhat apprehensively. I'm a little surprised that she isn't calling me careless as well, but I guess she's the one who said we still need more information.

"Chi, come on." Yuzuki calls back after a moment. It looks like Chiyo would have just kept reading her newspaper if Yuzuki hadn't prompted her to get up.

Chiyo sighs and drops the newspaper back on the table. I can see Yuzuki twitch slightly at the messy way it lands, but she doesn't say anything. I think she knows that Chiyo did it on purpose.

The hallway is exactly what I was expecting from Yuzuki's description. I guess that's kind of obvious considering she had no reason to lie but whatever. It's just a plain hallway, with one door on the left that must lead into the receptionist's office, and another door on the far side that leads into a clinical examination room.

"So uh, anybody feeling sick?" Ringo asks jokingly as she walks down the hallway and into the exam room.

"I'm pretty sure we're all fine," I answer her rhetorical question as I follow along. Talking to Ringo specifically does bring up a question that I could ask though. "Actually, did they have doctor's offices like this in the village Ringo?"

The examination clinic is probably a little small to have four people using it at the same time, but it seems like it would be just fine for a one on one appointment. There's an examination table in the center, as well as various cupboards and pieces of equipment along the walls. On the far side of the room next to another door is a small desk with some neatly stacked papers sitting on a clipboard.

Ringo starts poking around the room idly looking at pieces of equipment as she thinks. "Hm, I'm pretty sure they did, yeah." She answers. I guess she probably didn't go in any of them even if they were there, so they might not have left much of an impression.

"That makes even less sense then," Yuzuki interrupts. She's a bit less interested in looking around than anybody else, but I guess that's not surprising. "Why have an office here if there are already some in the village? How are they going to get patients out here?"

Oh, this is something that I thought about a little bit earlier. "I was thinking maybe it's a doctor that only works on youkai rabbits." Actually now that I say it out loud it sounds even dumber. I would be pretty okay with the others ignoring I said anything.

"I don't think that's a popular medical specialization." Chiyo says plainly as she pumps up a blood pressure monitor hanging on the wall. Okay, that's less laughing at me than I was expecting at least.

"Chiyo, stop messing with that." Yuzuki moves to keep Chiyo from playing with stuff while Ringo finishes her look around the room.

"Well, this isn't exactly what I was expecting." Ringo plops herself down on the examination table and sighs in annoyance.

"What were you expecting, immediate answers?" I ask. I don't know if I'm seriously asking her the question or not. I guess she could have thought things were just going to work out easily. That might be a bit too optimistic even for her though.

"Expecting and hoping aren't the same thing." Ringo doesn't really answer the question. "Well, what now?"

I really should be used to it by now, but I don't know why she keeps asking me these things. "Uh, can we use that other door?" I suggest, pointing across the room.

"Locked." Yuzuki says automatically without turning away from Chiyo.

"Ooh, called it." Ringo says triumphantly. You didn't actually call it Ringo.

"What's in there?" I turn away from Ringo to ask.

Yuzuki pauses for a moment. "It's an operating room. Mostly more heavy medical equipment and stuff for actual surgery." Okay, so not really anywhere that I want to be. Not that I'm that crazy about being in any part of a doctor's office honestly.

"And for my second prediction, I'll guess that there's nobody in there," Ringo says, pretending to be dramatic. Yuzuki reluctantly nods, which makes Ringo smile, but her enthusiasm fades quickly. "Well, whoever is let us in here did it for a reason, ball's in their court now, we can't force anything to happen. We'll just have to wait for them." She decides, laying back across the table.

I guess it's true that that's the kind of situation that we opted in to. We'll just have to wait and see what comes of it.

It takes a couple of minutes before anything happens. Well, anything noteworthy I guess. Ringo and Chiyo find a box of rubber gloves and start trying to blow them up with their mouths while Yuzuki tries to get them to behave, but that's not noteworthy, just kind of amusing.

I take some time to try and look through some of the papers on the desk, but most of it is blank or randomly scrawled notes of lists of symptoms or possible treatments. I at least manage to pick up that it's not only humans being examined here. There are a few things on some symptom lists that definitely wouldn't apply to humans, at least I hope not. I'm pretty sure that humans don't have fur to lose, and even if they did, I think 'increased appetite for human flesh' would have been written a bit more dramatically.

While I continue to sort through paperwork and the others goof off, we're all interrupted by a loud noise. There's another beeping noise and a heavy thunk coming from the hallway. I'm kind of hoping that I'm wrong with what caused it, but that's probably too much to ask for. I look nervously at the source of the noise. Yup, the door we came in from just closed.

Yuzuki stands up quickly, but doesn't go anywhere. "It locked." She says quickly.

"Uh... Should we be worried?" I ask, regardless of what she's going to answer my brain starts getting a head start on 'yes' anyway. This can't possibly be anything other than bad.

"Probably," Yuzuki answers quickly. After a moment, she perks up in surprise. Her eyes widen as she practically leaps across the room towards the locked door. "Okay, yes! We need to go now."

"What's the problem?" Chiyo asks, not at all matching the anxiety that Yuzuki, and honestly probably me, are showing.

"Now!" Yuzuki answers urgently.

"Where are we going to go if you just said the door is locked?" Ringo says as she gets up and moves towards the door.

"Ringo, break it down." Yuzuki orders, moving to the side to give Ringo room.

"What?" I'm pretty sure Ringo could do it, and I wish she would, given how urgent Yuzuki thinks it is.

"Break the door down!"

"I haven't eaten any dango today." Ringo says, sounding a little embarrassed.

"Uh, what's happening?!" I would at least like to know why I'm panicking!

There's a light click from the far side of the examination room. All the excitement seems to have instantly turned to silence as the door opens slowly.

Oh.

That's Eirin Yagokoro. THE Eirin Yagokoro.

The most famous medical and scientific genius to ever walk the moon. The one that is technically an exile and a fugitive, hiding from the people that we take orders from. The one that is more powerful than all of the rest of us in this room combined. The one that would be perfectly capable of killing us all to keep us from saying anything about having found her. That Eirin Yagokoro.

"I hadn't expected trained soldiers to just walk into an obvious trap so carelessly. Why have you come here?" She does not seem very happy to see us.

[ ] Panic
- [ ] Run
- [ ] Shoot
- [ ] Faint
[ ] Don't panic
- [ ] Eep
- [ ] Beg
- [ ] R-rabbits?
>> No. 26763
[X] Panic
- [X] Faint

As trained professionals, we have to handle this the way all trained professionals would.
>> No. 26764
[x] Panic
-[x] Shoot

Fuck it, we'll do it live.
>> No. 26765
[x] Don't panic
- [x] R-rabbits?

We done goofed.
>> No. 26767
[x] Don't panic
- [x] R-rabbits?
>> No. 26768
[x] Don't panic
- [x] R-rabbits?
>> No. 26769
[x] Do panic
- [x] R-rabbits?
>> No. 26770
[x] Panic
- [x] Faint

ahahaha nope
>> No. 26771
[X] Panic
- [X] Faint
Called it!
>> No. 26772
[X] Don't panic
- [X] R-rabbits?
>> No. 26773
>>26752
Not obvious enough, it seems.
>> No. 26774
[x] Don't panic
- [x] R-rabbits?

This is fine. She's fine. We're fine. Everything is fine.
>> No. 26775
[x] Do panic
- [x] R-rabbits?
RABBIT MODE ACTIVATE, SHE'LL NEVER SEE THROUGH IT!
>>26774
No, we're not fine. We're fucked.
>> No. 26776
[x] Panic
- [x] Shoot
- [x] Faint

SPLIT YOUR LUNGS WITH BLOOD AND THUNDER WHEN YOU SEE THE MOON BRAIN
>> No. 26779
Hate to do this, but update will have to be delayed until probably tomorrow. Was traveling all weekend and didn't get to start writing until late tonight. I would normally just stay up until I get it done but I start a new job tomorrow as well, so it'll have to wait so I can sleep.

Also votes were pretty mixed so I decided to go with [X] Panic and [X] R-rabbits. Hope nobody is too bothered by the mixing of options.
>> No. 26780
File 146647139339.png - (641.49KB, 793x800, Moon Brain.png) [iqdb]
26780
[X] Panic
- [X] R-rabbits?

You know, even though she's across the room, Eirin is still way too close. I know magic is pretty fast, so it doesn't make a difference, but I'd really like her to be much further away from me. The something like 380,000 kilometers that we were dealing with before was a perfectly fine distance I think. Failing that though, I would at least like to not be in the same room with her. Maybe it would help if I wasn't the rabbit that was closest to her as well.

Right! Rabbits! "Uh! R-rabbits?" I stammer out stupidly. I think I was trying to answer her question but didn't have it phrased properly in my brain before I started talking and oh shit now she's looking at me specifically why did I say anything please don't blow me up or science me to death.

"Yes?" Eirin prompts me. I don't know why I'm so intimidated by one word but holy shit help me.

"R-rabbits..." I repeat myself. I can't think correctly right now but I think it would be bad if I didn't say anything. Actually why is it always up to me? Why is nobody helping me? I am the worst at talking but they always make me do it. This is abuse. I am being abused. There are three other people here that could say anything and they're just not doing it this is not at all fair.

Okay, now she's walking towards me, this is getting worse somehow! Would it solve things if I just fainted right now? Then the others would have to say something. Is there a way to make myself faint? That would be really nice. I don't want to have to be the one who handles our encounter with the super powerful super smart Lunarian fugitive. That is like my least favorite thing to do that I can think of.

Ow. Oh I guess I had been stepping back when she was stepping forward. Now I've run into the examination table so I can't step back any more. You know, if I'm here then Chiyo must be right behind me. It would be nice if she'd do something here. Instead of trying to get her help though, I just make a few squeaky noises from my mouth that are kinda sorta like words and probably don't help the situation at all.

It might be getting apparent that this conversation, if you can even call it that, isn't getting anywhere. It seems that Eirin comes to that conclusion as she closes the distance between us at least. "Just talk," She says, sounding slightly irritated. "I'm not going to do anything until I know your intentions."

"We were looking for the rabbits." Oh thank you so much Chiyo, are you going to take over for me now? No?

Eirin's still looking at me, so I guess I should follow what Chiyo said up. "Right! Rabbits!" I agree. That could have been better.

"Why?" Eirin asks. I guess we didn't really explain anything.

"We wanted to meet with them," I clarify. Wait that's not really any detail. "For our cover story. We were pretending to be earth rabbits." Okay, that wasn't too bad. I can do this I think. Hopefully. I am garbage at dealing with my superiors.

"Why are you pretending to be rabbit youkai?" Eirin asks. Okay, I guess it still wasn't good enough. This is why I've never been promoted. "When the purification drone was destroyed, why didn't you go back to the moon? Your job should have been finished. What further objective do you have?"

Wait, if she knows about that doesn't that mean that the rumors were true and that Reisen is actually here? Well, I guess it was in the paper, so she could have found out from that. "We can't go back to the moon," I inform her. "The portal is broken."

"The kaian passageway is broken?" If she's surprised by that, which she seems to be, that either means that Reisen isn't responsible, or that she isn't here. I guess it could be some other things too. I'm not good at leading other people into giving up information. Ringo really should be the one to handle this. I'd like that. "I see..." Eirin mumbles quietly, apparently going into deep thought about this.

Oh wow, she doesn't immediately continue questioning me. Instead, she turns back to the desk on the side of the room and scribbles something down. "Um?" I ask. Actually, why did I say anything? I should have just enjoyed not being grilled for info. Ugh.

"Tell me, does your telepathy work right now?" Eirin asks, glancing up at me.

"Uh, no." What does that have to do with anything?

"Hm, that explains it then." She writes a little bit more down. I can't actually see what it is from here. "I'll have to follow up on this. I suppose it was a bit too simple before..." She's mumbling to herself.

Okay, things have definitely calmed down now. She's not trying to kill us or anything. Was she ever trying to kill us, or was I just making a big deal about things for no reason? I'm pretty sure there was some actual danger in the air at some point, but she seems distracted from it now.

I guess her being distracted can change though, so I should use this moment to try and think. Do we have any escape paths? There's really only the locked door, the window in the receptionist's office, or the door on the other end of the examination room. I can cross that last one off the list of possibilities immediately. We don't know where it goes and we'd have to get past Eirin to get to it. The other two are actually possible in theory though, we would just have to actually coordinate an escape.

Eirin's not looking, so I feel safe enough to glance back at the other rabbits. Chiyo seems to be trying to dismount from the table as quietly as possible. I don't know if she's planning to run or just hide behind it but either one is probably a good idea. Ringo is shoving dango in her mouth and trying to eat as stealthily as possible, while Yuzuki is making some motion with her hands at me. Oh, I think it means she wants me to stretch for time. Ringo's power takes some time to activate after she eats.

"Now then," Eirin says, setting down her pen calmly before turning back to me. I snap my attention back to her quickly. "You didn't answer one of my earlier questions. Do you have any further objectives? What are you planning to do now?" She asks.

I don't really think we had much of a plan. We were just trying to do our jobs and solve the issues that were right in front of us. "We still need to find the last part of our unit, then we were going to fix the portal, and go back to the moon." I assume that's all that's actually on our itinerary at least.

"And that's all?" Eirin asks.

Oh, this may be a good opportunity to try and talk our way out of danger. "Uh, we promise we won't say anything about you?" I offer hopefully. "We weren't ordered to find you or anything, so we can just ignore that we did."

"But you unfortunately did find me," I suppress a flinch when Eirin points this out. Why didn't she just blow us up immediately and save me the anxiety if she wasn't going to let us off easily? "You should be able to understand that it puts me in an uncomfortable position. You're not the first people from the moon that have learned about this place, that's true, however I wouldn't count a group of rabbits to keep quiet about anything as important as this. I've had to solve problems like these before, and I didn't much care for the way I had to do so."

Oh I don't think I like the sound of that.

"Instead of falling back to that option, I have a proposition for how we can work this out peacefully," Eirin continues. "I can pretend that you didn't find me, allow you to leave here, and go about your business of returning to the moon. I won't cause you any harm, all you have to do is agree to test a simple drug for me before you leave the Earth."

Okay I definitely don't like the sound of that. "What?"

"I've been working on a memory modification drug for a while now, but I haven't had a good way to test it. Using it here to remove something as specific and important as my location would likely be a good opportunity. It would guarantee to me that you would to live up to that promise you just proposed. Considering the situation that you're in, I don't think it sounds like a bad deal, does it?"

Okay, I really don't like the idea of taking an experimental drug to hopefully only remove a very specific part of my memory. What if it gets other stuff and I forget how to walk or something? I really don't want to go through with this.

I feel like there are some problems with her plan that would let us squeeze out of the agreement before taking any drugs, but maybe I shouldn't point them out to her. She's smarter than I am, so she's probably thought about them already. In fact, she's probably intentionally avoiding mentioning them in case I haven't thought of any them. I guess it's possible that we'd still be able to get out of it though. I don't know, it seems like a weak thing to bank on, but it would probably guarantee our safety.

It is true that we're not in a bargaining position here though. We can only really agree or try to run. Fighting would probably not work out well.

[ ] Agree, maybe we can get out of the deal later.
[ ] Make a break for it
- [ ] Ringo, break the door!
- [ ] I'll shoot out the receptionist's window!

Sorry for the delay, hopefully things will get back to business as usual after this, since I should be on a well defined schedule.
>> No. 26781
[x] ...we'll take the offer... if we end up with no other choice!
[x] Make a break for it
-[x] Ringo, break the door!
>> No. 26783
[X] Agree, maybe we can get out of the deal later.

This is a tough choice. There's no telling if Eirin might just give our rabbit protagonist some deadly medications or not.
>> No. 26784
[X] Make a break for it
- [X] Ringo, break the door!
- [X] I'll shoot out the receptionist's window!

Why not both? If Ringo's strength hasn't increased enough to break the door down yet perhaps the window plan will work and vice versa. Also forcing people to test new drugs under duress is a very bad thing Eirin.
>> No. 26785
[X] Agree, maybe we can get out of the deal later.

Running away from Eirin sounds like a really bad idea, because like more than half of her spellcards are based around trapping you in place. And then she'll kill us like the rest.
>> No. 26786
[X] Make a break for it
- [X] Ringo, break the door!
- [X] I'll shoot out the receptionist's window!

Action!
>> No. 26787
[X] Make a break for it
- [X] Ringo, break the door!
- [X] I'll shoot out the receptionist's window!

Templates are forbidden Eirin. You should know better.
>> No. 26788
[X] Disagree and negotiate.

We may buy time, Chang'e help us.
>> No. 26789
[X] Agree, maybe we can get out of the deal later.
There's no point in running, we'd just die tired.
>> No. 26790
[x] Agree, maybe we can get out of the deal later.

We either die now, or maybe die later. I'm willing to stake my chances on later.
>> No. 26791
[X] Make a break for it
- [X] Ringo, break the door!

Never trust Eirin's shady new drug. Those templates exist for a reason.
>> No. 26792
>Sorry for the delay, hopefully things will get back to business as usual after this, since I should be on a well defined schedule.

Okay I was wrong about this. Update will be tomorrow, then schedule should be settled.
>> No. 26793
Way too late, but my vote is still
[X] Disagree and negotiate.
>> No. 26794
File 146673444293.png - (1.47MB, 868x1227, Harder than Kaguya.png) [iqdb]
26794
[X] Make a break for it
- [X] Ringo, break the door!
- [X] I'll shoot out the receptionist's window!

Okay, I could go with my gut here, but I feel like it still hasn't recovered from all the panic. If I was going with my gut, it would tell me to do whatever the big scary lady wants to help me get through this situation alive. My brain is protesting that pretty heavily though. The idea of letting someone mess with my memories makes me uncomfortable. I know it wouldn't really matter in the end because I wouldn't end up remembering it, but that doesn't make it better to me right now.

So I need to get out of here. Well, not just me, there are three other rabbits in here, and I have a feeling that they all probably feel the same way about this deal. I can't imagine any of them liking it if I don't. We all need to get out of here together then. We can do that, we just have to coordinate an escape.

I think coordinating anything would be easier if I wasn't being stared down right now though. I don't exactly want to turn away to look at the others. I guess it might be doable if Eirin assumes that I'm just getting their opinions on things, but maybe I shouldn't risk it. I'll just have to lead and hope the others are ready.

I know Chiyo is right next to me. She got down from the table and I think is currently crouched behind it. She's not actually hidden or anything, I think she's just avoiding any sudden movements and letting all of Eirin's attention stay directly on me. Thanks for that Chi.

I don't know how much longer I need to stretch for, but it probably isn't too long. Ringo should be good to go soon, and hopefully she'll have enough strength to force the door open. We're going to be rushed, so I think I'll go for the window at the same time, just to make sure something works. At least, I hope one of the two things will work. Maybe I can stretch a little more just to make sure though.

"I'm uh, not sure I like the idea," I say somewhat reluctantly. Let's just sound like I'm considering it but need convinced. "It just feels a little... Shady?" Okay, even pausing there to think of the right word didn't help. That probably could have come out better.

Eirin seems a little annoyed by my sorta kinda insult. "The theory behind it is perfectly sound," She explains tersely. "The chemicals used shouldn't be able to have any unexpected adverse side-effects anyway. If I wanted to harm you, I wouldn't go about it in such a wasteful and roundabout way."

"I understand that," It's at least true that if she really wanted to kill me at this point, I would probably already be dead. "I wasn't calling you a liar."

"Then please explain what issue you have with the plan." Eirin commands.

Sheesh. It's not unusual for Lunarians to look down on rabbits somewhat, I know that perfectly well, but this is still a little irritating. Maybe I was just getting to used to not dealing with haughty 'pure' people here on Earth. The issue is that I don't like this being pushed on me under threat of bodily harm and/or death! Well, I think that, but I probably shouldn't say it.

Well, I've stalled pretty well, or at least I hope so. I guess it's time to go all in and pray that something works here. Let's go.

"Ringo now!" I suddenly call backwards, whirling around to grab Chiyo by the wrist. As soon as I grab hold of Chiyo, I dive into the hallway, concentrating to activate my powers at the same time.

I can hear a loud snapping noise followed by a slam along with Ringo's (honestly kind of manly) grunt of effort. I assume that's good news, but I'm already committed to what I'm doing. I throw my hammer to the side randomly, feeling it thump against a wall. I don't have time to focus on what I'm getting out of the sea of bullets now crowding my vision, let's just hope it's something powerful enough to work. I pull my hammer back and instantly let whatever bullets I pulled out fly. It's haphazard and pretty dangerous, but I'm rewarded with the sound of glass shattering as I pull Chiyo towards the window.

I'm vaguely aware of Eirin following one of us two groups, but I don't have time to look back and find out what the situation is. I just have to hope that we're fast enough. I jump through the window along with Chiyo, landing in the waiting room.

Chiyo and I scramble to stand up while Ringo and Yuzuki charge through the window. Ringo doesn't even stop to try and open the door out of the waiting room, instead she just crashes through it with her shoulder. I don't know if that was really necessary, this is old Japanese architecture so the walls are made out of paper, but whatever. It works.

As I get up to follow Ringo, I take a split second to glance back. Eirin apparently opted to chase us through the door that Ringo pulled open, rather than the window we broke through. I don't know why she hasn't tried to shoot at us though. Maybe she doesn't want to shoot while indoors? It would probably make a mess of things.

Actually, in that case, maybe it would be easier on us if we went further into the building rather than outside. By the time I think of this though, Chiyo and I are already out the door, with Ringo and Yuzuki already out of the building. I would rather follow them than split up at this point, so I pull Chiyo along outside of the mansion.

As soon as we make it a few steps out of the doorway, I start hearing bullets being fired. Great. Now that we're in the open, Eirin has no reason to not shoot at us, so obviously I'm going to be quickly surrounded by danmaku. My powers are still active too, which compounds the problem. I see a lot more bullets than there actually are, and freeze when I realize I'm not sure which way I should run to get out without getting hit.

"Fly up! Two o'clock, Fifty-five degrees!" Chiyo yells. I follow her instructions immediately, trying to slip through where the bullets are thin.

I manage to make it through the bulk of whatever pattern Eirin created, which is good, but it doesn't solve the problem of being chased. Actually this might be even worse! She can follow us easily up here! I need to dive back down before she starts firing again.

Diving back down means going headfirst into bamboo. I'm not the fastest flyer, but I'm at least fast enough that I can't react to the randomly placed stalks of bamboo. Ow! Some of the smaller ones snap easily, but I keep running into the bigger ones. I think Chiyo is yelling instructions at me but I can't really pay attention. I still need to go deeper, gotta get out of danger!

Oh SHI-!

My vision spins as I crash into a thicket of bamboo that doesn't have nearly enough space to let me through. I tumble around in some direction that's entirely impossible for me to keep track of before coming to a stop face first on the ground. Ow. Owowow. Goddamn everything hurts.

I groan. I kind of want to just lay here, but I know I can't. Okay. Now that I've been forced to stop, let's try to breathe and assess things. I sit up and look around.

We aren't being immediately caught and shot at, so we may have lost Eirin. That was the primary goal I think, so I guess that's one thing accomplished.

I'm bleeding a bit, probably from diving out a broken window. It's not any worse than the last time though, so that can be dealt with when I get back to camp.

My powers are still active, I can just turn them off though.

Only Chiyo is here with me, the others ran a different way. Chiyo seems to be perfectly fine. I was pulling her along the whole time, but I guess she caught herself before crashing into the bunch of bamboo that stopped me.

I don't hear any fighting. I don't know where the others are, so either they got away as well, or they're too far for me to hear.

I get a few groans out of my system as I try to stand up. "I don't suppose you know where the others went." I say to Chiyo, not expecting much.

"Lost sight of them." Chiyo says instantly after I finish speaking. Oh, from the speed of her reply I can tell that she's using her powers as well. That's probably how she knew which way I should fly to get out of Eirin's attack, and how she was able to (unsuccessfully) give me directions while I was flying through the forest. Well, we can always count on Chiyo to step up in clutch situations like this, even if we can't count on me to keep up with her insights.

Well, it's just the two of us. I don't know how long Chiyo will keep herself buffed up. We can either fly out of here, or stay in the forest. There's no real way to know where Eirin is right now, so wherever we go, there's some risk involved. We also have no way of contacting the others to let them know where to meet us.

[ ] Let's get out of the forest and go back to camp. We need to regroup.
[ ] Let's look for the others. They could be in trouble. I don't know what we're going to do if they are though.
[ ] Chiyo was probably aware enough while we were running to know the way back to Eientei. Eirin probably won't be there now, so let's try to investigate some more.

[ ] Fly
[ ] Walk
>> No. 26795
[x] Chiyo was probably aware enough while we were running to know the way back to Eientei. Eirin probably won't be there now, so let's try to investigate some more.
[x] Walk

This is such a dumb idea it must be the right choice!
>> No. 26796
[x] Chiyo was probably aware enough while we were running to know the way back to Eientei. Eirin probably won't be there now, so let's try to investigate some more.
[x] Walk

What the heck. Let's hope Chiyo's luck holds.
>> No. 26797
[x] Chiyo was probably aware enough while we were running to know the way back to Eientei. Eirin probably won't be there now, so let's try to investigate some more.
[x] Walk
>> No. 26798
[X] Let's look for the others. They could be in trouble. I don't know what we're going to do if they are though.
[X] Walk
>> No. 26799
[x] Chiyo was probably aware enough while we were running to know the way back to Eientei. Eirin probably won't be there now, so let's try to investigate some more.
[x] Walk
[x] Disguise yourselves as lunar emmisaries
>> No. 26801
[x] Chiyo was probably aware enough while we were running to know the way back to Eientei. Eirin probably won't be there now, so let's try to investigate some more.
[x] Walk

That sounds like it could backfire horribly, but what the heck.
>> No. 26802
[x] Let's look for the others. They could be in trouble. I don't know what we're going to do if they are though.
[x] Walk

Stop picking dumb choices, she will return to Eientei as soon as she gives up on the search
>> No. 26803
>>26796 here, changing vote to

[x] Let's look for the others. They could be in trouble. I don't know what we're going to do if they are though.
[x] Walk
>> No. 26807
[x] Let's look for the others. They could be in trouble. I don't know what we're going to do if they are though.
[x] Walk

Didn't Eirin have like, security cameras back at her place, so even if she was back she'd just let them snoop around a bit before trapping them again, but without backup this time.
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