- [X] Where are we?
- [X] What happened last night?
- [X] Have you seen Yuzuki?
- [X] Do you have anything that would help with a hangover?
- [X] (I'm too curious to not be nosy) Can you tell me about Yatsuhashi and Sumi?
"Sure, I'd be happy to join if it's not going to be a problem," I respond. If anything I'm just happy to have a chance at a free meal. Even if there's food back at camp, this could be a nice change of pace. Plus, I'm kind of dreading the flight back, considering all the sunlight and wind and ugh... One more thing comes to mind though, so I turn Merlin and Lyrica to bring it up. "Oh, I don't eat meat by the way. If that's a problem you don't have to do anything for me."
"Nooooot a problem! I'll hook you right up!" Merlin calls cheerfully as she hops over to the refrigerator and starts digging through it. I'm not sure how common refrigeration is in Gensokyo, or really how common electricity is for that matter. Should I be acting more impressed than i am right now? Ugh, whatever. My head hurts too much to worry a lot about keeping my cover story up. I doubt I'll do a worse job than whatever I said while I was drunk at least.
"Rare to see a vegetarian youkai though," Lyrica says, seeming to just be making some simple conversation while she continues cooking the whatever she's cooking. I see Kogasa taking a seat at the table, a pleased expression on her face as she clutches her umbrella with both hands and making it bob back and forth in front of her. After a moment, I follow her and grab a seat for myself. I resist the impulse to lay my head down on the table in favor of keeping some conversation going.
"Well, I am a rabbit, so it's not that weird," I feel like that's a decent enough explanation, even if I don't know much about how Earth rabbits do things. Lyrica just shrugs in response, so I guess she agrees. Personally, I'm not as against the idea of eating meat as I think everyone back home would be. It does seem like kind of a strange concept to eat something that used to be able to move around on its own, but I think it's a concept I could eventually get used to. I just haven't given it all that much thought up to this point. I never had a chance to try it before, and I don't really have a compelling reason to do so right now.
"A rabbit youkai," Lyrica emphasizes. What's your point? "Most youkai that I know are at least a little bit carnivorous. If only for the purpose of scaring humans. Not a bad idea to have multiple food sources, especially since I hear you new rabbits were living outside of society up until this point."
Err, I guess she has something of a point. I've mostly been coasting on our original cover story, but if you look too closely at it, there are probably more than a few holes you could poke at. "Well, we managed," I answer vaguely, hoping that Lyrica will accept that as good enough. She gives me a curious look for a moment, but doesn't press the issue, choosing to go back to cooking. Maybe I should move this conversation away from myself sooner rather than later. "We don't exactly have a mansion like this, so maybe we're not that civilised, but we managed," I reiterate after some thought.
"Pshh. Kehehe," Merlin snickers, bent over and leaning into the fridge still. Err, aren't you sticking your butt out a little too far? Maybe I should just focus on Lyrica right now instead... "I don't know if you saw most of it, but this place isn't exactly the picture of high class."
"Well I did notice a couple of places that could use some work," I admit. Pretty much every room that I looked in had some amount of mess somewhere, whether it was from the building or whoever lives in it. "What exactly is up with this place anyway?"
"This is the not so glamorous Prismriver mansion," Lyrica smiles wryly as she answers. "It's, well, technically us three sisters' house right now. The place is a bit of a mess, but well, we've all got busy schedules sooo..."
"Plus, we're poltergeists!" Merlin interrupts happily, standing back up with both arms full of fruit. "It's against our nature to keep things clean. We gotta make some noise and make some messes!"
"Not right now though, please," Lyrica pleads. Merlin is definitely lacking in an inside voice. After bringing a hand up to rub her temple for a moment, Lyrica continues. "Well, that's her excuse anyway, and it's more or less true. Sorry if we're not the best hosts. This whole thing was a little short notice."
"No not at all, it's fine," I assure her, I don't want to be rude. "If anything, I'm glad that we wound up here. Getting drunk like last night could have ended with us in much worse places, I'm sure."
Merlin laughs again as puts everything down on a nearby counter and starts doing... Something. I can't tell, she's facing away from me. "I wanted to have the whole thing here, and that was part of my argument too!" She explains, turning her head toward Lyrica. "Drinking was gonna happen last night regardless, so why not do it somewhere safe instead of the wilderness?"
"It's a meeting, not a house party," Lyrica doesn't turn to face Merlin but still responds to her tersely. "The rooms that are big enough to hold everyone that came last night are already trashed in one way or another, and we don't need to make it worse."
"I told you we should've hired a maid," Merlin says smugly.
"And as the one that takes care of finances, I told you that we can't afford something like that unless we're paying like crap," Lyrica sounds like she's getting a little annoyed, but also like she's had this argument multiple times before. "No human is going to come all the way out to the famed 'ruined western mansion' to work for peanuts. Not to mention how much worse you'd make their job whenever you got rowdy."
"Err, speaking of last night, what exactly happened?" I interject just to try and break this argument up and get us back on topic. I don't feel like they were talking about anything that relevant to me. "Everything gets kind of hazy for me after a certain point."
"Everybody got smashed, what more is there to it?" Lyrica asks bluntly.
I already know that much. "I was kind of hoping for some specifics."
Lyrica finishes up whatever food she's preparing and starts scooping some of it out of her pan and onto some plates. "Well I wasn't there when it all started. We kinda got pulled in after you had already began, so I don't really-"
"Oh! I know, I know!" Kogasa lifts up her umbrella as she interrupts proudly. "Seiran, you ate one of my surprise cupcakes and got a flavor that surprised you!"
I'm a little annoyed by how proud Kogasa seems of what happened. "I definitely remember that," There isn't really any reason why I wouldn't.
"It was a big success, I was really happy that it worked out!" If by 'big success' she means 'the reason I feel horrible right now' then she's probably correct. "Anyway, Suika showed up offered you some of her sake to help your mouth, and after that everybody took it as a cue to start drinking."
"I remember everything you've said so far. It's after that that I need help remembering," I tell Kogasa. "What did we do after that?"
"Uhmmm, lots of stuff," Kogasa answers vaguely. Great, thanks for the help. I guess she got drunk too, so I can't really blame her.
"Hm, lemme think..." Lyrica picks up where Kogasa left off, putting down her utensils to tick things off on her fingers. "Party tricks, tests of strength, drinking contests, made up party games, multiple performances from all the musicians, cards, danmaku..." For every point that Lyrica mentions, Merlin has been adding an 'and drinking' on to it in the background. "Yes Merlin, we get it."
"Uh huh..." Well I can kinda remember bits and pieces of some of those things. It sounds pretty benign, and honestly, I'm a bit sad that I missed some of it. It was probably a lot of fun. "And at some point we decided to move from where the meeting was to here?" I ask.
"Yyyeah," Lyrica cautiously agrees as she brings three plates over to the table. She doesn't put one in front of me so I guess that squishy looking yellow stuff is some kind of meat? I've never seen it before. "It's a little hazy for me at that point too," She admits, sitting down across from me.
"I remember!" Merlin calls out as she finishes up what she's doing. She bounces (
in more than one w-STOP THAT) over to me and sets a tall dessert cup down on the table. It's full a variety of fruits, most of which I don't even recognize. We don't have this kind of variety on the Moon! Let's see, I recognize some sliced up apples, strawberries, oranges, watermelon... I don't know what the rest of the stuff in here actually is.
"Uh, wow... This looks really good," I say honestly. It might not end up being all that filling, but I'm still looking forward to it. "Thank you very much!"
"Don't mention it honey~!" Merlin slides into the chair with the unclaimed food in front of it before continuing. "Anyway, by that point the people that were still sober wanted to go home, and some people were already passed out so they couldn't go home. I figured it was a good idea to come back here, since it was close by and relatively safe."
"Aside from the hole in the ceiling," Lyrica points out between bites. I glance up above me, but she must be talking about somewhere else. Maybe just that hole I saw in the ballroom, although that one was covered up pretty well.
"I did say relatively," Merlin laughs. "So most people agreed and here we are. We played around a bit more, truth or dare happened for a bit, eventually more people started passing out or falling asleep and the party wound down."
"Everybody involved would later wake up with a hangover and a few new regrets," Lyrica finishes the story bluntly.
"I don't know if that's right. Most everything that I saw happen was pretty tame," I'm really glad to hear Merlin say that. "I've been to much wilder parties."
"So I didn't do anything too embarrassing?" I ask, just to double check. I could have done or said anything, but if I managed to go an entire evening without acting stupid, then drunk me might actually be more socially competent than sober me... That's kind of depressing to think about.
Merlin looks at me curiously, concentrating on trying to remember anything. She gives up after a few seconds. "Not that I can remember, although I don't recall lending you those clothes, so maaaaybe..."
Oh, these are hers. That makes some sense now that I think about it. Merlin is wearing pajamas similar to the ones I saw in the room that I found these clothes. I must have been in her room. "Er, no, I had to borrow these this morning," I explain awkwardly. "I apparently slept in the bathtub so..."
"It's fine, you can keep them. You pull it off great! Real cute, double thumbs up!" Merlin smiles widely at me and gives me two thumbs up. That's the second person so far that has seemed to really like me in these clothes. It's a little embarrassing but I'm also kind of happy about it too. Er, am I blushing right now?
"R-right," I talk to get things moving away from my embarrassment. "So do you know where Yuzuki went last night? I've found everybody else in my group this morning but I haven't been able to find her."
"Hm, Yuzuki..." Merlin considers the name but doesn't seem to recognize it. Oh yeah, I guess that Merlin or Lyrica wouldn't really have talked to her much last night.
"Pinkish hair, short ponytail, yukata," I list off what most people would notice pretty quickly about Yuzuki. "Kind of rigid posture?"
"Ah!" Merlin snaps her fingers as she recalls something. "She was one of the sober ones," She declares. "Yeah, she left last night instead of coming here."
That's actually not that surprising. Yuzuki definitely isn't the type to drink, although before last night, I wouldn't call myself that type either, so what do I know? Well, I at least know that Yuzuki wasn't around during what little I can remember of last night, so it's easy to believe that she went home early. She did want to talk to Hina this morning, so she might be doing that right now. "That's like her," I say with a shrug. I pick up a spoon to start eating. "Well, I'm sure she's feeling much better off than the rest of us now."
"But she didn't get Merlin Prismriver's custom fruit salad deluxe, so who's the real winner here?" Merlin asks, spinning her index finger around in circle for a bit before bringing it to a stop pointed at me. "This girl~!"
I can't help but smile at Merlin's enthusiasm. "I don't exactly feel like a winner, but I guess I would feel bad if I missed out the... Experience that last night was," Even if I don't remember most of it. Next time (there's going to be a next time?) I'll have to drink a bit more slowly.
"Yeah, but this kinda stuff happens when you spend a night getting plastered," Lyrica says ruefully, holding her head with one of her hands. "We can't all be masters at it like Merlin," She adds, earning a giggle from Merlin in response.
"Is there some kind of secret to it?" I ask hopefully. Anything that would make my headache hurt a little less would be very welcome. "I have stuff I still want to get done today, so if you could help at all..."
"Pacing yourself and drinking lots of water while drinking is the most important thing, but that doesn't help now, does it?" Merlin sets down her silverware as she lectures me happily. "Well you can still drink lots of water and get lots of rest, but there isn't much you can do now other than suffer through it. A lot of places will try to sell you a hangover cure, but unless it's from Eientei, you're probably just going to get ripped off," She concludes, but then has a second thought and continues. "Well, unless they're selling you more alcohol. Getting drunk again is technically an option."
"Ugh," I feel a little sick at the idea. "I don't think so," I'm not against the idea of drinking ever again, it's just... Not now.
"Darn," Merlin says, not sounding discouraged in the slightest. "I'll go and get you some water then," She decides, getting up from her seat.
There's a few minutes of silence while everyone eats their breakfast. I have to say, I really enjoy a lot of these Earth fruits. I don't know their names and can't think of a subtle way of asking, but I definitely wish I could find and grow some of these things back home. More variety would be really nice.
After an entire breakfast of restraining myself, my curiosity finally reaches a breaking point. "So uh," It might be nosy, but I really want to ask. "You two were around her much more than I was last night, but I heard that Sumi kind of hit it off with someone."
"Oh yeah, that," Lyrica answers me unenthusiastically.
That's not the nicest reaction right there. "Er, it's not a problem, is it?"
"Not really," Lyrica begins, "Yatsu's always been pretty outgoing, so of course when she meets your friend with the... Interesting attitude, the two of them find it easy to talk to each other. Yatsuhashi doesn't really have any friends outside the two bands, and even then she's not in either of them. I think she was just enjoying having somebody new to talk to that doesn't treat her like part of a set."
"Oh, so there wasn't anything uh," How to say this without sounding awkward? "Romantic going on?"
"Not that I know of," Lyrica shrugs.
"Hmmm~? I wouldn't be so sure," Merlin butts in. "Remember how quick she was to help Sumi during that duel?" She asks rhetorically. "And I may have been a bit tipsy myself, but I'm sure I saw them giving each other a few nice looks," She adds.
"Looks?" I'm not sure what she means.
Merlin leans forward over the table, seemingly unbothered at how this pushes her breasts up under her. If anything she seems to encourage it, wiggling a bit in order to expose what little cleavage she can under her pajama top. She looks directly up at me with half-lidded eyes, shaking her hair a bit to make sure none of it is in the way. Her lips twist into a sly little smile as I feel a weird kind of intensity from her stare. I'm... Uhm. My face feels like it's heating up. Is it normal to look hungry like that when you look into somebody's eyes? She definitely looks hungry, but not in a wanting food kind of way. This is, uh... When I finally feel awkward enough that I have to look away, Merlin sits back up as if satisfied. "Looks!" She declares happily.
"I uh. I see," I say, still not looking directly at Merlin. My heart is beating kind of fast right now. Nobody's ever given me those kinds of looks before. I'm simultaneously embarrassed and a little bit thankful for the demonstration.
"Well, it's not our call either way," Lyrica continues as if nothing weird just happened. It was weird, right? How can you just ignore something that got my heart going so fast? "I just hope that Yatsuhashi isn't trying to act out for attention. There have been times when she's purposefully tried to act more mature than she is."
"I don't think anything bad will come of it," Merlin says casually. "It's pretty cute honestly."
"Okay. Well either way, I'll talk to Sumi about it later," I decide out loud.
"What are you planning for the rest of the day then? Just heading back to wherever you're living and sleeping things off?" Merlin asks me.
That honestly does sound really tempting, but I don't think that things will go that well for me. The flight back to camp is already going to be horrible, but after that there's still a lot of stuff that I could and probably should get done today. We're working under a time limit here, so hangover or not, it would be better to get things done as soon as we can. We went to the meeting last night, so that means we can deliver a report to Kanako today at least.
Oh wait, we were still missing some possible info on that. Yuzuki suggested yesterday that we try tracking Sekibanki to see if she has any hidden contacts. Pulling that off might be an issue. Sekibanki is asleep upstairs right now, but if I leave to go get Yuzuki and come back, she might leave while I'm gone. I could try doing the tracking by myself, but I'm not as skilled as Yuzuki and Sumi are.
[ ] Gather the others and go back to camp for a meeting
[ ] Go back to camp, get Yuzuki, come back, and track Sekibanki together
[ ] Don't go back to camp
- [ ] Track Sekibanki alone
- [ ] Wake up Sumi, then track Sekibanki together
- [ ] Rest until the others are up. This hangover is terrible.
- [ ] Do something else
You know what there aren't enough of? Pictures of touhous in pajamas.