"Sure, a test sounds fine to me." "Alright. We'll begin shortly, then."
After she collects a couple books, you begin the test.
"We shall begin then. Now, your primary affinity appears to be..."
"...Uhhh. No, your primary affinity appears to be fire, that's right. Therefore, first of all we'll test your ability to control fire with magic."
She opens up her book and pulls out a small bookmark. After saying an incantation, it turns into a small candle.
"This candle is enchanted to have a water affinity. It will resist being lit on fire to the point where if a constant source of magic or natural flame isn't applied, it will go out instantly. Furthermore, it's considerably harder to actually light with fire magic than a normal candle would be. You are to light the candle using magic and keep the candle lit for five minutes, using only your own magical energy and the ambient energy natural to the universe. This means you cannot use the mana battery for this test."
Goddamn, looks like you got yourself in over your head here. It feels like you're in junior high school and were just told to take a caculus test without a calculator. "...Alright." But it's not like you'll be less over your head the next time you try this, really.
You take a seat and concentrate. You're not quite going to light it on fire until you've got a good idea how much mana you can actually use.
...The mana in your body is a lot higher than it was in the past. Still, you're not sure it's enough to sustain something that you have to actively keep lighting. The ambient magic energy doesn't seem like it's enough, even if you actively draw from it for the beginning.
Well, you could always...
No, I'm not helping.
Alright, a small chunk of energy. Take it, and concentrate on the wick of the candle, and... Fire! ...But it disappears instantly.
You take a moment and attempt to collect your energy back from the surrounding mana, but you aren't able to collect enough. Damn, didn't put enough energy in to keeping it lit.
Alright, let's try a second time.
A chunk of mana and... Fire! Now, quickly continue pushing energy into it to keep the fire going! ...But not too much, you don't want a fireball. That's a waste of energy, and at the same time dangerous.
...Ah! Too much! Decrease the flow, decrea-
...Fuck. Now it's gone again.
"Seventeen seconds." Patchouli gives you the time of your attempt.
...Only seventeen? And it took so much effort, too.
Well, better keep trying.
You spend the next few hours attempting to keep the candle lit. You get various amounts of success. Still, your best time is two minutes and twenty-six seconds, which definitely isn't long enough. It isn't even halfway. Goddamnit. And you're completely drained of any mana now. You can't pull enough ambient mana to even just initially start it.
"It appears you are out of energy. You should practice more. I'll refill your battery. Perhaps you'll be able to pass it tomorrow."
She picks up the candle, turns it back into a bookmark, and slides it back into her book.
"Let me see it."
...For a second you almost take out the wrong thing to show her, but you correct yourself before you make a mistake. She refills the battery, and goes back to reading.
You've got a while until your energy returns, it seems. Even if you tried sucking in the ambient energy, like you had realized before it would take forever to recharge at the rate which you are able to absorb energy at.
...Well, that's a potential thing to try training, when you do so. You'll probably have to choose between that and making your magic its self more efficient, but as it stands it doesn't seem like you're going to be able to. Probably take too long.
...Then again, absorbing energy might take just as long.
But it's probably safer, so it might be a good idea.
>You've got a while until your energy returns, it seems. Even if you tried sucking in the ambient energy, like you had realized before it would take forever to recharge at the rate which you are able to absorb energy at.
>...Well, that's a potential thing to try training, when you do so.
You have a mana battery. It's purpose-built, meant for quickly absorbing and releasing energy. Use the battery to recharge yourself.
Maybe visualizing it would help.
[x] Let's say you have a milkshake, and that is the mana you want to get at. And let's say you have a straw, and that is your battery. You use that straw to drink the milkshake. You drink it up.
Hmm...How to do this. It's obviously made to be able to be refilled. This means it can absorb energy, right?
Let's use the metaphor of a milkshake. Without a spoon or straw, you'll just end up with some form of inconvenience or another trying to consume it. However, with the straw, you can just suck it in.
If you treat the battery as a straw, and the ambient mana as the milkshake...
...You don't really get anywhere. It seems that the battery isn't any better at absorbing energy than yourself. In fact, it seems that the only way to fill the battery is to specifically fill it with your own energy. It doesn't seem like it sucks in any of the ambient energy. Thinking about it, it really does work just the same as an electrical battery in that it just holds a charge that has been put into it by a power source.
After all of this, you realize that it would be cheating on the actual test, anyway. Just because a test is difficult doesn't mean you can ignore the no calculator rule.
[x] Practice making your magic more efficient for the time being. You have a massive pool of mana to burn for the sake of training right now so you can focus on training your absorption abilities later.
Why bother refilling our mana? The battery acts as a secondary power source for us so we're using the same mana no matter if it comes from us or the battery.
[X] Practice making your magic more efficient for the time being. You have a massive pool of mana to burn for the sake of training right now so you can focus on training your absorption abilities later.
>Why bother refilling our mana? The battery acts as a secondary power source for us so we're using the same mana no matter if it comes from us or the battery.
If that were true, we would be allowed to use the battery on the test, which we cannot as Patchouli explicitly stated. The mana used has to come from internal stores or the environment.
Drawing energy from the battery, or casting magic directly from it, are qualitatively different processes, given how inept we are at drawing at the large amount of ambient mana pools that would be available in a library filled with magical tomes.
If you're watering plants but trying to conserve water in the process, you use a watering can, not a garden hose. You might use a garden hose to fill the reservoir of your watering can, but you don't turn the hose on the plants themselves. That would be at best wasteful, and at worst could harm the garden.
>>20903 While I like that you're thinking about it, you're thinking something wrong. Using the battery is the same as using your energy and the same as using the surrounding mana. It just has more. She was testing you on your magical ability, which includes using energy efficiently. With the amount of energy in the battery, you could hold it for 5 minutes with no problem, and it would take too much just sitting there to give you a time period in which it is similar to using your own energy. Using your metaphor, the mana battery is like a giant tank that you usually fill your watering can with. You can water a garden just fine if you attach a hose with the right attachment to the tank, and the tank comes with said attachments. Using the ambient mana would be like letting your plants get their water with rain, which works well in places with lots of rain but shitty in places with no rain.
Basically, using mana is the same no matter where it came from.
I'd rather correct these misconceptions outside of the story than inside because it's a lot easier, and it'd be strange for John to suddenly realize how what he's been doing for a while works when it'd be quite obvious from using it and it'd really sound forced if someone else talked about it. I hate it when an author writes a character explaining something that the rest of the characters already know just because the readers don't. It just doesn't seem realistic. If you're telling someone to read a certain CYOA on the site, and they've already read a couple so they know how voting works, you don't explain to them "The writer writes an post, and then the readers decide what action or actions they want the character to take next and post their vote. After a given amount of time or votes, the writer writes the next update following whatever option had the most votes." You wouldn't do that, would you? No.
>>20911 >I'd rather correct these misconceptions outside of the story than inside because it's a lot easier, and it'd be strange for John to suddenly realize how what he's been doing for a while works when it'd be quite obvious from using it and it'd really sound forced if someone else talked about it.
Basically you'd prefer to explain things afterward, because you're inept at writing narrative. It's not something you have to hide; we've all noticed the relative paucity of detail, and while it doesn't add much to the read (as opposed to, for example, lighthouse, where unreliable narrative is an important part of the work), it's okay; in fact, a lot of us have the same problem. However, we usually don't tend to be proud of the fact.
>I hate it when an author writes a character explaining something that the rest of the characters already know just because the readers don't. It just doesn't seem realistic.
Of course it's tricky to use dialogue to reveal important information in certain contexts. But there's that allegory about the man who has only a hammer.
>If you're telling someone to read a certain CYOA on the site, and they've already read a couple so they know how voting works, you don't explain to them "The writer writes an post, and then the readers decide what action or actions they want the character to take next and post their vote. After a given amount of time or votes, the writer writes the next update following whatever option had the most votes." You wouldn't do that, would you? No.
[x] Practice making your magic more efficient for the time being. You have a massive pool of mana to burn for the sake of training right now so you can focus on training your absorption abilities later.
[x] Practice making your magic more efficient for the time being. You have a massive pool of mana to burn for the sake of training right now so you can focus on training your absorption abilities later.
Alright, screw this. You've got a massive tank of mana to practice efficiency with, and you're going to do just that.
A few hours later and your mana battery is out of juice. Near the end there, it felt like you got as efficient as you're going to get for quite some time, and you've become better able to actually control the size of the flame you're producing. Not just efficiency, but you've managed to get better at controlling how much energy you're actually pushing out, getting closer to being able to stay on the sweet spot that's similar to 14.7:1 for combustion engines. Of course, you're still wobbling all over the place with it. It's just that now you know where it is and can at least try to get in the ballpark, even though you rarely manage that. You also suspect that this "sweet spot" will change on you for every different situation; you can't see it not taking more mana to keep a forest lit than a small candle. Still, you know where it is for the candle. Or, at least, the one you've been practicing with. You can start there and work up for the one in the test.
Well, your battery's out of juice now. And practicing magic has become tedious, at least when you're just doing the same damn thing for hours.
Jerl said he needs to rework out all of the planning he did for this because he didn't lay it out properly so he can't remember what certain things were and so he has to spend some time fixing that. He should be back to work on this once his other story finishes.
HOLY FUCK IT'S BEEN A LONG TIME SINCE THIS UPDATED --- You decide to spend some time trying to find books to increase your magic efficiency. After checking the nearby shelves with no luck, you track down one of the fairy maids flying all over the place and ask for her help. She's unhelpful, but in the process of following her, you find Koakuma, who's a bit more helpful. You find a beginner-level book on increasing mana efficiency, and begin to read it.
...Well, it was SUPPOSED to be beginner level. It's assuming you have more control over exactly how much mana you actively use than you actually do. It seems like learning to be more efficient requires learning to control it better.
Haah, this sucks. You're all out of usable mana. All you have is the slight amount that's regenerated since you stopped using it, and that's such a miniscule amount that it's not even worth mentioning. Where is it that Patchouli gets all of her mana from?
Ah. That's something you've overlooked. Perhaps instead of trying to learn to use your mana more efficienty, you should try and expand how much you can have. You can think of a number of ways to do that, but you can't do them right now since you are absolutely out of mana. For now, reading the book actually seems like a pretty good idea. Even if you can't actually do what it requires you to, you'll at least know how, and you'll at least be able to TRY to.
After a few hours of reading the book, which is quite in-depth for a beginner-level one, you begin to grow tired. At first, you just ignore it. Sleep's less important than studying, an attitude you've had since slacking off and doing your school assignments right before going to sleep on the night before they're due. Still, the sleepiness eventually overcomes you, and you catch yourself as your head touches the table. There's no way you can keep reading at this point, so you've got to go to bed.
During the walk to your room, you gradually start feeling less and less drowsy. The activity of walking is waking you up bit by bit, and when you finally get to your room, you don't feel tired at all. Well, you'll still probably fall asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow, but you could still try doing something.
Oh, you haven't eaten dinner, it seems.
[ ] Go find something to eat. Preferably not something that'll still be squirming in your stomach 10 minutes later this time. [ ] Read. (specify) [ ] Find Shouko. [ ] Sleep.
Obviously, you're going to find Shouko. You're not sure what for, but you're going to do it. Leaving the books on your bed, you leave in search of her.
Which room was hers? You can't remember. Or, did you know in the first place? You can't remember that either. It feels like you've forgotten a lot of things. What's happened the past few days is a blur. It's probably because Jerl hasn't updated in so long, he forgot everything and hasn't re-read it all yet. In any case, all you remember is the most important details of what happened.
You decide to track down a maid to ask. However, there's none around. Either they're all asleep, which you doubt, or there is some sort of prank being set up, which you don't doubt. In any case, you can't find a single one to ask to help. You're going to need to do this on your own, it seems.
[ ] Systematically check all of the guest rooms. [ ] Check outside. [ ] Write-in.
>>24591 She attempted to, I remember that much. Hard to remember correctly after all this time. We can cross the bridge of what to do with her once we find her though. We already know doing anything bad to her is just going to end in failure though until we master magic a bit better though so it might be civil.
Since votes tied, I went with the one that happened first. --- Right, when in doubt, you need to follow your head. You don't need magic to do that, after all. You just need to channel your inner pervert. That should lead you right to her.
Oh, you're actually going to rely on me? How surprising. Don't blame me if things don't go how you want, though.
Suddenly, everything goes black. And then, the image of looking through a haystack for a needle. It's a needle very important to you that you have lost. You're not sure yourself yet how important it is to you, but you want to have it onhand at all times just because. It's a long hard search, and it almost seems like you have to go through the pile again and again until you find it.
You finally find the needle. Actually, it was sitting just off from the heystack Well, now that you've found it, it's time to thread it-
No, no no no no no stop it Pe that's enough.
The real, non-metaphorical world once again enters your vision, and you find Shouko staring up at the waxing gibbous moon hanging in the sky. It doesn't seem like she's noticed you, but then, with her, you never know. It could be a trap, after all.
"Hey." you say, to get her attention. She turns her head to look at you. "Oh, hi." She returns her gaze back to the moon almost as soon as she identifies who you are. It's almost like she's entranced, staring up at the moon. You look up at it yourself for a bit. The cool, bright light from it calms you down, taking your mind off of all the various conflicts you've become entangled in.
"You know," she speaks without removing her gaze from the shining moon, "I've been thinking about how much I've changed."
"Changed?" You haven't noticed anything different. Then again, you've known her only for a few days.
"Yeah. You know, when you first met me... What you probably thought of me was probably pretty accurate."
"I was a weak, starving, malicious youkai who hunted in the forest for any person who got lost. It was the only way I could survive. All of the humans were too scared of me to let me come close, and none of the youkai wanted anything to do with someone as barbaric as me. The only people I knew were others like me, and it was all a massive fight for who could capture and eat the latest idiot the quickest."
She looks away from the moon, straight into your eyes.
"And then I met you. Simple pray that shouldn't have even been able to wake up from my sleeping dart. Yet, with mere human strength, and cleverness you'd expect anyone to have, you overpowered me and turned me into the victim. After that, I really hated you. And I was angry. Very angry. Angry enough that I couldn't think of anything but killing you, and only you. And then, I don't know what happened." She looks back at the moon. "I just know that I'm not me anymore. And that's why I have to-"
Your body moves on its own to dodge the needle thrust straight for your heart. You reach out and grab her wrist. You push her up against the wall to prevent her from trying again.
"Stop! I need to, so that I can be me again!" Tears run down her face as she cries.
"The only Shouko is the Shouko I know." This is what you feel, and there's no way you're wrong. "But-" she begins to object. However, you already know she's wrong.
So you silence her before she gets to say it.
Her lips feel soft and warm, and very, very good, against yours. When your lips touch hers, her resistance fades away.
You hold the kiss for what feels like hours, but was probably only seconds, before she pushes you away and runs off, tears still streaming down her face. Honestly, you're not sure yourself what just happened, and she's probably not in a good state of mind right now. It's kinda worrying, though, given how melancholy she sounded earlier. You don't know what she's going to do if left alone, and given how much of a difference this is from her normal self, it's concerning.
Your first thought is to follow her, but by the time you've gotten up from being pushed down she's already gone from your sight. You don't think you'd be able to find her again, either. Still, you have to at least try.
The dining room. No Shouko. The living room. No Shouko. Restrooms. All either empty or occupied by someone else. Guest rooms. Every single one of them is empty. Basement. There's only Flandre. Luckily she was asleep. You think she'd have done something to distract your search.
She's not anywhere in the mansion. And since it's night time, it's probably rather unsafe to go looking for her beyond the mansion.
With a sigh, you give up. You wish you could have found her, you really do, but that's impossible. All that's left to do is sleep.
Even though the burns are completely healed, the pain just won't go away. There's no way a mere powerless human could have defeated her. So why was it that the next thing she remembers after pointing her parasol at him was waking up with singed clothing?
It pisses her off. More than anything else in the world, it pisses her off. A mere human even thinking about damaging her would set her off in a fit of rage that would only calm down when all that's left of their body was ash. But this guy actually succeeded. It's a hit not only to her body, but to her pride.
There's no way she's just going to let that be.
She'll kill anyone that gets in her way, without exception.
You wake up. It's still fairly early in the morning, which seems strange. It felt like you went to bed pretty late last night. It also feels like you did right now, as you feel really, really tired. So why are you waking up this early? The obvious answer is the girl sitting right on top of your chest, making it impossible to breathe properly.
"Hey, wake up already. It's almost breakfast."
"Ugh, I can't breathe. Flandre, you should stop sitting on my chest."
"Oh, you're awake! We need to hurry down to the dining room. Breakfast is going to be delicious today!"
"Alright, but I can't hurry unless you get off first."
She climbs off of your chest, then takes off out of your room, running noisily through the hallway and down the stairs.
You rub your eyes. You really do still feel tired. It was really late that you went to bed last night.
Looking at the clock that's been set on your night stand, it's about 8:30 in the morning. Entirely too early to wake up on a day without work, considering you didn't go to bed early or anything like that.
When you get to the dining room, it seems perfectly ordinary. It relieves you a little when Shouko greets you like usual. Breakfast goes fairly normally. The way she's acting right now is as if last night never happened.
The memory of her soft lips...
A flash of black. It was only for an instant, and nothing happened. But it's probably not a good idea to think about that right now.
Given that it's morning, the only people present are yourself, Shouko, Sakuya, Patchouli, and Flandre. Apparently Flandre doesn't really mind the sunlight, but Remilia doesn't like it much at all, so she usually sleeps during the day. The past few days have apparently been exceptions, since lots of things were happening.
Eventually, everyone finishes eating and goes off to do their own thing, leaving only yourself and Shouko.
Yuuka is downright pissed off at us now that she's back up and running, and it can't hurt to polish up on the magic we wanted to learn to further our ability to flirt with Shouko lest she decide to crank the tsun.
> "The only Shouko is the Shouko I know." This is what you feel, and there's no way you're wrong. >"But-" she begins to object. However, you already know she's wrong.
Anonymous! Master of romance! Sultan of Seduction! Slayer of Tsun!
After that little stunt, I doubt she's going to be very receptive of anything we have to say. It seems that the possibility of Shouko liking us scares her (Though it would be hilarious if it turned out to be something else), and forcing the subject will likely make things worse. Besides, with the ways she switches personalities, she may be completely apathetic, or utterly forgot what happened last night. Or she could try to kill us in our sleep.
Maybe I'm over thinking it. Meh.
Either way, with Yuka coming, learning some more magic would be a good idea. If we do say anything to Shouko as a writ-in, we should keep it short.
A morning greeting would probably be the best thing to do in this situation. Even if we're alone, it isn't exactly a private area so she might not be as receptive to a talk between us compared to somewhere more secure. That and we need to make sure while Shouko works out her tsundere issues as we continue to flirt with her, we can actually overcome anything she might throw at us.
Now with more spellcheck. --- Oh right, I prefixed with scene numbers. Last update started chapter 3, by the way. Scenes 04, 05, 06, 07 --- You need to continue studying magic. First of all, it's rather interesting to learn how to use the stuff. And then, it seems somewhat required for this world. You don't want to run into someone uberh4x powerful without being able to at least survive the fight. Right now you'd probably need to go insane for that to happen, and that never turns out well. You usually end up even more nuts normally afterwards. And now that your energy has all returned, it's the perfect time to practice the efficiency methods that the book taught you.
However, there's one problem with that plan. And that is...
She seems normal right now. Then again, with her, you never know. She's an enigma. With Mokou, the moods were distinctly different. However, with Shouko, you really can't tell anything.
Well, might as well greet her before leaving.
Hi. You're not busy, right?"
Well, um, actually, I was about to go practice magic-"
You're not? Great! Let's go, I'm bored!"
But I need to practice magic. I don't like dying that much, you know."
She stares at you blankly for a moment.
Booooring. Gah, I guess I'll look around the library for something to read then. I wanted to do something fun."
The words "do something fun" put a nice, but probably incorrect, image in your mind.
Shouko leaves, taking the same path to the library as you take. There's no conversation on the way there, and she soon separates from you when you enter inside.
Sitting down at one of the tables, you pull out your three bookmarks. The book on mana efficiency is still in your room, so you flag down a fairy maid and ask them to bring it to you. That probably isn't going to work, but it was worth a try. Instead, you're just going to practice for now. You don't need a book at the moment.
You close your eyes. Right now, you need to concentrate with all your mind. You're not going to try lighting a fire in this condition. You're just one step away from slipping into a self-hypnotized trance, so you don't imagine stopping Py from taking over would be very easy. Instead, you create an electric arc between your fingers. It hurts a bit, given that it's electricity, but you made it weak enough not to really do anything serious.
Focus. That's what you need.
Focusing more concisely, you control exactly how much mana is used for the electricity. For electricity, the golden ratio of mana isn't as important for magic, so it's a little easier to practice with. With enough practice, you manage to shave off a little bit of the mana use for maintaining the arc by not using mana in places where it's useless. It's still nothing compared to what the book was telling you to do, but at least maintaining the arc isn't as stressful.
By the time you finished, you've drained only a little bit of your mana. Small enough that by the time you get your battery refilled, you should have absorbed most of it back already.
Thinking about it, it feels like your capacity did increase by a little bit, but not by much. At this rate, it'll take forever to have a decent amount. This just makes you appreciate even more how old some of the people you've met are, even if they don't look it.
"Do you want to try taking the test again?" Patchouli asks when she looks up from her book. You'd been standing there for a few minutes already, but you didn't want to interrupt her.
"Not right now. I was just wondering if you'd mind filling my battery up again."
"Sure, but you're going to need to pay me back for all of these recharges somehow."
"I'll think of something." You don't really know what you can give or do for her in exchange, though.
Right, now you have all of the energy you'll need. And since the battery's full, you should use it instead of your own mana.
First thing's first, the idea you had last night. Pulling a bit of the energy from the battery, you try and force it into your internal tank. Up until the tank is to its usual full level, it goes in just fine, but then it starts to feel like trying to fill up an air compressor with only your lungs. You are able to force a little bit in, but you're not sure it'll stay, or that it'll expand your capacity any. It was worth the try.
The rest of the battery gets spent on fire. You take out the candle and just practice lighting it over and over, using less and less mana each time. You don't manage to shave off much usage this way, but you do notice that the more you use, the more effective it seems to be. Like, if you used five units of energy once, it'd be the equivalent of using six and a half units six and a half times. This doesn't really help you much, though, since you'd need to use a lot of energy for this to do anything useful.
In the end, you just practice efficiency more. This time with fire. You don't make much progress, but just a little bit of difference is leaps and bounds as far as you're concerned. You're learning to use magic! Anything about it seems fucking amazing.
Eventually the battery runs out. Instead of bothering Patchouli again for another refill, you decide just to use your own mana. It's still too soon to take the test. You don't think it'd be very successful. When this store runs out, which is fairly quickly comparatively, you decide to just stop.
"Hey, that's where you are. I was wondering where you went to." Shouko wanders into the clearing thing with timing that seems like was done intentionally to annoy you. "Oh, it looks like you're finishing up. Let's go do something. I'm bored."
"Like what?" You're still not sure you're ready to trust her after her reaction.
"Just come!" She grabs you by the wrist, leaving you no choice. Flying up into the air, she leaves the library through an already-existent hole in a window. They should fix that up; it's probably a bit dangerous.
Eventually you land in the large field, not very far from where you originally entered Gensokyo, actually. It still seems pretty boring out here though, so you don't know what she has planned.
"I'm going to teach you to fight?"
"What? Teach me to fight?"
"Yeah. All those times you beat me were flukes, I'm sure of it. So if you're going to be living here, you're going to need to learn how to survive against youkai. So I'm going to teach you. Just go stand over there, we'll start with dodging."
"...Alight, but why did you suddenly feel the need to do this?"
"The answer should be obvious, shouldn't it? It's because I care too much about you to let you die."
She says something that would be pretty embarrassing for you to say without even changing her expression any. You really don't understand this girl.
"Alright, I'll go easy on you. I'll start with a simple expanding concentric circle spread, and we'll move up from there. Ready?"
"Uh, I guess."
Four rings of needles form around her and start moving straight outwards. If you were closer to her, they'd be rather difficult to dodge, but fortunately, you're quite a ways away. This is easier than dodgeball.
"Think sharp!" She shouts as she shoots one at you at high speed. You barely manage to dodge it without running into other needles. Thinking about it, this is less dense even than the ice Cirno used. Given the level of power others have told you she has, you're fairly sure you'd go down easily against most people using danmaku.
This continues for a while, Shouko slowly increasing the intensity. By the end, it gets really difficult to dodge the needles, and you get hit lots of times. You'll have bruises later on, you're certain of it.
"Alright, that's enough. Now you try attacking me."
"But I can't. When I tried before, it just fizzled out." Then again, that was a while ago.
"Eh? But I've seen you use fire magic before. I don't care if you use real things or not, just attack me with whatever."
Yeah, attacking her with whatever would be nice, but you don't think she'd agree with that particular idea.
"Alright, I'll give it a try then."
You focus really hard. You don't want to use too much mana on just these fires. They don’t' need to be very intense either, so you can just make a bunch of weak ones-
"Oh, trying to teach him how to use danmaku? But that's a pretty useless idea."
A voice from behind snaps your concentration. That voice...
The image of a burning candle flashes in your mind.
That's definitely Yuuka's voice.
"After all, he's going to die either way."
Everything freezes. None of the voices in your head know how to react. The normal ones are all cowering in fear underneath the tables, and the three who can move are franticly debating what the fuck to do.
Regardless of that, you feel an intense... It's a pretty similar feeling to when Shouko attacked you. You didn't notice it then, but now that you're more sensitive to changes in energy, you can tell exactly what it is. It's a debilitating intent to kill.
Its pressure is paralyzing. You feel that you're going to die right now. There's simply nothing to do to stop it, so your body won't move. You can't move at all, so...
[x] Close your eyes, turn to face Yuuka, and start singing. [x] "I don't want to set the world on fire..." [x] Begin to channel some fire. [x] "I just want to start a flame in your heart..." [x] Put your fire where Yuuka's heart should be. [x] "In my heart, I have but one desire..." [x] Begin to generate all the fire you can. [x] "And that is you..." [x] Send all of it at Yuuka. [x] "ON FIRE!" [x] Snap your fingers as your flames explode on Yuuka, consuming her body.
If you want to burn something, you might as well act out the accompanying crazy too.
Wow I updated it twice in one day, and with updates this big. ---
Scenes 7, 10 --- You can't move.
The extreme pressure coming from the monster walking up behind you freezes every muscle in your body, removing all control from you.
Surely that's why she's attacking you right now. She must have a vendetta against you after you burned her.
Didn't she learn her lesson the first time?
One can't play with fire and not get burned.
So why is she...
Vision fades. All that remains is the blazing inferno, everywhere, everything burning hot hot fire it's bright burning headache
She watches as the idiot in front of her completely calmly turns around and faces the monster that she's too terrified to do anything to.
"Oh, the candle burnt out. What a shame." He says something incomprehensible to himself while boredly looking at the woman in front of him.
No, this isn't the same person who was there just before. It's a completely different person, just disguising its self as the person she knows.
"You. Die. Right now." The monster raises her parasol and points it at him.
Stealing his body as if it were its own, manifesting its own will with enough force to rival the monster in front of it.
"Hmm, this always was something that was intended for me, wasn't it?" He pulls something out of his pocket, but she can't tell what it was from her angle.
She's seen something similar happen before. When she first met him. Almost again when she next met him. At Yumou's house. He's become something different altogether, something distinctly not "John."
Whoosh. A loud sound, the sound of the surrounding air running away in the face of the attack that this monster is going to deliver. Energy starts collecting at the tip of her weapon, to be used for the most devastating attack imaginable.
Only this is different from then. It's another entirely separate person, different from the other two.
"SOLAR SPARK!" she shouts at the top of her lungs, while the guideline for the massive wall of light that is about to blow the entire area away forms.
This amazing power, which is still just a fraction of the power that she knows he has. It's terrible. Horrifying. Debilitating.
"How do I use this again? Oh, right." it holds up the card. "Forbidden Sign 「Blaze of Life」." As soon s the spellcard is declared, the world distorts.
She can only watch in horror as a battle on a scale that shouldn't ever happen happens right in front of her eyes.
Heat. Intense heat. Two more guidelines form, facing the opposite direction.
She has to leave, but she can't. She can't even move. Paralysis from the first monster is struggling to hold back the fear of the flames of the second monster that urges her to move, run, get as far away as possible.
"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!" the monster screams as her attack fires.
Pain. The pain of the conflict's constant stress on her mind and her body. It's like an adamantine-tipped jackhammer being used to break a plate of adamantine metal.
"Burn." The other monster calmly commands as his attack fires.
Her body gives up, causing her to fall to her knees. All energy drains, and she passes out.
It's a crushing defeat. Just a single one of the monster’s dual attacks is large enough to overpower the opposing power, and there are two of them. On top of that, it's really dense. Instead of the expected magical energy that one would normally use in an energy beam of this sort, it's just pure, white-hot fire, hotter than a blast furnace. Nothing could survive the attack. The pure energy needed for such an attack is insane, and the magic knowledge required to even use it should be well above anyone currently Gensokyo. Yet, it used it as if it were nothing.
When you wake up, you're in...it feels like a futon.
Sitting up, you find that you've been moved to Yumou's house.
"What happened?" You've got no clue, but you're glad you're still alive.
"You went too far, that's what happened." Yumou says as she walks into the room with a tray of food. She sets it down on your lap. It's some kind of soup, and some kind of tea. Without trying them, you wouldn't be able to identify them. Unfortunately, you don't feel hungry or thirsty right now. "This is exactly what I was afraid of happening, one of them doing something outrageous like that while in control. Well, it shouldn't happen again. It looks like it used up almost all of its energy on that, so until it's back to full capacity, it shouldn't be able to do any more magic than you can do."
What's this about "it" and "them"?
"What're you talking about, Yumou?"
"Right, you probably haven't realized it yourself. You're actually five people."
What? That doesn't make sense.
"Well, to explain it similarly to how a psychologist would... According to psychoanalysts, the personality is made up of 3 parts: the ego, the superego, and the id. You happen to have five ids. Alternatively, you could say that you have dissociative identity disorder. Except your other personalities are youkai."
"..." You don't even know what the hell to say about that.
"Well, I don't think there's anything more I can tell you. Shouko's waiting in the living room, so whenever you're ready. Later."
Well, before anything, you want to see if you can visit the room in your head. You want to look and see what the voices are up to and such. You don't really know how to do this, but you try anyway. The best method you can think of is self-hypnosis. You remember reading something about hypnosis before. It's supposed to be turning your thoughts in on themselves, or something like that. You don't really know how it works, but you know some methods. You start concentrating on your thoughts. First it seems like it's just one voice, since you don't pay attention to all the other ones telling you things. You only notice the result of it, the loudest voice in your head that is the actual decision you've reached. Then you notice the voices before that. "This piece of evidence says do this." "This other piece of evidence says do this." "You, the first one, you're more correct so we'll go with you." The next step is identifying what all the voices are. Logic. Anger. Fear. Instinct. Desires. Fire. Compassion. Guilt. Perversion-
They all sit in their various chairs. Looking at it more closely, it seems a lot more like a congress meeting. Of course, there's the four who don't sit in proper seats, but who instead do whatever they want. They have their own chairs that are generally sat in front of everyone else, where the chair would sit in a congress debate. Three of them seem lively, while the fourth seems almost dead. Of the three awake, two seem rather commanding. The one called Pe has an outstanding aura of power. Py gives the impression of someone who's wore himself out temporarily, leaving him not very powerful. At this same level of power as the worn out Py, A seems to be a mediator. The type to actually be the chair in a congress meeting, though perhaps too lenient.
The rest are debating like usual. The four abnormal ones don't appear to be doing anything special.
"Well, now that Py's weakened, all we have to worry about is Pe, and he doesn't seem like he's going to do anything for a while."
"Yeah, we can function sanely for the time being. By the way, who's this A person who woke up recently? They haven't done anything yet, so I can't tell what might happen."
"Well, all that matters is that we won't be getting burnt up any time soon-"
"Hey, just because I ran out of mana doesn't mean I can't light you on fire. I still have my lighter, you know." Py glares with killing intent at the voice that said that.
The debate continues, following various subjects. Basically, you deciding opinions on things. Usually some minute detail, like whether you're in the mood for lasagna right now. You don't gain much from this, other than seeing how the place functions. You still don't know anything about this A character, though.
You watch him. He doesn't seem like he plans on doing anything. It seems like he has nothing to do at all. So you decide to talk to him.
"Hey." You speak to the separate personality. "What's your story?"
"I'm affection. I like affectionate things and dislike conflicts. I'm supposed to be here to keep the other three in line, but I'm too weak to do anything. I can only make them slightly weaker."
Keep the others in check? That sounds like a good thing.
"By the way, you don't hug people enough." The voice tells you. "You should hug everyone you see, and ruffle their hair. That'll make the whole world a better place."
"...Right." You think you'll ignore him for a bit. Doing that might get you killed here.
Bang bang bang.
The sound of a door being knocked on.
"You should wake up, right now. There's someone at the door to go hug." The voice tells you. You decide to ignore the last part of what he said and just wake up.
Bang bang bang.
"Hey John," Yumou yells from the kitchen, "Mind getting that? Shouko and I are busy."
Might as well.
You walk across the house, place your hand on the doorknob, and open the door.
"Hello." You greet the person on the other side, a person you haven't seen in a while. "How's it going?" You know that letting her in won't be a good idea.
"What the hell are you doing here? Are you an idiot or something? Whatever, just get out of my way." Reimu shoves you out of the way and forces herself into the house.
"Hey, idiot. Where is she? I need to talk to her about something." She pulls a few needles out of her mikosleeves. A different type of needles from Shouko's, which seem more like darts. These that Reimu are using are more like knives, intended to kill the target with wounds instead of poison. They're longer and wider, and seem like they'd do more damage on impact. Of course, it's obvious that she intends to use these to impale Yumou, and perhaps Shouko as well. You don't want that happening, since they're your friends.
"Reimu, knock it off. You don't need to talk to anyone."
She glares at you.
"What the hell are you talking about? She's responsible for random attacks on the human village by large groups of fairies. We're lucky no one's been killed yet."
"Out of my way." She blows you off and begins to search the house on her own. As if driven by instinct, the first place she decides to check is the kitchen.
"Hey, we need to talk."
"Damn, we were just about to eat breakfast. Looks like that's going to have to wait." Yumou complains.
Reimu disappears in a flash of green.
"Looks like we're going to have to split up again, and I'm going to have to disappear for a bit. I'll leave you two back at the mansion."
Your vision flashes green, and you're in front of the mansion. A second later, Shouko appears in front of you.
Something tells you that she was terrified. You don't know what the hell happened, but you can't shake the feeling. It's like she broke though the wall that is multiple personalities.
Of course, it makes you feel bad. She shouldn't have to go through that as often as you make her. How many times? When you met her. When you met her again. Last night. And now this morning. Four times you've effectively broken her mind, and you haven't really apologized for any of them. In fact, you did quite the opposite and blamed her for the first two.
...Well, the first one was partially her fault. But the second one, you really did go too far. And with the other two, it's entirely your fault. You can't let that go without an appology, like you've been letting happen. There's no way, you won't stand for it.
"Hey, Shouko," You reach out to give her a hug. "I'm so-"
And recieve an elbow in your forehead. You let go and reel in pain. You're prolly going to get a headache from that.
"Oh, sorry. Reflex. It's your fault, though." She calmly tells you as if she didn't just nearly give you a concussion. Or maybe she did, fuck.
When you look up, she's got that usual smile that she wears when messing with you. Gah, it's irritating. Always irritating, she's always irritating. But that's why you-
"Hey, what were you going to say? I didn't catch any of it." Oh, right. You were going to apologize for breaking her mind four times.
"This is a little bit late, but... I'd like to apologize for being so mean to you at times."
"Huh? Being mean? I don't get it."
"All the times I've left you in mental anguish. Even if the first started as your fault, it was my fault I went as far as I did. And all the times after that were my fault as well. So I have to apologize."
"Times after that..? I don't know what you're talking about." You don't know whether she's being bitter and sarcastic, forgetful, or uncaring, but it seems like she genuinely has no idea what you're talking about.
"Like, uh, last night. You ran off crying and everything." Especially last night, since you know exactly what happened.
"Huh? No, I was just having an identity crisis for a bit there. I'm fine now, so don't worry about that. Hey, I'm bored. Let's go do something."
"That's not all. This morning. I just somehow know you were really frightened. I can't stand knowing that."
"Oh, that's alright. It's not your fault afterall, it wasn't you anyway. I wouldn't get mad at an arrow that hit me, I'd get mad at the person who shot it. But in this case, it's more like getting mad at the bow that shot something that was going to kill me, so getting mad it would be pretty nuts, wouldn't it?"
"Hey, what's wrong? You look confused. Did you think I cared, or something dumb like that?"
"Let's go do something. I'm really bored."
...Right, looks like all you can do right now is go along with her. You don't have anything planned, anyway, so you-
[ ] Suggest something to do. (specify) [ ] Write-in.
You decide to walk around the mansion and talk some. Finding out about the day-to-day life would be good, even if at this point it seems you're going to just get less and less involved in it. Either way, you should to talk to people. There's also that problem of being bored yourself, though you're not sure it'll satisfy Shouko's boredom requirements. Usually those require some sort of pain on your part, it seems.
Well, there's only a few interesting places to go. The library, to talk to Patchouli; the basement, to talk to Flandre, and Remilia's room, to talk to Remilia. You don't really feel in the mood for any more danmaku today, and you don't feel like interrupting Patchouli with whatever she may be doing, so the obvious person to talk to would be Remilia.
"Well, I'm going to go talk to Remilia about stuff."
You leave, Shouko follows. Well, it's not like there's really anything better to do than that, at least from what you understand about Shouko's interests.
Knock, knock, knock.
The large door swings open. Sakuya greets you.
"It's John, Lady Remilia."
"Well, of course, let him in. No reason to refuse a guest company."
Sakuya steps out of the way and motions to the small table that Remilia is sitting at. You and Shouko each take seats. Sakuya flickers, a tray with two tea cups and saucers appearing in her hands. She sets them down in front of each of you, and pours you each a cup.
It's a deep red tea. Rooiboos, maybe? You don't want to consider the alternative, so you'll go with that. Yeah.
"So what brings you to my room, John? Is everything here to your tastes?"
"It's going fairly well. I'm learning magic, the food's delicious, and the company's quite great. I just wish I were around more to enjoy it." It's Shouko's fault that you aren't, but you don't feel like blaming her for something. She might decide to poke you.
"I see. So I take it you're just here to socialize?"
So socialize you do. It seems like Shouko gets somewhat bored with just talking, but you don't mind. In fact, you like hearing some of Remilia's stories, or some of the rumors she has to tell about people. Sakuya's eyebrows twitch when she mentions the common rumor of her wearing pads, but when Remilia denies that a perfect maid would ever have a use for such a thing, her usually seemingly forced smile gains some warmth.
"Oh, right! I said I'd give you something if you learned magic. Sakuya told me all about that fight you got in earlier, so I got really impressed. Instead of the cheap toy I was going to give you, I'm going to give you something actually nice. Sakuya, you know where it's at, right?"
"Yes, mistress. Shall I retrieve it?"
Sakuya bows and flickers, with a squareish box appearing in her hands. She sets the box down on the table. When she opens it up, you're somewhat surprised.
Inside is a rather shiny silver M1911. There are intricate pattersns that look like some sort of magic seal are etched onto the surface in gold. When you pull the slide back, you find that it's not actually gold inside. It appears as if some sort of process made the metal fade between silver and the usual steel you'd expect. Slightly reassuring, since you're not sure how silver'd hold up to actual use in a firearm. Then again, using this to shoot something would be a retarded thing to do, sorta like using an ancient heirloom ceremonial dagger to whittle a twig into slivers. Maybe if it was the only way to survive, but... Really now, a .45 prolly won't do a damn thing to most youkai.
"Do you like it? It's a special gift a friend of mine from the outside world prepared as a parting gift when I came to Gensokyo. That magic seal turns any bullet shot out of it into a faith-based weapon that can actually hurt any youkai shot with it."
That's fairly impressive, and it's just making the thing worth more and more.
"I can't possibly take this." This thing's too valuable. You feel like a theif for even touching it.
"No, no. I don't need it for anything, and I'm sure you'd find it more useful than me. I wouldn't know how to use it, and I have my Gungnir anyway. Take it, there's nothing to be ashamed of."
"If you insist..." You reach out and pick up the gun again to examine it more. When you release the magazine, you find it to be absolutely empty.
"Oh, right. He also gave me some silver bullets to go with it, but I locked those up somewhere in the basement. I've forgotten where. I hope you understand, I really don't like silver bullets sitting around." Well, she is a vampire. Even if it's not particularly a weakness, which you have no clue of either way, it's still something intended as one, and therefore something that'd be snapped up by anyone that wanted to hurt her.
"Thank you very much, Remilia. I don't really deserve a gift this magnificent, but it would be rude to refuse a gift that has been insisted upon.
A yawn escapes Remilia's lips.
"Oh, it looks like pushing myself to meet the schedule of my guest has taken its toll. I'm sorry, but I must sleep. I'll see you again at dinner."
You and Shouko leave the room, of course.
"That was pretty boring. Let's do something more fun this time." Shouko sounds slightly irritated.
You decide to explore the dungeons. You can't really think about anything better to do. Of course, Pe's telling to to engage in bedtop sports for indoor types with Shouko right here, right now, without even bothering with a bed, but you toss that idea right out. The other ideas you had were pranking the fairy maids, which you don't think would work well, and going outside to visit with Meiling. However, every time you've met her so far, she's been asleep, and you don't want to wake her up. You'd rather not sabotage your balls.
"Well, let's go explore the dungeon. We might find the silver bullets Remilia hid."
"Alright, but dungeons are boring unless something jumps out at you."
The two of you head down to the dungeons. You choose to use the trapdoor you found before. Oddly, the walls have all been rearranged, and you have no idea where you are anymore. Of course, this makes it less boring, since you have to think about it some.
You suddenly stop. Why? Because you heard something from a connecting hallway a little further down. Something that sounded suspiciously like flesh getting torn from bone, or what you assume that to sound like anyway. That's not the only noises you hear, though; you hear some noises that sound like a combination of a pig and a dog.
The candles suddenly blow out, leaving you in total darkness.
It is dark. You are likely to get eaten by a grue. Or at least whatever the fuck it was you were hearing.
[ ] Shouko can handle this. [ ] MIGHT MAKES LIGHT, AND YOU'RE FEELING MIGHTY [ ] Someone like you can do anything in the dark.
Well, you need to see. Whatever that thing was, it's probably dangerous, and you don't want to not see it when it's about to close its jaws on your face. But it's not like you have a flashlight. So, of course, the obvious answer is magic.
Concentrating your mana, you start a small fire, similar to the one you lit when you went underground. It's just a little flame that floats around you, casting dull lighting on the area.
...Except that it goes out. Not like the candles, where they blew out. The flame went out on its own, when your mana supply became too small to keep the flame going. It probably has something to do with whatever happened while Py was in control.
So you reach for the next best option for getting some light when you're knocked over by something big, heavy, and snarling. You can't see shit, but you know you're fucked if-
The giant thing squeals and jumps off of you. The hallway suddenly lights up with the blinding flashes of danmaku being fired by Shouko at the thing. Apparently, there's also some real needles mixed in with the fake ones, since there's quite a few that are staying after they struck, causing bleeding. When she stops shooting, the light from the danmaku disappears, and you almost instantly hear a splat. The sound of wet blood hitting the ground. And then it's silent.
Earlier was a close call. She almost got caught by Reimu. That won't do. If she gets stopped at this point, everything will have been for nothing. And if it all suddenly ended like that, he'd probably be forced to go back to the outside world, and it's certain that the girl he was with wouldn't like that. In fact, she may start an incident herself because of it, but you're certain that she'd just get shot down and die.
It's fortunate, then, that she got away so easily. For all the youkai extermination Reimu does, it doesn't seem like she's used to people just disappearing out of thin air. She managed to disappear into the forest, where she pulled together a strike force. Two hundred fairies, all armed with the assault rifles she acquired, are standing in formation at the base of the mountain. There's also the howitzer cannon, which will be used to start the initial attack. Of course, it'd be too greedy to try and take the whole mountain, so she's just going to conquer the kappa for now. It'll probably be a lot easier to do that and use them when she attacks higher up the mountain.
She's been slacking off recently. Mainly due to that guy. However, with that girl with him, she doesn't have to worry about him at all.
"Start the attack," she directs the fairies manning the howitzer.
As suddenly as they went out, the candles suddenly relight themselves, revealing the scene in front of you. The monster, which looks like some grotesque cross between a dog and a pig, is full of needles, just like a pincussion. Shouko's jammed one of the longer ones through its skull with her hands, and it's lying there limp.
"Oh, this thing's pretty dangerous. He could have killed you in an instant if I wasn't there to help."
"Yeah." No argument there. Though, you get the feeling it'd have gone better if you hadn't tried so hard to brighten the place up.
"You know what this means, right? You owe me even more now. So, let's go do something fun. This is still boring."
"Almost everything we've done today you've called boring. What exactly is it that you want to do?"
"I don't know. You pick something."
[ ] Go do something in the town. [ ] The shrine. You should annoy Reimu. [ ] Write-in.
>>24763 Reimu's pissed and associates both Shouku and John with Yumou more than likely. She can't do anything bad to us, but what's to stop her from doing something to Shouko in an attempt to draw her out? The shrine goes far beyond being a bad idea.
We can always get them later. Our primary worry is currently burned to a crisp for the time being. For now, we have more important things to do, like go around the village and offer candy to children with promises of more later.
I'd have updated a little earlier if my weight training class didn't leave me so tired. --- Well, if nothing in the mansion's going to entertain her, the only option is to head out. The only place you can think of to go is the human village. You could go to Eientei, or you could go to bug Reimu, but both of those seem like bad ideas. Just suddenly showing up at a place you got kicked out of only a couple days ago might not be the brightest idea around, and you're not sure how Reimu'll react to you bugging her. It's probably pretty stressful, and the fact that Shouko'd be with you... You have no idea how she'll react. She seemed pretty anti-youkai when she told you off about bring Cirno to her shrine on that first day, so someone like Shouko who actually ate people might be risky. There's also the possibility that she'll flat out attack you. Well, you don't really think she'll hurt you, since you're apparently slowing Yumou down in some way you can't fathom, but it's a different story for Shouko. ...Well, to be honest, you don't think she'd kill her or anything. But it just plain seems like a dumb idea.
So that leaves the village. To be honest, it's not that bad of an idea. There's lots of things to do there, and there'll undoubtedly be something Shouko will enjoy. If all else fails, you could take her drinking at a bar or something. Though, you wouldn't put it past her to start a barfight. She's very capricious, obviously. She probably needs to be watched over by you as much as you do by her.
Well, in any case, it's where you're going. You ought to get a move on.
"Well, let's go then." You begin walking back out from the dungeon.
The dungeon was a little bit difficult to get out of. You got lost, and attacked by a few freakshow things like before, but this time Shouko just killed them before they had a chance to attack you. She seems to be getting stronger and stronger. She's definitely a lot more accurate with those needles than the first time she actually threw them at you, and they seem to be hitting with a lot more force. The ones that actually miss end up sunk deep in the brick of the walls. When you see this, you can't help but be thankful for the fact that you're on good terms with her now.
In any case, you're outside now, walking in the late afternoon sun. Looking at your shadow, you'd estimate the time to be around 5 o'clock. Man, time sure ran away from you today. Being put in a coma for a bit didn't help much.
The sunlight is starting to dim. It's still bright, but you can tell that it's getting later and later. Your shadows are starting to lengthen, and the forest seems really dark in the distance.
"Ehh, I guess walking's a decent choice. You can relax, while at the same time being a little bit active. It's nice for thinking too." Strange, you didn't really think that just the walking part would satisfy her. Well, then again, her moods always seem strange. The only time when you know for sure what she's thinking is when she's trying to kill you in a fit of rage. That hasn't happened in a while, even including last night. Last night, she didn't really seem angry or enraged or anything. She just seemed very very sad.
"I like walking, myself." It's true. The odd thing is, though, you never really liked it much before coming to Gensokyo. Well, in the outside world, even if you don't have something to do right then, you're stuck to a schedule. You need to get the things you want done before a certain time so that you'll be rested enough to go to work in the morning. On the weekends, you have to be sure not to stay up TOO late, or falling asleep on Sunday won't work and you'll be too tired to function. Even on long holidays, you can't let your sleep fall too far off course or you'll have to do something drastic to get it back on course. And if you don't have a job? Television shows come on at certain times, so unless you have a DVR you need to fit their schedule. People you may talk to on the internet have their own schedule, and late late at night videogame servers tend to empty a bit. Oh, and job interviews generally don't happen late at night. So, since you're in such a rush, walking feels like a drag. It's too slow, you take forever to get where you're going. Even though you don't have a car, you avoided walking as much as you could in favor of riding a bus. It's really a shame, because walking is so calming. You get to actually think. The same way you may think while showering or taking a shit. The kind of thinking that actually gets things done, that helps you make life decisions.
"Hey, where are we going?" Shouko looks at you with an expression that seems calm. You also feel rather calm right now, come to think of it.
"The human village. I thought there might be something to do there."
"Oh, I see." She doesn't seem particularly pleased or displeased by the plan. She just keeps walking, with a carefree expression that you'd only expect from someone like Shouko.
Come to think of it, this is the first time you've gotten to have a real good look at her. All the other times, she's been trying to kill you, or else trying to hurt you in some way, or you were insane and seeing a metaphoric hallucination instead. You're thankful for the opportunity. Right now, with the sun shining on her face, and with her serene expression, she looks truly beautiful.
"Hmm? What is it?" She turns to look back at you.
You've finally made it to the human village. The forest was rather annoying to walk through. It was dark and cold. Shouko didn't really seem affected by it. This is probably how she lived every day before she met you. You can definitely tell that she's not wearing a bra, though.
In any case, the village is starting to empty. Fewer shops are open that you know would be earlier in the day, and many of the stalls in the square are empty. The number of people walking around is still significant, but it's definitely less than earlier in the day. Most of them appear to be people who are headed to a butcher or a baker for the last ingredient for dinner that they forgot to buy, or else people who just got off work. You do notice a commotion in a corner of the square. You can't quite tell what's going on from here, but there's a bunch of people gathered. You're slightly curious as to what's going on, but you're not sure if you want to check it out. You definitely ought to do something, though.
You choose to-
[ ] See what that commotion's all about. [ ] Find a bar and have a nice drink. [ ] Windowshopping sounds nice.
While you're curious as to what's going on over there, you'd rather not risk it. You've gotten in enough trouble today as it is without getting involved in some street fight. And you know you would have if you went there, since Shouko would have forced you to participate. You're sure of it.
This just means that going to a bar for a drink is an obvious choice. You know Shouko enjoyed drinking when the two of you did it with Yumou a couple days ago.
"Let's find a bar. I'm sure there's one around here somewhere."
"Ehh? But I wanted to see what was going on over there."
"It's probably nothing. Come on, let's go." You begin walking in some random direction.
"...Okay, I guess."
The two of you begin wandering through the town. As you cross the square, you notice people you pass by pointing at the two of you and murmuring. Shouko either doesn't notice or doesn't care.
After about a half hour of wandering around the toun, you eventually find a suitable bar. The people inside seem fairly normal, farm workers and salesmen stopping in for an after-work drink. When they notice Shouko, most of them seem to distance themselves. It's probably because she's a youkai. You'd be cautious too, to be honest. The only person besides you who doesn't seem bothered by her is the bartender, who is quite obviously a youkai herself. It's pretty obvious with those wings and pink hair.
As the two of you drink, you notice people continuously giving you strange looks. You're unsure what they mean, and you don't care enough to call them on it. If you've got time to pick fights at a bar, spend it drinking another beer. In any case, Shouko seems a lot less bored. She's been asking you things about the outside world the whole time.
"Hey, Myschii. Bathroom. Where is it?"
"It's over there~" The bartender points towards a door opposite the entrance door.
"Alright, thanks." As Shouko gets up and walks in that direction, you hear Myschii murmuring something about even people she doesn't know using that nickname.
As soon as Shouko's out of the room, a guy who was previously sticking to the opposite wall approaches you.
"Hey, isn't she that one from the forest around the shrine?"
"That girl you're with, isn't she that trap youkai?"
"Uh, I guess." You don't know what he's getting at.
"Are you crazy? Isn't she supposed to be one of those antisocial types that just kills anyone she runs into? Bringing her into the town is a pretty dumb idea."
"Really? Doesn't seem like it to me."
"I'm telling you man, your life's in danger as long as you're around her. Those youkai who don't care about anything but themselves are nothing but danger."
"Whatever, man." He's just being annoying right now.
"Eh, your funeral." The guy retursn to where he was standing.
Shortly after, Shouko returns and sits down next to you.
"Hey, did I miss anything interesting?" She asks with her ever-smiling face.
"No, not really."
The two of you continue drinking like you were.
It's pretty dark out. The two of you ended up sticking around for dinner. Shouko asked the barmaid to make the two of you some grilled eel, and it was pretty delicious. She told you that she wasn't supposed to cook it at this job, but since you two were the only ones still in the bar at the time, she wasn't worried about getting caught.
In any case, it's really late. You've got to decide what to do about getting some sleep, since you certainly need some.
[ ] Head back to the mansion. [ ] Rent a room. [ ] See if anyone will lend you a room.
You don't think you want to walk all the way back to the mansion in this state. The forest will be pitch black, and you might get attacked. Or you might trip over something and get hurt. You don't know which is more likely, but neither are appealing.
Instead, you decide to rent a room at some hotel here. Remilia's prolly going to dislike it, but you can't help it. Walking all the way back to the mansion would be dumb.
"Hey, Shouko. We should go find a place to sleep for tonight."
"Eh? So early?"
"Early? It's pitch black outside, Shouko. Besides, if I drink any more I'll probably pass out and drown in a pool of my own vomit." That's an exaggeration; you're not really that drunk, but you don't feel like drinking anymore.
"Fine, fine, but you're paying for it."
"As if I ever had a choice. I'm not sure anyone'd give you a room."
"Whatever, let's just go."
After a while trying to find a hotel that'll actually rent rooms out this late, you rent a room. When the lady who checked you in saw Shouko, she gave you a strange look, but didn't say anything about her. It seems like the village has a general distrusting attitude towards her.
When you get into the room, Shouko just passes out onto the bed. And she was the one that didn't want to leave so early.
Even though it's obvious that you want to go to sleep right now, you have a few options.
You don't know where it came from, but you had a sudden temptation to swap clothes with Shouko.
Carefully, so as not to wake her up, you begin remove her clothes. It's almost impossible to stop your libido from running its course when you get her naked, but you somehow hold back. After all, that's not what you're trying to do.
Eventually, after clumbsily fumbling with them, you manage to get them off of her and onto you. Your clothes go on her, and you're finished.
By now you're too tired to do anything more, so you just fall asleep.
"What the hell is this all about?" The red-white miko irritatedly complains at the situation in front of her. Of course, irritation is the default response when you're suddenly surrounded by a large group of Kappa pointing guns at you.
"U-um, Yumou-sama told us not to let any intruders past this point, so..."
"She invaded your mountain just a few hours ago and you're already calling her "-sama?" What the hell is with that?" Reimu's irritation has reached a peak.
"W-well, she offered to give us outside world technology if we obeyed her, so..."
"Gah, whatever. Just get out of my way." The ofuda in Reimu's hands start glowing, and she prepares for a fight.
When you wake up, it's almost afternoon. The clock on the wall says 11:47.
You find Shouko in the kitchen area staring at the empty shelves, where food would normally be kept.
"Hey, what's for breakfast? There's nothing here to eat."
You notice hunger pangs of your own start to hit when she mentions food.
"I dunno. Let me think."
There's a few options available that you can think of.
[ ] Try to return to the mansion in time for lunch. [ ] Find a restaurant to eat at. [ ] Buy ingredients and cook something yourself. (specify)
Okay. The options you can think of are rushing back to the mansion to eat, finding a cafe of some sort, or buying ingredients to cook. given how late it was, and how long it's been since you've eaten, a long walk/run/adrenaline-filled superspeed flight through the air doesn't sound like a great idea, and cooking might take too long. Besides, you're sure someone else's cooking would be better than either yours or Shouko's.
"Let's go find some place to eat."
After a bit of searching, you find a small cafe-ish place. Unfortunately, when you sit down and read the menu, it's all in Japanese. It definitely seems strange that you can read all of those grimoirs and magic books in the mansion's library but not a simple dinner menu. Perhaps those books are enchanted? Whatever it is, the fact that you're unable to read the menu means you can't order anything. You don't know what's being sold, and you don't want to pick some random Japanese dish and find that it's not on the menu.
That being said, the only person who could help you happens to be Shouko, and you're not certain that she'd know how to read it either.
"Hey, Shouko. This might sound a bit strange, but... Do you know how to read Japanese?"
"What the hell kind of question is that?" She looks at you with an irritated expression.
"Well, the truth is, I only know a few random characters, most of which probably aren't in this menu. I speak English on the outside world, after all. So, I was hoping that you could help me read the menu."
"Ehhh- You didn't just assume that I could? I'm hurt. I don't think I'll help you even if I can."
Gah, she's going to be stubborn.
"Shouko, please help me read the menu."
"I dunno, begging won't make up for this hole in my heart."
Eventually she agreed to help you read the menu, but even though she could read the words, she couldn't describe most of the dishes. She really is a youkai who only recently stopped hunter-gathering in the forest, it seems. In the end, you just asked the waitress what they'd recommend and order that. Shouko decided to do the same, though not before asking for roasted human, a request that seemed to put the waitress into distress until you explained that Shouko was joking. You're not really sure if she was, but you had to prevent the waitress from screaming, or else you might not have gotten any food at all. After that, the meal overall went uneventfully. If it weren't for the food she was eating, Shouko probably would have gotten bored. That's one thing to be thankful for, at least; you didn't end up with anything sticking out of you.
The two of you leave the restaurant when you're done, leaving you pretty much until dinner to do whatever you want.
[ ] Look around for something to do. [ ] Go shopping. [ ] Head back to the mansion. [ ] Pay.
You haven't paid for a single thing your whole time in the village. Not at the bar. Not at the hotel. Not at the restaurant. And you know they're somewhat substantial bills.
Fuck, shit. You've got to pay them for their services somehow.
"Shouko, I just realized that we haven't paid for anything."
"Well, we've got to go pay them now.
"Eh- Why? Can't we do that later? Let's go do something fun before we wash people's dishes."
"No, we need to do it right now."
"Fine, you go do that. I'll go find something fun to do." She leaves you and wanders off towards the town square.
Well, the first place you should go is the place that you have the biggest and longest-standing debt, the bar.
Eventually you make your way there. You couldn't quite remember exactly where it was because of the alcohol. You found it, though, so you head inside.
"We're not open yet." A deep male voice comes from behind the counter.
"I'm not here to drink, not this early. Actually, I realized that I managed to walk out last night without paying, so I decided to come and pay off my debt."
"Oh? But the till wasn't down any. Ah, the girl bartending must have paid for it. She tends to do things like that rather than bother with explaining holes in the budget. It's happened twice already, before you came."
"Seriously? I'll have to pay her back for it then. That must have been almost a whole day's pay, given how much Shouko was drinking."
"Haha, you're a good kind of person. But trying to find her would probably be a bad idea whether you do it in the day or night. She's a bird youkai, so she lives in the forest. She's asleep during the day, and at night the other youkai are likely to attack you and eat you alive, so you should probably just wait until another night when she's working here."
"Ehh, I'd like to at least try. Where would I find her?" You're not certain that you'll still be in Gensokyo at the end of today, nevermind the next time somoene's scheduled to work.
"Hmm, well, if you insist. Take the path north out of town. Eventually you'll come across the charred remains of a food stand in the middle of the forest. She's probably still living in there, even if it's useless."
"Alright, thanks. I'll go see if she's by chance awake."
"Hey, come in later for a free drink. I like guys like you."
Well, you've been walking for a while, and you haven't found the-oh, there it is.
Pulled well off the side of the road, a charred black and white ruin...sorta stands. It's being held up by what looks like makeshift supports made out of longish logs.
You reach up to knock on a bit of wood.
"Ugh, who's there? Is that you again Mokou? Just because you found a place to stay when yours go-" Her head pops out of the curtain blocking the inside of the broken stand from view. "Oh, it's you~ Do you need something? I can't quite make you lunch anymore, so~"
"Actually, I just came to pay you back for last night. I walked out without paying, and you paid for me. I didn't want to leave it like that, so-"
"Don't worry about that~ I don't need money~ It's just boring at night with nothing to do~"
"Well, if you insist~ Not today, but you could help me rebuild my stand~ Anyway, I'm going back to sleep~ I'll see you later~"
Her head disappears back behind the curtain.
Well what now? You've still got two more places, but...
Sorry for no updates tonight, instead I had to write a short story for my English class that's due tomorrow. In return, for all of tomorrow, I'll write an update immediately whenever any option hits 3 votes.
The hotel you stayed at. Once again, it took a bit of looking around to find it. When you open the door, the same lady who checked you in last night notices you.
"Ah, you're not with her! I have something I wanted to talk to you about."
"Yeah? If it's about the money I owe you for the room, I'm here to work out some way for me to pay that off."
"No, it's got nothing to do with that. It has to do with that girl. Don't you know who she is?"
"Yeah, she's Shouko. Is there something wrong? Did she do something?"
"She's a youkai, one I know of myself. She... She killed my ex-husband. I was too scared to do it myself, but I have to thank her for that."
"That jerk was cheating on me with some youkai chick! I'd only just found out when I went out to look for him, and I saw her gobbling him up like a rabid beast. I've never felt so thankful to someone in my life. If it weren't for her, I'd have probably killed him myself."
"Uh, you're welcome?" You really don't know what to say about that. That's a pretty absurd story, though you guess it's not that implausible.
"That's why I didn't bother collecting payment for the room. It's on me, as thanks. But just the one night. If I give out too many, my new husband will get angry. I don't like him when he's angry he..." She trails off.
...This conversation is making you rather uncomfortable, so you decide to leave.
"Well, thanks for the room. I'll see you some other time."
You suppose you should look for Shouko. You doubt that she decided to lure some person into an alley for a quick meal.
After looking around for a while, you find her. It's kinda surprising to see, but she's peacefully napping on a bench in the middle of the square. Her chest rises and falls slightly as she breathes, and she's entirely motionless and vulnerable, indicating that she's in a very deep sleep.
[ ] Wake her up. [ ] "Wake her up." [ ] Leave her alone for now.
Like I said last night, for all of today I'll write as soon as there's 3 votes for any option.
Your body starts moving on its own, getting closer.
There's nothing to be afraid of.
Your hand reaches out to touch her smooth face, and-
Black. Darkness. There's nothing happening. No metaphor yet.
No, you're supposed to be the one that does it, not him.
Why does it matter who does it? The result is the same.
But she's yours, not his. Yours.
No one belongs to anyone if they're not forcefully taking control.
No, that has nothing to do with it. You can't let him do it, because you have to be the one to-
Yes, that's right. You have to defile and demoralize everyone.
No, that's not true either.
You slide your hand down her neck. Vision and control fade in and out as you struggle against the internal will that wants to do the same exact thing you're about to do. Up over her breasts, no you have to do it he can't stop it, up her thighs no i'm better at it let me do it no she's mine you can't, into her panties warmth handwarmers gloves no you can't let him, into her-
The second you touch her, a bear trap materializes out of nowhere and clamps down on your arm. The spikes were cut off, so it was just crushing damage, but it hurts like a motherfucker. Reflexively, you pull your hand back.
The second none of your arm is left above her body, a large cage falls from the sky, trapping you inside. It appears to be made out of solid steel, and the bars are quite thick; you can't move this.
"Ugh, what's with all the noise?" Shouko wakes up and drowsily rubs her eyes, looking in your direction blankly.
Her expression changes to a smug look, as if she just won some game. You just lost the game.
"You never learn, do you?" She asks, the tone of her voice indicating that she prefers it that way. "It's more fun like that, though, so that's a good thing." And her words confirm.
"Well, now that you've gloated over giving me blueballs once again, you can let me out of here." you don't like being trapped in a cage. It's not a claustrophobia thing, it's a you-still-haven't-paid-the-restaurant thing.
"I dunno, maybe I'll leave you here, unless you can convince me otherwise." Her expression tells you that she's issuing you a challenge.
"Nope!" She shoots down the idea. "Even if you managed to do that, you'd be getting more out of it than me, so it's not a fair trade."
Damn. You hoped that'd have worked. It was such a good pla-
"Is there a problem here?" A distantly familliar voice comes from someplace behind you. "Fights in the middle of the square are forbidden. Please take this outside of the village." The schoolteacher's voice is rather commanding. It seems like she's the first person you've met in the village who wasn't scared of the girl currently toying with you.
"Ehh- But that's no fun. There's nothing better to do, since the village is so boring when there's nothing going on."
"Boring or not, rules are rules, and you're obligated to abide by them whether you're a human or a youkai." Keine doesn't lose an ounce of the commanding sense of authority surrounding her after being talked back to.
"Who're you to tell me what to do, anyway?" Shouko counters. Knowing her, she's probably trying to pick a fight or something along those lines.
"I'm the guardian of the human village. Regardless, who I am doesn't matter. You have to follow the rules, regardless of who is informing you of them."
"Ehh... You're not the guardian of the village. That's supposed to be some green monster with horns and a tail. Nope, that's not you."
You can see a vein start to pop out of Keine's forehad. It seems like if you don't stop this, there really is going to be a fight. And you'll be unable to dodge any shots that fly in your general direction.
You can't just leave Keine sitting here like this. That'd be pretty bad. Still, you have things left to do. Like paying back the owner of the cafe you ate at.
You left Keine at the school. Some people looked at you oddly carrying her around, but you ignored them- that seems pretty normal for you at this point. Though, you might not want to keep it up forever in case you end up stuck here in Gensokyo. You'd want to be able to get a job at SOME point, right?
The cafe owner immediately recognized you and demanded payment. You told him that that's what you were there for, but that you didn't have any money. You agreed to pay him back by washing all the dishes tonight. He let you be for now, but you'd better not forget to get that done later.
Looking at the shadows on the ground, you roughly estimate that it's around noon by now, though you've never actually learned how to read sundials and the like. You wish you had a watch of some sort. Maybe next time you get a minute outside of Gensokyo, you'll buy one. Or maybe you'll somehow come up with a way to buy one here.
As you think this, suddenly your leg gives out. The muscles lose all strength. It's weird, because they don't feel tired, sore, or anything like that.
You manage to stand up, and the feeling goes away. Just to come back a minute later, this time with a pulsating of your leg losing and regaining control. Your whole leg down, from your pocket-
You reach inside and pull out the note, and it all immediately stops. Goddamn, that was even more annoying than piercing pain.
"You've been requested somewhere. <3"
You feel yourself falling through the floor, and then you're in a strange Japaneseish house. In the center of the room, there's a table, with a few bowls on it. Other than that, it's pretty unremarkable; just an average room with tatami floors and paper walls and doors. Right now, you're alone. Apparently, Shouko hasn't been warped through along with you.
[ ] You've always wanted your very own bowl. [ ] Open the door and attempt to find out where you are.
You're REALLY tempted to take one of the bowls, but you hold yourself back. You've always wanted one of your own, but you can't just steal someone's bowl without asking first. Even then, asking someone if you can take their bowl would be just weird, so you'll have to go buy one yourself. You put that on your mental checklist.
Instead, you decide to figure out exactly where you are. Even though you've got a riddiculously low chance of actually succeeding, it's the thought that counts. Given you've never seen a room quite like this, you have no clue. The two places you've been with japanese-styled rooms wouldn't fit. Eientei's paper walls are rather intricately decorated. Reimu's shrine...doesn't seem quite as dusty. Though, you've only seen her sitting room, and the shrine looked somewhat large, so it could be some disused room somewhere in the back.
When you slide the paper door open, you find what appears to be a village. It seems pretty empty, and all the buildings look as disused as the one you're in. You don't recognize it as being in the human village, and the houses all look older than the ones you've seen there, if that says much. Well, you don't know anything about old Japanese structural designed, so you can't say anything on the subject.
The town is pretty much empty. The only life you can detect other than yourself is a few cats wandering about.
The note vibrates.
"Wait for just a minute. Don't get yourself lost. <3"
Guh, looks like you're stuck waiting here. Might as well just sit down, or something.
Gaining the Kappa's support was a good thing. Having it taken away just a few hours later by a disgruntled miko was a bad thing. It's definitely a good thing, then, that she managed to keep a few kappa on her side that were interested enough in outside world technology to keep around her. In any case, she's got to regroup. Her original base is unusable. The one she'd hoped to acquire is also unusable. The sunflower field of the friend she had asked for help...She's no longer a friend, so that's no good. All that's left is to try and set something up in the forest for now, and to make a plan. Hopefully something that'll prevent a counterattack.
It's been well over a minute. You decided to start counting, after a while. 598. 599. 600-that's ten minutes, plus some time before you started counting.
"Gah, how long does she want me to wait here?" Staring at nothing for any extended period of time is pretty hard on the mind. It's like waiting in line at the DMV, only without the other people waiting in line with you, and without the line actually moving, giving you something to do every few minutes. Basically, it sucks. You're tempted to just leave. If Yukari wants you for something, she can get you when she actually needs you, not ten minutes in advance. Still, just leaving might be a bad idea, since you have no clue where you are. It might be better than just sitting here, though.
[ ] Leave. This is boring. [ ] Stay. Patience is nice. [ ] Write-in.
Okay, being stuck for a whole week because of constantly tied votes is getting pretty riddiculous. If it's still tied by the time I actually get online tomorrow, I'll call for a revote, and the first vote will win.
You're conflicted between randomly wandering around and getting yourself lost, and staying here patiently. In the end, you decide that getting yourself lost is just silly, so you stay.
Another five minutes or so pass before Yukari reappears. She lands foot-first on your face, which might be to be expected, given how she seems dead set on inconveniencing you every single time she can. Even though you can see up her dress, there's an inexplicable hole in space preventing you from seeing anything. Instead SOMETHING is seeing you, with all those eyes.
"Goddamnit, Yukari!" You voice your complaint. One does not just land on people's faces on purpose. The past few days have been fine, since it was only actual enemies that inconvenienced you...Or Shouko. You're not sure why you don't care when it's her doing it. In any case, your sense of annoyance with this whole land returns. Summoning you out of nowhere, letting you sit there for more than fifteen minutes, and then greeting you with a curb stomp? What an annoying bitch. You're tempted to switch off with Pe and let him do whatever the hell he wants. You'd probably die though.
"Sorry, I had to make a few preparations before I could take you there." She insincerely apologizes. You instead parse it as "haha, the monkey can wait for fifteen minutes!"
"You make those BEFORE pulling me through a hole in space to the middle of nowhere."
"Why, calling my house 'the middle of nowhere.' How rude~"
"This isn't your house. If this were your house, it'd be a HOUSE. This is an empty fucking ghost town, and I was staring at the wall for fifteen minutes. You're lucky I didn't just burn it all down in a fit of insanity."
"I guess you're lucky too, then. Oh, but it's time to leave. We'll be late." She pulls a paper fan out of her pocket, and uses it to carve one of those gaps in the air. She steps through, and you follow. This time, you unexpectedly get a normal landing on the ground with your feet pointing down. The only problem is that your feet are submerged in 3-inch deep water at the very edge of the lake.
"Well, let's go." She walks towards the giant mansion sitting on the island, ignoring Meiling's efforts to deny her entry. She simply opens a hole in space when Meiling attempts a flying kick, which ends in a somewhat embarassing unexpected landing on the ground. You follow after Yukari, and Meiling lets you through. She looks kinda annoyed, though. Must be some sort of innate ability on Yukari's part.
"So, it was decided." Remilia puts her cup of tea down. "Since it seems like you can handle yourself now, and you obviously enjoy doing whatever you want, we've decided to release you from my custody." Custody? It's as if they think of you as a child. Well, it is true that it was thought that you'd need protection at first, but you don't really need anything like that now. Except in the case of Yuuka. You've just got to hope that she died when you killed her this time.
"So...What does this mean?"
"You're no longer going to stay here. Oh, but you're free to visit whenever you want. It's just that if you can take care of yourself, I'd rather that than risk getting caught up in the incident."
"Uh-huh." So you're out of a place to stay. This kinda sucks, but you should have seen it coming, with the way Remilia responded to you having disappeared before. Oh well, the way things have been going, you haven't really been staying here anyway.
"So, how have things been going, by the way?" Remilia asks with curiousity.
So you explain what you've been up to for the past few days, leaving out certain sections that you'd rather not tell. They both seem impressed when you tell them about how you apparently vaporized Yuuka. The conversation eventually drew to a close, and Remilia excused herself to go back to sleep. She's apparently trying to switch back to a nocturnal sleep schedule after your presence messed it up. Yukari disappeared, leaving you alone to figure out what to do.
[ ] Gather your stuff and leave. Shouko's probably worried. Maybe. [ ] Visit the library. Maybe you can pass Patchouli's test now. [ ] Write-in. [ ] Burn down the mansion in a fit of insanity.
Jesus christ this is a long update. --- Well, you're no longer living here. This severely cuts down on the amount of time you can spend in the library.
...Not really, since you weren't around much as it is.
In any case, this might be your last opportunity to take Patchouli's test for a while, at least until this mess involving Shouko gets resolved. Who knows, maybe you can pass it this time? ...Haha, wishful thinking if you've ever done any. In any case, it's worth a shot, isn't it? Time to head to the library.
Her plan is about to commence. It's amazing how she can move around so many fairies that are all dressed the same without getting caught, even so close to the enemy's territory. Currently, the shrine is completely surrounded, and Reimu doesn't have a clue. Well, Reimu's not even present, in any case. It'd hardly be an incident without her shrine getting destroyed, though.
"Have you got it aimed yet?" She asks the fairy manning the howitzer next to her.
"And the rest of them?"
The another fairy verifies that they're all ready.
The library doors swing open, and you find yourself in the book maze again. Of course, you've gotten a lot better at navigating it. When you find the area where Patchouli can usually be found reading, it's empty. No Patchouli. You decide to wait for a bit until she gets back.
A few minutes later, she floats across the room, carrying a large book. She drops it on the table with a thump.
"Hello, Patchouli." Announcing your presence, you greet her.
"Ah, John. Can I help you with something?"
"I was hoping to try taking the test again, if you're not too busy."
"I see." She produces a pair of reading glasses from a pocket in her clothes. She needs reading glasses? Well, it's not that surprising, given that she apparently reads all day. "I am busy, but it can wait. Please sit down." She motions to another chair across from the one she's sitting at. After mumbling a short spell, the candle from last time appears on the table.
"The test is the same as last time. You may not use the mana battery for the test, or any other external source of energy other than natural ambient energy. You may begin whenever you are ready."
Right. You decide to take a moment to concentrate, just to see how up to it you are.
...Hmm. Your internal reserve of energy seems to be a bit larger now. Well, that doesn't guarantee success; you were able to continually try for a few hours the first time. Your best time was about two and a half minutes, halfway there. Then again, considering that your first attempt fizzled out almost instantly, and the second one lasted for seventeen seconds, you may be able to succeed this time.
Just to see how well it'll work, you attempt to gather some of the ambient energy and start a small fire with it on your fingertip. You aren't able to do much. It should be possible to do much better than that, though; that fireball you used to light your way through the underground kept its self going on ambient energy. You aren't even sure how it did that, you were just using one of the spells in a book you read.
Still, you try harder. You attempt to pull the amount needed to get a normal flame going for about a second from the ambient source. It feels like trying to suck gum through a straw. After a minute or two of trying, you get a small amount, and light a flame on your fingertip with it.
Hmm. If you just continuously do that, you should at least be able to get a little bit more life out of your internal reserve.
"Alright. I'll start now." It's as good a time as any. You've done what amount to a warm up with your mind, and you're as full of energy as you can get.
...Hmm. He'll probably say no, but...
Do it yourself, you lazy faggot.
Damn. Well, you saw it coming anyway. You should start now.
The candle. Now that you pay attention to it, it's blue, as is the wick. Water-enchanted? That would make sense, then. It was probably too dark to notice the first time, or else you were more concerned with the fire you were trying to start on it. But this time, you're concentrating on its wick. When you think about it, just willing a fire to be there might not be the most efficient way to do it. You concentrate on the wick, and push some of your energy into it. You then use the energy to slowly build a flame, using as little as you can. Hey, it's a lot easier this time! You're not sure why, but you're able to control just how much you push into it if you concentrate harder. Maybe that book helped more than you thought? But still, maintaining concentration is getting a little annoying. Just have to keep slowly, steadily supplying mana to the fire that's there... You're not even concentrating on actually keeping the fire lit, now. It seems to be doing that on its own, as long as you supply it with mana. You can't supply too much or too little, though. It's pretty similar in concept to controlling the fuel output on a welding torch. Too much and it'll just wastefully burn it all away without you gaining much, or even just blow its self out when it gets too high. Too little and it'll be too cold to do anything, or it'll stop burning alltogether.
But controlling it isn't really that easy, still. Even if it's a lot better than last time, it still takes all your concentration to keep yourself from wasting any mana. Eventually you give out, and the flame dies.
"Two minutes, seventeen seconds." With a voice devoid of emotions, she gives you your time. It's better than your last try at least.
"Haaah." You let out a sigh. You're mentally exhausted. It's probably a good idea to take a minute or two to get ready.
That was...Loud. She probably should have stood back before the cannon fired. She forgot that it was essentially a really big version of the already deafening sniper rifle that she likes to use, designed to shoot a much bigger object a longer distance. Of course it'll be loud. Her ears are ringing, and her head feels like it's spinning. She can't afford to just stand there dumbstruck, though; she has to make sure that her attempt succeeded.
She looks through the scope she set up to observe the shrine.
Instead of a shrine, there's a burning mess, and a large crater caused by one of the guns missing its target. She'd intended just to destroy the shrine, since it'd be a lot less work to clean up in the likely event that she ends up failing, but as long as the shrine got blown up, all is good.
The small group of fairies that she'd assigned to watch the place take a hiding position among the wreckage. Of course, the rest are ready to come in and assist as soon as they start shooting. There's also a few snipers, in case it comes to that. She'd rather not be forced to actually kill anyone, though. Maybe it's because she becamse friends with him. Before, she really didn't care too much.
Well, it's time to wait and see what happens.
And you're ready again. You don't quite feel as ready as you first did, but this time you've come up with a plan. You managed to get the fire to keep its self alive automatically, didn't you? It was probably using the same method as you used for that fireball you've used for lighting, only requiring more mana to keep it lit because of the difficulties that come from the candle. This time, you're going to try something similar, only you're going to also automate the process of feeding the fire. You'll leave a pool of mana next to the flame, and instead concentrate on not letting it get empty. It's easier this way, since even if you mess up it won't go out immediately.
"Okay, let's try this again."
It... It worked. It worked pretty damn well. So well that you felt like letting it go for as much time as there was energy for when the five-minute mark had been passed. Six minutes, seven seconds. And you didn't even use a fraction of your energy yet. You're not very tired at all.
"I see. You have learned how to use spells already. That makes it easier." She closes the book she was reading as you were taking the test and looks up at you. "I will teach you magic. However, not right now. As I said, I was in the middle of something, so the lesson will have to wait for another time."
"I see." You're slightly disappointed. You'd hoped she'd start teaching you today, so that you can start getting better immediately. You still want to be able to diffuse Shouko's traps before they blow up in your face. When you think back to earlier today, you feel your hand start to hurt. That thing slammed on them pretty hard, and you can only imagine how much it would have hurt if there were teeth on that trap. You'd probably be without fingers.
"Well, I'll see you later then, Patchouli." Patchouli nods in affirmation as you make your way out of the library.
Well, you've gathered the few books that you didn't get turned into bookmarks, and are now standing in front of the mansion, ready to leave. It kinda feels bad to just walk off with these books, since she only gave you bookmarks for a couple and you never really asked to borrow the rest, but you decide that if it helps you learn better, it's worth being a little untrustworty.
In any case, that leaves you with a dilemma. You've got to get off the island. There's no way in hell you're swimming; by your apparent luck you'll run into some kind of lake youkai who will kidnap you and keep you as a love slave. Part of that sounds good, but the rest of it is what you don't like. You'd rather keep your free will, after all.
So, what'll it be?
[ ] Try to find the boat you crossed over with originally. [ ] Fly. You might as well try. [ ] Ask Meiling how to get across the lake. [ ] Swim.
Well, of course, the doorguard who you first met when you got here. Meiling. You could ask her for directions, right?
The biggest problem, though, is that she's asleep. You have bad memories of waking her up. You're surprise your nuts aren't still hurting from that. This just means you'll have to wake her up without startling her too badly, though.
"Hey, Meiling." You say her name from a few feet away. She doesn't respond at all, so you decide that you need to try harder.
"Meiling, wake up." You move a little closer, but she still doesn't wake up.
"Meiling, someone's breaki-"
OW SHIT FUCK PAIN
...But not as bad as the first time. She missed her aim, by quite an angle, and instead ended up kicking you in the shins. It still hurts like a motherfucker, though.
"...Ahhh! I'm sorry! I was just, uh, meditating, and then I must have..!" She rushes closer, forcibly examining your shin, which has started bleeding slightly. It's not broken, though, thankfully.
Yes, the past few days have been without annoyances such as this, but suddenly today they decided to appear again.
"Is there anything I can help you with?" She asks, a concerned look on her face from her apparently still-present guilt over shinkicking you.
"Yeah. I need to get back across the lake, but I don't know how to fly."
"Ah. Okay, I'll fly you across. Ready?"
"Yeah, I guess." She walks closer, then wraps her arms around you in a firm hold. It doesn't quite feel like a hug, like it has for most of the girls you've flown with. You can still feel her generous breasts pressing against your back, though.
She landed you on the opposite shore of the lake from the mansion, and said her goodbyes, leaving you in your current position. Right now, though, you've got to decide what to do next. You can think of a few places to go.
[ ] Go to the village. Maybe Shouko's worried about you. Maybe. [ ] Try finding Alice's house. She offered to let you stay before, maybe she will again. [ ] You have a sudden urge to go visit the shrine for some reason.
When you first got here, before you had any idea what was going on or how you got here, you found someone who was willing to take you in, even if she seemed a little strange. She's the best hope you have, given that you really don't have any money to rent a place to stay and you don't have a job. You're not even sure you'd be able to easily get a job.
Of course, this does pose a problem: you need to walk through the forest to get there. To either the human village, or to Alice's house. You're probably going to walk to the village first, and then from there get to your final desination, since you don't remember where it is, exactly, just a vague idea of the path to get there.
As you walk, the late-afternoon/early-evening sun beats down on you, feeling hotter than in the middle of the day as it usually does. When you reach the forest, it changes its purpose, instead providing faint lighting to guide you about where you're going. The deeper in you get, the darker the light. When it gets dark enough that you start worrying about tripping over branches, you light one of those self-sustaining fireball things to light your way. It's also keeping you warm, since it's a little chilly in the shade of the forest.
Eventually you make it to the large, almost artificial-looking clearing that houses the human village. Off in the distance, you can see that the sun is soon to go down. What time is it? You can't tell. Having a watch would be nice. Maybe you should buy one?
Ah, there it is. This is the path that Alice took back into the forest. You're into something! And you won't be wandering randomly around a forest with the potential to get lost, either.
The forest in this direction is a lot more...creepy. You can tell with all five of your senses. Er, well, not all of them; you're not chomping down on random mushrooms or anything like that. You're not THAT insane, yet. In any case, it's darker, and there's a lot more exotic flora. You swear you've seen a pair of eyes looking at you in the corner of your vision, but when you turned to look there was nothing there.
You keep moving along. It's not entirely silent, but enough to be somewhat unnerving. The occasional call from a bird, or hoot of an owl, tells you that there's definitely things out there. Another pair of eyes staring at you that aren't really there, and some twigs snapping in the distance. If you didn't know better, you'd think that you were being followed by some kind of mons-
Think about where you are.
A nearby twig snaps rather loudly. Something's nearby.
"I've got you~" A voice from behind startles you, and you quickly turn around to the source. "What a wonderful chance, to eat an actual human! Maybe they'll let me take a bigger portion, since I found you." The girl grins, revealing vicious canine teeth. She has gray and white hair and golden eyes that glow faintly in the shade.
Oh, just so everyone knows, I have no problems with updating multiple times in one day. The faster an option hits a majority past the vote limit, the sooner I update. Just putting that out there for anyone who reads but doesn't vote.
"Hey, hey, over here!" She shouts off into the forest. You hear movement, and then the yellow eyes surrounding like like like
...Not a time to be scared. Fear's telling you to, but logic is telling you to fight, and arrogance is telling you that these are a bunch of nothings that you can take down without even thinking. Without even letting him take over.
You can't do anything without me.
No, more like you can't do anything without me. After all, we're one and the same.
What? No we aren't.
He keeps saying something, but you flat out ignore him. You'll listen to him when he's helpful.
The eyes in the folliage suddenly move forward. They've charged at you. You'd hate to say you've stolen her specialty, but...right into your trap.
The first one. A male with a savage, rabid appearance even worse than when you first met Shouko.
It's slightly difficult to bend it into place. You can't figure out why they made a twist tie this difficult to bend. In any case, you force it, and it finally makes it. His movement stops when his back breaks as you force him to felate himself.
Another one, you can't tell the gender by appearance, but by scent you can tell it's female. The final stitch goes in, and the clothing is repaired. She begins bleeding profusely, unable to attack back from the pain due to the chain running through her digestive tract from mouth to anus, and from the damage caused by the spike on the tip.
Another male. You keep your eye on the ball and swing, hitting a home run. there's now a bloody mess where his testicles were, caused by the strong blow from your whip. You finish the job with a swift stab straight through the skull with your folding knife.
Teeth dig into your arm as a particularly crafty one snuck behind you and attacked you during a weak moment.
Lack of combat experience is showing there man.
The youkai bursts into flames, causing it to futily attempt to run away.
Hey, this is my fight. Oh, let me borrow your ability for a second.
Pistons going in and out, in and out, are what keeps a vehicle moving. The fuel tank slowly drains a bit with each thrust, but it definitely keeps the wheels going. He falls over dead, a crisply burnt mess that was anally violated with a large dildo made of white-hot fire.
All that remains is your prize, the one you were aiming for.
She attempts to escape, but the ropes binding her prevent that pretty easily.
"You were planning on eating me, weren't you?" You taunt the girl. "But you're the more delicious one." Meat tenderizer, make the meat softer for consumption. She cries out in agony as the whip leaves a bloody welt. Holding yourself back, of course, because you don't want her to just die like this.
"Oh, it's already quite soft." An expression not too different from Shouko's, the second time you-wait, did that even happen? You remember getting killed for it, but...
"Hmm, let's keep going." Her skirt got in the way, so you tore it. The panties too, they're a burning pile of cotton a few feet away. They got on your nerves.
"As expected, you don't shave down here." You firly grip the pubic hair. "Let's fix that problem." You pull on it, and it all comes out, along with small bits of skin. There's agonized screaming and bleeding, but that's not your concern. Your clothes are out of the way, not destroyed since they help later on, and you're pushing against the tight entrance. She's young, her appearance suggesting eight years old if she were human. You don't know how old that makes her as a youkai, but that doesn't really matter. Her small size just makes your penis harder. You'd never get an opportunity to do something like this with a girl this young-looking outside of Gensokyo- you might like this place afterall, even with all the pain it's caused you. You push forward and slip right into your hot bath. It's quite relaxing. Really hot, in a way that soothes your muscles. It just overall feels really good. You don't want to climb out until the water cools. Just...relaxing. Ahhhh, this feels really nice. The water's red, though, for some reason.
Eventually you start to feel pruny, though, so you decide it's time to climb out.
She's still resisting. Trying her hardest to break the ropes. They start to fray a little, but you just use more of them, making them tighter this time. It seems like she's having trouble breathing.
...You're done here. It's a mess. You've got blood all over yourself. You'll need to clean yourself up before you can even TRY getting a place to stay. Unfortunately, you don't know of anywhere you can clean yourself up at. Except... Yeah, no one's probably there right now. Or, you could head to Reimu's place. You think she'd let you take a bath if you tell her that the blood is from getting in a fight with a youkai.
Of course, you could try the lake, but you'd be easy to spot there.
[ ] Yumou's house. [ ] The shrine. [ ] Lake option.
>>25567 Do remember that the more we use them, the stronger they get (and the more we get closer to going insane, but eh. Who cares about that?). We nuked the fuck out of Yuuka when we last used fire on her, remember?
...Yeah, Reimu's your best choice. You just need to hope that she'll believe you. And that you can get there without being attacked.
It's quite a long walk to get to where you want to go. Given how dark it is, you'll probably just end up staying the night there anyway. Of course, you'll make your way to Alice's place afterwards, but for now this is the best option.
The path is pretty much empty. Any youkai that might have been there must have avoided you. Perhaps they smelled the blood or something. Whatever it is, you're left unscathed.
"What the hell..?" You arrive at the shrine, ready to frantically search your pockets for something to donate, but when you reach the top of the steps...
The whole shrine is just GONE. There's a crater from something that looks like a bomb off to the side, and the main building looks like it's been blown to bits. Pretty much the only thing remaining unscathed is the donation box. ...Did she put some sort of protection spell on only it? She must love that damn box.
Hmm, but. She either isn't home, or she's... But surely she isn't, because...well, you can't give any logic to that notion, but you just think that it wouldn't be right if Reimu like this, so she has to be alive somewhere.
In any case, you can't find her. There's a few things you can do for now.
[ ] Leave, go somewhere else. -[ ] Yumou's house. -[ ] Lake option. [ ] Wait for Reimu to get back. [ ] Search the area for clues.
You're going to look around the place, try and figure out what happened. Thinking logically, it was most likely Yumou that did this, though you can't be certain.
Well, let's get looking, then.
When you examined the rubble from the shrine, there was a lot of what seemed like shrapnel stuck in places. The immediately surrounding area didn't have anything notable about it, just a bunch of chunks of whatever that came from the shrine when it apparently exploded. Some of the surrounding trees have little bits and pieces of shrapnel stuck in them, especially the ones closer to the crater.
Moving further out from the shrine, you start concentric circles of searching through the forest. Beyond the shrine, though, nothing much seems out of place.
Except the fairy frantically trying to hide behind a tree while at the same time pointing a gun at you.
The sight is more "D'awww" inducing than alarming.
[ ] Greet the fairy. [ ] "Greet" the fairy. [ ] Get out of there.
"Hey, I see you." You call out to the fairy, who lets out a surprised yelp, and then hesitantly removes herself from hiding.
"I-I-I was told not to shoot you, s-so..." She sounds embarassed and shy, furthering the d'awwwwwness of the situation. You have a faint urge to ruffle her hair, but you shake it off.
"Gee, I sure hope so. I'm glad that Yumou and I really are friends."
"Ah...Um...AH!" She hold one of her tiny hands over her ear and closes her eyes. "She said to take you to her." She lowers the muzzle of her rifle to the ground, letting out a sigh of relief. You can imagine it being a bit tough to hold up a fullsized rifle when you're the size of a large china doll. You can still feel her staring at the bloodstains on your clothes, though.
"Well, let's go then!" She begins floating through the forest.
After a few minutes, she stops in front of a howitzer cannon. Even though you've been shelled by them before, it's still a shock to see one here in Gensokyo.
"Oh, John! My intel said that- what the HELL happened!?" Yumou's cheery, smily greeting gets interrupted by a concerned interrogative tone, as she rushes over and forcefully investigates your arms, where most of the blood is.
"I just got in a bit of a fight on the way here, that's all. I didn't get hurt, except, ah, I think my shoulder got bitten. I wasn't paying attention too much during the fight."
She lets out a sigh of relief. "Well, in any case, I heard about you getting more or less kicked out of the mansion. Have you found a place to stay?"
"Well, no, not really."
"Hmm... You could stay at my house until everything's simmered down."
"Sure. There should be enough food for a few weeks, at least, if you don't mind instant ramen and plain ri-"
The sound of an explosion in the distance.
"Ah, damnit. She must have gotten to one of the guns. We're going to have to disappear now. Later, John."
Your vision turns green, and you find yourself in the center of the village square.
There's another, commotion in the same place as yesterday's. Is it some sort of event?
[ ] Find Shouko. -[ ] Wander around town. -[ ] Search a specific place (specify) [ ] Find out what's going on.
You're curious about whatever's that crowd is crowding about. As such, you decide to go and check it out.
"Anyone else? Come on, I know not ALL of you humans are pussies!" a female voice comes from right in the center of the crowd. You make your way through to see what's going on.
There's a squareish platform around which everyone has gathered. On top of the platform, a green-haired girl with what looks like cat ears is standing with a paper megaphone speaking out to the crowd. Her glances across the whole audience with yellow slitted eyes, glaring a challenge to every person present.
"It's a perhaps once-in-a-lifetime chance to fight a real live youkai without getting eaten afterwards! Come on, someo- Wait." She sniffs at the air. "Hmm. Hmm." She sniffs again, then jumps off the platform into the crowd. "I smell..." She keeps sniffing at the air, finally stopping in front of you. "Aha! I found it. That's youkai blood, isn't it?" She's staring you right in the eyes from a few feet away. "And by the smell of it..." She sniffs at the air again. "It's from wolves."
"Well, uh, maybe."
"Indeed it is. Why don't you try fighting me? Cats can put up much better of a fight than smelly dogs, you know." She grins, gripping your shoulder with her clawed hand. "What do you say? There's a prize if you can beat me."
You've already been in a fight today, but... There's nothing to lose by getting in one. She said that you wouldn't end up being eaten, so you can assume that you're not going to get killed either.
"...Sure, why not." You just hope that this isn't going to turn out too badly.
"Great!" She grabs your hand and half-drags you to and on top of the platform.
"Alright, here are the rules." She starts explaining. "You can do whatever you want. I can only use nonlethal physical attacks and spellcards. Understood?" You nod in confirmation. She grins.
"Alright, then. Get ready!" she moves her body into some sort of fighting stance.
Hmm. You've got to come up with some sort of strategy for this. You have no clue what she's likely to do. All you know is that she's apparently some kind of cat youkai. She only seems to have one tail, unless the other one got cut off or hidden, so she isn't a nekomata.
Other than that, you've got no clue.
But you need a plan of some sort, if you don't want to just get knocked out from the first hit. She's a youkai afterall; she could probably pull your limbs out of their sockets with ease.
[ ] Go offensive. Try to get the first attack. [ ] Go defensive. Try to block her attacks until you find an opening. [ ] Go cautious. Try to avoid her attacks until you find an opening.
You're hesitant to just attack her. She could be expecting it, and have a plan to knock you senseless if you even try. Until you know what she can and will do, you'll need to be defensive about this. But blocking her attacks might be risky as well. You don't know how hard they'll hit. They might even come hard enough to fracture your bones. And you're not even sure you'd be able to get your arms in the way anyway. Maybe if you had some sort of shield, but like this, defending yourself by blocking is the best method you can come up with. This leaves one option left if you're to be defensive about this: dodging. It'll probably be easier to dodge than to block if you dodge her whole body when she attacks. It's still pretty risky, but you're not intentionally making a part of your body get hit, which is a good thing.
She takes a step back. You keep your eyes fixed on hers, waiting for her movement.
She pounces. Not just a regular pounce, but one with force behind it. If she were to hit you with this, you'd probably end up on the ground without breath, and likely with broken ribs. You only barely manage to avoid this, losing your balance for a split second from the quick movement. She quickly rights herself to face you, and begins attacking with a flurry of strikes with her fingernails, which no longer carry the appearance of claws. Were the ones before fake, or did she just cut them off? But that doesn't really matter, since even with your best attempts at dodging she's still nicking you here and there with them.
You find yourself forced to block an attack that comes straight for your face, and are immediately knocked back by a roundhouse kick, something you didn't expect at all given how she's only attacked with her nails so far. You scramble to your feet, just in time to avoid an attack aimed at your throat- would that have killed you if it hit? She makes another swipe for your face, and then suddenly jumps backwards, holding a card high up into the air. "Cat's First Death 「Ten Story Fall」!" She declares the spellcard, causing mana from the surroundings to visibly. Orbs of light form around her, and then start "falling" towards you, picking up momentum as they go. By the time they reach where you're standing, they're moving quite fast. Fortunately for you, there's only a few of them, and they're quite easily dodged. As soon as they pass the edge of the platform, they shatter into a shower of sparks. Before you can react, she flies towards you, gaining speed in the same way as her bullets did. As she moves, a stream of bullets forms behind her, which slowly then begin to fall themselves. She makes no effort to change her direction when you move out of the way, and you easily dodge the bullets as well.
Hmm. It's likely that this will keep going if you don't stop her. But you can't get close enough to hit her without risking getting hit by one of those charges. You get the feeling that it'd be more than just uncomfortable.
So that leaves...
[ ] Electric magic. [ ] Fire magic. [ ] Those ofuda that you've been carrying around.
Magic. If you need to hit something at a range, you either need some sort of ranged weapon or magic.
No, not you. You're going to avoid using magic that's too destructive, and especially avoid magic that might make you suddenly go insane in the middle of a large crowd. Luckily for you, you learned how to use electric magic as well as fire magic.
Right as she passes you from another charge, you begin to concentrate your energy. Once you have a sizable chunk, you form it and create the spell you're going to attack with. It takes you about two seconds to charge the attack, but when you use it, its effects are instant. The catgirl gets stunned, while at the same time all of the orbs of energy surrounding you shatter. You decide not to waste the precious second of time while she's unable to move, and rush forward, hitting her with a strong attack from your whip that sends her flying backwards.
"Ugh-" She gets to her feet. Waving her hands in front of her, ten or so balls of energy appear and start flying off in random directions. While you're in the middle of dodging them, she holds up another card. "Cat's Second Death 「Deadly Catfight」!" she calls. Once again she charges at you, but this time she resumes her swift attacks with her claws. As they fly through the air, more orbs of energy fly off of them randomly, making it even more difficult to dodge them. You grazed quite a few times, but you luckily manage to avoid a direct hit. There's no real opening that you can see, so you just sit and wait for the card to time out. It's difficult and tiring, but it would take far too long to try using any magic.
No, we're not burning down the village in a fit of insanity.
Eventually the card times out, and she continues attacking without balls of energy flying everywhere.
Your legs are beginning to get rather tired. Luckily, she calls another spellcard before you end up falling over from exhaustion.
"Cat's Third Death 「Tree Too Tall」!"
Unlike the previous cards, this card involves a bunch of slowly moving leaf-shaped bullets moving around as if caught in the wind. You can pretty much stay in place for the most part to dodge them. Soon enough, the card times out.
She suddenly stops.
"Hey, you're pretty good." she remarks. "Most humans couldn't even make it through my first card, but you've made it through three. Let's see if you can make it any further, though!" She holds out another card. "Cat's Fourth Death 「Dangerous Roadways」"
It's pretty surprising what happens. The edges of the platform all have large bullets set up rather similarly to an intersection. The ones to the side begin flying past at the speed you'd expect cars going through an intersection to go, some of them flying off in strange directions, some of them colliding into each other and causing pileups. It's rather difficult to avoid getting hit, though, given the speed at which they're flying. You get grazed quite a few times, and take a direct hit, which sends you reeling and almost right into the flow of traffic. This is even more tiring than anything so far.
>>25869 Have you played the games at all? You're getting things mixed up. She's using spellcards, not bombs. The fact she can use 9, or at least I'm assuming she can use 9 going by the naming structure, is a very bad sign.