--- No, you have to keep going. Your only real options are to give up or to try to use your spellcard. You're not even sure you can.
After narrowly avoiding another large bullet, you suddenly find yourself in an amazing hole. It appears that the traffic is following American driving laws for the most part, so when you stand on the left hand side of whatever side isn't moving, you're pretty much safe. When the flow switches, you only have to dodge a few bullets making left turns to get to the opposite direction's left, leaving you safe once again. For the most part, you can just sit there and relax, except when the odd bullet flies at you from a collision.
When you look up at your opponent's face, she looks a bit annoyed at the fact that you managed to outsmart her card. Well, considering that it's extremely simple to survive once you understand the pattern, you're surprised you managed to get hit at all.
Well, might as well return fire. With a bit of effort, you attack her with another bolt of electricity, instantly ending the card. It seems like she can't take a hit very well.
"Hmph." She complains as her spell shatters in to a shower of sparks, before slashing at the air, causing waves of bullets to fly at you. They're fairly easily avoided by standing still until they're fairly close, and then moving out of the way.
"Cat's Fourth Death 「Drowning」!" she calls her fourth card. You're surrounded by a slowly-moving sea of blue bullets. Though they're packed pretty closely together, the fact that they're moving so slowly means you can just liesurely move out of the way with them. You waste no time hitting her with another bolt of electricity, causing the spell to end again. You're getting the hang of this.
"Argh." She produces another card, this time not bothering with some sort of in-between attack. "Cat's Fifth Death 「Antifreeze」!" She looks at you with a confident grin.
[ ] Rush up to her. [ ] Caution; stay back and wait. [ ] Use a bomb.
To all the people voting that we should stay back. It's what we've been doing for all the cards so far, and now she's whipped out a card that made her let out a grin. Why have only three of us had our trap senses tingle? Why else would she think she's outsmarted us?
That confident grin. It seems like she's going to use this card, expecting you to do something.
Hmm. What have you been doing the entirety of the fight so far? Cautiously kept your distance, avoiding attacks and only attacking when you know you'll score a hit.
Given how confident she is, it seems like she expects you to continue doing this. Even more, it seems like she thinks that it'll be extremely advantageous to her if you do. She's got something up her sleeves, but you can't afford to be outsmarted.
Hmm. The options you have are limited. You could either blindly rush up to her, which might be risky, or use your spellcard. The problem is, you don't know whether you actually CAN use your spellcard, nor whether you'll regret it later if you get in an actual fight with something that wants to eat you. You could always just start lighting shit on fire, but you don't think that's a very good idea either, what with the collateral damage in village residents and all.
So, instead, while there's no bullets around, you blindly rush forward at her, provoking a startled reaction. Seems she didn't expect that.
"Tch." With that, tons of green balls of energy form in a ring around her, preventing any forward advances and probably blocking most magic you could shoot at it.
Behind you, and in fact filling the whole platform except for a small area near the green ring, bullets resembling fire begin rapidly swirling around. Oh man, if you'd stayed back there you wouldn't have stood a chance. There's absolutely nothing coming at you from this position, though.
She just stares at you with an annoyed expression as the fire freezes into a bunch of blue spheres, which then shatter into a bunch of random shots, only a few making it into the safe area, none of which are difficult to avoid.
This cycles 3 times before the card just ends.
"Gah, you really are good. Better than expected. Alright, since you don't seem that adapted to melee combat, this next card's for you~" She pulls out another card. Goddamn, how many of these does she have? They've all been named after a cat dying, so...9? But assuming she only has 9 might be flawed logic.
"Cat's Seventh Death 「Crushing Damage」!" In her hand, a large fairly large hammer made out of energy appears.
"Let's see you cleverly strategize your way out of this!" She rushes at you.
[ ] There'll be an opening after she swings the hammer; take it. [ ] There's an opening right now; attack with magic. -[ ] Fire -[ ] Electricity [ ] Use a bomb.
[x] There's an opening right now; attack with magic. -[x] Electricity Yuuka's slow. Let's use this to our advantage. Besides, the strategy of the card doesn't matter if our MC scores a Spell Break before it starts.
She said she was going to use melee combat, right? That means you've got an opening before she actually reaches you. Might as well take the initiative, and-
Oh damn, she's fast. Much faster than anyone else you've fought, like Yuuka, who isn't really that fast. Yuuka doesn't need speed, though; huge fucking lasers tend to make getting closer to things pretty unnecessary.
You get out of the way as she first hits the ground with the hammer, which results in a few bullets flying from it and randomly scattering in the air. They don't fly very far, though, and you're out of their range well before they actually disappear. She makes another attempt, but this time your magic is actually charged.
The electricity arcs right into her, causing her to...
...Not end her card? She does seem to have gotten a jolt from it, and it seems to have stunned her for a second, but it doesn't stop her from attacking again.
Once again, you manage to narrowly escape getting squashed, but this time the bullets don't disappear, they just start hanging there in mid-air. You manage to let off another shot before she attacks again, but the result is just an increase in the amount of bullets that are generated when her hammer strikes the ground, making it even more difficult to avoid her attacks.
In the end, the card times out, after you frantically try to keep her from hitting you.
"Tch. Alright, time to bring out the big guns." she declares another spellcard. "Cat's Eighth Death 「Zippo Cat」!"
...What She's about to make a pretty big mistake, isn't she?
...Yeah, this card of hers is going to backfire. After all, she's the cat, and you're the pyromaniac.
Yes, she's just bringing this on herself.
You concentrate. It doesn't take nearly as much efford to cast fire magic as it does to cast electrical magic. You might just be more used to fire magic, having used it a bunch more. Maybe it's Py's influence. Whatever it is, you're able to cast three fireballs in the time it too build up a usable electric charge.
Before her card can even do anything, the fireballs fly forward, crashing into her and singing her clothes. The fire goes out soon after, but you're not done. That was just to throw her guard off.
Concentrating a bit more, you focus on her...and...
"Guh-!" She grunts as the flames overtake her. It seems as if the fire eating up all the oxygen around her is doing more damage than the actual flames. Nevertheless, she continues with her attack, shooting off flames of her own, but they quickly shatter into a spray of sparks. Your fire also gets canceled, strangely.
"Heh. I didn't expect you to be able to use fire magic like that." Her clothes are singed, some parts worse than others. It seems as if something prevented them form really catching, though. "Let's see if you can survive this, though!" She pulls out another spellcard.
"Cat's Ninth Death 「Quantum Superposition」!"
A large box of bullets surround you completely, preventing you from seeing anything outside. There's some sort of glowing thingy in a corner of the box. You're unsure of what it does.
[ ] Attack the glowing thing. [ ] Wait. [ ] Use a bomb.
You concentrate a little, creating another bolt of fire, and shooting it at the glowing thing...
...And it shatters, filling your entire vision with blue as it fills the entire box with blue bullets, which hit you from all angles. Though, they don't hurt quite as bad as when Shouko does pretty much the exact same thing.
..The exact same thing? That sure felt like a trap.
That was just too much, though. You really don't feel like fighting anymore. That seemed to be her last card, anyway.
"Alright, I give up."
"And once again, I win! Though, you do get a prize for breaking the current record!" She reaches into her pocket and pulls out a wad of bills. After selecting two 2,000 yen bills, she hands them to you.
"Congratulations on being the person to last the longest against me!" She turns to face the audience. "Anyone else want to try?" She calls out to the audience.
"Oh, oh, I do, I do!" Shouko's voice. Oh man.
"Eh? But you're a youkai." The catgirl responds. "Aren't you that one from the forest near the shrine?"
"Oh well! I'm bored, so fight me!" She climbs up onto the platform and faces the girl you just fought.
"...Alright, I guess. But I won't give you any prizes if you win."
"Fine! Just fight me!"
Well, the fight didn't take that long. It was a plain and decisive victory. The fact that both participants could fly made the fight a lot easier on Shouko, and since she's the trap youkai, some of the traps didn't seem to work on her. Soon enough, the catgirl is calling a tenth spellcard you never got to see.
"Nine Lives 「Final Death!」"
You're not quite capable of following exactly what the spellcard does, but it's pretty difficult-looking. Yet, Shouko weaves through the bullets with ease, and finally ends the fight victorious.
"Oh, even considering that she's a youkai, that needle user is pretty good." A somewhat familliar voice beside you behind you comments. Whose was that again?
"Yeah, she pretty much single-handedly taught me how to fight."
"That voice... Hey." She grabs your shoulder firmly, and turns you to look at her.
The second her deep red eyes lock with yours, you realize that you're pretty much fucked.
"What have we here? Just the person I was going to go look for!" She grabs your wrist pretty hard, then throws you forward. The people in front of you topple like bowling pins as you bowl them over.
"Guh!" That hurt. Not as much as if there weren't a soft landing, but it still hurt, damnit.
"It's good that I didn't have to look very hard! But this time I'll kill you for sure." She rises her parasol and points the tip at you. Small particles of light start to collect at its tip.
Meanwhile, everyone around you is panicing and getting the fuck out of there. Seems they know what the fuck is about to happen.
Fuck, what're you going to do? You're in the village, so if you let Py take over, it might start a big fire. You also can't let Pe take over, since you're in the middle of the village, and even if she's a youkai, people would get pretty put-off by you raping someone in the middle of the town.
"Too bad for you~" She says calmly, even though her face is contorted with an insane anger.
Blood flies everywhere as Yuuka's head explodes. All arund you, flashes of green spawn fairies armed with assault rifles. When Yuuka falls down, the person aiming a sniper rifle at where her head once was smiles at you.
"Hey. I thought you could use some help." Yumou remarks. "Of course, it was also a good excuse to finally invade." The fairies keep appearing with flashes of green light.
"In any case, I'll ask you right now, just to be sure. Are you on my side, or are you on Reimu's?" She stares at you with those ruby-red eyes.
[ ] You're on Yumou's side. [ ] You're on Reimu's side. [ ] You're on no one's side.
The kind that had other people name them on the original run in IRC.
I originally wanted to think of a new name for Yumou and TAiG's Kohaku (goddamnit the similarity to Tsukihime's, even though accidental, make me hate actually using the name to this day, to the point where I actually do research into names before actually using them now), but I wasn't any good at coming up with decent names back then.
I blame the people who originally chose the names.
"Hey, Shouko. What's your take on everything that's been happening?"
"Ehh. I don't really care. Even if that girl does take over Gensokyo, or whatever she's planning on doing, it won't affect me. Oh, right. Hey, John!" points at you.
Ah, the pain. It doesn't hurt as much as usual when she does, this, but it's probably because she only hit you in a few spots with those danmaku needles, instead of every square inch of your skin.
"Gah, what the fuck, Shouko?"
"Leaving me alone like that all day was mean! I was bored all day, you know. So bored that to forget it, I'm going to go take a nap. Later, John." She starts walking up the stairs to the bedrooms.
Alright, you'll need to find something to do by yourself, then. But what?
All these books. There's lots and lots and lots of books. Not as many as the library, of course, but there's a lot of them. For the most part they're kept in neat piles, or on bookshelves, and prevented from getting too dusty.
After perusing the titles, you find that about 75% of them are books on history. Prehistory, ancient history, premodern history. The timeframe on most of the books seem to cut off just before the start of the 20th century, though there are a few titles mixed in on events after that. The most prominent one you find is a school history textbook with a publication date of 2001. From what you can tell, it's for an history class in America, since it's written in English and uses spellings particular to the United States. History books aren't what you're interested in, though. You went to school, you know all that you need to know about history to function in your lifestyle. Admittedly, that's not very much; you can only remember the most important dates, and the rest is just a rough estimation of what happened when. But, in any case, what you know serves you fine. What you're actually looking for is books on magic. There's got to be something here.
Aha! You've found a book on magic.
Magical Energy: Manipulation and Storage is the title. When you open it up, you...can't understand a thing it's talking about. You can read the words, but they don't make sense. What you gather after a few pages in is that it has something to do with the creation of mana batteries like the one Kaguya gave you, but you can't make out anything other than that.
You set the book down. It appears that if you're going to learn anything about magic, you'll probably have to use one of the books you already have. You've got four choices: Beginner's Magic, Basics of Lightning Magic, Basics of Fire Magic, and Efficient Magic: A Guide To Mana Efficiency.
[ ] Beginner's Magic -[ ] Just read. -[ ] Try and read about a specific topic. (specify) [ ] Basics of Lightning Magic [ ] Basics of Fire Magic [ ] Efficient Magic: A Guide To Mana Efficiency
You decide to read the book Efficient Magic: A Guide To Mana Efficiency. Opening your backpack, you pull out the book and open to where you left off.
Let's see... Oh, a chapter about pulling mana from the surroundings. Perfect.
Well, you spent most of last night reading about more efficient magic. You went to sleep on the couch that you were sitting at to read the book. You were sleeping pretty well, until someone decided to start poking you with needles.
I can't remember if I ever mentioned the color of Shouko's eyes. If I did, and it's different than what I said here, then consider it retconned.
--- You're already awake. Might as well humor her, if it results in her bugging you less. And you don't think she'd let you go back to sleep, either.
The only two activities that didn't involve inflicting pain on you that you can remember her enjoying were drinking and taking a walk at night. You're not really in the mood for drinking, so... The obvious remaining alternative.
"Alright. How does a walk sound? It's the perfect time to go take one." That's not a lie, either. August nights in climates like this one are just warm enough that you don't need to wear a jacket, and cool enough to be more comfortable than walking at or before sunset. Normally, the fact that there's monsters on the prowl late at night would outweigh that, but you're going to be in an open field where you'd be able to see most things that might jump out at you.
"Hmm...Alright. That's a pretty good idea. Let's go." She holds out a hand to help you up. You make the mistake of taking it.
"Ow, damnit Shouko." She decided to pull you up rather forcefully. It kind hurt, your arm getting pulled on that hard. She just chuckles in response to your complaint.
"Come on, let's go." She begins leading you out of the house, a smile still painted on her face.
So, the two of you begin a nice, calm walk at night. You've thought about this quite a few times already, but walking is really rather calming. If it weren't for the physical effort involved, it might even be a good sleep aid. Especially at night. It's so calm, and the temperature's just right. On top of that, there's no sun beating down on you to distract you with different temperatures on different parts of your body. It's very, very good for thinking.
So, while you're wandering around the area with Shouko, who generally seems to be doing the same thing as you for all you can tell, you let your mind wander. Mainly, you think about Gensokyo. You got pulled in her on accident, and then disallowed from leaving because of some incident that you had little part in. While your mental state started to decline, so did your patience. For a while there, the only thing you felt when not going insane and lighting something on fire was irritation at how things weren't going your way. Now, however, that's only one part of it. You're actually having fun now. Why? The only answer you can gather is the girl right next to you. She pulled you into various hijinx that you'd never have been involved with if it weren't for her. Ever since she stopped trying to kill you, she's been somewhat pleasant to be around, too. At least, when she's not intentionally irritating you. Like right now. Without having to say anything, you're still sharing company with her right now. Disregarding the fact that if it weren't for her, you wouldn't be walking, if she weren't with you, this would be a lonely walk late at night. Since she's with you, it's a liesurely walk with someone you can...maybe call a friend at night. There's a significant difference in atmosphere. ...Now if only you could get Shouko to be like this more often. She seems pretty content to just walk. It's actually somewhat odd, when you think about it, since usually whenever she's not doing something to irritate you in some way or drinking, she always complains about being bored.
Why is that, anyway? What exactly DOES she find fun, in the first place?
"Hmm?" She turns her head to look at you with her yellow eyes.
"You always say everything's boring, so what do you actually find fun?"
"Eh, most of the time when I say I'm bored, it's either because I feel left out, or because I know it'll annoy you. As for specific things that I find fun... Things like taking walks at night, annoying you, drinking, or watching a fire. Almost anything can be fun if you're doing it with a friend. What I don't like is standing around doing nothing, or being left out of conversations. Just because I don't have anything to say doesn't mean I don't mind sitting there silent, you know." Wha- She's being surprisingly honest. Hey, she said soemthing about friends.
"So, uh, do you consider me to be a friend?"
"Hmm... I guess you could say you're my only friend. I guess Yumou's a friend too, but I don't really know her."
Her...Only friend? Hey, wait, didn't your relationship start with her becoming your own personal nuisance for the sole purpose of payback? When did that turn into ber being your own personal nuisance for the purpose of friendship? You're never going to understand this girl. You'd say you liked her better when you could generally predict what she'd do, but that'd be a lie, since the only time that happened was when she was trying to kill you.
"Oh, look, a tree." She suddenly interrupts your thinking. "Let's go sit under it." She grabs your hand, and turns to look at you expectantly.
[ ] Sure, why not? Just walking all night long will get tiring. [ ] Nah, you'd prefer to keep walking. The shore of the lake might be a nicer stopping point. [ ] Hey, wait...
The two of you change your course so that you're walking toward the tree. It has pretty interesting leaves. They're kinda long.
Shouko stops just before getting to the tree.
"What?" You continue forward, taking a seat at the base of the tree.
"John, you should probably slowly walk away from the tree."
"Huh? Why? It's just a tree." You look up at the tree's branches.
Something about them is quite shiny.
Your blood hits the ground with a loud splattering sound as a rather heavy sword pierces right through your stomach, causing blood to overflow.
"What the fuc-"
Your sentence is stopped by another sword that pierces through your lung, stripping you of your ability to speak.
"John!" She screams as she runs towards you, but she's sent flying by a sweeping blow from the tree. What the fuck is this tree?
"Guh-!" She stands, clutching her injured arm, blood gushing out. For her, a would like that is no big deal.
But for you...
Everything slowly fades to black.
[ ] Back 1 choice. -[ ] Nah, you'd prefer to keep walking. The shore of the lake might be a nicer stopping point. -[ ] Hey, wait... [ ] Back 2 choices. -[ ] You're up anyway, might as well drink yourself back to sleep. -[ ] Go back to sleep.
As much as one wishes to say they saw it coming, there was no warning given. "[ ] Hey, wait..." doesn't count as there was nothing in the actual text to facilitate a need to be cautious. It would be like a story going "You stumble across a doll walking to your destination. What do you do?  Pick it up.  Ignore it.  HOLY SHIT IT'S A BOMB!"
"Well, Shouko, looks like we're going to need to find a better place to rest."
"What? Why?" You can't quite see her expression in this darkness, especially when the little light from the moon is blocked by the tree.
"I don't trust this tree. First of all, a sword could conveniently fall down on top of one of us if we stay underneath it. Second, I'm getting an eerie feeling like it's about to attack us."
"Oh, so you're scared of a little tree? Fine, fine, let's keep going then."
So, the two of you keep walking, returning to the calming atmosphere from before.
"What." She exclaims, flabbergasted and annoyed by the sight before her. "I leave for a few hours, and someone BLOWS IT TO SMITHEREENS?" She walks closer to the remnants of her shrines. "Gah, what else did she manage to do?" She looks up into the sky, the mid-afternoon causing her to shield her eyes.
"Heeeeeey Reim- Oh wow, what the hell happened here ze?" The ordinary black witch flies in and lands in front of her, close enough to make the miko take a step back to avoid getting hit.
She looks at the witch with an accusatory expression. "They always say that the criminal will come back to look at the reaction to what they've done."
"Oh, so you're just going to wait here until whoever did it comes back? But that's no fun when we could be out beating information out of people ze." Marisa's ever-positive attitude and friendly smile doesn't waver.
"I was accusing you, idiot. Well, if it was you, I guess there'd be a lot more damage to the forest as well."
"So what're you gonna do now ze?"
"What do you think I'm going to do?"
That was an interesting walk. You're pretty damn tired now, though, so you'll probably be best off going back to sleep.
"I'm going back to bed, Shouko. G'night."
"Good night, John. I'll be staying up a bit more."
You climb back onto the couch you used for sleeping earlier and close your eyes. After the walk you took, you have no difficulty falling asleep, and soon you're lost in dreamland once again.
Morning. It's so bright and painful when you first wake up. Even if you were sleeping in direct sunlight, your eyes still have to adjust to the light, which is never a fun experience.
As you open your eyes, you hear the soft sound of breathing next to you. Looks like Shouko just went to sleep on the floor next to you.
[x] Move Shouko gently to the couch and try to find a blanket or cover for her. [x] Get washed up. [x] See what's there in terms of breakfast.
Hopefully Shouko doesn't have any traps set up for the event we start touching her in her sleep, regardless of intent. Tidied up the first portion of the vote for clarity and the fact we lack a jacket.
Hmm. Just letting her lay there on the floor can't be good. You're not sure about youkai anatomy, but generally it's not good on one's back to sleep on the floor like that, at least from your experience. Even if it doesn't do any harm, it's still the nice thing to do to move her to a more comfortable position.
But, this brings a problem. Every time you've touched Shouko so far in such a situation, you've ended up a pincushion. Well, except those first two times, but they don't count. What's important here is that you may be doing a stupid thing by picking her up. Who knows what kind of traps she has set.
...Oh what the hell. If she's really going to needle you for moving her to a more comfortable position, then it's her loss. You'll just drop her or something.
You slide your arms underneath her neck and knees, and gently lift her up off the floor, softly depositing her on the couch you were asleep on. She doesn't show any signs of waking up, not even her breathing speeding up like it would tend to. She must be pretty tired.
After a quick search, you manage to find a throw blanket hidden inside a cabinet in the room, and use it to cover her.
Right. Now that she's covered, it's time to find something to eat.
Walking into the kitchen, you open the cupboards and the electric fridge. You're clueless as to how it has electric power, but then again you're also clueless as to how Yumou managed to procure as many assault rifles and other weapons of war. Probably not good to worry about it too much when she's not here to answer questions.
Inside, it's got the usual set of items you'd usually expect from a fridge. Deciding to take it easy with this, you decide to take out some eggs and bread. Egg sandwiches are easy enough, and they're pretty filling, so it's a good choice. Hopefully, Shouko won't be too picky, since this is a rather lazy breakfast.
After starting up the stove, which also appears to be running on electricity, you let the pan warm up a bit before dropping in a bit of butter and allowing it to melt, making sure to coat the whole surface that you'll be cooking on to prevent sticking. After this, you crack the eggs and drop them in the pan, letting them cook for a bit before flipping them and intentionally breaking the egg. After all, it'd just be messy to have a soft yolk in an egg sandwich. You put on some salt and pepper before moving them to the slices of toast you prepared while you were waiting for the eggs to finish cooking.
This is a very simple breakfast, but it serves its purpose. For drinks, you decide to grab a couple beers from the fridge that you'd noticed when you put the carton of eggs back in.
When you re-enter the living room, you find that Shouko has just woken up, stretching her arms as she sits up on the couch.
"Morning, Shouko." You walk over and hand her plate and bottle to her, taking your own seat next to her on the couch and popping the cap off of your own bottle.
"Good morning, John." She responds sleepily. "What're the plans for today?"
You hadn't thought of that yourself. Actually, you'd hoped to just chill out here for a bit.
"Well, I was thinking to stick around, since, due to whatever Yumou's doing, it'd be a good idea to lay low. Unless, of course, you've got something in mind that won't attract attention."
"Hmm... I guess you're right. But, that means we'll be drinking."
"Fine by me."
So, the two of you spend the day drinking.
The fight didn't really last long. Even though she had superior numbers, such a thing is meaningless against people who tend to shoot down hundreds of fairies on their way without any trouble anyway. The fact that she was simultaneously attacked by the miko, the witch, the maid, and the rabbit didn't help much.
Basically, without having put up much of a fight, Yumou's grand plan was overturned rather quickly. Unlike other times she'd been counterattacked, by the time she realized that retreat would be a good option, most of her forces had been reduced to a bunch of firearms fallen to the ground. When confronted by her attackers, she tried to put up a final fight herself, but in the end was forced to give up. Of course, as is usual for Gensokyo, soon after everyone was on good terms again, with the main people involved gathering at the shrine for a drink on the night of the next full moon.
Gensokyo pretty much returned to normal. Yumou kept a few fairies around to help around the house and such, but most of them were allowed to just return to the carefree lifestyle that fairies would normally have. Well, mostly normal. Even though he mainly went back to living in the outside world, John still went back and forth frequently between there and Gensokyo. For a while, everything seemed to be normal.
...But, as is usual for Gensokyo, another incident came shortly after.
With this, the first story arc is complete. I hope the abrupt end, similar to TAiG's, can be partially forgiven because of how weak the premise behind this particular incident is. Hopefully, from here on, it'll be a little better.
The beginning of the next arc will be in the next post.
Gah, alarm clocks. What an evil invention. Always waking up before the alcohol has worked its self out of your bloodstream.
BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP
Then again, they make sure you get out of bed at all. Sleeping all day isn't very good for you.
BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP
But christ, you don't even have anything to do today. Yukari's still paying you for doing nothing, and you spend a large enough chunk of your time in Gensokyo anyway.
BEEP BEEP BEE- SMASH
Fuck, now it's- wait, what was that?
After a couple failed attempts, you manage to pry your eyes open to see exactly what it was that shut your alarm clock off. It sure as hell wasn't you.
"Oh, so that's how you turn this thing off. But that doesn't seem very cost-effective."
A familliar voice, but why the hell are you hearing it in your apartment? No, you're just dreaming. It sucks when you have dreams about being woken up like this, but it's not that strange. Ehh, better just to go back asleep, even if this is a dream its self.
"Hey, John, wake up." No, you've got to go back to sleep, so you can wake up in your REAL apartment, not this dream one.
"I said wake up." Her voice is now a little bit nearer, but you don't give it any more attention. After all, you're just about to fall back aslee-
"Wake up, damnit!" And with that, a sharp, piercing pain comes from the center of your left hand, which now feels like it's been stabbed. Adrenaline overrides any effects of a hangover you might normally be feeling, and you couldn't go back to sleep right now if you tried.
"Gah, what the hell, Shouko?" You quickly sit up and take a look at your hand. It's been stabbed clean through, and blood is slowly dripping from the wound. If only you could say that this is the first time she's taken measures to wake you up like this. Well, it IS the first time she's ever woken you up in your own apartment like this.
"Hey, it's you that refused to wake up. I'm not just going to stand there calling your name until you wake up, you know."
"But did you need to STAB me? I mean, christ, you could have dumped water over my head instead or something."
"But your reaction to this is a lot better. You should have seen your face."
You're about to shoot a sharp remark at her for that, but realize that you've got much more important matters onhand: a nice hole in yours that's bleeding slowly even though the needle's still jammed in there. Thankfully, it's a rather thin one, so it shouldn't be that difficult to take care of. At worst, you'll have to find your way through that bamboo forest for one of their miracle antibiotics.
By the time you've gotten it wrapped up with some gauze and cotton, the adrenaline rush has worn off, and you're still suffering the effects of a hangover. Jesus, how much did you drink last night, anyway? Shouko forced you to drink with her, so-
Wait, did you bring her back here with you? And did Yumou let her?
"Hey, hurry up. This room's pretty annoying, since there's nothing to do. I tried to figure out that glowy box thing, but I couldn't get it to light up. I've been sitting here for an hour, you know."
Great, being rushed. Just what you need.
After you've made sure that your hand's wrapped up nice and tight, and you've taken a quick shower, being careful not to get the wrappings wet, you walk back out into the room and sit down in front of your computer. Looking at the clock, it's only about 5:00 in the morning.
The hell. This habit Shouko has of waking you up extremely early is starting to get to you. At this time, the two people who might be able to get you back to Gensokyo are probably offline.
A quick check of your contact list confirms your suspicions.
Damnit, this isn't good. If you can't get her back to Gensokyo soon, Shouko's going to start bugging you. On top of that, since she hasn't ever been to the outside world as far as you know, so taking her out to do something might not turn out so well. On the other hand, she'll probably bug you to do it sometime anyway, so it might be a good idea to do so now.
It's difficult to actually think of something to do, though. Even though she's usually just pretending to be in order to get on your nerves, Shouko's pretty picky about what you do for fun. Something that she wouldn't understand probably wouldn't be a good idea, unless you intentionally want to annoy her back.
[x] You both could probably use a shower. [x] Ask her about anything she might want to see in the outside world. -[x] Like shop for more fashionable clothes? -[x] You could also see a movie? -[x] Go to an arcade? -[x] Browse a bookstore? -[x] Have a meal? -[x] Bed-top sports for indoor types? [x] If nothing, ask if she'd be interested in trying out different poisons; you might be able to order something from an online pharmacy, veterinary supply, or chemical supply company.
[x] You both could probably use a shower. [x] Ask her about anything she might want to see in the outside world. -[x] Like shop for more fashionable clothes? -[x] You could also see a movie? -[x] Go to an arcade? -[x] Browse a bookstore? -[x] Have a meal? -[x] Bed-top sports for indoor types?
Giving her new poisons strikes me as a very bad idea.
[x] You both could probably use a shower. -[x] Together? [x] Ask her about anything she might want to see in the outside world. -[x] Like shop for more fashionable clothes? -[x] You could also see a movie? -[x] Go to an arcade? -[x] Browse a bookstore? -[x] Have a meal? -[x] Bed-top sports for indoor types?
[x] You both could probably use a shower. -[x] Together? [x] Ask her about anything she might want to see in the outside world. -[x] Like shop for more fashionable clothes? -[x] You could also see a movie? -[x] Go to an arcade? -[x] Browse a bookstore? -[x] Have a meal? -[x] Bed-top sports for indoor types?
Christ, you've got no idea what she'd actually like to do. She definitely doesn't either, since she obviously doesn't know what there IS to do. So the obvious solution is to attempt to do them all. Well, not ALL of them, but as many as you can fit into a shortish period of time. And hey, you might be able to have fun yourself.
First thing's first, though. Both of you could probably use a shower.
...Wait, you already took one. Right. But, might as well take another one, since saying "we should take a shower before going out" is better than saying "YOU should take a shower before going out", for obvious reasons.
"Gah. Well, it just so happens that you woke me up before either of the people who might provide you with a return trip woke up."
"That means that instead we'll have to pass the time some other way. All I can think of is going out to do something, since you're obviously pretty bored here."
She seems to brighten up slightly upon hearing this.
"Really? But, I thought you said-"
"That was more of me not wanting you to wander off on your own. And, well, I might as well show you how the outside world works sooner or later."
"Well, let's go, th-"
"Wait, wait. Hold on. You don't just leave your house right after waking up. You can go first, so-"
"Nah, you go first. It's your apartment, after all."
...That's a very un-Shouko-like response. But, you can't think of a way to make her go first without it sounding unreasonable, so you'll just have to go along with it.
"Alright. I'll try and make it quick, then."
Well, considering that you already showered before, that shouldn't be very difficult.
After entering the bathroom, you decide to quickly check your wound. Since you wrapped it with a non-sticky gauze, it won't be that difficult to take apart and put back together. ...Good, looks like the bleeding's stopped. Actually, it's a little surprising that it wasn't bleeding worse, given that it's the type of wound someone would normally go to an ER for. Perhaps Shouko is just that good of an aim. ...No, it's more likely that you were just very, very lucky. Or she had some sort of clotting agent on the needle, but since you can't think of any traps that work by making something not bleed, that doesn't make much more sense.
Oh well. It's time for your shower. Even though you're missing the use of one hand, this shouldn't take too long. So, you start cleaning yourself, making sure to get yourself as clean as possible, which doesn't really take that much effort.
About halfway through the cleaning process, you hear the door swing open. After a moment, so does the shower curtain, revealing a very naked Shouko, who doesn't seem to be paying much attention to the fact that you're in here.
"We'll leave quicker if we shower at the same time, so move over so I can get in." She demands while practically pushing you out of the way. Of course, she put herself in the position with the best access to the actual water.
Gah. This is...You... Goddamnit, Shouko. It doesn't even seem like she's doing it on purpose this time, like that one time in the bath. ...Shit. Now you're remembering things. Things that might not be beneficial to be remembering in the current situation. Still, you can't really stop the memories from coming.
It takes a lot of effort, but you manage to suppress the urges that come to you naturally. After all, it's normal for a man in this situation to want to shove his dick into the attractive naked girl in front of him. That doesn't stop you from trying to control the urges, though.
Do it, faggot.
God DAMN it, now even he's telling you to do it. No, you're not going to listen to him. You can't just...Right?
>>26781 There's a large difference between us letting Pe take over and us taking advantage of what is in front of us. Unless we go overboard, Pe won't even get involved, ie how using fire magic doesn't make Py get stronger unless we push ourselves. Plus if Pe somehow does manage to take over instead of John being in control, Shouko would stop it anyways just like she's done every single time it has happened while she was around. It's completely safe.
tl,dr version: Man up, live a little. Can't spend every second worrying.
>>26798 It can mean a lot of things. We could go nuts, we could simply give into the urge to have sex with Shouko. It's quite open ended, though so is the other choice. Either way, we could show Pe he's in charge of the stuff that warrants a sex criminal while we handle the more hands-on stuff.
Right. You have to hold yourself back. No, from now on, you're going to try to at least get someone's consent before shoving your dick in them. Even if he won't.
Hey, fuck you.
But it's just as painful for you as it is him. At least you can show self-restraint.
Restraint is for retards.
Right, ignoring him now. Luckily, he's not the source of these urges to violate the girl in front of you; you, yourself, are. Her body's just too perfect NOT to feel anything like this for. But, you have to hold yourself back.
Alright. You're able to keep yourself from just jumping her now that you're concentrating. However, that's as far as your ability can go, as you can now no longer pry your eyes off of her.
"Ah." She suddenly says as if she's realized something. "Whoops. This might not have been as good of an idea as I thought it was." Gee, you think? She turns around, and christ now she's just giving you a better view is she insane, and-
"Oh, looks like you're struggling pretty hard." She's not even making fun of you now, and you don't even know what the hell's going on because you can't really think. "...Sorry. I'll, uh... Hmm."
She steps closer.
"I guess there's only one thing for me to do, then."
Her hand stretches out and Oh god what is this Wraps around it and Holy shit you'll explode Slowly, deliberately slides down it, just like back then Oh god not this painfully torturously good feeling again And back up, wait wait wait you can't go this quick She repeats the motion, speeding it up a bit as she goes This, this- Ahhh! Calm down, calm down, you-
And then, a warm, wet feeling oh god is this what you think it is
Looking down, she's taken it into her mouth. The movements of her tongue on it are even more painfully pleasurable than her fingers wrapped around it.
You can't hold on much longer, you-
A bright flash of light overwhelms you as the orgasm grips your body. You lose your balance and find yourself sliding down the side of the shower until you're sitting on the bottom of the tub. At this point, your mind is completely blank, and the only thing you're aware of is the acute feeling of calmness. You couldn't work up enough of a will to move if you were about to get murdered.
"Hmm, doesn't taste any different from before. That's a little disappointing." You hear her say something, but you can't really comprehend what she's saying. "Oh well, if it keeps you from becoming like that again, I've got nothing to complain about."
And with that, your consciousness finally fades.
You can't have been out for more than a minute or two, since the shower's still going. It's still difficult to force yourself to move, but it was definitely worth-
What the HELL just happened?
Prying your eyes open, you look up upon the still very naked Shouko. After a minute or two of her continuing to wash herself, she turns around and looks down at you.
"Oh, you're awake. Good, I was worried I did something wrong."
Oh no, you didn't do anything wrong at all, Shouko. In fact, the complete opposite.
Even though you just had the most explosive orgasm you've ever had in your life, your libido is still kicking on seeing her like this. Unlike before, it isn't as difficult to hold yourself back, since you're too drained to even think of doing anything.
"Here, let me help you up." She reaches a hand down to you. With a substantial bit of effort, you grab it, and she pulls you up.
...Ahh. Now that you're standing, the inability to will yourself to move quickly wears off, and you're left in the best condition you've been in since years ago.
Except your left hand.
Ow, fuck goddamnit what the hell why did it suddenly
"John, are you okay?" She looks concerned. Seems like it hurt enough to be visible to others.
"Yeah, it's just my hand where you stabbed me. It started throbbing all of a sudden. I'll take an aspirin when we get out, though, should help."
"Alright. I'm done with the shower, so I'm getting out." Shouko slides the curtain open and steps out of the shower, grabbing a towel from the rack sitting above your toilet. After drying herself off, she exits the bathroom, closing the door behind her.
...Alright. Let's consider the situation for a moment.
What the fuck.
...Yeah, that's all that can really be said. It's all that really needs to be said, though, so you turn the shower off and step out, following Shouko through the motions of drying yourself off.
Okaaaaay, I hope that didn't turn out too horribly. I'm cutting off here because, well, it's always difficult to write h-scenes, so it feels like I've written a 20kb wall of text. I may or may not write more later, depending on whether I get back into a writing mood.
Wow, I actually managed to knock this out. This makes me feel good inside. ---
And now it really IS a Alright. It didn't take much time after that to get ready. You're bathed, clothed, and painkillered. Time to blow some time.
Looking at the clock on your computer, it's still only about 5:30. There really isn't all that much to do if you go out, but you do have a couple options.
Probably the easiest would be to visit the mall. Movie theaters, arcades, and bookstores probably aren't quite open yet, but some of the stores in the mall nearby are open 24/7, which may prove to be a big help.
"Alright, Shouko, let's go. Uh, try not to get separated from me; it's pretty easy to get lost, and people will start freaking out if you start flying places."
"Yeah, I know. I'll be careful."
And so, you leave.
The mall went fairly uneventfully, other than the fact that it was a rather long visit. Shouko insisted on visiting every store, which took quite a while, since some of the stores that don't stay open 24/7 started opening up too. Eventually, after about 2 hours of browsing, the two of you have seen the whole mall. Well, except one part, but that part isn't quite a store anyway. Ehh, might as well.
The movie was pretty mediocre. It wasn't particularly bad, but it also wasn't that good. Lots of explosions and average jokes, but no real content to it. Shouko seemed enthralled, though; she didn't seem so absorbed last night when you were watching television, but that was mostly the news. The novelty of actually watching a story must have gotten to her.
"Wow, John, I didn't know they had anything like that in the outside world. I'm starting to like this place!" She seems quite excited, an appearance that starkly contrasts with what you'd normally expect from her. "What's next?"
Hmm. What can you do for entertai-
Oh, right. Arcades. If she enjoyed the movie, she'll love the hell out of arcades. Maybe. Hopefully.
"How do I do this?" She asks as she sits down at one of the videogame machines. Looking at it, it's a fairly common fighting game machine. Hmm, maybe not the best choice for someone who's never played a videogame before, but... Might as well give it a try.
"I'll play a game to show you how it's done." You take a quarter from your pocket and slide it into the slot of the machine right next to hers.
"You move your fighter around with that stick, just bend it the direction you want him to go. You attack by pushing the buttons to the side, like this."
You demonstrate the basic attack for each button for her.
"To block the opponent's attack, bend the joystick away from them, so you're walking away from them." You demonstrate blocking. "Each of the buttons will do a different attack depending on what direction you bend the joystick before attacking. Everything else just comes with practice."
"I see." She plays her first round against the computer, and fails pretty badly. After another round, it seems like she's got it down a little better, so you offer to play against her, just for fun.
"Really? You can fight each other with the machines?" Oh man.
The first round went pretty much in your favor. You held back a lot, which prevented her from just being obliterated; you're not sure she'd like that. However, after the fourth or fifth round, you found yourself having to actually get a little serious. It seems she picked up on things pretty quickly.
In the end, after the ninth round, she suddenly beat you by suddenly fighting a lot better than you expected her to be capable. Of course, she let out a cheer of victory, but...Really, she shouldn't have won that, right? It was just because you were expecting her to be easier to fight. ...Right?
Well, whatever the cause, after getting her victory, Shouko went on to try all of the other machines, but soon tired of all the videogames.
"Let's go do something more quiet. The flashy lights and noises are starting to give me a headache. Fair enough. For a quiet place, you could either visit the park or visit a bookstore. Since just sitting there doesn't really sound like it's the kind of thing Shouko would enjoy, you go for the latter option.
"How about a bookstore?"
It only took a few minutes of browsing the books for you to stumble upon the manga section.
"This! She rushes over to one of the books as soon as it catches her eye. "I remember this. I found one of them near the shrine once." She picks it up and flips it open.
"...Eh?" She sounds a little confused. "It's in English? But I swear it was in Japanese...I didn't even know English back then."
Wait, she's been- But then again, it sounded like everyone in-
No, let's just leave the mystery of how the hell you can understand everyone in Gensokyo and how they can understand you a mystery. It's probably at least partially Yukari's doing. So wait, does that mean she's been speaking English the whole time?
"Shouko, have you been speaking English the whole time since we crossed the border?"
"No, just since we left your apartment. It seemed a little weird that you were suddenly speaking in English, but I played along."
Geez, you couldn't even tell. No accent or anything. It's amazing.
"Ah, I see. I dunno, I've been speaking English since you first met me, and it sounded to me like you were doing the same. I guess Gensokyo's just weird like that. Oh well. In any case, those manga books are originally from Japan, they've just been translated so the people here can read them."
"Oh, I see." She places the book back down. "While I can talk in English, reading it is a little bit difficult. I'll pass."
Hmm. This idea is bust. Looks like you'll have to figure something else out.
"Hey, John." Shouko interrupts your thought process. "I'm hungry."
Ah, that's right. You never ate breakfast. It's probably been a few hours. Looking at the clock on your cellphone.... 12:30?! Jesus christ, you've been out for a long damn time. It's amazing you didn't drop from hunger yet. And now that you've realized you haven't eaten, the feeling of hunger hits you like a brick.
"Oh, damn. You're right, it's pretty late. Let's go get something to eat."
In an attempt to avoid fast food, you instead take her to a local deli that you know makes very delicious sandwiches. Other than having good food, the place isn't anything special, but what actually matters is the food part. Shouko seems to enjoy her sandwich as much as you enjoy yours, which is a good thing. You spent the time eating answering the multitude of questions Shouko generated from the day.
"Hey, John," She asks after a while of having asked no questions, "isn't this what one would call a date?"
Instead of taking the cliche action of spitting out your food or drink when she asks this, you instead calmly finish chewing and swallowing and then answer.
"...I guess. But it was more of a tour than a date in my eyes."
"Ehh." You're not sure what to make of that reaction, but dwelling on it too much might not be the best idea.
The "date" as Shouko decided to call it after that ended pretty soon thereafter. Of course, by the time you got back to your apartment, Yumou already woke up.
After telling her you're ready to come back to Gensokyo, the two of you disappear in a flash of green.
Hah, the familliar field where everything started. It's unfortunate that whenever you use Yumou's method of traveling through the border, you end up in some random place in the middle of this emptiness instead of, say, her house, but it's better than not doing anything.
"Alright, John. I'm going to head back to Yumou's house now." She waves goodbye and starts leaving towards the house to the south.
Hmm. You've got a few options for what you'll do yourself. Your hand isn't bothering you anymore even though the aspirin undoubtedly died quite some time ago, but it might be good to get it looked at. It's also been a bit too long since you visited the library and in fact the Scarlet Devil Mansion in general, so that's an option. Then again, just relaxing at the village or Yumou's house might be a good idea as well.
[ ] Eientei [ ] Scarlet Devil Mansion [ ] Human Village [ ] Follow Shouko.
Hmm. Come to think of it, you've never actually taken lessons from Patchouli, even though you've proven yourself capable. It's too bad, since you've been advancing your magical knowledge still even without her help, even though you haven't really gotten anywhere. All you've really gotten to be able to do is light up a lightbulb with your electricity, and it still tends to explode whenever your concentration breaks just a tiny bit.
Time to head to the Misty Lake, then.
Well, getting here was fine, and the lake its self seems safe, but there's one glaring problem: There is no boat. It's pretty weird, since you're the only person you can think of who would need a boat, since the people who usually wouldn't be scared off by the idea of what's on the island normally just fly over, and you left it on this side when you left the mansion, so... Where the hell is it?
Damn, you're going to need to find another way to get acro-
Hey, wait. Who's that? There's someone on the other side of the lake. You can't tell who it is from here, but given the rate they're moving, they do seem to be flying, though quite low to the ground.
If they keep circling the lake in the direction they're going, and you walk the opposite direction, you should probably meet up in a few minutes.
[ ] Swim across the lake. [ ] Head towards the person. [ ] Do something else (specify)
Might as well head to the person. You don't really want to try swimming across, since it's a longer swim than you'd really like to do make, and it'd get your clothes pretty wet.
When you arrive in front of the girl, you find yourself witness to a strange, disturbing, and rather humorous sight. The small girl, dressed in a simple black and white dress, is wearing a welding mask over her face. How she can tell where she's going, you've got no idea, but that doesn't prevent it from being very amusing.
"Uh, hi." You speak to the girl when you get within conversational range.
"Wha- Who's there!?" She lifts the face of the mask up, revealing her deep ruby-red eyes, and then slams it back down and recoils, apparently in pain
"Owww..." She reaches up under the mask and starts rubbing her eyes. She then, much more carefully and slowly, lifts the face again, this time squinting at you.
"Who're- OH! I KNOW YOU!" She floats closer, a broad grin covering her face. Her eyes are now clamped tightly closed, though. But wait. She knows you? You don't know her. You can't remember seeing her before..Right? ...Maybe she's a little familliar, but you can't pinpoint it to anything, and for that matter can't even say that the familliarity is towards something that would even exist here in Gensokyo. "You're that person I tried to eat! But she stopped me, so I didn't." She's moving cl-wait, is this the youkai that attacked you in the forest? "This time, you won't get away~"
As she says this, a sphere of darkness extends from her, filling the entire general area you're in.
Yeah. It's pretty dark. You can't see a damn thing. This just causes problems, since apparently she's intent on eating you. However, the very first magic spell you ever learned is perfect for a situation like this. After all, fire was the original source of artifical lgiht for man.
It doesnt' even really take any effort to create a small ball of fire using magic. Which is weird, because you can feel it there both by the mana you're putting into it and the heat it's giving off, but you can't see it.
"Light doesn't work in here!" The girl speaks as she moves closer. You can't really tell by anything other than how loud her voice is. Hmm, if she's walking that direction...
Yeah, she just barely grazed you.
"Ah, there you are!" She steps towards where you were standing. ...Wait, she can't just see where you are? Oh ho, how intriguing. This ought to be pretty easy.
You simply step out of her way.
Every time she makes a sound, you step out of the way silently.
"Stop moving!" She sounds a little frustrated. Yeah, this isn't really the best method for capturing pray.
"Ah geez, I'm going to have to let some light in." Wait, what
A small beam of light penetrates through the darkness, searching for you. It quickly lands on you and stops, sorta like a spotlight. Only very tiny.
"Found you~" And suddenly you're tackled to the ground with a large amount of force.
...Yeah, last time you got pinned down by this girl, you couldn't fight back. Best just to prevent that from happening. However, burning her might be too much. Wouldn't want another Yuuka, right?
So, as you hit the ground, you force a roll, which puts her underneath you for a split second. During that time, you build up a charge of electric magic, and hit her directly with it.
"Eeeiii-!?" She lets out a scream in surprise as the electrical current passes through her body, leaving her unable to react for a split second. Which you make full use of to get out of that sphere of darkness.
Ahh, daylight. Now your eyes hurt. Maybe this is what the mask is for? In any case, given the way the sphere appears to be moving, she seems to be stumbling around looking for you still.
This...Is now getting on your nerves. Even though she isn't a real danger because of the fact that she apparently can't see, she's still trying to catch you. You could probably just sneak away, but then again, she could be your only way of getting across the lake for now.
[ ] Shock her into obedience. [ ] Just go back to the dock and wait for whoever was using the boat to get back. [ ] Decide to go somewhere else. (specify)
Hmm. The only real solution you have is to circle back around to the dock and wait for whoever took the boat to-
Oh hey, there it is. The person who was riding in it steps off, leaving the boat for your use.
You don't recognize her, though, so you just give a casual wave as you walk past her and climb onto the boat.
Thankfully, Meiling let you through the gate without even asking any questions.
Inside, it's just as big and confusing as you remember. Unfortunately, that remembering doesn't go much further than that, so you're often left asking directions from the fairy maids you happen upon. Eventually, you find your way to the library, and, with great effort, push open the large, heavy doors at its entrance.
The shelves of books that make up the maze known as the Voile library, of course, aren't any easier to find your way through than the rest of the mansion. Fortunately, after only a few minutes of wandering around, you find yourself at the familliar reading area where one can usually find Patchouli. And of course, just as you'd expect, she's sitting there reading a rather large book.
Not wanting to interrupt her, you sit down and pull out one of your own books to read through. You've been reading through the beginner's magic book that she first gave you recently, so you choose to read it.
Of course, there's nothing particularly useful in the chapters you manage to read before she speaks up, just a bunch of stuff on elementary control of the flow of mana that you already figured out yourself trying to comprehend the more advanced book on the same exact subject that you also borrowed. Anyway, before you get on to anything useful, Patchouli closes her book and speaks.
"John. I appreciate you waiting quietly while I was reading. I imagine you're here for the first of the magic lessons I agreed to teach you."
"Yeah. I'm not really getting much further from just reading the books."
"That's not very surprising. Magic is best learned through experience, not by explanation. I could tell you the words to even the simplest of spells, but if you didn't know how they worked it'd be useless."
"I see." That does make sense, though. There's a lot of things like that, which you could write the most detailed manuals that are even possible for, and it'd be useless without the person they're attempting to teach knowing what they're supposed to learn.
"That being said, though. Learning magic purely through experience only takes you so far. A lot of the things one must know in order to use magic are the type of things that must be memorized. For example, most magic works on symbolism, so an understanding of the symbolic is a prerequisite for magic more advanced that simply lighting something on fire with magic. However, the first lesson won't be getting into anything like that. Instead of that, we'll review what you know first, so that I know what you need to learn. Choose a spell that you know fairly well, so that you can demonstrate it for me."
Hmm. You only actually know a few spells.
[ ] The self-sustaining balls of fire you first learned how to use. [ ] The electric spell that you used in that fight earlier.
If she wants an example of a spell, it's really a choice between those self-sustaining balls of fire and the electric magic you used in that fight earlier. As it stands, using fire magic has become second-nature to you, so you're only realy limited by your low actual capacity for magic. Without access to the mana battery, you can only really summon maybe ten of those in a day, and you've limited your use of the battery to emergencies, since not many people can refill it for you. In fact, you really do it without thinking, as an automatic thing similar to how one gets used to operating a clutch.
...So it won't really do.
The other possibility, the electric magic, you actually have to focus in order to use properly. It also uses up a lot more mana for some reason, as you're already almost drained from that fight earlier.
Fortunately, the person teaching you how to use magic can refill your mana battery whenever so needed, so you don't need to hold back.
Focusing for a little bit, you draw some mana from the battery and use it to build up an electrical charge, which remains floating there in the form of a ball because you've not arced it at anything yet. Unfortunately, you can't just let it self-sustain like the fire magic, since if you leave it alone too long it just dissipates. So, you keep supplying all the mana that the charge needs in order to continue existing.
"Electric magic. Interesting." Patchouli comments with her ever-stoic expression. "I had expected to see a fire-based spell, but this is useful as well."
She walks up and...wait, if you touch that you'll-
But instead of getting shocked pretty badly, she has no problem just grabbing the spell you've been using.
"Allow me to examine this." As she says this, her hands glow purple briefly, and then...
You just lost control over the spell, yet it still exists in her hands.
"Hmm. Low-quality and inefficient. The most basic form of electricity magic. Though, it's around the level one would expect from someone with your level of experience. Strictly speaking, however, magic on this level is only useful in combat, and even then won't be very effective against most foes you'll encounter. With that in mind, would it be correct to assume that you've only ventured into the very basic forms of magics?"
"Hmm. Magic on this level is only useful when you have already learned spells. The true art of magic comes not with the use of spells, but with the creation of them. It will take some time before you are capable of using more advanced spells, so we'll have to start with the very basics." And from there, she begins a lecture.
Much of what she told you, you had already gleamed from the books you've read. Mostly, she's just telling you the basic things about what magic is that you had already known, as well as a few other things you had read in your books but had not understood. Eventually she got on to the basic technique of actually using magic.
"Hmm. It seems that for now, the only thing you can actually do to improve your magic is to practice using it. The best method for getting better is to use most of your mana before going to sleep on practice. The lessons following this will be also mostly guided practice until your ability has progressed enough to start learning more complex spells. However, for now, the lesson will end here. Come back whenever you feel ready for your next lesson."
She opens the book she was reading before you interrupted her back up, and picks up from where she left off.
Well, guess that means your interraction with her is mostly done for now.
[ ] Libraries are for reading. [ ] Visit Remilia; it's been a long time [ ] Head to the human village. [ ] Perhaps there's something interesting at the shrine.
When one visits the mansion, it's practically required to see the mistress. Even with social customs out of the way, it's been far too long. The last time you saw her was at the drinking party Yumou threw as an apology for causing such an annoying incident.
...Heh, Yumou throwing a drinking party. That's like a diabetic hosting a bake sale.
Anyway, time to find her room.
Walking through the halls...You have no goddamn clue where you are. And goddamnit, why are the fairies all of a sudden so shy? It's as if they're intentionally trying to be unhelful. ...You wouldn't put it past them if that were the case, but still.
Eventually, after spending a good ten minutes trying to figure your way through this mansion which seems to make no sense in its design, you shock yourself to find yourself right in front of the large doors to Remilia's room. Yeah, it's pretty shocking that you found it that quick. It was easier back when you had wandered the hallways snooping aroud while living here, but you haven't been here in so long that you can barely remember which direction to take from the lobby to start your path here.
Raising your fist to knock, you swing it at the door, and- Wait, no. That might not be a good idea. Remilia sleeps during the day, and is active at night. She might be in the middle of her sleep cycle now. Right, knocking softly.
After a minute or no with no response, Sakuya appears next to you.
"Ah, John. Sorry, but Remilia is sleeping right now. If you want to stay and wait until she wakes, you're more than welcome to."
Gah. Just as you'd worried.
[ ] Stay and wait. [ ] Leave. (specify destination)
Well, you've really got nothing planned, so you may as well. Sitting in the very comfortable furniture, in a mansion that could only be owned by someone at the top of the upper class, is definitely better than wandering around Gensokyo's wilderness.
"Yeah, I guess I'll stay."
"Please follow me, then. I will take you to the sitting room." She turns and begins walking.
"Alright." And you follow after her.
Along the way, you decide to make small talk.
"So, Sakuya, how have you been doing?"
"Me?" She looks at you quizzically, as if it was a strange question to ask. "I've been fine, but why?"
"I was just curious."
And the silence returns, but this time not for long enough to require being broken again.
"And here we are. Make yourself comfortable. Would you like me to bring you some tea?"
"Yeah, sure." Tea does sound pretty good right now.
"Understood." Sakuya's appearance flickers once. "It is waiting on the table, then. I hope it is to your liking. Is there anything else I can do?"
"Nah, not really." Though Pe certainly disagrees.
"Alright. If you need something, call for me or ask one of the fairy maids." When she finishes her sentence, she suddenly disappears. Must be pretty busy.
You quickly move to take a seat at a small table, almost identical to the one in Remilia's room, where Sakuya set your tea. There's also a copy of that taboid you've seen a few times before.
[ ] Read some more of the magic basics book. [ ] Admire the tea. [ ] Read the tabloid. [ ] Practice magic.
Tabloids can be entertaining, but right now you're not really in the mood. Since you're also not really in the mood to just sit there, you fish around in your backpack (gotta get rid of this thing) until you find one of the books in bookmark form, and pull it out to read. The cover reads Beginner's Magic, so it's the one you've been reading anyway. That means you can just pick up from where you left off. The others you'd probably have to skim over the other parts, since you can only really remember the things you've actually used in practice.
Opening the book, you begin to read the text.
The concept of elements in magic and existance has existed for a long period of time. Depending on what part of the world one is in, what these elements are believed to be may be different. Some elemental systems have as few as three elements in them, while others may have as many as eight. Regardless of the number, elements have a huge effect on magic.
Spells that involve elemental qualities will act in certain ways depending on their elemental affiliation. Additionally, they may have an increased or decreased effect on other spells or objects with elemental affiliations. It should be noted that in most cases, an elemental affiliation isn't an intrinsic effect, but rather one based on the current state of an object. For example, if you take a block of steel, it may be of the steel element, but if you were to heat it until it melts into a liquid, it might instead be affiliated with fire, or, if you stretch it quite a bit, water.
The book goes on to explain in more depth the relation of elements on magic, and some of the common elemental systems. The basic ideas of most of the systems were easy to understand, but to memorize the exact interactions of different elements with each other would take quite some time, so you just make a mental note to read it again.
When you're finished with the chapter, you decide to take a break from reading, and instead just sit there and finish your tea.
Just as you find the page you were on before closing the book, you hear the door to the library swing open. Ah, must be Sakuya to tell you that Remilia's woke up.
"Oh, John!" Well, you recognize this voice, but it's neither Remilia's nor Sakuya's. ...Isn't she not supposed to leave the basement? "Let's play something!" Oh man, this is it. You're dead.
...Wait, just because what she has in mind is probably violent and very dangerous doesn't mean that's what you have to do. There's definitely other things you could suggest, and she'd probably enjoy them.
One thing comes to mind. Exploring the basement. It mainly sticks out because that's where Remilia told you she had stored the silver bullets that came with the gun she gave you. If you could find those, and satisfy Flandre's demands for entertainment at the same time, you're killing two birds with one insane psychopathic avatar of destruction.
Well, it's decided then.
"Sure, let's go exploring together!" Enthusiastic is the best way to go with this, since the more fun it sounds the easier it'll be to get her to do it.
"Ehh? Exploring? Where?" Flandre responds, with a confused expression.
"The basement! It's like a maze down there, and I'm sure it'll be exciting. Last time I went down there, I got attacked by some demon thing." Hopefully this'll work.
"Ehh, sounds boring..." Oh damnit, you're going to have to run around for your life aren't you? "But if that's what you want to do, okay!"
YES! You're saved from a certain death once again.
Now, since you can't quite remember exactly where the basement is, you'll have to leave guidance up to her.
"Lead the way, then. You're the one that wanted to play, after all."
You already knew from experience, but this place has some really bizarre basement entrances. Flandre stopped seemingly randomly to examine a portrait on the wall, and then all of a sudden jammed her fingers into its eyes. Before you got to ask what she was doing, the floor gave out from underneath you, dropping you into a pool of water just deep enough to catch the fall of an average-sized person. Of course, you only had a couple seconds to see where you'd have to swim towards to get out before the floor above replaced its self in a normal position.
To deal with the sudden pitch-black darkness, you fire up one of those floaty fireballs, being careful not to waste too much mana in case it gets put out or something.
"Well, I guess this is where we intended to go anyway, but..." You comment on the situation.
Looking around, you see...well, nothing, really. The hallway in front of you is pitch black, and your fireball only illuminates so far. However, since you've only got one direction to go, you take it.
After a relatively short distance, you about walk into a wall. Thankfully you saw it just in time. Looking around, it seems that the hallway ends when it meets a perpendicular hallway. Obviously, this leaves you with two choices of what direction to go.
Or does it? Of course, there's always that one option. It never worked in the future, but it's at least worth a shot, right?
"Let's go forward. Flandre, mind removing that wall from our path of travel?"
Flandre reaches out her hand palm first, and then clenches it sharply into a fist. The wall in front of you falls apart, filling the hallway with dust from the shattered brick. This, of course, renders your fireball useless at lighting the place.
"So what now?" You can hear Flandre next to you ask. "Do we go through, or... What's that?"
With no warning, razor-sharp teeth clamp down on your head, killing you instantly.
[ ] Go back 1 choice, left [ ] Go back 1 choice, right
Alright, my writing ability probably withered away during my absense, but I'll do my best. ---
"Let's go that way, then." You say, pointing down the hallway to the right.
So you walk down the hallway for a few feet, before suddenly falling into a chair.
Hmm. This is a very similar situation to those dreams you had while Yumou was on her silly conquest, only instead of an empty black background, the chair and table you're sitting at is surrounded by a Japanese-style house that makes the western-style tea table seem very out of place. And, of course, there's a person sitting across from you, enjoying her tea. Unfortunately, it isn't the person you'd prefer to be the one to suddenly pull you into dreamworld tea.
"Hmm? What's wrong?" She asks with a questioning look.
"I was in the middle of something." Might as well try the tea, though.
"Too bad~ I need your help." She smiles warmly at you. It appears she's pretty good at faking emotions.
"What could YOU possibly need MY help for? This is like if a billionaire asked me to lend him some money." Actually, this is pretty good tea. Nowhere near Reimu's level, though. Probably not Remilia's either.
"Ah, but if that billionaire's money was useless where he's trying to buy something, and you have money that is, that'd make sense. Or if he doesn't want to do something troublesome like go to get his currency converted himself." It appears she's trying to avoid explaining exactly how you can be of use to someone like her at this point.
"So what is it you need me to do, then?" Since it's impossible to do it without knowing. At least, under normal circumstances.
"Nothing right now. I just wanted to let you know, so you wouldn't be inconvenienced in the future."
...She's doing this on purpose isn't she.
"Then why-" You begin to ask, before she interrupts.
"I'll see you again then~" She waves her fan, and then all of a sudden you find yourself in a new location once again.
It's getting to the point where those three words don't even need to be said anymore.
Looking around, you appear to be in the middle of some village. Since there's people here, and they aren't wearing modern clothes, the most reasonable assumption is that it's the same human village that you first came across. You've never seen or heard about any others, so it's the most likely answer. However, since you don't recognize any landmarks at all, you're instantly lost. This is pretty annoying, since it prevents you from meeting up with anyone that might be able to help you get back to the mansion.
Speaking of which, it'd be a good idea to pick who to ask for help regarding that.
Argh. Decided to read Nightmare! from the beginning before updating it. A few posts in I realized that a bunch of the first bit of the story doesn't fit in with the rest, and that the writing is subpar. As a result, before I continue updating the story, I'm going to rewrite the beginning to suck less.
You decide to propose hide and seek. Flandre calls your idea boring and goes off to find something else to do. Subsequently the writer stops trying to indirectly undo the poorly-devised plot sinkhole that he got this thing stuck in for over a year.
So, now you're in the Viole library, with only a vague memory of what your backstory is or what has happened in the story. This means that you can more or less choose for yourself what the hell you want to do next, without having any sort of situation forced upon you by the writer. Hopefully things will start working out once you begin doing something.
Stuffing your book into your bag, you stand up and stretch. It feels like you've been stuck in the same position for 17 months straight. Your neck is a little sore.
Oh, that guy. It's best not to listen to him. Besides, what he's getting at is a pretty stupid idea. Yeah, sticking it in a succubus is probably one of the better ways to die, but you'd still rather not die in the first place.
...However, getting to know somene better isn't that bad of an idea. You've visited this place quite a few times, but the most you usually ever talk to her about is where to find something in the library. It's a rather distant relationship to have with your teacher's assistant.
With that thought in mind, you begin walking around in search of the devil girl.
After looking around for a while, you finally find her filing books onto a shelf.
Walking up to her, you greet her.
"Ah, there you are."
"Hmm?" She responds, turning away from the stack of books to look at you. "Oh, John. Can I help you with something?"