Wanderlost !!L0A2ZkLGL2 2012/09/27 (Thu) 07:05 No. 47077 ▼
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“So there really was a Yukari under all that mess. You look much better now. Relatively speaking.” Reimu smiles at me from over by the stove.
Yeah, yeah, Reimu. I know I look terrible. Between the hair loss and scars, I could really do with a hat. More immediately, what’s for breakfast? Or is it dinner? What are we having?
“Fried wolf over curried rice. I figured you needed meat to get back to full strength. Hopefully, it will be edible. I mean, I rarely cook meat and I’ve never tried to cook a wolf, so…”
I recall that last week, Reimu mentioned in passing that a wolf tried to get into the chicken coop. This is the sort of thing that happens to those unfortunate enough to try to steal from the Hakurei Shrine. It’s also the reason we never seem to get any visitors. Aside from Marisa and Mima that is. I suppose the fact that the nearest human settlement is a three day walk from here doesn’t help. Humans seem to detest inconvenience, and the few other youkai I’ve met have had a keen danger sense.
Regarding the taste of the food, I’m not too worried. It smells excellent at least. The food you normally make is at least technically edible. It may taste like tree bark, but I had to eat worse from time to time before I came to live here.
“Technically edible?! And tree bark ?!” Reimu sputters. “Are you saying I have no sense of taste?”
No! Not at all! Wait… yes, exactly that.
“How ungrateful! At least I cook better than Marisa!” Great, now she’s in a huff. Good job me.
Um, not really. Her meals look and smell toxic, but they usually taste amazing and unique. Her experiments tend to be successful. Meanwhile, you can somehow ruin rice. For all your talents, you can’t cook at all.
“Well sorry for not living up to your standards miss gourmet.”
Or any standards whatsoever.
At this point, Reimu whacks me over the head with the spoon she was using to stir the rice. It doesn’t hurt much, but I get showered in rice.
You got rice in my hair, Reimu. I franticly try to brush it off.
“And you got hair in my rice.” She points the spoon at me accusingly. Her expression indicates that she feels it’s actually my fault. I stare back at her defiantly.
After half of a minute of mutual frowning, my mouth starts to twitch. Reimu grins and we both burst into uncontrollable laughter. Every time it seems like one of us is close to stopping, we make eye contact, and the laughing begins anew. By the time we manage to compose ourselves, I’m practically in tears, and Reimu’s face is almost as red as her clothes.
“Ah, that was great.” Reimu says between gasps for breath. “I really needed that.”
I did too, Reimu. A little bit of normalcy is essential when things are going crazy.
“It’s good to have you back Yukari.” Reimu gives me a hug.
Good to be back. I return the hug warmly.
The food is actually quite good. The curry offsets Reimu’s inability to cook rice, and the wolf is actually quite tender.
Whenever I ate wolf in the wilds, it was always sort of stringy. Of course, it was raw. And yet, I’ve always enjoyed wolf more than other meats. I suppose it was always a challenging fight. I always worked up an appetite killing wolves. They were the biggest thing I could hunt, and almost never ran away. Most of my good memories from that time are of feasting on rewarding kills. I even made the knife I always have with me from a wolf’s jawbone. I wonder if it’s still out back where I dropped it.
“You always think so much more than you say Yukari. If you’re thinking about something, then you might as well say it. Honesty is the best policy and such. Your knife is right here by the way.” Reimu passes the knife to me. It looks a little chipped, but is fine overall. “I don’t know why you even have that. It isn’t really very useful.”
I have it to defend myself. More than once, I’ve used it to intimidate attackers into backing down.
“Like how you defended yourself against the Border?” Reimu’s tone is unfamiliar. It’d harsh and almost choked, very different from her usual lecturing voice. I find myself a little frightened. “With the way you handled that , I feel as though you don’t deserve to carry around a weapon. You aren’t mature enough.” She gestures at me to give the knife back to her. Like that’s going to happen!
I am so mature! And I already tried every alternative before resorting to violence.
“ Really now? You tried asking nicely? How about placing them on the ground in front of the Border? Did you ask for help any? Hell, even leaving the perimeter unfinished like last time would have been preferable to what you did!” Reimu remains composed enough to stay seated.
Half of those options don’t even make sense! You’d just mock me for being stupid if I asked you. And giving up after seven hours of work would be humiliating.
“So you started a fight with reality just to save face ? Personal honor and glory should not be worth more than your life , no matter who you are!”
What about duty then? You taught me that duty mattered more than life? Was that not true?
“It’s only true for me ! I’m Reimu Hakurei ! Being the Hakurei means I have to prioritize duty. And besides, how can you expect to keep doing your duty if you’re already dead? ”
I can’t win this argument. Even if I knew which parts to poke holes in, I’m not sure how they would be wrong. I guess wisdom will come with time. I guess that, for now at least, I’ll just have to deal with the consequences.
“ DEAL WITH THE CONSEQUENCES?! ” She slams her fist on the table. “You died Yukari! It took me three days and almost all of the faith I had in order to restore you to the wreck you are now! I even had to call in a favor from one of Gensokyo’s founders to bring you back from the brink! So don’t act like I’m the in the wrong! Admit your mistakes and learn from them! That’s what adults do.”
I-but why would you? Won’t you disappear if you run out of faith? You’d risk that for me ?
“Believe it or not, I see you as family , Yukari. We might be related not by blood, but we certainly are in circumstance. People take risks for the ones they love. And where did you get the idea that I’d disappear if I ran out of faith? I never said anything like that!”
Marisa said that faithless gods disappear! Is that wrong?
“Not exactly… but I’m a human who became a god. Only artificial gods who weren’t something before disappear. I’m just weak for a while when I use too much power.” She gestures around her. The orbs which usually circle her are gone.
I’m kind of stupid for failing to notice the lack of orbs. They provide most of the color in her look. So they indicate her power level then? I always thought they were some sort of accessory or conversation piece.
Normally, there are four glass orbs filled with the elements circling Reimu. The Fire Orb is rarely present at all. Reimu once said that the irregularly orbiting heat makes her uncomfortable, but I think it would be nice in winter to have it pulsing around my chest.
Next to go is the Lightning Orb. It has to cause at least half of Reimu’s hair troubles, what with the constant static it exerts from just above her head. Yet, she seems to cherish it for some reason.
The Water Orb is usually present floating lazily around Reimu’s head at about eye level for her. It always moves in the opposite direction from the Fire Orb. While it seems like a distraction, the fact that the orb occasionally reflects distorted shapes indicates that Reimu can probably use it to see behind her.
For the first time I’ve ever seen, the Darkness Orb isn’t bolting up and down Reimu’s back. It always seems so frantic to detach itself from her. The thing always tries to club at people who get near. Luckily, it can only reach about an arm’s length away from her before snapping back. Seriously, why does she even have it if it can’t tell friend and foe apart?
I know that the orbs are supposed to mean something . Reimu just says that together, they symbolize a harmony of the elements. They don’t seem harmonious at all to me. She never mentions the individual meanings either. How did she get those anyway? I’m sure it’s an epic tale of heroism and glory!
“If you’re quite done with your inane tangent, can we get back to an apology?”
Aww! But I want to hear that story!
“Quit acting like such a baby! At least act your apparent age!”
So then, how exactly is a thirteen-year-old supposed to act? I sincerely don’t have any idea.
“Well, um, I guess you should…” She doesn’t know! “You should avoid angering your mother figure, especially if she happens to be your god! If you do upset her, I mean me, you should apologize. Sound regretful, genuflect, and the like.”
She really is terrible at this. I should probably humor her though. Still, I don’t really feel like it and I’m sorry Reimu! I only wanted to prove myself as good enough. Please forgive me! why is she so hung up on this apology junk anyway?
“I’m ‘hung up’ on it because you don’t seem to care how the consequences of your actions affect other people. If you can’t at least acknowledge the fact that you affect others with every good or bad choice, then you’ve learned nothing in the years you’ve lived here.” Reimu takes a deep breath. Her next words come out as the tiniest of whispers. “Do you regret the path which has led you here? The path of foolishness and pointless violence.”
I don’t know. I thought I was doing what was right. And I haven’t even told my side of what happened!
“Which is?” Reimu taps her foot, waiting for my no doubt already deemed insufficient explanation.
It wasn’t the Border who attacked me.
“You mean who you attacked.”
Whatever. I spoke to the Border while I was dead. She said that some powerful mage was tampering with the natural order. It was something about destroying Gensokyo or the outside world.
“That seems a little… absurd. The border is warded against magical intrusions. I believe you found that out while trying to control it with a water spell. The only people who can manipulate the Border are Gensokyo’s three founders. Of them, I trust one implicitly, and another restored you to life. It would be impossible for any one of the three to destroy Gensokyo without another’s consent anyway.”
I guess I don’t really know anything about Gensokyo’s workings after all. I just assumed things were always the way they are now. Today is the first time I’ve really heard anything about founders and anti-tampering protocols. I’m torn between a desire for answers and a need to finish explaining first.
I guess I might as well…
 ask away! More knowledge might provide clues as to what is going on.
- Who are these three founders you mentioned?
- What sort of dealings did you have with the founders in the past?
- One of them saved me? I should really thank them.
- Where does the Border fit into all of this?
- I have a few other questions as well. (write in)
 get on with it. I should finish explaining what I know.
- I should provide what little else I know about the perpetrator.
- The border offered me a deal. What do you think about it?
- Apparently, a highly powerful mage is probably out for my blood. What should we do?
- We should also talk about… (write in)
Also choose three:
After FIVE missed deadlines, I return with an update longer than the rest of the story so far combined! I'm not entirely satisfied with the way things turned out, but I never am with my work.
Distractions and health issues abound, but things should be easier from here on out. If I ever go another straight week without at least posting SOMETHING, please call me out on it loudly.
As always, please comment and tell me how, specifically, I'm doing it wrong.
Problems in this story will require lateral thinking and creativity. Vote as you like here, an info dump now could be very useful later.