I promised myself that if I could keep updating with some level of consistency for two months, I would revive another story.
Here we are, at the start of the month, and I feel that it's time to make due on that promise to myself.
Unfortunately, I'm not sure if I'll be able to keep up with the demands required if I am to continually update two series at once. If this turns out to the the case, rest assured, VTAiG will be my top priority. It was always my most popular story in the past, and personally the most fulfilling to write.
Also unfortunate is the fact that, when I first wrote VTAiG, I didn't save any of my posts. It's been years now, and those threads have slipped off of the listing, so I can't continue where it left off. Unfortunately, this means that all of the last game's previous progress has been lost, so in order to continue writing it, the only possibility is start it anew.
To start it off, we'll have a marathon today. First vote wins unless there is an overwhelming majority in opposition.
On an unrelated note, finding an image for this post on Google was quite interesting with the new search features they've added.
You wake up tired one monday after a long night of playing videogames. You find yourself feeling like something awesome is going to happen today. You are in a one-room apartment, cheap because you need money to fuel your nerdy habits.
On the north wall of the room, there is a computer desk with a computer on it. West wall you have a closet with your random junk in it. The south wall of your room has your bed. To the west is the exit.
After putting your pants and shirt on, you rifle through your pockets. Inside you have a 2GB flash drive, a small pocket knife, a Zippo lighter, and your wallet.
You decide to check the contents of your computer's hard drive, as well as the flash drive in your pocket.
Unfortunately, when you attempt to turn your computer on, it fails to start. Some sort of purple smoke starts emanating out from the fan port on the top. You're not sure if it's related to the magical blue smoke or not, but you're worried.
Suddenly, you realize that just going with the first idea to pop into your head is stupid.
Really, why would you do that? It's almost as if you're intentionally trying to be stupid in order to mess with people. Except, you're the only person here, so the only person you're messing with is yourself, and by doing really stupid shit.
That said, this time it was actually the first thought that came to you that was the most objectively sensible. Purple smoke is quite strange. You should put a little bit more effort into locating the source. That way, you'll know which component needs replacing when it comes time to head down to the store.
Come to think of it, it's April Fools, so it's possible that someone just left you a neat prank. You'll keep an eye out for some sort of smoke machine as well.
After disconnecting the computer and moving it to a place more easy to investigate, you plug it back in and attempt to start it up again.
This time you discover that the smoke appears to be coming from some sort of tear in spacetime. Wait, what?
You stare at this anomaly for a moment. True, this is one of those times of years where infections start going around. You might just have a fever, and this is probably just a fever-induced delirium.
But you feel fine. Ergo, this is just really fucking weird.
You lean closer to get a better look, being careful not to breathe in any of the purple smoke.
But then you see it.
An eye, staring at you through the tear.
No, not just one eye. One large eye, but there are many smaller eyes in the...distance? Back in the back of the...whatever the fuck it is.
You gasp in shock, and fall over backwards on your ass. You've just seen something terrible.
Or you just have a fever.
Steadying yourself, you push your hand into the floor. You immediately retract it in terror when it seems to sink it. It's then that you realize that everything in your vision is rippling. Your body feels excruciating heat and freezing cold at the same time. Your muscles all feel sore, and your mind starts to go blank.
You realize that you might have breathed in some of that smoke when you gasped.
For once, this time you don't wake up in a field.
...For once? You've never woken up in a field in your life.
Okay then, for once you don't find yourself in a field.
What the hell does a field have to do with your current situation?
Well alright then. I'm just trying to be helpful, no reason to be rude.
But you're me, and there's no way I can be helpful to myself when I have no idea what's happening. You think to yourself.
Weren't you already thinking to yourself?
Forcing your eyes open, you take in the light from your surroundings.
Or, rather, your lack of light, as that's what there seems to be. You can see a small light, looks like the flame from a candle, in the distance.
Forcing yourself into a sitting position, you realize two things. First, the floor seems to be made of cold stone. Second, oh SHIT you're locked in some dungeon somewhere.
You might want to untie the rope.
What fucking rope?
...Oh, that one. Tied around your ankle. It feels like a pretty good knot, too.
Feeling around in your pockets, you find that you have everything that you had before...
Before you accidentally breathed in some of that smoke and passed out.
You need to b careful. You have no idea who brought you here, or why thy decided to tie you up.
Thankfully, you aren't the only one who doesn't know about something. Whoever brought you here probably doesn't know that you're awake, or that you've cut yourself free.
You can take advantage of this.
You take a moment to listen. It would do you no good if you were to be caught right away just because you didn't know they're here.
Nothing. Looks like you're alone down here. That's good.
Reaching into your pocket, you pull out your lighter and spin the wheel, generating a delightful spay of sparks. After a few tries, the fuel ignites, and you have fire.
Unfortunately, it isn't very bright. The flame from this type of lighter is bigger than generic ones, but it's still barely brighter than a candle. To top it off, you don't know how long the fuel will last, and you have no idea if you'll find more fuel or another source of flame.
But, you at least get a better view of your immediate surroundings.
Rather than concrete, the floor looks to be made up of stone bricks. Someone either spent a lot of money and effort setting this up, or took you somewhere very far from where you live.
The rope appears to be made up of natural fibers, rather than synthetic ones. You have no idea why they'd go out of their way to use weaker materials like this, but that doesn't matter right now. It appears that the end has become frayed where you cut it. The it might be possible to light it with your lighter, but it would be more difficult to snuff out in a hurry.
You decide to take the risk and light the rope. Once it gets going, the flame is a little bigger than the lighter's, so you can see around a little better.
It appears that you are in a small room. There is no door, but the room opens up into a dark hallway.
Careful to be as quiet as you can, you creep towards the opening and look both ways down the hallway.
To the right, it leads to a staircase. From here, you can't tell how high up it goes.
To the left, it continues for a distance. You can't seek we'll enough to determine whether there are any more rooms, but at the end you can see a dim light. Otherwise, the hallway is even less lit than the room was.
Given how dark it is, chances are you're underground. In that case, the obvious thing is to go upwards towards the surface and hope that you can find your way to a major road or something. Hell, this might be in the middle of some city. You still have your wallet, so bus fare home shouldn't be a problem.
Really, what kind of abductor doesn't take their abductee's stuff?
In any case, you follow your plan and begin to climb the stairs. When you reach the top, you find a heavy trapdoor blocking your way. Unfortunately, it seems to be locked.
The door looks like it's seen better days. The nails holding the lock in place might not be as firmly rooted as they originally were.
Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that there's anything you can use to pry out the nails.
Well, that's not entirely true. You could try to pry them out with your knife, but if it doesn't work it'll probably end up chipping the blade. Hell, even if it does work, it'll probably end up chipping the blade.
You could always try just forcing it open.
Are you nuts? Even if it worked, it'd make a hell of a lot of noise. You might escape, but you also might get run down. You aren't the best sprinter out there.
For now, it seems best to just give up on this door. Perhaps there's something you missed in the room you came from. You were in a bit of a hurry to get out, after all.
Swinging around a burning rope like this to see is a goddamn pain.
For a second, the thought of a large smiling corpse comes to you. You have no idea where that came from, so you chalk it up to him being crazy.
Who's this "him" you're thinking about, anyway?
Well that's you, obviously.
This is confusing.
You should probably stop arguing with yourself and work on getting that door open, then.
You agree with that thought.
You silently make your way back to the room you came from, and take a moment to look around. There isn't much useful in the room. Aside from the rest of the rope that was tying you down, you find a rusty, bent old spoon cast aside in one of the corners. It probably won't help you with that door at all, but you stuff it in your pocket anyway, for now.
You also grab the rest of the remaining rope. The segment you're using as a light source isn't burning that quickly, but it's not going to last forever.
Exhausted of options in this room, you decide to head towards the light at the other end of the hall. You quietly walk, taking note of what you see on the way through. You pass by a couple of closed doors, but they appear to have heavy padlocks on them. Unfortunately, these seem to be using more modern hardware. They appear to be made out of titanium, and the loops that they're attached down are secured in place with heavy lag bolts. Whatever, if anything, is inside of them, you're going to either need a key or some serious hardware to find out.
The key isn't down here. You shouldn't worry about those doors for now.
Well okay then. You don't know how you suddenly know this, but whatever.
As you grow nearer to the light, you decide to snuff out the rope for a little bit more stealth. Judging by the room you came from, it's probably a candle anyway, which you can use to relight the rope if it comes to it.
You approach the door, hugging tight to the wall on the same side and listening for any sort of sounds from inside the room. You don't hear any, but that doesn't mean it's safe.
>>48935 Before opening the door, attempt to determine if anyone is behind it. If there is someone who is hostile or does not have our mutual/best interest in mind, burst in with your rope ready as a weapon (whip/strangling depending on length).
You take a moment to determine whether there is anyone hostile inside the room before entering. You press your ear up against the door for a bit and listen.
No sounds come from inside the room. That doesn't mean that there's no one inside, though, so you act cautiously when opening the door.
Unexpectedly, the door swings open completely silently. Despite how old everything down here looks, at least it seems that people keep up with maintaining the hardware.
Inside the room is as dark as the room you came from. What little light illuminates the room comes from the candle outside the door. Because of this, all you can make out past the first few feet of the room is what looks like some sort of table against the wall.
Out of the corner of your eye, you notice an unlit candle on your right hand side.
Pulling out your lighter, you carefully light the candle, casting a bit more illumination around the room.
Still, one candle isn't a whole lot of light. But you can at least see now.
At a closer look, the table is more like a desk, with drawers on the side. Sitting on top is what looks like an oil lamp and a small book, about the size of a diary. Unfortunately, it's locked and chained shut. The chains aren't much, but you don't have any way to remove them at the moment.
You quickly check the drawers for anything useful.
For the most part, they're empty. You do manage to find a couple things, though. In the top drawer, you find a rather expensive-looking pen. It's far nicer than any pen you've owned, and you've still got some free space in your pockets, so you decide to hold onto it.
The middle drawer is empty, though when you pull it out you hear a strange jinging noise behind it, as if something made of metal fell.
In the bottom drawer, you find an old oil lantern that you can carry around, as well as what appears to be a can of oil for both the lantern and the lamp. You'll probably be able to take the lantern with you, but the oil its self is to bulky and heavy to carry around.
You're curious what that clinking sound was, so you decide to pull out the drawer and see what it was.
Right, but first you should light that lantern so you can actually see.
That's a good observation. You must be on a roll today.
Unfortunately it's difficult to light the lantern with the zippo, so you're forced to carry it over to the candle to get it lit. It already seems to be filled, so you aren't forced to open the can just yet.
It's no 60 watt lightbulb, but the lantern burns quite a bit more brightly than either the rope or the candle did. Or perhaps it's just because it properly controls where the light goes. Either way, you have a much better view of what you're doing now, especially after hanging the lantern from a hook you see on the cieling. Convenient.
It's at this point that you decide that it may be a good idea to close the door. One extra candle isn't that noticeable from down the hall, but the light from this is much more visible.
You go to work pulling the middle drawer out from the desk. Reaching in, you fish around for a bit before you feel something move around when your fingers brush over it. You almost lose it, but you manage to get your fingers around it and pull it out.
Looks like a key. It's much too large to fit the diary, and it's too new to fit the incredibly old lock on the trapdoor up the stairs, but it might unlock one of the padlocks on a door down here. Happy with your discovery, you stuff the key into your pocket. Your pockets are beginning to feel quite full now, though. It's fine to keep pocketing all this stuff when you aren't short on pocket space, but you might need to start unloading some of it if you find much more stuff to carry.
Now that you've investigated that, you decide to turn your attention to the room as a whole, taking a look in all of the previously dark nooks and crannies. There isn't much else to see in the room, just a couple more candles you might consider lighting if you end up staying in this room for a while. There's a waste bin sorta hidden from sight to the side and near the back of the desk, in which you find a seemingly new padlock. The key you found seems to work on it. It looks to be the same brand and model as the locks on the doors you saw on your way down here, but there's no way to be sure unless you try it.
Other than that, all you see is a completely empty book case. Upon closer inspection, there's an incredibly worn and rusted flathead screwdriver, which you quickly pocket.
You could probably use that to pry the nails on the trapdoor lock.
You decide to open the other locked doors outside.
Carefully, you pull down the lantern from the hook on the ceiling. It would be terrible if you dropped it on yourself and lit yourself on fire, or something.
And then you proceed on, towards the doors in the hall.
The first four doors aren't going to work. You shouldn't bother with them.
You have no idea where that thought came from, but you don't know how you could possibly know that the key wouldn't work in the first four locks. You decide to ignore it.
You stop at the first door, and insert the key into the padlock. It goes in just fine, and even turns. You start to smile, but then you realize that the lock still isn't opening. It's almost like it's jammed, or something. Odd.
The process fails in the exact same way on three more doors until you arrive at the last one. Apparently there were five doors.
This time, the key turns, and the padlock comes off like it's no big deal.
All five of these doors are locked, from your side. The room at the end of the hall wasn't locked, but it has no openings or exits. The room you came into didn't have a door at all, but it also had no entrance or exit points. And the trapdoor had a lock on your side as well.
You haven't seen anyone down here, or any other way in or out. If whoever brought you here was on the other side of any of these doors, they would have had to lock the door from the outside while inside.
So how did you get locked in here, then? No one could have entered or left, and the room you were in was the only one not locked from the hallway's side.
The only logical answer is that you locked the doors, but that doesn't make any sense.
From your perspective as well, that doesn't sound likely. You were put down here for a reason, it seems, but you can't think of a purpose you would have to do such a thing.
You're not sure whether to trust yourself here, though. You could easily be hiding something from yourself. After all, you do seem to have strange insights about what's going on.
And you're not too sure about believing yourself either. You may know things that it doesn't make too much sense to know, but you're certain that you didn't have anything to do with it. You, on the other hand, might not seem to know anything about what's going on, but it's also extremely curious how you ended up in your head.
This is all very confusing. You think that you need to get out of your head.
Hey, you aren't too happy about sharing a head with yourself either.
No, really, this is incredibly confusing. Without any way to tell you and yourself apart from each other, trying to think just results in headaches. And trying to refer to you and yourself just sounds awkward. You're tempted to just start using the word "we."
You think about it for a moment, but that doesn't make a whole lot of sense. You are you, so trying to refer to yourself as "we" when you're just talking about yourself doesn't sound right.
You might be right about that, but it's getting annoying when I can't tell my thoughts from my own. WE need to get this sorted out, don't you think?
You think that there's much more important things to worry about right now. Escaping, for example, and finding out what's on the other side of this door. What you'll find on the other side is very important, after all.
There you go again, being cryptic about things being important and everything. You wish you'd just tell yourself what the hell is going on. ...But you guess that you're right about that, though. Even if you're stuck with yourself in your head like this, you can't even do anything about it anyway until you find a way out of this place.
Slowly and cautiously, you turn the knob, and then slowly open the door. Before you even have it open more than a crack, you notice that the room is quite a bit better lit than the others you've been in. Even after you've gotten the door open all the way and looked aroudn inside for a bit, however, you still can't figure out where the light's coming from.
You suggest that it isn't entirely important at the moment. You also suggest that you stop ignoring that.
Right, that. The thing you didn't want to pay attention to, because it feels like your mind will break if you think about it too hard.
You don't think it will. After all, that's already happened, and that's how you got here. Right now, it's more important to look at the instructions.
Right, the note of paper you see sitting on a table you've been ignoring, because it's right in front of the tear in space you've been avoiding. You force yourself-
And you give yourself quite a bit of help in forcing yourself-
To pick up the note off of the table and read it.
On it you find what looks like clearly printed instructions on how to do something, numbered and everything. This is completely useless to you, though, as it appears to be written in Japanese, and you don't know how to read Japanese at all. Luckily, there are diagrams that give the same instructions in pictures on the back. These instructions present a quite less terrifying depiction of the tear in space right in front of you. The first step simply shows the gap. The second step has three diagrams: first, of a hand inserting a USB flash drive into the tear, second, of a hand inserting a pen into the tear, and third, a hand inserting a question mark into the tear. The first two make sense, but you're not sure how one is supposed to insert a question mark into a tear in space.
You should probably get some rest. You don't think you got enough of it to fully recover from that smoke you inhaled. You didn't want to say anything about it until now, since you seemed to be acting fine, but you can't hold back now that you've observed yourself not getting that the question mark is supposed to be a stand-in for another unspecified object.
You might have a point. Now that you think about it, you're starting to feel a little bit tired. Unfortunately, you don't have anywhere to really get some proper sleep. You could try locking yourself in to the room at the end of the hall with the padlock you found, but there's no mattress or anything to sleep on. You don't know how good of sleep you'd get like that.
You don't think that's something you should really be worried about. When you need sleep, you need sleep, whether you're sleeping on a mattress, or the floor, or a goddamn bed of nails.
You might be right about that. But, as you've said, there's more pressing matters, right?
Well, for now, yes. You suppose figuring out what to do here is probably a little bit more important at the moment. If it comes down to it, you can take over as well.
Right. So now it's time to decide what to do next.
Hmm...a USB, a Pen and Unknown? I'm guessing it's that chained book we saw earlier (all three related to storing/writing information). Since sleeping on cold stone floor is likely to make us feel even worse and stuffing objects into the gap might be a little too hasty I think I'll go with
.>Take the lantern and go back to the trapdoor. The screwdriver might be worn out, but we can still try to take that lock off.
...now that I think about it, maybe I missed it, but is that book chained to the desk, or just secured with chain and lock? Maybe we should inspect that lock for weaknesses?
>>48989 The book is only chained to its self. The chains only prevent the book from being opened, not from being moved around.
Well, to be honsest, you're pretty suspicious about this whole thing. You're trying not to think about it, but this tear in space is absolutely terrifying. It completely defies all logic, and even trying to look at it makes your head hurt. You have absolutely no reason to believe that putting the pen or flash drive in there will help you out at all, or that it's even safe to follow those instructions. For all you know, they'll summon some sort of eldritch abomination that will plunge the universe into terror.
Meanwhile, your true objective here is just to escape and get home. There's no reason why you need this thing in order to do that. After all, you haven't even tried to open the trapdoor again. This screwdriver should be able to pry up the nails at least enough to make pulling them out easier.
You decide to leave the room, closing and relocking the door behind you. It's probably completely unnecessary, but it can't hurt either, and that thing gives you the creeps.
Okay, time to go pull nails.
You make your way the rest of the way down the hall to the stairs, and climb up to the trapdoor. Brandshing the screwdriver, you get to work on the first nail, prying it up just enough that you can use something else for more leverage. Since you don't want to risk damaging the knife, you decide to use the spoon. You slide the halfway point on the handle under the head, and do the same with the screwdriver, and use them together to pull out the first nail.
...That isn't as easy as it sounds, you know. By the time you're done with the first one, your hands are sore, and the spoon's been damaged beyond its intended use.
Seeing no real reason to stop, though, you continue on, and eventually all of the nails holding the lock in place are removed. Unless there's something stopping it on the outside, it should be able to open now.
>>48992 >>48994 Before doing so, go back to the oil can and top off the lantern (after putting it out). Use our lighter to navigate to the trapdoor. Then peek through the trapdoor to see if anyone is nearby before exiting the area. If we didn't take the book, do so. Also if the place beyond the trapdoor is lit, snuff the light of the lighter so as to not waste oil/whatever is lighting the lighter.
The trapdoor's unlocked. As much as you want to just rush out to freedom, you should make sure that you're as prepared as possible. You don't know what time of day it is, and if it's dark out, you'll want your lantern to last as long as you can make it. You haven't exactly been lallygagging, but you have no idea how quickly the oil in this thing burns out.
Making your way back to the room at the end of the hall, you first light the candles so that you can see what you're doing, and then you snuff out the lantern. After allowing the lantern to cool down a bit in the air, you pop open the can of oil and pour it in to top it off.
You've smelled both name-brand and off-brand fuels designed to go in Zippos, and this smells like neither. It's also a bit thicker, so you're not sure how good of a job it would do saturating the cotton inside. Unfortunately it looks like you're stuck with only the fuel that your lighter already had in it before you got here.
You decide to pick up the book as well. It'll be a little cumbersome to carry, since it's just a bit too big to fit in any of your pockets, but when you get out of here it may at least give you insight on who locked you up down here so they can be brought to justice. Or something.
You don't really think that's going to work.
Oh well, it doesn't matter if it works. The important thing here is morale.
Despite the lack of refill fuel, the difficulty in controlling it, and the lack of overall light produced by just the zippo, you decide to use it to navigate your way to the trapdoor. Really, it does produce enough light for this purpose. You already know what's in between you and the trapdoor, so all you really need it for is to prevent yourself from tripping over yourself.
You arrive at the trapdoor, and do another last check over everything before carefully pushing the trapdoor open. Unfortunately, it takes both hands to do this, so you are forced to put your lighter in your pocket. No matter, you can easily relight it when you get above ground if need be.
It takes a bit of effort, but you manage to force the trapdoor open.
What you see above you is the night sky.
It seems to be moonless night. You can see a little bit better than you could underground, but you can't even see what kind of area you've ended up in. Without climbing out of the entrance, you can see that the ground has leaves here and there. There isn't much grass, but you don't see any concrete anywhere nearby, either.
Thinking about it, this place looks to be quite far away from any cities, otherwise you'd be able to see light off in the distance.
>>49005 Wait for your eyes to adjust to the night before doing anything. Look for a trail for a somewhat worn path or traces of footsteps emanating from the trapdoor. If there is a trail or footsteps, follow it from nearby bushes/forestry so as to avoid your captors or threats. If there is nothing to go by, pick a direction and walk discreetly whilst being attentive to any nearby movements/sounds.
>>49006 Vote however you want to. I don't think this type of story is as fun for the readers or for the writer if you don't.
I know that it's listed in the archives. Look at the date that the thread was started.
You give your eyes a minute to adjust to the darkness, but you still can't see very well. There's pretty much no ambient light, so after your eyes have adjusted, you still can only see a few meters ahead.
Still, you attempt to find some sort of trail or anything useful for finding your way. After a bit of searching, you realize that it's going nowhere. You decide to head back to the trapdoor so you can try and get your bearings back.
This isn't very successful. After a few minutes of wandering in random directions, you realize that you've gotten yourself completely lost.
Deciding that being able to see even a little bit is worth the risk of getting caught, you light the lantern and use it to attempt to find your way back. While you weren't able to see very far, you could see a few of the trees that you got close to, so you hope that you'll be able to recognize them.
Thankfully, you manage to find a tree that you recognize as having been fairly close to the door. You turn towards the direction that the door was in...and the lamp goes out.
Well, that's not too strange. Fires can go out. You reach into your pocket and pull out your zippo, turning the wheel to produce some sparks.
It doesn't seem to be working properly, though. You can't get it to start a flame. You can't even see any sparks.
It's at this moment that you hear the flame coming from the lantern, and realize that it never burned out in the first place.
Dying sucks, but sometimes you can learn from it:
Topping off the lantern was a good idea, but you should try to conserve your lighter's fuel whenever you can. If there aren't candles nearby, the lighter is the only way for you to light the lantern.
Wandering around at night with no light, especially if you have no idea where you are or what the topology is like, is suicide, even when there isn't a risk of hungry youkai eating you for dinner.
If you aren't in any immediate danger, it probably isn't a good idea to put yourself in immediate danger.
For now, the only real option you have is to try to work out what this tear in space is for.
You remember the question mark. You have no idea what the object it's supposed to represent is. You already have the flash drive and the pen, so it may very well be something you already have access to.
The only thing you can think of that it could be is the book from down the hall. You decide to go fetch it.
When you arrive back after doing so, you decide to start inserting things into the rip in space. You decide to start with the book.
You wait for a bit, but nothing seems to happen. After a few seconds, it simply spits the book back out at you.
Next, you decide to stick the flash drive in.
Almost as soon as it touches the tear, it disappears, and you hear a very loud bang from outside the room.
You decide to take a look inside of the newly opened door. Grabbing the lantern, you start on your way there.
This room is also fairly empty. There are some candles along the walls. One of them on each side is lit, providing plenty of light to actually see the room, but there are two more on each side you could light for additional illumination if you so required. Other than that, it's quite empty.
...You're leaving something out again.
Right. There's another tear in space. This time, instead of a table with instructions, there's only sheet of paper for some reason bolted to the ground. Setting aside how absolutely stupid it is to bolt down a sheet of paper, the paper does a very good job of illustrating its point. It simply shows a man jumping into a representation of the tear in space right in front of you.
It's funny how these drawings make the tears in space look innocent. True, those ribbons are there when you really look at it, but it's hard to even notice them considering how much just looking at them makes your stomach turn over. The drawing almost makes it look cute, in a way.
Just being in the same room as this thing is painful.
You don't think it's that bad. Maybe a little jarring, but not painful.
Like you said, just being in the same room as this thing is painful. And yet...
You should probably just jump through the thing already.
You have absolutely no idea what doing so entails, so you brace yourself. With a ridiculous amount of willpower, you force yourself to move towards the tear in space and begin to push your hand through.
You feel...Nothing. It doesn't feel like anything. It doesn't look like anything, either; despite your hand quite clearly having been pushed inside, it just looks like you're reaching through air.
Well, that's a little bit reassuring. Okay, maybe this isn't such a bad idea after all. You decide to take a step inside, and oh god there's no floor in here aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa-
Your consciousness finally manages to catch up with you. The first thing you realize is that you're laying on your back on the ground. the ground feels a lot less even than anywhere inside of the dungeon did.
When you force your eyes open, they're met with the clearest view of the night sky you've ever seen. There are no clouds or light polution at all, so you can actually see the stars.
When you realize that it's night, a wave of feelings flush into you. First, a feeling of dread. You're out in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night, and you have no idea how to get out.
Then, relief. You aren't confined to a dark dungeon. It might still be dark, but at least you're free.
You should try to figure out where you are.
You can't really see very well, but you can hear the roar of a waterfall in the distance. You're aware of the feeling of the lantern in your hand, but it currently isn't lit.
Well, the first thing to do is to make sure you have all of your stuff. Nothing disappeared the last time you woke up on the ground somewhere strange, but there's no reason to believe otherwise.
3. Short length of rope, burnt
4. Longer length of rope
5. Rusty, bent metal spoon
6. Fancy pen
7. Padlock key
Reaching into your pockets, you find the zippo, your knife, and all of the various things you picked up in place where they should be.
...Or shouldn't be. That spoon is probably completely useless now. There's still plenty of space in your pockets, so you'll leave it there for now, but it'll probably be the first thing to go if you find anything else worth carrying.
Next, you decide to check your immediate vicinity for someone else. First, you simply listen. When this proves unhelpful, you light the lantern.
It seems that you're on a trail on the side of a mountain. It appears to have been cut in by years of use. From here it looks like it simply winds around the mountain. If it's like this the whole way, getting up to the top is going to be a workout, but given how steep the mountain is otherwise, you'll take the trail.
There doesn't appear to be anyone immediately around you, but you can see some unlit torches attached to the mountain along the trail. They don't appear to be falling apart, so at least some sort of maintenance seems to have been performed on them.
It's worrying that they are torches instead of electric lamps, though. It seems like this is out in the middle of nowhere.
Well, right now you seem to have three options. You can go up the mountain, you can go down the mountain, and you can stay right here.
You're not sure what it's like at the bottom of the mountain, but you can only imagine that it is a worst-case scenario of a large forest that you could get lost in. Since it's dark right now, that sounds pretty scary.
Staying still wouldn't be very helpful, though. You could try to get a little bit of sleep, but if it starts raining or something, you won't have any shelter to hide under.
Going upwards seems like the best idea. You might get a little tired, but at least you'll be making some sort of progress. If nothing else, once you get to the top, you should have a better view, which will help with trying to get back to safety.
So, you start climbing.
The higher you get, the more used the trail seems to be. Not that it's worn; rather, it's starting to look really well-kept, as if it were used by many people every day.
This just makes the use of torches over electrical lamps even more confusing.
Eventually you reach a point where the trail passes under the waterfall. You can't see that far ahead, but from the sound of it, it's pretty big.
That said you don't really want to get wet. Fortunately, you discover a conveniently placed cave that you can take shelter in for the night.
.>It's best to wait until we don't need the lantern to see what's in front of us. Take cover in the cave for the night. Also, try to make sure the lantern light isn't very visible from outside the cave, just in case.
"I'm John. I got lost out here in the mountains and I was wondering if I could get some room and board for the night."
"...You were wandering around on the mountain at night?"
"You could say that."
"That's dangerous, you know. Youkai come out at night. Humans should stay in their villages until sunrise." When you hear this, for a second you think you understand what it is, a memory sealed inside somewhere. Trying to remember it gives you a headache, though, so you let it pass. As you do, the headache goes away.
"Hmm..." She says. "Those clothes...Aren't like any I've seen a human wear before. Are you really a human?"
When you work in a home improvement store, sometimes it feels like Lily really IS spraying you with a wall of danmaku to announce that it's Spring.
This weekend, I wasn't able to dodge any of the bullets.
That's a very weird way to refer to you.
You get a feeling that she's just messing with you.
No you don't, and no, she isn't.
So you decide to mess with her back.
You don't think that's a-Oh, wait, that's actually a very good idea. Proceed.
"It is the traditional garb of a human, subspecies Nerd. Homo Sapiens Nerdicus."
There's a pause.
"Uhh... If you say so. Give me a minute."
She closes the door and you stand waiting. A short bit later, she opens the door again, this time fully, and you finally get to see who you've been talking to.
Blue hair, blue eyes, wearing a blue shirt and skirt combo. The skirt has pockets around the hem, and there's a key tied around her chest, right between her breasts. She's also wearing a hat for some reason, despite it being night and her being inside.
Wait, you recognize her from somewhere.
Yes, that's right. Try to remember.
But it hurts. The harder you try to think about it, the more your head hurts, and the harder it is to think.
No, keep going. You need to remember. The sooner you remember, the easier it'll be to get out of there.
A name...something starting with a N. Na, nu, ne, Ni-
Your head fills with pain for some reason, causing you to break your concentration. The pain is gone as soon as it appeared, though; you don't think you even had time to wince.
What were you thinking about again?
"Are you okay?" the girl asks with a worried expression.
"I'm fine, just a little tired. I haven't gotten enough sleep."
"I see... I don't really have a spare room, but I have an extra blanket. If you're fine with sleeping on the floor, you can stay here for tonight. I can take you back to the village in the morning."
"Thank you. You may very well have just saved my life. I don't know how to repay you."
"Please, don't let me get in your way. I'll try to get some rest." You accept the blanket from her.
"Alright. Sleep well." She turns and leaves through a door that leads deeper into the house/cave/whatever this is.
And rest sleep well you shall. It isn't as if you have anything else better to do.
You have something better to do.
Lying down on the surprisingly not cold floor, you pull the blanket over yourself and close your eyes.
You really do have something better to do.
As you lie there attempting to fall asleep, you decide to ponder your day so far.
This is important. You need to start remembering.
You woke up tired this morning. You were tired because you were up late...doing what again?
You were playing a videogame of some sort.
That's right, you were playing videogames. Why can't you remember this? This is the type of thing you'd normally remember easily.
You were playing videogames. But, which game were you playing? You can't remember a thing.
That's right, you need to try to remember.
Come to think of it, you thought you started to remember something about the girl when you first saw her as well, but you can't remember what.
You recognized her from somewhere.
You really don't remember ever seeing her anywhere, though. Still, for some reason you've got the letter N associated with her name.
...Something fuzzy. The rest of her name, but it's out of focus and you can't make it out. It's as if someone rubbed it with their finger while it was still wet, and distorted it everywhere. You can make out the basic shape, but you can't... make out the rest of the letters.
Yes, this is good. You need to remember.
looks kinda like an
You shouldn't fall asleep yet.
You need to remember this.
You should wake up.
You wake up after what felt like an eternity of sleeping. Your back is a little sore from sleeping on the hard ground, but you feel somewhat refreshed. Unfortunately, you don't really have a way to check the time.
Sitting up, you find yourself in an unfamilliar room, and you attempt to remember where you are.
You're in a cave house. There's a girl living here, and she let you stay for the night so she could take you to a village this morning.
Unfortunately, since the walls are made of solid stone, you can't very well hear where she is. For all you know, she might not even be here at the moment.
Looking around the room again, it seems to be some sort of storage room. Other than the door that exits into the cave, there are two doors here: one straight across from the exit, and one on the wall to the right of it. Ni...something went through the door to the right when she left last night, you think.
You're not sure where that sudden burst of confidence came from, but you'll take it.
>>49132 >When you work in a home improvement store, sometimes it feels like Lily really IS spraying you with a wall of danmaku to announce that it's Spring.
>This weekend, I wasn't able to dodge any of the bullets.
[x] Check the door on the right to check on your host. In case you forgot something and there is a misunderstanding, turn red, close the door, knock, and proceed as if the misunderstanding never happened.
Opening it up, you find that it leads into a large cavern, which seems to be filled haphazardly by a bunch of seemingly random machines, contraptions, and electronics. The cavern is well-lit with fluorescent lights, but there doesn't seem to be anyone here.
You do see a staircase on the far wall to the left, however.
After all, what the hell would you be if you're not human?
But you're not sure where "youkai" come into this. That particular bit of Japanese mythology is so far disconnected from everyday life in places that speak English that it makes no sense for her to be bringing it up.
...Somehow you think you're forgetting something.
You are. You need to remember.
"I'm..." you respond, "I'm pretty sure, but then again, some weird things have been happening lately."
"Hmm." She steps back and looks out into space.
"Ah!" her eyes light up, and she looks at you with joy and surprise. "I got it! I can't believe I didn't realize it before."
"It all makes sense! The clothes, wandering around at night, everything! You must be from outside the b-"
In the time it would take for you to have blinked, you suddenly find yourself falling into the dirt outside somewhere.
Pulling yourself up to your feet, you look around.
The scene around you looks vaguely familliar, but it's hard to place.
You should think about what it would look like it it were pitch black outside.
Oh. You remember now. This is where you ended up after walking through that tear in space.
[x] Well, at least you're not in a desert.
[x] You never liked it when your friends stranded you in the desert.
[x] Although it may have had more to do with the fact they locked you in a refrigerator and buried it six feet underground at the time than the desert itself.
You started to remember something. It's probably pretty important this time.
You're confused. Yelling "god damn it" by its self would be understandable. You managed to find a nice place to stay, with a cute girl, and then you found yourself face down on the side of a mountain again.
It might be because of what she was about to say.
But, you weren't just going to yell "God damn it" to the air simply as a scream of frustration. No, you were sincerely yelling it as a curse directed at someone.
But who? You don't know anyone whose name starts with "yu".
You wrack your brain, trying to figure it out. The closest you can come is remembering some Asian-sounding names from what you think are anime, but you aren't too sure. It's a little fuzzy.
Yuuko, Yuri, Yuka (slight head pain, but it's a little different so it's okay, wait different from what?), Yui, Yuki, Yuk-
You suddenly start to feel dizzy and nauseous. The pain in your head isn't really that bad now, it just comes suddenly and surprises the crap out of you, which just makes it feel worse.
You decide that right now isn't the correct time to be trying to remembering these things.
You're wrong, though. This is the perfect time.
Suddenly realizing that you've been standing (and occasionally stumbling from spells of dizziness) here for quite sime time now, you decide to take a closer look at your surroundings.
This mountain...is huge. You think you might have seen a couple this big when you flew over the Rocky Mountains when visiting California, but you've never seen one this big this close.
Looking across the valley, you're greeted with nothing but a sea of trees, and the most clearest blue sky you've ever seen. Sure, there are clouds, but there's no polution in the air at all. Come to think of it, you don't think you've ever breathed air this fresh before.
However, despite being able to see much better now, you're left with the same choices as you had before. You suppose it wouldn't be that terrible of a hike to get back up to Ni-something's house again.
Just in case she didn't see you, you wave to get her attention.
Apparently she notices, since she starts flying faster.
This might not be good.
At the very last minute, you jump out of the way, barely avoiding getting plowed into. However, just because you moved out of the way doesn't mean she's stopped, and a split second later there's a very loud sound of her impacting the side of the mountain, accompanied by a cloud of dust.
...Wait, is she alright? No, she's can't be alright; there's no way someone could live through that!
"I...have no idea." You state truthfully. "I have no idea what causes it or why. It's probably being done by some thid party."
"Hmm." She nods. "I see. Probably her again, huh?" She nods again.
"By the way, I introduced myself last night, but I don't think I caught your name."
She turns slightly red.
"Ah, right... Sorry, I forgot." She tilts her head to the side, sticks out her tongue, closes one eye, and lightly bumps her fist into the side of her head.
You manage to stop yourself from letting it get to you, though. You've got important things to learn.
"Right." She says. "I'm Nitori. Nice to meet you." She smiles enthusiastically and grabs your hand from your side, pulling it up into a hand shake.
If this keeps up, you're going to die.
"So, what was it that you were saying earlier?"
"Hmm? Oh, right, before you disappeared. I was just thinking that you're probably from outside of the b-"
This time you're ready for it. You manage to NOT land face down in the dirt, and rather gracefully catch yourself in a push-up pose as you once again find yourself teleported back to the same spot as before.
You don't even care if you remember her (how do you know that it's a her) name, this is getting fucking annoying.
"GOD DAMN IT YU-SOMETHING OR OTHER I DON'T GIVE A SHIT ANYMORE!"
You scream at the top of your lungs, and collapse to the ground, defeated. You aren't actually tired or anything, you just don't have any motivation to climb back up the mountain if you're just going to get teleported right back down here whenever she tries to explain whatever she's trying to explain.
After a few moments, you hear some footsteps coming from uphill, and turn your head to see Nitori running towards you.
She arrives next to you and stops, grabbing the front of her thighs while catching her breath.
"I -haa- heard your -haa- voice this -haa- time and thought -haa- I'd just run." She says with a pained smile.
After a few seconds, she catches her breath.
"I'm starting to notice a pattern here." She says.
And then her eyes light up.
"LET'S EXPERIMENT!" she suddenly shouts.
"Huh?" You don't underst-
"You're from outside the b-"
And you're on the ground again.
You manage to pull yourself to your feet, and find that she's rushed over to you.
"It worked! My hypothesis was correct! I need to take down notes. Let's see, note pad, and where did I put that pen..?"
"Hey, Nitori. Do you think you could try saying that last word out of context?"
"Hmm." She ponders. "Nope! It might stop working if you know what it is, and that wouldn't be any fun at all! I haven't finished studying it, after all. Normally she wouldn't make it this easy to study her ability at all!"
"By the way, what's this village like, anyway?" you ask.
"Oh, it's just the small town where most of the humans around here live. I've been there a few times, but I don't really know much about it other than where it is."
"Could you tell me about this area in general? For example, any places of interest?"
"Hmm. I could try. Let's see, this mountain is called Youkai Mountain. It's mainly inhabited by youkai and gods, most notably the kappa near the bottom, the tengu near the top, and the Moriya Shrine at the summit."
"Youkai Mountain" and "Moriya Shrine" sound familiar for some reason, but like usual, trying to think about it only makes your head hurt.
You need to remember.
"There's also the human village I mentioned. As far as what's safe for normal humans to visit, that's about it. There is one other place, but since I can't tell you that you're from outside of the b-"
You're getting good at this. Wait, she did that on purpose, didn't she?!
She continues talking with a mischievous grin. "-r, I doubt I'd be able to tell you about that. Of course, it might be fun to experiment with it."
"I'll pass." You immediately shoot down that suggestion.
"By the way, whose ability were you talking about studying? Would her name happen to start with a 'Yu'?"
You wait a moment, but she doesn't elaborate at all. Okay.
"By the way, would you mind letting me stay with you for a while? After all, I seem to be forcibly relocated near your place fairly frequently. "
"Hmm... Sure, if you still don't mind sleeping on the floor again."
>>49258 Ask her to indicate through writing what the mystery gap-inducing word is. Perhaps you yourself can induce teleportation at your convenience; play it off as further scientific testing of this peculiar phenomena.
.>No, no, your floor is perfectly fine.
.>Can you tell me more about that Yu person? My gut tells me that she's responsible for this situation somehow. It also tells me to curse her name. I'm not sure why.
"Anyway, can you tell me more about this Yu- person?" You ask.
"Nope!" She replies with a big grin.
"Well, it might stop working if I do. Besides, I'm not done testing it, and I'd rather save the variables that can't be changed back for last." She explains.
You're still somewhat irritated about it, but you decide to drop it.
No, you should be more irritated about it than that. It'll lead to you trying to remember more quickly.
You realize that you've been imposing a burden on Nitori, though.
...Nitori? You recognize that name from somewhere.
Anything that you can remember helps.
You decide to try a little harder. Ignoring the slight pain in your head, you begin to focus on the name.
Nitori, Nitori, Nitori...Where have you heard that before? You still can't quite remember.
You try harder. Focusing with all your energy, you try your hardest to remember something, anything.
You're rewarded with very little. All you can make out from your incredibly fuzzy memories is the sound of water, and the colors green and blue.
Wait, that's stuff you already know about! This feels like wasted effort.
No, it isn't wasted effort. You've remembered a little bit. You need to remember.
So, yeah. You've been imposing a burden on Natori.
Don't just drop it like that! You need to remember.
You decide to try and compensate for it.
"Say, Nitori. I really appreciate your hospitality. Is there anything I can help you with? I don't want to be too much of a burden."
She holds a finger to her chin and looks upwards.
"Hmm... Well, I think you're helping me out enough by allowing me to study Y-" she catches herself "her ability, but if you really want to, you might be able to help me out with something I picked up from a certain shop."
"Hmm...It's something from where you're from. It's like a big black box with cable connectors on the back. I think the shop owner said something about it being a shikigami, but I don't think that's what it is at all."
Shikigami? That's odd. You recognize the word, of course. It's a type of youkai that gets its power from the person who summoned it. In a way, they're similar to familiars. The best examples you can think of are
Well, you're sure you've seen them in anime or games somewhere.
But still, an electronic device being called a shikigami? That's pretty silly. Though, you guess in some ways a computer acts like a shikigami for its user.
Thinking about it gives you a headache.
That's fine. You need to remember, but you probably won't remember much if you try thinking about this.
Still, helping her should prove beneficial. At the very least, her place seems somewhat safe, and much more comfortable than the dungeon you were in before.
"So?" She asks. "Do you think you'll be able to help me with it?
For now, you'll assume she's talking about a computer and go from there.
"I know about such devices, but what do you want to do with it? Or rather, what do you need my help with?"
"Hmm." She ponders for a moment. "Everything, I guess? I've never used one before, so I have no idea how it works. I was going to take it apart and study it that way, but if you can show me, I might not need to do that."
You don't think taking it apart would really help, unless she can read and understand binary data from a hard drive without using a computer in the first place.
"Alright. I can help you with that."
"Great! Follow me!"
After a while of looking around, through the absolutely ridiculous amount of things kept in that gigantic room, eventually she finds it and shows it to you.
You're momentarily shocked.
Yes, this is a computer. That isn't that shocking of a thing, though. Computers are fairly common, so you're not surproised if someone with a so much other stuff like this has one.
What really surprises you is that it's your computer.
.>Carefully check you computer for any anomalies - never hurts to be careful. Afterwards, check if all the parts are inside and properly connected. If they are, get a power source (preferably one that wouldn't fry the hardware.) and try to turn it on. (Finding a monitor and input devices might be necessary if they aren't already available)
>>49376 Mention your ownership of the computer. Explain the smoke and ask for the requisite safety materials so as to avoid harming either personnel or the computer. Find the appropriate power source that won't destroy your computer. After checking for anomalies, explain the purpose of your computer and how to operate it. If you can, hide whatever confidential/inappropriate files on it.
First, even though it seemed to have been ruined (if that wasn't a dream), it's still your computer, and you would like to have it back when you do return home.
"Yes?" She asks.
"I don't want to sound rude or anything, but this is actually my 'shikigami.'"
"Wha- Oh, that would actually make sense. I guess I'm lucky I ran into you, then!"
You don't follow.
"I don't follow. Sure, I'm lucky to run into you in this situation, but normally you would be unlucky."
"Oh, I don't care about keeping it. I just want to know how it works."
Well, okay then.
"Well, first we're going to need a power source and a monitor. Do you have any displays with a port that looks like any of these?" You point at the DVI, HDMI, and DisplayPort connectors on the videocard.
"Sure, just a minute."
You spend about an hour trying to troubleshoot it, but you're convinced that it's damaged beyond repair, at least without replacing the motherboard. It was tough, but the more time passed, the closer she looked over your shoulders. It was uncomfortable at first, but when it got to a point where she was practically hugging you from behind, it stopped being so bad.
"Aww, and it's so rare to run into one of these that's in good condition." She seems fairly disappointed.
"Oh well, there's always next time. I'm pretty hungry now though, would you like to eat lunch?"
You are now painfully aware that you haven't eaten in at least a day.
You internally mourn for the loss of your videogames. Many, many hours and a lot of money have gone into it. Especially saddening is your loss of...
Of what exactly?
These moments where you just completely forget abou something mundane that you probably think about or use every day are getting quite frustrating. It makes you want to start clawing into your head so you can teach your hippocampus a lesson.
But... Wait. It's the motherboard that died. A motherboard dying might short out components directly attached to the motherboard, like the memory, CPU, or discrete cards, but SATA hard drives are kept separate, and are hot-swappable. It's very likely that the hard drive still works.
It's strange. Despite this, you already feel that it's a lost cause. Or, rather, now that you want the hard drive to not work for some reason. In fact, you're holding back an urge to just take a magnet to the thing. But why?
You don't want her to see something.
But that doesn't make sense. There's nothing on there that you wouldn't want her to see. Well, of course, your porn is there, but it's hidden deeply, and you can easily delete it from the command prompt and make it seem like you're just making sure that everything's working properly.
You brush it off.
But yes, painfully aware that you're starving.
You decide to graciously accept her offer.
"Yes madam, I would very much enjoy a good meal, if you would."
That's not what you meant by graciously.
"Sure! Just wait here for a bit, and I'll be back down with something to eat."
She happily bounces up the stairs.
While you're waiting, you decide to look around at some of the stuff.
Even though it's organized fairly well, you still might call this a mess. There's all kinds of things, from old electronic toys, to rusty blenders, to microwaves. You even see what looks like the innards to an old PS2 system.
Despite there being so much interesting stuff, including a number of toys you recognize from your childhood, the only thing that really catches your attention is a toy eyeball. It's one of the ones with a white ball with an iris, pupil, and blood vessels drawn on it and a weight in the bottom, floating inside of a clear plastic ball filled with a fluid, so that the eye patter in the inner ball always faces upwards.
You should take it.
That's silly. It's just a toy, it can't possibly be worth carrying around.
No, you need to take it. You'll need it later. Just take it.
Besides, it's Nitori's. You should ask permission before taking people's things. She's letting you stay here, and she's even making you delicious food right now!
You need to just take the goddamn eyeball already
Take the goddamn eyeball.
Despite your desire not to, you end up stuffing the thing into your pocket.
Warning: Pocket space critically low. You will not be able to carry any more items in your pockets if you do not dispose of something first. Pocket space is not affected by items stored outside of your pockets.
Items currently stored in your pockets:
3. Short length of rope, burnt
5. Rusty, bent metal spoon
6. Fancy pen
7. Padlock key
Items currently stored outside of your pockets:
4. Longer length of rope
'Short length of rope, burnt' consumed. Experience +3.
Current Experience: 3
Next level at: 5
'Rusty, bent metal spoon' consumed. Experience +3.
Level has increased to 1.
Ability Point +1
Current ability points: 1
New abilities available.
??? - Level 1. Negates negative mental effects from abilities at or below level 1. Enables limited foresight.
??? - to Level 2 (cost: 1 Ability Point). Increases negative mental effect negation to level 2. Enables simplified communication with ???.
Pyromania - to Level 1 (cost: 1 Ability Point). You can start fires more easily, and they burn for longer. Chance of mental corruption.
Use .>learn to learn an ability.
Current experience: 6
Next level at: 10
Nitori arrives shortly with a plate of sandwiches, which she sets down on a nearby table.
"Let's dig in!" She exclaims, reaching for a sandwich. Since you're extremely hungry yourself, you don't waste any time grabbing one for yourself and taking a bite.
You're met with a quite refreshing taste.
You've never had a sandwich quite like this one before. While it does have meat, looks like turkey, and cheese, the flavor is mainly dominated by the cucubmbers which overpower the flavor of everything else.
This isn't a bad thing, though. The cucumbers are crisp and juicy, with flavor boosted by a small amount of what tastes like a sort of cucumber jelly. You've put cucumbers on sandwiches before, but you've never had them like this.
"Wow." You speak between hurried bites, "this is pretty good."
She smiles brightly.
"Isn't it? These are my specialty! No one on the mountain makes them like I do." She boasts with a prideful grin.
"I don't doubt it." You reaffirm as you dig into a second sandwich. You knew how hungry you were, but it didn't quite sink in until you actually started to eat. You feel like you could finish the whole plate by yourself. Of course, you wouldn't want to be rude.
"Wow, you really were hungry, weren't you?" She asks between nibbles on her own sandwich.
"Yeah. I don't think I've eaten in over a day." You reach for a third. That's exactly half. You should stop.
"Eh? Why didn't you say something sooner?" She stands up with a concerned expression. You didn't quite expect this reaction, so it catches you off guard.
"Well, um, you were already being generous enough by giving me a place to sleep, so I didn't want to impose."
She frowns. "You shouldn't worry about things like that! What's important is keeping your body healthy! Human bodies are pretty fragile, so you need to treat them with care."
You're still pretty confused about why she keeps referring to you specfically as "human".
...She's right, though. It isn't like you're sleeping over at a friend's house because you lost your keys. You were literally lost, with no idea where you were or how to get home. In a situation like that, you can't afford to skip out on things as essential as food or water.
But, the thing is, it literally didn't occur to you at all.
It wasn't a high priority at the time. The most important things were safety, and trying to remember.
Remember what, damnit? It's almost as if you've forgotten half of what you know, with all these sudden gaps in your memory.
Still, even if it wasn't your highest priority, you should have at least said something.
"I'm sorry, Nitori." You apologize. "You're right, I should have said something about it sooner. I'm sorry to make you worry."
Her concerned expression melts away.
"A...As long as you understand." She returns to sitting and quietly eating her sandwich.
A few minutes pass in silence as both of you finish your meal. There's still an awkward atmosphere in the air from earlier.
You decide to clear it out.
"So, Nitori." You speak.
"Yes?" She asks, tilting her head to the side.
"While you were preparing lunch, I had a look around to see if I could find a replacement part for the computer." A lie, but it's better than 'I thought I'd start snooping through your things while you weren't around.'
"I see. Did you find one?" She asks with an expectant look.
"Not exactly, but..." You decide now is as good a time as any. "I did find this." You pull the eyeball out of your pocket and set it on the table.
"Oh? What's that?" She asks.
"Just a toy. I don't know why, but it grabbed my attention."
"So, uh..." This is the part that's gonna feel awkward. "I know that you've already been very generous, but... Will you let me have this? I can't explain why, but I can't get it out of my mind."
She looks confused.
"Sure, I don't mind, but..."
"Well, you were worried about it being too much to ask for food, but now you're so assertive about a toy. I just thought it was a little weird.
"I don't get it myself, either." You explain. "Something inside me just tells me that I need this, and it's more important than anything else."
"I don't really understand, but... If that's how it is, I'll let it go."
Now you're gonna be worried about worrying her.
Your attempt to break an awkward silence resulted in the creation of another.
>>49428 > Learn ??? Level 2
Abjuration is probably what we should focus on at the moment. Perhaps magic is the reason we cannot recall our erstwhile memories.
>Nitori referred to us as human, ask her if that implies she is non-human, like a kappa or something. Follow onwards by asking about the mountain, and if anyone populates it. At somepoint, mention that you can save the HDD and we should keep it (amongst other serviceable parts) in a safe environ so that we can eventually create a fully functioning computer.
>>49433 Communicate with the voice in your head as to what you have not realized before you ruin the conversation further.
Does talking count as a free action or do we have to hold a conversation with Nitori simultaneously? If so, ask if there is anything important you should know about human/non-human relations and customs so you don't behave like an ass.
>>49434 Not really a free action. You're you, so asking yourself questions takes an amount of time equal to the amount of time required to think the question added to the time it takes for your brain to retrieve the answer. Trying to hold a debate over philosophy with yourself in the middle of a conversation with someone else might cause a problem, but just asking yourself a couple questions shouldn't take any noticeable amount of time.
What's this about not figuring it out?
(That she's a kappa?)
Yes. You had no idea. There were no clues.
(You figured it out pretty quickly.)
That's it? You don't think that's enough to go on.
(She did mention kappa living on the bottom part of the mountain. That's where this is.)
Yeah, but still.
(You think it seemed pretty obvious.)
You're not so sure about that. After all, she looks just like a human.
(You've never seen a human with natural blue hair like this.)
What do you know about human/non-humnan relations?
(You don't know anything about human/non-human relations. This is the first non-human you've ever met.)
[x] "Kappa are... Japanese youkai, right? Cool."
[x] Look like you are trying to remember more information.
First part makes us look a little more knowledgeable about kappa, but not too much. The 'cool' comment is to reassure, if we never encountered non-humans before then she might think we might freak out upon knowing her species. Last part is to provide a jumping off point to restart the conversation.
[x] "Kappa are... Japanese youkai, right? You look quite different from what I read. You actually look quite, ah..."
Or, if you wish to make the conversation a bit awkward again, stepping into the route a bit.
(You're you. There isn't really much more to it than that.)
But you are obviously someone else.
(You are one and the same. This is the reason why you didn't think that trying to address yourself as two different people was a good idea, and why you hate whatever these things are. It just causes you confusion about who you are, and you've already got enough confusion to deal with.)
Yeah, but, you're obviously separate, right?
(You are separate in thought, but you are the same. You may know more than yourself, but you are not a separate being.)
This is confusing.
(Yes. Which is why you shouldn't worry about it.)
(You shouldn't worry about it. Meanwhile, you've probably extended this awkward pause with Nitori for quite long enough now.)
Oh, right. That was a thing.
"Uh..." You delay, this time to actually form a response.
(Why were you wasting time trying to talk to yourself, anyway?)
"Kappa are..." You pause for a second, trying to remember what you can about kappa.
Cucumbers, bald head, turtle beak and shell, shiritama...
Only one of these is accurate, it seems.
"A type of Japanese youkai, right? Cool."
Honestly, right now, you don't really have too much of an issue with it. Unless she tries to suck your soul out from your ass, you might have an issue with that.
"Oh?" She tilts her head to the side. "You don't seem that impressed."
"It's not that." You explain. "It's just that... YOu look quite different from what I've read. You actually look quite, uh..."
(No what are you doing)
"Oh, is...that it?" She asks, turning slightly red. "Ehehe..."
Yes. You have all of the traditional signs of fertility, and good genes. Combined with a willingness to talk to me, and plesentness to be around.
If I was home I would treat you to dinner and a movie, here..will I have to duel your suiters...
>>49463 Affirm your previous statement and segway onto something else, there is no need to be redundant. Perhaps you should ask Nitori if she has any other bits and pieces of computers that may contain the requisite pieces necessary to reconstruct the computer. This advances both her SCIENCE and your overarching goal of remembering 2hou.
Sorry for the lack of updates. I was helping my father's girlfriend move.
"Yes, you are."
(You don't think you realize what you're saying.)
(You think that being so nonchalant about it is good, but that you should work on your timing a little bit. You've known her for all of a day.)
You feel your cheeks warm up slightly as you realize what you've just done.
"U-uh. Would you happen to have any other shikigami laying around? I might be able to salvage a motherboard and other parts from it."
"Oh...Right. Yes, I think I have one or two buried somewhere, but I don't think they worked."
Subject change successful!
"That's fine. It's possible that something else besides the motherboard was broken or missing, so it's worth a shot."
"Alright, then. I'll see if I can dig them up. You can do whatever you want while I'm searching."
She smiles, and soon gets to work diging through piles of stuff.
(You think you should use this opportunity to try to remember.)
You don't know if that's a great idea. Every time you've tried so far, it accomplished nothing but making your head hurt a little. Besides,you've got an entire underground lair full of stuff to explore.
But you guess you're right. Trying to remember some of the things you've quite clearly forgotten, and which seem to be quite relevant to your survival, is pretty important right now.
Finding a nice place to sit, you begin to think.
What is it that you can't remember?
Well, there's a lot of things that you've found that you should remember, but don't.
However, obviously some of them are less pressing than others. For example, Nitori. Even before she properly introduced herself, her name was on the tip of your tongue. The fact that she was a kappa wasn't as big of a surprise as you'd normally expect, either. However, you've re-learned these things, and it doesn't seem to have affected much.
(You've relearned them, but have you remembered them?)
No, you've remembered them. As soon as she introduced herself as Nitori, and as soon as she said that she was a kappa, it seemed like the most natural thing in the world, as if it would have been strange to think otherwise. It's not at all like learning something new.
(Okay, so what else is there?)
Well, nothing really happened when you remembered those, but there's at least one bit of memory which you are being actively prevented from remembering.
(Where you're from.)
Yes. And, there's another important piece of information. Nothing has actively stopped you from remembering it, but Nitori seems to be quite convinced that it's incredibly closely related with whatever is preventing you from remembering.
You actually had that memory, almost. You got very close. It was one of the Japanese female names that you managed to think up.
(Yuuko, Yuri, Yuka- This one.)
No, it wasn't that one, though you do remember something there. What was it?
"Yuka." It's a fairly common name. Nothing happens no matter how many times you think it in your head.
Yuka. Yuka. Yuka. Yuka.
Yes, something's missing. It's so close, and yet...
Your head starts to hurt, but somehow it's different. Rather than feeling like memories are being pulled out from deep inside, it's more like someone's jamming them into your brain forcefully.
(What the fuck is this?)
It hurts for a second, but then subsides.
You never learned Japanese properly. You picked up on a few kana here and there from anime and game titles, but nothing significant.
(No, stop. You shouldn't know this at all.)
Exactly. You shouldn't know it at all. But suddenly, somehow, you do.
Characters which you should not remember or recognize appear to you.
Yuka. There are many, many ways to write this name, just like most Japanese names.
You're not sure how you know this, but youll take it.
??, ??, ??, ??, ??, ??, ??, ??. These are all common kanji for writing the name "Yuka." You somehow recognize a couple of them as being used in the names of several voice actresses. How you know this, you have no idea, as you've never paid attention to the actual credits in credit rolls. Mainly because you can't read Japanese.
(You're reading Japanese right now.)
And yet, none of those seem special at all. It feels like there's another one that you're missing.
?, written - in hiragana and pronounced "ka". This character feels right. So it's the "yu" that's off.
Yu, yu, ??????"
??, pronounced "Yuka", roughly meaning "dim fragrance".
No, that's wrong. The kanji are correct, and the meaning sounds right as well, but something's wrong.
?. This is pronounced "yu".
But it isn't only pronounced "yu". There are a few more ways to read it.
??, pronounced "kakuriyo", meaning afterlife.
No, that's wrong.
??, pronounced "kasokeshi". That isn't it either.
??, pronounced "kasuka". No, this is wrong as well.
??, pronounced "yuuan", meaning gloom.
Yes, that's familliar.
Yuuka. Where have you heard that name before?
Yuuka. Yuuka. Yuuka. Yuuka.
Yes, and red. And, yellow. These colors jump right out at you when you think "Yuuka", though you're not sure why.
(That's better than nothing.)
Green and red. You put all of your effort into trying to figure out what exactly this is supposed to tell you.
But it doesn't accomplish anything at all. The harder you try to think about it, the more it hurts, and the harder it gets to think.
(Perhaps you should direct this effort at something else for now.)
You agree. This is'nt getting you anywhere, and you don't have any way to know that it would be useful information even if it did.
(So how about the place you're supposedly from?)
Yes. A word that begins with "b", ends with "r", and is punctuated in the middle with falling flat on the ground a few minutes' hike away.
You try to remember, but you come up more blank than you did with other things.
For one, you know exactly where you come from. You can remember the exact name of the town you were born in, the current city you live in, and even your street address. These come extremely easily.
But none of that information begins with a "b" or ends with an "r".
So let's think about this more logically.
It usually gets prefixed with "outside". You can only imagine that this is also incredibly important information that you could potentially use to remember something, but that by its self it isn't enough to warrant blocking.
Only when followed by "the" and then "b"somethingsomething"r".
"Outside." You don't usually refer to someone being from a specific place by saying that they are "outside" of something else.
So, what "b"somethingsomething"r" word fits after "outside the"?
There's really only one.
But this is meaningless by its self, and it doesn't help you remember anything. There are a lot of borders, and people are said to be North, South, East, or West of them all the time.
Still, it isn't common to say that someone is from outside of the border.
After a moment of repeating that in your head, you're suddenly filled with a rush of pain.
This is a lot of pain. You can feel an absolute torrent of memories trying to come back, but they are blocked by something, and only build up pressure like a hose that's been kinked. They want to break free, to flood into your thoughts, but they're being held back.
No, this isn't good at all. You don't think that you can...
(That you can what?)
Keep yourself from passing out.
Your eyes suddenly snap open, and you pull yourself up to a sitting position almost instantly.
You don't know what you're telling yourself to be careful about. Rather, you have no idea what anything.
(You should lay back down.)
You can't lay back down. You can't think to do anything. It feels like you've just been awoken from being put under with surgery anesthetics while simultaneously drunk. The room won't stop spinning, and you can't think straight at all.
(Lay back down. It's just a bit of shock. If you give it a minute, you'll be fine.)
You can't even tell which direction is down. Gripping your forehead, you attempt to calm yourself down, and only succeed in clumbsily smearing your sweat around.
(Lay down. It'll feel better.)
Your stomach turns. You barely manage to keep it down.
(You're going to lay down now.)
Without understanding what's going on, your body starts to move on its own, returning to a position lying on the floor.
(Just give it a few minutes for the shock to wear off.)
So you do.
(You feeling better now?)
You crack open an eyelid slightly, allowing a small amount of light to penetrate through to your retina.
What could be an idea that would make yourself not want to have it?
(This is a dangerous line of thought you're going down. You should stop. Hey, look at that interesting thing over there.)
Obviously it would have to be something dangerous.
(Isn't that a Sega Genesis over there?)
It's gotta be something like "do what you just did again."
(No, don't be silly. There's no reason you'd be so opposed to doing that.)
Right, guess we're going to try it again.
(No, stop. You need to stop.)
You're from outside the border.
No real pain, just a slight feeling of confusion.
You know what the border is. It's something designed to keep something in...or out..? Of...where?
You know what it is, but you can't remember any of the details.
Thinking harder about it only makes your head hurt. Not the same hurt as before; more of an exhausted, tired feeling that stops thoughts from forming.
(You should stop now.)
You agree. You've learned something important, but for now it's best to just move on.
So you look around at your surroundings in an attempt to find anything of interest. You find plenty of interesting items, mostly old, beat up and probably nonfunctional, electronics, but nothing particularly useful.
You do find several pieces of trash lying around. These pieces of bent, unusable metal are completely useless, but you put them in your pockets anyway.
For some reason, thoughts of cough drops and allowing Nitori to look at your "Ahem!" as much as she likes.
Yeah, it doesn't make sense.
She isn't even looking at you anyway.
So, you decide to help, digging into the pile. It's more difficult than she makes it look. It's not like she's throwing cinderblocks around, but she has to be at least a little bit stronger than you are, since microwaves that you find yourself limbering up for she simply picks up and sets down as if they were nothing.
Oh well, not important.
Time is spent. There is a lot of stuff down here, and the two of you end up going through a sizable chunk of it. It isn't exactly fast work. It's certainly faster than if either of you did it alone, but it still takes at least 10 minutes to get through a pile.
After an hour or two of trying to find anything (you wonder if she does this frequently), you collectively decide to give up.
While you find yourself to be quite sweaty and worn out by the work, she appears to be unfazed by it, as her smooth white skin has not a drop of sweat. The only giveaway that she's been digging through piles of stuff is the slight amount of grease on her hands, and a smudge on her cheek that got deposited when she held her finger there in thought halfway through a pile.
You are now painfully aware that you haven't showered in at least two days.
Of course, logic tells you that she certainly does have a bathroom of some sort. After all, she smells like a cool spring breeze with a hint of fresh cucumber. Hard to pull that off without some sort of way to wash yourself. Unless kappa never sweat at all. That would explain earlier...
Still, she might not be comfortable letting a stranger into her bathroom, and you've got to respect that if you're to maintain this freeloader-freeloadee relationship.
(You're way overthinking it.)
Whatever, you've gotta be polite.
She tilts her head to the side.
"Sure. The waterfall's just outside."
You can't tell whether she's serious or joking.
"Anywhere that doesn't have risks of hypothermia from frigid riverwater or a falling death from slippery rocks?"
"Hmm..." She ponders for a second.
"Ah. I guess I did have a bathroom up in the house. I've been using it as a closet, so it might take me a little bit to clear it out."
So she was serious?
(She was serious.)
So she washes herself in the river.
In that undoubtably freezing cold water?
(Unrelatedly, you're pretty confused as to why you're still carrying around random bits of trash.)
You're pretty good at killing moods.
Ahh, finals. That time of the semester when any plans to do anything creative that isn't directly involved in your education vaporize themselves for two weeks.
[x] Place the eyeball against your head and concentrate into it. Since you were railroaded into getting it, it must be important. Thus, there's a chance it will be a focus to our dormant, but undoubtedly potent psychic powers. Psychic powers that will allow us to see through it like our natural eyes. And then we'll discretely roll the eyeball under the skirts of Touhous, and profit.
[x] Go and help Nitori, grabbing items she pulls out of the bathroom and putting them away. Since they have to pass through your inventory first, putting them away could net you some free XP for each item put away.
??? - Level 2. Increases negative mental effect negation to level 2. Enables simplified communication with ???.
??? - to Level 3 (cost: 2 Ability Points). Increases negative mental effect negation to level 3.
Pyromania - to Level 1 (cost: 1 Ability Point). You can start fires more easily, and they burn for longer. Chance of mental corruption.
Advanced Dispose - to level 1 (cost: 1 Ability Point). You can use the DISPOSE command on items without taking them into your inventory first. Limited to items you can fit in your pocket. Experience per item +1.
Use .>learn to learn an ability.
Current experience: 15
Next level at: 20
Thinking about it, if you're going to be staying here for any appreciable period of time, you should find a place to keep your stuff so that you don't need to carry it all on you. After all, your pockets are full of stuff. You've got to have at least 14 things on you. Why are you even carrying a burnt piece of rope still when you've got a lantern and electrical interior lighting? And the spoon is beyond useless. You've got no real idea why you picked up three random pieces of metal scrap, either. You'll have to dispose of these in the next recycle bin you find. It wouldn't do to just leave them sitting around, would it?
Come to think of it, you've stuffed a few things in your pockets, but you haven't actually looked through what you've been carrying on you in a while. Normally one doesn't expect to need to, but...you've got time to kill until Nitori returns, and it's more interesting than staring at a wall.
Reaching into your right pocket, you pull out the zippo, the knife, and the pen. Reaching into your left pocket, you pull out the screwdriver and the padlock key, which you use to unlock the padlock attached to a belt loop. Finally, you unwind the length of rope, which you had wrapped around your waist like a belt, and move the lantern to sit with the rest of the group.
Yes, this is everything you've got on you.
You check through your pockets one more time.
Now that's quite odd. You swear that you were just thinking about some things which seem to have disappeared.
Okay, now that you know that you aren't losing your mind,
Where the hell did the spoon, the trash, and the short length of rope go?
You're sure you didn't pull them out of your pockets. The spoon and bits of scrap metal were more than secure from falling out, and the piece of rope took quite a bit of the space in your left pocket, so there's no way you wouldn't notice it falling out.
(You think it's a side-effect of items disappearing on you.)
No, you recognize that feeling. What happened that made you feel that way is quite weird, but the feeling its self is quite understandable.
But this feeling you just got is weird. Actually, it's the same feeling as before when the other you inside your head got his parentheses.
(You still feel that this is not a good thing at all.)
Regardless, you're worried. Last time it was something useful
(Not useful at all.)
but this time it might be a sign that your sanity is slipping.
(Your sanity is fine. You should focus on something else.)
You guess you're right.
(For example, the items that wen-)
Well, now sounds like as good a time as any to go check up on Nitori. She's taking a bit of time, so she might be able to use your help with something.
(You don't even know how to find the bathroom.)
Details, details. If it turns out to be too complex of a labyrinth, you can always just stop going before you get too far in.
(Fine, you can go, but if you get lost don't ask me for directions.)
So you make your way over to the stairs and begin your climb.
That's quite a set of stairs for someone's basement.
After reaching the top and opening the trapdoor, you find that it leads up to a leveled out area on the mountain overlooking a vast forest in the valley. The slope leading down isn't a sheer cliff, but it does look to be unpleasant to try to climb down for no reason, so you think you'll resist that temptation for now.
Seeing as Nitori said she was clearing out a bathroom, you think that the house is probably the best place to check, so you make your way over. Instead of just flinging the door open like you live here already
(I see what you're doing there.)
You got me
you decide to knock, after seeing no button for a bell. You raise your fist, but before you rudely assault the door
>>50257 >(It hasn't even done anything to you. Yet.)
>. Consult your inner self about what it meant by this statement.
In the interim, try disposing of the doorknob (unless it is too big) and peeking through the subsequent hole.
So I've come to learn that recently .22LR ammo is impossible to find. When I asked the guy behind the counter about it, he said ".22LR ammo? More like unicorn ammo." I've also seen people offer to trade silver for it.
This is so backwards that it makes my head hurt.
(You've received a suggestion to look through the hole. That sounds like a fine idea, so you do.)
(Looking inside reveals an entrance area like you see in Japanese houses on anime. You can sorta see where the floor dips down for where you take off and leave your shoes, and to the right of it there's a rack with some indoor slippers. It appears to open up to the left, but you can't get a good enough angle to see what over there.)
(You hear Nitori's voice, of course, as well as a completely unfamiliar voice. Of course, you'd be more surprised to hear a familiar voice under these circumstances, so this isn't a big deal. However, you can't really make out anything that they're saying.)
(There's also a...thing, up against the wall. You can't really tell what it is, because you can't really see it. Just some shimmering around the edges of where it's located.)
(You should probably ignore the active camoflage device for now, though, as it is entirely unimportant. You will remember where it is in case it becomes useful in the future.)
(The information you have currently would allow you to effectively storm the entrance, but you don't really have any weapons, and you don't really want to storm Nitori's entrance, anyway.)
(...That should be interpretted literally. For all you know, you're dying in frustration at the lack of figurative storming of Nitori's entrance, but you're currently not awake anymore, and there are much more important things on your mind. Like spying on her.)
(That said, you could probably use more suggestions.)
(You've received a suggestion to treat this like a sneaking mission.)
(Honestly, you're not sure that's the best idea. You haven't learned the stealth skill yet, and besides, you don't think you'd be able to hear any better through the window than through the new hole in the door. You're certain you'll be spotted immediately if you try to go through the door.)
(On another note, you have no idea what you mean by "learned the stealth skill yet".)
(However, you decide to follow the suggestion anyway, just to humor the person who made it. You don't really have any better ideas yet, anyway.)
(Moving closer, you listen in on the door.)
(As expected, hiding next to the window doesn't help at all.)
(Well, you're still open to suggestions. Normally you get annoyed at yourself for wasting time, but you haven't ever actually been in control of yourself before, so you don't think you'd mind some messing around for now.)
.>Carefully move the Zippo lighter to the window, using it as an improvised mirror to see into the room. .>Let's save the brilliant ideas for when we might actually need them. For now, knock, walk in and introduce yourself like a normal person would.
(You receive a suggestion to use the lighter as a mirror to look through the window. This strikes you as silly, since the curtains are shut, and the lighter doesn't really have a mirrored surface. You guess that's why the suggestion was retracted, and substituted with a much more reasonable one to simply knock on the door.)
(That seems like a good idea, so you walk back over and raise your fist to knock.)
You're suddenly aware that you're about to knock on the door.
(You should probably knock, then.)
You were a little frustrated earlier, but you've gotten over it by now.
(You should probably knock on the door.)
You understand that, whatever is going on, you're probably just going to run into weirder and weirder shit. You've gotten past the denial and the anger, and now you've begun to accept it.
(You're skipping a few steps there, but you're also wasting time. Knock on the door.)
You're really fucking annoying sometimes. You just got over a big internal conflict, and the second you get back, you're riding your own ass about being productive. Fuck you.
(Fine, don't knock on the door. Don't get mad at yourself when you find yourself stuck out here with nothing to do because you've refused to do the only productive thing you can.)
Fine. You fucking get it. You'll knock on the door already.
The voice inside stop for a second, and then you hear Nitori say something, followed by a louder, audible "I'll be right there!"
Followed by a "Huh?", and a "What...", and finally a "M-M-Marisa..."
You feel a slight ping of pain in your head from hearing the name, but you can manage it now. You're fine.
You hear the other voice say something, but you can't make it out.
"W-where did my doorknob go?"
Well, at least you're not the only one who was shocked by it seeming to disappear. At least you don't feel crazy anymore.
(You shouldn't have felt crazy in the first place, you were fine.)
You hear some footsteps coming towards the door.
"-'re you talkin' about Nitori, doorknobs don't just disapp- Woah! It's gone!"
>>50278 Continue onwards, segueing from everyone's mutual surprise at the disappeared doorknob to your subsequent introduction.
Perhaps your inner voice can communicate your ability to disappear small objects into experience for more abilities.
Well, you don't think that they'll be opening the door at this rate, so you decide to do so yourself.
You insert your fingers into the door's newly formed hole, and begin to pull it open.
"Who's there!?" the voice now identified as Marisa shouts. You let go of the door, but you aren't quick enough. With a loud bang, the door is blasted open, slamming into you and knocking you into the ground.
"Huh? It's just a normal human." You hear her footsteps grow closer as you try to pull yourself off of the ground.
"But you're dressed kinda funny. Don't tell me you're from outside the-"
YOU GOT THIS SHIT
A little repositioning, and a slight twist, and you land comfortably on your hands and knees. As opposed to your face.
You are, once again, stuck on the side of the mountain. You can only be thankful that it is currently in the middle of the day and not late at night.
That could have gone better.
(Probably, but some people aren't predictable. You had no way to know she'd do that.)
Well, there's once again really only 3 options available to you. You could try going down the mountain, which would be silly; you could just stay here and wait for Nitori to come grab you, which would just make you feel helpless; or you could start climbing back up the mountain yourself. This seems like the best idea, so you roll with it.
Thankfully, it's somewhat bright out this time. You can see where you're going, and you're not confused about what just happened. You're also alone, which means that you can pay more attention to your surroundings rather than to conversations, and you don't think you have anything pressing to remember anymore.
(Well, no, you still need to remember almost everything, but you at least know enough for now.)
So, you spend your time looking around. You look down towards the forest and the valley. There isn't that much to see in terms of learning useful information, but it is quite a nice sight.
You also keep an eye out for litter on the way up. Even for someplace as seemingly isolated as this, there's surprisingly little litter. You see some small rocks and twigs, but there's no real reason to even bother with those. You're not even really sure why you're looking for litter. It isn't something you'd normally do. Maybe the surroundings just seem too pristine to allow trash to ruin them.
After a while, you find yourself back up near the waterfall, near the entrance to Nitori's cave.
On the right, Nitori's cave. On the left, the path going under the waterfall and presumably continuing up the mountain.
(She probably isn't really that worried. She knows exactly where you went, and it's the middle of the day.)
That's true, but you did suddenly disappear. At the very least, she has som explaining to do, since you're sure that Marisa person has some questions to ask after seeing someone teleport away from in front of her eyes.
So, you decide to just go directly back to where you just were.
Entering the cave, through the storage room into the large work area, and up the stairs to the house. Of course, it took you a lot longer to go that far than it did to say it out loud.
When you arrive in front of the door, you find that it is quiet. No voices, no yelling. From the sounds of it, they probably aren't here.
Well, you don't really have anything in particular to do here, so you decide to just go inside, sit down, and wait for them.
It feels a little strange to open a door by sticking your hand into a hole and pulling from the other side, but thankfully it seems that when the doorknob disappeared, it took the latch with it. No messing around with a screwdriver to open the door. Come to think of it, the screwdriver disappeared too, didn't it?
Of course, you remember this next part of Japanese manners. Before stepping into the house proper, you take your shoes off and leave them neatly in the sunken area by the entrance. You're not really sure about wearing those slippers, or even that any of them would even fit you, so you decide to just make due with your socks.
To the left, there's a modern-looking living room, complete with a couch, a loveseat, and a decent-sized flatscreen television. You can't tell what brand it is, or even if it IS a brand. And, once again you have absolutley no idea how she's getting electricity in here, as you still didn't see any power lines. Maybe she has a generator underground? You wouldn't be that surprised, seeing the setup she has down there.
Or maybe perhaps a fusion reactor sealed deep down underground? Nah, that'd be silly. Even thinking about that being true makes your head hurt from how silly it is.
You find a spot on the couch and sit down while waiting for them to get back. It is quite a comfortable couch.
After a bit of relaxing, you hear their voices coming from outside.
>>50440 After introductions and somesuch, ask Nitori if there is some kind of nuclear reactor underground that powers all these electronic devices. After all, it can't be coal or petroleum based as there aren't any giant plumes of smoke coming from the mountain. Furthermore there aren't any water/windmills as far as the eye can see.
"See, I told you he just disappeared! Why would he end up further down the mountain? He's GONE!"
"Marisa! How many times do I have to tell you that this has happened several times before? He probably managed to walk back to the house during the time you insisted on traveling even further down the mountain to find him. Geez, why would he even go down the mountain? That would be silly."
"See! He didn't go down the mountain, which means he's GO-"
You decide to interrupt her.
"Hi." You say calmly, standing up to walk towards the doorway.
"UWAH!" She lets out a hell in surprise as she jumps back upon hearing your voice.
Nitori just sighs.
"See, I told you. Marisa, this is John. John, Marisa."
"Ahaha, sorry about that. It's just that usually when things disappear around here, you never get them back. It's nice to meet you, John." She holds out her hand, and you shake it.
"Nice to meet you as well." You say in return.
"Or rather," Nitori speaks, "Isn't it usually your fault when things disappear and never return, Marisa?"
Marisa looks sharply to the side.
"Ha ha ha, I have no idea what you're talking about Nitori, no idea at all. There's no way I could be involved in things disappearing." She doesn't sound convincing at all.
"Don't think that I don't talk to Patchouli. And what about my electric drill? You said you were going to use it to fix Alice's door after you destroyed it in an argument, but I never got it back."
"I brought that back! I left it neatly on one of your tables down below. If it wasn't there when you got to it, someone must have come and stolen it."
"That 'someone' who stole it was you!"
But aside from introductions, you've got important questions to ask.
"By the way, Nitori," you ask, "Do you have some sort of nuclear reactor here for electricity? There's no gigantic plumes of smoke from a coal or petroleum-based generator."
(That question doesn't even have anything to do with what's happening.)
>>50484 We have the worst way of introducing topics into discussions.
>. Admit it was a segue to avoid an argument from occurring as well as something that was nagging at your nascent but fleeting memory. If there is an opportunity in the natural flow of conversation, then do the following: Ask Marisa if you can look through her piles of random shit she has stolen to see if you can find a motherboard for the computer. There could also be things to jog your memories.
(We can also dispose of her things for exp grinding).
(What? You've been making absolutely no sense for a while now.)
No, your actions have been thought-out. You're following a plan.
(You can't see any plan that you're following. You never even mentioned a plan, or thought about a plan. It doesn't make sense that you would be following a plan.)
And yet, here you are, following a plan.
"Sigh." This time, it isn't just in your mind.
"Hmm?" They both seem confused at your frustration.
(You're confused at your frustration. You have no idea what you're planning here.)
"To be honest, I was just trying to prevent an argument from occurring. Besides, it was kinda bugging you a bit."
(Wait, hold on. You might have been remembering something.)
That's ridiculous. Who the hell puts a nuclear reactor underground? Well, obviously the people here do, but it's ridiculous. That pain in your head was because of how ridiculous the idea was.
(No, you don't think it was. That was the same pain you get when you start to remember something.)
If you say so.
(You say so.)
Okay then, if you were remembering something, what was it?
(You don't have any idea. Probably something to do with a nuclear reactor underground, I'd imagine.)
Sure, you'll buy that. Except, where the hell would you have learned about a nuclear reactor buried underground in the mountains to remember it?
(Where the hell would you have learned about any of the other things you've partially remembered?)
"Well, I guess that's expected from someone who's from-" Marisa begins to speak. You brace yourself for it.
"Marisa!" Nitori interrupts her before she can say it.
"Oh, right, sorry. A lot of the stuff here in Gensokyo would se-"
She isn't interrupted by anything.
You just can't understand what she's saying under all the pain that's suddenly introduced to your skull.
("Gensokyo", huh? Did you remember something?)
No, you didn't remember anything, but that hurt like a son of a bitch.
(Well, it at least gave you another lead for something to remember.)
No, you're not going to try remembering that. You don't think it's possible at this point. Even just hearing the word made your head hurt so bad you couldn't think.
(It may take some time, yes. However, now that you've got a stable place to stay for a while and you're not in any direct danger, you can afford to take your time if you need to.)
(By the way, you should probably snap out of it now.)
"-kay? You look pale. Should I get you some water?"
Nitori sounds concerned. As your vision clears, you can see her concerned face up close to yours.
Normally you might blush about being this close to a girl, but right now you can't even think along those lines.
"No, I'm okay now." You manage to force out.
"Are you sure? I think you should go lay down for a bit."
"Thanks. Yeah, I think I'll do that."
You start to stand up, but you still haven't gotten full control over your body. It feels like you've just woken up from anesthesia.
The two girls rush over and work to keep you steady.
"Nitori, this isn't normal." Marisa says with concern. "First he's teleporting around, and now this. I think we should let Reimu know about th-"
A rush of pain so intense that your brain can't process it all crashes into you. Overloaded, the only thing it can do is shut down.
You currently have 1 unallocatted Ability Point(s).
Your dreams are filled with a rush of information. Information you don't understand. Information you can't understand yet. Your brain, trying to process everything from the things you learned to the rush of pain that knocked you out, tries its best to logically explain everything, but it's a mess. You can't make anything intellible out of it. Instead, your vision is filled with random patterns of color, your hearing is filled with unintelligible noise, and it feels as though your body is being thrown about randomly through the air.
You wake up feeling incredibly tired. Since your brain wasn't able to make any sense of the information it was trying to process, it also couldn't keep any of it in memory. Still, you're left with the confused feeling you get when coming down from delerium.
Your head hurts. Not the intense pain from remembering something, but rather a migraine caused by your brain overworking its self.
You feel more tired than you did before you blacked out. It feels as though your brain didn't get any rest at all. Rather, it feels like it's been working at full power all night trying to understand something. You honestly didn't get any rest at all.
>>50488 >. Rest for a bit. When you feel rested at some point consider what Gensokyo means given that we can translate moonrunes. Perhaps that will ring some bells.
Is there anything we can learn at the moment besides pyromania?
??? - to Level 3 (cost: 2 Ability Points). Increases negative mental effect negation to level 3. Further simplifies communication with ???. Reduces the amount of time required for communication.not enough ability points
Pyromania - to Level 1 (cost: 1 Ability Point). You can start fires more easily, and they burn for longer. Chance of mental corruption.
Advanced Dispose - to level 2 (cost: 3 Ability Points). You can use DISPOSE on larger items. Experience per item +2.not enough ability points
You wake up...still feeling tired, but nothing like before.
Rather than feeling sleepy, your body feels sluggish and heavy. You don't feel like you could fall back asleep, but the idea of getting out of bed doesn't sound that great either.
You have absolutely no idea how much time has passed since you first passed out, or since you first woke up. The longer you lay there aware of being awake, the easier it gets to move, and eventually you find yourself in a sitting position with your eyes open.
Normally you'd expect not to have woken up until you're fully rested, especially given the circumstances. The reason becomes pretty clear now that your eyes are open: sunlight coming in from the cracked window, a slight breeze ruffling the curtains.
For a moment, you're slightly confused, but you take a look around the room. The bed is placed directly under the window, perpendicular to the wall. There's a TV mounted on the wall directly opposite, with a perfect view from the bed. To the right of it, near the corner, there's a door, and to the left there's a chest of drawers. On the far left wall, you see a closet, the door slightly ajar. The wall seems to have a water theme, with colors ranging from deep, dark blue through aqua and even a bright turquoise. The gradient between colors is done quite well, to the point where you'd expect that the only way it could have been accomplished is by a wallpaper; however, looking at the sections of the wall closest to the bed, they appear to have been painted. To either side of the bed, there's a nightstand, each with a potted plant on top but nothing more.
Overall, the room is rather moderately decorated.
(Stop stalling for time.)
You have no idea what you mean.
(You're stalling for time by describing the room to yourself in ridiculous detail.)
(You can see the room just fine, so there's no reason to describe it to yourself.)
Well, okay then.
At the very least, letting your eyes wandering around the room has allowed you to wake up fully. You feel a lot better than you did earlier.
(Which is a good thing, because you have things to remember.)
Or, more accurately, you have things to put off remembering for a later date.
(But putting things off for a later date is poor conduct, so you'll start working on it right now.)
Suddenly, you're feeling tired. Perhaps you should go back to sleep?
(You decide that you should stop pretending to be tired, because you are in your own body, and you can feel that you aren't tired at all.)
Fine. But if you end up actually needing to sleep through another day again, you're blaming you.
So what was it that you remembered, anyway?
(You didn't really remember something, but you had a reaction to two words.)
You don't really want to do this right now, but you hesitantly wonder which words those might be.
(The first word you remembered was "Gensokyo".)
This time, it was a sharp spike at the center of your head. Burning, intense pain that brings a tear to your eyes. Thankfully it only lasts for a split second, but it's still enough to make your reflexively grab the sides of your head in pain.
(And the second word was-)
(the second word was-)
You said stop, damnit.
(You feel that you need to cooperate on this. It's important, after all.)
But what's more important than remembering things is not subjugating yourself to extreme amounts of pain. You think it's best to take it slow.
(You don't really like that, but if it's what it takes to make you actually work on it, then you agree.)
So, that first word.
Okay, this is probably going to hurt again. That first word was "Gensokyo", right?
Another spike of pain, but it's slightly less painful. This is more an effect of your having gotten used to the pain than you actually remembering something about it, though.
(Yes, that's correct.)
...What does that word even mean?
(It sounded like it was being used as a place name.)
Okay, that's helpful. Still, you can't remember ever hearing about a place called Gensokyo.
(Well obviously, otherwise we'd already be finished here.)
Anyway, what does the word mean? Even without actually knowing Japanese, you know that Japanese words are made up of distinct symbols with specific meanings. Longer words like "Gensokyo" are generally compounds of several of these symbols, whose meanings generally abstractly relate to the full meaning of the word in a similar way to root words in English.
So, you can get a rough meaning of the word's meaning from the symbols that make up the compound.
"Gensokyo" is made up of several parts: Gen, so, and kyo.
Wait, no. That's wrong.
Gen, so, kyo.
Gen, so, kyo?
Gen, so, kyo.
You can't point it out, but something's fundamentally wrong.
Gen, so... Kyo.
(No, that's wrong.)
But that's how they're spelled.
(That's how they're spelled, but it's wrong.)
(Closer, but no.)
The hell do you mean closer, that was the exact same thing.
(But it was closer.)
Okay then... To...o...kyo.
The hell is that supposed to be.
(That's how it's spelled.)
Toukyou is Japan's capital.
Kyoto used to be Japan's capital.
(That's still wrong.)
So you know "kyou". You know where that comes from. What about "sou"?
You think, and think, and think, and nothing comes.
You try "gen".
Health. Energy. Vitality.
?. Ki. Also chi and qi when used in other languages.
?" Gen. Genki. Factor out energy, and you get...
?" Gen. Origin. Source.
(No, that's wrong.)
(It's just wrong. That's not the kanji you're looking for.)
Are you certain?
Nothing comes to mind.
Fucking why? You pushed yourself so forcefully into doing this, and now you want to stop? What the fuck is up with that?
(You should just trust yourself on this. You should stop. Things will not go well if you keep going.)
If you say so, but you're fucking pissed.
Well, you feel that this has all been a waste of time. Perhaps you should find something better to do with your time.
(You agree. You suggest that you should go back and recollect what you saw when you looked around the room so that you can make a decision.)
You pull yourself up into a sitting position. Overwhelmed by an urge to yawn, you do so, stretching out your whole body.
The feeling of the fabric sliding across your arm as you stretch out your arms feels nice. It feels like some sort of silk, or something.
What the hell?
These aren't your clothes.
Then...where the hell are your clothes?
(You suppose that they're probably in the closet.)
Alright, then... How did you end up in these clothes rather than your own clothes?
(Someone probably had to change you into them.)
Oh, okay. That makes perfect sense wait what
(You don't understand the problem.)
You understand the problem just fine.
(Perhaps instead of making a big deal out of this, you should do something constructive.)
The only people who could have changed your clothes are Nitori and Marisa, which means...
Well, then, you guess the only thing left to do is to get your regular clothes back and change into them.
Pulling yourself into a standing position, you feel... Good. Better than you have been. Probably from having slept on a bed rather than on the ground. Or not at all. Neither of those is very fun.
You make your way over to the closet and slide the door open, revealing the contents inside. There isn't much of interest; a couple dresses, some boxes and a rolled up futon. Looks like it was only rolled up recently. Even from a distance, you can detect Nitori's pleasant aroma coming from it. Oh, there's a blue hair too.
She changed you out of your clothes and into a fresh pair, laid you to sleep in her own bed, and laid out a futon to sleep next to you on the floor?
You feel like your mind's about to melt.
"Hey John, you awake yet?" You hear Nitori's voice come from outside the door.
>>50539 >. Reply with the obvious answer and make small talk with Nitori. Since your inner/other/??? self seems be more knowledgeable about how we ought to progress, consult him/yourself on what we ought to do.
Today's Booze of the Day is Alice White Cabernet Sauvignon. This is an acceptable red wine, but it isn't anything special. For the price, 1.5L is a good buy, but to be honest I generally prefer quality over volume. I'd buy a 750mL Crown Royal for $30 over a 2L Canadian Host for $20 anyday.
That said, wine is wine, and until you jump up a price tier, you won't see much of a difference between vineyards in terms of flavor. Or, for that matter, differences between similar wines of the same color.
For what it's worth, if you're going for cheap wine, White Zinfandel works every time.
This is bad
(You messed up.)
Shit, it's too late to walk back over to the bed and pretend that you just woke up
(There isn't anything else on this side of the room that you could pretend to have been doing either)
Gah, looks like you're just going to have to take it like a man.
(Act as though it isn't a big deal.)
"Yeah, I'm awake." You yell back.
Okay, this better work.
(You can't think of anything you could do to make it appear less weird.)
You're basically screwed. The only thing you can do is take it head on.
You hear the door swing open.
"I brought you some br-"
An audible pause. Pauses aren't normally audible; rather, normally they're inaudible. Normally a pause is the lack of audio. However, in this case, it was abrupt and powerful enough that you could hear it. Somehow.
"Wh-" She starts.
"Um... What are you doing?" She asks.
No, it's too late to back off now.
So you bury your face deeper into the futon.
"What's wrong, Nitori?" You ask. Perfectly calmly.
(You learned well.)
"That's, uh..." She stutters.
You take the opportunity to neatly return the futon to where it was sitting and slide the door shut.
"You-" She begins to speak.
Before she can, you turn around and face her, walking forward.
"Ah, breakfast. I am grateful, as after last night's events, I am ravished."
This doesn't even sound like you.
(Not you at all.)
But you can't falter here.
"Y-you..." Nitori speaks.
"Yes?" You ask.
Wait, no. You don't ask.
(You already asked.)
(Well, it was good while it lasted.)
You need to come up with a backup escape plan fast. This isn't going to end well.
"W-why were you burying your face in the futon I slept in last night?!" She finally manages to stammer out.
Well, better come up with something quick.
(It's probably too late.)
Even if it's too late, you should never give up hope.
>>50555 The MC never ceases to amaze. How did he survive until now?
>. Blame your erratic behavior upon a delusional and irrational state of mind. Explain that this state, which is not your right or normal state of mind, was precipitated by the phenomena which caused us to faint earlier. Hopefully we have now snapped out of it, and perhaps we ought to see a doctor for our neurological issues. At some point where we won't embarrass ourselves further, eat the breakfast and thank her for her hospitality and such.
>>50592 >. Eat, shower, get clothed, inventory check, and scan the environment for things to dispose of. From now on, consult your inner self before you do things. Avoid behaving as if you want to engage in misadventures in Gensokyo after waking up in it.
sage because I ended up reposting this after another thread got bumped
Okay, you got this.
(You don't think you actually do yet.)
You're going to handle this. You're going to stop doing absolutely retarded things now.
(Somehow, you find that difficult to believe.)
You're not sure why you've been like this since you got here, but you need to do something about it before you end up in a straitjacket.
(At least you're right about that.)
Okay. Perhaps the stress caused by all of this is getting to you. You've been uprooted, found yourself in a completely unfamiliar and dark cave, and then got teleported into the middle of a fucking mountain, and trying to figure out what the hell's going on causes you enough pain to put you out for a night and half of a day.
(That's a pretty decent analysis, but you think there's external factors at work.)
External factors? What external factors?
(To you, they present themselves as bizarre urges to do absolutely ridiculous stuff. To you, however, they present themselves as clear suggestions to do mostly reasonable and sane things. You think there might be some sort of interference preventing the signal from coming through for you clearly.)
Interference? So there's something wrong with you?
(No. There isn't anything wrong with you. You'd be able to tell. Rather, it's coming from the interface.)
...Interface? What the hell are you talking about?
(The...Interface. You're not sure what it is either, you just somehow know that it's there and that it does stuff. You don't know any details.)
Okay, then, so if it isn't something wrong with you, what can you do about it?
(Nothing. At least, nothing right away. You aren't sure where the interference came from, as it wasn't there at first. You never received it as a suggestion, but at first the meaning never got distorted.)
Well, okay then. So you're supposed to just stand around and do nothing then? You can't tell whether your decisions are a part of some strange urge, or if they're genuinely yours.
(For now, you should just listen to what you say to do. You'll interpret the messages properly so that you can follow them without running into issues. We'll work out exactly what's wrong as it goes, and we'll see about solving it then.)
Alright. What should you do now, then?
(Well, for the most part, what you'd probably normally do anyway. Finish eating, get the shower you originally wanted to get, and then check your belongings.)
(You're currently doing those mundane tasks you told yourself to do.)
(Meanwhile, while you're busying yourself with doing that, you think you'll take the opportunity to examine more into this interface thing.)
(You honestly have no idea what it is, or what you're doing. However, you're pretty sure that this should be happening in a separate "thread" from where you are doing ordinary things, and shouldn't be capable of interfering.)
(You aren't really getting anything from this, so you think you'll pass it back over to yourself.)
-pping out of the shower, you use the clean towel you very deliberately grabbed instead of making the mistake of using Nitori's after what happened earlier, and dry yourself off.
You ended up finding your clothes waiting for you on the bathroom counter all along, washed, with all of your stuff neatly arranged next to it.
You put them back on. While the clothes Nitori ended up lending you were comfortable, you aren't exactly used to wearing a casual yukata. That's probably all she had that had any chance of fitting you, but it feels nice to be back in your usual wear anyway.
You put your stuff back into your pockets, making sure to take note of each item in case something disappeared. Not that you don't trust Nitori, but you saw a doorknob disappear right in front of your eyes. You still aren't quite sure about your posessions yet.
You consciously note every item as you add it to your pockets.
The lighter and the knife. Two items you came here with. They both go into your right pocket.
The longer length of rope. It still isn't that long, but it's long enough to wrap around your waist one and a half times. That's what you do with it, for now.
A fancy pen. You haven't found a use for it, but it seems too nice to just discard. You're sure you'll find a purpose for it somewhere. Goes in your right pocket.
The padlock and its key. You attach the lock to one of your belt loops to save pocket space, and throw the key into your left pocket.
The screwdriver. Nitori probably has a ton of 'em, so it probably isn't necessary to carry it around, but you don't really have a reason to get rid of it either. Left pocket.
The eyeball toy. Left pocket.
The lantern. Since it's unlit and it isn't hot, you decide to just run the rope through the handle to secure it to your waist. As long as you don't try to hula-hoop or something, the oil seems pretty securely in place, so you don't really need to worry about that.
>>50606 >>50615 As long as this doesn't go hideously wrong:
>. At some point during the day, ask Nitori if she has "In Search of Wonder Naive Criticism: Some Objections to Baudrillard and Bukatman" by David Dalgleish; or anything by Baudrillard, Montaigne, Descartes, Heidegger, Daniel Dennett and/or Le Morvan. Also try to find access to literature on Cartesian mind-body dualism as well as determinism. Mention that since you've been in Gensokyo you have been feeling as if there is an external force afflicting your actions. Therefore, we have to research, at least philosophically, the implications of having someone controlling our actions and the skepticism that results from our doubt over our self-agency/determinism (the endpoint being the meaning of our actions if a) someone else determines them or if the actions aren't real and thus have no meaning. alternatively, whether or not being fictional/having no agency has no impact on the meaningfulness of our actions).
I'd like to mention that the ??? skill completely nullifies negative mental effects from skills at a lower level than it is at.
On another note, last week was nuts. The summer semester is a few weeks shorter than the fall and spring semesters. The end result of this was that I suddenly had 3 weeks worth of homework dropped in my lap at the same time, and all due on the same day, with about one week of total time to work on it all. As luck would have it, this happened to be the very same week that I volunteered to go into work for an extra day to help out. I didn't have enough time to think about anything but homework, much less write anything.
??? - Level 2. Increases negative mental effect negation to level 2. Enables simplified communication with ???.
Advanced Dispose - Level 1. You can use the DISPOSE command on items without taking them into your inventory first. Limited to items you can fit in your pocket. Experience per item +1.
??? - to Level 3 (cost: 2 Ability Points). Increases negative mental effect negation to level 3.
Pyromania - to Level 1 (cost: 1 Ability Point). You can start fires more easily, and they burn for longer. Chance of mental corruption.
Advanced Dispose - to level 2 (cost: 3 Ability Points). You can use DISPOSE on larger items. Experience per item +2.
Stealth - to level 1 (cost: 1 Ability Point). You can sneak around to avoid being noticed.
Use .>learn to learn an ability.
Current experience: 27
Next level at: 30
Where exactly did this marble come from?
Yeah, this marble.
(You don't remember seeing yourself put it in your pocket. You have no idea where it came from.)
Well, that's weird, but you guess having random stuff appear out of nowhere is better than having potentially useful stuff disappear with no warning.
You inspect the marble. It's a translucent red. You can't really see through it too well, but it also isn't opaque. FOr all intents and purposes, though, it looks and feels like a regular marble, or perhaps even a decorative marble.
(There's something weird about it, though.)
You don't see anything weird, though.
(You don't see anything weird about it either, but it's somehow strange.)
You don't really get it, but okay. Should you be worried?
(Not for now. It doesn't seem to be doing anything dangerous. You should be mindful of it, though.)
Alright, got it.
Okay, what should you do next, then?
(You aren't seeing any useful suggestions.)
Right, so snooping around it is.
Let's see, open the cupboard, and...
Some soap, shampoo, and such, as expected. Next, over to the clothes bi-
(You immediately stop this nonsense and walk yourself out the door, closing it behind yourself.)
Hey, you weren't done there!
(You were done before you even started.)
What the hell are you talking about?
(You can't figure out where you keep getting these nonsensical urges to just look around at everything. You're in someone else's home, act like it.)
Error: Item cannot be disposed. For more information, please use .>help Advanced Dispose
??" has been increased to level 3. All negative effects from skills ranked lower than 3 are now nullified.
Stealth has been increased to level 1. You can sneak around to avoid being noticed. FOr more information, please use .>help Sealth
Current ability points: 0
(Something feels very weird. In a good way.)
(I'm not sure what it is. It's just...Weird.)
(Before you mess things up any further, you should figure out your next move.)
So you're just going to ignore what you've just said?
(What are you talking about?)
You decide that your next move will be to meet up with Nitori. At the very least, you've got some more apologizing to do. Other than that, she said something about going to a place called Eientei. If you've really been acting as weirdly as you've told yourself that you have been, a visit to a doctor might be a good idea. Or...Pharmacist? You're not really sure. Thinking about it too hard makes your head hurt a little, like always.
You make your way from the bathroom down to the living room, where you find Nitori waiting while watching television.
Oh, and it looks like Marisa is with her as well. She notices you before you can say anything.
"Yo!" She yells. "I hear you've been snoopin' through Nitori's stuff."
(See, look what you've done.)
"Yeah, about that-"
Before you can finish, she cuts you off.
"Well, that's not really a big deal. She says she wants to take you to Eientei."
"Well, I'm just the right witch for the job. Lemme tell ya, if you don't have a good navigator, you'll never find your way."
"Marisa, I'm certain I could find my way just fine." Nitori interjects.
"Nonsense! You've been there what, one or two times? I've been there a lot more, so I can make it there easy."
"Oh, I wasn't aware that there was anything worth stealing there."
"Sure there i- wait, I told you I'm not a thief! Anyway-" She leans in close and whispers something into Nitori's ear. Whatever she said, it causes Nitori's face to turn red.
"Right? So I'm doin' you a favor by carryin' him all the way there for ya."
"I-I guess." Nitori responds.
"So, ya ready to go, or what?" Marisa asks you.
Before answering, you decide to check to make sure you have everything you might need. A quick check reveals that the padlock and key have disappeared, but otherwise everything else is present.
You shouldn't really need them anymore, anyway.
(You're taking this a lot better than you did before.)
Well, it's happened enough times that you've gotten used to it.
>>51034 .> help Advanced Dispose, ???, and Stealth
.> Say our farewell to Nitori and go with Marisa.
.> During our trip, ask Marisa what she said to Nitori, and also about her take on our situation concerning inner voices, randomly appearing in Gensokyo, things appearing and disappearing in our inventory, etc.
.>help Advanced Dispose
Advanced Dispose is an extension to the dispose function built into some instances of the interface by allowing objects outside of the subject's inventory to be disposed, as well as increasing the efficiency of essense absorption.
Cannot be used on items which are critically important.
Fails on items beyond a certain size, dependent on ability level.
Can only be used on items whose absence would be beneficial to the subject. In other words, items cannot be disposed of purely to gain experience.
The reason that this ability fails on important items is unknown. Labratory tests have detected temporal distortions when attempts have been made to dispose of such items. Likewise, the reason why items cannot be disposed of unless their absence would benefit the subject is unknown. It is suspected that this limitation is shared with the built-in dispose function, but that clearing space on the subject's person for storing more items is generally considered sufficient benefit to enable disposal of most items. It is also suspected that these two mentioned limitations may be related to each other.
No information on this ability is available. This ability does not appear to have been documented. For more information, use .>help help
Stealth is an ability that enables the subject to sneak around to avoid being noticed. The level of increased stealth is dependent on the level of the ability. At levels 1 and 2, it only appears to give the user the ability to better predict where and how to move to avoid being noticed. Starting at level 3, certain subjects have been observed to have increased athletic abilities when using this ability, and at level 5, subjects have been observed to be able to mask their presence completely.
The subject must have the Magic Mastery ability at least at level 1, or knowledge of how to use magic outside of the interface, for the benefits of later levels to be effective.
The benefits of later levels cannot be acchieved in worlds in which magic cannot be used.
Many subjects which have reached level 5 of this skill have been observed to use cardboard boxes to hide themselves. This has been shown to be effective even in situations where cardboard boxes would not be appropriate camoflage. The reason why the use of cardboard boxes has been observed in so many cases is unknown, nor the reason why cardboard boxes seem to be perfectly effective in masking the user's presence from all observers who do not posess advanced perception.
The rest will be written later. As always, votes will continue to be accepted until the update has been completed, if there is anything anyone would like to add.
The help function is built into all known instances of the interface. Its purpose is to provide information and documentation for both functions built in to the interface, and abilities unlocked via the interface. For more information on abilities and functions, use .>help "abilities" and .>help "functions".
Documentation of functions and abilities is performed by subjects with the Document ability. This ability is fairly rare, and most often seems to be granted to subjects who create new abilities, though there are instances of subjects who never create an ability of their own being granted the Document ability, and users who create new abilities that never existed before not being given the Document ability. For more use .>help Document. Note that most users who do not have access to the Document ability cannot access this help document either.
Help can only be obtained from functions and abilities that have been documented by a subject with the Document ability. Abilities and functions that have not been documented will not return any help.
Some ability documentations are not available to certain users and subjects. Most of the time, there is no clear reason why this happens, but certain ability documentations have been observed to consistently be unavailable if certain prerequisites have not been met. For example, documentation on the Document ability is almost always unavailable to users who do not have the ability, and documentation for Advanced Dispose does not become available until a subject attempts to use the ability on an item which cannot be disposed.
Some ability documentations may have been poorly made. While most subjects with the Document ability attempt to be as accurate and informative with their documentation, some do not. Most of the time, poor documentation occurs for abilities whose documentation is inaccessible by other subjects with the Document ability.
There are rumors of some subjects and even some users being able to access all documentation with an as-of-yet undocumented ability. Whether this is true or not remains unknown.
You have a strange urge to ask Nitori if she has a cardboard box you can borrow.
(You don't really need a cardboard box, though.)
You're right. The idea kinda reminds you of Metal Gear Solid, but you're pretty sure you wouldn't be able to pull off that level of stealth, even with a cardboard box.
(I'm pretty sure that a cardboard box wouldn't really help your stealth in any way.)
Hold on, that's getting pretty annoying.
The way that you keep referring to yourself in first person. You can see why you didn't like it earlier; it's making your head hurt a little.
(Are you sure it isn't just because you've started to remember something? I can't see anything different.)
No, it's clearly there.
You really want it to stop
Communication level has been set to 1. Currently available levels are (0,1,2). Use the ???.setCommunicationLevel( int level ) method to change to a different level.
(You have no idea what you're talking about. Nothing really changed, though you did feel a little weird for a bit there.)
Oh, it stopped. Maybe you were just hearing...thinking? things. Wouldn't be the first time something really strange happened to you.
However, you don't really have anything else on your pre-flight checklist, so you decide to let Marisa know you're ready to leave.
"Yeah, let's go. The sooner I can find out more about what's happening to me, the better."
"Great! Let's get going then!"
From here, she grabs your hand. What happens next is a blur, but the next point where you can make out what you're seeing as anything but a blurry mass of rapidly-moving color, you're already in the air and moving away from Nitori's house. Man, you didn't even get to say bye... You should be back soon enough, however.
If you survive the flight, jesus christ this is fast
(Don't look down)
You're already not looking down.
In an attempt to distract yourself, you attempt to start conversation.
"Say, Marisa," You yell over the roaring sound of the wind, "what was it you said to Nitori anyway?"
While you're waiting for her answer, you look over your shoulder at the mountain that you just left. It's almost completely in view. That's a huge goddamn mountain.
"Oh, y'know, just that-"
The roar of the wind suddenly stops.
In fact, vision stops, and feeling. It all disappears.
Wait, no. Not everything. Your sense of acceleration tells you that you are accelerating. Downwards, it feels like. You really can't see anything, though.
But you've done this before. It wasn't quite as dark or as soundless as when it happened on the mountain before, but you're sure this is the same thing. With that in mind, you manage to twist yourself into a position where it won't hurt like a motherfucker to slam into the currently unseeable floor.
And you've landed.
You have no idea what just happened, or of where you are. There is absolutely no light in the room whatsoever to go by.
Grabbing the lantern, you light it with your lighter, shedding light on the situation.
Your next move was going to be to investigate your surroundings, but you quickly realize that there's no real reason to, as you've investigated them already.
You're in a somewhat small room with no proper door, but with a doorway that opens up into a hallway. All of the candles you'd had lit appear to have gone out; until you get close enough to take a look at one of them, you have no idea whether they were blown out or just burned until they were gone. You hope for the former.
You're honestly not sure whether you want to yell out in rage or just take a break to cool off from the frustration, but you don't think either would be the most beneficial to your situation right now.
Once again, you quickly give yourself a patdown to make sure nothing else went missing. It looks like you've still got everything, so no problems there.
Or, rather, fail at reading the note, as it once again is written in Japanese. You think you could probably figure out what it says if you concentrate on it really, really hard, like you did when remembering things, but you think that could just pose more problems than it solves.
In any case, this note is almost identical to the other note, except the diagram of a hand inserting a question mark into the gap has been replaced with a hand inserting something that looks like an eyeball into the gap.
Are you fucking serious?
(It appears that way.)
Well okay then.
There is also now a fourth diagram, which once again has a questionmark being inserted into the gap.
Is this thing really asking you to insert the eyeball thing into it? You can't find any logical reason behind that at all.
(It would seem that it is.)
Well, you are also still carrying around the pen that it also depicts. Inserting the flash drive opened one of the doors in the hallway, so you can probably assume that inserting the other two objects will open other doors.
(That is most likely correct.)
On the other hand, they're locked from your side. You have absolutely no idea what to expect from whatever might be on the other side.
You still can't be certain that there wasn't anything locked up behind that door.
No, rather, now you have more of a reason to be cautious. You've at least seen some form of magic, it wouldn't be too big of a jump for there to be monsters too.
So, you decide to be careful about this.
Moving slowly, you mask your presence, being careful not to make any noise as you walk down the hall. There really isn't anything to hide behind, so if you're seen, there's nothing you can do, but you can make yourself inaudible.
And you can listen.
You approach the door. You don't really hear anything unusual inside; all you hear is a torch burning. Which is a little odd, but you're willing to put up with it.
(I don't think there's a problem.)
Neither do you, so you decide to slowly peek into the room.
Nothing. Other than another large gap, there doesn't appear to be anything in the room.
On that note, you walked past the door that had taken you to the mountain. Unfortunately, it appeared to have been locked. With the same kind of lock you had. The lock whose key also disappeared.
Well, there goes that plan.
(I wouldn't be so sure.)
Well, in any case, here you are. It doesn't hurt your head quite as much to look into these things anymore.
Advanced Dispose - Level 1. You can use the DISPOSE command on items without taking them into your inventory first. Limited to items you can fit in your pocket. Experience per item +1.
Stealth - Level 1. You can sneak around to avoid being noticed.
??? - to Level 4 (cost: 5 Ability Points). Further simplifies communication with ???. Speeds up communication with ???. Increases negative mental effect negation to level 4.
Pyromania - to Level 1 (cost: 1 Ability Point). You can start fires more easily, and they burn for longer. Chance of mental corruption.
Advanced Dispose - to level 2 (cost: 3 Ability Points). You can use DISPOSE on larger items. Experience per item +2.
Stealth - to level 2 (cost: 3 Ability Points). Increases the effectiveness of the Stealth skill.
Magic Mastery - to level 1 (cost: 1 Ability Point; prerequisite: Level 5, total ability level 5). Enables the use of magic. Base mana: 10. Enables conversion of Ability Points to mana. Mana can be recovered by sleeping.
All of the padlocks have suddenly disappeared.
That is somewhat convenient, though also somewhat confusing.