You are Youmu Konpaku, Yuyuko Saijyouji's faithful servant. Skillful with battle and confident in yourself, you found yourself amongst a meeting of Gensokyo's power players, discussing a threat from the Outside by vampires against not just Gensokyo, but all the "sealed lands".
Manipulated into proving youself, you were selected to join the mission to strike at the vampire forces Outside. Teaming up with Remilia Scarlet, you were to cut the head off the serpent.
But that didn't go as planned. Upon reaching the city of Paris, France, through a gap provided by Yukari, you were betrayed by Remilia, who revealed that she had brought Flandre along with her as an attempt to free herself from Yukari and Gensokyo itself. You gave chase, fighting Flandre in a subway, and ultimately lost.
Weakened, you went to a Buddhist temple, seeking help. You contacted Byakuren and was able to give a brief explanation. After she promised you help, you blacked out and awoke in a hospital a week later.
After escaping the hospital, you resolved to find Flandre, whom you had a vision about. She's in trouble, and you need to help her. After getting injected with her blood, you've become addicted to it, and now that addiction can affect your decisions...
[ ] Find food and water, somehow.
[ ] Follow the sign. The tree emblem could mean a garden, which hopefully could mean food that way as well.
From now on, until you break the addiction, your decisions will be affected by Youmu's addiction rating. Instead of making it an option as before, it will instead factor into decisions she makes. Some options will go toward breaking the addiction, others will move to keep it going.
HOWEVER, if on the previous thread you voted for the Flandre option, I will account for that.
[X] Follow the sign. The tree emblem could mean a garden, which hopefully could mean food that way as well.
Going back to the whole murder and sex thing, I think you could make a case for an even more unpalatable development. The excision of a character's free will.
Even if rape and murder are rampant, even a very jaded reader can find themselves put off if a character is robbed of their free will.
Not saying thats what happened here, this is just an addiction. But I am happy with how its gone. In a sick kind of way.
You're all just a bunch of whiners. The addiction mechanic as originally written was not "the excision of a character's free will." And we lose 'free will' by a far more stringent definition every time an author writes an update longer than a paragraph.
>>51324 I figure I should clarify this before more misunderstandings crop up.
I am not saying that the addiction mechanic is taking our or youmu's free will away. Saying that it takes away ours is pointless, because we never controlled her to begin, just guided her choices.
What I was saying was how I find it interesting that even when its all within a story, seeing a character rob another character of their free will could be even more off-putting than murder or rape. I never said that this is what happened here, I'm simply saying that if the writer did choose to make us into a ghoul, then it would be interesting to see how much backlash there would be compared to murder scenes and rape scenes.
[x] Follow the sign. The tree emblem could mean a garden, which hopefully could mean food that way as well.
You sit there for a few minutes and yawn. All this work so soon after waking up has finally gotten to you. You still have so much to do before you can rest. Standing up, you decide to follow the sign. Your stomach grumbles; you want food. You need food.
Fortunately you've still got your wits about you. You keep an eye out, looking for whatever that sign pointed to. This late at night, there aren't many people wandering the sidewalks; the few people walking about are keen on keeping their distance from you, and you're not about to walk up to them. Not this late, and not without knowing who is and who isn't one of them.
Either way, you continue to follow the signs. They lead you a long way from the club, and that doesn't at all bother you. The ringing in your ears is gone, but you still feel weird... the side effects of being injected with Flandre's blood are still present. You briefly wonder if you can inherit Flandre's rumored insanity.
No matter. You think you're over it now. Yeah... maybe you can fight it. You have to fight it, for your sake and for Flandre's. Maybe just one drop... you begin to think, but shake your head. No. No! I refuse.
You debate the pros and cons of drinking some of Flandre's blood internally. It's such... a consuming thought. So consuming, in fact, that you end up walking into the garden before you realize it. It's only when you nearly smack your head against a tree that you realize you're no longer amongst buildings and steel. You look around and breathe deeply; yes, this is much better than the city. You briefly wander around, taking in the trees, the grass, and the pond. It's quiet here; no one visits places like this at night.
Your stomach protests the lack of food again. You touch your belly and look through the trees. This late at night, even if any of the trees bore fruit, there would be no way you could tell. You yawn again and think; maybe in the morning, after some sleep, you can find something to eat. Maybe. Since you're half-ghost, you can't actually starve to death. Instead, you simply waste away until only your ghost-half remains; at least, that's what you've always been told. It's supposed to be a terrible process.
Either way, you need to do something. You look up into the tree and see a particularly large branch. Looking around and making sure that there's no one about, you channel you magic and lift out of the sky, ascend a few feet or so... and promptly crash onto the ground again.
"I don't understand..." you mutter, standing up. "I've never felt better; why can't I fly?" Can you even use magic? You look around again, then cup your hands in front of yourself. You focus your magic and form a bullet. You turn and, taking it in one hand, you fling it against another tree. It dissapates harmlessly against its branches; expected, as you weren't putting much energy into it. You make a stronger one and hurl it into a tree's leaves. It cuts some leaves and smacks against a tree branch, cracking it.
"That's odd..." you say. You try to fly again. You get about ten feet off the ground before your flight magic gives out again; you grab your target branch from below before you fall again. You pull yourself onto the branch and sit on it, thinking. There's no logical reason why your flight magic isn't working. It must be emotional; stress or worry perhaps? You've been so worried about Flandre, maybe it's affecting your flight.
You need someone to talk to. Someone who understands how you feel about things. Someone from Gensokyo. You close your eyes and think. Maybe you should go back to the Buddhist temple? It doesn't have to be the same one from before...
You yawn again. You shouldn't fall asleep. You need to focus on your-
-objective. Why is it so dark?
You open your eyes and look around. Other than a crushing sense of 'why bother waking up', you wonder where you are. It's definitely not where you fell asleep, and as you swing your eyes about and stretch your wings-
Oh. You're having another vision, or nightmare.
You look over to the oddly soft-looking bed. There's blood all over it. You don't want to think about it. You test the chains holding up against the wall again. They're designed to withstand your strength, so no amount of pulling will break them. They're embedded in a wall with a magic seal of Unbreaking on it, so you can't just tear the wall apart either. Same for the floor and ceiling. The door has a particularly large seal on it.
The door opens. You look to see a couple of vampires with that blonde woman from before walk in. "Flandre," begins one of the vampires. "It's time."
You feel yourself nod as the second vampire walks up to you. Pulling a syringe out, he stabs it into your arm and pulls out a vial of your blood. "This worked out real well for us earlier," he says. "One of your sister's Ghouls showed up; we gave it to her as a kindness. You should feel good about yourself."
You don't answer. You just stare.
"How did your day with Remilia go?" the first vampire asks. "Did you tell her anything?"
You continue staring off into nothing. No, you didn't speak a word. Hell, even if you did, Sis was so busy talking to other people, she never even thought to ask what was wrong with you. She was just "happy to spend time with her sister, free from Yukari after all this time". She says that every day. She acts like it's a new thought every day.
You've seen through it. Either Remilia doesn't want to know, or she doesn't care about you anymore. No, that's not right. She doesn't know. She's too comfortable in her growing power here. She thinks that the two of you are untouchable. She doesn't know about anything and... you're too ashamed to tell her.
You look down, defeated. "I thought so," the vampire taunts. "You're weak without your power. Damned Scarlets. Your sister has it coming too," he cracks his knuckles. You flinch instinctively. "Oh, I'm not going to hit you, unless you mouth off. You finally learned respect. Remilia's gonna learn it too," he grins. "Just like you did, if we have to. Yeah, it'd please us greatly to see her broken the same way you were."
No... no, you're willing to take all the pain and shame. You always handled it better than Sis; like now, you're able to withdraw into your self. You blink and clear your vision. "Don't..." you whisper.
"...what?" The second vampire gets close. Very close. "What'd you say?"
"Don't. Touch her," you get out. "Do what... you want... to me," you take a breath. "But don't... touch my sister!" With all the effort you can manage, you reach for the closest vampire and grab him by the head. You scream. He screams. The wall behind you cracks. You squeeze until his head just implodes like a grapefruit.
The other vampire is on you before you know it, breaking your arms with surprising swiftness and kicking you in the gut, breaking half your ribs, before the body even has a chance to fall. Three more vampires storm in, one of them stopping at the door and saying words of power. He flings a hand out and you feel magic slamming you back against the wall. One of them grabs you by the throat and begins to choke you. You gasp for breath that doesn't come. Struggling against the three much larger vampires, there's little you can do as they beat you.
"Death isn't good enough for you!" One of them screams. "We'll beat you till you can't see, can't move, can't breathe!"
Here come the fists and feet again. You close your eyes and withdraw within yourself. You pray to a god that doesn't exist for a repreive. Your sincere hope is that, by doing this, you spare Remilia the same fate.
You feel a not-quite dead presence. The vampires begin to undress you.
You begin to cry.
When you wake up, the sun is just starting to rise.
This shit's got to end.
Climbing down from the tree, you've decided that finding Flandre is top priority. Damn wanting her blood and damn the consequences, you're not going through another night of feeling her, and yourself, suffer. Your arms and... other places, hurt, but at least they aren't broken and bleeding this time. You must be far away that the connection is weaker.
Wait a minute... when you were at the hospital, your bones actually broke when they broke Flandre's bones. But this time, it was just... sore. Like you pulled your muscles.
This means, you decide, that she must be close to the hospital. You didn't pay enough attention when running from the hospital to feel for Myon.
Your stomach protests you not paying attention to it. You walk up to the pond and cup some water in your hands, taking a few big drinks. It's... not good, but its tolerable.
Right. Time to get started.
[ ] First lead: Hospital. Feel for Myon. Safe, but it'll take a while.
[ ] Second Lead: Bloodlust. Fake being highly addicted (not hard to do right now), demand more blood from the source, anything. More dangerous, faster, and possibly a blood reward.
[x]First Lead: Hospital. Feel for Myon. Safe, but it'll take a while.
You make your way to the hospital. Even though it's early, there are a lot of people about. You take your jacket off and go sleeveless, wrapping it around Hakurouken and looking nonchalant. You keep your head down as you walk by Bloodlust, although at this time of day it looks like an abandoned building; only a few club-goers lounge around in its expansive front area, looking absolutely smashed. One of them waves at you, and you politely wave back before refocusing on the main strip.
The market is much different at day than at night. People are still opening up shops, laying out cloths on their cafe tables, opening windows so the smell of baked goods wafts onto the street... that smells really good. Your belly grumbles at its current state; ignored and unloved. You need food, and fast.
You walk into an alleyway by a cafe and up to the rear door. It opens easily, and when you peek inside you see that no one has noticed you; they're too busy cooking. You slip inside and into a backroom. It's a mess; the workers have haphazardly thrown everything around in a rush to get to work. There are several lunchboxes back here. You look back around the corner; they're still busy.
Looking back in, you notice that there's a carrying case for a large instrument of some sort. You open it and pull out the stringed thing, setting it gently down on the table back here. You stuff your jacket and weapon in it and sling it over your shoulder, then grab one of the lunchboxes. It's shiny, made of metal, and looks very expensive. Whoever this belongs to, they won't miss it. Peeking back around the corner one last time, you slip outside and shut the door. Like a mouse, you scurry away, sitting down behind a big stack of strange boxes and opening the lunchbox.
Success! A very large sandwich and a can of some drink greet you. You take both can and sandwich out and toss the lunchbox aside. It's got a variety of meats and cheeses on it. Your mouth waters slightly at eating this thing-
You look up. A girl looks down at you. Judging by her dress, she's clearly homeless; probably an orphan. She's looking lovingly at your ill-gotten gains.
Well... oh hell, why not. You split the sandwich in half and hand a piece to the girl. She smiles and runs away, shouting something in French. You follow her as she crosses the street to another alleyway. Breaking it into another half, you watch as she sits next to a scruffly looking old man and eat the sandwich together. The girl catches your eye and waves at you. You wave back.
You're suddenly reminded of something Yukari said to Reimu one day. "No matter how bad you have it, Reimu, remember that there are others who have it just as badly, if not worse. At least you have friends to help you." Those two probably don't have it as bad as you do right now, but they're still worse off than most people. You feel a bit better helping them out.
Maybe they can share some of their blood- Nope. You stop that train of thought right there. You bite into your sandwich and close your eyes, enjoying the moment. Food has never tasted better when you haven't had any in a long time. You crack open the can and take a sip. It's a tea of some sort, but cold. It's strange, but enjoyable. You sit there and finish your food and drink, hiding the lunchbox under the (surprisingly light) boxes, and standing up to walk off. You turn the corner and head back toward the hospital.
It takes you the better part of the morning to near the hospital. You didn't realize how far you had run; it's a good quarter of the way across the city. The closer you got, the more you remembered; you also didn't realize how many alleyways you had run through... and side streets... and a couple of rooftops, though you didn't climb up those on your way back. Either way, though, you're at small park area that sits outside the hospital's front entrance. You sit down on a nearby bench and study it.
There's got to be another way in, you decide. As you stare at it, you notice several people pushing large bins full of blankets in and out of the hospital. That would be perfect if you need inside.
Which reminds you... you lay down on the bench, arms crossed, and close your eyes. You can't feel Myon, but... you can sense its presence. It... you... and Flandre, are all nearby. You nod and open your eyes. Standing up, you make sure your bag is secure and head toward the side entrance. Slipping past the two guys smoking at the back of the vehicle, you climb over the wall instead and walk around to the front of the machine. You watch two men roll some more blankets inside and follow them in as quietly as you can.
Once inside, you see you're in a gigantic washroom of sorts. More machines, these for washing and drying, constantly run, their electric hum faint in your ears. You slip around a column of dryers and walk forward a little more briskly, pausing to listen in on two people conversing. You look around and see the two men from before, having dropped the blankets in a pile next to another door. As they leave, you slip inside.
Another storage room, this time full of lockers. You poke through them before coming across an outfit about your size. It's a navy blue suit that covers your whole body except for your shoes and hands. Slipping into it and zipping it up, you look around and unzip your bag, pulling out Hakurouken and hiding it on the bottom of a rolling cart replete with what you presume to be cleaning materials. You toss a mop on top of the rolling cart and hide your sword underneath a few towels. You find a hat and put it on, and make your way into the hospital proper.
It's calm in the hospital. As you walk by several doctors and nurses (all of whom ignore you), you make your way around in an attempt to find a basement stairwell. You search various rooms, acting like you're mopping the floor every so often to give off the concept that you're just here to clean. Myon's presence in stronger here, you realize, but not strong enough for you to pinpoint its location. It could just be that you're on the edge of Myon's detection radius, but you're not sure until you search at least this floor of the hospital.
As you "clean", you catch bits of convseration. Most of it is pointless, but as you walk by an area where many nurses are typing on those strange machines like the one you saw at the metro station, a little bit catches your ear.
"So they never found that girl that escaped," one of them is saying.
"Yeah, what a shame," says the second. "She was so pretty... and she looked so frail."
"Like a porcelain doll," the first nods. "Poor thing, she's probably dead and gone by now."
"Yeah, they already gave up the chase. After as much blood as she lost, they're just waiting for her to appear in the morgue..."
You smirk and continue on.
You manage to avoid being recognized as you search three full floors, plus the basement, of the hospital, searching for Myon and Flandre. Unfortunately, there's no luck to be had. However, you did find an abandoned entrance to the undercity below.
You abandon the cleaning cart and the uniform, stepping into a well-maintained maintenance shaft. You walk along it, following the pipes and coming to an intersection. The right ends a few feet down, so you go left. A door enters into the sewers below the city.
You step in and walk along the... well, the walkway. Situated a few feet above the sewer water, you carefully make your way through it. Myon feels closer now, but still relatively distant.
You turn a few corners, using your feelings of your other half to make your way. However, as you walk, you realize that you're being... followed? Tracked?
You turn around, but no one is there. You turn back around and come face to face with a hideous creature!
"Don't be afraid..." it rasps. "I'm not this ugly by choice."
"W-who are you?" you stutter.
"Call me Frederic," replies the creature. He suddenly appears behind you. "I'm of the Nosferatu clan, the most cursed of the vampires."
You take a breath. "I have no quarrel with you."
"Nor I, you," replies the vampire. "I'm merely wondering why a small girl from the hospital is wandering around our sewers."
You turn to face him, but he's behind you again. "I'm here on business. I have to... rescue another vampire from some bad people."
"The Scarlet girl?" Frederic rasps. "I know of her. I know where she is..."
"Can you take me to her?" you ask. "Please, she neesd my help."
"A price, then?" Frederic appears in front of you suddenly, his eyes close to yours. "I will lead you... and you give me your blood."
"It's tainted," you reply quickly. "I have the blood of Scarlet in my veins." The vampire vanishes, reappearing further away.
"A shame," he says. "Your blood, it smells... delicious. The blood..." he appears in front of you again. "Of a virgin..."
"I'd like to keep it that way, if you don't mind," you look away from him. The vampire touches your arm gently. You start at it, your hand quickly jumping to Hakurouken.
"Ah... a new scent with it," he appears behind you, his hands gently caressing your arms. "You are... not quite dead, are you?"
"I'm a half-ghost," you tell the Nosferatu. You turn to face him. He floats backwards, grinning.
"Unique," he says. He rises a bit. "Cold... like the blood of the dead. Yes... you could be the one."
"We are the Watchers," he explains, suddenly beside you. "The Camarilla shun us for our appearance. We cannot hope to keep up their... Masquerade," he appears on your other side, his mouth open. He lunges for your neck but you swing at him. He vanishes and reappears several feet away. "So we watch," he continues. "We watch, and we wait."
"You wait?" you echo, staring at him. He's behind you again. "Wait on what?"
"The one to cut the serpent's head. The one who..." he's above you, this time. He touches your shoulders, and you shiver. "will stop the Camarilla."
"Why do you want them stopped?"
"They want us to fight a senseless war..." he slides his hands to your hips and pulls himself close to you. You feel something very hard pushing against your backside. "They want us to kill... your people."
"How do you know?" you ask. He's in front of you again.
"We have watched you since your arrival," he explains. "We know what the Camarilla do not. We will not tell them," he's in your face. "Let me take you..."
"I'll pass," you back away from him. "Like I said, I would prefer to remain a virgin."
"A pity," he grins and vanishes into nothing for a bit. He reappears on the opposite walkway. "I will take you to the girl. But first," he's behind you. His hands are in your shirt. You tense up as he reaches under your bra and feels you. "So sweet... like a fruit ripe for picking," he squeezes and you gasp. "I will honor your wishes." he pulls his hands out of your shirt and allows you to button back up. You look away from him.
"What do you want in return?"
"Blood," says Frederic. "I want the blood of one not Embraced..." he appears before you. "In the same building there is a young girl of sixteen years. Let me take her blood. Let her be mine."
[ ] Let the Nosferatu take you to Flandre. He will get the girl he desires. Your path remains safe.
[ ] Kill him now, before he does any more harm to your pride. You will find Flandre on your own. Your path will no longer be safe.
We just got back our full strength, so we might be able to handle danger, on the other hand, we just got back our full strength, now would be a poor time to get hurt again.
On the one hand, it might be acceptable losses if its someone unrelated, but on the other hand, we'd essentially be consigning a non-vampire girl to death when she's done nothing but get caught by them. Or its someone we know and then we're REALLY gonna guilt-trip.
Both of these options are a little extreme. Why do we need to sell some girl up the river, or just kill this guy? He's already admitted that he and the Nosferatu don't want to fight in the war, so he has no reason to stop us. So, just part ways with him peacefully. Don't play his little game, and keep on with our mission that will ultimately benefit him.
[X] Let the Nosferatu take you to Flandre. He will get the girl he desires. Your path remains safe.
[X] Tell him that cnce he brings you to Flandre he is on his own. You will have no part in his "buisness"
I say we go with him, but we dont help him and tell him that up front so he doesnt feel cheated. If he wants a girl in the building, fine, he can have her. He shouldnt need to use us to carve a way through for him with the powers we have seen. He gets what he wants, we get what we want, we leave. If he wants us to actively help him to murder or turn the girl, decline.
Cons about this? An innocent girl is killed. Pros? We get Flandre, dont have to fight his shadow bullshit, dont have to randomly search for the hideout and he (possibly) wont fuck us over. I have a feeling that if we dont help him he might continue to stalk us or tells the Camarilla if he sees the chance of a reward.
>>51417 From what I remember Tung spills much about the sisters when you ask him enough, even some parts that should have kept a secret.
Gary is an insane stalker who speaks to the dead and sends pictures of different woman he or his men spy on to random guys he just met.
Imalia kept her grudge for years and took the chance to backstab Tawni at the first chance offered to her, with the Tech guy whose name I forgot helping both her and Gary.
Neither of those sound very trustworthy and seeing how we met a Nosferatu who not only finds us attractive and/or interesting and knows about pretty much all of what we are doing, declining his offer and outright refusing him help seems like a bad idea.
While he could just begin to stalk us without doing anyhing, just being a creepy pervert,keep in mind that the Nosferatu are dealing in Information. He might be inclined to tell the Camarilla about a girl he met in the sewers if they give him a certain 16 year old girl as payment. And seeing how the story went so far this is very VERY possible.
>>51420 Do you think there's a danger of a Nosferatu attempting to turn Youmu just because she's pretty? I remember some Nosferatu deliberately doing that to beautiful people. There's even a term that's used for them but I can't remember it.
>>51423 Think it was the case with Imalia, could be the term Cleopatra, think it was used for beautiful woman turned Nosferatu.
However ssing how Youmu wasnt turned by Flandres blood I highly doubt he could turn us. So we should be safe from that, however the other things still remain possible.
>>51420 >>51423 >>51428 Sorry, I know you're contributing and all, but do you mind saging if you aren't voting? Please? I know it's probably just falling on deaf ears, but it's polite to sage if you aren't voting.
[X] Ask to be left in peace. You won't feed this being an innocent, but you don't see any point in fighting, either. After all, it just mentioned that it wished for your success.
"...No," you say after a time. "I won't stop you, but I won't help you. Besides, you're the one who said you wouldn't tell of my presence. You also said that you would honor my wishes. Or have you lost any concept of honor?" The vampire hisses. "I will find my own way to where I'm going."
You walk past the Nosferatu as he backs into a shadow, watching you go. You look back at him one more time before continuing on. You gather some magic and toss into the air a pulsing orb of light. It floats ahead of you, lighting the way.
The vampire makes his presence known behind you. "Take the service shaft. You'll know it when you see it..." he whispers into your ear. "You'll come across an underground facility designed by the Camarilla. Your objective will be there," he pauses. "Goodbye, half-ghost. You will not see me again. But I will always be here, watching..." You don't react as his presence vanishes, leaving you alone in the sewers again... or at least, the illusion of being alone.
You begin walking, letting your light orb lead the way. The sewers are dark otherwise; very few lights dot the path down the walkways. Rats the size of your lower arm scurry by, trying to avoid the light and you. The smell is enough to make you sick, but you deal with it; a little bit of disgusting smell isn't going to stop you from rescusing Flandre.
You make a few rights and lefts, coming up to a four way intersection. You pick a direction and go. As you walk, you get the sinking suspicion you've been here before. Even with light, it's easy to get turned around here. As a reponse, you release the light orb from your control, leaving it to float there as you cast another one. There's no danger of being caught - the light resembles one of the lanterns here underground - and it will fade over time. You continue walking, periodically releasing another light and glamouring it. You eventually find out that you are in fact going in circles; as it turns out, it's the only way to go here!
You press your hands against your temples. Either that vampire tricked you here or you made a wrong turn somewhere else. Or, more logically... you think. The door to the service entrance is glamoured to look like a wall. Depending on the strength, it may be a simple visual illusion or it may be solid... let's hope for the former. You pull Hakurouken off of your back, keeping the blade in its sheath. You begin to drag it across the wall as you walk slowly around, searching for a possible invisible wall.
This is dumb, you think. Why go to all this trouble? It's not like anyone ever goes down here. Maybe the vampires have more enemies than they let on; I mean, we have all sorts of youkai in Gensokyo... perhaps there are others out here, as well. Maybe werewolves, like that one in the Bamboo Forest, or maybWHOA!
You fall through an illusory wall into a different part of the sewer. Hakurouken flies out of your hand and slides to a stop at the feet of a shadowy figure. As you scramble to your feet, the figure starts and rises, turning on a high-powered beam of light to shine directly in your face.
"Who's there?" he shouts. "Identify yourself!" He walks forward and accidentally kicks your blade, sending it flipping in between you and him. "I am armed!"
As your eyes adjust to the light, you see a relatively normal looking human armed with something Reisen described to you as a "pistol." He pulls it out of his holster and points it at you. "Who are you?"
You stand still, staring at the man as he stares back. "An intruder...?" he says. He reaches toward his gun with the other hand ; a clicking sound follows. "Get back! I know all the Kindred that pass through here and you are not one!"
"Don't shoot," you say. "I'm just passing through. I'm with-" you think quickly. "-the Scarlet sisters. I'm their Ghoul." The man hesistates as you raise your hands. "I'm just like you, friend... I was told I could find the younger Scarlet here, so I've come to do so."
The man lowers his pistol; you quietly breathe a sigh of relief. As you walk up to him, he pulls out a strange device. "I'll have to clear you for entrance. You have the codes, right?"
Codes? What codes. "Of course!" you smile.
"Alright, when they ask for it, give me your code and we'll let you in," he says. You nod... and focus your magic.
In the span of possibly a second, maybe less, you rush forward, summon Hakurouken to your hand - the Konpaku ancestral blade automatically comes to its user - and hit the Ghoul in the back of the head with enough force to slam him into the wall. You check his vitals; he's alive, but he'll be out a while. You gingerly step past him - pausing to pick up the rather sizable key ring and his pistol - and move along.
It doesn't take long for you to reach a metal door. You check the lock. As expected. You fish through the keyring, looking for one that fits; fortunately, it doesn't take you long, and the door opens quietly. You slip inside and lock the door back.
This area... is much different from the sewers. Glowing lights in the ceiling, painted stone walls, pipes running too and fro... and strange objects resembling elongated versions of Aya's camera periodically, at every intersection. You lean up against a set of pipes, peering around and staring at the camera. It doesn't seem to have noticed you. You take a deep breath.
Feeling with your magic, you can detect Myon's presence, if only faintly. You sit down and concentrate, remembering the spell from before.
"Mind Shift, [Sight to Sightless]," you whisper. You hear a heavy thud in your ears as your soul rips itself from your body and propels itself to your ghost-half. As your soul and Myon meet, however, you feel a pulse of energy... and your soul is shunted back into your body forcefully enough to make you bang your head against the pipes.
"Huh," you say. That didn't work at all. You reason that there must be some magic preventing you from accessing Myon; or perhaps, if your theory of Myon being contained in Flandre holds, the same magic circle that keeps her from using her powers keeps you from using yours on her.
Flandre... the thought of drinking her blood makes you grin, but you force the thought away. Now is definitely not the time to be thinking of that. Instead, you peek around the corner again; the camera doesn't move. Listening closely, you hear no other sound in the hallways. The camera also seems fixated on the center of the intersection rather than the whole thing; a blind spot presents itself. Slowly, you keep your back to the pipes and sneak up to the camera, getting under it. You listen for an alarm, but none go off. You breathe a sigh of relief and peek around the corner.
Doors. Doors... and more doors. Seven on each side. There's no way you can check all these without getting caught. However, all of them have windows, so it should be easy to peek inside them. You look down the other hallway; its almost identical to this one, but shorter - five on each side. You have no idea what could possibly be going on here. That said, there aren't any more cameras, so you may be in luck.
There are perhaps magical alarms in the place of normal ones as well, you think as you begin walking down the hallway slowly, listening for any trouble that may occur. You decide to go for the left side doors first. You can hear the sound of shouting through one of them.
You look through the window of the first door - and immediately get away from it. Inside there are at least five or six people, sitting around a table and engaging in serious conversation. They don't seem to notice you, but you decide it best not to try your luck. You move on to the next door and look inside.
In here, you see rows of animal cages, each one holding two of various creatures. A single woman in a lab coat walks between them, taking notes. Nothing else is of interest.
You walk up to the door with the shouting and look through it. Your eyes widen.
"Tell us how you got here!" A man - clearly a vampire, given how he dominates the room - shouts to a figure chained to a table and chair. The figure wears white and pink armor that covers most of her body, save for her head. Purple hair flips about as a second person - probably the vampire's Ghoul - smacks her silly. Her tall rabbit ears bounce. Reisen?!
No, not Reisen, although very similar. A Lunar Rabbit.
"I told you, I was seeking someone!" she shouts at the vampire. She takes the hit surprisingly well. "I am tracking down a rogue from my faction!"
"Your faction from the moon?" The vampire presses. He clearly doesn't believe her.
"Yes! Now let me go!" She struggles against the binds to no avail. "I am of no use to you!"
"Hardly," the vampire pulls out a weapon similar to the one you lifted off of the door guard. "You know the location of this place; that alone means we have to put you down."
"But you said if I tell you what I'm doing, you'll let me go!" Shouts the Lunar Rabbit.
"And you lied!" The vampire pistol whips her. She doesn't even whimper at the hit; blood seeps down into her left eye. "You're from Gensokyo, and we both know it!"
"I. Am. NOT!" The rabbit pulls hard at her chains. You see that one of them begins to strain hard under the pressure. "I am a tracker from the Lunar Capital, a trained soldier and-"
He shoots her. The bang rattles your eadrums, even through the door, and seeing the Rabbit's brains splattered all around the room rattles your spirit. Her lifeless form slumps back into the chair, her empty eyes staring directly at you. You avert your own and kneel down. "Stupid fucking rabbit," the vampire says. "Probably looking to deep strike our forces here," a pause as you hear him unlock the chains.
"That would make sense, master," the Ghoul responds. "Our operations in North Korea were taken down by Gensokyoans, and we hear rumors of them moving into Siberia."
You smile. At least Marisa and the others appear to be having some success, at least.
"I know, my brother was there," the vampire responds. You hear a thud as they toss the body onto the table. "Last thing he told me before that witch killed him was that they killed some of their reinforcements; some ice fairy or something like that. An RPG blew her to tiny little frozen pieces across the DMZ."
You stifle a chuckle; if he's talking about Cirno, then she'll respawn if she hasn't already, and probably angrier. "Come on, lets see if this 'Lunar Rabbit' tastes good."
Ew. You hear the sounds of ripping flesh as you move on.
You finally find a room with promise; rather, you find a door connecting to a hallway. It's quiet here, much quieter than the other rooms. You shake your head of those memories; after the room with the Rabbit, you saw everything from a naked, crying girl in a corner to several homeless people being fed on by some very hungry vampires... and much, much worse. The only thing in this hallway is a single camera watching an iron door at the end.
You feel Myon even closer than before. That's got to be her. But with that camera, there's no way you'll be able to make it in without alerting the vampires here, and there seem to be, by your count, at least fifteen. If you go in now, you'll have to fight your way out, but if you don't go in now, they could move Flandre and you may never see her again.
You check your gear. You have that pistol thing, Hakurouken, and the silver dagger from before. You reach into your pocket and pull out the miniature yin-yang orb that Reimu gave to you earlier. You toss it in the air and let it go; the object begins to circle you slowly. You can't fly, but you're still fast if you have to close the gap, assuming you decide to rescue Flandre now. You can also use danmaku, although without spellcard patterns you don't know how that will go.
You look around the hallway. Its narrow, tight, with only extra headroom and a bit of workable width. You can fight here, though it won't be comfortable. You sit down, thinking.
They'll be weaker than either Remilia or Flandre, you decide. But if they're all armed, their numbers will make up for their lack of strength. If I can close in with the dagger and Hakurouken I can tear them to pieces, but... I'll have to protect Flandre too. I can probably leave her in the room until the action stops. Man, this won't be easy.
You stare at the door. On the other side is your objective, and certain danger.
Although not rescuing Flandre would be a better and safer choice, I don't see any other objectives Youmu could have for now. However, the seal of unbreaking is still there, and who knows if Youmu's acquired keys would open that door.
No, if you're going to do this, you need to do it now... but not without some planning. You decide that a simple trap will do, since there's not really anything else you have going for you here. You catch the Yin-Yang orb and make it hover above the door, then place several magic bombs around the frame. Though not as strong as, say, Marisa's bombs, they should more than do the trick, especially against these people.
After your setup, you stare at the door. You feel magic resonanting on it, but you're not sure what kind. It's most definitely some sort of lock, you figure. You're unperturbed; locks can be broken, after all. You stare at the door and charge your magical energy, draw out Hakurouken, and rush the door, blade first.
A metal clang is the only response, sending you reeling backwards and halfway back down the hallway. You stab Hakurouken into the ground to stop yourself, landing on your feet. You take a deep breath. Okay, so it's a durability spell, you think, looking at the slash mark across the door. The mark is white-hot from the attack, but quickly fades, rapidly repairing itself.
An alarm begins to sound; that little act of yours alerted your presence to the others. You grab your blade and run up to the door, hitting it with a blast of danmaku as you do so. The door gets scorched, but nothing else happens. You try the doorknob to obviously find it locked. Pulling out your keyring, you begin going through the ones you haven't used yet. Behind you, people start banging on the door. You hear someone shout for a key.
None of yours work. Pocketing the keys quickly, you turn around and draw the pistol while summoning several magic bullets around you. You go into a kneeling position to offer a smaller target as you hear the locking mechanism turn. As the door opens, you unleash your danmaku, propelling it forward with intense speed. The bullets go around the door, slipping through the cracks and detonating spectacularly. You hear screaming from the other side as your shots rip someone in half.
The door swings open as you summon another round of bullets. Targeting the first person you see - a ghoul from the looks of it - you pull the trigger on the pistol, putting a round into his stomach although you were aiming for his head. You send your danmaku forward and unload the pistol rounds toward the door. More detonations fill your ears as your pistol goes 'click', refusing to fire any more. You toss it aside and draw Hakurouken. You also summon another group of bullets.
The smoke clears, and what remains has camped out on either end of the door; you can see people poking their heads out to get a bead on you. They hold in their hands weapons called "submachine guns", you know, but they're afraid of being hit by your bullets. Well, the Ghouls are, at least. None of the vampires have made an appearance yet, you think.
A glint of light catches your attention; the first ghoul you killed is holding in his hands a ring of two or three keys. You have no idea if any of those will open the door, but you've got to give it a shot. You launch your bullets forward as a distraction, sending them against the walls around the door and causing debris and smoke to fling into the air. You take this moment to act.
"Hell Realm Sword, [200 Yojana In a Slash]!" You scream. The magic in your body surges, and you shoot forward so fast as to make yourself almost invisible to the naked eye. For a split second, it's almost as if you're in four places at once, having left an after image at your starting point, when you picked up the keys, then when you bounced off the far wall opposite the door, then when you quickly used Hakurouken to slice a Ghoul from skull to groin, splitting him in half so fast that gravity has yet to act yet. When you stop moving back at your starting point, you sheathe Hakurouken, ending the spell.
The ghoul you cut blinks, as if confused. He goes to step around the corner, and, much to his and everyone else's shock, he simply falls into two clean halves, dead instantly. While the other ghouls try to get over the shock, you quickly move forward and randomly guess a key.
Success! The door swings open, and you quickly open and shut it before anyone has a chance to realize what you've done. You lock the door and look around the room.
It's much the same way you saw it in your visions: the dim lights, the magic seals placed everywhere, and the blood-covered bed. Against the back wall, you see what's been giving you the nightmares.
Flandre is chained to the wall, unconscious, her arms stretched so far that you know that her shoulders are disjointed. An abnormally large metal object has been shoved into her mouth, forcing her jaw to dislocate. Her wings are missing all but three of their lights; you see that the others have been smashed to pieces against the wall. Behind her bloodstained white gown you can see the red magic circle binding her powers.
You look down and take a heavy breath. You don't know whether to scream or cry, so you do neither. Your body shakes as you see Flandre in this state. Her injuries are mirrored on you in a way, making your joints sore and making other places throb with pain.
[i]I can smell her blood, you realize. I wonder if- no. No! Not again! You take another breath and look back at the vampire. Behind you, gunfire rings out, impacting the iron door with enough force to make it safe. Ironically, the same spell that kept you out is now keeping the Ghouls out, although you're sure that a vampire or mage will be along to remedy that problem. You walk up to Flandre, grabbing a key carelessly dropped on the bloodsoaked bed, and reach for her chains.
Flandre's eyes snap open; looking around wildly, her eyes lock on to you. She furrows her brow and tries to scream at you. She struggles against her chains, getting her feet under her and kicking at you. As she writhes, she pulls against her bonds, causing you to gasp as you suddenly feel a snapping sensation; your shoulders dislocate with immense force. You drop the key and scream in pain.
So your injuries are linked to Flandre's, literally. You look up at her as pain shoots through your body. "F-Flandre, stop!" You shout. "Quit... you're hurting us! Stop it!"
Flandre blinks, recognizing your voice. She stops moving and watches you as you manage to get back on your feet. You channel magic and force your shoulder back into joint; the pain is immense, but you can at least move your arms again. You pick up the key and walk up to the vampire.
Flandre shrinks back against the wall, her eyes nervous. Gods... you think. She thinks I'm going to hurt her, doesn't she? You open your hands, revealing the key. "Flandre..." you say softly. "I'm not going to hurt you. I've come to free you," you reach for her left arm and slowly take her hand, holding it tight as you slip the key in the lock and remove the chain. It clatters to the floor.
Behind you, an explosion followed by wild gunfire. Your trap must have sprung.
For the first time in a while, Flandre is allowed to move her arm of her own accord. You hear a cracking sound as her shoulder snaps back into place, and you feel the pain in your own fade away slowly. You grab the metal ball in her mouth and look at her. "This will probably hurt the both of us," you tell her. Her eyes blink - she's confused - then snap shut as you pull on the metal object with all your strength, ripping it out of her mouth.
The two of you scream in pain as you feel the muscles in your jaw try to rip themselves apart. You clutch onto your jaw, tears in your eyes, as you force your body to stay together. You open one eye and look up at Flandre as her jaw regenerates, shrinking down to normal size. Her teeth also regenerate, and soon she has what passes for normal on a vampire.
You hear words of power behind you, followed by an explosion. You turn around to see the door begin to crack. The original caster must have appeared to be able to break something of that strength.
You unlock the second chain and toss the key aside. Your right shoulder stops pulsing with pain as Flandre regenerates. "W... who are... you?" she rasps.
"You don't remember?" you reply. "I'm Youmu. You know, the girl from Hakugyokurou? From the train station?" Flandre blinks, thinking. slowly, she looks up at you and nods once. "Good girl. Come on, let's get you out of here. Do you have any other clothes, Flandre?"
the vampire looks up at you and nods, pointing to a side table where her original clothes sit. You quickly grab them and hand them to her. "Come on, get dressed."
"Yes..." Flandre nods, dropping the gown she was in. You gasp as you get a good look at her magic seal and see... yourself.
Well, you see Myon. Like some sort of living thing under her skin, your ghost-half swirls in a circle along the inner rim of the magic seal, as if searching for a way out. You theory was right; you and Flandre are, essentially, sharing her body. In a perversion of normal magic as you know it, vampire blood mages have taken half of you and sealed you within Flandre's body, essentially making you the same person.
The door cracks more; it can't take another explosion. You curse and turn toward the door. You chant a few words and hold your hands toward it, infusing your own magical power into the door. "Flandre, I can't seal this door for long," you say. "We need to come up with a plan; I've got to get you out of here!"
"A... plan?" Flandre rasps behind you. "I don't need... a plan," you look back to see that Flandre is already dressed, minus her hat and shoes. You look again; she's missing her bloomers too, but she doesn't seem to care. Flandre takes a deep breath and blinks, and its then you notice that her eyes aren't the scarlet color you were expecting; instead, they're a deep blue.
"I've gone too long without blood..." she says, pausing to breathe. "I'm weak... but I can still..." she wobbles slightly. "I... want revenge..."
"No," you tell her. Another explosion rocks the door. You can't stand another hit like that. "We've got to escape from here, Flandre. We've got to get to safety. I've got to get you to safety," you look into her eyes. "Flandre, if you die here, then I do as well. I don't want that."
Flandre looks away, thinking, then back at you. Suspicion is in her eyes. "So... you only want to rescue me... for your own benefit?"
"No, Flandre," you hear words of power. "Look, before I get blasted into oblivion, I just want you do know that I came here because I saw you in my dreams. You were hurting. I wanted to help-"
The doors blast apart as your magic gives out. You get sent hurtling across the room; Flandre gets sent sprawling under the bed. You struggle to stand but a boot slams down on your back. You turn and look up to see a vampire grinning down at you.
"So you're the one with the magic, huh?" he says. You cry out in pain as he applies a lot of pressure to your back. "Tell me what you did with the Scarlet girl, and I might forgive you for killing some of our Ghouls."
"Hey, look at her eyes," one of the other vampires say. "Red, just like the sisters."
"Yeah, I see that," replies the first. "Yeah, I think I heard Remilia say that she's their Ghoul... must be another lie from that bitch."
The vampires and remaining Ghouls chuckle. "You're from Gensokyo, aren't you?" You don't respond to the question; you realize that this is the interrogator you saw earlier. At your silence, he kicks you in the ribs hard enough to crack some of them. "Yeah, look at you. Chinky-eyed little bitch. Stupid chinky sword. Yeah, you're from Japan," he grins. "We're gonna have a lot of fun with you."
You narrow your eyes and scramble up to your feet. You begin to channel magic, but only manage to form a single bullet before the vampire slams you up against the wall. The bullet bursts in the air, sending one of the Ghouls sprawling to the other side of the bed. He grabs you by the throat and draws his pistol. "You little cunt!" he shouts, pistol-whipping you hard enough to make you bleed from the wound. "Is that how it's gonna be? We're gonna have to rough you up until you tell us what we want?"
The vampire begins to squeeze. Your struggle to maintain your breath, but its useless against his grip. You reach for Hakurouken, grabbing it and pulling it out-
A soundless scream escapes you as he shoots you in the hand. The other vampires laugh at your obvious pain. "You know, normally we're more civilized than this but... well," he puts the gun at your temple. "We've just been having a really bad day, you know?"
He pulls back the hammer on the pistol.
The bed suddenly lifts into the air and comes down on the closest Ghoul, coming down on his head hard enough to crack it into pieces. As everyone turns to look at the source, the vampire choking you loosens his grip for half a second.
More than enough time.
You lift your feet and kick him backward. In one swift motion, you pull out the silver dagger and stab him in the heart. The vampire lets out a throaty scream as his body shines a bright yellow before exploding into ashes. The other vampires and Ghouls turn back to you, but a childish giggle gains everyone's attention.
Flandre stands up, her eyes closed. Behind her, the desanguinated body of the Ghoul you knocked over looks like a shriveled up raisin.
"That was good," Flandre grins. She opens her eyes - her scarlet colored eyes. "I appreciate the first meal I've had in ages, even if it's just a lowly Ghoul," She clenches her fists. "Now, let's try this again, shall we?"
"Shoot her!" a vampire shouts. The other vampires begin to open fire on Flandre. In the back, one steps to the side and begins saying words of power; the blood mage. You crouch and channel your magic, speeding youself up to the point where it looks like everyone is standing still.
You pick the silver dagger up off the ground and hurl it at the blood mage. Simultaneously, you flip Hakurouken around and draw it out with your left hand, running forward and cleanly slicing off the head of another vampire. Without a moment to spare, you grab Flandre's hand and pull the both of you out as your magic quickly fades, only lasting long enough to reach the door. The dagger embeds itself in the blood mage's heart as you get up to him, and you pull it out of his chest as he vaporizes into ash.
You scoop Flandre up into your arms as you run, using your body to protect her from the bullets that spray toward you. A few hit you in the back, but the vest you've been wearing blocks the shots with the armor that had been implanted into it. The Yin-Yang orb follows you as you exit the hallway into the main corridor. The door still works, so you kick it shut, hoping to buy youself some time.
"Put me down!" Flandre says to you. "I want to kill them! They hurt me!"
"Not now, Flandre," you tell the small vampire. You run toward the intersection, head up the hallway, and exit back into the sewers. A chewing sound catches your attention, and you look off toward the side long enough to see Frederic feeding on the girl you saw earlier. You avert your eyes and run back through the illusory wall.
You exit the sewers through one of the metal plates; it's still daylight. A glance at the evening sun tells you that it's only been a few hours since you walked down into the sewers to find Flandre. You help the vampiress out of the sewer tunnel and close the plate, taking refuge in the alleyway you've exited into.
You lean against the wall and check your right hand as Flandre stands there, looking uncertain. Yeah, its mangled, you decide. The bullet passed clean through, but it managed to tear apart most of the muscles anyway. At least the bleeding wasn't so bad; then again, you did cauterize the wound as the two of you escaped.
Your ribs hurt like hell. You sit down on the ground, looking up at Flandre. "Are you okay?" you ask. What a stupid question-
"Why did you save me?" Flandre asks, looking at you. She folds her wings up as she walks up to you. "Other than your stupid ghost in my chest, why did you save me?"
"I... it just felt like the right thing to do," you answer. "I knew you were in danger, and so I came after you. I wasn't even entirely sure you and Myon were the same person, Flandre... I just knew that you were hurting."
"So... if I didn't have this..." Flandre points to the magic sign behind her dress. You nod.
"I wouldn't have even known you were... well, I just wouldn't have known," you tell her. "...why didn't you tell Remilia?"
Flandre looks down. You beckon her to sit next to you, and she does so. "It's not that easy," she says slowly. "I... I don't know. I just couldn't tell her... I..." she hugs her knees. "Youmu, it... it hurt so much. Like a pain I'd never experienced before... but I have, and... it's just as bad then as it was this time."
"You mean... this has happened to you before?" you ask.
"..." she doesn't answer. "...why does this happen to me?" she asks instead. "Is this what they call karma? Is it because I'm a vampire?" Uncertain, you put an arm around Flandre. "The... the Ghouls kept telling me... it's just like the first time! Why... why do they say that?"
You close your eyes, coming to the realization that Flandre couldn't tell Remilia what was happening to her. Not just because she was ashamed and afraid, but because she truly didn't understand. How does someone describe rape if they don't know what it is?
Or, worse yet, you think, maybe Flandre did try to tell Remilia, but without the knowledge of what exactly went on, she couldn't describe it accurately... that meant Remilia wouldn't do anything about it cause she wouldn't know what Flandre was talking about!
Flandre is crying. "It hurt... that's all I can remember. I couldn't take it; I just hid within my own mind, Youmu. I... I hid from everything. But I could always feel the pain... and I could always feel the shame of... I don't even know why!" You put your other arm around Flandre. "Why do I feel so bad? What... what did they do to me?"
It's your turn not to answer. "...Flandre, we've got to get out of here," you tell her. "We're both injured."
"But I regenerate-"
"That's not what I mean," you interrupt. "What you feel... it's not an injury of the body, although it was caused by that; it's an injury of the mind. We've got to take you to a spirit healer."
"I... I have no soul, Youmu," Flandre looks distant. "I'm a vampire. I died to gain eternal life. My soul is somewhere else now."
Odd how a girl could be so knowledgable about one thing but clueless about another. You don't question it; somehow you feel as if it would be worse if she knew exactly what it was those Ghouls were doing to her. "Either way, we have to leave this city, Flandre. I can't complete my mission without help... not with Remilia trying to put the vampries on her side."
"...are you going to send me back?" Flandre asks.
"No, I'm taking you with me," you answer.
"Where are... where are we going?
You look toward the sun.
[ ] Head for Avalon.
[ ] Head for another city.
Additionally, while you've successfully rescued Flandre, she is both mentally damaged and her magic is sealed. She can fight, but not well.
Something's off about this update. I can't put my finger on it.
OK, our initial mission was to watch Remi but doing that with flan as she is risky as hell and just plain stupid. What we need to do is find someone, somewhere who can help with Flans seal and other problems. Unfortunately we don't have an ally capable of that on this continent.
Avalon is risky, as we don't know of their opinion of us. Staying in France however leaves us in range of the vampires whom will be mighty pissed off at this point but we still need our sword back. Honestly our best bet would be to call home again and see if Yukari will let us regroup back in gensokyo. The seal should be no problem for Yukari, and Eirntei must have some sort of psyche unit for flan. Once we've healed up we can make another excursion to finish what we started.
[x] Leave this city, and head to another place that can be used to contact home. See if you can get Yukari to allow us to regroup back home for a bit before coming back to finish our task.
It is of utmost importance to tend to that injury to Youmu's hand. Most of the muscles were ripped, so she wouldn't be able to use it for quite a while. Combat capability is highly reduced, and it would be for the best if they got out of France.
[x] Head to another city. It would be good to contact Gensokyo if possible, and discuss a new objective. Ask if they can send help, or at least allow you to regroup. Also, update them on Remilia's betrayal.
[x] Leave Paris. Ideally, leave France. Really ideally, return home.
You inspect the wrappings on your hand. "That was actually pretty skilled of you, Flandre," you say. "How did you learn to dress wounds like that?" Behind you, the vampire sits on a crate.
After you escaped, the two of you found an abandoned building. As it turns out, Flandre had quite a bit of cash in her old clothes, presumably acquired from Remilia at some point. She used the money to buy some medical supplies, and under your careful guidance, cleaned your hand and bandaged it for you. She made it a bit tight, but as you lift your hand and flex it a bit, you don't mind. It'll hold, at least.
Either way, it's not like you can use it for combat. A few simple spellcasts perhaps, but for now you're going to have to use Hakurouken with your right hand instead. That said, you plan on avoiding combat as much as possible.
"Miss Sakuya taught me," Flandre says, crossing her legs. She leans back. "One day I was playing with Miss Meiling, and I... I accidentally hit Sis," she giggles. "She was so mad at me! I spilled her tea and everything. She, ah, was bleeding, I remember. I cut her up pretty bad. So, Miss Sakuya says that, if I take care of Sis's injury, she'd forgive me."
"Honestly, I have no idea," Flandre shrugs. "After I fixed up her injury, Sis sent me back to the basement for a while..." she looks down. "You know, when I think about it, I think it was staged; Sis could have easily regenerated that. I think she wanted to get closer to me, at the time."
"I thought you and Remilia were close," you say, looking at your hand and trying to flex it again; you figured that by now your own regeneration from taking in Flandre's blood would have kicked in; perhaps you used up the latent power within it during your previous regeneration and the following fight - at least, assuming that's possible for magic in blood to run dry.
You look back at Flandre and make a conscious effort to not think about her blood. Ever since you rescued her, it's been on your mind constantly, and its taken everything you had, combined with the pain of attemping to move with cracked ribs, to stop from jumping her.
You shake your head. "Flandre, can you do me a favor and go... uh, over there?" you wave your hand toward the opposite end of the room. She complies without a word.
"You have my blood, right?" she asks. You nod; you realize you hadn't told her yet. "It's fine, I understand; I had a suspicion."
"Your eyes are red," she tells you, sitting down on the floor against the wall. She curls her knees up. "Only the blood of a Scarlet can do that to someone. Most vampires keep the same color, or lose color entirely," she lays her chin on her knees and stares at you. "...Can I ask you something?"
"Sure," you say, standing up and walking up to a window. You look out onto the street; now that it's nighttime, there are less people about, but because of the possibility of increased vampire presence, you've decided to stick out the night in this building.
"Why are you doing this?"
"..." You look back at the vampiress and step away from the window. She suddenly looks uncertain. It's been a fairly common occurance today; Flandre's been going back and forth between talkative and quiet. You figure her mind is wrestling with itself in an attempt to make sense of everything that happens. "I don't follow, Flandre," you say slowly.
"I... well," she closes her eyes. "I think I can understand why you rescued me, but... why are you keeping me? Do you think I'd go back to Remilia? Or are you afraid I'm going to kill you, so you keep me close?"
"...neither," you answer.
"I would go back to Sis," Flandre tells you. "Actually, there's nothing really stopping me from leaving you here and going to her," she opens her eyes; they seem to glow in the darkness. "I'm loyal to her, you know? She's taken care of me all this time, and I've protected her from things that could kill her," she smirks. "Having the power to destroy anything is a pretty handy defensive mechanism."
"...and a good offensive one," you say. You slide down the wall and wince as you sit on the floor. You set Hakurouken down next to you.
"Yes... it is," Flandre nods. "And I did get... used... as a weapon sometimes. Usually when Sis's plans fall apart, she calls on me to just kill everyone. It's why she brought me along this time; it's worked before."
"Your past dealings?"
"Yes," Flandre confirms. She holds out her palm, then clenches her fist. "When Sis was finally done with the Camarilla some two-hundred years ago, we - no, I - carved a path through their numbers. This was before Patchy and Meiling came to the Mansion; back then, it was just us there. We didn't have maids yet," she chuckles. "On quiet days, we'd spend time cleaning the Mansion; well, Remilia would. She would lock me in the basement."
"It must have been awful."
"It's all I knew... and it's all I still know," she lowers her hand and grabs her hat, pulling it off and setting it on the dusty floor. "I'm not... loyal to her because she treated me kindly, you know. She's... she's my family. I love her, Youmu. I'd do anything for her. I have done anything for her," she sighs. "I've let her keep me in the basement out of love," she shakes her head. "But... that doesn't answer my question. Why are you keeping me?"
"I..." you pause. "I guess... I guess I want to keep you safe. After what I... what we... experienced, I just don't want to see you hurt again. I mean, even if you didn't have Myon within you, I'd still want to protect you. Besides, we both want to go home, right?"
Flandre giggles, and you smile; it's the first time she's laughed today. "Yeah... think we'll make it?"
"I think so," you nod. "The way I see it, getting out of this place is our best bet. I'd like to contact Miss Yakumo, but I don't think the Outside has enough spiritual power for me to outright contact her; last time I tried, I managed to get ahold of Miss Byakuren-"
You both hear the sound. A little scuffle outside the door. The two of you stand up and walk to either side of the door; you silently draw the silver dagger while you motion for Flandre to hide; you don't want to put her in a fight situation yet, not in her mental state. She gets behind a cardboard box.
The door opens slowly, its hinges creaking at the movement. A hooded figure walks in, holding in front of them a strange object. Slowly, they turn to face you.
You act before they can, shoulder rushing them to the ground and raising your dagger high. The smaller person rolls and stands up, ripping their hood off.
"Wait, don't!" she shouts. "Miss Konpaku, it's me!"
You take note of the mouse ears, gray hair, and what you now can tell are dowsing rods. "...Nazrin?"
"Yeah, Nazrin," replies the mouse, putting away her signature equipment. "Jeez, do you really jump everyone you come across?"
"Sorry, but things have been hectic here," you apologize. "How did you find me? I thought you couldn't find people with your powers."
"We didn't do that," you hear a voice behind you and turn around to see Reisen walking in with a similar hooded jacket. "Instead, we used the rods to find your swords. Almost ran into Remilia doing that."
"Literally," Nazrin chuckles. "She keeps half of your Roukanken with her at all times. We overheard her calling it a trophy-"
"Gods, what happened to you?!" Reisen finally takes note of your slumped posture and wounded hand. She touches your hand gingerly and lifts it up. "You've been in one hell of a fight! And why are your eyes red?"
"It's a... long story," you answer. You walk by the mouse and rabbit and behind the box. Flandre sits there, looking bored. You take her hand and pull her up.
The reaction is instantaneous: Nazrin leaps behind Reisen while she pulls out two pistols, pointing them at the vampire. You quickly put yourself between them. "Wait, wait!" you shout. "She's with me!"
Reisen raises and eyebrow. "Youmu... seriously? Do you know WHAT she is? WHO she is?!"
"Yes, yes, I do!" You shout. "And I'll die to protect her."
"Besides, you can't kill me," Flandre says, looking Reisen in the eye. She pulls up her shirt to show the magic circle. "If you do, you'll kill Youmu," the other two girls look at each other uncertainly.
"What sort of magic is that?" Nazrin asks as Reisen holsters her weapons.
"It's magic of a vampiric nature," you explain. "The vampires here sealed away her power, presumably using Myon as its source of energy," you sigh. "Okay, sit down, I'll explain everything to you..."
Girls are explaining...
"And that's how we ended up here," you finish. "Flandre and I are looking for a way home. We were hoping Miss Yakumo could let us back in," Flandre is clinging to you, but you pay it no mind; she's been quiet this entire time.
"...man, that's some heavy stuff," Nazrin says after a while. "I'm... I'm sorry, Flandre. I don't know what else to say..."
"..." Flandre looks down. She squeezes your arm; you place a gentle hand on her own.
"Suddenly... I want to kill Remilia," Reisen says. "No offense, Flandre, but if she means to turn against us, then the only way to stop it is with these," she reaches to her side and lays down a magazine of silver bullets. "I brought a load of these just in case; there's more hidden in a dumpster behind this building, along with the rest of my gear."
You hold up a hand. "First thing's first," you start. "I've got to get healed, and we need to get that magic seal off of Flandre. There are simply too many vampires here for us to take head on in our state."
"Who said anything about head on?" Nazrin asks. "Sneak in, take her out, and go."
"It's not that easy; trust me, if rescuing Flandre is any indication, that's no good."
"Well... unfortunately, neither is returning to Gensokyo," Reisen admits. "At least, not the fast way."
"How so?" You ask.
"Well... after Miss Byakuren helped us escape through the border to come after you, the three of us - at the time Hatate was going to help - learned from an escaping youkai that the Yakumos have locked down Gensokyo; nothing comes in or out through gaps anymore. We can't even send missives to our masters," she shakes her head. "There are still some ways in, but we'd have to be careful if we're going that far."
"So we'll have to walk it, or fly there," you say. "Well, Flandre can't fly, so we'd have to carry her... what about Miss Hatate?"
Reisen and Nazrin exchange glances. "She... didn't make it."
"What?" Your eyes widen. "The tengu..."
"We had to stop by China and drop some things off for the other team," Nazrin explains. "While we were there, we helped them undergo an operation to shut down a..." she looks at Reisen.
"A solar power plant," Reisen says. "It gathers energy from the sun to power the electronics Outside. Anyway, we wanted to investigate Miss Sakuya about Remilia, but she doesn't seem to know; or at least, if she does, she's very good at hiding it. Anyway, during the mission, Hatate was scouting for us and..." she looks down.
"A sniper rifle caught her between the eyes," she finally says. "Despite moving so fast... only a vampire could have done it. She was dead before she hit the ground. Before we could get there, a group of Ghouls took her body away. We never caught them," she blinks away some tears. "Hatate was... so excited about being chosen to go with us. She wanted to take a lot of pictures for Aya and the tengu, show them what it was like out here... and she found out."
You look down. You never really expected anyone to die out here, you realize. Not even yourself, really. Flandre lets go of you and looks up to Nazrin and Reisen.
"If they took her, she wasn't dead," she says simply.
"But... but I saw it!" Reisen exclaims. "Her brains were still hitting the ground when they took her body away!" Flandre shakes her head.
"Her brain might have been dead, but her body wasn't," she explains. "There's... a place. It's in Germany; an old Roman building. The Camarilla use it to practice some of their blood magic there on live subjects. They take people there, heal them, and use them for spellcasting, and for food."
"And you're sure that they'd take her there?" Reisen asks. Flandre shrugs.
"When Remilia and I were doing research in the library, we found that the place was still active. It's got a lot of security and, well, I doubt the vampires have ever encountered a tengu before. It would be the perfect place to keep one, assuming she survived the trip there."
The four of you exchange glances. "I think it's too dangerou," Nazrin finally says. "If we're heading back to Gensokyo, then we need to go straight there. Every day we delay is a day Remilia gains more power. She may be insane enough to lead her forces to Gensokyo."
"And we'll need all the help we can get," Reisen counters. "I say we go to the facility. What's it called now?"
"Berlin Sanitorium," Flandre responds. "But... I don't think we can do it. Not with the way we are."
Every turns to you. "Youmu, what do you think?" Reisen asks. "We'll do what you think is best."
"Huh?!" You stare at the others with confusion. "Why am I the leader all of a sudden?! Nazrin is a commander, after all!"
"Only to mice, dear," Nazrin leans back on her palms. "But even I have to admit that out of all of us, you're the smartest one here," Reisen nods her agreement.
You furrow your brow and think. "Our first order of action is to get out of here. We can't stay in this city; its too risky. Even with all four of us, we don't yet stand a chance. I need a new sword, and that's just the start; I also need healing."
"You could always drink more of Flandre's blood," Reisen suggests.
"Out of the question," you wave your hand. "It's hard enough trying to not think about it. Don't tempt me."
"I... I wouldn't mind," Flandre says quietly. You stare down at Flandre, shocked, and immediately break that train of thought.
"Anyway, we've got to get out of here," you push. "Other than flight, is there any way of transportation we can use?"
"Well..." Reisen thinks. "There is one..."
"You said you wouldn't do that again!" Nazrin shouts.
"Do what?" You ask.
"Hijack a car," Reisen answers sheepishly. "The tech level of the Outside is much lower than the Moon's, but there are enough similarities that I'm able to hotwire a car and make it go. We can do that for a while, but fuel costs..."
"I've got money," Flandre pulls a stack of Euros out of her pocket. "We can go for a while, at least in Europe."
"Well, then its settled for now," you decide. "Let's get out of here; we'll figure out the case with Hatate as we go. How far until Germany?"
"About nine hundred kilometers flying to Berlin," Reisen responds. "Its the route we took to here from Germany, anyway."
"I don't want to risk flying," you tell her. Reisen nods.
"Then by car it is," Nazrin says for everyone. "Even if Reisen has to play criminal."
"They'll get over it," Reisen says, standing up. "Wait here, I'll be back in five minutes."
Reisen's gone for three minutes. By then the three of you have gathered outside the abandoned building. Nazrin hefts a huge black duffel bag with a pair of bunny ears as its emblem. "It smells like garbage," she says, rubbing her nose. You take an unconscious step away from the mouse.
Reisen pulls up in a blue four-door car. Rolling her window down, she smiles at the three of you. "Like it? It's fast," she says. "Good thing I can figure out how to drive it, huh?"
"You wrecked the last one," Nazrin points out, opening the trunk and hefting the bag inside. She unzips it. "Pretty spectacularly, I might add."
"That was an accident, thank you very much," Reisen shouts at her. Nazrin pulls out three pistols and hands one to you and one to Flandre, their black metal shining against the streetlights. You snap the holster together around your waist while Flandre does the same.
"For protection," Nazrin quips, checking the ammo in hers before sliding the magazine back into place and turning the safety on. She shuts the trunk and gets in the seat next to Reisen. "Come on, you two."
"I've... never ridden in one of those things," you remark. "Is it safe?"
"Perfectly safe," Reisen pats her steering wheel. Flandre slides into the backseat, opening the door for you. "Come on, get in!" Uncertainly, you get in the car. Flandre slides up next to you and grabs your arm. "It's a long way to Germany," Reisen tells you as she pulls off the curb. "Ten, twelve hours. We'll probably have to take a break at some point."
You nod, looking at Flandre's uncertain face. She closes her eyes and leans on you. "Youmu..." she begins. "Don't leave me. Please?"
"I won't. Promise," you assure the vampiress. You feel one of her wings drape over you; the other is curled up in the left side seat. In the front, Nazrin and Reisen smirk.
"Gotten close, eh?"
"It's not like that," you say. "Seriously. It's not... I don't think I can explain it in a way you could understand Miss Nazrin."
The mouse shrugs. "Whatever you say, Youmu," she puts her hands behind her head and stretches. "Reisen, please don't wreck. I'm going to sleep."
The Lunar Rabbit sighs. "You know, if this weren't a life and death situation, it'd be kinda fun," she says. "A bunch of girls, traveling Europe? Yeah," she sighs again. "Man, I hope we can end this quickly..."
At some point, you and Flandre fall asleep as well. This time, it's a dreamless sleep.
Upon waking up, you...
[ ] Decide to stop for Hatate.
[ ] Continue towards Gensokyo.
[ ] Write-in
Flandre route is open. If you pursue, expect some angst and drama, no sex, but a reward at the end.
Reisen route is open. Technically, it's been open this entire time but only now can you do something about it.
Nazrin route isn't open yet.
>>51634 Maybe. But who said everyone in Avalon is against Gensokyo?
I'm OCD about side quests and achievements. Although even though the story says otherwise, do we actually have a time limit before we come back to Gensokyo and find Yukari's head on a stake in front of the SDM?
Also definitely going Flandre route, although I don't believe it should be a romantic route at all. Flandre's should be something like a very close big and little sister route but not be the main one. Youmu can get her dickings from someone else.
>>51636 By using the term 'route' does that mean we get route locked? Because say if we want to do the whole non-romantic, sisterly relationship with Flandre and romance someone else as well can we do that? Or are there polarising choices that we have to pick?
>>51645 No. By route I mean you can pursue a relationship with that character that is closer than friends; be it romantic or platonic. You can't lock yourself out of a route unless you deliberately antagonize a character.
Harem effect is possible in this kind of route, though normally there are something like MC + 8 or so girls, not Youmu +3 (well, +2 right now but you get my point).
>>51650 Factions: Only the Camarilla have been encountered out of all the factions in WoD. In cases like the Technocracy and Sabbat, this is unsurprising given that Youmu hasn't messed with any Sleepers or been overtly supernatural outside vampire-held territory or been anywhere that the Sabbat actually are. In cases like the Kuei-jin, this is really surprising since if they were active, the Camarilla wouldn't be in Asia at all (meaning this is not WoD canon, even if it's using their Vampires).
Vampire Clans so far: Clans Malkavian, Nosferatu, Tremere, and Ventrue confirmed by name.
Mages so far: One under the command of the Ventrue mentioned, presumably Ghouled. Observed to be similar to Marisa and Alice, possibly referring to an Awakened Avatar, but less potent in some fashion. Possibly referring to the strength of the Avatar, possibly to level of Enlightenment. Marisa and Alice are, presumably, self-awakened if WoD Mages are being used, though them having any abilities at all which require Spheres above 3 is unconfirmed (and only creating semi-autonomous puppets requires more than 2).
>>51654 The Chinese vampires are restricted to China's Sealed Land and stuck there under the watchful eye of the Chinese Dragons.
Had Youmu went with Sakuya's team, a good chunk of the first arc would have been dealing with a Kuei-jin rebellion.
As for the others, I'm trying to keep the story focused mostly on VTM material, outside of a few Awakened and possibly some Hunters or Changelings. It's my belief that a lot of the supernatural beings wouldn't really want to muck in a war the Camarilla have started (and given that it's oWoD, you can assume that factions like the Technocracy and Sabbat are planning to pick up the pieces.)
You open your eyes slowly; daylight shines down upon you from the east. It's morning. You sit up in your seat and stretch out, stopping as pain from your cracked ribs shoots through you. You bite back a whine and look about.
Outside, Flandre and Nazrin stand next to each other as Reisen does some stretches. Flandre has gone to fully hiding her wings as she stands under Nazrin's umbrella, the two silent as they watch the Lunar Rabbit. Even at this distance, you can tell that Reisen is exhausted. You get out of the car and approach the other girls.
"Morning..." you mumble. You feel like you when you slept in the tree. Your brain feels like its running through syrup.
"Hey, Youmu," Nazrin greets. Flandre smiles at you, causing you to return one of your own. "Reisen needed a break, so we thought we'd stand and watch."
"Where are we?" You ask.
"Somewhere near the country of Luxembourg," Flandre replies. "We'll be passing out of France in a couple of hours. Hopefully, with good time we can be in Berlin by tomorrow."
"Tomorrow? I thought we were going to reach it by the end of the day," you say, leaning against the car. "Why the change in plans?"
"Mainly it's because Reisen is the only one who knows how to drive," Nazrin explains, watching as Reisen stops her stretches and starts heading back to the three of you. "And she can't drive for much longer. There's a town a ways down the road that we're going to rest at for now. She's been driving for eight hours straight and can't take much more."
"Good morning, Youmu," Reisen smiles and waves. You can see the dark circles under her eyes. "How are you feeling today?"
"Better than you," you respond bluntly. "Do you need to teach one of us how to drive?"
"Maybe later, but for now, we just need to get to this town. I think after I get some sleep we'll be alright. Yeah..." she blinks, wobbles, and shakes her head. "Come on, guys, let's go."
The four of you pile into the car. Reisen reaches under the steering wheel and flicks two wires together; the engine turns over. Reisen puts on her seatbelt and puts the car into drive, easing off the shoulder of the road and continuing the drive. "Guys, keep me awake," she says. "Seriously, do something. Talk."
You shrug. "Have you given any thought to the other Lunarian I told you about?" you ask.
"Yeah, I did while everyone was asleep," she answers. "I figure that they must have decided that the... truce... between Eientei and the Capital doesn't apply to out here," she shakes her head suddenly. "...if the Watatsuki sisters try to start something because of me, the Princess won't be happy. Neither will Master Eirin for that matter. It could launch Gensokyo into another conflict, though I doubt that Miss Yakumo would be willing to go that far for my sake."
"It's something we don't need at least," you say. "What if they try to get you again?"
"Well..." she shrugs. "I guess I'll try shooting my way out."
You sigh. That's not what you wanted to hear. "Reisen, let's try to avoid meaningless battle, okay?"
"Hey, no arguments there. I'm just saying if I have to, you know?"
"Perhaps..." you recline in the seat and look over at your charge. "Flandre, how are you feeling?"
"...okay, I guess," replies the vampire. "I keep telling myself it's the right thing to do, but... I still feel... I dunno..." she looks down. "I keep thinking, 'I'm going to be in so much trouble when Sis finds out about this."
"What do you think she's doing right now?" you ask.
"Probably still undergoing her plans," Flandre responds. "I doubt she's given me any thought... assuming the others didn't tell her I had escaped," she shrugs. "I doubt they will, since they'd have to explain everything."
"That sounds about right," you agree. In front of you, Nazrin snickers. "What?"
"Does anyone else see how ridiculous this is?" she asks. "I mean, come on - we're in a car, a creation of the outside world, driven by a Lunar Rabbit. Her passengers are a mouse, a loli vampire, and a half-dead samurai gardener," she chuckles again. "It just hit me how stupid we'd look to the others back home."
Reisen smiles. "I don't mind. I don't think there are many others who I'd be willing to ride around with,"
"...even me?" Flandre asks.
"Especially you, Flandre," Reisen answers. "Especially now that I know you a little better," You brighten a bit as Flandre smiles.
"Aw, looks like Reisen's caught the bug, too," Nazrin snickers. She looks back at you and the vampire. "Gotta admit though, Flandre, you're pretty cute," the vampire blushes slightly. "So's Youmu, for that matter. Her hair all tussled like that."
"Eh?" You grab a lock of your hair. "N-Nazrin, don't say such things..." you feel your cheeks heating up.
"Oh, come on, what's life without a little teasing?" asks the mouse. "I'm always giving Shou hell, and Miss Byakuren. Someone's gotta bring them back down to Gensokyo."
"It could be that huge ego of yours," Reisen points out. You and Flandre exchange glances. "Seriously, guys; the inflated ego of this mouse could fill this car by itself."
"Hey!" Nazrin protests. "It's hard being as awesome as me!" Reisen sighs long-sufferingly, as if to prove her point. You and Flandre stare at each other for a second before giggling. "Hey! Quit laughing!"
The town you stop at is nothing special; it has a "petrol station" according to Flandre, which is where Reisen initially parks the car. Flandre goes in to pay for some fuel and returns with some bottled water. You take it gratefully and try to open the top, but your hand won't cooperate. Reisen reaches over and opens the bottle for you while she fills the car up.
"Thanks, Reisen," you smile as you sit on the trunk of the car. "Say, what are you gonna do about those ears?"
"Eh... decoration," Reisen says, making both her ears stand straight up. "That's the excuse Nazrin's been using if anyone pushes. People think its weird but I guess they accept it enough. I dread the day someone tries to pull on them though."
"Well, maybe that won't happen," you reply. "...thanks for coming, by the way." Flandre opens Nazrin's door to hand her a bottle.
"Eh?" Reisen looks at you as you sip from the bottle. You set it down on the trunk. Behind you, Nazrin and Flandre begin talking about random nothings.
"Seeing you here, and Nazrin... I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of me," you tell her. "Before you guys showed up, I was so worried about what to do next; I was kinda lost. But then, you two showed up," you grin. "I mean, yeah, I hurt; this hand will probably never heal right, and my ribs hurt like hell - pardon the language," Reisen chuckles at your apology. "But I just feel like... things are going to be better from here on out. You know?"
"I understand," Reisen replies. She takes the pump out of the car and places it back on its stand, then closes the gasket and turns it. She shuts the door above the gasket. "Youmu... I'm glad you're still alive," She walks up to you and stares at you intently. "Out of everyone in Gensokyo, I'm glad I met you."
You heartbeat rises as you and Reisen stare at each other; she's... oddly close to you. You've been this close to her before, but not like this. Suddenly, you can tell just how... beautiful Reisen is. You can't help but get a little bit closer to her... or maybe it's the sudden fact that until recently, you've been feeling a bit... well, alone. Before you decided to find your own place in the world, you never really had anyone but Miss Yuyuko to care for you.
"Hey, you two!" Nazrin shouts from the car. The two of you break your trance and quickly look away from each other. "If you're going to make out, hurry up and do it! I'm hungry!"
"Shut up, Nazrin!" Reisen shouts angrily. She gets in the car and slams the door shut. Embarrassed, you get in the car as well, sitting next to Flandre and shaking your head of the incident. Now isn't the time to be thinking of stuff like that, you decide. Gotta focus on the mission-
Suddenly Flandre is in your face. She's staring at you weird. "Um... what?"
The vampire makes a "hmph" sound and crosses her arms, sitting back down and looking out the window. You can't help but feel like you've made her mad somehow. You go to ask her what's up when Reisen angrily lurches the car into drive, her face twisted in annoyance. She speeds away from the petrol station and drives into the town proper. "We're going to eat," she says simply.
"But we can't eat You-" Nazrin's words are cut short as Reisen stomps on the brakes, sending the mouse's head flying into the dashboard. "Ow!" Reisen ignores her and turns back to face you and Flandre.
"What do you guys wanna eat?" she asks. "It's still early, and we have some cash for breakfast."
"There's a cafe on the other end of town," Flandre says. "It's probably the only place to eat in this small town. Head over there."
"Alright," Reisen nods and stops at a red light, looking around. "These people sure are lively this early in the morning," she notes. You look around to see that she's right; like Paris, the French are already up and moving about, opening their businesses and making small talk on the sidewalk. You notice a few large vehicles heading off to back from the way you came, presumably to the vineyards you passed by on the way here.
"In France, the people learned to sleep lightly," Flandre explains. "The Kin have always had a strong presence in Europe, especially in this country. Amongst our kind, it is believed that we developed the current French culture from the ground up to suit our needs, as the French are terrified of us, yet simultaneously, they respect our existence as a matter of fact rather than fiction; well, us and the werewolves."
"Werewolves are common here too?" Nazrin queries as the light turns green.
"Werewolves are common everywhere, really," Reisen answers. "Even on the moon, we learned to be afraid of the man-beasts that can only be killed by silver. You can imagine how terrifying it was for us as a fairy tale, considering that silver is mostly nonexistent on the Moon."
"Isn't there one in the Bamboo Forest?" You ask. "I remember hearing that there was, but I've never met him."
"Her," Reisen corrects. "We've seen her stalking us outside Eientei a few times - she even picked off a few of our unfortunate Earth Rabbits - but otherwise she keeps to herself, it seems."
"Ah... how come you haven't dealt with her?" You ask.
"She's fast," Reisen replies as Flandre points toward the cafe in question. "Miss Eirin managed to shoot her once, but she used up all of her silver arrows during the incident a few years back, and we don't have the facilities necessary to manufacture more... even the bullets for my weapons are simply the result of me sneaking Outside with Miss Yakumo's help and procuring them," she jerks her head toward the trunk as she pulls into a parking space. "Quite a few of those guns in the back were from our raid on the power plant."
Reisen stops the car and the lot of you get out. You offer a hand to Flandre, but she ignores you, opting instead to walk with Nazrin into the cafe. Nazrin puts a large hat on to cover her ears while Reisen flattens her ears. The four of you walk inside.
Clearly, you're the first people to walk in today. A young woman greets you, which you and Flandre return politely. Reisen pauses to look at you. "You speak to language?"
"It's a... gift that Miss Yakumo gave me," you explain. "Anyway, I can order for us, at any rate," Reisen nods, and after some discussion, her and Nazrin agree to some sort of cake and tea. Flandre orders much the same, although with a different tea, and you copy Flandre's order. The vampiress slips you some cash discreetly, allowing you to pay for it; it would probably look odd if a little girl paid for the meal.
The four of you go to take a windowside seat when Flandre suddenly stops. She looks a bit uncomfortable. "What's wrong, Flandre?" you ask.
The girl looks at the three of you. "I have... special needs, you know," she says after a while. "Needs that... can't be met normally."
It doesn't take you long to decipher the meaning. "Ah... well then perhaps we should-"
"Not you," Flandre interrupts. "I mean... it can't be you, since you have... already taken care of that."
Nazrin sits down and twitches her nose. "Not it," she says quickly. Reisen glares at the mouse for a second, then sighs. She reaches onto her belt and pulls off a knife.
"You said you needed to head for the girls' room?" Reisen asks nicely. Flandre, looking the part of embarrassed child, nods. "Alright, then, come on; I'll lead you there," you watch after the two as they walk into the back into a restroom. Reisen closes the door, giving you a sad look.
"...you should have done it, Nazrin," you say after a time. A serving girl walks up and sets down your cake and tea. "Reisen's already done a lot for us, getting us this far. You should have taken the pressure off her, just a bit."
"...yeah, I know," Nazrin replies. "But... sorry, she's cute, but the thought of Flandre clamping down on my neck doesn't seem like it'd work out, you know?"
"Still," you take a sip of your tea. None of the employees are paying any attention to your conversation, although the chances that any of them could speak Japanese are slim at best. "Reisen just took the fall for us; you should thank her later."
You sigh. It's probably the best you'll get out of her, but it'll have to do. You look down at your cake and take a small bite of it; it's really sweet, almost too sweet, but it's okay. You could do better at any rate.
By the time you finish half of your cake slice, the restroom door opens. Reisen walks out, looking a little paler than normal, while Flandre follows behind, wiping her mouth with a paper towel. The two sit across from each other, Reisen next to Nazrin and Flandre next to you. You notice a small cut on the side of Reisen's neck.
"I... didn't want to get it," she explains. "I don't actually know if I can, but I'd rather be safe. They say it's the bite that does it."
"I'm... I'm sorry, Miss Reisen," Flandre says sullenly.
"It's fine, it's fine," Reisen tells her. "Flandre got... a little excited. I think she took more than she meant to."
You look at the vampire, who blushes and looks away from you. You pat her on the head. "It's okay, Flandre, no one's mad at you," you reassure her. Flandre only nods. You smile at her, even though she doesn't see it. Turning back to the other two you say, "So, I've been thinking; since Berlin is on our path to Gensokyo, I think we should do something about Hatate."
Reisen grins. "I knew you'd see things my way," she says. Nazrin sighs.
"Are you sure that's a good idea?" she asks. "I mean, we're already pressed for time..."
"I'm certain," you tell the mouse. "If she's alive, I don't want to leave her in the hands of these people. I've seen what they can do, and there's no way I'm going to let them do whatever they want to her. Besides, it's... it's the right thing to do."
"I agree," Reisen nods. "No one gets left behind."
"Except we'd be going in half-strength at best," Nazrin counters. "Flandre can't use her powers, and Youmu is still injured."
"Eh, it's not... that bad," you say. "I hurt much less than I did yesterday... still sore, but I think I can power through it at least."
"And if bad goes to worse..." Flandre begins. You sigh and nod.
"There's always... that option," you admit. "Either way, how should we go about it?"
"...well, if we're gonna do this, the best option would be to sneak in and out as quickly as possible," Nazrin says, leaning back in her chair. "Since Youmu's the fastest, she could get in and out without anyone noticing."
"Except... I can't read French, only speak it," you say. Nazrin grimaces.
"Well... then Flandre would have to go with you, which increases the likelihood of being caught, and if that happens..."
"Then I'll need to be there to help," Reisen finishes. "What about you, Nazrin?"
"I will use my power over the mice here to tell you where... ah, Hatate's phone is. Perhaps that'll get you closer. Depending on the layout of the surrounding area, I can also provide support from afar with one of your weapons."
You nod. "That seems like a pretty good plan. When do you guys want to head out?"
"As soon as we're ready," Reisen says, nodding. "Give me some time to rest today, and we'll head out. I just need some sleep."
"Alright, so it's settled then," you decide. "We leave at dusk?"
"Sounds good," Nazrin says, taking a bite of her cake.
"Yeah, that should be more than enough time," Reisen nods.
"That would be best..." Flandre agrees.
"Right, then its settled. Let's rest for now. Tonight, we leave."
You're left to your own devices. What do you do in the meantime?
[ ] Practice using Hakurouken with your right hand. (Solo Route.)
[ ] Bored vampire. (Flandre Route.)
[ ] Weapons training. (Reisen Route.)
[ ] Missing mouse. (Opens Nazrin Route.)
[x] In addition to whatever gets voted in - Ask Reisen what would happen if the Watasuki's heard that the vampires killed one of their agents in cold blood.
On the off chance we can use the Watasuki's to help clear up Paris. If nothing else it'd he a hell of a distraction and a very funny way to do it, if Youmu was able to break through their defences so easily solo then those 2 should have Paris cleaned up by dinnertime.
[x] Practice using Hakurouken with your right hand. (Solo Route.)
Allies can be lost. In these uncertain times, building up her own skills for emergencies is the way to go. Besides, practicing sword skills should help get the injuries off your mind, hopefully. Also: Think less of Flandre's blood.
-[x] Think of obtaining a weapon that would be on par with Roukanken's power, if possible. Youmu is running on sub-weapon and one hand.
You open the trunk of the car and unzip Reisen's weapons bag. The moon rabbit sleeps in the front of the car, having reclined the seat back; you're not even sure how aware she was of falling asleep, but you pay it no mind. While she's asleep, you've decided to look at the weapons she's got stashed in here; if they're anything like that pistol you were given, then shooting them should be relatively easy.
You look around to make sure no one is watching you, but the chances of that are unlikely. Reisen parked the car behind the cafe after getting the owner's permission, and no one walked back here. You reach into the bag and stick your hand in what feels like a mess of metal. You grab onto an object and pull it out to reveal... a weapon much larger than the pistol. Matte black and a bit longer than Hakurouken, with some sort of sliding mechanism under the barrel of the weapon. You turn it upside down and see a hole where the bullets of this gun go.
Strange, you think. You flip off the safety and lift the stock of the weapon to your shoulders, finger on the trigger. Its heavy... how does she use stuff like this? You aim down the sights and swivel around, looking at things through it. Very unwieldy.
You make a full circle, keeping the weapon pressed up against your shoulder. As you turn back toward the car, you center your sights directly on Reisen's forehead as she stares at you.
"Yaah!" You go to pull the trigger by reflex, but Reisen manages to shove the weapon upward and grab your hand before you blow her brains out.
"First off," she begins. "Don't mess with my bag, Youmu. You should know better. It sets off an alarm only I can hear," you notice the dark rings under her eyes; she's still not done sleeping. "Secondly," She flips the weapon upright and rests it in her hands. She pulls the slide on the bottom of the barrel, causing a strange red bullet to fly out of the side. She catches it and shows it to you. "This is a twelve gauge slug. The force of this thing, in your state, will probably break your shoulder. Thirdly," she goes into a kneeling position and points the weapon at the landscape. She wiggles her trigger finger. "Never put your finger on the trigger until you're ready to fire. Trigger discipline prevents friendly fire."
"I... I'm sorry, Reisen," is all you can say as she stands up, flipping the safety back on and putting the weapon back in the bag. She tosses the slug after it. "I didn't think about it..."
"Of course you didn't," Reisen tells you, shutting the trunk. "You've never been trained with a weapon like this before. Our fighting styles are completely different, after all: you're the samurai, I'm the shooter. However, there may come a time when you have to use this."
"Like now," you say. The rabbit blinks. "Reisen... can you teach me how to use these things properly?"
"I... I can certainly try, Youmu," Reisen says after some thought. "But... it will have to be unorthodox. I don't want to use up the ammo, no offense. There is one way we can do it though."
"Yeah. Lay down in the passenger seat," Reisen says, walking back to the driver's seat and leaning back in it. You enter the passenger side and lean the seat back until you are level with the rabbit. You lay on your side to face her.
"This... doesn't feel like training, Reisen," you say slowly. You feel heat blossom on your face as she gently puts her hands on your head. She leans forward slowly.
"Youmu, look into my eyes," she commands. You do so, noticing the faint glow within them. "Don't be afraid."
"What are you-" you begin, but Reisen leans closer until literally all you see are her red eyes. Behind them, you see innumerable stars, it seems. Your reflection is but a tiny thing in those eyes.
"It's okay..." she breathes. "Release your mind to mine..."
"Visionary Wave, [Red-Eyed Hypnosis]."
You're standing in a huge field. As far as you can see, there is nothing but grass and a gentle wind caressing your body. You look down and see that you're in your old clothes, yet both your swords are missing. "Where... am I?"
"You're nowhere," replies a voice. Reisen appears next to you. "At least, no where physical. This is a place I can escape to by turning my own powers against me. Here, I feel safe, free. Here, I meditate, and here, I practice."
"Practice?" you echo. Reisen lifts her hand, her fingers grasping an invisible object. slowly, a weapon shimmers into existence; a long one of some sort. "Ah, so... we're in your mind?"
"Mine, and yours," Reisen explains. "This place is as good as reality when it comes to many things, like what I'm about to show you. Now, hold out your hand," you do so, and a pistol forms in your grip. "That's a standard weapon of the Japanese military's special forces," she says. You turn the weapon about, inspecting its silver finish and matching flashlight. You lift the weapon up and look down its sight. "Not so fast, Youmu."
"Eh?" Reisen forms an identical weapon and releases the safety. She turns the weapon around and points to a small level. "Magazine release," she explains. "Learn it," you nod and look for your own, releasing the safety and pushing the level with your thumb. The magazine exits from the bottom of the pistol's handgrip. You catch it easily. "Those rounds are capable of punching through people quite easily," Reisen says. "Now, observe," Reisen drops her magazine then, so you can see, levitates it and the pistol. She slides the magazine into place and pulls back the top of the pistol. She twists the gun on its top so you can see as a bullet enters the chamber.
You nod and do the same thing with your hands. It's odd, but your own natural dexterity allows you to mimic the action smoothly. "Alright, now let's shoot something."
You nod as a target appears in the field some distance away from you. "Point at the target and aim for the center," Reisen commands. You nod and take aim, putting your finger on the trigger-
Reisen swats your hand. "Nope, you did it again. Watch," Again, making sure you can see everything she does, Reisen points at the target. She keeps her finger off the trigger until she's ready to fire, and even then she takes her time, aiming and squeezing until a satisfying shot rings out; you clearly see the bullet hit dead center of the target. She then repeats the same act eleven more times, each shot fired sooner than the last, until the weapon locks in the open position. Reisen summons a magazine as she drops the one in the pistol, which fades out of existence as she drives the new magazine in, pulling back the slide to chamber a new round.
The two of you walk up to the target; each bullet went exactly where Reisen wanted it to, if the fact that a smiley face is staring at you is any indication. Reisen frowns. "Tch, I'm off a bit," she says. "Anyway, I need you do at least hit this area," she gestures toward the yellow zone close to the center. "From the same distance as before."
"What?!" You stare at the target as the bullet holes fade. "Are you serious?"
"Yes," Reisen nods. "Now, try to shoot it."
You look at the target in the distance and sigh. You slowly lift the pistol in the same firing position as Reisen showed you, taking care not to touch the trigger until you're ready. You stare at the target through the sights, noticing your slight wobble. You take a calming breath, staring at the target and placing your finger on the trigger. After a few seconds of staring, you fire.
The shot lands squarely on the red-yellow edge of the circle. Reisen claps her hands. "Excellent!" she says. "Now, can you do it again?"
"I'm not sure..." you say honestly. Reisen shakes her head, her smile still on her face.
"No, not 'I'm not sure'," she admonishes you. "Say, 'I can do it', instead!" You stare down at the pistol, then back up at the target.
"I can do it," you repeat, snapping the pistol up to its firing position. You close one eye and fire again, grinning as you notice that the shot is much closer to the center.
"Again!" Reisen shouts. You pull the trigger; the bullet hole is even closer. "Again!" This time, the shot is a bit off. You hear Reisen growl. "I said, do it again!" You fire, and the shot gets a ways closer. "And again! Fire! Fire!" You growl and empty the magazine at the target, shooting almost as fast as Reisen did. Each of the remaining shots hit in a spread pattern except for the last; it hits dead center.
You release the magazine and grab the one floating next to you. "That was... different," you say. In fact, you found that quite fun. "...you use this for stress release, don't you?"
Reisen chuckles. "You caught me," she answers, holding her hands up. "What can I say, it's pretty nice to get away for a while; between Miss Eirin's experiments and Tewi's pranks, I hardly ever get time to myself, so sometimes I slip away here, for a moment's break."
"I'd like to do something like that," you tell the rabbit as you aim at the target again. You squeeze the trigger, and another shot rings out.
"Well..." Reisen pauses to think. "When all this is over, if you wanna come by Eientei... we can do this together." You pull the trigger; the shot goes wild.
"Is... is that okay?" You ask. "I mean, just dropping in like that?"
"Well, yeah... why wouldn't it be?" Reisen says, looking at you curiously. She tilts her head slightly. "We're friends, right? And friends hang out together..."
"Reisen... I don't think I know the meaning of the phrase," you say blithely, firing again; your shots are back on track. "I work every hour of every day it seems like."
"Not by choice, surely," Reisen says; leaning up against a tree that wasn't there. "Even Miss Eirin gives me a break once a week or so."
"Well, I'm the only person in Hakugyokurou capable of doing all the duties assigned, being as I'm the only one other one there with a solid form," you reply. "It's not like I mind... well, I mean, didn't mind so much," you reload the firearm and take aim; the target has moved back a bit. "Eh?"
"Don't mind, I just moved it. You're now shooting the weapon at its optimal range," Reisen explains. "Anyway, I don't know how you do it, Youmu... I guess that's why in a way, I look up to you."
You lower the pistol and let go. It floats in place in front of you. "Why me?" You ask her. "Reisen, we're almost the same age. We have similar jobs. Why would you ever look up to me?"
"It's your attitude," Reisen replies. "Even though there's a lot of pressure on you, you've always pushed through. I remember when we fought years ago."
"Ah," you sit down, nodding. Reisen walks up and sits next to you. "That was an intense battle. I had no idea what you were capable of."
"I didn't even know it was possible for you to be that fast," Reisen laughs. "I was prepared to duel with spellcards, and you just blew through everything and just... backhanded me!"
"Yeah, I was so serious that night," you say, giggling. "I wanted to prove I was just as good as Miss Reimu and Marisa and... Miss Sakuya," you lean back and stare up at the nothingness above. "I almost ignored the spellcard rules because of it."
Reisen stretches her arms out. "You were hilarious! You were all like, 'Puny Rabbit, let us pass, in the name of Hakugyokurou!'" she shakes her head and lowers her arms. "I didn't know whether to laugh or take you seriously."
"I just wanted to show everyone I was capable of doing something," you tell her.
"And you did! Remember the incident with the Taoists? You're the one who fought Miko to a standstill while everyone else was still fighting Miss Mononobe!"
"Well... we weren't using spellcard rules at the time," you explain. "Miss Toyosatomimi wasn't aware of them. It wasn't until Miss Reimu showed up to explain them to her that they started fighting, and eventually Miss Reimu won."
"Still, she's the wielder of the Seven-Star Sword, and has the ability to read people's attacks like no one I've ever seen," Reisen replies. "You remember when shortly afterward her and Miss Byakuren got into a fight?"
"It wasn't much of a fight, from what Lady Yuyuko told me," you pluck the pistol from midair and practice reloading it. "Although Miss Byakuren is powerful, Miss Toyosatomimi completely won that fight. It wasn't even a challenge for her."
"Yeah... and you were."
You blink. You never thought of that before. "I'm... just a samurai in training, Reisen."
"Are you so sure?"
You turn to look at your friend. "You might not have been trained in the normal ways," Reisen continues. "But you've been involved with at least six separate incidents. Each time you've proven yourself. What you lack in training, you make up for in experience. That has to count for something..." she blushes. "And yet, you manage to stay humble and loyal to your friends, and you have a kind heart. Look at now; you went out of your way to rescue someone who you didn't even know liked you; she might have hated you! But you still rescued Flandre, and now you want to rescue Hatate; not once have you asked for anything in return."
"Well... I could use a new sword," you say, grinning. Reisen blinks, then giggles. For some reason it causes you to blush. "What?"
"Listen at you," she says between giggles. She takes a deep breath. "But, seriously... come by Eientei sometime! You'll be welcome here, and despite her reputation, Pricess Houraisan likes visitors, now that we're visible to Gensokyo. She gets lonely when its just me, Miss Eirin, and the others."
"I'd... I'd like that, Reisen," you lift the pistol. "Say, can you teach me to shoot this thing one-handed?"
"Yeah, I can," Reisen stands up and holds her hand out. You take it and let her help you up. The contact causes you to blush a bit more deeply. Reisen ignores it and goes back into 'intructor' mode. "Okay, this time... do this."
Reisen stands sideways, looking toward the target. She raises her arm and points at it. "This is apparently some sort of dueling stance, but since your left hand is gimp right now, it should do. Try to keep the gun steady," you nod and mimic the stance. Reisen watches you, then lightly touches your arm, correcting the way you've got it set. "There, now, like before, take aim and shoot!"
You nod again, looking down the front sight, and pull the trigger. Your shot is way more off than when using two hands, so you correct your aim and fire again. This time, the shot is much closer. So you fire again, this time getting it into the middle two circles. One more shot puts it in the red.
"Good job!" she claps her hands together and smiles. Then she yawns. "Ugh... I'm still tired."
You finish off the clip and let go of the pistol, watching it float in the air for a second. Turning to face Reisen you say, "Would you like to get some sleep then?"
"No... I'm fine. Really," Reisen replies. "But..." she yawns again. "I could pass out."
"Then lets end it for now. Remember, if this goes off without a hitch, I shouldn't even need the gun."
"I'd rather you know how to use it and not have to, then you have to use it and not know how to," Reisen counters.
"Reisen..." you sigh. "Let's just go back to reality for a while. We can do this again later."
"..." Reisen looks uncertain, then nods. "If it's truely fine with you, then we will."
Holding her arms to her sides, Reisen looks up to the sky. "Spell Card, break!"
You suddenly find yourself back in the car. You blink a few times; the entire time, your eyes were open. The position of the sun reveals that almost no time passed, though it felt like a good while within Reisen's Lunatic Eyes.
Looking back at the Lunar Rabbit, you smile at her as she gives you one in return. You go to get up before realizing that you can't exactly move that well. Its then you realize that, at some point, you and Reisen ended up in a... rather tight... embrace. In fact, yours and Reisen's noses are almost touching.
You blush and let go. Reisen does the same, also blushing furiously. Both of you lay on your backs and stare at the car's sunroof. "So..."
"Uh..." Reisen stammers. "That was-"
Both of you hear a laugh. On the hood of the car crouches Nazrin, smirking like the cat who caught the canary.
"My, you just can't keep your hands off her, eh Reisen?"
"SHUT UP!" Reisen shouts, her blush blossoming to cover her entire face. "We were doing something important!"
"Looked like it," Nazrin laughs and bounds off the car, skipping around the corner of the cafe.
Silence. You look at Reisen, then look away. "So..." you try again. "I guess I should let you sleep, huh?"
"Yeah... I need a bit."
You open the car door. "...kaybye," you say quickly, walking away from the car. You hope Nazrin isn't around to see the blush on your face.
You're again left to your own devices.
Big note here: Choose carefully. After the next event, the party moves on to Berlin. However, it won't permanently lock out the Nazrin route or anything like that. Instead, you will lose some character interaction.
I'm a bit nervous about neglecting Flandre [choice of words on bored vampire].
From a meta-perspective [and if Youmu is capable of economical thought, maybe, possibly in story.] You would think you want to solidify her trust in us to possibly ease her away from her sister-issues and lower the chances of defection if she's put on the spot for a Rock and a Hard Place sort of decision [Picking between Youmu and Remilia].
Its not so hard to think of it that way when the gravity of the situation has basically put Gensokyo in a Wartime situation but..
After leaning on a fence for a bit and watching the wind blow across the grass, you decide that you need to check on Flandre. You don't know how she does in these kinds of situations - after all, the rest of you have had experience with things like incidents before, but Flandre's been stuck in her house for the vast majority of her life. She can't be taking her newfound freedom so easily.
Fortunately, finding her isn't a problem; there aren't many girls in pink dresses with frilly hats hiding under black umbrellas here. You catch up to Flandre sitting at an outside table, umbrella propped up on the nearby table to cover her. Holding up her head with her hands, elbows on the table, she looks the vision of childish... boredom. She idly kicks her legs as she stares toward the late afternoon sun, her red eyes gleaming in the light. She looks toward you and sighs.
"Hey..." she greets as you walk up to the seat next to her.
"May I?" you ask politely. She nods, and you sit in the white chair. "How are you feeling, Flandre?"
"Bored. Tired..." she closes her eyes. "...I miss my home."
You nod in understanding; you'd much rather be relaxing in Hakugyokurou right now, drinking tea with Lady Yuyuko and minding the spirits within. "After we rescue Hatate, we'll be well on our way home," you tell her. "I'm going... to have some words with Miss Yakumo when we get there," You smile as Flandre giggles. "We should have been more prepared... and I think she knew what Remilia was going to do. In fact, I'm almost certain she knew what Remilia was going to do."
"You really think so?" Flandre asks, looking at you. "Why do you say that?"
You look around, making sure no one is looking, and pull out your dagger. You unsheathe it and lay it out on the table. "This dagger wasn't just designed to kill vampires," you tell her. "From what I was told, it was designed to kill one vampire in particular."
Flandre's eyes widen. "But why...?"
"I'm not sure, Flandre, but... it's probably because, out of everyone in Gensokyo, only your sister was unhappy with how things were done there. I don't think she appreciated... having to answer to Miss Yakumo."
"Sis has always been the leader type," Flandre says. "...is that what this is all about?"
"I'm not sure how Remilia thinks," you shake your head. "But I believe the fear is that Remilia is acting for her benefit alone, and I must say, that's what it looks like," you shrug. "I've always heard rumors that you were insane, Flandre, but after this, I think maybe your sister was the insane one."
"I..." Flandre sighs. "Will you kill her?"
You sheathe the dagger. "If I must," you reply. "But, to be honest, I don't want to have to do that. But she's threatening my home, Flandre."
"Gensokyo is my home too," the vampire says. "...but Remilia is my sister. I want to be with her but... I can't let her do this," she takes a breath. "Youmu... is it possible to stop her without killing her?"
"We can try," you reply. "I can't make any promises, Flandre, but we can try."
"...okay. As long as we try," she nods. "I think she'll come around; she's smarter, way smarter than I'll ever be."
"Don't sell yourself short," you tell her. "You've proven to be pretty smart yourself, Flandre."
"...really?" Flandre raises an eyebrow. "I've been called many things, but I don't think smart is one of them."
"Trust me, without you I would be completely lost by now," you reply. "I wouldn't have a direction to go but east; we wouldn't have known where Hatate is, and... well..." you smile. "I'm glad I met you. I just wish it were under better circumstances."
"Same..." Flandre sits up. "Also, I'm... sorry. About your sword."
Ah. You didn't expect that. "It's fine, Flandre. Really. I can get a new one; or, I'll just steal mine back."
Flandre smiles. "Can I help?"
Flandre giggles. "Say, you ever had ice cream before?"
"...no?" You tilt your head sideways. "What's that?"
Flandre grabs your hand. "Come on, I'll show you!" She hops up and almost drags you out of your seat; together, the two of you nearly run down the street, Flandre laughing the whole way. It's... kinda cute, actually. You find yourself smiling as she leads you to some sort of shop. The two of you walk in, and the first thing you notice is the chill. Behind a counter stands a young blond man who flashes a winning smile.
"Hey, girls," he says in a language Flandre described to you as "English"; as before, you understand it clearly. "What can I get you today?"
"My friend and I want two vanilla ice cream cones please!" Flandre says happily, slipping you a money note as the man turns around. She looks all the part of a little girl otherwise. You wait patiently as the vendor gets some strange white food and plops it in a cone-shaped bread thing. You set the money down on the counter and take one of the cones. It's very cold, you notice.
The man hands you the change, which you pocket. You thank him for the "ice cream cone" and walk outside with Flandre, who's... licking it. Slowly. You stare at the way she just... drags her tongue across it.
"W...what are you doing?" you ask, looking down at your cone.
"I'm eating ice cream, duh," replies the vampiress.
"That's how you eat it?"
"Well, yeah," Flandre nods. "Just lick it, it's fine."
You stare at the ice cream cone. You stick out your tongue and touch it to the ice cream. Cold! you think... but, pleasant. It certainly tastes like vanilla.
"Hey, this is good!" you say.
"I knew you'd like it," Flandre replies, grinning.
The two of you warmly stand at the street corner and eat your ice cream. At some point, the vampire latches onto your arm with one of hers, looking up at you with a smile. You smile back at her and walk down the strip together. A thought catches in your mind. I could do this forever...
"Ah, you got some... right there," Flandre points up and pokes your cheek. Before you can fly, she pulls you down and kisses it off. You blush so deeply you can't see straight.
"Uh... F-Flandre?!" Is all you manage to get out. Flandre giggles and skips away from you, twirling her umbrella. She spins around to face you. "Oh, I think you're breaking... that thing! Your eyes are green again!"
Oh? You wonder if that's true. You look over into a rather reflective window and look at yourself; green eyes stare back at you. You smile.
"Hey, Youmu!" Flandre shouts at you from down the street. "Hurry up!"
"I'm coming, I'm coming," you laugh. As you catch up with Flandre, she finishes off her cone and grabs your hand. You wince - just a bit - but ignore it as she drags you down the sidewalk, laughing.
Maybe one day, you'll come back to this place. That makes you blush a bit. You'd like that.
It takes till dusk for Flandre to settle down. It mostly consisted of her running around and playing hide-and-seek with you, but she finally got that energy out of her.
You meet up with Nazrin, sitting on the hood of the car again. She grins as you and the vampire walk around. "Good timing," you hear the trunk slam shut. Reisen, wearing a different outfit, walks around and grins. "You missed it, Youmu; Reisen was naked and everything. You woulda loved it. Especially that a-" Reisen conks the mouse on the head with her fist and sighs.
You take in the rabbit's new clothes; a pair of black pants, white shirt and vest, and a black jacket on top. It's similar to your clothing, but more functional somehow. Nazrin's opted for something similar, with blue in the place of black and no vest. She's also got the top three buttons of her shirt undone. Wait, Nazrin has cleavage?
Reisen tosses you a new outfit and one to Flandre. "Get changed," she says. "We got a long way to go."
"..." you look around. "Here?"
"Yeah, we're all girls, so what's the problem?"
Flandre shrugs and begins to strip down. You turn your back to the others. "I-I can't. It's embarrassing," you feel the heat rising on your cheeks.
"Oh, calm down, Youmu," Nazrin walks up behind you. "I mean what's the worst that could happen?"
"Your voice, for starters."
"Well... there is that."
You sigh. You suppose it can't be helped. You unbutton your vest and toss it off to the side. It hits the ground with a thud, the damaged ceramic plates visible to the others. You pull off your shirt, noting the bloodstains around your stomach, and look down; there's a scar that runs across your lower ribs. Huh.
You fidget with the pants for a bit before you finally get them off. "Ooh, nice ass you got th-" you hear a thud. You peek behind you to see Nazrin face first on the ground. Reisen is nonchalantly helping Flandre button up her new vest. You chuckle at that.
You get to your panties and stop. Can you really do this? "Guys... can you turn around?"
"Sure thing," Reisen replies. She bends down and picks up Nazrin, forcing her to face the car.
"Aw, come on, Reisen," whines the mouse. "I just wanna peek at Youmu's tight va-"
"Shut up, Nazrin."
Flandre is busy fidgeting with her hat to pay any attention. Grabbing the extra pair of underwear, you look around again, take a deep breath, and yank down your panties. You quickly toss them aside and pull up your new pair without a hitch. "Okay, its fine."
You put on a new pair of black pants as the others turn around. That wasn't so bad. You look down at your sarashi and see more bloodstains. How unfortunate.
Well its not like you have enough to hide. That's one thing you don't really care for anyone to see. You unwrap the sarashi and wince - the effort hurts your arm a bit. You must be a bit more banged up than you thought. "Hey... I need some help."
"I'll get it," Reisen offers. Nazrin makes a whining sound. The two of you ignore it. Flandre watches you, her face curious, as Reisen helps you to unwrap the thing. It drops to the ground, allowing you to see the scab that had formed just under one of your breasts. "That looks painful."
"Yeah..." you poke at it and wince again. "Yeah, I need a bandage."
"Hold on," Reisen runs back to the car and pulls out a first-aid kit. She opens it and pulls out a large bandage and a bottle. "This might hurt a bit," she says, opening the bottle and applying the liquid to a cottonball. She gently places it on the wound and you wince as the cleaning solution eats at the wound. She places another one on the scab on your stomach and has you hold it as she prepares some bandages.
Nazrin finally turns around and, surprisingly, doesn't grin or tease. "Damn, you really are injured," she notes. "I thought half-ghosts were more resilient than that."
"Well... it took a lot to get me here," you say. Reisen puts the cottonballs in a plastic bag and begins to apply the bandages. "When I said the past couple of days had been rough, you didn't believe me?"
"Well... yeah, I guess. Sorry about that," Nazrin picks up the replacement cloth for your new sarashi and begins to wrap it around you. She smirks a bit. "You know if you didn't wear these things so tight..."
"Yeah, yeah, that's what Lady Yuyuko tells me," you huff. "In my profession, they'd just get in the way if they were bigger."
"What is that, anyway?" Flandre finally asks.
"It keeps Youmu's boobs from flailing about," Nazrin replies. "Not that she has a lot, mind."
"You're not too far away yourself, Nazrin," you bite back. The mouse chuckles.
"At least I'm not two sizes away from being flat chested," she teases.
"Oh, shut up."
Between Reisen and Nazrin, they wrap you back up, even going so far as to put a white shirt on you. You note the lack of vest and jacket, but pay it no mind. You notice that Flandre has on a skirt and a white/pink shirt-vest combo.
"It's all I could find that was close to her size," Reisen explains. "That skirt's actually mine, but you can tighten it so whatever."
The four of you move to get in the car. Nazrin piles up everyone's previous clothing, looks around a bit to ensure no one is looking, and sets the lot of it alight with magical flame. The pile quickly burns to ashes. She gets in the car next to Reisen again, leaving you and Flandre in the back. "Alright, guys, it's gonna be a trip," Reisen begins, starting the vehicle. "But, to Berlin it is. Let's go!"
You roll down the window to let some air in as dusk fades to nightfall. Reisen turns on the car's headlights as she drives. Soft music begins to play from the vehicle's... "radio?"
[ ] Conversations while driving. Note that there's only so many actions you can do in a car, so the entry will be dialogue heavy.
[x] Conversations while driving. Note that there's only so many actions you can do in a car, so the entry will be dialogue heavy.
-- [x] Write-in suggested questions.
[x] If getting back inside Gensokyo isn't easy, how are we gonna do it after busting Hatate out?
[x] Do you guys know anything about Avalon?
[x] Conversations while driving.
-- [x] How was China?
-- [x] Where are Sakuya, Marisa, and Sanae heading to now?
-- [x] Where are Reisen and Nazrin heading to after helping us?
-- [x] What are you guys going to do after all of this blows over?
-- [x] If getting back inside Gensokyo isn't easy, how are we gonna do it after busting Hatate out?
-- [x] Do you guys know anything about Avalon?
-- [x] Are we there yet?
If this is going to be a long ride, the questions might as well be asked.
[x] Conversations while driving.
-[x] Anyone have any ideas for getting my hand patched up?
-[x] Any ideas for taking down vampires and their ghouls? Or whatever else might be there?
-[x] ...Nobody peeked, right?
-[x] I have to go to the bathroom.
-[x] Are we there yet?
[x] Conversations while driving.
-- [x] How was China?
-- [x] Where are Sakuya, Marisa, and Sanae heading to now?
-- [x] Where are Reisen and Nazrin heading to after helping us?
-- [x] What are you guys going to do after all of this blows over?
-- [x] If getting back inside Gensokyo isn't easy, how are we gonna do it after busting Hatate out?
-- [x] Do you guys know anything about Avalon?
--[x] Anyone have any ideas for getting my hand patched up?
--[x] Any ideas for taking down vampires and their ghouls? Or whatever else might be there?
-- [x] I have to go to the bathroom. -- [x] Are we there yet? -- [x] 99 bottles of sake on the wall...
[x] Conversations while driving.
-- [x] How was China?
-- [x] Where are Sakuya, Marisa, and Sanae heading to now?
-- [x] Where are Reisen and Nazrin heading to after helping us?
-- [x] What are you guys going to do after all of this blows over?
-- [x] If getting back inside Gensokyo isn't easy, how are we gonna do it after busting Hatate out?
-- [x] Do you guys know anything about Avalon?
--[x] Anyone have any ideas for getting my hand patched up?
--[x] Any ideas for taking down vampires and their ghouls? Or whatever else might be there?
[x] Conversations while driving. (Plus a whole bunch of suggestions)
Its quiet for a good while; at least, quiet enough for Flandre to fall asleep. The small vampire has her head in your lap, and you brush her hair with your fingers absently as you stare out the window. Nazrin is fiddling with a memo pad and a pen while Reisen keeps her eyes on the road.
You've been riding now for a few hours; it's not quite midnight according to the clock. You listened to the radio for a while, translating what the man on it was saying for the others as Flandre slept; apparently, there's a growing ruckus in China. Just a few hours ago there was some sort of attack on the Three Gorges Dam that almost caused it to burst. The police have no leads, as the attack doesn't appear to be used with conventional weapons - even the knife they uncovered in the body of a PRC soldier was made of silver, not steel.
Sakuya, obviously. It's not like her to leave a knife behind. Maybe their mission ended poorly.
That conversation never began; instead, Nazrin has been writing notes repeatedly ever since. You decide to fill the quiet with your voice. "So, I have to ask... what's China like?"
"From what we got to see... there's people everywhere," Reisen replies. "We met up with the others in Beijing, and there were so many people that it was easy to get lost in the crowds. Hell, it was hard even finding them with Nazrin's help."
"True, that," Nazrin agrees, setting her memopad aside. "I tried to zero in on Marisa's Hakkero, but even then... so much white noise from all the people made it hard to find them. I remember it took us... what, three days?"
"Something like that," Reisen says. "We finally found them eating at a restaurant; we heard them before we saw them."
"Marisa," you say without a thought.
"Who else?" Reisen laughs. "She was drunk and loud, going on and on about how awesomely cheap Chinese beer is. She was totally smashed."
"That does sound like her," you say. "Only Marisa would be hammered during such an important mission."
"Right?" Nazrin says. "It was actually Hatate who scolded them."
"They were all drunk, even Sanae. Apparently it was her birthday that day, and they were celebrating it."
Reisen chuckles. "Yeah, Hatate felt like an ass afterwards, but we joined them in celebration after everything calmed down."
"How old is Sanae, anyway?" you ask.
"Uhh... was it twenty-two? I think that's what it was," Nazrin says. "She's still a child... I mean, Reisen's almost sixty now, right?"
"I'm forty-five," Reisen grumbles. "And who are you to say such things, Nazrin? You're the oldest one here."
"Hey, I'm a youkai, age is meaningless. Sanae's human."
"What about you, Youmu?" Reisen asks. "How old are you?"
"Uhh..." you look down and think. "I'm not sure, really. We don't celebrate birthdays in Hakugyokurou. But I've known Lady Yuyuko for about twenty years, so I'm at least that old."
"Ah, another child. Even the vampire is older than you," Nazrin grins. She reclines her seat and stretches. "Say, Reisen, if you had sex with Youmu would that make you a cradle-robber?"
"Shut up, Nazrin," you and Reisen intone, annoyed.
"Anyway," you continue. "How much longer are you they going to be in China?"
"Not sure, honestly," Reisen replies. "There's still a lot of work to be done there. I remember Sakuya mentioning that their next objective would take them to old Persia, what's now called... was it Iraq, Nazrin?"
"Something like that," Nazrin answers, leaning over to grab a water bottle out of a bag in the back seat. "After that, they're going to keep heading west until, presumably, they run into you. Then they were to get home."
"How are we going to do that, anyway?" You ask. "With Gensokyo under lockdown, does anyone have any plans for actually getting in?"
"We've accounted for that," Reisen replies. "See, we figured out a loophole in Miss Yakumo's lockdown."
"Yeah, Nazrin and I were talking about it while you and Flandre were asleep... and it involves her."
You narrow your eyes. "What do you have in mind?"
"Simple. All we need to do is break Flandre's seal. When we get to the border, Flandre will destroy it."
"Ah... wait. What?!"
"Ah, don't worry too hard about it," Nazrin says. "You can't truly destroy the Hakurei Border; at least, not without killing Reimu. Her existence allows the border to function; even destroyed, it will simply regenerate because Reimu exists. However, we believe that in that brief moment between its regeneration we can slip in."
"Still... destroying the whole barrier?"
"Nah, that's impossible, even for Flandre," Nazrin replies. "We're just blowing a hole in a wall and throwing you and Flandre in."
"Just us?" You ask. "What about you two?"
"Well... our mission isn't over just yet," Reisen says. "As much as I want to stay and help you guys, after we drop you two off we have to go back and join up with the other team."
"Now, if we have to, we'll follow you back in," Nazrin tells you. "I've already been considering it, actually; I think I'm going to need the Jeweled Pagoda if we're going to win this war. It's not like Shou really needs it, and what with the Alliance in full swing, I think Gensokyo's pretty safe."
"Alliance?" You echo.
"Yes, the Alliance," Reisen confirms. "Before we left, Miss Hakurei met with Saint Miko and Miss Hijiri to form a grand defensive alliance in the event of massive attack... assuming they somehow break the Border, of course."
"Don't forget the Moriya Shrine," Nazrin points out. "Get this, Youmu; Suwako has moved in with Reimu."
"Huh?" You turn the thought over in your head. "Is that even possible?"
"The Hakurei Shrine lacks a god," Reisen says. "Suwako has temporarily taken the place of its absent deity, and is using her power to fuel Miss Hakurei's own. It's... quite terrifying, actually."
"And it gets better from there," Nazrin continues. "Not only does Reimu have the backing of an actual god now, making her... man, I'd say she's at least as powerful as Yukari now... but everyone underestimated the Moriya goddesses. Suwako is still able to grant Sanae her powers due to their blood relation, while simultaneously giving Reimu a portion of her own."
You lean back and think on that. Reimu's always been incredibly powerful - Sanae called her "top-tier", whatever that means - but that's been without the blessing of a God. Even with a goddess who's powers don't entirely mesh with Reimu's own... yeah, things could be pretty intense when you get back to Gensokyo. "You said grand alliance... what's the others done?"
"Well, Byakuren teamed up with Satori, and they had gotten the ship to lift off again," Nazrin continues. "Reiuji is using her abilities over nuclear fusion to power it. Meanwhile, over in the Taoist camp, the Saint and her crew have been over in Eientei."
"Well, that's putting it lightly," Reisen laughs. "Miss Toyosatomimi has quite nearly moved in. When I left, she had actually brought Miss Fujiwara over and was attempting to get Pricess Kaguya and her to see eye to eye for once. It appeared to be well on its way to working when I left to come get you, Youmu... although Miss Tojiko's presence heated things up even more than usual at first."
"The spirit with the Taoists? Why is that?"
"Like always, bad blood between Fujiwara and her," Reisen says. "Apparently the Fujiwara clan overthrew the Soga clan back in the day. Miss Fujiwara's grandfather was the perpetrator, and in response, the Soga clan's last act was to kill him with lightning. As far as Miss Fujiwara is concerned, they're one-for-one, but Miss Tojiko was not happy to find a Fujiwara in Gensokyo."
"Worst yet, neither of them can die," Nazrin groans. "So after all this blows over, even if Kaguya and Mokou stop fighting, there's going to be yet another endless conflict in Gensokyo."
You nod. "It looks like things have changed a lot in the past week and a half."
"That was just over three days," Reisen points out. "Who knows what other changes have occurred."
Nazrin nods. "In fact, with things turning peaceful there, Reisen and I have been talking about something else, for after everything's calmed down."
"What's that?" You lean forward, curious.
"Well... we've been thinking about leaving Gensokyo. Possibly forever," Nazrin states simply. "There's a big world out here, and frankly, we're tired of the same thing, day after day. We want to experience it, at least before Reisen dies of old age."
"Hey," Reisen protests. "I still have a lot of years ahead of me, Nazrin."
"But... can you just do that? Just leave Gensokyo like that?"
"Well... that's just it. We don't know," Nazrin says. "Our plan was to get everyone back home, and then... we'd just not go back. We were really planning to run away."
"What about you, Youmu?" Reisen asks. "If we leave Gensokyo, you wanna come with?"
"I... I don't know," you admit. "I mean, it's not like I've had the best experience outside, but I know that can't be all the world is. I'd like to see it, but... I just don't know. Can I consider it?"
Nazrin laughs. "Sure thing," she says.
You stop at a petrol station on the border into Germany. As Reisen fills up, Flandre wakes and heads for the restroom, leaving you to get something to eat and drink with Nazrin. As you pick up a bottle of water, you look at the mouse as she ponders which snack looks the most appealing.
"Say... what do you guys know about the other Sealed Lands?" you ask.
"Not a whole lot, just what Byakuren gleaned from Sanae's history and mythology books at the Moriya Shrine; funny enough, she'd already been doing some research about the world since Miko showed up, and had already learned quite a bit about the world. As for the other Sealed Lands... we're not too sure. I know that Byakuren contacted some European Wizard in Avalon... Merlin, I think his name was," she nods. "Yeah, same name as the Prismriver girl. Probably named after him, honestly; guy's at least as old as Yukari, and somehow still human."
"An immortal?" You say. Nazrin shakes her head as she grabs something covered in chocolate.
"I'm not sure, to be honest. Byakuren didn't talk to him for long, but he sounded very, very old. After he confirmed that they'd not even heard from you, she ceased contact with Avalon."
"Ah..." you nod. "I considered heading that way, but wasn't sure if they were ally or enemy; nor did I know how they would react to Flandre."
"Probably for the best," Flandre suddenly says, walking up next to you with some a pack of some crackers. "Our name stretches that far north, and I promise you, the Scarlet name is just as unpopular everywhere else as it is back home."
The three of you pay for your snacks and leave as Reisen closes the gas cap, tightening it as best she can. The three of you get in the car while Reisen fiddles with the gas pump, then gets in as well.
"Also, I don't know if Avalon's had any contact with Valhalla."
"Valhalla?" you repeat. Flandre nods.
"When Sis and I were testing out our new powers, we sorta invaded Valhalla; like my last story, this was long before we met Patchy, Meiling, and Sakuya," she opens her water bottle and takes a sip. "We did battle with some Valkyries, and at the climax of the engagement, we fought gods. Huge guys with powerful weapons... and we stole two of them."
"...Laevantein and Gungnir," You say. The vampiress nods again.
"These weapons aren't just named after the weapons of gods; they are the weapons of gods. Fortunately, lack of faith up there prevents them from leaving, but they are able to send agents after us."
"What kind?" You ask.
"All sorts. Most of them were normal people influenced by dreams, and others, humans born within Valhalla, are sent after us. That's how we got Sakuya."
"Sakuya is from Valhalla?" You didn't see that coming.
"She doesn't talk about it, but yeah," Flandre confirms, capping her bottle. Reisen pulls back onto the main road and resumes the trip toward Berlin. "Sakuya didn't have much experience with the Outside World when she came after us. I don't know what all she did before meeting us, but we do know that at some point she acquired her Luna Dial here on the Outside, and didn't have it for long before finding us. Her inexperience with it is how Remilia defeated her."
"Ah..." its a train of dialogue you want to follow, but you decide against it for now. You file it away for talking to Sakuya some time later. "Well, while you're awake, Flandre... is there anything you can tell us about the other clans? Methods for defeating them, maybe?"
"Well, one thing to consider is that, the lower the generation, the weaker the Kin," Flandre begins. She leans back in her seat and eats a cracker, thinking. The three of you wait patiently for her to finish. "For example, Sis and I are First Generation Scarlets; if we were to sire Second Generation Scarlets, then they'd be weaker than us. If those then sired Third Generation Scarlets, they'd be weaker than the Second Generation, and so on. Each successive generation is more and more susceptible to the classic vampire weaknesses: Running water, blessed symbols, and the like. Except for garlic; I don't know who made that one up."
"The Kindred we've been fighting are probably Sixth or Seventh Generation vampires," she continues. "At this point, they're only a few steps above normal humans except in their Clan's chosen specialty. Like, we've been fighting Brujah vampires, which are naturally strong, but lack much in the way of anything else. A Third Generation Brujah would probably kill me in direct melee combat right now, and a First Generation, of which there's only one, would kill me without so much as thinking about it."
"The difference in power is that noticeable?" Reisen asks.
"Yes," the vampiress confirms. "The reason that Remilia and I are so hard for other vampires to combat is that, for one, we're First Generation, and secondly, since we've never sired anyone, they aren't sure how our bloodline specializes. Clearly there's blood magic involved, but both Sis and I are incredibly strong physically, and our... unique powers are unlike anything any of the Camarilla or other Sects have ever seen."
"It's why you're so dangerous to them," you say.
"Indeed. We're the only two active First Generation vampires," Flandre pauses. "It's also why... we're very resistance to the weakness of vampires. For example, running water only ruins my destruction ability, but nothing else. The sun makes Sis feel weak, but she's just as strong in broad daylight as pitch blackness."
"And this place in Berlin... who runs it?"
"That will be the problem," Flandre says. "If he's still running it, we'll have to deal with a Fourth Generation Tremere... a blood mage," she shivers slightly. "Back in the 1700s he was already one of the best, able to outfight many Third Generation vampires... if we cross paths with him, it won't be easy," she looks at you. "You might need to be full strength, Youmu."
You look down at your hand, still shattered from the bullet. "What are you suggesting?"
"You know what," Flandre says. "I'm suggesting you drink my blood."
You shake your head. "No! I can't do that!"
"Eh, don't push it, Flan," Nazrin yawns from the front. "No offense, but drinking blood's kinda weird."
The vampiress shrugs. "I guess it seems that way."
"This is coming from a youkai, who traditionally, eat people," Reisen points out.
"Yeah, I still think that's weird too," Nazrin replies. "I'd much rather just eat the-"
"Shut up, Nazrin."
The rest of the ride proceeds in silence. At some point, you fall asleep, and when you wake, you see lights in the distance.
"Are we there yet?" you groan.
"Almost, Youmu," Reisen says. "When we get in, we're stopping at a hotel, and I'm passing out. We need to... plan... shit out, before we strike the place they're holding Hatate at."
[ ] Rest sounds good. We'll stop there.
[ ] We need to push on and rescue Hatate.
[ ] Other (Write-in)
Valkyrie Sakuya? First time I've ever heard of that one.
[x] Rest sounds good. We'll stop there.
Hatate's not going anywhere, and we need to be at full strength to take whoever's guarding the place.
[x] More burning questions for...
-- [x] Reisen
--- [x] Won't the Outside be dangerous for her? After all, she's still being chased by Lunarians and there's only so long that she can avoid them.
-- [x] Flandre
--- [x] If the Scarlet sisters are First Generation vampires, how did they become vampires in the first place?
[x] Rest sounds good. We'll stop there.
[x] More burning questions for...
-- [x] Reisen
--- [x] Won't the Outside be dangerous for her? After all, she's still being chased by Lunarians and there's only so long that she can avoid them.
-- [x] Flandre
--- [x] If the Scarlet sisters are First Generation vampires, how did they become vampires in the first place?
Very interesting update. I think in addition we need to know if Sakuya knew anything about Remilia's plans, since Remilia did mention Sakuya's name the first time Youmu attempted to spy on her and Flandre with her ghost half.
As for Nazrin, considering she wants to stay in the Outside World to see more of it, is there any danger of the Outside World affecting her? I ask this because I remember there was some nervousness about youkai having problems in the Outside World due to little belief in them out there.
>>52224 Ah, not Valkyrie Sakuya. She was raised in a village similar to the human village in Gensokyo. My bad, I didn't make that clear enough.
TD showed us that youkai exist in the Outside World, so I think she'd be okay. As a compromise, I've made it to where the longer they are outside, the weaker their powers get.
I'll attempt to address them in the story. I know how I have it written in my notes, but translating them to story form is the issue; granted, it's an issue I've been working on.
A lot of the problem is turning oWoD rules into something that can compare to the strength of your average youkai in Gensokyo, since oWoD was designed more around intrigue and mystery (in my experience, mind you. I've always had combat-lite Storytellers) than, obviously, danmaku battles.
[x] Rest sounds good. We'll stop there.
[x] More burning questions for...
-- [x] Reisen
--- [x] Won't the Outside be dangerous for her? After all, she's still being chased by Lunarians and there's only so long that she can avoid them.
-- [x] Flandre
--- [x] If the Scarlet sisters are First Generation vampires, how did they become vampires in the first place?
--- [x] Exactly what are the capabilities of the Scarlet bloodline?
Scarlets are Antideluvians? You do realize the weakest one, Ravnos ate ALL OF BANGLADESH and a huge chunk of Bengal within a couple of days, and survived two antisupernatural supernukes whilst fighting a whole shitton of ancient Asian vampires before getting killed by a Techno Solar Killsat right? Scarlets are 6 gen maybe 5th but 3rd? no way in hell.
So, the Scarlet bloodline "Discipline" is "access to the Entropy Sphere"?
[x] Rest sounds good. We'll stop there.
[x] More burning questions for...
-- [x] Reisen
--- [x] Won't the Outside be dangerous for her? After all, she's still being chased by Lunarians and there's only so long that she can avoid them.
-- [x] Flandre
--- [x] If the Scarlet sisters are First Generation vampires, how did they become vampires in the first place?
--- [x] Exactly what are the capabilities of the Scarlet bloodline?
[x] Rest sounds good. We'll stop there.
[x] More burning questions for...
-- [x] Reisen
--- [x] Won't the Outside be dangerous for her? After all, she's still being chased by Lunarians and there's only so long that she can avoid them.
-- [x] Flandre
--- [x] If the Scarlet sisters are First Generation vampires, how did they become vampires in the first place?
--- [x] Exactly what are the capabilities of the Scarlet bloodline?
You find a hotel at the edge of the city that doesn't question why 3 apparently adult women are taking around a child who looks nothing like any of them. The room is small, with two beds and a television, and smells like dust. You resist the urge to start cleaning as Reisen puts her bag down next to one of the beds. She reaches into it and pulls out the gun you almost blew her head off with and sets it next to the door. She peeks outside briefly, closes the door, and flips the three locks on it.
"Can never be too prepared," she says, unholstering her pistols and putting them under a pillow. "I'll sleep here," the lunar rabbit takes off her jacket and vest, tossing them haphazardly on the floor. You unbutton your shirt but leave it on, while Nazrin... strips down to her underwear. She plops down on the other bed and stretches. You can almost see her-
You decide it best to peek out the window. "Say, Reisen," you begin as Flandre takes her shoes off and sets her hat on the TV. "What you said earlier, about leaving Gensokyo... aren't you afraid that the Lunar Capital will drag you back?"
"Well, that's always a possibility," she admits, stepping into the bathroom and flipping the light switch on. Flandre sits on the bed Nazrin is stretched out on and goes to take her vest off. "But fortunately, the Lunar Capital can't send more than a few scouts to Earth at once. As long as we stay on the move, I don't think they can catch me."
"You can't run forever," you point out, watching as Reisen ties her hair back into a ponytail.
"No, but I can certainly try," she says with a smile. "Youmu, I was trained in the same tactics they use, and the Lunarian government doesn't change things up much. I can avoid them as easy as I can avoid curious mice."
"I resent that," Nazrin yawns. "You know this bed feels good; I could actually get some good sleep in this. Eh?" Nazrin looks at Flandre, struggling to get her skirt off. "Lemme help you with that, little one," your eye twitches as Nazrin helps Flandre unbutton the skirt Reisen gave her. You have no idea why that annoys you.
Eh, whatever. You take your pants off and slide into the bed next to Reisen's pillow. "I just realized that we're all sleeping together..." you say slowly.
"Well, good for you two at least," Nazrin replies with a grin. "If y'all decide to fuck then it'll leave Flandre and me out of it."
"Shut up, Nazrin."
"What does 'fuck' mean?"
You sigh and lay back on the bed, staring at the ceiling. Nazrin giggles and pulls the sheets over herself, unclasps her bra, and lays down. It doesn't help any; or rather, you're pretty sure Nazrin is showing off. How does a mouse have bigger ones than me?! you think distressingly. This is no time to be jealous, but I can't help it!
You shake the thought from your head. In the bathroom you can hear Reisen brushing her teeth. Instead, you turn to Flandre. "Flandre, you mentioned earlier that you and Remilia are the first Scarlets," you say. "How is that possible?"
"Well... I'm not certain on the details," the vampire replies. "Sis isn't either. What we do know is that we're not sired traditionally. We were human, and then we were vampires. Although if Patchy's theory is correct, then it invoves Thaumaturgy and Alchemy."
"What are those, schools of magic?"
Flandre nods. "Yes. Alchemy is the practice of creating magical potions, and Thaumaturgy... well, I'm not quite sure what it is. I'm no mage," she shrugs. "Sis figured that the Camarilla were trying to recreate Second Generation vampires; young ones they could control, do what they want with." She grins.
You nod. Reisen makes a "hmm" sound from the bathroom. Nazrin... snores. Asleep already. "So... you were made a vampire by non-standard means, then?"
"Yes. We're the only successful magical experiment in that regard," Flandre confirms. "But there are too many unknowns about us; for example, all vampire clans have a specialty of sorts - For the Brujah, they are the strongest of us; the Gangrel are more in touch with their bestial nature; the Toreador are exceptional at manipulation - but the Scarlets? No one knows what Scarlets are capable of, least of all ourselves," she lays her head on the pillow and stares at the ceiling. "In fact, when Remi thinks of it, she can't even remember much of our early past. Who are our parents? Do we even have parents?"
"Are you two actually sisters?" You ask.
"We're not even sure of that," Flandre responds. "But for a while there, all we had was each other. Before any of the rest, it was just us. Even if we weren't by blood... we are now. That's all that ever mattered to me. Sometimes, though, I think that Sis wanted me to see things like that."
You rub your eyes. "Well... I can't speak for her," you start. "But I for one would be proud to have someone such as you to be my sister."
Flandre blushes. Deeply. "Um..." she starts, then shakes her head. "I really need to get some sleep. I'm tired all of a sudden. Goodnight," the vampire rolls onto her side away from you. You chuckle.
Reisen walks out of the bathroom then, wiping her mouth with a towel. She tosses it aside and goes to unbutton her shirt, having already taken her pants off in the bathroom. She pulls off the shirt and drops it to the floor. You watch as she walks over to the light switch and turns it off. It's almost creepy, you think, watching as a pair of bright red eyes walk toward you, their owner slipping into the same bed as you. You hear some fidgeting, and an object hit the floor.
"Finally, I can get some real sleep," Reisen says with a yawn. "Say, Youmu... this is okay, right?"
"Yeah... I guess," you whisper, laying on your side to face her. As your eyes adjust to the dark, you can see that she's staring upward, her ears almost covering her eyes. "I mean, it's not like we're going to do anything."
"No, I guess not," Reisen whispers back. She looks at you. Those eyes... "...is it weird, that I'm comfortable being this close to you?"
"...I don't think it's so bad," you tell her queitly. "Although I haven't slept in the same bed as anyone since I was a child."
"Really? You mean you haven't..." Reisen suddenly covers her face. She's blushing.
"No, I haven't," you reply, suddenly finding the darkness very interesting. "Have you?"
"..." Reisen looks away from you. "Would it be so bad if I have?"
"No!" you shout. Flandre makes a sound from the other bed. "I mean... why would it be?"
"I found out not long ago that I have... a reputation. One of Tewi's pranks gone awry, as usual," Reisen sighs. "Look, sometimes a girl gets lonely, you know?"
You can't say that you know. The idea of that has always been barely a flicker of a thought in your mind. "Well... not many men come to Hakugyokurou," you whisper simply.
"Well, Eirin gets a lot of patients," Reisen tells you. "Some of the guys, I hit it off with, you know? I mean, I dated and stuff... even took a couple of them back to Eientei with me... but it never became serious."
You close your eyes. "I thought stuff like that was pretty serious."
The rabbit sighs. "Yes, I suppose you would. But it's not like I'm a slut or anything."
"I didn't say you were, Reisen," you tell her. "But... I think you should take something like that more seriously. I've always been told it... lessens how special it is, if you give it away like that," Lady Yuyuko made it a point to make you terrified of even considering dating, but that's neither here nor there.
"Well, you've never had a boyfriend, right?" Reisen whispers. "It's... hard to explain. It's... fulfilling? It feels good? It's how babies are made?" You can barely make out Reisen putting a hand over her eyes. "You can have multiple partners without being the village bicycle?"
"What's a bicycle?"
Reisen sighs again. "That's not the point," she says. "What I'm trying to get at is that... your worldview isn't wrong, it's just... not mine. Not to say there's anything wrong with yours. It's just... hey, Rabbit society. I'm actually considered a prude back at Eientei, more on par with Eirin or Princess Kaguya."
"Yeah, cause, I actually try and get past the 'hey lets fuck all over the place' stage before I decide to bed someone," Reisen explains. "The guys I've been with... and yes, the girls... I actually take the time to get to know them. The others... well, they don't care," she lowers her hand from her eyes and looks at you. "I... care about the people I've... been with. And where you might think that's okay... in Eientei, it makes them make fun of me. It's why Tewi teases me so much."
"Ah," it makes sense, you suppose. You mentally smack yourself for briefly thinking poorly of Reisen, brief as it was. "Well... I mean, I've never been with anyone, like I said... what does that make me?"
"Uh..." Reisen looks away from you. "Naive? A virgin? A lot of things," she grins in the darkness. "It's cute, by the way."
"Eh?" You can feel the heat rising to your cheeks again. "Cute?"
"Yeah," Reisen says. Her smile doesn't falter. "Why were so curious, anyway?"
You roll onto your back and look up at the ceiling. "I don't really know," you tell her. "I just... lately I've been angry and frustrated at the world... and I realized earlier, when you and I were hanging out that, if I die... I don't have anyone close to me, other than Lady Yuyuko. I've... not got a lot in the way of friends, Reisen. Or anything."
"You've got me," she points out. "And Flandre. And Nazrin. We're your friends. And you told me that you always admired Miss Sakuya."
"Yeah, but... how often did we get to spend time together, really?" you ask. You sigh. "And before the past couple of days, I thought Flandre was insane, and I didn't really know Nazrin all that well."
"...I understand," Reisen says. "You're lonely."
You chuckle at that. "So why does my mind turn to sex? Despite never having had any before?"
"Well, it's a natural release," Reisen explains. "All creatures - be it human, rabbit, youkai, or otherwise - want to be close to someone. Sex is the natural expression of that. It's instinctive, like eating or breathing. You can fill that gap with friends and loved ones, but ultimately..." she shrugs in the dark. "Nazrin's right. Eventually you'll get over it and jump someone."
"B-But-" You begin, and Reisen giggles.
"Not me, silly."
Not yet. you think. Wait, why did I think that?! Reisen clearly reads your discomfort and giggles again. After a while, you start giggling as well.
"Shut up," Nazrin groans from the other bed. It only causes the two of you to giggle harder. Eventually, you swallow the laughter and wipe the tear that had formed in your eye.
"You feel a bit better?" Reisen asks.
"Yeah..." You look at her and smile. "Thanks for entertaining my thoughts."
"It's what friends are for, Youmu."
The next morning comes way too soon.
You open your eyes and wince at the light. Of course the four of you would get a room that faces east. You rub the sleep out of your eyes and roll over to stare at Reisen.
The Lunar rabbit, at some point, kicked the sheets off of herself. Her ears are over her face, and given her position, you can literally see almost everything. It doesn't help that like Nazrin she took her bra off.
Almost hilariously, if it wasn't so dangerous, is that at some point she grabbed a gun in her sleep and dropped it on the floor. You get out of bed and walk over to the gun, pick it up, and turn the safety back off. Small wonder it didn't go off.
You walk into the bathroom and close the door. Instead of a bath is a shower stall, something you've only seen once before at the village. You turn it on and strip down the rest of the way. The water is cold at first, but quickly warms up.
"What was that last night?" You ask yourself. "What kind of person does it take to ask such lewd questions?" Even your dreams last night were bordering on the edge of too much, especially for you. "Am I really that lonely?"
Yes. You are. Reisen is right, you realize. Your thoughts keep turning back to sex because it really is the natural progression away from lonliness. As you wash your hair, you realize almost depressingly that, if you were doing this solo, then there's no way you could have gotten this far. Reisen's assurances, Nazrin's teasing, Flandre's smile... even though you haven't been with them for long, you feel like you've known them all your whole life.
It makes you smile. You never really had friends before. It makes you want to add one more to your growing list. You reach for the soap and decide that recusing Hatate isn't just a job; you want to. It's gone past leaving no one behind. You want to see what she can bring to you, and what you can give to her.
You suddenly feel really good about all this.
Turning off the shower, you reach for a towel that isn't there. Ah, you remember Reisen had it last night. You open the door and poke your head out; everyone's still asleep. Slowly, you open the door the rest of the way and grab the towel on the floor, then tiptoe back into the bathroom.
Once you dry off, you wrap the towel around your hair and put your underwear back on. You try lifting your left arm to wrap your sarashi to no avail. You'll have to get help again. Stepping back out of the bathroom reveals Reisen sitting up in bed and stretching. You make a note to stare only at her face. "Good morning," you greet.
"Ah, morning Youmu," Reisen replies. "Taken a shower already?"
"Yeah, I just got out," you say. Reisen nods and gets out of bed, walking up to her bag and pulling out a fresh set of clothes. She tosses you a set and plucks the towel off your head. "Hey!"
"I need this, sorry," Reisen says. "Oh, don't have the girls put your sarashi on just yet; I need to re-dress those wounds of yours."
"Okay," you nod. In reponse, you put your shirt back on; that's not too hard. It's also better than sitting around with your breasts hanging out. You decide to fill the silence with noise and turn on the TV.
A news report is playing. There seem to be a lot of those. "More news from China," the reporter says. "PRC officials are looking for a European female of about twenty years old, with blonde hair," a sketch appears next to the woman; if you didn't know her, there's no way you could tell it was Marisa, but the thing that gives it away is the star on her hat. You sigh at that; surely Marisa would have gotten rid of that stupid thing by now. Certainly Sakuya is giving her a stern lecture about the values of keeping out of sight.
You look over at the other two as Reisen starts the shower. Nazrin at some point decided that Flandre was a plushie, and the vampire is sleeping against her. Nazrin's arms have pulled Flandre to her, and doesn't seem to be intent on letting go.
Your eye twitches again. You grab a pillow and toss it at Nazrin's head.
The mouse starts, letting go of Flandre and shooting up to a sitting position. "What? What's going on?!" she shouts. Flandre groans and pulls the bed cover over her head.
"Wake up," you tell her. "We've got to get ready."
"Ah, morning already?" Nazrin looks around. "Man, I was having the best dream. Byakuren let me fly the ship! And I had an army, and everyone admired me! Well, everyone already admires me, but you get my point. Say, why are you sitting with your tits hanging out?"
"Reisen told me to wait until she can re-dress my wounds," you tell her, blushing and pulling your shirt closed. "I don't need your observations, thanks."
"Hey, I just comment on what I see," Nazrin shrugs. She scoots to the end of the bed and stares at the TV. "You really understand all that?"
"Every single word," you reply. "It's actually quite interesting; it's like... I hear the words and my brain converts it into Japanese, and when I speak it turns into French, somehow."
"Ah, I think I understand," Nazrin says, nudging the vampire. "Hey, Flandre, wake up."
"Nnnnn..." Flandre tightens the sheets. "Five more minutes."
"Flandre, we've got work to do," Nazrin urges, pulling the bed cover from Flandre's face. The vampiress yawns and stretches, her crimson eyes slowly opening.
"Do... do I have to?" she asks. You chuckle.
"Yes, Flandre, it's time to get ready. We've got a big day ahead."
The door to the bathroom opens. Reisen steps out, fully dressed minus her jacket and vest, rubbing the towel through her hair. "Nazrin, I got a hair dryer in my bag, could you get it for me?"
"Sure thing," replies the mouse, reaching into Reisen's duffel bag and pulling out a strange-looking object. She hands it to Reisen, who takes it back into the bathroom and plugs it up. She tosses the towel at the mouse. "Hey!"
"Take a shower," Reisen says. "Take Flandre with you."
"Wait, Flandre can bathe on her own," you protest, unsure as to why you did so.
"Yeah, but we've got to plan out our plan of attack, which means we've got to reach that sanitorium," Reisen explains. "I'd like to be out of Berlin and on our way by tonight."
You're unsure how to take these two sides of Reisen; the happy, flirty side and the commanding soldier side. You have no doubt that, if it weren't for her deference to you for decisions, she would be the leader.
Either way, Nazrin and Flandre follow orders, stepping into the restroom. Reisen turns on the "hair dryer", its hum almost as loud as the running water. She brushes her hair, and for a brief moment you wonder what it would be like to have hair that long. Maybe you'll grow it out; that would surprise everyone back home.
Assuming you make it home.
You wait patiently as Reisen finishes drying her hair. She steps out of the bathroom and to her bag, pulling out the first aid kit from earlier. "Take your shirt off, Youmu," she says. You comply, watching as Reisen pulls out more peroxide, bandages, and cotton balls. Like before, you hold one to your stomach as she tends to the one under your breast. You wonder briefly if this should be in reverse, but before you can think too much on it, she's bandaged up the wound and is moving your hand to bandage the other.
"This is so embarrassing," you say. Reisen doesn't look up.
"Yeah, I should be able to do this on my own," you tell her. "A warrior is expected to know how to take care of herself."
Reisen laughs, apply the bandage. "Even warriors need help sometimes. Can you lift your arms?" You do so, closing your eyes as Reisen begins to wrap the sarashi around you. Her face is awfully close, you think. You can feel her breath on you. How embarrassing.
"And... done," she finishes. She stands up and walks to the bathroom. "Oi, Nazrin, hurry up!"
"I'm trying, but this damn vampire won't sit still!" Nazrin grumbles. You hear Flandre giggle. "Hey! Don't throw the soap around like that!"
"But it's so slippery!" Flandre laughs. "Whoops, I dropped it at your feet!" You hear a thud.
"Ow! Gods be damned, Flandre, when this is over I'm going to show you the meaning of fear!"
Flandre giggles again. Suddenly, a wet and naked vampiress streaks past you and Reisen, laughing. The two of you blink and stare at each other, then burst into laughter.
"Come back here!" Nazrin shouts. An equally wet and naked mouse runs past the two of you, tackling Flandre and shoving a towel over her face. She scrubs at the vampire's hair. "Hold still, damnit!"
"Nope!" Flandre giggles. She pushes the mouse to the ground and runs back into the bathroom. Nazrin growls and begins pursuit, stopping briefly to glare at you and Reisen. "Help me, damnit!"
Of course, by now you and Reisen are in stitches. "Agh, useless!" screams the mouse. "Flandre if you know what's best for you, you'll come here!"
After everything settles down and everyone gets dressed, the four of you are sitting in a restaurant. After Flandre confirms the lack of Ghouls or vampires, you begin to discuss the mission.
"Alright, so what's this place look like?" Nazrin asks, pulling out her memo pad and pen. "How big is it? Where would they keep our objective?"
"It's only one floor high, but it's got a basement," Flandre begins. "Everyone there is a Ghoul or vampire, but many of them are probably thin-bloods by now; that means they're only a couple steps removed from being human," you look around as you sip your coffee. No reactions. Then again, you are all speaking in Japanese. "There won't be any obvious security because the place takes on the appearance of a high-class hospital; only the very wealthy are admitted there. Of course, that's a lie, but it keeps the public away from it."
"Is this current or outdated information?" You ask.
"This is how it was last time we were in Berlin, which was about... say, seventy years ago?" Flandre shrugs. "At the time there was some bad stuff going on here, so we didn't stay long. We were only here because Patchy wanted to observe the government's occult studies at the time."
"I thought humans weren't aware of the supernatural," Nazrin says, scribbling a note.
"Not at large, no, but one of the government's number at the time was a Tremere," explains the vampire. "He was doing research into summoning a portal to Hell or something like that. Fortunately for humanity, he failed, despite the soul sacrifices of millions of people."
You want to question what she meant by millions, but you save it for later. "Anyway, so this sanitorium, it's the same as before, you think?"
"It's probably been upgraded with modern technology," Reisen says. "Security cameras and the like. Does that sound about right, Flandre?" The vampriess nods.
"After seeing where I was held, we'd be stupid to not think it was that way."
"So, how do we need to do this?" You ask.
"In and out as fast as you please," Nazrin says, scribbling. "Get in, get Hatate, get out of Berlin."
"I agree," Reisen nods. "In yours and Flandre's fighting states, asking for a firefight would be out of the question. If we can pinpoint where Hatate is, then we can slip in and get her out before anyone notices."
"I don't think it'll be that easy," you say. "If the leader is a mage, then surely he'll know we've gotten in. I'm not looking for a firefight, but we should be prepared just in case."
"What do you suggest?" Nazrin asks. You furrow your brow and think.
"Flandre, are there a lot of windows in this place?" you ask the vampiress. She nods.
"Yes, quite a few; remember, it was built during a time when electricity was scarce, so windows were the best method of getting a lot of light."
"I see," you nod. "Reisen, is there a weapon that can reach a long way?"
"Yes," Reisen sees where this is going. "We call them sniper rifles. You're suggesting someone keep watch over us at a distance?"
"Yes. Two people stay behind and watch, while me and someone else get in and get Hatate," you say simply. "With cover from outside the building, we should be able to escape. You said that this sanitorium is on the eastern end of the city?"
"East Berlin, yes," Flandre confirms.
"Alright, so we get Hatate and get out of Germany as fast as possible. Suggestions?"
Reisen pulls a map of Europe out of her pocket. "We can go east through Poland, or south through this Czech country, into Austria."
Flandre sighs. "Czech is no good; our people have a strong presence there. It's another sect, but they're more ruthless than the Camarilla. It'll have to be Poland... but that makes our route predictable."
"One last question," Nazrin says. "Tonight or tomorrow morning?
"Tomorrow morning, when the vampires are weakest," Flandre says.
"Tonight. It's riskier, but we'll have more of a surprise element waiting on them," Reisen considers.
"Hmm..." you consider the options. Both are sound, but obviously you can only perform one.
[ ] Strike tonight.
[ ] Strike in the morning.
Second decision: Who goes in with you? (CHOOSE ONE)
[ ] Flandre
[ ] Reisen
[ ] Nazrin
Finally, choose a route option for the next scene.
[ ] Tour of Berlin (Flandre Route)
[ ] Weapons Training 2 (Reisen Route)
Nazrin route is currently LOCKED OUT; an option to open it again will come soon.
I decided to make this light-hearted because things are about to get back into "serious mode". Would you guys like to see more of this?
[x]Weapons Training 2
"We'll go tonight," you decide.
"Are you sure?" Reisen asks. "We'll be at a disadvantage."
"I know," you reply, looking at the lunar rabbit. "But we've already delayed enough. I'd strike now if we knew what we were up against. But we need to gather information about what we're up against. Nazrin, do you think your mice can drum up something for us?"
"Sure thing," replies the youkai mouse. "Flandre, if you'll lead me there, I can get them to tell me how to map it out."
The vampiress nods. "I can do that. It's far on the other end of the city, like I said, but we should be able to make it there pretty quickly if we take the metro."
"Reisen and I will prepare for the job as well," you say. "We've got some things we need to do," Nazrin gets a sly grin on her face.
"You mean like-"
"Shut up, Nazrin."
"Visionary Wave, [Red-Eyed Hypnosis]."
After heading back to the hotel, you find yourself back in the same field from before. Reisen hands you the same pistol from before and brings up a target. "Alright, start shooting. This time, you're going to reload one-handed."
"How?" you ask. You take aim at the target with one hand and pull the trigger. The shot hits the edge of the target. Shaking your head, you recenter and try again.
"Before you shoot, watch," Reisen says. With one hand, she ejects the magazine and holsters the pistol. She summons another magazine and inserts it into the slot, unholsters the pistol, and releases the slide lock. "It's slower than doing it with two hands, but you should be able to reload in this fashion, considering your left hand."
You nod, considering. "You know, I plan on taking Flandre with me into the facility."
"You want me as support," Reisen says, handing you the pistol. You aim and fire. "I can understand that, though admittedly I'd rather be in there with you."
"I want a good shot, and both Flandre and I are better at melee combat anyways," you point out. "Even with her powers sealed, her vampiric nature gives her speed, strength, and regeneration, which can't be turned off apparently," you fire a few more shots, each one bringing you closer to the center of the target. "Also... I just feel like I need to keep her close. She's still fragile, mentally; just the thought of her being alone with Nazrin is worrying."
"I don't think Nazrin would do anything," Reisen says as you empty the magazine. You release it like Reisen showed you, and holster the pistol on your side.
"It's not Nazrin, it's Flandre," you tell her as you summon a fresh magazine. You slide it in until it locks in place. Lifting the pistol, you release the slide lock, which chambers the round with a snap. "Sometimes, you can tell that she's still... missing pieces. She'll stare off into the distance at nothing and grow really quiet. Lately, we've been too busy for her to fall into that, but that night before you guys showed up, she did it a lot."
"Well, maybe she can't help but think about it," Reisen offers, nodding in approval at your reloading technique. "I mean, given what happened to her..."
"Yeah, I know," You lower your pistol to look at the rabbit. "I'm... scared that something like that will happen again, you know? I don't want Flandre to suffer anymore. I mean, I'm trying to think of ways to not kill her sister because I know it'll break her heart."
"...even though you know that the chances are good that you will," Reisen says for you. "Look, Youmu, I'll be frank: Remilia Scarlet's been nothing but trouble ever since she showed up in Gensokyo. If she doesn't come back, then no one will shed a tear, except maybe Sakuya. And in all honesty, I think Flandre will be better for it."
"Will she? The girl's hanging on by a thread as it is," you reply. "If Remilia dies, then it might break what bit of sanity she has left. The only reason she's helping us is because she wants her and Remilia to go home, Reisen. She wants things to go back to the way they used to be. She can't do that without her sister!"
"She might not have a choice!" Reisen argues. "I know you care about her, Youmu, we all do, but a soldier's first duty is to put their country before their friends!"
"Flandre's not a soldier!" You shout at her. You drop the pistol and turn to stare at her. The weapon shimmers as it floats next to you. "...she doesn't understand, Reisen. She's scared and confused by all this."
"Remilia has to die. When we get back to Gensokyo and get some more help, we're coming back to kill her," Reisen lowers her eyes. "Youmu, I don't think you can stop her."
"I have to try, for Flandre's sake. Even if it kills me, I'm going to see her be happy again."
"...how selfish," Reisen turns her back to you.
"Selfish?" you echo. "How is that selfish?"
Reisen snorts. "It's great and noble and all that you're willing to die for Flandre, but have you thought about the rest of us?"
Have you thought about me is what you're trying to say, you think. "Reisen, I..."
"You have friends now, Youmu. There's more to life than dying for your cause," her ears lower. "I don't want to lose you, so please think about things before you go off and say them."
"I don't really plan on dying-"
"-but you'd take the proverbial bullet for Flandre."
"I'd do it for you, too. And Nazrin."
"That doesn't make it any better, Youmu."
You pause, furrowing your brow. Reisen's form vanishes, leaving you alone in her mind... and yours. With a growl of frustration, you grab the pistol and empty the magazine at the target dummy. Each shot lands in the yellow circle of the target. Quickly, you drop the magazine and reload it one-handed, just like Reisen taught you. Narrowing your eyes, you empty the magazine again, each shot going a bit wilder than the last.
A soldier's first duty? you think as you reload. How is that fair to Flandre? She might be old, but she's still just a child... but Reisen has a point. The chances of bringing Remilia back alive are slim, and even so, I'm certain that she'll be imprisoned, or worse, executed by Yukari.
You drop a magazine. "Yukari..." you mutter under her breath; you don't even care that you're not referring to her formally anymore. "It's all her fault. All of this, and for what reason? What kind of game is she playing?" You can't even begin to wonder at the gap youkai's thoughts. Her methodology is so far beyond everyone but Lady Yuyuko that no one's been able to read her plans. All you really know about Yukari is that she's had a hand in every change that's ever happened to Gensokyo, from the first time a Hakurei shrine maiden killed her first youkai to your climactic battle with Miko in the Mausoleum, she's always been pulling the strings.
Like puppets, you've all been dancing for her.
The magazine empties. In a snarl of anger, you hurl the pistol at the target. It vanishes in a glimmer of light. "Stupid manipulative gap-tossing bi-" You swallow the curse. Shaking your head, you look up at the infinite expanse. "Reisen, I'm sorry," you say.
"It's fine," Reisen appears next to you. "I thought about it, and I understand where you're coming from. But, please, Youmu... don't say that you're willing to die, for any reason."
"I won't," you tell her. The two of you smile. "But I still want to try and bring back Remilia."
"We'll work on that, after we get home."
You nod. "Now, where did we leave off?"
When you come back to reality, Nazrin and Flandre are waiting patiently. You and Reisen rub your eyes - like before, they were open the whole time - and you look about. It's dusk now.
"We did a scouting of the building," Nazrin reports. "It's nestled near a forest, and from there, we had a clear view of the building. I asked my mice about the interior, and from there, we were able to figure out where Hatate is most likely to be contained."
"It's as I suspected. She's in the basement," Flandre says. Reisen sighs.
"What's up with villains shoving people in basements?" she asks.
"Well... it is the most secure area," Nazrin says. "That's where I'd stuff somebody."
There's a pause at the three of you blankly stare at Nazrin. "What?!"
"A-anyway," Reisen asks. "What are our options?"
"Well... stealth is probably not going to work for very long," the mouse says. "So Flandre and I devised a different plan. It's dangerous, but I think its our best shot at rescuing Hatate."
"What would that be?" Reisen raises an eyebrow. In response, Nazrin grins and pulls out a spellcard. "...you can't be serious."
"I'm totally serious," Nazrin replies. "I'll create a distraction while Youmu and Flandre get in, get Hatate, and get out. With you providing covering fire, it should be simple and effective."
"... you know, that plan is just dumb enough to work," Reisen considers. Nazrin bristles.
"I'm just saying, they wouldn't expect an all out assault, especially one that's a distraction."
"So it's decided then?" You ask. Reisen stand up and opens her bag, pulling out a strange rifle.
"VSS Vintorez," she explains, pulling back the charging handle. "Versatile, lightweight," she lovingly touches the barrel of the rifle. "Completely silent," she puts the sling on and puts it on her back. She then holsters her pistols underneath her jacket. Reaching back into her bag, she pulls out another weapon and tosses it to Nazrin.
"PP-2000, submachine gun," she tells the mouse. "You can use it one-handed so you can use your spells with the other. It's loaded with silver rounds, so only use it on the vampires. Youmu, here," she pulls out a pistol and hands it to you, taking your current pistol. "This is an MP-443; low recoil but low damage. Here's a few magazines; gold stripe means standard lead, silver stripe is silver rounds. There's a standard magazine loaded in it. You should be able to use this one-handed."
Flandre looks back and forth between you and the others. "Do... do I need one of those?"
"Flandre, I sincerely doubt you know how to shoot a gun," Reisen says. "But... uh... something simple," she reaches into her bag and pulls out a large weapon. "I'm probably going to regret this, but... here. This is my M4 Super 90. Please take care of it; its my baby."
"Your... baby?" Flandre tilts her head.
"Just go with it Flandre," Nazrin says with a grin. "Reisen is weird about her guns."
"I'm entrusting it to you, so please bring it back in one piece!" Reisen bows her head at the vampire.
Flandre smiles. "I promise, Miss Reisen."
"...right," Reisen looks at the three of you. "I'm going on ahead to set up. Meet me there in an hour," With that, she raises a hand into the air. "Visionary Wave, [Shadows of Night]."
Reisen vanishes, using her power over waves to become invisible. You hear someone take a step, then a rush of magic energy as she takes flight. You look back at the others. "Let's go," you say. Nazrin and Flandre nod, stepping out of the hotel with you. You walk around the back of the hotel and, with a little effort, crack open the sewer entrance. The three of you jump down the hole.
You follow Flandre's directions and emerge just outside the sanitorium where Hatate is being kept.
[ ] Have Nazrin enact her distraction plan.
[ ] Wait and observe.
[ ] Ignore both and charge in.
Reisen blinks her eyes, looking away from the rifle scope and rubbing them. "Damn it, maybe I shouldn't have told them an hour," she muses. Staring back down through the scope, she makes another sweep.
There are fifteen "guards", she notes. Several people are "working" on the rooftop despite the late hour, and a few others are standing around a few of the entrances, looking nonchalant. In the parking lot, Reisen sees the mahole suddenly lift and slide off. Youmu comes out first, looking around briefly before reaching into the hole and pulling out Nazrin. Flandre follows last, and the three take cover behind a few cars. Nazrin looks around again, bends down, and closes her eyes.
Reisen, we're in position. What do you see? "Well, you guys, for starters," Reisen replies. "There's a lot of bad guys between you and Hatate. You've got about fifteen outside, but I can't tell from here if they're just Ghouls, vampires, or just allied humans."
Probably a little of all three, Nazrin 'says', looking up again. Should I go through with the plan? "Not yet..." Reisen answers, taking a bead on one of the rooftop guards. "I'm going to wake them up first. Let's see if we can stir up the hornet's nest before you go charging in. I'd like to get as many people outside as possible before Nazrin tries to blow them all up."
Alright, we'll wait on you. Reisen nods and reaches into her vest, pulling out a magazine with a silver stripe on it. "Silver rounds, just in case," she says to herself. Chambering a round, she takes aim at the largest target on the roof; a man looking down at the far end, smoking a cigarette. "Just adjust for height, distance, and wind speed, and..."
The all-too-familiar "click" of a pistol sounds in Reisen's ears, followed by the feeling of something pushing into the side of her head. Shit.
Reisen doesn't move as she hears people talking around her, using a strange language she doesn't understand. The voice closest to her says something in a commanding tone, but she doesn't move. There's a pause, and the voice gets angry, pushing the barrel of the gun into her head. Slowly, she turns to look at them over her shoulder, taking her hands off the sniper rifle and lowering them to the ground. Someone grabs her by the shoulder and flips her over, allowing Reisen to get a good look at the people who've found her.
There are four of them, three men and one woman, all easily in their thirties or so. The man with the pistol is the tallest and strongest looking; behind him, a bespectacled blond man with a shotgun, an older man with a hat and pipe wrench, and a brunette woman with Asian features. Reisen zeroes in on that woman.
"Hey," she says. "What's going on here?"
The woman widens her eyes a bit and says something to the others. Begrudgingly, the man with the pistol at Reisen's head backs off, standing to the side as the woman approaches the rabbit. "You're from Japan?" She asks; her dialect is a bit too formal, as if she got it from studying out of a book rather than learning it naturally, but Reisen nods. "I see. Well, my name is Jesika, despite my appearance. I'm native to Germany, you see, though I did take the time to learn the language of one-half my ancestry."
"I see," Reisen says. "May I stand?"
"You may," the woman nods. Reisen slowly stands up, brushing the grass from her pants and vest. The gleam of her pistols causes the shotgun-wielder and the big guy to raise their weapons. Reisen raises her hands. "Hey, what?! Tell them to back off or something!" The woman says something to the others in German, and slowly the men lower their weapons again. "I won't shoot you; you guys aren't my target, so please tell them to back off."
"Inaba. Reisen Udongein Inaba."
"Three names?" The woman asks. "That's unusual for someone from Japan."
"I'm not from Japan, exactly," Reisen replies, pointing at her ears. The woman nods in understanding.
"So the legends of supernatural rabbits are true, then," she says. "Well, I'm afraid that you've come across some misfortune, Miss Inaba. We're Hunters, you see."
"Hunters?" Reisen echoes, looking at the others. "Just because I'm a rabbit doesn't mean I'm sport, you know."
The woman chuckles. "That's not what I meant," she explains. "We hunt supernatural creatures and, most of the time, we put them down," the woman looks at the man with the pistol, who lifts it menacingly. "However, our forte is vampires and werewolves, not... rabbits."
"I thought humans were unaware of the Supernatural Out... out here," Reisen says, looking warily at the four. I can take them out pretty quickly if I have to, though it might blow my cover if I start shooting...
Hey, Reisen! what's going on? "Some of us are... Imbued," Jesika explains. "We are aware of the supernatural and strange, and have taken up arms against them. Now, tell me, what brings you to this place that we've been scouting for months?"
"... I have a mission here," Reisen answers. "The vampires have taken something precious to me, and I seek it back."
The woman relays the information to the others. The one with glasses snorts and says something to the woman, who in turn looks back at Reisen. "They don't believe you," she tells the rabbit. "They think you're providing cover for the building. They think I should go ahead and put you down."
"I'd... rather you not do that," Reisen replies, looking at the others.
Reisen! Where are you?!
"She's not answering."
You poke your head up over the car and look at the front door. "We may have to do this without her, then," you say. "Assuming that something hasn't happened to her."
The man with the wrench approaches you, arguing with the woman about something. Jesika says something terse and looks back at you. "We're going to disarm you now," she states. Outnumbered, Reisen nods, lifting her arms and allowing two of the men to unholster her pistols. They eject the magazines and pick them up. Jesika inspects one herself. "Silver rounds? You really are planning on taking these guys on."
"I told you as much," Reisen says, lowering her arms. The shotgun wielder stuffs his hand into Reisen's side pocket and pulls out her spellcards. "Hey, wait! Don't take those!"
"What are these?" Jesika asks, holding one of them up. "Indolence, Life and Spirit Stopping... Mind Stopper? Strange."
"Look, I don't have time to explain it to you, but those things are very powerful, and I need them back."
"So these are important to you? Magic perhaps? You can't use it without these... cards? Is that why you're using guns?
"That's not important right now! I need to provide covering fire for-" Reisen bites her tongue.
"Covering fire? So there's more of you?" Jesika smirks. She says something to the others. "Well, that's either very fortunate for us, or very unfortunate for you. Now, Miss Rabbit, I think its time you explained yourself a bit."
You've had enough waiting. Every second that you wait is another second Hatate is in that place. There's not enough time for this. "Nazrin... go."
"Yeah, just what I've been waiting for!" laughs the mouse. She jumps up on top of the car. "Hey, you guys! Wanna see something cool?!" With that, Nazrin takes to the air. The guards at the door unholster weapons and cautiously step forward, leveling their pistols at her. "It's time for me to make my grand entrance!" Whipping out a spellcard, Nazrin channels energy into it. "Defense Sign, [Pendulum Guard]!"
Nazrin's danmaku bursts from her, waves of bullets coming down on the guards and slamming into the building proper. As diamond-shaped jewels surround the mouse and encase her in their protective guard, you and Flandre begin to sneak off to the side.
An explosion rocks the area. Reisen gasps and turns around to see a small floating figure in the sky, encased in jewels. "Damnit, Nazrin, I said wait!" she shouts at the sky. Instantly, the four Hunters are upon her, grabbing Reisen by the arms and shoulders and forcing her down on the ground. She glares back up at them. "Leave me be! I have a mission to do!"
"You best start explaining yourself, rabbit," Jesika says, planting a boot on the rabbit's chest. "What's going on here?"
Tch. I don't have time for this. Reisen thinks as she stares at her opponents. "Don't make me do something you'll regret."
Jesika frowns and applies pressure. Reisen grunts, but the woman is actually, pretty weak. "I said, tell us who you are! What are your kind planning here?"
"You should be glad I'm doing this mission," grunts the rabbit, struggling to move. The men have her arms and legs pinned. "I plan on taking out as many of those bastards as I can."
"That's not the point. We can probably take these guys, but you might be a new threat, and we can't have that here in Berlin."
"We're... not a gods be damned threat, but if you want me to be, then I can!" Reisen closes her eyes.
You and Flandre make it around the side of the building. Nazrin's distraction seems to be working like a charm, but you're worried about Reisen. You weigh your options and make a decision to go ahead with your mission. Reisen can probably handle herself, you hope. Finding Hatate is your priority.
The service entrance has no guards; presumably, from the gunfire, they're all trying to shoot Nazrin down. You swear you can hear her cackling. You hop up on the dock and pull Flandre up. Opening the door, you peek inside and, with a nod, step into the sanitorium.
Reisen opens her eyes, glaring at the Huntress on top of her. "Lunatic Eyes, [Mind-Shattering Dominance]!"
The woman blinks, confused, then realizes that suddenly Reisen isn't under her. She looks arbout frantically, seeing that the others are also in a state of confusion. "Where did she go?!" She shouts. "Guys, do you see her?"
"No, I... there!" One of them men point as Reisen runs off into the forest, taking her rifle and pistols with her. They quickly give chase, running through the thickets and easily catching up to the Rabbit as she stumbles on a large root and falls flat on her face.
"Not much in the way of waiting..." you mutter, putting your back up to a wall. Flandre does the same next to you. "What's that old saying? 'No plan survives contact with the enemy'?"
Flandre shrugs. "Maybe if we had gone in immediately, we wouldn't have lost contact with Miss Reisen."
"Maybe," you concede, sighing. "It's too late to do anything about it now. With Nazrin busy, we can't utilize the mice to discover Hatate. Do you have any ideas?"
Flandre stops to consider for a second, then nods. "Follow me," she says. "Something about this place is familiar... if we can just head this way, then we should make it to the mage's... experiment room. That's probably where they're keeping her."
The four Hunters catch up to Reisen, weapons leveled at her. The rabbit screams in fear at the guns leveled at her. "Please, don't, I have something I need to-"
A burp from the shotgun blows Reisen's head clean off her shoulders. The rabbit's body slumps, and falls. "Stupid rabbit," Jesika sighs. "You should have just worked with us."
Together, the four Hunters watch as Reisen's body glows briefly, then begins to crumble to dust. "Odd, I wonder if that's normal for their kind," shorts the man with the wrench. "It don't matter. You wanna go after that hospital now?"
The big guy with the pistols nods. "Yeah, there's that thing's friends, plus our original target... what was it called again?"
"Tengu," Jesika says. "If she gets loose, then we don't stand a chance."
Together, the four Hunters begin walking toward the hospital.
And hiding in a tree, reloading her pistols, Reisen watches, her red eyes glowing. The illusion worked like a charm. One of the Hunters stops to pick up her rifle, and she makes a "tch" sound. "No matter," she whispers, holstering her guns. "They didn't notice that my Lunatic Eyes made them drop my guns, at least," She drops from the tree and stumbles. "Ah... I've never tried mass hypnosis before... takes a lot out of you," She looks toward the sky. "Nazrin?"
By the gods, Reisen, where the hell have you been? Nazrin's voice shouts in her head.
"There have been... complications," Reisen says as she watches the Hunters make it to the bottom of a hill, slowly sneaking up to the same service entrance Youmu and Flandre were to use. "They call themselves Hunters... and they're definitely hostile."
Allied with the vamps? Nazrin asks. Agh, that one almost clipped me in the arm. Dodging bullets is a bit harder than dodging danmaku.
"Noted," Reisen replies, deciding to follow the Hunters. "But they're hostile to all supernatural creatures. That includes the vampires and us."
Damn. Nazrin casts another instance of her Pendulum Guard. You'll have to stop them while Flandre and Youmu get Hatate, you know that right? I think I got a good two-thirds of the enemy out here trying to shoot me in the face, so you should be safe... ish.
"Your confidence makes mine brim full," Reisen says with a chuckle.
Be careful, Reisen. -=-=-
The door to the basement is unguarded by normal means, but as the two of you step through, a tingle of magic goes through you. "Looks like we've been spotted," you say, unholstering your pistol as Flandre steps in front of you.
"Between us, we should be fine," the vampire says with a grin. "Although if I had my powers, this mission would already be over."
"Yeah, we need to talk about that one day," you tell her as the two of you slowly make your way through the basement, peeking through various doors to get a look inside. Most of them are full of medical supplies and linens, the very appearance of a normal hospital and ostensibly to fool invaders into thinking that there was nothing strange about this place.
"What's there to talk about?" Flandre asks as she sets the shotgun down to crack her knuckles. Picking it back up, she looks at you. "It's a part of me. You want me to keep it sealed?"
"I don't know," you admit. The two of you begin to hear a strange sound out of a far door on the right; one locked by more than just mundane methods. You can literally feel the magic brimming from the door. "Although admittedly, it would probably be good to have right about now. I think we've found our destination."
Finding the Hunters isn't difficult. The sounds of gunfire are all Reisen needs to follow them. Stepping into the sanitorium, Reisen catches a glimpse of the woman, Jesika, stepping around a corner with her rifle. She lifts it and fires, and Reisen hears screaming. "Take no prisoners, huh?" Reisen whispers to herself. She unholsters her weapons and flips the safeties off. "Well, as much of a help they would be, I can't have you guy risking my friends." They still have my damn spellcards, too.
Reisen runs up and stops against the wall the Hunters walked down. Peeking around the side, she sees that one has stopped in the hallway; the leader from before. He seems to be waiting patiently as the others clear rooms, looking around the hallway with his back to the rabbit. Reisen grins.
As poetically ironic as it would be to put the barrel to his head first, I don't have time for that, she reasons. Stepping around the corner, Reisen lifts one pistol and fires a single bullet.
The shot couldn't be more accurate. Reisen doesn't even bother to confirm the kill; there's no normal human that could take a jacketed forty-five caliber round to the back of the head and live. Hearing the body crumple to the ground is all she needs to hear. "Let them chew on that for a minute," Reisen says with a grin. She backs around the wall and waits for the others to show.
Flandre gets to the door first, you following behind. The two of you glance at each other. "Think you can brute-force it?" you ask. Flandre grins, putting the shotgun down and staring at the door.
"No magic can stop me when I'm at full strength," she laughs. With a growl, Flandre opens her hands and stabs forward, sinking her fingers into the steel door. With a grunt of strength, she squeezes her hands and pulls at the door. The magical locks and hinges strain at the pull, but they're no match for Flandre's raw strength. Her wings come out - fully healed, given the shards you think - and with a scream, Flandre rips the door off its hinges and throws it down the hallway.
Inside, a single man stands, his hands over Hatate's unmoving form. He stops his chanting to look up, lowering his hands. Hatate is alive, you note, watching the rise and fall of her chest. "Youkai certainly are strange," he says to you, taking a step backward as you and Flandre walk in, weapons raised. "They seem to be immune to blood magic in the normal sense; all attempts to convert this tengu into a hybrid vampire have failed, although she took well to our healing magic."
"Give us the tengu," you demand, raising the gun to eye level and pointing the pistol straight at the vampire's head.
"wait, don't shoot," says the vampire, holding up his hands. "I have no quarrel with you. Can I have a moment of your time? I can prove to you that I'm not hostile... I just experiment on things."
"Shoot him," Flandre whispers to you. "You take the head, I'll take the body."
[ ] Shoot the son of a bitch.
[ ] Listen to him.
[spoiler]This update was more of an experiment to see how well you guys take point-of-view shifts. It won't be a common occurrence if its okay, but if it's not we'll drop it altogether.
One other thing, and a brief glimpse into the consequences of your actions: Had you immediately started shooting instead of waiting, the Hunters would have left you alone until after your mission was complete, but would have started by injuring or possibly killing Reisen, depending on the choice that I was giving at the time.
A bit torn. This guy's a blood mage, letting him live means that he might manage to put together a spell to use on us. And waiting around takes up valuable time. On the other hand, he might be able to tell us about Hatate, and what her conidtion is.
[x] Listen to him.
-[x] But one of you check on Hatate, and gun him down at the first signs of trouble.
That said, if anyone thinks taking him down now is a good idea, I'm certainly willing to listen.
Our plan was to grab Hatate as soon as we got in. We really don't have much reason to listen to this guy. We've got Hatate, and those Hunters or reinforcement could come in any second now. Wasting anymore time is going to make things complicated for us, when every second is valuable.
> The man with the wrench approaches you, arguing with the woman about something.
You missed this when the point of view switched from Youmu to Reisen. As for how I feel about the multiple points of view, it's okay in sequences like these.
[X]Mentally check that you have silver rounds, then fire for effect.
-[X]Keep firing until death is confirmed.
--[X] "He's not dead, it's a trick. Get an axe!"
You keep your pistol raised, thinking. I have 17 rounds in this gun... all of them are silver. I can't really aim all that accurately, but if I just keep firing, between me and Flandre, we can take him.
You nod, ensure that you're sights are level with the vampire's head, and pull the trigger. Flandre grins and pulls the trigger on her shotgun, her grin getting wider as the silver slug embeds itself in the vampire's gut. You can't help but smile at the bullet hole between his eyes.
Quickly, the two of you run up to the vampire. Flandre punches him in the gut, causing him to double over, then does an overhead kick that sends him sprawling to the floor. The two of you stand over the vampire and open up on him. The pop of your pistol and the steady booms from the shotgun deafen the room to anything else as you put every bullet in your magazine into the back of the vampire's head while Flandre gleefully spends all seven rounds in her shotgun's magazine into the creature's back, and when she runs out of ammo, she unsheathes Hakurouken off of your back and jams it into the vampire's spine.
The empty click of your pistol is what finally brings you out of your reverie. You stare at the empty weapon and drop the magazine, holster it, and reload a new magazine of silver rounds. You release the slide lock, then turn the safety back on. As Flandre removes the slugs on the side of the shotgun to reload it - fumbling most of the time - you can't help but wonder at how none of the monster's blood got onto your clothes. Your shoes are soaked with it, but your pants and shirt are just fine.
"Think he's dead?" you ask your vampire. Flandre shrugs.
"You wanna keep shooting him?" she asks. You consider Hatate's still form, watching her bare chest slowly rise and fall. You think back to what Nazrin told you.
"Yeah, I do," you say with finality. You turn the safety back off you pistol, level it at the still vampire's head, and pull the trigger.
Reisen ducks behind the receptionist's desk as three ghouls come around the corner, armed with rifles. Reaching down and grabbing the submachine gun out of the receptionist's dead hands, she briefly checks the magazine and chamber. Nodding in satisfaction, she pokes her head up and looks at her three opponents, all of which have taken cover behind various objects scattered in the hallway. She lowers back down and listens; somewhere else in the building, the Hunters have gotten into a firefight of sorts; at least, that's what it sounds like. Meanwhile, Nazrin gleefully bombards the front of the sanitorium, and Reisen swears she can hear the mouse cackling.
Reisen peeks her head up again and is greeted by the crack of rifle fire. She ducks back down, but not before a round pierces one of her ears. Gasping from the sudden pain, Reisen grabs her ear and feels the bloody hole the bullet left behind. Taking a deep breath, she slows her breathing, pushing aside the pain. It hurts... but I'll live.
Reisen looks up at the tiled ceiling, then at the walls. Pointing a finger at a wall, thumb up, she channels energy to her fingerpoint. She drops her thumb and sends a ray of magic out, which bounces off of the wall, off of the ceiling, then back down. The beam detonates at the end of its path, and Reisen grimaces as she hears confused shouting. Taking the opportunity, the rabbit stands up, weapon to her shoulder, and aims at the nearest grunt. She lets off a three-round burst, catching the ghoul in the chest. She drops instantly, but Reisen's pretty sure the Ghoul isn't dead yet. Reisen quickly turns to face the next one and fires another burst at the stunned foe, his brainmatter spewing against the back wall. The third ghoul manages to duck down in time.
"Tch," Reisen clicks her tongue. "I'm gonna have to do something quick. If they keep me pinned here, then it's a matter of time before normal people show up to see what the commotion is all about."
Smoke rises from the end of your pistol's barrel. You set it down on a table and pull Hakurouken out of the vampire's back, or rather, what's left of it. Flandre did a pretty good job of making the vampire resemble bloody pudding. "I think he might be dead now," you decide. Flandre nods and drops the shotgun; it clatters to the floor.
You turn away from the carnage at your feet and walk partway across the room back to Hatate. She's still sleeping... or unconscious... or whatever. None of what you just did so much as stirred the tengu from whatever place her mind is at, assuming that she has a mind at all. You walk up to her head and gently lift it; there's some scarring underneath her scalp, but she seems otherwise okay.
"This feels... wrong," you say. "I mean, has she been like this the whole time?"
"It's possible that they've kept her under with magic," Flandre replies. "That way she can't fight back."
Both of you pause and look at each other. Given Flandre's face, she has the same thoughts you do. "Do you think they..."
"I'm... I'm not sure," Flandre shakes her head. "I mean... I could probably find out, but... it's kinda uncomfortable."
"How could you know?" You ask, looking at the small girl. She looks away briefly.
"This is going to sound stupid, but... vampires know what maiden blood smells like. Also, it tastes better than the blood of a... more world-weary woman, I guess you could say."
"You're proposing to bite her?" you ask. Flandre nods. "Isn't tengu blood lethal to vampires?"
"That's just a rumor," replies the vampiress, walking up to Hatate's side. "Admittedly, we can't really absorb the blood of youkai... it just doesn't mix with our so-called digestive systems. But I can still taste it and spit it out."
You look back at the tengu. "Do it."
Nazrin lifts her machine gun and fires it with one hand. The shots go wild, but between real bullets and the danmaku, the ghouls and two vampires outside fall back into the sanitorium. Frowning, Nazrin lands and gives chase.
Meanwhile, Reisen finishes off the last ghoul as the surviving ghouls bust back into the main entranceway of the sanitorium first. Ducking before they can see her, Reisen looks around for a fresh magazine, but finds none. Cursing, she sets the MP5 down and grabs her pistols off the floor.
Reisen, they're going in. "I can see that," whispers the rabbit. "Where are you?"
I'm just outside. I recommend taking cover. I'm going to try something I stole from that witch.
"That... witch?" Reisen asks... then realizes. She quickly scrambles out of the way, back toward the service entrance. Before any of the ghouls can turn to face her, she hears familiar words from Nazrin, that decidedly aren't her words.
"Light Sign, [Earth Light Ray]!"
Multiple orbs of light appear around the mouse, pulsing. They target the ghouls and shoot out multicolored lasers, rotating rapidly and cutting into their foes. The lasers cleanly slice apart the ghouls, but the vampires dive out of the way.
Nazrin collapses, the strain of using such an advanced spell getting to her. "Damn witch," she mutters as she gets back up on her knees. "How does she do it so easily?" Looking up, she sees that the vampires have regained their composure. One of them lifts his assault rifle and points it at her. "Oh, shit."
Flandre considers for a minute, then spits the blood out of her mouth onto the floor. You stare at her as she wipes her mouth. "She's... she's fine," the vampiress says. "They haven't touched her. Ugh, tengu blood..."
You wipe the blood off of Hatate's neck and look around for a locker of some sort. Finding one in the corner, you throw it open to reveal the tengu's clothing haphazardly thrown in there, along with her still-working cell phone. You pocket the phone and inspect the clothing; there's a bit of dried blood on it, but they look fine otherwise. You pull the clothes out and walk back over to Hatate. "Come on, Flandre, lets put her clothes on her."
The vampire nods as you force Hatate to sit up and you begin to dress her. She's dead weight; not even her muscles are tensing. As you reach behind her to clasp on her bra though, you notice something's terribly wrong. You look at her back. "...gods..." you whisper.
You thought that at some point her wings must have absorbed into her body. You find out that you're completely wrong. Hatate's wings have been... broken off? The rips in the bone aren't clean cuts, but rather like they were simply ripped off by force alone. Its a wonder she hasn't bled to death, but you also can't help but try to guess why her wings haven't healed yet.
Flandre pokes her head around and answers your question for you. "They must have delayed the healing on her wings, or not applied the magic there at all," she tells you. "She'll grow them back in time, but we'll probably need to take her to a dedicated healer to get them to grow back fully," she lowers her eyes and thinks. "She probably won't be able to fly, like you and I."
You curse. You weren't expecting this.
Reisen throws caution to the wind, leaping and landing between the two vampires. She spins around, arims her pistols at the two monsters, and fires. At this range, she can easily hit them in the head. The vampires drop, but Reisen wastes no time in putting a second round in their hearts. "I have no idea if they're dead," she considers, looking toward- "Nazrin!"
Reisen holsters her pistols and runs up to the fallen mouse. "Don't be dead," whispers the rabbit as she bends down and picks Nazrin up. "Hey, Nazrin."
The mouse coughs and opens her eyes. "Gods, that hurts!" she gasps, clutching the wound in her chest. "Reisen, it burns. What is this shit?!"
"It's a bullet wound... I can't tell if it's critical, but we've got to get you out of here. If we can get back to the hotel, I have bullet removal medical gear there, but we gotta move quickly. Come on," Reisen picks up the mouse gently; Nazrin gasps at the movement, her eyes fluttering.
"I don't feel so good..." she says.
"Don't go to sleep, Nazrin, whatever you do," Reisen commands. Nazrin slowly nods. Turninb within, Reisen slowly blinks. "Youmu, Flandre... hurry up."
After the two of you get Hatate fully dressed, you pick the tengu up in your arms and nod at the vampire. Flandre grins and holds up her shotgun, leading the way back out.
As you exit the room, a woman blocks your path. Behind her is a man with a pipe wrench. She takes one look at you and frowns. "Hand us the girl," she says in stilted Japanese.
You set Hatate down. I don't have time for this, you think. "Flandre, get back."
Confused, Flandre looks at you, but nods and steps out of the way. "Lady," you say. "I don't know who you are right now, and frankly, I don't care. But it is in your best interests that you get out of my way."
The woman chuckles. "What can you possibly do to me, youkai?"
"I'm not a youkai," you glower. "I am half-human, half-ghost, and you are in my way," you unsheathe Hakurouken and twirl it in your right hand. "I won't ask you again. Move."
The woman looks at her partner, then back at you. "What if I said no?" She pulls out... one of Reisen's spellcards? "I have no idea how this works, but I can mimic its power," she says. She opens her mouth to speak.
"Hell Realm Sword, [200 Yojana in a Slash]," you incant. Magic courses through your veins - painfully - but you suppress it. With all the power you can muster, you fling yourself forward at the two humans, spinning in a slow circle with you Hakurouken out. The blade passes through the two, and when you sheathe your sword, the magic abruptly ends.
You fall to one knee. Looking back, the woman and man turn to face you... and their heads promptly fall off. Their body collapse on top of the heads, and blood starts pooling. You kick over the woman's body and reach into her pockets, pulling out Reisen's spellcards. You rip the one in her death grasp from her hands, and pocket the cards. Walking over the two bodies, you gently reach down and pick Hatate up again. "Flandre, lets go."
You walk away from the vampire, who simply stares after you for a bit. "Cool..." she whispers, before catching up to you.
Reisen watches as Youmu and Flandre walk out of the front door like nothing is wrong. There's... a strange look in the half-ghost's eyes, but Reisen pays it no mind. They have Hatate.
"Youmu, Flandre!" Reisen shouts at them. The half-ghost smiles at you. "Good job! Were there any problems?"
"No," Youmu says, shaking her head. "But I'm ready to get out... what happened to Nazrin?"
"Don't worry about me," Nazrin grunts, taking a labored breath. "I get to rub all over Reisen's tits so it's all good."
Reisen sighs. "Shut up, Nazrin," she says half-heartedly. Nazrin chuckles, then coughs. "Come on, lets go before more people arrive."
You nod at Reisen. In the distance you can hear sirens. It's a long way back to the hotel, but there's not much of a choice. You're going to have to walk it, which means back in the sewers with you. Reisen takes to the air, Nazrin in her arms, as Flandre opens the cover to the sewers. You look down and hop in, caring to not hit Hatate's head against the asphalt as you descend into the hole...
[ ] Help Reisen patch up Nazrin.
[ ] Help Reisen with her ear injury.
[ ] Try and get Hatate to wake.
Youmu has acquired a bit of bloodlust. While having no affect on your decisions, it has now changed her dialogue and actions slightly during the story.
I couldn't fit the axe in. I'm sorry.
The story will resume its traditional method of following only Youmu for a while.
>>52462 Oh, I had just seen it as a huge, telegraphed opportunity for reisen to get royally screwed.
What with her thinking "No normal human could survive that" etc, etc. Especially after Jesika said "Some of us are... Imbued," I was just waiting for him to get back up and take a sucker shot. Still, .45 to the back of the head, so hush my mouth, I guess.
[x] Help Reisen patch up Nazrin.
Greatest injury, etc etc.
It'll be hard to wake her up without the blood mage help, but the other options may have involved further injury or death for Reisen or Nazrin.
>>52470 I'm not so much of an asshole that Youmu or any of the supporting characters get screwed (aside from Flandre and Hatate's rescue sequences) purely based off of my whims. If any of the characters get fucked over, rest assured that it'll totally be due to the decisions you guys make.
Flandre opens the door to the hotel, allowing you to rush in with Hatate still in your arms. Somehow, you've beaten Reisen and Nazrin here, and that makes you worry. Setting the tengu on the bed you used the night before, you turn around and face your friend. "Flandre, I'm heading back out-"
Reisen lands with a loud thud. Without a word, she hustles up to the empty bed and sets Nazrin down as gently as she can on it. "Reisen, what's-" you begin, but the rabbit turns and glares at you. You barely have time to notice her jacket is missng a sleeve.
"Don't just stand there, get my first aid kit!" She orders. You nod and comply without a word. "Okay, Nazrin, I stopped the blood loss but... I got to see if the bullet's still in there. It's got to be; you have no exit wound."
"Just... agh..." Nazrin coughs as you reach into Reisen's bag and pull out her first aid kit. You hold it up.
"Not that!" Reisen shouts at you. "It's bigger than that! Its got a red cross on it, you can't miss it!" Either way, she grabs the first aid kit from you and gets back to Nazrin. "I'm pulling out the stopper now."
"Can I-" Flandre starts, but Reisen shakes your head.
"Just... attend to Hatate, fuck, I don't know!" Flandre looks down and nods, turning around to face the sleeping tengu. You find the gray bag with the cross on it and hand it to Reisen. "Good, now, hold Nazrin down, cause this is going to hurt her."
You find Reisen's missing sleeve, wrapped up tightly, buried halfway into Nazrin's chest. The mouse squirms. "Why... why isn't she healing?"
"Doesn't matter," Reisen says, grabbing the fabric. "Silver, enchanted, could be a hollow point round for all I know. But it pierced her lung and hit the back of her ribcage. If I don't get that bullet out, she'll die for sure. Now..." she looks Nazrin in the eye. "I'm pulling it out now. Youmu, put your hands on the wound. Flandre!" The vampiress turns around and stares at Reisen, her face flushed. "There's a cauterizing agent in my bag; its a spray can. Get it out and hand it to me."
"NOW!" Flandre yelps and nods, hurrying over to the bag and reaching in it, pulling out a can. "Hand it here. Youmu, are you ready?" You nod. "Alright, Nazrin, on three."
"Right," Nazrin coughs.
"One," Reisen grabs the ripped sleeves and pulls it out of the bullet wound. Nazrin screams and you react, clamping your hand over her mouth with your injured hand and pushing on the wound with the other. The mouse youkai's blood seeps between your fingers. The smell...
"Okay, now, before I cauterize the wound, I'll need to get the bullet out... but I need to find it first," Reisen reaches into the bag and pulls out a syringe. "Nazrin, I'm going to put you under for this."
"Put me under?! What does that even-" Nazrin flinches as Reisen injects the syringe's contents into her neck. Nazrin goes to say something, then falls unconscious.
"What was that?" you ask.
"Just a little bit of tranquilizer, suited for youkai," Reisen says. "Flandre, in my bag is a mas attached to a pump of sorts. Grab that and put it over Nazrin's face. You're going to be breathing for her," Flandre nods and pulls out the breathing apparatus. She puts the string around Nazrin's face, covering her nose and mouth. "Every second, I want you to pump air into her lungs, slowly, then release at the same speed."
"But why?" Flandre asks, confused. "What are you-"
A ripping sound interrupts Flandre's words as Reisen grabs the edges of Nazrin's clothing around the wound and tears it away, revealing the mouse youkai's pale skin. She grabs a towel and gives it to you. "Warm water," she says. You nod and rush to the bathroom, turning on the faucet and waiting on the water to warm. "Flandre, keep her breathing. I'm about to open the wound a bit more."
You stick the towel in the water and soak it through, then squeeze out the excess. You quickly make your way back to Reisen, who takes the towel and wipes away the excess blood. Its coming out slower now that Nazrin is asleep and her heart rate down. Reisen wipes her brow with her other sleeve and reaches into the bag, pulling out some sort of blade. "It's a scalpel," she explains. "I have to open the wound so I can find the bullet; our lack of an actual hospital is really hurting us here."
"How are you going to-" you look away as Reisen swiftly cuts into Nazrin, separating more flesh and expanding the wound. More blood begins to pump out, but before you go to stop the flow, Reisen knocks your hand away and gently places the towel down, soaking up a lot of the excess. When she finishes, she tosses the towel behind her and takes a deep breath. Reaching into the bag again, she pulls out a latex glove and slips it on.
"Don't look," she tells you.
You look anyway as Reisen reaches into the bullet wound. Nazrin's body starts to seize, and you hold it down. You can almost feel Reisen quickly moving around Nazrin's insides, and as her hands sinks in to the wrist, you feel a bit squeamish. You close your eyes and focus on holding Nazrin down as her body twitches and strains at the immense pain she must be feeling. "Not there, not there..." Reisen mutters before nodding. "Got it!" As quickly as she plunged her hand in, she pulls out a still-smoking bullet, gleaming red and orange. It looks normalll ow ow ow!" The bullet eats through the glove quickly and starts to burn Reisen. She tosses it to the floor. "Tch, magic," she says. "I need to stitch up her lung before I can close the wound proper,"
Reisen reachs in the bag with her slightly-less-bloody hand and pulls out a needle and string. "Too bad I don't have quality stitches. Fortunately, this string will follow the same principle," she looks at you. "After a few weeks, the strings will dissolve harmlessly in her body... assuming I don't kill her, anyway," she sighs. "Youmu, open up the wound more."
"Ugh..." you close one eye and try not to think about it too hard as you stretch open the bullet wound. You can see blood and what you assume is Nazrin's lung as it tries to breathe to no avail. "Will this work?"
Reisen reaches into the cavity with both hands and grimaces. "It... should..." she says. "I've performed operations on people before, but Eirin usually takes the lead. I'm not gonna lie; she might not make it through this."
You nod as Reisen begins to add the stitches. Looking up at Flandre, she seems utterly devoted to her task. Even in as short a time that she's known Nazrin, you can see the worry behind the vampire's eyes. You divert your eyes to Nazrin's pale face; you can imagine that if she were awake, she'd make some witty quip about your hands being all over her chest.
...you desperately would love to hear her say something like that right now.
Everything is quiet now, except for the slow hiss of Flandre making Nazrin breathe. Reisen is concentrating so hard that the veins in her forehead are beginning to pop. You wonder briefly what its like for her; right now, Nazrin's life rests in Reisen's hands.
Just like how Flandre holds your life in hers, albeit involuntarily.
Reisen sighs suddenly. "I think I got it," she says. "At least, as good as I can get it," she raises up and has you hold the wound closed entirely. She begins stitching again. "You guys are doing great..." she tells you and Flandre. "I'm sorry about earlier."
"...'s okay," Flandre says as she watches. "Nazrin... is hurt. You're worried."
"We're all worried, Reisen," you glance over your shoulder at Hatate. "About everything, right now."
"..." Reisen nods, then begins to... talk to Nazrin? "Stupid mouse, using one of Kirisame's spells," she mutters as she stitches. "Stupid me for getting into harm's way... stupid Yukari for making you guys do this..." she shudders slightly. "Why did you do this, Nazrin? You were doing just fine... stupid showoff. Why would you do this?"
"She'll heal," you offer. "Youkai regeneration and all that."
"Maybe," Reisen replies. "Or, the bullet permanently fucked up her regeneration, and she'll die because I'm an incompetant buffoon when it comes to surgery. Eirin always handles the hard stuff because she knows I can't. I don't have the stomach for it."
"But... look, you're almost done, Reisen," You look as the rabbit puts a final stitch in the mouse's body, then cuts the string. Reisen reaches over and grabs the cauterizing agent. She shakes the can and sprays it on the wound. What blood was seeping out stops entirely. She reaches back into the bag and pulls out gauze and bandages. She applies one to the now-closed wound, patching it up entirely.
"...it's done," she finally breathes. "I think."
"Yeah..." Reisen looks down at her hands; Nazrin's blood is all over them. Yours, as well. The rabbit looks at Flandre. "This... isn't making you hungry, is it?"
The vampire offers a crooked smile. "No, youkai blood is... pretty gross."
You can't help but chuckle. Reisen takes the breathing lung off of Nazrin's face for Flandre and puts it in the bag. "We can't use these anymore," she says, tossing it in the bag. "We'll have to burn it sooner or later; I don't have anything to really disinfect them... hell, I don't know if Nazrin's wound will get infected, but I'm hoping that sooner or later her natural healing will kick in and she'll be fine."
You nod. "What about Hatate?" you ask. "Is there anything we have that can wake her up?" Reisen pauses, thinking, then grabs her first aid kit and pulls out a syringe.
"I have some adrenaline, but its designed for humans," she tell you, looking at the tengu. "It [i]might work on Hatate, but I don't know enough about tengu physiology to really know if this will work. Also, we don't know what kind of magical sleep she's under."
"You think its magical?" You ask. Reisen nods.
"Gotta be, otherwise she would have woken up a long time ago," replies the rabbit. "I have no idea how to dispel magic. Did Miss Knowledge teach you anything about that, Flandre?"
"...I think so. Maybe," Flandre looks down, considering. "Sis made me learn some magic from Patchy, but I couldn't tell you if her magic would be compatible with blood magic."
"It must be to some extent, otherwise you couldn't use it at all," Reisen replies. "At the least, do you think you can tell Youmu how to do it?"
"Why not you?" you ask.
"Magic isn't really my forte," Reisen explains. "I'm okay at it - enough to use danmaku and my eyes - but it doesn't really extend much past there. On the other hand, Youmu, your species is partially made of magic, otherwise you couldn't exist, from my understanding."
"Well, magic is more or less what allows us to exist, right? Well, from what Eirin taught me about half-ghosts, your being is partially made from some sort of magic, but not just any magic; in your body, magic exists in its purest form. For your kind to exist, magic must exist this way, as it's using itself to bind your upper and lower souls to each other, instead of allowing you to move on to the afterlife from the moment of conception... or something like that."
"So... I'm a magical being?"
"Was there any ever doubt?" Reisen laughs. "Anyway, what I'm proposing is that Flandre teach you the dispelling ritual, and you use it on Hatate. Sound simple enough?" You nod. "Good, I'll attend to Nazrin while you guys figure that out."
"It's pretty easy," Flandre says, stepping on the other side of the bed from you. "Just do your hands like this," she makes a symbol with her hands. "Then you say... uh..." she looks down and thinks. "Ah, Magic Sign, [Break Enchantment]."
"Okay..." you mimic the symbol that Flandre makes over Hatate's body. Closing your eyes, you search for that innate magic Reisen was speaking of. Using the same thoughts behind channeling your magic for speed, you instead make them flow into your hands. They begin to glow with a soft light. "Magic Sign, [Break Enchantment]," you whisper, slowing putting your hands down on Hatate's body. The tengu suddenly inhales deeply, and you feel an electricity in the air. You see some sort of blood magic sigil appear on her forehead, then suddenly dissipate.
"It worked..." you say. "It really worked!" You look over at Flandre. "Do you think it'll work on yours, too?"
The vampiress shakes her head. "This thing isn't a standard blood magic spell, and since it uses a part of you as its fuel, I don't think it'll be that easy. I've been thinking it over, and instead of a spirit healer, I think we made need a Magician to do get rid of this."
"...Marisa?" you ask. Flandre shrugs.
"I don't know if she's powerful enough to rid me of this spell, but I've been thinking that on our way back to Gensokyo, we should try and meet up with them again."
"What do you think, Reisen?" You look at the rabbit, who seems to be checking Nazrin's pulse.
"I still would rather us go straight to Gensokyo and find a healer, but there is merit to what Flandre is saying... I think we should wait until the others recover and ask them," she looks back at you. "Either way, we need to get out of Germany, tonight. Our car won't suffice with 5 bodies, and I need to keep Nazrin as still as possible until she recovers. I'm going to find a new vehicle."
Reisen opens the door to the hotel, looks outside a bit, and walks out, shutting the door behind her. You and Flandre stare after her for a second, then turn back to look down at Hatate. Her breathing seems... lighter, somehow. "Think she's able to be awoken?"
"Dunno," Flandre replies. Gently, she reaches up and caresses Hatate's face. "Hey, Miss Himekaidou? Can you hear us?"
At first, nothing happens, but slowly, the tengu's eyes flutter open. "Wha... what..." Hatate looks around, as if in a daze. "Miss... Konpaku? Flandre Scarlet?" The two of you nod. "Where... where am I?"
"What's the last thing you remember?" you ask.
"I remember... we were in China... and... there was this pain, right in my forehead..." she leans over and begins to stretch.
She doesn't know. Hatate, confused, looks back at her missing wings. "What? What is this?! What did you-"
"We didn't do it, Hatate," you interrupt. "Our enemy did. They captured you and did something, and now you can't regrow your wings."
She looks back at you, tears in her eyes. "But... a tengu is nothing without her wings!" she shouts. "I can't fly without them! How's a crow supposed to fly without wings?!"
"Miss Himekaidou..." Flandre begins.
Hatate looks down, her face in shock. A tear runs down her cheek. "I... what did I miss? What's wrong here?"
"Hatate..." you sit down at the edge of the bed. "Things... have been not what we expect," you reach in your pocket and hand her cellphone over. She takes it and stares at it. "I know you've just woken up, but you need to be caught up on things."
"...and after I cast the dispelling magic on you, you woke up."
Its taken a good three hours to tell the story. By then, Reisen had returned with a new vehicle and helped join in your tale. Hatate asked some questions here and there, but eventually, she's as current on things as she can be.
You leave out the more grisly details of Flandre's capture this time.
"So... these... people," she says slowly. "Have ripped off my wings, and now they can't grow back."
"Well, without the magic keeping you asleep, you should eventually grow them back," you tell her. "Barring that, we're heading to Gensokyo, so maybe one of your people can help you?"
Hatate shakes her head. "Losing wings is a grave offense amongst tengu," she says. "Aya might try to help me because we're friends, but if I returned to my people in this state, they'll either execute me or exile me."
"Over... wings," Reisen says, incredulous. "That's... as if I returned to Eientei without these," she points up at her ears; one of them has a thick bandage on it. "I don't see Eirin kicking me to the curb just because I lost an ear."
"Tengu society is very traditional," Hatate explains. "Aya and I are looked at almos as outsiders because of our profession. If Aya wasn't so old, I don't doubt she'd be exiled as well, just for spreading her paper to the common people," she chuckles. "You know, Aya acts like an idiot, but she's probably the smartest person I know. You know that Yukari tried to shut down her paper once? That didn't end well."
"What'd Yukari do to her?" you ask.
"It's more like what Aya did to her," Hatate laughs. "She turned Yukari's own words against her and more or less forced her into a binding agreement that basically says Aya can do what she wants in Gensokyo, and there's nothing that Yukari can do about it."
Hatate grins. "Aya knows how to dispel the barrier."
Reisen widens her eyes. "What? How did she wring that out of Yukari, of all people?"
"By asking certain questions and listening to how Yukari answered them," Hatate explains. "Aya is... very good at listening. She says that if she listens closely enough, she can discern your true motives from just three words. I don't know if that's true or not, but that day, she scored a major victory for the tengu. The reason that her paper contains as much gossip as fact is because Aya has to make stories up so she doesn't tell the single truth about everyone she knows."
"I'm afraid to ask, but like what?" You lean closer. Hatate looks at her phone.
"Well... she knows what Marisa and the shrine maiden do when they're together."
"I don't see how that's-"
"At night. Alone. With the lights off."
You blush suddenly. "Does she spy on them?"
Hatate laughs. "Nope, never even been to the shrine at night. She just asked Marisa about the different kinds of magical mushrooms in the forest one day and slowly changed the conversation topics until she got to what she wanted. And when she explained what she had just learned... well," Hatate's grin turns sly. "Marisa can do a wonderful impression of a tomato, they say."
Reisen cups her fist in her other hand. "I got it, then! If we can get ahold of Aya, we can get her to dispel the barrier long enough for us to get in!"
"You read my mind," Hatate says, flipping open her cell phone. "Once we get in range, I can use this to bypass Yukari's strengthened barrier and contact Aya. She'll dispel the barrier and get us inside. All we need on our end is a powerful magic force."
The four of you look at each other.
Your next objective is set: Your journey will take you to find Marisa Kirisame. It seems that everything hinges on finding the Ordinary Witch.
[ ] Head east to Poland for now. (Slower, safer)
[ ] Go south toward the Czech Republics. (Faster, more dangerous)
As much as I like Reisen and Flandre, I'd like to talk to someone new.
> Feels a bit rushed.
I also think that this update is rushed too. You should take the time to read through your works before posting, because a lot of the errors are fairly obvious from a casual reading. Especially when it came to the italics, which spanned through half of the update for some reason.
> Reisen takes the breathing lung off of Nazrin's face for Flandre and puts it in the bag.
There's something hilariously morbid about this particular line.
[x] Head east to Poland for now. (Slower, safer)
[x] Tengu fears (Hatate route.)
Reisen opens the door to the hotel, revealing a large white vehicle where the blue car was. "I just traded the owner," she says with a sly grin. "I've already put my bags in it, so we can get going."
"Don't we need to change first?" you ask. Reisen shakes her head.
"You can change in the car. Lets go," she replies. "...actually, wait. Flandre, help me put this matress in the back. We'll lay down Nazrin on it," The vampire nods and picks up the mattress that Hatate had been laying on...
Speaking of which, where is Hatate?
You walk outside of the hotel and find the tengu staring off toward the city's lights, her face unreadable. You walk up to her, touching her shoulder to get your attention. Hatate turns and looks at you, a weak grin on her face. "Hey, Youmu..."
"...I'd ask what's wrong, but it seems pretty obvious," you begin. "You wanna talk about it anyway?"
Hatate shrugs. "I'm just... I'm worried; its the simplest way to put it."
"I understand... there's a lot riding on this. On us," you say with a nod. "If you don't want to be involved, then..."
"Hm? Oh, no!" Hatate waves it off. "I'm totally on board with all this world-saving stuff, Youmu, don't worry about that. It's just... I feel so weak. I mean, look at us; you're an accomplished samurai, Reisen's a soldier, Flandre... is Flandre. And Nazrin is probably really the smartest out of all of us, from what I've been told. And me? ...I'm just a reporter; I can't fight like Aya," she looks away. "I'm not even a good reporter either."
"Don't say stuff like that," you reply. "We're all special in some way, Hatate. Just because you don't know how to fight yet doesn't mean you can't. We can all teach you how to at least use danmaku or something..."
"What good will it do?" Hatate asks. She jerks a thumb toward her back. "I have no wings; do you have any idea how long they'll take to regenerate, if they regenerate? We don't know what those... monsters... did to me! I may be stuck on the ground for the rest of my life! I'll never be allowed to go home! My family will be dishonored and the Greater Tengu may even go so far as to strip my father of his power!" she shudders. "If that happens, then... there's only one way for my family to regain their honor."
"You don't have to go that far," You admonish. "Look, things might be bad for you right now - I mean, I lost Roukanken, so I should be feeling the same dishonor - but we have to put things like that aside, for Gensokyo's sake."
"...you're right, but..." Hatate takes a deep breath. "You don't know what its like for tengu who've lost their wings; it was Father who instituted the punishment for wingless tengu, the law of exile or execution... and for this to possibly get back to him... it would be the greatest irony, wouldn't it?"
"...who is your father, anyway?" you ask.
"..." Hatate looks down. "...Lord Tenma."
"Your father is the boss of the tengu?!" you shout. Reisen perks up and looks at you, but you ignore it.
"Yes. And... he's already dubious of my... career path," Hatate admits. "He says... being a reporter is beneath my station. When I told him I would apprentice to Aya, he relaxed a bit, since Aya is so old and so powerful... you know at one point she was up for the position of boss at one point? She was so far beyond anyone at the time, that people were willing to overlook traditional gender roles and make her the boss. I mean, she's already technically a Great Tengu, and she has a major voice in all the happening within the tengu."
"Well... being her apprentice sounds like a great honor, then," you say, although the thought of the nosy reporter being someone of power in the tengu is a bit... odd, to say the least. "She would speak on your behalf, wouldn't she?"
"I don't know," Hatate admits. "Aya has always been kind to me, and I think she would want to speak out for me... but she has her own position to worry about. I wouldn't ask it of her, despite how good she is to me," a small blush forms on her cheeks.
"...you love her," you state.
"With all my heart," Hatate replies with a smile. "Aya is... she's so special to me. It wasn't Father who worried about me going outside - he said it would be a good experience for me, make me less foolish - but Aya was upset at first. She didn't want me in danger. She wanted me under her watchful eye. I... I told her that I would be okay," she laughs bitterly. "Now, look at me. Wingless, powerless... I can't even access my thoughtography right now."
Hatate looks down again, and you see tears forming on her young face. "Hatate... I think Aya would be very proud of you. And your father."
"I don't know," she replies.
"I do," you tell her. "You've risked your life for Gensokyo... no amount of dishonor can take that away. When you return, Aya and your father will welcome you. Your clan will welcome you back with open arms. I know this."
"...you really think so?" Hatate asks, turning to face you. You nod. She's... taller than me. Brushing the thought aside, you extend your hand.
"Come on, Hatate. Let's find Marisa and go home. You'll see," Hatate looks down at your hand for a second, then slowly takes it. The two of you smile as you lead her back to the vehicle that Reisen's acquired. Already, her and Flandre have loaded in Nazrin, and Flandre has taken her seat next to the rabbit.
"Can you two sit in the back with Nazrin?" Reisen asks. You nod and help the tengu into the back of the vehicle. You close the double doors and sit down next to the mattress. Hatate sits next to you as Reisen starts the engine.
"I have a feeling this is going to be bumpy..." you begin. Hatate giggles.
"You can hold onto me for support," she says. "Oh, one more thing."
You turn to face Hatate. "What is-"
She kisses you.
It's not overly romantic or anything like that. But, its warm. She's blushing, and you know you are. You get over your shock and close your eyes, and you can think of nothing else. What feels like electricity flows through you, and even after Hatate breaks the kiss and looks away from you with heated cheeks, you still feel the tingle.
"Thank you," she says. "For listening to a bird sing sour notes."
"Y-yeah..." you reply. You touch your lips. Does... does that count? I think that counts.
For some reason, you're glad that Reisen and Flandre can't see into this part of the vehicle clearly. Hopefully, they think she was just saying something to you.
You have no idea why you want that to be so. But as Reisen gets the vehicle underway, you lean back and stare up at the ceiling.
Suddenly, you resolve to get Hatate's wings back. Just to be sure that you can see her smile when she gets home.
The ride is quiet for a while. Without access to the front, you can only guess as to what Flandre and Reisen are talking about, assuming they're talking. You and Hatate lean on each other for support, since without anything holding you down in the back of the vehicle you feel every bump on the way.
On the mattress, Nazrin begins to stir. She opens one eye and looks around. "Wha..."
A little bit of a different type of vote this time, guys, in that it's completely freeform.
Essentially, you have the opportunity to conduct a Q&A session with Nazrin and Hatate. This is an opportunity to open the Nazrin route, obviously, and extend your travel into the Hatate route. I'll attempt to use every question asked, even those that get only one vote. This is similar to how Flanders is handling the votes in Not-Life (which you should read if you aren't, by the way).
My only request is you stay away from the R-18 questions. I don't really think Youmu is the type of person to inquire about Nazrin and Hatate's sex life or what the best position is.
Also this is an opportunity to perform a few actions with the two. Remember, you're in the back of a van/truck/thing, so they're limited.
Yes, if you ask the right kinds of questions or do the right things, you can get Hatate to kiss Youmu again if you're so inclined. Just remember that if you're spotted, some other people might get a little jealous.
[ ] Hatate
[ ] Nazrin
Hatate is not a slut in this. Just thought I might like to point that out.
One last thing, just want to remind everyone that the routes aren't necessarily romantic unless you push for that (otherwise I wouldn't have mentioned a Harem Effect).
- [x] Why did she become a reporter in the first place?
- [x] Hatate seems close with Aya, but how did the two meet?
- [x] Why did she choose to help our little group?
- [x] Not to be ungrateful for her help, but how come Aya wasn't the one Outside? It's surprising that she didn't jump at the chance.
- [x] How were things at her end, before she went Outside?
- [x] Did she know anyone here personally before now?
- [x] She mentioned staying in the Outside after all this blows over. Does she have a plan, besides winging it?
- [x] Any reason why she wants to leave Gensokyo for good?
- [x] If she leaves, what about Byakuren and Shou? Did Nazrin even tell them?
- [x] Did Nazrin think about how the two would feel about her leaving? Did she think about how we would feel?
- [x] Who did she know personally from this group before now?
D'aaaawwwww, that warmed my blackened little soul. Anyway:
-[x] How is she feeling?
-[x] Does she need anything to eat or drink? Does she need help with that?
-[x] What drove her to take such a risk?
-[x] You know, she missed out on a bunch of cute girls having their hands all over her chest (joking tone, to lighten the mood; please forget it if you think it's inappropriate)
-[x] How fast should her wings regenerate normally?
-[x] Can she think of anything that would help them heal?
-[x] Does she want to take some pictures of the things we see along the road?
-[x] ...How do tengu walk on those shoes, anyway? (again, more of a joking tone)
You help Nazrin sit up. "Where... are we?" asks the mouse, confused. "...where's half of my shirt? ...did one of you molest me?"
"No, can't say that we did," you answer, making sure that Nazrin is comfortable. You drape a bedsheet over her. "How are you feeling?"
"...hungry," Nazrin says after a moment. "Thirsty, too."
"Ah, well, I have this," you reach into a bag and pull out a water bottle. Nazrin takes it gratefully and opens the cap, taking a long drink. "Don't overexert yourself, Nazrin; you just went through a hectic ordeal."
Nazrin caps the bottle and sighs. "I didn't think being shot would hurt that much," she says. "But damn if I'd rather get Sparked then go through that again."
"Well, it was an enchanted bullet from the looks of it," you tell the mouse. "Reisen managed to pull it out of you though, and she says your natural healing should kick in soon to repair the damage to your lung."
Nazrin nods. "That's good..." she sighs. "I was reckless."
"Why did you do that?" you ask. "I mean, Earth Light Ray?"
"I thought I could handle it," Nazrin tells you. "I mean, Marisa is just a human, right? So how is she capable of using such advanced magic? I underestimated her; I thought she beat me before because she got lucky," Nazrin chuckles. "I won't make that mistake again."
"That's probably for the best," Hatate pipes up. "I mean, we're dealing with powers beyond us, right? Maybe we should take it cautiously."
"Coming from a reporter, that's hardly reassuring," Nazrin says, grinning at Hatate's shocked face. "I'm kidding, Hatate. You know me well enough by now."
Hatate blinks, then sighs. "True, true..."
"Speaking of which, why are you a reporter anyway?" You ask, curious.
"Well... it's hard to put my finger on it, but..." Hatate makes a 'hm' sound. "I guess it's because I've always wanted to go out and explore, you know? Being cooped up on Youkai Mountain all day isn't very fun, you know, and Aya gets to go all around Gensokyo for her paper, so... yeah. I just wanted to do the same thing! And I met some pretty interesting people doing so," she looks at Nazrin and smiles. "Like this silly mouse."
"Oh, so you two knew each other beforehand?"
"Oh, yeah," Nazrin nods. "Hatate came by one day to ask Byakuren some questions, 'cept she was out at the time. We ended up talking at the temple for a good couple of hours... she wouldn't let me into her skirt though."
"Well, duh," Hatate sticks her tongue out at the mouse. "I told you it'd take more than a conversation and a candlelight dinner for me to drop my panties for you."
You look away, blushing slightly. "So... Nazrin! You mentioned staying out of Gensokyo with Reisen. You got any plans for that other than winging it?"
"Hey, I'm part of that plan, too," Hatate interjects.
"Well, other than having my way with whomever drops by?" Nazrin says with a grin. "In all seriousness, not really. I just want to explore. I wanna see what's out there."
"And I want to take pictures of it," Hatate declares. "Think about it! Hatate Himekaidou, returning to Gensokyo with pictures from the outside! Oh, man, Aya would be so jealous!"
"I thought you were close to her,"
"Oh, yeah, but we're also pretty competitive," Hatate says. She pulls out her cellphone and opens it. "I mean, I'm up against the best reporter Gensokyo has to offer, and I just had to jump at the chance to show her up! Then again..." she pauses a bit. "Besides, it's a way to grow out of her shadow."
"...I can understand that," you reply. Nazrin nods in agreement. "...Heh, I mean, when you think about it, isn't that part of the reason we're all here?"
"Most likely," Nazrin says with a shrug. "I mean, not speaking for you guys, but I'm kinda hoping that doing this will show everyone back home that I'm not just a mouse... that I'm important. And you," she stabs a finger at you. "We all know about that little show you pulled in Hakugyokurou, Youmu. Trying to prove youself and all that; I hear you stared down Yukari and made her your bitch for a minute or two."
"...something like that," you reply. You neglect to mention that it was all a part of Yukari's game. "But, you're right. Flandre is breaking free of Remilia, I think, and Reisen is trying to prove that she's a capable soldier still."
"I think Eirin would be proud of her," Nazrin says. You smile.
"I agree," you reply wistfully. There's a brief silence as the three of you lose yourself in thought. "Say, Nazrin... you don't think the others would be upset with you leaving Gensokyo for a long time, right? Possibly for good?"
"...I'm... I'm not sure," Nazrin admits. "I haven't really put a lot of thought into that. I mean, I think Shou would be okay with it so long as I promised to at least visit every now and again, and Byakuren... well, I don't think there's a mean bone in her body. She'd probably just wish me well."
"I don't think it'd be that easy," you tell her. "You're still a part of their family."
You can see that you've troubled Nazrin slightly, so you turn and look back at Hatate, who's taken to playing a game on her phone. "Say... not that I'd have it any other way, but how come you're here instead of Aya?"
"Hm? Oh, that's easy," Hatate replies without looking at you. "Aya's a sissy."
"What? But you just told me that she's incredibly powerful."
"Yes, and terrified of the outside world," Hatate tells you, pausing her game to look up. "You see, Aya remembers a time long ago, back when humans actively hunted youkai. Even though she played mentor to quite a few humans back in the day, she remembers running from youkai hunters... and some youkai allied with humans. She tells me this story a lot, about how some half-youkai tried to kill her with a really large sword. And he almost did; he cut her wings off."
"...looks like you have more in common with Aya then what I thought," you reply. Hatate nods.
"Yeah, it's true. That's how we first met, too," she says. Looking far off, she seems to recall the memory clearly. "It was... oh, during the Spring Snow Incident, I think. I wasn't sure of my career path yet; well, I was too young to really decide on one at the time. I literally ran into Aya on the mountain one day, just crashed right in to her. We hit the ground in a sprawl of arms and legs, and after I was done sputtering and apologizing... she laughs at me!" She shakes her head. "She told me later that its how her and the last owner of Bunbunmaru met. Course, the last owner is dead now by about fifty years, but you know..."
"Ah, I see," you nod. "You mentioned Aya lost her wings?"
"Yeah, took them about a year to grow back," Hatate says. "But... I don't know. I feel like they should have started by now."
"Well, you could always extend your visit outside till they grow back," Nazrin suggests. Hatate looks back at her phone.
The ride gets quiet after a time. After learning that the girls were initially suspicious of Reisen, but warmed up to her after a while, the three of you settle down. Nazrin goes back to sleep and Hatate plays on her phone some more, and you're left alone with your thoughts.
I wonder how she walks in those... you think about her shoes. Tengu must have good balance.
Your lips still tingle from the kiss that Hatate gave you, and slowly you trail your eyes up her body. You really shouldn't, but you can't help it. She's... almost scrawny. But her legs have managed to keep their firm shape, and her clothes show off just a bit of her midriff. She's... honestly, kinda lacking, but not as bad as you.
But you don't really care about all that. Its her face. She has just... absolutely gorgeous golden eyes. The pupils are slitted like all tengu, but that's okay with you. She doesn't look angry like Aya tends to, either; instead, her features are soft, and her face tends to betray emotion pretty easily. And her lips.
That tingle again. You unconsciously move toward Hatate, acting like you want to take a look at her game. She notices and twists around to where you can look over her shoulder, and you easily find yourself propped up on her, watching as she taps buttons on her phone. "Hey, do me a favor," she says suddenly.
She turns the game off and flips the phone around. "Smile!" she says. You quickly give in to the demand and smile warmly as Hatate snaps a photo of the two of you. She flips the phone back around and shows you. "Nice, huh?" she asks. You nod. "Hey, Youmu... earlier was okay, right?"
"Yeah, of course," you reply. "Why wouldn't it?"
"Well... just that, it was sudden. You don't seem the type to like surprises."
You grin. "Well... it was unexpected, but I didn't mind," you tell her. "Although... I don't think I deserved it or anything. I was just trying to help."
"And, I definitely appreciate it," replies the tengu. "Really, I'm glad you're here to help me."
"Why did you choose to help us anyway?" you ask.
"The same reason as everyone else," Hatate says. "I wanted to protect Gensokyo. Well, in my case, I just wanted to be a hero, I guess. Is that so bad?"
You shake your head. "Of course not."
The two of you stare at each other before giggling. You're... pretty comfortable around Hatate, all things considered. Not as much as Flandre or Reisen, but more than Nazrin. Her teasing gets in the way of your sensibilities at times. But Hatate... just seems like a naturally friendly person. Her energy is pretty infectious too, and as she shows you the game she's been playing - some weird thing involving making the falling shapes into lines to clear them - she gets pretty enthusiastic about it. You try to play it and fail miserably.
Either way, it passes the time. The two of you take turns, although Hatate is clearly better than you at this. Eventually you get frustrated with it and give her the phone back. The two of you laugh about it after a while, and eventually you decide that Hatate makes a nice pillow. Using her lap as such, you fall asleep to the tengu gently stroking your hair...
When you wake up next, the van has stopped. There's a strange smell emanating from somewhere. You get up and make your way to the back doors, opening them slowly so you don't disturb the sleeping mouse and tengu, and hop down to the road.
Up front, Reisen has a toolkit out, and she's messing around with the vehicle's engine. "I don't think I can fix this," she says dourly. "The transmission went out, and I simply don't have the parts here to make the repairs. We'll... probably have to jack another car or something."
"Where are we?" you ask. Looking into the cab, you see that Flandre has fallen asleep as well, and in her slumber she seems peaceful. She swats as an invisible foe. Cute.
"Somewhere in Poland," Reisen replies. The lunar rabbit looks up at the midday sun. "You've all been out for a while. I need sleep myself, but I won't be comfortable until I'm certain we're not being followed. Which, I mean, we're almost out of gas anyway, so we might be walking it for a while... and with Nazrin in no condition to do such a thing."
You nod. "Where's the nearest town?"
"I honestly have no clue," Reisen tells you. Your heart sinks a bit. "I haven't seen a town since we crossed into Poland through back roads a good few hours ago. There's been a few houses but I'm not willing to stop at a stranger's house in the middle of nowhere."
"I understand that," you say. "Well, I guess I can get the others up and we can get going. Follow the road or..." you look out toward the field you're next to. "Over the hills and through the woods?"
"We need to do something," Reisen says, tossing the ratchet in her toolkit and zipping it up, then tossing that into her larger bag. "Can you carry this?"
"Yeah, I can," you answer, picking it up. "I still need to change, though."
"We all do," Reisen says. "I'd like a shower but I don't see that happening."
"So, change first and then..."
[ ] Follow the road.
[ ] Through the fields.
Unanswered questions will wait for the next update. Choose wisely. You're going to run into a new group of people depending on which direction you take. See last spoiler for details, so if you want to simply guess, just pick one.
[spoiler]Both groups are not friends of the Camarilla, but that doesn't mean they're friendly to you.
Taking the road will lead to an organization of supernatural hunters, though they're not Hunters in the oWoD sense.
Taking the fields will lead to... The Apocalypse.[/spoilers]
Unless they're like The Followers of the Apocalypse from Fallout I'm really not feeling confident about an apocalyptic group. Of course maybe they're actually the friendliest group, and this is just mind games but oh well.
>>52647 Nope, these are a different type of hunters entirely, unrelated to oWoD. These guys are more or less original content. Imagine Hellsing without Alucard, I guess (or a vampire in general is probably the better analogy).
As an aside, note that this universe crosses over with several other universes to some degree or other, although not as copy-and-paste as oWoD. Many characters will be expies of other characters from other works, and a few, like the hunters along the road, are more or less original.
Also, looks like we're [x]Following the Road unless a ridiculous amount of votes suddenly come in for meeting the Get of Fenris.
You change clothes while the others are sleeping; you're almost wearing Reisen's clothes, minus the blazer and with a green vest that suits you nicely. Reisen has changed into her signature outfit, and as she straightens her tie, you inadvertenly look at her... very nice legs. You blush and look away. Flandre has also woken up and changed into something resembling a red sailor dress, complete with her bit. Nazrin is still out, and Hatate only has to change shirts, but otherwise you're all ready to hit the road.
Reisen gently lifts Nazrin bridal style. "I can hold her like this for a while," she says. You grab Reisen's bag and sling it on your shoulder.
"I'll take the lead," you tell the others. With that, the five of you head out to parts unknown. Well, for you anyway. Flandre falls in line next to you, and when you look down at the Scarlet, she smiles back at you. You give her one back, and as Reisen and Hatate take the back - you hear the click of Hatate's phone as she takes pictures of the countryside - there's an odd sense of peace about you.
Maybe there is something to Reisen and Nazrin's dream of wandering the Earth. When you're not running away and fighting for your lives, this country is quite beautiful, actually. In fact, from what you've seen, Europe is quite a nice place. You almost look forward to seeing China and Japan's countryside, just to see how different it is from the way Gensokyo looks.
You wonder how your homeland is doing. With everything going on, there's no way it could possibly be the way it was when you left. Your thoughts turn to Yuyuko and how she must be doing; surely, she's worried about you. She can take care of herself, but she's caught up in the middle of Yukari's machinations. Surely, if the events with Remilia have reached home, the Scarlet Devil Mansion's remaining people must be hurting right now. Meiling and Patchouli wouldn't deserve that.
I wonder how the others are doing too... you think. Other than Reisen's update, you haven't heard too much about Sakuya's team. You wonder how the maid is doing, especially if she knows about Remilia's actions. The fact that she didn't abandon her team and fly straight to France speaks volumes about her character... unless she truly is involved with Remilia's plan.
You shake your head. "Hey, Flandre... is Sakuya really involved in your sister's plans?"
"Mmm... I dunno," the vampire replies honestly. She kicks a rock down the road. "I mean, she might be; Sis tells Sakuya everything. But, I mean... I don't think Sakuya would go along with this if she's a part of it. Like, if you think about it... Sakuya loves Gensokyo. She really does. Yeah, she's loyal to Sis, but..." she smiles at a memory. "You know why she likes you so much?"
"...not really," you reply. "Why?"
"She says that you remind her of herself when she was young; she admires you in a way."
"Me? But..." you look toward the sky. "Sakuya is... everything I wanted to be."
Reisen snickers at that. "You crushed on her pretty hard, I remember. When you guys found Eientei, you literally watched everything Izayoi was doing."
"Yeah... well," you shrug. "I think I've moved on."
"Probably for the best," Flandre puts her arms behind her head. "I don't think she's into girls."
"Huh? Flandre-" you begin, but the vampire giggles. "You've been hanging out with Nazrin too much."
By nightfall, you're all exhausted. Although Nazrin woke up, she was still too weak to walk, so you all took turns carrying her. Teasing aside (did she feel you up?), it wasn't so bad. Except for her constant teasing (she did feel you up!), that is.
"So soft, Youmu..." coos the mouse as she nuzzles you neck. You blush but try to ignore it as she (again! The nerve...) rubs her hands all over the inside of your vest, which she somehow undid while you weren't paying attention. Your blush deepens as she squeezes your chest. "They're not that small..." she says with a purr.
"Nazrin, please..." you say. In response, she squeezes again. "Ah! Stop!"
"Oh, I think she likes it," Nazrin giggles. A swift fist from Reisen hits the mouse in the head. "Ow!"
"Nazrin, stop," admonishes the rabbit. "You're embarrassing the poor girl."
"Aw, fine," Nazrin lets go of you and puts her arms back around your neck. "Thanks for the feel, Youmu."
"..." you look away toward Hatate. Surprisingly, the tengu hasn't been snapping picutres of you and Nazrin, instead focusing on her phone again. "What is it you're doing this time?"
"Nothin'," replies the tengu. "A game."
"Ah," Hatate's phone, you found out, has some absurd amount of games on it. Even as long as she's had the phone she's only played like half of it. "Another... what was it?"
"Shooter," Hatate says, though it sounds more like "shoota" do you. You nod as if you had a clue what she was talking about. Reisen suddenly groans and falls to her knees.
"I can't walk anymore," she complains. Wearily, you sit down as well, followed by Flandre and Hatate. "I can't even fly. I feel so weak."
"We haven't eaten anything in hours," you mumble. "Except Nazrin. She's eaten everything."
"Well... she is weak," Hatate mentions. Reisen glowers at the tengu.
"That was supposed to last us three days," she says. Hatate shrugs.
"I'm fine," she replies.
"Girls, girls," you interject. "Stop arguing," Nazrin gets off of you and sits on the ground.
"Yeah, let's just figure out where to go from here," she says.
The five of you get lost in thought. You notice a pair of headlights down the road. Pointing it out, the five of you move off the road and watch as a truck approaches, slows down, and stops in front of you. The window rolls down, and a large gruff man sticks his head out. He looks back and forth between the five of you.
"You girls need a lift?" he asks in English. You look at the others.
"I... I don't care," Reisen says, lowering her head. "If he's going to kill us, we're too weak to do anything about it."
"...can't argue that," you sigh. You look up at the man. "Sir... we don't really know where we're going. Our car broke down a while ago and so we've been walking and hoping to come across a town."
"Ah, well, I'm heading home," he replies. "Was that your van back thataway?" He jerks his thumb toward the direction he came from. You nod. "Well, tell ya what; you girls get in the back and I'll take you home with me, take you to town in the morning," he pauses. "Don't take that the wrong way or nothin'. I'm just trying to help."
The five of you look at each other. "Don't really have a choice," Flandre says. Hatate 'hmm's in agreement. Reisen looks suspicious, but she just shakes her head in resignation.
"Thank you, sir."
The home is cozy, is your first thought. Your second is that you're clearly not alone with this man. As the five of you walk in - Nazrin in Reisen's arms - the first thing you notice is that there are three other people; two women and another man.
Flandre stops at the door. "I... should wait outside," she says. You look down at the vampiress.
"Why?" you ask.
"Those are vampire hunters," she whispers. "Look on the table," she turns and walks back out, passing by the man who gave you a ride. He watches after her and shrugs. You look at the table and notice what Flandre was talking about.
On the table are weapons. Shotguns, rifles, silver bullets, a mean-looking two-handed sword, and several knives.
"Ah, new guests?" One of the women say, a brunette with a bobcut. You nod.
"It's a pleasure to meet you," you say quietly. The other man stands up and offers his the couch to you. Reisen sets Nazrin down gently and stands next to the couch, and you on the opposite side. Hatate puts her phone away and stands next to you. "Thank you for having us."
"...Where are you girls from?" the brunette asks. The other woman - in a hood, no less - is busy twirling a knife in her hands.
"Japan," you answer quickly.
"Japan, huh?" The man looks you up and down. He reaches out and touches your hand. "Heh... you're not human."
Reisen starts. "Hey, wait a minute-"
"Now hold on," the brunette says, standing up and lowering her friend's hand. "We don't have any quarrel with you. We merely hunt those who stalk the night, not... whatever it is you are."
"Uh... well," Reisen looks down. "Sorry. Forgive us for being worried. We've had... a rough time."
"We can tell," The man from before says, standing next to the hooded woman. "I knew from the moment I saw you girls that you weren't from around here."
Nazrin grunts. "It's the ears, isn't it?"
The brunette laughs. "Yes, it could be that."
You feel yourself relaxing. It seems that you've found friends in this place. Or at least, not enemies. "Isn't there a place in Japan for people like you?"
"Yes," Reisen nods. "I'm guessing you've heard of it?" The brunette nods.
"Gensokyo, the Eastern Wonderland," she says with a smile. "Ourselves, we're from Avalon, except that one."
"Avalon?" You echo. "The sealed land up north?"
"The same. Name is Landon, by the way," the driver puts his hand out. Reisen takes it and they shake. "Merlin's spoken to... oh, what's her name? Yakuro?"
"Yakumo," Hatate corrects. "Yukari Yakumo."
"That's the one," Landon snaps his fingers.
Suddenly, the woman with the knife tosses it, embedding it in the table and causing all of you to jump. She stands up and walks right for you, taking off her hood. You start at her face.
"S-Sakuya?!" Its the same hair, although longer and not braided; the same blue eyes that, as she nears you, turn red. She even has the same posture when she walks up to you.
She gets close to you. "Sakuya?" she echoes. "No, I don't know that name."
You blink. No, she's not Sakuya; she's much older.
"Hey, Nina, get out of the girl's face," Landon says.
"But I must know!" The woman turns and glares at Landon, who backs away a bit. She turns back to you, her eyes blue. "Please, you must tell me; a long time ago, a girl from my village in Valhalla went to be a vampire hunter. She's a little bit older than you; her name is Kristina. Ever since she took on the Scarlet Devil, none have heard from her."
Hopeful tears form in her eyes. "Tell me... have you seen my daughter?"
[x]"We know her, we know she wasn't turned and acts of her own will, we know roughly where she might be. However there is a tale to tell, so before I begin I ask of you, and your group, to please respect her wishes and her choices."
-[x] Only tell them if they agree to your terms.
--[x] Start by affirming that you are enemies of the camellia, our injuries are proof of that, and you don't agree with everything Remilia has done. We're only trying to protect our homeland.
---[x] Only then tell them the truth.
----[x] If they continue to respect her choices, then you would gladly join forces to track her down.
[x] If they notice Flan's lineage at any point, immediately inform them that "Kristina" would be greatly displeased if you were to harm her, and that Flandare is unlike others of her kind, and helps us against them.
We need to play this carefully but I'm certain we can get these guys to help us, we have a common foe and have things the other wants right now. The fact that she works for the Scarlet's will hit the group as a whole hard, so we need to emphasise our own opposition to the camellia and the fact that Sakuya joined of her own will to cushion the blow. If we pull it off though we have made allies not only with some powerful backup but also a link to Avalon which will help in our return to France.
Lying is pointless, us blurting out Sakuya like that combined with her family resemblance betrays us and even if it works temporally it'll end in a fight noone wants when they find out. The truth is also the best way we'll get them to accept Flan, we can't rely on them not finding out.
>>52689 Thats kinda the thing, we dont know if its her own free will. Remilia could have played with fate a bit or she could control Sakuya otherwise, we dont know. So telling her that might not be so good if they ever meet.
The five of you look at each other. You never even considered that Sakuya has a mother. But... at the same time, you should have. You chalk it up to no one hear having parents of their own, or at least none present.
...briefly, you wonder if your grandfather worries about you.
"...I have," you finally say. "But... I know her as Sakuya. She lives in Gensokyo. But, it's a very long story, and even I do not know the details. However, there are details that I cannot tell you unless you understand something."
"...she's been turned, hasn't she?" Nina asks. "She's one of them!"
"No, no," you shake your head. "Like I said, it's a long story, and I must tell you some things you don't want to hear. All I ask is that... you respect Sakuya's wishes. Everything she's done up until now has been her choice, of her own free will."
There's a pause. The four hunters look each other. "Nina," Landon begins. "If you don't want to hear this..."
"No, I have to," Nina replies. "I need to know what's happened to my daughter. If Kristina is still alive, I have to find her..." she chuckles harshly. "You know, Freyja told me I might not like it if I ever find her, but I must know. I have to. So please... tell me everything you know."
You nod. Landon brings a chair out of the kitchen for you to sit on. Reisen and Hatate sit on the floor.
"Let me begin by saying one thing," you start. "The organization out here - the Camarilla - is my enemy. They threaten not just my homeland of Gensokyo, but all of the Sealed Lands... and while I detest Remilia Scarlet with every fiber of my being, if it weren't for her knowledge of vampiric society, I probably would already be dead."
"...so the Scarlet Devil lives," The brunette, Alex, breathes. "It's just as we feared."
"Let me finish," you hold up a hand. "Make no mistake; Yukari thought she and Remilia had come to a deal when the Scarlet Devil Mansion arrived in Gensokyo; she would stay out of Gensokyo's machinations, and we wouldn't bother her in turn. She agreed, even going so far as to help us resolve one incident that involved Eientei."
"Eientei?" the fourth man, Stephen, echoes. You nod.
"That's my people," Reisen pipes up. "Eientei is the home of my master, Eirin Yagokoro, and her master in turn, Princess Kaguya Houraisan."
"The princess from the Japanese legends exists?" Alex asks.
"Oh, yes, and she's every bit of a waif as she is in the story," Reisen replies with a grin.
You take a deep breath. "This is what I know," you say. "Many years ago, Kristina tracked down a pocketwatch called the Luna Dial. With it, she went to track down Remilia and Flandre Scarlet."
"The Luna Dial?" Landon repeats. "You mean it exists?!" She grins and looks at the others. "I told you it does! With that as our weapon, the Camarilla would stand no chance!"
"Let the girl finish," Nina says. To you, "Please, continue."
You nod. "I don't know where the battle took place, but Kristina did not know how to use the Luna Dial properly. After battling through Remilia's allies - a magician named Patchouli Knowledge, and a bodyguard from China named Hong Meiling - she faced the Scarlet Devil."
The part you've been dreading comes up. "She fought... and lost."
Nina tightens her fists. "But you said she isn't dead..."
"She's not," you continue. "That night, from what I've gathered by talking to others - the Mansion is notoriously private - Remilia offered her a chocie. Either she could die that night... or serve in the vampire's employ."
You close your eyes. You know how this is going to end.
"That... that witch," Stephen growls. "How dare she turn someone into her own personal servant? What magic did she-"
"No magic," you interrupt. "That night, Remilia bestowed upon Kristina a new name to cut her ties with her homeland: Sakuya Izayoi. That is the name I know her by. Until a couple of weeks ago, I would have told you that she would follow Remilia until death took her."
"My daughter... serving a vampire? You lie!" Nina shrieks. "My Kristina would never-"
"But she is," you say. "And from what little Sakuya told me, it was humiliating. They worked her to the bone, dressed her up in a French maid's outfit, then made her abuse her time manipulation to alter the space within the mansion. They make her work at all hours of the day, and I honestly do not know if she even sleeps... but I know that, in her servitude, she..." you pause. "She is happy."
"Stockholm Syndrome," Alex says. At your confused look, she says, "When someone has been captured by an enemy, after a while you start to develop positive feelings for that person. You come to agree with that person, and soon, you are like a minion to them."
"It's not that simple, though," you say. "Remilia Scarlet, for a long time, has been controlled and detained, mostly due to Sakuya's firm hand in keeping her from rampaging. Barring the one time Remilia tried to take over Gensokyo, Sakuya has kept her from doing anything rash."
"..." Nina looks down. "I... I don't know if I can accept that, Miss," she says finally. "It's got to be mind-control, or maybe she's a Ghoul, or-"
"I don't know the details," you tell her. "Right now, Sakuya is fighting to save Gensokyo, and all of us, just as we are. She still believes that Remilia is also trying to do the right thing. Recently, certain events have caused us to have to retreat, and we were hoping to meet up with her and... inform her of her Mistress's recent..." you try to find the right word.
"Episode?" Nazrin offers.
"Bout of insanity?" Hatate quips.
"Still thinking that she's relevant?" Reisen says.
"One of those," you say.
"But, I just... how can it be my daughter?" Nina asks. "I only have your word. What proof do you have?"
"She tried to kill me. Sakuya, that is," you tell her. "And she did."
"What?" Landon asks, horrified. "But you're standing before me now! What are you, a ghost?!"
"We'll get to that," you tell him. "But let me ask you this, Miss Nina: Are you the one that taught her how to throw knives the way she does?"
"...yes," Nina says. "If it is my daughter, she would fight with throwing knives and dagger."
"Then it is true. Sakuya Izayoi is your daughter, Miss Nina," you say with finality.
"...tell me about her."
You take another breath. "She's... kind to her friends. She's loyal to a fault. Strong, courageous, and without a trace of fear. Once she sets her sights on an objective, you can guarantee it will be done. Sakuya is everything I ever wanted to be."
"You know her personally?"
"Yes," you nod. "But there's more. I'll have you know that this is mostly secondhand information, given to me by one of the two primary protectors of Gensokyo; Reimu Hakurei and Marisa Kirisame."
"A long time ago - it has been years now - Remilia Scarlet attempted to take control of Gensokyo by spreading out Mist that blocked out the sun. Reimu and Marisa took the battle to them. It was the first time anyone had ever met Sakuya. From what Reimu tells me, she was a vicious fighter, and it was the first time in a long while that Reimu was actually threatened. You see, to resolve disputes in Gensokyo, we use a non-lethal combat system: the Spellcard System," you reach into your pocket and pull out one of Reisen's spellcards. You release it, letting it float between your hands. "Sakuya's magic was so deadly, even non-lethally, that she almost killed Reimu."
"...in defense of Remilia," Landon says. You can see a bit of anger on his face.
"Yes," you affirm. "Sakuya ultimately lost, as did Remilia and Flandre. Afterward, peace fell back on Gensokyo... until it turned out that winter had no end."
"This is when Youmu is the bad guy," Hatate says. You wince at the stares you get.
"My... my master, Lady Yuyuko Saigyouji, wanted to revive a cherry tree near our palace of Hakugyokurou," you explain. "To do that, I helped her take away Gensokyo's spring to feed it, the Saigyou Ayakashi. At the time, we didn't know that it was Lady Yuyuko's body that was sealing the tree. We almost succeeded, too."
"So... your mistress is a ghost, then?" Landon asks. It's not as shocking to them as you would believe. "I take it you are, as well?"
"No, I'm an anomaly," you tell them. "I'm a half-phantom, and half-human."
"And half-baked," Nazrin quips. You glare at the mouse before continuing.
"I faced your daughter in battle," you tell Nina. "Sakuya was a fearsome opponent, and she killed me that night. Fortunately, when I'm on Hakugyokurou's grounds I am effectively immortal, but for a while, death claimed me. In the meantime, her, Reimu, and Marisa defeated Lady Yuyuko and ensured the Saigyou Ayakashi remain sealed."
"But... why would she suddenly help your protectors?" Alex aks. "If she's working for Remilia, then..."
"That's what I was getting at," you tell the brunette. "For a time, we considered Remilia an ally. She helped us through Sakuya to ensure peace in Gensokyo."
"There is a bit more," you continue. "A couple of incidents occurred that Sakuya helped to resolve. Afterward, I didn't see her much, although I did visit the mansion a few times to meet with her."
"You stepped foot in the Scarlet's mansion and didn't attempt to kill Remilia?" Stephen scoffs.
"No," you say. "Even if I tried, I would have failed. Remilia is far more powerful than I am. Only through the spellcard rules do I even stand a chance against her, and even then, I'm not much of a challenge to her. She would swat me aside as I would a fly."
"...so, she's grown in power then," Nina says. "I can see why Kristina wouldn't turn against her then-"
"That's righ- wait," you blink. "You understand her motivations now?"
"Yes, I do," Nina replies. "Kristina would not be so foolhardly as to attack someone she couldn't kill. She values her own life; I made sure of that. Tell me, has she grown in power as well?"
"Yes," you say with a nod. "Sakuya's manipulation of time is quite impressive. I can travel a significant fraction of the speed of light and she is still faster than me. Once, she even stopped time for everyone, not just herself, in order for us to resolve the incident with the moon."
Another pause. "...I told you that day lasted longer than it should have."
"I'm sorry?" you ask.
"A few years back, there were two days that lasted way too long," Landon explains. "Most people didn't notice, I'm sure, but in Avalon, we had two days that lasted nearly thirty hours."
You can't hide your shock. Turning to Reisen, who is equally shocked, you say, "Sakuya stopped time for the entire world?"
"I didn't even think that was possible," Reisen breathes. "To stop time for the whole world... that must have been something."
"I'm sure most of the world was frozen in place," Alex says. "But us, and Valhalla, noticed the effect."
"Then Sakuya is even more powerful than we originally thought," you say. "In fact... it's possible that with her help, we could kill Remilia!"
Reisen grins. "She might actually be able to pull it off!"
"But... I thought you said that my daughter served her mistress," Nina says cautiously.
"Serves, exactly," you nod emphatically. "Loyal, yes... but I'm absolutely certain that Sakuya would still like to finish her job, especially after she learns what she did to me and Flandre."
Aw, crap. "...Flandre? Her sister?" Landon asks. "She did something to her own sister?"
"Yes..." you take a breath. "As you probably know, the Camarilla are using the upset of the balance of power amongst the Sealed Lands to strike at them. During our discussion of this event, it was agreed that Remilia and I would strike directly at their heart, their base in France. Meanwhile, Sakuya would lead a team from Korea to France, meet up with us, and then we would return home."
"Those incidents throughout Asia you've been hearing about?" Reisen mentions. "That's Sakuya's team. She's been disrupting vampire operations in a steady line toward this direction."
Landon laughs. "That sounds like something you would do, Nina, so it's gotta be your daughter!"
"Yes," Nina places her hands over her chest and smiles. "She's still fighting the good fight, despite her association with the Scarlet Devil."
"Indeed," you nod. "When we got to France, Remilia instantly turned on me, revealed that she had brought Flandre with her, and they set off to unite the Camarilla against Gensokyo in particular. She still, apparently, holds a grudge against Yukari," Not that I can blame her for that, you think. But all the rest, there is no forgiveness.
"So not just Remilia, but Flandre Scarlet," Stephen mutters. "That's going to be a hell of a fight."
"Not... quite," you tell him. "You see, Remilia brought Flandre as something of a bargaining chip; her 'in', so to speak. She used Flandre to get back into the Camarilla by allowing their mages to seal her powers. She's... fairly harmless now, at least to native youkai in Gensokyo, for now. At least until her powers return to her," you pause. "Which I want to happen, by the way; they're using half of me as the source of the seal, and I'd really like to have that half back."
Landon catches on, you notice. "How do you know all this? About Flandre?"
You look down. "Reisen," you say. The lunar rabbit hops up.
"Are you sure about this?"
"We can't hide it forever," you tell her. Back at the others, you say. "You're not going to like this, but I beg of you... what's happened to her is something that I would wish on no one, not even Remilia. Please don't be hostile to her, she's just a child."
Landon is already on his feet. "You brought her here?!" he roars. "That little girl was Flandre Scarlet?!"
"She is just a scared little girl!" You shout. Suddenly you're on your feet as well. "You don't know what she's been through! She's been used by her sister and thrown away like trash!"
"She's still a Scarlet! She's a vampire!" Landon shouts back.
"I can accept Kristina working for Remilia," Alex says, also standing. "But for you to bring that monster to this place... I can't accept that."
The door opens and Reisen shouts outside. There's a pause. You unconsciously grab Hakurouken's handle and close your eyes. "Please..." you whisper. "She's just a little girl. She never wanted this life."
"She's insane," Landon pushes. "Certifiably bonkers. In Avalon we learned that the best Scarlet is a dead one."
"If you kill her, I die too," you respond. "Flandre has half of my soul in her. Everything that happens to her happens to me as well."
"I can't accept..." Landon begins, then falls off. You step aside and watch with wary eyes as Reisen leads Flandre into the room, holding her hand. The vampire keeps her eyes averted as she steps up to Nina. "Truly... it is her."
"I heard everything," Flandre begins slowly. "Miss Nina... Sakuya has taken care of me for a long time. She's always been nice to me; she helped educate me. Because of her I know how to read and write. Because of her I learned that there is more to life than being a weapon. However..." she looks back at you mournfully, then gets on her knees before the silver-haired woman. "If you think it is fit to kill me... I won't stop you. I don't want to die, but... I know that I've done a lot of bad things in the past."
"Flandre..." you begin, reaching out to her. Reisen grabs your arm and shakes her head.
"This is all her now, Youmu," Reisen tells you. "Let her finish."
"You willingly give yourself over to us?" Stephen asks. He reaches to grab one of his guns, but a stern look from Nina causes him to stop. The woman gets down on one knee and puts a hand on the vampire's shoulder.
"I hate you..." she whispers. "You know that, right? If I killed you, the only regret I would have is that the nice girl in green would die as well."
"I know," Flandre replies. "I can't answer for Sis, but I can answer for myself. If I die tonight, then maybe some sort of redemption will await me in the afterlife... assuming I'll even have an afterlife," she looks up at Nina. "You... Sakuya has your eyes."
"Those same kind eyes," Flandre explains. "I tried... I tried to kill her, you know. I didn't know who Sakuya was. All I knew was that this strange human had walked into my room. I smelled her fear, and I wanted to kill her. But... when I did, she simply sat down with me and talked to me. I asked her... a lot of questions. Being locked in a basement doesn't give one time to appreciate life."
"But... Sakuya made me do so," she continues. "Sakuya took me to the library and taught me how to read. Then she gave me a pen and paper and taught me how to write. She was proud of me the day I learned to write my name. When she taught me math, she smiled when I successfully multiplied a big number the first time," Flandre seems to choke. "And when she found out about when I Turned, she came to my room and gave me a birthday party, just me and her. She kept doing it every year afterward, just the two of us," Flandre starts crying. You try to move to her, but Reisen stops you again. "Sakuya was the first person who was ever kind to me, and through her I began to enjoy my existence again! Miss Nina, I... Sakuya was more of a sister to me than Remi was!"
Everything goes quiet as everyone listens to the vampire's quiet sobs. "I miss her. With all my heart, I hope she's okay. I want nothing more than to see her again, but..." she looks up at Nina. "If you see it fit, then kill me. I won't stop you. I can't stop you. If it pleases you, then..."
You've had enough. Reisen tries to stop you again, but you shake off the rabbit's grip and kneel next to Flandre. You take her in your arms and close your eyes as the vampire cries into your shirt. "Are... are you all happy now?" you ask the group, tears stinging your eyes. "If you're going to kill us, then do it."
Nina stares at you for a minute before standing up. she pulls a knife out of her sleeves and holds it up. Flandre's crying slows as she seems to accept the inevitable.
"Now wait just a damn minute," Nazrin struggles to get up. Hatate is already on her feet, and Reisen is halfway to drawing her pistol. "Don't do this! Don't-" Nazrin starts coughing violently, and Hatate moves to comfort her and get her to relax.
Nina looks at the knife and throws it... at the ground next to you.
"...I see what my daughter sees in you," she finally says. "I can see that you're a kind girl who doesn't deserve the hand that fate has given you," she drops to her knees and envelops both you and Flandre in an embrace. "I... I won't kill you, Flandre. None of us will."
"...after that, I can't be moved to do such a thing," Alex says, sitting back down. "Although it just reinforces my desire to kill the Camarilla."
"Same here," Stephen says. "All this time, we were raised believing her to be a monster. That doesn't look like a monster to me."
"...I'm still suspicious," Landon admits. "But, I trust Nina. If she says you can live, then we'll let you live," he stands up. "I'll put some tea on."
"Thank you..." you whisper to Nina, who just nods. "Thank you..."
Afterwards, everything calms down. You now have an opportunity to glean some more information out of people, or choose a Route to continue persuing.
As much as I want to choose a route option, I'm much more curious on the other sealed realms. Could the effects of Gensokyo be more far-reaching than we initially thought? Stopping time in one corner of the world is one thing, but actually affecting the rest of world and sealed realms? It's quite a scary thought if you think about it, and that possibly explains how the Camarilla were able to gain traction. Gensokyo is simply too dangerous to justify its existence any longer.
I was quite tempted to choose one of the routes, but after some consideration, decided we could use some more info on what's going on with this part of the world. And hey, maybe we could ask about Sakuya's childhood.
>>52718 I wanted to spill everything right away, but I knew that wouldn't be the proper way to write this update. I had to take it slow and easy.
As an aside, for this part of the story you'll have three chances to vote for your... well, vote. Since it's tied right now it's not a big deal, but whichever wins will simply be the first. Afterward, I'll allow another vote, then a final one. There will be Two Options that are lost forever if you do not take them tonight, similar to how you lost the opportunity to open the Nazrin route early.
If we disregard Vampires Lament.. [which is likely to be one of the choices at this rate]
That gives us..
> Vampire Hunters
likely, depending on how long we stay here
> Reisen's Caution
Something about the wording on this troubles me. could be it.
> Nazrin's Weakness
A definite contender, Nazrin won't be injured like this forever.
> Tengu's Work
I very much doubt it. if this ends up being one of the missables you're totally messing with us though
You walk into the night. Hanging from a tree is a swing tied to a branch. Back and forth swings the small vampire; in the darkness, you can barely make out her form. You notice that her wings are out, and she seems to be... singing?
You can't make out the words, but it seems to be a slow song. She seems to be focusing on it, and a few times she pauses, as if remembering the lyrics, then continues on. You approach the vampire, who stops singing as she notices you. For once, your presence doesn't make her smile. "Hey, Youmu," she says quietly.
You walk up to the vampire and grab the rope, causing her to stop swinging. "Flandre, what's wrong? Don't you want some tea?"
"...no, I'm fine," she replies. "I just needed time to think, and I can't think unless I'm alone."
"Why is that?" You ask, though you already know the answer.
"I'm used to being alone," she says. Your eyes meet. "Even after all Sakuya did for me, I still... I'm more comfortable alone, sometimes. Especially when I have to think. Like now," she shrugs. "I know its weird, but the quiet helps me think."
"And allows you to sing," you say with a smile. Flandre averts her eyes.
"You heard?" she asks.
"It was pretty," you tell her.
"Oh, it's not done," she replies. "It will probably never be done."
"Ah, so you made it up?"
Flandre nods. "I don't even know where I was going with it, but yeah. I made it up; Sakuya told me that I could express myself through music, so I tried. I even learned how to play a piano because of her."
"So it was a piano song?" You never knew that Flandre had an artistic side.
"Well, sorta," Flandre rubs the back of her head. "Lyrics and music and stuff. I got the piano part down pretty good, but the lyrics to go with it are hard to do."
"Well, keep trying!" you encourage. "I'd like to hear you play."
Flandre smiles for a minute, but it quickly vanishes. "Say, Youmu... you know how before you told me that you would try and leave killing Sis as a last resort?"
"Yeah, why?" you ask.
"That's what I've been thinking about," she explains. She gets off of the swing. "...I don't think... I don't think not killing her is an option."
"You don't mean that-" you begin.
"Yes, I do," Flandre replies flatly. "It's... it's not something I just thought of now, Youmu, but something I've been thinking of since before I even left Gensokyo."
You sit on the grass; Flandre follows suit. "Before leaving, Sis had been acting... strange. She wasn't sleeping anymore, she was actually killing the people she was feeding off of, and she kept toying with her spear; she was using Tremere blood magic to make it more powerful somehow. She kept saying things like, 'I've seen the future. I have to stop it.' Thinks like that."
"You think Remilia saw something in her fate that she didn't like?"
Flandre nods. "Remilia doesn't always have control over her powers, just like I don't sometimes. Sometimes she sees things in her dreams that come true, despite attempting to change it. She saw something one night, and from what she told us, I think it might have driven her crazy."
You briefly consider the irony of that, yet at the same time it affirms your belief that this entire time it wasn't Flandre who was the insane one of the Mansion. "What did she see?'
"She killed me in her dream, then killed herself."
"Exactly," Flandre says. "Sis never has dreams of us; she always thought that, as vampires, we were no longer controlled by fate. We were instead confined to three things that all vampires are enslaved to: Darkness - cursed to stalk the night; Vitae - cursed to require the blood of others; and Betrayal - cursed to turn on one another. Although organizations limit the last one, it still happens. At some point in a vampire's life, she will betray another."
"And so Remilia saw herself betraying you."
"Perhaps... or maybe the fact that I'm here with her shows that I've betrayed her," Flandre considers. "I'm certain that by now Remilia knows that I'm gone, and she probably sees it as an act of betrayal; she sees it as a part of her vision coming true."
"And ultimately, sometime, she will kill you in the Mansion," you say. "...so maybe we shouldn't go to Gensokyo."
"Sadly, that's not how it works," Flandre replies. "Destiny has a nasty habit of following you wherever it goes. Once, she had a vision of England losing its colonies. Despite not being English, she had a lot of allies in those colonies; allies she was hoping to use to take over the New World. Despite all her attempts to subdue the revolution before it started, ultimately, it happened. History now records that as the American Revolution, and in that war, Remilia lost all her allies and friends. She... never really recovered from that blow."
"Then she wasn't trying hard enough," you say with finality. Flandre looks at you curiously.
"You can't fight fate," she tells you.
"Yes, you can," you declare. "The future is not set in stone; Remilia's own powers are proof of that. If they were, your sister would not be capable of manipulating fate."
"But... doesn't her power suggest that there is destiny? That there is an ultimate fate?"
"No," you say. "Even your sister, by her own admission, can't see what her manipulations end up doing. Yukari once told me that her power is more of a nudge in the direction she desires. For example, she manipulated Sakuya's fate so she could help end the Eternal Winter; ultimately, Sakuya did, but she did not resolve the incident alone, like what Remilia was expecting."
"But Sakuya said she did that of her own free will," Flandre protests.
"She did," you say. "But possibly - and I am not saying this with any certainty - without Remilia's influence, I may have killed Sakuya, not the other way around."
"...I never looked at it that way before," Flandre admits. "But, either way... I feel as if Remilia will try to kill me, and probably succeed. She will then kill herself."
"Maybe, and maybe not," you tell her. You reach out and pull Flandre close to you. "But I will not let that happen, so long as I live, Flandre."
"..." At first the vampiress says nothing. Slowly, she looks up at you. "You... would do that for me?"
"I would do anything for you," you tell her. "Flandre, I... I really care about you."
Flandre makes a sound and pushes against you. She says nothing, instead slowly putting her arms around you. You tighten your own embrace. There's only silence now, save for you hearing Flandre slowly breathing. "I... I don't want you to kill her," she whispers after a while. "I love Remilia. She is my sister. But..." she closes her eyes. "I can't forgive her for this. Do what she wants to me; lock me up, beat me, let people do what they want to me; but I can't forgive her for putting the only place that I could ever call home in danger."
"You think you can do it?" you ask after a time.
"I can. I'll cry, and scream, and curse whatever gods there are for making me live with it, but... I think that... I can do it. Thanks to everyone, I can... if I have to."
"You won't try to follow her, will you?"
"No... I have to much to live for, now," she looks as you and smiles. "I have you now."
"Me?" you ask.
Flandre bites her lip. "Youmu... I think I love you."
It takes all you have to not leap away from Flandre in shock. Certainly, though, she feels your heart skip a beat. "Y-you love me?"
"I think so," Flandre nods. "I... every time I'm around you, I have this feeling in my heart. I want to be around you, I want you close to me... I get upset when you're not. I dream about you at my side. I dream about us in the mansion, playing games and drinking tea together. I see us reading books and stuff. I see us playing music and laughing together."
Oh... oh okay. you slowly exhale. It's not as you feared. "Flandre... I think that would be classified as love."
"So... it's okay then?" The vampire aks, uncertain.
"Yes, yes it is," you say with a smile. "But on one condition!"
Flandre leans back. "What?"
"...play for me. There's a piano in the main room of that house."
"I can do that," Flandre responds with a smile.
"And another thing, Flandre."
Flandre looks at you quizzically. You put a hand on her head and rub it affectionately. "I love you too."
You lead Flandre by the hand back into the house. Landon gives the two of you a look, but a stern look from Nina causes him to drop it. "Everyone, Flandre is going to play a song for us."
There are murmurs of consent, except from Hatate, who quickly whips out her phone and pushes a few buttons. "Okay!" she says. "What's she gonna do?"
"She's going to play the piano," you say with a smile.
"Ah, who knew the Young Mistress of the Scarlet Devil Mansion was talented like that?" Hatate asks, mostly to herself. You can almost hear the gears in her head turning.
Flandre walks up to the piano, sliding her hand across the closed keys. She sits down and opens it, gently placing her hands on the keys and taking a breath. "I have no name for this," she tells everyone. "It just... is. Please listen."
It... it might be one of the most beautiful things you've ever heard in your life. Everyone is quiet, and you sit down on the rug as you listen to Flandre gently hit every note she means to. And after a while of nothing but notes, she begins to sing.
Its hard to place the song. It's a tale of loneliness, that much you know. But it's also a song of finding a friend. She sings so softly that its almost too hard to hear her over the piano, but when you hear a life referencing "an emerald light in the dark" and "stars that fell from the moon", you know that Flandre has finished her song. You look at the rest; Reisen catches it and looks away; Nazrin closes her eyes and puts a hand over them; and Hatate, despite recording it all, bites her lip and shudders a bit.
It's a song about her friends. It's a song about you, Reisen, and the others. "Silver wings of night," that has to be Sakuya. You don't even know if Flandre is aware of where she is, anymore. The metaphor catches you, and you find yourself lost in the embrace of the song. You know that this song was probably born out of loneliness, but you also know that somehow, you've turned a tale of sadness into one of happiness.
You hear a sound. Reisen rubs her eyes and excuses herself. Hatate is doing all she can do keep it together; you wonder what part of it is moving her. Is it Flandre's melancholy tone, or her piano? You don't know which.
Flandre finishes singing, plays for a bit longer, then stops.
Yes, she has finished her song.
[ ] Vampire hunters
[ ] Reisen's Caution
[ ] Nazrin's Weakness
[ ] A Tengu's Work
Your relationship with Flandre has hit a new milestone.
This was originally going to be much sadder. I dropped it in favor of something more uplifting, with just a touch of melancholy.
Maybe everything will work out for Youmu and friends after all.
>>52752 I, for one, would like to know why did they leave the safety of their closed world. Maybe for the same reasons as us? They kind of seem to be here for a long time (why in this country of all places anyway?)
There is a general murmur of approval from everyone. It seems that Flandre has brought the house down, so to speak. You walk over to the piano and pat Flandre on the head proudly. "I knew you could do it."
"Thanks," Flandre beams.
"Well... not to spoil the fun," Landon coughs, bringing everyone back down to Earth. "Let's discuss what everyone is planning on."
Reisen walks back into the room, a cup of tea in hand. Her eyes are a bit more red than usual but she now seems okay. "Well... our primary objective is to return to Gensokyo. To do so, we have to meet with Sakuya's group, get Marisa to overload the barrier long enough for our friend Aya to lower it, and get us inside."
"That... sounds like a very sketchy plan," Alex says.
"It's all we've got," You admit. "I'm injured, Flandre is sealed, and Nazrin is in no condition to fight for a while," you hold up your hand for emphasis.
"Ah... that looks rough," Alex walks up to you and takes your bandaged hand in hers. "I... I think I can heal this."
"You're a healer?" You ask.
"Well, I'm a cleric back at Avalon. I heal the sick and injured all the time. It just takes a little magic. Here, watch."
Alex clutches a cross with one hand and begins to whisper words in a language you can't understand. Magic flows out of her with each word, and her hand on yours begins to glow with an ethereal energy. You tense up as you feel the muscles and bone in your hand begin to heal and reattach themselves to each other. It almost feels like time is reversing, and your hand is simply... uninjuring itself. As she finishes the spell, she removes the bandage tape, revealing that you're hand looks perfectly normal.
"Amazing..." you whisper, turning your hand back and forth. You turn around, reaching behind your back and drawing Hakurouken. You twirl the blade in your hands, feeling no worse for the wear. "Can you do more than that?"
"Sadly, not really," Alex sighs. "Anything more than that would take more time; I can probably heal any other injuries you have, though. Unfortunately, my magic only works on humans - or I guess half-humans in your case," she smiles regretfully at Nazrin. "Your injuries will have to heal naturally, I'm afraid."
"Ah, it's no big deal," Nazrin waves it off. "Youkai are pretty tough; I should be up and about in a week or so."
"So... you can't heal my wings," Hatate looks a bit perturbed. "And I was hoping."
"Can any of you counter blood magic?" You ask, directing a look at Flandre.
"Well, I can try," Landon says with a nod. "Give me some time to look up some spells, and I'll see what I can do. I'll warn you, though, arcane magic and blood magic don't mix well."
"I'm pretty thick skinned," Flandre says with a smile. "Give it your best shot."
"Alright, but no promises," Landon replies.
"If you're going to head that far... I would like to go with you," Nina says. "I want to see my daughter again."
"Is... is that okay? What of your mission?" You ask.
"Our mission is to stop the Camarilla from acquiring power in Avalon and Valhalla," Stephen tells you. "If getting you guys back home will see to that, then we've gotta help you."
"As leader, I have to agree," Landon says. "We'll accompany you back home to Gensokyo. Besides, Merlin was asking for updated information about the Outside World, so we can help with that."
"I see. Well, we could certainly use the help," you smile. "I would gladly welcome it."
"Same here," Nazrin agrees.
"I... wouldn't mind, either," Flandre nods.
"Eh, as long as I get to be nosy and ask questions, I don't care," Hatate adds.
The four of you look at Reisen. She shrugs. "I leave it up to you, Youmu," she states, although her eyes betray caution.
"So it's settled then," you sit on the edge of the couch. "We leave together soon."
"Give us some time to prepare," Landon says. "I have to gather my stuff; we kinda left our last base in a hurry and are somewhat disorganized."
"What happened? You ask.
"Bad run in with some damned Nosferatu," Landon tells you. "They ambushed us; woulda killed us too if we didn't have Nina's wicked knives on our side."
"I just did as I was trained, like my mother before me," Nina says, although her face betrays a hint of pride.
"It seems that knife-throwing runs in the family," Alex says with a laugh.
"It is said that the first of my family was a Valkyrie who was an expert with throwing weapons," Nina explains. "As such, it is custom for the women in my family to learn how to use them properly."
"Descended from Valkyries," you echo. "Tell me, can Valkyries fly?"
"Yes, why do you ask?"
You look at Reisen and smirk. "Sakuya can fly."
Nina starts at that. "You mean... there may be some truth to that after all?" she breathes.
"Well, she doesn't have any wings, but yes, Sakuya can fly as well as the rest of us."
"...you mean to tell me that you can all fly?" Stephen asks incredulously. "That's... that's a total violation of common sense!"
"Says the man who can channel the power of angels to smite evil," deadpans Nina.
"That's different!" Stephen shouts. "There is a science to faith-based magic!"
"Well... we can't fly right now," you admit. "Except for Reisen. Hatate requires her wings, and there's something about the magic seal placed on Flandre that prevents me and her from flying."
"And I'm too messed up right now," Nazrin adds.
"Ah, I see," Landon nods. "It's important we get that seal off of you, then," he says with a look at Flandre, who nods emphatically.
"Yes, I would like to fly again, since otherwise these are useless," Flandre flutters her wings, which jingle a bit.
"You know, I've been meaning to ask what those are," Reisen says flippantly.
"I have no idea," Flandre replies. "They don't really help me fly; all I know is that the number of crystals represent my power. Normally, I have four more of these," she points at where the bone - or metal - is bare. "They go here."
"Yes, I remember when I rescued you, you only had two lights left," you say with a nod. "They seem to also relate to your health."
"So we must ensure that you don't get hurt," Landon says. "Not just that, but for you, as well."
"Yes... you know what?" you chuckle. "We've never formally introduced ourselves."
"Yes, it's difficult talking to you when I don't even know your names," Alex grins.
"My name is Youmu Konpaku, samurai and gardener of Hakugyokurou," you greet. You stand and bow respectfully. "My apologies for the late introductions. You already know Flandre."
"My name is Reisen Udongein Inaba," Reisen says with a nod. "I'm a Lunarian, but my home, as I've mentioned, is in Eientei."
"Nazrin. I'm not special enough to have a surname," greets the mouse. She coughs a bit and sighs. "I hate being hurt.
"Hatate Himekaidou," the tengu smiles. "I'm actually a reporter. I can't fight worth a damn."
"We have to change that," you say with a giggle.
"Well, you already know us, but allows us to formally greet you," Landon laughs, picking a hat up off a chair and bowing, sweeping it low. "Welcome to the asshole end of Europe."
"Last time that was Finland," Stephen says with a shrug.
"His opinion changed," Nina grins. "But tell me, Miss Youmu: I understand that samurai have two swords. Where is your other?"
You sigh. "Well..."
"I broke it," Flandre cuts in. "Back when I was still helping Sis. She's got it now."
"So... you need a new sword then?" Landon asks. "Tell me something, then... you know how to forge a weapon?"
"I... I have a good idea of how to, but I can't say I've done it before. Why do you ask?" You stare at Landon, a bit hopeful.
"Well, as it turns out, there's a blacksmith's shop out in the back. Looks like it was designed for horseshoes, but there's still a lot of iron and stuff out there- Hey!"
You're out the back door before anyone can say anything else.
You run your hands across the anvil. It's old, but still strong. Off to the side are chunks of purified iron, smelted into ingots and stacked carefully. Whoever owned this place before didn't bother taking their stuff with them.
Landon catches up with you. "So..." he huffs. "You think you can make a new sword here?"
"Well... it's not exactly anything special, but I think I can do something here, yes."
Landon unstraps a book on his side. "I can help you," he says. "I've been trained to forge magical weapons. It'll take some effort on our parts, but I think if we start early tomorrow we can pull something off."
"Yes... yes," you breathe. "This is definitely a blessing."
"Let's leave it for now," Landon pats you on the back. "Don't get too excited, now."
You nod as Landon leads up back toward the house. Nina is leaning against the frame, staring at you with a smirk. "Hey, Landon, can I have a second with her?"
"Sure, sure," Landon nods. "See you in a bit, kid," he walks past the silver-haired woman and starts talking to Alex about something, leaving you with the mother of your... role model? Hero? You don't really know.
"Miss Nina," you greet. "Is there something I can help you with?"
"Is she truly happy?" asks the woman. "Kristina, that is."
You pause to think. "Yes... I believe she is," you say after a while. "She's quite private, though. Even after all the time I've known her, it's hard to get in to her... personal life."
"She doesn't talk about me?" Nina asks. She looks a bit hurt.
"No, but... she doesn't talk about her past a lot at all," you tell her. "When Remilia renamed her Sakuya Izayoi, I think she made it a point to forget her past. I don't think she ever expected to see you again, Miss Nina."
"I... I suppose you're right. I wonder, do you think she'll be happy to see me again?"
"...I think so," you reply. "Sometimes, when I would visit the mansion, Sakuya would get a far-off look in her eyes when she looked toward the west. She would then say something... I'm not sure what it means..." you repeat the words you heard Sakuya say many times to her. You struggle a bit, but you get the words out as clearly as you can.
Nina blinks, as if trying to understand you. Then, suddenly, she laughs a big, hearty laugh. "Oh, my daughter, ever wanting to fight evil," she says between laughs.
"What does it mean?" you ask, curious. Nina continues to laugh for a second, then slowly calms down.
"It's hard to place into English, but the closest analogy would be, 'Fear the reckoning of those you have wronged,'" She laughs again. "All that time, she may have truly been happy, Youmu... but certainly, my Kristina was planning on giving Remilia what she was due."
"So, the entire time she was servant, she was plotting revenge? Assassinaton?"
"Oh, no, nothing that underhanded," says the woman. "She would probably have asked Remilia for one more duel, then killed her. Only when she was ready, mind you."
Suddenly everything about Sakuya being private makes sense. She wasn't just a quiet person; she wasn't about to let her plans slip to anyone. "And her and Remilia seem so close..." you wonder.
"Oh, I don't doubt that she cared deeply for her Mistress," Nina tells you. "But in Valhalla, you repay evil done unto you with the same fervor it was done to you. It probably would have been hard on her, but I think ultimately she would have done it."
"I see," you say. "So... Sakuya would have eventually paid back Remilia for all the wrongs done to her."
"Yes, and knowing our family? She would have paid it back sevenfold."
Thanks to your choices, you have now opened up new ones and gotten 2 extends!
[ ] Reisen's Caution
[ ] Nazrin's Weakness
[ ] Tengu's Work
[ ] Forge A New Blade
-- [ ] Katana
-- [ ] Longsword
-- [ ] Zweihander
Also, you may pick from two of these enchantments:
[ ] Fire/Ice/Lightning Strike (Pick one, obviously.) [Add elemental damage]
[ ] Keen [Find weakness in opponent's defense more often]
[ ] Holy [Deals more damage to supernatural creatures]
[ ] Vicious [Prevents natural and magical healing]
[X] Reisen's Caution
I now more than ever want to see what she thinks.
[x] Forge A New Blade
-- [x] Katana
I have to say that as interesting as european style swords would be, I think it's a better idea to stick to a katana, seeing as the Longsword and Zweihander would be much longer and heavier than anything she is used to using.
Getting these numbers from wikipedia,
Katana: Average blade length 23-29 inches
Longsword: Average blade length 39-48 inches, total length upto 59 inches
Zweihander: Total length upto 6 feet.
So I think it'd just end up making her slower, and clumsier if anything.
--[X] Keen [Find weakness in opponent's defense more often]
-- [x] Holy [Deals more damage to supernatural creatures]
Vicious calls to me, but I feel like with a shorter sword and her magical speed boosts, she is a much more bursty character, waiting for that one chink in the enemies' armor.
Longswords handle nothing like katana's, Youmu's style will be heavily optimised to take advantage of the katana's quirks(the curved,single blade) whereas a longsword is straight, double bladed, heavier and generally wouldn't work with a samurai's sword style. The longsword probably offers more to it wielder once trained, but with how ingrained Youmu's sword style is to her abilities, and how pressed for time we are, a change in weapon type will be a bad idea at this point.
A Zweihander is right out.
As for enchantments, Holy + viscious seems to be the way to go. Anything that's not supernatural dies in 1 hit anyway because being hit by a sword going at notable fractions of the speed of light will do that so holy's a given. Vicious will help a lot for dealing with anything that can come back from being cut in 2(such as Remilia).
Vorpal sounds cool, and frankly if we weren't facing the possibility of offing Remi I would go for it, but those rare regenerators that can come back from a lack of head will be a real arse to deal with with our current set-up and Vorpal doesn't help much with that. I'm pretty sure Youmu can 1-shot nigh anything with holy+vicious+200 Yojana anyway.
[x] Reisen's Caution
[x] Forge a New Blade
--[x]Vote against Name: Vanadís.
We'll decide a name when we're decided on the blade.
> naming a katana something western ever
Even if its forged on a western forge, nope.
Assuming we go up against more than vampires in this story Keen might work out better in the long run and give youmu more options if we ever have to fight divine-beings or anything. [I'm going under the assumption that divines can't be hurt/resist damage from holy blades though]
I wouldn't mind Holy/Vicious Winning though, It basically means we get Samurai Jack's sword
Regarding the longsword-katana debate, people have been mentioning longswords are heavier than katanas but I thought that katanas and longswords were typically about the same weight with the katana sometimes being actually heavier?
>>52824 You know, unless the fucker decides to run into a pile of flammables or has flammables in their person. We are in the real world. I'd hate for the super natural to fail us at the worst possible moment and set the room on fire.
>>52856 Longswords are generally around the same weight as longswords, with people claiming Katanas weighing 2-3 pounds, and Longswords weighing anywhere from 1.5-3 pounds.
One of the big differences though is that which they are around the same weight, Longswords are much longer, and so more unwieldy. Or, not unwieldy, but the two weapons obviously feel much different. I myself own a smaller longsword, the blade being 39 inches long, and it being 51 inches in total. It's around 3 pounds, but it is a very different feel to my friend's katana.