After rescuing Flandre, You and her escaped the clutches of the Camarilla. Along the way, you met up with Reisen Udongein Inaba and Nazrin, and together you took off to rescue another member of Gensokyo, Hatate Himekaidou. Along the way, you stopped at a town and learned how to use firearms.
Once you reached Berlin, you enacted an operation to rescue the tengu. It was almost a failure thanks to a foreign group of vampire hunters, but you managed to rescue her, at cost. Nazrin was injured, and Hatate had lost her wings.
However, not all was lost. After escaping Berlin, you met up with a group of friendlier hunters, one of which being Sakuya Izayoi's mother. After becoming allies, you have been given the chance to forge a new weapon. It's night in Europe, and you are in a small household, and as the moon reaches its apex, you decide that it is time...
You stay awake, drinking tea and watching as, one by one, everyone but Stephen and Landon go to bed. Although the allure of a shower is very appealing right now, you have work to do.
"So, normally forging a katana takes about a week or so," you tell the two men as they pick up the dishes. "If I'm going to do this, I have to start tonight; there's a good chance that you guys will have to leave me behind so I can finish my work."
"A week?" Stephen scoffs. "Unless you forgot, we're pushed for time. We'll have to accelerate the process."
"I don't see how... it's a very intricate process."
"True, true," Landon nods. "I've done some research into weaponsmithing as part of my profession back in Avalon as a creator of magical arms and armor. If we produced a katana the traditional way, it would take about that long, but I have a way to accelerate the process... but you're probably right; we'll have to start tonight, unfortunately."
"Then let's get to it," you say, standing up and heading out the back door. The three of you walk into the blacksmith's shop while Landon conjures a mote of light in his hands and tosses it toward the ceiling, where it suspends itself. As your eyes adjust to the light, he pulls out a scroll and reads its contents. At once, everything in the shop comes to life; the dust is swept away, the iron ingots are stacked into three individual piles, the forge itself springs to life, the heat from the sudden flame licking at your face.
Pulling out another scroll, he reads it and lays it down on the ground in front of the iron ingots. They begin to... change, is the best word. Each one takes a different tone and shape, but a few of them in each pile break apart into particles and dust the rest of them. He then reaches into the pack he grabbed from the house and pulls out a silver blacksmith's hammer. He hands it to you, then points at the three stacks of metal.
"Pardon if I mess up your language," he says. "But here you have a stack of shigane, kawagane, and hagane."
"...this is..." you pick up a block of the hagane steel and feel it in your hands. Although the softest of the three, it's still impossible for you to break. It's also much lighter than the iron ingots from before. "What kind of magic is this?"
"Transmutation," Landon replies. "Its the school of magic that involves altering the properties of matter."
"Can you use it to forge a katana from scratch?" you ask.
"Normally, yes," the man nods. "However, since we'll be making a magical weapon, we'll have to do it the hard way. I can accelerate some of the processes - after all, I just shaved three days off of our time - but with each strike of that hammer, you will have to be putting some of your own personal magic into the blade. While you're making the sword, I'll be busy summoning the magics that will enchant the sword itself. Stephen," he looks at his friend. "That jewelmaking you're always doing; do you think you can use it to make some stones that will further enchant the sword?"
"Hah!" Stephen grins and reaches into the air. A longsword materializes in his hand. Within the hilt there are two diamonds encrusted in the blade, and a ruby where the blade meets the handguard. "Did you forget what I did to this lovely thing?"
Landon chuckles. "Yes, you're right, I forgot," to you, he says, "Youmu, what kind of magic do you want embedded in the sword?"
"Something to kill vampires with," you reply, the think. "No, not just vampires; when I get home, I may have to deal with some troublesome youkai. I need a weapon that will be like anathema to them."
"I know just the thing," Landon nods. "But I'll need Stephen's help for that as well."
"An arcane/divine blade?" Stephen quips. "That hasn't been done since the days Arthur walked the earth, Landon. Do you really think we can pull it off in one night?"
"We don't really have a choice," Landon answers. "Stephen, you're going to need your best jewels for this one."
"...to make another Excalibur," whispers the holy knight. "A Japanese one, at that; if we pull this off, we may just be the greatest smiths to ever exist, since the days Merlin was young."
"I know the type of folding I will have to do, as well," you tell them. "There's a technique called Soshu Kitae; it's the style of forging the legendary smith Masamune used. It is considered by many to be the best way to make a weapon, but also the most difficult."
"You think you can pull it off?"
"I can give it my best shot," you answer, picking up one of the shigane blocks with a pair of tongs. You stick it into the flame. "Lets make a sword."
Together, the three of you get to work. Every time you heat up the block, you use the silver hammer to lengthen it, and with each strike you embed some of your own magical energy into it. Off to the side, Landon opens a book and begins to recite things in his magical language, calling forth his own energies, while in a corner Stephen pulls out three diamonds and two emeralds, using his own magic to cut the gems so finely that even after a short time, the parts that have been cut shine with a brilliance not seen on this earth.
As you lengthen the shigane to its proper length, you heat up a block of Kawagane and begin to fold it onto the shigane. Again, with each hammer strike you pour your energy into it while using a cutting tool to scrape off the excess metal. Once you have a strip of kawagane folded on all sides of the shigane, you fold them again, then repeat the process, slowly hammering out the sharp edge of the katana.
In the middle of the process, Landon hands you three sheafs of paper. You wrap them around the kawagane and stick it back into the fire. The paper doesn't burn, instead glowing with magical energy. You pull the heated blade out and take the hammer to the paper. Each strike causes a shower of magical sparks as the paper and metal combine with one another, forming a solid whole.
Next comes the most important part. You take the Hagane and heat it, lengthen it, and begin to fold it around the metal you have already forged. Now with so much power in it, each strike forcibly saps your own magical strength, and as you fold the steel for what feels like the millionth time, you start to have trouble staying on your feet. Throughout all of this, Landon hands you more paper to combine with the blade while Stephen has finished the gems and set them off to the side. Out of the corner of your eye you see that he has used the smaller forge to create the handle of the weapon proper, and is busy using pure silver he took from Landon to engrave something onto the hilt.
You fold the sword again and decide that this is the last time. Landon hands you a clay pot filled with a thick liquid, brimming with magic. You take a handful and coat the blade with it, then stick it in a well filled with an oil/water mixture that at some point you vaguely remember creating. This causes the blade's edge to harden, and while it's still hot, causes the weapon to curve slightly. You reheat everything and do it again.
And again. And again. Occasionally Landon blasts the sword with some sort of magic, then you stick it back in the oily water. Stephen hands you the hilt, and together the two of you, with a little help from magic, fuse the sword to the hilt. You repeat the mixture/heat/cool phase once more, this time causing the blade to curve to exactly the right shape for you. Stephen tosses the gems into the fire until they're hot, then places one diamond on the hilt. With a roar, you smash it into handle, which, instead of cracking either gem or metal, fuses the two together. You repeat the process with the other two diamonds, then with the two emeralds, embedding those in the blade itself.
Finally, the three of you gather, place your hands over the blade, and form motes of magic. The motes turn into streams that pour into the blade. As you do so, it begins to shine with a blue-green energy that hurts the eyes.
Your body has enough. As you pick up the weapon and put it in the sheath that somehow, Landon had created, you pass out.
When you come to, you're back in the house. Reisen stands over you, worried, gently placing a new strip of ice-cold cloth on your forehead. "Ah, you're waking up!" she says with a smile. "We were beginning to get worried. Landon and Stephen are still out, but that's not... not really a surprise."
"What... how long have I been out?"
"About sixteen hours," Reisen replies. "You guys were in that shop for three days, you know that, right?"
"What?!" You sit straight up. "Three days?! It felt like hours!"
"Well, I'm not entirely surprised at that," Reisen sits down at a chair pulled up next to your bed. "The few times any of us tried to talk to any of you, we were ignored. It's almost as if you were in a trance. Unreal," she shakes her head. "Fortunately, things have been quiet while you were doing that; Nazrin's back on her feet again, Hatate has been doing a lot of scouting for us, and Flandre's been helping me take care of you guys."
"She's a good kid," you tell her. "But... wow, three days?"
"I know it's hard to believe," Reisen says. "But, just wait till you see what you've created in the meantime."
"The sword... we finished it?"
"Yes, but none of us can touch it," Reisen sighs.
"Why is that?"
"Can you walk?" Reisen asks. You swing your legs around and test your strength; you feel weak, but that's probably just hunger. You nod at the rabbit. "Then come on."
The two of you stand and walk downstairs. Flandre immediately tackles you into a hug, and you can only smile and return it, patting her on the head. Hatate takes a picture then waves at you meekly from behind her phone, while Nazrin, busy reading a book, nontheless looks up and gives you a grin.
"Ah, so the weaponsmith awakens!" she says. "We were beginning to wonder. Reisen's been keeping you all to herself, what with keeping you in bed and bathing you and all."
You blush. "Reisen!"
"You were filthy," protests the Lunarian. "I wasn't about to let you sleep looking like a pig in the mud."
"Still..." you shake your head. "N-no matter. Show me the weapon."
Reisen leads you out the backdoor, where Nina and Alex stand guard over the blacksmith's shop. An ethereal blue light shines from within it. "What's that?"
"The sword," Reisen says. She leads you down the hill, and you gasp.
Although still sheathed, you can feel the immense magical energy radiating from the katana as it floats several feet off the ground. The green scabbard is etched with silver, resembling the brances of a cherry tree. The hilt, with its single diamond, seems to stare at you with the gem, despite it spinning in lazy circles. You walk up to the sword. "We... we created that?"
"Yes, and the power from it is enough to probably be one of the most powerful weapons ever created," Nina begins. She puts a hand on your shoulder. "You guys have created a weapon that none in the mortal world have seen since the age of myths and legend. To say that it is as powerful as Excalibur or even Loki's Laevantein would be an insult to that sword."
"But... but how?" you ask, looking up at it.
"As I explained earlier," Reisen tells you. "You are a being that is created from the purest essence of magic, Youmu. Each time you put the hammer to metal, you were literally putting a piece of you within it. That blade has trancended mere mortal materials; it is a weapon of magic itself, not just enchanted by it."
You reach up to the weapon. The blade stops its spinning and slowly floats down to you. As you touch it, you can feel its power. You turn around and grab the scabbard. "Stand back," you tell the others. As they back away quickly, you pull the scabbard off. "...this is..."
To say that the katana is made of magic itself isn't doing justice to it.
The blade hums with energy, its mirror-like sheen enhanced by the soft blue energy radiating from it. You twirl the blade in your hand; its lighter than even Hakurouken. You swing it around a few times, getting a feel for the blade and watching as it leaves soft spirals of energy in its wake. You can feel the blade yearning for its singular purpose, almost: it wants to kill those that oppose you. An image of Remilia flashes in your mind, and the blade seems to beg for her blood upon its side.
"Amazing," you whisper. "Absolutely amazing," you sheathe the blade and put it at your waist. Ribbons shoot forth from the scabbard, and the weapon ties itself around you. "You still need a name," you say to the weapon. "When we take you to battle, we will know what to call you."
You briefly think of something cheesy like Godslayer... but somehow, you think that might fit.
"So, should we just go after Remilia?" you ask with a smirk.
"We considered it, but there's just... one problem..." Reisen answers. She reaches into your pocket and hands you a slip of paper. "An escaping youkai from Gensokyo named Imaizumi - the werewolf in the forest - gave us some grave news, and now we must make a choice."
"What's that?" You're suddenly very worried.
"The Camarilla managed to get into Gensokyo," Reisen tells you. "It was a brief incursion, but it's the way they did it that's most worrying."
"...They came from the Mansion, didn't they?"
Reisen nods. "Through the library, to be exact. They almost killed Patchouli Knowledge and banished Koakuma back to Makai. Both are fine - well, according to the leader of Makai, Koakuma is fine and is planning to return - but apparently it was most definitely not in Yukari's plans."
"...what did she do?" you ask warily.
"Well, she was planning on mobilizing some of Gensokyo's stronger youkai on a counterattack, but then there was another snag," Reisen sighs. "Apparently, the Camarilla incursion weakened the Hakurei Barrier just long enough: The Watatsuki sisters and a battalion of Lunarian soldiers landed right on top of the Moriya Shrine... and destroyed it."
"Destroyed?!" You shout. "What of Kanako? The tengu? The kappa and the others?!"
"It's not pretty from what I know," Reisen replies. "Look at the paper."
You look at it; its the front page of the Bunbunmaru newspaper. The headline only reads one thing: "WAR IN GENSOKYO!"
"...we have to get back," you decide. "Tell me, do Sakuya and the others know of this?"
"No, Kagerou couldn't find them," Reisen tells you. "We'll have to take them all with us. Not just that, but we need someone to keep tabs on Remilia until we get back."
"We'll do that, but Nina still wants to go," Alex tells you.
"Yes, I need to see my daughter, and I want to help you in any way I can," Nina nods.
"There is one thing that will help us, however," Reisen says with a grin. "Flandre!"
At first, nothing happens. Then you hear the jingle of glass clinking against each other.
Flandre lands next to you, falling to one knee. Then she looks up and grins at you. "The seal is undone?"
"Not quite," Alex tells you. "I was able to remove some of the magic in it, but you're still tied to her and she still can't access her powers."
"...good enough for me. We can easily make haste like this."
"...try flying, Youmu," Reisen says.
You nod. Channeling your own energy, you run forward and jump into the air. Your flight magic takes hold of you, and you easily make two or three laps around the house. You burst out into laughter and land back next to the others. "This is great news," you tell them.
"Alright, so," Reisen looks up. "Flandre, you can carry Nina and I'll carry Hatate. Youmu, you get my bag of weapons."
"No problem there. Nazrin can fly well enough?"
"Fly, yes, but she can't fight yet," Reisen tells you with a nod.
"Ah, if you can wait just a bit, however," Alex pipes up. "Help us get prepared for our mission first, if you don't mind."
"With pleasure," you reply with a grin.
Okay guys, you have time to do two Route Options. After this, you'll be heading off to find Sakuya's team, then to Gensokyo. Remilia is currently a non-factor thanks to your new vampire hunter allies resolving to keep track of her and to slow her advance.
I'm not sure what to say about this development. On one hand, Youmu created a badass sword. On the other hand, Youmu created a badass sword in merely three days.
How were they able to craft a sword like that? Acts like that are not even supposed to possible, even with Youmu's unusual nature helping the process. And creating a sword that equals or surpasses legendary weapons like Excalibur and Laevantein to what equates as a rush job is a pretty substantial claim.
Also, why are the Lunarians invading Gensokyo? The Moon may not have the best relations with Gensokyo, but declaring a war with seemingly no gain is not a very sound move.
If when we get back to Gensokyo we have to choose which front to fight on, i'd rather fight the camarillas. Seeings as how the Lunarians are obsessed with purity and such, I don't see our new sword doing quite as much against them as the vampires. We could free up resources for the rest of gensokyo to fight off the Lunarians.
You find Reisen helping the vampire hunters work on their truck. Landon, now awake, has attached several steel slabs on either side of it by utilizing magical wielding. Stephen has used his own magic to strengthen the vehicle's stock parts, allowing them to handle the strain of the steel. You find Reisen in the back of the truck, hefting an absurdly large rifle of some sort and bolting it into the frame of the truck.
"What... are you doing?" You can't help but ask. Reisen looks up at you, her pretty face streaked with grease.
"Helping the only way I know how," she replies. She puts another bolt in the bipod, using an automatic screwdriver. It makes a whirring sound as it screws the bolt in. "With as many guns as possible."
"You're giving them your arsenal?" You look in the back to see that the rabbit has pulled most of her guns out of her pack; there are assault rifles and submachine guns everywhere.
"Nah, that's just about half of it," replies the rabbit as she looks an ammo box onto the side of the rifle. She opens the top of it and sets in a shell, snaps the top closed, and pulls back the charging handle. "The rest of it is still in my bag or back home at Eientei," she punctuates her home with a snap as she releases the handle, loading a shell. "There, the SAW is in place. It doesn't have any silver rounds but it'll make the vampires think twice about attacking from the rear."
You grin. "It's nice to see that you've become helpful. You've been kind of... standoffish... as of late."
Reisen sighs and puts down the screwdriver. She moves into a sitting position and beckons you to sit beside her. You jump up into the back of truck and sit down, unconsciously getting closer to her than she implied. You look at her face again and can't help yourself; reaching into your pocket, you grab a small towel you had from earlier and go to wipe off her face. Reisen makes a sound but lets you do it anyway.
"Sorry, it w as just... just there," you say after a second. Reisen just sighs again. "A-anyway..."
"Right," Reisen says. "Well, if you must know... I just have my doubts," she looks out of the truck, down the road. Somewhere is the van she hijacked earlier. "All of this time - from the moment you stepped through the gap, to the moment we left Gensokyo, all the way to now - has been packed with a lot of fighting and fear. I've never been afraid for my life as many times as I have lately. To suddenly find actual allies, who are willing to help us at no cost... well, can you understand my suspicions?"
You think about it for a second, then nod. "Yes, I guess the rest of us jumped too quickly at the chance for an ally, but... I just wanted to believe that there is some good out here."
"You were right on that, and I apologize for my rude behavior," Reisen replies. She makes a face and looks away from you. "I'm sorry for doubting your intuition, Youmu."
"Ah, don't do that," you shake your head. "You were right to be cautious; it's only the natural reaction to everything, right?"
"Yeah, I guess," Reisen reaches into her shirt and pulls out a necklace. The two of you stare at the crescent-moon shape of the pendant. "I... I don't know. I might speak out of turn if I explain myself, and..."
You put a hand on Reisen's and squeeze it tightly. The two of you look at each other for a minute. "It's okay, you can tell me," you say. "Even if its the nastiest thing you can say, I'll listen to you."
"...okay," Reisen nods. "I can trust you..." she takes a deep breath. "All my life, Youmu, I've felt nothing but betrayal. Can you understand that? It all started when I abandoned the moon and ran away to Eientei. That was the first betrayal, and it was my fault; I turned my back on home because I had a moment of cowardice. Since then, I've learned to trust no one in Eientei. I care for everyone there but... I can't trust them."
"Part of it is the Lunarian in me," Reisen's eyes take a far off look. "Even though the Watatsuki Sisters held Eirin in high regard, the rest of the moon didn't. They saw her as a traitor, and Princess Kaguya as well. The reason I was given the Lunatic Eyes was so eventually I could capture both of them; since they are effectively immortal, I was to lock them within their own minds, where there is no escape. And I think... I think they knew that. At first, I wasn't treated well; I was locked in a room with only Tewi as the occasional company. Once I proved that I wasn't going to turn against them was I allowed to go outside. By then I was terrified of people."
"Did they do anything to you?" You can't help but ask. Reisen shakes her head.
"No, they just left me in the dark. For ten years I was locked in that room, and the rare times I was let out was so Eirin could perform experiments on me, see what made me different from all the other rabbits. I don't know if she ever found what she was looking for, but I remember every single one of those."
"Then... why do you care for them so much?"
"Because I learned that ultimately, they're nice people. Caring people... to each other. I became apprenticed to Eirin because while she did take a genuine liking to me after a time, it was ultimately decided that I needed to be useful in some capacity. At first, I was nothing more than a janitor, cleaning up after her messes - even the ones that Tewi intentionally left for me to clean up - but it wasn't until the Pricess finally talked to me that I was treated with an iota of respect."
She sighs and blinks. "Princess Kaguya... is truly a goddess. She was the only one who listened to me cry and complain. She would hold me and give me advice, and ultimately, because of her, I chose to stay in Eientei. Even though Eirin never returned the trust I gave to her, and even though it took years for Tewi to finally warm up to me, I finally earned respect. It was grueling, but I did it... and that's when the betrayals of trust started."
The Lunarian shakes her head. "Kaguya aside, they were all willing to give me up to the moon in order to keep Eientei a secret. Eirin... never really wanted me around, and Tewi was getting tired of pranking me, so ultimately, they were going to send me off. I hated it. I hated Eirin. I hated everyone for that. They let me in and were ready to spit me out at the most convenient time... except the Princess."
"I never would have guessed..." you say quietly.
"Most people buy into the rumors about her," Reisen tells you. "She's perfectly willing to let people think that she locks herself in her room and messes around all day, but the truth is, she's a kind and caring person. It broke her heart to turn down Mokou's father, but it was something that had to be done, for example. She lets Fujiwara continue their rivalry - and she even plays along - because she has seen what eternity looks like and wants to give Mokou something to do. She wants to keep me in Eientei because she knows I'll hate it back... back home. But at the same time, she lets Eirin and Tewi do what they want, even if it means hurting me. I can understand it... but I don't like it."
"That's why you wanted to leave Gensokyo for good," you say with clarity. It makes sense now.
"Yes... it would hurt Kaguya, even Eirin to a degree, but I think that they would see me as only a fleeting thing," she chuckles. "You know, once I asked Keine to erase my memories; I wanted to run away and not remember a thing about Eientei, and yet... I knew if I did, I'd lose the one connection that mattered to me at the time."
"Yes," Reisen nods. "Princess Kaguya. Keine couldn't do it for me, so I went home that day. I got a severe punishment from Eirin for running away like that, but ultimately... I think they at least sort-of accept me now. They made me leader of security, and they depend on me to keep the Earth Rabbits in line... and yet I still feel as if... they don't want me around."
"I want you around," you tell her. "Reisen... if ever you feel like you're not welcome, you can always come to me. I'll always stick my neck out for you."
Reisen smiles. "...thank you. That means a lot to me," she looks at you then. "Youmu... this is kinda cheesy, but if we don't make it back, I want you to know that, out of everyone I've ever known, I think it's you that I care about most."
"Do you mean..." you leave the question unasked, but both of you know what you're trying to say.
"I don't know," replies the Lunarian simply. "I mean, I want it to... but I don't know yet."
You consider for a second, then nod. Blushing, you smile and look at Reisen. "Will this help?"
You lean up and kiss her. It doesn't last as long as it did with Hatate, but it feels... more intense, somehow. Reisen blinks, confused, but quickly warms up to the kiss. You reach behind her head and pull her closer. Reisen moans a bit, and your free hands locks with hers.
When you pull away, you smile. I did it! you think happily. Reisen slowly opens her eyes, a smile on her face.
"I thought I needed to take you on a date first," she giggles.
"Well... I'm still up for it, once all this is over," you reply. "But, just so you know - that was a one-time thing. I do need a little more than that if we're going to... ah..." you search for the words.
"Commit?" Reisen asks helpfully.
"...yes, commit," you say.
"Okay, then!" Reisen nods. She puts her hands together. "Youmu Konpaku, once all this is over, I humbly request that the two of us go on a date."
"And I hereby formally accept your invitation," you tell her, a silly smile still on your face.
"Mystia's place sound good?"
"Hey, I could eat some grilled eel," you giggle.
"Then its settled," Reisen says. "Youmu, once this is over, and assuming the date goes well, you're going to be my girlfriend, whether you like it or not."
"I... I'm pretty sure I'll like that."
The two of you giggle again. You don't know if it was forging the sword, or Reisen taking care of you, or a mix of those and more, but you finally took the first step into being with someone.
And you couldn't be happier right now.
Congratulations! You've done enough that Reisen is seriously considering you to be something much deeper than friends, and in turn, the confidence you've gained in recent events has caused you to... well, actually be okay with it! You've reached a new milestone with Reisen, and maybe with a little bit of effort, you can get that date a little sooner.
Until then, let's set that aside for now. You have one more route option to choose before we move on to the next events.
[ ] Hatate's Work
[ ] Nazrin's Weakness
Short Update is Short, but that's okay sometimes, right?
>>52925 I'm sure if you work at it you can pull it off.
As an aside, as thanks for all my readers and voters, I plan on writing something special for everywhere... in /at/. I don't know when I'll be done with it because I've never written R-18+ content before, but I'm going to give it my best shot.
If you couldn't already fly, you're certain that you would be now. After you finally decide to let Reisen finish help the vampire hunters with their truck, you walk back into the house. Flandre has some tea ready for you, then promptly leaves with Hatate; apparently, they're going scouting together. You watch as the vampire and tengu leave together; it's nice that Flandre has finally made some more friends.
You hear a laugh that vaguely sounds like "ufufufu" behind you. "What is it, Nazrin?"
The mouse walks dramatically around you. "Oh, gods above," she says wistfully. "Whatever will happen now? Will Lady Yuyuko finally see that her adopted daughter has grown up? What will she say if she finds out that Youmu has shared a kiss with the lovely, if possibly insane, Reisen Udongein Inaba?"
You blush. "Oh come off it, Nazrin," you mumble. Nazrin grins and pokes you in the cheek.
"Aw come on, Youmu, it was sweet," she quips. "I for one heartily approve of this budding relationship."
"I'm glad I have your approval," you reply blithely. "Seriously, though, why are you so interested in what I do?"
"You really want to know?" Nazrin grins.
"It'd be nice," you tell her.
"Okay," Nazrin turns around and walks away from you for a minute, then turns back around. "I think you're hot."
"...I don't understand," you put a hand to your forehead. "You think I'm getting sick?"
"No, no," Nazrin sighs, shaking her head. "Not hot like that. I mean, sexy. Attractive. I'd jump you in a heartbeat if you'd let me," she shrugs. "What can I say? I have a weakness for attractive people."
You blush. "I'm not... very pretty," you say. It's not that you think you're ugly or anything, but when surrounded by all these other people you're definitely outclassed.
"Don't underestimate youself," Nazrin says, putting her hands on her hips. "You remember that festival in the village a few months ago? When you wore that yukata?" you nod, recalling the festival easily. "You had every man - and a lot of women - watching you. I should know, I was one of them."
"Really?" you blush and look away. "But... there were so many other people there, surely I wouldn't stick out..."
"Honey, normally you have a ghost following you, you stick out," Nazrin admonishes. "Even in a land where people have all manner of strangeness about them, a simple green-eyed girl from the Netherworld - almost a ghost herself - can make waves. Also, it was the first time a lot of us saw you without your swords. You looked quite lovely. And you have some very nice legs."
Your blush deepens a bit. "But Nazrin, I don't have anything else going for me," you protest.
"So what? Being attractive isn't about what you don't have, but what you do!"
"And what do you have, other than a larger chest, a more outgoing personality, and a better figure than me?" You can't help but notice. Nazrin chuckles.
"Youmu, dear, I'm still a mouse youkai," she says. "My biggest weakness is that... well, what you see is what you get. I mean, yeah, I can't keep my pants on sometimes, and it gets me in trouble," she rubs the back of her head and chuckles. "I mean, I don't sleep with anyone that I come across, but sometimes its really hard."
"I... I wish I could understand," you reply. "But I can't really relate."
"It's fine, it's fine," Nazrin waves you off. "But I mean, I'm pretty shallow; I guess that's why I think you're prettier than me. You have more about you."
"You're not so bad yourself," you remind the mouse. "I mean, it takes a lot of courage to just up and leave home like you did."
"Maybe," Nazrin smiles. "Maybe not."
"...besides," you say. You decide its time to lighten her up a bit. "I've heard that there are... ways... to help one with problems like that. You know, the kind that only requires yourself?"
"..." Nazrin blinks, then catches on. She chuckles. "Wow, you might have been hanging out with me too much. But to answer that, for me its no fun when its only one, you catch my meaning?"
"Yeah," you look away. "Well, I wouldn't know. But I'm just trying to help you out."
"I know how you can help me out," Nazrin teases, wiggling her fingers at you. "Come on, just one round, I'll make you feel good."
"I'll pass," you reply, but you smile anyway. "I've got a rabbit that might get jealous if I jump in bed with you."
Nazrin laughs. "Maybe. Or she can join in."
The two of you share some laughter. Being around Nazrin so much, the teasing doesn't bother you as much as it did before. But you feel like you understand the mouse a bit better now. It's easy to see that the carefree, easy-going, teasing youkai is exactly that; there isn't much in the way of hidden troubles or anything like that. At the least, any problems Nazrin might have had with her life has long been washed under the bridge, and you get the feeling that the woman that stands before you is probably the happiest out of all of you. Still...
"Are you still planning on leaving Gensokyo?"
"Ah, I dunno," Nazrin shrugs. "I've been thinking that if I do, I might take Shou with me. That tiger needs to get out more, anyway. Or, I might stay home. I mean, if Reisen and Hatate decide to. Or," she considers. "I might take Hatate with me; at least that way we have an excuse to come back."
"There's always reasons to come home," you tell her. "If this all works out, then Hakugyokurou will always welcome you for a visit. I'm sure Lady Yuyuko will greet you warmly. And I know I will."
"... I don't follow,"
Nazrin sighs again. "Come on, you mean to tell me that if you two hit it off you're not gonna let her move in with you?"
"Ah," you blush again at the thought of you and Reisen living together. "Actually, I was thinking that... I would leave the Netherworld and find a place in the village to live with her... I mean, if it came to that," you shrug. "I think Lady Yuyuko would understand."
"You might want to work on that delivery," Nazrin chuckles. "Anyway, I'm out for a while; Stephen and I are going to town to pick up some supplies. And Youmu..."
"Thanks for entertaining me," Nazrin grins.
[BELOW THIS LINE IS ADULT CONTENT.]
You close the door to the bathroom, stripping down as you do so. Most of your wounds have been healed at this point, and for once it doesn't hurt to move. This time, you plan on keeping it that way.
You turn on the shower, letting the water warm up. It's been a long past few days, and now that you have a moment to youself, you decide to take advantage of it. You pull your panties off and toss them aside. Before you jump in, you look at yourself in the mirror.
Maybe there is some truth to what the mouse said. Your hair has grown, is what you first realize. It's lengthened to halfway down your neck, and you find youself definitely okay with that. You think you might start wearing your hair in a ponytail if it gets long enough.
You still have that childish face though, however it's been a bit hardened by recent events. Your eyes are a bit harder than they were before, and you think that maybe people can't call you soft anymore. You'd like that.
The water has warmed up enough. You step inside the shower and shudder a bit as the water rushes over you. Hot showers are nice, and all those plans you had to install one back home seem to be the best thing you could do. Surely your master would like one as well.
You lean against the wall and close your eyes, letting the water spill over you. What were you thinking, kissing Reisen like that? Maybe that was too forward of you. After all, how could someone like this body? You look down at your small breasts and complete lack of figure. Compared to Reisen you've got nothing.
"Still..." you whisper to the water. "She likes me, so I guess that's enough."
You close your eyes again, this time a smile on your face. You wonder what it'd be like if Reisen walked in, right now. What would happen?
Your brain goes... somewhere else.
Reisen walks in to the bathroom, already mostly naked. As she strips off her panties, you poke your head out of the shower and take in her full figure. She grins at you and lets you stare at her body; her frim breasts, her figure helped by years of service, and, as you stare down, her perfectly trimmed mound. Any questions about whether or not she dyes her hair go out the window. "You like what you see?" she asks slyly. You nod slowly. The Lunarian walks up to you, cupping your face with her hands. She leans down and gives you a kiss.
Well, not just a kiss. You open your mouth and feel your tongues press against one another. You moan as Reisen lowers a hand down to one of your breasts, rubbing your nipple with her thumb. You break the kiss and pull her inside the shower.
You open your eyes. What the hell was that? Did you fall asleep?
Either way, that was... well. You close your eyes again.
Reisen moans as you kiss and bite on her neck. Her hands trail down your back, firmly planting themselves on your ass. You yelp a bit as she squeezes, it doesn't take long for you to do the same. Reisen bites her lip as you lick her neck, then kiss her collarbone. "I thought you didn't know what you were doing," she moans.
"I'm figuring it out," you say with a grin, leaning up and giving her another passionate kiss again. Reisen moans into your mouth as you squeeze her butt again, and she raises a hand to squeeze your breast again. You feel heat rising in your cheeks again as you kiss her more deeply. You know where this is going. You want it to go there.
You reach your hand down and begin rubbing your clit. A distant part of you says you've never done this before. You ignore it.
Reisen gasps as if coming up for air. You look at her inteltly. "Reisen... I want you to..."
"Me too," she whispers. She lets go of your breast and lowers her hand slowly. You bite your lip as she rubs at your slit. "Is this okay?"
"Yes," you tell her. Reisen teases you, pushing the tip of her finger in but then pulling it back out. Leaning down to kiss your neck and squeezing your ass again, she keeps teasing you, occasionally rubbing your clit with her thumb as she does it. "R-Reisen... stop and just... nn!"
You moan loudly as you finally have enough and slide a finger inside your slit. The feeling nearly causes you to collapse to your knees as you pump your finger in and out of yourself. You rub your breasts and squeeze your nipple as you grind your hips to the motions. You make a sound that sounds vaguely like "aahn!"
Reisen's fingers push into you, finally. You writhe against her body as she fingers you with one hand and herself with the other. You kiss her, and both of you moan with pleasure. Reisen breaks the kiss and leans down to suck on one of your nipples, and the electric feeling from below mingles with the feeling of Reisen all over you. You reach down and pull Reisen's fingers out of herself, replacing them with yours.
At some point you end up on your knees, using two fingers now to fuck yourself. You double over and gasp as you feel immense pressure.
"Reisen, I think I'm going to-" You gasp. "Ah...Aahhhhnnn!"
You've never had an orgasm before. The fantasy playing in your head evaporates as pleasure rocks your body. Everything from your ears to your toes tingle like electrcity as you climax, and you feel something wet and sticky cover your fingers. Slowly, you pull your fingers out of your suddenly sensitive slit and lean back against the shower wall.
Nazrin was totally wrong, you think. It's really fun when it's only one!
[ABOVE THIS LINE IS ADULT CONTENT]
You step out of the bathroom, feeling... really good, actually. You haven't felt like this in possibly ever. You might have to repeat that little fantasy once you get some extra time. Wrapping the towel around your head, you pick up your swords leaning against the wall and tie Hakurouken on your back, the other wrapping its ribbons around your waist. Reisen had at some point acquired a version of your formal outfit from Hakugyokurou, except the dress is half its length; you figure she must have made it herself at one point. You wonder if the mini-skirt is intentional.
Well... if Reisen has had her eye on you for a while, then it might be possible...
You giggle. You really need to take her up on that date as soon as possible. Stepping out on the back porch, you look up at the sky... and gasp.
Even in the dusk light, you can clearly make out what's slowly heading toward the house.
"Scarlet Mist..." you whisper. "Remilia is on her way."
But how? How did she find you, if its her? You look down at the sword, which doesn't react. Did creating this blade alert her to your presence here?
There's no time to wonder. You run back through the house and up to the truck, where Reisen and the others are chatting. The Lunarian takes note of your panicked face and stands up. "What, what is it?!"
"She's coming. Remilia is on her way!"
Everyone looks at each other. "What should we do?" Landon asks. "Run, or fight?"
[ ] Run
[ ] Fight
Kapow said that writing porn outside of /at/ is fine and didn't understand my hangup with wanting to put it in /at/, so there you go.
I've never written porn before so take it easy on me. I tried to make it IKEA porn but I failed so whatever.
There is no way everyone can outrun Remilia. Hatate and Nazrin can't fight so we need to buy time for them to get out of there. The hunters can't fly, so they would have to drive away and that wouldn't be the wisest decision as the roads are probably prime ambush points. Plus, we don't even know if Remilia is really here to fight. I'd say, with the hunters, Reisen, and Flandre (But I would recommend not having her here for this) could take Remilia, assuming she's alone.
Fate-controlled and/or of her own will. Betcha she's either gonna go the "complete monster" route and kill (or attempt to kill) her mom or THE POWER OF FAMILY brings her back to the good side. Or we just beat the sense into her.
Etiam fortes viros subitis terreri.
Even the bravest of men are frightened by sudden terrors. -- Tacticus, Annales
They came from darkness.
Given life as a human, twisted by horrible magics, they appeared into existence amongst the trees. As the red mist swirled
throughout the forest, they seemed to be breathed into life, as if by the will of the land. They wore many different outfits,
carried many different weapons, but they all had singular purpose.
With them were monsters, creatures borne of the night. They wielded weapons of war, of death, and as their steps fell, the
very air seemed to die.
And in the evening sky, a lone soul flew. Spear clutched in one hand and dark purpose in the other, scarlet eyes screamed for
"We run," you decide. "We've got to get out of here. In our state, we'll be easy pickings for Remilia."
I agree," Reisen says. "Those of us that can fly, should. Everyone else needs to get loaded in the truck."
"What about Stephen and Nazrin?" Alex asks. "They're halfway to town, and Hatate and Flandre are - ah."
Flandre lands in front of you suddenly, letting go of Hatate so the tengu can stand. "Is that-"
"Yes," you interrupt the tengu. "We've got to move, now. Get in the truck."
"...shit, I'll have to ride, too," Reisen realizes. She hops up into the back of the vehicle and flips up the sight on the
light machine gun. "I didn't have time to train anyone how to shoot this thing," she looks at the others. "If you can fly, I
suggest you do so."
"Hold on," Landon pulls out a scroll and reads the words of power on it, crumples it up, and throws it at his feet. There's a
brief blossom of magic, and suddenly he's floating in the air. "It's only temporary, but I can at least keep up with you guys.
Alex, you drive. We'll have to pick up Nazrin and Stephen on the way."
"Guys..." Hatate says in a warning tone. She has her phone in front of her face, staring intently into it. "She's coming
fast... and she has friends."
Now, you see it. A dark voice boomed in the head of those walking. Soon, you will taste the sweet flesh of those
who are against you. Now, my pretties, let us take what is rightfully ours.
An unearthly howl keens in the distance. You all look at each other. "We need to go. NOW!" You shout. You take to the
sky. Flandre is already in the air, staring toward the scarlet mist.
"It... it feels..." she reaches a hand out toward it. "It's calling me, Youmu. Sis is calling me. I need to... to..." Flandre
starts slowly floating toward the mist.
"Flandre, stop!" you shout after the vampire. You fly up to her and wrap your arms around her. Flandre doesn't resist, but you
see in her eyes a glossed-over look.
"Sis is calling me... she wants me to come home..." she whispers. "I must go to her..."
"No, Flandre, stay with me!" you pull her back down to Earth. "Reisen, can you do something about this?"
"Yeah, bring her here," together, the two of you force Flandre to look away from the mist and into Reisen's eyes. They flash
red, and Flandre suddenly passes out. "There. I put her under for a while," the two of you load her into the back of the truck
as another howl sounds.
[i]Beasts show up, getting in their way. The monsters, powered by their dark magic, quickly make work of the werecreatures.
"Go, go, go!" Reisen shouts. Alex starts the car and puts it in gear as you and Landon raise back up into the sky. The two of
you fall behind the truck as Alex pulls it onto the main road, picking up speed as fast as it will go and not once looking
back. Reisen goes prone in the back of the truck, flipping the safety to the off position and gripping the machine gun with
both hands. "Guys, they're along the road, too. Looks like Ghouls and... looks like they got some fast ones!"
You chance a look behind you. The people behind you aren't just Ghouls anymore. Powered by blood magic, they simply leap and
bound toward you, drunk on their power and wielding melee weapons. There are at least ten of them. "How is that possible?!"
"Do you think Remilia enchanted the mist?" Landon wonders. You shake your head.
"I have no idea how her magic works," you admit. "It's not supposed to be that good, though. In Gensokyo, Patchouli handles
the magic, not Remilia."
"She must have Tremere helping her then," Landon decides. "But what is her motive- HOLY SHIT!"
Landon drops a few feet and you follow suit without thinking about it. The Ghouls have caught up to the truck. You unsheathe
your sword and hear its killing intent. You decide that its time to sate its thirst.
You flip around and fly backwards as the Ghouls take another lunge at you, axes and hammers raised high. It would be comical
if it weren't so serious. Before they have time to even attempt to strike, you counterattack, spinning a fast circle and
bisecting the nearest Ghoul. In the same motion you draw Hakurouken and run it through another opponent, slicing open his
stomach. He falls to the ground, desperately trying to keep his guts from falling out.
You wave your swords in a flourish, channeling magic through them. Bursts of danmaku shoot from you, slamming into the
remaining chasers and sending them sprawling. Without training, they are easy prey to your magic.
"...You've got to teach me that trick," Landon says with a smirk. You grin at him before turning your attention back
toward the mist.
"Looks like we've outrun most of them," you say. "None of them should be able to catch up with us. Reisen!"
The Lunarian looks up from her sights. "I don't see anyone. You got them all before I even got a chance to fire... Youmu,
You dodge at the last possible second. The spear slices cleanly through the back edge of the truck, cutting Reisen's weapon in
half. The Lunarian recoils from it as if it was a snake.
You narrow your eyes, recognizing that spear as you fly by it. You turn around to fly backwards again.
Remilia flies low, grabbing her spear and flying in a straight line toward you. You point Hakurouken at it and send out
another wave of danmaku, but the vampire ignores it entirely. With a wicked smile on her face, she charges you at a speed you
didn't think she had. Before you can react, she swings around you, kicks Landon so hard that he's sent flying off to the side
somewhere, then comes back around, spear raised high.
"Konpaku!" She shouts. You raise your sword to block the swing. As the weapons meet, a shockwave of magic explodes from them,
tearing off the tops of nearby trees and knocking the two of you back away from each other. You backflip to an upright
position and sheathe Hakurouken, gripping the freshly-made sword with both hands. Remilia shakes her head and comes after you
again, spear in one hand and claws extended in the other. "Come, show me what you've got!"
Remilia swings at you with her claws faster than you can react. They dig into your ribs. You grunt from the pain and lift the
sword, bringing it down on Remilia's arm and cutting through it. Remilia gasps in pain and recoils back from you. The arm
explodes into individual bats and rejoins with the vampire... but they do not reform.
Landon sits up, shaking his head. "Man, Remilia hits like a tank," he mutters, standing up. Above him, the scarlet mist
lingers, and the mage finds it hard to breathe. Forming a spear in his right hand, he turns around to see multiple Ghouls
getting closer to him. He takes flight again, slowly going backwards, as he makes a gesture with his left hand. "So, you want
to come at me?" he says to them, grinning. "Well, then, let's go!"
He points a finger at the Ghouls. A burst of flame shoots out, hurtling toward them and crashing against the Ghouls like waves
against a cliff.
Somehow Remilia is even more intimidating with an arm composed of bats. You take her confused look as an opening, and raise
your sword in the air. "Hungry King Sword [Ten Kings' Retribution on the Preta]!" You charge forth, danmaku flying from
your raised blade as you zero in on the vampire. Remilia grins, dodging all of your shots and easily blocking your sword with
her spear. There's another magical shockwave, this one sending you flying back so hard you bounce off the roof of the truck.
"Why are you slowing down?!" You shout at Alex.
"Up ahead, Nazrin and Stephen!"
You look behind you as the mouse youkai and the knight jog up to the truck. Nazrin reaches into her pocket and pulls out a
spellcard. "Gold Sign, [Pendulum Guard]!" she shouts. The diamond-shaped magic orbs crash down on the truck, enveloping
it in a protective bubble as her and Stephen get in the back of the truck. Nazrin starts coughing and it takes all you have to
ignore it, standing on the roof of the truck and staring at Remilia, her back against her scarlet mist. She still has that
smile on her face as she stares up into the sky.
"Night Sign, [Bombard Night]!" She shouts. Innumerable orbs of magic bullets form and slam down on Nazrin's defensive
barrier, shattering it like paper. Reisen rolls over and throws up her hands, and a magic shield forms over the truck as Alex
puts it back into gear, sending it back along its way.
"It's... too... slow!" she shouts. "Stephen, make this thing go faster!"
As Stephen begins to work his magic, Reisen's spellshield breaks. You clutch your blade tightly and fly back into the air.
Remilia grins at you as you fly up.
"You will not win this, Remilia!" you shout at her. "I will kill you!"
"You can't kill me!" Cackles the vampire. "It is not your fate!"
"Fuck fate!" you scream at her. "Hell Realm Sword, [200 Yojana in 1 Slash]!" You streak across the crimson sky, blade
extended and pointing at Remilia's heart. The vampire, for a brief moment, appears worried. As your sword nears her heart,
though, she explodes into bats, causing you to harmlessly pass through her. Remilia reforms away from you, her smile dark.
"You can't even hit one of me," she chuckles. "I wonder how you will do against more?"
"More?" You echo. Remilia narrows her eyes.
"Who do you think Flandre learned her spells from?" she asks, then raises her spear into the air. "Taboo [Royal Flush]!
Remilia's spear disappers...
...and four copies of her materialize into existence. As one, they charge you, with one staying behind.
"Perfect," you grin. You twirl the sword in your hands. "She's focused on me, at least. If I can keep her that way, the others
will have time to get away, then I can escape and catch up. Hell God Sword, [Divine Flashing Slash of Karma Wind]!"
You charge the lone vampire again, blazing through the copies of Remilia and pointing your sword at the vampire in the
distance. This time, she can't block all the danmaku, and one of the bolts hits her in the head hard enough to stun her. You
fly past the vampire and turn about. Remilia turns to look at you before... simply falling into two pieces. One half of her
stares at you as the other falls... then both vaporize.
Remi is suddenly on four sides of you, spinning rapidly in circles. One of them - the real one - reforms her spear. At their
speed its hard to keep track of the real one, so instead of trying you spin your sword around you in an arc. In turn, the
sword emits a burst of magic energy. Remilia and her clones are knocked aside, giving you time to escape being surrounded.
Remilia's clones summon illusions of her spear and, as one, they hurl them at you.
You deflect the spears with your weapon, the last one causing another magical shockwave, sending you sprawling. In the
distance you can barely make out the truck as it turns around a curve and vanishes into the forest. You sigh with relief;
hopefully, they have escaped.
But you haven't.
Steeling your mind, you look at Remilia and her three remaining copies. The vampires all grin at you and spontaneously vanish, only leaving one behind. You smirk. "Can't hold the spell?"
"Heh, I was never for this magic bullshit," Remilia replies. She points the spear at you. "You're good at a fight, I'll give you that. But you still don't compare to me."
"..." you don't bother to answer. Instead, you reach into your pocket and pull out the Yin-Yang Orb that Reimu gave you. "Maybe not, but I still have one trick left," you say. You channel magic into the Yin-Yang Orb and silently pray to the gods that you can at least temporarily maintain it with Reimu's help. You hurl the orb at Remilia, which expands into four orbs and surround her.
"Options?" Remilia wonders.
"Not quite," you reply with a grin. "Sorry to say our little duel is over. Dream Sign, [Evil-Sealing Circle]!"
The Yin-Yang Orbs expand, forming a magic barrier and locking Remilia inside. The barrier is impenetrable, both to you and to the vampire - a result of Reimu's magic. You sheathe your blade and stare at Remilia, who glares back at you, and descend into the forest.
Landon takes a heavy breath. There are yet more Ghouls. Cursing his lack of spells remaining, he picks up his spear out of his dead arm on the ground.
"Fine, one more go," he tells the mass of ghouls in front of him. He lifts the spear and charges.
You fly through the forest, meeting back up with the road. You take a breath, looking for where the truck is, before crashing into an invisible something.
"Ow, what in the..." you mumble. The truck materializes in front of you. Reisen pulls you inside, then closes her eyes. "Reisen?"
"Shh," she says to you. "I can make us completely invisible and soundless to anyone looking at us. It takes a lot of concentration, though."
You nod and lay down in the truck. "I... I couldn't do it," you breathe. "It took all I had just to stalemate with Remilia. I feel so drained..."
"We won't be able to beat her by direct combat," Nazrin says to you. "We'll have to trick her into beating herself."
"Maybe," you say. "...I'm exhausted."
You close your eyes and pass out.
When you awaken, the Scarlet Mist is gone.
[ ] Continue with the original plan.
[ ] Change the plan.
-- [ ] Specify
Before you ask how it was possible for Youmu to use one of Reimu's spells, consider that Reimu was able to put enough power into it that it would actually be helpful to Youmu. No Fantasy Seals, but an Evil-Sealing Circle at least.
"Remilia searched for us with an army of Ghouls after the spell dissolved, but couldn't find us. She's retreated for now," Reisen waves her hand, and the lot of you reappear to normal humans. Reisen rocks back and forth on her heels a bit. "Ugh, I'm tired. I've never manipulated waves for that long before."
"Rest for now," you tell her. "What of Landon?"
"Don't know," Nazrin sits up. From the forest come Alex and Stephen, looking a bit rough. "Did you find him?" The mouse asks the two hunters.
Alex shakes her head. "We've went as far back as the edge of the forest, but everything past that is blasted to hell. We haven't been willing to risk detection, since there's still a few Ghouls about."
"I see," you nod. "Alright, change of plans. You guys continue down the road; we'll meet about an hour out. I'm going to find Landon."
"Do you need help? Hatate asks, holding Flandre's head in her lap. You shake your head.
"No," you reply. "In this case I'm better off doing this alone," you turn around and open your magic reserves; you must not have been out for long since its hard to reach, but you don't have much of a choice right now. You float up a few inches off the ground, turning to face the others. "Go now. I'll meet you all later... with Landon."
You remove the thought that Landon might be dead from your mind. You just met him, so the thought that he might be dead isn't even an option to you. You rise up above the treeline and move, heading back toward where you last saw him.
It doesn't take long for you to see a few stragglers; Ghouls who seem to have been worn down by magical attack. Before they can raise alarm, you fell the unfortunate people with three swift strikes of Hakurouken; given your other sword's enormous magical signature, you decide it best to leave it sheathed for now. The last thing you need is for Remilia to about-face her search and come back at you, since you're running on fumes right now and the last thing you need is another battle with that vampire.
You make it back to where Remilia removed Landon from your duel with her. Hitting the ground and sliding a bit, you take in the multiple scorch marks and blast patterns that leave a distinct magical signature. You don't know what Landon calls it, but this is definitely high powered attack magic. Landon must have thrown everything he had at the Ghouls and vampires in his fight.
You touch the ground, closing your eyes. You can almost feel Landon's presence in the magical signatures, mixed in with Tremere blood magic and the scent of gunpowder in the air.
You wish you knew how to use scrying magic. Instead, you rely on your own instincts, which send you back toward the house, slowly and on foot. Either Landon was retreating back to the place, or he was pushing the enemy back toward it. With all the blast marks, its hard to tell. Something unreal happened here, and you can't place what kind of advanced magic was flying around as Camarilla and Avalon magic styles clashed.
You make it back to the house and gasp. The entire front of it has simply been imploded, the front door a focal point for some amazing magic that caused wood to splinter inwards and suck into each other. Embedded in what remains of the door is a spear, faintly emanating dying magic. You walk up to the weapon and pull it out, staring at the cracked tip. You hold it out and watch as it shimmers briefly, then evaporates into dust particles. Only the part you were holding onto remains, but when you open your hand, it too turns to dust.
You step through a destroyed part of the wall, Hakurouken in hand. You feel a weak magic presence here, but you still can't determine the location. You head upstairs first, but find only more bodies of Ghouls, lying around; except against the wall, where a decaying vampire corpse is pinned to the wall. Closer examination reveals that he's actually melted on to it. You head back downstairs and out the backdoor.
The workshop used to forge the sword has been leveled. Where it stood, surrounded by multitudes of corpses, sits Landon. His eyes are closed, his left arm shorn off from the elbow down, and, despite the burns on his clothing, the very image of serenity. You walk up to him slowly, past the corpses, reaching out with one hand. You fall to one knee and shake Landon. He slumps a bit. You check his pulse.
"No..." you whisper. "No! Landon!"
Its no use. Landon is dead, possibly long before Remilia even left. His soul has passed on to whatever afterlife his would go to. You close your eyes and take a deep breath. "I... I didn't really get to know you," you tell the body. You feel tears form in your eyes. "This isn't fair, Landon! You can't just go off and die like that! Not when we were just..."
You cover your eyes and sob. "I was too slow," you tell him. "I was... too slow. I wasn't strong enough, and now you're dead because of it!"
You stand up and stare at the sky, tears streaming down your face. On your side, your blade burns: It wants blood. It wants revenge. You clutch at it and feel the same passion within you. You could always accept your own death, even embrace it with serenity, but to see someone else die, because of your actions, because you weren't fast enough? What if it was Hatate or Nazrin?
What if it was Reisen?
...what if it was Flandre?
You stifle your tears, wiping your face of them. "Landon... I'm sorry," you tell him, your voice cold. You reach down, gently laying his body prone. You clap your hands together then hold them out above his body. "May you find peace in your afterlife," you chant. A burst of magical energy falls from your palms, alighting the body in light, then flame. You turn away as you hear Landon's body be consumed, wondering morbidly if he was still alive.
But it's not how it goes. You look at the piles of corpses around you. You decide that these souls deserve no rest. Taking flight, you return to your allies.
Your mind burns with vengeance.
You land next to the truck a good distance down the road; your group made good timing. As you approach, the truck stops.
Alex gets out first, meeting the sullen look in your eyes, and breaks down into tears. Stephen kneels next to her, attempting in vain to comfort the woman. Nina looks toward her, visibly shaken.
You land, and Reisen immediately grips you in a hug. You return it and all the despair you had been suppressing for your return trip comes out. You begin to cry, which only gets worse as Flandre comes up to you and joins in the embrace. You clutch onto Reisen tightly, lowering one hand to put on the vampire's head and taking comfort in her presence.
"It's not fair," you repeat. "It shouldn't be like this."
Stephen looks up. "We all knew the risks coming out here, Youmu," he tells you. "Landon... paid the ultimate price. It was a price he was willing to take, that we were all willing to take. We must see to it that it was not in vain."
You bury your face in Reisen's shoulder, sobs running through you like wind amongst the trees. "I should have been faster... I should have been stronger."
"No, don't blame yourself," Reisen whispers, a hand coming up to the back of your head. She runs her fingers through your hair to run the back of your head. "There was nothing more you could do, Youmu..."
You take a deep breath. Hatate... oddly, seems highly interested in her phone. Nazrin just looks sick. Alex finally calms down and stands back up. "So... so what do we do now?" she asks.
You let go of Reisen and rub your eyes. When you open them, that same anger from before has risen. "I'm going to rip Remilia in half," you say, touching your sword. "With this blade, I'll end her existence. And if she has a soul, I'll make sure it comes to Hakugyokurou so she can never do this again, in any life."
"Youmu..." Flandre says quietly. Suddenly, Hatate yelps and looks up.
"I found them!" She chirps happily. She runs up to you. "I found Sakuya and the others, and they're in Europe!"
You push your anger aside. "What? Where?!"
"Listen," Hatate says, pulling up her phone. "I managed to regenerate my thoughtography powers. I've been looking for the others. Here, listen, courtesy of a... messenger God. Yes," she takes a deep breath. "Title - Strange Beings in Athens. At Zeus's request, I have been following a curiously powerful magical group amongst the old districts in Athens. Composed of a maid, a witch, and some foreign priestess, they have been tracking down the vampire group 'Camarilla', seemingly to dispose of them. Though they look harmless, the maid has acquired a rare time-stopping artifact of some sort, the witch has immense magical power, and the priestess may in fact be a living goddess. I will continue to shadow the group and make reports back to Olympus."
"How far is Greece?" you ask.
"Well, if you drive, it takes the entirety of a day," Stephen tells you. "But flight would be much faster."
You look at the others. "To think that Sakuya's team is so close..."
"We should meet up with her," Reisen tells you.
"Yes, I want to see Sakuya and Marisa," Flandre agrees.
"I dunno," Nazrin considers. "With Remilia at our backs, do we really want to risk flight?"
You pause to think. You can go after Remilia now, or meet up with Sakuya's team and possibly return to Gensokyo. There is a war going on there right now.
[ ] Pursue Remilia Scarlet
[ ] Rendevous with Sakuya
"We'll go into hiding for now. Meet us in Italy after you pick up your group; there's a city called Venice. We'll be there when you're ready to take her on."
With Hatate on your back and Nina on Reisen's, the six of you took flight several hours ago. Flying in a beeline toward the south, there's been little thought of discussion as you make your way across multitudes of roads, forests, and the occasional town. Nothing will slow you down from reaching your objective; somewhere nearby is Sakuya Izayoi and her team, and you won't stop until you reach them.
You look behind you to see Nazrin faltering a bit. You slow down and let her catch up to you. "What's wrong?" you ask.
"Can't... can't keep going like this," she tells you. "Still too weak... I'm sorry, Youmu."
You grab her hand. "It's fine, Nazrin. Let's take a break."
The six of you descend into a forested area. Flandre hits the ground first, looking around for potential opponents. She waves back to you when she seeks nothing.
Nazrin doesn't land so much as crash into the ground, rolling and coming to a stop next to a tree; Hatate jumps off of your back to see to the mouse youkai, while Reisen and Nina calmly land next to you, the older woman letting go of the Lunarian.
"Alright, we've been flying for ten hours," you wipe the sweat off your brow. "It's just now morning... any idea where and when we are?"
"Uhh, hold on," Hatate pulls out her phone. "It's nine in the morning, local time, and..." she clicks some buttons on her phone. "We're in... Serbia. Serbia..." she begins clicking her phone again. "Eh... I don't think we want to stay here long. Just enough to grab something to eat."
"I don't think Serbia is part of the European Union," Flandre says. "My money won't be any good here."
"So... we'll have to take what we need... again," you sigh. "Didn't think about that..." you put a finger to your chin and think for a second. "...right. Flandre, come with me. The rest of you get some sleep."
"This close to Greece?" Nina asks.
"All the time in the world won't matter if we're dead," you tell her. "Flight is a risky thing to do if you're tired, and if we walked it from here, by the time we woke up we would make up the distance in an hour by flight. So, yes, we all need some sleep. Flandre and I are gonna find some food."
You wander into a small town about a ways out from your little campsite. By foot it took a couple of hours, but you and Flandre agreed not to spend more energy than necessary. The town is quite lively this early, as most farming towns are, and along the way you noted a few apple orchards that were ready for harvest. While normally you would stop there, there are... other concerns.
"What about that one?" you ask, pointing to a blonde on her mobile phone.
"No good, she looks too important; people will notice if she's missing for a bit," Flandre replies. "Damnit, this would be easier if I knew how to hypnotize people like Sis."
"Or that one?" you point to a rough-looking farmer type.
"Maybe," Flandre considers. "Let's watch him for a bit."
Normally the thought of Flandre feeding on a human would be repulsive at worst and reluctant acceptance at best, but right now there's no time to bother with things like that. Flandre needs to eat, and she's done good by not feeding since Reisen last gave her blood. Normally you would wait until you got back to camp, but as Flandre explained, a vampire's sanity is linked to their feeding; she's been willing away the feral instinct for now, but as Remilia's hypnosis showed, her willpower is getting weak. She needs blood before she turns on you.
"Alright, maybe I can lure him out," you tell her. You walk into town, leaving Flandre outside hidden amongst the trees, and approach the farmer. "Um, excuse me, sir?" You ask in English.
The man turns to you. "Yes, little lady? What can I do for you?"
"My car broke down back that way," you tell him, pointing to where you came from. "Can you help me look at it?"
"Sure thing," the man nods. "Do you have tools?"
"Yes, sir," you reply. You lead the man back toward the edge of town, looking behind him to make sure no one is watching. "Sir, I'm sorry about this."
"What do you-"
Flandre pounces on the farmer and drags him into the woods, his kicks muffled by her clawed hand on his mouth. You look away as you hear Flandre make some sort of sound, following by a pained gasp, then silence. You pluck a pear from the tree and sit down, eating it absently as behind you, Flandre gets her meal. It takes everything you have to not jump in and intervene, but this is just as important as anything else.
You hope that those rumors you heard about the Scarlets being messy eaters turns out to be false.
You briefly look behind you to see the man twitch, then lie still. Closer staring reveals that he's still breathing. Flandre stands up, wiping her mouth on her sleeve, and turns to look at you, a sullen look in her eyes.
"Normally I feel good after I eat," she says, walking back up to you. "But now I realize... how dumb it is, vampirism. All this power, at the cost of innocent lives. I didn't kill him, but you can be sure that no one will believe his story about how a little girl jumped him and bit his neck," she takes one last look at him. "He's married, you know; ring on his finger and everything. I hope I didn't just ruin someone's marriage."
You place a reassuring hand on her head as you reopen the umbrella and hold it over the two of you. "Think of it this way, Flandre: one little sacrifice now to save the world."
"Maybe," she replies. "...let's go, Youmu. I don't want to be here anymore."
You return to the encampment, bundles of apples in hand. Although everyone has passed out, you figure they've been asleep for a good six hours now, given the position of the sun. "Hey, everyone!"
Reisen stirs first, sitting up from her tree branch. "You got food?" she asks hopefully. In response, you toss her an apple. The Lunarian grins. "Ah, sweet. I love apples."
"Did someone say apples?" Nazrin is awake instantly. "Give me... four!"
Flandre flutters up to the mouse youkai and hands her some apples. Nazrin grins and bites into one.
You set down a few next to the sleeping Hatate, and then hand a couple to Nina, who seems to have slept better than anyone else. "I take it you're used to sleeping in the wild?"
"Oh yes," Nina says with a nod. "Part of my training was to survive in Valhalla's forests with naught but a single knife to defend myself. I assure you that Kristina went through the same training when she was of age, and if she has daughters, then they as well."
"You say that like she will return home," you say, raising an eyebrow. Nina takes a bite of her apple and nods. "But... Sakuya likes it in Gensokyo, Miss Nina."
Nina swallows the bite of apple as you take one of your own. "Perhaps she does, but I'm certain that eventually she will return home. Or, if not, then she may continue our legacy in Gensokyo. I'm fine with that; my daughter is strong willed and I can't hope to tell her what to do."
"That she is," Reisen interjects with a laugh. "Nina, I think this has been said before, but your daughter is amazing. The rest of us servants look up to her."
"Ah... you're all servants?" Nina asks. "I got that impression earlier, but to here you say it so frankly..."
"Well, yeah, we serve more powerful beings," you nod. "This is the first time any of us had any real autonomy to make our own decisions. Normally we're told what to do, although sometimes we might rail against it."
"Like that time Lady Saigyouji made you wear a buruma?" Reisen asks. You blush.
"You promised never to bring that up again," you reply.
"Oh, but you were so cute," Reisen laughs.
"Isn't that gym training wear from outside?" Nazrin asks. "The ones that really show off your butt?"
"Those are the ones," Hatate grins. "I was there when Lady Yuyuko made you race Aya to see who was faster."
"Stop it!" you shout. "That was embarrassing!"
"And I missed it," Nazrin sighs sadly. "I would have loved to see that."
You sit down under a tree, staring intently at the ground. "I'm taking a nap," you declare. "Wake me up in four hours."
The other Gensokyoans - even Flandre! - laugh at your embarrassment. Nina sighs in a put-upon manner.
"I swear, if I didn't know all of you were my age or older, I'd believe you were all teenagers," says the woman.
You wipe the sleep from your eyes again as you cross the sky. After your nap, you feel much better, though you still have a scant clue where you're going. You've never been to Greece before, so you can only go by Nina's directions as she leads you on the proper path.
As day fades to night, you see lights in the distance. "Athens!" Nina shouts. "We're close to the newer part of the city!"
You grin and push the others a bit. This close... yes, you can faintly detect magic that's not any of yours. In fact, you can read that magical signature almost anywhere.
Marisa. But for her to put out that kind of magic means-
"PULL UP!" You shout. The six of you rise higher into the sky as the faintest edges of a Master Spark cut right through the altitude you were just at. You look down and look onto the plains below.
In the distance, you make out a lone figure in combat with another one. One of them is wearing a black hat and dress, twirling a broom like a staff as it locks weapons with a taller person clad in what you understand to be called a "toga". You heart soars. "Guys, look down!"
"Ah, Marisa!" Reisen grins. "She can't see us in the dark, can she?"
"Nope, normal human eyes," you say with a smile. "Lets say we crash her party?"
The six of you lower to the ground long enough to drop Hatate and Nina off, then charge straight forward toward the battle. You draw Hakurouken out. "Follow my lead!" You shout at the others. "Hell Realm Sword, [200 Yojana In 1 Slash]!"
With a burst of speed magic, you charge forward faster than the human eye can see, sword raised. The man in white, never losing focus on the witch in front of him, turns around and simply blocks your strike with his bare hand. Your eyes widen.
"Who the hell are you?!" he shouts. You grin as from behind you, a burst of red-colored danmaku rises into the air and comes down on the man from above. With no other choice, he lets go of you and the staff he's using against Marisa, moving backwards with impressive speed and coming to a stop.
"Ah, Youmu!" Marisa grins. She adjusts her hat. "Fancy meeting you here! I was just thinking how appropriate it would be if I got bailed out right now!"
"Uh, later, Marisa," you reply, though you can't help but smile. "So what's this guy's story?"
"He's a god of some sort," the witch tells you. She twirls her broom again. "A local one. He's been shadowing us for a while, and I finally called him out on it. We've been fighting for like, three hours."
"They were asleep when I left them back in the city," Marisa tells you. "Ah, Reisen! Hey!"
The Lunarian lands next to you. "Nice meeting you again, Marisa. Let's reintroduce ourselves later, though," she pulls out her pistols. "This guy needs to go first."
The man grimaces. "Reinforcements, huh? You're still just a bunch of girls that can't hold a candle to Artemis. I'll take you all on!"
"Well, I do have more backup," you reply. "Flandre!"
She looks like a red beam of light coming from his side. Flandre, without any magic other than flight, comes up from below and just uppercuts the god, sending him flying into the sky. The vampiress grins at her work, then winces and grabs her hand. "Oww," she complains. "His jaw is made of titanium or something," she floats towards the rest of you. "Marisa!"
"Flandre!" The two run up and hug, Marisa and the small vampire spinning happily. You twitch, suddenly jealous. "It's so good to see you! When I heard about Remilia I just knew that you were in trouble. I just knew it."
"Witch's intuition?" A voice from behind quips as Nazrin walks up, Hatate and Nina in tow. "Sorry, guys, but I just couldn't leave the others."
"Well, you know," Marisa chuckles. "And who's this woman that looks like WHOA!" The god lasts amongst all of you, twirling a nasty sword. As he strikes, you quickly draw your own blade and, with both katana, block his strike against Marisa's head. The shockwave of magical energy sends all of you flying.
"Such magic!" shouts the god. "What kind of weapon is that?"
"The kind that I will not hesitate to you," you lift the katana and point it at him. "You're outnumbered here. I suggest you return to whatever Sealed Land it is and trouble us no more."
"Hah, you're just seven women, and I can tell that a couple of you are in no shape to fight. Besides, you have a monster with you," he nods towards Flandre. "I can't let that pass."
He moves to attack when a silver knife lands at his feet, buried into the ground at the hilt.
"Perhaps you should think twice before you call my Young Mistress a monster."
And she lands. Dressed in that same maid's outfit as always, knives held between every finger. "Hermes," Sakuya Izayoi says. "Take it back."
"She's a monster," Hermes replies. He rushes Sakuya, but she vanishes, reappearing behind him. He roars with anger and turns around, bolts of magic shooting at her from around him. As they converge on her, she vanishes again, this time appearing in the sky. As the rest of you back up out of the way, meeting off to the side, Hermes glances at you, then back at Sakuya, gasping.
Raising a shield, Hermes desperately blocks the hundreds of knives bearing down on him. They embed into his shield and the ground around him, vanishing as Sakuya reappears behind him. He turns to block the knife swipes as her eyes turn red. More knives appear around the two, locking them in a dance where the loser gets impaled. "Take it back and I'll let you live!" shouts the maid, jumping back and hurling more knives at the god. He blocks the knives again but doesn't expect Sakuya's sudden rush, forgoing knives to simply roundhouse kick him back toward the knives. Drawing more, she lunges, vanishing from time as he counterattacks.
Sakuya reappears behind him, jamming several knives into his back and kicking him into more knives. They slice the god to pieces, but he seems to ignore the pain and stands amongst them. "You can't kill a god," he declares.
"Maybe not," Sakuya replies. "But if you think that I won't send you home, then you have no idea what you're up against. Welcome to Sakuya's World."
The two of them vanish from time for a scant few seconds. You know what that spell does and, sure enough, Sakuya and Hermes reappear, the former unharmed and the god bleeding from innumerable lacerations. Groaning, but still standing, the god raises his sword. "All this for a vampire?"
"No, all this for my Mistress!" shouts Sakuya. "Illusion Sign, [Killer Doll]!" She looks at you. "Youmu!"
"[i]Hell Realm Sword, [200 Yojana in 1 Slash]!" you scream. You fly forward and run your magic sword through the god as simultaneously what looks like millions of knives crash down on the god. You skid to a stop as the god bursts into holy flame briefly, screaming in pain.
Then he vanishes. In the wind, you hear a voice. "Expect a message soon," is what it says.
You turn around as Sakuya lands. She blinks, her eyes returning to blue. You sheathe your swords and smile, running up and giving the maid a hug. Flandre joins you in it, and the maid can't help but laugh. "You two, it's so good to see you again," she smiles. You let go of her as she kneels and puts Flandre into a proper embrace. "My Young Mistress, how happy I am to see you again."
"Sakuya, I missed you so much," Flandre says, her words choking a bit. "Sis has gone crazy, and we need help to stop her."
"Yes, yes, I heard," she coos, petting the vampiress. "I will have to reason with her harshly, it seems. But tell me, Flandre, why didn't you stop her? Your power..."
"Is sealed away," you tell Sakuya. "Remilia had the Camarilla seal away her powers, but... we'll tell you more later. There's someone I would like you to meet."
You beckon, and Nina walks forward. Sakuya doesn't notice, still holding on to her Young Mistress tightly. "Greetings," she says. "Forgive me for lacking a proper introduction."
"It's fine, I can wait," Nina replies with a smile.
You can see Sakuya tense up. She lets go of Flandre, her eyes wide. "That voice..."
Slowly, she stands and turns around, and for the first time in your life you see a certain desperation in her eyes. "I... is that..."
Nina pulls off her hood. "My darling child," she says softly. "Kristina..."
Sakuya says something in a language you can't understand, but everyone here knows the word. "Mama?"
There's a long pause before Sakuya runs forward, grabbing the tall woman in what can only be described as an embrace long in the waiting. Sakuya starts crying, burying her face in the woman's shoulder. "Mama... I missed you... so much..." you can hear between sobs.
"I know, I know," whispers Nina softly, rubbing her daughter's back slowly. "I missed you too. When your friends came across me, I begged them to let me come find you. I wanted to see you again, after all this time... if only to tell you how much I love you."
Sakuya's cries get louder as she tightens her grip on her mother. "You must be ashamed of me for..."
"No, no..." Nina assures her. "After meeting Flandre, and all you've done for her, I couldn't be more proud of you. You found innocence in a place where none thought any existed," Flandre moves up to you, and you take her hand. "If you had done only what I taught you, that girl would either be dead, or you would... and the fact that you used your head and did what you felt was best makes me all the more proud of my only child."
"Mama... I tried. I did..."
"I know, I know," Nina sighs. "It's okay to fail sometimes. Do you regret it?"
Sanae lands next to you. She opens her mouth to speak, but you shake your head. Silently, the shrine maiden nods, watching as mother and daughter reunite for the first time in ages.
That brings this part of Youmu's Journey to a close. The Reunion arc is over (which started as soon as Youmu decided to find Sakuya).
The next scene will open up with everyone in Sakuya's hotel room in Athens. This time, there is no limit to the route options, so take the one you feel like doing first. Although, as always, think carefully before you choose. Some options will gain more ground in that route depending on when you choose them, and other storyline events will happen simultaneously.
[ ] Explain Everything, from the beginning, to Sakuya and the others.
[ ] Go on that date with Reisen. (Reisen Route)
[ ] Help Flandre reconnect with Sakuya. (Flandre Route)
[ ] Hatate yearns to go home. (Hatate Route)
[ ] Nazrin suddenly has regrets. (Nazrin Route)
[ ] "Do something for me first." (TEMPORARY Marisa Route)
[x] Explain Everything, from the beginning, to Sakuya and the others.
This takes precedence before all the routes. They deserve to know, specially Sakuya.
I wonder how she'll react once she finds that her master is beyond saving?
After sleeping the rest of the night in Sakuya's room (with Reisen!), you meet up with the maid on the roof of the building. It's quiet up here, save for the mid-morning bustle of the streets below.
Before you went to bed that night, you agreed to tell her everything after some sleep. You won't back down now. Unlike with the vampire hunters, you're not going to let up this time.
As you approach her, you're surprised to find that Marisa is also up here. Normally a heavy sleeper, but today the witch is bright and alert. You suddenly realize that maybe the witch has been changed by her experiences outside as well.
"Hey," you greet, walking up to the railing around the rooftop and leaning on it. "I guess I should start, huh?"
"Yeah, probably be a good idea," says the witch. "We'll share your story after you share yours, yeah?"
You nod. "Let's start from the beginning..."
"I remember everything clearly. After we stepped through the gap, we were planted in Paris, France. After getting our bearings, Remilia revealed to me that the maids she had brought along with her was in fact Flandre, using her Four of a Kind to copy herself. I'm sure you figured that out by now, though. Anyway, they planned to leave me there, lost in the city, but instead I persued them. Flandre and I fought in the metro, and there she broke Roukanken," you touch your new sword absently. "The fight wasn't very long, but it messed me up. I used a silver dagger that Yukari gave to me, injuring Flandre badly enough that I was able to make my escape."
"Why did Yukari give you a silver dagger?" Sakuya wonders. Her eyes narrow. "Unless..."
You nod. "I believe a lot of this is an elaborate setup by Yukari, but we'll get into that later. Anyway, I escaped and made contact with Miss Byakuren through another Buddhist temple. She promised to get me help."
"That goes in line with what the rabbit told us," Marisa says. "She said you put out a call for help, and Saku thought that Remilia was in trouble at first. Took all we had to not convince her to go after you straight away."
"I was worried about my Mistress," Sakuya admits. "Even after they told me that she had turned against Gensokyo, I refused to believe it. I did not want to believe that I wasted years of my life trying to bring Mistress to the light."
At first you say nothing, but then continue your story. "I was injured badly enough that I was comatose for a week. When I awoke, I was without my ghost half. I passed back out, and had... a vision," you look at Marisa. "This might be a bit too personal for you, Miss Marisa."
"I hate it when you call me 'Miss'," replies the witch. "But yeah, I'll get the story from the others. Later, y'all," Marisa bows her head and puts her hat back on, walking into the stairwell and shutting the door.
"You see, Remilia had Myon sealed into Flandre to use as fuel," you begin. "As I told you last night, there is a seal in place on her utilizing blood magic; its keeping her magic from her, and only the intervention of some friends regained her ability to fly. But in the meantime, I dream what Flandre dreams and sometimes see what she does. It also translates into feeling whatever she feels. If she gets injured, so do I, so I've been keeping her out of the fights."
"A wise choice," Sakuya says, her voice erring on caution. "So... what are you about to tell me that you had to send Marisa away for?"
You take a deep breath. You still shudder at the memory. "Flandre was locked in a basement. There were some Ghouls. They..." you open your mouth to speak, but nothing comes out. You just work your jaw for a second. "I... I can't. I can't tell you that."
"Why not?" Sakuya asks. You look away.
"I just can't," you tell her. "It's too much, even for you."
"I'm certain that I'll be-"
"They beat me."
The two of you look off to the side. Flandre is leaning against the door, looking away from the two of you. Without her hair in a sidetail, you can see how long it truly is, spilling down across her shoulders. "They surrounded me and tried to beat me to death. They broke my bones, forced my jaw open, and shoved something in my mouth that broke my teeth. And that's not even the worst."
Sakuya's eyes harden as she looks at you. "Did they..."
Your silence is all the answer she needs. You're ashamed that you can't bring yourself to tell her, but the memory is still too much for you to handle right now. You've tried to forget about it, but Flandre still has nightmares about it, and you can't stop that.
You don't know if Flandre can stop that.
Sakuya looks down. "Young Mistress, I'm sor-"
"Don't," Flandre looks up. "You had something you needed to do, Sakuya. Something you had to do. Youmu rescued me from that pit. She saved me without thinking of herself, what being that close to her would do. My injuries became hers, and she felt every single one. I was feral when she found me, Sakuya; think about that. I tried to break free of my restraints. My arms were already broken, and my mouth was hanging on by a tendon. I could handle it, because I've handled it before," she sighs, walking up to the two of you. "Sakuya... I'm not going to lie. I cried, and screamed, and cursed the gods. I blamed you, and Sis, and everyone else, for not being there to save me," Sakuya looks away, and you can see that she's taking this hard.
"I was ashamed of myself for letting this happen, even though I can't even tell you what they did. I just know the pain... but I can get over that, Sakuya. It's not the first time this has happened. But I intend on making it the last."
Sakuya looks down, saying nothing. You've never witnessed one of the Scarlet's talking down a servant like that before; not even Yuyuko would say something that frank to you.
"...I understand. I apologize," Sakuya bows. "I didn't mean to offend-"
"Stop," Flandre interrupts again. "No need for apologies, Sakuya. Seriously," she smiles. "Please, let's just move on, there's more story to tell."
"...yes, Young Mistress."
"Oh, and you can probably drop that, too. Just call me 'Mistress' from now on," Flandre adds.
"...why is that?"
"Listen to Youmu, she'll explain."
Sakuya and Flandre look at you. You take it as a sign. "A-anyway," You still can't help but feel like you intruded on something. "After some events, I rescued Flandre. After we escaped, Reisen and Nazrin found us. At first we were just going to return home and regroup, but then they told us about Hatate; after Flandre explained that she could still be alive, we decided to rescue her as well. We headed to Berlin and battled with the Camarilla again, rescuing Hatate and escaping."
"After that, we made it to Poland and met up with another group of hunters. This one had... well, your mother in it," you pause as Sakuya lets a smile slip. It vanishes quickly. "Well, while we were there, it was decided that I would forge a new sword. We did, and this thing is the result," you tap the sword on your hilt. "It doesn't have a name yet, but I'm still working on that. Anyway, building the sword, with its magic energy, apparently alerted Remilia to us. She found us, we fought... but I had to retreat. She's still too powerful."
You shake your head. "After we escaped, we found you, and now we're here."
"Sakuya," Flandre cuts in. "I'm sorry to tell you this, but our objective... is to kill Sis. We have to. She's too much of a danger to Gensokyo to just let her live."
"I... I see," Sakuya says, looking away. "Are you certain of that?"
"Yes," you reply. "She's beyond... well, anything, really. Her sanity is gone, I think. She's gotten out of hand. At first we were going to reason with her - I might still try that - but after everything she's done, I can't say that I am willing to do anything but kill her," you pause. "I'm sorry."
"No... no, I think I understand," Sakuya looks away. "But again... maybe I can reason with her. The Mistress has always listened to me..."
You shrug. "Maybe, Sakuya. Just maybe," you consider. "But now we're at a crossroads. We still have to get the seal off of Flandre - Marisa can help with that we think - and then there's the matter of Gensokyo," you pull out the paper Hatate gave you and hand it to Sakuya. The maid takes it, her eyes widening.
"Lunarians have come to Gensokyo..." you tell her. "And they're not bringing peace and enlightenment."
"I see," Sakuya nods. "Then we must make a decision, shouldn't we?"
"That's why we came to you," you tell her.
"Well... this is quite a bit to take in. Do you mind if I speak to Marisa and Sanae about this?"
"Not at all," you say.
"Well then, I'll be taking my leave," Sakuya curtsies, though its a bit forced. She vanishes, leaving you and Flandre on the roof.
"...I hate it when she does that," Flandre mutters. You grin. The two of you stare at the bustling city below, silent.
[ ] Go on that date with Reisen. (Reisen Route)
[ ] Help Flandre reconnect with Sakuya. (Flandre Route)
[ ] Hatate yearns to go home. (Hatate Route)
[ ] Nazrin suddenly has regrets. (Nazrin Route)
[ ] "Do something for me first." (TEMPORARY Marisa Route)
>>53401 I'm trying to keep real life events out of this, although I did consider it for a moment. I want to keep it that way so the story can be more or less self-contained and doesn't age itself due to real world events.
On your way back down the stairs, you nearly run into Marisa coming out of her room. "Ah, sorry," you say with a bow.
"Its cool," Marisa shrugs. "You didn't mean it, yeah?"
"No, I can't say that I did," you shake your head. "But, since you're here, do you have a moment?"
Marisa grabs her hat and considers. "I reckon I do, since you're cute 'n all," The witch grins at your blush.
"U-um, well, did Sakuya tell you about Flandre and I?"
"Yeah, I heard enough and left. I hate long conversations like that, you know?" Marisa chuckles. "Come on, woman, let's get out of here."
"But what about the others-"
"I think they'll be fine without you for five seconds. Lets go," Marisa grabs you by the hand and leads you toward the elevator. "So what do you want from me?"
"Well, you're the only magician I know who'd be willing to help in this matter, but uh..." you stop and think. Asking Marisa for a favor is always a risk, since for one, she always wants something in return, and for two, there's a good chance she's insane. At least if the rumors of her sanity are true. "Can you remove the seal on her?"
"Hm, well," Marisa pulls out a spellbook from... somewhere... and opens it. "From what I understand, and that ain't a lot at this point, the vampire's blood magic is about twenty steps moved from my own, and I mean that literally. Imagine each school of magic as its own individual star in the sky, right? So you take my star, which is Light Magic, and you move about twenty stars away from it, you get to blood magic. Course there's an infinite amount of schools out there in between those twenty stars, but those ain't important right now. You follow? Of course you do, you're a smart woman. Anyway, each school is connected to each other school like a big ol' web; its why Patchy can access so many schools of magic."
"Okay..." you nod. The elevator dings, signaling the ground floor. Marisa doesn't look up from her book as she speaks.
"So to say that I can access their magic is easy, yeah? Like, there's even a straight line to them. The problem is that I have to cut the crap in between and access their type of magic."
"How so?" The automatic doors let the two of you out. Marisa turns on her heel down the sidewalk, and you follow.
"Well that's easy," she tells you. "Even a newbie like you could follow it. Basically all schools of magic exist in their own star via how their spells are cast. Some, like Avalon Arcane, require the use of magic foci to channel energy through. Others, like Hakurei Shrine Maiden, require... hell, I dunno what Reimu requires. That's a bad example. Anyway, my magic requires knowledge of astronomy, light, and a fuckload of mushrooms to make up for my human body. You still following me?"
"Yes," you nod. Marisa pulls you up next to her.
"We're equals here, so walk next to me," she says. "I ain't your husband and this ain't a hundred years ago where the women walked behind the men."
"But you're not a man..." you intone.
"That's beside the point. Listen," she flips a page. "I can mimic their magic enough with my own, sure thing. Not a problem. I just need to get ahold of some stuff. Some, ah... hm. I'll probably need some of Flan's blood, which is pretty damned awkward to ask for. Some o' yours, too," she sighs and shuts the book, stowing it away in some space underneath her hat. "But first! Ya need to do something for me!" She nods to herself, stopping the two of you at a crosswalk.
"W...what do you need?"
Marisa grins. "You're going to help me pick out something for Reimu!"
"Uh... I'm sorry?"
Marisa points toward some sort of shop across the street. "That place is full of weird crap that I know Reimu'll be interested in! I checked it out, and I'm going to get you to help me find something!"
"I don't think I'm suited for-"
"Enough talking! Come, let's go find awesome shit!"
Marisa drags you across the street, shoving you into the shop first and following behind.
It's... some sort of accessory store. It's full of musty old objects that probably haven't been touched in years; clocks, bookcases, a table or two. It looks like Kourindou, but with less interesting objects to mess with. You walk around, unsure of whatever it is you're doing. How does one pick out a gift for someone they don't know so well? This is stupid.
Although, what's that there? You walk up to a large mirror, set in a silver frame. You touch it, and it feels cool; ah, it's real silver. This thing must cost a fortune. You check the price tag and blanch. Yeah, way too expensive; you remember how much money Flandre has, and you know there's no way she can possibly pay for it.
However, Marisa seems to have some money on her. Or she's going to steal it, either one. You wave at the witch and point her towards the mirror. "Miss Reimu doesn't have one of these, right?"
"Ah, no, she doesn't have a mirror," Marisa replies. "She's mentioned wanting one; I mean, when she comes over she sits in front of my mirror for like, hours. Not really," she shrugs. "Yeah, I reckon this'll do," she nods to herself. "Alright now, Youmu, I need you to go talk to the old man up front about that clock behind him."
"...no," you look away. "I know where this is going, Marisa, and you're not stealing a mirror."
"Aw, come on, Youmu," Marisa complains. "I ain't got no money!"
"No," you insist.
"I said, no."
"Aw..." Marisa huffs. "How'm I supposed to get anything for Reimu then?"
"You could, I don't know, buy it," you suggest.
"But I don't have the money to pay for it," Marisa whines. "And I promised I'd get her somethin' nice!"
"Have you considered just coming back alive?" you ask her. Marisa chuckles.
"Honey, I don't plan on dying out here," she tells you, adjusting her hat. "But I will get Reimu somethin', just you wait. Maybe not here, but damnit, I said I would, and when I make a promise, I keep it."
"Right..." you mutter. "Anyway, Marisa, about that thing..."
"Hm? Oh, right. I'll work on it tonight."
".... oh you," Marisa laughs again. "Yeah, I promise. You sure you won't help me with this thing?"
"Yes, Marisa, I'm sure."
The witch puts her hands behind her head. "You're no fun, Youmu. You gotta loosen up and live a little."
"I think I'm just fine being boring," you reply, though a smile creeps up on your face.
The two of you walk out of the store. Marisa spots the others catching up to the two of you and elbows you in the ribs. "Hey, where's Sak at?"
"She's back at the hotel by herself," Sanae says. "I think she's still feeling a bit down about the whole thing."
"Eh, let her mope," Marisa shrugs. "We can't do anything about what we weren't there for."
"That's what I keep trying to tell her," Flandre explains. "But I don't think she'll have it."
"Ah, just leave her alone for a while," Nazrin quips. "We're all going out for lunch. You guys wanna come with?"
[ ] Go on that date with Reisen. (Reisen Route)
[ ] Help Flandre reconnect with Sakuya. (Flandre Route)
[ ] Hatate yearns to go home. (Hatate Route)
[ ] Nazrin suddenly has regrets. (Nazrin Route)
Sorry about the short update. This whole thing with ofri has really got me down, but I refuse to stop writing.
While I really like Flandre, I think we should give her and Sakuya some space for now.
We're becoming a big sister to Flandre but we're not quite as much family as Sakuya, and this whole mess is very much a family matter for them.
Also, recently started reading this and finally caught up. Just wondering, since KristinaSakuya is from Valhalla, does that mean she speaks one of the scandinavian languages? (I.e. Swedish, Norwegian, Danish or Icelandish.)
I just figured I could offer some assistance if you need any help making it authentic for any future scenes. (Well, if she's speaking Swedish at least.)
>>53532 I haven't decided yet on a set language. I was shooting for Norwegian but I'm not ready to decide.
You think for a minute as the other girls talk amongst themselves, with you trailing behind them as they head off toward food. You want to do something to help Sakuya and Flandre; you've been around the vampire long enough to know that this is tearing her up inside. After all, it's always been Sakuya that's helped Flandre with her problems, never the other way around. You glance down at th vampire as she hides under her umbrella, grinning as Nazrin mercilessly teases Marisa.
"...shoot," you begin. "I left something back at the hotel."
"Izzat why you been so quiet?" Marisa asks.
"Yeah, I've been thinking about it and I just now figured it out," you point at your hair. "My ribbon."
The other girls stare at you. "Huh, you do look weird without it," Sanae admits, nodding.
"I think she's cute," Reisen teases. You blush at that and look away.
"Course you do," Nazrin grins. "But yeah, if you want, go back and get it. Try and convince Sakuya to come with when you do."
"Can I come with you?" Flandre asks.
You nod. "Sure, let's go," you reply. Taking the vampire's hand, the two of you head back to the hotel together. Once you're out of sight, however, you pull out the spare ribbon that Yuyuko gave you way back before you left Gensokyo, tying it up with the ease of practice.
"Wait, what are you doing?" Flandre asks. "I thought you said you forgot your ribbon."
"I did," you tell her. "I've just had this spare this entire time."
"It looks weird without the bow," Flandre points out. "But seriously, why are we heading back then?"
You pause, uncertain of how to explain it. Well, blunt is best sometimes. "I want to get Sakuya to feel better. I know you do, too, Flandre, so I think we can cheer her up a bit."
"And how do you propose we do that?" Flandre huffs. "Nothing I've done works."
"Well, you know her best, so what do you think?"
Flandre looks distant again, remembering. You pass by the antique shop from before. "Well... Sakuya likes to work. I'm not just saying that, either; she genuinely likes staying busy. She's never complained about having to do a lot in the mansion, and even after Sis let her have more room to talk, all Sakuya ever said was that she liked to keep busy. When she started teaching me how to read and write, she loved every second of it. She said that it wasn't just because she was helping me, which she loved, but also she enjoyed planning out the next day's lesson," the vampiress shrugs. "She was weird like that. The only time she ever complained was when she ran out of things to do."
"Do you have any idea why?" you ask.
"I dunno... but I think it has to do with that, at least at first, Sakuya hated Remi. Absolutely despised her," Flandre nods. "Even after she started warming up to Sis, it took her a while to stop plotting revenge on her every day. Also... I think she was using it to train her time and space manipulation. The mansion was always normal before she showed up, you know? Only Patchy's library was bigger inside than outside. But Sakuya trained herself to the point where she permanently made the mansion that way."
"Huh, that makes sense," you furrow your brow. "So she was training by working as a maid? She had to of fit in her knife-throwing skills somewhere."
"Ah, that's easy," Flandre giggles. "You wouldn't know it at first, but Meiling and Sakuya are sparring partners. It took a few years for them to get to that point, though; Meiling said that she wouldn't practice with Sakuya until she could hit her with a knife. The day she did, Meiling actually laughed about it. Since then, they've always trained together at lunch time, usually in the courtyard so Sis and Patchy, and sometimes I, could watch."
"The gatekeeper? Really?"
"Yeah, I know... you wouldn't expect it. But the truth is that Meiling is the gatekeeper for a reason. She's really strong in melee combat; she claims to know every martial art on the planet. It's just that danmaku... she's not so good at. When she let Marisa and Reimu in the mansion that night, everyone was surprised until Meiling revealed that she was holding back. You haven't seen her actually fight, Youmu... its kinda scary. She moves so fast you don't even see it coming. I've seen her bring down a tengu with one punch, and once during a practice match with Sakuya she actually blew a massive hole in one of the outer walls with a kick. It was an accident, but even then she said it wasn't her full strength."
"Ah... and Sakuya trained against her every day?"
"Yep... and every day, Meiling holds back a little less. It actually got Sis wondering if those rumors about Meiling being a dragon are true or not."
"So... Sakuya likes practicing, being responsible, teaching, and working..." you say out loud as the two of you enter the hotel. "...why doesn't she just become, I don't know, the actual owner of the Scarlet Devil Mansion? Is there anything she can't handle?"
"...she's not that great at math, honestly," Flandre grins. "After I got past fractions, Koakuma had to start teaching me. I'm now better at math than Sakuya... but now that you mention that, I think I know how to get Sakuya to cheer up a bit."
You press the elevator-up button. "How so?"
"Give her more work."
The two of you enter Sakuya's room. The maid is inside, wearing jeans and a black sleeveless shirt, idly tossing a knife at a target she's put up. Every time it hits the target, it vanishes and reappears between her fingers. She then does it again. Not once does she look at you or the target. "Oh, hey, Mistress, Miss Youmu," she drones.
Flandre frowns. "Sakuya, I have to tell you something. It's important that you listen."
Flandre frowns again. She steps in between Sakuya and the target. The maid sighs and sits up, looking at the vampire.
"As of today, I have decided that, as the next head of the Scarlet Devil estate, I'm going to change the roster a bit," Flandre declares. "It will be a massive reorganization, but I'm starting from the top and working my way down. The first thing I'm doing is getting rid of the Head Maid position on the list."
Sakuya's eyes widen. "But... what? Why?"
"I have decided that it is no longer necessary for the Head Maid to exist. The position will instead be divided up amongst the maids you helped train to become better at their jobs. As such, your services will no longer be necessary at the Scarlet Devil Mansion."
"You're... letting me go?" Sakuya looks confused.
"Yes. However, I have decided to open up a new position," Flandre nods. "Since I am incapable of running the Mansion alone, I have decided to hire an Administrator to help me run the mansion. The position will be very difficult, as they will handle all of the major aspects of running the mansion. The hours will be long, the work very hard, and the pay will probably not be worth mentioning for the work put in," Flandre pauses. "There's only two people I trust with this position. One is standing next to me, the other is sitting in front of me."
Flandre walks up to her maid and looks her in the eye. "Sakuya... I'm offering you the chance to return home, if you want it. However, if you choose instead to stay, I don't want you as my maid. I want you as my equal. My partner. I want you as my friend."
"...I..." Sakuya looks down. "Why so suddenly?"
"It's thanks," Flandre says, a small smile forming on her pale face. "Sakuya, for all this time you've been my servant. For all of that time, you went out of your way to befriend me, teach me, and love me. I want to offer you something in return. After... Sis is gone... I am willing to live my life alone in the mansion. But I would be happy - and proud - if you were willing to work with me as an equal."
"Even after all that's happened when I wasn't there for you?"
"Especially because of that. Youmu has other obligations, so I need someone I can put my absolute faith in to work with me. I want you to be that-"
Sakuya lunges for Flandre. It's startling in the literal sense; you nearly leap out of your skin when she moves. She pulls Flandre into a tight embrace and starts crying.
"I... I don't know why you trust me..." she sobs. "But... Flandre... The Scarlet Devil Mansion is my home. At least, as long as you will accept me."
"I will always accept you, Sakuya. I love you."
Sakuya closes her eyes and takes a deep breath. "I... I love you too, Flandre."
"I... I think I'm going to step out of the room," you say. You can't help but smile at the scene. You don't think that the two have truly come to terms with each other yet - that will probably take much more time than what you have right now - but you feel as if you helped the two get started on that road.
Shutting the door behind you, you lean against the wall and look up at the ceiling.
Come to Olympus... a voice says in your head. You look around for the source, but see nothing. Huh. That's weird. You decide to ignore it for now.
[ ] Go on that date with Reisen. (Reisen Route)
[ ] Hatate yearns to go home. (Hatate Route)
[ ] Nazrin suddenly has regrets. (Nazrin Route)
Upon further reflection, I've decided that these shorter updates feel more natural rather than forcing out a longer update. Since you can't miss a route option, I think keeping the story moving along is just as important as what you vote on.
You catch up to the others, who are standing at a crosswalk arguing about where to go next. Apparently, they haven't found a place to eat yet.
"Hey guys," you greet. "Problems?"
"Yeah, Marisa wants to eat one thing, Sanae another, and the rest of us don't give a shit," Nazrin complains.
"Well... I do," Hatate quips meekly. "But I don't think my opinion matters in this case."
The four of you watch as Sanae and Marisa argue. It's kind of funny, in a way; Marisa is speaking in that odd dialect of hers, while Sanae politely argues back with her modern, non-accented Japanese.
"I said we ain't going there!" shouts the witch. "There's a nice place just down the road!"
"An expensive place, you mean," Sanae replies. She pulls a stack of bills out of her purse. "This has to stretch us for a while yet, you know that right?"
"It's just one darned meal! We can afford it!"
And so it continues. You reach into your pocket and feel the roll of Euros that Flandre handed you the other day. Well, there is an option you can take. You take Reisen by the hand. "Come on, we're going," you say.
"Huh? What?" Reisen asks, confused.
"We're going on that date you owe me," you decide. You ignore the other's interested looks as you lead the rabbit away.
"Ah... oh! Okay!" Reisen beams and walks away with you, slipping her fingers between yours. "So, where we going?"
"I don't know. Away," you shrug. Reisen giggles. "Maybe a drink of some sort?"
"Nah, maybe something a bit more private..." the Lunarian says. "Like, an actual restaurant, with the lights turned down low? Maybe some music?"
"Heh," you smile. "I never pegged you for a romantic, Reisen."
"Well, I mean, I've read some of Sanae's shoujo manga, right? And some of them are pretty romantic," she blushes. "Some of them aren't just standard couples, either. Some of them are... ah..."
"People like us?" You offer. Reisen nods.
"Yeah. Even between guys, but it always made me a bit jealous."
"Lamenting the lack of males in Gensokyo?" you ask.
"Well... yeah, I guess. Not anymore, though," she grins. You return the smile. "Ah, that looks like a good one," she points at a smallish place off at the street corner.
"...That's a Japanese retaurant," you say.
"Well, I can read the name so it kinda stuck out to me," shrugs the Lunarian. "Perhaps we should stick to what we know for our first date?"
"Fair enough," you reply. The two of you walk inside. You're greeted by a hostess, who leads you to a seat toward the back. You sit in the booth and wait for a menu, which is in three languages; Japanese, English, and Greek. When the waitress asks about what you want to eat this afternoon, both of you decide on water and some ramen. After she jots down your orders, she politely informs you that it will be a while, then turns to leave.
"What, no sake?" Reisen asks, bemused.
"Hey, you didn't get any either," you point out.
"Eh, true... I guess I'm not in a drinking mood," shrugs the rabbit. "So, Youmu, you've been curious as to what we're all doing after all this is over. What about you? What are your dreams?"
"Huh? My dreams?" you echo. "I... I guess I don't really know. I mean, I don't see myself working for Lady Yuyuko forever; grandfather left for a reason, right? Even if it's just a test for me, he made it pretty clear that he wasn't coming back. I've thought about becoming a ronin, travelling across Gensokyo and helping people where I can, but I think that would be a bit silly."
"Well, you can always leave Gensokyo with me," Reisen suggests.
"I've thought about it, but I don't know... I mean, a samurai is supposed to protect her home, and Gensokyo is my home. I can't protect it if I'm not there."
"You're protecting it now," Reisen points out. "Don't you think?"
"I think this is a bit different from that," you reply with a chuckle. "Anyway, I've thought about opening up a dojo in the village; teach the villagers to protect themselves from youkai. I figure since I can't get Lady Yuyuko to learn how to use a katana, I can get others do use them properly."
"That sounds relatively tame," Reisen says.
"After all this? I'll be doing well to not just retire," you say with a chuckle. "But hey, I might need help on running the place. You could help me."
"Oh?" Reisen smiles. "Be your live-in helper?"
"I was thinking more like something else," you say wistfully. "You know...?"
"Hmm, so forward," Reisen hums. "Our first date and you're already talking about moving in together."
"W-well, I mean, it's just... just..." you struggle with the words. "Convenient! Yeah! I mean, Eientei and Hakugyokurou are so far away from each other, we should just move in together! Yeah!"
"Uh-huh," Reisen smiles. "I like your logic, Youmu. Will we even sleep in the same bed?"
"Ah, um, uh..." you blush and look away. "I haven't thought about t-that yet."
"But Youmu, we've already slept in the same bed," Reisen teases.
"That was totally different!" You say, blushing. "There were only two beds!"
"You coulda slept with Flandre like the big sister you are," Reisen continues with a grin.
"Oh... sh-shut up," you look down at your water.
You feel Reisen looking at you. "I'm just kidding you know," she says.
"Yeah, I know," you smile. "But say, you think you and I are... ah, for real?"
"What do you mean?"
"Basically, I mean, after all this is over, you think that you and I will still... I dunno, be together?"
"Ah..." Reisen nods. The waitress hands you and the rabbit your ramen. "Well, personally, I think so. I don't feel like this is a mere fling. I think you and I truly have something."
"I... I think so, too," you decide. "Yeah, I do. But... I mean, I've never had a relationship before, so..."
"Ah, first time worries. I totally understand," Reisen nods. "Well, I have some experience in this matter, so trust me when I say it'll work out. I haven't felt this way about anyone in a long time, Youmu. And hey, you never know... maybe one day I'll dress in a dapper suit and we'll go to the Hakurei Shrine to get married."
You chuckle. "Why do you get to be the guy?"
"Well, I am the dominant one," Reisen declares. "Now, let's eat."
The rest of the date goes off without a hitch, except that nagging voice in the back of your head telling you to head for Olympus. You push it aside as you and Reisen walk out of the restaurant, with you holding onto her arm with your hands intertwined. "That was pretty nice," you say. Reisen giggles and nods.
A man walks up to the two of you... well, a boy really. "Excuse me, ladies?" he asks. "I was just in there and couldn't help but notice the two of you. I'm doing a piece on non-traditional couples in Greece, and I think the two of you would make a great example of the best things about it," he holds up a camera. "Can I take a picture of you two?"
Reisen blinks. "I don't understand him," she tells you.
"I do," you reply. You straighten up. "Sure, we'd love to help!" you nudge Reisen in the side. "Hey, smile."
Reisen does, and the boy holds up his camera. "Nice ears," he quips. You get close to Reisen and smile as he takes a picture. "Thank you, ladies! And I must say, the two of you are absolutely perfect together!"
You blush. "Th-thank you!" you reply. The teen walks off, grinning ear to ear and clutching his camera closely.
"So, back to the hotel?" Reisen asks.
"Yeah, we'll meet up with the other there," you answer, nodding.
Together, the two of you walk back to the hotel, smiles on your face and, in your case, a song in your heart.
[ ] Hatate yearns to go home. (Hatate Route)
[ ] Nazrin suddenly has regrets. (Nazrin Route)
You meet Nazrin in the lobby after the mouse wandered off randomly. It's now evening time; you've spent most of the day catching up with Sakuya's team, enthralled by their action-packed adventures. Although you guys really need to get going, Marisa has been busy doing research to dispel Flandre's blood seal, as well as figuring out what healing spell to use on Hatate. She's been locked in her room the whole time, with only the occasional curse spouting from it.
As you approach Nazrin, sitting on a chair in the lobby, she doesn't look at you as she speaks.
"What's that?" You ask, taking the seat next to her.
"Leaving Gensokyo," she says. "Like, at all; now or later."
"Why is that? You told me that you wanted to prove yourself," you twist your mouth to a look of concern.
"Yeah, but... what have I done?" Nazrin says, looking down. "I've cast a few spells and gotten shot. Meanwhile, you, Reisen, and Flandre go out and be badasses. Me and Hatate? We get to sit on the sidelines and look pretty," she shrugs. "I don't think I'm cut out for the Outside World... I regret ever leaving. I should have stayed home with Byakuren and the others."
"Don't say that," you tell her. "I for one am glad you're here with us. Your spells have proven useful every time you've used them. Like when you used it to protect the van from Remilia's assault. That was great timing on your part."
Nazrin shrugs. "Please, Reisen probably could have just used a card and dispelled all of them at once."
"I doubt it," you reply. "Both mine and Reisen's spells are tuned for offense, not defense like yours."
"Still... I feel useless."
"Well, you're not," you stand up. "I don't want to hear any more of this, Nazrin. You're a valued member of this team and I wont' stand for this. I am happy that you are at my side."
"...you really mean that, don't you?" Nazrin chuckles. "Youmu, you're such a nice person, even when you're being as blunt as a hammer."
You laugh. "Yeah, I guess."
"But in all seriousness, though," Nazrin continues. "I don't think I'll leave Gensokyo... at least, not without the others."
"Others? You mean the Myouren Temple?"
"Yeah," Nazrin nods. "I mean, Shou can't take care of herself for anything, Ichirin has always wanted to explore, Captain Murasa won't quit wining about not seeing an ocean, and Miss Byakuren might be upset if I don't come back. I don't know if she will, but I don't wanna take that risk."
"You think about her feelings that much?" you ask, though its not really a question. "I can understand that. I'm concerned about Lady Yuyuko, especially because of recent events."
"See, as soon as I heard about the Lunarians in Gensokyo... I almost flipped out," Nazrin says. "I mean, war? I'm not there to help, am I? At the least I can help hide the humans in the temple or something, but not out here... they're probably fighting for their lives, and I'm not there to help!" She frowns. "Youmu... I want to go back. I need to go back."
"I know," you nod. "After we deal with Remilia-"
"No," Nazrin's face is serious. "I mean now, after we deal with here. And if you don't go back home... I'll go by myself."
You consider that. Nazrin traversing China alone, just to reach back home? How would she get in? Has she even considered that?
No... you're certain she has. She'd probably just wait until a gap opened from an escaping youkai and jump in... and then what? Would she die to the Lunarians? Make it home?
"Nazrin... don't do anything foolish," you say cautiously. "I think it would be best for you to stick with us."
"Maybe, but I have to get home. I have to protect it."
"But if we decide that Remilia is a greater threat, that would also be protecting Gensokyo."
"Yeah, if she makes her move anytime soon. What if she doesn't? What if it takes years for her to amass the forces to truly invade? Meanwhile, while we're busy chasing her, the Lunarians... what, sit on their asses? I doubt it. We need to stop the immediate threat and handle the longer-term one later."
"If we get Remilia now, she won't be a big threat later," you tell her.
"If we don't get the Lunarians now, there won't be a Gensokyo to protect."
You consider that. That is a pretty sound argument, maybe. That voice in the back of your head asking you to come to Olympus is more of a nag now, giving you a headache and making it hard to think about this. "Nazrin," you say slowly. "Consider the consequences if you go alone."
"What consequences? The worst is that I'd die," Nazrin counters. "No, Youmu, if we don't go to Gensokyo together, I go alone. It's as simple as that."
Since you haven't been working with Nazrin a lot (i.e. going down her routes at every opportunity, or making them a first/second option and opting to wait on her routes), she's quite rebellious.
Since Hatate is the only option left, I'm going to go ahead and start writing that half of the update, since they're supposed to be put together anyway. I'm just putting this up for now to give you guys something to read while I write it. However, if anyone has any write in options, feel free to add them and I will work them into the next half of the update.
You know, this whole situation makes me feel like Youmu is about to say "just stay with us for a little while, and if you still haven't changed your mind then I promise I'll go with you".
That's the usual line following moments like this, at least.
if you look at it mechanically we lose a tracker, and probably our best defensive-support [Even if we merge with Sakuya's team, most of the team leans towards Offense, with Sanae being the most balanced]
I don't really feel that strong of an urge to go to Olympus besides OOOH SPOOKY PLOT URGING but I'll be fine either way.
I'm not sure if we should take this sign to go full throttle in the flan/reisen options or try to even it out though.
When you get anon to think this much you've written a good story glen
Remember the situation during the assault to rescue Hatate? Every choice has its ups and downs, if we had chosen her first, then we'd have other problems.
And yeah, Nazrin's the only defensive type we have and the only tracker. I just wish we can keep her for a little longer. I imagine taking her to a buddhist shrine to hear about the war directly from Byakuren's lips would be our best bet.
[x] Is there any buddhist temples near our location?
[x] Think to self - Is Remi really the bigger threat?
As much as a pain the vampires are I can't help but feel Nazrin's right about Remi being the lesser issue.
While she has our sword she isn't causing us or gensokyo any any direct trouble beyond the odd attack on us and the odd incursion. (The attack on the SDM might not have even been organised by her(why would she let them attack Patchy?))
The Lunarians occupying gensokyo is not only as bad (if not worse) then a Vampire invasion but combat-wise they are far more threatening then Remi and the Camellia and they're already inside while the Vamps seem stuck out for the time being. They just seem like the larger threat on all fronts and best dealt with while we are more likely to have local support(read, they haven't already won or seriously cut down on gensokyo's population). The only reason I can see to go after Remi first would be to use her method of entry ourselves.
>>53861 We are NOTHING compared to the Gensokyans already fighting the Lunarians. Going back is a sentimentality. A selfish choice even.
She's doing it so she can feel better, not really to protect the Myouren's crew: they can take care of themselves.
Besides, what is she planing to do? According to the update, she's just gonna hide a few villagers. Then, after older, wiser and much more powerful people than us defeat the Lunarians, Remilia will keep sending the camarilla from the portal in the Scarlet Mansion (you do remember that she's doing that, right?) until the whole realm is overwhelmed. Good-fucking-job.
There's a reason 2nd tier warriors were sent to stop the camarilla: because they're not completely organized yet. When they are, then it's curtain's down. I gather we earned some time by taking Remilia's 'insurance' out of picture, but time is still of the essence.
Finally, I'd like to add that the whole lunarian invasion thing was only possible because the barrier was weakened by vampires. The whole invasion is Remilia's and Youmu's fault. So if she wants payback, then she must stay with us: end of story.
Yes, she just wants to go home to feel better about herself. But you know why? It's because her friends/family are on the receiving end of a lunar invasion and she's not there with them.
She's worried for them and scared that they won't be there anymore by the time she gets back, and thus wants to leave right now whether it's the right choice or not.
Telling her to stop whining and suck it up is likely to only hurt her more and drive her away.
Is she still ignoring me? Seriously? The nerve...
It's because you're not forceful enough. HEY! YOUMU! COME TO OLYMPUS, DAMNIT!
You shake your head. You're back on the roof of the hotel now as night falls. Nazrin's words really struck you, in a way, and her stance on Remilia's threat level really made you wonder if you're pursuing her for all the wrong reasons. Although you feel as if this is as much your fault as hers that all of this has happened, you wonder if maybe you just want Roukanken back... and if it's now nothing more than a revenge quest.
Besides, what can someone like you do against Lunarians? The small fry would be easy enough, but the Watasuki sisters are forces to be reckoned with.
She's still ignoring us...
Okay, that's it, I'm going down there.
But we were told not to leave-
To hell with that! Gensokyo is under attack and you wanna stand on ceremony? Fuck the agreement!
You did some research, trying to find a Buddhist Temple in Greece, but found nothing. Apparently the dominant monotheistic religion has overtaken any other ones; probably the reason that their ancient gods reside in their Sealed Land; lack of belief, after all, is a terrifying thing when one thinks about it, especially if you are a being that thrives on it.
Behind you, the door opens. You look back and see Hatate coming through the exit. She smiles at you as she walks up. "Hey, Youmu, I've been thinking..."
"Hm?" You perk up.
I'm terribly sorry about all this.
It's fine, she's just a child.
"Well, I talked to Nazrin and... I want to go home."
"Despite what you told me earlier?" You ask. The tengu nods.
"Yeah, I just... I want to see home again. Even if they won't take me because of these," she jerks her thumb at her ruined wings. "I... I don't want to be out here anymore. I thought about it, and Aya was right to be afraid of the Outside World; it's not a place for us, Youmu. At least, not for this bird. So, I've decided that... well, if you all go after Remilia, I'm going to go home with Nazrin instead. I want to see Aya and the others," she smiles. "Besides, I'm useless out here."
"Your thoughtography helped us find the others," you point out. "without that we never would have found them."
"True, but... now? I can't fight, I'd just get in the way," Hatate replies. "I'm sorry, Youmu; I thought I would follow you to the ends of the Earth, but I'm not cut out for this. I still want to write a book, but I'll probably tell it from your point of view... since you'll be there for all of it."
"Well... I can't stop you, really," you admit. "I mean, I'm the leader by vote, and... since I'm losing teammates, I guess I'm not a very good one, am I?"
"No, it's not that, it's just..." Hatate considers the words. "I think Gensokyo is calling me home. I miss it terribly."
"So do I..." you say quietly. "But... I can't go home yet, can I?" You look up toward the sky, at a pale blue dot moving across it; must be one of those airplanes you've seen.
Wait... that one is getting closer. And it's much smaller than an airplane. In fact, it's human sized. "Uh... what is that?" you wonder. "Who is that?" The dot gets closer, and as it flies toward you, you decide its best to move. You and Hatate back up as the blue dot turns into a certain blue-haired Celestial. "Wait a minute..."
"Gods, can't you just listen to the message?" Tenshi Hinanawi asks, landing in front of the two of you. "Hermes set all that up just for you to ignore it?! Can't you be a little grateful or something?!"
"Tenshi, but... how?" you ask. The Celestial's face turns red.
"Quit ignoring what I told you!" she growls. "Besides, I got here because Celestials can move between all the Sealed Lands! You'd know that if Yukari had, you know, mentioned that! But no, she has to go off and make her own plans without letting us know! And you can bet that all of us in Heaven are sorely pissed at how she's handled the situation!"
"Speak for yourself," sighs a long-suffering Iku Nagae, landing next to the wayward Celestial. "Sorry about this, everyone, but we're under strict orders from Heaven not to intervene in the events on Earth; I'm afraid that Tenshi has been trying ever since you left Gensokyo to get involved, thus breaking that agreement."
"But Iku! Gensokyo needs our help!" Tenshi protests. "Are you really willing to sit by and watch as it gets burned to the ground?!"
"For the twentieth time, no, I'm not," Iku responds. "But my hands are tied, in this case."
"Wait, back up," you interrupt. "What's going on now?"
Iku sighs. "When Gensokyo acquired the Taoist Miko into itself, it interrupted the balance of power, as Yukari explained to you. When we first noticed the movement of the vampires here in Europe, a meeting in Heaven was called. There was some argument, but it was decided that we would not get involved. This order was passed on to Miss Eiki, which is why she declined the invitation to Hakugyokurou," she takes a breath.
"Officially, I'm here to arrest you," she says with a frown. "You see, Lady Saigyouji was also supposed to participate in that meeting, since the Netherworld is tied into Heaven's politics, at least enough for her to have influence there. However, when she refused the invitation, it was agreed that you would get involved, thus breaking the agreements that we had made in the interim."
You frown at that. "So... Heaven isn't going to help us. Okay, I can deal with that. But why arrest me?"
"Because you are a part of the afterlife, at least a little bit," Tenshi cuts in. "The stupid agreement said that anyone who is part of it cannot participate in the battles for Gensokyo here on Earth. I think its stupid, and I'm not going to arrest you because of that. Also, you swing a mean sword."
"Ah, yes, that too," Iku nods. "You see, Youmu, you and your friends here on Earth inadvertently created a weapon normally reserved for gods and their ilk."
The way she says it with such little enthusiasm is a bit disconcerting. You clutch at the katana on your side. "You mean, this is the weapon of a god?"
"Not quite, but close enough," Iku nods. "You see, the spirit in that sword is what you might consider the power of a demigod, one who was a skilled swordsman. When you created that sword, his spirit was pulled from Heaven and infused into that blade. Again, officially, we're here to arrest you for kidnapping a demigod."
Hatate suddenly bursts into laughter. "That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard!" She crows. "I mean, really? A weapon made for gods?"
But Iku isn't laughing. "Yes. Really. That blade is not meant for mortal - or half-mortal - hands. We must ask that you return it to us."
"Don't give it to her, Youmu," Tenshi says.
"...in all honesty, I'd rather you not, either," Iku replies. "In fact, I was planning on making no movements to arrest you on behalf of Heaven. But Tenshi had to go and show ourselves like the child she is, so now I have to ask you to please come with me so we can get this out of the way."
"...I'd... rather not," you reply.
"You think I want to do this?" Iku asks. "I don't. But in the event that you resist, I have been told to subdue you in any way possible," she sighs. "Please don't fight it, Youmu."
"But my mission-"
"Look," the oarfish interrupts. "There is one thing that can help you," she looks back toward the direction from where she came. "Olympus's gods have been railing against the agreement from the moment... well, it was agreed upon. If I take you to their court, then you will probably get pardoned by one of their chief gods. You will be allowed to continue your mission."
"And how long will that take?" You ask.
"I don't know. A few hours?"
"And if they don't pardon me?"
"Then you get sealed away in a prison until this whole incident resolves," Tenshi spits. "It's dumb, Youmu. Just resist so we can say we lost and keep going with what you're doing."
[ ] Go with Iku and Tenshi to Olympus.
If you go, there is some extra stuff for you there, mostly involving dialogue and some cool gear if you choose to go. However, it will delay your mission and you will miss some key interaction with the others.
[ ] "Resist"
If you "resist", then Tenshi and Iku will leave, you'll miss out on some stuff, but you will lose no interaction with your main party. Also, you will get to see if Flandre and Hatate's unsealing works or not.
[x] Quickly use mental communication trick targeting the sword.
-[x] Ask it if it will defend you in court/right now (verbally or with a message, obviously).
--[x] If a solid case can be made to say it wasn't kidnapping per-se as the god doesn't mind make it right now and agree to come in on your own terms.
The sword has a noticeable dislike for Remilia from what has been implied in previous scenes and so might do what it can to help us be rid of her. If we can communicate with the demi-god inside maybe we can get him/her/it to defend us for our cause and allow us to benefit from this situation on our terms.
This is a just in case note.
Due to real life I might not be on for a while, emphasis on might. In the worst case scenario I won't be able to update for a while, middle case is sporadic updates, and best case is that nothing happens and we continue as normal.
Is it wrong that I actually want to let Nazrin and Hatate go?
I don't dislike them or the way they're portrayed or otherwise have a reason to try to remove them from the story because I don't want to see them.
I just think that if they really want to go home, they should be allowed to. All we can do is ask them to stay, but if they still want to go...
It's that or keep them here, by trickery or force, and I don't think either of those will end up going well for anyone.
Youmu is the leader, meaning she will have to face the really tough decisions sometimes. One of which is when to just back off and let go.
Sage because I haven't decided on the actual vote yet.
>>54115 I was half-asleep when I wrote that. Allow me to clarify my reasoning behind this.
We inadvertently kidnapped a demigod. I don't know how celestial courts do things, but that doesn't look good for us. We also would likely lose the sword due to the Olympus gods trying to free the being inside it, which would make Landon's death meaningless because the object that alerted Remilia to our location, and greatest weapon against her, is now GONE! Even if they find a way to communicate with the demigod, they could easily just call it Stockholm syndrome and take it anyways. Just because we are going to get new gear doesn't mean it's going to be any better!
Think about it, there is no way in hell we're getting Lightning bolts from Zeus. We would, almost certainly, not get help from Hades as he's probably making a killing with all the death going around. Pun intended Hermes is probably butt-hurt about what happened when we first met him. And it's likely that we wouldn't get anything better than the sword because we're filthy kidnappers or something. Stop thinking like this is an RPG! Random loot is pointless when we have no idea if it's even better than what we already have, ESPECIALLY when what we have is a vampire slaying machine which happen to be our main enemy!
"...tell you what," you finally decide. "Let's go. Can I at least tell the others?"
"Sure thing," Iku nods. "I'm glad you decided to come peacefully, Youmu."
"Ah, I wanted to fight," Tenshi complains. "But you do what's best for you, Konpaku. We'll wait here."
You make your way back into the hotel, toward the room where Marisa is prepping herself for the magic she's about to use. As you walk in, Flandre is already laying down on the bed, seemingly asleep. Everyone looks up at you. "So... we have a problem."
You quickly explain the situation to the others. Sakuya and Nina both have an unreadable look on their face as you talk, and you focus on that despite hearing the others begin to complain.
"But... what about me?" Flandre asks. "What if this doesn't work, Youmu?"
"I'm sure you'll be fine," you assure the vampire. I'll only be gone for a few hours, Flan."
"But... do you really have to?" Sanae cuts in. "I mean, couldn't you just do what Tenshi asked you to?"
"I thought about it, but I'd rather get this out of the way than be tailed all the way to our objectives."
"...she has a point," Nina nods. "The Greek Gods can sometimes be as petty as my own. If she snubs them now we might have a problem on our hands," she sighs. "I wish Freyja told me about this, though... but Valhalla doesn't exactly play nice with the Celestials either, so it might be just like her to ignore something that may be important."
Sakuya nods in agreement. "However, mother, I'm sure that Odin has already given the higher courts his opinion, several times."
Nina laughs. "That he probably did, my child. But Youmu, I suggest you be careful. The Greek gods did not withdraw from the world due to lack of faith; in fact, no one is sure why they did in the first place. Be wary."
You nod. "Yes, I will."
Flandre gets out of the bed and hugs you. Reisen simply nods toward you, though you can see worry in her eyes. "Be careful, Youmu."
"I will," you promise.
You turn and leave the room, shutting it behind you. There, Iku is already waiting. "Sorry," she says with a bow. "But we're on a tight schedule. Come, we must make haste."
The two of you return to the roof. Tenshi is already gone. Together, you and Iku take flight, following the rapidly fading blue light in the sky. "How far?" you ask.
"For us, it's not far, since we're already attuned to the Prometheus Border," Iku tells you. "For a normal human to reach Olympus, they must climb the mountain in this world by hand, without tools, then pray for seven days to enter. Even then, they're more likely to die of starvation and dehydration than actually enter the realm. Take my hand," she extends an arm to you. "Crossing the border will be possible for you if you hold on."
You nod and grab Iku's hand. The two of you accelerate, catching up to the lazily flying Tenshi and heading toward a distant mountain. As you reach it, the three of you fly upward along it, crossing through a foggy mist that magically appears before you. As you cross, you feel something pulling you downward forcefully, but it quickly lets go of you as it seems to feel Iku's presence.
As you enter Olympus itself, it turns into daylight. Flying up a bit more, you gasp. "Beautiful..."
It's like looking into what you imagine Ancient Greece was like. There are magnificent marble and stone buildings, giant ones, in the middle of a great city; a city large enough to put your puny village to shame. You stop midflight to take in its splendor. On the streets you can see all manner of people and what you assume to be their type of youkai walking to and fro, talking, working, enjoying life in general. Far off in the distance you can see an endless expanse of farmland. "This is Olympus?" you breathe.
"Indeed. This is the home of the Greek gods and all their creations. Look there, in the distance," Iku points, and you see walking amongst the farmlands an enormous human, his footfalls causing the ground to shake. "That is a giant. There are also many different types of creatures that can fly, though most are land-bound. Ah, someone to greet us," Iku waves as a woman riding a chariot pulled by a Pegasus flies up to the three of you. "Greetings, Calliope! We have brought the wayward one!"
"I see that," nods the woman. "Greetings, Miss Konpaku. I am Calliope, a Muse, and I will be escorting you to the main chambers."
"A goddess of art would be the simplest way to describe her," Tenshi cuts in. "Calliope here is the mother of epic poems. She is the inspiration for many great works in the Outside world."
"Ah, yes, but those days are over," muses the... ah, muse. "Now come, we must not keep the Olympians waiting."
You nod and follow the woman toward the largest building in the center. You can't see the interior, but on the outside it is massive, its roof held up by great marble columns, carefully crafted with decoration. You can't help but be amazed at the dedication it must have taken for man or god to have created those things. As you fly, the Muse looks over at you. "So, you understand why you are here?"
"Yes," you nods. "Apparently I have kidnapped one of your demigods by accident?"
"Something like that," nods the goddess. "Once we get inside, the others will explain it to you properly," as you land at the base of the building, near a great bronze door that seems to be made with giants in mind, you realize you completely underestimated the size of this building. No one else around here seems the least bit bothered by it though, so you stow away your feelings and follow Calliope up the steps to the double doors. There, a man wearing a lion's skin awaits your group.
"Heracles," greets the Muse. "We have the girl."
"I see," nods the man; as you get closer, you can see that he's tall, at least seven feet. His massive muscles walk up to the bronze doors and, with a grunt of exertion, pushes them inward, opening the way for your group. He escorts the lot of you inside, down a massive central room, where at the end sit twelve human-looking beings. You can feel their divine magic as you enter the building, which nearly grows unbearable as you make your way toward them, finally stopping in the middle of their circle. "Father, the girl."
"That will be all, Heracles," the man sitting in the highest seat says, his voice booming off the walls of the great building. Heracles nods and walks away, with Calliope following. "So, you are the child who ignores the orders of the Celestial Courts and kidnapped our beloved demigods."
"...yes," you nod. "Although I will say that the kidnapping was accidental. Actually, so was ignoring the agreement of the Courts, since I did not know about it."
"So it seems that the ruler of the Netherworld is being derelict in her duties again," laughs another man, his curly hair and boyish face quite handsome as his laughter fades. "We mean no offense, child... ah, what is your name?"
"Youmu Konpaku," you say with a bow.
"Yes, that's it," says the man. "Well, you may call me Apollo, god of... ah, many things."
"I see," you really don't but you decide not to argue. "I apologize, but I am pressed for time, so if we could get this moving along?"
Another person laughs, this one a woman. "Oh, I do like this one, brother!" she says towards Apollo. "Quick and to the point! What else should I expect from a soul so pure?"
"A pure soul?" echoes another man, whom you recognize as Hermes from before. "She allies herself with vampires! Bloodsuckers, Artemis!"
"Silence," says the god in charge again. "The girl is right; let's get this out of the way. Youmu Konpaku, you have been charged with ignoring the will of the Celestial Court, and from us, by kidnapping the spirit of a demigod. These are both grave offenses, but we are not so willing to just fall in line with the Celestials that we will instantly punish you. Before you, after all, are the Twelve Olympians; myself and the other chief gods and goddesses of this land. We will hear your case, as well as that of your blade. Hephaestus, if you will?"
A man with bulging muscles behind you stands, walking up to you. He's stout, stocky even, nothing like the graceful forms of the others around you, but you can tell that his presence commands respect. "Your sword, for just a bit," he says calmly, holding out his hand. You look up at him as you grab your katana by the handle, unsheathing it and holding it out to him. He takes it gently as if holding a child. "Ah, fine craftsmanship," he says approvingly. He takes the sword by the hilt and walks around you, holding it up for the others. "This weapon has been forged by arcane and divine magic; in doing so, they summoned a demigod to it by no fault of their own! We must now hear the case of the one trapped within!" He steps forward and thrusts the blade into the marble floor. "Perseus! Come forth!"
The diamond in the hilt ignites, erupting in holy fire that doesn't bring heat. In the flames comes the image of a man with long, flowing blond hair and blue eyes that are lit with divine fervor. He seems to glare down at you, but softens as he seems to recognize you. "Ah, it is you," he greets warmly. "The one who has my spirit forged in a weapon."
"You... are the one in my sword?" you ask. "I... I apologize. I did not mean to-"
"Don't worry about it," laughs the man. "You see, it was all too willing. I knew that for you to forge your blade properly it would need a divine spark, so I have lent to you mine," the head turns around. "Ah, father, greetings. I'm sorry about all this, but it needed to be done."
"I see... so you are certain you weren't summoned by nefarious magic?" asks the chief god. Perseus nods... well, his head floats up and down, anyway.
"It is only temporary, until the girl's mission is complete. Afterward, when her deed is done, I will return home to Olympus."
"Then there is no kidnapping case here," Artemis says. "We must consider that charge dropped."
"I would prefer that, as it is actually quite comfy not thinking," laughs Perseus. His head turns to you. "Young one, whatever happens here, know that I will be at your side until your fight is over."
"Well, the sword you created is still powerful without me," says the demigod. "You and your friends made a good blade. It will carry you through the ages if you will it,"
"Son, I look forward to your return then," says the chief god.
"I will return soon, I expect, father," laughs Perseus. The divine fire begins to fade, and along with it the demigod's head. "Oh, and one more thing! Let her finish her work!"
And then the blade fades. The diamond cools as the sword lifts itself into the air and resheathes itself into its scabbard. You can feel Perseus's laugh in your mind. It relaxes you.
"Well, with that out of the way, we can focus on the more important matter," says Apollo. He stands as Hephaestus sits, and begins to circle you. "My fellow Olympians, before we judge whether or not to send this girl, Youmu Konpaku, home, we must first describe her supposed crime: She ignored the non-intervention agreement and set forth on her own mission to stop the encroaching threat to her own lands by herself. Is this something we should truly punish? My Lord Zeus, if you will begin," Apollo stops, standing next to you, nodding to Iku. The oarfish Celestial takes the hint and pulls herself and Tenshi off to the side.
"Olympians, it is of my opinion that this girl not be punished for doing the right thing," declares the chief god as he stands. "Is it not the right of all beings to defend the lands that they love? Did we ourselves not fight for Olympus's sake ages ago? You all know that most of the time I tend to my own affairs, but when the call comes, I will be there to fight with you. We must see this girl as doing the same thing," he walks up to you and puts a hand on your shoulder. "Should the rest of you decide to send her away, I will be quite upset with all of you, but I will understand. I am no longer so petty that I crush opinions that are against mine. Times, as they say, have changed," he looks toward one of the goddesses. "Athena."
A woman wearing battle armor stands. "While normally I agree with Zeus," she begins as the god of thunder sits. "In this case I have to say that it is not so. I have to worry about Olympus, and I'd rather not do so with the Celestials on our backs. If we send her away, then we will not have to worry about them for some time. I'm sorry, little one," she looks at you. "But I have to think of my home first."
"I agree," Hermes stands. "Besides, as I have said, she is currently working with a vampire!"
"So?" Another man asks; you note the massive spear on his back. "Do the ends not justify the means? If it was Olympus wouldn't you ally with Persephone and Hades to see it defended?"
"They are different, Ares!" shouts the messenger god. "Vampires are evil by nature and have no chance of being good! If this girl was truly looking out for her homeland, she would strike the vampire down when she next has the chance!"
"Enough, Hermes," Artemis glares at the younger god. "I think she's doing the right thing."
"You're wrong, Artemis," says another goddess. Artemis scoffs.
"And what do you know of fighting, Aphrodite? You would just sex the vampires to death."
"No, we shouldn't get involved to begin with," Aphrodite says with a flick of her hair. You try not to stare at her nude form too hard. "Lets send the girl back and be done with it."
"I agree with Aphrodite," says another god.
"You would, Dionysus," another goddess snorts.
"You know it's the right thing to do, Demeter," he argues. "We must abide by the laws, else why have them in the first place?"
As the discussion breaks down into argument, you notice that a couple of the gods have yet to speak their mind, instead watching the argument unfold. You frown and walk up to one of them.
"Sir, what do you think?" you ask. The man grins at you.
"I think you need to make yourself heard, young lady," he tells you. "Hera and I, we have no opinion on this matter just yet; even if I did, normally I just let my brother do all the decision making. I want you to defend yourself, girl."
You nod, turning and walking away from the god. What should I do, Perseus? you ask the sword.
Surprisingly, he replies. Just draw the weapon and smash it into the ground again.
You grin. Unsheathing the sword, you roar and stab it in the center of the circle. A magical shockwave passes through you, followed by a loud booming sound that instantly silences everyone in the circle. You turn around slowly, looking at the arguing gods.
"I demand to be heard!" you shout.
[ ] State your case. (Write-in vote)
It's all up to you guys now. Better bust out that silver tongue of yours, Anon.
>>54237 hit by a truck? Sounds like one heck of a story.
Anyway. I don't have any idea what to say. My tongue is more like an aluminum-foil-wrapped one than a silver one. You guys have any ideas? I guess something about defending not only Gensokyo, but the other lands that the vampires might choose to invade?
[x] “My home is in danger. Grave danger. It may be gone for good if it doesn't get help. It needs help; all of the help it can get. Laws were made to keep order, yes, but when that very order is threatened, laws can and should be ignored in the name of peace. Yes, I'm working with a vampire, but not even vampires are inherently evil; she too is assisting in the protecting of our homeland.
There are no ulterior motives here. No secret plots. We are only doing what is necessary for peace -- no, for survival -- even if it means breaking a few rules in the process.”
The time is at hand, we must sway them with powerful words! As a cunning linguist, we must pick with adroit and deft selection, from the vast breadth of words within the English language, and move the souls of men!
[X] "I fight to protect my home, as would any of you. More than just my own home, we face a voracious threat that would destroy until there would be none left to rule her, would a person like that stop with only my own home?
As for vampires, some of you would callously judge someone you have never even met, calling her inherently evil because she is a vampire. Before she is a vampire, she is a person, capable of good or ill the same as anyone else.
And as for the laws that say you should bind me for consorting with vampires or defending my home, if you follow an unjust law simply because it is the law, then you have consigned yourself to being an unjust person."
>>54276 I like your speech, but if I may offer a few alterations..
Instead of "would a person like that", it gives more weight if we refer to her as "a creature", because Remilia really IS the kind of evil vampire they're talking about.
In the next part, instead of defending vampires as a whole ("As for vampires"), I think it would be more natural to defend just Flandre, i.e. saying "As for my friend", instead.
The part about being an unjust person when you follow unjust laws is nice.
I think the speech just needs a bit of ending flair, though, some final thought at the end instead of just trailing off. I'm thinking something like "you should be better than that", but more eloquent.
[X] "I fight to protect my home, as would any of you. More than just my own home, we face a voracious threat that would destroy until there would be none left to rule her, would a creature like that stop with only my own home?
As for my friend, some of you would callously judge someone you have never even met, calling her inherently evil because she is a vampire. Before she is a vampire, she is a person, capable of good or ill the same as anyone else.
And as for the laws that say you should bind me for consorting with vampires or defending my home, if you follow an unjust law simply because it is the law, then you have consigned yourself to being an unjust person. I expected better of gods who men once looked to for guidance."
>>54273 [X] "I fight to protect my home, as would any of you. More than just my own home, we face a voracious threat that would destroy until there would be none left to rule her, would a person like that stop with only my own home?
As for vampires, some of you would callously judge someone you have never even met, calling her inherently evil because she is a vampire. Before she is a vampire, she is a person, capable of good or ill the same as anyone else.
And as for the law that says I shouldnt have taken action I neiher knew of it nor would It have mady any difference. I am half phantom and that makes me part of the afterlife, which is as I have been told, ordered not to intervene. But I am still half human and that gives me the right to protect my home. If this isnt enough I am willing to cancel my employment within Hakugyokorou."
Going all out, we could still ask for our Job back after the war is over.
[X] "I fight to protect my home, as would any of you. More than just my own home, we face a voracious threat that would destroy until there would be none left to rule save her, would a person like that stop with only my own home?
As for vampires, some of you would callously judge someone you have never even met, calling her inherently evil because she is a vampire. Before she is a vampire, she is a person, capable of good or ill the same as anyone else. I know this girl, and would trust her with my very life.
And as for the laws that say you should bind me for consorting with vampires or defending my home, if you follow an unjust law simply because it is the law, then you have consigned yourself to being an unjust person. Laws are meant to protect people. When a law is no longer performing the task for which it was intended, it is worthless and must be discarded.
>>54284 I like the part with "I'd trust her with my life", but I think the argument that an unjust law should be discarded sounds a bit like the discussion is moving on towards another subject. We don't really want this, we want them to just say "yes, you can go back" instead of going back to arguing.
>>54290 That's pretty good if the argument moves towards more of the laws/rules arguments.
I get the feeling that almost everything will be included though, since we've pretty much agreed on the core of our speech (meaning this >>54276), and we're just polishing the details.
I also just remembered, now I have to brush up on my greek mythology, because I don't remember as much as I'd like about Perseus and what he did. Could be useful to know.
Yes, go ahead and make my lines work if you like it. I'm glad my ideas are becoming the core argument. Before it all backfires anyways. But i'll readily admit that I can't put my thoughts into words that smoothly, so make em work if you can
Well, you definitely have everyone's attention. The gods of Olympus stare down at you, curious. With a cold fury, you rip the sword out of the ground.
"Enough!" you shout. "All this bickering is pointless! I demand that you let me state my case and decide now! I have things that must be done!" You point menacingly with your sword.
"...I told you I liked her," chuckles Artemis. "She's right, though. Zeus, what do you think?"
"I agree. All of us, let us listen to this girl," the gods and goddesses sit down. Zeus sits last, reclining on his throne. "Speak, young one."
You nod at him, sheathing the katana and looking around. "I am fighting to protect my home," you begin. "As would any of you. But its more than just my home; out there is a threat that wouldn't stop at Gensokyo. Olympus, Avalon, Valhalla... all of those places would be crushed under Remilia's heel, leaving only herself to rule. She's not going to stop with Gensokyo."
"And that justifies allying with another vampire?" Hisses Hermes.
"She's not just a vampire. Not to me," you state, circling to face the messenger god. "Whilst some of you would so callously judge her, someone you've never even met, let me tell you something in her defense. Just because she's a vampire doesn't mean she is evil. Before that, she is a person, and she's capable of good or evil just as anyone else is. I know Flandre Scarlet, and I trust her with my life. I will tell you that for free."
"Even so, we can't just ignore the law of the land, can we?" Dionysus asks you. "This agreement must be held to. What is rule without law but anarchy?"
"Laws are only a protection when everybody agrees to be bound by them," you reply. "The people that are attacking our home don't. We mustn't let our own rules constrict us when our opponents don't abide by them."
"So pay chaos unto chaos?" Athena wonders. You nod.
"If necessary," you reply. "I am a samurai, ma'am, by training. I abide by the law of bushido - the way of the warrior. My training requires me to follow the law; however, I am willing to put aside my own code of honor to fight this vampire, Remilia Scarlet. To me, she represents such a great threat that she must be taken down swiftly, by any means necessary."
"So you are willing to put everything aside for your quest?" Ares asks, nodding. "Even your own honor? That is commendable, I have to say."
"Not just that, but I am willing to lay down my life for this," you continue. "You have to understand: Remilia is far more powerful than me. The chances of me defeating her in one-on-one combat are slim to none. Even with the help of her sister and my friends, it will not be an easy fight. Some of us may die. But, with all of Gensokyo on the line, we are all willing to do just that."
A pause fills the room as you stare down the others. "Let me go back," you say. "Let me fight. Let me rescue Gensokyo from Remilia and, eventually, the Lunarians. Let me do this thing, and I will submit myself to the judgement of the Celestial Courts. However, try to take me now, and I will fight my way out if I must."
There's a pause, then a chorus of laughter from the gods. Of course, there's nothing you could really do to them, but you feel as if it needed to be said. "Laugh at me, if you must. But I will fight."
The laughter quickly fades. Ares stands up. "Well, I don't know about the rest of you," he declares. "But this has only reinforced my belief that we ignore the Courts this time and let her go," he nods to Zeus. "I know you feel the same."
"I do," nods the thunder god. "So, lets take a vote, then. Those who vote to let the girl go?"
"Aye," Ares says.
"Aye," Artemis nods.
"Aye," Apollo agrees.
"Aye," Demeter smiles at you.
"Aye," Hephaestus crosses his arms.
Silence. "I would presume, then, that the six of you still feel as if she should be punished to the extent of the law?"
You look down as you hear the murmurs of assent, except for one - the god you talked to earlier. Zeus notices this as well, turning to the black-haired man. "Poseidon, you still refuse to weigh in on this?"
"Well... you see, I have been weighing the options, and while I do feel that she should be allowed to go about her mission," your heart soars... "I don't think she's capable."
...then gets squashed flat.
Poseidon stands up, walking in front of Zeus's throne. "Young girl, I can see that your heart burns with passion. But, your skill is combat, that is what will be important on the day you fight the vampire. Tell me, when that time comes, can you strike down the villain?"
You nod resolutely. "Yes," you say. There are no doubts in your mind.
"I see, I see," Poseidon nods in understanding. "Your natural strength is quite impressive for a girl your size. But that body... its designed for speed. Tell me, how fast are you?"
"Fast enough," you reply. Your eyes narrow; this god is asking too many questions.
Artemis catches on. "Poseidon, don't you-"
She's interrupted as the god of the ocean pulls out his trident and hurls it at you.
Your reaction is instantaneous. Going into a low stance, you grab the hilt of your sword, intuitively knowing where the spear is headed. You tilt your head to the side as it flies by, taking a few stray hairs with it. In the following moment, the god of the ocean is coming down on you, fists locked together for an overhead smash. With the movements of a practiced samurai, you go for the easy opening, gripping your blade tighter as you unsheathe it at a lighting speed...
...swing it around Poseidon's head...
...and bring the scabbard in a striking blow to his exposed side. Without hesitation, you jump back several feet and reseathe the katana. Poseidon stumbles backward a few steps but appears unharmed. "Ah, she is fast! Impressive, little one!"
"What was the purpose of that?" You ask, straightening back up and glaring at the god. "That was unprovoked!"
"Certainly it was, but I just had to see your potential myself!" laughs the god. "Good, good, I think you might be alright, little one!" he looks back to Zeus. "Let the girl go, brother. She will perform her mission just fine."
"Then my majority vote, it is settled," Zeus nods. "Youmu, you will be let go. However, before you do," he nods towards Hephaestus. The blacksmith god rises and walks up to you.
"Ever since we decided to try and bring you here," he begins. "I have been working on something for you. It was to either be a gift for your return, or an apology after your sentence was over. I always believed you to be in the right, and with Zeus at my side... well, it's been a while since I got to forge anything. Here," he lifts a bag at his side and hands it to you. You open it and pull out a silvery cloth. "That is probably one of my finer works; it is a set of armor that protects as well as any heavy set, but does not weigh the wearer down at all."
"Armor?" you echo. You peer closer and realize that the 'cloth' you're holding is in fact chainmail links so small that they move like cloth would. "How is this possible?"
"Well, I am a god of the forge," chuckles the large man. "Don't put it on until you need it, though; you'll look conspicuous with it on, trust me."
You nod to him. "Thank you, sir..."
"Not a problem," Hephaetus winks at you. "Hey, if you ever run into trouble, you've got most of Olympus at your back, alright? Now get out of here before Hermes goes on a rampage again."
You look over at the seething messenger god, then toward Iku and Tenshi, who are waiting patiently at the bottom of the stairs. You walk up to them, bag in tow and a smile on your face. "That was quite easy," you chirp. "I didn't think it would be such a short time."
"I told you that it wouldn't take long," Iku says with a smile. "Now come on, let's get you home."
"Unless you wanna come explore Olympus with me a bit," grins Tenshi. "Come on, Youmu! You may never get the chance to do this again!"
"Tenshi, Youmu doesn't have the time right now," Iku interjects.
"Nah, she has plenty of time!" Protests Tenshi. "I mean, all that's going on down there right now is some magic and stuff!" To you she says, "Come on, Youmu, let's go hang out in the city!"
[ ] "I guess I can spare a few moments."
[ ] "Sorry, Tenshi, but I really need to get back..."
[spoiler]The whole point of your speech was to convince Poseidon to vote on your behalf. Everyone else was pointless but him. You succeeded, quite well actually; The dialogue/reward you got was the best of both.
[x] "Sorry, Tenshi, but I really need to get back..."
-[x] "But when all this is over, maybe we could visit again? You said that they could all be accessed through the heavens and I am curious as to what's out there, I just can't rest while our homes are threatened."
Post-Story plot hooks go! The sealed lands are probably the most interesting aspects of this story, it's a shame that the plot and Youmu's characterization, and the needs of the moment seem to keep dragging us away from them.
[x] "Sorry, Tenshi, but I really need to get back..."
-[x] "But when all this is over, maybe we could visit again? You said that they could all be accessed through the heavens and I am curious as to what's out there, I just can't rest while our homes are threatened."
And since what we do now and what we do "in the epilogue" aren't mutually exclusive:
--[X] "How about you come with me, instead?" (You can count this as a vote for "No law that I know of saying anything about you coming with me!")
>>54353 >>54357 No law except, you know, the Celestial Agreement that we were just hauled in for breaking without knowing. The one that Tenshi and Iku were arguing about literally in front of our face when they picked us up.
Of course Tenshi has probably already, technically, broken it by coming to pick us up personally without permission from "higher powers" and she's the kind of person who does whatever she wants without listening to others, anyway. (Just ask Iku.)
You sigh. "Sorry, Tenshi, but I really do need to get back down there. There's a war to fight and a vampire to slay."
Tenshi's face falls, but she nods. "So. I'll just go with you then."
"Tenshi! No!" Iku shouts. The three of you by now have made it halfway back toward the side of Olympus. "You aren't allowed to particpate!"
"I don't really care," Tenshi says. "Gensokyo is in danger, and I have made it my personal mission to protect it. I'm going with Youmu."
"No. You're not," Iku replies with a growl. "You're staying with me, Tenshi, and that's all there is to it. I already have enough on my hands without you gallavanting about the surface doing what you want."
"Then the Courts can arrest me," Tenshi tells her. "I'm going with Youmu and you're not going to stop me."
"...you know, that's not such a bad idea," you consider. "I mean, if we can get Olympus's backing, then surely Tenshi could come with me?"
"Yes!" Tenshi pumps a fist in the air. "Operation Save Gensokyo is-"
"Tenshi..." Iku sighs. "Please, don't go."
"Come on, Iku, please? Please?!"
You look at Iku. "Isn't there anything you can do? I mean, the agreement has been proven to be something of a hassle, Miss Nagae. Maybe if Tenshi sneaks off to help us, do you think that you could... I don't know... throw something obstructive in the way?"
"Hm.... well..." Iku pauses. "I can't believe I'm actually saying this, but you're right; Tenshi is powerful, and against the likes of Remilia, you're going to need all the help you can get. There is an old law on the books that says if a Celestial has backing from a powerful enough person within the Courts, they can act how they wish, so long as it follows the orders of the one who is backing them," she puts a thumb to her chin. "...the law was designed a long time ago by a very powerful deity who's name is long forgotten, but the law still holds water. It won't stop the non-interference clause, but it will give the Courts something to chew on in the meantime."
"Well then, we just need to go back and get the backing of one of the Olympians, then," you say with a nod, but Iku raises a hand.
"Not quite," she tells you. "The Olympians have more or less used their goodwill in that little stunt they just pulled, so we'll need to get the backing of someone powerful enough to give the courts pause..."
"What about Miss Eiki?" Tenshi asks. "Or Youmu's boss?"
"That's all the way in Gensokyo," Iku mentions. You grin.
"Actually, that would be perfect," you say. "Look, I can handle Remilia; my team and I have been preparing for just that moment. However, Gensokyo is in a fight for its very existence right now, and it needs all the help it can get. If you can make it to Hakugyokurou and tell Lady Yuyuko that I sent you, surely she can help you in this endeavour."
"It's worth a shot!" Tenshi laughs. "Iku, I could kiss you right now for all your knowledge of ancient laws and all that other crap."
"Well, one of us has to know so you don't pull dumb stunts," Iku says with a sigh. "But, if we're going to do this, we need to do it now. Youmu, head back to your team; Tenshi and I are catching the next ride to Gensokyo," she grins. "Both Tenshi and I love Gensokyo, and we'll see to it that its protected."
She and Tenshi both pull you into a hug, which you return. "Thanks," you tell them. "So, how do I get out of here, anyway?"
"Ah, that's easy," Iku nods. The three of you walk up to the edge of the mountain's summit. "Clear your mind, and fall. Don't fight it; you'll easily pass through the Prometheus Barrier."
"Alright, clear my mind," you nod. "Easy enough. And Tenshi, Iku?" you grin at them. "Thanks."
"Anything to help," Tenshi says with a smirk.
"We'll be waiting for your safe return to Gensokyo," Iku quips. You close your eyes, entering a meditative trance in your mind, and pitch your body forward.
The wind whips at your clothing and hair, and the chill gives you goosebumps, but it only takes a few seconds for you to fall through the barrier and back into the real world. The warmth of the summer night plus the distant sound of vehicles alerts you to your re-emergence into the Outside. Opening your eyes, you catch your fall with flight, and at a quick speed make your way back toward Athens.
Along the way, you nearly plow into... yourself.
Gasping at the sight, you stop dead in midflight and stare at the wisp of white in front of you. "Myon!" You exclaim, reaching up and putting your hand on your ghost-half. As you touch it, you realize that you had forgotten what it was like to have two halves. You pull Myon close to you, its "body" warming you despite the fact it is cold to the touch. Its presence flows into you, and for a brief moment, there's only silence as your human and ghost halves reconnect, completing yourself after all this time apart. "It feels amazing..." you whisper. Myon's own magic - faint for now, but growing - flows into you, and you can feel your own soul flowing into it in turn.
You smile, realizing that this means Flandre must be at her full strength as well. Now fully powered up, it takes no effort for you to put yourself into overdrive, flying at an incredible speed back into the city proper, weaving between alleyways and main roads, shooting up the side of the hotel, and landing on the roof. Without pause, you bust in through the roof door, descend the stairs, and more or less barge into Marisa's room.
Inside is... well, not what you were expecting. Marisa is passed out on the bed that Flandre was on; Reisen is asleep as well, leaned up against the back wall. The others are no where to be found. "Uh... girls?" You say. "What's, ah, what's going on?"
Reisen stirs first, opening her eyes slowly and stretching. She smiles at seeing your face. "Ah, Youmu!" She greets. Marisa yelps and falls out of the bed.
"Damnit, I was sleeping good, too!" grumbles the witch. "Oh, hey Youmu! Man, ya missed it!"
You clutch at Myon. "I'm guessing your magic worked?"
"Like a damn charm!" Marisa laughs. "Oh, but don't take my word for it; Flandre was gonna wait for you in Sakuya's room. Comeon, I'll lead you there."
You, Marisa, and Reisen walk out of the room and down a few doors. Marisa doesn't bother to knock as she opens the hotel door wide, revealing a scene you'd expect out of the Scarlet Sisters' Mansion.
Sitting at a table quietly, sipping a cup of tea, sits Flandre, while next to her, Nina drinks from one as well. Sakuya, dressed in her maid outfit, stands quietly, a placid look on her face. "Ah, Miss Konpaku," she greets.
Flandre's eyes shoot open. "Youmu!" Shouts the vampiress, leaping out of her seat and tackling you into a tight embrace. "Look, look!" she says with a grin. Turning around, she looks at an empty flowerpot and clenches her fist at it.
The flowerpot explodes in a burst of dirt and shrapnel. "I'm back," gloats the vampire.
"Yes, yes, and that's amazing," you ruffle Flandre's hair. "Once I came from Olympus, Myon came straight for me; I knew then that you were alright."
"You had us worried at first," Sakuya says, stepping around the table. "After Marisa cast her spell, your ghost-half just floated there, as if unsure where to go. We were certain it would head straight for your position," She looks at her mother. "We feared the worst."
"Yes, but it is nice to see that our fears were unfouned," Nina smiles. "Welcome back to your true form, Youmu."
You smile at them. "I'm just glad that Flandre is back up to her full strength," you say, patting her on the head again. "Like this, there's no stopping us from defeating Remilia now!"
"Oh hell yeah," Marisa laughs, stepping up to put an arm around you. "But what about Gensokyo? Should we head there first?"
"I'm not sure yet- wait a minute," you look around. "Where are Sanae, Nazrin, and Hatate?"
"Ah..." Reisen steps in next. "Well... after Marisa dispelled the magic on Hatate's wings, she and Nazrin... left."
"Left?" You echo. Reisen nods.
"They're going home, Youmu," she tells you. "Sanae is going with them as escort. I'm sorry, but we couldn't convince them to stay."
"...I see," you reply, looking down. "...is Sanae returning here?"
"Well, it depends," Reisen says. "I mean, if we decide to go after Remilia now, then she won't catch up in time for us to fight her. However, if we wait, then she may catch up; she's only going so far as Beijing with them, so she may catch up sooner rather than later."
Marisa looks between the two of you. "Still, that's assuming we don't just go after those Lunarians instead," she mentions. "You don't know how long I've been waiting to get back at those two."
You look down. "Alright, we should discuss this in full," you decide. "I was hoping to get some sleep, but lets get this out of the way. Come on, everyone."
"Sakuya, tea please?" Asks Flandre. Sakuya smiles and nods, walking into the kitchen.
"I thought she was your equal now," you say as your noticably smaller group sits around the table.
"Ah, just one last time, for nostalgia," Flandre nods.
"...you're not entirely sure what nostalgia means, do you?"
"Not a clue!"
You sigh, your thoughts turning to Hatate and Nazrin. They will definitely be missed.
Unless you try to catch them. "Say, how long was I in Olympus?"
"Ah... about six hours," Reisen says after a time. You nod; it didn't feel that long, but you figured the Olympians altered the flow of time somehow, else it wouldn't always be daylight.
Sakya returns with some tea, handing you a small cup of the stuff. You rub your tired eyes.
"Thanks," you say with a smile. You turn back to the others. "Alright, so we have to make a choice, guys; do we continue our mission to go after Remilia, head back to Gensokyo, or split our forces?"
"Well, lets start with yourself," Marisa leans back. "What do you think is the best choice, Youmu?"
[ ] Continue to persue Remilia.
[ ] Change objective to the new Genso-Lunar War.
[ ] Split Forces (Specify who goes on which team).
Sorry about the delay. Painkillers are a hell of a mindfucker.
I think this is the best option, I don't think we can reasonably have it both ways. I would wish Naz, Hatate, and Sanae the best of luck in getting to gensokyo, and with any luck we can catch up after our mission is over. That brings me to the central point. Our mission. Our entire mission was to subdue the vampires threatening gensokyo, wasn't it? As of yet all we've done is empower them by letting them have/use remilia, and we've driven remilia herself to new heights of rage and insanity it looks like. We should by no means ignore this problem, nor face it with less than our full force.
We cannot afford to divide our forces any further.
Nazrin and Hatate wanted to leave and that's their choice, but our strength is diminished all the same.
Let us finish what we came for so we can return to Gensokyo as soon as possible.
Especially if Tenshi shows up again soon, she will be really helpful when fighting against the Kindred.
[x] Continue to persue Remilia.
We can't afford any more loses, considering both Nazrin and Hatate are gone.
Their abilities, invaluable to us in the field, will just be pretty useless in Gensokyo. It's understandable, but still infuriating.
As the others said, splitting our forces is silly and I don't think we should try to force the others back, if they want to go home so be it. If Remi looks a little tough with just us for some reason we can just scout and sabotage plans while waiting for Sanae.
>Especially if Tenshi shows up again soon, she will be really helpful when fighting against the Kindred.
You look around at the others. "Personally, I want to finish what I started first. I'm worried about Gensokyo, but as far as I am concerned, Remilia is the closer and more immediate threat. We have to strike at her while we have the chance."
You look around the table at the others; Reisen appears to be nodding in agreement, though Sakuya and Marisa don't appear to have the same agreement, and Flandre's face is somewhat unreadable. "Look, Remilia is literally just a few days away by flight. If we can get in and take her out now, then we can get back to Gensokyo sooner rather than later. This is also assuming that she doesn't pull something awful in the meantime that could be even worse trouble than the Lunarians."
Marisa snorts. "I doubt that," she says. "You've seen the power of those Watatsuki sisters, right? You really think someone like Remilia could take on them two?"
"By herself, no," you shake your head. "But if she acquires more allies, which is arguably the whole point of her excursion here, then we could have an unwinnable situation on our hands."
"And in Gensokyo, we wouldn't?" Sakuya asks cautiously.
"Considering the raw firepower in Gensokyo," you state. "I don't think that will be a problem."
"...true," Sakuya nods. "But you must forgive me for hesitating to fight my former Mistress."
You grin. "I can... cut that hesitation out of you, if you wish."
"I'll pass," Sakuya waves her hand. You shrug in response.
"So, I guess y'all wanna go after Remi then?" Marisa asks. All of you nod, save Flandre.
"I... I'm not sure, really," says the vampire. "Now that it's time... can I really take the plunge? I mean, I know it has to be done, but... I don't know," she shakes her head. "Maybe I'll get over it before then, but... forgive me for being unsure at this critical moment."
"It's fine," Reisen assures Flandre, patting her on the head. "I don't think any of us will blame you for doubting."
Flandre nods, looking at you and the others. "Youmu, what about the others? The ones waiting for us in Venice?"
"...I guess we need to stop by and pick them up," you decide. "They need to be here for this mission as well. They helped us when we needed it, and so we need to help them with their quest, which, coincidentally, happens to be ours as well," you nod... then yawn. "Ah... I think perhaps we should sleep on it?"
Marisa chuckles. "Maybe you're right, Youmu. The rest of us were sleeping when you came back from Olympus."
You sigh. "We don't need to wait, though..."
"Yeah, well, lets get some sleep anyway," Reisen says. "Come on Youmu, we'll share a room."
"Sis, hey, Sis!"
"What is it, Flandre?"
"Look, look, I can control it better!"
Flandre points to a piece of the hedgerows and grins as it erupts into flame spontaneously. "See?! Isn't it great?!"
Remilia smiles and sets her teacup down. Here at an old vineyard, the two vampires had finally found a place to settle down after being on the run from hunters and their like for the past several years. After she had set eyes on the mansion, Remilia had decided that this place would be their home from now on. She had even started to call it the "Scarlet Mansion." All the young vampire needed now was an army of maids or the like to keep her new home clean. Until then, however, it was up to her and Flandre to get the job done.
"That was a very good job, Flandre," Remilia says with a smile. "But enough of playtime. We've gotta get this place cleaned up," she hands Flandre a straw broom while she grabs one of her own. "We've almost got the first floor done. After that we'll get the basement."
"And that'll be my room!" Flandre replies with a grin. "Well... till I can get my powers sorted out. I don't wanna hurt you, Remi."
"I know," Remilia laughs. "Even though I told you that we're invincible, Flandre. I mean, just look at all they've done to us, and we're still here!"
Flandre giggles as she and Remi get to sweeping the long hallways of the first floor again. They had finished all but these last two, and one of them was much shorter than the other, and led to the basement. There are several guest rooms on this floor, though the two vampires have been ignoring them, and yet one catches Remilia's eye. "Say, Flandre, you see that one?"
"Hm?" Flandre looks over and peeks inside. "It's just a room,"
"Yeah, but all the other doors have been closed," Remilia says. "You should go in there and tell me what you see, kay?"
"...alright..." Flandre nods, slowly pushing the door to the dark room wide. She creeps inside, looking about, completely ignoring her sister as she sneaks up behind her, raises her arms wide, and pounces on Flandre. "Boo!"
"Aaah!" Flandre screams. The two vampires wrestle for a bit as Remilia drags Flandre to the ground, shoving each others faces into the carpet, ruffling up each others' hair, and pulling on the others' wings. Eventually, Flandre falls to the ground. "Okay, I give, I give!" Shouts the blonde vampiress. Remilia cackles and sits on top of her sister, hands in the air.
"You can't surrender!" laughs the older sister as she brings her hands down to Flandre's sides, tickling the smaller vampire. Shrieks of laughter pierce through the mansion, and a flock of birds sitting on the rooftop's edge begin to fly away as the two girls play in the darkened room. Eventually, though, the laughter dies down, leaving only the sound of silence as the two Scarlet sisters lay on the carpeted floor, staring up at the ceiling and catching their breath. They giggle again, but this time its much quieter, just the runoff from the playing. Remilia eventually stands up, walks over Flandre and opens the wardrobe.
"Hey, look at this," she says, pulling out a blue mob cap from a box. "There's a whole set of clothes in here that's about our size... the last people who lived here must of had kids."
"Oh?" Flandre walks into the closet behind Remilia; rows of frilly dresses with accessories and hats, all in different color combinations. Remilia grabs the rest of the blue set and grins. "I think I like this one," she says. "Flandre, pick you out one too. They seem clean, at least, so we can wear these for now," flipping the dress around, Remilia cuts open some of the fabric with her nails. "There we go, wing holes."
"...I wish I had wings like yours," Flandre mumbles. Remilia sighs, but she smiles anyway.
"Flandre, your wings are just fine," she admonishes. "They're very pretty."
"You really think so?" Asks the vampiress, fluttering her wings. The crystals clink against each other.
"Yes, Flandre," Remilia puts a hand on Flandre's back. "I think they're wonderful."
"Thanks, Sis," Flandre beams.
You wake up; a glance at the digital clock reads 4:30 - you've only been asleep for a few hours.
Either way, you pry yourself out of Reisen's arms and stretch. You creep off to the door and open it, sneaking to Sakuya's room. It's not locked, so you quietly let yourself in.
Sakuya is awake as well - something about her time manipulation lets her cram eight hours of sleep into eight seconds, you've been told - and she smiles at you. "Ah, Youmu; tea?"
"Sure," you nod, sitting down at the table. Sakuya produces a warm cup of tea and sets it in front of you. "So... I think Flandre and I are connected still, somehow."
"Oh?" Sakuya sits across from you, staring. "How so?"
"I... I had a dream of some sort," you tell her. "Flandre and Remilia were at some... some sort of pre-SDM, cleaning it up and stuff... acting very sisterly, actually," you shake your head. "I don't know, but it was all very surreal; it was like I was watching it as a ghost, off to the side."
"...ah," Sakuya nods. "Youmu, I think you're just tired. You should probably go back to sleep. There's a good chance your mind dreamt up the whole thing."
"But... it felt so real, like... like a memory."
"The mind can play tricks like that," says the maid. "Dreams are... very strange things, Youmu. I don't think you should dwell on it too much."
You look over at the sleeping Flandre. "Still... I wonder..."
"Well, I don't know if it's still true," Sakuya begins, following your gaze. "But the Young Mis- Flandre doesn't dream, Youmu."
"Flandre can't dream," Sakuya corrects herself. "It appears to be a side effect of her Turning, but Flandre is mentally incapable of dreaming. Patchouli confirmed as much by studying her brain patterns for a few nights. What you dreamt about... I'm not sure what it was, but it didn't come from Flandre."
"I... I see," you nod. "Maybe you're right; I do need to get some more sleep."
"Allow me to take you to bed?"
"Can I finish my tea first?" you ask politely. Sakuya nods, and the two of you sit in silence as you sip your tea. You look up at the former maid with tired eyes as she reaches into her pocket and clicks something.
When you blink, you're back in bed, with no idea how you got there. "Wha...?"
You shake you head and realize that Sakuya must have stopped time when she clicked her pocketwatch.
You cover your eyes with your hand, slowly feeling yourself slip back into sleep. You wonder what any of that was, but you find yourself curious at the same time. "I wonder if I can continue that dream...?"
You're not convinced it was just your mind playing tricks. It had to come from somewhere.
...what if it came from Remilia? Would that be possible?
And yet, Flandre said that she does dream. You don't think she would lie to you, at least not intentionally. Maybe she thinks she dreams, so she does? Or maybe they can't be perceived by Patchouli's magic?
Too many questions. Your brain starts to hurt. As your conscious mind slips into slumber, however, you find yourself...
[ ] Paris, France, May 1618 AD
[ ] Salem, Massachusetts, April 1775 AD
[ ] London, England, October 1888 AD
[ ] Berlin, Germany, August 1934 AD
Ah, I forgot.
Date 1 is the beginning of the Thirty Years' War
Date 2 is the eve of the American Revolution.
Date 3 is during the Jack the Ripper killings.
Date 4 is Adolph Hitler's official rise to power.
Remilia glares at the man before her; like she, the man is a vampire, but younger by about a hundred years. His slicked-back black hair and regal posture give him the appearance of a European noble, but aristocratic this man isn't.
"Tell me why," she demands of the vampire. He chuckles.
"Don't you see?" he asks. "If we can break off from Europe, then maybe we can take hold here, in a new country! There are already other refugees from the Camarilla pouring in from the French and Spanish colonies; we've even turned a few of the natives! Here, we can forge a new empire, Remilia!"
"But without the Camarilla, you'll run wild and destroy everything," counters the small vampiress. "Look, the Camarilla are all we have protecting us against those other factions. Do you really think that travelling halfway across the world will make them forget about you? I think not! Already I hear rumors of the Giovanni family making a push for these colonies, and both of us know that their mages are incredibly powerful, Peter. Don't make a mistake; don't lose your ties with us."
"My 'ties', as you eloquently put it," growls the man. "Are to my new creation! This land is fertile ground for our kind. Why can't you see that? Join us, Remilia."
Remilia huffs, looking away at the proverbial storm brewing outside. There's nearly a riot out in the street of this small town, calling for everyone who can fire a gun to join the militia and fight off the Europeans. Stupid, says the look on Remilia's face; why rebel when under the protective hand of a king, none would bother these colonies? Behind her, Flandre shifts her feet uncomfortably, her face a mask. Her cheek still stings from the cross comment she made earlier, and the appropriate punishment.
"The best thing for all of us to do," Remilia says slowly. "Is to keep allied with the Camarilla. Look, I'm this close to becoming Prince of New York, okay? It's thanks to you and all my allies over here that I've been able to very nearly achieve this goal. Why turn your back on me now? You're my strongest ally here, Peter. Please don't do this."
"So that's all your resistance is?" Asks Peter. He begins pacing. "Part of your power play in the Camarilla? You want us to be your lapdog for all of time? Your minions, running about to do what you want?"
Remilia scoffs. "You act like being my subordinate is a bad thing!" she argues. "Look, with my influence behind you, you and all my allies have enjoyed great prosperity and power! Why would you start over and scratch for every piece of power you can get? Do you want to go back to that dirty alleyway in London?"
"No!" Peter bares his fangs. "I'll never go back over there! Remilia, the only way to keep us is to join us! You can't win this battle through your power alone! Not this time! Help us remove the British Empire and together, we can forge a new nation!"
"A nation behest by battle with the other factions? Unprotected by the Camarilla?" Remilia clenches her fist. "Moreover, becoming their targets, along with the Sabbat, the Kuei-jin, not to mention werewolf packs and mage collectives? Have you forgotten that the Camarilla holds all those back?! What is wrong with you?!"
Flandre looks away and shifts her feet uncomfortably.
"They can't touch us here, Remilia," Peter says. "Those things are across the ocean! Even when the Camarilla catches wind, we'll have more than enough time to shore up our defenses here!"
"Idiot!" Remilia barks. "I have seen the future, Peter, and it's only a matter of time before Kindred will cross the seas much faster than what they can now! The forward march of human progress will make the trip across that ocean very, very short!"
"That's impossible!" Peter screams. "Fine! If you won't join us, then you must be silenced!" Peter roars and lunges for Remilia, who stares back at him impassively. She has time to take in his yellowed teeth and nails. He really needed to develop proper hygiene, laments the vampiress. Remilia closes her eyes.
Peter simply implodes in a shower of blood and bits of bone. Behind Remilia, Flandre unclenches her fist, her eyes fixed on the growing rebellion.
"I can hear them," whispers the blonde. "They're saying that shots have been fired in Lexington, just a few hours ago. The war that you tried to prevent has begun, Sis..."
Remilia curses. "We'll have to try and stop it, then," she declares. "Come on, Flandre. We still have allies in Boston, assuming Peter hasn't gotten to them and 'convinced' them to join his side," she wipes the blood out of her eyes. "I'll have to change. Did you hide the horses where I asked you?"
"Yes, sister," Flandre nods.
"Then come, let's try to prevent this from getting any worse than it already is."
The next few moments fly by in a flash. You can barely make out passing landscape and men dressed in strange uniforms as the two vampires ride on horseback to a much larger town. Although word of the fight in Lexington has reached Loyalist ears already, the town seems unfazed; or at least undisturbed by two girls riding into town at such a late hour. Flandre ties the horses to a fencepost as Remilia marches to the center of town, where a nondescript building sits just outside the town hall.
Remilia, Flandre catching up, opens the door, ignoring the stares of the others in the room - all vampires. She makes her way upstairs and heads to a door at the end of a long hallway, kicking it open... and pausing.
In this room are three piles of ash surrounding a book with its pages ripped out and tossed about. Slowly, Remilia makes her way inside, Flandre following closely as they look around; in here, there is no evidence of any brawl, or that anything else is amiss... except for a magic circle painted with goat's blood on the far wall. The circle is inactive - a crucial piece is missing - but the message is clear: The Awakened are aware of vampires in the British Colonies, and already they are moving to stop them from influencing the fledgling colonies.
Not that they were on time for that; many of the events leading up to this damned conflict are thanks to Remilia's machinations... they just got out of hand.
Remilia falls to her knees, breathing heavily. "If they've found these three, then..." she takes a deep breath. "None of my assets are safe. Flandre... we've got to find the others. We've got to protect them from each other... and stop my own personal rebellion."
Flandre nods. "As you wish, dear sister."
And then everything suddenly vanishes. All, that is, except for Flandre. Suddenly, you have a body as well. You look around at the black space surrounding you and the vampiress. "What... what is this?" you ask the void.
"Remilia never recovered," Flandre begins. She looks up at you with sad eyes. "We traveled the breadth of the colonies as all around us, war raged. This new country was throwing off the shackles of its old government, and we were caught in the middle of it. All of her allies were conscripted if they were human, or killed by vampire hunters or unfortunate circumstance. Her assets, which totalled in the thousands - a lot of money back then - were seized by both rebel and British forces to use in their war effort. Remilia gambled on the new colonies... and she lost."
Flandre looks away. In the distance, a multicolored flag is hoisted atop a flagpole. "That new country destroyed Remilia. In the Outside World, it is now a major power in the global theater. She's watched it, hoping for someone to destroy it, yet it has not happened yet. She always planned to take vengeance amongst those people," Flandre shrugs. "Her hate and despair consumed her over those years... and it drove her mad."
Another image appears, this time of the Scarlet Devil Mansion's basement door. "She had me locked up for quite a while afterward; I guess I was a reminder of her failure, somehow. I don't know; it never made any sense to me. She would try and exact her revenge several times afterward; once, she taught a man black magic in London in an attempt to use him as an assassin, and the end result was a serial killer who had no interest in her schemes. Remilia had to kill him. Another time, she made Patchouli teach some Germans black magic, in an attempt to raise an army loyal to her, that would destroy that country, and reshape the world in her image."
Flandre smiles sadly. "The end result of that, is the country that she thinks turned on her, defeated her growing forces."
Flandre turns back to face you. "But there's more."
[ ] Seoul, South Korea, 1953 AD
[ ] Tokyo, Japan, 1960 AD
[ ] Moscow, Russia, 1977 AD
[ ] Paris, France, 1998 AD
End of the Korean War, Meeting Yukari for the first time, meeting Russian vampires, and fighting Sakuya, respectively.
>>55001 A meeting between Remilia and Yukari sounds like it would be a lot more talking than fighting. Both are intelligent and manipulative, besides just being powerful.
Of course, there's probably some interesting things to find out anyway.
Sorry about the long ass delay; I've gotten a new job that's first shift and been way to tired to write as I get acclimated to my new work. I'm going to try and update again on a regular basis though.
You find yourself next to Remilia as she walks down a long straight corridor. All around her, Korean soldiers run back and forth through various doors, leading to rooms ranging from coffee rooms containing Chinese generals to one room that has some strange calculating machines printing readouts. They look similar to the kappa computers, but far less advanced.
You realize that this time, you actually have a body, though it appears to be incorporeal and unseen... which makes sense, considering that you're in Flandre's dreams-
Wait a minute.
You look around and see Flandre, who seems to exist in the same state as yourself. "This isn't my dream," says the vampire. "This is Remilia's memories. Watch."
The two of you float after Remilia as she walks into a room and approaches the most decorated man in the room. "Why aren't you pressing the attack?!" she roars. "We have them pushed back almost to Seoul! If we push a new offensive we can bring the Americans to their knees!"
The man slams his palms on the table, enraged that his conversation was interrupted. "Miss Scarlet, my men are demoralized and tired! I will not push any more! Right now our Great Leader is undergoing truce talks with the Americans! This war is over, at least for now! Maybe in time you can lead our grandchildren against the South and the Americans, but I can't lead my men into another losing fight."
Remilia growls. "Fine, if you won't do anything, then I will."
"Don't do anything stupid, Remilia."
The words fall on deaf ears as Remilia storms out of the briefing room, swirls of scarlet magic in her wake. You chase after the vampire and feel the rage coming off of her. "I'll show them all," she whispers. "When I'm done, they'll all be dead."
"I wouldn't advise that," a voice cuts in. From a wisp of light materializes Patchouli, book in hand. She pushes up her glasses as the two walk back toward the surface. "Perhaps it would be best if you cut your losses now, Remi. You've invested too much into this senseless war anyway."
"But it's my revenge!" growls the vampire. Patchouli sighs.
"You're letting your anger control you again, Remi," she tells her. "You've got to get yourself under control."
The memory fades, leaving you in the same darkness as before. "So, all of this stems from Remilia's temper tantrum?" you wonder. Flandre nods.
"In a sense, yes," she tells you. "Remilia let her hatred consume her. Everything became a means to an end for her; myself, later Patchouli, and later still Meiling. At this point she had yet to meet Sakuya, the one person to control her, in a sense. But here in Korea, she wasn't done yet."
Another memory forms, this one putting the two of you high in the sky. Remilia is looking down at a military base from on high. She begins to channel magic, crimson swirls of energy forming around her. "You've never been good at magic," Patchy warns from her side. Remilia seems to ignore her.
"Is... is Patchy really there?" you ask Flandre. The younger vampire shrugs.
"I don't know, honestly," she responds. "That could really be Patchy, or the real one could be back at the mansion making sure I don't escape. This one could be a figment of her imagination, given life."
You watch as Remilia opens a hand and reaches toward the largest building on the base. Her eyes glow bright red as her magic flows through her. She bares her fangs and hisses, her face a mask of pure rage. "What's she doing? What kind of spell is that?"
"...do you know how Remilia manipuates fate?" Flandre asks you. You shake your head. "You see, it's nothing as complex as weaving plots or altering the fundamental laws of the universe in her favor. No, what Remilia does is far simpler than that, on a metaphysical level. You see, she destroys the other possibilities of destiny."
Remilia clenches her fist. The building she's glaring at explodes in a spectacular flash of light, looking much like a massive bomb just dropped on it. An alarm blares as uniformed men begin running about.
"Remilia's power is just like mine; she has the ability to destroy anything. However," Flandre raises a finger. "Remilia has the ability to destroy not just objects or people, but concepts. Remilia only knows this as manipulation of fate, but really what she is doing is destroying probability. She can eliminate variables. She can eliminate entire futures from existing. Her power is what happens when vampires mess with the fabric of reality."
"What is she?" you ask as Remilia screams. On the ground, all of the base's fighter craft and supporting structures begin to detonate, one by one. "She is no vampire, is she?"
"No more than I am, though we do have similar needs," Flandre agrees. "But Remilia transcends vampirism. She is a hole in reality itself. Within her, the laws of the universe simply do not apply. Because her power is trapped in the mind of a child, they are limited by her narrow worldview; she believes that she can manipulate fate, and destroy things like me, but if she really thought about it or worse, had the mind of an adult, she would realize that her power extends far beyond that. If Remilia realized it, she could destroy the fundamental laws of the universe. She could destroy fusion, if she wished, or worse, destroy the very thing that binds atoms together."
"Remilia could destroy not just Gensokyo, but the entire universe."
"Gods..." you stare as Remilia summons Gungnir to her side and hurls it down at the people scurrying about. She cackles as it tears into the soldiers, killing them without giving them time to react. As the memory begins to rip itself apart, you see a familiar violet energy envelop her. "What was that?"
"The boundary between her anger and sorrow was manipulated," Flandre explains. "Remilia, for a brief moment, was sane again. It was long enough for her to go home, such as it is."
"I see," you say with sudden realization. "So, Miss Yakumo, why are you showing me all of this?"
The memory fades, and in Flandre's place stands Yukari, parasol and everything. She smiles at you from underneath it. "I wanted you do see what it was you were up against, Youmu. I noticed that you beginning to have doubts about your mission, so I chose to reinforce those. Besides, it's not like I can do anything else right now. My body has been subdued, and manipulation of subconscious boundaries is much harder than manipulating physical ones," she sighs. "I can only access the minds of those I know personally simply due to the amount of effort it takes."
"Ah," you nod. "So all of that was true?"
"Yes," Yukari nods. "I pulled those memories directly from Remilia herself. It was very taxing, but I managed to pull it off," she sighs. "It's all I can give you right now, Youmu."
"How are you 'subdued', as you put it?" You ask. Yukari closes her eyes.
"The Lunarians managed to capture me and Reimu by utilizing some sort of anti-supernatural border; it was some Lunarian technology I've never seen before. They've locked us both up in a prison of sorts within that border, and within it the only thing Reimu and I are capable of is maintaining the Hakurei Border. But don't worry about us, you have much bigger problems than what's going on in Gensokyo. I've sent you after a supernatural force of nature, and I need to make sure you're prepared as you and your team go for the final push against her."
You look down.
[ ] "Why me? Why the others?"
[ ] "Why should I listen to you?"
[ ] "I can't hope to stand against that kind of power!"
[ ] Write-in
Now is not the time for doubt, or to confront Yukari on her manipulations. We need to focus on our objective. Confronting Yukari can wait until later, and we probably should have a very long sit-down with her. But not now.
For now, what is so special about Youmu that she's able to do this?
I was going to say it seemed pretty silly that Remilia was personally responsible for Nazi Germany in the WoD universe, considering how many other power players there are in the setting, but after the whole universe-destroyer bit all I can say is that this sure escalated quickly.
>>55122 How would we know if she was "personally responsible" or not?
Since we didn't choose to watch that memory, all we know is that she was there. Certainly involved.
But "personally responsible for Nazi Germany" sounds a bit too large scale even for her.
"Why me?" You ask, slowly turning your eyes up at Yukari. "Why the others? Sakuya I can understand, but Reisen? Nazrin? What did allowing Hatate outside of Gensokyo accomplish? We both know you knew of their 'escape'."
"Ah," Yukari nods. "Yes, it is true that I weakened the Border long enough for the Lunarian's group to get out. I thought that they would be of service to you in this world, and they were. Their skills proved invaluable in reuniting both outside teams. As for Miss Reisen, her power is also useful; after all, the Lunatic Eyes were created specifically to counter powerful beings."
"How do you mean?"
Yukari gestures, and a facsimile of Reisen appears before you. Her eyes open and begin to glow red. "The power of the Lunatic Eyes directly affect the brain of those who look into them," Yukari explains. "They were given to Reisen when she was very young, to be used as a tool against Princess Kaguya and Yagokoro. Since they are effectively physically immortal, the only solution to bringing them was to lock them into their own minds, rendering them helpless. In that state, they would be able to be brought back to the moon and imprisoned for eternity, trapped within themselves. I hoped to use that power against Remilia."
"And Sakuya's team?"
"The other two were completely useless to me," Yukari gestures again, and Reisen morphs into Sakuya. "Though their power is great, they could not hope to destroy Remilia. Instead, I thought that Izayoi would be able to get through to her, bring her back to Gensokyo, and thus allow me to use my power against her for her treasonous behaviour. It was in this way that I also hoped to defeat her."
You nod. This all makes sense. After all, Yukari would have a backup plan or two in case her primary plan failed - yourself. So you walk closer to Yukari, staring her in the eye. "And what of me? I don't have any special power against Remilia, nor do I know her personally enough to calm her down. What did you hope to accomplish by sending me?"
"...Do you remember when Flandre used her own power against you?"
You think back to when you first arrived in Paris. You distinctly recall Flandre clenching her fist towards you, and you felt your heart stop briefly. It was incredibly painful, but you lived. "...Their powers don't work against me?"
"Exactly," Yukari nods. "Due to your nature as Something That Should Not Be, you are immune to the Scarlet Sisters' - and many others' - powers. You cannot be harmed by their powers, and it was in this method that I knew you, above all others, would be able to pull it off. Had Flandre Scarlet been sane at the time of her first fight with you, she would have realized that something was terribly wrong with you simply shrugging off her powers," she smiles. "It is good you have brought her back to sanity, so to speak, Youmu."
You smile, but just a bit. "What do you mean by... 'Something That Should Not Be'?"
"That is another story for another time, Youmu," Yukari seems to start fading. "My powers are weakening, and I do not know if I will be able to contact you for quite some time. However, what I can tell you is that due to your being made up of the purest essence of magic, you are quite an anomaly. Being not dead yet not alive, forever existing in your current state, you exist in a special place within Gensokyo's hierarchy of power."
"Due to my nature as a half-ghost," you say.
"Not just that, but... ah," Yukari looks down; most of herself is gone. "I'll explain quickly: Half-ghosts are created when an unborn child with a powerful spirit dies before or during childbirth. Because your spirit was so important to preserving Gensokyo's nature, your spirit was split into two halves and sent to Hakugyokurou, where you imprinted on the first person you saw: Youki Konpaku. That is why your hair is white and your personality much like his. Had you imprinted on myself or Yuyuko first, you would be much different than you are now. There's much more to it than that, but that is the simplest explanation I can give with the time I have."
"So I died in childbirth? To whom?"
Yukari laughs that infuriating laugh. "That is also another story for another time, Youmu. Goodbye. Do rescue me when you have the chance."
And Yukari is gone. When you blink, you're back in your bed in the hotel.
In the predawn hours, your group has gathered on the roof to hear your story. Sakuya managed to bring a table and chairs up here with her utilizing her timestop powers, and so as you pace around them, recounting everything you remember, you manage to take in a good look at their faces.
"So," Marisa says, leaning back in her chair and crossing her fingers over her stomach. "You mean to say that all of this is an elaborate ploy to kill Remilia because she might have the ability to destroy the universe?"
"I guess? I don't know how Miss Yakumo's mind works, Marisa," you reply. Marisa shrugs and twiddles her thumbs. "But yes, I do feel like this is all some sort of setup. I'm beginning to wonder if the vampires were even planning on invading Gensokyo, or if maybe she planted the thought in the mind of one of them."
"It... could be possible," Nina considers, looking over at you. "Miss Yakumo is very powerful; on the level of gods, possibly. It would make sense, as all the other Sealed Lands save for Gensokyo and Avalon use the power of a god or goddess to form their Borders."
"Yes, for example, in Valhalla, Odin's existence allows the Barrier of Svalinn to exist. In Avalon, King Arthur's soul gives to form the Everdistant Border, and so on," she pauses. "So, yes, I would say influencing the dreams of a far off vampire would be well within Miss Yakumo's reach, if she were at full power."
"Well... much of her power - and Reimu's - is devoted to keeping the Hakurei Border," Marisa interjects. "Furthermore, wouldn't the necessity of two beings to power the Hakurei Border make moot the thought of Yukari being godlike? Cause a god she ain't, I'll tell you that for free."
You nod. "Either way, Yukari ensured that Remilia would end up outside, then specifically sent myself, Reisen, and Miss Sakuya after her to subdue her. I'm sorry, Flandre, but it appears that, at least in Yukari's mind, Remilia has been destined to die for a long time now."
"...yes, it appears that way," Flandre sighs. "I don't understand that, though; why not just seal her powers away? Or would that not be possible?" she looks at the witch. "Couldn't you replicate the same seal used on me, if we are able to spare her?"
"I don't think I have that much power on hand," Marisa admits. "At least, not a constant source. I suppose it could be possible to fake Youmu's ghost-half and make a seal, but I'd need a lot of time and research. If - and sorry, Flan, but this is a big if - we could subdue her somehow, for a long time, Patchy, Alice, and I could come up with something to seal her powers, but..." she shrugs. "I ain't seeing that happening."
You rub your temples. "God damnit, Yukari," you mutter.
"Well... either way, we're not doing anything until we get back to Paris and stop Remilia," Nina brings up. "Assuming she's even in Paris... ah, what I would give for that crow girl's powers right now."
"Agreed, but we don't have Hatate or Nazrin now, so we'll have to make do with what we can," you say. Toward the east, the sun finally rises into the sky, signaling the change to dawn. "We need to get moving, either way. We'll need to move fast, too, since we have to get back to Gensokyo."
"Right," Marisa stands up and cracks her knuckles. "Fortunately, our time Outside has proven pretty valuable. I can get up to full battle gear in a flash."
"Not flashy," you say. "Stealthy. We'll need to have our presence masked, especially after our little confrontation with Remilia in Poland. We'll need to strike hard, and fast," you nod. "Perhaps I should go first, and let the rest of you catch up?"
"That's an awful plan and will get you killed," Reisen says, glaring at you. "Immune to Flandre and Remilia's powers you might be, but we've seen that more conventional methods of combat can still injure you, and you could in fact die to that. No, we travel as a group. Also, don't forget that we have to stop by Venice and pick up Alex and Stephen."
You nod. "True... so, how should we do this?"
"Easy," Marisa pulls out a spellcard. "First off, Black Sign [Gold-Hemmed Robes],"
At first, nothing happens, but soon a black inky substance gets all over Marisa's clothes, and you watch as they change; the skirt lengthens to cover her legs, her gloves and sleeves meet to form a single piece, all of the white and purple fade, and her iconic hat morphs to form a hood. Marisa grins and holds up her broom, which loses the straw and instead becomes a staff with a round orb on the end. "Like it?" she asks. "You asked for stealth, and this is the sneakiest thing I can come up with; I thought of it waaay back in Korea, though."
"Indeed, Marisa seems to favor dark colors," Sakuya nods. "Personally, I think that my own powers will keep me hidden."
"Likewise mine," Reisen says. "I can manipulate the waves around me to make myself invisible, as you've seen before."
You nod and reach into the satchel that Hephaestus gave you. You pull out the chainmail that he had given you, and hold it up. "Let's see what you're capable of," you say. You focus your magic into the armor, which comes to life. The armor separates into its component pieces, glowing a soft green color as it begins to wrap itself around you and change to a black color. You look about yourself as the armor puts itself onto you, starting at your shoes and combining with them, changing them into boots. You skirts tightens itself onto you as the mail combines with it, changing itself into leather pants. Next the same happens to your shirt and vest, also becoming black as night, then the armor forms gauntlets for you, all of it resembling leather.
You look at the others as what remains of the armor forms into a black cape and mask for your nose and mouth. As the magic fades, you look down at yourself. "Black leather armor, huh?" you say with a smirk.
"I approve," Reisen says with a grin. "Ah, but one thing," she walks behind you, her hands playing with your hair. "I haven't realized just how much your hair has grown, Youmu. Here," she pulls your hair up and ties it together with a rubber band, forming a short ponytail. "There we go."
You look at her briefly as she smiles at you, nodding. "Okay, you guys," you look at Nina and Flandre. "Unless you can pull some sort of stealth out of nowhere, too..."
"Hey, I'm a master of being unseen," Nina replies. "Comes with age. I'll hide Flandre well enough once we land in Venice."
You lower your mask, and look over to see Marisa staring at you sideways from under her hood. "...what?"
"Your hair sticks out too much, too," Marisa decides, pulling out another spellcard. "Here, I used it to appear like your average everyday Chinese citizen. Polymorph Sign [Alter Self],"
You feel a shimmer of magical energy, but see nothing. Instead, you see the others take pause as they look at you. "What? Is my hair orange?"
"No... it's black," Reisen replies. "Well... dark brown, really; hazel eyes, too."
"Actually... doesn't she kinda look like a young Reimu?" Flandre asks.
"Yeah, that's what I was thinking," Marisa answers. "A young Reimu wearing black and a ponytail. Huh."
You shrug. "It's not important," you tell them. "But we have a mission to go. Let's get to it."
Together, with a little help of Marisa's magic, the five of you take flight, speeding off back toward the west. Reisen casts a spell in midflight, causing your group to vanish from human eyes.
You take a deep breath and put your mask back on. At this speed, it will take you about a day to reach Venice, probably less, and from there about half a day to reach Paris. You grin as your group flies; it's time to take the fight to Remilia, once and for all. No more running. No more hiding. This time, it's to be a fight to take her down.
You consider whether or not you should actually pick up Alex and Stephen. They're powerful, but they might get in the way.
[ ] Bring them.
[ ] Don't bring them.
Furthermore, this is the last time to do a route option. After this, all relationship values are set until the end of the story! Choose your last option carefully!
[ ] One Last Peaceful Night (Reisen Route)
[ ] The End of Worry and Doubt (Flandre Route)
I've been playing too much Dark Souls. No, don't worry, it's mostly for appearance purposes.
Marisa's Outfit is the Gold-Hemmed Robe set With a Tin Crystallization Catalyst as her L1 and a Mini-Hakkero as her R1 Youmu's Outfit is the Black Leather Armor set with a +5 Occult Iaito in her R1 and a +5 Enchanted Wakizashi in her L1
[X] Bring them.
[X] One Last Peaceful Night (Reisen Route)
>>Because your spirit was so important to preserving Gensokyo's nature, your spirit was split into two halves
Aaargh. Now I really very much want to know, exactly who her parents were. Also, the group's trip was predecated on the assumption that they were stopping to pick them up. As for the route.. I think its good, what we've done for Flan, and hopefully she'll be better off for it, but she has a person she can rely on and has been relying on for many years. I feel like Youmu should try and be close to someone on equal standing with herself, so they can comfort each other, rather than it being a one-way deal.
I get that. I understand the implication, but what I actually want to know is more along the lines of where she falls in the genealogy, such as, could she have been a sister of reimu's that didn't make it? Was she a child from before reimu's parents? Perhaps she could have been a child from around the time the border was being formed, even.
There are more possibilities, then >>55163 comes in being, once again, a smarmy cunt and just dismisses any speculation or interest beyond what is directly told to us.
>then >>55163 comes in being, once again, a smarmy cunt and just dismisses any speculation or interest beyond what is directly told to us.
Site Rule #4: Take it easy.
>>55163 was probably just trying to be witty. Being witty is hard.
Also, never attribute to malice what can be adequately attributed to stupidity or ignorance.
Finally, it's never okay to be an arsehole. Even when someone else is being one first.