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Border Operational Rider Detainment Elimination and Restriction
Honestly, you haven't the slightest clue of what that means, and you've learned not to ask. They do pay you a pretty penny to keep your whole mouth shut about the company. As far as you knew, they held down the border between Japan and... the water? Pirate attacks haven't been happening recently, so maybe they deport illegal immigrants? Though, if they did, the “Eliminate” part of the acronym would be illegal in so many ways that you couldn't count. “Rider” didn't make much sense either, did they ride trains? Motorcycles? Although “Driver” wouldn't have been as catchy, and it didn't fit in the cool acronym that they must have spent hours on, I mean who puts the word inside the acronym?
You wipe the thought from your mind, what if they had some sort of secret mind-reading machine in the building? Tin-foil hats will help protect your freedom! You look around the waiting room for something suitable for your new found paranoia, grabbing a potential magazine. Paper might not work as well as tinfoil, but it's something.
You flip through the pages to make sure you weren't destroying a valuable piece of literature, and you stop on a page of latex wearing superheroes. “Pfffft. Fruits? Things really got strange after Magiranger...” You kept tabs on the show, making sure to watch it air every week and downloading the episodes when you do miss them. It was a childhood dream to fight giant monsters and control a giant robot, but everybody knows that the world would be flipping out if they ever caught wind about the thing.
“...” You couldn't bear to rip apart a magazine talking about your childhood passion, even if your friends called you a manchild. There's nothing wrong with being a kid at heart! They should feel bad about letting their inner child die! They're the reason that truth and justice doesn't exist in the world!
“...Excuse me, but could you sit down like everybody else?” A voice scolds you after you jump from your seat in heated passion.
“Sorry.” You cough, trying to make the situation less awkward; still gotta find something to pass the time though. Staring at the clock, the little hand is past the 5 and the big hand is at the 6, meaning that it is in fact, 5:30 P.M. Surprised that this place isn't using digital clocks like everybody else, you start to wonder if they still teach kids how to read an analog clock.
Spending your time philosophizing over the advancement of technology and school curriculum, you don't notice the beep of the door before someone taps your shoulder. “It's your turn.” He says.
Right. You were here for a reason, and that reason was to finish your “mandatory checkup.” Whatever that meant, you have a feeling that the true purpose is to insert their brain chips into you so that they could know when you badmouth them. Of course, the chances of this happening were nil, but you like to make things exciting for yourself rather than working a boring 9 to 5 job.
You idly slide your ticket under the scanner.
The doors let out smoke as they creak open, and a giant lobster monster comes out! “Oh no!” The terrified workers flee from the room, it's up to you to combat the monsters and save the world!
“Hey, you're holding up the line. Get moving.” The same man from before gives you a gentle shove. Damn, not today either.
You arrive in a room with a chair in the middle and a white haired man scribbling down some notes. There's a large machine with a bunch of scary wires attached to it, your guess must not be that far off, they really were going to brain-probe you. Before you can leave, the doors close shut. No turning back now, your only hope is to use their evil cyborg technology against them and fight for justice.
The man looks up from his book, readjusting his glasses. “ID please?” He extends his hand your way.
You take out your ID, double checking it before you hand it over..
I swear, if you write “Half Fangire.” or “An Oni.” I will cut you with Gaim's orange slice sword.
Alright, this time I actually spent some time planning it out. My apologies for the dropping the first one so quickly, I needed time to sort stuff out and it was a total mess from the very first step. Plus, classes were starting up again. Let's hope that this goes better than last time.
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Tachibana, Hibiki. A twenty year old freelancer; wandering from job to job, doing whatever you could to make a few bucks. Your latest job is working at B.O.R.D.E.R as a delivery boy, carrying packages from place to place. They didn't even bother to make you a proper ID card, just a guest pass. Nevertheless, they forced you into this checkup. What was the worst that could happen? You thought, and now here you are.
You hand him the card, and quietly wait for instructions. He puts your card into the machine; pressing a few buttons to get it started. “Sit down on the chair.” You do what he says, avoiding the mess of wires.
The whole process takes little over an hour, the majority of which you spend daydreaming, with the occasional “Turn your head and cough.” Overall, it wasn't something as evil as inserting a brain chip into your head, and they never brought out any scalpels to cut your head open. Unless... Of course! The machines were used to mutate you into a monster! They used electrical brainwaves to control your body! ...Or something like that. Honestly, you just want to get out of here as soon as possible.
The white haired man readjusts his glasses again for the umpteenth time, he should look into getting a new pair of glasses. “Oh? This is interesting.” Did he find your potential for hidden power? Maybe you have some superhuman D.N.A, or the blood of kings. Oh, oh! You're part dinosaur! That would be cool. “I'll be right back, I need to make a few calls.” He leaves the room.
“I wonder what that was about.” You gleefully detach the countless sensors attached to various parts of your body. It feels refreshing not to have various parts of your body covered in little white squares, it made you feel like you were wearing pasties, but without the sexiness. Ugh. The very thought makes you sick. You decide to move on; checking the monitor for what was so impressive. It was your health exam after all, you should have the right to know.
Fusion Rate: 300 Compatibility: 40%
And that's all you could understand, the rest of the screen had big science-y words that you couldn't understand. What does this mean? You start to wonder to yourself as the man returns, this time with a younger girl with red ribbons in her hair. Something seems strangely familiar about her... Oh. Oh man, she's the head of the company, Hakurei Reimu. Alright, your story is that you did nothing wrong, and you're sticking to it.
“Hello, Mister Tachibana.” She glances at the book that Glasses hands her. “How would you feel about extra testing?” You gulp. “Don't worry. Nothing bad will happen to you, in fact, I will gladly pay you for your time.”
You can't do anything but nod your head. The last thing you want to do is get on her bad side, you've heard stories about what she does to people. She could make you disappear without blinking an eye. “Yes Si- I mean, Boss-” You choke. “... I would be glad to.” You give her a stiff salute. God help you now.
“Good.” She pulls out something strange, a belt? You quietly shudder at the thought of her whipping you with that belt. She puts the belt on a pedestal, while Rinnosuke slowly backs away. She keeps around with it, before putting something inside. She gestures you to move closer. “I hope you're ready for this.” Ready for what-
A holographic screen appears in front of you. What in the world? Your boss pushes you into it. You stumble towards the screen before you crash straight into it. Shocks travel throughout your body, as your body cries out in pain. You try to force your way through, but it won't budge. Reimu lets out a sigh as the barrier disappears. You collapse to the ground, breathing heavily.
“What the hell was that?!” You scream, demanding an answer for your pain. This isn't legal, you'll sue if you have to!
“Come back tomorrow.” Reimu ignores your question entirely, sighing. She looks disappointed in your performance. “Rinnosuke, fix him up and pay him.” Reimu walks away, taking the belt with her.
“I'm sorry.” Rinnosuke apologizes while giving you some pills. You give him a strange look before accepting the medicine. “It would be best for all of us if you returned tomorrow. Please don't tell anyone about what happened here either.” You scowl at the thought, the last thing you want to do is come back for more 'testing'. “Believe it or not, we need you to come back.” You look him in the eyes, trying to tell if he's lying.
“Fine.” You snarl, taking his money and leaving the building. Taking a look at the clock, it's only 7 P.M. You've calmed down enough to actually glance at the money he gave you. One, two, three... Holy shit, he gave you over 100,000 yen! You're rich! You've got cash to burn now, baby!
[x] Go on a shopping spree! You need some new threads!
[x] You're pretty hungry. Get some food first, maybe you can go to that cafe that your co-workers always tell you about.
[x] Wait a minute! You can buy that book you always wanted, plus a few more things! You need to finish your collection after all.
[x] Put this money in a safe place. You're not stupid, you need to manage your money responsibly. No fun allowed.
>>55295 Sorry, it was already too late when I wrote this update. I did like the idea of a crotchety old man kicking ass though.
[x] You're pretty hungry. Get some food first, maybe you can go to that cafe that your co-workers always tell you about.
>>55296 if you really like the idea then you could add said crotchety old man as another B.O.R.D.E.R rider, if that didn't contradicted your initial plan
also, that compatibility rate....are we Garren?
...No. You can't spend your money on frivolous things such as food, books, or clothes! The only responsible thing to do is put it in a bank and watch your investment grow, besides, you were finally getting used to the taste of instant noodles. Either way, you can put this money towards your rent! God knows that the landlady has been down your neck trying to get this month's payment. B.O.R.D.E.R paid you nicely, but you liked to spend it on other things. So today's a new day, and you've turned a new leaf.
Halfway home, you bump into a young girl with blonde hair. “Sorry.” she mutters as you continue on. Something seems familiar about her white and black color scheme, but you ignore it, still giddy from the amount of money in your pocket.
“I'm here!” You call out, hoping that somebody will respond. Of course, there's no reply, but it makes you a little less lonely when you come home. You take off your shoes and walk towards the living room, immediately tending to your only pride and joy, your figure collection. Giving it far more affection and care than you do yourself, you polish every single figure, ensuring that the whole shelf is spotless.
Finished with your daily chore, start to unwind until you notice something missing. “...I knew it.” You remember that girl, you remember her all too well. “Well then, no time to relax.” You need to get your wallet back, and you know exactly where it is. Meaning that you had to go back to that place.
Rats scatter throughout the alley as you walk past, scaring off the smaller beasts that lurk the streets, the stench of trash and smoke fills your nose, making you feel uncomfortable and on edge. The sooner you could get this over with, the better, you didn't need to be here anymore. You enter an abandoned building, or at least, a building that looks abandoned, but you know better than that. It's a perfect place to use for a hide-out, the windows smashed and the insides looked old and worn out, nobody would think twice about searching the place.
You peel back one of the rotting planks, revealing a metal trap door, you pull it open and reveal a staircase. She was getting lazy, not bothering to make sure the door was locked, unless she knew that you were coming here, which was entirely possible. You drag your hand along the wall until you reach the bottom, the nostalgic feeling of cold stone on your fingers. You stop at the bottom, faced with a another door, this time, it was actually locked. You sigh to yourself as you search for your spare key, before finding it in the same spot it always was, in the bottom of your shoe.
The key quietly clicks into the door, and you gently pull it open before being greeted by an old friend. “My, my, Hikki, I thought you were never coming back.” The pseudo-magician says.
“I'm not here for business, Marisa. I want my wallet back.” You glance around the place for any new changes, but it's still the same place as ever. A bed, a couple of monitors, a T.V, a fridge, a few lights. It's a surprise to see that she managed to wire some electricity down here, a vast improvement from the candle light from before.
“Aw, you didn't like my magic trick?” She tosses the wallet back to you. You catch it and start checking the contents. “Don't worry, I didn't mess with your “Super Hero” things.” Confirming that your collectibles were still in place, you put your wallet away.
“We both know that it isn't real magic, stop pretending that it's more than simple slight of hand.” You sit down on the bed, taking a break that you needed after walking all the way here.
“If people don't know how it works, then it's magic, right?” She says defensively, “Plus, who revealed the trade secrets to you?” Giving you a knowing grin as she sits down next to you. You shift over, but she covers the distance by laying her head down on your lap.
“Marisa, I'm thankful for what you did, but I have a job.” You try to pull her up, but she refuses to move.
“Pfft, you're too good for me now? The whole “Justice” and “Rightfulness” shtick really got to you, huh?” She looks into your eyes.
“You know, they taught me about friendship too.” You look at the ceiling, avoiding her gaze.
“You're not a very good hero then, leaving a poor damsel like me all by herself. Who knows what could happen to me? What if I get kidnapped, or mugged?” You snicker at the thought, you remember the poor saps that tried to hit on her once, she punched them in the guts and walked away while saying “Magic.”
“Please, you would be more likely to be the one kidnapping others. I'm an example of that, aren't I?” You scoff.
“I'm sorry, who was it that begged me to teach him? I still have a picture of you on all fours, kissing my feet.” She brings up a memory that you've repeatedly tried to wipe from your mind.
“I apologize for my behavior, master.” You say mockingly. “So, what did you want from me?” It was almost midnight, if you didn't leave soon, you wouldn't be able to get up in time for work.
“Nothing important, I just wanted to check up on you. Although, if you want to talk, I have nothing to do.”
[x] It's late out, just go home.
[x] Maybe she can teach you another trick, for old time's sake.
[x] Talk about (write in)
You decide that it would be good to catch up with Marisa, you haven't seen her in a while, and it would be rude of you to leave without a friendly chat.
“I'm fine with that, but I have to leave soon, I do have a job after all.” You say, trying to brag.
“You never did tell me what your job was.” Marisa says, ignoring your attempts.
“I work at B.O.R.D.E.R, doing whatever they need me to do, ranging from delivery boy to assistant archaeologist.” You puff out your chest triumphantly.
“Did you find anything cool?” She asks, interested in your exploits.
“Not really.” Marisa looks disappointed once you tell her. “I think one of the guys further in found a stone, but they sealed off area for some reason.” You add on, trying to cheer her up. “There must have been something dangerous in there. Nobody went in after they closed it off, and they don't seem interested in getting that rock either.”
Marisa gets a look in her eyes, a look that you know very well. You pray that she's not stupid enough to explore a dig-site in the hopes of finding treasure. You quickly change the topic to get her mind off it.
“So, do you mind teaching me another trick, for old time's sake? I would love to learn how not to get my wallet stolen.” It would be a helpful skill to have, especially if they keep paying you like this.
“Sure, but you would have to pay me first. How about... 100,000 yen?” She gives you a smile.
“Nah, not worth it.” You have better plans on how to spend that money, like on figur- Err, rent. Yeah, rent.
“Aw, come on, it's just money! Don't you care about your friends? Look, I'll even give you a special deal, 500,000 yen!” She gives you her best sales pitch.
“You just raised the price!” You say, exposing her dubious business practices.
“It was a limited time offer.” She retorts.
“I'll take you out for lunch whenever I'm free. Is that good enough for you?” It was your final offer, and unless she bought everything on the menu, it would be a lot cheaper.
“Deal!” She jumps up from the bed. “Alright, first things first...”
“That's how you pull a coin from somebody's ear!” Marisa beams.
“...And how is this going to help me at all?” You're left confused after Marisa's lesson.
“What if a child is crying and you need to cheer them up?” She responds. “You're supposed to be a hero of justice, right? That means that you have to keep everybody smiling!” She points a finger at you, causing you to squirm.
“...I've never thought of that.” You admit, causing Marisa to nod sagely.
“Exactly! For a wanna-be hero, you're not very good at it, even I know more about it than you do!” Marisa starts to gloat.
“But isn't this a bit much? There's better ways to make kids smile, right? Like making goofy faces or playing peek-a-boo?” You question.
“Of course not, magic keeps them wondering! Any old man off the street can make a silly face, but a good magician will stay in their memories for forever.” Her eyes sparkle as she speaks.
You sigh quietly as Marisa continues her rant on magic, taking the time to check your phone. 2:00 A.M. Damn it, you're going to be up all night at this rate, and you have an important meeting tomorrow. You quietly slip out of the room while Marisa turns around, absorbed in her speech, trying to convert you to her crazy religion of magic and happiness.
The walk back is a lot quieter than before, nobody in their right minds would be wandering the streets this late at night. You navigate through the alleyways before you hear a voice crying, it sounded like a little girl, no older than 11 or 12. “I guess Marisa's lesson was more useful than I thought.” You mutter to yourself as you try to identify the location of the girl. As the sound grows closer, the darkness starts to cover your sight, and your sense of feel starts to go numb. You start to stumble into walls before it becomes completely black, the sense of pain is your only indicator that you're still moving at all.
“Hello?” You call out, and the crying stops, and minutes pass as the silence starts to grow. The darkness and the lack of senses starts to trick your mind, making your eyes see a red light in the far distance. With no other clues, you start to slowly walk towards it, supporting yourself against what you believe to be a wall, but you can't feel the bricks on your fingers. You bite down on your tongue to keep yourself sane, and soldier on.
When you reach your destination, you're greeted by a small girl, who you can see clearly despite the lack of light around you. It's a strange sight, her yellow hair and white skin stands out, chills travel down your spine as she spins around with her arms open wide, as if embracing the darkness. “Hello, little girl, who are you?” You manage to say.
She looks straight at you with her bright red pupils and black eyes, and starts to smile. Her teeth are crooked and sharp, as if she was a wild beast instead of a young girl. At this point, you're too scared to move as she creeps closer to you. She starts to speak in tongues, her words coming out as garbles and screeches, her mouth opens wide, enough to swallow you whole. You try to run away, but you trip on something unseen, you crawl as best as you can, but she catches up on you.
This is it. Something tells you that you're going to die here. You're going to die alone, not able to be a hero. The fact that you died trying to help somebody is a minor comfort to you, but it falls flat in comparison in what you could have done with your life. You prepare yourself, closing your eyes and waiting for it to end.
But it doesn't.
The creature howls in pain, and you open your eyes again, with a small hope that you weren't going to die today. You see a white haired teen, holding a sword and slashing at the demon. Your senses start to come back, and you pick yourself up off the ground. The monster flees from the scene, and the girl turns towards you, holding her blade against your face. “I'm sorry.” She says.
“I'm home!” You call out, closing the door behind you. Of course, nobody replies. You take off your shoes and walk towards your collection, making sure that everything is properly in place. Satisfied with the state of your figures, you stash your money away. You take a look at the clock, it was 3 A.M, what the hell were you doing up so late? You have something to do tomorrow, so you prepare yourself for bed. You fall asleep almost immediately after tucking yourself in, which is strange, you don't remember being this tired.
While you sleep, something starts to call out to you.
[x] Ignore it, you need the sleep.
[x] Try to reach it.
[x] There's something stuck in the back of your mind, but you can't remember what it is...
[x] There's something stuck in the back of your mind, but you can't remember what it is...
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Your brain starts to recall the day's events as you sleep, starting with the morning; where you sat in a waiting room for several hours, then they performed that weird experiment on you. As it nears the end, it starts to skip; trying to remember what you did after you went to Marisa's. It keeps repeating the same thing over and over again, you left her house to do something... Something important. Why can't you remember? It stays in the back of your mind, itching; trying to be found again.
You roll around in bed, frustrated with your memory. Unable to sleep, you get up again, put on your coat, and walk wherever your feet take you. You glaze over everything, only vaguely aware of where you're walking; the streetlights and the passing cars don't do much to wake you up. You stick out like a sore thumb, walking outside so early; only the office drunks who spent their nights partying return this late at night.
The sound of your footsteps stop as you snap back to reality. The surroundings look familiar to you, but you can't recall why; that's when you discover a mark on the ground, it looks like black ink spilled on the ground, absorbing all the light nearby. That's when you start to remember, something was here, something that didn't exist in this world. After all, nothing normal could cover the whole place in darkness, waiting for an unsuspecting victim to fall for their trap. But that's not what happened... right? You're still alive, after all, so that means that... thing, didn't get you. Who saved you?
Who? You remember it was a person, at the very least. Something was special about her too... Her? Yes, it was a female! You mind starts to race, trying to find key words that link the memories together. Think, damn you! Night, light, fight…white! That's it! A white haired girl saved you, with her sword that slashed through the darkness. Maybe you're dramatizing it, but she did save you from that demon. But what happened after that?
Suddenly, your chest starts to ache. The pain is spread out across your body, from your shoulder to your waist, as if somebody slashed you across the chest. Then the memories come rushing back.
You fall face first into the ground as the girl sheathes her sword. “I'm sorry.” She bows while apologizing once more.
She props you against the wall before taking out her phone and dialing a number. “Hello?”
“Youmu, did you capture the youkai?” A familiar voice answers.
“No, it escaped. However, I found a civilian, can we get an ID on who it is?” She uses her phone to take a picture of you. She starts to walks around while she waits for a response.
“Did you use your sword on him?” The voice replies.
“Of course I did, why wouldn't I use it on him?”
“It would have saved me some trouble. He's the new candidate for the Diamonds belt.”
“What? This guy? He practically fed himself to the youkai! How could ever use the belt?”
“If we knew, you would have been a Rider already.”
“...Right.” Youmu grumbles. “So, what should I do with him?” She lifts you up, standing you on your feet. There's no scar or wound on your body, you look perfectly fine, except that your eyes look blank and unfocused.
“Just send him home. We were going to brief him on the situation tomorrow.”
“Are you sure that we don't need to send him back for containment? Hell, he might feed himself to another youkai before the night is over.”
“No. It's fine, it's not a problem if he remembers.” The phone reassures. “And you're going to escort him back.”
“What? Why do I have to do this? Aren't there others to do this for me?”
“Youmu.” The voice repeats in a harsher tone.
“Fine. But I want the next belt, even if it kills me.”
“I can't guarantee that.” The voice hangs up, ending the conversation.
Youmu closes the phone, sighing when she looks at you. “Now, go home.”
You slowly nod to what she's saying, and walk back to your house with her following from behind. Youmu leaves on her own when you reach the door, and you spend the next few minutes waiting for someone to give you instructions. Eventually, you come back to your senses, and open the door.
The itching goes away when everything clicks into place. You're left even more confused than before, but at least you knew what happened to you. And, you have some leads this time. You know that Reimu was involved in this, and by that extension, B.O.R.D.E.R was involved in it too. Whatever they were going to tell you tomorrow, they can tell you it now. Your feet take you on another trip, but this time you know where they're going.
“I didn't expect you to be this early, Mister Tachibana.” Reimu says, comfortably sitting behind her desk.
“What happened to me?” You get straight to the point.
“It's simple, you were attacked by a youkai.” She tells you with a straight face. Youkai? Those aren't anything more than fairy tales and superhero show monsters.
She sees the disbelief on your face. “I assure you, they're very real. Although, you have first hand experience with them.” You can't argue against her, what else would explain that... experience you had?
“I would like to explain it, but I believe that you need to finish some tests first.” She clicks a button on her desk, revealing the belt from yesterday. “Put it on.” You reluctantly follow her instructions.
You pull on the switch, hoping that it won't end in pain this time. The belt loudly announces “TURN UP” flipping the middle of the belt and summoning the same hologram as before. Steeling yourself for pain, you slowly walk forward. You feel some resistance when you try to walk through it, but it's possible if you put more effort into it, you manage to get through an arm first, before the screen starts to fight back. You start to feel the pain, but you grit your teeth and keep going, using the free arm to grab onto the side of the card and pulling yourself through.
You let out a shout of pain as you finally get the majority of your body through, and the screen stops struggling, letting the rest of you past by without a fight. You're panting heavily by the end, but you manage pass through it. Reimu starts to clap when you catch your breath.
“Congratulations.” She says, holding out a mirror to you.
You take a look at yourself, seeing...
[x] Jagged fangs and oversized claws on your hands, with beastly eyes that seem to glow in the darkness, you can only describe yourself as a wolf.
[x] Horns on your head, with spike gauntlets on your hands. The overwhelming feeling of strength in your body makes you feel like punching something.
[x] A grinning face, a cloak that covers most of your body, and a scythe to cut down your foes. You look like a reaper, sending souls to the afterlife.
Something that scares you, something that doesn't look like you. A creature, not to different to the one who attacked you yesterday. The disturbingly sharp grin in the mirror, the dark blue cloak covering most of the body is trimmed with gold , the over-sized scythe on your back. Was this real? The glowing red eyes staring in the mirror and the wide smile with diamond shaped teeth that reflect the light are the only things that you can see under the hood. You take a look at your arms, covered in a black material, with a touch of silver on the ends of your fingers. Around your waist is the belt, but this time there's a diamond engraved in the middle. To the side of it is a pouch, containing something that looks like blank cards. The part of your chest that isn't covered by the cloak reveals a thin silver chest plate, providing protection but keeping you light enough to sneak around.
“...What did you do to me, Reimu?” You quietly call her name, ignoring her position as your boss.
“I made you a Rider.” She answers. “The only line of defense between our world and theirs. Now take the belt off before you hurt yourself.” You grab the belt and rip if off from your waist. The armor dissolves, returning you back to normal.
“What the hell is happening here? I get attacked by monsters, a white haired girl cuts me down after she saves me, and now I can become one of them?” You repeat yourself again, this time hoping to get a proper answer.
“You're not one of them. The belt is a tool we use to turn their strength against them.” She corrects you after taking a sip of her tea. “Take the card out of the belt and see for yourself.”
...Card? You take the card out of the belt, taking a closer look at it. It looks like a trading card, the kind that kids use to summon monsters and play card games with each other. The words “Change Reaper” is written near the bottom, with the diamond symbol from a normal pack off trading cards. In the middle is a red haired woman holding a scythe, similar to the one you had before.
“That's a youkai that we managed to capture.” Reimu says as if it was an afterthought. They managed to capture one of them? Into a card? “The belt turns them into something that we can use to fight.”
“...So we use the power of youkai to fight youkai?” You repeat back to her.
“In simpler terms, yes. The youkai themselves are demons from another world, or the same world, just in a different dimension.” Reimu says to you.
“It would be easier if somebody else explained it to you.” Reimu presses a button on her desk. “Please send Rinnosuke to my office.” The white haired guy from before?
He arrives with a whiteboard minutes later. He greets you with an excited handshake. “I knew that you would be compatible with the belt! How is it? Are there any problems?” His eyes sparkle, much like Marisa's did.
“Uh...” You're caught off guard by the sudden enthusiasm. “I guess it was painful for me to transform.” You offer. Rinnosuke nods.
“Sorry, but that will fix itself in time. Human bodies aren't used to that level of power. We already customized it to you, so it should adapt quickly.” He answers. “But we aren't here for that, are we?” He flips over the board to reveal a set of drawings.
“As Reimu must have told you, Youkai are in fact, demons from another world. However, their world is very similar to ours, there's no change in gravity or lack of oxygen. We can access this world by going through a gate across the border that protects us from their world.” He points at a drawing of a stone. “In order to cross, we need to come in contact with a special stone, like the one that you helped excavate.”
“Do the youkai have to exit through that stone?” You ask, wondering if it was possible to completely seal the cave, or to put guards to prevent any youkai from escaping too far into the city.
Rinnosuke shakes his head. “We're not sure on how they're coming over here. There could be more access points than we know about, or they might be able to tear their own way into the world.” He points to a cartoonish drawing of a youkai opening a gap. “We don't know why they attack us either, they leave the corpses as is, and they don't go out of their way to cause destruction.”
“And so, we created B.O.R.D.E.R to protect us, we don't know the exact number of youkai, or the skills of each one. But we can guess, you may have noticed that your card is an Ace of Diamonds. If it's based on a traditional playing card deck, there should be 52, with 2 Jokers. Each number is more powerful than the last, like in a normal game.” You understand everything easily, considering that the whole thing sounds like a plot from a children's show.
“And how many have you captured so far?” B.O.R.D.E.R existed for a while now, so you can't be the only one who's become a Rider.
“Just one. The one that you're holding. We needed a category ace to make the belt function. And we've just developed the capturing system less than a month ago.” He sighs. “We're lucky that the stronger ones have stayed on the other side.”
“So, you're telling me that there are demons from another world, and that I need to fight them?” You simplify.
“Essentially, yes. We need people who are compatible to use the Rider System and protect the city from wandering youkai.” He confirms. “I'm afraid that you're the only one who could use the belt so far. You might be on your own for now, but you'll be more powerful with each card you collect.” Rinnosuke tries to reassure you.
“I'm afraid you don't have a choice in the matter.” Reimu interrupts. “You're going to fight them whether you want to or not.”
You nod your head, Rinnosuke looks apologetic. “It's fine. I always wanted to be a hero, so now's my chance.” You try to laugh it off, but the scene with the youkai you met before is still in your head.
Rinnosuke pats you on the back. “Thanks.”
“How much experience do you have with fighting?” Reimu asks.
“Not muc-” An alarm blares, cutting you off.
“Well, you're going to get some now, so prepare yourself.” Reimu says, shooing you off.
You sit in a van travelling towards the youkai's location, a factory on the outskirts of town. The white haired girl sits there too, inspecting here sword, Youmu, you remember her name. There's an awkward silence, since you remember what happened to you. You don't know what to say, since Rinnosuke rushed you into the truck and told you that she was your new partner.
“Nice to meet you.” You break the ice, trying to keep your mind off the fact that you're going to fight a man-eating monster.
She doesn't respond, keeping her eyes on her sword instead.
“That blade looks pretty sharp. I guess it's a good thing that you're on my side, right?” You joke, trying to get over the fact that she cut you with the same blade several hours ago.
“...I'm sorry.” She apologizes, worried that you might be angry about what she did to you. You could have sworn that she acted different yesterday, after she erased your memories.
“Don't be! I'm fine!” You almost consider taking off her shirt to show her, but that would just make things more awkward. Hold on... You have a plan! It's fail proof! “Do you want to see a magic trick?”
Youmu gives you a look, as if it was the stupidest thing you've ever said. You push on anyways, trying to remember Marisa's lessons. You reach into your pocket, holding it between your thumb and your index finger, making sure that she doesn't see anything. You reach behind her ear and slowly slide the coin into your palm while pulling your hand away from her, making it look like you pulled it out of her ear. “Ta-dah!” You give her your stupidest grin yet.
The rest of the trip continues in silence, but you notice that there's a small smile on her face now. Marisa wasn't lying, it really was magic.
You walk into the building, which turned out to be an ice cream factory. It was colder inside than it was outside, and you're not sure if it was because of the youkai or the air conditioning. You transform, hoping that the suit will provide another layer of clothes. "TURN UP." The same barrier appears and you walk through it again, this time with much less resistance. Youmu grits her teeth as you transform, but doesn't say anything about it.
“We need to search the building. Should we split up or stay together?” She asks you.
[x] Split up, the youkai will have less of a chance to escape.
[x] Stick together, there's safety in numbers.
Where should you look first?
[x] The freezers, maybe the youkai likes cold places.
[x] The production line. Screw the mission, you want to see how ice cream is made.
[x] Packaging, the youkai might like the sweet, sweet taste of ice-cream.
Fuuuuck finding pictures. It's hard searching through Danbooru for something related. I might just start posting pictures of Garren or Touhou/Kamen Rider if I can't find anything. Is anyone else watching Gaimu? I think the first episode is good so far.
“I don’t think we should split up until I get used to fighting.” You shiver, the first and only fight ended with Youmu bailing you out..
“I see. I was hoping to cover more ground...” She sounds disappointed, “Where should we look?”
You understood a bit of the layout, there were three major locations, the production line, the freezers, and the packaging centre. It would take little over 30 minutes to search through all of them, but it would be safer to do it together. “The freezers.” You say, it was the nearest one to you, and it was the largest part of the facility. You had a hunch, if the youkai was causing the cold, then it might like the coldest part of the factory.
“Understood.” Youmu leads the way, with you following closely behind her.
If the air was cool before, then it’s freezing now. The suit manages to block most of the chill, but you can see Youmu’s face going red and her breathing starts to slow down. You offer your coat to her, but she refuses, saying that it would only slow her down when you needed to fight. You pry open one of the vats to check inside, revealing nothing but frozen milk and sugar. The pipes are covered in icicles, the metal looked frail and easy to shatter.
Obviously, this was not the normal temperature for the facilities to run at, either the youkai was messing with the conditioning, or it had control over the cold. Both possibilities were terrifying, if they knew how to work machines, then that meant that they were intelligent enough to learn. If it had control of the cold, Youmu would be a human popsicle by the time you find it.
You spend the next 15 minutes opening up vats, checking every nook and cranny before finally deciding to move on to the production line. That’s when you notice that the doors are frozen shut, the handles would break off before it ever opened.
“Youmu, can I kick this door down?” You ask her advice, she knew more about these things than you did. The noise could scare them off, and you didn’t want to take the risks of another youkai running through the streets.
She thinks it over for a minute. “Do it as quietly as possible.” You shrug, how quiet could somebody break down a door?
You take a few steps back before flying straight into it with a magnificent drop kick. The metal doors go flying with a loud bang. This was the probably the manliest thing you’ve ever done, and you can’t stop a grin from coming to your face. Youmu holds her hand to her forehead. “Do you know what quiet means?” She says as she passes by you.
The line was... not what you expected. You walk by several people encased in ice while searching, Youmu ignores them, not acknowledging their existence. You do the same, there wasn’t much that you could do for them, right? They were put into perfectly shaped cubes, encased in ice instead of frozen like a statue. Was it possible for them to be saved? If you tried to thaw them out, there could be major damage to their bodies.
What really disturbs you is that the bodies looked untouched for the most part. Their expressions didn’t change at all, their eyes still looking at the production line, looking for any impurities in the ice cream. This meant that the youkai was strong enough to freeze them all instantly, without any warning. You had to fight this creature? Hell, you’re starting to become more worried for Youmu, how could she fight the thing if she was wearing little more than casual clothing?
“Let’s move on.” She says, trying to finish this as quick as possible. You nod, checking a map for the door to the last part of the factory.
This time, you don’t have to kick the door down, it was already open. You can’t decide if this was a blessing or a curse. The cold air coming out made you feel naked, the suit didn’t help you anymore. You prepare yourself before entering, gripping the scythe in your hands.
“Are you sure that you’re okay?” You could see her fingers freezing up, her breathing heavy, she doesn’t respond before walking through.
You couldn’t describe the room as anything more than frozen. Everything was covered in ice, the lights, the walls, the floor. You take a few steps, balancing yourself on the ice. Almost slipping a few times, you manage to regain your footing and move on. Where could it be? The room was large, but everything was easily visible.
There’s a loud snap, as the lights shut off. Your eyes blink a few times before they readjust, giving you perfect vision once again. “Youmu, are you alright?” You call out, you lost sight of her during the sudden flash of light. A loud thud is your only response, you quickly turn around and see Youmu lying on the floor, the youkai holding her against a wall. Her skin starts to freeze up, before she finally reaches her sword and forces the youkai back.
You run towards her, worried about her condition. “Don’t worry about me! Get the Youkai first!” She yells, trying to ignore the cold and push onwards.
[x] Get Youmu out of here! She’s in no shape to fight.
[x] Do what she says, the faster you seal the Youkai, the faster you can get real help.
[x] Move the youkai to another location, it might warm up a bit if she’s not here.