[ ] Open the window and let her in
The events of the past are still a blur in your mind, but you do know one thing for certain: you were impaled by ice. Cirno’s ice. A poorly aimed shot…might have been an honest mistake…not her fault… but ultimately she is the reason you are lying in this bed, barely able to move. You’d like nothing better than to just give her a cold stare and go back to sleep…
But why is she still here? If she were actively trying to hurt you she’d either be back home celebrating her success, or else breaking through the window to finish you off. Furthermore, if either Sakuya or the Mistress is angry with her, she’d be leagues away from her by now to avoid the punishment she deserves. Whatever the reason, you suppose it won’t hurt matters much to hear whatever she’s trying to say.
You know it’s going to take more effort than your body is willing to give right now, but you clench your teeth and bear down anyways. Tugging and pulling at any muscle in your body that will help you, you slowly inch yourself closer to the window, pins and needles raking across your nerves. The latch is a simple one, but from your angle it’s almost impossible to yank open. Your fingers fumble to get a grip on the slick surface, brain coaxing you to just give up and rest, as your arm screams at you to do the same. Finally the catch gives way, and you push the window open a crack, just enough for Cirno to pull it open from her side.
The frame is small, too small for a normal human to crawl through, but Cirno’s defiance of gravity helps her greatly in this respect. She flutters over your head and lands at the base of the bed, face lowered. You can see dozens of slices in her skirt and hair, and her skin is crisscrossed with cuts, some of them still bleeding. Looks like she didn’t dodge those knives quite as well as you thought.
She just stands there for a while, mute, fidgeting around and sniffling. You can’t take the silence, and try to ask a question. Your voice is marred by the pain washing through your body as well as your extremely sore throat, and the sound that comes out of you mouth is nothing like what you intended it to be.
“What happened?” you mutter.
She doesn’t look up, but still answers the question. Her voice is small and meek, far different from the cockiness she normally has.
“I…I missed. I was trying to hit Sakky. I didn’t see you there until…until…you were on the ground, all red n’ stuff. I tried to help, but Sakky chased me away…Umm, are, are you hurted bad?”
There is another pause. She’s definitely making an effort to do something, but you still don’t know what game she’s playing at. You try and change the subject; maybe you’ll get some useful information out of her before she goes back to being a jerk.
“What’s all this magic?” you demand wearily. “How comes everyone flies and you shoot ice? Are…are you a demon?”
Cirno twirls her hair, looking for words. “It’s like, well everyone can do that around here. Like I can move around ice and Ruumi can make it dark n’ stuff, and Sakuya can go all fast and stop time and China kicks really hard. And ‘m not a deemun, I’m a fairy. See?” She turns to the side and flaps her crystal wings, trying to look cute. Sakuya…that must be Ms. Izayoi’s first name. She can stop time?
You glare at her silently, saying nothing. She nearly killed you. Through her own rashness and idiocy, she nearly killed you. And now she’s standing in front of you, trying to smooth things over by looking innocent?
“Cirno,” you say, voice as cold as the ice which pierced your body. “I nearly died. I don’t know how bad I’m hurt, or if I’ll even be able to get out of this bed again. And it’s your fault.”
She finally looks up at you. Her big blue eyes contain the strangest mixture of sadness and annoyance you’ve ever seen. She looks to be on the verge of tears, but whether they’re tears of sorrow or tears of anger, you can’t say.
“You were the one who ran around not looking at things!” she shouts at you, clenching her fists. “You’re so stupid!”
She glares back at you, mouth wrinkled up in a little frown. After a second or two, however, the anger passes, and she becomes peaceful and reserved again.
“But…I’m stupid too. So it’s okay. I…I’m…I’m sorry.”
She inches towards you shyly and holds out her hand. “Friends?”
[ ] Reject her utterly. Slap her hand away are tell her to get out of your sight.
[ ] Reject her calmly. Tell her to leave.
[ ] Leave her hanging.
[ ] Accept her calmly. Take her hand. Tell her she should probably leave.
[ ] Accept her compassionately. Give her a hug.
Ach, indeed I am undone by my poor editing. “Physically” was of course the word I meant. Good eye, dear Anonymous. >>19763
Negative, good sir. Perhaps this may be a good time to reiterate my system of “continues” and other related things.
Any time your actions lead to your untimely demise, I will clearly label it so that you know you have died, possibly with the stereotypical “BAD END” sign. If this label does not appear, you are not dead, and can continue with your journey in whatever state you are in. After a “BAD END”, I will automatically return you to the nearest point where you can still finish your quest.
Upon that note, I shall say it right now: Yes, there are multiple endings to this story, which give differing levels of satisfaction upon completion. Consistent “BAD ENDs” will never affect your ability to complete the story (a.k.a., you have unlimited “continues”). However, foolish actions can jeopardize your ability to finish with more desirable ends, whether or not you die from them.
Therein lies the rub. I try to avoid giving “BAD ENDs” as payback for stupid choices, because “BAD ENDs” have no true consequences and no lasting effects other than perhaps shock value. Closing off endings, however, is a serious matter, and is usually taken as such.
The choice rests with you. You can have fun, be bold, be crazy, die a dozen deaths, and still walk out with a mediocre finale. Or you can be cautious, be smart, plan ahead, and aim for something much more complete.
Apologies if I sound imposing or redundant, but I feel that it is best for the players to know the rules to the game they are playing.