Kahi 2011/11/03 (Thu) 21:19 No. 49243 ▼
File 132035519891.jpg - (212.06KB, 709x591 , 1880498a34234d39383625eff8529c0d7565607c.jpg)
The Marisa and Reimu types are, comparatively at least, as common as dirt. You create a small box with insets inside, for carefully holding the fragile infants in place, and set them inside, latching it shut. A slight modification puts air-vents in the box.
Alice, by contrast, is not a rare breed, but certainly not so common, and its personality is unusual besides. You encase that one in a box similar to the one containing the miscreant child, though appropriately larger, to suit the differing sizes. Then you nudge Rachel, carefully removing her from your hair. She seems to have fallen asleep during the interrogations, but some nudging wakes her.
"Pick one." You say, pointing at the box of hopeless cases, now lidless again. "One of the small ones."
Rachel beams and flaps down into the interior, at a short length selecting the last tiny Reimu and removing it to the table. She looks at you hopefully, and after a moment you tug away and disperse the slumber of the infant.
It wakes, sees Rachel's wide smile, and tumbles backwards with a start, getting some distance and puffing out.
"Weimu ish Stwong!" It warns, note of worry in its voice still as Rachel approaches slowly. "Shiddy weird yukkuri go 'way!"
"Gonna eat you~" Rachel declares simply in response, making a deliberate production of lifting up her arms, hands with pointy nails at the tip.
It seems to have been what the Reimu was worried about, as it deflates quickly to present a smaller target, and hops quickly backwards. Then an almost sly look crosses its face.
"Weird yukkuri ish weird." It says deliberately. "Ish the weird yukkuri Patchouli, or Remirya?"
"Rachel is Rachel." Rachel answers smugly. The Reimu has just a moment to look startled before she speeds up and closes the distance. "Lunch is lunch~"
"... Vicious little thing." You note, shaking your head as Rachel tears into the treat, setting the box containing the others to float up and follow you. You pause at the containment box, with the little Remirya sulking in a corner.
"And have you learned your lesson?" You ask.
"Remirya is sorry." It says despondently.
"Very good. If that's the case, you can leave the box." You reply.
"No!" It shrills, panic suddenly settling in. "Remirya don't wanna! Remirya will stay in the box!"
It doesn't take long to grasp the nature of the terror, as the little one is fairly obviously terrified of what could happen once it, a proven Naughty Child, got within the range of Mister Stick, outside of the box where it couldn't reach. You could try explaining that it is perfectly safe, now, but this one doesn't seem particularly bright. You decide not to bother.
"Very well, then." You say instead, depositing one of the infant Marisa. "In the box you'll remain. But have a treat for apologizing like a good child."
It squeals and launches itself, with none of Rachel's restraint. The infant barely has time to wake before the Remirya is upon it, and it's all but over already. You take the box onward.
The spider is sitting in a corner of the enclosure, slowly reading to the yukkuri a tale of a wolf, a goat, and its seven kids. The P-patterns seem interested, draped over her, none more than Patchurri, who is mouthing the words along with the spider, but seem at least a little put off by the tale itself. By contrast, the R-patterns show no interest at all in learning the letters, from now-awakened mother down, but the description of the wolf devouring the goat's children has caught their attention enough to listen raptly to the tale, smiles wide. They seem disappointed at its eventual demise, and shudder as they are told how it is pulled beneath the water by the stones put in its stomach to replace the kids.
"Poor wolfie..." The mother mourns aloud. You cough to get their attention, setting the box down in the opposite corner.
"I have a special treat here, for Remirya's." You say, as they turn and make their way to surround the crate, dispelling the magics on its contents. "Patchouli, remain where you are. This likely won't be of interest to you."
They peer over anyway, as voices start to sound, and the mother inside displays its distress at realizing children are missing. You believe you hear one of the elder spawn complaining inside about 'weak and stupid Alice' not being around to press into figuring out what's going on. Without hesitation, you tip the box over, spilling its contents out.
The tiny Marisa cheers, declaring how it's 'rolling, eajy!' before reaching the wall of the enclosure and breaking out into yelling and foul language. The rest of them freeze, one after another, at the sight of the mother-Remirya and three of her children floating around her, backing them into the corner.
"Gonna eat you~" The mother declares smugly, echoed by its children and an 'Uu~" from the bodiless one. That one seems a little dimmer than the others. Well, you'll see if it reaches their level or not.
The father-Marisa stammers, eyes darting around for an escape route, finding none, and finally settling on the Patchouli watching from beyond.
"Patchouli!" It declares, latching on to them in suddenly desperation, and attempting foolishly to bound past. "Marisa is big and strong, but Patchouli are weaker and tastier! Leave Marisa alone, and The Great Marisa will even squish them for-!"
Remirya interrupts, as the Marisa tries to bypass it, by driving a hand into its side, lifting it, and hurling it back to impact with the rest. You privately note that no mention was made of its mate or brood, all focus having been on securing its own life, if at all possible.
"Remirya doesn't want to eat Remirya's babies." It says, licking paste off its hand. "Gonna eat you~"
"M-miss!" The mother Reimu tries, heaving the injured and leaking Marisa off itself as it tries to worm its way up the wall to you. "It isn't too late! Rescue Reimu, and Reimu will forgive everything!"
"Oh, I can't do that." You say, dispassionately, noting that again no mention of the others had been made, only a desperate plea that it be spared, then move on to turning its own words against it. "After all... mother Remirya needs this treat to properly continue raising her pretty babies. Stupid Reimu should be silent and obediently hand over the tasty, easy."
"But Reimu doesn't want to be eaten!" It wails, as the R-patterns descend upon them like hungry piranha. You watch, mentally taking notes of the ineffectual attempts to fight them off, until there is not a scrap left. You turn, seeing that Rachel has approached again, finished with her own treat, and has watched with interest equal to your own.
"I have to step out for a bit." You say. "I need you to be a good girl and stay with the others, now. Yamame will read to you all, while I am out, so try to learn what the letters mean."
"Rachel will try." She says, as the R-patterns return, having licked one another's faces clean, and wait wide-eyed for another tale. The P-patterns seem mildly nervous, aside from Patchurri itself, but settle down quickly once it becomes clear that none of the predatory members of the family are making any hostile actions. "... Daddy is a little scary, though."
"Your parent is unusually driven and determined." You note. "But I don't believe that it will harm you as long as it doesn't feel that it has to. Be a good girl and wait patiently."
"Okay.." It says, flapping down to settle on the opposite side of the spider from its father. You sigh, stretching, and move to attend to the last little matters before you step out.
First, erecting a thin-walled, hollow stone pillar with a thick and closeable wooden door around the sunken pillar and portal. None of your little specimens will be getting through that, without first figuring out doorknobs, and aside from that the door is fused to the pillar, solid until such time as you are ready to use it. That should be more than enough to secure the way.
Second, you craft a mouse of gleaming white clay, and imbue the shell with a near-mindless, but playful, spirit to animate its form, and set it in a small metal cage. Then you set the gifts all together: floating disk of wood holding them up, thin wooden box containing one of Sakuya's excellent cakes set on bottom, with the box of Yukkuri and Pseudo-mouse cage set on top. You suppose you are as prepared as you will ever be, and the vat will be fine until it's completed, after dinner.
You rip a portal open to Mayohiga, and step through.
The empty village is supposedly somewhat unnerving to walk through for humans, inhabited almost only by stray animals as it is. You mostly just find it annoying that the closest you can get with a portal is the outer limits of the town, forcing you to make your way through the streets to its center via more normal means. Yukari and her shikigami naturally live in the largest and grandest of the houses. Not that this is difficult to determine, as with a regularly watered display of potted plants outside of the door, it is the only house that looks even a little lived in in the entire town.
You knock calmly at the door, and Ran opens it after a long minute of waiting, wearing an apron dusted with flour.
"Yes? Do you want something, or are you just here to be annoying?" She asks seriously.
"I would like to speak with you." You say. "I brought gifts."
"... Fine. Come in, I guess." The fox grumbles, turning to allow you entrance. You make your way in to a sitting room and settle in. "So what do you have."
"Animated mouse." You say, floating it up for inspection. Ran pulls it out, gives it a glance, and drops it to the ground, where it skitters around.
"Seriously?" She asks, frowning. "Just because Chen is a cat, you think-"
"Nya~" Chen cheers, interrupting Ran as she pounces through the door, rolling across the mouse, and coming up with it caught between her teeth, eyes sparkling.
".... Chhhhheeeeeeeennn...." Ran says, in a tone that is almost, but not quite, whining. "... You couldn't have waited for me to make my point?"
"Shorry, Ran-shama." The nekomata says, not seeming particularly contrite about it at all.
"In any case, I've also brought these. Four infant yukkuri, which seem relatively docile and well behaved from initial inspection, and a chocolate cake."
"After dinner." Ran says, responding before Chen's eyes have even started flashing. "We have a surplus of those at the moment, but still-sane is better. Lady Yukari set up a coliseum, and set a few dozen into battle against a gelatin-construct. Lots of them got squished, some outright lost their little minds when dessert stood up and started fighting back. They just sit in place and mumble gibberish to themselves now. The cake is fine, though. Say your piece."
"I wish to discuss one of your Master's amusements." You say dryly, deciding for the moment to not bring up your creation of the construct in question unless it becomes relevant.
"You are aware that she's watching us right now, correct?" Ran responds dubiously.
"I had considered as much." You reply. "Humor me."
Ran sighs, but listens as you outline the situation.
"... Is that what she's up to, then?" she muses aloud. "I hope you don't think you can sway me to act against my Master's wishes, however?"
"I would not consider making the attempt." You lie. "I merely wish to discuss the matter, and see if you might offer any insight."
Ran shakes her head.
"If I run across one of your students, I'll give them a head start." She says. "I'm not willing to promise any more than that. For the rest of it... Well, I'll give you this much advice. Lady Yukari has a very low boredom threshold. If she gets bored, there are two options she turns to. The first is sleep. This is generally ideal, since what she can get up to is drastically limited by that. The second is arranging for something interesting to happen and keep her entertained. You want to avoid the second, as much as possible."
"I fear it's too late for that." You say.
"That's where you're wrong." Ran replies immediately. "Because Yukari is also extremely lazy. If something interesting is already happening for her to watch, then she is less inclined to stir up the pot so much. I'd guess you've been doing some sedentary things, a lot of sitting in one place and reading through books and documents, making notes, writing up plans?"
The accusation hits fairly close to home and you shift in place.
"You want to avoid that, as much as possible. Do things. They don't even need to be particularly active things, so long as it isn't just sitting in one place and thinking, turning pages, or scribbling something down now and again. Or at the very least, when doing so is unavoidable, arrange to have something else going on at the same time for her to divide her attention with. You should have more opportunity once you start working outside, but teaching is generally fairly monotonous too. Make a production of things, if you can. Keep her attention on what you're doing with the classes, and she's more likely to just drop the portals in places that won't cause much trouble, rather than ones that are akin to actively jabbing a stick into an anthill. It may not be possible, but try not to repeat your class lessons too much." She says.
"I see. This... will work?" You say, dubious.
"For all her power, Lady Yukari is unusually prone to being distracted by shiny objects, as it were." Ran says.
"Hm. Well, in any case, I had also heard of a... Social Experiment, of sorts." You continue. "And I had wondered what it would take to get a copy of any notes that might exist."
"More than you could put up." Ran says without hesitation. "Lady Yukari doesn't often take specific notes of things like that, and when she does, she keeps them all up here, rather than on paper."
She taps her head meaningfully.
"She keeps track of these things in her head?" You say with some interest.
"No." Ran says, flatly and grumpily. "She keeps track of them in my head. You wouldn't believe how annoying it is, especially since a lot of it she's fixed so I can't get at it myself. Was there anything else?"
You wonder if there is.
And it looks like autosage times are here again.