As you lie in the bed provided you by some of the nicest people you've ever met, your mind comes back to how this happened.
You've heard stories about how this sort of thing happens: but you were surprised for it to happen to you. Normally some sort of strange thing happens, like magic, dragons and an airship, or turning into a hamster and waking up with amnesia, or some other contrived circumstance that ends up leading to being unceremoniously dumped into Gensokyo, probably in the middle of some explosion that you may or may not have caused.
You've never heard about Yukari just opening a gap, and rolling out the red carpet. Literally, a red carpet. Lined with Touhou all incredibly thrilled to see you here. Like you're some sort of celebrity.
Which is really odd, because for all you know, you're just... a normal person. Right? I mean, you weren't something ultra-powerful, like a wizard, or an Infernal, or a Black Knight. It's odd. Just really odd.
You suppose you should get to the retelling of the story.
The day had been a blur, you know, the same old routine. Get up, go to school, talk to your friends, leave school, come home, go to work, work for spending money, have dinner with family. Except somewhere along the way, you were greeted by a strange woman with blonde hair. The conversation you had was... well, it's all kind of a lost memory at this point already, but it somehow ended with you following her through a... sort of tear, in the air? It was a strange process.
And then you were at the end of a red carpet, with all these girls cheering wildly at your arrival. This was probably the happiest people have been to see you.
You greeted them, and they introduced themselves to you. With names like Reisen, Suika, Chen, Sakuya, and Rumia, you realize that... this is kind of odd. But, you know, seize the day and all that. This might all be some sort of fever dream, but... what the hell.
There were all sorts of things to do, and people all excited for your attention. Of course, you could only do one thing at a time. What was the first thing you did?
[ ] Went to do science with Reisen. [ ] Went drinking with Suika. [ ] Went exploring with Chen. [ ] Went dancing with Sakuya. [ ] Went hunting with Rumia. [ ] Write-in.
Yes, I know it looks very typical, and has all the hallmarks of the worst opening. But would I write something like that? Would I really?
Anyway, this story is not going to be very long. That's why it's in /shorts/.
“But they should come with me. I'll teach them to ballroom dance.”
“Sakuyaaaaaaa, that's booooooooring. I'll show them the view of Gensokyo from the top of Youkai Mountain!”
“Chen, do you even know how to get there?”
“I do! Why are you being so mean~!”
“Exploring's boring, Chen. They could come hunting with me!”
“Is that so~?”
“Hey! Hey, that's my line! Don't be stealing my lines, Chen!”
The cacophony of girls fighting for your attention comes to a head. It's at this point Rumia takes advantage of the arguing, and claims you for herself. She puts a finger to your lips, and grabs your hand with hers. “Shh. Come with me, it'll be the best.”
Um. Okay. Wordlessly, you let yourself be taken away. The small blonde girl seems excited to have someone new to play with. She's probably gotten bored with the other people in Gensokyo. You mean, who doesn't want to be the first to try out new things?
Rumia's humming a tune as she leads you away from the group that ambushed you when you came in, and it's getting slightly darker. Which is odd, because it was pretty bright when you arrived. Maybe time just goes faster here? That's kind of weird. You're thinking on this while you're running with Rumia, and then suddenly, Rumia lets go of your hand as she falls face first onto the ground with an “Oof!”
The sky lightens, and there's a small... rabbit? Rabbit girl, in a pink dress, holding Rumia down where she tripped her. Rumia's struggling, but the rabbit girl seems to have it in hand. “Reisen! Take them and go! I'll catch up later!”
You look around you, and another bunny girl, this one with hypnotizing red eyes, grabs your hand and runs with you. At this point, you're not even sure what's going on. You're just running for the sake of running and maybe figuring out where this is going eventually.
After what feels like an hour of running, you're deep within a bamboo forest, and Reisen- at least that's what you think the first bunny girl called her- stops. You're doubled over, panting for breath. But Reisen doesn't even seem winded at all.
“Wha-what's going on?”
Reisen lets go of your hand, and turns to you. “Well, I guess we can take a rest here.”
“T-take a rest? We were running flat out! You're not even winded!”
She chuckles. “Ye- Yeah, I guess I'm in good shape. But you said you wanted to know what was going on?”
“Just a bit.”
Reisen walks over to a stalk of bamboo, and starts fiddling with it. “Well, as you probably know, you're in Gensokyo. It's a land of a bunch of things that's really not needing explanation at this point. The important thing is that you're new. And from outside. That means that pretty much everyone wants a piece of you.”
This makes no sense. Why would they want a piece of you? There's nothing extraordinary about you that you can think of. “Wh-why?”
“Well... Outsiders are kind of rare. And we're always glad to have new people here, until they leave.” She turns to you quickly, as if that last sentence had reminded her of something. “You... you weren't planning on leaving anytime soon, were you?”
“I- I don't know. I haven't given it any thought, honestly. I've kind of got things to do...”
Reisen gives you her best pout. Even her rabbit ears look sad. “Well- well you can stay for a little bit, right? Promise me you'll stay for a couple days?”
“Okay. I promise.”
Reisen claps her hands in glee. “Yay! I knew there was something special about you!” You've made a rabbit really happy. Congratulations. “Okay. I don't think they'll come looking for you here. Now, should we wait for Tewi?”
>>686 I know! But, reasons. It bothered me too, and enough to make me think of a name. So there's that.
“Nah, we don't need to wait for her. She knows her way back.” Reisen seems more than willing to leave Tewi behind.
You scratch your head. “Is... is that a good idea? We are kind of in the middle of a forest that I didn't see any real landmarks in. And maybe the girl she jumped caught her?”
At this moment, a heretofore hidden trap activates. A rope noose grabs Reisen's ankle, and hauls her up into the tree with a surprised “Eeeep!” Reisen's now hanging upside down, frantically trying to cover her panties with her now gravitationally-inverted skirt.
It's not working too well.
“Ehehehehehe. You were going to leave me behind?” Seemingly from nowhere, Tewi walks into the small clearing. She crosses her arms, and smiles up at Reisen. “At least...” She pauses in thought, and then looks at you. “Hey. What's your name?”
“AJ. All my friends call me AJ. I never really liked my name.”
“See? AJ here has some sense. You don't. You were wanting to leave me behind.”
Reisen seems almost on the verge of tears. “No, no nonononononono! I wasn't- you can't think-”
Tewi affects a mocking imitation of Reisen's voice. “'No, we don't need to wait for her. Oh no, she knows her way back.' Well, you were right about that, at least.” Tewi turns to you, and beams a brilliant smile. “Anyway! I'm glad to have the opportunity to invite you to Eientei! We'll have good times together, you and me.”
You point to Reisen, who's still squirming and trying to simultaneously wipe away tears and cover herself. She doesn't have enough hands to do both well, unfortunately. “Shouldn't we... shouldn't we let her down?”
Tewi waves a dismissive hand. “Nah. This is an eaaaaaaasy trap. She'll get out herself, eventually.” With that, she walks off, and motions to you to follow. You turn towards Reisen, and give her your best 'I'm sorry' face. She sniffles a little, but doesn't say anything. You hope she'll be fine.
You follow the little pink rabbit through a thick forest of bamboo- when without warning, you break out of the forest into a very old looking, Japanese style home. It's large and sprawling, with low buildings and open space. It's made out of wood, paper, and bamboo. Very traditional, and really a nice, quiet location too. You can hear the gurgle of a brook somewhere inside the home.
Tewi stops and turns to you. “Well, we're here! Welcome to Eientei, home of the best Earth rabbit: Yours truly, Tewi Inaba!” She gestures grandly with a flourish on those last two words.
“Doesn't 'Inaba' just mean 'rabbit'?” You can't help but break her flow.
“Yes. Also shut up.” She glares at you. “So, you've met two of us that live here, Reisen and I. There's a couple of others that live here too. Now, we could do the boring-style introductions and whatnot, but, like I just said, boring. The obviously better and more fun option, of course, is 'introductions'.” You can see her doing the finger quotes around that last word.
“What's the difference?”
Tewi is not amused. “What, are you stupid? One's introductions and the other's 'introductions'. The difference is clear as day. Jeez.”
[ ] Introductions [ ] 'Introductions'
[ ] Eirin first [ ] Kaguya first [ ] Mokou first [ ] Someone else who's staying there as a guest temporarily first (indicate who)
[ ] Write-in (if you have a better idea entirely).
“So. Here's the plan,” Tewi whispers to you. “Real simple.” She motions to a door across the hallway that you came in from. “That there is Kaguya's room. I'm going to introduce you to her. Now wait here.”
Tewi pads off, deeper into Eientei, leaving you here alone outside Kaguya's room. You sit around twiddling your thumbs, but as the minutes pass, you become more and more bored. You eventually slide the door open to this Kaguya's room, and peek in. It's dark, and the girl inside is sleeping, under the thick covers of her futon.
Sleeping? At this time of day? Well, now, that's just downright lazy. Thankfully, Kaguya doesn't seem to have been disturbed by the thin slice of light that creeps in from the opened door.
Tewi comes back several minutes later, carrying a table with her. The table has short legs, and Tewi seems pleased with herself. “Sorry it took me so long. I got all tangled up in the table and it was a pain in the ass to get all that fixed.”
“Tangled with a table?” you ask. “You must be a terribly clumsy rabbit.”
Tewi glowers at you. “No, that's Reisen. It's a figure of speech, don't read too much into it.” She hefts the table up. “Now open the door slowly and quietly.”
You do as she asks, and Tewi tiptoes in, and places the table above Kaguya's face- with just a few inches of space between her face and the bottom of the table. She sneaks back over to you. “Okay. So, on three. Start screaming like the place is on fire. One, two-”
“Wait, wait, hold on. On three, or three and then go?” you interrupt.
“On three. It's always faster to go on three. Okay, ready? One, two-”
“No, wait. I don't know if I feel okay doing this to someone I haven't even met.”
Tewi groans. “Come on. This is me. This is my thing. This is my jam. If you want to hang with me, you gotta make sure you don't cramp my style. And right now? Style's kind of cramped. She'll be fine, I promise. One, two, five!”
The two of you start hollering at the top of your lungs incoherently about fire and invading Lunarians and whatever else comes to mind, and it's only a split second before your hollering is rewarded by Kaguya flailing about in bed, and then smashing her head right onto the table.
Tewi is laughing like a madman at this point, unable to continue shouting because she's laughing so hard. Kaguya is whimpering quietly under the table with a soft “Ow...”
You, however. How do you feel?
[ ] Kinda guilty. [ ] That was hilarious! Any other ideas, Tewi? [ ] Write-in.