[x] "Whatcha got there?"
[x] "You look like a man with a burden."
Hm. There is definitely something suspicious about his behaviour. The way he's trying to hide that bag... The way it jingles when he moves...
"Say..." you speak up while trying to peek over his shoulder. To no avail. He makes all your attempts futile by swiftly stepping back or turning. Annoying. "Whatcha got there?"
He flinches. His eyes desperately look around, as if searching for something. Suspicious... Your senses tickle in warning...
"I..." he hesitates for a moment "I'm a... messenger! Yes!" he nods energetically at his own statement "I brough... supplies for Hakurei Shrine!" step. He's slowly retreating "And this is... my pay! Yeah!" his voice sounds so artificial that he could make you think he's lying even if he said 'The grass in green'. Would probably make you look down and check too. "I-I don't have much time, so I'll get going! Too bad we couldn't talk! But I'm really busy, yeah, very busy!"
With that, he lightly shoves you aside.
"You look like a man with a burden." your voice sounds cold.
If it's a reason for his weird behaviour, it's that bag. Whatever it is, it has to be it. Jingle, jingle. With every step, a jingling sound comes out of it.
You reach out for this ragged bag, but...
Before you're even able to touch it...
The man screams and spins around.
In your stomach, a sudden, sharp pain appears. Glancing down, you see his fist retracting and flying up...
At your face.
Too fast for you to react. His hard fist hits hard against your chin. Your vision goes red for a milisecond. Then, your back screams in pain as well.
Confused, you try to feel around.
You're... laying on the ground.
And the guy... is making his run for the line of trees ahead...
You try to curse, but a sting in your tongue makes you groan instead... Looks like you've bitten it quite hard when he hit you. There's no blood though... Not that it makes it any less painful.
[ ] Chase the fucker
[ ] ... no. Even if that money wasn't his 'pay', it serves that damn miko right
Hell. Damned hell. God fucking forsaken shitty pits of tentacle raping hell!
A surge of anger... no, a fucking FURY shants throughout your entire body. That sucker DARED to raise his arm on you. For no reason at all. Without a proper explanation. Without warning. Breaking EVERY single rule of a fight. Then ran away like a coward.
That kind of behaviour...
Has to be...
Ignoring the pain, throwing curses to left and right, you raise from the ground. Your vision is blurry. Your stomach pulsates with overthrowing pain.
But this is not enough.
This is not enough to make you falter. This is simply...
The pain, the stinging, the throbbing muscles. It doesn't mean anything.
Now you know why people call it like that.
Blind. You can't see anything.
Blind. Your vision is red.
Blind. Only one thing stands out.
Blind. A figure of a man disappearing in the thick undergrowth.
Move. Your mind screams, throwing around the same order over and over again. Move. Move. Move. Move. Move. Move. MOVE. MOVE. MOVE. MOVE MOVE MOVE MOVEMOVEMOVEMOVEMOVEMOVE!!!!
With incredible speed, you launch yourself towards the spot where the man dissapered at. Your hand, already gripping a knife, makes a blinding fast swing, cutting through multiple branches at once. Nothing will stand in your way. Hacking through all these bushes and other unimportant pests is for weaklings. For rats, running away, trying to hide from the predator.
And the predator...
Is what has awakened in your mind.
Your head frantically turns around, trying to spot a incongruous spot in the red mist covering your vision. There is nothing. Nothing outstanding. Nothing that could betray his presence.
A distant pulse.
Sends out pulses...
That your ears could pick ever from a kilometer away.
So loud. So loud it could make you go insane. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. ENDLESS. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. OPERA. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. OF. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. ANNOYING. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. SOUNDS. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. SHUT UP. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. SHUP UP. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. SHUT UP. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK.
Continuously, constantly bombarding your ears with an irritating sound. Close. Close. Closer.
Your mind screams out a mute order.
A minute more and...
SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP
You'll go insane...
[ ] Stop for a moment, try to locate the damn thing
[ ] Continue running
[X] Stop for a moment, try to locate the damn thing
Even if it is so loud... Even if it is so ubiquitous...
RUN AWAY. MAKE IT STOP.
Contradicting orders make your body throw around in confusion.
RUN. FIND. IGNORE. HEAR. BREAK AWAY. DIE. DIE. DIE. RUN. LOCATE. KILL. DIE. MAKE IT STOP.
"SHUT UP!" Unable to put up with it anymore, your own body screams out in protest. "I DON'T UNDERSTAND SO SHUT UP ALREADY!"
Screaming. Yelling. Ordering.
Voices, voices, voices.
A choir of undistinguishable voices. Every single sounds the same. Every single says something diffirent.
How... Are... You... Supposed... To... Listen... Like... This...
TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK.... TICK............ TICK.................
It gets closer. It's getting farther. Running away. Sneaking up.
Which is it? Which is it?
Suddenly... A voice... Other than all the others... stands out... Like all of them, giving orders... Unlike them, sounding diffirent.
/Kneel. On your knees. Now./
It orders. In a tone that doesn't stand objection, it orders.
Just who... Is the owner... Of that... Voice....
Obey. It's voice does not understand what 'resistance' is. It orders.
Then... What is there more to do than to loyally listen to it's voice?
So you bend your knees. Obediently. Like if your body belonged to someone else. As if you were a mere doll under someone else's strings. You bend your knees.
Falling down. On the hard ground. Cowering as if stalked by a monster. Crouching down, hiding your face in your arms.
The monster approaches.
No. It doesn't.
The monster is just beyond that red mist. Just beyond that vicious cloud covering your mind.
The monster is within.
Then... What is it that approaches?
Lost. Lost in thought. Lost in reverie. Lost in endless sea of troubles. Lost in a maze.
So many kinds of loses. But none of them describes your loss. Because...
What you lost... Is control over your own body.
It retracts it's muscles. Putting it's hands on the ground. Launching it's legs upwards.
They impact. With something soft, they impact.
A muffled scream.
Launching itself in the air with it's arms, your body twists.
Your lips mutter a command. Your body obeys. Using all it's limbs, it obediently pins the attacker to the ground. Your teeth catch the blade of the dagger that he was holding. Then spit it aside. So easy. So easily disarmed. So easily defeated. Amateur. He is worthy to be fighting someone such as you. He is not your kind. Lowlife. Maggot. Pest. Insect.
It squirms around. Trying to free it's arms.
It screams. Under your steel grip, it screams. It wants to be set free. It wants it's arms out of your grasp.
Then... Why not help it?
Your armed hand lets go of his wrist. A look of relief crosses his face, before...
The very same hand that used to hold him down, makes a blinding fast swing. Cut. Without distinguishing between skin, arteries, muscles, bones.
It cuts off his arm in a single swing.
Ridiculous. Ridiculous, isn't it?
How is that even possible?
In a single...
It screams. Yells out in pain. Why... Why is it...
"So noisy. Shut up."
Your lips move on their own, spitting out a cold order.
Then... With the same move, it's head comes off. Instantly. In one moment. Your prey dies.
It's face, frozen in a shock, rolls away.
And then, you realize.
The scene before you.
The insanity that took over your actions. It disappears.
Looking down at the bloddied excuse for a corpse, your stomach clenches violently.
Quickly getting of the deceased man's body, you run a few steps before emptying your stomach's contents.
Everything. Food. Water. Gastric juices. Blood. Blood. Blood.
Even though there is nothing left to vomit, it still forces liquids out of it.
It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts.
After a few minutes, everything is over. The pain disappears. You fall back on the ground, laughing maniacally.
Your chuckle carries far. Echoing off the trees. Your own deformed voice reaches your ears as if it was another person's.
What was that... What was that insanity? Whose voice was that? Why did it...
You can feel the strength leave your body. All muscles, suddenly become weak.
At this rate... You won't be able... To return...
[ ] Bag... Where's the bag..."
[ ] I have... to return...
[ ] Useless. This is all useless.
[X] Bag... Where's the bag..."
[X] I have... to return...
Right... There was.... A reason... for this all... right?
You didn't.... Kill him.... Without purpose.... right?
Still in half-conscious state, you stand up. Stumbling, fighting against the numbness in your legs, you approach the corpse. The sight, the smell, they make you want to vomit again.
But it's useless.
There is nothing left you could vomit.
With almost neutral coldness, you grab the corpse's remaining arm. Then turn it around.
Turns out the bag was still on his back. This heavy bag full of... What? What was that all for? What is it that made you...
But it does't concern you.
Ripping off the bag from his back, you sling it on your own arm.
It's heavy. Very heavy. It feels.. Almost like if someone was sitting on your shoulders. Pinning you to the ground. Making it hard to breathe. Hard to walk. Hard to... live.
"I.. have... to go back..."
Your own voice reminds you of this simple thing. That's right. If you stay here, there's no saying what could happen. After all... After all... You killed this man. He wasn't innocent, but... Did he deserve to die? Even if he was a thief, even if he hit you... Was it alright to become enraged with just that? Was it alright to end his miserable life just because he did that?
Your mind is clouded.
/Don't worry about it./
The voice says in calming tone. It's... really soothing... to listen... to this voice...
/Go. If something happens.../
Your legs obediently start marching in a steady pace. Making nothing of the omnipresent numbness. Ignoring the pain. Ignoring the heavy, black cloud in your head.
Obediently, you march.
And just when the shrine comes into view, that rundown building, glittering with it's yellow walls in this afternoon sun, when you catch a glimpse of that reflected light, your body gives up.
It falls forward.
You mentally prepare for the impact, but it never comes.
Because... Before you hit the ground, you are already asleep.
Warm fuzzyness embraces your face as you wake up. Surge of pain shants throughout your body as you try to move.
A calm voice gives you this obvious command. But.. this time...
It's a female voice... A voice you know...
Something wet and fluffy covers your face, filling your skin with pleasant feeling.
And the owner of that voice... That voice you've come to hate after hearing it just once...
"Yes, don't move."
She orders again.
[ ] "What happened?"
[ ] "What about the money?"
[ ] "Where am I?"
[ ] "... Wriggle..."
She's right. Whenever you move, your body aches horribly. Almost like if you had little cuts all over your skin. But touching your arms under the eiderdown, there is nothing. Pain remains, but there are no wounds. At least, none that you could feel with your fingertips.
"Ghhh..." You groan in pain again as you change back your position to the one you were laying in before. "S-so..." your voice sounds a bit weak, but it's a given "What happened?"
"I fo-- I mean Suika found you passed out on the path to the human village." she sounds a little bit uncertain "And she brought you back here... You... weren't wounded, but looked really pale, so--" now her tone is somehow embarassed. "I thought I'd do this. I mean, towel. Water. Yeah."
Oh. So the thing on your face has to be a wet towel. No wonder all you can see is white, fluffy surface.
But it feels really good...
"And... about money?"
"Oh, yeah, that." she quickly blurts out as if remembering something. "I think I owe you an apology. I would never think that you would go as far as collecting donations for me." Wait. Wait just a moment. What did she say? "I'm... Sorry for treating you as I did earlier. I guess it was uncalled for, to be so rude towards you. Therefore, I apologize. Ah--."
The towel disappears from your face, pulled away by someone. Reimu's... a bit embarassed, a bit worried face appears in your sight. Being so suddenly faced with that... It makes your heart beat a little faster, sending small waves of pain through your chest with every beat. She slides farther from you, then sitting, leans down, touching her forehead against her palms that she has on the floor, in what you deduct has to be some sort of a traditional japanese bow.
"I, Reimu Hakurei" her voice shakes a little, as if she had difficulty with speaking "Humbly apologize for my misjudgements and promise not to make that mistake in future." Then, she sits up, sighing with relief. "And thanks." you can't help but stare at her smiling face. "That saves me a lot of trouble."
[ ] "I take it... you didn't look in the donation box?"
[ ] "Do you think a simple apology and thanks will satisfy me?"
[x] "I take it... you didn't look in the donation box?"
"Wait a moment." you say as she approaches you again, putting the towel back on your forehead. Your face relaxes under it's soft touch. "I take it... you didn't look in the donation box?"
"Oh, but I did."
With that simple statement, she ruins your whole image of the situation. There's something really wrong. Something really fishy going on here.
"You looked and...."
"Hm? Oh yeah, right. I looked and saw that some of the money was gone. I check it almost everyday, but empty it only when it reaches a certain level of repletion." she pauses for a moment "Of course, I checked up on it today as well, and saw that not only there wasn't more money than yesterday, but just the opposite - some of it was gone. Of course," she snorts "I was pissed. I mean, I though it was you and said 'damnit! That guy has to have balls to steal from me! After all I've done for him!'. But I couldn't really do anything about it. After all, what could I do? Set off to find you and bring you down? Heh."
She falls silent, chuckling silently. It seems that the thought of 'bringing you down' entertains her, for some reason.
"And? What happened after that?"
"After that, Suika found you. On the road to the human village, as I already told you. And, you had a bag full of money. I took it. Because, well, it was my money in the first place. But then, I saw that there's more of it then the amount that disappeared from the box. And it all fell into place. You needed some money to buy yourself those clothes, right? You couldn't parade around in those outsider's garms, right? People would freak out or start spreading out rumours."
No. There's something wrong. Clothes? Human village? But you... Never... You passed out behind the shrine, not on...
And then it hits you. Those clothes you're wearing, they feel diffirent. A lot looser than your jeans and jacket.
Then... Did you.. While being unconscious...."
"Reimu... Are you absolutely sure there was more money than he-- I mean I took? And that Suika found me on the road to the village?"
"Yeah, totally sure." she sounds rather cheerfu;, despite your tone being very serious "I went through the trouble of counting it, and there definitely was more than there was before. And Suika, well, Suika doesn't like lying. So I suppose she wouldn't like about such a trivial matter."
It's all... Wrong. It's not right... Because, you never went to the human village... You never 'collected' any donations...
Or... did you?
Maybe the whole chase was just a dream and in reality, it was just like she said?
Your head hurts. This is not right... This is....
[ ] "No. There's something off. I never collected those donations. There's something horribly wrong with your story, Reimu."
[ ] "So... What do I get in return? You know, it was really troublesome, getting all that money. Aren't you grateful, Reimu?"
[ ] "... I guess it's true then.... What happened to that little youkai I came here with?"
[X] "... I guess it's true then.... What happened to that little youkai I came here with?"
"I guess... It's true then..."
Damn, your own thoughts are a mess. What did you do? What you didn't? What was true? If Reimu says the truth, then... What would that mean?
And why the hell does your body feel like if it had hundreds of small cuts....
Before you realize, you're lost in thought. Analyzing the whole situation. What could and what could not be true.
But soon, you give up.
There's no point in thinking about that. If your own mind may be lying to you... Then... Everything could be real. Everything could be a lie.
How stupid. You smirk to yourself. Really, how stupid. Here you are, finally in Gensokyo, and those things happen. Instead of enjoying your stay, you have to lay in a bed and think about unnecessary things... No. This has to end. This has to end now. There really is no point.
Letting out a deep sigh, you relax your tense shoulders. Whew... What a relief.
Without word, Reimu lifts the towel from your face and dips in a bowl of water.
Now that you look at her, she seems to be kind of happy. Despite all she's said earlier, she seems to be enjoying herself. Enjoying serving you, maybe. Or it's just the effect of getting an unexpected gift in form of money. After all, from what Suika said, Reimu is always keen on getting more money, right? Eh, and here you were hoping that she took a liking to you or something...
"Here you go."
She says in gentle voice while putting the wet towel back on your forehead.
Ooooh daaaamn... It really is delighting. Most pleasurable.
"Ooooh..." you moan unvoluntarily "Thanks, Reimu. I'd hug you, if I could, but I value the uniformity of my body."
"Well, I may not be as violent as you think I am."
"What?" you ask, a bit uncertain if you heard what you heard
"Nothing." she quickly dismisses your question. Well, damn. "Don't you have any more questions? You seem to have something on your mind."
"Do I? Well, I guess I do. About that little youkai I arrived here with... Where is she?"
"Little youkai? You were here with someone else? I didn't know..." Huh. Either she's lying again, or really doesn't know about Wriggle... "Anyway," she continues "You'd better be off asking Suika, she's been here the whole time, until she set off to search for you."
Why would she be lying about that, you have no idea. Then it seems she really didn't know about Wriggle. Ehh, more delays... And you'd hoped that you'd be able to see her right away... And see how she behaves after the effects of Gland have worn off...
Come to think of it, maybe it's for the better that she's not here. Who knows how she'd react to seeing you without...
Wait, does that mean that your whole relationship is built solely on that bottle of perfumes?
[ ] "No. I'll manage myself. You can go, if you want."
[ ] "Of course there is. You have yet to show me your gratitude for all that money."
[ ] "Could you bring Suika here?"
[ ] "There should be a small flask in my backpack. Smell it and tell me if you feel anything."
"Yeah. Could you bring Suika here?"
"Hmm." she mutters in humming voice "I guess you're really eager on meeting your youkai friend again?"
"You could say that. I'm kind of... worried."
"Why?" her tone is innocent, but there's a hint of mockery beneath it "Why would you want to see that youkai?"
"She's... my friend."
"Friend?" she almost chuckles "Youkai? A friend? Are you even right in the head?"
"Reimu, she is--"
"For human to call a youkai his friend... Do you realize how wrong is that? Youkai are monsters. As an outsider, you may not know that, but youkai feed on human meat. How can you call a man-eating abomination your 'friend'?!" her tone is sharp. The gentleness from before is gone, substituted by... what is it? Despise? "Tell ya what, I don't really... care what happens to you, but let me give you one advice." she lowers her voice "If you don't want to be hurt, never befriend a youkai. Live among humans for as long as you can. This way it will be better for you. That is all."
She stands up and hurriedly leaves the room before you can say anything.
After a few minutes, the door opens with a loud noise.
Suika's cheerful but a little ungrammatical line breaks you out from a state of half-napping. Seeing her close in fast on your laying body, you gesture her to stay where she is.
"Woah. I appreciate your feelings, but I'm sore all over. So let's leave it for later, okay?"
A bit disappointed, but she nods and sits beside the matress. The towel, now long dry, rests on the pillow near your head. You don't really feel like holding it on your forehead anymore.
"You know, I was really worried when I found you! You looked like someone beat you up pretty good! Danmaku bruises all over! Did you get in a fight with some youkai?"
"No-- Not as far as I can remember..."
"You know, I get into fights very often but never remember why and with whom! Maybe you're the same?"
Her happy aura is soothing, but a bit unsettling. Is she always this cheerful?
[ ] "Suika, about that youkai girl..."
[ ] "Danmaku bruises?"
[ ] "Did Reimu say anything about me when she called for you?"
[ ] "Suika, what is love?"
[X] "Suika, about that youkai girl..."
[X] "Danmaku bruises?"
[X] "Did Reimu say anything about me when she called for you?"
"Danmaku bruises?" you repeat. "I know what danmaku is, but... bruises? I thought it doesn't leave any wounds?"
"Ah, about that..." Suika puts her hand to her forehead "Emm, it's not exactly 'bruises' in strict sense, but..." oho, she's thinking hard. Biting her lip and closing one eye and all "How to say that... Mima was calling those... Uh... Anyways!" she suddenly bursts out "If someone has been hit by danmaku, others can sense it! And I could feel that a lot when I found you!"
She smiles cheerfuly like if she solved a riddle. What a simple pattern of thinking this girl has...
"So, you say that I felt like if I got into a danmaku fight? And lost?"
"Well, seeing that you had those 'bruises' all over you, I'd say yes. Do you even know how to danmaku?"
"Hm, that's too bad..."
Great, now she looks a bit disappointed. Oh damn, you're starting to feel bad.
"But I know other things! I know many interesting things I could show you?" what are you even saying? Did her sad face make you desperate to cheer her up? "So, don't be sad! We can play around later!"
"Really?" her face lightens up "What can you show me?"
"Oh, I'm afraid I can't tell you." you make a mysterious face "A good magician never betrays his magics' secrets, right?"
"Heh." she grins "I guess. Are you a magician?"
"Of sorts. Anyway, tell me, did Reimu say anything about me when she called you?"
Suika cocks her head to the side.
"What do you mean?"
"Like 'don't get close to him, he's a freak!'" you try to immitate Reimu's voice, which sounds, needless to say, rather hilarious " Or 'he's dangerous! Be careful'!"
Suika breaks in laugher.
"Nayahahaha! That was Reimu? It was perfect! Hahaha! You could be an actor!" You can't help but smile at her laughing figure. It's really heart-warming to make such a cute girl laugh. "No," she finally says after calming down "She only said she was disappointed in you. Did something happen?"
"No," you shake your head "I guess it's nothing. And my final question."
"About Wriggle... That youkai who was with me... Where is she?"
"Oh, she..." Suika makes a worried face "She left some time ago. Not long before I found you. She didn't even say goodbye, that rude midget! And I was so nice to her!" Suika pouts, which looks rather adorable than serious "Really, that pissed me off! Mima always says that greeting and saying goodbye to people is important! So I told her 'Buzz off, stupid youkai!' and she just ignored me! Really, I was seriously angry!"
"Did you see where she went off to?"
"No. I have no idea."
:FAST FORWARDING MEMORY TO A MORE RECENT ONE:
After Suika left, of course chatting about random things with you for a few more minutes before that, you settled back and decided to rest your body to the point of being useful. After all, you can't walk around if every single move makes you jump out in pain.
So you rest. For a few hours, or maybe not. For a few minutes, or tens of them.
Your biological clock is completely confused because you slept through most of today. Plus there's that time-zone change that made it even worse. When you were crossing the border, it was midnight, but when you arrived in Gensokyo, it was already noon.
Either Gensokyo has it's own timezone, or the Border screws around with time. Or you were out for so long that noon arrived before you woke up.
Anyway, after some time, you try moving around your limbs.
The pain is not completely gone, but soothed enough to not make it impossible to walk around. But the most annoying thing is, you have no idea why the hell it was here in the first place.
"Danmaku fight, huh..."
Danmaku... But who could attack a mere human with danmaku? And where the hell is Wriggle?
[ ] Wander around the shrine
[ ] Look for Reimu. Time's up, better find her before she finds you.
[ ] Look for Suika. You could use some alcohol to clear your thoughts.
Haven't seen Mima yet this playthrough. Might as well be liked well enough by most of the shrine, at least long enough to meet Yuuka tomorrow. Then we need to head back into the forest to find Wriggle again.
Well, laying here in vain is useless. Besides, your muscles could use some warming up after all this resting.
Standing up, your body sways forward.
It seems that you're going to regret all those hours of idleness. Even if it's just standing still, your legs are refusing to cooperate. But, fortune favors the bold, et caetera, et caetera, and you can't be resting forever.
You mutter under your breath as you take more and more steps. Circling around your matress, you can feel the strength slowly returning to your capricious muscles. Yeah, one more minute and it'll be okay.
You can't help but sigh as you walk those long corridors again. Whoever built this shrine, seemingly thought it's going to be a living place for at least 7 big families. Because it's just so big... Isn't it tiring to live here all alone though? One could get lost in all these corridors if started wandering around carelessly...
With the eyes of your imagination, you can see Reimu coming back tired from another incident which required her intervention, to this empty building... Sighing with relief, she strolls around the hollow corridors, directing her steps to the kitchen. Then, sitting down with a cup of tea, she stares blankly at the wall, sipping the hot drink in silence.
"What am I thinking about..."
You shake your head to drive out stupid thoughts.
Some time passes. You don't meet anyone in those empty corridors. Sometimes, on the very edge of your hearing, you hear a step or a thump. But distant. Very distant. Maybe those aren't even steps, but just noises of an old building...
It's almost nostalgic, to walk those empty corridors...
"I wonder why..."
Wailing in pleasant reverie, you find yourself in front of the door leading to the dining room. The same where you met Reimu for the first time.
Why are you here?
Why did you even know how to get here?
Your hand stops mid-way to the door's handle.
You mutter a curse. What are you scared about? Even if Reimu is inside, it's not like she's going to kill you just because you were wandering around the shrine, right? Even if you pissed her off a bit (though not on purpose), there shouldn't be anything to worry about. After all, Reimu is...
Opening the door, you slip inside.
"Oh." Reimu looks at you from behind a book with a rather bored expression "It's you."
You slide the door close behind you and take a seat at the table.
Reimu is sitting on the opposite side, with her nose burried in a small book. You can't really read the title, but the cover image has a grassy field with a hill, giant tree and a ridiculously giant moon. Uh. It reminds you of those cheap, nauseating romance novels that are popular with women in declining years in the outside world. Does Reimu really read things like this?
"What?" She raises her stare from the contents to look at you, with quite displeased face. "Is there something mister youkai lover would want to talk about? Why aren't you with your sweet youkai girl, romeo?"
Her mocking tone makes you want to stand up and hit her, but your common sense tells you not to.
"Don't you think it's a little bit too harsh?" you ask, with a playful voice "Being so rude just because I can befriend youkai, unlike some antisocial person I know?" Carefully, your eyes observe her reaction. Her face goes through a metamorphosis. From suprised, to offended, and finally to neutral expression. You decide to strike further "Or maybe it's because you're too absorbed with your work to see that some of them are in reality very friendly creatures?"
"Oh." her tone is cold "You know, my job is to exterminate youkai, not to befriend them."
"Of course I know. I know many things about you, Hakurei. You are approximately seventeen, your magics come from your bloodline and include superior danmaku proficiency and sealing powers. Currently, you are unemployed and in dire need of money to keep your shrine running. There aren't many Hakurei worshippers, because your hostile and lazy personality scared them off."
"Well, EXCUSE ME!" she slams the book on the table. Woah, maybe you went a little too far with that. "It's not like I can help it! That's how I am! Understand?! If I were soft, how do you think I'd be able to put up with all these things I am forced to do?!" shit. Now you're feeling really bad for saying all that. She... looks unexpectedly sad. "I... It's not like I'm doing all this because I want to!"
"Easy there, I didn't mean to--"
You try to explain yourself, but it's too late. Reimu, with a... weird face, continues to slam the book on the tabletop.
"Try placing yourself in my shoes, damnit! Day after day, I am being called! Here, there, take care of this, take care of that! And for what?! What do I get?! 'That lazy miko, she should seriously start working', huh?! 'That damn miko, thinking only about money', is it?! Well, excuse me! I am really not doing this because I WANT to! I never applied for this job!"
"Whoa, whoa, Reimu, calm down--"
"But what would YOU know?! You outsiders, so high and mighty, are you?! With all this technology, what do you have to fear?! Nothing! And at the same time, I-- I..." Uh oh. She's covered her face with that sleeve thing. Is she... "You know what! Fuck you! Fuck you very much!"
Screaming out that half-assed insult, she runs out of the room.
"Maybe... I really went overboard..."
You state the obvious while leaning back on the floor.
Damn, that was unexpected. All you said was... Yeah, you pointed out the shrine's situation. And that's how it ended.
She ran off... Probably crying.
You palm your face.
This didn't go as planned. Totally, not as planned. You never wanted to take things so far...
Of course, there is one plus to this, to be exact, that the matter your payment for staying here got postponed for later, but... Was it worth it?
[ ] Fuck this, go after Reimu, you have to apolgize
[ ] Stay here, there's no point in trying to find her. Besides, you like your body how it is. That means, intact.
[X] Fuck this, go after Reimu, you have to apologize
No, it wasn't. Even if she IS a lazy person. Even if she IS antisocial. Even if everything you said was true and justifiable, still...
You roll around in irritation.
It wasn't your fault! Not your fault at all! She made herself cry on her own! You didn't do anything wrong! Fuck! FUCK!
It was HER fault! HER fault, goddamnit!
So why, why does this fucking guilt weight so heavily?! Why does it have to drill your brain like some sort of a woodword grinding through a tree?! Damn it, damn it, damn it, damn it, damn it!
Your iritation reaches it's zenith. You need to apologize. You HAVE to apologize! Even if you did nothing wrong, you still have to fucking apologize! So go already! Get that lazy ass of yours moving! Come on, stand up! What are you, a coward?! Cowards die once, brave ones come back to life! So go! Even if you risk your balls and pride, go and fucking apologize!
Screaming out, you stand up and storm out of the room.
Hell, you have no idea where she's gone off to. But it doesn't matter. You know where she is. In this tangle of hollow corridors, there's one warm point. One evermoving dot, pulsating with every sob. Fuck.
You curse yourself in thoughts again. You have to find her.
No, you've already found her. You know perfectly where she is. Not knowing why, but you can feel her presence. Here, this turn. Left. Then, through a room, to the right. It's a great shortcut. Left. Left. And...
Her runing figure disappears behind a corner. Your legs automatically speed up the pace.
Step, step, step.
You take the turn. Swaying slightly, still a bit sore, but you ignore the fact.
There she is. Storming off along a corridor, Red-White mirage.
"Rei--" you start to yell out her name, but decide to stop.
In one leap, you close the distance between you. With one incredibly long leap, defying the laws of physics. But it doesn't matter. It doesn't concern you. It's something you'll think about later. Now, it's time to...
Grab her shoulder.
Suddenly, turning around, she slaps your hand off her arm. Tears flow down her face. With a terribly pitiful grimace, she looks at you for a split second, before...
Your other hand automatically springs into action, trying to grab her other arm.
Without word, with perfectly still face, you repeat your attack.
But it failed as well. Feint. Parry. She successfully deflects all your attempts to pull her closer. Stepping back with every move.
Why does it seem so familiar...
There's no time to play around. No time to be gentle. No matter how, you have to apologize. And... If possible... Show her... A little bit of your warmth....
Moving in. Suddenly, without warning, you take a step closer to her. Suprised, she can't even retaliate as you grab her arms and spread them apart.
Then, you pull her closer, making her impact against your body. Letting go of her wrists, you wrap your arms around her back. Hugging her tightly.
Why did you do this..."Because she looked so pitiful?
"I'm sorry, Reimu. I've gone too far." you whisper while petting her head. She remains still, apparently too shocked to put up any resistance. Her body spasms in sobs under your arms. "I've said too much. So, I'm sorry, I shouldnt've--"
Your sentence gets cut in the middle by a suffocating impulse. Travelling from your crotch, to your brain, cramping your throat, making you fall on the ground.
She... she kicked you.
"Don't touch me! What the hell were you thinking?!" Kick. Another one. Even though you're already on the floor, writhing in pain, she repeats her attack. "You're all like this, thinking about one thing! Go die!"
She runs off.
"You-- ghhh..." You try to call out to her, but the pain in your testicles successfully hampers your attempts. "I jhussghhh...."
Damn. It's too strong. You can't even mutter out a full word.
"Oho~" a voice directly from above you sounds amused "I see someone here doesn't know how to deal with women."
Straining your nerves to their limit, you take a glance upwards. At the owner of that voice.
Who turns out to be an adult-looking woman, approximately in her late twenties. Dressed in weird blue robe-like kind of garment. Her long, green hair doesn't fall down, even though half of her body is stuck in the ceiling, and she herself is facing you upside down, with rather mischievious smile on her face.
The sight alone would make you freak out if you weren't in so much fucking pain.
"Tsk tsk." she smacks her tongue "That wasn't smooth, kid. Not smooth at all." she shakes her head. Her hair remains as it is, completely ignoring the law of gravity "Looks like you could use some advice. So, here I am, friendly ghost goddes Mima, at your service!" she salutes.
... what the hell IS she? Hanging upside down from the ceiling, with half of her body stuck in the said...
This is the youkai who killed Nanaya's old man, the only human who Yukari saw fit to breed with in recent time. She is essentially Nanaya's Kishima Kouma.
Unlike Yukari, who seems to easily be caught off-guard, Yuka is adept at close-in fighting, has super strength, and wields her parasol as a melee weapon. Nanaya's only chance is if she immobilizes herself with MASTER SPARK.
She's really not used to things not going her way, almost always has things planned in advance, doesn't die when killed, and sleeps half the day, so it'd stand to reason she has bad reflexes. And since she can gap her body to reach whatever or go anywhere she wants, she'd tend to move lethargically. Also, emotional confliction plays a role in a lot of those scenes.
>>12730 >>12731 And we can't forget that Nanaya has ridiculous speed and acceleration when he's actually using his full abilities. I mean, he threw a knife and then moved behind the target before the knife hit.
...suddenly, I kinda want to see Aya and Nanaya battling, or Youmu and Nanaya. Speed hax!
>>12729 The first time we tripped the "Twin" flag was because we went out to the front of the shrine after spending too much time at the shrine, apparently. Of course, these flags may have been modified since then, but I don't think we have to worry too much about Mima/Red unless we spend too much time at the shrine.
But even though the sight is amazing, because of both it's surreality and her breath-taking assets, it's not enough to make the pain disappear.
Clutching your wounded jewels hardly, you roll on your back, to face the floating... sticking out... hanging... The woman. What did she say was her name? Mima? Ah, yes, THAT Mima.
"I'd ghhhhreet yu..." you manage to groan out "buuut mggghhhyyy balls hgghhhurt...."
She snickers at your attempts to be polite despite your tragedy.
"My," she says in playful voice "No need to force yourself if you don't feel like it! It's not like I'd feel offended or anything!"
Still smiling, she emerges her lower body from the ceiling with a silly 'plop'. Landing beside you, she kneels down on the floor.
A mischievous smirk stretches her lips. Which are quite tempting, as well as the rest of her body. So, this is what they call a charm of an adult woman? It's... quite something...
She pokes her index finger against your cheek.
"So, need any help with... the pain?"
[ ] "... yes please?"
[ ] "... men overcome their hardships on their own."
[x] "... men overcome their hardships on their own."
Help..."What can she do to help you? There is no way she'd...
Besides, it isn't that bad, now is it? After all, it's an earned pain. It's a price you have to pay for your stupidity. But for your feelings as well. At least, you showed Reimu that you didn't mean what she thought you did. In a bit... invasive way, but she should be smart enough to figure it out. And, it was kinda worth it... In a perverted way too. Reimu, despite being rather harsh, has delicate side as well. And a delicate body too. So soft...
But, but, this is not the time to be thinking about such things.
"I'm grateful, Mima..." you groan out, trying to stand up. It's hard, bah, it's almost impossible, but utilizing all your strength and willpower, you manage to stand on your feet. Mima remains kneeling on the ground, observing your exorbitant efforts with that mischievous smile. "But men overcome their hardships on... their... own... Ugh..."
Even though the pain in your abdomen bursts anew, making your muscles cramp unvoluntarily, you still stand your ground. Fuck. That was one strong kick. You start to wonder if it'll have any permament effects... Reimu can be harsh... Yeah, soft inside, but really, REALLY harsh outside. And quite violent too. All you did was hug her, so why the reaction?! Well, against her will, but still, it wasn't that big of a deal, now was it? Seriously, she didn't have to bash up like that.
But it looks like it will have to wait till later. Now, after taking a few deep breaths and relaxing a bit, the pain faded away a little, allowing more freedom in both your movements and thoughts. And those purple and yellow stars are gone from your sight as well. Stupid little things... Twirling around so happily while you suffer...
"Steel will, Mima. Viking spirit."
Your voice sounds kind of weak while you speak to the green-haired ghost, now hovering above the ground, facing you, her eyes on the same level as yours. You force a manliest expression possible in this state. Which isn't very manly. At all. But it still serves it's purpose, or at least you think so.
"Tough guy, huh? Well, I must say, not many of you human males can get up so easily after Reimu's nutcracker kick. Have to say, you've impressed me a bit." Altough honest in voice, her face makes you think it's just the opposite. Damn it, how does one think straight when faced with two contradicting streams of information like this? "I guess you're the one those two talked about. You survived in the forest on your own? More points for you. That's two so far." she counts on her fingers "Then, you survived Reimu's frightful technique. That's three. Impressive! Keep it up!"
A bit confused, you look at her face. You can't tell if she's honest or just playing with you.
[ ] "Why the sneer?"
[ ] "Whatever you say, princess. I'm not some ordinary outsider, you know."
[ ] "Oh?" lean towards her "And what do I get for impressing you so much? A prize would be appropriate, I suppose?"
[ ] "Well, it's not everyday to be forced to deal with such things, but I'm doing my best."
[X] "Oh?" lean towards her "And what do I get for impressing you so much? A prize would be appropriate, I suppose?"
"I guess you're right."
You try to emphasize your relaxed exlamation with an equally relaxed stretch. The still hurting stomach makes it a little bit shaky, but served it's prupose, you guess. Mima doesn't seem impressed though.
What is she thinking anyway? Counting out your achievements in such a playful manner... If she wanted to praise you, she could've done it in a more serious way, so that you wouldn't be so confused about it.
Or is this exactly her motive? To play around with your feelings? If it was, she sure succeeded there. This malicious ghost...
"Am I?" she says in melodic tone.
"Yeah. But... Say, what do I get for... impressing you so much?" you lean forward, bringing your face closer to Mima's, which she doesn't seem to mind at all. Not a single flinch. Well, not what you expected. Still, show must go on. "A prize would be appropriate, don't you think?"
Suddenly, she disappears. Vanishes into thin air? Just like that. Suddenly losing the sight of her makes you take a step back, only to impact against something soft. "Wha--"
Someone's arms wrap around your chest. From behind. Two soft cushions press themselves against your back. Someone puts her face on your shoulder, weighing it down a little. Of course, that somone is Mima.
Come to think of it, to make you feel her weight, doesn't that require a special effort on her side? She's a ghost, right? And she floats around without problems... And walks through solid walls as well. Does she even have a physical form at all?
No, wait. She has to. Otherwise, you wouldn't feel her enormous breasts on your back. You wouldn't feel her arms caressing your chest lightly as her hot breath brushes against your cheek.
Still, it's... complicated...
Why does she...
"Mmm? A prize, you say?" her voice sounds unexpectedly calm and erotic. Combined with her closeness and touch... It's not going to end well... Definitely, it's not going to end well if it keeps up like this... "What kind of praze would you like to receive, I wonder?"
[ ] "What seems to be appropriate to you, Mima."
[ ] "Your body. I'll be taking it."
[ ] "For starters, how about giving me a kiss?"
[ ] "Information. I need information."
[ ] "Show me love."