[X] "Oh, I'm sure we can come up with something... But there's another person I need to apologize to as well. Where's Mima?"
"Oh," you try to sound as calm as possible "I'm sure we can come up with something... But that's a thing for tomorrow, I'm afraid."
Reimu's eyes narrow, seemingly disappointed about your answer. What is she...
"What is it that's urgent enough to make you forget about the pissed off Hakurei standing before you?"
Her voice has a mocking lining to it, altough, just like her eyes, the leading emotion is disappointment. Why is she disappointed? What was she expecting you to do? Pick up a fight? Offer her money? Or perhaps...
"I'm afraid there's another person I need to apologize to." you shake off the weird thoughts and state flatly "I owe her at least an apology for what has happened."
"Oh. So I am not the only one whose feelings you've been messing with?"
"This sarcasm is uncalled for, Reimu. With her, it's more serious. Where's Mima?"
"Mima? You owe Mima an apology? What have you done to her?" you can't help but notice a hint of amusement in her tone. As if she couldn't believe your words.
"Nonono, wait. You owe HER an apology? Listen, if you're joking--"
"I'm not." this time you're the one to interrupt her "I seriously need to apologize. I've seen what I probably shouldn't have seen. And she was visibly bothered by that. So I need to apologize."
"Mima? Bothered by something?" Reimu chuckles "Sorry, but I don't think I can believe you. The only thing Mima can be bothered by is the lack of food in my fridge." she chuckles again.
Damn it. It's true. What she's saying is true. Even if your meeting was a short and abrupt one, she did have that kind of aura. Mischievous, playful, carefree. After all, isn't a ghost's life just like that? Not having to worry about earthly needs and troubles...
But she truly was sad. Worried about you. Worried that you've seen... That dream...
Was it really a dream?
"Listen, if you're trying to escape from my wrath, you're on a bad way. Think up a better excuse. That being said, I repeat my question." she narrows her eyes again "What are you going to do to make up for this?"
Again, that threatening tone and gaze.
Damn it. She totally dismissed all you've said. This egoistic....
[ ] "I have to fucking idea, Hakurei. Why don't YOU come up with something if you're so smart?!"
[ ] "I am telling the truth damnit! Where's Mima?!"
[ ] "Alright. I get it. If it's a fight you seek, it's a fight you get. Let's get on with the hassle."
[ ] "I'll show you something only a man can do.", then proceed
[ ] "Money, is it? I guess I can come up with a way of getting more."
[x] "I have no fucking idea, Hakurei. Why don't YOU come up with something if you're so smart?!"
[x] "I am telling the truth damnit! Where's Mima?!"
"Listen to me!" you catch Reimu's shoulder. She doesn't even flinch when you bring her closer to you. Only a vicious smile stretches her lips. "I have no fucking idea what could I do to make up for this. Hell, I don't even know what you'd want! Why don't YOU come up with something if you're so smart?!"
She shoves your arms off her shoulders, then backs off a little.
"For starters, don't touch me." she dusts off the spot in which you've been holding her, as if you left some kind of dirt there. "I would like to remind you, that it is only for your generous donation earlier that you're still here. Don't strain my patience."
"I have no time for this."
"Of course you don't. You're so very busy with your own... things." she shakes her head and palms her face. Then lets out a troubled sigh "Seriously, what the hell were you doing..."
"That's a sudden change of attitude there."
"I suppose so. Guess I can't really be angry with you."
"Wait, what. You were on the verge of beating the shit out of me just a moment ago." She smiles. This time it's quite a normal smile. A warm one, you'd say, if it wasn't for her... strange gaze. It's... Unsettling. You'd rather have her furious than like this.
"I guess I was. But wouldn't keeping this up mean basically confirming your words? Egoistic, self-centered, uncaring." she recitates those words with that smile still on her face. Not a hint of change in her tone. "You're my guest. Moreso, you've donated a considerable amount of money to my shrine. Perhaps, thanks to you, I'll be able to live on for a few days without worrying about next day's breakfast. How can I be angry with you under such circumstances?"
No. There's something wrong. That change of attitude, there is something off. Wasn't she literally furious just a minute ago? What the hell. This isn't right.
"I... guess you can't." you let out a weak response. Smile doesn't leave Reimu's face for even a moment.
"See?" god, that smile is making you extremely insecure. Why? Why is it? Stop smiling. Stop smiling, goddamnit! "Anyway, you're right. I should've thought of something myself. So, tomorrow morning, you are going to help me out."
That smile... That smile...
"Tomorrow, you're going to help me out."
"Oh, it wouldn't be fun if I just told you now, would it?"
This smile... This smile... She's planning something. Something painful. Or embarassing. Or both.
But this is no time to be worrying. There are still things to do today.
"Alright." you exclaim, straightening your back. Loud cracks echoe down the corridor. "I get it. I'll do it. I'll do it, so tell me. Where's Mima?"
"You're still clinging onto that lie?"
"It's not a lie, goddamnit!" you yell out. Reimu remains unfazed, staring at you with mild amusement. "I don't know what it was exactly, but I really owe her an apology! So please. I'm asking you here, Reimu!"
"Really." she shakes her head again. Looks like she finally understood the weight of the situation. "If you are saying truth, then I don't know what it was you did, but it had to be one hellishly ridiculous act. As I said, I've never seen Mima bothered by anything. But," she shrugs "I have to disappoint you. I have no idea. Mima is a ghost, and even I don't know what she does at night."
Finally erasing that smile off her face, Reimu puts her hands on her waist, looking at you, seemingly waiting for your response.
Is she... lying? No, she has no motive. After all, Mima is her friend, and even Reimu wouldn't do anything to hurt her friend. And refusing to betray the... location...
The memories of that gaping hole in the ground, skeletal hands pulling you down inside, into that dark abyss...
No, it couldn't be that she...
To that lonely place...
Why would she...
You say out loud. This is ridiculous. Ghost's life should be as you described it before. Carefree, not bound by the earthly worries and troubles. Besides, why would she want to return to that place? To her... Resting place... To sleep... Regenerate strength...
No. This cannot. Be. This. Is. Simply. Ridiculous.
"Heh." you smirk at the thought. It's ridiculous. Ridiculous, right? There is no reason for her to return there. It's just a stupid premonition, supported by no facts and proofs at all.
That's silly. You're the one making things up. And those things make you feel bad. And worry. What's the point. What's the point of this?
"There's no point."
Your own voice brings you back from the sea of thoughts. Yeah, this is nonsensical. There's no point thinking about it like that. Even if she is a ghost, Mima still has to have some humanly habits and instinctive reactions. For sure, she's sleeping somewhere in the shrine...
"You're talking to yourself, you know that?" Reimu exclaims, with her arms crossed on her chest, tapping her forearm with one finger. "And totally ignoring what I say."
"Was I?" you theatrically scratch your head "I guess I was. Sorry. I'm kinda worried about something."
"Mima? No point. She's a ghost, let her enjoy her freedom. I'm sure she'll come back for breakfast."
"You may be saying that..."
"Trust me." You can't help but believe her words. Why would she be lying? She's right. Mima will return, no doubt about it. You sigh. "If that is all, then I guess our talk is over. I am going back to sleep. You should too. And do it silently, would you kindly?"
With that, Reimu takes off in the direction of her room, leaving you in this dark corridor.
[ ] "Wait a moment."
-subvote [ ] "Goodnight."
-subvote [ ] "You forgot something.", then hug her
[ ] "..."
-subvote [ ] Just go to sleep
-subvote [ ] Look for Mima. After all, you won't be able to sleep without seeing her.
-subvote [ ] Get a breather before returning. Fresh air is always good.
>>13087 I don't know why you apologize, i like it.
It seems that you changed your writing and style, improving something here and there.
You did take all those comments serious in the other Thread.
Keep it up.
Yeah, but because of that I have been left without ideas for this in-game night. On the bright side, I am planning to bring psycho and wacky action without worrying about psychosis levels too much. I enjoyed writing both TS1 and BKC with wacky Naya, I shouldn't have removed them in the first place. TS33.5 was an useless path, only good for it's incest.
>>13092 >I enjoyed writing both TS1 and BKC with wacky Naya, I shouldn't have removed them in the first place.
Fuck yes, back to the roots. You should look at all the routes that you did, and judge what was good and what was bad, what you liked and disliked and try to bring as much of this back now.
Writing non stop must have tired you out and left you with no ideas.
I don't mind if i take a week or longer to think up of something again.
[X] Get a breather before returning. Fresh air is always good.
You can only watch in silence as she disappears behind a corner. Altough before that... Maybe it was only an illusion, but... You think that she sent you a weird glance. Just before taking that turn.
"... no way, right?"
'I may not be as violent as you think I am.'
That's what she said. But still... She has just proved that she is. This is too confusing. Her bipolar personality is confusing. Her words are confusing. Her actions are confusing.
Was it her intent? To confuse you?
That damn woman. What is she thinking....
Still, at least now you're sure of one thing. Desperately, you need some fresh air. The mess in your head needs some tending. And there's no tending to painful confusion without fresh air. Which is outside. Not in here. How clever.
With a sigh, you direct your steps towards what you think is the nearest exit.
Finally. Cold breeze. Fresh air. A surge of energy for your broken mind.
The front yard. Looks like your search guided you near the main entrance. And, from what you can remember, your room is in the back. Huh. It surely didn't feel like you strolled that far from it... Even if you WERE running, it still didn't feel even a bit tiring. Weird.
Letting your body fall down on the wooden steps, you take a few deep breaths.
:FAST FORWARDING MEMORY TO A MORE RECENT ONE:
How many minutes has it been? Ten? Twenty? Fifty? Maybe it's been an hour already. Or two.
You remain laying on the steps. Staring at the starlit sky. So many constelations... And every single one is unknown to you. A foreign firmament.
Well, isn't that obvious? This is a diffirent country. Bah, a diffirent world, even. It's a given that it would have...
You knew all that. Yet, you decided to enter this world, despite all the cultural differences. Why was it again? What was your reason for all his hassle? What was that voice that made you search for every single bit of avilable information about Gensokyo? Curiosity? A longing for an adventure, perhaps?
Heh, and here you are. Not only a day you've spent here, and the things have already been messed up. First Wriggle, then Mima. And now the whole ordeal with Reimu. Tommorow's not going to be a calm day either. Seeing that Reimu has something in mind for you...
A few more minutes pass. Your mind is occupied with recollecting images from the day, categorizing them, putting them on right shelves in the library of your memories. Hugging Wriggle - good memory. Talking with Suika - good memory. Mima embracing you from behind - good memory. Embracing Reimu against her will - good memory. And then, the bad ones. Nutcracker, Reimu punch, and that dream...
You smirk. One day. It makes you fear what tommorow will bring.
Suddenly, your vision of the starlit sky gets interrupted. Two glowing points, a bit bigger than the rest of the stars begin to move around, twirling, getting bigger, bigger... Or rather, closer. Descending from the air.
Two lightbugs. Circling around you, for no particular reason. Weird. Don't they usually come in greater numbers?
But, this is Gensokyo. Those could be disguised youkai for all you know. Or other sort of some jacked up stuff.
[ ] "Hello."
[ ] Catch one of them and examine it
[ ] Reach your hand out to them, see if they sit on it
[ ] "Well, well. What do we have here? A cute pair, aren't you?"
[x] Reach your hand out to them, see if they sit on it
But... Nah, can't be. There aren't shape-shifting youkai from what you know. Besides, this is the Hakurei Shrine. No youkai in it's sanity would stroll around these grounds. Unless it's Reimu's friend. Which is quite unlikely for any being in this world. Of course, there are some exceptions, but they only confirm the principle. And those two...
Led by an unknown impulse, you mutter a greeting to the bugs. Silly, isn't it? But still, they seem a bit familiar... Like you've seen them somewhere before... Or felt...
No. Impossible. Fireflies are a rare occurence in the outside world, and to an ordinary human, they look all the same. Perhaps, that's because they look familiar.
Those two miniature living lamps circle around your head. It would be annoying if it wasn't so absorbing... One circle... Two circles... Three circles...
Around the fourty third, you feel a strange urge again. Your arm, almost automatically, reaches up, towards those two circling bugs...
You can't help but wonder if they'll sit on it. It's highly unlikely, but... It's almost like children trying to get a ladybug to sit on their hand. A similiar feeling.
".... come on."
Your lips mutter out an encouraging (at least in theory) exclamation. Just a few centimeters and...
Then they break their circling flight. Separating, as if scared, they quickly escape from your sight, zig-zagging around, as if to avoid getting traced.
You remain laying with your hand outstretched for a while longer before letting it fall down. With a sigh, you reflect on your silliness. Children and ladybugs, huh? Maybe it's the same... Maybe you want to catch a certain bug as well...
More time passes in silence. It has to be long after midnight by now.
You stand up and direct your steps back inside the shrine.
And to your room.
Unchanged from your last visit. No one is waiting on your matress, anxiously greeting your suprised face. Well, what were you hoping for?
Only now you can feel the weariness get to your muscles. Either it's the atmosphere of this room, naturally giving out a bedroom-ish feeling, or just that you were distracted enough not to think about it until now.
Well, it's not like you have anything against giving in...
With a muffled groan, you fall onto the matress.
Overthrowing blackness quickly seeps into your mind.
The last thought before falling asleep that crosses your mind is...
>>13092 >TS33.5 was an useless path, only good for it's incest.
I don't want to divert this thread into tangential areas, but I have to say that I liked it a lot, even besides the mother-fucking & GODDAMMIT YUKARI. The Renko interaction was really good. If you gave her a back-story to explain her star reading ability, and gave her some progression either taking the knife training further (letting her apply calculation skill to battle) or allowing her ability to develop into h4x (something astrological or physics based; e.g., relativity or quantum fuckery, string manipulation, anti-magic field, ASTROLOGY SIGN 「GALAXY STOP」, ASTRONOMY SIGN 「ULTRAVIOLET CATASTROPHE」, etc.).
Wings. A pair of wings. Isn't that a symbol of freedom? A pair of wings, allowing the owner to roam the world freely, without obstructions, above all the other things. High in the sky, not worrying about the little humans below, every single one, busy with his own troubles, his life... Everyday routine. A pair of wings. A tool, or perhaps, a gate leading to an unrestrained freedom. Flying has always been a sign of it. Humans, ever since they left their caves, have always been obsessed with flight. Observing, learning, decades after decades. Finally, some of them, very creative ones, constructed something that allowed them to escape the earthly bonds, even if it was for only a while.
But in this world... Where people can fly just like that, without even having to use wings, are they still a symbol of freedom? Wouldn't they be rather a nuisance, if it's possible to fly without them?
And so, that girl, isn't she troubled by it all?
So she has wings, but can't use them to escape...
Isn't it sad?
'Shut up... You're annoying... Let me sleep, for fuck's sake...'
'I told you, shut up... I'm trying to sleep here...'
"Wake up! For fuck's sake, wake up!"
Someone's hands shake your shoulders, making your hands hit against the floor beside your matress like some kind of rag doll.
You open your eyes. Only to be greeted by a sight you'd rather never be greeted up when waking up. That is, Reimu's pissed off face. Or rather, you would like to wake up to it, only less... angry. And not above you. And not shaking your shoulders. And not screaming. No, you'd rather have her wake up beside you, preferably without clothes. Yeah, that's a nice thought, isn't it? Then let us fall asleep with that image carved onto your mind...
"DON'T FALL ASLEEP!"
Shake, shake, shake.
And your hands hit the floor again. It hurts.
"Wamhtw do ya whumft..."
Your chapped lips mutter out a barely legible question. What the hell does she want so early in the morning... And why aren't you suprised by her presence here in the first place?
Ah, right. You're in Gensokyo. And on the first night here, you didn't get much sleep. Because many things happened. First that, then that...
"You gonna wake up or not, lazyass?!"
"Imf awhake. Awhake weally."
The shaking ceases. What a relief. Your hands were starting to get sore.
"Awake... I hope so. We're going out, so get changed and go wash your face or something."
"Yeah, you promised to help me, right? Then let's get going." She stands up and approaches the door. "I have something to do before we leave though. I'll be waiting in the dining room. I guess you already know where it is. And DON'T" she emphasizes that word "You dare to fall asleep again."
She slides the door close. Her hurried footsteps slowly fade away as she gets farther from your beautiful sleeping chamber.
What an abrupt and unpleasant awakening. But yeah, she's right. You promised to help her, and it's entirely your fault for staying up so late. Well, it's not like you could do anything about it, not feeling tired at all and stuff...
With a groan, you stand up. She told you to get changed... But do you have any clothes to change into?
[ ] Disregard that, take your stuff, go wash your face.
[ ] Cupboard?
[ ] It's not like it's important to get changed. Go to the bathroom.
>>she grins viciously "You are right, irritant. I never intended to kill you. But neither do I intend to let it slip just like that."
"I hope you enjoyed your little rebellion, irritant. But remember, what Reimu gives she is more than able to take away."
"Look at you, Anonymous. A pathetic creature of meat and bone, panting and sweating as you run through my shrine. How can you challenge a perfect, immortal miko?"
In this half-awake state, you look down at your clothes. Come to think of it,you haven't seen your 'outsider's' garment since yesterday, when you 'returned' after 'collecting' the donations... Where the hell are those clothes? And why are you wearing this white-blue kimono? It's not like it's uncomfortable or anything, but...
No, actually, if it wasn't for sweat and smell, you'd probably enjoy the looseness of it... But yeah, now it feels kinda sticky&icky, due to all the things that happened yesterday... All that running...
Your face feels dirty as well. And so does your mouth. Thick saliva makes it hard to breathe. How long you've slept for? Three hours? One thing's for sure, it was WAY too short to rest your tired muscles and mind. That damn miko... What time is it anyway? Hell, it could as well be early in the morning for all you know.
Still switching between conscious and unconscious states, you approach the cupboard.
Inside, two things catch your attention. Your backpack and a set of red clothes, probably a kimono as well. Why does she keep those here? Oh, wait. Guests' bedrooms. Perhaps it was a custom in earlier generations of Hakurei bloodline to offer a guest a room and a set of fresh clothes. Huh. Well, might as well escape those uncomfortable and stinky ones and wear something else.
You grab both your backpack and red clothes and shuffle out the room, directing your steps towards the nearest bathroom. Which would be...
Damn it, where is the nearest bathroom?
After a few minutes of searching, you find one. A small one, with only a sink and a shower cabinet, all in, unsuprisingly, old-looking style, wood being the main material. You try turning the tap, and lo and behold, to your suprise, a stream of cold water comes out of the metal pipe above the sink.
"Woo. What a nice invention."
Without delays, you splash your face with water.
In the end, you took a short shower and put on the red clothes. Practically identical to those you were wearing earlier, only diffirent in colour. Bottom part is dark navy blue, while the shirt is bloody red. At least it's not pink. It still reminds you of a bathing robe for some reason.
You pick the knives from the old set and hang them on your current garment's belt. Then try moving around a little. Uh, huh. Good. No restrictions at all. Though you'd rather have them in pockets than hanging on the belt, you still can access them easily in case of a sudden need.
Taking a last look in the mirror, you grab the backpack.
"Wait a moment..."
What is it that men do when in bathroom in the morning? Shave. But you don't need that. At least yet. Take a shower. Done. Wash their face. Done. Use a deodorant.
"It is time to do what has to be done!"
With a ridiculous exlamation, you reach inside the backpack and take out the mysterious perfumes. Hell, it's not even a deodorant, but it'll have to suffice. After all, it's not about the smell itself but about the principle, right?
So, you spray one dose of the blueish substance on your chest.
"Sssmokin'!" throwing the flask up, you make a 360 degrees spin and aim your fingers at your reflection in the mirror. "Check please. BANG!"
At the same time you 'shoot' the reflection, flask falls into your backpack without a noise. Perfect.
Refreshed, filled with new energy, you storm down the corridors, towards the meeting place. Dining room, that is.
And approaching the door, you open it with a loud thump.
"Na-Na-Na-Na-Nanaya tank! Rrrrrready to roll!"
Reimu almost chokes on her tea as you enter the room, waving cheerfully, spouting out random nonsense.
With a scowl, she puts down her cup as you take a seat on the opposite side of the table.
She wipes her lips with a sleeve. Huh. Now that you look at her, she's back in the usual red-and-white miko outfit. Are those like her everyday clothes? Well, at least she sleeps in another garment. Damn, it has to take ages to tie those ribbons.
"You're awfully cheerful compared to how you were after I woke you up."
"Am I?" you chuckle "Well, let's say a shower can do miracles with tired man's soul."
"Really." she frowns. For a few seconds she remains like this, then sighs. "Whatever. It's not my business. Anyways, there are some sandwiches in the kitchen for you. I can't have you running around doing tasks with an empty stomach, now can I? Go grab 'em, you'll eat on our way there."
"And 'there' would be?"
"Isn't that obvious?" she grins "Human village, of course."
Three minutes later the two of you are standing in the front yard of the shrine. While you are gulping down the last remains of your breakfast, Reimu takes out a small purse and hands it to you.
"Money." she answers before you even ask "And a shopping list. You're going to buy all the things listed and then wait for me in a place specified."
You nod. Well, it should be easy enough, right? Unless, she's hiding something...
"For now, yes it is. Alright, we should get going now." she reaches out her hand to you "Paw."
"Give me your hand. We're going to fly."
You choke on the thought. Fly? Like, high above the treetops? What if she drops you by an accident? Or on purpose? Yeah, prospect of flying is tempting, but the unexpected consequences could be... unpleasant, to say the least.
"Fly. You know, in the air? Fly?"
"I understand, but... Eh, whatever."
Your grab her hand and squeeze tightly.
Without warning, she takes off. With a momentum of a bullet being shot from a carabine, she launches herself in the air, dragging your screaming figure behind her.
"Woaaaaaaah!" Your frightened yells quickly become excited ones as the fear fades out, substituted by the overwhelming feeling of being high above everything else. "Yeaah!"
You glance up at Reimu. She seems to be enjoying herself as well. A wide smile stretches her face, her black hair fluttering behind her, whipping the air with each gust of wind.
The feeling is...
Some people... No, MOST people from the outside world would probably pay millions just to feel like this for once. The sole awareness of the world beneath your feet is enough to make you feel enthusiastic about life.
"Hold on tightly!"
Reimu's voice breaks through the humming of the air, reminding you of the obvious need to hold onto her hand.
"Now you tell me!" your excited voice sounds quiet, faced with the loud buzzing "Didn't you say just yesterday that I'm not allowed to touch you?"
"Hahahaha!" she laughs "Try doing anything dirty and we'll see how much you love earth!"
You can't help but shake involuntarily at her cheerful, but totally serious statement.
After a few minutes, a large opening in the endless majesty of the Forest Of Magic enters your view. A ridiculously large, probably human-made meadow. On it, tens of houses, of various styles, and a field of what looks like some kind of corn-growing.
"I'm going to drop you here!" Reimu's voice turns your attention back to her "After you're done, wait until noon and meet me under the stinky moose!"
Your question gets cut off by her shout. And next second...
Her hand is gone.
She let go of you! High above the village, she simply decided to drop you down like a bag of stones!
You're falling. Straight down, towards a big house with a thatched roof. You're going to die. For sure, you're going to die. A fall from this height, it's going to end it death for sure.
What was she thinking? What the hell was she thinking, dropping you down like that?
"I HAVE NO REGRETS!"
With that shout, your body hits the roof. Which, being probably very weak in the first place, exposed to your impact simply broke and let your body fall further down.
Straight into a hay rick.
You're alive. Ridiculously startled, with your heart on the verge of exploding, but alive. With difficulty, you lift yourself up from the hay and look around.
"Pfeh." Some of it got inside your mouth. And clothes. Damn it. "Hello."
Greeting a curiously-looking horse to your right, you start cleaning your clothes from the itching crap. Seems like you landed in a barn of sorts. Altough there is only one animal here, this surely is a barn. No doubt about it.
'Thank god for that hay stack' you sigh in thoughts.
Finally, last straw of the yellow irritant is gone from your clothes and hair.
"Excuse me for my sudden intrusion."
Giving the horse a polite apology, you leave the barn.
:FAST FORWARDING MEMORY TO A MORE RECENT ONE:
There aren't many people in the village. Perhaps, it's due to the early hour of you arrival, but only a few people pass you as you make your way towards what looked like a central square from above. With resignation, you take out the purse and pull out the shopping list.
"What the hell." It's all in japanese. The damn miko assumed you'd know the accursed moonrunes good enough to read what she wrote! Great! Now you're fucked! "Goddamnit!"
As you're about to throw it out though, something changes. Letters blur out, dissolve in a shapeless mass of black and white, then...
Rearrange themselves, forming lines in pure english. As weird as it was, you can't help but feel thankful for this sudden... Hm, miracle?
It must be another magical trick of Gensokyo. Or something along these lines.
This simple line, written in neat, tidy letters opens the list. Beneath it, a whole list of groceries and drinks. What is she, organising a party or what? Didn't she say yesterday that she's practically broke? Oh, but then again, she has the money from your 'donation'...
-PS. Don't forget to buy flowers!-
The bottom line looks weird, compared to the other ones, every single one stating a name of something to eat or drink.
[ ] Get on with the work, groceries first
[ ] Get on with the work, flowers first
[ ] Stroll around the village, work can wait
"Excuse me sir. Could you point me in the direction of the nearest field of sunflowers and other assorted flowers? Additionally I would like to purchase some seeds, fertilizer, and a steel plate formed to fit over my groan for protection."
Alright. She wrote 'don't forget to buy flowers'. That means, you can't forget to buy them. Then the best course of action would be to buy them now, before you forget.
Well then, flowers shop would be...
Damnit, another thing you totally overlooked! This village, you have never seen it before! How the hell are you supposed to know the directions? Well, it looks like you'll have to ask someone...
Resignated, you look around. Unfortunately, not a single living soul is to be seen around.
On a bench, in front of a dragon statue, just in the middle of the square, a lone girl is sitting, immersed in lecture. She doesn't look for more than 16 years old, hell, if it wasn't for her traditional getup, she could pass off as a child. Her eyes carefully scan the book's pages from under her purple hair, line after line. She's really absorbed, it seems. Completely oblivious to her surroundings. Including a black cat sitting beside her, looking at her in anticipation.
The scene is weird to say the least. It could be called hilarious, since the cat's expression is really funny, but you're not exactly in a mood for laughing right now.
[ ] She'll have to suffice, greet her
[ ] Look for someone more reliable, besides, it would be rude to interrupt her like that
[ ] Do something flashy
[x] Look for someone more reliable, besides, it would be rude to interrupt her like that
There's no certainty that she knows the directions and... Well, it would be simply rude to interrupt her like that. Besides, that cat is suspicious. Definitely, there is something wrong with it. The way it looks at the girl with that weird expression... And not moving at all...
You frown at the scene. Hilarious? No, this is just peculiar. Better to depart from here before something strange happens.
The girl turns a page. You treat that as a signal to escape.
Now then, there aren't many possibilities left. It's either a random passerby or some of those armed men you've seen on your way here. Town guards? Probably. It would feet the image after all. Every generic village in medieval-fantasy setting needs a Watch, right? A legion of polite but nosy guards that scream things about nine divines or criminal scum all the time. Yeah, this could be it. And seeing that this IS a village in Gensokyo, it would be only logical to provide some sort of protection for villagers in case of an attack. Not that they would stand much chance against a youkai, but still, at least it makes the villagers feel a bit safer.
"Excuse me." A voice from behind almost makes you jump out. So sudden, and you were lost in thought as well. Slowly, you turn around, only to see... "Can I ask you a question?"
Before you, a short, bah, ridiculously short man stands, with a polite expression on his face. He eagerly awaits your response. You can't shake off the feeling that you've seen him somewhere before. Yeah, his green vest and yellowish shirt are really familiar...
You're too confused to think of any other response than an unsure agreement.
"Great! You know, not many people here are ready to help a random passerby!" wow, he cheered up just because you agreed to listen to him... "You see, I lost something and couldn't find it since yesterday. I suspect that one of the guards, that filthy Julian stole it!"
His eyebrows frown in anger. Woah, what the hell is he getting at? This is weird, he doesn't even know you! Are all the people here that outgoing? Or is he some sort of a weirdo, going around and asking random people about... his lost thing?
"Uh, I think I could help, but... I can't if I don't know... uh..."
This is really awkward. Seriously. What the hell.
"Ah, right!" he slaps his forehead "Now that you mention it, I haven't told you what I lost! Really, how silly of me!" he slaps his forehead again. You have problems with mantaining a straight face but bravely resist the urge to freak out. "I lost a ring! Could you help me find it?"
[ ] "And your name would be...?"
[ ] "I'm sorry, I have no time for this."
[ ] "I haven't seen any... rings here. Say, which way do I take to get to the flower shop?"
I'll be damned if I let that bullshit happen to me again. Nothing irritates me more than realizing I have a bunch of Elixirs and the like leftover after beating the final boss just because I was too cautious to use them when they would have helped.
[X] "I haven't seen any... rings here. Say, which way do I take to get to the flower shop?"
"Nay, sir." finally collecting your thoughts, you try to answer as politely as possible. This guy's face is asking for a beating, but hell, the consequences could be unpleasant if someone unrelated would see you smashing a villager's head to a bloody pulp. "I cannot say I have seen any rings, and therefore the one you speak of remains a mystery to me as well. My sincerest apologies, but I'm afraid I am unable to help you in your search."
"Oh." he mumbles, disappointed at your negative response. Well, what was he expecting? Picking up a random passerby and trying to get them to search for his precious, lost thing... That's an ineffective method, to say the least. "Well then, I shall be going. Peace and order, stranger."
He's about to take his leave, but you interrupt him by catching his shoulder. He turns around in suprise.
"Excuse me, but I wanted to ask you a question as well." you apologize and go straight to the point. Not waiting for his response, you continue "I am new here. To say the truth, I have just arrived. My question is an obvious one. Directions. I need to get to a few places and I don't know the way. Give me some hints, would you kindly?"
A few minutes later, you'r storming down a street, still repeating his instructions in your thoughts. To the flower shop, go sraight, turn left in the market district, then look for a small building with an appropriate caption on it's signboard. Simple as that. Same for the grocery shop. All of them are in the market street. As for the 'Stinky Moose' thing, it turned out to be a rundown tavern on the edge of the village. Supposedly a place when all the poor people gather to get drunk and brawl. No wonder Reimu would choose that place to meet up with you...
"There it is."
You almost missed it, but finally, you have reached your destination. The flower shop.
A veritable opera of scents brutally invades your nostrils, each and every single one being an original taste and sound. Whoever said flowers can't express emotions was wrong. For instance, all those scents here make you rather irritated. That means either they are meant to work like that, or it's just an unwanted side-effect.
"Hello?" The dark interior somehow clashes with the cheerful aura of all the flowers gathered inside. Their numbers make it hard to move around as well. "Is someone there?"
A noise sounds somewhere in the back, followed by a few hurried footsteps, and from the darkness before you, a lone figure emerges. A bit shorter than you, hunched. It's every step is a shuffling one. Without a doubt, standing before you...
"Yes? How may I help you?"
An old man in a ragged kimono looks at you, scratching his chin under a ridiculously long beard.
"I.. ah, yes." you regain your composture and stop staring rudely at the shopkeeper. "I wanted to buy flowers."
"That's why you're here, right boy?" he smiles. Or rather, you guess he smiles, because you can't see his lips beneath the thicket of his facial hair. "Say, do you like flowers?"
[ ] "Uh, yes?"
[ ] "No. A friend asked me to buy some."
[ ] "Flowers are not for liking, o wise sage. They are objects, serving merely our needs, our sense of beauty. While it is true that without them, our lives would be sad and grey, I can't say I 'like' them. Not in a strict sense."
[ ] "Flowers are the factor that gives the world a happier face. Indeed, I do like them. Why?"
[X] "Flowers are the factor that gives the world a happier face. Indeed, I do like them. Why?"
"Flowers, my dear conversant, are the factor that gives the world a happier face. To neglect their beauty and compassionate gifts is to refuse and throw aside your humanity, becoming no more than a mere animal, a hollow shell of one's previous being in the abyss of oblivion. Therefore, indeed, I do like them. Whyever do you ask?"
The man smiles again from under the enormous beard.
"I knew you'd be a brotherly soul. Not many people come here to buy flowers. Bah, not many people come here at all. But let's get to business, shall we? What will it be?"
He's right. Time is of an essence if you are to meet Reimu at the predestinied time. And you might be able to steal some of it to stroll around the village and enjoy the sights as well, if you hurry up. So, to make it quick...
"I shall let the expert arramge the bouquets."
"And the occassion?"
"A party, I guess. A friendly gathering of fellow souls, ready to immerse in a world of earthly pleasures."
"With all due haste."
The shopkeeper takes out a few flowers, and using an old-school wicker as the base, composes a neat-looking three dimensional painting, emanating a strong scent, well-defined, despite all the other scents around. Surely, a masterpiece of a master at work. You were never into this kind of stuff, but even for a laic like you, his work looks magnificiently diligent. He treats all the flowers as if they were sentient beings, which they, after all are. Gently caressing their petals, he carefully wraps them together in colorful strands, then sticks them in the wicker.
Finally, the work is done, and standing before you, there's a piece of true art, in both looks and smell, emanating with beauty.
The man smiles, then dusts off his hands in a theatrical gesture saying 'that was one hell of a work, but it was worth it'.
You can't hide your rapture over this complicated creation.
"There aren't many people able to perceive the beauty of flora. All I did was mix a few ordinary species, and viola." he bows "From the ordinance, a true art is born."
You find yourself clapping at his little show. Truly, this man is a wise one. He does what he loves, and loves what he does. A true artist, of a true art.
"Thank you, thank you."
The man smiles at you again, then lifts up the basket, handing it to you.
"About the payment--"
"Don't worry." he interrupts you "I recognize a connoisseur when I see him. And it would be simply rude to demand a pay from someone like you. Take it. Free of charge."
"But of course you can!" he pats you on the shoulder in a friendly fashion "Besides, my old friend will be most delighted to hear that there still are ones who can admire the beauty of nature."
Faced with his assuring smile (or again, a shadow of a smile, hidden under the white beard), you can't find the words to refuse. As much as he deserves the most valuable pay, you can't bring yourself to refuse his offer.
Muttering and apology, you approach the door, carrying the basket in one hand.
"Come again, if you're close by!"
"I'll make sure to."
Back on street. Immersed in the amazing show of creation, you haven't noticed the passage of time. Streets gradually get flooded with more and more people, every single one heading towards his own destination. You too, have your own target. A place where you want to go. And that place is...
[ ] Shops? (specify)
[ ] Central square
[ ] Get back to work
No messing around. To evoke Reimu's rage is to reject the benevolence of a devil that granted you a roof and food in this unfriendly world. She chooses, you have to obey, no way to get around that.
Sighting with renunciation, you throw the playful urges aside and take off in the direction pointed by that peculiar ring-seeker you've met and exchanged a word with earlier. What was his name again? Come to think of it, did he even introduce himself?
:FAST FORWARDING MEMORY TO A MORE RECENT ONE:
An hour or so later, you are strolling down a street, laden with the weight of a feast, suitable to be served to at least a dozen of glutonous persons. You are starting to ponder, if, by an unfortunate chance, Reimu has miscalculated something and wrote incorrect amounts of each article you were supposed to acquire.
The amount of money you had was just enough to buy all of them, but still, a shadow of uncertaintity remains, lingering in your thoughts. But, wouldn't she be reluctant to giving you an amount of money larger than you required? Therefore, her calculations had to be exact, not to let you go with any spare money to spend on your own whims. What a self-centered person she is, that Reimu Hakurei.
Wherefore are you anyway, grumpy miko? Whatever could you be doing while your slave works his muscles off, bearing the unsaid weight of your future feast on his own shoulders?
Noon is approaching.
Perhaps, there are a few minutes left before the predestinied time, perhaps, if you looked in the purse again, there would be some spare coins to serve your own needs in this time of dire need...
Dire need of what?
[ ] A need of summoning thyself into the place of meeting
[ ] A need of buying a distinguished alcohol, or steal, if there's not enough of noisy rings
[ ] A need to find the ring
If Yuuka is there when we walk in, it will have been helpful. We might not have gotten the chance to slip away and put it on after getting back. We don't need to have her clinging to us for six hours anyway, just long enough for us to have a pleasant introduction.
Unless she just tears our pants off and tries to fuck us on the spot, but I somehow don't see that happening.
[X] A need of summoning thyself into the place of meeting
A need of abiding by the vicious shrine maiden's orders. The tasks have been completed, all but one, the one telling you to meet your host at the place of meeting discussed earlier. Best course of action would be to attend the arranged meeting. After all, you certainly do not want to enrage the miko.
Well then, the tavern ough to be in this direction...
Entering the smoke-filled interior you immidiately turn disgusted by the sight. If there ever was a definition of a mediocre, rundown second-grade drinking hole, this would be it. Albeit relatively atractive from the outside, the inside completely ruins the impression. You'd spit on the floor, but there's no point in giving the keeper a free cleaning service.
Why have you chosen such a place, Reimu? For sure, you would not like to be seen with a man parading around the village, but still, this is simply taking it too far. After all, this is not the only place on the outskirts that could serve as a meeting spot.
Unless, you are doing this solely to torment your humble guest. In which case, you deserve a first-class wigging.
Whatever may it be, you have made your decision. And the resolve of a man is more than enough to bear with the dense air and suspicious company. You intend to test me, Hakurei! Let it be so! I shall show you the willpower of Seven Nights!
An hour or so passes in silence. Relative one at least, as your companions seemingly aren't familiar with the concept of 'silent drinking'. Excited shouts every now and again pierce the stale air, calling for either more beer or less money to play for each tankard.
What an uncivilised group. Don't they know? Alcohol is like a curse, but at the same time, a blessing, slowly seeping into every single smallest cell of the body, making the fortunate drinker acces his deeply hidden beds of precious ore, called 'courage' and 'wit'? Foolishness! This is not how you're supposed to drink!
Their ignorance shall not slip unnoticed! Your rage! It's reaching it's zenith! By defiling the magnificiente of drinking art, those three, they have brought down a divine retribution upon their heads! Those dunderheads shall meet your little friends! And become VERY close friends with them! Let there be punishment!
"Excuse me, gentlemen, may I have your attention please?" The three tramps turn to you like one man, all of them wearing the same annoyed expression. You take a step back and bow politely. "It has come to my attention that your behaviour is a disgrace to all the drunkards in the world." you look up to examine their faces. Unmoving, froze in utter confusion. "Your fierce constraints on all the rules of civilised drinking have made this humble man here," you bow again "Very, and I emphasize that word, VERY angry. Perhaps, if it wasn't for my self control, you'd be already dead on the floor."
The biggest of them three, seemingly the stupidest one as well stands up hastily, knocking over half of the beer cans on the table. Half of them still unemptied, resulting in the golden goodness spilling onto the dirty floor.
"Ya tryin' ta' pick up a fight?"
"My, what a primitive language!" you grimace under his drunk breath "Didn't you mommy teach you how to express yourself properly?"
His face gets even redder, surpassing the border of redness, becoming more livid brown.
His hand reaches for your collar. But you're faster.
"Let us begin the brawl."
Four seconds later, you're carefully dodging simultanous punches from all the three of drunk bums. Their movements, slowed down by alcohol and amateurishness, and your speed, they match evenly, despite your relaxed attitude. You don't even have to pay attention to them. It comes out almost naturally. As if it was a calm dance, step after step, with an everpresent smile on your lips. They're getting deconcentrated. One of them actually tries to flank you. How foolish.
Well, you can as well end this already. And use their 'smart' manouvers to your advantage.
Flashing an insane grin to the nearest one, you whip out a knife and turn 360 degrees in a blink, sweeping the guy behind you off his feet. Before he even falls to the ground, you make a diagonal swing with your arm at the other one, ceasing his attempt to grab your shoulder. With a groan, he flies backwards.
Well then, the last one...
Saying that phrase silently, you grab his head and pull it down, straight onto your lifted knee. Then grabbing his collar, you bring him back to the standing position and prepare a deadly swing...
"What the HELL is going on here?!"
The door to the tavern opens suddenly with a rather loud noise.
The guy in your grasp groans slightly before, using your moment of your inattention, freeing himself from your hand, then running away through the same door that the person entering used just a while ago.
"It's Hakurei! Scram!"
The other two guys you had knocked down earlier yell in unison, and in equally synchronised manner, escape the tavern as well.
You snort with displeasure. No doubt, it's Reimu. At long last, she has decided to show up.
"Took you long enough." Pouting, you observe her carefully as she wades along the dirty floor as if it was a swamp full of deadly traps. What, is she disgusted by the stains of various colours that stand in her way towards your angry figure? "I thought you'd forgotten about me."
"Forgotten?" she jumps over a large stain of what seems to be dried-up vomit. "No, I'd not forget someone who had my money with him."
"You know," you remark, seeing her grimace "You could've chosen a tidier place for meeting if you're so disgusted by the filth."
"And you're not bothered by it one bit?"
"Not really. One cannot live in harmony and order forever. After all, isn't chaos embed in our souls? And it's influence finds reflection in our actions and thoughts, don't you think? You yourself are a very radical example, but so am I. It's better to let the chaos of endless sea of thoughts drive you, and let it catch the rudder sometimes than keep it locked inside, don't you think?"
She takes a final step and stands before you, curiously looking at your face.
"You're drunk, right?"
"No, just feeling poetic."
[ ] "That's right, my red-white princess, poetic." then give her an equally poetic hug
[ ] "That's right, my red-white princess, poetic." then give her an equally poetic kiss on the hand, with a bow and all the rubbish
[ ] "Poetic. I take it that since you're here, we are ready for the journey back? Personally, I am looking forward to another flight under your wings, Reimu Hakurei."
[ ] "It's amazing what a simple trip into another world and time can do to a man's soul. Putting that aside, where have you been? I was slowly getting worried that you'd never come."
With this, I shall take my leave, to rest both my body and soul on the bedding worth a king. After all, my earthly shell needs a break every now and then to mantain a form fit enough to hold the magnificience of my talents inside without corrupting them with the filth of earth.
Therefore, I bow politely and bid you farewell. We shall meet again, Anonymous of /shrine/.