Stale or not, every partipiciant seems to be occupied with her own business. Reimu seems to be enjoying the serenity, Yukari is too busy with drinking and casting you occasional glances, Marisa and Mima are on the verge of breaking into a brawl, both of them convinced about their opinions being more true than the other's ones, Alice... Well, better leave her to her magical slumber. No good can come from messing with her while she's asleep, especially since all the other girls are watching.
"I tell ya!" Marisa slams her fist on the table "Fast moving stars and beams are what it's about!"
"Are you retarded?" Mima replies "Bullets and lasers are superior! Stars? What are you, gay?"
Man, they're noisy... And not only them are the talkative ones it seems. From the other side of the table, comes an endless stream of illegible words. Looks like Suika is trying to tell some sort of a story while being completely drunk. And on Yuuka's shoulders too. Actually, she's practically piggy-back riding her, using her head as a pillow. Yuuka, visibly displeased with the fact, just mutters out silent curses and tries to concentrate on snacks. Huh. Weird. Shouldn't she rather blast Suika into oblivion or at least shake her off? Of perhaps, is she scared of the little oni? Or... Maybe she's just simply trying to be polite? Either way, you can't continue to stare idly.
"Always, always, all of them..." Sighing, you stand up and approach Yuuka from behind. Then, you grab Suika's horns and pull them so that she looks at you. "Suika, let her go." Woah, her stare is completely unfocused. Equally loose are her lips and tongue, it seems.
"Mnuh-Naya!" yelling cheerfully, Suika jumps off Yuuka's back and... Using her as a support of sorts, she wraps her arms around your neck. "Fshyo lfghet meee wibe hoo!"
"Suika, I don't get a word you're saying. And more importantly, what the hell are you doing, suddenly huggi--what?"
You exclaim in suprisement as Suika disappears from your sight. Your body bends down when suddenly, a weight appears on your shoulders, nape and head. You can see Suika's legs extending from behind your ears.
... looks like she has switched her steeds...
"Guhh..." you groan in displeasure. Her hands cover your eyes.
"Ghow dida noew? Nyahahaha~!"
This is bothersome, to say the least, despite being kinda cute. It's only the fact that you can't see a thing that makes it unpleasant. Bah, it's amusing in it's own way.
"You didn't have to sacrifice yourself for my sake." Yuuka's composed voice reaches your ears, breaking through Suika's constant giggling "I didn't mind her doing that to me."
"Sure didn't seem like it."
"If I really was displeased with that, I would make her stop, don't you think?"
"Then you were just trying to be polite."
Meaningful silence makes you shrug. You force a small gap between Suika's fingers and look down at Yuuka, who... Completely ignoring you, returned to peeling an orange. Sighing, you return to your spot beside Reimu, along with your newfound head accessory. That was awkward. All you did was try to help her, so why is she acting so cold? Wasn't she impassioned with your person not so long ago? Either she has tremendous amounts of self control, or...
"I could take her off, if she bothers you." Reimu's suggestion interrupts your thoughts "I have my own methods of dealing with her annoying habits."
"Nah." you try to shake your head, only to induce more laugher from Suika. "Let her be. At least she seems to be enjoying herself, unlike some people here."
"I enjoy silence."
"This is not what parties are about."
Through the little gap you've made, you see Reimu take a long sip from the bottle she's holding, with quite a frustrated face.
"Spririt bomb!" Marisa.
"Graze!" and Mima's angered response.
"You can't graze a spirit bomb!"
"Silence, huh?" you remark silently
"Compared to what they're going to do when drunk, this is silence." Reimu answers your tease with calm voice.
"So, you're going to get drunk as well to endure it somehow?"
"Every method is a good one, as long as it works."
[ ] "So, Reimu. You drink, even though you're underage?"
[ ] "Alright, Yukari, I've had enough of your sass! Why the stare?! It's creepy!"
[ ] "Yuuka~, don't you like me anymore?"
[ ] "WOMAN AND CHILD! Orbs are how it's done!"
[ ] Fuck it, drink.
[ ] "Suika-san! Gattai da! Let's shake this building's foundations with the power of alcohol!"
Bad news. I overdid it. I'm way too tired to get drunk, let alone writing. But rest assured, for I shall be free all the day tommorow. I bring forth the promise of walls and drunkness, perhaps I will throw in some leprechauns and pink elephants as well.
[X] "Suika-san! Gattai da! Let's shake this building's foundations with the power of alcohol!"
Hmph, how boring. Despite the tiresome preparations, this party is most definitely not crazy. Bah, it's not even an enjoyable one! Stale! Quiet! Boring!
You stand up hastily. Reimu jump up in suprise as you place one foot on the table.
"Listen up, lasses! I am terribly unsatisfied!"
Good. At least you have their attention. Even Marisa and Yuuka turned their heads to you, stopping their noisy argument. Suika laughs cheerfully while swaying back and forth on your shoulders. Now or never!
"To prepare this party, I have gone through coercion! Exhaustion! Many trobles! I even had to fight with Reimu to settle some things!"
"Fihf wiff Remu!" Suika repeats between chuckles
"H-Hey..." Reimu sounds troubled by your remark.
"YET! DESPITE THOSE THINGS, I AM UNSATISFIED WITH THE OUTCOME! SUIKA-SAN!"
"GATTAI DA! Let us connect our strengths to bring forth the power of alcohol! With it's magnificience, let's shake this building's foundations! TRANSFORMATION!"
You grab a full bottle and jump back. You can't help but notice that only Mima and Marisa are mildly amused by your show. The other ones, well...
Oh, fuck it! It's a show, and when we put on a show, we do it without hesitation!
"Emerging from the deepest abyss of serenity!" you pat Suika's thigh with the bottle, then swing it like a sword "Demonic brigade powered by percents!"
"If there's silence, we will break it! If there's no alcohol, we will bring it! Everlasting combination! My partner!"
You shout out and move your arm a little, giving signal to Suika. She giggles and bends her fingers into circles, then puts them on your face. Basically, you're wearing Suika-glasses now. It has to look hilarious, but only Yukari breaks her astonishment by letting out a chuckle. Reimu and Yuuka remain unamused.
"Together!" you swing the bottle again "Suikann-Nayann will get a party going! And when we start the party, we will PARTY HARD!"
"He shaysh truff! Nyahaha~!"
"Yukarin!" you point the bottle at now smiling gap youkai "I'm sure you've been to the outside world! Do you recognize the word 'karaoke'?"
"I do. But surely, you don't want me to..."
"But of course I do! There's no party without music, and it's only better if the partipiciants are the ones making it!"
Yukari snaps her fingers.
And, to your suprise, four gaps open simultanously behind you. While the spectacle is one to behold, the things appearing out of thin air, adrenalin makes it impossible to do anything but await in anticipation. And soon after, you have a set of hi-fi tower, speakers and microphones standing behind you.
"I'm amazed you've found them so quickly."
"Oh, it's not that suprising." Yukari smiles gently. At least it's a nice change after her constant silent observation "Even older people want to play sometimes, didn't you know?"
You decide to check out the rig. Well, seems good enough. Walking around the speakers, you notice that all the wires disappear in similiar, but smaller, holes, leading who-knows-where.
Reimu and Yuuka continue to stare in astonishment while Marisa and Mima jump towards you.
"Wow! What's this? Shiny!" Marisa gleams with amusement.
"I've never seen anything like this before! What's this for?"
Mima too. She pats one of the speakers.
"This, my dear girl, is what we call 'karaoke'. Surely, you do like singing, right?" they nod "Then, let me show you how this works." You grab one mic and turn it on. "Ladies, this is used to amplify your voice, to fit music's volume. Suika, demonstrate?"
Letting go of your face, Suika snatches the mic from your hands and puts it in front of her mouth.
Reimu jumps up hearing the volume of Suika's amplified voice. Heh, weak miko. Yuuka and Yukari remain still.
"WOW!" Marisa yells in admiration "Cool! Can I try?"
You hand Marisa the other mic.
"Just click this button and start."
"This? Okay..." she takes a deep breath "MY HEART IS READY TO BUUUUUUUUUUURST!"
While they're playing with microphones, you approach the tower, of course first taking Suika off your shoulders. There seems to be a cd already in. As well as a list of songs on a piece of paper. There's also a booklet with all the lyrics. Hm. You doubt if they've heard any of them, but it's improvisation that makes things more enjoyable, right? It would be easier if there was a computer with an appropriate program, but you can't have everything.
"Well then!" you yell out, deciding on a song "Let's get started!"
Handing the booklet to Marisa, you push the play button.
Marisa yells excitedly when the music starts.
"VINYL, VINYL, VINYL, VINYL, VINYL, VINYL SEX! ALUMINUM, ALUMINUM, ALUMINUM, ALUMINUM, ALUMINUM, IN A WAY, IT'S ROCK!"
Well, it doesn't sound too professional, but at least they seem to be enjoying themselves. Marisa, Suika and Mima, that is. You step back to your spot at the table and open the bottle. Then down half of the contents in one gulp. Tastes like vodka, but none of the kinds you've had before.
At least it kicks in very fast.
"It's even more noisy now!" Reimu shouts through the music "You're doing this just to piss me of, aren't you!"
"Then get drunk as fast as possible, then it'll be fun!" You forcefully hand the bottle to Reimu, who hesitantly looks at it. "Down it! I'm going to open another one!" Which you do. "Yuuka! You too!" you throw another bottle at Yuuka, who catches it with rather displeased face. Well, at least she opened it and started sipping on the contents without holding back too much.
"CHUU CHUU LOVELY MUNI MUNI MURA MURA PURIN PURIN BORON NURURU RERO RERO!"
What kind of lyrics are those? Well, it doesn't seem to bother the singing trio.
You down another bottle like if it was juice. Getting drunk as fast as possible really seems like a good idea. Or at least the prospect of singing those retarded songs while sober is embarassing enough to make you drink. Reimu and Yuuka apparently share that opinion, both of them now drinking without remorse. This party is about to get crazy!
"CHUU CHUU LOVELY MUNI MUNI MURA MURA PURIN PURIN BORON NURURU RERO RERO;
CHUU CHUU LOVELY MUNI MUNI MURA MURA PURIN PURIN BORON NURURU RERO RERO;
CHUU CHUU LOVELY MUNI MUNI MURA MURA!"
The song ends. You break out in a loud applause as Suika, Mima and Marisa bow.
"Woo! That was great!" the witch jumps in excitement "Didn't know singing could be so fun!"
"That's only because it's so loud, right?" Mima asks, with an equally wide smile on her face.
"Of course! The louder the better!"
Suika's drunk voice urges you to stand up and walk up to the tower. Well then...
[ ] "Reimu! Your turn! Come on!"
[ ] "Yuuka! You try now!"
[ ] "You should be good at this, right Yukari?"
[ ] "And now, onto the main event! I, Nanaya of Seven Night, shall show you how it's done!"
You shant through the songlist, gracing every single title with your attention. Many of them are known to you, being from the outside world and all that rubbish, but one of them catches your utmost attention. At least, more than the others.
Now, if there was only someone with voice skilled enough to sing the proper parts...
But there is one, right? There is one person, whose voice, while calm and composed, can achieve the higher notes and difficult latin words. Or at least, your hazy mind suggests so.
"Yuuka." You turn to the green-haired youkai. "You try now!"
"Me?" she puts her hand on her chest "Why me? I don't see what's so entertaining about that."
"Oh, just trust me. I need a partner for this piece, and you seem the most fitting for the part."
"..." Yuuka scans you carefully before shrugging "I guess I can help then."
She stands up and moves to your side. You hand her the booklet, opened on the right page. The previously singing trio retreats to their seats at the table, with the exception of Suika, now taking place of Marisa's hat. Looks like she likes being higher than her usual height, seemingly at someone else's expense too.
"Ah, yes." you answer Yuuka's impatient remark "This part here. I sing those," you point out the lines "And you sing those."
"You know it?" you turn to Yuuka, suprised at her knowledge. "I thought--"
"Then don't think. I am older than you think."
Her face is completely serious.
"... I guess so, then. Alright." you shake off the uneasiness "Run your eye over them. I'm going to turn the volume down a bit. It's a quiet piece."
The music starts. Yuuka immidiately catches on the rhythm and begins singing...
"Requiem ?ternam. Dona eis, Domine..."
Her voice is beautiful. Despite your rather poor expectations, she fits the part properly. High, clear, fascinating voice. Even Marisa stopped smirking to look at her. Closing her eyes, holding the microphone close to her mouth, Yuuka looks...
And her voice...
You almost miss your cue, being absorbed by her atmosphere. And not only you, it seems.
"Do the impossible, see the invisible!
Row! Row! Fight the power!
Touch the untouchable, break the unbreakable!
Row! Row! Fight the power!"
You sing your lines properly, though a feeling of embarassment makes it really hard on you. Your voice... Compared to hers...
Still, it's useless to back away now. Even though you are of no comparement to her, show must go on. To say the truth, you feel almost disgusted by the difference, but...
"Power to the peeps, power for the dream
Still missing piece scattering, so incomplete
We be the most incredible soldier from underground
See how easy they all fall down
Digging to the core to see the light
Let's get out of here babe, that's the way to survive
Top of the head, i'm on the set
Do the impossible, don't you wanna bet?
Cuz, a lot of things changed, we be waiting in vain
If you wanna get by, no pain no gain
Wow! Fakers wanna test me again
Sorry, my rhyme's gonna snatch your brain, yo
I'm still starving for the straight up shit
We gonna make it happen with the crazy rap skill
Get ready to rumble, now is the time, uh huh
If you don't know, now you know!"
With relief, you step back, to let Yuuka get all the attention on her part.
"Libera me, Domine, de morte ?terna," Her voice sounds clear again "In die illa tremenda. in die illa" like a resonating glass... "Quando coeli movendi sunt et terra," even Reimu seems mesmerized... "Dum veneris judicare. S?culum per ignem. Tremens factus sum ego et timeo," by this voice... "dum discussio venerit atque ventura ira...."
With embarassment, you sing out the rest of your lines, until the epic, emotional refrain that used to bring out the tears of many listeners...
Almost disappointed, you begin to sing out the last verses...
"Row! Row! Fight the power! Row! Row! Fight the power!"
And as you're about to end, to your suprise...
"Row! Row! Fight the power! Row! Row! Fight the power!"
Yuuka joins your sad voice in accompaniament.
"Row! Row! Fight the power! Libera me, Domine!" But still doesn't forget her former role. Her voice makes you choke on your own, fascinated by the clear tone. "Row! Row! Fight the power!"
Only two more lines. Two more...
"Row! Row! Fight the power!" you join her in the second-last one, nodding at her lightly. She answers in kind, showing her understandment.
Here it goes. Last line.
With all your strength, all your resolve, emotions, will, you practically shout it out.
In perfect unison with Yuuka.
"ROW! ROW! FIGHT THE POWER!"
With your hands outstretched in the air, falling onto your knees, both of you, in perfect silence, wait for the music to fade out.
Quiet clapping. First, only from smiling Yukari. Then, Reimu, with her mouth still opened in amazement. Then Mima, Marisa, and even Suika.
You give them one embarassed bow before turning to Yuuka.
"A sad song." she remarks with perfectly blank face.
"A sad one, indeed."
"Why is it?"
"Huh?" you sound your suprisement "Why is it sad?" she nods "I... guess the artists managed to express the emotions behind it pretty clearly. Melody, words. It's work of art, at it's best."
"..." she keeps silent.
"Didn't you like it?"
"No." she shakes her head "It was nice. Your singing too."
"Compared to you, it was nothing."
"He's right!" Marisa shouts out "Yuuka, you should be a singer!"
"You're overreacting." Yuuka gently puts down her mic before returning to her seat.
A bit... disappointed, you return to the tower and pick up the list...
[ ] "Reimu. I want to hear you singing. Come on." song: Neko Miko Reimu
[ ] "Yukari, how about you try?" song: Okkusenman
[ ] See if Alice is awake yet. She'd be perfectly fit to sing Rainbow Girl.
[ ] This has gotten old. Ask if anyone wants to sing anything. If not, return to drinking.
Alright, next would be... There was one song that you were a little bit suprised at. It isn't the only one originally in japanese on the list, but it's weird to see it there anyway.
"Yukari." you say without actually looking at her "How about you try? You should be good at this, right?"
"Mm?" she mutters "Indeed, I've done it a few time, but--"
"Come on, then. It's in japanese so it should be easy."
Yukari stands up with a silent sigh. Huh. She doesn't really sound amused... Come to think of it, has she had any drinks? No, as far as you can remember, she hasn't touched a single bottle ever since the beggining of the party... Well, it'll have to be fixed after she sings. Maybe it's because of her soberness that she's reluctant to it as well?
"So, what is it?"
She's arrived by your side faster than you'd suspect her to, with her lazy attitude and sluggish moves. Either she wants it to end as quickly as possible, or... Right, for a lazy person like her, wouldn't it be normal to exploit her powers in order to decrease the amount of movement needed? Lazy, lazy Yukarin. Thinking with gaps all the time...
Well, it didn't seem to faze any of the guests, so it has to be it.
"So? Which one?"
Yukari stands in front of you, a meter or so away. Why the reserve? She looks down at the list, but doesn't leave her spot.
"Uh..." you're a bit troubled by her behaviour "'Okkusenman'? I thought you'd be able to sing it properly."
"'Okkusenman'? To say the truth, I've never heard it... Are you sure? If you know it, then why don't you--"
"No." you interrupt her "Come on, didn't you say yourself that older people play around from time to time too?"
"Maybe. So, judging from the title, it's in japanese?"
"That makes things easier."
She snatches the list and booklet from your hands, then walks up to the tower, pushing you out of her way. What the hell? Why the rudeness? Yukari, you're taking this too far. First that weird glare, then this...
"Kodomo no koro Yatta koto aru yo..."
She's started singing already while you were pondering about her behaviour. Silently, you retreat back to your seat at the table.
"Iroase ta kioku da Kouhaku bou Atama ni... URUTORAMAN URUTORAMAN SEBUN!"
Even though reluctant, it seems she doesn't want to screw up completely. Well, at least that.
"Hey." Reimu pats you on the shoulder.
"Kodomo no koro Natsukashii Kioku!
KARĒ toka no tokini Gin no SUPŪN meni ate!
URUTORAMAN URUTORAMAN SEBUN!"
"What is it?"
"I can understand most words, but... What does 'urutoraman'" you frown at her horrible accent, even though all the other words sound perfectly fine... And in english though. Guess the border of languages works in some twisted ways. "Mean? 'Sebun'" again "Means 'seven' in english, right? So why are there weird words in the middle?"
"Demo ima ja sonna koto mo wasurete!
Nanika ni owa reru youni Mainichi iki teru!
Furi kaette mo!
Ano koro ni wa, Modore nai!
URUTORAMAN URUTORAMAN SEBUN!"
"Uh..." You can't tell her that it's from a video game. It'd ruin the feeling, and, she probably wouldn't know what a video game is... "You see... It's..."
"Ima aitsura Doko ni iru no? Nani wo shite iru no?
Kotae wa boya keta mama de!
URUTORAMAN URUTORAMAN SEBUN!
Demo ima ja sonna koto mo wasurete!
Nanika ni owa reru youni Mainichi iki teru!"
"It's a... You know, in our world, there is a story... Which all the kids know..."
"Kimi gakure ta yuuki wa Okkusenman Okkusenman!
Sugi sarishi kisetsu wa DORAMATIKKU!
Kodomo no koro Yatta koto aru ne!
Zasshi nitsuite kita SURĪDĪ MEGANE kake!
URUTORAMAN URUTORAMAN SEBUN!
Otona ni nari Wasurete ta kioku!
Yomigaeru Azayaka ni Ude de ERU ji tsukuri!
URUTORAMAN URUTORAMAN SEBUN!"
"Yeah, a story... About a hero, fighting villians just because he had the power to do so!" you nod at your own explanation "And all the kids admire him! It's a well-known story, that's why there's a song about it. The guy singing the song, he reminescences about the times when he and his friends used to be fascinated with that story. And then, when they grew up, they simply forgot about it."
Reimu nods in silence.
"I see. Sad."
"Tada ano koro Furikaeru Mujaki ni warae ta!
Kegare mo shiranai mama ni!
URUTORAMAN URUTORAMAN SEBUN!"
Yukari's voice grows more tense as she approaches the final lines. Could it be... That she actually feels moved by the song?
"Demo ima ja sonna koto mo wasurete!
Nanika kara nigeru youni Mainichi iki teru!"
You find yourself singing along. Well, no wonder. The song is really catchy and words are... Hm, Marisa has joined in as well, altough she's just humming, not singing out loud.
"Misugo shite ta keshiki wa Okkusenman Okkusenman!
Sugi sarishi kisetsu wa GURAFITĪ!
Kimi gakure ta yuuki wa Okkusenman Okkusenman!
Sugi sarishi kisetsu wa DORAMATIKKU!
Okkusenman, okkusenman, okkusenman, okkusenman..."
Your, Yukari and yours, voices fade out along with the music.
She puts down the mic and fans her face. Seeing how tired she looks, it must've been really difficult for her to force the right notes out...
Just like the last time, soothing silence after the song is being filled by applause. Yukari gives a troubled nod, then 'gaps' herself back onto her seat. A little bit displeased, but still satisfied, she sends you a nod.
You stand up.
Well then... There's not much time left, and you're still sober... This has to be the last one. The owner of those won't be pleased to have them gone for so long too.
So, the last one will be...
[ ] Reimu. Neko Miko. Her reaction will be priceless.
[ ] Alice. Rainbow Girl. How fitting.
[ ] Yourself. Another One Bites The Dust.
[ ] Yourself. Minna no Peace!
[ ] Maybe Marisa wants to sing another one?
[X] Reimu. Neko Miko. Her reaction will be priceless.
Hm, why not? Reimu has good voice as well, and this song... After all, one might say that it was made for her, right? Out of love for her, perhaps? Either way, it fits perfectly. Neko. Miko. Reimu. Except the first part, that is. Though this could be fixed. You're sure Rinnosuke would have something like that in his stock...
"Reimu." you turn to her.
"I've got a special song. Just for you. How about it?"
"Eh? Me?" she frantically looks around "But I don't know it... I mean, I think I don't."
"Oh come on." you cross arms on your chest "Did Marisa know the song she sang? Have you heard her? And Yuuka? She's performed perfectly! Yukari too," you give the said a glance. She still seems to be recovering from the exertion. "Though she could've heard it before." you turn your gaze back at Reimu "Anyways, we were all improvising here, except me, of course."
"Oh, damn you."
This miko is annoying. Be it her bipolar personality or habits, this is simply irritating. With a groan, you grab her hand and forcefully drag her to the mics. She stands silently, holding her arm with the other hand. Quickly paging through the booklet, you find the right text and then hand it to Reimu. She doesn't even look at it. What. Are. You. Doing.
"Shouldn't you read it before actually singing? Improvisation is nice, but you should at least run your eye over it once."
She shifts her attention to the book as you turn away to the tower. Now, it was number 24... Previous, previous...
".... eh?" her suprised mutter reaches your ears. Click. Click. A few more. "N-Neko miko..."What..." Click. Oh, here it is.
You turn around, only to have the booklet shoved into your face.
"WHAT THE HELL IS THIS?!" Reimu's voice shakes in mixed embarassment and irritation "W-Why a song about me?! What's up with that?!"
"Easy, easy." you grab the booklet and pull it down.
"And such lyrics at that...! Why is it about me?!"
Woah. She's trying her best to look annoyed, but the slight blush makes the sight rather laughable than a one to be afraid of. But, but, you hold back your laugher, having her nutcracker still somewhere in the back of your head, along with the pain that followed.
"Reimu, is it really that suprising?"
"Of course it is! And such..." she snatches back the booklet from your hands "'Neko miko'?! 'A-Armpits'?!" frustration is almost coming out of her ears in a form of white smoke "And why is my name there?!"
"Why, I have told you before, haven't I?" you smile at her in a gentle way. Just as planned. "You're quite known in the outside world, of course, only in certain circles... And, some of the people that know you have quite... Admirable artistic skills. Drawers, music composers, singers, writers... Some of them adore you even more than I do!"
Her eyebrow twitches.
"Nothing." you sing out in an innocent voice "I'm just saying, like I told you before, it's not that weird for you to have songs dedicated to your person. That's all."
"S-still... Why such a..."
"Oops! The music has started!" you quickly push the play button behind your back "I'm afraid you'll have to sing now!" on the way to your seat, you stop beside Reimu, now shaking with anger, and whisper into her ear "If you sing properly, you can expect a 'reward' from me, so perform well!"
Swiftly, your body bends down, avoiding her punch. With a blissfully innocent giggle, you jump back at your seat, leaving Reimu clutching her mic, standing between the two large speakers. With the corner of your eye, you see Marisa sending you a thumbs-up with a perfectly straight face. You answer by nodding.
Clapping your hands, you shout out to her. She skipped the first lines, but might as well start now.
"N-Neko Miko R-Reimu... A-ai shiteru..."
She's stuttering. Trying not to notice everyone's intensive stares, she concentrates on the text. Could it be that this blunt girl is actually embarassed about singing in front of other people?
"Neko M-Miko Reimu... N-Nani shiteru.." Ugh. Bad. Bad, bad, bad! She's totally missing all the cues and rhythm! And her anger doesn't help it one bit! "N-Neko Miko Reimu... O-omoshiroi wa..."
AAARGH! You can't take it anymore! Why she...! Ruining a song that was written especially for her, just because she's embarassed! No, Reimu! YOU are the Neko Miko! Sing like a damn one! You're not some grade schooler on a birthday party! Sing! SING!
"NEKO MIKO REIMU! HANA WA SAITA!" you cut in, yelling out the lines, correcting her rhythm and pacing. Suprised, she jumps up before glancing at you with even more irritated face "AAAAAAAA~! Doushite kimochi wa ii no?! I'm going to help you, so give it all you have!" you quickly shout as the instrumental kicks in "Ready? On my mark! Three, two, one!"
"Osaisen wa sanbyakuen ijou de!
Kurage nashite tadayou no wa banana!
Shinnen itsu no ma ni ka mukaete!
Sakamori soko no bon mo oide!"
Both of you sing out the lines, Reimu trying to match your pacing, and you trying not to make your voice get too high and therefore breaking into an unpleasant screetch. Long ago have the times when you could get out higher notes passed, rending you from ability to sing some of your favourite pieces. Well, it's not really that sad, now. Of course, urge to sing along still lingers in your mind when listening to some of them, but you're adult enough to restrain yourself from doing that when people are around. But, of course, in the serene interior of your apartment... Well, at least the headphones are blocking out your singing out of tune from your own ears, and as for neighbours... You didn't really care much about them in the first place.
"Hakurei taisha ni mo onsen hoshii wa ne? Yay!
Neko Miko Reimu ai shiteru!
Neko Miko Reimu nani shiteru!
Neko Miko Reimu shuran yurari!
Neko Miko Reimu muron furari!"
Along these lines, you slowly start to back away, making place for now more confident Reimu to spread her wings. Even though she's still embarassed, it seems the music has taken over, urging her to sing along. Good. That's what karaoke is about, right?
"Neko Miko Reimu setsuna sugite!
Neko Miko Reimu owari no nai!
Neko Miko Reimu gensou kara!
Neko Miko Reimu mezamenai!"
Now you've stopped singing completely, just enjoying looking at her flustered face. With her eyes, closed, she hold the mic close to her mouth, like an inexperienced kid would do. Well, it's cute in it's own way... And you'd probably get kicked in the balls for correcting her.
"Aaaaa~! Watashi no oyatsu ga nai wa!"
When she screams out that line, your grab yourself a handful of nuts and chew down on them.
"Nan de watashi miko nante shiteru no ka!
Kimeta hito ga konna waki wo ruururuu!
Sekai wa fukeba tobu mono na no ni!
Suzushii natsu wa yume no anata!
Kouhaku tenmetsu shite kyuu ni wa tomaranai nyan!"
It's interesting how the 'translation' stops working when the song's in japanese. Just like with Marisa and Chuu Chuu Lovely - japanese, Yuuka and Libera Me - latin, and Yukari and Okkusenman - again japanese, now Reimu's voice sounds in her mother tongue, instead of being translated to 'your' english. Logically, it should be translated anyways, right? Or maybe, when your mind 'knows' that the song is supposed to be sang in diffirent language, it stops working? Again, how complicated. You wonder if you could actually say something in english without getting it 'translated' for anyone else... Well, that already happened today, with Libera Me, but it was in a song... Wait, but what did they all hear? English or japanese? After all, how could they 'know' that it's supposed to be in english? Ghh... This is too complex...
"Neko Miko Reimu mikan bako de!
Neko Miko Reimu gaman shiteru!
Neko Miko Reimu kakushi kirezu!
Neko Miko Reimu hami deteru!"
Oh, here come the most embarassing lines in the song. You can't help but wonder how she'll manage them. Freak out and start kicking everything? Or scream and throw the mic? Dropkick your grinning face?
"Neko Miko Reimu nyanyan nyaa Nyaa NYA!"
To your suprise, and maybe disappointment, she delivers the lines in perfect synch with music, more, she even threw in her own accent, making each second 'Nyaa' louder than the previous one. You feel your eyebrows frowning. This isn't how it was supposed to be!
"Neko Miko Reimu nyanyan nyaa Nyaa NYA!
Neko Miko Reimu nyanyan nyaa Nyaa NYA!
Neko Miko Reimu nyanyan nyaa Nyaa NYA!
Hi no guruma jinja wa mawaruuuuuuuuu~!"
She finishes the song with an overly melodic hyperdistension of the last word. 'Mawaru'...
'Spin', huh? You're the one who's supposed to spin, Reimu! Spin in anger! Yet you reverse the embarassment, reverse the suprisement and sing, sing, sing, sing, SING, SING, SING! What's up with that! Where is your lack of resolve when it would prove to be the most entertaining?!
Sighing with relief, she puts down the mic. Her hands are shaking visibly.
"H-How was it?"
In response, Marisa triggers the applause by making the first clap. Reimu smiles a troubled smile and bows slightly. Clap, clap, clap...
You stand up.
"What is it?"
"Huh?" she takes a step back "W-what are you..."
Led by an unknown impulse, you fall on your knees and begin sobbing. All's of course but an act, but the disappointment makes making sobbing sound slightly easier.
"Eh? Eh?" Reimu's suprised gaps accompany your unexpectedly realistically sounding whimps. "W-why are you crying? C-come on--"
"It's your fault!" you scream out more desperately that you have planned to "It's because you're ruining my fun! I hate you!"
"Eh? W-What are you...?"
"You had to have it all! Have you had enough?! My entertainment, my malice, my plan! You've ruined it all! My magnificient plot, to make you feel embarassed! Ruined!" you fall down on the floor and hide your face in your arms.
"B-but... To cry... C-come on, stand... Stand up--"
"Shut up! I hate you!"
You hear, or rather feel her kneeling before you. Behind you, someone smacks the table in some sort of a hint. Or something. Then again. And again.
"C-come on... D-don't..."
"BUT!" you abruptly end your sobs and spring back on your legs. Making Reimu jump back in suprisement and land flat on her butt, staring at you with fright in her eyes. "This is not an end yet, Hakurei!" you continue "The day has just begun, and my plan, my magnificient plan to make you embarassed, it's much more larger than this!"
"You don't get it, do you?" you smire viciously at her confusion "My work starts here, Hakurei! Beware! For I'll be doing my best to ruin your cold facade!" you suddenly remember something "And of course, your PRIZE!"
"Eh?!" she creeps back a little.
[ ] Declare your everlasting love for her. All in overly theatrical way.
[ ] Grab a strand of her hair and compliment her eyes.
[ ] Quickly turn on a random track and force her to dance.
[ ] "That will have to wait till tommorow. It's drinky time!"
[ ] "For that, you will wait for me in your chambers, tonight. Don't lock the doors, dear, as I don't want to kick them down!"
>Both of you sing out the lines, Reimu trying to match your pacing, and you trying not to make your voice get too high and therefore breaking into an unpleasant screetch. Long ago have the times when you could get out higher notes passed, rending you from ability to sing some of your favourite pieces. Well, it's not really that sad, now. Of course, urge to sing along still lingers in your mind when listening to some of them, but you're adult enough to restrain yourself from doing that when people are around. But, of course, in the serene interior of your apartment... Well, at least the headphones are blocking out your singing out of tune from your own ears, and as for neighbours... You didn't really care much about them in the first place.
I'M NOT GOING TO SAY ANYTHING ABOUT THIS, YAF. I PITY YOU THAT MUCH AT LEAST.
[X] Grab a strand of her hair and compliment her eyes.
[x] "I'll show you all, the strength of embarrassment."
[x] Sing a solo. "Bohemian Rhapsody."
>>13985 See this line?
>All's of course but an act(...)
>>13982 >I'M NOT GOING TO SAY ANYTHING ABOUT THIS, YAF. I PITY YOU THAT MUCH AT LEAST.
I don't know what you're getting at. Bring forth the insults.
>>13984 Except, 1) I knew no one would pick this option, even though it's all just a show, 2) I needed some filler options, and 3) Why not? After all, it's just an act and people seem to like teasing Reimu.
On an unrelated note, I'm currently trying to come to an understanding with my half-alive laptop. If I manage to keep it running without restarting every 3 minutes, I'll write an update. If not, well, this'll have to wait till tommorow.
There were Yaffers in the board. He couldn't see them, but he had expected them now for years.
Anyways, posting this from PC, which is way too loud to use at night. At least I have localized the source on problem on the laptop. Faulty BIOS. Will have to fix that sometime. Sorry (as if) for breaking my yesterday's promise, but I'm just feeling unmotivated by all the lack of action today. Tommorow, I'm going to get drunk for sure. Without a doubt, going get drunk. Get drunk. By no one else, by nothing else. Reimu's going to get drunk, by Naya!
But in all seriousness, I already have appointment with my friend so yeah. Drinking at home is boring.
<%YAFKYU> FUCK. I have thought up a scene SO EXTREMELY MOE that it makes me tingle inside, but it doesn't fit with how the situation is right now.
<UBOA> In AAA?
<%YAFKYU> in TS
<%CaptJackHarkness> side story time?
<%YAFKYU> I guess I'll just have to... forge.... HOW CAN I FORGET SOMETHING SO FUCKING MOE?!
<%YAFKYU> MY MIND IS A PILLAR UPON WHICH WHOLE WORLDS CAN BE BUILT BUT I CANNOT USE IT!
<%YAFKYU> CURSE YOU ANON AND YUUKA ROUTE
<%YAFKYU> CURSE YOU
<%CaptJackHarkness> as opposed to Mima route?
<%YAFKYU> Too bad I wrote the Reimu route when I was still kinda newfag to the whole writing business
<%YAFKYU> IF IT WERE NOW
<%YAFKYU> IF IT WERE NOW...
<%YAFKYU> I'D SHOW THEM WHAT IT MEANS TO FLIRT WITH THE RED-WHITE SHRINE MAIDEN!
<UBOA> Wait for us to get around to Reimu again.
<UBOA> In a few dozen years.
[X] Grab a strand of her hair and compliment her eyes.
[x] "I'll show you all, the strength of embarrassment."
[x] Sing a solo. "Bohemian Rhapsody."
"Of course, you performed well!" your voice sounds clear, accompanied only by static buzzing of the speakers. No one speaks a word, seemingly, or at least you hope, enjoying the show. Good. "With my help, but still. You've earned your prize, but..." you narrow your eyes, making Reimu's expression fall even more "At the same time, you've ruined my elaborate plan... Obviously!" you raise your voice "If you were someone else, long gone would your corpse decorate this house, as a warning for further generations not to ever go against Nanaya's intentions!" silence still dominates the audience behind you "But then again, there's one reason I'm not going to do that."
Though it's like stepping into a minefield, you crouch down in front of Reimu, and slowly, warily, observing her movements and aura, reach your hand out for her hair. She only fliches slightly as you grab a strand and bring it back, closer to your face.
Air has gotten stale. Pressure of the five girls' stares at your back is almost unpleasant.
Unpleasant, but it's all according to the plan.
Reimu keeps silent like a grave, with her mouth slightly opened in astonishment.
"And that is, because your eyes are so beautiful." Not waiting for any kind of reaction, you stand up and turn around. Then clap your hands in a 'time-is-up' manner. "Well then, I guess that is all. Yukari, since you seemed to know who this rig belongs to, I suppose you'd like to return it as fast as possible?"
She nods, still confused at the whole scene.
"Yes... But if you want to sing some more, I guess it can wait..."
Oh. So the haste and worries were all for naught. Well, good manners still demand that you return it as soon as possible, but... One last song, it would be nice, right?
You quickly scan the room. Yuuka is looking at you with unamused face. Yukari, grabbing an orange, is trying to keep her face averted. Mima is simply staring at you with a mischievous smile, just like Suika, only the latter tries to gulp from a green bottle at the same time. Marisa, for some unknown reason, is palming her face with fervour.
"Ahem!" Reimu behind you seems to have gathered her thoughts, as well as her strength. "So, you going to sing any more, or what?"
"I think yes, thank you for worrying."
"I'm just asking because this stuff is taking up precious space."
.... huh. That's not what you were expecting to hear. At least your testicles are still intact, and that's a good thing. Still, she could've at least gave you a punch or something instead of returning to her seat just like that...
Where is her motivation?
Then, for a last piece... Going out with a boom would be nice. Of course, it has to be a classic as well.
You quickly page through the list to find an appropriate position. And then it catches your attention.
One song. That one song.
Chuu Chuu for the drunk trio. Libera Me for Yuuka. Okkusenman for Yukari. Neko Miko for Reimu.
And in the rays of afternoon sun, the one song, to trump them all!
Number 107. Queen.
"Ladies." you grab the mic and turn towards your audience. "This song, I'd like to dedicate, to all of Gensokyo. Queen." you press the play button.
To be continued. Later. When I'm back. Hopefully drunk. And without that scene tormenting my mind.
Before the music even starts, you mutter out, a bit unsurely, the first lines.
"Is this the real life-
Is this just fantasy-..."
After them, however, courage strikes back, just like with Libera Me, and music takes over your soul and body, making you sing out loud like there's no tomorrow. Without remorse, without holding back, all your emotions, feelings, you let them out in a synchronised song.
"Caught in a landslide-
No escape from reality-
Open your eyes
Look up to the skies and see-
Im just a poor boy,i need no sympathy-
Because Im easy come,easy go,
A little high,little low,
Anyway the wind blows,doesnt really matter to me,
Your voice carries far. Beyond the walls of this shrine, beyond this rundown building. Insignificiant borders, for your voice's power, strength, the force of emotions behind that song. Yuuka, Reimu, Yukari, all the others, even sleeeping Alice, they shall all feel the power behind those words, behind this mere facade of empty words. Whole mempories, leaking out through the emotional meaning of those lines, seeping through thich skin, straight into you audiences' heads, thoughts, even more, Farther, better, stronger, let the whole of Gensokyo hear your voice!
"Mama,just killed a man,
Put a gun against his head,
Pulled my trigger,now hes dead,
Mama,life had just begun,
But now Ive gone and thrown it all away-
Didnt mean to make you cry-
If Im not back again this time tomorrow-
Carry on,carry on,as if nothing really matters-..."
That's right! This is not a song! This is a speech, a prophecy! No matter the lenghts, no matter the obstacles, this song shall reach every and single one of pair of ears in this secluded world! Fill them with the meaning, the message of your words. The oblivious ones shall fall as your voice prevails!
All of them, every single one of those peculiar girls, Reimu, Yuuka, Mima, even Yukari, the most mysterious of them all, become absorbed in your tone.
Carry away, airy message! Let them feel the meaning! Feel the emotions!
And most importantly... The ones close to you...
"Too late,my time has come,
Sends shivers down my spine-
Bodys aching all the time,
Goodbye everybody-Ive got to go-
Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth-
Mama ooo- (any way the wind blows)
I dont want to die,
I sometimes wish Id never been born at all-..."
Never been born at all! To that hostile world, to that grey reality! But it doesn't matter anymore, does it! In here, in this secluded place of past reality, do you have anything to worry at all? There is nothing. Every single event, even those unpleasant ones, are a bliss, compared to the routine of your hitherto prevailing lifestyle. Even those painful times, you'd rather choose them over the oblivious existence outside the border, every single day, the same, the same, the same, the same, the same! Even though hurt, your body still feels the same as your mind, clinging hard to these two days of delightful, forgetful existence, even though many things have happened you'd rather not have happening.
"I see a little silhouetto of a man,
Scaramouche,scaramouche will you do the fandango-
Thunderbolt and lightning-very very frightening me-
But Im just a poor boy and nobody loves me-
Hes just a poor boy from a poor family-
Spare him his life from this monstrosity-
Easy come easy go-,will you let me go-
Bismillah! no-,we will not let you go-let him go-
Bismillah! we will not let you go-let him go
Bismillah! we will not let you go-let me go
Will not let you go-let me go
Will not let you go let me go
Mama mia,mama mia,mama mia let me go-
Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me,for me,for me-!"
The audience remains perfectly silent, faced with the flood of emotions coming from this song. A masterpiece, is it right to call it like that? Nonsensical, even ridiculous, may those lyrics appear, but...
Led by your voice, those are no more than mere conduits for the true meaning. Tears almost coming out of your eyes, you continie the song...
"So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye-
So you think you can love me and leave me to die-
Oh baby-cant do this to me baby-
Just gotta get out-just gotta get right outta here-..."
All of them, fascinated, perhaps even intoxicated by your voice. Listen. These are what they call true emotions! Take them all! Sorrow, happiness, resolve! Store them in your hearts, and even though your intents and feelings may stay in dark, only giving out slight hints about their existence, let them at least be fed with this honest flood of constant melody!
"Nothing really matters,
Anyone can see,
Nothing really matters-,nothing really matters to me...
Any way the wind blows...."
Your voice fades out along with the music. Together with it, you fall on your knees, tears almost forcefully making their way from your eyes, with this trails flowing down your cheeks. Moved. So moved. Are they even equally touched by the meaning? By the truth? Truth of the world, of the surrounding grey matter known as life?
Kneeling, you touch the floor with your forehead.
Then, you break out in a cheerful laugh.
Lightness, emptiness, delight you feel after letting it all out, it makes you cry. But, this would be emarassing to just do it in front of them all.
"Yukari." you speak through the applause. Looks like even the ever-drunk oni has been quite moved "I think we've had enough. You can return it now."
She nods. Slightly as it may be, it's a very distiguishable sign. Almost exxagerated for this kind of agreement.
You feel empty space suddenl taking place of the rig behind you. With a silent buzz, the speakers, and the tower disappear.
You sigh with relief. Altough it has been entertaining, it's been as well stressing in it's own way. You steal a glance at Alice, who turns out to be still sleeping. Indeed, it has to be magically induced slumber that has put her in such a deep state of uncosciouness that even all the singing haven';t woken her up. Putting your hands on your waist, you turn towards the table, only to have Reimu suddenly make a remark about your singing.
"Beautiful. I couldn't understand a word, but it was..."
"Simply overthrowing." Yuuka finishes in her place "I had no idea you could sing like that."
"Ahah..." you give out a troubled chuckle "I guess..."
"Hey, boy." Mima suddenly speaks up "Looks like we're out of booze. Could you bring more?"
Huh? You could swear there were at least five bottles left before you started singing... Could it be that they've downed it so fast that...--
"I'll go with him." Marisa interrupts "I bet he's still weak from all the singing, right?"
Before you're able to retailiate, Marisa drags you out of the room. And as soon as the door closes, her grip gets significantly stronger.
"What are you--"
"Come with me."
Her simple statement makes you shut up instantly.
"Listen." finally, after bringing you to a random empty bedroom, Marisa grabs a hold of your collar "I need to know before I undertake some perhaps unneeeded steps."
"Woah, woah." you try calming her down "Easy, what is it?"
"You keep giving mixes singnals."
You have no idea what she's talking about. Mixed signals? To whom? How?
"Don't play stupid!" she shakes your poor self "Reimu, I'm talkin about Reimu." she sighs when noticing your total confusion "She clearly stated that she's not interested in you when you were gone. Before the party. And in her case, it could only mean one thing. So, my question is, is there something going on between you?"
Woah. She looks serious.
"Does it matter? Why are you even concerned by it?"
"Ehh. I may look all carefree, but I know what it means to worry about someone. Reimu is my friend. I know she has her annoying sides, but inside... Well, it's useless to tell you, I guess. You should be able to solve this on your own." she sighs again "So, is there something going on between you two?"
[ ] "We're friends. That's all."
[ ] "Maybe. What if there is?"
[ ] "If there is, are you going to interfere?"
[ ] "Why are you so worried in the first place?"
[ ] "Her? Hell, no! Surely, I'd tap that ass if situation proves to be favourable, but nothing else."
"Ahaha!" you let out an unsure laugh. "You're taking all of that seriously?"
Indeed, she seems to. Admirable or not, isn't the worry a bit nonsensical? Surely, Reimu has become sort-of-a-buddy to you since yesterday's incidents, but isn't that all there is to it? Teasing her, playing with her feelings, it's all fun, but...
"Are you sure?"
"From my point of view, yes I am." you try forcing on an irritated face "We're friends. That's all. I don't know what you're getting at. Seriously."
"... be careful not to keep the things up as they are then. You'll end up hurting not only yourself, but others as well."
With that, she takes her leave.
What was it about? Suprising as it may be, coming from such a playfuly-looking person as Marisa, it actually made some sense... At least a bit. After all, for Reimu Hakurei to...
Nah. She's just overreacting. Surely, Reimu is playing around as well, maybe trying to seduce you with her innocent acting, only to give you a swift kick in the balls in the end. Even if it was true...
It's pointless to pursue this path, isn't it? That selfish shrine-maiden, altough betraying signs of caring about you before, is all about kickin' and punchin', right? For her, to get clingy towards a person she's violated so many times...
You catch yourself thinking unreasonable things, resulting in your hands automatically scratching your head in irritation. This is too complicated. There's no use thinking about it now! Better leave it until you're totally drunk!
Speaking of which, didn't Mima ask you to bring more booze? Certainly, now that you think about it, there ought to be some more bottles in the kitchen. Surely, there amound you've seen after first entering the party chamber couldn't be all Reimu's been hiding for such an occasion? Or maybe it was Suika? Either way, it doesn't matter. With a troubled sigh, you set off towards the kitchen.
"What an ordeal..."
As expected, there were some bottles left there. Not really suprising. Why do you even notie such irrelevant facts?
Leave the thinking to alcohol. Go. Go.
Grabbing the remaining bottles, you head back to the dining room.
The atmosphere has cooled down a bit after the whole ordeal with singing, and now everyone, except the drunken trio, seems to have immersed in their own activities. Giving Reimu a weak and unsure smile, you sit beside her, placing the bottles on the table. Two of them immidiately disappear, only to appear in Mima's hands. As expected, she and Marisa started to gulp down on their contents right away. With a sigh, you grab one of the bottles, and open it violently, then take a few deep sips. Ahh, much better. The warm haze seeps into your thoughts, giving you a nice distance and seconds considerations about every single of them.
This party still lacks something.
And it might as well be another dose of unknown, but enjoyable alcohol in your veins.
"Hey, shouldn't you slow down a bit?"
"Useless." you pant out in between gulps "You should get drunk as fast as possible too. Yuuka as well." you grab one of the bottles and throw it at the green-haired youkai.
"You want me to get drunk?" she asks in suspicious voice.
"Might as well, since everyone is."
She abides by your suggestion, but still drinks with regulation worth a princess. Only small sips, not more than two in each gulp. Bleh, compared to her manners of drinking, yours are almost disgusting.
Not that it matters. Alcohol is alcohol, after all. Drinking without glasses is a disgrace big enough not to consider anything other as anything significiant. Bleh.
"All of those, always..." You want to take another deep gulp, but the bottle disappears from your hands. "That's mine, you know." you remark coldly, seeing Reimu down the rest of the bottle in two or three gulps.
"Does it matter? Get another one."
"... whatever." you grab another one. "Let there be leprechauns."
[ ] "Yukari, you not drinking?"
[ ] There's something missing... Something... Colourful.
[ ] Of course, drinking more shall be a proper thing to do.
[ ] Fucking leprechauns. And those elephants too. Brace for impact.
[ ] Freak out. Run away like a goddamn psycho.
I hate you, anon. Based on that fact, I am retiring for today.
[x] "Yukari, you not drinking?"
[x] There's something missing... Something... Colourful.
As much as you're eager to see the leprechauns as soon as possible, there's something missing in the atmosphere. Like a hole on a new shirt, altough small, still annoying and unsettling.
Ah, yes, elephants too. They can appear too. I-It's not like you want to see them or a-anything! T-They're just funny, that's all!
About the weird feeling, though...
"Yukari." you look at the said. Her hands continuously reach for various snacks, but never once did she grab a single bottle on anything with percents, come to think of it. "You not drinking?"
"Hm?" she looks up from above her plate, now full of orange peels and other leftovers "Ah, that... I don't want to."
"Don't want to?" you stand up. No, no, no. This is wrong. If everyone's drinking, and one person decides to break the cycle... It's like no one had drunk anything in the first place! Blasphemy! She's been invited to this party, and now she seeks to destroy it? You will not allow that! "What are you talking about? Come on, we are all drinking, so does it really matter? If you're afraid of revealing some of your, pardon my sarcasm, cunning plans, don't worry!" you swing your hand and place it on your waist "We're all going to be drunk and forget about it next morning!"
Yukari frowns at your overzealous attitude. Looks like she's still reluctant. What's wrong, Yukarin?
"Still, I'd rather not. I know what I do when drunk, and I'd like to--"
"Wrong, Yukari!" you interrupt her "Getting drunk is all it's about! Forget about reason! Kick it to the curb! Let your spirit drive you, with alcohol as the navigating system! No need to hold back! We're all friends here!"
Seeing Yukari's displeased face, you prepare to continue the speech, but a slight move of Yuuka's hand makes you stop just as you were about to speak up.
"If she doesn't want, don't force her."
Her cold voice makes you throw away all the resolve and sit down, devoid of any more will to convince Yukari. Well, suits her!
"Very well." you grab back your own bottle "Do what you please. Be aware though, if the party gets ruined, you're the one to blame it on."
Yukari shrugs and sighs at the same time. What now?
"So, how about I make up for it in diffirent manner?"
"Oh, I'm sure an outsider like you has yet to see many wonders of this our world..."
"Oi." Reimu cuts in "You don't want to show him--"
"MAGIC!" Marisa's shaky voice suddenly sounds, accompanied by Mima's and Suika's applause "MAGIC TIME -da ze!"
"Exactly. Surely, danmaku is not something that occurs every day in the outside world?"
You shake your head.
"Indeed, it doesn't."
"Good. Then I suppose you haven't seen it in action?"
Huh. Danmaku in action, eh? It can't be said that you haven't seen it, bah, you even had it aimed at your poor person, but... Even though those were most definitely magically created projectiles, they didn't look anything like the descriptions you've read made you imagine them. Then again, Reimu is probably a 'special case' in danmaku proficiency, her powers serving not only to battle, but seal and purify as well. And threaten (not really) innocent outsiders.
"While I cannot say I haven't seen them entirely, thanks to a certain person..." you make a pause here "That was only a glimpse of what I suppose must be full glory of danmaku."
"It is decided then. Let's go outside."
Marisa shouts as she literally flies out of the room, through, fortunately, opened doors.
Soon later, you find yourself standing beneath an unbelievable spectacle of light and sound. It all started with Suika throwing a ball of what looked like orange light, high into the air, followed by an explosion which spawned ten or more of them. It was the trigger for Mima and Marisa to begin shooting up various other projectiles. You watched silently, as the knowledge you acquired back in the outside world was finding realization in the show. The bullets, coming from people other than Reimu, looked still a bit diffirent than what you had imagined, but still fit the descriptions engraved in your mind. Some of them shaped like 'bullets', some like 'orbs', some like 'lasers'... While it was an amazing sight, surpisingly, you weren't suprised one bit. Maybe it was due to your danmaku cherry already being popped by the capricious Shrine Maiden, maybe because nothing really would suprise you in this world...
Even Yukari shot some elaborative barrages, consisting of all kinds of projectiles, spraying around in complicated, but logical patterns.
Two people though, remain unfazed by the show, standing by your sides throughout all the ordeal. Needless to say, those people are Reimu and Yuuka, the former silently observing with arms crossed on her chest, and the latter playing around with her parasol. With the corner of your eye, you notice a small rip in it's texture, obviously made during your earlier fight. For some reason, you start wishing that she doesn't notice it.
Suika laughs cheerfuly while spawning more and more orbs, sending them flying up to the sprawl of bullets constantly generated by Mima and Marisa. Almost as if she was playing voleyball with those glowing spheres.
Damn, to be able to do such things so effortlessly...
[ ] "Reimu, do you think I could shoot danmaku as well?"
[ ] "Yuuka, why aren't you joining in? I'm sure your skills beat those drunkards' by light years."
[ ] "Marisa! Show me how to danmaku!"
[ ] "Suika! Serve!"
[x] "Reimu, do you think I could shoot danmaku as well?"
[x] "Marisa! Show me how to danmaku!"
We'll convert our Psychosis into Danmaku, and we'll make up names like "Freaks Channel" and "Agitator" and "Alice's Insanity" and nobody will everrr get the references.
[x] "Reimu, do you think I could shoot danmaku as well?"
[x] "Yuuka, why aren't you joining in? I'm sure your skills beat those drunkards' by light years."
[x] "Marisa! Show me how to danmaku!"
[x] "Suika! Serve!"
[X] "Reimu, do you think I could shoot danmaku as well?"
And they really seem to be enjoying it. Looks like even though danmaku is a fighting game of sorts, it can be also used as a... lighshow. Of sorts. Or maybe they're just too drunk not to be amused by some thing so trivial to them? Of course, this whole thing was supposed to be just a spectacle for the 'unknowing' outsider, but in the meantime, it seems to have evolved into Marisa and Mima's playground. Not that it's a bad thing, let them play if they want.
Suddenly, a question appears in your mind.
"Reimu," you say, still observing the orbs Suika keeps spawning "Do you think I would be able to do something like that too?"
Short and cold. Just like that, she dismisses your hopes.
"You're a human."
"So are you. Marisa as well."
Another barrage of bullets from Marisa, this time shaped like stars.
("Keep your gay bullets outta my patterns!" Mima.
"Suck it up!" and of course, a carefree response from the witch. And more stars.)
"Indeed." Reimu continues "But both of us are special cases. I am of Hakurei bloodline, while Marisa has teachings and artifacts. For example, her mini-hakkero. In layman's terms, it allows her to channel her energy easily. But as for you..."
"Try to make me!")
Reimu turns to you, with arms still crossed on her chest. You grace her with an attentive glance, but still keep an eye on drunken trio's play. And Yukari, again and again throwing seemingly random patterns, with lack of fervour. Even her magnificiently looking barrages are nothing in comparison with the connected powers of drunkards.
And then, just as she's about to stop...
"That's right! Show her what it means to mess up a pattern!")
Marisa launches a salve of colourful stars straight into Yukari's bullets.
"Oh? You wanna fight?"
Both of their shots intensify, fighting for domination in the space above the shrine. You can only pray that this doesn't slip out of control...
"Ahem." Reimu coughs annoyingly "As I was saying, I don't suppose you've studied magic?"
"Can't say I have." you turn away from the evergrowing battlefield "Is it that important?"
"Of course it is. Are you dumb?" she frowns "Without that, or some kind of 'concealed talent' or rather, should I say 'power source', it's impossible."
"Oh. That's a pity--"
"Silly girl." Yuuka's sudden exclamation makes both of you turn to her in suprisement. "Of course he can do it, even without power source inside."
Walking behind you, Yuuka sticks the tip of her parasol into the ground (dangerously close to your feet, but you decide to let that slip), and stands between you and Reimu. The latter narrows her eyes.
"I'd like to see that."
"Then I shall show you. Hand."
Turning to you, Yuuka reaches out her palm.
"Give me your hand."
Obediently, you touch Yuuka's hand, which she immidiately wraps around your palm, putting her fingers between yours. A bit violently, she pulls you closer, so that your shoulders are touching.
Single word. Prepare? For what? How? Yuuka, this person here is almost a total laic when it comes to danmaku. What are you telling him to--
Sudden pain in your forearn. No, not pain. Unpleasant feeling, but not pain. Warmth. More. Hotness. As if your blood was boiling. Only the coldness of Yuuka's skin proves to soothe it a bit, though far too weakly to make it disappear. It burns. Like if there were needles in your veins, scratching against their walls.
"Concentrate. It may help if you clear your mind of all thoughts. Concetrate on letting it out."
Letting... But it's inside, so how... How are you supposed to let out...
Burn. Burn. Burn. Hot. Too hot. With each second, it's getting stronger. Yuuka's cold skin is almost unfeelable now. The sensation spreads farther, up your arm, now clearly felt in your shoulder, chest...
"Let it out."
"LET IT OUT."
Head. Slowly seeping into your brain. Your vision fades out. Burn. Burn. Burn...
"LET IT OUT, I SAY!"
As if it was a trigger, Yuuka's voice breaking through the haziness of your thoughts, makes your consciouness come back with a snap.
And along with it, concentration.
That's right. You cannot let this hotness overthrow your control.
Giving it your greatest efforts, you force all the unnatural warmth out of your body.
A bloody red bullet comes hurling from the tips of your fingers. And after flying for a few meters, it explodes in a cloud of equally red fire.
There was no recoil whatsoever, but the sudden lack of unpleasant hotness makes you flinch.
Yuuka sighs with relief.
"I told you to release it earlier."
Glancing around, you see that everyone has stopped whatever they were doing and are now looking at you in suprisement. Heay, that explosion was rather loud, for one created by danmaku. Of course, the bullets you've seen today were making noises as well, but it was more like silent buzzing, while yours...
Sounded almost like an old revolver would do.
Perhaps it's because you haven't released it when Yuuka told you to. Energy overload, resulting in bullet's consistency being too dense? And that's what caused the explosion? At least that would be a logical explanation...
[ ] "I did it! Did you see that, Reimu! I can do danmaku too!"
[ ] "Again!"
[ ] "So... Why was I able to do it?"
damn, this is shorter than I had planned it to be, but I kept being distracted by people wanting something from me...
Since it's so slow today (for both me and voters), I am going to go out. Will be back in the evening, in 5-6 hours.
On an unrelated note, I still can't forgive you for rending me from opportunities to write that moe scene. Seriously, it was perfect. Perfectly perfect. Tsundere at it's best, showing the paws, but patting on the head at the same time. Yesterday, I managed to forget about it, thanks to be being totally drunk, but today...
Well, you've managed to piss me off, to say the least.
Logical or not, does logic really apply when it comes to magic? As much as you'd like to shine in Yuuka's eyes and throw some explanation about what has just happened, you come to a conclusion that the risk of making yourself look like an idiot is too big to undertake any steps. Better leave it as it is and let her handle the talking.
Which she doesn't look like she's going to do.
Her hand slips away from yours, then she wipes her forehead.
"Well?" she looks at you coldly "You've done it. Satisfied?"
All the other girls still remain silent. Bah, even Suika gapes at you two with widely opened eyes.
"You know," you try to look as carefree as possible when saying this "I would, if I knew what has just happened."
"You shot a bullet. A crudely constructed one, but it could still be a bullet. What is there more to know?"
"Agh, you..." You can't help but palm your face, seeing her completely blank expression. She seems to be oblivious of the amazement this little incident inducted in all the other people around. "Listen. I, a human, just shot a bullet of magical energy, which I am not supposed to possess, let alone be able to control it."
"Certainly, you do not possess... Any useful kind of energy inside." she pulls her parasol out of the ground, then dusts off the tip. "What?" she says, noticing your intensive stare.
"I thought you were going to continue."
"Does it really bother you? You said you wanted to do it so I made it possible."
"Made it possible... Meaning?"
"Listen, as a... human, you don't possess any potential magical energy. While controlling it is not that big of a deal, it's having it inside that's important. Of course, to say that you don't possess any kind of energy would be outright false, but I cannot say any of it could serve as fuel for magical spells. Me, a youkai, on the other hand," she points at her chest "Have plenty of it. That means, I can cast spells."
"So," you speak up again, seeing that she's ended her lecture "Why was I able to create that bullet?"
"Ehhh..." she sighs again "I gave you a little bit of my energy. It's possible to transfer that energy through touch, altough it has two disatvantages, which you've surely felt. One, once started, transfer cannot be stopped, until the energy fills the 'receiving' vessel or gets used up. You could've felt that as warmth spreading throughout your body. Second, the energy has to be immidiately used, if transferred to living beings. Otherwise, it'll find a way to leak out, and god knows what would happen then. It's because human body is unable to keep the energy inside. Physical, psychical, mental, thoughts, they all constantly flow out. Magical energy too. Studying the ways of keeping it inside is one way for 'learning magic', like some of us here did." she glances at Marisa "But magical energy is much more dangerous that what you usually emit. In layman's terms, anything could happen. Your veins bursting, head exploding, bones breaking, internal and external bleeding, even being ripped to shreds. There's no way to predict that." her face is completely devoid of emotions as she counts out those painfully-sounding tortures "It is also possible to trasfer energy to things, like amulets or weapons. Since those are 'dead', there is no way for them to emit any kind of energy. This way, people create single or multi-use magical items. One of such kind would be your friend's 'mini-hakkero'. But all the methods are only half-measures, because--"
"Transfer of Source."
Yukari cuts in with another weird thing. Yuuka only gives her a nod.
"Yes. It is indeed possible to make a transfer of the Source, giving the receiving vessel an ability to generate energy, and not only store or use the trasferred amount... Though from what I know, only a few know how to do it." she nods at Yukari, who answers with a smile "Is it possible to transfer Source to non-living things as well? If it were, the possibilities..."
Yukari only nods.
"It is. Though I'd rather not go into details. I'll just say it's tremendously difficult."
"I understand." Yuuka turns back to you "If you want an artistic analogy, magic is rose petals. I can give you a handful of petals, but if you try to hold them in your hand for too long, wind will scatter them around without your interference. You can also wave your hand and scatter them according to your will. But you can't just pick up the fallen petals back up, since they get dirty. I can also give you rose seeds, which would be a Source. You can 'plant' those seeds and have a theoretically endless supply of petals."
She continues to stare at you intently.
It's easier to understand after she used that metaphor, but... It's... Almost too convenient, right? It's too simple. If it were that easy, then...
"I understand." you still nod "Thanks for lesson."
"You're welcome. It doesn't hurt to know more. Still, I'm not going to do that again. It's too dangerous, your energies are unpleasant to deal with when transferring. If you want, ask someone else."
"Ah!" Marisa's drunken voice interrupts your thoughts "Alice was trying to do something like that! She once told me something about in-ped-entant doll or something like that!"
"Oh?" This time, Yukari becomes more interested in little witch's outburst. "Really? What do you know?"
"Aha! You're curious!" Marisa makes a short piruet "Alright! I'll tell you! But when she wakes up, sshhhh!"
"Well then, if you're finished, please excuse me."
Yuuka exclaims silently before turning her back on you and walking away towards the shrine. Either she's bored with all the ordeal or simply tired after the transfer... Come to think of it, even though her voice and body seemed to be calm, there was this feeling...
"If you want to try it again, don't could on me." Reimu interrupts your train of thoughts "I'm sure it's fun to you, but transferring my energy just like that..."
You don't look at her. From behind you, Marisa's voice sounds, in excited manner, she betrays all of Alice's secrets. Mima throws in a remark when Marisa mentions the word 'mana'. Suika laughs...
[ ] "Why not? We're both human, so it should be easier, right? Please?"
[ ] Petals... Flowers... How fitting... That analogy.
[ ] Listen to Marisa's story. Shit's hilarious, judging from Yukari's grin.
[X] Petals... Flowers... How fitting... That analogy.
Petals... Flowers... Flower youkai. Huh. No wonder she used that kind of analogy. How fitting...
Wait a moment. Flowers? Flowers...
"Oh shi..." You exclaim to Reimu's suprise "I forgot!" Indeed, despite all the efforts you'd made to acquire them, the flowers are still...! Damn it. Now you know who were they meant for, at least. "Yuuka!"
Ignoring Reimu's suprised gasp, you storm after the green-haired youkai. She's just entered the shrine, she can't be far...
And indeed, after the first turn you took, you see her familiar back not more than five or so meters down the corridor.
In two leaps, you cover the distance and jump at in front of her, sliding a few centimeters along the floor before coming to a full stop.
"What are you jumping around about?"
Her serene voice betrays no suprisement whatsoever.
"I... for... got..."
"Calm down before speaking. How weak."
You let the insult slip by unnoticed and try to stabilize your breathing. One, two, three...
"I suppose it's something important, with all the haste?"
"Whether it is or not, that I shall leave you to decide." you say, straightening up. Yuuka scans you carefully, her gaze stopping for a second on your hand.
"So? Get to the point."
Uh. So cold? Why? Earlier, she at least seemed to appreciate the fight and what came afterwards... You flinch mentally, but stand perfectly still.
"I forgot I have something to show you."
"Yes. Follow me."
She obediently does, not a single word of protest coming from her mouth. Well, at least that.
"Here." After arriving at the kitchen, you quickly snatch the basket and hand it to Yuuka. "I bought them today, but totally forgot. Sorry."
She quietly grabs the basket, then looks at you with blank face.
"You're giving this to me?"
"I thought it's a present you'd appreciate."
She carefully studies the flower pattern. Every little petal, stem, leaf... You're almost starting to feel uneasy.
Then, she frowns and hands it back to you.
"I don't need it."
You're so suprised only a dumb question escapes your mouth. Quite involuntarily too.
"I appreciate it, but I can't take it. It belongs to the miko, right?"
"Uh, it was bought with her money, but..."
"It is, then."
This is awkward. Weren't the flowers meant for her in the first place? Why is she being so rude, refusing to take them?
"Is that all?"
[ ] "... I think it is. Let's return. I guess show must go on."
[ ] "Actually, there's another thing."
-subvote [ ] "What you promised me after our fight."
-subvote [ ] "I have more quetions about transferring magical energy."
[ ] Stomp on the damn flowers
It'll be like that scene in Men in Black where Will Smif is stomping on the roaches to get the attention of the giant angry alien cockroach except we won't win this time because K isn't inside Yuuka with a beam rifle.
>"Transfer of Source."
>Yukari cuts in with another weird thing. Yuuka only gives her a nod.
>"Yes. It is indeed possible to make a transfer of the Source, giving the receiving vessel an ability to generate energy, and not only store or use the trasferred amount... Though from what I know, only a few know how to do it." she nods at Yukari, who answers with a smile "Is it possible to transfer Source to non-living things as well? If it were, the possibilities..." Yukari only nods.
>"It is. Though I'd rather not go into details. I'll just say it's tremendously difficult."
>"I understand." Yuuka turns back to you "If you want an artistic analogy, magic is rose petals. I can give you a handful of petals, but if you try to hold them in your hand for too long, wind will scatter them around without your interference. You can also wave your hand and scatter them according to your will. But you can't just pick up the fallen petals back up, since they get dirty. I can also give you rose seeds, which would be a Source. You can 'plant' those seeds and have a theoretically endless supply of petals."
>She continues to stare at you intently.
>It's easier to understand after she used that metaphor, but... It's... Almost too convenient, right? It's too simple. If it were that easy, then...
>"I understand." you still nod "Thanks for lesson."
>"You're welcome. It doesn't hurt to know more. Still, I'm not going to do that again. It's too dangerous, your energies are unpleasant to deal with when transferring. If you want, ask someone else."
>"Ah!" Marisa's drunken voice interrupts your thoughts "Alice was trying to do something like that! She once told me something about in-ped-entant doll or something like that!"
>"Oh?" This time, Yukari becomes more interested in little witch's outburst. "Really? What do you know?"
That explains Yuka's relative interest in Nanaya. If she's anywhere near as old as Yukari, she'd likely be looking for her own vessel to transfer her Source to, either directly or through a descendant.
I strongly doubt Yukari will be happy with this turn of events.
Capacity would be a problem. As the earlier mana charge showed, we haven't displayed a very large or lasting capacity, while she's been able to give Red regeneration abilities by now. She's likely still infatuated with Red at this point, and she's been shown to choose his life over ours in conflicts. She's felt the adverse effects of Yuka messing with her bloodline as she was the one who killed Nanaya's father (though I suspect it's more complex than a simple fight).
And given that she can't reproduce through male youkai or transfer her abilities to Ran, there may be interaction problems between mixing sources. Yuka after all did say our energies were very unpleasant to her.