That hell raven of Satori's has been going in and out of the underground for a while. Because of that, a commotion's been stirred up in the surface, or so you hear. People have been coming down from above ground to check out the incident. You've already seen one, clad with flowing, blond hair and donning a witch hat and broom to match. She had already passed by before you could challenge her to a fight. You lounge around the city streets, waiting for nothing in particular. You just wish that you had something fun to do. Just then, you see some danmaku pass by through the air. Getting what you wished for, you hurry up and move yourself off the ground.
“Speak of the devil! I knew something exciting was going to pass by this way!” As you gain air, you see a girl dressed in red and white clothing. She greets you with some danmaku. Dodging swiftly, you move over and throw a few lasers at her before retreating back. Once she catches up to you, you allow her to talk.
“The moment I step into the city, I get assaulted with danmaku. A cheery place, isn't it?” She talks low, as if she were having a conversation without you.
“It's nice that you're holding up such a lively chat with yourself, but we need to battle!” You wait patiently for her to ready herself, but she crosses her arms.
“Oh, really? What for?” She raises one eyebrow, questioning you. You knit your forehead. She seems a little impatient right now. The way she's not staying still, moving around in the air brings an attitude of hastiness.
“To train myself, I guess.” You shrug, stating your intentions. She looks at you questionably. “I have to get stronger, so I can beat another oni. I have to, or else I'd break a promise! Now no more talking, let's fight!”
Starting with a few danmaku rounds, you spray some covering fire to disguise your real shots. Swaying around the bullets, the red-white woman lithely moves throughout the patterns, not fazed by the hidden danmaku. Keeping the pressure on you, she keeps up her steady rhythm of danmaku flowing in your direction. You declare a spellcard, forcing her to back off.
“Oni Sign: Merciless Frontal Assault!” A red and blue ring covers the area around you, sending out a channeled flow of magic. A dark aura emanates in the surroundings as you charge your spellcard, leaving yourself vulnerable. As soon as she flies too close, you send out a wave of danmaku, a layered assortment of blue and white bullets slashing forward. She takes a direct hit on her arm, but manages to stay up in the air. You charge your spell again, but this time the girl weaves through your initial danmaku burst and moves to the side. Your scattered bullets barely manage to touch her this time. You attempt to charge once more, but she breaks your spellcard, shattering the aura.
You go straight into the next spellcard. “Onmyoudou Sign: Northeast Blowing Wind!” You focus your energy onto the spell, sending a slow storm of danmaku, leisurely moving across from the northeast. She easily dodges it, moving across the pattern without breaking a sweat. The speed increases as you add more power into the card, and another set of danmaku appears, coming in from twelve directions. The red-white's movement grows more rapid and her breathing becomes more and more ragged. In the end, she manages to barely defeat your spellcard, breaking it at the last second. You're on your last spellcard now, moving left and right, shooting a zig-zag lane of danmaku as you pass by. She follows your movements, staying within the boundaries of the lines. You call up your last spell card.
“Lost Treasure: Curse of Ibaraki!” The danmaku flows out from the sides in an upward direction. As time passes, more danmaku flows in and out of the zone, encircling the girl. You clutch your shackle, but the spellcard instantly fades. You retreat, allowing her to pass.
“Huh... what was that?” She catches up to you, in a non-combative position. “I thought your last spellcard would have been challenging!” She folds her arms across her chest, expectantly waiting for an answer.
“Let's just say I didn't prepare. Or remember, if you want to be specific. By the way, what's your name? You seem pretty strong for a human.”
“Reimu Hakurei. Just a normal shrine maiden.” She laughs inwardly, stifling her giggle. “I don't really know this place; do you mind leading me towards the center of the spirits?”
“We're already heading there. And somehow, I doubt you're a 'normal' example of a shrine maiden.” She adopts a hurt expression, feigning shock, but recovers from it quickly. Instead, she starts muttering to herself. You can't really hear well, so you slow down, concentrating on what she's saying.
“...You've been really quiet, what's up? How unusual of you to stay so reserved.” Reimu nods once in a while, and occasionally says replies back. She continues on. “Hm, why are you speaking so softly?” She pauses for a bit, and breathes in, sounding surprised. Then she stares at you intently, with an unknown look on her face. The two of you don't say anything. But then, a loud voice interrupts the moment.
“Oho, who's this?” Yuugi flies closer towards the two of you. “A new person underground? Looks like a fun person!”
“Hey, Yuugi!” You wave over to her. “Perfect timing. If you don't mind, can you show her the way to the mansion?” She takes a sip from her usual bowl of sake, and thinks for a bit. Then her eyes light up.
“Sure! Anything, as long as I get to see some action! You are going there to fight, yes?” The way Yuugi's enthusiasm grew tenfold when discussing a battle almost makes you laugh out loud.
“Kind of. You see, it's complicated.” She smiles weakly, looking neither Yuugi nor you in the eye. She regains her composure quickly, and is about to speak when another voice speaks up.
“While we're on the subject of favors, can ya help me out, Yuugi?” The voice that came out was unmistakable. You knew exactly who it was.
“S-Suika?” You haven't heard that voice in a while. You missed that enthusiastic cheer of hers. “It's been a while.”
“Yeah.” Devoid of her usual cheerfulness, she sounds a bit sober. “A long time right? But anyways, I want to talk to Yuugi.” You can't see her face, but you felt a bit of sadness in her voice.
“I'm listening, Suika. What is it?” Yuugi, however, doesn't sense the mood and remains in her drunken happiness. Reimu, muttering softly to Suika, reluctantly comes close to Yuugi, leaving you out of the conversation. Curious, you start to wander towards the group, but they've already finished talking.
“Hmmm, I see. So all you want me to do is to set that guy free of charge?” She goes over and points to you. She has a mildly interested look, gazing over at Reimu.
“Yep, that's it!” Suika straightforwardly says.
“That's all? Nothing else? Heh, I can do that. It was no concern of mine anyways. I just wanted someone interesting to fight with.” You glare at Yuugi with dismay, but she seems to be unfazed by it, still grinning widely.
“You're free to go!” Suika says exuberantly to you. “Now all you have to do is to keep your promise!”
“Hm, not so fast, Suika. Let's wait until this little incident's over. I want to have one last drink with him.” Yuugi smirks, waiting for her response.
“But why?” The impatience in Suika's voice almost oozes from Reimu's yin-yang orbs.
“Because I want to tease you.” Yuugi laughs playfully.
“That's no fair!”
Yuugi just points one finger at you. “For what reason, really? Why do you want him to be free so badly? Hmmmm?” She feigns innocence, questioning Suika.
For a while, Suika says nothing. Then she speaks, hiding her embarrassment. “B-because he promised me he'll come up for the surface. For me.”
Reimu butts in. “That's nice and all, but can we just get on with the incident? I'm feeling really cramped in this underground city.”
“Alright. I'll show you the way.” Yuugi winks at you when Reimu's back is turned. She mouths the words, 'You owe me one again' jokingly. She motions for you to stay while she “ferries” Reimu away to the mansion. So you wait. And wait. Then wait some more. Feeling a bit uncomfortable, you rest yourself on a particularly empty town center. A good thirty minutes pass before Yuugi comes back alone. She apologizes innocently.
“Ahaha, sorry. I guess I got carried away! That miko got some skills! I woulda sparred her, but she declined. I was looking forward to it, too! But that's not the reason why I brought you over here.” She throws you some spellcards. “One last time. No spellcards. Just power.” You take away your own spellcards, placing the pile of cards on the table of a nearby stand.
“Gotcha.” As soon as you said it, she positions herself towards you. She walks closer, leaving her vulnerable spots widely open. Gritting your teeth, you make a dash towards Yuugi. You land a soft blow on her left side, barely grazing her. She returns with a straight punch to your head, arm curving downwards. Swiftly moving aside, you make a clean jab to the stomach, and then sweep her legs with a low kick. Falling down to the floor, she grabs your arm and pulls you down to the ground also. You crash into the ground but quickly get back up. Yuugi's already up, and takes the chance to knee you. Knocking the air out of your breath, you stumble back, gasping. A cold kick to your back sends you back down onto the underground soil. You grab onto her arm, dragging her into the force of the kick.
“Hck...” She must've hit you with a great deal of strength. Provided that your back suffered the brunt of the blow, you shouldn't be rendered unmoving. Shouldn't being the key word. Struggling to get back up, you strain your arms and legs to move. Standing up, you're weary and in pain, but at least still able to fight. Yuugi shows no fatigue, but her attacks are slowing down. Neither of you can land any more shots at each other. She's leaving herself well-protected, but lacks the position to get free from a grasp. As she steps forward, you seize the chance. Feinting to the left for a hook, you motion your right hand. She moves to the side to dodge any feint. Expecting that, you dash behind her, and lock your arms together around her waist.
“Wha...!?” She puts on a look of confusion. Now, you lift up your arms and bend backwards, letting gravity do the work. The ground crunches as you slam her into the gravel. You release her, and she slips forward, falling into the mini-crater.
“Ow ow ow....” She moans inside the hole. “Okay, you win. I guess you can really beat me in a real fight.” She pulls herself out of the hole, wincing as she climbs over to the ground.
“Maybe. But I want to know. Did I really win, or did you let me?” She gives you no answer, only rubbing the back of her head in pain.
Instead, she gives you a simple response. “You can go now. No debts, nothing. Have fun on the outside.” Not needing to be reminded, you take the bridge to the surface. Stopping in the end of the opposite side, you throw one last rock into the “abyss.” Then you move out to the entrance of the surface. The cold breeze that you felt so long ago now feels warm as it passes by. Instead of seeing snow, nature has bloomed into a lush green that envelopes the trees and hills. You breathe in some fresh air, a faint scent of flora seeping into your nose. How many years has it been since you've seen the outside? You always told yourself you would from time to time, but you didn't want to remind yourself of old memories. You move on up to the sky. Now would be the perfect time to go meet Suika.
...You forgot to ask her where she was living on the surface. “Crap...” You curse to yourself. However, you do remember that she was with that shrine maiden....Reimu, was it? Yes, you'll just ask the surrounding humans where she was. Hopefully, she's strong enough to be well known on the surface. Dropping back down to the ground slowly, you greet the nearest human. A woman with blue hair and an even bluer dress returns your bow formally.
“Ah, hello! I don't believe we've met. A-ah...” She stares at your horns, but tactfully regains her composure. “Do you need something?”
Ignoring her lapse of mind, you get straight to the point. “Yes, actually, I do. If you could direct me towards where Reimu is staying, that would be great.” You forgot her last name, so you just said her first.
“Oh, Reimu? I haven't seen her in a while, but I could show you the general direction.” She points to the south of the village. “The shrine is obscured by a hill, but it should be clear enough once you fly.” Giving your thanks, you wave goodbye. You fly a good distance before a compact shrine moves into view. It protrudes out on top of a lone hill, plainly in sight. Floating down, you land on the last few steps of the stairs leading up to the shrine. Resting on top of the donation box, rests Suika. She's sprawled out on top of it, casually sipping from her gourd. As you take the last few steps up, the little oni turns in your direction. When she sees you, Suika almost drops her sake and charges towards you. Tackling you to the ground, she nuzzles her face against your chest.
“You're baaack!” Hugging you tightly, she doesn't even try to contain her enthusiasm. Nestling closer, she brushes her lips against your cheeks once. She closes her eyes for a brief moment. “I missed you, do you know that?”
“I missed you too...but first, can I get up?” Suika's face flares a soft pink, but she smiles. Slowly getting off of you, she picks up her gourd and pulls you up.
“Come inside. We needa talk!” She waves you over to the shrine. Entering the place, it seems to be quite spacious on the inside. The interior looks a bit old, but gives off the impression of an antique house. The rooms are kept unusually tidy, except for the main room, where empty dishes and cups lay around the sink. The shrine maiden comes out of one room, almost ready to leave. Suika moves towards the table, resting her chin on top of it. You follow suit, sitting on the adjacent spot.
“You're off to go resolve another incident, Reimu?” Suika questions. The shrine maiden, sorting out her spellcards and charms, only gives a brief nod.
“See ya Reimu. Good luck with the incident!” You call out to her before she leaves. Suika waves while pouring a bowl of sake for both you and herself.
“Yep.” Reimu replies curtly, not wasting any more time. About ready to fly, she's poised to take to the sky. “H-hey wait, why are you here?” She stops herself mid-air, floating half-way up in the sky.
“Hmm...” You think to yourself. Do you think she'll let you stay here? It feels really homely. “Reimu! I have a proposal! Do you mind if I stay here with Suika? I won't be much of a bother.”
“Let me think about it. But wait until I get back, alright? My accommodations may not be able to support three people who need to be fed.” Not saying anything more, she leaves the shrine grounds and takes off. Hmm....
[ ] Go along with her. It could be something interesting!
Equip Take Suika.
[ ] Stay here. She did tell you to wait, after all.
-[ ] But what should you do? (Write in)
[ ] Go explore around the area. Maybe go to the village?
[ ] You could do something else, too. (Write in)