Archetype of Self Run 2 [Part 1] S.L.D.T. !u/LtL4dS.6 2011/08/17 (Wed) 03:14 No. 33252 ▼
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Yeah, I know. I've got a couple stories that already require attention, yet I decided to start on this. However, I've been wanting to do this for quite a while and have worked it out to where it shouldn't be the mess the first one is, and I hope that the changes to the formula will be accepted.
Also, even if it looks serious, it won't be overplayed. And even if I forget that, well, there's more to the story this time than the short incident ahead.
I'm rather terrible at introductions, so I'm not going to go into too much detail about myself. I will say that my name is Wade Trenton, I'm 18, white, and trying my hardest to make sense of things.
About... Three months ago I started to practice lucid dreams since my home life is pretty dull and I've been a bit frustrated lately. Oh sure, I have good friends to call on, a loving cat for a pet, and more than enough physical prowess to get to said friends and to visit plenty of places, but I can't impose on them to the degree required to live away from my folks. Hence, I still have to go home at night, and I still need to put up with those I don't get along with. And since my dreams are pretty random, not to mention that half the time I can't recall them, I decided to take up lucid dreaming as a hobby. At first it didn't work out so well since the techniques used require a lot of practice, which resulted in some hazy images that I had little control over. Mostly of a nighttime landscape and a strange blonde girl with wings, along with one with wings.
I couldn't interact with them, and despite my being interested in finding out more about them I found that once I ironed out the techniques I was unable to interact with them. When I 'woke up' in the lucid dream, I was always in front of a strange mansion with an impossibly large flower garden. The door to the mansion was locked, so the first time I decided to walk along the path that leads away from the building. I saw a blonde woman in a red dress and a sun hat sitting next to the open gate, but she was sleeping at the time. I tried to just will her awake since I thought she was part of my dream, though that didn't work at all. After a few minutes of trying I decide to just walk away from the mansion and toward a point in the distance where the path just seems to end. There wasn't anything interesting about the road there, it was just a near-solid dark blue brick path inset within a grassy field of the same color. I hoped at the time that my imagination wasn't that boring.
The exit point lead out to an island surrounded by a lake of blood. This managed to shock me awake since I didn't think I would dream up something like that! ...But the next time I went to sleep, I found that I 'woke up' at the exact point I had left off. The sight still managed to make me uneasy, but that unease was shifted and actually somewhat mitigated by the appearance of a curious blonde girl... Well, apparently I found blonds attractive enough for multiple girls of that hair color to show up. Anyway, she had a white ribbon/headband thing in her long, golden hair, gold eyes a white button-up shirt, and a black, mid-length skirt held up by suspenders. The wings were a little disconcerting, along with the somewhat pale skin, but... I think I was just a wee bit too distracted by her beauty and the fact that she's... well... She was a little too close to me. I seriously thought she was going to bite me and add my blood to the lake, but it turns out she just wanted to say hi.
I woke up a little while afterward from the sheer amount of nerves I was having, and after a day spent wondering just what I was doing flirting with a vampire in my dreams (Can't blame me, can you? That's how Twilight came to be.) I found that I had woken up with my head in her lap. She was just as surprised as I was to see that I had reappeared on her, and promptly pulled me into a tight hug that should have suffocated me had I been in the physical state to do so. She introduces herself as Kurumi after finally calming down enough to let me go, and I wind up telling her my name in turn. Turns out that while she is a vampire, she can get all the blood she could ever need or want from the lake around her, and would prefer some company over a marginally less convenient source of food. By now I was beginning to suspect that I wasn't really in control of this place, but the simple fact that there was a beautiful, exotic girl taking an interest to me simply because she was lonely made me re-evaluate the whole scenario. I mean, seriously. One does not simply find a girl of that calibur and that level of cuddly, nor does he find that she's become attached to him with no effort on his part!
Well, that part isn't really all that important, but suffice to say that I did what any upstanding male human would do in that scenario: Form a 'Friends with Benefits' style relationship with her after explaining what goes into it. She was surprisingly supportive of the idea since a full-blown romance between humans and youkai tends to not be all that great an idea unless you can do something about that whole 'your youkai lover will outlive you many times over' deal. ...Not that I really knew what a 'youkai' was. I heard Naomi use the term a couple times, but I didn't recall exactly what the term meant, but I got the feeling it referred to those who had supernatural powers of some sort.
...I kind of drifted back to that part, didn't I? Well, let me tell you about the part that's landed me in my current perdicament.
You see, those two blonde girls I saw when my sight was still fuzzy and my technique was unrefined weren't just products of my imagination. They were the creators and rulers of an entirely seperate dream world, and I had been drifting in and out of it ever since I had my first lucid dream. They weren't all that happy about it, but they were content to let it slide since I wasn't doing anything to them or their world. I'd later learn that there were a couple of girls who basically ran in here and beat them up for no real reason, which is why they weren't happy to see me. Not that they could see me clearly though, what with my appearance being just as fuzzy as my vision was. Apparently the elder of the two sisters decided to fling some energy bolts my way just to see what would happen, and... well...
Something utterly impossible happened. I broke apart on impact. I could see from dozens of different perspectives, but each individual view was making my head hurt. The human mind was designed to interpret signals from two eyes, not 40+! It didn't help that my view got hazier by the second, and that it felt like I was drifting off to sleep again.
The good news is that I did wake up again. The bad news is that I was literally as out of it as I felt, and I felt like someone had drilled a hole in my head, emptied out the contents, and replaced it with nothing but air. I had no idea what happened, where I was, what I was doing, or if I was even dreaming or not. All I knew was that I was lying in the middle of a stone brick path, with one end going toward a village and the other end going toward a tall hill. For some reason I really wanted to go to the village, but I was closer to the hill and what was left of my curiosity was currently overriding my common sense. Apparently my survival instinct vanished as well, because I didn't see, hear, or feel the head-sized orb of pain until it smacked into the back of my skull.
"...Are you really the source of all these spirits?" A feminine voice. Someone's landed behind me and has walked over to pick up the orb that hit me. Apparently she's the owner, because it turns into a black and white cat and perches itself on her shoulder. She flips me over, at which point we lock eyes. She's scrutinizng me, looking for anything that might confirm her earlier statement. Her neutral expresson turns into a small frown, at which point she grabs me by the arm and hauls me up. "Hey, can you understand me? Just nod or something. You don't have to do anything else."
Mid-length black hair done up in a ponytail, red eyes, a penchance for red and white clothing. Fair skin, yellow ascot, a big red bow in her hair, and a strange stick with tassles. Even though I know nothing about this person, I feel as though I shouldn't tempt her, so I nod once.
She sighs once. "Yup, you're the source alright, but it looks like someone's done a number on you already." She looks me over once again with the same stare, but somehow I feel as though she's not annoyed so much as she is exasperated. "A big number. I ought to get you back to the shrine before whatever attacked you comes back to finish you off. For an Outsider to survive that level of damage..." I don't get what the term 'Outsider' means, but I think that term refers to someone not from around here.
She doesn't speak another word after that, choosing to fly through the air instead of walking along the ground. It feels funny, flying. There's no gravitational pull holding you to the ground so you simply float in the air. Movement comes down to willing yourself in the direction you want to go, at the speed you wish to move at. I feel as though I've done it before, but can't for the life of me think of when. My eyes drift around the landscape after a while. Forest to the left, forest to the right, path in the middle, village growing further away, hill getting closer. Lake in the distance, mansion on an island in the middle of said lake. Bigger hill, probably a mountain, bamboo forest further away.
Am I really seeing all this, or am I just remembering and doing a good job of superimposing the images over what I'm really seeing? I can't tell.
The cat stares at me intently with red eyes to match its owner, possibly thinking about what I'll mean to it. I can't say for sure, but I doubt anything will happen to make it pay attention to me for too long.
I look around again. There's a building at the top of the hill with a large red gate-like thing in front of it. The 'shrine' the girl spoke of? She touches down after clearing the gate, then sets me down next to a large, empty box. She looks like she's going to tell me to sit there, but after a moment of opening her mouth and closing it again she instead opts to place her cat in my lap. She enters the building afterward.
The cat stares at me again for a few moments before curling up in my lap, apparently convinced that I won't move. It needn't have put in the effort, because I don't feel like moving.
I kick off my shoes once I slide the door shut and set them in their usual spot while running the possible scenarios through my head. A bunch of really stubborn Vulgar Spirits pop up no more than a few days after that Taoist Mausoleum opens up, but a quick run back to the innermost sanctum proved that Toyosatomimi no Miko wasn't behind it. Not directly anyway, but her innate ability to draw that type of spirit to her meant that I could still blame her for this mess if I really wanted to. ...Speaking of troublemakers, I can't help but grumble under my breath about how those Moriya Shrine idiots have caused nothing but trouble ever since they got here. First they demanded that I shut down, then they caused a hell crow to go crazy with the power of a god, which in turn caused a bunch of sealed youkai to get released, and somehow the domino effect went even further and revived a bunch of dead people! Now said dead people have caused an even more annoying type of Spirit to show up, which means yet more work.
If it weren't for the fact that they were actually doing some good amidst all the bad, I'd hold them accountable for all the crap I've had to deal with in the last couple years.
I store that thought for later since while I feel a strong desire to act on it, there's the more immediate problem of the Outsider spirit I found wandering along the main path from the shrine to the Human Village. Not to mention that if Kasen finds him before I get back to him, she'll probably destroy him out of principle. She can crush normal evil spirits with ease, and if she sees him as another type of evil spirit... Guess I need to step it up a little.
Thankfully the one I'm looking for isn't too far in. "Oi, Sariel. Mind if I drag you out front?" A small girl, no bigger than two feet tall, is sitting on a tatami mat sipping a cup of tea, not unlike what I'd do at this time of the day. Unfortunately for her, I pick her up by the middle to speed things up. While I can understand a need for a tea break, there's also a minor problem that the Angel of Death could at least help with, if not clear up immediately.
"Clearly this is something critical to the stability of Gensokyo, or else you wouldn't be annoying me smack in the middle of tea time." I didn't pay attention at the time, but she actually kept hold of the cup she was drinking out of. For someone who's life revolves around death, she sure does love her tea. What I don't pay any mind to is her attitude. Her snarking is almost as bad as Mima's at times, and usually a lot more arrogant. Yet she has her uses, as few and far between as they are.
I set her down next to the empty-eyed spirit with a cat-orb in his lap, and promptly sit down beside her. Aside from a brief glance, the guy pays us no mind. "Yeah, this guy's somehow managed to spark another incident, but unlike every single other person or entity that's caused an incident, this one's had the ever-loving crap beaten out of him already." My cat stares at me with a questioning glance, and I nod my head. It settles back down to take a nap on the spirit I hauled back, purring contentedly. I guess if the Yin-Yang orb doesn't have a problem with him, he can't be all bad.
Sariel exhales, then sets the empty cup down as she shifts her sitting postion so she can get a better look at the newcomer. It takes her all of a second to start talking again, but it's not in a deadpan tone. She sounds morbidly curious if anything. "Talk about an understatement. You certainly don't have an intact body here. Heck, you don't even have an intact spirit. I can't even begin to imagine how this weak-spirited Outsider managed to survive whatever managed to do this to him."
"How bad are we talking?" I watch the tiny angel as she feels the spirit, then as she casts various small magic spells, probably for analysis, before coming to a halt.
She turns to face me with a peculiar magic circle hovering just in front of her. "Very. Something struck this spirit hard enough to break it into fragments without obliterating it. I can think of at least one possible reason for why this is, but I'll skip that in favor of the marginally more distressing part. Well, distressing to you."
"Get on with it."
"Long story short? This spirit has a finite lifespan before it vanishes. I don't know exactly what's going on with it, but it appears to be the core consciousness of whoever it belongs to, or at least most of it. Since you're treating this like an incident, it might be wise to keep it intact for the time being." She dismisses the circle with a wave of her hand, then crosses her arms. "Before you ask, I estimate that you have three days to find a way to solve the incident or to repair it before it up and vanishes. Any of the fragments it produced should vanish sooner than that, but from your grumbling over the last few weeks it sounds like they've managed to stick around longer than they should have been able to."
I groan as I recall the various spirits I've tried to exterminate over the last few weeks. They'd always pop up, cause some problems, at which point I'd beat them down. The problem is that they'd always slip off into the Spirit World before I could actually exterminate them properly. Occasionally I would see them absorbing Vulgar Spirits from the surrounding peo.. ple... "They've been extending their lifespans with Vulgar Spirits. They must be using the desire found within them to strengthen their own desire to continue existing, thus enabling them to last longer than they should have." The realization hit me pretty hard just then since this means that they could continue to make trouble for me for a while yet.
Sariel takes a moment to think before speaking again, and sadly nothing she says reassures me. "...It's a bit of a stretch, but the desire to continue living is a strong one, especially in times of desperation. If that's really the case, then you'll just need to get him to a place that generates a large amount of desire, then allow him to repurpose it as needed. If the other fragments are using that same source of desire you can kill two birds with one stone and possibly take one out."
"I wish it were that easy... If you threaten them enough, they just slip into the Spirit Realm, and I can follow them for ten seconds at most. They might not be all that tough, but even they get enough of a boost from being in that realm to evade me long enough to force me to build up the will required to dive back in. By the time I've done so, they've vanished again." Still... They can't be dumb enough to risk leaving such an important piece behind. If those rogue fragments have any desire to live, they'll attempt to take back the core conscience that holds them together. It'd be dicey since I could very easily lose my bait, but at the same time I could make some real headway with this incident. "But you won't know if you don't try. Sariel, if you see Mima, Suika, or Ruukoto, let them know what's going on, but do not tell Kasen about this. If she catches wind of what's going on, she may try to destroy the fragments before I can deal with them, and I'd rather get some answers out of this than let her do that."
"Have fun." The tiny angel stands back up and walks back into the shrine, taking her tea cup with her.
I really shouldn't expect more from her. Still, this might just have given me what I needed, so I may as well make use of it. "Alright you, I don't know if you understood all that or not, but you're going to help me one way or the other. While I'm sure you'd probably appreciate a choice, I think you won't like the alternative." I get up before standing in front of this oddball, then extend a hand out to him so he can get back up. My cat bounces off his lap and onto my shoulder in one go, and seems to be trying to coax him into coming with me. I doubt he needs the encouragement though.
I didn't quite get everything, but I understand that things cannot remain as they are. I'd like to remain in this world, so I take the red-white's hand and stand up. I don't let go of her since I'm certain she'll lead me along, but she's still standing there. Perhaps she's waiting for something? A suggestion?
[X]The village has been tugging at me for some time now.
[X]The forest might hold something of interest.
[X]The mansion on the lake.
[X]The bamboo forest.
[X]The mountain in the distance.