Front Matter. Skip this section if you wanna go straight into the story.
This story will probably be centered around the Human Village, with some adventurous moments. MC will most likely be close-to-earth and interacts more with the humans. There shouldn't be any fights more dangerous than… say, against Rumia in the dark with bare hands.
I deleted my previous CYOA: Endless Flight since I started to get spams from my exposed email address. Also, that setting was so complicated that I decide to scratch it all together (I suppose Anons don’t like massive original setting crossover. I will keep those at bare minimum this time). One idea, however, is stuck in my mind: a low-profile low-power white mage who can teleport. What can he/she do?
Important: I am not a native English speaker, but I am a professional English user. If you spot a grammatical error, it does not imply I suck at English. I fix many problems in each pass of proof-reading, and I always proof-read three times or more, but I always miss one or two places. Unless you spot consistent mistakes, most will be one-time only. Remember, for every grammatical mistake you spot, I have fixed at least ten. It is frustrating to spend hours to polish a wall of 3000 words and the only comments are about how I messed up plural forms (though I had that one coming because I did make the same mistake quite a few times). If you really want to comment on my grammar, try to mix it with comments about the plot. I do not have a problem with grammar-picking, but please remember that commenting on grammar is trivial, especially for native English speakers, but the action gives an impression that I did not put work on polishing: an impression which is completely wrong and misleading. Honestly, I think criticizing the plot is much more helpful than picking errors in my grammar.
TL;DR: I appreciate criticism on my plot, pace, settings, character development and interaction, and recurring grammatical mistakes. Skip one-time grammatical errors, please. Names follow Asian conventions: Last Name then First Name
First step, build your investigator. Single choice only. No “proper” adventures before next update when character is defined.
Gender (For flavor* only) [ ] Male [ ] Female
Age (Sliding scale of intuition vs logic. Also affects physical ability and flavor*) [ ] 12 [ ] 18 [ ] 35
* For “flavor” I mean flavor of the story, not the other meaning.
The Story Begins.
Gensokyo, a wonderland of fantasy and adventure, filled with colorful bullets and frilly dresses. Or a crazy-dangerous place where everything can kill you in an instant if you don't know what you're doing. You've been here for a month right now, and you already learned that experiencing fantasy is completely different from watching it across the Fourth Wall™.
No, you were not gapped by a certain someone. No, you did not mysteriously wake up in a forest. Instead, you were demonstrating “real” magic to some eager high-school students, who insisted you to move on despite your stern warning about Sanity loss. For whatever reason, you attempted to open a portal to a fictional world those students told you about. You cannot fathom what you were thinking, but it seemed like a good idea at that time.
The best part was? You succeeded, in a “dry run” which was not supposed to have any side-effects. Then followed a long story about how you stepped in and was blocked from returning, how you got ambushed behind your own portal, and how you played the most terrifying game of hide-and-seek you have ever imagined. Yeah, that was a long story. Later, you learned that your portal opened in the Bamboo Forest of Lost, and understood that this was the exact reason why you managed to escape: by getting you and your pursuer lost in different ways.
Later, you settled on the edge of the Human Village in a formerly abandoned bar, courtesy of sheer luck and the protector of the village, Kamishirasawa Keine. It took you quite some time to fix the plumbing (it’s surprising that they actually have some crude sewage system in this Edo-period village. Though you really mean “crude”), and got your hands dirty putting up a large sign saying “White Magician’s Clinic”. Under the sign, there is a poster which says “Spiritual Healing, Depression Treatment, Possession and Curse Removal at price of your own choice!” with tiny prints saying “Minor illness only, no responsibility taken, owner reserves right to refuse service”.
A crisp ring of bell echoes through the doorway. Enough immersion in the past, there is a customer! You immediately pull your feet away from your wobbly table, grab your trusty wooden rod, stand up straight, and appears immediately behind the bar (which does not serve drinks) in the most professional manner you can act.
You mean it literally when you say “appear”. With a flick of your wrist, you performed that one spell, the pinnacle of your pride, Translocation, and show up in a faint glow of light. In front of the bar stands an old man in his mid-sixties, hair flushed white, and holding a cane in a trembling hand. He is none other than your nice neighbor, Takei Harumi. He does not even blink at your sudden arrival.
You lightly bow at the old man standing in front of the bar, and ask.
“How may I help you, Master Takei?”
He answers with a wrinkled smile, one that reminds you of a loving grandpa (not that you had one).
“Flashy entrance as ever, kid, and stop those formalities. You doing well these days?”
You nod and reply with assurance.
“Yes, Mister Takei. I have cleansed the entire building, and I’d say it must be as serene as a shrine now!”
Well, the last point is kind of an exaggeration, and Takei knows it. He lets out a relaxing laugh before sitting on a stool and turning back to you, stamping his cane on the dirt.
“Well, well, anyways. As usual, kid, I come here for my back. You sure know what you’re doing.”
“All right. Follow me, Mister Takei.”
After hearing the request, you immediately switch to professional mode. You walk out behind the bar, and lead the old man inside, and help him lie down on an examination chair. You put your wooden rod aside, and hold up the old man’s left hand.
“Now, relax. I know you have heard this for a dozen times, but I will repeat it every time. Do you permit me to resonate and examine your inherent energy?”
“Yes, yes. Go on, kid.”
Takei shows a faked annoyed expression, and you continue with your standard procedure. You close your eyes, and carefully examine his flow of life energy. A few moments later, you identify a few clogs present in his back and his limbs which make his back hunch and muscles tremble. Therefore, you speak calmly.
“Your life energy is somewhat clogged up, and I can clear up your muscle tremble and back problems. The malicious spirit which jammed up your mind last time has not returned. With my current abilities and equipment, I cannot do anything to your eyesight, hearing, and heart problem. Do you agree me to treat your back and your muscle tremble?”
“Haha, sure things, kid, you asked me the same question every time. My old, rusty body is still salvageable.”
Takei laughs again, and you smile back while beginning to guide a steady, delicate stream of life energy through your palm, into his left hand.
“Any body still alive is salvageable. I am but one who calls up on power of the collective soul to buy precious time for individuals suffering illness. Please make good use of the extra time to be a better person. Your good thoughts will replenish any energy I draw.”
“Wise kid, huh.”
As if trying not to disturb your concentration, old man Takei does not make further remarks. At the same time, you start to draw out the clogged life energy through his hand. A stream of stinging chill diffuses through skin contact and travels up your arm to your body, where you neutralize the energy with your own. You see the old man’s expression loosens, the tense of his back reduces, and his arms relax. In a few minutes, you have cleaned up any problems in his flow of life force, and release your hand.
“All right, Mister Takei, it’s done.”
“Hoho, always works wonders, kid. Feel’s much better now.”
The old man stands up, no longer trembling, and tries to straighten his back, spending small crackles through the air. You reply warmly.
“My pleasure. You should try this on your own, too. The method should work with anyone with a soul.”
“I have, I have, just not as good as you. Thank you, kid.”
Takei walks up to the “donation box” you set up on the bar counter, and you turn away. You are not a money-hungry person, but the sound of bouncing coins is still very satisfying.
You wonder how long you can sustain yourself on this insane business model, given that there are only about ten customers per day. But well, you will find a way.
Again, about yourself:
Gender [ ] Male [ ] Female
Age [ ] 12 [ ] 18 [ ] 35
-o-o-o- Status Wall here. Future status walls will be much shorter.
Your Status -Healthy and normal
Your Spells (Will be abbreviated in future updates) -Translocation. A fancy name for “teleporting yourself”. Requires a reference point, so you cannot go somewhere you don’t know or cannot reference -Portal. You can use one pair at a time. More versatile and more brain-demanding than Translocation. Don’t expect it to work during combat -Spiritual Healing. Heals various subhealth conditions and minor illness (like a cold), and speeds up physical injury recovery. With adequate preparation, you can also lift some curses and expel some possessions -Barrier of Will. A spiritual defense against possession and insanity. Works only on yourself -Light. Just like its name, a blob of light for illumination purpose. Don’t blind yourself
Your Skills (Will be abbreviated in future updates) -You are very good at navigation. Otherwise, you won’t be able to teleport accurately -You have training on first aid (Disclaimer: the writer does not have said training, yet) -You can make paper charms to store magic. Good when you need a burst of energy (Disclaimer: the writer does not possess such skill) -You can create Circle of Protection. Good for containing or expelling malicious energy or evil spirits. Also discourages (but not prevent) Yokai attacks (Disclaimer: no guarantee to work IRL) -You are an adequate illustrator -You can do anything one would expect from a regular human of your size -You have education proper for a regular person of your age
Your Inventory (Will be abbreviated in future updates) -Water skin. Filled with fresh water -Dagger. Sharp and sturdy, good for utility and self-defense -Long wooden rod. About a meter long, doubles as a wand and a pointer -A fan you picked up from trash. It’s summer, and it’s hot -Paper charms x 150 in a wooden case. They don’t work very well on Yokai, but are devastating against spirits. Use them en masse -A few coins. You are still on the edge of poverty -A map of Gensokyo. Important locations and roads marked. Too abstract and crude for you to “shoot the map” with Portal or Translocation
Your Stored-Away Possessions (Will not be shown again unless requested) -Cell phone. A low-end smartphone. Turned off and still has 99% power. Might be useful in the future -A lithium battery pack. Around 50% power left -Identification for outside. Might be useful in the future -Outsider clothes. Slightly damaged from the first chase
Your Clinic (Will not be shown again unless requested) -General Status. Atmosphere/aura as calm and serene as you can make. Lots of work to maintain this energy field, though -Bar top. No stock of alcohol. You use it as a reception desk. You also use it as a kitchen -Back room (?). You have an examination chair and some first aid supplies -Bedroom. A small bedroom which doubles as a study and a workshop -Backyard. A small garden, unkempt. You pour life force into it every day when you meditate, because why not -Bathroom. A Japanese style toilet and a few buckets for shower -Attic. Dark, triangular space between roof and ceiling. Empty but clean -Basement. Planned for heavy equipment (if you have any). A corner is designated to contain evil spirits or negative energy
A bit unexpected, but let’s see their implications. Adult female: medium strength; age 35: no penalty on will power and enough knowledge of math to do some interesting things with portals. I am too lazy to draw an image for our MC, but for those who speaks CoC 7th edition rules*, build your mental image using the following stats**:
STR 55 DEX 55 CON 50 APP 65 SIZ 55 EDU 70 MOV 8 HP 10
* This is not a CoC campaign, so don’t actually try to apply its rules in this CYOA. ** INT, POW, and SAN are omitted because they should be reflected in writing instead of as numbers. MP is omitted because magician.
Now, a grammatical question which bugged me for quite a while. In the following scenario:
If sentence A references event happened during speech A, should sentence A be in present tense, or past tense? In this update, I stick with past tense. I can totally be wrong, so enlighten me.
-o-o-o- I will repeat this reminder for a few more times: Names are in order of <Last> <First>. I didn’t check Kanji when I used the random name generator, so hopefully I didn’t get some outrageous names.
The story begins here -o-o-o-
Humming a light tune, you leisurely sweep the floor in a relaxed mode. You miss the vacuum cleaner on the other side of the border, but you are also glad that you can use magic freely on this side. Here, no one raises an eyebrow (or suffers Sanity check) when they see you translocate out of nowhere, or prod a hole in space just to retrieve something from storage locker.
At least, that is what you think so. You continue to make the building dust-free, and draw in any residue of negative energy and neutralize it.
Maybe there is a jargon in place of “Negative Energy”. You think idly. Well, you are not a professionally trained magician (no magical institutes on Earth, unfortunately), so you’ll just use your own terms.
As you walk through the small corridor and doors, you check up on the numerous paper wards hung on the walls. They are meant to keep malicious spirits and negative energy away, and they are remarkably effective.
Even though they are not useful against Yokai. Will attempt fix later. You note to yourself, trying to think of a solution. Maybe you should get an amulet or two from the Hakurei shrine and study that, but you doubt you will succeed.
It’s late afternoon now, and there aren’t any customers passing by. You guess that you may as well call it the day. Yes, it’s not a good idea since your income is not exactly “stable”, but you are not too worried about feeding yourself. In the past month, you have learned to identify edible plants growing in the Forest of Magic, so you have no problem waltzing into the wilds and collect herbs when you are low on cash.
Dangerous? Ruthless? Maybe. However, what on Earth can catch you when you can instantly Translocate back to your home? You already recited magic signatures of quite a few important locations around the village, so you can pretty much bail out whenever you want. In addition, you are not dumb enough to venture deep into the woods, where man-eating plants and dangerous Yokai dwell.
Well, a customer! You lie the broom against the nearest wall, and Translocate to the bar as usual. This time, you see a young woman somewhat taller than you are. She has long, silver-blue hair flows along a short-sleeved dark blue dress, and she wears a curiously designed hat. You immediately recognize the figure, and bow lightly to greet.
“Hello, Keine. What brings you here today?”
She sits down on one of your stools, and replies with a gentle smile.
“I am just coming to check up on you. Are you doing all right here?”
The corners of your lips raise slightly as you sense the care from her question.
“Yes, the people are very nice. Also, I am glad that I can finally translocate myself freely without making people scream or panic!”
You didn’t notice that your eyes practically gleamed when you said the last part. Keine puts her palm at her forehead, and sighs.
“Well, it is still quite startling to see you appear suddenly like that.”
“I’ll take that in mind-”
“HI!!! MISS KEINE!!!”
Before you finished your reply, a hyper-energetic girl crashed into the scene. You recognize the voice: she is Takei Imari, the granddaughter of your nice neighbor. She is also one of the most naughty and active kids around, so you sincerely wish that she doesn’t get herself into trouble by, say, running into the forest alone.
The tiny girl skips towards you like a happy bunny, dragging a slightly taller but much quieter boy in her hand. The boy, Takamaru Atsutane, waves shyly as both of them stands in front of the bar count. Imari jump-hugs the waist of Keine, who smiles gently and bends down to ruffle her flowing dark hair.
“Hello, Imari and Atsutane. Together as usual, aren’t you?”
Just as Imari nods overdramatically, Keine’s expression changes into the most beautiful smile you have ever seen, and grips her little shoulders. You have a bad feeling-
“Now, have you done your homework yet?”
O, what a sweet voice it is! O, what pretty face she hath! Yet Imari eeps and freezes mid-action, only to receive a proud grin from Atsutane standing beside her. She gives him a death-glare, and the boy immediately turns around to peek over the bar top, only to find that your presence has long vanished.
Of course, that is because you are already standing behind the two kids. You lightly press your hands on the top of their heads, while silently cleaning up their energy. The kids seem to relax a bit in response, and Keine releases her grip and stands up straight.
“Don’t worry, it was just a reminder. You have the rest of the day. Right, Imari?”
And with that, little Imari drags Atsutane away again, disappearing in a cloud of dust. Looking at the energetic kids, you can’t help but feel delighted. Seconds later, you turn to Keine.
“Well, I suppose I should wrap up for today. I should go collect some herbs before dark.”
“Are you sure you want to go outside alone? If you need help, you can always come by my place.”
Keine seems to be a bit worried, but you reply with assurance.
“No worries. I am a translocator, and I can return here at any instant. None is faster than light and I am as fast as light!”
With that spoken, you turn the sign on the bar to “Closed”. Of course, “as fast as light” does not consider about reaction latency, but you decide not to mention it.
[ ] Go somewhere near the village. Safe than sorry [ ] Go somewhat deeper into the forest. Befriend the plants and fairies [ ] Go to the Yokai Mountain. Chart the geography to help long-range translocation and portal operation
Your Status -Healthy and normal
Your Inventory -Water skin. Filled with fresh water -Dagger. Sharp and sturdy, good for utility and self-defense -Long wooden rod. About a meter long, doubles as a wand and a pointer -A fan. You picked up from trash. It’s summer, and it’s hot. Also can serve as wand No. 2. -Paper charms x 150 in a wooden case. Use them en masse -A few coins. You are still on the edge of poverty -A crude map of Gensokyo. Important locations and roads marked.
[X] Go somewhat deeper into the forest. Befriend the plants and fairies
If its like in the quest before this fairies should like us because the white magic we use is basically the stuff they are made of. Maybe we can get some as helpers and become the famous fairy whisperer.
[X] Go somewhat deeper into the forest. Befriend the plants and fairies
In the future, I am not going to keep track of the exact number of charms our MC holds. Nah, 150 and 149 aren’t any different.
Now, disclaimer: The author knows nothing about edible herbs. If you follow what the MC does in the wilds, you will get poisoned.
Remember: <Last Name> <First Name>
Minutes after Keine greets you goodbye, you have packed up your supplies. You double-check the energy signature of your home.
Yep, it has so many wards active and so different an energy field that your home stands out like a beacon at night. You’ll probably have no problem locking on it even if you are on the other side of Gensokyo or in the notorious bamboo forest. As you adjust a basket on your back, you quickly review your magical arsenal.
In your spells, only Translocation and Portal have anything to do with the physical world. Unfortunately, you cannot really use them to attack. You tried once by slamming a Yokai onto the edge of a portal in an attempt to cut it up, but it was repelled by an invisible potential field.
As for charms? You treat them as batteries. You don’t throw batteries at your enemies; you use them to burst-power your magic, like rapidly displacing negative energy or maintaining a large portal. Translocation, though, is virtually free.
Reviews aside, you walk towards the village gate. You never translocate out of or into the village, because you want at least someone, especially the guards, to see you leave or enter.
You check up the location of the sun while silently blaming those high-school kids for leaving your watch on the other side of the border. You have around one hour before dark, but you can extend your time of operation as long as you remain conscious and capable of translocation. You greet the guards, step on the dirt road right outside the walls, and vanish.
Instants later, you are in the outer ring of the Forest of Magic. You are fairly familiar with the surrounding, so it will not take much time to collect edible plants. Then you start to think: what should you do with the extra time?
The answer is simple: go slightly deeper towards the middle ring, while cleaning up negative energy from the environment. Gensokyo might be a magical land overflowing with life, but there can never be too much life energy. Also, plants are simple souls that “like” anyone who heals them or provides them life energy. You might not get a lot in return since they are not sentient, but helping them prevents attacks from man-eating plants. Therefore, you quickly meditate for a few seconds to command your body to automatically collect any negative energy from the environment.
There comes the stinging and cringing sensation passing through your spine, no different from what you feel when you heal another person. You keep a part of consciousness in background to throttle the intake and neutralize the energy, while identifying herbs growing around your ankle and using a pair of scissors to harvest edible ones.
About half an hour later, you conclude that you have collected enough. The forest becomes very dark even though the sun is not set, so you cast Light to give you some illumination. In fact, you cast two of them: a “key-light” which is the main light source, and an “early warning” light which is much weaker and more sensitive to magical fluctuation. A weak light is also sensitive to something else, too.
You stretch your body and ease the tense-up caused by the negative energy you absorbed. Such exercise not only makes you a better healer, but also exposes your own problems, bodily or spiritually. When those energy pass through your system, you search for where it jams and sticks to diagnose your own body, and you monitor negative thoughts to fix spiritual weakness. All in all, cleaning the environment is a nice thing to do.
A small rustle of leaves above. You raise your head, and see a tiny figure hastily trying to hide herself. Of course, it doesn’t quite work, since you can see her poking her head out to peek at you while making no attempt to cover her semi-transparent wings.
That’s a fairy, naughty sentient creatures born from aspects of nature. Despite their mischievous quality, fairies are simple-minded and are almost never evil. Therefore, you know exactly how to deal with them.
You tap the case of your charms, and one piece is translocated between your fingers. You smile and lightly wave the piece of paper at the figure, who is startled by her “unexpected” revelation. After moments of hesitation, the fairy zips out of the leaves, and quickly start to circle around you. She is about one foot tall and wears a green dress. From the feeling it radiates, you identify her as a forest fairy, so you slightly change the magic inside your charm to match hers.
She does not say a word, but hovers in front of you like a hummingbird. You extend your hand holding the charm, as if prompting her to take it. The fairy looks at you curiously, then touches the paper with her tiny hands, and is surprised as the paper disintegrates into dust of light.
The fairy spoke in a happy, high pitch voice. Even though fairies don’t need to be healed, she still likes a bath of matching life energy. Then, she proceeds to stand on your shoulder and tie a knot using your hair with her tiny arms, and darts away.
Well, looks like the unpredictable fairy has left. You lightly shake your head, and turn around and walk for a few steps. Then, you turn back again to see her delicate face poking out of the leaves. You wave her goodbye, and she shrieks and disappears again.
The fairy peeks out a few moments later, but you are already gone.
Well, the sun is below the horizon, the sky is dyed deep blue, and the clouds reflect a dim orange. You are now standing on the barely lit dirt road just outside the village, inhaling its familiar scent and marveling the numerous torches on the wall.
The trip back was very uneventful, because there was no “trip” involved when you translocated. Gensokyo is a place for Yokai, but it does not mean that you will always see one whenever you go out in the woods. In fact, you argue that if humans always encounter aggressive Yokai whenever they leave a settlement, then soon the only humans outside will be those armed to teeth and determined to exterminate. Yokai probably don’t want this to happen.
Thoughts aside, you walk back with your “automatic energy cleaning” turned off. You don’t want to clean up negative energy generated by a village’s worth of bad thoughts, as there are much better ways to attempt suicide. As you greet the guards and walk through the gates, you hear an arrogant, egotistic, annoying voice from someone you don’t want to see.
“Oh, it’s you again.”
You turn to your right while casually answering the unfriendly call. There is a tall teenager boy dressed in smooth kimono, leaning against the wall like a thug and staring at you in contempt. You stare back in indifference.
That guy, Yabe Yatsuhiro, is the troublemaker in the sector you live in. Also, he possesses a good-looking face due to the well-nourished lifestyle provided as the son of an Elder. What a typical and stereotypical spoiled brat. He removes himself from the wall, crosses his arm, and points his chin at you, like a thug.
“Coming back this late? Typical Outsider idiocy, huh?”
Yeah, his level of distain just skyrocketed, so you answer by flicking a third and a fourth orb of light into existence. You smirk, and return his contempt.
“I have greater chance to survive than you do, young man. Beating up lesser Yokai right outside the wall with your gang does not make you strong.”
Then you receive an ineffective death-glare. Yatsuhiro grits his teeth, eyeing you up and down as if searching for an excuse to start a fight. You return with a calm and peaceful smile, prompting his own rage to backfire.
You know what? Counter-trolling works best by remaining completely unaffected to prevent the troll from venting, and thus blowing it up with its own anger. You see his fists clench and his face burns, and finally he fixes eyes on your floating orbs of light. His haughty expression comes back again.
“Four lights? Of course, you’re that coward afraid of the dark.”
You swear you hear a glass-breaking sound, and something in your mind snaps. You are still smiling calmly, but now your eyes show neither peace nor serenity.
That came out colder than you expected, but you continue while stepping forward. Even though he towers over you by nearly one head, the young man takes a step back. Must be charmed by your overflowing charisma. You continue in a slow and firm voice while taking another step and locking into his eyes.
“I, have stared down darkness itself and came back in one piece. Can you say the same to yourself?”
You back him to the wall with your right index finger stabbing at his chest. There’re probably lightning bolts discharging between your glares. A few seconds later, you turn around and walk away, snapping a stack of disintegrating paper charms in your right hand. An angry voice burst behind you.
“… The hell?”
You glance back and make a final, plain remark.
“You’re possessed to the point you couldn’t even feel their removal. Enjoy a few days of clarity until your stupidity earns you another one.”
With that, you disappear.
What a dramatic exit! I’ve wanted to do this for my whole life! You grin uncontrollably as you walk back to your bar, and throw your basket on the counter.
Ahhh, the serene atmosphere at home! You miss it soooooo much.
Skip some time, make a choiceMadScientistCarl2017/10/19 (Thu) 03:36No. 40672▼
Days passed, and you keep your clinic running uneventfully. No bad dreams, no flashback sequences, no forgotten dark-and-troubled-past revealed, no amnesia, no Yokai encounters, and no vandalism on revenge. The possessions you took away from the arrogant teenager cost you a whole night of meditation to clean up your system, and you wonder just how terrible that guy must be to attract so many evil spirits. You hope that he learns to regret his behavior, but you doubt that Murphy’s Law will leave you alone.
As you finish helping today’s last customer, a patient haunted by constant voice-in-head, you see the perpetual-motion-girl Takei Imari and the never-moving-boy Takamaru Atsutane storming towards your place with a crowd of kids. Imari waves and shouts with a surprisingly loud voice.
“HEY! MISS WHITE MAGICIAN! DO YOU WANT TO PLAY HIDE AND SEEK!”
Well? You have no pending tasks for today.
[ ] Accept. Play with them [ ] Decline. Watch them play instead [ ] Decline. Plant potatoes in backyard [ ] Decline. Do something else?
Your Status -Healthy and normal -Some energy residue from cleaning up the voice-in-head guy. Harmless, you can clean it up in a few minutes -A curse. Transferred from a patient. Dormant, should go away in a few days
Your Inventory -Water skin. Filled with fresh water -Dagger. Sharp and sturdy, good for utility and self-defense -Long wooden rod. About a meter long, doubles as a wand and a pointer -No fan. You figured a hand of charms works just as well while being much more “stylish”. -Paper charms. Hundreds, stored in a wooden case. Use them en masse -A few coins. You are still on the edge of poverty -A crude map of Gensokyo. Important locations and roads marked.
Disclaimer: If you play hide-and-seek like this IRL, you will either be missing forever, or you will be the first one to lose.
Well? You have finished today’s plans, so you have time. In addition, it might be a bad idea to leave the perpetual-motion-girl in charge of the crowd of kids, lest they do something dumb. Besides, you haven’t played hide-and-seek for what, twenty-five years?
So, you smirk and cross your arms, simultaneously using Translocation to throw your wand into the storage room. You ignore the noise of stuff falling down coming from the doorway.
“Are you sure you want to play with me? There is no way you can find me with my translo-”
As if practiced in a chorus, the entire crowd of kids shouted at once. You are stunned for a second, then nods.
“Well then, no cheating for me. But don’t blame me for being too good at this~”
You made a proud declaration, but a boy suddenly speaks up.
“No! We all know Atsutane is the best!”
You peek at the never-moving boy with a doubtful gaze. Atsutane fidgets a bit before broadening his shoulder and thrusting his chest forward, then coughs a bit before finally speaking.
“I, I don’t even need to hide and you can never find me! Eye am teh best player!”
Even though he kind of fumbled a bit in the speech, you are still surprised to see him showing this level of confidence, so you return an encouraging smile.
“Well then, let’s see if this is true. Where are we going to play?”
Imari immediately gleams.
You push your crossed arms a bit higher, and show a stern and authoritative face.
“No, that won’t happen. Stay inside the village.”
Imari and a few other kids frown, but others relieve. Now you are glad that you followed along, or they would have done something really dumb.
In a few minutes, the children have decided the scope of the playing ground: no farther than a few houses nearby. Then you ask.
“Who’d be the Oni first?”
And everybody looks up at you. You shrug, and pull out a piece of ribbon to tie up your hair.
“Ah well, I guess I am big. Anyways, as your Big Sis, I command thee to finish before sunset, OK?”
Imari completely overdoes her frowning expression and puffs her cheeks.
“Come on~ That’s just half an hour! Don’t tell me you are afraid of the dar- OH PLEASE DON’T LOOK AT ME LIKE THAT”
As you see her shriek and hide behind a stoic Atsutane who almost gets pulled down to the ground, you deduce that you just overflowed yourself with charisma again. You smile sweetly, even though that’s probably only your mental image because apparently everyone turns their eyes to somewhere else.
“Imari~ Big Sis is not afraid of the dark, and you are playing with fire, you know~”
Imari raises her arms in protest.
“But fire is fun!”
“Um, that’s not the point.”
That innocent but dangerous remark just blew up your charisma, so you decide to get started.
“Well, kids. One minute, countdown, go!”
With this declaration, everyone quickly disperses, and you turn back towards the wall.
A minute later, you turn around. The first thing you notice, is a suspicious movement inside a tree, right outside your bar. Oh, and there is a hand sticking out of the leaves, and you totally see the face peeking through the slits. You can’t help but facepalm.
“Imari, are you even trying to hide?”
Then, the familiar figure skips down from the tree and waves her arms.
“True warrior does not hide!”
“Warrior you are not. Anyways, let’s find other kids, shall we?”
You lightly pat Imari on the top of her head, while drawing away any negative energy accumulated in her body. You think all children deserve some protection over their mind and body, since their consciousness are not matured yet. Imari looks at you curiously, as if she knows you have done something, but you do not respond.
In the next fifteen minutes, you use your sharp eyes and keen ears to dig out everyone from their hiding place. Everyone, except for one person.
You know who he is, but you have no idea how and where he hid. Thirteen kids plus you performed a rigorous sweep over the entire place, checked up trees, roofs, ceilings, backyards, and even wells. Hell, you even tried to use your spell Light to find unnatural shadows, just in case if he can make himself invisible.
But Atsutane is nowhere to be found. After the third sweep, you finally run out of ideas and turn to the children.
“OK, I am clueless now. Does anyone know where Atsutane hides?”
Everyone shakes their heads. Now the never-moving-boy’s claim suddenly sounds much more credible. Just as you are about to announce his victory, you feel a tiny prod over you shoulder. You turn around, and see a fairy hovering by your side. Seeing the small creature, some kids become exciting, while others yell and run away.
The fairy points her arm to a wall, so you follow her gesture.
“Well, that’s a wall. Do you mean he is there? All I see is a statue-”
Hold on a moment. A statue? You don’t remember anything like that in your sector. Actually, if you look closer, the “stone” surface looks suspiciously like fabric. In fact, isn’t that a kimono flipped inside out? And doesn’t the wearer look kind of like that boy you are looking for?
Then the fact dawn on you. When you recall your memory, you notice that never once did you look directly at this figure. In fact, he was in constant movement, and he somehow managed to keep himself at the edge of your vision. How he executed that maneuver on a dozen people is out of your understanding.
You clap your hands in astonishment and praise.
“Wow, Atsutane, you actually win! You truly are the master of this game.”
He scratches his cheek a bit shyly and quietly says “thank you”. You glance towards the fairy, but she is no where to be seen. You lead him back towards the children, and Imari immediately snatches him by his arms. You can’t help but wonder.
Is it too young to start a shipping?
The Night, The LightMadScientistCarl2017/10/20 (Fri) 02:51No. 40678▼
Disclaimer: the author has not planted anything before. Any detail would not be accurate.
Days have passed after that refreshing game of hide-and-seek, and you finally got some “field experience” in dealing with animal Yokai. It isn’t too hard for you to scare them off by injecting your magic to displace some of their spiritual energy. In fact, if you keep doing this on the same target, you might actually kill one because the primitive minds of animal Yokai cannot oppose your will power at all. Although you admit that your crude method will take too much time to be practical.
Tonight is close to a full moon, so Yokai are getting more active. You stopped collecting herbs for a few days, but you will resume after the full moon has passed. Yeah, not fun at all when you need to ration your supplies. Fortunately, you started planting sweet potatoes in your backyard. It won’t feed you year-long, but it should be good enough to give you some emergency buffer. Of course, you did not forget to flood your fields with life force as if it is free. Honestly, being a white magician grants you virtually infinite access to life energy so long as you don’t use too much at once. Hopefully you can get some higher yields from your garden.
You shut and lock the wooden windows, latch the door, and lie down at your futon. On your side, you have your trusty wooden stick/wand, your case of charms (along with a separate stack outside of the case), and your fan. Yes, you dug up the fan from trash again after some internal conflict.
Under the illumination of your Light spell, you transfer a flame from a kindle to a fully refilled oil lamp (which eats up much of your tiny income). Then you place the glass chimney, put down the lamp near your futon, and ensure that you have a bucket of sand near your hand.
You flick off your spells, and adjust the flame to give off a soothing, orange halo. You slip into the futon, and close your eyes.
In the slight flicker of the lamp, your mind wanders around random places. You see thoughts come and go, but you don’t pay particular attention to any of them.
You wonder what those students on the other side would think about you. Will they feel guilty? After all, if not for their request, you would never open a portal to a fictional world. But then, there is really nothing you can do to return. The shrine maiden, Hakurei Reimu, attempted to send you back through the border, but you were blocked by the barrier. You attempted to open another interdimensional portal by locking on a “beacon” you placed in your garage. Unfortunately, the task was way out of your abilities and you ended up damaging the beacon and pulling its fragments to this side in a mess of space rifts. Good things you didn’t scramble yourself into spaghetti in the process.
Nobody knows whether there is another way to send you back.
You recognize your train of negative thoughts, and break it immediately. The good side is that you did not really have other persistent social connections, so those students would be the only ones worried about you. Also, the magical beacon you pulled to this side provides you a mess of aluminum/stainless steel frames, which can be repurposed for other things.
Then your thoughts stray to more random stuff, and you slowly drift into sleep.
Light breeze passes through the slit of the window, flickering the orange flame of the oil lamp. You unconsciously snug into the futon, leaving only your closed eyes exposed from a tiny opening, receiving a small amount of light and warmth radiated from the lamp.
Perhaps you forgot to trim the wick, perhaps you adjusted it too short. After a few minutes of shaking, a light breeze extinguishes the flame, and the room plunges into darkness.
The next instant, you spring up in a blaze of wind, while the entire room is saturated in a burst of intense white light as if a supernova just exploded.
You cover your eyes in pain, barely noticing a few charms burning in heatless flames. Your heart is beating like crazy, and you are breathing like a drowned person feeling fresh air. You grit your teeth to push back a splitting headache, force your heartbeat to relax, and deeply inhale to calm down. You close your eyes, and repeat to yourself.
“I am in my room. The lamp is extinguished, and that is it. That is it. No one is here. Except for me. Concentrate on Now, and recover from the Past. Recover. Recover…”
A few seconds later, you sit down with a Light casted softly. You touch your clothes, only to find that they are completely soaked with cold sweat.
Yeah, better change them before you catch a cold. You thought you have gone over the effect of your sanity loss on Day 0, but it looks like you were wrong.
You deeply sigh, then proceed to trim the wick properly and relight the lamp. However, it might take you some time to fall asleep again.
[ ] Go outside your house for a small walk and meditate. [ ] Go meditate on the roof. [ ] Just sleep. [ ] Write-in action?
Your Status -Healthy -Sane (?) -A transferred curse. Dormant, almost broken now -Another transferred curse. Dormant, breaking down in a few days
Your Inventory -Water skin. Filled with fresh water -Dagger. Sharp and sturdy, good for utility and self-defense -Long wooden rod. About a meter long, doubles as a wand and a pointer -Fan. Wand No. 2. -Paper charms. Hundreds, stored in a wooden case. Use them en masse -A few coins. -A crude map of Gensokyo. Important locations and roads marked.
[X] Make yourself some tea and try to calm down with some fresh air on the roof before going back to sleep.
Titles are significant.
Disclaimer: The author has only used a firewood stove for… a few times.
Let’s start a special, “fun” section here. Maybe I can keep this section running for a few updates. The section contains one sentence, commonly or less commonly appeared in a Touhou fanfic. Genre Savvy readers will immediately recognize their implications.
Which means an evil author can blast these implications to bits.
Genre Savvy Gappy’s Blight
“Why is it so dark all a sudden?”
Danger level: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Reason: If you need to ask this question, you can start to prepare for your next life.
You deeply breath and intensely monitor your emotion, intercepting any negative thoughts. At this moment, you start to taste the reward of painstakingly cleaning up the energy field of your home, because now you only need to deal with your own thoughts instead of a thousand evil spirits trying to attack you at your weakest. The serene atmosphere is indeed very calming, giving you a slight warmth that emerges from deep inside your body, melting down the freezing fear.
You’ll need to reinforce the barrier (if it counts as one) tomorrow.
Throwing on some dry clothes, you grab your case of charms and your stick. Judging from the moon, it’s probably over 3 o’clock right now, and the summer sunrise is not too far away. You decide to make some tea.
You pull out some logs from your limited supply of firewood, and shove them into the stove. It does not take you too long to ignite the flames, and you throw a pot of water on the top.
You idly gauge your usage of wood, and try to estimate the amount you need for a winter. Back in modern world, you never needed to plan on trivial matters like that, but right now… you manage everything. Maintaining your home, maintaining your well, maintaining your sewage piping, growing your own reserve, and the list goes on.
You pour the boiled water into a makeshift insulated container, then get out a teapot and start brewing. Putting the teapot and a cup on a wooden tray and taking your lamp, you translocate yourself onto your roof, and find a solid spot to sit on. You conflict for a while, before deciding to blow out the lamp and use your Light spell instead. Lamp oil are not exactly expensive, but you don’t want to waste it.
Sitting on the support, you take a sip of the steaming liquid. Not too bad. You close your eyes and concentrate yourself on all the sensation over your body. The soft light casting on your eyelids; the sound of insects and wind; the cool breeze brushing through your skin; the tiny moment of your hair. Slowly, your body starts to relax. A stinging sensation travels outwards, and numerous unconscious tenses start to fade one by one.
You take another sip of tea and sigh. You can’t help but notice that healing yourself is magnitudes more difficult than helping another person. It is very difficult to identify the problem in the first place, and your spiritual energy is limited by your own issues. The only way to heal yourself is to slam your head through any spiritual problems, in the hard way. If you are afraid of something, you must get through it. But how?
You don’t know the answer yet.
You hear some activity coming from the village gate not too far from your home. You lift your head from your teacup, and see some movements of the torches. The gates are opened by the guards, and a wagon is pulled through by two oxen.
What on Earth drives a wagon into the village at this time? You squeeze your eyes, and follow its movement. You barely see a short but stout silhouette, seemingly wearing a full suit of armor and a giant sword, sitting on the top of the wagon. You briefly see a strange sky-blue reflection from its surface, but you cannot make out the details.
Sky-blue colored metal? You have never seen anything like that before, assuming Gensokyo does not have anode oxidized aluminum. But then, aluminum is not exactly suitable for armor.
The wagon slowly goes towards the market area. Well, now you guess it is probably some sort of trader. You drain your cup of tea in one go, and decide that it’s about time to get some extra sleep. Tomorrow, you may see what that “trader” is about.
Sun rises, and you are already sitting behind the bar counter, burying your chin inside your arms.
Yeah, you didn’t sleep very well last night, because, you know, you drank a pot of tea. You wonder why you thought it was a good idea to drink so much caffeine before sleeping. Did you receive some misguide from some higher beings? Maybe you really should work EX-hard on your spiritual defense.
Anyways, being sleepy is not really a problem for a white magician. You make yourself another pot of tea (one of the only luxuries you can afford right now, aside from your oil lamp), and pull out a stack of paper squares.
Even though you already have nearly a thousand charms, you can always have more. You stack up and align the paper squares, then start to summon life force and charge up the squares. You admit that this is very primitive and inefficient (the very reason they are ineffective against Yokai), but you’d say that quantity is a quality itself.
Unexpectedly, you see the woman with silver-blue hair coming at your place. You sit up, and greet her with a smile, and take a cup to pour her some tea.
Keine smiles back, and sits down at a stool across the bar top.
“Hello. You don’t look very well today. Did something happen last night?”
You are surprised by the sudden show of perceptiveness, and your movements stop for a second. Keine must have really high Psychology skill. Since white magicians never decline help, you simply nod.
“Yes. In fact, I just found out I still haven’t gone over the events at my arrival yet.”
You pull your hand from the stack of paper, then start to glue them in batch of ten and clip them on a wire hanger. Keine watches you for a moment, then says in a caring voice.
“I know what you went through that day, and I can’t really change it.”
You smile. From her tone, you somehow feel that she really meant “unwilling to change”. She then continues.
“Things will be much better after the Spell Card rules are in effect.”
You merely look down at the table.
“I don’t know. They are not quite official, aren’t they? I mean, last time those guys went out searching, they brought fifty men armed to teeth then came back covered in blood, and two people went missing.”
You pause for a while, biting your lips, then continue while pointing at the village gate with your fan.
“They walked out and then back from that gate. I saw them, up close. Everyone’s choked with possession and negative thoughts. Anger, fear, despair, whatever.”
You sip your cup of tea, then close your eyes in silence. Keine responds in a solemn voice.
“Well, it takes time for history to progress.”
Silence, again. You decide to change the topic.
“Anyways. Keine, I saw a wagon coming in last night. Do you know what’s that about?”
Keine’s expression quickly lightens up, and she sits up.
“Oh, she came here about sixty years ago. She calls herself Urist SteelDeath, and she comes to trade every season. She almost never speaks, though.”
You peek at the general direction of the market, and comment.
“Well, interesting. Maybe I should go check out a bit.”
Keine drinks up the cup of tea, and stands up.
“I should go check up the children now. Take care, and don’t hesitate to come if you need help.”
You nod and wave her goodbye.
“Thanks, I will keep that in mind.”
White, Cyan, and ScarletMadScientistCarl2017/10/21 (Sat) 06:29No. 40691▼
Warning: Massive call out in this section. You should know what I am calling out at.
Disclaimer: Timeline might be slightly different from canon.
Seasonal trade from mysterious inhabitant? This is something you don’t want to miss. You mark up an aisle around the marketplace, and experimentally open a portal. You peek out of the elliptical hole bounded by mirror surface suspending in space, and make sure you have enough room to walk through.
Thirty seconds later, you walk into the market via the aisle. After a few minutes of searching, you find the wagon and a small trade depot. On the depot lie numerous barrels and rock pots. According to the labels, most of the goods are booze and… some sort of preserved meals. There are also strange, dangerous-looking mechanisms, like enormous-sized corkscrews and sharp-looking serrated discs.
Those are not what catches your eyes.
Sitting on the depot, is the woman Keine told you about, and she completely breaks your mental image of a female. She is short, only reaching your waist, but damn she gets an incredibly powerful build. You feel her strength radiating through the full plate armor, almost cracking the earth under her feet. You see numerous scars spread under her helmet, and her eyes are so sharp that they might obliterate you with death rays in the next instant. Not to say that she has a masterfully crafted steel crossbow on her left leg and an enormous sword polished to mirror-smooth on her back, while carrying a full quiver of steel tipped bolts.
Even more jarring than her appearance is the cyan metal which her armor and sword are crafted from. Up close, you are completely sure that it is not anode oxidized aluminum, because you feel its unearthly power repelling magic, and the edges of the sword are so sharp that they split the very light shone on them.
Diffraction. Hell, you do not want to be cut by a nanometer edge.
As you briefly lock eyes with her, she merely nods to acknowledge your existence, then proceed to scan the depot with her eagle eyes. You don’t have enough money for most items, so you merely get a barrel of wine.
Maybe it’s time to get at least some stock for your bar, though you will not serve anything until you charge up the beverages with life. The next few minutes involve doing some simple Portal maneuvers to transport the large barrel into your storage room.
Today’s quite peaceful and insightful. Isn’t it?
Due to the effects of a full moon, Yokai will be very active at night. Since your provision is low and the fact that you blew quite some income on that barrel of booze, you decide to go collect herbs early at noon, when your white magic is at its peak power.
So, here you are, in the middle of the outer ring in Forest of Magic, carrying your basket, identifying edible herbs while remaining extra alert.
Rapid footsteps come from behind, and you turn back with a hand of charms ready. You are surprised to see that the source comes from the perpetual-motion-girl, Takei Imari. She skips in exciting steps, and waves at you on first sight.
“Hi! Miss White Magician!”
You immediately lock Imari in her eyes sternly, prompting her to stop.
“Imari, what are you doing in the forest? You know Yokai are extra active today, right?”
Imari looks down and pouts. Then she points her finger at the sky.
“The sky! Did you not see it?”
“Sky? I guess the trees blocked my view-”
You are confused, and look up, up through the tiny clearing. And there you see it, something abnormal, something that marks a disaster.
The sky, is stained blood red. The light, starts to fade in deep, crimson darkness. You feel the tension arise, as if all living beings are agitated. The plants are crying, and the nature screams in agony. You don’t like this.
You look down, and cross your arms in an authoritative fashion.
“Now, might you explain why you come out in the forest?”
“To investigate the source!”
Imari answered as if it is the only natural thing to do. You can’t help but cover your face. You thought she was reckless, but now you cannot even find a word to describe her.
“Imari, something that looks incredibly dangerous happens and the first thing you do is to charge in unarmed?”
“Um- no problem! True warrior doth not fear!”
And she starts to run inside the woods, agile like a rabbit. It would be a pain trying to catch her. If you translocate, you will almost surely crash into her.
What should you do to this hopelessly bold girl? In addition, how the heck did she manage to survive this long? Sheer luck?
[ ] Try to catch her and throw her into a portal [ ] Closely follow her, weapons ready, and throw her into a portal when things don’t look right [ ] Same as above, and try to call up an army of fairies for extra protection [ ] Anything else?
Your Status -Healthy -Two dormant curses. Not important now -Fairies like you -Plants like you -Auto-collecting negative energy
Your Spells -Portal. You already locked on your home, so you can open one very quickly. Don’t expect to intercept moving targets -Translocation. You already locked on your home, and you can translocate to any place in visual range. Translocating with another non-white-magician is very difficult -Light. Illumination is necessary, and you already have this on
Your Inventory -Water skin. Filled with fresh water -Dagger. Sharp and sturdy, good for utility and self-defense -Scissor. To harvest herbs. -Long wooden rod. About a meter long, doubles as a wand and a pointer -Fan. Wand No. 2. -Paper charms. Hundreds, stored in a wooden case. Use them en masse -A few coins. -A crude map of Gensokyo. Important locations and roads marked.
>>Urist Lets hope that wherever she comes from does not dig too deep, we don't need more FUN. But they are at least on the way there if the sword and armor are made of what i think they are made of.
[X] Try to catch her and throw her into a portal [X] Same as above, and try to call up an army of fairies for extra protection
Responsible people don't let children run around in the forest during incident season. Also ablative fairy armor, it's not like they wouldn't go crazy during the incident might as well channel that into something useful.
> >>Urist > Lets hope that wherever she comes from does not dig too deep, we don't need more FUN. But they are at least on the way there if the sword and armor are made of what i think they are made of.
In Gensokyo, there is only one place you can reach if you dig too deep.
[X] Try to catch her and throw her into a portal [X] Same as above, and try to call up an army of fairies for extra protection
I scratch my head trying to understand why my Surface Book suddenly slows down these few days.
Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any Sanity loss in real life by reading this.
-o-o-o- Genre Savvy Gappy’s Blight
“It’s summer… Why is it so cold?”
Danger level: ⭐⭐ Reason: Well, there is only one reason. Fortunately, GSG can probably rely on the skill Fast Talk.
You have played with Takei Imari quite a few times before, and you know what a headache it is to keep up with her, even by spamming Translocation. With her unpredictable moving path, you cannot just open a portal in front of her and throw her inside either.
You throw down the herb basket, and immediately translocate behind Imari and attempt to grab her. It does not work, as you miss by just a little. The girl chirps happily.
“Yay! Can’t catch me!”
“Stop it! It’s for your safety! Get back to the village!”
You cry out, while pulling out a hand of charms. If you engage in a chase like this for too long, you will lose track of the surrounding, and you’d better prepare for anything that decide to jump out.
The surrounding starts to immerse into a darker red, so you increase your output of Light while chasing the skipping small figure. The scarlet mist spreading across the sky is making the energy of nature boiling chaotic, and you start to see fairies getting restless and moving in large clusters. Fortunately for you, fairies like you and they probably won’t attack on first sight, but Imari…
Wait. Fairies like you.
Fairies like you.
You get an idea. It’s crazy, but it is so crazy that it might work. You blast off a few charms to clear up the chaotic energy from your surroundings, and pray intensely at the fairies. Hopefully, as “aspects of nature”, they feel the energy transported by the prayers and respond to your mind. You don’t have the time and concentration to speak to them one on one, after all.
It’s fifteen minutes already, and now you cannot even see the crimson light cast from above.
“Hah… Imari, just stop!”
You pant like you just finished a marathon, and sweat like walking through a storm. You have no idea how on Earth does Imari manage to dodge all your Translocation strikes. Cheerful as always, she twists and turns and slides and rolls, giving you a nightmare trying to catch her. Not to mention that her small size makes her extra difficult to intercept because her center of gravity is much lower than yours. Now you have an idea about how this girl managed to survive the years. Must have dodged everything.
You take a deep breath, and make a mental note to practice combat moves with your spells. Fortunately, your prayer to the fairies starts to have some effects, as you have a few of them following you. You wish the fairies are smart enough to pin down your target with their numbers, but prayers simply don’t work that way. At least they keep both of you from being attacked by carnivorous plants, and provide some moral support.
The forest is dark, especially when the sun is blocked out. Outline of trees sprawl out their branches, like enormous monsters extending their sharp claws. Shadows of vines web the canopy, as if giant spiders waiting for their prey. The only thing separating you and the hostile ground is the ring of white light casted by a few glowing orbs, illuminating a dozen steps of distance.
You must stop Imari before she crashes headfirst into the middle ring of the forest. Desperate time calls for desperate measures, so you grit your teeth and decide that you need to catch her right now, even if it means causing or taking some injury. You should really have done this when you started the chase, because right now you are exhausted, and keep losing line of sight due to the heavy vegetation. Thankfully, the fairies manage to lead you, so you are at least not running too far behind.
You hate it when you can’t use Translocation effectively. You hate it more when you don’t have time to rectify your emotions, because bad thoughts mean that you will not only degrade your power, but also make terrible decisions.
You follow a trail of fairies, translocating when you glimpse the shadow of the perpetual-motion-girl. Then all a sudden, the swarm of fairies surrounding you yelp and disperse, and all lights go off.
All Lights go off. It means only one thing.
Rumia is here-! You uncontrollably skid to a stop, heart racing faster than ever. Coldness seep up from your limbs as if plunged into an icy lake; heat burns your head tunneling your pitch-black vision. Your body’s shaking involuntarily, and your mind is blurry; you want to hide all your movements and quench all sounds; you want to translocate back right at this instant. Every instinct cries to hide, every logic yells to bail. But the image of the Imari flashes before you. Ever-cheerful and ever-moving, never-fearing and never-stopping.
No! You cannot leave her here. Screw yourself being discovered! You take a deep breath while incinerating a handful of charms to displace your fear.
“IMARI! ANSWER IF YOU WANNA LIVE!”
As you recognize the cry, the next moments flash through so fast that not even yourself understand them. Location. Translocation. Red eyes. Darkness. Girl tumbling behind. Charms burning. Girl disappeared. Portal collapsed.
And you are on the forest ground, recovering from the pain and disorientation caused by a frontal crash. Fortunately, you know exactly what unfortunate situation you are in. A small but incredibly strong hand grips on your left arm, and you directly stare into a pair of glowing red eyes, the only source of light in this incomprehensible darkness.
“Oh, it’s you, magician.”
With the deceptively cute but slightly disappointed voice, the red eyes narrow on yours. Were it a month ago, you’d be doomed right now, but it’s different this time. You are afraid but you ignore it, riding on the momentum of actions and surfing on the crest of emotion. One second is all you need to relock on your home and escape. Day zero will not repeat.
That is when you find out in horror that the magical “beacon” of your home starts to disappear. You frantically attempt to lock on its previous location from your memory, but the memory itself fades out of existence.
As if your home never existed in the first place.
In Gensokyo, Abyss Stares at YouMadScientistCarl2017/10/22 (Sun) 03:10No. 40699▼
Goddamn heart wrenching to write. Costs me Sanity.
“Hello, Miss~ It’s been a while since we meet.”
Your illumination has been maxed out, yet you can barely make out the girl’s facial features.
It’s her. Small, sweet, face; short, blond hair, with a small red ribbon tied on upper left; slightly flinching at the small amount of light, and giving you a toothy grin. In a surge of energy, you attempt to perform a translocation towards a random offset, but it fails to fire.
Destination obstructed. You grit your teeth. That’s why she gave you such grave trouble. It is almost impossible to translocate when you can’t see anything.
“Miss~ Do you know bad things happen when you walk out here alone?”
The girl speaks cheerfully, as if taking great enjoyment asking this question. Even with the remaining summer heat, you are still chilled to the core. You shoulder the earth and try to push her arm away, but she is far stronger than you. She lets out a small giggle, and press down your shoulders hard.
“Miss, it’s not nice of you to leave me like that.”
You hold a breath and snatch your dagger with your right hand, attempting to stab. She easily blocked it, striking your wrist hard enough to knock the blade away. You force down the shock and elbow the ground, trying to flip her to the side, but you are pinned down immediately. The pain on your arm is unbearable, threatening to blank out your mind; liquid flows down your cheek, searing and cold. If you can see yourself right now, you must be tearing like there is no tomorrow, and you don’t need a brain to know that if you fail to hold up your mind, it will become reality.
Her grin widens, crushing your arm with her hand and showing her sharp canine. Her voice is happy.
“May I eat you now~”
Your very soul is screaming for an escape. You briefly considered replying “No”, but you are voiceless. There’s so much despair and you just can’t see a way out-
-except that your trembling finger finally manage to reach and slide open the case of charms before the girl-shaped monster can tear you apart. You briefly close and avert your eyes, and the suffocating darkness is instantly replaced by a blinding white flash.
A painful scream, and the grip on your arm loosens with burning agony. In a brief moment of clarity, you see the girl backing off covering her eyes with her arms, before darkness starts to engulf the surrounding again.
You did not waste any time. Riding on the momentum of events, you disappear and relocate outside the range of darkness, breathing heavily and heart racing, covering your mouth to stop yourself from vomiting. But you have nowhere to go. You can translocate like a crazy person in this dark forest, but your only destination has never existed. Deep, red liquid drips down from several deep cuts on your left arm, and you cannot concentrate with this searing pain drilling into your bone. All the relief you have is a small ring of soft, white light, covering merely five steps around you. Beyond that, the forest is stained in faint, scarlet light. Everything looks so hostile and alien. You are alone, isolated.
You force yourself into deep breath, burning through another dozen charms to displace your fear. You are already so shaken that you start to have trouble using any spells at all. If you can’t even draw power from your charms, your doom is spelled.
You try to regulate your uneven heartbeat and breathing, holding yourself up by pushing against your knees. Everything is so much like Day Zero. Spells don’t work. No destination. Exhausted. Nowhere to run. Darkness coming from behind. All you can do is trying to get out of its way. You almost want to burst into tears just like that and stop caring, because this time, the forest will not help you.
Something clicks in your mind, and you grasp on the last straw of hope. You pray to the forest. No, not the forest, but the nature, the fairies. What else can you lose except for life?
Lights go out again, and you can only stay still and hope that the monster does not find you.
“Miss~ I know you are here~”
The Voice. Sweet Voice. Close. So close. You hold your hands together. You stand absolutely still. You pray for any reinforcement. You feel the girl’s presence moving closer. What else can you possibly do?
You hear the sound of wings fluttering and buzzing. Not one pair, not two pairs. Dozens? Hundreds? You lose count. Swarms of heat pass by your body.
The little girl’s voice came out practically right behind you, and the darkness quickly fades. You don’t miss another chance, immediately breaking for a run. In a brief glimpse, you see the blond girl hissing, while frantically dodging bombardment from a storm of glowing projectiles.
You don’t look back. You keep running towards the edge of the forest. You use your charms to boost up your energy for Translocation. Countless colorful lights explode behind you, lighting up the dark forest as if a war is breaking out. A mysterious barrier encircles the battlefield as if aiming to contain the aftermath. Fairies, swarming in clusters, shout in their high-pitched voices and deliver their payloads in unison. Every time a fairy is killed, you feel a strain on your body and take a dent from your energy reserve. At first, you tried to burn up your charms to help them respawn, but you stopped not wanting to respawn them just to have them killed. Either way, the fairies go full out defending their previous benefactor.
In less than a minute, you hear a glass-breaking sound while the mysterious border disappears, and fairies, of all sizes and shapes, come circling around you triumphally. You look behind you, and the entire air is filled with their small figures. Finally, you sigh in great relief and drop to your knees, speechlessly apologizing that you are in no shape to help them clean up the energy fields. You feel so useless and weak right now, relying on the fairies but cannot even return a favor.
You feel a light touch on your head. You turn around, and see a fairy ruffling your hair with her tiny, delicate arms. Moments later, other fairies join, and many cling to your tired body. Their expressions show care and compassion, in stark contrast to their usual mischief and naught. Warm feeling emerges from your heart, slowly dissolving the terror you just felt. Sense of security finally flows back as you are buried inside the small creatures. You feel liquid welling up in your eyes, and you finally cannot hold back anymore.
You cry as if a dam of emotions has burst, but the warmth of your heart starts to spread out through your body, melting the ice and recovering your strength bit by bit. The fairies’ light touches are surprisingly soothing, and their encouraging smile strengthens your will and clears up your foggy mind.
Is that the power of belief? You can’t help but wonder. It’s the first time you experience it on the receiving end. How ironic, it’s fairies, the mischievous and childish creatures, of all things that gives you, a white magician who mastered two of the most difficult spells in the world, the first taste of your own spiritual healing. White magicians should never decline help, didn’t you say that? Did you really do what you said?
The Scarlet Mist Incident was solved a few hours after you made the escape, and apparently the Spell Card system is finally proven to be in effect. The guards were shocked to see a battered and exhausted you being carried back by a dozen fairies. Keine sincerely apologized for hiding the history of the village at the worst time possible, but you didn’t blame her for performing her duty. At least little Imari was thrown back just in time, though she hit her head on your bar counter when she fell down into the portal. Speaking of the perpetual-motion-girl, her recklessness and ADHD seemed to be much alleviated after the incident.
You barricaded yourself for a few days to clean up the load of possession and negative energy which were severe enough to jam up your vocal cord (the very reason you didn’t speak a word during the encounter with dreaded Rumia). Then you spent some more time restoring the energy field of your home/clinic. With help from Keine and your nice neighbors, you managed to reopen the clinic in only two weeks. As a side note, your spiritual healing did significantly speed up the recovery of severe bruise and bone fracture you suffered in your left arm. By the time you reopened the clinic, you were as good as new.
Despite the crazy encounter during the incident, you are not a person who dwell in the past. You should always constantly improve yourself, so what should you take as long term goals?
Intermission Short Stories/Goals* (Choose 2. The rest will still be performed behind scene, but to a much lesser extent)
[ ] Practice combat. Make sure Translocation and Portal work when you need them. And practice with Spell Card system [ ] Research Underground Farming. It seems that Urist SteelDeath plants crops underground, why not try it yourself? [ ] Research High Power/Application Specific Charms. Your current charms are too inefficient to do anything [ ] Practice coordination with fairies. In your escape, “prayers” seemed to work, and fairies also seemed to transfer power to you. Worth investigating [ ] Something else that is on the same scale**
End of Chapter 1
Notes * Use as much metaknowledge and foretelling as you want. The author will try to make them work ** The author gets to judge the scale
Appendix: Explanation of Choices in Chapter 1MadScientistCarl2017/10/22 (Sun) 03:11No. 40700▼
The creation of character.
Male/Female: Doesn’t really affect much. Somewhat affects character interaction. Such as how much Yabe Yatsuhiro hates you.
12/18/35: Heavily affects your utility and understanding of white magic. Also affected are your will power and reliance on instincts. The older, the more you use will power and analysis, and vice versa. You would also not get your own house if you’re 12. 18 would be somewhere in between.
This set of choices change your escape vector in your final combat. “Fairy Army” is always available, but you may also get an option to translocate/portal to the Yokai Mountain.
Hide and Seek
The plot-related factor is whether you keep an eye on the children. If you don’t, you get an extra scene trying to rescue them under lesser Yokai. With fifty armed men.
If you go outside, you’ll see Urist up close. Not much different, since she won’t talk to you anyways.
Just sleep will miss out Urist completely, since you will not mention it on the next day. Remember, you leave to collect herbs before noon that day .
Without calling for fairies, you will lose track of Imari. She will still be saved, but your fight with Rumia would be way more brutal. Expect to lose an arm at best, and Imari would be there to watch it. You probably don’t want either to happen.
All in all, my choices are fairly blatant. This is my style of “defaulting to good ending”, which means you have to actively do something dumb to get bad results.
[X] Research High Power/Application Specific Charms. Your current charms are too inefficient to do anything. Maybe ask the shrine maiden for help? [X] Practice coordination with fairies. In your escape, “prayers” seemed to work, and fairies also seemed to transfer power to you. Worth investigating
Charms/Talismans are like 90%+ of Reimus arsenal so im pretty sure we can get some help from her in that department. The fairies could be our main danmaku focus, together with the charms it would be some kind of minion style. Also faries are just generally nice to be around and can be very helpfull if they don't prank you constantly. The only other thing i would see as interesting in the self defense corner would be learning how to fly since literally everyone who has even a little power can manage it and it's a huge help, but thats not as important as the other things.
I really like this so far,the "default to good ending" style is also really appreciated because im not a fan of stories that go grimdark for the sake of grimdark.
>>40702 oh i know that good end != best end but i would rather try to get the best end while avoiding dumb choices than constantly hope that the current choice leads to the least amount of mauling for the mc.
[X] Research High Power/Application Specific Charms. Your current charms are too inefficient to do anything [X] Practice coordination with fairies. In your escape, “prayers” seemed to work, and fairies also seemed to transfer power to you. Worth investigating
Intermission 1.1. Charms. More Charms. MOAR CHARMS.MadScientistCarl2017/10/22 (Sun) 21:38No. 40705▼
First part of intermission here. These should be very quick updates. Then I’m going to do homework. By quick I mean one-pass proof read, so please bear with it. It's only intermission.
Disclaimer: I don’t have anything to disclaim yet.
 Research High Power/Application Specific Charms. Your current charms are too inefficient to do anything. Maybe ask the shrine maiden for help?  Next update
Just as a normal day, you are now collecting herbs inside the Forest of Magic, with two Lights on, locked on your home, the four village gates, as well as a few random locations, while keeping close track of any open space around you.
What saved you during the Scarlet Mist incident was the compound spell “Flashbang”, basically a Light spell burst-powered by charms. You didn’t count how many charms you burnt through, but it was apparently powerful enough to shortly expel Rumia’s darkness blob. You wish your charms does something other than serving as magic batteries, but you do not have much experience on those utilities. After all, you learnt almost everything by experimenting, and you didn’t have much use of charms when you were Outside.
As you throw vegetables into your (new) basket, you sense something out of normal. It is a very strange tingling in your mind, as if someone is calling your attention. After some investigation, you notice that it is not different from the “life energy resonance” you use every day, except that it does not aim for power. Then what is it? If it is not for power, it must be for communication.
Yeah, you must start to create consistent terms from now on.
You turn around to scan the surrounding. Of course, there is a fairy peeking out of a branch, and the “communication wave” or something apparently comes from her. As usual, you return her with life energy. With a happy gleam, the fairy hovers into the air, and gestures you to follow. You wrap up your tools and grab your (new) rod and your (new) fan.
You follow her to see something out of normal. Or rather, someone out of normal. A man, obviously lost, wearing suspiciously modern-looking T-shirt and jeans, fiddling with his old-fashioned phone and a handheld GPS.
Obviously an Outsider. You quickly jog towards the man. You know what can happen if he lingers here for too long. You greet him to get his attention.
“Hello, sir. Are you lost?”
He startles a bit, and puts the phone away. Moments later, he replies.
“Yes. In fact, my GPS suddenly stopped receiving signal about four hours ago, and I am seemingly in a different forest.”
You raise your eyebrows a bit, but are otherwise relieved.
“Four hours? You are incredibly lucky, sir.”
Then you proceed to explain Gensokyo in one minute, while particularly stressing its danger. After the man asks you how to go back (in a pale face), you answer.
“The Hakurei Shrine. In fact, just let me open a Por…tal…”
You registered your own word after a second, and you go wide-eyed. The man asks you what happened, but you respond that it’s fine.
Yes, you just realized that had you locked on the magic signature of the Hakurei Shrine, you could have escaped without a scratch. In fact, you have visited the shrine quite a few times, and you translocated every time you went there. How could you completely forget that? You must have panicked way too hard.
Thoughts aside, you concentrate on the signature of the shrine. In fact, it is so distinct that you can never forget it after your first visit. A few seconds later, you finished the locking, and a vertical, elliptical hole emerges silently in space. You check the other side to make sure that you didn’t open it mid-air, and you double check the boundaries to make sure it is not infinitely sharp.
The man is… shocked, at least. You totally know that face, one that just took a 1D10 Sanity Check. You give him some assurance by stepping through the portal yourself, while he hesitantly follows behind.
Your portal opened right under the Torii of the Hakurei Shrine. You turn around to see the man curiously scan the place, while you close the portal.
Aaand you feel something tying knots with your hair. You reach out your hand to stroke the back of the fairy, who is now sitting on your head.
Reimu, like the last time you saw her, sits in front of the door in a relaxed posture, sipping from a cup of tea. Actually, it is a bit strange to see the same person sitting at the exact same position as you saw her last time. As usual, she is dressed in her heavily modified shrine maiden uniform, with her skirt and anti-gravity sleeves and big red ribbons.
As you two approach, Reimu puts down her cup, then greets.
“Hello, magician. You are using portals this time.”
Captain Obvious. Then she turns to the man standing next to you.
“And I see you are from the outside. Would you like some tea?”
“Um, yes, thank you.”
After you do a small prayer and drop a few coins into the donation box, the three of you sit around a small table, each holding a cup of tea. The atmosphere here is serene and holy, as expected from a shrine. You wish you can replicate the “aura” of this place at home, but that would be way too much work. The tea is fantastic, easily one of the best ones you have had: not too strong, not bitter, and leaves a crisp and soothing aftertaste.
Reimu spends a few minutes to explain what Gensokyo is, in much greater detail than you did. The young man looks curious at first, but progressively becomes more horrified as he realizes how much danger he could have been in while wandering in the forest.
He makes the obvious choice any sensible human would choose: leave. He is kind enough to donate some unknown bills to the money box, but you doubt the foreign currency would have any use other than collection. He is then sent back through the other side of the shrine, via some method unfathomable by you.
You decide not to investigate. Last time you did so, you almost got shredded by a chaos of space rifts and the resulting storm of metal originating from your broken beacon. In fact, you have some idea about your inability to return: first, you are a magician, which means the barrier consider you as a being “supposed to be on this side”; second, the year is 2003 here, but you “came” from 2017. You wonder whether Rumia’s darkness played a role in your causality-breaking portal, as light cannot travel through when it was opened.
Reimu sits back at the table, takes up her cup of tea, and sighs, not looking at anywhere in particular.
“You know, Outsiders don’t usually make it here. He was very lucky.”
You take a sip from the still warm cup of tea.
“I already know that from first hand.”
You shut your eyes for a while, and continue.
“I will provide escort if I encounter them.”
Reimu simply nods, showing a faint trace of smile. You stand up while draining the tea, and lightly bow towards her.
“Thank you for your hospitality.”
As you leave, you can’t help but wonder whether “Outsider Escorting Service” is a good part-time job. However, just as you step outside the door, you remember something, and turn back.
“Actually, Reimu, can I have a look at some charms you use for Yokai repelling/sealing/extermination?”
Reimu only raises her head slightly. You marvel her effort spent on conserving energy.
You then explain how your charms are nothing but energy storage, and how few effective spells you have. You can always use some higher-quality charms, wards, or talisman. Reimu shrugs, and simply retrieves a few pieces from… somewhere, while asking.
“On a side note, why do fairies behave around you?”
She’s looking at the fairy sitting on your head. Does messing up your hair count as “behave”? You think for a moment. Actually, that is a good question. You trace back to the first principles of white magic, and answer uncertainly.
“Um, well. Loving them more than loving myself?”
Reimu raises an eyebrow at this ambiguous answer.
Minutes later, you are back to your home and start to study samples of amulets.
“How on Earth does Reimu make so many of these?”
As you study the paper amulets which Reimu calls Homing Amulet, you are shocked at their complexity. If your blank paper squares are like rocks, then these amulets are as complicated as guided missiles. She must have stamps or something, so it would be a pain for you to replicate these. In addition, you recognize something you cannot replicate: divine power. Unless you have connection to some god, your charms will never have such powerful direct offensive power.
On the other hand, wards are much simpler to understand. They are pretty much written words that express a concept concisely to help focusing and channeling will power. With some research, you might be able to significantly boost the barrier around your home, while alleviating your pressure from cleaning up the energy field. You know how to make Circle of Protection already, so using better wards should save you a lot of headache, metaphorically or spiritually or physically.
How about naming it the Barrier of Protection? A cool name always helps concentrating power.
Next part coming later. The events here are just the beginning of a time skip. Expect MC to get some upgrades for her charms when Chapter 2 starts.
You all should know what Chapter 2 is about.
Intermission 1.2. Fairies. More Fairies. MOAR FAIRIES.MadScientistCarl2017/10/23 (Mon) 00:41No. 40706▼
[X] Practice coordination with fairies. In your escape, “prayers” seemed to work, and fairies also seemed to transfer power to you. Worth investigating
Disclaimer: Sometimes, Reality Ensues.
I will try keeping chapters short and self-contained. Nice feeling of accomplishment when I hit an arc goal.
Also, sorry about a few grammatical mistakes in the previous update. Guess one pass was not enough.
Localization: Curtain Fire = Danmaku
If the previous days tell you something, it is that fairies like you. You mean, they really like you. Every time you walk outside the village, you are followed by at least a few of them. Moreover, when you turn on Automatic Negative Energy Collection (you consider naming it ANEC for conciseness), you will invariably be trailed by a cloud of these small figures.
They are kind of quiet, even though every other person you meet tells you that fairies are annoying. You conject that your personality and thus life energy is on the calmer side, so fairies, with their intimacy to nature, are naturally calmed down around you. That also explains why they went berserk saving you, because your thoughts were so burning intense at that moment. Even though fairies have always been accused to be dumb, they have astonishing sensitivity to energy fields. You only wish that they have more brains and less impulse.
You wonder about a few new findings, though. Recounting previous events, you note some peculiarities: you somewhat affected fairies’ behavior by praying; you respawned fairies with your own energy; you received a dose of Spiritual Healing from a group of fairies; you received a “communication wave” from one. Is this what all white magicians can do? You don’t know the answer, because there are so few white magicians in existence, and you are probably the only one around here. And you are not even professional.
Anyways, today’s Sunday, a perfect excuse to slack off… train yourself. There is a reason you do not accept major injuries in your clinic: to throw away the responsibility of ignoring one. Or rather, you decided to not take that responsibility in the first place, because possession and curse removal already give you enough risk to last you an entire life.
Sidetracks aside, you leave through the village gate, belting your fan and carrying your rod as usual. Today, you plan on testing something with the fairies.
“Sooooo, you mean you and your companions indeed receive my power through my thoughts?”
Here you are, sitting on a boulder in the outskirt of the Forest of Magic (the other side, but not much different), and surrounded by a dozen fairies sitting on branches and rocks. Some of them are only about the size of your palm, while the largest is only slightly shorter than Imari (or Rumia, but you don’t really want to think about her).
“Yes, I do think so. I have never met a human who can resonate with us so well before.”
The big fairy sits next to you. It’s pretty surprising for you to see a fairy acting in such mature manner. On top of her unusual size, she also has unique appearance and outfit, with green hair tied to the side with a yellow ribbon, wearing a blue dress and has a golden rim on top of her transparent wings. Though she does not really have a name, it seems that most people just call her Daiyousei (Big Fairy?). Apparently, she is more powerful than any fairies you have met. In fact, the other day when you met her for the first time, you challenged her for a Spell Card duel because you thought she was a Yokai disguised as a fairy. Then you got your ass kicked despite her not having any Spell Cards. Oh Crap moment when you saw green and red projectiles filling up the sky for the first time, and Translocating straight into projectiles is not fun at all.
Back on topic, you continue to think about this “resonation” while brushing your chin.
“I think all white magicians do that, and all human can be trained to be one. Isn’t it right? I trained myself, anyways.”
Daiyousei looks up at you, and asks.
“Maybe you are right. Does it have anything to do with your teleportation?”
You correct her, then proceed.
“I don’t know. Not even I fully understand why it works. Nor do I know how it relates to my resonation with fairies.”
“Actually… may I try something?”
The blue-green girl fiddles her thumb a bit, as if thinking about something.
Later, you were guided to the closest open space, a lake covered in mist. You didn’t really like the reduced visibility, but you trusted the fairies to give you early warning. Other people might think you are insane to trust fairies, though. There, the group of you proceeded to try out an assortment of “resonators”.
You tried praying at the fairies silently and see if they can shoot at your intended direction, which didn’t really work. You tried supplying them energy directly, instantly turning their curtain fire into a colorful wall of doom and immediately blacking you out for a few seconds. Then you worked somewhere in between, and instead of supplying energy directly, you acted as a guide to help them summon power, which worked reasonably well. Daiyousei commented about how you boosted the fairies “by one or two stage”, but you have no idea what she was talking about.
Looks like you just found one side of the formula, and you can seemingly act as a “glue” which links up the meager will power of fairies.
Then, you performed some test on some other aspects. You asked the fairies to pray at you instead, and try to decode what kind of message you would receive. It turns out that as the “glue link” you can also receive power, but then you can also receive power from any sentient being (other white magicians are theoretically the best), and you don’t really have anything useful to do with those extra energy.
You explained that you tried to replicate the “communication wave” you received before you found the Outsider. Subsequently, you and fairies attempted to establish a message channel of some sort, with little success. You did make some achievements, though. When a fairy calls for help, you were able to guide her some power even out of sight and get a vague impression of her location. You sternly warned them not to use this extra energy to play planks, but Daiyousei reassured you by stating that your energy indeed calms fairies down.
Finally, you requested the fairies to actively spot, tail, and preferably defend anyone dressed in non-Gensokyo looking clothes, acting clueless, and possessing strange-looking devices, then use whatever safe way to call you or others for help. After all, when armed with Translocation, Portal, and a reference point, you can easily be the fastest-responding Outsider escort.
Later at home, you started to wonder whether it is a good idea to remotely provide power to fairies, but you’ll see.
Remember the Spell Card Rule: Supernatural being must accept a challenge from a human, and one cannot kill a human even after the human is defeated. That’s why MC challenged Daiyousei.
Disclaimer: I have no experience in farming. Don’t follow my descriptions or you’ll get crop failure.
Localization: Curtain Fire = Danmaku
Your heavily booted foot steps onto the thick snow, sinking in the fluffy powder burying your knees, straight to the hardened soil. This time, you only have your fan at hand, because you finally realized just how useless your thin wooden rod was. You said it was a wand, but never once did you use it like that.
However, that is not important right now. You narrow your eyes through the small slit between your thick, Russian-style hat and your self-made fluffy scarf, and stare at the frozen lake in front of you. There beyond the thin, icy mist, a small blue figure awaits. A small girl with aqua hair, wearing blue dress and large blue ribbons, extends her six icicle wings and waits for your appearance.
You pull out your fan, and make a dramatic swipe that does not put up any wind at all. With your muffled sound behind your scarf, you declare.
“Fairy of Ice! This time you shall fall!”
The fairy seems ecstatic at the challenge, then thrusts and pats her chest in a confident, childish voice.
“Ah hah, human! I will not fall ‘cause I am the strongest!”
You flip out a hand of charms with your gloved hand, and proudly declare.
“You have three Cards, I have three Bombs. Now start!”
As usual, you sit behind the bar counter, unmelt snow and ice still covering your thick coat. You inspect the Barrier of Protection you put up months ago, and find no anomaly. That barrier is truly a bliss, because now you no longer need to actively clean up the energy field in your home. In fact, since you free up much of your time, you put up a second barrier which you call Barrier of Life, which supposedly concentrates life force. It proves useful in your underground farming experiments, though you find it impractically demanding to simulate sunlight using your Light spells. It pretty much nails you inside your home and holds your attention so much that you practically can’t do anything else.
Then you see a blob of cloth walking towards your bar with a cane. Even with this many layers of cloth on, you still recognize him as old man Takei Harumi, your good old neighbor. He greets you while sitting on a stool after wiping it clean of snow.
“Kid, did you lose again?”
You shrug, even though the movement is hidden by your thick coat.
“Well, it’s not exactly easy to shoot at something flying all over when I myself is translocating everywhere. I couldn’t break her cards, though I almost got through the second card this time.”
Old man Takei looks at you, then speaks caringly.
“Kid, don’t overexert yourself. Also, it’s the first time you prepare for a winter, right? Don’t hesitate to ask for help.”
You smile while wiping a saucer with a piece of cloth.
“Thank you. In fact, I prepared provisions for not one, but four winters, so don’t worry. I also dug down quite a bit deeper in my basement, and I reclaimed the field behind the house. Do you need some healing today?”
Takei nods with a wrinkled smile.
You nod back, and guides him into the main room.
You are glad that everything is pretty normal recently. You encountered Rumia for another three times during the past months, but two ended with you translocating immediately while the last ended with you saving an Outsider after a Spell Card battle. Yes, you lost, but she couldn’t attack you because of the rules. Thank the fairies for remembering your request and calling you just in time. Later, you met “the strongest fairy”, Cirno, and you confirmed first-hand that she is, indeed, the strongest fairy you’ve seen. After getting whacked by a surprising load of Spell Cards, you started fighting her every other day, trying to test out different charms.
Unfortunately for you, the current record is something like 50-0. Maybe it’s 100-0, you didn’t really count. You have to find a way to fly, or you’ll never win. You can’t use Translocation to fly because it preserves momentum, and you won’t be able to break the fall except for doing some crazy portal maneuvers (which you won’t attempt unless you have safety measures).
Other than those small nuisance, you stocked up with enough food, fuel, and water good for four winters. You have no idea how much you’re going to consume, so you’d better be safe than sorry. If accidents occur, you can also kickstart your underground farms, even if it means stopping all your activities.
Anyways, healing first.
Later in the day, you start to charge up charms, as usual. You can’t hope to make charms as complicated as the Hakurei amulets, at least not in large numbers. Therefore, you decided to cut in the issue through a different vector: spiritual energy displacement. Since you are the only user, you can use arbitrary markings to help concentrating your power. After all, the only person needs to understand them is you.
You adeptly stamp simple shapes onto pieces of paper, glue them into small books, and hang them for drying. After months of repeated work, you already find the rhythm of doing this job. Right now, you already have a few crates of these charms, more than enough for any amount of abuse. The only reason you’re making more is to test out different ways of charging.
“HEY! MISS WHITE MAGICIAN!!!”
Well, there comes the energetic voice. Good things Takei Imari, the perpetual-motion-girl, did not suffer any trauma staring into darkness. Even better, she finally learns to be more cautious and responsible. At least she won’t randomly run off into the forest right now.
You smile warmly at the small girl, appearing right in front of her then catch and spin her around as she jumps forward into the air. There comes the exciting cry-
Yeah, you practiced this move for who-knows-how-long, and it finally works. You raise your head while ruffling Imari’s hair and clearing up her energy. You see her friend Takamaru Atsutane, the quiet boy dressed like a furball, dragging his feet behind and revealing only a pair of sleepy eyes. He lazily waves towards you, while you wave back and clear up his energy too. The boy visibly becomes more radiant after the silent treatment. You ask the pair.
“So, what are you kids coming for?”
A snowball hits you square in your face. Guess that’s the answer. Nice ambush. You release your hands and wipe your face clean.
You let out a mischievous grin.
“Kids, you picked the perfectly wrong person to start a snow fight.”
As you crouch down and ball up the white powder, the children around shout happily and retreat behind cover.
You stand up with snowballs in hand, and proudly declares.
“Big Sis fights the strongest Ice Fairy every other day! Big Sis will not lose!”
And then dodge roll. The show begins!
The Epic Short Snow FightMadScientistCarl2017/10/23 (Mon) 04:51No. 40709▼
Disclaimer: Author lives in tropical area. Author has not fought with snow before.
Now, of course you’re not going to cheat using Translocation or Portal, or any spell. You are on your own, but you compensate the lack of quantity with your range and speed. No matter how active the kids are, you still have longer arms and legs.
You shout. With a whooshing sound, a snowball whips a perfectly straight line at the blurry figure ten steps ahead. Imari grazes the deceiving shot with amazing grace, as you dodge two barrages of synchronized “artillery fire”, followed by your own underhand retaliation.
With your low ammunition supply, you quickly ball up snow and dive to raid your enemies’ “supply depot”, and is ambushed just as expected. You use your experience from all those Spell Card battles to quickly weave yourself out of the way, while the kids yelp and retreat. Taking the strongpoint, you switch into defensive mode and take cover as much as possible.
A loud command from the perpetual-motion-girl later, and you are bombarded from three sides with surprising amount of coordination. These children really are natural tacticians, you think.
A slide and a roll later, you dash out of the cover with an armful of ammunition and dance through interceptions with irregular movements. All you need is to reach that corner where no one stands, and you’ll be-
-smashed in your face.
You wipe out the snow, and scan your surrounding in confusion. There, three steps ahead of you, stands Atsutane, still recovering from a throwing pose.
You swear that he was not there a second ago, so you ask, bewildered.
“Atsutane? How did you… Wait, what happened?”
The boy, still covered like a furball, raises both arms and chirps happily.
“You weren’t looking at me! So you didn’t see me!”
OK, you are lost. You remember that last time he did something like walking on the edge of your vision, and he must have used that trick here, even though you totally didn’t notice him this time. You pat his shoulder, and smile.
“Boy, you would be a great sniper!”
The boy tilts his head.
“What’s a sniper?”
You figure that it will be too bothering to teach him Firearms 101, so you make a shortcut and nudge him back at other cheering kids.
“Some sort of assassin. Anyways, well done!”
You walk back to the gathering children, and performs your usual group healing again. You smile at the kids, and stretch your arms.
The kids shout happily.
You nod at them, then disappear from sight.
Ah, what a wonderful day!
Your Status -Healthy -One dormant curse. You have dealt with a dozen of them already, so no problem
Your Spell Cards -Primary attack: Translocating Charms. You still can’t range the translocations very well yet, missing almost any moving target -Light Sign ~ Expel Darkness. Defensive Bomb card, based on compound spell Flashbang. Obviously blinds your opponent hard
Your Skills (Skill changes) -Dodge roll. Avoid Curtain Fire, skip through obstacles, you name it
Your Inventory -Water skin. Filled with fresh water -Dagger. Sharp and sturdy, good for utility and self-defense -Fan. Just a fan -Paper charms. Hundreds, stored in a wooden case. Use them en masse -Some coins. -A less-crude map of Gensokyo. You can shoot the map around the Human Village
Your Clinic (Changes shown here) -Barrier of Protection. Created by liberally using modified Hakurei wards. Keeps the energy field clean with little intervention -Barrier of Life. Created by liberally using custom wards. Holds life force. Summons life force when you resonate with it -A Field. It has always been there, but you claimed it only recently, after you have free time -B2, B3. Dug out for experimental underground farms. Works, but requires enormous attention -Reinforced Insulation. Counters the cold -Dwarf-style-overkilling water cistern. Just in case the Earth decides to plunge into Ice Age -Charcoal. You requested and bought them from Urist SteelDeath for their higher energy level
[X] More Spell Card Battles More time with the STRONGEST would probably be fun and fairies in general are pretty great, i really hope we get to meet the three fairies of light somewhere along the way. Maybe try to find out how fairies fly? They are basically white magic manifest so whatever they use to fly might be adaptable to us.
Also i was thinking if we manage to get flight done together with our translocation and the portals we would be an absolutely obnoxious opponent in danmaku battles even if offense is not the best.
Sorry, MC will not learn flight. Not yet, at least, so focus on something else. However, you will be developing your knowledge in the 35-year-old way.
Warning: When I started to carefully think about what Portal means in mathematical space… all hell break loose. HELP! I CAN’T STOP MYSELF!!
Disclaimer: Don’t mess with physics like this.
[X] More Spell Card Battles
It’s night. You lie on the futon, the only warm place in your empty room. Even though snow accumulates outside, you are still unwilling to waste charcoal when you can warm up using your own heat. Plus, snow is a good insulator when it doesn’t collapse your house.
As you slowly drift into sleep, you feel something attempting to breach through your Barrier of Protection. You quickly get out of your futon, and wrap a thick blanket around yourself. In a moment, you translocate outside and try to figure out what’s happening. Unfortunately, you cannot spot any suspicious movement, and the barrier remains undamaged. Apparently, this being is blocked, so you guess it is an evil spirit of some sort since a Yokai would have no problem walking through. You shiver from the frigid air, and translocate back to your room. You charge up the barrier to compensate for the lost energy, but you don’t pay particular mind to it.
With that, you need to redevelop your sleepiness. You idly think about the events, and your thoughts slowly drift toward your Spell Card fights.
In the past two months, you fought the Ice Fairy nearly every day, and you really appreciate that the Spell Card system is finally in use. Even though Cirno may not actually be the strongest being around, you know she is fully capable of turning you into swiss cheese or a block of ice in a real fight (though on the other hand, your ability to escape is pretty much unrivaled). With Spell Cards, however, you can probably find a way to defeat her… but how can you do so when you are stuck on ground? What should you do about your terrible ranging skills? Using Translocation to move charms directly at your target might be an awesome idea, but you found it very difficult to lock on a moving target, as your reaction latency always made you miss the mark. And that’s not even counting how hard it is to dodge and shoot at the same time.
Maybe you should reverse your role. In all the battles you fought, you were on offensive while Cirno was on defensive, which meant that you had a hitbox while she had a shield. You didn’t really consider playing the defender because all you had was a Bomb-type card, but maybe you should start working on full Spell Cards…
Spell Cards are all about meaning and expression instead of raw power, right? You take a long, slow breath and start to review your arsenal. Your spells: Translocation and Portal. Your charms: Blanks for storage and “arrows” for energy displacement. You can also gather life force at ease, though it’s winter now so this one is less viable. You might not be able to match Cirno’s offensive power, but you may outsmart her… with something unconventional.
After half an hour of searching and composing, you figured you have three tactics available. The first one relies on patterned Translocation, and you may use the spell to rapidly deploy an entire grid of floating “mines” using your charms and proceed to shoot a confined target. The second one concentrates on gathering magic in the same manner as gathering life force in attempt to match the raw power of your opponent. The last one involves abusing Portal, trying to intercept or redirect shots.
According to your observation, Cirno is very experienced in battles like this, so she might just graze through any conventional tactics you may use. At the same time, since it’s in the middle of a winter, it would be dumb to try matching power of an ice fairy when you are at your weakest. Portal mechanics abusing would burn through your charms very quickly, as large ones are quite difficult to maintain.
Actually, speaking of portal mechanics, you’ve never really studied how portals behave. You just… kind of use them, in similar ways to that Portal game. In fact, you don’t even use them to accelerate objects, and you have never looked at the back side of a portal.
Well, maybe it’s time to try it! You think, and quickly dress up. Under illumination of a few Light spells, you cast a pair of vertical Portals facing each other. First, you peek at one of the holes in space.
Yep, you see the back of your head extending in an infinite sequence, just as expected.
Then, you walk around the portals, and have a look at the other side. You are surprised to see that the back is a perfectly smooth mirror surface. When your Light is shone from behind, you see the portals cast shadows, and when you turn the lights off, the portals do not emit anything.
Something clicks in your mind, but you can’t quite grasp it. You scratch your head, and stare at the mirror surface, trying to list out all facts you know about this Portal.
OK, objects moving into a portal is transported to another portal. Light, or electromagnetic waves seems to behave the same. The backside of the portal is a perfect mirror. The edge is bounded by a potential field… or is it? How does gravity behave across the portal?
You take a closer look at the edge, and notice that it is like a thin, diffuse white donut. Somewhere in between the edge and the back, the diffuse white becomes smooth mirror…
What is in common with white and mirror? The answer is that they both reflect all incoming light.
Reflection… With this vector, you start to search harder. You took the spell Portal for granted since “it’s magic”, but that does not mean it conflicts with physics. In fact, what do you call a surface with perfect reflection? A white body? No, you need to go generic to apply the knowledge, so what’s the mathematical term… Neumann Boundary Condition of zero. What about the front side? A pair of portals kind of folds the space around, but interface equations, be it EM or gravity, still apply… Right?
You grin as an idea floats up to your mind. If you cannot hit your target, what about steering your target into your shots?
Tomorrow will be a big day.
North wind, not too strong. Freezing, but not deadly cold. Clouds, but no snow yet.
Today, the daylight lengthens, and the surrounding life force starts moving uphill. So is your power.
You gaze across the lake through the small slit of your headgears, and spot the blue figure waiting.
“Human! Are you here to challenge the strongest!”
The ice fairy is as excited as usual. You know what, when you say that fairies calm down around you, you really mean most fairies. Cirno is an exception, because apparently she gets even more excited. Daiyousei is also an exception, but she is calm anyways.
With a dramatic swipe, you hold up a card-shaped object between your right index and middle fingers, pull down your scarf to expose your mouth, and declare.
“Cirno! Try your best to break this before getting hit!”
“Ooooh! A Spell Card, finally!”
You see her icicle wings flutter in excitement, as she starts to summon up small crystals around her. You quickly run through a simulation in your head, reviewing your stages of ranging and trapping, before declaring the name.
“Spell Card, Vector Portal ~ Gravity Masked!”
Immediately, you are surrounded by a spherical shield, and numerous charms sweep-appear in a large grid covering the entire battlefield. The ice fairy agilely weaves between the irregularly tumbling paper, grazing through gaps while shooting a stream of icicles at you.
Of course, you cannot move. You keep up your sweeps of Translocating Charms, each pass giving a tighter spread and narrower range, forcing the fairy to move slower. You are amazed how well Cirno manages to graze pass these wind-blown pieces of paper while keeping a reasonable accuracy. Her hit box is really darn small! If you simply keep on trying to hit her like that, she will definitely break your spell before you can score a single hit.
However, you are merely “ranging” right now. After five sweeps of charms, you finally force the girl to move slowly enough for you to acquire a clear range. You let out an evil grin, and a stack of Blank Charms flare up in your hand.
In a pulse of energy, a pair of large portals emerge horizontally, facing each other and sandwiching the ice girl and the drifting charms. The girl yelps as she suddenly jerks up uncontrollably, crashing straight into the floating cloud of paper.
The familiar sound of glass shattering! The barrier surrounding the battlefield breaks, and all shots are cleared from the air, revealing a dizzying Cirno who just managed to flip herself upright.
“Owwwww… Oh hey! That’s COOL! How did you do that!”
The small girl zips in front of you and holds up your hands with beaming eyes, without a trace of disappointment. You smile and ask.
“Cirno, do you know math?”
Cirno tilts her head and thinks for a moment, then answers.
“You mean numbers? I can do fractions!”
You chuckle and start to walk along the lake. The small girl curiously trails you. You point a finger at the air, and open a small pair of vertical portals and throw a stone at one. The stone appears on the other portal and falls to the ground.
“It’s the power of Partial Differential Equations coupled with Vector Field Remapping and Boundary Condition Abuse!”
The girl says in a confused voice. Then, you reopen the portals, this time facing each other horizontally and is much larger, with a much closer gap. You pick up the stone again, and reach out at the edge of the gap, not a lot wider than the small stone. You turn at Cirno, and nod.
You lightly push the stone forward and upwards, and…
It keeps drifting forward, moving upwards into the upper portal again and again, showing no trace of falling. Seconds later, it bounces out of the other side of the gap, and immediately catches gravity and falls.
“Wow~~~~ You didn’t use any magic on this!”
Cirno’s eyes widens like light bulbs, as you dismiss the portals, stand akimbo, and remark.
“Well, I discovered this use last night! I should make it work better next time. Also, nice dodging today, Cirno!”
Cirno grins as she pats her chest, overflowing with confidence.
“Of course! I totally held back this time, and next time you will see the strongest’s strongest techniques!”
“Oh~? What is it?”
You continue to walk along the lake, and Cirno darts upwards as she emits a really cold wave. She waves at you and says.
“Perfect Freeze! See you next time, human!”
As you wave her goodbye, you somehow have a bad feeling that you’ll probably face another fifty defeats before you can score a hit.
What does Perfect Freeze mean, anyways?
Choose One* [ ] R [ ] I [ ] K [ ] U
Also, next action [ ] Go back and work on the barriers [ ] Go back and wait for customers [ ] Go challenge Daiyousei. You defeated Cirno, so you can totally win this time!
* Evil grin from author
Your Status -Healthy -One dormant curse. You have dealt with a dozen of them already, so no problem
Your Spell Cards -Primary attack: Translocating Charms. You still can’t range the translocations very well yet, missing almost any moving target. You can, however, throw large amount of them in a precomputed grid and let them drift -Light Sign ~ Expel Darkness. Defensive Bomb card, based on compound spell Flashbang. Obviously blinds your opponent hard -Vector Portal ~ Gravity Masked. Traps your opponent with progressively tighter barrage of Translocating Charms, then use a pair of closely-placed large Portals to abruptly mask out gravity, and thus prompting your opponent to slam into charms
Your Skills (Additions) -Use large portals to suspend small objects in near-zero gravity. Extremely energy intensive, don’t use it often
Your Inventory -Water skin. Filled with fresh water -Dagger. Sharp and sturdy, good for utility and self-defense -Fan. Just a fan -Paper charms. Hundreds, stored in a wooden case. Use them en masse -Some coins. -A less-crude map of Gensokyo. You can shoot the map around the Human Village
[X] Mysterious Choice: I [X] Go challenge Daiyousei. You defeated Cirno, so you can totally win this time!
For some reason, my Surface Book just refuses to run Touhou games correctly… The framerates are all wrong.
> What can possibly go wrong? Hint: Recall how Daiyousei moves in EoSD.
It’s about time for you to tend to the clinic, but you decide to ride on the victory and get some “revenge”. It probably won’t take much time, anyways.
That is what you thought. Because fairies are unpredictable creatures, they can be really hard to find when you need them. Fortunately, you kindly asked one of the fairies following you to find Daiyousei, and in a few minutes, you see the familiar blue-green-gold girl showing up in the mist. It turns out that she was inside the forest instead of around the lake.
How did she get here so quickly, anyways?
Whatever. You stand up from ground, and greet the big fairy.
She hovers slightly lower than your eye level, and holds her hands in front of her. She gives you a sweet, calming smile.
“Hello, Miss White Magician. Is there something you are looking for?”
Looking at her peaceful and gentle expression, you find it kind of hard to tell her you are coming for a rematch. Daiyousei tilts her head a bit as you finish your internal struggle. You clear your throat, and ask.
“Daiyousei, do you remember how we met?”
The girl looks up at you… thoughtfully.
“Yes… Did you mean you want another Spell Card battle?”
Yeah, you do feel kind of bad, especially when she gets your idea this quickly, so you reply half-apologetically and materialize your Spell Card in hand, holding the piece in front of your mouth.
“Ehem. In fact, yes. And I only got this one card.”
Daiyousei giggles as she ascends and drifts back, seems to be preparing herself.
As you scan across the air deploying a grid of “drifting mines”, Daiyousei starts firing a stream of green projectiles while avoiding the charms. She seems to be struggling a bit more than Cirno, but still does a very good job brushing pass the pieces of paper. Maybe these attacks are way too simple against any creature with innate ability to fly.
However, that’s just the beginning. After the fourth sweep, you already manage to force the fairy to move at a snail’s pace. At last, you performed two tight sweeps to seal off any horizontal exits. Daiyousei quickly attempts to break from the cloud of paper from the top.
You grin, and blast off a handful of Blanks as she accelerates upwards. A pair of large portals immediately emerge on top and bottom of the cloud of paper which abruptly stalls midair after a brief encounter with zero-gravity. There is no way Daiyousei can…
Wait, where is she?
The handful of charms burns away completely a second later, and the mirror-like portals disappear, revealing a flock of drifting charms. As you frantically search for the green girl, you are shotgunned from behind. Before you can turn back, the shield around you expires and a glass breaking sound is heard.
You turn back in shock as you see a smiling Daiyousei standing right behind you. She says, slightly mischievously.
“Miss White Magician, you are not the only one that can teleport~”
A few stunned seconds later, you palm your face and stare at the sky, still not fully recovered from the fact that your trick just got broken like that.
“I don’t teleport, I translocate. But wow, that was surprising, I didn’t expect that.”
Daiyousei turns around to face the lake, whose mist is already starting to dissipate.
“Thanks, most people tend to forget that. Did you defeat Cirno earlier today?”
You nod, and start to retell the events.
“Yes. In fact…”
It has been a while since you went out of village last time. Snowstorms, one after another, just keeps breaking through the atmosphere, sealing you inside your clinic.
You are sitting behind the bar, pouring out a small dish of warm Sake. Recently, you managed to charge up alcoholic beverages too, though you are not selling them because your stock is still too small, and you’d like to keep the place as a clinic and nothing more.
As you slowly sip the liquid which keeps yourself warm, you hear an annoying voice.
You take another sip of the warm Sake, and address that Ungrateful Bastard Troll dressing like a prince while behaving like a thug.
“Greetings, Mister Yabe Yatsuhiro.”
Then, before he can reply, you continue with a calm but firm tone.
“Mister Yabe. One day your big ego will bring you big trouble. In fact, isn’t that curse troublesome enough?”
“Yeah, yeah, who the hell’d curse ME! I’d drag that bastard out and beat him!”
Yabe slams his fist on the counter, while you remain unmoved, except for translocating the bottle of Sake away (just in case it falls). The man stalls for a moment as he sees a bottle disappearing, then he glares at you.
You take another sip, and say.
“Your gang goes out damaging fields and gardens, bothering the guards, digging pits on roads, beating and stirring up lesser Yokai, spreading rumors across neighborhood, and bullying kids when unseen. Then you hide behind your father. Do you still need to ask why you’re cursed?”
The young man grits his teeth as you count his past endeavors. His eyes full of flames.
“WHAT! I stopped doing those things!”
You raise your eyebrow as you pull out a pair of teacup from a portal.
“Is that so~? I’ll see. If it is the case, then I owe you an apologize.”
Then, you look into his eyes seriously.
“By the way, I know you are not a good secret keeper. You didn’t tell anyone how I removed your curse, right?”
Yabe gulps a bit in front of your overflowing charisma, before shaking his head.
“N-No, I did not.”
You pour out tea, while nodding yourself.
“Good, but don’t forget that you will still be cursed if one person believes you are cursed, and you’ll get more possessions if you don’t stop your stupid ego.”
Then this guy just stands up dismissively and leaves. Still doesn’t put a coin in your donation box. Anyways, you already know that you’ll see some people like that. You start to wonder whether you made stuff like “curse removal” look too simple. No one seems to realize the implication of transferring their curses onto yourself and wait until they go away. In fact, with one wrong step and you might become the cursed one. Maybe you should really show some… effort, fake or not.
Or, maybe you should really refuse that guy and let him taste the full consequence of his deeds, but it’s not like you can undo your own actions.
Thinking of which, where do those curses come from? Granted, this “village” is quite large, with estimated population over a thousand, but more than a dozen curses are quite a lot for its size. Are they accumulated over the years? Also, for some reasons you are getting a harder and harder time breaking down the transferred curses, so you might want to take a break.
You drink all Sake in the dish, then proceed with both cups of tea. No need to waste.
Duplex Barrier ~ Protection and LifeMadScientistCarl2017/10/25 (Wed) 04:15No. 40718▼
The Winter Solstice has passed for… two weeks now. Something is wrong, and you have no doubt about that.
As a decent white magician, you are very sensitive to life force, and you noticed that the surrounding life energy still hasn’t started to recover yet. In reality, the ambient life energy seems to be decreasing. At the first few days, you thought it was just some fluctuation, but two weeks? No, something is wrong, and you can only see things go downhill.
That’s not a physical sound. Even more peculiar than the deteriorating life force, there are a lot of spirits drifting around, and they seem particularly interested in slamming into your Barrier of Protection. You don’t really understand the metaphysics in Gensokyo, and you cannot find an explanation to both the life and the spirits with your knowledge on White Magic.
However, you know that if life force is kept at this low level, the nature is bound to encounter problems. You silently wish that it does not mean the end of the world is approaching, but no doubt you’ll need to reinforce your Barrier of Life to prevent loss of ambient life energy, even though this barrier requires quite some will power to maintain.
You think about your experiments of underground farming, and reason that you should really have bought some seeds for underground crops from Urist, but you guess you’ll need to wait for another season. Alternatively, you can use your spell Light to simulate sunlight and plant sweet potatoes underground, but this is extremely mind-intensive as you need to keep the spells running for many hours every day.
In a serious expression, you close the clinic for the day, and start to consciously resonate with the Barrier of Life to conjure magic to charge up life force. You walk around your clinic and your field, hammering certain marked wooden sticks into the ground. They are charged with your magic, and you can lock on them reasonably easily. Hopefully, you can inject and hold on life force into your place without much trouble. You won’t be able to increase life force for the entire Gensokyo, as that is too much for one person. However, you have confidence to do so for your own fields, enough to support some plants if the temperature rises a bit.
Next, you need to make a long-term goal. Choose 1
[ ] Underground farming. You’ll not be able to leave your home if you do so [ ] Focus on your barriers. Simulate the trend of life energy in late winter, then use above-ground fields after temperature rises [ ] Others?
Also, today’s action. Choose 1
[ ] Try to find where Urist lives, and trade for some underground crop seeds, if they have any [ ] Literature research. Ask the locals and try to find similar historical events [ ] Others?
OOC: Main Arc really starts here. You all should know the objective of Chapter 2 by now: you should have guessed it already, be it from metaknowledge or from the many hints before. The long-term actions here are mostly for flavor, unless someone throws in a ridiculously appropriate write-in which nails the bull’s eye and trashes my apocalyptic plan completely. I’ll wait longer for votes this time and insert some side-stories, as I’ll need some time to sort out the events.
And just so you know, the mysterious option has… more longer-lasting effects than you might think.
[X] Focus on your barriers. Simulate the trend of life energy in late winter, then use above-ground fields after temperature rises.
Keeping our home safe and sound is always good and i'm pretty sure that if we make the barrier strong enough we would be able to grow stuff all year long.
[X] The life force of the whole land decreasing for no visible reason seems very concerning. Maybe you should bring it up with the Shrine Maiden, isn't she supposed to make sure everything stays in order?
And here we have a concerned citizen reporting their observations to the local supernatural authorities.
Also it seems i'm no longer the only voter in this quest!
Side Story: Forgotten Expeditioners (1)Anonymous2017/10/25 (Wed) 22:10No. 40722▼
This is a short self-contained side-story I am putting up while waiting for votes. Please vote! Timeline will not be specified or ordered (you may try guessing), but any characters here can be encountered.
The side story will be continued whenever I feel like doing so.
I drew the image in 15 minutes. Works OK for thumbnail, but when in full size… No, I am not a digital artist.
Long term goal. Choose 1
[ ] Underground farming. You’ll not be able to leave your home if you do so [ ] Focus on your barriers. Simulate the trend of life energy in late winter, then use above-ground fields after temperature rises [ ] Others?
Today’s action. Choose 1
[ ] Try to find where Urist lives, and trade for some underground crop seeds, if they have any [ ] Literature research. Ask the locals and try to find similar historical events [ ] Others?
The Forest of Magic can be divided into three rings. The outer ring resembles a regular forest, albeit infested with some lesser Yokai. The middle ring is so heavily forested that no sunlight may penetrate the canopy, and large mushrooms grow with amazing amount of magic. The core, however, is filled with enormously dangerous creatures and plants, and no sane person or Yokai will attempt to approach.
Yet at the edge of the core, there is a strange, rectangular clearing, barren in ash and soot, reflecting desolate dark-grey under the bright moon light. On the center of the clearing, there is a flat, star-shaped structure built of black, glassy blocks, surrounded by shallow earth ramps with numerous menacing spikes of obsidian protruding outward and towards the sky. Contouring the malicious structure is a deep moat filled with blazing, sizzling lava lighting up the night sky and turning fallen snow into steam. A lone, shining steel drawbridge covers the only entrance to this isolated structure.
The bridge is lowered. Between the humongous rotating gears, there is a pitch-black tunnel, rough and deep and dark, as if piercing into hell itself. The mighty bridge slams across the moat. So heavy and mighty it is, that anything attempting to block its unimaginable momentum will be crushed into oblivion, never to be discovered again.
A floating orb of utter darkness lands on the outside of the bridge. A blond girl touches her small feet on this undecorated yet magnificent construct, her features light up from the devilish glow of boiling lava underneath, fully exposing her terrifying grin, her canine as sharp as razor, her blazing red eyes, and her eerie cuteness.
Heavy, powerful footsteps echo in the dark corridor. The sheer determination and awe-striking might threaten to shake the Earth itself.
A dark silhouette steps on the bridge. The bridge, made of solid steel of incredible thickness, quakes under the impact, trembling into its core.
The figure stands the same height as the devilish girl, yet possesses an extremely powerful build. His entire body clad in full suit of armor, masterfully crafted and glows with shimmering sky blue, barely revealing countless scars under his helmet and the savage, thick, beard. On his right hand is a war hammer made of pure platinum: all craftsmanship is of highest quality, encrusted with bands of gold and engraved with life history of its user. On his left hand is a shining tower shield, masterfully crafted and radiates immense hostility in its sky-blue reflection, threatening to deter magic itself. On his back is a worn-out copper pickaxe, full of scratches and dents, coated with rock bits, soil dust, and dried blood.
He slams the hammer onto the bridge, sending a shockwave swelling through the thick, strong steel. The large hand clad in sky-blue pulls out a skin of the most powerful booze in existence, and he gulps it down like water.
He pulls up the shield, and points the hammer forward. He declares in a booming voice, almost rippling the air, audible for miles-
“THY DEMON OF DARKNESS! THIS SHALT BE THY LAST NIGHT!”
The smiling lips curves up slightly, and the demon answers in a sweet, childish voice.
“Is that so~”
The immense figure slams the artifact hammer against his shield, and roars at the night sky, a magical shield surrounding his body.
[X] Mysterious Choice: I -o-o-o- [X] Focus on your barriers. Simulate the trend of life energy in late winter, then use above-ground fields after temperature rises [X] Try to find where Urist lives, and trade for some underground crop seeds, if they have any
Next update after this vote will be Human Village centric. I think. According to plan.
Disclaimer: The author has poor knowledge about farming.
If life force of nature continues decreasing, this place will become a dead desert. At least, that is what you think. For a moment, you considered barricading yourself in your clinic and start up an underground farm, but it means you will never be able to leave. Plus, it’s impossible for your two-level underground farm to support any sizable population. Given your status as a white magician, you think you should instead work on securing life force on your own fields first, then hopefully create an autonomous version of the Barrier of Life and set them up within the entire village.
However, more options are always welcome. You recall that the mythical creatures, Dwarfs, live underground, so they must have some type of underground crop. With some luck, you may be able to find something that grows in the winter.
Therefore, you conclude that it is action time. You quickly check up your two barriers, and prepare yourself for extended outdoor activity. You pick up a handheld charcoal warmer and a bag of charcoal, plus your usual gears. Also, you pull out a rudimentary “gas mask” to filter out any mushroom spores. You flip the sign on your clinic to “Closed”, but decide that it does not sound cool enough.
You pick up a brush and a piece of paper, and write “Out for Incident Investigation”. Much better.
As you check up your gears on the snow-covered dirt road, you see a small girl skipping towards you.
“HEYYYYYY! Miss White Magician! Are you going out?”
You turn around and smile at the girl, bending down to ruffle her hair with your gloved hand.
“Hello, Imari. I am going out, and I will come back before tomorrow morning.”
The girl gleams and jumps at your answer.
“Oooh~ Sounds fun! Can I come?”
You shake your head, and reply seriously.
“No. Imari, I consider this as a potential incident. Do you remember what happened last time you run outside during an incident?”
Imari dips her head slightly somberly. However, she quickly cheers up again.
“Then wish you safe, Miss!”
You smile, then quickly perform the routine spiritual healing on little Imari, and greet her goodbye.
After a small conversation with the guards, you directly translocate to the boundary between the outer and middle rings of the Forest of Magic. Rumors tells you that the Dwarves live somewhere on the edge of the forest’s core, and honestly it’s an incredibly vague description. However, with enough luck and enough fairies, you might just be able to find the settlement.
You put on your mask, cast four Light, and turn on your Automatic Negative Energy Collection (ANEC). Given the situation, you also set aside a part of your consciousness to summon life force into the surrounding. Maybe you should call it Automatic Life Energy eXchange (ALEX). Cool names are always better for concentrating.
Taking a deep breath, you take a step forward, and venture inside the forest grounds where sunlight never reach.
It’s been four hours now. You translocate whenever you have a decent line-of sight, so you are not very tired. However, even with help of several fairies, searching aimlessly is still not a very efficient method. You can only hope that you meet some fairies who have seen the settlement without forgetting about it. Sadly, fairies aren’t very active in winter.
A vine crawls towards you. You point at it with your fan, and guide a stream of life energy through the plant. The vine stops. You’re not joking when you say that plants are very easy to befriend. In fact, plants are even easier to satisfy than fairies, as they have no consciousness.
During the hours of exploration, you are constantly surrounded by all kinds of strange mushrooms. You can somewhat feel magic flowing in and out of the fungi, and see glowing dust suspending in air. Fortunately, you are not breathing in any of these as you have prepared a mask.
The surrounding is almost completely devoid of sound. All you hear is leaves crumbling under your feet. There isn’t even snow on the ground, but there are numerous icicles hanging under the dark canopy. If you make any sudden movement, you fear that you’ll receive a rain of deadly spikes.
Yeah, better not think about it. The air is quite humid and frigid, quickly drawing heat from your body. The only warmth around is your gently burning charcoal heater and the two tiny fairies, far from enough to expel the cold.
Every few seconds, you translocate forward, penetrating deeper into the forest. Sometimes the trees grow so tight that they form solid wooden walls, but they cannot stop you from appearing directly on the other side. Sometimes you are blocked, but you just try again with a different offset.
Silence. Everything is still. Everything is dark, except for the countless icicles reflecting your Lights. Your senses are naturally heightened. You know this place is not good for human sanity, but you trust your own will power.
And that’s the first sound you hear in hours, a collision. What follows is a vibration, and then some icicles start to fall apart.
Oh Crap. You snark, and immediately zip towards the closest cover, a hole under some roots, bringing in the two fairies following you. Then, you hear a series of loud crashes and shatters, amplifying with chain reaction and building up into something resembling a waterfall, a spring tide, a fierce storm.
You swear you heard a girl’s yelp within this storm of icicles. No human girl will appear in the middle of this forest in the midst of winter, so it has to be a Yokai. You’d better keep a low profile, and you double check to make sure that nothing unwanted is inside the same hole with you.
Yep, just the two fairies silently clutching to your side. You wait for the shower of ice to end, and peek outside.
That’s a familiar blob of darkness, moving aimlessly and bumping into trees as it creates more vibration and falling icicles. You definitely want to stay silent and wait for it to go away.
And there you wait, dimming your lights and warming yourself with the slow-burning heater. The dark blob apparently has trouble leaving the heavily forested region. You can’t help but wonder, if Rumia cannot see in her own darkness, why the heck does she not just disable it and go away? You’re totally waiting for that moment.
The Darkness, The FortressMadScientistCarl2017/10/27 (Fri) 00:00No. 40725▼
You start to get impatient, you are freezing and your muscles are getting numb. You check out every few minutes (with Spell Card in hand), but Rumia’s darkness is still nearby, bumping into trees. Why doesn’t she just leave? Does she want to get stuck here forever?
As if your internal question is heard, a fairy slightly nudges you, and whispers to your ear. You listen carefully.
“(Human, your life force is very strong! So much stronger than outside! She can feel you far away!)”
You never knew life force has this kind of effect, but damn it! You generally don’t like encountering Yokai, but you especially don’t want to encounter her, because something about her is just off, and she terrifies you more than everything else added together.
You’d better get it over with. You lock on a few surrounding locations mentally, and translocate right into an open space, Spell Card in hand and Lights up. You carefully observe the blob of darkness. It stops moving.
“Owww~ You found me.”
A slightly disappointed voice comes from the darkness. You flinch a little at her choice of words, as if she has known where you hid all along.
There is only one thing left to do. Without hesitation, you declare.
“Barrier ~ Circle of Protection!”
Yeah, Bomb from beginning, but it’s the quickest way to start a Spell Card battle. Immediately, the two of you start an intense crossfire.
Unlike previous encounters, this time the environment is absurdly cramped, which gives you lots of cover. You also learned to rapid-fire Translocation times to make sure at least one of them is clear of obstruction. In only a few seconds, the opening is filled with floating charms, while Rumia’s shots keep hitting trees and sending wood splinters everywhere.
The battle lasts for a minute or two, and ends with you getting shot down point-blank by a laser. You know, freaking laser from a Yokai of darkness. Fortunately, you are protected from physical harm at the moment of declaring a Spell Card battle. The blond girl playfully hooks an arm around your neck, practically freezing you in place.
“Well, human~ You’ll know why you fear the night~”
With that gleeful remark right behind your ear, the girl disappears into darkness, and thread through the canopy. You stand still and wait until her form disappears, before relieving an unconsciously held breath. You take deep breaths to drive away the trembles in your body, and try your best to cover up the fact that you failed multiple times firing up Translocation at that moment
That Yokai is definitely more than what she looks like, but you just cannot quite grasp it.
I must have failed every single opposed POW roll. You lightheartedly comment in your mind, trying to alleviate the terror.
By the way, where are you right now? And is that the smell of sulfur?
You track the wind, while paying extra attention to any movements around. The fairies are also in heightened state, too.
The smell of sulfur intensifies after a dozen translocations, and you spot a clearing beyond the thick trees. You translocate yourself into the edge of the clearing, and instantly feel that the physics is somehow… different here.
You look forward, and WOW, what a magnificent view! Down under the disappearing sunlight, a dark, looming structure protrudeing with countless spikes and reflecting orange glow coming not only from the sunset, but also a river… no, a moat of glowing, blazing molten rock. Steam arises from the eerie red moat, and the smell of sulfur is intense. Massive heat radiates outward, and you can’t help but notice the barren landscape around the structure, covered with inches of ash and carbon, as if you are standing on the territory of M0rd0r, destined to throw a ring into the heart of the Earth.
You carefully walk around the incredibly defended structure, wary of possible traps. After taking a turn, you spot an ominous steel drawbridge, retracted and fits the black structure seamlessly.
Well? Is there a doorbell or something? You wait outside, surveying the dangerous-looking lava moat, while absorbing some heat from the searing convection.
After sitting for something like an hour while driving away animal Yokai with energy displacement, you conclude that you might not be able to see the dwarves today, and decide to just mark down the magical signature here and return. The physics here feels different, so it is not hard to lock on from afar.
With target marked, you directly translocate back outside the village. It turns out that you still don’t know the exact location of the structure, but you can lock on it anyways, so you can always try again later.
Maybe next time, you can greet them with a Spell Card, or something.
What a long day. Quickly changing yourself, you start to recall the intel you gathered today.
First and foremost, you found where Urist lives. Or, at least, that is the most Dwarfy place you can possibly imagine. Spiky fortress of obsidian? Lava moat? Giant drawbridge? Surrounded by ash and soot? Totally yes!
Second, life force is not uniformly low. Apparently, the core of the forest still has fairly high concentration of life energy, but you don’t know if it’s still declining, since there is only one set of data.
Third, god damn Rumia. Every time you see her she tries to either eat you or scare you to hell. Granted, that is what Yokai do, but you have no idea why she is still able to drive you panic. Maybe it’s because she feels so unpredictable.
Also, you learned that your highly concentrated life energy makes you very visible, and that is something you may want to keep in mind. You also realized, from the treehole-hiding, that you can translocate fairies with you. Who knows what application you might get out of this.
Reflecting on current situation, you know that it is still too early to perform any major actions. After all, technically it is still late winter now, so even if you force the life energy in your fields to summer-level (impractical in the first place), you still won’t be able to plant anything due to the low temperature.
You silently make plans to observe the land and experiment with your Barrier of Life. Who knows what may happen within the next month?
For now, think about… (Choose 1) [ ] Fairies. They are nature, after all [ ] Barriers. Your experiments [ ] Fuel Provision.
Rumia is love! Just remember that actually seeing her is bad for health.
Sorry for skipping the vote. I figure that using that vote creates info dump (which I strive to avoid) instead of story, so I decide to just skip it.
Pic oddly appropriate. I think.
It’s early February now. The world has been hit by wave and wave of cold, but fortunately ambient life force doesn’t decline nearly as fast as before. You have warned Reimu about a possible incident, but she did not seem convinced, saying that you have not seen a “real winter”.
She did have a point, that you were from the subtropical area. However, the environment just gives you some lingering wrongness, so you deeply reinforce your Barrier of Life, casting your own will on the wards to keep life energy from dissipating.
It’s getting harder and harder. Just like a water tank receives more pressure as it fills up, the barrier eats up more and more of your will power to sustain as the concentration gradient across its border gets higher.
Fortunately, you managed to contact the dwarves (yes, there are about ten living in that… fortress), and traded for several bags of spawns of mushrooms what they call Plump Helmets by fixing up a few melancholy dwarves (which took you days to clean up your energy field).
By the way, their fortress is truly magnificent inside. You bet that it tunnels down miles, though you do not have the permission to wander around. You do notice that some of their floor plans are impressive and efficient, while others are chaotic. Strange layouts involve mind-boggling minecart routes, drawbridges hanging everywhere, channels of running water cutting between sections, indoor waterfalls covering the rooms in mist… and walls of walls of engravings of statues of images of dwarves being mauled by Yokai, or of creatures burning. You really don’t understand what they are thinking. Their engravers must be insane.
Anyways, now you are up and awake, you’d better check up your experimental underground farms. It’s been only one week for now, so barely does anything sprout, but you do see some small purple mushrooms popping out from the damp soil. If you remember correctly, they are very fast crops that mature in 25 days. You’ll see.
Then, you translocate onto your fields and check up the barriers. You do find yourself struggling a bit because the Barrier of Life is eating up so much of your power, and you are glad that Barrier of Protection is essentially autonomous.
Finally, after all routine maintenance, you move back to the bar counter. You still have a business, even in a blizzard, even when you are only awake for six hours per day.
Curtain of snow wash through the streets, and there is no one to be seen. You keep yourself warm by wrapping yourself in blankets and an all-covering mask, and sipping warm booze supplied directly from your basement. It’s totally not cheating to open up a tiny portal into the only heated section of your home only when absolutely needed, like doing a refill.
You have about four hours to waste, so you go into a semi-meditative state to preserve your power and to make time pass by more quickly. You grab your crate of charms from a portal, and begin the meticulous job of “upgrading” their power. After all, your power now is undoubtedly greater than when you first made these charms.
Hours pass, but no one drops by. The storm is really sealing everyone inside. The ambient life force of the day drops as the sun lowers, so you start to feel tired. You stand up and translocate into your deepest basement, modified to include your charcoal burner. You put your freezing hands in front of the wonderful heat, savoring the warm and fuzzy feeling passing through your body.
You sigh, half relief and half remembering that you still have to take a freaking cold shower. And you are very sleepy.
You hope your experiments are worth the effort.
You sit behind the bar counter, just as usual. It’s near the time when sun is highest, and you just woke up not many minutes ago. Today is a calm day, so you feel much better. In fact, you estimate that you might be able to put up eight hours of activity. The streets are also a bit more lively, with children playing with snow and adults cleaning the road.
You help them by creating portals as the snow-sweepers walk to allow them dump the powder directly into a hole on ground which connects to… somewhere. You aren’t in any condition to do physical labor, anyways.
Your Barrier of Life does manage to keep the life force inside your fields “normal”, and several people commented that they feel warmer walking inside. However, you think that’s perceptive bias, and you don’t have a thermometer to confirm or disprove their claims.
Back to business. You see a woman in her mid-40s coming to your clinic. After a quick introduction, you bring her to your examination room, which is now relocated into the basement (for warmth). She is surprised as you portal both of you into a tiny room with only one door and illuminated only by your spells, then you bring her through the door, into a larger room with the examination chair. You explain, slightly quieter than you expected.
“It’s a makeshift airlock to keep the cold air out, Miss.”
“I… I see.”
She looks hesitating, and you can only give her an assuring smile. You guide her to sit down, lightly hold her hand, and ask.
“Do you consent me to resonate with your innate life energy and perform diagnosis?”
The woman nods, so you close your eyes. Moments later, you release your hand and pinch your nose, sighing and whispering to yourself.
“(… Another curse. Someday I’ll need to investigate this.)”
“Is something wrong?”
The woman looks worried. You shake your head.
“No. Now first, I need you to trust my ability to deal with the problem, OK?”
The woman nods, albeit a bit hesitating. You continue.
“With your trust, the issue will go away much faster. Your symptoms are caused by a curse.”
Disbelief, just as expected. The woman shakes her head, and says there is no way anyone would want to curse her, so you ask.
“Do the people around you think you are sick without a cause?”
She silences. You add.
“Once a curse is placed, all it takes to keep deteriorating is a few people to suspect there’s a problem on you. You are lucky in that your curse hasn’t received too much belief yet.”
You pause for a while to allow the woman to get the message, then looks into her eyes, prompting her to sit up a bit.
“Now, I can remove this curse, but you must do the following to truly get rid of it. First, you must assert those around you that your curse is lifted. Second and most importantly, you must not reveal how I removed this curse. Do you agree?”
She does, and you hold up her hand again. You close your eyes, and finish your explanation.
“I will remove the curse by transferring it into myself. This is why you absolutely not tell anyone how I do so. It is for my own safety.”
With that, a strong contracting sensation passes through your body, and it quickly subsides. Once a curse is removed from its host, it’s no longer fueled by the original belief, and it turns dormant. You take a deep breath, and gesture the woman to stand up with a faint smile.
“Miss, the curse is removed. Remember, never tell anyone how it is removed.”
She thanks you as if you just saved her life, and you assure that it is only a small thing to do. You turn around as she drops a shower of coins inside your donation box, stationed now in the basement. Then, you send her out through the airlock with another set of portals.
You move back to the bar counter, supporting your chin with your palm, waiting for any customers. Most of them are just coming to treat numbness caused by the cold, anyways.
You set aside part of your consciousness to process the influx of negative energy coming from the curse. Looks like it’s going to be another early night today.
You groan inside the futon, opening your sleepy eyes. The first thing you notice is how dark the room is, and the second thing is how cold it is.
Under a fuzzy mind, you cast Light while checking on the barriers. They are doing just fine. In fact, the life force has not only increased quite significantly, but is also much less draining on your mind. Then, you check up the transferred curse. It’s gone. You concentrate slightly on replenishing your own life energy.
You look around, and notice that your oil lamp, filled up to brim last night, has burnt out completely. So is your charcoal heater, which contains nothing but ash. Strange, as this oil lamp is designed to burn for 150 hours, and the heater seems completely cold. Dust covers everything around you, and you also feel abnormally thirsty and hungry. You retrieve the water skin nearby and take a few gulps, and bite into some dried sweet potato strips stored in a nearby container.
“… are you there?”
Who’s knocking? Sounds like a female. Sounds like a crowd, actually. You yawn and shake your head to clear your mind, before noticing the strangeness of the situation.
Why on Earth would anyone knock on your basement door? An exceptionally well-hidden basement door to B4, a floor well under your Plump Helmet farms and designed to be passible only to Portal and Translocation? Did those people not only trespass your home, but also searched every corner of it?
The situation sounds dangerous. What should you do? Damn, you feel unusually weak and tired.
[X] Mysterious Choice: I -o-o-o- [X] Try to spy through a small portal who these people are.
Now, you desperately need to know who those people are before you make any rash decisions, since you are absolutely tired. You shake your head a bit to concentrate, and do the most natural thing for you in this situation. You turn off the Lights, and open a tiny portal in the corner of B3, and peek out.
First you see orange light from torches and lamps, then quite a few people looking around. Your farm plots are all messed up, and you are very unhappy about those villagers, apparently holding some digging implements. When you look closely, however, you recognize the distinct outline of Keine, and… Daiyousei? What are they doing here, unearthing your secret exit from the wall? And why is your basement swarmed with fairies?
In an unrecognizable flash, you translocate into B3, and ask with a clear trace of discontent.
“People, what are you doing in front of my emergency exit?”
Everyone turns at you wide-eyed and gasping. You stand there, under literally hundreds of eyes, in an uncomfortable moment of silence. You poke yourself and make sure your own life force is normal. Yes, it is normal, if a bit low.
“… what’s wrong? I’m not a ghost, right?”
Just to be sure, you look at Daiyousei. She’s a fairy, so she should feel it, right?
Daiyousei gives you a smile of assurance, then turns towards Keine.
“See? I told you she is down here and alive.”
You don’t know what she is talking about, but Keine, whose expression was tense a moment ago, suddenly relieves and gives you a heartwarming smile.
You still can’t keep up with the flow. Just as you are about to ask, you hear activity coming from the stairway. Adults shouting, a child’s voice yelling… Then a small figure skips into the opening, and she exclaims as she locks into your eyes.
“YOU’RE BACK!!! YOU ARE BACK!!!”
Little Imari dashes at you at an alarming speed, and you barely have time to catch her crying figure. You stagger a bit while hugging her tight, and lightly stroke the back of her head to calm her down, diverting a small stream of energy from your weak supply through her body. Imari is burying her head into your chest, sobbing. You lean on a wooden support of the underground.
“I know I sleep a lot these days, but why does everybody act like I’ve disappeared for weeks?”
Keine steps forward, and grabs your hand. You can’t help but notice the heat, and how your body isn’t responding as nimbly as you expected. She pulls your hand, kind of forcefully and protectively, while leading you towards outside. Daiyousei hovers next to you, and she smiles at little Imari warmly. As Imari peels off your front, Keine asks.
“Do you know what date it is?”
You recall, and you quickly check up on life energy outside your place to confirm.
“February 11th, give or take one or two days.”
Keine stops, and she turns around at you, her face serious. She speaks slowly, and throwing you a Bomb-like message.
“It’s March 15th.”
You’re brought to Keine’s house, and you are busy sweeping clean a bowl of rice.
You told her you can prepare food in your clinic, but Keine dragged you here anyways. Then you notice how abnormally weak you feel, and decide that it’s not time to force yourself. For some reason, all rooms of your clinic except for B4 are crowded with fairies, and you expect to get some explanation since Daiyousei is also brought here. Imari, as excited as she is, is told to stay at home because another snowstorm is coming tonight.
You gulp down a cup of water to swallow a big mouthful of rice, before taking a long breath and finally ask.
“So… Miss Keine, were you implying that I slept for over a month?”
Keine looks at you faintly, and nods.
“Yes. You seemingly disappeared after February 10th. At first we thought you left the village for something with your teleportation-”
You correct her, and Keine continues.
“-translocation. But the guards say you never leave unannounced, so we searched for you after you’ve been missing for three days.”
You feel a bit sorry… but why the heck can you enter such a hibernation? You’re a human, so you really should have died from this (not that you want to). Keine then looks at Daiyousei.
“About five days after you went missing, many fairies started to move in your clinic and fields. They were… surprisingly docile.”
You capture a glimpse of hesitation in Keine’s expression, and you narrow your eyes, putting down the water cup in your hands.
“Did you… kill any of them?”
Keine looks away and closes her eyes, as if recalling unpleasant memory. Just as you start preparing a speech about the importance of fairies, Daiyousei puts her hand over your wrist and shakes her head, prompting you to stop. Daiyousei takes on the explanation.
“Keine was trying to protect the village, and I know we fairies have… a notorious fame. We came here because of the amount of life.”
That makes sense. Fairies are very sensitive to life, after all. Daiyousei slumps a bit, giving you an apologetic look.
“I am sorry. None of us noticed what the barrier around your place does until today… and you must be alive somewhere to support it. Once we understood this, we recognized your life force immediately, right below us all along. We could have found out earlier.”
You sigh, and absent-mindedly reach out and ruffle Daiyousei’s soft green hair. Even though Daiyousei is probably the most mature fairy around, you still don’t want her to blame herself for this. You didn’t really tell anyone about your experimental barrier, so you did have some communication error on your own part.
“No, no, no, don’t blame yourself on it. In fact, I think you fairies’ presence secured the life force under my Barrier of Life, relieving me of the largest strain. In fact,”
You pause for a while, as you recall how unlikely it is for a human to survive such a “hibernation”.
“In fact, I think the fairies are what saved me from dying. I don’t know, it’s Gensokyo, life force does strange things, I guess?”
You are not very convinced yourself, but Daiyousei smiles again.
“Perhaps. We did all pray for your safety, after all.”
The topic quickly changed to information exchange. It’s already mid-March now, but snowstorms are not alleviating, nor does life force recover. You complain that you warned Reimu about this two months ago, but she apparently still hasn’t made any action yet. The fuel level inside the village nears critical, since snowstorms come every few days. It is hard to get enough firewood in the short calm periods, especially when early-awaken Yokai are getting desperate in the cold. The conversation ended with you quickly drafting out a plan of using charm-boosted Portals to rapidly deploy and retrieve a team of escorted wood-cutters for lumber-raiding.
You thank Keine for providing a meal even in a critical situation. Right after Daiyousei exit the door, however, Keine stops you, now looking at you very seriously. You somehow feel that she might headbutt you at any moment, like what she did when Imari got really out of control. She asks, with more than a dash of certainty.
“Did you remove curses by transferring them to yourself?”
Your eyebrows twitch a bit at the rhetorical question, but you quickly calm down, staring back at the woman.
“How many people know this?”
Keine sighs. She shakes her head a bit and closes her eyes, like facing a reckless child.
“Just me and Daiyousei. You should really take more care, Magician. You dealt with curses and possession, and now you want to use large scale magic, right after you wake up from a coma?”
You only turn around towards the door.
You slide open the door, and turn back. Being as calm and peaceful as you can, you smile at Keine.
“True white magician does not fear, Keine.”
She only places her palm in front of her head, and sighs with a troubled expression.
… and I am working my way there. You silently think.
The Lumber RaidersMadScientistCarl2017/10/28 (Sat) 05:58No. 40739▼
Thirty minutes was all you needed to perform your check-ups. You confirmed that fairies indeed lift your strain on maintaining the Barrier of Life. You confirmed that temperature inside your barriers is, in fact, a few Celsius higher than outside. You rev up your will power to normal level through a short meditation. You clean up the fatigue inside your body as best as you can.
Now at high noon, you reach peak power of a day. The Lumber Raiders have already gathered at the village square, and you stand in awe as you find out how amazingly prepared they are, given the short notice.
Fifty men, armed to the teeth (and presumably with Spell Cards), are to be sent in as vanguard right after you finish scouting and acquiring the required magic signature fixes for Portal operation. Then, there are dozens of woodcutters equipped with some sort of large, multi-person saws. Finally, there is a large wagon-sled thing, clearly designed to glide on snow.
The operation is meant to be swift and energy-efficient. If everything goes right, you would not need to maintain any portals for more than thirty seconds, and no one should face significant combat.
Bur first, you still need to scout the target area, a place around the Misty Lake where tree types and sizes are just about right for most efficient firewood extraction. Daiyousei argued that she should come along, but you decided against it because she is the only one who can possibly calm down the few hundred fairies in case they get any funny ideas when you are not around your clinic.
Taking a deep breath and performing a final check-up, you disappear into thin air.
Choose one [ ] Insect [ ] Bird
Your Status -As good as you can imagine for someone just woke up from an unprepared month-long coma -No curses -Automatic Negative Energy Collection (ANEC) -Automatic Life Energy eXchange (ALEX)
Your Spell Cards -Primary attack: Translocating Charms -Light Sign ~ Expel Darkness. Defensive/Distractive Counter-Rumia Bomb (D/D CRB) -Barrier ~ Circle of Protection. Defensive Bomb -Vector Portal ~ Gravity Masked. A puzzle pattern powered by !!xxPHYSICSxx!! -Trick Sign ~ Alternation of Light and Shadow. Your new toy, designed to be a Counter-Rumia Spell Card (CRSC). Haven’t used it yet
Your Inventory -Water skin. Filled with fresh water -Dagger. Sharp and sturdy, good for utility and self-defense -Fan. Just a fan -Wooden Rod. You get this back to serve as a cane -Paper charms. Hundreds, stored in a wooden case. Use them en masse -Some coins. -A less-crude map of Gensokyo. You can shoot the map around the Human Village -“Mission Brief”. Destination marked
Your Clinic -You’ve got hundreds of fairies in every corner and in your fields. They are critical for supporting the Barrier of Life -Barrier of Life. Prevents life force, which is currently unbelievably strong, from leaking. Warmer inside, for some reason
Disclaimer: The author has never prepared large amount of firewood before. Nor has he chopped down any trees. If you follow the author’s procedure, the author does not hold responsibilities for injuries and deaths caused by falling logs.
Our MC is all about logistics. Logistics
One moment you were in the center of Human Village, the next moment you are on the edge of the Misty Lake. You know where this “best firewood range” is, as you’ve passed through there a few times. Unfortunately, that place does not have a distinct or stable magical signature, so you can’t just translocate or portal in. You’ll have to walk. Once you’re there, you’ll quickly set up a rudimentary Circle of Protection to discourage any beast Yokai from approaching.
You tread through the thick snow, translocating whenever there is a good line of sight. As usual, fairies start gathering around you as you walk through the woods, and you briefly wonder whether Cirno will show up.
On second thought, you might not want her to show up, because you are on a Special Operation that is supposed to be fast, before storm strikes in a few hours. You take out your “mission brief” and read its map, and conclude that you should see a small clearing very soon, and that is where your main portal will open.
A minute later, you see this clearing, as promised. Immediately, you start to stick wards onto the ground and prepare a Circle of Protection. It not only discourages Yokai attack, but also gives you a much clearer magical signature, in case you need to perform a lock from some distance away.
With Translocation, it only takes you two minutes to complete the rudimentary magic construct. Just as you bring out charms to prepare for the largest portal you’ve ever casted, you catch a glimpse of a winged figure diving towards you, simultaneously as the fairies throw you “distress calls” in your mind.
So much for using fairies as early warning. You immediately translocate to the side, and blast off a few charms to displace spiritual energy of your attacker. It probably won’t work, but it is the quickest-
A deafening scream threatens to ring your ears, and you see a winged girl in brown dress crashing into the snow, sending up a mist of miniscule icicles.
You’re totally caught off guard that energy displacement actually worked on human-form Yokai, but it is not time to think about that as she is springing back up right now. Since she is a humanoid Yokai, there is only one thing to do:
“Vector Portal ~ Gravity Masked!”
Five sweeps and a pair of portals later, the girl is back into snow.
The bird girl stands up and grips her hand in a painful expression. Her white feathered wings extend out to make herself look much bigger, and she stares at you, eyes filled with anger and dread, making you quite a bit uneasy and nervous. You notice that her entire outfit is decorated with elements that reminds “bird”, with wings coming out of her round hat and the heel of her boots.
You lock eyes with the Yokai, holding your Spell Card in front of your mouth, trying to look as intimidating as possible.
“Yokai, I am now sending in a fifty-men armed force here for trees. It is of your best interest to leave right now.”
The bird Yokai hisses, giving you a glare that would send the weaker-willed screaming and running, but otherwise does not advance.
“Human, this winter is too long, and I have not eaten for weeks. And you are coming here alone.”
You notice that her skin looks abnormally pale, especially for a Yokai. She points her fingers, ending in sharp talons, at you, and glances at your Spell Card.
“And it’s freaking cold! I have enough of this! Even if I cannot do anything after a battle, your bones will be picked clean by others!”
With the threat, she staggers away from the scene. You stay alert for a few more moment, before putting down your act and resuming the Portal operation. You must be quick, because you don’t have much time.
Concentrating your power, you lock on the center of the village. You burn off a stack of charms, retrieving a large burst of energy and tearing out the largest non-elliptical hole you have ever created. On the other side of the portal, the vanguards open their eyes widely for a second, before steeling their faces and marching in with great amount of coordination. Then, the woodcutters quickly push the wagon-sled through the portal while following in themselves. Your entire body shakes as you struggle to keep up such a large, irregular portal for this extended amount of time, but fortunately the Lumber Raiders finish their deployment well within thirty seconds. An amazing feat.
The moment the last person gets through, the hole collapses behind him, and you sit down in great exhaustion. Now that you think about it, you’ll need to do the same thing again when the operation finishes… Not fun at all, because you are burning through your charms much quicker than you expected. If you burn out all your charms before you close the portal, you may instantly black out, which is bad when you are standing in a freezing region where desperately hungry Yokai wander.
The fairies, however, are cheerful as always, skipping on your shoulders. You reach up your hands to lightly stroke them on their back, feeling a bit more comforted. You just wish that they stop tying your hair into knots, because it is quite some work to clean up, especially when they start to use more and more elaborate knots which you barely understand.
You raise your head, and marvel the efficiency of the dozen woodcutters working on tree-harvesting. Chopping down the wood, breaking the trunk to shorter pieces, separating the branches, hauling onto the sled, securing the lumbers… everything works in an efficient pipelined fashion.
Well, humans are all about cooperation, after all.
When others are not looking, you pull out your wooden rod and point at a small pile of decent-sized branches, and a portal opens underneath it. The small pile falls into… somewhere, unseen.
In less than half an hour, the sled is filled and all wood is secured tightly. With guards facing every direction and hands on weapons, you declare.
“The return begins, stage one!”
Heatless flame burns off another stack of charms, and a large, elliptical portal emerge below the sled, dropping it straight into the “receiving area” inside the village, sending out a huge crash.
You declare, collapsing the portal and pointing your rod to the front of the clearing. This time, the portal is opened vertically. Woodcutters go in first, and the guards follow. Soon, the only person standing on this side are the head of the guards and you. The guard looks at you, and ask.
“Aren’t you coming?”
You point at a ward sticking out of the ground.
“In a minute, I’ll need to clean up the barrier.”
The guard walks half way through the portal, and turns back momentarily. Then he resumes, and you turn off the portal after he walks fully to the other side. You slowly loosen the grip on your rod, dripping it towards the ground. You sigh and look at the trampled snow, slightly depressed. It was only one brief moment, but you captured his expression.
Fear, isn’t it?
You bite your lips. You know you’ll have to deal with this problem sooner or later, even in a fantasy world, but… when you think about it, what do you look like in their eyes? She who eats possessions like candy and curses like breakfast, surrounded by hundreds of fairies, survived a month-long coma in basement and then immediately sent and return a small army of men and equipment through great distance.
You close your eyes and shake away the train of thought. You have more important things to do right now.
It didn’t take you too long to find the bird Yokai. If Yokai are also having trouble in this winter, then something is definitely wrong about the climate. The bird sits on a branch, wrapping herself in her own wings, and shoots you a weary glare.
“What do you want, human.”
You hold up a Spell Card in front of your mouth to hide your nervousness, and respond in a slow and calm tone.
“I did not notice that Yokai can also get fuel crisis too.”
The bird snickers.
“Hah, if you are this interested in us, how about just let me eat you?”
You reply immediately, then continue.
“However, I do want to know what the scope of damage caused by this winter. Take these if you need them.”
As you speak, you open a set of portals, pouring out the pile of branches you hid away under the tree. The bird Yokai looks at the pile, and suddenly sounds more interested, if a bit fatigued.
“Oh~? Human, what trickery are you aiming for?”
You keep your mouth covered with the Spell Card, and reply with a semi-amused tone.
“Since when did us humans gain a reputation of being tricksters?”
She narrows her eyes, and echoes your question.
“Since when did us Yokai gain a reputation of eating humans?”
Then you both stare, neither speaking for a few moments. You sigh, and break the silence first, with the most peaceful manner you can speak.
“Now honestly, what’s the situation on the Yokai side? The incident’s magnitude would be totally different if Yokai also gets frozen to death. I suppose Yokai have even harder time getting any fuel between the storms, correct?”
She looks at you sharply, and shakes her head firmly and slowly while locking into your eyes.
“No, Yokai are much stronger than you humans are.”
“Stronger pride, too.”
You speak slightly lightheartedly as she gives you a fierce look. You put down your Spell Card and wave your hand while turning back.
“Anyways, I’d be dumb to stay around a hungry Yokai for any longer, so I’m leaving. Take the fuel, Yokai.”
You hear the girl’s voice.
“…not ‘Yokai’. Mystia Lorelei, Human.”
Five minutes later, you translocate back to this location.
The branches are all gone, with surrounding snow showing traces of hasty gathering. You guess you have the answer now.
You open your eyes, and see nothing but darkness. You cast Light but it doesn’t work.
You panicked for a second before realizing that you cannot connect to your own body. This only means one thing: you’re in a dream, and nine times out of ten, it is a dream where an evil spirit attempts to implant something into your subconscious mind.
If this thing can do this while you, a white magician with great spiritual defense, are sleeping under Barrier of Protection, a barrier specifically designed to repel spirits, then this thing must be on the level of an Eldritch Abomination.
[x] Go there F*ck it let's throw caution into the wind.
Also if you're worried for the lack of votes, don't be this site has always been very slow when it comes to votes and updates, authors usually give a time span between 2 to 5 days before calling the votes, and that's only if they intent to update very fast, others just remain silent for long periods of time until all of the sudden, BAM, there's an update.
Don't feel discouraged, you have an audience, it's just that the modus operandi of this site has always been, as the fandom would say, ´´Taking it easy´´
Disclaimer: Don’t fight an evil spirit in your dream. A real evil spirit will not let you have full will power in dreams. Unless it is a rather stupid one.
You know what?
Months into Gensokyo, and you’ve always been running away and hiding from Yokai. You almost forget that your expertise is dealing with spiritual attacks. Except that you won’t actually forget: you are very experienced at spiritual confrontations, and up to now, the only being that can reliably defeat you on this level is still freaking Rumia.
And now there is an idiot who isn’t her attacking you, in your own mind constructed by your fully-powered will, under Barrier of Protection. You’ll give it a taste of the Law of Free Will (you made this term up, but whatever).
So, you decide to go with it. Go there? Sure! This is your mind, and Barrier of Will here is literally invincible.
You “step” forward, “walking” towards your destination.
“Spirit, show your identity, or shall I trace you back from your connection?”
OK, it’s not really smart, isn’t it? Standing in the void of your consciousness, you stand there. The glow of Barrier of Will surrounds your “body”, or your mind, tightly, while you “see” a much fainter dome far, far away. That’s your Barrier of Protection.
“Well, spirit, let Big Sis, the Self-Proclaimed Legendary White Magician, see what the heck are you.”
You “grin” with overflowing “charisma”, and resonate with the channel between your dream world and it, ready to deal with any attacks.
Hah! Too late! You already extracted some information out of it. Looks like it is a newborn soul which has only centuries of history. It possesses some sort of fearsome spiritual ability (much to your dismay), but it is so weak right now that it cannot even use it at all. Nor does it matter, because it won’t be able to use it in your spiritual world, anyways.
What is it thinking, choosing you of all people as a target? It is either stupid, reckless, or desperate.
Well, too late for that! You summon up your spiritual power, and prepare to pierce through the channel.
It is gone. It shut the channel and ran away.
Well, bummer. Maybe you should have acted faster.
You wake up. The first thing you check is date: March 28th, nothing wrong. You’ve never been so ecstatic for months and just cannot stop yourself from grinning, because after so many hiding and running and hundreds of defeats in Spell Card battles, you finally met an opponent in your home field, and you won with flying colors. Not to mention that curb-stomping an evil spirit is way more FUN than doing those brain-frying soul-wrecking heart-wrenching sanity-blowing Lumber Raiding operations.
Yeah, the previous two weeks were in such a simple routine: storm comes, storm calms, cut trees for eight hours, storm comes again. Even then, the fuel reserves in Human Village are still depleted, because you just can’t support a village of more than a thousand people in brief operations like this. Most people have departed their homes and gathered in some makeshift communal housing to save fuel, and there are already nearly a dozen deaths related to hypothermia.
Not to mention how the Lumber Raiding operations themselves get more and more dangerous. Not only the calm period gets shorter, feral Yokai are also getting mad when they spot such a large group of humans. They even stopped caring about the danger of attacking fifty fully-armed Yokai hunters, even when it clearly means being exterminated. The hunters also took casualty over time, and you know that both sides are engaging in an attrition warfare. Thankfully there has not been an attack from human-form Yokai yet, or it will be much uglier.
Or not, because there are 51 people armed with Spell Cards.
It’s not sustainable. If Earth decides to really plunge into Ice Age, then sooner or later all fuel will burn out. You think idly, but can’t really find any solution.
You throw the futon aside, and immediately shiver from the freezing air. You dress up within thirty seconds to prevent a painful death, covering every inch of your body with thick cloth, stuffing your long hair all around your neck, revealing only your eyes from a slit. Then you walk up through the stairs and rooms, carefully weaving through crowds of fairies, and come to the bar counter which is covered in snow in the middle of a blizzard.
Good thing you covered your face completely. The cold wind feels like literal knives, and you fear that you will be cut into ribbons if you take another step forward. You cast Light to illuminate. Good things the spell is not affected by wind-
And then you jump and translocate right on top of the bar as someone suddenly appears behind you. You turn around, armed with a hand of charms, and see a small, green-haired girl in blue dress, her golden wings gleams with a warm reflection.
You put down your charms, sigh and jump down the counter.
“Daiyousei… That’s scary, you know?”
She tilts her head and smiles.
“Don’t you do this all the time?”
You sit back onto your chair, and shake your head. OK, the most mature fairy is still a fairy…
“Doing it myself and seeing other people do it is different, you know. What are you coming for?”
Daiyousei hovers up, and moves slowly towards the door to inside.
“I have noticed something recently. It’s about your Barrier of Life.”
You stand up reluctantly, because if the topic is the barriers, then you’ll have to walk into the blizzard. Not fun when your entire clinic is unheated due to fuel shortage.
Anyways, you drag your feet following the big fairy, again under the gaze of a hundred fairies staring from every corner. Daiyousei pushes open the back door, and you see your fields. Nothing out of usual. You raise your eyebrow, then immediately flinch as the slightly enlarged eye-slit sends in a wave of chill.
Daiyousei points at the sky and turns at you.
“Do you see that?”
You squeeze your eyes, while carefully make sure that they don’t get frozen.
“No, I can’t see anything but snow.”
She lowers her head and scratches her chin, then asks again.
“Do you feel any fluctuations in the barrier?”
You think about it, while resonating with the barrier.
“Fluctuations are always there… Oh, there it goes, something hits the Barrier of Protection… Wait, it’s bringing more life force?”
Daiyousei points again at the curtain of snow in the sky, where you still don’t see anything of interest.
“They are cherry petals, and they are bringing Spring inside.”
Spring? Does she mean life energy? Anyways, you try even harder to look for them. This is when you lament your inability to fly.
“Huh, so cherry petals storing life energy are flying around? Strange... If only I can see them closer…”
“… Well, would you like a lift, then?”
You doubtfully eye the big fairy who only barely reaches over the height of your chest. You think for a while, valuing the risk of being dropped in the middle of a snowstorm and the potential of finding a clue about the Ice Age.
It’s not even a contest. You nod, retrieve your usual equipment from a portal, and say.
“Go for it, just don’t drop me.”
Daiyousei struggles quite a bit pulling you into the air, until you manage to alleviate her stress by responding to her call with lots of magic. It still feels strange (and dangerous) to have such a small girl like her to carry you up in the high winds, especially so when you are actually supplying most of the energy used in the flight. You don’t even need to mention that your legs keep instinctively kicking around in the air and messing with the center of gravity, because you’ve never flown like this before.
Fortunately, Daiyousei does a decent job of controlling after receiving the “power up”, and you quickly get close enough to the top of your barrier to see pink flower petals drifting in the air.
Strange. The petals seem to move against the wind, even in such a blizzard. They are attracted into your barriers, then they disintegrate into glowing dust of deep red. You feel an influx of life energy as they disappear.
What are these petals? They get incinerated by Barrier of Protection, but releases life force into the Barrier of Life? You reach out your gloved hand to catch one of them, and feel a nearly unperceivable shock travelling through your palm, and the petal disintegrates.
Somehow, the energy feels familiar, like something you encountered not long ago. Just as you prepare to tell Daiyousei to put you down, an idea strikes you.
“Daiyousei, may I try something?”
You barely make out the voice in the wind. You lock on your bar counter, and…
Zzzziiip, both of you are now located back to the non-functional bar. Daiyousei yelps as she almost bangs her head on the ceiling. You extend your arms happily (the only thing you can do when she’s holding you under your arms), and remarks.
“It looks like Translocation does indeed work on fairies!”
“Well… Indeed it does.”
Saying this, Daiyousei lightly releases your arms, and you slowly shut off the magical connection.
Hmm, you think you just found an option in place of flying by yourself.
The Caravan to the RescueMadScientistCarl2017/10/30 (Mon) 01:48No. 40748▼
In case you forget what Barrier of Will is, look at the first update, in the Spells list. It seems that it’s the first time MC explicitly uses this in the story.
It’s April now. You start to feel that not even Barrier of Life can bring life back into Gensokyo now.
You want it. You all want it.
Your clinic is freezing. Everything, except for the warmest B4, is covered in frost. And your place is hardly the worst in the village, given that the Barrier of Life and the number of fairies give you a few degrees of warmth. Also, your Dwarf-style overkilling water cistern holds some reserve heat, even though it starts to get a thin crust of ice.
Blizzard, non-stopping snow, yet you sit behind the bar, sipping cold Sake. You are officially out of fuel because you gave them away. Now that you think about it, maybe you should have saved some reserves, because sustaining yourself only on cold and dried sweet potatoes is not very fun.
Yeah, when you kindly donated your charcoal reserves, you totally forgot that you needed fire to cook rice, but now it’s not the time to regret. After all, as a white magician, you are much more capable of sustaining yourself through extreme conditions, especially under Barrier of Life surrounded by more than three hundred fairies.
That is when you catch an unusual sight. A caravan, consisting of a few large wagons, come through the gate. You recognize Urist SteelDeath immediately, with her blue armor and sword, but this time there are two more dwarves in regular steel armor, too. You pay them no particular attention.
You start to think about something Daiyousei mentioned before. Spring. She definitely knows your concept of “life energy” or “life force”, because she has used the terms herself. However, she used the word “Spring” when she told you about the cherry petals. Is it possible that she is referring to another concept? If Spring is a distinct concept, can it be protected by a barrier, too? Also, just what are those cherry petals? Some sort of Spring manifestation? If that is the case, then it shouldn’t be blocked by your Barrier of Protection.
As you think, a gust of cold wind makes you shudder. A shadow cast on your face, and you open your eyes. Keine stands in front of the counter, so you greet her, sending a thin mist of icicles over your scarf.
It’s a bit jarring that Keine still wears her usual outfit, which would freeze any human in such weather. She looks at you, expression serious.
“Miss White Magician, the dwarves have some business with you.”
What should you do?
[ ] Go. Change to formal clothing. Sounds like a diplomacy situation [ ] Go. Bring extra spiritual healing gears. There is only one reason the dwarves specifically call for you [ ] Stay here. Think about Spring and Barriers. You are on the edge of figuring something out
Your Clinic (Changes) -Fairies. 300+ and Daiyousei. -No fuel.
I also want to ask if someone can conjure a Dwarfy way to have dwarves fly (will be useful in later chapters). Riding Giant Eagles are fine, but are there more Dorfy methods? Spinning burning artifact butiminous coal enormous corkscrew?
>>40753 dammit, forgot to F5 the thread before posting.
>>40751 Dwarfes do not fly, flying is for pesky vermin and annoying youkai. Going above ground is already a challenge for most of them so i doubt they would remove themselves even further from the earth by flying. Maybe some kind of maddwarf got himself a flying machine from the Kappa but i doubt it would be very popular.
[X] Go. Bring extra spiritual healing gears. There is only one reason the dwarves specifically call for you
Disclaimer: Dwarven Physics are in use here.
So, dwarves come and they bring in a caravan, and they request specifically for you. That means only one thing: they’ve got insane dwarves to heal, and they probably have some attractive deals if they travel this far in midst of a winter.
You quickly grab your rod, your fan, and your case of charms. In fact, you retrieve a few more cases from your strategic reserve and throw them in a satchel, then you follow Keine towards the center of the village. Even though the dwarf caravan has only passed by less than half an hour ago, their tracks are already covered by the blizzard, and you feel the frigid wind piercing through your thick larva-mummy outfit.
“Miss White Magician, are you not eating right recently?”
Keine walks next to you, and looks at you worriedly. You wave your hand.
“Sweet potatoes and water are fine. Now before you say anything, I am a white magician and I can sustain myself very well under concentrated life energy. I’m not going to get sick or something.”
Keine grabs your hand and lightly pulls up your sleeve, revealing a bit of pale skin. You shiver a bit from the cold, and she says disapprovingly.
“Look, your hand is already so cold and pale now. You are going to burn yourself out.”
You pull back your hand and carefully stuff your sleeve back into the glove. You look away.
“Keine, I am a white magician. I won’t die from this winter, but many will.”
Closing your eyes for a moment, you look up onto Keine’s eyes, as sincere as possible.
“I am a human, Keine. I don’t need to burn long. I burn bright and warm the needed. That’s why I learn white magic, Keine.”
“Just how… stubborn are you…”
Keine sounds frustrated, and you turn away silently.
This is something I will probably never change, Keine. You keep this thought to yourself, barely squeezing out a smile.
The deal was simple. The dwarves brought in literally tons of charcoal bars as down payment in exchange for you to save their legendary miner who went catatonic after the dwarves failed to provide materials for his strange mood project. And they promised to bring in one wagon of charcoal every week until this winter is over.
You didn’t even need to think about it. You agreed on spot and told a fuming Keine that you would send fairies to report on your status, and asked her to expect more fairies in your clinic as time goes by. You expected to come back in at most a few days, given that you’ve not dealt with dwarves in this “strange mood” thing before (the insane dwarves you cured before were caused by various other reasons, like working stress associated with managing a giant fortress with only 15 dwarves).
You still can’t believe that they have such a small population. Something must have occurred after the fortress was built.
Right now, you stand in front of the magnificent but desolate fortress of dwarven engineering. It didn’t take too long for the caravan to unload and travel back, so you and the three dwarves reached here on the same night. You also witnessed how Urist SteelDeath was a heck of a fighter, wrestling a freaking Yokai bear through a few large trees and splattering it on a rock. The other two dwarves mainly pelted their targets with crossbow bolts and hacked them with battleaxes. You, on the other hand, gathered a cloud of fairies (again) which created nice storms of Curtain Fire. Many of the fairies would be also tasked to report your status.
The giant drawbridge lowers, and you follow the caravan into the deep tunnel. At first, it is narrow and uneven and maze-like, with arrow-holes coming out of every corner and small drawbridges every dozen steps. Then, you come to a long corridor that has a suspicious network of minecart tracks, numerous fortifications, and warm floodgates. In summary, the upper-level of the fortress looks really dangerous.
Deeper inside, however, contains a glorious, well-carved cavern, with giant arches supporting a ceiling so high that you cannot believe it is underground. Streams of lava falls from the ceiling into deep holes, illuminating the space in a blazing orange light and radiating with blistering heat. In the center of this palace-like structure, a large waterfall covers the lower parts with a pleasant mist and making the incandescent temperature much more pleasant. Statues and engravings cover all platforms and walls, and they are all masterfully created, if you don’t look at their nightmare-inducing contents.
This place is gorgeous, and that’s not even mentioning the fully automatic minecart “subway” the three of you are riding to the hospital area. No way this abomination of a fortress can be built by 15 dwarves.
Soon enough, you are in the hospital region, and you start to check up the fully-bound miner dwarf lying on a bed, staring into Open Space.
As you survey his energy field, though, you notice a dwarf carrying another… body into the hospital, washing through channels of running water, blood dripping everywhere. Her status is so horrible that she can only be described as “melted”. Even though you’ve been through quite a few close encounters with Yokai, you still can’t help but feel nausea. Just what the hell did she suffer?
The blue-clad hammer-and-shield wielding dwarf next to you shakes his head.
“She is our third best soldier. She was unlucky this time, but it happens.”
That sounds way too casual. You can’t help but shake your head too. Minutes later, you remove your hand from the miner, and start to plan the insanity-lifting operation. You explain to the dwarf about the situation.
“Mr. Urist ArchDrunken, his situation is vastly different from the previous ones. His insanity comes from a sort of divine curse, bound to his soul. The best I can do is to revert its effect, but I cannot remove it completely.”
ArchDrunken bangs his chest plate with his gauntlet, showing his approval.
“This shall be enough. We will be eternally grateful to you, for he is our best miner and craftsdwarf who can still breath.”
The dwarf seems a bit solemn when speaking the last part. You nod as response.
On the next bed, you see a few dwarf doctors finish the diagnosis of the… body, and start to bring in spools of blue threads and bandages. Those threads and bandages have the same anti-magic feeling like ArchDrunken’s armor. Somehow, you feel that they are either going to bring a miracle or create something terrible.
You pull out a piece of charm and write down the miner’s name. Then, you proceed to cut the paper into a small doll-like figure, while explaining your procedure.
“Unlike last time, I cannot transfer a divine curse to myself since it is bound to his soul. However, I can break down its effects and transfer them into this doll, and many after this one. Make sure no dwarf gets close to the dolls, or things will break wherever they walk to. I will burn them in magma after I finish.”
Yep, strong negative energy from a curse like this will wear out things very quickly and make machines malfunction more often. You repeat the process of making dolls out of your charms, while walking around creating Circle of Protection around the catatonic dwarf and around a wooden bucket.
“By the way, where do you get wood for charcoal? I mean, one wagon per week is… quite a lot.”
The warrior-dwarf replies briefly.
“Multi-z underground tree farm.”
Then, with a deep breath, you rev up your spiritual power. It’s going to be a marathon, and you’ll see whether you can finish before the mad doctors around the other bed do.
You don’t know how many hours have passed. You didn’t really count.
You sit on a chair (which for some reason is bolted down on the ground), and just keep directing negative energy from the dwarf into the dolls in bucket. Occasionally you stop for a meal (involving bland diet like Plump Helmet Roast x 4), then dive right back into the cleaning operation.
It’s hard, insanely hard. At first, you could simply divert the energy through your rod. Then, you have to start injecting spiritual energy to displace more. Later, you started to use something like an energy centrifuge/pump to forcefully suck out the negative energy. You burn charms. You process energy yourself. You transfer effects onto your own body. You use all kinds of tricks you can imagine.
And by gods it’s ridiculously hard and painful. Your body cringes and aches and sears from the enormous flow of negative energy, and you can almost feel your soul burn if not for the Barrier of Will. Anyone with less experience or less willed than you would have already received some incurable cancer from all this life-deteriorating energy by now. You feel that after this, you can easily endure the pain of being burned in hell alive for the next eternity.
But your pain doesn’t matter, because fortunately, progress is being made and you expect that the dwarf will be salvageable.
As the first bucket is filled with “trash”, ArchDrunken leads you to the closest magma dump hatch, and you throw this bucket of pure curse straight into the blood of Earth. You can almost hear dwarven mechanisms creak as you walk by holding this container of evil, and you are certain that everything around you would have broken or collapsed if you haven’t created nearly a hundred Circle of Protection on the bucket itself.
This process repeats for about another twenty hours, with you taking brief naps and breaks and meditations. You slowly revive the suffering soul, each pass bringing back more and more life. You also witness the mad doctors removing every single body part of the dwarven soldier, then sewing it back with those blue threads and bandages. They are crazy, but you are not in a position to accuse them, either.
At last, after another eight hours, the curse loses it power and goes fully dormant. You finally let out a long sigh, and incinerates a hand of charms to pump the dwarf with some life force.
He blinks, and sits up and looks at his hands, eyes confused but full of life.
And you finished just before the mad doctors do. You throw the final bucket into magma, then go back to the hospital and slump back onto the chair, closing your eyes. You slowly burn off a large amount of charms, silently releasing the soothing life energy into yourself, slowly but surely relieving yourself from the constant pain you withstood for more than thirty hours.
Dwarves rejoice in a great party as two of their fifteen members are brought back to life, but the only thing you can do now is sit there and smile and watch. The dwarves’ overflowing happiness fills your heart and warms your soul and comforts your body, and that is all you need.
You didn’t join the dwarves’ party, as you didn’t want to be plastered by alcohol: dwarves are heavy drinkers, after all. Also, you have more important business to tend to: the possibility of a third barrier, Barrier of Spring. If at all achievable, this barrier will be the solution of this eternal winter. It’s already mid-April right now, and there isn’t much time you can waste.
Right after you leave the territory of the fortress, you immediately translocate back to your clinic. It’s still early in the morning, and it looks like the storm has ceased. The weather will be calm for a few hours.
Precious, precious calm time, perfect for experimenting the Barrier No. 3. You’d better max out the value of the time, or you will need to wait for another few days, which may mean survival or extinction.
On the other hand, the previous days were like a never-ending ultramarathon, alternating between turning your brain inside out on large-scale portals and freezing yourself in your basement. And you just spent thirty plus hours reverting a divine-level curse. You should really get some rest.
What should you do, right now?
[ ] Try building up Barrier of SPRING. Possible solution for an Ice Age! [ ] Cut TREES. This one has already been canceled because of the charcoal influx. [ ] REST until next calm period. Keine is mad already, stop getting her madder.
Your Status -Tired -Extreme level of accomplishment, with successful removal of a high-level curse. Sanity increase taken
Look at the date, mid-April. This chapter is going to end in two or three updates. Expect critical choices and walls of text (as if they aren’t already).
[X] Mysterious Choice: I -o-o-o- [X] REST until next calm period. Keine is mad already, stop getting her madder.
Disclaimer: Timeline might be different from canon.
You have to rest, because you still remember what happened when you maintained Barrier of Life on your own. If you continue to force yourself, you might not wake up this time.
Right, and you also need to keep in mind that the humans have already survived an Ice Age ten thousand years ago. You got to have some faith in humanity, because someone will always find a way.
And that person does not need to be you.
As you stand in front of your own clinic, though, a thought come across your mind. What the heck is Reimu doing? Isn’t she supposed to be solving an incident like this one right now?
Well, you don’t exactly want to go to the shrine right now, as you are tired. You pull out a piece of paper and write a message which pretty much says “To Reimu: The village is in fuel crisis for over a month and you should probably really start investigating the problem”. You stuff the message in a small bamboo shaft, then open a tiny portal to the shrine.
You opened it under the torii, and you notice that there isn’t anyone. You walk left and right to peek through the small hole, attempting to spot the shrine maiden.
There she is, floating back to the shrine, covered in snow and grumbling about how it is hard to find anyone in this weather. Guess that life in shrine is not easy either. You maintain a visual lock, and translocate the small container right above Reimu’s head, then close the portal.
You walk back into the clinic, make sure that the sign says “Closed”, start to recharge the barriers, and drag your feet towards the basement. Fairies inhabit almost every single corner of the small house, and in fact radiates considerable amount of heat. More than enough to bring the temperature above zero.
Fairies look at you, smiling and flying. They are quite pleasant to be around, so long as they do not make a fuss. You smile lightly as you feel their lively presence.
Hmm, Daiyousei is not here, so she’s probably back at the lake or somewhere. Well, you never find her because she always finds you.
Finally, you suffer through a rapid cold shower, and throw yourself into the futon and bury yourself with thick layers of clothes. This time, you leave the exit door unlocked and revealed, just in case your body decides to sleep for another month.
You wake up, feeling the sensations of your body flowing into consciousness. You distantly remember that you had another dream-encounter with that spirit, but you can’t remember much detail of it. You only vaguely recall that it tried to take advantage of your dreamy state to lure you into giving away your life energy, but your Barrier of Will blocked its attempt. Good thing this barrier is always on, because your mind was not exactly in the best condition after the stress of removing a divine curse.
One thing you are sure is that the spirit got stronger this time. It’s ability, though not useful in your dream world, is something you absolutely don’t want to see in physical world. You can’t remember what it was because you were not fully conscious at the time. Fortunately, you managed to pry out its quickly fading name before you woke up… What was it?
S…a…… Aya… You scratch your head trying to remember it, but it’s like blocked behind a thin film just out of your grasp. You decide to just call it “S. Aya”, though the pronunciation seems a bit off.
That’s not important right now. What’s important is, why is the room hot? You open your eyes and sit up, and you take a few seconds to focus your vision. The heat comes from your heater, now loaded with charcoal and glowing with a pleasant red warmth.
You sit there and stare at the heater. Apparently someone came here and refueled your basement. You palm your forehead and lightly shake your head.
What a waste, I don’t need that much heat. You think. But then, at least that means someone is showing care to you.
Right, white magicians do not deny help. You got to remember that. Although, you don’t know what kind of help you can get when you want to build something like a Barrier of Spring… Can’t ask for help when you don’t even understand what’s going on, right?
Maybe you can ask the fairies. Maybe ask Keine. Or Reimu, to some extent. When you recall the past months, you notice that you definitely spent too much time trying to figure out everything by yourself. You need to break the habit.
Or die trying. You shake your head as this thought flashes through your head. Must be another stray thought. Or that S. Aya’s spiritual channel is still not fully cut off. You should probably tune up the Barrier of Protection to specifically deny this existence, as you expect the next spiritual battle to be a lot more dangerous, and you’ll need all advantages you can get. At the same time, you can test out a little about the Barrier of Spring.
Clearing your mind for a bit, you decide to go check the upside. Just as you start standing up, a pair of small hands gently press on your shoulder from behind, making you fall back to your position. There’s only one person who can appear right behind you like that.
“…Daiyousei, what’s that for?”
“You are about to do something to the barriers, am I right?”
You cannot see her expression, but she definitely does not sound happy. You fidget a bit in the futon and wrap yourself up in clothes, half covering your face.
“… Yes, it’s important. Critical. Life-saving. Savior of Soul.”
And you feel the grip on your shoulders gets harder. A bit painful, in fact. Since when do fairies get this kind of strength? Daiyousei speaks in a surprisingly commanding tone.
So you do, telling her about the dream-encounters with this “S. Aya” and your conjectures about a Barrier of Spring. You compose for a few moments, and finally wrap up with your plan on reinforcing the Barrier of Protection. And there comes the steel grip again. Seriously, what’s giving Daiyousei this strength?
Right, fairies get more powerful around you. Daiyousei only answers in a concerned tone that’s suspiciously like Keine’s.
“Miss White Magician, you’ve done enough in these months already. Leave this to us, OK?”
You half turn your head, raising your eyebrows.
“How? Do you happen to know something that brings this concept you call Spring?”
“Would I say so if I don’t know?”
You mentally struggle for a moment, before finally decide to trust the fairies. You nod, but still proceed to stand up.
“Right, go for it. However, I still need to reinforce the Barrier of Protection, and that can only be done by me.”
Daiyousei gives you an assuring smile… and you are tempted to say that you are not a child. Then you recognize that she has probably ten times your age.
Not helping when she disappears right at this moment. Yeah, doing it and seeing others do it is different.
Barrier of SPRINGMadScientistCarl2017/11/01 (Wed) 05:31No. 40763▼
The dwarves really kept up their words, bringing a caravan each week. Now you wonder, how on Earth does an underground tree farm work? Don’t plants need sunlight to survive?
Then, you are talking about a fortress powered by magma, in a land of impossibilities.
Anyways, it is goddamn May 1st right now and all you see is snow, ice, and more snow. When you went to check up with Reimu again, asking her what happened to incident investigation, her answer was of the following lines: “What gives you the illusion that I haven’t gone investigating”, “You try go searching the entire Gensokyo in a snowstorm”, and then went on ranting about how no one ever appreciates her effort dealing with all kinds of trouble and how there isn’t even any donations.
There is some good news, though. That mysterious “S. Aya” never connected to you again. You don’t know whether it was blocked by your reinforced barriers or if it gave up, but it is better to keep it this way. If, by any chance, it actually possesses a physical body, you might as well treat it as a Yokai, which means you shouldn’t take it on recklessly. Fortunately, you didn’t attack mindlessly on first encounter.
More importantly for now, you are standing in your fields. Today, you are here to witness a miracle. Over the previous two weeks, you have been observing the fairies do something. For example, mysterious dancing in your fields, creating odd shapes in the fields, hanging the character “Spring” upside down, messing with your Barrier of Life… Thankfully, they respected your request about not touching the Barrier of Protection.
Honestly, you have no idea what they are doing. According to a nameless fairy, this is how the barrier is supposed to work:
“There is no Spring here, then people believe there is Spring, then BOOM! SPRING!”
Yeah, makes perfect sense (sarcastically). You just can’t bend your mind to believe it… Yes, your Barrier of Life somehow increases the temperature, but bringing an entire environment of spring in midst of a blizzard is just too much a stretch. It is also hard for you to understand what this concept “Spring” is about. It’s just too crazy.
But that’s the typical Gensokyo logic: so crazy that it might just work.
So there you are, standing in the middle of a blizzard, not hiding your doubtful expression, with hundreds of fairies hovering around in a giant ring. Oh right, there are also villagers right outside the fields. Keine is there, too. You repeat the instruction to Daiyousei, again in disbelief.
“So this is what you want me to do? Connect myself to Barrier of Spring, put in as much energy as possible and brace for a blackout, then BOOM, SPRING? Am I the one who bootstraps a process of belief?”
Daiyousei chirps happily, clearly showing her cheerful fairy side. You hold up your charms, still quite unsure what to do.
Your Action [ ] Do it! What could possibly go wrong? [ ] Wait, go get some more charms. First Aid kits, too. Barrier and fairies are rare combinations, after all. [ ] “<Insert Awesome Write-in One-liner>”. Be dramatic!
[X] Do it! What could possibly go wrong? [X] Stage 2.5
Why do i have the feeling that the whole thing will have Reimu coming down on our head because she thinks we have something to do with the incident thanks to the barrier actually working and collecting spring?
Sorry, I am not very good at writing a scene with more than two characters… I just have no idea how to forge one, so bear with my “indirect shortcut” methods. Any suggestions? Maybe I should go read some more books.
Three part updates here, because titles.
Walls, just because what I am. A Mad Scientist. A Crazy Engineer. A Yokai of Walls. Whatever.
Disclaimer: Events might deviate a bit from official.
If this barrier is supposed to be powered by belief, you might as well trust the fairies.
Yes, you know how belief works… sort of. It allows will power and thus magic potency to be “stacked up”, thus exponentially increases the amount of magic summoned. However, you’ve never seen or heard anything that involves directly powering a complex phenomenon, like Spring, using belief alone.
You deeply breath to clear up your thoughts, and enter a relatively peaceful state. You look around at the people, who are clearly summoned by Keine who is in turn informed by Daiyousei, and spot tiny little Imari fairly easily. She waves her arms in a dramatic fashion, pulling along the quiet boy Atsutane with her.
You wonder for a second about Atsutane’s suspiciously blurry outline, then proceed to ready yourself. You loosely hold on the hand of charms, and mentally connect to this Barrier of Spring.
It took you quite some time to establish a clear idea about the bounds of this barrier, and you lock on this entity firmly. You look at Daiyousei, and she nods at you.
So you discharge. Charms flare up into heatless flame and ash, and you inject the pulse of energy into the barrier, which eagerly absorbs all of it. You follow up by summoning as much magic as you can and push through the barrier.
You cringe as the barrier drains energy directly out of your spiritual channel, and you keep your mind in a delicate focus to maintain the flow. It’s tiring like a spiritual battle, but in no way it is unmanageable or uncontrollable.
For a minute, you don’t see any effects except for the energy drainage. The fairies, however, soon become ecstatic and start to fly around in intricate patterns. You only have some brief attention to look at them, but the patterns are quite beautiful. Mesmerizing, actually.
And then all a sudden, with no warning at all, the blizzard stops and the snow in your fields melts. You cannot believe your eyes as you feel the frigid wind warms up instantly and watch the white cover disappear within seconds. You watch the brown soil uncover and yellow-green buds and tiny flowers sprout out all over. You cover your eyes and reopen them. You pinch your cheek to check if it is a dream. You pull down your glove to feel the breeze.
One step outside your fields, the world is deep in the winter, covered in white and sliced up by blizzard, yet in this world of frost, one abrupt patch of brown and green expels the cold and roars with vivid life. It makes no sense. You say, emotionlessly.
“Oh, so it works.”
Why are you so calm? Your world view just gets shattered!
“Yes, it is surprising to me too.”
Daiyousei says in a similarly calm tone, so you ask, not realizing that you already cut off your energy output.
“Oh hey, Dai. Is that real? It really works? Is it illusion? Spring is here?”
“Spring is here~”
Daiyousei repeats, happily. You reply, absentmindedly, looking at the fields, feeling the warm breeze, looking at the sprouts, staring at people bulging their eyes out.
“You know, I thought I would be more exciting about this, after that hell of a winter…”
Then you add in a monotone, ignoring anyone trying to speak to you, turning your back palming the side of your head, looking into Open Space.
“… I guess I should go get some sleep, and recover some Sanity points. Yeah, good idea. Let me have a break, for real.”
Then you’ll experiment how to grow this barrier.
You disappear, not answering to anybody’s calls.
Your Status -A̗̥̹͉̩͐H̳͈̼͎͈̠̕A͓͍̬̭̙̩ͫͭ̋H̳͔͖̳̖͝ͅA͓̩̰ͬͪ̓ͯ̀ͦH̼̙͈̲̹̗Aͯͭ̔H̵̼̱̥͑̐̒ͤͭAͣḦ̦̻̘͓̰̜̈́̅̒̄̈̚A͔͖̠̜͎̭H̠̣̝̫͋ͬA̻͔̯̫͒̔H̹͍̣̭͚̫͐ͯ̇ͮͅA̜̣̙͍̤͌͒ͨ̽̓̀H̡̙̦ͦͮ̊͒A͌ͭͪ̽̏H͖̳̒ͪ̎̎ͫ͛ ̼̟̤̮A̮̗̝̩͝H̘̖̝̘̲̳̉͑͠A̻͓ͣ̏ͬ̒̆̌͠ ͈̥̯ͫ̆Ṡ͈͎̳͚̯̜̠͑̽̏ͣ͛̚P͏̤̮͈͇̠̼̺R͎̫͉̠̱̎͋ͩ̇͌̋I̛̥N͚ͭ͊ͧ̒̔̋Ğ̻͖̫̇͐ͧ͗̃͘ ͮ̅ͦ̋̑̿͘Ĭ̞ͭ͊̍ͮ̄̉S͌̉̚ ̯̰̗͈̩͍͝H̳̤͔ͦE̵̘̞̦̻͆͑̌̈́R̲̫̭̺̯͂͌ͦ̃̕Ḛ̉͑ͯ̏̉ͥ͟!̵̰̠ͧͪͭ͌ͅ!̌̎̔̋ͫ!̲̬͇̲̝͕̓̆͡!̦͕̿͋ͪ!̥̝͇͚̜̠͑͛̓͛ -So calm that you creep yourself out -Completely sane. Totally. Absolutely. No doubt -Serene and Healthy White Magician
Stage 2.5 ~ Springfield of Human Village in Deep WinterMadScientistCarl2017/11/02 (Thu) 04:57No. 40768▼
Congratulations, you people chose the least !!xxFUNxx!! option from miles away! I hope no one actually found out what they were at that point.
Localization: Danmaku = Curtain Fire
So, spring is here. At least, your fields are in spring now.
After recovering from the sanity shock of seeing something so AWESOME, you asked Daiyousei about how to expand this barrier. Her answer?
“There is no Barrier of Spring in the first place. We made you think there is a barrier. Although, adequate life force is still required.”
The revelation shocked you for another minute, before you realize that all you needed was to expand Barrier of Life… except that the fairies have messed it up so much that you don’t even understand that barrier right now.
After a few days of attempt, you gave up on expanding your old Barrier of Life, and just let people gather in this patch of warmth. They are happy, and all those stern expression of fearing an endless winter start to dissolve. Even though it is not a complete solution, you can feel the sense of hope radiated from the relieving crowds, and it is heartwarming. You were not lying when you said good thoughts are very powerful at recovering life energy.
Surprisingly, it seems that the boundary of this “barrier” slowly seeps outwards hour by hour. Since there isn’t a barrier to begin with, it must be this hope that’s changing the winter. You have read about how collective belief, once coherent enough, can create great miracles, but to actually witness it… is a completely different experience. It almost makes you cry, seeing such a true miracle, but you barely manage to hold the urge.
Because there is one problem. Before, there are only occasional pockets of cherry petals attracted by your Barrier of Life. However, right now you are receiving an entire stream… no, a river of them, paving straight into the heavens and branching away towards some other place, burning in red flames against your Barrier of Protection and eating up its power. Really annoying, and you suspect that there is exactly where the “Spring” in Gensokyo has gone to.
As you are working inside the basement to reinforce the Barrier of Protection, you start to feel fairies calling for power. Well, that is not really uncommon, so you simply respond them with power at first.
Then you notice that their locations, as vague as they seem, are moving straight for your place.
You’re a bit confused by the massive amount of calls. Yes, the more calls, the more power you can return to them… but that also means there is a big battle happening, and the frontline is coming straight towards here. You put down your half-made wards, and try to decipher the calls. Of course, deciphering fairy calls is way above your ability.
Then you yelp in surprise as fairies start respawning all over you. You immediately translocate into your fields, and is stunned at what you see.
There in the last light of dusk, fairies zip through the orange tinted sky in formations, unloading walls of walls of Curtain Fire in to the air. Confused people scramble out of your fields under heavy stray fire, and you are no better informed than they do. You shout on top of your lungs while trying to take cover.
“FAIRIES! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING!!”
They keep firing at something as if they hear nothing, obscuring the figure so thoroughly that all you see are endless blinding projectiles. They respawn right beside you, take dents in your energy reserve, then immediately charge into a new round of battle, crying in excitement.
You stop answering their calls, and the volume of fire instantly reduces dramatically. You are astonished and somewhat scared. The effect is magnitudes more drastic than when there are only dozens of calls, and you finally get a peek through the much sparser Curtain Fire.
Hey, isn’t that Reimu? Why are the fairies attacking her? They are supposed to be calm in your place! Unless Reimu attacked first, that is.
You simply stand there, wait for fairies to respawn around you, and give them stern eyes to stop them from charging in again. There is nothing you can do about those already in the air.
Reimu dives in, carrying a steel face, clearly in business mode. You kindly ask the fairies to go back to your clinic and stop the fight, then turn back to Reimu, who’s hovering a few meters in front of you, crossing her arm.
“White Magician, what’s this field of spring in the middle of the winter? And what are the fairies doing here?”
Straight to the point. You point to the edge of your field and its wards, and keep your sentences short.
“Barrier of Spring, solution to this Ice Age. Succeeded a few days ago, and fairies are central to this barrier. Fairies created this barrier.”
Reimu continues crossing her arms, staring into your eyes.
“So you have nothing to do with the winter?”
“I asked you to investigate the winter five months ago.”
Reimu gives you a similar blank face.
“Right, but you know it was impossible at that time.”
Shrugging, you grab your rod from a portal, and point at the sky.
“Reimu, I would also wish you to deal with whatever those cherry petals come from. They are eating up my barriers. They are evil.”
“What, cherry petals?”
A moment of confusion, and the Red-White shrine maiden looks at the sky, then she goes wide-eyed.
“Ahh, I see… Winter… I’ll go find whoever’s behind this.”
As she floats up and towards the flower petals, you translocate a piece of charm right in front of her. Reimu turns around, slightly annoyed.
“What’s that for?”
You narrow your eyes, and zip out a hand of charms in hand, covering your mouth.
“Reimu, as much as I wish you to solve the incident now, I have a question for you.”
You tap your wooden rod on the soil, trying to look completely serious but your mouth just keeps curving up, because you just found a perfect excuse to start a Spell Card battle.
“I am sure that fairies around me are calm. Did you shoot at them first?”
Reimu hesitates a bit.
With the answer, your hand of charms is swapped for a Spell Card. Not containing your grin anymore, you declare.
“Then I will tell you, shrine maiden, that no one touches any fairy in my place!”
With the Spell Card border rising, you sweep the entire battlefield with a grid of Displacement Charms, and Reimu darts up and weaves across the gaps, while shooting some sort of card-shaped and needle-shaped projectiles at your risen shields. You translocate across the fields every few seconds to avoid targeting, but Reimu is clearly the more experienced one, managing to track down your position very quickly.
As you shield wears down, you decide it’s time to end the ineffective attack. You hold up your first Spell Card:
“Vector Portal ~ Gravity Masked!”
All shots clear from air, and you restart the sweeping process, attempting to confine your target. This time, you manage to sweep the charms with Translocation vastly faster due to your experience. You blast out a pair of portals right above and below the shrine maiden, and her movement jerks up just as planned-
-and she gets damn lucky and passes straight through a lucky gap formed at the worst time possible! Bummer.
Your portals collapse, and you know you don’t get a second round. Your Spell Card breaks in the next second, and you return to your charm-sweeping attacks. However, this time you will be adding in some spice.
You trace Reimu’s position carefully, and use your grid of charms as spatial reference point. You estimate her flight path from the stream of needles, and sweep charms around her trying to block her movement.
Not effective, again. You are too slow at aiming, so your target lead is completely wrong. Looks like you’ll need to perform the first live test with your other Spell Card now. Granted, that one is made to counter Rumia, but it should work on any creature with eyes, if a bit less effectively.
You take a deep breath, and declare right after the shield breaks.
“Trick Sign ~ Alternation of Light and Shadow!”
Immediately, the inside of the barrier becomes dimmer. Good things you don’t need power of darkness to do minor environmental changes like this. You loosely sweep out a grid of charms, doing your regular sweep-and-close approach. You block Reimu’s direct path toward you, driving her farther and making her aim a lot more difficult.
Reimu easily weaves around your charms, rapidly closing in the distance. You smirk since she is diving right towards you, making your ranging much simpler…
You call, and cast Portal right in front of Reimu’s path, other side opened in front of you. You close your eyes and FLASHBANG! Blinding white light!
Without looking, you destroy the portals and open a second set sending her straight into the tightest cluster of charms-
A big shockwave, along with a pink circle and huge cylinder of light, blasts through your shots and breaks your second and last Spell Card.
You are Bombed. Which is not bad news at all because it means you managed to get a close call to, of all people, Reimu! Hail to Spell Card rules! Though you are a bit upset that you didn’t get to stage two of this trick card. Repeatedly blinding your opponent must be fun, but alas.
The Spell Card border shatters, and Reimu steps down in front of you, barely smirking.
You smile and nod back.
“Totally. Wish you good luck.”
Then you remember something, and add.
“Oh, and don’t touch the petals, they are evil.”
With this economic respond, Reimu floats up into the sky. You trace her path, and see that she decides to investigate the other “ground branch” of the cherry petals first.
It’s near night now, and you should go check up on the fairies.
Your Official Favorite SentenceMadScientistCarl2017/11/02 (Thu) 05:03No. 40769▼
You asked and examined nearly all fairies one by one, and you confirmed that they feel no pain when they are respawned by you. What a relief!
Another part of your mind tells you that it opens a whole new line of tactics, but you rejected the thought noticing that you have absolutely no control about what the fairies shoot at. Yeah, if you just power-up all fairies in a Spell Card battle, then the battlefield will become a complete chaos because most fairies don’t care enough to make sure that you, or anyone else, are not in their way when firing a storm of projectiles. You already witnessed their carelessness when they fought Reimu.
And you are not exactly the most maneuverable being around here.
Anyways, since that incomprehensible “Barrier” of Spring makes the temperature around your place normal, you move back to ground floor.
You can’t sleep, because fairies are calling, all over Gensokyo, and you only respond with energy which is supposed to calm them down. You don’t want to give Reimu extra difficulty. Not before the incident ends. Then you can go crazy.
The calls come from least three places simultaneously. They move higher. And higher. Above the clouds. Into the unknown. Coordinates which do not exist.
You sit on the roof, sipping a cup of tea. Above you is the dark, night sky. Around you is the lively, growing field. Right outside the field is white, cold, snow. Surrounding you on the roof, hundreds of fairies gleam under your Lights with their transparent wings.
A soft voice come next to you, and you manage the best to not get startled. You idly pour out a second cup of tea and hand it to the new figure. You ask.
“What’s ending, Daiyousei?”
She takes the cup, and looks at the sky. Her green eyes shimmer a bit under the dim light. She points her delicate finger at a point in the dome of deep blue.
And you see it. A tiny, bright figure, diving through the air, trailing with vast amount of projectiles, illuminating the night sky with blue and red.
It zips across the forest, across the fields, across the village. Snow disappear wherever she passes. The land unfreeze behind her trail. Life restores under her wake.
You hear her voice, echoing across the land and waking everyone up:
“SPRING IS HERE!!!!”
[ ] *sob* [ ] “Spring is here!” [ ] “SPRING IS HERE!!!!!” [ ] “SPRING IS HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!” FIREWORKS!!!
The voice once again echoes through the breeze in full Doppler Effect, and this time, you are sure you are not dreaming.
Spring is here.
Spring is really here!
You spring up and carefully balance yourself on the support. Your body is shaking, your fists are clenching, and you cannot hold back your excitement anymore. You point at the sky, trying to stay as composed as possible.
“Fairies! For now, promise me you won’t play pranks or damage anything on ground. Oh, and try not to shoot any creatures, really.”
The hundreds of faces immediately light up, and the fairies nod with great expectation. Daiyousei looks at your evil grin, and shakes her head.
“Miss White Magician, are you going to do what I think what you are going to do?”
You pump your fist at the sky.
“Of course! I have enough of this winter and all those resource-management games! It’s time to have some FUN!”
You swipe your hand against the dark curtain of sky, and loudly declare.
“Fairies! You all know what to say! Have FUN for, like, five minutes!”
Their wings rustle in excitement, and they look at you eagerly. You deeply inhale, and roar on top of your lungs:
“SPRING IS HEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!”
The declaration barely carries across your field, and all fairies, except for the big one, launch into the sky in a great flock, screaming “SPRING IS HERE” as happily as fairies can be. In seconds, the entire sky explodes into a gigantic vortex of Curtain Fire, spiraling with numerous colors and chaotic patterns.
The fairies are calling you. Hundreds of calls and increasing, their requests becoming crisper and clearer, weaving into unison and strengthening into unprecedented levels, almost piercing and shaking your soul. You’ve never seen the united will of fairies achieving such a level, and it is fascinating. You answer them, returning the fairies with power to their hearts’ content, and the sky is saturated by the most splendid firework you have ever seen. Messy, but filled with infinite variation. Disordered, but lively like force of nature.
“YEAH! SPRING IS HERE!!!”
You shout into the sky again waving your arms, watching the chaotic yet beautiful patterns unfold. What a breathtaking sight! You’ve never been so exciting in your whole life, and that is totally something worthy to see after suffering through six months of winter!
Without warning, Daiyousei lightly smack you on your forehead while giving you a light smile. You dramatically palm your forehead, and ask.
“Hey, what’s that for!”
She only shakes her head, and answer.
“There are tens of thousands of fairies in Gensokyo.”
You ask. Daiyousei’s smile goes slightly wider.
“You didn’t tell them what not to do, so it will be another incident to have all fairies in Gensokyo start shooting at everything.”
It takes you a second to process the information, then go wide eyed in realization (and disappointment).
With that, you pout and fidget and cross arms and reluctantly stop your power channel, and begrudgingly watch the colors dissipating and see the stars reappearing.
Oh right, Keine is totally going to headbutt you after this midnight firework show. Hopefully she won’t find out who did it…
Ah, dammit, she is standing right outside your clinic.
Chapter 2 End NoteMadScientistCarl2017/11/03 (Fri) 00:08No. 40773▼
As you may notice, this chapter was originally intended to be a “winter survival” chapter. Unfortunately, it turned out different from what I expected. Part of it is because I neglected environmental/social observations from MC’s POV, so it never had the “feel” of a survival chapter. Also, I kind of dragged it too long, because of the time scale involved. Next chapter will be back to interpersonal level and short time frame, more like Chapter 1, and will be centered around fixing up some problems exposed in MC.
I have cut out quite a few subplots from the chapter due to its length. Originally, I planned to have Barrier of Spring up in April and have MC fight the gang of Yatsuhiro, but I found the timeline and tone hard to negotiate, so I scratched it. The hibernation plot was my first attempt to throw in a meaningful time skip (I kind of noticed the timeline problem there). It was not enough, but it would be way too much a stretch to have MC sleep any longer.
I also planned for three dream sequences encountering that one, with the third and last one happening after you fight Reimu. The third dream would have you successfully triangulate the spirit’s physical position and give you a choice whether to translocate “there”, and thus throw yourself straight into THE battle at the end of PCB Stage 6. Again, I determine that the chapter was already too long so I scrapped the plan. I also don’t like a possible mood whiplash right before the ending, because if people actually vote for “go there”… it’s gonna be hard to tie up.
Think about it. Evil cherry petals, “S. Aya”, you carrying more life force than anything else, your connection to Barrier of Spring, and timeline… what could possibly go wrong? (Hint: Everything)
Also at the end, I originally planned for MC’s fields to become Stage EX0 because of all those overexcited fairies shooting at everything… Then I realized that this is in the Human Village, and it would be such an irresponsible action that MC’s not even going to consider that. Therefore, fireworks.
Now, explanation of choices.
Plan for tomorrow: not much, really. Mainly for reader’s insight about what MC does.
RIKU: Thrown this early on to determine the timeline later. If Reimu/Marisa/Sakuya is chosen, then Barrier of Spring is activated later. If Marisa/Sakuya is chosen, you will fight at full power, and Daiyousei will come to assist. In game terms, the player would be running through an S4-hard fairy gauntlet then face a Stage 1 midboss, i.e. you (Honestly, I think Daiyousei powered-up would be much nastier than MC herself. MC’s spell cards are designed to trap on first encounter, not firepower, and MC’s got only 2 SC). If Youmu is chosen, BoS must be up in somewhere April, and epic (I hope) trickster fight will be involved. Expect massive Portal mechanic abuse.
Next action: Thrown in a whim by me, because at this point I suddenly remembered that Daiyousei can teleport, so why not fight her?
Long-term goal: originally useful in Winter Survival, but turned out to be irrelevant.
Today’s action: Find Urist comes out just right. Literature research will allow you to learn “Spring” at this point.
Response to knocking: Flavor, mainly. If you don’t respond, Keine/villagers will bash in anyways. You will also be too weak to use Spell Cards, but Portal/Translocation are just fine.
Insect/Bird: Wriggle/Mystia. Wriggle would be in a much more desperate situation because she is a firefly Yokai, which is less tolerant to cold. The fight would be less stand-off and more action. Expect massive Portal abuse and repeated opposed POW rolls. You will end up trying Spiritual Healing on a Yokai for the first time.
Dream sequence 1: Wake up would have you miss all information about the spirit. Purify will also gain you some information. Turns out to be no difference because the subplot is cancelled.
Go/Stay. You will go anyways, with the stay option wasting some time draining more of your brainpower trying to figure Spring out (which you won’t). Dwarf interaction will also be affected, but I don’t know how ‘cause I didn’t write them.
Building/Rest. If you try building BoS, you will fail and sleep until the PCB events end. You will wake up in spring, and there are effects carried to Chapter 3.
Do it/…: Another mainly flavor option. Has other effects carried to Chapter 3.
Did we get invited to the customary incident after party at the shrine? Would be fun to see people and scold Reimu in front of Yukari for being so lazy.
Also i really like how we are a minion master danmaku fighter, our fighting style is basically a stage on its own and if we ever manage to somehow coordinate fairies building spellcards around them would also be possible. After all Yukari uses Ran and Chen in her spellcards so we should be able to use fairies.
>>what could possibly go wrong? (Hint: Everything) So basically if that would have happened we would have been the final spark that the tree needed to fully bloom?
> Did we get invited to the customary incident after party at the shrine? Would be fun to see people and scold Reimu in front of Yukari for being so lazy.
Oh, totally forgot about that. I should think for a moment and see how to write this... but for now I want to avoid Yukari because I am not sure how to write her yet.
(But Portalling in front of Yukari must be fun.)
> Fighting style
I plan on doing something fun in the Imperishable Night line (Chapter 3.5/4?), because... A few nights of full moon doesn't sound like too big a logistical strain, so there's some space to have some fun. Unfortunately, fairies know nothing about friendly fire.
> So basically if that would have happened we would have been the Final Spark that the tree needed to fully bloom?
Fixed for you.
Originally planed, until I recognize how hard the damn thing would be to write. I mean, how can you write a mental struggle (read: opposed POW roll every turn) against a tree under a ridiculous amount of Danmaku fire? Sounds super !!FUN!! but I can't warp my mind to figure out how to write that.
Actually, I am going to take a break for a few days. Author is currently in a state which can only be described as "possessed" and I cannot think straight. I will probably open a new thread when I continue, or I may not.
>>Unfortunately, fairies know nothing about friendly fire. Heh friendly fire is only a problem if friendlies are in the area!
>>I plan on doing something fun in the Imperishable Night line IN seems like a good place to get an upgrade like that since it had this mechanic where every boss had familiars that shoot danmaku.
>>“You didn’t tell them what not to do, so it will be another incident to have all fairies in Gensokyo start shooting at everything.” Also i just really noticed this. I didn't realize our influence over fairies extended this far, that's actually absurdly powerful since fairies are literally everywhere even if its not very usable since there is no way to direct the fairires to do specific things.
Before you get any ideas, MC is not that powerful, because she will blow herself up if she tries to power up too many fairies (you know, plot point etc etc). It's more like this: 300 fairies are excited; they call for power ups; you give them; more fairies get excited and call for power ups; you can't distinguish between the calls, and the calls get stronger due to numbers. At some point you'll hit your maximum output, and hopefully there isn't a runaway effect.
In a fit of madness, I recognized something. Barrier of Spring is an non-existant barrier powered by pure faith... mostly from fairies. Now you gave me an idea about how to spice The Great Fairy Wars up five magnitudes... Say, if MC accidentally kickstart a new entity of faith which gives all fairies power-ups.
The Great Fairy War -> The Second War of Faith -> The Great FUN War.
I think it's an awesome idea, but I don't think I am capable of writing it, because the scale is too large.
And I haven't started writing anything yet because I dumped five hours of my free time into making this:
It honestly wouldn't surprise me if the MC gets to be a living god somewhere along the story, she already is the go to person for the villagers when it comes to getting rid of curses and minor ailments and the villagers see how the fairies, a major nuisance for everyone else, behave around her which would translate nicely into belief. And the ascention from regular human to living god needs belief from humans but the sustaining of their existence requires faith which can come from any creature capable of thought. Fairies might be mostly simple creatures that don't generate very much faith in comparison to a human or a humanform youkai but there are tens of thousands of fairies in Gensokyo and a lot of them already have faith in her and her barrier of spring.
So the MC becoming a living god of Purification, Life, and Fairies sustained mostly by said fairies when they remember her would be pretty interesting. Not to mention Reimu getting annoyed by another competitor for faith and the possibility of imbuing charms with divine power like Reimu does.
The Unmoving FTL TravelerMadScientistCarl2017/11/06 (Mon) 09:05No. 40791▼
Aya is hard to write, because I have never written anyone like her. But then, I found an interesting (read: FUN) way… You’ll see.
Disclaimer: I don’t think FTL (Faster Than Light) is possible. It’s just an expression.
<Last Name> <First Name>
You learned the hard way how hard Keine’s forehead is.
You also learned that you really shouldn’t get the fairies too excited inside the village. Which is not really a problem because your spiritual power is much greater when you keep yourself calm and in peace, so you just need to be aware how crazy fairies can really become.
Speaking of fairies, there are a lot fewer of them sticking around your clinic. It seems that since spring has finally arrived, the Barrier of Life no longer makes any difference between the inside and the outside. In fact, you tore down the old Barrier of Life and created a new one, since the original was so messed up that you didn’t have an idea on how or whether it worked. In addition, Barrier of Spring also seems to fade away, but it doesn’t matter at this moment. You just wish you had the time to understand how that “barrier” works.
That is not important right now, since you are finally back to your long-missed herb-runs. Yes, you can buy food. Yes, you can eat sweet potatoes. However, the herb-run has already become a kind of habit, so you just keep doing that slightly before sunset. Although, today you are extending your collection period until the moon rises to a certain height, because why not? It’s not like anything can keep up with your (possibly) FTL translocating.
And then, all a sudden, a blur of figure zips into your view, complete with a gust of man-toppling wind. Before you can even think about firing up that spell, she is already standing in front of you, within arm’s length. Your movement freezes for a fraction of a second, before you slowly stand straight and face the new person.
Again, before you can ask who she is, this new person, with semi-long black hair and wearing black skirt and white blouse with black wings protruding from her back, starts to speak with great enthusiasm at a speed you can barely keep up with.
“Hello! I am True and Honest reporter Shameimaru Aya of Bunbunmaru, the most popular newspaper in Gensokyo! Would you spare a few minutes to take an interview?”
She speaks while gleaming and tilts forward expectantly. You nudge back a bit as she stands significantly taller than you are, with those crazy-high geta she is wearing. You answer hesitantly, not looking into her red eyes.
You must admit that you are intimidated, even though she clearly does not mean to do so. You can sense that she is a powerful Yokai, and that alone makes you quite a bit uneasy. Not to mention her speed overwhelming your Translocation’s reaction latency, her towering over you by probably a full head, and her complete disrespect of personal space. Hearing your response, the woman instantly springs straight, and takes out a pen and a notebook, before suddenly remembering something and pulls out a roll of… newspaper.
“Oh, right! I almost forgot this, I’ve got an article on you!”
You lightly reach out taking the newspaper. In fact, you have just caught on the fact that this person mentioned “newspaper”, because it sounds a bit too industrial for this land. What is her name, again? S-something Aya?
“Hold on a moment.”
Then something clicks in your mind, and you instantly translocate a few meters back, pointing the newspaper roll at the woman like a wand. She tilts her head as response, and you eye her sharply.
“Are you the spirit who intruded my dreams? Oh wait, your name sounds slightly different. Hmm, right, not the same soul. Never mind, you didn’t hear anything.”
And then Aya grins even brighter as she closes in with another blur, almost scaring you to drop the paper.
“Oh~ Please tell me more about that! After you read the paper, of course!”
“No can do, not even I know what was going on.”
You unroll and read the slightly cringed paper under a Light orb, while trying to give a refutation. Your eyebrows twitch as you read on.
“Let’s see… Portal Lady Summons Spring in Midst of Winter. Now, I am ‘Sane and Healthy White Magician’ just like how you are ‘True and Honest Reporter’, not ‘Portal Lady’. Please throw that name away… And no, I didn’t summon Spring, the fairies did it. And no, I cannot command fairies. And no, I cannot just ‘open gigantic portals’ and throw armed force anywhere I want; those are great photographs but if you were there you should know how it was practically burning my soul. And NO, NOT TELEPORT, TRANSLOCATE! And no, I don’t actually move when I translocate. And no, I cannot just appear anywhere I want. Wait, you are definitely taking more notes than I am talking!”
“Oh~ You know that’s all speculations before I can get an interview!”
Aya replies while jotting down magnitudes more notes than you speak, so you return her an dissatisfied gaze while firmly locking on the signature of the village and maintaining a reverse-triggered Translocation (not that it will really work against someone this fast).
“So you publish speculations… Anyways, I’d rather go back before the moon rises quarter-high, so questions?”
Aya quickly finishes writing… whatever it is, and taps the notebook.
“All right! First question, is it true that you successfully removed a divine curse?”
Boom, bombshell. You immediately take a step back, covering your mouth with a hand of newly translocated charms and stare up at her eyes impassively.
“You are not supposed to know that. Can’t believe those Dorks actually leaked the information.”
“Ohhhh~~~~ But they did, anyways! Second question-”
Before she asks, you catch a glimpse of a familiar energy signature and see a blob of darkness which you trained hard to recognize. You instantly recoil, and speak at a rate that amazes yourself.
“Wait she’s coming this way and I’d better go now see you next time just come to my clinic Okay?”
Aya immediately moves between you and the blob, wrapping her arms around your shoulder and spreading her wings out protectively, pressing you against her warm body.
“Oh, don’t worry, because nothing gets in the way of my inter-”
The reporter didn’t finish her sentence. You disappear (via a misfire) just a second too soon to witness a one-sided Spell Card beat down between the hardest-hitting reporter you would ever see and an unfortunate Yokai getting in the way of her interview.
Reverse-triggering, the “insane” version of trigger which you actively prevent a magic from firing. Said magic will be fired as intended even if you go unconscious or killed, but you need to actively spend part of your consciousness to station-keep it.
Just now, you translocated because you accidentally slipped it by seeing your arch-nemesis, your living nightmare, the one who busted half your Sanity points (probably), then get suddenly startled by another very powerful Yokai. Well, it’s not like you can just translocate back because you didn’t memorize the magical signature there, and if Aya is able to dig up that secret from the Dorks, she should have no problem finding you in the village.
But darn, the Dorks must have partied too hard to forget something as critical as this one. Or is it one of the individuals with low Discipline levels? You don’t know, but you also don’t particularly care, so long as no one knows how you did so.
You read the paper again, just to double check. You have to say that, even though the article is based on speculations and secret information gathering, the text itself is quite well-written and eye-catching. Not to mention that AWESOME photo showing your large-scale portal in operation, complete with burning and scattering charms, your rod flicking at just the perfect angle, and men armed to teeth standing on the other side. You just wish that…
“…removed multiple curses. According to Anonymous report, she performs a ritual to pull the curse onto herself, and then…”
Your face flushes white as you read the sentence. You want to swear at fate itself, but it’s already too late. A part of your mind tells you that this will happen sooner or later, but you still don’t want to see this. Not right now. Belief is power, which can be blessing and a curse, and you know what it means to have the entire Gensokyo realize that you’ve got dozens of curses on you.
Sorry, Aya. You pray sincerely that Bunbunmaru is not a credible source of information, otherwise…
You are not a god. In the worst situation, you will be hit extremely hard by more than twenty revived curses backed by thousands of thinking minds, at once. If that happens, you’ll die within one day, unless you either find another person, preferably a god of some sort, to remove them from you… or somehow summon up enough will power to counter that of a thousand people’s.
Thankfully, that is only the worst case, which is very unlikely to happen. In any case, you’ll need to reinforce Barrier of Protection, and you will need it fast. You’ll also need to pause your curse-removal service, for now.
Aya spreading the curses thing sounds like a lot of trouble. The gods that come to mind in this situation are either Hina, even if she is technically not a god and mostly deals with misfortune, or Suwako since she has literal curse gods under her command.
Technically speaking paper dolls thrown into magma are not classified as nagashi-bina dolls.
Disclaimer: According to canon materials, Mystia’s stand is probably open after events of IN, but this is not canon.
And this update turns out longer than I expected. Three parts from the Yokai of Walls.
Today, you are at business as usual, although you crossed out the “Curse Removal” text on your poster. You’ll need to wait for at least a few weeks and make sure none of the curses reactivate before resuming the service. You are devoted to help others, but you are not suicidal. You still have a lot of lessons to learn from the last winter.
It’s strange that the tengu reporter hasn’t come here after a few days. You guess that she is probably caught up on some other business. That, or she is actually hidden somewhere around. You never know, because she is way too fast for you to keep track of.
Just as usual, you sit behind the bar counter and slowly recharge charms by batches. Now that you’ve turned this into a routine, you notice just how fast you eat through these charms. This can’t be environmentally friendly, and you’d better get some non-disposable replacement of the Blanks. You might be able to get by with high-quality clothes or amulets made with sturdier materials, but there are so many choices that you are not sure which one to select. You’ll worry about that later.
Then, there comes the familiar, happy pair of boy and girl (or you really should say girl and boy). Takei Imari drags Takamaru Atsutane here in airplane arms again.
“Hey!! Miss White Magician!”
You put away the small wooden case, and smile at the pair.
“Hello, Imari and Atsutane. Aren’t you supposed to have school today?”
Imari jumps in excitement, as if she is not already excited enough.
“Lunch break! Look look look, do you know that? I heard someone opening a night stand somewhere near the roads!”
You lift an eyebrow, while silently cleaning up the two kids’ energy field. They are about to grow up, so you’ll need to stop that at some point… maybe in a few years.
Then Imari points at the village gate, which alerts you immediately. She answers cheerfully.
“I heard it is outside in the roads at night! They sell eels… or something like that?”
That makes you a bit curious… Who would be insane enough to open a night stand outside the village? However, there is one thing you must address. You look at Imari sternly.
“Imari, you are not planning on secretly going there, right?”
Then the girl casually dismisses your question.
“Nah, I am not stupid. Only Yokai will make a stand out there.”
You are slightly surprised that she actually thinks about the danger. Child needs praise.
“Oh~ You’re growing up, Imari. Nice induction. And by the way-”
You look at the taller quiet boy on her side, who almost managed to be completely ignored. You scan him carefully, trying to look for an explanation of his tendency to get ignored. You ask, slowly.
“Atsutane, did you stand on the edge of my vision again?”
The boy seems to be startled by your sudden question, as if not expecting you to notice him at all.
“Huh? Yeah… I am practicing that. It’s really interesting, though…”
You lightly smile at the boy, but you decide to speak your concern.
“Atsutane, you are standing right in front of me and I saw you walking towards me. Yet you still walked on the edge of my view. Have you heard of folk stories about kid getting too good at hide and seek and never to be found again, wondering around the land for the next eternity?”
You made that story up on spot, and Atsutane responds a bit nervously. Maybe you hit the bull’s eye?
“Well, kind of…”
The boy fidgets and glances away, nudging behind the girl (who’s striking an akimbo) even though she is considerably shorter. You reach over the counter to ruffle his hair, slowly allowing the boy to relax. You look into his eyes, and say slowly.
“Listen, boy. You are already very good at hiding, so good that it might be considered magic. You may consider practicing turning off your trick now: don’t let it get into your subconscious mind before you can turn it off. I learned it the hard way when I got stuck in the air for a few hours when I first learned Translocation and allowed it to run wild. In your case, you can be ‘unseen’ by all until you know how to stop it. Do you understand?”
Yeah, you remember that event deep in your soul. You practiced Translocation to make it as natural as breathing… except that you didn’t learn how to calm your mind. One stray thought was all it needed to drop yourself into the high airs, and your fear just kept generating more stray thoughts and almost splattered you at terminal velocity. You were practically forced to attain peace and calm while you were wildly flinging across the air, and you miraculously made it. Nothing, however, can guarantee that the boy to obtain such spiritual stability in a short period of time.
The boy nods, slowly. He doesn’t look very happy, but you hope that the message seeps in.
The Cautious Adventurous Nigh WalkMadScientistCarl2017/11/09 (Thu) 03:16No. 40800▼
A scene with FIVE persons? That’s too much for me, though I’ll try my best.
You know what? A night stand outside the village sounds fun and suspicious. You know it is dangerous, but you think you can manage it: it’s not close to full moon tonight; you are not going there after midnight; most animal Yokai are deterred by you; you have instantaneous travel back to the village, the shrine, the dwarves’ fortress, and various locations around the village. Obviously, nothing can possibly go wrong!
Nightfall. You greet the guards and spawn out a few Light orbs around. Unlike most journeys, you are walking this time, because you don’t have any reference point near this “road” nicknamed the Yokai Trail. What a scary name.
According to your intel collection, the road seems to be mostly infested with beast Yokai, which is not major threats to you because they can never oppose your will power when you use spiritual energy displacement. Most of them won’t approach you once they have a taste of the burn caused by the attack.
You spread out many small orbs of light, creating a roughly spherical three-shell structure, allowing you to illuminate a decent area around and above you. You hope that you have a parabolic reflector for a more focused beam, but it is probably too expensive for you due to the low technology level here.
Of course, you know fairies are trailing you and they pack a bit firepower, but since Yokai are more active at night, you keep yourself at high alert, trying not to miss any trace of sound. You also arm up a reverse-triggered Translocation, just in case.
Speaking of sound, you kind of hear someone singing in a distance. No sane human would do such attention-grabbing things, so it must be a Yokai… OK, you are surrounded by three big shells of lights, so you aren’t in any position to accuse anyone.
As you move closer to the source of the voice, however, you start to notice a strain on your Barrier of Will. Looks like it’s no regular song, but one that carries strong spiritual power.
And now everything outside the range of your Lights are nothing but DARKNESS. You stand still for a while and notice that the lights themselves are not affected, thus ruling out Rumia. You try to counter its power with Barrier of Will, but this funky barrier, though powerful and can be used by anyone, requires you to know what’s coming to have any effect.
Well, you have fifteen meters of visibility with or without the darkness, anyways. It also doesn’t stop you from searching your own energy field to find the offending energy. You’ll just make sure that you can fire up Translocation if anything goes wrong.
Are those red lanterns? You squint your eyes a bit, looking past your Light orbs. The song and the spiritual power comes from that place, and you are sure that the offender is right there, in your field of vision. With that in mind, it doesn’t take you long to match the energy inside your body.
Right, charmed night blindness, which can be cleared up by a tap from another unaffected person. However, you know spiritual healing, so you only need to recognize the source.
With a small discharge of power, you manage to clear up the adverse effect, and hold your will against it. In the cleared-up field of view, you see a red lantern night stand not too far away. The lanterns have “lamprey” written on them, and a young girl with wings on her back stands behind a grill, singing the blindness-inducing song. You can’t make out more details at this distance, but you feel that you’ve seen her somewhere.
The stand owner is chatting with another small girl (boy?) with green hair and antennae sticking out of her head. No doubt both are Yokai, and they turn around to look at your completely detectable approach.
One humanoid Yokai is dangerous enough, and you don’t want to face two. Just as you dim the lights and prepare to leave, you feel a cold breeze and notice a familiar blue girl, also engaged in a happy chat with the two Yokai.
Cirno. Now the level of danger suddenly drops to non-existent. You smile and wave at the ice fairy, and she immediately flies over with a visible gleam… and a ring of icicles.
“Hey! White Magician, you disappeared for the entire winter! Are you finally coming to challenge the strongest?”
You answer merrily while walking cautiously towards your target: the stand.
“Not at night, but next time I will totally break through your Perfect Freeze!”
And the fairy crosses her arm and thrust her chest forward confidently.
“You said that thirty times already! You will never beat my perfect technique!”
The night stand owner glances at you two thoughtfully. You make calculated movements with Cirno following along, who clearly does not understand why you are walking so slow. The bird Yokai flips a lamprey on the grill, and asks.
“Oh~ Portal Lady, you seem to know our beloved strongest fairy very well~”
When she says “strongest”, you can feel that Cirno practically beams with happiness. You answer in a calm voice, drastically different than when you spoke with the fairy. Not helping when you are concentrating to keep a reverse-trigger running.
“I can probably say the same. Have we met before?”
As you ask, Cirno flies over to bug the other girl, boasting about her Awesome and Glorious battle freezing your entire pattern plus your portals mid-air (even though the portals weren’t actually frozen). The bird-girl glances at you with her gray eyes, and remarks slightly mischievously.
“Really~? I never thought humans have such bad memory~”
You ignore that comment, while something clicks in your mind. You say in a thoughtful manner.
“’Portal Lady’… ah right, it was the first Lumber Raiding operation right after I slept for a month… Miss Lorelei.”
She obviously gives you a strange eye when you mention sleeping for a month. You don’t particularly care, because it was just thrown out to bumper the speed of conversation so that you can keep track of the surrounding. You are still standing, and you would never forget that there are two Yokai within five-meter radius around you.
Then, Miss Lorelei… Mystia points at a board.
“So~ Human, why not try my menu~”
You do not respond, and she continues after a moment.
“We don’t eat customers~”
You carefully assess the situation. Mystia doesn’t seem to be lying, so… You decide to sit down, after you prepare a second set of reverse-triggered Translocation which locks on the Hakurei Shrine. Just in case if Keine hides the village for whatever reason.
You hold out your hand, and a few coins appear in your palm. You put them onto the counter.
You glance at the eel sizzling on the grill, and turn your attention to the ice fairy sitting right next to you.
Yep, her description of the battles is much more… epic than they actually were. Although, as boastful as she is, Cirno does give you credit for getting her every time you managed to finish your Spell Card without everything being frozen. She clearly still hasn’t figured out how to counter your instantaneous zero-gravity yet.
Then, as if suddenly remembering something, Cirno zips behind you and lightly presses your shoulder, turning you towards the other Yokai who hasn’t spoken anything yet. For an ice fairy, Cirno sure is surprisingly warm to touch, even though the air around her makes you shiver.
“Right! I forgot to introduce you to our team! Wriggle, Mystia, this is… Umm… What’s your name again?”
Cirno turns towards you, filled with uncertainty. You sit up straight, and try your best to answer in a completely straight face.
“Nice to meet you all. I am the owner of White Magician’s Clinic in the Human Village. Please call me Sane and Healthy White Magician, or Unmoving Traveler of Light, or Friend to All Fairies, or anything except for Portal Lady.”
Yeah, it is hard. At least you didn’t call yourself Anon. The insect (?) Yokai referred as Wriggle quickly scans you for a moment, then gives you a small smile while supporting her cheek with her palm.
“Hello, human. I am Wriggle Nightbug. Um… scout and rearguard…? of the Strongest Team.”
Scout and rearguard? How does that even work? You think idly about what her abilities might be. Then, the stand owner starts to dexterously put small bamboo sticks through the eels, and speaks.
“I am Mystia Lorelei, The owner of this stand~ Biiird of the niiiight~”
Then she starts to sing. You immediately tune up your magic energy to counter its effect. Mystia glances at you, and you smile slyly.
“Nice try, but I can still see.”
Then, Cirno jumps down to the stool next to you, and points her chin up confidently.
“And I! Am the champion! Our team is the strongest! Although, Dai and Rumia are not here…”
She breaks from the pose, and you immediately freeze in place for a second. You turn around, nearly hearing creaks generated by your stiff neck.
“Excuse me, you said who?”
“Oh~ It’s you again, magician~”
You don’t even need to think about who this voice belongs to. Your form flickers a few meters backwards and you quickly recover your stance from the “air chair”, and hold a Spell Card over your mouth, staring at a blond face poking out of a nearby shadow.
“No fighting near the stand~”
Mystia waves a piece of bamboo stick, so you reluctantly stop declaring the Bomb. Cirno flies between you two and pouts.
“Oh come on! Don’t be so afraid of her!”
You roll your eyes at the ice fairy, still holding on your Spell Card, as Rumia pops out of the darkness.
“Cirno, she tried to eat me for something like ten times, every time I see her. And she almost succeeded twice.”
Rumia responds with an innocent sweet face… that is, if you didn’t have your memory of those encounters.
“Last time I didn’t~”
You stay completely impassive, but the tension between you two is so high that it may shatter like glass at any time. Cirno frowns, and turns to Rumia.
“Rumia, she is our friend… Don’t eat her!”
Using a Portal trick, you quickly glance over the other two Yokai while still keeping an eye on Rumia. Mystia and Wriggle seems to be watching in amusement. Rumia continues her adorable smile.
“No worries, Miss~ You are too fun to be eaten, it would be a waste~”
You keep your mouth covered with the Spell Card, and answers sarcastically.
“Oh, how reassuring. You should have said that last time. And the time before.”
Virtual lightning bolts discharge between you two. Cirno seems a bit uneasy, and you feel a bit sorry about her… but you will probably never allow yourself to let down your guard around the little Yokai of Darkness.
As if to break the unsettling tension, Mystia takes out several plates and start putting skewered lamprey on the dishes. One of them contains much more content than the others.
“All right, girls~ Lamprey is ready!”
So you semi-reluctantly move back to the stools, while spinning a Light orb around your body.
And Rumia deliberately takes the seat next to you. Thankfully, Cirno comes sitting down on the other side, so you feel at least some amount of security.
Not counting the fact that Mystia repeatedly challenges to blind you and that Rumia constantly stares at you with her innocent but uncanny smile, you must admit that the lamprey grill is beyond awesome.
You are not really in a rush since you have no agenda, and you hold not one, but two reverse-triggered escape routes. You slowly bite into the wondrous meat, while the darkness girl gulps down entire sticks at one time. You don’t give additional comments so long as she is not trying to eat you.
You remain relatively silent (to conserve computational power), while Cirno resumes talking about her AWESOME battles.
Not like she will run out of stories, because it seems that she runs into conflict every day. You can’t help but think how you can possibly break her Perfect Freeze other than luring it out with smaller attacks… but conversely, she hasn’t broken your Gravity Mask yet.
Mystia seems to catch attention on something the ice fairy mentions.
“Say, Cirno~ How many projectiles can you freeze from the white magician?”
Cirno fidgets and scratches her head.
“Well… It’s too many to count…”
“The most was around ten thousand: a spectacular failure on my part. Generally three thousand or so early stage or hundreds later stage. My portals cannot be frozen even if they are covered by ice.”
You idly reply while tracing your finger over the rim of a teacup, then continue.
“Good things that consumables are not actually consumed in a Spell Card battle, though recently I switched to energy shots to reduce some strain.”
“Wow, Cirno, I know you are a powerful fairy, but I never thought you can freeze so many bullets at once!”
That’s Wriggle, her blue eyes slightly widens. Cirno holds her chin, and seems to enter a thoughtful mood.
“Hmm… Now that I think about it, I did feel the ice are easier to control at those times…”
You look at Cirno with a small smile.
“All fairies get stronger around me, even if I am fighting against one. I can’t and won’t turn if off, though.”
Mystia lifts a few more sticks of lamprey from the grill, and gently gives Rumia a… third refill. Cirno gleams at you in excitement.
“So does that mean the strongest gets even stronger?”
“Yes, of course. So long as I don’t turn off my magic, the effect is there. If you are an ally, however, there is a bett-”
A sudden heart-throbbing pain makes you gasp and recoil. You press your right hand over your chest and almost tumble backwards over your seat. The trio of Yokai and the fairy looking at you in confusion. Cirno is especially startled as she reaches out to grab your hand.
“Hey, what’s wrong?”
You hold your breath for a second and focus on the pain. A second later, it dissipates. You put down your hand and sit up straight as if nothing happened.
“No idea, but it’s quite late I need to go back now. See you in… maybe tomorrow.”
You quickly gobble up what’s left of the lamprey, wave a small goodbye, and disappear.
What’s your plan for tomorrow? Choose 1.
[ ] A usual business day. You’ll observe yourself [ ] Meditate the day. You need to sharpen your spiritual power [ ] Stay a while with fairies in the forest. Remove yourself a while from people with negative thoughts [ ] Others?
Your Status -Sane and healthy -Something feels a bit off
Also, picture is a 4-minute rapid illustration of what MC might look like. I tried to capture her essense from my mental image, though the dress is just a generic, simple-to-draw one. I hope it matches what you perceive from the story... If not, well, that's an illustration from a person who's half way through an introductory drawing class.
Yes, you can see the front and back of MC at the same time, 'cause Portal.
[X] Meditate the day. You need to sharpen your spiritual power
I spent a hell lot of time playing with soft pastels. I wanna draw dramatic lighting!
Disclaimer: I probably will not throw in images for short updates…
You sit behind the bar counter, as usual. However, you clearly remember that you encountered a spiritual attack last night.
You cannot rule out the possibility about being cursed, but the problem dealing with curses is that, if you believe you are cursed, then you definitely are cursed by yourself. On the other hand, if you are indeed cursed, disbelief won’t fix it. The only way you can remove one is either destroy/divert its source or wait until belief die down.
You can’t help but remember the days Outside. In the outside world, curse is generally not an accepted concept, thus making it vastly easier to deal with: most are unintentional in the first place, and they disappear very quickly. In Gensokyo, the situation might be more complicated. Therefore, you decide to spend today on meditating and sharpening your spiritual power, as well as performing a rigorous maintenance of your clinic. No one says you cannot move while meditating.
On the bar counter, you put up a cool-sounding sign saying “Closed. Barrier Maintenance Ongoing”, then retrieve a broom and a tray from your storage room. You take a deep breath, and start to intensely monitor your thoughts and sensations, while praying something unimportant akin to “may whatever benevolent being lend me power to cleanse my energy field”.
Humming a light tune from outside, you idly observe the surprisingly clean counter, the sunlight gleaming on its slightly glossed surface, and the complex but vivid texture of wood. The straw broom glides across the wooden floor with gentle sound, stirring up a small vortex of dust. Time by time, you look up to see pedestrians passing by. Some walking relaxed, others marching in a rush. Some walking alone, some accompanied by others or the guards.
You watch and observe, but do not comment about anything. Meditation is a practice to free up the power of your mind by noticing everything while not wasting thoughts on trivial matters, such as judging the clothes of every single person you see.
As you finish the bar area and decide to move on, you catch a glimpse of a familiar face, walking in a fast pace and passing by your clinic rather quickly. You recognize the man: he is one of the Outsiders you managed to ferry to the Hakurei Shrine. What is he still doing here?
Since he is already out of view and you are in meditation mode, you decide to defer the question for later investigation.
You slowly sweep and mop every corner of the above-ground structures of your clinic, using Portals when you can’t reach them. However, even though you sweep your place every day when there are no customers, the building is still a bit suspiciously clean. Then, you walk around your place replacing all wards on your Barrier of Protection and Barrier of Life, and check up your spiritual link with them.
Yep, the barriers are in perfect condition, and they can only grow stronger as you sharpen your mind.
In a serene and calm state like right now, your senses, both physical and spiritual, are no longer obscured by energy from stray thoughts. In this naturally heightened state, you notice the familiar stinging and contracting sensation passing through your body, just like when you perform Spiritual Healing. This feeling is abnormal, because you are standing under Barrier of Protection, which should block most negative energy from outside.
You stand still in your fields, trying to trace its source. It definitely is not directly fed by a curse: a curse would feel much more “connected” to a phantom external entity, while this one feels almost like a flickering radiation in constant movement, like feeling the heat from a moving torch. Seconds later, the feeling disappears, but it appears again not long after, from another direction and with a slightly different “hue”.
You are intrigued by the phenomenon. You keep filtering your stray thoughts, and move very slowly and gently to keep track of the tiny, unstable feeling.
It’s like a wild goose chase. The small radiation appears and disappears repeatedly, and you stay vigilant to capture the moment when it happens. After walking through most of your fields and your clinic, you finally find the location where you receive the sensation most: the bar counter. It doesn’t take you long to realize that the feeling becomes stronger when a person walks by, so you finally reach the conclusion.
That feeling comes from others’ negative thoughts. You never thought you can be this sensitive, so much that you can resonate even under the barrier. This gives you even more incentive to stay at a protected place. High sensitivity is good when performing Spiritual Healing, but you think this is a bit too much for you to handle… especially when there is a potential curse lurking around the corner.
Sitting at the counter, you pour out a small cup of tea, and continue your thought-monitoring exercise while paying utmost attention to everything around.
That’s not a sound, but a tiny magic fluctuation, and someone appears behind you. You don’t even need to look back to know who that is. You greet her without turning around.
There comes a soft but surprised voice.
“Oh~? You are not startled this time.”
You lightly smile and turn towards the hovering girl. It’s more surprising that you don’t sense a trace of negative thought from the fairy, even in your ultrasensitive state.
“When properly meditating, one cannot be startled by anything.”
She smiles back, speaking in a soothing tone which blends harmoniously with the serene atmosphere here.
“True. Fear has no place when your mind is completely clear.”
You raise an eyebrow at Daiyousei, while she mirrors you a peaceful expression. You wonder if you have completely underestimated the big fairy, even though you are probably the last person to belittle fairies.
You take out a new cup and start to pour tea, while asking.
“So, what are you coming for today?”
The green fairy pulls out another stool next to you, and lightly shakes her head.
“Nothing much, really.”
You put the second cup of tea in front of her, while idly considering teaching her Spiritual Healing some time.
Honestly, you have the feeling that she either knows how to do that already, or will outperform you shortly.
The rest of the day is pretty much spent on staring at the street and enjoying your clean state of mind.
Just so you know, Spiritual Healing works IRL, and is done almost exactly the same way as MC does it (sans charms). Author is not very good at it (yet), though. It is up to you to believe.
The Sure Way to Counter CurseMadScientistCarl2017/11/11 (Sat) 19:46No. 40809▼
It’s been a few days after your “maintenance cycle”, and you have confirmed one thing.
A curse is indeed active. It is far less serious than you would expect, but is also very covert. Its only discernable effect is to make yourself a bit more sensitive to the surrounding energy field and others’ negative thoughts.
You figure that it is an “unintentional” curse caused by the newspaper, so you conclude that you must break it by having people forget it. The best way to achieve this goal is to go on with your life normally, not showing a trace of evidence to feed people’s confirmation bias.
“…Your own problems don’t resolve themselves. Please make good use of the brief clarity to be a better person. Your good thoughts will replenish any energy I draw.”
You say your standard closing clause as a young man who suffered depression leaves. You sigh as you dump the negative energy into your heavily warded “dump zone”. You looked completely normal to him, but another spiritual healer would immediately notice that you were affected. Honestly, when this guy walked in, he was so possessed with negative thoughts that his mere presence was borderline insufferable, reflecting imaginary pain all over your body. At least, he leaves with a much clearer mind (and a lot less painful on your side), and hopefully he learns to counter depression in this temporary clean state.
That curse definitely eats up quite a bit of your tolerance. Before it is gone, you might not want to go near anyone with strong negative thoughts, locations with powerful negative energy, or most Yokai.
Choose 1 [ ] Hey, isn’t that an Outsider you dumped into the Hakurei Shrine? [ ] Look, that sneaky boy is hiding in plain sight again! [ ] …Fairies are around, really close, but why can’t you see or hear them?
Your Status - Sane and Healthy - Active curse. Covert, makes you more sensitive to negative energy, but otherwise kept in check.
Your Inventory - Water skin. Filled with fresh water - Dagger. Sharp and sturdy, good for utility and self-defense - Fan. Just a fan - Wooden Rod. - Case of paper charms. - Some coins. - A less-crude map of Gensokyo. You can shoot the map around the Human Village
[X] …Fairies are around, really close, but why can’t you see or hear them?
I’ll probably have to stop introducing new characters/encounters… because my brain is exploding trying to characterize everyone. I have no professional fiction writer, so this is mind-wrecking hard.
Anyways, I really should slog through this and transition to something I can handle better. “They” will probably come back later too, though.
Disclaimer: Dialogue format change, using more formal(?) tags. Please tell me whether it works better or not.
After a rather demanding healing session, you decide to consume some of those spiritually charged Sake you have produced over time (a.k.a. Strategic Reserve). As you retrieve dish and bottle, you notice that same Outsider man walking by chatting with some tall blonde woman with many tails (obviously Yokai). You overhear something about “nuclear thermal rocket” and “megawatt lasers” and “space abominations”. You wonder what the heck they are planning to do. Are they trying to build a starship? Prepare for a Flood invasion, or something?
Nah, that would be too early for the timeline. You shrug off that ridiculous thought.
Even though you are curious why this Outsider is still here after you sent him to the shrine, you don’t feel like interrupting his conversation. You glance over the other side of the street, and see the sneaky boy, Atsutane, jumping excitedly and talking to some floating green girl. You avert your gaze for thirty degrees, and he vanishes. You turn your eyes back a second later, and the boy reappears, alone and crouching while silently playing with a mud ball. He has been doing this nonstop for a few minutes already.
You can’t help but feel that you overlooked something, and let out a small sigh. You wish the boy doesn’t go too far with his trick. Even though it is arguably less dangerous than having Translocation out of control, practicing “vanishing” without supervision is still dumb.
You shake your head slightly and concentrate your mind. Maybe it’s the effect of the curse, your senses and perception seem to be conflicting all over. There is the boy who may disappear at any instant, stronger-than-usual contraction caused by radiated negative emotions, calls of fairies, and something that just makes you feel wrong about your vision.
When you focus a bit more to filter out the uncomfortable reactions to emotions, you find that some of the “calls” come from a very close distance. In fact, you can almost feel their life force, but you see nothing when you turn around.
So fairies must be what causes the perception mismatch. You think, but you also know that fairies are very good at blending into nature, so who knows if they can also blend into your clinic.
You observe for a few moments, and conclude that it is much more efficient to let them reveal themselves. You can’t distinguish their numbers yet, so you deliberately take out teacups one by one, placing them on the counter.
“There’s no need to hide, fairies.” You speak as you pull out tea leaves and teapot, only to find that you have no hot water. A few moments pass, and you start to suspect that there really is no fairy around.
After starting a fire to boil water and putting an entire line of cups on the bar top, you sense a blurry blob of life force, characteristic to fairies. Now you are sure that they are hiding.
“You know, no one hurts any fairies in my clinic, so you have no worries,” you say again. You glance at their general direction and gesture at the line of cups.
Finally, three small figures emerge after an empty space near the doorway warping around for an instant.
“Hey! How do you know we are here?” A red-haired fairy in a red dress jumps around the bar counter and sits on a stool, eyes beaming.
“Of course, you three are calling me for power,” you say, while peeking at the heating kettle.
“Did we?” the fairy seems to be a bit confused, while a second curly blond fairy wearing a white dress imitates the maneuver of the first.
“Oww!” she yelps. The next moment, the second fairy fails to stop her momentum and tips over her stool. You reflectively turn to your side and open a pair of portals, trying to catch her-
-except that you catch the stool instead, while the fairy crashes outside the portal.
“Oh, I’m so sorry!” You stand up and look over the counter, while the fairy pulls herself up dusting her dress.
“Don’t worry~ It’s completely normal~” The third black-haired fairy in blue dress claps her hand with a smile which looks completely innocent.
“Come on, Star…” The fallen fairy gave “Star” a small glare as you position and translocate the stool back to its original spot.
“Wow! What was that?” The fairy in red dress jumps up as she sees the appearing stool.
“Do you really want to know?” you say, grinning and seeing the fairies sitting up and nodding vigorously.
You reach out and open the cupboard behind you, and point to the line of cups in front of you. You tap the bar top, and all but four cups disappear and are stacked up in the cupboard with some rattling sound.
“This, is The White Magician’s ultimate spell: Translocation,” you say, sticking out your chest and overflowing with pride. “None can catch up with me as I am as fast as light!” You let out a big smile as you see the wonder on the fairies’ faces. “Now, how about introducing yourself?”
“I am Sunny Milk, the fairy who can bend light.” The first fairy crosses her arms with an energetic smile. “No one can possibly find me even if I stand right here!”
“Ahh, so that’s why…” you say, figuring that she was responsible for hiding the fairies. “That’s some remarkably precise control.”
“I am Luna Child, the fairy who can mute sound.” The second fairy holds a hand in front of her chest. “None can hear me even if I follow right behind!”
“Hmm, I am not so familiar with sound,” you comment.
“I am Star Sapphire, the fairy that can sense living things.” The third fairy backs her hand. “Nothing that moves can hide from me!”
“Wow, I wish I can do that too!” you said, remembering your struggle in distinguishing life force and spiritual calls.
You hear the boiling of the kettle behind and proceed to make tea.
“All right, just remember that fairies are welcome in this clinic,” you say, then add, “if you don’t play pranks around here.”
Then comes a lighthearted fairy tea time. You wonder whether you should stock up some biscuits for visits of fairies and other kids.
-o-o-o- Stock scene, isn’t it?
Novice thinks about tanks, expert thinks about trucksMadScientistCarl2017/12/28 (Thu) 08:30No. 40917▼
(…continued) The next part is not written yet, but I decide to put these up first to break the hiatus. -o-o-o- Around half an hour later, you see the reoccurring Outsider walking straight at your place, and the fairies quickly hide themselves and seem to be gone. Although, you have a feeling that they are still around.
At your heightened state, you can sense that the man is filled with gloom. Something must have happened, and you concentrate a bit to deflect the pain caused by the resonance.
The man drops onto one of the stools, lets out a long sigh, and slumps his shoulder.
“Do you serve booze?” the man asks in a hoarse voice.
“Sorry, I don’t,” you say. “You seem to be unhappy. How about trying my Spiritual Healing?”
“No need. I can kind of do that to myself.” The man grabs one of the teacups on the counter and drains it, then apologizes and starts to stand up. “Sorry for bothering.”
“I remember sending you through the border,” you ask, “so why did you come back?”
The man sits down heavily, pinching his hand against his short beards. “This is on the surface, so I have no place to return.”
“What do you mean by ‘surface’?” you ask, glancing up to study the man’s feature. He seems to be in his mid-twenties, but he also seems to suffer some injuries in the past, already gaining a few old scars.
“Ah, I am not supposed to say that!” The man shoots up his head and slams his face into his fist.
You are a bit taken back by his frustration, but you prepare a new cup for him anyways. “Young man, something unpleasant seems to be occupying your mind,” you say as you gauge your own status, “if you don’t mind, I might be able to help you.”
The man briefly looks into your eyes with a weary expression, stays silent for a while, before starting.
“Look, this e… place is beautiful, no doubt. But I am an Outsider, I can’t go anywhere, and that is not the problem.”
“It normally wouldn’t bother me, because…” The man interrupts himself with a gulp of tea. “But when I really get to know the magnitude of the incident those Yokai can cause, I just want to stop caring to prevent…” He makes light cough, taking another sip. “I mean, what the hell are you supposed to do when someone can make spring never comes?”
“I can’t pinpoint it yet, but I think you made a mistake somewhere…” You scratch your chin, thinking. “Let’s see, you are thinking that some Yokai have enough power to start an incident single-handedly, while the humans rarely have anything to match, except for the miko?”
“Not quite my point, but go on.”
“Well then, I admit that less than a handful humans can solve an incident, like Reimu, but you do know that most Yokai require the presence of human to exist, right?” you said, raising an eyebrow while thinking a few steps ahead.
“Doesn’t change the fact that we can’t do anything, huh?” The man gives a tired glance.
“So you think that the humans can’t do anything… Give me a moment.”
You look around, trying to find an interesting object. You look at the bag of dried sweet potatoes around the corner, and shake your head.
“Firstly, messing with food production is plain stupid, pass this one.”
After a few moments, you pull out the roll of newspaper Aya gave you some time ago. You consider for a moment, before mildly grinning.
“OK, I think I found a way to cause an incident, in an ‘Outside’ way which is probably within the power of the humans. Probably,” you say. “A white magician must practice thinking about logistics.”
“Well, that doesn’t really address my worry, but you interest me, so please explain.” The young man sits up a bit, somewhat less gloomy than before.
You nod, then place the newspaper on the counter and ask, “looking at this roll of newspaper, what clues do you get?”
The man thinks for a moment and say, “I know the tengu here are found of gossips and news, and there are many individual reporters. I do not think their rivalries are enough to cause an incident, however.”
“What does rivalry have to do with this?” you ask, but continue without an answer. “Anyways, this newspaper is made of newsprint and ink, which implies printing presses, paper mills, and ink production.”
You pull out a piece of paper, and start to draw a tree diagram.
“Ink is consisted of pigment, let’s assume Carbon Black for simplicity, and probably a solvent. Carbon Black is probably produced in some sort of kiln.” You add in branches from the ‘ink’ section. “Paper mills need sources of wood and other chemicals, especially solvents, to remove impurities, adjust chemical properties, etc.”
“Fair enough.” The man nods.
“Printing presses and paper mills also have machineries, which means production of metal.” You add ‘metal’ into the graph. “I assume that Gensokyo doesn’t have all the metal ores in the world, and it has magic, so this part is actually dubious. I don’t believe they have plastic, though.”
“All of these require power to run. Here, they have a few options,” you say, while quickly brainstorming. “Wind, solar, water, wood, and probably geothermal energy. Wind and solar are unlikely unless they use electricity, while the others can use mechanical energy or steam.”
You draw a large rectangle enclosing the entire graph. “Up to here, they need wood and metal for machinery, pigment, and probably fuel, certain crops for production of solvents since they probably don’t have petroleum. Let’s stop here for the production part.” You take out another piece of paper, and start to make a second draft.
“Now, you don’t see smoke and toxic substance pouring out of the tengu’s mountain, so they must have some post-processing. Biomass reducing for printing press and other crop-based productions. Then there’s the need for filters and other stuff for chemical treatment.” You append the graph. “I don’t know a lot in these fields, so let’s just stop here.”
You circle Carbon Black. “Dust explosion.” You circle solvents. “Vapor explosion and pressurized chambers for production.” You circle electricity. “High voltage.” You circle steam. “High pressure pipelines.” You circle all chemicals. “Spills.” You circle biomass treatment. “Methane and hydrogen.”
Finally, you point at all the uncircled parts. “Of course, there are a thousand ways for these places to go wrong. Think about all the transportation, conveyer belts, and anywhere that accumulates static electricity or causes friction, anywhere that contains pressure, any exothermal reactions, hydraulic shock, fatigue, etc. Let’s pray that the tengu have OHSA compliance, otherwise when all their plants are stuff inside the same mountain…” You raise your eyebrows suggestively. “You get the point.”
After a long silence, the young man lifts his gaze from the graphs.
“Well, that’s… well analyzed,” the man says, “but did I come here for this…? Anyways, I feel much better for some reason, thanks. I am now nervous for a different reason, but I can handle that.”
Said that, he stands up, then turns back and stuffs a paper bill into your donation box. “By the way, I am Miska Hahn, in case you forgot.”
You nod as he turns back, then you look at the two pieces of paper you produced.
Even though you sidetracked a bit, you still think it is a good reminder that you should think logistically instead of focusing too much on raw power.
Now it’s time to relax your mind. You feel like you missed something, but you assume that it is not very important.
(continued…) -o-o-o- Thanks for the random name generator!
Another drawingMadScientistCarl2017/12/28 (Thu) 08:30No. 40918▼
It's sort of failure in comparison to the original, which has really dramatic lighting. I used all the wrong colors, and drew it too small with those thick dusty pastels.
I'd like some comments on my writing. Not grammar, since I know I made some mistakes in my previous update because I checked only twice and it was after midnight (when I was on reduced computation capacity). Plot? Characters? Consistency? Deus ex machina (I hope not)?
My plan is to try steering the MC back towards the logistics side. Now I recognize the challenge of using a single viewpoint...
Did we just enable a potential terrorist or did i understand that wrong?
Also what do you mean with steering the MC back to the logistics side?
As far as plot goes there is no real need for some far reaching plot except for the general Touhou stuff happening in the background while our Magician helps Keine organize/protect the villagers during the incidents (IN stage 3 midboss anyone?), or for some more action involve herself somehow (her own path during PoFV?).
Regarding Characters i must say that most of the OCs beyond the MC you have introduced are kind of forgettable, except the dwarfes because they are pretty much walking stereotypes which is fine as long as its not to prominent. That however might be mostly because we as players went mainly for the fairy options.
And as far as i remember the story has been fairly consistent and ive noticed no major plotholes or something. As for the deus ex machina? This is Gensokyo, straight up divine intervention is very much a possibility!
That MissionMadScientistCarl2018/01/06 (Sat) 15:59No. 40922▼
It has been days after you retreated back to the stability of your clinic, and you feel much better now. You step out into your field, and take a look.
As small as your field is, it is almost a mess. You have to admit that as an urban person, you lack proper farming techniques.
"At least, weeds are not growing all over the place, given the amount of life energy here." You silently console yourself, watering the plants through a portal directly under a hand pump.
The sound of a bell.
A familiar voice travels from the bar area just as you start considering creating a crop circle of some sort. You close the portal, then translocate behind the bar. As expected, Atsutane is poking his head over the bar top. You reach out to ruffle his hair as usual, drawing out negative energy from the boy.
"What are you looking for, Atsutane?" you ask, smiling and confirming that you have recovered a bit.
“Um,” the boy fidgets a bit, "could you take me to the shrine?"
"Well," Atsutane averts his gaze, "I promised a girl to meet her at the shrine today..."
"Girl?" You are slightly surprised. "Is it Imari? There are better places for a date, you know."
"No!" Atsutane says, shaking his head vigorously, his cheeks slightly blushing. "She is, she is..." His voice hesitates and becomes silent.
"I, I don't remember"-Atsutane scratches his head, turning and pacing nervously-"but I know I made that promise!"
"Alright, relax," you say, holding the boy's shoulders, calming his energy field.
Atsutane moves around against your hands for a while before finally relieving his tension.
"Why the shrine, anyways?" You look into his eyes, encouraging him to answer.
"She says there is a flower viewing party."
"Flower?" you say, glancing over the walls of the village. "Are there still cherry flowers at the shrine?"
"Maybe?" Atsutane pauses, then pleads with a light voice. "Please don't tell Keine... She's not going to let me go that far..."
"Whatever you think, I am not the best escorter," you say, checking up your energy flow and considering your options.
What shall you do?
[ ] Keine may disagree with the trip, but ask her anyways. [ ] It may be bad to break promise with... who? Escort Atsutane to the shrine. [ ] Others?
Your Status - Sane and Healthy - Active(?) curse. Slightly more sensitive to negative energy.
Your Inventory - Water skin. Filled with fresh water - Dagger. Sharp and sturdy, good for utility and self-defense - Fan. Just a fan - Wooden Rod. - Case of paper charms. - Some coins. - A less-crude map of Gensokyo. You can shoot the map around the Human Village