There's two now, I think.
A pretty serious debate's been going on in your head for the last couple moments about whether you need the information on the other Tablet or the extra juice in yours to deal with any appreciable threats. Then you recall that every time you've jumped into something without thinking it's bitten you in the rear somehow and you'd prefer to avoid having to deal with that situation again. Especially not when your life is on the line here. With the wild mons you've met so far, the only real threat to you is that they would have domesticated you and kept you for food and sex, which is admittedly one of the better ways to live out the rest of one's life if you had to choose. Here? You nearly died twice in the last fight against those ghosts alone
and Rumia almost got strangled herself.
Normally you'd be a touch more urgent about getting back to your girls in full, but at the same time you also acknowledge that you can't do anything for them if you're dead. Thus, you authorize the power transfer and start the agonizingly slow, seven-minute wait while you rummage through the bag of that poor, unfortunate trainer to see if there's anything left in there that's usable.
Your tablet blips and informs you that it is beginning the transfer, slowly but surely putting bits of its own power into the other tablet. It also helpfully informs you that it negated the other tablets attempt to stop the non-proprietary attempts to recharge it. That just leaves you with six minutes and forty seven seconds to sit here and wait, camping out and hoping nothing finds you.
...Don't horror games usually have like roaming enemies who will show up if you stay in one place for too long?
Rumia is kneeling down beside you, leaning up against you. Her presence is a comforting warmth as you sit in here in this cold, dank wine cellar. "What're you doing?" She asks of you, curiously looking at the tablets in your hand, "...Oh! Do you have Furious Yukkuris on your gameboxthing?" She asks you suddenly.
You put an arm around her since she's there. "I prefer Flowers versus Zombie Fairies myself, but I'm just waiting for my Tablet to power up the other one. I'm not sure if you heard any of it, but this belonged to one of the victims of this place and I want to see what got her in the end."
"Plus it's a good excuse to see what else is in this bag. There's probably some balls in here, but I'm not too sure about any medicine and if this trainer had any Berries they're probably mummified by now." You continue, sorting through the bag with one hand as you wait.
You rustle through her bag as you briefly consider playing a rousing game of Flowers versus Zombie Fairies. You can't relaly get yourself into the mood for it though, so you decide to not. Rumia just lets out a thoughtful hum from beside you as she watches you root through the bag, "I see..." She lays her head down on your shoulder, peering over and watching you as you sort through the mess of the bag. It's... really something you'll admit. It's like you thought. Mummified berries, food for humans that's probably expired by now even in its cans and packages, medicine for touhoumon, standard pattern touhouballs and a... oh hey, a Quick Ball.
Well now, that alone makes this not a total loss, plus the extra balls are balls you don't have to pay for. You check the expiration dates on that medicine for good measure while silently lamenting that one of the more useful aspects of a trainer's bag is effectively gone. It doesn't seem like she had any TMs either, which is a shame. ...Then again, considering the fact that they're so expensive, you could understand why.
You sort of want to go through her Key Items pocket too, if she has anything. While it might be borderline sacred territory for some trainers and you'd normally respect the sanctity of it, you're also in a terrible position and the original owner is in no position to argue.
You go rustling through the key items pocket and find a bunch of keys and packets that your instincts tell you aren't related to any sort of quest you're on, and...
...a knife. It's a sharp, straight and narrow blade. Viciously sharp and polished to a mirror sheen. It's obviously a weapon made for thrusting and has a silvery tint to it.
And you're pretty sure that this is one of those cases where you have to solve the mystery or die trying, and you're sure as Keineshit not going to die if you can help it.
As you finish your examination, you glance over at the screen and are shocked to see it at seven minutes. But how-Oh, no it's not there it's much lower, being about 4:13 now.
"...Say Zekey. What are you doing here anyways?" Rumia asks you curiously.
Right, you never did fill Rumia in on that. "Well, I was taking part in an impromptu tournament right after my girls evolved, and one of my opponents was this frail-looking girl named Erika. She had that Yuyuko with her, and a Youmu as well, and thankfully the former was holding back and my Merlin was audacious enough to pull an effective, if not embarrassing erotic knockout." You're still heavily embarrassed by that incident. "After the battle, Erika slipped me a map that lead me to her mansion, and I decided to pay her a visit." Your somehow-managed smile slips into a small frown after that. "You can see how well that
"I had the pecking order between her and her girls completely wrong, but at the same time, it's not like I had any way of knowing that." You squeeze Rumia a bit as you continue. "She had a decidedly protective Youmu so I thought she just wanted to invite me without her mons knowing. Given how things have gone here, I have to wonder if it wasn't her asking for help."
"Uhm...the Youmu? She..." Rumia seems to be trying to remember something, "...The Youmu looked sad, and when I was watching her she'd forget her food when she left, so I'd eat it then!" She informs you helpfully, "...The Yuyuko is scary and bad. She's worser than dolls."
...Sad? Well, that paints an interesting picture about the dynamics of those three. The Yuyuko is currently holding the highest position in the household, but isn't
interested in you. Given how you're touhoumon bait, this almost certainly means that her heart already belongs to someone else and that she might not accept anyone else. Erika is clearly important, yet also lower on the list. Since the Yuyuko is above her in station and Erika herself seems to be of a noble family, you're guessing that said Yuyuko must belong to one of her parents.
Parents who are absent, you note.
Well, could be absent, anyway. But given how this place could give Mansion of the Dead a run for its money, and that this place has been decrepit for... about thirty years, you'd think? If they were present and this was how they ran things... you shudder to think about it. Hopefully it's just some wanton disaster.
Aside from that, there's still a big Youmu-shaped hole in the hierarchy here, and you don't have enough to work with to determine where she fits into it.
But if she's sad... That's just more guesswork on your part.
"That's definitely interesting, and true on the part of the Yuyuko. She is worse than dolls." You recall the doll once more. "Speaking of which, I should probably look into getting that doll to go away somehow. You were right about it being cursed, I think."
As for you... you've got no idea how to go about getting rid of a cursed doll. You aren't exactly lugging around a case of holy water, and you don't have any touhoumon capable of blessing the water for you. Meaning you've got to find some other way to get rid of it before it does something to cause you problems.
...You also note that the Tablet say it has three minutes and thirty-three seconds left. You're almost entirely certain time itself is slowing down somehow for it to be going this slow.
Or there's some incompatibility that's slowing things down and throwing off the projections. It's more likely that you're just innately aware and slightly paranoid about how much time this is taking, thus making time seem like it's going slower. If you and Rumia were rutting, you're certain time would fly.
Alas, you're in no position for that, and must wait for the charge-up to finish. You wind up petting Rumia to help pass the time.
Rumia's hair is delightfully soft to the touch and pleasing to your senses as she hums happily at your touch and lean into you, ending up lying half-way onto your lap and humming delightedly as you pet that wonderful hair of hers. It's so silky and soft and nice to the touch. How do touhoumon get their hair that way when they live in the wild so much?
It's one of the great mysteries of the world that you'll have to solve later, though you imagine that Touhoumon may just have superior hair quality by default.
As you happily not that your tablet is down to One minute and twenty five seconds, you watch it suddenly flicker to four minutes thirteen seconds and then back again, repeating this several times as you feel the air start to become deathly chill. Your vision goes 144p again and you hear the harsh, desperate whisper, "Give it back...!
"...Crap." You leave the trainer bag since it's no longer useful to you, but you take both Tablets and stuff them in your bag, grab Rumia, and book it toward the closest door you can manage. Namely, the door that leads up and out of this room.
You bolt for the door up and out of the room, avoiding the ghost before she even enters your field of view. As you belt up the stairs, you hear a tiny little giggle from your bag. A giggle of malicious, dark glee.
Or maybe you're just imagining.
The door at the top of the stairs is open, thankfully. It leads to a very large kitchen with several stoves, ovens and even more than one large refrigerator in it. There is also a large amount of readily available counterspace and many cabinets. Were it not for the fact that the house is haunted as all get out, you would love this kitchen. It's pretty great.
Well, since you're here you might as well look around and see what there is to find since you've got... oh, right. Tablets out first. Since they're still connected you just pull out yours and leave the other in your bag and check on how close they are to being done since you'd like to be able to repel ghosts as opposed to constantly running from them.
...a minute and four seconds? This is just getting completely ridiculous. There's no way that it only took that look.
...Where'd Rumia go?
You look around for said darkness youkai. Since this is a food storage area and she said she was kinda hungry before, odds are good she'd be rummaging around for food.
As you expected, you find her head first in the fridge. The sounds of something being devoured tells you that your guess as to what she was doing is exactly right. "Thesh cheesh cubesh are sho deliciousch!" She informs you helpfully on the matter of the cheese cubes and their taste.
As for you, you're more concerned in looking around the room. You can see a butchers block set aside and the numerous knives there that show signs of usage on their handles, and aside from that you can see at least three doors besides the one you came up from leading out of here. You are crippled by the choices presented with so many cabinets to loot and doors to make use of.
Well, first off you put the Tablet away for now, second you start hoping that some mon doesn't ambush you in the process of looking through this place, because that's what you're going to take care of first. Every room so far has had something useful, be it immediately so or clearly showing a use for later.
The chill of the house gets to you as you hear and feel it creak and settle, a seeming sigh of cold air brushing past your back.
...and then the sound of steel being drawn.
Steel being drawn? You turn around, slowly so as to not actively provoke the individual you think it is, and try to get a look at her.
You don't see anything though.
...And then a knife comes hurtling straight at your face, thrown from the butchers block where you can see a visible distortion in the fabric of space there, another knife being drawn from the block even as you instinctively and desperately avoid the first one which is coming too fast...!
And a hand snaps out in front of and stops it, grasping the blade between two fingers as its owner hefts up a bulky looking box with a protrusion in the front and presses a button on its top. There's a loud noise and a bright flash of light. A ghostly figure bursts into existence for a brief moment by the butchers block and wails its misery as it collapses to the ground and fades away.
Standing beside you now is a Youmu. She seems familiar to you, but...
...Her clothes are decidedly worn and have nicks and marks on them here and there which you can see skin through, and her hair is untidily kept. Her eyes are empty and have signs of exhaustion around them. "So." She speaks, her tone soft and without invective, "You've survived."
"It's hell on Earth." The Youmu responds simply as a piece of film slides out of her apparently camera which she snatches up and examines for a moment, considering the nature of it for a moment before a twitch of her fingers shreds the film to a thousand tiny pieces, "I would think that all the dead people would tell you that."
"I figured that. I've already run into... three ghosts, at least? Almost a fourth... and two of them had branches sticking out of them. A butler left an apocalyptic log to be found, and a trainer's tablet recorded her last moments before something got her." You rattle off everything you've run into so far, and it's pretty easy to tell that you're just a touch stressed, and you rub your temple after that. "It really doesn't help that I got separated from my girls either."
"Yuyuko was always a capable strategist." Youmu responds disinterestedly, dusting off her clothing from the bits of shredded picture that ended up on it and barely noting your existence. You notice beyond her that Rumia is tensed in the fridge, a slight twitch in her back telling you that she knows that Youmu is there and isn't moving yet for some reason.
"...Get out of the refrigerator." Youmu snaps, her tone taking on an annoyed tone, hostility in her voice. Rumia immediately replies, moving away from the fridge and shutting as Youmu stalks away from you and to where the ghost was, a glinting object laying on the ground now that she stoops to pick up. You notice that the weapons on her hip...aren't the swords that Youmu tend to use, or even the same style of them. They're more...brutal and blunt weapons meant for chopping rather than an elegant katana that could bisect a knight with a single vertical slash.
And she's not talking much either. You just get the impression that she's dealt with far too much in her life, so you opt to get straight to the point. "Is there any way to make this place stop
being hell on earth, then?"
"Take your touhoumon and leave." Youmu tells you bluntly, "You'll only get killed staying here. If you can make it over the wall... follow the Lunar Moths and they'll guide you out of Yuyuko's range of control." She's not answering your question.
"I need to find my girls first, at least." You say, noting that she's not exactly giving you an answer.
"Your band is upstairs in the music room." Youmu tells you simply, raising a hand and pointing to one of the doors in the room, "Take that door and follow the hallway until you reach a staircase. Go up it and then take a right and keep going until you reach the last door on the left side of the hallway. They'll be there."
The Youmu seems to examine the object she picked up, disinterest on her face before she speaks up again, "Your slime is somewhere else. Last I saw, she went underground in pursuit of you after she'd dealt with that incompetent trio.
"So she's probably somewhere back along the way I came..." You say more to yourself than to anyone else. Still, this is all good news. You know your girls are alright and that Mystia was full of it. ...Well, they're alive, anyway. Still, something else is bothering you. She's using the type of camera that would take the film you picked up before. "Oh, before I forget." You take out the two film containers and hold them up. "Are these yours, by any chance? I found them while sweeping through the underground storage rooms."
Youmu turns and looks at you over her shoulder at you, "Most everything in this house is mine, to some degree." She responds simply, looking at what's in your hands and drawing closer to you again, subtle hints in how she walks unnerving you to some degree as she reaches out and takes the film from you, "Thank you all the same."
"No problem." You say in response. "...So if things are like this, why did Erika slip me that map?"
"I couldn't say." Youmu responds as she tucks away the film out of your sight, "I was not consulted on it. If I had been, I would have told her to keep you away." That blunt admission isn't all that surprising to you, you'll admit.
You nod in response to that. "I can't imagine it being for malicious reasons though. She seems like a genuinely sweet girl."
"There isn't a malicious bone in Erika's body. Her actions are... misguided, if anything. Guided by being exposed to the wrong sort of sources and stories." Youmu shifts and then turns away from you, walking away again, "Remember what I told you to do. Follow the directions I gave you and get out of the house and the territory. Leave, and don't come back. It will be on your own head if you don't."
"You've already seen what happens to adventurers who stay here too long." She adds on, the threat of what you've seen hanging over your head like a blade.
You sigh, and internally acknowledge that that's all the more you're going to get out of her, at least for now. Still... Time to check on your Tablet again. You can no longer afford to have that thing hanging uselessly at your side charging up that other Tablet.
...Seven minutes left-oh no wait it's saying that it completed the seven minute operation. Oh, that's good. Of course, with Youmu leaving you find yourself with a choice to make. This may be your only chance to get information out of her if you ask the right questions the right way... or you could make a nuisance of yourself and make her mad.
[ ] Try to get some actual information out of the Youmu.
-[ ] How to ask her, though?
[ ] She's done talking, and that tablet's fully charged. No reason to annoy the Youmu.
Deadlier than your usual game show.
[ ] Follow the Youmu's directions and get to your girls.
[ ] The white painted one on the right looks good.
[ ] The unpainted one on the left seems interesting.