[x] Let Youmu have this chance to show her stuff! [x] Use the Dex
Aw. It looks like there's no way out of this without fighting, huh? ...That's pretty disappointing, but... Well, Youmu seems to be pretty into it. She's sure ready to fight, so...
"...Um, go ahead, Youmu." You say, a little hesitant to actually authorize the violence that's about to proceed.
Youmu immediately moves in front of you, skidding up to the edge of the water and readying her sword as she stares up and out towards the Cirno who has been mocking your group, her whole body tensed like a coiled spring ready to release.
Mima only huffs for a moment before floating back to you and leaning on your shoulder, declaring that she's willing to let Youmu have dibs this time. Besides, she prefers actual challenges and not sacks of hot air.
Yukari remains wary atop your head, not actually going back to sleep as you feel her settle down to watch what's coming up.
Reisen shifts into a better position to protect you now that Youmu has moved into the front to fight, her ears twitching as she tries to listen all around now.
"Pffft, Chibis. What's a chibi going to do to me?" The Cirno shrugs her shoulders mockingly at the Youmu before her, grinning down at her with a toothy smile, "I'm bigger, stronger and better than all of you put together! I'm the strongest here!"
It's at this point Youmu moves. She blurs and shifts for you start to see double as she hurtles forward and begins to...run across the water? Each footstep leaves little droplets and rippled as she zigs and zags at high speeds towards the Cirno, whose eyes flit here and there trying to track Youmu.
"Heh, you're fast, but no matter how far you run you won't escape from this! I'll finish this farce with one blow!" The Cirno brings her hands above her head as you feel the air around you chill even more drastically, and icicles begin to form in the air around her, "Icicle Fall!"
And they do. All of the Icicles begin to drop, crashing into the lake rapidly, one after another and leaving no place safe as you watch Mima and Reisen both move in front of you, deflecting or destroying any of them come too close to you while more pepper the ground some distance from you. One Icicle that hurtles towards you straight on suddenly stops mid-air, and glows a light purple as it collapses in on itself rather unpleasantly. There really wasn't any place safe from that attack!
"Youmu!" You're worried. Is...is she okay? You lost sight of her while that Cirno was attacking, with all the ice flying around and Mima and Reisen destroying things, and...
...Apparently, Youmu actually managed to find the one safe place from the attack. Right on top of the Cirno, in her face. Youmu hangs in the air, her sword sheathed again and her hand on it as she and the Cirno seem to watch each other for an infinite moment. Then, Youmu strikes. In a flash of her blade, Youmu draws and cuts down sharply on the Cirno as the Cirno attempts to back pedal but fails to avoid the attack. The moment Youmu's feet touch the water she disappears again, blurring up once again as she avoids a much larger chunk of ice getting shot at her at high speeds before it shatters into numerous smaller, sharper pieces of ice.
The Cirno holds a hand across her chest as she produces more and more of those dangerous Ice Chunks and tries to intercept Youmu as she zigs and zags, "I'm going to make you pay for that, you...!" The Cirno is furious and seems to have totally lost her cool at being harmed. Did she expect to not get touched at all?
"Be careful, Youmu." You worry about her, as you watch. Chewing your lip, you reach for that tablet of yours, hoping to at least get an idea of the enemy's relative power. If you need to send someone in to help Youmu, it would be good to know, right? ...And you never even took the picture of Youmu that the other girls had taken, either...
Well, maybe do Youmu first? That whole scanning thing only does take a moment, doesn't it? You fiddle with it for a moment before aiming the camera at Youmu.
You try for a few moments to get Youmu centered to be scanned with her zipping around like crazy, driving the Cirno up the wall while slipping in to deliver the occasional dash by scratch that usually results in the Cirno curling up protectively and minimizing the damage being done to her before going back to hurling ice at where Youmu seems to be.
Thankfully, your tablet helpfully informs you that it has interfaced with Youmu's touhouball and it can use that data. Well that's good!
CYoumu: The 'Ghostly Gardener' type touhoumon, CYoumu is the earliest stage of the Youmu line. Youmu's are disciplined and loyal touhoumon who bond quickly with their trainers when introduced to them, making them an ideal starter touhoumon. CYoumu are generally found in areas inhabited by Yuyuko touhoumon, and the two can regularly be found as a 'pair'. However, there have been a fair number of Youmu who are seemingly lone wanderers.
As you hear the Cirno scream in fury as Youmu scratches her again, you watch Youmu's combat data come up.
HEALTH LEVEL: ABOVE AVERAGE ATTACK LEVEL: EXTREMELY HIGH DEFENSE LEVEL: ABOVE AVERAGE SPECIAL ATTACK LEVEL: GOOD SPECIAL DEFENSE LEVEL: AVERAGE SPEED LEVEL: EXTREMELY HIGH Overall Combat Ability: Very High
Average Estimate Combat Level: 12-Correction, 13.
As you finish parsing the information, you see Youmu hurtle past the Cirno while aiming a cut for her ankles, getting the Cirno to stumble for a moment as Youmu blitzes about the lake to avoid retaliation.
Wow...as expected of Youmu, she's super-impressive! And so fast! That Cirno...you feel bad for her. She never really did have any chance, did she? It's practically over, to your completely inexperienced eye. But you aim the camera anyway, curious. How do the two match up?
You see your scanner start to go to work as it processes the Cirno, who seems to be frozen in place at the moment. Her defensive curls have made most of the damage done to her cosmetic and annoying at best after the first strike Youmu unleashed, but even so it looks like she's getting worn down. At least, that's what your tablet is telling you as it runs up to 100% on the scan. As it finishes, it lets out a little beep and speaks to you again.
Cirno: The 'Ice Fairy' touhoumon. Cirnos are known for their brash and rambunctious attitudes that can make them difficult for a novice trainer to handle, in addition to the common issues with raising Fairies. Their ice powers are actually rather varied and potent in straight combat. Cirnos are found in areas frequented by other Fairies, especially cold environments, and in 'Misty Lake'-type Mysterious Places.
...But there's no battle data, not like what you got out of your girls.
But wow, still. She's supposed to be a strong fighter, and she's got a whole evolution on Youmu, but she's still getting pretty easily defeated, at least to your eyes. You're impressed. Youmu's strong! It's really impressive what she can do, when she doesn't have someone all yelling at her and stuff...
"I've had ENOUGH!" Cirno snaps, throwing her hands out as Youmu hurries away while the lake begins to freeze over around Cirno who looks rather out of sorts, "You...you...you jerk! I'll show you what you get for doing this!"
Cirno raises both of her hands up in the air and you feel a chill wash over you as Mima shifts closer to you and Reisen moves around you to better see the situation.
Aside from the place getting colder and the lake around her freezing a bit more, you don't really see what's-is it getting darker? Glancing up at the sky shows you odd, rapidly developing clouds that look exceedingly unfriendly with the roiling, black undersides. Cirno however seems very happy to see them, "I'll batter you all down with hail and freezing rain!"
Oooooh, wow. She can do that? That, uh, that's.....certainly intimidating. Faced with the prospect of being caught out in the open in a big hailstorm, like this... That's pretty dangerous. For everyone, even. And you'll get all wet and cold and maybe you'll get sick and that would be just awful!
Youmu hesitates for a moment as she tries to develop a plan to deal with the situation as the ice creeps closer. It seems like she doesn't have attacks from a distance, so-!
As the Cirno grins widely, mockingly at you, Reisen jumps in front of you. You cannot see anything, but you do hear a long, wild yell and the sound of ice cracking and something falling into the water.
As Reisen lands now, you can see the Cirno has fallen out of sight...and you're left wondering what that strange red haze in the air is, but you don't have long to worry about that as a ball of hail smacks off of a rock near you and you feel cold, icy rain begin to pelt down around you.
In the distance, you can see the vaguest outline of a large building looming through the mists, faint lights in some of its windows that shine out into the darkness. Is that the Scarlet Devil Mansion..?
Well, whether or not it's the Scarlet Devil Mansion, at the moment it's shelter, and that's something you're starting to need pretty badly out here as the rain and hail begin to crash down in earnest.
"Over there!" You point it out to your girls, "Let's try and get out of the rain!"
The only problem is, if it IS the Scarlet devil Mansion....how are you going to get it? Are you going to try for that hole in the wall Schwarz was talking about? Should you just try for the front gate? ...Decisions are hard!
[ ] Run for the gate, it's closest! - Pierce the Maginot!
[ ] Use that hole in the wall and run for the first door or light you can see! Fall Gelb!
[ ] Use that hole in the wall and then head for the side stairs that lead up to somewhere up in the mansion! Fall Rot!
[ ] Schwarz mentioned something about a 'strange tunnel' he found somewhere outside the wall but...where is it? Operation Barbarossa
Remember that every choice has consequences, good or bad, short term or long term.
[X] Schwarz mentioned something about a 'strange tunnel' he found somewhere outside the wall but...where is it? Operation Barbarossa
Probably pretty stupid of me in all honesty but the words "strange tunnel" just perk my interest. It'll probably screw us somewhere but you can't get far in life without some daring and what's the point of adventuring without going into the unknown?
[x] Use that hole in the wall and then head for the side stairs that lead up to somewhere up in the mansion! Fall Rot!
I'm guessing the choices are Meiling, Sakuya, Remilia, Flandre. The spoilers are all WW2 operations involving France, but I don't see what they're hinting at specifically, if anything. I'm just guessing based off the locations.
I apologize for any lack of clarification on the matter. CYoumu is near you, yes. When Cirno started up the whole 'freeze everything and hail' thing she had to pull back and naturally pulled back closer to you, if only to protect Nebosa from any attack. Once the Cirno was neutralized by Reisen, Youmu would have rejoined you anyway. Besides that Nebosa gave an order to follow him, so she's all over that.
I'll keep in mind the level of detail and information you need for the future.
Going right for the front gate doesn't seem like a good idea because it would involve potentially taking on an opponent in a hailstorm, and that doesn't seem like a good idea when even Steel types take damage from hail.
Going for that strange tunnel feels like it'll head into the basement, which probably means Flandre. Given how strong those can be it'd be silly to try and tackle that now, especially if Flandre mons have access to Dark and Fire type moves.
That leaves going through the hole in the wall, and simply charging into the first opening you can find feels like it'd be the most neutral option. Charging up an external staircase isn't that much worse, but there's a slightly longer exposure to the hail.
That being said, I gotta go with this.
[X] Use that hole in the wall and run for the first door or light you can see!
Well, I may be letting my preference for Meiling speak for me, but I figure that going through the front door might actually be safer. It's one thing to approach and request cover from the weather, it's completely different if you are caught using the weather as cover to break in.
[X] Run for the gate, it's closest! - Pierce the Maginot!
>>182501 Truth be told I can't find anything about Schwarz talking about a tunnel. I can only find something about Rood finding an anomaly centered around an abandoned train station which is like 10 hours north of Hakutown deep into the Great Forest. By comparison, that ghost town we encountered that Keine at is 6-7 hours from Hakutown and the SDM we're close to is only 4 hours from Hakutown. The ghost town was only a few hours away from the SDM.
>>182511 Operation Barbarossa didn't go that bad, in fact, it went really well in the initial stage, right up to Moscow. Of course, it goes downhill from there, but that took a lot of time and the Germans were doing alright beforehand.
The Maginot line was pierced at one point though, at the Sarre River. It didn't go particularly well, but the Germans did end up capturing it.
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[x] Schwarz mentioned something about a 'strange tunnel' he found somewhere outside the wall but...where is it? Operation Barbarossa
That tunnel... well, you don't think there'll be anyone watching it, hopefully, and it'll get you out of the open quicker...it IS outside of the walls and all. HE marked it on your map, if you recall correctly, so... It should be right over...
...Practically right under your feet, looking at this.
Well, it is a tunnel. It looks like you need to slide around the walls that block off the mansion grounds from the outside and keep going past the crack that you could have slipped through. A bit past that you'll be able to get down to the tunnel, it seems.
"Alright, this way, everyone!" You need to get out of the elements in a hurry. There's no time to waste as you start running for the tunnel.
You quickly reach the corner of the wall and start to make your way along the wet, grassy sides of the wall, which you have to stick close to as you'll just end up dropping off a small fall into the lake otherwise. Reisen moves ahead of you, walking carefully along the path even as you see her glancing towards the split in the wall...before accepting your decision and keeping on moving past it. Mima is hovering around you, rising up to glance over the walls and into the manor grounds proper. Yukari is atop your head, and you hear her unfold a parasol which thankfully takes the worst of the rain off of your head...even if your shoulders are still getting soaked. Youmu is right behind you, on edge as she keeps a watch on your rear.
Thankfully, you reach your destination unmolested - a raw, gaping wound in the dark earth, angling down into the depths. Somehow, none of the water pouring out of the sky is flowing into the hole, leaving it surprising dry. ...This is a lot more ominous than you'd expected.
You can hear something echoing up out of the hole, a sound that you hesitate and listen to. Perhaps it's just the wind passing through the tunnel at an angle, but...it sounds like heavy breathing.
"...r-right. Let's...go." This is the place, and...welll, the storm's getting worse. You start down the tunnel, warily. As you walk, something starts to bother you. ...How are there echoes when it's a dirt-walled tunnel?
This just keeps getting creepier.
Reisen moves ahead of you, able to stand mostly upright but with her ears pulled down in front of her to keep from scrapping them along the ceiling of the tunnel. Mima follows along behind you and Yukari is forced to slide off of your head and float along as well. Youmu takes up the rear as a flash of lightning crashes down behind you and temporarily illuminates the tunnel. For a brief moment, you almost think you saw something way down in the darkness.
It's a tight fit, as you hunch your way down the tunnel. Except for the occasional lightning strike, it's pitch black in here, and the walls seem to press in around you, stifling and close.
The tunnel is a long crawl, that much is for certain. Behind you, you can hear the sounds of the storm still raging outside. Slowly, that sound begins to fade and you find yourself in increasing darkness. You cannot see now. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.
But that's just silly. There's no such thing as-
Suddenly you find your grip on the floor to become far less reliable as you shift from dirt to water covered rocks. You have only a moment to parse your leg sliding out from underneath you before you're sent flying down into the darkness.
"Uwaaaahhhh....!" You can't help but shout in surprise as you go sliding down the tunnel, completely out of control.
You hear your girls panic as you go sliding down rapidly, and you can hear them rushing to catch up with you even as you accelerate further down the now slick stone walls. You guess this does answer the question about how it was echoing before. As fast as it began, you suddenly come out of the tunnel and bounce on your ass off of a stone floor. You are still in complete darkness.
"...Owww." You sit there for a moment, sore and disoriented.
You can hear sounds from somewhere in the darkness. It sounds like the wind is somehow whistling and making a distant girlish giggle or something! Hahaha...
You carefully climb to your feet, and back up, hands groping for the wall. You're a little turned around, but you should have come out right over here, so the wall should be...
...Ah. Where's the wall? Feeling around you carefully you can't actually find it at all! All you can feel is empty space and the cold, hard floor of this place, slick with water behind you.
That's... That's not good. Not at all. You look around, nervously, unable to see anything as you suddenly wish you'd remembered to pack a flashlight or something.
You hear noises in the dark. The quiet sounds that you think are hushed foot steps. You can't tell but you think they're getting closer and closer...until suddenly, a light shines out right next to you!
You startle, recoiling slightly from the sudden bright light as it blinds you briefly.
"Ah?!" You shield your eyes from the light for a moment, while they try to adjust.
...Thankfully, above you is only Mima. She holds her staff over her head and is grinning down at you, seemingly both relieved to find you and amused by your reaction. Behind her is Youmu. You do not see Yukari or Reisen yet, but they're probably nearby and just scoping things out...right?
You relax a bit, smiling back up at Mima in relief. There's just something about the dark down here that puts you on edge - it's just ...not right. You can't put your finger down on why, but...
"It's good to see you guys." You tell them, with a sigh of relief.
Mima grins in response to that and you see her open her mouth to respond. It's around that point that everything goes horribly wrong. Mima and Youmu both suddenly tense up, eyes widening as you feel something terrible coming from your left. A glance in that direction shows you an intense, red light that's growing bright by the instant as if it was coming closer.
You barely even process Mima diving one direction while Youmu lunges and drags you another before the howl of wind and stone being torn to pieces takes away your ability to hear anything.
Shaken, confused, and unsure of what's going on, you look back the way the light came from. Everything seems to be moving so slowly, all of a sudden, and it's surprisingly quiet.
A line of fire runs the length of the room from the source of the light, the great flames raging between where you saw Mima dive off to and where you and Youmu are. Even the light of those flames goes only so far into the darkness before coming to a sudden end. Youmu is squeaking at you to get up as she tugs on you, pulling you away from the flames that burn using the stone as fuel.
It's somehow harder to move than it should be, but you manage to clamber to your feet, stumbling away from the vicious, hungry flames. What's going on? What is this...?
You see a bright flash of light from the other side of the flames, presumably Mima using one of the tricks she has up her sleeve-
Only for that light to be immediately countered by another massive wave of heat, light and flame that roars and howls as it consumes the stone and air as it passes by. Youmu is begging you now as she grabs onto your hand and keeps pulling and tugging you away from the fire, doing her best to make you move.
You're moving painfully slowly, you know that, but for some reason your body just doesn't want to co-operate. You just feel so heavy, like something's pressing down on you to the point where it's difficult to even move.
You try to reassure Youmu, you're moving, you're trying, but you can't even hear your own voice anymore.
Youmu keeps tugging on you, keeping you moving as you see another wave of fire followed by a multitude of bright lights flashing out from beyond the fire that's cut you off, letting you know that there's still something moving over there at the very least.
Where are Reisen and Yukari? They should be here too, shouldn't they? Mima needs help, you think... It looks like she's in trouble. Someone should help her. Where are they...?
Youmu keeps desperately pulling you away from the flames even as your eyes search through the dark to try and see any signs of Reisen and Yukari. You cannot find any. At this point, another wave of flame consumes the earth and air on the opposite side, and you do not see the flashes of light in return. The fires between you must be blocking them from your sight.
They must be. Even so, you watch the other side of the flames for the lights. Even as you stumble along behind Youmu, they've got to be there. You're just not seeing them. That's all. That's all.
For a long moment you don't see anything else aside from the fire's already burning rising higher. Youmu's pulled you as well away from them as she can at this point and keeps glancing back to you. One time she glances, you see her eyes widen and lock onto a direction to your right, and you can already see what she's panicked about. A bright red light is storming towards the both of you, the howl of the all consuming flames already starting to fill your ears.
A moment later and you are stumbling on your feet after a brief trip though the air following Youmu using all of her body strength to huck you as hard as she could.
And then the wave of red death consumes the area right behind you, cutting you off from her as well. She must be stuck on the other side now.
...But now you're alone. With Mima and Youmu on the other side of the fires somewhere, and Reisen and Yukari missing, you're cut off from everyone. What...what are you supposed to do now...?
Completely and utterly alone, you're left staring at the crackling flames for a long moment. You can hear distant sounds from somewhere, rumbles and groans as the stone shifts, but the wall of flame keeps you from seeing anything.
You take a step back, away from the flames, and then another. If.... if you stick around here, it might happen again. And this time, there'd be no-one to save you. Just that thought, there's no-one to save me... It runs through your mind, and your fear starts to build, as you back away from the flames, one push away from breaking into a run, anywhere, anywhere but here.
Then you see it. A shadow in the fire. A humanoid shape covered in billowing cloth, looming over you from the light of the flames and seeming to tower impossibly high. Bony wings with rending spines stretch out wide and an impossible event fills your eyes as you swear you see the shadow's 'eyes' glow and a vicious grin appear.
You can feel it in your heart, there is nothing but fire and death here.
"U-uwaaah...!" And that is the push, as you turn, scrambling across the stone floor, fleeing into the shadows cast by the flickering flames as fear consumes you. You can't stay here. You have to run. You have to escape.
You can feel a tangible malevolence begin to grasp your back as you run away with all your strength, fear consuming your mind as you go. You hear the flames cackled hungrily as you run, the heat rising up behind you and scorching your hair as you pump your legs as hard as you can. All you can imagine in your mind's eye behind you are thousands of reaching, gnarled hands made of flame and darkness.
But there's nowhere to run to. There's nowhere to escape. The tunnel you followed down here is somewhere past the fire, and you don't know anything about the rest of this...room. All it seems you can do is run into the darkness until you're caught.
You're so helpless; you can't even run away. You can't get away.
There's no escape.
You can feel it, the malevolence following you like a choking smog. Each breath comes harder for you as your lungs pump like billows to keep up your panicked flight, and with each step it becomes harder and harder to keep moving the lead weights you call legs under the overwhelming pressure being forced down onto your shoulders.
And yet, the high pitched laughter coming from behind in all its broken, discordant madness motivated you to keep moving anyway for just a little while longer.
"Where are you going?" A voice asks in your ear with an almost childish curiosity, the glee at your current situation all too evident in it.
You can't help but to scream, turning your head sharply as you flinch, losing your balance in surprise and tumbling roughly, your frantic, panicked sprint turning into a painful fall.
Battered, dazed, and frightened, you look around, wide-eyed, scrabbling across the floor backwards, not going anywhere but 'away.'
It's hard to breathe; it's even hard to think. You can't do anything at all.
Your last attempt at panicked flight draws another one of those mad, deranged, girlish fits of laughter that echoes from all around you. As you skitter backwards you feel nothing but the cold, stone floor beneath your hands and scraping along your body as you try to flee.
Then, you feel yourself run into a pair of legs and your nose is filled with the scent of copper and wild flowers.
Red eyes and a wide smile stare down at you as wings that carry death aloft spread out, looming over you.
Somehow, though, it seems like she's getting further and further away. Or perhaps the light is fading further? You can't tell, as it grows harder to see through the darkness that's closing in...
Told you all it was a bad idea to go to the basement early. Just gonna stick with my prior vote.
[X] Use that hole in the wall and run for the first door or light you can see!
Though as far as choices go, since we've dealt with the obvious bad end there's a few options left. Now, since this is an SDM location we can assume that we'd find mons appropriate for the area inside. I'd think that if the area boss is a Remilia she'd likely be higher up in the mansion, and if there's a library there'd be a Patchouli/Koakuma ect.. The biggest thing about this choice feels like who we're going to run into first.
Also, while I did guess that going to the gate might cause problems, on the flip side Nebosa could potentially just ask to be let in. I mean, isn't this supposed to be a relatively polite area?
[x] Use that hole in the wall and then head for the side stairs that lead up to somewhere up in the mansion! [X] TouhouFacts Obituaries! Know Your Killer❤!
Well, I doubt we really needed the TouhouFact Obituaries. It was a matter of forgetting what those operations meant. Aaaaand hell, any working knowledge of SDM should have left us being aware of Flandre. Eh, I'll take it for the obligatory failure smut.
Speaking of, anybody playing that new stand-alone Touhoumon game?
Just to be clear you all are talking about Faith and Prayer version right?
Also praise Shinki that this hasn't died yet, all of my favorite stories here die before they end, don't be like them even if it's just "And then Nebosa had to get a hip replacement surgery a month after his mons all got their first evolution THE END."
>>186709 Actually no, we were talking about a new one thats not a Pokemon ROMhack, but rather a new stand-alone version where you are transported to Gensokyo to do Touhoumon stuff. It's Touhou Puppet Performance and it has just been fully translated
>>186733 No, she is not. However, all characters have a standard sprite, an alternate color, and an alternate costume, although all puppets in the same line share sprites. Furthermore, all puppets have two evolutions - three in the forthcoming expansion - and the base form is referred to as "Normal" rather than "Chibi." The evolved forms include Power, Speed, Assist, and Defense, and will be joined by Extra in the expansion. Lastly, the expansion will add wedding clothes to all puppets as an additional alternate costume.
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TOUHOUFACTS:SPECIAL PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT
We here at TouhouFacts have recently been inundated with a large number of questions regarding rumors about an unrecorded 'variant'. We are referring to the supposed variants on Vampire Touhoumon, that came from a particular region within the Holy Nassau Empire. It is well known that the Holy Nassau Empire has been the subject of many rumors over the years. From claims of supposed 'legendary horrors' that reside within their Black Forest (a region with similar classifications as the Smokey Mountains of Eagleland, which it should be noted are completely lacking in 'legendary horrors'), to claims that the current Emperor is under the control of a touhoumon (such an accusation is, of course, patently ridiculous. All else aside, he has often been seen in international meetings well away from the presence of any touhoumon, leaving such rumors with no ground to stand on).
We're here to address the latest rumor to come out of the ridiculous mill and assure you that it is, indeed, nothing more than a rumor.
These supposed 'dragon' vampires are said to come from the Dracul Region within the Holy Nassau Empire, a region famed for its dragon-type population. Strangely enough, there's never been any reports from the International Touhoumon League or with local authorities aside from old wives tales and the claims of shocked individuals who had suffered from a no doubt entirely mundane vampire touhoumon attack, and assigned ridiculous and extremely powerful traits to the attacker that they could not possibly have, a common thing for traumatized, victimized young men to do.
It's far more likely that these are merely the result of rumors being blown out of proportion and spread just like the rumors of 'Ur types' and 'flying golden pyramids', or perhaps even an attempt to sabotage another nation as Sapin was found to have attempted recently.
That these rumors have spread to include places on the New Continent for areas where 'Dragon Vampires' roam just adds another reason to doubt the claims. After all, how could a continent that could only be reached just starting fifty years ago have the presence of touhoumon from the 'Old Continent' itself?
Welp, I think we can safely say that at the very least the Flandre in this mansion is a Dragon type or part Dragon type. Aside from that, it's always kinda neat seeing information on the world's setting.
[x] Use that hole in the wall and then head for the side stairs that lead up to somewhere up in the mansion!
Best to go for the hole in the wall, you think. There's no telling whether you'd be able to get through the gate to shelter, and as for that tunnel...
Well, who knows where that would end up? Best to play it safe. Let's see, according to your map, the hole in the wall should be right over there. It's not too far at all, actually. Probably one of the closest of your options.
"Alright, this way everyone!" You need to get out of the elements in a hurry. There's no time to waste as you start running for that wall.
Your girls react to your call as you would expect. Yukari, who is resting on your head, comes along with you immediately by virtue of having been on your head at the time. Mima quickly rushes ahead of you, waving her staff in the air to stave off being hit by the inclement weather, or perhaps just because she can. Reisen stays close to you, her ears twitching this way and that as her eyes stay focused on the ground in front of her.
You hear Youmu call out behind you and feel the rush of air as she zips from her position to your side, taking up a guard position opposite Reisen from you to keep you safe in this now rather obviously hostile zone.
You and your group move quickly, motivated by the hail raining down around your heads, a hail slowly becoming heavier and being joined by rain now. It's becoming harder to see through the freezing cold abnormal hell weather you're currently in, but you use the wall to navigate and quickly wiggle in through the crack in the outer walls that surround the Scarlet Devil Mansion. Once inside, you find yourself in a lovely garden that's being abused by the weather, the flowers battered by ice and chilled rain.
You only have a moment to consider that before you look in front of you and can see the lights from inside of the Mansion. You could head for the closest one, or...wait, is that a staircase? An exterior one? It's covered too!
"To the staircase!" You direct your girls, as you head for the promise of more immediate safety. "Let's go!" You keep up the quick pace from before, trying to get something over your head before one of you get really unlucky with the hail that's raining down on you.
The packed earth and stone path you find yourself sprinting along is beginning to grow slick with the rain and hail, but your feet don't fail you as you quickly close the distance and duck underneath the covering the stairs provide. Your girls quickly follow along after you, all of which are a bit soaked.
Mima however is rubbing the back of her head, an expression of displeasure on her face as she does so. You begin to worry she might have taken a more serious bump to the head from the hail when you notice Youmu's condition. While lacking any major signs of injury, Youmu's rather obviously received more than a fair amount of graze damage from her encounter with the Cirno of the lake. Despite that, she isn't even showing any signs of her condition to you, or at least she's trying not to. The frosting on her dress and signs of damage here and there tell you enough, especially backed by your instincts.
"Youmu." You can't just let it pass, after all. "...How are you doing?" You'll start gently. Give her a chance to admit it, to rely on you like you do on her. On all of them.
Youmu starts, jerking upright at your voice and her name. She brings her attention onto you and shifts about nervously. Hestitantly, she tells you that she's still in fine condtion and her combat capacity hasn't been diminished.
"That's not what I'm asking." You tell her, gently. "That Cirno was pretty strong, wasn't she? And you fought her almost all by yourself." You want to help her, and you want her to feel like she can rely on you, to trust you to help her in turn.
Youmu looks up at you, her eyes wide and you see her throat move as she swallows subtly. She seems to be not really sure what to say about that, and takes to idly fiddling with her sword in what you figure is a comforting habit for her. She glances over your shoulder, towards Mima, before looking back to you. Hesitant, she speaks again and this time informs you that all she received was scratch and graze damage.
"She had a lot of power behind her attacks, didn't she." You note, with a nod. "It's a good thing you were so fast." You pat your pack, thinking. "I should have a few extra potions on hand, if you want one..." You suggest, leaving it up to her.
She glances towards the ground, then you, then back out into the hail in the direction of the lake and the battle, and then back towards you. Then, she shakes her head and tells you that no, it's okay for now. You might need the potions later when there's more significant injuries, given the probably chances of combat upon entry.
"Alright." You nod, slowly. "If you're sure. But if you want it later, just let me know." You look at the other girls in your group, taking stock. "How is everyone else doing?" Yukari on head, Mima, Reisen... Everyone is accounted for, at least. Reisen pats your leg, showing no real signs of injury or wear on her as her ears quirk towards the mansion, listening for something you cannot. Mima simply gives you a thumbs up and a grin, chattily informing you that it's going to take more than frozen water to slow her down.
Yukari simply paps your cheek with her fan.
"Good." It's something of a relief to see everyone doing so well. You'd worried a little about Mima, when you saw her rubbing her head, but since everyone's in such good spirits, you suppose you shouldn't worry about them too much, yet. "Do you want to head up the stairs, or do any of you want to take a quick breather?" You ask, rubbing an arm absently to warm it up a bit. It's kind of chilly out here, isn't it, even out of the rain and hail itself.
Reisen eyes your ankles before she reaches up and takes your hand, carefully moving you up the stairs slowly, her soft grip urging you towards quiet, patient steps up. Mima, of course, simply floats ahead of you up the stairs immediately, impatiently waiting with a wiggling ghosttail as you move towards her. Youmu falls into step behind you, and Yukari remains on your head, rustling against your hair as she gets comfortable again...or tries to use you for warmth.
The oddly, disconcertingly red stone that makes up the Scarlet Devil Mansion is polished smooth, its surface gleaming now that its been covered in water. There are few windows around the mansion, for rather obvious reasons considering who tends to lie in them. For a moment though, your eyes move up towards a high tower in the rear of the Mansion and you'd think, for a moment, that you saw someone there.
But no. It must have been your imagination, or a trick of the weather. You shake your head, and let Reisen dictate the speed of your climb. She's just being careful, and you can definitely support that. You're always in favour of the careful option, after all.
You wonder, as you climb, where exactly this staircase goes? Why is it here? There's already a bunch of normal doors, at ground level. You assume, at least. There's definitely a front entrance, at least, which you're willing to bet was where you saw the light.
...That is, you realize, an extremely good question. You're not an expert on SDM's by any means, or huge mansions, but this does seem like a somewhat odd place for an external staircase to be. Where could it be leading anyway...?
That's the question you have to ask yourself as you stand outside the door the stairs lead to, Mima hovering expectantly next to it as she glances between you and the door, suggestively.
Well, you're about to find out, aren't you? You move up to open the door. It's time to go inside.
The door is heavy, but still swings open easily enough when you press down on the switch with your thumb. The hinges must be extremely well cared for to move like that. Inside of the door you find...
...a library. A really, really, really big library by the looks of it. Huge shelves tower over you in the dimly lit room, blocking your field of view save down the very long aisles, the one of which you can see straight down just seems to keep going on and on and on. Mima is the first to move inside, floating past you and into the room, glancing around curiously and shaking herself free of the water clinging to her.
"...Wow." Your voice is hushed by instinct, as you look out across the huge room stretching out before you. "...I didn't think it was this big on the outside..." You look around in awe, slowly moving into the building after, of course, closing the door behind you.
The door closes shut with a quiet thump, leaving you and your girls alone in the vast, large, huge, cavernous, volumous library that you've just found yourselves in. You note your girls reactions as Mima's seemingly not impressed with the library itself, or perhaps she's just not the book type given how much of a learn-by-doing sort of person she is. Youmu stays at your side, eyes sharp and constantly scanning this way and that as she strives to be alert for any threat that could appear from anywhere. Reisen has let go of your hand and is now standing calmly on your otherside, her crumpled ears up and at attention as she stands perfectly still.
You think you can hear Yukari making tiny sounds of sleep on your head.
So everyone's pretty much normal. That's good. You turn your attention to your surroundings, instead, moving into the room far enough to enter that aisle in front of you. You're curious - what sort of books are here? Looking at the size of the room, your guess would be 'all of them', but you still want to see, at least right here. It's a good thing it's all straight aisles going in one direction, or it might be easy to get lost in here. But since you have no intention of leaving this aisle, the door will always be right there at the end, where you can find it.
Your girl's hang close to you, save for Mima who floats off a ways from you, drifting down the aisle and glancing at books that sit far above your reach to get to. As for you, you move slowly down the aisle and look at the countless covers that surround you, and you find that you can't even tell what's written on most of them. For instance, a certain book catches your eyes and by the shiny colors the mysterious runes on its surface are, and the strange script that must surely be some kind of magical language.
What could "Естественная красота Матери России: Путеводитель" even mean? Truly, the secrets of such a tome are restricted only to those Touhoumon deeply versed in the mystic arts.
You glance down at Reisen, checking on her as your early warning system in this unfamiliar environment. Her senses, you're willing to admit, are not only far better than yours, but also far more well-tuned - she, you are sure, will miss nothing. It's not that you're paranoid, here in this unnaturally huge library, it's just that... well, some caution should be used, considering where you are. That's all.
Reisen's early warning detection system, by which you mean her crumply ears, are swiveling constantly but you do not see any sign of her having detected anything as of yet. Instead she is simply staring at the books on the lowest shelf curiously. You don't even see her tail doing anything, which was always the clearest tell you could get from her.
Mima meanwhile is hovering somewhere directly above you, shifting about as she mumbles quietly to herself in frustration over how she can't read many of the titles. Wait, Mima can't read many of the titles either? As another magician, you'd have thought that she'd be able to read the magical letters of this place. Whoever's library this is must be...extra powerful to be able to read something like "Suomi: Jää, Alkoholi, ja Epätoivoa. Mutta ainakin meillä on hyvä kirouksia".
What chilling words. They don't sound like anything you've heard in Common, or from any of your girls!
It's so strange! What kind of magician must the owner of this library be? What unspeakable power must they hold? A chill runs down your spine as you contemplate it. Nevertheless, Reisen hasn't sensed anything, and you can't see anything, so you continue further in. It's as interesting as it is strange, so you can't turn around yet. Not yet.
As you continue to make your way down the aisle, you glance about and see numerous more books of the same sort of circumstances. Countless different magical runes and symbols cover their spines. The books themselves are made of a wide variety of materials and vary in whether they're hardback or paperback or even leather!
...Until you finally come across something that you recognize. It's a book in Common, and the title on the spine says "One Hundred and One Places to Visit Before You Die". Huh. That seems out of place. Curious, and not entirely thinking about it too much, you pull the book down off the shelf to look at. It IS something pretty interesting to you. And having places you HAVE to visit sounds a bit better than wandering aimlessly, right?
You pull the book down from the shelf...or rather, you try to do so. As you tug down on it you see Reisen's ears shoot up and for her hand to grab onto your leg...but you've already pulled the book out.
...Nothing seems to be happening though.
You turn, looking down at Reisen, curiously.
"Did you hear something?" You ask, looking around. Just because nothing seems to be happening...
Reisen grabs your hand suddenly and dashes away, dragging you along behind her as Youmu and Mima are forced to follow as quickly as they can. Reisen all but throws you up against the end of one of the stacks you were between and adjusts your arms and legs so they're tucked out of sight. Done with that she dives across the stacks and presses herself up against the next one over, Youmu doing the same immediately after. Mima levitates above your head, waiting while fingering her staff, and Yukari is still asleep.
Like that, you're left waiting.
...but after a minute passes, nothing happens.
But, well. You can't move. You can't speak. Reisen is good at this. She wouldn't have a false alarm, would she? The urge to fidget is strong, but you just watch Reisen. She's the one who knows what's going on - after all, she's the one who put you here. You keep waiting, and a stern look at your ankles from Reisen makes you stop peeking out around the corner of the aisle. Instead you just wait patiently, until...
You hear something. The soft steps of someone approaching you from down the aisle, until they stop a good distance away. Reisen's ear's are quirked, waiting and listening as you hear someone question just why there's a missing book. You hear footsteps, and Reisen takes that as her cue as she darts out from cover and sprints down the aisle. Her departure is followed by a muffled squeak.
You glance out from around the corner of the aisle, now, since Reisen has started...whatever it is she's doing, you figure you don't have to hide anymore. And you're curious about just what it is she's planning.
Reisen has what looks like a Chibi Koakuma in a rather vicious chokehold, crouching on the ground and squeezing tight on her neck while holding one of the Koa's arms up at an extremely awkward angle. Reisen's fingertip glows as she presses it against the Koa's temple and orders her to talk, drawing a whimper from the Koa. Reisen can get pretty intense, sometimes. You try not to make any sudden movements for her to see from the corner of her eye. That Koa will...well, she'll be fine! Koas aren't known for being dumb! She'll cave!
The Koa folds like a person with a glowing finger pressed up against their temple, and immediately begins to blubber out a laundry list of information, much of which is probably useless. The conversation is actually going so fast and quietly that you're having trouble keeping up with it. You do pick up on what sounds like Koa babbling out information about there being other Koas and then that no one tells her anything and please don't-!
Reisen does, shoving the Koa away from her and stumbling. For a moment you think Reisen is going to let her go...and then Reisen just steps froward and delivers a vicious haymaker to the Koa's jaw, her fist coated in shadow.
...you, uh, don't think the Koa is getting up from that one. Soon, you mean. Getting up soon.
She'll be fine after she sleeps it off, though. Yeah. Definitely.
"S-so, uh." You move a bit closer, still absently holding the book. "Did you...find anything out?" She definitely did that for a good reason, after all! You're sure she did. You're just not sure if the Koa had the information she was looking for in that babbling torrent of extremely wise submission.
Reisen adjusts how the Koakuma is laying on the ground and then trots quickly towards you, taking the fairly sizable book from your hands and then positioning it just so next to the Koakuma's unconscious form.
...if you didn't know any better, you'd think the Koa had been knocked out by the book falling out and punching her in the face with a shadowy fist!
...Wow! If you don't think about it too hard, you'd actually believe that the books around here can do that! Reisen's amazing, as usual!
"Good thinking!" You say, with a smile. Even if you are a little disappointed about the book, it's better to avoid trouble as much as you can, after all.
Reisen nods and moves of her own accord, ears twitching as she creeps forward and becomes your vanguard in the library now. Mima for her part just floats ahead of you a short ways, putting her between you and Reisen and giving her the ability to react to either of your situations. Youmu quickly moves behind you and now takes to watching over her shoulders for signs of any trouble that could be coming your way. Yukari mumbles something in her sleep and hugs your head.
Your girls are totally overprotective, but that's just the way they are. You don't dislike it, and well, you have to admit that sometimes you aren't very cautious. Still!
You follow Reisen, trusting her to know what she's doing and where she's going. She must have something in mind if she's taking the lead like this.
Reisen keeps up her pace, creeping up the aisles with extreme grace and silence, not even making a whisper with each step she takes. You are...perhaps somewhat less quiet. It's not that you're being loud, so much that compared to Reisen you might as well be honking a horn with each step you take, each breath you make.
...you feel like someone is watching you.
You can't help but glance around to check. You've never been good at secret things, really - Mima's the one who's sneaky. Forward, back...there's really only two directions to check, in these aisles of books...
No, wait. There's also... up!
Your sudden look up causes Yukari to stir, and for her to thusly smack you with a fan while making sounds of general discontent from your malcontent's content. She pulls herself forward and eyes you with dire annoyance as you look up at the currently empty space above you.
...you guess you could ask Mima to keep her eyes up there.
"Sorry, sorry!" You apologise, not willing to admit that you forgot she was up there. ...She's just so cozy up there, it's easy to forget she isn't just always there, like some kind of odd hairstyle or nice hat. "Um..." Right, Mima. "Mima, keep an eye out for me up above?" You ask, very definitely NOT shaking your head. Yukari just scolded you, you don't want to upset her again.
Mima turns back and regards you before shrugging and doing as you say, floating above you in order to protect your precious little noggin from the booksies. ...does she really have to be like that?
You sigh and mope a little. You know that someone's watching you. You know! You've gotten lots of practice realising it, living with Mima and her antics! Someone's got their eye on you, and it's making you jumpy. You glance up at Reisen. Surely she's noticed it, too?
Reisen seems to have disappeared somewhere now. You're not sure where she's gone but, your front is awful exposed.
You slow down, frowning. How is that even possible? It's just a straight aisle of shelves. Did she slip between them somewhere? Without telling you? You turn, checking for Youmu behind you. She's still there, right?
Youmu looks up at you, noticing your attention coming onto her and tries her best to give you a reassuring smile and informs you that all's quiet on the rear front. You hear a quiet thump from in front of you and turn around to find that Reisen's pinned another Koakuma to the ground and has her wrists crossed over the Koa's neck and is pressing down harshly in another Submission hold. Geez, that looks painful.
You wince sympathetically. The poor Koa probably never even knew what hit it. Reisen's really going at this hard, isn't she? Where'd that Koa even come from, at that? Reisen loosens up lightly and whispers down at the Koa to tell her where the Koa's friends are. The Koa makes the smart decision and babbles like a brook, telling Reisen everything she knows, including that there's a...a lot more Koa's in the library...and that they know what this freezing rain means.
Reisen tightens her grip and knocks the Koa out in seconds.
"So, does she mean..." You wonder, "That they know Cirno did it, or they know that Cirno got beaten up?" You squash the little twinge of guilt at that. SHE'S the one who picked the fight, and it's her own fault she pushed it so far Reisen had to step in. You shouldn't feel bad about it, even if you do. It's just that you don't like fighting...
"So, anyway..." You clear your head. Now's not the time! "At worst, they know we're around." You reason, "Let's be careful."
Reisen nods, busily working at untying the Koa's shoelaces and arranging the scene to look like she tripped and fell. Mima meanwhile is up above you, murmuring about books and how she doesn't need some huge giant mega library to be the best magician. Mima's are simply the best by default, and as the best Mima she's the best magician. ...does she have library envy?
You privately decide to get her some magic-y books, later, as a present. Can you get them at the Yakumo-mart? They've got pretty much everything, so you hope so. It seems like she might secretly enjoy that sort of thing, even if she'd protest and deny it and then say something like 'but since it's a gift...'
Out of curiosity, while Reisen destroys all evidence of your passage, you check the shelves. What strange arcane tomes are in this part of the aisle...? ...You see a bunch more titles you can't read or recognize, but one catches your eyes and you can't look away from it. "栄光の日本：千二つ折りスチールの花", the title says. What could it even mean...?
You feel a tug on your pants leg from behind and Youmu looks up at you worriedly, wondering just what got your attention so thoroughly that you didn't notice Reisen finishing.
"Ah, sorry, sorry..." You apologise for getting distracted. "I just saw an interesting looking book, that's all. It really caught my attention, I guess. I'd never seen anything like it before, and..." Well, you're babbling now. You stop. "Right. Um." You shuffle a bit awkwardly.
Mima, intrigued but whatever book you could be obsessing over, floats up to and stares at it for a moment before letting out a...wait, you recognize that hum. That hum is a curious hum. Not the 'getting pranked' curious hum, but the 'Mima set the backyard on fire doing MAGIC' hum.
"...Mimaaaa...?" You say, slowly, carefully, gently. No sudden moves, no loud noises. "...What are you thinking?" It's been a while since she's gotten one of these ideas, and you've become rather attached to the peace and quiet and lack of fire everywhere.
Mima starts and then glares down at you. What, you think that just because she's interested in a book she must be up to something, is that it? You think that Mima must be doing something bad any time she's not doing anything at all, huh bucko? Mima floats down into your face and gets up in it as she glares at you, poking you in the chest with her staff. So you think she's bad news, huh? Huh???
"...Nooo?" You hazard. "...It's just, last time you made that hum, uh..." You hesitate. "Everything ended up on fire." You can't meet her eyes, as you explain, "So it's that hum in particular that worries me?" You scuff a foot, still not looking at her, "And it's just that fire wouldn't be good right now. You're not bad!" You hasten to reassure her, "Just....sometimes, uh, you..." You pick your words carefully, "Don't always consider the consequences?"
Mima stares at you for a long moment and then huffs, bapping with her ghost tail in your face with and then floating off in a defused huff as your left touching your cold and lightly sticky feeling cheek. Youmu frets over you from your side, worrying and asking you if you're alright.
"I'm fine, I'm fine." You reassure Youmu, bringing a hand up to touch your cheek. Just what IS Mima's ghost tail, anyway? It's something that's always confused you. You shake you head, putting it aside for now. It's not the time to worry about that. You successfully managed NOT to stick your foot in your mouth, apparently, and Mima's not terribly upset with you, which is good.
"We're ready to keep going, then?" You glance over at Reisen. She's finished with the Koa, so...
Mima pipes up, telling you that she's got an idea on how you should be going forward. See, she can just float up to the top of the stacks and look around to see where you should go! It's ingenious! Reisen makes a noise of discontent, obviously preferring to keep proceeding with her in the lead, brutalizing poor Koa's as they stumble across your group.
...Then again, there's also the fact that you're out of all that weather, and you kind of did sorta break into someone's library and beat up a couple of their ....uh, Koas? Anyway, you've been terrible guests so far, and maybe you should really go find the owner of the library and introduce yourselves? Apologise for the intrusion, all of that. It would only be polite...
...So what WILL you do?
[ ] Let Mima do her thing. [ ] Reisen seems to know what she's doing? [ ] You know, maybe you should ask Youmu what she thinks? [ ] You really should go find the library's owner... They're usually Patchouli, right? Patchoulis are reasonable, you're sure she'll understand.
Iiiiinteresting. So this library has books in Russian, Finnish, and Japanese. The titles when tossed into google translate are as follows:
'The natural beauty of Mother Russia: A Guide.' 'Finland : Ice, Alcohol, and despair. But at least we have a good curses' 'Glory of Japan : thousand twofold steel flowers'
Seems kinda curious about how this place has books like that, doesn't it?
As far as the vote goes...
Reisen seems to be going full Solid Snake here to keep Nebosa hidden, or at least for as long as possible. Seeing as one of the chibi koas mentioned knowing what the hailstorm means, there's a chance that the Cirno outside was an unintentional but convenient alarm system for the mansion as a whole. Ergo they know someone's around, but don't know quite where yet. She may also just like beating up poor Koas.
Mima's idea seems to be a bit of a gamble too. Going up to get a bird's eye view of the area would give the group some idea of where to go, but not necessarily keep them hidden. It's like poking your head out of a clump of tall grass. You'll know what's outside of it, but something might spot you before you can scurry back in.
As for the incredible, edible Youmoe, I'm... not totally sure what she'd do, but she's a disciplined, level-headed type of person.
Then going straight for the local Patchouli seems like something of a crapshoot. On the one hand, Nebosa did break into the mansion and is getting Koas beaten up, which might not sit well with the head librarian. On the other, this might be a chance for damage control too.
Take of it what you will, but I think I'll go with [X] Reisen seems to know what she's doing?
File 145644971892.jpg - (109.86KB, 853x480, what ARE these books about___.jpg) [iqdb]
[X] You really should go find the library's owner... They're usually Patchouli, right? Patchoulis are reasonable, you're sure she'll understand.
"Um, actually..." You've come to a decision. "I think we should do something else." You glance down at the Koakuma, unconscious on the ground. "It doesn't seem right for us to go around like this and beat up the Koakumas for just doing their jobs, when we DID break in and all..." You look between your girls, "So let's go find the library's owner, and apologise for the intrusion. You know, introduce ourselves. I'm sure she'll understand, with the weather like it is." You shake your head - carefully, so as not to bother Yukari. "We've really been terrible guests so far."
Reisen turns around and stares at your shins, her ears shooting straight up at you can feel the weight of her gaze boring into your shin.
Mima meanwhile just slaps her staff into her hand and grins, declaring your plan genius. Especially the part where she blasts the librarian while her guard is down. It's the perfect plot, just the sort of thing she'd expect from herself. She's actually quiet impressed with you!
"N-no!" You're mildly alarmed, because that really IS just like Mima. "No blasting! We're really going to go apologise!" You give Mima your firmest look. "So be good, okay? We're guests!" You shake a finger at her for emphasis.
Mima stares at you for a long moment, and then glances back in the direction which you probably came from, and then back to you. She then, carefully, asks if guests usually break in, threaten the help, read their books and drip all over the flooring.
"The last two!" You say. "And that's why we're apologising." You explain. "For all the stuff that good guests don't usually do." You look down at the Koakuma on the floor. "So, uh. Let's try not to beat up any more of them."
You hear a muffled squeaking, and your eyes move over towards Reisen, who is currently squeezing down on a Koakuma's throat in another submission. The way her lips purse and her expression suggests that she's squeezing as she is partially for stress relief rather than just pragmatic problem solving. Something must have her annoyed.
Mima meanwhile simply shrugs at that, and informs you that when things inevitably dissolve into violence she'll go about problem solving in the best, most reliable forms of diplomacy.
"Uh." You stare, as the Koakuma is choked into unconsciousness. "...Um." You're not entirely sure what to say here. "Welll..." You decide to solve this problem as you do many of your problems: "Let's get going, then!" By ignoring it!
There's a dull thump as an unconscious form is dropped onto the floor unceremoniously. Reisen stands up with her hands hanging loosely at her side, her ears facing straight forward as she looks away from you and far down the hall.
Mima quietly 'ooooooohs' at you and asks you what kind of kibble you'll want since you're in the doghouse. You don't really understand what she means by that, but you'll lose if you let it bother you.
"Now then, which way would she be..." You wonder, looking around. "Maybe back the way that Koa came from?" It's as good a choice as any, right? "Let's go!" How many times have you said that now...? Anyway, you start walking, confident in your impeccable sense of direction.
Reisen doesn't move as you pass her by, leaving the Koa on the ground and quite knocked out. Mima just contents herself with fluttering ahead of and above you, taking point position quickly and efficiently, just as much as she quickly begins to pretend that she's leading this expedition.
Youmu, as you glance over your shoulder, is following behind you at the same pace and place as she was before. Her expression is a bit different now, brows furrowed ever so slightly in a pensive frown of consideration. Since Yukari's on your head that's all your girls accounted for with Reisen by your side.
...but she's not by your side, you realize.
This worries you a bit. You look around, suddenly concerned. Where did she go? She was just here, you could've sworn she was...
As you look around, you find that you don't have sight of Reisen anywhere at all. She's not behind you either or...you can't hear her anywhere either, not that you really expect it too given how sneaky she is.
You glance around at your other girls, making sure they're still there, at least. "Did...any of you see what happened to Reisen?" You ask, concerned that something may have happened. You trust Reisen to take care of herself, she's really strong, but if something DID happen, maybe there was like, a trap, or she got caught by surprise somehow...
Mima snickers from in front of you, spinning her staff a bit as she flicks her tail in your general direction. You get the distinct impression that she knows something that you don't and is proud of it-
Youmu speaks up behind you hesitantly, quietly informing you that Reisen has decided that she will be 'proactively scouting'.
"Oh." You nod, slowly. "Okay, then, I suppose that's good." Scouting ahead would help out for sure. "But I guess it would have been nice if she'd let me know." You complain, "I was worried." If she's scouting, then you'll have to make sure not to waste her efforts! You continue on, more confidently now that you know she's looking out for you.
Mima lets out a huff as her game is ruined, but the way she shakes her head and shrugs her shoulders leaves you on edge anyway. You've seen her do that before and it doesn't usually end super great for you...
"...Is something up, Mima?" You ask, not willing to just leave that sort of tell alone. She definitely seems to know something, and you're woried it might turn out like... well, a bunch of times in the past.
Mima just shrugs even harder and flicks her tail off in some random direction, giving you a ghost shoulder and letting you know she's got ideas of what's about to come.
Oh. Oh, she's going to play it like that.
"Ah..." You nod, "So that's how it is." You shrug. "If you don't know anything, just say so." You smile, reassuringly. She's not looking at you, but you wouldn't put it past her to know anyway. "I wouldn't think any less of you for it, it's fine. You don't need to be embarrassed."
You suddenly receive a face-full of Mima, her cheeks flushed as she glowers at you in annoyance. A single finger is raised up, right under your nose as she prepares to pontificate your rear.
Her mouth is open for a second when she blinks...and then the look in her eyes changes as she pivots in the air and slaps you in the face with her ghost tail.
It's about as unpleasant as getting hit in the face with a slightly chilled pillow that loves you.
So, pretty nice, all told. But it looks like she probably realised what you were doing before she could give away whatever it is she's trying to hide.You grin, sheepishly. Ah, well. You almost got her. Maybe next time. At least with Reisen out scouting, you don't need to be too worried about anyone finding you - she'd definitely let you know that you needed to change directions or something if you were about to be found out.
With your safety and security in mind, you find yourself left with nothing to do but march onwards!
...and as time winds on, you find yourself beginning to grow nervous. You're used to Reisen's presence for one thing, and somehow without her beside you...you just feel naked and exposed even with Mima and Youmu here.
The other issue is that you haven't run into any more Koakuma. At all, none of them. That worries you because you had just been all but tripping over them essentially, and now you've got a heck of a lot longer than you did between the last two sightings.
...Another thing that concerns you now that you think about it is that you've been walking in a straight line for a while now and you still haven't really hit the end of the bookshelves you've been walking down...and you don't seem to be getting any closer.
You chew at your lip. This could be a problem. One way or the other. On one hand, it could be some kind of illusion trap or something. On the other, it could be a really, really big library, beyond all reason and expectation. Hrm. You glance up at Mima. She'd probably be more smug if she knew it was something like that and you didn't. And she...would probably tell you about it, too. So maybe Reisen's somehow distracting the Koakumas?
Mima actually, you note, has begun to swish her tail in annoyance at something as she glances around, seemingly looking for something but not quite finding it...you think.
You frown, watching her for a minute. What's got her tail in a twist? Is she just disappointed that she's not getting to fight? She WAS in favour of the smash and go plan that she came up with and was the only one in favour of...
Youmu speaks up behind you quietly, a hand reaching out and grabbing onto the back of your shirt and giving it a tentative tug. For some reason she seems nervous, but she tells you that she thinks you've been moving in a very, very, very gradual circle. At least, that that is what her sense of direction and motion is telling her.
"A circle?" You're surprised. And then, very quickly, happy. "That means that the person in charge is probably in the middle!" You deduce, "Which means if we take one of these intersecting paths, we should be heading in the right direction, right?"
Youmu nods her head, agreeing with you that it should work like that. But, she then points out that it's magic and magic can make things...strange.
Muffled cursing can be heard behind you as Mima listens to Youmu's deduction, and the sound of a piece of shelving earning her wrath accompanies it.
"Hmm." You nod, agreeing with Youmu. Magic can be pretty weird. "But there's got to be a system to it, or SOME way to find the way to the middle - or, well, wherever else the owner is." You look around, hoping for a clue. Oh, maybe! Maybe the shelves are marked? At the ends of each shelf, maybe?
You approach the end of the long series of apparently extremely gradually curving book hallways, and you are free to peek around the corner to look for signs of just where you are. Mima mimes the same action above you, and you both notice a small, brass placard on the end of the row at the same moment.
"Now I feel kind of silly." You murmur, as you check what it says.
A series of strange numbers with no meaning to you are embossed into the brass. A glance down the hallway in both directions tells you that no one has seen you yet...you think.
"Mima, any idea?" You look up at your friend, hopeful that she might have some kind of insight that you lack.
Mima is looking over the numbers, narrowing her eyes as she hums and taps her staff in her hand. Finally, she mutters to you that she doesn't think the numbers have anything to do with magic of any sort and that...maybe it's just some kind of book system instead of Alphabetical?
"So, maybe if we can find the lowest numbers, that's closest to the ...librarian?" You decide that that's the easiest way to refer to her. "Let's see if we can find how the numbers are lined up! We should check all the shelves around here, and see if we can find a pattern?" You suggest, a little proud of the idea.
Mima immediately launches into action, circling around the nearest eight bookshelves in a flash and then stopping immediately in front of you, helpfully informing you with a point of her staff that the numbers go down thataway and go up thataway!
"Good job, Mima!" You praise her for her quick work. "That's really great! So, if we go that way..." You frown, thinking about it, "Or, it's possible it might be that way, huh." The question is, high numbers, or low numbers? You were really just guessing when you said it might be the small ones, but it could just as easily be the big ones, couldn't it?
As you struggle over this INTENSE AND TERRIBLE CHOICE, Mima and Youmu watch and wait patiently, eyes full of trust in your decision making capabilities and-
Well, Youmu is watching and waiting with the utmost loyalty at least. Mima's tail is twitching in such a way as to remind you of someone tapping their feet.
It's up to you, as always.
[ ] She's probably up at the high numbers! [ ] You need to go with your instincts! The low numbers will show you where she is!
"Let's go this way, then!" You've got to stick with your gut! When has following your instincts ever done you wrong? There's no chance that this could be the wrong way! "Let's go, girls!" Pointing confidently, you start down the rows of shelves. navigating this sea of books with Mima's help and the help of the little numbered plates.
Your voice carries in the library, and you suddenly feel a pressure on your shoulders and heart as if you've done something terribly, horribly, awfully wrong in making such a ruckus. Youmu's eyes flit about as Mima's grin widens, twirling her staff in her hands again as she readies for combat.
Right! Library! You're supposed to be quiet in those, aren't you? You've never actually been inside one before, so you're not entirely certain, but it sounds right.
"Let's go, girls." You repeat, as a whisper this time, as you somehow walk more quietly, or at least try to be less disruptive.
Mima simply floats lazily ahead of you, being silent by virtue of being a ghost and thus not really having to walk. Actually, the only time she ever makes noise when she's moving is when she wants to, and then she makes that weird, creepy whistling sound. A part of you wonders if Youmu's marshmallowy ghostself can do the same, as said ghostself hovers next to her selfself's side as she watches your back.
As you make your way deeper into the library, you find a feeling of intense anticipation building up in you. What could be within its depths? What sort of person could be waiting for you, aside from someone who will hopefully accept your apology?
It's supposed to be a Patchouli, isn't it? Those are usually the ones in charge of libraries, aren't they? Oh! Or maybe it's some kind of strange Koakuma Variant! You haven't met a Patchouli anywhere in here, yet, but there are Koas everywhere! So maybe it's a Koakuma library, with no Patchoulis at all! It could be anything!
That's right, Patchoulis! Serious and dour librarians who spend all their time with their noses in books! While the idea of a library staffed entirely by the adorable little devils makes you feel giddy for a moment, it seems maybe a little unlikely to you for some reason. Probably because they're all so small and look like they're smaller than some of the books you've seen here!
Speaking of which, you pass by a shelving section with extra large shelves, in which lay extra-large books that are bigger than your torso. The closest title reads 'Big Book of Big Things'.
Wow. Someone kind of... lacked creativity when they named it, huh? You wonder, briefly, what kind of big things need a big book like that. Is there even any point to it?
You suppose you will never know, unless you were to pull the book out and open it up just to peak inside and see...
...the temptation is palpable.
But you remember what happened last time you touched one of these books - Reisen got upset, a Koakuma showed up and got beat up, and it was all around not good. You've got willpower! You aren't Mima, you don't give in to your every whim!
You resist the temptation to open the Big Book of Big Things, no matter how hard it is to do so. That's because you're a big boy, who can do big boy things and remember what's right!
...Also because you really don't want to make Reisen any more grumpy with you than she may be.
As you make your way deeper into the library the numbers continue to shrink along the bookshelves you past, even as Mima begins to grumble to herself. Up ahead, you think you can actually see an end to the path you're walking!
"O-" You catch yourself, "Oh." You say, quietly, but a litle excited. "I think that's..."
As you make your way towards it, you become more and more certain that, yes, you've arrived at the center of the library. Glancing up towards the ceiling, you're shocked to find out you can even see the storming clouds above through some sort of great, magickal dome!
Or maybe it's just glass.
The magickal dome thing sounds like it would be really cool, though. You kind of hope it's really something like that. But now that you're at the center of the Library, there's something important you need to remember. You need to keep your guard up! This place is one of the most likely to have powerful touhoumon, and it'll be really dangerous if you let your guard down...
Then, at that very moment, you felt it. A hand reached out and gently touched your butt, and a voice whispered into your ear, "Young man." The tone was quiet and rich with disapproval, "Do you have your library card?"
There's a pause before the voice continues, disapproval now sending shivers down your spine as vivid images of writing lines are forced into forefront of your fears and terrors, "And I hope you didn't get any of the books wet..."
"Eek...!" You can't restrain the squeak of surprise as you are groped. It's all you can manage not to fall all over yourself in your surprise as you spin around, reddening. "...W-we didn't!" You deny, instinctively. Wait, didn't she also say... "...Library card?" You definitely don't have one of those...
You turn around and stare straight into...
...a bikini clad bosom. A very profound bikini clad bosom. Purple hair, carefully tied, cascades down the chest of what you come to realize as you tear your eyes away from what you almost ran face first into is actually a Patchouli. A Beach Patchouli, judging by her attire...though you suppose she could just be a regular Patchouli who likes wearing bikini's around her library, but if that was the case why would she also be wearing flip flops as well? No one would wear flip-flops in a library unless they had a reason.
The Patchouli quirks up an eyebrow at you, staring down at you imperiously...though it feels a bit weird for her to do so since she's only like four inches taller than you, "Indeed? Well then...you wouldn't happen to have seen what's been knocking out all of my assistants, would you? We're falling behind schedule on the reorganisation of the shelves with so many of them missing."
Behind Patchouli, you can see Reisen shift barely out from behind a shelf, her eyes flat and focused on Patchouli's seemingly open back as she pointedly regards you both. You think Reisen is trying to figure out the best way to attack the Patchouli without risking you.
...You also realize that Mima and Youmu are both missing - or at least, you can't see them anywhere, and Yukari is apparently still asleep on your head...again.
"Well?" Patchouli's brow quirks just a bit higher as her gaze bores into your own without deviation, "Do you have anything to say?"
[ ] Let's... Talk this out? [ ] You can totally explain. [ ] Carrot One, Carrot One, this is Control, you are clear for attack run, repeat, clear for attack run, over.