[x] What attacked me... What was it? A human turned monster or a monster that looked like a human?
[x] Where am I?
[x] How did you find me?
[x] Who is the doctor?
it's hard to marshal your thoughts into a coherent sequence of queries. You decide to pick one of the bigger questions you feel can be answered without needing too many explanations. Though you're already fairly certain you're destined for more than a few speeches on the land's local politics?and quite possibly its metaphysics as well?you want to get this out of the way first.
"What attacked me? She? It looked human, but?"
"Her name's Rumia." it's Marisa who answers. "She's not human, yeah. She's a youkai.."
The word is unfamiliar to you, and for a moment you wonder if your Outsider-given ability to translate their language is failing you.
"Youkai? I apologize but I'm not familiar with the term. I'm a stranger to these lands?if you haven't realized as much already."
"Eh, it's okay. I was gonna get to that anyways.."
Marisa waves her hand airily, nearly knocking over one of the dolls skittering across the table. She ignores it as straightens itself and brushes its dress with indignation. Its tiny features screw up into a scowl and it raises one of its hands to make a rude gesture, which the young woman is completely oblivious to its ire.
"A lot of people stumble over the border not knowing which way's up... and a lot of them get eaten before they learn how things work here. Guess you're one of the lucky ones."
"You're going off topic, Marisa." Alice takes a positively dainty bite from her buttered roll.
"it's important context, okay?" Marisa huffs in annoyance at having her flow interrupted.
You manage to catch the faintest huff coming from Alice's direction, but it seems Marisa failed to hear it?or elected to ignore it altogether?as she continues as if nothing had happened.
"The word ?youkai? is a bit of a catch-all term. Spirits, monsters, oni? they're all youkai." She pauses, her brow furrowed in thought.
"Basically, we use it to refer to supernatural beings of all stripes and forms. I mean, you can be more specific, but generally it's really a waste of time, and it's not like anyone has time to create a whole taxonomy for magical creatures."
"Well, I'm sure some youkai have more than enough time for something like that? but ones I've met don't really seem the type. Too self-centered... or too stupid."
"Spirits and magic, you say?" You chuckle dryly. "Normally, I'd say you were playing me for a fool, but considering my? encounter with this Rumia, I suppose I have no choice but to believe you."
In truth, you're overplaying your disbelief a little bit. While you've never been attacked by a man eating spirit, you've seen magic before?and wielded no small amount of it either.
"That is admirable of you, and in my opinion, the wisest course of action. You wouldn't believe how many outsiders refuse to acknowledge the youkai that's trying to gnaw their arm off. it's quite sad, really." Alice smiles in a way that is almost amused.
On that cheery note, they begin to describe Gensokyo for you. Alice and Marisa take turns illustrating this ?Land of Fantasy? to you?a refuge frozen in time, made to save the last few oddities and things-that-go-bump-in-the-night fleeing a world where the perpetual march of rationality and natural philosophy have literally erased magic from the world.
it's a lot to take in, and not just for the reasons they'd assume. Even if both your hosts aren't knowledgeable on it, it is hard not to ask questions about the world you have supposedly left.
You do not wish to reveal your otherworldly nature to these two?even if they have shown you nothing but plain hospitality, you've only known them for less than an hour.
The possibility of them having some magical one-way ticket back home was there, yes, but it was foolish to act on that admittedly far-fetched hope without knowing them better.
it's better to be safe rather than sorry, after all.
In any case, there's a lot to absorb in a short period of time, though it's clear that what they're giving you is by no means an exhaustive summary. Whenever they describe some local landmark, one of them shoots a glance at the other and says that it's not a good idea for an outsider to go there unattended, or something to that effect.
You have always been bad at following such advice, but you go through the motions?you nod and make noises of agreement and pose the occasional question.
All the while, Alice's constructs clean up the remains of breakfast. The dolls march about like an army breaking camp, albeit an army that moves with perfectly synchronized movements. Most of the dishes are removed by the time you've begun to properly process this new information.
By the time the table is once again spotless, Marisa has already begun to recount her first meeting with you.
"I found you in the Forest of Magic. You were, well. I thought you were dead, to be honest." Marisa shrugs off-handedly, though you can tell that the memory isn't exactly a pleasant one for her. "Rumia was there, and it looked like she was gonna eat you?was being the operative term, here, "cause she'd fallen asleep, right on top of you. It would've been adorable, if? well, if it was anyone aside from Rumia. I, uh, suppose you had something to do with that?"
"Yes." You don't see any reason to try and deceive them. They must've gone through your things anyways, so trying to lie would be rude at best. "I carried a powerful sedative, contained within a dart. I shot her with it? when she didn't react, I assumed that it was simply my time."
"That's not the weirdest weapon I've seen, to be honest."
"It must be quite the drug, if it could render her insensate." Alice is looking at you now with a fraction more interest than before. You are unsure how to feel about that.
"Mmm. it's just a shame it took so long to start working."
"Yeah, but you're lucky. it's been a long time since a know-nothing outsider's crossed paths with Rumia and lived." Marisa's eyes widen when she realizes what she just said. "No offense."
"it's not an insult if it's true. That's why I'm talking to you, isn't it? To relieve myself of ignorance?"
"Yeah, haha. Anyways, ah, after seeing you, I got Rumia off of you?yeah, that woke her up right away, but I managed to convince her that you weren't worth the trouble of getting her ass kicked thrice over..."Marisa smiles a little bit. "Well, yeah, I kicked her ass and managed to drag you back here before you bled to death. Alice was in the neighborhood and thankfully we managed to keep you alive long enough to get Yagokoro?one of Gensokyo's best... if not the best doctor here?over to patch you up. And... here we are."
"I am indebted to this Yagokoro, then." You are fairly certain that you butchered the pronunciation of the name, but neither of your guests seem to mind. "Where does she live?"
"She lives deep within the Forest of the Lost, but she has an assistant who sells her medicine in the Human Village."
"I suppose that's where she gets most of her patients rather than her home in this forest."
"Yes. As the name implies, there are only a few who can travel through the forest without, well, getting lost." Marisa shrugs. "On top of that, only a handful of people are willing to serve as guides. People don't mind, though?hauling the sick and elderly to a youkai-infested forest isn't exactly a good idea. it's just more convenient to have the medicine where it's needed most, isn't it?"
"I see. Would you happen to know one of these guides?"
Marisa blinks in surprise.
"Oh, yeah, I know one of them. Not very well, but I do know her. You, uh, wanna go visit Eientei, do you?"
"Yes. I owe Yagokoro, and am not in the habit of leaving debts unpaid."
"That's an admirable sentiment," Alice leans in a little, waving a finger in the air. "But you need not worry. Yagokoro is a very understanding woman; if she were here she'd tell you that you should focus on regaining your strength before thinking about the payment."
"Her bedside manner is terrible, though." Alice rolls her eyes at Marisa's comment.
"I see." You sigh softly. "Thank you for the advice, Miss Margatroid."
After that, the conversation tapers off quickly. Marisa, seemingly unable to stand the silence, is first to leave. She ambles off, muttering something about a bath. Alice follows her, offering the young woman with a few muted words you assume are chastisements.
She returns later to find you fiddling with your half-finished cup of tea.
"I would have said that you're in no state to travel, but that would be wrong, wouldn't it?" Alice gives you a small smile. "If you so wish I can accompany you to the village as soon as you are ready. When we get there, I can introduce you to some people who can hopefully see you home? though I would not hold it against you if you wished to rest some more. Marisa would not begrudge you staying here for another night or so."
What do you do?
[ ] Stay and rest.
[ ] Go with Alice.
QM's Note: Forgive me for the delay and the relatively short update?university has begun for me. I should try to make shorter updates so I can put them out faster and have something remotely resembling a schedule? but yeah, that's on me to do. So, my bad. I'm very, very embarrassed about this once-a-month-updates thing. So yeah. Feel the need to apologize. Yeah.
On names? here's some names I picked out.
[ ] Kent
[ ] Coleman
[ ] Thorpe
[ ] Pickford
[ ] Desmond
Please note that this would probably be a surname or given name?you may suggest a whole name, if you would prefer one on the character sheet... and if you dislike this selection, you can pick something from this link (http://dishonored.wikia.com/wiki/Summon_Assassin/Names
) or suggest an entirely different name altogether.