Kourindou was a location of debatable interest. Filled with objects from the outside world, yet most of them are either useless by way of having no explanation as to how they could work, or by not being very useful in the first place. The path to Kourindou however, was of no particular interest; the one thing that is interesting currently occupying it, is Kokoro.
Hata no Kokoro was a menreiki youkai, meaning that she was the tsukumogami of a collection of sixty-six masks. It also meant that she has no way of emoting, and has to rely on her masks to convey her emotions for her. Highly inconvenient in many situations, but it is massively advantageous in games of poker.
As she walked through the entranceway to Kourindou, the first thing she noticed was how much useless junk was splayed out in every direction. The second thing she noticed was Rinnosuke trying to get rid of particularly troublesome, and animate, mold-infested bread.
down!" he added after smacking it with the end of a broom. It made a horrible wheezing noise as it deflated.
Kokoro was fairly certain mold, or bread, isn't supposed to bleed like that, or have blood.
Pressing on, she continued towards the desk where Rinnosuke was occupying, he was cleaning up the remains of the fallen beast. It seemed like he made sure not to actually touch it with his hands.
"Ah, hello. You're Kokoro, yes?" Rinnosuke said, after dusting his hands off on his trouser legs.
"Yes, I believe so." Kokoro monotoned, the mask on the side of her head had finally switched from Raiden to that of a Hyottoko.
"Very well, follow me to the back." He got out from behind his counter to walk down a hallway deeper into the store. Following Rinnosuke, Kokoro noticed there were two doors, one on the rightmost wall, and another on the leftmost.
"Wait out here for a few seconds, I'll open the door for you." Rinnosuke proceeded into the leftmost door.
Kokoro wasn't quite sure what door he was referring to, but she waited out in the hallway anyway.
Suddenly the wall at the very end of the hallway opened, revealing what appeared to be a very small room that could at most fit about six people.
Rinnosuke re-opened the leftmost door and stared at Kokoro. "Sorry if that wasn't clear, but you're supposed to go in there. it's an elevator."
"An elevator?" The mask on Kokoro's head shifted to a mask depicting a monkey.
"It's a metal box that will lower down into the entertainment hall. Trust me, it's perfectly safe, Nitori made it." Rinnosuke was speculating on whether to put some sort of plaque that says ?Nitori's Seal of Quality." on the elevator so everyone who hasn't heard of a elevator doesn't have to be convinced by him it's safe.
"Oh, okay then." Her mask shifted back to a Hyottoko.
Rinnosuke closed the door again, once Kokoro passed by him and proceeded into the elevator. There were two buttons next to the entrance, one inscribed with an arrow pointing below, and the button above it, has an arrow pointing upward.
Using her intuition, she pressed the button pointing below.
A metal panel slid in front of the elevator's entrance and closed Kokoro within the elevator. She immediately felt the elevator descend.
It soon came to a surprisingly smooth stop, and the metal panel slid open to reveal the newly created ?entertainment hall?.
The elevator opened onto a bar with a few tables scattered around and a countertop where the alcohol is safely behind. A wolf youkai in a waiter's uniform leans on the counter.
The gambling hall was separated by wood railing and a few steps downward from the bar. There were several poker and roulette tables, and at the very end of of it all, was a stage, where a band was playing an upbeat and bassy song.
Kokoro stood there in awe of it all, before she noticed someone, a rather serious looking woman was standing next to the railing surveying the gambling hall. She recognized this woman as Eiki Shiki, the person whom she was supposed to play cards with.
Eiki Shiki, Yamaxanadu is the Yama of Gensokyo, her job is to judge souls of the those that have died in Gensokyo, and decide whether they go to Heaven or Hell. Her ability to establish clear good and evil, and her tendency to lecture most people she comes across about what is good and evil, has caused her to be feared by most if not all youkai. Yukari herself, who, among others, at the very least finds her annoying and preachy. One has to wonder what she's doing playing poker games.
Approaching Eiki, Kokoro noticed that she was twirling her Rod of Remorse in her hand.
"Hello." Kokoro monotoned.
"How Hedonistic." Eiki is a very serious woman.
Kokoro's mask shifted to one of Fuku no Kami, "What, my hello?"
Eiki didn't know how to respond to that exactly, "err? No, this hall where people can waste their money on body-polluting alcohol, or lose their money for the thrill of potentially winning more money. All lauded over by the most dishonest youkai I know."
Kokoro's mask didn't so much as shake, "Speaking of losing money, don't you have a game of Texas Hold ?em to play?"
Eiki knew exactly how to respond to that, "Now who exactly do you think-" Eiki turns around towards Kokoro.
"Oh. Hello, Kokoro." Eiki seems to have been thrown off her stride.
"Heh, heh." Kokoro rather admirably comes close to emoting.
"I expected better, Kokoro." Getting back on her stride, she puts on her best scolding voice.
"I thought it was pretty fun-"
? Eiki's voice went from scolding to searing.
"Okay." Her mask then went from Fuku to that of a Fox. "We still have a game to play, though."
Eiki considered her options for a moment. "Yes, we do. Let's proceed, shall we? I believe with your arrival, we can start the game." Her other option was to initiate a lecture, naturally.
"That's good." Kokoro went to go around the railings and down the steps to the- Twang!
Kokoro tripped over a trip wire tied between the two poles next to the stairs, and fell a considerable distance onto the hardwood floor.
"Oof." She sounded more like she was winded by standing up too fast.
"Hmm. I expected that to be a bit more funny..."a nearby black haired earth rabbit sitting on a table commented.
"I expected it to hurt a bit more." Kokoro commented back from her position on the floor.
"Wow, no wonder it wasn't funny. You sound like you're on methaqualone! Look like it too." The rabbit continued.
Kokoro was taking it pretty well, "Who are you?"
The rabbit points at her chest, and responds with ?I'm Tewi, Tewi Inaba."
Tewi Inaba is a rabbit youkai that is also, if not the leader of rabbit youkai, then at least is considered so. She herself is incredibly lucky and brings good luck to those she decides to bring it to, which is herself most of the time. One shouldn't have to explain why that's helpful in poker. She already likes cheating people out of their money anyway.
Tewi was one of the people Kokoro was supposed to play cards with. "I'm Kokoro."
"Ah, damn, didn't recognize you. Oh well." Tewi got down from the table. "Here let me help you-"
? Eiki was right behind Kokoro when she tripped.
"Ah, shit." Tewi turned towards Eiki, "Well, let's get this over with. Are you just going to hit me, or are you going to give me a lecture that won't change how I think whatsoever?" Tewi is no stranger to being lectured. She is, however, to digging her own grave.
"Well, when you say it like that..."Eiki raised her Rod of Remorse above her head.
"Oh good! That thing's way easier to dodge than your trite lectures." Tewi put her hands on her hips.
"Sins: indirect assault, insulting a yama, intent to defy a yama, swearing. Twenty strikes, fifty pounds." A circle of blue light glows on floor around her feet.
"Since when could you get me for intent?" Tewi challenged.
"Now." Eiki brings down the Rod of Remorse.
"Have some of this!
? Tewi dodge rolls under the table she used to be on.
Eiki trailing her with her with the Rod, brings it down on the table, which due to physics causes the other end of the table to fly into Eiki's face, and knock her hat off.
Eiki looked incredibly mad.
"Hahahahahahhaa~! Now that was funny!" Tewi was close to tears.
"Indirect assault towards a yama, one strike, eight hundred and thirty five pounds." Eiki didn't agree.
As she raised her Rod of Remorse, a hand landed on her shoulder, preventing her from raising it all the way.
"Who dares?" Eiki practically snarls.
"Eiki, please." it was Byakuren, with a concerned pout.
Byakuren Hijiri is a buddhist nun and leader of Gensokyo's buddhist sect, she is also a magician youkai that specializes in ?buffing? magic. Due to her buddhism she is not allowed to drink or possess money, which she is a strict adherent to, even if she is in place like this.
"O-oh. Byakuren, I'm sorry." Eiki quickly cooled off a bit.
"I think you need to apologize to someone else." Byakuren initiated her motherly scolding voice.
"She simply played a prank, and you
had your emotions get the better of you." Byakuren interrupted.
"Who are you to tell a yama how to operate?" Eiki retorted.
"Someone who know that someone doesn't truly change another through simple physical abuse." Byakuren had a motherly smile.
"Well, no, it doesn't?" Eiki put her arm down.
"Here." Byakuren bent down and picked up Eiki's hat, "There's a time and place for everything, but it's not now." She put her hat back on. "Besides, Kokoro, the person who this was actually about, wasn't even harmed, not physically, nor emotionally."
"I really wasn't." Kokoro had already gotten up from lying on the floor to sitting up on the floor.
"Alright, fine." Eiki finally relents.
As the situation's heat died down, Eiki simply stared at the floor with a sour expression on her face, while Byakuren began looking around idly.
"...That's funny." Tewi broke the silence.
"What is?" Kokoro questions.
"A magician youkai is more fair than the person who's supposed to judge you when you die." It's almost as if Tewi wants to die, to see how fair Eiki really is.
"Eiki, before you go off again, remember that you were about to kill her with an eight hundred pound Rod of Remorse." Byakuren nipped in the bud.
Eiki actually looked slightly crestfallen, "...I really was. That's not good form for a yama..."
"Plus, she does have a point. As a judge of the dead, it's of paramount importance to not let your emotions overcome you." Byakuren had somehow managed to out-lecture a yama.
"Yes, yes, it truly is." Eiki stood there in silence with Byakuren's hand on her shoulder.
Tewi stretched, and spoke up, "As much as I hate to break up a nice post-lecture repenting silence, we do still have a card game to play."
"That you all do.."
"Huh?" Eiki looks up.
Yukari was hanging out of a gap surveying the situation from above.
"I must thank you, Byakuren, for breaking up a fight so I didn't have to. Although, I will have to replace that table..."Yukari slowly descended to the floor.
"That was quite a good show you all put on there, isn't that right Hina?" Yukari looks over her shoulder.
Hina was indeed, hiding amongst the roulette tables watching the situation unfold, a chancy proposition in a dress like hers.
Hina Kagiyama was a misfortune goddess, albeit that she doesn't have shrines or collect faith. She does, however, collect misfortune by gathering Hina dolls that are put in rivers, or more practically, by spinning in a circular pattern. This makes a gambling hall the equivalent of all-you-can-eat buffet for her.
She stepped out from the tables towards her fellow poker players. "Sorry for not making myself known earlier, but the entire thing was quite a scene.."
"Well yes, but enough about that. As Tewi said, we have a game to play. Choose any table you like." Yukari decided to the put the whole thing to rest.
Once Kokoro got up off the floor, Kokoro, Tewi, Hina, Eiki and Byakuren all moved toward the closest table to the stage.
"I have to commend the band for still playing after Eiki slammed a table into her face." Tewi said after sitting at the table.
"They're quite used to such things." Yukari snickered a bit.
Eiki shot Yukari a quick glance.
Yukari swiftly carried on, "Now, as you all surely know, the game is Texas Hold ?em, and the buy-in is exactly one million yen."
Each player fished out a bag of one million yen and put it onto the table.
"Very nice. Now, with the special circumstances of this particular setup, I will take of care of maintaining the boundaries of luck. I hope I don't I have to mention what will happen if you cheat, or even more hopefully, don't find any of you cheating, for your sake." Yukari learned as she said the latter part.
A deck of playing cards fell out of a gap and into Yukari's hand. "Here is your deck, pre-shuffled and in no way stacked in anyway, I assure you.."
She set the deck down in the middle of the table, with a wave of her hand, the cards then dealt themselves to each player.
Sitting in a gap, she sedately says, "Let the games begin."
Yukari then falls backwards into the gap, making her exit.
What character would you like to follow?
[ ] Eiki Shiki
[ ] Hata no Kokoro
[ ] Byakuren Hijiri
[ ] Tewi Inaba
[ ] Hina Kagiyama
Also do you want to directly control their actions or do you just want to see their cards?
[ ] Direct Control
[ ] Just See Cards