Thinking about it you consider that it could be only one of two things Marisa would need... either a blender, or some kind of masher. While you do actually possess both you figure that Marisa still has some anger to work out... that and you're a little irritated over her calling the modern world 'lazy'.
“I have a tool to do that,” you state as you move to rummage around in a drawer, eventually managing to pull out a potato masher - little more than a grid of metal bars attached to a handle. Marisa promptly grabs the thing out of your hand and attacks the soup with it, spraying more than a few drops of cooling soup everywhere.
It takes a while and, by the end of it, the two of you feel exhausted as you had been switching off mashing duties with each other as you each tired. You're panting hard, as is Marisa, but she seems to have a triumphant grin on her face even as she moves the pot back onto the stove to boil. “heh...” she pants, “not bad for a lazy outsider.”
You grin in return, “Not bad for a tiny girl.” you manage to get out between pants. Marisa grins back, “You have some soup on your face,” you state, causing her to reach up, scoop a blob of the cold soup off her face and pop it into her mouth.
“'s good.” she states, “I thought you 'instant stock' would muss it up, but 's good.”
“Heh,” you state, “I didn't think a youkai would like soup. Or be so good at cooking.” As you say this you realize that Marisa is looking at you strangely then, slowly, she starts to giggle - her giggles eventually giving way to all-out laughter. “What?” you ask, “what's so funny?”
“You... haha... you... you think I am a youkai!?” Marisa is doubled up with laughter now, eventually she calms down some before pointing at you and laughing all over again. “ahaha!”
“You... You mean... you're not?” You say, your voice slightly stunned, “But.. but you... you blew up... how did you...” as you stammer the girl just laughs and giggles more, but eventually calms down enough to talk properly again.
“'s Danmaku! Danmaku!” she exclaims, “Everyone in Gensokyo can make 'em!” She pauses, and looks thoughtful for a moment, “They're not supposed to blow stuff up though... Keine explained it to me why it happened... It's kinda like... play-fighting? I guess.” the girl looks at you thoughtfully for a few moments, “I guess I could show you if you want to see...”
And now, as a special bonus... MARISA'S MUSHROOM SOUP:
500g (1 lb) mushrooms, cleaned 'n sliced.... lovely lovely mushrooms-ze, I like chestnut but any good ones should work fine-ze. 90g (3 oz) butter 2 medium onions, chopped 1 clove garlic, crushed love 2 tablespoons plain flour 1 litre (2 pints) hot chicken stock 1 bay leaf (optional) ½ cup (4floz) cream Salt and ground black pepper
Heat the butter in a pan and add the onions, cook 'em until they're soft-ze.
Add the lovely, lovely mushrooms-ze. You're gonna have to cook 'em for 3-4 minutes-ze.
Sprinkle the flour in and mix well-ze, mix with love until the mushrooms are all coated, then you can pour in the hot stock-ze! Put in the leaf thing too an' wait for about 10 minutes, wait with love-ze! (take the leaf-thing out after-ze, don't forget that-ze.)
Let it cool down a bit-ze, then blend it all until it's smooth-ze (or I guess you can use a potato masher-ze... but that'll take a long time and a lot of work-ze), then rinse the pan out and heat the soup up in it again until it's boiling-ze! Then add the salt and pepper, mix in the cream and it's ready to eat-ze! Delicious mushroom soup made with love-ze!
Man... i just know some proper cook person is gonna complain at me now.
Unlikely. We're disposable; the government would not want an incident to look like it was started by outsiders. Hell, we might have been sent in as a sacrificial lamb, precisely so that they'll have justification to respond militarily.
I was kind of hoping the terrorized driver was going to slip us his sidearm out of compassion, but he didn't.
“Maybe later,” you state, then continue quickly before Marisa has a chance to complain or yell at you. “If we do it now, dinner could be cold by the time we finish. Besides, I guess I'd like to have everyone around first... since I suppose I should ask some things about Gensokyo.”
“Eh? What kind of things?” Marisa looks at you curiously as she stirs the soup with a large wooden spoon. “And yeh, waiting is fine... Danmaku look more awesome when it starts getting dark anyway, like fireworks y'know?”
You laugh nervously, of course you don't know but if these 'danmaku' are anything like fireworks, well, that could explain the explosion at least. Where these danmaku were kept though, you had no idea - there couldn't have been any in the luggage at least, otherwise the explosion would have been much larger, right? “Just a few things... I guess I could ask you now, but I sort of want to hear what the others think too.” You sigh, “That and I have some things I need to warn you all about anyway, electricity, guns, that kind of thing.”
“Ee-lek-tree-city?” Marisa sounds the word out then looks at you, “I'm sure I've heard that before... Maybe at Kourindou?” She mumbles for a few moments, then shrugs. “Whatever~ The soup's done!” With that Marisa is off, grabbing the bowls you had bought out earlier and ladling the contents of the pot into them. You yourself sigh and get to work, pulling out the other things you had cooking and arranging them on various plates and dishes. You did have some things you wanted to ask but... they can wait for now as it looks like Marisa is more interested in her soup than in answering questions.
Within a short while you, Marisa, and the other four girls are clustered around the table in the dining area. Dishes cover the table and, in front of you, is your bowl of the soup Marisa made. “So,” you begin, “before we start eating I just want to thank Miss Marisa for helping make dinner - eventually I'll have to teach all of your to use the kitchen yourselves, in case any of you want something to eat while I'm not around.” Marisa seems to beam a little at your thanks, then she and the others nod at the last part of your statement. Finally they all dig in.
Dinner was relatively pleasant, the soup was... better than you had expected - you were after all following the recipe of a person you were... well okay, you had no idea anymore if she was human or youkai but either way she was a person who'd never stepped foot into a modern kitchen before. The rest of the meal, cooked mainly by yourself, was just the normal kind of stuff you ate before anyway. The girls didn't seem to have any complaints - though you did notice Letty had let her meal cool down before she started eating it.
“Oi oi!” Marisa is bouncing in her chair eagerly. Evidently she'd devoured her meal as quickly as she could, “Lets go! Lets go!” Keine glanced at her, then at you.
“What, exactly, are you two up to?” She asked, in the same kind of tone your old teachers used to use on you. The 'I know you're up to something and I don't want to have to clean it up' kind of tone.
“Oh, Miss Kir- uh... Miss Marisa agreed to show me this 'danmaku' thing she kept raving about while we were cooking.” At that Keine stiffened, then turned to glare at Marisa, who merely folded her arms and put on a smug expression.
“You said it would be fine if he said it was okay! And he did! So there!” The girl even stuck her tongue out at the older woman, “Besides, he wants us all to be there so he can ask us stuff 'bout back home anyway - so don't get your bloomers in a twist!”
“You'll probably regret this you know,” Mumbles Komachi, who seems amused by the whole thing. “But if Marisa's gonna show off, why don't the rest of us? Get some drink, throw up a few 'maku firework-style, have a lil' party as a, y'know, housewarming - yeah?”
“Oh my,” Letty whispers, “That does sound fun. How about you Miss Meiling, Cirno has told me many times how colorful yours are.”
The chinese girl gives a shy smile, then nods enthusiastically, “Sure!” she exclaims, seeming a totally different person from what she was this morning. “It'll be just like practice!”
Face with the evident glee of the other four girls, Keine had no choice but to back down over the issue. “Fine,” she breathed, “I suppose I can throw up a few signs too if thats what everyone wants - but nothing too big Marisa, remember what I told you earlier.”
“Sure, sure... so... Who should go first? I would, but I'm gonna need a little preparation for what I wanna do!” Marisa grins, “I'll go last and show how awesome I am as the big finale!”
So, who should go first? [ ] Meiling [ ] Komachi [ ] Keine [ ] Letty
>>44315 Yeah. We probably should warn the girls about the capabilities and paranoid militaristic tendencies of the government. Best to head things off in case the story takes a dystopic spin and govt agents start trying to abduct Gensokyo residents for study or exterminate them all.
“Mmm... how about this,” you suggest, “Miss Letty first - because it'll probably still be warm outside, I can set up a fan or something if you need it though. Then Miss Meiling because... uhm... well, just because I guess, Miss Keine can go next, then Miss Komachi - is that okay with everyone?” A chorus of nods, as well as a few grumbles, comes back in way of reply. As the others finish eating you idly think about what kind of snack foods you have lying around - so you weren't entirely sure what 'danmaku' were but did it really matter much right now? Marisa had said they were like fireworks and used for play-fighting. The idea of using actual fireworks for play-fighting was more than a little worrying, as was the fact that one of these 'danmaku' had apparently blown apart everyone's luggage. But then this was youkai play-fighting that was being talked.... about....
It was only then that you realized something important about the previous conversation - all the girls had admitted being able to use danmaku. Did this mean they all used them to play-fight with and, if so, wouldn't that mean they were ALL youkai? Letty had laughed at you earlier when you mentioned thinking Keine was one... did that mean she was laughing at you for not realizing they all were? Come to that, Letty herself was somewhat odd... Sure, some people did like the cold but... perhaps not quite that much.
Ugh... maybe you should just ask them all flat out. 'Are you a youkai?'. No... on second thoughts that might be rude, what if they weren't a youkai? Or worse, what if they were and took offense at being asked? This was something that required more thought - and was probably going to be better done one on one, rather than in a big group. Hell, actually it would probably be better done tomorrow - assuming you actually survive the night of course.
For a moment you reflect on how helpless you actually feel... So many things you've tried not to worry about, or want to leave to later. No. This time you would make a stand - you would ask the girls tonight and if things went to hell? Well... at least you got to spend your last day with some pretty women - that's more than most likely did.
“So, girls,” you say, “Why don't you all head outside and prepare for, uh, whatever it is you're going to do. Leave the cleaning up to me.” It sounded rather noble that, 'leave the cleaning up to me'... but you knew something they didn't. You had an automatic dishwasher - a large one. Cleaning up would take just a few minutes to put things away and turn the machine on... Yet another thing, you realize, that you will have to teach them at some point. As the girls file out, led by Keine, you listen to the few snippets of conversation you understand ... but it only makes you more confused. Cards, patterns, signs... you understand the words, but the context is pretty baffling. Actually, it reminds you of when you first started learning the sciences - how everything made no sense.
Your hands are tingling. You hadn't thought about it before but this... this is so incredible. You're talking with non-humans - it's the same as talking to aliens right? You're talking - no, you're LIVING with what are, effectively, aliens of a kind. Sure it was dangerous but... was this how the great pioneers felt? When they first met other peoples of the world, or first discovered some new and amazing scientific concept? You'll never know for sure but...
Well. It'll do.
By the time you're outside the girls have pulled another bench up and located the small wooden table and chairs that had been hidden a short distance away. Komachi has already cracked open a few more bottles of alcohol and Letty seems to be holding up well - it's perhaps a shade cooler than you had expected it to be and the lavender-haired woman is already enjoying a glass of... well, you're not entirely sure, it could be from any of the bottles Komachi opened. Marisa is... messing with something, you can't quite tell what it is as she seems to be doing her best to keep it secret from everyone. Meiling seems to be going through some sort of martial arts pattern... though you don't have the faintest clue what kind of martial art its supposed to be as you're knowledge of such is pretty much limited to the few kung-fu flicks you watch now and then.
“All finished?” Keine asks from behind you, causing you to jump slightly in surprise. “I should warn you now that seeing danmaku for the first time can be... more than a little frightening. It's all harmless... mostly harmless anyway.”
You nod, not quite understanding the warning. Then again... seeing fireworks for the first time could be scary, right? And as far as you could tell these 'danmaku' were something like fireworks in many ways so... the warning made sense in that context perhaps. “I'll... bear that in mind.” you say, “so... when do we start? How do we start?”
“Winter sign~” You turn at the sound of Letty's voice - it's far more commanding than you had gotten used to over the day. She's standing next to the table, a small item the size of a playing card held up in front of her face - almost as if she were praying to it. “Flower, wither away~”
You're about to ask her what she's doing when something white falls past your vision. You blink and look around, seeing more such white things drifting down from above. Glancing up you gulp at the mass of white... things... in the air. None of the girls seem to be particularly worried about it, but you're having a hard time understanding just what the hell is going on. Some kind of firework? A light show? Several answers flash through your head, but none of them quite fit what you're actually seeing here.
Your hand moves, almost of it's own violition, to touch one of the falling white... petals? Actually... yes, now you look at it the white things have the appearance of flower petals and the mass above seems like a vague interpretation of... a flower?
A flower, withering away?
Your gaze drops back down to Letty, who's still standing there in her prayer-like pose.
[ ] Wh... what is this? [ ] H... how are you doing this? [ ] Th... this is impossible! [ ] Is... is this Danmaku?
since [ ] Stay silent got a get, and votes, we'll let it win now.
You are about to ask what's going on when the words simply catch in your throat, forcing you silent. Instead you look back up at the giant flower of light overhead and simply... enjoy. More than one of the petals land on you, giving slight chilling sensations, as if someone had placed an icecube where they had landed. As you watch the flower overhead slowly grows smaller as more and more of it's petals simply drift away...
Eventually the flower seems to wither and die completely and you realize the show, this one at least, is over. Turning back to Letty you watch as she seems to sigh in relief before sitting down. “That... was Danmaku?” you ask, your voice quiet.
“That was danmaku.” confirms the lavender-haired woman as she sips at her drink, “One of my spell cards at least. 'Flower wither away' - it represents the oncoming of winter and how the blooming flowers shed their petals as the cold approaches.”
“It was... it was beautiful” you whisper, “I... I don't know how it was done... and I feel I should be in a state of panic of something right now but... it was beautiful.”
“That's one of the rules mister Ryogi,” Keine's voice speaks up from where she had taken a seat nearby, “the Danmaku system has rules, and one of them is that all spell cards must be elegant and, basically, look good. A spell card being, in case you haven't guessed, a particular pattern of danmaku.”
“Yeah,” agrees Komachi, “Though they're not so pretty when you have to dodge the damn things, yeah? 's a lot of work avoiding some of 'em.”
“Dodge?” You ask, confused, only to have Marisa look up from... whatever she's doing and grin at you.
“It's how you play!” she exclaims, “Two people fight with Danmaku - one of 'em fires off a spell card and the other has to dodge it all until it ends! If you get hit you lose!”
“It's a replacement for lethal combat.” Keine states as Marisa goes back to work, “Danmaku used to just be lethal blasts of power used when Youkai fought each other. Now, though, they have been scaled down to be less dangerous - though in a real danmaku fight they can bruise quite painfully if you happen to be hit with them, or burn, or chill - nothing you can't recover from with a few days rest however.”
“Yeah,” Meiling adds, “and some people aren't so... uhm... good... as keeping the power down. So it can still be dangerous if you're fighting the wrong people. Anyway! It's my turn now right?”
The other girls, and you, nod. At the sign of agreement Meiling hops up and takes several strides into the field before taking a deep breath and settling into some kind of martial arts pose. “Colorful flower!” she declares as she starts moving from one stance to another. At first you don't quite see what's so special as she looks like she's doing the same exercises you used to see old people doing in parks. However, after a short while you realize that she's glowing... or rather, that hundreds of tiny colorful danmaku are forming into a field around her. “Rainbow Taijiquan!” Immediately at her declaration the danmaku burst outward into patterns and lines which spiral around her like some kind of moving rainbow. You realize, with some awe, that unlike Letty's spell card, which seemed to run pretty much autonomously, Meilings appears to be reacting to her movements as she goes through the pattern of moves.
[ ] What, exactly, are Danmaku? [ ] Can anyone make these? [ ] These ones look... different... from Letty's.
(no pic because... er... well i pretty much suck at IN on hard and lunatic)
As you stare in awe at the rainbow surrounding Meiling, you vaguely eye the spaces between the individual danmaku. Marisa had mentioned dodging between them but... you'd have to be quick, nimble and have good reflexes in order to do it. It was... possible... you'd admit that at least but for yourself? Not in the slightest. Then again, from the way Marisa and Keine had put it, this was a game of sorts that you assumed must be played a lot - practice would eventually win out but it would likely be a long learning process.
But... it was pretty, and you could only imagine what it must look like to Meiling, who was inside the spiraling rainbow of danmaku. In time, however, the rainbow faded away as the streams of brightly colored danmaku ended. Instead, left in the middle was a barely panting Meiling - her face flushed from the work of her pattern. Her chest rises and falls with each breath and you do your best not to stare as she flashes you a triumphant grin before walking over and collapsing on the bench.
You are about to ask Keine something when you remember that she's up next. Instead you move to sit next to Meiling, who has just been handed a glass of something - alcohol probably - by Komachi. “Miss Meiling,” you begin, causing her to look up at you as she sips on her drink. “That was...” you flounder for words, “... impressive.”
Komachi, still nearby, smirks at you. “Look, isn't it cute? He's speechless - you impressed him something good.” at that you notice Meiling's face is covered in a light blush and realize she's obviously not used to being complimented.
“Uhm...” You look out at Keine, who seems to be taking a little longer to prepare than the previous two girls. “Miss Komachi? What... What exactly are danmaku?”
“Eh?” The busty girl turns to look at you and, for the first time that day you're acutely aware that she's actually taller than you are - especially given how close she is right now. “What are danmaku? Hmmmm...” The redhead scratches her chin in thought for a few seconds, “They're... well... they're kind of like, oh what do you call them... bullets? Once you've launched them off they travel in set paths, usually straight ahead unless you've got a spell card to tell them where to actually go.”
You frown slightly, Komachi knew about bullets? You wish you'd paid more attention to history back in school... because her words implied Gensokyo hadn't been sealed away until after the invention of the musket. Her explanation didn't make all that much sense either, but you could see from her expression there was something she wasn't quite willing to say outright. Were danmaku some kind of hyper-technology? ... no... that was pretty silly given how backwards, compared to modern technology, these people from Gensokyo seemed to be.
But if it wasn't technology then... .... no. That was even sillier, right?
“Pseudo-History!” Your thoughts are derailed when you hear Keine's declaration from her spot out in the field. Looking up at her you spot three... things... hovering around her that seem to rotate slowly. “The Legend of Gensokyo!” At first you just see a slight shimmering in the air before rings of danmaku bullets, these ones shaped like arrowheads of some kind, emanate out from Keine's position. They're aimed at a slight upward angle so as to miss both the house and the people outside it... nevertheless you reach up and grab one as it passes - only to have it vanish and leave your hand feeling cramped up with pins and needles. Meiling and Letty both give you a strange look for that, as if to ask why the hell you thought that was a good idea. Komachi, however, is trying - and failing - to hide a smirk behind her hands while Marisa still seems wrapped up in whatever she's doing.
Suddenly a beam of light cuts through the air and your gaze is sent whipping back to land on Keine - the three things orbiting her are now emitting beams, lasers even, of their own. Which strikes you as a little odd... a beam would surely travel much faster than that, right? Unless they were more like some kind of really stretched out danmaku...
[ ] How do you make Danmaku? [ ] How many types of Danmaku are there? [ ] How is anyone supposed to dodge something like this?
>Were danmaku some kind of hyper-technology? ... no... that was pretty silly given how backwards, compared to modern technology, these people from Gensokyo seemed to be. >But if it wasn't technology then... .... no. That was even sillier, right?
Ryogi, you...you obstinate lump of equine excrement. So steeped in "common sense" that you can't accept the conclusion of a simple process of elimination despite it fitting with all the relevant data. It's "magic" you worthlessly dense refuse--"magic". Not some fuggin' hyper technology that they've managed to develop while not knowing anything about electricity.
>>44568 That would be a horrible plot twist. "Hey guys, everything in Gensokyo--gods, youkai, danmaku, etc.--is the result of a super-advanced civilization tinkering with the populace. So it's not magic--it's highly advanced technology and science."
>>44572 I'm sure seihou isn't part a serious part of touhou's canon in any way. I'm sure Reimu and Marisa were just there to show off the new Windows designs (Actually, anyone able to give a translation of the Extra dialogue from that seihou? Wiki doesn't have it. Or anything on seihou). I'm just pointing out that it could be technology and not magic, even if the users are unaware. Like in scrapped princess.
(yeah, i write crap slow sometimes - 's 'cuz i want this stuff to be right - y'know? I'm a perfectionistic bastard like that)
Still, even though Keine's lightshow is terribly impressive, you can't quite let go of that little niggling thought in the back of your head. On one level you realize that it must be the only possible explanation, but on another - more conscious - level it seems simply impossible. Magic, as you have been taught almost your entire life, simply doesn't exist. And yet... it's the only explanation which seems to work, seems to explain the ability to create bullets and beams of light from nothing.
“How...” you say at last, “How do you... how do you make danmaku?” you ask, your voice slightly strained. Not that Komachi notices, as she simply turns to you and grins.
“Magic.” she says, “That's all it is, magic.”
“Ah.” for a moment your head feels light and fuzzy, then you give Komachi a stern glare. “Magic doesn't exist.” you state firmly, causing her to smirk at you in a vaguely superior way.
“Oh, it exists. How else could a youkai exist? Most of them have magic running through every fibre of their being. How else could there exist immortals who recover from any injury and fear not death?” Komachi draws closer and bends over slightly, her face a few scant inches from your own, “How else could a god of death be talking to you right now?”
You laugh nervously, “God of death? Now you're just trying to scare me.” Shrugging you turn away from her and look back over at Keine. “I'm an engineer, a scientist, I can't admit the existence of something like that - it goes against everything I've been taught about how the world works.”
“Would it really be that hard to accept it?” Meiling asks, speaking for the first time in a while.
“It would...” you begin, “It would mean... throwing away everything I've ever been taught. It would mean admitting that everything the humanity of now knows is fundamentally wrong and... I'm not brave enough to do that.” You laugh a humorless laugh, “Normally, people who talk about magic in this modern world are considered crazy but... you've already shown me enough to know that there's something out there I don't understand... But to admit it's magic? I... I just can't do that. Not yet.”
“Eh,” you can practically hear Komachi shrugging as she speaks, “th' boss said it'd be hard to get people to understand. You guys lost your connection with th' magic back before the barriers went up anyway. Hell 's practically why the barriers went up - humans stopped believing, and if no-one believes there's no magic and all the youkai'd die off. So they sealed themselves away to... conserve what little they had left.”
“Conservation of energy?” You hazard, still terribly unsure about this whole subject. “But... wouldn't they, uh, use it all up? Law of thermodynamics and all that?”
“Fermo-whatzits? I got no idea what that means but... yeah, they woulda used it all up normally but...” you feel a hand placed on your shoulder, Komachi's hand no doubt. “Belief is a funny thing yeah? Sure it may get weak now an' then, but it always comes back - that's kinda why we're here now and not working our asses off to get that barrier back up.”
“So, what? People suddenly all started believing again?” You snort, “that itself is difficult to believe.”
“Suddenly? No, it's taken a good thousand years for the belief to build up again.” That wasn't Komachi's voice. Turning you realize Keine has not only finished her display but has walked back to join the group. “Reimu gave us all a good long talk on the subject... though I thought I was the only one who actually listened.” She glances at Komachi and smirks, “I see I was wrong.”
“Nah, I slept right through that.” The red-head moves to make her own way into the field, “'course I had pretty much th' same lecture off th' boss th' night before so... anyway, 's my turn now right? Hope you lot don't mind a little rain.”
[ ] Miss Keine... I'm sorry, I... didn't see most of your display... [ ] Miss Keine... was she... telling the truth? Is magic really real? [ ] Miss Keine... I don't... I don't understand this anymore... why me?
[x] Miss Keine... I don't... I don't understand this anymore... why me?
Its too much. This is all impossible. Something can’t come from absolutely nothing. You can’t simply make energy just like you can’t make more atoms. They can be shifted and altered, but this is like a perpetual motion machine. It simply doesn’t work. Nothing is without a little entropy.
The girls stare at your troubled face. Keine sighs but still sits down next to you carrying an air of patience and wisdom.
“I was afraid this would happen. I’m sure we can make sense of this though. Here, tell me how that works.” Following her outstretched finger, you notice she is pointing to your watch. “What makes it perform its function?”
“Umm,” for a moment you stumble, trying to collect your thoughts and filter them into an understandable explanation. “Gears turn the needle, which is run by a motor, which turns because its run by a battery.” Your audience rewards you with blank stares. “You didn’t understand any of that, did you?”
“Of course not. How the hell could we?” Komachi grumbles with annoyance.
The other redhead replies with an uncertain but soothing voice. “Umm….I think the question is what makes the..ba-ta-ri so special?”
Oh boy. There is no way you could explain how certain elements can act as anodes and cathodes, much less what an atom is. Best to go with the simplest reasoning possible.
“Uhhh… a battery has two parts which send very tiny…energy pieces back and forth. The motor takes that energy and uses it to push around its own parts instead.” That felt awkward.
“Is that the same thing which makes the room cold?” Letty decides to join the conversation.
“Uh, sort of but it’s a slightly different form. If you want to look at energy in the most fundamental way, I guess you could say it runs everything. We get it by eating things, while plants get it from the sun.”
“So energy is mana then?” It seems the witch was listening as well.
“I don’t know. What is mana anyways?” The fear of entering into the world of pseudoscience sounds alarms in the back of your mind, but you quiet them for the sake of your pedagogue ways.
“Huh? Mana is what powers magic, ze~. It’s sort of the essence which is in anything, but only actively replenished in living things. When we play with danmaku or use any magic for that matter, it drains our mana but we naturally rebuild it over time.” For the first time, the spunky girl actually seemed mature and professional. Only slightly though.
“Is that even possible? I mean humans eat nutrients and convert that into energy, but its either stored, used to move parts or alter substances, or released as heat. And each transformation wastes a part of it.” You head is pounding.
Bah, lunch break over. More Hijackan Gamez later, if AD doesn’t kill me first.
“Miss Keine...” You look at the silver-haired teacher, you feel perhaps a little guilty over missing most of her display but you don't want to point it out... you feel a little wrong at not admitting it, but on the other hand right now you figure it's best not to borrow trouble you may have already avoided. “Is... was she...”
“What is it?” Keine's voice sounds a little disappointed, but she doesn't say anything to indicate why. You have a pretty good guess why though.
“Was... was she telling the truth?” you ask, “Is magic really real?”
The woman sighs. “I know it's hard to take in, but take a look at Miss Komachi out there.” Keine moves aside slightly to give you an unrestricted view of the redhead in question. “She has lived and breathed magic as long as she's existed, as have the others. They were born and brought up in a... magical society, people like that... they can't understand the fear of discovering something as incredible and terrible as magic.” You watch as Komachi makes a few motions with her hands - then blink in shock as a scythe seemingly appears from... no-where. The item is too large, too solid to have been produced through trickery or slight of hand so that only left... you gulp... magic. That only left magic.
“Old Rain...” Komachi's voice is barely a whisper, yet you hear it all the way over here as if she were standing next to you. Her scythe cuts a circle in the air as she spins it around like a cheerleaders baton and then... “Rain in the Afterworld Journey.”
One moment the skies were clear and dry, the next they were filled with thousands of raindrops that... you blink and frown. The raindrops were colored - like droplets of ink falling from the sky. Holding out your hand you catch a few, only to have them fade away with a slight tingling sensation as they hit your skin.
“Are they not pretty?” Keine asks, “Making something like this with magic is simple, making anything with magic is not too hard if you know how.” As she says this you hear a series of clinks and clatters, looking down you are surprised to find a spray of coins at your feet. Looking up again you see that they're coming from Komachi, a spray of silver and gold coins that if they were all collected would be worth... well, a small fortune at least. As you stoop to pick a handful up Keine continues, “whatever you make, however, will not last long. Without a continual supply of magic to sustain it's existence it will soon fade into nothing. Those coins you have will be gone by the time Miss Komachi finishes.”
“Thats... “ you turn the coin over and over in your fingers then, on a whim, you try biting it. “It... it even tastes like metal!” you exclaim in surprise, staring at the coin in awe.
“And yet you will still deny that magic exists.” stated the teacher, “you will deny and deny as long as you can, because to admit it is to admit you exist in a world far, far more terrifying than the one you used to know.”
[ ] ... how do you know this? [ ] Is it really that terrifying? [ ] One filled with Youkai you mean?
“Is...” you begin, still staring at the coin, your voice barely a whisper, “Is it really that terrifying?”
“In short? Yes, it is.” You're surprised by Keine's matter-of-fact tone. “You have to understand, when you accept magic you accept everything that goes with it - and one of those things is Youkai. Every single monster you've ever heard of... Ghosts, demons, man-eating monsters. In accepting magic you have to accept that they all exist and... and worse. You have to accept that they may kill you.”
“K-kill?” you choke out, dropping the coin in surprise.
“Kill.” Keine confirms. “I'm lucky in that I have a... lets call it a trick... that makes it hard for me to be found if I want to stay hidden. But I have seen villagers die from things they couldn't see or worse, things which were very good at looking innocent and every time, I used to think 'that could have been me'. Before I knew about magic, before I accepted it... I never even knew those things existed, I never worried, I was never afraid of them.”
“That's not all, is it?” you ask, “There's something else, isn't there?”
Keine nods, but you can see from her expression that she doesn't want to speak any further on the subject so, silently, the two of you watch the rest of Komachi's display until, at last, it ends. Glancing down you notice that, as Keine had implied, the coins at your feet were fading away into nothingness... or possibly, and this is a weird thought for you, possibly they were reverting back into magical energy and just... dissipating.
You snort, would magic even follow the rules of the conservation of energy anyway? If you are to accept magic, you think, you would need to understand more of how it works... Applying the scientific method to magic... your laugh, never had you even considered ever that you would be thinking such things as you are now.
“Oi oi oi oi!” A gleeful yell from one side reminds you that there's one person left to put up a display. Marisa strides up to you, a small octagonal object clutched in both hands. “If you wanna see proof of magic,” she says, “then feast your eyes on this mini-hakkero!”
The moment the name of the object slips out all the other girls suddenly look alert and, much to your despair, very worried.
“Love sign!” Marisa stands there, Mini-hakkero glowing with unearthly power and you suddenly feel yourself pulled up and to one side as a blast of green light burns through the space you had been occupying moments ago. “Non-directional laaaaaaaaser!” a second, third and fourth beam - each a different color - also split the air in different directions. Brightly colored stars seem to fill the space between the now moving beams of light. You feel yourself swung up and into someone's arms as a trio of such star shoot past, barely grazing you and leaving a stinging sensation in their wake. Looking up you see Meiling's face filling your vision - she seems to be deep in concentration and then, suddenly, you feel your stomach lurch as the two of you dart to one side and... spin?
It's only then that you get a good look at the floor.
It's not a very good look since it's a good fifteen feet below you.
Which meant... you were flying.
Gulping you tear your eyes away from the ground only to see what, to you, is possibly the only thing worse - Meiling looking panicked. A quick glance around explains why... you're surrounded by stars with no-where to move. It also reveals three girls looking shocked and a fourth looking significantly terrified.
Oh. And a red beam of light heading right at you.
This... was probably going to sting.
March 5th, 2012, end.
Days remaining until programme completion - 139
Day 1 ended, will set off the next day tomorrow. Don't worry about the big '139' days left, as there will be timeskips and stuff so you won't have to play every-god-damned day in full.
you open your eyes. Pain fills your entire body. The last thing you remember ... Magic ... how terrifying it is. That any sort of this mystical power that you know nothing about can suddenly kill you. You remember a display of this power. That foolish woman ... she ...
You turn your head to the side. Keine is standing facing the other way. She's talking to ...There she is, that witch. You can see the concern on her face. Did she really mean to strike you like that? She looks down, seeing your movement in the corner of her eye.
"H-hey..." She says meekly.
Keine turns to you, eying your position in bed. "Well, I'm glad you've woken up. How are you feeling?"
"Not too good..." You barely muster. "Ms. Kirisame, please, come here." The Black Witch gulps at your beckoning. She steps forward. "Closer," You beg her.
She now stands beside the bed, leaning over. You reach up to her collar, sit straight up, and yank her face into yours.
>>44903 continued. Gah, this is what I get for taking too long to finish a hijack.
Silence hangs in the air as the girls look down thoughtfully, trying to collect their explanations. The scene feels like talking to someone who speaks a different language, except that instead of words it’s an entire reality. The throbbing pain in the back of your head increases. “Feh, told ya he wouldn’t be able ta understand. This world’s got no way ta see it, even if they’re drownin in it. ” Again, Komachi drunkenly jabs while reaching for another bottle. The other girls hold their tongues.
Keine’s brow furrows as if she is in deeply focusing on something, before speaking out next. “Maybe if we describe how it feels? Surely you’ve felt it before, or you wouldn’t be alive, Mr Ryogi. Do you….mediate or anything? I’m not very familiar with this world’s religious habits.”
Wow. You really weren’t expecting a question like that. “Eh, I’m not much of a religious person. Sometimes I do some calming techniques when things get stressful, but I wouldn’t ever say I meditate.”
Placing a finger to her lips, Keine cocks her head to one side to ponder this. Somehow the silly box hat she wears stays in place. Did she Velcro it to her skull or something? Your thoughts momentarily wander before her face lights up with a smile.
“Oh I know. Do you ever feel odd when things inspire you. Things like music or stories or fantasies? Things that send a chill down your spine, or suddenly make you feel like you are coated in a sort invisible material. It almost feels…empowering, like you have a sudden burst of energy flowing from deep inside.”
Her words strike so true that it derails any other thoughts. That feeling. The blissful strength that surges through your chest and body when you hear those special songs which speak to your soul. You had always used them for working out at the gym, but it was just a sort of self hypnosis, right? That flare of energy when you fantasized about being a hero, protecting the ones you love with your life in a blaze of glory, even becoming martyr. That motivation which enables you to push harder for the extra distance. But that was just adrenaline coming to you as your second wind….
The girls are all now staring with interest. The answer must be fairly obviously written across your face.
“Ha! I told you they’d at least feel it out here, ze~! I win, so hand it over nice and easy.” Marisa gloats as Komachi reluctantly hands her an unidentifiable card.
Keine smiles and continues. “Well anyways, it’s that feeling that we use for magic. The sort of connected feeling is the mana inside. If you focus it through your body and into something like this card, it will…how did you put it….’change forms.’ It can be affected by different things too, like emotion.”
“Yeah, like me! I use love, ze~. Check it out!” Marisa holds up a small octagonal box and displays it proudly. Were you not so confused, it would have been possible to turn and see the look of dread the other girls now wear.
The pain has become a jackhammer pounding away at your brain. You vision is filled with the familiar swirling lights associated with dizziness, but are drowned out by the massive brightness growing in the yard. Suddenly, a pair of strong hands grip you and the sensation of agile movement knocks away the last anchor of consciousness. Pain dulling darkness embraces you.
>Day 1 ended, will set off the next day tomorrow. Don't worry about the big '139' days left, as there will be timeskips and stuff so you won't have to play every-god-damned day in full. >08/06/27 (Fri) 18:36