You get up off the sofa and walk over to Renko. "It's okay." You say. "You ... you killed him for my sake, this is ... m-my responsibility too." You try to smile at her, but there's a weight in your stomach. She gives your shoulder a squeeze, smiling back at you. It's really nice when she does that, you kind of wish she'd leave her hand there for longer. "Okay, hold your nose, he might smell a bit." She says, reaching down again. You follow her advice as she gently pulls the top covering back. As she does so, the entire lump collapses in on itself, going flat.
He's not there.
"What the fuck?" Renko says, face turning white. "What ... where's the body?" You ask. "Oh shit ... oh shit." She says, standing up again and pinching the bridge of her nose. "Fuck." "What ... but ... it was right there, wasn't it?" You're not so sure now. Was there a body under there all this time? Was it just a pile of bags held up by an air-pocket. Renko looks at you, biting her tongue in thought. "I ... I think I might have an idea of who he is now." "Oh?" You ask. "Yes." Renko says, flopping back down on the sofa again. "Or rather, what he is." "What he is?" Renko nods slowly. "Yes." She takes a deep breath. "There's no way he got up and walked away after I put a bullet through his head." You nod. That makes sense. "The only explanation is that he's one of the pair of half-ghosts Mary knows about." "Half ... sorry, what? I don't understand." Renko looks up at you, then smiles, relaxing. "Sorry, I forget you don't know this stuff. Come sit, I'll explain." You take a seat next to her on the sofa, throwing a suspicious glance back at the empty, make-shift body-bag.
"Mary has access to Yukari's mind." Renko says. "She's fascinated with the place Yukari lives, and it's all quite complicated. One of the things she's told me about over the years was a family of half-ghosts." You nod, not quite understanding. "Apparently there's only two of them left these days. A man and his daughter." "... oh." You say. "So we just ..." "We just killed the father." Renko nods. "But we can't kill him, not completely, because half of his life isn't physical, unlike a full human." She turns to you. "Is this making any sense to you?" You nod. "I think so." "You'd need to ask Mary for the details, but basically I think he just decided to collect his body." Renko frowns. "He ... he what?" "Collect his body." Renko says. "Take it with him, back wherever he came from, acting as an independent spirit." She shrugs. "It's the only thing that makes any sense." "How ... how on earth would that work?" You ask, then it hits you. The figure you saw forming in front of the corpse as you passed out in the kitchen. Was that him? You explain to Renko and she nods, frowning in thought. "Maybe you could see him because of whatever Yukari was doing to you mind." She says. "Could he still come after us?" You ask, feeling a pang of worry again. Renko shrugs. "We'll have to ask Mary. She'll know, but I'd say we hurt him bad enough to get rid of him for a long time." She grins at you. "So don't worry, okay?"
Spirits? Vanishing dead bodies? Other worlds? Half-ghosts? If you weren't so shaken up, you'd laugh.
Instead you just nod. "Okay Renko, I'll try not to worry."
Renko looks out the widow. "Looks like the sun's starting to come up." You follow her gaze. She's right, you can see the horizon starting to turn red, picking out the few clouds in the sky. "Renko." You say. "I think ..."
[ ] You should go see Mary as early as possible, don't waste the day. [ ] You need to get back to sleep, get Renko's number and address before she goes. [ ] You don't want to be alone for now, can you come with Renko?
[x] You should go see Mary as early as possible, don't waste the day. [x] You don't want to be alone for now, can you come with Renko? If people are after us (Ebolanon, Mary, and maybe Renko), it be would best to stick together.
[x] You should go see Mary as early as possible, don't waste the day. [x] You don't want to be alone for now, can you come with Renko? [x] Also get Renko's phone number and address before you go, just in case you get separated.
" ... I r-really don't want to be a-alone right now." You say, reaching over but hesitating about placing your hand on Renko's. You're painfully aware of the possible double-meaning of your sentence, but you couldn't think of any other way of putting it. She solves you dilemma for you, grabbing your hand and interlacing her fingers with yours. You feeling yourself blushing again, but Renko just smiles. "I ... I m-mean," you stutter, then screw your eyes shut and ignore the fluttering in your chest. "Can I come with you today please?" You force out all in one go. Renko looks like she's struggling not to grin. "Of course you can, like I said, I'm not letting you out of my sight until we know you're safe. Okay?" You nod, looking down but feeling good inside. She's going to help you, everything's going to be okay. Everything's going to work out.
Before you know it, Renko has got you out the door and into the freezing morning air. She's already dealt with the bloody bin-bags, dumping them in a bucket of bleach while you put on some warmer clothes and grabbed your bag again. Outside, your breath mists in the orange dawn. "Being up so early is nice, don't you think?" Renko says, smiling at you. "Uh ... " You look around you at the gentle glow reflected off the buildings, at the lack of people, the calm. "Yeah, I think it is." Renko takes your hand and leads you down the street, in the general direction of the underground station. "So, where are we going?" You ask her, actually feeling invigorated and bolstered by being outside so early. "To my place." She says. "I need a shower and a change of clothes." You nod, eyeing her torn and ruined jacket. Maybe it's a good thing you're avoiding the crowds, she wouldn't exactly be inconspicuous right now. You remember something else, something that means she really doesn't want to attract too much attention. "Renko ... " You say quietly, glancing up and down the street to make sure nobody is watching. "Are you still carrying that gun?" You almost whisper. She looks over at you for a moment, expression unreadable. "Yeah." She says. "Not going to leave it at yours, am I?" "I guess ..." You trail off, wondering about it. Now that you have a moment to think, you're more than curious about where Renko got a handgun, or learned to shoot. And what about that knife? She may not have landed any hits with it, but it seemed like she knew what she was doing. No, it was more than that. She moved like lightning when she needed to. Noticing you staring, she cocks her head at you and smiles again. "What is it?" She looks so kind, so incapable of violence.
But last night she shot a man in the head.
You just smile back. "Nothing Renko." Then your phone rings. You pull it out, less surprised this time. "Again?" Renko asks. You nod, the screen just reads 'unknown number', like before. "What do you think?" You ask. Renko shrugs. "It's up to you."
You press the little green button. "Ah! Got you this time!" The voice comes down the phone. It's the woman from the first call. At least she hasn't dropped the phone this time. Renko leans close and you angle the phone outwards a little so she can hear as well. "W-who is this?" You ask. "Never mind who I am! Where are you?" She asks. You exchange a glance with Renko. She shakes her head. "I c-can't t-tell you that." You say. "W-ho are-" "Dammit!" The voice yells. "Where are you?! This blasted machine, ugh!" You hear a crunch. "L-listen, I c-can't tell you because I-" "You're only making this harder on yourself!" The voice yells so loud you actually hold the phone away from your ear.
"Can I try?" Renko asks. "Sure." You hand her the phone. "Fuck you." Renko says down the phone, expression hardening. "Wha-" You hear the woman say. "You rude little bitch! Put the other one back on!" "No, who are you, what do you want?" Renko says, not missing a beat. "Argh!" The woman all but screams down the phone. "This is useless! Useless!"
"Well." Renko says, handing the phone back to you. "I think we can say there is definitely somebody else after you." You nod, feeling a little shaken. "Somebody with no manners." Renko adds with a smile. You can't help but smile back
Renko's apartment is less then twenty minutes away on the underground. All through the journey you keep glancing around you, wary for anybody who looks out of place, anybody who might be following you. Renko keeps you from descending into paranoia though, by talking to you like nothing is wrong. You silently thank her. Right now you don't think you would be able to even go outside alone. Yesterday morning you were a freak, perhaps insane, but alone and safe. This morning you're still a freak, but now you're being hunted by an unknown force, using people you won't recognise or know about until it's too late. You manage to ignore the fear when Renko leads you up to her apartment. It's one built along similar lines to yours, but decorated in slightly different shades. Still as basic as any other cheap lodgings anywhere in the world though. After locking the door behind her, Renko takes her jacket off and walks off into the corridor. "I'm going to take a shower." She calls. "Won't be too long. Make yourself at home." You fidget on the spot, already feeling uncomfortable in someone else's home. Renko's head appears around the door-frame again. "When I said 'make yourself at home', I meant it, go relax for a bit." She winks at you and you smile back.
Five minutes later, sitting on the sofa, you can hear the shower running.
Renko in the shower ...
No, ignore it for now, ignore it for now. While you wait you'll ...
[ ] Check out the stuff on Renko's bookshelf. [ ] Try calling the 'unknown number' back, it should be listed in recent calls. [ ] Have a nap. [ ] Go snoop in Renko's bedroom, you're curious. [ ] Make yourself something to eat.
>>62481 That's just Renko's presence. Anon is clearly infatuated with Renko.
Are we getting a name, HY? I sure hope not. Anon is the way to go~
[x] Check out the stuff on Renko's bookshelf.
Cooking while daydreaming about wet naked Renko rubbing herself with soap is probably a bad idea. Choosing something safe. Also, the bookshelf was not mentioned in the description, so I'm really curious.
I thought this the first time she called, but after this latest call I have my doubts. Ran is generally known for being quite polite - more so than most Youkai, even in canon. The only person I can think of who would both be concerned about someone like us - a protege of Yukari's who is learning to manipulate borders - and this rude to us despite having never met us is...
Why did no one go for the diplomatic option? I'm not saying it was a sure thing, but I would've liked to try even if it did end badly because Youki might've been useful in some way or another. Just jumping straight for "Gap him into the sun" doesn't seem fair to him or very smart, surely there would've been at least one chance to do something else before he struck someone down?
I'm just saying it feels like a missed opportunity, had you tried to speak to him then you'd be able to at least plant seeds of doubt in his mind, but now he's had his head blown off he's not going to be so forgiving.
[x] Try calling the 'unknown number' back, it should be listed in recent calls. [x] Make yourself something to eat.
A pang of curiosity hits you and you dig your phone out of your pocket again. "Hm." Call list, recent calls, received calls, here is it. 'Unknown number' is listed three times. For all you know they could be three completely different numbers, but you're sure the woman from the first call is the same one that phoned you this morning. The middle one could have been anything. You take a deep breath, trying to relax. Reminding yourself that nobody is here to watch you and that Renko probably can't hear over the sound of the shower, you press the button to return the call. The phone rings, once, twice, three times. Your nerves get worse with each second of waiting, the apprehension builds and builds. Just as you're about to cancel the call, the ringing stops. "Hello? Is it you again?" The woman's voice comes down the phone, obviously still agitated. "Yes." You say, feeling decisive for once. "Then tell me where you are! We have nothing else to discuss until I find you! This is important!" She yells down the phone. "I won't t-tell you where I am until you t-tell me w-who you are and what you w-want." You manage to say with as little nervous stammering as possible.
There is a long pause.
"You people are insufferable, you know that? How can you not underst-" The voice is suddenly cut off by the sound of an impact, a crunch of wood on something hard. You can hear somebody cry out in pain, a cry that quickly turns into a snarl of anger. "You! What the hell are you doing here?" The woman shouts, but it sounds she's far away from the phone now. Must have dropped it on the floor. There's noise of whooshing and crackling, like fire. Something starts barking and yelping. "Hello? Hello?" You say down the phone, but the chaos of sound only intensifies. There's definitely multiple animals barking, accompanied by someone laughing.
[ ] Stay on the line, keep listening. [ ] Close the line, this is useless.
"Hello? What's going on?" You call down the phone.
The cacophony reaches a peak as some kind of high-pitched whine cuts through the rest of the noise, followed by a small explosion. You hear a pained canine-like yelp, followed by more crackling sounds. "Damn you!" The woman from before shouts, even more distant now. "Hold still!" Footsteps running closer, laboured breathing, someone scooping up the phone. "Hello, who's there?" "Shit shit shit shit shit." Someone mutters, not holding the phone to their mouth. You can hear them running, cursing, loud barking noises following the phone. "Hello?" You say louder. "Hey! Are you the one the Youkai was speaking to just now?" It's a different voice this time, another woman, rougher, but less hostile. You can hear her feet pounding against the floor as she runs, her words coming out as gasps as she struggles to draw enough air into her lungs. "Huh? Y-yoo-kai? Uh ... yes, s-she was talking to me." You say. "Then I need to meet you kid, soon, before she catches up with you, alright?" The end of her sentence is drowned out by the snarl of some animal. She curses loudly as there is the crunch of breaking bones and the snarl turns into a whimper. "I ... but I d-don't k-know who you are!" You say. "Come on kid! There ain't time for that!" You can hear her skidding to a halt, a metal door slamming. "Alright." Her breathing is heavy. "I'm safe for the moment, but I need to set up a meeting with you."
"I don't ... I ... " You trail off as you hear Renko coming out of the shower. Wrapped only in a towel, her wet hair hanging around her face, she peeks into the sitting room with an inquisitive look on her face. "Who's on the phone?" She looks concerned, which only adds to the glory of seeing her like that. You wish you'd not made this phone call now, so you could forever fix the memory of Renko like that in your mind. Instead you force yourself to concentrate. "Just a moment." You say into the phone, then cover the mouth-piece. You quickly explain the situation to Renko. Her frown deepens as you speak. "Ask her who she is again. If she doesn't tell you, we're not meeting her." Renko says. You uncover the mouthpiece. "O-okay, I n-need to k-know who you are first." You say. "Ugh." A sigh. "My name is Mokou, alright? But you don't know who I am, that's not important." "Says her name is Mokou." You whisper over to Renko, who just frowns in confusion. "What the hell?" Renko says, biting her tongue. "Okay." She speaks slowly. "We meet her, somewhere safe, somewhere public."
"Come on kid!" This 'Mokou' says down the phone. You can hear scrabbling noises somewhere in the background, like claws on metal. "I don't have much time and I need to abandon this phone so she can't follow me, meeting place, time, now!"
[ ] Don't agree to meet her, cancel the call. [ ] Agree to meet her: - [ ] Public Library. - [ ] In a bar. - [ ] Train station. - [ ] On the underground system itself, to keep moving whilst out.
We should probably do this somewhere that has security cameras, as the chances of someone killing us are lower if they would leave evidence of their identity. The library and train station seem the most likely to have them and I don't really like the idea of having Mokou in a building filled with rather flammable objects, so:
"O-okay!" You say into the phone, hurrying. "Um ... m-meet us at the Shibuya subway s-station, okay? You k-know where that is?" "Yeah, I think I can find it kid." "We'll all g-get on the s-southbound train." You say, your mind working faster than it has in months. "We'll talk there." There's a slamming noise, distant, like a door being forced open. "What time?!" Mokou yells, the noise of her feet telling you she's on the move again. "Uh ... " You glance up at Renko. "What time?" Renko taps her lips in though. "Give us two hours, should be long enough." "I-in two hours!" You say. "Thanks kid! See you there." You hear barking again, and a sudden whoosh as all the sounds are muffled, crackling, then the line goes dead. You lower the phone, shaking with adrenaline. "Oh ..." Renko gives your shoulder a squeeze. "You did well, really." She says. "I'm coming with you, okay? We'll be fine." You look up at her and nod, trying to smile. That towel really is very distracting, even now. You can see every detail of her bare shoulders and the curve of her collarbone, but not much else, the towel is very thick and loose. You look away before you start staring. "Thanks Renko." You say. She pats your shoulder. "I'm going to get dressed."
"So, you've heard of this Mokou woman?" You ask between mouthfuls of sandwich. Renko's already finished hers and is lost in thought, pacing up and down, dressed in a fresh set of clothes. You wish you could find out what she smells like now. "Sort of." Renko says. "Mary's told me about most of the inhabitants of the place Yukari lives, Gensokyo." "Gensokyo?" Renko nods. "Yeah, that's what the natives call it." "Okay ..." You trail off. "Anyway, Mokou is unlikely to kill humans, I know that much. We should be safe talking to her in public." "Kill humans? What's she then?" Renko shrugs. "I don't think she's human, but you'd need to ask Mary for the details." Renko glances at her watch. "We'd better get going, you up to this?" You nod, smiling at her. "Yeah, I'll be okay." Renko smiles back. "Good, shall we?" She offers you her hand and you take it, letting her help you up off the sofa as you pop the last bite of sandwich into your mouth. "All set?" She asks as she slips a different coat on, checking the pockets.
You pick up your bag.
[ ] Yeah, you're ready. [ ] You should get Mary first, she's coming with you. [ ] Ask Renko if she still has her knife and that gun. [ ] Ask Renko if you could have some kind of weapon, just in case.
"Shouldn't Mary come with us?" You ask Renko. She frowns . "Yes ... maybe that would be a good idea. Having you in one place makes it easier for me to look out for the both of you." The way she says that, so matter of fact, after only knowing you for a day, makes your insides all warm. You'd hug her right now, but she looks too preoccupied and you'd probably not have the nerve anyway. "We'll swing by hers, pick her up and head to the station, okay?" Renko asks. You nod. Renko takes your hand again and leads you to the front door. As she unlocks it, reaching into her coat pocket for her keys, you have another thought. "Renko ... do ... do you still have that knife and .... your g- ... gun?" You say, feeling deeply unsure. Although you saw her killing someone, it still seems weird to think of Renko holding a gun. "Of course I do." She says. "Just in case." She turns to you, squeezing your hand. "I know it must seem scary, but it's just a precaution." You nod. "Okay, I trust you." "Thank you, that means a lot." She says, smiling at you. You feel yourself blush a little.
"Can ..." You turn the idea over in your head, figuring you better mention it even if it's silly. "C-can I have something, to d-defend myself with?" You ask, shuffling my your feet. "Hmm." Renko frowns. "I don't know. Have you ever used a knife before?" You shake your head, turning a little red. "Then I think it would be a bad idea. You might do yourself more harm than good." She says. "For you, right now, the safest thing to do if anything happens is to run away. There's no shame in that. Having a weapon is only going to give you false confidence." She says this with an apologetic look on her face, but then smiles sadly at you. "Don't worry, I'll look after. Nobody's getting through me." She reaches over and ruffles your hair, which actually makes you giggle. It feels nice. "Okay Renko."
She squeezes your hand.
Outside her apartment, you hurry along the street, towards the nearest underground station. Renko seems focused, but you notice something odd. On the other side of the street, weaving between people's feet, seemingly unnoticed, is some kind of animal. "Renko, do you see that?" "Hm?" She turns, stopping, gaze following your pointing finger. "Oh." She frowns. "Weird." You mutter. It stopped at the same time you did. Now it just sits, watching you, perfectly still.
Looks like a fox.
"That's odd, at this time of day." Renko says. "Why ..." You notice something that makes a shiver run down your spine. "Why is n-nobody else l-looking at it?" You ask.
The fox gets up, and starts to cross the road, still staring at you.
[ ] Keep going, try to lose the fox. [ ] Keep going, but let it follow you. [ ] Wait for it. [ ] Try to scare it off.
"That's no ordinary Fox, is it?" Renko hisses at you. "You're right, nobody else is looking at it." "So, it wants us to see it?" You ask. "What is it?" "A kitsune, I guess." Renko shrugs. "A kind of fox spirit." The fox pauses, still five feet away from you, it cocks it's head and sniffs at the air. "Let's go." Renko says. "I don't like the look of this." "... no." You say, already feeling awkward for contradicting Renko, your stomach bunching up, but this has to be said. "I ... I don't mind it, let it follow us, at the very least?" You turn to Renko. She hesitates, then shrugs. "Okay, I guess. But keep an eye on it." The Fox starts padding quietly towards you, but you and Renko are already moving again. You glance behind, seeing the Fox pick up its pace, slipping between legs and hopping over obstructions with such fluid grace, never looking away from you.
Renko stops without warning and you bump into her. "Ah! Sorry!" You squeak. "Look." She points ahead and a little to the left. Peeking out from behind a garbage can, is another fox. As you watch, it walks slowly towards you, then stops a good few feet away, sitting back on its haunches. Renko turns to you, eyes wide. "I'm liking this less and less." You glance behind you at the other fox. "I d-don't mind them, r-really." You say. Renko looks at you, frowning. "It's an unknown factor, I don't like it. They could be anything." "Then what can we do about them?" You ask. Renko thinks for a moment, then sighs, seeming to deflate. "Nothing, I guess. I don't want to piss off a kitsune. Come on." She pulls on your arm, leading you on as fast as possible.
During the train ride, the Foxes vanish, but within two minutes of stepping out of the station at the other end, there they are. One is waiting for you on top of a mailbox, the other just appears from behind a parked car. Renko seems to be getting more and more jittery about them. Finally a third fox joins you somehow, within a block of Mary's apartment. Neither you or Renko saw it appear. "Renko. I ..." You trail off as you and her stop outside a large apartment block. You wanted to say something about the foxes, but when you get a look at her face, you can tell she's more tense than you've seen her at all so far. She glances around at the three foxes, who are keeping a respectable distance. "Shit." She mutters. "M-mary lives h-here?" You ask, trying to focus her back on the task at hand. "Yeah." She sighs, pulling out her cellphone. "Quicker like this, just a second." She glares at the foxes while she holds the phone to her ear. "Mary, morning." A pause. "We're outside, come on down, we need to go somewhere." Renko says. "I'll fill you in on the way, don't bring your bag ... okay, bye." Renko puts the phone back in her pocket. "She'll be a minute or two." She says, still looking worried, now trying to ignore the foxes completely. She crosses her arms.
The foxes just sit there, relaxed.
[ ] Go over to the foxes, see what happens. [ ] Try talking to them. Renko said they're probably Kitsune, right? [ ] Try to scare them away, they're only foxes. [ ] Just wait, don't do anything.
>>62635 That's not from pooshlmer, or at least it shouldn't be. Using 'I'll get my coat' after a bad joke was a central comedic device in a particular recurring sketch in the British comedy sketch show 'The Fast Show'.
You glance at Renko and then back at the foxes. They don't seem malicious, or aggressive. Sometimes with canines you can tell when they're unhappy, but these foxes just look so relaxed. You feel completely at ease with them sitting there, although you're curious as to what exactly is going on, "Renko ... " You say. "I ... those foxes, I don't think they mean us any harm." She raises an eyebrow at you, sighing. "How can you be sure?" She gestures at them. "We have no idea of their motives, come on." She seems almost a little angry, or fed up. You turn away again, feeling bad. You want to prove you're right, prove to Renko that they're not going to be a problem. You ... you want to impress her. You feel yourself turning red, bunching up inside as you take a shaky step forwards. "Wha- what are you doing?" Renko says, reaching out for your arm, but you step out of her reach "J-just let m-me t-try." You say, not taking your eyes off the foxes. The middle one cocks its head at you and lets its tongue roll out of its mouth. "No, stop!" Renko hisses at you, but you ignore her, stepping forwards again, so you're within two feet of the foxes. They all stare up at you, placid and calm.
You give them a little wave. "Hello." You say, bowing slightly, trying to cover all the cultural angles. Luckily there's only you and Renko in this street, nobody around to see you trying to talk to animals or thin air. They just stare back. "I w-wanted to a-ask why you are f-following us." You say, taking a shuddering breath. The middle fox stands up and takes a step forward. You hear hurrying footsteps behind you. "What's she doing? What are those?" You hear Mary's voice. "Shh!" Renko hisses. "Not now." "Wha-" You hear Mary start again, then suddenly muffled. You resist the urge to look behind you. The fox takes another step closer. You crouch down hold out your hand, palm up. It looks at your offered hand and then suddenly darts its head forward. You wince, expecting teeth to sink into your flesh, but instead you laugh and withdraw your hand when it starts to lick you. "That tickles!" You say, grinning. The fox just sits down again, tongue out, panting a little. You could swear it's laughing at you. Behind you, Renko breathes a sigh of relief. You stand back up, turning around and smiling. "See?" Renko rolls her eyes and tuts. "That doesn't tell us anything." She says, anger in her voice. "Hush, Renko." Mary smiles at you, a curious expression in her eyes. "Let them tag along, for now." You smile back at her as the three foxes slip past your legs, standing in the middle of your little group. "Oh hell." Renko says, sighing.
Shibuya subway station isn't as crowed as you would have liked it to be. More people means safer public places and right now you don't feel very safe. The three foxes followed you down this time, sliding under barriers and hopping down the escalators, seemingly invisible to everyone else. One of them stands pressed against your leg as you wait nervously, flanked by Mary and Renko. After being filled in by Renko, Mary seems to have grown more animated, wide-eyed and full of energy. "What will she look like?" You ask, suddenly worried. "Long white hair." Mary says. "Rare enough to be easily noticeable." You shuffle in place, wishing Renko would take your hand or take you by the shoulder, but she seems to have gone colder and more agitated with the three foxes around. The animals don't seem to care, sticking as close to her as to you.
Eventually, after two trains have come and gone, you spot her. Mary was right, long white hair, pulled back in a pony-tail. She's wearing a baseball cap, shapeless red trousers and a plain white shirt. She stands out like a sore thumb. She notices your group almost instantly. Renko edges in front of you as Mokou walks over. "Hey there." Mokou says, glancing over her shoulder. You feel the fox against your leg tense at the sound of her voice. The other two look like they're trying to get either side of her. "How did you know what we look like?" Renko asks straight away. "Huh?" Mokou frowns. "You've got three Kitsune at your feet, come on, you're the ones." She glances uneasily down at the foxes. "Okay, what do you want?" Renko says. Mokou ignores her question, glancing at you and Mary. "You're the one that looks like the gap demon." She says, nodding to Mary. "So you," she looks in your direction. "Are the kid from the phone?" You nod. "W-we were g-going to talk on the train, right?" You say as another train pulls into the station. "Yeah, we should-" Renko starts.
"Argh!" You hear a clang, and a crunch from the direction of the ticket barriers. "What is this thing!?" It sounds almost exactly like the woman from those two phone calls, but you can't see her. A few of the people in the station look up at the sound of the noise, but most ignore it. "Oh shit!" Mokou says, eyes going wide. "We need to go, now!" The three foxes all suddenly hop in front of you, blocking Mokou. One of them bares it's teeth at her. "Oh come on!" She says. Renko glances down at the foxes, at Mokou, then at you. She looks like she's about to panic.
"Mokou~ Where are you?!" The woman's voice comes again, closer this time but still not in sight.
[ ] Get on the train, now, with Mokou. [ ] Get on the train, leave Mokou behind. [ ] Wait here, see who that woman is.
Sub-vote: [ ] Let the foxes do whatever they want. [ ] Tell them to leave off Mokou.
>>62650 The foxes are most likely allied with whoever was on the phone the first time. The two are obviously at odds with each other, which is why they're threatening mokou now. There's no reason to trust this unknown lady over Mokou, but Mary even said that Mokou shouldn't attack a human. The strange part is that Mokou just referred to the woman as a Youkai, but the woman called Mokou by name.
[x] Get on the train, now, with Mokou. I highly doubt it'll work, but [x] Tell them to leave off Mokou.
>"Mokou~ Where are you?!" The woman's voice comes again, closer this time but still not in sight.
[x] Wait here, see who that woman is. [x] Let the foxes do whatever they want.
I'm not willing to be caught up in some game between Mokou and Eientei. We have enough problems. Ran's foxes are more trustworthy; if we're going to be used, I'd rather it be to Yukari's ends than anyone else's.
She almost certainly doesn't want us dead yet, however, which is more than can be said for the side Youki was playing on. In fact, "not wanting us dead yet" is a fairly good point for any side right now.
Very true, which is why we have both tagging along. Having a non-violent representative of each group that is interested in us is best for us: we have a better chance of scoring information, and a minimal chance of being hurt. It doesn't hurt that we'll be in a public area, filled with people, which may limit some parties from attacking even if they want to.
>>62663 Remember the fighting over the phone, especially note the canines and barking. Assuming that is Ran, for whatever reason Mokou is very angry with her. Even if alone neither wants to harm us, there's a pretty good chance they'll end up fighting each other if they get together.
"Quick! Come on!" You say as the train doors slide open, hesitating for only a moment as you grab Renko and Mary by their hands. The foxes back up a little, but one of them snaps at Mokou's heels as she tires to follow. You notice a few people looking at you funny, but you don't care. You must seem like a strange bunch, especially if nobody can see the foxes, but there's more important things right now than looking good in public. "No!" You say, firmly. "She's coming with us, leave her alone." The middle fox looks back at you and whines, ears gone forwards. The other two slink back, standing either side of you as you hop onto the train. Renko hesitates, hand inside her jacket. Mary just stares at Mokou and the foxes, eyes wide, a deranged grin on her face. "Thanks kid." Mokou says, joining you on the train. The foxes still interpose themselves between you and her though, looking alert, crouched low to the ground. A couple of ordinary passengers slip past your little group, oblivious to the foxes, not looking at any of you. "Stop! Dammit!" The woman from before calls out over the train platform. "Shit." Mokou mutters, ducking behind the doors as they close automatically. "That was close."
You can see the woman through the window now, as she runs up to the train, panicking. She looks even more out of place than Mokou does, but much angrier. You almost shrink back, before reminding yourself there is a pane of glass separating you. Short green hair, burning red eyes, plaid waistcoat and skirt over a plain white shirt. She's carrying what looks like a massive pale-pink umbrella. If it wasn't for the pure rage on her face, she would look sort of comical. "Oh god ..." Mary says, all colour draining from her face. "Oh fucking hell no." "What? Mary, who is she?" Renko says, panicking. Mokou just grits her teeth and closes her eyes, muttering something. The woman running up to the train is also one of the most shapely people you've ever seen, you can't help but feel a little tingle as you take in all of her figure. The tiny spark of attraction isn't enough to cancel out the fear as she reaches the train doors and pounds on them with her free hand. The train creaks, jolts, and finally starts to move. "Open ... dammit, open up! Shit!" She whirls around and plants a spinning kick on the glass window in the train door. You and Renko both jump out of the way as it shatters inwards, spraying chunks of safety-glass all over the floor. The foxes just hop forwards, pawing at the train doors and whining. The woman reaches through, grabbing the edges of the window-frame, heedless of the glass lacerating her fingers as she pulls. The train creaks, engines groaning. One of the passengers shriek and several others start talking loudly, a few getting out of their seats. There's a sudden grinding noise, metal on metal. It's the wheels slipping on the tracks.
Your bowels loosen in terror as you realise the woman is holding the train in place.
Her eyes finally meet yours and her features break into pure glee. "Found you!" She says, grinning wide.
[ ] Run, down the train. [ ] Run, get off somehow. [ ] "Renko, do something!" [ ] "Help me Mokou!" [ ] The foxes, what the fuck are they doing? [ ] "Who are you? What do you want?" [ ] Pass out.
"W-Who are you?" You say, unable to take your eyes off the woman as she leans forwards, grinning. "My name is Yuka~ Hello~" She says, voice going all sing-song. Renko grabs your arm, pulling you away from the door as the woman strains backwards. The door cracks down the middle, metal tearing and bending. You can see people on the platform staring to panic, people screaming. Someone comes up behind Yuka, looks like a policeman, yelling something, reaching for her shoulder. Not letting go of the door, she flicks her leg backwards and the man crumples to the floor in a heap, vomiting blood and shaking. You didn't even see the impact. "Get away!" Renko shouts, trying to pull you to the side, but you ignore her for a moment. "W-what d-do you want?" You ask Yuka, too stunned to do anything else. She looks back up at you for a second before finally ripping the door apart. It breaks in two, metal rupturing as she hurls it behind her and jumps onto the train. The foxes bound backwards, out of her way, but don't move to defend you.
The train comes crashing back onto the tracks with a scream of tortured metal and it finally lurches forwards. You manage to keep your footing. Yuka barely wobbles. The other passengers are in completely confusion now, screaming and stampeding into the adjoining carriages. "What do I want?" Yuka says, placing her hand against her mouth and cocking her head to the side. The effect, after just seeing her rip the door off, is more than disturbing. You shudder as she leans over you, easily a head taller than you are. "I want you, little one~" She says, smiling. You take a stumbling step backwards and Renko catches you by the arms, dragging you away down the carriage. Mary is already trying to flee with the rest of the passengers, Mokou's attention seems seems torn between Yuka and you. "Where are you going, I just found you!" Yuka yells.
Through the haze of fear and the adrenaline rushing through your veins, you notice one of the foxes nuzzling its head against Yuka's leg before bounding back with the other two, joining you and Renko. That's ... there's something wrong here, some piece of the puzzle you're missing. Yuka finally notices Mokou. "You!" Yuka says, eyes going wide, baring her teeth in anger. Her gaze flicks between you and Mokou, judging distance or ...
Suddenly the foxes all round on Mokou at once, bodies slunk low to the floor, growling loudly.
Mokou tenses up, raising her hands.
"Don't-" Yuka starts.
[ ] Keep fleeing, get out of there with Renko and Mary. [ ] Back up Mokou, order the foxes to stand down again. [ ] Step between Mokou and Yuka, this is wrong. Something is wrong. [ ] Don't run away, watch what happens.
[X] Keep fleeing, get out of there with Renko and Mary.
After witnessing Youmu's dad getting his brains blown out, I'm not sure the poor girl should really be exposed to more trauma so soon. Mokou versus Yuka? "Bloodbath" wouldn't even begin to describe it.
Curious why foxes would be following orders from Yuka, though.
[x] Step between Mokou and Yuka, this is wrong. Something is wrong.
You already have one innocent person injured, possibly fatally, and Yuka is going to be chasing you like the fucking Terminator, without regard for how much mayhem and destruction she leaves in her wake. And the more destruction she causes, the more visible your whereabouts to all the other youkai looking for you, some of who might not stop for pleasantries.
It's your fault you let the foxes tail you, and now you have to take responsibility for it. For a timid girl whose friends' lives are in danger because of her, this is the most sensible course of action.
"No!" You shout, twisting your arm out of Renko's grip. "What are you doing?!" She says, but you ignore her again, stepping forward, past Mokou. The foxes whine and nudge at your heels, but they make way for you. Your heart is hammering in your chest, you feel ready to scream or pass out or just die on the spot, but this has to be done. This might be the only way to stop all this from happening. You gulp, holding up yours hands and looking between Mokou and Yuka. "J-just s-stop." You say, your voice suddenly feeling very small. You hang your head, staring at your shoes and trying not to hyperventilate. "I ... I d-don't know w-what's going on b-but please! Just stop!" You shout, screwing your eyes up in terror. You feel something brush against your leg and you open your eyes, looking down. It's one of the foxes, staring up at you. It looks ... almost ... sad. Then it growls, baring its teeth. But not at you.
It barks as Mokou steps forward, and faster than you can react, wraps one arm around your belly, turning you around to face Yuka. Mokou pulls you tight against her and then places her other hand over your mouth. "I'm sorry, kid. I didn't want to do it like this." She whispers in your ear. "Fuck!" Yuka screams, her eyes going wide. The foxes bark and growl, one of them lunges at Mokou's leg but she delivers a sharp kick, knocking it backward. It yelps as it hits the floor next to Yuka, whimpering in pain. "Get off the train, Yuka." Mokou says, calmly. "Get off or I'll sear her airways shut, she'll suffocate."
You feel your bladder relax as you hear Mokou's words. You want to scream, flail, reach for Renko. Anything. But you dare not move. Yuka just stares at you and Mokou, gritting her teeth and literally tearing her hair out with frustration. "That goes for you too, fucking dogs." Mokou glares at the foxes. They bark back at her, refusing to back down. The injured one limps into place, not giving up yet.
"Hey." Renko says from behind. "Fuck you." "Wha-" Mokou tires to glance over her shoulder but then she suddenly lets out a scream of pain. You feel something wet on the back of your head and Mokou lets go of you, screaming. You turn to look, seeing Renko holding a bloody knife, Mokou clutching at her right eye, blood running between her fingers.
"Much better!" Yuka says, tensing herself as if preparing to leap. "Now move, little one!"
[ ] Step out of the way, let Yuka at Mokou. [ ] Refuse, stay where you are. [ ] Run, with Renko, now.
Yuka seems to want us alive at least. Mokou doesn't seem as concerned. Still, I'd rather we take a stand for not fighting rather than just let ourselves get smacked around from side to side like a ping-pong ball.
You know how Mokou was said to be unlikely to attack a human?
Well, between Yukari's "teachings" and our apparently developing GAP ability, I have a feeling that "human" is something we don't entirely qualify as, anymore. I don't think we should trust Yuka just yet, but I am inclined to trust those foxes.
We must make a point of petting them and scratching their ears for being so good to us. Whose da good widdle foxes? Yes you is! YES YOU IS!
Yukari is apparently hibernating in you, which has resulted in Mary no longer being able to see through her eyes, as well as incensing all the big dogs in Gensokyo to find her proxy on the outside and take control of it. Yuka is the biggest dog there is and won't back down from anyone coming after you.
If you keep running away with Renko you're going to end up in this same situation over and over. Mary can't see the borders anymore, so the only way you're going to be able to get to Gensokyo in the foreseeable future is through one of these Touhous.
>>62732 Well, depending on the laws where you live, it might be somewhat illegal, so there's that to consider. Then, of course, there's the various problems inherent in trying to make a pet of an animal that lacks the centuries of breeding and domestication most "conventional" pets do.
Somehow, there are people who fail to take that last particular bit into consideration, and are somehow SURPRISED when their cute little tiger goes ballistic and bites a chunk out of somebody's leg. Especially when it's the owner whose thigh is now residing in their pet's digestive tract.
Yuka knew where you were first, being the person who had called you yesterday morning. She also has a bunch of kitsune with her despite being known as a recluse flower youkai. So how did she get a phone that is able to call across the border?
It sounds like she's working with Ran. If you were Ran and you needed someone to fetch the protege of your wayward boss who's being hunted now by all the major players in Gensokyo, wouldn't you want to send the meanest, nastiest youkai you could find? One that would not give up, no matter the odds? One that has no ambitions of her own other than to fight other strong youkai?
Reimu is out of the question because she might see a new Yukari as a liability. Yuka could easily be persuaded to bring you in if only for the strong opponents she could fight along the way.
We had the opportunity to run one choice back, but we made a choice to intervene. Circumstances haven't changed, so our choice doesn't either. And you know now at least that the foxes are sympathetic to your intentions:
>You feel something brush against your leg and you open your eyes, looking down. It's one of the foxes, staring up at you. It looks ... almost ... sad.
[x] Refuse, stay where you are.
And seriously, where are you gonna run that Yuka can't come after you? She stopped a rail car with her bare hands. She'll probably burn half the city down, even if only to smoke you out.