Hungry Youkai !GGKI3UTr5s 2008/10/21 (Tue) 13:59 No. 63460 ▼
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Your feet slip a little on the ground as you try to rise, leaning on the arm underneath you.
"No, dear, don't try to move." The unfamiliar voice says, a hand stroking your hair. You ignore it, forcing yourself up, to your feet. It's hard, harder than it's ever been before. Whatever Yuka just did, wherever you are right now, the journey has taken so much out of you as to render you nearly helpless. You scrabble for something to hold on to, your hands meeting soft fabric. Someone's trying to help you from the front, the owner of the voice. You feel another person's hands go under your arms, supporting you.
You just hang there for a moment, testing your shaking legs. You feel like a new-born lamb.
"Are you her friend?" The person in front of you says.
"Yes." Renko's voice comes from behind. She's the one holding you up like that.
"Then help me get her inside."
"No." You say, quietly. "I can, I can s-stand" You let go of the person in front of you, planting your weight firmly on both feet. You're shaky, but you're right, you can stand, just about. You might not be able to walk, but you don't want to admit that just yet.
You rub your eyes with a hand, blinking and trying to clear your vision. Whoever is in front of you, they're a little taller than you are. Some kind of long blue and white dress, with something huge and orange behind them. You look up at the face.
What looks back at you is not human. The elongated snout. The eyes, too far apart, too small. The twitching nose and the fur. It's all wrong it's-
Then your vision finally clears and you're looking at a the soft and careworn features of a perfectly ordinary woman. Well, almost ordinary. She's got a strange two-horned hat covering up most of her golden-blonde hair. Swishing in the air behind her are a bunch of tails, orange with white tips, like a fox. You stare, wide-eyed, not sure what to think. The three foxes are clustered at her feet, but she's not paying them any attention.
Then she takes your face in her hands, so gentle, looking into your eyes with the most worried expression you've ever seen on a person before.
"You've not been hurt, have you?" She asks. You shake your head numbly and she smiles at you, her whole face lighting up.
"Good." She takes her hands off you and straightens up a little, clearing her throat, looking slightly embarrassed by something.
"My name is Ran Yakumo." She says, gesturing to herself. You glance at her hands as she does so. Normal, human. "You must be very confused right now, and very tired. Poor thing."
You nod. Her voice has a melodic quality to it, reassuring and familiar somehow.
"Welcome to Mayohiga." She says, gesturing behind her. You perk up, looking at your surroundings. Renko appears next to you, making sure to keep and arm under you for support.
This is a strange place, but not unpleasant. There is a border of trees, obviously the edge of a dense forest. You're standing in a very large clearing, a little way off from a group of buildings that look like they're come straight from Feudal japan. Everything is made of wood, dull orange and brown tones.
Off to the side are a group of people, all quite short, mostly dressed in green and blue. They're swarming around some kind of mechanical apparatus, putting things in boxes and dismantling strange looking glass machines. One of them looks your way and gestures at Ran.
Ran shakes her head. "Later!" She calls. "I'll send the usual messages!"
The little person in blue nods, going back to the flurry of activity. Ran turns back to you and Renko.
"Are you sure you can walk? You must have been through a lot." Her face is full of barely contained worry, almost as if she's about to step forward and sweep you up to save you the trouble of walking.
You nod, weakly. "I ... I think so." You say without stammering. For some reason, this 'Ran' puts you at ease, at least on the surface.
"I'll help her." Renko says, nodding. Ran smiles at the pair of you, then looks away, blinking and covering her face with her floppy sleeve.
"Very well." She says. "I-"
Yuka brushes past you, making you shudder at the contact.
"I'm going to use your bath." She says to Ran. "I'm a mess." You have to agree with Yuka, she is a mess. She's still got blood splattered all over her and matted in her hair. Her face is still bruised, although most of the damage seems to have vanished.
Ran says nothing, just watches Yuka as she walks away, heading towards the little group of buildings. Ran glances down at the foxes and frowns, looking down at the ground behind you for a moment, then takes a deep breath and looks back, smiling again.
"Please, follow me." She says. "You need to rest, then I will answer any questions you might have." She hesitates for a moment, then bows her head slightly. "Both of you."
Ran turns a little, motioning for you to follow. As she does, you notice that those tails behind her come out the back of her dress, at exactly the right height to really be coming from her spine. They wave in the air as she moves. Are they real? What is she?
[ ] Try to walk on your own.
[ ] Rely on Renko
[ ] Stay silent.
[ ] Ask Ran what she is.
[ ] Ask Ran if her tails are real.
[ ] Reach out and touch one of the tails.