“Heiki-sama!” A voice from somewhere calls out a name. “Heiki-sama, please hang in there!” Heiki… it sounds familiar somehow, but where’ve I heard it before. “Everything is going to be okay, just please hang in there!” Okay? Is something wrong? “Please hang in there. Satori-sama will be here any moment with help. So please… ju…ease…ay wi… me…” Her voice fades away. Consumed by darkness, the same darkness that’s swallowing me. The same darkness that’s dragging me into unconsciousness.
I stare into the darkness surrounding me, the darkness which stretch endlessly, forming the horizon, the ground, and the sky. Well, there is no ground. Here I'm just floating in the sky, which is also missing. With no sun, no clouds… no sky, no nothing. Yet I can see myself clearly, just like if the sun was shining on me. I can clearly see the guy who appears to be right next to me. I can clearly see he looks exactly like me. “So we wound up here again, it seems.” “Indeed it does. When was the last time?” “I don’t remember.” “Neither do I.” As if we’ve practiced it, we both turn to look at each other at the same time. His red eyes staring into my blue eyes. Staring right into my very soul. I know because I stare just as deep in return. But why? I already know anything there is to know about that person. What could I seek from looking into his soul? What could he be seeking from looking into mine? After all, we are the same person. “Perhaps you should go out there first, Hiro.” “Why?” “I need to recover a little more before I come out again.” Recover? Now that he mentions it, he is acting off from how he usually is. And thinking about it, I’m acting off as well. “I understand. Please rest out, Sei.”
I'm suddenly pulled back into reality when someone touches my hand. They wrap their hand around mine. Careful, yet firm. It doesn’t want to let go, but doesn’t want to grab too tight. It’s kind of… warm. In the nice way of course. “Are you awake yet?” She, I assume it’s a girl from the voice, asks me with a gentle whispering. Silent so that she wouldn’t wake me if I were sleeping, but loud enough to be heard clearly. Am I awake? Yes. I want to voice my answer, but my body won’t cooperate. She gives my hand a light squeeze. “Utsuho is very sorry, you know. She hasn’t calmed down even once since you passed out.” I try to open my eyes. But it doesn’t take long to find out that one of them won’t cooperate. Well maybe it will, but something’s keeping it from doing so. Not that there’s much to see anyway right now. A sharp light, that’s all I can register. “Rin too, you know. She’s still trying to get over the shock. I think both of them would want to see you again. But of course you should rest a little before that.” My eye readjusts to the light and I become able to see once again. Not perfectly, but good enough to see who’s sitting beside me. A pink haired girl with purple eyes. She has some wires tangled around her connecting her and an… eye? She’s looking out of the window. I look over there as well, but my vision is still too poor to see that far, much less to see out of the window. Instead I just let my gaze fall down over my own body to let them rest, at least that’s what I intended. But seeing most of my body wrapped in bandages takes me by surprise. “Yeah, it was pretty bad. But don’t worry. You’ll recover quickly.” Well this’ll explain why I can’t feel my left side. But why is my right side wrapped up as well, I can feel that side, but no pain from it. “Could there be anything you need? I won’t have much to do at the moment, so I can stay here by your side.” Something I need…
 I have some questions, she may be able to answer -  Where am I? -  What happened? -  Who am I? -  Who are you? -  Write in  People tend to not know they’re hungry when they wake up. Some food would be nice. -  Something filling -  Something easy to swallow -  Something light  Can’t she just go away? I want to sleep  Write in
========== Yeah. MC has amnesia. Sorry, but I couldn’t figure a better starting point. Hope you can forgive me.
Would have updated a little sooner, but something got in the way if i keep this up, i might be able to update once a day (no promise)
[III] I have some questions, she may be able to answer - [V] Where am I? - [IV] Who are you? - [III] Who am I? - [II] What happened?
Something I need… well for starters I’d like this mess in my head to clear up. But alas, it’s not like I can ask her anyway. And it’d be a little hard to ask using only the eyes. Umm, eye. Well that just makes it harder. “So the emptiness in your mind isn’t just from the unconsciousness. You really don’t remember, do you?” Empty mind. Well excuse me. I’d act offended if just to tease her, but I lack the energy to even attempt. Though the thought of teasing her. Why doesn’t it feel as… stranger, for lack of better word, as I should? First thing first, though. The main question at hand, how does she know my mind is empty? Even I didn’t realize that before she pointed it out. “That’s my ability.” I focus my vision back at her. “I can read people’s minds as well as their hearts. My name is Komeiji Satori. I'm the mistress of the palace of the earth spirits, which is where we are right now.” I can feel something, something in the very back of my mind, in the very back of my subconscious. It feels like something is digging its way through. Like a flower trying to break the surface so it can grow and bloom. Then, as sudden as a glass breaking, it makes its way into my conscious. I know who she is. I remember. Satori, she lets me stay here. She’s a close friend. She’s… This just raises another question. Who am I then? “Heiki. Seikatsu Heiki.” Hmm. Nope, nothing, doesn’t trigger any memory as with her name. Why I wonder. Then what happened? What got me into this state? Her hand once again holds my hand in a short and light, yet tight, hold. She doesn’t let go, but her hand is more like resting on mine now. “Just promise you won’t get mad at her. Utsuho is a good girl. She wouldn’t do that on purpose. You know it.” At the moment, no I don’t. But I’ll take your word for it. She smiles. Why does it make me happy to see her smile like that? “Well, what happen was-“ And she’s rudely interrupted by the door opening, in a not so stealthy manner to say the least. At least it wasn’t kicked open. “What happened was that you barely survived, young man.” A woman, white hair, a red and blue nurse outfit and a lab coat on top, walks in. “If it weren’t for your youkai blood, you’d be long out of even my reach.” “Miss Yagokoro? Didn’t you go home already?” “I can’t just leave a patient like that without seeing him awake at least once after the treatment. Though that’s not what I'm here for.” She walks up to the bed and leans in over me, resting her body on a hand at the edge of the bed. With her head close enough to look me in the eyes properly… eye, she puts on a smile I normally wouldn’t like to see a doctor have on the job. “I asked my assistant to run back home to get some pain killers, since it looked like you were going to need them. But to your luck she found a drug I think you’d like.” She stands up again and pulls out a small flask with an unknown liquid in. well I guess that’s the drug she spoke of, but even so it’s still unknown to me. “This will speed up your regeneration right now, but slow it down towards the end. In other words, you’ll heal out of your current state, but in the next, almost healed, state, you’d be stuck a little longer. Of course since you’d heal completely, anyway, there is no need for it. I just figured I should give you the chance, since this only works on ‘your type’. “ I look at Satori who’s been standing silently behind her. Her face expresses concern, but no worry. Does she trust the doctor and her words about the drug? She nods. Then that’s good enough for me. “So, what does he say Komeiji? Will he use it?” She shifts her gaze back at Satori, who gives me one last glance before answering. “He’s given his permission.” She smiles and pulls out an injection needle from her pocket. “Great. You know what’s good for you boy. But I know what’s best for your body. I’ll be putting you to sleep, since this drug’s effect will hurt for a while. And pain is the last thing you need right now.” That’s a point I’ll agree on. She sticks the needle in my bandaged arm, so I don’t feel a thing as she injects whatever was in that needle. It doesn’t take long for me to begin feeling the effects of it as I get sleepy.
“What was it you wanted to talk about dad?” The dad readjusts himself so he faces the young boy. He states the boy’s name to get his full attention. “You know you’re about the age where you can protect the family, right?” “Yes. And I'm training hard every day so I can protect mom and sis.” He replies full of enthusiasm. “I know you do.” he rubs the kid’s hair, who happily accepts it. “And in that case you should also know the truth about yourself.” “Myself? But who could know me better than me?” “Well then, can you tell me the difference between you and your sister?” he asks as he leans closer to the kid with a mischievous look in his eyes. “That’s easy. She’s a girl and I'm a boy.” “I certainly hope so.” He says as he lets out a warm laughter which the boy joins. “I meant the other difference.” He gets a serious expression back on his face. “The difference I'm talking about is your blood heritage. She inherited most from her mom, but my blood boosted her spiritual powers. You on the other hand.” The boy gulps as the tone has become even more serious. “You inherited most of my blood, and only a little from your mom. What I'm trying to say is you’re more youkai than human.” “You mean I can do all the cool stuff you can?” the boys eyes light up, completely ignoring the serious atmosphere. “Oh no. you weren’t that lucky.” The dad is back to his mischievous tone again. “You inherited your mom’s blood as well. You’ll become even “cooler” than me” The boy’s eyes light up. “Really?” “If you keep going like you do now, you’ll surpass me in no time. And that why I'm going to give you this.” He shoves a sword, still in sheath, over to his son. “Dad isn’t that…” “Nenekuremo? Yes. If you’re going to protect the family, then you need a decent weapon, do you not?” Without another word the boy jumps at his dad, embracing him, full of joy.
A sharp pain strikes through my shoulder, ripping me out of my dream. I grab it and turn, hoping to dull the pain by some miracle. As much as I try to hold back my groans, they just find their way through my throat. “Heiki!?” Satori jumps up and rushes to my bed. “Calm down. It’s okay.” She’s right. Now that I have the time to process that pain better, rather than the sudden rush, it doesn’t feel that bad. It’s still clear, very clear, that the pain is there, but nothing I can’t handle. I just bite my tongue and take the pain. Then realization strikes me. I moved. I groaned. “The drug,” I swallow, damn dry throat, “worked? I can move again.” She hands me the glass of water. Thanks for that by the way. “Miss Yagokoro left already. She wanted to stay at least until you woke up again. But she said urgent matters popped up.” With my newfound abilities, or rather, regained abilities, what should I do?
 Have Satori escort you - Take a walk outside for some fresh air - Just walk around inside - Go look for- -- Utsuho -- Rin - Go look for (inset location)  Go alone - Walk around outside - Walk aimlessly around - Try to look for- -- Utsuho -- Rin - Look for (inset location)  Write in
=============== As some after words. Would anyone even care if I threw together a quick profile for Heiki?
[x] Have Satori escort you -[x] Go look for- --[x] Utsuho
Utsuho. Didn’t satori say she was sorry? While I'm not entirely sure what she did, I'm sure I can forgive her. Why? Well my guts tell me so. And if they weren’t proof enough, then Satori seems to believe in her. And that’s enough for me alone. “Could you… take to me Utsuho?” “Huh?” “I’d like to talk to her.” “I… I don’t really think that’s a good idea. You aren’t in any condition to walk around.” She’s right. But that’s not going to stop me. “That’s why I want you to lead me there. In that case, if anything goes wrong you’ll be there to help me.” “I don’t know…” “You said she was sorry, didn’t you? Then let me go see her.” I'm sorry Satori, but I'm not going to give in. She sighs. “If you’re going to keep arguing, then I guess I got no choice. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.” “I’d never blame you for something you didn’t do.” I give her the most reassuring smile I can muster, which she just returns with a simple, yet cute, smile. She helps me get up and support me. Our height difference doesn’t really help here. But hell, it’s not like we can do anything about that, now can we.
These corridors and halls, they all look so much alike. Yet, I find it so easy to distinguish them apart from each other. But one thing’s alike between all of them. They’re silent. While I'm sure Satori has her hands full with my thoughts alone, I get the feeling of stating a conversation. And I got just the topic to do it with. “You know…” I start, preparing the words one last time before speaking, but before I get to even ask. “What happened back there? You want to talk about that again?” “I never really got an answer. ‘You barely survived’ doesn’t really count as an answer.” “And I hoped you’d forgotten already.” She sighs. “What happened, as far as how Rin and Utsuho saw it, was that you accepted Utsuho’s danmaku challenge. She forgot to warn you when she used her spell card ‘Hell and Heaven meltdown’. As a result you took a direct hit from a near point blank range.” ‘Heaven and hell meltdown’, while I'm not sure what exactly that means, it certainly doesn’t sound pleasant. “It isn’t. And you aren’t exactly as immune to magic as the rest of us. As Eirin said, you’re lucky to be alive.” While I'm tempted to just let my mood fall right now, since that really wasn’t that nice a thought, I'm not going to. I'm alive, and I'm able to walk around again, with help of course, properly sooner than I should be able to. We walk further towards, what I presume to be Utsuho’s location. I simply attempt to process the information I just got. While it does ring a bell, and that I'm certain of, it doesn’t release any memory. Not any I notice at least. “Could you maybe do me a favor?” She breaks the silence, once again, with a question. “Depends, if it’s something within my abilities, then perhaps.” “Could you please call Utsuho, Okuu? She’s used to everybody calling her that.” Okuu, eh? Well it rolls better of the tongue that Utsuho. Well if Satori asks, then sure, why not. “Thanks.” You’d think I’d need some time to adapt to the fact she can read my mind, well maybe it’s just not seeped in yet, but it still comes as a natural thing to me.
She’s been leading me outside. We’ve been on a rather long path. According to Satori, it’d been quicker if we’ve been flying down here, but of concern for my wellbeing, and the fact that I don’t remember how to fly even though she said I’d be able to, we've chosen to walk our way down here. Where is here, you might ask. Well, she’s led me down under her house, eh… palace, through a path on the outside. From the constant slope downwards, not steep enough to need stairs, I can only to guess we’re actually going downwards. “Before we get there, I should properly tell you one last thing.” I silently shift my attention to her. “When you took the hit head on, well, you’re sword didn’t survive.” My what? Did I ever carry a weapon? I imagine something like a staff would fit me more, but a sword. We make a turn around a corner. A little further ahead, near the edge of a cliff leading to a sea of flames, there sits a girl, hiding behind her long black hair. Is that Utsuho? I mean Okuu. She gives a slight nod. “Satori-sama, is that you?” she asks without turning around, still watching the sea of flames. “Yes. Say, how are you feeling today?” “Not so good. It still hurts around here.” She turns around with a hand placed on her chest. Her eyes widen as they make contact with mine. “Nii…chan?” Without another words she jumps me, and before I know it, pins me to the ground in a tight, and I do mean tight, hug. “You’re okay! I’ve been so worried!” “O-Okuu…” I attempt to get her attention, but it only serves to tighten her grip. Damn it, Okuu, you’re chocking me. “Utsuho, that’s enough. He can’t breathe.” She lets go, and proceeds to just sit on top of me. This I can take. She wipes her eyes, from which a few tears have fallen already. “I’m so happy nii-chan is okay. The nice doctor said you’d be in bed for at least another week.” Another week? Those wounds? I’d at least claim a month for those to heal. At least. “Well, ‘the nice doctor’ gave me something which would heal me faster.” She smiles. “But that’s not why I came out here.” “It’s because of that isn’t it?” I swear I can see her eyes water up again. “I swear it was an accident. It won’t happen again. I promise. So please don’t-“ “Okuu.” She stops immediately as I call out her name, and looks at me with puppy eyes. That’s just so damn cute. “I’m not angry. I actually came here to apologize to you.” “Huh?” “From how Satori said it, you were the one who took this hardest. I’m sorry.” I see her standing behind Okuu. She’s wearing that smile of hers again. “I can leave him in your care, right Utsuho?” “You’re leaving already?” Okuu takes the word right out of my mouth. “I can’t keep ignoring my own duties. Besides, a big girl like you should be able to look after him, right.” She turns around and begins to walk away.
 Stay with Okuu - Let her suggest something to do - Suggest something to do -- Talk with her --- About you --- About her -- Other (specify)  Go back with Satori - Go see Rin as well - Just follow her
[x] Stay with Okuu --[x] Talk with her ---[x] About you
I can get on board with this. Before we go any further though, some of the language used is a bit bothersome, see here:
>She sighs. “If you’re going to keep arguing, then I guess I got no choice. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
>"I got no choice."
It would bother me considerably less if you use "have" instead of "got". "I have no choice" sounds so much better than "I got no choice." The "Nii-chan" references are also bound to annoy some people. Ultimately, it's up to you.
Regardless, I'm interested in seeing where you take this. Carry on!
>>11490 ... damn boy (or girl), you got a point. though English is my second language, and to use "got" there is natural in my native language. but without a proofreader, we can just hope i remember stuff like that as i write.
 Stay with Okuu - Suggest something to do -- Talk with her --- About you
We watch her depart until she turns around the corner. Well, now it’s just me and a girl who I still have no actual memory of. Well, not that I'm complaining mind you. “So, nii-chan-“ “Okuu.” I cut her off before she gets to say much. I might as well put this matter to rest as early as possible. “Yeah?” “Could you please stop calling me that?” “Eh? Why?” She frowns. I like it better when she’s smiling like she did before. Well I like it when everyone smiles, but the world isn’t that idealistic of a place. Even I, who has near no memories, know that. “It just doesn’t fit me. I'm sure you could figure out a better nickname for me if you tried.” “Yeah, couldn’t I?” I lightly tab her legs to signal her to get off, but she doesn’t seem to get it until I voice my request. She happily moves herself, allowing me to get up. I dust myself off and sit down on one of the rocks around, just like she was before we came. “You were about to say something?” “Was I?” “I think you were, before I stopped you, that is.” “Oh yeah.” She grows silent. I simply sit there in silence waiting for her to continue. Though I have a hunch she’s doing the same. I just sigh as I decide to break the silence since she isn’t going to do it. “Mind if I ask you a question?” She shakes her head. “Remember the day I came here for the first time? How did you experience it?” “Umm, well, Satori-sama told me to stay back and just watch, so I only got to see you fight with Orin and Satori-sama.” Me, fight with Satori? Why would I do something like that? There’s no way she’d attack anyone without a reason, so it had to be me who started it. But why would I do that. “You were really amazing. Your ‘Spears of endless light’ spell card, I really wish I could use that. It’s really beautiful to watch.” Spell cards? Those cards that makes casting spells and techniques easier, at the cost of power? Nice to know I have, or had, a few of those as well. “And the way you declared it, it was so awesome.” Her eyes are practically shining with enthusiasm right now. “It was like, like, like a magician. You just flicked your hand and then you held it.” She tries to mimic the hand movements she claims I did. “And you declared it without losing your calm expression.” She’s isn’t doing a good job, but she’s trying nonetheless. While I won’t admit to remember it, I will, however, admit that it does bring about that tingly feeling in the back of my mind. So there is something about what she says. “Then all these giant needles appeared around you.” She uses her arms to try and show me how many there were and how big they were. “Satori-sama, of course, used your spell card against you. Then it just became like-“ She crashes her hands together and falls backwards from her own little ‘explosion’ I think it should symbolize. I can’t help but chuckle slightly at the sight. Okuu really is just a child on the inside. “Maybe I’ll show it to you again some other day. That is, if you keep being a good girl.” Her head pops up from behind the rock where she fell. “Really? That’d be awesome.” “Then here’s another question for you.” She gets back up on her rock and nods when she’s ready again. “Did I ever tell you why I came down here in the first place?” She puts a finger on her mouth and looks up at the ceiling. Yes there’s a ceiling. What else would one expect from a place, which practically functions like hell? “I think you said something about a ‘sun’ but I'm not really sure. I only eavesdropped on you and-“ She quickly covers her mouth with her hand. Well that’s interesting. I chuckle once again, but this time I know she sees it. “Don’t worry, I won’t get mad. And I'm guessing the other one was Satori, right?” She gives me a nod, a hesitant nod, but still a nod. “So you really didn’t hear anything but the word ‘Sun’ did you?” “Actually, maybe, I may have heard a little more.” She plays with her hair while she tries to avoid meeting with me eyes. Is she nervous? Why? I already told her I won’t get mad. “You talked about something which you called ‘The Sun of the underground’. But that’s all I know. Honest.” I give her a reassuring smile. “Of course I believe in you, Okuu. But enough about me, what have you been up to while I out?” “Just the same as usual, sitting here and watching the flames. It’s really boring sometimes.” That’s right. That’s what she does. She regulates the flames of hell. She has the ability to manipulate nuclear fusion. I remember now. “It’s always more fun when you’re around, though. That’s why I don’t like it when you leave.” Leave? Why would I leave? Where did I go when I left? When did I come back again? “Do you know what I do when I leave?” “You ask a lot of strange questions, you know that.” Oh yeah, right. I never told her. I think it’s for the better if I don’t, though. She believes she’s done enough damage as it is. No need to further expand her list. “Hmm, let’s just say that a few things got knocked loose when I got hit. I'm just trying to sort them out again.” Her mouth opens slightly again as her eyes grow just a tad bit sad. “Though, you’ve been a great help so far. If we can continue like this, then I’ll be back in no time. And when that happens, you and I shall have a rematch.” I attempt to show more confidence than I have at this point, if only to boost her mood a little. Though, I wouldn’t mind a rematch. Just from what I’ve been told up to this point, I can tell I just need to keep my distance, rather than whatever close-range attack I might have attempted to pull off. “You bet.” And she’s back to beaming with enthusiasm. “But back to the question.” I break her joyful expression, though she still keeps her smile on. “Do you know what I do whenever I go out?” “You once said that you were just going out to do your ‘job’. But you’ve never told us what it is though. I really want to go with you someday, but Satori-sama doesn’t want me to. She says it’s too dangerous.” I’m doing something that’s too dangerous for someone who nearly killed me in combat? How that works, beats me. It’s properly just Satori being concerned about Okuu. But the point is as follows. I leave the underground for my ‘job’ and I return. Satori thinks it’s too dangerous for someone like Okuu, so it has to be some kind of danger involved. Just who am I? What am I? And why was I looking for ‘The Sun of the Underground’? I won’t be able to find the answer just by sitting around here all day. But I'm not exactly fit for running around at the moment either.
 I need to know. Go to the surface - Take Okuu with you for protection  I’m in no condition to go aboveground. Stay underground - Locate the exit. Should be useful for later
>Hope that's better. >If not, could you then tell what it is about it that makes it hard?
The whole update is like a big slab. While I am, by no means, an expert on how to do this or any other writing related things, I think that you should do it like the other writers do. Just put spaces between one sentence or something. Just look at them or, or better, ask on /blue/ or IRC. This place has some pretty nice guys who will help you out. /blue/ has the Writing Advice Thread.
>>11537 Literally, just began the 3'rd of the 5 writing advice threads as I’m writing this And truth to be told, that update is how my "basic" writing layout looks. I thought going to the very root might work, but alas; it's only me it appeals to.
>I think that you should do it like the other writers do. Just put spaces between one sentence or something. Could you specify? Like out an extra break between each spoken sentence, and the text just around it?
>This place has some pretty nice guys who will help you out. People like you who, instead of raging and calling me a faggot, decide to point me in the direction for proper help, and not just leave me to bite the dust. That alone is a big help.
>>11535 I've registered the name “Axl_Towa” as mine. If you ever spot me, do call out to me and we’ll talk things through there. I’ll be creeping in the #THP chat
>>11539 I intend to see this through to the end (or until anon decides to abandon me; whichever comes first)
Progress update: Story written: roughly 48%. Don’t expect a wall or anything Proofreaders: 0/1 Proofread: 0%
Pic not related
Life Underground - Post 5Axl!OxyIF4cURI2013/06/08 (Sat) 00:06No. 11607▼
 I’m in no condition to go aboveground. Stay underground
I originally came from aboveground? Then it’s just as certain that I’ll need to return there if I’ll ever recover my memories. I don’t know how long I’ve spent down here, but if what Okuu says is right then I leave on a regular basis for a ‘job’. And that’s that. I’ll go above ground. But not right now. Now, I need to recover.
“You know, Okuu. If you really want to go with me to the surface, then I’ll consider talking Satori into it. How does that sound?”
Her eyes start beaming with joy. “You’d really do that for me?”
“Of course; it’ll be fun.”
“Yeah, just you, doing your job, and me, helping you.”
The growling of my stomach interrupts our conversation. Thinking about it, it’s been quite a bit of time since I last had something to eat. And no matter who I am, I still need food to function. Just like everyone else.
She giggles. “You’re hungry? I’m sure lady Satori wouldn’t mind if you took something from the kitchen.” Well, that would seem obvious as I am staying here after all.
“Then I should probably get back. We’ll talk later, okay?”
I turn to make my exit but quickly spin around again as one last question strikes my mind. “Say, Okuu, mind if I ask one last thing?”
She looks back from the flames. The way they cast their light on her, the way the shadows are casted on her. It shows off her features just… perfectly. It’s… beautiful.
“Huh? Oh. Yeah. Sure.” Her words bring me back from my thoughts and get me back on track.
“You were able to tell that it was Satori who came with me. How did you know?”
She spins around, looking at me like I just asked something stupid. She then grins and points to her nose. “Her scent. I can smell her from anywhere in Gensokyo.”
Is that so? “Then here’s another question. How come you didn’t ‘smell’ me approach?”
“Mm, you see, master Satori has been carrying that thing around – the one with your smell on it.” Oh? Now that was interesting. “I just thought I smelled that.”
“You wouldn’t happen to know what it is she’s carrying would you?” If my guess is right, then it might hold a memory.
“No,” she shakes her head, “I don’t. Sorry.”
“It’s okay. That was all I wanted to ask.”
“You’re welcome.” She exclaims cheerfully.
I let out a mixed sigh as I look back down the slope. Was it always this long? Well last time I was walking down it, not up. Of course it’s going to feel longer, especially in my state. Change of mental topic. That thing Satori was keeping. Okuu said it had my scent on it, so it’s clear that it either is or was mine. It might hold some memories. I should find her after I’ve gotten something to eat.
A loud cracking noise from above makes me look up. What catches my eye is the stalactite that’s falling. What catches my attention however, is where it’s falling. Right on top of me.
From a sudden impulse I leap to the side. I land chest first on the ground and slide a few meters. Damn that hurts. With some trouble I manage to lift myself enough off the ground.
“Fuck.” I don’t usually curse, at least I don’t think I used to.
I leapt near the edge to dodge it, and now it’s blocking my path. Guess my luck ran out for now. Another loud crack confirms my suspicion. I’m all out of luck. My back is against the edge of the cliff side. The stalactite is blocking my path. I have no way to get around it. And the worst thing; the stalactite made the ground crack. The tip, where I stand, will fall anytime now. Then it happens. Time itself seems to slow down as the ground disappears beneath my feet. I reach out my hand in an attempt to grab… well anything I can get a hold on. But I don’t find anything to grab onto, and nothing grabs onto me. I close my eyes. I don’t want to see it happen. All I can do is wait until time resumes and lets me fall. Fall to my death.
I’m not dead. Or am I? I never felt hitting the ground. In fact, I feel something soft on my back. And I’m sure it’s not the ground. I open my eyes only to stare into a set of red ones.
The girl they belong to asks me “Comfortable?” I can’t help but nod. Even before I realize what she asked about. “Good to hear. That was a close one.” I look down. Sure was. The ground is just a few feet away. She puts me down and pulls out a small black book and a pencil. “You wouldn’t mind answering a few questions, would you?” she asks.
“Oh, yeah, sure, why not, just give me a quick moment.” I answer as I sit down to let the adrenaline run out of my system again.
“So, Mr. Seikatsu, what happened?” she gives me a generic smile as she asks it.
I take a good look at her before answering. Her black hair is shoulder length and matches her black skirt rather well. Her white shirt is a pleasant confliction between the colors. Her square red hat seems out of place. “I’m not sure myself. I was just on my way back to the castle when the stalactite fell. And well, you saw the rest, I’m sure.” I finally answer as I straight out my thoughts again.
She scribbles something down in her little book before asking. “Do you have any idea why it fell?”
“No.” A plain and simple answer.
“I see, I see. So nothing happened before that might have made the stalactite probable to drop?” She writes something again.
“Not that I know of- wait.” That’s right, that might have caused it. “Utsuho and I were having a friendly fight that ended up running wild. We might have knocked it loose then.” As of right now, I have no way of confirming or denying that theory.
“Interesting, interesting indeed. Is that how you got those wounds as well?” she points at my arm.
“Yeah, well, accidents happen.” I chuckle. That is what happened after all. I bring my gaze back to her eyes and state, “But I think it’s my turn to ask some questions,” with a calm voice of course.
“Hmm, well, I guess that’s only fair.” She puts the book away in a breast pocket and takes a seat on another rock as well.
“First off,” might as well ask straight out, “Who are you?”
She stares at me for a few seconds before bursting into laughter. “Good one, good one. No seriously, what’d you want to ask?” I stay silent and maintain the eye contact. “Wait, are you serious?” She pulls out the book again, quickly flicking open an empty page. “Tell me more.”
Something tells me I can trust her. And well, trusting my guts seems like a good idea to me. “Seems a got I case of amnesia.”
“So, what do you remember?”
I shake my head and respond. “Not much. Satori and Utsuho are among the people I remember,” after I got to know about them again. “But you’re straying from my question. Who are you?”
“Oh. Yeah. I got sidetracked, sorry. I’m Shameimaru Aya, ace reporter of Bunbunmaru Newspaper.” She salutes while stating it with a proud voice.
Shameimaru Aya. It rings a bell, surprisingly. Though, from what I remember right of the bat, she doesn’t strike me as a woman I’d hang around all too much. Yet I know her on a friendly level. But I get the outlines about her and about my relation to her.
“I see. What brings you down here then?” I can’t help but ask since from what I know, she’d prefer being in the air aboveground. She surely wouldn’t come all the way down here without a reason.
“Huh. Oh yeah. You’re right. I should properly get to the point already.” She pulls out some papers from god knows where. “I got the files you asked for, but I guess you can’t remember what you needed them for.”
I scan through the papers as she hands them to me. It appears to be a file on a certain tengu. I think his name is read ‘Buki’, but I could be mistaken there. Apparently he was exiled several centuries ago. At this current point in time I fail to see how this is connected to me. I’m going to keep the papers none the less.
“The fact that you knew he was a wolf tengu really helped me. I’d ask about it, but I guess I won’t get much of an answer as of now.” I’d say she looks a little disappointed, but I think that’d be going overboard.
That brings up another question; how did I know he was a wolf tengu. If I’m to believe these papers, he’d be over 40 centuries this day. Furthermore, it states that he’s dead. I wonder why I’d ask for something like this. If he were alive then I could see a possible link, but he’s dead.
Aya snaps my attention away “I’d like to discuss the current state of things with you, since it seems you might need to get it refreshed.” The more she can tell me, the better. I get up along with her and she asks. “So, should we head to the mansion or talk while going around town?”
Go back to the mansion Walk around town to talk
The fact I’m even writing this should be enough for you to guess what I’m going to say. Yeah. The update has been delayed. Reason? Exams They may be over for me, but I used the days to relive the stress. I’m working on the update, though. If I catch my proofreader before next Friday, you may get it earlier. Just don’t quote me on that.
The pic is the best excuse I can give you for now
Life underground - Post 6Axl!OxyIF4cURI2013/06/21 (Fri) 23:10No. 11714▼
“Then why don’t we head back to the mansion?” I may suggest that, but I’m not really sure how we’ll get back up there from here.
“Oh, I’m invited into the mansion today? How gentlemanly of you.” whatever she means by that. “Do you remember how to fly? It’ll be the easiest way back.” I shake my head. Even if I remembered, I don’t think I’d be able to with this body. “I see. Then if you’ll excuse me.”
She takes ahold of me from behind and lifts me off the ground as she flies back up. But instead of landing, she continues towards the main entrance. Not that I’m going to complain, since it is nice not having to walk.
“I see you brought me guest, Heiki.” Satori greets us as we land at the entrance.
“It’s an honor to finally meet you in person, Miss Komeiji. My name is-“
“Shameimaru Aya.” Satori interrupts. “Right this way.” She motions us to follow her inside.
As we walk through the halls to wherever Satori is leading us, I can’t help but ponder; she seems different somehow. Could it be her hair? No, that’s not it. It’s always been short, cute and purple. Her clothes maybe? No, it’s the same outfit she usually wears. The third eye? Maybe, I can’t see it from here. But I don’t recall it being any different. Her eyes? Maybe. Hard to tell. I can’t really get a good look since she only glances back every now and then. But from what I’ve seen they hate the same gentle color as- was that a blush? Never mind, they’re the same as usual, from what I can tell.
Glancing over at Aya I see her taking pictures of practically everything. That includes me and Satori.
We arrive in front of a large room. I recognize it as the living room. I know from just seeing it, that I’ve spent many hours in here. That we have spent many hours in here. The table, the chairs, they give it a western feel. How I recognize a western feel, is beyond me. But does it really matter?
“I’ll be back in a few moments. Just begin without me.” And with that, Satori leaves us alone. I swear; there’s something different about her.
“So, should we get started, Heiki?” Aya inserts herself in a chair rather quickly. I take a seat myself. “Where do you want me to start from?”
“Frankly, I have no idea. From the beginning. That’d properly be the best.” I give her a shrug. I know too little to ask any question of much value right now.
“Well, there isn’t really a beginning like that. Don’t you have anything specific you want to know about? Like, what you do? Who you knew? Who are your friends? Who are your foes? Nothing like that?”
Friends? Foes? What I do? “Then let’s just start with the simplest; what do I usually do when I go above ground?”
“That was a slip of the tongue. I’m honestly not exactly sure what it is you’re doing when you come to the surface. Usually you just wander around. Every time I asked you, you simply answered that ‘You were talking a stroll’. But I think we both can guess that it isn’t exactly true.”
Satori comes back into the room, carrying tray with tea on it. She treats her guests nicely, I’ll give her that. The way she greeted us I though she didn’t like- That’s it! That’s what's different.
“To be all honest with you. As of right now, Satori is properly the only one who knows why exactly you come to the surface.”
“No, I don’t.” Satori looks down at the table. “I try to avoid reading into peoples’ memories. Despite my ability, I don’t enjoy reading people’s minds. The mind is the most personal space for anyone after all.” Her voice has a low tone. It sounds kind of forced.
“You mentioned both friends and foes.” I direct the focus from Satori to me, so Aya won’t have time to dwell on it. “What exactly do you mean by that?”
She lifts an eyebrow before answering. “That’s actually one of the easier questions to answer. You’re rather hated on the surface. Guess people don’t like it when you kill off some of their friends.”
The hell have I been doing? So we got a few people who don’t like us. Better watch our back next time we leave the underground. That’d most definitely be the better option.
“Of course you have some friends as well.” She must’ve noticed my expression. It’s not every day you’re casually being told you’ve killed people. Am I participating in a war or something? Satori is just sitting there silently drinking her tea while absorbing all the information she can.
“Aya,” with as clear and calm voice as I can, “who are these ‘friends’ and ‘foes’?” I can feel my hands tremble slightly.
She responds with a serious tone. “The majority of Youkai Mountain is on your side, including both the kappa and the tengu. There’re rumors that you even have Yukari Yakumo on your side, which is why the Hakurei shrine maiden don’t do much about you. But as I said, that’s just a rumor. It’ll be a safe bet that you have many of the underground youkai as allies as well.”
I glance over at Satori. She’s still just passively observing our conversation.
“As for your enemies,” the crow once again claims my attention, “You’d best consider all the humans your enemy. Many of the lesser youkai throughout Gensokyo also hold a grudge against you. Of course most youkai are hostile even towards each other.”
She takes the last sip of her tea before speaking to Satori. “Before I leave again, I have one last question for you.”
“No.” She answers before Aya even gets a chance to ask. “My reasoning; the underground youkai don’t generally care about the surface residents.”
“I see.” She grins as she scratches the back of her head. She notices my confusion. “I just wanted to suggest a special newspaper for the underground. But oh well.” She stands up. “I better leave. Don’t worry, I’ll show myself out.” She says her goodbyes and leaves.
Satori breathes out and releases the tension. I didn’t even notice it was there until it was gone.
“Why don’t you go take a bath? I’ll prepare dinner in the meantime.” She stands up and faces me. “The baths are down the hall and to the left. You’ll know it when you see it.” and with that she leaves for, what I assume, is the kitchen. I didn’t even get a chance to answer. Not that I’d object, though.
I take my leave of the room as well and proceed to walk down the hall as I was instructed to. She was right; it was easy to identify the baths. If I’d missed the sign hanging out from the flat wall, then I might have been worse off than I thought. I wouldn’t put it past you. You seem to get caught enough in your own thoughts to miss something like that.
I take a look around the bath before I do anything else. It’s clear that it’s a hot spring. But what confuses me is that there’s only 1 changing room as well as only one pool.
I walk out of the room and check the sign once more. No, it doesn’t say anything about gender. Is it a mixed bath? It has to be. The only other explanation would be that I’m the only man around here. Heh. Just the thought of that. Just get changed already. The sooner you get a bath, the sooner we can go to the table and eat. You’re right. I still haven’t eaten anything today. Well, besides the snacks Satori brought along with the tea. But that doesn’t really count now does it?
“May I ask what you’re doing?” Surprised, pondering, questioning. Those are the words I chose to describe her question. Who’s question? A red haired girl in a plain black greenish dress. Even from just a glance I can tell she’s a cat, nekomata, maybe. If her ears didn’t give it away, her tails would. Though her most striking feature is, once again, her ears. All four. A pair of humanoid ears like my own, and the set of cat ears.
“Just making sure of something.” I know I’ve seen her before. Her name is on the tip of my tongue. Just one last push and I’ll remember it.
“Let me guess. Satori said you needed a bath, right?” I nod. “Relaxing in a hot spring would do your wounds well.”
If she already knows about the wounds… Rin. Kaenbyou Rin. She was around at the time of the accident.
“Are you coming or not?” She calls from inside the changing room.
Told you you’d get caught up in your thoughts. The least I can do is remembering the name of those around me. Give me a break already.
I walk in only to discover that she’s already sitting in the spring. How much time did I spend thinking? About 3 minutes or so. Rhetorical question.
I find a little hiding spot where she can’t see me and begin undressing. It doesn’t take long to encounter a problem, though. My left arm. It’ll hurt to take off my shirt alone, but it can be done. Next would be the bandages.
“Rin!” I call out and she responds. “Think you could spare a moment to help me?”
I hear a sigh followed by the sound of splashing water as she gets up. “So, what is it?”
“My shirt. It’s a little difficult to remove on my own. Oh, and the bindings. I can’t remove them on my own.” I give her the instructions without turning around. It may be sort of insulting to do that, but I’d rather not make her upset by seeing something I shouldn’t see.
“Oh. Yeah, you’re right. It would be hard to do on your own. Sorry. I didn’t think about it.”
She grabs ahold of my sleeve lightly. Her hold is firm, but gentle, as if my arm could break at any moment. Given a youkai’s strength, though, it wouldn’t be too unlikely that she’d be able to break the bones of a mere half breed like me.
Once she’s helped me with the bindings, I thank her and she leaves for the water once again.
I finish up, cover myself with a towel and walk out to the bath. Beside Rin I see a wet towel. At least that confirms I had nothing to worry about. Better safe than sorry. Got that right.
The water is hot. And I mean really hot. Then again. We are in hell, and there is a giant sea of flames just below us. It’s comfortable nonetheless. It stings in my wounds, but it’s nothing I can’t bear.
I just lean back and look at where the sky should be. All I see is stones, though. Not like I expected to see anything else underground. I have questioned how it snows though… why I remembered that of all things is a mystery. I don’t think I ever got an answer anyway. And I don’t really care.
“You’re not mad at Okuu, are you?” I look back at Rin. She’s looking into the water. Despite that I can see both worry and concern in her eyes.
I lean back and relax before answering her. “Utsuho? Like I’d be able to seriously get mad at her. It was an accident after all, and she says she’s sorry.”
“And you’re sure?” The look she gives me is… hard to describe. It’d take too many words, so I’ll settle with one plain word; concerned.
I give her a reassuring smile. “Okuu’s a good girl. She wouldn’t do something like that on purpose, so how can I be mad at her?”
She lets out a sigh of relief, relaxing a bit. “I knew that already. But hearing you say it calms me down.”
I lean back again and close my eyes. “All I really lost after all was my memories. But I can’t remember if they were precious or not.” I chuckle at my own joke.
I don’t like the look she’s giving us. Can’t you feel it? I can. The silence helps my curiosity on the way. I open my eyes and look at her. Her eyes are wide, her jaw is gaping and she doesn’t even move a hair… crap. Didn’t she know about my injury? Or was it only the physical ones?
“Amnesia. I’m slowly recovering. Actually, fast. There’s a lot I already remember again, and it’s only the first day.” I try to reassure her.
“I- I’m sorry. I didn’t know.” She sinks down in the water so half of her face is underwater.
I-I don’t know what to say. Then don’t say anything.
“Heiki.” That saves me the trouble of saying something. “What are you going to do? Regarding your memory.” She’s barely over the water as she asks.
“I’m curious about who I am, or were. I’ll try to recover my memories as fast as possible.” “I’m not entirely sure. I want my memories. But I’m, in a way, scared of what I might find.” “The past is the past. I got the memories I need. From here on, I’ll settle with making new ones.” Stay quiet.
[X]“I’m not entirely sure. I want my memories. But I’m, in a way, scared of what I might find.”
What do I want to do? I haven’t honestly thought about it. Pursuing my lost memories just seemed like the obvious choice. But after listening to Aya, I’m not so sure it’s the best choice of action.
“I want to recover my memories.” With my healthy hand I reach out for the air above me. “But I’m scared. Scared of finding out who I was. Scared of finding out what I’ve done.” I let my arm fall back into the water. “I’m just not sure of what to do.”
She moves closer to me and stops when she’s roughly one meter away from me. “I don’t think you should be scared.” She looks at the ceiling along with me. This time I’m mostly doing it to, once again, avoid seeing what I shouldn’t. “It’s been 2 years since you moved in, I think. I don’t really see you as a bad person.”
“But still. I just have that feeling.” Close your eyes. Hold your breath. Eh? Do it. I obey without a second thought.
“Bath time~!” An energetic voice and familiar voice sings as it flies over my head and land in the water, sending a water of warm water directly at my face. Told you.
I shake most of the water off my face and open my eyes. I’m greeted by the sight of Utsuho floating carelessly on her back. She’s not even bothering to cover anything up, allowing me to see everything. And I mean everything. Right from her impressive rack to her slim waist to her- I avert my eyes away from the sight, if just to hide the growing blush on my face.
“Okuu! At least cover yourself!” Rin’s flustered voice breaks the silence as she jumps out after Utsuho, forgetting to cover herself. She has a less impressive but cuter bust and a waist just as slim.
That’s it. I close my eyes and ignore the world around me. I shouldn’t be thinking about the two cute girls alone in a hot spring with me- Damit.
Calm down. Think straight. I need to figure out what to do about my memories. Are they really worth pursuing? I wanted to because that was what felt natural. But now I’m scared. Even if Rin says I weren’t that bad of a person. I believe her, of course. Why else would the three of them be so friendly to me?
I get up and throw the towel around my waist. Rin and Utsuho stop their naked wrestling and look at me. “Leaving already?” Rin is the one asking.
“Yeah. My wounds have begun to sting.” I hold up my arm as if to show her. “I’ll go and treat it before dinner.” I head towards the changing room and stop right before I enter. “And Rin. I’ll think about it.” I say without looking back.
“Think about what.” I can hear Utsuho asking, though kinda muffled.
“Come on, tell me.” The two of them continue playing in the water as I get dressed and leave.
While it’s true that my arm hurts a little, and that I properly should look into it, I just used it as an excuse to leave. I have nothing against them. It’s just hard to concentrate when they play around like that. For multiple reasons.
I walk around the halls until I find the room I woke up in. It’d be common sense that it’s my room since it was here that I was treated and all. The halls, the doors, they all look the same. Yet it’s easy to navigate them. Rin did say that I lived here for 2 years. Maybe that’s why. ‘My’ room seems ordinary compared to the rest of the mansion. There’s nothing that stands out. It’s just plain. I get the feeling that it’s not my room. But who cares. For the time being it is.
I walk over in front of the big mirror to take a better look at my arm. It looks a lot worse than it actually is. To me my arm appears to be dead. Yet it moves perfectly the way I want, with a little pain mind you. The nerves throughout the arm all work the way they should. I can feel my hand slide along the surface.
Looking at all the damage as a whole, my arm is the limb that’s taken the worst damage. My chest seems okay, besides some bruises, and the shoulder which is mostly the same as the arm. Surprisingly, my face has taken the least amount of damage of all the bandaged parts. The skin appears a little rough, but that’s about it.
And it seems like my senses are fine as well. Because I can smell the food all the way from here.
Dinner passed smoothly. It was delicious. Not just because I was hungry, but because it had that familiar taste to it as well. Guess I’ve had it more than once. Despite the lack of a sun, or even a sky for that matter, it’s begun to get dark outside. The living room where we are right now has a fireplace which, despite the flame sea beneath us, is quite nice.
My guess about Rin being a cat was right, it seems. My proof is that she’s currently lying, in her cat form, on Satori’s lap. Utsuho, in her bird form, is resting on Satori’s head. The whole image they give off like that is actually cute. It feels familiar as well, like we’ve all done this scene before.
I have something to ask Satori about, but I don’t even dare disrupt this scene. It’s not even that important. Instead I chose to focus on this book I found. “Legacy of Old Hell”. The title is what caught my eye. I thought I might be able to learn something from it, but it seems to be a fictitious book. And that’s after considering the fact that I’m in hell at this very moment. A very pleasant hell at that.
“I think I’ll head to bed early.” I announce as I close the book and stand up. The lack of any form of response urges me to look over at them. It seems like they’ve all fallen asleep. I take a quick glance out of the window. It’s darker than I thought it would be. Time flies when you’re reading. I can’t just leave her like that though. Once the fire goes out it’ll become cold. I’d carry her to her bedroom, but I don’t know where it is. Maybe I should fetch a blanket for her.
I leave the room and head towards one of the many guestrooms. I’m sure no one would mind if I borrow one from one of them. I enter the first room in the hall where the guestrooms are and take the blanket off the bed. I’ll be sure to mention where I got it from later.
Back in the living room. I’m careful as I lift Rin off Satori, trying not to wake up either. Removing Utsuho is even harder. She’s clinging onto Satori’s hairband. I consider taking the hairband off entirely, but somehow that doesn’t seem like the best idea. I manage to move her onto a finger, though her grip is tight and it hurts just a little. With one hand, my off hand at that, I lay Satori down on the couch and pull the blanket over her. After carefully placing the pets back on her and extinguished the fireplace, just to be safe, I leave the room.
All that’s left to do is to head to bed myself. And nothing is keeping me from doing so.
“Back in here it seems.” He circles around me once before stopping in front of me. “Something you wanted to talk about?”
“It’s about what Rin said.”
“You mean the cat girl?” I nod. “You shouldn’t let it bother you. Our memories may have been a part of who we were. But it’s who we are now that counts.”
A low eastern styled table appears and Sei sits down, gesturing me to do the same. As I do, the background changes from the complete darkness to inside a house. Japanese I think it is. It matches the house that appeared in the dream last night. Except, this time the only ones around are him and me.
“I think you’re wrong about the way you think about our memories.” He raises an eyebrow, but that cocky smile doesn’t leave his face for even a second. “I think they’re worth pursuing.”
“But didn’t you say it yourself? You’re scared of knowing who we were.”
“True.” I cross my arms and nod with closed eyes.
“Then why? Why do you care? Don’t you think you’d be better off without knowing what kind of monster we were? Wouldn’t it be easier to just live down here with the ones that care about us?”
“It’s not a question of what’s best for us, for me or for you.” His smile finally leaves him. “Think about what Aya said. We don’t gain allies and enemies for nothing. We’re part of something big. We can’t just abandon it. And even if I’m scared of finding out who we were, I still have to do it. You said it yourself. ‘It’s who we are now that counts’.”
“I don’t like it. But I trust in your judgment.” He rests his hand on the table and gives me a dead serious look. “But priority number 1 is to recover. We’re worth nothing as it stands now.”
“That means resting, healing and treating your wounds. Lick them if you have to. If at any point something becomes dangerous, I’ll take over.”
“I got it already.”
He sighs and gives me an apologetic look. “I just care about you, and about us.”
No choices this time. All I could think about would change the second to last scene which I didn’t want.
I have a question for you, though. Because your opinion matter.
Do you think the story is headed in a bit too serious direction? I’ve planned a few, more light hearted sections later in the story, but should the overall loosen up a little? Or should I simply keep it going in the direction it already is?
As the sun rises in the horizon, a winged man with eyes as red as the crimson moon, casts a shadow over a still sleeping village. At his bloodstained feet lies a fresh corpse; the dead body of a man who resembles the crimson eyed man.
The crow winged man pulls out the sword from the corpse’s neck and swings it to remove the blood before sheathing it.
At his back stand dozens of spiritual beings; gods and youkai alike. Each of them lent the crow their power when he needed it the most.
As they acknowledge the life has been taken, they disappear, leaving the crow alone. Alone with the corpse of the person most important to him. Once the last companion has disappeared, he falls on his knees and break out in tears.
I can’t watch it any longer. I turn and run. Run as far away from that scene as possible. It just hurts too much to see.
As I stop again I find myself in a forest. Despite the light rain, the shine of the full moon still reaches the clearing. The rain tries to wash away the puddles of blood that are discoloring the earth in red. The weak light of the moon highlights the four people on the ground. Each cut clean in two. At the center tree; the crow appears once again, impaling the last of the men.
He pulls out the sword, letting the body fall to the ground. He turns around and faces me. His eyes are cold and dead, like those of a beast that kills simply to kill. He raises his sword and jumps at me.
Cold sweat is running down my body. My breathing is ragged and my heart is racing.
I can’t recall what it was about, but I’m certain it wasn’t a pleasant dream. I need some water.
I make my way down the hall. It’s dark outside. Not much light enters here, and since everyone’s probably sleeping, I don’t bother to put on more than my pants. Just in case.
A little down the hall I see a door standing ajar. The lights inside the room are on and someone’s moving around in there. By the shape of the shadow I’d say it’s Satori.
“Hey Satori, you wouldn’t-“ I begin as I open the door, but stop again as I see that it’s not Satori. But I could have sworn. “Sorry. My mistake.” I turn and exit the room before the realization hits me like a brick. I turn around again, but she’s not there. All I actually saw of her was greenish hair and a yellow shirt. Not exactly the best description, but I’m still half asleep here, or I was.
I find the kitchen and take a glass of water before going back to my room. It’s probably just my imagination anyway.
I get dressed and leave the room. I ended up sleeping until early noon, late morning. I didn’t realize I was that tired. It felt good and the general pain is somewhat reduced, so I’m not going to complain.
I should go find Satori. I never got around to asking her. What was it again? Something Utsuho and I talked about yesterday… Oh yeah. It was about that thing she was holding on to. I think there was something else as well. Oh well. If I remember, then I’ll ask her. I should get looking. And the best way is certainly not to stand around thinking pointless thoughts.
Taking the first turn down the hall I spot something yellow disappearing behind the next corner. I don’t recall seeing anyone dressed like that.
I hurry down to the intersection only to find it gone already. What was it? No. Who was it? I know I’ve seen him, or her, before. I remember that eye catching shirt.
I shake my head. It’s just my mind playing tricks on me. I should stay on track.
I turn around to head to the living room, but find my path blocked by a girl. I jolt backwards, creating a comforting space between me and whoever she is.
“You noticed me?” Umm, yeah. She’s standing in the middle of the hallway, right in front of me. How could I not notice her?
I quickly run my eyes over her. Her most stunning feature is without a doubt her blue eye; just like Satori’s. Expect her eye is closed. The only time I’ve seen Satori’s eye closed was when she was sleeping. It doesn’t even blink; which somehow is less disturbing that you’d think. Besides her eye she has the yellow shirt, and a light green skirt. Lime green maybe. Her hair; I’d like to say it’s green, but it has more of a gray color with a green tone to it. Her eyes have an emerald green color with a faint tint of light emitting from them. It’s faint. You wouldn’t notice it unless you were paying full attention to her.
“Who are you?” I hesitate a little when questioning her.
She presses her index finger against her cheek. “Me? I’m Komeiji Koishi. Who’s asking?”
“Seikatsu Heiki.” Her presence; it’s missing. Either that or she’s good at hiding it. It’d be safest to assume the later. And that just makes her look even more suspicious.
She boldly steps closer. Too close in fact. Without losing her smile she asks. “Do you know where big sis is? I can’t find her.” Big sis? Is she referring to Satori? But I don’t recall her saying anything about a sister. I don’t recall much of anything, but that’s beside the point. Can I trust her? Should I trust her?
She seems harmless. Trust her -I’m looking for Satori myself. I don’t know where she is -Look for Satori with her She’s suspicious. Likely even dangerous. Don’t trust her -Take care of her yourself -Bring her to Utsuho She’s just part of my imagination. Ignore her.
[x] She seems harmless. Trust her -[x] I’m looking for Satori myself. I don’t know where she is -[x] Look for Satori with her
Should I trust her? Should I trust a girl who managed to sneak into a mansion located in what used to be hell? The answer is no. No matter how I look at it, this girl shouldn’t be trusted. Yet… there’s something about her.
Don’t fall for it. That’s how she’ll drag you in. And before you know it, we’ll be lying on the ground with a knife in our back. Isn’t that a little paranoid? Neither of us could feel her coming. She snuck around during the night. And if she were looking for Satori, don’t you think that Satori would know and go find her? Maybe she’s busy with something else, something more important. We don’t know, so we shouldn’t assume anything. I’ll say it again. Don’t trust her. I don’t believe we can.
“Actually, I’m looking for her myself at the moment.” Are you even listening? “Have any idea where she’d be?” So that’s how you wanna play?
“She’s usually in the backyard when she’s not at her office.” She looks down as she speaks. My guess is that she’s looking at my stomach/chest area. “But she could be anywhere, doing anything.”
I think I saw a door leading to the yard somewhere around here. It might be the best place to look for her first, mostly because I have no idea where her office is. I didn’t even know she had one. So the garden it is. “Why don’t we check out the yard first?”
“You’re going to help searching?” Not just her face, but everything about her, lights up at my suggestion.
“I was looking for her myself, and two people are better than one, no?”
“Yay!” She throws her arms in the air. “Let’s start by looking in the kitchen.”
“Why the kitchen? I thought she was in the backyard.”
“Because when you’re looking for something or someone, they usually show up at the least expected place. And you don’t expect her to show up in the kitchen, do you?” While I want to question her logic, I think i have to agree with her. You tend to find what you’re looking for where you least expect it.
“I don’t know why she’d be in the kitchen, but it’s just around the corner.” I walk past her and head for my new destination. “Sure. Let’s look there first.”
She swiftly moves up front of me and start walking backwards, looking at me. It doesn’t take her long to slow down until she’s at my side. She lifts my bandaged arm as if to show me. “What happened? Were you burned by Okuu’s flames?”
“You could say that.” I pull my arm away from her. I still don’t trust her that much.
She turns right and walks backwards through the kitchen door. I stop in the doorway to quickly scan through the room.
Of course, what I find is to be expected; nothing. She’s not here. “I thought you said she’d be here.”
She pops her head back out form the cupboard with a small loaf of bread in her mouth. “This is where we least would expect her to be, so it’s a wonder she’s not here.” She stuffs her head back into the cupboard. I can’t help but palm my face. “Or maybe because we expected her to be where we least expected her, we actually expected her which means she wouldn’t be here.”
Is this girl serious? Oh look who’s back. Enough sarcasm. Why’d you even listen to her? She’s obviously pulling your leg. I’m actually starting to believe the same thing. She was right about finding this where you least expect them. That happens all the time.
We should go look for Satori already. Not waste our time here. Agreed. I walk back out in the hallway and head back towards the garden. If she’s not there then it’ll be her office. And if not there, then I’ll simply postpone it until she finds me.
“He-Hey, wait up!” The little oddball of a girl comes running out of the door with her arms full of bread. A less pressing question for Satori might be why we have so much bread. But does it honestly concern me? “Weren’t we going to look for her together?”
“We were, but you began looting the bread.” She’s walking backwards in front of me in order to keep eye contact.
“What? Don’t you want some?” She holds up a piece for me.
“No, I don’t.” I may not have gotten any breakfast, but I don’t really feel hungry.
Let’s see. The door was down this turn, then left here, straight here. A lone door should show up down this hall.
The door’s easy to find. Opening it, I’m greeted by the smell of freshly cut grass. A little ahead I see Satori sitting, surrounded by a few different animals ranging from birds to cats to dogs. It’s a peaceful sight for sure, but I know she’s taken notice of me, so she probably won’t mind if I disrupt her. At least that was the idea. But a certain someone acted before I could.
“Big sister, I’m home.” She darts past me and runs towards Satori, dropping the bread she hadn’t eaten yet. Said bread happens to attract the attention of the animals.
“Koishi? When did you-“ She cut herself off. I bet she already knows the answer. Or maybe it just doesn’t really matter.
“No ‘Welcome home’ hug? Then I’ll just hug you instead.” And with minimal resistance Satori let herself get pulled into a snuggle hug.
Okay, now I feel like I’m interrupting. Maybe it’d be better if I actually waited. No. you want to ask right? Then ask. She even got up to answer you before that oddball ran up to her.
“He’s right, Heiki. You know you can ask me anything, right?” She pulls out of Koishi’s hug.
Wait. She can hear me? She can read thoughts, so it’s not that surprising. I know. I just thought I was out of reach.
[ ] Ask her about that thing of mine she carries around [ ] Ask her about the Underground Sun [ ] Ask if she knows anything about my past -[ ] Anything specific? [Write in](Optional) [ ] Anything else I can think of at the moment [Write in]
=================== Two delayed updates in a row. This’ll become a bad habit if I don’t do anything about it soon.
Life Underground - Update 10Axl!OxyIF4cURI2013/08/24 (Sat) 07:21No. 12069▼
[x] Ask if she knows anything about my past [x] Ask her about that thing of mine she carries around
I watch Koishi as she runs over to play with the animals. Sei may call her an oddball, but I think she’s just carefree.
“I wouldn’t know, Satori. Maybe I did once; but at the moment…” I shrug. It’s really that simple. I take my eyes off Koishi to look down at Satori. Look down as in physically looking down, not looking down as in disrespecting her. I wouldn’t be able to do that in a thousand years. She has a weak, but honest, smile as she watches her little sister play around with a fox. Her eyes are distant, kinda hazy in a way, but she still tracks her just fine as she’s playing around. “But if you say so,” She shifts her focus back on me, “then I’ll trust you.”
“I- um…” She glances at Koishi quickly before looking into the ground. “…” She mumbles something which I just can’t quite make out. I do however notice how her little smile grows a little.
“Sorry, but could you repeat that? I didn’t quite catch it.” I brush a bit of the hair covering my ear away. Maybe I should cut it soon. It’s grown quiet long. But for all I can remember, that’s how it’s always been.
She looks back up and meets my eye. “No. It was nothing.” She reaches out for some of my hair, but retracts her hand again. “And no. You shouldn’t cut it. You’ve spent years growing it to this length. Unless of course it bothers you.”
“Heh. Maybe later then. I don’t really mind all that much right now.” Following Satori’s example I shift my focus to Koishi. An odd thought strikes me as I see her though. When riding the back of someone who’s standing up, it is called a piggyback, if I’m not mistaken. And when the person is crawling around, it’s called a horseback ride. Then my question is which of the two Koishi is getting right now. I mean, the fox is standing up when it’s on its four legs, right? But it’s still crawling around since it’s on all of its legs. Whatever the case, she seems to have fun. The fox don’t. Then again, I don’t think I would enjoy having my ears tugged in when giving a ride.
“He’s enjoying it.” Her eyes get distant again. “She may not be able to understand them like I can. But she still loves each one of our pets. He’s just happy to be playing with her again.” That makes sense. Why else would he allow her to do that?
The questions. Or did you forget? “Oh right.” I snap my finger. Partly to get her attention again. Partly to fix my own line of thought. “Before I manage to derail us completely, I wanted to ask a few questions.”
“You’re curious about that thing Utsuho told you about?” Mind reading sure can be useful. After fishing around for something inside her sleeve she hands me a small book. Well, the book may be complementing it too much. It’s a leather cover with a few dozen pages inside. It has one of these neat click locks so it doesn’t open on its own. ‘Gensokyo – 8’ is written on front with some makeshift gold letters. They were made to be easy to read, not look pretty. Besides the slightly burned top, it’s in pretty good shape.
Even after examining it, I still don’t get what it is. I could open it, but I’d likely just get caught up in reading. “So, what is it?”
“A journal. It goes back quite a bit. It stops the day before… Well, you know.” She looks down again. “I, um… I’ve been reading it. I hope you don’t mind.”
“Why should I mind? That’s why it’s written; to be read.” A journal written by me. I should probably- No. I should definitely read it later. But for now I just shove it into my pocket. “Anyway. A chance never really surfaced before now, so I’ll just ask bluntly. Do you know anything about my past that I should know?”
“Thinking about anything in particular?” She probably noticed the excitement I’m holding back. I don’t know why I get like this.
“No. Anything would do.”
She puts a finger on her mouth as she goes into thought. “Not much actually worth talking about. You never really talked about your past.” She switches to crossing her arms. “You bragged a lot about your home village though. But I don’t think that was what you had in mind.”
“No. No. That’ll do just fine. The environment people grew up in tells something about them.” Of course nothing is carved in stone when it comes to this. Knowing about my old home may be just as pointless as it may be useful.
“I’m not really sure where to start though.” She begins walking at a pace I can follow without trouble. I take note that the fox, still carrying Koishi, decided to follow us. “I think the biggest thing about the village, was that you’ve managed to make both youkai and human live alongside each other.”
“But that’s impossible, isn’t it? Human and youkai aren’t meant to be together.” She raises her brow and gives me ‘that’ look. “Yeah of course there are exceptions. I mean how else could I be here.” She leads me through one of the bigger doors. “What I mean was, an entire village. That’s impossible, right?”
“Not according to you, no. Not many humans come down here, so I can’t really say how that statement stands. It might have changed since the time I was up there.”
“The whole thing just sounds so surreal.” I hold the door open for the two of them. Three if you count the fox.
“Oh, but the most ‘surreal’ thing about it was that you founded the village along with a descendant of your sister. I forget what generation. Forgive me for that.”
I stop. “Come again?”
She turns to face me. “Yeah, apparently everyone you’ve managed to convince into helping you with that thought it’d be best if the two of you became the heads of the village. Given that you were both youkai and human, you were the obvious choice for the role.”
“So we acted more like a bridge?” We start walking again. It seems to have gotten a little harder though.
“At least that’s what you told me.” This time she stops. “We’re here.”
“Here?” A lone door at the end of a short hallway? It’s kinda out of the way.
“Your room. You used a guest room last night, didn’t you?” Of course she doesn’t need an answer. “Please use it from now on. It makes you a lot easier to find. Also,” she lifts Koishi off my back- wait what? When’d she get there? “I’ll be taking her, if you don’t mind.”
“Aw. But sis, he’s a nice pillow.” Despite her complaint she lets go. “You’ll play with me later, won’t you?” And before I can answer they’re walking away, leaving me by myself once again.
Well then. Why not take a look at my room. That’s why she guided me here. At least that’s my best bet at least.
The room is nothing to write home about though. It’s big, sure. But it’s kinda ruined by the fact the walls are painted in a single pale red color. The windows point towards a wall, so yeah. Not much to get there. The furniture in here is lacking. There’s a double sized bed, which to my guess is of western design, made from a dark wood. It’s plain, but pretty in its own way.
Straight across from the bed is a desk with a nice mess on it. There are a few journals like the one Satori gave me. From the looks of it, it’s number 2, 5 and 7. Other than those, there are some random papers with scribbles on them. Not really worth noting. The spell card lying in between the papers is however. Standing between the two windows is some kind of drawer. It’s taller and thinner than the standard. The lower drawer is half open with something sticking out.
The last thing worth noting in here may be the smallest, but it’s bugged my attention ever since I entered. A lot of words spring to mind as I simply watch it, but I’ll try to keep it simple. It’s a miniature shrine. An alter to place at home instead of a proper shrine. The thing about it that bothers me the most, is the fact that there is no identification of which god it’s meant for. But rather, it seems to focus on multiple gods. It also seems to give off an odd aura. Saying it bugs me may be exaggerating. The aura is pleasant, both warm and filling. Yet, it annoys me just enough for me to care.
[ ] Check the journals. They might have useful information - [ ] 2 - [ ] 5 - [ ] 7 - [ ] 8 [ ] That spell card caught my attention. [ ] This Shrine. I need to examine it. [ ] What’s with the drawer?
========== Just to clarify. What number under the journals, is how far back. 2 being the earliest, 8 the latest.
Also. These may seem as smaller choices, I know that. But that have a bigger impact than what I give them credit for. (What you learn and when you learn it.)
And this last one can be ignored. Just clarifying >>11956 >>11968 Thanks for the concern, but it wasn’t me who got injured. The message was very vague, I know. So to put it simple: Someone from my immediate family was sent to the hospital, which kinda stressed me mentally.
[x] Check the journals. They might have useful information - [x] 7 - [x] 8
Out of all the journals, I think #7 and #8 would be best to read immediately. They'll shed the most light on our MCs past. We can pick up the earlier journals once we get our bearing straight. If we can only search 1 journal, then make it #8.
As an aside, I need more material of Koishi doing silly things in my life.
[x] Check the journals. They might have useful information - [x] 7 - [x] 8
>>12073 Sorry, but that’d be too much info to be dropped at once
There’s something about this shrine. Like it’s calling out to me. As if it’s trying to draw me in. ”Hiro.” Yeah? ”Don’t touch that. You don’t know where it’s been.” What, you think it’s been covered in crap? Pfft. As if. We may be a youkai, but I still respect the gods too much to believe something like that.
I retract my hand. Yeah, I have better things to do, like reading these journals. They should be able to tell me what I’ve been doing recently. The most recent events should be the most important. As such I pick up the journal labeled ‘Gensokyo – 7’.
Getting comfortable in the chair I start going through the pages, looking for anything that might be important or eye-catching.
The 29th day of the Priest Running Month – Year 103 Gensokyo calendar The back of Youkai Mountain --- Following up on the rumors about the Underground Sun. I finally took time out of my schedule to really try and look into this matter. If the rumors are true, then this is a chance I can’t pass up. I’ve already contracted Ammy; however, contracting the god which lives inside the sun will open so many new doors. From what I’ve gathered, this is a back entrance to the underground. It’s a way for youkai to come and go without being noticed. Of course it’s kept a secret for many youkai. I don’t doubt there are many who’d abuse this for their own good. I’m no better, mind you. I’m using this to gain another contract.
I’ll go prepare for a light trip. I don’t know how long I’ll be down there, so at least a few supplies should be in order. I’m sure Tenma wouldn’t mind if I asked him. He’s been pretty generous so far.
First day of the Affection Month – Year 103 Gensokyo calendar Snoozing Stone at the Underground City --- If memory serves me right, today is New Year’s Eve in the outside world. It’s been a long time since I last celebrated it with my family. Even if I were to return to the village today, there wouldn't be anyone i could call family. The closest family I have would be my sister's descendants. I’ve usually been seen as an uncle to them. But it's been 6 generations. Probably only the youkai would recognize me. But I should probably get to the point already. I reached the underground yesterday at what I suspect to be sundown. The rumors are true. Hundreds, maybe even thousands of oni are living down here. I was sure it was just a rumor to keep people from trying to get down here.
Investigation will be postponed a day or two. These oni are too fun to hang around. I haven’t met someone who’s been able to keep up with my drinking before. But these guys might outright drink me under the table in no time. I may have to pull out that special sake I got my hands on. It could make for a great declaration of friendship.
10’Th day of the Affection Month – Year 103 Gensokyo calendar Outside the Underground Entrance --- That girl, Satori. I’m honestly not sure of what to think of her. Her ability is interesting, she’s fascinating and respectable. Maybe if she didn’t look like a little girl (age 14 is my best bet) I’d try and strike a deal with her. She saw right through me. Revealed to me things I haven’t told anyone before, things I wanted to forget, things I try to hide. Yet, despite knowing all that, she treated me no different. Just, what a curious little girl.
Sometime in the middle of the Long Lasting Month – Year 110 The outskirts of Forest of Magic --- Today’s entry marks a failure. Perhaps it’s even my biggest since ever coming to Gensokyo. It’s hard for me to write this, so excuse any vague bits on information. The Hakurei clan. While I never considered myself the best of friends with them, I did rush here when I heard of the attack. A bunch of filthy youkai came in ambush. I failed to save the clan, but it seems that even in their death, they managed to save one of their own, a little girl with unusual red eyes. Not too long after, Yukari showed up. According to her, the girl won’t remember this day.
It hurts to know that there was nothing more I could do, even if it was for the Hakurei. I’ll just have to pray for the girl’s safety. Maybe bless her with the seven luck gods. But that’s for another day. I’ll be resting for a time to try and get over this incident. I can’t let it stop me. I need to keep going.
Day 25 of the Priest-running Month – Year 113 Gensokyo calendar. Palace of the earth spirits --- It’s been nearly 10 years since I first came here. My intentions this time are different however. I’m not here to try and obtain Yatagarasu’s power. No, I’m here to restrain his power. Long story short; I received word that one of lady Satori’s pet obtained said power, and through basic logic, the Hakurei miko will come and put a stop to her before she can do any real harm. This is where I come into the picture. If Hakurei just faces her in a straight on battle like she probably will (if her past encounters are any indication) she will lose. But if I use my ability to restrain her power, Hakurei should be able to do it.
If I fail, then let Gensokyo know I tried.
Day 3 of the Affection Month – Year 113 Palace of the earth spirits --- Wouldn’t you know it, I survived. Hakurei pulled it off. Now I’ll just need to let her take the fame by keeping my part of this incident hidden. Shouldn’t be too hard; Satori is the only other who knows of this.
Since Utsuho obtained Yatagarasu’s power, I would need to contract her to get it myself. I just won’t be able to do that. She’s just an innocent little girl. Well, innocent. She’s just a little girl compared to be. Most people don’t live half as long as I have though.
Obtaining this god is marked as a failure.
The 16’Th Book Month – Year 119 Bamboo forest --- So apparently these aliens were discovered in this forest yesterday, or this night was it. You heard me, aliens. But after having lived with mystical beings my entire life, it doesn’t really shock me. They don’t seem to cause any harm, not in any way where I need to interfere at least. In fact, quite the opposite; it’s a hospital.
There’s nothing really special to say about it. Nothing I should worry about though. I don’t plan on meeting with them. Not now at least. But someday, when the time is right.
First day of the Deutzia Month – Year 120 Sanzu River --- What’s the chance? Just what’s the chance? Don’t let the location confuse you, I’m far from dead. I’d skip judgment entirely and go straight to hell when I die.
But no. that’s not it, not yet at least. Higan has called me in once again. And I’ll be frank; I’m not on the best terms with them. Sure, we work together, but I’ve bypassed so many of their ‘laws’ and ‘rules’ that they’ve gotten a bad eye on me. One of the things they don’t like is that they can’t touch me. I’ve long outlived what lifespan I was given, which is why they are annoyed by it. It’s only thanks to Ammy that this deal was made. But honestly, I’d rather they treat me like a hermit and send reapers after me. I’ve taken out a few already. Still, I respect Ammy too much to object. And I wouldn’t mind this deal if it didn’t involve me being sent out to kill.
Higan uses me to kill dangerous sinners that have escaped death. Well I act as one of those guys, but unlike them, I actually have emotions.
The reason they called me in this time was because the spirit in question was someone I dealt with when alive. Just rub salt in the wound, why don’t you?
Late in the Sprouting Month – Year 124 Undercover in the Human Village --- It’s a risk for me to even be here. If the guardian catches on to my trail, she’ll lock down the village until she finds me. I was just lucky last time. I don’t think I can escape again without killing.
The topic of today’s entry, however, is the ship sailing through the sky. I would consider that strange if my dad hadn’t owned one. They’re really useful for transporting dozens of people at once. I’ve tried to sketch it down to give a better visual of it, since I don’t really know how to describe boats. What about its look is unique enough to identify it, and what isn’t? I don’t know.
It didn’t take long for Hakurei to reach it. Judging from how she brutally beat up Kogasa, the cute little umbrella tsukumogami, I could only guess it was important. I lost track of her as the ship crashed. I’d go look for it, but that would blow my cover.
Last day of the Sprouting Month – year 124 Myouren Temple --- First off, what an odd name. With that out of my system. The inhabitants here are really nice. Byakuren especially. She too shares the dream of coexistence between human and youkai. What amazes me about her the most, is that she too forgave any sin I’ve committed in the past. “I don’t support your choice of action, but I support your overall goal.” Was what she said.
They’ve agreed to let me use their temple as my main base when I go above ground. Even after I told them how much trouble it would cause them. I still have the tengu village to go to if I become too much of a burden here.
I’ll return to the underground soon. But I’ll need a talk with the disciple of Bishamonten before I go.
Day 5 of the Planting Month – Year 128 Gensokyo calendar Forest hideout --- There are times when I straight out hate what I’m doing. That western looking witch who lives in this forest, she’s been seeing someone as of late. Watching youth in love is a satisfaction in itself, which is why I hate the way things have unfolded. That guy she’s with, he-
He’s become an active threat to youkai. He needs to be shut down.
Day 9 of the Planting Month – Year 128 Gensokyo calendar Forest hideout --- I truly regret having let things unfold like this. I knew who he was. Well, I knew of him at least. I knew what he was trying to become. If I had just predicted what he’d use his power for, I would have been able to stop him before things became like this.
The witch, she’s completely broken down. What little of me I still dare to call human is yelling at me to go and comfort her, despite the fact that it was I who hurt her like that.
This is why I hate my job at times. I don’t just need to kill, I ruin peoples’ lives. But if I don’t do this, someone else will have to. It’s better if it’s me who carries the sins and guilt of this. After all, I’ve already committed a sin I can’t redeem no matter what I do, or how long I do it.
Those last two entries concern me. The way Aya said that I killed so casually, it made me believe it was just something I did. And this name, Ammy. Who is she?
I jump at the sudden voice and look behind me. I find Koishi floating just a bit over my bed, pretending to be lying in it… doesn’t that defeat the purpose? “Please don’t do that. You nearly scared the life out of me.”
She giggles. “But all you did was read those books. It was boring.” I look around the room. The door never opened, I would have heard that. The window on the other hand. “Wanna play? I’m bored.”
“Koishi, what are you doing in here?” I put down the books.
“Oh, that’s right.” She spins around so she’s looking at me. “Big sis asked me to ask you if you wanted to do her a favor.”
“That depends. What’s she asking?” I add a slightly playful tone to the comment. That’s just my way of saying yes.
“I forgot.” Then she just stops doing, well, anything. She’s just hanging there with her blissful expression. “Guh, I remember. She wanted you to go shopping.”
“I don’t see why not.” I’m actually starting to feel better. I’m not a doctor by any stretch, but if I have a word to say in the matter of my own body, then it’d be how well it heals. I’m not ready for any serious movement yet, but I’m getting there quickly. “Do you have a list or anything? Or maybe it’s just one thing?”
“I stapled it to your door. I didn’t want to disrupt you.” And yet you go through my window to play with me. I told you, she’s an oddball.
First choice [ ] Ask her if she want to tag along. I could use the company. - [ ] A subject I could try discussing with her [Write in] (Optional) [ ] Just take the list walk head down. I could use some time to process the information.
Second choice [ ] Grab the spell card. I’m still curious about it [ ] Leave it be. There’s probably a reason it’s not with the rest.
[x] Ask her if she want to tag along. I could use the company. [x] Talk about different strains of cannabis.
Calling the voteAxl!OxyIF4cURI2013/09/02 (Mon) 12:39No. 12111▼
If I’m counting the votes which don’t mention the card, as not picking it up, then this vote wins: [X] Ask her if she want to tag along. I could use the company. - [X] Talk about different strains of cannabis. [X] Leave it be. There’s probably a reason it’s not with the rest.
>strains of cannabis And you guys just had to pick something I know Jack shit about.
>>12131 Well i considered posting a status update. But all it would say would be "I'm too lazy to not get distracted by vidja." in a more excusable way. But let me try anyways. *ahem*
'Sorry for the delay. I had Utawarerumono recommended to me, and i ended up enjoying it just a bit more than looking up what i believed to be a drug. I'm writing however, and if things go smoothly, it'll be out later today. That is, of course, if my PR makes it in time, since he got a new schedule and all. Worst case scenario, it'll be delayed until tomorrow.'
How was that?
On a serious note. I had a bit of trouble getting into researching cannabis because Utawarerumono was just more fun. And about that cannabis. It might not be what you expect, but it's still within the area. Or so i hope.
Why the pic? Because, why not? Aruruw is cute enough to fit any situation.
[X] Ask her if she want to tag along. I could use the company. - [X] Talk about different strains of cannabis. [X] Leave it be. There’s probably a reason it’s not with the rest.
So Satori wants me to go shopping, now does she? Well I don’t see why not. I’m not doing much of anything else. I might even remember something. Could that be what she thought? Then she’s just giving me a list of goods she needs as a way to kill two birds with one stone.
Well no use sitting around here staring at Koishi all day. “Would you mind tagging along with me? I could use the company.” Wait, she actually nailed it to the door. How’d she even do that without me noticing?
“What are you waiting for?” And she’s already at the end of the hall. When did she? Never mind. I rip down the list, making sure everything is still readable and set off after Koishi.
The list consists mostly of basic groceries like food. And there are lots of those let me tell you. When considering the amount of animals it makes perfect sense. Not to mention the variety of animals she has. But that’s beside the point. What stand out from the list are the different ‘Hemp’ things mentioned. Hemp fiber, hemp seeds, hemp oil. What even is ‘Hemp’?
That’s those small drug trees, right? Is it? I don’t think ‘hemp’ goes well with ‘drug’. But I’m no doctor, so who am I to speak. You’re Hiro, the human half of Heiki. That’s who you are to speak. That was rhetorical. Not that the answer made much sense, but still.
“Come on. What’s on your mind? Share.” Despite walking backwards, she’s skillfully dodging everyone in her path. Who all act quite rude, to be honest. None of them even acknowledge her by walking out of the way.
“Oh, nothing much. Just wondering what ‘hemp’ is. You wouldn’t by chance know it?” I thought only oni lived in this village. But by watching all who passes us, it becomes clear just how wrong I was. Sure, the majority are oni. But there are different cats like Rin, and birds like Utsuho. In human form that is, but their traits are enough to identify them from the rest.
“Hemp is a plant grown down here.” Well no shit Sherlock. “Hemp is one of the most common varieties of the cannabis plant family. It’s known for things like hemp seed foods, hemp oil, wax, resin, rope, cloth and paper, which all are made down here as well.” She holds up a finger in a matter-of-factly way.
What the hell? I didn’t expect that to come from her. I do not doubt her intelligence, but she doesn’t strike me as the kind of person who’d know stuff like that. It’s kind of amazing. Wait. “Isn’t cannabis a drug?”
“I don’t know~.” And with that she starts dodging the people again like it’s nothing.
We could ask that doctor the next time we see her. We could. Hopefully that won’t be for a good while. We haven’t even recovered after Utsuho hit us with a nuclear explosion at point-blank range. I know what you mean. I want to shed these bandages before we get some new ones.
I feel an iron grip on my shoulder right before being thrown at the ground with some kind of wrestling move. At least I landed on my shoulder rather than my head. I reckon that would have hurt quite a bit more. “I knew I could catch you off guard one of these days.” An adult woman’s voice, both proud and joy filled.
Whoever she is lets go so that I can sit up. The woman has long blonde hair and red eyes with a light hint of orange. She’s clearly an oni, judging from the red horn growing from her forehead. She’s dressed in a plain white shirt, which looks like it was made without sleeves and just got some short ones attached. She’s wearing a violet skirt with some purple stripes on it. Of course I shouldn’t forget the shackles on her wrists. But they are as standard as the horn down here, which means I’m not fashionable as I lack both. Sucks to be me I guess.
“What? Did Orin finally get ya tongue?” She just slumps down with a ‘Humpf’ when she decides to sit down along with me. I can only guess it’s normal as no one pays us any mind. “So what ya been up to? I heard ya returned a few days ago, but ya were nowhere to be found. I would’ve looked in the mansion but well, ya know, it’s kinda embarassin to show up there after what happened last time.” She scratches the back of her head while flashing a big smile. Actually, calling it big is an understatement. But I lack a better word at the moment.
“I, um, had an accident in a duel with Okuu, and I’ve been recovering since. I just got sent down here to get a few things.” I hold up the list, which she quickly snatches away from me.
“So what ya missing?” She scans through the list. “Oh, I know where you can get these cheap. I know the supplier of this one, so I might be able to get a discount. So, how about I get that stuff for you?” She obviously wants something in return. She doesn’t even give me the chance to reply, as before I know it she’s already standing up and headed away.
And I wanted to ask her if she knew what cannabis is. Well never mind that. Where’d Koishi go? She just disappeared when that tall oni came. I would go look for her if she weren’t clinging to my-
Palm, meet my face. You’ll be good friends from now on. “Come on, Koishi. We should go get the last stuff.”
“Okay~.” She seems happier than before. Or maybe it’s just my imagination.
“That should be it.” I count the goods one last time, just to make sure. “Yup, that’s it. Ready to go, Koishi?”
I undo the rope which keeps her in place. I still think tying her up was going a little too far. It was necessary. She ran away like, what, five times? I’m actually starting to doubt which of us is supposed to be the human. It’s not like I enjoy this. I would have preferred it if she just waited outside like I asked her to. Besides, she’s still following us willingly, so it can’t be that bad. Still.
“Where are we even supposed to meet that tall oni? She never said, did she?” This actually poses a problem. She came to us last time.
“I didn’t pay much attention.” Well go figure. “So, what are we going to play now?”
“I think we should find that-“ A sudden sharp cold feeling rushes through my entire body. “Get down!” Dropping my groceries, I tackle Koishi, forcing her on the ground. And just in time for a laser to fly past.
“Pushing me down like that, and in public too. You naughty boy~.” What is she-?
Concentrate! I know.
“This is serious, Koishi. It’s not the time to play around.” Whoever shot that is charging another one. All that energy collected at one point. He doesn’t even try to hide.
Her smile just widens. “Then it would only be right if I made a move as well.” She spins us around so she’s the one on top. Once again narrowly avoiding the laser shot at us. So it is aimed at us, most likely at me, given my past. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to hurt Koishi.
I attempt to spin us around again, so i can direct the fire away from her. But I’m swallowing my pride and admitting: I never expected a cute little girl like Koishi to physically overpower me. And this has nothing to do with my injury. She’s just that strong.
“Now you have to try. You have to do it like this.” Despite being the one on top she spins us around, once again switching our position around, and once again avoiding the laser. Could it be she’s doing it on purpose?
“Hiding behind girls now? Don’t you have any dignity?” That voice? It’s the attacker? But it’s a girl. She doesn’t sound a day older than twenty.
Koishi finally seems to be willing to get off, allowing me to quickly stand and face the challenger. She has a pair of golden eyes along with equally golden hair. The best way to describe her clothes would be like- You have to be kidding me. She can’t be that witch from my journal, can she? There’s just no way.
“What do you want?” I cover for Koishi. I doubt she needs it though. Not with her strength.
“You know what I want, youkai!” If she’s the witch from my journal, then I know very well what she’s after. And that’s something I won’t let her take.
But am I ready for this? I should be able to last a few minutes in combat before I reach my limit. She’s no pushover though, so I shouldn’t count the full time. I’m not even carrying my spell cards, and I don’t know how I used to make the spell breaking bullets. I’ll have to move close in to fight effectively. I could always attempt to make a run for it. But that would leave Koishi behind. It shouldn’t pose a problem though. The witch is after me, and little miss third eye is strong enough to take care of herself.
That’s really all the options I have right now. Take her on or make a run for it.
 Take her on. -  Stay ranged. This way I’ll have a good view of the field. -  Move in close. That’s where I’m best.  Run. -  Find a place to hide. --  I can still create an ambush. --  Stay hidden. I just want to get through the day. Alive. -  Run for the mansion --  Call for Rin --  Call for Utsuho --  Save my breath for running.
Anyway, I’ll be competing in the writing competition, and I would like to focus on it so I can post an, at least, decent entry. This means I won’t be updating this story for the rest of the month. If you by chance recognize my story, please, do NOT vote. Didn’t see that coming did ya? I’m in this because I think it’ll be fun to try. But new writers might just need the confidence boost of that 1 vote. That's a confidence boost I don't need. but they might.
But to just leave you hanging like this, right at the encounter with Marisa, would be unfair, right? Well I think it is at least. So I’ll share some of the relevant notes which should make this choice easier. So with just about 2 weeks to vote, I encourage you to think about the vote.
Kirisame Marisa – The Ordinary Magician Long-range: Lasers (Specialty), Master Spark (Signature spell). Mid-range (Primary): Just about all her spell cards. The broom allows for additional melee range. Close-range: Relies on her broom for primary attacks. Have a mean kick, and an even meaner ass.
Special notes: She makes for an agile range heavy hitter. Her movement speed is unmatched by any other human thanks to her broom. Each of her spells hits pretty hard. Not to mention Master Spark. It’s easier to aim than you’d think, and the flame intensifies depending on the distance it covers. Taking it from point blank is safest. Not taking it at all is the smartest.
Thought I might pop in to check on the votes since my short is progressing nicely. I didn't expect this though. Voting is still open, but if there don't come a tie breaker along, I'll be going with Stealth since it was the first.
I'm going to call the votes now. I don't remember the original idea I had for: " Stay hidden. I just want to get through the day. Alive." Aka: " Stealth". But I do know that the idea I have in mind right now is better than what I originally planned.
Also >>12143 >all of these choices will probably result in a loss Don't take away my fun >if you're going to lose, do it with style You're right here though.
Life Underground - Update 13Axl!OxyIF4cURI2013/10/12 (Sat) 19:17No. 12197▼
I take a low stance which allows me to make quick movements in case I need to. She responds by lifting her broom up like a sword.
I quickly scan the battlefield. The street is wide. I’d say about 15 meters from one side to the other, might be more. This allows for a wide area of movement. Since she knows this too, it has become a disadvantage for me. She’ll probably use danmaku, filling the street in its entirety. If the buildings were closer to each other, I could use them to jump from one to the other. This would allow me to move much faster and in a less predictable pattern.
All the oni have taken their seats at a safe distance. I’d say it would be so that they’d be safe, but I think it’s more out of respect for our fight. This means they’ll just sit there and watch while an injured man struggles for his life against a heartbroken girl with way too much firepower on her side. No help should be expected from them.
The earth seems stable enough. Well of course, since it is earth. No. What I mean is there’s little to no dust, which makes it hard to slip accidentally. This is a factor which works to my advantage since I move by ground rather than air. With a good foothold I should be able to move around swiftly.
The witch is the last major factor to consider. From her attacks earlier I should expect lasers to be her primary method of attacking. If that’s true then hand to hand is the best option. But her physical strength is unknown, and I’m not willing to risk anything right now.
To sum it up: Taking her head on is pure suicide right now. Running away may be possible, but with these injuries I wouldn’t be able to run all that fast. Plus the fact she has her broom. It’s no doubt going to give her a speed boost beyond what I’d prefer. If I go into hiding I should be able to prepare a quick ambush. But that would likely backfire since it’d lock me in combat with her. So plain hiding is my choice. The only choice left.
There’s an alleyway to the left which could serve as a way to cut into her line of sight. But if my predictions are correct then…
I take off going into sprint right off the bat. Running in a curve, I approach her from the right. And as predicted she starts throwing a barrage of star shaped bullets my way. While they do a nice job of covering most of the street, it’s clear that they’re heaviest on the path right in front of me. This means she’s expecting me to change lane and continue for her.
I turn sharply to the left and make a beeline for the alleyway I spotted earlier. I’m not sure whether or not she thought of this, but if she didn’t then I’m going to praise her reaction time. She instantly shifts the pattern to try and hinder me in reaching my destination.
I leap forward, jumping through the bullets, tearing parts of my clothes in the process. From the corner of my eye I spot something blue flash for a moment.
I roll into my landing only to be overwhelmed by an incredible pain shooting through my leg.
It’s just a flesh wound. Keep moving. He’s right. Now’s not the time to be licking wounds. She could be right around the corner already.
As pathetic as it looks, I make my way around the next corner by crawling. It appears to be one of the bigger living areas as there’re less stores and more actual houses here. Great. Since everyone is watching my struggle, I don’t think they mind me borrowing a house for a few minutes.
Closing the door without as much as a sound, I take a deep breath to calm down. This should buy me some time before she finds me, unless she has some kinda of tracking device or ability which tells her where I am. I just hope to god she doesn’t though.
Taking a look at my leg is more than enough to tell me exactly what happened. The clothes have been burned off and the skin is deep red from the pain. I don’t think it is bad enough to be called a burn, but only just barely. Either it was one of the bullets that hit me, or it was that blue flash I saw, which would likely be one of her lasers.
Even just brushing it gently hurts like it is on fire. If this had hit my chest, or maybe even my stomach, it might actually have killed me.
So she’s serious about this. She won’t be content by beating me within an inch of my life. She probably won’t even listen to reason. Not that I would have anything that might convince her to let me live. Not after what I’ve done.
Tsk. Thinking it through from her point of view; it’s obvious she would be out to kill me. For all the noble and pure hearted things I can say about how little I want to kill. If someone took the life of Satori, Rin or Utsuho, I would hunt them to the ends of earth.
Help. I need help. The more I think about this, the worse it looks. There’s no way I can take her on alone.
But who can I ask for help? The oni are probably just going to watch. Satori would be more than happy to help me. But how would I contact her. The range of her ability doesn’t reach all the way down here. I could always make a run for it. But the problem about the difference in the witch’s speed and my own makes that a gamble with a high price. Maybe, just maybe, that blonde oni with the strong build. But she likely wouldn’t interfere even if I asked her for help.
This sure is a fine pickle I’ve gotten myself into. Thanks, past me.
[ ] Make a run for the mansion after checking if the coast is clear. [ ] Seek help somewhere else - [ ] Where? [ ] I have the element of surprise. Ambush her. [ ] Just attack her head on. - [ ] Follow the spell rules - [ ] It’s all or nothing [ ] Quiver like a cowardThere’s no time for that! [ ] I’ve had this itching feeling for a while now.
/!\\WARNING/!\\ Today’s update contains: [x] Scrambled choice - [x] With some story on top May contain traces of plot
This isn’t good. Not good at all. No matter how I think about it, I’m screwed. Any kind of resistance is rendered impossible thanks to this damn damaged body of mine. Not to mention fighting her outright.
Maybe I can cause a scene big enough to draw Satori’s attention here. But that’d mean risking everything in a gamble. She would have to make it down here in time. It’s important to remember that the witch helped…
The witch helped Hakurei take down Utsuho. And in order to get to her, they went through Satori. And she’s far more aggressive now.
Why do I remember that now of all times. I’m screwed no matter what I do, it doesn’t matter what I know anymore.
There’s just no way I can beat her. Not like this.
A loud buzzing fills the air. The sound of cracking wood overshadows the noise of breaking glass. The next thing I hear is the crash of something big and heavy close by.
I look out through the window. A dust cloud has risen. Through it I can spot a big rock scattered in pieces. From the looks of what remains, it came from the ceiling.
Impossible. This is impossible. She’s just too powerful. What I wanted… All I wanted… The only thing I wanted…
“Is to get your memory back? To spend time with your loved ones? To redeem yourself?” I look up from the floor. A woman with eyes like amber meets my gaze.
“Who- Who’re you?” I can feel my hands still trembling.
“’Who’ indeed.” She takes a swig of her gourd.
I take a quick look around the room and much to my surprise everything is black, exactly like when I’m speaking with Sei. There’s nothing but her and I in an empty space of nothing. Her. I take another look at her. She has amber colored eyes which stand out on her thanks to her pale, almost white, skin. Her long silver hair does nothing but contribute to her pale image. All of her exposed skin appears to be covered in markings drawn with orange paint. Be it her face, arms, legs or chest. As mentioned earlier, she carries a gourd with her while riding on what seems to be fog or mist of some kind. She wears a confident smile with a matching gleam in her eyes.
“Seeing the ‘oh so big half youkai’ with equally big confidence, crawling on his knees and praying for his life. Do you realize there are many people who’d give their life to see this?” She lowers herself so she’s on eye level with me. “You’re pitiful. So much it’s almost disgusting.” She takes some distance again. “Well can’t be helped. Doubt I’d be any different if I were in your position. You don’t even remember who I am, do you?”
She seems familiar. No, it’d be more accurate to say that she ‘feels’ familiar. When I look at her it gives me that déjà vu kinda feeling, but the aura she’s emitting is what really feels familiar. I want to answer to her. To ask her more questions, such as ‘where are we’ and ‘what happened’. But the words just won’t form.
“Since you’re a little pressed on time, I’ll keep it as brief as possible.”
Damnit. He decides to disappear at a time like this. What the hell are you thinking, Hiro?
I take a look out of the window. The witch is still yelling toward the sky. My best guess is that she’s arguing with someone. But who, and about what?
No. Throw those thoughts away. What I should be focusing on is the fact she’s distracted. This is a perfect time to counter. She can overpower me in a matter of seconds. But if I keep a steady phase of attacks up, then she might not be able to attack me.
I break the window as I leap through it. This of course caught the attention of the black-white. She immediately freezes as she’s trying to figure out what’s happening. I use this time to quickly conjure a spell card; I’ll worry about how later, and declare it instantly. “Youkai sign: Piercing Rain.”
The card lights up and small clouds of darkness begin to scatter from it. As soon as one has reached its destination it fires and arrow. You heard me, an arrow, with feather and all. It doesn’t take long for all the small clouds to position themselves and start firing. Within less than a second it has quite literally begun raining arrows towards her.
The witch of course responds by pointing the octagonal she holds at the ground and firing a beam which launches her backwards and out of my bullet path.
This time, instead of trying to block my escape routes she tries to fill the field with her bullets to limit my movement. I of course attempt to intercept as many of the as I can while firing at her.
We’re just cancelling out each other’s bullets now. If this continues then it’s just a question of endurance. Who’ll give out first, the hate induced witch or the panic induced youkai?
The answer: I don’t know. But I’m not about to just stand here and find out. So I increase the density by adding more projectiles.
What the hell are you doing, Sei? Finally you’re back. I should be the one asking you. What were you thinking just disappearing like that?
Now’s not the ti- Look out! Damnit. I let my concentration falter. Even worse, the black white noticed. A single beam, large enough to fill the entire street, cancels out both of our bullets as it’s making its way towards me with high speed.
The next thing I know I’m standing in an alleyway with the beam buzzing by me.
What just happened? There… There’s no time… to explain… Just get… get moving. He’s panting, heavily even.
Hiro, what happened? Just get moving. Out on the street and towards the mansion.
I hesitate for a second before dashing off. So what’s down this way? Backup. Turn right here.
It’s seems it’s no use asking any questions now. So later it is.
The witch is gaining on us. Change street through the next alley. Just how do you know that?
Despite my question I plant both feet solid on the ground and start grinding to a halt. And with only inches to spare, she passes my head. Since I have ground to help me, stopping was far easier for me than it’s going to be for her which is clear from how she’s trying to slow down.
Before I get caught up in another thought I make my way through the alley and continue down towards the mansion. There doesn’t seem to be another alley for a while down this street, which means that the only way the witch can get to me is by going back around or hurry to the next alley. Either of those or just fly straight over the roofs. I have to stop thinking in two dimensions just because I can’t fly myself.
She starts firing at me again. This time from the air, which makes it hard to counter, not to mention just avoid.
Enter that building.
As commanded by the voice of reason I storm into the small building and slams shut the door. As I do, things grow silent. No sound of bullets tearing up the ground. Not a single cheer from the drunken crowd. Only my ragged breathing can be heard.
“To think you made it here so fast with those bruises.” I tense up. I’m not alone. Someone or something is here. “Come on, no need to be afraid. I wouldn’t hurt you. It’s actually my doing you’re still standing.”
I turn around to take a look at who’s speaking. What meets my eyes is the gaze of a pair of amber looking eyes with silver hair and pale skin… déjà vu… I’ve seen this woman before. I talked to her earlier. That’s why it feels familiar.
“I bet you’re just dying to ask a bunch of questions, right? Such as ‘who are you’ and the likes.” The gourd I can accept. That’s fairly normal down here from what I’ve seen. But why in the world is she sitting on a cloud?
 Yes, I have some question. -  She knows what I want to know. Just let her explain. -  Ask something. [Write in]  Questions later. Crazy witch now. -  I could use any help she can provide. -  Dealing with her is my problem. Not yours.
>>12207 >Koishi option. Why didn't I think of that?
[x] Questions later. Crazy witch now. - [x] I could use any help she can provide.
Calling dem votesAxl!OxyIF4cURI2013/10/28 (Mon) 19:15No. 12276▼
Okay, now I should call the votes so I can start making the de..tai… A tie? Seriously? Oh well, the winning vote is: [x] Yes, I have some question. - [x] She knows what I want to know. Just let her explain. - [x] Ask something. -- [x] Why in the world is she sitting on a cloud? Since it reached 3 first. The votes for the other option is taken into account as well, since it was a tie. I can already imagine how they'd fit each other.
Not to mentioned I’ve gained votes since I started. I can think of a few reasons, but I’m choosing the one that strokes my ego the most.
Life Underground - Update 15Axl!OxyIF4cURI2013/11/02 (Sat) 02:21No. 12288▼
[x] Yes, I have some questions. - [x] She knows what I want to know. Just let her explain. - [x] Ask something. -- [x] Why in the world is she sitting on a cloud?
Questions? Like I have the time to ask any questions. The witch is right on the other side of this door, and she has sure as hell got the firepower to blast it away with me following right along.
“You have to crazy! She can blast her way in here any moment. We don’t have the time for stories.” I’m leaning against the door in order to keep it shut, just in case the witch attempts to use physical force to get in. I know it’s a sliding door, and I know this is useless, but it helps me calm down, at least enough to where I can keep a somewhat cooler head. Somewhat.
The pale woman just takes another swig of her brew before looking at me with that characteristic smile of hers. “No, she can’t. Yes in fact, we do have the time.” She levels herself with me. “The name’s Kasugami. I’m the goddess of mist. And thanks to you, I’ve partly adopted the titles of ‘goddess of density’ and ‘goddess of sake’ as well. But that’s unimportant.”
The goddess of mist? Why in the world have you brought us here? That’s the thing. She has more abilities than you would think. She attempted a brief explanation earlier so it took a little time.
“It’s just as your better half is saying.” Wait, how’d she know? “For example. Don’t you have rather serious injuries? Enough to cause amnesia and force you to be bedridden for a couple of days? Yet here you are running around firing danmaku. Even just minutes ago you were shot in the leg by a lucky aimed laser. Yet you act as if nothing has happened.”
Now that I think about it, she’s right. I knew I was injured, but it hasn’t posed a problem. Not one big enough to actually take in to account. A quick glance over my body reveals that all the injuries are still there. The slightly swollen burn mark on my ankle. The wounds covered in dead skin, neatly hidden under my bandages. They’re still there, yet… they don’t hurt at all.
As I look back up at her she points a thumb at herself. “My work. I would explain how, but you’ve never understood it before and it probably won’t be different this time.” After taking yet another mouthful from her gourd she looks at me without any expression at all. “However, what you should know is the power I’ve chosen to provide you with. The ability to slow down or even straight up freeze it for a few seconds. Back when your alter ego just returned to you, you were about to be shot by that big laser. That’s an example of my power. I stopped time and moved you.”
There’s a slight pause where I do nothing but stare at her. She has a somewhat distant look in her eyes and I can swear I see them watering up just slightly. Nevertheless I don’t interrupt her.
“Of course this power has its drawbacks. Not for me, but for you. Unlike me, you have a physical body. Channeling the amount of power through you to use this ability outside my shrine would be more than enough to break a normal human’s body. I’m not talking about something like breaking a bone, ripping some muscles or popping some veins. I’m talking about breaking your mana circuit, spontaneous combustion and potential implosion. It’s only thanks to your youkai half’s regenerative ability and resistance that you can use it. Your current limit is at 11 seconds. No more am I willing to risk. 2 of them were used when I moved you, and since you haven’t had time to recover, we’ll assume you have 9 seconds remaining.”
“You mean…” She can use her powers through us to help us. Or more specifically; she can use her power through me to help us.
“As he says.” And since we’ve passed the less cheery subject, she’s back to smiling. “And before you ask. No, I can’t read your mind. However, since I’ve partly possessed little Hiro in there, I can hear everything he can. Which just so happens to include your thoughts.”
I actually feel slightly violated now. But it’s a small price to pay. Not arguing against that. Though I have two questions remaining.
“You mentioned that outside your shrine, your power is limited. Does that mean inside your shrine-“
“I can use my powers freely?” She finishes my sentence “Yes. And yes, I have frozen this place in time. No, I’m not using you to do it, so there’ll be no side effects. Your other question?”
“Why are you riding a cloud?”
She freezes up for a moment where she just looks at me. Then suddenly she bursts into laughter. I’d draw away a little if it wasn’t because I have my back pressed against the door already. “Oh geez.” She wipes away a tear. “You sure know how to lighten the mood. I do because it’s comfortable to sit in.”
With that comment her body turns see-through and gas-like. After a quick backflip for extra effect she dashes into me. No, quite literally into me. The sensation it leaves behind is weird and hard to describe. If I had to, I would say it feels like my entire body is made of water, then she comes along and breaks the still surface, letting the small waves echo throughout my body. Add in a warm and filling feeling around the chest and you just about have it.
Remember; 9 seconds. That’s all I’m willing to.
I grab the door, readying myself to open it. The moment I do, this time freeze will end.
With Kasugami helping us out, surely we have a chance.
Yes. With her help, it’ll take no time to finish off the wit-
No. Killing her is the best choice by far, if I want to prioritize my own life. But I refuse. It’s not necessary. It would just be needlessly spilling more blood. Her friends, her family; they would come after me as well. After taking care of them, then the next group, and the next after that.
But what other choices do I have? If I simply knock her, out she would just come after me again. Keeping her captive is out of the question. I’d rather kill than rob someone of their freedom.
Even with the goddess’ pondering flowing into my own thoughts, I just can’t seem to think of any other way to get her off my tail.
I’m not happy to admit it, but it seems that all we can do is fight and hope for the best.
Right. Just surviving today should be enough. But if anything, I want to talk with her first.
Taking a deep breath I slide the doors open with a swift move. I quickly spot the girl flying towards me at high speed. I walk out of the safe wall of this shrine to the more open street. She seems to be slowing down as a result. Extending my hand I gesture her to land, or at least get close to the ground.
Keeping her distance she hovers just above the ground. She’s holding that small octagon tightly in one hand. I’ll admit it has piqued my interest, but now is not the time. “Wanting to say your last words?” I swear I can see fire burning in her eyes.
“If they’ll become my last words, then yes. What I want to say is,” I take a quick breath to prepare myself for her reaction. “I can’t bring back the dead, nor would I if I could. He’s dead and there’s nothing I can do about that.” She’s clenching her teeth. “But what would it accomplish to kill me?”
From the lack of further action, she seems to realize that it wasn’t a rhetorical question. “Revenge of course. Do you think I’ll just sit idly by after what you’ve done?”
Revenge. Certainly I can follow her train of thought. There’s no way I would just sit by if Satori was exterminated, or Rin or Utsuho for that matter. “But if you kill me, then there’ll just be more people coming after you. And the more after them.” I believe it’ll happen if worse comes to worst. “All you’ll accomplish is the continuation of a never ending circle of hatred.”
She dismisses my words with a mildly annoyed snort. “Like I really care about that at this point. I haven’t done anything towards you out of respect for Reimu. But this crossed the line. You’re just a wild youkai, slaughtering everyone who poses a threat to you. It’s youkai like you that should just vanish.”
“I see. It seems you and I think a lot alike in that regard.” I shrug and shake my head. “Sadly that means that even if I were to tell you the truth, it would change nothing.”
“It probably wouldn’t.” Pointing that thing in my direction she asks. “Was that all?” Rhetorical of course, since she’s already started charging it. 9 seconds. If I freeze time right as she shoots it, all I need to do is step out of the way and take cover. From there she should be left open for some quick blows.
I take a stance so I can easily dash in either direction. It’s both plain and obvious, but it’s not like it matters. All that does matter is the surprise factor. Without that I won’t be able to do much of anything.
Planning, predicting, waiting. The few seconds it takes for that thing to charge up feels like an eternity. It allows me to come up with numerous different ideas. Different ways to use the few seconds I have in the most efficient way. Looking for some of the weak points on the human body I can use.
All of this and even more is being planned while I can do nothing but wait. Wait until just after she’s shot. That should make it harder for her to aim- “Humpff”
In an instant, something hits me with a force strong enough to break a normal human and sends me airborne just as the black white shoots her beam. Right after a familiar raven catches me.
“Sorry, that didn’t hurt did it?” I want to say yes, but thanks to Kasugami it didn’t.
Tightening her hold around me, she aims her cannon and fires a quick shot towards the witch. She of course responds by pulling out a smaller version of the octagon and uses it to fire a quick beam towards us. Luckily since we fired first, the explosion resulting from the collision affects her but not us. To what degree I do not know.
With all immediate threats under control, the bird deems it time to head to safety. Said safety being the Palace of Earth Spirits.
“Okuu, how did you-?” I didn’t even finish the thought before asking. I’m not really sure what I was going to ask anyway.
She looks me in the eyes. Given that I’m being carried bridal style it’s easy for her. “Red…” She looks straight ahead again. “Lady Satori told me to get you as fast as possible.” I have to assume that’s all she knows. Either that or it’s because we’ve already arrived at the mansion.
Flying right through the front door she grinds. She barely gets to set me down before a pair of small arms wrap around me. “Thank god, you’re okay. You are okay, right?” A familiar set of purple eyes look up at me.
Heh. ‘Thank god’.
I can’t help but smile as I let out a sigh. “Of course I am. But is now really the time to celebrate? That girl seemed pretty determined to get her hands on my head.”
“I asked Rin to get the oni to take care of it. It’s their houses she destroyed after all. They may be kind, but they do have limits to what they’ll tolerate.”
“So I can relax without the fear of her coming here to get me?”
She nods. “Just don’t leave the Underground for a while. At least until you can defend yourself properly again.”
“I… see…” The strength starts to fade from my body along with the adrenalin I’ve been running on. I feel heavy. I feel tired. And I feel strangely satisfied.
Sweet dreams, boy.
Before Gensokyo  That which should not be  Joining an old friend for battle Inside Gensokyo  Investigating the Subterranean Sun  Playing with the Hakurei clan  Meeting with the god of war luck
The choices are placed in chronological order. Which end is what should be easy to figure out.
Calling the votesAxl!OxyIF4cURI2013/11/04 (Mon) 14:21No. 12321▼
The earliest? Not my preferred option, but hey. I like this one. One dream coming up~.
Life Underground - Update 16Axl!OxyIF4cURI2013/11/08 (Fri) 23:33No. 12341▼
[X] That which should not be
“I don’t like having one of those Chinese take care of this. I don’t trust them.” He sighs. “Why couldn’t you have let me do it instead?”
“Because you are the guardian of children.” I lift my gaze to look at him, “Not the god of health. You may not trust Wong, but he’s saved my ass more than once.”
He clenches his teeth. “I know, Heiki. But couldn’t you have asked someone like Ama-“
”Enough!” He instantly falls silent at my outburst. “Try thinking about her health over your ego. Wong is the only one I know who can treat those kinds of wounds. If you, or even Ammy, had attempted to treat her first, we’d have run out of time.”
A silence falls between us. One not disrupted by any sound; no crickets, no wind, no nosy people gossiping about what’s going on. At least until he walks over to me. “Sorry. That was my fault. It’s been some time, you should get some rest.”
“No. Not before I know she’ll be alright.” And I know Ebisu isn’t going to leave her either.
“All she’ll need is some rest. Everything else has been taken care of. Though it’ll be hard for her to even do that if you’re going to stand here and yell all night.” The doctor has closed the door behind him and has walked right up without either of us noticing.
She’s going to be okay? She’s really going to be okay? I can feel the tears build up. “I’m… Just… Thank you.” Those are all the words I can muster.
He pulls me into a hug. “No, I should be thanking you. I’m glad I chose to contract you. You’re everything I expected and more.” He pushes me away, enough to create eye contact. “Just remember to change her bandages and keep a close eye on her.” I nod. I wasn’t planning to do anything but that anyway. “Then I’ll be off. Call me the moment something happens.” With those parting words he vanishes into thin air.
I knock gently on the door. “Are you up yet?” I wait a few seconds for a response. Since I don’t get any I announce my entrance, before entering.
In the middle of the room lies a girl. She appears to be no older than five, six at max. Her golden eyes are wide open, fixed on me and me alone like I was the only other thing here besides her. Her small body trembling ever so slightly. Something made easy to notice thanks to her uncut silvery hair, sticking out from underneath her bandages.
I start walking towards her, but when she pulls the blanket closer to her, I stop and take a step back. “You don’t want me to come?” She shakes her head. “I see, then I guess this’ll just have to do.” I let myself slump onto the ground, sitting right where I stood.
She’s still eyeing me with what seems to be fear. It’s not joy, nor sadness. However I don’t think its fear. There’s no way I can properly describe it, even if I should try. The mix of emotions running through her eyes is nothing but a big mess, changing too fast to be actually recognized. But again, none of them seem to be ‘good’ emotions, but rather the more dark ones.
I sigh and put on the most honest smile I can muster at the moment. “So, you wouldn’t be so kind as to tell me your name would you?” She shakes her head. “No? Then what about your home? Where are you from?” She shakes her head again. “Geez,” I rub the back of my head, “You aren’t making this easy, you know. Maybe I can get you something. Anything you want; something to eat perhaps or maybe a glass of water?” She shakes her head yet again.
The door opposite me slides open and reveals a woman. Her eyes quickly lock onto mine. A swear I can see a vein on her forehead that’s about to pop. “There you are, kid. It shouldn’t take this long to-!“ Her eyes fall on the child, who just stares back at her. The good news to me is that she appears to be even more scared of Ammy than me; though women are by default scary, so I don’t think this counts. “The kid got a kid? Who’s the unfortunate one?”
“That’d be me, for knowing this side of you, Ammy.” Her smile disappears. “Anyway,” I look back to the child, “we’ll be more than happy to help you, but that requires you to at least let me know your name.”
She shakes her head again. “Don’t know.” She’s holding up the blanket to the point where I can only see half of her face. Is she trying to shield herself from me?
“You don’t know your own name?” She shakes her head. Well this just got harder. Maybe she has amnesia? “Do you remember what happened?” She shakes her head. “Do you remember anything from before you were brought here?” She nods. So at least it isn’t complete amnesia. Maybe if we’re lucky she hasn’t forgotten anything.
“No, I don’t see how it’s possible. Are you sure you haven’t made a mistake somewhere?” Omoikane hands me my notes back.
“No, I’m sure I got it right. But that’s the very reason I wanted you to review it, because I couldn’t believe it myself.” I give them a quick skim myself, just in case we missed something.
“Celestials are pure poison to youkai. You know this,” all too well. “A hybrid between the two would be utterly impossible.”
“But that’s exactly what I thought, which made me think. Shouldn’t a hybrid between a youkai and a human be just as impossible? Yet the answer is sitting right here.” I’m of course referring to myself. “I looked into this and it appears that given the behavior of youkai tissue, they’re capable of changing their own genetics depending on their company. This appears to be a result of their original nature; the result of youkai originally being created by the human imagination.”
“I can see where you’re going with this. But that’s the explanation behind what happens, not the reason it happens. You said it yourself, youkai were originally created from the humans. No matter how different the two of them grow from each other, they’ll always be the same at the core. Let’s take your parents as an example. Your dad was Aves, a crow to be more precise. Your mother was a mammal, a human. You can see how far away those races should be from each other, right?” I nod. “But since your dad was a youkai, he had the genetics for it to work.
“Now if we look at celestials, they were around before humans even had imaginations. They’re completely unrelated to humans in the way youkai are. I can see no way it should be possible. Celestials and youkai are as similar as horse and cow.”
He barely gets to finish the sentence before the door swings open and to reveal a certain young kid. With a big smile plastered on her face, she runs over to me. “Daddy, daddy, look.” She holds up a wooden handle with a ball attach to it by some string. “Asuki made it me.”
“Well aren’t you lucky.” I ruffle her hair while I give the item a thorough look. I don’t really need to since I’ve seen hundreds of these before. I’m only doing it because she’s so proud of it. “It sure is well made. You did remember to say ‘thank you’, right?”
“Mm. Of course. Want to come and play with me?” such energy, such joy; it’s going to hurt to ask her to wait.
“I can’t. Daddy’s doing something important right now. Why don’t you go ask aunty to play until I come? I’ll be sure to be there as quickly as I can.”
And here comes the pain. All the happiness from her just up and leaves. “O-oh. Okay… But you promise to come as soon as you’ve finished, right?” I give her a reassuring nod which seems to help on her mood. With a new, but not as bright, smile on she runs off again.
Omoikane strikes a pose I believe is called the thinker. “You’ll have to enlighten me, young one. There seems to be something I do not yet know.”
“That’s Tsukiko. Ebisu brought her to the village a few years back. I’m not sure when it happened, but she just became a part of my family. Don’t misunderstand; we aren’t blood related on any level.”
“I still think you should have named her Haruko.” Ammy who’s been mostly silent decides to voice her opinion once again.
“I named her after the moon since both are quite beautiful in a similar way.” I state it matter-of-factly.
“You’re implying the sun isn’t pretty?”
“Take a look in the mirror and tell me otherwise.” Who’s the one with the smirk now?
I quickly find my head squeezed tightly between a nice set of thighs in a quite painful headlock. “I dare you to say that once more.”
“Back to our conversation.” I do my best to ignore the pain. It’s not actually that bad if you just relax. “We can both agree celestials are poisonous to youkai. However, what if we turn it around? Are youkai poisonous to celestials?”
“I don’t think I follow.” Wipe that smile of your face, Omoikane. Or maybe you want to be the one locked in place?
“Try to see it like this: Imagine if the mother would have been the celestial. Surely, the simple act of mating would result in the father’s death. But what if they got to finish before it came to that? Surely a celestial’s body wouldn’t need to reject something like that?”
He falls silent, thinking of the possibility. He opens his mouth multiple times to say something but closes it again before actually saying anything. “I think that might actually be possible. No actually, I’m sure that’s the only possible way for it to be.”
“You don’t have anything to add?” She releases her hold of me, just enough for me to look her in the eyes.
“I have never even heard of the idea that someone like her could exist.” She releases her hold of me. “Every living being is unique in some way or another, yet all share a majority of traits with at least someone else. Tsukiko is truly the definition of a one-of-a-kind. She’s the first, and the only one, of her kin. And hopefully she’ll be the last.”
“She can’t go to heaven because of her youkai half. She’ll never be able to settle in a place near other youkai, which is pretty much everywhere. The human world rejects her because she’s not even the least bit human.” I sigh and look out of the door. She’s happily playing with the priestess. “It was for beings like her I founded this village. I just never guessed someone like her would show up.”
Ammy grabs my head and moves it back to where I can look at her upside-down. “If the worst case scenario should play out, I want her to get knocked up with your child. As part human you’d slowly cancel out her celestial properties and her kids should become a human-youkai hybrid.”
“That’s asking the impossible.” I free myself from her grasp. “It’d be the same as if I asked Izanagi to be the parent of your next child.” She frowns at the mental image I just gave her. “Besides, I’m not gonna sit here and decide her future for her. Thing’s will play out the way they will.”
She stays silent. Instead of making up some smart comment to counter my statement, she just decides to rest herself on me as she watches Tsukiko. “Then you’ll be her guardian. You’ll take the responsibility.”
“‘I’ll take care of her like she’s the child I never had.’ You can count on me. However, in return I want you to deny her the right to follow in my footsteps the same way I did.” All the response I get is a smile. But unlike every other smile she gives me, this one expresses a certain warm feeling. One she doesn’t let show very often.
 Stay asleep -  Joining an old friend for battle -  Investigating the Subterranean Sun -  Playing with the Hakurei clan -  Meeting with the god of war luck  It’s about time I woke up -  Are these tears? -  Damn this headache -  Why is it so unusually hot?
I wonder; are the someone who still hasn't figured out who Ammy is?
Bonus info: "Tsukiko" translates to "Child of the Moon". "Haruko" translates to "Child of the Sun".
>I wonder; are the someone who still hasn't figured out who Ammy is? > the someone Seriously? I should feel bad for making a mistake like that even if I were tired. Exhaustion is not even an excuse.
>>12343 Going to try getting them all in chronological order? Fine by me.
>>12350 Sure is. I wonder if I were too generous with the hints now that I have time to think back on it. There are many other small hints shattered throughout the story so far. All about smaller things that aren’t really important. Not that I’m expecting anyone to actually pick up on them. I’ll be amazed if anyone does though.
I’ll call the votes when I get home tomorrow. If there are no new votes by then, I won’t bother to post saying I call them.
>>12439 So anon wants an update? Well too bad, because this is totally not an update.
[X] It’s about time I woke up - [X] Why is it so unusually hot?
The first thing that meets my eyes as I open them is light. An immense shine piercing my sight, leaving me blinded for the few seconds it takes me to adjust. The sharp pain that comes every morning as the blindness fades. That little thing is enough of a reason to get up earlier while it’s still dark.
When did I fall asleep? I was trying to talk with the witch when Utsuho came to ‘rescue’ me. Well, she probably did. She brought me home to the mansion. Then Satori embraced me saying… something, it’s fuzzy. I know she said something to me, I just can’t seem to recall what. In fact, I can’t seem to recall much of anything beyond that point.
I sit up to try and get my bearings straight again. From that simple little move I can conclude a few things. First: I’m in my room. At least all my stuff, or what I believe is my stuff, is in the room. Second: me, my clothes and my bed are quite wet.
It doesn’t take much longer for my body to wake up completely. As it does I start picking up a certain scent hanging in the air. One that convinces me that this is indeed sweat; my sweat to be exact (thankfully).
It’s warm. I’m not talking the usual kind of warm this mansion always is. The hell fire burning beneath shouldn’t reach this temperature unintentionally, and I can think of no reason Utsuho would do that. Besides, this heat doesn’t really feel like the hell fire. How to describe it? Usually the warmth filling the mansion feels like a blanket wrapped around you. In comparison, the heat currently filling the mansion feels more like sitting in front of a bonfire, except the heat comes from everywhere and not just from the front.
Getting up is proving to be difficult thanks to the new wound on my leg. I got this during the fight didn’t I? Never mind actually. It has been tended to and doesn’t hurt unless I move it. That’s all I should care about right now. What I should be wondering about is this heat. Or more specifically, why it’s so hot.
As if on cue, the door is literally kicked in. How am I certain it was kicked in? I’m not. But I’m certain quite a lot of force was used considering this door opens outward.
In the door stands a woman. Her white hair is both rough and uncut. The lower you look at it the darker it gets, until it reaches a color as dark as ink. Just like Kasugami, she has various marks painted throughout her body. All of them share a similar ‘swirly’ movement. All of them, except the ones in her face. The mark on her forehead is like a line running down from her head, then splitting up on her forehead and reconnects at the bridge of her nose. The lines running beneath her eyes are simpler in the fact that they ‘just’ curve around her eyes. While they don’t add much, they give off a feeling of completion when looking at her as a whole. They even do a great job of complementing her ruby colored eyes.
It takes but a fragment of a second to register all of this and more. The exact same about of time it takes for her to spot me. “There ya are, kid.” Her voice. It sounds familiar, more so than Satori’s did when she first talked to me. More so than when Kasugami called out to me.
“Who are you?” While I honestly would have liked to hold back the question and tried to hide my amnesia like with the others, the words simply force their way out without any resistance on my end.
And now I wish I had actually tried to hold back the question. The way I asked made it sound like the most obvious question anyone would have asked. Well, they might. Though from the way she acted it would only be natural to assume I actually know her, well, knew her. Of course this left us hanging with an awkward silence as I just sit here expecting an answer, and her just standing there trying to think of a way to answer. No, her widening eyes give off a more ‘surprised’ expression than a thinking one. Her facial expression on the other hand; she’s not someone I want to play poker against, that’s for sure.
“Damn. That was a low blow. And I’m talking a really low blow.” She backs out of the door and right as she disappears from view the very same voice talks to me from behind. “It’s really heart breaking that you can’t even remember little me, even after I induced that dream on you.” I quickly spin around trying to locate the voice, but once again she’s gone from view. All of a sudden a pair of hands presses me back down on the bed. The next thing I know she’s sitting on top of me. Is she teleporting? “Amnesia is not even an excuse, you know. I may be a god, but I’m sure as old hell also a girl.”
All I can do is stare blankly back at her. Partly because I find her amazing and curious, partly because I’m too dumbstruck to do much else until I regain my thoughts.
“Come on, this is where you’re supposed to make a smartass remark about how unladylike I am.” Huh? Why would I? She appears rather feminine if I say so myself. Energetic but feminine nonetheless. “Can it really be you still don’t remember me?” I shake my head, still trying to regain myself enough to form words. “Tell me. What was the dream about?” Her tone gets serious. Her eyes sharpen and her grip on my shoulders gets just a bit tighter.
“Tsukiko,” are the first words I manage to squeeze out. “How she got to the village. How I adopted her. A discussion about her species.” Her hold of me loosens as I mention each of the things. The confusion in her eyes disappears as she realizes… something. I’m not entirely sure what she’s thinking.
She releases her hold and sits cross-legged back on the bed. “Tsukiko, eh? I never was good at inducing dreams anyway. I’m sure I gave you the one about the moon though. No matter, I’m certain Kohaku mentioned my name earlier. Or at least my nickname. She’s usually not formal enough for the former, so the latter wouldn’t surprise me. Actually I’d surprise me if she used my name rather than my nickname.”
“Kohaku? Someone I should have met?” With her grip now off me, I try to compose myself again. At least she has no hostile intentions. If she had, she would likely have killed me one of the many times she caught me off guard already.
“Kasugami. We call her Kohaku because of her eye color.” She points to her own eye to show me. Though hers are red, as mentioned earlier. “Anyway. Ammy. Does it ring any bells?”
Ammy? Does she mean the one referred to in my journal? Wait. “You’re that Ammy? Amaterasu?” She nods.
Now that she mentions it, she does look an awful lot like the Ammy from my dream. But she’s different. Her hair is longer and while it’s less, it’s definitely still rough. Besides that she just appears… older. Not in a physical kind of way. There’s just something about her that’s different than from what I remember.
“Now then, with that settled,” She did that teleporting trick again and got behind me, only to grab and lift me, “Why don’t we head to a safer place?” And just like that she carries me like a bag of potatoes. If she’s who she claims to be, then resistance is futile.
She drops me off in a room which is significantly cooler than the rest of the mansion, though still quite hot. The first thing that catches my attention though is the others in the room. Namely Satori, Rin and Utsuho. All of which are lying on the ground covered in sweat and gasping for air. Multiple thoughts run through my mind, all of which are less than pure and quickly suppressed. Now’s not the time to be happy that Utsuho wearing a white shirt.
“Satori!” I quickly crawl my way over to her. I would have run, but I’d just fall again thanks to my ankle. Her eyes are distant, unfocused and generally hazed. Despite that she manages to focus enough on me to where I can be sure she knows I’m here. “Satori, what happened?”
“Hot… Too hot.” She tries to stay focused on me as she says it. From the looks of it, it takes a lot of will power to even muster up the strength to talk.
“Not my… flame.” Utsuho has turned her head so she can look at me, or at least in my direction.
Rin doesn’t say anything. She’s just lying there gasping for air. Either she has nothing to say, or lack the strength to say anything at all.
I’m the injured one. Why am I the only one who’s not suffering from this? It should be me lying somewhere barely able to breath. Then why is it them? I look back at Ammy. She catches my gaze and returns it with a stare of her own.
Pick two:  “Ammy. Who am I?”  “Who are you and what is your relation to me?”  “What’s going on?”  “You’re the one who did this, aren’t you?”  “Why am I not affected?”  “There’s something you’re not telling me. Out with it.”  “Why did you first show up now?”  “Why haven’t you done anything to help them yet?”
Disclaimer: In regards to >>/th/174264 In my story Kohaku (琥珀) translates to Amber. In his story Kohaku (古白) translates to Old White. Both our stories are about a character with amnesia. Both our stories appear to involve the Underground quite a bit. (I’m posting in /underground/ duh.) Despite the above, our stories have nothing to do with each other. This is purely coincidental.
A question for you.Axl!OxyIF4cURI2013/11/17 (Sun) 02:44No. 12442▼
>>12390 made me think a bit. It might not be everyone who can make it in time to vote within the usual time frame. That’s why I thought about starting up another story. By alternating between updating the two stories, each would allow for a week’s worth of pending time while I still pump out an update once a week. However this will obviously affect the update schedule of this story by slowing it down to half speed. And that’s the reason I’m asking you about this.
Should I keep focusing on this story and keep the schedule that way it has been, or should I start another story and alternate between the two?
Since I have quite a few ideas for stories I’d like to write, I’ve thought of letting anon indirectly chose what story I shall write.
I planned on calling the votes yesterday before I went to be, but since I wouldn’t be able to write it until I got home today I decided against it. Since it’s a heavier choice than usual, plus the fact I updated Sunday rather than Friday, I’ll be extending the voting time until next Sunday.
With that said, I’d like to actually get an answer to >>12442. If you say nothing then I’ll just assume you don’t care either way, which I take as you’re okay with me doing it, but without the voting involved.
>>12470 I really wanna comment on that, but I won’t be able to do so without spoiling something. Oh, and I asked for two. I’m going to have to ask you to remove one of the submitted one.
>You are the author, you choose, we will be with you no matter what. I know, but I rather make my decision based on your answers. A CYOA is a collaboration between the writer, me, and the readers, you guys. But if you have nothing you want to say in the matter, then I’ll have to make the decision without you.
Would you look at that? I finally get around to doing it.
Reading over >>12470 once more I came to realize that >[X] “Ammy. Who am I?” may have mistakenly been marked. I came to the conclusion based on the two other votes both saying they should be picked, whereas this one is like the rest, just taking a guess at what the vote would do.
Why is this important enough to mention? Good question. The answer, because this is how I broke the tie. It’s an unusual method, but that was what I could make work while counting all votes.
While I don’t like to delay the update any longer, I’m going to push it back one more week. Why, you may ask? Well to keep it short, I was sick for the majority of the week and had to force myself to write. Needlessly to say it didn’t turn out great. No, in fact I’d say some of my earlier updates are of better quality than what I managed to write now. To put it bluntly; even I can see it’s shit. So hopefully you can find a bit of patience with me and wait one more week.
Life Underground - Update 18Axl!OxyIF4cURI2013/12/07 (Sat) 23:29No. 12593▼
Feels like forever since I updated
[X] “What’s going on?” [X] “Who are you and what is your relation to me?”
“Ammy, what’s going on?” I almost yell at her. The only thing keeping my voice down is the weight of my fear.
She looks at me for a few seconds before taking a deep breath. “The Kirisame girl is back. I’ve erected a barrier to keep her at bay while you recover. Don’t worry; it won’t harm your friends.”
Kirisame? “Who?” Instead of making a hundred different assumptions, I find it better to just ask straight out. The name doesn’t stimulate my memory, at least not enough to where it’s something worth remembering.
“The forest witch you were fighting with.”
I practically jump her, completely ignoring the pain surging through my leg. “What’d you say?! When? How?” Those are the only answers I need right now.
There are no changes in her facial expression. It’s still as calm as it was when she carried me around. “She tricked the oni; somewhere around halfway up the western tunnel.”
Oni are by nature very trusting and honest; easy to be taken advantage of by people who have their wits about them. Someone as sly as her would have no problem tricking them. Then why wait so long? The western entrance is too far away from here. Why wait until she’s halfway through it? Would it be easier? Did she fight her way out instead of talking? If so, then maybe she was waiting for the right time to catch them of guard.
No, speculating will get me nowhere. I let go of her shoulders and take half a step backwards. With my immediate anger subsided, the pain from my leg makes itself known once more.
Ammy decides to help me sit down beside Satori. “You should take it easy, kid.” She stands back up and looks down at me. “The next time Tsukuyomi leaves the sky, your youkai powers will return. The boost in regeneration should be enough to heal most of these wounds in a matter of hours.”
Tsukuyomi, the moon god? Does she mean the moon itself? “How do you know?” She casts me a curious glance. “How do you know so much about me? Who exactly are you?”
She straightens her back and crosses her arms across her chest. “I’m Amaterasu the Great Goddess of the Sun.” She states it with something less than a smirk. “You and I contracted over three millennia ago. I was your first of many to come. Ever since then I’ve always been at your side, or rather, dwelling inside you. I’ve had plenty of time to learn all about you. I’ve been there as you’ve researched new aspects of yourself.” She gives off an almost proud ‘huff’. “That’s how I know.”
So she’s a contractor? But unlike Kasugami, she already possesses a part of me. Even if she hadn’t said anything, I’d know. I can feel her very presence inside me. It feels kind of like Sei, but at the same time it feels completely different. She’s just there, staying dormant. Nothing else.
I look back at the girls. Tomorrow morning, that’s when my powers should return. Or so she claims. I’d like to ask her more about that, but now is not the right time. “Isn’t there something you can do to lessen their pain?”
“The flame usually takes quite the punch out of you when used. I’m currently using it to maintain an impenetrable barrier created purely from the flame alone. Sorry, but there’s nothing I can do.”
So there’s nothing she can do; it’s that simple. Then what can I do here? I can barely move around as it is. But I refuse to just wait around idly while everyone’s like this.
Both Kasugami and Ammy are gods contracted to me. Well, goddesses if you want to be technical about it. My point is Ammy said she was the first of many, and Kasugami was clearly another contract of mine. So the question is; how many others are there?
 Try to call a god (Specify who)  It’s just a heatstroke. I can treat it myself. -  Focus on Satori -  Focus on Utsuho -  Focus on Rin  “Lower the barrier. I’m going out.”
========== If you’re going to call a god, please make sure it’s a legit one. Not just one you made up on the spot.
>>12612 Would you care to elaborate on that, as I fail to see what exactly you mean?
Kamikaze is a suicide attack. Kami-Kaze is a god of wind, storms and cold. (It’s not specified as cold weather, but that’s a fair assumption) Surely their names are basically the same, but it’s the context that matters. It’s not like he’s voting on calling the god of suicide to end their suffering once and for all, is it? I confirmed it shortly after the vote came in; I just didn’t want to say anything since it could appear as though I favored the vote.
But if you got a better one, then go ahead and say it. I’m not motivated enough to promise an update before New Year. ‘Why’ should be obvious.
It's a tad bit late, but I'm going to call the votes for calling Kami-Kaze. It's late because I already wrote the whole thing. I just sat down to try and write, and before I knew it, the update was done. Might have it out later today
Life Underground - Update 19Axl!OxyIF4cURI2013/12/28 (Sat) 12:08No. 12634▼
[x] Try to call a god (Kami-Kaze)
Wait. That’s it. There are other gods whose power I can draw on. I’m certain there’s at least one of the eight million gods that can help in this situation.
The only problem is, I don’t know how.
Back with Kasugami, she did all the work, plus she was already present with me. Ammy… I haven’t even used her power nor am I certain exactly what her power is. So how do I even summon a god, not to mention use their power?
I feel a hand on my shoulder. ”For starters, you should concentrate. From there, take it one step at a time; find the name and title of the god you want to summon.” Ammy’s voice echoes through my mind as she says it.
Who do I want to summon? Which god can be useful now? Ammy won’t do anything about this heat. Or maybe she can’t do anything at the moment? No, concentrate. I can’t remove the barrier; doing so would endanger everyone in here while they recover. The majority of them may be youkai stronger than me, but it still doesn’t mean they won’t need the time to recover.
Since removing the barrier is out of the question, I’ll have to look at the problems it causes – heat. Simply being there, it generates enough heat to bring the inhabitants of the former hell to their knees; the very same beings who live right over the inferno itself. I’ll assume Ammy’s power is why I’m not affected despite being only half youkai.
If the problem is heat, then the solution would be to negate it. The best way I know would be with cold. So I would have to find a god who controls temperature, or at the very least one who can drop it.
Names immediately start forming in my mind. They become as clear as sunshine on a summer day. They stay like that for but a fraction of a second before they dissolve back in to the depths of my mind to make room for the many new names forming.
In an almost systematic way, I go through all the gods I know of in the span on a few seconds. The endless list of gods then stops. Kami-Kaze, the god of stormy weather. That single name is what’s left of the list as it fades away. His attributes are wind, storms and most importantly, frost. “Good. Now stay focused on that, and I’ll do the rest, this time, so try to remember it afterwards.” Once again her voice comes from both beside and inside me. It’s a weird feeling, almost like she is speaking my mind. Nevertheless, I feel her starting the summoning. The best way I can describe it is as if she were chanting while drawing upon something within me. No, ‘drawing’ is the wrong word; she’s not removing or using anything, it’s more like she’s touching it.
The air in front of us becomes distorted for a moment before a man appears. He stands completely still with his arms crossed as he watches the two of us for a moment, before he speaks up. “I thought I told you to not call me, Black Flame.”
“He did it on my command, Kaze.” He fixes his eyes on Ammy as she corrects him. “As you can draw from the boy’s mind, we’re in need of your assistance.” Wait, he too can read my mind? I’m starting to feel violated on whole new levels. “That is why I asked him to summon you.
He looks back at me, then through the room. I instinctively follow his gaze and take another look around myself. I believe it’s all of the mansions inhabitants that are currently lying in here. Most of them are in their animal form, though a few of them, besides Rin and Utsuho, are in human form as well.
He lets out a sigh. “It appears you’ve been too reckless again, great Amaterasu. I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but you should learn to consider the consequences of your actions before you carry them out.”
“If you don’t want to be disrespectful, then you should learn to think twice before talking down to those serving directly under me.” She snaps back at him. “I knew every consequence my actions would have before I erected the barrier. It’s just Heiki who isn’t satisfied with them, and it’s too late to change it.”
“And so you want me to cool this place down again without weakening the barrier?” Ammy nods. “If it’s you, then I don’t have much of a choice. But you’ll owe me for this.”
“A debt I intend to repay.” Ammy gives him a polite bow. “There’s a kamidana in the boy’s room. Use it to spread your influence through the mansion.” Kamidana? So that’s what the little shrine is called.
He returns her bow before disappearing in the same manner he arrived; by distorting the air and fading away.
“I’ll be going again, kid. My attention is needed elsewhere at the moment.” She looks down at me. “I’ll be just a thought’s distance away. You won’t even need to call me in case something happens.” With that, she too disappears, but unlike Kami-Kaze, she just vanishes instantly; no fancy tricks or visual effects.
This leaves me alone once again with Satori and her wide variety of pets.
“It won’t be long now, Satori, then this heat should become bearable.” She attempts to give me a smile, but her distant gaze doesn’t really help all that much.
In the end it’s my fault she’s like this right now. If I had done things differently, this wouldn’t have happened. If I hadn’t killed, this wouldn’t have happened. If I hadn’t challenged Utsuho, this wouldn’t have happened. But there’s nothing I can do about it; I just have to take it head on and get through it as fast as possible.
 Skip ahead until things have cooled enough for them to be comfortable (A couple of hours)  Skip ahead until I’ve regained my youkai half (Tomorrow evening/the day after)  Don’t skip ahead (Now, duh)
Sorry I'm taking such a long time updating. Shit has been going down, and when I finally get time to write, I have to force the words which is something I don't like doing. Never the less I'm still trying whenever I get the chance.
Life Underground - Update 20Axl!OxyIF4cURI2014/01/25 (Sat) 23:27No. 12841▼
[x] Skip ahead until things have cooled enough for them to be comfortable (A couple of hours)
“Fwuuaaaah.” Utsuho slumps down over the table with the now empty glass still in hand. “That really hit the spot.”
“It certainly does.” Unlike Utsuho, Satori only has a fan to cool herself down with, though she seems more than content with just that. “What about you, Rin, had enough to drink yet?”
The girl in question doesn’t bother to even look in our direction. All she does is raise a hand to signify that she is indeed still alive. “Anymore and I’ll burst. And I’m not even joking.” I believe she’s all in all been drinking about as much as you can fit in a bucket. Not at once mind you, but in the span of a few minutes. She sought the couch as soon as she finished, and she hasn’t moved since.
“You’re going to go back to sleep already?” Utsuho lifts her face from the table. “I thought you had enough when you fainted.”
“I didn’t faint!” She exclaims as she jolts up. “I- It’s just that I thought it all would pass faster if I slept, yeah, that’s all.”
Utsuho places a finger on her lip in a gesture which gives off a genuine confused feeling. “Really? But I thought…”
From the corner of my eye, I see Satori silently giggling to herself. Honestly, I would laugh too if it wasn’t because they might notice. It’s not because it’s all that funny, it’s just because it feels nostalgic on some level. I can’t clearly picture any of the previous times they’ve bantered like that, though I clearly remember it happening before, and quite often at that.
“Satori,” I call out to her when I know I won’t interrupt the two girls.
She looks at me from the other side of the table for half a second before responding. “Don’t think about it.” She shakes her head as she says it. I open my mouth to answer her, but she gets ahead of me again. “No ‘but’s. No one got hurt, and that’s all that counts.”
“That’s right.” A certain bird decides to embrace me from behind. “It wasn’t your fault, so you shouldn’t be blamed. At least that’s what Lady Satori always says to me.”
“That’s because it usually isn’t your fault, Okuu,” comments the cat. “You just happen to be around when something’s happening.”
“Yeah, but I didn’t just happen to be around. This happened because I was around.” Sure, Ammy was the one to set up the barrier, but she only did so to ensure my safety. But she wouldn’t have needed to do so if I hadn’t made that mistake. Ignoring that boy for so long, and then just getting rid of him once he became a threat. I knew he would become one, yet I just ignored him. This is my fault, not someone else’s.
“Heiki,” the three eyed maiden claims my attention. “Do you blame Utsuho for what happened?”
Do I blame her for that incident? “No, of course I don’t, she didn’t do it on purpose after all.”
“If you can forgive her for something that nearly killed you, don’t you think we can forgive something as minor as this?” All three eyes close for a moment as she thinks. “The most important thing is that you survived then, and that we survived now. Honestly we have less right to blame you as we got away without getting hurt. Well except Rin, she ‘fell asleep’ after all.” The cat in question tenses up when she’s mentioned.
“I guess.” Even if she says that, I still can’t help but feel it’s my fault. Any way I look at it, it is my fault. Was this how Utsuho felt as well?
“Changing the topic a bit; what happened to my sister? Utsuho said she was with you for a while.”
… Shit! I completely forgot about her.
“I see. Let’s just hope she’s outside the mansion. She should realize that it’d be too dangerous to get close.” She then stands up with rather forceful motions. “Now, if you’ll excuse me.” She exits the room leaving me and her two pets behind.
“Hey Okuu,” I gently pat her shoulder to get her attention, “You wouldn’t mind letting go of me now, would you?” It’s not that I find it unpleasant, quite the opposite actually. It’s just that I think she’s forgotten she’s hugging me.
“Huh? Oh.” She jumps back, releasing me of her embrace. “Sorry, I was lost in thought.”
“Don’t worry about it.” I stand from my chair. “I think I better take my leave as well now.”
“Huh, you too?” She gives a rather disappointed frown with her eyes quickly hitting the floor. That quickly changes to a smile beaming with new enthusiasm. Sometimes I wonder what goes through her head. “Can we come with you?”
“Oh? I don’t see why not, but why exactly do you want to come with me?” I head for the door as she goes to fetch Rin.
“Because there’s nothing to do. I’m usually working, sleeping or being played with by Lady Satori. Since I can do neither I’m bored.” That’s a rather simple lifestyle. Surely there’s more to it, but there’s no need to press it any further.
“Wait, Okuu, what are you doooing?” Rin doesn’t even get to finish her sentence before she’s swung over the raven’s shoulder. Said raven then walks over to me with her usual innocent smile on.
When she reaches me I signal her to turn around so I’m face to face with Rin. “You’re okay with this?” She had no say in the matter before she was picked up, so the least I can do is ask her.
“Just walk slowly. Otherwise I think I’m going to puke.” Judging from the languid look on her pale face, I don’t she’s kidding.
“Great, just say it if you need a moment.” I open the double door fully to make it easier for them to get through. “Okuu, backwards, go!”
“Sir!” She salutes at my command before starting to march backwards, letting Rin be her eyes.
I lead them down the hallway like this until it seems Rin is more comfortable with it. “Remember what you asked me about a while back, Rin?”
“A while back?” Her mouth turns small as she tries to remember. Her ears twitch as she looks back at me. “You mean about your memory?” Nod. “Yeah, you said you were scared about them, if I remember correctly.”
“I did, and I am. Since then I’ve remembered more and more. My feelings on the matter haven’t changed much, but I think I’m able to give you a better answer now. I’m curious, every new memory answers a few small questions but creates so many more. I’m scared, scared of who I was, what I did and why I did it. But honestly, the thing that scares me the most is not knowing what I did. Just look at what happened within this week alone, all because of something I did. But most of all, I want to know it because it’s part of who I am.”
She crosses her arms as she chews on my words. “I wish I could help you somehow, but honestly, I think this is something only you can do. Lady Satori can’t read what’s not on your mind, though she’d turn the whole underground upside-down for your sake.”
“Okuu, halt!” She stops on the spot. “Turn right. The other right. Once more. Now go. No, go backwards.”
“Okuu is maybe the strongest being currently living underground, and she’ll help you no matter what. Isn’t that right, Okuu?” She lifts her voice when she addresses her carrier.
“Of course. You’re always so kind to me. Helping you any which way I can is the least I can do.” I can almost see the sparkle in her eye as she says it. Almost. What I see instead is a surprising amount of confidence.
“You see? Even if we can’t do much, you can always count on us. That’s what you have family for after all.” Family? But I thought…
I come to a halt as various thoughts race through my mind. Family? If these youkai are my family, then what about the village? Is it just something I dreamt? What about Tsukiko, surely she was real; it felt too vivid to be a dream. But if it wasn’t a dream, then wouldn’t they be my family? Then what did she mean just now?
“Hey, Okuu, Okuu, stop, go back.” She taps her on the head to get her unfocused attention.
“Backwards, go.” The bird speeds up a bit.
“No, no, go back to Heiki, not go backwards.”
“Ooh. Why didn’t you just say so?” She then does a full 180 without losing any speed as she heads back towards me.
“You okay? You turned pale there for a moment.” Rin’s sudden face in front of mine pulls me away from my line of thought.
“Yeah, it’s nothing. I just thought of something.” I start walking again. “Okuu, backwards, go.” With another salute she follows my order and walk besides me again.
“Anyway, I don’t really understand why you’re scared of yourself like you say you are. You never were any kind of bad person. Honestly I’d say you were quite the opposite. Always playing with us whenever Lady Satori is busy, having fun with the oni down in the town, building a shrine and even risking your own life for the sake of a single human who challenged Okuu.”
“But have you ever thought that, that’s just how I am when I’m ‘home’. Do you know how I acted on the surface? Do you know how I acted before I came to Gensokyo? I have few recollections from those times, and only a few important notes written in my journals. That’s what scares me, the kind of person I think I was.” I fight back the urge to shiver. Murder, that’s all it was. Even if I could justify it, killing is killing.
She falls silent. From the look on her face, it appears she never gave that much thought. Obviously I don’t believe myself to be evil, not with how kind everyone’s been to me so far. But neither can I believe that I’m any sort of ‘good’ person. Heck, I’ve been told face first that I’ve killed countless numbers, plus the journals I have. There are the dreams too, but I can only trust them so much.
The rest of the walk goes in relative silence. We reach our destination, my room, in no time. There were the occasional times where we had to make Utsuho take the right turn. I have to talk to Satori about teaching her left and right, but besides that there weren’t many problems as long as we were clear about what we wanted to her to do.
“You don’t mind if I use the bed, do you?” The first to speak up again is Rin. I don’t even get to answer before she walks towards the bed.
“Sure, but if you vomit in it, you’ll be sleeping outside.” And I’ll have to use a guestroom again. Not that I mind, those beds are comfortable.
I immediately head for the drawer. I had more journals than I’ve seen so far, that much is obvious. In that case I’ve stored them away and I had a reason for having those on the desk. The obvious place to store them would be in a drawer. If not then they’re likely in the archive or under the bed or somewhere else. There’re only so many places to search, and I will find them sooner or later.
Searching the desk reveals the rest of the books recording my events in Gensokyo. There’re papers that suggest organizing or compilation. But they are unimportant now. I can assume the journals I wrote before Gensokyo are somewhere here as well, but I’ll search for them later. These should help me remember the latest major events. Learning that is just one step closer to remembering myself.
I don't update in a month, and then when I do, I got the ball to not even present you with a choice. To be honest, this is not where I wanted to end it originally, that's just how it worked out. Since I hadn't updated for a while I figured it'd be better to post something, rather than nothing. Thank you for your patience. Regular updating should resume soon.
>>12841 I appreciate the update at least. Something is better than nothing after all.
Important noticeAxl!OxyIF4cURI2014/02/14 (Fri) 21:01No. 13073▼
Life Underground is hereby discontinued.
While I could go into detail about my exact reasons for doing this, I‘d rather not waste your time with a writefags silly little excuses. What I will say however, is that I’ve made too many mistakes with this story; mistakes I can’t correct.
I won’t stop writing on THP, however. I’ll be taking a short break before resuming the preparations for my next story. And I'll be sure not to repeat those mistakes.
If you have anything further to add to this, I ask that you sage your post, as to not get in the way of the stories that are still going.
In >>13073 I mentioned 'mistakes'. One of them was the utter lack of preparation. One day I just decided that I wanted to try writing on this site, and I began this story on a whim. I never planned ahead more than 2 or 3 updates. The exception being that I had already planned ahead to the second fight with Marisa, but it stops there. I had no idea what to do after that point.
Some writers may have the skill to write a story like this, but I'm not one of them. Which is why I'm doing my best in the prep-work for my next story. If everything goes as planned, then it'll go up in /Border/
Glad to hear you were interested, and I hate to break it to ya, but I feel this was the best choice in the long run.