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[x] Ask them about any occurrence of spiders in the area. (3 Votes)
[x] Ask them if they saw a young girl who was with you previously. (3 Votes)
Aaaaaaaaaand here it is, folks. Finally got to put that down. With that said, that's the end of Yamame's week.
"Right, the original reason I was led here was that I was told there were some spider problems going on around here."
"Spider problems? You don't mean the jorogumos, don't you?
"The requester isn't being specific about the kind of spider she was talking about so I have no idea."
"Well, as far as the notable ones that exist around here, you have the earth spiders and the whore spiders. Some of the latter, who work at the red light district… well, you know they live up to their name."
"I see." You say. "Did you see any little girl that was with me earlier?"
"Is she the one you're talking about?"
You turn around at the question, seeing the same girl jogging towards your position. "…yeah. That's the girl who asked me. Thanks." You then re-join with the girl, thanking the onis before moving on with the girl in tow. "So nice of you to leave me behind and not get straight to the point."
"I got carried away, okay? I mean I hadn't even realized you were lagging behind…"
"Fine. So where's this place where you last met that spider?" She then stops to point at the great darkness beyond the slum's boundary. At this point you stare sharply at the girl in disbelief. "Wha- why the hell would you be out there on your own?"
"I don't know."
"Don't 'I don't know' me, little miss." You snap at her, and then sigh as there are signs showing that it's just the kid being irresponsible. "Are you really sure this spider you're talking about is really being harmful to you?"
"No, but I don't like her."
The thought of aborting the request is really tempting but you don't want to disappoint a request. After asking a few more unhelpful details, you head towards the place where she last saw the spider.
The farther you go from the slums, the darker the area becomes, forcing you to put on your nightvision goggles to help you see. The terrain also doesn't help navigation when you reach a certain point, but that isn't a problem since you can just fly over it. In addition to that, you start to drop glowsticks to show you the way back should you need to retreat.
Eventually, you stumble upon a cave, and your mana scan seems to indicate that someone - or something - is indeed residing in there. You land on a flat surface before hiding your wings and walking into the cave with a hand to your handgun holster.
"Tch. Another outsider? You got some guts to wander around a cave out in the middle of nowhere." You hear a woman's voice from one corner of the cave as you move deeper.
"…actually I… am not an outsider. I'm here because-"
All of a sudden you feel a sharp strike to your stomach, but dampened by your pouches stacked full with magazines. That's one heck of a kick, as you get back up on your legs.
"You're not an outsider yet you're dressed like one! What the hell are you?!" She then keeps her distance. "Lemme guess… you're here for youkai extermination, aren’t you?!"
That's not a good vibe from the tone of her voice. "I am not here to exterminate you!"
"Lies! You're even armed with outsider weapons! I'll exterminate you first!"
"Can we just talk over this?" You plea for a late diplomacy option.
"You can talk after you're dead!"
And just as she says that, the lady morphs - her lower body turning into a spider. While you were already used to the sight of Yamame's when you were younger, this form is definitely not as friendly as Yamame is. She jumps over you and seals off the exit with her webs so that you won't be able to escape. By hook and crook you need to get out of the place fast - otherwise you'll be spider food.
You bring your rifle to bear at that thought, and start firing at her.
Unlike most youkai who usually play by the rules and use danmaku, she doesn't, as she swings her legs and attempts to stab you with them. In addition to that, she shoots some webs towards you, which you have to evade as fast as you can to avoid being stuck to the cave walls. You don't want to reveal your true nature to her, so you evade her attempts on your life with multiple combat rolls and shooting back at her. Unfortunately, your bullets only serve to tick her off.
Unfortunately, as you fire at her, her thrown web sticks onto your rifle. She is indeed trying to pull it out of your hands, resisting her attempt by pulling back, while ejecting the round in the chamber and the seated magazine. In the tug of war, eventually she wins.
"I've got your weapon now, human!" She yells before sticks your battle rifle to the other side of the cave wall.
"I still have one over here!" You yell back at her as you pull your pistol from its holster, activating the underbarrel laser-light combo attachment, and effectively plinking her with it.
Now your focus is on retrieving your primary weapon back, although freeing it from the webs will be one of your problems. Second, she always has her back facing the captured rifle, so much so that you won't be able to retrieve it. All you need to do is make a feint so she'll abandon that post. As such, all you can do for now is to continue annoying her with rapid-fire danmaku from your pistol.
It seems to be eventually working as she lunges towards you. Seeing this, you do a short boost with your wings and dash underneath her before she crashes down on your previous position. Now both of you are on the opposite ends of the battlefield.
"You won't get your outsider weapon off that wall so easily, human."
"Bite me, eight-legs."
You continue to egg her by bending down to pick up a handful of stones, and pelt her with them instead of using grenades.
"Rocks? Really now? You're awfully pathetic."
Of course, the rocks are only a distraction, as one of the 'rocks' you thrown is actually a primed flashbang. "Here, catch!" You yell, and it detonates as you look away from the blast - predictably disorientating your target as she was unprepared for your sleight of hand.
Next, you pull out your knife, now using your mana to heat up your knife and flying up to cut the webs surrounding your SCAR-H, being careful on not to get yourself stuck on it. You manage to retrieve it and peel of the remaining webs with your heated knife.
"You bastard… and your tricks…"
"There's a reason why I don't want to fight. It's just something over small matters."
"And you're so cocky as well!"
"Am not! You're just hard to reason with!"
By now, you realize the need to escape or it'll become a fight that lasts until someone drops. You notice your bullets tear through the web, but you don't have enough to make a hole for yourself without having her notice what you are doing. In addition, she'll have repaired it on the fly as well if you even try that. You do a mental inventory check, trying to remember what you have with you while evading blows and returning fire.
And then it hits you.
You did bring along a few High Explosive grenades for your EGLM!
With the spider lady not doing anything, you quickly take this chance to load your grenade launcher with an HE round. When she does lunge at you, you are a tad late to react, and as a result you get swatted by her legs to across the cave. It's a good thing you still have your helmet on, otherwise the impact would be far e painful.
Still, you decide to call it quits.
With a grenade in the chamber, you fire one at her, before reloading another and shooting the solid surface where the webs are attached. In addition, you toss another flashbang at her before loading another round into the launcher breech.
"Stop that, you bastard!"
"Right back at you!"
Two more grenades to the web later and the webs collapse from the top just enough for you to fly slip through. You're just able to make an escape route for yourself, and all you have to do is to keep her distracted, which you do with your remaining flashbangs.
"I said stop…!!"
With your rifle loaded and charged, you fire at her in bursts, causing her to stumble backwards from since she can't see you. "Sorry but I don't intend on sticking around much longer. I'm only here because I only wanted to talk." Pulling the pins off a couple of smoke grenade, you throw them at her feet. "And since you don't feel like talking peacefully, I'll be leaving."
While she's blinded again, you retreat for now while she storms up a mouthful of curses at you. And to complete your escape, you unfurl your wings and follow the trail of glowsticks you left behind earlier.
Just before you arrive at the slums, you land and hide your wings, before resuming the rest of the way back on feet. As expected, you see the little girl sitting on the bench, presumably waiting for you. As soon as she sees you she jumps off and runs up towards you.
"So how did it go?"
"I had to run off. Fighting a spider in her nest isn't a good idea."
She doesn't seem to like the mention of you having to retreat. "But you're strong! I saw how you fight!"
"Kiddo, a wise fighter should know when's the right time to fold it and book it." You tell her, staring at her angrily. "I could have been jorogumo food, and you wouldn't have gotten your problem solved the next time you went into the dark."
"So she eats people? My problem's not solved then?"
You are not quite sure if the girl was even a target in the first place, she just came across that spider girl and spooked her off. "Maybe, as long as you don't go far from this place. Also, can you tell me why you wandered off that far in the first place?"
"Because… I sometimes got curious, though…"
"I'll tell you first - there's nothing else out there but tons of rocks. You're lucky you ran away before she could do anything. Then I had to investigate on dead and or missing children. I hope next time you don't go off too far, because next time you might not be so lucky." She doesn't give an answer, yet she tries to pout at you. You only sigh and cross your arms. "Try to ask your friends for some help first will you? As much I am able to help… I can't do everything myself, especially youkai extermination."
"Even youkai extermination?"
"Even youkai extermination."
"Good." Sighing, you pet her head before walking off back to the palace.
As soon as you reach the palace, you head for the kitchen and for the fridge in search of something to drink. Luckily, there's a bottle of half-filled soda in there, which you grab and drink it straight from the bottle.
"You look so beat up, Seo. A run-in with a jorogumo?"
"I had a side quest I had to bail out."
"That's a new one."
"It doesn't always work I guess."
"It's good to know when to call it quits, Seo. Perhaps this way people won't overestimate your ability. "You can skip the rest of the hours, Seo. Go get some rest."
"Rest." Satori insists.
"Alright, alright… just let me finish off this drink…"
As soon as you finish up your bottle of soda, Satori helps you to get you out of your combat vest. She then sends you off over to your room, just so you can take a bath, get some spare non-work clothes, lie down and get some shuteye before dinner comes.
That's all you need, for now.
Few hours ago…
Earlier today, you received a message from Erin about an armed and injured outsider that Hiiragi found. Sarge heard about it as well, and since that he's in the village for other duties, he asked you to tag along with him to pay a visit to Eientei. Strangely enough, you didn't hear anything back from Seo. Perhaps he had his radio off.
As soon as you and Sarge reach Eientei, Erin is there and directs you to visit Eirin for further info.
"You said that Hiiragi brought in a guy in an army uniform a while ago?" Rei asks.
"Yes, Rei. Injured and as expected a little delirious, but he's stable now." Eirin then pauses, before delivering an unexpected detail. "He's bearing the same flag patch as yours, Alex, but I don't think he's from the same branch."
"I'll look at him then. Where's his room?" You say.
"His room is the last one in the corridor; Hiiragi is waiting outside of the room if I remember correctly."
"That's strange; I don't remember her being so concerned over an outsider." Sarge remarks.
"Maybe it’s because she was the first one who found him, Sarge."
"She was, Alex." Eirin says. “Found him first in Youkai Forest and she brought him in the right away.”
"Alright. Alex, you go ahead and take a look at that guy. I'll stay around here for a bit - got to talk to the doc for other things while I had the chance."
You part ways with Rei and head to where the new person's room is. Indeed, Hiiragi is waiting outside of the room, and she immediately turns toward you before you can get close to her. She gives a ladylike bow to you as a greeting, before helpfully showing you the patient's room.
Though, as soon as you walk in the room, you're in for a surprise.
"Jesus Christ… Gabe? Is that you?" You raise your voice in excitement.
Said person looks up from the position and his face brightens when he sees you. "Alex… I thought you died!"
It had been ages since you last saw Gabe ever since you had been deployed to Iraq, and then stuck in Gensokyo after that patrol went wrong. You and Gabe share a prompt reunion hug.
"…hey, mind the bandages, man…"
"Oh, sorry, sorry."
"…you two know each other?" Hiiragi says as she walks into the room.
"Of course! He's a good ol' friend of mine!" You grin to her, with an arm around his shoulder like a good friend.
"What's your name again, miss?" Gabe asks.
"Hiiragi Fujisaki. Nice to meet you." Hiiragi answers, bowing at Gabe. "Just Hiiragi would be fine."
"Ah, I see."
"And Hiiragi, this is Gabe Wagner." You introduce your old friend to the wolf tengu.
"From the United States' Army." Gabe adds. "…thanks for helping me out there …Hiiragi. I thought I was hallucinating some sort of afterlife."
Gabe extends a hand for a handshake, where you notice Hiiragi accepting it with both hands before letting go. "You're welcome." She smiles, before picking up her sword and shield she left inside the room. "Now that he's all fine, I shall take my leave. Alex, if you see my brothers, please send my regards to them."
Hiiragi then leaves the doorway, with your head tracking her footsteps until they are completely gone.
"You know her?" Gabe asks, attracting your attention.
"Some part of it. She's an older half-sister to a fellow Guardian that's currently stationed Underground." You then pause when you realize that none of it makes any sense to Gabe as a newcomer. "Also that's… an awfully long story."
"I've got time, you can tell me about it."
"Alright then… now where shall we start?"
"Start with how you got here in the first place."
Since you haven't seen Gabe in a long while, and you have nothing better to do, you entertain Gabe by telling him all the things that you've experienced during your stay in Gensokyo.
A couple of hours later…
You spent quite a lot of time explaining to Gabe about your Gensokyo adventures, where he would listen intently, stopping at times to catch a break or having to answer Gabe whenever he stops you.
"So yeah, that's pretty much it."
"…Christ… That's a lot to take in."
"You'll get used to it, like I did." You then take a different topic. "By the way, how's my mom, Gabe?"
"The last time I saw her is before I went to Iraq, she's still grieving about your loss. I mean, nobody can even find a body at all. Even insurgents denied ever holding you hostage."
"I was about to be shot at point blank back then, but then I woke up and found myself here. Man, sometimes I wish I could get back home and hug her."
By then, Sarge decides to walk in to see how Gabe's doing. He seems to be standing there and has apparently been listening to your long conversation for a good while now.
"How long have you been standing there, Sarge?"
"Since Hiiragi left. You two are quite close, I see."
"Oh, he's a good ol' friend of mine, Sarge."
"Rei Yamato." Sarge introduces himself, extending a hand for a handshake, which Gabe takes it.
"Gabe Wagner, nice to meet you.”
"Seems like you're holding up very well even with your injuries. Any idea what happened before you got here?"
"Everything's a little blurry. But I think I remember three things - friendly fire, tank, a friend."
Rei nods and seems to be able to figure out things, but didn't comment about it. "Well, once you recover, you can stay at our HQ. There's plenty of living space for newcomers. We might be having a talk about certain things by then too. Alex, tell Erin to keep you up to date with your friend's status,"
"I'll be back at the HQ for now, so if there's anything just poke me on the radio."
As soon as Rei leaves, Gabe then turns his attention to you. "Are you seeing what I am?"
"What, the ears and the tail?"
"Oh. That. Yeah, Sarge is basically a werewolf, so…"
"Then what about the girl, Hiiragi?"
"She has a pair of 'em too, but she's a tengu instead."
Gabe raises a brow at the alien terminology. "…man, you sure did get used to this place."
"Eh, it's been a couple of years or so I think. You have a lot to see here."
Few days after your run-in with that jorogumo, Yamame had gone back to her place as the renovation to her bar was complete. She invited you over for the grand reopening of her bar a couple of days later, where you show up with your tengu uniform.
"Behold! Yamame's New Poison House is now open!" Yuugi announces as the head of the area, and everyone gives applause as she cuts the ribbon.
As you can see, Yamame's bar has a much nicer interior compared to the old-school underground bar look from before. She even has a couple of new assistants to help with bartending, who you assume are spidergirls as well. Yuugi and Parsee are present as well, with the former having a lively conversation with you, before you go ahead and have a conversation with Yamame
"Thanks for letting me stay over at your place, Seo. It was fun."
"Eh, don't thank me, that's Satori for you to thank."
She chuckles. "True, I got to spend some time with you a bit longer than usual. If you feel like staying over next time, feel free to drop by. The food and drink's on me as usual, and we can do… 'things' if you feel like it~" She ends her sentence with a wink.
"You're such a lewd spider, Yams."
"Only for you." She replies, leaning over to you for a kiss to the lips.
You smile and return the kiss. "Likewise."
After that opening ceremony, you go back to the palace for duty with some gifts, which consists of a few bottles of fine liquor as well. Your stay at the tower wouldn't be just you alone, as Orin is there to give you company in her cat form.
As you pet her you can hear her purring loudly, a telling sign that she enjoys your touch. After a while, she returns to her human form, still seated on your lap.
"Is your brother's wedding coming this weekend?"
"I wanna go with you."
"I'm sure everyone in this household is invited, Orin."
"You want to hear a story, Seo?"
"What is it?"
"The other day I went to the surface and visited your hometown. I found this cute little cat being bullied by a nekomata, so I couldn't help but join in the bullying~"
"…that's horrible, Orin."
"I'm kidding, I'm kidding." She giggles at your reaction. "Well, you know that seven tailed male fox and Yukari's servant?"
"What? Nanabi and Ran? What about them?"
"Well, apparently Nanabi is a guardian of the smaller cat, and he was out with Ran for some ingredients shopping, and when they saw what the two-tails was doing to the crook'd tail cat, she got scolded on the spot by both foxes." Orin giggles, and by that description you realize that she is talking about Arikado the cat. "You should've seen the look on her face when she was being scolded - it was so funny!"
You lightly tap her forehead admonishingly. "I know that you're older-"
Then, your radio crackles to life.
"Seo, you there?"
"Alex here. Did you hear about the injured soldier Hiiragi brought to Eientei a few days back?"
"Err, no. I might have gone off the reception range for a little bit. What about it?"
"If you're free, come on over to the SDM. We've got a new guy to introduce to you. He has just joined the SDMGD, so everyone's here to introduce themselves."
"I'll see about it. I might have other things to do today."
"Just give us a heads up if you're coming."
"Have a good one. Roach out."
Now that you think about it, you're pretty bored yourself.
What would you do now?
[ ] Fly over to the Youkai Mountain and see how Kaede is doing. Bring Orin along.
[ ] Head over to the SDM and meet the new guy, then pay your parents a visit. Bring Orin along.