You awaken early in he day, the sun hardly beginning yet to look over the horizon as it awakened from it’s nightly slumber. But the sun would have no part in your actions today, and, truly, had not for some time. For once more you must venture below the earth, digging deeper, ever deeper into the secrets of the caverns below. Even that which already you have discovered would fill a dozen anthropological papers, but that mattered little. The warnings, the dangers expounded upon in the carvings and paintings that filled the caves…
They piqued your interest.
So now, ever more curious, increasingly eager to discover the lost secrets and hidden dangers, you seek that which has long been hidden in the depths of the earth. Your camp has progressively migrated farther and farther into the system of caverns as you worked, and now you would have to rely on maps and the trailing line you’ve been stringing out behind you to even find the surface anymore. Your eyes have long been adjusted to the dim, yellow lights you’ve been using . The darkness of the caves holds no more fear, for you - regardless of the morbidity of the warnings that coat every wall, the only feeling you have towards the darkness into which you venture is curiosity, and a constant hope, every day, that perhaps you would find something, some clue as to the final revelation you seek. You have long since abandoned your original efforts to catalogue and study the ancient carvings and paintings, instead heedlessly going deeper and deeper into the bowels of the earth, setting up your small camp when you grow too tired to continue, and whenever you grow hungry eating tasteless food like paste and dry, uncooked prepackaged ‘meals’ of nutrient bricks, that you could only wish were as flavourless as the paste.
Your carefree whistling as you walk down into the darkness echoes around you, mixing with the dull thudding of your footfalls and the clattering of your gear. Occasionally you allow your fingertips to trail across the rough and jagged stone of the cavern walls, noting the carvings by their unnatural smoothness as you navigate almost entirely without the use of sight, a light breeze always at your back, flowing from the surface into the darkness with you. The route you are taking is by no means an easy trail, of course. There are a number of tight squeezes, and the entire system is rather narrow and winding - a lesser man might suffer from claustrophobia in these conditions.
You slow down, hands reaching out to probe the way ahead, sliding your feet carefully along the floor of the cave. The flow of the air is different, all of a sudden, and that calls for caution. You remember the first change in airflow you came across - a great chasm in the middle of an especially large cavern. You almost pitched right into it before you realized it was there. Luckily you were able to scramble away from it and find a way across: at the edge of the cavern, where the wall met the chasm, a narrow ledge remained, and you used this natural projection to edge your way to the other side.
This change was nothing so drastic, and your toes come into contact with a protrusion on the floor scant seconds before your hands encounter what must be the same smooth stone outcropping. Running your hands across it carefully, you realize that the object before you is a statue of some sort, carved long ago and forgotten. It seems to be some sort of grotesque humanoid figure, with a single horn, arms outstretched to bar passage through the narrow stone corridor. You reach up to your headlamp, heart pounding in your chest at this undeniable sign that you are indeed approaching the revelation which you seek. With a twist of the plastic casing, you brighten the light.
It takes a few minutes for your eyes to adjust to the sudden change in lighting, but when they do, you finally see. The statue before you…well, it’s not exactly grotesque. Depicted in nearly lifelike realism before your eyes, is a statue of a woman, in a strange dress atypical of the people of this region, regardless of historical period. Unfortunately, there’s too much wear to make out the precise details of the outfit, but you can tell it was certainly not any manner of traditional clothing. The most remarkable feature of the statue, though, beyond the horn protruding from the figure’s forehead, is the fact that someone destroyed the face of the statue, removing all features except for the single horn. Of course, given the location of the statue, and, you now notice, the way the carvings and paintings all abruptly halt exactly at the point where the statue’s outstretched arms would touch the walls, were they a fraction of an inch longer, anyone intending to deface the statue would have to know that the statue was here, and probably have a very good reason for doing so, given just how hard it was to get here. This, of course, raises all manner of questions.
You are focused on only one of them. The same one that’s been burning within you all along, the one that drove you here, the one driving you onward still. Just what’s down here?
You need to know.
You duck under the outstretched arm of the stone woman, dulling the light once more. It has served its purpose, after all. You wait for a few minutes, anticipation building even as your eyes readjust to the lack of light. Finally, you start forward, trailing a hand along the wall of the passage. The stone’s texture has changed, becoming rough, clearly unworked rock. You follow this tunnel for an indeterminate distance, before you begin to detect light ahead. Your pace picks up, and you see it. Ahead, the tunnel opens up into a larger cavern, and within the cavern is some kind of light source. Your heart racing, you emerge into the cavern.
It’s huge! Impossibly huge! You gape in awe at the sheer, impossible size of the huge, brightly lit cavern. A moment of cognitive dissonance. Brightly lit…? You look up, for the source of the light, before flinching and shielding your eyes. They’d been watering the whole time, unable to quite adjust to the new light, but the glance at that subterranean sun really hurt…
There’s a sun. Underground. In a cavern that’s physically impossible. Well, alright. It doesn’t matter. No, it doesn’t. Not. At. All.
Maybe you’re hallucinating. Maybe you’re not. There are more things in Heaven and Earth…
A thrill runs through you. This. This is what you had been searching for! This is the secret! Incredible! INCREDIBLE!
You shade your eyes, and look around. Over to your left, and fairly close, is a big mansion. A big, western-style mansion, with stained-glass windows. …That certainly doesn’t belong here.
To your right, and somewhat distant, is a city, more appropriate to the region. It wouldn’t seem very out of place, above ground.
Of course, you could always just try going around the outside of the cavern, rather than just walking straight in. After all, it’s not very likely that these places are uninhabited, and there’s no telling how the people living here might react to your presence.
[ ] Investigate the mansion. [ ] Investigate the city. [ ] Go around the edge of the cavern.
I bring you a second CYOA. If you've never heard of me, I write over in /forest/, too.
>>6584 the hated/feared part applied to the general population of the past. The oni on the other hand might get along with her as they don't really lie. (And I seen a comic series of Pre-SA earth place where Yuugi had a big sister-ish role)
Quickly making up your mind, you start toward the mansion. Ignoring the sun, and similar impossibilities, it’s the most unlikely thing in the cavern. At least the city is of proper design for the region, even if it’s somewhat newer in design than it ought to be. As you approach the grand building, you notice that the floor of the cavern is smoothed and worked, in some places having even been paved with a different stone, inlaid into the rock of the floor. It’s incredible how much work must have gone into the preparation and construction of this one building, let alone the distant city itself.
Is this the home of some important figure? Is it some kind of public building? A seat of government? Your mind thrills with possibilities. This cavern is clearly what all of the warnings were referring to. That statue was a final guardian. While whatever it was that the indigenous peoples of the area feared so many hundreds of years ago is certainly long dead and forgotten, the inhabitants of this mansion must have been isolated from all of humanity for hundreds of years! They may even be able to shed light upon the warnings that blanket the passages leading to this cavern! Not to mention revealing why, exactly, a western mansion, complete with elaborate stained glass windows, is deep in the earth beneath Japan.
As you’re about to start up the steps to the front door, you pause, a bright patch of colour catching your eye. There’s a patch of colourful crystals near the corner where the stairs meet the house, almost like a flowerbed. Looking around, you see a few more similar patches, each carefully tended and shaped. It’s a beautiful effect.
You stand in front of the door to the house, pulse pounding, and raise one hand to knock… Suddenly, the door’s thrown open, and you hear a female voice, “Master! I’m going out, okay!”, followed by a heavy impact to your body. You tumble backwards, and for a moment it looks like you’re about to take a fall down the (stone) steps and smash your head on the (stone) ground, until you feel your wrist get caught in an iron grip, arresting your fall immediately. You’re hauled back up to your feet, and your mysterious rescuer (and almost-killer) sighs in relief.
“Whoo. That was a close one, huh? Hey, hey, a human?” You finally get a good look at her. A young woman, about a head shorter than you, with bright, flame-red hair done up in twin braids. Her dress, which is a bit more elaborate than most, is a dark green, almost black, and trimmed with a lighter green. She grins at you, red eyes twinkling. “What are you doing here?” Her nose crinkles, “And when was the last time you washed?” Forget washing, you’ve hardly had enough water just to drink. A human body needs something like half a gallon of water a day. Since you weren’t exactly expecting to embark on this journey, you didn’t manage to bring as much as you ought. It’s been at least twelve cycles of sleep and waking, since you first entered the cave, and you only had two canteens with you at the time. You had been rationing the water, but you had run out not very long ago.
“Oh!” She smacks her fist into her open palm, “You must want to talk to Miss Satori, huh? Yeah, come on in.” She turns and walks back into the house. Bemused, you follow. What did she mean, ‘a human’? Strange girl. You ignore the hallucinations as you follow her down the hallway. Dehydration, that’s all. Dehydration. She does not have cat ears. Or two two? tails.
She may very well be swaying her hips like that though. She looks back over her shoulder - presumably to check to see if you are still following - and you just barely manage not to get caught staring at her ass. She smirks and turns back to watching where she’s going. The redhead stops outside of a door.
“Miss Satori is in here.” She doesn’t move to open it. It looks as though she’s watching to see what you do.
[ ] Allow her to announce you. [ ] Knock. [ ] Just go in, already. [ ] Write-in?
>I've yet to see a depiction of Satori as actually hated and/or feared. Really? Half the fucking Satoris I see are emo over being hated/feared. It's her own damn fault for not keeping her mouth shut regarding her mind-reading powers, too. A more prudent satori wouldn't be nearly as hated.
>>6595 Doujins, mostly. Sorry I can't give any specifics.
And no, people don't get freaked out because of the eye. People get freaked out because Satori has no tact. In SA, she's all "I'm reading your miiiiind" flaunting it all the time. Of course people are going to hate her.
>>6597 That's mainly incident talk which is prone to being more exaggerated than reality, let's not forget the time Reimu 'killed' Sakuya in EoSD. Also the heroine at this point has made a ruckus, including blasting her pet cat a few times.
"I'm getting better.
>Doujins as a source of information. Go to the corner.
>>6598 He asked about doujins. I told him about doujins. I'm not citing them as a source.
And just because the protagonist was an asshole is no reason to do shit she knows will get her hated. Maybe she simply has no sense of pattern recognition? Who knows. As for the "they're just playing around during incidents" defense, that only flies for death threats and the like. Not revealing personal information that'd be better off unsaid. >>6599 A racial imperative to be an asshole? Maybe she should choke down those instincts and at least attempt to act civilized.
This is derailing the thread, though. I'll shut up now.
>>6601 I believe that the defining trait of the satori species is being hated by almost everyone. People don't like it when you peer into their mind, the one thing that's supposed to be sacred and totally private (though flaunting it isn't earning Satori any points either). I believe that Koishi sealed her eye specifically so that she could avoid this fate.
The fact that Satori flaunts it, incidentally, implies that, unlike Koishi, she doesn't actually seem to resent her situation that much. The animals probably help.
After a moment of hesitation, you open your mouth to thank her. A particularly disturbing dry rasp is all that emerges...almost something from a horror movie. You cough a few times, and try again, trying to ignore the way the hallucinatory tails puffed up at the sound. It's not easy to talk, your voice dry and rasping as you stumble through the words. It's been such a long time since you've last spoken.
"Th..ank y-ou." You cough again, dry and rasping, before turning to the door. You raise a fist to knock, when the girl interrupts you.
"Hey, you need some water or something? You don't sound so good, yeah?" She looks concerned, even if the ears atop her head - which are not there - are laid back. You nod. "Alright, then! I'll be back so fast it'll be like I never left~" And she dashes off. Shrugging, you knock on the door.
"Hm? A visitor? Come in, come in." The voice that answers is mild, just the barest hint of curiosity present. You open the door. The woman inside is sitting peacefully at a small table, a cup of tea in her hand. She’s not very big, and with the way she’s dressed, almost looks like a child. Not entirely, though. Disregarding the particularly odd vision of a large external eye-bulb, connected to her with strange flesh-tubes - dehydration, hallucination - you move to sit in the chair she’s indicated. She takes a sip from her teacup.
“I’d offer you some tea, but I believe that you already have refreshment on the way.” The young woman says, eyes drifting to the door you entered through. Indeed, almost at that very moment, the redhead comes through the door, a tall glass of water in her hand.
“Here you go.” She looks a little proud of herself. “Miss Satori always says we should try to make guests comfortable!” The girl across the table from you nods.
“Very good, Orin.” The redhead preens under the praise. “That will be all.” She nods, a self-satisfied smirk on her face, and leaves the room. You down the water in an instant. It helps, but your throat and tongue are still very dry. You speak, your voice still a dry rasp, but this time you don’t falter.
“Ah, so she’s-” The apparent mistress of the mansion interrupts you.
“‘A servant or something like that?’ …Well, I suppose it is something like that that, after all. Anyway, it’s not often we get visitors. What prompted this visit?” You open your mouth to speak, but she cuts you off. “Ah, those tunnels are still open? And they even lead to the Outside. That’s unfortunate. I’ll have to send someone to look into it, then.” A moment of confusion on your end. “Yes, I suppose I will have to explain. You see, you’ve managed to wander into Gensokyo. It’s a land hidden from the outside world, concealed behind barriers, where the supernatural can safely exist, despite the waning belief on the Outside.”
“…Huh.” It takes you a while to process this. Then that means…
“That’s right. You haven’t been hallucinating. No, not even the tiger.” For a moment, you blank entirely. It was a big shock, after all. Then pieces start falling into place. “Oh, so, when that redhead-”
“Yes. She’s a youkai. A kassha, to be precise. Ah, yes, you’ve figured it out, I am, indeed, a - well, it’s not quite…Secrets? Wha- look, just calm down.” She winces. “Can’t you…think slower or something? You’re giving me a headache…” She turns in her chair, and her third eye directs itself away from you. “Ow.” She rubs at her temples. “That bit about my name was unnecessary.”
“True enough.” You allow. “Sorry.” You say it with a shrug. “I do want answers, though…” She sighs.
“Listen, the underground is a bit dangerous for humans, alright? If you stay here, at least for now, you’ll be safe until I can figure out whether you can even return home or not.” You shake your head.
“I sort of doubt that I could manage…” A wave of dizziness overtakes you, and you wobble in your chair. She looks on with concern, still half-turned away.
“Are you alright?” She asks, concerned, and you manage to shake your head, before the room tilts ninety degrees, sending you hurtling towards the wall. Blackness envelopes you as you fall. Your last thought is one of confusion. How is Satori sitting at such an angle? Shouldn’t she fall too…?
Okuu - Pripyat - a ghost town near Chernobyl Orin? - Kamchatka - peninsula in the Russian Far East(?) Koishi - Kesswil - birthplace of Carl Jung Satori - Mundare - town slogan "the small town with a big heart"
You groan, slowly becoming aware of the world once more. The first sensation you become aware of is the scent of…scent of…well, it’s not a familiar scent, admittedly, but it certainly is appetizing. A mild voice speaks, and you struggle to place it.
“Oh, you’re awake. Come now, sit up and see if you can manage this on your own.” Ah, Satori. You can remember meeting her, just moments ago… “Actually, it was about three days ago.” She says, and your eyes fly open. The ceiling above is unfamiliar. Of course it is. You try to sit up, but you’re too weak. Clearing your throat, you’re about to try to speak when she answers your unasked question with action, setting something down and helping you up with slim arms, impossibly strong for their apparent lack of musculature.
“Thank you.” You croak, voice rusty with disuse. Satori smiles at you, and picks up one of the mugs she had set down.
“Here. See if you can manage it yourself, now.” As you lift it to your lips, she cautions you. “Careful, now. It’s hot.” You take a careful sip, and scald your tongue a bit. You almost spill the remaining liquid in the mug, as you jump in surprise and hiss air across your tongue. She shakes her head, but doesn’t say anything as she picks up her own mug, this one with a spoon in it. Hers is a bit larger than yours, though both are oversized. She sits in a chair next to your bed, and takes a spoonful of her own soup - what else could it be? You watch as she blows softly on it, to cool it down, and takes a bite.
“What happened?” You ask as she chews, “Three days, you said?” Were you unconscious for so long? Swallowing, she answers.
“You had very nearly died. You were badly dehydrated, you know. You’re lucky you made it this far. It looks like you’ll pull through, at least. You’ve recovered quite nicely. Orin was so disappointed.” She takes another mouthful of soup.
“Disappointed?” You ask, before sipping carefully from your mug once more. This time, you remember to blow on it first, and the heat is much more tolerable. The broth is delicious. “This is really good!” Satori smiles over at you.
“I’m glad you think so.” She nods. “Yes, disappointed. She so wanted your corpse. I hated to disappoint her so badly…” She’s smiling mildly the entire time, “but you’re a guest.” You shake your head.
“That’s creepy.” You say it bluntly, as soon as it pops into your head, before blinking. “Whoops.” Satori starts laughing softly, however.
“My, my, you’re quite honest, aren’t you?” She takes another spoonful, “I guess it won’t be so bad to have you around.” She pops the spoon into her mouth.
“…what? Have me around?” You’re confused. “I thought you were going to have me return home…?” She looks a bit sheepish, now, as she swallows the most recent mouthful of food.
“Ah, yes, well. There’s a problem with that…” She looks away, though the third eye remains fixed on you. “The tunnel….was destroyed, unfortunately.”
You’re stunned for a moment.
[ ] “What?!” [ ] “How?” [ ] “…oh.” [ ] “Oh.” [ ] Write-in? (Keep it short and sweet.)
“How…?” You ask, wide-eyed. As disastrous as this news is, you feel oddly detached from it all. Your only way home was just destroyed, and you just feel…cold, inside.
“You’re in shock.” Satori observes quietly. She sets her own mug down on a side table, an indecipherable expression on her face. “This can wait. Take a moment to gather your thoughts, and-” You interrupt her with surprising vehemence.
“No.” You take a deep breath. “No.” You say, more calmly, “How did it happen?” You need to know. You don’t know anything about rocks, really, but it seemed fine when you came through.
“Well…that’s true. It was fine. The tunnel itself would likely have remained sound for centuries.” Satori nods slightly, and fixes her gaze on a point somewhere over your head. “I mentioned the dangers that exist down here in the underground.” It’s a statement, not a question, but you nod anyway. You aren’t certain, but you understand her point. “Well, I had sent one of my pets to investigate the tunnels you’d mentioned. Apparently, and the only reason you managed not to get yourself eaten, they were very heavily warded against youkai, up to that statue, which I would guess likely had been the focus of a barrier itself, which, had it not been defaced, may have prevented your entry in the first place.” She shrugs, slightly, the barest lift of her shoulders, and continues on in the same mild voice. “Of course, this is all conjecture. My pet was only able to confirm the warding, and the statue’s presence. It was as she was leaving the tunnel that the…event occurred.” You listen, attention fixed on the young woman before you - well, even if she is a satori, something you‘ve given up doubting, she looks enough like a girl to refer to her as such. Not at all like the traditional depictions of her race.
“Now, one of the more dangerous, and stupider, of the creatures that dwell down here decided that my pet would make a good meal. She was forced to…defend herself. Quite thoroughly.” Ah, so that’s it.
“So the tunnels were destroyed in the fight? Some kind of minor cave-in?” …Satori looks rather uncomfortable.
“Well…the area might be passable in another…seven hundred years?” She shakes her head. “Okuu mentioned it was rather….irradiated.” This gives you a shock. What could she possibly… “Yes. The creature itself was quite resilient, I’m told. Okuu didn’t exactly go easy on it, either.” Satori looks a bit exasperated. “She’d forgotten her own strength again.”
You aren’t entirely sure how to respond. Radiation? Some sort of mystery monsters wandering the shadows of the cavern? What kind of place…
“It’s Gensokyo. That’s how things are.” Satori says, with a philosophical lilt to her voice. She shrugs again. “You have something to say.” She’s right. You take a moment to gather your thoughts, and speak.
"Satori..." You begin, words welling up from a deeppool of feeling within. "Thank you." With those two words, you attempt to make clear your gratitude. Slightly red, she tries to wave off your thanks.
"Ah, well, there's no need-"
"Yes, there is. Thank you, Satori." She seems stunned intp silence at you words, but for what reason, you don't know. You continue, "You've done a lot for me, ever since I turned up on your doorstep. You explained this place to me, as best as you could, and even though you had reason to, no obligation to me, you you took me in, nursed me back to health....even sent your pet to check on my only path home. You've done so much...so thank you. I owe you more than I can ever repay." Exhausted, you fall back onto the bed, coincidentally missing her rising blush.
"Ah..." She sounds a bit embarassed. Turning, she busies herself with something you can't see from this angle. You do hear the occaisional clink as she does whatever it is she's doing, though. "Okuu helped." She glances back at you, tentatively, before returning her attention to what she's working on. "Taking care of you, I mean. She's always so eager to help, and I think she felt bad about what she did to the tunnel..." She falls silent. Finally, she turns around. In her hands is a small cup, lightly steami- wait, no. That's more of a dry ice effect. It's...slightly disturbing, actually.
"Drink this." You eye the cpncoction apprehensively.
"Ah...what is it?" The way it smokes sort of makes you nervous.
"It's perfectly safe. It's an Oni medicinal brew." She explains, pushing it into your hand. It's very small, almost shot-glass sized, and feels warm to the touch. "It will speed your recovery." Grimacing, you drink it, coughing at the burn as it slides down your throat. "You need to regain your strength before I could give it to you, or you might not have survived."
"Wha-?!" You manage only the single syllable, before the world explodes into mind-achingly strange fractals and impossible colours. You begin to convulse, muscles tightening painfully, and you can feel a pair of hands grab each of your arms, pinning you firmly to the bed, preventing you from flailing around. Gradually, everything fades away, and consciousness leaves you.
You awaken to pain, more than just the aches of your body, but also perhaps the worst headache you've ever had.
"Oh, you're awake?" Satori's voice makes itself heard, and you cringe at the burst of pain through your skull at the sound. A second voice speaks up, sending another spike through your skull, and a wave of nausea through your body.
"Unyu~?" You're too busy suffering to care, however.
"Quiet..." You manage to croak. A cup is placed into your hand, with a single terse command.
"Drink." You do so, anything to keep them from repeating their demand. After a moment, the pain simply ceases to be. You open your eyes, blinking twice in shock. It's as though it never was.
"Better?" Satori asks. The tall, black-haired woman next to her looks on curiously.
"Yeah." You sit up, and find it easy. You...you're entirely recovered?
"How do you feel?" Satori asks, with the other girl standing there silently.
"...Good. Very good, actually." You stand. "Better than I have in a long time."
"That's good. Do you need anything?"
[ ] Your nose crinkles. You...kinda reek. "Yeah, a bath. Do you have one I could use? I'm sorry to impose..."
[ ] Your stomache rumbles. "I suppose I could use some food..." You smile sheepishly. "When's...dinner?" You aren't quite sure what time of day it is...
"Of course. The baths are the third door down, on the other side of the hall. First, though, Utsuho has something to say to you." At the mention of her name, the tall girl starts, a silent 'Ah!' forming on her lips. She fidgets awkwardly, prompting Satori to give her an encouraging, "Go on. You can do it." She flutters her large, black wings nervously - How'd you miss those before? - before taking a deep breath.
"I'm, ah..." She looks away, then back over to you, tears in her eyes. "I'm very, very sorry that I got carried away and destroyed your only route home, possibly trapping you underground forever and ever in a former hell full of evil spirits and oni and dangerous youkai, anthough I guess since Orin's in charge of the spirrits they won't be too much trouble for you maybe, and..." Satori pats her on the arm, and she cuts off before she can really get into the babbling flow. She bows sharply to you.
[ ] "Uh, that's...alright? I forgive you?" You're a little thrown by the babbling. This is the really powerful pet? She seems a bit airheaded.
[ ] Wait, this is a pet? "Satori..." This can't be right. She's a person...
[ ] Time for some fun. "That's not good enough, girl." Scare her just a bit...
[X] Wait, this is a pet? "Satori..." This can't be right. She's a person...
What is a pet? A creature that, dumber than you, likely weaker than you, usually shorter lived than you, much like a human is to a youkai like Satori, gets its food from you, as well as shelter from a harsh environment, much like this particular human is currently in dire need of. And in exchange for consuming this support, physical or mental, it gives affection, helps reduce stress, teaches responsibility, and, perhaps most importantly, stave off loneliness.
Anyway, being someone from the outside, this seems a most natural response, my own interest in a storyline that I've not seen written before aside.
[X] Wait, this is a pet? "Satori..." This can't be right. She's a person...
Just picked this up. Good work here, but I must say, this board needs more attention. Lots of good stories around here that go unnoticed in favour of the latest /th/ fad. Not to mention the track record of /underground/'s stories.
[x] "Uh, that's...alright? I forgive you?" You're a little thrown by the babbling. This is the really powerful pet? She seems a bit airheaded. [x] Wait, this is a pet? "Satori..." This can't be right. She's a person...
Who says we cant vote for both? They fit. also fuck fatal errors
"Satori..." You begin. The girl looks up at the sound of your voice. When she sees the disappointed expression on you face, she seems stricken.
"Auuu..." Her eyes tear up, her lower lip starts to quiver... It might almost be adorable if you hadn't just made a girl cry!
"Ah! No, no, it's not about you...well, no, it kind of is, but not what you did...I mean to say..." Satori shakes her head, and touches the girl on the shoulder.
"Okuu." The taller girl's attention is immediately fixed on her. "He forgives you. He just has something else on his mind right now." Like a cloud bank breaking to reveal the sun, a smile blossoms across the girl's face. Even the odd, eye-like accessory between her breasts seems brighter...and wet? There's water along the bottom edge, like some sort of exaggerated tear effect. She rubs away the tears with her sleeve. Satori continues, "Now, why don't you run along and play? I don't think Orin's busy right now..."
"Okay, mama!" The girl chirps, looking much happier now. She starts for the door, before turning back to you. Biting her lip, she says, "Hey, uh, human. I'll...I'll find a way to make it up to you, okay? Count on it!" And dashes out of the room. Satori sighs.
"That girl." It doesn't sound exasperated so much as...happy? Proud? You aren't sure. But! You were saying something! Satori heads you off, however. "I raised her, you know. From the time she hatched. She didn't always have that human body, you know. Most youkai don't. It takes a long time to learn how to change like that. Have you ever had a pet? A dog, or a cat, maybe?" She pauses, and you have enough time to nod. Yes, you've had pets before... "Then you know how it is. Even if, one day, they could suddenly talk, they'd still be your pet, wouldn't they? You'd love them just the same, no?" ...Yes. You would. You sigh, and Satori nods. "Now go take your bath. You really do smell awful." With that, she leaves. Ugh, really?
As you reach the door of the room, you realise, belatedly, that you were never told which direction the baths were in. Left, or right? Opening the door, you see that, apparently, there was no need. This is the last room in the hallway, and to take a right is the only option.
One... Two... Three rooms down, huh? The door's closed. Sliding it open, you enter. Discarding your clothing, you proceed to wash up before entering the steaming hot spring. It's simply amazing. You can feel yourself begin to relax, as muscles you hadn't even realised were hurting begin to unclench and ease. You breathe a contented sigh. This...is...glorious...
Oh, how strange...you feel waves wash up against your chest, where previously the water was still...
It takes you a moment, but then you suddenly start, and open your eyes to see who just got into the pool with you. It's the redhead, from when you first arrived here.
"Ah, hello..." You say, fixing your eyes on a point just to the left of her head - it's less obvious than looking over her head, after all. But still, this...this is uncomfortable. You catch a glimpse of - annoyance, maybe? - in her expression, before she slides into the water with a happy sigh.
"So, human..." She says, "Want a drink?" You hear a clink, and she holds a small sake dish out to you. You take it, reluctantly, not wanting to be rude. She smiles brightly, and pours some for herself from a small bottle, which she sets in a floating bucket full of ice.
...Where'd she even get all of that? And how'd she do it without you notici- how long has she been here.
"...How long have you been here?" You ask, before you can stop yourself.
"Oh, I've been living down here since Miss Satori moved in~" She doesn't answer your question, but you let it go. You take a sip from the drink she handed you. It's...really good, actually. Easily some of the best sake you've ever had. You take another sip. The chill of the drink nicely offsets the heat of the spring. You lean back, relaxed, and look up.
Oh, how about that. You hadn't noticed before, but this spring is actually 'outside'. Far above, you can see the blackness that shrouds the ceiling of the cavern. It's huge...you stare for a few moments, contemplating that darkness far, far above.
"...an. Human!" You feel someone tugging at your arm, but it doesn't really matter, right now. You...think you might see something up there. Almost like reverse stars, points of deeper darkness, but moving, shifting...
"Ow!" You jerk your arm out of the redhead's grip, and consider the five spots of blood. "What was that for?!" You demand, turning to face her fully. ...When'd she get next to you, anyway?
"It's not safe to stare off into the shadows like that..." She says, and you notice her ears are laid back against her head. She looks...worried? "You never know what's looking back. You're lucky I was here!" She says, regaining her carefree attitude, and puffing up, mock-pompously. You can't help but notice how it emphasises certain...features....ah, no, don't look! "So..." She says, slyly. "How are you going to repay my kindness...?"
You look down at the small cup still in you hand, and finish your drink, not answering. What was that, anyway? Something weird just happened...didn't it?
"Human? Hey~" She doesn't like being ignored, apparently, because her face is suddenly right in front of you.
"Gah!" You jerk back slightly, and she smiles.
"Hahahah~" She laughs, "You're jumpy, aren't you?" She shifts position a bit, making it easier to look you in the face without either of you turning. Of course, this means she's basically straddling your leg. This also means that some...points of interest are displayed quite clearly for you. It's not easy, but you lock your gaze on her face, a bit confused and annoyed.
"Hey, what are you do...ing...?" You lose your sentence as she shifts up your leg, with a sly smile.
"Hey, human." She says. "I know what you can do for me~" She leans in, and you can feel her breath on your cheek. "Wanna fuck?"
[x] "Sorry...there's too much on my mind right now."
We're isolated below ground with creatures from mythology and no way to get home. We also just recovered from extreme dehydration, and suddenly one said creature wants to fuck. I'm surprised we haven't passed out from shock (again).
>>7722 You know whats even dumber? The fact that you insult us, then you dont go so far as to say why. Heres a thought, show us how we're being idiots. Until then, I'm going to stick to wanting to bang a catgirl.
>>7781 61% of all known pathogens that affect humans can also affect animals. You have heard of influenza, Ebola, anthrax and Mad Cow disease, right? Also, we're dealing with a fantasy realm, so who knows what bizarre species-crossing diseases may lurk there?
"Orin..." You say, setting your hands on her hips.
"Yes~?" She smirks, and shifts on your leg. You can feel her breasts pressing up against your bare chest, and it takes all your will power to continue.
"I..." With one, smooth motion, you lift her up, off of your leg, and set her down beside you. "...can't. It wouldn't feel right." The look on her face...it's somewhere between frustration and a blank, confused look.
"...What?" she says, finally. "Wait. 'No'?" She's...not very happy. She gives you a 'cute' pitiful look. "Why not?"
"It wouldn't feel right." You repeat. "Satori was kind enough to let me stay here, and I don't need to strain her goodwill. It would be..." You hesitate, searching for the right word, mind slightly scattered by the recent contact. "Improper of me to...'fuck' you." She sighs.
"Fine." She hauls herself up out of the water. "Be that way, human." She wraps her arms around you, to keep you still as she leans up against you, breasts pushing against your back and whispers in your ear, "But don't think it'll be easy to get another chance, silly little human~" She releases you, and you feel a burst of heat at your back. Suddenly, a small black cat leaps over you. it pauses on the far side of the water and looks at you. The two green ribbons are a nice touch, you think, as it darts off. You sigh. The relaxing effect of the hot spring is broken. Standing, you make your way out of the spring, and stop to dump a bucket of cold water over your head. After all of that, you...certainly needed it.
Where you left your clothes, there's a neatly folded yukata, and a pair of geta. You suppose that your regular clothes were taken to be washed. You slip the robe on, and slide your feet into the wooden sandals.
Now what? It would probably be a bad idea to go see Satori so soon after...all that, but perhaps you could find Utsuho, or maybe just familiarise yourself with the house? The room you first spoke with Satori in seemed like it was a library, so maybe you could find yourself a book? You ARE hungry, though. Perhaps you could find the kitchen...
[ ] You're too hungry to focus right now. Go eat. [ ] Food can wait. You'd like to... - [ ] Go see that library. - [ ] Find Utsuho. Maybe she could show you around... - [ ] Just familiarise yourself with the house for now.
[X] Food can wait. You'd like to... - [x] Find Utsuho. Maybe she could show you around...
You're not that hungry yet, you decide. First, you can go look for Utsuho. Maybe you'll tell her you forgive her more eloquently, this time, without having to let Satori do it for you. And it would be nice to have a guide to show you around, anyway.
Satisfied that you've justified your decision to yourself, you set off down the hallway, studiously ignoring the tiny winged girls who are busily tidying the house. You might not be able to deny some of the weirdness you've encountered, but you're absolutely not prepared to actually acknowledge any more than you have to.
As you walk, keeping an eye out for Utsuho's distinctive wings, you idly ponder the implications the reality of your discoveries presents. The myths of a society might, perhaps, be somewhat more literal than you had previously believed, beyond the mere existence of the creatures themselves. But then, Satori had mentioned that belief played some part in it, hadn't she? The question you seem to be left with, of course, is how. Are these youkai, these creatures of myth, born of their myths? Propagating them for their own survival and through their existence? Or are they the source of their own legends, expanding their influence in the world by spreading their reputation? Or perhaps it's something more...?
You take a moment to mourn the laptop you left on the surface. You have so much you need to write down...
It's not until you reach the bottom of the staircase that you realise with a start you've been idly scratching the the ears of a large tiger, as though it were just a big dog. At least it didn't seem to mind, you reflect, as it simply keeps walking, leaving you behind at the bottom of the stairs.
With a slightly nervous chuckle, you continue your search - though, to be honest, you'll admit it's more along the lines of 'aimless wandering'. Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to go looking for someone in such a large building, with no idea how to find them and no familiarity with the building itself...
Eventually, you find yourself drifting towards an appetising smell, arriving at a small, simple-looking kitchen towards what you believe to be the back of the building. You stop in the doorway, and take in the scene before you.
Utsuho is humming, as she fills a plate with freshly-peeled hard-boiled eggs. The counter, however, is an incredible mess - eggshell, water, and unidentifiable powders scattered over every surface except Utsuho herself and her plate. You've found her, at least.
She finishes plating up her eggs, and turns towards the doorway, already biting into one as she starts to walk towards you, before freezing when she catches sight of you. She stares at you with wide eyes, mouth full of egg, and you notice her glance down at her...meal? Snack? - awkwardly.
A long silence fills the room, before she finally swallows.
"Ah," She begins, "Um." She glances down at the egg in her hand, and then holds it towards you, her posture uncertain. "Did you...want some?" She tries, looking at you, but not meeting your eyes.
[ ] Accept the egg. [ ] Take one from her plate. [ ] Decline. [ ] Cut straight to the point. [ ] "...Eggs? Isn't that a little..." She is a bird, right?
You raise an eyebrow, somewhat bemused by her reaction. She squirms a bit under your gaze, until at last...
"Sure." You pick the egg out of her hand and pop it into your mouth - with half missing, it's no problem. Perhaps it's just that this is the first real, solid food you've eaten in weeks (those ration bars don't count on either qualifier), but... it's maybe the most delicious thing you've ever eaten. However she did it, these eggs are amazing.
Of course, there's one other thing that should be taken care of.
"...Here, I'll help, so let's clean up the kitchen." Her wings droop a bit as she stares at her empty hand for a second before shaking it off.
"R-right." She still seems a bit awkward around you - perhaps the whole 'destroyed the only way home you had' thing made more of an impression on her than it did on you. ...Well, that's not to say you're not concerned about it at all, but...
There's just so much that you have to do, so much to see here that you wouldn't need to worry about it for a long time, yet. In a way, you almost have to be grateful to this girl. After all, Satori had been planning to send you home immediately, hadn't she? With the way blocked, for now... you can actually perform the investigations that you had been hoping for. There's so much for you to learn, here, and while your laptop may be on the surface, well... they have paper, at least. You've seen Satori's books around, so there shouldn't be any trouble, in the end.
You come back to the present abruptly, realizing that you've just been staring off into space while you thought. ...Maybe you were affected more by your dehydration and collapse than you thought?
Anyway, before you get caught up in your own thoughts, you move up towards the counter, grabbing a rag hanging nearby to start cleaning up.
"Ah, wait, you don't need to...! Umf." That was almost certainly the sound of Utsuho stuffing an egg in her mouth before putting her plate down to help you.
"No, no, it's fine, I'm happy to help." You wave off the girl as you wipe down the counter. She makes a muffled protest, but starts cleaning up too - rather energetically, in fact, as though she were trying to do the cleaning before you had the chance. ...Which might even be the case, actually.
The two of you spend some time cleaning the kitchen, and you marvel at just how much of a mess she'd made, even though she was just preparing hardboiled eggs. She actually has to climb up and wipe down the ceiling! But it doesn't actually take two long, with both of you working, and soon you're sitting together snacking on eggs.
"These are really good." Your words prompt a questioning hum. "The eggs. I'm not sure how you did it, but these are probably the best eggs I've ever had." There's a few moments of silence before she replies. You probably caught her with her mouth full.
"Really?" You can hear her wings shifting under that cape of hers. "I didn't really do anything, though..."
"You know, I know that Satori already said it, but..." Only silence greets your words as you think about how you're going to phrase it. "I just wanted to say it for myself. What you did to the tunnel..." The noise she makes can only be described as 'worried'. "It's okay. I forgive you." Silence. "Don't worry too much about it, okay?"
"...Y-yeah." She eventually replies. "Okay." She sighs, a relieved-sounding exhalation that makes you grin, a little bit. She's still worried about it, huh? She really is a good girl, isn't she? She was even willing to help you get up here. And speaking of that...
The view of that city from the roof of Satori's mansion is pretty good. You can identify at least three distinct architectural periods in the construction of the buildings. You really want to go check it out.
You bite into another egg, as you think.
[ ] "Hey, so how did you irradiate that tunnel, anyway?" [ ] "Do you think you could show me around later?" [ ] "Why the boot?" [ ] "What kind of eggs are they, anyway?" Do they have chickens down here? [ ] "Who lives in the city?"