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…?
[ ] Pripyat
[ ] Kamchatka
[ ] Kesswil
[ ] Mundare