Over the course of your lifetime, there are very few things you look back on and think "now that was incredibly stupid of me."
Add this one to the list, you think wryly as you look down into the pitch-black shaft below you.
For a moment, you think back to how you ended up in this predicament. This morning, you planned to explore a new cave you and your friends had discovered not too far from the village. It was an admittedly risky and dangerous hobby you all had, to explore these hidden nooks and crannies near the village that no human had ventured into before.
The adventure had gone smoothly overall, actually; you and your friends had had quite the fun spelunking through the natural caverns and underground streams. It was only when your friends went back home and you decided to stay a little longer to see if you could find anything else interesting when things went sour. You had found an opening from one of the large caverns leading further down into the cave, and followed the tunnel until it widened into this large vertical shaft. It was at this point that you had slipped on a patch of wet moss and went sliding over the edge. Only by a miracle did you manage to grab hold of an outcropping on the side of the shaft. This is where you are now.
Both of your hands hold tightly to the rock that spelled the difference between hanging there or being splattered at the bottom of the shaft. The illumination from your dropped torchlight is still plainly visible in the exit to the tunnel some three or so meters above you. It may as well have been three kilometers.
As you hang there in the dim light, you give thanks that you're as strong as you are; holding on with just your hands is only moderately a strain at the moment, but it's only a matter of time before your strength starts to give out.
You briefly think to call out for someone, but instantly give up on the idea as your friends had left quite a while ago; the chances of anyone hearing you is pretty unlikely.
Well, anyone human at least. Attracting the attention of any man-eating youkai or other creature wasn't an attractive possibility either.
If only you could get into the pack you have on your back, you could use the rope you brought... but with your hands keeping you from falling that seems an impossible task.
The only other option you can think of it is to try climbing... unfortunately the path upward has little in the way of anything to grab with your hands. However, to your left and also downward, you notice a few jagged or uneven spots that could serve as handholds.
You try to examine the two paths you could take: the left way seems to have a lot of cracks and smaller rocks in the wall, that could mean the holds there are loose and could give out. You can't really make out the path below you, but it seems less risky... the problem being that you want to go UP, not down.
What do you do?  Go left  Descend  Stay where you are
You look to your left, you look down, you look left again. Well. If nothing else you were certainly one for taking gambles, and that had brought you this far in life, so what's another? Before the voice of reason could point out that risk-taking got you into this mess in the first place, you lunge out with your left hand and grab hold of the first crack you can reach. It holds firm, and you let out a breath you didn't realize you were holding.
For a moment you wonder about dropping your pack to lighten the load, but disregard the idea since you can't really take it off with both hands occupied. Besides, it's not all that heavy.
Confident the crack is steady, you let go of the outcropping and wedge your right hand into the crack as well. Shifting your grip into your right hand, you then grab for the rock jutting out of the wall further to the left. Again it holds. Good, if it keeps on like this, you could be back up in the tunnel in no time.
Confident now, you release your grip on the crack and grab hold of the rock with both hands. All of a sudden, you hear a grinding sound like stone being dragged across stone. Uh oh... the rock is coming loose. You swear loudly as you try to grab onto the crack again, but the rock rips out of the wall as your fingers barely brush against the edges.
As you tumble down into the pitch-black shaft, you scream involuntarily as fear floods your mind. Your stomach starts crawling up your throat as you free-fall as you wildly flail about in vain. Suddenly, your body comes into contact with the wall again, however it now seems to be sloping slightly. The incline starts changing abruptly as you go from free-falling to tumbling roughly down the side of the shaft. At one point your left arm slams into something hard, and a searing pain shoots up and down it's length. Over the sounds your body makes as it tumbles, the din of rushing water grows audible.
Suddenly the shaft disappears and you find yourself in free-fall again, albeit only for a brief moment before you splash down into chilly water. The current drags you along as you try to keep afloat amidst the cacophony of noise and pain in your head. Your consciousness finally blacks out on you, and the last thing you feel is something tug at your shoulder...
When you finally come to, the first thing you notice is that you can't see anything. You're certain your eyes are open, but all you can see anywhere is complete darkness. The second thing you notice is the hard, damp ground under you; did you wash up somewhere? You take in a few breaths; it doesn't feel like you had inhaled much, if any water. Were you rescued then? By whom... or what?
You put aside the questions for now and instead feel glad to be alive and safe, relatively at least. Feeling yourself over tentatively, you can ascertain that most everything on you is in one piece, although soaking wet. Your left arm still hurts a great deal, especially when you try to move it. It may have fractured during the fall...
As your right hand feels up and down your broken arm, you touch something odd when you reach your shoulder. It feels sticky, not too unlike tree sap, but much more firm. It actually takes some effort to pull your hand off the sticky material; you then remember that you had felt something grab your shoulder before you passed out. So someone did save you then?
Shrugging off your backpack, you rummage though it to find your flint and torches. You give a "tch" when you feel how damp the torch sticks are; they need to dry out before you can use them. You take one and set in nearby you on the ground before closing the pack. Feeling on the outside of the pack, you let out a sigh of relief when your fingers touch the familiar scabbard of your wakizashi sword. Untying it from the backpack, you return it to its proper position at your waist, and feel a bit more safe now that you are armed.
Now that you're better situated, you cross your legs as you pull up into a sitting position, trying to listen for anything around you as you still can't see. You can hear the gurgling of the underground river nearby, and the plink of water still dripping off your hair and clothes. Behind you, you can hear the echoing of some small creature, a rat or similar, scampering across the ground. There must be a tunnel or other passage there.
You just then notice something is off. The sound of your breathing doesn't seem regular, but you're certain that you're breathing normally. You hold your breath... and you can still hear the faint sound of breathing.
Someone - or something - is right nearby you.
What do you do?  Ask if someone is there  Stay still and silent  Grab your sword
You close your eyes and keep calm and focused; your disciplined training does you well in this situation. If the creature or person nearby you was a threat, surely it would have acted by now. Then, in the pitch-black surroundings, you hear the sound of a voice that you can only believe is one of a perky young girl.
"Huh, for a human, you're pretty quiet. First one yet, at that!"
You hear the recognizable sound of shoes clacking on the floor, as if the girl - for now, you assume this just to keep your mind focused - had jumped down from somewhere. You stay silent, waiting to see if she will say anything more.
"You didn't just fall asleep sitting there like that, didya? How boring... and after I went through the effort of hauling your butt out of the river."
The footsteps stop to your left, and suddenly she jabs you in the arm with her finger. You react naturally as your arm fires up in pain, pulling away from her and grabbing your arm with your hand as you inhale sharply.
"Aha, you ARE awake! Now come on, human, say something already! I'll keep poking you until you do~!"
You turn around towards her, turning a bit further so to keep your wounded limb away from her reach. You look up in the direction of the voice and say, "If you're asking for thanks, then I thank you for rescuing me. But please don't poke me in the arm again, I think it's broken."
You still can't see anything, but you assume the pause in the air is her pulling back to think over what you just said. The wait is punctured by her voice again; even though you can't see her, you find yourself thinking her voice is quite cute and peppy.
"Mmmm, alright then. Since you're finally doing something I'll stop poking ya. My name's Yamame, what's yours?"
You dutifully tell her your name. Yamame... the name feels eccentric despite sounding Japanese, you certainly haven't heard one particularly like it in the village. You don't dislike it though.
"Ehhh... don't like it. Gonna call you Human until I think up a more fun name for ya, 'k?" says Yamame in a very matter-of-fact tone. You begin to voice your opposition, but stop before you even speak, getting the feeling it would be a pointless effort. Instead, you voice something of more pressing concern.
"You keep calling me Human... I take it you are not one, then?"
Yamame's bubbly laugh echoed down the tunnel behind you in response. Her footsteps started up again as she circled around you, her counter questions coming in a almost singsong-y manner.
"Why, whatever could give you that idea, Human? The fact I pulled big ol' you out of the water all by my lonesome? Maybe cuz I can see in the dark just fine while you're as blind as a bat right now? Or, perhaps..."
She stops behind you, and you suddenly feel her warm breath on the nape of your neck as her voice dropped to a dark timbre.
"The fact I could eat you right here and now if I wanted to?"
The hairs on your skin stand up on end, but before you can do anything the breath pulls away as Yamame giggles earnestly.
"I kid, I kid! I don't eat humans, your kind don't really agree with my palate. You're more fun alive than dead, anyway! But, to answer your question, I am a youkai."
Your eyes shift in the direction of her voice as you try to imagine what she looks like... it's hard to imagine her as some sort of terrible monster with her voice as it is, however.
"Oh... perhaps I'm your first?" she asks, her voice taking on a playful tone.
You nod your head as you respond as-a-matter-of-factly, "Yes, you would be the first youkai I have encountered. Of course, I can't see you, so I can't really say much else..."
"Ah... that's true." Yamame's voice is tinted with some disappointment at you not reacting to her attempted innuendo. "How about I take you somewhere where you CAN see me, then?"
You feel on the floor next to you for the torch stick: it still doesn't feel dry enough yet. You bow your head in thanks as you say, "Please do, I would certainly be more at ease then, rather than staying in darkness here."
After you say that, Yamame tugs at your sleeve for you to stand up. Putting your backpack on again, you stuff the torch stick in the fold of your shirt as you climb to your feet.
"Here, give me your hand, I'll lead the way," offers Yamame. You extend your right hand, and she takes it in hers. You're taken aback both by her small hand's warmth, and how it feels just like a human girl's.
The two of you travel down the tunnel that was behind you. At first you take a few halting steps as you stumble in the darkness, but after a while you find a steady pace while being pulled along behind her.
After some time, you notice a faint source of light up ahead. As you walk closer, you notice the tunnel widening as well, and it soon becomes a small cavern. There are light sources scattered around, and on top of that there's... furniture. A table, chairs. A bed. Is that a sink and icebox?
"You surprised? Bet ya didn't think youkai lived like you do, eh?"
You turn towards Yamame, and are taken aback. The first thing you notice is the bright golden color of her ponytailed hair. It's a very rare hair color in the village, and you can't help but be somewhat entranced. The next thing you take in is how she looks quite human, despite being a youkai. Her brown dress is strange and not very like the clothing worn by most people in the human village. You then notice how short she is compared to you... her head only comes up to about the middle of your chest by your estimate. You're pretty tall though, you quickly add.
If Yamame hadn't said she was a youkai, you'd have completely thought she was just an oddly dressed girl. The only thing that hints towards her inhuman nature are her faintly-glowing orange eyes. She waves you over towards the table while she goes to the icebox.
"Take a seat, take a seat! Welcome to my home, want a drink?"
"A... anything is fine."
Yamame comes back to the table with two bottles, placing one in front of you and popping the top. You pick up the bottle and read the label: root beer.
"You're certainly not what I expected for a youkai."
Yamame takes a drink of her root beer before smirking at you. "Same to you, Human."
After a moment, her eyes glance at your left arm that still hangs limply by your side. Putting her bottle down, she hops down from her chair and scurries around the table, demanding, "Lemme see your arm."
She reaches out for your left arm, but you instinctively draw back from her. Her eyes narrow as she frowns.
"No really, lemme help. I'm not going to hurt you, okay?"
>root beer I'm on to her shit. Her friendly, flirtatious manner, and these strange outsider drinks, are all a ruse aimed at getting us to lower our guard whereupon she will immediately eat us. We must not let her anywhere near our personage. Youkai scum pull tricks like this all the time, didn't you know?
You turn a bit so Yamame can get a good look at your wounded limb. You're wearing a sleeveless shirt so the dark blue bruise is plainly visible on your upper arm. An area of the skin is torn, the edges flecked with blood and dirt.
"Hold on a sec." she says as she runs over to a cabinet and rummages around in it before coming back with two pieces of cloth. Yamame uses one piece to clean the wound as best she can, then presses the other against your arm firmly, but not so hard as to hurt you too much. You bear the pain as she tends to your injury; as she works intently, you find your eyes drawn to her hair. It's the first time you've seen this golden color up close. There are very few in the village with similar color; Master Kirisame was one such person you recall.
All of a sudden, Yamame tenses up for a moment with a grunt. You're about to ask what's wrong, but your words freeze on your tongue as you see her reach down under the hem of her dress and start pulling out... string? It's thick and white, and Yamame starts wrapping it around your arm to tie down the cloth. You can feel it stick to your skin, much like that other sticky goop that was on your shoulder. A cold shiver runs up your spine.
"What... what is that?"
Yamame looks up at you with a face that asks if you're dumb. "It's thread, can't you see? I gotta tie this cloth down."
Your throat grows a bit dry and the hairs on the back of your neck stand at attention. There's only a few creatures you know that can produce string from their bodies, such as silkworms.
Or sp... sp... spide...
You cut off the train of thought before you start to react to the abhorrent idea. No no, let's just assume she's a silkworm youkai... who for some reason lives in an underground cave. Yeah, yeah that's fine, there's plenty of weird beings that live around here, certainly! Besides, she looks just like a human, it's not like she has eight legs or anything. Calm yourself, there you go.
"I figure it's pretty crazy for a regular human like you to see a youkai doing her thing up close, huh?" Yamame asks with a teasing grin as she stands up straight. The dressing is securely wrapped around your arm in Yamame's thread.
"That's only temporary though. I should take you to see the doctor to get your arm properly set so it can heal. I dunno how fast you humans can heal, but Genka says it's nowhere as quick as us youkai."
Yamame walks back around the table to sit at her chair, grabbing her root beer for another swig. "I gotta say, Genka taught us a lot about you humans that we'd take centuries to figure out on own. Like this root beer! I had no idea such a tasty drink existed."
By now your nerves have settled, so you're able to respond clearly after you finish taking a drink. "Actually, there's quite a few drinks like this back in the village. It's an interesting story how we came to have these since they were invented in the outside world."
Yamame hummed to herself in thought before replying. "The outside world... Genka spoke of there being a larger world outside of this one. I've been out above ground quite a few times, but to think there's even more to see out there..."
After downing the rest of your root beer, you ask, "Who is this doctor you speak of? Is Genka the same person? Sounds like you respect him, or her?"
"Yeah, Genka came from above ground a long time ago. I don't remember how long she's been here, but it was before I was born. She lives not too far from here and both teaches and cares for youkai and the rare outsider that wanders in like yourself."
Finishing off her soda, Yamame hops down from her seat and waves for you to follow. You remember your torch this time as you get up, and light the now-dry stick as you leave the den behind you.
The two of you return to the tunnel, and this time take a turn down a separate path that you obviously couldn't see earlier due to the lack of lighting. The walls and ground here are dry, unlike the tunnel leading to the river. Small and large rocks and outcroppings alike litter the walls, reminding you that you're still deep down in a underground cave.
How you're going to get back is a question you haven't really been able to address yet. Hopefully you can figure something out...
Yamame is talkative during the walk, detailing her last encounter with a human that came down here.
"So, after the red-white one blew away some of the cave fairies, the black-white human shot a bunch of colorful stars at me that I could barely dodge! Well they didn't look like real stars, but these were still pretty. The lights also reminded me of the glowworm youkai who live down here. Those two eventually got the best of me after a long tough fight, but I let 'em win since I realized by then they weren't bad people. I later saw 'em down in the Ancient City fighting Yuugi! Now that was intense stuff!"
By this point, Yamame was waving her arms around and making motions in the air with her hands as she described the danmaku battle. You're familiar with the spellcard system that was regulated by the Hakurei Shrine, it after all was one of the main things keeping humans safe from predatory youkai.
"Sometime later I'm totally gonna take you down to visit the Ancient City. I've been planning to go down soon myself, so it works out!"
Finally, you reach your destination... a house in a wide open cavern. No matter how you looked at it, it was an ordinary-seeming house like one you'd find in the village. A little different in architecture, but still!
"She lives here?" "Yup. What, you thought she lived in a cave?" "Well, yes. I mean, you do." "Den! Caves are for bats and toads. I live in a den, it's different!"
The door opens while Yamame is staunchly defending her living situation. From within out steps an older - well, appearance-wise anyway - girl dressed in a silk robe top and a short, frilled skirt. Her hair is black like yours, tied back in several braids and adorned with a kanzashi hairpiece on top of her head.
"Yamame? Here to listen to my stories again? Oh, you brought a visitor."
The girl walks out of the doorway and bows her head in your direction. "Welcome, young sir. I am Genka, a simple sage who knows a few things about medicine and the world, nothing more."
You bow respectfully in return and introduce yourself. She looks younger than you, but she exudes a palpable aura of wisdom of which you find yourself in awe.
"Genka, his arm is broken, can you help, please?" requests Yamame, in a tone much more subdued and polite than when she was talking to you.
"Of course. Please, come inside."
The three of you enter the house one after the other. As you look around, your eyes widen in surprise as you see all the item-filled shelves and cabinets lining the walls. Bottles, jars, boxes, plants, roots, and various other objects you can only assume have to do with medicine occupy these shelves and tables. Genka leads you to a bench away from most of these items and has you sit down there. Yamame takes a seat across from the two of you as the sage doctor unwraps the dressing from your arm and smiles wryly at what she sees.
"Yamame, you need to work on how you clean wounds. There's still some dirt here." "S.. sorry, Genka. I was kinda rushing so I could get him here instead." "Well, with your power, we won't have to worry about any illnesses that could come from infection."
Yamame's power? You wonder over this as Genka carefully and skillfully treats your wound. After a few moments, she gets up and goes to one of the shelves, and comes back with a small mug filled with a syrupy concoction.
"This is a special medicine of my own creation, "mafutsusan." It will greatly reduce any pain you may experience while I tend to your arm. It's best to drink it in one go so the effect kicks in immediately."
The mug is hot to the touch, as if it were tea that was just boiled. Taking a cautious sip first to test the temperature, you then chug down the entire mug, the hot fluid rushing down your throat with a recognizable tang. It's mixed with wine, you realize, only moments before you suddenly black out.
When you come to, you find yourself lying down on the padded bench, your arm wrapped firmly to a wooden splint and resting in a sling. Genka stands over you with an impish smile across her face.
"How do you feel?" "I don't know, am I supposed to feel anything right now?" "Exactly."
Seeing the worried look on your face, she hides a giggle with her hand before saying, "Don't worry, the effects will wear off within the hour. Depending on the patient, mafutsusan will either just make you numb to any and all sensations or go as far as knocking you out. You've been unconscious for about three hours."
You notice now that the two of you are alone: Yamame is nowhere to be seen. "Where's Yamame?"
"She was bored waiting for you to wake up, so she went off. She should be back soon."
As if on cue, you hear the door open and Yamame's voice call out Genka's name. The short youkai approaches the two of you with her hands clasped behind her head. "Oh goody, you're awake, Human," she exclaims as she sits down at the foot of the bench with her legs crossed beneath her. Genka glances at her quizzically.
"Yamame, why aren't you addressing him by his name?" "'Cuz it's boring! It's like being a bug youkai and having 'bug' in your name."
You can only give a weak grin at Yamame's critique of your name. Sure, it's a very ordinary and common name in the village, but still...
"Anyway, can he stay here Genka? He got himself lost coming down here and is gonna need a place to stay for a while." "I have extra rooms, so that's fine. Food may be an issue, however." "Oh right, you barely need to eat. Well, I was gonna go down to the Ancient City eventually soon, so he can just come with me!"
Yamame looks at you and gives a thumbs-up and a toothy grin. A rather sharp toothy grin, but a grin it is. "That good with you, Human?"
Do you: [ ] Agree to go [ ] Refuse [ ] Ask about the Ancient City
Ten Desires is kicking my ass. Can't beat Seiga's team-up with Yoshika... yet. Wish I had done this update before the game came out, since my original design and concept for Genka was very similar to Seiga. I took some time to change what I had for her and rewrite parts of this post.
That good with you? you hear again ring in your mind’s ear. The words repair to you piecemeal, with all the due of a stubborn mule. What is this? Your eyes rise to stir a curl of ache from behind. A sore erupts in your brain, splashing around with tiny prickles of pain. Your hand – the free hand, the healthy hand – snaps to meet with it on its own accord, kneading the ache from your temple. The world, for a moment, appears to swim.
When next it settles, you find Yamame’s grin cracked by the wait. Or perhaps the display; though little match it a youkai to sympathise with such human frailties. Either way the grin is broken. Your hand quits is stroking, as you realise – with wonderfully embarrassing tardiness – you have not given up an answer. But you will. That good with you?
You release the tension with a jape. “That? Yes. Me? Yet to be seen.”
The silk-weaver belts her thumbs in the ribbons of her dress. “That pause did nothing for my enthusiasm, you know,” she marks with – indeed – rather more candour than the trouble-spot excitement. “Talk about cold water... Are you sure,” she appeals to your reason, “that it is good? Hell, I’ll carry you if I must; but I can’t vouch for your health then. If you must rest, so be it.”
“Yes, rest,” Genka, the witch-doctor, supplies. “This is what you should be doing, not running about wanton with... But,” she adds, detecting the heat of Yamame’s glare on her back, “it is your call in the end. I am but a simple sage; what do I know?”
“Or perhaps not,” the doctor concedes with a smirk. “But you’ve already made your decision, haven’t you? Human?”
You sketch a shrug you hope – what with half of it unavailable with your broken arm – has enough sugar in it to sweeten them both. From behind the doctor’s shoulder, Yamame, fixing one golden bang behind her ear, presents a victorious smile.
The smile is crushed out with a will a second later, but there it was nonetheless.
“Then you will go.”
You shift your legs to the floor, standing.
Shakily standing, but still. You decide to blame your current unrest on the doctor’s hellish concoction. It is as good an explanation as any and, with Yamame assisting you to verticality, you can’t be persuaded to trouble Genka with it just yet. No, not just yet. Time for this will be plenty – later.
You look down on your feet, suppressing the recalling memory of your vertiginous plunge those few hours before. The hours seem distant – not much unlike your feet. They are bare, and visibly disturbed by the absence of their apparel.
“My shoes?” you ask.
“Out by the door,” Yamame teases your ear, half-helping and half-hauling you out to the hall. “You didn’t think now I’d took and made off with them, did you?”
Yamame giggles. “Oh, well-crafted shoes aren’t easily come by here in the Underworld, I grant you; but I can’t help but feel I’d much prefer boots over boats.”
“Are you saying I have huge feet?”
“That’s exactly what I’m saying.” She almost releases you and you almost fall. “You giant baby, you.”
You can only squelch your face at the jab.
Yamame snorts laughter, while you chastise yourself inwardly for ever rising to the bait.
THE FRONT DOOR swivels and opens to a larger space.
An underground wind blows through your hair, woken from some unseen passage or shaft overhead; and so it does through Yamame’s. From the doorsill of the house, to the threshold of the farthest torchlight, it is possible to make out a well-trodden path – a ribbon or stripe of rock-floor more buffed and burnished than the environing stone. The indoor light fades by degrees from your eyes, and ghost-like, the walls of the cavern emerge from the gloom – tall, dark surfaces, intervened by tracts of ridges, drip-water gullies, rune-like crisscrosses carven in the rock.
At the far end, almost lost on your human sight, you see – sense, maybe – the mouth of an opening. This must be whence Yamame had guided you; but, dulled by injury and pain, your brain foundered to record the experience. Small matter, you shoulder it aside with a thought. What of your previous memories of this world that there are, they are brief and painful besides.
As you taste of the icy underground air, Genka comes out of the house to bid the two of you a fare-well. Only now, in this open place, does she make suddenly a striking figure. The robes on her back are tattered and frayed, but with good use, not age; and what a tall woman this is! Fully a third taller than Yamame, almost coming up to contest your own – not entirely bad – height. You were never the tallest of the muster, perhaps yes; but the Human Village has ever produced hefty men as a rule. These underground passages should bring forth much shorter stock. For the safety of their foreheads, if nothing else.
Yet here she is, the doctor. Staring down the small silk-weaver’s protest which you failed to hear. And frowning!
“—Mine now,” she says. “So be careful.”
Yamame folds her arms in a barrier across her breast, indignant. “I am older than you, Genka. I am stronger, and more familiar with the Underworld. Telling me to ‘be careful;’ that’s almost like telling something like... like... like something very obvious to someone who very obviously knows it. Yes, I’ll be careful; do not you worry at it. Worse humans have been shepherded through these tunnels, and in worse escort. So quit it.”
One of Genka’s brows climbs at the remark. Then the other. Then she shakes her head. “I don’t like what you’re groping at, but I do like you, Yamame – human or not. So I’ll forgive you for just then.” Her expression softens. “All I ask is that you keep athwart of danger – today at the least. Can you do that for me?”
“For you, for him, for whomever else,” Yamame sighs, “I will.”
The silk-weaver makes a mocking hmph! “Why, I wouldn’t want all your work to go to waste now, would I? No, I won’t kill him, Genka; and with a bit of luck, we might just keep him out of other harms’ way.”
You would go cold at such free bargaining of your welfare, but a laugh from Genka stays your temperature level.
“Things have changed, no?” smiles the doctor.
To which Yamame does as well. “Yes,” she says. “... Human.”
Something unspoken passes between the two – or would have, had you not realised the last word was directed at you. And though you noticed the tiny – tiniest, almost imperceptible – quiver of Genka’s lips, you give it a pass, clearing your throat.
“Yes?” you ask.
Yamame breaks the gaze she was holding with Genka and takes you under one arm. With a pearly grin, and not a care, she starts for the cavern’s far entrance, again tugging you along how only this buoyant a girl might do.
“Come, now. Come,” she urges you along. “I will help you. Come.”
You nod, stumbling your best to keep pace.
At the back end of the hollow, before the doorstep of the house, the tall figure of Genka walks you with her eyes until the first turning, before at last pivoting on her heel back toward the door.
And it is only at the last instance – the very precipice of the very last second – that you capture a last glimpse of the sage-doctor, this strange doctor who has healed you: swiping an open hand, fast and decisive, over and above her braids jet as the night; quick and sure – though not at all natural.
And as she blinks out of sight beyond that first turning, you think – just think, nothing more – that you saw a flicker of the black shifting into hay-like blond.
When I found this story back at the top of /Underground/, I thought the author had finally come back. But no, it was some faggot who didn't even try to emulate OP's writing style. You only use one voice, YAF: your own. Drop this obsession with purple prose, using a person's occupation in place of their name and words like 'jape' or 'vertiginous' which nobody uses in modern speech.
And to show you didn't care, you contradicted something that was mentioned in the last update: >Yeah, Genka came from above ground a long time ago. I don't remember how long she's been here, but it was before I was born.
with this: >I am older than you, Genka.
Although if you're aiming to be a hack like Brian Herbert, I guess this is a start.
>>12242 I find writing like this to be grating. It is one thing to use the words sparingly, but to use them in pretty much every possible chance? That's a bit much. It's like he's trying to appear more intelligent than he really is. Frankly, I am not impressed.
>>12247 >It's like he's trying to appear more intelligent than he really is. Christ, man, get these inferiority complexes out of my face. I guarantee you I am no more intelligent (or indeed no less) than I, well, am. For instance, I can’t mentally micromanage more than two units at a time in any given RTS! How blooming useless is that?
Also, for whatever this matters, I read a lot of books, so this kind of vocabulary isn’t exactly alien to me. Take a hint?
You know what, scratch that last remark. That was a little incisive. I’m sorry.
Say, do the next update for me yourself, show me how it’s done? Hm?
I 100% honestly, genuinely, sincerely forgot about that one. September was a crazy month for me. I can’t imagine how... I don’t even... I can’t...
How in the unholy necro ASSFUCK did I forget about that one? I am banging my head on a wall here. Why didn’t you remind me earlier? I didn’t make many posts in the last month, true, but I still did make a few; you could have fucking reminded me any time.
Son of a bitch.
How did this happen?
>>12255 And why didn’t you remind me, so-nun-desk-car-for-brains?
>>12258 Well, you made another story in the shorts section with the same character and the same artists in the op pic. I, for one, assumed that you got fed up with the other story and decided to do a 180º turn
>>12262 The short was posted before the /shrine/ story, though. So it wasn’t a case of me dropping the story in favour of the short. I just...
... I don’t know what the fuck happened. Must have been a brainfart of garganormous proportions. So... Shall I refresh my love for Benben? Or are you so sick of my shit at this point you’d rather I fucked off back to Segmentum Dunceum?
>>12263 I'll go with "go back to segmentum". Your advice is bad, your posting is bad, your writing is marginal and purple. Basically you don't contribute in any meaningful way, and I'd say that your "advice" in the /blue/ thread is, on the whole, worse than if no advice was given in the first place.