Unknown city, unknown country. Year 2009. A young boy with his father is walking back home from the grocery store, just outside their quite large house. The boy asks his father something, to which the father replies with a laughter and ruffles his son's hair. The question which the father passed so lightly was none other than: "Daddy, what happens after we die? Can I live forever?" Almost anyone else would react in the same way as the father did, just explaining that some things are too big for even brave fathers and that some matters just have always been like that, and a mere human can't do anything about it.
This father, however, felt a small surge of guilt deep in his heart. This was not due to passing such a serious question with a simple white lie, but because of the fact that the father had a power to make everyone immortal. Just in the city centre there was a machine long ago forgotten, just being a simple statue for most observes. The machine was black, numerous with cogs and valves, standing around three metres high and two wide. Some even thought it was an old beer brewery. No-one knew who exactly built this device, just that it had been there almost as long as the city had existed. And this machine, good reader, is the central point of our story. This machine could make everyone on the planet Earth immortal.
The father arrives back to their home, telling his son to place the food to fridge and cupboards. As the boy hurries away, the father takes the stairs up. He opens the door to the bedroom and enters it, quietly moving to sit on the bed. There is a woman sleeping on the bed. Even though the woman is sleeping peacefully, the man feels a tear coming out from his eye - the woman is dying. The machines beep quietly as her heart makes some final attempts to keep her body alive. She doesn't have many more days left before cancer wins the many year long battle bringing an end to all her pain for good.
The woman wakes up, slowly turning her weary head to face her husband: "Jonathan? I had a beatiful dream..." Jonathan moves closer as his wife speaks, her voice being only a whisper due to her weak condition. "I was walking in this beatiful forest. There were pines everywhere with snow on their branches. I could see a small house with a barn in the nearby opening, and you were there fixing one of those machines of yours with Phil trying to help you... I was standing there, just looking at you happily working on the machine for a while. Soon you noticed me and waved to me. You said something to Phil, but I couldn't hear anything. Phil noticed me too, and with a small wrench in his hand he started waving to me as well."
The woman takes a small break, eyes looking at something only she can see.
She continues with a really weak voice: "And all I ever wanted to do was watch you wave there...! Soon you stopped waving and continued to tinker with that machine of yours, and my time had come to return to the deep forest. I slowly turned my back at you and began my journey towards the beatiful forest, unable to see the horizon. And as I stepped forwards, with every step everything was more and more beatiful, the pines were greener and the snow more white. The air was chilly, but not cold. I kept on walking and soon I was facing a large field, filled with snow and people who were just standing there, watching me."
Jonathan listens to the story quietly, knowing where this is going.
"Jonathan... I have had enough. We did all we could... Just let me go." She looks at Jonathan with weary eyes.
"Lily... You know I can't do it." Jonathan replies carefully. "I can't let go."
Phil, the son, finishes placing their purchases to the cupboards and wonders where his father went. He walks up the stairs and notices that the bedroom door is open. He quietly enters it and sees his mother, lying silent on the bed, with Jonathan crying quietly against the shoulders of this now dead woman.
Phil asks: "Daddy? What's wrong with mommy?"
Jonathan doesn't reply at all, just quietly sobbing there for a while. Phil's eyes start to get watery and the boy quickly runs away. He runs through their yard, to the attic of their carage. There is small fort built out of old car seats and matresses up there, and it is a place where only he can fit. It is his hideout, own special place.
Phil refuses to cry. He is a man, powerful man who can face anything and yet still proceed forwards.
"Hi Phil! What's up?" A girl crawls in to the hideout through the entrance.
"Nothing." Phil says and grabs a comic book from a pile, hiding his face behind it. The girl looks at Phil and pokes him to head over the comic book.
"We promised that there are no secrets in the attic! Now tell me, I wanna know!"
Phil doesn't respond, just sitting there quietly behind his comic book.
"Come on Phil! Did someone bully you? Let's go beat him!" The girl grabs the comic book and rips it off from Phil's hands. She is faced with the crying face of Phil.
"Mommy... died..." Phil manages to say.
The girl gasps and immediately jumps to hug Phil, just holding the boy for a while. The two stay in the attic for a long time, just holding each other.
"It is the very same sort of cancer that took Lily away. It seems like it has already reached a state where we can only hope for a miracle. I am so sorry Jonathan." The doctor finishes speaking, looking at Jonathan sitting in front of his desk.
"Why can't you find a fucking cure?! It has been SEVEN years since Lily died and you still can't find a cure?! You call yourselves doctors?!" Jonathan shouts at the doctor, standing up slamming his fist to the table.
"I can assure you, Jonathan, we are doing everything we can. The best doctors are investigating the cancer almost day and night." The doctor says with a sad voice. "It... It isn't just your family. The cancer seems to be spreading. More and more people show similar symptoms."
Jonathan still doesn't feel calm, but he sits back to his chair.
"The disease is a true mystery. Usually when it is discovered, it is already too late to do anything else than wait. It is something completely new in the ranks of cancers."
The two men sit there for a while in silence. The clock on the wall makes a small but sharp sound as the minute pointer moves forward. Indeed the mysterious cancer had been taking over the world for a few years now. Seemingly appearing from nowhere, but still all around the world at the same time.
Jonathan considers his words for a moment and then says: "What if I said I have a cure?"
The doctor looks at Jonathan for a while over his eyeglasses: "If you really had one, then you would have told me long ago."
He starts his story: "In 1991 I was in Geneva on a business trip. I was helping with some of devices that had been ordered to a scientific project back then, which I can now just tell was CERN. I had already worked there for a few weeks when I got lost in the woods during a small walk. I walked around for a few hours trying to find my way to the forest path which I had been following."
The doctor listens but feels like this isn't going anywhere: "Jonathan, I am a busy man as you know and--"
"I have a point, just listen to me!" Jonathan interrupts angrily. "I found a village. It was a quite sad sight really, the people were burdened with hunger and disease, they were wearing rags so dirty that you couldn't tell if they were red or blue by the color and they didn't have any medicine. As I entered the village, they welcomed me with smiles on their faces, offering me all the food they could and giving me shelter for the night."
"I simply accepted as apparently the nearest road was almost 15km away and it was getting dark. I was also very hungry after wandering in the woods for so many hours, so I decided to stay there. During the evening meal I looked at some of the people and I was horrified by their condition. Their skin was dead on multiple locations, some had even maggots crawling on them. If there could be zombies in the real life, I'd say they were them by the looks of it."
The doctor seems to get a bit more interested at his point.
He continues the story: "Soon one of them noticed me staring at his cheek which had a few holes on it. He asked me why I was staring, and I just simply said that the people of his village seemed a bit ill. He just simply laughed and told me that it had been like that for many decades already. As the conversation continued, he told me about a disease that their village faced almost a century ago. It was one that killed a person in a matter of months as the symptoms started appearing, and no medicine managed to defeat the disease."
The doctor asks: "So what were the symptoms?"
"Weariness, fainting, loss of appetite, fever, eventually leading to plague-like smyptoms. It was the very same disease that took Lily away. But this village... I am quite certain that they are still there, alive and as healthy as they were when I first arrived there. They had a cure."
As Jonathan mentions this, the doctor simply asks: "Well why didn't you use this cure of theirs to Lily then?"
A small moment goes until Jonathan replies: "It has a price. They told me that a stranger arrived to their village as their hope for survival was long lost. Almost everyone had already fallen to the disease and the rest were just waiting for the inevitable. This stranger brought a strange device with him, a large round black object. The stranger gathered the remaining villagers to face him, and told them that they can be cured, but there would be a price. They would stay alive, but the disease would slowly take over their body, but it would be unable to kill them. The disease would remain, but their body would grow to use the disease as a life force instead."
"The villagers just accepted, ready to do anything to survive and save their loved ones. The stranger operated the device for a while, then told the villagers that they have been cured. Almost instantly everyone started to feel better and there was a grand feast to honor their saviour. During the feast, the stranger told the villagers that the device would remain here in case more people got sick, and teached the villagers how to operate it. The next morning, the stranger was gone."
The doctor is still listening, wondering how the story continues.
"The curse of this device was none other than immortality. The disease did not disappear - it kept on eating their bodies away, but unable to die, they just remained as shells of meat, just holding the disease imprisoned inside them."
A laughter interrupts the story: "Immortality? Haha, Jonathan, you had me there for a while!"
Jonathan says: "It is true! The very same device is at the centre of our town. You know that 'beer brewery' as people call it nowdays? The very same device. Except that ours is a lot larger."
"Good Jonathan, I am a doctor. I don't believe in fairy tales like this. I understand that you are under heavy stress now an--"
"Silence! The device works! Do you know how hard for me it was to watch Lily die while I had the power to cure her, even though cursing her forever?! Do you have any idea how often I went there to just tinker with the device, not sure if I wanted to use it or not?"
"Well if there is a cure," the doctor interrupts. "why didn't you tell anyone before?"
Jonathan stays silent for a moment: "I was scared. I already found out that the device is much stronger the one in Geneva. This one is connected to numerous other devices as well. I am not sure what would happen if someone was to operate it."
"You are serious, aren't you Jonathan?" The doctor starts to look serious.
"Yes. More than ever." Jonathan replies with a serious look. "And I am almost ready to use the device. To save Phil. He's still young and he still has a long life ahead. But does anyone want to live forever?"
The doctor just says: "Jonathan, I've known you for, what, 8 years now? And not a single time have you joked around. If you really are serious about this mysterious immortality machine, prove it."
Jonathan stands up and leaves the room angrily, slamming the door shut behind him.
The streets are filled with disease, fear and chaos. The year 2018 arrived with a stronger pandemia than the world had ever seen. First arrived the curfew, followed by national State of Emergency, then arrived the martial law and finally the whole country was holding together by a small string of meat, almost falling to complete chaos. Jonathan had indeed proved that the device was very real and it could cure the world. The leading doctors and scientists were fighting with each other, not sure whether to use or not use the device. Jonathan had already decided that he doesn't want anyone to suffer the curse of eternity, and thus remained from operating the device.
Phil then had shown some unspeakable strength and was still fighting the disease after contracting it over three years ago. He was constantly examined by the leading doctors of the world as they fought to find out the reason for this strange resistance. Even though his body first seemed to fall to the disease, it didn't. Instead he started to get better, then worse, then again better. No-one knew what was the reason for this and as he was locked up in a hospital for half a year for research, his condition started to go worse and worse. So it was assumed that something in his family, house or friends was the curing element.
Nothing was found. Soon the doctors gave up on him, mostly due to contracting the disease themselves and slowly dying away. Some people were still healthy, but Jonathan wasn't one of these lucky ones. He had contracted the disease just recently and his body was still putting up a fight, but destined to fall soon. Phil was mostly spending his days with his girlfriend who had yet to contract the disease. This girl was the very same who had been Phil's childhood friend, one of the very few ones. It was not that Phil was anti-social, just that they had to move constantly due to Jonathan's work.
A few months later the house of parliament was almost empty as almost none of the ministers and congressmen were alive. The remaining congressmen decided to put an end to this, and led by Harry L. Fillmore they made the decision to use the device. Lots of people resisted this decision and they put up a guard at the device, hoping to stop anyone from using it. The outcome was a battle between the two sides, resulting in everyone just shooting, killing and hacking anyone they saw. During his battle, Harry Fillmore himself made it to the device and operated it.
Everyone started screaming in agony at the same time as their bodies started to battle against this disease. What the device did was change the genetical structure of every animal on the planet to become the disease. Instead of curing anyone, everyone just became an embodiment of this disase, unable to die. Their corpses began to slowly rot away, soon only to grow back, then rot again. It was common to see pieces of human body lying on the streets, people trying to shoot, burn or electrocute themselves dead. Nothing worked as they were now immortal.
As the battle broke out, Jonathan told Phil and Phil's girlfriend to get in the car as they were leaving the city. They quickly packed some food to their car and drove out from the city. As they had been driving for a few hours, the pain suddenly struck each of them. Jonathan lost control of the car causing it to start swinging around madly, ending up driving off the road and colliding with a tree.
But they were now immortal. All of them had some serious injuries from the crash and those injuries would have been fatal if it wasn't for their recently gained immortality. These three persons looked at their damaged car, started unpacking their food and marched through the woods to their old summer cottage - and that's where they were going to be living now that world was thrown into a rotting chaos filled with pain and insanity.
Phil is outside in the woods, just staring at the beatiful landscape. The white snow is decorating the harsh winter and there are some squirrels running around on the pine branches. He almost recalls this scene from somewhere, but he can't quite remember from where. Maybe it was a dream or something. He then does the final strikes on the logs and gathers the firewood, walking towards their cottage. Jonathan seems to have awoken and is fiddling with the immortality device again. The poor man really thinks he can save mankind from this curse.
"Ah, hello there Phil. Hina made some breakfast to us already." Jonathan greets from inside the machine.
Phil greets Jonathan and takes the firewood inside, entering their cottage. He is welcomed by a flavour of delicious breakfast waiting for him and his mood surely increases. After putting some fire to the fireplace, he takes a seat and starts eating his breakfast. It isn't much, but Hina can surely do some magical cooking in a world like this where it is hard to get anything fresh.
He takes a bite on the bread and wonders his life. It has been two years since they moved here to forest, so he is 20 years old now. Somehow the disease has not taken over his or Hina's body, but Jonathan is suffering like everyone else is. Every morning the house is filled with nasty smell of rotting flesh and Jonathan wakes up crying in pain, filling himself with homemade painkillers which Hina makes. As they had been living here in the forest for half a year, Jonathan went to the city and somehow brought the device with him in order to try reversing the effects. When asked how he exatcly brought the device all the way here to outback, he says it involved being so crude and merciless to the "savages" that he would rather not talk about it.
If there only was a way to help him, Phil would surely do anything to help his father...
[ ] Play
[ ] If play, write-in what is good/bad, and what I need to develop in order to become a good writer
[ ] Do not play
[ ] If not play, write-in what is good/bad, and what I need to develop in order to become a good writer
If play, choose your character
[ ] Jonathan
[ ] Phil
Hello all. This is Gekko writing you a story. I am a thp.com addict (*people applaud* "Hello Gekko!") and also a finnfag/alcoholfag/coffeefag/readfag, 20 years old, student, blood type O+. I sort of had this weird dream last night and I wanted to try writing it down. As I hit the 10 000 character mark, I decided to make this into something greater than a normal dream diary entry, and here we are. Like said above in your choices, if you feel like this story isn't good enough for playing, you can just tell me. I am hoping to try writing as I've never really done any serious writing.
This is a, what, 4 thread entry? Well, it is okay because I wanted to try writing all sort of stuff to my first "test" if I can call it like that - dialogue, narration, character thinking, representing the situation... Also I wanted to be somewhat strict on the setting for now. I love write-ins, so when you think you can best me, go ahead.
[x] Do not play
Structure is all over the place. You switch between active and passive voice indiscriminately.
Sometimes there's a narrator, sometimes a character takes perspective, and the transition seems 'forced'.
Commas are used liberally in run-on sentences.
It's not bad, but it makes it hard to read and follow. Work on polishing your narrative, and try again.
Comment noted and hammered to my skull. Some terrible punctuation usage... Oh well, I'll keep on writing as that's how I learn.
You suddenly feel someone pushing your shoulders a bit. As lean your head back you are faced by Hina, who wishes good morning and gives you a kiss to your forehead. If the food wasn't enough to make you feel great... Well now this surely brings your spirits up. There is something magical in this girl that hits your spot. Sometimes it feels like she is sucking all your sadness away and replacing with it with a warm feeling deep inside you. Hina joins your breakfast and you eat silently for a moment.
"I guess Jonathan is working on the machine again?" Hina starts the conversation while taking some bread from the basket.
"Yes. He was all buried in his work again. I don't know, but he seems like he's been getting more depressed lately." You reply sipping some of the herb flavoured water which could be called tea in some occasions. Hina sighs and looks out the window at the back of the device, which is occupying most of the yard. Noises of metal hitting metal can be heard all the way inside as Jonathan bangs something together.
You take a good look at Hina. She seems to have grown somewhat tired lately. Has she been working too hard collecting herbs and food outside? Is she sick maybe? You better observe her closely for a few days. You don't want to see her become a pile of rotting agony after all. The breakfast proceeds with typical conversation: wondering how the people in cities are doing, how the winter has been so harsh this year and how it keeps getting harder and harder to find proper plants for eating.
As you are cleaning the dishes you take a moment to appreciate your father's skill yet again. It is mostly thanks to him that you have electricity created by solar and wind power, running water made from melting snow and pumped from the nearby lake and a working car. Gasoline seems to be getting harder and harder to find and going to the city for more is always a sad experience. Not many people come to streets anymore and seeing all the suffering just makes it impossible to live there.
Your dish washing in interrupted by a knock on the door. You and Hina take a look at each other wondering what would anyone be doing this far from the city. You go open the door.
At the door is standing a woman. She's wearing a large white dress with red decorations and her hair is dark-orange color. She seems almost identical your mother and you almost say it aloud, but manage to hold your tongue. You can see Jonathan climbing out from his machine and taking a look at the visitor.
"Well boy! Don't just stand there. Greet our guest!" Jonathan shouts from the top of his ladders. You realize that you've been just staring at this beatiful woman for a few seconds.
"Ah, good morning. May I help you?" You utter.
"Well, I am a bit lost... I was going to the city, but I lost my way..." What the hell? The road's right behind her! "Would you kindly give me some directions? I've been gone for a while and I need to return to my home."
Does she always give this much information when she speaks?
"Um, that road right there? It goes all the way to city." You point to the road. "It is quite a long walk though... Don't you have a car or even a bicycle?"
Hina comes from the kitchen while drying a plate to some towels: "Good morning, madame. Are you not feeling cold in that dress?" You just notice that she must really be feeling cold, wearing only a dress and really small shoes. Doesn't snow get in to so low shoes?
The woman simply asks: "Cold?"
Hina goes to a nearby closet and takes out a pair of proper winter shoes and a thick jacket: "Here, you can have these. Even though we are all immortal you still don't want to catch a cold."
Wait a second. The woman is not infected by the cancer? She seems all well.
Hina hands the clothes to the lady and helps her to wear them. You notice that the woman's feet are almost blue from the cold.
 Offer to take her to the city. You have a car after all
 Invite her in. She needs some warmth for those feet of hers
I am actually hanging there already, but thanks for the tip. I'm sure they can offer me some help.
You can't just let the poor lady go out with frozen feet like that. Immortal or not, it still hurts to get your feet amputated.
"Oh come in already. Let's get you warmed up." You say and step out of the way pointing the lady to step in. She hesitates for a small moment and then slowly moves in without saying a word.
Hina guides the lady to sit in front of your fireplace. You catch a strange odor as they move past you, almost like numerous flowers mixed with natural scents of spring. It's a very comforting smell... As if this frozen lady was a beacon of light in middle of this rotten, cold winter.
"Phil? Close the door or we will all end up like her." Hina interrupts your pondering and you close the door.
The lady indeed seems to be frozen: her feet are covered in frost bites, her fingers are all black and there are numerous red stains on her hands. You wonder how she is even able to walk at all.
"Poor soul! Just how long have you been out there dressed like this?" Hina worries as she puts some more wood to the fireplace. "From where do you come from anyway? There aren't any other cottages nearby."
"Gensokyo." She looks at the flames passionately. "I need to bring them a spring." Well she surely talks strange. Maybe it's the cold that's making her a bit odd. You take a look at Hina who now seems to be staring at the lady. She mouths the word "gensokyo" silenty and seems to be thinking something really hard.
"Hina? What's wrong?" You put a hand on her shoulder. "Hina?"
"I... I need to go there too." Hina stands up suddenly and gives you a very serious look. "To Gensokyo."
Okay. She wants to go to a place called Gensokyo all of sudden.
"And where might that 'Gensokyo' be?" You ask.
"In Japan." Jonathan enters the room wiping his oil stained hands to a towel. "It is a large closed area guarded by a militia of some sort. I once went there with Lily."
"You have been in Gensokyo?!" Hina suddenly asks Jonathan. "Do you know how to get there?"
Jonathan looks at Hina for a while. "Last time we just got lucky. We walked around for a while and ended up inside the area on our own."
You feel somewhat left out from the conversation. "So am I the only one who doesn't know what it is?"
Jonathan gives the dirty towel to you and smirks. "Boy, learn to listen. Nothing more than an area inside Japan. Beatiful no matter when you visit the place. Actually I wouldn't mind visiting the place myself either."
"You want to go to Japan? Just why... well how do you exactly plan on going there?" Your voice might be getting a bit loud by now. "And why?"
"It would be nice to see the spring there." Jonathan continues in casual way. "Last time it was winter and we didn't stay there very long."
You turn to Hina who is now back at helping the lady warm up. "Hina? Do you want to explain me what's going on all of sudden?"
"Well it is complicated." Hina says putting a finger on her lips. "It is a very special region. To be honest, I didn't even remember it existed until our guest over here mentioned it."
"So who is she?" Asks Jonathan finally paying some attention to the woman sitting in front of him. "A youkai?"
"No. She's a fairy." Hina says knowingly. "A very special seasonal fairy."
Did she just call her a fairy? And what's a youkai?
The lady now looks up at you and says quietly: "My name is Lily White. Pleased to meet you."
Jonathan gasps and quickly walks to grab this Lily from shoulders. He takes a good look at Lily's face and then asks with a voice you can barely hear: "Lily? Is that you? Are you still there?"
Lily seems to be scared now that an unknown man is shaking her from shoulders. Hina goes to help Lily and rips Jonathan's hands away.
"Mother?" The question just comes from your lips.
Lily turns to face you and seems very confused from all this sudden attention.
"No, Lily is gone, get it?" Hina looks at you both. "Even though a woman with the same name and looks is in front of you, that doesn't bring the dead back. That's the way of life."
You realize how silly it really is. Jonathan is still staring Lily and you can see something meaningful in his eyes. Are those tears?
"Jonathan, you are scaring our guest." You say and throw the dirty towel back to your father. He seems to wake up from his trance and apologizes his sudden outburst.
 Ask why Hina wants to go to Gensokyo
 Ask why they haven't told you anything about this place before
 Ask something else, write-in, etc...
I haven't read that story, so at least it isn't intended copy catting.
"Why do you want to travel around the world to Japan, Hina? What do you expect to find in Gensokyo?" You decide to get some answers for now. Listening these two talk casually about something of which they have never informed you about is certainly frustating. Jonathan seems to be still looking at Lily intensively. Hina stays silent for a moment, probably considering her words carefully.
"I used to work there for some time." She explains as if memorizing something old. "I had a small accident related to my work. It wasn't the easiest area of employment and I got careless during a very big delivery."
"Wait wait, when did you work there?" You interrupt. "I've known you since childhood. There's no way you worked in Japan at some time."
Hina looks at Jonathan, who then gives a small nod to Hina. She looks in your eyes and you can see that she is nervous for some reason.
"Aaah well, I am not exactly as young as you think. Gensokyo is an area originally established for keeping youkai and other dangerous entities inside it." She continues before you get to ask about these youkais: "Now it is more of a safe house for all sort of magical creatures. The whole area is a large bubble of magic and mystery. Even some gods live in there."
Jonathan joins the story: "I am a youkai, Phil. And so are you."
"Um..." You are not sure what to say anymore, so you just ask the most obvious question. "So what is a youkai?"
"Oh, they are wonderful creatures!" Hina suddenly seems a lot more happier. "In the stories they are evil man-eating monsters, but for real they are just very unique embodiments of magic, belief, mystery and random chance. All of them have some sort of special powers. No-one knows a lot about their origins, but there are hundreds of youkais living inside Gensokyo. Maybe even thousands!"
"And believe it boy. It's all true." Jonathan pokes you to chest with his rotten finger. "You were born in Gensokyo and you are at least a half-blooded youkai."
"Come on guys, this isn't funny anymore." You say without a hint of smile on your face. "I have no idea if you were practising this or--"
You are interrupted by a blue flash followed by pain, and then find yourself lying on your back on the floor. Jonathan is standing in front of you with colourful cloud of small round objects floating all around his body. Hina runs to stand between you and Jonathan and then shouts something to him with panicked look on her face. Damn, why can't you hear anything?! And why you can't move? Jonathan grabs Hina by her wrists painfully. You can't believe your eyes as Jonathan raises his hand and slaps Hina to her cheek as hard as he can, which causes Hina to fall to the floor.
What just happened? Your own father wouldn't do something like this! Hina? Are you alright? Why she isn't moving? Jonathan steps towards Hina and the colourful glowing objects begin to float towards Hina. Jonathan raises his left hand and the objects gain more height. Is he going to strike her with those objects?
You try to move your body but nothing happens.
"You are not going to hurt her! If you do anything to her, I am going to kill you right there where you stand!" Your panic begins to transform into rage. Jonathan moves his hand down towards Hina's body.
Wait, what is this? You can feel something. You can move it. No, you can move them. Hundreds of them.
 Strike with them, choose a name for your first spellcard
 Choose your magic type
For anon: I am trying to write a somewhat short story. Getting bombs in the first thread isn't probably normal when comparing to other larger works, but I think it is fitting for a shorter one.
[x] Strike with them. Ephemeral Talent ?What Was Once Lost??
[x] Choose your magic type - Earth
Small bullets appear to the room randomly. First they just seem to be floating around, but soon their movement begins to make sense to you. Every single one of them belongs to a very specific location and their colour is the key. You still can see Jonathan moving his hand down towards Hina, but it seems to have slowed down. You are thinking hard in order to figure out how to use these bullets in time to save Hina. Red goes next to the green one, but only if there is a white under it. The brown ones are placed to work as a root for the chains. Black ones? You don't need them. What are you going to construct? A spiral? No, that is not like you. Clusters? Yes, they seem strangely familiar.
The bullets move instantly to six piles which then send small groups of bullets to multiple directions in smaller piles. By now you can see Jonathan's eyes slowly turning to look at these clusters. Is that a smile that is slowly creeping to his face? No time to think about that, you need to quickly trap him inside the pattern. Six roots, 48 clusters. He is standing and Hina is lying on the floor in safety. That's the only way to attack from this position.
The attack is now clearly visible in your mind. There is only one way to describe this pattern:
"Ephemeral Talent ?What Was Once Lost??" You notice that you said the name aloud, and that your ears work again. Soon your whole body is able to move again and you quickly climb up from the floor.
Three of the main groups descent close to the floor and start spouting bullets to every direction horizontally. Jonathan sees these bullets closing in and jumps to the air before his feet are hit by this wave. The floor isn't visible anymore through the bullets that are flying around just high enough to cover Hina's body under them. The three remaining groups move in to circle Jonathan who... is laughing and clapping his hands? His bullets disappear suddenly leaving only your own storm of colours floating in the room.
"Are you going to kill me with those, boy?" Jonathan nods to one of the bullet groups floating around him. "She's fine Phil. I was just testing you."
What? By punching her to face? There is no way you are going to forgive him for doing something like that to her! You decide to strike now that Jonathan isn't defending himself and launch all the bullets which were hidden inside the larger three groups. Jonathan clearly wasn't expecting you to actually attack and gets trapped inside your pattern, forced to dodge everything you throw against him. Just a few more seconds and you are going to get him... Once one of those smaller ones hit him you'll make a stronger attack, which should crush him at once. He doesn't stand a chance while he is surrounded by your clusters. By aiming to his legs and arms you'll get to eat more of his meat afterwards...
There! You can get him with this wave of bullets. You launch your final wave against him and notice how he just prepares for impact, unable to dodge. For both of yours and Jonathan's surpise the bullets seem to change direction just before meeting their target. You notice how your floor projectiles are no longer flying in direct lines, but instead bend and twist towards the walls. The reason appears to be Hina who is standing in middle of the room with a beatiful green aura surrounding her. Her eyes... They scare you. There is something new inside her that makes your whole pattern of bullets vanish instantly.
"Phil." Hina says walking towards you with her hands crossed over her chest in a strange posture. "You don't want to become that beast of lust and carnage that is waking up inside you." Jonathan, who apparently lost his arm, seems to be panting heavily behind Hina. You look back to Hina's eyes and are faced with fear that just makes you want to leap out the house by the window and run to the woods. No, that is not you. Something inside you is in fear. There is also something else beside this fear... Maybe you should attack her now that she isn't guarding her back. You might just get her in time! If you take her out quickly, Jonathan's meat will still be fresh.
No! Hina is standing in front of you. Your main reason for living is standing in front of you, looking at you with eyes filled with worry. You are better than this beast!
 Release the beast of lust and carnage (Hina path)
 Shut up you monster, I'm the one in charge here (? path)
And the next update might be delayed a bit. I'm making a short business trip to Sweden.
Back to writing after being away for a week. The ? path won, but both of the paths are still available. The final votes were 6 vs. 5, so I think it's better to leave some doors open. This wall should give you a lot of options.
I want this update to be more finalized than my previous ones, so it might take a day.
"Shut up you monster!" The shout comes out from your mouth aloud. "I'm Phil and I'm the one who owns this body! Go away!" For a moment the room is silent and your shout echoes in it. Jonathan is lying on the ground with his arm bleeding, Lily is still staring at the flames passionately and Hina is looking deep in your eyes. After standing there for a few seconds you notice how your heart is racing and your breathing is rapid. The room is all but completely destroyed and the walls are filled with holes.
"So your name is Phil?" A very deep and menacing sound comes to your head from nowhere. "I will remember that, Phil. Very well, you have won and the body is yours. Our deal is one night in a month. During the full moon I will take over your body and mind. After that night I will let go for a month again and you will be in control."
"What if I say no?" You ask aloud.
"Then you leave me no choice but to take it all right now. By refusing my generous offer you will lose everything - your body, mind... Hina. Do we have a deal?"
"Yes." As you reply the sounds stop and you can move yourself again. Apparently whatever Hina was doing to you is now finally kicking in as the adrenaline wears off. You fall to the floor and pass out.
"Do you know what a sin is?" A voice wakes you up. You are lying on your back on a rocky surface with a colourful mist surrounding you. The sky is black even though you can clearly see the Moon. There appears to be a monster with huge horns standing in front of you. It looks very similar to yourself, but the skin is black and covered in nasty looking sickish dots. Clearly it's the beast inside you.
"A sin?" You ask while climbing back up to your feet.
"Did you agree with the corrupted politicians when they decided to operate the machine? Was it the right thing to do?" As the beast speaks the mist seems to flicker through a spectrum of strange lights.
You consider your answer for a while. "I don't know. The plague never got over me seriously, but all those people would have died without the machine. I think they did the right thing."
"Phil. You do not estimate. You are certain." The beast says this with a bit threatening voice. "You have powerful youkai blood inside you. From now on you are responsible for more lives than just your own and Hina's. If you are going to be this weak in your will... I will take over." A small silence arrives as the beast finishes speaking. There is actually sense in some of the things he said; all of sudden you have become something completely different and the world around you has changed to completely different universe. You almost killed your father today. Hell, you almost killed Hina today!
"I don't thin-- That won't be necessary." You reply. The beast stares you for a moment.
"Return to your love now. We'll be seeing each other soon in Gensokyo." The beast turns it's back and starts walking away.
"Wait!" You shout after it (or him, depending on your perspective). "Do you have a name?"
The beast stops and considers for a while. "Surautonis. I like the sound of that."
Then the misty realm slowly fades away as Surautonis walks into the mist with his heavy steps echoing in the void.
When you finally open your eyes the sun has already risen up, and apparently someone has carried you to the bed. Jonathan is sleeping in the bed next to you. His right arm still seems to be missing, but he isn't bleeding anymore. Lily is sleeping with Hina on a matress between the beds just next to a pile of bloodied towels. For some reason your head hurts as if you were having the hangover of your life. By looking to the left you can see a glass of liquid with a note saying: "Drink it. It helps." You reach your arm for the liquid and manage to drink it. The good side in Hina's medicine is that it doesn't really taste bad at all - it actually tastes like water.
Deciding to stand up you gather your strength and slowly try getting off from the bed, working hard to keep your balance. Eventually you make it to the bathroom and check yourself from the mirror. Everything is still alright, there aren't any horns growing from your head and your skin still has a healthy colour. After you come out from the bathroom you can see that Hina has already Wewoken up and she's waiting for you outside the toilet. She looks at you for a moment as if expecting something. Not knowing what else to do, you give her a hug. She doesn't say anything and you stay there for a moment. You can still smell some blood from the last night on her hair, but it doesn't seem as horrible when she's so close to you.
"Phil." She says. "Do you know what you are?"
"I'm Phil. Nothing else." She seems satisfied with the reply and tugs her arms around you a bit harder.
"Did he tell you his name? What was it?" She sounds a bit sad when she asks the question, as if she was expecting some sort of reply.
"Surautonis." You answer after memorizing for a while. "That's what he said."
As you say this Hina starts crying to your shoulder. "Surautonis was my old love. He was killed in Gensokyo a long time ago... He... he..."
"Hina. It's alright. Whatever he did to you, I am here now and he is nowhere around." She cries there for a small moment and you decide it is better to just wait for her to let it all out. Your moment lasts for a while and is finally interrupted by Jonathan who comes down the stairs, tripping half way through and cursing to himself.
"Good morning monster." He says to you. "Have you seen an arm around? I am missing one."
"Doesn't it grow back due to your immortality?" You ask while still holding Hina. "And I'm Phil, by the way."
"Well that's the thing." He says and looks at the stumb which used to be his right arm. "It doesn't. Whatever you did to me was permanent. So you just ripped an arm off from your old man."
He is shaking from all the pain which the disease is causing to him. The lost arm propably doesn't help the pain, so he goes to the kitchen and loads himself with painkillers. Hina finally lets go from you and takes a step back. She looks down to the floor and slowly seems to be about to say something.
"We are going to Gensokyo today Phil. Lily will take us there and Jonathan will be guiding us." She turns her head up and looks at you. "It might be over when we arrive there. I have duties that are related to Surautonis. He's one of the reasons why I lost my memory and was exiled from Gensokyo in the first place. I am not sure if I can love you after all that is sorted out. I don't know if you can love me after you find out the dark things I did with him."
This strikes to you like a lightning bolt. What did she just say? You are not going to love her after she tells something which she did in her past?
"Hina? There is no way anything can--"
"No Phil!" She shouts to your face. "You will understand when it is the time. Please, just accept it for now and we'll talk later."
She turns her back to you and walks to the kitchen to help Jonathan. What is going on? She seems to awfully scared about something and she doesn't want to tell it to you - yet at least. You've never had any secrets and all of sudden she has transformed from a cute girl into a woman surrounded by mystery. You stare at Hina who is now helping Jonathan with the medicine. Jonathan tries to laugh at something which Hina said, but the laugh soon turns into a small shout of pain. Your mind is filled with confusion. 'Why' is the question that is flying around trying desperately to find a solution.
"Where is your spring?" A sleepy sound comes from next to you. Lily is there looking at you with wondering eyes.
"My... spring?" You ask while your brain is trying to concentrate on Lily after all the confusion.
"I see no spring in you." Lily tries poking your shoulder a bit. "Where did it all go?"
"My spring..." You think for a while. "My spring is somewhere inside that girl over there. But I don't know where actually."
"I think your spring is in Gensokyo. All the spring is there now. I am taking a spring for them." She seems to talk to herself now. "I like spring. Everybody does. Spring is when all is beatiful and all the bad things are left behind. The future promises only good, but all the good will eventually disappear when the winter comes again. And when the winter comes, you need to store your spring. Otherwise the winter might eat you!"
She walks to the kitchen and leaves you standing against the toilet door even more confused.
As soon as Jonathan finishes taking his medicine he comes to see you. You can see the signals of an approaching father-to-son conversation, and the fact that he is standing there trying to look casual with his only hand in his pocket isn't helping to hide it at all.
"So Phil." He starts and it sounds like he is going to speak about 'the bees and the flowers'. "Did Hina already tell you that we are all going to Gensokyo?"
"Obviously." You say.
"And did she tell you that she might have to be away for a while?" He seems to be avoiding the actual point.
"Your point?" You just say.
"Well when your mother died, we were both down for a very long time. Hina had it hard too, but it was mostly because of her that we survived through that period." He guides you to sit on the sofa in the living room, even though it is mostly ruined by your danmaku battle from last night. "Hina is a goddess. She has the power of confine curses inside her. The reason why you never fell to the disease is due to her spells. She's been aiding us all this time and it's her ability that caused her to flee from Gensokyo in the first place. Surautonis was a very powerful youkai causing havoc in Gensokyo long before you were born and Hina was in love with him."
He keeps a small break and looks out from the window to the snowy forest.
"Well Hina stopped him. Some political figures in Gensokyo told Hina that if she doesn't stop Surautonis herself, they were going to do it. Hina asked Surautonis again and again to leave Gensokyo with her, but Surautonis was stubborn - he didn't want to give up. So Hina did all she could and confined Surautonis inside her along with all the other curses she had been storing. That stretched her abilities too far and that was when she lost her memory. She was then exiled from Gensokyo and wandered around the world until she met me. I don't know if you remember the first time you met as you were really young then. I had seen Hina before and I knew what was her state. It was me who helped her to get better and move Surautonis inside you. I was hoping to cure both Hina and Surautonis by using your pure body as a temporary container."
"Container for curing?" You ask. "What do you mean by curing?"
"Curing meaning that Hina gets her memories back." Jonathan says. "And I was hoping that by moving Surautonis to a another body he would grow up as a new person inside you, some day leaving your body. He is a genius and the world needs one if we want to win this disease. And that's why I was prepared to take the risk. That's when Hina turned physically to a young age and her memories began slowly returning. I guess the arrival of Lily was the final catalyst."
"So what is going to happen to me now?" You ask. "I am sharing a body with another person who is... 'going to leave my body some day'? How does that exactly work?"
"That is what we are going to find out in Gensokyo along with a couple of other things." Jonathan pokes your shoulder with his only hand. "If all goes well Surautonis is going revive as a new person and we can work together with a few other medical geniuses in Gensokyo."
He stands up and grabs your shoulder. "Phil, things will be sorted out soon. Don't worry, Hina still loves you regardless whatever she says. Don't let her go."
After saying that he goes to the kitchen door and shouts: "Ladies, we are ready to go."
Just as you are about to ask how you are going to get to Gensokyo Lily comes out from the kitchen with a smile on her face.
"We are going to spread a spring!" With that said she starts shooting danmaku around. Hina joins you in the living room and gives you her hand. There is a small, shy smile on her face, but her eyes are still sad. You take her hand and follow her to Lily. Jonathan grabs Lily's hand while Hina grabs the other one. The pattern which Lily is shooting doesn't seem that dangerous. It is more of a beatiful pattern that emits the joys and the warmth of the spring. Soon the room starts to look warmer and you can see the snow slowly fading away. It isn't melting - it is more of escaping from the windows and the ground near the house.
Soon you all start floating, which seems awfully familiar to you at this point. Lily leads the way and you fly out from the door, then you are zooming to the skies. Lily starts singing a strange, happy song which you have never heard before, and all the time she is shooting that beatiful pattern all around herself. You can't see the ground from the clouds and somehow it feels like you are going to the correct direction. The air isn't cold at all; instead it feels warm and joyful when Lily is around. Your mood slowly begins to take a swing to cheerfulness and your whole group is soon singing and shooting danmaku all over the sky. You think that you finally understand what Lily meant by "bringing a spring".
After flying for quite a while Jonathan says to Lily: "Look at this, Lily. You are in Gensokyo. It's time for you to show Gensokyo what time of the year it is."
After hearing this Lily just quickly flies away towards the ground hidden under the clouds, while still covered in a mix of bullets. You stay there for a while looking at this happy fairy flying away.
"How did we get here?" You ask from Jonathan. "I thought you said it was a 'closed area' and that it was hard to get in. All we seemed to do was fly after Lily for some time and we certainly can't have flown all the way to Japan yet."
"You'll find that out later." Hina smiles at you. "His ability is very unique. Jonathan is a researcher all the way to his heart."
"Hey that's a secret!" Jonathan laughs at Hina and puts a finger to his lips. "Don't go telling the secrets of my success to everyone you see."
You don't have time to wonder about Jonathan's abilities anymore as Hina starts flying towards the ground. As you arrive through the clouds you are faced with a truly miraculous sight: The landscape is covered in a deep forest with a big mountain in the eastern parts of it, there is a small village in the distance and generally everything looks completely different from the outside world.
"Welcome to Gensokyo Phil." Jonathan says pointing to the landscape around you. "Propably the closest place to an utopia in the world. Propably the curing medicine to this cursed planet."
"It is beatiful." You just say, gazing at the landscape.
"It is." Hina says and sighs. "I just remembered it as well."
"Well let's not waste any time. We came here for business!" Jonathan says happily and tries to rub his hands together. He soon realizes that he cannot, and looks down to his missing hand in a depressed way.
"Are you going to see Eirin right away?" Hina asks carefully. "We are not authorized here yet. She might not appreciate you after what happened here last time."
"Hmm..." Jonathan ponders for a while. "I don't think it will be a problem. She knows how it feels to be exiled. What about you Hina? Are you going to the mountain area?"
"Yes." Hina looks at the mountain in the distance. "I can as well get over with it immediately."
 Go with Jonathan to Eientei
 Go with Hina to Youkai Mountain
 "So what was it about not being authorized, Jonathan?"
"So what was it about not being authorized, Jonathan?" You ask.
"Well..." Jonathan stares at the landscape for a while and then he gives a smirk to you. "I stole items of great value from a medical genius called Eirin. She didn't like that."
"I think you also said something, right?" There's a a hint of accusation in Hina's voice.
"Aaah..." Jonathan tries to avoid the topic. "I accused her of creating the disease."
"Creating the disease?" You ask suprised. "Why would she create something like that?"
"Her 'species' was having some tensions with the American government" Jonathan says. "But I was wrong. She wasn't involved."
You stare at Jonathan for some time. Something is going on with these two. First of all, Jonathan seems to be horribly ashamed or scared of something. His joyfulness seems to be only a mask which to hide behind his worries. Hina is clearly just trying to be all cheery and supportive. You've been with this girl for far too long to not notice how she is almost crying from her sorrow. She said that your relationship would be over once you arrive to Gensokyo and didn't even give a single reason for it. She was in love with another man, and now you are partly this man she once loved? Was she loving you only because of this other person sealed inside you all this time?
"Phil is right though." Hina says. "You can't go marching into Eientei suddenly. You owe an apology."
"Yeah... I do." Jonathan looks at the horizon. "Just that it is complicated."
"You are leaving me completely out from the conversation." You say somewhat angrily. "You dragged me to this Gensokyo all of sudden without telling me what we really are going to do here. Now you said that you are going to work with some other people... but on what?"
"Figuring out a cure for the disease of course." Jonathan says with a serious face.
"Why now? If you considered it possible to actually find a cure, why didn't you come here years ago?"
"Did you not listen to me at all?" Jonathan begins to raise his voice. "We could not! The sealing of Surautonis forced Hina to stay away from Gensokyo and my problems with Eirin made it impossible to reason with her at all. They would've never let us in. I was considering just entering the area by force many times before the device was activated. Differing opinions with Eirin drove me as far as stealing some of her most secret drugs as she didn't accept my theories about using them. Needless to say, I was not in the position to come back here."
"Jonathan? That doesn't make sense. Why are we here NOW?"
"That's due to the fact that Hina has regained her memories. Surautonis is sealed somewhat safely inside you, so they don't have a reason for keeping Hina in exile anymore." Jonathan makes a small pause. "As long they don't find out where Surautonis is now. I am going to use him as a trump card against Eirin. I am sure that she has figured out something on her own as well, and with the aid of Surautonis we can find a cure. She may sound like she isn't interested in helping, but as a doctor she must be feeling just like I am feeling as a scientist. If we proceed carefully we might be able to get Eirin to help us in removing Surautonis from you. It has been almost 15 years since he was moved to your body, so everything should be alright."
"I still don't understand why you had to arrive here so suddenly." You question Jonathan's explanation. "And didn't you say that you 'visited Gensokyo with mother' or something? What was that all about? You were exiled, right?"
"Surautonis has already almost broken free." Jonathan points out. "Hell, you are flying on your own like an expert. That's mostly coming from Surautonis' memories inside you and clearly is a sign of him awakening too much. I don't want to wait for him to break free on his own. Sure, I could have probably explained a bit more beforehand but it is more exciting this way, isn't it? And yes, I visited Gensokyo earlier. Like I said: it was by an (?) accident. We weren't aiming to visit Gensokyo at all."
"Fine, I accept that for now." You mutter. "One final question: just when did you two meet?"
"Long ago." Hina responds, then pauses to think for a while. "I didn't quite meet Jonathan personally. I just knew what was going on between him and Eirin. Jonathan wasn't really unknown in Gensokyo back in the days. Mostly due to his skills and abilities."
"They called me 'The Plumber'." Jonathan states. "... I don't know why though..."
There is a small moment of silence.
"Well, let's get on with our business." Jonathan announces. "The best way to approach Eirin right now is an apology. Do you think flowers will be enough?"
Both you and Hina stare Jonathan for a few seconds.
"Phil." Hina's eyes don't reflect the smile on her face. "I'll talk with you later today. I don't want you to be involved in my business. Please, let me take care of my problems myself and we'll talk later, okay?"
 Agree to talk with Hina later. Time to go buy flowers or something with Jonathan.
-  Write-in for a proper apology gift
 No, whatever she has done in past is not only her problem - you share both successes and hardships. You are going with her.
You assess the situation. Hina has made it clear that she needs some time on her own, she wishes to clean some mess which she caused long ago and doesn't want you to be involved. It doesn't sound dangerous, so it might be better to let her cool off a bit as well. You agree with her and watch how she vanishes into a forest below.
"Let's move to the village then." Jonathan says as he takes the lead. "Right now we both could use a small break as well."
Travelling doesn't take long. This flying business makes lengthy distances appear like a casual Sunday stroll in the park, and in a few minutes you see a group of buildings standing at the edge of a grand forest. As you land to the outskirts of the village you notice the Japanese architecture. Interestingly this seems to be the first sign of Japan after your arrival to this region, and you have to admit that the buildings represent your mental image of a standard stereotypical Japanese village.
You follow Jonathan inside to the village and notice how colourful the clothing is. All villagers seem to try achieve something unique with their style and the hair colours make you feel like visiting an otaku con of some sort. Jonathan is smiling broadly and nodding at few of the villagers who happen to make an eye contact with him. You try your best to follow the example and suprisingly people seem to nod back, smiling. In the end Jonathan leads you to a small restaurant, but not before leaving his shoes next to the door.
"Should I believe my old, weary eyes?" An elderly woman arrives to greet you to the door. "If it isn't the Plumber after all these years!"
"I'm honored that you still remember me, madam Shikibu." Jonathan bows rather deep and then pushes you forwards. "Here is my son Phil."
"Um..." Not knowing anything about Japanese habits you simply bow down a bit. "Pleased to meet you."
"Nice to meet you, Phil." The woman speaks in a very, very slow pace. Her voice is creaking and makes it rather hard to understand. "I'm Tsubaki Shikibu, the owner of this small restaurant. Your father is an old friend of mine. It was back in the 70's when h--"
"Unfortunately we can't stay for that long, Shikibu." Jonathan interrupts with a warm voice. "Could you kindly fetch us some of your delicious tea and join us at the table? I have great news."
Shikibu stares Jonathan closely for some time as if she was inspecting something visible on Jonathan's face, who smiles broadly back. Shikibu then takes a look at you before slowly walking back to the kitchen. Jonathan seems to be feeling at home in this Japanese environment and hums a bit to himself while admiring the decorations at the walls.
Considering Shikibu's slow pace you'd expect it to take a long time to the tea be done, but instead she brings the tea in a few minutes. Jonathan doesn't speak until Shikibu is seated, has taken a sip of her tea and given a nod to Jonathan.
"We came here for two reasons." He says with his smile slowly fading away. "First reason is that I'll now finally sort out my problems with Yagokoro."
"I see." Shikibu states over her tea, eyes closed. "Two idiots finally burying the hatchet? That won't be easy. It's been awfully many years."
"Indeed." Jonathan agrees.
"What is the other reason?"
"Ah!" Jonathan smiles broadly. "Hina has returned."
Shikibu opens her eyes and her tea spills a bit. "Hi-Hina has?"
"The goddess finally..." Tears slowly appear to Shikibu's eyes, but those are clearly tears of joy. She grabs a hankie from her pocket and gently dries the tears away. "I'm crying here like some old fool..."
"Goddess?" You ask carefully. "She did say that earlier, but..."
"Well, of course she has followers." Jonathan explains calmly. "Her ability is to store up curses. Who wouldn't want to show their respect to that sort of goddess? She's famous around here."
Now that your father mentions that again you might have a small clue on what sort of 'business' Hina is dealing with. Such a horrible job.
"Kagiyama-sama does so much for all of us and asks nothing in return." Shikibu sighs quietly. "We've been waiting for her for all these years..."
You enjoy your tea quietly for some time, Shikibu seems to wander somewhere in her memories and you decide to give her some time on her own. The moment lasts for some time and Jonathan uses it to add some painkillers to his tea. The restaurant is filled with some quite strong smells, but you finally notice the rancid smell coming from Jonathan's arm. The wounds all over his body seem to be getting worse again and he should be having one of those sleepless nights any day now. He notices how you are examining his wounds and takes a sip of his tea.
"I heard something about a disease spreading in the outside world." Shikibu mentions. "I see it didn't spare you from it's horrors."
"Ah this?" Jonathan points to some random wound on his skin. "It's completely under control. Hina is the one who makes these fine medicines for me. She isn't Yagokoro, but she still can do some magical work with the few herbs we can find for her."
"Yagokoro..." Shikibu mouths the word slowly. "What are you going to do with her?"
"A sign of apology." Jonathan replies immediately. "Something personal."
"What does she like outside her work?" You join the conversation. "Any hobbies? Does she collect something? Maybe an unique item of some sort."
"Ah..." Jonathan figures something out. "She did shoot me to my back with a bow when I was fleeing. I guess it's about time I return her arrows. A pity I didn't take them with me."
"Well if you think it isn't insulting or gloating..." You point out. "I guess we could find some arrows from somewhere here?"
"Is Kourindou still located in the same old place? We could check that out." Jonathan asks from Shikibu.
"Still there. He's not going anywhere."
"In that case," Jonathan stands up and places his tea on the table. "We should get going. Any second now the word about our arrival might reach Eientei. I want to get there before that happens."
"Jonathan, hear this." Shikibu stays seated. "Eientei doesn't keep itself sealed anymore. A lot has happened after your departure and many matters are not like they used to be. Whatever you're going to do in that mansion... Stay safe."
"Don't worry, Shikibu." Jonathan smiles at the woman. "It's Eirin we are talking about."
After that Jonathan leaves a few coins to the table, thanks for the tea and you follow him out from the restaurant. Your father takes the lead yet again without saying a word, and you follow him through the lively village. Eventually you reach the outskirts of the village and Jonathan hops to flight, aiming to the forest.
"It's inside the forest? Seems a bad place for business." You wonder as you keep flying to the forest.
"It's hardly business. We're not going to pay either. I can bet my other arm for that."
He leaves you confused with these words and you make no further attempts to open a conversation. It doesn't take long to arrive to the store. It's standing at the edge of the forest with the trees casting shadows on the roof. There is a road a bit further away, but it generally seems a very desolate place for business. There's some smoke coming out from the chimney and some of the windows are open.
Jonathan lands in front of the door, knocks and then immediately walks in.
"Rinnosuke! You've customers!"
The shopkeeper is standing behind his counter and seems suprised to see Jonathan in the store. The man doesn't appear to be anything out of ordinary when you've seen the villagers already, but his golden eyes do stand out. The store is full of items, some of which seem very out of place. It could as well be a second hand shop.
"The Plumber, was it?" Rinnosuke walks to shake hands with Jonathan, even though he does it with his left hand. The sight is very awkward and makes you think of some gang greeting. "You always told me to use my right arm."
"Yeah." Jonathan takes a look at his missing arm. "Times change."
"I'm the owner of this antique shop, Rinnosuke Morichika." He shakes hands with you. "A collector of unique items and a contact to get your best outside world goods."
"Phil. Pleased to meet you." You don't have a reason to small talk with this man, so simple introductions should do for now.
"And how can I help you today, good customers?" Rinnosuke puts a bit more weight on his last word.
"I could use some arrows. Maybe something else as well." Jonathan looks around the room.
Rinnosuke goes to look for some time. He returns carrying a large decorated wooden box with japanese writing on it. He places it on the counter and uses a key on the large metal lock. Inside the box is a decorated quiver with a bundle of arrows in it, glowing a bit.
"Something I received in a bargain long ago." Rinnosuke pulls out one of the arrows. "I'm not a fletcher, but these are fine arrows. I wonder for what purpose you are going to use these?"
"Nothing dangerous." Jonathan takes a look at the arrows. "A gift."
"I see. Shall you have something else as well?"
"No thank you, this'll do for now." Jonathan smiles and closes the box.
"About the price..." Rinnosuke says with a bit pleading voice.
"Huh? You want something for these?"
"This IS a store."
"Well..." Jonathan checks his pockets and his expression turns worried. "How about I bring you something from the outside world once we are done with our matters here?"
"You promised that to me already." Rinnosuke places a hand on the box.
"Um..." Jonathan ponders for a long time. "I guess I can't pay for it then."
"I guess you can't get the arrows then." Rinnosuke closes his eyes and sighs. "Is what I'd like to say. However, my store has never done any serious profit. I mostly keep running it for my desire to get my hands on items that have a touch of mystery in them. You've helped me before in many ways and taken something from my store as you go. Let's say that you owe me a favour yet again."
"I'm sure that we'll figure something later, Rinnosuke."
You grab the box and take a closer look at it. It could as well be a grand piece of art as far as the decorations go and the arrows inside have a strange, attracting feeling in them. Somehow the arrows make you think of danmaku patterns which you believe you've seen earlier - or Surautonis has. You could propably learn more by touching the arrows, but that can wait for now. You bid Rinnosuke farewell and leave the store with your father.
"Alright Phil." Jonathan starts. "We've now met two of my most trusted friends in Gensokyo. Shikibu is an old teacher of mine. She's also one of the people who admire Hina instead of trying to avoid her. She's a good person who we can trust. Rinnosuke then is one of my more work related friends. He often delivered rare items for me which I then used in my machines and inventions. In return I often made devices for him."
"So do you really think these arrows will do?" You raise an eyebrow. "I think these seem... abusive."
"Not at all. Eirin is hard to handle, but with correct instruments she's complete wax in my hands."
"Now what?" You query. "To Eientei right away? I'm still interested in what Hina is doing."
"Well... Hina told me to not let you walk into her personal business, but if you really want, we can go to that place first."
 "Let's go to see that doctor. We better get that sorted out immediately."
 "That place sounds like something which I have to know."
"Let's go see that doctor. We better get that sorted out immediately."
"Alright then." Jonathan says with a nervous tone. "Let's get over with this."
Without any further delays you finally begin heading towards this Eientei. Yet again Jonathan takes the lead without trying to converse at all, possibly working on a speech or something for Eirin. The landscape seems to vary quite a bit, but nothing competes with the sudden change as you arrive to a giant bamboo forest. The previous forest path vanishes to the maze of bamboos that reach for the skies, and the forest generally appears as more hostile than the ones you saw earlier. Upon entering the forest you swear that you saw something moving about in the bushes. Jonathan doesn't seem to notice anything and keeps on heading forwards.
After a few minutes you notice that something is clearly following you. You decide to begin inspecting this pursuer without letting it know that it has been spotted already. For some reason it seems rather natural to act like this instead of doing what a normal person would naturally do in this situation - most likely it is due to your inner youkai.
"Remember when Hina told you about youkais?" Jonathan asks without turning his head to face you. "That's one. Not all of them are as intelligent as we are and this one seems to be hunting."
"I can see it following us. Shouldn't we defend ourselves?"
"Nah." Jonathan shakes his head. "It would only call it's friends. This isn't the safest place in Gensokyo. Soon it'll give up."
"What was it again that Hina said... 'Truly wonderful creatures'. I'm not sure what to think about that."
Jonathan seems to be correct this time. Eventually the pursuing youkai gives up and it vanishes to the depths of the forest without revealing itself to you completely. There isn't much life in the forest other than a few random rabbits jumping about, and with the hungry youkai chasing you earlier the feeling is awkwardly haunting. Jonathan turns often and seems to be using some path which he has memorized earlier. You have no idea where you are in the forest, and without your flying ability you'd be afraid to be here alone.
After a time, which could be as well half an hour or more, Jonathan finally stops and lands to the ground. In middle of a small opening there is a mansion of respectable size built in old-fashioned japanese style. The sun is shining to the opening and all you at the moment want to do is leap to the opening and enjoy the refreshing sunlight, not to forget getting rid of this heavy box. Jonathan seems to hesitate, so you decide to take the point and begin walking to the mansion. You can hear Jonathan quickly catching up with you as you reach the opening.
Unfortunately there is a large group of rabbits outside the mansion. You decide that the best course of action right now is walking towards the mansion as if you were invited there instead of sneaking around suspiciously. The rabbits seem to recognize Jonathan and it doesn't take long for them to quickly run to indoors, most likely telling their master about the intruder. Ignoring them you bluntly walk to one of the doors which seems like it might be the main entrance, knock it and wait.
Soon you can hear gentle footsteps sounding at the other side of the door, a silhouette approaching through the shojis and then sliding the door open. The girl standing at the door surely doesn't reflect the mental picture you had about japanese butlers or servants. First of all she has bunny ears growing out of her head and she's wearing something which could easily be a school uniform. She also seems awfully young to be a servant for a mistress owning such an extravagant estate. She takes a look at you and then focuses her strangely meaningful eyes to Jonathan who does his best to smile back.
The girl then turns to you: "Good afternoon, mister. May I help you somehow?"
"It's been a long--" Jonathan starts.
"Not you." The girl glares Jonathan angrily. "I didn't speak to you."
It takes a while to figure out what to say, and all this time the piercing eyes of this girl are drilling deeper to yours.
"Um..." You decide to begin by a simple introduction. "I'm Phil. I expect you already know my father."
"My name is Reisen Udongein Inaba." The smile on her face doesn't seem warm at all. "Now that we know each other Phil, could you tell me why you have brought a crimimal to our property?"
"I'm here to--" Jonathan tries again.
"Be quiet." Reisen doesn't turn her eyes away from you.
"We are here to sort things out." You try your best to select your words properly. "My father would like to talk to miss... Eirin was it?"
"My master is busy with her work. She has no time to see any guests."
"It won't take long, so please let us talk to her." All you can do for now is ask kindly and throw your best cards in. "It's related to medical problems. Lots of people are in need of her skills."
Reisen's expression softens a bit. She sighs and looks over her shoulder as if expecting to see someone spying on her.
"If she doesn't like this I'm going to be in big trouble..." She flinches a bit. "Come on in."
She turns her back to you and walks back in. Even a complete idiot would notice that she is clearly irritated by your presence and might be re-considering her decision to let you in. The mansion seems to be quite luxurious by the looks of the furniture and the place seems to be a lot larger than it would appear to be from the outside. You don't have much time to look around as Reisen is marching on the corridors intently. Suprisingly it doesn't take long for you to arrive in front of a room with an emergency sign hanging on top of the entrance.
"Master!" Reisen slides the door open. "I'm sorry to interrupt you, but you have visitors."
"Please guide them in, Udonge." The voice sounds younger than you'd expect from a doctor.
Reisen gestures you to move in. Jonathan doesn't waste any time, pushes Reisen aside somewhat aggressively and enters the room without any further compliments. You follow your father and try to apologize Reisen on your way.
"What do we have here?" Eirin Yagokoro stands up from her chair. "A plumber arriving for a medical examination?"
"Yeah." Jonathan states with a smirk on his face.
For some time these two stand there staring each other. The expression on Jonathan's face is very tense, but Eirin's facial expression seems strangely calm considering the situation. She has something on her looks that makes it impossible to imagine this woman being angry. She looks like a lovely person and you wouldn't really believe this lady to be the old nemesis of your father.
"Master, is this really alright?" Reisen asks with a worried voice.
"I don't believe I ever said it is." Eirin walks towards Jonathan. "You must have some really good reason to travel all the way to Gensokyo, doctor Jonathan."
Jonathan points you to open the box which you've been carrying all this time. You do so and Jonathan picks one of the arrows.
"I think you are missing a few, so I thought of getting some new ones." Jonathan hands the arrow as if it was a valuable piece of jewelry. Eirin takes a look at the arrow and bursts out laughing.
"Ahaha, now that was unexpected!" She sits a bit on her desk and places the arrow on it. "You run away with a few of my arrows attached to your rear and now you arrive back to the very same room from which you stole my elixir. Trust me Jonathan, no matter how much you make a fool of yourself, I won't be forgiving you unless you return the stolen Hourai Elixir."
"What's that, Jonathan?" You ask, hoping to force him answer in front of the audience. "You never told me what it was that you took."
"Oh?" Eirin takes an interested look at you. "Jonathan didn't tell you?"
"It wasn't necessary." Jonathan says cautiously. "He's my son and I'd like to keep him out from more trouble."
"Son?" Eirin asks. "What's your name, young mister?"
"I'm Phil, and it's a pleasure to meet you, madam Yagokoro."
"You haven't inherited your father's smuggy personality, it seems." She holds a finger on her lip as if pondering something hard. "Maybe I should tell you how the matters really are."
"A bargain!" Jonathan says desperately. "You can explain the truth and we consider our old grudge to be dealt with."
"My, you are not getting off the hook that easily." Eirin goes to a safe at the wall and unlocks it. "Now where was it... Udonge? Could you please fetch us some tea? This will take a while."
"Ah! Of course master!" Reisen scurries off to handle the matter.
You wait eagerly while Eirin takes her time to search the safe. Jonathan has taken a seat in front of the desk and appears to be sweating. Reisen returns quickly, places the tea set on the desk and 'accidentaly' spills some on your father. She doesn't spill your tea, though.
"I was already worried that I had gotten rid of it." Eirin takes a pile of brown paper out from the safe. "Here we go, your father's work!"
You take the paper from Eirin and see a blueprint of a round machine. At the top right corner stands your father's name as the designer, and at the very bottom reads:
" [Hourai Machine, work in progress] "
What the hell is this? Jonathan never said that HE built the machine! How much more has he kept in secret from you? You scroll through the papers without understanding much of the designs, but the small notes on the page margins talk about the 'immortality problem'. There are complex chemical compounds and calculations on some of the pages and every time they point out to the very same problem. At the very last pages there are designs for 'anti-immortality device', but many of these pages have been ripped apart and filled with huge question marks. The very last entry reads: 'Revival of Surautonis is the only way. I hope the child survives.'
The room has been silent while you've been reading the papers. As you finally lower your hand with the papers still in your grasp, Jonathan stands up and approaches you.
"Don't you dare to come near me!" You shout and point your finger towards this man. "How much more have you kept in secret? What sort of sick experiments have you done to me?"
"Phil, I--" He tries, but is interrupted by Eirin.
"I wonder if there are more people in this room that it would seem like..." She wonders with her eyes closed, then looking directly to you. "How is it Phil? Is there something you would like to tell me? I can help."
Choose your side
 Go with Jonathan: Lie about Surautonis
 Go with Eirin: Tell about Surautonis
The papers which you are holding in your grip seem to weight more and more by every passing second. Eirin's question echoes in your skull battling against something which was previously occupied by Jonathan. The man standing in front of you has turned out to be something else than a 'father' and the very reason for your existence is uncertain. During this emotional burst you can feel something else. Feelings of another man. There is love, but the love is filled with fear and anger. You can briefly see Surautonis' memories.
You now see the enormous Youkai Mountain, which is piercing the skies in front of you with the river flowing down towards you. Unfortunately the day isn't warm at all, but such mortal matters mean nothing to you. The wound in your head feels like it's burning, yet you'd rather take the pain tenfold instead of this sorrow inside you. Sometimes it takes many years, but physical wounds will eventually heal over time. Spiritual matters are a bit more difficult and take even longer, but they will heal as well. A wound in the heart, however, will never heal completely. Why must it all end?
"I don't mind if the sun isn't shining." Says the goddess on your lap.
"Why's that, Hina?" Your voice isn't wavering. "You like sunny weather."
"Yes. But it would be a shame if the nature was rejoicing on a day like this. It's as if the powers of nature themselves were wishing their sorrowful farewells to us."
"Hmm." You let the goddess guide your mind to some place else, like her voice always does.
You feel the blood slowly pouring out from the wound yet again. Every day the wound gets worse and your condition weakens. Curses placed by divines surely are problematic, but your body will soon die anyway. You can see kappas eyeing you from the river and there are at least five people hiding by the treeline.
"Surautonis." Hina wipes some blood from your face. "You never told me who gave you that injury."
"I didn't. It doesn't matter anymore. I'm not going to take any more people with me to the other side." You look to the treeline and see movement. "They are getting restless."
Hina doesn't say anything.
"Hina. We're both in danger." You stand up and lift Hina to face you.
"I know that." She looks at you with those meaningful eyes of her's. "For some reason I'm unable to cry."
"That's because it's still possible for us to meet once again."
"No, it's not that." She shakes her head gently. "It feels like we've achieved everything. I will still have my memories from these years we spent together. Even if I'm going to be alone for the rest of my life... I'll still remember these years. I'll remember everything that happened to us."
"There you go, making me cry again." You hug the girl. "Just how do you always do this to me?"
"Skill." She whispers.
"Your time is out!" The youkais from the forest finally step out and encircle you. "Do your magic already, Kagiyama! We've waited long enough."
"Your fear has no limits." The impression you make loses some of it's charm when your face is covered with blood and tears. "If you have any luck at all you're not going to end up in the same realm of afterlife with me."
"It's alright Surautonis, there is nothing more we can do." Hina takes some distance and prepares her magic.
"Hopefully your dark soul reaches redemption in your eternal imprisonement." One of youkais announces. "Farewell, Surautonis of the Night."
Your body falls to the ground. You don't feel the pain from hitting the grass as your body has already died completely and your spiritual self is slowly trying to escape from the chains of your corpse. It doesn't take long for your body to let go completely and the feeling of freedom is inviting you like a shining lighthouse in a dark night. However, there is something else. A mesmerizing sound arriving from somewhere else. Disregarding all common sense you decide to travel towards this beatiful sound instead.
"What the hell are you Surautonis?" You ask with a quiet voice, hoping that the man inside you is listening.
"I see." Eirin states as if she already knew the answer. "You're one evil man, Jonathan. Luckily your son is still alive and I can help him. Otherwise you'd be in deeper trouble. No no, I don't need to hear anything from you. I already know enough. Don't worry, you'll have your time for defending yourself."
Jonathan gives in. He stands up, marches to the corridor and slams the door shut. His footsteps echoing in the corridor seem rather fast paced and it doesn't take long for them to disappear in the distance. You are left alone with Eirin and Reisen who both are waiting for you to speak. After the burst of Surautonis' memories you aren't very confident in yourself, so you decide to consider your words carefully. The shock you received from the incident caused something to your mind. Something that might be problematic.
"The man is called Surautonis." You begin your story. "Apparently my father put the soul of that monster inside me when I was still a baby. Yesterday evening we were--"
Eirin listens carefully and occasionally asks questions about some trivial details. Sometimes she predicts what happens before you get to the point in the story while Reisen writes down notes when you arrive to some key points. Now and then she mentions some medical items which she requires.
"You aren't the only half-beast in Gensokyo." Reisen tries to comfort you. "Even though your case isn't the most common you have nothing to worry about. Master Eirin is the best doctor in Gensokyo."
"So what will happen to me?"
"That depends on you." Eirin takes a look at her notes. "We can either remove the monster by force, which will most likely kill him and cause permament brain damage to you, or we can try to use an alternative method where he leaves on his own."
"How does all that work? Somehow I doubt he wishes to leave."
"You think so?" Eirin looks at you curiously. "He would be free from the chains of your body, regain his own physical form and be able to continue his life from where it ended last time."
"Why has the stayed in my body for so long time? He regained his consciousness almost a whole day ago."
"Maybe it was due to your father being present? As far as I understand those two weren't in friendly terms."
"Really?" You ask honestly. "From what Jonathan said I figured that they were working together."
"No, not at all." Eirin smiles at you warmly. "Jonathan wanted to work with Surautonis, but he wasn't good enough. Surautonis coldly turned down your father's offer for cooperation. Like I did as well."
"How do I talk to Surautonis? If the matters are as you said, then he wouldn't have a reason for staying."
"In your sleep." Reisen says as if reading a text book. "That's when your bodily defenses are at their weakest state and it's possible for him to control your body."
"Very good, Udonge." Eirin reaches for her cup. "Hopefully you won't forget the crucial details in the surgery."
"Eh? Surgery?" Both you and Reisen ask simultaneously.
"Jonathan performed the sealing. His magic isn't strong enough for such operations. He must have used some other methods, and I want to see what he left inside your body. If Surautonis leaves Phil's body too early I'm sure that some fail safe will activate."
Suddenly you can feel butterflies in your stomach. You hadn't really thought that the sealing was done with scientific methods instead of some hocus pocus with a small poof.
"Master..." Reisen seems worried. "Do you really think he would do something so horrible to his own son?"
"I don't know what to believe anymore." You state in a frustated way. "Jonathan punched Hina. He also has been performing some sick experiments on me in order to revive some old genius monster. At this point I'll gladly listen to your advice."
"Very well." Eirin says with a friendly smile on her face. "Udonge, we're going to perform a surgery today. Make sure you revise everything related to FNAB, CABG, arthrodesis... And I think you should also get acquaintanced with lymphadenectomy and prepare for levothyroxine synthesis."
"Y-Yes master!" Reisen quickly writes down all the complex terms. "Do we require princess' assistance?"
"That'll be all, thank you. We need some time to prepare for the spiritual phase so prepare the guest room for the operation."
Reisen leaves the room swiftly. Eirin stands up, places her hands on your cheeks and forces your eyes to face hers. She seems to be searching something from your face, but gives up after a few seconds. She talks a bit to herself in mysterious medical terms and writes down some notes, occasionally eyeing you a bit.
"You said that I have nothing to worry." You ask almost half an hour later.
"That was Udonge." She sits down to her chair. "Personally I can give you some estimates on the probability of failure, but those numbers wouldn't mean much unless I perform a complete psychoanalysis. Most likely the outcome of the surgery depends on your willpower and intelligence. All we're doing is preparing the way out for the monster."
"I... I see. What did you mean by preparing to the spiritual phase?"
"You told me earlier about the agreement you have with Surautonis." She checks a few pages back in her notes. "You agreed to let him free once a month. You can't eat your words when youkais are involved."
"I'm not sure if I understand the issue at hand. It seems very--"
"Of course you don't." Does this woman always have that smile on her face? "You have lived for approximately 20 years, haven't you? Surautonis has lived hundreds of years. You're going to travel deep into your own psyche where he has been wandering for years, and you are going to drive him away from his home. These matters are not as simple as they might seem for a youngster such as yourself."
"So how can I prepare myself?"
"This Surautonis... He isn't a honest person. I'm certain that he will try to fool you with his words, so I want you to promise me than you don't give in to his demands. You are the boss, not him."
For a moment the mask of perfection on Eirin's face shatters. You can see her hesitating a bit as she says those words and there clearly is something she didn't say aloud. She warned you about Surautonis who your father was so eager to revive. There have been tensions between Eirin and Jonathan, but what exatcly the relationship between Surautonis and Eirin?
"I'll keep that in mind."
"If you don't mind the rush I'd like to get on examining your body." She points to a bed at the side of the room. "It'll be a long operation and we can't afford to do any mistakes."
"Shouldn't we inform Jonathan first?" You stand up anyway and only bring the matter up to see Eirin's reaction.
"You're old enough to make decisions on your own." Her words seem hurried. Okay, there surely is something wrong in all this. Maybe this wasn't such a good idea after al--
You fall asleep.
You are standing on the very same misty realm where you first met Surautonis. Your own body is filled with marks most likely made by Eirin for the surgery. The monster is sitting on a bench that could belong to a park, and there is a lamp pole giving a shady lighting to the plane. The mist doesn't flicker in different shades of colours like it did before, but instead seems to be slowly vanishing.
"Ah, I see you have returned." Surautonis taps the empty space on the bench. "Take a seat, Phil."
"We need to talk." You say and sit on the bench.
"What is in your mind? Are you considering letting me take over instead? There are some advantages in that."
"Not really." Think Phil, you can't afford to mess this up. "I was wondering if you would like to return to your own body."
"That would be pleasant if it was possible. My body was destroyed long ago."
"I've been... I've been talking to someone who you might know. She's called Eirin and is, in fact, currently standing next to my sleeping body and waiting for us to make an agreement."
He doesn't respond immediately. He seems confused if you can read his face correctly.
"Eirin Yagokoro... The witch doctor from the Moon." Surautonis mouths the name as if tasting it a bit "Yes... That is very interesting."
"Do we have a deal then?"
"No. There's something you have to know about me before you can even make such proposals."
"No? What's the problem?"
"During my last days I found out something about Eirin and your father. I was killed because of this information, and Hina helped me to hide my spiritual form inside her to keep this information alive. The very reason why Jonathan moved me to your body was to manage my memories... To gain access to my knowledge and find out how much I know. Just as Jonathan knew long ago it was Eirin who created this plague."
"I thought Jonathan said he was wrong."
"Hah, no. He was bribed to take back his accusations. Your mother died only because of Jonathan's actions. Jonathan had already stolen the Hourai Elixir when your mother was still alive, and due to this Eirin didn't hand over the cure to Jonathan. Jonathan thought that he was much wiser than Eirin and wanted to save your mother by his own hands instead of trusting his nemesis. He never apologized Eirin for stealing her most precious piece of work and this ended up in the death of your mother. Eirin then used Jonathan's guilt as a weapon to force Jonathan drop the accusation."
"If all you say is true, then that means Eirin is the original villain?" Somehow you find it hard to believe anything that Surautonis is saying.
"Villain? I don't think so. Eirin was going to hand away her cure when she realized how far her plague had gone. But she didn't due to Jonathan's actions. Jonathan finished his device and caused the global immortality."
"Does Eirin really hate Jonathan that much? She has practically thrown the entire planet into terror and doesn't do anything because of her personal grudge against Jonathan?"
"Call it redemption if you want. She wants to see Jonathan coming back to her crawling." Surautonis grabs a cigarette from somewhere and starts smoking it. "Tell me Phil... During your journey, did Jonathan ever show a single sign of guilt? No, he was always talking about how he cures the planet."
"What now? Why did you refuse my proposal?"
"Because otherwise Jonathan will miss the key point in curing the disease. Naturally he's going to steal Eirin's cure very soon, but what will happen then? He's going to use his immortality machine to distribute the cure all over the planet. He cures the plague or the cancer, whatever you people call it, from every human out there. Do you see the problem?"
"Their immortality uses the disease as a fuel. If you cure their disease they will all die due to their bodies still living on the sole power of the plague. He needs to first nullify the effects of immortality."
"Doesn't everyone simply die to the disease then?"
"No. It will be done in phases. Jonathan wants immediate results and doesn't see this problem. The only way is to synchronise the removal of immortality so that their bodies have healed enough to survive without the disease."
Somehow all this seems logical. You never quite understood how all this immortality worked, but Jonathan did explain something about the disease being the source.
"If you really are speaking truly, and there really is a cure... Why did you refuse my proposal?"
"How do you remove immortality?" He stands up and looks at you in a threatening way.
"Isn't it impossible?" You guess. "Once you have gained immortality it's impossible to become a mortal again."
"It's not. I'm a living example of it. If you want the world saved, trust me."
"A tempting offer, but you still haven't answered to my question. Why don't you want to regain your physical body?"
"Because then we will lose the main ingredient for the cure." He seems to wait for your answer, but then continues. "Which is me. I can't perform such tasks if I'm in my physical form."
"Does Eirin know all this?"
"Of course. Why else would she want me removed so quickly?"
"Let's say I believe you." You stand up as well and give your most demanding look to Surautonis. "What's the plan in that case?"
"I'll be taking over your body. We stop Jonathan in time and make a run to the immortality machine."
"What will happen to me?" The plan seems flawed. "Or you?"
"I'll die. You'll be fine. As a sign of my honesty I'll let you decide." He moves his fingers a bit and you can feel a sudden feeling of power. "Now you have complete control over my spiritual form and can do whatever you wish. How is it, Phil? Who do you trust?"
The guest room is crowded. The rabbit eared servant is preparing the tea set on the floor as the room doesn't have any free tables. The human sleeping on the bed is blissfully unaware of everything that is going around him.
In the end the surgery was a success. A creature previously imprisoned behind a barrier is sitting on the floor with the two ladies. Like all barriers at some point will do, this one collapsed as well under it's own weight. It's not known if it was shattered by the original creator of the barrier or by the person sealed behind it. We may never know for sure, but does it really matter?
The mad scientist had made a run to a mysterious, metallic machine hidden in the basemement of mansion of eternity. Having lost his sense of judgement he had used his strange power of discovering inside the metallic ball. Unfortunately an immortal being cannot remove the binding chains of eternity.
Achieving the impossible requires nothing else than one mad scientist aiming to end his life, one monster having returned from the borders of immortality and one genius ready to forgive. Unfortunately this particular impossible task also required a fourth element to work as a power source. Even though the cure was effective it was unable to save a man having lost everything.
"I hope the princess is aware of our little picnic?" Eirin sits on the floor and passes a tea cup to the monster sitting next to her.
"Yes master." Reisen sits on the floor and takes a cup for herself as well. "She's still sleeping, but I left a note on her desk."
"Master? I've been wondering something about this incident."
"What would that be?" The nurse looks Reisen interestedly.
"Why you didn't help Jonathan earlier? We could have avoided all these problems if you two had worked together."
"Stubborness." Surautonis says before taking a big sip from his tea.
"My, it's not like you to be so bold. Very well, I'll explain, but will you be able to understand it?"
"I'll do my best master."
"Have you ever wondered why the bamboos keep trying to reach the skies? They will never reach their destination, yet they still try harder and harder each day. Some day a storm might arise and snap them in half. All their hard work will be in vain only because a small moment of misluck."
"But if there is a forest of bamboo trees..." The moon rabbit wonders. "One might some day reach the skies."
"That would still take hundreds of years. They could stay at lower heights and increase their odds for survival. But none of them even considers that option. All of them are up to the task and ready to take their chances. Now let's assume that one day a bamboo reaches the sky."
"I know this story." The princess slides the door open and joins the group sitting on the floor.
"I presume you know the moral of the story then, princess?" Eirin offers the tea set to Kaguya.
"Why reach the skies when you are immortal?" She guesses lazily. "Eventually the sky will fall on you."
"That's not it." Surautonis interrupts. "Devoting your life to reaching the impossible only leads to two conclusions. Trying to reach the skies for all of your life, or losing your purpose for living."
"Once the bamboos have reached the skies..." Reisen speaks with her eyes focused on her master. "They no longer have the need to look back as they know it would only sadden them. They would see their origins and all their friends still fighting against the impossible odds in order to reach something which would turn out to be a disappointment. A storm can still cut their branch, and due to their immense length they are even more vulnerable. They know that their life is going to end soon. They would attempt to reach even greater heights as they are already too far to turn back, and staying put would only mean awaiting for the inevitable."
"I wonder why only the young are able to find the answer to this riddle." Eirin looks at her tea cup.
"It's because Reisen is a lunatic by trade." Kaguya reaches for the last dumpling.
"Eh?! I'm a moon rabbit so of cour--"
"So you were stubborn all the way until now?" Surautonis places his tea cup on the tray. "What changed your mind?"
Answering. To be honest, I didn't expect any questions...
>> What happens with Philip and Hina now?
In Hina path you would have gone to the Youkai Moutain area. I was expecting you to put more pressure on the Hina choices, but I guess I wrote them in a fashion which put less importance to them. Anyway, in this game the main goal would have been a fight between two men controlling one body. That would have led to an ending where Hina and Phil/Surautonis decide to start fresh again.
In the path you chose these choices are a bit different. The story would go on in a drama where two men love Hina, but Hina doesn't know who she loves.
>> And what happens to the world now that a cure has been made?
Some people die during the curing process, but most live. Some are driven insane by all the pain and torture they went through during the immortality years, but eventually civilization restores itself.
About the creation of this story... I had a really strange dream on 28th of July and, like always, I wrote it down to my dream diary. This dream was a lot larger than my dreams usually are. I also had wanted to try writing a touhou fan fiction story for some time, so I decided to give it a try. I wrote the dream diary entry, included a touhou and posted it.
I got some feedback (thank you anons up there in thread) and decided to try writing. After my second update I planned the complete game and aimed to finish it rather quickly.
I noticed that I didn't receive enough votes. This was clearly a sign of people not being interested in my story, so I decided to learn whatever I could from the story and fast forward it to the end. Lots of scenes were removed and generally the story felt like railroading from an event to an event.
Thank for my anonymous edit-fag *hands 10 packs of coffee to him*. I have some better ideas (such as non-plot driven one) which I will be writing in the future.