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> 08/11/01(Sat)19:58 No. 12066
This is horribly depressing...
This isn’t satisfying at all. What’s more, if she is bring you there, why would she have problems telling you about what kind of place this Eientei is, or how far it is? Maybe she was just irritated since you found out that she was indeed in a hurry. No, that’s a lie. She never refused to talk about Eientei; she just gave a vague answer. Maybe it’s so close that she doesn’t feel the need to answer that question as it would be to appear before the two of you any moment now.
Which isn’t the case, as you look up ahead, the trail seem to continue for quite a bit. You don’t scout your general direction for too long though as your instinct swiftly shifts back your focus to your feet... just in time to avoid yet another root. Those roots... what the hell is wrong with them? What did you ever do to them? It’s almost starting to feel like this whole forest is after you, every tree, every branch, every leaf, and every solitary leaf of grass. It almost feels like the forest is alive, watching you from every angle, on every centimeter, every corner of yourself is being watched by this humongous monster of wood and dirt. Yes... it will stop at nothing to make a fool out of you. One of you has to die for the other to be in peace... yes...
You shake your head and snap out of it somewhere around the moment when your thoughts were about setting the whole forest on fire. Bad ideas; better think of something else... now.
-“So...” you begin casually.
-“Any idea on who did that?”
-“Who did what?” Even if you can’t see her face since she is walking slightly ahead of you, you can still tell your question doesn’t seem to make much sense to her.
-“How did I end up there?” You add, as if it was only natural.
-“Well, most of the time people who venture into the bamboo forest end up lost and either someone guide them out or they eventually find their way back.” You notice a subtle emphasis on the word someone. “But I gotta admit that, unlike you, people generally don’t get far...”
Hold on, that’s ridiculous. You didn’t come here, you don’t know where is “here” in the first place.
-“No that’s not what I meant.” You object. “I didn’t come here of my free will. In fact I don’t have any memory of that, I don’t even know where we are. Even if you say Eientei it doesn’t ring any bell to me.”
“Hm?” she stops and looks back at you, her ears moving down slightly. “You didn’t?”
-“Yeah, I did tell you found me.” you remind her.
-“Sorry, I thought you were saying that you had no idea how you got where you were as in you wandered around and winded up to be even more lost than before.” She closes her eyes and let out a little nervous laugh.
-“No big deal, as long as everything’s clear in the end I don’t mind.”
-“No, I insist, it was careless of me to jump to conclusions so hastily.” She quickly excuses herself as if an obligation.
-“Nah, really, it’s okay.” You say in a tone meant to be reassuring, bearing a warm smile.
-“Regardless, I still made a grave mistake” Looks like she won’t accept just leaving it at it. “please accept my apologies.”
-“All right all right.” You answer, motioning with your hand that it really doesn’t bother you.
Why is she caring that much about politeness anyway? It’s not like you were some kind of VIP guest. Yet again, you’re talking about someone whose ears are seemingly those of a rabbit and with-- This tail... Jesus, this goddamn tail why must it look so fucking soft? You are tempted for a moment to just pet it and ignore everything else, but you quickly suppress it, thinking how silly and inappropriate it would be.
-“So, where is Eientei on the map? It doesn’t sound any familiar... are we still in California?”
Rhetorical question of course. You ARE still in California, whoever transported you when you were asleep can’t have brought you too far, both because of the time constraint and the fact that you would wake up before he/she/they/it/whatever arrived at destination. Without any doubt you’re still close to San Pedro somehow...
-“California? Never heard of it.” Reisen answers with a serious face. You can’t help but to burst out an honest laughter. Reisen however frowns and seem slightly annoyed at your outburst.
-“That was a good one, but seriously... we’re still in California, are we far from Los Angeles?”
-“It is not polite to mock one’s knowledge. No it as not a joke I know about as much about this “California” you speak of that yourself know about Eientei.” She adds, still looking serious.
Wait, that’s just ridiculous, California is one of the most famous states in modern culture, like Florida or Texas. You don’t even have to be from America to know about it. Yet her expression betrays nothing. She IS not kidding.
-“WAH-?” You blink. “Sorry, for laughing, I was sure you were kidding me. You... really don’t know where California is? United States of America, maybe?”
She shakes her head. No, this is not possible, nobody can have NOT heard of the U.S. even if it’s just bashing. Yes again, you ARE talking to someone whose ears are not human. Okay, are you sleeping still? You pinch your left forearm. Nope, you’re awake all right.
-“We should get going.” Reisen interrupts as she notices your bemused expression. “I know someone who will surely understand better what happened to you.”
-“Right...” you reply, not really convinced.
You resume walking, in silence this time. You put your hands in the jacket’s pocket and your right hand feels something big, easily taking up all the place. As your hand runs over it, you can feel the familiar shape of a gun. The ammo, however, is nowhere to be found. You search your other pockets your only find is a handful of bullets in the pant’s left pocket. You take them out and count them before putting them back: eight. Oh well, it’s better than nothing.
After about ten minutes, the bamboos starts to thin out as you reach the end of the forest. Before long, you can see the first images of an old yet undoubtedly valuable structure. You can’t yet see exactly how big it is or identify its style precisely, but it is without any doubt Asiatic. Is this the Eientei she was talking about?
[ ] Keep following Reisen and wait for her to break the silence
[ ] Keep following Reisen and break the silence [insert subject]
[ ] Take the lead and take a better look at the building.