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I'll start on Chapter 1's first post later tomorrow.
Edit: Did a bit of last minute fixing up. Also trying out a new proofreader.
[x] I’ll check it out, shouldn’t be that far from the Inn area.
“I’ll do both tasks as they’re in a straight path. I’ll look into somehow claiming a spot before the concert starts” I answer. This should be easy enough as well... Kourin isn’t that good of a business man. There are all kinds of theories regarding why he runs that shop, such as him actually being very rich but having nothing better to do with his time or being some kind of bandit. What I do know is that he used to work with Marisa’s father, but quit soon after Marisa ran off. He’s the go to guy for anything unusual or interesting though he insists on hanging on to certain things. He's similar to Marisa in that regard.
Ginji replies, “I’ll see what I can do after I’m done here. You can try getting Spoony to cover that task, seeing as how it won’t interfere with his precious flirting.” I really want to find out what the whole story about last night. I proceed to walk towards the Inn.
Things are certainly lively with folks preparing for the concert in the nearby area. I notice Miss Orange acting as if she has a headache. “Miss Orange, is there something the matter?” I ask, hoping to perhaps help her.
She laughs and answers, “Nothing too serious, just dealing with what Kurumi and her friend ended up doing. They certainly fell hard for your friend, hard to blame them when the guy sings songs inspired by them. I can tell this isn’t going to be an easy or quiet night, not with those jealous guys out and about.” That isn’t good, if it’s like yesterday, not even Kazuma could hold off that many. “Don’t worry about it, I’ll be around to help out.” She adds, apparently noticing the worry on my face. I’ve really got to warn him about that.
I go up to Kamui’s room and knock on his door. “It’s Yuki, today’s the day of the concert!” I announce. I hear a bit of noise as the door opens to reveal Kamui with some bathing stuff.
“Yeah I’m up, I’m just waiting for the main bath to be open. Those two are using it at the moment. It seems vampires have some difficulty bathing due to that running water business.” he responds. "I’m surprised you didn’t try to take a bath with them."
“Hey! I’m not pressing my luck, and that’d be going a bit too fast. I’m aware of the risks I’m taking with this, and I’m sure Ginji had his say about it.” he adds after catching my reaction.
I ask, “Just what is the full story with that? If you’re not careful, you’ll make Mystia even angrier and unlike Takami, you’ll probably die in the process.” Kamui may have that white hare’s luck, but he’s pretty frail, even compared to me.
“I wouldn’t try such a thing, except for a piece of advice Miss Tewi gave me. I feel such a thing is possible and it would help with Mystia. This isn’t the first gamble I took in my life. I’ll explain more when everyone meets up as I’m sure they want to know as well. The sisters were certainly impressed with my performance, giving our group VIP status, and Lyrica’s attention.” He answers in a serious tone which lightens up near the end.
Oh! The warning! “Kamui, there’s some guys that aren’t happy with your luck, and if Lyrica gets involved, you might end in a mess you can’t talk your way out of.” Some of the sisters’ fans are insane and/or stupid. They would most certainly react badly to such news.
He merely laughs, “The fans would cancel each other out. But on to other things; have you seen a young blonde haired girl with a blue ribbon? Elis and Luize are trying to look for her. Her name is Alice, and she's the daughter of some big wig in Makai. She apparently ran off after the Shrine maiden and her group.” I am seriously debating who’s more reckless: Kamui or Kazuma.
Let’s see... nothing of that description. “Sorry, haven’t spotted her but I’ll keep my eyes open. I’ve got to go to Kourin’s to pick up some things. Once you’re ready, think you can claim a good spot?” I ask putting down the rug I was carrying, as it is rather heavy.
“I’ll handle that so you can just leave that rug here.” Kamui responds. That’s two things down and one to go. I leave the Inn quickly as I go down the path to Kourin’s shop.
Walking the path, I’m reminded of how fortunate that the shop is in the ‘safe’ area of the forest. It isn’t long before I see the shop, surrounded by various bits of junk. I check to see if it’s open; sure it’s usually open but it never hurts to check. It is, hopefully I’ll find what I’m looking for.
I'm surprised by what I see inside: Miss Keine talking with Kourin; I never knew that she knew him. I guess I’ll try to find something while waiting until they’re done talking. There are some things that look like towel/blanket hybrids, and one has a picture of some kind of living dried fruit that’s wearing a type of glasses with dark lenses. I’ve never even heard of a fruit youkai before and I wonder if Lady Akyu has.
“Interested in those seaside towels? Or are you pondering the existence of fruit youkai as I often do on a boring day?” Kourin says, breaking my thoughts. “If you’re interested in them, I’m willing to let them go at a price. I must say even thinking on the notion of such beings is maddening” Okay... I don’t dwell on such things for that long.
Miss Keine shakes her head as she answers, “Just take those towels Yukikaki; I’ll pay for them. I’m going to need to talk to him about over-thinking a towel decoration.” I take them and put them under my arms. I think this should be enough for our expanded group.
“Thanks for the deal, Miss Keine and Kourin! I’ll be going now” I’m going to be making a hasty exit as I think I interrupted something.
As I head towards the exit, I hear Kourin shout, “My name isn’t Kourin, no matter what Marisa tells you!” That certainly is true as she’s the one who told us about their past before she ran off. I kinda feel sorry for him as I think she told everyone my age that.
As I walk back I see Rika (I think) coming up in her tank. She stops and gestures to the seated basket in back. “Gin-gin asked me to pick you up from the shop so here I am! It’s not everyday that someone gets to ride in Alexander!” She explains. Gin-gin? Oh, I know Ginji isn’t going to like that. I guess I am curious about what it’d be like taking a ride in it.
“Why not?” I answer as I get in and make sure my bag’s shut. The ride’s on the bumpy side but pretty comfortable. The trip is pretty short with the tank’s speed, where I see Ginji, Kazuma and Kamui talking. I hop out and go over to them. I make it over in time for Ginji to say “That has to be the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard in my life.” I can only imagine Kamui’s going into the details about his idea.
“Ah, there you are! I was just telling those two about what Miss Tewi told me. She said that getting more than one girl is possible. It's a matter of the brain being clever and the heart being brave and pure.” Kamui explains. Is he serious? Takami angered Mystia and was lucky to survive. Kazuma may be brave, but he’s never been this reckless.
Kazuma scratches his head as he remarks, “If I get a girl like Merlin that’s good enough for me. It’s easier that way as there’s less to worry about and more time for one girl.” That is a terribly good point.
“Well I’m certainly impressed by that remark. Though... I can’t say I don’t understand his thinking; two humans are less risky than three youkai.” Ginji answers. Oh yeah, I should tell them about the towels.
“I got some more stuff to lay down on the ground.” I point to the towels, including the one with the fruit youkai on it. We go about preparing things, putting down the towels. “Where’s everyone else and the other stuff?”
“The stuff won’t get here until before the concert and the girls are doing other things, except for Rika. We were here to set up the spot and hear the spoony dumbass out.” Ginji answers.
I notice Kazuma looking horrified at the fruit youkai towel as Kamui speaks up. “Don’t worry it’s just something from the outside world where that being was made to sell dried fruit. I’ve seen a few outsiders at the inn and one of them had a similar kind of towel. Man, I can only imagine how many heads that towel messed with before getting here.” The outside must be a terribly twisted place if such beings are imagined.
Before I can think any further about the towel, my stomach reminds me it's almost lunchtime. Miss Fujiwara’s flavorful yakitori comes to mind, and I decide it’s time to have some of that lunch.
As I eat, I notice Kazuma looking out, and Kamui doing a bit of practice. Rika and Ginji are talking, and she's trying to feed him some strange thing. “Don’t worry, it’s really good, Gin-gin.” To my shock he didn’t seem to mind as he takes a bite and enjoys it. The moment was interrupted by Kamui butting in.
“Gin-gin? Oh my, that’s just too funny!” Kamui remarks as he chuckles, and within arm’s reach of Ginji, too.
But before anything else can happen, Kazuma drags Kamui away, saying “You have no right to talk that way about him! He’s having a hard enough time dealing with his nature without you making fun of him!” I'm not surprised; one can make fun of Kazuma to his face all they like, but do that with his friends, especially Ginji, he gets mad.
I finish eating half of my riceballs and open up my book as Miss Orange and Luize come up. Miss Orange notices the towel and remarks “I never thought I’d see something with a California Raisin on it. I remember Kurumi being freaked out when I showed her a figure I found of one of them.” I suspect those innocent ‘raisins’ are perhaps the most terrifying thing to hit Gensokyo. “Elis is off trying to help Kurumi try on a more flattering daytime outfit. I must say you four are pretty good at team projects.” she adds.
I turn back to my magic book, and see what it has to say on wind magic. “Wind and Wood elements are closely related and as such, one might accidently invoke the latter when in a forested area. Trying to intentionally invoke a higher element is a unwise move as a multitude of things could go wrong.” It seems pretty easy, even compared to water as there’s always air to use. I decide to look up these higher elements “Wood, Metal, Sun, Moon. These elements are greater than the 4 core ones and one has to master the basics before trying to use them. But despite their difficulty, great power lies within that few can resist.” Miss Chalmers sure seems to know her elemental magic. I really ought to practice in the next day or two. I’ve put it off for long enough.
My reading gets interrupted by someone asking “How is this, Yuki?” I look up to notice it’s Kurumi wearing a silky blue cloak over her that’s rather flattering, making her look mysterious. I also notice that a few hours have flown by and that Miss Asakura and Elis had arrived.
“If you ask me, I think you come off as rather mysterious in an attractive way.” I reply as she seems to smile and go skipping back to Kamui and Elis. I did remember Miss Orange’s remark about how she didn’t like her old outfit. I look around and notice the plates of food and mini iceboxes around. All the people seem to have gathered; the performers will be coming up soon. I decide this is a good time to finish my lunch and get comfortable for the show that’s about to begin.
It’s dusk by the time the concert starts and I notice on the stage the sisters are wearing different outfits from the usual but wear their usual hats.
“Welcome to our concert everyone, I hope you will enjoy yourselves! Now for the introductions! I’m the Middle sister Merlin, mistress of the phantom trumpet that’s taken the blood of many a Jazz trumpeter!” she announces. The only way I can see that happen is bad dental care. Merlin is the most audaciously dressed, wearing a pink bikini and a small pink skirt.
“Next is my older sister Lunasa, Mistress of a phantom violin that puts even a Stradivarius to shame!” Merlin announces while pointing to Lunasa, who’s wearing a sleeveless dress with a light skirt. Lunasa’s very cute when she blushes, like she is now due to the attention she’s getting.
“Last but not least is my cute younger sister Lyrica, who plays phantom keyboard that a famed artist made. Its sounds are so unearthly it could never sell in a normal store.” Merlin announces as she now points to Lyrica who is wearing a light red sundress. Lyrica winks in response to the attention... possibly towards Kamui specifically.
The concert was amazing, the various songs brought out different emotions, high and low. I was so entranced by the performance I didn’t notice anything else other than the occasional food and drink. And to think I get to meet them next.
Kamui stops my daydreaming as he remarks “Pretty amazing right? Well, it seems only Kurumi and Elis felt like going with us. Rika already put the stuff away at Ginji’s place. Leave it to Merlin to get the bulk of the attention.” He then helps me up as he leads me and the others to the back stage area.
Lyrica greets Kamui, “So how was your first concert? I hope it’s everything you’ve been expecting. Your friends are certainly like you described them, at least as far as those two are concerned. Now, your best friend just looks he had a life changing experience.” I’ve heard a few things about how she’s rather sly and worldly, which seems true. Lyrica turns to Lunasa and asks “Where’s the other guest, Luna? I’d think it’d be nice of her to meet a fellow musician”
Lunasa answers, interrupting a chat that she was having with Ginji. “She had to take her own route to get here. And Merlin, try to behave yourself!” I look over to find her hugging Kazuma, and I'm not sure who’s smiling more.
“But sister, he’s a nice guy and understands me well. He’s honest on top of that.” Merlin responds. I take a few moments to collect myself so I can pay attention better.
"It’s nice, but-" “Hey Yuki, cheer up! I’m sure Cupid will find you!” Lyrica interrupts me as she talks with Kamui, Kurumi and Elis. “Hey Luna, what was that guest’s name again?” She asks Lunasa.
“I believe her name was Mystia. A night sparrow at that-” Lunasa answers. Right at that moment, none other than the night sparrow herself enters the room, lowering a veil of silence over everyone. I can only hope nothing too bad happens.
Mystia breaks the silence first. “Why do you have those filthy friends of that filthy human male here?! I was hoping to forget what he said... ugh.” Mystia says, obviously upset. “To go out with a seemingly nice human, only for him to make an advance in such a disgusting manner. Comparing me to a piece of meat! Do you humans have any idea how much that hurt!?” I tense up. I’m not sure what we’d do if she attacks.
“I can’t speak for that person, but the people Kurumi and me met are certainly nice, certainly not the type to be near suicidal.” Elis speaks.
Mystia is quick to answer, “Sure they’re nice now, but they’ll get you alone and think you’re some sort of sex toy!” Well that didn’t- wait, why are you standing up, Kamui!? What the hell, you should stay away from her, not get near her!
He walks up to her and kneels as he starts talking “Few people even approve of what he did. Still, I apologize for not stopping his foolish insensitivity and for whatever pain you suffered. I’m sure my words may ring hollow, but I do care for you, enough to turn down the advances of those two. My hope is that you open your heart again someday.” Mystia steps back with tears in her eyes as he continues: “Now that we’ve met again, I have no intention of running or hiding from anything that comes about by my inaction. My three friends here have nothing to do with this mess.” The ability to face death for one’s convictions; hard to say if that’s courage or insanity. Regardless, Kamui has proven that he’s such a guy.
She’s silent for a while before responding. “I’ll try, but I want you to prove your words to be true. If those two or Miss Lyrica want to be with you, they can go ahead. If your words prove false, I’m sure one of them will bring swift punishment upon you. I wish I chose you, Kamui..." She turns to the Prismrivers. "I’ll come back after they’re done. I can’t quite be around them just yet,” she says as she leaves.
I collapse on my butt as the tension is released. “Are you nuts, Kamui? She could have killed you!” I shout.
Kamui calmly responds, “Didn’t you feel the pain in her words? I had to do something about it, seeing as how I indirectly had a role in it.” Before anything else could happen, Merlin starts playing a melody on her trumpet “Come on, cheer up! He fixed things so let’s just resume where we were!” she says. Heh, I feel better already. I look around to find Ginji and Lunasa having some laughs.
“Look at those two; guess the phrase simple pleasures for simple folks were right” Ginji remarks, looking at Merlin and Kazuma, who act as if nothing happened at all.
“Yeah, but I think it’s for the best. I do worry about someone trying to take advantage of her. She isn’t stupid, but her awareness of her surroundings isn’t her strong suit.” Lunasa responds. She quickly blushes and adds “And don’t think for a moment that I’m just going to fall over for you like my sisters!”
Ginji blushes as he responds, “I wasn’t expecting you to! I just wanted to try talking, that’s all! After all, a sensible woman such as yourself must have her pick of guys!” I start laughing at the absurdity of that conversation.
Recovering, I go over to where Kamui is talking with Lyrica. “You alright? You looked as if you were about to faint when that happened” Lyrica asks me.
“I’m fine, and would you three try to keep an eye on him so he doesn’t do anything else stupid” I ask, turning to include Kurumi and Elis.
“Sure, though that girl was presumptuous thinking I’d go falling into his arms that quickly. I am more interested in seeing where it goes before I consider anything. The last last thing he needs is some berserk fans down his throat." Lyrica answers. Turning to the two winged girls and I, she continues "but I hope you’re enjoying yourself with this and the concert." The two girls nod in response.
“Honestly, it’s pretty great and exciting, though I feel kind of bad for not being as into it as my friends” I answer honestly.
“Well, I’ll try to wrap things up as I’m sure you all could use a nice rest. We also owe Mystia some time as well.” Lyrica replies. I go over to sit down and gether my thoughts somewhat as she goes about trying to end the whole meeting. The sisters then work on some booklets they have, I guess autographing them.
“Here you guys go, try to keep them safe as one day they’ll be collectables!” Lyrica remarks as she hands each of us a booklet. She adds, “Kamui, don’t get yourself killed; your friends worry about you,” as we leave.
As we're leaving, we each open up our booklets. “Something a matter?” Kamui asks the two winged girls, who are blushing deeply. I can only speculate what the cause is.
“Merlin gave some... interesting advice to the both of us, especially Kurumi.” Elis answers as they open their booklets for him to read, causing him to blush. He goes up to Kazuma and remarks, “You’re going to be in for a wild time with Merlin.”
“Oh? She gave me the code to send messages to her home. Her sisters added their own comments, such as Lyrica warning me not to get suffocated by Merlin.” Kazuma answers.
Ginji replies, “So did Lunasa. I guess she might need a sympathetic ear. Though Lyrica didn’t need to make that smartass remark about my social life.”
“So Yuki, what does your booklet say?” Kamui asks. I look inside and, in addition to all three sisters’ autographs, the messages range from telling me to not to worry about things so much (Lunasa), wishing me luck finding a cute girl (Lyrica), and to cheer up (Merlin, who added a smiley face to it). I show him as he chuckles, adding “Well, I’m sure you’ll have time to rest and get back into your routine as I doubt anything too exciting will be happening for a while.”
We then go our separate ways, heading to our respective residences. I quickly get ready for bed and put my stuff away as I end up passing out. I hope tomorrow’s more normal.
Little did I know that what happened the next day would change so many things in the end, especially my life.
Chapter 0 End.