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“Can I talk to your sister then?”
“Pink hair? Third eye? Can read though?”
“Yes, that's her.”
“Can I talk to her? Where is she?”
“Probably in her room.”
“What about my hand?”
“Where's her room?”
“Oh! Third corridor, to the left. Big door. You can't miss it.”
Clenching your teeth, you start walking. That's not what you planned. Not at all. You don't like when things aren't going as planned. Plan was to bring Koishi to the Surface. You never expected her to turn into a scared little girl. Not after the crazy youkai who tried to kill you.
You punch the closest wall in frustration. You're sick. Really sick. Coughing blood and persistent headaches. And worse than all, you don't know what's making you sick. You're a biologist, you're supposed to know everything about sicknesses. And yet, that thing killing you slowly is unknown to you. Well, since you were kind of dead for probably two hundreds years, it may be an evolved virus that you don't know. Or it may be a poison. A lunarian poison...
Now that you think about it, you've been sick since the fight with that lunarian priest. Since you breathed that white foggy thing. You though he summoned something to counter your own poison, but what if it was a weapon rather than a defense?
Swearing, you quickly follow Koishi's indications. Too many problems at once, and you feel like you're no longer the one leading the show.
Okay, that girl is good. You kicked her door open, surprised her in nightgown, and she's not even startled.
“I'm beyond that.”
And she apparently has no decency. Whatever. Her nakedness isn't your concern right now.
“You're the first man thinking that. Whatever your reason is, it must indeed be important for you.”
“Yes. So let me talk, and don't read my mind.”
“As you wish, professor.”
“I want you to tell your sister to follow me to the Surface.”
“Yes. Or the Overworld, or whatever you call it. I need her. As soon as possible.”
“I'm afraid I can't do that.”
You feel like your heart is sinking in your chest.
“Well, that Koishi's decision to take.”
“I can't influence her. That's not right.”
“She can decide by herself.”
“I don't give a shi- I mean, I don't give a damn about that. Your sister almost killed me, and wounded Butler! She's downright insane, therefore she can't decide by herself!”
“That's enough. I can read minds, and I can guarantee you that my sister is now sound of mind... Is that the right expression?”
“Don't look at me like that. I don't want to risk my sister's life or sanity again.”
You muttered those words between your teeth. Well, see that on the bright side. Now, she basically forced you to do this.
“What? What are you going to do? Hey!”
You leaves the room, blocking the door behind you. Not that complicated. You just had to take the key, lock the door, take the key with you, and put something in the keyhole. Your scalpel will do. It's a noble sacrifice.
With Satori out of the picture, you're safe. Area is clear. As long as you don't loiter for too long, since you suspect that Satori knocking to the door and screaming will attract someone.
Going back to Koishi, you quickly check your Utility
Pocket Belt. Poison, deadly poison, aphrodisiac... Did you forgot it? Ah! No! It's here! Good.
And Koishi is still here, too.
“Ah, you're back? I though you were going to... What is that?”
You drink the vial's content, without swallowing it. Then, you walk to Koishi, and pinch her nose. As expected, she opens her mouth to breath. That's what you counted on. You release her nose, and quickly place your mouth on her, forcing her into swallowing the liquid.
And you release her mouth too, looking at her eyes. Confusion, anger, comprehension, and then, nothing. Her eyes are empty. Nothing. Not reaction to light, even when you light her face with your forehead doctor light.
“Can you hear me?”
“I can hear you.”
Wonderful. It worked. You wanted to avoid drugging her, but if it's the only option, you're forced to take it. Hell, Satori forced you! That's her fault! No, that's not honest from you. The truth is that you don't really want to be considered as a murderer. You don't care for Byakuren's opinion, but you simply don't want Ama to be considered as a victim. She was a manipulative bitch who killed and manipulated people for fun.
“Good. Now listen to me.”
“I am very sorry, but we're going to the surface. And you're going with me.”
“I'm truly and very sorry for this, but I don't want to be labeled as a murderer. Not again. Well, technically, I'm a murderer, but she provoked, so it was self-defense -COUGH”
You ears are ringing, and you still have that copper taste in your mouth. In other words, this is getting worse. And walking in those damp cave won't make you any good.
“I understand. I will follow you.”
“Good. I promise I will send you back once I'm finished, but -COUGH”
DAMMIT, that's really getting worse. Your time is running out. You must clear the situation, and go back to Reisen as soon as possible. She won't be happy to see you again, but if you can't get her help, you're dead. Again.
“Should we go?”
“Yes, we're going, Koishi.”
Passing the city was easy. All you had to do was giving Koishi a ride, on your shoulder, and ask her to hide both of you. You'll be frank, she was heavy. Or maybe you're just weakening. But, for a moment, it was great. It was like having a daughter.
Oh, and you saw him. That horned guy you killed. He's not dead, in the end. Bah, it's probably for the best, you don't really like killing people. Especially if they're not really pissing you off.
The worst part of the travel was the cave itself. Climbing all those rocks was really difficult for you. On the bright side, you stopped coughing. On the dark side, your light died, so you had to rely on Koishi to show you the way. You expected her to lie and lure you back in the underground city, but she was legit.
And now, you can relax. You're back to the Surface, the Sun is happily shining, the trees are happily dancing in the wind, and the Hakurei girl is happily beating the ectoplasm out of Mima.
“So you ruined my shrine while I was away, hu?”
“No! No! I-”
“And you though you could get away with that, hu?”
“Nononono! In fact, what happened is that-”
“And you tried to rebuild it to deceive me, hu?”
“Nooooo! Listen, it's that human who-”
“And you blame someone else? You're the worst!”
You could watch this for ages, but you're kind of busy right now. You'll come back later, when everything will be alright.
“We're close. Just a little more.”
YOU DID IT!
You went into hell, you talked with blond little girls, you fooled a bunch of horned drunkards, you locked a little girl in her room, and you abducted another one!
Yeah, said like that, that doesn't sound glorious at all, but it was kind of epic, right? Well, except the part where you spat blood. That wasn't glorious. And the part where you ran away from a bunch of drunkards. That wasn't heroic either.
But the important thing is that you're back to the-youkai-shrine-with-a-mummy-inside. Epic, isn't it? Damn right it is!
“Bybya! I'm back from hell!”
You though that kicking the main door would lead you immediately to Byakuren, but all you see is the scared little evil-girl-who-befriends-everyone. And she has ears. And a broom.
THAT'S A WEAPON! SHE'S THREATENING YOU!
“YOU MUNSTER! I'm going to -COUGH”
This time, you frankly puke. You puke something. That... half-green and half-red. Bile and blood. Bile? Oh, right, you forgot to eat. Thinking about that, it's been a while since the last time you went to the bathroom.
“Why are you calling her a cheese?”
“Tongue. Its fault. YOU! The girl with a broom and no name! Where's your boss, the Byakuren?”
“Actually, I have a name!”
“Very good, you'll write it down later on my toilet paper. Your boss, NOW!”
“Aaah! S-she's in her room.”
“Thank you for your kind assistance.”
Switching from your angry face to a kind face, you leave the girl with a broom but no name, and you start walking. And then, you remember something. Back to the girl with a broom but no name!
“Where's Byakuren's room?”
“Oh! Sorry! I'll show you the way!”
“Ha, thank you sweetie!”
“Bibya! It's me! The guy you punched in the guts for no reason! I'm back!”
“Would you mind telling me who you're calling Bibya?”
“Byakuren is too long. Anyway, I don't have time to waste. Koishi, do you mind telling her the truth about Ama?”
The hypnotized girl who was walking behind you the whole time finally advances, placing herself in front of Byakuren.
You highly doubt she would do that if she wasn't drugged, but the order you gave her was to 'tell the truth'. Not 'tell her how Ama was a manipulative bitch'.
“I was lost. Alone. My sister and I were chased from our home, and I got separated. And then, she arrived. Whispering. Murmuring. Slithering. Crawling. She arrived, and said terrible things. She told me that my sister abandoned me. That I would be alone forever. That-”
You place your hand on her shoulder.
“Koishi, that's enough. You can go back to your sister now. Thank you.”
Gently shoving her aside, you smile. That's not a nice smile you're doing here, by the way. That's a wild smile. You're not smiling like a scientist proving he's right. You're baring your teeth, preparing yourself to deliver the deathblow to an idealist buddhist. And, frankly, you love that.
“I found Koishi several weeks ago. She was mutilated. I think she took her Third Eye off. And if I'm right, that's like a heart to her. So, I'll say it properly for you to understand, Bibya. Your gentle and nice follower, Ama Trassu, manipulated Koishi and drove her crazy enough for her to rip her own heart out.”
The girl with a broom with no name place a hand on her mouth, trying to suppress a gasp, but Byakuren is totally unfazed.
“That's not explaining me why she died.”
Your demented smile goes wider. Well, you can't really call that a smile. As said before, you're simply baring your teeth. Your red teeth. After coughing blood, your own teeth are tainted in red.
“She died because she tried the same thing with me. She whispered in my ears. But instead of taking my life away, I crushed her head with a rock. And she kept on, whispering and laughing and giggling and CACKLING AND GIGGLING AND WHISPERING AND TELLING ME SHE KNEW.” You pause momentarily. Mostly to take your breath off, but also to calm yourself. “So I kind of snapped. I beat her to death with a machete. I guess some people are displaying aggressive behavior when attacked.”
Your voice sounded like you were singing. That wasn't intended. A brief look at your hand shows they are shaking. You're not an iron man, and what Ama told you really affected you. You're telling the truth after all. You just snapped, like Koishi did. Except that you acted like a beast back then. A human reasons. A beast simply acts. If you trap an animal in a corner, it will fight in desperation. Every hunter knows that, and that's why they're always leaving a way out. And since you spent many years alone, you kind of regressed. Truth to be told, you look like a doctor, you're a scientist, but trapped in a corner, you regress into a wild beast. If you didn't had that machete in your hands, you would probably had attacked her with your bare hands.
“I... see...” Byakuren sighs. “What a shame. I though I could fix that habit of her.”
“Hey, hold on Bibya.”
“Don't call me-”
“Shut up your mouth and let me talk. You knew what kind of person she was?”
“Yes, I did. But who are you to tell me-”
“You knew who she was, and you accepted her? Did you knew she kept Koishi's heart as a TROPHY?”
“There's still a chance for someone-”
“A CHANCE? I know what she was. She's an youkai feeding on suicides! How can you seriously expect something like that to live in a human society?”
“Don't say something, that's insulting-”
You pause again. You were focused on Byakuren to notice it, but your hands are clenched so hard your fingers are white. Your lips are shaking, and you're pretty sure that your face is ugly.
“She's just living on energy. There are other ways to-”
“BRILLIANT! I mean it! That's really BLOODY brilliant! Yeah! Oh hey, there's that girl feeding on people's suicide, so I'm just going to take her in! I mean, what's the worse that could happen? Her feeding on innocent people -well, I'm not exactly innocent, but that's beside the point-, well, TOO BAD, it happened. And guess what, Bibya? I'm ready to bet that Koishi wasn't the first one. Ama's room was a real mess. And she's keeping trophies. I'm sure that, in this mess, I can find a proof that she killed another person. Hell, probably ten! Or a hundreds? OR MAYBE EVEN A THOUSAND?”
You try to calm down again, but you can't. All that mess was in fact Byakuren's fault, and she ACCUSED you. You pinch your nose, walk a little in the room, and stop again in front of Byakuren.
“Everyone deserves a second chance. That's all I say.”
“And you deserve a good spanking for your foolish and idealist behavior, but I'm just going to pay you back the trouble.” You raise your hand over your head, and you punch her on the solar plexus. Right where she hits you before. “Now, we're even. Sorry for the trouble, see ya later, and thank for the fish.”
Byakuren is still sitting, holding her chest, so who talked? Oh, it was the girl without a name.
“You can't judge people like that! Lady Byakuren did many good things! You can't just judge her on a mistake!”
“Of course I can. I'm a murderer. I can judge her, because I did worse.”
“I-if you're a murderer, you have no right to judge her!”
“That's the opposite. Because I know what happens when you kill someone. Hey, Byakuren?” You turn your head to Byakuren, slowly recovering from your punch.
“Have you ever killed someone?”
“Well, you're still responsible for Koishi. Because Ama was your responsibility. “
“Human never changes, right? Why do you hate youkais so much?”
She's glaring at you, with hate in her eyes. You laugh at her face.
“Me? Hating youkais? Dear, I'm in love with one! What I hate are sadists. If you want to kill someone, you can just break his neck, or drown him. Forcing him into mutilating himself is just cruel.”
“Everybody deserves a chance.”
“Ama wasn't 'anybody'. She was someone feeding on death.”
“I can say the same thing about you?”
“What the hell? Okay, I killed many people, but I never forced them to kill themselves! Well, maybe I did. Not sure.”
“I bet you eat meat, right?”
“Oh ho ho ho. Don't try to sell me your vegan diet, BUDDHIST!” You spit this last word like an insult.
“You have to kill animals to eat them, right?”
“You're not so different from Trassu, in fact. You feed on people.”
“Animals aren't people.”
That's what you're trying to think, but you see Byakuren's point. And that's not something you like. In fact, her point is enough to disturb you.
“They are living. You are living. They're the same.”
“They aren't smart.”
“They can feel pain.”
“...” You don't say anything. You just glare at Byakuren. The saint slowly gets up. She's taller than you.
“Killing a dog, a rabbit or a cow is the same than killing me, or Kyouko, or your friend Koishi.”
“Not really a friend. So your name is Kyouko, uh? You BLARGH”
This time, it comes without warning. Blood rushes to your mouth, flowing on your chin. You put your hand on your mouth, but it's too late. On the bright side, that cushion was ugly. You swallow your own blood. Taste horrible.
“I have to go. Sorry.”
With that said, you leave, for good. You can hear Byakuren calling for you, but you don't have time for her. Just... go to Reisen. Tell her it's lunarian related.
You fall to your knees, puking more blood. Enough to fill a glass. You feel weak. Like, really weak. Luckily, your brain is still working. But your hands and your feet are getting colder.
Lunar dust. You figured out what the poison was. It was indeed that fog that the lunarian priest summoned. Probably lunar dust. Looks exactly like lunar dust anyway. You never suspected it could be used as a weapon. What a powerful defense mechanism.
But didn't you noticed that earlier? You went to the moon,, you stepped on that dust! The SAME dust that's now killing you! How could you NOT notice something like that?
Less green and more red. You're puking and coughing at the same time. Quickly, what does it mean? Lungs and stomach are damaged. Both at once? That's not good. How is your liver? How are your kidneys?
You have to get yourself back together! Push with your hands! Get back to your feet! Do it! Do it!
“Argh. I hate being sick.”
But you did it. You're standing again. Now, walk. Walk. And walk. Enter in the Bamboo Forest. Walk until you find the mansion. That mansion who's bigger in the inside than in the outside. Find it.
“Here he is!”
“Reisen, go catch him.”
“Master, are you referring to me?”
“Or to me?”
“Udonge, that's not the time. Take him back to the Eientei.”
With your hand still covering your mouth, you hear several voices. Who were they? No, who ARE they? That's present. Well, basically it's past. Past for you. Since they already talked and stuff.
You fall to your knees again. Everything is so cold. Your hands are cold. Your nose is cold. Your legs are cold. The only warm thing in you is your blood. That red liquid you're puking and coughing.
This is going to make a perfect epitaph for your grave.
“Died choking on his own blood, while muttering nonsense.”
Someone catches you as you're falling into darkness.
“Master, I got him!”
“I can see. Carry him back.”
“Don't make me repeat myself.”
Someone is carrying you. That's not Udonge. She's stronger than that. That's the other rabbit. Reisen. The idiot one.
You don't know how, why, but at least, you know who saved you. Guess you'll have to thank her later.
Where are you?
You can't see anything.
Not, it's not blurry.
Your eyes are just tired. Wait a little.
Here, see? You can see.
You look around. You're on a chair. In the wooden mansion. The Eientei. Hell, you recognize this room!
“Technically, that's my laboratory.” Said a feminine but cold voice coming out of nowhere.
“Where are you? Who are you?”
“Present yourself first.”
“Professor James Moriarty. Now present yourself.”
There's a small laugh, and you hear the door opening. A tall woman enters. A very tall woman. Maybe even taller than Byakuren. With silver hair. She kind of look like Yorihime. You really want to see her again. Like, right now.
“Usually, I greet newcomers with a simple word, like 'greetings' or something, but since you already took over the laboratory, I think it's uncalled for.”
“So I guess I should be the one saying 'greetings', then?”
Her smile fades.
“You're barely alive, and you joke with me? That's not a good idea.”
“So I'm not supposed to joke with you? I'm supposed to tell you that story where a rabbit, a wolf, and a troll are entering in a bar, and-”
She walks in the room, observing the vial. Your vials. The one you stocked in your Utility Pocket Belt, but also the others you left here.
“Now that's interesting. You're not bad, I give you that. However, you made many mistakes.”
“Tell me about it.” You try to sound confident, but you're still on a chair. And still weak. The only things working fine are your brain, and your mouth. And you wish your mouth couldn't work, because it's faster than your brain.
“First, you used MY laboratory. Second, you attacked my assistant Udonge. Many times. Third, you tried to murder the head of the Ginnosuki house.”
“The priest. And, last but not least important: your assassinated a relative of mine.”
“Hu? Mind telling me your name?”
“I am the Master Eirin Yagokoro. I created science and medicine as you know them, millennium are nothing but a blink to me, I created life countless times, and I'm currently VERY angry.”
TO BE CONTINUED!!
Fun fact: F.A.G.'s Eirin and S.E.X.'s Eirin are the same. Other fun fact: most updates were named after Portal 2 song.