You can see her hands desperately trying to cling onto the little light known as hope, which you think she sees you as. Her face is directed away from you as a sign that she feels rejected by the one person she believes could save her. Her resolve is in shambles at the task at hand, wishing for someone to take her away from all this misery, to whisk her elsewhere and bring her comfort, happiness, and ultimately, apart from the turmoil she's experiencing.
This is what's going through your head right now. You're not sure if you should believe it, but without asking, there's no way to know. The only way to find out otherwise...is to take that chance. With a steeled will, head full of delusion and an aching heart, you go for it. You quickly reach both hands behind her, and before she can react, you pull her into you, both arms tightly wrapped around her waist. Momizi can only manage a gasp as she's forced into you, and while she resists, the resistance is ultimately weak, both to you and her own resolve.
"M-Master Satoshi...! What are...nngh!" Momizi struggled with you and herself, trying to free herself from your grasp. She both sounds and feels very weakened, you're not sure from what, but you're going to make her give in for now.
"Momizi, calm down...this is what you want, right?" Momizi continues resisting, but after you say that, it gradually winds itself down. Soon, you notice that Momizi is now fending off her own tears.
"N-No...this isn't...what I want...b-but...I..." You look down at Momizi, who has her face pressing into your shoulder. Her resistance has stopped. All her energy is being devoted to trying to keep herself from breaking down and crying, but that itself is being of little good to her.
"No? Then...what is it that you want...?" You feel kind of guilty now for being forceful, but after loosening your grip, you realize that even if you were to let go, Momizi wouldn't be going anywhere. It's probably more productive now to just continue on with the plan and keep trying to comfort her to the best of your ability.
"Why...why is this so hard? I don't want to do this..." You sigh, partially from relief, partially from regret, but nonetheless, you still give Momizi a pat on the back while embracing her.
"It'll be alright Momizi. But why are you so against the idea? Wouldn't you want to settle down with someone you love and have children anyways...?" Momizi just scoffs, pointing her face down further. It's becoming a little difficult to tell what she's thinking.
"I just...I don't know...I mean..." You start assuming that Momizi is just as confused as you are. Maybe she is, she's being pressured a lot, and it might be effecting her judgement. All you do is tighten your hold on her again and hope it's working. It seems to cause Momizi to stop talking, and just focus on trying to keep herself steady.
You close your eyes after a while, and a bit of times seems to pass. You don't really think of anything but hugging Momizi right now. You feel like you're betraying a certain someone, but sacrifices have to be made. You're sure she'd understand...maybe. You suddenly open your eyes when Momizi speaks, though.
"Satoshi...I have...a bit of a confession to make..." You can instantly feel your heart jump up into your throat, the amount of nervousness that suddenly hits you is astounding. On top of the confession, she failed to use the usual 'master' title when referring to you. You swallow your pride though and get her to continue, despite your fears though.
"Wh-...What is it...?"
"My father...he was the only one around for me when I was young, since my mother died early...he helped me through...a lot of stuff. He felt so inredibly sad when he said he had to leave. But...you...you really remind me of him. His personality, his attitude...even down to his look, you're so similar to him..." After your fears were put to rest, you can't help but think about it for a moment. It all makes a ton of sense now, you think. Momizi's distance from the rest of the tengu, her ability to easily trust you so fast...she must've been very lonely without the one parental figure she looked up to in her childhood. You don't know what her life was like up until this point, but considering how much weakness she's showing right now, it must've been very hard.
Though you're not sure if this is entirely a good thing. You never really considered yourself father material. You almost want to meet this guy, but it's all but likely too late now. You also can't help but feel like this is all vaguely familiar, but odds are you tried to force it out of your head a long time ago, and it would be best to continue doing that for now.
"I see...well, uhh...I'm not sure what to say, really." Momizi finally finds it within her power to separate herself from you, wiping a few tears from her eyes.
"It's alright. I know it sounds strange. I can assure you that this will not happen again, however."
"Hey now, don't go saying that." You try to cheer her up by giving her a comforting smile and wiping one of the tears off her cheeks. "It's not that I don't like the gesture. I'd like to help you in any way I can. And that's what I'll keep doing." Momizi stares at you for a short while getting off a slight smile herself.
"Thank you, Master Satoshi." She then closes her eyes and soon lets out a long yawn. "Mmm...it's late, however. We should probably go to sleep. Thank you for coming though...I think I needed that."
Well, you feel a bit better, about a lot of things. You're more knowledgable, too. Though you have no clue what the future holds, especially in this state...what should you do? Well, maybe it would be better to think of something to do for right this very moment.
>Offer to sleep with Momizi for the night
>Ask if it's too dangerous to just casually walk out
>Excuse yourself out of Momizi's hut for tonight
>You also can't help but feel like this is all vaguely familiar, but odds are you tried to force it out of your head a long time ago, and it would be best to continue doing that for now.
[X] Ask if Momizi wants you to sleep here or go back to your own hut.
>Ask if Momizi wants you to sleep here or go back to your own hut
"You're welcome. But uhh..." You give a quick look back at the entrance before looking at Momizi. "What should I do? Do you want me to sleep here or go back to my own hut?" Momizi looks at you, blinking for a few moment. Apparently she doesn't really know the answer to that.
"...well, I suppose it is your choice. If you must leave, you have to be absolutely careful. If anyone sees you exiting my hut, controversy would be at hand." Momizi looks down, worried, suddenly. "Although, regardless of whether or not you stay, you will have to exit this hut sooner or later, which is dangerous..." Hrrm, sounds like a pickle to you.
"So, regardless of what time I leave, I risk being seen..."
"Yes, but if we choose the time intelligently enough, we can minimize that risk."
"And no one would be the wiser, right? No one would dare look in here without permission, considering the event at hand." Momizi gives a quick nod and smiles slightly.
"That is correct. No one here would dare break that rule. You are safe so long as you stay in here and don't make too much noise." You sigh a little, closing your eyes to think.
"I still have to leave this hut eventually though...it's just a matter of when."
You need to think carefully about this. What time would be best? The lack of noise outside suggests that everyone has by now, gone in for the night, but you can never be too sure. It's also impossible to scout for peering eyes due to the lack of daylight. You could try to sneak out early morning when no one's awake, but there's the risk of early risers, which seems prominent in this group. Finally, there's the most enduring option...staying until later the next day, when everyone has left. People might end up questioning your whereabouts, however, which might get awkward. It would happen eventually though, since this place is only temporary to the tengu. Or so you've heard, anyways.
>Sneak out now
>Sneak out early morning
>Sneak out later the next day
Most of the wolf tengu are busy mating, so it's a clearer path for Satoshi to take back since most will be distracted. I get the feeling someone's going to check on Momizi and catch us if we leave in the morning.
I agree. What benefit is there to sneaking out early morning, anyway? As far as we know now, most of these bastards are busy fucking. Tomorrow? No information, we'd be running on sheer hope that they'd be too tired to do anything.
I'd rather take certainty, even if it's less endearing (and by that I mean less Momizi hugs).
"Well, maybe I should make my get away now while it's dark..." You take a quick look at Momizi. "Say, you think you could peek outside and see if anyone's around?" Momizi just closes her eyes a bit shamefully.
"I'm afraid I wouldn't be of much use...I tend to suffer from night blindness." You're left stunned for a breif moment at how stupid that coincidence is. Still you man up and prepare yourself for the trip outside. You suddenly stop yourself though when you remember something.
"Oh, right. Momizi?" Momizi looks at you curious as to what you'd need her for.
"Hmm? What is it, Master Satoshi?" You then reach over and pull her in, hugging her softly.
"Be strong, okay?" Momizi seems to pause for a moment before hugging you back.
"I will. Thank you." You part from the little wolf and see her smiling up at you gently.
You don't think you could ever forget this face. Hopefully it won't be the last time you see it.
You make a quick escape out of Momizi's hut after a quick peek around to see if anybody's watching. You think you're lucky for the most part. That is, until somewhere in between a couple trees, you bump into, of all people, Souya.
"Uwa! S-S-S-Souya?" Souya puts a finger up to his mouth in a shushing manner before whispering back to you.
"What are you doing here? Shouldn't you be in your hut?" You hope you're not busted. You'd rather not get caught, even if it's by Souya, so you make quick with fabricating an excuse.
"Ahh, I was thirsty and couldn't find any drinks, you know, alcohol will dehydrate you and all..." Souya sighs, but he seems to buy it.
"Be careful. This time of night is dangerous for someone like you to be wandering about."
"It is alright. While you're here however, I may as well take this time to thank you again for taking care of Miss Inubashiri. Please, keep her happy until she must return to the mountain. Good night, Satoshi." Souya bows, but you're not ready for him to leave. Not yet.
"Hey." You stop him with your hand as he tries leaving, which nearly catches him off guard. "I wanna ask you a few things...first and foremost being your relationship with Momizi." Souya only blinks up at you, not really getting the bigger picture.
"What do you mean, Satoshi?" You hate to be so blunt with a sensitive subject, but you don't have much time.
"Have you...considered being her mate yourself?" Souya's eyes seem to widen a little at realizing what you're getting at before he closes his eyes, smiling a regretful smile.
"I suppose I should not lie...if I could, I most certainly would. But as it is, the chief wishes for her to be wedded to the strongest and most experienced she'll allow, and I'm neither of those qualities." Hmm, well that's one possibility out of the picture. While it's not really your style, you have to move on without sympathies for now.
"I see. And what about Tatsuhiro?" Souya puts his hand on his chin, looking aside to think for a moment before turning his attention back to you.
"Well, I haven't heard anything about him and Miss Inubashiri. There are sometimes rumors about who Miss Inubashiri might choose, since she is alone in her generation." You blink for a moment. You're hoping that doesn't mean what it means.
"A-...Alone in her generation?" Souya closes his eyes, seemingly pained to say the next piece of the puzzle.
"Yes...come the festival where Miss Inubashiri becomes of age, she will be the only single female of the pack that has not found a mate, provided all the females the next festival find mates. It is exceedingly rare for it to happen but..." That only strikes more pain and fear into your heart. Not only is she pressured to mate because of her potential to bring the race out of it's reproductive stasis, but she's going to be looked upon as the only fish in the sea for guys looking for a mate when the time comes.
Part of you wishes you wouldn't be alive to see this. But as it is, you have obligations to fulfill.
"I am sorry you had to hear that, Satoshi. I know it must be difficult." You shake your head, and try to regain your bearings. It's very hard though, just the mere thought feels like a metric ton weighing upon your shoulders. Poor Momizi.
"No, it's okay...I'm sure Momizi will find some way around it...I hope..."
"Well you should keep your chin up and continue fighting for Miss Inubashiri. I'm sure she would be happy to know that you are trying so hard for her in times like these." You give a bit of a sigh in response.
"Thanks...you're free then. Have a good night, Souya."
"Likewise, Satoshi." Souya then bows and makes his leave. You hesitate for a nice moment before continuing onto your hut. You wish you never set foot out of Momizi's, in complete honesty.
This feeling only becomes bolder the more huts you pass. You feel your heart racing, your body shaking, your mind going in places it really shouldn't. Why? Well, it's bloody fuckin' obvious why.
You stumble into your hut, practically whimpering. Oh god, you couldn't possibly imagine all the willpower you had to summon there. There's something to be said about wandering around what's supposed to be a mating ritual late at night. You immediately head to bed and try to drown it all out. Sadly, it doesn't work all that well. You get sleep but...not in the best condition.
You wake up the next morning, finding yourself in a hot sweat. You try to introduce a little air into your clothes after getting out of bed. It's bright outside though. You must've overslept. Hard to imagine, considering the awful sleep you feel like you got. A bath would be incredibly nice right now, you feel sticky otherwise. You'll just have to deal with it. A shower isn't going to just come right along and fall on your head.
Walking outside, you find that although it's bright, it's certainly not sunny. An overcast fills the sky. Dark clouds seem to be moving in. Oh man, you really hope you didn't just bring down more bad karma onto yourself. You should find Momizi as soon as possible.
After a bit of wandering about, the entire area seems rather empty. It looks like a very large majority of the tengu have all but left. You find five wolf tengu in a circle near the middle, one of them looks to be Momizi. As you approach the group, one of the waves at you. Looks like Tatsuhiro is a member of this little committee too.
"Hey Satoshi! Did ya sleep well?" The big lug asks you as you arrive. Of course, the truth isn't always as sweet as you'd like it to be.
"Haha, no not really. Was it hot all night? I woke up sweating just now." The giant man-wolf just grins at you.
"Heh, even you could feel it through the night, eh?" You're not entirely sure what he means by feeling what, but you get this intense feeling you really don't wanna know.
"Master Satoshi, we should get going." Momizi herself seems ready to go, to which Tatsuhiro responds to.
"Yeah, let us take care of the cleaning. You two should get home like the rest."
"Clean up duty, huh?" You say back to the big lug. "Well, good luck with that."
"Hah, thanks!" You feel you don't really deserve the thanks, considering the context. You don't know about him, but you yourself would certainly rather not clean up after a ton of wolves sexing up the place. "You two take care now, we'll see you back at the mountain after things there are cleaned up, okay Momizi?"
"Yes. Take care." Momizi bows to her peers before turning to you. "Let's get going, Master Satoshi."
The two of you start walking back. You're wary of the incoming clouds getting closer. Unfortunately it seems your path is on a head on collision with the impending weather, which mean it might be raining by the time you get home. Troublesome.
But things continue to get worse, as you soon realize. The path becomes unfamiliar. You're starting to realize you've rarely went down this way before. You never had a reason to. You feel as if you should've been able to see the human village in the distance not too far back, but it was impossible. Your sense of direction becomes misaligned as you constantly have to continue stopping to make sure you're headed in the right direction. The more you stop, the more worried Momizi gets.
"Are you positive this is the correct way back home?"
"I don't know actually...I've never had to go down this way before. I'm surprised we found the ritual site with no problems."
"Well, it is somewhat foggy...even my enhanced sight can't seem to pierce though it." You give off a big sigh.
"And yet you have night blindness...well, let's keep going."
The more you walk, the more you realize you've went the wrong way. The awkward geometry of the land you wandered into makes navigating even more difficult. Then, it happens. It begins raining. But no, ohh no. It isn't just any ordinary rain. What starts with a light drizzle soon becomes what feels like a roaring typhoon. Despite the lack of winds, it really feels that way, because the rain comes down hard. The longer you and Momizi idle outside, the harder it comes to come down. By the time the both of you realize your big mistake, it already feels like someone's just dumping an endless bucket of water on you.
"The mountain side...?" You almost have to stutter out, due to the heavy rain pounding on you. Visibility is similarly low, but what appears to be a large cliff side stands before you.
"Oh no, did we end up back at the ritual camp...?"
"Maybe this is a good thing. We should go seek shelter there."
"They've probably already cleaned up by now though. Come on." Suddenly you're being dragged along by Momizi, going around the cliff side until Momizi finds an entrance into the small mountain, which she happens to pull you into.
You try to err out some words, but you can't. You're simply out of breath. The pounding rain made your body feel twice as heavy. There's just no way in hell you could've withstood that for long.
"Ah...Master Satoshi, can you please stand back?" You look over at Momizi puzzled at first but you follow her directions. Just then, she gets down on all fours and starts shaking all the excess water off her. You know. Like a dog. "Ah, much better."
"...y-yeah." Trying to put that incredibly silly notion behind you, you look back outside through the entrance. The rain pours down like there's no tomorrow. Those dark clouds weren't there for show, that's for sure. But, at least you got your shower.
"Master Satoshi..." You look over at Momizi again, and find her looking at you worried. That can't be good. "You should dry off immediately so that you don't catch a cold."
"What about you? You're just as soaked as I am, even after..." You can't bring yourself to say it. Things like that always make you lose touch with the similarities between you and Momizi. It was this way with her too. You almost feel like you should just carry a straw hat and pitchfork wherever you go now. Next thing you know, you'll be mingling with some sort of cow youkai.
"I am fine. Being a white wolf tengu grants me many resistances to many common illnesses, inclu-ACHOO!" You'll admit, you were kind of taken off guard by Momizi's sudden sneeze. She sniffles it away, but she looks plenty displeased. "...d-damn timing."
"Well...I guess we should both dry off then. At least if we're going to wait out the rain here."
"Of course we are. You couldn't possibly go through that rain yourself, could you Master Satoshi?" You take another look outside to remind yourself of the very merciless rain pouring down. Considering that you're right back where you started, you might collapse under the weight before you get home. You don't wanna chance it.
"No, I couldn't. But you could." You look back at Momizi, who is now giving you a bit of a pouting face.
"You know it is pointless for me to return home without you..." Sigh. You guess she has a point. That rain is just too harsh for you right now. Looks like you're both stuck.
"Alright, alright. So that leaves the question, how are we going to dry off?" Momizi returns to you a slightly flustered expression.
"Ah, well, my original idea is a little embarrassing for us both to do..." You guess she means stripping off the wet clothes. Definitely not a bad idea, you're sure your own clothes weight at least half as much as you do now, they're so drenched to the core. But preserving Momizi's modesty (and therefore your pride) is equally important.
You look back inside the cave. It doesn't stretch in too far. There's a small clearing flanked by a large boulder somewhere in the middle. Directly outside is a few scant trees, but that's about all you can really see outside that's worthwhile. There's good enough resources for a fire. Due to your experience in trying to make a broken fireplace work, you have decent skills in starting one, though wet branches might make it more then difficult.
You think back briefly about what Alice said about your luck. You're getting this vague feeling it's related to something else now...
>The boulder is a good enough separator
>There should be no shame between you and Momizi
>Maybe a fire alone might help enough
>Other suggestions (read as: writer is too lazy to think of more suggestions so he suggests you write in some for him)
>The boulder is a good enough separator
>Try to get a fire going
"Well, we can maintain some sort of modesty by keeping that large rock over there between us. But for now, let's get a fire started." Momizi nods and immediately turns to go outside, before you grab her arm to stop her. "Hey. Where do you think you're going?"
"To get firewood..."
"It'd be a waste for you to get drenched yet again, so I'll go fetch it. And no buts." All Momizi can do is stare at you with the most worried look on her face. She knows she can't say anything, since you just told her she can't Sometimes having power isn't all that bad.
You brave the torrential downpour just long enough to break off a small branch from one of the trees nearby. For once, the heavy rain works in your favor, since the added force seems to make it slightly easier. At least, you think so. You bring back into the cave a medium sized branch with other, smaller branches coming off it. Ample enough for a type of campfire.
"Here, allow me to start the fire, Satoshi. You should dry off and get those soaking clothes off." You're perfectly capable of handling it yourself, but there's nothing wrong in letting Momizi do some work sometimes. She might be better adept at making a fire then you would be anyways, since she does apparently live out on her own, you think?
You undress down to your underwear, which also happens to be equally soaked. What you've feared most at this very moment seems likely. You lay out all the drenched clothes of yours to dry on the side of large boulder sitting near where Momizi is making a fire. When you look over, she seems to have effectively created a nice campfire, warm and stable. She seems to be rather good at this.
"Wow, good job Momizi."
"Thanks~!" The little wolf smiles with glee in response to your compliment. Now comes the moment of truth, however.
Momizi starts with her skirt, unbuttoning a particular side and getting out of it. As expected, her bloomers are soaked to the core, sticking and clinging to her legs, leaving rather little to the imagination. You decide to avert your eyes before you stare hard enough to realize that they're probably transparent, too. Sometime after Momizi gets her shirt off, she yelps out a bit. When you look back down to her, you find that her utterly soggy sarashi is trying hard to fall off. Momizi's modesty is mostly kept by her arms right now.
All you can do is close your eyes, and think about other things. Preferably not related to the female body.
"A-As I thought...please forgive me, Master Satoshi."
"Just go behind the rock, we can keep it between us for now." After listening to a few wet footsteps walking away, you open your eyes. Momizi is nowhere in sight. You give off a deep sigh. You wonder how long it'll take the clothes to dry. For now, in honor of Momizi's purity, you'll have to stay on this side of the boulder for now. Though, while you're at it, you get your own soaked undergarments off too. It's not as if Momizi would be looking anymore.
You sit down, leaning against the boulder, deciding to take this time to relax a bit. At least, you were about to, until you realized something. The fire Momizi started is on your side...
"...Momizi, why is the fire on my side and not closer to the middle?!"
"Don't worry about me Master Satoshi, it's important that you get most of the warmth! I'll be fine!" Well god damn, the girl got the slip on you. It's not like you can move the fire either. Not without likely burning yourself. Or putting the fire out. Both of which are scenarios you want to avoid.
"Are you sure you'll be fine back there?"
"Yes, please don't worry, Master Satoshi. Being a white wolf, I have a very strong resistance to cold. As long as I keep dry, I'll be okay."
Well, you guess that's alright. You can't help but worry though. It'll be a while before the clothes dry, or the rain lets up. Clothes would have to come first though. Not like you'd feel all that comfortable about walking around naked outside. Who knows how long that might be though.
>Invite Momizi over to your side
>Propose to switch side with Momizi
>Ignore it for now and relax
>Try talking to Momizi
>Invite Momizi over to your side
>Try talking to Momizi
"You know Momizi..." You start off with. You couldn't help it anymore. "You're free to come over here and enjoy the fire too." Expectedly, the responce comes off as a little embarrassed.
"L-Like this? Are you certain about that?" You couldn't care less about Momizi seeing you naked, you suppose. But if you stared at a naked female body too long after the incredible length of time you've strayed away already, you're afraid you might bust a blood vessel. Momizi's modesty is important, but considering the consenquences, thinking about yourself too might be as well a good idea.
"Well, we don't have to be in each other's sight to stay close...we could sit back to back if you want." There's a long hesitation before Momizi responds.
"...turn to face the wall, then." Hearing Momizi agree to it, however reluctantly, lifts your spirits some. You happily turn towards the wall and close your eyes.
"Okay, you can come over now!" You wait for a while. Eventually, you hear very faint footsteps, right behind you. You open your eyes when you feel a bit of a cold aura sitting down behind you. "You're really cold, Momizi..."
"Ah, please forgive me."
"No, don't move." You say, stopping her from putting more distance between the two of you with your words alone, somehow. "Bodily warmth is important in situations like these, you know. As long as we stick close together and stay near the fire, we'll both be warm." Another hesitation follows before Momizi says something back.
"...you really are like my father." This kind of throws you off, as you weren't expecting it. What does that have to do with anything?
"Wh-What? What are you talking about?"
"Kindness and concern like that is so...rare. Perhaps I'm just ignorant of it coming from anyone else, but even among the white wolves, my father was so much different from the rest...that is probably why he got chosen to serve the tengu on the outside. The tengu are very social, but...they tend to keep to themselves when it comes to personal issues and such. That is perhaps why they are so social and outgoing like that...it helps them keep their minds off such things." You look down at the ground, thinking to yourself for a bit. You can't find any specific words to give her right now. You're actually unsure of what you should say. Should you say anything? You kinda wish you knew more about the tengu, really.
Silence fills the air as time passes. You realize you have absolutely nothing to say to that. Maybe you should change the subject. Would that be too rude? You don't know. You just want to cheer her up somehow. The mood is unsettling.
"Uhh...so what did your father do, exactly?" You ask her. Probably not the best of questions, but it's all you can damn well think of right now.
"Huh? Um...well, he was among the most supportive members in the pack, shortly before being drafted. He was smart too...though a little...off in the head at times."
"Off in the head?" You're somewhat hoping this doesn't apply to you as well.
"Ah, he just had a particular way of going about things, sometimes. Like the one time he tried curing his own hiccups by standing in middle of a roaring waterfall. It didn't quite work but he found out that it actually did make an effective training method..."
"Ah...hahaha..." That definitely sounds kind of weird, considering the much easier ways you could go about curing hiccups. You're about to say something else, but then, suddenly...Momizi changes the subject.
"Master Satoshi? Can...can I ask you something a bit personal?"
"Huh? Sure, ask me anything." Another long pause before Momizi can muster up the strength to ask.
"...how...how do you...how exactly do you feel about...you know, the one you've been waiting for?" You blink for a moment, trying to think of who she's referring to, until it dawns upon you.
"Yes..." You're rather taken back by this question. You certainly weren't expecting it.
"Why would you want to know...?"
"Ah, I'm just curious...I know it's a sensitive subject with you however, so I was afraid to ask..." You almost want to bite the bullet here, but after a short silence, Momizi continues. "I'm sorry...the whole festival yesterday opened my eyes up to a few things. And with how close my time is coming, I feel that the more I know about how to go about a relationship, the better prepared I could be when the time comes." Well, that eases your worries a bit. It sounds like she's just looking for advice. So is she really going to go ahead with it? You guess in the end, she doesn't have much choice.
"I see...I'm guessing you can't tell me anything about what the chief talked to you about last night, then."
"I think it would be best if you were left unaware of what was said then. Please forgive me, Master Satoshi."
"Well, I'm not sure I could really give you tips on relationships..."
"No, that isn't what I need. What I need is...I guess, the kind of feeling you get...when you think about her. Could you explain that to me?"
Gee, this seems familiar. Well, love and affection comes in many different shapes and forms. You guess it would be different for different people, even if they were both human. So that just leaves the burning question. After all that's happened, and with the future still being so uncertain, there's still one person that's totally out of loop from all this, and it might be a good idea to re-evaluate things. All that would be left after all is said and done, is this one person.
Just basically use this time as a way to rethink about things. Think about it, someone you confessed to and never replies back to you vanishes without much of a trace, and now you're wandering about with a new girl under your wing, slightly changed friendships and a bit of a new perspective on things. Would you still feel the same way about this girl that disappeared without giving you a proper answer?
Not that I'm trying to lobby you guys into deciding that you shouldn't stick with her, it's all your guys' preference. There are people that might start having second thoughts about it after these kinds of experiences, then there are people that would stand their love strong regardless of obstacles like these. It doesn't have to be graphically detailed; just speak from how your heart would feel after all this.
Ah, screw it. Third attempt, and I'm just gonna cut what isn't necessary. I'm just gonna post it and leave it be.
[ ] "She's...different. All I need to do is look at her, or even just think about her, and I feel things about her that I don't feel towards everyone else. I feel suspense, insecurity, happiness, and joy all at the same time, and no matter what happens I would want to stay with her at all times, if possible.
When I thought I was about to lose her, I didn't know what to do or say. So when she told me to tell her how I felt about her, I couldn't do anything else but say 'Rin, I love you'. I couldn't say anything else at the time, because nothing else would be sufficient."
[x] "She's...different. All I need to do is look at her, or even just think about her, and I feel things about her that I don't feel towards everyone else. I feel suspense, insecurity, happiness, and joy all at the same time, and no matter what happens I would want to stay with her at all times, if possible. When I thought I was about to lose her, I didn't know what to do or say. So when she told me to tell her how I felt about her, I couldn't do anything else but say 'Rin, I love you'. I couldn't say anything else at the time, because nothing else would be sufficient."
I'll go with this for now. I don't think adding , "but don't disappear as soon as you declare your love for someone, or disappear yourself when someone declares their love for you. That's a no no." would really be conducive to what we're doing, but still.
I don't think there's anything wrong with continuing to pursue Rin, if that's really what folks want. At the same time, I believe the amount of time that has passed, without even a word, should not insignificant to Satoshi either. There are the stories of wives waiting for years and years, while their husbands are held in a prisoner of war camp to return. There are also stories of wives remarrying after a mourning period(some, barely). I guess it's just a question of, how long should we wait? Should we ever stop waiting? And does Rin feel half as connected and as committed as we evidently feel? She made it clear she feels something for us, but how far does it go? These are all just idle thoughts, just putting it out there.
I like Rin as much as the next guy, maybe even more, but if Satoshi doesn't feel just a little bit like an emotional doormat, I'd be surprised. Maybe I'm just unhappy Sukima wrote her out of the story like this, even if for plot reasons. Derp.
>At the same time, I believe the amount of time that has passed, without even a word, should not insignificant to Satoshi either.
It's not that I don't agree with you, but I don't think making the subject a negative thing is anywhere near good for Momizi as is. Momizi is very insecure and submissive, and while we may have scratched the surface on why I doubt we have the full gist of it.
Regardless of how bad this separation between man and cat might be on Satoshi's psyche, I think the best thing is to make the experience as joyful as possible (though I don't believe in just being positive only; it's proper to show there's ups and downs, and if ever Momizi presses the whole "what about now since you're separated" issue I agree it's best to be honest).
>I guess it's just a question of, how long should we wait? Should we ever stop waiting? And does Rin feel half as connected and as committed as we evidently feel? She made it clear she feels something for us, but how far does it go?
I foresee this as a major thing in the future in the story, and I think Satoshi through us (or Sukima) will have to answer those questions some time. Those are tough questions, but, again, I don't think we really want to impart the idea of a negative unsurety to a fragile soul. Unless, of course, we're gluttons for punishment and want to pick up the broken pieces.
I suspect the reason why Rin never answered was that she's looking for it, between her nature as a cat youkai and her heart for the two have different ideas of an fitting mate. I think he'd wait until she has an answer so he doesn't end up having Rin come back with an positive answer to him and his new girlfriend.
Rin due to being raised as a pet, even after assuming human form, thinks more like an animal than a typical animal Youkai. I think it'd be safe to say Chen acts less like an animal than Rin does.
[x] "She's...different. All I need to do is look at her, or even just think about her, and I feel things about her that I don't feel towards everyone else. I feel suspense, insecurity, happiness, and joy all at the same time, and no matter what happens I would want to stay with her at all times, if possible. When I thought I was about to lose her, I didn't know what to do or say. So when she told me to tell her how I felt about her, I couldn't do anything else but say 'Rin, I love you'. I couldn't say anything else at the time, because nothing else would be sufficient.
I can only guess my confession came as a shock to her for she never answered back. But I think she's just coming to terms with it. And because I love her, I'm willing to wait until she has an answer for better or for worse."
Here's my shot at adding on to it. I'm sure it can be improved.
It's been a pretty short time for Satoshi to fall for Momizi, but I think he does see her as a friend.
>>15572 Well they do live far apart at the moment and Sukima might have thought Rin being around would have taken the focus of off Momizi. But I must say, the man loves his cliches.
I wonder what it is in me that likes cliches so much. It's probably why I can tolerate things like Maburaho so well.
You breathe out, closing your eyes to look within yourself for the answer. Thinking of her...those feelings are still lingering, to be sure. Maybe this is a good as time as any to get them off your chest.
"She's...different, I suppose. All I need to do is look at her, of even just think about her, and I feel things about her that I don't feel towards everyone else."
"Well, I feel...suspense, insecurity, happiness, and joy...all at the same time, and no matter what happens...I think I would want to stay with her at all times, if I could." You sigh again, looking down and remembering the fateful evening near the beginning of winter. "When I thought I was about to lose her, I didn't know what else to do or say. So...when she told me to tell her how I felt about her, the only thing I could do was tell her...I love you. Nothing else would've been sufficient."
"I see...so you really did tell her how you felt. But...she's been gone for a long time now, hasn't she?" You can't stand being reminded of that fact. You weren't really given any sort of indication of how she felt about you before she vanished. It's been a long time, too.
"I can only guess that my confession came about as a shock to her, since she never got back to me about it...I think she's just trying to come to terms with it. I'm willing to wait it out until she does have an answer though, for better or for worse."
"I wish you good luck on that, Master Satoshi." A short silence follows, before Momizi says something again, her tone of voice dropping a little. "I wonder if my father felt the same way about my mother..."
"I'm sure he did." You say back to her, trying to keep a happy outlook on this. "You've been saying so much that I'm a lot like him. Maybe that's true too."
"You're so committed though, Master Satoshi...to tell the truth, while the pack takes mating and wedding two together very seriously, it is not uncommon to hear about a couple not sharing much together." You find yourself needing to inquire about this, as it makes vague sense to you.
"Wait, so even though a male and a female are pretty much bonded together for life once the female gives birth...they don't really love each other?"
"We are youkai...to say we know the true meaning of love..." You nearly grumble out loud upon hearing that. You've definitely heard that somewhere before. It's an excuse that's starting to wear just a little thin on you.
"It's like humans could really understand it any better though. It just comes to you."
"Well, suffice it to say, Master Satoshi, most of the wolves, after they mate, they stay together mostly to care for the resulting child, not much else..."
"Hrrm..." Erring that out, you're seeing more and more negativity surrounding this issue. It sounds like even after the ritual, they don't consider their mate much better then the rest of the group. "So, I'm going to take a wild stab in the dark and say that the reason why you've been procrastinating on finding a mate of your own is because you want something different from that, right?"
"Y-...Yes." Well, that considered, it makes even more sense why she would ask you something like she did just earlier. You're not sure what to say for a while though, until Momizi once more, breaks the silence. "Master Satoshi, the one you're waiting for...she is a youkai, isn't she?" You're not sure why Momizi wants to know that, but it's certainly not far from the truth.
"Yeah, she is...why?"
"Do you think...that might be the reason why she has withheld her answer from you?" You think about it for a moment. Taking a breath, that's a very viable reason why. She did express a lot of concern over your lifespan being much shorter and more fragile then her's.
"It could be. I wouldn't put it past her. If that's the case then there's nothing I can really do about it right now."
"Well..." Momizi says, continuing on. "I believe...that the rule among the white wolves to not engage with any others not a member of the pack...it isn't a rule special to us. The way I see it...most, if not all youkai generally follow that kind of guidance."
"So wait, are you saying-" Before you can finish, Momizi interrupts you.
"Hold on, Master Satoshi. Please let me finish. I'm not saying that youkai only court those of the same species. There are plenty youkai that have had successful relationships with others of a totally different family. But, answer me this; how many stories have you heard of a youkai together with a human?"
"Hmm, well, my old teacher has shown me a few I guess..."
"How many of them ended well?" You think you're starting to see where Momizi is going with this. The grim look on your face must be a sight to behold.
"Not...not many of them..."
"I think it may be an unwritten rule among most youkai not to frivolously play along with humans in such a way. It...would be akin to going against God's wishes, I believe. The variety of consenquences...and if you ever chose to have off spring..."
"What would happen? I haven't really read up on that subject."
"Half breeds, half human, half youkai...they are not very welcomed in this world. Humans reject them for having youkai blood, youkai reject them for having a human heart. They have no place in this world..." Another sigh escapes you, as this really troubles you. You hadn't really given the thought on having children before, but if that sort of thing were to happen...it sounds very serious. You can only hope that becoming youkai yourself would fix that, but you're not entirely sure.
"I see...when you put it like that, I guess...even if she did love me, she'd have to think about it very hard. I can see where you're coming from, at least." A long pause follows afterwards, as you try and sort out the painful knots in your heart from realizing this. It all goes away suddenly when you feel Momizi's now warm back pressing up against yours.
"Not to worry, Master Satoshi. I am certain that she loves you very much and that with your combined feelings for each other, you can get over any complication that stands in your way...just like my parents did when they conceived me." It must be the combination of the relaxing and soothing feeling of Momizi's bodily warmth together with her calming and kind voice that's making you feel very at ease and happy right now. It practically washes away all the worry you have right now, even if only temporarily.
A long while passes. You don't really fall asleep, more like...zone out for a nice period. Leaning against Momizi's back makes it relaxing and easy to do. Not much really crosses your mind during this. The only time you're really brought back to reality is when Momizi informs you of the clothing.
"Master Satoshi, I think our clothes are dry now."
"Huh? Really?" You say back, trying to readjust yourself to the lighting. Surprisingly, the fire has lasted a very long time. "Well, go ahead and takes your clothes back behind the rock then if they're wearable. We should get going." You sit back up, parting yourself from the warmth you so wish you could experience more often. Such a guilty pleasure.
After you realize that Momizi has left your side of the boulder, you get up and start putting your own clothes back on. They're certainly not totally dry, but they're vaguely wearable. Kinda cold on the back where they were laying on the rock. Oh well, it should be enough to get home, at least.
A few moments after you've finished dressing yourself, Momizi comes back around from the other side. She seems to be huddling her arms around herself, though.
"Well, let's get going, Master Satoshi." You can't help it. Worry overcomes you yet again.
"What's wrong? Are you cold?" Momizi shakes her head and looks down embarrassed.
"My sarashi is just...ruined. I cannot wear it anymore." Hmm, sounds like a problem. Unfortunately it is a problem you can't do anything about right now. You'll just have to give Momizi a makeshift one when you get back.
"I see. Well, let's get home quickly then." Momizi nods and after putting the fire out, the two of you head back towards the entrance...only to find that it's getting very dark, very fast.. "What? You're kidding me..."
"We must have spent longer in there then we thought..."
"Well...that explains why our clothes are mostly dry under such damp conditions." Momizi shivers suddenly. "Y-You are cold, aren't you?"
"F-Forgive me. It will just take a few moments for my body to warm up these clothes, is all." You look back outside. The rain seems to have mostly stopped at least. But you're most definitely not making it back before the dead of night. You also wonder if you could find your way around unfamiliar terrain in the darkness. You had enough trouble in the thick rain and fog. "Master Satoshi, if anything attacks, I am more then capable of protecting us. We should hurry home."
Momizi seems set and ready to go right out into that darkness, but you yourself aren't so sure...it's not like luck has been kind to you lately. Will you chance it despite that?
>Luck can change, let's go home
>Better not risk it, we'll stay the night here for now
Do I seriously need to remind you people that the reason why I branded Rinnosuke as an asshole in this story was to fill in the plot hole I made by forgetting about his existence in the previous story?
[x] Better not risk it, we'll stay the night here for now
What are you guys thinking? Did you forget earlier that Momiji mentioned she suffers from night blindness? And it's cloudy? There's not going to be a hint of light. Not only will we not find our way home, but we will likely get attacked and have no method of defending ourselves from it because Momiji is blind and we're helpless as shit.
At least by staying the night, we can barricade the entrance off and pretty much guarantee safety. That big boulder can't be lodged there tightly, maybe Momiji can move over to the entrance.
[x] Better not risk it, we'll stay the night here for now
-[X] Try to move the boulder to the entrance of the cave.
Evn if it probably won't stand long against youkai strength, it will give us enough of a heads-up to be prepared should anything break in from outside. Breaking rock is pretty loud, I doubt Momizi or even Satoshi could miss it.
I have this distinct pet peeve where I'm motivated to NOT update when I see something like this.
That said, I showed up to apologize for such because Touhou Labyrinth quickly sucked my soul in and has refused to give it back since. I've also been pressured about this job interview which is probably why I've been drowning myself in this RPG. That ended today though, so hopefully tomorrow I can fit an update in.
"Alright. I usually make it a note not to wander about in middle of the night, but I guess we don't have much choice..." You breathe out as you walk forward with Momizi. Momizi of course, sticks close to you, but you try to keep your wits about you. There's seriously nothing out here that isn't potentially dangerous at night. You just hope you can get yourself and Momizi home safely. Though, it isn't long before Momizi suddenly comes out and grabs your arm, holding herself pretty close to it.
"Please excuse me...but I'm afraid my night blindness is setting in..." You're kind of surprised it happened so soon.
"Already? Maybe we should turn back while we still can..." Momizi just shakes her head.
"No. I can still reliably protect you even like this, Master Satoshi. Please, let us press forward." Her properness is really showing through. The dull tone of her voice certainly says something. From what you've seen, Momizi tends to act like this when she's actually very unsure of herself. Definitely doesn't make you feel any better.
"Well...as you wish, then." You can't believe you're doing this. Any sane man would turn back now. But you've been exposed to far more then what most sane men have seen, so you guess you're not necessarily a part of that group now anymore.
The further you and Momizi walk, the tighter she presses up against your arm...it feels as if she's truly fully blind right now. She can barely walk. It makes the travel even more difficult, not just because of her, but because of your embarrassment. But, on the bright side, you can most definitely tell that Momizi is not wearing a sarashi. You swear to god, you'll never get how soft her breast feels out of your head, which is a massive downfall right now because you need all the concentration you can get for walking through the pitch black night, and paying attention for any would be predators!
Clearly, this has to be among the worst ideas you've ever had.
After a while, you seriously have to stop, your body is on the verge of shaking from your utter inability to concentrate. Her chest is just too much...
"M-Master Satoshi, why did you stop?"
"Oh, I uh...just need a rest. This is harder then I thought..." It's certainly been a while. You didn't even get that many chances to feel her up, and here you are, staving off a half an hour of Momizi's breast rubbing up against your arm. It's beginning to get to the point to where you want to grope her, but you shove such dirty and evil urges aside for the time being.
"If we idle here for too long, we may become prey to any of the number of nocturnal youkai here. We must hurry."
"I know, I know! Gimme a minute!" Momizi seems to shirk back a bit after your little snap.
"S-Sorry..." Ugh. You try to calm yourself down and offer a much less aggressive responce.
"Ah, no, don't mind me. I'm just really frustrated with myself. I forgot how it felt..."
"You forgot how it felt to be frustrated with yourself?" A short pause occurs while you think over what you just said.
"...yeah, I did. Let's get moving though."
"Uhm..." Momizi seems to stop you before the two of you do continue though. "It might just be me, but do you hear something?" You stop for a moment and close your eyes, trying to get a good listen in on it. Indeed, something is making noise. You're not sure what it is though, it's far too faint.
"I do...but whatever it is, it's far away. We shouldn't have to worry as long as we stay away from it." Momizi then nods and the two of you resume the bad judgement that is walking through Gensokyo in pitch black night.
Concentration once again appears to be hard to come by, as Momizi's terribly soft breast pushes itself right into your bare arm. You can feel your heartbeat starting to race, which is no good in this situation, because even the slightest noise would ring loud alarms in your head, causing a panic. However, the further you go into a nearby wooded area, the more and more your heartbeat seems to slowly calm itself. You have to think back to realize that you went into a bit of a forested section though, normally you wouldn't dare do this kind of thing due to hungry youkai easily hiding and catching you off guard, but for some reason, you feel highly drawn to this place.
The noise seems to get louder.
Your concentration slowly converts itself to chill attention, sending you in an almost zen-like state where you're putting forth no effort to concentrate but you're fully aware of your surroundings as if you were. You even somehow managed to get dirty thoughts of Momizi out of your head for the time being, though you're certain they'll return with a vengance sooner or later. You can't seem to stray from your path though, as no matter how much you try to steer away from the direction leading into danger, you find yourself magically gravitating back towards it. You have no clue what is going to happen out here in this vast darkness. Your visibility as at a bare minimum, though you feel bad for Momizi since she seems to be even more blind, not even being able to see the hand in front of her face.
The noise continues to become more clearer.
"Master Satoshi...do you...hear singing?"
"I think I do." You've more or less determined the sound now. You feel very drawn to it; as if it's sucking you right in, pulling you towards the one singing the song. The song itself is beautiful, you could listen to it forever and be in eternal bliss. Just hearing it eases your mind and soul, for some reason. Momizi feels just the opposite, however.
"This song...the more I hear it, the more mad I feel I am being driven..." This causes you to stop suddenly and grab Momizi's shoulders.
"D-Don't let it get to you now. You're my only hope of surviving this walk." Momizi closes her eyes, appearing tired.
"I am sorry...but this song is so...ugh." You're suddenly finding yourself supporting Momizi as she loses her stability, falling a bit into you.
"Hey, hey! Momizi! Get a hold of yourself!" You try to shake Momizi back awake as she slumps into you, your efforts failing more and more. "Momizi, come on no-" You freeze up suddenly, your spine turns stiff and your eyes widen. You can't move. Your breathing quickly stops. Your shock is the only thing noticable left.
Momizi had just bitten your neck.
After a few moments though, you get over your shock and realize it's not that serious. You can definitely feel blood running down your neck and onto your shoulder, but her fangs didn't go in deep enough to cause serious damage. It's painful, but soon, your breath comes back to you, albiet in a very scared manner.
Soon, Momizi is pinning you down to the ground, staring down at you with drained, tired eyes, yet they look at you with such intent. You have no clue what that intent is however. Your blood on her fangs drips off softly, lightly soaking your shirt. Her legs straddle you to keep you in place, her hands pressed up against your chest to make sure you don't escape.
What...what is going on?
>Is she coming onto you?
>Try to talk to Momizi
>She's lost it, get out of there
>Attempt to contact the person behind the singing
I'd actually prefer trying to contact the singer to interrupt whatever it is that got Momizi seemingly in a deadly trance but with Momizi being real close I doubt Satoshi's voice would carry far enough to reach the would-be singer; not to mention the call may possibly attract more unwanted attention.
>You feel very drawn to it; as if it's sucking you right in, pulling you towards the one singing the song. The song itself is beautiful, you could listen to it forever and be in eternal bliss.
Oh great, a Siren. Where's the beeswax when you need it?
"M-Momizi, stop. You..." You find yourself short of words at a very bad time. Momizi is inching towards you with her fangs bared, the only thing stopping her is your arms trying to keep her off you, but you can only hold out for but so long. "Momizi...Momizi! Listen to me...! Urgh..." You feel your arms about ready to give out at any given moment. Momizi seems to be slightly snarling at you, too. This is very, very bad. "Momizi...! Listen to your master! What about your pack...the tengu...your future...your...your father!!!" Momizi suddenly freezes up as you say this, perfect timing too as your arms finally gave up right then and there. She then closes her eyes and places her hand across her face, looking pained.
"Ugh...my head hurts..." You give off a few pants, catching your breath. That was far too close for comfort.
"Ah, thank god...are you okay, Momizi?"
"Mmm, yeah...please forgive me, Master Satoshi. I...don't know what came over me."
"Well, the singing seems to have stopped at least, so maybe we won't have to worry about that if we get goi-ow." You suddenly remembered the number Momizi did to your neck. Moving your hand to cover it, you realize it's bled. A lot. This just made a bad situation worse, because you know there's plenty of youkai that are sensitive to the smell of blood.
"Ah! Master Satoshi, are you hurt?"
"Yeah, it's nothing major though...but we need to get away from here as soon as possible. I'm sure a few hungry demons will pick up my blood scent sooner or later..." Momizi picks you up after getting up quickly herself. The two of you quickly and hastily make your way out of the area.
The pain caused by your flesh wound on your neck makes it somewhat more difficult to concentrate, but much easier to ignore the fact that Momizi is clinging tightly to you again. Though that could also be the recent scare you had talking. Nonetheless, despite your past records, you somehow make it back home without any further incident, looking as if luck has finally paid you back for all the awful experiences you've been having the past few months. Admittedly however, your speed was quite a bit higher due to your fear and pain.
About half way through the magic forest, the pain does indeed start setting in. More and more it feels like Momizi is holding you up rather then clinging to you. You feel very dizzy, and very fatigued at this point, but still scared as all hell, which means your quick pace hasn't slowed much. By the time you and Momizi finally arrive home, you're practically stumbling in as Momizi supports you heading in.
"Please, sit down Master Satoshi, and I will immediately bring you something to slow the bleeding," Momizi says to you. At least, that's what you're interpreting it as, because you could've swore instead you heard 'sex now, I will immediately bring you something to show the breeding.'
You more or less limp over to the love seat and flop down into it in sitting position. Your neck is still bleeding, after all that time. Guess it makes sense, your heart beat hasn't been giving you a break since you got attacked by Momizi. The dizziness has set in further. You aren't hallucinating, to be sure, but you definitely feel like you're about to pass out. You try to hang on though, the soon you're out cold, the higher the chances you aren't coming back from it.
Momizi eventually comes back with...stuff. You can't be bothered enough to pay attention to it, because everything is getting blurry. You assume it's stuff to help you with your...pain. Yeah. You can feel your mind drifting off to weird places now, as your subconscious starts taking over. This is it, you can't stay awake any further. Momizi is trying to get words out of you, you think, but all that comes out of her mouth is muffled by the unerring amount of death that feels like it's trying to grab hold of you.
You can manage a few words though. You're unsure if you can make it alive any more, depending on Momizi's skill. You'll just have to hope for the best, but before that, there's some parting words you'd like to give her.
>"Please find a good mate that will treat you right"
>"I'll be honest...I think I love you"
>"Go fetch Alice"
>"Tell her I'm sorry"
[x]Tell her I'm sorry
Actually, I'm pretty sure that we HAVE to be melodramatic. You only die once folks. Most of the time anyway.
Besides, asking a night-blind dog, who just suffered a mental attack, to abandon a guy with an open and bleeding wound, caused by herself no less, just to go and try to fetch someone who lives in the middle of a Youkai-Infested forest, in total fucking darkness, makes him sound like an asshole. At least he won't die alone-if he does.
Guys guys! Isn't it too dark for Momizi to even go out searching for Alice..? If she didn't have night-blindness I would imagine it being feasible, assuming Momizi even remembers the path to Alice's home after one trip.
On another note, if it didn't feel so random or didn't leave it for Momizi to interpret it as anything but genuine emotion rather than delirium, I could see the "I love you" option being quite possible...
We are on the verge of bleeding out, Momiji is still a wreck from earlier, suffers from night-blindness, has been to Alice's house with us exactly once, and on top of all that the weather outside still isn't all that great.
Sending Momiji out to fetch Alice is a terrible idea that is liable to get us killed, and endanger Momiji.
Do the sensible thing, give her some indication of where the first-aid kit is, and have her patch us up herself. She has military training, and the odds of her being able to quickly dress and treat a bite wound like the one she gave us are pretty good. There is no reason to put anyone at risk again tonight.
I don't think it's a good idea to have Momizi go out there to get Alice. For starters, she's night-blind, she had to hold on to US to really get anywhere well worth it though. Second, she was just mind raped by some sort of siren that's still lurking out there somewhere, you think she'll feel any safer going out there by herself? Then, there's the fact that the fate of those creatures is still unknown. The last time we tried to visit Alice we got attacked by one. And Momi isn't in any condition to fight against them given the circumstances right now. And lastly, Alice is a youkai herself, albeit a relatively younger one. She herself could just as easily pick up on Satoshi's blood. Momizi may not be the most adept nurse, but I doubt we have much time before we go unconscious...or worse. She's all we got, and we really don't want to belittle her by asking for someone else which would end up damaging her confidence in herself even further.
tl;dr: Let the wolf take care of us. She's aware of our condition and I doubt she'll mess things up, she'll be far too careful with us for that.
Ugh, you need help. You need it fast. But there's only so much you can say. You dunno if Momizi is qualified enough by herself to save you. Though at thisp oint, you're mainly dying due to blood loss more then anything else. Argh, why won't the bleeding stop?
"Mo-...Momi..." You struggle to get a few words out, Momizi seems to be shouting back at you trying to get you to respond or...stop...or something. You can't tell anymore. "Second...top left...in..." It's too late. Your vocal cords become shot suddenly as your body begins shutting down.
The last thing you think of before drifting off is her. You promised her you would stick around for a while. Even if she were to leave. What do you do? Constantly go out and risk yourself over and over again. Admittedly, the first time was just sheer bad luck. But this time was the result of horrible judgement on your part. Momizi's nightblindness certainly didn't help, though luckily you didn't tell her to go back out there, repeating history once more. Then again, maybe she could've followed her nose to Alice's. How the hell does she suffer from nightblindness with her ability anyways?
Man, what a sorry way to go.
Ah...he's stopped responding.
The bleeding won't stop, no matter what I do...
He said something about second top left...coordinates to the first aid kit? Ahh, that wasn't enough information though! I don't know this house well enough yet...
I suppose that's my fault for being too nervous to really explore his household...
Master Satoshi, please hang in there! The kit has to be somewhere...
>Search the kitchen >Search the bathroom >Search the bedroom >Search the storage room
Honestly I've yet to ever visit any one that had a first aid kit in their bathrooms. Same goes for either the bedroom or storage; hell the latter is usually a place you place stuff one wouldn't need to see for a long while, not in the case of emergencies...
Plus those sharp knives, burnings on the stovetop, grease fires etc.
Hmm, maybe the kitchen. It's a location of many injuries. Besides that...Master Satoshi treated me once when I cut myself there! Yes, that's it! On top of the refridgerator!
Yes, here they are! In the second left basket! There's not much, but it should hopefully be enough to stop the bleeding.
..... Master Satoshi, please...don't die on me... .....
Throughout your unconsciousness, you could not stop hearing Momizi's voice. It echoed through your head like lost guilt trying to find a person to cling to. You wanted to shout at Momizi the location of the first aid kit, but it seems like she found it herself. Whether or not this had actually transpired is up in the air though. You couldn't see a thing. It was just unending darkness, a bottomless void. You saw nothing, felt nothing, smelled nothing, the only working sense you had was hearing. It was a weird out of body experience, to say the least.
Your consciousness starts taking form though. You can actually manage thought processes now. The rest of your body is still shut down though. Your senses are locked away, all that's functioning if your mind.
...are you dead?
Your mind predictably wanders about the dead void for a while. What is your beloved doing right now? Rescuing little kitties? Having a fun time with her birdbrained friend? Endearing to her faithful master? Fighting huge monsters? You don't know. You might never know too. Then there's Momizi...poor Momizi. Her life is so complicated. Not just being a tengu, but a rather special tengu to boot. You wish you knew more about them. Maybe you could wager a better guess on what exactly is going down. Keine would probably have a lot of information, but at the same time, you might bed fed a lot of misinformation too. Not that it matters, you can somewhat feel your body drifting away to the deep bowels of purgatory, where you'll be judged to either go to heaven, or go to hell. You'd like to think that you led a good life though. But that means you wouldn't be able to see her either. However...that might be for the best considering your current state.
Maybe the afterlife won't be so bad though. You'll be able to 'live' forever, up until you get reincarnated, or something. You're not sure how that works. But you'll probably find out soon enough. Hey, since youkai live long, maybe that means you'll still be able to see her someday, once you've reincarnated. That would be like some sort of rather sappy chick story, but hell, you get the girl, you can't complain. Though it'd probably result in a lod of stupid hardships, like remembering who you were in your past life. Speaking of which, are you yourself a reincarnation? What were your past lives like anyway? Do you even have any? You wonder if any of them have been carried off by other kasha as corpses. Well, in due time your corpse will probably be carried off anyways. Of all people to do it too. How ironic.
Ah, it's time. You can hear your name being called. Your soul must be ready to arrive to it's final destination. Fare thee well, world.
"Master Satoshi, please wake up!"
Wait a minute.
"...urggh." The first sound that comes out of you is more or less produced by the intense head pain you're going through. Not to mention all your senses crashing back into your body. All at once.
"Ah! M-Master Satoshi!!"
"Nngh...Momizi?" You're trying to get a grasp of your surroundings, but it's incredibly painful. All your senses are buzzing at the same times and it's creating a general panic in your body. Eventually your senses start coming to though and you're seeing more then just a seriously blinding white out of your eyes, and a searing burn across your whole body. The first thing you notice is that Momizi is looks down at you from above with a really worried face. The second thing you notice is her hand pressed tightly against your forehead.
"Master Satoshi...are you alright?"
"...y-yeah. Thanks." You close your eyes back up again. The feeling of Momizi's hand on your forehead is...genuinely gratifying. You feel an overwhelming sense of relaxation and serenity the more you pay attention to it. It's incredibly soft, something you wouldn't expect from someone who works with a sword and shield all day. Then again, the mountain doesn't get that many attackers you suppose.
"I'm so glad...I was worried I might have killed you...it wouldn't have sat well with my superiors." You nearly scoff a chuckle, of all the things she was worried about. Oh well, at least you survived.
"Really now? Aren't I just a human?"
"You're my assigned upperclassman, Master Satoshi. Even if it's temporary, any attack I make on you could be seen as treason and-"
"Punishable by death?"
"...yes." Momizi sounds ashamed that you finished that sentence for her. Execution sounds like a really big thing with the tengu. Then again, that might be common among a lot of youkai tribes. They're very, very different from humans, after all. "By the way, how is your neck? I hope I didn't bite it too hard..."
"Huh? Uhh, I'm not sure. I can't really feel it at the moment." you reply back to Momizi. Afterwards, she brings forth a hand and lightly touches your neck, and suddenly, your entire nervous system receives a light jolt in the form of piercing pain surging through your body as it reenters it.
"OW! Owowow..." Momizi instantly withdraws her hand back upon seeing your reaction.
"Ah! I-I'm sorry." She then gets up, and upon looking at her when she does, you realize your position has changed. You're in the bedroom now, laying on the bed. She must've been sitting bedside like that for a while. Kind of embarrassing. "Would you like dinner? It's very late, so you should eat before resting back up." You would do it yourself. But you can hardly feel your body at all, as if your neck down was turned to stone. You don't wanna risk moving it, you'll likely just throw yourself out, especially with your neck in such bad shape.
"Can I really trust you to cook alone?" Momizi returns to you a dissatisfied look.
"You still cannot trust me even after all the teaching you formally gave me?"
"Alright, alright." You sigh a bit and think for a moment. You don't wanna give her anything too difficult. Something that reflects what you've been teaching her will do. You also have to decide if you're sitll hungry after all that, and whether or not you could eat in this condition at all...no doubt Momizi will attempt feeding you herself.
>Just a simple chicken soup
>A stew would be nice
>Something preferably dry and meaty
>Why, you of course, Momizi
>You'll pass on eating for tonight
I'd be fucking hungry after all that trouble running and trying to cling to life man. That said, the injury seems somewhat superficial, not all the way through the throat such as a gash or clean cut would be...
Besides this will be a great chance to see if she actually took to heart learning anything from previous times. It's bound to be better than the first time she did the cooking.
Ah, sorry for the lack of updates, but I'll have to put my stories on hiatus for a few days to a week or two, depending on how much I can get done. I have a programming deadline to meet and I've more or less gotten NOTHING done on it, since I've been trying to deal with my computer being fussy with me. And I'm still working on that, too. I'll update as soon as I can, but until then, bear with my busy schedule.
For the most part, yeah. It seems to stem from where I'm living though so not much can be done about that.
Anyways, have an update, albeit a somewhat...weird one. I just recently started replaying Tsukihime again after so long so forgive me if my writing seems a little unstable in terms of style.
>A stew would be nice
"Well, I guess a decent stew will do for now." It should be easy for her to cook, since it was among the first few dishes you taught her. You feel like you should be worrying more about yourself, though.
"Any particular preference for the style?"
"Ah, no, any old stew is fine." With that, Momizi gives a quick bow.
"Then please wait here while I cook your dinner. Just leave it to me, Master Satoshi." After a brief smile, Momizi turns around and exits the room. Once more you're alone in the room. Your throat hurts. It feels icky too. It couldn't be blood, could it? Maybe her bite was a little serious. Man, at least she doesn't have rabies or something.
Even breathing is a little painful for you right now. The more you try to move the more it feels like your nerves have gone stale from the neck down. How quaint. You can move, but it takes a lot more effort then you care to put into this right at the moment. You also have a bit of a headache. You'd prefer not to move your neck, as when Momizi touched it earlier, a searing pain burned through your body in a quick hurry. You can only assume it hasn't been healing all that well. Staring up at the ceiling causes you to forget about dinner briefly, and you're almost ready to fall back asleep when Momizi walks back in with a small bowl of food.
"Uhm...I didn't make too much since I'm not sure how hungry you are..." Not all that hungry, honestly. The more the pain dulls your mood, the less of an appetite you feel you have. But the food's already made, too late now.
"It's okay." You tell her, closing your eyes. You really don't feel like moving. Nonetheless...
"Ah...would you mind sitting up, Master Satoshi?" You have to ask yourself if you really have to silently before bringing your arms up. But it's hopeless, your body does not comply. It takes far more energy then you have right now to lift yourself up off the bed. Your excruciating neck pain is factoring into this rather heavily too. At this moment, Momizi sets the bowl down and sits down on the bed next to you. "Don't strain yourself too hard, Master Satoshi."
She puts a hand behind your head, and her other arm slides under your shoulders, and she tries rather carefully to lift you into sitting position. It hurts though, your neck feels as if it were being scorched by the sun itself, it burns so much. She somehow manages to get you sitting up against the wall behind you, but now you feel horribly sore, particularly on your neck.
"Are you okay, Master Satoshi?" You try and feign a response to that, ignoring your pained state.
"Eh, yeah, I'm fine. About as fine as I'll ever be..." Momizi then reaches over to the bowl, picking it up and looking over at you.
"Alright then. I will start feeding you now then, is that alright?" Urgh, you had this distinct feeling, but...
"...yeah, go ahead." As much as you'd rather feed yourself, your body is in too much of a stasis to really do anything on it's own. The feeling of the dull soreness from your neck has more or less vaguely paralyzed you from the neck down, and it's rather debilitating.
"Open wide then." Those embarrassing words are coming from Momizi's mouth. Even more so, she herself seems a little flustered to say such a thing to you. You feel like hiding your face, but not only is that quite impossible with your current state, but Momizi might not appreciate you blocking her attempts to feed you. You can't help but feel like an infant, but as the spoon full of broth approaches your face, you swallow your pride and take it in.
It's not all that hot. More like a little above lukewarm. You guess maybe she let it sit for a while before serving. You're not sure how so much time passed while you were concentrating on your pain in bed earlier. You've really lost sense of time. The stew itself doesn't taste all that bad. In fact, it's kinda nice. Your lessons must've been sticking to her. The taste of the stew actually eases your mind and body and is actually fairly pleasant.
Up until you swallow. Then it all washes away into a world of agony.
"--rrnngh..." You have to seriously force it down your throat with all your inner might, else you would choke. Even thoroughly chewed, your throat did not accept it very willingly. The burning on the outside of your neck begins to intensify.
"M-Master Satoshi, are you alright?"
"Y-...Yeah. Just...a little hard to swallow is all." Momizi gives you a worried expression.
"Are you sure you can eat, Master Satoshi?" You give a quick nod. After all, she went through all this trouble, you can't deny her of it. You'll just have to bear it for a little while longer.
But, no matter how much you chew, you throat rejects it. The pain easily and quickly overcomes the tastiness of the stew. You're almost starting to feel nauseous after the fourth bite. The stew is hardly halfway done, even despite the small bowl.
"Master Satoshi, you...you don't have to force yourself if it's that painful." You have to give a few pants to catch your breath. She might be right. At this rate, your stomach will start rejecting the food too, and that will most certainly make your throat thirty times more pained then it already is.
"Ah...y-yeah. I guess...so..." You still need a little time to get over the rather miserable feeling in your neck and throat, but Momizi starts looking down very sadly, guilt clouding over her face.
"I'm so sorry, Master Satoshi...what I did was unforgivable..."
Gah, it's not that, she just couldn't control herself. She hurt you, yes, but it's not something you can't recover from, you hope. You need to say something to her.
>Apologize for not being able to eat the food
>Try to free her of her guilt
>Attempt to change the subject
>Excuse her with some encouraging words
>Excuse her with some encouraging words
>Neither of us knew that would happen.
>What I did taste was pretty good.
"Hey, Momizi." You try and bring her attention over to you, though she doesn't look at you much, you try to give her the most uplifting tone you can muster right now. "It'll be alright after a day or two, okay? I'm sure tomorrow I'll feel a lot better and I'll only keep recovering until then. What's done is done and it's not like either of us knew that was gonna happen. I'll get some sleep now and tomorrow we can work together on putting this behind us." You close your eyes with a content smile. "Although for what I did get, it was pretty good. I'm glad you've been getting better at cooking."
There's an uneasy silence sometime after you say that, it's only until you open your eyes back up that you see that a lot of the guilt and sadness on Momizi's face has washed off and she's merely looking meekly at you somewhat now.
"..M-Master Satoshi, is that really how you feel?"
"Of course, it'd be pretty wrong for me to lie to the person that saved my life, right?" Momizi just looks back down, as if to say 'but I was the one that nearly killed you in the first place.' But soon after, Momizi takes the bowl and gets up.
"I understand then. Thank you for teaching me how to cook better, Master Satoshi. I'll excuse myself now so you can get some sleep." She gives you a weak, forced smile before bowing lightly and leaving out the room.
You sigh to yourself, that was a little more difficult then you would've liked it to be. You slide down the wall and back into a laying position in bed. Your neck is incredibly sore, but you can feel your energy vaguely coming back to you. Maybe it was the food. Hopefully you'll be able to taste good food like that again tomorrow. For now, your mind is hazy and needs some rest. That was a scary encounter back there. You wonder if you'll ever find out what caused it.
The next few days pass with little fanfare. Despite the dangers, you make a quick recovery, thankfully. Thankful for both you and Momizi, since she had a particularly hard time letting go of her guilt. It seemed as if she would actually know what caused her to act that way, but as she gracefully avoided it everytime it was brought up, you eventually stopped trying and ended up forgetting about it. What certainly helps you forget about it is the newest proposition made by her.
"Y-You want to see who now?" You ask her. She just gives you a small smile in return.
"Your teacher, Master Satoshi. You introduced me to her a while back. I wanted to talk to her about a few things."
"...like what?" You find it odd, more or less, that Momizi would want to talk to her of all people so suddenly.
"The past ritual has opened my eyes to a few things. Your teacher seems very knowledgable, so I wished to have confirmation on a few things." She states simply. Though it's really not any of your business what it is, you suppose. It's just as well however, you have a few things you want to talk to her about yourself.
"Hmm, well, alright. If that's how it is. We'll go early tomorrow morning then." Unfortunately for you, Momizi gives you a look of protest.
"Huh? I wish to go see her now though, Master Satoshi." You can only look at her a little troubled by this. Sure, school's still running right now, but not for long. By the time you got there, Keine would probably be well at home by then. You're really not sure where she lives.
"Hrrm, really now? I don't know where her house is though...I'm sure before we get there, she'll have left school to spend the rest of the day at home."
"Isn't it fine? Even if she has gone home, we should find her then. She cannot be very hard to track down." Hmm...sounds like Momizi really wants to talk to Keine. Well, not much you can do about it.
"Alright, alright. Let's get going right away then. I wouldn't want to get there late."
You and Momizi take off and more or less leisurely walk to the human village. You have to take a shortcut or two but Momizi helps by taking care of anything that's dangerous to you. It seemed to be no big problem for her; even a large plant trap about half as big as you she strikes down in a single blow. This is without her sword, as well. You figure that if she had her standard armaments, she might've fought a lot better against that giant demon from earlier this week. The two of you get the human village with no problem, but it's quite well past school time so you're starting to doubt that Keine is still there. Momizi urges you to check though, so both of you head down to the school house.
"Ah." You give off a bit of a verbal confirmation that the front door is indeed, locked. No one is inside, that's for sure. "No one's here. Keine went home. Do you see no-...Momizi?" When you turned to look at her, she's giving off a concentrated glare off to the side, as if she's staring at the corner of the school. It's a side of the school no one really uses, as the playground and other facilities are on the other side, so that side is empty.
"Someone is there...I'm going."
"W-Wait, Momizi--" You have to follow behind her, she looks serious suddenly. What could be around the corner?
As you turn the corner, you see Momizi staring at Keine...no, she's not who she's staring at. She's staring at the mysterious silver haired woman beside her. Keine looks surprised, and even more so when she lays eyes on you.
"Kei..ne..." You're just as shocked yourself. Who is this woman? She looks rough. Her red overalls are plastered with tons of talismans. Her long, silver hair is bound by strange ribbons with similar patterns. What's more, she seems to be having a bit of a problem accepting Momizi. But before you or Keine can act, she turns her attention to you.
"Hey, this a friend of yours?" You wanna ask the same thing, really. Keine is rather taken aback by the whole situation, it's a very rare sight for you to behold, watching her stumble over herself for once.
"A-Ah, yes, he is. Satoshi, what are..."
"I wanted to talk to you, Keine. But I think you're busy..." Keine then manages to compose herself and walks over to you, looking quite sternly.
"If there's a reason why you're here now, then it must be important. If it needs to be said in private, just say so."
"Ah, well, I don't..." You're not sure if privacy is required, but you don't know who this woman behind Keine is. She seems to be staring at the two of you intently. Speaking of which, Momizi herself seems to be pretty fixated on Keine too. Then there's your own problems. What are you going to do?
>Ask about Momizi
>Ask about Keine
>Ask about her friend
>Nothing important, you'll excuse yourself now
Sorry for the massive delay, but there's a very good reason for it; this post is huge. Might be the biggest post I've ever made, so this one I hope you guys most certainly enjoy, as it took a lot of time and effort to write up. (For me at least)
This update is devoted to Keine, and if you're a Keine fan, then this update is for you. Hopefully when this story ends, which I can assure you is somewhat close, I can output something of this size as well, if not larger.
>Ask about her friend
>Ask about Momizi
No matter how much you try to bring yourself away from it, your curiosity gets the better of you. Maybe you have just a little bit of affection for Keine that wants to protect her, because this woman just strikes you as no good, like a delinquent. Totally not the kind of friends Keine would normally hang around.
"Well...first things first, maybe you should introduce us..." Keine gives you a difficult look before sighing, realizing there's no easy way she's getting out of this.
"Alright then. Satoshi, this is a friend of mine, Mokou Fujiwara. Mokou, this is a former student of mine, Satoshi." All the silver haired woman does is give you a rather uncomfortable looking grin.
"'Ey there. Former student huh? Teacher's pet when you were smaller?" You don't like the style of this woman. At all.
"No, I just happened to stay acquainted with Keine after I graduated." Mokou seems genuinely intrigued by this notion.
"Whaaat? Really now? That's weird if I say so myself."
"M-Mokou, it is not that strange...is it?" Keine started out sternly but it ended with a little bit of a meek tone to it. Mokou just looks back at her plainly.
"Most of the time you try to keep from having personal relationships from your students, right? It's not often someone gets past that." Eh? You're not sure what's being talked about here, but it's definitely sounding weird to you now.
"Ah, I suppose you're right, but please do refrain from saying such things in front of one..." Keine looks back at you with a bit of a nervous expression. You don't think you could really continue the conversation as it is, since you know Keine wouldn't want to talk about it. Having her friend here probably would make things worse for her, so you'll have to talk to her about that later.
"...well, Keine. The reason why I came here was because..." You take a quick glance over at Momizi before continuing, showing that she's wearing a rather serious face. "Momizi has something important she wanted to talk to you about." Keine looks over curiously at Momizi, who promptly gives a quick bow.
"Let me start off with a quick apology about our last meeting. I might have acted a little improperly in reaction to some things..."
"Ah, no, please, I should be the one apologizing. Saying such things in front of someone from such a heritage, that's not very good for someone of my standing." Keine says back at Momizi, dismissing the last meeting the two had. "What was it you needed to talk about though? It's very odd..."
"For a tengu guard like me to talk to an outsider like this? Yes, I agree. Truth is, there are many things I agree with you." You can't help but be a little surprised by Momizi's serious tone, as if she's talking to an important business partner. It's so radically different from how you're used to her. Is this the Momizi the tengu often see? "The white wolf tengu recently held the ritual for the traditional mating ceremony. You may already be aware of it." Keine nods a bit, but she appears to be a tad impatient.
"Yes, I am. Can you please get to the point though?" Momizi closes her eyes, continuing her sober tone.
"I am standing before you now because I had recalled that you were a teacher, a history teacher at that...am I correct?" Keine just narrows her eyes at Momizi. The tension seems to be picking up a little. You're a little paranoid about something bad happening, but you decide to keep your wits about you for now and watch. "...you're very well taught on the history of the tengu. Not just in Gensokyo, either. You have a comprehensive history on tengu for as long as they existed-"
"Yes, that is correct. What are you getting at?" Keine interrupts Momizi at the very end of her sentence, sounding a little irritated. She takes a brief look at you and sees your cautious face, and although she looks back at Momizi without changing her expression, you hope that you passed on your message loud and clear not to aggress her.
"Miss Keine...I want you to tell me if there has been any recording of the tengu purposefully altering their own genetic structure. Such as forcefully causing a branch of their race to mutate in an odd way." Keine seems a little confused by the question, looking at her rather inquisitively suddenly.
"Genetic mutation? For what purpose do you need that information?"
"Just tell me, please." Keine looks at Momizi for a moment, as if gauging something, but then sighs soon after, closing her eyes.
"I'm sorry to say that no such records would exist. After all, for the tengu not to know of such a thing, it wouldn't exactly be purposefully." Momizi's expression tightens, with her eyebrows coming together in an angry fashion.
"I feel that you are lying to me."
"For what reason would I have to lie to you?" Keine states rather simply, looking back at Momizi. It's at this point Mokou, the formerly silent friend of Keine's standing behind her, decides to joins the conversation.
"Hey, you're a tengu yourself, aren't you? If such a thing really happened, wouldn't you yourself know about it already?" Momizi just looks off to the side, trying to keep her somber face up.
"I am but a white wolf tengu. Being low amongst the ranks, I am well aware there are things the higher tengu would hide from such a person like me."
"That just makes your question even more dubious." Keine responds with an accusing tone. "The tengu are secretive, yes, but it's for that exact reason that lowly humans such as us wouldn't know about such things. Why did you come to me to ask that?" Momizi looks over at Keine, but despite being well ready to say something in return, she suddenly holds back for some reason. This more or less takes you by surprise. Why did she retreat? It has to have something to do with Keine. You feel it's time you made your stand now.
"Keine, come on, can't you help her out?" Keine looks sternly back at you, thoroughly reminding you of all the times she scolded you in school.
"Satoshi, you heard what I just said. I do not know her answer. Do not push the issue."
...no. You can tell. You're not about to take that scolding this time. Because you finally see what Momizi has been seeing throughout this conversation.
"...you're lying." Keine's eyes narrow at you, but they're a look of anguish at knowing she's been found out. That is what you feel.
"Why do you doubt me, Satoshi? I may no longer be your teacher but I am still many times more mature and knowledgable then you are currently." In a rare tossing aside of her kindness, Keine delivers it to you straight up and personal.
"If you're going to press something so stupid like that, I think you and your friend should leave. We have better things to do then humor a couple of antagonists." Mokou's irritated tone is much more fierce and aggressive then Keine's, it seems you've earned her animosity too. Ugh, this isn't what you want. Looking over at Momizi quickly, you realize she's bottling up her own anger as well. This is bad.
"H-Hey, there's no need to get angry now." As you're about to try and turn things around, Keine shoots back a sharp retort.
"You're one to talk, Satoshi, telling me I was lying so bluntly. Or was that a feign swing at my confidence to try and make me lose my balance in the conversation?" W-What's with her? Keine has gotten agitated with you before, but she's being far more aggressive then she ever has before. You're not sure what's wrong with her. Did you catch her in a bad mood? Maybe it's Mokou behind her. Either way, she seems intent on letting the flames burn.
"Keine! How could you say that about me? I'm not going to take back what I said, because I still feel it's true...but at the very least I want to know why you won't tell her the truth! I don't want to upset you or anything..."
"I'm afraid you're quite late for that, Satoshi. I will say you were a different student from the rest, and you proved it by dropping out a few months before graduation and going out to live on your own in the forest. But I think it is because of that I let my guard down and continued associating with you as if you were still my student." Keine's eyes are fixated on you, but it seems to slowly be going from anguish into regret. "I'm not sure when it happened, maybe when you started meeting people I didn't know, from far outside the village. I didn't feel I knew you anymore, Satoshi. You began bringing youkai into village and it made me very uneasy."
"Wha-...Momizi is the only youkai I've brought in here!" Keine's eyes only narrow further at you, much like yours did when you discovered she was lying.
"Don't you dare lie to me like that, Satoshi. The previous girl you brought in here was youkai as well. You can't hide facts like that from me."
"Tch...!" She knew? How? You feel defeated, but angry. Angry over yourself for having let that slip, you guess.
"I should have followed my usual routine of forgetting about you and driving you away after you left, Satoshi. But for some reason, I couldn't do that. I thought that since you were different, I could break that rule. Just for you. But I regret having made that decision." Keine finishes up her brutal confession to you by turning away from you, back aimed in your direction. "Looks like I'll have to make things right again..."
"K-Kei...ne..." You can't believe she just said all this to you. Did it really start with her? Momizi as well? You feel regret mixed in with anger and sadness. You wish she wouldn't feel this way, but if it's all true, then part of you wishes you didn't meet them, if only for Keine's sake...
"..." Momizi seems to sense your mood, and as if breaking her serious tone towards her previous questions just for your sake, she steps forward to continue the fight. "Miss Keine, I believe you're wrong."
"Hey, you heard the lady. Go on, get." Mokou doesn't sound like she wants anymore to do with the two of you, but Momizi stands firm and tall.
"No. I refuse. Not until Miss Keine believes in Master Satoshi again." You can't help but look at Momizi in surprise from that. It takes you completely off guard that she would so quickly put aside herself and stand up for you in a matter she has no right to be involved in. Keine turns her head over towards Momizi, shocked for the same reason, but the ending feelings are different.
"...this has nothing to do with you. You came here to know more about the tengu, right? I cannot help you, so-"
"No, that is also wrong. You are right in that I wanted to ask about the tengu, but that is not the only reason. Sa-..." Momizi suddenly looks down a bit sadly. "Master Satoshi has taught even a youkai such as me many things, showing me kindness no other human would rightfully spare someone that they do not even know of. You are right, Master Satoshi is very different, so I feel you shouldn't have to regret your decision in treating him as such. Because...because..." Momizi seems to swallow those last few words, seemingly not wanting to say them, or having intense difficulty in doing so. Keine seems rather taken aback by this display, but you know that alone isn't going to sway her, so you make your turn worthwhile.
"Keine, I know what I did, I can't take back. But please believe me when I say that just as there are good and bad humans, there are good and bad youkai too. The difference is in how much they can do. While youkai are capable of far more destruction then humans are, they are also capable of far many more good things as well. If not...not for Momizi...and her...I would be dead by now, for certain. Even though I'm hanging out with beasts now, I don't think I've changed any myself, Keine. So please..." Keine looks back at you hurt and pained, you can clearly see her true colors now that she's been more worried about you then anything else, which both makes you feel very special and very regretful that you had to put her through such things.
"Satoshi, how can you be so certain of that...? These youkai, they could just be fooling you. You're just a human, it's not as if-"
"They couldn't kill me at any moment, right? But they haven't. They may also be trying to get something useful out of me, but I doubt that too. I trust them, trust them like any other human being. I don't discriminate right away...yeah, there are very many youkai that kill and eat humans as if it meant nothing to them, but I don't see that in every single youkai. I trust these two...and I'm certain I'll find more youkai I can trust. Just like how I trust you, Keine. Can't you look past that for now at least...?" Keine just returns to you with a saddened expression, one of loss. It seems she's finally giving up and accepting this change, for now at least.
Mokou, on the other hand, seems more frustrated and annoyed.
"Wow, what a persistant human..." The way she says that, yeah, it sounds like what a youkai would say, but at the same time, it sounds like she's still talking about herself...
Then, suddenly, the conversation is untimely interrupted.
"Oh? How about playing with me instead of dealing with such a tiresome human, then?" An inviting voice dancing out of the bamboo thicket from behind Mokou. She and Keine turn over just in time to watch a long, black haired woman in a long dress walk elegantly out from between the trees.
"Kaguya...!" Mokou speaks to the apparition with intense hatred. Without even seeing her face, you can tell she's gritting her teeth in anger just at seeing this woman. It sounds like it was a very bad time for this woman to come out.
"Mokou, no...not here..." Keine tries to warn her of the impending danger of keeping things like this, but she doesn't seem to comply.
"I'll ask this just once, what the hell are you doing so far away from the mansion?!" The woman puts on a coy expression towards Mokou.
"After finally recovering from the utter defeat you delivered to me so kindly yesterday, I couldn't just let it go so easily that you embarrassed me so in front of Eirin. You really did me in good, so I thought I would return the favor, no matter how much it took~" You can see Mokou's hands balling up into fists, shaking with fury. Keine continues her cautioning of Mokou.
"No, not here Mokou. The school..." But all you can tell from Mokou is her arrogant tone.
"Heh...don't worry Keine, I'll make this extra quick, since she picked one hell of a bad time to fuck with me..." The one she called Kaguya appears to stifle a chuckle upon hearing her curse at her.
"Oh? My, you're in a particularly bad mood, I can see. Just as well, don't disappoint me."
"Hah, just like you did to me yesterday?" Kaguya's face shrivels up unamused at Mokou's return trash talk. That did it.
"...wench. I'll make you eat those words."
Just like that, you are somehow caught in a fight between two forces you definitely don't understand. With a simple flick of the wrist, an invisible coercion grinds along the ground towards Mokou at blinding speeds, coming from the black haired woman, who displays an impressive amount of power, despite her looks. Momizi instinctively gets in front of you to protect you, though her abilities to do so are rather limited by her lack of sword and shield. Keine stays where she is though, trying to quell the brawl.
"Mokou! Stop this! You're going to harm the schoolhouse!"
Mokou just clearly blows through the unseeable force and charges at Kaguya in a firey blitz. Her hands are set aflame and she attempts to crush Kaguya with a single, burning punch. Kaguya literally flies up into the air, and Mokou's fist meets the ground, creating a small crater where her hand lands. Kaguya floats up in the air, now taunting her opponent's lack of speed and agility.
"Ohoho, you're not going to get me like that this time. It's to be expected of someone so moronic that they can't possibly come up with any new strategies after one has already worked previously." Mokou's growling is evident, but she just looks up at Kaguya with an evil grin.
"Hah...if you really think that, then you have another thing coming to you...!"
"Mokou! Stop!!" Keine's words don't reach her in time though, as Mokou soon flings a massive flaming orb of hot death up at Kaguya. The size nearly catches her off guard apparently and she hastily swings an arm, putting up a reflective barrier that quickly diverts it's direction.
You can only stare at it as it blindly screams at you, with incredible speeds. Nothing in your body shouts alarms at you. You don't react, you don't move, you don't yell, you do nothing. Your body is at a standstill, not feeling anything but one thing.
The cold acceptance that you're about to die.
It all happened so fast. The moment you heard that voice, you threw up your arms, as if expecting that would do you any good. The searing hot flames scorch the land around around like you a brutal flamethrower. However, you yourself, are untouched. You discover why when you look in front of you.
There stands Keine, holding a hand up. What surprises you most are the three magatama shaped items making a circle around in front of her, forming a protective shield that preventing the flames from reaching you or her.
...what is this? Why...is Keine...
"K-...Keine..." With wide eyes, that's all you can muster in response to the shocking sight in front of you. Keine just sighs with difficulty.
"Ah, Satoshi, I didn't want you to see that..."
"...Mas-...ter...Sa-...Satoshi..." Your mind instantly throws away any thoughts of this surprising revelation the moment you hear Momizi's voice. Seems she tried protecting you too, but she happened to be in front of Keine, and of course, she was absolutely no match for the fire. Her clothes are completely charred black to the core, her skin is practically burned away into charcoal, and she soon collapses unconscious. No doubt, if that had hit you, you would be dead.
But that's not important to you right now.
"Momizi!!!" You instantly rush over to her side, but as you do, you take a look over at the pair that caused this.
"Tch..." Mokou seems to be biting her lip with regret, wishing that didn't happen. Kaguya, on the other hand, seems thoroughly pleased.
"Oh? Did that girl mean something to you? How delightful, I get to bring you pain both physically and mentally!"
The two seem intent on continuing their battle, it's just as you feared. Momizi wouldn't be safe here, and neither would you. However, Keine puts a hand on your shoulder with a serious, hasty look on her face.
"Come on, pick her up quickly, I'll take you to my place before this gets out of hand."
"That's not important right now, what's important is you, Satoshi!"
You mind instantly clicks the moment you hear that. You waste not even half a second in picking Momizi's singed body up and turning tail behind Keine, following her out of this awful situation, away from danger.
Along the way, as you and Keine run, you can't help but look at Momizi with worry. Even though her body is still boiling hot, burning your arms as you continue holding her, you can't focus on that at all, just on how much you're afraid this will hurt her further. For some reason, seeing her in pain like this causes you more pain the what you're currently experiencing, even though you're holding onto hot charcoal. If you had time to think about it, you'd probably wonder what was wrong with you.
A while later, you're idling about in Keine's living room. Upon arriving at Keine's house on the outskirts of the village, she told you to bring Momizi into her bedroom. You didn't pay much attention to the room itself, just kept watching Momizi hoping she would get out of it okay. Upon placing her on the bed, Keine pushed you out of the room and told you to wait for her to treat Momizi. So the most you can do is stand around the living room until Keine is done treating her. Your amounts of worry flutter about in your mind and in your stomach, but there's nothing you can do but wait. To pass the time, you decide to look around the living room at the very least, trying not to be too nosy. It's the first time you've been here, after all.
The room itself is somewhat luxurious, somewhat odd for a teacher you feel. There's a large sofa on one side of the spacious room, and a grand fireplace adorning the other. A dresser lines the side to the left of the sofa, and on the opposite side of the dresser is a window decorated in quaint curtains and the door leading outside beside it. The living room is quite broad, enough free space in the middle to faciliate a dance floor, almost. Various small tables and stands make their place between the door and sofa, and between the sofa and dresser. The fireplace is almost grand enough to take up the entire wall on which it's situated on, only unable to due to the two doors on both sides of it, looking like bookends. One door leads out into a hall containing Keine's bedroom, a guest room and a bathroom, while the other door leads to Keine's as of right now unseen kitchen, you believe. Various modest decorations, such a flowers and many, many pictures, grace the room on the various tables, stands and walls. All in all, it's a fairly womanly home.
The amount of pictures is what gets your attention the most. Ranging from recent photos to ancient paintings, Keine has it all. The subjects are also diverse, going from epic landscapes, to simple portraits of people unknown. You never thought of Keine as an art buff, so you're curious as to why she has so many pictures taking up wall space. They're all beautiful and easy to look at though, so maybe she just wished to have walls soft on the eyes. It certainly does it's job well. You start to wonder where she got such a wide assortment of pictures though, it almost seems like it would take her more then just years to gather such a large amount. Of such diversity too, you feel that the wide array of pictures aligned across the wall could very well be the work of many, many decades in the making, and it's still going.
Amongst the most notable pictures are the many photos strewn about on top of the fireplace. Upon closer inspection, it looks like photos of Keine's many classes. She is standing beside her students in many photos. Something seems off however, in every photo, Keine's appearance doesn't really change. Yet, despite this, she has had possibly decades worth of classes, and yet it seems as if she never ages. Has no one questioned this? Has no one seriously noticed? You can't say you did, but now that you know, you find it hard to believe that this is all true. It would look as if Aya was correct in some regard; Keine is certainly not human. Not if she could go so many years without her appearance and body changing like that. She suddenly looks like a massive hypocrite, going on about how she didn't know you anymore, when in reality, it was you who didn't know who she was.
Thinking about that, you sigh as you pick up the most recent photo containing you and Keine. Even though she scolded you a lot, she was very much like your surrogate mother in a way. Maybe that's why you gre unnaturally attached to her. Your actual parents had died to a mass youkai feast sometime when you were still eight, and you lived with your grandparents up until you were somewhere around fourteen, at which point your grandmother died, roughly two years after your grandfather. You began living on your own then, and although Keine had been your teacher since you were much younger, it was only then that she started paying more attention to you.
She didn't exactly spoil you, no, more as if she started scolding you even more. But they had an air of worry and affection to them, you could tell that Keine was really caring for you. You guess if you thought about it a little, maybe she was a little uneasy about you living on your own at such a young age. It was close to when you were eighteen, a few months before you would have graduated from school, that you wandered out back behind it one day and spied a mysterious girl with cat ears standing beside a tree. She fled the moment she noticed you, in the guise of a feline drenched in fire. It was the first time you really laid eyes on a youkai in a beautiful light like that, the sunset matching the girl's red hot hair, the black dress blending in with the darkened colors of the tree's trunk, and the smooth, womanly figure she bore curved well with the soft hill she was standing on. You wanted to meet her again. Of course, it wasn't until well after strange things happened that you concluded who it really was, but at the time, that was what started it all, and ultimately made you decide that you wanted to see Gensokyo for what it was outside the village, prompting you to move into the forest.
Keine was very reluctant at letting you go, very against you going out to live in middle of a forest infested with dangerous youkai. You told her you were strong though and that you could take it, and that no matter what there wasn't anything she could do to stop you. Eventually Keine gave in and let you go, wishing you the best of luck. For some reason, sometime shortly before you moved out, she was acting as if were you never going to return, despite the fact that you said you would keep visiting every so often. You had thought that was because she felt you were going out to get yourself killed. You had thought that she was against it because you hadn't finished school. You had thought a lot of silly things about Keine that made it look more innocent then it really was.
Man, were you stupid. You never thought all these things, but the truth was that she didn't want you to have to enter the same kind of world she might've been living in; being with youkai, being exposed to the magic and spiritual powers of the people living here, many things that would most certainly make it difficult for humans to stay the same. Outside the village, such things really, truly do exist, and after being exposed to so much of it, it really changes a person. You suppose she didn't want you to be in danger, or maybe she was clinging onto hope that you could stay the same as you always were if you didn't move. You're not sure why though, apparently she cuts ties off with many of her students after they leave school, and she likely never sees them again. What makes you different? You might never know, at least, not now.
"Ah, Satoshi..." Just soon after you put the photo down, Keine's voice calls out to you meekly from the side of you. There she stands, holding a chair in middle of the doorway into the hall leading to her bedroom. Of course, the first thing you have to ask...
"Keine, will she be alright?" Almost immediately she looks a little hurt, and you instantly regret your inability to prioritize, but soon she puts on a forced, weak smile.
"Yeah. She'll be okay, I've treated her. Please, take a seat on the couch, if you would." Your heart sinks, you know what's coming next. You take a big sigh and walk over solemnly to the sofa, sitting down in middle of it with a huff. Keine sets the chair down somewhere in front of the sofa, so that she can sit down face to face with you. You know exactly what's going to happen.
"Keine, I-" Keine shakes her head, and for some reason, it interrupts you. You just lack the ability to continue that sentence the moment you realize she's doing that. Her weak, somber smile looks at you, filling you with regret.
"It's okay Satoshi. I was a fool to think I could hide it from you any further. I knew the only way I could do that was to erase your memories, but..."
"W-Wait, erase...my memories...?" You feel a little scared, and a little pained. She could do that? No, more then that...she would do that?
"Yes...it's what I do to all my students, after they leave, so that...I could preserve my relationship with all of them. I don't...like things to change. There other reasons for doing so too, biggest of which is so that they never doubt me, like you have...Satoshi."
"That's nonsense, Keine. I'm confused, maybe clueless, but not once have I doubted you." Keine looks at you a little surprised for a moment before giving you a kind smile. A kind, warm hearted smile you've long since missed, a smile she would rarely give you, but when she did, it felt like a true mother's kindness reaching you.
"Thank you, Satoshi. I guess I should apologize for doubting you, then..." You shake your head at her, closing your eyes a bit.
"No, that's not true. Not at all, I believe. Because if you really did doubt me, even the slightest bit...you wouldn't erased my memories of the times I had with you, and not had to worry about it anymore." You feel a bit that what you just said was fairly cold, but despite that, Keine just smiles at you, and bluntly confirms it.
"You're right. I would have. Even if I had the slightest amount of doubt, that is likely what I would have done. With that said though, I have lied to you many times and hidden many things from you, and that is disgraceful for not having any doubt in you, Satoshi." Keine closes her eyes, you feel rather saddened, and hurt, but she then brings her eyes back open and gives you a serious look. "So, I'm done doing that. I won't hide anything more from you, Satoshi, so long as you have nothing more to hide from me." You can't help but blink a little, looking at her.
"...y-you'll really tell me everything...?"
"Well, I'll tell you everything you want to know, but promise me Satoshi that one day you'll tell me everything I want to know someday." Keine smiles softly at you. "After all, I'm eager to know about your new girlfriend." You can't help but feel flustered when she mentions that, making your face all flushed.
"A-A...Ahaha, I...I see."
You take a deep breath and think about a few things first. Keine said she'll no longer hide things from you, so this is a good chance to ask her some important things, many of which still lingers on in your mind. But part of you doesn't want to know, what if you can't look at Keine the same way after knowing all this stuff? Though it could be said that it's too late to think that, you're not sure what else Keine has been hiding for some time, including what kind of youkai she may be. You're certain that if Keine really thought enough about you, she would prefer it if you could always view her in the same light as you always have, something that might prove difficult to do now. On the other hand, if she wasn't prepared for that, or if she didn't trust you enough, she wouldn't be offering that proposal now. This is an important turning point in your relationship with Keine...you'll have to handle it with utmost care. You look over at Keine, ready to give your first questioning a try...
>Ask who Mokou really is
>Ask about Keine's powers
>Ask about Keine's past
>Ask about becoming a youkai
>Ask about the tengu
Hot Tip: Choose the order of the questions wisely. You may choose as many as you like, but the order of which gets asked determines the flow of the conversation, and may end with Keine revealing more to you then if you asked them in a wrong order. You may also choose to withhold questions for various reasons, of which you should come up with yourself...
>Ask about Keine's past
>Ask about Keine's powers
>Ask about the tengu
>Ask about becoming a youkai
I don't think the Mokou matter is that important at the moment and I think after these walls are broken, she might just reveal it anyways.
>It was close to when you were eighteen, a few months before you would have graduated from school, that you wandered out back behind it one day and spied a mysterious girl with cat ears standing beside a tree. She fled the moment she noticed you, in the guise of a feline drenched in fire. It was the first time you really laid eyes on a youkai in a beautiful light like that, the sunset matching the girl's red hot hair, the black dress blending in with the darkened colors of the tree's trunk, and the smooth, womanly figure she bore curved well with the soft hill she was standing on. You wanted to meet her again. Of course, it wasn't until well after strange things happened that you concluded who it really was, but at the time, that was what started it all, and ultimately made you decide that you wanted to see Gensokyo for what it was outside the village, prompting you to move into the forest.
Orin? If so, there's more fate between those two than initially thought.
>Ask about becoming a youkai
I'd be a lil' feed up with not being able to protect anyone, not even myself (insert metal gear reference here)
>Ask about Keine's past
The main course of this conversation I guess.
>Ask about Keine's past
This comes with the last one.
>Ask about the tengu
Last and least.
>>16270 >>16267 Good reasoning. However, the writefag hinted that the questions have to be asked in order of importance so... is the most sensitive subject gonna be the least important in the conversation, Sukima?
I think the proper flow would be going to something that is personal, then reaching out to yourself.
Assuming that everything is true and that Satoshi does not doubt Keine, then the first thing he should ask is to clear up confusion.
>Ask about Keine's powers
>Ask about Keine's past
In that order.
After that, ask about Mokou. If Satoshi wants to handle the world of the youkai, he'll want to understand everything that goes around him; the first contact that seems close to Keine would be Mokou herself.
>Ask who Mokou really is
After Satoshi understands, his next goal is to aim at the target. Ask about the tengu, and perhaps more specifically, why the tengu feel the need to be secretive.
>Ask about the tengu
Lastly, I think there should be an afterthought about becoming a youkai. Something along the lines of "Will it take me becoming a youkai to understand everything?"
Was thinking of writing today, but thought I'd have a little honor by keeping silent for now. 24 hours from now I'll choose the most convincing vote, or the order/choices with the most people behind it, if I can't do that.
>>16328 I sure hope the order won and not the explanation. Because, honestly...
>Lastly, I think there should be an afterthought about becoming a youkai. Something along the lines of "Will it take me becoming a youkai to understand everything?"
This is far too weak and not really in-character.
He wants to learn how to be a Youkai so that he can protect the people he care about both physically (stronger body) and mentally (longer lifespan) Also, that last point is one of the things that seems to be an unavoidable obstacle between him and her
>>16330 I see him leaving it last since it's more of a selfish question than the rest and the Tengu question is where it is since getting to know Keine would break down whatever barriers that would hinder that question getting answered.
Not asking that question as early as possible for Momizis sake sure would be "selfish", but Satoshi is a goddamn human, one who just learned that his friend is a youkai. Realistically, he would ask about that stuff first. Even a hero can't be heroic and selfless all the time.
Things happen, a lot of things happened, as usual. It seems real life has a habit of preventing me from keeping promises I made online quite often. However, I stayed true to one; this is an absurdly meaty update. Much bigger then the last. You can tell the story is truly coming to its close soon. Bear with me a little while longer, Satoshi's adventure will see it's conclusion before long.
>Ask about Keine's powers
>Ask about Keine's past
>Ask who Mokou really is
>Ask about the tengu
>Ask about becoming a youkai
You give some careful thought on this. There's a whole variety of things you want to ask your dear teacher. The realization that she may in fact be youkai is startling, and her feelings even more so. There's a lot to consider here, and much at stake. You want to know everything about Keine, and ways to help Momizi. Even about yourself...like on how you could become youkai. There are so many things going on in your head. Butterflies float rampant in your stomach. There's so much going through your mind all at once, but you attempt to sort it all out and give the most concise flow of the conversation. First things first, going with what you just saw.
"Well, I think first...the most logical place to start is what I saw when you protected me." You look over at Keine, starting off with that. She closes her eyes.
"Yes, I believe you are right. Well then, I'll start by explaining those magic catalysts you saw." You blink for a moment, trying to determine what that means, in full.
"Yes, those are magatama. They are imbued with a magical property that lies dormant within them until released. I use these as a catalyst for my spells so that I don't expend any of my human energy casting them." Human? That can't be right.
"Human energy? So you're really human, Keine?" Keine looks at you a little puzzled at first, almost as if stunned, before smiling at you softly.
"Yes, I am every bit as human as you are, Satoshi."
"And...you're not lying?"
"I told you I wasn't going to lie to you anymore, right?" You can't help but think back on those photos you saw earlier. In fact, you can see them from your current position. But maybe it's the magic itself that's keeping Keine young and beautiful even throughout these years. In that case, you may not have to become youkai at all...
"Well, go on then. What can these magatama do?"
"It all depends on what spell you use. They are really just 'containers' for the magic energy you wish to use in a spell. As such, they can be used for a variety of things, as long as you know the spell you want to use them for. Once their energy has run dry, they become just ordinary items and you need to refill them with magic energy. The spell I used to protect you was very strong, so it required the whole contents of three magatama to fuel it. Of course, I have many of these, so it's fairly trivial."
"Really..." Something strikes you as odd. She uses them to conserve her own magic energy, but the magatama themselves aren't a limitless power. "So, do you refill the magatama with your own magic energy?" Keine looks a bit surprised at you for a moment, but she turns her head. Her gaze meets the floor, and her expression, painful. Very painful.
"Ah...well...y-yes. I...I do. At...times..." She has intense difficulty continuing on. It sounds as if she has more to say, but she can't bear to say. You don't want to force her, but she told you, no more hiding. You're going to find out, whether she likes it or not.
"Keine, you can tell me. I won't judge you. You refill them yourself sometimes, but...?"
"W-Well...my own magic power...is actually very limited. Filling about four to five will usually leave me pretty drained throughout the whole day, but...usually I need much more then that, and I can't afford to be tired all day, everyday. Truth is...do you know what magatama...are actually used for?" You shake your head no, silently. You get this ominous feeling. Keine looks at you with a very regretful look on her face. "Magatama, they're...burial items. For the dead. In order for them to start life as spiritual items, they are usually infused with the soul of the one they are buried with. It is an act mostly used to keep the spirit bound to the body, even after death. As such...my magatamas...most of them are refilled via dead souls of humans."
You...don't know what to say. You're stunned. This doesn't just take you by surprise. It completely floors you. Through all these years you've known Keine, you never would've ever imagined her to take advantage of the dead like that. The whole magic thing in itself is quite a shock, but this just takes the cake.
"K..Keine..." Keine can only shut her eyes, unable to see you stare at her in such disbelief. She closes them tight, as if never wanting to open them again. She's gripping her arm in pain, coming deep from within her heart.
"I...I'm sorry, Satoshi. It always pains me to have to tell someone that...that the very souls I protect with my life, I spend so needlessly on magic..." You feel tied up by this statement. You want to make her feel better, but at the same time, you feel too pained by this revelation to. As much as you try, you just can't muster it. You feel the only thing you can do is further the conversation, and try not to think about it too much.
"Keine. You said you could erase memories. How exactly do you do that?" Keine looks up at you a little surprised before closing her eyes, her expression changing to that of a much more accepting look.
"Yes...it's a part of my special ability. A power I was innately born with, separate from any magic ability I have. You see, Satoshi...I have the power to consume history." You blink for a few moments. You can't wrap your head around that at all.
"Ahh...I'm not following you." Keine sighs softly.
"I didn't think you would. It's a complicated affair. It took me a long time myself to fully understand what it meant. You see, I have the power to convince someone that a certain event in history did not happen, even when it actually did. This is why the village is always safe from dangerous youkai, because I can remotely convince any threats that the history of the village never happened at all...and to them, when looking at the village, all they would see is an empty space."
"Th...That..." sounds very dangerous. But you can't help but swallow your words, being a little afraid at the time.
"This is how I manipulate peoples' memories...I'm sure you've looked at the photos behind me. No one ever talks about me as their teacher after they've graduated though, do you know why, Satoshi?"
"...because...you erase their history of ever having met you." Keine nods softly.
"That's correct. By convincing them that their meeting me never happened, they won't be able to recognize me as their teacher. They'll still retain all the memories and knowledge from when I taught them, but they will never be able to remember who it was."
"I...how? Keine," you say, drifting off a little, but you're determined to know, so you push onto the next topic, "how did it all come to be like this? Why you?"
"I don't know, really. I'm not sure why it had to be me. I never took any interest in magic. I never felt I had any significant power. But it...just all happened so fast. Before I knew it, I was putting myself in the position to guard the human village from any harm in Gensokyo. I felt it was my duty. I didn't even know why..." Keine sounds a little lost in all this, but not as lost as her words are trying to make it out to be. Something feels amiss, but you're going to let it pass for the time being, and see if you can't reveal more in a different way.
"Did it all start with...Mokou?" Keine opens her eyes, looking at you suddenly, before closing them back up, this time with a small smile creeping up her face.
"Yes...I suppose you could say it did. She is an interesting person...when I met her, I didn't consider the belief that immortals existed..."
"W-Wait, immortals? You mean-"
"Yes. Mokou is an immortal human. She can never die, not by age, disease, or otherwise. The person you saw that she referred to as Kaguya, she is immortal as well. The moment I laid eyes on Mokou was when I realized my life would change. I've really known her...for a very long time." Keine seems to speak almost longingly, with a faint smile of nostalgia. Seems Mokou is really a good friend of her's, despite her attitude.
"Really? Was Mokou the one that taught you magic?"
"Oh, no. I'm mostly self taught on that subject. But it was Mokou that got me interested in it. She has been living such a very long time...more years then I could ever count. She's probably ten times older the Gensokyo..." You feel a little surprised by this, but it only lingers for a short time. It just suddenly weighs in on you what immortality truly means. Mokou will go on living for eternity, long after Gensokyo no longer exists, when the world has been reshaped many times, for hundreds, thousands, even millions of years, Mokou will keep living. You wonder if that's something a human is really even allowed to bear. "But when I saw her, she...talked to me. Later on I would realize that this was something she'd only really do for me. She's not very sociable or talkative otherwise. But she was a protector of the human village...and I guess I wanted to be the same way."
"Huh..." You give off a brief sigh, letting this sink in. "I see...that's an interesting past you got there, Keine." Keine weakly smiles a bit, although there was little effort put into it, you can tell it was an honest smile, because she was able to see an old, good part of you surfacing, even after all this spilling out to. With that, you decide to carry on. "Alright...so what about Mokou herself? She looks like she can control fire." Keine nods to confirm it.
"Yes, you are correct. I'm unsure of how she came to be able to have that unique ability, and she herself doesn't seem to remember. Those talismans you saw applied all over her pants and hair, those are to protect them from being burned by her power. With her ability, she can conjure flames with ease and cause them to burn for eternity. Like the feathers of a phoenix..."
"A phoenix...is that how she became immortal?" This time, Keine shakes her head, before looking at you.
"No. She became immortal long before she was capable of controlling fire. It has to do with the Kaguya woman you saw her fighting with, but I won't go into details." You're honestly quite curious, but that's a story for another day you guess. Keine said she wouldn't hide anything from you, but this is more venturing into Mokou's realm, it probably wouldn't be prudent of her to reveal her secrets to you needlessly like that. "She doesn't actually remember anything about a phoenix, but it isn't impossible to say that she might have absorbed the powers of one, as redundant as it may be. What you saw wasn't even close to the extent of her power. She's capable of growing large flaming wings of a phoenix, enabling her to fly, as well."
"I see...and she uses these powers to protect the human village?"
"Yes. She's something of a youkai exterminator, but really only does that when it's necessary to save a person's life. After that, she leads them back through the bamboo forest and to the village again." Huh. You do vaguely remember getting lost in the bamboo forest a long time ago and some mysterious woman brought you back home. She didn't talk at all, and neither did you. You just sort of followed without any sort of regard to what might happen to you. You didn't think much of it at the time but you suppose that Mokou wouldn't been that person that led you back. Not that it matters much, sounds like that kind of thing is common place for her.
"Well...the one time I meet her, I don't think protecting any humans was the first thing on her mind." Keine gives you a bit of a stern, lecturing look after you say that.
"That's not true! While it can't be avoided that she certainly has a bit of a temper in Kaguya's presence, she was thinking mainly of protecting us. She didn't know that what was about to happen would've happened, and I'm sure she deeply regretted it when it did." You guess you can't exactly deny her claims on that one. Mokou looked pretty hurt when the fireball struck down. Speaking of which though...
"...doesn't change the fact that Momizi was injured again..." Keine's face softens up instantly as you say that and changes into something more apologetic.
"Ahh...if I had greater foresight I would've been able to protect her too. She is a youkai though so burns like that will only last another hour or so, particularly of her kind. She should lose her scars sometime tomorrow." Once again, you feel quite taken off your feet by just how fast youkai can heal. Those must've been at least third degree burns, everywhere on her body. How can she heal up so incredibly quickly?
"I...see. Well, speaking of whom, she wanted to know more about the tengu, so why weren't you into telling her?"
"Satoshi, are you going to side with her and think I'm full of lies as well?" Keine says back to you with a stern face and a bit of an angry look. However, in return, you give her a solemn face. You know she's lying, and you're determined to remind her that she told you you wouldn't be hiding that from her anymore. After a while of this stare exchange, Keine just sighs and gives in already.
"Alright, alright. You got me Satoshi. Maybe I wasn't telling her the whole truth." You're about to jump out of your seat and exclaim at her, proving your point that she does indeed dislike Momizi, when she shoots you a cold, serious glare. "But you need to take into account that there are some things some people aren't meant to know. Secrets are secrets for a reason, and if I didn't honor that reason then there would be little point in keeping them as such in the first place." You look back at Keine, trying to match her piercing stare.
"I'm going to guess that what Momizi wanted to know, she isn't meant to know then."
"And neither are you, Satoshi. So I would appreciate it if you'd drop the subject as it's pointless to try and get it out of me. However, so that you may understand a little better, I can tell you various things about the tengu that your friend would already know, to educate you." Giving a simple look back at Keine, you give your answer.
"Enlighten me then." Keine closes her eyes, and begins her long lecture.
"There are five subspecies of tengu. The first of which is the Yamabushi Tengu, they handle all the printing much of the resources. They are considered the most laid back of the tengu and are probably the closest to the kappa in terms of technology among the tengu. To those who live on top of the mountain, they are also among the most experienced chefs, as well. Second is the White Wolf Tengu, the mountain's defense force. They fulfill their duties as guard and soldiers to the tengu and nothing more. They aren't expected to have any knowledge beyond that of combat. Then comes the Crow Tengu, the information corps that brings all of Gensokyo's stories to one place. Out of all the tengu, you are most likely to see these ones most. After that, comes the Hanataka Tengu, prideful tengu that spend most of their days holed up in the offices preparing the newspaper, among other things needed to make the tengu work as a business. Finally, there's the Daitengu, who you could say brings the other four groups together in harmony and orchestra, keeping everything together in tune and synchronized. In every group there is a Head Chief, one who oversees all the members of that group and ensures that they are working according to the tengu heiarchy. As well, the grand leader of the tengu, Lord Tenma, is someone who ranks higher then even all five leaders of the tengu. It is safe to assume that whatever Lord Tenma says will go anywhere within the tengu ranks..."
You're somewhat enthralled by this lecture, for once. It's pretty interesting. Mainly because it's about Momizi, you bet. Her race was a lot more interesting to you after you got to spend time with the white wolves, as little time as it may have been. You let Keine continue rambling on about the tengu.
"The tengu are a very long, long living species of youkai. They are akin to something like goblins of the western world. So it makes sense that our form of the western world's trolls, the oni, used to use the tengu as their subordinates. This was centuries ago, however, during times where Japan was only just recently discovered. The tengu are no longer bound by contract to the oni, and work on their own now. The tengu from before Gensokyo were not much different from the tengu of today, with the exception of civil advancement, of course. When Gensokyo was formed however, many, many tengu were split off and stayed outside Gensokyo's borders." Huh, those tengu must be the tengu Momizi have been talking about, the ones of the outside world that her father became a pa- "However, it is said that all these tengu have died out shortly after Gensokyo's conception."
"...w-what?!" After the realization strikes you like a ton of bricks, you quickly shoot out of your seat into a standing position, managing to even frighten Keine, though only by a very small bit.
"Satoshi, sit back down and be quiet..." After a few exasperated pants, you sit back down, trying to get your thoughts under control.
"N-No, that can't be. Momizi, she-"
"Anything she has told you about the outside world tengu are all lies, Satoshi." You can't believe it. You just can't. She talked about her father so much, about him coming back. What...what was all that for? "Even if they had survived, due to the state that the outside world is currently in, they would no longer be tengu, or youkai. They might even cease to exist. What I'm telling you is simply knowledge passed down among basic human records, but I think it is in your best interest not to talk about that too much in front of your friend, though I'm certain many of the other tengu are likely aware of it." You can only grit your teeth at this notion. What has Momizi been on about? Does she even know? You're starting to understand more and more why she trusts you so much, as time goes on. You almost feel obligated now. Poor Momizi...
"...I have but one final request from you, then Keine." You're trying to muster the best, serious look you can, trying to withhold your broken feelings from this difficult talk. "You said you wanted to know about my...girlfriend, right?" Keine smiles softly at you.
"You...know she's a youkai, right?"
"You know that...because we're difficult, we're just setting each other up to be hurt later, right?"
It's almost discomforting how Keine can say all this with a gentle, motherly smile. You just know she isn't going to go for it. But through this talk, you started thinking about it. Keine is a human that lives long through magic. Mokou is a human that attained immortality. It seems being youkai is not a specific requirement for a long lifespan. You're not sure how much of a change it is, but in the interest of Keine's feelings, you feel like altering your last question to her a little.
"Keine. I want to be able to live as long as she does. Not just for her, but for Momizi, and...myself too."
"That isn't possible." You're almost taken off guard by Keine's immediate answer, not holding anything back. In fact, so much so that your next words come out less then gracefully.
"Wh-What?! Why the hell not?!"
"You're a human, Satoshi. You can't change that. You will die before she does, that is fate." With simple words and a simple demeanor, she brings the hard, cold truth crashing down on you. You aren't about to let things go that way though.
"What about you?! You've clearly lived a long life! And what of Mokou?"
"You don't want to take that route Satoshi, you'll regret it..." Keine's expression seems to become a little pained while saying this, as she now avoids your gaze. She's still trying to maintain that slightly creepy motherly smile though, that's all you need to keep going.
"I do, Keine. I'm not going to let you stop me either, I'll find some way. I...I want to be with them for the rest of their lives, not the rest of mine." Keine looks at you curiously, at first. It seems like she's studying you a bit. She then sighs and stands up.
"Satoshi, get up." You blink a little, but you stand up nonetheless. The height difference is very miniscule. Your gaze meets hers instantly.
"Now tell me, do you love her?" Again, you're left looking a little confused. Keine just tilts her head as if wondering if you're really even serious about this.
"Uh...yes. I do."
"...I love her." You're not sure where she's going with this, but you're not about to back down now.
"I love her."
"I. Love. Her."
"Say it with more feeling. Look for the words you want to say to her in your heart." You stare at Keine for a brief moment, she's only giving you a simple smile, nothing more. You give it to her as best as you can think of.
"I love her with all my heart. She's the only one tha-" Keine interrupts you by putting a finger up to you.
"Wrong. She isn't the only one that matters to you."
"..." Without even a hint, you already know where she's getting at with that. "...I want to live long for all my friends and family. For my lover, for Momizi, for Alice..." Keine's smile widens suddenly.
"Do you really love her? That much?"
"Of course! More then anything! I would give my life for her!"
"That's not good Satoshi. Try again." You're not sure what she wants from you. You're almost about to take a stab in the dark when you remember her own feelings in this.
"...I would do anything to ensure we live a long, happy life together, for as long as we can live." Keine closes her eyes briefly, before taking your hand suddenly, and in a shock twist, she clasps your hands together in between hers and pushes them into the middle of her chest. Her heartbeat is readily apparent.
"One more time then. With all the feeling you have in your heart, tell me how much you love her." You're really surprised. Quite nervous too. Your face must be burning up, but you can't feel it under all the pressure you're under right now. Trying to calm your own heart down, you close your eyes, take a dry swallow and focus only on her heart beat. You then exchange Keine for the one you want to say this to, looking deep within yourself and getting the words out as expressively as you can.
"...I love her with with all my heart and soul. I want to show her the world and everything there is to it, and I want to be there for all the happy times she might have, so that we could share them. She's the only one who I would truly call my lover, and nothing less. She may not be flawless, but her stunning beauty, endearing charm and natural demeanor are all things I fell for. Although I have not been given a proper answer, I trust her, I have faith in her. I know that deep down inside, she...she is like me too. Full of doubt, full of conflicting feelings. But I want to believe that she loves me too, and for that reason, I'll continue waiting for her, ready for that time to come. Because...for her, I believe there's no true measurement to how much I love her anymore. She has grown on me that much, and will continue to do so for as long as we live. I believe that will never change, and I will try my hardest to ensure that it doesn't."
You open your eyes back up again. Keine is staring at you with eyes a little wider then normal. You think you can even tell that her cheeks have become a little more pink. She then smiles, releasing your hands.
"Good job. You passed the exam, you left even me a little impressed with that speech, Satoshi."
With the brightest smile you've possibly seen her give you, she outright rejects you and shoots you down. You think it hurts you so bad that it just plainly loops around and you can only stare at her with a blank face.
"Well, simply put Satoshi, I am unable to help you in the way you'd want to be helped." She sits back down, and you figure you may as well too. Seems like she's going to do a lot more talking. "Even if I agreed to help you, it's just something beyond my morals to do. You're still a human that finds origins in the human village, after all. I can't afford to just single you out like that..."
"Even though up until now, you have?" Keine just sighs deeply, trying to ignore your observation.
"Well, nonetheless, you have my support, Satoshi. You are correct in saying that there is nothing I can do to stop. I don't even believe erasing your memories would prevent you from doing this. You are well met with Alice, correct? You should seek her advice on this matter from now. She can help. If you tell her I agreed to it, then that will surely sway her." You're not sure what Keine has to do with Alice, or what kind of relationship they have. But you think this means that you're one step closer to achieving your ideal future.
"R-Really Keine? Thank you so much! I'll definitely repay you someday, don't worry." Keine just looks over to the side, mournfully smiling.
"I think it would be best if you tried to forget me once that happens, Satoshi...even if you extended your life without becoming youkai, you would still be youkai, right? You wouldn't be able to be called human after all..." Ah, crap. In middle of all this, you started neglecting Keine's feelings for a brief moment and it caught up to you in a hurry.
"Ugh, Keine, come on, you know I could never forget you. Don't do this to me..."
"I'm sorry Satoshi, but it seems you've chosen your warpath. By doing this, you recognize me as your future enemy. Things won't be the same between us anymore." You can't accept that. You just can't. Not after all the shit you've been through.
"Why not? What does me being youkai even have to do with anything?"
"I don't think you get it Satoshi, when you do this, you'll be sacrificing a very important part of yourself, you'll be a completely different person. In the eyes of the one you love most, this might not be a drastic change, but to others-"
"I'm not going to change. I'm not going to let it change me. I won't allow it!"
"Satoshi, you don't have a choice in the matter. If you're that stubborn about it then you should ju-"
"Just stay human?" Keine, for once, seems shocked you finished her sentence for her that time. You've grown to know her well enough by now, and you just single handedly proved it. "You know I can't do that Keine. But I can't just change, just like that, either. If I did that...what...what would she think? What would Momizi think? What...what would you think, Keine?! You may just be my teacher but you're important to me! You're like family!" Despite the explanations you're giving her, she seems to just ignore them, looking to the side with a hurt expression. As if still accepting the fact that you won't be the same anymore. All you can do is sigh deeply. "Keine..."
"...please forgive me. It's not that I don't trust you. I suppose realism simply has it's way of boring into my head at times." You can't say anything in return. You know how she feels. Yeah, that would be realistic to say that. But you want to defy that. You want things to stay the way they are. You know what you're asking for is pretty far fetched, but after coming so far, you can't just lay down your gloves and give up now. For everyone's sake, you have to try. At least try.
"I guess I shouldn't blame you for feeling that way...but please, have a little more faith in me." The two of you fall silent for a little while. It's an errant, awkward silence that hangs in the air, full of painful feelings. Neither of you says a thing. Neither of you can muster up enough courage to. Both of you just evade each other's gaze, looking to opposite sides, feeling guilty, pitiful and depressed. The thick air of sorrow is quickly shattered though when you realize Momizi is standing in the doorway out to the hall, large blankets wrapped around her body. "...M-Momizi!" You get up instantly and head over to her. Momizi just quickly dismisses any worry you have, saying she is fine.
It's only a few moments later that things are back in orderly fashion. You and Keine stand in front of Momizi, is is now the one sitting on the couch. Her bare legs protrude out from under the thick covers wrapping around her body from the neck down. She seems very tense and uneasy.
"Please forgive me for not being able to protect you, Master Satoshi."
"Don't worry about it, for both our sakes. Worry more about yourself."
"As I've told you, I am fine. The pain is negligible and the scarring is minimal. I escaped that attack's full force with sheer luck." Keine gives off a bit of a sigh.
"I can attest to that. The damage you incurred was really trivial for what hit you." The most you do at this point is look down and scratch the back of your head, unsure of what else to say, in all honesty. Soon though, Momizi looks up at you submissively.
"Master Satoshi, where are my clothes...?"
"Ahh..." You're fairly sure you know what happened to them, but saying it is a little difficult for you. Instead, you look over at Keine, her eyes closed.
"They were scorched to the core, completely roasted. I had to cut them to get them off you, and by that time, they just crumbled to pieces." Momizi seems very worried about this.
"Tha...that can't be. Those...those are my only clothes." You take a look over at Momizi, assessing the situation.
"Don't you have more clothes back home?"
"Y-Yes, but...it's inaccessible at the moment. Even in this state, they probably wouldn't grant me access. I'd have to wait until they're finished with the mountain repairs..." Taking a big sigh, you look over at Keine.
"Keine, do you think you could loan her some of your clothes then?" Keine shoots back at you a very unamused glare. It feels as if the cold touch of death just placed it's hand on your shoulder in a far too friendly gesture.
"Satoshi, do you honestly think any of my clothes would fit her?" You look away, trying to shake the glare off yourself. She has a point, but at least it would be something. That's what you want to say, but you're far too intimidated by your former teacher's death stare to say it, so you submit for now and just go without. It's not like she'd agree with it anyways.
"Uhh...right. Well, let's figure out what to do back home then, Momizi." You walk over to the couch, turning around and kneeling down. "Come on, let's get going." Looking over your shoulder, you can see Momizi's troubled face turning red for some reason.
"I'm going to carry you home, what does it look like?"
"Y-Y-You can't do that! I can get home just fine like this!"
"Don't argue now, your burns are still there, aren't they? Besides, walking home like that sure isn't very becoming." Momizi seems to look at you highly embarrassed for a moment before looking over at Keine. Keine just rolls her eyes though.
"You can keep the blanket and take it home with you if it'll make you feel more comfortable. I'm not about to sabotage Satoshi." You're not entirely sure what she means, but moments later, Momizi carefully gets on your back, and you stand up briskly, Momizi firmly attached to you in piggy back fashion.
"Thanks again Keine. I promise I won't forget you, and what we talked about today will ensure that. So don't you go forgetting about me anytime soon, alright?" Keine blinks a couple times before smiling softly at you.
"I won't, you have my word on that, Satoshi." With simple farewells, you and Momizi leave Keine's house, and head on your way home.
Throughout the entire walk back home, Momizi seems to sleep softly on your back. Of course, this may just be neither of you making no effort to start up any sort of conversation, but you don't particularly mind. Her soft breathing on your shoulder for some reason really relaxes you and helps you pay better attention to where you're going. In the end, you make it back just before sunfall.
"Y-You want me to wear your clothes...?" is the first thing you hear after proposing your idea to Momizi.
Momizi sits on the love seat, still wrapped in covers like poor, homeless dog. She's looking up at you with quite the quizzical look.
"Yes Momizi, because you don't have anything else to wear..." Momizi doesn't seem convinced by your simple explanation yet.
"That...that won't do. First of all, they are your clothes, I have no right to wear them as if they were my own. Second...second..." Momizi starts to look down, a little ashamed of herself. "I would probably look like a child in them..."
There's no doubt, you're quite a bit larger then Momizi. Height wise, Momizi's eyes can barely meet your chin, and you're probably a lot bigger then Momizi in several other ways due to that proportion. Thinking back on it, maybe it was a good idea you didn't decide to borrow clothing from Keine. Thing is, there's really no way around it.
"Momizi, what are you going to wear then? I can't have you walking around naked all the time." Momizi's gaze just diverts itself further toward the floor, it definitely looks like she doesn't have any better ideas herself. The whole scene is quite depressing until you hear a knock on the door. Momizi gets up.
"I'll get it-ooph!" Almost instantaneously, you shove her back on the couch.
"No, you're not answering any doors in that condition. I'll get it." You can see out of the corner of your eye Momizi pouting a little as you walk over to the front door. To your complete surprise, there Alice stands in front of you. Her stoic expression stares into your soul.
The both of you just kind of stare at each other at the door, you more dumbfounded then Alice. Alice soon sighs and looks at you.
"You look pretty surprised to see me. Is it bad that I came?" You release yourself from your stupor long enough to give Alice a proper answer.
"N-No! Not at all, come in I guess..." Alice walks in as you close the door behind her. Finally getting over your initial shock, you start up a conversation with the puppeteer. "What brings you by? You almost never come to visit unless it's important."
"Something told me I should stop by for whatever reason. I was actually on my way to Marisa's but I saw you head into your house with something strange on your back..." As she says this, she walks around the love seat and looks down at the embarrassed and shy Momizi, curling up into herself under the covers she has wrapped around her. "I see this is what it was..."
"There's a perfectly good explanation for that."
"I'm sure it must be amusing if you have to assure me of that beforehand." Alice sits in the recliner, crossing her legs, after saying that. With a bit of an expectant face, she now turns her attention to you. "So, let's hear it."
Your motivation took a turn for the worst. After that, you don't feel confident anymore in telling her casually. She seems to know exactly how to push all your buttons, much like someone else you seem to have a love-hate relationship with at times.
"I...how do you expect me to tell you properly after that?" Alice gives you a bit of a smirk, knowing that she's accomplished her objective.
"Don't worry, I'm not going to berate you or anything. If nothing else, this can just be attributed to your sorry luck." A sigh escapes your mouth upon remembering that. Yeah, it seems you've just been the ever loving magnet for trouble since Momizi came along.
A short while later, after explaining the gist of your encounter with Mokou to Alice, you're sitting beside a very embarrassed Momizi on the love seat, still wrapping herself in Keine's sheets. Alice is still on the recliner. You didn't bother telling her what happened at Keine's, no real point in it you felt. But you figured that Alice probably already knew about her powers, so you went ahead and told her about how she saved you from Mokou's blast.
"I see," Alice starts off with, thinking a bit into this, "that doesn't sound too convenient."
"W-Well, no, it isn't, of course..." Alice continues though after her mind numbingly obvious statement.
"In that case, I suppose I could sew up a new outfit for her..."
"Yeah, I don't know what to do about it my-..." You stop suddenly, totally frozen in shock. It came at you so unexpectedly, it didn't even register until a few seconds later. Both you and Momizi stare at Alice in complete surprise. After a few moments of staring, Alice of course starts feeling a tad uncomfortable.
"...is that not what you want?" After she says that, you snap out of your stunned state and immediately stand up, still very surprised by the all too generous act of kindness.
"N-N-No! I just, that...of course that would be great!" You look over at Momizi, who's still locked in stupor. "Would you like some new clothes, Momizi?" Momizi, still quite shocked, looks over at you suddenly, before a great big smile enters her face upon realizing what it means.
"Really?! Is it really okay?!" You take a look over at Alice, smile brimming.
"As long as it's okay with Alice...~" Alice herself now seems more surprised then both you and Momizi. But with a content smile, she just sighs, closing her eyes.
"You two are so easy to please...I guess tha-"
"That's why Satoshi's her master~?"
You have to think for a brief moment. That voice didn't come from you, or Momizi, and certainly didn't come from Alice, as it interrupted her. Looking over to your left, you see an intruder. Long blonde hair, a dress so wide that it's interfered by both the table and the couch she's standing in between, and piercing violet eyes with the most devilish smile.
"Uwahh!" Frightened out of your wits for a split second, it causes you to fall backwards from the apparition and straight onto your backside. Looking up at her, you know exactly who it is you're dealing with. "Y-Yukari..."
"Oh my, did I forget to knock~?"
Even Alice and Momizi are thoroughly impressed, Yukari had somehow managed to sneak in without alerting either of them, Momizi most impressed due to her very tuned senses. Though Alice was staring right at you for until only a small second ago, making it even more impressive. But that's Yukari for you. This was the woman that helped you get set up in the forest of magic. You couldn't understand why at first, she only had interest in you after you left the village, and got lost in the forest shortly after. You were afraid you were going to die, until this woman here came out of thin air, almost literally. After that, she got you acquainted with your new home, and even set up it's various appliances. To this day, you're still not sure why, but after that, you learned something very important about her.
"G-Get out. This isn't a time for you to be here." You tell her straight up that she's not wanted. This is normally a very big and bad mistake to make with Yukari, of all people. But instead, she just puts on a totally fake upset face.
"Oh my, I'm unwanted here? I don't believe that's fully the case. After all, I could most certainly help you better then Alice could~" Almost instantly, contempt seems to enter Alice's expression, she never really get along well with Yukari at all. It wasn't that Yukari hated her, more that Alice just hates the way Yukari does things. You can see where she's coming from though.
"Ohh no. Not this time." You say back to Yukari, picking yourself back up. "You only show up when it's most convenient for you and when it benefits you exclusively, and I'm sure today is no different."
"You give yourself too much credit. Who was it now that granted you this house and everything in it?" All you can do is bite your lip. It always feels like she has you on a leash and collar everytime she brings that up. But just like that, Yukari turns you around suddenly and starts pushing you out the room. "Anyways, I am going to have a private word with you so the girls can mingle while we get down to business~"
"H-Hey! Wait a minute! Momizi!" As you look behind yourself, Momizi had already gotten up to rescue you, but as sad as it is, Alice has already stopped her from doing anything. Looks like despite how much she dislikes Yukari, she knows not to get in her way. Looks like you have no choice in the matter.
After pushing you into your bedroom and locking the door behind her, you dust yourself off and look at Yukari accusingly.
"Alright, what's the big idea? You dragged me in here like you were about to rape me or something." Although that's likely not the case, you're on your guard, just to be sure. This is Yukari, after all. She turns to you with a calm smile on her face though, assuring you that isn't the case.
"Ah, I'm uninterested in that silly game you humans take part in. Although I will admit you are rather perceptive, Satoshi. I did indeed come over because I needed a favour from you, and with this I can do you one at the same time~"
"Thanks but I'll pass. Alice already offered me the privilege of receiving her help. It'd be rude to turn her down." You give it to Yukari straight, not really wanting to put up with her right now. But instead, her smile goes from calm to a wicked smile.
"Are you sure you're thinking this through? Alice said she would make a dress for your little puppy, but do you know how long this will take? Two days? Three? Four? Maybe even a whole week~!" Bringing her fan up to hide that mischievous grin of hers, Yukari continued making you uneasy. "What are you going to make her wear until then? Your old, tattered rags that smell of human male? What if she needs to return home before Alice is even done? Are you going to send her back in nothing but rags? You can't do that."
"Tch..." You bite your lip. As much as you really don't want to admit it, she could be right. There's no guarantee Alice would make a dress so quickly, and there's no telling when Momizi has to go back. And what to do until then? Let Momizi walk around naked?
"You see now? While it is certainly kind, you don't have the time for such a generous offer. I can help you now, however. I have a rack full of many different clothing for your pet to wear. I'm certain she could find a few to her fitting. Can you imagine the happy look on her face as she picks out her favourite kind of outfit...~?" Your resolve is starting to break. Yeah, you can imagine it, that's precisely why you're shaking. You want to see it. Very badly. More over, Momizi isn't the only one you would like to see like that. Maybe...later...
"O-okay! Fine! I'll consider it after I hear about what you want from me." Yukari stifles a laugh before putting her fan down and handing you a peculiar ring. "What's this?"
"I want you to wear it for the duration of your pet's stay. That's really all there is to it~" All you can really do is give Yukari an unamused glare. All there is to it, huh?
"That's a good one. What's the catch?"
"Catch~?" Yukari narrowly opens her eyes with that childish, yet devilish smile of hers. Playing dumb wasn't something she'd often do, but you can see through it usually.
"You know what I mean. Wearing a ring by itself isn't very much of a favour." Yukari's expression relaxes a little.
"You're right. That ring is a very special ring, it allows me to observe your behaviour and watch your movements." You give Yukari a bit of a puzzled look, trying to understand this.
"Uhh...huh? What do you mean? Are you going to just watch everything I do while I wear this?"
"Correct~ Oh, don't worry, I won't observe your more...private activities~" You try not to let that rattle you, as embarrassing as it is.
"O-Okay...but why? What gain do you get out of this?" Yukari turns her face a bit, looking at you out of the corner of her glowing eye.
"That is something I cannot tell you. It's up to you if you wish to keep me out of seeing your daily life~"
You take a look at the ring. It looks like an ordinary silver ring with a small red jewel attached to it. Looks like that might be it's "eye." You're really curious about why Yukari would want to observe you or some crap, but she's intent on not telling you. Is she planning blackmail for in case she even catches you doing something bad? Well that's easy to avoid you think. But it still confuses you. What the hell does she want from you? You also have to consider Alice's and Momizi's feelings in this too. You'd love to see what kind of dress Alice would make. Momizi too...what would she prefer? If you went ahead with Yukari's plan, it would save Alice some work but...you have to think a little carefully about this. Both offers are good but have their own cons. Which one should you go for?
>You'll take Yukari's deal
>Ask Yukari if there's something else you could do for her instead
>You'll accept Alice's offer instead
So in the end we failed to get Keine to admit she is a Youkai, at least partially one. And further more, we have two people that might be able to help with becoming a youkai. Perhaps a greater failure is not learning what's going on with the Tengu.
Yukari can keep an eye on regardless of whether we have that ring or not. Besides, DO NOT TRUST THE SHADY LADY THAT RAPES REALITY she may have the very fabric of reality at her disposal, but Alice is never willing to hold anything back from us, especially if it'd prove to be something that we probably NEED to know.
With Yukari poking around I'd imagine things might have already gotten bad if she's the drama causing type. All it'd take is her telling Rin that we're shacking up with a NEW youkai that's totally devoted and things would start to go down hill. Giving her actual footage might make it worse...
For some reason outright rejecting Yukari makes me think some misfortune~ imminent disaster would be headed our way soon enough. It's Yukari, she can pretty much do just about anything and everything to us. I wouldn't be surprised if she had a hand in running the tengu off the mountain.
Since I'm so kind, I'll give you a couple tips on Keine's talk with Satoshi:
Talking about Keine's past before her powers generally causes Keine to reveal that she's a Hakutaku. Satoshi only gets basic info about the tengu unless the flow of conversation is a little specific, and it's left for absolute last. Satoshi's talk about becoming youkai can fail or succeed with Keine, depending on the flow of the conversation. The further down it is, particularly after Keine's past/powers talk, the better it'll succeed. This talk saw Satoshi having a decent success with it. Satoshi would've been told about the Hourai Elixer if talk about Mokou occured after the tengu and youkai talks. Getting Keine to reveal she was a Hakutaku at the end of the conversation would've revealed more about how Keine felt for Satoshi. This is possible by not talking about Keine's powers at all. Not talking about the tengu would've improved Keine's relationship with Momizi. Essentially; not all the best scenarios can be done at once.
People need to let go of this behavior. Yeah you didn't get the best outcome, but it was admittedly, mostly up to chance. Besides, most of Keine's talk does not significantly change the ending or outcome of future events, barring two things; the tengu and Satoshi's success with talking Keine into helping him become youkai. One out of two is not bad, and the tengu is fairly hard to find out about.
"No thank you." You tell Yukari flat out that you'll have none of her shit right now.
"Oh? You don't want all the magnificent clothing I have in store for dear Momi?"
"Clothing designed and hand-made by Alice herself...that's so much more meaningful then clothes you probably lifted off a store in the outside world." Yukari reacts a little huffingly at you accusation.
"Hey now, I may be untrustworthy but I'm no thief." All you can do is sigh.
"Either way, there's just something fishy about all this and given my recent luck, I don't wanna risk it..." Yukari takes the ring back, smiling her usual mischievous smile at you.
"Perfectly understandable. I suppose I can't make you do this favour for me on the account you still owe me this house then~?"
"No, sorry. I'll do it some other time."
"Ah, but this is the only time..."
Yukari just smiles at you. It's a mysterious, foreboding smile that gives you stomachaches. Before long though, Yukari pulls her fan up to her face, completely shielding it from your view, and then immediately pulls it back. The sight you behold behind the fan is so frightening, so disheartening, so incredibly intimidating, that it literally knocks you backward and onto your bed in a scared fit. When you look back though, Yukari is gone, just as quickly as she appeared. You're still recovering a bit from your shock, but it looks like she used it to distract you into not seeing her quite perfect get away. But it looks like she's hopefully left you to your own devices now. After a little reassuring yourself, you get off the bed and head back out into the living room.
"So?" Alice says to you, sitting in the recliner. Momizi is sitting on the love seat too, as well. Sounds like Alice knew Yukari was planning on interfering with her intentions.
"It's safe. Yukari's gone. I'm not letting her meddle into this affair."
"So does that mean I'm still making your friend a new dress?" You give a short nod and Momizi explains with glee. Sounds like this is what she wanted too. Alice then gets up. "Alright, I'm going to get down to business right away then. Satoshi, do you have a notepad I could borrow?" Out of her pocket, Alice pulls out measuring tape, of all things.
"Uhh...do you always carry that around, Alice?" Alice seems to look at you a little curiously.
"Yes. I do, why?" Silence befits the air while you stare at Alice a little dumbstruck before going to fetch Alice a pen and paper.
"R-Right...." After coming out of the storage room with what Alice needs, Momizi is now standing in middle of the living room, the table pushed aside. Alice is standing in front of her. As you hand her the tools, she says something to you.
"Thank you. Now could you go into your room?"
"Uhh...huh?" You're kind of puzzled until Alice's unamused stare and Momizi's embarrassed face hit you long enough. "Oh...right."
You immediately turn around and start towards your room. Geez, it was quite obvious Alice was going to measure her, and in order to do that, Momizi has to release those blankets, making her-
You hole yourself up in your bedroom, trying to get the sound of the blankets hitting the floor out of your head. Why, why is it so vivid that you can imagine it just by audial cue?! You get a little tension you want to release, but now's probably not a good time for that. It's exceedingly rare for Alice to ever step into your home, so admittedly, you're kinda nervous about it. It happens to take a while to measure Momizi, for some reason. When it's all said and done, Alice knocks on your door and tells you it's over. After which, you follow her back out into the living room. Momizi is shyly bunching the covers up around herself on the love seat, the table is also in it's former position.
"Alright Satoshi, this is the part I know you're probably dreading." As if reading each other's minds, both of you get right down to it.
"How long will it take? Three days? Four? A whole week...?"
"I'm not snail slow, Satoshi. Still though, what I have in mind is a little complicated. But her small frame makes it a lot easier. It should be done sometime the afternoon, the day after tomorrow." Wow, so specific.
"Are you really going to be working on it every waking hour...?"
"Not really, but I really haven't anything to do this week, so it's likely I'll be spending all my free time on it." Alice says this so casually. You're really not sure what she does with her free time. Does she even work?
"Well, alright then. Thank you so very much for this." You give a respectful bow to Alice. That's when she says something silly.
"You can thank me by paying me everything you owe Marisa." You look up at Alice like she's crazy for the most part.
"W-What?! Do you know what you're asking?" Alice returns to you with an unamused glare.
"Yes, I do, and it's quite hefty. You've practically been stealing from her." You give a great big sigh. If it's one thing, it's how protective of Marisa that Alice gets at times, though she would never admit it, particularly in front of Marisa herself.
"Alright, alright. Once Momizi leaves I'll get right to work on it I guess. You should remember how having another mouth to feed strains my budget." Giving a quick glance over to Momizi, you can tell she got hurt by that comment, quite a bit. But there's nothing you can really do about it right now.
"Agreed then. I'll get back home and start working on it right away." She's about to leave when she stops herself and looks at you. "Oh, and don't do anything stupid to her while she's like this."
"What?!" You just stare at Alice shocked she would accuse you of such things as she leaves out the door. You're really angry, but you couldn't say anything; she was the one agreeing to help you in such a tight fix. You can't yell at her now though, so you just try you best to forget your anger and divert your attention to Momizi, who's looking down at the floor shamefully.
"I'm so sorry I take up space..." Urgghhh...
"D-Don't say that again Momizi. You're not taking up space and it's not a bother to have you here, if anything it makes me less lonely which is always a good thing." Momizi looks up at you bashfully.
"I-Is that the truth?"
"Yes." You state back to her reassuringly. "Don't worry about it too much, okay?" Momizi looks down and nods softly. The recent conversation strikes your head. Momizi's father...he's likely...
"Master Satoshi?" You snap out of it briefly to answer Momizi.
"Huh? What is it?"
"What am I going to do until Alice is done with the dress?"
...you hadn't planned that far ahead yet. Yes, obviously something needs to be done over the next two days. You give a little thought into this. There aren't many options, but there's still room for creativity, maybe...
>Just let Momizi wear your clothes
>Let Momizi rest with the blankets until it's time
>What shame? There is no shame! She shouldn't have a problem walking around like that
>>16406 The thing is some people in this case put effort into their vote as opposed to "let's just do this because it looks nice". I know what it's like to make a vote that looks to work perfectly with everyone agreeing... only to backfire badly with the damage only getting fixed like 10 updates later. That stuff wrecks your confidence in voting in that story. While not as bad as that, I'd imagine those two really doubting their ability with such votes.
That and I spoke to one of those two about the vote and how he had doubts about it. Seems he was right.
And no one was expecting asking about powers before past to basically miss out on Keine's secret, which was one of the goals of many with this. Sure Satoshi would only be merely hindered in the long run, I doubt the same could be said of Momiji, seemingly stuck to her fate while Satoshi most likely won't be able to do a damn thing. Feels bad man. It's a victory in getting to know Keine a bit better, mending bridges with her, and getting her blessing, and hopefully real help.
I'm >>16306 and no, I'm not really doubting myself now. I suppose if I came up earlier with that vote, it probably would've won.
It's just that there are so many possibilties in arranging those 5 different questions, that it's much more simple to bandwagon a good looking vote, because we actually want results. And I guess Sukima wouldn't be too happy with looking through 30 different combinations and then trying to choose the best of them.
I'd say we shouldn't give it too much thought, what happened, happened, and we can't change it now. Other characters can still help us with extending our lifespan, and I suppose Aya would help us with finding out stuff about the tengu if we ask the right questions in the right way. Not knowing about Keine being a hakutaku can't be helped now, but she might tell us later anyway (or we might find out by accident).
Well, on to the vote:
[X]Just let Momizi wear your clothes
and if she still insists on not being able to do that:
[X] Try to make a makeshift yukata-like thing out of the blanket and a ribbon/rope
Yeah, we kinda blew that one with the questions. But it can't be helped, now. If we ever get the chance to talk to Keine again, a pretty bigMAYBE we can ask more about her past before her powers and all so we can hear all about that. But first things first, we have to worry about what Yukari's possibly planning, let alone what Momizi will be wearing.
The reason why that one person died wasn't lack of guts, but lack of brains. If we had Momiji's strength with us in the house then, we'd have succeed fully. But NO, it was all Macho pigheaded stupidity.
Guts was never a problem, just luck, brains, and/or strength.
And the real worry now isn't so much death, but a relationship getting badly damaged, possibly prompting "[x] Jump in Lake"
And funny enough I see "[X] Try to make a makeshift yukata-like thing out of the blanket and a ribbon/rope" as the safe choice out of the three.
Getting caught with Momiji in our clothes or nude by certain people would not be a good thing.