[Ask First] Pilgrim's Progress

Locations of interest: Former Capital, Palace of the Earth Spirits, Nuclear Furnace, Remains of Blazing Hell, Underground Geyser Center
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[Ask First] Pilgrim's Progress

Postby Reimu Hakurei » 25 May 2013 14:46

"Then I saw that there was a way to hell, even from the gates of heaven." - John Bunyan, The Pilgrim's Progress.


The fissure was one of several that had widened since the geyser had erupted. The cavernous darkness almost seemed inviting to many Youkai, and now it apparently had drawn in a new sort: The red-white was floating along lazily, not seeming to take any notice of where she was going. She even bumped into several outcroppings of rock and moss on the way down, pushing past them hurriedly, ignoring the bruises and scrapes. Her dress rustled and tore on the sharp outcroppings. Reckless flight away from reality. Dark locks framed a face that was empty of expression, except a vague one of discomfort and unease. Deeper and deeper she plunged, until all light was reduced to a faint pinprick from above. The air was hotter here, more hellish. Some of the zombie fairies twisted their heads, recognizing her from the first time she'd come through here. They decided to leave well enough alone after the first time.

The bridge was the only thing around of note, a lonely outcropping of Hell in a bleak series of caverns, crossing a miserable river nobody would ever willingly swim in. A boat bobbed nearby, lost and forgotten. Ramshackle looking even. The maiden's footsteps were impossibly loud on the wood, pacing back and forth as if looking for something. Dark eyes searched here and there, but finding no one in evidence she was apparently satisfied with perching herself on the railing of the bridge. Legs swung out, pale skin almost stark white in this lonely place. No light except the occasional glowing bit of hellfire drifting this way and that. The miko cradled a small pouch in one hand, before suddenly sitting up. Reaching into her long sleeve, she pulled out a slender kiseru.

Reimu held it for a very long time, staring across the dark waters. Her lost expression seemed exacerbated by her present location. Fingers plucked and pulled at the stringy tobacco, yanking it from the pouch. It certainly appeared like it was her first time doing such a thing, unsteadily trying to cram a bit into the bowl. She ran her fingers along the crafted wood, rubbing thumb across a Chinese character for "Dragon" on one end. After a bit of hesitation, she'd watch and wait. A tumbling mass of burning hellfire drifted along, just close enough for her to reach out and ever so lightly brush the strands close enough to ignite it. The next few minutes were filled with the girl hacking and coughing as she takes in entirely too much at once. Definitely her first time.

She almost looked peaceful though, holding the pipe in one hand between fingers, cradling her head in the other hand. Occasionally taking a pull and looking even more wayward than when she'd begun. A long silence followed the first frantic coughs.


"This stuff stinks."
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Re: [Ask First] Pilgrim's Progress

Postby Parsee Mizuhashi » 29 May 2013 09:23

The days that saw Parsee leave her bridge were rare; those that saw the relatively young hashihime smile, rarer still. Once more, the ancient city had yielded its secrets to her long prying eyes, this time belching forth a small, treasured bottle of sake from one of the more prestigious oni breweries. She could not help but laud herself in this case, as even her doubts were quelled by the ceramic bottle in her hands. 'A fitting present for Yuugi; I'm a little jealous that she'll have such a drink to match her dish.' Parsee made sure to keep her grip tight on the tokkuri that she had just purchased as she made her way through the near-deserted streets of the Former Hell. The spring in her step only increased along side her anxiousness to see Yuugi as she left the ancient city, setting out on the small path that separated the gated walls from her bridge.

Ordinarily, the hashihime despised the seemingly constant deluge of ashen snow that flowed out from deeper within the Former hell; it had a rather distasteful habit of eating the lacquer from her bridge while being an overwhelmingly long cleaning task, as she felt compelled to keep her charge clear of such things. Today was a rare day indeed. Parsee found herself enjoying the quiet falling of ash, even daring to smile as she crossed the midway point of her journey. 'It suits the day perfectly, so long as it doesn't fall into Yuugi's sake dish.' Her nose wrinkled at the thought of such a fine sake being tainted by a stray ashflake. 'Could Yuugi's dish counter-act even that?' The idle thought crossed her mind just as the bridge came into view, just as the figure on the bridge.

"Yuugi's waiting for me? Oh!" Parsee drew closer, keeping her voice quiet as to preserve the element of surprise for as long as she could; her heart beat louder with every step she took, coming to a screeching halt as she realized just who it was not. It was not the So-Called Unexplainable Phenomenon, but rather, the red and white Shrine Maiden of Paradise that filled her eyes. Had she missed Yuugi entirely?

Parsee was very careful to approach the miko from the backside, closing the distance with steps that were drowned out by a combination of Reimu's own heavy gait and the characteristic hacking of a new smoker. The hashihime gripped the bottle tightly, screwing up the courage to face an enemy that repulsed her in many ways, even as she heard her comment.

"Yes. Yes it does." Parsee gave Reimu a quick once-over, noting the various tears and scratches that aged her beyond her years, paying special attention to the kiseru that she balanced in between her fingers. An awkward silence followed her affirmation of the Hakurei maiden's statement, with the tension beginning to rise between the two of them at a slow gain. "Why are you here?" Parsee's tone was one of impatient annoyance.
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Re: [Ask First] Pilgrim's Progress

Postby Reimu Hakurei » 02 Jun 2013 15:26

Reimu's head canted to the side, looking confused. As if it were perfectly normal for her to be sitting on a bridge in the middle of Former Hell, smoking, and generally being quiet and not exterminating everyone and everything in sight. One might wonder what the Youkai all really thought of Reimu, and what they thought she did in her free time when she wasn't bullying them. What Reimu thought of all of them was another matter, a total mystery. It never came across as personal but neither did it apparently slow her down from smacking them around, no matter how weak or ineffective they might be. She sniffed in the direction of the package that Parsee had under her arm, dark eyes straining against the lack of light to make her out.

"That actually almost smells worse. I didn't think that was possible, but...is that Oni Sake? The only reason I can tell is because Suika insists on bringing that sort of thing around the shrine all the time."

She muttered around the kiseru, looking all the world like she hadn't heard a word Parsee had said. Interestingly though, the shrine maiden was looking more relaxed. At least, her hands apparently had stopped shaking a little after Parsee had come up. Those same hands were bloodied around the knuckles, raw from some exertion. Fingers constantly playing with the frilly hem of her dress, a repetitive action. A tic almost. The blonde haired Youkai would also notice the coughing was less frequent, as if she drew on some hidden fount of strength.

"This is pretty peaceful actually. You ought to build a pavilion so we can watch the ash blossoms flower in the Spring. Or whatever weird plants grow down here."

She looked around thoughtfully.

"Then again, I guess nothing does. Forget it. What's the package for anyways? That much in a hurry to commit suicide? I think that's a sin or something isn't it..."
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Re: [Ask First] Pilgrim's Progress

Postby Parsee Mizuhashi » 05 Jun 2013 03:37

The nerve of the miko caused Parsee to recoil in disgust, her words raking a tender nerve that the day's happy events had unearthed. The bridge princess stood, dumbly blinking as the thin smile she had left vanished from Reimu's harsh assault. Her attention shifted to the ceramic bottle she so dearly clutched, instinctively turning to shield it from Reimu as if hiding a glittering treasure from prying eyes.

"This, this is different! It's a fine sake!" Parsee retorted with a quiet scoff, turning her nose up slightly as her lips quivered in annoyance. The bottle itself had cost Parsee nearly three-quarters of what she had scraped, saved, and salvaged, and had even cut into her budget for her other hobby. The Hakurei miko's words were enough to stir an inner monster, the same one that nibbled at Parsee consistently.

The jealous youkai almost missed Reimu's next comment, with her attention barely snared by the phrase "blossoms flower." She opened her mouth to respond, but Reimu had beaten her to her exact comment. Parsee let out a defeated sigh. The day had begun so well, but this brown-haired miko had cast an uncleansible tarnish upon it with just her presence. Her scathing commentary regarding Parsee's home did not help, in the slightest, either.

"..." Parsee, again, allowed for a pregnant pause, broken only by another sigh, "It's not what. It's who..." The bridge princess turned her head with a grimace, looking back upon the Ancient City. Trying to spot her from here would be pointless. "I guess she's busy. Or she forgot."

Parsee neglected to hear the rest of Reimu's biting comment, carefully placing the bottle of sake down upon the wooden planks in front of her. 'Why'd you even bother? She's probably busy drinking with the other Oni. They probably have better sake. You could only afford this.' A flood of doubts filled her head, causing her to crumple into a squatting position under their emotional weight. 'Even Reimu says it stinks. It's completely worthless.'

"Why are you here?" Parsee repeated, her voice slightly muffled by the fabric of her arm warmers.
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Re: [Ask First] Pilgrim's Progress

Postby Reimu Hakurei » 06 Jun 2013 20:33

Reimu puffed quietly on the kiseru for a while, looking for all the world as if she hadn't heard a single word Parsee had said. That she hadn't acknowledged the hurt her words had inflicted. She'd lean precariously over the edge of the bridge, moving to sit on the railing rather than just leaning on it. Swinging her legs over the black waters, her shoes reflecting the hellish lights of this unsavory land. Her head was obscured by clouds of wispy smoke, which curled and flowed as if of its own volition. It really was peaceful here, maddeningly so. No one to ever visit you. No one to ever disturb your internal reflection. Delicate hands would toy with the hem of her dress, before her voice broke the increasingly tense silence.

"You know...I don't know. I was mad at first but now I don't know anymore."

Swinging feet would rock her to and fro, as if about to slip from her perch suddenly. Eyes were fixed straight ahead, like Parsee was in front of her instead of beside or behind. Another lengthy, awkward pause. This one going on for moments unending, words hanging on the edge of a gulf of ruin. Just a little further and the miko might fall. Suddenly her spine stiffened, sitting up. She cocked head to the side, straining to listen at something that wasn't quite there. Nothing that Parsee could hear, at any rate. Shoulders slackened a little, before turning her head to look at Parsee fully.

"She's not accepted any of your gifts, has she? You put all your effort into it, that seems really cruel even to a human like me."

Reimu twisted herself suddenly, legs vaulting over the rail to land back on the bridge. She'd slip the pipe back into her sleeves, where it went no one quite knew. Probably where she stashed all the needles too. She managed a small smile, looking at the sullen bridge princess, as if knowing exactly what she was thinking. How she felt.

"Well, no sense standing here like statues anymore. Let's drink."
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Re: [Ask First] Pilgrim's Progress

Postby Parsee Mizuhashi » 08 Jun 2013 01:42

Reimu Hakurei wrote:"You know...I don't know. I was mad at first but now I don't know anymore."


Reimu's words were a stinging reminder of her company, causing the green-eyed girl to glance upwards, noting her posture. 'Even the Miko doesn't acknowledge your presence.' The inner vitriole began again, unfettered from the earlier events. The internal dialogue dragged the corners of Parsee's lips into a harsh frown. 'Perhaps you should be asking yourself that question, 'why are you here?'' The Hakurei miko was still facing away from her, and it would be easy for Parsee to oust her from the bridge.

It would have been easy, indeed, for even Parsee's withered frame to push Reimu off the railing, leaving her with the straw dolls and her monster as company. The thought danced in Parsee's head, but ultimately she couldn't find the energy to do so. She barely had enough to push a sigh from between her lips as her mood continued to crumble.

Reimu Hakurei wrote:"She's not accepted any of your gifts, has she? You put all your effort into it, that seems really cruel even to a human like me."


It wasn't true. Parsee shook her head instinctively, denying the claim. It's not true. She continued denying it in her head. It could never be true. The more the blonde youkai mulled Reimu's words though, the more she realized the validity of the shrine maiden's statement. It was true. The sudden realization struck Parsee dumb. It is true. The hashihime scoured her memory for any time that any of her gifts were accepted. It will be true. By the end, Parsee nodded in agreement; an unspoken affirmation of Reimu's diagnostic.

It was cruel, and horrendously so, though she could not decide who was the worse offender. The intended recipient spurned her each time she had built the courage and had the opportunity, or herself for wallowing in emotional masochism, hoping that this most recent advance would yield results. Her lips buckled uncomfortably as she returned her attention to the ceramic bottle in front of her. It had become symbolic of her. Another hopeless cause.

Reimu Hakurei wrote:"Well, no sense standing here like statues anymore. Let's drink."


'It's obvious she is not coming.' Parsee waved her hand dismissively as her chin wrinkled and quivered, fighting back tears already. Inside she cursed herself for her stupidity and rare optimism, excoriating herself over the mistaken thought that things would ever change.

"You can have it. I don't care anymore. It's worthless, and you said it stinks." Parsee's words dripped with disdain, but not for the miko. In truth, she had only brought one cup, intending to use it for a small tasting that she would take for herself, leaving the rest for its intended recipient. "Worthless, just like me..." She repeated under her breath, the words leaving in barely a mumble.
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Re: [Ask First] Pilgrim's Progress

Postby Reimu Hakurei » 08 Jun 2013 18:29

Reimu toyed with the pipe in her hands, silent while Parsee chafed at the injustice of her situation. The shrine maiden's dark eyes watched her, as deep and dark as the water that flowed beneath them. Delicate fingers were calloused from labor, and insistently rubbed against the character etched on the piece. A whispy thread of silver smoke wreathed her head as she suddenly spoke up, breaking the brooding silence.

"You're not the only one to have their hopes dashed, you know? I thought I knew someone, I thought I knew where it might go. Now I don't think things will be as they should have been. We're partners in misery down here, so we might as well share in it."

Insistently that strange girl would force the Kiseru into Parsee's small hands, yanking the gourd of liquor from her grasp. Forgoing a cup entirely, she'd wrench it open and recoil momentarily from the smell. It was much stronger than even anything Suika brought around, but not as refined. She'd take a slug from it, coughing and sputtering, chest burning as she pounds a fist against herself to try and keep from depositing its contents in the river. She'd grin weakly at the bridge princess.

"Ow."

The look on her face though, was incredibly goofy. The foolish girl's voice was cracked and strained from the power of the drink, and she'd slammed it down like it was water. And all she could do was grin at Parsee.
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Re: [Ask First] Pilgrim's Progress

Postby Parsee Mizuhashi » 10 Jun 2013 00:48

"Well, all things considered, you're still in a better position. You've got no room to complain." Exchanging miserable stories in a vain display of gainsmanship was a standard practice that Parsee often played alone, as those who were able to stand such a pitiful game often found other ways to occupy their time rather quickly. It only worsened the problem, as it presented the blonde-haired youkai with more ammunition, in both a literal and metaphorical sense, to use upon herself.

The trade of their items caught Parsee by surprise, stumping her reaction speed (had she felt up to keeping a hold on the sake). She had let the ceramic bottle go, examining now the slender kiseru that was formerly in the shrine maiden's possession. The green-eyed girl ran her fingers of the body of it, paying close attention to the insignia that was artfully carved into its interior. The workmanship was something to be admired, or envied, and the character itself was not one that she recognized. That was not the worst of it, by far, for Parsee though. The worst characteristic was the warmth it held from its previous holder, and she was so very envious that such a revolting object could be so warm.

The Hashihime looked up from the kiseru, deciding that it would be best to attempt to ignore the ripe odor emanating from its bowl; it was just in time to hear and see Reimu cough and sputter again - what seemed now a constant reminder of her presence. First, it came from the atmosphere thick with soot of the Former Hell, then the kiseru's charm, and now from the alcohol that Reimu had so crudely imbibed. Parsee grinned smugly, unable to contain her mocking laugh as she watched the miko's reaction. It was no surprise that she would have that response; unbeknownst to the red-white, Parsee had been scraping and saving for months to purchase the Onis' most powerful brew. She reacquired the bottle from Reimu with yet another mocking chuckle, imitating her as she drank from it.

It burned her. It burned her as that foolish Oni had, and did. It burned her as a spite-filled wraith would at the beck of Orin. The blonde-haired youkai resisted the urge to cough or show any lack of drinking experience in front of Reimu, opting to take a second drink from the mouth of the bottle directly. Seeing Reimu's face turn into a comical shape made her surrender the bottle to her companion once more.

"Here, have some more. It may be worthless, but that means we can drink it all! 'Misery loves company,' or so they say" Parsee remarked, holding the bottle out towards Reimu with one hand, the other keeping a tight hold upon the kiseru.
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Re: [Ask First] Pilgrim's Progress

Postby Reimu Hakurei » 10 Jun 2013 13:14

Reimu would knock back the gourd, her expression one that looked almost pained. Swallowing sadness, in the literal sense. She'd hand it back to Parsee, holding out a hand for the pipe if Parsee had no interest in partaking. Where had she gotten it from? She'd never been seen with one before, so it must have been a recent acquisition. The shrine maiden seemed possessive of it, as she wasn't of anything else. Reaching back, she'd adjust her hair, pulling loose the ties that kept it bound. Black locks came down to her shoulders, shaking her head a few times to let it flow free. She kept one eye on the bridge princess curiously, as if expecting her to say something else. Or maybe waiting for the right moment.

"You know, you know what usually makes me feel better?" She slurred a little, the liquor obviously starting to have an effect. "I exterminate Youkai. You know what you...you should do?" She'd swallow a few times, obviously trying to talk past how light-headed she felt. "You should come with me. Let's go rough up some Youkai, you can be a Miko today, instead of a princess. The pay's probably worse, but that's okay, we can just take their tea and treasure."

Reimu stated it as if it were the most normal thing in the world to suggest. Sure, why not? Let's go out and kick over someone's table, rough up their friends and shake them down for money. Came across sounding more like a thug than the shaman-priestess of eight million gods. Considering how she'd blasted her way through the Underworld the last time though, it may not seem all that surprising to Parsee. Reimu leaned on the railing, looking pleased with her suggestion, as if she'd just made it to Marisa herself. Maybe she had a witch hat she'd been saving for just such an occasion.
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Re: [Ask First] Pilgrim's Progress

Postby Parsee Mizuhashi » 20 Jun 2013 02:16

By the time Reimu relinquished the pitcher back to Parsee, the drink was more than three-quarters gone, and after Parsee had dropped it from her lips, there was barely a drop left. The after-taste was bitter, for sure, moreso when she considered who she had meant to drink it. 'What if she arrived now, and was just late?' The thought frightened Parsee, as she looked at the empty pitcher. 'What will you do now? You have the tipsy-miko where she should be...' The inner voice sneered, never letting up despite the alcohol diluting her blood. The bridge-maiden eyed Reimu's hand, blinking in confusion. Was she offering it in friendship, or, perhaps, a hand up to stand on her own two feet?

Parsee regarded the second thought, her fingers running over the kiseru again, as if it were a small animal in her grasp; she seemed overly possessive of it already, though she knew that it was Reimu's. Without a doubt, she was jealous of it (still), and needless to say, the bridge youkai was not yet prepared to part with such a token. Her silent brooding was broken by her own words.

"Shut u-up...I couldn't do that. They'd beat me, like-like usual. Wh-why do you think, I'm all the way out here." The bridge youkai's voice was cold despite the growing rose-heat that colored the bridge of her nose. The sake had already gone to the miko's head, and Parsee was not about to allow the same thing. "You know what we should do? ...ah... Get more of this." The green-eyed girl shook the empty container, assaulting Reimu with the tiny remnants of its contents. She hadn't yet heard the secondary portion of Reimu's offer, which, when she heard it, caused her to reverse her decision (partly).

"W-We can't do that...I can't leave m-my Bridge all alone... But..." Parsee ran the scenario in her mind, indulging in (no) small fantasy. She imagined herself surrounded by enough spoils of youkai extermination to be the talk of the Ancient City. Even Satori herself would come to marvel at her, and be jealous! It seemed settled then. "When can I start?" Her green eyes gleamed with glee, gripping the kiseru still.
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Re: [Ask First] Pilgrim's Progress

Postby Reimu Hakurei » 20 Jun 2013 04:53

Reimu frowned when the kiseru was not returned, but she would instead grip the Youkai's hand. It would seem the miko had noticed the plaintive look in those viridian eyes, not about to miss the opportunity. A gentle squeeze of that hand, and she'd stand, though not without a bit of a wobble. The miko could handle her drink, but she was still young, and often times didn't always pace herself. Who knew if she'd even had anything to drink or eat before this, so she might be even more out of it than usual combined with the intense strength of the vile draught.

"You're right! First...first we need to get more of that. A lot more. We're going to need enough to get all of Youkai Mountain drunk. Then we're going to raise hell in Old Hell, because. Because."

She'd scratch her chin thoughtfully, dark eyes looking this way and that while her other hand kept holding Parsee's. Swinging that clenched hand to and fro, as if they were on a Sunday picnic out in the flower gardens. Truly nothing ever got Reimu down for long, it would seem. She was grumpy from time to time, but she also didn't seem the sort to dwell on things much. At least not intentionally. Already whatever had been bothering her looked to be forgotten, caught up in planning hi jinks with Parsee.

"Because I forget, but that's doesn't matter right now! The important thing is that we show them we can't be taken lightly! Ara...your bridge? Your bridge will be fine! It's not going anywhere!"

The miko was boisterous and loud now, not a subtle drunk to be sure. Rather full of herself from all appearances, and if she had her way Parsee was going to have one wild night. It might actually be up to the Bridge Princess to keep the priestess from overdoing it. She'd tug on Parsee's hand insistantly, though she'd pause suddenly, without warning. Dark eyes going to the kiseru still in the princesses's hand.

"Keep it. I'll just nick another one the next time I see Rinnosuke. After all, I didn't get you any New Years gifts anyways."
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Re: [Ask First] Pilgrim's Progress

Postby Parsee Mizuhashi » 29 Jun 2013 01:05

Parsee's reticence to capitulate to Reimu's plans was noticeable as she resisted being pulled to her feet, stumbling forward a step. Even with her concrete decision earlier, the bridge youkai had become torn between joining the miko in her quest for youkai extermination and remaining on guard at her bridge; she grimaced, steadying herself as the full effect of the oni's brew struck her.

"It's difficult to stand on your own two feet..." Parsee found herself mumbling, as if recounting a sage's advice, "...Even moreso to take a step forward into darkness." Her words were soon overruled by the Hakurei miko's reaffirmation that the pair of them required more of what they had just consumed.

Reimu Hakurei wrote:"You're right! First...first we need to get more of that. A lot more. We're going to need enough to get all of Youkai Mountain drunk. Then we're going to raise hell in Old Hell, because. Because."


There was a sudden terror that gripped Parsee, and she made no attempt to hide it. If she were to re-enter the Old City to acquire more booze, there may be a chance to find her. To find her wherever she may have been. 'No. She's too busy. The breweries and the bars are separated, and you know that.' A kindling of doubt in that statement still remained yet, fanning itself in the back of her mind, as evidenced by her feet rooting themselves to the wood of her Bridge.

This presented a stark contrast between the pair; Reimu's hand swung Parsee's as the red-white continued detailing her grand plan that reeked of shenanigans, an action which only stoked the burgeoning flame of doubt. The blonde-haired youkai had only a moment to consider this as Reimu's consistent tugging broke her concentration.

"Oh...um...ah..." A rare stammer from Parsee came in response to Reimu's gift as her cheeks filled with a faint rose hue, "...To give away such a possession, I'm envious..." The last words were a common phrase from her lips, as Reimu might have known, but that did not affect the veracity of her statement.
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Re: [Ask First] Pilgrim's Progress

Postby Reimu Hakurei » 04 Jul 2013 02:08

The shrine maiden looked at the bridge princess as if she were quite mad to even think of hesitating. She tugged a little insistently with her hand, urging the girl without words. It soon became clear to anyone that Parsee wasn't going through with this so lightly though, and Reimu would let out an exhalation of bemusement and frustration. She turned to face the blonde Youkai fully, expression screwed up into one of great determination. What was going on behind those dark eyes...who knew? But her flighty nature was in full evidence tonight.

"Taking steps into darkness? There's no need to fear the dark. You know what's in the dark, Parsee?"

She'd turn, urging her to follow her to the end of the bridge. Even if she refused, she'd let go of the girl's hand to clasp her own palms up in the air, allowing a burning mote of hellfire to land in them. It likely would have burned anyone else, but whatever spell or divine power she used to hold it at bay was a mystery.

"Just this. I guarantee you that almost every other Youkai you meet is as scared as you are, if not more so. How much do they really know you? They all act tough, but they're not really any tougher than this."

Her palms would enclose around the hellfire, snuffing it out. She'd splay her hands out, a welcoming gesture to the Youkai. A small smile on her lips.

"I think you can do this Parsee, but jumping into the darkness isn't something you have to do alone. You have friends, even if you don't realize it. A lot of us don't, until its almost too late. I think that even if what I said is true, that you should try anyways. Your bridge will be alright for a few hours without you."
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Re: [Ask First] Pilgrim's Progress

Postby Parsee Mizuhashi » 06 Jul 2013 10:23

Parsee gave Reimu a look of growing concern as she was led, almost as a captive, to the border of the Underworld. The thin plank of wood was all that separated her duty and becoming a hooligan for the night, and Parsee was hesitant to step off her comfort. It would be a large accomplishment had she done so. The blonde-haired youkai would rarely leave her bridge, even for that Oni.

Parsee's heart twisted, sending a jolt of pain through her mind as she recalled her. It made her face screw up with envy, her lips pursing in an obvious display of contempt, but not for the Miko. No, if anything, the miko's words caused her to stumble into self-loathing again. 'No need to fear the dark?' The inner voice of scorn grumbled, half-asleep. 'What does she know of the darkness?' It was a pertinent question for one who resided on the surface. Sure, the miko had traveled to the core of the Ancient, Forgotten Hell, but had she truly been in the dark?

Reimu Hakurei wrote:"Taking steps into darkness? There's no need to fear the dark. You know what's in the dark, Parsee?"


"There is more than just this in the darkness. There is hatred and anathema. Revulsion. There are those that are spoken in the most contemptuous of words. I hear them." Parsee's green eyes caught the speck of hell's blazes, watching as the small ember continued to smolder in the miko's grip. It was not one of her own cinders, as it radiated with a warm, yellow-orange light; her lips flattened as she reached her arm out, holding her palm upwards to catch an brand of her own.

Reimu Hakurei wrote:"Just this. I guarantee you that almost every other Youkai you meet is as scared as you are, if not more so. How much do they really know you? They all act tough, but they're not really any tougher than this."


"There are some that are more scared than others. But none fear me. It was so much worse when you beat me." Her eyes shimmered a dull emerald green as she watched Reimu smother the poor speck, reducing it to a lifeless ash. "I never heard the end of it. They'd mock me, and threatened to destroy my bridge." Her fingers curled up, ensnaring the dying fleck in her hand just as it erupted in a sickly green flame.

"They are all stronger than me," Parsee started, a tear welling in her eye, "...Why else would I be here? Alone, in the dark." The blonde-haired youkai added in her rebuttal to Reimu, frowning. Her fingers clenched into a fist, allowing the flame of her hand to lick her fingers for a brief moment before dying as its predecessors had.

Reimu Hakurei wrote:"I think you can do this Parsee, but jumping into the darkness isn't something you have to do alone. You have friends, even if you don't realize it. A lot of us don't, until its almost too late. I think that even if what I said is true, that you should try anyways. Your bridge will be alright for a few hours without you."


"Why do you say such things? I...My bridge is my sole companion, and even I leave it..." Parsee's only answer was a question. In truth, the poor bridge youkai had never counted anyone among her friends. She was too frightened to ask or extend such an offer, most especially to the Oni, doubly so for a specific one. Even the spirits of the despised and cursed tended to avoid her completely. She would bury her face in her hands, the kiseru pressing into her forehead slightly as she fought the need to cry.

"Why, why, why..." The blonde youkai's foot rose a half-step above the terminal plank; her interior thoughts had become exterior as she doubted herself with every passing moment. Then, without any manner of pomp or circumstance, Parsee's foot struck the dirt of the road as she lurched forward, ending off her bridge.

"Oh, but it still needs a guardian... I can't leave it just yet..."
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Parsee Mizuhashi
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Re: [Ask First] Pilgrim's Progress

Postby Reimu Hakurei » 20 Jul 2013 20:32

Reimu folds her arms, looking impatient as you please. She'd kick her legs back and forth, watching Parsee closely, as if trying to guess at what she was thinking. What the shrine maiden was thinking was impossible to tell, her expression unreadable. She paced back to the bridge, staring at Parsee quietly for a long while before answering. Her voice was even and calm, but it sounded a little frustrated too. Reimu had never been a good counselor. Now wasn't really the time to start either, but she'd been forced into it.

"Well, I doubt I can convince you otherwise. But the decision is yours, not mine to make. Seems to me like the only chains you've got are the ones you put on yourself. The bridge will be fine without you for a while. If it isn't, well, I'll help you build a new one. Simple as that."


For Reimu, maybe it really was that simple. She'd never been the sort to over think things, as everyone who'd ever met her could attest. But this was a big deal to Parsee, and perhaps the shrine maiden didn't, or couldn't see that. She'd never been that attached to anything in her life that anyone could recall, not even the Yin Yang orbs.

"You can be strong too, if you fight! No reason to just lay in the dirt. Big Sis Reimu will help you stomp 'em flat!"

Sounded like the Maiden was gearing up for a real rough night on the town. Booze and violence tended to soothe Reimu's choler.
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