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BC Chapter 4

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"No way."

Patrick smirked. He expected about as much.

"First you'll want to fly, then you'll want to learn how to danmaku, next thing you know, you make off with my Non-Directional Laser and Master Spark like a common thief."

There was a noted emphasis on 'my', and Patrick's smirk widened to a grin. Marisa gave him a strange look, as if she was evaluating his mental stability.

"Besides, I remember saying something back at the shrine about how to fly. You just have to will it enough," she said, floating into the air almost effortlessly. If Patrick didn't know better, he'd swear she was being lifted by wires.

"Never saw you without your broom before."

Marisa looked down, as if she'd just realized that herself.

"Ah yeah. It's not like I need it to fly, but I don't look enough like a witch flying around like this. I feel like I should stick my arms out."

"Is that so?"

"Yeah. Wait..."

Patrick retained his grin as a confused looking Marisa returned to the floor.

"How did you know that?"

"Know what?" Patrick asked, insincerely. He hadn't been thinking about his circumstances and was starting to settle into being in this world. If he wasn't careful, he'd really let out some information he wouldn't want others to know, and then he'd have really dug himself a hole.

"That saying."

"Saying?"

"Yeah, 'Is that so?'"

"What's so special about it?"

"... Nothing, nevermind."

Marisa made her way over to the half full tea pot was sitting on a nearby counter and poured herself a cup of tea. Patrick felt that trying to talk to her again right now would be a little awkward, so he decided to make his way to the store. Leaving the kitchen, he turned back to the front of the building, entering the store portion where Rinnosuke was digging through some boxes stacked in the far back corner of the cluttered area. Now was as good a time as any to make a cursory check of the area for anything that might be of interest.

First thing he saw was his bag, sitting on it's side behind the counter, the squeeze latches undone and the top hung open slightly. Inside, he found his hat and the hair tie he had been wearing, along with his mp3 player. The mp3 player looked slightly cracked, and a corner of the display screen was blacked out, but it turned on fine and seemed to work, even though he didn't have his headphones. Patrick replaced all but his hair tie, using it to hold back his hair in a ponytail. He hoisted his bag and slid the carrying strap over his shoulder as he stood to return to his exploration of the shops goods. The counter itself seemed to be a showcase of some kind, housing a bunch of various other electronic devices. Some other music players, various cameras old and new, what looked like a laptop, a blender, flashlights, nothing particularly useful looking aside from the flashlights, though he doubted he could find batteries for them in case he needed them. Patrick turned his attention to others parts of the store, wandering between boxes, bags and crates of assorted things. Boots, coats, umbrellas in one corner, newspapers, fashion magazines, gaming magazines along one wall. To his surprise, he also found a beaten up box that looked like a shoe box that was about half full with what looked like bullets. He wasn't too sure what to make of a box full of bullets as he poked at the contents. Many of the bullets were dirty looking or marked up, and there were a few empty casings in the box as well. Patrick picked up a bullet that looked about the size he remembered 9mm being. It was around this time as well, that Rinnosuke noticed Patrick was in the room.

"Ah, careful with that!" he said, taking long steps towards Patrick and snatching the bullet from his hand.

"These things are dangerous."

"Yeah, I know what bullets are. You wouldn't happen to have guns to go with them, would you?"

Rinnosuke didn't answer. It seemed that Rinnosuke was mulling over whether or not to answer the question truthfully.

"Weapons like that won't do you any good, they're not powerful enough to protect you from anyone other than other humans in this world."

"Then, do you have weapons that would work against youkai?"

Silence. Rinnosuke's expression turned sour, as if he was disapproving of the notion of letting go of any of his items. Patrick didn't care what the answer was, because he already knew he could change Rinnosuke's mind.

"I do, but I can tell you right now you can't afford one."

Patrick lifted the flap of his bag and pulled out the foam case he kept his PSP in.

"Not even if I offer this as a trade?"

Patrick held up the PSP. Silence again, but this time he could see the difference in Rinnosuke's face. In front of him, a wondrous technological gadget from the outside world that still worked, something he probably wasn't able to boast about much.

"I hope you're fine with a sword."

"Just having one will make me feel better. Even if I can't use one correctly, I can act like I do."

Rinnosuke made a noise that sounded like a sighing laughter. Patrick wasn't too sure what to think of that, but watched as Rinnosuke made his way over to a pile of crates stacked on top of a rather sturdy but weathered looking dresser and pulled open the top drawer. Inside was a bunch of weapons, mostly swords, of various styles. There were more swords without sheathes than with them, and they all laid rather haphazardly, almost as if they were dropped into the drawer in a bundle and left there.

"This drawer is really the only one with anything worth using. Problem is, I don't know off the top of my head which ones are good and which ones aren't."

Of course there was a problem. It was quickly becoming second nature to expect things to go wrong, and Patrick started considering if he should even bother enjoying his time here, and just live a peaceful life in a village, cowering at his own shadow and counting the hours until he could be sent back home. A slight twitch picked up in the back of Patrick's right shoulder. He moved his shoulder around and reached back to rub it idly when he felt a slight tingle in his arm. Patrick snapped back to attention, he was sure there was something in this drawer that could help him, he just had to find it.

"You okay Patrick? Never seen so many blades before?" Rinnosuke asked with an almost proud tone.

"I'm fine, just a bit of clarity there. I can feel something in this drawer has some spiritual power tied to it."

Patrick slid the PSP into his pocket for now, and carefully started moving various swords around as he searched. The drawer wasn't very deep, but it was long and wide. At an estimation, there had to be at least 60 different swords, and he couldn't tell how many had the sense of power he had felt. It had slipped his mind since he'd come to Gensokyo, but he did have something that might be considered an 'ability' in terms of powers, even on the Outside. He had learned from experience growing up on an entertainment diet of Ghostbusters and various other paranormal and monster movies and TV shows that he was particularly sensitive to paranormal events. While hauntings and ghosts are something that most people on the Outside would dismiss on the basis of being considered fantasy, they were quite real to Patrick, and any time he was in the presence of a spiritual power, whether it be an item with residual spirit attached to it or a genuine entity, he would get twitches in his right arm as it began to go numb.

As he moved the swords, ignoring the few pinches he felt as sharp blades bit into his skin occasionally, his hands came to a smooth sheath, and he felt the same tingling. This was it. He carefully moved more of the swords away, pulling out a weathered looking katana. While having seen display pieces with the handle wrapped in some kind of leather or fabric, this swords handle had a similar design made of metal. There was a broken piece of metal near the tsuba that seemed like it might have been part of the sword at some point, and a ring attached to the scabbard he assumed was to carry it on a belt. It wasn't a very impressive looking sword, which was something that rather disappointed him, but he was sure this sword was one that would protect him.

"Ah, that?" Rinnosuke said, reaching his hand out to touch the sword as Patrick held it. "It's an Officer's sword, a Shin-Gunto 'Type 95'. I understand they were issued to officers during a war in the outside world several decades ago."

It almost made too much sense. It had been said that only magical or historical weapons would be able to harm youkai, and right now, Patrick was holding a weapon that was not only a piece of history but likely also contained residual spirit from the times it was carried in battle. Carefully, Patrick drew the blade. He instantly noticed the blood grooves on the blade, something he hadn't seen before on a katana styled sword. With some tricky positioning, Patrick tested the edge with a fingernail, something he had been taught as a method of feeling how sharp a blade was without as much danger of injury as using your fingers directly. It was still fairly sharp too, which was good as Patrick had no idea how to care for or maintain a sword to restore it's edge.

"I'll take this then. I'm sure it'll work for me."

Patrick hoped that was true as he pulled the PSP from his pocket and handed it to Rinnosuke. Rinnosuke eagerly accepted it and hurried across the store, to a spot beside the counter, where he placed the PSP into a small box. He had started to make his way back when he stopped and looked towards the kitchen. Soon after, Patrick also noticed what had most likely caught Rinnosuke's attention, the smell of onions being cooked. Rinnosuke changed course and hurried out of the store towards the kitchen. For a few seconds, Patrick considered following him, but then considered something more pressing to attend to. He went over to where Rinnosuke had walked to, opened the box, and retrieved his PSP, quickly sliding it back into the bag around his shoulder and doing up the push latches. Closing the box behind him, he idly made his way towards the kitchen as well, having already heard Rinnosuke start arguing with Marisa.

"You can't just start cooking my food!"

"Relax, Kourin. Besides, I haven't had breakfast yet. The tea made me feel nostalgic, and I felt that nostalgia went best with steak."

"Is there anything you won't steal from me?"

Brief silence.

"Nope."

Patrick entered the kitchen just as Marisa started to laugh and pat Rinnosuke on the shoulder. Rinnosuke sat down at the table with his head in one hand. He looked like he was muttering something, but Marisa didn't seem to be paying much attention to him as she pulled a knife from a stand on the counter and proceeded to cut into the meat as it fried in a pan.

"Relax Kourin, I'll split this with you if you really treasure some meat so much."

Rinnosuke didn't seem to improve much after hearing that, but he raised his head from his hand.

"I was going to eat that myself tonight you know. You should probably prepare some other dishes to go with it so it's not a waste and we get hungry again soon."

That seemed to be all the motivation Marisa needed, and immediately started gathering together various things, obviously familiar with the kitchen and it's contents. Patrick felt slightly amused at the sight, someone who had nearly killed him and showed little to no concern over the fact was no here cooking for someone in their own home. In the back of his mind, he felt it was justified though, since as far as he remembered, Rinnosuke had known Marisa her entire life, and it was suggested he even worked for her family at one point. It was probably a normal thing for Rinnosuke to have taken care of Marisa, and now she returns the favour every so often, even if it is by surprise and troublesome.

"What about your guest? We can't exactly split the steak again, unless you give him half of yours."

Rinnosuke turned his head towards the doorway, a ponderous look on his face.

"It's okay actually, I don't even get hungry until I'm awake for a few hours. In fact, I was going to go take a look around at the village, get to know the area a little bit. I'll most likely find some way to stay there tonight so I'm not imposing on you anymore."

Patrick laughed to himself in his head, he sure had sounded rather sincere there. While it was true he wanted to leave, it was because he wanted to get away before Rinnosuke discovered he had been ripped off. Turning from the kitchen, he walked towards the stairs, heading to the guest room to get his footwear, as walking around Gensokyo barefoot sounded like a terrible idea. Patrick entered the corner room, picked up his socks and boots and put them on. As a last bit of actual courtesy, since he was actually cared for and able to rest, he made the bed again. Satisfied with his work, Patrick made his way downstairs. As he passed the kitchen, he saw that Rinnosuke looked like he was getting over his near depression as Marisa cooked. While he did want to stay and try some of Marisa's cooking out of curiosity, he didn't want to run the risk of being caught pilfering from Rinnosuke. Unlike others that routinely stole from him, Patrick was fairly certain that even a half-youkai could easily punch him across a room before he even had a chance to react.

Without a word, Patrick made his way through the store front, stopping by the entrance to look around again. Patrick briefly hesitated before leaving, he had a lingering feeling he should take something else while he had the chance, but didn't even know where to begin. Deciding it was better to leave as soon as possible, Patrick pushed against the door. He was met with a rather solid thump and a cry of pain. The entire world felt like it turned into ice.

"Hey!"

Patrick opened the door again and stepped out quickly, shutting it behind him. He saw a humanoid shape on the ground and reacted without thinking, kneeling down over the person as they were sitting on the ground, likely knocked down from the door.

"Quiet. I was in a hurry, but I'm trying to leave without too much attention, just-"

Patrick stopped short. His mind caught up with him and he had a flash of realization. He realized he had knocked down a young girl dressed in a pair of grey breeches and wearing what appeared to be a grey button up vest, though the things he saw after making this realization disturbed him. The first thing he saw was a pair of red eyes glaring at him angrily. The next was a set of grey and brown wolf ears resting atop the young girls head.

"I'm going to bite your god damned face off, human, just-"

Patrick stood up quickly, catching the girl off guard and she stopped speaking. He took a few steps back, slowly circling away from the building and the forest as the girl jumped to her feet, claws and fangs bared. Instinctively, Patrick's hand moved to the handle of the sword he was carrying now, and instantly felt much more reassured of his situation. The next thing he knew, a knee struck him in the jaw and he was sent reeling.

"Damn it!"

He heard a short laugh as he regained his balance and saw the young girl in front of him standing calmly. Her tail was lazily flicking back and forth.

"I thought you were some kind of professional youkai exterminator, but I realized just now you don't have a shred of power at all. I owe you one for a couple nights ago. You made me out to be a bitch, so I'll show you why I'm set to be the next Alpha."

She approached like a blur again, though Patrick was able to react this time. He took a step to the side and only barely managed to avoid the clawed kick that tore through the air where his stomach would have been. It took him a second to unsheathe the blade in his hands, dropping the scabbard as he did so. That second was all it took for the girl to charge again. A small fist struck him in the chest hard enough to make him stumble backwards. He felt like he'd been punched by a truck. His mind was reeling from the strength this girl had, finally understanding for himself the physical difference between humans and youkai. The girl watched him once more, though she seemed slightly agitated this time. It took a few seconds of her solid staring to realize she was watching the blade of the sword.

"Your sword smells like blood. Even from here I can feel the malice that sword holds. What are you?"

The question took a few seconds to register. She must be able to recognize the same kind of presence Patrick felt in it. Even holding it he could feel the fingers on his right hand tingling. It was used during a war, who knows how many people it had killed, and if they were even soldiers.

"I'm just a guy with a sword that has claimed many lives, dead set on cutting through any obstacles in this world. Even if those obstacles are little girls."

The girl bared her fangs again, clearly angry over Patrick's comments about her appearance. Once again she charged forward, giving Patrick only minimal time to react. In the few seconds he had, he turned the sword downwards, with the point towards the ground, and swung out. There was a slight catch, a yelp, and the girl barreled into him and bowled him over. He felt a small warmth spread across his chest, and quickly tried to locate the girl. He spotted her on her knees just beyond him, and he rolled over, getting into a crouching position on one knee. It was then he saw the thin trail of blood running down her back and soaking into the vest she wore. A wave of anxiety washed over him, and he suppressed his first instinct to go help her, remembering that she was a youkai and that just seconds earlier, she had attempted to kill him.

"You see... I can cut you. So you'd be better off leaving with your life."

The girl got to her feet, turning towards Patrick. He could see the rather large gash along her shoulder now, she was almost completely soaked in blood already. Her face was baring an angry snarl despite the tears in her eyes.

"You're a dead man. You're going to regret letting me go."

She made a dash for the forest, disappearing into the trees quickly, clutching her shoulder. Patrick saw that there was a red stain on his shirt, and his stomach heaved. He turned his eyes away and took a few breaths, trying not to think about the cold spot on his chest as the blood began to grow cold. He knew for sure now that the sword could hurt youkai, since Patrick was sure that if it hadn't, she would have been able to recover instantly. What he wasn't sure of however was his ability to fight like that again in the future, and what particularly worried him was that he had run into her as it seemed she was heading into Kourindou. What this meant and what her connection was to the building wasn't clear, and Patrick hoped that she wasn't particularly important to Rinnosuke, and if she was that he would never find out about what happened or who did it.

He had never had a reason to try to seriously hurt or even kill someone, and even now after seeing what he did to the wolf girl, he realized he didn't want to do that unless it was a last resort. Patrick swept his hand across his head, brushing back some hairs that had come loose, looking around for the scabbard. After locating it, Patrick spotted a barrel full of water near Kourindou. He figured it was rainwater, or otherwise not important, and used it to wash off the blood still left on the end of the blade before re-sheathing it. Patrick looked around, having time now to see the area, and spotted houses not too far in the distance. Adjusting the bag on his shoulder, he set the sword through the strap to rest on the bag as he walked, and set out towards the village.


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