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Pushing myself off the ground, I lent back against the tree I had previously encountered, noticing my nose was leaking yet again.
I watched as Cirno marched up to me, hands on her hips, “Why the heck are you here?” She asked.
“I want to ask you that too.” I groaned.
Cirno sighed slightly, “Isn’t it obvious, playing with my friends!” Cirno looked back at the group, where a couple waved back. “But this is a place for youkai, not for a weak human like you! Even Daiyousei could beat you up!” Cirno laughed.’’
“Hey Cirno, that’s not very nice.” I heard a timid Daiyousei object.
“Unless you want to get killed, you should get out of here.”
“Well then, where can I get out, thanks to you and your little squad, I have no idea where I am and which way I’m meant to be going.” I complained.
A grin appeared on Cirno’s face before she ran over to her little group who huddled together whispering. Obviously, no good is going to come from this.
The group nodded together before Cirno ran back up to me, “We’ll show you the way out of the forest.”
“Oh, that’s good, I was think-“
“If, you beat us at a game.” Cirno interrupted me. I knew it.
“What game?” I said, with a slight sigh.
Cirno continued to smile, “Anything, you can choose.”
“And what if I lose?” I questioned cautiously. “You and your friends kill me or something?”
“No, we play again, and again, and again, until you win!”
Just what I wanted, to be playing games with Youkai continuously for my freedom.
“So, any game?” I asked.
Without thinking I immediately blurted out, “Fine, we’ll play tag.”
“Okay!” Cirno shouted, already running off.
Eager to win, I started to sprint after Cirno and relieved to see I was catching up, Cirno was just in my reach when I heard another shout, “Now!”
At that moment, everyone flew up into the air several metres out of my reach and began giggling. “Catch us if you can!” One of the girls taunted, as I stood on the floor baffled.
There’s no point playing this, there’s no way I can reach them and even if I climbed a tree, it’s not like they can’t just fly away.
In what must be the shortest game ever, I announced my loss. “Alright, alright, you lot win, let’s play the next game.”
The girls slowly floated down, laughing and whispering in each other’s ears, probably about how useless I was at that game. Cirno laughed again and sneered, “Pick something that’ll last a bit longer, I don’t want to have to go easy on you!”
For obvious reasons, I found the fact a fairy was laughing at me quite irritating, so I began to put thought into the next game.
Something without chasing, what wouldn’t they be good at? I looked at the group again and something struck me, the majority of them weren’t exactly camouflaged, even Rumia (Who I suspected it was) though fairly well blended in black, had a head full of blonde hair which stuck out like a sore thumb, add the various bright blues and greens and pink from the others, and the idea emerged.
“Hide and seek.”
“Huh.” Cirno looked puzzled, for an unknown reason.
“Hide and seek, I’ll give you time to hide and then come and find you, but as soon as I find you, you’re out, no chasing or anything like that.” I grinned.
Cirno looked up at me stubbornly as though she was working something out, before she returned to her overconfident smile. “Fine then, get counting… and don’t look.”
“Whatever.” I turned around and leant face first against the tree I had head-butted from earlier. Soon enough the sounds of footsteps leading away could be heard leaving me along. Well, at least that means no one is going to smash my head against this tree while I’m not looking. I joked to myself.
Since Cirno gave me no exact number to count to, I counted to ninety before beginning my search. In my head, I was expecting to turn around and see at least one straight away, but that wasn’t reality, there wasn’t anyone to be seen, but I also realised then that there was no time limit on the game, I had all the time I wanted to find them.
Beginning my search I wanted down the most obvious route, following the sounds of the footsteps from earlier and it wasn’t before long I noticed patches of blue among the green leaves of a bush. I walked over to the overgrown plant and pulled some of the leaves away revealed a startled looking Daiyousei.
“Oh, hi.” She spoke quietly. “I guess I’m out then?”
“Yeah… Tough luck.” I replied sympathetically, for some reason.
One down, four to go!
Not far away from Daiyousei, I noticed in the corner of my eye some white in an otherwise brown tree, after a moment of staring, I could make out the shape of Wriggle Nightbug, lying on top of the branch. Thank god these youkai are distinctive enough to remember the names.
“You can come down, Wriggle.” I smirked. Unhappily, Wriggle hovered down from the tree branch, and it almost felt like she was missing a buzzing noise when she flew.
“It took Cirno ages to find me up there.” Wriggle complained.
Ha, not me.
It was a few more minutes afterwards until I found the next target; I noticed that in the middle of an area without much cover from the trees, there was an odd shadow, right in the middle. Looking up, in the worst place for hiding in the air imaginable was an orb of darkness, which must be Rumia.
After shouting her down, much like the others, and waiting for her to tease the others about lasting longer then them, we set off to find the final two, Cirno and who I presumed was Mystia Lorelei, if I remember right, she’s a Night Sparrow with a large love for singing.
Despite her wearing bright pink and Cirno wearing bright blue, they were surprisingly difficult to find, even after what felt like 10 minutes of searching. Looks like I’ll have to play dirty.
I walked a few more steps forward before turning around to the group following me, and spoke in a much louder voice then usual. I hope she doesn’t kill me for this. “You know, I don’t think that Mystia can sing very good at all! I think I can sing much better!”
All I got from the others were strange and confused looks, “I don’t even know why you hang around with her, if I had to listen to her all the time, I think my ears would bl-“ I was suddenly interrupted by a force colliding with my back sending me to the floor.
Turning around to see who did it, I saw a furious looking Mystia looking at me, “What are you talking about, I can sing much better then you’ll ever be able to you useless human! I don’t know why I shouldn’t just kill-“
“You’re out.” I interrupted Mystia’s high pitching, almost screaming rant. Followed by the laughter of the others.
Giggling, Wriggle spoke, “Mystia, you just gave yourself away, you could have won!” before laughing even more. Mystia looked embarrassed and stood behind the others.
“Don’t worry Mystia, I didn’t mean what I said.” I apologized, thinking it’s better to make peace rather then have a youkai hunt you down in the future.
“Okay… sorry…” Mystia spoke quietly, still bright red with embarrassment.
“So, its just Cirno herself left.” I spoke while walking away from the others, in a fashion much like Yuka.
However the problem arose that no matter how long or hard I looked, there was no sign at all of anything blue. Even my bluff about finding a pond full of frogs failed to draw her out of her hiding place.
Even more time passed to the point the sky was starting to due and lose it’s colour, and I found myself explaining my story to my followers, “And then Akyu and Keine explained how I’m not from Gensokyo, and that I might one day return to-“ Once again, I found myself interrupted as I tripped through a pile of fallen leaves.
“Watch it, you big idiot, you could-“
Suddenly the voice cut short. Bingo. I started to brush the leaves away with my foot revealing Cirno looking at me. “Idiot, if you didn’t stand on me you’d never have found me.”
I thought it was quite impressive that Cirno had spent something like an hour buried under a pile of leaves, “Well, you were the hardest the find, if that’s any consolation.”
Cirno sneered and smiled slightly, “That’s because I’m the best!”
“So, about the way out of here…” I went straight to the point.
Cirno laughed, “That’s easy, it’s over there.” Cirno pointed in a direction and began walking in that direction and in no more then 10 seconds later I could see the exit to the forest.
“See you later, we’re going back in the forest, the night’s just beginning you know!” The ice fairy ringleader spoke.
“Yeah, see you later.” I answered, and after exchanging farewells with the others I left the forest leaving me not too far away from the flower field.
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