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- Return to Fiction found on imageboards
"Go out to the human world and buy me these computer parts."
Kaguya had given Reisen these orders and a written note to Yukari to allow her to pass freely between Gensokyo and the world of humans.
Reisen had taken her first steps into the human world with great apprehension. Marisa had give her a spell to make her look like a normal human, but even so, she feared her lack of experience would give her away as something other than human.
Fortunately, the town she had entered turned out to be less than superstitious, and she was taken for a foreigner. By showing the list of parts to different passerby, she had eventually made her way to the electronics district.
Seeing an entire row of stores all displaying computers, she decided that she may as well enter the first one she saw.
An electronic chime sounded as she passed into the first store.
"Welcome! What can I help you with today?" A small woman had shuffled up to her, smiling widely.
"Ah...I am here to purchase these parts..." Reisen showed her the list.
"Ah! Then you have come to the right place! Here let me get the items for you."
'This won't be so hard after all,' Reisen thought to herself. Within minutes, a box brimming with circuits and boards had been collected.
"How much do I owe you for this?"
"Ah is that so..." Reisen checked the wallet Kaguya had given her.
"Ahhh! This isn't nearly enough! That's not even a quarter of what you need, you should come back when you can actually afford these things, instead of collecting these things for nothing!"
The little woman promptly kicked her out of the store. Reisen became increasingly distraught as she wandered the stores, finding nothing that was any more affordable than before.
"Aahhh, what will I do? I can't possibly return empty-handed," she thought.
It seemed she had reached the end of the row of stores, and she had nearly decided to turn around when she saw a tiny door in an alleyway. This too was advertised as a computer equipment shop, but there was no display window.
Quite desperate now, Reisen decided that it was worth a go.
As she opened the door, a pair of brass bells jingled quietly, which was pleasant in comparison to the noise of the displays and gadgets she had passed in the other stores.
The shop consisted of a single room about the size of a convenience store, and instead of computers on display, it was simply shelves filled with boxes.
Yet, no one was manning the cash register. Has she come in during closing time?
"Hello?" she called out carefully. There was no answer, but as she drew near the back of the store, she heard electronic noises coming from a door slightly open in the back wall.
Curious, she peeked into the darkness behind the door. Unable to see anything, she opened the door, allowing the sliver of light to expand and illuminate the room.
She stood dumbfounded by what lay before her. Gutted computers were strewn about the floor, boards with circuits were connected by wires that ran from wall to wall. The electronic noises were from a sautering iron, and a figure was hunched over a larger pile of electronic refuse. Every few seconds, its goggles and messy hair were lit by a blue light, and she made out the face of a young man, staring intently at circuity.
A few minutes passed as she watched in awe before she recalled the reason she had entered the store in the first place. Drawing herself together, she took in a breath.
The sautering abruptly stopped, and the blue light stopped flickering. The young man looked up, or it seemed that he might even be a boy, and he seemed almost alien now that his eyes weren't visible behind the round, green lenses of his goggles. His blank expression slowly became one of genuine surprise.
There was a sudden cacophony of clattering as the boy rushed to push all the boards out of the middle of the floor, and in a few moments he approached Reisen, pulling the goggles off his head.
Reisen noted that he had a bushy chestnut mop that nearly obscured his eyebrows and completely obscured his ears. Clearly he rarely trimmed his hair, but all the same there was a natural look to it. As she began to wonder why she noticed such a thing, she found that she was being ushered out of the room.
"I'm terribly sorry for making you come fetch me; I rarely get customers so I've become lax in attending the store."
Reisen allowed herself to be gently pushed to the other side of the register, and the boy stood opposite her, not dusting his hands off on his blue hoodie. There was a streak of black grease on his chin, but he didn't seem to notice.
"Well then, I am Heuro, and I manage this small store," said the boy, or rather it seemed he was a young man now, as he drew himself to his full height and smiled. "Thank you for not taking something from my shelves and simply leaving as you might have done!"
He said this in such a cheerful tone, that it seemed to mismatch his scatterbrained appearance, and Reisen couldn't help but laugh lightly.
"So then, what can I get for you?" said Heuro, his face settling into a neutral smile. It was a lot more relaxing than the obsequious manner of the other salesmen.
"I...well, I'm actually not sure, but I need parts for a computer." Reisen held out the parts list.
"Ah, that's quite fortunate," said Heuro thoughtfully as he took the list. He continued to speak as his eyes looked over the list. "People who just want a computer buy it from the swindlers in the main street."
He nodded twice to himself, and handed the list back to Reisen.
"People who want to build a computer that actually works like it's meant to come to me."
Reisen opened her mouth to protest, as she had to at least forewarn Heuro of her lack of cash, but he had already started wheeling a ladder noisily around the shelves, placing parts into a box he held under his arm. Within moments, he had thumped a box of parts on the desk by the register. Reisen feared that this would become a repeat of her experience in the first store.
"Umm...Heuro-san, I'm sorry I didn't tell you sooner, but I only have 200, and I don't think it's possible for me to get any more. Nevertheless, if there is some way for me to earn these parts, please tell me so."
There was a profound silence as Heuro gently stroked his chin as he stared at Reisen. It was unnecessarily tense, as she feared that her "eyes" might cause trouble if Heuro stared to hard. Yet, she did her best to return his stare.
"Very well," he said suddenly, lifting the box and thrusting it into her arms. "I will accept your payment for these parts."
Reisen nearly lost her balance, and was about to take a step backward when she couldn't; Heuro still hadn't let go of the box, and she jerked back towards him. His face was inches from hers, wearing a very intense expression.
"However!" he said, ominously. "You must help me out in this store. I repair computers here on my own, and I don't have the funds to actually hire someone."
Reisen considered for a moment before nodding. She had actually attempted to offer to work for the other stores, but they would have none of it when the heard she had no technical experience. This was an incredibly convenient trade.
"And," Heuro continued, "You must take me to meet your friends so I can give publicity to my shop."
Reisen's eyes widened. "Heuro-san, that's...!"
Indeed, humans did live in Gensokyo. But a human from the outside world entering Gensokyo? Reisen doubted she could get permission for that.
"Or else the deal is off," said Heuro flatly.
There was no choice. Reisen sighed. Even if it turned out to be a lie, she had to agree to these terms.
"I understand, Heuro-san." She felt her heart drop as she felt Heuro let go of the box of computer parts. She looked up at him long enough to see him nod approvingly, and turned to carry the box out the door. As she crossed the threshold, Heuro's voice stopped her.
"I nearly forgot!"
She looked over her shoulder at Heuro's face, which had returned to its disarming smile.
"What's your name, miss...?"
"Ah..." she smiled weakly. "Call me Reisen."
"See you tomorrow then, Reisen."
And so Reisen left to return to Gensokyo, pondering all the way back how she could request for Heuro to enter Gensokyo, or if perhaps there was a way for her to avoid that at all.
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