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File 127960327990.jpg - (105.17KB , 850x591 , Early in the morning.jpg ) [iqdb]
22406 No. 22406
BGM: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DuDaBgrRqj8

Despite technology coming so far, it's yet to completely muffle the sound of the tracks as a passenger train barrels down them.

This pure and simple noise has drawn your traveling companion to sleep with its soft repetition. Her head eases onto your shoulder while your eyes scan the landscape that passes swiftly by.

Things have changed in this mere half year. The countryside loosely resembles the suburbs now, though it's only a partial likeness. Farmland and dirt roads remain, hardly bothered by the small neighborhoods near them.

The sun, barely peeking over the horizon, makes a red splotch blend into a brightening blue sky. Unable to sleep last night, you merely sat where you were and watched the sky grow steadily brighter. A meager number of clouds dot the sky, spread out irregularly over the area you can see. A fellow traveler is woken from her slumber, and looks at you with aged eyes as she collects herself.

"...It really is a wonderful thing, riding on the train." The old woman smiles at you from a seat opposite to your own. "My husband and I always rode the train when we were younger, but now most people ride in cars or planes. The sky is still beautiful, though. Despite the planes and lights."

You smile politely towards the small woman, trying to not offend her while not talking to her. Sunlight pours in from behind her, framing her small form as she speaks.

"It's relaxing. This ride wouldn't be as nice if the sky was littered with planes and jets."

The old woman nods sagely as she taps her cane on the floor. She moves slowly towards you and pats your hand, her small eyes looking at you with a peculiar glow behind them. The train slows to a stop, and she moves to leave.

"Well, I'll be on my way. You and your friend be good, girl."

Words escape you as you watch her shuffle towards the opening doors. She turns to wave and you meekly wave back. The strange old woman leaves, and you're once more in the company of yourself. Silence surrounds you as the train picks up speed, zipping down the rails towards your stop.

"...Wake up. Come on, wake up Eliza."

Your companion stirs and opens her eyes at your call. She frowns softly and sits upright, rubbing at her eyes as she yawns.

"...Are we home, now?" You don't answer her. The train's constant movement should be answer enough. "...We most be close, then."

She stands up and searches the overhead compartment for your luggage. You offer to carry her bag, but she turns the offer down. The straps of both your bags slip over her shoulders, and she insists on carrying the two herself. It might be a way of returning to her real job.

The train comes to a stop, and the two of you wait by the doors. Long forgotten smells familiarize themselves with you as the doors glide open, and the first few steps off the train seem to send you back to when you left. You stand there a moment and take your old world in, staring at the city laid out before you.

"Master Aoi, it may be wise to stop by your apartment first. I don't have much to unpack at the mansion, and taking care of your luggage is a much higher priority."

"...You don't have to call me Master. For now I'm still Aoi, or I am until we enter the mansion's gate."

She nods, and you're quick to understand that she's taking that as a command from an employer. It seems the time of her just being a friend is up, fading away hand-in-hand with your journey.

The platform fades away behind you, and you're then on your way. The two of you walk along a vaguely familiar street, passing some of the tracks you had been over not long before. The train wails when you start crossing the street, announcing it's departure to the tired city.

The road isn't very busy this early in the morning. All cars driving around this part of the city are taxis in search of customers. The walk to your apartment is a short walk, so you feel no need to call one over to you.

"It should be just up ahead." Eliza says, pointing towards a building not far ahead. "It's right there, actually."

You nod quietly, feeling fatigued from your trip home. Eliza opens the small gate in front of the building, and you get the door. The apartment inside is even cleaner than when you had left it.

"They... must have sent a maid over to tidy things up." Eliza says that as she hands you your bag. "It must be nice to be so cared about."

"It's just a pain, sometimes..."

That's right. It's nice to come home to a spotless apartment, but it gets annoying when you remember who pays for that service. You've known him for years, and yet it's become impossible to accept your stepfather.

"Well, let's see your room."

Eliza derails your train of thought with those words. Family issues are annoying, so you don't mind. Up the stairs you go, and into the bedroom. The room has been kept spotless as the rest of the apartment. The sheets seem to have been washed in anticipation of your coming home, and the mirror on the wall has been cleaned to the point glistening. Clothing in the closet has been laundered, showing just how attentive the maid or maids were.

You hold back a sigh and open your travel bag. The few things you had packed included a laptop and a couple changes of clothes, which you had washed frequently in your time away. If it had been your stepsister on vacation, she would have packed fancy dresses and skirts, taking up a couple trunks worth of space.

It takes little time to unpack all of your clothes, setting them down on the bed for now. A note on the pillow grabs your attention, causing you to stop unpacking in order to read it.

Welcome home.
I wanted you to know I came over and personally cleaned things up, and that I'm waiting for you at the mansion.
Please come when you read this. It's been too quiet with you away, and I've missed you since the moment I saw your train leave the station.
I've prepared a welcome home gift, too. I've also gone out and gotten new clothes for your second year, and put them in your closet along with your new study books.
Please come home as soon as you read this. We miss you.


"...Your loving mother, Junko Hearn." Eliza says that from over your shoulder, spying on the note. She jumps back and laughs nervously. "Ahaha, I'm sorry, Master. It's rude to read a letter made for you, isn't it? Let me take that."

Grabbing your bag, she unloads what remains of the luggage in an attempt to save face. You honestly don't care if she does those things, her being your only friend for the past few months. You keep your peace, however.

"...Okay, that's all your things packed away." She says, now calmed down. "The only thing left is to head out. I trust Mas... that you'd like to return to the mansion?"

[ ] "Of course."
[ ] "There's somewhere else I want to go."
-[ ] The Usami household
-[ ] The nearby park
110 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
>> No. 24687
[ø] "It's probably getting close to dinner. Come on."
-[ø] Go find Renko.

>>24685
this is exactly what I was going to say so I thought I had posted already, so I had to double check that wasn't the case.

>>24682
you gotta give yourself more credit than that Nine. I'm sure most people who have been around this website for at least a year knows and loves Aoi.
>> No. 24688
[+] "If you want me to leave, just say so."

Even if we can't start off on the right foot, at least we can attempt to avoid characters hiding their real feelings from each other. Far better for two people to dislike each other than to subtly pretend that they don't. And the first step to solving a problem is admitting there is one.
>> No. 24692
>>24679
>>24682
Indeed; Yukari has often been used as a rather malicious plot device more than a character, which started the trend. AoD Yukari is just a bit more notable, mainly for HOW evil she is.

It's only recently that some stories took a look at her as a person.

[x] "If you want me to leave, just say so."

I want to see what happens as this would be a first step of getting somewhere.
>> No. 24729
Prodding the IRC channel for a tie breaker was no good, so I flipped a coin and [x] "If you want me to leave, just say so." got it. I'll include the second half of the other vote, however.
>> No. 24731
>>24729

Hooray!
>> No. 24749
File 129351737032.png - (225.12KB , 473x753 , Wow I\'m slow.png ) [iqdb]
24749
[ BGM: http://www.youtuberepeater.com/watch?v=hA9OC74VRRQ ] Kaiji - Memories

"If you want me to leave, just say so."

With those few words, you've gotten Mary's attention focused on you. Her lips part very slightly, and for a moment she just stares at you with a look of disbelief. It's then that her features darken, and her surprised expression becomes one of mild annoyance.

"Why wouldn't I want you to leave? You're being rude to me in my room, when I was nice enough to even let you come in here!"

"You were nice enough? I was trying to be nice by asking about your research, and you gave me the cold shoulder!"

Mary gets to her feet, and you do the same. For a moment it feels like a scene from a cowboy movie, until you remember the door behind you and back up.

"Well, maybe I should just give you the cold shoulder! It's not like you even care about my research, you just pretended to care so you could feel better about yourself!"

Silence. It's hard to say anything back to that, especially since some small part of it may be true.

Mary swallows hard, and her eyes start to shine as her face turns red. Her expression says more than she could with words, and you, getting the message, leave the room. Running down the hall, you decide that getting away from Mary may be the best thing to do right now.

The stress follows you down the stairs and through the hall which leads to the garden. It starts to fade before you reach the doors which open to the garden, and the sight of lush greenery drives most of your remaining stress away for the time being.

It's then that you remember Renko heading this way earlier. A quick scan of the area shows nothing, though you have picked up on a voice. Following it, you soon find yourself watching something you didn't quite expect to see tonight.

"It's filthy, and I won't have it in my house! If you want to practice something that disgusting, you might as well take it somewhere other than the Hearn mansion!"

Renko avoids eye contact with your mother as she clutches something in one of her hands. It's obvious from the look on her face that she's ashamed of whatever it is she has.

"I hope you don't do that around Aoi or Maribel! They're both very well raised children, and I don't want them to pick up such awful habits! Do you understand?"

Renko nods, her eyes still averted. She raises them briefly to look at Junko, who returns her gaze with a dissatisfied glare. Renko cringes and clears her throat, obviously shaken.

"I-I'm sorry, ma'am. I don't want to be a bad influence to either one of them, and I promise to watch myself from now on."

"I certainly hope so." Junko folds her arms, and her features soften. "I don't want to come across as rude, but I'd really rather you keep that away from here... That is, if you continue to do it."

Renko nods a bit nervously, still not recovered from the talk she had been having. Your mother sighs and bids her a brief farewell before heading towards the side of the mansion. Renko collapses onto the bench she had been near as your mother vanishes, breathing slowly.

"...Hey. Are you okay?"

Saying that, you take a seat next to her. Renko jumps a little and shoves her clenched fist into a shirt pocket. Seeing this, you can't help but raise one brow to question her actions.

"A, ahaha! Yeah, I'm just fine. Your mom was just lecturing me about going off on my own is all, nothing to be worried about!"

"Sorry. I'm sure she means well, but she can be really nasty at times."

"Ah.... Oh."

Saying that, Renko looks down at the pavement. She knows that you know she's been lying, and apparently isn't trying to hide that fact. Honestly, though, it's more than a bit frustrating to know she'd tell such an obvious lie to you.

"Was my mom really getting on to you for being alone? Not for something else?"

"...I'm sorry." Saying that, her shoulders drop. "I was lying. Your mom was lecturing me over something entirely different."

Your eyes drift to her shirt pocket. Whatever secret she's hiding, the evidence is definitely hidden there.

[ ] "What were you doing, then?"
[ ] "Come on, dinner should be ready soon."
[ ] Grab for her breast pocket and get the evidence yourself.
>> No. 24750
J'ACCUSE!

[x] That's all you need to know! Accuse her of...
-[x] Spoiling her dinner by eating Tic-Tacs!
-[x] Biting her fingernails!
-[x] Taking up smoking!
[x] Failing that, grab for her breast pocket and get the evidence yourself!

Forcefully inject levity by out-dramatizing your mother.

She probably wasn't fooling around with her magical transformation pen.
>> No. 24751
[X] "I'm guessing she found out about your smoking habit? Either that or your collection of Eroge. Find a voice actor that sounds like Mary?"

(I'm trying for mean teasing..does this work?)
>> No. 24752
[x] "What were you doing, then?"

Really seems like the only option.
>> No. 24754
[ø] "What were you doing, then?"
>> No. 24755
[+] “I’d… can, I ask what it was? I mean, if it’s too private, that’s fine…”

Same conceit as the previous votes, but I reworded it to sound a little less antagonistic. Friends help friends out during rough times, and friends keep each others’ secrets, but friends also don’t make friends too uncomfortable. There’s no telling how just how hard Junko hit Renko here. Baby steps; go halfway and let Renko come the other half if she feels like it.
>> No. 24757
[x] "I'm guessing she found out about your smoking habit?"

Mary didn't marry mary jane, but Renko philanders with Phillip Morris. Not good.

I'd really like to just say something a bit more forward and Hey-cut-this-shit-out, though. Aoi can't get his mack on when Renko smells like an ashtray.
>> No. 24758
[x] “I’d… can, I ask what it was? I mean, if it’s too private, that’s fine…”
>> No. 24771
[x] "I'm guessing she found out about your smoking habit?"
>> No. 24844
GET BACK TO WRITING NIGGER
>> No. 24891
I realize I haven't updated in a while, and that I did ask you to tell me to update in a manner such as the one just used. I'll have to ask for forgiveness and patience, though. I've come to a major breakthrough on something that had been stumping me concerning my own writing, and I want to make sure I have the issue completely tackled before I keep writing and somehow slip up. I'm sure you all can agree that having things all together and stable is more important than updating while unsure of my ability to do so. With that said, I should have this worked out in another day or so. Expect a return to updates this weekend.
>> No. 24892
>>24891
Thank you for the status report.
>> No. 24909
>Expect a return to updates this weekend.

Hooray!
>> No. 24939
> updates this weekend
> 11/01/14(Fri)
> 12 days later

...
>> No. 24962
UPDATES NIGGER, WHERE
>> No. 24996
Sorry about the wait, I've really let myself slip. Update will be up soon.
>> No. 24997
[BGM: http://www.youtuberepeater.com/watch?v=agEwkuxmgKU ] Yume Miru Kusuri: Taking Hand in Hand

"...What were you doing, then? If it's too private that's fine, but..."

Stopping your sentence there, you desperately try to make a pleading face. You're really curious what she was really doing, and the fact that she's hiding it only makes you want to know more.

"Well, I guess it wasn't really bad. Here."

Saying that, she pulls a strange item out of her shirt pocket. It looks like a small talisman, sort of a big O with four spikes spread out evenly. What looks like scribbles cover the inside of the item.

"I borrowed this from your- er, Mary's dad's office. Eliza told me he was into some weird stuff, so I kind of snatched it to take a look."

"You're saying she was mad that you stole something?"

Renko shrugs. She doesn't look certain, though you think her guess may be better than yours.

"I don't know. Also, I didn't steal it. I was just borrowing."

"But, you said yourself that you sna-"

"Borrowed. I borrowed it."

Crossing her arms, she makes the most defiant and childish face you've seen her make in quite some time. It's kind of refreshing to know that she isn't a complete adult yet.

"Well, if she's not mad that you borrowed it, then what else could be wrong?"

"I'm not sure, but..." Renko peeks over your shoulder and looks back before continuing. "I think your mom hates all this magic hocus pocus stuff."

That... wouldn't be very surprising. You're a little set off by it too, sometimes. The fact that Maribel and her dad are both into occult literature and collecting weird "artifacts" isn't a very comforting thing. Especially some of the things in Mr. Hearn's office, like a cow skull on his shelf.

Renko takes your wrist and sets the odd trinket down in your hand. You look it over briefly, wondering just what its purpose may be, before looking back up to Renko.

"I'd appreciate it if you put that back for me." She grins. "It was on his desk, next to a stack of important-looking papers."

You nod, pocketing the item while making a mental note to return it after dinner. Magical charms makes you think of Maribel and the charm you found earlier. It may not be a bad idea to... Well, not to apologize. Just to let her know you don't really hate her.

The two of you bask in silence for some time before Eliza pops her head out from behind one of the large doors leading into the mansion. You can tell from her headdress that she's in uniform now.

"Master Aoi, Miss Usami, dinner is ready." She pauses a moment, before adding, "Mr. Hearn said he wants to speak to you later, Master Aoi."

"Mister? Isn't he your master?" Renko grins slyly. "Or, have you decided someone else is going to own you...?"

Your cheeks heat up, and your heart skips a beat. She couldn't possibly be talking about you, could she?

"No, no! Please don't misunderstand, that was a mistake! Please don't tell Master Hearn, please!"

"Aha, calm down! I was only teasing you."

Saying that, Renko stands up and moves past Eliza. She disappears into the hall, leaving just you and the maid servant in the garden. Eliza shuts the door as she steps out, a small frown on her lips.

"...Master Aoi, about the trip."

"Ah-" This isn't something you want to talk about. Not now, at least. "Yeah, it was good. Come on, dinner's waiting!"

You run over to the door, pushing past the girl to get inside. Some part of you hurts from knowing you just made her sad, but... It's better this way.

The two of you catch up to Renko, who has her arms behind her head. She appears as relaxed as ever, looking like she's just short of a whistlefest.

"Hey, Eliza." She turns her attention to the maid, who had grown quiet. "What's on the menu?"

"A simple salad will start the meal, followed by a steak with mashed potatoes and assorted greens. For dessert, we'll have-"

"Mmm, sounds good." Renko cuts her off, apparently not really that interested. "So, how's your first day returning to work been?"

"Well, not too bad. The other maids were jealous that I got to accompany Master Aoi on his travels, and were pestering me for all the details. One of them even said she was interested in you, Master Aoi!"

"Ah..." Eliza looks let down at your reaction, though you find it hard to blush about someone you don't know thinking that. "That's nice, I guess."

"Anyway..." The maid looks back to Renko. "It hasn't been so bad. We have to part here, though. I'll see you in a bit!"

She skips off the other way as you approach the door to the dining room. Probably to go help in the kitchen, you think.

Renko leads the way into the room, where Mr. Hearn and your mother seem to be arguing. The man notices the two of you enter and seems to use it as an excuse to get away, giving your mother a rushed goodbye as he takes off.

You walk over to her, seeing the disappointment on her face. She sighs, and seems to be drawn inward until Renko speaks up.

"What was that about? Finances, business, or some other boring stuff like that?"

"No..." Junko's shoulders sag as she continues to speak. "I'm afraid my husband won't be joining us for dinner. He invited some friends over to play poker, and thinks that's more important than family."

"Oh... Awful sorry about that." Renko pats your mom's shoulder. "At least you have the rest of us, right?"

The pain on your mother's face grows stronger, and it looks like she's about to cry as she continues to speak.

"Maribel won't come down, either. She's locked up in her room, and she told me that she's too busy with research to eat with us..."

Somehow, you feel as if you're to blame for that. It breaks your heart to see your mother as upset as she is, though you're not sure if you can make things better or only make them worse.

[ ] Volunteer to get Mary.
-[ ] Bring Renko with you.
-[ ] Send Renko to get Mr. Hearn.
[ ] Ask Renko to get Mary while you stay with your mom.
[ ] Go ask Mr. Hearn to postpone his poker game.
-[ ] Bring Renko with you.
-[ ] Send Renko to get Mary.
>> No. 25000
That was unexpected, but I can see why Junko would berate her for it.

[x] Go ask Mr. Hearn to postpone his poker game.
-[x] Send Renko to get Mary.

Mr. Hearn seems intimidated by us, so this might have a better chance of succeeding. If it's in front of his poker friends, they're more likely to take the side of his pleading 'daughter' than with someone unrelated. Plus we haven't interacted much with him, and even if this is unlikely to work, I'd like to see Aoi stand up for his mother. (Courage +2)

Renko I think has a better chance of persuading Maribel as a closer friend. I think we need to give her time to simmer down before Aoi should try apologizing to her.

Renko probably shouldn't be sent to get Hearn because she had just stolen from him, which might affect her assertiveness, but at least trying to bring Mary down might improve Renko's standing in Junko's eyes after that incident.
>> No. 25002
[+] Volunteer to get Mary.
-[+] Bring Renko with you.
-[+] Apologize to Mary first; don't act like she's the one in the wrong.

Aoi just had a row with Mary, and it looks like she's still angry. It's worth a try to attempt and apologize before she's stewed in that anger too long. Acting kind and passive here is a must; if Mary thinks Aoi is just yanking her chain, she'll clam up again. Perhaps it'd be a good idea to start caring about her said research in the near future; friendships are born from common interests after all. Renko should come with us in case Mary is really that obstinate right now. And for some overly-suspicious reason I don’t think Mr. Hearn is playing “poker” right now, and he probably won’t be convinced to leave the “game”.

I’d write in some apology text but I don’t want to steal too much of Nine’s job from him.
>> No. 25005
[ø] Volunteer to get Mary.
-[ø] Bring Renko with you.
A-an update?
>> No. 25016
x] Go ask Mr. Hearn to postpone his poker game.
-[x] Send Renko to get Mary.
>> No. 25030
[X] Go ask Mr. Hearn to postpone his poker game.
-[X] Send Renko to get Mary.

Mr. Hearn's just going to keep avoiding Aoi until the two of them are alone? Can you say suspicious? Screw that, Aoi just got back from vacation and everyone's going to sit down and have dinner, like a family.

A really akward family.
>> No. 25052
[X] Go ask Mr. Hearn to postpone his poker game.
-[X] Send Renko to get Mary.

Late vote, let's see about some dysfunctional family diner.
>> No. 25198
updates?
>> No. 25200
[X] Go ask Mr. Hearn to postpone his poker game.
-[X] Send Renko to get Mary.
>> No. 25208
An update is on the way, rest assured. But first, I feel like I owe an explanation for the delay.

My best friend for five or so years now had been struggling with leukemia for two or so years, and a few weeks back it did him in. The Saturday after that I was a paulbearer at his funeral, and I guess the depression is what led to so many things happening at once. The week after I could barely function, and the doctor told me that I had two ear infections, a nasal infection, and bronchitis. The nasal infection is gone now, thankfully. However, the past week I went back and was diagnosed with strep throat, and have been spending most of my time since then sleeping. I guess the best explanation I can offer, aside from the medical issues, is that I've just been too depressed to do anything really productive for a while now. Yet like I said, I'm working on the update now and I'll hopefully have it up tomorrow if it's not posted tonight.
>> No. 25210
>>25208
I'm sorry to hear that, and I hope you feel better sooner rather than later.
>> No. 25212
File 129956095019.png - (138.00KB , 600x527 , Even Maribel is sick of my faggotry.png ) [iqdb]
25212
[BGM: http://www.youtuberepeater.com/watch?v=AFuzVeJnSR0 ] Umineko: Eternity

You take one more look at your mother's downtrodden expression, and it's decided.

"Excuse us for just a moment."

Saying that, you shoot a meaningful look in Renko's direction. She seems to get the message, seeing how she follows you out of the room.

"I'll go get Mr. Hearn if you can get Mary. Does that work?"

"Ah. Yeah, sure." For a moment her expression is dumbfounded, but she recovers. "Are you sure that's a good idea? I mean, I'm pretty sure I can get Mary to come, but her dad is really... I guess he's kind of intimidating."

"I can handle it." You wave your hand in a dismissive way, trying to reassure her. "Okay then, I'll meet you out here in just a couple of minutes."

You turn and take a step towards the stairs, but Renko grabs your arm. Seems your hand waving wasn't very reassuring, after all.

"Shouldn't we tell your mom? I mean, what if she thinks we ditched her? She'll only be even more sad."

"I asked to be excused for just a moment, and that's all the time this should take. Besides, she'd probably be sad if we said we went to get someone and came back empty handed, so it's better this way!"

"Hmm."

Renko doesn't seem very convinced. She goes after Mary regardless, and you also make haste in tracking down your target. It doesn't take long to find the room Mr. Hearn and his friends are in, though it took a maid or two to direct you.

As you stand outside the door, thoughts of what to say to him go through your mind. You keep repeating words over and over in your head, your hand lightly touching the door knob. Finally, you manage to knock. A voice tells you to enter and you do as it instructs.

"Ah, so is this your precious daughter?" A portly man sits at the poker table, across from Mr. Hearn. His grin is almost as wide as his bushy black mustache. "Gotta say, Grig, good looks run in the family!"

Mr. Hearn puts his cards face down on the table. Turning around, he proceeds to stare daggers at you as you close the door.

"What is it? Didn't you hear that I had a poker game with my friends tonight?"

He gestures towards the portly man and two others who are seated with him.

They're all rather shady figures. One man has gray hair tied back into a ponytail and signs of age all over his face. The other man has a scrawny face and messy black hair, with a pair of large glasses over his eyes. The fat man doesn't seem that strange, but with this company he's probably just as shady.

"I know, but..." Mr. Hearn's steady gaze makes you squirm. "Um, couldn't it wait until later? Mom really wanted to eat as a family."

"Aw, she just wants daddy to be there for din-din!" The fat man grins as Mr. Hearn glares in his direction. "Lighten up, Grig. We can wait."

"Hideyoshi, don't think I've forgotten that trick you pulled last time. I intend to take back every yen you stole."

The fat man, Hideyoshi, clams up. He wipes his neck with an embroidered handkerchief and starts pretending to admire the furniture.

"You're a real hardass, Hearn." The gray haired man smiles disdainfully as he speaks. "Skipping out on dinner with your family to get back money you don't even need. Revenge is more filling, isn't it?"

Mr. Hearn ignores him and turns his attention back to you.

"You're disrupting my game. I think it'd be in your best interest to tell Junko I'm busy and get out of my hair."

"But, I-"

"I know you don't like me, kid. You better learn your place, though, or else you might lose that nice apartment of yours."

Those words easily shut you up. Mr. Hearn turns back to his game, and picks his cards back up. He reaches into a box by the table and grabs a cigar, then turns to look at you once more. His stare his cold and firm.

"Now scram."

You back into the door and fumble for the knob. A quick bow and then you leave the room behind.

It didn't even occur to you that you were holding your breath. You exhale and then breathe in deeply in an attempt to calm down. You try to think of something else, anything else, and your thoughts turn to Renko.

Another maid helps lead you to Mary's room, which seems to still be locked. Knocking lightly, you ask if Renko's there. Silence follows, and you try again.

"She was here a short while ago, and she left."

Your heart sinks a little. So Renko failed to...?

"Mary..." You knock on the door again. "Can you let me in?"

"Give me a good reason."

"I wanted to apologize for earlier." She's quiet on the other side, and you continue. "I said some things I shouldn't have, and... I'm sorry."

More silence. You stand there a moment, your hand touching the door knob. You sigh and turn to go back, just as the door opens.

Maribel stands in the door frame, looking at you a little skeptically. It takes her a moment, but her look of skepticism fades.

"I should be sorry... I guess." She looks up and away as she speaks. "You didn't even say that much. I went a little overboard, perhaps."

"...So, does this mean you'll come to dinner?"

"No, it means that I'm sorry for jumping to conclusions." Having said that, her stomach growls. "...I guess I'll have dinner anyway, though."

Your mood picks up a little, hearing that. Her attitude is irritating, and she doesn't sound very sincere, but at least your mom will be happy this way.

The two of you soon reunite with Renko outside the dining room. She's more than surprised by Mary's presence.

"What the hell? I thought you were getting her dad! You took my job!"

Renko laughs, and Maribel crinkles her nose a little. She looks a little disgusted.

The three of you walk into the dining room, where your mom sits with a half plate of food. Her face lights up when she sees who you brought, and she quickly orders a maid to bring Mary something to eat. Taking a seat, you get back to having dinner.

...

It didn't take too long to eat, and Maribel wasn't really that talkative. You know it meant a lot to Junko anyway, and she even told you as much before checking up on the maids.

"So, I was really surprised back there." Renko props her arms up on the table, her gaze fixed on Maribel. "I asked you about it and you wouldn't leave your room with me. How'd Aoi convince you, huh?"

Maribel wipes her mouth with a napkin and sets it down neatly on top of her plate. She looks in your direction, a hint of a smile showing through her cold exterior.

"You called me Mary."

You set your own silverware down and think back. Yeah, you did call her that, didn't you?

"That's why I listened to him, at least. I came down to eat because I was hungry."

And just like that, the heartwarming sensation that was building up in your chest is gone. Mary really knows how to kill a mood.

"In any case, I think I'll return to my studies. Excuse me."

She stands up, pushes in her chair, and leaves the room in silence.

"...Ah, I should really thank your mom for the food before I go."

Renko gets up, then makes a beeline for the room Junko went into.

"...Maybe I should follow Maribel..."

"I'd advise against it, Master Aoi." Eliza appears behind you, seemingly from nowhere at all. "She takes her studies very seriously. Besides, I believe Mr. Hearn wished to speak with you?"

"...How did you-"

"I'm a servant in his mansion. I know these sort of things."

You were actually going to ask how she got behind you, but you decide against it.

[ ] Go find Mary.
[ ] Go find Mr. Hearn.
[ ] Go find Renko.
-[ ] Ask her to stay the night.
-[ ] Ask if you can stay the night.
>> No. 25214
>Hideyoshi
Teehee.

Well Mr.Hearn is about as nice as expected. Most likely he wants to just yell at Aoi for making him look bad in front of his friends, but it could be some PLOT.

[X] Go find Renko.
-[X] Ask her to stay the night.

I am a tremendously biased Renkofag.
>> No. 25215
[X] Go find Renko.
-[X] Ask her to stay the night.
[X] Go find Mr. Hearn.
>> No. 25216
As I didn't read the first few threads of the last 'run' I have no idea if this Mr.Hearn is like the last one.

What was the last one like?
>> No. 25225
[+] Go find Mr. Hearn.

I want to give this another go. His poker pals seem a lot more understanding than he is, so hopefully they've got Aoi's back if Mr. Hearn lashes out at him too much. Asking to see him means he at least cares somewhat.

>>25216
I think Ninny made a point of saying that Aria of Deception and Aria of Illusions weren't going to be the same. Characters are portrayed differently between them. So trying to understand this Mr. Hearn based on the last Mr. Hearn isn't going to work.

Unless you're just genuinely curious, in which case I forgot.
>> No. 25233
>>25225
Though I was put at bit of ill ease when he was bragging about Mary in light of what happened in AoD
>> No. 25234
[x] Go find Mr. Hearn.
[x] Go find Renko.
-[x] Ask if you can stay the night.

I would like to have Renko do things to Aoi at her house.

Terrible, wonderful things.
>> No. 25235
[ø] Go find Renko.
-[ø] Ask her to stay the night.

Good to see you back.
>> No. 25243
[x] Go find Mr. Hearn.

Staying the night here with Ren should be a no brainer because it allows for Junko, Eliza, and Mary interaction. However, depending on how the conversation goes, Aoi might not want to sleep in the mansion tonight.

>>25216

There was little direct interaction with him, but we do know he was obsessed with Yukari, and most importantly he sexually abused Mary because she resembled her.

Of course, Nine has stressed repeatedly that the characterizations in AoI probably won't match that in AoD.
>> No. 25252
[x] Go find Renko.
[x] Go find Mr. Hearn.
-[x] Ask if you can stay the night.

Going in this order, and including all of them since the majority in both cases wanted these options. If there's any objections, let me know soon.

In addition, I'd like to make a plug for Owen's new story in /others/. I'm partially responsible for it seeing light due to constantly pestering him to write something plot-centric that wasn't ASSM for me to read. Not that there's anything wrong with ASSM, but he related a lot of his ideas for it to me while writing it, so it'd be like reading something where you already know the ending.

In any case, his story is in the following link. I'd appreciate it if you gave it a look if you haven't already.
>>/others/32264
>> No. 25253
>>25252

Hooray!
>> No. 25353
Updates?
>> No. 25425
Are you alive?
>> No. 25952
NEVER GONNA GIVE YOU UP
>> No. 25953
>>25952
Dont bump dead stories, especially the bad ones.
>> No. 25956
>>25953

'Sup Fag
>> No. 25957
>>25956

Why don't you prove him wrong by actually updating?
>> No. 28065
Just a post to say that I'm sorry for dropping this. I doubt I'll be coming back to it any time soon, largely since I've come to really dislike what I'd done with AoD and AoI. To be more specific, I was upset with myself for writing so many OCs and non-canon bits into the story. I've been trying to better myself by writing something with a bigger focus on the actual subject matter (Touhou) for a month or so now. If it goes over well enough, I'll probably return to this and try to make it something I can be proud of.
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