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File 128994049683.jpg - (799.69KB, 1200x1000, MA1pic.jpg) [iqdb]
24467No. 24467
...

I sat up from the wooden floor in front of the house and looked up at the sky, slightly groggy.

The sky is glowing bright lavender and the cherry blossoms are just starting to bloom.

I'm still tired, but I don't know, maybe I should stop being lazy right now.

[ ] Just lay back and gaze at the lavender sky once more.
[ ] Go inside the house and see if there's anything to do there.
[ ] Take a moment and try to remember what you were supposed to be doing in the first place.
Expand all images
>>No. 24468
File 128994078596.jpg - (58.52KB, 700x931, youmu_brown.jpg) [iqdb]
24468
[x] Take a moment and try to remember what you were supposed to be doing in the first place.

Back in action.
>>No. 24469
[x] Take a moment and try to remember what you were supposed to be doing in the first place.

Confused protagonist anon is quite confused.
>>No. 24470
[x] Just lay back and gaze at the lavender sky once more.
Relax and enjoy the scenery.
Cho? You write a story? Good luck~
>>No. 24471
[x] Just lay back and gaze at the lavender sky once more.
So when can we look forward to your inevitable hiatus?
>>No. 24472
[x] Just lay back and gaze at the lavender sky once more.

I know i shouldnt be lazy but this option is just so tempting. Also are we Youmu or somebody else this time?
>>No. 24474
File 128995766140.jpg - (346.11KB, 564x800, MA2pic.jpg) [iqdb]
24474
>>24471
If I don't update any of my CYOAs within a week, I've already gone into hiatus. That's pretty much it.

--

<( Day: 1 - Time: Dawn - Weather: Sunny )>

[X] Just lay back and gaze at the lavender sky once more.

I decide to lay back down and stare off into space again. A few birds are chirping on one of the cherry blossom branches and I notice the sun slowly climbing over the horizon. It's a nice autumn day to be lazy, living life comfortably with no problems whatsoev-

Suddenly, the birds scatter as I hear what I call the most irritating sound I would ever be a witness to.

"ROOOOOOUUUUUKAAAAAAANNNNNNKEEEEENNNNNNNNN!"

I turn around and get up to face the direction of the quickly approaching footsteps coming from inside the house. The figure of the loud racket came closer and closer at an astonishing speed, until...

She sobbed at me, "This is bad news!" then grabbed my shoulders and shook me about. My white bangs flopped on my face, which reminded me to get it cut soon enough.

"Stop that, geez!" I clasp her shoulders and stop her arms from moving me around so much. "Just calm down, alright?"

Her tears slid down her cheeks, but she eventually relaxed. "Okay then..." I then took a moment as well to gather my thoughts together.

This girl in front of me is Hakurouken, my younger sister (although I'm not that much older than her). She has short pink hair, but she also has blue eyes just like me. She's also wearing that sky blue kimono which I find gives off a very childish atmosphere from her.

I tidied up my dark green yukata and looked at Hakurouken straight in the face. "What's the bad news then?" I asked in an annoyed tone.

She looked down at the floor, her hair covering her eyes, and told me glumly, "Master is missing."

"Wait, what?" I was a bit confused. "You actually care about Master?"

"Sh-shut up, Rou!" Hakurouken looked at me again and pouted. "Don't say that like I don't care."

I smirked. "Like that hobby of yours is actually what Master wanted."

She turned away from me and grabbed my right hand. "Just... help me look for a clue!"

[ ] Help investigate Master's disappearance despite not being so concerned about it.
[ ] Make snide comments about Hakurouken's hobby while pretending to help.
[ ] Bother Hakurouken about why she acts like such a kid.
>>No. 24477
[X] Make snide comments about Hakurouken's hobby while pretending to help.

Swords are now people?
>>No. 24478
[x] Help investigate Master's disappearance despite not being so concerned about it.
Youki has gone missing. Are you a bad enough sword to find him?
>>No. 24479
[X] Make snide comments about Hakurouken's hobby while pretending to help.

So we're one of the swords?
Huh, well okay then, I can accept that.
>>No. 24480
[x] Help investigate Master's disappearance despite not being so concerned about it.
Youki has gone missing. Are you a bad enough sword to find him?

My mind is full of fuck.
>>No. 24481
[ ] Make snide comments about Hakurouken's hobby while pretending to help.
>>No. 24482
>>24477
Similar to masa and mune?

[X] Make snide comments about Hakurouken's hobby while pretending to help
>>No. 24484
[x] Make snide comments about Hakurouken's hobby while pretending to help.
Do we get to know what her hobby is if we pick this? This started out pretty awesome
>>No. 24485
[x] Make snide comments about Hakurouken's hobby while pretending to help.

hahahaha
>>No. 24486
[x] Help investigate Master's disappearance despite not being so concerned about it.
>>No. 24488
File 129003369638.jpg - (781.50KB, 649x900, MA3pic.jpg) [iqdb]
24488
>>24485
>hahahaha
Okay, it's less snide and more assholish.

--

[X] Make snide comments about Hakurouken's hobby while pretending to help.

"Alright then, I'll assist you." I answer.

Hakurouken drags me inside while I reluctantly follow. No point in resisting, so I'll just have to make my own fun while I'm busy.

=- Hakugyokurou -=

Our soft steps bombard the wooden floor as we enter. The table has a straw basket which used to hold several mandarin oranges from yesterday but is now toppled over. There's no peels left behind, so I assume that Master was in a rush to get out and grabbed the oranges as quickly as possible instead of say, Hakurouken eating all of them at one time. That'd be silly anyways.

I shrug my shoulders and gave a confused look at Hakurouken. "What are we looking for, exactly?"

She glanced at me. "Any clue, as long as it's a lead."

I stroll around the premises and search through the shelves while making small talk with her. "I don't get why you're so agitated over Master getting up and going for a few days." I move sideways to continue searching for whatever might tell us anything that would satisfy Hakurouken's obssession.

"Is it unusual for me to care?"

"Considering that," I try to continue my sentence when I didn't notice I ran out of shelf and walk along a counter, accidentally bumping into the leafy top of one of Hakurouken's potted trees and knocking it to the floor. Several of the counters had a bunch of her potted trees littered around the house, but it seems like such a bother even though Master didn't mind.

Hakurouken halts everything she was doing and ran straight towards the fallen tree. "Rou! Watch where you're going!"

My right eye twitches. I got fed up with her innate stupidity now. "Geez, I don't get why you play with those stupid trees anyways."

She starts to cry again. "They're not stupid! They're bonsai trees and I enjoy caring for them!"

"Okay, seriously," I tense up and spoke with a stern tone. "You, Hakurouken, are training under the discipline of Konpaku and you decide to trim little trees? I feel like I could just guess that you're looking for Master because you think she's looking for her friend."

Hakurouken stood up and shook her head back and forth, tears flying off her cheeks while she held that stupid tree around her arms. "No! It's not like that!"

I grab her shoulders again and got straight to the point. "Do you even remember the incident with the haunted tree? The Master's friend is not coming back and hell, I'm sure that Master is fine. She's an expert with swords and we're her pupils. Just stay put and she'll come back in a week or so, smiling at us again."

... I am a bit worried about Master though.

"I do remember... but I don't get why I can't believe that she's still alive." Hakurouken sniffles, then places the tree on the counter, slowly pushes my hands off herself, gets down on her knees and starts picking up the fragments of the broken pot on the floor. "Can't you at least apologize for breaking one of my trees please?"

My vision clears up and when I take a second look around, something catches my attention: A piece of paper lying face down in the master's room.

[ ] "Whatever, I'm sorry. I did find a clue on where Master is, so let's look for her together."
[ ] "Do you think I care about what happens to your stupid trees? I'll look for Master myself."
[ ] Swallow your pride and help Hakurouken clean up the mess before telling her about the note.
[ ] Leave her be, grab the note, and start searching for Master.
>>No. 24489
[x] Swallow your pride and help Hakurouken clean up the mess before telling her about the note.
She's our sister. We should not be mean to our sister. "Whatever" just sounds kind of... careless you know? Like you don't really mean it.
>>No. 24490
[x] Swallow your pride and help Hakurouken clean up the mess before telling her about the note.

Roukanken is a douche.
>>No. 24491
[x] "Whatever, I'm sorry. I did find a clue on where Master is, so let's look for her together."

Come on. It's like none of you have had siblings before...or cousins. Or, you know, assorted relatives that are about your age.

This is how you care. The option you chose just makes them suspicious and rude.
>>No. 24492
[x] "Whatever, I'm sorry. I did find a clue on where Master is, so let's look for her together."

This is how siblings act
>>No. 24493
[x] Swallow your pride and help Hakurouken clean up the mess before telling her about the note.
>>No. 24494
[x] "Whatever, I'm sorry. I did find a clue on where Master is, so let's look for her together."

Priorities
>>No. 24495
[x] Swallow your pride and help Hakurouken clean up the mess before telling her about the note.

Has Roukanken's gender been mentioned yet, or did I miss it?

>>24491
Well, consider that even if they had, there are still plenty of Anons who were jerks to their siblings/cousins/peers of similar age anyway.
>>No. 24496
[X] Swallow your pride and help Hakurouken clean up the mess before telling her about the note.
>>No. 24497
>>24495
>Has Roukanken's gender been mentioned yet, or did I miss it?
Nope, I have not!

--

[X] Swallow your pride and help Hakurouken clean up the mess before telling her about the note.

...

Ugh, I do feel genuinely sorry for her. I shouldn't be this harsh to her about her new hobby and all, but still...

I get down on my knees and start picking up the fragments as well. Hakurouken looks at me, sniffles again, and a smile slowly appears on her face, still moist with her tears. After a while, we manage to finish cleaning up the mess with the pieces on the counter when the sun decides to take a look through the entire house.

<( Day: 1 - Time: Sunrise - Weather: Sunny )>

I bring the trash can over to the counter and start to place the pot shards inside. When I was finally done with that, Hakurouken decides to hug me from behind and presses her right cheek against my hair.

"I'm surprised that you still care, Rou." She whispered.

I didn't know whether to say anything or not, but nonetheless she's not mad at me anymore and that's a start.

Now, she doesn't think I actually memorized this from past experiences, but I decide to ask her, "Do you know where I can find the new pot?"

Hakurouken lets go of me. "Oh, that's easy, Master usually gives it to me from her room."

I place the trash can down and walk down to Master's room to fetch the new pot and then I act surprised when I discover the note sitting on Master's desk. "Hey Haku, I found a note!"

She runs over to where I was standing and sees it as well, then grabs the note and reads it out loud:

If you see this note, I have already departed.
I have decided to search for Yuyuko.
I will be back from my journey after a minimum of seven days.
Please stay where you are and do not pursue me. Thank you.
- Konpaku Youmu


"Actually," I ask Haku. "how didn't you find this in the first place?"

"You know we're not allowed in Master's room." She puts the note back on the desk. "That's why I didn't look in here."

"Master's not here, so you should have looked anyways!" I shrug my shoulders. "Besides, what are we going to do now then?"

Haku twiddles her thumbs, then her face brightens up. "I know! We should go find Yuyuko ourselves!"

I cover my face with my palm. "Didn't you just read the note? You're pretty dense."

She wags her finger in front of me. "But you broke the rules by entering Master's room without her permission!"

I roll my eyes. "Look, we're in here to get that new pot, so go get it already."

"Alright, I will!" She opens the closet, walks inside, and starts looking for the pot.

"So, are we still going to find Yuyuko like you want to?"

After a moment of silence, Haku walks out of the closet with the new pot. "...Yes, we will."

"Well then..."

[ ] Get anything we need from Master's room and get going now. (1)
[ ] Look around Master's room and check the storage room in the back. (2)
[ ] Search the entire house and see if there's anything we might forget before leaving. (3)
>>No. 24498
Yes, I know, you're probably sick of these.

The Clock:

The (x) after an option depicts how many units of time it will take to execute that option. Every update before this one only had options that took one unit of time. Encounters differ with the period of time the protagonists are in as well as where they are at that specific time. Unless specified (like in this update), all options are assumed to take one unit of time. How many units of time each "phase" contains should be obvious from the pattern you see before you (it's two, by the way).

The phases of time: Dawn -> Sunrise -> Noon -> Sunset -> Dusk -> Moonrise -> Midnight -> Moonset -> Dawn -> ...

Inventory:

Unlike other stories (cough Ragnarok Syndrome), the protagonists' inventory is not a bag of holding. Don't think you can act like a packrat and take everything in tow; the story will specify whether you can take something or if you need to put something down in order to take the object in question with you.

This information is here so the reader knows what he/she is getting into when they choose an option. Thank you for reading this notice!
>>No. 24499
[x] Get anything we need from Master's room and get going now.

No need for complex planning. Let's rock.
>>No. 24500
[x] Search the entire house and see if there's anything we might forget before leaving. (3)

Preparation is always key.
>>No. 24501
[X] Look around Master's room and check the storage room in the back. (2)

Stick to the obvious areas. I doubt combing the entire house will come up with anything important.
>>No. 24502
[x] Look around Master's room and check the storage room in the back. (2)
>>No. 24503
[X] Look around Master's room and check the storage room in the back. (2)
Do we need weapons? I mean, you never know.
>>No. 24504
[x] Search the entire house and see if there's anything we might forget before leaving. (3)
The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. - Sun Tzu
Go.
>>No. 24506
File 129021796354.jpg - (388.89KB, 800x716, MA5pic.jpg) [iqdb]
24506
[X] Look around Master's room and check the storage room in the back. (2)

Haku walks out of the room with the new pot to deal with the tree while I look around Master's room for anything that we might need for our venture.

I rummage inside the closet, but find nothing that we would actually need. Not useful, junk, it's all useless. Wait...

I pick up a piece of paper and turn it around.

It's a picture of Master with her friend together. I... should keep this, just in case our minds wander away from our true goal.

Haku comes back inside the room and asks, "Did you find anything we could use, Rou?"

"Not really." I walk out of the closet. "It's obvious that Master took the best supplies with her if she does have to defend herself against powerful monsters of the sort."

Haku places her hands on your hips and tilts her head. "Are you sure?"

"Pretty sure. Anyways, I'm going to go check the backroom, alright?"

"Good luck with that!"

I walk out of Master's room and head towards the storage room. In the distance, I hear Haku fumbling with something, but I'm sure it's not any of my concern.

I slide open the door to the storage room and find a good amount of things we could use. I find a knapsack and pack it with several lengths of cloth bindings, two whetstones, and some sweet potatoes. And then, in front of me, is a wooden chest with a lock on it. I think this is where Master keeps the spare weapons, but how am I supposed to get into it, by kicking it until it opens?

"Hi, Rou." Haku came back from Master's room, twirling a... copper key around her finger? "You want this, right?"

I stuttered. "Wait how what where did you get that?"

"Yuyuko told me about it." She moves me aside and pushes the key inside the lock, then turns it with a quick jolt. The lock clicks and the lid pops open.

"You tell me not to break the rules, and yet you decide to do this?" I look inside the chest and discover that my prediction was well-founded. "Well, at least we can protect ourselves now."

I pick up a slightly worn katana and give the wakazashi to Haku. "You remember how to use that, right?"

Haku slowly removes the sword and nervously glances at the blade. "...Probably." She slides it back in, then asks me, "What's in the bag?"

"Sarashi bindings, some food, and a few whetstones. The usual, of course." My mind suddenly reminds me of some things we might have missed. "Oh right, let's go outside."

"For what?"

"I need to give you some things, that's all." I take two bottles from the storage room, grab Haku's hand, and walk outside.

I pop open the bottles and fill one with water and the other with cherry blossom petals, then close them and hand them to her. "This is what I'm talking about."

Haku's expression brightened up. "That reminds me, I should go get something as well!" She runs inside the house, then comes back out with...

Damn it.

She picks up the bottles and places them in the dirt right up to the potted tree. "Since we're not going to be back here for a while, I should bring something to remind me of home, you know?"

"Okay then, we're ready, right?" I turned towards the staircase leading downwards.

"We've got everything we need, let's go!"

<( Day: 1 - Time: Noon - Weather: Sunny )>

"This is going to be a cinch!" I exclaim.

Haku hopped up and down with excitement. "We're going on an adventure!"

And thus we started descending the stairs from the Netherworld.

After a while...

I groan. "Does this ever end?" My eyes feel a bit cross.

Hakurouken, however, was still as cheerful as ever carrying her bonsai tree down. "We're almost there!"

I look down and see the stairs moving towards me as if we were never moving at all. Then suddenly

OOF!

I run into something. Apparently, I didn't notice that I just ran into the

"Netherworld Boundary." I mumble.

Haku stops before me and looks a little worried. "Ummm... how are we supposed to get past it?"

"You can't just walk through it and you can't push it open," I inquire. "but I've heard that you can fly over it.

She looks at the top of the gate. "Can't we do just that then?"

"We can't fly, but we can..."

[ ] Climb the gate using the swords to get a grip.
[ ] Run up the gate and get Haku to throw the to you, then get her to run up as well.
[ ] Jump to the top of the gate with a running start from the stairs.

INVENTORY:
Roukanken: Katana, Knapsack (Cloth Bindings/Sweet Potatoes/Whetstones), Memento
Hakurouken: Wakizashi, Her Favorite Tree (Bottle (Water)/ Bottle (Spring))
>>No. 24507
>>24506
Oh whoops.

[ ] Climb the gate using the swords to get a grip.
[ ] Run up the gate and get Haku to throw your stuff to you, then get her to run up as well.
[ ] Jump to the top of the gate with a running start from the stairs.
>>No. 24508
[x]Throw Hakurouken to the top of the gate.
-[x]Lower the cloth bindings
--[x]Climb them

I can't see any other feasible way Hakurouken can get up that gate while carrying a damn tree. How many hands does she have to devote for that thing anyways?
>>No. 24509
>>24508
>How many hands does she have to devote for that thing anyways?
Hakurouken can carry the bonsai tree with one hand, but it's more comfortable to cradle it in her arms.
>>No. 24510
[x] Climb the gate using the swords to get a grip.
I don't know...
>>No. 24511
>>24510
Jamming swords into walls is not a fantastic idea if you want to keep your swords intact.
[x]Throw Hakurouken to the top of the gate.
-[x]Throw bonsai and gear next
-[x]Get her to lower cloth bindings so you can climb up
>>No. 24512
So we're throwing our sister up there instead? How does that work?
>>No. 24514
>>24512
It, uh, doesn't.

That's why it's not a choice.
>>No. 24515
>>24510
Soo this vote is winning? Seriously? I'm changing it to
[x] Run up the gate and get Haku to throw your stuff to you, then get her to run up as well.
then.
>>No. 24516
>>24508 here

We can run or jump up the gate, but throwing someone up there is out? Whatever.

[x]Running option.
>>No. 24517
[x] Jump to the top of the gate with a running start from the stairs.
>>No. 24518
In that case change >>24511
to
[P] Run up the gate and get Haku to throw your stuff to you, then get her to run up as well.
>>No. 24540
File 129058488510.jpg - (336.11KB, 1235x891, MA6.jpg) [iqdb]
24540
Sorry I took so long, I had an all-nighter yesterday and had to take in some sleep points.

--

[X] Run up the gate and get Haku to throw your stuff to you, then get her to run up as well.

"That doesn't sound very practical, Rou..." Haku said.

"If you've got any bright ideas, go for it," I shrug my shoulders. "but since this is all we can do, we have to do this if we want to get past this giant dumb wall."

"Well, okay." She takes my knapsack. "Good luck then."

"Unlike you," I slide my right foot back and get ready. "I don't need luck to get things done. See you later!" And with a cloud of dust, I sprinted upwards on the wall.

My sights narrow towards the edge of the top of the wall as I concentrate my focus into each step higher than the last. The clouds flow past me slowly as the wall glows an eerie purple, just like how the sky was since dawn. I saw the tops of the pillars from the sides of the wall as I got closer and closer.

Finally, I swiftly grab the edge and pull myself onto the top. It was wide enough to accomodate a single person, but that would be hard to land on if we decided to to jump on it from afar...

I give Haku the signal. "Alright, toss the tree up here up here!"

She puts my knapsack down and gets ready to toss the tree up to me. She looks up, gets ready and... hesitates. Once again, she takes another attempt and... hesitates again.

"Uhhh..." I drone on, but then, I get an idea on how to stop her from hesitating. "Walk back up the stairs and throw it at me!"

She looks at me funny. "Are you serious!?"

"Don't worry, I'll catch it! You can trust me, right?"

She looks down and mumbles, then walks up on the stairs and holds the tree back. "Ready?"

"Yeah!" I move my hands to catch the tree.

She throws the tree as hard as she can and it sails through the air, promptly landing in my hands. I yell out to Haku, "I got it!"

Next was the knapsack, with the same process and the same result. The incident came off without a hitch and our stuff was on top of the gate.

"We're almost done! The only thing that needs to get up here is you!" I look over the edge with Haku waiting. "Just do what I did and you should be here fine!"

"Okay then." She assumed her position. "Here, I, go!" And with that, another person to run up this wall.

I thought that she had it down, but she starts to slow down near the top and I quickly become concerned. And then it happens.

Haku accidentally slips before she gets to the top, but her hand was close enough to grab instantly. I place my left hand on my right as I amass all my strength to pull her up and with me.

She's panting, but glances at me and smiles. "Thank you, Rou..."

"Why would you have to thank me? You'd do the same for me."

"I would! I can't leave you behind and you can't leave me behind."

"I guess... that's right."

We both sit down and watch the stairs that ascended towards the Netherworld. It's... strange how we've trained up there all our lives without knowing about the world below.

"Rou."

"Huh?"

"Are you really sure you want to go through with this?"

[ ] "Yes, I do. I want to find Master safe and sound." (0)
[ ] "...I'm not fully committed, but you're my sister and I can't let you go alone." (0)

INVENTORY:
Roukanken: Katana, Knapsack (Cloth Bindings/Sweet Potatoes/Whetstones), Memento
Hakurouken: Wakizashi, Her Favorite Tree (Bottle (Water)/ Bottle (Spring))
>>No. 24542
I don't mind what the readers vote (I'll choose the majority, of course), but I'm still updating tomorrow.
>>No. 24543
[x] No...but you're my sister and I can't let you go alone."
>>No. 24545
[x] "...I'm not fully committed, but you're my sister and I can't let you go alone." (0)

Sororal love, baby.
>>No. 24546
[.txt] "Yes, I do. I want to find Master safe and sound." (0)
We can be worried for our master AS WELL as our sister.
>>No. 24548
[x] "...I'm not fully committed, but you're my sister and I can't let you go alone." (0)
This option seems to be more in character, seeing as how (s)he trusts Youmu to come back.
>>No. 24549
[x] "...I'm not fully committed, but you're my sister and I can't let you go alone." (0)
Well we were told to stay at home
>>No. 24551
File 129067096433.jpg - (504.49KB, 700x994, MA7.jpg) [iqdb]
24551
Let's use the subject line for something useful.

--

[X] "...I'm not fully committed, but you're my sister and I can't let you go alone." (0)

"Awww, that's nice of you."

I get up. "Alright, time to walk over this gate and drop down."

"Wait!" Haku looked at me shocked. "You didn't explain why we had to climb the gate yet we can just 'jump' down from here." She got up as well.

I point over to where the clouds flew by. "If we fell over the stairs or the gate, I have no idea how far we would fall. We'd probably make a crater in the earth or something, but I doubt we'd survive the impact." I crossed my arms and scoffed. "To be honest, I just hate gravity. I don't want to give it a significant chance of killing me or you. Does that make sense?"

"...Yes, it does." Haku looks over the edge on the other side of the gate, where the stairs descending towards the earth were. "You're right, it doesn't look that bad."

"Compared to where we could end up, of course." I took off the knapsack and held onto it as she kept her tree close to her. "It might hurt a bit, but better than being dead. Ready?"

"Ready."

"Go."

We jump off the gate as the wind decides to revisit once more. The clouds didn't mind us passing and neither did the few spirits watching us. Momentarily, both of us land on the stairs with a bit of shock, although it wasn't as much of a jolt as I thought.

"Oof!" Haku takes a deep breath. "Whoa... That wasn't half bad! I'm fine, Rou."

"Good for you!" I put my knapsack back on and show my hand out to her. "I'm going to help you on your quest then."

She holds my hand. "Thank you."

A long stroll downwards as we descended into the unknown land, one never traversed by us, the place known as...


=- Gensokyo -=


We hop off the stairs and look behind us. The purple glow of the stairs fades, but we know that when we return, it will reappear to show us the way back. Haku smiled at the lush green forest that we ended up in. I, however, didn't care for all this and thought that they were all nuisances. Smells weird and has too much... whatever those umbrella looking plants are.

"Hey, Rou, do you think that we could take these flowers home?" She grabs a bunch of white flowers, then runs over to a blue set with violet centers.

I move my head back and forth. "It'll just be bothersome. Besides, you have enough plants at home. A lot of them."

"But, they're all so beaut-" I instantly cover Haku's mouth. She mumbled, but I could hear it. Rustling.

"Hide." I whisper to her and she follows me over to a bush and we both act as quiet as possible.

Suddenly, a blonde girl with brown eyes appeared out of the bushes across us. She wore a black blouse, a long skirt which had been singed on the edges, funny shoes and a braid on the right side of her smooth hair tied with a red ribbon. She also had dark fingerless gloves, a pair of goggles around her neck, and an old tattered manilla backpack.

"I know that there's some targets around here. I just heard one of them, seriously! I can't let them get away because it'd make today's trip probably forty percent of a waste of time. I'm the best there is, because I am the legendary...

The Hakkero!

...and that I find myself remarkably good at observation. Now, come out, come out, wherever you are..."

Haku's eyes gleamed with excitement, but for me? My eyes rolled. "Showoff."

[ ] Ignore her and attempt to sneak away.
[ ] Confront her and ask her if she's seen Master.
[ ] She's a threat! Utilize the element of surprise!
[ ] Watch her idly and see what she does. Hope she doesn't find us.

INVENTORY:
Roukanken: Katana, Knapsack (Cloth Bindings/Sweet Potatoes/Whetstones), Memento
Hakurouken: Wakizashi, Her Favorite Tree (Bottle (Water)/ Bottle (Spring))
>>No. 24553
[x] Ignore her and attempt to sneak away.

Marisa moonlighting as some kind of superhero? Oh well, she doesn't matter. We have more important things to do.
>>No. 24555
[x] Ignore her and attempt to sneak away.
>Marisa moonlighting as some kind of superhero?
No, it's probably The Mini-Hakkero! who dresses like her master.
We don't need need to tangle with such a hot-headed fire-elemental-for-brains.

Even if she is adorably pocket-sized.
>>No. 24557
[X] Ignore her and attempt to sneak away.

What other items have been personified? Lazy catgirl yin-yang orbs? Aya's wind fan?
>>No. 24558
[x] Confront her and ask her if she's seen Master.
The Hakkero
>>No. 24560
[x] Ignore her and attempt to sneak away.
>>No. 24561
>>24557
>What other items have been personified?
I'm going to hope for that robo-transdimensional probability vessel of Yumemi and Chiyuri. Other than that, it might be nice to meet Yukari's tools. We haven't had many anthropomorphic fox- wait.
>>No. 24572
>>24557
Aya's camera, Hatate's camera, Momiji's sword and shield, Shou's pagoda, Nazrin's mice, Byakuren's scrolls, Murasa's ladle, Kaguya's branch/Impossible Requests, Sanae's snake and frog ornaments, Kanako's Mirror, Suwako's hat, Shanghai, Hourai, The Grimoire, Sakuya's watch and knives, Laevateinn, Gungnir, Yukari's crows, Yuyu's enormous fan, The Prismrivers' instruments, Eirin's bow, Keine's hat, Su-san, the Rod of Remorse, Komachi's scythe, the Titanic, Orin's wheelbarrow, Kisume's bucket, Utsuho's rod, Sokrates, Mimi-chan, Rika's tanks, The 5 Magical Stones, Evil Eye Sigma...
>>No. 24573
Oh, and Kogasa's umbrella plus Nue's trident. (password reset)
>>No. 24576
>>24573
But Kogasa is the umbrella.
>>No. 24581
Uhhh, whoops.

My computer's power supply unit decided to kick the bucket.

I've ordered a new one which will arrive by this weekend, so I'm sorry for the delay. I'll update ASAP when I get it.
>>No. 24593
Yay. Take your time then
>>No. 24596
>>24572
>Suwako's hat
>Shanghai, Hourai

Yes, please.
>>No. 24619
File 129158850774.jpg - (95.61KB, 394x583, MA8pic.jpg) [iqdb]
24619
[X] Ignore her and attempt to sneak away.

While Hakkero's not looking, we decide to quietly move away from the scene. We sneak at least a meter away from her when...

Crack.

One of the trunks of a large tree nearby starts making many snapping noises inside. I tighten my grip on Haku's hand and move my legs into a sprint.

"Run! Now!"

"Ah! Rou! You're being a bit rough!"

"Sorry!"

The tree finally gave way and slammed into the ground, nearly catching both of us in its net of branches. I suddenly start remembering about that adage that Master told us, the one about where if a tree falls in the wood and making any sound when it did. Apparently... it does.

"Hey!" Hakkero yelled. "You won't get away from me!"

I didn't notice where I was going and unfortunately trip on an underlying branch, causing both me and Haku to trip and roll. Strangely, the tree just jumps out of Haku's arms and plops on the ground without tumbling. We landed in a clearing in front of... a big house. The bushes started rustling from where we came and the only thing we could do now was break into that house.

I get up with a large grass stain on my clothes, pick up Haku from the ground, and walk up towards the sign beside the front door.

"The residence of... who?" I was puzzled. Haku picked up her tree and followed me.

She was a bit dirty, but she was able to read the sign fine. "The residence of Alice Margatroid!"

"How in Buddha's name can you even read that?"

"I've got good eyesight, of course."

"Well, who cares who lives here, we're breaking in." I grab the round part coming out of one of the doors and start pulling.

"What, why?" She moved up near me a bit upset.

"Either we stay out here and get found by that lunatic or we get in here and be safe, okay?" I pull on the door some more. "Why won't it open!?"

"Here, just push on it then!" And with the force of both our bodies, I cooperate with her and slam the door open. A faint snap comes from inside as we open the door.

The door opens with us outside and then it closes with us inside.

=- Margatroid Mansion -=

"Wo~w!" Haku rubs her right shoulder from opening the door. "This place is bi~g!"

I discover a broken rusted lock on the floor and with a look behind us, the rusted chains to go along with it. "I think I might be wrong about this. It feels very ominous in here."

She turns around as well. "Oh, Rou, it's just you." She then glanced to the left of the front door and saw...

"A map? That's silly." I remarked.

Haku got up close to it. "Maybe the owner, that Alice Margatroid, is forgetful! We'll ask her when we find her. Let's see, this map reads..."

Left Wing:
Kitchen and Pantry
Bathing Room
Laundry

Right Wing:
Bedroom
Workroom
Storage

Center Hall:
Library

[ ] Head to the left wing. (0)
[ ] Head to the right wing. (0)
[ ] Head to the center hall. (0)


INVENTORY:
Roukanken: Katana, Knapsack (Cloth Bindings/Sweet Potatoes/Whetstones), Memento
Hakurouken: Wakizashi, Her Favorite Tree (Bottle (Water)/ Bottle (Spring))
>>No. 24620
[x] Right wing

The sister's are a bit dim, aren't they.
Upcoming encounter with Shanghai and Hourai. Hell yes.
>>No. 24621
[X] Head to the center hall. (0)

>>24620
>The sister's are a bit dim, aren't they.
First of all, don't use an apostrophe when making a plural. Secondly, Roukanken's gender has never been stated. Finally, I think it's more that they're naïve: this is their first time outside the Netherworld.
>>No. 24622
[X] Head to the left wing. (0)
I have a good feeling about this.
>>No. 24623
[x] Head to the right wing. (0)

I think we're most likely to meet a doll in the workroom.
>>No. 24624
[x] Head to the center hall. (0)
Full speed ahead capt'n!!
>>No. 24625
[x] Head to the right wing. (0)
The kitchen is the place things get butchered to eat! Bedrooms are much safer.
>>No. 24626
Why is there a map?
>>No. 24627
>>24625
Bedrooms are the place where naked or half naked girls throw big pointy objects at you. Bedrooms are not exactly safe either.
>>No. 24628
>>24626
I apologize for not thinking this last update through. Honestly, I had never planned to explain why the map was there whatsoever; it was only there so that the reader knew what he/she was getting into. Apparently, I had forgotten that one of the themes in this story is the two protagonists exploring the new world known as Gensokyo and that I, the story teller, had said too much instead of too little. Especially adding the fact that all of the options here take zero units of time makes this fact a lot worse.

I have no idea how to fix this present problem, so I'm sorry for my stupidity and I'll try my best not to do it again.
>>No. 24629
File 129184573871.jpg - (193.75KB, 915x1200, alicestrongestdoll.jpg) [iqdb]
24629
>>24628
Clearly the residents of the house at one point had opened it to the public similar to the fetes at Eientei.

Not shown: Hidden test facilities, Goliath storage, gunpowder manufactory, doll army launch site.
>>No. 24672
I finished finals after two weeks and after finals I was incredibly annoyed and tired so I played Cosmic Break but I'm feeling better now. Sorry to those I made wait and why is this a short update

--

[X] Head to the right wing. (0)

"Okay then, Rou~" Haku is way too excited about being in a new place. For all I could know, maybe we're walking right into a trap...

Of course, we have to be thoughtful. "Hey, Haku." I point to her feet. "We're indoors, you should remember proper etiquette by now."

"Oh right! Sorry, I was just a bit overjoyed to get to explore this place." Haku slips her sandals off her feet as I slip mine off as well. We both place them beside the front door. She starts moving her feet around feeling the ground. "What is this weird floor? It feels like it's made of fur or something!"

I start to notice my feet not getting used to the texture as well. "Maybe it's like one of those weird rugs that Master brought home before."

"I'll get used to it! Maybe." Haku still can't contain her excitement.

We walk up the staircase leading to the west wing. I look to the left of me and across a very long fancy and crimson colored rug, I see... several little girls?

The two of us move towards them and we discover that they're actually... automated dolls!

"Hup! Hup! Hup!" The three small dolls chant as they march past us. They wore blue frilly dresses, red ribbons tied in their hair, and carried baskets filled with bolts of exotic fabric. Their blue eyes meet ours, but they loudly march on without even a glance.

"They're so... cuuuute!" Haku exclaims. "I just want to pick one of them up and swing them around!"

I express a little distress. "I doubt they'd like it if you did that. Besides, we're looking for clues, remember?"

"Maybe one of them saw Master before or even Master's friend!"

"There's probably a bunch of them around this place and I don't think they'd like to toy with you."

Haku frowns. "What makes you think that?"

I turn around and look down the rug, seeing again the dolls marching down, still chanting. "Isn't it obvious?" At the end of the hall, the dolls open the door, march in, and the door slams afterwards.

"Well, where to now?" Haku asks.

"We've got a few choices. I think they were..."

[ ] Move to the Bedroom. (0)
[ ] Move to the Workroom. (0)
[ ] Move to the Storage. (0)

INVENTORY:
Roukanken: Katana, Knapsack (Cloth Bindings/Sweet Potatoes/Whetstones), Memento
Hakurouken: Wakizashi, Her Favorite Tree (Bottle (Water)/ Bottle (Spring))
>>No. 24673
[x] Move to the Workroom. (0)

Explorin games.
>>No. 24674
File 12928932171.jpg - (100.07KB, 512x480, 9ball_armoured_core.jpg) [iqdb]
24674
[X] Move to the Bedroom. (0)
...Exploran gaems.

>I was incredibly annoyed and tired so I played Cosmic Break but I'm feeling better now
Hurrah! Don't let those S air swarms keep you down!
>>No. 24675
>Hurrah! Don't let those S air swarms keep you down!

I am far more concerned with all those freakin' Jikuns dancing around like they own the ground. Of course, once Ivis Youmu comes back all shall be well with the world.
>>No. 24681
>>24674
>>24675
Cosmic Break's fun and all, but I would like it if you would move that conversation somewhere else. Like /blue/. Not /gensokyo/, people use that, you know. Hey, I'll even post there and complain about Ji Kuns/Ji Longs tackling anything that isn't in the air.

Sorry if I sound rude or cranky it's just Haku is a bum and needs to die in a fire. Not this story's Haku, I mean the demon wolf kind. The stupid gimmicky demon wolf boss kind.
>>No. 24686
[x] Move to the Workroom. (0)

SHANGHAI SHANGHAI SHANGHAI SHANGHAI
>>No. 24689
[x] Move to the Workroom. (0)
Cute dolls cute dolls must follow now
>>No. 24702
File 129299458684.jpg - (468.87KB, 600x800, c1c35e88416e6ef570114d14641a13d9.jpg) [iqdb]
24702
[c] Move to the Workroom. (0)
>>No. 24707
>>24702
God I love danbooru
>>No. 24734
[x] Move to the Workroom. (0)
>>No. 24735
[x]Move
Come on even the slowpokes caught up with you
>>No. 24762
Wheee.

I'm sorry for the hiatus and I told people that I would be updating today, but the deadly maze of bullshit called college financial aid has decided to rear its ugly head and ruin all my plans today. I'll get back as soon as possible (probably tomorrow, Sunday at the latest) but ugh seriously this stupid crap.
>>No. 24763
File 12938436448.jpg - (126.39KB, 700x700, flangoodluck.jpg) [iqdb]
24763
>>24762
Ah, jeez, right on the new year? That's just downright cold of them.

Well, take a well deserved break, and hope things turn out ok!

>Fortune cookie says "rabbit foot bring great luck soon!"
>>No. 24764
Good luck is all I can say. Hope it turns out fine.
>>No. 24775
>>24763
>>24764
Better now. Thank you for your concern!

--

[X] Move to the Workroom. (0)

"...Those dolls." I glance at the door that they entered. "Haku, you've convinced me, we should follow them. We could even find that Alice who owns this place in there."

"I told you I was right." Haku said with a smug face.

I frown. "I never mentioned that this was playtime, alright? Be quiet and don't do anything conspicuous."

"Okay then."

We walk right up to the door labelled, "Workroom" and quietly open the door. Despite all my objections, Haku slides inside the room first. I follow shortly after and we both sidle along the wall. Both of us stand in front of the shelves holding many various bolts of fabrics, each of many different colors.

A long slender woman sits in a chair in the middle of the room, dressed with a beige capelet and a blue dress. Her long blonde hair was tied with a red ribbon, although it didn't look neatly tied at all. The woman works with the fabric and the dolls around her, just like an autonomous machine. Her reflexes were unnaturally meticulous as she weaved to and fro, creating a new article of clothing without missing a beat. It was an astonishing sight, seeing how she could make no mistakes with her craft.

While gazing in awe at the woman's precision, I look over to Haku and see her accidentally pushing over one of the standing bolts with a loud thump. Suddenly, the woman turns her head to the right and glares at Haku quickly... or I thought she did; I was not sure if she was concerned with my sister or the fabric on the floor. The dolls haven't noticed yet but I needed to do something now...

[ ] "Are you Alice Margatroid?"
[ ] Sneak away slowly.
[ ] Bolt out of the room as quick as possible.
[ ] Defend Haku as she makes her getaway.
[ ] Stand completely still and pretend like nothing happened. Observe with more caution.

INVENTORY:
Roukanken: Katana, Knapsack (Cloth Bindings/Sweet Potatoes/Whetstones), Memento
Hakurouken: Wakizashi, Her Favorite Tree (Bottle (Water)/ Bottle (Spring))
>>No. 24776
[x] Put the fabric back in place, apologise for toppling the bolt and for barging into her home uninvited
-[x] "Are you Alice Margatroid?"
>>No. 24777
[x] Put the fabric back in place, apologise for toppling the bolt and for barging into her home uninvited
-[x] "Are you Alice Margatroid?"
>>No. 24778
[x] Stand completely still and pretend like nothing happened. Observe with more caution.
[x]"Are you Alice Margatroid?"

Deadpan reaction.
>>No. 24780
[x] "Are you Alice Margatroid?"
>>No. 24785
File 129407844427.jpg - (145.62KB, 600x820, 1241491529381.jpg) [iqdb]
24785
[X] "Are you my master Alice Margatroid?"
>>No. 24791
>>24785
Is that from something? If so, do want.
>>No. 24802
[x] Put the fabric back in place, apologise for toppling the bolt and for barging into her home uninvited
-[x] "Are you Alice Margatroid?"
>>No. 24863
[x] "Sorry to stomp in uninvited, but... are you Alice Margatroid?"
>>No. 24889
File 129496318981.jpg - (63.39KB, 640x480, MA11pic.jpg) [iqdb]
24889
[X] "Are you Alice Margatroid?"

Since Haku's hands were full with her stupid tree, I decide to be polite and pick up the fallen bolt, setting it back in its original place. After dealing with that, I look back towards the lady, who had turned back towards her work seeing as the cloth was back where it was supposed to be.

"Are you Alice Margatroid?" I ask her.

"That is incorrect. I am not Alice Margatroid." The woman responds.

"Where is she then?" Haku questions her as well.

"She is currently not existing."

I feel some pressure near my heart, a strange thought: What am I chasing right now then? Where am I going? How is that...

I start to calmly try and confirm what the woman just told me. "Currently not exi-" However, the confusion and worry of losing a potential lead towards Master got to me and I start to yell. "Explain yourself! Now!" I feel a bit better, but still...

"Order acknowledged." The lady continues her work without pausing.

She nods and examines her work over again. "I am Shanghai, the first human-sized doll that my creator had built. She named me after the first toy she had received and I was the beginning of a project to create the first artificially thinking doll. Alice had pursued this dream by discussing with her friends on how to approach this, but later in her existence, she had shunned them in order to gain enormous advances in the progress of her beloved project. It had engulfed her consciousness so much that she had even forgotten... me."

I stare at her, amazed at what I was witnessing. I hear a small thump as I turn around and see Haku putting her tree down. I guess she was tired of carrying it around so much.

Shanghai continues her story. "After a while, I had become... alive. I could move my joints and my hands, my feet, my eyes to the environment around me. I searched for my creator, but I did not find her anywhere inside the building. The smaller dolls she had made before me had come to life as well, so I had dictated myself as the guardian of these children and also to continue Alice's work whether or not she ceases to exist or that she does exist but just chose to not be visible to my eyes."

Enthralled by her story, I didn't notice that Haku had moved towards Shanghai near the end of her story and gave her a gentle hug. I thought that this was a very bad idea, but strangely Shanghai had stopped her work.

"...The warmth of a living being. Mysterious, yet pleasant." Shanghai stands up and looks at both of us. Haku backs up as we both see Shanghai in a different light.

Shanghai tilts her head at us. "What do you require?"

[ ] We're looking for our master as well.
[ ] We were searching for a place to stay for the night.
[ ] Can you introduce us to your children?
[ ] We would like a tour of the mansion, please.

INVENTORY:
Roukanken: Katana, Knapsack (Cloth Bindings/Sweet Potatoes/Whetstones), Memento
Hakurouken: Wakizashi, Her Favorite Tree (Bottle (Water)/ Bottle (Spring))
>>No. 24890
[ ] Can you introduce us to your children?

[ ] We're missing our master as well.

[ ] We were searching for a place to stay for the night.

In that order.
>>No. 24893
[x] We're looking for our master as well.

We don't have time for pleasantries; Youmu is still missing. Lets just see if she knows anything and resume our search if she doesn't.
>>No. 24894
>>24893
it might be a nice time to make camp basically as they might have a hard time at night.
>>No. 24895
[X] We're looking for our master as well.
[X] Can you introduce us to your children?
[X] We were searching for a place to stay for the night.

>>24893
It's getting dark, having shelter would be preferable to sleeping in the woods.

>"After a while, I had become... alive. I could move my joints and my hands, my feet, my eyes to the environment around me. I searched for my creator, but I did not find her anywhere inside the building. The smaller dolls she had made before me had come to life as well,
I just had a depressing thought. What if all that's left in Gensokyo are tsukumogamis with imprinted personalities of their owners? They can't be vengeful because they weren't thrown away or misused, just abandoned because there was nobody who could use them. They are waiting or looking for their owners and don't know that they aren't going to come back.
>>No. 24896
>>24895
>Epileptic trees

Shit possibly just turned another degree of real. Though if that were truly the case, wouldn't Rou and Haku carry around their sword-selves? I do not claim to know the inner workings of tsukumogami, but long-term separation should not be possible, correct?
>>No. 24897
[X] We're looking for our master as well.
[X] Can you introduce us to your children?
[X] We were searching for a place to stay for the night.

Shangai...they grow up so fast
>>No. 24898
[X] We're looking for our master as well.
[X] Can you introduce us to your children?
[X] We were searching for a place to stay for the night.

In THAT order
>>No. 24899
>>24896
>Though if that were truly the case, wouldn't Rou and Haku carry around their sword-selves?
I've got two theories. The first is that Youmu still has the swords, and the pair hasn't been told that they are tsukumogami. Youmu's just waiting for them to say "Wait a second, that's me over there!" before she reveals the truth. The other theory is that the swords turned into the bodies they have now. Youmu has to get by with a different pair.

>I do not claim to know the inner workings of tsukumogami, but long-term separation should not be possible, correct?
Who knows? Fucking magic, how does it work?
>>No. 24907
[x] We're looking for our master as well.

>>24895
I had a thought similar to this, but more like everyone disappeared at once. Your theory makes the story's name make a bit more sense, though.
>>No. 24908
[x] We're looking for our master as well.
[x] Can you introduce us to your children?
[x] We were searching for a place to stay for the night.

>Though if that were truly the case, wouldn't Rou and Haku carry around their sword-selves?

But they are carrying around a katana and a wakizashi.

>but long-term separation should not be possible, correct?

No. Tsukumogami arise out of disuse. In a magical land that suddenly lost all of its inhabitants, it's a forgone conclusion. The question is how long it would take for all Gensokyo's artifacts to spontaneously acquire sentience.
>>No. 24910
I wonder if we'd then run into Kogasa or Medicine, fellow Tsukumogami. If not, we'll be running into Yukari's umbrella for sure in such a scenario.
>>No. 24911
[X] We're looking for our master as well.
[X] Can you introduce us to your children?
[X] We were searching for a place to stay for the night.

Missin' the time units there again Choja.

I was guessing something on the lines of tsukogami myself when I saw the THE HAKKERO running around earlier.
>>No. 24912
>>24911
I stated that unless I specify the options to take barely any time to execute (free action, zero units of time) or a long time to execute (more than one unit of time), it should be assumed to be one unit of time for each option.
>>No. 24913
>>24912
So does choosing multiple options take up multiple time units? Or if they all don't have a time unit on them we assume it all takes one time unit?

Not that we know how time actually MATTERS yet. Are we supposed to be hurrying? Are we going slow? Alas, we will surely find out in time...
>>No. 24914
>>24913
All options can fit inside the same unit of time unless they differ in how long it takes (can't use a two unit choice in one unit).

Honestly, I have no idea how to answer this question. I have never specified that you were allowed to take more than one option, so I have accidentally implied to the readers that they can choose multiple options in one update.

Apparently, in some (okay most) updates, I have not made it apparent enough that the options were mutually exclusive and as always I've let it slide. Even if I hold the strings in the story, I shouldn't yell at the audience for doing what they usually do in other stories in this website.

Sorry if I come off as pretentious, but I'm just stating what's going on in my head about this.

>>No. 25427
File 130496532812.jpg - (197.84KB, 635x723, aa23f5fd3b0cbe9682399eb3a70e2293.jpg) [iqdb]
25427
I woke up, bad things happened. That's what.
currently looking for a job now, in such a tight spot

---

[X] We're looking for our master as well.
[X] We were searching for a place to stay for the night.
[X] Can you introduce us to your children?

"So do you know where we can stay for the night?" I ask.

"Order acknowledged." Shanghai responds with an affirmative tone.

She walks over to the wooden door, opens it, and gives us a gesture to follow her. Haku picks up her tree and all three of us leave the workroom and walk down the west wing as the chanting of Shanghai's "children" closely follow behind us. The red carpet seemed to stretch on forever as I pull out the memento, run up to Shanghai and show her the memento.

"This is what Master looks like. Have you seen her at all?" It felt weird, looking at Shanghai's face and seeing the same expression every time you look.

"No, I have not." She replies.

Haku is the next to run up to Shanghai with another question. "So, who are your children?"

Shanghai tilts her head. "They are Alice's earlier dolls. Like I have mentioned before, they have been alive longer than I have, but I only noticed them when I had gained life as well. Alice's children, my children, are very helpful and precisely follow orders. However, there has been a problem lately..."

Haku and I were walking beside her now with the same question. "A problem?"

Shanghai looks down. "I have been finding... pieces of my children lately, broken by something unknown. I have heard the sounds around the building, but I can't determine its true location. It may be that we may have... a monster around."

Both of us stop abruptly. "A monster!?" Unfortunately, the dolls behind Shanghai kept marching forward, bumping onto our legs and knocking us down. The tree fell out of Haku's hands, but landed right side up.

"Are you okay?" Shanghai turns around. "Please get up now as we are crrently at the bedroom."

We groan, but got up fine. Haku grabs her tree again and she and I open the door to the bedroom. I make a quick glance at Shanghai.

"There's only one bed."

"Is that a problem?"

Haku looks at me. "Rou, are you tired yet? If you are, that's fine with me!"

...awkward.

[ ] I am a bit tired, so I should go to bed. (7)
[ ] Explore the center hall. (1)
[ ] Explore the left wing. (1)

Note: Sleeping now will place the protagonists at Moonset (Unit 2).
>>No. 25428
Alright!

[x] Explore the center hall. (1)
>>No. 25429
[x] I am a bit tired, so I should go to bed. (7)
Wynaut? Still kicking? Great.
>>No. 25432
[x] I am a bit tired, so I should go to bed.

Simply so that we can investigate without Shanghai and her sisters around to keep a watch on us.
>>No. 25435
[X] I am a bit tired, so I should go to bed.
>>25432
Dolls don't sleep though.

Choja, I know you get razzed on for not updating lots of stories, but we really are thankful when you do!
Just try and look after yourself first, ok?
>>No. 25437
[x] Explore the center hall. (1)

Nosing around first is always a smart idea!

Always!
>>No. 25449
File 130558478878.png - (657.27KB, 1062x971, ma13.png) [iqdb]
25449
[X] I am a bit tired, so I should go to bed. (7)

"Well, sort of." I answer. "I mean, we did jump off a high wall and run away from a crazy girl. That's enough for today. For me, at least."

Shanghai opens the door and after we enter, she turns a small dark knob on a tall standing device. With a click, it glows and brightens the room.

"Rest well." She excuses us for the night and closes the door gently. Her footsteps outside slowly fade out as we look around the room. The bed laid there with a pale blue blanket and the device stood on a wooden nightstand. There is a window, but it's hard to see anything when it's this dark. A short wide cabinet sat across from the bed with a large mirror on the top, leaning against the wall. I place the knapsack and the katana on the cabinet while Haku places the tree and her wakizashi next to it.

She then announces, "Nothing else to do, Rou!" and jumps onto the bed with a loud thud, causing the sheets flutter with a cloud of dust.

"Gah!" I cover my mouth and close my eyes while the dust begins to settle.

Haku ends up slighty more dirty than before, coughing. "S-Sorry!"

"Nah, it's okay." I shake my head left and right and removed my hand away from my mouth. "No one has been in here for a while, huh?"

Haku starts tidying the bed. "With all this dust, yeah, but we'll be fine!" She then finishes what she could do and sits down on the side.

"I've been thinking..." I sit down on the bed for a moment with Haku right beside me and ponder what we're doing. "Should we be here in the first place?"

"What do you mean, here?"

I take another glance around the room. "I mean, I feel like this is all a dream and we're still at home."

Haku gives me a quick pinch and I jump. "There, do you still think it's a dream?" She asks me.

"That doesn't really help!"

Haku reaches over to turn the knob on the device, grabs my right hand, and pulls me down onto the soft bed. "Like I said before, nothing else to do. We should just get some sleep, right, Rou?" She lets go of my hand and hugs me lightly around my chest. "I am a little hungry though..."

"Maybe we'll get some food later..." I answer while slowly closing my eyes in the darkness.

Haku mumbles, "Rou... you're really warm..."

...



"Training with Master is exciting!" I told her.

"With that much enthusiasm, you will become a powerful wielder of the blade." Master nodded. "However, do not slack off on your training. I'm sure your sister is training as hard as you."

"My sister?" I laugh. "I'll be as strong as you so I can teach her true potential!"

She frowns. "Do not let your pride eat away at your heart."

I stop and look at Master. "My pride? That's not a problem at all!"

"I know that you are looking forward to your sparring session with Hakurouken today, but I would like you to at least heed my advice."

"No no, I'll be fine! Maybe I'll take it easy on her, just to be nice. I mean, it's her first session, right? I've trained with you many times and it's not so difficult."


And then it was time.

Master sat on the floor observing me and Haku. "I have given both of you practice swords for this session. All you have to do today is disarm your opponent. I do not mind how many times you try, as long as you at least try once." She closes her eyes... "Let us see what you have learned." and opens them again.

"This is going to be fun, Rou!" Haku comments.

"This isn't a game, you know," I reply. "You forget that you are dealing with the next master of the Konpaku style!"

The sword lands on the dirt ground, sliding away.

"Congratulations..." Master nods, "Hakurouken."

I look on in anguish. "...You got lucky." I run over, grab my sword and turn around. "I'll take you on again and this time, you'll be the one with no sword in your hand!"

But it happened again. And again. And again.

Haku was breathing heavily. "Can we stop? I'm really tired. I don't want to do this anymore today. I... don't think I can."

"Shut up!" I scream at her. "You're not... You're not better than me!" I then sprint towards her and slam into her with tremendous force, causing her to drop her sword.

"Roukanken, stop." Master announces in a powerful tone. "Leave her be."

Haku gets up, tears in her eyes. "Rou, I'm just going to... get some rest."


Master scolds me on my behavior while I got up. "Roukanken, what did I tell you before this session?"

I tilt my head. "I... forgot?"

"Do not let your pride eat away at your heart." She looks down. "If you will not understand this, I cannot imagine you becoming the next master."

"If you don't think that I was going to be the next master, how come you didn't stop the session until now?"

"Because..." Master looks at me straight in the eyes. "I assume that you have some self control left in you."

I stood in silence while Master turned around and took both swords off the ground.

"If you cannot control the mind, it's possible that the body will soon follow its demise. Please remember this well and change before such a catastrophe occurs to you."

Master then walks away.


I clench my fists and close my eyes, tears sliding down my cheeks.

Master is not the problem.

It's Hakurouken.


...

I wake up from the strange dream with watery eyes. With a quick wipe, I discover that Haku's arms aren't around my body anymore, so I get up from the bed and look outside the window. In the distance, the moon slowly slides under the horizon.

Oh right, I should get some food. I'm starting to get hungry, but Haku's still asleep on the bed.

...This might be my chance.

[ ] Throw the tree out the window, grab the knapsack and run for it. (1)
[ ] Don't wake Haku up and
- [ ] Head to the bathing room and get cleaned up. (1)
- [ ] Head to the kitchen and look for food. (1)
- [ ] Head to the storage and search for anything valuable. (1)
- [ ] Head to the workroom and see if Shanghai is still there. (1)
- [ ] Head to the laundry room and grab some clothes. (1)
- [ ] Head to the center hall and explore the library. (1)
[ ] Wake Haku up and
- [ ] Head to the bathing room and get cleaned up. (1)
- [ ] Head to the kitchen and look for food. (1)
- [ ] Head to the storage and search for anything valuable. (1)
- [ ] Head to the workroom and see if Shanghai is still there. (1)
- [ ] Head to the laundry room and grab some clothes. (1)
- [ ] Head to the center hall and explore the library. (1)
[ ] Examine the room carefully while waiting for Haku to wake up. (1)
[ ] Grab Haku and get out of here. Now. (1)

INVENTORY:
Roukanken: Katana, Knapsack (Cloth Bindings/Sweet Potatoes/Whetstones), Memento
Hakurouken: Wakizashi, Her Favorite Tree (Bottle (Water)/ Bottle (Spring))
>>No. 25451
Please choose only one option, okay? Sorry if I have not explictly mentioned this before, I was pretty sure I had that down, but I don't.
>>No. 25452
[x] Don't wake Haku up and
- [x] Head to the bathing room and get cleaned up. (1)
>>No. 25453
>>25451
My bad. I naturally assumed we were meant to pick a variety, as there are millions of choices this time.

[x] Don't wake Haku up and
- [x] Head to the kitchen and look for food. (1)
>>No. 25454
[x] Don't wake Haku up and
- [x] Head to the storage and search for anything valuable. (1)
The kindest thing you can do for a sleeping person is not wake them up. Haku~
>>No. 25455
[X] Don't wake Haku up and
- [X] Head to the kitchen and look for food. (1)

Stupid sister, making us feel inadequate and stuff!
>>No. 25456
[x] Don't wake Haku up and
- [x] Head to the bathing room and get cleaned up. (1)
>>No. 25457
[x] Don't wake Haku up and
- [x] Head to the bathing room and get cleaned up. (1)
>>No. 25466
[x] Don't wake Haku up and
- [x] Head to the bathing room and get cleaned up. (1)
>>No. 25478
File 130592703849.jpg - (93.49KB, 850x685, determined_youmu_is_serious.jpg) [iqdb]
25478
[X] Don't wake Haku up and
- [X] head to the kitchen and look for food. (1)
I don't know about the rest of you guys, but the first thing I always do when I wake up is look for food. It helps wake you up.
>>25449
That dream sequence scared me. It has also left me somewhat paranoid, due to the seemingly one-sided conflict Roukanken had with Hakurouken. However, whatever said conflict was, it seems to have been resolved.

Here, have some Youmu!
>>No. 25483
>>25478
Dunno about that, but we're not letting that get to Rou if we can help it, right?
>>No. 25500
>>25483
>we're not letting that get to Rou if we can help it, right?
Leaving it all bottled up will simply mean we'll be having worse and worse temper until it explodes in a painful sharp shower of swordanger.
>>No. 25503
>>25500
What about confronting it and coming to terms with it?
>>No. 25504
>>25503
It seems as if we have already done that. Though Rou is still hotheaded and stubborn, she clearly has a much better relationship with her sister then in the past. Any resentment over being smacked down is probably long past.
>>No. 25505
>>25504
Actually, that's probably mostly been our choices, which is why this dream has bubbled up to the surface due to the repression.
>>No. 25506
>>25500
>>25503
>>25504
>>25505
Wow. Um, >>25478 here. I was not expecting my little comment about the dream sequence to turn into this mini-discussion. However, that's why I said "seems to have been resolved". Meaning, either A: Rou didn't really resolve her issue with Haku and just pretended to or B: Rou did resolve the issue, but something else happened between the two Sword Sisters. Either way, we still don't have enough information at this point.
>>No. 25522
Expect an update later today.
>>No. 25523
Yay
>>No. 25524
[X] Don't wake Haku up and
- [X] Head to the bathing room and get cleaned up. (1)

I quietly stroll across the room, grab the bindings from the knapsack and my katana, pop open the door and close it gently. Inside, Haku makes a racket rolling over on the bed.

Turning around, I discover that all the candles lined across the wall from me are aglow, bathing me and the hallways with a warm white light. I walk down from the west wing and head over to the east. Right before I got to the bathroom, I look outside the hallway windows and saw the sky, covered in a grey blanket of clouds. I turn the door knob, push the door open and glance inside.

I expected this room to be out of shape, but it's actually well-maintained. A short wide window, slightly open, sits far above the very smooth basin in front of me. Looking to the left, there was a seat with a hole in it and to the left of that was a counter made of the same material as the basin with some weird metal knobs and a spout. To the right of the spout sat a lovely folded sky blue towel. I guess Shanghai knew that I was probably going to be here sooner or later.

I walk inside, drop the bindings on the counter and rest my katana on the side. I did hear that this was the Bathing Room, but how exactly does it work?

I push the curtain all the way to the right side, revealing a spout (the same as the one on the counter) and two knobs; one has a red circle and the other, a blue circle. I turn the knob with the blue circle and suddenly, water starts pouring out of the spout! Wow, technology is so amazing! I am still concerned that the bath is next to the place where you do your business though...

Nonetheless, after experimenting more with turning the knobs, I grab the bath plug and jam it in the hole where all the water drains out, then I warmed up the water to be nice and comfortable. I undress myself, removed the old cloth bindings from my body, and slowly slid into the soothing water. Finally, I take the curtain and sling it across to conceal myself; even though it wasn't necessary, I would be really embarassed if anyone did see me like this, especially Hakurouken.

I'm worried about Master though. Should we be out here? Maybe she's back already. No, it's time for relaxing. Relaxing.

I look down, my pale body in the clear water.

What if Master doesn't come back and we don't find her? What do we do then?

I mean, Haku has swordsmanship down and I don't! She has a lot of options for what she can do. What would a failure like me do anyways?

I glare at my small breasts. Haku doesn't have to worry about that, but I do, even if she's really just flat-chested! Maybe I can find a rich suitor and live happily ever after. I've heard that some men like girls with that kind of body.

...

My cheeks redden and my hands involuntarily jump out of the water and slam into the surface with a loud splash, getting the floor outside the tub moist and my white hair completely wet. No! I wouldn't go that low! That's crazy talk! Don't be delusional!

I calm down again and slide a little lower into the water.

We're both okay. We're both fine. That's all I need to know.

[ ] I'm finished with the bath. It was refreshing.
- [ ] Walk over to the kitchen and look for food. (1)
- [ ] Go to the laundry and grab some new clothes. (1)
- [ ] Check the workroom and see if Shanghai is there. (1)
- [ ] See if Haku's awake yet. (1)
- [ ] Explore the library. (1)
[ ] I'm not done yet, I want to stay in here for a little longer. (1)

INVENTORY:
Roukanken: Katana, Cloth Bindings
>>No. 25525
[x] I'm not done yet, I want to stay in here for a little longer. (1)
Here it is~
This will be fun to see
>>No. 25526
[X] I'm finished with the bath. It was refreshing.
-[X] Go to the laundry and grab some new clothes. (1)
--[X] Explore the library. (1)

Also we've met Shanghai already, but where's Hourai? I'm going to go ahead and assume that she's the "monster" that Shanghai referred to due to, once again, lack of information.
>>No. 25527
[x] I'm finished with the bath. It was refreshing.
- [x] Walk over to the kitchen and look for food. (1)
>>No. 25528
[x] I'm not done yet, I want to stay in here for a little longer. (1)

>I glare at my small breasts.
Yes, this is good.
>she's really just flat-chested
Even better!
>>No. 25529
>>25528
You're not helping poor Rou's complexes.
>>No. 25530
>>25529
She's only jealous of Haku because her chest is even smaller, and she doesn't have to bind it. That's ridiculous though. She should be proud of her chest! She should take solace in the fact that it is that small, and not disgustingly large like Master's master.

Still, I'm surprised to see Rou has a decidedly soft side to her.
>>No. 25531
[x] I'm not done yet, I want to stay in here for a little longer. (1)
>>No. 25532
[X] I'm finished with the bath. It was refreshing.
-[X] Go to the laundry and grab some new clothes. (1)
>>No. 25533
I only had three hours of sleep when I wrote the update, so I messed up on a detail.

Haku is not completely flat like Rou said, but her breasts are quite pitiful (although she does wear a sarashi).

Rou's chest is still larger than Haku's chest, it's just that Rou has really low self-esteem (as the readers obviously noticed).

choja doesn't understand the anatomy of girls or cup sizes for that matter
>>No. 25534
I suspect Master's training might have inadvertently created a complex in Rou, causing her to try too hard to be good, creating a vicious cycle. This might be a reflection of how Youmu prefers to use one sword over the other.

Still Haku's innocent in the whole thing, most likely unaware of her sister's issues.
>>No. 25537
[X] I'm finished with the bath. It was refreshing.
-[X] Explore the library. (1)
Now, a good warrior's got to have all kind of a round education. Perhaps we can pick up something that might help our skills, or perhaps be a better leader or something.

>>25526
Ooooi, choose one option only, remember.
>>No. 25549
>>25537
Soooooooory.
>>25526
Fine. Um, I guess I'll just stick with the library option.
>>No. 26160
[ ] I'm not done yet, I want to stay in here for a little longer. (1)

Little of topic but I was wondering if there are anymore detailed description of the 2 sisters. I want to try and draw these two.
>>No. 26168
File 132000000048.png - (79.92KB, 198x204, jimbo2.png) [iqdb]
26168
>11/06/04
>11/10/27
>>No. 26169
Might as well vote since I started reading this.

[x] I'm not done yet, I want to stay in here for a little longer. (1)
>>No. 26170
>>26160

Thank for bumping this thread. Otherwise, I wouldn't have read such an appealing, original story.

I hope it's not dead.
>>No. 26193
>Choja
>not dead

I laugh.
>>No. 26249
You've slept so long, I thought you were dead. Actually, weren't you dead before?
>>No. 26250
File 132773259230.png - (269.99KB, 1134x1600, MA15.png) [iqdb]
26250
[X] I'm not done yet, I want to stay in here for a little longer. (1)

I close my eyes, relax my shoulders a little, and rub myself on the arms a little. So much dirt from yesterday and we managed to get away from one crazy person, yet we meet another. The entire world probably is filled with a lot of this kind, yet the only people we've seen before we ventured out was Master and her friend, so I guess this is when we should start learning our social skills now. Also, I should probably not get used to being so clean, I doubt that there's many places with such a well accommodated washroom as this.

...

After a while, I finish up, get up to pull the curtains aside and carefully move out of the bathtub, then lean over and pull the plug out, letting the water drain out through the hole. Afterwards, I grab the sky blue towel off the counter and dry myself off with it, feeling extremely refreshed and clean. I am assured that on the journey we are on that that feeling wouldn't last long, but it didn't matter how long it lasted as long as I had that feeling at all.

I finish with the towel, exchange it with the fresh cloth bindings from the counter and start wrapping the bindings around my body like I usually do at home. When I was about finished, I feel a sudden shaking from the ground and stablize myself on the counter.

That wasn't just me, wasn't it?

I then open the door and check the hallways. That shaking apparently caused a huge commotion as I see several small dolls scrambling around the mansion looking for the intruder. There is also a small platoon of the dolls charging up the stairs opposite where I am and heading towards the wing where the bedroom is.

I quickly put on my old clothes, left my old bindings on the counter (Shanghai will clean up for me, I'm sure of it), grab my katana and rush out the washroom door. The dolls were still panicking and I hear humanoid footsteps coming from the kitchen.

I need to think fast what I want to do right now.

[ ] Stand here and wait for the footsteps to get to me. (1)
[ ] Go down the hallway you're in and meet the person whose footsteps they belong to. (1)
[ ] Run over and check the center hall. (1)
[ ] Follow the platoon and look to find out if Haku is still in the bedroom. (1)

INVENTORY:
Roukanken: Katana
>>No. 26251
Welcome back, good sir!

[x] Go down the hallway you're in and meet the person who the footsteps belong to. (1)

Let's solve things ourselves. If we can actually get something done on our own, it should help soothe that complex we're nursing.
>>No. 26252
[x] Go down the hallway you're in and meet the person whose footsteps they belong to. (1)
>>No. 26253
[c] Follow the platoon and look to find out if Haku is still in the bedroom. (1)

I'm worried about Haku.
>>No. 26254
[x] Follow the platoon and look to find out if Haku is still in the bedroom. (1)

Same.
>>No. 26255
Waiting for a tiebreaker vote now.
>>No. 26256
As far as I can see, this CyOA has three routes: “To be the Master”, “Haku4ever” and “Something in between that will get us the normal end in which the eternal despair swallows everything”.

Focus, people.

[x] Follow the platoon and look to find out if Haku is still in the bedroom. (1)
>>No. 26257
>>26256
Unless he says as such, don't assume such things. He hasn't even finished a story to establish a trend.

You must be from /th/, right?
>>No. 26258
File 132810097724.jpg - (166.65KB, 850x1360, MA16pic.jpg) [iqdb]
26258
[X] Follow the platoon and look to find out if Haku is still in the bedroom. (1)

I leap down the stairs in front of me and roll it out, then run up the stairs with the legion of dolls. The dolls stop in front of the bedroom, then turn to their left, march forward and start scouting the area.

I open the door and I hear a yelp behind it as Haku jumps back, apparently about to open the door.

"R-R-Rou! Don't, don't freak me out like that!" She stutters. She's dressed in her sky blue kimono, but her hair is currently a mess right now.

"What? I was worried!" I answer while I walk inside and close the door.

"S-Sorry." Haku calms down and in the midst of doing so, notices something about me. "...You smell nice, Rou."

"Yes, I just recently took a bath."

"You should have taken me with you!" Haku exclaims.

"I didn't want to wake you up, you still sounded tired from whatever happened yesterday."

"Well, that's nice..." She spaces out, then remembers what was happening at the moment. "Oh, Rou, did you feel that shaking too?"

I pop the door open and take a peek outside the bedroom. The dolls were still searching fervently as they got closer to the area around the workroom door.

"Yes, I did." I recall. "Haku, grab your weapon, there's a very high chance that 'monster' that that lady was talking about yesterday may have woken up. We better be ready for it."

"Alright." Haku replies, taking the wakizashi off the cabinet. "Let's... let's stop this rampaging 'monster' so that Shanghai will have her peace."

We both leave the room with our blades ready. Haku runs up to the dolls and greets them when suddenly, the ground starts to shake again. The dolls pull their shields up as the shaking gets more and more violent.

I exclaim, "Haku! Get ba-"

A loud noise explodes from the storage room as a large figure gallops at full speed, slamming through the dolls' shields and grabbing Haku by her clothes, the jolt causing her to drop her sword. I unsheathe my katana as Haku starts screaming.

The figure appears to be a giant wolf, standing at least triple my height. Its snow white fur is standing on end, its tail wags left and right and on the wolf's side is a red leaf insignia. When my eyes refocus from the chaos, I notice a small... red tokin hat with a red string tied around its head. What is this thing? Seriously?

"Haku! Be quiet! I think you're irritating it!" I yell at her while the wolf's red eyes glare at me.

Haku slowly relaxes and discovers something. "Rou... don't hurt her."

"I don't understand why you would tell me something like that! I thought you wanted to take it down!"

Her tears flow out. "Something, just something tells me that this isn't a monster at all..."

The wolf places Haku on the ground gently, then starts growling loudly. Two dolls in the area lower their shields and charge towards the wolf with their lances, but the wolf inhales and with a single howl, blows them away with its powerful voice and breaking them apart into their pieces. The other dolls raise their shields again as I stand in the middle.

[ ] Ignore Hakurouken's plead and go on the offensive.
[ ] Keep the wolf busy until Shanghai gets here.
[ ] Assume that the dolls can handle it with their shields up and go look for Shanghai.

Inventory:
Roukanken: Katana
Hakurouken: Wakizashi
>>No. 26259
[c] Keep the wolf busy until Shanghai gets here.
>>No. 26261
[x] Keep the wolf busy until Shanghai gets here.
>>No. 26262
[x] Keep the maple wolf busy until Shanghai gets here.
>>No. 26263
[z] Assume that the dolls can handle it with their shields up and go look for Shanghai.
>>No. 26264
>>26249
>not dead
what is this the world is ending
[x] Keep the wolf busy until Shanghai gets here.
>>No. 26265
File 132835786054.jpg - (283.88KB, 758x758, MA17pic.jpg) [iqdb]
26265
[X] Keep the wolf busy until Shanghai gets here.

I'm sure Shanghai can handle the situation once she gets here, so I'll just distract the wolf until she arrives.

I sheathe my katana and start to wave both my hands at the dog. Its attention was easily hooked, but did not stay for long as I stop waving and turned around to hear incredibly loud footsteps increasing in volume as it got closer. When the person arrived, it wasn't Shanghai, but... someone else?

The lady standing in front of me had her lofty blonde hair tied with a ribbon thinner than the one Shanghai wore, also scorched in many places and even one part of it visibly ripped apart. She wore a long sleeved mahogany blouse, a long skirt of the same color with brown shoes, and a white capelet hemmed with a particular pattern of dark blue diamonds along its border. She looks at me with her gold eyes and she smiles. She smiles?

Her eyes turn towards the wolf now. "So that's the monster that my sister wanted to be stopped?" And then a downwards glance, "And who's that?"

"That's my sister." My eyes shift away from the lady and back to the wolf. "I need to get her away from the wolf right now."

"Then I have this covered. Grab your sister when there's an opening." She readies with both arms a large rectangular shield, emblazoned with an emblem of a myriad of winged figures on its front. "Don't mess up now."

She runs forward and leaps, falling towards the wolf. The wolf inhales and gives her another loud howl, yet the woman manages to deflect it in mid-air with her shield and slam into the wolf with it.

This is the opportunity that she was talking about, the opening I needed! I run over and swoop Haku into my arms as she was picking up her sword. She is a bit heavy, but all the training I've done in the past pays off as I turn around seamlessly and bolt away from the wolf. It gives chase, but is immediately stopped by the woman's shield, creating a loud clash that rings out extinguishing all the candles in the hallway.

I set Haku down and observe the ongoing battle between the lady and the wolf. With a wide swing of the shield pushing the wolf back a significant distance, the lady in the midst of battle turns around and yells at the dolls remaining in the area, "Retreat! Condition green!"

"Affirmative, Miss Hourai!" The dolls respond in synchronization and left only us to watch the duel continue.

"That's Shanghai's sister?" Haku murmurs groggily. "She never mentioned she had a sister."

"I don't think that's her sister. She acts so differently than all the other dolls, including Shanghai, yet all the dolls know her." I answer. "Really, I think that Hourai is actually...

the final result of Alice's project."


"I'm not your enemy! Just calm down already." Hourai brings her shield up as the wolf crashes into it once again. The wolf finally gets up one last time before it collapses from exhaustion, letting loose its hat. "Sorry about that."

Haku runs over and tugs at Hourai's blouse. "You idiot! You idiot! Idiot!" Tears run down her cheek for the second time today.

"What did I do wrong?" Hourai said with a confused expression.

My eyes roll. "I think that my sister Haku thinks you killed the wolf, although I'm sure you didn't."

Haku let go of Hourai's clothes and stood beside me, feeling a bit better.

"Oh." Hourai responded. "Well, I just knocked it out, all we have to do now is wait for Shangh-"

Shanghai stood in front of us looking very cross. "How are you awake?"

Hourai tilts her head down. "You do know as well as I that that is a useless question. It's not like I could wake up any time I want, it was just that for some reason, now was the time that I gained the ability to awaken." She looks up at Shanghai with that same smile.

"I, now, you, what, tell me where the monster came from and then get to the workroom as soon as possible, we have to repair your arm!" Shanghai complained brashly.

"The storage room." Hourai waves her arm around, noticing some chips of her skin falling out of her blouse's torn sleeve from the wolf's bite before the retreat command. "Also, I don't understand why you are so worried about me anyways, I did okay this time if I could say so myself and I didn't even have to use the projectile mechanism installed in the shie-"

"Silence! You are not fine! Move! Now!" Shanghai instructs.

"Okay! Okay okay!" Hourai fusses as she hurries into the workroom, dragging the shield along.

Shanghai turns towards us with the composed face we saw yesterday. "Thank you for assisting us with detaining the monster. I overheard that your sister does not the monster killed, so we will instead release it outside and increase security around the storage room. With Hourai awake," she nods over to the workroom's door, then back to us. "the situation here will improve at a significantly increased rate."

Haku smiles. "You're welcome."

My eyes lower. "We didn't do that much though."

Shanghai places her hand on my shoulder. "Both of you are the only friendly visitors in a long time, so anything you've done has helped us in a way.

Is there anything else you would like?"


Note: Two part decision. One choice for each part.

1. The tokin hat.
[ ] Keep the hat for ourselves.
[ ] Ask Shanghai to give it to Hourai.

2. What to do next.
[ ] Head out immediately.
[ ] Follow Shanghai to check with Hourai.
[ ] Check the library in the center hall.


Inventory:
Roukanken: Katana, Knapsack (Cloth Bindings/Sweet Potatoes/Whetstones), Memento
Hakurouken: Wakizashi, Her Favorite Tree (Bottle (Water)/ Bottle (Spring))
>>No. 26266
File 132835905476.jpg - (173.37KB, 996x600, e5d0e26c50cd9d237b56fedff1eaa252.jpg) [iqdb]
26266
1. The tokin hat.
[c] Ask Shanghai to give it to Hourai.

2. What to do next.
[c] Follow Shanghai to check with Hourai.

Hourai~
>>No. 26267
1. The tokin hat.
[x] Put the hat back on the wolf.

It’s his (her) hat. To take it is to humiliate our defeated opponent.

2. What to do next.
[x] Follow Shanghai to check with Hourai.

Then have breakfast with Haku.
>>No. 26268
1. The tokin hat.
[x] Put the hat back on the wolf.

I agree that giving away the hat is a dick move. It's like someone giving away the sisters' swords.

2. What to do next.
[x] Follow Shanghai to check with Hourai.
>>No. 26269
Was going to update today (Sunday), got a bad headache. Will update tomorrow (Monday).

Anyways, confirming votes:
[X] Put the hat back on the wolf.
[X] Follow Shanghai to check with Hourai.

It'll be more wordier than recent updates. Probably.
>>No. 26270
File 132856616619.jpg - (521.49KB, 495x1500, MA18pic.jpg) [iqdb]
26270
[X] Put the hat back on the wolf.
[X] Follow Shanghai to check with Hourai.

"Can I come with you and talk about what's going on?" I reply.

"Of course." Shanghai responds in a monotone manner, then enters the workroom and closes the door.

In the moment of silence, Haku stares at me as I run over to the fallen wolf, grab the string of the hat and tie it back on (no point in letting the wolf lose its hat, even if it can't drink from it any time soon). I glance back at Haku and she blushes with a small smile. We then follow Shanghai inside the workroom.

Hourai sits down in a chair and places her arm on the workstation while Shanghai sits down on another chair and gets to work on repairing Hourai's arm and her blouse. A lot quieter than when we first visited this room with the dolls walking around.

"Oh." Hourai looks over at Haku and I sitting in chairs watching. "I guess there's a lot you want explained, huh? Shouldn't be surprising to me, Alice's thought the same way too."

Shanghai immediately stops. "Where is Alice?"

Hourai sighs. "It's a long story and I think the kids should listen too. Well, you see...

I don't exactly know where Alice is, but I do know that she's still alive.

Her face when she looked at me in the eyes for the first time expressed fear, defeat, that creating me, a sentient doll, was not worth losing everything she had. The only reason why Alice succeeded in her dream was because at the apex of her research, she realized that the final key to creating a sentient doll was the essence of being human, the quality she abandoned to get this far. She wanted to run away from me when I first stood up, but soon enough she looked at me face to face and hugged me. She wanted her humanity back and that's when she smiled. She smiled at me and it was the last time I saw her face before I fell into a deep sleep.

In other words, Shanghai knows Alice's passion and I know her sorrow. In her eyes, I can see she's fighting for the return of her humanity and that has me believe that she wouldn't give up that easily."

Haku looks down at the floor. "So she remembered what was truly important when she made you? That's... depressing."

"Not the answer I expected, Hourai. She didn't abandon us, but instead she's trying to retrieve what's lost?" Shanghai resumes work on Hourai's arm.

"Yes." Hourai nods. "I apologize for humans being weird like that."

I look over at Hourai. "Then isn't this Shanghai what Alice wanted?"

"Incorrect." Hourai nods her head left and right at me. "Shanghai right now is probably a tsukumogami, a youkai manifested from an object. What Alice wanted was a doll with intelligence that she created, not an empty shell that just gets possessed, that would be the easy way out and not a creation she would want to take credit for. Nonetheless, she has found a lot of information on those kinds of youkai and with Shanghai like this, I would presume that that information would be useful for your situation.

After an estimate of a hundred years from the time of their creation, that tool or object becomes sentient and what they become and their personality depends on how they lived their previous hundred. I was never told when Shanghai was created, but Alice always told me she was her best friend. I assume I've slept for a long time, but it may have been longer than I would imagine."

I rub my chin for a bit. "That's a lot to process."

"That's okay, it was the same for Alice as well. It would be weird if everyone just disappeared and never left any clues at all!" Hourai jokes.

Haku looks at Hourai. "Wait... this seems like too much of a coincidence. Our master disappeared and what you're saying is your master disappeared too."

"Huh?" Hourai responds. "Is that true?"

"Yes, that's why we travelled here, we are looking for her." Haku asserts.

"That's pretty suspicious." Hourai tilts her head up. "This sounds like it's a lot bigger than all of us thought it would be."

I place my hands on my knees. "So Hourai, are you going to look for Alice?"

"Well, not immediately," Hourai smiles. "but after I finish preparations with Shanghai, she will be able to maintain the mansion for me when I set off. She's not built for extensive combat anyways."

"Thank you for that charming history lesson." Shanghai's face gets cross, but relaxes soon after. "I'm halfway done with my sister's repairs. Anything else you require?"

I stand up and blurt out, "Can we have your food!?"

"Permission deni-" Shanghai starts to say.
"Sure." Hourai interrupts.

Shanghai gets cross again. "What?"

Hourai laughs. "Come on, sister, it's not like we can eat any of the foods, we should let them have it. Besides, if we really wanted food, I can walk over to the human village and purchase more."

Shanghai frowns. "I can't disagree with that logic. If Alice did come home, I want to make her a great feast..."

"We'll always have enough provisions to do that whenever she gets here." Hourai pats her on the shoulder.

Haku also stands up. "Human village? Where's that?"

"That's easy." Hourai grins. "Leave the mansion, go behind it, walk opposite it until you leave the forest and you'll see it soon enough."

I grasp Haku's left hand with my right hand and wave goodbye to Shanghai and Hourai. "Thank you very much. We really appreciate it!"

A tear drops from Haku's eyes. "I hope you find Alice."

"Don't worry!" Hourai waves back. "I'll find her and then we'll invite you two to our welcome back party! You can guarantee it!"

We run to the bedroom and grab our things, then leave it at the front door while we grab some food from the kitchen.

Haku and I were back outside with some more food to sustain us (or at least some of it since Haku was busy taking bites of one of the loaves of bread we procured from the kitchen). We follow Hourai's directions to walk away from the back of the mansion and she was correct in that we ended up outside of the forest, the village in sight. We stood in the vast plains, with a fairly murky hill to the left and a mahogany tinged castle to the right.

I took out the memento to remember what we came here for.

"We'll find you, Master." I mumble under my breath.


"Everyone we know will find their masters."

[ ] Head to the village. (1)
[ ] Head to the hill. (2)
[ ] Head to the castle. (2)


Inventory:
Roukanken: Katana, Knapsack (Cloth Bindings/Loaves of Bread/Small Bag of Salt/Sweet Potatoes/Whetstones), Memento
Hakurouken: Wakizashi, Her Favorite Tree (Bottle (Water)/ Bottle (Spring))
>>No. 26274
[x] Head to the village. (1)

I wonder what the village would have to offer but it sounds like nameless hill and SDM are also choices. I wonder if we'd run into Keine's hat there or not.
>>No. 26276
[x] Head to the village. (1)

Lowest time point cost, a place to get supplies and information, lowest potential threat level.
>>No. 26277
[X] Head to the village. (1)

Let's meet the Gensokyo Chronicle, shall we?
>>No. 26329
[x] Head to the hill. (2)

You get what you "pay" for.
>>No. 26334
Sorry about the two week delay, urgent real life stuff came up. Expect an update maybe Thursday or by the weekend at the latest.

[X] Head to the village. (1)

is the confirmed vote.
>>No. 26336
File 13303288688.png - (37.64KB, 1000x800, MA19.png) [iqdb]
26336
[X] Head to the village. (1)

This post is historically inaccurate.

"What's the matter, Rou?"

"Nothing, I'm fine." I turn my attention towards Haku while putting away the memento. "We're going to the human village over there, we should be able to find some information about Master."

Both of us run across the plains towards the village with hopes high that the information we obtain from the area will get us closer to Master and end this nightmare.

Standing in front of the gate with a cloudy sky overhead, I look at Haku as she puts an anxious face on. She moves her right arm from holding the tree to point at people in the village.

"Rou, Hourai said this was the human village, right?" Her eyes dart around looking at them, none of them even looking the least bit human.

"I am pretty sure she did say that." I look at where each of the individuals that Haku point at.

Haku looks around. "I don't think that this feels like we're even at the right...

=- Tsukumogami Village -=

...place."

We walk inside as we see a small group of short chochinobake passing by our left, walking in an awkward fashion with lanterns on their heads with a little hole for their one eye. One of them widen their eye in excitement, exclaiming, "You know what would be a great idea today? Playing a prank on that blacksmith!" while the others clamor in agreement like children.

To our right, two kameosas play a game of shogi. Sitting on their hard sake jar encasings and their eleborate robes swaying in the low breeze, their limbs came out of the jars' holes to move the pieces around while taking a hearty swig from a respective bottle of sake. "This season just tastes terrible and trust me, I know how good sake tastes!" Another move made by the other man, they continue with their game.

Lastly, I take a look at the cloudy sky and see something flying around. Looks like... a girl? And why is she heading towards Haku at a high speed? Wait...!

"Look out, Haku!" I yell.

"Wha!?" Haku screams as I push her over and take the hit from the object with a mighty oomph.

The person from the sky and I take a tumble with the knapsack falling out of my hand as I see the tree Haku drops to land right side up again.

In the ensuing cloud of dust, I'm looking at the sky and I see the girl's face, one eye red and the other blue. Her short blue hair flutters in my face before she scrambles to pick up her purple umbrella and off of me.

I get up next and wipe the sand from my eyes as the girl in front of me bows several times.

"I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry!" She apologizes repeatedly. The purple umbrella I saw her pick up has only one eye as well and a long tongue that's flopping around while she's bowing excessively which creeps me out.

Haku is the last to get up as she picks her tree up and looks at the girl in front of me. The girl's teal vest and skirt sport interesting designs albeit being dirty from crashing on top of me.

"I'm fine, don't worry." Haku responds as she dusts the dust off her kimono. "What's your name anyways?"

The girl gets flustered. "Kogasa Tatara." Her eyes then twinkle with surprise, "Wait, haven't I seen the two of you before!?"

I jump with a shock. "But this is the first time we've ever met!"

Kogasa scratches her head while her umbrella's eye shifts around. "I don't know, I just feel like... I know both of you from somewhere!"

Haku pouts. "Don't scare us like that! We're on a very serious mission here!"

"What kind of mission?" Kogasa asks.

"To find our master, that's what." I continue while picking up the knapsack.

"Oh. I hope you find that person then!"

"I assume you're a tsukumogami as well with that umbrella you never let go of. Don't you have an owner?" Haku inquires.

"I... ummm..." Kogasa hesitates and looks down, then up at us again. "Do you need any help?"

Barring Haku's question (it seems Kogasa doesn't want to continue her answer), I pull out the memento and show it to Kogasa. "Have you seen this person?"

"No, I haven't, sorry!" Kogasa nods. "I'll tell you if I do see someone like that!"

"Thank you then." Haku hugs Kogasa while Kogasa blushes.

I put away the memento and roll my eyes. "Haku, do you have to hug everyone?"

She lets go of Kogasa and pouts at me. "Are you saying it's something I shouldn't do!?"

Kogasa blushes and her red and blue eyes perk up. "That's right! I never asked for your names!"

I introduce myself. "I'm Roukanken." Then I wave my hand towards Haku. "And this is Hakurouken."

"Oh, alright then!" Kogasa turns around and looks back at us. "Sorry if I caused any trouble! I just came to visit an old friend and I had a bad landing! Good luck!" She runs off with her geta sandals making clopping sounds... then she trips and falls on her face with the umbrella flipping out of her hand again.

A crowd of the village residents gathers around us over the loud commotion of Kogasa's landing as everyone else in the vicinity stares at us.

I shake my head left and right at them. "Nothing happening here, we're fine."

Haku grabs the shoulder of my clothes. "It's feeling a bit awkward standing here with everyone looking at us. We better get going." She whispers.

[ ] Follow Kogasa. (1)
[ ] Look for the residential district. (1)
[ ] Head over to the shopping district. (1)

Inventory:
Roukanken: Katana, Knapsack (Cloth Bindings/Loaves of Bread/Small Bag of Salt/Sweet Potatoes/Whetstones), Memento
Hakurouken: Wakizashi, Her Favorite Tree (Bottle (Water)/ Bottle (Spring))
>>No. 26337
[c] Follow Kogasa. (1)
>>No. 26338
[z] Head over to the shopping district. (1)

No idea, so might as well pick something.
>>No. 26339
[x] Follow Kogasa. (1)

It just hit me how post-apocalyptic this story is.
>>No. 26340
[x] Follow Kogasa. (1)

This has me thinking: where did Yuyuko's fan go?
>>No. 26347
[x] Follow Kogasa. (1)

So, taking bets on which of Kogasa's friends would still be alive 100 years post-canon?

...Who is she friends with, anyway? The Myouren crew perhaps?
>>No. 26350
>>26347
You mean their objects? Let's see... Byakuren's scroll, Shou's Pagoda (who likely has no sense of direction), Murasa's Anchor, etc.
>>No. 26368
File 133159622586.png - (650.88KB, 900x1300, MA20pic.png) [iqdb]
26368
[X] Follow Kogasa. (1)

I take Haku's hand and move forward through the crowd. "Excuse us please, we have somewhere to be, I'm sorry!"

The noise of the crowd trails away as we see Kogasa again carrying her distinct umbrella and standing in front of a house. Unlike the mansion we were at yesterday, it's built the traditional Japanese style with its rows of curved shingles and its bamboo frame sliding door. It reminds me of home...

We hear footsteps coming from inside the house and with a swift leap, Haku and I hide in the bushes quickly as the door slides open, revealing a young girl. She has short purple hair with a flower ornament strung into it and wears a kimono with yellow sleeves wavering on her arms, a lime green vest and a red skirt all tied with a white and red obi around her waist. From a first impression, I assume she's sixteenish years old or so but something seems amiss about that.

"Hello Kogasa!" The girl greets her with a bow.

Kogasa tilts her head to her right. "Hi to you too!"

"So who followed you here?" The girl giggles as she looks over Kogasa's shoulder and sees us scrambling around trying to remain hidden. Unfortunately, we weren't very good at being stealthy and soon we fell out of the bush in a cumbersome fashion.

Kogasa turns around and upon seeing us, jumps back and accidentally lands on top of the girl while she lets out a loud yelp. Both of them groan in pain as we get up and run over to help them up.

"Sorry! Really, you scare way too easily, Kogasa." Haku remarks as she gets Kogasa up with one hand.

Kogasa pouts while she bends down to grab her umbrella. "You don't have to put it that way!"

I pull the girl up. "I apologize for that."

"Thank you!" She smiles. "You don't look familiar to me. What's your name?"

"Roukanken. And your name?"

The girl bows again. "Hieda no Aijuu." Her eyes open with irises the shade of copper.

"How do you know Kogasa anyways, Miss Hieda?" Haku asks.

"Oh, that's easy." Aijuu looks behind her as Kogasa walks inside and grabs one of the oranges in the bowl sitting at the center of the kotatsu, examining the orange closely. "On a cloudy day a long time ago, I did not have my umbrella with me as it started to pour heavily. Suddenly, Kogasa showed up and placed her umbrella above my head to cover me from the rain." Aijuu looks back at us and blushes, "Even if her umbrella was full of holes at that time, she tried her hardest to keep me dry and I admired that very much!"

Kogasa cries out, "Don't tell that story, Aijuu! It doesn't make me sound scary at all!"

She turns around. "Why do you want to be so scary, Kogasa? It's not very nice!"

"It's youkai business! We're supposed to be scary!"

Aijuu then turns to us once more, "I apologize for that, I was just... enjoying my time reminiscing about my memories. is there anything I can help you with?"

I look behind us and the clouds above us seem darker than it was several hours ago...

[ ] Ask if we can stay over for the night.
- [ ] Get inside Aijuu's house immediately.
- [ ] Have Aijuu help with looking for Master in the residential district.
- [ ] Have Kogasa help with last minute shopping.
[ ] Tell her it's okay, we can handle ourselves. Head out.
- [ ] Search the residential district for information.
- [ ] Take a stroll through the shopping district.

Inventory:
Roukanken: Katana, Knapsack (Cloth Bindings/Loaves of Bread/Small Bag of Salt/Sweet Potatoes/Whetstones), Memento
Hakurouken: Wakizashi, Her Favorite Tree (Bottle (Water)/ Bottle (Spring))
>>No. 26369
To respond to me being really lazy, I will now update Modern Artifacts on the days Mon/Wed/Fri unless special circumstances come up in which case I'll mention to the readers the affected days and the reason for the delay.

This story is way overdue anyways.
>>No. 26370
Whoa this story is back? Why the heck didn't anyone text me to say so? Steve totally said he would text me, god dammit guys.

[X] Ask if we can stay over for the night.
- [X] Have Kogasa help with last minute shopping.
>>No. 26374
[X] Ask if we can stay over for the night.
- [X] Have Kogasa help with last minute shopping.

Odds are, Kogasa is the best way for us to figure out why Gensokyo is nothing but tsukumogami right now.
>>No. 26375
[X] Ask if we can stay over for the night.
- [X] Have Kogasa help with last minute shopping.
- [x] Try talking with Aijuu during the night about the history of the village.
>>No. 26376
[X] Ask if we can stay over for the night.
- [X] Have Kogasa help with last minute shopping.
>>No. 26379
File 133176639370.png - (383.07KB, 600x480, MA21pic.png) [iqdb]
26379
[X] Ask if we can stay over for the night.
- [X] Have Kogasa help with last minute shopping.

"Aijuu, can we stay at your place for the night please?"

Aijuu nods, "Of course! Both of you are very nice houseguests, so I don't mind if you stay."

My attention then shifts towards Kogasa. "Hey Kogasa! Can you show us around the shopping district?"

Kogasa glances up at me after having eaten half of the orange she was 'analyzing' earlier. "At this time of day? Did you forget to buy something?"

I roll my eyes. "Maaaaybe."

Kogasa puts the leftover half of the orange back in the bowl. "Yeah, sure then!"

Aijuu turns to Kogasa and walks up to her. "Do you think you can get these for me while you're out?" She lists several ingreidents for Kogasa to purchase while taking Kogasa's hand and placing in it a small jade green purse jingling with several coins.

"Alright, Miss Hieda, I'll grab those for you. See you later!" Kogasa waves goodbye to Aijuu, pockets the purse and walks out the door, grabbing my right hand while Haku takes my left as we leave the house.

...

The shopping district was not as crowded as before, but the vendors were still announcing to the passerbys their wares. We stop by a shop filled to the brim with produce and within a moment, Kogasa already had a paper bag with the things Aijuu asked for.

While Haku was with Kogasa as she was purchasing the ingreidents, I eye the fresh produce and with a quick dig through my knapsack, I discover something terrible. "Hey Haku, uh, did we pack any money on our trip?"

Haku looks at me distraught. "You were the one that packed everything, so I thought you had the money with you!"

My eyes instantly droop. "So we went here for nothing..."

"Thank you very much!" The merchant said to Kogasa.

"Ehhh, it's no big deal..." Kogasa scratches her head while she held both the bag in her hand and her umbrella with the same arm. "Are you two ready to go?"

"Well, I can't really buy anything if I don't have any money..." I roll my eyes.

"Alright, then back home we go!" Kogasa said gleefully.

Unfortunately, at that moment all of us hear a clap of thunder as we take a look outside and see the rain coming down hard.

"Okay then..." Kogasa grabs her umbrella with her free hand and holds it up as we leave the shop. "Stay close to me and you won't get wet!"

Haku giggles. "You're so cheerful."

Kogasa smiles. "Rain's not as bad as many seem to think, really."

I quickly skim the area as I watch the vendors disappear from sight one by one, probably worried about the weather and moving inside the safety of their homes so they don't get drenched. Meanwhile, all of us are fine as we head back to Aijuu's house.

"So Kogasa, what's this 'youkai business' you were talking about with Aijuu earlier?"

"Huh? That's really awkward to ask." She tilts her head. "Youkai business, youkai business, well, to sum it up, if youkai are frightening they gain more power and if they gain more power they can be more frightening and so on. Sometimes it just doesn't work and you don't get more powerful."

"Wait wait wait," Haku speaks up. "I don't understand why you have to be frightening to be powerful, is that a youkai thing or something?"

Kogasa seems baffled. "Why are you asking these weird questions? Aren't both of you youkai?"

We stop in a moment of silence.

"We... don't know. We were never told if we were." I finally answer.

Another clap of thunder roars as we stand under Kogasa's umbrella in the pouring rain.

Kogasa breaks an uneasy smile across her face. "Let's go home then, it's getting dark. We don't want to be late."

I take another glimpse around the area and in the corner of my eye, I notice a sparse murder of crows flying towards a specific area. Nonetheless, the crows are determined to gather there as the rain starts to pound the ground with more force each passing second.

I could look into what's going on there, but it would mean leaving Kogasa and Haku and getting incredibly soaked to see what's going on over there.

[ ] Keep following Kogasa.
[ ] Investigate the crows.

Inventory:
Roukanken: Katana, Knapsack (Cloth Bindings/Loaves of Bread/Small Bag of Salt/Sweet Potatoes/Whetstones), Memento
Hakurouken: Wakizashi, Her Favorite Tree (Bottle (Water)/ Bottle (Spring))
Kogasa: Umbrella, Bag (Ingredients)
>>No. 26380
[x] Keep following Kogasa.
-[x] Tell Kogasa about the crows. Ask her if she is in a mood for a little crow-investigating rain adventure.
>>No. 26381
[x] Keep following Kogasa.
>>No. 26384
[X] Keep following Kogasa.
>>No. 26386
I apologize for not updating today, I have a really bad headache going on right now.

Will update on Mon.
>>No. 26391
[X] Investigate the crows.
>>No. 26458
I'm really grateful to have such patient readers, I am sure they're sick of me making promises and then breaking them over and over several times in a row.
>>No. 26459
File 133339841086.png - (274.77KB, 795x795, MA22pic.png) [iqdb]
26459
[X] Keep following Kogasa.

All three of us walk back to Aijuu's house with the umbrella managing to hold up well against the rain. Kogasa still seems upset about my response to her question before, but I honestly didn't know. Is it something we should dwell on? I mean, what are we?

Kogasa slides the door open and Akyu greets us again with another bow. "Welcome back!" She blinks and takes a long look at us, "Are all of you okay?"

"Yeah!" Haku nods. "Thanks to Kogasa!" She gives Kogasa a hearty pat on the back while Kogasa blushes. The pat flicks some droplets off of Kogasa's umbrella onto the walls inside Aijuu's house, irritating her a bit.

"Do NOT get everything wet! It took me a while to clean the house up!" Aijuu yells at Haku. "...Ahem, Kogasa, can you put the groceries in the kitchen?"

"Yeah, sure!" Kogasa takes off her sandals, puts her umbrella down and heads into the kitchen swinging the bag with the ingredients around happily. The tongue flaps around, throwing more rain on Aijuu's wall.

I slide the door closed while the heavens outside continue to attack the earth below with its torrent of water. Both Haku and I then also take off our sandals and make ourselves cozy by setting our arms and legs under the blanket of the warm toasty kotatsu. Aijuu walks over and sits down across from us, although she decides not to tuck her body in the kotatsu since she's probably already warmed up anyways.

"Both of you seem like such an interesting pair!" Aijuu inquires.

I rub my head. "Um, not really? We're not really that special, not at all."

Haku claps her hands together. "We were just really asleep for a long time, that's all!"

"How did you meet Kogasa anyways?" Aijuu asks.

"Well," I laugh, "She just crashed into me. Literally."

Aijuu giggles. "Kind of like her to do that! I apologize for her behavior."

Haku smiles. "No, it's okay, Rou's fine and that's what matters."

"That's good to know! I would like to ask, why are you two here?"

Haku looks down at the mikans in the bowl. "Well, we want to know what happened while we were asleep."

"Where did you sleep anyways?"

Haku points upwards. "Basically, up there."

"So you're celestials!? That is very interesting!"

"Wha? No! NO! You've got that all wrong." Haku shakes her head left and right. "That isn't the point right now! Sorry, but can you please answer my question?"

"Oh right, I apologize, I was just really intrigued by your background!" Aijuu looks up. "From what I recall,

something strange happened many years ago, an incident where in over one night with a ribbon of light passing over the sky, many humans had disappeared without leaving anything behind. There was nothing to say that they were killed or eaten as the feral youkai acted indifferent after the incident had occurred, but they soon realized that the number of humans had significantly diminished. They became aware that if they continued the path they followed before the incident, they would end up causing their own demise in the end.

Unfortunately, the shrine maiden Reimu Hakurei who upheld the spellcard rules is gone, but in her place the youkai have determined a mindset to restrain themselves so that the cycle can continue undisturbed despite the fact they had to make a few adjustments here and there. The human population gradually propagated and then the inevitable happened: the tools of the missing humans came to life."

Aijuu turns to her right as Kogasa comes back from putting the groceries down. "Thank you very much, Kogasa. I will call you when I make dinner soon, so make yourself at home."

"Yes!" Kogasa grins and thrusts her hands into the air. "Time to get myself comfortable with the futon!" She then runs off into the hallway and we hear a door inside opened and closed.

"Sorry for that interruption," The ongoing rain taps the roof of the house with persistance as Aijuu looks at us again. "To continue, the tools were now alive and walking the earth, the kind we call the tsukumogami. They managed to homogenize well with the humans living in the village and some have even decided to venture outside of the village to look for their owners. That is pretty much all of what happened, nothing else major has happened since then."

So if the tsukumogamis awoke from their slumber before Master disappeared, that means we definitely can't be one of them since we were around before they were. What does that mean for us then? What are we?

Aijuu claps her hands and smiles. "I hope that answers your question! I'm going to go make dinner now, so please relax and rest warmly." She stands up and walks into the kitchen.

Haku's eyes dart to me. "I don't think a dumb ribbon of light could have stopped Master! I know she's still alive!"

Thunder booms as I sit inside the house with Haku, contemplating on what we should do after we dine with Aijuu.

[ ] Head to bed immediately. (4)
[ ] Ask Kogasa to help find something for me outside. (2)
[ ] Have a talk with Haku in the bedroom about what to do next. (1)
[ ] Chat with Aijuu about the village. (1)

Inventory:
Roukanken: Katana, Knapsack (Cloth Bindings/Loaves of Bread/Small Bag of Salt/Sweet Potatoes/Whetstones), Memento
Hakurouken: Wakizashi, Her Favorite Tree (Bottle (Water)/ Bottle (Spring))
>>No. 26460
>Kogasa slides the door open and Akyu greets us again with another bow.

Freudian slip?

[x] Have a talk with Haku in the bedroom about what to do next. (1)
>>No. 26461
>>26460
i am really good at remembering the names of my characters

god damn it

Yes, that is supposed to be Aijuu.
>>No. 26462
[x] Chat with Aijuu about the village. (1)

I'm curious how many real humans are left.
>>No. 26468
[x] Chat with Aijuu about the village. (1)
>>No. 26515
Confirming vote as:
[X] Chat with Aijuu about the village. (1)
The update will be up by the end of the day. I apologize for the long delay.
>>No. 26531
File 133453586380.jpg - (412.83KB, 800x741, MA23pic.jpg) [iqdb]
26531
[X] Chat with Aijuu about the village. (1)

Aijuu hums in the back while I stretch my arms outside the kotatsu's blanket before I slip them back in.

I then tilt my head down looking at the oranges in the bowl and give a heavy sigh. "It's been two days and we've travelled far from home. We ventured out to look for Master, yet we're also starting to learn about ourselves as well. Haku," I turn towards her, "do you think we're human?"

"What other conclusion can you reach?" Haku smiles. "It's not like being a youkai makes us any different! I don't look like the giant wolf that we saw earlier and neither do you, so we're both okay. Maybe we'll even improve by learning about ourselves, you know."

"I guess you're right, I'm probably overthinking it!" I giggle.

Aijuu soon arrives at the kotatsu with a pitch black curved pot hanging on a swinging overhead handle. She puts the pot on the table and moves the bowl of oranges to the side as she takes the pot by the handle and slides it to the center of the table. The smell of the beef gradually permeates around the living room.

"Thank you for waiting!" Aijuu glances at me for a second. "Rou, can you go tell Kogasa that the food is ready? I need to put this bowl away."

I push myself out of the blanket and get up. "Sure, I'll get to that then."

"Thank you!" Aijuu replies.

I run into the hallway, slide open the door to the room Kogasa is in and I see Kogasa rolling around in her blanket, still asleep.

"Kogasa? Kogasa!" I get slightly irritated with her unresponsiveness and jump on her to hold her still.

"Buh! Whoa whoa hey!" Kogasa's eyes open quickly with some slobber dribbling off her mouth. "Oh, hey Rou."

"Aijuu wanted me to tell you dinner's ready."

"Fantastic!" Kogasa jumps up, throwing me aside. "Her beef hot pot is the best! I'll see you there!" She runs out of the door and makes a racket around the house.

I rub my head trying to get my bearings straight. "Geez, so full of energy." I then walk back to the table where Kogasa is sitting with Aijuu and Haku at the kotatsu with a bowl of short grain white rice next to the steaming beef hot pot along with several smaller empty bowls.

I slip into the kotatsu's blanket again and pop my arms out from under the blanket. All of us take one of the smaller bowls and fill it up with the contents in front of us. The beef hot pot held a variety of flavorful delicacies to partake, its thin slices of beef, its cabbage cuts and its onions, and finally its mushrooms small and large resting in a dark broth. We finish preparing our bowls with what we wanted and bow slightly.

"Thank you for the meal!" We say.

This dish really reminds me of the times when Master's friend was around. She really liked the dishes that Master cooked for her and for us and in return, she cooked some of the specialties she acquired when she was travelling abroad before she met Master. To say the least, they were very interesting to take in although I don't think some of the ones she produced from the kitchen agreed with my stomach very much...

"Wow!" After one bite, Haku's enthusiastic about the food. "This is really... scrumptious!"

"...Delectable." I remark after finishing my bowl.

"Yeah! See, I told you!" Kogasa comments with her mouth full.

Aijuu gives Kogasa a swift slap on the shoulder. "Kogasa, do not talk with your mouth full."

Kogasa chews and swallows her food afterwards. "Okay, okay! Doesn't mean I didn't tell them so about how amazing your hot pots are though."

Aijuu nods. "That is an assuring observation and thank you for it, but this is what I normally make though. I do not understand why what I make is so special to you."

"Because," Kogasa hugs Aijuu. "it's made by someone I enjoy being with a lot!"

Aijuu blushes, then pushes Kogasa away. "Finish your bowl, Kogasa."

As I'm starting on my next bowl, I ask Aijuu, "Is there anything special about the village?"

"Oh! That's right!" Aijuu steadies herself. "I forgot to tell you about Keine."

"Keine?"

"Keine Kamishirasawa. She is the overwatch of the village and a persistent one at that."

"A guardian? Can I meet her?"

Aijuu shakes her head left and right. "She's nocturnal and I do not want to get sick so it would be nice if you went to bed after dinner, okay?"

"Whaaaaaat?" Haku whines after finishing her bowl. "But I want to see Keine! She sounds pretty important if she's the one that keeps the village safe!"

"No means no." Aijuu firmly states. "Well, unless Rou thinks you can. Are you going to stay up to see Keine then?"

[ ] Yes! I want to see Keine! (2)
[ ] No, I want to sleep in tonight... (3)

Inventory:
Roukanken: Katana, Knapsack (Cloth Bindings/Loaves of Bread/Small Bag of Salt/Sweet Potatoes/Whetstones), Memento
Hakurouken: Wakizashi, Her Favorite Tree (Bottle (Water)/ Bottle (Spring))
>>No. 26532
[v] No, I want to sleep in tonight... (3)

Sorry, little sis. Not tonight.
>>No. 26533
[x] No, I want to sleep in tonight... (3)

The day was long, the rain was cold, and we can meet Keine early in the morning (which will be her “late evening” if she is nocturnal).
>>No. 26534
[x] Yes! I want to see Keine! (2)

Synergy is to be promoted. We are a pair, for better or worse.
>>No. 26538
[x] Yes! I want to see Keine! (2)

Never pass up the chance for information. What you don't know can hurt you even worse than it would if you did know.
>>No. 26550
Waiting for a tiebreaker vote.
>>No. 26551
[x] Yes! I want to see Keine! (2)
>>No. 26552
[x] No, I want to sleep in tonight... (3)
(this is probably late and it causes a tie again so feel free to ignore it)
>>No. 26554
>>26552
Yes, I apologize but the winning vote is:
[X] Yes! I want to see Keine! (2)

Thank you for your consideration though.
>>No. 26560
File 133529897718.png - (589.48KB, 667x838, MA24pic.png) [iqdb]
26560
[X] Yes! I want to see Keine! (2)

Aijuu clears her throat. "Well, okay then! Just know that she has seven eyes and six horns. Easy to recognize those, right?"

"Wow!" Haku jumps in delight. "She sounds really powerful!"

I finish my last bowl for the evening. "Aijuu, I'll clean the dishes for you."

"Thank you very much, Rou!" Aijuu claps her hands together and smiles. "I will get some sleep then. Good night!"

"Good night to you." I tell her as I get up and grab the stack of bowls from the table. A balancing act that's easy to deal with, I manage to get to the kitchen without dropping any of them and placing them next to the sink, I got to business.

Haku gets up as well and takes the pot from the table and meets me at the kitchen. "Why'd you agree to do this? You usually hate getting told by Master to wash the dishes."

"That girl Aijuu's letting us stay for the night." I answer. "I think I should do something for her, you know."

"Aww~" Haku pats me on the back. "That's very nice of you!"

"...Thanks." I blush. "Make yourself comfortable but don't fall asleep. We should be awake when she gets around, okay?"

"I'll be at the table then. What are we going to do anyways?"

"I don't know, maybe Rock Paper Scissors?"

"That'll be fun! I'll win so many times!"

"Heh, so you think so! That's a challenge I'm willing to take!"

After I finish scrubbing the dishes down, putting away the food and cleaning the pot, I sit down with Haku and play Rock Paper Scissors with her for a while.

Rock! Scissors! Paper! Rock! Rock! Paper! Scissors!

The rain drones on as we continue to play...



Caw caw.

Caw caw. Caw caw. The cries got louder each time.

"Uhhh, mmmm, Rou, can you get those crows to be quiet?" Haku mumbles in half-sleep.

I summon all my strength to get my head off of the table, put my geta on and slide open the door. I take a short stroll outside looking up at the clear sky and blink my eyes a few times. I then scramble back inside, grab my katana and wake Haku up.

"Uaahh! What's going on!?" Haku grabs her wakizashi.

"Come outside!"

She puts her geta on and runs outside with me as we look at the sky, four giant crows flying towards us.

"Those are the crows I was complaining about!? They're huge!" Haku exclaims.

"I don't know where Keine is, but we'd better get ready." I unsheathe my katana and wield it in front of myself.

Haku unsheathes her wakizashi. "Alright! We're going to cut those crows up easi-"

An enormous figure slides in front of us, kicking up a cloud of dust. In the moonlight, its white fur glistens and its large horns shine brightly. It wears a ribbon on its left horn on its head and its large tail swings to and fro quickly while the crows' flapping of their wings grew louder, signaling their closing distance between us and them. It placces its four feet down firmly while two of the eyes on the figure's left shoulder turn towards us to examine us.

"Wh-what's going on!?" Haku then steps back and scans the area frantically. "Who's that? Is it with us or against us? Why didn't Aijuu tell us about any of this!?"

I lower my katana and stare at the crows nearing us and the beast in front of us.

"She did." I state flatly. "It's Keine."

[ ] Run forward, jump off Keine's horns and gain the first strike against the crows.
[ ] Grab Haku and cast her towards the crows for a surprise.
[ ] Get near Keine and stand your ground.
[ ] Stand by and observe.
[ ] Head back inside and hope everything turns out well.

Inventory:
Roukanken: Katana, Memento
Hakurouken: Wakizashi
>>No. 26561
[x] Stand by and observe.
>>No. 26565
sounds like Keine became pretty feral as a result of whatever happened. Time to think on what to do.
>>No. 26581
I apologize for the delay, I've been preoccupied lately. Will update before Wednesday.

[X] Stand by and observe.
>>No. 26617
File 133645674119.png - (422.25KB, 568x700, MA25pic.png) [iqdb]
26617
[X] Stand by and observe.

"Stay here," I hold my left arm across Haku to hold her back, "I think she has it handled. We'll get in her way if we butt in."

"What do you mean by that thing being Keine!?" Haku cries out.

"Did you really think Keine was human? The beast in front of us matches the description Aijuu gave us." I remind her as the eyes on Keine's shoulder stop looking at us.

"...Yes I did." Haku depressingly admits.

"After that encounter with the wolf at the mansion and you screaming at me not to kill it, I realized what we were up against." I lower my head. "The strongest of all the beasts were probably humans before us."

"So Keine was originally human. And so was that wolf. That feeling that resonated within me when the wolf wanted to protect me... that was the remaints of its human soul, wasn't it?"

"It's a good theory. The only way we'll find out now is if we get through this and talk to Keine about it." I hold my head up and look onward, seeing the crows finally collide with Keine as she lets out a mighty roar. "No matter, they're here!"

Unfortunately, to my dismay Keine only grabs the attention of two of the crows as she gives one of them a swift hind leg kick to its chest. The other two crows approach us as we ready our weapons and engage them in combat.

Haku runs up and deflects the talons as she strikes a direct blow past the crow's lower region with her wakizashi. "They're... really organized! I don't think this is normal at all!"

"I think normal would be just one or two crows and Keine'd be fine," I jump back and take a look around. "Where's that fourth crow!?"

Haku kicks her opponent back with both her legs to its beak and slides back on the ground, kicking up a slight cloud of dust. "I don't know, I only see three of them! Where is it!?"

I then glance towards the sky and look on with despair as the fourth crow I was looking for flew above me and towards...

no

no no no

NO NO NO NO NO


One of the walls at Aijuu's house explode with a boom as the crow crashes into it. I turn around and hear Aijuu screaming from inside, then next, I hear a fairly familiar voice from the house...

"Get out! Shoo! Parasol Star Memories!" Kogasa exclaims at the crow.

A barrage of umbrellas shoot out of the house's damaged wall and pelt the crow with fierce strength, yet the crow still persistently attacks.

Haku yells out, "Rou! I'm fine! Go help out Kogasa!"

[ ] Run inside the house. (0)
[ ] Help Haku defeat the crow first. (0)
[ ] Assist Keine and distract her enemies so that she can get to the crow at the house. (0)

Inventory:
Roukanken: Katana, Memento
Hakurouken: Wakizashi
>>No. 26618
[x] Run inside the house. (0)

This is strange yet not surprising. Humanoid youkai are reverting back to their animal roots if they have them. I presume the crows might be Aya.
>>No. 26619
[x] Help Haku defeat the crow first. (0)
>>No. 26620
[x] Run inside the house. (0)

All excuses to beat up paparazzi are equally meritorious. It sounds like Kogasa needs the help more, so...
>>No. 26621
[y] Help Haku defeat the crow first. (0)

Blood is thicker than water.
>>No. 26623
Tiebreaker vote please, boop boop.
>>No. 26628
>>26627

ಠ_ಠ
>>No. 26629
[x] Run inside the house. (0)

My bad, I forgot to clear the name field.
>>No. 26635
File 13367182424.jpg - (422.22KB, 700x1025, MA26pic.jpg) [iqdb]
26635
[X] Run inside the house. (0)

"Alright!" I turn around and run up the stairs. With a good swipe, the door slides open and I head inside, turning left and arriving at Aijuu's room. The wall was ripped open and Kogasa continues to fire several open umbrellas at the crow outside. Aijuu is in the corner cowering... and crying.

"Rou! I'm glad to see you!" Kogasa shouts.

"Is this normal!?" I exclaim.

"Keine usually holds them off, how many are out there?"

"I counted four crows!"

"Four!? That's the opposite of normal!" Kogasa's eyes shift to the advancing crow. "Here it comes!"

The crow lunges with its talons, but I manage to deflect them and with a vertical slash, strike solidly through its right wing. It flinches while its feet scrape across the tatami mats on the floor, ripping them up.

Kogasa then runs across the floor and slams the crow out of the house with a good smack from her umbrella. The tongue wriggles as the crow lands outside and slouches on the ground.

"Ow! My head!" Kogasa complains.

I scoff. "Do you have to do that? Be careful!"

"Yeah, I'm fine!" She scratches her head. "Remind me who's got which of the crows."

"Keine's dealing with two of them and Haku has the third one, we just took out the fourth one."

"Oh, then we should be okay right n-" My conversation is quickly halted as another crow appears and slams into me at full force, catching me by surprise. It leaves a gaping hole through my body and loosens my grip on my katana. "Gah!"

"Rou!" Kogasa jumps over the futon at the center of the room and grabs the katana I dropped, then gives the invading crow a good one-two hit with the katana and the umbrella, sending it outside with the other crow.

I slump on the floor, wincing. "I think I may have overdone it..."

"Aijuu! Get the bandages!"

Aijuu gets up, tears in her eyes. "Y-Yes!" She then runs out of the room while I clutch my chest in pain. That idiot bird... hit me pretty hard... My vision fades away as I stare at the ceiling.


I blink a few times.

Haku hovers over me, staring at my face. "Oh! You're awake! Are you okay?"

"Don't worry! I'm fine!" I laugh, but it sort of hurts.

Haku pouts with her cheeks puffed up. "I was worried, you idiot!" She moves away from me as I get up.

They really did wrap my wound up at the spot as I turn around and see the hole in the wall from before; I'm still in Aijuu's room. "So how long was I asleep?"

"Only an hour." Haku replies.

"What!?" I scream.

"I guess you were hurting a bit from the wound and couldn't sleep that long. You still need more rest though."

"Haku, do you know what happened?"

"I think that one of the crows escaped Keine's pursuit and followed the fourth crow where you were." Haku stands up and looks outside the large hole in the wall. "From what I heard from Kogasa, you got flanked from the side and took a heavy hit."

"Yeah," I sigh, "an unfair fight to say the least."

"Not everyone plays by the rules! It's unfortunate, but in battle, we can't tell them how much we hate how they fight, they're going to fight anyways!"

"I guess so, heh." I lie back on the futon again. "So what can we do right now?"

Haku sits down with me. "We can ask Aijuu about Keine or we can ask Keine herself. She's tending to Keine's wounds as well, but she wants to get back to sleeping."

[ ] Ask Aijuu about the crows and why they came after her. (5)
[ ] Have a talk with Keine about the beasts around Gensokyo. (5)

Inventory:
Roukanken: Katana, Memento
Hakurouken: Wakizashi
>>No. 26636
Tricky choice... asking Aijuu would likely shed light on the crows while Asking Keine might uncover that but many other things as well.

Also do you have some sort of complex involving 2 sisters?
>>No. 26637
>>26636
>Also do you have some sort of complex involving 2 sisters?
No! ...Maybe.
>>No. 26638
[x] Have a talk with Keine about the beasts around Gensokyo. (5)
>>No. 26646
[y] Have a talk with Keine about the beasts around Gensokyo. (5)

Give Aijuu her rest.
>>No. 26648
[x] Talk to Keine, etc

Ha, ha, I remembered to vote!
>>No. 26661
Ha ha, I am really good at this remembering to update thing!

Okay, not really. Update coming later today, vote confirmed as:
[X] Have a talk with Keine about the beasts around Gensokyo. (5)
>>No. 26783
File 133782488971.jpg - (239.05KB, 480x800, MA27pic1.jpg) [iqdb]
26783
[X] Have a talk with Keine about the beasts around Gensokyo. (5)

"We'll ask Keine ourselves what's happening." I nod.

"Are you sure you're fine?" Haku asks me again.

I get up and feel a prick from my stomach wrapped up in several laps of bandages. I then grab Haku's hand and walk outside under a starry sky.

Keine is curled up in front of Aijuu as she finishes wrapping the last bandage on Keine's right foreleg and turns to see us walking over.

"Rou! You are not supposed to be up, not with those injuries!" Aijuu reminds me immediately.

"It's okay, I'm fine, I already told Haku that. Several times." I giggle and wave my hand at Aijuu while holding hands with Haku. "I want to have a talk with Keine, is that alright with you?"

"Yes." Aijuu stands up and picks up her first aid kit. "Don't strain yourself. There should be another room for the two of you. As for me, I am going to sleep in Kogasa's room. Good night." She walks inside as we sit down on the dirt ground in front of Keine.

"Hello... Keine?" Haku nervously greets her.

"Greetings, Roukenkan and Hakurouken." Keine's large jaw does not move at all, yet both Haku and I hear her voice resonate in our minds. "I am Keine Kamishirasawa."

Haku suddenly scoots back. "Whoa! You can talk in our minds?!"

"Don't panic." Keine shakes her head left and right. "I didn't mean to scare you like that."

"I'm sorry." Haku blinks her eyes a few times. "I'm just not used to having a voice in my head and such."

"Heh, you'll get used to it." I joke.

"Oh, Rou, I apologize for your injuries. The crows have become significantly aggressive and this is the first time ever that four of them have attacked the village at the same time."

I wave my hand away. "Like I said, just a minor scratch. I'm feeling better already since Kogasa and Aijuu worked so fast to mend it."

"I'm glad that you're okay. Kogasa and Aijuu are good friends and I enjoy their company." Keine looks up at the moon with her head and the eyes on her shoulders and then returns her attention to us as her tail wags back and forth. "What did you want to ask?"

"Why do these beasts even exist?" I ask bluntly.

"I would assume you're not from around here." She nods and yawns. "To explain clearly,

I was once a human before, but after an incident with a ribbon of light in the sky, I lost my ability to maintain my human form and became... this. Despite this transformation, I could still understand human speech and talk to you like so, as you can tell. I still held my belief to guard the remaining humans in this village and I had to, due to the fact that many other animal youkai like me turned feral and lost the composure that they had as humanoids. Some of them do have instincts that stop them from immediately rampaging into a chaotic state, but those are few and far between.

As for the ones who I know have transformed, there are a fair amount I can name. For example, there is a white wolf tengu named Momiji Inubashiri who headed south and probably made herself comfortable inside the forest."

"Wait, we met Momiji before." I point out to Keine. "She was in the mansion that we stayed in for the night."

"Hmm?" Keine tilts her head. "What happened to her?"

"We stopped her and released her outside the mansion. We don't know what else happened after that." Haku confirms.

"Ah. Well, thank you for not killing her." Keine raises her right paw and pats each of us on the head. "Anyways, to continue,

there's also Aya Shameimaru, a crow like the others you've seen. However, she wears a distinct autumn patterned scarf and can understand human speech like I can. There's also her friend Hatate Himekaidou, the same kind of crow with a purple checkerboard patterned scarf instead. Next, a sparrow named Mystia Lorelei, she is very friendly and used to sell grilled lamprey before she transformed."

Haku scratches her hair. "Too many birds to keep track of."

Keine pats Haku on the head again. "I'm sorry if several of my friends are birds, haha.

Lastly, there's Chen and Ran Yakumo. Chen is a two tailed black cat and there's no question to where she's at, it's easy to predict that she's living at Mayohiga to the north with all of her cat friends. Ran Yakumo is... no other way to say it, but she's a fox with nine tails, immensely powerful. I do not know how she has been since the incident, but I hope she's as sociable as she was before."

I ponder at the information Keine's given me. "Thank you very much. Any idea what was up with tonight though?"

Keine looks away from us. "My observations are showing that there's an incoming omen slowly sweeping the land of Gensokyo... and it's growing. It's driving the feral youkai wild and causing them to act very aggressive, causing many problems all over the area. The climax of this event is something we have to prepare for and very soon."

I get up with Haku and bow. "Alright, we'll be ready for when the time comes."

Keine slowly stands on her feet and walks off with a final word. "Make sure of it. It's going to be a difficult fight."

Haku takes me back to the room Aijuu told us to sleep in and sits with me while I lie down.

"We've got to find Master quickly, before the omen gets worse." Haku pleads with me quietly.

I roll on my side and wrap the blanket over myself. "I know, but you told me yourself, I need rest. Besides, we can't do anything right right now, so we should get some sleep."

Haku lies down as well and slides in with me under the blanket. "Okay okay, but I'm telling you-"

"Yes, we'll find Master. Sleep already." I doze off as Haku hugs me around my chest.

The warmth from Haku's body makes my injuries feel less painful. Slightly.
>>No. 26808
File 133788088956.jpg - (503.37KB, 600x600, MA27pic2.jpg) [iqdb]
26808
...



The fateful day when Master's friend arrived at our home. Our Master had received a letter that she would be coming to our humble house and now here she was at the front door.

She stood straight, rigid like the trees in our garden and slightly taller than our Master. She has short brown hair and pink eyes, a strange quality from anyone I've seen before. Her elegant kimono was sky blue with a pattern that depicted a precise recreation of the sakura leaves that fall in spring.

Her eyes swept across the interior of the house as she then bowed gracefully and greeted Master, "Hello, Youmu. I see that you've been quite steady with your quest for organization, hoho."

Master produced a smile across her face and bowed as well.

However, I became severely disgruntled with how she addressed Master and called her friend out on it. "Please call her Miss Konpaku!"

Master held her arm against my chest and pushed me back. "I apologize for my disciple's behavior."

Haku ran up beside Master and leaned forward with intrigue. "Who's this, Master?"

Master twirled her hand and introduced us to the new person in front of us. "This is Yuyuko Saigyouji, my best friend. She will now be staying with us."

Yuyuko giggles. "Both of you should enjoy my company, I'm more lenient than Youmu, so don't worry!"

Master walked forward, gripped Yuyuko's hand with her right hand and placed her left hand on top. "Welcome to the family, Yuyuko. I'd like you to meet my students Roukanken and Hakurouken."

Still, I gritted my teeth with a cross expression towards this person, 'Yuyuko'. She seemed like nothing but trouble, a plague that would wither my Master's senses and destroy our bonds.

It was inevitable, I knew that the worst would happen.

After that fateful day...



...

"Gah!" I wake up startled and after the instant, start to scratch my head. "Ugh, it feels like such a headache."

Haku rolls off of me and screams. "Rou! What happened!?"

"Oh, sorry Haku." I put my hands down to support myself. "I just had a bad dream, that's all. We better get going now."

"Alright, let's say our farewells to Kogasa and Aijuu then." Haku stands up and leaves the room while I shortly follow suit.

Aijuu is in the living room when she quickly notices us and waves to us. "Both of you are awake! Are you ready to leave now?"

I nod my head. "Yes, we were about to."

Aijuu walks up to me and hands me a necklace of... magatama beads. "Keine told me to give this to you, Rou. She said it would protect you from evil spirits."

"Thank Keine for me then." I pick up my knapsack while Haku picks up her tree.

"By the way, I would like to ask where you are heading." Aijuu bows.

"Oh, ummm..." I stand around looking dumb for a moment. "Can you tell us where we can go to look for Master?"

"I can help you with that." Aijuu answers. "There's...

[ ] The hill to the southeast. (1)
[ ] The sunflower field to the east. (1)
[ ] The temple to the northeast. (1)
[ ] Mayohiga to the north. (1)
[ ] The castle to the northwest. (1)
[ ] The bamboo forest to the west. (1)

Inventory:
Roukanken: Katana, Knapsack (Cloth Bindings/Loaves of Bread/Small Bag of Salt/Sweet Potatoes/Whetstones), Memento
Hakurouken: Wakizashi, Her Favorite Tree (Bottle (Water)/ Bottle (Spring))
>>No. 26810
guess who's good at remembering inventories

I'll add the Magatama Necklace to Rou's inventory for the next update.
>>No. 26838
[x] Mayohiga to the north. (1)

If anyone has an idea of what's going on it'd be Ran and Chen.
>>No. 26840
[x] Mayohiga to the north. (1)

Let’s visit cat country.
>>No. 26887
[S] Mayohiga to the north. (1)
Except Mayohiga is a state of mind that you can never truly leave
>>No. 27066
File 133835717980.png - (187.70KB, 620x800, MA28pic.png) [iqdb]
27066
[X] Mayohiga to the north. (1)

"Can you say hello to Chen for me then?" Aijuu asks me for a favor.

"Oh, the two tailed black cat?" I put the magatama necklace on. "Sure, Aijuu."

I start to leave when Aijuu quickly grabs me by the shoulder.

"One more thing!" She points at my necklace. "That necklace's power is at its strongest when the beads are together, so don't separate them."

"I'll keep it safe. It'll remind me of you." I nod delightfully. "Bye, I hope we meet again!"

Aijuu waves her hand at me as I walk out the door. "Bye..."

Haku and I walk down the stairs and pass by Kogasa.

"Oh, you're leaving?" Kogasa grins at the two of us. "Have fun then!"

"See you soon, Kogasa. We had a lot of fun!" Haku responds to Kogasa.

She waves to us as well while we head around the house and north, towards Mayohiga.


We walk through the wide grassy plains to Mayohiga under a bright blue sky while I chew on half of a loaf of bread. Haku walks to the left of me, still carrying around her tree. It has surprisingly not withered to its death yet; is it magic or something?

"So that necklace is supposed to protect us from evil spirits?" Haku inquires. "What is an evil spirit anyways?"

"I assume it's one of those ghosts who look dumb and say things like 'buh buh I'm going to haunt you forever' and such." I laugh as I look down on the necklace and take another bite of the loaf. "They shouldn't be scary at all, we can just cut them asunder and not worry about it."

Haku looks at me awkwardly. "But aren't evil spirits incorporeal? How do you cut things like that?"

"We were taught how to do that. I mean, don't you remember the tec-" I suddenly get firmly pushed to the ground from the side as someone runs into me, tumbling past me and falling face first into the grass. "OUCH! Watch where you're going!"

Haku backs up as she looks at the person who bumped into me. "Wait, you look a bit familiar..."

"Ughhh, my face. Seven percent pain." The girl rolls around before she gets up. "Let me introduce myself. I'm the legendary...

The Hakkero!

...and that I'm sorry about running into you. I was just chasing an interesting bird overhead and wasn't watching where I was going." Her blonde hair flutters as she re-adjusts her goggles and picks up her backpack that fell off during the tumble.

This girl again? I really don't want to deal with her, but I'm sure she didn't see us when we escaped to the mansion, so we should be fine.

"Yeah, I'm fine." I get up from the grass with my remaining piece of bread and dust off my dark green yukata. "What was interesting about that bird anyways?"

"Two things!" Hakkero puts up two fingers with her right hand in front of my face. "One, she was wearing a weird purple black checkerboard scarf! Two, she was flying from the forest where my house is at to the temple over that a-way! And while I was napping too!"

"Riiiiight." I roll my eyes.

"Seriously!" She pouts at my rejection of what she witnessed. "Look, uhhh... what's your name?"

"Roukenkan. My sister over there is Hakurouken." I point out to Hakkero.

"Yeah! Rou, I'm pretty sure I was not dreaming this up or else I wouldn't have run into you!"

"So what do you want me to do?" I swallow the rest of my bread piece.

"Follow me and find that bird! Are you willing to come with the legendary The Hakkero?"

[ ] Are you kidding me? We're still going to Mayohiga. (1)
[ ] Follow The Hakkero and look for the bird at the temple. (1)
[ ] Try to convince The Hakkero to come with us to Mayohiga. (1)

Inventory:
Roukanken: Katana, Knapsack (Cloth Bindings/Loaves of Bread/Small Bag of Salt/Sweet Potatoes/Whetstones), Magatama Necklace, Memento
Hakurouken: Wakizashi, Her Favorite Tree (Bottle (Water)/ Bottle (Spring))
>>No. 27070
[x] Try to convince The Hakkero to come with us to Mayohiga. (1)

I wonder if the group'd get side tracked by Hatate and the temple.
>>No. 27079
[x] Are you kidding me? We're still going to Mayohiga. (1)
>>No. 27107
[x] Follow The Hakkero and look for the bird at the temple. (1)

And boldface The Hakkero's name, guys. You lose the essence of hamminess if you don't.
>>No. 27176
[x] Are you kidding me? We're still going to Mayohiga. (1)

Sorry, The Hakkero. Maybe later?
>>No. 27214
[y] Try to convince The Hakkero to come with us to Mayohiga. (1)

I'm completely expecting check failed, in all honesty.
>>No. 27270
Tiebreaker vote.
>>No. 27284
[ ] Try to convince The Hakkero to come with us to Mayohiga. (1)
>>No. 27460
[x] Are you kidding me? We're still going to Mayohiga. (1)

Because I want to piss off people.
>>No. 27591
Sorry for the week long delay. I'm pretty sure it's been longer than that, but I'll update tomorrow/today.

Taking the vote as:
[X] Try to convince The Hakkero to come with us to Mayohiga. (1)

I apologize, >>27460.
>>No. 28337
>>27591
I bet you I can get Choja to feel guilty by not posting anything of significance here!
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