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File 129958011917.jpg - (539.16KB, 800x560, 5b63b3da8114a206b573ff8d09b712dc.jpg) [iqdb]
[x] Seek out Youmu's advice
-[x] Ask if she knows any self-training exercise.

You had some better success with Youmu. You want to keep trying with Ran, but maybe you're getting ahead of yourself just a tad as she said. You decide though that wondering whether or not you made the right choice is not an important matter right at this second. Clearance for now is what you need, so you go and look for Youmu and see if she can enlighten you just a bit further. While you feel you might be able to surpass Youmu easily with a little effort, you never got to talk much with her. Then again, this feeling is just based on how well you performed against her hand to hand. It could be totally different when actual weapons are involved. Though, you're not sure if you really want to find out.

The mansion feels eerily empty. The kind of emptiness you would expect from a broken heart. You hope you didn't let anyone down. You can't say you're too worried about Yukari, you think she'll live, but everyone else seems to be depending on you too. For what, you don't know, but you feel it's important that you don't be discouraged in light of this and try and prove yourself to everyone else.

Look at you...you feel like you're some grade schooler again, showing up his peers in some silly playground game. Despite all this, it could turn out to have very real involvement with death here.

You eventually find your way around after much random stumbling through the mansion. You come out an unknown entrance and into a vast garden, filled to the brim with the many cherry blossom trees you've become familiar with, along with a wide variety of flowers, including spider lilies. It's all very morbid, yet astonishingly beautiful all at the same time. While staring in awe of the magnificent flora before you, you spy Youmu tending to one of the plants at the far side. She's trimming it with a pair of large cutters, rather nimbly at that. She must've been a gardener for a very long time. It isn't until she turns around enough while tending to the foliage that he happens to see you, resulting in stopping your awkward staring at her.

"Oh, Satoya. You're awake. Should you not be at the front resuming your training?"

"Ah, yeah, well, about that..." You start off with, walking over to her while scratching the back of your head somewhat nervously. You're a tad embarrassed too, that you would just lose so quickly against Ran when you held up so well against Youmu herself.

"It is not too late. You can continue your training with me, if you wish."

"Uhh, I'll think about it...but for right now, I just wanted to ask something. Did you ever have someone teach you of your own? Or are you all self taught?" Youmu gives you a peculiar look for a brief moment before deciding to go back to her gardening as she talks with you.

"I did indeed have a master that had taught me since I was very, very young. All I know comes from him."

"Oh...I see." Hmm, puts a bit of a damper on your plans. You don't think that helps your cause too much, since that means she might not have any good solutions for you going about this alone for now. However, after a little hesitation, as if to gauge you for something, she resumes after a short pause.

"...He had left me a while ago, though. I have been trying to train myself without his guidance since. My master taught me a lot about self sufficiency and about how important it is, and I have been applying that to myself since he left."

"Ah, really? Then--" Before you can really ask, Youmu looks back at you with a serious look on her face, and interrupts you, though with her face being the way it is, it's hard to tell if it's serious or just her being the way she normally is.

"But it's not something I was able to do right away. Self training is a difficult procedure that requires much more concentration and flexibility. You will not have the benefit of someone telling you whether or not you are doing it correctly."

"I'll only know until I try it out on someone else that knows what they're doing, right?"

"In my case, I will not know if my self training has benefited me until it's too late. Lady Yukari is doing you a big favor by allowing you the chance to train under some of the strongest youkai in Gensokyo. You should be thankful." You're really not sure if you can feasibly manage that. Being thankful to Yukari of all people sounds as if it'd be a battle against your own common sense, particularly in the way Youmu mentions. Still though, she's rather honorable.

"R-Right. I'll keep that in mind sometime...so do you have any tips on how I can get used to my spear alone then?" Youmu then crosses her arms, looking up at you.

"I have plenty. But up until now, you were intent on learning on your own and getting through it on your own strength. Did something happen?"

...ah. You can't bear to say it. You wanted to, but it pains you to say that your own strength kinda...failed you.

"...there is no need to explain. I know. It is still difficult for me myself to accept my own failures, even now. It is understandable that someone like you would have trouble dealing with it too." S-Someone like you? What is she talking about...? "I will help you, but I think it would be in both our better interests if I could give you hands on training myself. There is only but so much I can teach you through words alone."

"There you go with that again. Why are you so obsessed with sparring with me instead of Ran doing it?" In what you feel is typical of Youmu, despite not having known her very long, her expression and tone of voice doesn't change even as you criticize her.

"It is Lady Yukari's wish to train you into someone that could possess equal power to Ran's, and possibly even surpass it. I know how training works, and I am trying to get you to follow that track. As Lady Ran has told you, you must work your way from the bottom and go up. Sparring with someone as strong as her is counter intuitive." You gotta hand it to Youmu, not afraid to admit who's stronger then she is. Still though, you can't back down from your decision now. Not yet anyways.

"Thanks but I'll be the judge of that myself." Youmu then closes her eyes to you.

"Then you shall receive no such help from me. If you are able to be on Lady Ran's level, there is nothing I can teach you."

Well, that was a bit of a bust. As disappointed as you are though, you let sleeping dogs lie and leave Youmu to her own devices. Things right now feel quite rough on the edges. You'll have to smooth things out sooner or later.

As you walk out into the living room just outside the field you train in, you see Yukari and Yuyuko sitting at the table, with Ran standing nearby. All three of them look at you as you enter. The first one to speak is Yukari, with her usual line of greeting to you, up until you get this finished most likely.

"Satoya~ Ready to resume training?"

You almost feel abhorrent to it now, almost just because of her, but after looking at Ran's expressionless face staring at you, you just can't refuse.

"...yeah. Let's get started."

"Wonderful! That's the spirit~"

You can see Ran's seriousness behind the cold stare she's sending to you. She means business. But you really want to show her up for some reason...maybe it was the way she underestimated you earlier, and then was let down by your sub par performance soon after. But you just can't let it go. You know for a fact though, that continuing down this path might just be an exercise in futility. Oh, decisions.

You suppose if you want to mention something to Yukari, you should do it now.

[ ] It's okay, you'll continue with Ran
[ ] Ask for Youmu's training now
[ ] Ask the training from someone else
[x] It's okay, you'll continue with Ran

Stubborn as a mule. We'll either get it right or die trying. As an aside, we've been training for what feels like forever. Is there any end in sight?
[x] Ask for Youmu's training now

I say it's time for a switch. If we just keep getting pounded, I don't think that will get any respect from anyone. Ran will understand and in case not, we'll clear it up later.

Apart from that, I'm slightly worried about our opinion of Yukari. If this keeps up, we're going to blurt out something that may offend not just her, but Ran and Chen too.
[x] Ask for Youmu's training now

Getting rolled over by Ran nigh-instantly every time isn't really helping.


Not related to Sukima's story, but why the hell do people keep sageing votes? It's the one thing you should not sage. People have been doing it all the time lately.
[x] It's okay, you'll continue with Ran

Howewer, this update was a little complicated. I had difficulties to figure who was talking.
Maybe because they think that every post who's not an update should be saged? I can understand that, so I won't throw anything at them.
[x] Ask for Youmu's training now

Considering we'll see Ran far more often than Youmu, we'll have far more opportunities to practice with Ran than we will with Youmu. Let's not waste this chance.

That and... Maybe Youmu would like fighting another weapon user for once (even if she won't say it)? A bit hard to test your swordsmanship with Danmaku after all. It won't do much since we're a beginner of course, but once we start getting better...
[X] Ask for Youmu's training now

Ran's too proud to use any less than her full power. Youmu has the right idea, you need to work your way up.
The logic behind sparring with Ran was that she was more experienced and the one we would be working with. This backfired when it became clear that Ran isn't the type to hold back.

[X] Ask for Youmu's training now

You don't learn how to walk by constantly trying to run at full speed.

It only feels like forever because I update on a highly sporadic scale.

At this rate I might not finish this story until the end of never.
It makes it harder for people to notice the update.

[x] Ask for Youmu's training now

We're not up there yet, and it's hard to learn anything when you get 1-2shoted. And we saw what happened when we tapped into THAT. Basically with Ran it's too little or too much.
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[x] Ask for Youmu's training now

"Uh, excuse me." You stop Yukari as she's getting up, and proceed with your request. "If it's alright...could I resume training with Youmu, instead?"

You don't know why, but both Yukari and Ran are looking at you a little stunned for some reason. Is...is there something on your face? Yuyuko on the other hand, is quite ecstatic to hear it.

"Absolutely~ I'll go relieve her from her gardening now then~" Yuyuko hurries out the room quite happily, leaving you alone in an awkward silence with Yukari and Ran. Soon though, it's broken by your would-be master, giving you a smug smile.

"Satoya, you were doing so well, why the sudden change of heart? Baby can't go on without his bottle~?"

"W-What? What are you talking about? Ran said it herself that I shouldn't jump so far ahead in my training, right?"

You said all this before actually looking at Ran. You catch her just in time to see her looking away from you awkwardly, before coming back to you with her usual expression.

"Yes, you're right. You made the right choice. You should get familiar with your weapon first before moving on to bigger things. Good luck with Youmu."

Eh...you hope you didn't hurt her feelings or something. Even though she was rather off on the idea of training with you to begin with. Man, women...!

Soon enough, you're back outside on the field facing Youmu. Yukari and Yuyuko are sitting on the porch as usual. Yukari seems content, as training is training to her you suppose. Yuyuko seems especially happy. You guess because Youmu is getting attention. She seems to really care for her as a master. You really wish Yukari were the same way, but it just feels like you're nothing but a tool to her. Ran is standing nearby, watching intently. The look on her face, while it is the same as it has ever been, creeps you out a little now. You'll need to get on better terms with her sometime.

Chen is missing. You briefly wonder where she could be, but now isn't a good time to wonder about such things.

"Satoya," Youmu starts, holding one of her somewhat large swords in both hands, "are you ready? I will come at you from various angles and you must block them accordingly."

You take a quick look over at your small audience. Yuyuko looks quite happy to watch, and Yukari, as usual, is cheering you on. You might be appreciative of it more if you didn't know why. "...yeah. I'm ready. Let's go."

Youmu steadies herself a bit before running at you, slow enough for you to tell that she's coming at least. You really don't want to screw this up, however. That blade looks sharp and very detrimental to your health should it come in contact with your soft, fleshy body.

Then it hits you. The handle of your spear is wood. Blades cut wood.

How are you supposed to block it?!

You think fast and try to move your hands further up the handle as quickly as possible, and try to simply deflect Youmu's oncoming attack. It succeeds, but just barely, you haphazardly meet Youmu's steel blade with the blunt side of your spear and you nearly take a tumble, whereas Youmu quickly recovers and magnificently leaps over you. Had she been serious, a single attack from behind would have murdered you right then and there, but she gives you enough time to regroup yourself and turn around before bringing her sword down upon you again. You block it much better this time, swiftly swinging your weapon and clashing with Youmu's, with enough force and timing to knock it out of one of Youmu's hands.

Blocking with the spear is difficult, but you try and use your heightened senses to make it easier. You set yourself up with the goal that in order to successfully block an attack, you need to use the spear's long reach and wide swinging range to create a very temporary but effective shield. It's not a very efficient method of attack in itself, but swinging it broadly makes you hard to approach as you soon learn, as even if you're a little early on your swing, it still stops Youmu lest she risk being cut open by the spear's sharp edges. After a while, you get used to the timing, and once you're able to consistently stop Youmu's attacks, she starts speeding up. But you feel a bit more confident now, and in a way, it helps you pay better attention to your senses.

Training continues much like it did before you Yukari handed you a weapon to train with. But it goes a lot more smoothly, of course, not ending with your arms in a bloody pulp. You nearly get cut in half a few times, but Youmu always ends up stopping herself just before she slices you. She's extremely experienced; her nimbleness with her sword is no joke. She could perform many exotic and complicated movements smoothly with it, no doubt. This is just with one sword too, she has another in reserve. You don't let her stop you though. Even after two times asking if you're ready to take a break, you tell her to keep going. You're really into this for some reason, you've never actually felt so in tune with your senses. Being able to listen to them loud and clear is almost inhuman.

"Ah...ah, aren't you gonna attack again?" You ask Youmu, panting and trying to catch your breath in meantime, setting yourself up for the next assault. Of course, Youmu has to even come close to breaking a sweat.

"I think it is time you took a break and reflected on what you've learned thus far. I think any further training right now is unnecessary." You feel...disappointed, for some reason.

"Huh? Aww, come on. It could never be unnecessary!"

"As much as I would like to see you continue improving like this Satoya, I think Youmu's right~" You look over to your would-be master, who is in middle of standing her grandiose self up. "This is the first time you've managed to complete a round of training without pushing yourself too far. I'm quite proud of you of course~ You should think of how you're going to advance further though, so do come inside."

You still feel fired up. It seems like a total waste of energy, but you suppose you shouldn't let your will get the best of you and get yourself hurt. Maybe Youmu's right anyways, you have to strengthen the mind as well as the body.

You give a big sigh as you sit down on the porch where Yukari once sat. She had went inside together with Ran, and Youmu is about to follow until Yuyuko asks something of her.

"Youmu, could you prepare some dinner in celebration of Satoya's achievement? I'm sure Yukari is hungry too~"

"Right away, Lady Yuyuko." Youmu bows and heads back inside. You're left outside sitting together with Yuyuko. You're a bit focused on catching your breath though. It feels as if the more you try and rest, the more you realize how much energy you expended out there. It's a good thing Youmu stopped you when she did.

"So Satoya, how is it?"

"H-Huh?" Yuyuko strikes a conversation with you out of nowhere, so you're not exactly prepared to think of what she might mean, causing her to stifle a small laugh.

"Your training. Youmu has been teaching you very well, as I can see."

"Oh, yeah...you could say that." A lot easier then Ran, that's for sure. "But...I dunno if I'm really going anywhere with it yet. I mean, yeah, I'm improving, but-"

"But not as fast as you could be?" After a little hesitation, you answer her.

"...yeah. That's exactly it."

"You were a human at one point, weren't you? I've long forgotten what it was like to be a human." You feel a little twinge in your heart hearing that. Memories come swimming back to you as you remember who you're talking to. "But I imagine the transition from human to youkai has been a very different experience for you."

"..." After thinking about it for a few moments, you remember just how you felt when you first got dragged into this world. You're not quite sure how you feel about it anymore. "Yeah, it's...interesting, to say the least."

"Have you been having problems?"

"I think I did at first, but...I dunno. I--"

[ ] I still can't believe it. It's all so unreal.
[ ] I think I could get used to this after some time.
[ ] I don't particularly feel like myself anymore. Like it's all a dream.
[ ] I can't see myself doing this for long, I want to go back home already.
[x] I think I could get used to this after some time.

Satoya's still pretty new at this. Time should let his mind adapt to it. If anything, the human mind is good at adaptation.

So, if I think about the training went...
We first got hand-to-hand training with Youmu. We got a spear. We foolishly then chose to fight Ran without exactly knowing how to fight with said spear. We gained awareness of the Beast inside. Got more traing with Ran, but didn't exactly do much. At the very least, we got a bit of understanding on how a real fight goes, since real foes won't stop between attacks either. But as she's fired up, we switch to Youmu and training goes far better (...May Ran be affected by how we didn't end as a bloody pulp this time?).

Man, that wasn't our best day. We have to speak with Ran soon. I think Youmu likes Satoya more (or is it simply a bit more respect?), maybe remembered a bit how she was herself when she started.
[x] I don't particularly feel like myself anymore. Like it's all a dream.

The person who Satoya is now is intrinsically different from the him of yesterday. It feels like he is slowly growing into a different person, for good or ill. It's a little alarming, though it's not like he has a choice in the matter.
[X] I don't particularly feel like myself anymore. Like it's all a dream.

Back in thread one, could you imagine the bored college professor would end up wanting to spar for hours at a time? Because I don't think the old Satoya could.
[+] I don't particularly feel like myself anymore. Like it's all a dream.
[X] I don't particularly feel like myself anymore. Like it's all a dream.

When one goes through an identity crisis, this tends to happen.
[x] I think I could get used to this after some time.
[x] I don't particularly feel like myself anymore. Like it's all a dream.

Is Yuyuko going to make it feel all better?
I think this is a choice on how he feels about things, such as how much he likes it. If it was just on logic alone, I doubt the writer would have bothered with choices.
[x] I don't particularly feel like myself anymore. Like it's all a dream.
Dunno, though I'd think Ran'd be more likely to try to help.

Hopefully that choice isn't aiming towards a "back in the outside, having those memories erased" type ending.
[ ] I don't particularly feel like myself anymore. Like it's all a dream.
[X] I don't particularly feel like myself anymore. Like it's all a dream.

He didn't expect to get a Degree in ass kicking.
[x] I don't particularly feel like myself anymore. Like it's all a dream.

"A dream?" Yuyuko inquires, a little puzzled by your notion seemingly.

"Yeah. Like somewhere I fell asleep, and now I'm acting in the stead of someone else in my dream."

"Hmm, I see~" You look over to Yuyuko, she's happily staring up at the unnatural sky of the Hakugyokurou as if it weren't the least bit strange to her. As it this were her home...you're afraid that one day, you might end up feeling the same way, at which point, could you really say you're still the same Kotono Satoya that walked in and out of college, teaching students almost every day? No, you would be Yakumo Satoya at that point...a point you're not entirely sure you feel comfortable with.

"I just...don't know much about myself like I used to. Sometimes I feel like I'll wake up suddenly and everything will be just a distant memory."

"Well, they do call Gensokyo the Land of Dreams and Illusion. Maybe everything you're seeing and experiencing is truly a dream of yours, Satoya~" You take a few moments to just sort of stare at Yuyuko. You can't help it, you want to believe she's trying to cheer you up or otherwise make you feel better, but kind of comes off more like a rather ludicrous thing to say to you right now.

"Lady Yuyuko, dinner is ready!" You hear Youmu's voice calling out from within the mansion as you're trying to make sense of what Yuyuko just said. That was rather fast.

"Already?" Yuyuko says, taking it right out of your head. "Well then..." After standing up, she offers you her assistance with a kind, warm smile. "We should do our best to make sure your dream plays out exactly how it is supposed to, right?"


You're starting to see it. A lot of the whimsical nature that Yukari has, it's certainly rubbed off on the woman before you. As a result, she's quite joyous, even during serious talk. It sheds a bit of newfound light on what transpired in the past, you think. Whatever must have happened, Yukari had to have been the one that brought Yuyuko back up on her feet. At least, that's the most logical conclusion you could come up with. The flighty and carefree nature of Yuyuko, although subtle, very much reminds you of Yukari. Given how close they seem to be, you guess it only makes sense. Well...you suppose that for as irresponsible and careless Yukari is, maybe there's something good to be said about it too. You just wish you didn't feel like a tool to her. Maybe Ran can help with that, since she seems to place so much trust into her.

"Satoya~ Ready to eat and prepare for your next round of training?" Yukari almost instantly reminds you why you detested her so much the moment you enter the room after Yuyuko.

"You're in a big hurry to get me ready for...whatever it is you want me to do."

"Hmhmhm, don't concern yourself too much with the details, Satoya. Simply relish in the fact that I am doing you such a large favor~"

"Yeah, we'll certainly see about that now won't we?" Your skepticism hits hard around the table you sit yourself down at, as you actually expected.

"I wouldn't be so thoughtless of what you've been taught thus far, self defense is a very important skill in life." Of course Youmu would be a little hurt by it, she's really been the one teaching you throughout this entire time in Yukari's stead.

"Satoya, don't you think you're being a little harsh? You haven't been training too long yet." Ran is certainly protective of her master, that's for sure. You don't even know how long it's been since you got here...you've been out of it for the most part. It could be anywhere between a day to...close to a week. That's what it feels like.

"Yeah, if you can do this much with just a little training Satoya, I want to see what you can with a whole lot!" Even Chen is on Yukari's side, making you feel quite outnumbered. Come to think of it, when did she get here? Her presence seems to elude you a bit, it seems.

"Let's just make sure that Satoya can complete his training according to the natural order of things. After all, that's how the dream goes." Yuyuko, after saying something so cryptic so casually, looks over back at you with a smile. "Isn't that right?"

"Uhh...yeah. Sure." Looking over at the rest of the group, they seem equally as puzzled, except for Yukari, seems to have gone about and ignored it in favor of the food in front of her. Somehow this seems typical of her.

The meal was simple but sufficiently good. You pack it away a little quickly, feeling anxious for some reason. As you're finishing up, Youmu takes notice of this.

"Satoya, is something the matter? There is no need to be hasty."

"Huh? No, I feel just fine." That's a bit of a lie, as to be honest, you certainly feel a little jumpy right now. You can't explain why. "Why, am I eating too fast?"

"Well, it is a bit of a cause for concern when you eat nearly as fast as Lady Yuyuko." Youmu says this so nonchalantly, but as you look over to your side, you see the pink haired lady has already finished her portion.

"Mmm, thanks for the food~"


"No need to apologize, but if something is wrong, do not hesitate to tell us."

"Really Satoya, can't be bothered to tell your dear old master what's wrong~?" The way Yukari talks to you is even more unnerving in and of itself, but Ran and Chen eerily enough seem to stay silent even as you expect them to follow up on Yukari. The hesitation allows room for Yuyuko, still beside you, to interject.

"Satoya is to be inducted into your family after the training is done, correct? Maybe he's just a little nervous about how that might go?" You're really not sure if that's it. In fact, you're pretty sure that's not it, but it is an interesting point to make nonetheless. This woman is going to be your master and yet...you really don't know much about her.

"Lady Yuyuko has a point," Ran begins saying, making note that the visa versa is just as true. "What of us does Satoya really know? I myself don't know much about him myself..."

"Well, I was planning on letting that fall into place naturally by itself." Yukari looks so confidence and smug right now, you feel like slapping that smile clean off her face. But you resist handily, thankfully. "But, if such a thing is a problem I don't see why we can't rectify that now~" You look across the table at your 'family' before you. You never would have imagined that these people would be ones you would be living with soon enough. Much less actual youkai, rather then humans.

"Well, there are a few things on my mind..."

[ ] What kind of person is Yukari?
[ ] Why doesn't Ran fight physically anymore?
[ ] How does Chen relate to all this?
[ ] Why does Yukari need more servants?
[x] Why does Yukari need more servants?

Might as well start with the most important question, even if it's in a roundabout manner. Just why in the hell are we here? Though, to be honest, I have no hope of getting an actual concrete answer.
[x] Why does Yukari need more servants?

Kind of have to agree with this. It may be less of 'we don't know much about them' and more on 'Feeling like an outsider in the group'. Mmm... What kind of question as a write-in could touch that subject?
[x] Why does Yukari need more servants?

She already seems to have plenty of powerful friends and servants, why does she need more?
[x] Why does Yukari need more servants?

Other questions are interesting, but as >>25302 said, it's the most important thing.
Rather, aren't questions 2 and 3 something you should ask in private? And we'll never get a clear answer on 1.
[♦] Why does Yukari need more servants?

#1 can only truly be learned through experience.
#2 is a bit of a personal question that should be asked of Ran, alone.
#3 is of less importance than #4.
[x] Why does Yukari need more servants?
[x] Why does Yukari need more servants?

I doubt Yukari will answer this straight-up, but it's worth a try.
[ ] Why does Yukari need more servants?
There's not much she would give a straight answer to.
So I'm going to end this story where it is right now due to real life issues, time constraints and general laziness. So, I'm going to go ahead and give away the entire story right here, right now.

First of all, Yukari did it. Don't ask what she did, she just did it.

Ran had the hots for Satoya and secretly masturbated to him every time he slept. She was just sexually frustrated however and eventually would have led to a hot BDSM scene with her if Satoya stuck his nose in too far (if you catch my drift)

Chen is actually a Chen from the distant future with the ability to change her form and looks to fool everyone, even her master. Finding this out would have resulted in a huge, complex ending where Satoya travels forward in time to save the future Gensokyo but end up losing Chen because of it, leading to a bittersweet ending.

Yuyuko had chocolate marshmallows.

Youmu had no route but because I'm a bitch, if you would have pushed for it, there probably would have eventually been one where Satoya has three kids and a dog with her.

Reisen murdered all of Satoya's friends and family.

Rin was actually manipulating Yuyuko from the very start, while being manipulated by Toyohime herself, who in turn was being manipulated by Yukari. See? I told you she did it.

Satoya's heritage is that of a True Blood, a mystical race of youkai with extreme adaptability skills and inherently large cocks, though Satoya doesn't realize this until many women have already had a taste of him, if you know what I mean.

Oh, and happy April Fool's. Update tomorrow, I promise.
>yuko from the very start, while being manipulated by Toyohime herself,

This was the precise moment I realized. I feel like such a fucking retard for not getting it sooner.

Preemptive hooray before that other guy does it.
Fuckin' knew it.

>Satoya's heritage is that of a True Blood, a mystical race of youkai with extreme adaptability skills and inherently large cocks, though Satoya doesn't realize this until many women have already had a taste of him, if you know what I mean.


Tons of April 1st jokes this year.
You magnificent bastard.
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[x] Why does Yukari need more servants?

"My Satoya, if that's your way of getting familiar with someone maybe you'd be better off as law enforcement like the miko~" You don't even know who Yukari is referring to, but already you don't like it for some reason.

"Well it would certainly shed some light as to why I would need to get familiar with you." Yukari stifles a laugh at your jab at her, clearly enjoying going back and forth with you like this.

"Hmhmhm~ What's the matter? Would you rather get more acquainted with Ran?" She then shoots you a sly, mischievous look. "Or maybe Chen? I knew you were different Satoya but to be interested in that kind of..."

"Would you just shut up?!" You have to resist slamming your fists down on the table before you. You can't believe this wench is spouting such nonsense at you. Ran, seemingly ignoring your burst of rage, looks at her master a bit confused.

"Lady Yukari, what are you implying?" Yukari lets loose another chuckle before waving her hand at her shikigami nonchalantly.

"It's nothing to worry yourself about, Ran honey. Satoya wanted to feel closer to me and I'm helping him do just that~"

"It feels more like a wild goose chase off a cliff's edge." You let another snappy comment escape your mouth after Yukari teases you again. She seems to be enjoying it. You, on the other hand, don't know how much longer you could keep this up without breaking something.

"Well, your poor choice of getting to know one another aside, Satoya, why would you ask something as insolent as that, anyhow?" This woman is getting on your nerves, but at least she's said something relevant for once.

"Well, Ran seems quite capable of a whole lot on her own, so much so that she has her own shikigami, and even barring that, you appear to be very powerful yourself, so I really don't see any need for someone extra like me." You then deliver the next line rather matter-of-factly. "And I think that if you really needed some more slaves to do your chores there's plenty of maids and butlers out there that will happily do your bidding without the need to pick out someone as apparently 'special' as me."

Somehow, as you would expect, Yukari gets a total kick out of this. Actually, it's more then you bargained for, as she laughs loud enough that even Yuyuko gives her a weird look. After Yukari is done cracking up and calms herself down, she gives you an eerily amused look.

"You may be observant Satoya but I've yet to see that get any better then your quick tongue. In any case, I'm afraid such knowledge is for me to know and for you to find out, no hard feelings however~" You can't believe what you're hearing. How could you agree to something like this without knowing? Probably because you really didn't have much choice in the matter anyways. You look at Ran, begging for her assistance with a pleadful look in your eyes, only for her to shake her head, telling you without words that she too, is clueless, and will forever remain clueless until the moment comes.

"You honestly expect me to go on like this without being told as to why I have to...?"

"Yes." She says it to you so flatly, so bluntly, so quickly, that you...really don't have a response to it at all. No one else says anything either as Yukari contently chews on more of her food. After a short moment, she leans forward, elbows clearly on the table, waving her chopsticks at you teasingly. "More importantly however, you haven't told us a thing about yourself Satoya. You got to ask your question so I think our turn is quite due~"

How do people around here put up with her acting like she's the almighty god of this place? Then again, she very well might be...but that doesn't make it any better. This is one god you don't want to worship and serve.

"What is there to know? My life up until now was very boring. I think you know this since you referenced it in that false survey you gave me."

"False? There was nothing false about it, I took every entry in it true to heart. Where do you come off saying it's false, hmm~?"

You feel like even with minor jabs that you throw at her she takes extreme interest and pleasure in sticking more thorns into your side as a result.

"It...ugh, never mind. All I did was teach dead languages in school. That's it. I lived alone, did things alone and grew up alone for the most part. That's how it was and I liked it that way. Any other questions?"

You're still looking at Yukari with a stern look, who's just staring at you quite amused. Her face might have been a factor as to why you didn't notice at first how almost everyone else was looking away a bit discomforted.

"Mmm, Satoya, you led a very boring life, I will agree, but maybe because of that you've become too accustomed to thinking of nothing but yourself~"

"H-Huh? I don't get it. Why is..."

...you feel a little too uncomfortable now to finish that. The air in the room just got hideously thick and heavy very suddenly. You're not entirely sure why. But it's very disconcerting. After a few moments of hesitation, Yuyuko stands up with the typical smile on her face.

"I think that if everyone is done eating, now would be a perfect time to resume on Satoya's training so that he graduate without delay. Ran, could I trouble you put away the dishes for Youmu while she helps Satoya?"

"I don't mind at all." With Ran's response, Youmu herself stands up.

"In that case, I shall get ready myself."

Over the commotion of everyone else getting up and getting ready, you and Yukari just sit there staring at each other. You, unsure of what's going to happen. Yukari, positive of what's going to happen. You're pretty unnerved, while Yukari is smiling a sly, content smile.

You think that maybe, deep down, you might be just a little scared of this woman. The unknown has it's way of drilling fear into the most fearless people.

So it begins. This time around, Youmu insists that the roles be reversed and that you go on the offensive while she attempts to defend. You were quite off on the idea at first until Youmu and Yukari convinced you that doing harm is a fundamental part of combat; it's unavoidable. It's either kill, or be killed. Somehow, you felt it would come down to that. Whenever you think about it, a deep, unsettling feeling rumbles around in your heart. You don't know what it wants, and you're too afraid to want to know. But in order to keep yourself calm and collected, you have to do this slowly. You already feel rather used to wielding the spear by now, or at least holding it in several different positions. Now it's time to test your actual skill with it.

As would be expected, your performance is incredibly mediocre at first. You worry about hurting Youmu, but she constantly and continuously reassures you that she will be fine. The longer it goes on, the more pressure you get from her. She is a very strict teacher, as you've found out. She talks to you as if you were the only one there with her, and eventually, your mindset starts mimicking that as well. Your attention and mind focus on Youmu and nothing but Youmu. It doesn't take you long to realize that this is how it should be, what your mindset in actual battle would look like; nothing but you and your opponent matters. At least, that is how you feel like Youmu is teaching you.

It feels like hours pass. You do nothing but trying to hone your skills and overcome Youmu's guard. It never actually happens, no matter how much Youmu pushes you to do so, but along the way, together with her teaching and your innate ability to adapt, you feel as if you have become vaguely skilled with swinging around the long spear in your hands. You're starting to impress yourself; it hasn't seemed like very long but you already have a basic grasp on how this thing works. You doubt you'll win any serious battles with it any time soon, but with practice comes perfection. Maybe in the end you were destined to handle this kind of weaponry, though the pacifist in you wants to thoroughly believe otherwise.

"I think that is enough, Satoya."

"Uhh...really? But I haven't been able to break your guard yet." Youmu then gives you a rather charming, if slight smile.

"You've been getting very close. I have to stop now to make sure you don't actually do it. I think you have the basic skill of attacking with the spear down now." Shortly after she finishes saying that, you hear excited clapping from further beside you, on the porch.

"Good job, Satoya! I knew you could do it!"

Yukari sounds like some giddy old hag, and it's very unbecoming. But you try your best to ignore it for now.

"So...uhh, what comes next then?"

"Whatever you desire. While you are most certainly not ready for real combat just yet, you are progressing as you should be and are capable of basic skill with your weapon." Youmu replies to you after you ask. A bit relieving actually, to know that you're advancing closer to the end of this arduous task called training. You're not sure what it is exactly that you're training for, but deep down, knowing that you're getting better at combat makes you feel a hell of a lot more secure in this strange, new world you're being exposed to.

[ ] Well, let's keep going then
[ ] I would like to learn something new
[ ] I want to test my power
[ ] Let's just take a break for now
[x] Well, let's keep going then

Ran seems a little too naive in this. You would think she'd have caught that little quip about Chen. I mean, she is over 800 years old.
Not exactly sure what to take yet, but didn't just Youmu stop us to avoid an actual accident like what happened with Ran?
[x] Well, let's keep going then

Let's end with training into go into full-life consequences and fighting youkais and goasts.
By the way Sukima, about the choice 'testing your power', is it testing our skills in a real fight or trying something with youkai power inside us?
the last time we went 9001% all out, it resulted in a bad end. So I'm wary of doing that.
Hence why I'm asking if this is even about that. Beside, when we took that, it was a 'going all-out' choice.
Don't be too wary. Or else the stoy will soon become boring.

I don't really want to have 6 threads about MC training endlessly and still thinking he's an unpowerful wanker.
I'm trying to make this story different from it's predecessor in that it's a lot more difficult (i.e. no hand holding the entire way through)

So a general warning, if I don't reply to a question about the story, I'm either avoiding spoilers or I want you to find out on your own.
[x] Well, let's keep going then.

Just don't push yourself too hard.
Consider me curious

[x] I want to test my power
[x] Well, let's keep going then

I think we would have infinitely more luck asking another question to someone else.
I'm going to give you guys some advance notice that I have an important project due before May and it's vital that I get it done before then, so I am going to put this story on hold most likely until then, or until I finish this, whichever comes first.

As a note though, my birthday is on April 25th. I'll try to come back sometime around there and post something good for my dearly beloved fans.
>As a note though, my birthday is on April 25th. I'll try to come back sometime around there and post something good for my dearly beloved fans.

[x] Well, let's keep going then

"You want to keep practicing this?" You nod to Youmu to affirm her of your decision.

"Yes. I think I can go somewhere using this spear. I'm not sure...but I'd like to try."

"If that is what you wish then. We shall continue practicing your swordplay in that case. That is, if you are still primed for training."

"Of course."

Youmu resumes practice with you, starting to teach you various techniques now that you can apply and watch out for in battle. You start feeling rather proficient with the spear and close combat in general. The more you swing your weapon, the lighter it seems to feel as well. The techniques you learn from Youmu are interesting and hard to really pull off successfully in practice, but you learn soon enough that they are very important for dealing with particular situations where your opponent might have an advantage. She also teaches you various techniques that allow you to gain the upper hand depending on the circumstances. As you practice with Youmu and she continues teaching you things, you discover that she is not only very skilled, but extremely knowledgeable in the ways of battle. Her master must have been a very experienced one. Youmu's knowledge will surely help you adapt to any scene you might find yourself in...provided you can deal with it by using only a spear, of course.

You end up not feeling the same 'youkai' urges you felt before. You're not sure if it went away, or just simply became natural to you at that point. Even as Youmu strikes you with the force of a megaton hammer, you don't fault the least bit, and shake it off like you were merely slapped on the wrist. When Youmu gives you her full force in one attack and you shrug it off with ease, it occurs to you that your physical strength may have indeed surpassed Youmu's by leaps and bounds. You didn't think it to be much possible. Maybe this is what Yukari meant? Communicating with your youkai strength? It all seems so natural now that you can hardly believe it felt so different before. You can't even be sure that your youkai power is coming forth to protect you but you know it has to, otherwise you would not be able to shake off such admirable blows. It soon becomes apparent to you that if you wanted to feel that burning sensation again, that deep, fiery beast growling deep inside you, it would have to take a lot more then Youmu to do it now. Eventually, you may be able to shrug off any amount of power thrown at you.

...maybe that could be considered as getting too far ahead of yourself, though.

"Satoya~ Don't you think it's time to take a break?" You stop sparring mildly with Youmu to look over at Yukari. She appears to be the only one sitting on the porch now. Everyone else is gone.

"Huh? Wh-Where did everyone go?"

"Everyone went to sleep, silly." You look back at Youmu, who is panting a bit from your recent training.

"Sleep does indeed seem like a nice idea. I have lost track of time so easily, it's unusual...I don't believe I have ever been awake this long, however." You feel a sting hit you in the chest upon hearing that. You take a careful look over at Yukari.

"Uhh...h-how long has it been since we started doing this?"

"Hmm...I'd wager a good twenty hours~"

T-...Twenty hours, she says. You don't even feel the least bit tired! You look back at yourself, rather frightened at how deep you got into this training, you didn't even realize it...the youkai blood, the fighting, and constant activity, it all became so second nature to you that it felt as if you had been doing this all your life, everyday, all day. Before you know it however, in middle of your inherent daze, you notice that Youmu is already stepping up onto the porch and about to step inside.

"Satoya, we shall continue this another time, is that alright?"

"Uhh...yeah. Sure."

Youmu heads in for the...night? You guess...throughout the entire time you've been here, the sun has not shined once...nether has the moon. The sky has been the same, static color day in and day out. The lighting never changing. It's an eternal twilight, practically. You wonder how it's possible to even tell time down here. You look back at the porch. It's just Yukari now. Staring at you. A sly smile making up her face.

"...what are you looking at?"

"What does it look like I'm looking at?"

You, obviously. But you evade saying this and move on.

"So are you gonna go to sleep yourself?"

"You're far too interesting to leave alone Satoya. Ran was actually quite shocked earlier that I had been awake for so long, I just find you so...interesting~"

"And just how long do you normally stay awake?"

"Mmm...about six to eight hours. Give or take."

Is this woman for real? How could anyone sleep so long?! Better yet...how could someone who sleeps so long stay awake so much when it concerns you...?

"...and what, pray tell, makes me so interesting that causes you to lose so much sleep without the slightest regret in the world?"

"Hmm...I think the very way you said that is a prime example~" What? You don't get this lady at all.

"I'm serious here. I'm just-"

"No, you're not. You're a thoroughbred youkai built for combat and destruction."

"...excuse me?"

You figured Yukari might deny you of saying that you're just a college professor. But what she follows up with strikes you with suspicion. As well as a bit of fear, too. The piercing gaze of her violet eyes combined with the sly, devilish smile curled across her face both make up her expression as the two of you have a stare down. Nothing remains said until the silence gets to you and you demand that you need to know.

"Yukari! Tell me what you mean!"

"What does it sound like I mean? You're a youkai with highly tuned latent abilities, I've been telling you this all along."

"But bred for battle and..." You can't really believe it. But your past training with Youmu, the realizations that came to you not too long ago, they tie in with each other. It makes sense. As much as you really don't want it to.

"Well I can't give any say on how you were bred, as much of an interesting story as it may be, but your race is...unique, I will tell you that much." The lady leans forward a bit, looking up at you with those jewel laden eyes of hers. "You weren't meant to be unlocked. Your power is simply too strong to be flowing freely, it had to be contained somehow, locked away from the rest of the world so that such strength could not be taken advantage of. Your power is unlike that of any other; no one, not even I, could hope to match it. So I brought you here with the express intention on freeing this power and teaching you how to use it, so that I may have complete and total domination over this world~"

That...that all reeks of senile nonsense.

"...I don't believe you. How do you expect me to believe something so ludicrous?" Yukari simply bursts out laughing, bellowing a hearty laughter before instantly calming herself down and returning to you with that usual devilish smile of hers.

"I didn't, you are but a mere college professor, aren't you~?" Yukari then sits back on the porch, closing her eyes. "Well, it isn't as if I was just telling half truths, but do keep in mind what I've told you. Even if it isn't true."

...you're not entirely sure what she means by that. What good is remembering a lie? This woman is so cryptic it gets on your nerves!

"...well, Satoya? Going to bed?" After a little bit of silence, the odd lady finally asks you something normal.

"Huh? Ugh, I don't know. I don't really feel tired, but...I'm..."

[ ] Going to wander about the forest a bit, I need some time alone
[ ] Interested in knowing if Yukari wants to talk for a bit
[ ] Going to head back inside and take a look around as a distraction
[ ] Going to head to bed anyways, staying up so much can't possibly be healthy
[x] Going to head back inside and take a look around as a distraction.

I would think about trying to talk with her but after the last outburst, I think the moment's lost.
[x] Going to head to bed anyways, staying up so much can't possibly be healthy

Have a nice dream.

And, even if it's too soon now, happy birthday Sukima.
[x] Interested in knowing if Yukari wants to talk for a bit

Getting to know her and improving our relationship with her should be a priority.
[x] Going to wander about the forest a bit, I need some time alone

Why do I have the feeling Yukari was telling nothing but the truth?
[x] Interested in knowing if Yukari wants to talk for a bit

Supporting this. We never had an ordinary conversation with Yukari yet, didn't we? Ran and by extension Chen follow her for a reason. Why not try to find out why by spending time with her?
[x] Going to head back inside and take a look around as a distraction.

Might as well get used to the place. We'll be here a while.
[X] Going to head back inside and take a look around as a distraction.

Well that was informative. Shame it's so difficult to tell whether Yukari's speaking lies, truths, half-truths or total nonsense.

Also what >>25383 said, happy oncoming birthday.
[x] Interested in knowing if Yukari wants to talk for a bit
[x] Interested in knowing if Yukari wants to talk for a bit.
[x] Interested in knowing if Yukari wants to talk for a bit
[+] Interested in knowing if Yukari wants to talk for a bit

Happy belated birthday ya scamp.
File 130424244564.jpg - (0.96MB, 1499x900, c166536fffe65da3f7c500a3b81f5c6e.jpg) [iqdb]
[x] Interested in knowing if Yukari wants to talk for a bit

"...actually interested in whether or not you wanted to talk, Yukari."

That's when it happens. For quite possibly the first time you've ever seen of this woman, her expression...looks honestly surprised.

"...talk, Satoya? With me?"

"I don't see anyone else here, Miss Yukari." As if to stack another layer on the cake, your formality proves to astonish her even further, before she starts laughing almost endearingly, regaining control of herself soon and smiling at you. You think what shocks you most is how genuine it is; no hint of devilishness, mischief or anything like that. Yukari gives you an honest, happy smile.

"I would love to talk with my new shikigami, Satoya~"

You can feel your stubbornness against this woman fade. Ever so slightly, it starts to wane. Just a bit.

"...so then, what did you wish to talk about?" Yukari says this after offering talk wandering about the cherry blossoms in the Hakugyokurou. While at first it felt like a scary place you could easily get yourself lost in, walking around it beside Yukari...feels relaxing. Uplifting too, at the same time. As well, the scenery with Yukari around, looks less drab and full of death, and more...downright beautiful. You can't believe it's just Yukari's own influence. It much just be the fact that you know you're not completely alone now.

"Huh? Oh, now that you mention it...I'm really not quite sure." Yukari gives you a stifled laugh for your effort, or lack thereof. "W-What's so funny?"

"You ask me out to talk and you end up unsure of what you actually wanted to talk about? You're very special indeed, Satoya~" You barely stop yourself from pouting at the woman.

"Give me a break. I didn't expect you to actually agree to it."

"And why not?"

"Because...well..." You start thinking that maybe you were replacing her feelings with your own, up until Yukari confirms it for you, as if reading your mind.

"If you were thinking that maybe I were a little off-standish, then I'm afraid you may be looking more at yourself then me, Satoya. The entire time I've shown you nothing but generosity and helpfulness and you've yet to give me an ounce of trust."

"How can I trust a woman who just so brazenly kidnaps me and throws me into some unknown world, destroying my life and forcing me to live a new one?"

"Oh? I thought maybe you were bored of your old life-"

"But it's much better then this" you interrupt her with, not letting her dare finish, should she have anything more to say. "I was perfectly fine being human, being a college professor, living a normal life! I don't want to be dragged out somewhere I don't know and be told something I'm clearly not."

"Oh but Satoya, you are a youkai~" This woman is starting to reach the end of your patience a bit.

"You don't get it, do you? I didn't sign up to be one, despite what I said in that survey."

There's a short silence before you stop. You realized Yukari stopped walking beside you. You turn around and see her staring downwards, her eyes out of your view. She then looks up at you with a strange look...it's as if she's trying to gut you with her usual mischievous grin, but instead it comes off more as...tired?

"I think you've underestimated my ability to understand, Satoya." You finish turning around as Yukari lifts her head back up, looking at you straight now. "Tell me, Satoya. Do you know what kind of youkai I am?"

"Huh...well, you look human down to the bone, but no matter how human you look-"

"I am a youkai, true to my blood. But what kind, Satoya?" You give your would be master a rather confused look.

"Eh? You expect me to know? Just by looking at you? You look exactly like a human!"

"You're not looking properly. Close your eyes, use the senses I gave you access to."

You find the notion a bit strange, but you go ahead and follow her orders. You try and 'feel' for the power she emanates, the latent energy that she and her shikigami sheds that you've become so accustomed to so quickly.

In the blink of an eye, you're overwhelmed.

You open your eyes. But you cannot see. You try to feel, but you feel nothing. You listen, but the world around you falls silent. You body feels overloaded with an intense feeling that threatens to burst you open like a balloon. A massive surge of power overcomes you instantly as you try to sense Yukari and feels as if you were instantly engulfed by an unknown force well beyond your understanding. While you were sure that it felt like you were trapped in that swirling vortex of sheer spirit for hours, it soon occurs to you that it was only a brief second. Knocking you back and out of the daze, the wind is forced right out of you as land on your back on the smooth ground below you. While trying to catch your breath, you open your eyes again and realize you can see once more. It was an experience unlike any other, and you're very positive you never want to behold that spectacle ever again. You sit back up, Yukari is still standing there amidst the trees around you, just as before, smiling a cunning smile.

"W-...W-What was that...?" You try to gasp out your question to Yukari as she just looks down at you with those sharp eyes, pointing daggers into your mind.

"That was a manifestation of my blood. My very being. My true form, Satoya."

Her true form she says...it was certainly incomprehensible.

"Wha..." You take a moment to pick yourself up, still trying to catch your breath. "What the hell do you mean...?"

"It means exactly what it means, Satoya. I am a presence, with no true understandable form. I was born from the weakness and emotion of humans long ago and developed my power around the world of which humans live in. It has been one thousand five hundred years in the making thus far...I hope you enjoyed it~" Yukari then walks past you, yourself still being stunned. It doesn't take long however for you to catch your bearings and double back towards Yukari, giving chase.

"W-Wait! What does that have to do with me being a youkai?"

"You'll see. As you grow older you'll come to realize that your human way of life were merely a facade, an unimportant prologue beginning something much more valuable and worthwhile." As you follow behind Yukari, you can't help but feel as if your frustrating is coming back.

"Why does it sound like you only threw me into this for your own exclusive benefit...?" She then suddenly stops, turns towards you and gives you a big, cheerful smile.

"Maybe I am~"

You're left stunned, once more, as Yukari turns back and continues walking. You can't believe this woman at all. She's crazy, nuts, wacko, totally off her rocker. You see absolutely no reason to follow in her footsteps like this.

Yet, despite thinking that way, you do it anyways. Following behind her like some lost puppy. Because you have no choice in the matter. She has the power to do anything she wants, and has shown repeated abuse of it by dragging you along by leash and collar all the way through this. You feel an awful amount of contempt for this...youkai. But you can't bear to show it, because who knows what could happen.

"...was there anything else you wanted to ask me?"

You stop when you notice Yukari has stopped as well. Her back is still turned to you. You take a moment to think.

"And I can ask you anything I want?"

"Sure. It is you after all, Satoya."

"And you will be honest with me?"

"Mmm, I think you've giving me too much credit now~"

You expected as much. There's plenty you know she won't tell you, so you already know questions that are worthless asking. That just leaves...

[ ] Yukari's role in Gensokyo
[ ] Yukari's distant past
[ ] Her relationship with Yuyuko
[ ] Ran and Chen
[ ] Anything else? (WRITE IN)
[x] Ran and Chen

Better not to worry with anything else. For now.
I think we should focus on close thing, and later, attempt to picture how this world is working, and what we are for this world. An underling? A powerful youkai?
[x] Her relationship with Yuyuko

By Yukari's surprise at the start... She is quite aware of what Satoya thinks of her, isn't she? I wonder if her infuriating him was done on purpose or if it's just how she is and we'll just get used to her in the long run. Makes me wonder how Ran was when she started out too. Food for thought.

That and she's probably happy we choose to spend some time with her, even with said opinion of her. We really didn't do much with Yukari since the start, didn't we? Heck, I think we even spent more time with the others (Youmu, Yuyuko, Chen and Ran of course) than with her.

As for the options, we probably should spend some more time with Yukari before asking 1 or 2. Third... Third could potentially be gaining important information like it could be a bad end. Did we influence the past? Are we now part of Yukari and Yuyuko's memories? Or were we just a guest participant in a memory flash?

And if we let out what we've seen (Which I doubt we'll do on purpose considering the current trust issue), will Yukari accept it? If we actually influenced it, what could her reaction be?

Or... Did we really exist back then and this is truly part of our memories? Not sure about this since we actually died, but still... If we really are such a strong youkai, then our true birth date is certainly ot the one we know. At the very least, we existed before the birth of 'Satoya'.

As much as I like 4, I think learning maybe how Yukari and Yuyuko became friends would be nice. We're talking with Yukari to learn more about her, so let's keep the focus on her. (Potentially rewarding too. Also possibly fatal but hey: no risk, no rewards).
[x] Ran and Chen

I'm really tempted to ask her what sort of youkai we are, but I'm fairly certain this is one of those questions she will ignore.
[x] Ran and Chen

It'd be nice to learn more about our fellow shikigami. Plus I doubt Yukari will give a straight answer to questions about herself, and we'd probably fare better asking the other question to Yuyuko instead.
[x] Her relationship with Yuyuko
Ah, but the reverse is also true. Why not talk to Ran and Chen instead of asking about them?
[x] Her relationship with Yuyuko
[x] Her relationship with Yuyuko
[x] Ran and Chen
Something tells me she's not going to answer the Yuyuko question straight.
[+] Ran and Chen

>Something tells me she's not going to answer the Yuyuko question straight.
She'd tell us they're old friends & that'd about be it. Sort of doubt she'd go into any sort of depth about something that is, undoubtedly, a very touchy subject.
I think Yukari might say more, seeing how she had us go into the past right down if not near that incident.
[x] Yukari's distant past

I have to wonder why she's so dismissive of Satoya's past as a human, and what her definition of a 'valuable and worthwhile' life is.
[x] Her relationship with Yuyuko
[x] Ran and Chen

"My shikigami?" Yukari asks you while turning around towards you.

"Yeah. Ran is your servant, right? Furthermore, Chen..."

"Is Ran's, correct. At the time, it was highly unusual for a shikigami to procure a shikigami of their own. More then that, Chen herself is still quite powerful as a youkai~"

"...really?" This is quite a change from what you remember Chen telling you a while ago. It figures that Yukari would know something about her that even Chen and maybe Ran wouldn't. "What kinds of powers does she have?"

"Nothing quite out of the ordinary. I'm sure she's already shown you. She's very excellent in the arts of black magic, though not much else. But she's also very physically strong."

"Physically strong? Do you have a measurement of such power?" All Yukari does when you ask this much though, is smile at you almost devilishly.

"Maybe you should find out yourself Satoya. She might make a better sparring partner then you might think~"

Well, Yukari certainly makes it sound intriguing. You don't think there's ever any way she could match up to Youmu though.

"So...how did Ran and Chen meet anyways?"

"It really wasn't much of a big deal. Sometime after I enslaved Ran, she told me she wanted a shikigami of her own. I think what is actually interesting about it was Chen's effect on Ran afterwards~"

For some reason, it strikes you as odd that Yukari used the word 'enslaved' for Ran. But you pay little mention to it, since it's pretty much how she roped you into this. Perhaps it just felt weird because of how exceedingly loyal Ran is to Yukari. Unerring proof of their incredibly long time together, you suppose.

"Huh...so what kind of effect did she have then?" It's shortly after asking that, that Yukari suddenly stifles some laughter and has to actually put effort to not burst out laughing. "What's so funny...?"

"Oh Satoya~ I think that's something you're better off asking Ran when you've talked with her a bit more."

Sounds like a touchy subject then. The more you hear about Ran's past though, the darker it feels. You have to ask now.

"Then...what parts of Ran's past can you tell me...? It sounds like...she hasn't lived a very thorough life."

"Mmm...you could say that. If you were human, in any case." Ugh, there she goes again. Just when you were having a decent conversation with her for once. How many times does she have to drill this into your head? "Indeed though, Ran is a very different person from what she used to be...or is she? Her life from what she's told me has been very colorful~"

"Uhh...colorful, huh?" You're almost a little weirded out by Yukari giving off the most longing smile while saying that. Ran's past certainly sounds complicated, but to be speaking of it so happily...

"Yes, maybe someday she'll tell you all about it. After all, you're a part of our family now Satoya..." As she mentions your name, she starts approaching you. Very closely. Much too close for comfort. You're practically pushed back a small bit by her enormous mammary before she stops, smiling right in your face. "A very...closely knit family~"

You can't help but stare in shock and disbelief for a few moments before stumbling backwards, nearly falling down before regaining your bearings. Yukari herself just looks a little too satisfied with all this.

"W-W-What are you implying...?"

"Oh come now, Satoya. Must you be that way? I'm simply just trying to warm up to my new shikigami~" Maybe. Maybe in a way that you're not quite ready for yet too. You're almost afraid this woman might whip out a strap on and offer to clean your pipes.

"Uhh...can we change the subject then? Please?"

"Oh? But I thought you wanted to know more about your partners in arms?"

"You mean Ran and Chen? Well, I do..."

"Then please, ask away~"

You give out a light sigh. You guess there's no reasoning with Yukari. You did sort of succeed in changing the subject, though what she's told you about Ran thus far has made you a little wary of asking more about her. But, well, she is offering...

[ ] About that thing you asked Ran to do...
[ ] What kinds of jobs does Ran usually do?
[ ] What kind of relationship do Ran and Chen have now?
[ ] How does Chen fit into the family?
[ ] What about Chen's past?
[x] What about Chen's past?

After asking about Ran's past, it's almost logical to ask about Chen's past.
But then again, are we logical? Probably not.
[x] How does Chen fit into the family?

She's been surprising forthcoming.
[x] How does Chen fit into the family?
[x] What about Chen's past?

I'm actually pretty interested on where she came from. If I remember correctly, Chen shouldn't be very old, so her dynamic in the family is relatively recent.
[x] What about Chen's past?
[┼] What about Chen's past?
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[x] What about Chen's past?

"Chen's past?" The woman before you asks you inquisitively as to why you would want to know such a thing. Well, why else?

"Yeah, like what was she like before Ran came into the picture?"

"Well, she truthfully hadn't been a nekomata for very long before Ran picked the adorable pile of fur up. You know how youkai like her are born, right?"

"When a cat lives a very long life, it is thought that they ascend and go on to become a nekomata, signaled by their forking tail, right?"

"Correct. Well, to some degree, anyhow. Since Chen was but an ordinary house cat until she grew up and was then taken under Ran's care, she didn't exactly have the most exciting life. Of course, due to her experience as one, she does try to lead other house cats."

"With how much success?"

"Not a whole lot~" Yukari says with an endearing smile.

Okay, you'll admit, maybe she's not bad to talk to. If it'll keep her from pulling more childish pranks on you, maybe you should consider talking to her more like this. It isn't long until the two of you are walking through the pink forest once more, talking side by side.

"Chen's a very earnest girl. Admittedly, Ran knows a bit more about the feline then I do, but perhaps it's better that way."

"You really think so?"

"Oh, of course. Ran makes a much better mother figure then I do~" Huh...you do believe that's the first time you've heard Yukari admit a shortcoming about herself so modestly. Full of surprises, this woman is.

"Really...so Chen needs a mother figure?"

"Not necessarily. She may not seem like it, but Chen's a big girl. She quite easily fended for herself before Ran summoned her. Though she was rather...homely."


"Yes, she had nothing but dirty, torn rags on for clothes, her hair was a mess and she was muddy from head to toe. Even so..."

"So...?" You try to pry out a bit of what Yukari's getting at. She's wearing this very convincing warm smile though.

"Ran accepted the girl with loving arms when she summoned Chen. Considering how Ran was up until that point, I figured she would have been absolutely devastated to see that her powers could only summon such a lowly, unkempt demon. I suppose it was that kind of love that made Chen what she is now."

"Huh...so she was different before?"

"She was rather tired of the way humans treated her and her feline friends, so she was pretty rebellious. It only took a couple days for that to quickly fade though. Ran truly is a work of art~"

"That just means she's still just a child then..." Yukari looks at you, seemingly intrigued by your comment.

"Oh? I'd be wary about saying such a thing in front of her. She doesn't like being called immature~"

"Really? Well, not like it matters I guess." Suddenly, Yukari steps in front of you, causing you to stop. She's up to something again.

"What's wrong, Satoya? You look almost disappointed..."

"Huh? Why would I be disappointed?"

"Hmm...maybe it really is that you prefer...smaller girls~" You'll feel despair from hearing it from anyone else, but you don't just stand there and take it from Yukari.

"Pah, maybe it's you that's disappointed enough to jump to conclusions like that."

"Hmhmhm...it's hardly jumping to conclusions when it's so obvious, Satoya." Yukari then gives a disappointed sigh, looking up seemingly a bit troubled. "And after all the trouble to get Ran to possibly service you so that you might feel better about coming here...maybe I should have asked Chen to do it inste-"

"No!" You feel quite out of line telling someone with so much power to shut up so brazenly like that, but she just...really pisses you off! "First of all, how dare you even consider asking a child to do such a thing?! Second, what do you mean 'service' me?!" Yukari just stifles some laughter and walks past you with a mischievous smile on her face.

"Satoya, playing dumb with me is the worst thing you could do~"


You can't bring yourself to err out anymore words after turning around and watching her walk away. You just give a great big sigh and follow your would-be master. You'll admit, the thought of getting...service from Ran has crossed your mind more then once, you just felt you couldn't do it without at least, you know, getting to know her first? You still need to do that. But Chen...the mere thought sends you into such a furious primal rage that makes you want to strangle the long blonde haired freak. Chen is just a young girl! A young kind girl that deserves to be loved most of all you feel...thankfully, she has Ran to do that for her. You shudder to think what kind of horrible things Yukari would've made her do were it Chen alone.

...ugh, look at you, talking as if Chen were your own kid or something. Definitely not a productive thought, if there ever were any. You're not even sure if she really is a kid...though it certainly seems like it. The way Yukari talks about her though...

You end up following behind Yukari without saying much else. You can't really find the courage to say anything anymore, lest you just become more bait to Yukari's inevitable shenanigans. It isn't too long until you arrive back at the mansion together with her...and to your shock, everyone is sitting out on the porch, waiting for you, clearly awake.

"Ah, Satoya," Ran speaks first, being the first to notice your return, "where have you and Lady Yukari been?"

"Huh? Out...side...that must've been one really short group nap you all took." You suddenly find yourself being stared at in the same way you were staring at them not too long ago; awfully puzzled.

"Short nap...? We haven't been asleep that long, Satoya."

"No, in fact I slept for a good long while~"

"Sleeping like a baby as usual, Yuyuko?"

You don't get it. You couldn't have been out there for any longer then...a half an hour? Maybe an hour at the very most. You take a look at Yukari after she had just replied to Yuyuko, and you can see her giving you a sly smirk before stepping up onto the porch and announcing that she is going to get a bit of rest, leaving you with the four clearly refreshed others.

How long have you been awake now? You've totally lost count. But for some reason, you still don't feel all that tired. At least, certainly not as tired as any ordinary human would be at this point. But maybe that's a given. It still shocks you.

"Satoya?" Youmu manages to catch your attention after you space out briefly.

"Uh, huh?" The small girl seems to give you a bit of a worried look, without even changing her facial expression much, seemingly typical of the gardener.

"Did you get any sleep at all over the course of the night?" It was night time? Man, you feel like you're losing it down here. To think, it'll only stay this way even when you go back 'home' too.

"Uhh, no, but I'm not really tired either."

"Are you sure? It might benefit you to rest well in any case, you never know when you might be pushing your body's limits, since you're still unfamiliar with how it works I wager." Ran decides to follow up on Youmu's advice.

"She is right, you know. You've still only but had access to your youkai blood for a couple of days now. It would be keen of you not to work yourself too hard as you still need to get used to it."

"Oh come now," you see Yuyuko interjecting, "I'm sure Satoya is fine. After all, no one would know better then himself, right? Should the worst happen we're here to help. So please, do whatever it is you feel like, make yourself at home~"

You're not quite sure what Yuyuko means exactly. It almost feels as if she's welcoming you anew again, as if you've never been here before. You're hoping maybe it's just her being a little air-headed. Your mind is such a tangled mess right now, you think doing something would help you take your thoughts off such strange and confusing things...

[ ] Rest actually sounds good right about now
[ ] Let's continue training
[ ] You feel like testing your abilities

Sorry for being so lazy with my writing by the way. It's probably really easy to tell that I've been taking shortcuts and generally not being as descriptive as I should be. Hopefully that will change in due time.
[x] Rest actually sounds good right about now

Everyone seems to be in good humor, and in agreement that we should take it easy. It sounds like a plan to me. Maybe we can sit on the porch or whatever and drink some tea, talking with our neighbors. Perhaps getting to know the lovely gardener some more.

>talking as if Chen were your own kid or something

If this was the impression you were hoping to establish, I am afraid it was lost on me. Yukari's remark was unerringly more in line.
[x] Rest actually sounds good right about now.

If you update any faster, I may have to resort to F5ing for the first time in years.
[x] Let's continue training

Time to take some risk. Besides, I think it's better for Satoya to train until he can't stand anymore. Since it's only when he's... back against the wall that he's really efficient.

Besides, while I'm not really sure about that, I think Yukari wants him to keep on. Because, you know, night was kind of short.
[x] Rest actually sounds good right about now

When is it a bad time to take it easy?
[x] Rest actually sounds good right about now.

Need time to sort our bearings. Satoya is pretty out of it right now.
[x] Rest actually sounds good right about now.
[X] Rest actually sounds good right about now.

To feel an entire night go by in an hour. It makes one wonder exactly how long Satoya's been training.
A year, maybe?
[x] Rest actually sounds good right about now.

"Actually, I think I could use the rest, my mind's not in the right place right now so I think some sleep might clear it." Almost immediately after you say that, Ran gets mysteriously worried.

"Was it Lady Yukari?"

"Huh? Well..."

You were about to deny that possibility. But considering the circumstances, you really don't know, do you? It feels like everything thus far has been that woman's fault, and telling apart the reality from the fabricated is next to impossible, you fear. Yukari has made your life exceedingly complicated.

"It's alright, Satoya. Later, we can discuss it more if you like. Lady Yukari does...take some getting used to, I will admit." The peppy cat girl behind Ran then perks up.

"And if not, Chen can help you clear your mind! Chen is very good at doing that for Master Ran!" As Ran turns around to give the kitty a happy pet on the head, you can't help but see a little in them what Yukari told you about. The two are most definitely close.

"Well then, if you need me, I will be tending to the gardens as usual, Satoya." Youmu bows gently and takes her leave after saying that. You feel like you should get going too. You're getting a tad dizzy all of a sudden. Too much thinking.

All it takes is your body flopping onto the futon in the empty guest room you've slept in before for you to feel unearthly tired already. Maybe you were overworking your body, you can start to feel it aching all over. You should be able to get a good night's sleep now. Er...good...day's sleep? You don't know anymore. The sky here at the netherworld, as one would expect, is never changing, always the same, causing you to lose complete track of time, particularly with your body suddenly losing touch with it's biological clock. You can't tell how much time has passed anymore. It's gonna be even worse when you leave...the Yakumo household apparently is in constant eternal twilight, with the sky being a deep orange color every hour of the day. How do people stand this? You can see why Chen would want to go out often...she'd probably lose all track of the time otherwise. You don't know how Ran and Yukari do it. They're probably just highly in tune with the time to be able to do something like that.

Speaking of Chen, there's a few mysteries surrounding her now. You don't think you ever got her age, but you're not even sure how that factors into anything, as you don't know how age truly effects youkai social matters. Surely given how long youkai like her typically live, she must know about sex, right? Many more adult things too, you feel. So why is it that she acts so childish still? The same goes for her friends too...is it a limitation of their mentality? Are they simply unable to mature despite any knowledge they are given? Though they definitely have to know the concept of it, Yukari mentioned Chen dislikes being called immature. You wonder how so? What would she say? Would she actually try to show maturity, or just simply write it off and deny it in the same childish manner she's displayed so far? It could easily go both ways, Chen's stunt back in Mayohiga was definitely childish of her. On the other hand, after getting here, she was almost lovingly cradling your head in her lap...something you would expect from the sheer lady-like Ran. Perhaps it was her influence?

You're not sure if you really got as many details about Ran's relationship with Chen as you would have liked. Of course, a lot of stuff you would like to know is probably best asked at the source, rather then getting a third person opinion from someone like Yukari. The two definitely share some sort of motherly-daughterly type relationship, but being of totally different species it's almost like watching a dog care for a kitten. It's certainly endearing but you wonder if one can really fill in the needs of the other. It might be different here though, since Ran and Chen are both quite clearly a lot more human then an actual dog or cat is. Still though, you wonder if it's really that simple, of if there's more to it then meets the eye. Yukari mentioned that Chen warmed up to Ran very quickly. Given how Ran is, she's obviously seeing a side of the fox that you aren't. As nice as Ran is, she strikes you as pretty straight and to the point, forgoing any sort of unnecessary display of emotion. You wonder what it would take to get to know Ran better.

Of course, once you leave, you'll have to say goodbye to Youmu and Yuyuko. Will you though? Yuyuko obviously knows Yukari very well...the odd 'dream' you had is proof of it, if what you saw did indeed actually happen. It was very vivid, and highly lucid, but you'll never actually know if all that stuff actually happened...unless, of course, you asked one of them. But then getting a straight answer out of Yukari is all but a lost cause before it even began most likely, and...you're not sure if bringing that up to Yuyuko is any sort of a good idea. It might upset her. With how protective Youmu seems to be of her Lady, that might end a lot more badly then you would like it to. You wanna believe that Youmu has warmed up to you a bit as have you to her over the course of this training, but it's still only been...

...days? Weeks? You...don't know. Time is lost on you. Maybe you should ask someone.

Ugh, here you are, laying in bed, trying to sleep, and your mind will not shut up. As tired as you feel, your thoughts are racing circles around your head and simply will not sit still. Not very productive for sleep. You need to do something to calm your mind down and stop thinking at fifty thoughts per second. But what?

[ ] Go out and find Chen
[ ] Seek out Ran's advice
[ ] Head to the gardens
[ ] Maybe Yuyuko's charm will help you relax
[ ] Try and force yourself to sleep
[x] Seek out Ran's advice
[x] Head to the gardens

Cannot resist Youmu.
[X] Seek out Ran's advice

On what?
[x] Seek out Ran's advice

Solidarity between underlings.
And it'll be the perfect time to ask her about Chen.
[x] Seek out Ran's advice
[+] Seek out Ran's advice.
[X] Seek out Ran's advice
[X] Seek out Ran's advice

It makes the most sense to be direct, especially after dealing with Yukari and her vague half-truths.
She'd know best how to deal with Yukari being herself.
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[x] Seek out Ran's advice

Maybe Ran can help you find some solace. She's a pretty level headed person after all. Maybe a bit boring to talk to, but that might turn out in your favor, given your condition. You get out of bed and start towards the living room in search of the fox lady.

It isn't long before you find her though. Being right there, sitting at a table, sipping some tea alone. She's keen to your presence the moment you walk in.

"Satoya, I thought you were going to rest?"

"Oh, I couldn't sleep. Kinda why I came out here actually." You sit yourself down opposite of Ran and look around a bit. "Where's Yuyuko and Chen?"

"Lady Yuyuko went back to her room to check for something. Chen is outside, still. Was there anything you needed?"

"Yeah, you don't suppose you would have any tricks for falling asleep, would you?"

"I could use a hypnosis spell on you."

Ran says this so bluntly and casually, you almost take her up on her offer by total accident.

"Ah-...I-I'll pass on that. I meant natural sleep." Ran just shakes her head.

"I'm afraid I don't know of anything that could help, my apologies."

"Eh, it's alright." You give a soft sigh as you rest your arms on the table in front of you. You may as well make a bit of small talk with her. "Alright then...so then, about this whole shikigami business..."

"You have asked about it before, yes." Ran informs you that you're walking an already traveled path as she sips her tea. It almost feels as if she's a little hard to approach...

"Well, yeah...but you and Chen have a pretty different relationship compared to ours towards Yukari."

"It's true that Chen doesn't take many orders, but as she's so young I find it hard to really tell her to do much beyond take a bath or clean up after herself." So at least Ran thinks she's young then. Still makes for a question of how mature Chen actually is though.

"Does she do work on her own?"

"She tries to, occasionally. She's rather inexperienced, however, so I usually attempt to guide her anytime she wishes to help." Inexperienced...she might just have pure knowledge on her side then, in that case.

Wait, why are you trying to justify Chen's maturity, something you haven't even seen yet?

"Uhh...I see. So you think I could have a shikigami of my own like that sometime?" Ran just sort of...stares at you for a few moments, as if trying to comprehend what you just said. Before it gets too awkward though, she does eventually respond.

"...well, Lady Yukari sees intense potential within you, Satoya, so I don't doubt that eventually you would have the power to do so, though perhaps not with the same relationship..."

"I'm sorry for prying but...I heard Chen was really different when you first met her a long time ago." Ran closes her eyes, reminiscing about the event.

"Yes, she was in a highly aggressive and rebellious point in her life where she wished revenge on all the humans that mistreated her and her friends. When I summoned her away from such endeavors, she was very angry." She then opens her eyes back up, sighing lightly. "Still though, I was happy enough that I was strong enough to summon a shikigami of my own, despite being one..."

"Is it really that hard?"

"For most people, no. However, those employed as shikigami are often vastly inferior to those they are summoned by, and become bonded to their master in a way that limits the full output of their power depending on the proximity of their master."

"Er...well, I guess I won't lie about being 'vastly inferior' to Yukari, but if that's true, then doesn't that sort of make this training a fruitless goal if I'll never reach the full potential of my power?"

"Not exactly. As Lady Yukari's shikigami, you and I, we share her life force, her energy, her very spiritual being. As part of the Yakumo family, we are essentially one entity, with separate bodies and minds. That is why you are able to innately sense our spirits, because our spirits are yours, just as yours are ours."

"Huh, I see now. So while I'll have my own abilities and power, the energy I spend to use those with come from the same pool that we all share, right?"

"To a lesser extent. Since all our power derives from Lady Yukari, she gives us energy as she sees fit. That energy stays with us until we expend it, and Lady Yukari gives us more. Since Chen is my shikigami, she gains only a portion of the energy of the portion of Lady Yukari's that's given to me. This is why maintaining a shikigami as a shikigami yourself is so difficult."

Suddenly, a lot of things make more sense now. Your unerring spirit, your quickly growing power, your unbelievable stamina; it's all stemming from Yukari. She must really want you to finish this training, if she's exerting herself just to make you keep going even against your own stamina's natural limit. Does that even exist anymore? It's almost hard to swallow, that a woman is in such deep control of how you feel physically.

"I-I see...we a owe to Yukari then, don't we?"

"Yes, that is true. As long as you stay near Lady Yukari, you should eventually see the end potential of your true power, once you have mastered it's use. The closer she is, the easier it will be to draw power from her to fuel your own abilities. Of course, this is all entirely dependent on Lady Yukari herself. Should she feel strong, we shall feel strong. Should she feel weak, we shall feel weak. Finally, should she pass away..."

"We'll kick the bucket too, won't we...?"

Ran nods, affirming one of your deepest fears. You suppose you have a good reason to serve this Yukari now. Your own life hangs in the balance, her very soul being your life support. With such immense control over your health, you suddenly start feeling afraid of betraying her, which had previously been on your mind as a hot topic up until now. Going back doesn't seem like an option anymore. You're slowly starting to realize how much respect you might have to start paying this woman, lest you suffer the consequences.

"Satoya, what do you intend to do?"

"Huh? Well...I don't think I have a choice in the matter, do I? I have to serve Yukari...or else."

"I know it must be difficult for you, it was difficult for me to accept as well when I first came under her. But Lady Yukari is truly not a bad person, so I do hope you will warm up to her eventually."

You guess maybe she's right. She was pretty alright to talk to earlier in the forest. Even if she's more vague then a convincing crossdresser.

The end of the topic has been reached. A brief silence falls thick into the air. Ran doesn't seem to have anything more to say, and neither do you. You suppose it rests on your shoulders to do something now, since she's otherwise content on quietly enjoying her tea.

[ ] Ask about what her past was like
[ ] Ask about what she knows about Yukari
[ ] Ask about what having Chen around is like
[ ] Bluntly confess your undying love for Ran
[ ] Maybe you can go back to sleep now
[x] Ask about what she knows about Yukari
[x] Ask about what she knows about Yukari

Hmmm... It does seem like a good time to ask about it, isn't it?

And what the hell is up with that fourth option?
[x] Ask about what her past was like

I wanted to vote for "bluntly confess your undying love for Ran", but I want a Yukari-centered story, so no.
This is more the Yakumo-centered story. Sukima has never flat out said anything of the contrary.

[x] Ask about what her past was like

Might be too soon, but it'll help us get to know Ran better.
[ ] Bluntly confess your undying love for Ran
[x] Ask about what her past was like
[x] Ask about what having Chen around is like

I don't think she would be rather forthcoming with the other topics. Asking about her past is being a little too comfortable for our relationship at the moment, and asking after Yukari is fruitless; if we wish to know more about her, let's go talk to her y'know?

Instead, we should talk about the comfortable medium in our relationship. However uncomfortable Satoya is with his status as a shikigami and his master, he has shown nothing but warmth and concern for Chen.

Tl;dr I like Chen.
[+] Ask about what her past was like

It's a lot easier to get to know someone if you ask them.
I know this is a Yakumo centered story, but I want to center the story on Yukari, that's why I'm voting for her.

If you're >>25489... you do realize that voting for Yukari should be asking about her and not Ran's past?
Is that routefaggotry I hear?

I think Ran would be open to talking about her past, considering how she basically offered Satoya sex earlier in the story.
[X] Ask about what her past was like
You do understand she didn't know what she was offering?
We're not facing Yukari here, and I don't think we'll gain anything by asking Ran.

[x] Ask about what her past was like

"So Ran, uhh...what was your life like before you met Yukari, then?" Ran suddenly looks at you, seemingly puzzled as to why you would ask such a thing, though not particularly bothered so you think you're okay. Better safe then sorry though. "Er, just wondering what actual youkai life is like here, I guess. Sorry if it's prying too much." Ran shakes her head.

"No, it's alright. I suppose as a member of the family you have every right to know. Still though, there isn't much to say about what it was like. From birth I lived as any other fox demon did, sneaking around human territory, preying upon those who were lost, feasting on their flesh. At least, up until..." Ran seems to hesitate for a moment, for some reason. You tilt your head a bit wondering what stopped her.

"Until...what?" Ran starts hanging her head a bit, looking down. You can tell she's gripping her tea cup a bit. "Ah, you don't have to say if-"

"No. I'm fine." You feel a small tinge in your heart...you feel a tad guilty, her facial expression hasn't changed, but it's become very obvious to you that she's become upset. "Please forgive me, I didn't think recalling it would be that painful..."

"Ran, if it's really that bad, then it's okay, you don't have to tell me." Again, Ran shakes her head, a bit more forcefully this time.

"No, you asked, it would be impolite by now to stop. It really isn't that much of a trouble, or at least, shouldn't be." With a gentle sigh, Ran seems to recollect herself almost instantly. "Have you heard of the folklore behind the cause or nickname of a sunshower?"

"A sunshower? You mean how it's like a fox's wedding?" Ran nods to confirm, keeping her eyes closed while imagining her recollection.

"Yes. There is some truth to that. The legend goes that if a sunshower happens during a fox's wedding, then that wedding is guaranteed to work out with a happy ending. I had the high fortune of witnessing this myself."

"Oh, I see. Whose wedding was it?" Ran then opens her eyes, looking straight at you.

"Mine and my husband's."
Oh shi-
We shouldn't have done that.
On the bright side, it'll help us get closer to Ran.

Eh. It not like you can live for a very long time without getting married at some point or another.
[x] Ask about what her past was like

"So Ran, uhh...what was your life like before you met Yukari, then?" Ran suddenly looks at you, seemingly puzzled as to why you would ask such a thing, though not particularly bothered so you think you're okay. Better safe then sorry though. "Er, just wondering what actual youkai life is like here, I guess. Sorry if it's prying too much." Ran shakes her head.

"No, it's alright. I suppose as a member of the family you have every right to know. Still though, there isn't much to say about what it was like. From birth I lived as any other fox demon did, sneaking around human territory, preying upon those who were lost, feasting on their flesh. At least, up until..." Ran seems to hesitate for a moment, for some reason. You tilt your head a bit wondering what stopped her.

"Until...what?" Ran starts hanging her head a bit, looking down. You can tell she's gripping her tea cup a bit. "Ah, you don't have to say if-"

"No. I'm fine." You feel a small tinge in your heart...you feel a tad guilty, her facial expression hasn't changed, but it's become very obvious to you that she's become upset. "Please forgive me, I didn't think recalling it would be that painful..."

"Ran, if it's really that bad, then it's okay, you don't have to tell me." Again, Ran shakes her head, a bit more forcefully this time.

"No, you asked, it would be impolite by now to stop. It really isn't that much of a trouble, or at least, shouldn't be." With a gentle sigh, Ran seems to recollect herself almost instantly. "Have you heard of the folklore behind the cause or nickname of a sunshower?"

"A sunshower? You mean how it's like a fox's wedding?" Ran nods to confirm, keeping her eyes closed while imagining her recollection.

"Yes. There is some truth to that. The legend goes that if a sunshower happens during a fox's wedding, then that wedding is guaranteed to work out with a happy ending. I had the high fortune of witnessing this myself."

"Oh, I see. Whose wedding was it?" Ran then opens her eyes, looking straight at you.

"Mine and my husband's."

You freeze up suddenly. You weren't expecting this. You just sort of asked bluntly asa friendly gesture, maybe even a joke. You're pretty sure the same smile is locked on your face as you more or less blankly stare at Ran, regretting ever having asked. To think she's married...but there's no signs of her supposed husband anywhere. Is he out or something? Or maybe...

"Uhh...r-really? S-So the legend..." Ran turns her head back down, looking down into her tea a bit painfully.

"It wasn't as true as I had hoped..."

Oh, god, that small scritch in your heart just expanded to a massive gash. You can feel it sinking down all the way through your body. You had no intention on unearthing this story. Still though, through the pain and apparent heart break, Ran continues bravely with her telling.

"He was a tall, handsome man, at the time I was feeling particularly lonely and so he took advantage of my state and I became smitten with him almost instantly. Our relationship developed as you would have expected it to. The more and more he came to see me, the more I wanted to be near him, close to him, one with him...we even talked about having children, and before I knew it, we were to be wedded under a cloudy sky, that soon resulted in rain as sunlight had just broken through it. It was a true picture of beauty that I believed I would keep in my heart for all of eternity."

The more Ran talks about it, the more surreal it gets, and the more it continues being painful. This is quite unlike anything you've ever heard about youkai, and with every word Ran speaks, she feels more and more human. Speaking as if they truly understand and had obtained such things as human emotions. It's almost as if her story came straight out of a modern soap opera, but her words come from experience and that's what scares you most. You thought, maybe in the back of your head, the true concept of complicated human feelings, such as love, might have escaped the naturally youkai minds of Chen, Ran and Yukari. But Ran here is telling you the very essence of what is a bittersweet love story, one with a sorrowful ending that you feel you're about to regret asking for.

"Our wedding wasn't anything glamorous or spectacular, but it was, by that time, the happiest day of my life. I was ready to throw everything I had away for that marriage. I almost had, too. Sometime after I offered him my body and essence, I was impregnated with his child. It was only shortly thereafter that I realized I had been played the fool, as the man wasn't a real fox demon, but a tanuki going around and shape shifting into various youkai to impregnate them with his seed. He had already escaped by the time I found out, but...I was fueled by so much of my anger and hatred towards him, that I hunted him down with an obsessive vengence, until my thirst for his blood was satisfied."

"...and...th-the child...?" Ran simply closes her eyes, bowing her head lightly.

"One cannot feel sympathy for something that which was not meant to exist in the first place."

You feel quite taken aback suddenly. After so much talk of feeling what might have been true love, Ran's words come to you as a complete shock. You can't believe your ears. The way of youkai just totally evades your common sense. What...what does it all mean? Going so quickly from love into sheer hatred...just what was Ran thinking at the time? Part of you doesn't want to know.

"But," Ran continues, opening her eyes ever so slightly with the dim look of contempt, "I couldn't be satisfied with his death alone. I felt so heart broken that I could not contain myself, and became a renegade unto my own pack."


"Fox demons are unlike those of ordinary foxes. As a highly intelligent and cunning race, we form somewhat large and closely knit packs, maintaining hidden villages of roughly fifty fox demons who all share with each other their knowledge and strength. I was a part of a pack that helped me wed the imposter, and after finding out, I ended up taking out my frustration and hatred out on them, as well as picking fights with youkai I would have known better to respect rather then to aggress. I continued my slaughter for about three years until Lady Yukari came...I waged an intense battle with her, one I ultimately lost. She then took it upon herself to make me her pet...a notion I was highly against for some time, resisting and rebelling at any chance I got, even if it cost me my own life. But...no matter what, she would always treat me with kindness and try to sway me onto the better path, even if her methods were mischievous and questionable."

"I see...so, like me, you weren't very fond of the idea of being her shikigami at first, but eventually, you found out that she was..."

"Someone who brought me out of my mindless rage and taught me once again how to be a gentle lady. If not for her, I would not be able to treat someone like Chen with the same kindness I do now. So I'm positive that if you give her the chance, you will feel the same way about her too, later on."

Well, you understand her a bit more now. While all that she gave you was more or less a basic summary, you do feel a lot more...knowledgeable about Ran, now. You also feel somewhat more threatened by her, but at the same time, you want to sympathize with her. Maybe all this came at you a little too fast.

It soon occurs to you that silence befalls the room yet again. Ran seems to be staring down into her tea thinking about something. You want to say something, but you're afraid to. Anything you say might just upset her more.

[ ] Ask Ran if something's wrong
[ ] Stay silent and hope she says something
[ ] Head out the door and leave Ran to her own business
[ ] Sleep sounds like a good idea now
[x] Ask Ran if something's wrong
I dunno bro. Getting married is a human thing. Youkai can live together, but considering that a marriage is more religious than anything, I don't know if youkais can get married.

Can Youkai believe in gods?
[x] Ask Ran if something's wrong

I don't think we should insist, but I think it'll be worse if we abandon her so suddenly after hearing her story. We must assure her that we're still respecting her, or whatever.
She looks really worried about Satoya, so, solidarity, solidarity.
[x] Ask Ran if something's wrong
[x] Head out the door and leave Ran to her own business

After that painful retelling, I don't think Ran wants any sort of "comfort," or whatever. Satoya isn't really the best at giving that sort of thing either. It's better if we just quietly excuse ourselves and let her deal with this on her own.

>Can Youkai believe in gods?
That is so stupid. I cannot believe you would say something so fucking stupid. Goddamn, you're an idiot.
[x] Ask Ran if something's wrong
>OMG you asked a question you are stupid

I prefer asking a stupid question and having an answer rather than not asking it, and not having an answer.
[x] Ask Ran if something's wrong


The Moriya gods canonically receive their faith from the youkai of Youkai Mountain.
Thanks for the serious answer.
[x] Ask Ran if something's wrong

Well that was a lot more than I was expecting, though I probably should be surprised. Aside from her clawing out her baby from her body. Trying not to think about it.
I'm not so spooked by that as I'm sure despite Ran's calm answer at the moment, it must have been an intensely heart wrenching moment for her. Generally the more flawless the surface, the more vulnerable the core is underneath.
File 130704715630.jpg - (5.31KB, 158x152, 1277014559209.jpg) [iqdb]
This, [/b]This[/b] right here just make me hit the verge of shedding tears in over 15 years, I'm somehow
unfazed by even the the most gruesome and morally wrong pictures and videos, yet, the idea of Ran being tricked by her own fox demons into marrying and getting inpregnated by a raccoon and having to abort the child is just wrong, I understand how you done this, but still you brought tears and anguish through to my blackend and corrupt heart.

I spoiling the picture for being unrelated but this is just the tip of the iceberg of my feeling about this.

[x] Ask Ran if something's wrong
[x]comfort and say sorry for bringing back bad memories
Yeah... if Satoya runs into that Raccoon... I think it's clear what choice would be made.
What? From what was said, it's more like they supported Ran's wish at the times, not that they knew he was an imposter.
As hard as it can be to catch sarcasm over the internet, I think I just got it this time.

I agree with you to an extent. The whole sob story was out of left field, and a tad bit uncalled for.
Eh I think it feels some how realish. Life sucks some times, and ran having a jerry springer past feels right to me.
Sorry for suddenly disappearing. Had a self existential crisis and didn't feel it was fair to subject you, my loyal readers, to such a disgusting thing. However, if all goes well today, expect an update soon.

And sorry for horribly sucking with the flow. I know it feels like a train that's constantly stopping and going. Just bear with me here while I try to find the right rhythm.

[x] Ask Ran if something's wrong


"Yes?" Ran seems to turn her attention back to you rather nonchalantly, almost making you reconsider asking her, if merely because nothing seems wrong now. You remain constant though in seeing if something is indeed up.

"Ah...is something wrong? If there's anything I can help with..." Ran just shakes her head, closing her eyes.

"No, nothing in particular is wrong. I don't dwell upon the past like I used to."

"Eh...sorry for asking such a personal question." Ran opens her eyes and returns her gaze to you, seemingly assertive.

"No, it's alright. You asked and I felt you deserved the truth. It should be me apologizing for blurting out something so depressing when you're still new to this family."

You can sense that if you said anything more, it'd quickly go back and forth with no progress ever being made. Unfortunately, this results in another thick silence looming over the two of you. You take another glance at Ran. She has a very motherly charm about her, you'll admit. But otherwise, she just seems so...closed in. Is it the result of what she told you about? Or is there more to it then that? Even as she resumes staring at her tea, you can't help but notice that she has a very stoic look on her face, you feel as if something is wrong and yet she does a very good job at hiding it.

"...you're sure nothing is wrong?" You couldn't help but ask. Of course, in response, Ran just closes her eyes as she affirms her decision.

"Yes. Nothing is wrong."

You can't let go of this sinking feeling in your heart but you're also smart enough to know not to let it get to you and cloud your judgement. She says nothing is wrong, which means prying further would be a fruitless endeavor. You also can't think of any further topics of discussion with her, so after some hesitation under the loud silence that hangs in the air, you get up and bid your leave. You head to you room after leaving Ran to her own devices, but it's no good...you can't even so much as look at your bed without knowing right away you're not falling asleep...the awful feeling left inside you won't leave you alone, and you know that it would keep you from even closing your eyes.

One thing' is certain about all this; your 'becoming' youkai has had no effect on your human emotions. The living proof is the utter feeling of depression and pity that you're bearing right now.

...you need to get your mind off it.

[ ] Go look for Youmu to talk training with
[ ] Chen would easily cheer you up
[ ] Maybe Yuyuko can sooth you to sleep
[ ] Wander about outside until you forget
[x] Chen would easily cheer you up

After the grandmother and the mother, let's talk with the daughter. Be a good daddy.
[ ] Chen would easily cheer you up
[x] Maybe Yuyuko can sooth you to sleep

I don't even like Yuyuko, but seriously now. We've been lounging about in her house for far too long, and I don't recall ever talking to her singularly even once. That shit is just rude.
[x] Chen would easily cheer you up
[x] Maybe Yuyuko can sooth you to sleep


Agreed, though I do like Yuyuko.
[x] Chen would easily cheer you up
[x] Chen would easily cheer you up
[X] Maybe Yuyuko can sooth you to sleep
[x] Maybe Yuyuko can sooth you to sleep
Thirded. We haven't even touched the dream thing yet, by the by, but I don't think he has the right state of mind for that. Not yet.
Besides, he always thought of her as a really kind person.
well I would agree if not for all that's happened recently, mainly Yukari's teasing and Ran's revelations. He might not be able to deal with Yuyuko's teasing, his time in the 'past', or the fact he saw quite a great deal of her on his very first visit. I'd think Chen's youthful point of few would put him at ease, and who better to speak of Ran at present than her?
[x] Chen would easily cheer you up
[X] Chen would easily cheer you up

Though chances are, she'll end up telling some sob-story of her own.
File 13077057274.jpg - (84.21KB, 500x831, f945c17094e8ddefc33eca8037e1cf52.jpg) [iqdb]
[x] Chen would easily cheer you up

With a deep, dissatisfied sigh, you head out of your room and soon, out of the mansion altogether, going into the pink forest in search of the wily feline that brought you here. There's definitely no helping your situation within those tight, enclosed walls, you need to be free, much like the one you're on the prowl for. Hopefully, once you do find her, she'll be able to put your mind at ease with her cheerfulness.

How do you know you'll find her? You're not quite sure yourself...it feels like sheer instinct at first. Maybe it is, even without concentrating, you're certain you could 'feel' the aura Ran, Chen and, most importantly, Yukari all give off, without even trying. It's a sort of weird magnetism that works because, most likely, the way all four of you share the same energy pool. Chen and Ran are very much a part of you the way you are a part of them, at least, that's how you're interpreting it. After Ran's explanation on how this "family" works, you can see why it's called a family to begin with. It feels like becoming very, very close to at least Ran and Chen is a sure inevitability, so you may as well start getting it over with now. At least Ran had the courtesy to start herself, although on an awfully bad note...

It isn't too long until you find Chen. It figures, as you predicted you were drawn to her like a magnet and easily found your way towards her using her aura. She's squatting down staring at a couple odd flowers next to a tree.

...come to think of it, you haven't seen a whole lot of flowers out in the wild here in the netherworld.

"Ah, hey Chen, what're you doing?"

"Chen's hunting for wild flowers in the cherry blossom forest! They don't grow very often so it's really exciting when Chen finds some~"

She seems especially happy, a bright and cheery smile painted over her charming face as she looks at you, combined with her childish looks and overall cute nature, it serves to lift your spirits in a very quick hurry.

"Really? You found any others then?"

"Chen was about to go look for some more actually. What's Satoya doing out here?"

"Looking for you actually. How about we look for some flowers together then?"


The way Chen's happy voice and bouncy demeanor really serve to lighten your mood. The way she sways about gently as she hums a soothing tune while she walks beside you, the expression of glee and joy she exerts when flowers are found and the cheerful giggling she emanates anytime you make a funny comment all make up a rather stark contrast to the stoic, depressive Ran that you saw earlier. You can see why someone like her would really treasure Chen, you actually start wondering if there's really any sort of joy in Ran's life outside of this young cat girl. You almost even humor the thought that you might not necessarily survive being Yukari's slave without Chen around, particularly with how Ran is.

"Look! More! More!" Chen eagerly rushes up to another tiny group of natural flowers, growing right at the base of one of the many, many trees in the expansive pastel forest. You almost feel giddy yourself, just watching her.

"Hey, so what did we find this time?"

"Small white ones! They're so pretty...!" You kneel down and get a better look, indeed the flowers are tenderly blooming white, completely overshadowed by the large tree invading their root space, but still fighting strong nonetheless.

"Wow, it's amazing how flowers like this can still survive out here."

"Isn't it? Chen loves exploring around here, there's so many surprises afoot~" After standing back up, you can see Chen's tails behind her wavy about happily as she continues to stare in awe at the plants she found. Suddenly though, the tails swish out of your view and soon, your eyes are locked onto Chen's smiling face, staring up at you. "Say, what did Satoya need with Chen anyways?"

"H-Huh?" You almost feel caught off guard by Chen's sudden motion and question, practically having been caught staring at the little girl's bottom rather embarrassingly. You quickly shake it off though. "I uh, just needed a distraction I guess. You've been doing a really good job at providing it too." Chen's smile grows wider as she hears she's been doing good.

"Really? Chen's glad~" Not intent on letting it go though, Chen tilts her joyful face at you. "What was Satoya doing before?"

"Ah, I was just talking to Ran really. Kind of depressing..."

"Really...?" Chen looks up for a moment. You almost expect her to ask what you were talking about with her, and you're about to tell her, until she asks a totally different question instead. "What does Satoya think of Master Ran?"

"Eh? Well..." You cross your arms and think about it for a few moments. I'm really not quite sure yet...she's really closed in I feel, and yet she tries so hard...it sounds like she's really troubled by a lot of things and I really want to help her..." Chen's inquisitive look gives way to a soft smile.

"We should help her together then, shouldn't we?" It takes you a brief moment to understand. Of course, it would only make sense that after a while of being together, Chen would know about Ran's inner turmoil herself. She really does seem a lot more mature then she lets on, fooling even you at times.

"You're right. Let's try our hardest then, shall we?"

"Of course!" You almost expect Chen to leave it at that and continue about her merry way along side you, when she poses yet another question, with a seemingly mischievous smile on her face now. "So how does Satoya feel about Chen...?"

"U-Uh?" You're taken off guard a bit more by this question. You're not sure if you could be totally candid about Chen right in front of her. "So suddenly? Why are you so interested in what I think?"

"Satoya's going to be a member of the family after he completes this training! Surely he's thought of who he wants to be in this family!"

"Uhh, who?"

"Yes, who. Satoya's going to be spending a long time with us, sooo..."

"Hold on just a minute, I haven't thought that far yet." Chen gives you a bit of a pouty face when she realizes things aren't quite going her way.

"That's typical human behavior! Satoya's not like that anymore!"

"Ah, I'm not?" You ask, trying to allude that maybe, you do still feel quite human. Unfortunately, like her master's master before her, she's pretty adamant and convinced you're to leave behind that supposed humanity.

"Yes! Come on, what kind of position does Satoya want here?"

"Do I have to choose now? Can't I just think of it later, preferably after I've actually, you know, gotten to know the rest of you better?"

"If there's one thing Master Ran taught Chen, it's that planning ahead is very important in life." Well, you can't deny that. Being a, now former, college professor, you know how that is. But you don't think it quite applies to this kind of problem...

"I think you're being unreasonable. I honestly don't know much about Ran, as I feel like there's plenty more she's hiding from me. And lord knows what kinds of things Yukari is hiding..."

"Well then, what about Chen? Chen can tell you more about herself if Satoya still isn't convinced."

You feel like you were just backed into a corner here. You're starting to think that keeping your mouth shut is only going to get on the feline's nerves. You suppose you gotta tell her something, whatever comes first to mind is...

[ ] "Personally, I would like to see you as a lover eventually"
[ ] "Well if Ran is like a mother figure to you, then I guess I would like to be like a father..."
[ ] "You seem like a really nice friend so I'd like to keep it that way"
[ ] "Alright, you win, tell me more about yourself then in that case"
[ ] "Well...what do you think, Chen?"
[x] "Well...what do you think, Chen?"
Evasive? No, just curious.
>"Yes! Come on, what kind of position does Satoya want here?"

Uh, what? Am I the only one understanding it in THAT way?

[x] "Well...what do you think, Chen?"

Because I can't think of anything else.

Saged because I erased the first post, and I don't want to bump the topic twice.
[X] "Alright, you win, tell me more about yourself then in that case."

We did want learn more about them.
[x] "Personally, I would like to see you as a lover eventually"

This is the perfect answer. Chen can either see this as a joking deflection and let it slide, or she'll take it at face value. Either way, it's a win-win!
[x] "Alright, you win, tell me more about yourself then in that case"
I see nothing wrong with it. How she talk about herself could maybe hint at how she see us too.

Until Ran hears about it. Then it's lose-lose. How do you think she'll react to it? And whatever it will be, it's going to be worse if considered a joke. Especially so soon after she told her story.
There's the matter of giving tons of fuel to Yukari's teasing on the matter.

[x] "Alright, you win, tell me more about yourself then in that case"

Can't answer anything else as I'm not quite set on which path to go.
[x] "Well...what do you think, Chen?"
[x] Confess your undying love for Chen.
[x] "Well...what do you think, Chen?"

Chen route is a path to destruction.

inb4 'creepy uncle'
>>25619 Here, trying to explain a bit more of what I mean. While I lean towards Ran, it feels too early to make a clear choice at this point.
Fair enough. We're still the new guy here, so it would be ridiculous to set a target on any of them, though, to be fair, every update concerning Chen does seem to have a certain tone behind it, if you catch my drift. Maybe it's just my own proclivities shining through.
I get the impression that Chen wants Satoya to be some sort or relative. But he so far doesn't think of Chen in THAT way at the moment.
Sukima did say, under spoilers that 'Chen was able to experience something rare for her when Satoya fainted on the stairs...'

I think Chen doesn't even know herself how to see us at the moment and asked because she wanted to know how we saw the others. She's interested in us, but because of that event and curiosity. I say it could go in many different ways at the moment, for good or bad, depending on future actions.

And Chen also dismiss Satoya's past... Then again, considering how Ran and Chen were before being in the Yakumo family, Chen probably doesn't see any problem in forgetting her life from before. Makes me wonder what sort of past Yukari in this story had.
Can you sage your post if you're not voting?
I though it was an update.
I can't really add anything that that other guy hasn't already said, but this made me laugh heartily.

>But he so far doesn't think of Chen in THAT way at the moment.

What story have you been reading? There's something going on between Satoya and Chen, and it isn't entirely platonic on his part. Did you somehow miss him staring at her ass, or constantly wondering at her maturity level? Dude's a lolicon.
What about his massive uproar at Yukari's suggestions? If he was indeed lolicon for Chen, then he'd have mentally remarked on how sharp Yukari is.
He's simply in denial. Most people are a little hesitant to accept those aspects of themselves.

Clearly Sukima is just biased towards catgirls.
[x] "Well...what do you think, Chen?"

"Huh? What does Chen think...?"

"Yeah, if you're so convinced that one could make such a hasty decision by now, then surely you have yourself, right? So, what do you want me to be in this family?" Chen then gives you a big, fat, happy smile.

"Chen wants Satoya to be a good, close member of the family, of course!"

"Just a 'member?' Nothing more specific then that?" The smile on Chen's face is beset by her sudden confusion, a curious expression suddenly taking over.

"More specific?"

"Yeah, like Ran. She's sort of like a mother to you, right?" Chen looks up, even more puzzled then before.

"A mother...?" You're a little taken back by Chen's bemusement. Does she really understand the concept of a family? "I suppose..."

"Well, doesn't Ran dote on you like a mother would? And care for you like one?"

"Well, Master Ran takes care of me like any other master would, right?" You're...not sure if this is naivete at work here, but that sentence just comes off as hideously untrue to you. "Besides, it isn't like Master Ran is really my mother, that would be silly~"

"Ah...I guess you're right. So...what kind of roles does everyone play in this family then?"

"Roles...? Isn't it obvious? Master Ran is my Master and Master Yukari is Master Ran's Master, right?"

"Ah, that's..."

"But the kinds of bonds we share are like that of a real family, like Master Ran said. We all love each other very much~" After affirming the relations between the three that would be your family soon enough, Chen smiles up at you. "I would like it if you loved us all the same way."

"...well, I'll try my best then, in that case." With that, Chen smiles even wider and grabs onto your sleeve, tugging your arm with it.

"Then let's get to work on that right away! We have to talk to Master Ran about it!"

"Ah, okay, okay, just don't pull too hard, huh?"

There's certainly something about Chen's happy charm that really lifts your spirits. If she could do such a thing with you, then surely she could make even Ran brimming with happiness. In fact, you think you already know that this happens. It makes you want Chen to be around Ran much more often, especially while you're around, since you really want to see Ran smile. Someone who seems so closed in most of the time probably has the most endearing smile. You think Yukari must've been off her rocker though. You never asked about Chen's supposed disliking of being called immature, but you think that she would just pout and get angry with you, unlike what Yukari might've implied with her devilish looks. Chen really does seem pretty simple minded, which is probably why you find it so easy to be around her, unlike Yukari and Ran, one of whom is a big downer, and the other...well, is just hard to figure out, even if she is a good talker.

...wait a minute.

"...uh, hey Chen. Remind me again what you wanted me to be in the family...?" Chen looks up at you a bit puzzled before smiling at you as you walk beside her.

"Chen wants Satoya to be loved by everyone just the same as he loves us~!"

Huh...maybe it was just your imagination.

Soon enough, you and Chen return to the large mansion that you've been doing your training in. Ran is actually standing in front of the long porch, apparently waiting for the two of you to come back, as she walks over to you as Chen loudly exclaims her glorious return.

"Master Ran!! We're back!" Chen runs into her Master's arms quite happily before Ran looks over at you.

"Were you out with Chen?"

"Yes, I was." Ran then bows her head a bit.

"Please forgive me for driving you away like that, then..."

"Ah, no no, it wasn't...really like that. I just still couldn't sleep so I went out for a bit of fresh air and found Chen, is all. Although I'll admit, that kind of story out of nowhere..." Ran looks at you a bit confused.

"What do you mean? You asked about my past, did you not?"

"Well, yeah, but you could have talked about something else about your past...maybe something less, I don't know...jarring?" Ran simply closes her eyes.

"I felt started with the more influential things in my past was prudent, so forgive me in thinking that way." Ugh, you don't know if she's subtly berating you or not. It's hard to tell with her sometimes. Although this gives you memories of what she offered you a while ago, back at Yukari's home. She almost seems to match Chen in naivete, it's practically shocking.

"Oh! Master Ran!" Chen sounds, sometime just as an awkward silence comes on. "Chen and Satoya talked and Chen thinks Satoya's ready to be a part of the family!" Ran blinks looking down at Chen before looking over at you.

"But isn't he already a member? He is still contracted by Master Yukari." Chen shakes her head though.

"No, not like that! Chen wants Master Ran and Master Yukari to love Satoya the same way the rest of us are loved!" Ran brings her attention back to you once again, seemingly thinking before it, before bowing her head again, but more politely then before.

"I will give Satoya all the love that I have, then."

Ah, wow...you feel inherently embarrassed right now. While you know Ran was just saying that to appease Chen, and wasn't really using any extreme meaning of the word, you can still sense a thick sincerity in her words and posture and it causes your heart to skip a few beats.

Not having a woman say that kind of thing to you for a long while also seems to do the trick too.

"A-A-Ah, th-...thank you. I-I'll try my best as well, then."

Thankfully, you get your bearings together pretty quickly. Were it Chen, you'd just feel a charming happiness well up inside you, and were it Yukari...well, you'd probably take it with a grain of salt. The way Ran seems so serious about things though, if nothing else, it's certainly admirable.

[ ] Well, time for bed then
[ ] Hang out with Ran and Chen a bit more
[ ] Maybe you can continue your training now
[x] Well, time for bed then

Thanks for that Chen. Should be calm enough for sleep now.
[x] Well, time for bed then
Thanks Cheeeeeen.
[ ] Hang out with Ran and Chen a bit more
I'd vote for the bed, but for some reason I'd rather wish to see them two together and talk about some more cheerful stuff.
[x] Well, time for bed then

Satoya is still acting like a human, that's funny.
[x] Hang out with Ran and Chen a bit more

I'd like to see Ran during happier times as right now Satoya seems to have a lopsided opinion of Ran due that story about her past.
File 130789441966.jpg - (115.96KB, 400x1154, df562bff5eedffc07e9d19abd2436a1d.jpg) [iqdb]
This diary needs a new page now
[x] Hang out with Ran and Chen a bit more.
[X] Hang out with Ran and Chen a bit more.

That's adorable.
[x] Hang out with Ran and Chen a bit more

>Chen wants Master Ran and Master Yukari to love Satoya the same way the rest of us are loved!
>"I will give Satoya all the love that I have, then."

Gah. How can they say something like that with such honest heartfelt feelings. I'm embarrassed simply reading it. I would die on the spot if I was on the receiving end.
[x] Hang out with Ran and Chen a bit more.
Black Cat of Warm Tidings

[x] Hang out with Ran and Chen a bit more
[X] Hang out with Ran and Chen a bit more.

Exactly how I feel. Maybe it's just because I'm quite partial to Chen, especially Sukima's take on her.
Gonna take a short break to get something important done. Hopefully I'll be back before the end of June. Stay sharp my lovable readers.
>I'll be back before the end of June

Uh... See you later, then!
Just saying.
28th June.
Just saying.

Get your ass here and update this maggot!
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[x] Hang out with Ran and Chen a bit more

Maybe it's time you saw this for yourself, once and for all. You've witnessed it a few times before, but you've never actually taken part in it. That is to say, Ran and Chen being together, as a family.

"So, what were you going to do now, Ran?"

"Well, since I know you and Chen are well, I suppose I was going to go to the gardens, perhaps ask Youmu if there's anything I could do."

"Ah, really? Doing chores even while being a guest?" Ran closes her eyes a bit troubled, seems you hit a bullseye there.

"I don't get very much free time to myself..."

"Well hey, that's okay. Maybe me and Chen could join you? I probably need to talk to Youmu about this training business soon anyways." Ran looks back at you again.

"Are you sure you don't mind? Weren't you trying to go to sleep?"

"Yeah but, I don't really feel all that tired anymore. Besides, I'm sure Chen wouldn't mind either, right?" With a bright smile, Chen proves just how right you are.

"Of course! Chen would love to see all the pretty flowers in the garden!" Seems Chen's still in a bit of a flowery mood after going out and searching for flowers elsewhere.

"Well, alright. Follow me then."

Ran leads you and Chen towards the mansion gardens after tell the both of you that. Chen happily hums a charming song during the short trip, swaying her head back and forth with a bright smile on her face. Can a youkai really be this happy? You wish all children could be like this. Maybe it'd make teaching in schools below college much more bearable. Then again, Chen, being a youkai, is probably very fundamentally different from most human children. For one, she used to be a cat, an adult one no less. Though you admittedly don't know a whole lot about Chen's past in great detail. It might not be something worth worrying about though, if one of your past 'dreams' is something to take account for.

As you step into the garden of the Hakugyokurou, you almost become stunned right away. You're greeted by a massive courtyard, with trimmed and carefully cared for cherry blossom trees strewn about, with pathways intertwining around various sections of the gardens housing various foliage, all rare and exquisite. The vision is truly a sight to behold as you lumber behind Ran and Chen a bit, taking in all the delicious scenery with your eyes. You're no expert on plant life, but some of these flowers feel out of this world. Probably to be expected of the netherworld though.

"Oh! Master Ran! There's a new flower patch over here!"

"Is there now?" You try to keep up with the two as they walk over to a section with a patch of interestingly green flowers blooming. You don't believe you've ever seen flowers with such lush, green petals, greener then the very stem that they're born from.

"What are these?" You pose a quick question as you approach the flower patch.

"They appear to be roses, bred to have a pine green color to them." Ran answers you quite simply as you and Chen curiously look about the small flowers.

"Really? Very interesting. I kinda want some myself."

"Chen does too!" With a child-like carelessness, Chen reaches over, as if to pick one out from the patch, only to prick herself and immediately pull her hands away. "Kya! Ow..." The young feline is now nursing her bleeding thumb with a pained look on her face. In fact, it almost pains you to see her face like this, she's just so good at expressions that it's almost befittingly inhuman.

"Ah...you should be careful next time. Every rose has it's thorns, after all." Ran kneels down and starts treating Chen's wound. It disappears with a simple rubbing of Ran's fingers over it, as if healing it with her simple touch. Chen returns to smiling her carefree smile right after.

"Thank you Master Ran~"

Ran returns the smile as she stands back up. As you thought...a smile really does suit her best. Although, it's just as she said, every rose has it's thorns. You honestly wonder how Ran truly thinks of you sometimes, as it's so hard to tell.

You better be careful not to prick yourself on her in the future.

"Hey, what does Satoya think of the gardens?" Chen asks you as you continue following Ran and Chen through the gardens while admiring the stunning beauty of it.

"Huh? Well, it's definitely big and well taken care of...and Youmu manages all this by herself?"


"Youmu not only comes from a long line of swordsmen, but of gardeners as well. Her skill with a sword is matched only by her green thumb." You hear Ran talk more about Youmu after explaining it quite simply. It's very impressive still though that she could care for entire garden like this. It's so huge, you think you would go insane trying to manage all of it yourself.

"Chen loves going through the gardens! It's so pretty and serene..."

"Yeah, I'll say." You make a quick remark in response to Chen while continuing to look about the garden. You can even see a large and absolutely beautiful painting of a night sky on one end of the garden. You kind of want to find out more now...

[ ] "Are there any other places like this in Gensokyo?"
[ ] "So what was this line of gardeners and swordsmen like?"
[ ] "Is this garden Youmu's, or does she just manage it for Yuyuko?"
[ ] You'll stick to admiring for now.

Sorry for taking so long. What's worse is that I didn't end up getting anything done. Just sat around worrying about things and generally being lazier then I should have. But a promise is a promise, so here I am, writing before the end of June. Maybe this will last longer then before. Also, please forgive me if there are any inconsistencies or plot holes in the story now, as it's been a nice while since I started writing and I'm beginning to forget little details that I've written into it now.
[x] "So what was this line of gardeners and swordsmen like?"
A strange combination
[x] "Are there any other places like this in Gensokyo?"

We're going to be out there more often eventually. Why not ask about it?
[x] "So what was this line of gardeners and swordsmen like?"

A little Youmu may be fine.
Know your foes. If we know her, we can beat her!
[x] "Is this garden Youmu's, or does she just manage it for Yuyuko?"

I'm starting to feel like a faggot. I just vote for whatever Youmu option is available. Sorry.
[x] "Are there any other places like this in Gensokyo?"
[X] "Are there any other places like this in Gensokyo?"
[x] "So what was this line of gardeners and swordsmen like?"
[x] "So what was this line of gardeners and swordsmen like?"
[x] "Are there any other places like this in Gensokyo?"

Spaces after ellipses.

I go by my own rules, you can't tell me what to do, you lousy coppers!

Oh fine.
[x] "Are there any other places like this in Gensokyo?"
[x] "Are there any other places like this in Gensokyo?"
[x] "Are there any other places like this in Gensokyo?"

As you walk through the gardens, one thing becomes apparent to you; this is just one spot in a supposedly vast land called Gensokyo that Yukari told you about. While beauty like this couldn't come naturally, there's also the various other cherry blossoms outside the mansion, stretching out in all directions almost endlessly. Youmu couldn't possibly tend to all of those too. Yet, they continue growing there, unfettered by the apparent sense of sheer death that hangs about in the air everywhere. Speaking of which, you wonder how the garden is able to cope with that. You sure haven't felt any real change in the air you've been breathing, still tastes as toxic and morbid as it did before. But if such stunning visions can exist even in a place where death infects the very oxygen everything breathes, then surely, the rest of Gensokyo must be a sight to behold.

"Say, Ran, are there any other places like this in Gensokyo? I'm a bit more interested now after seeing all this." Ran and Chen before you stop and turn towards you, Ran takes a very brief moment though to realize something.

"Oh. Well..." Ran, in a somewhat uncharacteristic way, seems to hesitate for a brief moment before Chen chimes in with her own answer.

"There's tons of places! Gensokyo is very wide and pretty, Chen can show Satoya some good places next time Satoya comes to find Chen."

"Really? That would be nice. And you, Ran?" You look back over at the fox woman, and once again, she seems to hesitate, staring at you for a few moments before closing her eyes.

"Please forgive me...I don't go out on my own very often, so I'm afraid even Chen knows Gensokyo's geography much better then I do. It would be best if she showed you instead of me."

"Ah, really?" You cross your arms as you continue on. "Why can't she show the both of us?"

"I don't normally have such free time available, so I don't think that's much of an option." You can see Ran's resolute decision in her face, but you're not about to back down just yet.

"Well, since I'm gonna be a part of this family now, maybe I can help? You know, take some chores off your hands, help around the house, anything that eats up your time really. Then when we both have the free time, we can explore around with Chen. How's that?" Chen looks up at her dear master with a big smile on her face, quite liking the idea.

"Satoya's right, Master Ran! Can we, can we please?" Ran looks down at Chen briefly before looking back at you, seemingly a little stunned before finally giving in, smiling with a small sigh.

"Ah, alright then. If you insist, I suppose I don't have much of a choice."

"Great, I look forward to it then."

As if nothing happened, the three of you continue on through the gardens, adoring it's beauty. You're not sure what Ran and Chen are thinking, but inside your own head, you're looking forward to this. You got to see Ran smile. You get to spend more time with Chen. Best of all, it'd probably mean time away the old hag, Yukari. Seeing new and amazing sights would be a great bonus too. If only you brought your camera. Of course, you still want to go home, very badly. You're not very comfortable with being a youkai just yet, as it all feels a little complicated and overwhelming. It makes being human seem so simple. But you suppose while you're here, you should make the most of it and enjoy what you're given, right? You'll get back, someday. For now, maybe you can treat it as a vacation. Well, a vacation with work hours...

It's not too long after that you find Youmu. Not tending to the gardens, but sitting down on a soft pillow, sipping some tea. It's almost serene looking of her, but you guess that's easy to achieve when you're a sword master and a gardener all in one.

"Ah, Miss Ran, Satoya, good timing." You hear this as the three of you come up on Youmu's sitting position, where she comes to a stand.

"Good timing?" You ask her, "what was it that you needed us for?"

"It's about your training. Since Lady Yukari is expected to wake up soon, I felt I should tell you two about her feelings towards it thus far."

"Her feelings?" You're pretty curious as to what Yukari would say about it outside of your earshot, actually. You can never be too sure with that woman.

"Yes. I happened to be there when Lady Yukari was talking to Lady Yuyuko about it shortly before she went to bed. It would appear that she wants a demonstration of your training thus far very soon, Satoya."

"Really...does that mean she wants to test what I've learned?"

"That is highly likely." You turn your head over to Ran, who just gives you a simple nod of affirmation in return. You suppose you can count on her for any help if you need it. "There may still be time, Satoya. If you wish to get in a bit more practice, we should get started now." Youmu looks at you with a confident, yet stern look. She wasn't lying then; seems your moment of truth behind your training is finally at hand. Maybe more in part to Yukari's possible impatience. You're not sure if you feel quite ready yet, but...

[ ] I need to sharpen my weaponry skills a bit more
[ ] I need to brush up on my hand-to-hand
[ ] I need better defenses against magic
[ ] Bring it on!
[X] I need better defenses against magic

Satoya's really good with the spear now, and this is where he is weak. What good is a spear when a cheating jerk standard Gensokyo resident keeps forcing you away with a magic barrage?

I'm also worried that the test may involve fighting Ran.
[x] I need better defenses against magic

Ran trashed us with magic. We need to know how to defend against it.
[x] I need better defenses against magic
Let's face it. This is Gensokyo after all. All of them will be using magic.
[x] I need better defenses against magic
[X] I need better defenses against magic

While he may be part of group now there will come times where they won't be able to cover him or he must simply fight on his own.

This is just insurance.
[X] I need better defenses against magic
[x] I need to sharpen my weaponry skills a bit more

Fuck magic. If working solely with weaponry is good enough for Youmu, it's good enough for us. It'd be pretty damn hard for them to cast some mumbo-jumbo when we stab their ass' at 200 yojana in one thrust.
[X] I need better defenses against magic

Make your weakness not so weak.
And wishing to improve whatever meager skill he may have isn't reason enough?

Besides, I doubt she really wants another person she has to look after.

And what about Chen? We want to be able to protect her if necessary, right?
[x] I need better defenses against magic

Unless Yukari is going to pit Satoya against some Eldritch horror, he is going to need to deal with magic better.
[X] I need better defenses against magic

His melee is pretty sound, not so sure about this.
Changed my vote to:

[X] I need better defenses against magic

Old vote erased. >>25942 is quite right, Ran shouldn't be a baby-sitter.
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I am so sorry for taking so long. I had a huge writing job to do over the month. Good news is, however, that I finished it early. Enjoy updates.

[x] I need better defenses against magic

"Well, I think I'm fine for the most part, except in one field that I was thrashed in. Defending against magic." Almost immediately, you look over at Ran, and she looks back at you, as if to confirm your possibly foolhardy decision.

"Are you sure this is what you want?" You give a quick nod to Ran, and she sighs gently. "Very well then. When will Lady Yukari be waking up?"

"Possibly in a couple hours from now," Youmu answers.

"Alright. I won't be able to teach you much, Satoya. But I can give you a basic rundown. Is that okay?"

"Yeah, that's definitely fine."

With that, Ran leads you and the rest out back towards the front of the mansion, where you and Youmu had been training for a while now. Soon enough, you are standing at one end of the field with Ran at the other, a nostalgic position that returns to you many fears that lay in your heart. With Youmu at the side though, you feel slightly more confident. Ran also looks far less peeved then she did before. Perhaps this will be an actual lesson rather then a downright curb stomping.

"Satoya, are you ready?" You give a careful nod to Ran to tell her that you're about as ready as you'll ever be. Ran then holds a hand up, and a small, colored orb materializes in her hand. "For the basic exercise, I will tell you how to defend and then attack you. I want you to pay close attention to me while I do so, okay?" You're not too entirely sure you get it, but you're willing to play along.

"Alright...sure." With that, Ran begins rather suddenly.

"Left!" With a quick motion, the magic orb is pitched at you with amazing speed, swinging around and coming at you from your left. Thanks to Ran's cue, you barely manage to bring your weapon forth to absorb most of the impact as it explodes violently on contact, causing you to skid a bit into the opposite direction as you desperately try to hold your ground. You catch your breath for but only a brief moment, as Ran's next attack begins. "Right!" You quickly double around and prepare for this one, skidding back into place upon meeting with the second orb of light. With another call, the next orb comes at you from the right yet again, allowing you to use your momentum to leap back and dodge it, though just barely. You almost miss the call on the next one, almost instinctively looking up and just barely intercepting it with your weapon.

Yet again, Ran's sheer, overwhelming power is taking it's toll on you. Even when she goes easy on you, the strange orbs of light she sends at you feel like massive wrecking balls with dynamite attached to them. The incredible force of the explosion along side the intense speed of the orb quickly wear your body down in record time, and it's only after a couple minutes that you're feeling weak. Your joints are giving away and your limbs are shaking in terror. But still, Ran does not let up. Her magic continues to come at you relentlessly. You can feel each hit like a crushing blow to your entire body. You can't even pay attention to Ran anymore after a couple more minutes. It's just too much. Her magic pounds away at your weakening body repeatedly and all you can do is focus all your might and energy on simply keeping the blasts from killing you outright.

What an unfortunate disaster this turned out to be. You're failing Ran miserably, yet again.

"Satoya~! Don't let her overwhelm you!"

"Overcome her strength Satoya! It should not be hard!"

Yet...you can hear them. Chen and Youmu, cheering for you, recognizing your distress and trying to encourage you. For some reason, they are loud and clear, even though Ran's calls are muffled by the sheer pain and sound from her magic.

Urgh...your body is crumbling. You can feel it again, that pulsing heat, that stranglehold on your heart. It pierces your chest and makes you feel even weaker, but in return, your arms and legs feel more force and power pouring into them. It's still of no hope however, as Ran's magic picks up the pace and starts coming at you faster and faster, the delay between them shortening with every tossed orb, it's going to overwhelm you before you can overcome it like this. The fire burning brightly in your chest is being fanned...but at what cost? Even with this newfound youkai strength, you have no confidence in rising above Ran's powerful magic. You've got to do something...

[ ] Stop the presses! This is too much!
[ ] You can't stay here...you need to escape.
[ ] You can't show any signs of weakness, not now!
[x] Stop the presses! This is too much!
[x] You can't stay here...you need to escape.

The best defense is simply not getting hit. If we can somehow drastically improve our speed, enough to not be hit by any magic, than we have already "won" against magic users.
[x] You can't show any signs of weakness, not now!

This should be fine as long as he doesn''t take it too far and do something he'll regret.
[x] You can't show any signs of weakness, not now!

Training what we were intending to train. If it's a facet we simply can't improve, Yukari or Ran will dissuade us from trying to do so again.
[x] You can't stay here...you need to escape.

Hold Shift for focused movement.
[x] You can't stay here...you need to escape.

Just sitting there taking it won't help.
I'm worried he might do something rash like run away from Hakugyokuro with this choice.
[x] You can't stay here...you need to escape.
Let's graze.
[x] You can't stay here...you need to escape.
Let's graze.
[X] You can't show any signs of weakness, not now!
[x] You can't stay here...you need to escape.

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[x] You can't stay here...you need to escape.

There's just no way you can continue taking this punishment, youkai or not. Ran's sheer, overwhelming power is just too much.

You have to do it. You need to leave. You have to make an escape.


"Hey! Satoya! Wait!"


You hear the cries of your friends as you vacate the area in a quick hurry. You don't care anymore about the training...just need to get out of there. Before it kills you.

The trees whiz past you as you deftly dodge them one by one, disappearing into the Hakugyokurou's massive cherry blossom forest, hastily running away from the inherent danger that was looming over you not too long ago. Your chest is on fire, your body is stiff, your arms and legs feel heavy and your head rumbles with intense pain. You feel as if something is trying to take control of you, but you don't know what. Your body almost seems as if it is moving on it's own. You feel a complete disregard for the things around you as you make your escape, recklessly bumping into various trees and focused only on getting as far away as possible.

You're scared. Frightened. Absolutely terrified.

...you're not sure why you ran like that. Something inside you just...told you to do it. Else you would forfeit your life. Survival instinct? Maybe it comes with being a youkai. One thing's for certain, Ran's magic...still overpowers you with relative ease. How could you hope to defend against such extreme strength? How...how could you hope to fight like this at all? If that's the norm in Gensokyo here...you have no chance of survival, not in an actual battle. You briefly wonder how you'll be able to cope...

You make your sorry trek back to the mansion in an exhausted and depressed state. Your body is making a quick recovery, but your mind isn't. You feel awfully drab and hopeless now. You can't believe you ran away like that.

"Satoya~! Satoya...!" You stop when you hear someone calling for you. You don't believe you're close to the mansion yet, so someone must've came to get you. You can barely make out the voice though, so it's not immediately obvious to you who's out there.

However, your questions are answered the moment you walk by a tree and Chen swings around upside down from one of it's branches and almost right into you.



You fall backwards, right onto your rear end, just barely able to catch your upper body with your arms from the sheer surprise the nekomata just gave you. Said person is happily hanging upside down from the tree branch.

"I found you~"

"Th-That's nice, Chen...could you find me in a less sudden manner next time?"

"But you don't just find someone gradually, Satoya. It's always sudden!" Chen flips right side up, hanging from the branch with her arms until drop to the ground below, right before you, giving you time to stand up.

"Yeah...did you come looking for me?"

"Master Ran told me to look for you after you ran off." Chen tilts her head and looks up at you with a bit of a worried look on her face. "Are you okay...?"

You'll admit, after what just happened, someone worrying about you makes you feel a lot more at ease suddenly.

"Yeah...I'm fine. Thanks Chen. I just...I don't know what came over me. Best answer I could give you is that I guess I was afraid I might've died there..." Chen shakes her head and looks up at you.

"Master Ran would never go that far, Satoya. She is strong, but she knows your limits! You can do this, I believe in you!"

"Ah...th-thanks, but..." You can't bear saying that you don't think you could do it. It's hard enough to deny her when she's being happy and cute, but when she's being serious like this...she definitely has a different air about her. It might be influence from Yukari and Ran, but you feel as if Chen has some real potential to be a leader. It's hard to listen to what she has to say and not agree with her when she's being so serious.

"Satoya." You're brought out of your brief daze from trying to avoid Chen's encouragement and notice Chen is looking up at you differently now. At least, until she smiles. "Does Satoya want to train with Chen instead?"

"Uhh...train with you?"

"Of course! Chen knows magic, Satoya's seen it." She's right. She did demonstrate her magic on your way here. But...would it be viable for...training? You don't want to put Chen down, but you can't help but feel as if her magic might be a tad on the weak side. At least for training.

"Uhm, I don't know about this..."

"Come on! Chen will show you right here what she can do!"

"W-Wait, right now?"

"Of course! We need lots of cover for this! There's trees everywhere here, so..."

You're none too sure about this. In a realistic situation, there would be at least some cover to hide behind in a battle. The world isn't totally made up of flat surfaces after all. But Chen...you're not sure what she's capable of, making guessing at how effective this would be more difficult then it should be. Furthermore, it's been a while...Yukari might be awake now. There's also the matter of Ran and...ah, so much to think about. What to do...

[ ] Alright, you'll take Chen up on her offer
[ ] You should stick with Ran and try a little harder
[ ] You need to see if Yukari is awake first...maybe later
>You hear the cries of your friends as you vacate the area in a quick hurry. You don't care anymore about the training...just need to get out of there. Before it kills you.

Fucking knew it.

[X] You should stick with Ran and try a little harder.
[x] Alright, you'll take Chen up on her offer

I don't think he's really trained with Chen before.

I'm just lucky the running away wasn't worst. Fucking morons, that whole bunch of them.
[x] Alright, you'll take Chen up on her offer

We were told that Chen might surprise us if we trained with her. Still, I get the feeling Ran might be a bit depressed if Youmu and Chen can train Satoya better than her.
[x] You should stick with Ran and try a little harder
Anon is stupid. Stop the presses.
[X] You should stick with Ran and try a little harder.

Chen time is extremely tempting, but seeing as I voted before to stay and fight, returning to Ran and trying harder would make sense.
[x] Alright, you'll take Chen up on her offer

I wasn't voting to completely run away from the fight with that last vote, but I like the way it turned out. It's not like Satoya has been at this for a long time. He has taken quite a lot of shit in stride recently and freaking out a bit seems pretty normal.
[x] You should stick with Ran and try a little harder

Sukima enjoys trolling us. First, we get a bad end because we're trying too hard, and now this. For some reason, I feel like we're going to die again soon.
[x] Alright, you'll take Chen up on her offer

I have faith in Chen. She's astonishingly competent, and knows what she is doing. She's such a good girl.

Both of you shut the fuck up. It's unbecoming if you bitch, whine and moan every time something a little unexpected happens. Throwing a tantrum every time people vote for something you don't want to happen is just pathetic.
[X] Alright, you'll take Chen up on her offer

Maybe training with the EX-midboss will be better. Ran just isn't inclined to hold back.
>something a little unexpected happens
Seemed pretty obvious what was going to happen to me.
I was expecting a runaway with that vote while all the various 'special in the head' people somehow took it to mean grazing.
[x] Alright, you'll take Chen up on her offer

Went better than I expected, for what it's worth.
[x] Alright, you'll take Chen up on her offer.

Expecting him to come to the conclusion that he should just start dodging shit was perfectly reasonable.
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[x] Alright, you'll take Chen up on her offer

You give a long sigh. You guess it can't be helped. Chen really wants to help you, what kind of monster would you be if you just denied her?

"Okay, okay...if you really want to, I guess we can spar a bit. Not too much though, okay?" Chen's expression lights up like a christmas tree, absolutely ecstatic that she gets the chance to train with you.

"Hooray! Can we start now then?"

"Yeah, sure. Go right ahead."

As you stop rubbing your forehead while saying that, you only catch a brief glimpse of Chen's mischievous grin before she quite suddenly disappears. You had to blink, but that split second was apparently all she needed to vanish without a trace. Deja vu washes over you in a quick hurry, you believe you've seen this scenario before!

However, the circumstances are far different. Chen is on the offensive this time, and you can sense her aura. It's faint, but you should be able to know where any attacks are coming from. You know there will be attacks too. You don't know how. You just know there will be.


You double back just in time to watch Chen whiz by across a few trees behind you, spitting out several pointed orbs at you. You quickly brandish your spear and spin it around defensively, deflecting every bullet.

Huh...that was actually quite easy. There wasn't much impact behind the bullets when you successfully blocked them. You briefly see Chen speeding across the trees at an insane speed out of the corner of your eye and deftly block the next set of bullets, although there were quite a few more that time. You aren't able to see Chen this time, but thanks to the supposed youkai awakening improving your sense of hearing, you can still get Chen's position from the sounds she makes sprinting through the forest around you. Another block happens, and another, more come. Each time the bullet spread gets thicker, and the bullets themselves getting bigger. They still remain just as easy to deflect however. Just striking the bullets lightly seems to do the trick; they explode like Ran's orbs did, but the explosions are completely trivial in comparison.

It dawns upon you soon though. This training exercise isn't about improving your raw defenses. Chen is training your reaction time and alertness. Her bullets are getting more dangerous, but this just masks what's really going on. Each time the sounds become fainter, the bullets come at you quicker, and the delay between bursts become shorter. She isn't trying to overpower you like Ran was. She's trying to out speed you. This works in your favor, since your alertness was trained quite thoroughly by Youmu. You're not quite sure this is the kind of magic training you had in mind however...

"Hey! Come on, is that all you got Chen?!"

A brief silence follows as Chen's attacks halt during the time you speak that line.

"...so, Satoya thinks he's good, huh?" You're about to put on a confident smile until you double back as you suddenly hear the voice coming from behind you so randomly. "Then let's see if he's really good!"

You hear the bullets coming from the right side. You turn towards it, only to find no bullets...your back is then suddenly pelted by lots of small points of pain. It's enough force to knock you to the ground with a loud thud, knocking the wind out of you. As you try to catch your breath, you realize that those were bullets that hit you from behind, even though the sound originated from somewhere else...what is this new found devilry? You could've swore that they were coming from there...

"Ahaha, Satoya got hit~" You hear the voice coming from straight ahead. You get up and ready your weapon again.

"Yeah? I'd like you to try that again!" You hear the bullets coming from your left side this time, so, being a quick learner, you look to your right instead.

Nothing there. You are knocked to the ground yet again by bullets pelting you from behind. It's extremely painful, even if the bullets Chen is using are weak, being caught off guard by so many is putting a quick strain on your body. The burning feeling in your chest returns.

"Satoya got hit again! Chen wonders if he'll be hit some more~"

"Guh...not a chance!"

You draw your weapon. It's only a matter of time. Eventually you'll get it. She can't outsmart you forever. One of these times you'll turn the correct direction.

But you don't. Time after time again, you are hit in the back, to the point to where you expect it, but then when you try to double back expecting them, they just hit you from a totally unrelated direction entirely. You're quickly losing hope as your body starts breaking down. Your arms and legs are stiff and raw once more, the fire in your chest expanding just like it did when you were training with Ran. This doesn't look good.

"Is Satoya giving up? Maybe he's not as strong as he thinks he is~"

"No...I...I can do this! I won't fail again...! Guh--" You almost fell over there. You think if you took any more bullets to the back, your spine might cease to function further. You're trembling a bit. You can't handle this kind of pressure. Something needs to be done. You're getting a little frustrated and angry...

[ ] Calm down, try to find her through other senses
[ ] She needs to go down! You'll take the forest down with her if you have to!
[ ] Feign defeat, two people can play at this devilish game
[x] Calm down, try to find her through other senses

Seems the best thing. Acting defeat is just dirty, and taking the forest with you will probably leads to a bad end.
I agree.

[x] Calm down, try to find her through other senses
[X] Calm down, try to find her through other senses.

Yeah...let's try not to have a Chen version of the bad end from before.
[x] Calm down, try to find her through other senses
[x] Calm down, try to find her through other senses.
[x] You can't stay here...
[x] Calm down, try to find her through other senses

I honestly don't think we can do this right now; Chen's just too competent for us. We'll never know unless we try though, and Chen won't kill us so we have nothing to lose.
[x] Calm down, try to find her through other senses
[X] Calm down, try to find her through other senses

She's just a Stage 2 boss.
[x] Calm down, try to find her through other senses

Do not want to go berserk on Chen.
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