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

Ugh, no, you can't get too worked up, no matter how much your body may want to. You close your eyes and try to calm yourself down. Your hearing is obviously not going to work in your favor anymore, and your sight isn't doing much good. It's time to rely on a special sense that you've felt since coming here. The aura that Chen emits, that peripheral vision marking the Yakumo family that you don't necessarily see, but can feel. With Chen so close to you, it's difficult to pin point where Chen is exactly, but after a brief moment, you think you got it. It becomes astonishingly clear the moment Chen opens fire on you once again.

With a quick slash, the bullets are blocked. All of them deflect harmlessly upon your spear. You got it. But the battle isn't over. More bullets approach you from the side. Those get blocked too. More bullets are fired and consequently vanquished in the blink of an eye. You're getting the hang of this, but you're finding it harder and harder to control that burning, fiery sensation in your chest. That feeling that's lighting your body on fire. It seems that no matter how much you may want to cool down, your body continues heating up like an out of control forest fire.

It needs to end. Now.

"Is Satoya wising up? Come on, catch Chen!"

You can see her. The brighter the fire burns, the more obvious Chen's aura becomes. She shifts through the trees at remarkable speed. But it's a predictable pattern. It isn't long until...

"Hah! Ah...huh? Sato--"

Chen's bullets had hit nothing. She stopped for a brief second to wonder and try and pin point your location.

Big mistake.

In one swift movement, you ambush Chen with all your might, taking her straight to the ground, giving her only just enough time to turn around and face your sudden visage as you tackle her. You pin her small frame down like a beast catching it's prey, digging the handle of your spear across her tender neck, crushing her under your own weight, ready to put this silly farce to an end once and for all. You rear your hand back after disabling Chen and--

...wait, no, this wasn't supposed to happen.

"--ah. I-I'm sorry, Chen..." The burning sensation in your chest subsides to the cold feeling you got looking at Chen's terrified face. You're not sure what just came over you. You tried calming down but...

"Ah...it's alright. You got me, right?" Chen tries to just smile it off as you help her back up. It's pretty convincing too, but you don't think it's real. The look of sheer fright on her face when you were about to...do something to her, it's hard to forget.

"N-No, that-"

"Come on Satoya, we have to show Master Ran how much you've improved! Let's go!" With a bright, cheerful smile Chen runs past you and back towards the mansion. You're kind left there, stunned for a moment before Chen turns around in the distance, still visible through all the trees and waves at you. "Come on Satoyaaa~!"

You don't know how she does it. It's really convincing. She seems so happy, even when, just moments before, she was scared stiff. A royal bundle of joy, you can definitely see how she makes even someone like Ran so happy and bright.

That just...makes you feel worse for losing control though. Man, you hope you don't disappoint Yukari with all this bad training you've been doing...

You go ahead and walk back to the mansion, following far behind Chen. You lose sight of her half way towards your destination. By the time you reach the mansion, the entire group is waiting for you. Yukari, Ran, Chen, Yuyuko and Youmu.

You feel like a louse. An utter disappointment.

"Satoya~" Your dear would-be master's voice is the first to call out to you as you approach the group. "Have you been doing good in training? I hope you have~"

"You're just tired of being here, aren't you?" You don't feel particularly good enough to try and be nice to Yukari. She just shrugs it off like always though.

"I could stay here forever, Satoya. But I can't wait to see your training bear fruit any longer. You've been at it for a while now, after all." Have you? You can't tell anymore. It seems as if ever since you became this...this 'youkai' person, you haven't felt the same. You want it to stop. You want to go back home and quit this awful feeling. "...hm, you don't look too into it now though."

"Gee, what gave it away?" You give a brief glimpse towards everyone else after making another crack towards Yukari. Ran and Chen both avoid your gaze the moment you look at them. Youmu's stoic expression piercing your head doesn't change. Yuyuko...continues to be distracted with what you assume is the weather, you guess.

"Well if you need a bit more time to prepare yourself, Satoya, I can give you it. Just don't keep me waiting too long, hm~?" Yuyuko stops distracting herself long enough to give you a bit of information about what Yukari expects from you.

"If you need a pep talk, I'm sure any of us could give it to you~ You're going to be fighting for real, so you'll need all the courage you can muster, yes?" It almost takes longer then it should for that to register.

"...wait, for real?" You look back at Yukari for confirmation, though as usual, she gives you that really disconcerting smile.

"I've asked about it and got permission to use Youmu to test your strength. This won't be play time Satoya...she will be trying to kill you." You're almost taken aback by this sudden statement. No, not almost, you are quite take aback by this. Before you can muster up a response, Youmu finishes for Yukari.

"I will not be holding back. Do not worry. Should anything grave happen to you, I will stop and Lady Yukari will tend to your wounds. However, I must ask that in return, you not hold back yourself, Satoya."

...you're not sure if you can do that. You feel very afraid suddenly. Youmu says that she won't kill you...but she doesn't make any guarantees that you won't be gravely injured. You guess that makes sense...any real combat situation would feature that risk. That risk as well as death. Yukari seems intent on making you a battle slave it seems...just what you always wanted.

Want to mentally prepare a bit first? Don't choose more then two.
[ ] Talk to Yukari
[ ] Talk to Ran
[ ] Talk to Chen
[ ] Talk to Yuyuko
[ ] Talk to Youmu
If you're ready now however...
[ ] It's do or die!
Oh boy... We really need to find some way to control those outburts. We'll probably have to talk with Chen later over what happened, because that definitely affected her opinion of us.

Right now, we definitely need to talk to someone. Yukari is out right off the bat. Chen... not an option after what just happened. Yuyuko doesn't seem the best for this either. I think it's really going to be between Ran and Youmu.

[x] Talk to Ran

Here is my reason: The outburst is what just affect Satoya's mood right now. Considering Ran faced us before in that state, she would be best to talk about it.

After all, should the same happen against Youmu... That wouldn't be good. Not at all.

Youmu is also viable to talk too, if only becasue of the worry of the killing urge that could seriously injure her (she wouldn't dismiss what happened to Ran. That risk is real.).
[x] Talk to Ran
I trust Ran more than I trust Youmu.
For everything ghost-related, I trust youmu, but Satoya is (supposed to be) an youkai, so I trust Ran.
Besides, she's a coworker. And she's cute. And she's got 9 tails, while you have only one (lame pun, I know).
[x] It's do or die!

Satoya would get teased by Yukari, talking to Ran would be awkward because we just run away from her training, we just got done with Chen and are still feeling bad about what happened, Satoya really hasn't talked to Yuyuko much since he got here so talking to her would be awkward and Youmu is pumped up for a fight where she might cut someone in half or get cut in half herself.

Satoya will have a reason to talk to all of them after this fight is done regardless of how it goes, but right now I'm not so sure.
>talking to Ran would be awkward because we just run away from her training
That's pretty much why I voted for her. I think Satoya should apologize before fighting Youmu.
[x] Talk to Ran
[x] Talk to Chen

Chen seemed to take things in stride.
As it is right now, Satoya's mental state will just get him killed. He need to get his worries off his chest.

Completely forgot the 'no more than two' notice. I'll go with what >>26039 said for second choice.

[x] Talk to Ran
[x] Talk to Youmu
>>26039 here. I just realized I missed the mention of two names too. Since I don't want to delete my post, I'll just post what I add here.

[x] Talk to Youmu
[x] Talk to Youmu
His feelings are out of control. He switches from a psycho to a scary chicken. I guess a real fight is a last-ditch effort to finish this once and for all.

If anything, he should ask Youmu to not stop, regardless of the consequences... a real fight isn't real if they stop to heal.
[x] Talk to Youmu

Youmu is a seasoned warrior who is well used to the martial arts. I have the utmost faith in her abilities.

We're facing death right here and don't really feel prepared, so we should take this chance to seek just a little more advice and instruction before doing something useless like apologizing or whatever. That can wait till we survive this encounter.
[X] Talk to Ran
[X] Talk to Chen

He should apologize now. If he doesn't and the fight goes badly, he'll end up with a bigger pile of regrets and less of a chance to get rid of them.
Satoya has done nothing to apologize for. It's Yukari's responsibility for throwing her other shikigami into these situations with Satoya without considering the possible consequences. Or it could be she did consider them and just doesn't care.

[x] Talk to Youmu

It's just polite to have a conversation with someone before you engage in a battle to the death.
[x] Talk to Youmu

I can't see how this will end well. Sure, he progressed quite quickly with her help but stil...
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[x] Talk to Ran
[x] Talk to Youmu

"...I think I need a little time to prepare. You don't mind, do you?" Yukari shakes her head and gives you a comforting smile...or at least, it would be comforting, if it didn't have 'devil' written all over it.

"Of course not. Be sure to use the time wisely, as I don't want you to disappoint me now, Satoya~"

Oh boy. This won't be easy at all, you feel.

You sit in your empty room in the mansion, repeatedly telling yourself over and over again that it's going to be okay. That everything's going to be alright. Yet, no matter how many times you repeat this in your head, it only serves to make your anxiety worse. You're sweating well before the battle has even started. Not to mention shaking all over. You truly feel as if you're going to die here and there won't be anything you can do about it. You wish you had trained just a bit harder. Maybe you wouldn't be suffering so much.

No...it's all fear. Psychological. There's nothing to truly be afrai-



You nearly jump right into the ceiling after all the fear bottled up inside you came bursting forth the moment Ran entered the room. Needless to say, this startled her a bit too.

"Ah...please...forgive me."

"Uhh...i-i-it's okay, I...I-I..."

"Satoya...are you alright?" You notice Ran kneeling down next to you, while you stay planted onto the ground in your sloppy sitting position, wishing you could just die right now.

"Y-Yeah. I-I-I'm fine...I...I don't know w-why I'm like this, Youmu said it'd b-be fine and yet-"

"You wish not to disappoint Lady Yukari, correct?"

...is that what it is? Is that what your fear has been going on about?

"...maybe. What would she do if i didn't perform the way she wanted me to...?"

"It's alright. You have nothing to fear. Lady Yukari is not that cruel. I'm certain that if you were to fail, she would give you more time to adjust yourself without judging you."

"You say that l-like it's so easy."

"It isn't..." Almost as if giving you the cold shoulder, Ran stands up after saying that. "Please, take as much time as you need to prepare, but don't fret over such things, as it will only choke you during battle." You sit there for a moment trying to get over how cold Ran sounds before you notice that she's attempting to leave your room. This is where you stand up suddenly and stop her.

"Wait!" The moment you put your hand on Ran's shoulder, she looks over to you genuinely surprised. It's a rare display of emotion on her part.

"What is it...?"

"Uhh...well, first thing's first, I...wanted to apologize for that weak showing when you were trying to train me. It was absolutely cowardly of me to flee during that." Ran seems to avert her eyes with a somewhat guilty look on her face as you finish saying that.

"No, it isn't your fault. While there are many in Gensokyo that can take a magical hit such as those and shrug it off, that does not make it any easier to actually get there for someone such as yourself. It was foolish of me to think otherwise."

"So then, what you're saying is that I'm just not built to resist magic...?" Ran looks back at you with her previous look of seriousness on her face, something you've more or less grown accustomed to.

"It isn't exactly like that. It would have been more prudent to teach you about magic first of all before expecting you to be able to defend against it. When you came into this world, your faith in magic was very low, was it not?" You give it a bit of thought after crossing your arms. You could have swore Yukari told you something about this.

"Well, I think low was an understatement...I almost refused to believe it existed even after seeing it for my own eyes."

"That is your problem; magic appears overwhelming because you cannot grasp how it works. This is due to your low faith. Those with higher faith, and thus greater ability in magic, will be much stronger against those with lower faith. Had we taught you more about magic, that would not have been such an issue."

You guess it makes sense now...magic overwhelmed you because you were too against it to know what it would be capable of. You wonder if Ran's magic would have seemed much easier to deal with if you had taken a lesson or two in magic. Although there's a bit of an inconsistency...Chen's magic was much, much easier to deal with. Is the difference in power just that wide, or does Chen have low faith as well? This faith nonsense really kind of confuses you though and you might be better off asking more about it later, when you're not about to go toe to toe with an expert swordswoman.

"Thanks...I think I kind of understand now. I need to do something to help myself prepare though..." Ran bows her head briefly and allows you to leave through the door.

"Go ahead then. I wish you best of luck in your battle."


You unfortunately return to your unstable condition upon walking out of the room and wandering about the mansion. You actually wander quite aimlessly before reminding yourself several times that you have to find Youmu. Your anxiety is starting to really get to you until you finally arrive at the gardens where you saw Youmu tending last. You stop suddenly when you see Youmu sitting cross legged on a large rock, apparently meditating. You can see both her sheathed swords in front of her...the sheathes alone are rather ornate, and you can only assume that Youmu looks like a goddess swinging them around with such grace and elegance.

Well, to anyone but the one on the business end of them anyhow.

"..." You approach Youmu, but you can't bring yourself to catch her attention. She looks so serene and concentrative, you would feel bad for interrupting her, but nonetheless she seems to have noticed your appearance.


"Gh--! ...y-yes?" Much like Ran, Youmu almost causes you to jump out of your skin, although thankfully this time it wasn't as bad.

"I should be asking you that." Youmu opens her eyes and visually relaxes, looking over at you. "What is it that you've come to see me for?"

"Ah, well, you know...just...eh, aren't you worried?" You know what kind of answer you're going to get from that. It starts with N and ends with O, and indeed just like you predicted...

"Not at all." Well, maybe it could end with an L too. "Why do you ask?"

"Well...you saw me against Ran the first time, right? I'm not sure what happened there...but I don't want to subject you to that." Youmu closes her eyes again.

"I am not like Ran. I do not fold so easily to physical pressure such as that. It is nice to know that you are worried, Satoya, but I do not wish for you to hold back at all." Youmu opens her eyes back up and gives you such a piercing gaze that you can feel it in the back of your head. "Do whatever it takes to defeat me, your honor and mine depends on it."

Honor, huh? You guess Youmu wouldn't feel right if both of you weren't on equal terms...if she didn't hold back, then you...

"...alright. Should the time come, I will do it. But if something were to happen to you, I would never forgive myself, I hope you understand this."

"I do. This is the way of a swordsman, I am confident enough in my own abilities to feel that I won't lose so easily."

You're not sure if this talk really improved your state at all...in fact, you feel more afraid then before. But you also feel more stable. Maybe it's Youmu's 'honor' that's doing it, but as nervous and frightened as you are, you have significantly more control over your actions now. You've stopped shaking intensely, at the very least.

So here you stand in the open field that you and Ran previously trained in, feeling much the same as you did when you were doing such with her. You watch Youmu in the distance unsheathe both her swords and get into position...the expression on her face is unlike that of which you've seen during training with her. She's serious, she means business. She will most definitely kill you if you do not perform to the best of your abilities.

"Satoya~" You can hear Yukari's voice in the background, coming from the porch. The rest of the crew is along side her, eagerly awaiting the results of your hard training. "Don't mess up now! I'll be watching...~"

Yeah. Just what you need. After brandishing your spear, you've finally come to this. This will prove what your training has done for you up until this point. It feels so sudden...you still can't wrap your head around what this could mean. Except possibly your untimely demise. Youmu is studying you closely...you could make the first strike, you guess. You don't want to spend too much time thinking about it though. You know she won't wait forever for you to come at her. After readying yourself, you feel that you can give it a go. It couldn't possibly be as hard as training with Ran...right?

What's your strategy?

[ ] All Out
[ ] Offensive
[ ] Defensive
[ ] Evasive
[x] Offensive

All Out means going berzerk. May be a good idea, but not now.
Going Defensive is also out of question. Youmu will not be gentle, and I highly doubt that Satoya have enough stamina to keep on with her.
Eventually, he'll get tired, and he'll be defeated.

That's why I suggest attacking. It's like Starcraft 2. You don't win by hiding in your base and turtling. You win by ATTACKING. BY CRUSHING YOUR ENEMY WITH ROACHES, ULTRALISKS AND BROODLORD! BY NUKING HIS FACE TO OBLIVION!
[x] Offensive
As much as Youmu may want us going all out, going so right from the start would be stupid. We want to still be ourselves when fighting after all, to have control over our actions. If we go berserk... Well, we'll have no choice but to trust Youmu if that happens.
[X] Offensive

Satoya can't defend worth shit against a serious foe.
[x] Offensive

you might be reading too much on the choices, but throwing all caution to the wind is still a bad idea.
[x] Offensive

I hope one of these choices doesn't eventually lead to [x] Dead Youmu.
[x] Defensive

Youmu's sword fighting uses both arms to attack, with rapid slashes and stabs, and she relies on her explosive speed and dizzying footwork to gain facing advantage or to catch her target unexpectedly, either while they think they've cleared enough distance to recover, or mid-lunge when they're on the offense.

Since her personality demands her best at all times, she will not reduce the intensity of her attacks, even to pace herself. Likewise, when if she gets fatigued or injured, she will not allow herself to retreat to superior ground, to hide behind a thicket to catch her breath and patch her wounds, to hurl magic at him from a distance, or to set up an ambush. To her, the honor at stake is her skill in swordsmanship, not trickery or general warfare. And if she ever did let up, it would be to his advantage, because of his youkai healing factor.

Unlike Satoya however, Youmu knows her limitations: Less mass advantage, less muscular strength, and inferior resilience. To obviate them, she will attempt to draw him into a single, close & decisive melee. She also knows one of Sousha's own limitations: Lack of confidence. She will apply as much pressure as she can as quickly as possible, with the hope his guard and morale will crumple under it--or cause him to run, as she's seen before. If he attempts to run, she could easily overtake him and again get him with his guard down. In a contest of strength Satoya would likely be the victor, but this isn't one, since she won't be parrying his attacks. Rather, she'll evade them; she can probably backstep faster than he can bring the spear around, itself a slow weapon.

Were it not for circumstantial factors, I'd assume a beast youkai with regeneration would have more physical stamina than a half-human girl, no matter her training. Satoya's best efforts so far haven't related to magic, or agility, or skill with weapons, but ability to defend (and take) physical attacks. The major impediment to Satoya's performance is his own perception of his abilities, and among the options here I think defending will turn out to leech his confidence the least, rather than being punished for being stupidly drawn into feints, not being able to lay a single strike, or getting distracted by ZA BEASTO impulses; moreover, he won't have the fear of hurting Youmu at the front of his mind, which is another psychological barrier here.

By focusing all his heightened youkai senses on parrying, deflecting, and anticipating her, he can block the most lethal strikes, while taking the others, conserving energy by holding his ground. Initially Satoya was unable to fight defensively with his spear, thinking that he can't block a sword since the haft is made of wood; he was only capable of using it to sweep at his opponent to create distance. However, with his recent training with Chen, he successfully blocked rapid-fire attacks of small bullets (with force behind them) from various angles with the short head of his spear, a skill which I think is eminently suited to blocking Youmu's quick, one-handed sword strikes.

Youmu is as honest as she is proud. If it becomes a waiting game, and she tires to the point she would be unable to take his attacks, she would forfeit. Which I think would be the biggest middle finger to Yukari: Having Satoya succeed in the most boring manner possible.

tl;dr: only way for Sousha not to lose is to force a stalemate
Great analysis. I'll change my vote.

[x] Defensive
I am calling Satoya's berserk state his ZA BEASTO moments now. Thank you.
I can't agree this is the best choice for this. You really want to let Youmu take the offensive at the speed she can go? Before was practice and now it's for real: she'll be faster than before. Moreover, if he's getting pressured by her attacks, it means an ever bigger chance for The Beast to awaken. Her limitations that you stated also mean she'll tire faster if she has to block hits.

And your point about annoying Yukari will also be valid for Youmu. She asked us to go at her with what we have. You're going to answer the request of someone who seriously helped us in our training by holding back?

Last point: The chances of winning are seriously low in any case. Yukari, or anyone else watching really, probably don't expect us to win either. But the point of this fight is to show the result of our training. We do well, everyone will be happy. We just stay on defense... It may be the smarter choice in this fight, but I expect this will annoy everyone, Yukari and Youmu most of all.

So that's why offensive is best in m opinion. I already voted, but this is my opinion on the matter.
In Hisoutensoku, she also use his knees and albows to attack.
Besides, I used a spear IRL, and let me add that the only way to win is to be agressive.
Youmu is far more experienced than Satoya, therefore she knows that. She'll try to get as close as possible, and then she'll attack.
Charging her is the only possible way to nullify her charge. Keep your distance with her, but do NOT let her adopt a charge stance. Being a swordsman, I think Youmu cannot run out of the blue, she'll probably crouch or something before running. By constantly attacking her, we're forcing her to defend, while being ourselves out of danger, thanks to the spear's range.

I'm not trusting Satoya's youkai abilities, because of his lack of confidence. If he's focusing on defense, it's make it worse.
Also, about Youmu's supposed less muscular strength, I seriously doubt that too. Youmu is the Hakugyoukourou's gardener. One does not simply tend a garden just like that, in an place as dangerous as the Netherworld.
I think it's canon that Youmu is an accomplished swordsman (or swordswoman), even if she's smaller than the average human (due to her age), with her daily work, she must be stronger than the average.

And, and, and, do not forget her ghost half. Depending from the writefags, it can be another Youmu, but it's canon that she can use it as a bullet. Do NOT get caught between her and her ghost half.

TL;DR: My opinion (aka "I may be wrong") is that you can't win by defending. I'm probably underestimating Satoya and overestimating Youmu, but when I play Soku, I noticed that:
1) Youmu is fast.
2) She's not hitting just with her sword.
If you focus on defending, remember that you won't be able to retaliate easily against her, again because of the spear's range. If you were using a naginate, you could attack more easily, but with a spear, all you can do is literally poke the enemy. And you can't poke someone who's too close.
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[x] Offensive
Range. Spears have a longer range and have an advantage over swords. That advantage is denied if the opponent closes in. The only way to keep her at the right distance is to make sure that she's in the defensive. Not only that, but defending against a spear (you can hardly block it, it is a "point" attacking you, not a line) requires a great deal of attention and stamina. As good as Youmu is, she can't compete with a Youkai on endurance.
>I can't agree this is the best choice for this. You really want to let Youmu take the offensive at the speed she can go?

I'll return the question: Can Satoya afford to lower his guard at the speed she can go?

>Before was practice and now it's for real: she'll be faster than before. Moreover, if he's getting pressured by her attacks, it means an ever bigger chance for The Beast to awaken.

Satoya too has faster reflexes and is more adept at tracking fast moving targets than she has witnessed before, which is why he should seek to exploit gains in those areas. And constantly striking out, hitting nothing but air, then receiving lacerations in return would be no less frustrating for him than to more-or-less adequately defend himself.

>Her limitations that you stated also mean she'll tire faster if she has to block hits.

Not 'tire'. A two-handed weapon that has considerable mechanical advantage swung someone else of inferior total mass and relative muscle composition, wielding a one-handed blade. Your math needn't be exact here. Unless he struck her with the haft, she's liable to be knocked over or have her weapon wrenched out of her hand. Which is why she won't ever commit to a parry; she'll duck, roll, leap, or back-step.

>And your point about annoying Yukari will also be valid for Youmu. She asked us to go at her with what we have. You're going to answer the request of someone who seriously helped us in our training by holding back?

Yukari is looking for a showing. Youmu is only asking him to put his best foot forward. If the turtle defense is his best chance to succeed, then he's hardly 'holding back', and moreover he's actually learned something useful from her training. A person of any insight understands that there's more than one way to win a fight.

>Last point: The chances of winning are seriously low in any case. Yukari, or anyone else watching really, probably don't expect us to win either. But the point of this fight is to show the result of our training. We do well, everyone will be happy. We just stay on defense... It may be the smarter choice in this fight, but I expect this will annoy everyone, Yukari and Youmu most of all.

I have to pray assume that Sukima does not take 'fight defensively' to mean that Satoya should curl up into the fetal position on the ground. It's simply the least flashy of the options, which means Yukari won't be as entertained by the lack of Wuxia wire-work acrobatics, but that's really ancillary to the point of the exercise, which is to win.

>Besides, I used a spear IRL, and let me add that the only way to win is to be agressive.

The naginata has been traditionally a defensive weapon, one women bushi would use to defend their homes in a siege, though men samurai used them as well, and modern naginatajutsu is modeled after this. Given it is noted by Satoya as Japanese spear typical of its era, it's either a naginata or a yari. Since there has been a lot of reference to slashing with it and striking laterally, I assumed it had a bladed edge. If it were a yari, then yes it would be a weapon more suited for the thrusting charge, or catching weapons (which is not very helpful because Youmu has two), and not for maintaining one's ground. But I'd find it hard to believe that he's been using it wrong the whole time, without anyone telling him so, and that it's only his raw abilities that have carried him so far.

Aside from that, we find your RenFair excursions neither impressive nor very relevant, as we are all armchair experts in medieval Japanese warfare.

>Keep your distance with her, but do NOT let her adopt a charge stance.

Just because he can keep himself outside her reach doesn't mean that he can also keep her in his reach. As the slower party, Satoya doesn't have the ability to maintain constant pressure on open ground, no matter how long his weapon is.

>Being a swordsman, I think Youmu cannot run out of the blue, she'll probably crouch or something before running.

Actually, one of the reasons the hakama is worn is to hide the bushi's footwork. Youmu can also fly, in case you forgot.

>By constantly attacking her, we're forcing her to defend, while being ourselves out of danger, thanks to the spear's range.

If it's thrusting charges, as with the yari, then this scenario you envision should play out like the bull and the matador. Though the bull is much larger, stronger, and has more stamina, the matador can sidestep all that momentum and give the bull a good cut in the shoulder. Not a killing blow, but after a while, the bull exhausts from his charges and the blood loss, and the matador performs the coup de grace.

If it's slashing charges (overhead or from the side, as on horseback), as with the naginata, then all Youmu has to do is 'go between the horns'. If Satoya charges at her, without his weapon already bearing, he has to guess exactly when she'll decide to commit to her own charge. If it's too early, he overextends himself, and she's free to take a passing slash at him. If it's too late, she's inside his reach, at which point it's light-out.

I'm not even touching the Myon shit.
Your logic is consistent and well organized.

[x] Defensive
I voted offensive as defense seems to be his weak area while going on the offensive seems more to his strengths.
[x] Defensive

I don't trust Satoya to do anything but take blows like a champ. Youmu outclasses him in almost all areas, so the only thing he can do is draw this out long enough to pray she gets exhausted and/or irritated enough to get sloppy. I have a feeling this entire match will be called on one decisive blow.
I keep thinking that the best tactic is to be offensive.

Hey Sukima, can we revote if Satoya loses the match?

If Satoya loses (and the loss incurred doesn't result in a BAD END) then the training will simply be extended.

So to reiterate, no revoting unless you bad end yourselves like the anon you are.

Late to the party, but the text in the shaded box, explains in detail why soujutsu (technique with a yari) off horseback would be used defensively here.

"...the thrust with a long spear requires a total, almost irreversible commitment of the body. If the spearman misses, he's fully exposed to counterattack. [...] Instead, they depend on defensive actions until an opening in an opponent's guard is seen."
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[x] Offensive

You pull your spear back a bit, ready to swing it with full force. You got this, it has an infinitely longer reach then Youmu's swords. Besides, waiting for Youmu to attack you would be foolish, given her ridiculous speed. You should keep close to her and try to threaten her with the longer reach of your spear while making sure she doesn't find a way around it too easily. You quickly start gunning for Youmu to close the distance. The sooner you can pressure her with the better reach of your weapon, the less chance she'll have to get around it and strike. You aren't nearly as fast as she is though, and already, she's charging at you with a much faster pace then you are. Already, this seems like a bad idea, driven home once Youmu, in a fit of utter aggressiveness, completely disregards the longer reach of your spear and clears the length of it before you can defend yourself. Instead of stopping though, you retain your momentum and charge right into the girl with a full body tackle. You're still struck though; blood spills from the side of your torso, but thankfully the wound is a scrape compared to what would have happened if you had actually stopped to try and defend after your defenses having already been breached. You likely would have been cut cleanly in half.

You try and remain agile, even after being hit with the first strike. You land on your shoulder and immediately roll back onto your feet after knocking Youmu down, and just as quickly, she's already standing as well. She must turn around though, and you use the time to strike her yourself. Making sure to stay out of the range of those very sharp swords, you swing your spear widely in hopes of knocking her down again. For a while, your strength appears to precede you. While Youmu does succeed in blocking your attempt, it feels as if you merely struck paper and easily knock Youmu back a great distance. She maintains her footing, but you quickly close the distance between yourself and her again, to make sure that her insane charging speed doesn't take you off guard again like it did earlier. Unfortunately, thinking about it makes you remember that the wound is still there, and is very much in pain. While you can get her within reach of your weapon, you don't appear to do much more then that as the blood leaking from your right side reminds you that this may very well be a battle to the death. At least for you. Youmu sees your hesitation though, and takes clear advantage of it, quickly leaping to your side.

No matter how much you try to follow her, her movements are just too quick. You think about trying to attack to scare her off, but you realize that would just be opening yourself up in this state. As you spin around, you realize that even if you can't keep up with her, you're doing at least a good enough job that Youmu thinks she can't attack without repercussions. Soon, you decide to take advantage of it and lunge forward, but keeping your spear in a good defensive position, tricking Youmu into attacking you. It works, but you quickly find yourself overwhelmed by Youmu's raw power. You nearly buckle under the weight and strength of both of Youmu's blades as you try to block it. Even the prepared stance you had falters when struck by Youmu's absolutely crazy power. As such, your time to counterattack is spent regaining your bearings and Youmu ends up leaping straight over your head, an action you somehow follow with ease as Youmu thinks twice about attacking again once you've turned around and assumed a much better stance for taking her hits.

You aren't about to let her stew on that though, as soon as you're able to to recollect yourself, you bring yourself towards her again, making sure that she's always within range of your spear but you're outside of her blades' reach. This time, you try for a poke and prod method of getting to her. A little risky, but as long as you don't put too much effort into it and keep your footing, you should be able to threaten her. This is less trying to injure her and more trapping her, you want to believe. You feel you've gotten a good enough handle on this thing to at least do that. With steady steps you continuously start poking the sharp end of your partisan towards her, much like a fencer. You're very sure most people wouldn't be able to do it as deftly as you are right now, you likely have your newfound youkai strength to thank for making the weapon feel as light as a feather. Repeatedly, over and over, Youmu swats each attempt to poke her away, only to have to do it again no more then a split second later. Soon, you've gotten a rhythm down and you're pushing Youmu back, leaving her wide open. You're almost shocked that she hasn't caught onto the pattern yet, but you're not going to argue. You try for a real attack once you see an opening.

You realize then that it was just a ruse. She had noticed the pattern all along and easily side steps the much more powerful thrust. What's worse is that you can't immediately stop the momentum of your thrust as Youmu clearly sees an opening for attack, you're helpless! The most you do is clumsily stumble over yourself and somehow escape being cut in half as Youmu strikes air. No, wait... that was hesitation. Is she going easy on you? As you hit the ground rather unceremoniously, you hastily roll over and deflect Youmu's second attack with a powerful swing. Enough to nearly knock the sword straight out of her hand and cause her to retreat, to make sure she doesn't lose the balance she's gained with her own weapons. You take that time to readjust yourself as quickly as possible, standing back up and getting back into position to fight again. You won't deny it though, Youmu didn't want to strike you right then and there. If she wanted to, you would have been cut down at that exact moment. But you were quick enough to realize that she didn't strike as soon as she was able to. You almost feel... insulted. But maybe she's giving you the benefit of the doubt, she has been training a long while. You've only begun not too long ago, compared to her. You have to think something through now.

You've grown to realize that Youmu is just simply too fast. In fact, it almost seems like she's playing with you anytime you become aggressive. The steady, serious look that constantly adorns her face begets the true motives behind it, you feel. That to her, this isn't a fight to the death. It's just yet another training session, to make sure that you can take advantage of everything you've learned up until now. This becomes more and more obvious when she watches you, perfectly still, as you think about this. Whether you like it or not though, one thing is clear; Youmu is much more agile then you are. You found this out the hard way, and now you're going to have to plan around it. You can still feel the blood oozing out from the side of your torso, but it does very little in stopping the rush of adrenaline that you've been feeling from the very moment you started fighting. Although, you feel that it has subdued the burning feeling that normally comes with it by quite a lot. Maybe the inherent youkai strength within you is trying to make up for this wound that would invariably incapacitate any normal human being, particularly one not meant for fighting. If that's the case, then maybe you should end this now, in some way. Before those juices run dry and you're left being a helpless human being again.

[ ] Be more aggressive
[ ] Go on the defensive
[ ] Evasive maneuvers until you recover
[ ] Surrender, you need more training then what you got
[x] Go on the defensive
Glad to see you writing this again.

[x] Go on the defensive

As stated, offense isn't doing much and as soon as Youmu want this over, she'll deal a fatal blow. Evasion again someone so much faster? As if that has any chance to work. Surrender? Hell no, we're still good.

Thus, let's try defense. We charged with a spear, but charging into a spear's reach is a lot more dangerous. Unless we prove incapable of seeing her moves as she move in, we can win this.
[x] Surrender, you need more training then what you got

Never giving up is a habit of people who lose big at casinos. The only way to win - in life, just as much as in gambling - is to know when to fold 'em.

And it's good to see you back on this story, Sukima. I missed it.
[x] Be more aggressive

We are going to be exhausted if we continue the fight. End it in a decisive strike.
[x] Be more aggressive

Go down in flash. We'll learn more about ourselves this way, even if it'll take more time to recover.
For >>26286
>"Do whatever it takes to defeat me, your honor and mine depends on it."

So, surrender? No one watching will like that, especially not Youmu. A real battle for your life also doesn't have a surrender option, so I'm afraid your logic is wrong here. Especially since real fighting experience is what we lack and what we're getting right now.

More agression is also an option, but certainly not for >>26288 reasons. It's more likely we'll start tapping into -that- side with it I think.
But let's say we manage to defeat Youmu without the mysterious youkai power.
Yukari won't be satisfied. She wants us to use that power, probably more. The goal here is to learn the limit, to avoid the bad end, while defeating Youmu.
[x] Go on the defensive

Surrender means the same as saying Youmu's training was lacking. She'll really dislike it.

And who care about what Yukari want? Goal was to defeat Youmu, so let's do that. Simply, let's try letting her come to us now.
You know training arcs shouldn't be this dragged out as no one wants to read "train, fight nearly impossible battle, train, etc"
Hence why surrender only has one vote.

More seriously, I voted for defensive because our guy realized Youmu didn't need to be serious to counter us. As stated by the guys before this update, the spear is great for defense so it's certainly worth the attempt. We shouldn't move around too much with our wound anyway.
This. She is wary of getting into striking range. Evasion WILL fail since she is indeed faster than we are. Aggression helped us establish our potency, let's switch tactics and see if we can get her to slip up a bit.

[x] Go on the defensive
[x] Go on the defensive

I agree with the analysis by >>26086
but if we're not careful we'll end up bad ending and having do do so anyways.
[x] Go on the defensive

You decide that maybe being conservative with this weapon is the best bet. Without moving, you stare back at Youmu, as if imploring her to make the next move on her own. Your steady gaze meets hers, and the message seems to have gotten through. With a short pause to ready herself into a stance for charging, she rushes towards you with reckless abandon. Except it's not reckless at all. You know Youmu now. Maybe when you first met her, you might have been fooled by it, but after getting to know her, you know that this is just a facade. She's planned out all her moves from the get go, and then some. You could wager she'd probably planned several moves in advance, for several different scenarios. While she may not be any major tactician, there's one thing you know she excels in; instinct. Her moves are planned out in advance for her. She doesn't have to spend time thinking about what she has to do, she knows what she must do immediately as things happen. A great advantage that you feel you're about to be on the business end of.

With a quick parry, you avoid Youmu's first attack, only to be barely on time to parry the next. Soon, you're being pushed back aggressively, given no quarter as Youmu's relentless onslaught starts breaking your guard. You begin regretting your decision to play more defensively as Youmu proves to you just who is the unskilled one here. You feel as if you might be seeing small openings in Youmu's assault on you as you're continuously being pushed back, but with how much focus you're having to put into Youmu's offense, as well as doubting yourself on whether or not it actually is an opening, is causing you to hesitate in retaliating. After many blocked hits, Youmu finally retreats, giving you some breathing room. She's probably realized that your defense is too good for her swords to effectively penetrate. At least, you hope she thinks that, as honestly you were about to fall over there. That would have cost you your life, in real battle. Though, who's to say this isn't a real battle? If not for her earlier hesitation, you wouldn't doubt it.

You don't go back on your plan of action, however, despite regretting it. At least you weren't cut in half like you were supposed to have been. You stare Youmu down sternly, as if scolding her for backing out on a decisive battle. With a tip of her head and a glare shot at you from the top of her eyes, it's as if she's telling you that she's no fool, she won't fall for something like that. Now that you've come to realize that she knows the advantages you have over her, you feel as if you can make your moves with better foresight. You could coax her into attacking you, but what would that accomplish, knowing that Youmu would never put herself in a position where she could be easily counter attacked? For the while that you two stand there, it truly feels as if there's a stalemate between the two of you. But you know that would be unacceptable. You have to win. Either that, or at least make a good showing. Better then the pitiful display of just defending against Youmu's aggressive attacks. But if going on the offensive doesn't work, and being on the defensive gets you nowhere, what can you do? She's strong, fast and smart... a worthy foe, if there were any.

In middle of your thinking, you're reminded of the wound she inflicted upon you earlier. The longer you stand there staring her down, the more you realize that the wound doesn't hurt as much as you thought it did. In fact, it feels as if it's healing up already. Of course, the less it pains you, the more conscious of the burning feeling inside your chest you become. This 'youkai' strength you gained... it's certainly unlike anything any ordinary human has experienced. You almost feel sobered up by thinking of your loss of humanity before realizing that doing so would end the battle the moment Youmu ceased waiting for you. Now is definitely not the time to become philosophical. You have your life on the line here, proving yourself after lots of arduous training. You can't help but acknowledge the burning sensation around your heart for what it is though. What would happen if you tapped into it? What would become of you? What of Youmu? How would the battle end if you let it take control of you? Would you be able to fight it now? These questions scare you, because you're unsure on whether or not you would have a choice in the matter, should things continue this way.

Think, Satoya. There has to be a way past Youmu's seemingly perfect tactics. After all, nothing truly is perfect, everything has a weakness...

[ ] Mix it up, be both aggressive and passive
[ ] Do what she's doing; follow your instincts
[ ] Study her for a bit, she can't be totally unpredictable
[ ] Play some mind games with her and break the vocal silence
[x] Do what she's doing; follow your instincts.

Usually, I would vote for the psychological game, but I really want to see the end of this training, so I'm voting for the thing that should end this.

Honestly, training will end after this battle regardless of the outcome, unless Satoya dies. I'm getting a little sick of it myself so I think a restructuring on how I was going to write this story is in order. (all of which will happen behind the scenes of course)
[x] Do what she's doing; follow your instincts
[x] Do what she's doing; follow your instincts.
I'm very happy to learn that.
Don't misunderstand me, your story is interesting, but the problem is that, currently, nothing's happening. No plot, no 'route', nothing. It's not moving.
While I understand the sentiment and in this scenario its longevity, I feel that sometimes Writefags should have a little bit of non-"route"ness involved. Not everything in life is a campaign.
[x] Play some mind games with her and break the vocal silence.

Youmu's canonically easy to tease so this is the best way to get her off guard.
I used 'route' as a general term, because 'relationships' seemed... like something you would find in a slushy romance story.
[x] Study her for a bit, she can't be totally unpredictable

Youkai power is all well and good, but we were supposed to be using everything we have for this. That includes our brain.
Ha-ha! Time to talk trash!

[x] Play some mind games with her and break the vocal silence.
[x] Do what she's doing; follow your instincts

Let's see if only her mistress can fluster her. The fact that she showed hesitation can be variously used to taunt her for either holding back on account of being soft or having some other reason for not hurting him. It also shows that her mind can indeed interfere with her swordplay, so anything is good if it will prevent her from planning and following through with strikes.

It may seem like I'm trying to have it both ways by choosing two options, but I think engaging her conversationally and in combat is both possible and beneficial. Satoya's constitution and wound healing has shown a capability that Youmu does not have: He can afford to be absent-minded. She cannot.

And if Satoya loses the contest, it would be good for Yukari to see more of his thinking, and even maybe a playful side to him. With internal comments like 'You almost feel... insulted' it's obviously not an entirely artificial attitude.
[x] Do what she's doing; follow your instincts.

Don't think. Feel.
[x] Study her for a bit, she can't be totally unpredictable

Following your instincts sounds good except she has more experience and therefore better instincts. Should we rely on the 'beast within' again?
No, I think we should analyze her for a bit. Her technique is good, but she isn't a master yet. In this update he recognized her Feint, so our MC should be able to note actual weaknesses.

I've been really busy lately, what with a bunch of things happening all at once rather then coming at me one at a time. I've only really had about a half an hour of free time at the end of the night each day for a long while. It might be slowing down soon though I hope as I have somewhat more time tonight and have been having it for the past week.

It bothers me that it's nearly been eight months since this thread started. Before my birthday (April 25th) expect enough updates to at get a new thread up by then.
[x] Do what she's doing; follow your instincts.

You don't really have a choice. Your instincts seem to be telling you to listen to the burning flame in your chest. The untapped power, that pure, unadulterated youkai strength that Yukari had awoken inside you.

Maybe it's time you laid your stuff down and faced the facts. That you should stop denying this side of you, and maybe focus on something more important.

Why this side of you is here.


You feel it! A surging power from within... all this strength, this energy, you can do this! You're about to rock house!

Okay, actually, you're in tremendous pain. Your confidence and optimism didn't carry you far, you guess, as you have to soon brace yourself on the ground using your spear to keep you up. Good lord, this hurts. Maybe you're going about this the wrong way. You're focusing too much on that burning sensation in your chest and not on your actual instincts, you guess. You try to stand yourself back up straight, though your blunder has already been realized. Youmu is standing there confused as to what's happening. She's lowered her guard. Now would be your chance. Okay, let the pain subside a little and think. Deep down inside your heart, what it's telling yo-


... guh! No. That's not a good idea... you're starting to realize that this youkai side of you truly acts like what any blood thirsty youkai would act like. You're almost frightened of it. No, actually, you are quite scared of it. If you listened to that for a second longer, you'd lose it, most definitely.

Alright, this exercise is... that's right. Yukari wanted you to train, not just to get used to your youkai abilities... but to control them as well. Controlling them, you wonder if she knew that your youkai side would overwhelm you quickly. You're beginning to realize this is less a fight against Youmu and more a fight against yourself. This burning feeling, the rapid regeneration, the pent up strength. You know that if you tapped into this power of your youkai side, this battle would be over instantly. As for who would be the winner, that would be determined by whether or not you can gain control of such powers, without being driven insane.

You get this feeling you should do otherwise. That trying to pay attention to this awful fire in your chest would be a bad idea. It's trying to bring attention to itself... is it trying to save you, or trying to trick you? Do you really want to listen to that twisted flame?

[ ] Yes, this is what I want, no holding back anymore
[ ] No, this is no good, you need to win on your own

Yes, this is a weak update, but worry not, next update is the end of this training chapter.
[x] Yes, this is what I want, no holding back anymore

I'm trusting Satoya into listening to that thing while controlling himself. That's risqué, but I'm willing to bet.
[x] No, this is no good, you need to win on your own

We already saw once what trying to control it did with Ran.
[x] No, this is no good, you need to win on your own

Listen to your instincts, but not be controlled by it.
[ ] Yes, this is what I want, no holding back anymore

Full speed ahead.
[x] No, this is no good, you need to win on your own.

We've done the youkai thing before. It bad ended us, remember?
Does that mean you're going to chicken out every time Sukima ask us to choose, just because "it bad ended us before"?
Let's ask the other side: Do you really want to try controlling the voice that is screaming at you to kill Youmu right now? When, as noted last, your gut is telling you not to?

It didn't work with Ran and we were also close to lose it with Chen. Now's not the time.
If you don't try controlling it, Satoya will never progress. I don't want the story to keep being an eternal training because Satoya can't master his youkai side.
The sooner we deal with that, the sooner we can start the real deal.
Vote is a bit conflicting. Berserk doesn't look like a great idea, but...

>"Do whatever it takes to defeat me, your honor and mine depends on it."

>Honor, huh? You guess Youmu wouldn't feel right if both of you weren't on equal terms...if she didn't hold back, then you...

>"...alright. Should the time come, I will do it. But if something were to happen to you, I would never forgive myself, I hope you understand this."

>"I do. This is the way of a swordsman, I am confident enough in my own abilities to feel that I won't lose so easily."

Damn it all to hell. I hope I won't regret this. But not without some modifications first...

[x] No, you don't want this, but no holding back anymore
[x] No, this is no good, you need to win on your own.
-[x] Try playing some mind games/flustering Youmu.

I don't think going berserk would have us gain anything
[x] No, you don't want this, but no holding back anymore.

I trust you know what you're doing Youmu.

Be ready.
[x] No, you don't want this, but no holding back anymore.
[X] No, this is no good, you need to win on your own.

Leaving Namek in T-minus 10, 9...
[x] No, you don't want this, but no holding back anymore.

She asked for it, no sense disappointing her.
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[x] No, this is no good, you need to win on your own

Ugh, what are you thinking? You remember what happened to Ran. That wasn't pretty. She's probably already going to hold it against you for a long time. You'd rather not bear that burden on Youmu as well. Fool you once, shame on it, fool you twice...

After readying yourself, you signal Youmu to attack. You're going to win this time. No losing control. You can't just rely on your youkai abilities alone to take the wheel and autopilot you. However, you feel somewhat worn out, tired and stressed. While your wonderful 'youkai' abilities seems to be good at healing wounds, it's doing nothing for your poor stamina. Sure, you've exercised quite a bit during your time as a 'human' but you never built yourself to wield a spear like this for so long in such an intense program. Youmu seems to hesitate a bit, deciding on whether or not she should continue... before remembering that she was not going to hold back. You shouldn't hold back either.

After a while however, you unfortunately think that maybe by not listening to the burning instincts in your chest, that unintentionally, you're holding back anyways.

It was a clean few swipes, you defended yourself well against the first few, but the next one nicks you, allowing the one after it to strike directly, and you get your first taste of a grevious wound. Your high ability to recover is very poor at numbing the incoming pain, and you're quickly crippled the moment the sword cuts cleanly down your right shoulder and across your chest. She's just so fast, so strong, so incredible. There's no way you could ever hope to match up to Youmu's extreme training. Not when she's giving it her all like this. The strikes were so decisive and powerful that even when you could barely see them coming and guard appropriately, you felt reeled back enough to just barely have enough time to prepare for her next strike. It almost feels as if she was holding back earlier in this very battle.

Or, maybe, your morale was simply dropped after realizing the demon that lies within you. You realize that human will is fragile and brittle.

Once again, Youmu seems to hold herself back after seeing the deep cut across your shoulder. It's not as if she's pitying you, she's probably wondering if this is okay. To gun you down in such a fashion, when it's clear who the victor was all this time. It's still an insult, however. An insult you won't take laying down. The spear you've been brandishing as a weapon feels fifty times heavier on your right arm now, the pain surging through it every time you have to move your shoulder. It's a blinding, searing pain that only seems to heighten the burning feeling that's in your chest. In fact, it's starting to take over your body again. You quickly dismiss any thought of paying attention to what your heart might be trying to tell you though. You instead put your mind to work and drive your body forward, lunging towards Youmu with every ounce of your strength that you have left.

You strike her.

She falls to the ground.

You raise your weapon.

You make the decisive blow.

What happened after that was a blur. Your memory trails off, and you remember nothing. The next thing you know, is groggily waking up in an unfamiliar futon. Your body is stiff but otherwise, you don't find any immediate signs of the wounds you incurred during your struggle with Youmu. Tearing your line of sight away from the ceiling, the first familiar thing you see is Yukari's unexpected face. Your master dearest is sitting beside you casually, apparently having waited for you to awaken, or perhaps she knew you would awake at this exact time all along.

"Where am I...?" These are the first words that you quietly speak out to the youkai. She just gives you a casual smile before responding to you.

"Home, of course." Your eyes widen for a brief moment before Yukari corrects your thoughts. "No, not your old home. Mine." Damn it all. You thought maybe, just maybe, she would be kind enough to relieve you of this nightmare. No such luck, you suppose.

You sit up, finding your body to indeed, be very stiff, but it's not in pain. In fact, it's hardly even sore. You feel like you woke up from a typical night's sleep. The room is barren, quite empty. The only feature that are even on the walls is the sliding door. It fits, the rest of the room looks like it belongs in an old styled japanese mansion. It's very much like the Hakugyoukuro, but the lighting is much brighter, despite the lack of windows. You decide to question the light source some other time however, and start firing questions at Yukari.

"What happened?"

"You gave it your all. You were so worn out from the training with Youmu that we simply took you back here."

"How long was I out for?"

"A couple weeks."

"Did I win?"


"... was I at least satisfactory enough?"

"For your first time fighting against a master swordswoman who hardly held back? You were wonderful." Yukari says this with an earnest smile... seemingly, anyways. With a passive sigh, you breathe easy knowing that you conquered this task at the very least. Sure, it wasn't the best case scenario, but it seems the difficult training is over, to some extent. You're just afraid of having to put that experience to use...

"Alright. Well, where's Ran and Chen then? Why aren't they here with you?"

"Ran is fixing dinner for your return to the waking world, my dear Satoya. She only just started so it will be some time, I'm afraid. Chen is out playing... I assume she will have to be called back once supper is ready."

You feel like relaxing now. Sure, you feel like you're well rested, but even thinking about all that rough training you were put through makes you tired already. You're probably expected to keep it up as well, even here... you doubt letting yourself get rusty would appeal to Yukari, or yourself for that matter, considering that it might place you in life or death situations. Getting up and moving around might help with your body's stiffness though. You feel like...

[ ] Staying and chatting with Yukari
[ ] Helping Ran with dinner
[ ] Going out and fetching Chen
[x] Going out and fetching Chen

Adorable little sister figure gaems.
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[x] Staying and chatting with Yukari

Give us more details about what happened. Also, a question I wanted to ask from a long time: what kind of spear is Satoya using? Is it just a stick with a pointy part, or is it more elaborated, like the one in this screenshot?
>Adorable little sister figure gaems.

I'm not sure she doesn't see herself as the elder sibling.

[x] Going out and fetching Chen

She's the best source for unfiltered information on the rest of the household. Ran is too reserved and Yukari too cunning. Plus she has a way of not making Satoya feel inferior.

>Also, a question I wanted to ask from a long time: what kind of spear is Satoya using?

This. Yari or naginata? Stabby or slashy?
[x] Going out and fetching Chen
[x] Going out and fetching Chen

Maybe we can gauge what's really going on with Ran via Chen.

I thought the whole going berserk on Ran was a bad end that didn't stick.
[x] Staying and chatting with Yukari.

Who knows, she might be satisfied to give us straight answers for once, or at least be good company.
Satoya's polearm is similar to that of a glaive or a partisan, while it's fit for stabbing, it's meant for slashing. This becomes important later on so please remember it.

Update tomorrow.
>Update tomorrow.

You have no idea how good this makes me feel. Waiting warmly.
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[x] Going out and fetching Chen

After deciding your next course of action, you get out of the futon and stretch, already relieving some of the stiffness your body felt. Your right shoulder experiences a mild, stinging pain when you do though, so you realize that your wounds aren't going to magically disappear within days. Either that, or it just goes to show how fatal the blow was on you when Youmu inflicted it upon you. It certainly feels like it's healing a lot faster then what any ordinary human would heal it at in any case.

"Well, I guess I'll go get Chen like I did last time then. Can you send me back where I found her last time?"

"I could, but she wouldn't be there" she replies to you, without even bothering to look up at you. You just give her a puzzled look, even though she isn't looking.

"Then, where would she be?"

With a sly, devilish smile, she looks up at you... the next thing you know, you're in darkness. All it took was a short blink of your eyes and you could no longer see anything.

After a short while, you realize that your eyes are still closed for some reason. You're not sure how this happened. You were positive that your eyes were open the whole time you were in that deep darkness, which wasn't long. Yukari is playing tricks on you again. When you do actually open your eyes, you're presented with a vast field of flowers. Dandelions? No, these are daisies. The field is vast, stretching out as far as the eye can see in every direction. The only change in scenery is the cat eared little girl sitting amongst the many flowers, humming to herself happily while swaying her head back and forth gently.

The scene is just so serene. Calming and relaxing, and sets a sincerely happy feeling in your heart. There's something about Chen that just strikes you as extremely innocent right now. It's heart warming, to say the least. The way she's carefully, yet casually picking apart the flowers and arranging them into a head dress or a necklace. Man, you remember when you did something like that as a kid. Your mother always really appreciated it. She thought it was endearing; the way Chen is right now, you can finally understand why. You almost feel guilty to interrupt her and take her home, you just find watching her to be so relaxing and cleansing. However, eventually, she does take notice of you and waves you over.

"Heeey! Satoya~!" After perking up from Chen's sudden attention, you go ahead and walk yourself over to her, standing before the nekomata.

"Hey, what are you making?"

"A floral wreath. Master Ran taught Chen a long time ago how to make one. It's really fun and relaxing." You guess even someone as bouncy and hyper as Chen likes to settle down every once in a while. Very comforting, at your age, you don't think you could keep up with her otherwise. Even though, given how youkai apparently age, she's probably three times older then you are in reality.

"Are you making it for anyone in particular, or is it just for fun?"

"Just for fun." Chen stops admiring her apparently finished creation briefly and looks up at you curiously for a second, before holding up the wreath with an honest smile. "Would Satoya like to have it?"

"Ah... sure. Thank you." You can't help but feel touched as you bend down a bit to receive your gift. After giving the wreath to you, Chen's face beams with a satisfied happiness, likely that of having her work being fulfilled and satisfactory, even if she didn't originally intend for it to work out this way. Your heart is in such a blissful state that you almost forget why you came here. "Oh, Ran is fixing dinner back home. I came here to bring you back." Chen's expression changes to that of a bit of a surprise. Maybe she didn't know how long she had been out here.

"Eh? Really? Well, okay!" With a quick hop, Chen gets back up on her feet and looks at you with her usual cheery expression. "Should we go now then?" You give the cat a quick nod and she starts walking off in what feels like a random direction... you trust her judgement by this point though, so you choose to follow her anyways.

Along the way, several things go through your mind. What does Chen think of you? How is she faring, with someone foreign moving in so suddenly? Is she koay with all this? You wager she doesn't really have a choice but to accept it but you do ponder her true feelings. Most children would be really standoffish about a stranger moving into a place they called home, but Chen has been particularly happy about it for some reason. Sure, she's more mature then you took her for but... the way she does things, she must still be a child. There's no doubt in your mind that Chen is very young, the energetic way she does things shows it. So you have to ask.

"Say, Chen... how do you feel about me moving in with you, Yukari and Ran anyways?" Chen seems to look over and up at you a little quizzically at first, before turning her head back towards where she's walking, a bright smile on her face.

"Chen thinks it's great! Master Yukari will have company at home all the time, Master Ran will finally have someone else helping with chores and Chen will have someone to play with when Chen comes home~" Hah, just the typical kind of thing you'd expect from a cheery child like her. Ah, to be young again. Well, as seemingly young as her, anyways.

You can't help but feel that she's really dumbing it down though. Weren't you brought here to be Yukari's left hand man or something? The way she says it, makes it sound like you're some drafted butler...

"Well that's good, how often are you at home anyways?"

"Not all that much. Chen sometimes sleeps out or just stays up with Chen's friends. Chen mostly comes home for dinner and sleep, but sometimes to spend time with Master Ran and Master Yukari." Hmm, a shame you think. With Chen around, things would certainly be a lot more fun and lively for you. On the other hand, maybe it's not all bad. If she were around all the time, you wouldn't be able to keep up with her like that. Some time alone is nice too.

"I see. Your friends sure seemed like a... really interesting group." In middle of trying to make small talk, you realize you can't find the words to describe her troupe. The time you met them was weird, to say the least. That bird youkai was really polite, but the other two were, well...

"Chen's friends are really nice! Cirno and Rumia are a little strange but Mystia is really nice and Wriggle is strong."

"Wriggle?" You don't think you remember seeing anyone by that name. There were only three others there, weren't there? She didn't mention her last time.

"That's one of Chen's friends. Wriggle is usually only awake during the night though, because Wriggle is a nightbug." Okay, that makes a lot of sense then. "Rumia is usually only awake during the night too but Rumia doesn't really sleep very often."

"Ah, must be one of those wonderful perks of being a youkai, huh?"

"No, Rumia just forgets to sleep."

... Chen's friends sure are something else. You think a subject change is in order.

[ ] Ask Chen more about herself
[ ] Ask what she does with Ran
[ ] You're still interested in how she thinks of you
[ ] Is this the right way? Where are we?

The extreme gaps between certain groups of updates have caused me to forget a lot of details. I had to reread most of the first thread to remind myself that Satoya was told where Yukari's mansion was. So if there are any strange plot holes or errors in continuity, please do tell me.
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I don't really understand why Yukari is giving Satoya an european weapon instead of local weapons, but whatever.

[x] Ask what she does with Ran
Because I want to understand if Ran is Chen's surrogate mother, or her superior.

>Along the way, several things go through your mind. What does Chen think of you? How is she faring, with someone foreign moving in so suddenly? Is she koay with all this?
>Is she koay with all this?

This Yukar is a collector. The one Satoya chose wasn't the only european weapon in that pile.


And this is why proofreading at 3 in the morning is a bad idea.
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[x] Ask what she does with Ran
[x] Ask Chen more about herself
[x] Is this the right way? Where are we?

You can talk on the way. Walking slowly, if need be.

I'm interested in whether Ran trains Chen or not. She's a nekomata at least, so she's bound to have some magical skill. I think her answer would give Satoya a better idea of what else, beside his relationship with Yukari, can constitute a master-shikigami relationship.


He said it was meant for slashing, with some stabbing ability, and Satoya hadn't been using it to try to catch Youmu's weapon (though that could be inexperience), so I'm thinking it's more glaive than partisan.
[x] Ask Chen more about herself.
[X] Ask Chen more about herself
[X] Ask what she does with Ran

Because character development and establishment, not necessarily in that order.
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[x] Ask what she does with Ran
[x] Ask Chen more about herself

"So what do you do with Ran anyways? When you two are together that is." You couldn't help but ask. You want to know more not just about Chen, but Ran too. Both these girls with animal ears affixed to their heads and spinal cords ending in multiple tails fascinate you. You guess you're less interested in Yukari because she is the one that enslaved you; maybe you're just looking for someone to relate to in a world completely unknown to you otherwise. Although maybe Chen also plays a little on your wish to be young again. Your time as a college professor has made you feel terribly old, as young as you were when you started it.

"Huh? Well Chen usually learns black magic with Master Ran... but sometimes we like relaxing too." Chen says this with a notably happy and pleased smile, possibly reminiscing about the last time she had such an opportunity with the enigmatic fox.

"Relaxing... how so?"

"Chen and Master Ran usually do it on the porch behind the mansion. You can see lots of the sky there."

"I guess you two find that odd sky comforting...?" You find it a little hard to believe, but Chen looks up at you with a confident smile.

"It's different! And the glow that comes with it is warm and snuggly~" Chen seems to trail off into a pleasant tune after saying that, the fact that she really enjoys that strange sky practically beaming off her face. You feel that it's gonna take some getting used to for you, but maybe someday you can feel that way about it too, as unreal as it sounds.

"I see... do you do anything else with Ran?" Chen looks up into space, thinking about it as the two of you continue walking towards what feels like nothing in particular.

"Uhm... Chen sometimes helps Master Ran out with chores but apart from that and eating together, Chen can't think of much." Maybe it was too much to ask for, expecting them to have any hobbies that you're used to... you get this distinct feeling that people who are native to Gensokyo are quite a bit more archaic then what you're used to. You wonder what you'll be doing for free time yourself. Maybe you'll ask Ran about that. Heaven forbid you ask Yukari, you don't expect her to grant you any wishes of something from your old home.

This actually gives you an idea though. Why ask those two when you have someone next to you begging to be asked? Sure, she very likely has a lot of childish hobbies... but it's better then nothing. Even old fashioned children have similar hobbies to modern ones, right?

"So, you study black magic then?" You decide a segue is the best way to go about it. It also reminds you to make a mental note to ask Ran about it sometime in the future, possibly. You're not sure if you want to take the challenge of learning this fancy 'magic' stuff, or if you even can, but you wager that if so, it'd be a huge benefit to learn, given how weak in combat you were to Ran when you were training earlier.

"Yep! Chen showed Satoya last time we were walking like this, right?" You remember that little light show. You almost thought nothing of it though, truthfully, as it didn't stick out as impressive. Not nearly as impressive as the barrage she rained down upon you when you trained with her back at the Hakugyokurou.

"Yeah. How good are you at it anyways? What kind of 'spells' have you learned?" You had to force out the word a bit, mainly because it feels so silly saying it seriously. You feel like some high school kid, talking to his friend about their recent achievements in a fantasy game. As interested in magic as you are, you're still having a bit of a hard time coming to terms with it's existence.

"Chen's learned a lot of fire spells! A lot of wind spells too. No water spells though, Chen hates water. It makes her weak." That's so typical coming from a cat monster, and yet so fitting that it's almost adorable.

"You hate water, huh? What about when it comes time to take a bath?" Chen's face seems to quickly distort into resentment upon hearing that detestful word.

"Chen hates baths! They're awful and shouldn't exist! Master Ran always forces Chen to do it anyways though..."

"Isn't it important to get clean at least every once in a while though?" With a sigh and a groan, Chen seems to relent to that much, as expected of a girl of course.

"Yeah, but Chen just hates water a lot..."

"Eh, you'll grow out of it eventually, I'm sure."

Suddenly, you feel an odd presense. It's as if a bullet just shot straight through the side of your head. It makes you shiver and look around. You almost could have swore it came from Chen, but she looks like she's just mildly cursing whatever gods made water related to baths. It couldn't have come from her.

... how strange. In any case, you shouldn't pay much mind to it probably. No need to confuse Chen with it.

You're not sure when it happened, as you could swear you were lost in thought the rest of the way there. You forgot to ask Chen more about herself as a result, but you'll remedy that later. By the time your senses are back to you, the flower field has ended, the trees have begun and the sky is a deep, surreal orange. You're back within the barrier again. It's so weird how it works. How would you map something like this out, you wonder? Where does the land end and the barrier begin? How is the land plotted out within the barrier? You can't help but feel as if it's an entirely different world inside the barrier. Maybe it's the creepy sky. You'll never know, most likely. You wonder if Yukari herself even knows.

Eventually the two of you come back to the mansion with Yukari waiting on the porch. After a quick welcome back, the two of you are lead into the kitchen where a hearty meal awaits.

Things start to feel unusually casual as time goes on... arriving home, eating a filling dinner, going to sleep satisfied... you nearly forget that you used to be human, in the outside world. When you do remember though, you realize how much you still miss it.

Laying in bed, staring up at the ceiling in your empty room, you wonder what's happening back in the human world. You're still not quite sure you get it yourself. You've been spirited away to some mystical land known as Gensokyo where you were not only made into some type of demon but also a slave to a much greater one with extraordinary powers who also has other slaves of her own, in fact her other slave has a slave herself. Maybe using slave is too harsh a word, Ran and Chen certainly don't seem to be as depressed as most slaves would be. Subordinate? That sounds accurate. You guess if you think of it that way, being under Yukari isn't so bad. It's just like back at work, where even as a college professor, you had superiors that you had to listen to. Except in this case, it's not your money at risk, it's your life. Who knows what Yukari would make you do as well... that loon is every bit as unpredictable as abstract art. You could swear that one of these days she's going to approach you with her face rearranged like some bad picasso painting. Although, that's just downright creepy.

Thankfully, when you do get to sleep, you don't have any awful dreams about it. Rather, you merely dream about your old life, and how it would be if you were still living it now. While it sounds very boring and mundane, after what you've experienced, it's something of a fantasy now. Of a time when things were more simple...


A few days pass though, and you realize that your new life is a lot more mundane then you took it for. You've been put through torture and pain, trained to the bone to heighten your abilities as a fighting youkai force, and what does Yukari do with it? Make you get her items in the mansion. Make you massage her shoulders. Make you do chores around the house with Ran. While you don't mind helping Ran, you can't help but feel like Yukari's wasting potential that she previously reportedly saw in you. Maybe she felt you weren't good enough during that training after all...

After a few days of being Yukari's personal butler, you find yourself with free time one day and for the first time, you're at a loss of what to do. Yukari and Ran have admittedly kept you quite busy and you didn't need to kill time a whole lot before one of them demanded your attention again. Maybe this was to be expected, you were told that Ran was overworked... of course she would be eager to tip some of it onto you, and of course, Yukari is just delighted to have a new slave to make do her awful bidding. Today though, you have time to yourself for once. As you stand on the porch, staring up at the sky, you wonder to yourself what you should do...

[ ] Go bother Yukari some
[ ] Ask Ran if she wants some help
[ ] Go seek Chen out for some fun
[ ] Aimlessly wander about and see what hits you
[ ] Just go read a book

Weak choices, I know. I haven't been feeling very good lately, I guess. Sorry for practically using cookie cutter choices at the end of each update.
[x] Ask Ran if she wants some help.

I don't think that bothering Yukari is a clever idea. Of course, that Yukari is easy-going, but I don't think she'll give us a straight answer if we ask her what exactly is going on. But I admit that I like the idea of going after Satoya's "master" (sorry, I thinking routes again).

And of course, the fox is pure love. So I'll vote for the foxy and fluffy woman.

The way I've been reusing the whole "Go after Yukari/Ran/Chen/Be Alone" choice structure I certainly don't blame you for thinking there are 'routes' of which there aren't any
[x] Ask Ran if she wants some help

Why not?
[x] Ask Ran if she wants some help

Being helpful and possibly mending bridges.

>No routes
With a lack of an overall plot that might just drive off readers.

I guess I know I've started out slow when people are saying there's no plot.
[X] Ask Ran if she wants some help
[x] Ask Ran if she wants some help

I wanted to put this to more consideration, but Ran's been getting shorted face time lately.
[x] Just go read a book.
it's more the story is progressing slowly and we just finished the training plot arc. As far as we know, we're inbetween arcs.

You're still updating faster than Patchwork.
[x] Ask Ran if she wants some help

This is an arc though. Admittedly, a very mundane one, but I feel it's necessary; I want Satoya to get to know the Yakumo family a bit better before going into any 'real' plot.
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[x] Ask Ran if she wants some help

Even though there's not much to do, you believe Ran is still finishing up a couple chores. You should probably still help her, even if it's more or less your 'day off' for today. After all, what kind of subordinate gets days off? Maybe you could also ask her what you can do after helping her, or maybe even do something with her. She must feel lonely with Chen gone so often, even though she's lounging around at home today somewhere. Hell, maybe you could rope her into it too. It'd be like a family outing.

... no, that's too soon. You haven't been here long enough to call anyone family, even if that's what it feels like now. You were more or less 'adopted' by Yukari. It honestly sounds accurate. Although at the same time, the scenario you're putting yourself in feels like you'd be Chen's parent along side Ran, making you--

In middle of your wayward thinking, you embarrassingly walk into a wooden pole. Other then the shock of being thrust into reality so suddenly, along with maybe a somewhat damaged dignity as Ran had seen you do it, it wasn't much.

"Satoya? Are you okay?" Ran seems to be asking more out of confusion then actual sympathy. You can't blame her, the pole was in clear view, although it hadn't always been there.

"Y-Yeah, just not watching where I'm going I guess." Looking at the pole, you realize it's holding up a line that's holding up a bunch of sheets put out to dry. It looks like Ran is taking them down. "Oh, you need help here?"

"I'm almost finished, but that would still be appreciated, thank you."

After giving her a quick nod and receiving some short instructions, you get right to work. The sheets are large and somewhat heavy for sheets, but you and Ran manage to quickly put the rest away in small bales. It really didn't take that long, since as she said, Ran wasn't just starting. You should have come here earlier, you suppose. Feeling unsatisfied, you decide to goad her for more work, as odd as it sounds.

"Well that's a job well done, is there anything else you needed to do? I can help." Ran seems to just look at you nonchalantly as she picks up one of the bales of sheets.

"Isn't today your first day of rest? You shouldn't waste it away like that."

"Well, what else is there for me to do? I want to feel useful at least, since I'm freeloading." At this concept, Ran seems to look at you quite confused. As if she didn't understand a single word you had just fed her. You're not sure if you should try explaining though, as that might turn out a little awkwardly. Thankfully, she does continue nonetheless.

"Well, if you insist. These also to be stored away."

"Great, leave it to me then, I'll carry a couple and follow you in then."

Some inner urge is demanding that you look good in front of this woman. Maybe it's the disappointment you brought her during training. Maybe it's the feeling that you need to get up onto her level of helpfulness or you'll feel useless. Maybe it's the fact that she's a stunning woman. You wish the women at the college you worked with were half as pretty as Ran was. But then, she's also a youkai, so her looks are probably synthetic at best. You make no effort to stop yourself from slightly show boating in front of her almost disconcertingly, as you pick up two balefuls of sheets and Ran carries one indoors, while you follow her. She really doesn't seem like the type of person that would be easily impressed though, so you feel that you should stop embarrassing yourself. God knows what Yukari would have to say about this.

Speaking of whom, why does she need so many sheets? There must be enough to cover almost a football field's worth of ground with these. Why did all of them need to be washed all at once? How were all of them washed all at once? Maybe some mysteries of the universe are not meant for minds like yours, but as a professor, you can't help but wonder these kinds of things. Yukari is truly a mysterious person indeed.

"Say, Ran," you start off saying after the two of you are heading back for the second batch of bales of sheets to store away, "what do you do in your free time anyways? I'm kind of at a loss of what to do myself, being from a significantly different world." Ran looks at you for a moment, as if assessing your statement before answering you.

"Well that is to be expected. Gensokyo is extremely different from the outside world. Humans who have wandered in here or have otherwise been brought here by Master Yukari have found many ways to adapt, though."

"Huh, so I'm not the first one she's kidnapped?" Ran looks up briefly, seemingly wondering if your choice of words was correct or not.

"Well... you were never a human to begin with, but from your point of view I can see why you'd make such a judgement, so yes, you are not the first. I believe the people on the outside refer to it as being spirited away." Wow, so this is where they go then. You're suddenly feeling like you stepped into a supernatural world that could easily compare to any comic book or cartoon. It's really surreal. You kind of want to meet these humans who were once a part of the outside world, maybe then you'd actually have someone to relate to in this backwards land.

"I see... how well did they adapt though?"

"They live in a colony composed entirely of humans in the middle of the land. There's plenty to do in the village, so there's no shortage of activity." That probably makes sense. Even if there's little material, the presence of a community means there will always be things to do. Although as you pick up two more balefuls, you realize Ran has deftly dodged your question, which you decide to reinstate.

"Alright. I guess I have nothing to worry about then. You never answered my question though. You do get free time, right?" Ran closes her eyes, in what feels like a gesture of superiority. You guess maybe she took your question as looking down upon her, which you really don't want to do, but it seems to have happened nonetheless.

"Of course I do. What free time I have is usually spent studying or reading, however. Not to mention keeping Chen company."

"Huh, what kind of books do you read then?" You're still trying to stay on Ran's good side, while getting to know her better. Her stoic expression is really hard to read though. You're not even sure if your assumptions about her up until now have really been wholly correct.

"I study magic of the black arts, as well as many different types of lore and arithmetic. I am very experienced with numbers." Math, huh? You always hated the math teachers back at the college you taught at. You also never liked math yourself. Probably typical of a language teacher, though. Still, if Ran was the one teaching math at your school, you might not mind it so much. Maybe. "I occasionally read stories as well." Now this is a treat.

"Stories, huh? What kind of stori-"


Just like that, you're stopped cold in your tracks, suddenly given a hard time standing up as your loving, endearing master decides to lean on you from behind. Well, it's more like she's trying to hitch a piggy back ride, almost. You would curse right now, but you hold yourself back in Ran's presence, who seems to be a little confused at the sight.

"Master Yukari?"

"Oh, hello Ran. Don't mind me. I need to talk to Satoya, if you don't mind." You would love to Yukari, but you're a little bu-

"No, that's fine. I'll complete the chore myself. Just leave those here, Satoya."

"... right." Man, rejected. Looks like you'll have to deal with Yukari's shenanigans anyways.

As Ran turns around to carry her bale over to storage, Yukari relieves your shoulders and gets off you, prompting you to silently thank the gods that her heavy burden on top of the balefuls of sheets are no longer trying to prove gravity correct. After that, you put the balefuls down and look at Yukari, who, of course, has a certain smug look on her face.

"So what do you want now?"

"Oh? A little upset that I interrupted your private time?" This woman knows how to push all your buttons.

"Wha-no. It wasn't that private anyways. Just tell me what you want."

"Is that anyway to address your master?" Ugh, you can't believe you have to say it. It's more demeaning then anything you've ever said to a superior.

"... what is your wish, Master Yukari?" Yukari's face seems to beam with glee as she hears those words reluctantly leave your mouth, but thankfully, it does cause her to relent.

"Well~ I would like you to accompany me to the Hakurei Shrine for good will and some introductions."

"The Hakurei Shrine?"

"Yes, there is a person that helps me maintain the barrier that keeps Gensokyo the way it is. Very important, you see." Yeah, you can see how that's important. Particularly since Yukari herself seems to be too lazy to do anything herself, so you assume this person she's talking about does all the work in the end.

"Alright, is that it?" You instantly regret asking, as Yukari shoots you a sly smile, noting your mistake.

"Hm, since you asked, there are other things that need to be done." Wonderful, so much for your day off. College wasn't quite as brutal as this, or at least time consuming. "I need something from the doctor's to be picked up, and then I also need you to introduce yourself to the gods on Youkai Mountain." More introductions? Is Yukari really that important? Well, important enough to know gods, in any case...

"Gods huh? Will you be coming for that too?"

"Oh heavens no. I can't stand the bunch. If you're afraid to go alone though, Ran can accompany you. She has little to do today as well." You wanted to help her though, not give her more work load... although, Yukari does make a point. You feel less comfortable introducing yourself to supposed gods. An escort would ensure that you don't make any stupid mistakes in front of powerful beings like that. On the other hand, Yukari not coming with you for this but introducing you to what she talks of like a good friend seems kind of like bias on her part, but you guess you can't blame her. "Of course, I did give you the day off for today, since you're still new to this, so if you don't want to do any of this, that's also fine. It can wait."

Yukari says this with an unconvincing smile though. The one that tells you that she will get you back for it later. Whether or not you want to actually risk it though...

[ ] Go with Yukari to see her friend
[ ] Fetch what she needs from the doctor
[ ] Go with Ran to see these 'gods'
[ ] You'll just spend the day at home and catch up
[x] Go with Yukari to see her friend

Off days are for time with the family, and guess who we still owe time to?
[x] Go with Yukari to see her friend

Yukari did say we would be more of a diplomat, right? Then she pretty much need to show us around, let them know who we're affiliated with.
[x] Go with Yukari to see her friend.

Because Yukari.
[x] Go with Yukari to see her friend

Let's meet the daughter-in-law.
>Yukari did say we would be more of a diplomat, right? Then she pretty much need to show us around, let them know who we're affiliated with.

This guy has a point. If Satoya is not seen with Yukari, nobody will believe him.
"Hey, I'm working for Yukari, and I need your help."
"Not helping anyone since I talked with that lawyer who pretended to work for Keyser Soze."
[x] Go with Yukari to see her friend.
[x] Go with Yukari to see her friend.
[x] Go with Yukari to see her friend.

Reimu'd be a kindred spirit in putting up with Yukari's antics.
[x] Go with Yukari to see her friend.
[x] Go with Yukari to see her friend.

It's unanimous already but, eh, whatever.
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Sorry for the month long absence, though I'm sure most of you, if not all of you, are used to me doing this by now. I'm still really busy with a project, but I'm almost done, so as soon as it is, I'll be back in full swing again.

[x] Go with Yukari to see her friend.

After releasing a tiresome sigh, you look at Yukari and decide that you may as well get this over with.

"Alright. Well, take me to this Hakurei Shrine then. I guess if I should introduce myself to anyone important, I should do it now." Yukari's face seems to beam brightly at this prospect.

"Marvelous~! Let's get going right away then."

"Right now? Bu-" You really don't get a chance to interject, as you suddenly feel the ground give way at your feet. After tumbling about in darkness a bit, you land back on solid ground, surprisingly on your feet, though you nearly lose your balance. "--geh. Warn me next time you do that!" You shout at Yukari, who's still standing in front of you, as if you never moved. The scenery, however, is vastly different.

Taking a look around, you're reacquainted with an ordinary sky, one that you've only seen anytime you've went out to retrieve Chen. You wager you're still in Gensokyo though. The air is fresh and crisp though. It feels as if you might be close to some mountains. You're standing just before a great long stone staircase leading down, almost making you feel as if you were on a mountain indeed. Above you is what appears to be a big red gate... the shape is unmistakable. This must be a shinto shrine. Unfortunate, you've never really studied shinto all that hard. Then again, many religions have been beyond you, and given the modern world what it is, it's hard to blame you. Turning around, you see a modest looking shrine just ahead. It certainly has the look and feel of it, and looks far more in place here in a land full of wilderness, as opposed to city lights every which way.

"Are you coming?" You seemed to have missed Yukari walking past you and beckoning you to follow her in middle of your admiration of the scenery. You'll have to admit, the past couple weeks have been vastly different compared to what your everyday life used to be.

As you and Yukari near the shrine, you spy someone you didn't notice before. What appears to be a teenage girl in a priestess uniform is sitting on the porch, enjoying what appears to be tea, judging from the cup. Her hair is neatly kept, her clothes are tidy and clean, her skin is flawlessly clear... all the way up to the serene expression on her face, which seems to quickly disappear the moment she realizes Yukari has arrived. You can't say you blame her.

"Using the gate, Yukari? What's the occasion?" With the simple gesture of holding her hand out beside her, she introduces you rather casually.

"This strapping young man is the occasion." The girl on the porch just seems to give you an unsatisfied look.

"I hope you're not trying to marry me off to some random guy that was on the street in the outside world."

"No, no, no. Although that would make for an interesting story." Thank god. You think being this woman's shikigami is more then enough stress for you to handle, god forbid you become a part of any 'stories' she comes up with. Makes you wonder how many other people she's made into a 'story' around here. The scariest thought about Yukari being a writer is that she could make it happen. "This is my newest shikigami. I've summoned him and bound his spirit to mine via contract so he is here to stay. I thought maybe you two should get to know each other so that you don't make any frivolous mistakes should you and him cross paths." By contract, huh? You never really questioned it, but that probably explains the 'survey' that you took. This woman is quite devious, you'll give her that.

"Here to stay? I assume he isn't some throw away shikigami then," the girl states quite simply as she sets aside her tea and stands up, walking over to you to get a closer look. The height difference becomes readily apparent and you realize you were probably right on the ball when you thought that she may be a teenager. She's likely gone far past puberty by now, but she is hardly of age yet.

"No, of course not. He is more akin to Ran, although not quite as strong yet." You're not sure how you feel about these two conversing about you like some item. Maybe to them, that's all you are. A tool, furniture to be used, and nothing else.

"Yet?" The smaller girl in front of you seems to look at Yukari with intrigue. You want to say something, but with the way they're referring to you, you'd feel out of place trying to. Like you're doing something you're not supposed to be doing, if you were to speak up.

"He has lots of potential, yes~" Yukari seems to enjoy boasting about you already. Quite frankly, you don't know what's so special about yourself. "Well Satoya, don't just stand there, introduce yourself." Oh, you guess you should finally say something.

"Uh... hi."

Well, that could have went better.

"Yes, hi. I guess I have to do it first. My name is Reimu Hakurei. I'm the shrine maiden. You are?" The steely gaze she sets upon you is quite intimidating, but her tone is merely sarcastic and somewhat lethargic at best. You're not sure how you should interpret this, so you just go on normally.

"I'm Satoya Kotono. I'm, uh... Yukari's shikigami, I guess." The shrine maiden seems to almost be amused at your own confusion.

"You don't seem too sure of yourself."

"Well he's still new to this whole shikigami thing. Strange, since I picked him out of the outside world..." Reimu just gives Yukari an even more suspicious look.

"You summoned him from the outside world? Wouldn't that make him an ordinary human?"

"You forget, Reimu dear, that youkai still exist, even in the outside world~" Yukari seems happy to be teaching Reimu something, twirling her finger about as she goes on. "That is what makes him so special. His youkai blood was alive and well, even amongst the lack of faith in the outside world. It was merely locked away."

"I see. So such youkai do exist then." Reimu gives an observant look in your general direction. "Interesting."

You don't think you like the way she's looking at you. It's almost the kind of look you would give fresh meat. You can only pray nothing bad is going to happen.

"That's right, Reimu. Jealous?" You almost steal a look at Yukari, just to check to see if she's smugly looking down on the girl in front of you, though you think that you might not have to. You really are an item to this woman, an item to show off it seems. Something that she tamed and wants to gloat that she did so. It's really insulting. Despite that though, you keep your eyes glued to the priestess, in fear that she may do something... strange to you. However, after observing and studying you for a bit she steps back.

"Hardly. He has no real potential, so I can't say I'm very impressed. Nor will anyone else be." Ouch. You can't say you like it here so far. All that's happened is you being mistreated. You're definitely wishing you were back home, enjoying an ordinary, human lifestyle... but no, you're bound under this... this woman, who threatens your very life if you don't do as she tells you. Considering the ridiculous stunts she's already pulled, all of which seem to be a lesser extent of her power, you would be totally sure that you'd never be safe if you crossed her.

"That's where you're wrong, Reimu. He has more potential then any youkai here in Gensokyo." As would be expected, this earns Yukari a rather unconvinced look from Reimu.

"I don't believe you."

"You'll see."

"Sure I will."

The exchange between them ends so suddenly that you almost miss Reimu going back to staring at you. You guess you should say... something. You just want her to stop really.

"Can I... help you?" Reimu's expression just seems to grow more perplexed the more she studies you.

"No matter what way I look at it, you're just an ordinary human..."

"Yeah, that's what I keep telling he-" You stop suddenly as you were gesturing to your right... Yukari has vanished. Just as suddenly as the conversation between her and Reimu had. Not even a single trace left behind, "What the--..."

"She's gone already, huh? That figures. I guess she expects me to babysit you or something." With a regretful sigh, she turns around and starts walking back onto the porch and into the shrine, speaking to you as she does so. "Oh well, come on inside. Just don't eat anything. I have a few questions for you anyways."

Well, it's not like you have anything else to do. You're definitely not finding your own way home this time, so you may as well. What is Yukari thinking, you wonder...?

You spend some time with the apathetic priestess answering her questions. She seems very interested in what Yukari might have been referring to when she mentioned you had 'potential' but she's very calm and collected about it. She doesn't seem like the type to get worked up over something unless necessary. She seems rather intimidating though, which is perhaps one of the reasons why you came clean to her so easily. You divulge to her just about everything involving your relation to Yukari, from the survey, to the training and every detail in between. You even tell her a bit about what your human like was like before you were spirited away here into this strange land that's been referred to as Gensokyo. After telling her all this, Reimu seems to take a few moments to process all of it, before coming to a final conclusion.

"Well, as impressive as your battle against that gardener was, I can't say there's really anything special about you at all. Yukari must be up to something..."

"Does she do things like this often?"

"Spirit people away here? Yes. Enslave them and boast about their supposed prowess? No. She plots somewhat frequently but due to her nature, it's always hard to tell just what she's up to." You give a great big sigh in response. You're not sure how to react to that otherwise. This sounds complicated, making you regret more and more being on the butt end of all this. A key component and hamster to whatever plan this woman is concocting. "There's one thing you really haven't told me though. What kind of impression has she left on you?"

"Huh? Impression?" Reimu gives a short nod.

"Yes. You've told me what happened but you haven't really given me any insight as to what you think of her and what she's done, apart from wishing none of this ever happened. Do you regret getting caught up in all this?"

"I do, really. It's been very stressful and painful since I've gotten here. A lot of getting used to, as well."

"Do you hate her for what she's done?"

You open your mouth to say it, but you realize something as you do so; you're not sure what to say. It's surprisingly a difficult question to answer. While she's more or less taken control of your life and plotted it out as she pleases, she's been rather kind to you for the most part... more kind then what you'd expect from someone who enslaves random people, anyways. Ran and Chen seem to look up to her undoubtedly... so you, you...

[ ] She's been a handful, but honestly... she's alright.
[ ] You're not sure on your feelings about her just yet.
[ ] She's gotten on your nerves a whole lot, but everyone else seems pretty okay.
[ ] You hate the wench for doing this to you, no doubt.
[x] She's been a handful, but honestly... she's alright.

From what I recall it's not like he had some sort of wonderful life beforehand anyway.
[x] She's been a handful, but honestly... she's alright.
[x] She's been a handful, but honestly... she's alright.
[x] She's been a handful, but honestly... she's alright.

Like having a nice but annoying boss.

[x] She's been a handful, but honestly... she's alright.

You know she's watching anyways.
[X] She's been a handful, but honestly... she's alright.

The key word is 'alright'.
Also welcome back, again.
[x] She's been a handful, but honestly... she's alright

"So you don't hate her?"

"Maybe I'm just too tolerant." You muse about how much you tolerate Yukari taking control of your life without your permission for a moment. Though you give her the benefit of the doubt; it could be a lot worse. She could be slave driving you, making you do everything and constantly torturing you.

Wait, she does that anyways. Well, you guess she could also be inflicting physical pain on you too, while she's at it, you suppose.

"I'm kind of surprised, though I guess any ordinary human would have no choice in the matter anyways."

Are you suffering from Stockholm Syndrome? This is a question that burns into your mind as Reimu muses upon the matter herself rather casually, keeping her eyes closed almost condescendingly while taking the occasional sip of her tea. Though you quickly realize that maybe instead of asking yourself questions, you should be asking Reimu some.

"Is Yukari really that bad?"

And this is the first question that comes out of your mouth. Perhaps you are suffering from Stockholm Syndrome...

"Well, she is about as youkai-like as any youkai, I guess. She probably even eats humans. I've yet to see her do such a thing though." Yeesh. Maybe it's a good thing you're not actually a human? Well, you were, at one point. Ugh, how confusing. "She likes causing trouble, is very uncooperative and is rather unthoughtful. Still... she cares for Gensokyo, that much I can say."

"Cares for Gensokyo... she mentioned that you were important to Gensokyo, or at least the barrier..."

"Has Yukari told you about the Hakurei Barrier?"

"Only bits and pieces, really..."

"Very well. I'm a member of the Hakurei clan, a family gifted with divine powers. It was my ancestors together with Yukari that created a boundary that separated Gensokyo from the outside world and made it what it is today. As a shrine maiden of the Hakurei clan, it is my duty to ensure the stability and survivability of the border and ultimately Gensokyo itself."

"So this land of Gensokyo, it's contained inside this huge barrier that magically makes it invisible to everyone outside of it?"

"I wouldn't say it's invisible... more like Gensokyo exists on a different plane. Occasionally, things from the outside world will end up here and visa versa, but in reality, traveling between the two is very difficult."

"Really? I know you can navigate into the barrier... what happens if you try to navigate out?"

"You'll likely end up back where you came from. You can't just step out of the barrier once you're inside it. Likewise, you can't just step in once you're outside it."

"So does that mean Gensokyo doesn't actually occupy space in the outside world?"

"From what Yukari has told me, it does, but the space it occupies in the outside world is far different from how Gensokyo actually is. There is a Hakurei Shrine in the same spot in the outside world as this one, along with another Youkai Mountain as well, among other features, but even if you're in the same space, you cannot interact with Gensokyo from the outside world and visa versa without special powers, such as Yukari's."

You feel like continuing. Reimu is a lot smarter then she lets on. You can't help it, as a professor, learning about these kinds of things just excites you. Maybe it's just you though, as you imagine a physics major or something would be more interested in this then what you are would be. Either way, your attempts to question further into the conversation are interrupted when you become one living hat richer.

"Hitting it off well with Reimu, Satoya~?"

"You said you weren't going to marry me off to this guy."

"Why would I marry off my shikigami to someone? That would be like having someone wed my hammer." The way Yukari puts it sure hurts. She stops leaning on your head from behind though and seats herself down at the table you and Reimu had been sitting at.

"Where have you been, anyways?" Reimu asks as her new guests sits down rather elegantly.

"I went to greet a few neighbors. Is there something wrong with that?"

"I suppose not. Typical of you." You can't help but chime in at this moment.

"Didn't you come here to introduce me to Reimu?" With a subtle, sly smile, Yukari gives you an answer you should have expected.

"You did that quite fine yourself, did you not?"

After that quip that you take none too gracefully, Reimu and Yukari start conversing between each other. It's really about rather mundane things, like what one has done recently, or staying updating on current affairs. A lot of it whizzes past you and you make no effort to understand some of it. All you can really do is look around the room while occasionally responding to the two when they do acknowledge your existence occasionally. After a while, you take another look out the door to find the shadows have changed direction rather significantly since your arrival here. As you notice this, coincidentally enough, Yukari brings the matter of leaving up to you.

"So Satoya, did you want to go back home?"

"Huh?" You sound as you snap back to reality, looking at Yukari. "Uh, I guess." Yukari seems to take your getting back up to speed as hesitation and seems to play on it.

"Well if you want to spend more time with your first potential mate, I won't stop you~"

"Enough, Yukari." Yukari just shrugs off Reimu's stern command as she stands up.

"I, however, am feeling tired so I believe I will head back to get some much needed rest. I can take you home with me but only if you want. I'm sure you can find your own way back home by now." Your own way back home? You doubt that. You suppose though, it'd be good practice to try and find your way home on your own... just in case you needed the ability to later. If you didn't come home after a while, Ran would come fetch you eventually, or Yukari herself... right?

[ ] You'll stay here to take with the shrine maiden some more (specify about what)
[ ] You'll wander about Gensokyo on your own for a little
[ ] You'll take Yukari up on her offer to take you back home
[x] You'll stay here to take with the shrine maiden some more.
-[x] Notable spots in Gensokyo excluding the netherworld.
-[x] Ask why Yukari might need another familiar as Ran seems pretty able.
[x] You'll wander about Gensokyo on your own for a little

Sure why not. Let's meet people.
[x] You'll wander about Gensokyo on your own for a little.
[x] You'll wander about Gensokyo on your own for a little.

Visit exotic places, meet interesting people, stab them.
Be polite. Be efficient. Have a plan to kill everyone you meet.
Snipers are whiny little bitch.
Let's be a spear-swinging drunken-master instead, it sounds funnier.
Does that mean we can ask Yukari to give us a grenade to use as a backup melee weapon?
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You deserved it.
[x] You'll wander about Gensokyo on your own for a little.

"You sound like you want to get rid of me, so I'll walk home by myself." You say this rather flatly, even though you just really want to get out, or at least away from the weird atmosphere Yukari's residence resides in. It might do you some good too, to learn more about this strange land you've found yourself in. It feels almost as if Yukari has been sheltering you since you came back from your rigorous 'training.' Although that might just be an effect of the area that she lives in, feeling almost as if it were an unnatural cage.

"Oh? Still as defiant as ever, I see~" Yukari's face almost seems to beam at your rebellious attitude, for some strange reason. You never intended on sounding quite as crass to her about wanting to explore a little, but if this is how she prefers things, you'll leave it at that.

This woman is weird.

"Are you sure it's okay for a human to be wandering around alone?" Reimu seems to chirp in while you're standing yourself up, seemingly worried, though it looks as if more that she's merely confused more then that.

"I told you Reimu, he is no human. We've brought him through intensive training to unlock the latent abilities that lay inside him. I'm sure he'll be just fine." With those words, Yukari seems to randomly produce an elaborate parasol from out of nowhere and makes a unique saluting type gesture. "I'll see you two later~" Then, as quickly as she appeared, she suddenly vanishes. All it took was for you to blink your eyes and she was no longer there. Yukari sure works in rather mysterious ways.

"Hey." Your attention is taken suddenly by Reimu, who gets it rather nondescriptively. "You really think you'll be fine out there? From what you told me, you still seem inexperienced with fighting." She is correct about that. Even your 'real' fight against Youmu certainly didn't seem like it at all. Everyone said otherwise, you knew deep down that she was holding back. If Youmu truly were serious, you would have been cut down in an instant. Still though, while you're hoping it won't happen, a real battle against a more lowly demon or youkai will be much better experience for the real thing then having to fight someone who is clearly much better at it then you are.

"Yeah, I think I can handle myself... besides, in a land like this, I don't think I'd want to go on not being able to." Reimu closes her eyes, seemingly feeling your sentiment.

"You have a good head on your shoulders. Don't go losing it."

"I won't. Thanks."

You feel a bit better knowing you're at least not on bad terms with someone so supposedly important to the land you've found yourself in. Although, while she may be a human, you have surprisingly little you can relate to her with. Likely due to the fact that she hasn't seen the outside world, from what you've heard. Your 'youkai feelings' seem to have seeped it's way into your mentality now, and you don't feel much different from any other youkai and drifting away from what it felt like to be human. A disturbingly quick process, you feel.

You wander around quite a bit. It's actually very refreshing, and you feel quite invigorated after maybe an hour of walking. One of the strengths of your youkai body is that it seems to have extremely high endurance for mundane things, such as walking. It doesn't even feel like you've been walking a couple minutes, yet if you were to walk this long in your human body, you would most definitely feel tired by now. You suppose you still have thanks to give to Yukari, for at least opening up your options with your physical limits now. It's unfortunate, while you feel more enlightened by what you're learning here in Gensokyo, you certainly don't feel any smarter either...

You stop atop a tall foot hill at the base of a tall and very rocky mountain. There's a path upwards that seems like it screams for you to try scaling it, but part of you knows better. On the other hand, that common sense you just listened to was only really relevant for your human capabilities, and odds are, you're more then able to deal with whatever this mountain throws at you now as you are. Looking around though, you get a decent enough view from the foot hill alone. You can see Reimu's shrine from here, in the distance. Turning around, you see a settlement in the background, you believe. It'll be interesting to observe human society on this side of the barrier, where everything feels like it came straight out of the feudal era. Beside it is a really lush and thick forest. You want to believe you've found Chen in that forest a few times, but looking across the scenery from here, you can figure that the forest you found Chen in could be any given pack of trees within the next hundred miles, which is a lot, to say the least.

The view here is amazing, but you have an itch to explore. You just need to make up your mind.

[ ] Into the forest!
[ ] Go towards the settlement
[ ] Scale up the mountain
[ ] Go back to Reimu's shrine
[x] Into the forest!

Let's fight meat-eating monsters for massive experience!
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Actually, our guy already met Rumia and Mystia. And he should be good enough now to fend off beasts.

Still, I feel like going to the village anyway. If we're going to be like a diplomat, meeting people is good, right?

[x] Go towards the settlement
[x] Go towards the settlement
[X] Into the forest!

Onward towards adventure, and all minor youkai start in the forest anyway.
[x] Go towards the settlement
[x] Go towards the settlement

The most interesting thing is obviously the settlement. Reimu's obviously not the only human here, and according to her, there might be others from the outside world here as well. Unlikely, but maybe you can actually relate to someone out here. Well, somewhat, given your current situation anyways...

You take your first steps towards it, off the hill, and walk the nondescript path towards the village in the distance. It's a rather uneventful walk, with nary a soul to be found on the way there. You wonder if that's common or unusual. It's hard to tell with this backwards land. However, the closer you get to the settlement, the more uneasy and out of place you start feeling. It's only before long that you find yourself in hiding on the outskirts of the settlement, looking across all the humans within it. They all look very old fashioned. It really is like you stepped into a different era. You feel rather alienated suddenly, not knowing what sort of customs belong here. Sure, it's still technically the same country, you... guess? Everyone speaks the same as they did in the outside world, but it's otherwise a radically different land. It really makes you nervous. What if someone calls attention to you and you get thrown out? What would Yukari say about that? You could also be generally ostracized and looked down upon, because you're different. You don't think you notice any youkai either... what if people get scared? You've never had anyone legitimately afraid of you like that before...

You stop though. You spy a sore thumb. Amongst all the kimonos and otherwise old fashioned wear stands out a very modern and sharply dressed woman... with rabbit ears. Very peculiar rabbit ears. Certainly not the kind you're used to, but it's the closest wager you can guess at, since they don't seem to resemble much else in their worn state. In any case, she happens to be wearing a blazer and a pleated short skirt. You could swear she just came out of a top business. But here she is, in this weird, strange land, greeting it's inhabitants like she were always a part of this place. She sticks out so much, but she interacts with them as if she never did.

That does it then. If that woman can walk around town like that despite obviously being out of place and potentially even being a youkai, despite the ears looking tacked on, then you should be able to as well, right?

That is what you thought, anyways. The more you walk bravely through the village, observing what goes on in a subtle manner and generally minding your own business, the more stares and awkward glances you earn from the random people walking busily through the streets. It's barely been ten minutes and you feel like the weight of the world has decided to slowly crush you from every direction. You really need to find a way around this. You shouldn't have to feel so alien to this land. You have to become a part of it. That's what you feel, but acting upon it...

[ ] Maybe if you talked to someone important
[ ] Ask what's the deal with the bunny girl
[ ] Continue to act casual in spite of this
[ ] Nope, it's time to get out of here
[x] Nope, it's time to get out of here
[x] Ask what's the deal with the bunny girl

I get the feeling this will go so badly.

So why are you picking it? I can't help but notice this pattern that everyone who reads my stories picks the option they think will go down the worst and I'm really curious as to why.
[x] Maybe if you talked to someone important.

Introductions might help as no one knows we're Yukari's latest familiar.
[x] Nope, it's time to get out of here.

I WOULD go talk to someone important normally, but...

We don't actually know who's important nor do we know who would direct us. Considering the look we're getting, asking someone isn't going to happen. So I say we get out and ask someone we know about what the hell was that about.

Come to think of it, our clothes are showing our affiliation with Yukari, right? While Satoya wouldn't know about this yet, that's probably the reason he's getting weird looks.
Either the anons are heartless sadistic bastards, or they are bored, and want to see how the bad end kills us.
It's more so to see how it will actually be handled, and if they are actually rejecting him or just concerned because he hasn't made his disposition known yet. Who knows? Perhaps they will be a bit more friendly once they find out he isn't violent.
I think they feel you'd end up having it end badly most of the time. The fact the sequel to the "Visit" stories is a case of things getting worse doesn't help these worries.
[X] Ask what's the deal with the bunny girl

Go straight to the bottom of this.
[x] Ask what's the deal with the bunny girl

Picking because:
1) I'm a bastard that take pleasure in tormenting someone else's MC.
2) I wnat to know how Reisen, being a moon bunny and being Yorihime's pet, will react to one of Yukari's servant, considering what happened in SSiB.
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Finished my /underground/ story; expect an update either tomorrow or the next day.
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[x] Ask what's the deal with the bunny girl

This just doesn't make any sense. Why are people looking at you weird and not that bunny girl? Is she well known around here? Has to be. But she was still sticking out quite a lot. Maybe you should find out. It's a little awkward asking one of the random people that are staring you weirdly, so you find someone that isn't; although it's more then likely that they just haven't noticed your yet.

"Excuse me, sir?" The old man turns around calmly, but ends up nearly jumping when he lays eyes upon you. Seems like you were right.

"H-Huwha?! W-W-What do you want?" Are you that menacing? Troublesome? Do you look like you're about to slit someone's throat off? This is starting to bother you on a profound level.

"Ugh... did you see a purple haired woman walk by? With... rabbit ears?" You hesitate to really call them rabbit ears. They looked like slips of paper someone tacked onto her head to look vaguely like rabbit ears.

"Uhh... y-you mean Udongein?" Udongein is her name? Quite a strange one. "Sh-She just comes from the bamboo forest to sell medicine, that's it really."

"Bamboo forest, huh? Where would that be?" Shakenly, the old man points in a particular direction.

"J-Just over there."

"Right, uh... thank you, I guess."

You can tell this guy would thank his lucky stars if you stopped bothering him, so you turn around and forget this encounter ever happened. As much as you'd like to be on peoples' good sides, you don't think you're going to get on any here.

This stands to reason, bamboo forest? You've noticed a lot of otherwise normal looking trees in this land. Bamboo seems a little exotic. Then again, everything but the landscape has been rather exotic to you. It'd be strange if the scenery weren't like that too somewhere. You may as well check it out. You're achieving nothing very quickly here and you're afraid that trying to do anything will end up causing more harm then good. You'll just have to ask Yukari about it later.

Soon, you manage to make your way to a large bamboo thicket that you're sure contains... something? As you arrive you realize you really have no reason to be here at all. But hey, nothing ventured, nothing gained. You intend on taking back a souvenir to show Yukari that you've successfully blended into Gensokyo anyways. What better place then somewhere unique? You're not entirely sure if this makes a whole lot of sense but for crying out loud, you have to make this trip seem productive. You don't want to come back and have to state your reason for leaving Yukari as being 'I simply didn't want to be around you.' That wouldn't sound very good at all.

You start making your way through the forest of bamboo, noting that it gives a really exotic atmosphere. You were expecting a lot of dangerous youkai and a whole mess of terrible things like corpses and stuff, but the area seems rather serene. It does get confusing eventually, as it feels like you're walking in circles even though it doesn't seem like you've changed directions. Such is the effect of a bamboo forest, every tree looks the same so there's not much scenery to help you make your way around. Although soon, it does start getting out of control. You realize you don't know where you came from anymore and it feels like you're not actually moving, even though you're clearly walking.

Ah, wait, you remember this feeling. Back at Mayohiga. This is the feeling of being lost. So nice that you were reacquainted with your old friend.

"Hey. You lost?" You nearly jump, not expecting anyone to be in the forest with you, but as you turn around, you see a long, silver haired woman in red pants with suspenders and a white button shirt. She has strange talismans all over her hair and legs.

"H-Huh? Uh, yeah, I guess I am."

"Right, come with me then. I have a few questions I'd like to ask you anyways."

Oh boy, here we go. If it's one thing you've learned, it's that being asked questions upon meeting is never a good sign for you. Maybe you were strange at the human village after all...

Still though, you follow the woman, knowing that you're not going to get anywhere otherwise, and soon the two of you come across a small, really makeshift camp. Really it's just a stone and some wood laid out in front of it. It looks like people have come by here a lot though. Though it could also be that this woman has walked around here a countless amount of times. The woman goes over and sits down on the stone, looking up at you nonchalantly.

"So, you're not from around here, aren't you?" Still feeling sore from your encounters at the village, you want to quip to her how obvious that is, but you hold it back.

"No, I'm not. Why does that matter though?"

"Your clothes look familiar. Were they given to you by that gap youkai?" Gap youkai... as you look up at the sky to think about it, you think she might be referring to Yukari... you guess her powers could be described like that?

"Um... yeah, I guess you could say that." You look back down at the woman to find her poking a campfire with a short stick. Huh... was that fire always there?

"I see. So what sort of affiliation do you have with her?"

"I'm her recently appointed shikigami, from what I understand..." As you watch the woman look up at you, you notice she's giving you a very doubtful look. Understandable, Reimu gave a similar one to you. "I look human, but according to her, I'm a full blooded youkai."

"Yeah, I can see how that's hard to believe." She goes back to casually poking her campfire, doesn't seem like much bothers her. "Well, it isn't like she doesn't have a use for more slaves but to dress you up like that is pretty weird." You look down at the robes that Yukari gave you. They're somewhat similar to Ran's robes. Altered to fit a male is the biggest difference, but the blank tabbard is another obvious change. All in all, your clothes could very well be Ran's if she were just a soldier in an army instead of a colonel. You never really thought it was odd yourself. You felt that if Yukari had other subordinates, she'd dress them like you as well.

"Is my dress code that important?"

"Well, you look like her most prominent shikigami, which is a problem." You find yourself rather bemused by that prospect.

"A problem? How?"

"She isn't too friendly with humans when she's alone. Has a sort of one track mind that disregards others when she's out to do something." You suppose that explains why the people in the village were so afraid of you. Ran is unfriendly with humans huh... kind of the opposite of how you know her now. Sure she doesn't react very deeply but it's clear she's capable of caring.

"I see... well, I'm nothing like that. If anything, I used to live with humans for a good twenty years before this happened." The woman then looks up at you, suddenly interested.

"Oh? So you're one of those youkai then." Those youkai? You want to know, but you get this feeling what she'd say would go flying over your head. You'll just play along for the time being.

"Yeah, I guess you could say that." With a short tilt of her head, the woman then poses a question to you.

"Alright then pal. Maybe you could be useful. I do have something I need a little help with. Maybe you can be that help. How about it, feel like working with me here?"

[ ] Sure, this chick seems legit
[ ] Maybe if she made it worth your while
[ ] You have bigger fish to fry
[x] Maybe if she made it worth your while

Don't think that going left and right and accepting job is bright. We already have a master.
[x] Maybe if she made it worth your while

If she doesn't, then forget it. We don't have time to spare, I think.
[x] Sure, this chick seems legit.

Come on. Aren't we supposed to cultivate good relations? Besides, she did just help us out of a jam and answered our questions.
[x] Maybe if she made it worth your while
[x] Sure, this chick seems legit.

I think some friend/contact making and not trying to be greedy about it is the best route.
[x] Maybe if she made it worth your while
[x] Sure, this chick seems legit.

Wonder if shes gonna have us raid Eientei or something.
File 134431529984.jpg - (595.80KB, 800x1000, 55e74639449b78fb1fcfd1e122bea75d.jpg) [iqdb]
[x] Maybe if she made it worth your while

"Hmm... what kind of returns would I expect from this?" The woman then raises her eyebrow a little inquisitively.


"Yeah. It's only fair right? I do something for you, so you do something for me. It's equivalent exchange." After realizing what you're going on about, the woman then takes a hearty laugh before humoring you.

"Hahaha! You're a smart kid, aren't you? Well alright then. That's a fair deal, but only if I give you something of equal value in return. I'll decide how much I owe you after I've seen your performance." With that, the woman stands up and offers her hand to you. "Name's Mokou. You?"

"Satoya. Nice to meet you, Mokou." You extend your own hand forward and give the silver haired woman a firm handshake. Nothing like making... business partners? You're not sure what you just got yourself into, but as Mokou beckons you to follow her deeper into the bamboo forest, you get the feeling that you're about to find out.

Eventually, Mokou seems to lead you into a peculiar clearing in the bamboo forest, occupied by a large, old fashioned mansion. The mansion is rather big, and is surrounded by a thick wall that protects it from the rest of the forest. The air that inhabits the area around the mansion has a very mystical feel to it, like you weren't really breathing in air but a substance that was out of this world, yet still fit to keep you alive. It's very mystifying, and gives you a strange feeling that's akin to Mayohiga, but at the same time, not.

At this point you realize getting lost in this strange land is a lot easier then it seems.

"Hey, Satoya, you still with me?" You shake your head of the mysterious thoughts and turn your attention back to Mokou.

"Huh? Oh, yeah, I am. What am I doing here exactly?"

"There's a woman with long black hair inside. Kind of pampered, like a princess of sorts. You say you're that gap youkai's shikigami, so if you tell the door guard or something, they'll let you in no problem. All you gotta do is convince that woman to come outside."

"Long black hair, huh? What if there's others like that?" You wouldn't put it past this place. You've seen nothing but girls since you came here, up until you stumbled into the human village. You wouldn't be shocked if the male gender flat out didn't exist outside that settlement.

"Trust me, there isn't. At the very least, she won't have rabbit ears." Rabbit ears? You mean like that one girl who you followed into the village earlier? If that mansion's packed full of them then you should have an easy time finding this woman Mokou is asking for. Though you'll have a much harder time not staring...

"Well, okay, but why can't you just ask for her yourself?"

"Trust me, that would be a bad idea. For that matter, don't do that yourself. You and the princess should be the only people that know she's leaving the premises." This is actually sounding a little difficult. To find her, you're logically gonna have to ask someone, but then that entails them possibly knowing that you're taking this woman out of the house.

"Well, why do you need this done, in particular?"

"I just do. Also, don't mention me or the fact that you know me, or why you're taking her out. Make up something, if you have to." The more she goes on, the more this sounds like a kidnapping mission...

"Uhh... well, alright then. Is that it?"

"Yep. Go in there and knock 'em dead, champ." Knock them dead? You're not Rambo, or maybe she's referring to a different kind of knocking them dead...

Although, no matter what way you look at it, you don't think you're gonna be doing anything that this crazy woman expects of you. But maybe you can still appease her.

Nonetheless, after a little encouragement from Mokou, you walk around the wall of the mansion until you happen upon it's open gate. Walking inside, you almost feel like you should be ringing a doorbell until, seemingly by chance, a tall woman with silver, braided hair opens the front door, a little surprised to see you standing in front of it, although not as surprised as you'd think someone would be.

"Oh, hello there. What business might you have here?" That's a good damn question. Mokou mentioned that your affiliation with Yukari would get you in easy though, so you test that theory out.

"I'm uh, here on behalf of Yukari. Yukari Yakumo."

The woman seems to return a stunned gaze back to you. Although maybe it isn't stunned and she's just slow on the draw. Either way, after a few moments, she gives you a warm smile and welcomes you in.

"I see. Do come in then."

Well, you suppose it was as easy as Mokou said it would be.

As the silver haired woman leads you through the mansion, it strikes you that while it certainly has an old fashioned air like the mansion you stayed at during your training had, it feels a lot more... windy. Like there's something warped about the place in general. This occurs to you as a solid fact after you realize you're taken three turns in the same direction but nothing looks familiar. No, rather... everything looks familiar. Ugh, not this again.

"So, you're affiliated with Miss Yakumo, then?" You take solace in the fact that you're not alone here this time as the woman before you finally decides to strike up a conversation while leading you around.

"Oh, yeah, I am. My name's Satoya. I'm her new shikigami." The woman seems to tilt her head a little puzzled.

"Shikigami? Hmm..." Whatever it is she's thinking about, you immediately know it's not something she intends on telling you. Rather then find out first hand by asking what's wrong and only getting an unsatisfied answer, you let her continue. "Well then, what particular business is it that you're here for?"

Oops, you've run out of excuses... better think of one up really quick.

[ ] You just wanted to make your presence known
[ ] You came to greet 'the princess'
[ ] You come in peace and want to be taken to her leader
[ ] You want to know more about this place
[ ] Maybe now is a good time to slip away...
[x] You want to know more about this place
[X] Yukari didn't mention, I was just told to come here...
[x] You come in peace and want to be taken to her leader

Because they're all aliens and the result will be hilarious.

Of course, it will backfire horribly if they take us to Eirin, but no pain = no gain.
[x] You want to know more about this place
[X] Yukari didn't mention, I was just told to come here...

Yukari did mention picking up medicine from a 'doctor', but not from where.

>if they take us to Eirin
Who do you think Satoya is talking to right now?
Holy crap, some things just have such a nasty habit of eating up all your time. One of my friends recently got into PSO2 and I've been wasting all my free time on it. Next thing I know, it's been a week since I last wrote! I'm so sorry. I'm writing an update now but I don't think I can finish it before I get tired as it's far too late so I can't make a promise on when you'll see it. (hopefully before another damn week passes)

On a semi related note, all this playing PSO2 has inspired me to write Gensouhoushi again but due to the way I write that story in particular, I don't think I could go back to it without a steady flow of votes. (which would be never)
try moving it to /others/ as it's an AU and /others/ is never as crowded as /th/
[x] You want to know more about this place

"Well, I'm sorta new to this land and everything... I thought the best way to go about knowing more is to look around and ask anyone who looked knowledgable." At least, you hope this woman knows a lot. She looks like she could, but that's just an assumption on your part. Thankfully, she seems rather flattered by it.

"Oh, well thank you~ Nonetheless, you've come to a good place. I run a local Doctor's Office here, selling medicine in the human village which I'm sure you've stumbled into by now." Selling medicine, huh? You've heard that before. That Udongein girl must be this doctor's merchant arm in the settlement.

"Oh, yeah, in fact that place is how I came here in the first place, following what I assume is the person that sells medicine for you? Udongein?"

"Ah, so you've seen Udongein, have you? Does she know about you?"

"I'm afraid not."

"I see, unusual..." Unusual? Maybe this woman thinks you tracked the bunny girl down to this place, when you were actually led here by someone who saw you hopelessly lost trying to find her. You're not about to make up stories, so you open your mouth to explain to her what happened before you realize that would be a bad idea. Mokou told you not to tell anyone you know of her. Ooh, dilemma!

"Uhh... so you run a Doctor's Office here?" You decide a quick change of topic is exactly what you need to get yourself out of this sticky mess that you've found yourself in. Luckily, the woman picks it up.

"Oh, yes, I do. You may call me Doctor Yagokoro, though if you're truly affiliated under Yukari, then merely Eirin is fine." Wow, Yukari is on a first name basis with this woman? Well, being who she is, you guess she does get around a lot. Although, now that you think about it...

"Huh... you know, Yukari told me that she had medicine to pick up from you..."

"Yes, you just missed her. She came by to take them and promptly left soon after. It's rather curious that you would come by in her place so quickly." Damn, she was on the ball then you guess. All that time you spent faffing about and Yukari was actually getting something done. Yukari, of all people. You feel kind of small now.

"I-I see. Truth be told, we were both leaving from the Hakurei Shrine and I told Yukari I wanted to explore a little on my own, so she let me go."

"The Hakurei Shrine, is it? I assume you were getting acquainted with the local shrine maiden then."

"Yes, I was."

"I see..." Eirin sounds a little more confident now. Probably because she knows Reimu, so she can ask her if what you're claiming is really true or not. If Eirin is the local doctor, it'd make sense that she knows Reimu on some sort of personal level.

The chat you had with the silver haired woman has caused you to lose track of your surroundings and before you know it, she's heading into a door in an unfamiliar corridor. Try as you might, you can't recognize where you are in the mansion anymore. You sincerely hope you can have someone lead you out when you decide to leave. Maybe the 'princess' woman that Mokou told you to fetch. Hopefully. If she doesn't help you out then you'd be in a very tight fix. Making someone angry wouldn't be a very good first impression. Nonetheless, Eirin invites you in and you decide to step inside to what looks like a small, old fashioned office. There's even a desk, that the good doctor seats herself behind as you go ahead and follow suit, sitting down in front of the desk. It almost feels like you're here for a personal meeting.

"So then, Satoya, was it? How long ago did Yukari contract with you?" Contract? You guess made you her slave.

"A couple weeks ago... I think. She called me on short notice and then put me through some training to get me used to my new youkai abilities." At this point, Eirin raises an eyebrow. You suddenly realize you never told her what you really are. Not that you even know yourself. "Oh... I started out as a human in the outside world. Although according to her, I was a youkai all along and she just 'unlocked' the youkai in me. Something like that, anyway."

"Interesting..." You feel a little uneasy now. Being a college professor, you know how people like her get. She certainly seems intrigued... to what end, though? You hope she doesn't plan on doing anything crazy. This land is full of weird people, and she might just one of them.

"Uhh, I-I don't really know what kind of youkai I am, or what 'abilities' I really have, but I have felt... a little superhuman, since my training. It's really-"

"Disorienting?" You find yourself a little stunned that Eirin just randomly finished your sentence, time which she takes to revel in her own experience. "Yes, that's typically the first reaction to becoming a youkai that a human feels. I was something like that when I was learning too."

"Huh, so you used to be a human too?" After you ask that, Eirin seems to close her eyes, and hesitate answering you for a good long while, before opening her eyes back up with a tender smile.

"One could say that. But more importantly, you are going through a stage of transition that I like to call 'Human Disassociation Disorder.'"

"Human dis--... so, I'm gonna guess that humans turn into youkai often around here?" You almost feel like this fact alone is more disorienting then you becoming a statistic among them. You feel so very detached from the world you came from now, it's quite unreal.

"Somewhat, but I've lived around here long enough to see quite a few transformations in my time."

"So then... tell me about this 'disorder' that I'm experiencing."

"Well, in the end, humans and youkai aren't really all that different. What separates them is a fundamental change in biology that allows the youkai to extend themselves beyond ordinary human limits. Really, the most general definition of 'youkai' is simply to not be human, but the details are far more complex then just that." Lowering her face a little, Eirin seems to look at you with slight hint of slyness and maliciousness, as if she were thinking of something devilish when she talks about this topic. "Otherwise, things such as cats could be considered youkai. The most important factor in being a youkai is that humans consider you a monster."

"... a monster, huh?" Was that bunny girl not a youkai then? A true youkai, at least. What she says seems to have merit though. You were frightening a lot of people back at the human village. Did they see you as a monster? How disconcerting.

"Well, yes, but as I said, humans and youkai truly aren't all that different. Humans can be monsters too, although at that point, they stop being human. Such is what the transition to youkai is like." Once you're considered a monster, you're no longer human... have you lost touch with how you felt as a human? Will you continue to forget what being a human was like? What sort of effects will it have on your behavior and personality?

You're honestly quite afraid now.

"... so, I guess this disorder you talk about... is it mainly a mentality brought on by knowing that you're now a monster in other peoples' eyes?"

"The severity of it can be effected by such knowledge, but no. The disorder comes from your body adjusting itself to fit it's new limits and in turn, alters how your mind works. But this process of changing how your brain reacts to various bodily functions takes time, and while it happens, your mind must get used to the new sensations and you will experience strange emotions until that change has run it's course and you feel normal again. The disorder comes from your mind being unable to keep up with your body's changes and that is why you feel disoriented." You bow your gaze down to the floor as all this realization comes at you piece by piece.

"I see... so I won't really feel like myself until my brain's caught up with this change that's happening to me."

"Very human-like, don't you think?" You look back up at Eirin and notice her rather humane looking smile, soft and gentle, like a know-it-all mother. You can't help but agree though, she's right after all; the very disorder she mentioned is very human-like in nature. So maybe there's really not much to worry about after all.

"... yeah, you're right. I'm guessing time is the best medicine for this then, right?" Unexpectedly, Eirin seems to look up, considering something as she brings a hand to her chin.

"Hmm... yes, you would be correct. But even so, I have medicine that alters the signals that your body sends to your brain and regulates that traffic in a different way then naturally."

"Huh, regulate? You mean, change what kind of signals reach the brain?"

"Yes, something like that. I primarily use it for patients who come to me with a mental illness associated with their transition to youkai. Though the strength is low enough that it can be for casual use as well. One medicine will stop most non-human signals from reaching your brain and make you feel more like a human again. The other will restrain your more human-like signals and let mostly the new youkai reactions through, producing a more pronounced effect on your mind's transition to youkai. I can give you a bottle of either medicine, if you so desire."

An interesting proposition, to say the least. No telling what could happen, though being a doctor, she'll tell you safe ways to handle it, for sure. No medicine could truly be dangerous when taken with care, right? Still though, you wonder what real benefits there are to the medicine for you in particular... although, just because you get the medicine doesn't mean you alone would take them, should you decide on it later.

[ ] You want the human inducing medicine
[ ] You want the youkai inducing medicine
[ ] You want both medicines
[ ] You'll pass on the medicine
[x] You want both medicines.

Three reasons.

1) We want the Youkai pills because anything that would assist in the transition from A to B would probably work in our favor. We're headed down that road anyway, so we might as well get to know our 'other' self while we're at it.

2) The last time we went Youkaimind, we nearly went quite insane. If our psyche starts slipping to truly unfortunate places, then we'll need something to keep us in check. Being able to inhibit the psychosis that we saw crop up once or twice during training would be pretty great- as long as we don't become reliant on the drug.

3) Having the drugs on hand mean we're prepared for what might come up in the future. Yukari brought us on for our people-skills, and maybe for our ability to smash things up right well. Refusing this sort of help when it's offered shows a lack of foresight, and could be perceived as rude toward our good doctor here- scientists pride themselves on their work, after all. Being able to think ahead like this might just buy us points in Yukari's book.
[x] You'll pass on the medicine

No offense towards Eirin but if we become too reliant on pills, we'll be at a disadvantage.
Taking them doesn't mean using them.

Hell, we could even give them to Ran in case we're out of control and can't take them ourselves.

[x] You want both medicines.
There's still the matter of why Yukari hasn't mentioned it sooner; that and she'd rather have a functioning one instead of a pill-popping one. I doubt Satoya House has a nice ring to it.
[x] You want both medicines.

Primarily because if we take a step too far it might be nice to have a oh shit button.
[X] You'll pass on the medicine

Neither of them seem that appealing imo, but I'm too tired to explain my personal reasoning.
[x] You want both medicines

"I think I'd like both of them, if that's okay." Eirin seems to raise an eyebrow a little at your request.

"Both, you say? I'm sure I don't have to tell you how dangerous it is to mix medicine like that."

"It's fine, I don't plan on relying on both at the same time." The doctor doesn't seem wholly convinced, but nonetheless, stands up after a while and tells you to wait a few minutes as she heads into another room to retrieve the medicine.

As you're left alone in the office, you start wondering why you decided to take both medicines. Judging by how cautious Eirin seems to be about them, you realize getting both wasn't the greatest idea. It's likely that if you take one medicine, you won't be able to take the other for a while, if at all. If that's so, whichever one you don't take will likely end up going to waste... you're not sure about telling Yukari and her subordinates about them either. It'd probably make a bad impression that you have to pop pills to live with them in total comfort. Oh well, it's not like it's costing you anything, so if you really need to, you'll just toss the other out to keep yourself safe, as much of a waste as it would be.

"Here you go. Be careful with them now." You receive the two bottles of medicine from Eirin as she goes back to sit behind the desk. You go ahead and pocket them now, deciding to look at them later. Though, now that you're struggling to find something else to ask, you remember that you're still on a mission from someone else. Ah, busy busy.

"So, uh... what about this place? It isn't just you, is it?" The silver haired woman chuckles a little, possibly at your unending curiosity.

"No, of course not. Along side Udongein, there's many youkai rabbits here that work to maintain this place." Youkai rabbits, huh? You haven't seen any, though you guess that since they are rabbits, they're every bit as shy as the real things are.

"I see... is that it?" After closing her eyes for a few moments, Eirin tells you something you were afraid of hearing.

"Hmm... yes, I believe so."

Well, that seals it then. You aren't finding this woman that Mokou wants with any help from within. That figures. Given the way Mokou was so secretive about it, of course the very existance of the woman she's looking for would be just as hushed. This is problematic. You're gonna have to do this on your own power. You may as well find out a little more and then try and slip out.

"Alright then. So why are you so far from the village outside of the forest, if that's where you do your business?" Eirin looks up brief, tapping her chin, as if thinking of an excuse.

"Well, this forest is very rich in materials, so it's convenient for me, you could say." You hardly believe that. Even the soil is barren all the way from here to the settlement. It's becoming more and more clear that there's many secrets here not meant for your ears. Which is strange, you'd think that anyone wouldn't want to keep secrets from a subordinate of Yukari. Just being able to would be a challenge, you'd think. Then again, she did seem skeptical about you actually being Yukari's slave, despite your unique clothing.

"I guess you're also a little solitary, too?"

"You could say that. The rabbits aren't particularly fond of humans, so being a far enough distance away from them helps the rabbits feel better and work harder." At least that makes sense. In a roundabout kind of way. "I still get very many visitors though, such as yourself, so it isn't particularly lonely here."

"You must be a famous doctor around here, then." After another chuckle, Eirin puts one of her hands on her cheek, a little flattered.

"I suppose so~ Though it isn't as if there are many others around." Given how much this land reminds you of a calmer feudal era, you can't be too surprised by that. At best, you'd be getting your healing from a local shrine maiden or something, and Reimu doesn't strike you as being too... caring, in that regard. "By the way," Eirin seems to continue, as you were about to think up another question you felt needed answering, "you came here through the bamboo forest, correct? You didn't happen upon a woman with red pants and long, white hair, did you?"

You realize this would be a good time to start lying.

"No, I didn't. Why do you ask?" Eirin seems to sit back a little, seemingly comforted by this false fact.

"Just be wary, there are some people out there that wish to harm those with power. As a shikigami to Yukari, it's important that you not listen to her or anyone as shifty as she is. Otherwise, you might find your position in jeopardy."

Not listen to her, huh...? You wonder what you've gotten yourself into now, and whether or not it's truly a good idea to continue on this path. Recklessness seems to go hand in hand with naivete here.

After a bit more small talk, you try to excuse yourself alone, but as luck would have it, Eirin insists she escorts you out and after noticing you have no choice in the matter, you're walking through the halls beside the doctor again. You can't even lag behind in hopes to slip away, as she even waits for you. It's very clear you're not trusted here at all. It's like she's psychic. It's downright unnerving. Maybe she is, indeed psychic. Given the absurd powers you've seen thus far, that would not shock you in the very least. Times like this make you wish you had a bit more clairvoyance in that regard, though you don't think much honestly saves you from someone who can read minds. You're rather bothered by the fact that you've not only potentially failed your mission from Mokou in a rather embarrassing manner, but you can't seem to get this awful ringing out of your ear, that seems to grow more and more as you walk through the halls.




You hear this after a loud crashing sound and soon afterwards, a small, black haired girl runs by at an impressive speed, being chased by the strange bunny girl you saw in the village, now covered in a weird... white powder? Judging by Eirin's mortified expression, it must not be any good.

"... Udongein! Stop right there!" Not a moment too soon, the doctor chases after both rabbits in hot pursuit, leaving you alone in the hall way. You're certainly not going to complain; your instincts take over and you immediately high tail it out of there and out of sight, into another hall way.

What a really weird occurrence, that was. You're alone in another hall way now, but what for? You're not too sure anymore. You're afraid of the warning that Eirin gave you, but on the other hand, you feel obligated to Mokou, especially after she promised you something. All things considered, you even wouldn't mind going back home and serving Yukari some more; at least she's too lazy to stir up trouble. This is a little too much excitement for you given how new you are to this land. Maybe you'll stay home a little more after these shenanigans are done and over with. Although, now that you've gotten yourself alone here, now what? Do you continue your search for this 'princess?' Do you explore a little on your own still? Or perhaps you're done with being brave and want out. After catching your breath from the sudden chaos that just broke out, you have some time to think to yourself now.

At the very least, the ringing in your ear has stopped.

[ ] Look around for something that sticks out
[ ] Just open any and every door you come across
[ ] You can smell the scent of food wafting around...
[ ] Screw this, you're getting out of here!
[x] Screw this, you're getting out of here!
It's not Eirin finding out what we're up to that I'm afraid of.
It's the punishment Yukari will have in store for doing something like this without orders when we get back.
[x] Look around for something that sticks out

Might as well finish the task or else we just wasted a good 4-6 updates.
We got some funky pills out of it so even if we left now, it wasn't a total waste.
[x] Screw this, you're getting out of here!

We might as well just tell Mokou we failed. At this point, it should be clear to our guy there's more going on than what both Mokou and Eirin told him. Besides, there's no way we could find her and not sound suspicious right away since she would know we shouldn't be here before her. And then Kaguya would kick our ass. Showing to others that we can be used by our lack of knowledge of Gensokyo and then get beaten up doesn't sound smart to me.
[x] You can smell the scent of food wafting around...

Inoccuous. And we haven't really had anything to eat lately, right? Right. Let's get some grub.

And maybe find a NEET sneaking some extra cup ramen in the kitchen.
[x] You can smell the scent of food wafting around...

Food is always good
[x] Look around for something that sticks out
Do what you must
[x] You can smell the scent of food wafting around...

At the very least we can probably find someone to show us out.
[x] You can smell the scent of food wafting around...

You can't see an end in sight. Everything looks the same. Your vision will most definitely fail you in guiding you around this confusing layout. You'd probably wander about in here longer then you would Yukari's mansion aimlessly. This place has that air about it where even if you kept your hand to a wall at all times, you'd never find the exit still. So, when one sense fails you, what do you do? Rely on another one! There's one thing that's unmistakable about your new found powers, your heightened senses makes the ones you used to ignore a lot more useful. While you can smell some food being cooked, certainly, it carries with it a lot more information then you would get as a human. For instance, you can immediately tell which direction the smell is coming from easily. You can even tell how close you are to the source almost exactly. You'd wager... further down this hall, down the right and... about 15 feet that way?

Sure enough, as you take those exact directions, you can spy a large doorway open with the room inside peering into an old fashioned kitchen. There's so much stuff going on all at once though, you can't figure out if it's coordinated or if people are just doing whatever. The sight is quite interesting from an outsider's standpoint, as they're all girls, wearing the same dress, with the same floppy rabbit ears. There's many different shapes and sizes with varying looks to their hair, face and skin, sure, but it all looks so uniform that you can't believe that they all weren't 'employed' to such a fashion. You wonder what kind of purpose this dress code serves, though. Something you'll have to ask Eirin whenever you get the chance to, if you get it anyways.

You can't help but wander inside, attracted to the scent of food and curious of the sight of bunny girls everywhere, scampering about. Many of them seem to have not noticed you, but news travels fast; as soon as one finally takes notice of you, another one does, then another, and more, as the eyes turned toward you quickly multiply, you realize the whole kitchen is staring at you in seconds flat. At this point it comes to your attention that you probably should not be here.

"Uh... hi." You figure, while you're here, you may as well gather some information. Workers at this place must know something about it. "Do any of you know where I might find a 'princess'-like woman in this mansion?" Almost immediately, all the rabbits look at each other and start gossiping about frantically. It almost deafens your ears. Eventually, one of the rabbits steps forth, standing out amongst the bunch; having rich, blonde hair instead of black. For sure it's dyed.

"What do you want with the Princess?" Ooh, you were afraid you'd be asked that question. That's okay though, these guys are probably clueless to a lot of things. A little lie won't hurt.

"I'm just here to visit on some good will and thought I'd say hi to her personally." Unfortunately, your suspicions were unfounded as the bunny in front of you is already skeptical. "I'm with Yukari, you see. The gap youkai?"

Now that gets some thoughts going. The rabbit immediately turns around and the entire group starts talking it out amongst themselves about what to do with you. Again, it nearly splits your ears. Soon though, thankfully, the blonde rabbit turns back to face you.

"Alright then. You wanna know where the Princess is? Then play with us, Mister; if you do, we'll tell you where she is."

[ ] Alright, you're game
[ ] This sounds fishy...
[ ] Play? You don't think they heard you. You need. To find. The princess.
[x] This sounds fishy...

They'll probably just tell him something silly like she's "probably in her room" or something else suitably useless.
[x] This sounds fishy...
[x] This sounds fishy...
[x] This sounds fishy...
[x] Alright, you're game

Why not? It does sound fishy though.
[x] This sounds fishy...

"Uhh... I think I'll pass, thanks." You know something is up. Something is telling you not to trust these rabbits.

"Ehhh? That's no fun. I thought you wanted to see the Princess."

"I think I'll manage. I should get going..." Your fears become well founded when the blonde bunny suddenly takes charge.

"What? Oh no you don't, close the doors!"

Two seconds later, you're wondering what the hell just happened. Your primal instincts seem to have kicked in and you bolted for freedom, but despite the amazing speed of the rabbits, you managed get past the door before it was closed, even though you could swear you were a good few yards from it, and there were already rabbits next to the door, quite ready to slam it shut at any given moment. You almost believe you went through the door before you turn around and see it closed, with many of the rabbits behind it clamoring to get it back open again. It's at this point you realize something.

It's time to get out of here!

Not willing to take the chance of getting lost within the mansion, you take the first opportunity you get to reach the outside by hopping out of the nearest window once you're safe, and then climbing right over the wall that separates the mansion from the vast bamboo forest. You manage to impress yourself with your ability to scale a wall twice as big as you, but it's far from the first thing on your mind right now. Even as you enter the forest, you don't bother waiting for Mokou to show up, afraid that the disappointment of not completing your mission might end up putting you in even more hot water. It takes an hour or two, but you manage to find your own way out... you think.

Eventually, you do stumble across the human village, though you decide to stay on the outskirts. After all is said and done, you're standing on a hill overlooking the settlement, with the sun setting over the horizon. It's all over now. Your exploration of Gensokyo anyways. Maybe next time you'll bring an escort...

"You're hopeless, you know that?"

This is what Reimu tells you after you realize you can't find your own way home and end up going back to the Hakurei Shrine in search of support. The support you get isn't very grateful.

"I know... I'm sorry."

"It's fine, I won't hold it against you. Less trouble for me to deal with in the future. Yukari might though." Less trouble for her in the future? Aren't you troubling her now? Yukari too... that isn't going to be at all pleasant.

"I just need a way back home, that's all I really want." Reimu just sighs and waves her hand about to dismiss your pleading.

"Yeah, yeah. I'll tell Yukari to come fetch you now. Another freeloader is the last thing I need." With that said, the shrine maiden conjures up a yin yang orb, and when it glows a little, it zooms out of Reimu's hands and out the door.

"Tell Yukari...?"

"Yeah. It'll be easier then guiding you there. Faster too, I don't care enough to rush towards her place right now." With that, Reimu sits back down at her table, casually sipping her tea. You wonder if anyone around here even has anything else to do.

You just sigh and sit on the other side of the table while waiting for your ride to pick you up. Reimu doesn't make any attempt at all to make conversation with you, in fact if you were talking, you think she might just flat out ignore you. She's truly in her own little world here, almost befitting of this place. Certainly boring for you, but you won't complain. Not after all the excitement that you've had today. You wonder if you'll ever be able to go there again. It doesn't seem like even the human village is any good place for you to be. It really feels like your new 'home' is the only place where you'll feel the most comfortable anymore, and considering your circumstances, that's pretty bad. Sure, Chen is cute and Ran is quite helpful at times, Yukari is... something else. You can only just imagine what she might say to you after hearing about all this.

"Couldn't find your way home after all, Satoya~?"

Ah yes. Speak of the devil.

"Sorry if 'inside the border' is too vague for me."

"It's meant to be that way. Maybe one day I'll teach you how to reach it though." Before Yukari gets too comfortable, you can hear Reimu on the other side of the table.

"Just take your toy home, Yukari. I have to sleep soon." Toy? Is that what you are to her?

"Fine, fine. Although it isn't as if you don't get enough sleep during the day any-"


Only a few seconds pass while Yukari laments her poor relationship with Reimu before sending you and herself back to the household you've come to live in. Your entry is rather painful compared to your master's; you land near the top of your back and end up laying flat on the floor while Yukari looks down at you, almost smugly. You almost wish you could see up her skirt in this position just to have something to spite her with, but alas, it's too poofy and complex to get a casual upskirting with.

"So, Satoya. How was your trip?"

"Awful. Everyone at the human village looked at me weird, some woman coaxed me into this doctor's mansion and I nearly got kidnapped by a bunch of rabbits."

"Mmm, sounds like an ordinary day in Gensokyo to me, so I have no idea why you're complaining." What a typical thing for her to say.

"Can I please just excuse myself to my room?"

"Hmm, can you?" Feeling the brunt of her sly sarcasm, you roll your eyes as you stand up and simply walk away towards your room. This woman is too much for you sometimes.

After getting to your room, you flop down onto your futon, breathing out a sigh of relief as you realize that while your situation is not very ideal, a return to this kind of normalcy may not be such a bad thing after all. As you contemplate what the next few days have in store for you, you realize you can't sleep. Which is weird. It's night time... you think. The environment here seems to stay the same regardless of the time of day, but back at Reimu's shrine, it was definitely going into the wee hours of the night. Maybe because of the way the atmosphere here is, your biological clock goes haywire whenever you come here. Although if that were true, it's be pretty broken by now. You quickly realize that you had no schedule for sleeping here like you did back home, due to the lack of any distinguishable atmospheric time. No sun rising, no darkness setting in, no dusk, no dawn, no clocks, dials or timers. You wonder how many days have actually passed since you came here. More then you think? Less? This location has completely destroyed your sense of time. It's really disorienting.

You sit up after an hour of mulling about on this. A half an hour? Two hours? You can't tell anymore. All you know is that you're not actually tired, despite all the craziness that went on today. Yesterday? Who knows. But maybe you can owe your energy to your new youkai body. Speaking of which, you still have those pills you got from Eirin... you decide to put them under your pillow for now. A good idea might be asking Yukari for some furniture, if you're gonna end up staying here for a long period of time.

So now you're bored. Yukari probably got the hint that you were tired, and likely doesn't have any chores set up for you to do. Which just leaves satisfying your own time. That isn't to say others couldn't help...

[ ] Go bother Yukari
[ ] Go seek Ran
[ ] Go find Chen
[ ] Wander about the mansion on your own
[ ] Maybe you'll go to sleep after enough time spent bored
[X] Wander about the mansion on your own

Ambiguous option time. Roll the dice, spin the wheel, throw the dart, whatever.
[x] Go seek Ran

I'd rather do something decisive than waste time on another vague thing.
[x] Go seek Ran
She's the sanest one here. It'd be nice to have a few tips on what not to do in Gensokyo.
[x] Go seek Ran
[x] Go seek Ran
[x] Go seek Ran.

She is pretty sane, if not vaguely awkward for some reason.
[x] Go seek Ran

Is Ran naturally awkward or does it just seem that way because we still think like a human?
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[x] Go seek Ran

Ran has never done you wrong... usually. All things considered, she's probably the most mature person you could talk to here at 'home.' So it really couldn't hurt to talk to her at any given moment, unless she's busy. That said, you're not sure if she is at the moment or not. You'll just have to go and find out for yourself, so with that thought fresh in your head, you stand back up and stretch, ready to go out and discover a little companionship, something you feel you will need very desperately here in Gensokyo. You know if what happened earlier today continued happening, you'd surely go crazy in no time flat.

As you wander about the mansion, you realize that you really don't get a choice on where you go within it, the structure seems to be alive and determines where you go within it by itself. This time, it seems it's not content with you being within it's walls, as you're quickly led outside of it onto the porch, even though you took a hallway that you clearly thought went to the kitchen. The luck gods seem to be smiling down upon you though, as this event causes you to almost stumble right into a particular scene; Ran is sitting on the edge of the porch, cup of tea in her hands, staring up at the mystical atmosphere of the border from within, her tails calmly waving about almost hypnotically. What feels more hypnotizing though is her face, the subtle look of comfort her expression brings, the rather mature looking structure of her face, and those eyes... even from afar, you can tell that she is not human. Something beyond the realm of human understanding. A true youkai in the sense of the word.

"Satoya? What is it?" You're snapped back into reality when Ran notices you and looks over. You decide that you may as well go over and join her now that she's called out to you, so you go over and sit next to her on the porch, despite not really having any rhyme or reason for being here.

"Nothing really. Just bored I guess." You notice Ran looking at you a bit oddly before going back to how she was before you came in.

"I see. How was your exploration of Gensokyo?"

"Exhausting," you say with a big sigh. You're so tired that you were honestly shocked that you couldn't find sleep earlier. Maybe you have insomnia. "It was really haphazard and crazy. I don't want to go out there again without some sort of guide or escort. I must have gotten into so much trouble." Suddenly, you hear something you thought you'd never hear; Ran chuckling to herself beside you, possibly at your misfortune. You're rather confused until Ran unveils the reason to you.

"Satoya... you sound like Chen, right now." Well, you're still confused actually.

"Chen? How come?" Ran looks up into the almost psychedelic sky almost longingly, making her reminiscing seem unfitting.

"She would sometimes try to be brave and go out doing things on her own, but the truth is that she is a very skittish and nervous feline. Many times she would go out and then come back crying and frightened that she got into trouble or did something bad." Well, that's something you never expected to hear about Chen. Though, you suppose it befits her nature as a cat, being spooked easily and generally anxious.

"Ah... I guess so, then. Hopefully I won't be like that for too long. It's rather embarrassing for someone that Yukari is putting so much faith into." You can see Ran close her eyes with a slight smile on her face.

"Maybe so, but I cannot deny that it is still rather cute." You have to try pretty hard to keep yourself from becoming visibly embarrassed from that statement, even though you're partially sure she's more referring to Chen. At least you hope so. You're not sure how you feel about being called 'cute' by someone as normally stoic as Ran.

"Uhh... y-yeah. Although, don't you think Chen will eventually grow out of that as well?" As you look at Ran after saying that, you notice the smile is gone, and her face has become harder to read.

"... most likely."

Huh... maybe that's a subject you shouldn't touch upon. Although it's hard to imagine youkai being worried about the future when they live such long lives as it is. You can't say you're worried about it yourself... what could possibly happen now that you've lost everything but your own life? The way you see it, you've got nothing to lose, so what happens now is of little consequence to you.

A while after that, you excuse yourself from Ran's company, feeling more at ease thanks to the serene atmosphere, as strange as it sounds. You were able to sleep rather soundly after returning to your room. The presence of Ran must have that kind of effect. You can clearly imagine her singing the most soothing lullaby... provided she didn't sound so stoic half the time. It's like talking to a computer, sometimes.

A few more days pass without much fanfare. You return to your life of fulfilling mundane chores and idling the day away. It's certainly more relaxing then your life as a busy professor, but to that end, it's also a lot more boring. Since you came back, you've noticed Ran has been out of the house more often, and Chen is, as usual, rarely around. Yukari is constantly sleeping, so this leaves you to your own devices pretty often. Cleaning the kitchen, washing the bathrooms, putting things away, maintaining the mansion... it's so mundane that you wonder why there was so much excitement and movement around your arrival here. You feel like a maid. Your training is going to waste. You're not even meeting anyone. Although, that might be because you chose not to go out anymore after last time, at least not with someone you knew. It's such a strange predicament you've found yourself in...

At least, until you overhear an intriguing conversation.

"They're at odds with each other, hm?" You hear this as you're passing by one of the living rooms, and you stop just before you cross the door to make yourself known. What you hear after hearing Yukari's voice appears to be Reimu's.

"Yeah. Very unusual. Doesn't it go against their conduct?" You can see inside, so you're unsure if Reimu is actually here or not. You've never actually heard anything about her coming over.

"Conduct? Maybe for the Celestials. As far as I know, the demons in Pandemonium don't necessarily have anything like that."

"You know what I mean. They wouldn't just suddenly come out and start being aggressive after millenia of peace, or at least not bothering each other."

"Perhaps. Are you suggesting an incident is taking place?"

"... maybe not yet. But I think one might be brewing."

"Hm. What would you have me do about it then?" As standard as a response to one of Yukari's seemingly sarcastic questions can be, Reimu just seems to sigh as she finishes up the conversation.

"Nothing, I guess. But if you know anything about it, tell me."

"Reimu, I think you're more in tune with the angels and demons then I am. At best, I know someone who is the Princess of the Dead. That's as close to Hell as I've ever gotten on a personal level."

"Alright. I'll get back to you then once I've looked into it. Just tell your shikigami to be on guard. You know what I'm talking about." Ulp. You're already on a certain someone's mind... not necessarily in a good way either. You wonder if you're already viewed as irresponsible...

"Satoya?" Double ulp. As you realize Yukari has noticed your presence, you go ahead and turn the corner, looking at Yukari in the living room, who seems to be sitting alone, no shrine maiden in sight.

"Uhh... was Reimu just here?"

"She contacted me through a communication device I set up between the two of us. Since she feels the need to confide in me even when I'm not there. Such a hopeless child." After almost belittling Reimu like that, Yukari beckons you to sit on the other side of the table that she's sitting at, and you go ahead and seat yourself down, facing her. You almost feel nervous, but nonetheless, you steel yourself and ask the inevitable.

"So... what was that about, anyways?"

"Apparently there is trouble being stirred up between some resident celestials in Gensokyo and the current residents of Makai, which is Gensokyo's portal to Hell."

"Hell... so it really exists..." Yukari looks as if she wants to laugh at your naivete, but shockingly enough, holds herself back.

"Well of course, Satoya. Where else would souls of the dead not in limbo go?" You're about to say the Hakugyokurou, but you quickly realize that without knowing anything about supernatural stuff, you would very likely be wrong.

"So what kind of trouble is brewing then?"

"Seems as if some natives to Makai have went towards the Youkai Mountain to reach Bhava-Agra, Gensokyo's portal to Heaven. Said natives have engaged in combat with residents of Bhava-agra and the attempt to breach Heaven's holy gates have not sit well with the angels and celestials that reside there." This sounds big. If it's some sort of war between Heaven and Hell, then of course it's big; it's something described as an apocalyptic event in ancient texts. You hope this isn't what you were brought here for.

"R-Really now... d-does this concern us at all?"

"No, not really." You give a big sigh of relief, up until Yukari mentions the catch. "Ran and Chen may be in some danger, however." You look over at Yukari, and she seems to be taking this in stride, even though in all honesty, it scares you, just a little.

"W-Wait, why?"

"Animals such as foxes and cats become youkai through either living an extraordinarily long life, or otherwise having an extraordinary event occur to them. This happens through a gradual accumulation of demonic energy that eventually turns them into what they are, no matter how you call them... fox demons, cat monsters, and so forth. As such, greater members of Makai could influence them into taking part."

"Even though they're under your control?" Yukari simply expands the fan that she happened to be holding to cover part of her face as she tells you the next part, even though you were quite positive she weren't holding it just a few seconds ago.

"My own influence on them fades the farther away I am, and Youkai Mountain is quite a ways away from here." So why doesn't she just accompany them? She doesn't sound very worried about them, admittedly. Maybe you should get off the topic of them before you actually start getting angry about this.

"So what about us? Aren't we youkai too?"

"We are youkai through difference means. We are not affiliated with Heaven nor Hell, good, nor evil. We are simply our own inhuman beings." So you have no real 'demonic energy' residing within you, you suppose... that's comforting. Even though you feel like it might not necessarily be true. Then again, you know absolutely nothing about all this supernatural stuff like demons and angels and youkai and all that good garbage, so anything you'd have to say about it would be moot point from the very beginning.

"Are you going to do something about it?" As you ask the fated question, Yukari seems to close her eyes behind her fan to think about it, before eventually closing her fan and looking at you with that awful, devilish smile that you've come to hate and detest.


You can't honestly tell what that means, but the one thing you gather from it is that you shouldn't lie your hopes entirely upon Yukari. That just leaves one thing... what should you do?

[ ] Where's Ran and Chen? You must warn them.
[ ] Reimu might need some help with this.
[ ] It might be time to see what this Youkai Mountain is like.
[ ] You should be careful and just observe the situation for now.
[x] Where's Ran and Chen? You must warn them.

I'm not entirely sure they need the warning, but I think shes trying to poke us into it anyway.
[x] Where's Ran and Chen? You must warn them.
[x] Where's Ran and Chen? You must warn them.

I have no idea what's exactly going on, given how Makai residents in canon are the tourist type, but I feel warning them is better safe than sorry.
[x] Where's the updates? You must find them.
Where art thou?
It behooves me to inform you that you should place the word "sage" in the email field when not voting or otherwise contributing to the story, especially when not doing so would inspire false hope that an update had occurred, lest you invoke the ire of those looking for such an update.
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Hey I'm alive.

I don't know if anyone cares but I kind of silently dropped this story because I didn't really like what I was doing with it. I was drawing it out very unnecessarily and at such an extreme volume that it became a drudge to write. It didn't help either that votes were slow and thus updates were far and few between even when I didn't want them to be, even when I felt like writing more.

I think that's what's held me back from writing on here more... waiting for votes. Which is also why I tend to complain about them, I'm not out to get attention, but I feel obligated to gather enough votes before writing some more, particularly since I've been hastily chastised for writing too much all at once and not waiting for enough votes.

If I continue this story again at any point in the future, I'm going to horrifically abridge it and get it going a lot, lot faster. Hopefully. It depends mostly on how much I can resist wanting to elaborate on everything. I also don't want to railroad it either too, which also presents a problem. Ah, writing on here is actually rather difficult.

Thanks for the update.
Waiting warmly for your return.
you might have an easier time now considering /border/'s not so busy compared to when the story started.

Though I would suggest try sticking to important things being elaborated (emotions, key scenes, future scenes with nigh-nude sleeping Yuyuko)
You're back!

Abridging is fine. Whatever you're comfortable with.
Oh hey, you're back. I'll be hoping to see something from you again. I remember enjoying it well enough before at look forward to more regardless of how you go about it.
I thought about reading this story until I learned it was abandoned.
If you're serious about bringing it back, then I'll be more than happy to start reading it.
So here's the deal, I'm going to try my damnedest to post an update at least every Tuesday, today being one. It'll probably be rather late Tuesday, possibly even very early morning Wednesday, but I will get it done. If there are enough votes and I feel like writing some more before a Tuesday, I will likely post another update before then, but that won't mean I won't post another update on Tuesday anyways, so long as there are enough votes. That said, if I don't post an early update, then when Tuesday rolls around again, I will most definitely post an update regardless of how many votes I have. This will hopefully prevent my temptation to stagnate because I felt like there weren't enough votes to feel as if there was a consensus, something I know is bad based on what I've learned here.

Another thing, prepare for an abridged version of the story I originally conceived. The same important events will still happen, but in general, the story will go by much quicker and arcs will be a lot shorter.

With all that said, cheers.

[x] Where's Ran and Chen? You must warn them.

"... then what about me? Can I do something about it?" Yukari seems to tilt her head a bit, with her smile looking at you like you were a clueless little child.

"You? Why would you want to concern yourself with them at a time like this?"

"Why? I'm worried about them! Aren't you?"

"Not particularly. I trust in them. Besides, at what risk am I? Should something happen to them, it isn't as if I would lose anything valuable." Anything valuable... even if they don't mean anything to her, they're still her responsibility! You're going to have to pick up the slack for her, you suppose.

"Take me to them."

"Take you to them?"

"Yes." You try your best to display a stern, serious expression, and maintain it even in the presence of Yukari's devilish smile, but you're left unsure if it's really having any effect on her decision.

"That sounds like an order. Did you forget who is in control of whom?" You grumble a bit, but you can't really deny that she's right. However, you also can't back down now. You're going to just simply have to bear it for their sake.

"... please send me to where Ran and Chen are, Master Yukari." You bow your head down as you say this, reluctantly but dutifully nonetheless, and pray that it sways her. Even just a little.

It seems to work.

"Very well. Why not? Go out and make something of yourself, Satoya... impress me."

You feel as if you open your eyes after hearing Yukari's answer, but you see nothing but blackness, again. By now, you're beginning to catch on. You're in transit. This is how Yukari 'moves' you, so to speak. You open your eyes once again upon realizing that you're done traveling and find yourself on an empty hill. You actually recognize this hill, this is where you can see what you assume is a good portion of Gensokyo from. It's not far from Reimu's shrine, and you can see a large mountain and the Human Village off in the distance, both opposite of each other. Somewhere near the tip of the mound, you find Chen wallowing around in the clean grass, with Ran standing over her. She seems rather keen, as she had noticed you before you had even noticed her.

"Satoya?" Chen stops her playful rolling as soon as Ran speaks your name and sits up, looking over at you curiously. For now, the two seem fine... thank goodness.

"Ah... hi." You rather nonchalantly greet them as you get back up from your fallen position and dust yourself off, before walking towards the two. "Sorry for coming so suddenly... everything's alright here, right?" Ran seems quite confused, but Chen makes nothing of your mysterious appearance and cheerfully greets you right back.

"Yup! Master Ran and Chen are okay!" Ran decides now is a good time to do some light interrogation, though.

"Yes... why are you here, though? Shouldn't you be assisting Lady Yukari?" You scratch the back of your head a little, remembering that's what you were doing before stumbling upon Yukari chatting with Reimu about the supposed incident.

"Ah, w-well, I guess I kind of just got worried about you two, you know? Something big is apparently happening." You're about to divulge Ran in on the details, but she makes it known that she's already aware, and even belittles you a bit in the process.

"Yes, it is. That is exactly why I am here with Chen. It isn't as if both of us need protection when I am the one here doing so in a much more capable state." The cold tone of her voice only serve to make the sting that much more noticeable. Though you know she's merely stating the facts, it still hurts a little on the inside.

"Jeez, alright, alright, I'm sorry..." That being said, you're not about to go back on your word because of a little chill you got from Ran. Looking past her and towards the massive mountain in the distance, you decide to point it out. "Is that Youkai Mountain over there, by the way?" Turning her head away from you, Ran looks over to where your gaze is heading, to confirm what you're asking.

"Yes, that is. One of Gensokyo's most prominent landmarks. It contains the tengu headquarters as well as the Moriya Shrine." Tengu! And another shrine... it really is like you were just dumped into the texts of feudal japan.

"The Moriya Shrine, huh? Another shinto shrine I assume?"

"It worships a different god, and thus is is direct opposition of the Hakurei Shrine for faith. However, I hear things between the two were settled." That's good, a war bursting forth admist another already ongoing war is something you're not quite ready for. One is enough.

"Are the tengu or the inhabitants of that shrine aware of what's going on?"

"I believe so, but not enough to stop the conflict." Conflict... there was always conflict in the past, of course, but what stirred up the sudden aggression? As Reimu said, this reeks of foul play.

"What caused this though? This wasn't happening in the past, was it? Yukari mentioned millenia of peace... what disturbed it?" Ran closes her eyes, affirming the dead end you've reached in this conversation.

"That is none of my business. I am merely here to protect Chen from the dangers of it."

Of course, she seems to follow the same mindset as her master. Whatever doesn't involve them doesn't bother them. You're not entirely sure if you feel the same way about it yourself. Didn't Reimu say Yukari loved Gensokyo? Isn't letting this happen a part of letting Gensokyo just get destroyed? Yukari seems to be heavily downplaying what is supposed to be a catastrophic event, and you can't bring yourself to see why.

Soon though, you feel a rumbling. Then you can hear it. In middle of your thoughts being interrupted in this way, Chen points out a spectacular sight.

"Woah! Look at that!"

You take a look over at Youkai Mountain where she's pointing, and find yourself watching a gruesome, hideous, and absolutely ludicrous sight. What almost appears to be walls of flesh emerge from the ground around the entire mountain and have begun slowly swallowing it whole. When you look hard enough, you realize that wall of flesh is a tightly knit, utterly gigantic pack of hell demons surging forth from under the mountain and engulfing mountain that stands above them. It's almost as if they intended on turning the mountain into a huge eldritch abomination, but if what you've been told is true, that isn't their goal. Their goal is reaching the peak. That's where the real apocalypse happens.

"Are those... demons of hell?"

"Yes," Ran says, stepping forward as she takes Chen's hand to help her up, with the intent on leaving, "we should leave before it becomes dangerous."

"Ah, but--"

Your voice trails off as you feel a bit of helplessness. Should you really allow this to happen? Then again, do you have any power over it? Maybe Yukari does, but Ran might have the right idea...

[ ] It's time to split
[ ] Should at least inform Reimu
[ ] We have to do something, head into the thick of battle
[x] Should at least inform Reimu.

Let the resident incident solver know that a pretty god damn incident is starting.
[x] Should at least inform Reimu.
Hooray! Updates!

[x] It's time to split

She probably already knows, Miko intuition and all that.
She'd have an idea, but not what exactly.
[x] Should at least inform Reimu.
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[x] Should at least inform Reimu.

You can't let this just go by unnoticed. You have to tell someone. Reimu would know what to do. You think you know Yukari's stance on this, but Reimu would definitely do something.

"You two go on without me."

"Satoya?" Ran seems a little dumbfounded that she would receive such a command from you. You don't have time to really argue though.

"I'm going to talk to Reimu, don't worry about me!" With a quick sprint, you start making your way towards the Hakurei Shrine, leaving behind your comrades. You have no idea what they'll do, but you have a mission now.

As you make your way through a wooded hollow, you're reminded of your demonic transformation. The unsealing of youkai half. You feel it's influence again. The speed at which your legs move is inhuman, and the deftness and agility you display is downright ludicrous. You see that it not only effected your physical body, but your mental one too, in a more profound way then simply how you feel. You notice that your reaction time has improved to drastic measures, able to react in a mere tenth of a second at very short notice. Your heightened intuition helps with this a great deal, both combined means you will never be caught off guard, just like you would be in a few seconds.

You quickly brandish your pole arm from your back as you realize you're being followed, and with utmost precision, you slice a large worm demon clean in half just as it heads you off. Had you reacted a second later, the thing would have instantly devoured you whole. But that's not the end, as you realize it has friends. With a swift turn around, you cleave another worm demon straight down the head, and you have just enough wind up to strike at what appears to be a kobold leaping over the second worm's corpse, and fling him high into the sky. You briefly consider following up on it before your intuition tells you that would be unwise... causing you to turn around again and stab a large orc-like demon in the gut. You quickly retrieve your spear from the flesh of the demon though as it still attempt to heave a giant hammer over you. Soon, you're rolling out of the way of the huge demon falling onto his bloodied stomach, and as soon as the kobold that you flung into the air from earlier lands on his back, you leap up and dig your weapon into the kobold, through him and straight into the orc, pacifying them both of them in one fell swoop.

As you leap off their backs with bloodied weapon in hand, you think to yourself... how did you pull all this off?

You keep running though, as impressive as that display was, you can't imagine you'd be able to hold off a much larger horde which may be en route. Still though, what was that? Sure enough, you felt a lot of instinct take over during your training with Youmu, but that felt so... natural. You didn't even think about it until it was all over. Has your training truly not been for naught? You can't help but feel quite weirded out by all this though. You worry that your youkai instincts will take over at the wrong moment. That was just a casual battle, more or less... if something more serious happened, you fear you could not hold yourself back. Looks like you might have to consider that medicine from Eirin a bit more.

You reach your destination a lot quicker then you thought you would, a fortune thing as you come up to Reimu just as she's about to leave.

"Ah! R-Reimu! The mountain-!"

"Yes, I know! Come on!"

Before you really know it, you're suddenly taken into the air... Reimu is dragging you into the sky and flying towards the mountain!

"H-Hey! What're you doing?!"

"What does it look like?! We're going to the mountain to exterminate those demons!"

"B-But why me?!" You can't help but feel a little inferior when you say this, having a submissive tone in your voice. You don't think anyone could blame you though... you're almost half a mile in the sky.

"You said you got training right? It's time to prove it, you'll be my familiar for this battle!"

"Y-You're kidding me!" You can't even fly! What makes her think you can keep up with her?! You find yourself about ready to hit this realization head on like a ton of bricks when you see a small group of demons heading towards you and Reimu.

"Tch. Damn it!" Soon, you're flung straight into the horde by Reimu, spinning wildly from the momentum and practically screaming in terror as you completely lose sight of which way is up. You can only assume that the pole arm you've been holding onto for dear life cuts cleanly through the horde as you spin right through it, much like a crude buzzsaw. Soon though, you begin losing altitude, and this is where you truly begin panicking.

"Gahhh!! Reimu you cUHNGH--" You get the wind knocked out of you as you land unceremoniously on what appears to be a giant glowing yin-yang orb. The orb daintily floats back up to Reimu's side while you're repositioning yourself on it, at least as daintily as something floating at the fast speed Reimu is flying at could be.

"What was I, again?" You hear Reimu unamused tone try to weasel it's way into your consciousness, but you can't be bothered acknowledging it any further then knowing you heard it, as you're a little too preoccupied with steadying yourself on the massive orb first.

"Urgh, c-can we get down on solid ground yet...?" A brief glance at Reimu tells you that she's rolling her eyes. You really need to learn how to fly sometime.

"Sheesh, big baby..."

You breathe a big sigh of relief as you get your feet onto solid ground again, quickly making sure your heart hasn't left your body. Reimu hardly seems impressed, of course.

"I thought Yukari said you were capable."

"I only just recently left training...!" As you get that out in middle of deep breaths and mental exercises reminding yourself that at heart, you're still human, you look at where you are. You somehow failed to notice that Reimu had cut straight through the wall of demons that's attempting to engulf the entire mountain to bring you here. It's still very forested here, but it's rather steep, indicating that you're probably somewhere along the base of the mountain. You faintly hear the sound of running water, but it's difficult to pinpoint it from the sound of all the demons swarming the mountain overhead. The area, barring the sky of demons, is desolate. One can only assume everyone that was here has either been taken by the demons, or had fled long ago.

"So, what? You going to stay here or come with me?" You look over at Reimu after she says this and find a rather resolute look on her face. She's determined to find the cause of this incident, or at least resolve as soon as possible. She seems steadfast... as irritable as she seems, she does seem to care.

"Ah, stay here...?" You ask a little inquisitively, wondering why she would ask this now after already taking you to the mountain determined to make you her familiar or some such.

"Yeah. If you don't think you can keep up with me, I'd rather you not get in the way. Besides, people down here might need help, I'm going to go straight to the source of the problem though."

"The source of the problem..." Reimu simply points up at the sky, though the direction seems to be further up the mountain... she must mean the entrance to heaven, where all the demons are likely headed. She has her work cut out for her though, with this insane amount of demons, what does she hope to accomplish?

Well, given how much more experienced and confident she is, probably a lot more then you. You're here though too, so the question is, do you feel you can still accomplish something?

[ ] You're ready to dive into the fray with Reimu
[ ] You'll stick here and control the situation further down the mountain
[ ] Nope, screw this, you're outta here
[x] You'll stick here and control the situation further down the mountain.

Better to stick around and fight the demons around our level.
[X] You're ready to dive into the fray with Reimu

I had a hard time deciding between this and staying here.
[x] You're ready to dive into the fray with Reimu

The Yakumos don't care? Well, we do.
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[x] You're ready to dive into the fray with Reimu

Maybe it's time to man up. You've been flailing about a little for a while now, unsure what to do, but if you're going to live up to the reputation that this Yukari woman supposedly has, you're going to have to stop that. Your training had all lead up to this moment, after all.

"I'll come. Let's fix this." Reimu gives you an odd look when you give her your answer. It's a rather skeptical look, but at the same time, it shows a lot of seriousness.

"Are you sure you want to do this? It won't be easy." You give a quick nod to her though, showing your resolve.

"Yeah, I'm ready. I have to put myself to a real test eventually... it's now or never I figure." Reimu seems to stare back at you for a few moments but soon, seems to understand as she goes over and grabs your wrist.

"Alright then. If you hold me back though, I'm leaving you behind." With that amazing display of care she shows for youkai, she takes off, pulling you off the ground yet again and dragging you through the air, past the tree tops and dangerously close to the speeding cloud of demons that are making their way to the top of Youkai Mountain.

"U-Uwahh! H-Hey! What exactly are we going to do once we get there anyways?! We can't stop this entire horde of demons ourselves!"

"We're going to have to try!" You can feel your stomach sink a bit, a difficult feat considering how low it's went from all of this ordeal happening at once to begin with.

"Y-You're kidding!"

"No, I'm not! Normally I wouldn't do something like this without someone like Marisa, but since you're here... maybe!" Oh no. She didn't just do that.

"Hey, I don't like how you just hesitated there!"

"Well I don't know your strength, as I haven't seen it personally. You better feel special, I don't normally trust someone on their words alone when it comes to something like this!" Special? Is it because of Yukari? Is her influence that powerful? Or is Reimu just pulling your leg? Your arm is getting tired from being pulled itself though, and you're not sure how much further it is until your destination, or how much more you can stand being so close to such a massive army of demons. Come to think of it...

"... hey, Reimu! Why haven't the demons attacked us yet? Do they all have tunnel vision or something?" Reimu briefly looks down at you, which worries you as she's not looking where she's going, but seems to pay that fact no mind as she turns her head back, looking up curiously.

"Huh, hey, you're right... that is strange. Something's up. Be on your guard, something big is going on up there!" That's not necessarily what you want to hear. You don't think something big is something you're ready to test your new found youkai mettle on yet, but it seems that now that you've gone down this path, you have no choice.

As the both of you go higher, you begin feeling something... you're not entirely sure what it is, but it gives you awful feelings all around. You wager it's your intuition at first, before you realize that there's no way it could be incorrect. This feeling... it's more as if you're experiencing something a sixth sense is trying to tell you. This sense... do all youkai have it? It's otherworldly, to be sure, and certainly doesn't feel human at all, both within yourself... and what it's warning you of.

The cloud of demons begins to thin, as you near the peak of the mountain. You quickly realize why, not all of them are foreign demons. You see what lore has popularly called tengu whizzing about to and fro, fending off the tremendous amount of hell's angels from getting any further. You've never seen so many tengu masks and tokin hats. It's almost like a festival... a demonic festival. The fight that you see the tengu put up is rather admirable, but it's clearly not enough. The demons outnumber them ten to one easily, if not more, and the brutal slaughter that you occasionally catch a glimpse of is heart wrenching, to say the least.

"The tengu will be run off the mountain soon. I wonder if Sanae is alright..." Reimu seems to drift into talking to herself, but it's clear she noticed you observing the tengu. There's really only one prominent thing on her mind though. Reaching the peak and breaking into heaven before the horde of demons do.

Soon, the only way up is through the clouds, and as you and Reimu pierce through it, you're greeted by an impressive sight; the land doesn't give way at all, in fact, it seems to expand even more infinitely then it did previously. The air is crisp, and the clouds wrap around the ground in a surreal way, as if it were resting on the clouds to begin with. The sight of demons doesn't meet you here. Seems they haven't gotten this far yet. It dawns upon you that this is where you're stopping, and Reimu confirms it by slowing to a halt and dropping you on a piece of land, where you luckily land on your feet as it wasn't a big drop.

"I don't know how useful you'll be without the power of flight, but don't let a single one through. Got it?" Reimu seems adamant in defending this place. You guess it makes sense, being a shrine maiden and all. Is this where the gods of her faith are located? You're unsure, but now wouldn't be the time to ask questions. You grip your pole arm and ready yourself, prepared for the worst. You saw the tengu fighting off the demons, but as Reimu said, it won't be long...

Suddenly, it happens. Out of one of the clouds, an entire cavalry of demons bursts through it. You almost fall backwards just from the sheer force that they used to go through it. Looking up, you see Reimu pull out what looks like a card, and suddenly, what appears to be a massive magic circle materializes under her. The card suddenly disappears, and you're nearly taken aback by the sight of several incredibly large multicolored orbs spilling out of her and rushing towards the troupe of demons, exploding violently upon contact. It's at this point you realize your power... definitely is not on the same level as any of these people. What was your training for?

You're forced to put it to work nonetheless though, as you quickly realize that in your distracted stupor, many of the demons that escaped Reimu's merciless barrage are ready to simply stampede you to get past her. Weapon in hand, you steel yourself as you try to tear through each one that comes at you, dealing a heavy blow to each one if not a lethal strike, hoping that it won't get away long enough for you to deal with everything else that's coming at you. But it never happens. You realize that like the tengu before you, you're hideously outnumbered, and no matter how strong you may be, if you're not incapacitating more then what's coming at you, you're going to be overwhelmed. Soon enough, that's precisely what happens, as one, two, and then many demons start rushing past you as your panic sets in.

"R-Reimu! I can't do this!"

"It's fine!" What? "Just kill as many as you can!"

You're going to have to trust Reimu on this one. You're worried about what letting even one through might do, but even Reimu seems to have her work cut out for her, as her massive amount of talismans and divine power still doesn't seem to be enough to keep them at bay herself. Something's odd though. The demons aren't attacking you. Their only concern is getting past you. It's particularly strange as they attacked the tengu without mercy. Come to think of it, they were like this on the way up too, completely ignoring you and Reimu. Are you two too much effort? Well, more like Reimu is the only one who wouldn't be the wise one to attack. You get this distinct feeling if one pinned you to the ground, that would be it.

Something strange then happens. It takes you off guard at first, nearly knocking you off your feet from the sheer force again. This time, it's a much less tangible force. When you get your bearings together, you find yourself staring down a massive beam of light. Is it a laser? It's too big to be a true definition of the word, but it's so bright and piercing, it cuts through the cloud of demons ahead of you like a hot knife through butter. You then hear a particular war cry after the beam of light dissapates.

"HEY HO~!! Reimu, havin' all the fun without me?!"

Through the clouds then bursts what looks like a very traditional witch looking girl, complete with broom riding and witch hat. It's by far the most egregious example of taken straight from old lore you've seen here in Gensokyo.

"Marisa!" Reimu seems to call out as the witch flies in to meet the shrine maiden. "What took you so long? You're normally on the ball when it comes to incidents like this." The blonde haired witch though just shrugs it off casually.

"What can I say? I was kinda lazy in gettin' here, since it doesn't really concern me." Just then, the witch spies you, her goofy grin widening upon seeing your visage for some reason. "Hey, nice date."

"Ugh, not you too." Reimu simply rolls her eyes, but this isn't really the time to be having idle conversation, and she knows it as she quickly addresses you without introducing you. "Hey, be on your guard, there's likely more coming soon!" Scratching her nose a bit, the witch next to the shrine maiden concurs.

"Oh yeah! I blasted a lot of them but that's just the tip of the iceberg. The tengu were all run off so there's gonna be a lot more comin'!"

You're unsure of what to do. You're not certain you're ready. You also want to help the situation elsewhere... what of the tengu? What of the demons that got past you? What of the mountain? What of Ran and Chen? Is Yukari even aware of this? You're going to have to deliberate on this a bit, but not for too long. You can feel a strong, malicious presence coming this way...

[ ] You'll stay and fight to the bitter end
[ ] Marisa's here, you should help with the mountain now
[ ] You're worried about the demons that got past you
[ ] Things are just dandy, time for you to leave
[x] You'll stay and fight to the bitter end.

We can't level up if we just run away.
[x] You'll stay and fight to the bitter end.
To the death!
[x] You're worried about the demons that got past you

This isn't a RPG that and it's better to see where those demons went.
I agree, these two seem to be best as a team. Follow the ones that got past.

[x] You're worried about the demons that got past you
[X] You're worried about the demons that got past you

I want to know what the deal is here.
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[x] You're worried about the demons that got past you

You can't think that so many demons that got past you can be up to any good. Why would Reimu tell you not to worry about them? That's just absurd, the pearly gates are behind you aren't they? If even one got into heaven, that would be chaos. You think it might be too late to prevent that now, but surely you can prevent any further damage. You also really need to make sure everything's really alright. Reimu and her friend seem to have this covered anyhow.

"Great, you two can handle it, right? I'm going back to check up on the ones that got away!"

"Hey, wait--!"

You don't give Reimu much time to argue, and neither do the demons for that matter as the moment you turn your back, you can hear the swarm of demons resurface from under the clouds in droves. It sounds like the two have their work cut out for them.

You rush further into the territory of the angels, and the scenery changes itself little by little. The trees grow pink, the ground becomes less noticeable through the clouds and less natural, and most ironically, it feels as if it's darker. It isn't long before you realize you might be lost. Again. You lament your inability to navigate very well as you think back on how much of a trend it has become for you to get lost in situations like these. Everything doesn't necessarily look the same here though, but the place is so huge that without a general idea of which way the demons went, you really have no way of quickly tracking them down. It's not like you could help it, you were distracted with not getting entirely overwhelmed, so you couldn't just watch the demons move into heaven. You deliberate a bit on where to go next, until you feel the ground shake suddenly. It starts as a little tremor, but after subsiding, it happens again. You find yourself moving towards it almost inadvertently, as the tremors grow stronger and stronger the further in you move. It isn't before long that it feels like an actual earthquake is occurring.

You don't see hide nor tail of any demon up until a particular spot, where the earthquakes seem to stop. Just then, one of the demons that Reimu must have been fighting suddenly whizzes past you, and you're about to give chase until you suddenly see a pillar of earth burst forth from under it, and send it skyward... before being disintegrated by what looks like a bright red light. Another laser? You look down at the source, and find a stunningly beautiful blue haired girl, wielding a sword that almost appears to be made out of fire. Her white and rainbow colored dress seems to suggest some higher form of being... perhaps an angel? You're actually not sure what brings you to that conclusion, but for some reason, staring at her brings you peace and serenity... you quickly relax upon laying eyes on her without really realizing it. This proves to be a mistake when she turns and looks at you with eyes full of killing intent.

"Another one? This is getting on my nerves. Die!" The celestial looking being then raises her sword, and you begin to panic, knowing what's about to happen. It isn't precisely correct though as when she lowers it down in middle of you backing away quickly, what looks like a train of earthly pillars surfaces from the ground below her and starts charging in your direction.

As you run and look back over your shoulder, you realize that it's following you, and it's a lot faster then you are. It's at this point you try to put your faith in your youkai instincts, however, you soon find yourself unable to do so. The realization that you suddenly lost touch with the youkai senses you've been granted hits you too late, and you're sent skyward by a thrusting pillar. This causes your back to be in intense amounts of pain, but even your human side realizes this isn't the time to be considering that, as you quickly spy the blue haired girl closing in on your position with due haste. Whipping out your pole arm again, you just barely manage to keep yourself from being cut in two by the brutal swing of the fiery sword belonging to the girl, and as it's how momentum works, you're rushing towards the ground after such a hit and land painfully on your back, skipping across the ground as you lose control entirely of your body until the momentum ends.

You don't have any time to think more of your breaking back though, as when you look up, you see several pointed stones falling towards you, and you quickly rolling away to keep yourself from being impaled. By the time you're able to get up, the celestial being is in front of your face again, and the only thing you can do is put your weapon forward again helplessly as you're sent flying backwards again. Damn, what happened to you? It's like this girl's mere presence has tamed you. You've lost touch with both your auxiliary senses and your training, and you feel as weak as you did as a human again. Getting back on your feet in a panic, you realize you have to make a choice, and quickly, before this powerful being overwhelms you with her sheer might.

[ ] Think harder, you're still youkai, right?
[ ] Try and talk some sense into the crazed girl
[ ] Retreat. Leave. Flee. Abscond.
[X] Think harder, you're still a youkai, right?
[x] Try and talk some sense into the crazed girl
[x] Retreat. Leave. Flee. Abscond.

Oh damn it Tenko. Tenshi isn't going to listen to us and I don't think tapping into our youkai powers would do anything but cause us to go berserk again.
[x] Try and talk some sense into the crazed girl

I don't even think we can bring our Youkai powers to bear against her, seeing how well our "Youkai" survival instinct worked here.

Plus a three-way tie is just shameful

The state of this board is pretty shameful if you ask me. I tend to wonder if my number of readers is in the double digits... or if the number of this board's inhabitants are even double digits.

I honestly never understood why people gravitate to /th/ /sdm/ or /others/ exclusively. I check every board at least twice a week for new or revived stories. Hence why I am here.
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[x] Try and talk some sense into the crazed girl

She's an angel. She is an angel, right? She has to be. Why else would she be fighting off the demons all the way up here? You know for a fact no one that wasn't a demon got past you and Reimu, and you doubt anyone would have gotten up here before you two with the situation as it were. She should listen to reason in that case. You can only hope in any case.

"W-Wait! I'm not--" You find yourself stopping as you take the time you gained from doing so diving out of the way of a much larger pointed stone, embedding itself into where you were just standing. You would be a pancake right now if you hadn't done that.

"Shut up and die, jeez, you're making this a lot harder on me then I'd like you to!" You should have taken that hint that listening wasn't one of her strong points when you think about it this in the future, but the sad thing is that you continued pushing it even as you were helplessly dodging attack after attack from the aggressive angel.

"I'm not against you! I'm trying to hel-ooph!" Your train of thought is briefly interrupted by you running face first into a solid rock wall, which you're positive wasn't there before.

This was all she needed though. Your inattentiveness to your youkai senses which you believed had left you for this battle proved to be your downfall, as an attack that you're certain you would have noticed and blocked otherwise strikes you down. It was swift, but the sensation feels like it would last for an eternity. You didn't think with your new body that one hit would be fatal, but the power of her flaming blade is just so otherworldly that it simply does not care, or, perhaps, it was meant to kill those such as yourself with one decisive blow.

You don't even realize you're tumbling across the ground at a high speed because all your senses are being sucked into a virtual block hole created by the grievous wound that the celestial being inflicted upon you with her sword. It did hit pretty deep, you wager it cut straight through your upper right arm and dug deep into your chest from there, but it's difficult to tell through the intense burning feeling that spread out from there and throughout your entire body. The burning is absolutely agonizing, and you cannot even fathom it's true manifestation of pain. It is undisputedly the most torturous thing your body has been put through, quite possibly many more times such then any painful thing your body has been put through in your entire life combined. The burning works it's way through your body like wildfire on fast forward, and mercilessly renders every fiber of your being useless.

As your vision turns white from the burning, you realize what it's doing. It's purifying you. This is the purifying flame that cleanses the world of evil. To this end... you realize just how evil you really are, deep down.

"Hmph. Goes down in one swipe like the rest of them. You looked like a strong demon but I guess not." You can vaguely hear the angel's words, clearly despite your otherwise waning senses. The last thing you can see is the disciple of heaven ready to bring down divine judgement upon your battered, demonic soul. "Oh well. Sayonara."

You then feel nothing. Nothing, as is what you would be after the demonic blood was purified from your body. Because that's all you were, a lowly demon, right from the very start.
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Oh my, you seem to have led Satoya into a dead end, hmm? That won't do. How am I going to use him in my grand master plan to take over Gensokyo if you just let him die like that? Well, joking aside, I suppose it's time for a little hint to make up for your repeat voting.

Satoya is still inexperienced, and whether or not he lives during the next chapter or two will not be decided on his strategy, but rather, on what fights he picks. He showed an impressive display against the lower demons, but a celestial being far beyond his comprehension is out of his league. Though that isn't to say trying would have surely killed him... it may have been a learning experience that he could use further down the road, well, provided he survives the encounter anyways. Though you have done a good job building up Satoya's courage and strength, making him stick with it for so long, the hot head may have been too much for him to swallow. At least with words.

There will be many enemies that Satoya will encounter in the future, and it's up to you to give him not only the right strategy based on your observational skills, but the right fights as well. I want him growing up big and strong now~

Hmm, speaking of which, I suppose I may as well tell you now that this will likely not be the first dead end of this kind you will see. But that's okay. I'll be here to teach you what you can do next to avoid further ones if necessary. For now, let's try to enjoy ourselves and take this death in stride, hmm?

[ ] Go back 1 choice?
-- [ ] Think harder, you're still youkai, right?
-- [ ] Retreat. Leave. Flee. Abscond.
[ ] Go back 2 choices?
-- [ ] You'll stay and fight to the bitter end
-- [ ] Marisa's here, you should help with the mountain now
-- [ ] Things are just dandy, time for you to leave
[ ] Go back 3 choices?
-- [ ] You'll stick here and control the situation further down the mountain
-- [ ] Nope, screw this, you're outta here
[x] Go back 2 choices?
-- [x] You'll stay and fight to the bitter end
I want to see him fight without hesitation.
[x] Go back 2 choices?
-- [x] You'll stay and fight to the bitter end.

Once again, damnit Tenko. Let's just skip heaven altogether.
[x]Go back 2 choices?
-[x] You'll stay and fight to the bitter end

In before yet another bad end. That and we ought to get that youkai stuff under control instead of being scared of it.
it doesn't help things like the move and Patchwork not writing happened.

What is left here are stories that mainly update sporactically with 2/3 being obvious "deconstruction" stories.

Not to mention I don't recall the whole Yuyuko past thing being resolved but I'm planning on trying to read back later on to make sure. But it just feels this little arc came out of nowhere.

I did mention that I was going to abridge the story quite a bit starting recently. Originally there was going to be some interaction between Satoya and a few other beings of power (Kanako, Byakuren, Remilia) so that he could get acquainted with how Yukari is known around Gensokyo, along with revisiting Yuyuko and Youmu somewhere in the middle, and some pleasantries with the Yakumo family as a whole in between, but that was all shoved to the curb because it had been too long without any real plot. Although many will say there never was one to begin with.

This arc was to be longer too but I pushed everything that had been cut out of here to either the end of this arc or much further down the line, for a similar reason. Basically I'm just trying to get the ball rolling because it's been several long years without anything happening, and I'm just as frustrated with that as anyone who had actually been around for that long is.

If there's an overwhelming majority for it, I an revisit what would have been in the previous arc after this one. Otherwise I'm going to keep the story going at a steady pace.
[x] You'll stay and fight to the bitter end

These two are relying on you, you feel. You can't abandon them now, can you? Pole arm in hand, resolve steeled, you feel ready once more. There's only a brief silence as you begin clearing the eye of the storm... a small rumbling presents itself soon, mainly to you as the witch and shrine maiden stick to the air, but this just means you know where it's coming from. Stepping back a bit, you realize something huge is about to come forth from the clouds, and sure enough, something huge does... but rather then a huge number of demons, one huge demon seems to slither out from the clouds below. It's enormous! It looks like a big black dragon, with demonic features strewn about it's long, snake-like body. You know this thing stretched out could easily rival the length of a skyscraper... as well as the girth. You feel yourself utterly stricken with fear, and looking at the two joining you for this battle, you see for once, you're not alone.

"Holy hell! I didn't see that thing up on my way here!" After the one she called Marisa flies back a bit, wondering how to tackle such a monstrosity, Reimu is the first to get over her shock as she pulls out a grand number of talismans, filling her fingers up with as many as she can carry.

"Pulling out all the stops, huh? We'll just have to match it!" Reimu then seems to take off towards the massive demon as it's already headed it's way towards the heavenly paradise behind you.

"H-Hey! Reimu! Don't go doing anything too risky now!" Marisa follows somewhat behind Reimu, a further distance away from the factory sized dragon, though it soon occurs to you that it's merely to have enough distance to use her flashy laser attacks with.

It also soon occurs to you that watching this battle unfold is causing the demon to slip right by you. But, what can you do? The giant thing is just sailing right above you, but it's so high up, and so completely massive. Looking around quickly, you spy a short incline that might reach high enough for you to jump on top of it, provided of course, you can rely on what Yukari and your new family have been telling you this whole time. You don't waste time on wondering if you can do that though, and make haste right away, sprinting for the incline in hopes that you'll still be able to get onto the demon. After all, if not, all is lost for you and you'll have to hope Reimu and Marisa can handle it themselves, as well as being horribly, horribly shamed. You reach it a lot quicker then you expected, but this doesn't really surprise you in the least. You can faintly feel that familiar burning sensation in your chest, that you've learned signifies that you're putting your body beyond it's human limits. Knowing this, of course it would seem like your youkai traits would be more noticeable. What throws you off is your leap.

After a little winding yourself up by crouching down, you spring your legs downward and send yourself into the air. You rise at a considerable speed, and reach the top of the incline easily... and then soar right past it. You over shot your jump so much that you nearly could have hopped right onto the massive demon from there, but aerial momentum doesn't allow it, nor did you gain just enough height for it anyways. You land with grace on top of the incline though, and despite the lost time spent lollygagging in the air, the snake-like figure above you still has a ways to go before you miss your chance, so you think nothing of it and take another leap up. As you take to the air with ease, you think back on what you just did. You can't fly, but your strength certainly precedes you, allowing you to do completely inhuman things so easily without a single thought. You feel much like Superman, and briefly, you let that ego trip go to your head, causing it to go tumbling down much like yourself as your self confidence causes you to miss the landing on the huge dragon, forcing you to pick yourself back up.

It was lucky, that you kept your weapon in hand, as you barely move it in time to block a short sword about to slice your face right off. Knocking the weapon's owner away, you look around after getting up, and find yourself completely surrounded. It then dawns upon you, the millions and millions of smaller, lower demons riding this thing, the crude pathways carved right into the scales on it's back... this dragon demon is a veritable caravan! It doesn't take you very long to start getting your bearings together and realize that you have to start fighting again, this time for your life most likely. Though most of the demons here are small and light weight, they are all likely still just as deadly, especially in the huge amount of numbers that they come in. Soon you find yourself frequently spinning around to cover all directions, deflecting and slashing at everything that comes near you. You don't seem to tire out even after what feels like hours of doing it, though you know, deep down it couldn't have taken that long. Time for you has simply slowed down to a point to where seconds feel like minutes, minutes feel like hours, and every move you make reflects with with alarming accuracy.

The flame in your chest is burning brighter, but not that much brighter. It seems even your human side is growing tougher, and soon the fighting feels less like a fight, and more like a chore. None of these demons even last more then a couple hits, and if they do, they're typically promptly tossed right off the pathway and off the dragon entirely. You hope they don't survive the way down, though knowing demons, it's not as if 'killing' them does anything worth while. They'll simply come back, though in what shape or form you have no idea. The rules of this strange land are beyond you, and though you would feel as if you have more important things to worry about, you begin realizing that this farce is going nowhere. The demons just keep coming. Is this behemoth mass producing them or something? You remember Reimu and Marisa towards the front shooting at it, but what good is that doing? You decide that to break the monotony, you should go towards the head and check them out.

As you work your way towards the head, you slog through the endless horde of demons as they continue attacking you foolishly. You have to start assuming that there truly is no end to them. Otherwise, why else would they be so foolhardy as to attack someone that's clearly stronger then them? Maybe they hope to capitalize on your inexperience, but your instinct and senses have grown to a point to where their control over you has become subtle and second nature, as if you and your instincts were one again. Oh lord, it's really happening... you really are becoming youkai. This brutal massacre stands a testament to it. But then why do you feel no remorse? Is it simply because they are demons? Have you become that accustomed to being a youkai now? Maybe your pessimism has finally gotten the better of your and you just feel so jaded as to feel nothing when something as senseless and bloody as this slaughter happens now. It terrifies you, or at least, it would if you could feel anything. All you can feel right now is blood. So much of it.

You barely even realize you've made it to the head by the time you more or less come back to your senses. When you catch a long enough break from the demon killing to, you look over and see if you can't spot Reimu and Marisa. It's not so much looking for them though and more finding them amidst the mass amount of magic they're vomiting into the living convoy's face, though sure enough they're there, that much you can at least tell. You also suddenly realize that they must be doing a much better job at diverting the thing's attention then you originally gave them credit for, as you can tell the dragon-like demon is having a difficult time staying on track, swerving to and fro, left and right, barely able to keep straight. This must have been their plan all along, to keep diverting it's trajectory until they could finally put a stop to it. But can they? This thing is so big... how do you kill something like this? Sure, they're going to mess up it's face pretty nasty, but will that stop it? Will that stop all the demons on here? You don't have any answers and you wish you had them now, because the little imps, kobolds and other assorted evils continue creeping up closer to you and in even bigger numbers before... does it ever end?

[ ] Keep fighting, something has to come out of it sooner or later
[ ] Call out to Reimu and Marisa, see if you can't work with them
[ ] It's too dangerous and you're not accomplishing anything, you should get off
[x] Call out to Reimu and Marisa, see if you can't work with them

I get the feeling your rushing/abridging of it is doing more harm than good as this feels like some episode of a shounen anime. Having a steady pace is no good if all we get are the barebone scraps.

I think we may have lost each other. What does this resembling a shounen anime episode have to do with the plot being abridged? Yes I skipped over quite a bit to get here but that shouldn't have any bearing on the writing as of right now. It would have seemed this way when I got to this part even if I didn't just abruptly skip to here, which is a problem with my story telling and writing and not my decision to leap over what's more or less an unimportant arc.

Quite frankly, I think I might be the most lost one here. I got complaints that there was no plot and now that I've gotten to it, no one likes it. Not sure where to go from there.
[x] Keep fighting, something has to come out of it sooner or later.

Trust them. They've been doing this kind of stuff for a while. Besides, we're finally getting used to being a youkai.
I'm enjoying the story. It's just been so long that jumping right back into the thick of things is a bit jarring.

[x] Keep fighting, something has to come out of it sooner or later.
there doesn't seem to be much plot here just fighting on top of fighting. I was much more interested in where the Yuyuko's past arc was heading compared to generic evil demons popping up and attacking.

I'm hoping this leads to some semblence of a plot.

Yeah it definitely would look that way at first glance. It hasn't felt that way to me because it hasn't lasted very long, not considering the dead end. Though it probably doesn't help that majority rules for fighting, rather then helping or retreating (which wouldn't have lead to a dead end after reaching the peak)

I'll try to get an update done within the next twelve hours but if that doesn't happen, next week.
[x] Keep fighting, something has to come out of it sooner or later.

There really is no end to the demons. You eventually work out that the massive dragon you're riding must be mass producing them. There is no other explanation. This was a hopeless battle from the start, because even you cannot battle endlessly with your infinite stamina.

You continue fending them off though. There is no turning back. What else can you do? They will continue attacking, and all you can do is continue killing. Like filling a grail with blood though, the more you kill the more senseless you feel yourself becoming. You don't even realize that you're shedding blood after a while. It simply becomes a mechanical reaction. You must draw blood. You must kill to proceed. There really is nothing else to it. More and more you slaughter, more and more you realize your senses are losing touch with your mind. You're acting on your own soon enough. You don't even realize your vision has stopped sending signals to your brain. It's being routed elsewhere. Your sense of feel and hearing are soon routed elsewhere too. Your youkai half doesn't seem to be very keen on telling you what it's doing, you notice. You don't think you can feel anything anymore, but you're proven wrong as you notice a deep nausea coming from within. After paying attention to it for a while, as it's the only thing you can pay any attention to, you realize it extends far more then just that.

Stinging. Soreness. A raging headache. A sickening taste in your mouth. A burning sensation in your chest. Absolute fatigue, dizziness and stress are all that completes the package to make you wish you were dead. You begin realizing... your senses never stopped sending signals to your brain. Rather, you cut them off from yourself to save your weakening mind. The oh so human mind that cannot take this kind of punishment without losing sanity. It was fine at first, but the sheer repetition and utter length of what you're doing has begun seeping it's way into the darkest regions of your sanity and is now corrupting what little purity you had left. Not that you were very pure to begin with, ever since being 'unlocked' by Yukari, you've felt tainted, contaminated from the very beginning. It is a dirty, disgusting feeling you wish you never had to deal with, but more then that, you wish it weren't taking over everything.

... a black wolf. No... a fox? Something intrigues your sense of sight and you recognize the shape amidst the scarlet darkness and you reach out for it. But no matter how much you try to, you cannot. A fox is clever, fast and witty. It would never allow a filthy demon such as yourself to so much as lay a finger on it's beautiful visage. The black fox seeps into the redness of everything, and soon expands. You recognize this as it consumes you, blotting out your vision, and soon numbing all your senses. You realize at this point, you've lost consciousness, and all is lost.


... did you ever regret the action you've taken?

Of course not. When I went in there, I absolutely had to see her face.

Even though... you knew it had changed?

... yes, because if it had, there would have been no point in keeping such a promise...


You briefly imagine the plight of a king. Is it a king? Perhaps they are a god. A god of creation. No, if they were truly a god of creation, they wouldn't make such glaring flaws in their creations.

Your dream is short, but vivid. You feel as if you've seen it somewhere before. Your mind doesn't wander though, as the vision is the strongest thought you have right now by far.

A cruel dream. A dream no one wished for. No one but him. This would be god, an idealist by nature, but driven to the insanity before him.

He stands before a hole. A mighty hole in the earth itself. Is it the earth? Perhaps it's a passage into hell. Perhaps it's a passage into something much more devious and evil. He stands with an impossibly divine pole arm in his hand. You've seen the pole arm before. No, you haven't. In fact, it may possibly be the only one you have not seen. Of course you haven't seen it. Only this man has it. This king. This god.

You can't bear the sight in front of you. You don't know what's in front of him, but you simply believe it to be true. He cannot bear it, so neither can you.

No one could have asked for this. So why did it end up this way?

No one can say. All this man knows is that turning back is impossible, no matter how much he may want to go back to those peaceful days.

... ugh. You feel sore. Nauseous. Just all around bad. There is something in particular that is not helping though.

"Oi. Oiii. Satoya. Get up."

The voice of an annoyed shrine maiden.

"Nrrgghh..." You wearily get your body moving as your consciousness slowly fades back into reality. You have a bit of trouble remembering what had transpired, so you're about to ask Reimu what she's doing here.

"Woah, he ain't dead." An unfamiliar voice. No, you vaguely recognize it. You heard it before. Very recently no less.

"Well of course not. I don't think Yukari would let him die that easily."

"The whole thing fell on him though, didn't it?"

"... I don't think so." It's about at this point your consciousness takes form and you begin scanning what's going on. You realize by looking around, you're still on Youkai Mountain, but you're no longer at the peak. You're still very close to it though.

"What... happened...?" As you look over at Reimu, the red-white merely puts her hands on her hips.

"I was about to ask you the same thing. What were you doing before we took out that massive dragon-like demon?" Massive... demon?

"Ugh, I think... I was on it. And I was--" You stop yourself. You realize your memories don't go that far. No... rather, they don't want to go that far. That is a forbidden memory.

"Woah, what were ya doin' on that thing?! Isn't that just a tad dangerous for someone like you?" The witch beside Reimu seems genuinely shocked, but she also doesn't seem too impressed by you either. The result of not looking very threatening, you suppose.

"I was trying to help. I don't know if I was achieving anything though..." Reimu simply sighs, seemingly frustrated with you, though the more you look at her the more you realize she's actually really tuckered out.

"Geez... that was reckless. You should have stayed behind and stopped anything else from coming. But... I think the situation's over now." You blink a bit before realizing what that means.

"Eh--... ehh?! You actually killed that behemoth?" The look Reimu has been giving you only gets more exasperated the more you talk.

"Of course we did. We had a little help, but it otherwise went down. What do you take us for?" You think it's a good time to get back on your feet, even though you're still suffering from dizziness and nausea. It should go away soon, you hope.

"Sorry, it's just... that thing was massive. I'm glad I told you about this." Reimu just puts crosses her arms this time.

"Well, it's not like it would have went unnoticed. Marisa came here without being told."

"Yeah, but if you hadn't been here ahead of time, who knows what would've happened, right?" The witch at least seems to be encouraging, or at least optimistic.

"Yeah, you're right. In any case. I'm going to investigate this a bit further. This was really strange and shouldn't have happened." It doesn't even take you a second to consider it, as you're worried yourself.

"Do you need help? I don't want this to get any worse either." To that though, Reimu simply shakes her head.

"No, this is something I need to do alone. You should go back and tell Yukari about this." Reimu tells you this, but the look in her eyes already tells you that she isn't expecting anything, and honestly, you're not either.

"Welp," Marisa starts off with while stretching, "I guess I should go back to my house then. I left some stew boiling." Reimu stops herself as she's walking off, just to look at Marisa and respond...

"That's just too dangerous."

As you watch Reimu float back down the mountain, Marisa turns back to you with a satisfied smirk on her face.

"All's well that ends well, huh? You know, I don't think I ever caught your name." You don't think much of it, but you go ahead and give the witch your name, and she returns the gesture happily. "You can call me Marisa. I think I'm a tad interested in you, so if you'd like to chat, I can take ya to my place over that stew that's boiling." You think in that case, there should be more important things for her to worrying about, but the offer is tempting. There are other things on your mind though...

[ ] Take Marisa up on her offer
[ ] Scout the mountain's damages
[ ] Report back to Yukari

[x] Scout the mountain's damages
[x] Report back to Yukari by saying her name aloud until she appears.
[x] Take Marisa up on her offer

Since he sort of disobeyed general orders, he might as well enjoy it before the toungue lashing.
[x] Scout the mountain's damages.

Eh, not keen on returning to Yukari.
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