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File 13819503997.png - (1.58MB, 1429x548, war.png) [iqdb]
29198No. 29198
[x] Scout the mountain's damages

"No, sorry. I got something to do." Marisa makes a bit of a face at you, that seems to signify that it can't be helped.

"Ah, well, that's okay then. I had some questions to ask ya, but that can wait I suppose. But hey, next time you got some free time, swing by my place in the magic forest and let's talk a bit, okay?" You're not entirely sure as to why the witch is interested in you, but you give a quick nod before seeing her off. You're left to your own devices now.

You'd like to tell Yukari about what happened, but you feel as if she would be indifferent to it, making the action meaningless in the end. If she isn't going to do anything about it, you may as well try in her stead. You have a lot of things you'd like to investigate here, but first thing's first, you need to check what kind of damages the mountain has incurred. The demon swarm seemed to have been ignoring most of the landscape, but you did witness a catastrophic battle between the horde and the many tengu that you assumed lived here. It's obvious what happened to those who opposed the raging hellstorm, nothing could stand up to such might all at once. Though you're certain they slowed much of it down, which helped you and Reimu deal with the onslaught for a while, you're positive that the tengu and any others who fought here lost. If you're lucky, maybe you can find a few survivors and help them.

As you start making your way down the mountain, your worst fears are confirmed. You didn't think the demons had any interest in the mountain themselves, but the many people who fought back against the blanket of darkness inadvertently turned the mountain into a torn up battlefield that more closely resembles a wasteland then any of the previous beauty of Gensokyo. Along the way you walk past the ruins of several encampments, many fallen trees and broken rocks, signs of battle and desperate struggle, and worst of all, plenty of dead bodies. What irks you most is that only a scant few belong to the demons that flew overhead. Many of the corpses you see appear human... but you're sure no human lived on this mountain. If they had, not even a corpse would be left. They would have been swallowed whole. You're not sure if any of these people are actually dead, either. What happens to most youkai after they die? You've heard many different views and opinions on what happens to supernatural bodies after they've expended themselves, but the rules of this world are lost on you. For all you know, all of these people could get right back up in a moment's notice as if nothing happened.

You cover your mouth the further down you go. The stench of blood and foul mucus is thick the closer to woods you get. The once pure water has been tainted with the blood of those who've come from hell, and the spilt fluids of those who bravely protected the mountain. Closer to the top, you saw many with black wings, but down here, the situation feels more grim. The winged ones simply looked like swatted flies, but down here, you see those wearing similar outfits, but with more canine features, such as wolf tails. There are many more of them too, putting into perspective just how hopeless a fight it was from the beginning. The worst thing of all though are those fallen that don't fit in with the ones dressed in uniform. many of them have turtle shells... were they kappa? But unlike the tengu, it seems they had no method of defending themselves, or even any intention on fighting. But you still see numerous of their bodies scattered about, broken, shattered, killed and eaten mercilessly. The demons from hell do not discriminate even from other demons as long as they do not have the same goals in mind.

It bothers you. The demons meant business. They even killed those who did not want to be involved. It dawns upon you that they weren't truly ignoring this mountain. They intended on taking it over from the very beginning, simply from the top down. A brutal, if over confident way of going about it. You feel bad for all these poor souls, though. You wonder what some of these kappa though before the demons tore into them without a second thought. It's at this point you realize you should start searching for survivors. Maybe the scent of blood threw you off, but up until now, you hadn't bothered checking to see if anyone had actually been breathing. If they were even alive. You simply wandered around, admiring the dead bodies... what's wrong with you? You can feel a slight singe in your chest, but you quickly ignore it in favor of your more humane feelings, wishing to help people. You don't look forward to it though, even setting aside the unusual effect the sight of mass death is having on you, you have trouble coming to terms with the fact that every person you check will very likely be dead, and the chances of finding anyone that would even last any longer then an hour more would be close to none.

With every wolf or kappa you check, it seems to be the same thing. Under their corpse they're too mutilated to possibly be alive, and even then, you check anyways, since they are youkai after all. But none of them appear to be breathing. Once or twice you stumble across someone who is still clinging to life, but they don't respond to you, and they seem to kick the bucket after you attempt helping them, making the effort all the more depressing.

"Hey, are you awake?" A small girl, a kappa, who shouldn't have been involved, is someone you're asking this as they seem to have taken less damage as those around her. After sitting her up against a wall, you noticed they were doing a bit more then just breathing.

"Nnngh... no... no more..." She seems a little delirious, but you're happy you at least found a survivor.

"Hang in there..." You look around, realizing you're not actually sure what to do in this situation. You never thought ahead enough to know how to deal with survivors... you just wanted to find one, a little hope that something here lived.

"It... it hurts..." You take a look back at the kappa and realize that you should do something about it, until the girl speaks the most absurd request. "Please... kill me..."

"..."

You've never heard such a thing requested of you before. The girl doesn't even look as badly torn up as those who have actually died, and yet here she is pleading to you to end it all. Is the concept of death to youkai that frivolous? Perhaps they're simply that desperate for an escape. Maybe there's something you can't see that's causing further discomfort to the girl before you. No matter what the reason, they're asking for you to take their life. Even though you had slain many demons on your way here like it were nothing, for some reason, you feel a stinging sensation in your heart upon humoring the idea of relieving this girl of their earthly ties. Maybe it's because they're just a helpless girl, maybe it's because she's not a demon from hell, maybe it's because you set out to help this time, not to kill... you have many reasons for not taking her life, but she's asking you to do so in such a pained, agonizing voice that you can't simply ignore it.

However, being a coward, ultimately, you walk away. There is no help for someone who wishes to die. It'll be more painful, but perhaps she can attain peace by herself... you want no more blood staining your hands for today.

You stand before a raging waterfall now. The corpses are still everywhere. This battle was hard fought. The once pure, untainted water has been contaminated with the red swirls of war, and not even the infinitely tall waterfall does much to wash the blood out of the stream it feeds. Your recent encounter has discouraged you from finding anymore survivors, but you still feel as if you should do something. Not that the urge to get away isn't just as strong though. You feel you've done all you can at this location, so the next decision is where to go with this next...

[ ] Search for the Moriya Shrine
[ ] Go deeper into Tengu territory
[ ] Go back and check where you fought that caravan
[ ] Report back to Yukari now
Expand all images
>>No. 29199
[X] You idiot, that girl's hurt! Take her to a doctor!
>>No. 29200
[x] Go back and check where you fought that caravan.

Geez, total fucking war.
>>No. 29201
[x] Go deeper into Tengu territory

Check for survivors.
>>No. 29205
[X] Stop being a pussy and go help the girl

Try to help the girl and save her life, resort to euthanasia if there's absolutely nothing left you can do
>>No. 29206
[X] You mustn't run away.
It doesn't seem like they'll revive, but if she wants to die... I guess we should honor that request.
>>No. 29207
I'm having a really hard time interpreting these votes.

Not only is there no consensus but there's write ins as well (two of which aren't very thought out to begin with) which really confuses me. I said I would definitively write on this day regardless of votes so if there's nothing still within the next six hours I'm going with the Tengu territory vote, as it's the most recent vote that isn't a write in. (I'd normally jump at using write ins but those aren't going anywhere)
>>No. 29208
>>29200 Here, switching mine to

[x] Go deeper into Tengu territory.
>>No. 29209
>>29206 Here:

[x] Search for the Moriya Shrine
>>No. 29210
File 138252248733.jpg - (113.42KB, 597x480, wartorn.jpg) [iqdb]
29210
[x] Go deeper into Tengu territory

Many of the fallen appear to be tengu... the large abundance of tokin hats, getas and other features that tengu are commonly wearing, particularly the long nosed red masks, clue you in that this was less a struggle between the mountain and the demons, and more a struggle between the tengu and the demons. Everyone else here were just caught in the crossfire.

Scaling back up the mountain, you think to yourself how incredulous this world is, and yet it mirrors very closely of the real world of which you miss. The scene reminds you of illustrations and old photographs of wars gone past, how each battlefield was littered with corpses, blood was sprayed everywhere, and the stench of death was so thick it could kill a man through sheer suggestion alone. It occurs to you that youkai aren't really a whole lot different from humans fundamentally, no matter how much they may claim otherwise, only it's on a much larger scale then everyone thinks it to be. Every individual youkai is far different from every individual human, but as a society... no, as a civilization, the events are the same. This occurrence is proof of it.

Even the tengu seemed to be very human by nature. As you arrive at what you assume to be their now crushed stronghold, you can see obvious signs of civilization. Not at all basic either, such things you thought wouldn't exist on this side of the barrier you can tell was a reality here still. A small factory, or maybe a printing press, is the biggest feature, though it's obviously inoperable now. Little roads, even though the area isn't that big, hint to you that these youkai valued the ground that they walked on just as much as they valued the shoes that walked on it, and even at a glance you can tell that the roads were carefully designed to not only be sturdy and easy to navigate, but to present itself as intuitive and beautiful. You can imagine that this village, which may have even been a town with it's complexity, was very beautiful and pretty.

All of that is, of course, lost now.

Fire is still raging. The air is a little suffocating because even though there's not much fire, the high altitude causes it to rise slower, or even hang, so as you walk through parts of the area, you have to cough to keep the smog from clogging up your lungs. There seems to be quite a few less corpses here. Seems that even though this place was a battlefield no more then a half an hour ago, the tengu must have realized it was over, and fled. You wish you could thank them, if they hadn't held out for as long as they did, you and Reimu might not have held out for as long as you did either. The tengu here that died are far different from the ones you saw closer to the base of the mountain though, as many of them have different shapes and sizes. One even looks like a hulking giant! Alas, it too, is a corpse. A dead body is a dead body, no matter how big it is.

You wish you could do something, but you're only one person, you wouldn't even know where to begin for that matter. You consider leaving as this place too seems hopeless before something in the back of your head urges you to stay. No, it's more like the back of your chest... it actually does not take you long to realize that the feeling is your youkai sense picking up the scent of blood. It's somewhat different from before though. It has to be, otherwise it wouldn't have alerted you the way it did. It smells different then it did before you came here. The difference... the difference is...

... it's fresh. The blood was drawn recently.

Your alertness goes through the roof once you realize it. Someone here is still alive. No, more then that... are they still fighting?! If the battle is still continuing, then you have a chance to turn the tides right now. Even if it's a small victory, it is a victory nonetheless. Your sudden panic though causes you to lose track of the instinct that was picking up the blood scent and you curse yourself for not being more sensitive to your youkai traits. All you can do is run around and hope for the best. The area is an absolute mess, especially further in, where it looks like a much grander battle took place. Looking around, you see something moving in a building, a building that could no longer provide shelter, but is still cover nonetheless. They must be taking refuge... but you don't sense any killing intent. No danger. Nothing here apart from the fire really threatens you or anyone else here. You feel you're too late, but since someone is still moving, maybe, just maybe there's still a chance.

When you arrive at the only signs of life in the tengu stronghold, you find two people, both with once gorgeous black wings, tattered and stained with blood. The one moving is a young male, the one behind him is a downed female... but you still sense life from her. Maybe. Something just tells you that she's still alive. You can't be bothered to really investigate that feeling hard enough as your primary concern is placed on the wounded male.

"Are you okay? What can I do?" The tengu groans as he attempts to speak. After you kneel down to attend to him, you see a piece of a bloody scythe stuck in his chest, coming out his back. It also appears rusty, cementing the poor man's fate. The worst part is that this is a minor wound compared to how the rest of his body looks.

"... take... take--" He won't last long. It occurs to you that he's not making it. Nothing will save him now. His dying breath is trying so hard to give you his final words but he's spending too much energy struggling to stay up, so you brace him and keep him up so that he can deliver it.

"Calm down. What is it?"

"... take her... leave... n-not... safe-- a-aah---"

... gruesome. The man dies with an agonizing look on his face, mid-sentence. You can only assume it was not as peaceful as a death as you would have hoped. He must have been panicked... his words, does he mean to say that this place is still a battlefield? You would like to stay and help out if so, but he also wanted you to take the woman, you assume. The woman looks absolutely helpless, lying there unconscious. She doesn't appear to be near death, but it's obvious that she's wounded and requires some medical attention. But can you really leave things as they are here? There might be even more people like her that are in danger...

[ ] Take her to Reimu's shrine
[ ] Take her to Marisa's house
[ ] Take her to the Human Village
[ ] Stay here and fight
>>No. 29213
[x] Take her to Reimu's shrine

I wonder what's going on in Yukari's head to just dismiss this
>>No. 29214
>"... take her... leave... n-not... safe-- a-aah---"
In b4 he meant 'take her down, leave, is not safe here'
After all, where's the demon that killed him? All he can see here alive is her.
>>No. 29215
[X] Take her to Reimu's shrine
>>No. 29216
[x] Take her to Marisa's house
-[x] Is she the demon?
>>No. 29224
[x] Take her to Reimu's shrine.
>>No. 29243
File 138310918899.png - (463.01KB, 585x700, 40afcead71281d9d40947c23dfa6c84b.png) [iqdb]
29243
[x] Take her to Reimu's shrine

The woman is wounded quite badly, her right shoulder having a deep gash in it, what looks like a stab wound on her lower abdomen, and really bad bruising on one of her legs. After heaving her up into your arms, you realize her unnaturally light she feels. Whether or not it's a trait of the tengu, or just you not knowing your youkai strength, you don't know, but its hardly at the front of your mind right now. You quickly make haste out of the war torn battlefield that was once home to the tengu, and start descending the mountain once more.

It's quite the hike. Going down the mountain by itself is one thing, but carrying a load on you at the same time is rather perilous. The mountain is steeper than it looks, and the path down isn't as intuitive as you'd like it to be. Keeping your balance turns out difficult but you eventually reach a more stable ground part way down without tripping embarrassingly. As soon as you're able to concentrate on anything other then your footing though, your thoughts seem to gravitate towards the woman in your arms. She has short, but sleek black hair, and a very clean complexion. Her face is something you wish most women on the outside had. The outfit she's wearing is feudal era in nature, but clearly very new. The sleeves are are attached by a thin net, allowing you to see her bare shoulders, and her legs are not at all covered through the gaps in her skirt. The very shapely looking legs...

Ugh, no. Quickly discard those thoughts. Now is not the time for such things. It is now, you realize, that you've rarely really been so close with anyone of the opposite sex before, much less for this long. You've associated with them a lot and, for a long time, even considered dating a few, but such thoughts never came to fruition, always been laid to the side by your career. Ultimately, that's the price of becoming a college professor at your extremely young age. You notice things like this because it's something your body has desired for a long time, a desire you've suppressed up until now. Now that you think about it, it does feel a lot harder to hold back now... your experiences with Yuyuko, Ran and Yukari make this fact as clear as day. You're not sure if it's because of them, or if they're just the catalyst in letting you know. You're praying it's not related to your newfound inner youkai, but it would to be expected to have unusual complications with something that may as well completely change your body make up.

By the time you're off the mountain and walking on flat ground, you realize this woman's condition might be worse then you thought it might be. There's a distinct trail of blood behind you and you're somewhat afraid the scent of it might start attracting flesh hungry monsters. Though, since it isn't the blood of a human, it might be fine nonetheless. You hope, anyways. It seems like most of the blood is coming from her shoulder, as your right arm is drenched in it. It's amazing how much blood a youkai can shed without actually dying. It's as if the blood just simply forms out of thin air. The trail isn't that thick, but after having walked such a great distance, you begin thinking that this woman has bled enough to make up an entire person by now. Your incessant worrying over a stranger is helping you cope with the fact that you have little experience up close with a member of the opposite sex, so with that determination, you make further haste towards Reimu's shrine.

"And what do you expect me to do?!"

This is the first thing you hear after asking the shrine maiden for help. She's angry. Pissed, you would say.

"I-I just thought--"

"No, you didn't. Jeez, not only do you interrupt my investigations with something so inane, but you even bring a youkai to my doorstep. I'm supposed to exterminate these things. Do you want me to do that?"

"No! No, please..."

"Then stop with this stupidity and leave me alone!" You feel the end of your rope quite quickly with Reimu, being a very intimidating and demanding person when she wants to be, and sometimes when she doesn't even try too. All you can manage is getting down on your hands and knees to plead. You've already put the woman down on her doorstep, so you can't just back down now.

"Please Reimu, it was really difficult getting her here, and I promised someone I would get her help..."

"And what if this youkai turns out to be bad?" You look up at Reimu...

She has a more serious look on her face. This extends past just basic annoyance. She's legitimately upset. As if her eyes were telling you that not all youkai can be good. As if to say, 'it doesn't matter what they look like, like humans they can appear good but turn out to be bad.'

You can understand her logic. There are youkai like Chen, who you can't even imagine harming a fly, but then, there are youkai like Yukari, who are just bad news no matter what way you look at it. Despite this, Chen looks the more threatening one at first glance, having sharp, blood red claws and the appearance of a demon cat, while the most threatening thing about Yukari's looks is her sharp but mischievous gaze. Even her parasol suggests she's but a gentle lady.

It's just like with humans. The most meek looking human can in fact be the most threatening one. All it means is that evil is the state of mind, a state you haven't seen in this woman yet. What can you do though? You can't wait for her to simply wake up. She'll die from all this blood loss before then. You think.

Before you can make up your mind though, you hear a gentle sigh from Reimu.

"Alright, I'll take her someplace where she can be treated. At the very least, if she is bad, she'll be somewhere she can't cause trouble." After pushing this realization through your head, you stand up with a bright smile on your face and shake the shrine maiden's hand generously.

"Thank you! Thank you so much! I'll never forget your kindness!"

"O-Okay, okay! Jeez, don't break down in front of me now. At least do it in front of your lazy master. She might actually get a kick out of it." After a brief scoff, you return to your usual demeanor, recovering from that brief surge of happiness.

"Yeah, you're right. I'll go do that then. Thank you again."

"Yeah, don't mention it. Seriously."

A while later, you find yourself back home. You're uncertain how you got there, but you're beginning to think you're getting better at coming home now, after doing it so many times with help. Actually, it's more like it just happened on it's own. You didn't even pay attention to where you were walking, you just happened upon your own home. This can only mean one thing.

"I'm back. Did you need me for something?" You look at the table where Yukari is seated, elegantly sipping her tea, right where you expected her. No, rather, you felt her being here. This spiritual attachment you have to the Yakumo family has been getting stronger without you noticing, it seems.

"My, whatever gave you that idea?" Your master gives you that typical smile that tells you she's lying.

"I wouldn't have made it here without you. For that matter though, you may as well have just dunked me through whatever you use and teleport me here on my head or something." Your quip doesn't seem to have any effect on her, but you take it in stride nonetheless as you sit down opposite of her.

"That doesn't sound very kind, but if that is your wish I'll happily oblige it." You just simply sigh.

"Spare me. So? What is it?" You're not about to feel totally underfoot of this woman just yet, and you plan on letting her know. If she wants to step on you, she's going to have to grind her heel into your face for you to acknowledge it.

"Straight to the point, hm?" Yukari seems to say this as if just a little forlorn that she doesn't get to play with her toy this time around, but she continues on to business nonetheless. "I know you were out there fighting against the demons that were purged from the underworld to attack Bhava-Agra in a suicidal rush. What do you make of it, Satoya?" You more or less expected this question, but the way she words it puzzles you.

"What do I make of it? How could I make anything of it? I guess now that you mention it, even if no one were there on the mountain to stop it, they wouldn't have gotten far anyways. What was the point?" Yukari slips you a devious smile, a smile that is much like her, and much unlike her all at the same time.

"That is what you were to find out, Satoya, though if you haven't found out anything, then I guess that makes this little excursion a failure, does it not?" You can't help but grimace as Yukari points out the one thing you were hoping she wasn't going to point out. While crisis was certainly averted, it wasn't by your hand, for sure.

"Jeez... what was I supposed to find out then? Who instigated this charade?"

"Not quite, but it'll come to you soon enough, I'm certain." Another sly smile forms on Yukari's lips before they're used to grasp the edge of the cup she starts sipping from. It's beginning to irritate you how subtle and cryptic this woman is.

"What's that supposed to mean?" Before you go any further into questioning, something else suddenly crops up in your head. Why she sent you out in the first place. You can't believe you're so stupid. "Wait, what about Ran and Chen? What happened to them?"

"What happened to them? Well, I can show you, if you'd like." The grating obscureness of Yukari's words finally gets to you and you can't stop yourself from slamming your fist onto the table.

"Stop being so vague and just tell me, damn it!"

For once... Yukari seems to be taken back by this gesture. Not much, but even the slight surprise is enough to bring you back to your senses and calm down, sighing softly.

"... sorry. Forgive me. I would like to just know rather then see." After recovering the ever so slight shock, Yukari returns to her usual demeanor, smiling a devilish smile at you.

"I see. Well, upon returning with Chen, Ran asked me for permission to return to her place of birth for a few days. Apparently she's worried about it after the recent upheaval. Very rare of her. Chen, always wanting to follow in her master's footsteps, claimed she wanted to check up on her 'clan's' well being, though knowing her, it isn't going to be any different from how she normally herds her group of felines. So the two will likely be out for the next few days. Not that you would notice here, but I understand if you're worried about your precious new family members."

The way with words this woman has, it really doesn't sit well with you. It sounds pretentious, and yet there's nothing you can do about it. You try to push your aggravated feelings side for now and think on the current situation. Ran is at her place of birth... you can't imagine what that would be like. Chen is apparently checking on the well being of her 'clan,' which may as well amount to a group of stray cats in some place abandoned. This leaves you alone with Yukari... whether or not this is fortuitous really depends on how the master feels, you suppose.

"If you'd like, my previous offer is still up for you to seize. I'm sure either of them would enjoy your company through a difficult time such as this." The way she makes it sound, it doesn't seem very difficult at all. But...

[ ] Go see Ran
[ ] Go see Chen
[ ] Stay with Yukari

I may be participating in NaNoWriMo this year, so if that happens, this story will be on hiatus for a little over a month. I'll keep whoever reads this sack of crap updated.
>>No. 29244
[X] Stay with Yukarin
>>No. 29245
[x] A man chooses, a slave obeys. And I'm not a man anymore.

Sorry: I just replayed Bioshock. Besides, a Shinigami life is obedience-something the MC doesn't seem to 'get' yet.
>>No. 29248
[x] Go see Ran

So that's that? no idea what happened to the Moriya shrine?
>>No. 29249
[x] Stay with Yukari

Meh. It's a bit petty but they didn't need our help before and I doubt they'd need our help now.
>>No. 29256
>>29249
I get teh feeling you haven't read the story until recently as I remember Ran and Chen being likable enough to want to help while Yukari was more "eeeeh".
>>No. 29260
>>29256

Bleh. Every time our char goes anywhere, he's received with bewilderment and sometimes annoyance. It makes me not even want to go anywhere anymore.

[x] Stay with Yukari
>>No. 29263
File 138343890937.jpg - (75.94KB, 486x324, castle 4.jpg) [iqdb]
29263
[x] Stay with Yukari

"No, I'll stay... it's their own personal affairs, I think they can go without me butting in this time." You wait for a reply, but it doesn't come as quickly as you expect it to. When you look at Yukari, she seems surprised yet again for some reason... is your behavior that shocking today?

"... well, in that case I'll be in your care for the next few days. Please do take good care of me~" With a smile that could crack glass and a tone that'd make even the most naive think twice about trusting her, the woman before you tells you your situation like some poor housewife that's too old to get married anymore. It's somewhat vexing that you have to tend to her alone, but if you don't right now, who will? Without Ran here, who knows what sort of trouble Yukari will get herself into.

As it turns out though, it somehow ends up feeling more dead then usual. Yukari excuses herself to bed after a brief chat following that exchange, apparently having planned to hibernate while Ran and Chen were out all along, causing you to wonder why you decided to stay. Nonetheless, when Yukari disappears into her room, you get right to work, rolling up your sleeves and combing the mansion for things that need to be done. Laundry, cleaning, organizing, anything really. It occurs to you here just how tidy the mansion is kept by Ran as you do this... there really isn't much to do. You think about preparing a surprise for when one of them comes back, but it might be too early for that. Though, when you come to that conclusion, it also occurs to you that you have yet to get a proper grasp on time here. There's no clocks anywhere, which is strange, you could have sworn there were some here or there, but they're mysteriously absent. Actually, you're unsure if there were ever clocks to begin with.

You don't know how long it's been, after you've run out of things to do. Has it been hours? Days? Minutes? Time is quickly lost on you and you feel like you'd have to leave the boundary altogether to know what time it is. You can't even use your biological clock, because your youkai body never tires. An unending amount of stamina springs forth from within you, and prevents you from ever feeling fatigue. It almost feels like a curse rather then a blessing, due to how slow your life is. Somehow it's even slower then it was on the outside. Just thinking about it seems to make you feel slower. Your boredom eventually begins setting in and the next thing you know, you're laying on your futon in your featureless room, wondering how to appease yourself. You wonder if you should even try. Maybe you should just force yourself to sleep, even though you're not tired. It's the fastest way of spending time. Before you really realize it, you're drifting off, letting sleep take your abundance of time away, one snooze at a time.

...

You don't get it do you? She's dangerous!

A dream.

But she's our daughter! We can't just abandon her!

A dream...

We have to, otherwise she'll swallow us whole, just like she did all our people...

A... dream...

You awaken in a castle. Not just any castle. A spectacular castle. A castle among castles. A castle owned by royalty unlike any other.

As you sit up, you gauge your surroundings. It looks like... a medieval castle. Maybe somewhere around the end of the 5th century. You're not sure what source tells you this, or how verifiable it really is, but something just tells you that it's not just from the end of the 5th century, this is the end of the 5th century. You're not sure where you are exactly, in the castle anyways. You know what the castle is. Who's castle it is. Where the castle is located. You know, you have this feeling you know, but you can't say it. You can't put it into words, not in your mouth, or in you mind. You don't know why. The castle certainly feels familiar though. From where, you don't know. It feels like a distant memory not your own.

It's gorgeously decorated. Whoever lives here is not only rich, but a leader among leaders. You almost wager in saying that the famous King Arthur lives here, but upon reaching that thought, it ejects from your mind for some reason. Like something is telling you brashly that you are wrong. You decide not to think about it too much. You simply admire the castle's interior in all it's pristine beauty. You want to, but something is happening. Something you need to pay attention to. But something is telling you not to. Like it's hazardous to your health. Don't look. Don't see it. It's not right. You won't ever be the same again. You don't know what's telling you this. It's kind of annoying, but the voice is rather absolute. You think this, but despite that, you find yourself wandering towards the source of the commotion anyways.

There's panic amongst the ranks of the soldiers in this castle. You don't know how you missed it before, but there are people going to and fro in a crazed sprint constantly, like a state of emergency had been declared. You feel as if you're just watching the same person come in one way and disappear out the other, only for them to reappear out the original way and repeat the process over and over again like some looping cartoon. The diversity is great, ranging from soldiers who look like they're about to engage in battle, to maids who look as if they're running from certain demise because they clumsily dropped their master's favourite vase. You are the only one who isn't panicking. You feel as if you should be, but you're not, for some reason. You feel no urgency. You feel nothing, even though something is telling you to get away. That this is dangerous. You feel like you're walking off the edge of a cliff mindlessly, but you also feel like walking off the edge of a cliff mindlessly for some reason. But why would you do that? This isn't a dream, after all. You would die.

You will die.

You are to die.

This isn't a dream at all. This is real. This is what is actually happening. You live here at a royal castle in Europe, near the end of the 5th century, serving a beautiful queen together with her all too trusting husband, the king, the two of which recently bore a child, a princess. You serve them, and something happened. Something involving their child. Was she kidnapped? Is she being targeted? Is her diaper wet? You don't know. You can't know. You don't live here, but you do. This is your home, even though it shouldn't be. Why are you here? Why aren't you panicking? There's something amiss. Something's wrong. Yet something is right. This is how it's meant to be. Nothing will change. This was destined to happen. The tragedy cannot be stopped.

Maybe... you are the tragedy. But you don't see anyone running from you. No one is panicking because of you.

So perhaps, you're your own tragedy.

You need to find out.

[ ] Go somewhere
[ ] Do something
[ ] Be someplace
[ ] End everything
>>No. 29264
[X] Be someplace
>>No. 29266
[x] Do something

Better than the alternative
>>No. 29269
[X] Be someplace
>>No. 29282
[x] Do something

I do think something was lost from the haitus causing a sentiment like >>29260

I mean what did the Yukari choice get us? Not much besides some mindfuck dream.
>>No. 29286
>>29282

Does no one here know patience anymore? Seriously, I want to know what exactly is "wrong" right now. I've received nothing but vague criticism that no one is really clear on at all. If you're not more precise about it, I'm never going to learn.
>>No. 29327
>>29286

Maybe you should have just started over from scratch?

Trying to pick up where you left off in a story is no easy task I imagine.

Do you at least have an idea on where you are planning on taking the story and Satoya's character?
>>No. 29344
>>29286
Criticism you say?

Well I'll start with Ran who started out as a warm supportive figure in being Shikigami and generally a character I looked forward to interacting with.

After the Hiatus she wound up cold for some unknown reason and to the point where I was the only person interested in communicating with her.

Where's the general plot flow which aborts an interesting arc into an unexplained demon attack that somehow able to overcome Kappa and Tengu. We find someone, drop her off at Reimu's then go home which while it promises a break, everyone else choose Yukari... only to get her going to bed and Satoya getting plunged into yet another mystery not even hinted at pre-hiatus.

There's also what >>29260 said as the way choices work seem to basically kill off interest in experimenting. Last time I seen anything like this was in some of Teruyo's stuff.

Seeing how I seem to be the only reader who knew what this story was like, I'm tempted to say this should have been rebooted or left dead as at least that way I could remember it fondly.

>>29327
You know I've wondered about that as well considering the changes after the hiatus.
>>No. 29346
>>29344
Well, I don't know what to tell you really. The transition from Yakumo family arc into the Youkai Mountain attack probably would have went much smoother, but other then that, I can't see any change between now and before, other then the fact that I THOUGHT I was getting better, but that's obviously a lie, proving that I'm not only a really bad story teller, but I'm also a horrible judge of writing and also possibly blind too.

Everything that I had planned hasn't changed and I had even written it down a long time ago before my hiatus and referenced it when I continued it this time, and I honestly don't think it would have been any different regardless of what changes occurred during the hiatus, and I don't think it would've changed even the hiatus didn't happen.

I'd like to refute a lot of claims made by this post and a few others but I'm coming to the realization that doing so isn't going to change anything. It's not going to make my writing any better, it's not going to improve my story, and most of all, it isn't going to change the hearts of my readers or anyone else. Rebooting this story is pointless because it literally would just be the same thing, I feel, and I don't want to go back a third time after investing this much time into it already. I felt like I lost a lot the first time as it is.

I'm sorry to have disappointed you this greatly. I know what it's like when a story you followed goes south in such a way. Many stories I read did that in the past and that's why I simply stopped reading any stories here, to save myself the disappointment. Yeah, I'll admit it right here... I stopped reading any story here a long time ago. Probably not a surprise.

I'm going to end it here then. Stop any further damage to both this story and myself. I really wanted to continue writing it but if absolutely no one here is enjoying it and it's only making people feel worse, then there's literally no reason to continue posting. It'd just be an insult to all of you if I did that. All I can say is that this path of destruction was destined from the start and I feel stupid for continuing it in the first place.

Thanks though for all the good times you've shown me though, THP. I don't know if I'll ever be writing here again but I'll still idle the IRC channel and maybe browse here once in a while, make sure everything's still holding together. You're still my home when it comes to writing Touhou related stuff.
>>No. 29366
>>29346
Maybe it's rude of me to say this, but your statement here really implies you never wanted criticism. You ask for criticism and when >>29344
gives you more distinct criticism your response is almost at "well that's your opinion man". Your claim that "refuting" their claims won't change their minds but it also seems like your making an excuse to not really answer the questions/criticisms that >>29344 brought up. Frankly I'd say you're acting kinda whiny.
>>No. 29369
>>29366
Really, what do you want me to say? I thought it was really obvious that I have no idea what even happened to my own writing between then and now. I do not understand the criticism of Ran, because when I look at how I wrote her now, it's literally no different from how I wrote her before, she just never got the chance to show any emotive responses now. The 'interesting arc' was something people pressured me into finishing because they felt there was no plot behind it and I personally agreed with them. That arc was to be nothing more then basic interaction between Satoya and the Yakumo family and after so long of a training arc, no one really wanted it.

As for the demon attack and the mysterious dream, no one waited long enough to see where it went. I can understand the demon attack, I definitely could have fleshed out how that happened better, but I got one update into the dream before everyone got fed up with my shit rather then being curious and waiting to see how it played out, to understand what kind of relevance it has to Yukari. Maybe it was a little too vague, but I'm getting absolutely no credit anymore, and I'm just expected to be messing up every update. If I had known that the bar that separates the barely tolerated writers from the writers driven off the site was raised while I was gone, I wouldn't have chanced coming back after that hiatus, because I already knew I straddled that bar dangerously before then.

So there you go, most of the criticisms I see all amount to "I don't know what changed between then and now." I don't see how my writing changed. This is why I said I was blind. But instead of understanding, people think I'm being a whiny bitch instead, and I'm just being led into thinking that no one likes me anymore and this is their way of driving me off the site. Maybe that's over reacting but I'm not being given any breaks, even outside of my writing, and I can't necessarily say that's going to help me improve, though I think I've already given up on that. I would say anyone here could tell you that but no one here seems to be taking what I say the correct way. Then again, it would also be the worst assumption so maybe people here would still do that.

There you go, you got me to whine some more. I'm sorry I came off as looking like I never wanted criticism but you must understand that as a human being, I'm slow, dense and kind of dumb. It isn't that I don't share >>29344's opinion, it's that I mainly don't understand it because, well, I'm dumb. And blind. Understandably, this leaves me discouraged but I don't think anyone cares about that. Either way, there you go. You got any more questions or criticism you want me to answer? I just felt like no one wanted to hear it but if you guys want me to whine some more, I'll do it.
>>No. 29381
After several months of not looking at this site and this story and I find it abandoned as well. Sigh, I actually liked this one too, even after the hiatus and I had followed this from 2nd thread or so. sure I may not be voting that often but still.

While I do agree that the demon attack was maybe a bit too hasty, I did see it as satoya's own inner development and validation for all the training, plus a start for an arc with a lot of depth to it and so far it's just barely started and we saw mere glimpses of hints that would most likely tie in later.

Readers on this site really are pretty impatient and whiny? "Ran isn't warm enough", expecting her to be such all the time even during more mundane scenes. Granted I did get the slightly colder feel to her, but it's not like she was ice. Or "is that it?" when the demon attack part ended. To me it seemed that it was just a short part of an arc, but apparently some didn't see it as such, maybe that caused some irritation as there was no clear foreshadowing that it'll continue?

Personally I dislike dream sequences, but I'm always willing to see what they have to tell. the only reason I dislike these is due to the fact that about half the time it's just useless goofing with nothing to em, but this one clearly smelled of plot or background.

I personally don't see the "choices kill off experimenting", only thing I see is that they are a bit...similar often "go to ran" "go to chen" "go to yukari" "do something on your own". in the previous arc/ this arc, you should've brought more characters at a slightly faster pace and added a bit of these moments into those updates? in any case, maybe hinting of bigger things faster might've helped instead of abridging a bit too much. Oh well, in any case this post was basicly made just to say that I liked the story and too bad it's gone now.
>>No. 29431
Sukima, if you're still around and still keeping an eye on this thread.

Would it be possible to take contact with you, as I'd like to ask you for some notes on your characters.
Further, I'd like to ask if you'd be willing to spend some time reviewing some of my own notes for an upcoming story. I'm asking you specifically because I noticed enough similarities in our stories to make it apparent. This plus the fact I quite enjoyed the story would make your input appreciated.
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