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File 140597987562.jpg - (162.92KB, 849x601, sample-b653000fa857d7e028dfe9aaeb5415cb.jpg) [iqdb]
29512 No. 29512
Tokyo is the same as it has been these past eighty years, crowded, cramped, but at the same time a very free and open environment. Sure new buildings are built, but what makes this city what it is has failed to change.

It is a city of dreamers, conmen, and opportunists; it opens its doors wide for those willing to do what it takes to claim what they want, though it has a nasty of habit of turning those same into the destitute.
Though this city has no place for one such as yourself anymore.

You didn’t board the first train the Gap Master sent out, there was an exodus of us, the forgotten, but you stayed behind, there are still plenty of games to play in a city such as this.

That was 1954.

Every ten years another invitation would be sent out, giving promise of a paradise, this “Gensokyo”, and every time more of us would leave, by 1994 there was hardly any left to board the trains.

It wasn’t until most children couldn’t even see you that you decided to leave.

The year is 2014.
___

You clutch the ticket in your hand as you enter the train station, busy as always with people bumping into each other and rushing about, lost within their own mental schedules. At least you’re not out of place, slicked back black hair, a nice business suit, you’d look like a model salary man.

That would be of course if they could even see you.

You head through the station to the designated loading station, there are a few Youkai here already, waiting patiently for the train to “paradise”.

Compared to the first exodus there are hardly more then a dozen, and at that mostly Tsukumogami, a rose haired women dressed in a white coat is chatting amicably with a violet haired woman carrying a biwa.

This could almost pass off as normal, if not for the drum set floating behind the red haired woman, and that would certainly get attention.
If people could see them.

Beyond an errant child trying to point out the mysterious flying object to his over stressed parent, nobody pays them mind.

You sit down on a nearby bench and choose to people watch until the train arrives. The Tsukumogami couples are joined by another, with light brown hair carrying a koto.

No matter, you suppose if they are new arrivals they’ll be just as lost as you are in this supposed paradise.

You look at the ticket in your hand, a golden colored, paper slip, with purple trimming; it bears little more than directions to the station and your name and species.

----
Speaking of which,

What is your name?
[]

And what will you do while you wait?

[] Mingle with the Tsukumogami, perhaps they know more about this "paradise" then you do.

[] Continue people watching and wait patiently.

[] Go exploring, maybe there is more Youkai about?
Expand all images
>> No. 29513
[] Mingle with the Tsukumogami, perhaps they know more about this "paradise" then you do.
>> No. 29514
[x] Mingle with the Tsukumogami, perhaps they know more about this "paradise" then you do.
>> No. 29515
[x] Mingle with the Tsukumogami, perhaps they know more about this "paradise" then you do.
>> No. 29516
[] Go exploring, maybe there is more Youkai about?
>> No. 29517
[X] Mingle with the Tsukumogami, perhaps they know more about this "paradise" then you do.

Don't exactly have a head for names, hopefully someone who does will show up.
>> No. 29525
[x] Mingle with the Tsukumogami, perhaps they know more about this "paradise" then you do.
>> No. 29526
[x] Nanashi
[x] Continue people watching and wait patiently.
>> No. 29528
File 140614572592.jpg - (111.46KB, 800x550, eeb67f03157aa0bbac1149857677d677.jpg) [iqdb]
29528
[x] Mingle with the Tsukumogami, perhaps they know more about this "paradise" then you do.

You give yourself a quick look over. Your black business suit sits all tight and proper, with a dark red tie running down it, matching your eyes. No jewelry -- not in your line of work at least -- besides a simple golden ring on your right ring finger, a memento of sorts from your father.

Alright, looking good. Now, just meander on over. No eye contact. Make it as casual as possible. The three of them barely seem to notice you approaching, their conversation coming in loud and clear as you move in.

The brown-haired girl waves her arms wildly as she speaks. “I heard there are dragons! Big as mountains flying through the air!" You clutch your ears. She's so excited that she's lost her volume control, it seems. "It’s got to be the coolest thing! I can’t want to see it!”

The violet-haired girl giggles and gives the other girl an affectionate pat on the head. “I’m sure they do, and we’ll find out together, okay?”

You give a small cough, holding up your ticket prominently. The two girls turn around, regarding you with a measure of pleasant surprise, breaking out into smiles as they pull out tickets of their own.

“Hello,” you say, bowing slightly, “my name is...” You catch yourself mid-sentence. There's no need for them to know your real name, is there? Think fast. "Erm, well, you can call me Nanashi. I take it by your tickets you’re on the train to paradise as well?” You put on your best thousand-watt smile as you straighten up. There we go. Hopefully you're not laying it on too thick.

The red haired woman looks up from reading what appears to be a pamphlet, giving a smile to match your own. "I am Horikawa Raiko, pleased to make your acquaintance," she replies with a curt bow. There's a certain character to her voice that caresses your ear. If you had to describe it, you could hardly call it anything but velvety.

The other two bow in perfect sync, like some sort of choreographed move. "Tsukumo Benben," says the violet-haired girl.

"And I'm Yatsuhashi!" chirps the brown-haired girl. She throws her arm around Benben, pulling her into a tight hug, much to her visible discomfort. "Me and Benben are sisters!"

“And, yes, we are headed to Gensokyo,” Raiko adds still smiling.

“Great! Then, maybe you could tell me a little more about it, Miss... Horikawa, was it?" You scratch your head, trying to look a bit embarrassed. "I’m afraid I never took the time to learn about it. Aside from rumors, of course.”

"Ah, well, I don't--" She starts speaking only to be cut off by a brown blur shoving itself in front of her.

The brown blur is, of course, Miss Yatsuhashi. “It’s really beautiful! There are dragons and sky turtles and... and lots of other cool stuff!” she declares excitedly, her eyes shining with an almost manic light. You can’t help but chuckle at her excitability.

Miss Raiko shrugs her shoulders, laughing mirthfully at Miss Yatsuhashi's enthusiasm. “Beyond stories like that, I can't say I know much more than you. Sorry."

You spend the next half hour all chatting about various things and circumstances. You're careful not to reveal too much about yourself, of course, but the apparently ever-excitable Yatsuhashi is much more forthcoming. As it turns out, they only just got their information, having turned into youkai no more than a year ago. Their source was a "friendly tanuki lady", who wears "really weird glasses", according to Yatsuhashi's gleeful chatter.

As for Miss Raiko, you learn nothing in particular. Judging from the way she handles herself, she's the most mature of the group, not to mention she seems to be a mother figure of sorts to the two new tsukumogami. Beyond that, the rest is simple small talk as the four of you whittle the time away waiting for the train to arrive.

Soon enough, the train arrives at one of the older platforms, a nearly abandoned one that takes a bit of walking to get to. The train itself looks no different from any of the other bullet trains around. In fact, the only thing that stands out is that this one has no markings at all other than what appears to be a purple eye on the side. You glance down at your ticket. Yep, same color all right.

You eye the train itself with a bit of trepidation. No markings are to be expected since this isn’t an official train. Still, something about that eye makes you nervous. It seems to be looking at you wherever you turn your head. Of course, your nervousness is all compounded by the fact that this is, quite literally, your ride to a new life.

You take a deep breath and shake your head at yourself. This isn't any time to be worrying. You cast one last look over your shoulder at the city you once called home. All you can see anymore is the ugliness: the crowding, the greed, the hopelessness. It's definitely no paradise.

"Something wrong?" Miss Horikawa asks.

You turn around. Right, the train. "Ah, it's nothing."

"Well, then, let's get going!"

Putting your worries aside, you follow Miss Horikawa and the tsukumogami up to the platform. As you step aboard the train, you spot several other youkai getting on, some you didn’t see in the lobby. Maybe they were waiting somewhere else.

Miss Horikawa hurriedly glances at her ticket and then up at the seat numbers, slapping her self on the forehead. "Gah! Looks like we're in a completely different cabin." She shrugs again. "I guess this is where we say goodbye, then, Nanashi."

"No worries. I'm sure we'll see each other on the other side," you say.

She laughs. "Maybe. Anyway, see you later!"

"Buh-bye, Mister Nanashi!" Yatsuhashi yells before her sister pulls her off the car. You exchange goodbye waves through the window as they depart.

With no one left to talk to, you find your way to your cabin. You immediately notice something different from other trains as soon as you open the door. It’s remarkably clean inside -- nearly spotless, in fact. The trains you used to have to take for various “business meetings” were usually stinking of refuse, and looked the part as well. The doors close behind you, and you quickly scan the row numbers for your seat. As luck would have it, you're pretty close to the front of the car, so it's pretty easy to find.

As you move down the row to your seat, it becomes apparent that you actually have a seat-mate: a young woman wearing a rather long dress, it’s a long white cloth over a red skirt, topped off with what appears to be a scarf with a ruby clasp. She doesn't pay you much mind as you sit down next to her. It looks like she's engrossed in a magazine, her eyes fixed on the pages as she slowly, quietly flips through them. You'd say something, but you're not sure if it's a good idea to interrupt her or not.

You glance over your shoulder. Unless anyone else shows up soon, it looks like it's going to be just you and this woman in the car. You've got a few minutes before the train gets moving, so it's not like you don't have time to do some exploring if you want. Then again, you could always take your chances and try striking up a conversation. Or just wait. You're just going to have to make a decision quick.

[] Wait patiently for the train to start moving.
[] Introduce yourself to the brown haired woman, if this is going to be a long trip it would be nice to have someone to talk to.
[] Explore the other cabins.

---

Sincere thanks to Benoist for helping me work through this!
>> No. 29529
[x] Introduce yourself to the brown haired woman, if this is going to be a long trip it would be nice to have someone to talk to.

If this is who I think it is...
>> No. 29530
[x] Introduce yourself to the brown haired woman, if this is going to be a long trip it would be nice to have someone to talk to.
>> No. 29531
[x] Explore the other cabins.

I'm interested in seeing who else is on board.
>> No. 29532
[x] Introduce yourself to the brown haired woman, if this is going to be a long trip it would be nice to have someone to talk to.

Spending the whole ride next to this person without even introducing ourselves? Talk about awkward.
>> No. 29533
[] Explore the other cabins.

I'm interested in who else is onboard, and your cabin mate seems busy. We'll have the whole ride to talk to her.
>> No. 29536
[×] Introduce yourself to the brown haired woman, if this is going to be a long trip it would be nice to have someone to talk to.
>> No. 29537
[x] Introduce yourself to the brown haired woman, if this is going to be a long trip it would be nice to have someone to talk to.

I want to confirm my suspicions
>> No. 29538
[x] Introduce yourself to the brown haired woman, if this is going to be a long trip it would be nice to have someone to talk to.

Nanashi, really? It was the only name suggested I suppose. I dunno, "Nameless" is a bit odd, but appropriate perhaps.
>> No. 29539
>>29538
Going to hazard a guess, but with it explicitly being a pseudonym, suggesting names for our MC is probably still open.
>> No. 29540
>>29539

Name is still temporary yes. Thought the protagonist may continue going by that pseudonym for a bit.

Chapter is nearly finished.
>> No. 29541
File 140666809924.jpg - (718.97KB, 750x1000, 01bcb6f2edd43e28907bf812092e9e72.jpg) [iqdb]
29541
[] Introduce yourself to the brown haired woman, if this is going to be a long trip it would be nice to have someone to talk to.


Being friendly never hurt, and if it is an especially long train ride, this may get awkward quickly. You glance over at her again; she is still fully engrossed in her magazine, seemingly lost in her own world, oblivious to reality around her.

Beside her next to a small handbag is a small stack of books, well worn, and surprisingly only a few titles you recognize, the likes of La Princesse de Clèves, Brothers Karamazov …and Vourdalak?
You smile your friendliest smile.

“Good morning ma’am.”

She doesn't seem to notice immediately, it takes a moment before she blinks quickly then looks in your direction.

You watch in a mixture of amusement and worriment as she slowly starts reddening. You barely hear a small squeaked “Hi“ before she dives back into her magazine, covering her face with it.
Apparently she doesn’t feel like talking, you settle for simply staring at your ring.

--

After what your instincts tell you is a minute, a rather soothing female voice announces the standard safety spiel, and the sliding doors to the train shut. The train slowly starts moving forward afterwards. You allow yourself to sink into the seat a little and close your eyes. Content to let the train take you to Gensoky-

“We will be entering Gensokyo within the next minute, please have all belongings ready.” The female voice interrupts your thoughts. You can’t have possibly fallen asleep that quickly could you? You open your eyes and are rather taken aback by the train being washed in purple light flickering and casting alien shadows over the walls.

You find yourself gripping the arm rests tighter, denting the metal slightly, before allowing yourself to calm down; the train is going through a portal of some kind. Not unheard of, especially from the gap master.

The same can’t be said for your seatmate who is wide-eyed and has utterly destroyed the magazine she was reading, you notice she now seems to have a pair of brown animal ears matching her hair now sticking out of her head, and a tail peeking out of the bottom of her dress, stock still.

The train seems to be moving faster, and faster, and faster, the shadows dancing the across the room mimicking grasping tendrils, light seemingly bends around them, the small fluorescent bulbs on the ceiling seemingly incapable of piercing the shadows.

Then just as soon as it happened, the shadows pull away and light fully invades the cabin again.

It takes more effort than you care to admit to control your breathing again. You never liked portals, you can use them, but something about them always made you nervous. You much preferred safer traveling methods, like high speed rail. That and it never hurt to people watch.

But those thoughts are quickly erased as you glimpse out the window and what you see takes your breath away, replacing the tall and dark skyscrapers of Tokyo are verdant fields, most covered in waves of grain, off in the distance you can see a mountain, tall and blue, with water running down the sides, topped off with a fluffy cloud of white making a ring around the tip.

“We will be arriving at the station shortly, thank you.” And that voice is back again. Joy.

It takes another minute before you feel the train start to slow down again. Your seatmate having recomposed herself, or rather, found something to distract her, as she is plastered against the window and taking in all the sights she can see like a child seeing a theme park for the first time.

She hasn’t bothered hiding her ears and tail either, which in the case of her ears is twitching, and her tail wagging side to side a little, dog youkai of some kind then?

The train slowly pulls into the station with a loud hiss, the doors opening not soon after; your seatmate quickly packs up before bolting off the train, you chuckle quietly to yourself before crossing the threshold into a new life.

---

The smell is the first thing that hits you. While you’ve been to the country before, rather hard not too being as old as you are, it’s been a long time since it’s been this… fresh. You glance around the platform taking in the sights.

The platform itself is made of wood, in rather stark contrast to the almost blindingly white metal train parked next to it, with a simple tin roof to cover it.

Several youkai are milling about the platform, most of them in groups, having traveled together, though you don’t see Raiko or the two sisters anywhere.

Through the exit of the station itself you can see a dirt path leading to a village off in the distance, mostly made up of wooden buildings as well. Next to the exit are three booths, each proudly proclaiming… religions? One stall is being managed by a Buddhist woman with rather… okay to be honest in most of the districts you worked in this hair might be startling, but in a place like this, gradient purple hair really sticks out.

Next to it is a stall being manned by apparently a Shinto girl, with a fair more normal hair color of blond, though what makes it rather is odd two dog ears sticking out of her head, another dog youkai?
And finally one stall manned by a teenage girl with bright green hair, preaching about some mountains gods of some sort.

All three are offering to various youkai places of rest while they get settled, though it honestly seems more of a power grab then anything, the woman with Gradient hair and the woman with dog ears keep sending glares each other’s way.

As you finish taking in all of this a startled yep gets you attention, it comes from a girl with aqua blue hair wearing a rather fancy yukata. She’s in a wheelchair, which has rather unfortunately gotten stuck in the mechanism of the train door.


What do you do?

[] Leave the station
[] Approach one of those booths. (Specify)
[] Help the woman in the wheelchair out.
[] Wander around the platform a bit.

You can choose two of these actions.

--

I'm not proud of how long it took to post this.
>> No. 29542
[x] Help the woman in the wheelchair out.
[x] Wander around the platform a bit.

Be a gentleyoukai.
>> No. 29543
[X] Help the woman in the wheelchair out.
[X] Approach one of those booths. (Dog ears - Miko)

I know there are a few people around looking forward to Wakasagihime. I also think we don't get enough of Miko, which is why I'm voting to go to the Taoists.
>> No. 29544
[x] Help the woman in the wheelchair out.
[x] Wander around the platform a bit.
>> No. 29545
[x] Help the woman in the wheelchair out.
[x] Approach the girl with the green hair.
>> No. 29546
[x] Help the woman in the wheelchair out.
[x] Approach the girl with the green hair.
Sanae's is the most casual religion, and least likely to force us into it and just show us around.
>> No. 29547
[x] Help the woman in the wheelchair out.
[x] Wander around the platform a bit.


Nope, nope. No interest in any of the religions.
>> No. 29548
[x] Help the woman in the wheelchair out.
[x] Approach the girl with the green hair.
Sanae's shrine is in the youkai mountain.
If we befriend her and get some pass into the mountain, then we'll be free to visit the lovely green-red goddess and the two sisters of autumn.
....
Hina!
>> No. 29550
[x] Leave the station

It calls to me
>> No. 29551
[×] Help the woman in the wheelchair out.
[×] Wander around the platform a bit.
>> No. 29552
[x] Help the woman in the wheelchair out.
[x] Wander around the platform a bit.
>> No. 29553
[X] Help the woman in the wheelchair out.
[X] Wander around the platform a bit.

Get the wheelchair lady out and might as well see who else we can run into
>> No. 29564
[X] Help the woman in the wheelchair out.
[X] Approach Buddhist booth.

How can I not vote for my two favorite touhus.
>> No. 29590
[X] Help the woman in the wheelchair out.
[X] Leave the station
>> No. 31260
This quest got restarted off-board. You can find it here now: https://forums.spacebattles.com/threads/a-fox-in-paradise-touhou.588297/
>> No. 31261
>>31260
WHAT NO
Erien, get the fuck back here. Move to /shorts/ if you have to, but get back here.
>> No. 31325
No, don't particularly wanna.
>> No. 31326
got 'em
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