- [Settings] [Home
[Show or hide post box]

[Return] [Bottom]
Posting mode: Reply
Name
Email
Subject   (Reply to 31296)
Message
File
Password  (for post and file deletion)
  • First time posting? See our frontpage for site rules and FAQ
  • Further overview of board culture in this thread.
  • Supported file types are: GIF, JPG, PNG, WEBM
  • Maximum file size allowed is 4096 KB.
  • Images greater than 200x200 pixels will be thumbnailed.
  • View catalog

File 153138516987.jpg - (1.55MB, 750x1000, __reisen_udongein_inaba_touhou_drawn_by_silentdin_.jpg) [iqdb]
31296 No. 31296
[x ] I’ll trade your story for what I’ve got so far. Secrets shared are friendships made.

You recite your vision, your shattered and reassembled memories that were jolted to the surface. You spare no detail in describing the beginning of your desires from killing ants and insects, and your gradual progression up the food chain until you were feeding off other humans, and finally the destruction your soul was subjected to at the hands of the professor, whose name and features are but a blur, but their words and actions remain.

Throughout the tale, Reisen reacts first with some mild shock, then a sort of understanding frown, before finally smiling as you describe how you were torn apart and reassembled.

“And that’s how the old Wu Zhenguo died.” You finish, “Probably for the better.”

Reisen’s ear twitches as she re-examines you with the lenses, “Looks consistent, your chest cavity is indeed partially destroyed. But, how?” She asks as she pokes you in the chest, obviously not feeling the hole, “What sort of entity with this amount of power will bother to disguise as a commoner and target a virtual nobody?”

You shrug, “I have some ideas, retired Greek gods being the first and foremost given the river invocations, but I’ll worry about that when I ask Conner about any strange professors we might remember if I can sneak back to the village. You know what? It might actually be him, now that I think about it. But it’s your turn, my dear rabbit.”

You flinch as Reisen, without a word, reaches out and caresses your neck...for a moment. Your eyes then lock with hers, and then your senses are no longer your own.

Foreign brain waves invade your own, a peculiar insanity.

====

It was your second year in the Lunar Capital

It was your fourth to last day in the Lunar Capital.

Your new master is cruel. Fair by her own words, perhaps, but mostly cruel.

The claim to the Watatsukis, whose scolding now feels more welcoming than ever for you, for a tithe of rabbits was intended to checkup on the health and discipline of your kind. Indeed, for most of the rabbit soldiers, life in the Capital was parades and boredom.

While your average Lunarian is perfectly content with rabbits being rabbits, the higher ranks, such as the Palace courtiers or officials like your new master, are not so.

Soldiers are not just to guard, but also to clean. So she says. Your sector must be spotless, and so much of your day is spent going over the small corner of the tower you are stationed in with a small brush. You must be respectful and salute every Lunarian you come across, which is difficult as many come and go through the facility all day.

She claims she was a disciple of Omoikane herself, who left the Capital a long time ago. You do not really believe her. The Watatsukis would have told you. But she does seem smart.

Also, your shifts are 12 hours long each. It is no way for a rabbit to live, and your mind and body quickly fade into a porridge-like state. Despite the length, you still have no idea what the project this facility is performing, or what the facility was for, in the first place.

Still, as you climb in your cot in the small maintenance closet set aside as your quarters, you still have some thoughts lingering. Recently, you often hear frightened whispers and angry indictments regarding humans landing on the other side of the Moon. The other rabbits have been drilling more than parading, and you feel that, somehow, the Bagua Research Station is actually working more during after hours, judging by what your brain can pick up.

Your brain feels many things it was not supposed to. Lady Yorihime said it was because you are special, a rarity. What it does feel, and what it sends through your eyes, makes many of the other rabbits avoid you.

Come to think of it, where are the other rabbits in this building recently? You only passed by two or three on the patrol route today.

You quietly dress and creep out the door, your rifle in hand. The building is quiet, but you can sense the machinery working beneath the shining, cold walls of grown wood and crystal, the magical signals, a haze of growing data.

You trace the steps taken by the sages, deeper and deeper into the heart of the facility. Whispers became mumblings, then shouts.

It’s too insulated to hear as you approach the areas that are strictly off limits to rabbits. However, as you strain your ears, the sound waves seem to sharpen and recombine into recognizable voices.

“A disgrace, you are!” This voice is your new master’s, you recognize. “Are the stakes and honor not worthy of your petty phobias?”

“Phobias? What you are doing is the uttermost of depravity and impurity!” Another somewhat familiar...a male Lunarian...one of the apprentices, you figure, “How dare you claim this to be your tribute to Omoikane! No. Lord Tsukuyomi must know of this madness you have wrought!”

“You will not!”

“I will and I must! This is disgusting! You---HURK”

His voice is abruptly cut off by a shrill gurgle. A wet, scraping sound is heard. Did he just have an accident cleaning lab equipment? Was your master negligent in cleaning her lab that he slipped?

They’ll probably be calling for some help soon if that poor apprentice accidentally fell in the tub. You quickly run over, past the ajar lab doors that normally rabbits are forbidden from entering by barrier.

The lights are oddly dim in here, the candles muffled by thick paper. The wooden flooring gives way to sterile, metallic feeling tiles.

“Foolish apprentice...foolish. The impure are at our gates and you do something like this. If word gets out, our whole Capital is doomed, you know?”

You slip through an open pair of heavy looking wooden doors, covered with sigils. A scorching, faintly divine, fire is burning in the middle of a dark amphitheatre-like room, heating a truly massive cauldron-like crucible. Your master is tending to the furnace with unwavering focus, adding some dark ingredients in and stirring the pot. Something smells odd in this room, some unpleasant lab odor.

“Without you it will be harder, but this project must not fail. Lord Tsukuyomi decreed so. We must succeed regardless of how much effort it takes to remake this Hourai Elixir.”

Of course! The Hourai Elixir! That must be what they were working on! No wonder there was so much secrecy. You spot the fallen assistant lying on the floor near the furnace, making only weak movements, and surreptitiously move over to help.

You trip over something in the darkness.

“Why, we cannot fail even if we need to steal the scales from the Great Dragons themselves. We need results, Tieguai! Only the results! In this project, only the results are remembered! So, why are you so reluctant to simply extract the last ingredient we need, the simplest of them all...”

Something cold and wet touches your hands as you catch your fall. Adjusting the waves with your eyes, you see that, oh no! A lot of your fellow rabbits are sleeping here, like, hundreds! They must have been very tired to sleep right here in the lab! You probably just woke one up!

“...The hearts of those still tainted by the impurity of life.”

Wait.

You look at your hands. They are red. You look back down at your comrades. They are not breathing. Neat, surgical holes have been cut in each on of their chests. Their empty chests devoid of ribs or organs.

The smell was blood.

“Life is what gives the Hourai Elixir such potency, Tieguai, something Omoikane lied to us about. Only with the impurity of life, can we extend the effects of the Immortal Peaches into eternity, and resist the contrasting impurity of death. In our Pure Land, of course, it matters not.”

You then notice that their eyes are still moving. Each one, cold and lifeless, staring towards you. Purified of life and denied death, unable to move. Trapped in their own flesh with no way out. Even in their state of limbo, you can feel the inert coldness through the moon rabbits’ inherent ESP network, as atrophied as theirs are.

“If only we could grow these hearts, we would not need to trouble ourselves with this harvesting. Alas, life is only gathered through life, and---Who’s there!”

You realize all too late that, in your numb shock, you had dropped your rifle on the floor.

“...No...” Tieguai struggles as he lifts his head, a garish red stain on his elaborate robes, “Flee...little rabbit!”

Your legs falter, and you collapse on a living corpse as you struggle to get away, even as your...master...closes in swiftly with surgical knife drawn. You will end up just like those around you. You are just...a rabbit...an ingredient in the end. You should just turn the rifle on yourself, maybe you can avoid this fate...

“Oh, it is you.” She sneers as she steps over your gun, ”Hmph. Those Watatsukis were not lying when they said you were a specimen. Irksome troublemaker.”

Huh?

The sisters…

You must report back! You cannot die here!

An errant wave leaps unbidden down your spine, and into your fingertips. Invisible to sight, but not to feel.

In a swift motion you stand up, and release the wave from your right hand straight at your incoming tormentor. A rapid pulse, a gamma ray bullet fueled by a new, unfamiliar feeling: anger.

Ionizing radiation is not enough to kill a Lunarian, not even close. But a large dose of radiation poisoning and cell death, straight in the cerebral cortex, is not a pleasant experience regardless of your status. When you recovered from the shot that drained all feeling from your right arm, panting and wheezing through burning eyes, you find your target drooling and limp on the floor.

A thunderous crashing sound causes you to wince, and you see that the furnace had cracked and toppled over, its contents spilled onto the floor. Tieguai stands, staring dumbly at the glowing, molten divine fluid flowing through the tiles, a hint of divine magic on an iron crutch he’s holding.

“You got her?” The man sighs and heaves through his shrinking sucking wound. “Run, this woman, Yin-Tongzi. She has Omoikane’s secrets. She will be up soon, or one of her clones will be decanted. I am going to send a message for Tsukuyomi, if that coward cares, then I shall be reporting home...Flee, do not worry about me...I would not...trust the Lunarians...if I were you...”
The man then keels over, dead. His body begins crumbling into dust as you discern an infrared presence making its way out the door.

You do not think. As soon as he died, you did as he told and ran, motivated by the fact that your master...he called her Yin-Tongzi, but the other Lunarians called her Ginji...your master’s body had began to twitch.

You ran out of the building and onto the city streets. You than ran out of the streets and out of the city altogether. Your legs burn and you want nothing more than to sob and weep at what you saw. You cannot.

You must report back...

=====

A distinct coldness on your chest jerks you awake, your head still dizzy from the foreign memories. That was...pretty bad. Is the Hourai Elixir people? Were the Lunarians...or at least that researcher, that depraved?

“Reisen?”

You are then aware of the thing pressing against you. Looking down, you see Reisen leaning against you, sleeping against your tear-stained torn shirt with her ears drooped. She had been crying on you the whole time, until it looked like she finally tired out and fell asleep.

How did that happen? If anything the memory was supposed to affect you more. You gently push the rabbit off of you and settle her onto her futon, careful to make sure that she’s positioned in a shock recovery position. That wasn’t even the end of the story. You heard the middle part where she met the American astronauts before, but you can sense, in her memory, that a huge chunk is still untold.

You jump a little as somebody knocks on the door, rather frantically. Getting up, you open it just a bit.

A sandy-haired, noble face peers at you. “Wu...Ming...” she grits out.

“W-What did I do? Lady Watatsuki?” You nervously reply. How would she react? Was she listening to you somehow?

“She latched on as soon as the adrenaline shot woke her up. Can you get your dragon off of me?” She grunts as she slides the door all the way, revealing Awyrgan clinging onto her right boot with arms and teeth. “Before I decide to disintegrate her, that is.”

“Awyri...please do not eat our allies.” You order as she half-heartedly try to pull her off.

“Princess...” The dragon mumbles through an occupied mouth. At least she didn’t go into her full size. “Capture. Eat. Princess.”

“Princesses are for ransom, not for eating. It’s more profitable that way. Also, no eating this one. She can actually kill you.” You thank the heavens that she picked a hard target first. God knows what will happen if she somehow gets near somebody like Sukuna, or when this is over, when she goes to a country with an existent monarchy. You can picture the headlines already: “Royal Baby Devoured by Iron Monstrosity! Britain in Panic!”

With some more reasons and a little elbow grease...and Hew, you wrangle the rather stoned-looking Awyrgan off of Toyohime, who throws her a disgusted look before turning back to you. “You, human, what were you doing in Reisen’s room?”

“Princess…” You look straight at her eyes, ”What happened to her back in 1969?”

Her hard expression melts into surprise, then genuine concern. “She told YOU? How?”

“We had a swap. You know, I tell her my repressed traumatic past. She tells me her repressed traumatic past. To be specific, she beamed part of her’s into my brain before passing out.”

Toyohime sighs and adjusts her hat, which allows you to see that in her non-fan hand she’s holding a plush tiger and a raggedy looking pillow, “It is not for me to tell. My dear Reisen has decided to confide in you, for better or for worse, and it will be her decision alone to finish her story to you. But I can tell you this: The problem was not resolved. The informant was correct about his assumptions. It’s why I am looking to change leadership for the Moon.”

“Wait, so are you saying that...that was accepted? How much do you know?”

“Not enough.” Toyohime murmurs as she checks over Reisen and carefully sets the tiger next to her. “Being reassigned to the Near Side of the moon, even as the grandmother of the first Japanese emperor, does no improvement to one’s political influence. By the way, Ming.” She turns to you, “I shall be taking over Reisen from here, Eirin wants you and...that thing in her lab.”


“Gotcha. Awyri,” You pull on the still somewhat hypnotized dragon, “Let’s move. Also, wait so you were a crocodile? Who abandoned---”

The Lunarian, turning red, shuts the door in your face before you can finish the question.
Expand all images
>> No. 31297
File 153138570079.png - (969.21KB, 800x1200, __yagokoro_eirin_touhou_drawn_by_rabiri__118edc3ee.png) [iqdb]
31297
Eirin did not say anything when you and Awyrgan arrived at her doctor’s office. She merely gestured for you two to follow...down a corridor that you realize is longer than the length of the entire complex.

Awyrgan said she recovered quickly after eating all of the munitions weapons left over, to your relief. You tell her of what you did in Reisen’s room. She nods, but you don’t feel that she truly understands.

The corridors begin warping, as if stretched by some eldritch force. False doors replace true ones.

Apparently Nashira’s fine. Awyrgan says. Your’s and Mokou’s purely physical mangling of that little girl just warranted some rejuvenation tank treatment. Kaguya and Tewi are currently talking to Castor, and he is apparently willing to trust them as part of your organization.

Deep, deep you go into the further reaches of Eientei, where the passages twist and turn in ways that do not follow physical constraints, with hallways looping back onto each other but never intersecting.

You pass by hydroponic facilities breeding species of queer looking flora, some of whom turn their flowers to stare at you as you walk near them.

Over a catwalk, you gaze upon a large room, filled to the brim with opaque canister pods, each the size of a human being. Looking up and down, you steady yourself on the handrails as you recognize with a mixture of wonder and horror at the size of the cavern, which seems to stretch on indefinitely in all directions. How many of these canisters are there? Thousands? Millions?

The hallway continues, endlessly. The wood starts breaking down, the paper windows distort, and then break apart entirely, leaving you holding your breath as the visage of a star-filled sky is what lies behind them...with the Earth below.

“We are above Heaven now.” Eirin announces as the walls disappear entirely, leaving you walking on just an open wooden floor. Awyrgan responds to this by letting out a little cheerful roar and picking you up, using the newfound freedom to fly in a place where the stars are just a little closer.

“This must be where the Imperishable Night incident ended...one route...I think.” You observe as you take in the visage of the Earth beneath, the island of Japan clearly defined against the ocean, a sight that you would have never been able to see otherwise. “Are we still within the Border?”

“We are, even I cannot breach it under the Savior’s current lock. But we are at the highest point possible, though this location does not exist in physicality...it’s too complicated for your education, really.” The path opens onto a dais, on which sits piles and piles of ashen debris among what looks to be an old-fashioned metalforge. Hundreds of swords, arrowheads and other weaponry sit twisted and broken within them, and upon viewing them you view an odd kinship with the ruined metal, sensing some sort of similar purpose.

And on the forge, still hot on the coals...not coals...those appear to be the smoldering entrails of some enormous creature, is a single straight sword. Not even a medieval model, this one resembles a bronze-age weapon, and is in fact made of the greenish metal upon closer inspection. Oddly, it also has two blades, separated down the middle as if somebody turned the typical groove into a gap. Eirin carefully removes it from the forge with a meter-long tongs and sets it down into a bucket of water.

“The answer I have found is this. A replica and amalgamation of every deicide weapon that is reasonably copied.” Eirin explains as she uses the tongs to gesture, “The sword itself is a copy of the Ame-No-Ohabari, the sword used by Izanagi to slay his son, Kagutsuchi. While the outside is a thin layer of bronze, the inside is steel, with carbon sourced solely from mistletoe, a dart of which ended the life of the Scandinavian Baldr. The fuel for the forge are the entrails of the monstrous Ophiotaurus, which are deicidal. Cloning ten anencephalic copies of the hybrid beast took an irritatingly large amount of resources.”

“So...” You ask as Awyrgan sniffs at the weapon, “We win?”

Eirin folds her arms and sighs, “There are several major issues. One is that I am still unclear as to the nature of these heroes save for their divine powers, so its effectiveness is still up for debate until field testing is performed. Two is that---Put that down, please, Awyrgan.” She backs off, her brows raised in concern as the dragon picks up the weapon and swings it around experimentally. “It is a highly cursed object, enough that even somebody as strong as me, one known varyingly by the names of Omoikane and Taishang Laojun, will be reduced to a crippled invalid if I hold it or become scratched by it, whereupon I will be forced to swallow a cyanide pill again. The weapon is also incredibly fragile, since mine simple-minded brother decided that his second sword should be ‘More Artistic’ when Orochi swallowed the first one. I still cannot believe he succeeded in decapitating something with it, even a god! Hence, somebody capable of wielding it is hard to find, but I suspect that one of you may be capable.”

“The anti-divine is of your domain, my friend.” Awyrgan say as she hands the sword over to you. You gingerly raise one finger up to the blade, and seeing that it somehow has dissipated all of the forge’s heat already, accept the handle from your dragon’s claws.

“Is...is the blade spot welded?” You incredulously remark at the cheap construction, as you check the weapon over.

“It is something I hammered together in the last couple hours. The hasty construction does help with the anti-divinity projection due to thematic contrast, as a more properly made sword would likely be considered heroic.” Eirin does not seem happy about this at all, “It will break, but judging by what princess-eater can do, you can just weld it back together and it will still retain its property...wait...” Her eyes narrow as she suddenly reaches out towards the weapon, “Are you feeling anything, Ming?”

“No, it’s just a crude bronze sword, that’s all. Even my gravity hammer had more of a magical tinge to it.”

“Tis that truthful? Even within mine wicked, villainous grasp, I can sense the curse flowing through this tool.”

“I got nuthin’. If you were expecting some sort of super anti-divine power-up coming from giving me this thing, I’m sorry. ” You sigh as you don’t get a response from the sword.

Eirin shakes her head, “Perhaps I expected too much, but no matter. I shall have Iwakasa field test this weapon tomorrow then. In the meantime...Awyrgan, eat it. This is a reproducible article, not a true legendary blade.”

“Tis a trivial, simple construct one indeed, why doth thee...hold...how doth thee know of mine ability?” The dragon’s eyes narrow.

“Your genetic makeup made it obvious when I looked you over. Unlike Ming who is genetically 100% pure human, you, my dear metal construct,” Eirin punctuates this line by jabbing at the dragon’s head, “Possesses the metallic DNA of several species of dragon inside of you. The most prominent of which is the famous Welsh Red Herald, but the Germanic Lindwurm also makes up a large portion.”

She’s primarily derived from the Welsh legend? That perhaps explains why she’s not quite as violent and bloodthirsty as you’d expect an actual dragon to be.

“However,” Eirin continues, tracing her finger along Awyrgan’s throat and abdomen, “You digestive system and your oddball inner furnace and a circulatory system more akin to a nano-foundry are of a non-European and non-draconic origin...a specimen that no one save for a Lunarian like myself should have access to, as it has been extinct for five thousand years. I speak of course, of the Mesopotamian primordial monstrosity: Tiamat. An entity that only melded to draconic DNA due to recent shifts in the world’s perception of the dead goddess.”

Awyrgan tilts her head, her face a mixture of confusion and glee “What tis the purpose of this information? Is mine acclaim to royalty affirmed with the blood of a god in mine veins?”

“No, Tiamat was never worshipped, and even if she was, her worshippers left no legacy. You are a monster, not a god. What it really means is that your creators saw fit to focus your core energies to be constructive rather than destructive. A Mother of Monsters, or to be less romantic, a logistical engine. Namely, this is why if you would receive a written profile in Akyuu’s writings, your ability will be listed as ‘Rapid Manufactory’.”

“Ah, disappointing.” Awyrgan sighs as she takes the sword and begins chomping into it, not even bothering to switch appearances, which is spoiled by the fact that she’s still talking clearly out of one side of her mouth. “If only mine title would have such proof, lest the ignorant doubt my nobility.”

“Hey,” You pat her on the back, “You’ve killed at least a couple who have legitimate claims and ate them, if their armor means anything. That means you are more of a noble than them now. Lady Awyri.”

That’s definitely not the case, but you’re pretty sure dragons don’t know or care about the intricacies of human aristocracy. Awyrgan in particular definitely does not care, and swells up with delight as she breathes out a chunk of molten metal before reshaping it with her bare claws and rapidly cooling it with a burst of cold air, reforming the eaten blade in a manner of seconds. “My thanks to thee, dear friend. As a proper lady of the realm...”

Huh, she really has only a faint idea of how chivalry worked.

“I granteth thee this sword, and a title of minor nobility...”

“I need to keep a copy.” Eirin interjects.

Awyrgan fabricates another one and holds it out for Eirin to carefully extract it with the tongs. “As I was...”

“Geez, don’t get all formal on me. I hate that. Besides, milady, for someone of shield status like me, wouldn’t armor be more appropriate?”

“What sort of feeble milquetoast of a mortal noble doth thou take me for?” She taps you on the shoulder twice with the blade, before twirling it and handing it to you handle first. “Tis only a manner of shedding a minor quantity of scales and fitting it to thy frame. When thou doffs thy skeleton, I shall grant thee what thou seeketh.”

You look past her and see Eirin yawning and uncorking a flask. “Thank you, dear friend. Hey, uh, Lady Yagokoro, art thou...dammit...is there something else you wanted to say?”

“I need to go and outfit everyone else except for Toyohime.” The doctor mutters as she rubs her eyes, “If I do everything correctly, which includes allowing the dragon to absorb a godslaying tool, it’s a bygone conclusion that we are going to win this silly Earthling war.”

“And how are you so sure?”

“Clairvoyance....some clairvoyance.” She chugs the potion, opens her coat and reveals a set of blue metal flasks under it. “Specifically, a derivative of my Hourai Elixir that exchanges its permanency for a complete purge of the impurity of death and the removal of oneself from the flow of time, allowing for brief, clear glimpses into the immediate future and some blurrier visions about further times due to quantum uncertainty. Also, not really possible to die, but in a more premonition based way than regeneration. Still, it looked like we won.”

“Wait...” You freeze as you process this information, “That’s cheating!”

“Yep. I call it the Ultramarine Orb Potion. In development of course. I was going to distribute it to the primary incident resolvers, as well as anyone else willing, in case things go even more south than they already have. Side effects, he, ha ha. WHAHAHA.” The sudden peal of laughter catches you off-guard, “Heh, side effects on Lunarians like me are fairly minimal due to our lack of impurity, but I wouldn’t even try a small sample on Udongein.”

She notices your curious gaze, “Even so, you wish to try it, do you not?”

“..So, what side effects?”

“Anything from minor toothaches, compulsive laughter and headaches to systematic organ failure and necrosis in the brain. At least, ” Eirin chuckles as she shakes the flask, “Those are the symptoms from my personal testing. Come to think of it...you did demonstrate substantial resistances to drugs in the past, so perhaps you would be luckier in this regard.”

Seeing the doctor temptingly hold out the cheat code in a bottle, you wonder, should you...

“My friend...”

“Hmm?”

“Mine constitution is of a superior, noble quality compared to thine fragile flesh. Mayhaps mine gullet shall be a more suitable vessel for this elixir?”

[ ] Drink the Prototype Ultramarine Orb Potion
[ ] Have Awyrgan try it first
[ ] Do not drink the Prototype Ultramarine Orb Potion
>> No. 31299
[X] Drink the Prototype Ultramarine Orb Potion
MOAR INSIGHT

Damn I love this story, see you next month.
>> No. 31300
[x] Do not drink the Prototype Ultramarine Orb Potion

Ahahahahahah, fuck no. Holes in brains or necrosis of brain, it's the same thing even if we're some kind of mummy. It could make us more dead on the outside and it's over once that happens.

Would it be possible to ask Eirin for advice on what to do with the we're-a-zombie situation? Without having to drink a potion, if at all possible.
>> No. 31301
"...complete purge of the impurity of death"

If death is impurity, then as a walking corpse, he becomes... impurity incarnate?

Drinking this seems laughably bad. But god I want to see what happens if he does.

My smart ass answer to Eirin would be, "You drink it and tell me if I drink it or not."

[x] "You tell me, since you already know."
>> No. 31302
>>31300
He's right next to Eirin, his skull could spontaneously explode I bet she would be able to fix him without even leaving a scar.
>> No. 31303
[x] Do not drink the Prototype Ultramarine Orb Potion

Walking corpse + death removal =
>> No. 31304
>>31303
He already went through that treatment it had no effect.
>>29767
>> No. 31305
[x] Drink the Prohibited User OPeration

We should use all the knowledge we can if we're gonna be an effective shield.

Victory is good but we gotta aim for a complete victory-one with all touhoes we like intact.
>> No. 31306
[X] Do not drink the Prototype Ultramarine Orb Potion

Apparently the canon version can be used by humans and maybe youkai, but is lethal to gods. It seems like a bad idea for our protagonist and having Awyri try it is right out.
>> No. 31307
Locking votes in 2 days
>> No. 31308
>>31307
You only ever update once a month, so what's the point?
>> No. 31309
>>31308
So I can decide when to stop procrastinating, duh.
>> No. 31310
>>31309
Do it now for a free encouragement ticket, valid until 99/99/9999~
>> No. 31311
We need one more vote to drink it or a touhou will die

That's how these precognition things usually pan out anyway.
>> No. 31319
File 15338076477.png - (112.00KB, 210x250, lightning_arrow.png) [iqdb]
31319
[x] Do not drink the Prototype Ultramarine Orb Potion

You turn down the proffered cheat code. The potential drawbacks outweigh the benefits, and you don’t have a Hourai Elixir to fall back on.

“Funny, I thought you of all people would jump on the opportunity.” Eirin says, a trace of disappointment lingering in her voice. “Well then. That concludes the purpose of this appointment.”

Awkward silence. You look around at the stars around you, the moon in the distance, and the blue planet beneath you while Eirin picks up a scrappy looking spearhead from the junk pile and begins carefully hammering away at it.

“So...uh, how do we get down? Do we walk down that hallway again?”

“Just jump. The Princess’s stretching of time and space does not hinder basic Euclidean geometry.”

“Right on cue, my friend!” Awyrgan excitedly pipes up, “I hath been holding a new enhancement for thy pitiful fleshy form! Tis the wings of that foul knight thee shorn off. I devoured the mechanisms and reproduced it for thine exoskeleton!”

“I said call me Ming, you...whoa...”

What Awyrgan is holding out in front of you is something that looks like H.R Giger’s wet dream. The bits of the knight’s noble wings, blue and gold, are choked and subsumed by tendrils and layers of gray steel into a twisted parody. A sort of cuirass, one that resembles Awyrgan’s own armored scales, lines the front.

She eagerly straps it onto you, tearing off the ruined remnants of your armor in the process. The inside, to your relief, is lined with a soft and pliable leather. Softer than any other sort of leather you had touched.

“This is awesome, Awyri! What is it made out of?”

“Why I am glad you asked, my vassal!” She proudly exclaims, her face gleaming in a smug satisfaction, “The outer plates are improved replica of mine scales, a matrix of newly imbibed moonsilver and iridium from the lunarian weaponry I consumed as compensation for mine troubles, offered by the head rabbit.”

You hear Eirin audibly groan and mutter “Tewi...”, though she does not protest further or turn aside her attention from her work.

“The middle is formed of a sandwich of hard steel, impregnated with bone fragments, designed to deny magic and provide structural support, backed with a soft foam-layer formed of tanned skin scraps, remnants fools who stood against us to better protect against blunt impacts.”

You cringe at the last part, and try to nudge the insulating layer away from you. It won’t, Awyrgan had made it quite thick, and it easily expands and contracts as you move around in it to fit you snuggly within the cuirass. It feels oddly like hands grabbing onto your skin.

You give up. At least it’s quite comfortable.

“Now, open thy wings.” She orders as she stretches out the mechanical skeleton of the flying device, “Thou no longer need mine wings to achieve simple flight.”

Nodding, you send the spirits into the wings. One on the left, one on the right, one to coordinate between them as a dumb messenger. With the parts stabilized on a solid frame this time, it becomes rather easy to extend your consciousness into the wings, using the suborned spirits as a makeshift magical conduit.

The wings flare to life, exuding a faint trail of the soft pink color in contrast to the golden shine of the knights. Allowing Awyrgan to take hold of your hand, you carefully lift off and float around a bit. They prove easy to handle as you spin and do a small somersault, much easier than holding them manually. Though you suspect that Meiling’s dormant possession is having an effect on your mastery of flight.

“Oh, Ming, could you go check on the defectors? I think the knight’s sister has awoken by now and everyone is occupied, as the princess and the assassin are preparing dinner in lieu of Udongein.” Eirin asks as you hover past the railing. “The recovery room is labeled on your Module.”

“Gotcha, boss. See ya later. Now, Awyri, together?”

“Of course!” She grins, and spreads her wings.

You somersault backwards, and face down, as if off a diving board, and plummet with your stolen wings. An air shield comes up in front, seemingly projected by the wings themselves as a necessary secondary function. You see the large dragon to your side tumble through the air, likely intentionally as she is happily exuding plasma around her, turning her descent into a fiery comet. Looking back, your wings trail the noxious pink for quite a ways, making you a similar companion.

The way down seems odd. Eientei’s space distortions probably narrow the vertical space through a corridor or something, because you see no structures above or alongside you, and below you appears to be a neverending forest that covers all of Japan. Is it a microcosm like Miko’s Senkei? Likely.

The travel path, regardless of how much you swivel and turn, never seems to change, as you are always just grazing Awyrgan’s fire trail.

It’s also shorter than you imagined. Eientei’s courtyard looms close quite quickly, and you panic and brake hard at the realization, the G-Force briefly blacking you out as you slow down.

When you come to again, you are lying face down in soft, mat-like vegetation. Eientei’s unique sort of outdoor flooring that resembles a mass of vines that just so happen to weave together into natural tatami. Looking up, you see nothing but a dark night sky. What a strange dimensional distortion.

Smelling something burning, you look to your side and see that Awyrgan incinerated the patch she landed on, while she herself is rolling around to put the fire out.

“I fear I hath committed an error.” She grumbles through dragon-sized teeth as she tries to get as much of the fire gone as possible. “Too much merriment.”

“You didn’t absorb a fire extinguisher beforehand?”

“Negatory. Tis an error in judgment.”

After she puts the fire out and shifts down sizewise into the less building-wrecking humanoid size, the two of you head for the recovery room. It isn’t as quiet as before, with many rabbits heading towards the dining hall. Most of them wisely avoid the barely human girl who watches them with a predator’s interest.

“Hold up.” You whisper and stop Awyrgan as you reach the door. “Lemme eavesdrop a bit before we do anything.”

“Do you not trust them, my friend?”

You throw her a strange look, “Of course not, when did I trust anybody?”

“Hmph. Tis unnecessary. We should simply interrogate the lot directly if needed.”

Sadly, your repertoire of lifespan and evil spirit fueled preset powers have no way of eavesdropping elegantly, as a few experiments with the conjoined spirits proves fruitless. Resigned, you hold your ear up to the door as usual.

“Nashira, how are you feeling? It’s me, Castor.” The paladin says, still discernible behind the relatively thin wood. The door here is less insulating than Reisen’s room’s.

“Bro-Brother?” Nashira’s voice comes out, shy and gentle. You kind of expected it from the little sister archetype, but on the other hand she fucked up Awyrgan nice and well. “I feel fine...Where are we?”

“We’ve been captured by the enemy. Shira, the Null Fiend defeated our team and dragged us in.”

“Oh...NO!” The gentle voice turns into more of a blubbering, “Deimos...Is Deimos okay? I hope I didn’t cause his...Wait, brother, did you say Null Fiend?”

“Yes?” Castor sounds confused, “The man with the warhammer, that was the Null Fiend. Were you unable to tell?”

“That was the Null Fiend? But he is...I believed he was at most merely a disciple or spawn of that monster! A duped one for sure, as he was a healer for that foul dragon, and surely something as foul as the Null Fiend cannot heal! Also, would he not have consumed us for our lifespan immediately?”

You notice that Awyrgan is leaning against the opposite wall, arms crossed, wings folded, and eyes closed, probably to look cool and regal. Her tail, however, has extended towards the door, with some odd metal wires protruding into the door’s crevices, at the tip...is that an internal microphone? A laptop’s internal microphone.

You sigh as you remember one of your earliest encounters with her. It’s your laptop’s internal microphone, or at least a replica based off of such.

“Now Nashira, regardless of what he is, they have brought us in alive, but has taken our weapons and armor. We ought to dwell somewhat on a next course of action...”

“No, Cas, we cannot dwell. If the Null Fiend is near, even this early in the past, we must escape and report back.” You hear Castor trying to say something, but is shouted over, “We know that the Dragon is weak, and a decisive strike can at least take out that monstrosity. You are the faster one of us two, Cas, I shall use my remaining power to create a distraction, and...”
“Nashira...they could be listening to us...”

“Yes, but do they know when? I think not. If we act spontaneously, I could secure you passage out---”

“And leave you behind?”

“I shall incinerate myself if I need to, brother! I cannot allow them to continue with their corrupt campaign! Not after what they did to us...not after that I was trapped under that beam, while mom and dad screamed...and screamed...burnt alive...” Her impassioned voice breaks down into sobbing.

“What.” You cannot help but let out some shock. “The. Fuck.”

“..WHO’S THERE?”

Awyrgan’s eyes snap open, and four machine guns, the same model as the ones the Saviors wielded against you, spring out from her back, held aloft spindly arms of gunmetal. You react slower, just slow enough that when the door flies open, you eat a flying divine fist directly in the face.

Doesn’t hurt too much though, especially since your Hunter Module was down. Nashira yelps as she shakes her hand in pain, much to your amusement.

“The Null Fiend and the Dragon.” You grin. Awyrgan does not open her mouth, but leans forward and stares at the girl with a hungry gaze while retracting the weapons. She obviously does not see a threat for whatever reason.

She’s a good deal shorter than you, though not to the extent of Flandre or even Mystia. Albino characteristics just like Castor, who is standing behind her with a sheepish look. Somehow they achieved the white-hair and red eyes without losing skin tone, odd. Somehow managing to wear long hair in a military organization, you notice several chunks of her hair still missing, likely thanks to you and Mokou.

You note with some apprehension that she looks no older than 16.

“LIAR!” Another fist flies towards you, but you easily catch it, the divine energies dissipating on touch, “You are but a deluded pawn of that monstrosity!” She snarls, her red eyes focused in anger not on you, but at Awyrgan. “Where is he hiding! That fiend! Tell him that if he does not show up that I will blow myself and you, his accursed mount, to--OW!”

“Mount? MOUNT!” Awyrgan shouts back, anger visible on her human-ish face, as she retracts her tail from a stinging lash on Nashira’s side, “Who art thou daring to call one such as I, the most noble and terrible of monsters, a mere mount! Tis the height of folly and arrogance!”

Nashira holds her side, hurt, but her expression changes swiftly from anger to confusion as she quietly asks, “Foul Dragon...you can speak?”

“Tis a surprise for thee? You had taken me for a simple beast of burden?” Awyrgan huffs and stands back, putting a clawed hand over her collar in an unusually dainty gesture. “Thou art addressing a dragon, the highest beings in thy legends and tales.”

Nashira moves her head up and down at the dragon, her face growing visibly more confused by the second. From the elaborate armored dress, to the copied Ame-No-Ohabari that she is proudly wearing at her side, to the streaks of gold gilding her wings.

“You look like a knight. A high ranking one, perhaps even a Companion. Are you mocking us!?” Her voice raises to a shout again.

“I have no need of mimicking scum like thee, whom no more qualify for thy lofty monikers as the grime on my scales. Tell me, knave, what sort of sordid fool would antagonize one that had proven to be capable of massacring thy kindred, and may choose to do so even after thou expended enough effort to undo the past? Or, alternatively, would choose not to do so with sufficient tribute?”

“You know,” You interject, “How can you accuse us of things we have not done? More importantly, how do you know that your time travel have not already Butterfly Effect-ed your bloodline? Or how does anything that happen here affect your timeline if the multiverse theory holds?”

“Polaris had answered that issue through their research.” Castor explains as he slowly tries to physically get a grip on his sister, “The universe does not follow the multiverse theory, it’s a single river, one whose infinite possibilities collapse onto each other into one timeline that can only be significantly altered by large events in a roughly equivalent exchange. The butterfly that flutters its wings in the Arctic Federation will not cause anything but a single light breeze in the Caribbeans, but a billion could cause a small storm. It’s why we’re doing this at all.”

“Cast, why are you telling them this? The slave of the Null Fiend has no use for this information.”

“Nashi, if they know more of what we do and why, maybe we won’t have to fight.” He answers, strangely hopeful.



You wave your hands and roll your eyes, “I understand that. But Nashira, honestly I feel really attacked right now. As far as I know I serve nobody officially but Omoikane and the Tengu, and the latter...questionably. This Null Fiend must be a really sneaky guy if I’ve been his or her disciple the whole time without knowing.”

You say this sarcastically. But there is a nagging doubt in the back of your mind that the angry Savior could be right. Who was giving you the cards? You doubt it’s Conner, even if he killed and remade you back in school, he is far more dramatic and bombastic than that.

Even so, judging by how Castor described the Null Fiend and the Dragon, you are sure nobody else can be the Null Fiend. Who else did Awyrgan term a friend anyway? If anything, nobody else SHOULD be called the Null Fiend. Unless you died.

“Look, Nashira Pyrus. I’ll cut you a deal, you stay out of the conflict, and we won’t kill Deimos.” You see Castor frown and let out an irritated snort at that, “Got it? You surrender, and the scary Null Fiend and vicious Dragon will abstain from tearing your boyfriend limb to limb before enslaving his soul to my whim.”

“Deimos is far stronger than that!” Nashira protests, even as her brown skin visibly pales and tears well up in her eyes, “He...he wouldn’t lose to the likes of you!”

Something plops to the floor, and you jump back in disgust. A half-burnt human arm, still with scraps of armor attached to it.

Awyrgan coughs, wiping the steaming saliva from the regurgitation away from her mouth. “That Deimos, fought in an adequate manner, I suppose.” She kicks the arm over, revealing some sort of glowing barcode tattooed on the shoulder. “I refrained from digesting this piece as it seemed to contain information. Tis the arm of thy lover, yes?”

Castor makes another irritated snort, and backs away slightly from the severed body part.

Nashira kneels, eyes wide and hollow, “That’s...that’s his personal sigil. Villains...you are all...”

“Yep, villain, bad guy, dark lord. Worst of the bunch really. So, as I’ve said before, if you want your boyfriend alive.” You lean in towards the stunned girl’s ears and whisper, “Don’t. Fuck. With. Us. Understand? Just stay in Eientei and drink tea.”

You slap your hand down on her shoulder, as you see a faint, fading outline of a golden bow being formed in her hand. She lurches upright, and opens her mouth in a silent scream as you negate the divine energies with a Hew. “We only hunt heroes. If your family stays out of the conflict, we’ll guarantee their safety as well when the time comes. Though, judging by the way you mentioned Deimos more than them, you might have sidelined them into a Freudian motive, haven’t you?”

“That’s enough, Null Fiend.” Castor says as he pushes your arm off while pulling Nashira back, some genuine concern and anger in his voice. “Are you just here to bully Nashi, or do you have anything Doctor Yagokoro told you to do?”

“Uh, you guys need anything?” You jerk back from your villain impression, surprised at his reaction, “Eirin just wanted us to check up on you guys. You know, making sure everything’s going well in recovery. No hemorrhages, infections, or leaking information to the enemy.”

“Null Fiend, are you capable of saying anything without a backhanded remark?”

“...No. Yes. Maybe. Probably not.”

“Mmph. Mayhaps my friend is not suited for positive conversation. That is part of his eccentricities.” Awyrgan states matter-of-factly, “So tell me, O’ fervant knight of archery, what sort of beast appeal to you the most?”

Nashira blinks, once again confused, “A...a bear.”

“Mmhmm.” Awyrgan closes her eyes, and parts of her clothing break off into scales. Her fingertips exude tiny streams of plasma cutting, welding, and machining the metal into different parts, and then just as quickly she assembles it together. Before you know it, she’s holding up a small bronze statuette of Nashira’s favorite omnivore, one which is roaring and fidgeting.

Roaring and fidgeting as well as any contemporary windup toy, anyway, but that only took ten seconds.

“Consider this a gesture of goodwill and trust.” She says as she plops the toy into the girl’s hands.

“Thank...you? Foul...dragon...do you have a real name?”

“Tis Awyrgan, First born and queen of all western dragonkin.”

You watch her perform a small curtsy, even lifting the corners of her scale skirt. You wonder if Eirin had shadily drugged her somehow while she was unconscious. Tanks don’t do curtsies. DRAGONS don’t do curtsies.

Yet there it is.

“What.” Is all you can say as you leave the room, Castor palming you a small translucent cube while Nashira’s distracted with the toy bear.

“Honestly, my friend. Thy hollow nature is not conducive to your relations with normal lessers.” Awyrgan points out with no small amount of smug as she floats in front of you, “Thou truly cannot speak anything truly positive, can thee?”

You shake your head, “I can, but sarcasm is much easier.”

“Tis thy nature, hollow, silent, and unfeeling. The only ones who saw thy true self and were willing to remain close are those with damaged souls and warped hearts.”

“The insane? The mad?” Wait, you see the validity in that phrase as Awyrgan locks her hungry, burning eyes with yours, smiling. Kagerou and Konoroz were right to be suspicious and hostile. A broken mother of a nue. A deserter traumatized through horror. A mad rainbow serpent with a chip against the heavens. A mechanical horror with aspirations of dominion and nobility. A deranged protagonist with a sadistic streak a mile wide, literally…

“Hey Ming! Hey Awyrgan” Sanae cheerfully greets you from the other end of the hallway. “Lady Toyohime and Iwakasa have finished cooking dinner, and say, what did you get from them?”

“This. Castor held up his end of the deal for keeping his sister alive and safe.” You squeeze the cube and toss it up. A large holographic screen is projected in mid-air, and a copious volume of text. “Information on the capabilities of the Savior companions, and Rigel himself.”

Sanae scans through the data with you. She reacts with some relief on the capabilities of the common soldiery, and some grimness on the paladins, who have divine abilities equivalent to some of the stronger youkai. The Companions elicit a groan, as they are moreorless equivalent to her, with vast amounts of divine energies plus special abilities. Castor’s omnipotent weapon mastery and attraction is already powerful, while Nashira’s bullshit divine archery threatened to immediately turn Awyrgan into scrap metal last time.

She stops at the last entry. Rigel.

“You have got to be kidding me.” She exclaims, “NON-MAGICAL clairvoyant abilities, and the power to personally take control of land and subjects?”

“Castor says that we should see it in the form of writhing golden light that sanctifies the land and bolsters combatants. It”

Sanae taps her temple, “Grr...hmm...So when I cracked open one of those large statue-like robots they had parked near the Yakumo residence, and saw tentacles of light from inside of it, that was his ability? No wonder they defy physics even moreso than Hisoutensoku!”
“You mean a warbeast?” You ask, confused, “I never saw golden light coming out of them, just red pulsating masses of something organic. Similar to something that tried to eat Kaguya and succeeded in assimilating Mokou until we beat her, it seems like it could enthrall even somebody like a Hourai immortal so...oh...”

You and Sanae stare at each other, mutual realization and horror dawning on your faces.

Awyrgan, listening the whole time, takes a few glances at Rigel’s entry and says, “I see just red mass too. Mayhaps it be that only those of mortal or goodly mind see it as gold? Ah, now I recall a sight from four days ago, when I was still in mine incubator and had frightened thee, my friend when thou took a seat on my rear. Twas a red tendril spurring the dessicated corpse of an outsider to twitch. Finding it unnatural, I erased it with mine cannon, only to see the red tendril retreat back into the soul. I thought it some odd youkai at first, but now...”

Your mind figuratively retreats four threads all the way back to your first day, and you hear Sanae stifle a small scream as she realizes what Awyrgan’s statement implies.

Rigel’s ability is to take control of everything.

What a Lovecraftian ability. But the man was clearly on the side of humanity against the monsters, so what does that mean?

[ ] Head back to Youkai Mountain and inform them, if safely possible
- [ ] Others need to know; We need to go to __________ as well. (write-in, multiple)
[ ] Stay here, not worth the risk
>> No. 31321
Well, fuck.

[x] Stay here, not worth the risk.

Let's run this by the Eientei crew before we go blasting off like Team Rocket.
>> No. 31322
[x] Head back to Youkai Mountain and inform them, if safely possible
-[x] Rush there immediately

Tentacles of Mind Control + Hakurei Ochiba's bullshit powers = THINGS ARE REALLY, GENUINELY FUCKED
>> No. 31323
[X] Head back to Youkai Mountain and inform them, if safely possible
- [X] Others need to know; We need to meet Toyohime and go to the Garden of the Sun as well.

If Rigel is having a mind-blowing tentacle play session at the Moryia shrine, the Tengu would probably like to know.

I'm adding Yuuka because she may be the oldest hag he knows of aside from Eirin, if the Lux Pacifica is some sort lovecraftian elder god supporting a takeover under the shiny guise of a holy war, perhaps she knows what sort of power is backing the Saviours. Also he kind of left her passed out in the dust last thread.
>> No. 31324
[X] Head back to Youkai Mountain and inform them, if safely possible
- [X] Others need to know; We need to meet Toyohime and go to the Garden of the Sun as well.

The saviours being horrors in disguise makes too much sense. It'd explain the future's Yukari's behavior: She has no reason to subjugate mankind. So maybe she didn't and it was made up by Lux Pacifica as a decent casus belli.
>> No. 31347
dead story
>> No. 31352
File 153896519942.jpg - (218.72KB, 1536x864, 1583326.jpg) [iqdb]
31352
[x] Head back to Youkai Mountain and inform them, if safely possible
- [X] Others need to know; We need to meet Toyohime and go to the Garden of the Sun as well

“It’s only been five days...what the fuck.” You wonder aloud.

“Days are longer in Gensokyo, you know. Mostly due to it hosting a shard of Heaven. An hour in here is like two out there. Lot more happens, and the pace of life is slower.” Sanae yawns as she stumbles into the sizeable Eientei kitchen. “Oi, Lady Toyohime, we have something for you!”

“I trust this is important? Miss Kochiya?” In a flash, Toyohime had stepped from her position in front of the hearth to you, fanning herself with her particle disintegrator of a fan. “Combat data, is that it?”

Sanae weakly smiles, a faintly triumphant glint in her eyes as she opens up the data, “Feast thy eyes upon the enemy’s ploys! ”
“Huh,” Toyohime furls her brow at the projected information, before giving a sort of disappointed moan, “Lady Yagakoro was correct again. My inferences about the current arch-enemy’s capabilities were slightly off. I had assumed it would be something related to dominion, but none so complete in scope.”

“So, in powerlevel terms, how screwed are we?”

“Worse than...Junko.”

You frown at the unfamiliar name, “Who’s Junko?”

“Some horrid fox-based monstrosity of a Divine Spirit that sieges the Lunar Capitol every decade.” Toyohime’s voice drops, and a tinge of fright comes in, “She rams her head against the Capitol gates, terrorizes the rabbits, and uses my sister and I as anger management punching bags. On the moon. It is something nobody on Earth could accomplish.”

“Gee! Something even somebody as strong as you is frightened of, must be final boss material.” You nervously chuckle at the statement from one who trounced Yukari without too much trouble. “But you’re saying that Rigel is even worse than her?”

“In insidiousness, yes. We do not have an accurate reading of his magical reserves, however, while we do know that Junko can leave substantial cracks on the very walls constructed by Lord Tsukuyomi and Lady Amaterasu. If Rigel has such power, on par with a primordial god, then coupled with the capability to claim absolute dominion over all things in a similar manner to the Abrahamic Consensus, then we may be facing a serious threat beyond anything we have faced in thousands of years.”

Toyohime folds her fan, and shakes her head, “I do not say that lightly. I will inform Lady Yagokoro and we shall prepare for the worst, as should all the mortals of Gensokyo. It is not a stretch to imagine that he might go for the Moon next, perhaps...” Audible gulping is heard as her face flusters, a concerning cornerstone on how much the information is causing the prideful Watatsuki to behave out of character, “He might even ally with Junko in the process...oh no.”

Sanae raises a finger, “Any strategies?”

“I would say that Eientei should continue with development, as my expertise, Kaguya’s talent, my knowledge, Lady Yagokoro’s intellect ought to invent something capable of negating the threat. What Lunarians really do when something like this approaches though...is flee to somewhere unreachable.”

She gazes up at the moon in the sky, its light free to pass through the overtaken Barrier unlike everything else.

“Warn everyone else in this land. We must stop Rigel here, or at least, exhaust every resource before he looks to the stars.”

==========

“Well that was depressing.”

“Chill out Ming.” Sanae tries to assure, a trembling tone in her voice. “We are protagonists. We---”

“You. You are a protagonist. I’m just a NPC.” You sigh, watching the stars in the night sky pass by for any potential hostiles.

“Alright Mr. Necromancy-imbued, Mind-altering, Hero-slaying, Dragon Tamer. Whatever you say.” Sanae says as she rolls her eyes.

“Seeing as thou art a friend of a friend, I would graciously suggest that thy retract the comment about taming. Nay such a base beast am I that has need of such crude techniques to function socially.” The dragon rumbles below the both of you, her voice vibrating through her scales.

While you can fly now. Awyrgan is still the fastest in your group. That convo atop her back lasted you the whole way to the former Garden of the Sun, which is about forty seconds.

“Also Sanae, you know that’s a death flag. You know what happens to outsider protagonists...wait, nevermind.” You backspace verbally as Sanae gives you a weird look, “The point is, protagonists or heroes, have lots of people standing next to them. Given my status, that area is also a blast radius that people get hurt by. Speaking of which...”

Awyrgan spirals down, cutting speed with her wings the whole way. A whole mess of dead vegetation and dust is blown up and off to the side by the resulting wind as she lands in the middle of what once was the Garden of the Sun.

“Lady Kazami?” Awyrgan bellows out.

The dirt in front of you stirs. Roots burst through the soil, and through the hole emerges a shabby, long-haired, pants-wearing figure. It takes you a few moments to register that person as Yuuka, garbed in her PC-98 era outfit. Likely due to the fact that her previous clothes were blown apart.

“Yes? What do you want?” Yuuka mumbles with her face off to the side, as if embarrassed or afraid. Is this the same person you fought with earlier today?

“Um,” Apparently Awyrgan’s taken aback as well, “We came into the possession of some secrets of our hated foes. As a major presence in the Grassroots Youkai Network, mayhaps thou has use of such intelligence?”

“...Sure.” The wilted youkai sighs, accepting the datacube and perusing the information as they come up in the list. “I shall have the flowers whisper this revelation to the four corners of Gensokyo...you know, assuming they would still listen.”

“I...I’m sorry.” You quickly apologize, still somewhat fearful of the flower youkai.

“Alas, the one called Ming,” She shakes her head, “It is not through choice that you are a terrible human. But it is my choice in being too weak. Please, just don’t be here while the land heals.”

“Alright, got it. What about the enemy though?”

“Go be terrible around them, please.”

========

“Well that was depressing.”

“Go eat a sock, Ming. I liked the Garden of the Sun.” Sanae groans, “Why didn’t you tell me that you nuked the place?”

“I didn’t! Oh hey.” You notice something odd as the Mountain looms closer. “Was there always a large barrier around it?”

Awyrgan pulls up as it becomes apparent that there is a dome of shimmering golden...tendrils...of light surrounding the Youkai Mountain. You pull out Initiative and take some pot shots at it, and then a single Hew-empowered shot. The normal rounds bounce off in sizzling trails of plasma, while the Hew shot tears a small hole that quickly reforms.

“Shit. This sort of divine energy is stronger than usual. Can you ask if this your patrons’ doing, Sanae?”

“What, no!” She replies indignantly. “Does this look like a barrier of wind or of earth? Something so gaudy can only be done by either the Hakurei or from what I can tell, the enemy! And I can’t sense them right now, and it’s probably a bad idea to attempt contact.”

“You fought against Reimu right? Any idea how to dispel this? I don’t want it collapsing in on us like a falling ceiling trap.”

“Ugh.” Sanae removes a charm from her belt satchel, writes a fortune on it with saliva, and throws it at the barrier. A splotch of blackness manifests on it, lingering but insignificant.

“Traditional curses work.” She looks on with disappointment. “But this thing is massive. I don’t have enough curses to get through even if I tell fortunes for the rest of the year!”

“Curses?” Awyrgan suddenly pipes up as she descends onto the ground, ejecting both of you off in the process. “Tis, ironically, good fortune that I, the noble dragon Awyrgan, hath what we need in this trying time!”

“You mean...oh...” You understand as you see her spit out a copy of the Ame-no-Ohabari, making Sanae yelp and jump back on instinct. “How many of those can you make?”

“I still hath the metal consumed from that black-white witch’s junkheap and borrowed from our nemesis. Now, stand back, for I shall perform a spellcard attack!”

“Wait do you even know what a spellcard is?” Sanae questions, before stepping back as Awyrgan arches up her back, and hot plasma begins running between her scales.

“Replica Curse:...” Awyrgan’s eyes cry tears of plasma as she braces her form against the ground. Then, her back suddenly bloats and expands out into a larger, heavier existence. Bulging and incongruent with the rest of her form, it looks somewhat like a series of vehicle-mounted missile pods.

“...Ryu-no-Ohabari!” You see a steady flow of bronze sword blades emerging from her scales, flung en masse into the air. Streaks of heated air light up the night sky like a meteor shower as the Ohabari replicas are sent crashing into the barrier as a barrage, blackening it with their concentrated curses as they shatter and explode. The barrier noticeably shrinks and become irregular, as if rusting and buckling under its own weight.

“Couldn’t you just throw them normally?” Sanae shouts with her hands over her ears, “You don’t need to launch them that hard!”

“Technically, this is danmaku, right?” You add.

“Tis more entertaining in this manner, I assure thee! Now, tis time for mine final blow!” With a joyful roar, the railgun retracts and Awyrgan charges forward, slamming into the barrier.

A sickening crunch is heard. Her neck kind of snaps and twists backwards at a 180 degree angle, and she flops onto the ground. The barrier remains unmoved.

“Easy girl. Overconfidence is a quick and obvious killer.” You weakly laugh as the dragon’s long neck snaps back to a regular position while the remaining sword blades disintegrate into their components, dragged back into the evershifting mess of metal that make up her internals.

“Tis thy turn, dear friend.” She grumbles.

“I’m kind of tired, Awyri, can you---OW” Awyrgan, impatient, had curled her tail around you and shoved you straight into the barrier, rubbing your face against the blackened surface. “Pwease stwap.” You muffle out.

Sanae shakes her head. She leaps over to the barrier, and incants, “By the authority of the Sky, and the strength of the Earth. Purify this blackened guardian. Lay it to rest.”

Streaks of divine energy rush up into the curses, grains of rice against the blackness. Sanae raises her gohei, hovering a bit above ground as a noticeable wind builds around her, “Miracle: ‘Divine Wind of the Kouen Era’ ”

A sudden violent gust bends tree tops and shifts stones, as the barrier crumbles into a flurry of leaves, carried off into the distance by the wind. Awyrgan snarls and furls her wings.

Your skin itches in dissonance. You don’t feel any wind save for a light breeze.

“Ha, cursed barriers may as well be made of paper. That barely took any effort. Come on guys. I want to go home...” Sanae yawns, and then immediately falls flat on her face.

You walk over and check with dismay. She’s fast asleep, quite comfortably judging by the look on her face as she snores away on the grass.

“Fack.” You hoist the shrine maiden onto your shoulders and climb back onto Awyrgan. “Alright, Awyri, let’s head for the Temple.”

“Affirmative, going in.”

Awyrgan takes off, and flies forwards, climbing altitude sharply. You pass the Kappa Village, and sail up the waterfall like a speedboat on a river. As you approach you constantly check the Hunter’s Module, and note with some relief that there are no hostile marks on the HUD. There are however, many, many marks in the Tengu Village plaza. Is there another meeting?

“Awyri, can you go small and carry Sanae? We should try to avoid raising a fuss there.”

A sort of gelatinous, liquid feeling shifts beneath you, before disappearing and allowing you to freefall for several meters before the artificial dragon wings kick in. Awyrgan pulls up alongside you, humanoid, with Sanae slung over her shoulder like a sack of potatoes. “Joining the fun, art thee?”

“You know I can’t leave things well alone, mine friend.” You answer.

The dragon awkwardly smiles, and the two of you dive down into a darkened section of the village, and trek over to the plaza on foot.

As you get closer, you pick up sounds of loud fighting and spell casts coming from the plaza. You double check and oddly, there are no hostile marks. Are they danmaku sparring? In such a time?

“Love Sign: MASTER---SPARK!”

“Dragon Sign: Optical Dream!”

You get into the plaza just in time to see a massive energy beam narrowly miss an immature Eastern dragon and impacting a shield conjured of a flurry of bandages. Marisa Kirisame barely finishes firing before dodging sideways as Kasen Ibaraki launches the fabric out as a clawed hand, attempting to grasp the witch.

The black-white then dodges low, but the dragon flies after her with unerring grace, snapping at her all the way. Marisa nimbly dodges the attacks while skating along the ground on her broom, throwing up bolts of stars and bottles of nebulous dust at the offending creature and the not-a-oni.

Kasen snarls and recalls her dragon in a puff of smoke, before abruptly shifting to the left. Before Marisa can react, a massive eagle the size of a rhinoceros shoots out of the shadows at her, forcing a sharp turn left and up into the air...straight into an incoming grasping cursed arm. She does not reverse direction in time to avoid the hand wrapping around her and slamming her into the ground.

“Done.” Kasen coughs out, the bandages reshifting back into a normal arm.

“Oi Oi!” She clamors, “It’s not over yet!”

“We agreed. Best two out of three rounds. Isn’t that right? Mr. Ochiba?”

The outsider, who had been watching the fight, steps down from the stage, scratching his head. You notice that there are quite a few non-tengu in the crowd, including some familiar faces: Shou, Patchouli, Futo. Heck, seems like every group in Gensokyo sent somebody here!

Except, you note with a sudden chill down your spine, the Human Village.

“Miss Ibaraki...how long are you going to keep this up? Why not allow Lady Hakurei to speak for herself?”

“As long as it takes until Reimu is safe.” The hermit complains. “You think I would reveal the lynchpin of this world while those terrorists calling themselves ‘heroes’ are running free while the Sages are away?”

“He has a point, Kasen.” Marisa lifts her face off from the ground, bruised but not really harmed too much, “All we have to go on is that the Hakurei Shrine disappeared yesterday, and you claim to be the only one who knows what’s going on. No hard feelings, but you’re not exactly the most trustworthy of people.”

Something’s not right. You smell something odd in the air. Something hidden and dangerous.

Kasen sighs, “You bought into that, Marisa? Reimu’s life would be in danger if I revealed anything. Please, do not interfere.”

“Miss Ibaraki!” Ochiba firmly states, looking straight into Kasen’s eyes, “The more we delay a meeting, the more innocent lives will be lost! The enemy cannot be defeated conventionally, so until the Sages return, we need every bit of leverage we can get! Reimu...I need Reimu’s help if we are to survive.”

Awyrgan sets down Sanae onto a stone table, nudges close to you and whispers, “Tis irritating to hear the speech of that one with the two swords, and his blood smelt of nobility. Shall I make him into a burnt delicacy?”

“No, you can’t eat him yet.” You whisper back, “I got a bad feeling about the consequences.”

“I represent her. Any and all requests will be made through me.” Kasen responds, “Until they leave, or I die.”

“Miss Ibaraki, that is a rash thing to say! You’ve seen what they’ve done to the tengu, and until we can better prepare ourselves, there’s no telling what the Saviors can do!”

“Tis a lie, Ming.”

“I know.” You make one last scan with the Hunter’s Module. Nothing. “Give me some of your life, and let’s go. I think something more than Ochiba’s usual BS is afoot.”

Hewing off Awyri’s lifespan with one hand, you raise your other hand and cry out in a loud and sing-song tone, “I know at least something they can do! Be delicious!”

“Hmph, tis more appropriate for mine boast.”

“Oh shush.”

The crowd turns, Ochiba and Kasen stop talking and look over to you.
“They die easy. Roasted, dried, and salted. So many corpses in the field. So much expensive armor turned to scrap metal. So many knights...how did they taste, Awyri?”

“Sweeter than virgin maidens, but mildly less flavorful than plainer humanfolk.” She echoes your sing-song voice, while an Ohabari slowly grows out of her left hand. “Tis possible to dine on their flesh for months on end, with no fatigue in appetite.”

Ochiba visibly winces at your statements as he raises a katana at you, “You...who are you two?”

“Wow, you forgotten about me already? It’s been only one day! I am Wu Ming, professional asshole and nosy outsider. This is Awyrgan, professional eater and legally recognizable Touhou.” You curtly introduce the two of you into the gathering. Awyrgan probably would be answering but she appears more interested in stoically posing with a two-handed Ohabari planted into the ground, in the regal manner of a knight errant. “Or as some of you may like to term...the Null Fiend and the Dragon.”

The air freezes up. The crowd gathered noticeably backs up like the Red Sea, and Marisa, observant, ejects from the plaza and onto a nearby rooftop. In the din, you see Ochiba mouth, “You don’t look the same!”

Something whistles through the air before you notice, and Awyrgan dramatically moves forward to intercept. The Ohabari hits air, and you suddenly notice a sword in your throat.

“Called it.” You mutter, before going back to your mocking tone. “Oh no.” You groan, as the sword dissipates back into divine energy. “Mister Rigel, why are you attacking non-combatants? Awyri and I just trying to get back to my bedroom so we can sleep twice in the same place for once.”

Some more whistles, but this time Awyrgan simply ejects several copies of the blade into the air, deflecting the divine projectiles in airbursts of cursed miasma.

“Rigel, stop!” Ochiba shouts.

“Yeah, guess that wasn’t believable. But still, I so…yawn...so wish we could be civil about this, Mr. Rigel, but if you are going to keep doing this, then I’m afraid that I am going to tell my higher-ups to...degrade treatment of the prisoners.”

“Cease thy civility friend.” Awyrgan angrily breaks her silence. “False knights! Foul imitations of an illusionary chivalry. If thou art true of heart and unwavering faith, show thyself instead of flinging treacherous blades from the shadows!”

A resounding silence. Awyrgan huffs, and slams her claws down, breaking her humanoid form in the process and letting out a resounding roar through her horse-sized jaws. Damn, you observe in realization at her sheer size compared to the crowd, she increased size by an order of magnitude in just one Gensokyean day to something larger than an A-10 Warthog. “Art thee so cowardly, so faint of heart that thy face will not show?”

“Yeah, seriously, I haven’t even seen your face yet.” You lie along with your dragon, “Are you going to hide behind your Companions while they die and suffer for your cause? Are you going to let us burn them, eat them, and crucify them while you do nothing?”

It’s Kasen’s turn to speak up this time, a trembling tone in her voice as she gestures to the...damn, that area near Mayohiga is still smoldering? “Wu Ming...you did all of that?”

“Not all of it. You can thank Sanae for the other annihilated platoon.” You chuckle, gesturing to the sleeping shrine maiden on the table past the crowd. “But seriously. Rigel, you might want to come out. We have two captives in the Null Fiend’s base, you know, the same Null Fiend you mistook me for. He’s not going to be happy if you don’t. Nice try mercy killing them, though.”

Ochiba visibly pales, “He talked about those prisoners. What did you do to the Pyrus siblings? You...”

“What? The usual. Chains, the rack, you know, usual newcomer treatment.” You lie, “Maybe a little bit of vivisection. We might get started on interrogation soon though. So, Rigel...show thyself. We need to talk.”

A slight cough from the side, and you see a shabby looking fellow in a hooded cloak emerge from the crowd. In a single motion, he tears the cloth from its body in a blinding flash of light, making your Hunter Module dim everything else.

“You wished to see me, foul Fiend!?” The baritone voice from your eavesdropping earlier returns with a vengeance as he shouts at you, his face contorted with righteous fury. “Here I am!”

Here he is, the final boss.

Gold and platinum, that’s the impression you get from Rigel. A billowing, flowing cloak, thick, ornate (but with a mundane, relatable flair), and a worn out, middle aged face with braided red hair and a full beard that still oozes with the charm and looks of a younger person, one much more detailed than the holographic representation Castor showed you.

There’s something inherently comfortable about it, much like Big Brother’s visage in 1984 as you use an unflattering metaphor, that ironically makes you feel reassured as you swing around Initiative into a fighting stance. Despite the general bulkiness of the armor, he also feels oddly in place among the native denizens of Gensokyo that haven’t fled the area yet, likely due to the somewhat feminine sculpting.

“Finally, the person who’s been throwing swords at us.” You state confidentiality, even as his threat level fills up your HUD. “Awyrgan, deliver your terms, if you please.”

“Ah, catharsis. Listen, knave.” The dragon snarls, leaning her head close to Rigel, within bite range. “Leave. This. Land. Lest more of thy men are rendered into fodder, or worse.”

Ochiba’s shouting something in the background about no lethal violence at a peace talk or something, but nobody’s listening to him.

To your surprise, Rigel’s face suddenly shifts into a hearty smile, “Oh? Why don’t you tell the Violet Tyrant to leave our land then? Her pet demons in Clear Sky are pillaging countries and murdering innocent people in the Outside World as we speak!”

“INNOCENT? WHY I---” You lash out with your fishing line just in time to restrain Sanae from running at the enemy general. Damn, when did she wake up? “Let me go! Ming! This bastard needs to be exterminated!”

The smile disappears, “You corrupted an innocent bystander with your foul mist?”

You respond blankly, “What.”

“Sword of Truth!” More blinding light...light? A closer look reveals something...tendril-ish, exploding from his hand as a radiant blade comes into existence. “Fragarach! Reveal the deceit this monster wrought!”

Fragarach? Does this guy have Gate of Babylon or some shit?

“Fragarach? That Irish blade? Do you have like Gate of Babylon or some ridiculous power?!” Sanae shouts.

He holds it up, blade first, to Sanae, who coughs violently, as if something caught in her throat. “Tell me, what did the Null Fiend and the Dragon do to you?”

“Oh, them? I barely know Ming that well. He’s a terrible person, but competent at being a hero. Awyrgan gave me rides, and really should try on more maid dresses rather than that edgy metallic….”

“Tsk, the corruption runs too deep for even Fragarach to break through the lies. Very well!” He stabs the sword into the ground, leaving it standing hilt first, which is rather impressive as the plaza is paved, and conjures up what looks like a massive section of tree bark and a stylus, before making a massive show of writing. “By the authority of the Lux. By the hope of humanity. Reveal the true form of all those present!”

Glowing runes form beneath your feet as he writes, far faster than any spell you’ve seen a Gensokyean cast. The runes are also much more different than the rococo, cursive script used in Gensokyo’s magic, being far more angular and block-ish, like an alphabet. You swear you’ve seen them somewhere before, as the runes explode, engulfing everyone present with divine energy.

You feel it strip against you like a receding ocean wave, all too harsh and painful. You mutter Hew, and a cold sinking feeling sets in when you see that, much like your earliest use of the spell, nothing happens.

As the runes fade, you look around and, to your disappointment, don’t see significant differences in everyone. As stated by Keine’s book and Mishaguji, the forms taken by the denizens here are not illusions, but adaptations. Shou, watching from a balcony, had turned into her tiger form, not that she’s noticed, and Futo has become translucent, with a spinning dish visible inside of her. Okay, those are some pretty massive changes, but the tengu seemed to stay the same.

Oh, and atop Kasen’s head are a pair of massive horns, straight and pointy, where the “hair buns” used to be. You take the opportunity to point and laugh at her, until you notice that nobody else is looking at her.

Everyone’s looking at you, in fact.

You pull your arm back. It is shriveled, dead, the flesh within having long since mummified and bore through by decomposer organisms. And yet it moves and feels, even the areas that bare the signs of severe blunt injury and third-degree burns.

You lower Initiative and look at your own reflection, a gaunt, dry, eyeless ghoul stares back at you, with no nose and two large gaping holes where your eyes were. Despite the mummification, you still see maggots crawling through the gaps in the skin. Strangely large
maggots tinged with either pinkish or rainbow-colored auras.

Pulling your hand beneath Awyrgan’s cuirass, you feel your chest. It lies still even as you continue to breathe in and out. No lung movement, nor heartbeat. Not even when you reach into the autopsy cut that leads directly into your chest cavity.

============
Mayohiga

The deserted house briefly comes alive with the sound of an enchanted typewriter.

The sheet of paper is only imprinted with a single line of text before being ejected.

“Outsider #1126: Confirmed cessation of life. Method: Smoke inhalation. Context: Unknown.”

============

“Great job with the smoke and mirrors. Rigel.” You laugh as the you shows off your desiccated form to the public. “Are you saying that a fucking zombie killed your elite troops?”

While everyone is staring at you, he is staring at Sanae and ignoring you, who has not changed at all. “Sanae Kochiya, Goddess of the Wind...you really believe that I need to die?”

“Yes.” She replies coldly and firmly.

“Whoa, whoa whoa, hey.” Ochiba finally interjects after standing in shock since Rigel steps in, his normally confident, heroic tone somewhat wavering. “Don’t just jump to absolutes like that.”

“If there is any time for absolutes, you foolish outsider, now is the time.”

“Also, Rigel! Why do you feel the need to antagonize the Null Fiend so?”

Rigel ignores that question initially as he scribbles on the tree bark. You candidly answer for him, “Probably because the Fiend killed his friends or something in that future timeline. You know, small things like that.”

“Tsk. You really are the same no matter when you are, foul wretch. Hakurei Ochiba, you have mistaken my intentions. Everything living in this world is valuable, and should be treated with dignity and care. These two,” He gestures at you and Awyrgan and suddenly raises his voice, into a booming thunderous condemnation, “As you can see, are not living!”

You feel something press up against you, as Awyrgan manifests several more Ohabaris out of her flesh. Sanae leans in to your earhole, and whispers, her tone somewhat odd, “Zombie-Ming, I finally can feel my gods.”

“You mind calling Kanako over then?”

“No, Ming. I feel their presence IN him.” Sanae says as she points at the gesticulating Rigel. “I...I fear he ate them.”

“And I will never negotiate with them! By the mandate of the Lux. By the will of all that is good. Return these monsters to the grave where---!”

And at this moment, all three of the interloping outsiders scream out and act.

“SIR RIGEL! STOP THIS AT ONCE!”

“WAIT WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME EARLIER!”

“I WAS DAZED!”

Think fast.

[ ] Blast the writing bark out of his hands
[ ] “MEILING, HELP!”
[ ] “Styx...styx...where all rivers flow...”


====

A/N: really busy with school and work at once, sorry for slowness
>> No. 31353
File 153896708035.jpg - (228.67KB, 500x700, image.jpg) [iqdb]
31353
[x] “MEILING, HELP!”
I'm pretty sure this is the only time Junko has been mentioned in a story. nice.
>> No. 31354
[X] “MEILING, HELP!”

We're faced with a pretty shitty situation where we are in full view of some pretty big bigwigs of Gensokyo.

voting to blast the writing out of his hands is technically the fastest, but it probably isn't a good idea for the fact that it would cement the idea that we're the bad guys.

chanting whatever the 3rd option is seems like a wildcard option. But the time it'd take I assume would put us in danger.

Shouting for Meiling is a mix between time and authenticity. If she can make it in time. We'd have a "hopefully" another influential character on our side to convince the rest.

At least that's what I think is going on.
>> No. 31355
[X] “MEILING, HELP!”
>Hakurei Ochiba, you have mistaken my intentions. Everything living in this world is valuable, and should be treated with dignity and care.
>“No, Ming. I feel their presence IN him.” Sanae says as she points at the gesticulating Rigel. “I...I fear he ate them.”
lol

>By the mandate of the Lux. By the will of all that is good. Return these monsters to the grave where---!
Is this guy trying to cast Turn Undead ? There's no way something like that is going to be effective.
>> No. 31356
File 153902387355.jpg - (114.91KB, 1280x720, 1448135030409.jpg) [iqdb]
31356
[x] Blast the writing bark out of his hands
-[x] Return the God's you killed you piece of shit!

He ate my favorite touhou!
>> No. 31357
>Sanae is savvy enough to have played F/HA
That's ridiculous.

[x] “MEILING, HELP!”
>> No. 31359
[x] “Styx and stones.”
>> No. 31483
File 154461000716.jpg - (135.36KB, 1280x720, maxresdefault.jpg) [iqdb]
31483
Mumbai, India
Current time: 12:00AM

Under the dark awnings of an abandoned train station in the outskirts of the city, amidst the pitter-patter of heavy rain, two groups meet.

One is a short, gray-haired woman dressed in discreet black clothing, flanked by a dozen burly men in suits, as still as statues.

The other, a single blond woman in a fanciful white dress with a purple tabard, holding a parasol despite the weather, alongside a wheelchair-bound man with balding white hair.

“I might ask why you find the need to travel here personally.” The tall blonde asks as she examines the trunk the shorter one is towing. “These are dangerous times.”

The old woman chuckles, “Hardly dangerous. And it would not do for the prized swords of yore, of so much import that the public still believes of their fantastical nature despite hidden right under their feet in the Tower of London, to be delivered in such an impersonal manner.”

“As expected. But I dare say.” The blonde leans close and grins, revealing her rows of sharp teeth and prompting the guards to break out their pistols and take aim. “You are more concerned of how the recipient of the weapons is behaving, correct? Primrose?”

“Ah, would you not worry about how your scions are doing? Violet dear? You would say so too, correct, wizened engineer?” Primrose smiles, and looks at the man. The man stirs, and mutters something in German with an irritated tone.

“Please, do not trouble this old fellow. At least, try to help his mind stay intact until he can witness his creation’s true potential.” Violet says, annoyed, as she opens the trunk, revealing a rack of swords, lavishly bejeweled and carved, but all rusted and worn-looking.

“So. Hunks of old metal?” She sighs.

“One of these hunks of old metal, ohoho.” Primrose chuckles as she kneels down and fingers them. “Arondight...Courtain...Galatine...Caladbolg...Excalibur, ohoho,” She pauses as she lays a hand on the least rusty of them, “A weapon fit for an English king, and only wieldable by one.”

Violet sighs, “It wouldn’t be of help. Unless an old queen like you would wish to rush into combat.”

“No, not against our current foe, and not in the hands of our dearest scion, that monster of Wales, terror of Germania, and demon of the Levant. But this one.” She pulls out the most ornate, and yet the most impractical looking of the lot.”This is what will help.”

“And this is…?”

“The accursed ceremonial blade: Clarent.”

============

[X] “MEILING, HELP!”

“---they should have remained!”

A spiraling crack of rainbow light spreads from your body and intercepts the runes as they form. The golden runes push forward, only to appear to buckle under their own weight and collapse. Rigel frowns and puts away the tree bark.

“It appears I cannot justify this law in the face of even minor dissent. No matter. Even if I must turn my back to justice and take up arms as a vigilante.” He raises his head, a sword forming in his hand as he speaks. “Take the accursed dragon’s head. Reforged Gram!”

“Like hell you will!” As the rainbow crystals recede, you see Sanae leap forth and up above the paladin, her arms outstretched and projecting a series of divine light-sheathed water projectiles around her fists. “Sea of Opening: Moses’s Mirac--”

“Stay out of this, Sanae Kochiya! ” Rigel roars, “Sacred Onbashira of Yasaka!”

“Wha--” Sanae hesitates just a little too much, enough for the logs to thrust out of the ground and surround her like a massive tepee as she stumbles back earthward. Another shout from Rigel, and a series of iron rings materialize around the logs and shrink, locking the structure into a cage.

“Rigel!”

“You too, Hakurei Ochiba.” The outsider is stopped in his rush forward by a log sprouting out in front of him. You see that they are in fact growing all around the plaza, forming a towering fence that encloses just Rigel, Kasen, and your group. “I do not wish to engage any more innocents and redeemables in this fight. LIKE SO!” Abruptly. He swings his left arm out, and punches a cannon shell out of the air and into the sky where it detonates harmlessly. “Predictable.”

“Tsk. What a conceited individual.” Awyrgan complains, retracting the 155mm. “Must he really self-aggrandize to that extent?”

“You’re one to talk. By the way, cover me, you probably don’t want to be anywhere near a dragon-slaying blade.”

“You are going to charge forth posing as the main threat, hollow vessel, while the dragon rains fire from the back.” Rigel calls out, somewhat annoyed. “It’s a base tactic that I’ve seen a thousand times.”

“Hey, if it killed so many of your friends like you claim, then I’m not going to fix what isn’t broken. Hew Sign...hmm...” You wetten your burnt, shriveled lips as you think up a cool spell card name on the spot, ”Ah…’Dissection Barrier!’”

No pink light emerges from your body now. Glowing maggots and worms do, boring themselves out of your mummified skin and into the shield generator. A pink, writhing graviton barrier is projected, squirming and writhing as it grows large enough to cover both you and Awyrgan’s crouching form.

The true form of that iron card spell, eh? You wonder with perverted curiosity at what the cards themselves would have looked like without the hilariously powerful glamour that ‘professor’ put on you.

“Predictable”, Rigel scoffs as he tosses aside Gram, and pulls out a polearm instead,“Odin’s Unerring Spear: Gungnir!”

====

A couple of miles away, Remilia Scarlet staggers and grabs onto a table as the weapon she was leaning on vanishes.

====

You leap in front of Awyrgan, blocking the tossed spear with your shield. Even as its divine construction breaks apart in your infused graviton shield, you find yourself forced back, the draconic-infused exoskeleton unable to even hold ground against the raw power exerted against you, allowing it to push you back all the way to the edge of the plaza and slamming you against a wall.

No matter. You pull yourself back up and immediately charge back, firing your sidearm while continuously taunting him. “All you’ve got? Even the spear of a chief god not enough?”

“Hmph, the weapons of the wicked...” He deftly steps back to dodge a series of slashing strikes from a fuming dragon girl, dual-wielding the Ohabaris like they are claws...actually, they are growing out of her humanoid knuckles in a grotesque Wolverine-esque pattern. “Divine Shield: Aegis!”


========

A couple of miles away. Remilia Scarlet squints her eyes in confusion at the spear that reappeared in her hand.

========

Zeus’s shield blackens as the fragile bronze blades shatter themselves on its Olympian forged construction. Depleted of swords, Awyrgan roars, rears back into her monstrous form, and lets loose with a gout of plasma on Rigel, followed by a barrage of bullets from concealed guns under her scales. He raises the shield, projecting a glowing barrier that blocks the entire series of attacks as it slowly fades away into the aether.

“...Are not easily obtained, as they are destroyed long before they can damage civilization. Unlike you and your defiled tools. The likes of you, concentrated beings of evil, know not of love, or of hope. Fortunately...Juuchi Yosamu! Wretched Sword of Blood!”

A black-colored katana appears in his hand. Off in the sidelines, you notice that Ochiba is checking an empty scabbard. Stepping forth in a flash, he makes a diagonal cut at you, which you duck away from.

A spray of foul-smelling, lukewarm blood splashes on your face. You look down and see that your throat has been cut, despite the blade missing you by over a meter. Rainbow colored rocks scab over the “mortal” wound almost immediately (can you even ‘die’ normally at this point from human-tier wounds?), sealing it, but giving a peculiar numbness.

“Using cursed weapons against my spawn. Clever.” Meiling taunts through your mouth, “Not clever enough though.”

You feel your flesh and bones being stretched to their limit as the rainbow strings puppeting your body rears you up into a fighting stance. “Discord Sign: ‘Rainbow Schism’ ”

Slamming your foot into the ground, shattering your bones before putting them back together with crystalline fractures. A massive wave of sharp rainbow crystals spreads forth, forcing Awyrgan to leap back and Rigel to...ignore it completely. The crystals break off his armor like nothing.

You now notice something that, judging by their fearful expressions, Kasen and the others have already figured out. Rigel hasn’t taken any damage during this fight, not even minor scratches or dents on his shining armor. Even dragonfire and anti-divine rounds have failed to trouble this hero.

“An evil spirit possessing a corpse...familiar.” Rigel grunts as a hammer slowly materializes into his right hand, a similar one to the ones Castor threw at you. “And a minor god of calamity, eh? Appropriate. Let’s see if you can face this one! Purge the evil spirits with thy lightning! Mjolnir!”

“Castor Pyrus is fond of that weapon, wasn’t he?” You loudly ask as Awyrgan slithers in front of you, deflecting the thrown weapon with yet another cursed blade.

“Aye!” Rigel heartedly replies, some of his earlier mirth returning as the battle drags on. “Now if you would just let the Pyruses go...” The returning hammer catches Awyrgan off guard, knocking her on the head and flooring the dragon with the impact. Before you can react, a frightening crackling sound booms from heaven, and a bolt of lightning strikes her as she tries to push herself up. From a cloudless night sky. Somehow.

Hovering a safe distance away from the fight, a particular celestial oarfish reddens with jealousy as she feels her hair and fins stand on end at the energy dispensed.

“Awyri!” You scramble over to her head, “Are you okay?”

“Tis...nothing...” She grits out. “What...what sort of devilry art thou employing to summon so much weaponry of yore, red-haired tyrant?”

“The Lux has seen to grant me the power of Dominion, foul dragon. Which means.” He declares to the observing Gensokyeans as he cycles through multiple weapons in his hands, “I can borrow anything of mankind’s virtues as needed to deal with the threat at hand. Weapons, magic, even lesser gods” He smiles apologetically at a seething Sanae, “...must answer my call.”

“Aha!” You see Marisa slide down the curved roof to yell, a somewhat more smug than usual expression on her face, “Sanae, Ming, you dumb tank, I got him.”

“Hmm?” Sanae stops pounding on the barrier, “What do you mean, Marisa?”

“Kourin collects lots of rare items and tools that float in, an’ he collects lore on everything he doesn’t. Norse items are hard to find all the way here in Japan, but he told me about the famous ones before and how to spot them. Mjolnir, the one Mr. Rigel just used, is a blessed short-handled hammer that always returns to its user. Kinda like your gohei, Sanae.”

“Oh! You are a knowledgeable one, Miss Kirisame!” Rigel laughs, “Indeed, it is one of my most favorite tools, as the wise Lux saw fit to grant me dominion over.”

“You’re lying.” Marisa says, the smug grin growing wider, “If the Lux blessed you with dominion over the world, that tool is not something that was part of the gift. For you forgot, perhaps from overuse, that Mjolnir does NOT have the power to summon lightning.”

“But it does?” You ask, “I mean, even modern depictions...”

“No, Ming, Marisa’s right.” Sanae interrupts, cold realization dawning on her face, “The comic book version of Mjolnir is not the original. It never had any power but sure-hit and returning, along with its usual divine abilities to banish evil spirits.”

Rigel shakes his head and crosses his arms as Sanae turns to him, “Red hair, full beard, angular runes...you’re not just some randomly chosen human champion, Rigel, or should I say...Thor!”

In front of your eyes, the golden armor on “Rigel” sloughs away, no more than a gilded facade. Thick animal furs and bits of chainmail take its place, and not nearly to the extent that the fake armor implied. Most of the previous volume is instead filled up with muscle mass more appropriate for a Renaissance statue than a regular man.

Muscle mass that cursed bullets and blades are bouncing off of, not to mention high calibur magic.

Also he’s wearing a black t-shirt underneath with something you can’t read. Judging by the lettering and design though, it looks like Swedish, and probably metal band merch. Kind of gives his getup a more modern flair.

“Tsk,” Thor chuckles as he removes the knight-esque helmet and shakes his long, braided hair loose “it was always Father that was more skilled at disguising. Perhaps a bridal veil would have served my purpose better.”

“Shouldn’t Gotterdammerung have killed you by now?” Meiling asks through your mouth as you watch him appear to grow another two feet in stature. “I’m not seeing a lot of you Norse folk around since the Christians got to you.”

“Why are you under the impression that Ragnarok had finished, O’ lesser kin of Jormungandr?” He questions as he drops the hammer onto the ground, causing you to wince as you see the ground crater. “Aye, the Roman wolf in sheep’s clothing have burnt our lands and invaded our homes in the name of their Christ. But even it, at least, loved humanity.”

“You know. I don’t get your point. What exactly is Clear Sky doing that makes you so angry about it, Thor?” You rub your milky eyes as you ask, exhaustion taking its toll. “If anything, everything’s going along pretty well here, and from what I can tell they’re making strides to even eliminate the ethical dilemma of human flesh. People are dying to live here, you doddering god. Can you look at the world and say that what Gensokyo stands for is worse?”

“Yes. It is worse.” He replies without a bit of hesitation, a noticeably thick Nordic accent creeping into his previously immaculate Japanese, “Regardless of how gray the future may be. Regardless of the flaws, the wars, the cruelty that humans may exhibit...it’s all preferable to a world where they are extinct.”

A deafening wave of silence falls upon the plaza at his proclamation as all those present, including you, are taken aback. Extinction of humanity?

“And I am supposed to believe that our society, which depends on humans for faith and fear, is supposed to advocate for their extinction?” Aya pipes up from her aerial vantage point, having been one of the few tengu brave or foolish enough to stick around after Thor started throwing lethal magic around.

“You fools. Don’t you see?” Thor shouts, clouds gathering in the sky as his volume rises, “What do you think this garden is, but a testbed for a world without humanity? Look at the so-called ‘Human’ Village, do they actually resemble any people you see outside your garden, you accursed winged fiend?”

“Weird colored hair. Sharper teeth. Enhanced speed and magical potential. Oh my god, Thor.” You clasp a hand to your mouth in mocking terror, “They’re turning into anime characters! Clearly a fate worse than death.”

He ignores your comment and continues talking to Aya, “There are no humans left in this garden. No human will allow others of their kind to be devoured by monsters with such passivity. No human will stand idle as giants and monsters pervert the world to their design. It is dead within these walls, and the Violet Tyrant, your...Yukari, seeks to render the entire planet to her will in this way, a savage, monstrous place where the flame of humanity, of community, of fellowship...are snuffed out.”

“So, literally no different than the current world by your words? OH SHI--” You are interrupted by Thor’s hammer closing in on your face in a swing, crackling with lightning and backed up by mountain shattering strength. You just barely manage to dodge and drift off the shockwave and are only thrown back all the way across the plaza.

“Disgusting fiend.” He snarls in sudden anger and, to your horror, grabs the half-conscious Awyrgan by the neck with one hand, and with physics-defying strength (and weight distribution) he swings her around once and hurls the thirty metric ton dragon at you. Rainbow strings tug on your muscles, threatening to tear them apart, as you strain the exoskeleton in the effort to clear the distance. Ripped up stone tiles and broken tables ricochet off of her path as Awyrgan painfully slams into the ground, half-sunken. “If you are to speak, make a valid point, not another one of your inane ramblings.”

“How am I wrong?” You complain, wiping stale blood from your face as you run to heal your friend, the result of a stray fragment of rock hitting you in an exposed area, “Am I supposed to believe that modern humanity--a heady stew of pointless violence, meaningless ideology, and unsustainable pollution, is a culture worth conserving?”

“You cannot name one thing in humanity you think is worth keeping?”

“Look Thor. If there is anything good in humanity, youkai...or whatever you call the non-human folk...they have it too. Because let’s be fucking honest here, youkai are the result of human imagination, so they can’t stray too far off from the base material. So what if we all become hybrids or whatnot? There’s nothing lost.”

“Hmph, you sound like the Violet Tyrant herself, who stated that...”

========

“...Humanity has remained in a degenerate state for millenia. Which is why I must act.” The tall blonde states in a rather matter-of-fact way.

“Now that’s a harsh statement to make, dear.” Primrose chuckles as the train from nowhere pulls up in the station. “Surely our progress from dirt to concrete has some meaning? Yukari Yakumo?”

“It would, your majesty, if they truly improved themselves beyond their tools. Dozens of millenia ago, humans beat each other to death with rocks over food and mates. Now, they do the same with guns.” Yukari sullenly states as the train stops completely and opens its doors. She enters first, with the old woman and her silent entourage following behind. “In the English language, why is it that the word ‘utopia’ carries the double-meaning of ‘ideal’ and ‘impossible’? Why are only negative facts referred to as ‘facts of life’? Despite living in a world with infinite possibilities, why do human will always choose the nastiest, most brutish and shortest way to solve problems?”

“Because that is the way the world runs...without your witchery, of course.” Primrose says,, finding a comfortable seat in a booth. “The question you are implying, is why humans cannot overcome that?”

“The answer is that humans dare not think of a better state. The pragmatic always triumphs over the naive, and the scheme over the dream. ”

“And the alternative you are offering to solve this obstacle?”

“Restructure it all, destroy the idols, the poisonous ideals and institutions that plagued humanity for its entire history. Allow magic, mystery, monsters to roam wild once more, without the ignorance that coated human eyes during that time. Allow nature to share the burden of civilization and industry, so life can prosper without want. For satisfaction to replace ambition, faith, envy...”

“All things that drove humanity’s growth.”

“And all things that leads to its suffering.” Yukari smiles, “Lives will only improve, the only thing that truly changes, is who’s calling the shots, and for 99% of people...is it really any different?”

========

“...and thus a complacent humanity will be cast down into the shadows. Sidelined, irrelevant until they are bred into an amorphous mass with the monsters of the world. The entity known as humanity will disappear with nary a whimper. Forever.”

“Once again, ‘Wow, how terrible!” You snark as you surreptitiously heal Awyrgan with your non-gesticulating hand, ”A species of hairless apes got improved to be slightly less shitty!’ Is there any loss not predated on sentimental bullshit?”

“You all hear that? The Null Fiend states that there is no value to human essence. That it’s just a weakness to be thrown away. That the struggles, accomplishments, and culture of mankind is just trash...”

“It is.”

You feel a powerful hand clasp around your mouth, “Ming. Shut up.” It’s Kasen who speaks up this time, in a cold whisper, “Stop making this situation worse than it already is.”

“Ha...Ha ha ha, Oh Miss Ibaraki, you have no idea. So...Mr. Hakurei, are you still convinced that you are on the right side?”

The outsider unsheathes his (reobtained) swords, “I am responsible for the safety of Gensokyo. As long as I’m alive, I can’t go against that law. However,” He adds as he looks straight at you, “I kind of see why Reimu would not extend this protection to outsiders.”

Thor grimaces, “You mean...”

“If these demons die, would you leave? Yukari is not inside Gensokyo. If you defeat her, then mankind will live on, right?”

“You misunderstand the Violet Tyrant. She is not a human, or even a monster. She is a wicked, unrelenting force of corruption that infests the world not just through magic, but through the veins of society! Even if she is somehow killed, the monster will revive, fulfilling her goals through her organizations and intrigues, of which the very heart of it is Gensokyo....”

======

“...And you are not worried about yourself? These seem like awfully determined enemies, what if I was a Manchurian candidate, hmm?”

A dismissive harumph, “You underestimate my abilities, your majesty. I am not so easily ruined if my body is destroyed. Frankly, no youkai is. You will find that my ideas, my essence, are a bit more stubborn than most.”

“Ideas?”

The train begins to move, and the rain-soaked exterior of Mumbai disappears into darkness. The train is moving in a hazy dimension now, one of distant, peering eyes and a roiling, lurid purpleness.

“Knowledge. Or rather, the ideals of knowledge. The wonderment, enrapturement, and joy that comes from the realizations of the impossible. The discovery and control of boundaries between the real and fantasy, to be specific...a process that is activating as we speak, perhaps pre-maturely, but necessary...”

The void briefly parts, revealing a burning village. Soldiers bearing Myanmar insignia are fleeing from the scene, as a massive snake with the torso of a human emerges from amidst the houses, bullets bouncing off its scaly hide.

“For as civilization spread, the old myths that brought darkness upon human souls must fade, and rest in the few niches of true nature.”

The village and naga fades, and now they are passing through a large Chinese city. People wearing rainbow sashes and wielding torches are marching upon police precincts and government facilities...including the very officers and officials supposed to be manning them. Some of them are sprouting fangs and scales.

“But when after a long slumber, they shall emerge, no longer cloaked in the darkness of ignorance, but heralding a new dawn.”

The train slows down as it enters into a cavernous underground staging area. The Violet steps out, followed by the Queen. Some of the soldiers idly about recognizes the new arrival, and snap into rigid salutes almost by instinct.

“I see you’ve taken advantage of our former troops as well.” The Queen mutters as she returns the salutes.

“They merely saw the knowledge, the light of a new future.”

One of the Queen’s bodyguards yelps and levels his gun at the spider drone that crept up behind him, lowering it when he notices the half-dead, half-living thing nuzzling his leg with its head. Out of one of the adjacent storage bays, a Typhoon fighter jet crawls out on its wings and landing gear, snarling and snapping its nose open and shut at the hunks of meat some warriors are tossing at it. The Queen notes that the label on above the bay entrance reads “Bronze Wing Prototype Roosts”.

“A queer future, I say.”

“Indeed, but it is a better world, one which sprung from mine creation, the Garden...”

======

“...a wellspring to fuel her misbegotten nightmare of a future!”

Ochiba shakes his head, and levels a blade to both sides, “Both of you pose a threat to this land, and to my cousin. I can’t let you do this.”

“Tsk. Maybe I thought wrong of you.” You remark.

He ignores you.

Thor dispels his hammer, and retrieves the parchment again. “That can be arranged, but first you do agree that these demons must be expunged?”

“No doubt.”

“OCHIBA YOU TRAITOROUS---”

“No, Sanae. He’s right. About me, at least.” You set aside your shield and open your arms, “Come at me, ignore the others. I am the one you want, right Thor?”

A smile forms on the god’s face. In a flash of lightning, he rushes up before you can react, and hurls you and Awyrgan high into the sky, one with each hand. The air rushes past in a deafening roar you as the shock prevents you from air braking with your artificial wings. By the time you can react, you and Awyrgan have already reached the height where Youkai Mountain is but a patch of light in the distance.

“Then don’t take it back when I go all out, Hakurei!” Thor’s voice booms as the thunder in the skies, “Enduring Stockpile: B61!”

Down below amongst the spectators, Reiuji Utsuho feels a sudden pain in her chest. As a result, she doesn’t really notice everyone else moving away, in a justified mass panic, from the area, until the plaza is completely vacated.

======
All the way across the world, a series of blaring alarms send a particular missile silo’s occupants into a panicked frenzy. “Broken Arrow! Broken Arrow!”
======

You can barely see the bomb moving towards you, hurled by the might of a Norse Aesir. You can however, notice the massive threat blob that almost dwarfs Thor’s own doing so. Closing your eyes, you activate the shield and grab ahold of the now-shrunken dragon, hoping for the best.

The nuke detonates in a brief flash of light, then...nothing.

“Hmm?” You see the bomb sailing past you, cracked but not destroyed, its surface covered by a mess of talismans and seals. A green blob, almost as large as Rigel’s own, enters the immediate area.

A soft wind heralds the arrival of the red and white butterfly. Her form is dangling with torn ropes, broken fabric seals, and a defeated-looking Mima. With a brief wave of her arm, layers upon layers of barriers form around the warhead, until it resembles a bubble wrap of faintly glowing divine magic.”

Which explodes in a blinding flash of light and an earth-shaking sound, causing your visor to shutdown briefly and for Awyrgan to roar and squirm in discomfort. When the HUD flickers back to life, you see that everything is mostly intact...save for the massive crater in the Tengu Village plaza that’s emitting a ton of radioactive smoke.

“I missed.” Reimu...that’s not Reimu’s voice, but it’s coming out of her mouth. A rumbling, emotionless tone, “Recalibrating.”

“And so the true opponent has arrived.” Thor shouts, “Good, let’s end this quickly before any more needless suffering should occur.”

“Incident mastermind, seen. I shall start sealing him. Thank you for your prior generosity, Wu Ming.”

“Huh?”

“Thor! Son of Odin!” Reimu cries out as she flies straight down, dodging deftly pass a hail of divine arrows and gunfire as you follow her from a safe horizontal distance away, Awyrgan in tow. “You are a trespasser on these lands. Leave!”

Mima limply falls off of Reimu as the shrine maiden turns into a furious comet. Sending out your Fishing Line, you swiftly reel her out of the barrage that Thor is sending up.

“Thanks….oh, it’s you.” She weakly murmurs upon reaching the ground. The former plaza is all but deserted, with all previous spectators having fucked off when the nuclear warhead that’s not called Utsuho showed up. Sanae has broken free and is collapsed near a burnt building. Marisa is still hovering around, though more out of shock and concern than curiosity. Kasen is standing right on the edge of the hole, unconcerned of the radiation.

You crack open the Eientei medikit and apply one of the yellow patches.

In the middle of the crater is a glowing nimbus of divine energy. Gohei and hammer struggle towards each other, each blocked by a katana.

“Stop this! My cousin...”

“I’m not your cousin, idiot!” Reimu’s normal voice pops back for a second, before returning to the previous rumbling one, “ ‘Hakurei’ Ochiba, if you do not stand out of my way, you will be eliminated just like this invading god.”

“My boy, are you really going to defend this embodiment of human extinction?”

“Both of you! Quiet!” He shouts in sudden anger and slashes, sending both of the opponents back. “Neither of you know what’s true! Or what’s right thing to do?”

“And you do, you false relative? Tell us then.”

“Come on boy. Share your thoughts.”
>> No. 31484
File 154461014712.jpg - (2.99MB, 1370x1872, __hakurei_reimu_touhou_drawn_by_kan_aaaaari35__3dc.jpg) [iqdb]
31484
“You both...just...stop fighting! Reimu! Why can’t you listen to his legitimate grievances on Yukari’s plots! Thor! Why can’t have started off by not attacking this land!”

“Legitimate? Ha. Invaders have no legitimacy.”

“Oh, trust me boy, we tried.”

“Grrr...” Ochiba draws up in a battle stance, “I understand now why the old man told me to come in Gensokyo’s time of need. Neither the enemy nor defender are right. Stand down! Both of you! I shall confront Yukari myself to get the truth and resolve this conflict!”

“Never.” Is the mutual reply.

Watching the three participants square off, you can’t help but feel like the finale is coming.

“Releasing her probably would have saved a few lives, you know.” You comment.

“You fool, this is why we wanted to keep her sealed until the incident is over!” Mima groans as she props herself up with her staff, “The reason for the spellcard system, the pact between native humans and youkai, even the consensual self-modification of the sapient youkai...all of this was to placate the Barrier.”

“Explain?” You ask, surprised.

“The Hakurei Barrier isn’t just a magical barrier, fool. No barrier can actively convert disbelief and forgotten things into a power source. That requires a living entity to even process active absences. Short answer? It’s alive, and the Hakurei lineage is its immune system.”

“We thought it was a great idea at the time.” Kasen monotonically mutters as she limps towards you, a chunk of wood stuck in her thigh from the directed nuke blast,half of her left horn broken off, and her phantom arm completely absent. “Having one of the strongest families of miko serve as the linchpin for the Barrier. Us sages were supposed to intercept larger threats that could cause the Barrier to...start a fever, and steadily feed the shrine maidens dangerous, but handily solvable, incidents to strengthen them. What you’re seeing now is what happens when we fail to intercept.”

“The Barrier took control of her?”

“Elaboration: The will of the Barrier is fully possessing her and unleashing its full power, to the detriment of her long-term integrity. You know what happens when magic users push themselves too far, right? The body of Hakurei Reimu will be consumed in under a day under such exertion...”

“Welp. Time to stop this.” Before either Mima or Kasen can react, you move forward, shield raised and hammer raised, “If there’s anything I’m good for, it’s stopping divine bullshit from hurting other---”

“By the mandate of the Lux. By the dying dreams of a subjugated mankind. I sentence all war criminals to exile, henceforth, from this land….Ahem.” Thor cuts off his own words to rattle off the declaration and grins as he throws you an oppressive stink eye, “Our duels should not be interfered with, this perfectly justified decree should suffice.”

“YOU FUCK---” You were unable to finish your insult as an intangible force, irresistible by gravity or appeal, sweeps you off your feet and flings you, once again, into the night sky.

Consciousness fades swiftly as the G-force reaches beyond even Awyrgan’s turning levels, even as Meiling frantically stabs your brain with her scales. The last thing you see is your big friendly dragon tumbling after you.


[END PART 1]

The sudden smell of smog and trash shocks you back to reality.

“Owww...” You get off from your butt on the floor and look around. Everything is gray. The bricks of the wall you are facing is gray. The trash cans beside you are gray. The cat scurrying away from you is gray.

You blink, and a little color comes back in to your vision. They’re not actually gray, but they are really desaturated. The air is harsh and stale, and your nostrils inflame slightly at the noxious smell. Your head throbs painfully, as if something forgotten is resurging with a vengeance.

“What...just happened?” Sanae groans as she climbs out from a stack of cardboard junk, her gohai held up and outwards like a knife as she cautiously scans the surroundings. “What dimension did he trap us in?”

The sound of a car horn blaring somewhere further to your right takes your attention away. Locking eyes with Sanae in revelation, you remove your phone from your inner breast pocket, cracked but still intact from all the misadventures you had this week. Powering it on for the first time in four days, you groan as it picks up a signal, and the map app showing your location as somewhere in the southern region of Tokyo, Japan.

You silently pass the phone to Sanae, whose eyes noticeably dim as she looks over the information. Experimentally, she tries to inscribe a five-point star on the alley wall, only for the divine magic to fizzle out by the fourth stroke.

“Oh no.” She sighs.

“Oh no is right. We’re at least eleven hours away from the Yatsugatake Mountain Range by car...Awyri!” You call out as you look around the area for the dragon, “I hope she didn’t run off and eat a bunch of salarymen...ah, there she is. Wait, no!”

“Hmm?” The dragon perks up as she removes her face from the window of the jewelry store to look at you running out of the alleyway. “Ah, thou art clear of mind now. Can thee explain what sort of treasure vault is this, which hath no bars nor guards, but only a thin wall of glass to defend from interlopers?”

“Damn it, you’re going to attract lots of...huh.” You see that her draconic features have noticeably regressed. Her wings, normally expansive even in humanoid form, are a pair of stubs more suitable for a moe anime character than a killing machine. Her tails is likewise unobtrusive, barely peeking beneath her long metal skirt. In fact, with a bit more poof to her outfit, there’s no way to tell her apart from a regular human. Apart from the eyes, and the teeth...okay, she’s still incredibly inhuman, but not quite as obvious as before.

“...Forget it, we’ll be fine.”

“Oh...all of you got sent here too?” A dreary voice groans out to you from a hoodie wearing bum sitting on the street corner. You walk over to see a pair of red wulfen eyes staring back at you.

“Hey Momiji. What’s with that get up?”

“I had enchanted my usual clothes just in case I get thrown out into the Outside World again.” She says as the hoodie flickers slightly in the streetlight, revealing the wolf ears hidden beneath, “I’m NOT getting called a cosplayer.”

“I’m going to need to hear that full story later. Now....”

“Ming...”

“What?”

Sanae pauses, then breaks down laughing, “Ha ha, you really are a corpse, aren’t you? Nothing can faze you, can it? Not even facing down a living primordial god of the Norse and being sent back to the Outside World?”

“I’ll have you know. I never planned on staying. I was going to vacation for a week and leave with personal photos and maybe a few magic tricks learned.” You answer matter-of-factly, “Frankly, I don’t care for all of this power fantasy bullshit. As I’ve said to everyone else, I just want to enjoy my puerile dream of visiting a video game fairyland in peace.”

“Do you?” Momiji asks, tone deadened, “We are all quite sure at this point that you are not a normal young human. Or, at least, a living one.”

You check your reflection in the window. The glamour stripping is slowly fading, with patches of living skin “growing” over the dead flesh from top to bottom. Stripping off a chunk of your torn clothes, you wrap it around your non-existent nose and mouth to avoid attention. You still don’t feel a heartbeat save for the faint movements on the odd tumorous growths. Your head throbs, even more painfully this time. Reisen’s hypnosis had loosened something, unlocking...something...

“Have I really changed though?” You sigh, leaning your face against the glass window, “Perhaps you’re right, Momiji. I’m picking fights with gods and playing fast and loose with decency. But really, you guys knew what I did as soon as I came in, right?”

“You saved some children from a pack of despicable outsiders! A heroic act!” Sanae says, confused.

“I told Aya and Momi this already.” You answer as you glance at the tengu, who shakes her head in response, “I’m an opportunist. I see a target. I see a justification. I do terrible things to the target. I was a bit short on cash so I basically murdered and robbed them. It was okay though, since they were terrible people. You would know, Momiji.”

“I really, really wouldn’t have.” She shudders, “But what’s the point in going after the Saviors? You had no stake in the conflict.”

You shrug, “It started off pointlessly. One of them maimed Keine...probably would have killed her with a more direct hit...Village looks for the offender a week later after some more incidents involving the free labor and the Russians...Eientei, including me, find their scout. I brutally murder one of the scouts, which, I remind you, attacked me first. They retaliate by assaulting me and Awyri, gunning down some random war criminals in their zeal. I may have got some. They assault the SDM while I was there...I may have got some, but Flandre butchered several and I took credit...”

“Oh, Flandre did that?”

“Yeah. You think I could actually slaughter them before Awyri hatched? I heal Momiji...actually. Huh. I didn’t have any reason to continue staying in Gensokyo. A normal person would have left already especially with the enemy force specifically trying to kill them. Eientei’s paying me, I guess, but not nearly enough to risk life and limb. Ah...I was having fun, wasn’t I.”

“Fun?” Sanae asks, “Sure, spell card duels may be adrenaline rushing and fun, but certainly not the fights with blood and lost lives! I did what I had to with those evil people, but I would hesitate to call it...enjoyment.”

Momiji avoids her gaze. You take a breath, outside air filling your lungs...and old memories, unlocked with lunar insanity, flooding your mind.

“So...why did you really...”

[x] “But that’s the fun part, Sanae! To hold power over somebody else, to laugh at their powerlessness in your hands. To rip away the sky above their heads, the wind in their faces, forever. To destroy the life of a living being while watching them writhe in agony, is such a decadent, succulent act, like smashing a priceless vase, or burning a pile of money, it is truly more enjoyable than sex, or meals, or...I mean...”

You cough, “I...I’m sorry, I don’t know what came over me.”

[x] Hi, this is Wu.

[x] “Ah, Sanae Kochiya, the fandom’s favorite bicycle and eternal school girl. Perfect for a knife to the throat and dismembered throughout Gensokyo, or Tokyo. Probably Tokyo, you’ve probably been missing for a few years so nobody would miss you.”

“Guoguo? Guoguo!” Meiling cries out through your mouth as the Sanae looks on in surprised horror and disgust, “What in the nine springs are you saying?”

[x] “And you, Inubashiri Momiji. So proud and haughty despite being rendered into an almost just as sexualized meme. You shall be beautiful, decapitated and mounted on a public monument for all the fans to gawk at.”

“The FUCK?” Comes the uncharacteristically crude response from the enraged white wolf, drawing a sword to your neck and succeeding in drawing very suspicious looks from the few other people on the street. Realizing the mistake, she quickly dismisses the weapon, turning the suspicious looks into confusion.

You try suppressing the thoughts, but how can you, when it’s yourself?

[x] “And for the dragons...ah, both of you, my lovely ancestor and my steed...shall be impaled as your fates usually dictate. Atop a tower, with me posing as the heroic knight...”

Your face collides with the pavement, leaving cracks in the concrete as the meaty parts turn into gore. Partially from the rainbow strings tugging my body downwards and partially from Awyrgan right hooking you.

“So, you can probably tell why I’m just repeating the spiel about vacationing and minding my own business.” You grimly state as you clamber back up, pink mist reconstituting the masquerade of a human face. “I thought I masked myself completely, but coming back outside...is a bad influence. Really, really sorry about that. Should have told you guys earlier after Thor confirmed mine and Reisen’s suspicions.”

Glaring daggers at you with the others, Momiji coldly asks, “What?”

“Wu Zhenguo...the body and soul which I’m using...is not a good person. To say the least.”

“So what are you then? A foreign spirit?”

“Less than that. I can call it a split personality, but it really isn’t one. More of a hasty facsimile of a personality some god threw together in a hurry with no actual motivation or desires. Probably has something to do with the River Styx.” You nervously scratch your neck, “Also, to answer your first question, the real reason why Wu Zhenguo prepared to enter Gensokyo for years ahead was not for vacation…Wu just wanted to expand his kill record with some exotic samples.”

Sanae sighs and pinches her nose in exhaustion, “You’re not the first wannabe serial killer we got flown in.”

“He’s not even the first serial killer I piloted,” Meiling adds on, words out of your mouth.

“Probably not, but I was probably the first one who planned on gassing the victims with chemicals in their sleep. Why did you think that a vacationer would be packing a smuggled gun, in Japan no less, and goddamn chemical weapons into Gensokyo? Self-defense? I was planning on getting the trust of some of the more naive youkai, like Kyouko, getting familiar enough to hang around...then sealing up the doors and flooding the room with my chemicals while they’re snoring in their futons. Wu Zhenguo wouldn’t care about getting caught after it, after all, he killed something way more precious to the world than an average outside world human.”

“I’ll give that you’re a more creative and suicidal one, but even then, not much of a novelty.”

“Probably true.” You agree. “Also, just to convince you to not stay thy hand if I break. You know those outsiders I killed? Yeah, I just remembered, those weren’t random strangers to me, exactly….”

*******
“So there’s this place, this hidden world?”

“Yes, yes there is.” You impatiently explain to the leering louts while scratching an itch around your neck valve. “Barely any contact of the outside world, and the photos leaked speak for themselves.”

You show them the pictures from the Sumireko leaks. Wolf whistles and nervous laughter are the response. You really don’t want to deal with them, but Gerald’s dad is an Army officer stationed there, and if you wanted to get guns over, you’d have to smuggle it that way.

“Nice. But uh...aren’t they dangerous?” The greasy-haired Japanese transfer, Kazuto mentions.

“They can still get drunk and stuff, so roofies will work quite well. Tell you what.” You clear your throat. “We split up after going into Japan, and enter separately. If any of us nabs one, we’ll spike that chick and fuck her brains out together, eh?”

You neglect to mention that you meant that phrase literally. These four retards probably didn’t come up with anything better, and just agree with the usual combination of self-aggrandizing yelps and antisocial giggles.

“Great idea man. We should, like have a signal too when we’re gonna act. Like,” Gerald imitates pushing a gun up from his coat, “Like, with a real piece, but it’s like, symbolic of my dick!”

You do not mention that you merely plan on tastefully murdering the victims rather than engaging in crude intercourse.

The other three look at him strangely, and you wonder how this moron got into even a mid-tier establishment like World University. Probably a legacy admission. Still, he’s the most outwardly handsome of their little clique, so they don’t go against his stupid idea.

“Good, amirite? Imma go get our supplies ready and booze up dad to ship it for us, we leave next June for Gen...so...kan tail! Man, Zhenguo, you’re an awesome guy.”

They have a lot of...supplies. Mostly since that brown-haired Anderson in their group is like a professional pervert, with blackmail and everything just to fuel his underwear theft campaign...with a side of gaslighting.

You make a mental note to dispose of them too if they succeed in actually drugging a Touhou. You just need their supplies, after all.

*******

“It’s like every time you say something new, a bit more of me becomes disappointed.” Sanae grits out.

Momiji looks as if actively regretting her prior decisions, moreso than before, anyway, “By every god watching over us, what the hell is wrong with you?”

“None. A touch of madness, mayhaps. But the current state of my friend has proven loyal.” The even-toned, draconic voice states from behind you.

“Awyri? You...you’re defending me?”

“Why of course?” She replies, “Thy gluttony for killing is a mere quirk of a lowly mortal. Even in thy undead state, thy physical capabilities...” Awyrgan casually grabs you by the shoulder and hoists you upwards, “...Are the same. He merely poses a threat to those of heroic, goodly disposition. To our lives, he is mainly harmless.”

Sanae moves as if to speak, then thinks better of it as some salt flies off her clothes.

“I am not...”

“What I mean, my friend, tis a fact that thou art barely worth killing. Should we be forced to resort to unsavory measures, it falls upon mine hand to end thy miserable existence. Mine and mine only.” A puff of smoke exhales from her nose as she turns to Momiji and Sanae, “You others...understand?”

“Yes ma’am, we will stay away from your property.” Sanae sarcastically mumbles out, “Technically shouldn’t both Momiji and Meiling have that right more?”

“No no no,” The wolf hurriedly denies, “His status and position are purely ceremonial. By the law, I cannot actually order him to do anything...”

“MOMIJI YOU WHAT?”

“...without use of the blood sigil. I don’t have LEGAL authority over you...but I can still order you to if you give consent. Clan ties.”

“I’m sure you never regretted that decision, eh?”

Momiji’s ears droop, and she looks away. You notice now the brownish-red splotches on her sleeves.

Police sirens sound off amidst the noises of the city. Momiji groans, and dismisses her sword into the aether, with noticeably more effort than an Ethereal Sheath in Gensokyo.

“We ought to move.” She orders without answering your question, “We don’t know if Tokyo police have been compromised by the Saviors.”

“I say we should...”

“On account of recent developments, I think you should stay out of this decision making process, Guo-guo. Oh, and you’re free to kill him if you want, Awyri. Grandma here grants you that right.” Meiling interrupts through your own mouth.

“Alright, geez.”

{ } Find a decent hotel and rest until sunrise
{ } Find an obscure hotel and rest until sunrise
{ } Try to find Yukari’s Outside World assets: Clear Sky

{ } Find a way back to Yatsugatake National Park, quietly
{ } Find a way back to Yatsugatake National Park, as fast as possible

======

[ ] Call mom
>> No. 31485
{X} Try to find Yukari’s Outside World assets: Clear Sky

>Thor
huh, didn't see that one coming
>> No. 31486
{X} Try to find Yukari’s Outside World assets: Clear Sky

>Yukari has to kill most of the world trying to remove degenerate Powers That Be
>all pureblood humans extinct, only youkai half-breeds remain
>everyone that's left has to live in fear and awe of youkai for the rest of their existence

Thor literally did nothing wrong.
>> No. 31487
{X} Try to find Yukari’s Outside World assets: Clear Sky

>>31486
Except failing, despite contributing to the body count.
And being a god. One of those supernatural creatures that were said to be fucking around a lot, which was used by dynasties all over the world to claim divine ancestry. And they most likely had it in this setting.
Remember when Meiling said her descendants numbered in the millions ? Surely everyone in northern Europe descend either from him or one of his fellow. So much for mankind's purity.

Plus the nature of the Lux backing him up is still unclear. I bet he's working for Cthulhu.
[Return] [Top]


[Delete or report post]
Delete post []
Password  
Report post
Reason  


[Switch to Mobile Page]
Thread Watcher x