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File 127359987670.png - (864.65KB, 700x990, Mokou.png) [iqdb]
"Oh, so I suppose your next comment will be about how I take even less care of myself than you do?" ...The sad part is that that statement may very well be true. Mokou manages to get all three of her meals in a day, and she doesn't inflict harm on herself pursuing her craft. That could also be because she's virtually immune to her own element but I think it's because she doesn't like being stuck in Eientei any more than I do.

"No, you speak for yourself well enough." Nice to see that you find me so funny bird brain. Sometimes I really wish I had the strength to wipe that cocky smirk off her face, but that wouldn't necessarily be fair to her since I do shoot myself in the foot more often than not.

Lunch ends up being fried meat and sweet potatoes cut into strips, also fried, which is relatively simple. It still tastes quite good since it's been properly prepared. The meat retains its juices while being of an almost perfect texture, the strips of potato have been all but caramelized... As a result, conversation comes to a screeching halt as we eat it all while it's still hot. ...My descriptions come to a halt as well since I don't wish to waste any time on that frivolous act when lunch is best eaten hot. Once that's done...

[X]Dealing with possible misfortune is a priority.
[X]I should get back to improving my flight capabilities.
[X]Speaking of which, where is Aya?
[X]Experimentation is a good way to pass the time.
[X]I should get back to improving my flight capabilities.

It will make the trip to dealing with possible "misfortune" all the more easier for him.
[X]I should get back to improving my flight capabilities.
[Q] I should get back to improving my flight capabilities.

This calls for a Rocky-style training montage.
File 127361727682.png - (122.23KB, 500x500, 7ecef3b952a299ec1f18a086c2c269b74b2eb241.png) [iqdb]
[X]I should get back to improving my flight capabilities.

>This calls for a Rocky-style training montage.

[x]I should get back to improving my flight capabilities.

Meant to say, no leaving until this weakness is addressed.

I was thinking "Gonna Fly Now," but sure.
[X]I should get back to improving my flight capabilities.
Ivan has a rival?
[X]I should get back to improving my flight capabilities.

>Rocky-style training montage.

>youtube link

Given the scenario, I think the opening to this video would be more appropriate:
as opposed to the injury prone training as an effect of the misfortune?

[X]Dealing with possible misfortune is a priority.
>Given the scenario, I think the opening to this video would be more appropriate:
>Rocky & Bullwinkle

I don't know, one of the Rocky(s) actually does takes some lumps but does get better where as the other Rocky stays the same.

saging for a nonsensical post
...I find myself thinking that working on that little issue of flight would be an excellent idea since my current accomplishments won't amount to much in a serious life or death battle against the grue, which is going to happen again at some point in the future. Clever tricks saved me in the past, and they may do so again but I'd prefer to have an extra option or two at my disposal to make the overal process a little easier on me. Heaven knows I need it. "Mokou, I'm going to work on my flight capabilities a bit more before doing anything else today. Gliding around isn't sufficient for my needs." I start clearing the table to speed up the process.

"Grabbing the bull by the horns and never letting go until you learn to ride it. I'm not sure whether to admire your tenacity or pity it." Mokou smiles as she takes another jab at determination. She also helps by getting the used dishes cleaned up and put away, then walks alongside me as I walk back to the archery range I had previously used to practice my flight. "So, you want me to come with you on your quest to get your misfortune removed? A shining silver damsel needs to protect the knight in distress." And she's giving me an obnoxious little grin that would be better suited to Tewi.

"That's just a bit backwards don't you think?" I take on an annoyed look in response. Perhaps she's merely teasing but I have no interest in becoming or being seen as the damsel in distress. Not only is that almost never the case, but that would be an uncalled for hit to my ego as well. Plus "I would never be able to pull off the whole 'princess' look. Not enough hips, nor enough bust to make it work." ...Wait, did I just say that last bit out loud? I suppose the fact that I shook my hips a little and placed an arm under the spot where a pair of breasts would reside if I were a woman for emphasis made it a bit more amusing.

"Oh, so you do have a sense of humor buried under that 'professional' image. I was starting to wonder if you managed to replace that with your thick-headed methods." Now I get it. Mokou's poking fun at me to try and get me to liven up a little. It has been just a bit dreary for me ever since Rumia decided that she was going to stalk me until I finally slipped up. "'Look at me! I'm a rampaging bull who tries to smash my way through all my problems head-first!'" Dammit Mokou! She's bent over some in order to imitate a bull, and is even using her index fingers to imitate the horns.

"Very funny Mokou. That's not how I operate and you damn well know it." I know that's not going to stop the teasing, but I should get it to quit before I break up completely.

"Oh please. Maybe in a fight, but from what I've seen you're like a kid who thinks he can pound a square peg through a round hole and won't let anyone tell him otherwise." That grin has gone from 'cocky' to 'shit-eating'. Time to teach her a lesson I think. I keep my casting hand in my pant pocket in order to hide the spell that's building up, while Mokou's decided to annoy me even further by charging down the hallway in a rather poor imitation of a bull. I get what I want ready sooner than usual since it's not for inflicting harm, but rather giving her a little surprise she wasn't prepared for. Namely, a blast of air that will knock her off balance once it hits. I can't hear her reaction over the burst, but she's making, and failing, a rather panicked attempt to stop before she collides with someone who just stepped out of the archery range doorway. Said someone being Letty.

I run over to see if anyone's hurt and to give out apologies if someone aside from Mokou got hurt because of what I just did, but find that rather comical sight of the pheonix woman's head planted squarely in the snow woman's breasts. "My apoligies Letty, if I knew you were coming out of there I wouldn't have done what I just did." While I truly am sorry to the snow woman for what she just went through because of my little outburst, I'm on the brink of laughter because Mokou had made herself the fool.

So true Mokou, Ivan is a stubborn guy, the whole jacket thing a major example. He'd be more like a dog with a bone trying to get through a door.
Hahahaha, those two are quite the pair...
which two? Hopefully having a phoenix-woman's head in her chest won't hurt.
I think you should check your mail a bit more often Ivan. By the time you read this, it has most likely piled up again.
>Which two.
Mokou and the MC. 's good to know that he has some backbone, but he's as easy as they get to annoy.
Well, this should be interesting. I'm guessing either someone makes a cushioning joke at the expense of someone else or someone gets pissy.


"I'm going to answer this one in few words since I know I've been avoiding this, but I'm currently hiding from Aya. She's got some strange notion in her head that rope will somehow convince me to do this more reliably. Hence the whole 'hiding' bit." I look over the letter carefully before realizing that my hiding place can't possibly have letters inserted into it without outside help. I turn to the entrance only to see a thin slot, and a pair of red eyes staring though.

"Found ya! Now get out here and do this!" Aya pulls open the door and drags me out of my hiding spot with no effort on her part even though I'm doing my best to make that impossible. "If you just do what I asked you wouldn't be in this 'bind', now would you?" And she's just tied me to the chair. Wonderful.

"You do realize that I have to use the bathroom and the like don't you?" I have holed myself up in there for quite a while now...

"After this is done. There's not that much to do, not much of it is relevant." Aya starts shuffling the letters for a little bit before becoming increasingly distracted. Unable to keep the obvious question at bay any longer, she turns to me with a puzzled look on her face. "Okay, why were you holed up in a dark cubbyhole when you know you're being stalked by a darkness youkai?"

"It was sealed against such youkai from the inside." I produce one such seal from a desk drawer and show it to Aya. "And you seem to be under the impression that any of these are really worth answering. Most of it is back and forth discussion between voters about subjects that don't really concern us."

Aya looks over the contents of the letters once again and sets them aside with a shrug. "Meh, I just wanted an excuse to show up again." She then turned those eyes to me and smiled. Not in the good natured way that I'm used to, more like a 'you gonna get raped' way. "Or maybe I just wanted to tie you up."

"This is entirely uncalled for!" It's bad enough I can't go toe to toe with a youkai, but I don't want to hurt Aya at all if I can avoid it. ...Even if she does deserve it at this point!

"Uncalled for? Yes. What I want? Also yes." She slips out of her geta and places one foot on my leg, then leans over me to bring our faces together... Right until a certain grue gets in the way.

"Hands off the prize." Rumia doesn't look amused in the slightest and it worries me that she's popped out of my shadow once again. Her hand is keeping Aya from getting any close than she already is, though it looks like she's not gaining any ground.

Mokou happens to walk in in that same moment and I briefly have the mistaken notion that she'll be my savior in this mess. Then I remember that she's kept a 'hands-off' approach to this and resign myself to being a youkai chew toy for the moment. "...I was going to answer some of these, but what's the point?"

Aya, Rumia, I have one thing to say to the both of you:


Seriously, just leave the poor guy alone. Or do the both of you want the Icon of Sin after the both of you?

On a different note towards S.L.D.T, the planets must have aligned or something, because HY has come back from the dead and is currently writing a new story on the SDM board at tengu speed.
I wonder if Letty will save him.

I'd like to think the whole of TH-P is becoming lively once again. Well more livelier than usual.

Still enjoyable read here~!

Now if only Letty would have her chance to shine;_;
I second that, comrade, especially this Letty. Very warm hearted, more so for a snow woman.

So that's where my early AoS speed went...

Good thing it went to someone who can make good use of it.



"Oh come on, you're pretty much incapable of interacting with us directly so sending whatever it is you're thinking about sending after us wouldn't do anything whatsoever." Aya happens to be sitting in Rumia's lap for whatever reason after tying up the grue. "And no, we won't leave him alone. He's too much fun." She then shoots the grue an annoyed look. "Except little miss butterfingers lost him!"

"He blew me off of him. I'd like to see you keep hold when he sets off an explosive in your direction." Rumia doesn't look too thrilled by what's happened to herself, less so since I have in fact managed to get away.

So where am I you ask?

"Honestly, you should do as she asks so you don't end up like this." I'm currently being carried fireman-style by Letty. Where to, I don't know. But it's away from those two so I can't really complain.


"Apology accepted. Now could you please help me up? The phoenix seems a bit preoccupied." I can hardly turn down Letty can I? ...Especially when this scenario is my fault. I kneel down next to her and grab onto her forearm while she does the same to me. "What's so funny?" She's genuinely curious as to why I'm smiling over this, but I don't want to spoil the surprise.

"...Mokou? Don't tell me you're into that sort of thing..." Kaguya steps out into the hallway not too long afterwards to see what all the ruckus is about, and she looks dissapointed. Must be because Mokou's head has been forced between Letty's breasts. ...It's not a nice thing for me to do but I plan to keep my peace on the matter and let the phoenix take the heat until it starts to get to be too much. Maybe not that long but you get the idea.

"That's rather cruel." Mokou more or less slides off as I help Letty up, and I doubt she's going to let this misconception slide when we know the truth.

I can't really withstand that look of hers for long and find myself looking at Kaguya in order to apologize to her. "Actually, that was my fault. Mokou was making some wisecracks at my expense and I responded by blowing her forward a little faster than she intended. She was imitating a bull so her head just happened to be at breast-level when Letty walked out of the room. My apologies."

"I see. You should be more careful with those spells of yours you know. Just because the powered down versions don't hurt people doesn't mean that they can't cause harm." She looks cross with me, but that should subside fairly soon since I genuinely meant no harm. "So what have you decided to do?"

"I weighed the options between learning how to fly and heading out to see if my luck is simply that poor or if it's some form of misfortune causing it. My conclusion is that learning flight would be the better choice, so I came back to the archery range to further my learning." It was a fairly close call since the two options are pretty much interchangeable, but having that extra bit of mobility won out.

"You do realize that even if you spend the rest of the day practicing you will not become proficient after just one day, don't you?" Letty is the one who brings that point to my attention, and it is a valid one. "If you wish to become proficient at flight you would need time to become comfortable with it."

"I want to learn how to actually fly, then learn from experience. I'm not going to use that as an excuse to stay within the safety of Eientei's walls forever." Not that I would want to, mind you. I'm not ready to live my life here, and even if I was I wouldn't spend all my time here.

>"I want to learn how to actually fly, then learn from experience. I'm not going to use that as an excuse to stay within the safety of Eientei's walls forever."

Isn't it sad, Eirin? I don't think Letty likes us being alone with other women. Can't really see any other reason she would bring up how long it will take to learn to fly.
It might also be this is holding him up, and the general fact that Ivan would rather do things his own way. If she's peeved at anyone, it's the immortals seemingly plotting to control the current chunk of his life.
With no further words I step back into the archery range so I can start working on the flight skill I'm in such dire need of, and the others head back in to watch. I would almost prefer not to have an audience for the simple fact that I'd rather take my lumps without other people being there so I don't have to listen to the peanuts gallery give advice or poke fun at my inexperience. I recall the feeling of flight in order to pick myself up off the ground and note that it's not really gliding this time. Instead, I'm able to hold myself up in the air to a degree, which means I might be able to move around up here without having to touch down every thirty seconds or so.

"It is nice to see that he's willing to listen to someone who knows what they're doing instead of bumbling around like he usually does." Eirin takes up a seat not too far from the other guests/residents and appears to be amused by something. "Maybe he'll be willing to learn more advanced alchemy techniques at some point. It certainly opens the door."

"I think it's a bit to soon to call it. He's accepting help because he doesn't feel like he has time to get the basics down before he needs it, and given his current situation..." Mokou takes a seat next to Eirin in order to observe my efforts. ...I suppose I should apologize for my earlier actions later.

"I suppose that's why he was willing to let me teach him danmaku yesterday. I don't think I need to tell anyone how I feel about putting that off for so long." Keine opts to stand for the time being, and her expression is neutral. There's a fair few conflicting emotions in there but she chooses to keep a level head instead of swinging one way or the other.

"We all know he was putting it off to further his alchemy. The kid's a genius when he's not trying to force a failed experiment to work the way he thinks it should, but he doesn't have a lick of common sense nine times out of ten." Tewi decided to rest against the doctor's legs for the moment. "As far as the whole misfortune bit goes, he probably should pay a visit to one of the shrines. You'd think my granting him good luck would keep him from getting clobbered as often as he is."

"Who knows what the story is. All we can do is watch and wait until he decides to accept a helping hand." Kaguya, unlike the others, is currently brushing one of the many worker bunnies. Said bunny looks dreamily content at the attention it's getting. "It is good that he's willing and able to learn on his own though, that's why you want to apprentice him, right Eirin?"

"It is. He has a natural aptitude for his craft, and with a little work he could be something more. Too bad he insists on being so thick-headed about it." The doctor retains her amused expression as she watches me float through the air in a rather clumsy fashion.

"I don't think he responds well to what he perceives as direct interference. A small push in the right direction is all he would need." Letty adds her two cents since she's still here.

This may take a while...
[X]Head for the Hakurei shrine to see about removing possible misfortune.
[X]Miss Aya knows everyone in Gensokyo, so it wouldn't be that much of a stretch to assume that she'll know of a specialist.
[x] Experimenting time

These Touhous are eating away too much time from Ivan's one true love.
[X]Miss Aya knows everyone in Gensokyo, so it wouldn't be that much of a stretch to assume that she'll know of a specialist.

Despite Ivan's equipment and possible side-projects being back home he can still experiment by seeking that specialist, IYKWIM.
File 127411804316.jpg - (180.00KB, 596x900, Misfortune overwhelming.jpg) [iqdb]
[X] Miss Aya knows everyone in Gensokyo, so it wouldn't be that much of a stretch to assume that she'll know of a specialist.

Aya hijinks? Hina encounter? Sign me up.

Pic possibly related?
[X]Miss Aya knows everyone in Gensokyo, so it wouldn't be that much of a stretch to assume that she'll know of a specialist.

Such as Hina? I was tempted to add "Take along Letty for warmth"

But seriously he needs to lose the misfortune, and this way, Ivan can find out if he's actually cursed or not.
An hour, a couple crashes that were amusing in retrospect, and some painkillers later and I'm finally getting ready to set out to find Aya since she most likely knows, or at least knows of, everyone in Gensokyo. Asking her if she knows of any specialists who deal in misfortune and curses would be the most sensible thing to do even if traversing Youkai Mountain in a moderate snowfall isn't the best idea in the world, but why do I care about things like the weather? I have protection against the cold so staying out in it for extended periods of time will be no issue at all. I'm also fairly well armed in the magic department and I doubt very seriously that the grue would attack me every day of the year until she's killed me so I shouldn't have to worry about the native youkai too much. After bidding the residents and guests of Eientei farewell I step out into the cold once more to seek out the reporter.

Trudging through the snow isn't too bad, but I really should think about creating a matching pair of pants for this so I can keep my legs warm too. Maybe some kind of hat too... Either way it's something to consider for later and as such is not terribly important right now. What is important is not getting lost within the bamboo forest before I even get out of it, and that should be absolutely no trouble at all since I'm actually following the path instead of exploring the path less traveled like some kind of half-wit. Speaking of which, this will probably end up eating the rest of the day's light by the time I get done with all this so I probably won't have time for much else, if anything. That's not necessarily a bad thing if someone's willing to let me crash at their place, which I sincerely hope someone will let me do just that since going out at night will be tantamount to suicide at this point.

"Ivan, would you like my company for the trip?" I jump when I hear Letty's quiet voice less than a few feet away from me. "I'm sorry, did I startle you?" Hands clasped over her stomach, concerned eyes staring directly into mine, and standing on the snow as though it were solid ground instead of crushing it underfoot. I have to tear my mind away from the sight before me in order to answer her lest I waste my whole day drinking in her appearance.

"You did. I wasn't expecting such pleasant company for the trip. I could hardly refuse you if you wish to accompany me." Besides, despite saying otherwise I don't quite feel entirely comfortable going out by myself since Rumia did attack me in broad daylight. I can't be so dense all the time if I want to live.

>I doubt very seriously that the grue would attack me every day of the year until she's killed me
Oh, Ivan.
> I doubt very seriously that the grue would attack me every day of the year until she's killed me.

You know Ivan, saying things like that in your current state of affairs is why the universe is out to get you.

And Rumia may be seeing you as more than just pray at this point.

So Ivan, would you like a BFG 9000, a 1-up Mushroom, a gentleman's suit so classy monsters from a different realm are at your beck and call, ect?

"Bah. Murphy's Law isn't always focused on me you know." Given the fact that Aya tied my to a chair the last time I neglected this I figure it would be a good idea to get back on top of this before the tengu decides to top me, and just because there are a bunch of perverts who would want to see that happen does not mean I want to let myself be molested. "Also, it's a little soon for you to assume that Rumia's fallen in love with me in a way that won't involve my being eaten. And by the way, prey, as in 'to prey on something' is spelled 'p' 'r' 'e' 'y'. As for your suggestions, I'd prefer to get some kind of heavy armor suit that's armed to the teeth or a set of Alatreon armor. Since the former exists in the far flung future and the latter has to be carved up and forged from materials gathered from a western-style elder dragon that may or may not even exist, I'm kind of limited on my preferred options."

"That's because you keep going for the most difficult paths, even if there's a good alternative right dancing in front of you with nothing but a loincloth." And for some reason a sarcastic, luck bringing bunny has decided that she needed to pay me a visit since she happened to be in the area. "Seriously, an elder dragon? Just what kind of happy drugs does Eirin have you addicted to for you to think you'd be anything but something that's crunchy and tastes good with ketchup going up against something like that?"

"Funnily enough, she did try to inject something into me on this last trip, but that was probably to curb the high-flying tendencies rather than make them worse." Since that was the only thing really worth answering out of this batch I decide to pay some attention to the bunny before ignoring it.

"You really don't have any common sense, do you?" Tewi asks this in a deadpan voice, and her face matches her tone.


"Well then, shall we be off?" Letty floats off the ground just enough to make it clear that she intends to fly there instead of walking that distance. It makes a fair bit of sense though since that means there's less time spent on the ground, not to mention no paths to follow. I don't think I have to worry about getting lost up there either since the snow woman is an ice elemental and seems to be able to tell where anything and everything is despite the snow cover.

"We shall." I float off the ground as well, despite the fact that it's not what anyone would call graceful. However, I can't spend days on end refining my technique indoors when the only way to get any real experience is to dive right into the world and experience for myself while taking whatever lumps may come my way. ...Come to think of it, that's probably a big part of the reason why I feel safer with someone around. Rumia can be dealt with by means of clever tricks, but gravity cannot be defeated through misdirection and traps. "Thank you for coming along with me. As confident as I am, even I realize the dangers of trying a skill that I haven't spent a great deal of time developing and the dangers of going up on the mountain alone."

>"You really don't have any common sense, do you?"
Silly rabbit, this is Gensokyo. Common sense is a hinderance. Of course, it isn't common in the outside world either.
> "You really don't have any common sense, do you?"

There's a joke in the Outside world where common sense is so rare it's a super power.

It's not a very well known joke. Small time really.
Only to a certain point, otherwise you might end up a zealot like The Game's Sanae.
'My common sense is tingling'?

That's the one.
Letty finds my comment amusing enough to laugh at, and does so as we take off. "It's nice to see that you are capable of common sense from time to time. Maybe there's hope for you yet." I'm starting to wonder precisely why she's going out of her way to tag along with me, yet it's not terribly important right now since she does make for some lovely company. "Hmm? What is it?" Oh dear, I've been staring at her? At least my gaze is fixed on her eyes instead of her assets. I'm not perverted enough to do something like that.

I shake my head a little and smile before answering. "Oh, nothing. I'm just recalling that I felt a peculiar tingling sensation telling me that it would be smart of me to have you come along rather than go to Youkai Mountain by myself." 'And when I noticed that you wanted to fly there.' Is something I wasn't necessarily keen on adding since it might make the joke I'm about to tell seem too real to be funny.

Letty's face continued to display amusement at the way I'm saying things, yet there's a mix of possible feelings being displayed in her eyes. Amused, yet undecided. "Oh? And just where was this 'tingling sensation' felt?" I think she expects some kind of dirty joke in response, and given her figure along with her pleasant voice and general kindness it's not hard to imagine why that is. On the other hand, I'm not that kind of person.

"It's rather strange. Undescribable, really, but I think that somehow, despite being a withered husk in comparison to a normal person, it might just have been my common sense." A dramatic tone, a mock thinker pose, a serious air that's broken by a twinkle in my eye as I can't keep my face straight all add up. Whether it works or not is another matter entirely.

Letty only giggles into her palm in response, yet I find that her action is actually... Rather cute. Like I wouldn't mind seeing it more often. "Really? It's nice to hear that even though it's on its deathbed your common sense can still do its job." ...I'll have to thank her later for keeping me on track to my destination, because I was not paying attention to where I was going in the slightest.

"I was shooting for something more along the lines of: 'Common sense: It's so rare it's a special ability.'" I make a wide, sweeping gesture and fake an awestruck look to exaggerate the point.

That expression of hers settles for staying 'amused', and her eyes agree with the rest of her face now that she knows how silly I'm being. "No, I think that you're the only one who refuses to listen to your voice of reason to the point where you would think it had withered." She adjusts her course ever so slightly in order to direct me toward the mountain, and once I take a good look at it I find myself in a state of amazement.

The river seems to have frozen over completely. However, that's chump change compared to the large, frozen waterfall affixed to the side of the mountain we're approaching. "Something that mighty can freeze? Running water isn't stable enough to support the formation of ice crystals at this temperature..." Speaking of which, I need to double check my water siphon bottle for signs of freezing once I get home. Depending on how cold I get I may want to take a nice hot bath when I get back.

"It's probably a prank played by either Jack Frost or one of the others." Letty says something that catches my interest in that sentence.

"The others? Other snow women?" My view goes from the frozen waterfall to the snow woman flying alongside me.

"Yes. There are many others like me. You didn't think I was the only one did you?" She raises her eyebrow at me and treats it as though it were the most obvious thing in the world. ...I should feel silly for not thinking of that first, primarily because it is the obvious answer.

But this may prove to be a bit of an issue...

[X]Be it alchemy or a flight to a tengu's home, a wall exists to be torn down.
[X]Perhaps Aya does not live within the mountain, but on it? Search the exterior for anything that catches the eye.
[X]...Investigate the river. I thought I saw something move down there.
[X]Perhaps Aya does not live within the mountain, but on it? Search the exterior for anything that catches the eye.

I don't want to go close to the ground if possible. Rumia might be watching.
[X]...Investigate the river. I thought I saw something move down there.

Fish as a "house warming gift", why not?
[X]Perhaps Aya does not live within the mountain, but on it? Search the exterior for anything that catches the eye.
[X] Perhaps Aya does not live within the mountain, but on it? Search the exterior for anything that catches the eye.
File 127447221020.jpg - (65.67KB, 577x793, not the most common superpower.jpg) [iqdb]
Forgot your image macro.

[x]Perhaps Aya does not live within the mountain, but on it? Search the exterior for anything that catches the eye.
For deadpool, it is pretty rare, seeing how he's crazy.
[X]...Investigate the river. I thought I saw something move down there.

Nitori may need some help.
[X]...Investigate the river. I thought I saw something move down there.

Can't possibly go wrong~!
[c]...Investigate the river. I thought I saw something move down there.

I love this story. The Q&A session is my favourite part of it, so far.
checking out the river might be risky, but might be helpful.
"Misconceptions about the quantity of your species aside, I think we should leave this frozen waterfall be for now. It will most likely still be here in case I feel a need to blow something up or get a tengu patrol's attention." And I really, really want to watch that sheet of ice come crashing down into tiny bits that could be used to cool drinks. However, self restraint is an important trait that I will not compromise simply because I feel like being pointlessly destructive.

"So where do you plan on searching?" She's decided to drop the previous topic of conversation in favor of asking a question of which I have already thought of an answer to.

"We'll look down by the river. I wasn't paying much attention to the landscape but I could swear I saw something move down there." I point in the general direction of where I saw movement a little earlier.

"The kappa do live within that river, so it's possible that you saw one of them along the river while they were trying to thaw it." Letty floats down alongside me until we're mere feet above where I saw something, and lo and behold there's some rather impressive cracks in the ice.

"No, I saw something under the ice I think. Right about..." A quick scan of the ice reveals that there's something bright under the surface, like a bottled light with a housing and focusing lens fitted to it to make it into a directional light. "There. See that?" Annoyingly enough, it darts back into the depths quickly after I point it out.

"If that is a kappa, it will probably be shy and unwilling to approach you. Despite being allies with the humans, the kappa's first instinct is to run from them thanks to... to..." Letty places a hand to her mouth in thought as she tries to recall the reason why kappa would run away from people. From what I understand they're obsessed with technology and would most likely be... There are those old legends about kappa eating children and raping women in order to force them to bear their children. ...I'd be inclined to act a little shy around people too if they told such horrible stories about me. "I wish I could remember that since it's rather important."

"Well, we should probably wait unti-" I start to suggest that we wait a little distance from the river in order to give this kappa some breathing room, but given what happens next it was hardly necessary. What was necessary was Letty pulling us both away from the point of breaching. Yes, you heard me right. I said, 'breaching.'

You see, the kappa under the ice was not retreating because she was shying away from me, but rather she was swimming up the river in order to build up enough speed for her revved up drill to smash a hole in the ice. How do I know she was a kappa? One, the full-body suit she was wearing wasn't quite baggy enough to hide those chest-level bulges, and the suit itself was reminiscient of something out of a particularly dark and twisted novel I once read detailing a scientific utopia under the sea and how it turned into a genetic code splicing hellhole. One of the things detailed in it was a man with something called a 'diving suit' grafted onto him so he could survive the intense pressure of the ocean floor. This looked like someone else had read that novel and then built a suit to those specifications, complete with drill.
kappa big sister?
I'm not sure wether to laugh or cry
The figure kicked off one of the larger chunks of ice in order to get herself onto the riverbank, where she stared at us from inside the diving suit. It was just for a moment, but I genuinely feared that the kappa would attack me and that I would have no effective methods of dealing with her should she become violent. That subsides quickly as she takes off her helmet to reveal hair that is roughly as deep a blue as the Misty Lake in summer that is tied up in a pair of ponytails. "Hiya! Not too many humans come out here, and even fewer in winter. What'd ya do, get lost or somethin'? I can't think of any other reason why you've got a yuki-onna clingin' to ya. You know that they don't lead ya back home for free don't ya? That sort of thing costs body heat, so maybe you got lost up her on purpose to get lucky? You're brave and a little stupid. Either that or desperate." ...You know, I think I prefer her with her helmet on. Still, she pauses for a moment before smacking herself in the face. "Geeze, I must look like an uncultured twit! Forget about what I just said so we can start over. The name's Nitori Kawashiro. What's yours?"

"Ivan. I'm an alchemist who lives in the human village and-" I almost get a whole sentence out before she cuts me off and starts rambling again.

"An alchemist? ...Oh yeah, you're the one who blew up his house when he was a kid right? I bet ya got a lot better since then! I'd also wager we could do some real interesting experiments together if we put our heads and imagination together!" ...Is Nitori excitable or what? I'd be willing to bet that anything she builds would be powered by her enthusiasm alone. At least she realizes the implications of what she was saying, especially with the rambling she was doing earlier, and immediately slapped a hand to her mouth and starts blushing heavily. "N-not like that! Sorry, I have to go!"

Letty and I watch in a state that seems to be a cross between amazement and utter disbelief. "We really should go after her."

"Do we have to? I like my ears the way they are." I'm sure that her chatterbox nature will chill out if given enough time, but I'm questioning whether it would really be worth it to follow her.

[X]Follow her and sort things out.
[X]...Leave her be and continue searching the river.
[X] Follow her and sort things out.

Might want to cut back on the caffeine, Nitori.
[X]Follow her and sort things out.

Ivan, how did you get a novel version of Bioshock? As far as I know, it's only in video game form.

Better question, what year is it in the outside world right now?
There's a Bioshock novel in development, but its current projected release date is next January. Either Ivan's in the future compared to us, or he talking about a strategy guide.
[X]Follow her and sort things out.

About that "putting our imaginations together" bit...
Was that supposed to be one of those 'when a man and woman like each other very much...' things?
[X]Follow her and sort things out.

I know she wasn't talking dirty YET. There's Phoenix girls, very sexy doctors, lovely snow-women, naughty tengu...
She was unknowingly implying that, yes.

[X]Follow her and sort things out.

You forgot the grue.
[X]Follow her and sort things out.

Hey more friends the merrier I say!
As much as I might want to just head off and continue searching the river it would just bother me to no end if I left things as they are, there's the small matter of getting things straightened out with Nitori and perhaps asking her if she knows of anyone who deals in curses and misfortune. "Alright, we'll go after her." With that I start walking off in the direction the kappa had run off in only for Letty to remind me of the fact that she's still hanging onto me and that we're still in the air. "By air." Correction: We fly off after the kappa.

It's fairly easy to track her since Letty can see the footprints Nitori left in the snow, and it's fairly quick since the snow woman is basically towing me along. "She should be... Right around here." She points to a house a little off the path and I also see that there's a pair of snowy footprints on the front porch. I guess this is where she went.

"I assume that we should check here before moving on." And I touch down on the porch as well, then knock on the door.

A hurried set of steps grow fainter as they go away from the door while a steadier set of steps grow louder as they approach the door. The person who answers it isn't someone I expect in the slightest, but that's mostly because I don't know anyone here aside from Aya. "Hello, might I ask who you are?" Forest green hair divided into two even lengths that are brought in front of her and tied together with a crimson ribbon with frilly white lace, and her eyes easily matched her hair. Her skin tone is pale and doll-like, and her dress matches her ribbons save for the swirly green symbol on the lower left portion of her dress. The boots are nothing to sneeze at either. She also has a rather divine figure. I wonder why I thought of it like that?

"My name is Ivan. I followed Nitori here since she seemed to get the wrong idea from our previous conversation. ...Even if said conversation was something along the lines of her running me over and not only gave, but got the wrong idea." Unlike Nitori, this newcomer actually lets me get a full thought out before putting a hand to her mouth and... giggling? "What's so funny?"

She waves her other hand at me before speaking. "My apologies, my name is Hina Kagiyama. As for what is so funny, it's just that this happens almost every time Nitori makes a new friend. She means no harm by it, but she's not terribly skilled at speaking to new people. She tends to run her mouth a fair bit." She then steps back to admit us into her home. "Please, come in. It's good of you to come after her instead of just leaving her be."


Mission accomplished! Now Ivan just needs to make an offhand remark about being cursed and it's all good.
File 127481316917.jpg - (329.85KB, 2021x1446, 1fa0a1e72425e190ca9753a.jpg) [iqdb]
A Hina is sighted~

"Thank you, and I apologize if this is causing you any inconvenience." I notice that Hina's eyes drifted toward the snow woman standing not too far away from me for a moment before making eye contact with me again.

"If you were causing me inconvenience I would let you know, so push such thoughts aside." Hina then gestures to the hallway within and I see no more reason to stay out in the cold. "I assume the snow woman that is accompanying you is a friend?" She points to Letty before I can get much further in the house.

"She is. She's accompanying me in order to give me assurance that I'm not just going to end up lost out here while looking for someone to deal with misfortune." Best to get this little bit dealt with now before it becomes an issue, since from the sounds of it Hina doesn't like the idea of a snow woman coming into her house.

"I see." She doesn't look entirely sure about this, but only interaction and communication will change that. "Come on in as well. It's good sense to have a guide up here in winter." She once again looks to me before walking on ahead. "As for finding someone capable of dealing with misfortune, you're in luck. I happen to be a curse goddess."

Those last two words cause me to freeze in place, albeit not in the literal sense. "Curse goddess?" My tone takes on a much warier note than I should have allowed it to since I'm supposed to be keeping a more open mind about this sort of thing. Then again, better safe than sorry.

"Yes, I take curses and misfortune away from humans and disperse them in ways that will not cause them harm. Be it sending them down the river or giving it to other gods who have agreed to take it." Hina takes a left turn at the nearest doorway, which leads to a sitting room. I note that the kappa seems to be absent from the room, and that should not surprise me in the slightest since she's probably got the wrong idea in her head. "I am not surprised by your reaction, but I am surprised by the fact that you had decided to stay instead of leaving. Most people won't stay once they know what I am."

"Leaving had crossed my mind, but I wouldn't be able to sort things out if I just ran away." I decided to take up a seat on the couch since Hina had not made any statement or motion to suggest that such a thing would be unwarranted. Letty takes up a spot next to me without ever speaking a word. Is she that concerned about what a goddess thinks of her, or perhaps she is worried?

"If you'll excuse me for a moment, I'll get some tea going. Feel free to poke around if you wish." With that Hina leaves the room, and I get the feeling that she would not have said that if there wasn't a chance that Nitori wasn't here.

[X]You know, it might be a good time to ask Hina about whether I have any misfortune surrounding me...
[X]If she's hiding in the room then she can't be all that far away. See about finding the kappa.
[X]See why Letty is being so nervous. It's unlike how she acts around me.
[X]See why Letty is being so nervous. It's unlike how she acts around me.
[X]If she's hiding in the room then she can't be all that far away. See about finding the kappa.
We are gonna ask her about our luck anyawy, we better go find Nitori.
[X] See why Letty is being so nervous. It's unlike how she acts around me.

The misconceptions are just going to keep piling up, aren't they?
[X] See why Letty is being so nervous. It's unlike how she acts around me.

We'll still be able to ask her later right? There's no point going all the way out there without finding out.
[X]See why Letty is being so nervous. It's unlike how she acts around me.

Let Nitori come out on her own.
[X] See why Letty is being so nervous. It's unlike how she acts around me.
[X]See why Letty is being so nervous. It's unlike how she acts around me.

Perhaps she feels something's amiss or perhaps something malicious floundering about?
[x]See why Letty is being so nervous. It's unlike how she acts around me.
Letty Letty Letty Letty Letty
In my opinion, if you want a shy person to show him or herself it would be better if you allowed said person to work up the nerve on her own rather than flush them out of hiding. ...All right, fine. I admit that the reason I'm putting this off is because Letty looks so... nervous. It's unlike any other time she's around me so it's only natural that I feel some concern for her. I end up placing a hand on hers to get her attention and to remind her that I'm there for her before talking. "Letty, why are you so nervous? Is it because we're in the home of a curse goddess?"

"..." She doesn't answer straight away, instead opting to gather her thoughts. "Yes, it's because Hina is a curse goddess. She's someone who loves people and does what she can to make their lives easier, and as a result she doesn't like it when someone like myself accompanies a human since when that happens it's because my kind are typically using that human or are leading her to her doom." I can feel Letty clench her hand beneath mine, and I scoot a little closer since it's apparent she's not comfortable here. "She probably thinks I'm using you, but what makes me so nervous about her scrutiny is that I'm not sure I'm not using you for my own ends. The only way for someone like me to escape my being a snow woman is to be freed by someone else, and..."

"And I'd help you regardless of whether you were just using me or not." I can catch a slight shimmer in the air on the nearby recliner, but choose to ignore it for a moment since I want to sort this out before moving on.

"But why?" Her eyes stay locked with mine, and they grow a little wider when I intertwine my hand with hers.

"Let me answer your question with one of my own: Why shouldn't I help someone in need?" Yes, it sounds silly but it really is how I feel on the matter, especially when Keine told me the same thing when I asked her that question so long ago. Heh, I think I picked up some interesting ideals from her, perhaps her general stubbornness as well.

More nervous silence, but at least Letty's smiling now. Probably because my answer sounded like something a silly, lovestruck fool would say, but despite my general attitude that really is how I feel, and not just towards her either. Not only is it good karma to do so, but most people who receive help tend to be willing to return the favor somewhere down the road. Or perhaps I've slipped into the role of the silly, lovestruck fool without ever realizing it? ...Nah.

Still nothing on the kappa front, but I do pull out a bottled light and let it light up the room a bit more effectively, which manages to reveal that Nitori has moved to the chair across from us. She doesn't seem to understand the significance of what I just did, so she just stays still for the time being. "Tea's ready." Hina slipped in while I wasn't paying attention and placed a tray with a steaming pot of tea along with four cups on the table before sitting down... "Now, you mentioned something abou-" on the very chair Nitori occupied. "Ah! I'm sorry Nitori, I didn't see you!" She's very quick to jump off the kappa's lap once she realizes she's there.

"No problem. I shoulda cut the camoflage sooner so this is really my bad. These two were kinda interesting to watch since it looks like they care about each other." ...I didn't think Nitori was in observer mode... Though what she says next certainly surprises me. "And I don't mind if ya sit on my lap. We're friends, right?" Does she know the significance of what she's saying, or is she oblivious to the meaning of that sort of closeness?

"Oh, I can't possibly do such a thing, it wouldn't be fair to you." Hina knows, and chooses to sit on the chair Nitori had previously occupied after dragging it a bit closer. She then tries to hide a light blush as she adresses me once more. "You mentioned something about misfortune before, so I assume you came here because you carry some form of misfortune?" ...She can't see it?

[X]"I think I do, given what's been happening to me as of late."
[X]"I would have thought you'd be able to see it. Is it just not there?"
[X]"I'm certain of it, but perhaps something's balancing it out."
[X]"I'm certain of it, but perhaps something's balancing it out."
-[x] "But even with it, I still seem to suffer a particular deal"
[c]"I'm certain of it, but perhaps something's balancing it out."
[X]"I'm certain of it, but perhaps something's balancing it out."

Works for me~!
[X] "I'm certain of it, but perhaps something's balancing it out."

Looks like Tewi's power is camoflage for the misfortune.
[X]"I'm certain of it, but perhaps something's balancing it out."
She can't see it? But I got the impression that she could see the misfortune around others in order to determine who needs her help. Unless... "I'm certain that I possess misfortune in some form, but perhaps there's also something that's balancing it out and making it unnoticeable?" It's possible that someone or something decided that I've taken enough of a beating for one lifetime and tried to do something about it.

Hina takes a moment to consider this before looking around me, and given that her eyes do in fact start whipping around to check everywhere I'd assume that she did see something. "It seems that is the case. I didn't see it before because I didn't know that I would have to look outside of a sphere to find it. Usually misfortune clings to a victim in a manner similar to possession, but yours seems to be kept at bay for the most part." She pauses as she takes a look at the space around me, then steps forward to grab a hold of... Something. "It still gets through, but not to the degree it could. You must have someone who cares about you a fair bit if they were willing to create some kind of shield, especially since you most likely would not have had much longer to live if you had not sought help." Okay, that's not what I expected to hear. "It's too much to remove in one attempt, but I'll do what I can."

A thought struck me just then. When I created bottled darkness for the first time I didn't know where I was getting it from, but I sealed it anyway so perhaps... "Perhaps it is possible to take it all out in one shot. Do you have any sealing agents for misfortune?" It's a bit of a long shot, but if I can knock this all out in one go it would go a long way toward making my life less difficult.

"I do not. I usually take care of all curse and misfortune removal personally, and on top of that I do not possess any worshipers of my own, nor do exceptionally unfortunate people come often enough to warrant the creation of such seals." Given how her face goes from being neutral to slightly saddened I would have to assume that even the ones who did never lasted long enough for her to help them. "However, Suwako Moriya of the Moriya Shrine can control curses to a far greater extent than I so it may be worth your while to ask her instead."

What to do?
[X]Set up some sort of schedule to get rid of this in chunks that are manageable for her.
[X]She may have had no reason to make the seals before, but now she does. Collaborate with her in sealing up my misfortune so it can be disposed of.
[X]Thank Hina for her time and make a trip to the top of the mountain.
[X]Set up some sort of schedule to get rid of this in chunks that are manageable for her.
[X]She may have had no reason to make the seals before, but now she does. Collaborate with her in sealing up my misfortune so it can be disposed of.
[x]She may have had no reason to make the seals before, but now she does. Collaborate with her in sealing up my misfortune so it can be disposed of.

Collaboration is usually good for experience.
[X]She may have had no reason to make the seals before, but now she does. Collaborate with her in sealing up my misfortune so it can be disposed of.
[X]Thank Hina for her time and make a trip to the top of the mountain.
> You must have someone who cares about you a fair bit if they were willing to create some kind of shield, especially since you most likely would not have had much longer to live if you had not sought help.

A challenger appears? Because I'm pretty sure Yukari doesn't have that much interest in him and Tewi...is Tewi.

Rumia(?) is too recent, and Letty is the same. All that leaves is Eirin, Mokou, and Keine.

It's probably Keine.
[X]She may have had no reason to make the seals before, but now she does. Collaborate with her in sealing up my misfortune so it can be disposed of.

This may be easier for LettyIvan in regards to expanding his circle of friends and allies. Plus if Ivan manages things well enough he may even have a new place to continue with his experiments safely~!

Not to mention quite possibly two lovely assistants to aid Ivan's progress in alchemy!
Tewi actually blessed him with her luck ability, though it wasn't enough to fully counter the misfortune much to her shock.
That's a bit hypocritical of Hina, judging Letty by reputation of her species alone.
The oppressed are the most likely to oppress other, despite knowing what it feels to be in the receiving end.
This lack of empathy is somewhat normal for humans, but it seems that it applies to other beings as well.
"No, I'd prefer it if you were the one to do it seeing as you're a curse goddess by nature. What I'll ask instead is: Do you have the materials on you to craft those seals?" Collaboration is never a bad thing as it allows two people to accomplish more than either one would have alone. Not to mention that when the misfortune is removed it will cause my luck to whiplash clear to the other side of the spectrum, which should allow me to accomplish anything I put my mind to for however long I have it.

"I do not, but it would be a simple task to acquire them since Suwako would most likely give me what I need once I talk to her." Hina looks a bit surprised at the fact that I chose to continue dealing with her rather than walk out on her. I suppose it shouldn't be a surprise to me since I happen to have heard the nasty stories made up about her and the 'fact' that anyone who met her would carry a curse so great that they cannot survive it. I'm sure someone would try to add me to that list somewhere down the line, but who's going to know about this? It's not like there's a crazed axe-man stalking Hina to ensure that she doesn't get any customers/worshipers/whatever. "I think it's safe to assume that you don't carry the required materials for your end of the project either?"

"I'm prepared to do anything except alchemy outside of my home. So yes, I'll need to make a quick trip back to my abode to get what I need, preferrably in excess since there's no solid numbers." Of course, two trips in one day on top of preforming an experiment using an untested theory means that the odds are very good I won't be sleeping in my own bed tonight. It's a trivially small and perfectly acceptable price to pay for something like this.

"Very well. I'll set out to get my materials and will meet you back here within... Two hours?" Hina's voice and facial expression is asking the unspoken, 'Is that okay with you?' that she didn't put into words.

"I should have time to get what we need for this. If there's nothing else I shall take my leave at once." Yes, all of us were sipping tea throughout that. What kind of uncultured twit would ignore tea set out in front of him? Pointless rambling aside I get up from my seat, give the curse goddess a polite bow and do the small courtesy of allowing her to answer before setting off with a snow woman in tow.

With Hina's acceptance of my desire to get on with this as soon as possible I walk out of her home- That's not entirely right since Hina and Nitori both stepped out as well to go visit Moriya Shrine. Regardless, we bid each other farewell for now.

It's not too long after that that I notice Letty has gone back to her usual self save for the rosy blush she acquired by staying in a warm place for too long, which must have been acceleratred by the hot drink she consumed while we were at Hina's home. "I really did think she was going to curse me just for leading a human around." The snow woman breaths a small sigh of relief as the snow-laden forest obscuring Hina's home on the mountain goes from being a collection of depressingly barren trees to something more akin to a slightly dirtied snowfield. "And I was starting to get too warm." She apparently didn't notice the fact that she's once again taken my hand in hers, though I have a hard time believing that she can't feel the excess heat draining out of that connection. ...Then again, I don't feel much warmer than I already do.

"It seems either Nitori managed to convince her otherwise, or Hina is the most passive-agressive person I've ever met. I'd like to think it's the former instead of the latter though." Hina doesn't seem like the type to pull something so petty after I explained why Letty was there with me, and when she also seemed to agree with it. It's still a fair amount of time before we get back home, and then it will take even more time to get back... Sometimes I wish I could fly as fast as Aya can, or even Marisa. I roll my eyes when I remember that I don't like moving at those speeds anyway. Maybe some kind of teleport spell...

"As closed-minded as it may be to you, I truly don't trust her. The very fact that she doesn't appear to like me is more than enough reason to keep my distance, so perhaps it would be better if I didn't go back in her house." Letty doesn't trust Hina at all, and I think it's a sure bet that the feelings are mutual.

"She's judging you based on the examples she has previously seen of your race rather than waiting to see what you're like. If those examples were all bad then I suppose I could see where she's coming from, but she shouldn't go condemning all snow women simply because each individual is a seperate entity and as such not everyone thinks alike." Since this will take so long, I may as well talk to her about the underlying issues that are bothering her.

The snow woman smiles at me when I say that, but it's not one that gives the sense that she's really happy. "If the whole world thought like you do, it would be much more naive. Though that's also a bit hypocritical coming from you seeing as you froze when Hina told you what she is." Now she's pointing out hypocrisy? I suppose I should have expected that.

"On the other hand, that's all I did. I waited until I saw what Hina was like before calling any judgments. I suppose I should have waited to ask her her opinion before making assumptions about what she thinks of you." We're about halfway home I think. The fields of snow are leveling out and becoming what will be the sunflower field when spring rolls around. From there it will be a relatively thin stretch of grassland, then the farm fields...

"You certainly do contradict yourself at times. You didn't exactly trust me either when we first met. I can't really blame you for that though, I would have done the same thing." ...When did I start trusting Letty as explicitly as I have been? I haven't even known her for a full week yet I'm entrusting my life to her! This is ridiculous in ways I can't even express. I'm starting to think that I'm thinking with the wrong head here... "Are you okay?" And she spotted the rather conflicted look on my face.

"I'm fine, I'm just kicking myself mentally for something that sounds rather silly in retrospect." And the fields become a village. Houses, shops, and assorted things speed by beneath us as we approach my house.

"I see." Thankfully Letty doesn't pursue it any further than that.

We touch down in front of my door only to find that I have failed to lock it once again, meaning there's probably someone inside. Given the fact that I've met almost everyone I know that means there's only a couple people it could be and I'm not really interested in dealing with anyone right at the moment.

Surprisingly there wasn't anyone in the house, so acquiring the needed empty element-sealing spheres and my alchemy book was a simple matter that went quite quickly. Letty did express some surprise at where I had managed to stick my most treasured book, but kept quiet about it. That's a good thing too since I don't feel like explaining how I managed to do that to someone who probably wouldn't understand why I would choose that particular spot. Either way I'm ready to go again in a matter of minutes.

"That was quite an interesting trick, though I thought you'd be a little more concerned about your book being damaged." Letty isn't even watching where she's going since she's flying backwards so she can talk to me.

"This isn't an ordinary book you know. I've taken quite a few precautions with it so that it can withstand the elements as well as a great deal of physical punishment. It just so happens to be able to shrug off the effects of extreme heat and cold." The book in question is in a satchel tied around my neck, and I've got a tight hold on it to make sure it doesn't fall. Despite my somewhat haphazard handling of it I still value it quite a bit and would not go so far as to gamble it recklessly.

"And yet you have nothing short of a death grip on it." Letty seems amused by my actions but speaks nothing more of it as we take off towards Hina's home. That doesn't stop her from talking though. "I assume you have some kind of plan handy for this sealing?"

"I plan to re-purpose an elemental sealing spell I created in order to deal with my misfortune, but I don't want to do it alone since there's a good chance it'll backfire if I try it myself." I shrug as I start talking again since I'm more or less stating the obvious. Misfortune might have a mind of its own or some such other stupidity and I would prefer to keep the risk down to an absolute minimum. "I ran some checks in my head and it sounds like it will work out."

"'Sounds like?' It sounds like you're not confident about it." ...And once again everyone I talk to thinks my idea is going to blow up in my face. Not that I'm 100% sure about this myself but at least I'm going to make it work. "But I don't think anyone will change your mind regardless of what they say or do. It's a little like talking to a brick wall." Letty...

Conversation simply went to small talk and a few back and forth jabs between us as we went the rest of the way to the curse goddess' house, which sort of surprises me since talking freely isn't something that comes readily. ...You know what? It doesn't matter. Griping about it won't change anything so I'm just going to shut up and accept it as best I can. Ah, now the house is in sight again so now I can stop monologueing for now.

Setting down on the front porch I knock on the door, and step in when Hina opens the door. "I see both our outings went quicker than expected. I assume you've gotten what you need?"

"Yes. Let's begin."



Long scene, isn't it?

Yes. For a bit there I was expecting to get eaten by a Grue, but it all turned out well.

One of the things I will never do is pull a Shark End for no reason. You'll get ample warning in some form or another if you're in danger, and unlike those scenarios it's actually possible to get out of them. Albeit very difficult.

Also, I'm not going into horribly deep detail since that will drag this out even longer. Rest assured this is almost over.


Hina leads Letty and I off to an inner area of her house that is noticeably more unnerving than the rest of the house despite the fact that it's really not that much different than the rest of the house. Perhaps that is because this is where Hina does her work and it has picked up on the sinister nature of her work but I don't really feel like speculating on that. The curse goddess sets her materials down on the table that happens to sit in the middle of the room, and I follow suit with the sealing spheres. I don't set my book down and instead open it up to the first page detailing the successful elemental sealing spell and... Set it down anyway so Hina can take a good look.

"...You can read this?" Hina expresses some confusion over my book's heavily edited text and diagrams, and I admit that it is a bit of a cluster.

"Yes. I'll go ahead and walk you through the entirety of the sealing spell so you can tell me what needs to be done to alter it for successful misfortune sealing." I shift the book over to let Hina get a good look at the book before flipping over to an empty page and getting the framework of the spell written out.

"Alright." She then turns to Letty before going any further. "Please wait outside this room. It's quite possible that the misfortune will try to seek a new target, and I would not be able to sleep properly if it were to latch onto you."

"I understand. I'll wait in the sitting room until you're done. Please take good care of Ivan." Letty then stepped out of the room, which also makes me feel a bit better since this means she'll be out of the line of fire.

"Now, what you'll need to do is apply the seals to the sphere and..."

> One of the things I will never do is pull a Shark End for no reason. You'll get ample warning in some form or another if you're in danger, and unlike those scenarios it's actually possible to get out of them. Albeit very difficult.

And now that you said that, things are going to become more difficult, correct?

> and...

Damn cliff-hanger...


You don't like cliffhangers, I get it already.


Somehow things progressed relatively smoothly despite the misfortune surrounding us. The sealing spheres have had the sealing ofuda infused into them to create a nigh-impenetrable prison with which to seal in the black cloud surrounding me and have been placed on the table directly behind Hina. She had seen fit to pull a chair over and ask me to sit in it, explaining that removing this quantity of misfortune might result in anything from discomfort, to outright pain, to various nonsensical effects and that it would be better if I weren't standing up for it. Personally I never think it's a good sign when someone says this, but I don't have much choice now that I'm committed to it. I also keep in mind just how much of a reversal this will result in to keep my head in the game.

"I will begin in three..." Hina more or less sits in my lap for this, which isn't such a bad thing all on its own. ...That sort of thinking will be my downfall. "Two..." She slides her left hand around to the back of my head, presumably to keep it there... "One..." And her right makes contact with my forehead. That's some incredibly soft skin on her hand. Warm too. "Please forgive me for what I am about to force you to endure..." Begging for forgiveness? Why would sh-

I shudder once as the misfortune begins to move through me and into her, then into the spheres. It's like having slow moving tendrils of molasses moving through your brain and it's making it incredibly hard to think about any one particular thing. It's not painful, just disorienting as all get out. Hina's closed her eyes for this, presumably so she doesn't have to look me in the eye, but that's not what's got my attention. The ribbon on her right arm has come undone to reveal a disgusting black blotch that simply should not exist on such a divine figure and the tendrils of black misfortune stringing out into the sealing spheres only makes the image worse in my mind. It is nice to see that they're holding up okay since I wasn't entirely sure that it wou-

Okay, that was unpleasant. The thick tendrils feel like they're starting to resist Hina's pull and are corkscrewing in my head to either do more damage to it or to get a better grip. Either way it's reflected in her black spot by way of the tendrils getting thicker and small bumps forming on them. I don't think I'm going to like what they're going to d-

They're slowing down. Slowing down, becoming bigger, yet getting smoother? Now it's starting to disgust me, what with the way the tendrils coming out of both of Hina's arms seem to be trying to wind their way around her instead of simply going into the spheres, but they're not there yet. They're still much to-

If there were a sound to tell you something just shifted in an unpleasant way, whatever it is just made itself heard. The tendrils are even thicker than before, but aren't moving at all. They're just sitting there, resisting her pull with all their might, but I can feel them start to mo-

They're moving again, but this time it feels like it's trying to tear chunks out of my mind to get a good foothold, and to make it worse they're winding their way aroud Hina to a degree. They're still relatively thin and not taking up much more than her forearm, bu-

Heartbeat. All I can hear in my own head is a steady heartbeat . My limbs are numb. My head won't move. I can't blink. I can't turn away. They're winding their way around the curse goddess before me and I can feel a little of what she's feeling since there was a matching ribbon on her left arm and the misfortune is winding its way around that like some carnivorous plant that just ensnared its prey. She's screwed her eyes shut in a desperate plea to not see what's happening to me or to herself, but this disgusting slimy feeling wouldn't even need to bother with the eyes. It's already slipping into her clothes. It's still being drawn awa-

There's just an eeire little tune going through my head now. Everything is tinted with a shade of purple and I see little black blobs with a solitary red eye and a mouth full of sharp teeth moving back and forth quite rapidly. It's not enough to shield my eyes from what the goddess in my lap is going through. Thick tendrils are moving about under her clothes in the most inappropriate of ways, and one has gone so far as to slide into her mouth to do who knows what. I'd like to rip those away from her, to blow them to bits for daring to touch her in such a fashion, to...



...Something doesn't feel right. Even though that unnerving air has faded back down to its usual low level I still feel as though something's not quite right. I know Hina specifically told me not to go in while she was working yet I feel a strong urge to do so anyway. I get up off my seat and head on over to the door, and pull it open.

There's nothing out of the ordinary save for a set of twelve spheres with various sealing runes infused into the very glass that comprises them that also happen to be a horrific blend of pitch black and blood red. ...Was this what was hanging around Ivan all this time? I don't want to think about what that must have been like, and if his current state is any indication I don't want to know what it was like to have it all removed in one go. Ivan's eyes have glazed over and it looks like he either fainted or expired recently, though a quick feel of his neck tells me that he's still alive. Somehow. Hina, being a goddess, is somewhat better off, but her eyes aren't responsive either and from the looks of it she's quite weak. She's drooling with her mouth open, which makes absolutely no sense. She was removing misfortune, not raping him. Even though I think that, I touch her skin anyway and she moans as I slide my hand down her neck. Moans. What was she doing in here? She needs a fresh pair of panties and... Ugh!

Yet my intuition tells me she did nothing wrong. That she was just as much the victim as Ivan was, and given the malevolent aura those spheres are putting out I wouldn't be surprised. Regarldess, I need to get them away from here...

[X]Take Ivan, take his book, and leave. Anywhere is better than here.
[X]There's not enough time to get somewhere safe before the sun sets. Get Ivan to a bed, same with Hina.
[X]...Perhaps it's not finished. Look through the book and see if there's anything spelled out in case there was something they needed to be conscious to do.
[X]There's not enough time to get somewhere safe before the sun sets. Get Ivan to a bed, same with Hina.
[X]...Perhaps it's not finished. Look through the book and see if there's anything spelled out in case there was something they needed to be conscious to do.
If not:
[X]There's not enough time to get somewhere safe before the sun sets. Get Ivan to a bed, same with Hina.
[X]There's not enough time to get somewhere safe before the sun sets. Get Ivan to a bed, same with Hina.
Hot. Too bad about the timeskip.
[X]...Perhaps it's not finished. Look through the book and see if there's anything spelled out in case there was something they needed to be conscious to do.
If not:
[X]There's not enough time to get somewhere safe before the sun sets. Get Ivan to a bed, same with Hina.

Misfortune rape is hot.

>You don't like cliffhangers, I get it already.

Just fucking with you.
[x]...Perhaps it's not finished. Look through the book and see if there's anything spelled out in case there was something they needed to be conscious to do.

Maybe something remains to be done, and Letty 'saves' the day?
[X]...Perhaps it's not finished. Look through the book and see if there's anything spelled out in case there was something they needed to be conscious to do.
If not:
[X]There's not enough time to get somewhere safe before the sun sets. Get Ivan to a bed, same with Hina.

This sounds about right, though I'm a bit worried that whatever just got Hina might simply be waiting for it's chance to strike again.
> I see little black blobs with a solitary red eye and a mouth full of sharp teeth moving back and forth quite rapidly.

Why was I thinking of Rumia when I read this? If she was involved with this somehow, and ended up raping the both of them...

[X]...Perhaps it's not finished. Look through the book and see if there's anything spelled out in case there was something they needed to be conscious to do.
If not:
[X]There's not enough time to get somewhere safe before the sun sets. Get Ivan to a bed, same with Hina.
File 127527295155.png - (910.62KB, 706x575, Eversion.png) [iqdb]

Huh. I didn't think the reference was that obscure... Anyway, look at the pic and file name for what that really is.


I should get them away from here before anything else happens to them, but it might not matter if this misfortune manages to get back out. So I pick up Ivan's book and read the page it was open on, which just happens to be the modified sealing spell they must have used on these earlier. No sense wasting any time. I pick up twelve seals, set one above each sphere and employ the spell. It's somewhat satisfying watching those spheres go from looking like they're about to attack me to being little more than glass orbs with a swirling maelstrom of misfortune within them. It wasn't the most pleasant task in the world because it felt like I was cutting it awfully close in my timing, but now it's done. Of course, I should wonder how I was able to do that so effortlessly. That spell was unlike anything I've ever cast before.

I should get those two to a bed. There's nowhere near enough time to get Ivan home and while I don't... I suppose I shouldn't say I don't trust her but I still don't like Hina all that much. Heh heh, it's really quite ironic, isn't it? I carefully sling Hina over my shoulder and pick up Ivan with my other arm before leaving the room. A curse goddess that is hated by humans... You'd think that we could hit it off with that similarity alone, but she sees me as someone who takes advantage of humans. I have to assume that her rooms are upstairs, though I wonder if she even has any beds given that she doesn't have to stay physical when she's asleep. And since I came here with Ivan, she assumed that I'm using him for my own ends and prepared to curse me in a misguided attempt to save him. If he didn't stay with me, who knows what would have become of me... A few rooms later and I locate something that looks like a bedroom, save for the fact that there's nothing but a drawer in the room. ...Oh wait, there is a bed off to the side. It's just obscured. I lay Ivan down on the bed first and cringe as I look at his unresponsive face. It looks... Soulless. I'll have to ask Hina if he'll truly be all right. And why have I suddenly started caring about Ivan so much? I didn't even know him personally until a few days ago, yet I'm not just pulling him aside for his body heat. I want him to be safe...

I then set Hina on the bed as well, but I lay her across Ivan's stomach so I can get to her soaked undergarments more easily and I'm still minorly disgusted by it. ...Not that I'm against soaked lady parts, but rather that part of me fears she did something untoward while I had my back turned. But that's a dangerous thing to think about. I... I'll wait for Hina to wake up before drawing any final conclusions. I just set the panties aside since there's no real place to put them and fish out a fresh pair from the drawers. Of course, she's still soaked down there so there's no real point in putting them back on. I head off to the bathroom I found to get a hand towel to dry her off with, and set to work. Though this does pose a bit of an issue... I don't want to leave them alone. Once I'm certain she's dry I put the fresh panties on her, then lay her the correct way on the bed. ...It's actually annoying me how she's grabbed onto him almost immediately.

[X]Find someplace else to stick Ivan. I don't like this.
[X]Leave them be for now. I think Hina isn't quite as asleep as she led me to believe.
[X]Just get between them already!
[X]Just get between them already!
>I don't want to leave them alone.

I stink at write-ins, so
[x]Just get between them already!
[X]Leave them be for now. I think Hina isn't quite as asleep as she led me to believe.

I get the feeling that getting between the two will push Hina's fate onto Letty. Which will bad. Maybe worse.
[X]Leave them be for now. I think Hina isn't quite as asleep as she led me to believe.

> Eversion


Ivan just saw X-8, didn't he? He better not suddenly everse randomly. I don't think he'll be able to handle having Gensokyo suddenly become a land seemingly taken from a child's story book full of happiness and rainbows, or (Even worse) Grimdark Warhammer40K Eldritch Abomination-estique Gensokyo, where even the weakest of fairies is a horrifying monster that can kill you just by looking at you funny.

That said:
[X]Leave them be for now. I think Hina isn't quite as asleep as she led me to believe.
[X]Leave them be for now. I think Hina isn't quite as asleep as she led me to believe.
-[x] Keep an eye on them so you can see an improvement in Ivan at least.
[X]Leave them be for now. I think Hina isn't quite as asleep as she led me to believe.
-[x] Keep an eye on them so you can see an improvement in Ivan at least.
[X]Leave them be for now. I think Hina isn't quite as asleep as she led me to believe.
-[x] Keep an eye on them so you can see an improvement in Ivan at least.
It annoys me, and I almost slide in between them but I decide otherwise. The reason being because I think I can hear Hina crying, even though it's an extremely soft sob. Part of me wants to question her about what happened in there, but the more sensible part demands that I leave them alone. Hina must feel horrible about the state Ivan is in and my demanding to know what happened would do nothing but make that worse.

While I won't get between them, I will keep an eye on them. On Ivan. In the meantime I'll look through this interesting book since it may take a while before he wakes up. ...If he does at all.


I have no idea what happened... The person I was trying to help isn't responding to anything I say or do. His eyes have been glazed over ever since I finished and that can't be a good sign... Taking on his misfortune in such a physical way is nothing compared to this. I'd take it a dozen times over if it meant he would simply wake up...


My head... It feels like someone ground it into paste, but considering what I just went through I can imagine that it might be the case. My body won't respond at all, which is annoying as all get out, Hina's clinging to me and sobbing, and Letty is simply waiting for me to come back from this. Of course, I can't even let them know that I'm still alive or conscious so this may be just a bit more difficult than I'd like. On the flip side, I can literally feel the fortune permeating me so I might just be able to do something about this without even moving.

A sign. I need to give them some kind of signal that I am in fact alive and well, and this might do the trick.


I look up from my book and note that Ivan's left wrist is covered in some kind of magic circle, and judging from the color and type of symbols involved it's a light element spell... A signal? Perhaps some kind of way for him to let us know he's okay. But what would he expect me to do?


Too bad that's about all I can do in my current state. That circle won't die down so long as I'm alive and should act as the ultimate proof that I am in fact alive, if not well. I don't know what I need to do from here though since this is all something I've never dealt with before. My specialty is alchemy, not spiritualism.

[X]Perhaps this can be solved by delving into my own mind.
[X]Use different elemental runes to try and communicate with Letty. Even if she doesn't understand it, she has the book.
-[X]Red Shrine
-[X]Other Shrine
Well I'm leaning towards the Moriya Shrine or handling it in the mind. Reimu's busy as it is, and I'd think Sanae and the gods would know better what to do.
[X]Use different elemental runes to try and communicate with Letty. Even if she doesn't understand it, she has the book.
-[X]Other Shrine

Need a stronger god's help.
[x]Use different elemental runes to try and communicate with Letty. Even if she doesn't understand it, she has the book.
-[x]Other Shrine

They're the closest, are they not?
[x] Use different elemental runes to try and communicate with Letty. Even if she doesn't understand it, she has the book.
-[x] Other Shrine
[X]Use different elemental runes to try and communicate with Letty. Even if she doesn't understand it, she has the book.
-[X]Other Shrine

Should work.
I hate to go with the flow but...
[x]Use different elemental runes to try and communicate with Letty. Even if she doesn't understand it, she has the book.
-[x]Other Shrine
Fuck, I just realized something. Remember when EX-Rumia said she would be waiting outside the Bamboo Forest? Well, I'm guessing Hina's shrine is outside the Bamboo Forest, so we may have a Grue appear soon. Only reason she isn't upon us at the moment is because of the Curse Goddess in the immediate area.

There are times in my life where I truly start to wonder just how closely my luck walks the razor edge between fortune and misfortune. Case in point, I'm pinned down on the sofa by a certain grue who has, for the moment, decided snuggling me is more fun than eating me. 'Where is the issue here?' you ask? Why, it comes from the fact that her black dress is practically melting onto me and trying to make contact with my skin as she uses her right arm and both her legs to keep me from moving. Her left hand holds the letter I'm supposed to be answering, and her face is much too close to mine. However, I don't blush since I have no interest in developing a relationship with someone who has made it so painfully obvious that she wants to kill me. "You're such a killjoy sometimes. You don't even want to enjoy a woman who's offering herself up to you." She can't match Aya in terms of just how sultry and inviting she can make herself sound, but that's partly because she not inviting me, she's tearing my doors down.

"Just read the letter and get out." I don't really want to know what she's got on under there, if anything, nor do I want to let her do what it is she wants. Though what I say is out of the realm of possibility since my options consist of: Lie there and take it, or piss her off and die a gruesome death.

"Tsk, tsk. No patience at all. Let a girl have some fun when she wants! You let Aya get all snuggle-bunny with you, but you won't... pfft... let me do the same!" She tries her hardest to sound like a victim but she finds her own little joke a wee bit too funny. "I want to play with you too you know." She puts her face so close to mine that all I can do is focus on her eyes. If they're not telling me 'you're screwed', I don't know what will. "And unlike everyone else, I've got the guts to actually do it. You're going to be here all night long~" She does pull away ever so slightly so she can look at the letter in her hand, and I'm stuck looking at the saliva-like strands of black that stretch from her breasts to my shirt. She, much like everyone else who's done this sort of thing, is trying to break my defenses and make me want what they're offering. Unknown to them, I have a supply of Marisa's 'anti-love' potion, which is proven to keep even a succubus' libido in check. "Ohohohoho~ Finally thought of that, eh? Good thing you did, because I am tailing you. Of course, cats won't play with prey that's already dead so..."

"...You have nothing to worry about." ...That's not Rumia. Turning my head in the direction of the voice reveals Letty, who's got a very sharp trident aimed at the grue's body.
> Letty, has a very sharp trident aimed at Rumia's body.

> Stage 2 boss think she can take on an EX-Boss by herself.



I don't know quite how it happened, but Rumia just became my newest ice sculpture. The look of surprise on the grue's face matches my own disbelief at what just transpired, and I face the one responsible for it. "Letty, just... What?"

All I get is an enigmatic laugh in response. "People should know better than to judge us by our stage ranks." She looks off into space, but I get the feeling she's staring right at someone else...


I shouldn't tamper with my own head when I have no idea what it is I need to do to fix things, and quite frankly I usually have some kind of reference even when I do bumble around like a headless twit. There's also the matter that I don't want to accidentally do something I can't take back so crazy luck or not it's time to get some outside help, and I think I'm going to use the snippet of information Hina gave me to get the help of the Moriya Shrine... Now I just have to figure out which elements and runes to use to spell out that message. A difficult task seeing as I am neither proficient in speaking in that language, nor are the ones I'm going to be attempting to signal able to understand it unless I'm severely underestimating them. Of course, I have to try, so which should I use?


I look up from the book once more when I start to hear the magic circle change shape, color, and meaning. It means he's trying to communicate through it, but what does any of it mean? Does he even know what he's saying? "Ivan, I don't understand. I'm sorry." The runes start to change shape again, from elemental designations, to meaningless squiggles, then to something that resembles readable text. I have to paraphrase a bit of it, but... "You wish to be taken to a shrine?" The runes spell out 'darkness'... "The dark shrine?"

Hina blinks rapidly for a moment before picking herself up off Ivan and looking at me, then the circle bracelet. "Dark Shrine? ...What does he mean by that? No shrine uses elemental darkness, not unless that isn't what he meant." Her face lights up when she realizes that Ivan is merely immobilized instead of dead or worse, devoid of his soul. "He must mean Moriya Shrine!" Talk about a complete reversal of mood. "Come, there's no time to waste!" Without another word she picks up Ivan and carries him out of the room, and I have to run to keep up.

Letty in the dead of winter is no joke, and it's stated in canon that she was holding back in PCB. And folks should know MUCH better than to judge one's power soley by which stage they appeared in; Yuugi anyone?
There's not much in the way of conversation as we make our way to the shrine at the top of the mountain simply because Hina's far too happy that she didn't cause Ivan irreparable harm in the process of removing his misfortune. ...It's a bit early to say that, but it's given the curse goddess hope. It's given me hope too...

The shrine isn't covered in snow, neither is the grounds surrounding it. This is a bit odd considering that the waterfall that flows down the face of the mountain was frozen solid, along with virtually the entire river. In fact, it looks as though the ice stretches up to the lake as well. ...So why was the shrine spared? Oh right, a shrine is a place of gods. Youkai typically aren't stupid enough to attack a shrine.

Hina touches down close to the shrine itself, and I follow suit in order to cut down on the possible misunderstanding that could crop up between the god of the shrine and myself. The curse goddess knocks on the door once, then waits. I decide to make a small donation to the shrine in order to make them a little more willing to listen to me if it comes to that.

The door is opened by a green haired girl in a blue and white shrine maiden outfit that's not too different from the one the Hakurei miko wears, but she carries herself in a completely different way. On top of that, her first reaction is one of surprise and concern, not indifference.

"H... Hina? What happened to this person?" The girl nearly drops her gohei in surprise when she sees Ivan's current state. Not that I can blame her.

"Something went wrong when I removed his misfortune. He's completely immobile, but he's very much alive and conscious." Hina's expression doesn't really change all that much. The smile of her face has faded but the one in her eyes is still strong. She also points to the magic circle still rotating around his left wrist to prove her point.

"How in the world did that happen? You're far too good at your trade to mess up in such a fashion." The maiden makes a wordless invitation to the two of us to enter the house so she can keep learning the situation behind this.

"I had to remove a great deal all at once, and..." Hina's speech slows down for just a moment as she chooses the right words to describe what happened to her. The maiden simply stays silent with a worried look on her face. "...And the physical manifestation entered me before I could finish. It's possible that I managed to mess up in my unwanted moment of ecstasy."

"I see..." She directs us to a living room and points Hina to a sofa, at which point the curse goddess deposits Ivan on it. "Well, this won't go unnoticed for long, so feel free to wait here."

"A curse goddess being overpowered by the misfortune she sought to remove... You are either less skilled than I thought or this boy's misfortune was of an obscene level." A powerful voice seems to come from everywhere at once until the source manifests in the recliner. Said source is a purple haired being with red snake eyes, and she's wearing a crimson shirt along with a purple dress. There's a mirror resting on her bosom, but it's partially obscured by the 'kiss the cook' apron she's wearing and the oven gloves certainly detract from the imposing image.

"The latter. This kid's got some weird after effects on him, and it's probably from having so much misfortune removed all at once." A second being materializes on the back of the sofa, and this one is blonde with gold eyes, wears a white shirt and a purple vest over it, and a matching purple skirt with a frog print off to one side. "Just what was the curse volume anyway, and why'd you try and take it all out at once?" The smaller goddess looks Hina in the eye, but there's no anger or scrutiny. Instead there's curiosity.

"We devised a method to remove it all at once. I never had the opportunity to save someone so thoroughly cursed before so I lept at the chance to remove it all. I know he suffered from hallucinations brought on by the sheer volume moving out of him as it tried to keep hold, but complete paralysis..." She trails off as she recalls what must have been, to her at least, the more painful of the two events. "As for the curse volume, it was as Kanako alluded to. It filled up twelve sealing spheres and nearly forced me past my limit."

"Sealing spheres? ...Oh! This kid's got to be the alchemist in the village, isn't he?" Suwako's mood improves a fair bit when she hears the whole story and figures out exactly who this is. "Curing this will be a cinch, but I can't blame you for not thinking of it sooner. I heard you telling Sanae what it did to you in not so many words, so tossing in the fact that you got raped on top of thinking you screwed up..." She shakes her head side to side before hopping down onto the ground, then faces Ivan. "You did well Hina, so leave the rest to me."

I'm glad Hina's taking it well...

But I'm curious what the source of his misfortune is, since it seems around far too long to be done by Rumia in any fashion.
It's plain to see that the blonde girl is far more than she appears if she says she can cure my condition. In fact, now that I think about it, this must be the goddess Moriya. Hina said she dealt in curses.

With nothing more than a few odd movements, which she was promptly swatted for by the imposing woman in the apron, she manages to put feeling back in my limbs. She then hops right on my chest... "He~llo Mister Sunshine~!" And promply sings out a greeting.

"Suwako, nobody will understand that reference." I believe the tall, intimidating woman was the one the smaller goddess was referring to as Kanako, and I have to admit that if she weren't wearing that silly apron and matching gloves I might have been inclined to take her more seriously. She's crossing her arms and frowning regardless.

"Yeah, yeah, I just wanted an excuse to use that line. Katamari Damancy was one of my favorite games, you know?" Suwako just gave Kanako one of those cocky little smirks before deciding to sit cross-legged on me. "So, do all the women melt in your clutch Mr. Heat Miser? This jacket of yours would certainly help with keeping your frosty girlfriend around."

"Frosty? You mean Letty?" ...Is this girl really a goddess? It's true she did something to cure my immobility, but she's just so... Odd.

"Yup, yup! They make for really good wives too. Heck, I had two during my-" Thankfully the taller of the two goddesses decides to shut the smaller one up by clamping a hand over her mouth, and removed her from on top of my stomach with her other arm. Kanako looks fairly pissed off now, that green haired girl who must be Sanae looks mildly amused, Hina is just surprised, and Letty is blushing. ...I could stand to see more of that last o- Wait, gah! This. Is. Not. A. Sappy. Romance novel!

"Suwako, has it ever occured to you that perhaps it would be a good idea to not run your mouth about your various harems?! Nobody wants to hear it!" I can tell Kanako's angry since she's practically exuding an aura of irritation at this point, but I can't decide if she's jealous or genuine.

[X]This is actually mildly entertaining. Stick around for a bit.
-[X]In fact, ask if it's possible to stay the night.
[X]Maybe I should leave with Letty before things get any stranger...
-[X]Ask if we can crash at Hina's.
-[X]Homeward ho!
>Katamari Damancy was one of my favorite games, you know?
>melt in your clutch Mr. Heat Miser?
>various harems

[X]This is actually mildly entertaining. Stick around for a bit.
-[X]In fact, ask if it's possible to stay the night.

This Suwako is awesome and you're awesome for writing her.
[X]This is actually mildly entertaining. Stick around for a bit.
-[X]In fact, ask if it's possible to stay the night.
[X] This is actually mildly entertaining. Stick around for a bit.
-[X] In fact, ask if it's possible to stay the night.

>This. Is. Not. A. Sappy. Romance novel!
Of course it isn't.
...It's a comedic romance adventure. Maybe you should ask if Sanae has Kare Kano for a comparison.
[X] Ask Hina if she's alright.
[X] This is actually mildly entertaining. Stick around for a bit.
-[X] In fact, ask if it's possible to stay the night.

I know she looks alright, but after what we saw her go through, we'd have to be bloody cold hearted not to at least ask.
[X] Ask Hina if she's alright.
-[X] This is actually mildly entertaining. Stick around for a bit.
--[X] In fact, ask if it's possible to stay the night.

Who is the target, again? I'm not sure anymore.
[X] Ask Hina if she's alright.
[X] This is actually mildly entertaining. Stick around for a bit.
-[X] In fact, ask if it's possible to stay the night.

Letty, but if we get a few extras, I wouldn't complain.

But I wonder how connected this story and AoS are, since Suwako was pretty awesome in that as well.

I must say that Ivan is a natural girl magnet.
File 127562170047.jpg - (18.98KB, 350x300, f60769c3ca76423f826f4258a4bfc77b.jpg) [iqdb]
I know she is kinda the main girl, but a good Aya is something too rare to pass up.
Although I've to admit that I like this Mokou as well... AARRGH

Why thank you, it's nice to know other people think that I can write a good awesomefrog.


And if I'm getting those reactions it means I'm doing my job.



"At least you're going for the woman I happen to think is sane and not a pervert. Or is someone not out to devour me, or do any number of strange and undesirable things." These next two letters are actually somewhat reassuring since they mean that the voting forces have more or less settled on a target. ...Not that it means anything since they could try for something stupid like a harem. "Honestly, I think I'd have trouble with just one youkai woman, Suwako forbid however many they decide to go after..."

"What are you talking about?" Speak of the snow woman herself, Letty walks in with a couple cups of hot cocoa and sits down next to me.

"Just lamenting the fact that they're talking about the fact that a harem would be nice." I gratefully accept a cup of cocoa from her and take a sip, then set it on the table for the moment. "Honestly, don't they realize that the women in this story aren't very inclined to share?"

"Some won't, obviously. But you should take your mind off that subject before you get depressed again." Just to help me along that path she takes my hand in hers, and I can't help but notice that it's nice and warm. ...Too warm. This is more what she feels like when she's in need of a little transfer. "I think you can guess what I have in mind."


This is actually pretty entertaining, so perhaps it might be worth sticking around just to see what this strange family does next. There's the other advantage of being in a holy place looked over by a pair of gods and that Rumia should not be bold enough to attack me when the sun finally goes down. ...It's a bit of a crapshoot quite honestly since I have no idea what lines she won't cross to get at me, if any. Either way it's better than trying to get home when it's night out and she can ambush me at any time. "If you don't mind my asking, would it be acceptable to spend the night here? It's far too late to get home before dusk and I've managed to pick up a nighttime stalker."

Suwako managed to drop to the ground since then in order to make yet another smart comment. "Oh, got a yandere after your heart, huh? Better hope it's not your physical heart."

"What's a yandere?" That provokes a raised eyebrow from me since I don't what she's talking about in the slightest.

"Will you stop making references every two seconds? Nobody will get your references here." Kanako doesn't bother restraining the little goddess, but she still doesn't approve of Suwako's constant reference slinging. ...I would appreciate it since all this will do is confuse me further.

"Fine, fine. As for your request, I wouldn't mind getting a chance to talk to such a stubborn and skilled individual. Plus if you're getting stalked by a youkai, it'd be the height of folly to head out into the dark, even with protection." She somehow went from silly to serious without my noticing, but she's still smiling. "Consider yourself, and your lady friend guests."

Waiting warmly for yandere youkai.

I mainly meant if a harem formed by chance. I'm focusing on Letty, that and I'd rather save my harem building energies for Wade.

As far as opinions of the girls so far?

(EX)Rumia: Kinda scary/cute when normal, RUN AWAY when EX
Letty: Love; nuff said.
Mokou: Not bad, but rather standard.
Hina: Needs a hug, but no strong inclination.
Aya: Pretty nice, but not enough to knock me off the Letty express.

What about Keine, Eirin, Kaguya, Reisen, Reimu, Yukari and that other rabbit that I can't remember the name of?

Rumia basically fits that role. I think...
Somehow, nothing terribly important happened conversation-wise until Suwako was dragged away by Kanako in order to help prepare more for dinner since the number of people within the shrine just doubled. Either that or the snake-like goddess just wanted to give me a break from the small goddess' reference making. Either way, that leaves just Sanae to act as our guide, and one of the last things she was asked to do show us which rooms we'd be using. This included Hina since Suwako, not to mention everyone else, noticed that despite her assurances that she is fine, she's anything but. I make a mental note to break that mask as soon as possible since it's not good to hide your true feelings in the face of what she just experienced.

"And here's the room you'll be sleeping in." Sanae opens a door to reveal a relatively plain guest room, though it looks like she's just thought of something and is looking through the closet. Given that a few individual strands of hair pop out of place I'd have to assume something's not right. ...Of course, the mere fact that she can make strands of hair pop out of place at will is odd all on its own. "Oh dear, it looks like we only have two kotatsu avalible. I forgot the other three are already being used."

"You mean there are more guests than just us?" And my curiosity is just to great to keep down. I have to wonder just who else would be staying up here in the dead of winter, no human is crazy enough to do such a thing. Well, no human save for me that is.

"One permanent resident and two guests, you'll see who they are once dinner is ready." She seems positively thrilled when she said 'permanent resident'. Does she mean she has a special someone who has agreed to live with her under one roof? "Well, aren't you going to ask who?" Such a giddy question. I really have to wonder what she's so happy about.

Seeing as neither of the other two are going to ask the question the miko wants to hear, I suppose it's up to the one who's actually curious about it to ask. "Fine... If you don't condider it rude to pry, who else is staying here?"

"The autumn goddesses Minoriko and Shizuha Aki are staying here through the winter, and the permanent resident is an alien! She's called Nue Hojuu and she's the most adorable thing ever!" She's practically squeeing over the last girl she mentioned, and I briefly wonder what it took to make someone like that a permanent resident. Or what it would take to make a girl squee about another girl. Deciding that I probably don't want to know, I decide to shift that train of thought before it becomes dangerous. "But you'll see for yourself in just a little bit. In the meantime, we should work out sleeping arrangements. Since there's only two kotatsu two of you will have to share."

"That's unnecessary. I, being a divine being, do not require a physical place to sleep." Hina handwaves the whole thing both figuratively and literally, but I get the feeling the stoic act isn't going to fly.

"Out of the question! You're sleeping where we can keep an eye on you. We know you're just putting on a mask." As expected, Sanae shoots it down.
Wait, the Aki sisters and Letty under one roof? Oh dear, this won't end well.

>the permanent resident is an alien!
Has Nue given up on getting Sanae to realize she's a youkai and not an alien?
I'm actually enjoying this greatly, rather to my surprise. It's nice to see you do a not-harem.

Thanks. I actually wanted to do a not-harem with AoS, but we've all seen how well that worked out.

Ah well, this one's not going to go into harem mode since the women (especially youkai women) aren't exactly keen on sharing what they view as theirs.


"But..." Hina's trying to mount some kind of serious defense for her actions, but she's already lost this case.

"No 'buts'! I'm not going to let you mope off all depressed like this, especially when this isn't your fault." Sanae's keeping a firm grip on the curse goddess as an additional insurance policy in order to force Hina to stay. "Now what have I told you about trying to hide behind a smile?"

"That all I'll do is hurt myself and worry others..." Hina relents quickly enough now that she has no way out of this. Her facade is quickly cracking under the pressure and the surprise hug she got strains it even further. Whatever Sanae just whispered into her ear causes it to shatter completely as tears well up in Hina's eyes. The curse goddess wraps her arms around the miko quite tightly and starts crying into her shoulder, and I feel like I'm intruding on something. I do notice that Sanae's pulled off every bit of misfortune Hina's carrying into a doll that bears more than a passing resemblance to the curse goddess herself.

"Ivan, go talk to her." Letty surprises me with what she just said, but it does make some level of sense so I just roll with it.

Sanae sees me coming and directs the curse goddess' attention to me, and Hina detaches from the miko in order to face me. "Ivan, I'm..." I don't give her the opportunity to speak her mind as I pull her into an embrace of my own.

"You were going to say something along the lines of 'I'm sorry', right?" A nod is all the response I get from her, but it's all I need. "There's no need to apologize to me. If anything, I need to apologize to you for putting you in such a horrible position. What happened to you is my fault, so..."

Hina silences me in turn by placing one of her slender fingers on my lips, then hugs me back. "Let's just drop it then. Neither of us wants the other to shoulder the blame, and neither of us wish ill on the other for their actions. We didn't know what would happen." And silence. At least until she buries her head in my chest, figuratively, and starts sobbing again.

[X]Just stay here with her until she calms down. It's clear she's not over what happened to her
[X]Switch perspective
>the permanent resident is an alien!
Why is Sanae hliving with a Mexi-

[X]Just stay here with her until she calms down. It's clear she's not over what happened to her
[X] Just stay here with her until she calms down. It's clear she's not over what happened to her

Ack, Hina's got my heartstrings in a deathgrip.
[X] Just stay here with her until she calms down. It's clear she's not over what happened to her

This will do...
[X]Just stay here with her until she calms down. It's clear she's not over what happened to her

A challenger appears?

> [ ]Switch perspective

Sure, we're in Ivan's perspective right now, but if we chose this, it could be ANYONE! It could even be Ivan!
[X]Just stay here with her until she calms down. It's clear she's not over what happened to her
Ivan know got to know Reisen and Kaguya, but their roles have been very minor. And so is our awareness.

With Eirin, she certainly is attractive enough, but there's just something missing.

He doesn't know Reimu or Yukari much so far, and neither do we.

In short the three main contenders thus far are Letty, Mokou, and Aya in that order.

The antagonism between them is purely fanon.

Also this seems to go on the line that Sanae took Nue home, Rena style as opposed to Nue going to the temple.

[X]Just stay here with her until she calms down. It's clear she's not over what happened to her.

I'm just voting for common decency. But Hina's at least making me want to hug her.

You know what happened? Yukari happened.
[X]Just stay here with her until she calms down. It's clear she's not over what happened to her

Every story is Yukarin route.

Not in this story, I'm afraid. Yukari simply doesn't have enough of a presence in this story. She's totally not taking time out of her non-existant schedule to raise her and Wade's kid.

Now I have an urge to write a Hina one-shot in my /at/ thread.


...No. There's no leaving Hina right now because she's still in dire need of a shoulder to cry on. I do note that Sanae leads Letty out of the room to give us some privacy, and I'm not sure whether to be glad or concerned since I don't really know what it would take for Hina to feel better.

There isn't much, is there? Not much other than to sit here and let her cry her heart out over the fact that she's neither forgiven herself nor has she gotten over being raped in such an indirect fashion. ...I don't even know what to say right now, so I remain silent and run a hand through her hair and hold her close.

"Ivan?" Hina speaks my name before looking up at me with reddened, tear-stained eyes. "What were you going through during that last part? I was being violated, true, but at least that made me feel good while it lasted. You... You looked like you were living some kind of nightmare."

Her question and the following comment threw me off a bit since I was certain she was upset about being raped. At least in part. "So long as it doesn't upset you further." I close my eyes for a moment to recall what things looked like in that hallucination, and looked her in the eyes when I'm ready to talk. "The room was pitch-black for starters, all the inanimate objects were also pitch-black but they had a bunch of blood-red cracks running through them, almost as though the simple act of touching them would cause them to collapse. As if that weren't enough a bunch of black blobs with mouths full of sharp teeth and a solitary red eye each were sliding back and forth over any flat, horizontal surface." ... ...That was actually fairly frightening in retrospect. Everything looked like it was out to eat me or collapse under my weight, but that's all over.

"I see... It's a good thing that was taken care of then. It's possible that's what your misfortune would have eventually done to you if you never removed it. I can tell you that what you experienced was little more than a hallucination, but if it had stayed with you you would eventually have fallen prey to what you saw." She's not crying anymore, but she hasn't relinquished her deathgrip on me either. For such a delicate, divine figure she really packs some strength in her body. "But you didn't say what I looked like. Did I look like a larger version of one of those monsters?" She's asking a question that I have no ready answer for.

I wrack my brains to try to recall what she looked like throughout that terrible scene... And I recall that she looked exactly as she did before and after the extraction, though there's a distinct lack of slimy black tentacles slithering around under her clothes and sliding into the most convenient... "You looked exactly as you do now. Though I have to wonder if you asked me that for a reason other than to get me to share what I was experiencing." Especially since that is an incredibly dangerous path to walk down, seeing as I don't want to desecrate holy ground or develop some weird fetish. On top of that, it would result in more than a few inappropriate thoughts at inopportune times, and there are certain parts that would be more than happy to display my fertility.

"Sorry, I couldn't help it." Given that Hina's giggling into my shirt I'd have to guess that she asked me that last question soley to embarrass me. "It was getting a bit too depressing and I may very well have simply cried myself to sleep only to experience nightmares about what I imagined happened to you." So she finds my embarrassment amusing. Fun. "Your telling me what you went through may seem detrimental to that, but to be honest, it's a vast improvement over what I thought happened."

"I see." ...This woman truly is strange, but I can see where she's coming from with her logic. Being a curse goddess she must see horrifying things in the misfortune of those who visit her... I must be a small comfort for her. "You've been handed the short end of the stick in life, but if I've done anything to help ease that I'm glad to have done it."

"Trust me, you have." She places her head on my shoulder and leans into me once more. "Mmm... I suppose I should stop before your girlfriend gets jealous."

There's no Letty in the doorway, thankfully, so perhaps she's just getting it out before it becomes an issue.

It seems she's fine now.
[X]Go see what Sanae and Letty are up to.
[X]Go see if the goddesses want any help. They're having to do extra work because of your sudden intrusion.
[X]...Perhaps a poke around wouldn't hurt. Sanae did say there's an alien living here. How often do you get to see a live being from outer space?


The first spoiler is a lie. AoS and WA are completely unconnected, but that is still a bit of a spoiler for what will become of those two in AoS.
[x]Go see if the goddesses want any help. They're having to do extra work because of your sudden intrusion.

Might as well use to opportunity to thank them for the help at least.
Do it, write some Delicious Hina

[X]Go see what Sanae and Letty are up to.

Liking Hina isn't a fetish, it's normal, sure she's a curse goddess, but in the end she's a nice woman.
> The room was pitch-black for starters, all the inanimate objects were also pitch-black but they had a bunch of blood-red cracks running through them, almost as though the simple act of touching them would cause them to collapse. As if that weren't enough a bunch of black blobs with mouths full of sharp teeth and a solitary red eye each were sliding back and forth over any flat, horizontal surface.

> I see... It's a good thing that was taken care of then. It's possible that's what your misfortune would have eventually done to you if you never removed it. I can tell you that what you experienced was little more than a hallucination, but if it had stayed with you you would eventually have fallen prey to what you saw.

Did we just get out of EVERSION X-8 BAD END?
File 127581390763.jpg - (89.85KB, 560x640, 12149006796.jpg) [iqdb]
[X]Go see if the goddesses want any help. They're having to do extra work because of your sudden intrusion.

Time to be responsible.

Do want Hina.
[X]Go see if the goddesses want any help. They're having to do extra work because of your sudden intrusion.

It always amazes me how people can get the incorrect idea from something I thought I stated clearly. However, It's still in my best interest to correct such misinterpretation as quickly as possible. "Actually, I know that liking Hina isn't anything to be ashamed of. Liking the image of her being at the mercy of various tentacles on the other hand, is."


The next question required a little research and a couple specific questions of my own, but I think I've come up with a reasonable answer. "In a way, yes. While I would, and could never everse the world, the misfortune would have eventually have affected my sanity to the point where I'd see everything through that nightmarish view. From there I'd try to destroy it all just to make the nightmare end, and eventually be killed off myself. Obviously, not a pretty end." I get up off the chair to stretch my legs for a moment before hearing something that sounds suspiciously like Katamari on the Swing, at which point I find myself stuck to a curse goddess.

Why me...?


Just a quick Q&A since there's not enough time to do a full update.
[X]Go see if the goddesses want any help. They're having to do extra work because of your sudden intrusion.

Works for me~!

That picture is highly distracting.


Hina has more or less regained her cheery air now that she's had a chance to sort through her problems. Perhaps she still feels guilty over what happened to me, but it's a moot point now since what I saw will never actually come to pass. I also chalk her desire to, and unwillingness to stop, snuggling me as the result of my luck whiplashing in the other direction since it's very unlikely that Hina, or any sane woman, would fall in love with someone, let alone me, at first sight. That just silly and only occurs in romance novels. ...Now I understand why Keine kept talking about the importance of-

"Okay, I'm done." 'Even though I don't want to let go' is probably what she planned on tacking on to the end of that sentence. Whether she ever puts her desire into words or not is beside the point since she lets go of me and stands up of her own accord. "I think I'll go help the goddesses make dinner. Care to join me?" She extends a hand out to me in order to offer me a hand up.

And I take that hand so as to not be rude. Not that I mind further contact with such a lovely individual. "I think I'll join you then. They're having to do extra work because of my sudden intrusion, so it's only fair that I help out if it's needed." It seems Hina's good mood is more infectious than any curse seeing as I'm grinning like a lovestruck fool. ...I need to dunk my head in a bucket of ice water at the earliest opportunity. Preferrably inside the house so I don't freeze my face off, because that would be a silly thing for me to do.

One way or another we leave the guest bedroom in order to get to the kitchen, preferrably before it's done so we can actually help. It'd also be interesting to see how goddesses cook and what they use for ingredients, so I confess that there is a benefit to my aiding them. In the meantime I contemplate my luck since from what I've seen of it so far, assuming making a curse goddess happy and becoming guests in a shrine who's residents actually care about keeping the place looking clean and presentable is the result of luck and not cause and effect. That actually brings up an interesting point: How do I discern from events that happen because of my actions and events that are brought about by luck? There's no physical way to tell if anything I run into or do has been influenced by good fortune or not since it's basically invisible to an untrained individual such as myself.

You'd be surprised Ivan at how quickly someone could fall for another, more so if they're a curse deity usually despised by most. And even during your less lucky moments, you've attracted a lot of female attention.

It's similar to an outsider named Wade who during his attempts at being nice, attracted the attention of very powerful/attractive beings.

Female attention is the only kind of attention that Ivan can attract. At least if he continues to be an alchemist.
Now that i think about it, wade has had enormous amounts of luck when it comes to intimate encounters and making friends.
I wonder if he somehow had all the luck ivan was missing, and if so, do we now suddenly face enormously bad luck on wades side of things.

...well, author has already said that wade and ivan are in different continuities, but it's an interesting idea either way.
Wade has something Ivan doesn't: A girlfriend for whom reality is a plaything.

Who knows, he might end up making the Philosopher's stone by accident, aka the holy grail of alchemy that might bring with it immortality.
However, discerning what is the result of luck and what is the result of cause and effect is something of a low priority for me, especially since I don't forsee anyone removing my luck bonus anytime soon. It'd be nice if I could tell when I end up using it as a crutch, but I shouldn't go expecting miracles to pop out of the blue.

I wind up following Hina for the most part since I really don't have any idea where I'm going. Kanako dragged Suwako off in the direction of the kitchen, but that was from the living room, not a hallway situated a good distance from it.

"Hina! Ivan! I take it everything's been sorted out?" I thought Kanako's 'kiss the cook' apron was silly, but Suwako utelizing large snakes to carry things around is downright unsettling. The diminutive goddess snickers at my shocked expression before continuing. "I bet you've never seen the Mishaguji before. Don't worry, they won't bite your head off unless I say so."

"Oi, stop unnerving the guests." Kanako is once again unamused by all this, but she's working in tandem with the snakes to move the finished food out into what I can assume to be their dining room. "We're pretty much finished so you may as well come on out." I'm guessing she'd be less of a killjoy under normal circumstances.

"I'm just joking Kana! Sheesh, if you got any graver this would be your standard survival-horror flick." Once again, the frog goddess leaves me lost with her peculiar references. "That probably flew over your head, didn't it?"

"Pretty much." Hina and I end up carrying some of the dishes out, and I have to say that this shrine eats well and that the goddesses must be competent cooks. Plenty of fish, which makes me wonder if there's any in that lake just outside the shrine.

"Huh boy... I swear, Nitori and Sanae are the only ones who'd get that sort of thing and the former still goofs up every now and again." I can't tell whether that's a good thing or a bad thing. Personally I can't help but think it's a good thing since that means I'll still be able to understand one person in this shrine.

"It would be better if you didn't get everyone started on those references of yours. I can barely stand you doing it." That wasn't Hina, nor was it me... It sounds like Kanako but she walked out of the room mere moments before. This is why I almost jumped when I saw that Kanako was standing at the counter once more, picking up the last dish.

"Kana?!" Suwako swung her head around fast enough to force the rest of her body along with her. I get the feeling she was aiming for her head to pivet independently of the rest of her body, which would both be creepy and possibly a set up to another reference. "Wait a tic, you're not Kana." She then sighs and shakes her head before turning back around. "All right Nue, you got me. Now change back before you walk out. I don't think Kana will appreciate an impersonator."

"Nue? Sanae told me a little about her." Hina's left the kitchen while Suwako had her little back and forth moment with the supposed impostor, leaving me all alone with someone I don't know anything about.

So you can imagine how surprising it was to see a tall, imposing amazon of a woman turn into a smaller, more delicate looking girl with the most peculiar red claw wings and blue tentacle wings I've ever seen. She also possesses some kind of peculiar green snake that's wrapped around her right arm, and I'm not sure if it's real or fake since the thing looks like it's staring right at me. "She told you that I'm an alien from outer space, no doubt." ...I have to admit that her black outfit makes her rather adorable, yet her red eyes are unsettling since they lack pupils. "She based that on the fact that I usually have little flying things roaming around me, which she referred to as 'UFO's, whatever the hell those are, and the fact that my blue tails look like tentacles."

"Uh, no offense, but..." I somehow get the door open without using my hands and hold it open for the girl.

"Not you too..." Nue looks defeated for the most part, though she regains composure in short order. "For the record, I'm Nue Houjuu, youkai chimera. These blue things are my tails, and I will use them to do terrible things to you if you refer to them as tentacles again."

"Okay, okay! Sheesh, talk about touchy..." Note to self: Do not annoy the Nue. I like my ass exactly as it is.

Now that Nue's out the door, I follow suit and set the last dish on the table before sitting next to Letty. Of course, things couldn't go without being awkward for long and I realize that it just did when I hear Hina's voice next to me.

>Of course, things couldn't go without being awkward for long and I realize that it just did when I hear Hina's voice next to me.

Isn't it sad, Ivan? All you want to do is become a good alchemist and these women keep messing with you.
Pffff some guys have to struggle to get a Touhou's attention, and I do mean STRUGGLE.
Maybe Ivan has the Toho Gland?
But the women aren't throwing themselves at him. They're just gathering around him, almost as if someone was manipulating the density of attractive youkai females around him for shits and giggles.
But we haven't even seen a hair of the drunken, horned little terror. Or any odd mist either.
The main thing is his alchemy for the most part, it's what drew Letty, Aya, Eirin to him, Mokou is more a result of Ivan's stunts.
Maybe Suika's hiding in our hair, and being really really really tiny?

Well, time to work on answering these letters before Aya decides to pay me a visit just to inflict her peculiar fetishes on me. "I think I can understand where you're coming from with that. It's rather strange but I found myself falling in love with Keine for a while when she took me in for a similar reason. Being the reasonable yet dense sort I am I never openly expressed it to her and instead took up the role of her husband in a way, much to her protesting. I think she guessed my feelings for her, but like me figured the age gap was just too great and we maintained a mutual boundary that neither crossed." I lean back in my chair ever so slightly and stare at the ceiling for a moment. "That went a little off topic, but it's amazing what showing someone a little kindness and compassion will do."


I roll my eyes when I read the next letter, not because I think it's silly but more because it's true. "Yes, that certainly sounds like something I'd do."

"Better than having to take a trip to the Castle of Aaaaaaaarrrgh only to be repelled by French taunts." Of all the people to show up today, I wonder why it was Suwako. Sure she's friendly, but neither of us know the other all that well. She does end up invoking one of my pet peeves by dragging a chair over and sitting on it with her feet on the table. "So this is what you've been doing for the crow? She's got you on a leash."

"I thought about it, but I want to wait for a couple key things first." I really have to wonder how Aya came from the mountain to here, and bypassed a lock in under thirty seconds. Unless...

"Aya, did you Rider Kick the door again?!" I might not have heard it, but given that Aya could stop sound from leaving an event she brought about means that I'm not about to take her word for it. She shrugs it off with her body language, but her pupils dilate. "You're replacing it."

"Man, you're so cynical! Remember what I said would happen if you don't lighten up?" And now she's taken my lap as her seat. "It means I'm going to take you home and do all sorts of interesting things to you."

"Yes, and in case you haven't noticed I don't care." Now I have to work around the shapely crow in order to finish this up in a reasonable timeframe.

"That kind of talk is exactly what I'm talking about! You just keep going with your 'all business, all the time' attitude when I'm around, or when any girl starts expressing interest in you!" Somehow she pivets around by grinding her rear on my crotch area, then promptly hugs me. This wouldn't be so bad if my head weren't level with those braless breasts. "And after I took the time to slow down so I could tease you... You're terrible."


She does pick up the next letter and read it before making a disgruntled 'huff' sound. "I'm not messing with him!"

"Says the girl who gets off to his innocent nature. You'd just love to teach him the more physical side of intimate love, wouldn't you?" Suwako's deadpan voice manages to reach my ears despite my head being shoved into a pair of warm, soft, and unrestrained pillows.

"Your point?" Aya has the common sense to tilt my head down enough to where I can breathe. I thought she was going to knock me out via suffocation for a minute...

"That counts as messing with him." Still deadpan, and still has those goddamn feet on the table.
Hina to my left, Letty to my right, and a smirking Suwako driectly ahead. If I didn't know any better I'd say she planned for this to happen for her own amusement. Regardless of whether that's actually true or not, I don't request any kind of change to the seating arrangement since everyone else is already situated. A quick word of thanks to the harvest goddess, and some modest yet embarrassed giggling from said goddess later and dinner began.

"So, you've met these two before Ivan? You must have since the human village you're from hosts a festival just for them." Suwako starts off by asking me a rudimentary question pretty much every human in Gensokyo would know.

I turn my head to look at the twin goddesses that had taken up the side to my right, then adressed them accordingly. It's rather odd, but the two do have a slight difference in hair and eye color despite being a golden-yellow. "Minoriko Aki, goddess of the abundant harvest." Has a hair color not unlike a field of wheat ready to be harvested, and the same goes for her eyes. Not to mention she has a red apple colored hat with a bunch of grapes on them. The rest of the outfit... Considering who would be reading this I certainly hope that I don't have to describe it. "And Shizuha Aki, goddess of changing leaves. It's a pleasure to meet both of you in person." Shizuha's yellow is more along the lines of a maple leaf that's turned that perfect shade of yellow, and she even has a couple maple leaves that have long since turned red, yet are perfectly preserved. It's a peculiar job set for these two to say the least, as one embodies life while the other embodies death. Yet as autumn goddesses their meanings fit perfectly.

"Eh? Really?" Shizuha almost drops her piece of sushi out of surprise when I say it's a pleasure to meet them. "Usually people are only ever happy to see my sister..." She pops the bite-size piece of fish, rice, and seaweed in her mouth to give herself more time to think.

"Thanks though, it's not often people say hi just to say hi." Minoriko takes the whole thing in stride with a confident air. "It's usually 'offering' this or 'blessing' that. Nobody's really interested in making friends with us." She keeps eye contact with me for the better part of thirty seconds until her sister nudges her, at which point she blinks rapidly a couple times. "Oh geeze! Sorry, I shouldn't be staring, but you seem real familiar." Familiar to a harvest goddess I've never met? That's a new one. "I remember, you're that alchemist who blew up his house when he was a kid!" She smacks her fist into her palm when she remebers why I look familiar, and there's even a fire in her eyes that somehow makes her even more alive than she was before.

"Is that all anyone knows me for anymore?" I, on the other hand, feel like somebody's dumped a bucket of water on me. It's not like I made it possible for people in the village to survive the winter without burning wood in the fireplace every single day, or keep their houses or themselves cool during the summer. And god forbid anyone remember me for making refrigerators a viable concept. And Eirin wonders why I want to do something unforgettable without her assistance.

"Er..." Minoriko's fire died out as quickly as it started when she takes my feelings on the matter into consideration. "That didn't go as well as I hoped."

"The kid ju-" Suwako's about to put her foot in her mouth when I shoot her a glare that basically says 'shut it'. Normally I wouldn't go that far, but she's crossing a line here. "Okay, okay, you don't want to talk about it."

Time to change subjects.
[X]The fact that the deities of this shrine are allowing a youkai to stay here as a permanent resident is quite strange. Maybe there's an interesting story behind that.
[X] It's clear that everyone here knows about me, but I know little of the Moriya Shrine's residents.
[X]It seems the Akis and I have a mutual lack of information about one another. Perhaps I should ask about them.
[X]Come to think of it, the Hakurei shrine maiden was making a fuss about a rival shrine that took over the mountain and had told her to shut down. Was that these people?
[X]Why do I have the sneaking suspicion I'm being watched?
[X]Come to think of it, the Hakurei shrine maiden was making a fuss about a rival shrine that took over the mountain and had told her to shut down. Was that these people?
-[X] It's clear that everyone here knows about me, but I know little of the Moriya Shrine's residents.
--[X]Why do I have the sneaking suspicion I'm being watched?

First talking to the inhabitants of Moriya shrine and then fishing out Aya.
[X]Come to think of it, the Hakurei shrine maiden was making a fuss about a rival shrine that took over the mountain and had told her to shut down. Was that these people?
-[X] It's clear that everyone here knows about me, but I know little of the Moriya Shrine's residents.
--[X]Why do I have the sneaking suspicion I'm being watched?
[x] Come to think of it, the Hakurei shrine maiden was making a fuss about a rival shrine that took over the mountain and had told her to shut down. Was that these people?
-[x] It's clear that everyone here knows about me, but I know little of the Moriya Shrine's residents.
--[x] Why do I have the sneaking suspicion I'm being watched?
[X]Come to think of it, the Hakurei shrine maiden was making a fuss about a rival shrine that took over the mountain and had told her to shut down. Was that these people?
-[X] It's clear that everyone here knows about me, but I know little of the Moriya Shrine's residents.
--[X]Why do I have the sneaking suspicion I'm being watched?
[X]Come to think of it, the Hakurei shrine maiden was making a fuss about a rival shrine that took over the mountain and had told her to shut down. Was that these people?
-[X] It's clear that everyone here knows about me, but I know little of the Moriya Shrine's residents.
--[X]Why do I have the sneaking suspicion I'm being watched?

Snooping reporter or skulking grue...

EX-Rumia vs. Aya anyone?
We need to combine those two into some sort of EX Rumiaya Fusion.

Are you insane man? Do you really want something with the powers of shadow and the speed of a hurricane to be going after Ivan? Not to mention the thing will be confirmed yandere, further amplifying his problems.
It'll be able rape him 3x as fast if not more. Now if there must be a fusion, I'd prefer Letty and Aya, but I'd much rather just have regular, soft, nice Lettty.
EX-Rumia by herself would be perfect.
I really, really want to get the subject off my fame/infamy as soon as possible since that's killing the jubilant air faster than a grue kills a human. ...Not that I'd know anything about that one, seeing as I'm not dead. But my point still stands, and I wrack my brain for any possible subjects to jump to. Thankfully one does come to mind, and it just so happens to be something of interest to me.

"Changing the subject here, the Hakurei shrine maiden was complaining about how a rival shrine suddenly appeared at the top of the mountain and demanded that she shut down. Was that you lot?" The effect is almost immediate: Kanako rolls her eyes, Suwako starts smiling again, Sanae just shrugs. The Akis look a little bitter upon my mentioning Reimu, and Hina doesn't look too thrilled either. ...Is Reimu really that sore a subject to that many people? Perhaps not to Nue then, since she looks indifferent.

"That one was Kanako's fault, actually. Sanae went along with it because Kana managed to frighten her with the possibility of being left all alone." Suwako's the first to start talking, and promptly shoots Kanako an annoyed look. This must be one of those inter-family sore subjects.

"I did intend to challenge the Hakurei miko directly, but Sanae took up the task for me. Given that I had too little faith to leave the shrine at that time, I had to use her as my arms and legs." Kanako doesn't look to happy with herself either, so I'm assuming she feels regret over her actions as well as the whole 'hostile takeover' thing not going over so well.

"Please, not this argument again. Even if I did so out of panic, I chose my own path. Besides, lady Kanako was just as frightened as I was and I don't know what I would have done if I lost either of you." ...Oh dear, perhaps this wasn't the best topic to pursue. Sanae looks fairly defiant about her position despite all this.

"I'm just gonna drop it since this isn't really a topic for mixed company. Yeah, ultimately the Moriya shrine was responsible for annoying the resident miko. I have to admit she was fun to play with though." Suwako pretty much killed off that topic. "I guess that disrupted something that was going on with you at the time?"

"Other than having to listen to Reimu rant about 'that green haired upstart' demanding that she shut down and heading off to go kick all your rear ends clean through the border, no. I'm just wondering who had the guts to challenge her directly like that. Nobody who's lived here for any length of time would even think about telling her to shut down." Of course, this is where my knowledge of the subject starts to fail me, since while I know that it's incredibly important that Reimu have faith in her, and that she must stay alive until she mothers a child, I don't know quite why that is.

"Because without her, the border would collapse. Yeah, she and that blond-haired boundary youkai explained that to us after the former beat us all up." Suwako took a sip of whatever it is she had decided to pull from her hat before continuing. "I really wish she'd explained all this before Kanako declared war, but it all worked out fine."

Okay, let's try something a bit different...

"That's all I really wanted to know, so if you're uncomfortable about this I'll go ahead and change subjects again." Dinner's partway done, and this next bit is probably going to take up the rest of the meal if this goes the way I think it does. The frog goddess nods at me to show that she does want me to change subjects, which is my cue to do just that. "It seems everyone here knows about me, but I know next to nothing about all of you, save for the Akis of course."

"Alright, but you've got to tell us about yourself in exchange." That ever amused grin has come back in full force, but this time it shouldn't fade. "I might wind up waiving the fee if your story is interesting enough."

"Fee?" I raise my eyebrow at this. Surely she doesn't intend to charge me for this?

"Suwako..." Kanako just facepalms.

"Okay, okay, sheesh."

Ivan's never going to live down the house blowing up incident.

I'm surprised Suwako hasn't mentioned anything about Cirno to Letty.
"First of all, we're not native to Gensokyo. Moriya Shrine used to exist entirely outside of the border. Things like magic, youkai, and gods have been slowly dissapearing for hundreds of years since people don't want to believe in that sort of thing anymore." It seems when I asked to know about the residents of the Moriya Shrine, I ended up asking for why they came here to begin with. Though it does help their previous explanation along, so I should simply listen. "So as you can imagine, anyone born of magic and faith are in a rather sorry state outside Gensokyo, us included. Well, before Kanako panicked and made the move." The diminutive goddess shot the taller one an amused look, almost like this was funny in hindsight.

"Gods don't require faith to live, but we need it to interact with humans on their plane of existance and to work our elements in easily noticeable ways. Having no faith in yourself means you're all but dead to the world as you can no longer interact with anyone aside from other deities who haven't allowed themselves to degrade into lumps out of overwhelming dispair. It is the fate of many such beings who did not move to a sealed land." Kanako ignores the look Suwako gave her and picked up where Suwako intentionally stopped. "Suwako and I believed that if we could show modern day humans the work of gods, we might be able to avoid that fate." Unless I'm very much mistaken, Kanako's rather bitter about this whole deal. I can only imagine how badly that worked out. "However, we did not account for the fact that people have taken the planet and everything in it for granted. Shows of power and invokations of miracles that would have captivated all of Nippon were treated as little more than cheap parlor tricks once the novelty wore off, and to add insult to injury people began to wonder where we were hiding the high-tech weather equipment!"

"People attempt to explain everything with science nowadays, ignoring what's right in front of them in favor of searching for the smoke and mirrors that aren't there." Even Sanae looks a little downcast by the topic, perhaps because she is the Moriya Shrine's priestess and interacted with non-believers more than either of the other two.

"That's insane. Science can explain a great many things, but it seems outsiders have completely forgotten what magic is." And I finally decide to interject. "'Magic embodies all that cannot be explained.' That's the simple truth."

Kanako smiles sadly when she hears that, happy to have heard it but saddened by how weak an arguement it was. "But you see, science explains a great deal of what humans used to think was the work of youkai or gods. Even when confronted with true magic people will attempt to apply science or logic to it, believing that Suwako's rain calling or my gale summoning is little more than very convenient circumstance."

"At least until I stepped in." Sanae speaks up again with another defiant glint in her eye. "I took to the most populated place in the city with both Lady Kanako and Lady Suwako at my side-"

"We kind of got dragged along for it. It was waaaaaay early in the morning and Kanako was still mostly asleep, wearing nothing but her nightgown and her undergarnments. I think half the reason we got so popular was-" Suwako interjects until the wind goddess brings her fist down on her head, striking her silent.

"Anyway, I went out to a place with many people, all of whom had either dismissed us as a joke, a sham, or hallucinations brought about by being stoned. I Went there on a cloudy day just as it began to rain and showed them just what a miracle is." Sanae appears to be a headstrong girl with near-unshakable determination. To walk out into a crowd of disbelievers and spit in their collective, metaphorical eye? That takes guts. "I summoned a visible whirlwind pillar and dispersed the clouds that day, all the while giving people a glare that said 'Explain that. I dare you.'" And as quickly as her defiance took hold, it slipped away. "We gained followers that day, but ultimately we were just a fad. A fad that gained worldwide support for a while, but a fad none the less."

"But that hurt Sanae more that it did us since she had friends among the disbelievers. Once she gave them a truly inexplicable miracle, they began to shy away from her out of fear and envy, often claiming that they didn't know her anymore." Suwako continued where Sanae dropped off, and suddenly it starts to make sense.

"So the world rejected you as a whole, at which point you began to lose so much faith you had to abandon the outsiders like they did you." It's a guess, but one I made after putting the pieces together.

"Worse." Kanako finishes swallowing her most recent bite of food and responded in a way that I did not expect. "When Americans forced open Japan's shores for trading, they paved the way for Christianity to take hold. A faith that believes in naught but a solitary, omnipotent god. Once Sanae displayed her power, the Christian god's influence began to push us out."
I could do nothing but cock an eyebrow at this. Religions clashed with one another from time to time, but they were never mutually exclusive.

"Well, there was a big difference in power between us and that 'god'. We only had a few thousand people giving us faith, while that poser has millions. So not only did we have to try and convince a world that had grown skeptic that we're the real deal, we had to try to fight off the influence of a stupidly powerful religion. ...Our faith reserves were depleted in a month." And I'm guessing they lost that one. "Japanese people still hold their native religion above that of this foreign one, but even that tiny foothold was enough to force us out."

Christanity comfirmed for ultimate evil.

Depends on your point of view, and if you know who 'God' originally was.


"That explains quite a bit." Now dinner has been dealt with for the most part and it's just general cleaning up afterwards. There's nothing particularly exiting about that so I'll move a little further ahead to where we're all seated in the living room, eating cake of all things. Not that I'm complaining, I just don't get why they're decorated with little cubes of frosting with pink hearts on them.

"Hope you don't mind vanilla cake. It's also not a lie." Suwako makes some kind of reference that even Hina groans at. ...I don't get it, and I'd prefer not to if it causes even Hina to groan at it. "Okay kiddo, now you've got to explain your story. I want to know more than just the fluff that drifts in on the wind."

Unsurprisingly, nobody else has bothered to speak at all during this. This hardly comes as a surprise since it seems everyone except Nue is at least listening in if not paying me their full attention. "...Where do I start?" It's been well over seven minutes years since that whole house demolition debacle went down, and I've been very persistent about forgetting all of that since I didn't want to be burdened by a past that I would have been held back by or the parents who rejected me, even after I gave my all to make it up to them. "There aren't any hidden tape recorders, concealed cameras, or nosy tengu here are there?"


In a house somewhere on the mountain, a certain crow tengu finishes up the printing plates for next month's issue of the Bunbunmaru when that stray comment reaches her ears. "Oh come on, that's just begging me to come over and play."

"Someone invokin' Murphy's law again?" The white wolf tengu was sitting in a chair not too far from Aya with a pipe clenched between her teeth and a book in her hands. She didn't so much as flinch when Aya took off. "Someday people are going to learn that asking if there's a nosy tengu around will cause one to show up."


After confirming that there wasn't a nosy tengu afoot I decided to start from the beginning. "I don't remember all the details going into it, but I do recall starting alchemy at a young age. Mostly things like changing water into simple sugar, but that sort of thing is boring so I'll skip that." ...Come to think of it, I need to take some time to brush up on my transmutation spells before I lose it all learning danmaku.

"What, you didn't wind up having to sic giant wasps on a strong youkai by adhering sugar to it? What'd you do, live your whole life in the village?" Suwako jumps in at that point since it was a quick yet dull statement about my earliest experiments.

"I spent some time with Eirin in the Bamboo Forest of the Lost from time to time, and plenty of time in Eientei over the last couple years." Chance meeting? Perhaps. Informed of what was happening in the forest by the network of bunnies? Much more likely. I had a tendency to preform a few experiments there. "Once I became confident about my abilities I started making trips to the Hakurei Shrine as well as paying the witch of the forest the occasional visit. So I've hardly led a sheltered life."

"Huh. Pardon my interruption then. Go on, go on!" I do believe the odds of me getting my story out in one go tonight is incredibly slim. Regardless, I don't want to look like I'm cheating Suwako any.

"My life was pretty boring back then. I lived the life of a normal boy, going to school, playing with friends, and devoting my spare time to learning more about the class of magic I had grown infatuated with. Once again that's of little real importance so I'll skip again."

"Heeeeey, are you leaving something out? Like a childhood crush or something? 'Cause kids get those you know." Somehow I get the feeling she wants to drag out my story as much as possible.

"Enough. He did not pressure us for details so we should show him the same courtesy." Kanako swats the diminutive goddess over the head to get her to shut up again. "Please, continue."

"My life didn't really hit an interesting note until my mother triggered that flash flood." That raised some eyebrows. It's amazing how one, well-placed lie can obscure the entire truth. "Nobody ever mentions that, do they? It's true though. My darling mother cracked open a sealing sphere I had been filling with water in a fit of rage and destroyed a good chunk of the house with the ensuing blast. I gave it my all to help repair the house, even spending every penny I had on resources to get materials, and I still get chucked out onto the street." It's a bitter memory with a very faint taste. I haven't reconsiled with them simply because they made their choice already, along with the fact that they made no further attempts to contact me. "Enough people either knew the truth and or knew how much I gave to set things right, so I was helped considerably. I was also sheltered by the village guardian until I was able to build a house of my own. As for the rest of it, I'm sure you can ask that tengu propping herself up on the corner of the ceiling what happened." That got everyone's attention directed to the tengu hiding in plain sight. Of course, I could really care less about that.

[X]There's not much else to do, and I need to make up for lost sleep.
[X]Say, where is that book of mine? I don't recall where that went.
[X]Dangerous though it may be, talk to the Nue for a bit. She's certainly an interesting creature with many alchemical properties.
[X]Find out precisely why Suwako wanted to know more about me. Gods don't display interest without reason.
[X]Since Aya's here, I may as well talk to her.
[X]...Bold though it may be, nod off next to Letty.
[X]...Bold though it may be, nod off next to Letty.

This choice was made for me.
[x]Dangerous though it may be, talk to the Nue for a bit. She's certainly an interesting creature with many alchemical properties.
>[]Say, where is that book of mine? I don't recall where that went.
Important choice.

>[]...Bold though it may be, nod off next to Letty.
Letty choice.

Don't make me decide. Ah, fuck it. There will be more time for Letty later on.

[This box was originally going to contain something about opera, but unfortunate interruptions have destroyed my train of thought.]Say, where is that book of mine? I don't recall where that went.
[X]...Bold though it may be, nod off next to Letty.
[X]...Bold though it may be, nod off next to Letty.

[x]Dangerous though it may be, talk to the Nue for a bit. She's certainly an interesting creature with many alchemical properties.

Must create some progress in Ivan's field!
[X]...Bold though it may be, nod off next to Letty.

if we're to sleep do so in a nice spot.
[x]Say, where is that book of mine? I don't recall where that went.
This is important.
Letty's most likely taking a look through it.
[x]Find out precisely why Suwako wanted to know more about me. Gods don't display interest without reason.

[x]Find out precisely why Suwako wanted to know more about me. Gods don't display interest without reason.
Hm, it seems all my years of sleepless nights have finally decided to come crashing down on me now that I'm sitting next to a lovely woman. I can go without sleep for a day or two if I push myself hard enough, but the moment my mind registers the fact that I'm so near a woman I feel safe around I start to nod off when it's actually time to get some sleep. This is despite the fact that I have an audiance and the fact that one member of the audience is an incredibly nosy tengu who had only recently learned to stop injecting such massive amounts of her own opinion into everything she writes. ...My mind really doesn't unbderstand a normal person's logic or common sense, does it?


Somehow, Ivan fell asleep sitting up, but given his weight distribution he'll fall over in very short order. I do not claim to know precisely how he lives his life, but now that I have the opportunity I see that he actually has some rather obvious bags under his eyes. I thought I saw those before, but I didn't really think anything of it since it wasn't important. Still, this needs to be dealt with in fairly short order.

"Eh? Asleep already? I haven't even broken out the liquor!" Suwako is pouting over this new development. I suppose I can hardly blame her for that since she has such a blatant, yet unexplained interest in Ivan. Though it is rather suspicious that she would want to get him drunk so soon after meeting him. I happen to think he's cute, yes, but I don't feel any strong desire to loosen him, or his pants, up. "Eh, I guess it can't be helped. We'll just get drunk without him!" Or perhaps this is some peculiar routine where everyone gets drunk after meeting one another. How strange.

"I will carry him to the guest room I was shown earlier. There's no real need to keep him here, is there?" I do not wait for an answer to that question. Instead I carefully slide him off me and lay him on the couch sideways so that I may pick him up without issue.

"All right, but if you desecrate the shrine you'll regret it." I'm already carrying Ivan out of the room by this point so Suwako was not able to see my stunned expression, nor the blush creeping onto my face.

"Suwako! That's entirely inapproprite behavior!" I don't need my eyes to tell me that Sanae is the one reprimanding the goddess. What a peculiar relationship...

Thankfully, despite Suwako's comment, I never broke stride and was out of the room in mere seconds. Personally, I'm starting to dislike Suwako's overly casual personality, seeing as she's so incredibly rude. Warning me that desecrating a shrine will have consequences... I know that. I also know that I shouldn't let another person's comments get to me like that, especially ones that imply that I would do that sort of thing. If I were to... to... If I were to express my love in such a way, it would be when both the one who would be recieving it and I are well and truly ready!

I cross the threshhold of the room and close the door behind me, even as my cacophony of thoughts continue to rage within my mind. The gall of some people... Laying him down on the futon is simple enough, and stripping him down to his boxers is only slightly more difficult if only for the fact that he has all the responsiveness of a ragdoll. Once that's done I find myself admiring his body. He's surprisingly fit considering the fact that he seems to spend most of his time injured. There's no bulging biceps, no grossly exaggerated muscular strength, simply a somewhat pale, understated body. ...I need to leave before I do something untoward. I tuck him in under the covers so he can't grab hold of me in his sleep, and walk away as quickly, yet silently as I can.

I heard him say 'don't go' in his sleep, which made me pause at the door and look back at him. ...His eyes are shut and he's buched up the blanket around him. I feel a bit guilty about this, but I can hardly sleep with him when that awful heat is welling up in me. I would do something to him that I would regret later...

My breathing has become somewhat heavy as I exit the shrine unnoticed. It's easy to see because I am exhaling fog every time I breathe, and my body feels like it is turning into jelly... The cold winter air isn't enough for this, once out of the shrine's grounds I sit down with my back to a tree, strip, and proceed to relieve myself in a way I haven't had to in decades.


Sheesh, how did Ivan even know I was there? I was perfectly quiet, I stored my geta so I could walk on just my socks, and even wore the best sneaking gear kappa can invent! I can't help but feel a little impressed by his ability to spot me at all, or even his incredibly quick application of flight. Heck, he couldn't fly at all the last time I spoke with him! That's what consists of my thoughts as I kick back yet another whole bottle of rice wine. And the kid's a woman magnet whether he knows it or not. I wonder if being more or less raised by Kiene had anything to do with it.

File 127671496940.jpg - (32.73KB, 150x150, shirou.jpg) [iqdb]
Why is Ivan's room hot enough to make Letty get overheated?
Sounds like Letty was tempted to do some heat transfer the F/S N way....

>My breathing has become somewhat heavy as I exit the shrine unnoticed. It's easy to see because I am exhaling fog every time I breathe, and my body feels like it is turning into jelly... The cold winter air isn't enough for this, once out of the shrine's grounds I sit down with my back to a tree, strip, and proceed to relieve myself in a way I haven't had to in decades.

I get the feeling that this isn't as sexy as it sounds.

Surprisingly, two letters dropped in on my table while I was off getting a drink, and the contents of the first one was a simple question with a potentially lengthy answer. "That's actually a good question, if a little misdirected. I apologize if this wasn't really the answer you wanted, but this is in conjunction with the comment directly below yours. A letter numbered >>1603." I hold up the other letter in question and decide to kill two birds with one stone. "You see, the snow woman requires a certain amount of heat to maintain themselves. Too little and they begin to turn back into the snow they're comprised of, too much and they melt. However, Letty is strong enough to simply become immobilized when she exceeds her heat threshold, and maintain her minimum heat requirements on her own, but from what I understand both extremes are incredibly unpleasant to say the least, and not really all that sexy unless you enjoy watching someone's muscles act like thick gel in a skin sack instead of the meat it's supposed to act like." Speaking of which, I have no idea where Letty is. She said she'd come over... "Which brings me to the first point: It's not Ivan's room that did it, it's all the time spent ingesting hot things and being in a toasty shrine for longer than she really should have. Yuki-onna are not restricted to absorbing body heat, at least in this story, and can acquire body heat from any source they wish. Hot beverages, kotatsu, simply being indoors is enough. Transfering heat between bodies just happens to be the quickest way to absorb or release heat, which is why she kissed me the first time we met."

Now that that's done I can focus on tracking Letty down...


A plume of steam drifts up from where I had relieved myself, and I had to freeze and crack the sticky liquid a few times to get it all off. But it's done. Now I'm just waiting for the afterglow to wear off and my body to go back to normal so I can go back inside and indulge myself a little.


Slinking through the shadows is pathetically easy, even in a shrine with actual godesses. Nighttime is coming soon, but I don't want to wait. ...On the flip side, I've seen the people who've come to visit. Letty will have to be distracted somehow since Cirno will hate my guts if I end her, Hina could unleash an absolutely horrific amount of misfortune to attack with, and I have no idea how the Nue attacks. Toss in the fact that the regular residents could probably force me to retreat and I'm better off waiting for nightfall since everyone will be asleep then. The Aki's are negligable at best, but even I can't end a deity who doesn't want to die, and odds are this will get out to the gap bitch and the red white... Yeah. 'Patience is a virtue, discretion is the better part of valor.'

...Kind of funny how that manages to apply even though this isn't virtuous in the slightest. Regardless, another hour and I can play with my favorite toy again♪


I feel much better now that I've disposed of all the excess heat. Now I should go back into the shrine before-

"Oi, the toasty shrine too much for you?" Aya's squatting on the leading edge of the shrine's roof with a neutral expression on her face. "I'm glad you weren't planning on running off, I would have had to chase you down and retrieve that book if you did."

My eyes go wide. "How?"

"I could see the slight bulge where you've got it tucked away. You do know he's going to need it to help you, right?" No change. ...And she continues to baffle me.

"Once again, how do you know that?" It's not much, but if I can get an answer out of her this will make much more sense.

"It doesn't take much digging to find out about little things like that. You're starting to fall for him, right?"

"A little, but..."

"You can't stay with him as you are, and I know you well enough to be able to tell that you won't settle for just being his snow woman wife when you do get hitched."

Silence. There's nothing I can say to the crow since she's...

"Eh?" Aya turns her head toward where I had finished my business, then her expressionless face broke out into an embarrassed smile. "Oh, whoops! I didn't think you were the type to do that sort of thing. I guess this makes me look like a presumptious ass, doesn't it?"

"More or less." I can't help but take on a slightly deadpan tone in response to the crow realizing her own mistake.

"Well, this probably doesn't make a lick of sense to you anyway since you've been Ms. Snow Miser for so long, but trust me when I say that kid's probably your ideal chance to get out of that frosty curse of yours." Aya stands up and begins to walk off, but she pauses for a moment. "Speaking of which, you'll want to get back to Ivan in pretty short order, or else he's sunk. His yandere stalker's closing in on him."

"Why say any of this? I don't even know you!" My frustration finally gets the better of me. It's not quite true as I do know Shameimaru's name, but it is true that I don't know her as a person.

"I'm helping you for the same reason I'm helping Ivan; You're interesting." She takes another step, at which point she slides off the roof, gets her foot caught in the gutter, swings downward at an awkward angle which causes her to smash face-first into the wall, then drops down into the snow. "IGNORE ME!" She cries to the wind.

...What a strange person.

Regardless, if Rumia is around I should go back to Ivan in all haste.

Thankfully she hasn't shown up yet, as Ivan is still clutching the blanket in his arms as he sleeps. ...I know about the threat present, yet I decide to strip down to my blue, snow-print undergarments and slip in with him. Even if Rumia attacks us, I have the advantage of not needing to be in physical contact with my opponent to fight, nor do I even need to face her. I allow him to pull me into his arms and snuggle up to me while I lay the blanket over us.

You might want to tell the writer watch his wording then... since the implications are well... especially with words like "afterglow"

>Letty will have to be distracted somehow since Cirno will hate my guts if I end her

It's weirdly touching that Ex-Rumia thinks of Cirno highly enough to avoid fighting Letty.

Unfortunately it won't matter now because Rumia will be forced to go through Letty.
>She takes another step, at which point she slides off the roof, gets her foot caught in the gutter, swings downward at an awkward angle which causes her to smash face-first into the wall, then drops down into the snow. "IGNORE ME!" She cries to the wind.


I think she finds Cirno as a friend, what with putting up with her probably the entire time she was sealed. Rumia could probably make herself look like a little girl again anyway.
I know that sealed Rumia was friends with Cirno, but for it to be retained after the unsealing, that's unexpected.

I might have to find that /at/ Letty Story of patchwork's now. (I don't like hot weather, but I'll gladly get heat from this Letty!)
If I understood correctly, yes, she did masturbate, so his wording was right. But, no, it wasn't sexy at all, due to her snow woman curse.
Malik Blishta?

Just to clear something up and hopefully not make it sound like bullshit in the process, but my calling a snow woman's existance a curse to herself is another of my perceptions. Seeing as it's basically a woman's soul trapped in the snow they died in they are unable to move on on their own and must seek out someone's aid if they wish to stop being that way.

It's sort of like being cursed with a grudge or something along those lines, since I'm pretty sure that the afflicted can't remove said curse on their own yet it's entirely possible that they know about it.

Also, yes, my wording was deliberate and meant to come across as unsexy.

Yes, I've sunk so low as to reference Yugioh the Abridged series. ...Which I just did. Again. Yeah, it felt appropriate.

Gah! Now she's sleeping with him? This is just great. Now I can't get to Ivan without alerting her, and potentially every other being in this stupid shrine to my existance!

...Okay, calm down, deep breaths. Just because the gap bitch is looking for you does not mean you have any right to lose your cool. If anything I'll take Letty into myself to avoid hurting her. She won't like it... Not at first anyway. I can be pretty persuasive when I want to be. ...But I can't have her smack in the middle of the fight. Or anyone else for that matter since while I can overwhelm him on my own, he'll start blindsiding me if I have to deal with so much as one extra person. ...I really do love that about his fighting, but I will admit it's pretty annoying.

Just a bit longer and the rest will have gone to bed. Then I can just scoop them both up, carry them off, stick Letty with Cirno and take Ivan someplace without snow so that there'll be a chance that she'll stay clear the hell away. But where exactly? Gensokyo's in the dead of winter right now, so short of taking him underground...

...That'd be cutting it closer than I'd like. Both known entrances are located next to a shrine so I'd have no choice but to risk detection if I want to cut down on the intrusions.


"Oi, open up already." I know it's close to nighttime, but that stupid youkai's been making me track her down all freaking day, and Yukari's insisted that I stay at Mayohiga until Rumia's caught and contained. I know she means well, but her 'protect the miko' attitude is annoying to say the least. Even more so when she tries to get me to sleep with her at night. ...I wouldn't really object if I was sure that she wouldn't snore, wouldn't do some weird stuff while dreaming, or actively try to seduce me in the process. I'm not into that sort of thing, yet I attract youkai and human women like I'm some sort of harem leader!

Something feels off, but what... Oh SHIT. I swear I could feel my pupils dilate when the red-white showed up outside the shrine. I guess I didn't watch my back closely enough, or she's better than I originally thought. Either way, if I'm not out of here by the time she shows up... I don't even want to think about it. It's a rush, and I'll probably get detected, but this can't wait anymore!


I really shouldn't be surprised when a Mishaguji opened the door, but it's still slightly unsettling to be staring a giant white etheral snake in his glowing red eyes. However, I am acquainted with this one. "Hello, Melvin."

Please don't call me that. It's bad enough when Master Suwako does it. 'Melvin' originally didn't have a name, but Suwako gave him one at some point and refuses to call him anything else. Given how stupid the name is, I really can't blame him for not wanting to use it.

"Fine. I think you know why I'm here." Gohei in one hand, ofuda in the other, sealing needles in a side pocket, and a gift from a certain evil spirit just in case things get really bad in another side pocket. I think this should be enough to deal with Rumia.

Yes, I am well aware. In truth we were beginning to wonder when you'd show up, and wondered if we would have to make our own move. Melvin slides aside and grants me entry into the shrine, at which point I step in and promptly leave him in my dust. Yes, it's rude to do that to people, but I don't want to miss this opportunity just because I spent too much time exchanging pleasantries.


Dammit all! She's coming closer, and she must have some kind of bead on me because she's coming this way! To top it all off Letty's woken up partway through my pulling both her and Ivan into me and she's trying to freeze me from the inside out! ...No choice. I bring my fist down on her head, which hits with a sickening crack. She's not dead by any stretch of the imagination and will be back on her feet in no time at all.

Finally, both their bodies are submerged, now I just need to get the hell out of dodge before the miko crashes in! It's annoying that I'm going to have to leave a bit of me behind to do it, but I'd rather have her destroy a few small frozen icicles rather than put the entirety of my body on the line.

Night's fallen, and there's a clear line from here to the entrance to the underground. All I need to do is...


I didn't realize it at the time, but my eyes were glowing red back then. Apparently this made me intimidating enough to drive away shadows, but I think that was mostly my bad mood in general. Regardless, I threw a few ofuda at one shadow that recoiled away from me when I saw it, but it was fast enough to join up with another shadow. Someone owes me BIG for this.


It's undignified for a Youkai to run away like this, but no one, and I mean no one sticks around when the red-white is on the warpath, unless you've got a strong desire to die. Darting around in the natural shadows will keep me safe for a while, but that damnable miko has divine guidance on her side so I'm really just stalling for time until I get to the entrance.

...Even then I'm going to have a hell of a time losing her.


She's quick, I'll admit that, but she's also forgotten that I don't give up the chase so easily. On top of that, her parlor trick won't last forever, especially once she gets out in the-


-SNOW! Hah, she thinks I have to glide along it as a shadow, but I can go beneath it! Losing her will be a cinch under all this. All it takes is one litte-


-Slip-up, like the one she just committed. If she thinks that the snow will cover her escape, she has another thing coming. "Divine Spirit [Fantasy Seal]!" I hold a spellcard aloft as a number of large colored spheres launch from my body and streak toward the shadow sliding around under the snow, which does a few things. One, it pretty much obliterates her cover. Two, it does manage to hit her a few times. Three, it-


-Blew away the cover! Hah! I would have been SOL if she didn't just do that! It's worth taking a few heavy hits to see the look on the miko's face. All I have to do now is slip into the darkness already present in the underground and I'm free for a little while longer! "I'd love to stay and play miko, but I have places to be. Ciao!" With that I dive down the hole and slip into the shadows once more.


You know, I could get used to waking up next to Letty. What I don't like is the fact that the grue's already got us both and it feels like she's licking us both all over! It's been a few minutes, but I think it's high time I blast my way out of here.

[X]Time to blow this joint. Literally.
[X]I have no idea where we're going to end up, so I should wait a little.
>What I don't like is the fact that the grue's already got us both and it feels like she's licking us both all over! It's been a few minutes, but I think it's high time I blast my way out of here.
That's a hell of a thing to wake up to.

[X]I have no idea where we're going to end up, so I should wait a little.

She's probably all over us like a cheat suit, or at least enough of her shadowstuff that attempting to kaboom her would do precisely jack fuck nothing in the slightest.

Like ALL OVER US. Like she's going to TOWN.
[X]Time to blow this joint. Literally.

I was thinking about waiting until when Letty gets dropped off, but Reimu is still right behind us with a seal.

Yu-Gi-Oh Abridged is good though.

I'll like it unless you start quoting the awesome series
[X]Time to blow this joint. Literally.
[X]I have no idea where we're going to end up, so I should wait a little.
[X]Time to blow this joint. Literally.
[X]Time to blow this joint. Literally
[super special awesome]Time to blow this joint. Literally.

This option is too badass. I must vote for it.
Funny how Yukari is being paranoid about Reimu when it's Ivan that needs to be worried about. (If anything, EX-Rumia is VERY wary of the Miko and would not be stupid enough to try attacking her on her home turf)
[X] I have no idea where we're going to end up, so I should wait a little.

Explosions and confined spaces are a dangerous mix.
[X] I have no idea where we're going to end up, so I should wait a little.

I swear, you people act like having Rumia all over you is a bad thing.
It is, but blowing out of her in mid air with a KOed Letty won't end well.
[X]Time to blow this joint. Literally
Let's pop the cork, shall we?
I have no idea where I am, where I'll end up, or if this will even work. Perfect. I can't help but crack a grin as I move my hand through the shadows, which is rather weird by the way, it's like you're moving through molasses covered intestine. Solid, but liquid at the same time. ...Ahem, and aim at a point directly behind Letty after making sure I've got a nice, solid hold of her. Without any further ado, I fire a Pulsar bolt at full strength.


My body literally jumps out of the shadow it was hiding in of its own accord, and given that it feels like there's a little ball of light boring through my body I have to guess Ivan didn't stay asleep until I could get away from the red-white or even get Letty someplace safe! What's worse is that I can tell the miko's trying to follow me down here, and the shaft's walls are opening up just enough to where someone could fly down without hitting the walls! ...Not so far away that I couldn't grip them, but that might not help so much against the red-white. "AAAAAAAAAARGH!"


And I manage to slip out of her dress with Letty in hand. ...Unfortunately flying with dead weight is a bit difficult, and even my best efforts aren't really enough to stop me from falling, even if it's at a much slower pace than it should be. Rumia's recovering as well, as her gaze has become focused and her dress is starting to reform. There's still a gaping hole in the darkness that reveals her too-small white undershirt, but modesty doesn't really concern a pissed off youkai woman.

It's a bit of a pain but I somehow get Letty on my back instead of my front so that I can face the grue proper. I level my left hand at her and begin firing the large, white, erratic Heavy Pulsar bolts at her while using my now limited flight capacity to scoot around. I grin in satisfaction as her eyes widen since that means she thinks I can rapid-fire a spell that actually hurt her. She uses her claws and feet to slow down her descent so she can get closer, but her timing is bad enough to where she gets knocked upward by the bolts that had come around on the rebound and falls further down in a daze. She recoveres more quickly this time and flings a pitch-black clawed hand at me, which I manage to avoid.

...I'm not going to be able to keep this up at the rate she's going. Letty's a liability right now and...


Ugh. This tunnel really isn't wide enough to let me speed down until I hit the thirty foot point.

You know what? Screw it. I'm going to take the brute force route Marisa usually uses. I don't want to waste the shot Mima gave me, so I opt to use my Yin-Yang orb at its largest size to just smash through the constricting path until I hit a point where I can fly properly.


Heh, he can't even see the rocks coming down at him. How are you going to save yourself and Letty when you're being attacked on two fron- SON OF A-


A quick, improvised wind spell is all it takes to divert the rocks around me, which is nice because I can't take hits like youkai can. On the flip side, I can't attack until I drop the shield, and I can't drop the shield until the rocks and dirt clumps stop falling. Though another problem crops up in very short order. Rumia's closing in to take advantage of my wake, and she just latched onto my chest with one of those extendable arms of hers. To make matters worse, the first impact makes me lose hold of Letty, and I can't do anything but watch as she falls down along with the rest of the wreckage.

First thing's first. I need to live so I can dart down and get her away from here in very short order. To this end I charge up and lob a fireball at Rumia, but I find that it doesn't really do much of anything. Mostly because a pissed off Reimu lobbed a yin-yang orb right through my spell and into Rumia's face.


Ivan looks utterly ridiculous. He's covered in a fine layer of dust, is in nothing but his boxers, looks like something slimed him head to toe, and is still casting spells. I have to admire his determination if nothing else. "That was a pretty stupid stunt Ivan. What made you think that blasting your way out would do any good?"

"I had no idea you were coming! All I knew is that I woke up in Rumia's darkness and that getting out was a priority!" He's still charging some kind of spell, and he looks pretty panicky.

"I'm guessing you weren't alone, and that someone else is in big trouble." I resist the urge to roll my eyes at his stunned expression and immediate nodding. "You can fly on your own right?" Another nod. "Good." And with that I flip upright and proceed to use a downward kick to speed up my descent. The fact that I more or less smash Rumia's face in was little more than a happy coincidence.


With Reimu going after Letty, I'm able to give my full attention to the grue that had smacked into a wall thanks to the miko's kick. Rumia's face is contorted into a scowl, but her anger is reserved for Reimu and Reimu alone. I'm just a footnote until the miko's out of the picture. Well guess what little grue? I'm not going to let that happen.


I almost start attacking that miko when my toy reminds me that he's still there by means of a painful light element spell to the back. Then the front, and the side, and a bunch of other places because it's a spell that won't DIE! I face my toy and proceed to do to him what he's doing to me, only on a much larger scale. I also forgot to mention that since I'm already in trouble that I've conveniently decided to screw the rules and flood the shaft with Danmaku until Ivan's a smoldering, unconscious wreck. I can make him feel better later♪


"Yukari, drop her off at the Moriya Shrine will you?" I hand Letty off to Yukari even as I'm speaking. I didn't think Ivan was one to sleep with women, even in the most innocent way possible, but that just goes to show you how little I know of him. Speaking of which, he's kind of in the way...

[X]"Snag Ivan too, I'm going to take Rumia out in one go."
[X]"Get Ivan dressed and back up to full strength. He made this mess, he can help me clean it up."
[X]"Get Ivan dressed and back up to full strength. He made this mess, he can help me clean it up."

Raymoo controllan gaems
[X]"Get Ivan dressed and back up to full strength. He made this mess, he can help me clean it up."

Combo attack gaems?
[X]"Snag Ivan too, I'm going to take Rumia out in one go."

I'd think Reimu would rather do without the near dead weight getting in the way.

Lazy miko being lazy.

It's not being lazy; Reimu would just be hindered by someone of Ivan's lacking experience level, and she couldn't just let him die without feeling guilt about it.

And Rumia could easily take Ivan hostage to balk Reimu's attempts at attack. Reimu works best with skilled professionals, not newbies so weak that they make Sanae look good.
[X]"Snag Ivan too, I'm going to take Rumia out in one go."

Don't underestimate the power of Reimu's laziness. Especially when the youkai she is attacking hasn't actually done anything to her.

This is definitely not part of a plot to get Rumia to steal Ivan away for a little while.

Oh but she has done something to Reimu, started an incident which resulted in Yukari informing her.

And if Reimu wasn't ticked at her then, she is now. That's not even considering Yukari might have slipped her some money and that This Reimu might not be remotely near Komachi levels of laziness.
[x] "Snag Ivan too, I'm going to take Rumia out in one go."
[X]"Get Ivan dressed and back up to full strength. He made this mess, he can help me clean it up."
[X] "Snag Ivan too, I'm going to take Rumia out in one go."

Ivan will just get in the way.
[X] "Snag Ivan too, I'm going to take Rumia out in one go."
[X] "Snag Ivan too, I'm going to take Rumia out in one go."
[x]"Get Ivan dressed and back up to full strength. He made this mess, he can help me clean it up."
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