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File 12770029904.png - (967.70KB, 896x1156, What you were dealing with.png) [iqdb]
1641No. 1641
I really want to make Ivan answer for this by helping me bring Rumia down, but I have to be realistic. He's a fledgling in terms of danmaku and magic, and he doesn't have any equipment to help him out. He's nothing more than a liability at this point and I don't want to have to be the one to tell those close to him that my actions brought about his death. ...Not to mention that I'd feel like crap over it. I can't think of anything worse than making a decision that ends the life of a friend. Especially one who donates and cares. "Yukari, snag Ivan too. He's just a liability at this point." I can sense Yukari's confirmation more than I can actually hear it, but the fact that Ivan dissapears moments later confirms the fact that she did.

With that out of the way I pull out Mima's spellcard and give Rumia something akin to a death glare, and I smile inwardly in grim satisfaction when she unconsciously jerks backwards. "Oi, pest. You've caused me a lot of problems just by being unsealed. Got anything to say in your defense before I vaporize you?" I don't even wait for a response. I declare the card with a whisper spoken to it, at which point a small black-cored gold bullet forms on the end of my gohei.

"Go to hell you red-white pest!" Rumia's panicking to a degree since she has no idea what I'm about to use on her. She's calling forth as much darkness as she can manage, then launches forth a bunch of those extendable arms Yukari was warning me about.

Still, I can't stifle my chuckle as I point my gohei at her. "Don't you know? I'm already there." Without any further reason to delay, I fire.

Something akin to Marisa's Master Spark erupts from the end of my gohei, which Rumia sidesteps, but it became wide enough to fill up the shaft in very short order. Rumia's spell broke since those arms disintegrated before my eyes, but my victory feels very short lived. Mostly because I can tell that I blasted a new hole in Moriya's backyard, and I probably dumped a bunch of crap on Chireidan, which means I'm going to have to clean up that mess for Satori. Sigh... Do one good deed and clean up two messes. This is exactly why I don't like the brute force method, too much unnecessary work afterward.

...

The first thing I saw when my mind finally realized that my body wasn't falling anymore and that I was back in Moriya Shrine was Letty apologizing profusely for letting her guard down and allowing this to happen, while Suwako was chastising her Mishaguji for not warning her about this sooner. The only thing I do in response is hug Letty and tell her that I was worried about her. Things felt right in the world until a bright gold light flooded the room through the windows, at which point everyone stared at the source of the light.

A massive pillar of raw, gold power erupted from the hole Rumia had tried to escape down, and it was opening the hole even wider. It seems that whatever Reimu did, she went for the overkill version. I can't really blame her since I'd do the same thing in her shoes.

"Yukari, I'm back." I almost jump when I hear the miko's voice right behind me. There isn't a hint of tire in her voice or body, which actually scares me a little. If she essentially smelted a bigger hole with a giant laser without so much as breaking a sweat, I shudder to think what it would take to really tire her out. "Also, Kanako, Suwako, Sanae, sorry about the new hole in your backyard. I just wanted to be sure that Rumia wouldn't be able to avoid my attack."

"No problem, no problem. You're talking to an earth goddess, remember? What you blasted into I can easily restore." Suwako stuck her hand out at the widened hole with the red-hot sides and slowly closed it. I know I shouldn't be surprised by such acts, but I still feel a distinct sense of awe as the land closed up until there was nothing more than a glowing tunnel exactly the same size it was before tonight's events. ...Even more so when the cover in question fell from the sky and landed back on the hole with an almighty clang.

"So, is she ready?" Yukari asked a question that could only refer to one person.

"No." And that's not what I expected to hear come out of Reimu's mouth. Not after that little display. She silences Yukari by putting one finger in the air before continuing. "I don't know how, but she escaped. Whether it was by riding out the Twilight Spark or just slipping into one of the crevices, I managed to lose her again."

"She really is quite troublesome. Though I can understand why she'd give us so many issues about being resealed." Yukari then appeared next to Reimu and placed a hand on her shoulder, "Ready to head back?" then gives her a glowing smile.

"Not yet. I need to go apologize to Satori for taking out a good chunk of her flower garden, and maybe help her plant some replacements. But before that..." Reimu then turns to look at me, and I see a worried expression on her face. "Ivan. You can't fight Rumia at full strength with brute force alone, you will never become strong enough fast enough to be anything more than a mild irritant to her before she chooses to end you. So I'm going to say two things that will help in the matter." She then composes herself into a more neutral expression before continuing. "One, you're free to stay at the Hakurei Shrine as long as you wish until this is over. Those I call family will see to your safety, and I can react to things going on there far more quickly than I can elsewhere. Two, don't try to become something you're not. It will only get you killed."

With that, Yukari and Reimu dissapear on the spot, presumably to meet up with this 'Satori' person and make amends for her actions.

Next on the agenda is to get a good night's sleep, or at least what I can salvage out of tonight.

[X]And I cannot sleep.
[X]The next thing I see is the sunrise highlighting the one beside me.
Expand all images
>>No. 1643
[X]The next thing I see is the sunrise highlighting the one beside me.

As if he'll give Rumia the satisfaction of hindering his health indirectly.

It's already working nonetheless
>>No. 1644
[X]And I cannot sleep.

Mystery option over Letty option.
>>No. 1645
[X]And I cannot sleep.

Just what is Rumia planning anyway? Because it seems she want to rape Ivan first.
>>No. 1646
[X]And I cannot sleep.
>>No. 1647
>>1645
>Just what is Rumia planning anyway?
Something dark I'd wager.

[X]And I cannot sleep.
>>No. 1648
[X]And I cannot sleep.
Surprisingly enough, ignoring Reimu's suggestions seem like a good idea now
>>No. 1649
[X] And I cannot sleep.
"Can't sleep, grues will eat me... can't sleep, grues will eat me..."

Also, the outfit in the picture is really nice, though it does make Rumia look a bit like a contemporary Alice.
>>No. 1650
[X]The next thing I see is the sunrise highlighting the one beside me.
Letty~
>>No. 1651
>>1649

I imagine that it's mostly the hair acessory doing it, whatever you call that thing on her head that isn't a ribbon. Yes, I genuinely forgot what it's called. I want to say head band, but that just doesn't sound right.

---

This is ridiculous. Rumia's gone for the time being, I'm cleaned up from my little joyride in the grue, I'm in a nice warm futon that I'm sharing with a snow woman that I more or less just realized I have feelings for. Funny what a life or death experience can do to a person. I might have spent all winter not wanting to admit to this, but fearing that I lost her made me throw away any uncertainty, any doubt, any unwillingness left in my mind in the m
>>No. 1652
>>1649

I imagine that it's mostly the hair acessory doing it, whatever you call that thing on her head that isn't a ribbon. Yes, I genuinely forgot what it's called. I want to say head band, but that just doesn't sound right.

---

This is ridiculous. Rumia's gone for the time being, I'm cleaned up from my little joyride in the grue, I'm in a nice warm futon that I'm sharing with a snow woman that I more or less just realized I have feelings for. Funny what a life or death experience can do to a person. I might have spent all winter not wanting to admit to this, but fearing that I lost her made me throw away any uncertainty, any doubt, any unwillingness left in my mind in the matter. In four days, four measily, insignificant days I fell in love with her, this snow woman sleeping soundly next to me. This lavender haired, lavender eyed, pale skinned, healthy bodied, flawless beauty who unceremoniously walked into my home on a whim, Letty. She's sleeping with her back to me, but I want to change that. I gently roll her over towards me and pull her into a tight hug, relishing the warmth and softness it brings. What I don't expect is for her to unconsciously snuggle up to me and place her head right next to mine, with our noses touching and her lips so very, very close to mine. I've only been in this situation with one other woman, and I never had the guts or desire to do what I'm about to do now.

I close the distance and press my lips to hers in what would be our second, (or would it be third?) kiss, except this time I hope that it's out of a mutual feeling for one another instead of a strong desire to transfer heat. Letty stirs and wraps her arms around me as she brings me in just a little bit more to the point where we're as close as we'll ever get without taking off all our clothes. Her breasts literally have no more give to them as the soft, pillowy mounds have been squished against my body as much as they possibly can, her legs have intertwined with mine, her arms have slid in under mine, and her soft lips are pressing against mine for all they're worth. And once, just this once I allow myself to be intoxicated with her natural scent.

It seems I needed that. I'm actually dozing off now with a silly grin plastered on my face, and the last thing I see is Letty's eyes looking directly into my own. ...She was just feigning sleep, probably in case I wanted to talk to her or something. I think this was of far greater value though. Weary mind put at ease, I drift off to sleep without another thought.

...

Morning comes too quickly as far as I'm concerned, though given how high the sun is in the sky I'd have to say that it's actually late morning rather than early. Of course, I would have slept soundly for much longer if two things hadn't occured. One, someone opened the curtains, and two, my stomach's growling.

---
>>No. 1653
>>1652
It is called a headband. And there the fact she's wearing platform boots instead of Mary Janes.
>>No. 1654
>>1635

Ah. I feel moderately ashamed that I didn't know what Rumia was wearing originally. To me, a shoe is a shoe.

---

"Glad to see you've lived another day!" Aya's voice is basically a confession to the crime of opening those windows, but I'm in no real condition to dole out her punishment. "You really had me worried there for a moment, though it's always nice when you came out of it okay."

"What time is it?" I look up at the offending tengu with a groggy stare, which is wholly justified considering that she's woken me up and made it impossible to go back to sleep.

"Roughly ten-thirty AM. You slept in quite a while. Suwako wanted to wake you up sooner but I put my foot down in the matter since you looked like someone took a meat tenderizer to you." She's giving me a bit of an apologetic look, which turns into a small cringe when she gets a better look at my body. "...Maybe you should see if Eirin's got some bruise ointment."

Her not so subtle suggestion prompted me to take a good look at myself, but when I do I see that my body's more or less the color it's supposed... to... be... "I can see how someone would miss that." A quick touch tells me that I am bruised all over, and my eyes finally pick up the subtle color difference between my undamaged skin and the bruises. Kind of strange how I didn't feel any of that last night, you'd think I'd have noticed it sooner. ...Then again, my own health was pretty low on my list of priorities, and a sleep-deprived mind has some very peculiar effects on the body.

"Hm, I'll talk to you in a little bit then. I'm going to take a minute or two to get some kind of ointment for that so you don't spend the whole day bruised and sensitive to everything." Aya then opens the window, hops out, and takes off so fast that the resulting suction pulls a few things askew.

Though my last thought brings up an interesting point: I wasn't exactly in my right mind last night, so I may have done something like admit that I do love Letty. Seeing the snow woman in question stir, I feel the need to ask her just what I did last night when I couldn't sleep. Partially because I don't quite believe my own answer. "Letty, are you awake?" I also didn't notice that our legs are more or less wrapped around each other and that she has both her arms around me, making my head's sudden return to the pillow somewhat surprising.

"Nnn... Uwaaaah..." She yawns once before nuzzling my chest. "I'd prefer to keep sleeping with you, but since the crow woke us both up I suppose I have no choice." She slides up my body, making a point of going as slow as possible so she can inflict some kind of blush on me. She stops at eye level though. "What is it?"

[X]"What did I do last night when I was still awake?"
[X]"Did I confess to you or kiss you last night? I don't quite recall."
[X]"Was that kiss good for you too?"
[X]"Did I tell you I love you and that you're a good kisser?" ...Traitorous hormones!
[X]Write-in

---

Also, I'm fully aware that I double posted by accident, but since it was a rapid double click it didn't just screw up the post, it screwed up my password as well so I can't get rid of it.
>>No. 1655
[X]"Was that kiss good for you too?"
>>No. 1656
[X] "Was that kiss good for you too?"

>>1654
>To me, a shoe is a shoe.
Just don't say that around women. You never know which ones consider shoes to be serious buisness.
>>No. 1657
[X] "Was that kiss good for you too?"
>>No. 1658
[X]"What did I do last night when I was still awake?"
>>No. 1659
[X]"Did I tell you I love you and that you're a good kisser?" ...Traitorous hormones!
>>No. 1660
[X] "Did I do anything strange last night? I had the strangest dream about me and Rumia..."
-[X] "Ah well, it was a good dream though."

のヮの
>>No. 1661
[X] "Did I do anything strange last night? I had the strangest dream about me and Rumia..."
-[X] "Ah well, it was a good dream though."
Trolling vote?
>>No. 1662
[X] "Was that kiss good for you too?"
>>No. 1663
>>1661

An awesome vote given that Rumia is the most interesting woman in the story.
>>No. 1664
[X] "Did I do anything strange last night? I had the strangest dream about me and Rumia..."
-[X] "Ah well, it was a good dream though."
>>1663
Agreed
>>No. 1665
[X] "Was that kiss good for you too?"
>>No. 1666
>>1663

Really? That's certainly interesting to hear, I didn't think I was doing that good a job with her to merit such a vote.

Speaking of which, I take it the multiple viewpoints experiment to let you see into the heads of other characters I ran was a relative success?

---

This is something I need to ask so I can be sure that it wasn't all just a pleasant dream, otherwise, how can I be sure? Letty's looking at me in an expectant way so I can't keep her waiting for much longer. ...I shouldn't feel like this is forbidden or anything. "Was that kiss good for you too?" And it doesn't help that I'm not used to this in the slightest and wind up blushing. Not that Letty's closeness is helping any.

"Kiss? ...Oh my, did you steal a kiss in my sleep?" Letty's looking pretty shrewd right about now, and technically she's right. She was awake by the end but I have no way to prove if she were awake before that or not. She picks up on this and softens her smile enough to lose the shrewdness it carried moments ago. "I shouldn't be teasing you like that. Yes, you did kiss me last night, and yes, it did feel good. ...I was actually hoping that you'd be willing to do such a thing." Then the warm smile carries a genuine happiness to it. Perhaps kissing her in the middle of the night was the right thing to do... "Aside from that, I think I will close that window the crow left wide open. Some people just don't know when to slow down." She slips out of the futon and heads over to the window in order to shut it, and I'm left wishing that someone else would have come along to shut it. ...Though given what happens next, I wish Letty had left it open for a different reason.

A loud bang resonates through the room, and given that Aya's tokin hat has stuck to the window I can say with great certainty that its owner hadn't even considered the possibility of someone shutting the window. "Letty, maybe you should open that back up." I sit up and immediately regret it. The cold winter air has dropped the room temperature down to the temperature of the outside air, which isn't pleasant when all you're wearing is a pair of boxers.

Thankfully Letty didn't even need me to ask her as she opens the window back up while I was asking her. The little hat pops out from between the panes and lands back on Aya's head in an almost comical fashion, made even more so when I see that the reporter has a dazed expression on her face. ...And yet she's still hanging onto that jar of ointment. That's certainly impressive. ...Why the hell am I still sitting here freezing?!

Clothes, clothes... Ah, here we are. They're practically radiating heat, and for good reason. The bottled fires I keep stored in the pockets exude their warmth, and I shouldn't have to explain the jacket. While I wouldn't mind using Letty to warm back up, there's the minor issue where I'd like to get something done today.

---
>>No. 1667
>>1666

I love your Rumia.

That multiple viewpoints thing worked well for the fight. It probably wouldn't work well in non-action sequences, though. Too much confusion in dialogue and character interactions.
>>No. 1668
>>1663
Stop misspelling Letty. You want Rumia so bad, go Bug Dr.Q.

>>1666
Could you post a link to the next thread when this is done?(True I used the watched threads too much, but it's easier than scanning a page that has mostly nothing new) I missed a few updates due to that.
>>No. 1669
>>1668

This story is literally the only thing active in /coriander/. I think you will be fine.
>>No. 1670
>>1668
>BAW You have a different opinion!

Quit your bitching.

SLDT Rumia > SLDT Letty. No offense to SLDT, but I happen to find SLDT Letty dull.
>>No. 1672
>>1669
That's what I meant, it's a tiresome thing to scan this board's pages, when for month+, there's nothing new. There's not even much of a point in making new threads as no one else is bothering to write here.

>>1670
So you like typical yanderes more than kind women with mysterious pasts? You're only here because GH went on Hiatus anyways. How unoriginal.
>>No. 1673
>>1672
Could you PLEASE stop shitting up the thread? We don't fucking need it.
>>No. 1674
>>1673
I'd consider doing Rumia-centric votes right when Ivan's realizing his feelings for Letty to be far more shitting up the thread. I was stating a likely truth about the Rumia fans here anyways.

And to be seriously if this was solely a mokou vs Rumia (Both of which are pretty standard) story, well I'd read it, but at a more passing rate. Letty is was got me interested in this story.

I think the whole "Yandere Rumia" was mainly popularized in GH, though she might have reared her head in a few shorts. But GH's popularity has made Yandere Rumia a new standard for Rumias in addition to the cute airheaded "Is that so~?" one. And it also demolished the 'little sister' stigma she had.

Unlike Mokou and Rumia, Letty has no real standard due to a major lack of major roles, just the ever chronic "Mother figure to team 9" minor role. Who knows, maybe this may become the standard for Major Role Letty.
>>No. 1675
>>1674

Other stories have zero effect on this story. Please stop referencing other stories when you try to make an argument.

I like this Rumia more than I like this Letty. You like this Letty more than you like this Rumia. That is all there is to it.

I can respect your opinion because this Letty is written well. I hope you can respect mine.
>>No. 1676
>I think the whole "Yandere Rumia" was mainly popularized in GH
Stop right there buddy. Get your facts straight.
>>No. 1677
>>1674

dood "Yandere" Rumia that we know here actually originated in this story only because the concept was emphasized by >>878 upon which had been followed by >>883.

Nonetheless the fact that Rumia managed to escape "Twilight Spark" ought to push Ivan in improving his odds in defending himself.

He may never truly defeat Rumia but that does not mean he ought to leave himself entirely vulnerable. Whatever happened to the idea of making floating satellites to provide cover fire with danmaku?
>>No. 1678
>>1677
Reimu said very recently to him "Don't try to become something you're not"; I believe this is in reference to his attempts at learning Danmaku, and persuing the path of combat. In short I think Reimu's saying "Leave this to the professionals"

>>1675
I can easily respect your opinions, it's actions that are the problem.
>>No. 1679
>>1678
>Reimu's saying "Leave this to the professionals"

I totally agree, nonetheless that shouldn't mean that Ivan should just sit tight and be expected to do absolutely nothing. If anything Ivan ought to buy Reimu and the others time by stalling or slowing Rumia should another encounter occurs; from there he can happily move out of the way if it means giving Reimu, or anyone else, the chance at ending the mess.

Besides Ivan has never appeared suddenly as the type to just do nothing especially if the situation concerns him entirely.

Ivan's not seeking Rumia it's the other way around in the end of it all.
>>No. 1680
>>1679
I think she said that more in his pursuit of power, since if it's unchecked, chances are terrible things will happen. It's been seen in countless things, Weak but well meaning guy seeks power, becomes consumed by his thirst for power, becomes corrupted by the power he seeks, bad end.

Let's not forget that Ivan's stubborn-ness about things caused Rumia's sick, twisted attraction to him.
>>No. 1681
>>1680
>Let's not forget that Ivan's stubborn-ness about things caused Rumia's sick, twisted attraction to him.

You have provided an excellent argument for Ivan to continue being stubborn.
>>No. 1682
>>1681
It's remarks like this that piss me off so badly. So you like Rumia? Fine. Basically saying you want Ivan to be in more danger to someone he doesn't like (Rumia) because you do? NOT fine.
>>No. 1683
I think my moment of ditziness was more or less brought about by seeing Letty walk around 90% naked even though she's a snow woman and can therefore take the cold far better than I can. Thankfully common sense took over as I got to my clothes, then put them back on. I'm still wondering if I should make a matching pair of pants for my jacket since aside from the bottled fire I don't really have anything keeping my legs warm. The jacket will become unnecessary in short order once we get into a part of the shrine that hasn't been exposed to the cold, but for the time being...

Letty's sucessfully pulled Aya back into the room, and starts carrying the crow fireman-style as she shuts the window again and draws the curtains with her free hand. She looks to me and decides that it would be best if we all got out of the room before certain parties froze. "Ivan, could you wait for me in the bathroom? I want to put this on you before you have a chance to ignore your body's state again." Then she walks off with cold crow in arm. ...That sounds like some sort of pun.

I kind of needed to use the bathroom anyway so I head off to the one across the hall when I suddenly wonder why everyone seems to have a bathroom directly across the hall from where I'm sleeping? ...Perhaps I'm just being paranoid since I feel like I haven't woken up properly yet... Not to mention that I need a shower or something since I doubt Letty's natural scent will cling to me forever. Heck, it's already being overpowered by the Mokou smell that the jacket seems to emit. Hm... I have to say they both have their perks. Perhaps most women simply smell pleasant? I can't tell with Eirin since she always reeks of her experiments, and I'm not familiar enough with Kaguya to just up and ask something so weird.

I really should watch what I'm thinking. That line of thought will be dangerous to say the least, for more reasons than I dare to count or dream of. I wind up washing my face while I wait for Letty to come back to me as she said she was going to.

"Ah, my apologies for keeping you waiting. Aya had a stronger grip on the container than I thought so I had to take a little time to pry her fingers off it." She shuts the door behind her and sets the small jar down on the counter, then looks at me expectantly. "You do need to take your jacket and shirt off before I can put this on you."

She's certainly rather blunt today. Still, she's offering to use those soft hands to rub ointment on my chest so it's better not to complain about it, especially since she seems to have joined the 'we should help keep Ivan healthy since he refuses to take care of himself' line of thought. Such a thing is simultaneously heartwarming that some people care enough about me to do that, annoying in the fact that it means a few people think I can't take care of myself properly, and utterly undignified as sometimes this winds up coming off as though they were treating me like a kid. However, just this once I comply with her request and take off the articles of clothing she requested, leaving my chest exposed. Though a guy exposing his chest doesn't seem to carry the same weight as a girl exposing her chest, which I find absolutely silly as it makes no sense what so ever. The only difference is that women have sacks of fat and mammary gland on their chests, seeing as both genders have nipples. You'd think that because of that similarity that people would be just as against guys going topless as women, yet on hotter days it's perfectly acceptable for a guy to run around with no shirt on. ...I guess I went a little off-topic there, didn't I? At any rate, Letty's mostly done working the ointment into the bruises, and she's done a wonderful job at making it feel downright pleasant instead of the pain I should be feeling.

Perhaps I should plan ahead...
[X]See about contacting Nitori to craft some kind of magic based weapon to help me out in battle.
[X]Heading back home and experimenting is the order of the day. And to check that effing door, and to see if the witch stole anything. Again.
[X]Er, come to think of it, I never did apologize to Alice for wrecking her house when I accidentally removed Rumia's ribbon.
[X]Write-in
>>No. 1684
[X] Er, come to think of it, I never did apologize to Alice for wrecking her house when I accidentally removed Rumia's ribbon.

Poor Alice. She probably has to stay over at Marisa's until her house is repaired.
>>No. 1685
[X]Er, come to think of it, I never did apologize to Alice for wrecking her house when I accidentally removed Rumia's ribbon.
>>No. 1686
[X]Er, come to think of it, I never did apologize to Alice for wrecking her house when I accidentally removed Rumia's ribbon.
-[X]See about contacting Nitori to craft some kind of magic based weapon to help me out in battle.

Apologizing shouldn't take too long and SCIENCE!progress needs to be made~!
>>No. 1687
Ivan, stop acting like breasts aren't wonderful, wonderful things.
>>No. 1688
[X]Er, come to think of it, I never did apologize to Alice for wrecking her house when I accidentally removed Rumia's ribbon.

I forgot about this.
>>No. 1689
[X]Er, come to think of it, I never did apologize to Alice for wrecking her house when I accidentally removed Rumia's ribbon.
>>No. 1690
[X]Heading back home and experimenting is the order of the day. And to check that effing door, and to see if the witch stole anything. Again.
- [X]Er, come to think of it, I never did apologize to Alice for wrecking her house when I accidentally removed Rumia's ribbon.
>>No. 1691
[X]See about contacting Nitori to craft some kind of magic based weapon to help me out in battle.

He could use some firepower
>>No. 1692
[x]Er, come to think of it, I never did apologize to Alice for wrecking her house when I accidentally removed Rumia's ribbon.
[x]Heading back home and experimenting is the order of the day. And to check that effing door, and to see if the witch stole anything. Again.

I like these two.
>>No. 1693
[X]Er, come to think of it, I never did apologize to Alice for wrecking her house when I accidentally removed Rumia's ribbon.
[x]Heading back home and experimenting is the order of the day. And to check that effing door, and to see if the witch stole anything. Again.
These~
>>No. 1694
>>1687

Well, I'm sure Ivan would be perfectly happy to deny that if he weren't so busy sucking on Letty's.

---

Once Letty's done with my chest she starts washing the remaining ointment off her hands, while I recall something that makes me feel a little guilty. Specifically, the part where I accidentally unleashed Rumia's full power in Alice's house. I'm quite certain that our fight wound up trashing a good part of it and I had completely forgotten about it up until now. Even if we're not the closest friends in the world I should apologize for my actions. "Ivan, is something on your mind?" Letty breaks my concentration after a few moments by placing a hand on my shoulder.

"There is. I need to see Alice before I head home so I can apologize to her for wrecking a good part of her house." I was busy ever since, but I still feel bad for forgetting about something like that. "I'll eat breakfast first, then set out."

"You mean, we'll set out. You've already proven that you attract trouble wherever you go, and you'll be a sitting duck without someone to help you." By 'trouble', Letty means Rumia and her weird attraction to me. By 'sitting duck', she means I'm basically screwed if she shows up. I can't blame her though, in a straight up fight I stand no chance against Rumia and my lifespan would be decided by how long the grue would want me to live. ...With that argument, I can hardly tell the snow woman no. Of course, I won't complain about the company.

"Fine, I suppose I can hardly refuse when presented with that argument. In a straight up brawl you'd last far longer than I would." I get up from my seat and start to walk out, but wait to make sure Letty's following me. "And I think I'd be a fair bit happier with some company."

Letty smiles as she follows along, probably for the same reason I am.

...

The Moryia family is seated at the table for the most part, and are eating a breakfast food called 'pancakes' if I recall correctly. It's certainly an odd, but hardly unwelcome breakfast food. "A little late to the party are ya? What were the two of you doing in the bathroom for so long?" Suwako's the first to comment on our tardy arrival, and does so in what must be her typical fashion.

"Suwako, don't make me turn you into frog pate this early in the morning." Kanako just brought in a steaming plate of the curious flat cakes and set it down on the table, all while holding one of her logs over Suwako's head. A fact not lost on the frog goddess as she stops talking not too long after that. "Good. Are you planning to stay the day again?" She then directs her attention to me.

"If that's an offer, I'm afraid I must decline. I have a few things I need to see to and I'm very much behind on my work, more so with the intrusions from the grue." With a nod from the wind goddess we sit down at a couple empty seats and take a plate each.

"I figured as much. You don't look like the kind of person who'd be happy sitting around doing nothing." Kanako then walked back off into the kitchen, at which point I focus on eating breakfast so I won't feel hungry later at an inappropriate time.

---
>>No. 1695
Once done with breakfast, I give my farewells to those who allowed me to stay the night and kick off into the air with Letty. The snow is still relatively pristine despite the fact that no fresh snow has fallen around the mountain but I see that the Forest of Magic was not spared in the slightest. This only makes me feel worse as there's a very good possibility that I've unintentionally ruined Alice's home since I don't know if she would have been able to replace the door or anything else I wound up destroying before the next snowfall hit.

Letty didn't miss my sudden pang of guilt since it was quite obvious just by looking at my face. "You're worried about Alice?" She floats up alongside me to make it easier to talk to me.

"I am. All of two days ago I wound up breaking part of her home while trying to get away from Rumia, and I don't know if she was able to get it repaired before that snowstorm hit. She's a very resourceful woman, but all it takes is one mistake..." As evidenced by last night's little adventure. I imagine that Letty would be a formidable force in the dead of winter, but the grue got the drop on her while she was asleep. "While Jack Frost never seemed all that strong, I imagine that his power increases the more he's out in his own element."

"Ah, there is that." From the sounds of it, Letty totally forgot about that. Not that I can really blame her, Frost seems like a forgettable person. On the flip side, that could make him all the more dangerous if nobody expects him. "This may actually be his work, now that I think about it. He did try to freeze Kiene when she came to visit."

"And we all know how well that worked out for him." I can't help but roll my eyes and chuckle upon recalling that particular memory. It's not often at all that the village guardian sees fit to smash someone into the ground so hard that they leave a person-shaped indent upon getting back up.

"He didn't hold the advantage either. It was inside a building he had tried to freeze, not outside in the middle of a snowstorm. ...Perhaps an outright blizzard." Now that we've gotten a bit closer, I can actually see that it's more or less a solid wall of snow coming down. "A simple matter to resolve." And with a little concentration the blizzard is reduced to a light, downright pleasant snowfall, but only around her. "Stay close. My influence isn't as great as I'd like and I don't want you to get lost and freeze to death."

---
>>No. 1696
>>1694
DO'OH.

But being close to Letty isn't a bad thing at all.
>>No. 1697
>>1695

Now what would Cirno do if she knew that some human is making Letty slow down a snowstorm?
>>No. 1698
> Frost seems like a forgettable person. On the flip side, that could make him all the more dangerous if nobody expects him.

You're right, I did forget about him. Of course, we had bigger things to worry about. In more ways than one as well, hurhurhur.
>>No. 1699
I kind of want to see a Jack Frost + Letty Whiterock vs EX-Rumia battle, with Jack and Letty having the home field advantage.
>>No. 1700
>>1699
I want to see Jack Frost and Ex-Rumia in a explosively tsundere relationship.
>>No. 1701
File 12776073161.png - (505.69KB, 600x800, Letty again.png) [iqdb]
1701
Thanks to Letty's ability to lighten the snowfall it's actually possible to get into the forest. Somewhat. The drifts are just about too deep for me to just slog through on my own, and it's too soft to just walk on. Letty has no issue since she can just walk on top of it, but short of blasting it away I can't get through it.

Of course, I'm not one for just giving up. I pull out a bottled fire and prepare to use it to clear the way much the same way as I did last time, but the snow woman simply grabs my wrist before I can. "If it's too much, you can fly above this." ...Well now I feel stupid.

Initiating flight is a little tougher this time around, but I manage it anyway. After that it's a simple matter of keeping up with Letty as we make our way to the dollmaker's hopefully not snowed in house. It's amazing just how much snow has reached the ground, yet at the same time there are places where the trees are holding up more snow than I ever thought possible. The less snowy places look like they'd be an easier time traversing, but given how easy it would be to be buried in snow I don't even give it a second consideration. ...If Jack Frost really is behind this, I do believe a sound thrashing is in order. "I have to ask, if this is Jack's doing, how common is this?"

"For him to bury a place in snow? ...I don't know. Come to think about it, I don't think we've met all that often, maybe once a decade or so and usually it results in me doing terrible, yet fully deserved things to him." Letty ponders something after saying all that, and it's left me wondering something myself. "Perhaps that's because he's trying to focus his effort into making another snow woman."

!

My teeth clench as I toss the bottled fire into my left hand as I fire up another magic circle around my left wrist. From there I shatter the bottle in my hand and, ignoring the pain as the glass cuts into my skin, aim the whole thing straight ahead since we came in on the path that would lead directly there. Glass melts into slag and drops directly down into the snow, blood cauterizes in an instant, and a brilliant gush of flame erupts from my hand to sear all that stands in my way. It's not often that I fly into a real panic mode, but this is a prime example of what happens when it does. I tend to do even dumber things than before. Still, the snow on the path melts, then boils away, creating a steam cloud that quickly becomes cold and condenses into a thick fog. I use my right hand to drag Letty along before the fire stream fizzles out and so that I don't lose her as I rush to the puppeteer's house.

Certain that I've reached the right path, I clench my hand and grit my teeth as the flow of fire is forcibly contained in a vessel that was never meant to hold such heat, then open up a smaller stream by lifting my index finger to melt enough of the snow to tell where I'm going, then unleash the stream in full force once I'm certain I'm going the right way again. I can tell Letty's trying to get me to stop, but my brain's not listening. All that matters right now is checking to make sure Alice is all right and...

Not having my firepower peter out right in the middle of this. Still, it did more or less open the way to Alice's house, even if it didn't look like it. The pain in my left hand is pretty annoying, not to mention fairly intense, but I momentarily forget about it when the door to Alice's house opens up moments later, revealing a rather surprised puppeteer. Her eyes are wide as she looks at the remnants of my little display, then at me.

"...Ivan?" She seems so shocked that she doesn't even properly greet either of us or invites us in. "You did this?" She steps out off the porch and walks through the snow as if in a complete daze, but that breaks pretty quick when she sees the state of my left hand. "...Yes, you did this alright. Come in, I'm sure you must have a reason for mutilating yourself to unleash something that sounded like a raging firestorm." Suddenly I feel so very stupid again.

Letty doesn't say much of anything as we enter Alice's house, and grows completely silent when we actually get to the living room. "Ivan, that was incredibly stupid. Yet that stupidity would not have been brought about if Alice were a mere acquaintance, would it?" She looks me full in the eye as she asks that question, and it's not one I'm fully prepared to answer.

Alice had left us in the living room while she went to fetch some bandages and burn cream, and arrived in very short order. She sat down on my other side, since Letty was taking up my right side on the couch, and immediately started examining my hand. "...What have you done to yourself?" She then looked directly at my eyes, which caused me to flinch away. Then she sighs. "You're hopeless. Just what had you so worried about me that you were willing to hurt yourself to get to me in such a rush?"

---
>>No. 1702
>>1700
That's fine too.
>>No. 1703
>"Perhaps that's because he's trying to focus his effort into making another snow woman."

Yeah that's a OH SHIT!!! thing right there. As for Letty's question, I'd think it's due to Ivan considering folks like Marisa, Alice, etc. his friends and he doesn't EVER want to see any of them suffer Letty's fate.
>>No. 1704
>>1703
agreed.
>>No. 1705
"It's because I was sure that this blizzard isn't normal, and I recall that I wrecked part of your house two days ago while trying to escape and/or repel Rumia." My left hand was more or less limp at this point since I just did a number on it and then some. The 'skin' is really more along the lines of a thin, solid black shell of charcoal with a few still-hot droplets of glass adhered to it. It's not a pretty sight in the slightest, and even Alice is wincing.

"I see. You were afraid that because of your actions, you had left me open to attack." Alice examines my hand more thoroughly, even poking it a few times to get a response, then set aside her chosen form of first-aid when she sees that my hand isn't responding at all. "Do not take my words the wrong way, I appreciate your coming out here to check if I am in fact still alive, even if the methods used were more than a little crude." She then has Shanghai and Hourai deposit her grimoire in her lap, and uses her free hand to open it. I've only really ever caught a glimpse of Alice using her grimoire before, but I was able to see a very noticable change from just that little peek. For one, her eyes cease changing color according to whatever mechanic they utelize before and lock at a solid bluish-purple. Aside from that one cosmetic change, her very presence changes. Anyone simply standing near her would be able to feel her formidable power simply rolling off her. However, this does not change her personality in the slightest near as I can tell, as she sighs again as she covers the blackened part of my left hand with hers. "Honestly, sometimes I wish you didn't learn magic from Marisa. She's a competent duelist and a strong magic-user, but she makes for a poor teacher if this is the sort of thing you learned from her." Something tells me that it's not quite time to start talking again, mostly because she's turned her gaze on Letty. "I do realize that your question wasn't aimed at me, but I think I am just as qualified to answer it as Ivan is. Yes, we're more than acquaintances, but I am most certainly not his lover. If you're worried about Ivan's availability, do not. He is friends with a few women, but he has not pursued any to have a serious relationship with one."

Letty merely blushes slightly, though whether it's because she's relieved or because she's embarrassed that Alice got it right is beyond my capability of guessing, even more so when I can't even see her face.

"Besides, if we were lovers, the first thing I would have done is teach you proper magic, or take you to someone who can teach you. Mostly because I would have gotten tired of having to heal you every other day because Marisa managed to permanently lodge her brutish methods in your head." Alice mostly works her magic via her dolls, but it would make sense that she knows proper magic as well. Her work on my hand is going quickly as I'm starting to actually feel the underside of the adhered mess, and wince as a result. I swear she's reconstructing my hand that way on purpose as to drill her displeasure over my harming myself into my head. "I suppose you originally came here to apologize for damaging my home, correct?"

"Yes. That is what I originally came here to do and-" I start to talk, but Alice silences me shortly after I confirm her suspicion.

"Then apology accepted. In truth, I would not have asked for one since it was a matter of life and death. I was slightly peeved when I saw that my home was in that state, but in truth I thought Marisa had forgotten I would be out for the day and wanted to pester me in her usual fashion." Once I feel that my hand is more or less intact, she starts to pick off bits of the brittle black shell of flesh and glass that still covers my skin and tosses each piece into a wastebin that her dolls have brought over. "You did what you could to survive. I can hardly blame you for doing what you thought was necessary." Her expression turns into a small smile with an unfocused gaze as she continues. "As for how I repaired my house so quickly, the reason is simple. Marisa has done what you did on such a routine basis, and for such unnecessary reasons, that I keep replacement doors and windows in a well-protected room so I can make quick repairs as needed. And done." She makes one more sweep over my hand to make sure I can feel with it before allowing it to drop to my side. "Since I doubt very seriously that this snowstorm will let up anytime soon, will you stay here, or will you brave the elements in your typical fashion?"

[X]"In truth, I'd prefer to wait this out. If you'd have us both, then I shall stay for a while."
[X]"I'm afraid I must decline the offer, as I'm already behind on my projects. If nothing else I can just fly above the snow clouds since they're relatively low to the ground."
[X]Speaking of which, where is Marisa? If this is Jack's doing then she may very well be in more danger than Alice is.
[X]Write-in
>>No. 1706
[X]"In truth, I'd prefer to wait this out. If you'd have us both, then I shall stay for a while."
dis und dis
[X]Speaking of which, where is Marisa? If this is Jack's doing then she may very well be in more danger than Alice is.
Ja, sehr gut.
>>No. 1707
[X]"In truth, I'd prefer to wait this out. If you'd have us both, then I shall stay for a while."

No way is marisa in any serious danger, even ivan should know just how much power the little witch can unleash.
>>No. 1708
[X]Speaking of which, where is Marisa? If this is Jack's doing then she may very well be in more danger than Alice is.
-[x] "Is there a good way to warn her?"
[x] "As far as where to stay... I'd prefer to wait this out. If you'd have us both, then I shall stay for a while."

I'm kinda worried seeing how Marisa seems particularly susceptible to the cold. Sure in a straight fight, he'd never beat Marisa, but what if he tries something indirect? Hence the idea of warning her somehow.
>>No. 1709
[X]"I'm afraid I must decline the offer, as I'm already behind on my projects. If nothing else I can just fly above the snow clouds since they're relatively low to the ground."

Not enough time working at alchemy.
>>No. 1710
[x]"In truth, I'd prefer to wait this out. If you'd have us both, then I shall stay for a while."
>>No. 1711
[X]Speaking of which, where is Marisa? If this is Jack's doing then she may very well be in more danger than Alice is.
>>No. 1712
[X] "In truth, I'd prefer to wait this out. If you'd have us both, then I shall stay for a while."

Marisa can protect herself. And I'd rather not watch Ivan hurt himself from another panic attack.
>>No. 1713
[X]"In truth, I'd prefer to wait this out. If you'd have us both, then I shall stay for a while."

Nothing wrong with staying and maybe discussing elements of projects that might be undertaken.
>>No. 1714
>>1712
Guess no one's using my write in, since while I think running out is a bad idea, there has to be a way that Alice can warn Marisa over a distance.
>>No. 1715
It's a rather frustrating situation all around. If I go I run the risk of an encounter I can't deal with or potentially preform some act of stupidity that requires that I be rescued. If I don't I potentially forfeit yet another day where I could be working on something to help me survive better, or end this whole Rumia fiasco sooner. ...Plus I want to check in on Marisa to make sure she's okay since the black-white witch has a tendency to rush into things almost as blindly as I do. Sure she's more powerful than myself, but as I said before, all it takes is one mistake to wind up dead or worse.

For once, common sense manages to win out over everything else. "In truth, I'd prefer to wait this out. If you'd have us both, then I shall stay for a while." Let's face it, going out into the forest during a blizzard is about as smart as going out into it naked and soaked in steak sauce, even with a snow woman giving you a way to see.

Alice raises her eyebrows at my statement, then places a hand on my forehead... "You're not feverish..." Then checks my pulse... "It's normal." Then looks me straight in the eyes. "Has Marisa been experimenting on you lately? It's unlike you to act on a normal person's common sense."

"I can assure you that I'm quite fine mentally. It's just that the whole blizzard in the forest scenario is a bit much for me, even with help." ...Now that I think about it, it is a bit odd for me to suddenly start thinking about things the same way a normal person might. With Letty's help I could easily get out of here, even if I were to slog through the snow on foot. Perhaps something felt off enough about the outdoors to make me want to stay inside? I can't think of what that could be...

...

Jack Frost sits on a tree in the middle of the blizzard with nothing short of a completely shocked look on his face. He tries to close his mouth a couple times, but fails miserably. "Just... WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!" His voice was lost within the falling snow, but that didn't stop him. "First that phoenix woman, now this kid? If this keeps up I'm going to be inundated with fire elementals! I've got to get rid of this guy! ...Especially since he's more or less swiping one of my snow women out from under me." He then assumed a thinker pose before a strange muffled shout caught his attention. "What the hell?"

"KARAKASA KIIIIIIIIIIIICK!" A foot with a geta on it smashed into Jack's surprised face, followed by an aqua-haired girl with a eggplant-themed umbrella in her hands. Jack was left on the branch, oddly enough, but that didn't last as the girl clenched her hand into a fist and pulled it toward her, which caused Jack to explode of all things. Finished with her business, the girl used the wind to pick up speed and burst through the clouds into the wild blue sky.

...

"So I was thinking about creating some kind of option to use in battle. Something with its own battery that I can refill or have draw in ambient mana at my leisure instead of being connected to me, since more often than not I won't have time to cast spells." I've taken the time to explain one of my more interesting projects to Alice since she's quite experienced in creating such things, even if they mostly consist of dolls. "In my case, I might refer to them more as orbital cannons, but you get the idea."

"That's certainly something to consider. Having the ability to fire out elemental attacks when you need them instead of being vulnerable for extended periods of time would be quite useful in any battle. The fact that you've already thought out a basic idea for a more disposable version is certainly foresight on your part, but I could help you make something a bit more permanent if you'd like." It's nice to hear that Alice likes the idea and is willing to help with it, especially since this could make it possible for me to live through my next fight without help.

---
>>No. 1716
Great, now we have two hunters after us.

If I had to chose who would catch us, I'd prefer Rumia, as that promises a (quick and painless?) death at the end. Jack Frost may have something nastier in mind...
>>No. 1717
>>1716

>I'd prefer Rumia, as that promises a (quick and painless?) death at the end.

I wouldn't be so sure about the dieing part. Rumia might want to keep her trophy.
>>No. 1718
>>1716
that's assuming Jack survives his own luck.

>"KARAKASA KIIIIIIIIIIIICK!" A foot with a geta on it smashed into Jack's surprised face, followed by an aqua-haired girl with a eggplant-themed umbrella in her hands. Jack was left on the branch, oddly enough, but that didn't last as the girl clenched her hand into a fist and pulled it toward her, which caused Jack to explode of all things. Finished with her business, the girl used the wind to pick up speed and burst through the clouds into the wild blue sky.

Seems those lessons she's been taking from Wriggle (Masked Rider expert) are paying off very nicely, since not only Jack was surprised, so are we.
>>No. 1719
>"KARAKASA KIIIIIIIIIIIICK!" A foot with a geta on it smashed into Jack's surprised face, followed by an aqua-haired girl with a eggplant-themed umbrella in her hands. Jack was left on the branch, oddly enough, but that didn't last as the girl clenched her hand into a fist and pulled it toward her, which caused Jack to explode of all things. Finished with her business, the girl used the wind to pick up speed and burst through the clouds into the wild blue sky.
Aweomse. An umbrella is an acceptable alternative.
>>No. 1720
"Actually, the disposable one is more or less a prototype, the scematic I really want to use is..." I almost finish that sentence when I recalled something incredibly important. Said recollection more or less struck me dumb, not only because of the sheer weight of the situation, but also because I managed to forget it in the first place.

"Ivan?" Alice leaned in a little to try to get my attention, and she looks a little concerned to say the least.

"I forgot it." It, being my book. My one of a kind, unique item that holds years of non-stop alchemical work, theory, failure and success, and I forgot... No, lost it back at the Moyria Shrine. "Sorry, I have to go back to Moryia Shrine, I left something there that I shouldn't have."

"I didn't know if anyone was thirsty or not, so I made some tea." Letty doesn't seem bothered by the fact that I'm about ready to drag her out the door with me to get my book back, and when she sets the tea down and I try to grab her, she merely drags me back to the couch. "So, you finally noticed that you had forgotten it?" There's nothing more than thinly veiled amusement in both her voice and facial expression as she pulls what I seek out of a pocket I never would have guessed was there. "I can understand why you were a little less than attentative yesterday, especially with the circumstances. I made sure to hang on to it for you so you wouldn't have to go clear across Gensokyo just to get it back." ...And I feel my face heat up in shame as I accept the book back from her. Letty just laughs quietly as I flip through the pages.

"Back on the original subject, the disposable satellites were little more than a prototype. The setup I really want to use is this one." I reach the proper page and point to the updated schematic before continuing. "You're familiar with that siphon bottle I have on my house aren't you? It's a similar idea. A bottle is used as a battery to store various types of power depending on the configuration of the symbols, then to release their charge in a controlled fashion. I haven't worked out all the obvious issues yet, such as how to get them to maintain flight, to not absorb energy from living beings, or to make the glass used tough enough to withstand the necessary amount of punishment, but it's getting there." The schematic itself isn't even fully written out yet. There's a design, an incomplete material list, and a compilation of symbols to be applied to specific parts to enable the widest range of elements possible.

"It isn't bad for a start, but I will suggest one thing. Perhaps instead of glass, you could use a gemstone for a core?" Alice seems to agree with what I have in mind for the most part, though it looks like she may very well have a few ideas she wants to throw my way.

"I considered it, but the size and clarity required would put me out of business or place a debt on me so large I could never work it off in my lifetime." Thanks to research and a massive faith base, gemstones tend to have a somewhat easier time storing and releasing magical and elemental energy, are far more durable than any glass I could forge myself, and would be almost ideal. If I had a steady supply of high-quality gemstones, I'd use those for the objects that aren't supposed to break.

"Then why not go get 'em yourself?" To my surprise, and relief, Marisa appears from upstairs while munching on something. "There are probably a bunch underground, and nobody's gonna complain if ya just take 'em."

"In case you haven't noticed Marisa, Ivan is not an accomplished duelist and he would kill himself trying to accomplish what you're suggesting. The youkai down there are significantly tougher and-" Alice starts to chew the witch out for even suggesting it, but Marisa holds up a hand and shakes her head. Judging from her ever familiar smirk, she's up to something.

"That's why I plan to take him there myself. I've seen enough to know where to go, and it's not like I can't ask someone down there for directions." Now that she says it like that, it actually sounds feasable... "I could also get Nitori to help you out with the schematics since Alice'll rip me a new one if I even suggest I help you myself, or you could just do your own thing. Just don't try going down there alone, okay?"

...
Warning: Should you choose to go underground, Letty cannot accompany you. Most of the cave systems are fairly cool, but it's too hot for her around the aincent city and Chireidan for obvious reasons.
[X]Accept Marisa's offer to go underground.
[X]See about getting Nitori out here. A little technical know how would go a long way.
-[X]In fact, my house is almost fully equpped for that sort of thing.
[X]Decline, and stay.
[X]Decline, and head home.
[X] Write-in
>>No. 1721
[X]Accept Marisa's offer to go underground.
[X]See about getting Nitori out here. A little technical know how would go a long way.
-[X]In fact, my house is almost fully equpped for that sort of thing.
[x] In the meanwhile, Ask Letty to look over your house, letting her read from that book if Ivan isn't taking it with him.
>>No. 1723
[X]Accept Marisa's offer to go underground.

>Warning: Should you choose to go underground, Letty cannot accompany you.

Could we take a certain ice fairy with us? It might keep Letty cool enough.

Don't want to get Nitori's help because Ivan wants to figure this out himself.
>>No. 1724
[x]Decline, and head home.
Status Home: looted
>>No. 1725
[X]Accept Marisa's offer to go underground.
>>No. 1726
>>1723
sure Ivan's insistent on doing things his way, but more often than that, that has him trying to fit a square peg in round hole. And it's not like Nitori's going to do all teh work, but more consulting on the matter. After all it'd help with his designs NOT BLOWING UP.

And it'd be a step at convincing everyone that he has less common sense than SA Sanae and being known for flooding his parents' house.
>>No. 1728
[X]Accept Marisa's offer to go underground.
[X]See about getting Nitori out here. A little technical know how would go a long way.
-[x] In the meanwhile, Ask Letty to look over your house, letting her read from that book if Ivan isn't taking it with him.

One thing at a time, the gemstones seem the best choice for Ivan's project, plus this would allow Letty to continue reading the book while awaiting Ivan's return.
>>No. 1729
[X]Accept Marisa's offer to go underground.
[X]See about getting Nitori out here. A little technical know how would go a long way.
-[x] In the meanwhile, Ask Letty to look over your house, letting her read from that book if Ivan isn't taking it with him.
>>No. 1730
>>1728
So you'd rather have Nitori do her work away from Ivan's home? (I think that's what the "My house is equipped for it" subvote means)
>>No. 1731
Ivan, you're letting your letters build up again...
>>No. 1732
>>1731
I think Ivan's busy as hinted in >>1694

For obvious reasons, I don't feel like interrupting him.
>>No. 1733
[X]Accept Marisa's offer to go underground.
[X]See about getting Nitori out here. A little technical know how would go a long way.
-[X]In fact, my house is almost fully equpped for that sort of thing.
[x] In the meanwhile, Ask Letty to look over your house, letting her read from that book if Ivan isn't taking it with him.
>>No. 1734
[X]Accept Marisa's offer to go underground.
[X]See about getting Nitori out here. A little technical know how would go a long way.
-[X]In fact, my house is almost fully equpped for that sort of thing.
[x] In the meanwhile, Ask Letty to look over your house, letting her read from that book if Ivan isn't taking it with him.
>>No. 1735
[X]Accept Marisa's offer to go underground.
[X]See about getting Nitori out here. A little technical know how would go a long way.
-[X]In fact, my house is almost fully equpped for that sort of thing.
[x] In the meanwhile, Ask Letty to look over your house, letting her read from that book if Ivan isn't taking it with him.
>>No. 1736
There are a few things running through my mind right at the moment. First of all, I'd love to take Marisa up on her offer to go underground so we can collect the high-quality gemstones I need to create those 'options' and it's also an opportunity to see a place I would not normally set foot in. Second is the fact that I would ultimately have to leave Letty behind when I do go since I felt the heat coming from that shaft to the underground. Letty would be reduced to a helpless, tantalizing mess in a matter of minutes. ...Not to mention that she has her own life to lead and that I'm surely intruding on it.

A less pressing matter is getting Nitori out to my house so she can help me iron out any kinks as well as offer input or perhaps even help should she so choose. Hakurei knows I need all the help I can get in the mechanical department. I could come up with working, albeit buggy, alchemical formulas in a matter of hours, but mechanical aspects? I know simple ones at most, and quite frankly, why do I need to know much else about that concept? ...Of course, once I do get the excitable kappa in my house, I should have someone else with me to help keep an eye on her. For some odd reason she strikes me as curious as well.

"Marisa, I think I'll take you up on your offer to go underground." Despite my saying that, I don't get up. I have a few things to sort out first before I go anywhere, and almost everyone in the room understands that.

"So? Let's go then!" Marisa looks about ready to drag me out of the house, onto her broom, and off to wherever she plans on dragging me off to in order to get underground. Which does bring up an interesting point: Aside from that one entrance at Moryia, how would someone get underground?

"Marisa, has it ever occurred to you that Ivan may wish to plan things out in advance? A well coordinated effort will yield results sooner than one born of impulse." Alice more or less keeps Marisa from snatching me away before I can do what I need to do, and for that I'm thankful.

"...That completely contradicts how Ivan usually does things. You know that, right?" And Marisa crushes that argument in one sentence. The sad part is that it's true enough that I can't deny it, most of what I made came from moments of spontaneity. However, Alice's gaze makes her back down quickly enough. "Okay, okay!"

Now that that's settled, I turn to Letty since she's the first and foremost on my mind right at the moment. "Letty, I felt some of the heat coming from the underground and I can't very well ask you to come with me knowing that you'll melt if exposed to excessive heat for too long." I hope that she'll understand where I'm coming from with this instead of taking this the wrong way like some kind of romantic comedy cliche.

"When you put it like that, it makes sense. ...I was actually waiting for an opportunity to go visit Cirno so she doesn't feel as though I've abandoned her. It takes so little for me to make her feel as though she's suddenly stopped being worthy of my notice, even when such things could not be further from the truth." And just as I suspected, Letty does indeed have plans for the day. Plans that don't involve me. That's not a bad thing mind you, as I can hardly expect her to spend every second of her life with me when she already has those who love her.

---
>>No. 1737
>"KARAKASA KIIIIIIIIIIIICK!" A foot with a geta on it smashed into Jack's surprised face, followed by an aqua-haired girl with a eggplant-themed umbrella in her hands. Jack was left on the branch, oddly enough, but that didn't last as the girl clenched her hand into a fist and pulled it toward her, which caused Jack to explode of all things. Finished with her business, the girl used the wind to pick up speed and burst through the clouds into the wild blue sky.

A bit late for this, but... AWESOME!

I'm wondering how she blew Frost up, though. It very nearly seemed like she pulled a Flandre with the fist thing.
>>No. 1738
>>1737

It was a surprise, that's how.

And if that doesn't help, just look at the 'forbidden template' for your answer.

Personally, I'm going with 'A Wizard Did It'
>>No. 1739
>>1737

It actually has to do with my interpretation of Kogasa's special ability. It's 'The power to surprise people', but I tend to view it as enabling her to do almost anything so long as she surprises someone.

Also, I swear the world has it out for me when I try to update lately. You know I've had to scrap partial bits of this update four different times now?

---

"I see..." I find myself needing to choose my next words carefully so I don't give Letty the wrong idea, and the ones I've picked might make me sound a bit off. "Family is an important thing, and I can't ask you to ruin yours for my sake."

"All right, I'll take my leave then. I'll see you later Ivan." I don't quite know if I've managed to do this right since Letty isn't letting me see her face as she walks over to the door. It quickly becomes a moot point as Letty turns to look at me, giving me a warm smile that reaches her eyes before she dissapears into the snow.

"Okay, now you're gonna have to tell me the story behind that. I was sure you made yourself a eunuch one of those times you ended up in Eientei. I mean, why else would ya pass up Kiene?" And Marisa chooses to make herself known just after Letty leaves, which starts to fill me with dread since that's probably going to wind up being the discussion topic once we're alone underground.

"Marisa, Ivan's clearly not comfortable with the subject right now, so don't try to force anything out of him." Alice's words are punctuated with a glare that seems to say 'drop it or else'. While I am glad that Alice is looking out for me, her glare is making me more uncomfortable than the forest witch.

"Sheesh, I'm just curious! Ivan's been surrounded by cute single women all his life and he chooses a youkai none of us really trust, apparently without any of us knowing!" It's kind of odd hearing that coming from Marisa. If anything I thought she'd be a little jealous her pupil is getting yanked out from under her. ...Then again, this is Marisa we're talking about here.

"Still, I don't want you pushing the issue. For someone such as Ivan, I doubt he really knows what drew him to Letty to begin with." Alice, don't write me off as completely clueless!

"Impulse? Temporary insanity?" ...Now they're just picking on me. "Aw, don't give me that look! I'm not trying to be the bad guy here."

"Look, can we just get on with this? You did promise to take me underground, not sit here and take wild guesses as to why I suddenly developed an interest in women." I can tell this little trip will be fun. Fun like pulling teeth.

"Alright, alright, let's go." Marisa leads me out of the house, then the both of us mount her broom with me being behind her. "Hold on tight, I don't want to have to pull some risky stunt to catch you if you fall off." Her tone's gone from teasing to serious now that we're out of Alice's house, but it's beyond my capacity to even guess why that is. Regardless, grab her tightly around the waist as her broom rises into the air and brace myself when she rockets off into the blue.

"So how are we getting to the underground? Surely not through Moriya Shrine?" I doubt very seriously that we could both fit down that tiny hole, and I don't think for a second that Marisa's about to go freefall down a shaft that probably leads directly to this Chireiden.

"Nah, there's another entrance near the Hakurei Shrine. It's gonna be a longer trip, but I can go faster down it and actually fight back if anyone tries something funny." Marisa's comment isn't lost on me, but something odd finally occurs to me: The snowfall over the forest has been reduced to a light snowfall instead of the bleak blizzard it was before Letty and I went to Alice's house. "Hey Ivan, there's been something I've been meaning to ask... Are you really okay lately? From what I heard you were nearly killed by Rumia twice now." So that's the reason her cheery mood's been replaced with concern.

---
>>No. 1740
>It actually has to do with my interpretation of Kogasa's special ability. It's 'The power to surprise people', but I tend to view it as enabling her to do almost anything so long as she surprises someone.

While I have seen that theory before, it kind of works counter to existing facts. She's rather known for NOT being able to surprise/scare people, despite that being her power, and if she were able to gain strength/power just for the purpose of surprising, why doesn't she just gain the power to beat Marisa, Reimu, or Yukari rather than get beaten up in those kind of circumstances?

Yes, you said "almost anything" but that's rather indistinct on what that "almost" does or does not include.
>>No. 1741
>>1740

More surprising when she does beat them.
>>No. 1742
>>1740

Truthfully, I don't find myself able to answer this question. In UFO, Kogasa tries to surprise the heroines by being even tougher than before but I imagine that this is either due to the fact that there's an overall limit as to how powerful she can be or she was holding back up until EX stage.

---

"Truthfully? No. I can't imagine her leaving me alone at all until she's finally done away with or she kills me, and while I look okay now I doubt that will be the case in a few days time." I can't really afford to lie about this when it's my life on the line. Especially when Rumia's already more or less wiped the floor with me on two separate occasions, one through sheer force and the other by making my fight at a severe disadvantage.

She doesn't really say much of anything in response, which may very well be because she expected me to say that I'm fine and work her way from there. "It's good you're not trying to do this all on your own." Marisa's struggling to find words? This is a new one. "It's also nice to know you've got some common sense in your head. I thought you'd try to deal with this all on your own instead of getting help."

"I can't be that stupid all the time, and quite frankly I happen to like living." Primarily because living means I get to have these little jaunts into new territory with those I consider my friends. "So, how far do we need to go?"

"It's pretty far from here. We've got to go past a few areas that'll have folks that may want to fight us, though if we're lucky we'll get by them without ever getting noticed." Marisa tilts the nose of her broom down towards the entrance of the underground path and shoots toward it. It's strange, but there's already a noticeable difference between the temperatures outside and inside the cave. It can't be more than a couple degrees, but it's there.

"This coming from someone who'd rather Spark than knock." Rolling my eyes is something of a conditioned reflex by this point.

"Hey! I can be sneaky too sometimes!" Marisa casts me an annoyed sideways glance for a moment before going back to watching where she's going. "Heh, no falling rocks, no hordes of fairies... Going at this speed is a waste of time. Make sure you've got a good grip Ivan, we're going full speed ahead! Comet [Blazing Star]!"

Wait a tic, isn't that the one where she-

I clamp down on Marisa as tightly as possible as she barrels through everything in her path, be it natural cave formations, fairies, a small bucket, or a rather annoyed bridge troll. ...I'm even more surprised to see these things in her wake, which can't possibly bode well for our treasure hunting quest since annoyed people tend to challenge offenders to duels. Conversation is a lost cause as the spell is almost deafeningly loud for its duration, so I can't even point out the various small problems with her using such a powerful spell in this kind of environment. Even trying to pick out the landscape is a lost cause as there's little to see other than a brilliant blue sheath of magic energy along with rainbow colored stars trailing out behind us, but that all comes to a close in very short order when Marisa tilts her broom upward to brake.

This causes us to stop, but everything in our wake keeps on going and hits the palace in front of us. ...I cringed when I saw a few things hit the huge pane of stained glass almost directly in front of us. I then look down and note that a rather bored looking pink haired girl is looking up at us while carefully sidestepping the debris falling off the walls. The last of which, the bucket and the blond girl Marisa picked up in her wake earlier falling neatly beside her with a respective wooden clunk and a dull thud. She then pinches the bridge of her nose with her thumb and index finger, and I imagine that she's sighing as well.

"Heya Satori!" Marisa, being her usual self once again, appears to be all but oblivious to the mess she's made and the headaches she's caused.

"I'd ask 'Why?' but I already know the answer." Her eyes are on Marisa, but that odd third eye is on me. It feels slightly unnerving since I have no idea what it is or what it's used for. "It's a manifestation of my ability to read minds, nothing more." Oh dear. "Indeed."

"Ey, don't go making him uncomfortable by responding to what he's thinking instead of what he's saying!" Marisa's quick to jump on that for whatever reason...

---
>>No. 1743
>>1740
>>1742
Kogasa's far more adept at surprising US (The players) than the heroines.

Let's see her appearence in the CD, her difficulty for a stage 2 boss, her appearance in the Extra stage.

And what a typical Marisa approach... poor Parsee and Kisume...
>>No. 1744
Yeah, that's Marisa alright. Poor bucket loli...
>>No. 1745
"And in turn you should act with more care around others." Satori first set the bucket upright before helping the blond girl to her feet. "But I already know that trying to convince you to do so is a futile effort, so I'll ask the next obvious questions. Why are you here, and who is that with you?"

"Us? We're here to go gem mining. As for this guy, he's Ivan." Now Marisa's avoiding the annoyed glare of the blond woman next to Satori, which is typical of her, and making me wonder whether she even knows were to go.

"How do you expect to remove them from the earth, exactly? You have brought none of the appropriate equipment to mine gemstones, and I'd prefer it if you did not use your magic to collapse the tunnel in question." And Satori brings up a very good point. Marisa's magic isn't subtle enough to do the job and I would be worn out within an hour or so, even if I paced myself. "You should return with the proper equpiment before even attempting it."

I can tell her third eye hasn't stopped staring at me, though I don't understand what she could possibly hope to gain from doing so. "If it's not too much to ask, do you have such tools here?" It's slightly unsettling, yet it's not so bad so long as I keep an eye on what I think.

"I do possess such tools." And Satori has focused her attention entirely on me for the first time. ...I have to admit, she'd be adorable if she'd smile. "However, I will not loan them to Marisa or you."

"Why not?!" The forest witch asks what is perhaps the dumbest question I've ever heard come out of her mouth.

"I will not loan my tools to you Marisa, for you would not return them. I will not loan my tools to you Ivan, for Marisa would surely find a way to relieve you of them." The sad part is, Satori once again has a point. "However, I will allow you to come and mine from the tunnel we've recently excavated if you accept two conditions."

"Those conditions being?" This could hurt Marisa's feelings, but I really do need material to work with.

"One, Marisa does not accompany you. The second is a bit more optional. I wish to hear about the circumstances that brought you down here to begin with. Forgive my rudeness, but I caught bits and pieces already and I wish to know more." So that's why she kept that eye trained on me. She seems to know Marisa well enough already, but my story has become fairly interesting as of late.

"Well... Ivan, it's your call. Satori can do a good job at keeping you safe, even if she is a little weird." ...Even I can tell Marisa isn't necessarily thrilled with the idea of not being allowed to mine precious gemstones, or perhaps there's another reason, such as not wanting to leave my side for as long as it would take me to get what I need. God knows Alice would rip her a new one if this were any other situation...

[X]Accept Satori's offer and both conditions.
[X]Accept Satori's offer, but only accept her first condition.
[X]Find some place that either sells or makes mining equpiment.
[X]This is a sneaking mission.
[X]Write-in
>>No. 1746
[X]Accept Satori's offer and both conditions.

Help is always nice.
>>No. 1747
[X]Accept Satori's offer and both conditions.

Sorry, Marisa. We have alchemy to do.
>>No. 1748
[X]Accept Satori's offer and both conditions.

Making new friends never hurt~!
>>No. 1749
[X]Accept Satori's offer and both conditions.
>>No. 1750
[X]Accept Satori's offer and both conditions.
>>No. 1751
[X]Accept Satori's offer and both conditions.
[X]Apologize to Marisa, but you really do need to get this done.
>>No. 1752
[X]Accept Satori's offer and both conditions.
[X]Apologize to Marisa, but you really do need to get this done.
-[X]Hope like hell that Rumia isn't nearby
>>No. 1753
[X]Accept Satori's offer and both conditions.
-[x]Apologize to Marisa, but you really do need to get this done.
>>No. 1754
[X]Accept Satori's offer and both conditions but add two of your own.
1-[X] Let marisa stay here and play with someOne (I.E: Orin, Okuu, Oni)
2-[x] Smile (don't say it out loud)
Don't make Marisa go all the way back.
>>No. 1755
>>1754
I don't think Satori will make Marisa go all the way back. She'd insist on Marisa going somewhere where she won't cause as much trouble.
>>No. 1756
"Sorry Marisa, but I want to get the materials put together as soon as possible. I'll try to make it up to you later." I don't really want to leave Marisa behind like this because I didn't want to hurt her feelings, and she'd probably do something rash. On the other hand, I want to get this done and over with as soon as possible since my life may very well depend on it.

Marisa merely sighs after hearing what I have to say, yet puts on a smile afterward. "Fine, fine. I'll just look around here for a bit, maybe see about getting some tools to work with." She then mounts her broom, then looks to me with a smile that changes the meaning of what she says next. "I'll be back soon." ...That was really, 'I'm coming with you whether you want me to or not'.

"Then come, I will show you inside." Satori turns toward the open, massive doors and walks inside with me not far behind. I couldn't help but notice that the bucket seems to have dissapeared and the blond woman is walking off somewhere while shooting me envious glares. ...Creepy. "I do realize that Parsee is unnerving, but try not to think badly of her. She has been consumed by her own envy in the process of keeping it bottled up within herself so that we are not affected by it."

"I see." I file that little snippet of information in my mind for later while admiring the extravagant palace I've walked into. When I heard the name Chireiden, this most certainly did not come to mind. "This palace is most impressive. I'd have to assume that the stained glass is really made out of gemstones?"

"Yes. Thanks to this underground's status as the Hell of Blazing Fires we're close to some breathtaking gemstone veins. I apologize for not being entirely truthful before, but such things were not a recent discovery. We have known about these ever since I was appointed the overseer of Chireiden by Yamaxanadu." Satori surprises me with two things. One, this is in fact a former Hell, and two, she's being fairly talkative as well as smiling. My previous assessment is correct: She is cute when she smiles. ...And I completely forgot that she can read minds, which I was only reminded of because she gave me a surprised look before continuing up the stairs. "Yes, this is a former Hell. Emphasis on former, as we have long since been shut down in order for Higan to conserve money. It is annoying to say the least, but somewhat funny that those who judge the souls of the dead would have financial issues." And she's forcing herself not to comment on the fact that I think her cute. "Is it that obvious?" You don't need to be a mind-reader to see a blush. "Sorry, that may be my sister's doing. She tries to help me find a lover every now and again, usually with the rare male who comes down here so the odds are good she'll do something while you're here."

"Not to sound rude, but that speaks volumes." Keeping pace with the pink-haired girl is not difficult, though trying to focus on any one sight is. There's literally too much to look at despite there being so little, mostly because it just looks so different and that despite the lack of humanoid youkai it's still got a very 'alive' feel to it.

---
>>No. 1757
"If I would have been offended by the response, I would not have said such a thing to begin with. 'That speaks volumes of your loneliness and your sister', that is what you were thinking, is it not?" I momentarily freeze when Satori says that, once again cursing my inability to keep my thoughts sufficiently suppressed. "It would be better if you didn't try. I mean no offense, but you're quite bad at hiding what's in your heart."

"I've never met anyone who could see what was in it, so what was the point of learning?" Another right turn after the left we took at the top of the stairs brings us to a rather impressive walkway that is suspended over what appears to be a gathering hall for guests.

"There's little point in trying to justify your reason, as there is no need. However, that's not really what I wanted to hear from you. 'Ah, my story' you say? Yes, that is what I wish to hear. But say it in words instead of thought. It is much more satisfying to hear it with my ears." ...Satori is a rather odd individual, and I shudder to think about the situation that would have caused her to be like this. "That is not something I wish to speak of right now."

"Alright... You see, I fought off a man eating youkai in the Forest of Magic roughly six months ago, at which point I became the target of a rather twisted attraction. Nothing really came of it until two or three days ago when I accidentally unsealed said youkai, at which point I've been trying my hardest to stay alive each and every time she's jumped me, but it's getting tougher and tougher since while she's had a sudden and massive jump in power, I've remained the same. The only reason I'm even alive by this point is because my friends have saved me each time I'm attacked." That's the story in a nutshell, and I don't really want to get too far into detail since it'd take far too long and I'm not entirely sure I want to revisit those memories just yet. "So that's why I'm gathering materials, to create tools to help deal with this as it comes until those with the power required to defeat her do so."

Satori simply smiles as she opens another door, this time into a staircase. "You must trust in Reimu completely if you're simply stalling for time." She then gives me a look before turning her attention back to the stairs before she trips or some such silly thing. "Or is it that you don't believe that it is within your power to end this on your own?"

"Rumia is not someone to be trifled with, not with that sealing ribbon off. A normal human like me, untrained in the magical or sealing arts would be no match in a straight up battle."

"But your heart says that you never were a match for her to begin with, and that you used your smarts and deception to win."

"That's true..."

"Power is not the only way to win a fight. I know that fact better than most."

---
>>No. 1758
Ivan found a like minded person, since if anyone knows how to fight smart, it's Satori.
>>No. 1759
The trip down the stairs is mostly uneventful as conversation on my end more or less dried up. I explained my situation to Satori as she had asked, which was all I had thought about talking about. The underground is interesting, yet I would much prefer to see it than hear about it. As for the other possible residents? I get the feeling I'll meet them all soon enough. "That much is true. It's not often that new people show up at Chireiden since this place is difficult to get to. You know of the second entrance at Moriya Shrine, but nobody really uses that one since so few people know about it."

"I mean no offense but I can see why people don't visit more often. This is a former Hell, and no one with common sense would come down here if they had a choice." The staircase finally ends with another door that leads into another hallway, but it's still proper stone construction instead of the roughly dug tunnel I was expecting. "And correct me if I'm wrong, but you seem to have remarkably good common sense."

"...Let me ask you something. Do you know why my kind are so reviled on the surface?" There's no mistaking the slight bitter tone in her voice. I know she said she didn't want to talk about it, but I have to think that she may very well have wanted to. Why else would she contradict herself?

"Because you can see into other hearts with your third eye."

"Indeed. Humans, youkai, they wish to keep what is in their hearts hidden from others for various reasons. Perhaps it is embarrassing, perhaps it is a testament to a committed sin, or perhaps they just wish for their mind to be the one safe refuge they have. Regardless of the reason, they grow to despise invaders, even if it is accidental and said invader can't stop her own power without sealing her own heart." She's not facing me, and her third eye has been forcibly redirected elsewhere. ...Perhaps she mistakingly believes that what she's saying will change my opinion of her. "And that hate spread and grew. It's true that some humans do not mind, but before I left I felt such oppressive hatred from all sides that I simply couldn't take it anymore. Yet despite that, I've come to accept that I am not welcome on the surface."

"That's not entirely true. I think there are places on the surface where you would be welcome." The next thing I do is pace myself to where I'm just ahead of her and she can't avoid seeing what's in my heart without closing her eye, and I get the feeling she won't do that.

Given that I'm not looking her in the eye I can't tell what her expression is, so I'll have to go by voice. "I figured you were the type to reserve judgment for the individual instead of the species, but..." I think she's smiling again by this point. "Your offer is very sweet of you, but I haven't even known you all that long and I'm sure your girlfriend would get jealous."

"Wait a sec, what were you hearing? All I said was that I like you and want to take you... home." Alright, time to call a certain, yet unintroduced someone out. "Satori, you mentioned your sister trying to hook you up with the odd human male who comes here, and that she'd try something."

"Eh?" Unfortunately I don't think Satori quite heard me as her face is all red. If it were possible she'd have steam pouring out of her ears, and... Gah, I can't really be thinking that about her?! "That's a bit sudden, but I accept."

"Nnnnnnnyeooooooow! Gotcha Ivan!" Suddenly I find myself being whisked away from Satori, and whatever mind mucking that was going on there by an even more enthusiastic than usual Marisa. "We're gonna have to make this quick, I've got a really annoyed pro-wrestler bear after me!"

"A what?" No, seriously. A wrestling bear? What's next, a tentacle flower? A giant gay trout?

"You heard me! Anyway, I figured that I should follow you anyway regardless of what Satori said. Her sister, Koishi? She's a good girl but she's a bit cracked in the head because she sealed up her heart." Marisa manages to pull me aboard her broom mid-flight while executing a drifting turn. ...No amount of explenation will ever convince me that this was a safe maneuver. "If you were starting to think weird things, it's probably because she's messing with you."

"FirstvictimoftheKoishiglompsayswhat?"

[X]"What?"
[X]Oh no, I'm not falling for that stupid gag.
[X]Write-in
>>No. 1760
[x]Oh no, I'm not falling for that stupid gag.
>>No. 1761
[X] Oh no, I'm not falling for that stupid gag.

>A wrestling bear?
"In Russia, bears smaller, more hair, always willing to wrestle."
>>No. 1762
[x]Oh no, I'm not falling for that stupid gag.
>>No. 1763
[X]"What?"

I want to fall for it.
>>No. 1764
[x]Oh no, I'm not falling for that stupid gag.
>>No. 1766
[X] "Glomp? That sounds dangerous."
>>No. 1767
[x]Qu'est-ce?
>>No. 1768
[X] Oh no, I'm not falling for that stupid gag.
>>No. 1769
>"That's a bit sudden, but I accept."
What did he said? I wonder...

[X] "Glomp? That sounds dangerous."
>>No. 1770
[X]"What?"
[X]Be ready to capture the glomper.
>>No. 1771
[X]Oh no, I'm not falling for that stupid gag.
>>No. 1772
[X]Oh no, I'm not falling for that stupid gag.

> A giant gay trout?

Careful, it can kill Yukari. It's also the god of retards apparently. You should call for Rare Akuma when that happens.
>>No. 1773
>>1772
we should have voted for Rare akuma in AoS... since who better to fight a cheapie than with a very high ranking cheapie?
>>No. 1774
>>1773

Cheap can't beat God-Mode cheap.
>>No. 1775
>>1761

"That's an interesting question: What nationality are you Mr. Bear?" This next question is more or less adressed to the bear drinking a cup of tea on a sofa not too far from the table I usually work at.

"The letter implies I am Russian, yes? The simple answer is that I no longer remember, nor do I care to find out. Such things are trivial in my quest to become the greatest wrestling bear of all time." Perhaps unsurprisingly Mr. Bear responds with a decleration of indifference towards his nationality. I don't think I can blame him though. "In addition, thank you for allowing me in your house. People tend to not be so keen on letting a bear in the house since they believe that I would kill them and steal all their food. Also they fear that I am not housetrained."

"Not a problem. You're one of Satori's pets and I know she's taught all her pets to be well-behaved and to use the toilet or take it outside and bury it." That, and a talking, wrestling bear! How often do you see one of those, even in Chireiden?

"Aye, she has us all well-trained. However, that's all the time I wish to take up, so I bid you farewell." With that Mr. Bear, which is in fact his real last name, finishes up the cup of tea, then gets up and walks out of my house, leaving it one guest short of what it usually is. ...Which is fine by me, since the usual group can vary between so thoroughly distracting to the point where I can't get anything done, like Letty, whose recent visits have shown that she's ready to delve into a more intimite relationship, or they're constantly trying to do strange things to me, like Aya and her strange 'punishments' for when I take too long to do this.

>>1769

"That?" The letter causes me to raise my eyebrows in response to the simple question printed on it. "That's not really something I want to go into since that was the result of Koishi messing with what my heart was saying, and one of her favorite sayings is 'if it doesn't work, add accelerant.'"

>>1772

"That would re-" I start on my response only for one rather unpleasant thing to happen.

Namely, a giant trout that comes crashing down through the roof, narrowly missing me by less than a foot. "I'M GAAAAAAAAAAAAAY! ROOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAR!" And I have to cover my ears to avoid having my eardrums burst from just how loud this stupid thing is. It also doesn't help that I see a peculiar sponge rushing at me while shouting 'I'm Ready!', though I don't see any particular threat until it screams out like it's constipated and punches me clean through a wall.

"Now who said you could play with my toy, you stupid fish?" And one of the last people I expected to come save me just did. Rumia's directly underneath the giant gay trout, using a gigantic puddle of darkness to hide herself when it comes crashing down to try and crush her. This proves to be a fatal mistake for it as a gigantic maw made of darkness rises up out of the black to bite into the fiend and drag it down. Various other large teeth bite into various other parts of the fish to ensure that it can't get away, and the last I see of it is a fin before it sinks entirely into the puddle.

This still leaves me with two very serious problems: One, I no longer have a roof, and two, people don't tend to fare too well when they get smashed through a wall. Thankfully it seems that Rumia wasn't the only one playing creepy stalker. "Ivan!" Aya spots me, then punches out the wall around me so that she can take me to Eientei.

---
>>No. 1776
Well, say goodbye to Rumia. Primeus has an insta-kill counter-grab, and Rumia just grabbed Primeus.

Will she be missed?
>>No. 1777
>>1776
I doubt that will happen in Gensokyo, that and EX Rumia is nothing to sneeze at.
>>No. 1778
Thanks Rumia. I don't want to read anything that has to do with something whose name starts with 'A giant gay'
>>No. 1779
File 127896225325.jpg - (29.06KB, 400x289, benge.jpg) [iqdb]
1779
>>1777
>>1778

WeIvan ought to be glad Ex-Rumia's skills do not extend as far as "true shadow manipulation" like a certain... Barbarois...

See Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust for reference

Benge: A shroud-encased mutant with a warped sense of humor and a kabuki-like white face and hands. He crafts illusions and ensnares D with a trap of shadows. He can expand and flatten himself into a shadow-like darkness, he can move along inside shadows and can kill a being by attacking their shadows.
>>No. 1780
>>1776

"For starters, that only works on rapist characters. Second, Primeus' instant kill requires that he be alive to even execute it, which he most certainly is not." Since my house has been partially destroyed I'm currently doing this from Aya's desk at her home on Youkai Mountain, and I have to say I'm still uneasy about doing it here of all places. Aya may print the truth in her papers, but I don't know whether she's stopped with her other habits or if she's moved her more lewd photos from her drawers or not. "It's true it exploded, but it never resurfaced so I have to assume Rumia ate trout for lunch."

>>1778

Back at the ruined home...

"You're welcome. I have to admit it was actually pretty good despite the fact that it exploded itself into goop." Rumia sits at the table I would have sat at while going through my drawers.

...

The first thing that happens is that my eyes roll of their own accord when I hear that little phrase. The second is that I completely ignore it since it's a stupid gag and would only bring about untold amounts of trouble if I do answer it with a 'what'. "Marisa, just ignore her and keep going."

"What?" Marisa doesn't spare me a glance as she asks that, and it becomes blatantly obvious that I just committed a grievous error. Had I not said anything she would not have said 'what', and she wouldn't have been tackled off the broom.

If I hadn't said anything, I wouldn't be trying to fly using a tool I know nothing about, nor would I be accelerating down a gem-lined tunnel that would undoubtedly be painful to just jump into. "Why me?" Is all I can say at a time like this...

...

"Eh? You're not the one I wanted to snatch back..." Koishi made me land on my back and just happens to be pinning me down right at the moment so there's not much I can do about my broom running out of control. It oughta be fine though since Ivan must have gotten off, right? "Hi Marisa!"

"Oi, do you mind getting off? I need to get my broom back before it smashes into splinters or something stupid like that." My expression is pretty much neutral for right at the moment, but something feels wrong. Ivan's nowhere to be seen and I'm sure he'd be struggling against or kicking the crap out anything that tried to make off with him... "Koishi, please get off. Now."

"Why?" Koishi's wearing her usual goofy grin, and she's oblivious to why I'd suddenly start trying to struggle against her. "You've been a bad girl, breaking in to take things. Why would I get off so you could escape?" ...Great.

"Because my friend's on my broom, he doesn't know how to control it, it's probably reacting to his panicking by going faster, and if he impacts a wall at top speed we're going to need a spatula to get him back off!" I'm starting to feel some real panic now that I'm sure Ivan's still on my broom. He doesn't know how to make it stop and I can't just recall it because it'd do a vertical 180 and fling him off at whatever speed he's going at right now! On top of that, Koishi won't get off and she's pinning me down with her youkai body strength!

"Really? That won't be much of an issue since Okuu's already down there."

"Koishi, I don't think you understand just how fast he's going."

"Maybe not, but I don't think you're going to lose your male friend to an earth tunnel." And that smile's gone from goofy to downright creepy in no time flat. ...Huh boy.

...

This tunnel might be a beautiful sight if I weren't zipping by at some obscene, breakneck speed. There's not much I can do either since the broom almost refuses to budge when I try to apply force in any one direction, and I don't know what Marisa's stopping mechanism is. I've seen her tilt her broom handle upward to make it stop, but again it's not responding to me at all. It's just picking up speed and since I don't have Marisa's ability to cancel out the wind I'm having to brace myself against the artificial wind as much as possible or else I'm going to find myself rolling on a rather painful surface. ...Or would I? When Marisa went at these speeds earlier she picked things up in her wake and brought them along with her all the way to Chireiden! There's the small issue of making it so I don't go the way of everything she did drag along with her, but a single bottled wind should be more than enough to counteract the speed and trajectory I'd be going at and perhaps turn a lethal landing into one that's only painful, or perhaps I'll get really lucky and walk away from this intact.

First thing's first, carefully pull out a bottled wind with one hand while keeping myself low to the broom with my other limbs, then... Watch it fly out of my hand and detonate behind me, knocking me clean off the broom and sending me into a mid-air tumble that's neither good for my chances or my stomach. To top it off, the abrasive wind burst is getting sucked along with me so I might not get out of this unscathed no matter what I do.

Okay, to top it all off I've reached the end of the tunnel and am now about to be turned into human pate... I hate myself right now.

...

"Uny-OOF!"

--
>>No. 1781
At least Okuu has some cushioning.
>>No. 1782
>>1781
I wonder how ivan will react to a faceful of giant red eyeball...
>>No. 1783
>>1782
Well, it will probably depend on whether he starts off with his eyes closed so that he only feels the 'cushions', or sees it right off the start.

(and... whatever the eye is made out of... don't know if S.L.D.T. is of the 'part of her flesh' group or the 'just a clothing accessory' group)
>>No. 1784
>>1783
I read SLDT as STD. Take of it what you will.
>>No. 1785
>>1784

Quit that. You're not some 12-year old Halotard.

---

First thing I notice when I regain consciousness is the fact that I've been resting my back on someone while sitting on the ground. A rather soft, well endowed someone who just saved my life regardless of whether she realizes it or not. The odds are good that she does since that someone happens to stare me in the eye when I tilt my head up. "Who're you?" A simple question that certainly warrants an answer.

"My name is Ivan. Yours?" My eyes don't stay locked with hers for long as I start to take in the sight of her, and the thing that catches my interest the most right at the moment are her large black wings that hold up a white cape. I can't really get a good look at any other part of her so I let my eyes drift upward to a large, cracked, glowing crystal embedded in the rock. The source of the cracks is a single thin object that's punched through it until it was about halfway in, and judging from the poofy end I'd have to say that Marisa certainly knows how to enchant a broom.

"Utsuho Reiuji, but everyone just calls me Okuu." Upon looking at Utsuho's face again I see that it's lit up with an almost child like innocence. A stark contrast to the fact that my head's almost wedged between her breasts. "...But it's a bit troublesome. Nobody except Satori-sama and those with her permission are supposed to be here, and you came in all by yourself on a broom." Her expression has changed to one of curiosity, and it's obvious I'm not going to win out against her youkai strength so I may as well sit here until someone comes along or she drags me off. "You say your name is Ivan, but that broom is Marisa's." She tilts her head and stares into space for a moment before smiling again. "I get it! You're really Marisa but you used something on yourself that turned you into a man!" What.

"No, I'm not Marisa. If I were I'd be dressed up like a witch." ...I'm hoping that if she's simple enough to reach such a horribly inaccurate statement, it'll be equally simple to convince her otherwise.

"Sorry, I was just joking there. Anyway, I have to take you to Satori-sama now since you came here without her. She specifically stated that all intruders must be brought before her." And she's standing up with me still in her arms, though she switches to a bridal-style carry not too long after that. "Hm, I wonder..."

"Wonder what?" I've lost a good chunk of my dignity just by being seen riding in the wake of an out of control broom and being carried along when there's absolutely no need, but it's just in the presence of one bird youkai that's not Aya so it's really not that big a chunk.

"If it's really safe to do as Satori-sama says right now. Koishi-sama's been rather strange when a man shows up. She usually does her best to make the odd one who fits her criteria stay, and she's bound to be around Satori-sama." Okuu stops in her tracks as she says this and begins to contemplate what she should do. "Ooooh... Satori-sama will be forced to lose dignity if I bring you to her, but I can't disobey her either..." She paces back and forth for a good five minutes before stopping again. "I know! I can't bring someone if they aren't here!"

"What do you mean by that?" Something feels terribly wrong about the current situation, and it's not until I give Utsuho another look do I realize why: There's a large red eye-like jewel situated just beneath her breasts, the inside of her cape now has stars and galaxies in it?! ...Her right arm is now incredibly hard and not very arm-like... She wasn't like this a minute ago!

Shen then lays me on the ground before taking off her cape and laying it over me galaxy-side down, then carrying me back to the end of the tunnel. She then sits her rear on mine. ...Could this girl be any stranger? "This way nobody will see you and I can say I haven't seen you!" Apparently she's also naive. "Now stay nice and quiet."

This is utterly ridiculous. I'm lying face-first on the dirt with a cape that's just big enough to cover me and a bird-girl who's decided that the best way to conceal me is with said cape with the white side up. If this really works as advertised, I'm going to cry.

"Ah, Satori-sama!" Utsuho calls out to the pink haired mind reader and... aw crap.

"Utsuho, why are you sitting on Ivan?"

"Unyu?"

"I can hear his monologueing from here."

"When I said, 'be quiet', I meant thoughts too!" And she prods me in the rear for it. This girl doesn't seem to understand the reasons why you don't go prodding total strangers in inappropriate areas, or why it's a bad idea to just stuff them between ones breasts.

"Okuu, please let him up. He has my permission to be here."

"Okay!" And not only does Utsuho get off me, she puts her cape back on and... Wait, where did all those wierd parts go? Maybe I shouldn't think about it too much.

Once that's done I get up and dust myself off only to find that Satori is right in front of me. "You do not need to worry about what happened earlier as that was Koishi's doing, nor do you need to worry yourself about her possibly interfering with your work since she's currently attempting to punish Marisa for breaking in." She sighs and pinches the bridge of her nose as she continues. "I've expressed great distaste for what she has in mind, yet she still wishes to do it anyway. To prevent that I've told Orin to spirit the witch away out of Chireiden, preferably to the surface. I am of course, willing to send an escort along with you for the trip back to the surface."

"That's..." There's not a whole lot I can say about that right at the moment.

"It is fine, there's no need to say anything. Instead, focus on your task so that you may leave with all haste. While I would enjoy the company, I do not wish for Koishi to forge something artificial between yourself and I."

"Thank you. However, how am I supposed to-?"

"Marisa's broom did not just crack the gem you see here, it broke off several pieces on impact. Surely there are some large enough for the project you have in mind."

She's right. Marisa's broom impacting the gigantic gem did produce some decent sized chunks that are more than large enough for what I need, and there's a fair few of them just waiting for me to pick them up.

[X]Get just what you need and leave it at that since I don't know how long it will take for Koishi to grow bored and come back.
[X]See about getting that bag Marisa seems to keep on her broom and take as many shards as possible. Satori would have said something if she wished to limit how much I can take.
[X]Focus on retrieving the broom for now, it's important to Marisa.

Exit path?
[X]Hakurei path. It's slower and potentially dangerous, but I can't leave Marisa high and dry.
[X]Moriya path. It's quicker and I don't have to run the risk of being mentally broken into a sex slave or some such absurdity.
>>No. 1786
[X]See about getting that bag Marisa seems to keep on her broom and take as many shards as possible. Satori would have said something if she wished to limit how much I can take.

If she does set a limit (especially after reading this reasoning) it will probably still be more than enough for our needs.

[X]Moriya path. It's quicker and I don't have to run the risk of being mentally broken into a sex slave or some such absurdity.

Koishi is scary... We can take the broom with us and return it to Marisa later.
>>No. 1787
[X]Focus on retrieving the broom for now, it's important to Marisa.

Don't be a faggot, she's done a lot for us.

And then,

[X]See about getting that bag Marisa seems to keep on her broom and take as many shards as possible. Satori would have said something if she wished to limit how much I can take.

will be a simple task after the first is completed.

And then,

[X]Hakurei path. It's slower and potentially dangerous, but I can't leave Marisa high and dry.

Because we have her broom at this point among other things.
>>No. 1788
[x] Focus on retrieving the broom for now, it's important to Marisa.
-[x] See about getting that bag Marisa seems to keep on her broom and take as many shards as possible. Satori would have said something if she wished to limit how much I can take.
[x] Hakurei path. It's slower and potentially dangerous, but I can't leave Marisa high and dry.
>>No. 1789
[x] Focus on retrieving the broom for now, it's important to Marisa.
-[x] See about getting that bag Marisa seems to keep on her broom and take as many shards as possible. Satori would have said something if she wished to limit how much I can take.
[x] Hakurei path. It's slower and potentially dangerous, but I can't leave Marisa high and dry.
>>No. 1790
[x] Focus on retrieving the broom for now, it's important to Marisa.
-[x] See about getting that bag Marisa seems to keep on her broom and take as many shards as possible. Satori would have said something if she wished to limit how much I can take.
[x] Hakurei path. It's slower and potentially dangerous, but I can't leave Marisa high and dry.
[x] Ask Satori if she wouldn't mind you visting her sometime.
Repaying a favor... or two. Too bad that Koishi is still lurking... I'm sure that Satori could've appreciated the company for a little longer. Still, she seems like someone who could give good advice... from an alternative point of view, that is.
>>No. 1791
[x] Focus on retrieving the broom for now, it's important to Marisa.
-[x] See about getting that bag Marisa seems to keep on her broom and take as many shards as possible. Satori would have said something if she wished to limit how much I can take.
[x] Hakurei path. It's slower and potentially dangerous, but I can't leave Marisa high and dry.
>>No. 1792
[X] Focus on retrieving the broom for now, it's important to Marisa.
-[X] See about getting that bag Marisa seems to keep on her broom and take as many shards as possible. Satori would have said something if she wished to limit how much I can take.
[X] Hakurei path. It's slower and potentially dangerous, but I can't leave Marisa high and dry.
>>No. 1793
[x] Focus on retrieving the broom for now, it's important to Marisa.
-[x] See about getting that bag Marisa seems to keep on her broom and take as many shards as possible. Satori would have said something if she wished to limit how much I can take.
[x] Moriya path. It's quicker and I don't have to run the risk of being mentally broken into a sex slave or some such absurdity.

I'd rather he took the safe path, he's got enough to worry about without adding Koishi to the list.
>>No. 1794
>>1793
And leave Marisa with her without a broom?
>>No. 1795
[X] Focus on retrieving the broom for now, it's important to Marisa.
-[X] See about getting that bag Marisa seems to keep on her broom and take as many shards as possible. Satori would have said something if she wished to limit how much I can take.
[X] Hakurei path. It's slower and potentially dangerous, but I can't leave Marisa high and dry.
>>No. 1796
File 127911242242.jpg - (387.16KB, 850x637, cbf7bc96d124db8a.jpg) [iqdb]
1796
[X] Focus on retrieving the broom for now, it's important to Marisa.
-[X] See about getting that bag Marisa seems to keep on her broom and take as many shards as possible. Satori would have said something if she wished to limit how much I can take.
[X] Hakurei path. It's slower and potentially dangerous, but I can't leave Marisa high and dry.

No path is truly safe in regards to Rumia's presence...
>>No. 1797
>>1796

Oh look, Rumia's happy to see you. See? She's smiling!
>>No. 1798
I need to sort out my priorities in very short order since I plan to get a select few things done in a certain order. Specifically, getting Marisa's broom out, gather up the shards scattered on the ground, and then go off to try and save Marisa. The last one is probably one of the less sane ideas I've ever had, but I never listen to my common sense all that much anyway so the possibility of having to deal with Koishi doesn't hit as hard as it could and/or should have. First thing's first then, getting the broom out. The broom is wedged into the gem pretty well, but I don't know precisely how well. "I'll do what I came here to do in a minute, I just want to get Marisa's broom back first."

Satori merely nodded as I ascended to the point in the gem that the broom had lodged itself into, and from there I began to pull on it. Given that it's not moving in the slightest I change up my tactic and brace myself by standing sideways on the jewel and yanking. The sort of works since I do manage to yank it out, but I promptly forgot that I'm sideways and fell a short distance before I catch myself and float back down to to the ground. From there I pick up what I need and store it in the bag Marisa typically uses to stash stolen books. ...I need to make sure that I get what I took back out before I lose it in the mess Marisa calls her house.

This is actually a rather boring section, isn't it? I think I'll just skip ahead a bit.

"Thank you for allowing me to take what I needed and then some, this will help me more than you can imagine." I'm standing outside Chireiden right at the moment with Satori in front of me and Utsuho to my left. The latter was asked to escort me to the surface by the former, most likely because she knows full well that I plan to rescue Marisa if at all possible before going back to the surface.

"It is no problem. I should apologize for Koishi's rudeness, if she were less forceful in her methods I would have asked if you would like to stay for a while, but as it stands you are better off leaving for now." Satori doesn't look too thrilled with her sister's antics right at the moment, and who can blame her? Still...

"You are free to come visit me sometime if you wish, and you shouldn't feel the need to apologize for your sister. Her actions are her own."

"...I'm not sure I can agree with the latter, but I may just take you up on your offer. It's been a long time since I've gone above ground and there are a few people that actually interest me. However, you really should go as soon as possible."

"Alright, I'm going. See you later Satori." I turn to leave with Marisa's broom in one hand and the sack of gems slung over my shoulder, which is actually pretty heavy, and set out toward the path that will let me exit close to the Hakurei shrine.

---
>>No. 1799
File 127924385385.jpg - (263.90KB, 1075x1517, くいしん坊万才-25.jpg) [iqdb]
1799
Time for Ivan to learn what lurks in the dark corners of the earth.
>>No. 1800
Utsuho turned out to be a pretty talkative individual who swings between intelligent to hopelessly naive depending on the subject matter and possible alternate meanings to ordinary words. Case in point: She's still carrying me bridal style despite the fact that I'm more than capable of flying by myself and is nigh-oblivious to what this sort of thing really means. Her thought is that she can fly faster than me and the idea is to get me out of the underground as soon as possible as to avoid further contact with Koishi, and it does make some level of sense. It's just embarrassing for various reasons.

"Hey, it's Orin! Hi Orin!" Utsuho's first reaction to seeing her friend is to wave at her as best as possible, which doesn't just alert the fiery catgirl and the forest witch to our position, it also happens to alert the greenish silver-haired girl chasing the both of them. This could go badly depending on what she has in mind and who she's targeting. "Oh, it's Koishi-sama too!"

"You do realize that we're not supposed to have been seen by her, don't you?" I tilt my head while giving Okuu that deadpan remark, but ultimately it's of no consequence since it won't change what's already happened. "Don't worry about it, we'll get through this in one piece." I make a point of reassuring her regardless since I don't need to leave her feeling like she needs to apologize to me for an action with innocent intentions.

"Aw, Okuu, why're you taking him back to the surface? Can't you just drop him off at the mansion for me?" And Koishi obviously still has her own ideas about what I should be doing. It's not that she isn't cute or that she might not be a good person, it's merely that she's rather creepy in just how heavy handed she is in getting what she wants.

"Nope, I can't do that. Satori-sama's request was for me to bring Ivan to the surface, and I won't go against that." At the very least it looks like Koishi won't resort to messing with the mind of one of her sister's pets if she's still able to say that.

Koishi thinks about that for a moment before coming to a conclusion, at which point she starts smiling again. "Orin said the same thing, just in different words. Hm... I won't force either of you to change your minds, so I'll just leave you be then." ...Seriously? It's that simple?

After that she simply fades from view, presumably to leave us be. Okuu then descends down to her friend. "It's nice that Koishi-sama was agreeable this time, usually she puts up a big fuss over this sort of thing!" And she looks absolutely relieved over Koishi saying that she'll leave us alone. ...I don't quite have the heart to tell her that Koishi's probably going to wait until Okuu and Orin take us to the surface and leave before trying anything.

"I'm not quite convinced about that. Either way she said she'll leave us alone for now so we should get going before she changes her mind." Orin then looks down at the slightly disheveled witch in her wheelbarrow before saying something in a slightly annoyed tone. "And you ought to know better than to break into Chireiden! I don't think you quite understand what Satori and I saved you from."

Marisa took on a slightly sheepish look as she locked eyes with Orin and shrugged. "Heh heh, what can I say? It's just who I am! ...And I kinda got the gist of it." She shuddered. That almost never happens. Still, she turns to me fairly quickly after that. "Ivan! You got my broom back? And just look at that sack full of gems! You're awesome!"

"And if you manage to be a good girl the rest of the way up I'll split some of my haul with you." And here lies a perfect opportunity to tease her a little. Personally I'm happy enough with the fact that Koishi hasn't gotten around to whatever 'punishment' she had planned before Utsuho and I got to Marisa not to prod her too far. Though if she starts poking fun at Okuu carrying me like this, she's fair game.

"Okay dad." And she retorts in the manner I've grown accustomed to her countering with. "Anyway, sorry about not being able to do more to stop my broom. It didn't really occur to me that it might not respond to you and I thought I'd be able to guide the thing all the way through." Marisa took on an apologetic look tinged with sadness over her situation. "Koishi pinned me down and I really wanted to take off after you, but she wouldn't move!"

"You don't have to explain yourself to me. I figured something like that must have happened when Satori told me that she told Orin to take you to the surface. Why else would you be unable to help?" Better to reinforce my faith in her now rather than let it develop into something worse later on. Besides, I'm not the type to take advantage of one's friends unless it's completely unavoidable.

"Hey, hate to break this up, but we're at the surface." Orin points out the fact that we managed to miss, which is absolutely incredible since it's HIGH NOON. "Also, you want us to accompany you home? Koishi might have said she's going to leave us be, but I'd be willing to bet that she'll try something after we leave."

[X]Accept her offer, as I am of the same mind.
[X]Decline. I get the feeling that even if Koishi does try something, it won't go over so well.
[X]Write-in
>>No. 1801
[X]Accept her offer, as I am of the same mind.

Maybe Rumia will run into Koishi?
>>No. 1802
[X]Accept her offer, as I am of the same mind.

Why do I get the feeling that when Ivan walks in his house he will be back at Chireiden?
>>No. 1803
>>1802
Mindfuck. Not literal, I hope.

[X]Accept her offer, as I am of the same mind.
>>No. 1804
[X]Accept her offer, as I am of the same mind.

Works for me~!
>>No. 1805
[X]Accept her offer, as I am of the same mind.
>>No. 1806
[X]Accept her offer, as I am of the same mind.
>>No. 1807
[X]Accept her offer, as I am of the same mind.
>>No. 1808
While I get the feeling that it would be a moot point no matter what I choose, I decide to take the Kasha's offer since it means I may have a bit of an insurance policy should Koishi decide to make someone duel her for me or something equally silly and/or stupid. "Given the situation, I can hardly refuse the extra help." Still, the part where I'm being carried is somewhat embarrassing since I'm more than capable of flight on my own. "Also, Utsuho, could you put me down? I'm more than capable of flying on my own."

"I know, but it's slow and clumsy. It's much faster if I just carry you the rest of the way, and it's not like I can't fight with you in my arms if it comes to that." I really have to wonder just how skewed her logic is at times. Right now she's making sense from a logic based perspective, but from any other point? Forget it. She does seem perfectly happy to carry me regardless, and I'm about ready to give up on the futile endeavor of making her see otherwise.

"Aside from that, we'll escort you all the way to wherever you'd like to go, then leave you." Orin, on the other hand, has no issue with letting Marisa out of her wheelbarrow, nor does she have any issue with letting the witch board her broom and fly alongside her.

"Then we'll pop back over to Ivan's place first. I'll lead." Marisa then does just that, taking the lead while Orin and Utsuho cover her flanks in a delta formation. ...Now that I think about it a bit more, it makes sense to let Marisa fly as she not only knows where she's going but she's also quick enough to keep pace with the other two. Though in truth my riding along with Marisa would make things go faster since she has a nice high top speed that I doubt Koishi could keep up with. The two youkai show their agreement and follow the witch's lead for the next thirty minutes or so.

Of course, during that time I start to wonder if we really made the right decision or not since I think that Koishi may very well attempt to follow us clear back to my house, and if she knows where I live... I do not need yet another person out to do unspeakable things to me banging at my door and bothering me in general. "Marisa! Let's make a quick stop at your place!" I say this loud enough to get the witch's attention, and the look on my face should show that I have more than a few misgivings about going straight home. ...So why doesn't anyone pay attention?

"Aw, why can't I come visit you? You said it's okay for Satori to come." Koishi shows up directly in front of me and it feels like my heart almost stopped. Her smile's completely innocent without so much as a hint of malice, and her eyes are clear as well. Her tone carries no ill intent, yet I have every reason to be uncomfortable around her seeing as she's trying to play matchmaker, most likely between myself and her sister. She catches on to my expression fairly quickly after that as she wags a finger at me. "You shouldn't go calling for help you know, no one will hear you or see you. As far as everyone else is concerned, you're just being quiet."

"You do realize that's going to raise some suspicion, don't you?" Her idea may be sound in her head, but I'm willing to bet that I could point out a few flaws in her thinking, this being one such flaw.

"Nope. Nobody thinks it's suspicious because they don't think it's suspicious." Once again this probably makes sense to her, but to me? Forget it. I couldn't figure this mental mess out if I tried. "I'm sorta suggesting that they don't think about this too hard, just like how you shouldn't. I just want to follow you home."

"And do something, undoubtedly." I can't keep the droll tone out of my voice since her intent is so obvious that it would take a flat out retard to miss or misinterpret.

...

"We're here. Thanks for seeing us the rest of the way here guys." Marisa dismounts her broom directly in front of my door and slings it over her shoulder, and the smile on her face really couldn't be bigger than it already is.

"See you around!"

"Later!"

The two of them wave at us before picking up speed and heading home, at which point I shift the weight of the sack on my shoulder around a bit to make it more comfortable and head the rest of the way to the door. "Thanks for taking me down there to begin with. I'll make sure to give you some of my haul for it."

"You're seriously going to do that? I was just kidding you know!" Marisa seems a bit unsure about that, which is odd because I thought she'd be all over something like this. "We~ll, since you're offering, I'll take a few of those rocks once I get Nitori over here. You did say you wanted to get this all finished up ASAP, so don't try to stop me!" With that she remounts her broom and kicks off into the air, leaving me alone. ...Why does this feel like an incredibly bad situation?

[X]Those little red sirens are going off in my head for once. Time to leave, methinks.
[X]Head in. Just be prepared for anything.
[X]Wait around outside for a bit, maybe find something to do.
[X]Write-in
>>No. 1810
File 127951945058.jpg - (9.20KB, 251x171, 1279303452334.jpg) [iqdb]
1810
[X]Head in. Just be prepared for anything.

There is alchemy to be done. No time to play with mind-raping youkai/grues.
>>No. 1811
Wonderful, now Koishi knows where he lives, as if he didn't have enough problems before..

[X]Those little red sirens are going off in my head for once. Time to leave, methinks.
Oh hi there, Rumia.
>>No. 1812
[X] Those little red sirens are going off in my head for once. Time to leave, methinks.

Um, did Marisa forget that Ivan shouldn't be left alone? Or is Koishi still following him and she made Marisa forget about that? Or did she notice Koishi but not say anything? Gah, Koishi makes everything so confusing.
>>No. 1813
[X]Head in. Just be prepared for anything.
>>No. 1814
[X]Those little red sirens are going off in my head for once. Time to leave, methinks.
Go fuck yourself Koishi.
>>No. 1815
File 127953961522.jpg - (158.35KB, 800x1142, 1f0f335f6215f1cb480fdf6078ea9f87fd2197d5.jpg) [iqdb]
1815
[X]Head in. Just be prepared for anything.

no regrets
>>No. 1816
[X]Those little red sirens are going off in my head for once. Time to leave, methinks.
A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.
>>No. 1817
[X]Those little red sirens are going off in my head for once. Time to leave, methinks.

Let's get the fuck out of here. Maybe Rumia and Koishi will run into each other. That may slow the both of them down.

Or get Koishi horribly slaughtered. One or the other.
>>No. 1818
>>1817
win-win
>>No. 1820
[x] Head in. Just be prepared for anything.
>>No. 1821
>>1817
running out might cause a run in with Rumia. And there might be some kappa inside, with some kind of detection thing set up (They'd be on alert for Rumia)
>>No. 1822
[x] Head in. Just be prepared for anything.

Might be Rumia, might be kappa, might be Letty. Who knows...
>>No. 1823
File 12795702805.jpg - (295.08KB, 576x800, 033d90f110e7b49ec9c4a7f54cc9b726.jpg) [iqdb]
1823
[X]Head in. Just be prepared for anything.
>>No. 1824
[x] Head in. Just be prepared for anything.
>>No. 1825
>>1821
Even if he doesn't run out, there's a high chance Rumia can get to him, as long as there's darkness somewhere near him.
>>No. 1826
[x] Head in. Just be prepared for anything.
>>No. 1827
>>1825

You mean like the inside of his body?
>>No. 1828
Something's wrong here. Orin and Okuu both only agreed to escort Marisa and I to a place of our choosing so I don't expect them to stick around, but Marisa? She knows I'm being stalked and knows that it's a bad idea to leave me be since I stand little chance against Rumia on my own. Even so, I turn to my door way with sack of gems over my shoulder and am about to turn the doorknob when little red sirens start to go off in my head. Something about this seems so thoroughly wrong as to be threatening, yet I doubt this feeling would go away if I left. This means I'll have to be careful and that I should prep myself to repel the cause of this unease as soon as possible. Only giving the warning consideration I open the door into the entry room. To my complete lack of surprise there's no one there, but no ambusher would sit around in the entry room of a house. It's too open a position unless you have the ability to hide in the shadows. ...Speaking of which, where did the little grue retreat to? She hasn't bothered me all day so far. Perhaps she only attacks at night? That's a bit off topic for what's going on right now, so I shove the topic aside as I take my shoes off and walk over to the door leading into the main hallway.

Nothing so far. No one's waiting for me in the hallway so I decide to head to the left in order to get to the main living room since that's where Letty would be, if anywhere. Upon entering the room I find that she's sitting in a chair that's not too far from the sealed fire I use to light and heat the whole house, though it seems she's employed some common sense as the specially designed curtain is partially drawn to where she can get some light without having the fire blow its full heat on her. It still makes me wonder precisely why she's sitting so close anyway since she tends to not fare so well when she's absorbed too much heat. "Letty, I'm back." I say this in an offhand tone, and perhaps not entirely to my surprise I receive no response. This isn't a good thing.

I set the sack of crystals down on the floor next to the table and walk over beside the snow woman to check something before worrying that something, or someone, is preventing me from being seen or heard by others. I first place a hand on her shoulder, to no response. Next I gently stroke her cheek, still nothing. Even a kiss on the cheek achieves nothing. ...Not wanting to go any further than that for fear of retribution, I decide to leave her to her own devices and walk off to another point in the house.

I slide my hand into my pocket, grab a bottled light, then leave it there as I continue walking the hallways while trying to make sense of this. For some reason those little alarm bells are still going off in my head, but I can't really focus on why they're going off in the first place. It almost feels like my mind is being messed with... on... Purpose. "All right, you've had your fun. Enough is enough." There's someone here aside from me and Letty, and it certainly isn't Marisa or anyone else I know.

...No response.

Of course not, if someone's trying to hide then of course they won't reveal themselves. I turn to face whoever it is, or rather, I hope I'm facing whoever it is, and I see something a little startling. Rumia of all people has... Koishi! That's who was doing this! Aside from that, Rumia has Koishi held from behind. "I don't know who you are, but that's my toy you're messing with. I don't take kindly to people messing with my playthings." ...Nice to know where I stand in all this.

---
>>No. 1829
>>1828
He's so screwed.
>>No. 1830
Rumia is going to save Ivan. Isn't that sweet?
>>No. 1831
>>1830
save him for dessert
>>No. 1832
>>1831
why did I lol'd
>>No. 1833
File 127980428123.jpg - (53.16KB, 500x494, 8ac94361af386832681531ff1d063dedba56477b.jpg) [iqdb]
1833
>>1831
>>No. 1834
I am definitely looking forward to the next update. Good show.
>>No. 1835
"Oh, are you stalking him? That's not very nice." Koishi seems completely unaware of who she's facing, or she's just playing stupid for right at the moment. "Stalkers tend to have feelings for the one they stalk, usually in the form of a perverse love." She tilts her head backward to look at the grue more closely, still completely ignoring the danger she's in. "What do you feel for Ivan, exactly?" I can only see part of her face, but that part is her mouth. Her mouth takes on a slasher smile and her eyes can't be much better if Rumia's sudden backing away is any indication.

"I get it, you're that mind rapist, Koishi." Rumia's expression goes from shocked to annoyed in very short order, at which point she crosses her arms and gives Koishi a death glare. "As I said, Ivan's mine so if you're looking for a mind slave you've targeted the wrong guy." A number of black clawed hands slink around from the back of her dress and all point at the mind-reader, which is my cue to start walking away as slowly and as quietly as possible.

"Ah, so you won't stand aside? Then I'll need to use force then." Koishi spins around once, allowing her to catch a glimpse of me walking away, then pulls out a spellcard. "I'm going to take care of you after this, so don't run away." She says first to my retreating form before actually declaring her spellcard. "Instinct [Release of the Id]!" At which point a large number of pink, heart-shaped danmaku bullets in a ridiculously dense pattern that cements the fact that Koishi's dueling ability is far beyond mine.

Deciding that I have no further reason to stick around and get pummeled with countless bullets in a dangerous game of danmaku, I manage to slip through the increasingly tiny gap in the hearts in order to get away from the duel. ...However, once I get past it I notice that the duel border is in fact completely solid to me. I can't get past it, and the heart bullets are closing in on me. I completely underestimated just how screwed I am and just how serious Koishi is. ...She can probably overpower me, but I need to help Rumia take her out, and fortunately I know just how to do it. I slip back through a tiny hole in the barrier just before it completely overwhelms me and make absolutely sure that I've got a bottled light before going prone to the ground. It looks like Koishi is just using danmaku on a 2-D plane and that she's not targeting me in particular so perhaps I can get away with just staying here. "I assume you have some brilliant plan, and that's why you haven't left yet?" I hear from my own shadow.

"More like I can't get out and am having to come up with said brilliant plan on the fly." I start crawling toward Koishi in order to give myself the best possible chance of knocking her out when I finally get my chance. "Basically it involves your kicking her ass and my using a bottled light while her spell shield is down."

"...That's actually pretty doable, not to mention sane compared to half the stuff you do." Rumia's focusing on dodging the shots, and is doing an absolutely marvelous job of it. Her counterattacks are dealing respectable damage considering the durability of the shield Koishi's employing. "Of course, you and simple are like oil and water. Or is that you and sane?"

"Har har, just get it done already." Even in the face of someone who wants to eat/rape/kill me, I can't help but be a smart-ass. I'm almost in position as well, so hopefully this means that I'll have her down in no time flat. Rumia's attacks have become much more ferocious in the time that I spent getting close, and sure enough she goes down. She even falls down, though when she lands she's staring right at me. "...!" On top of that, she can't possibly have missed that bit of light gleaming from my pocket.
>>No. 1836
Is a "FFFffffff" in order?
>>No. 1837
>>1836
That or a "do it now do it now do it nownownownow!"
>>No. 1838
>>1836

Nah, it doesn't matter who wins this. Ivan is fucked either way.
>>No. 1839
>>1838
it would be kinda funny if this story would turn into >>/at/6923 a few posts from now
>>No. 1840
>>1838
Whoever wins, he loses.
>>No. 1841
>>1840
Unless Letty stops by and makes them...

::Puts on sunglasses::

Chill out.
>>No. 1842
>>1841

YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
>>No. 1843
"Hey, what's this?" Koishi's still got that goofy smile on her face as she reaches into my pocket and pulls out one of the bottled lights to examine for herself. She doesn't look directly at it, which is what any sane person would do, but she gets a good enough look at it to come to some kind of conclusion. "So bright! I guess you have these to keep the darkness away. They'd be perfect for spelunking too..." She then feels the neck of the bottle as well as the stopper, then fiddles with the stopper a bit. "Oh? I wonder..." She then gets up on her feet and gently places one foot on my back to keep me from getting up, then faces Rumia. "If this banishes darkness, then it'll be perfect against you! Take this!" And with no further ado, she hurls the bottled light at the floor next to Rumia's feet. You get no bonuses for guessing what happens next.

I, having the common sense to shield my eyes, am left unscathed while both Koishi and Rumia are out cold. The former being knocked out is much more important as she's the one inducing the general screwing of people's minds, and the latter because she'd probably turn on me next. "...That was just way too easy." Next on the agenda is to tie these two up so they won't cause any more trouble. Maybe. Regardless, I take a moment to find the rope, then set to work binding them both up before they can wake up.

"Ivan?" And Letty makes her understandably tardy appearance less than a minute after I start. "I'm sorry, I never saw her." It's pretty obvious that she feels guilt over this, but quite frankly I think she shouldn't. She had no control over her situation and I didn't tell her to guard the house. "Shall I help?"

"If you don't mind." I hand Letty another length of rope, at which point she ties up Rumia while I finish off Koishi's bonds. "And you shouldn't feel the need to apologize. I didn't tell you to guard the house, and Koishi managed to hide herself from me as well." It's not a terribly thorough job as I only have Koishi's wrists tied behind her back and her ankles tied up, but it's better than nothing. If the worst comes to pass, Letty can freeze her solid. "If anything, I should be apologizing for failing to lose her in the first place."

Letty doesn't say anything at first, and focuses on finishing up on Rumia for the time being. Only when she's done does she answer. "You have a strange sense of responsibility." She then hoists the grue over her shoulder before continuing. "What shall we do with them?"

"Rumia's not really the one I'm worried about, so we can keep her in here for the time being. Koishi on the other hand..."

[X]"Should be tied up to a tree somewhere while she cools off."
[X]"Should be returned to Chireiden as soon as possible."
[X]"...We may as well let her stay. From what I understand, she's crazy, not evil."
[X]Write-in
>>No. 1844
[X]"Should be returned to Chireiden as soon as possible."
From what I believe, she's crazy and evil. 'sides, one stalker is enough.

By the way, did he defeated an ex boss in under a minute? He may be a weakling, but he has some tricks up to her sleeve.
>>No. 1845
[X]"Should be returned to Chireiden as soon as possible."
From what I believe, she's crazy and evil. 'sides, one stalker is enough.

By the way, did he defeated an ex boss in under a minute? He may be a weakling, but he has some tricks up to her sleeve.
>>No. 1846
[X]"Should be returned to Chireiden as soon as possible."

>By the way, did he defeated an ex boss in under a minute? He may be a weakling, but he has some tricks up to her sleeve.

Nah. Rumia did most of the work with his bottled light just finished her off, and only then because she thought it would be ONLY light, and not the accompanying blast.
>>No. 1847
[X]"Should be returned to Chireiden as soon as possible."

She is more dangerous than Rumia so let's not bother.
>>No. 1848
[X]"Should be returned to Chireiden as soon as possible."

Too bad that she already knows where he lives, she could just sneak out whenever she wants and return to harass him some more.
>>No. 1850
[X]"Should be returned to Chireiden as soon as possible."
>>No. 1851
Why does ivan think that a. ropes hold rumia, b. rumia is not something to worry about?

[x] Leave Koishi here for now.
[x] Try to see if you can get in touch with either Yukari or Reimu now that Rumia is down for the count.
>>No. 1852
[x] Leave Koishi here for now.
[x] Try to see if you can get in touch with either Yukari or Reimu now that Rumia is down for the count.
>>No. 1853
[x]>>1851
>>No. 1854
[X]"Should be returned to Chireiden as soon as possible."

Rumia surrounded by light ought to contain her for a bit. Koishi warping the reality around a persons mind though is another issue that would be overly troublesome; if not dangerous once she wakes up.
>>No. 1855
[X] "Should be returned to Chireiden as soon as possible."
"She followed me home, but my landlord doesn't allow pets."

>>1854
>Rumia surrounded by light ought to contain her for a bit.
That might fail. What I want to see is what would happen if Rumia was stuck inside the Well-Lit Room.
>>No. 1856
>>1854
Yet trying to take her back now would take a while (Ivan isn't that great at flying yet)
>>No. 1857
"...Should return her to Chireiden as soon as possible." It's truly against my better judgment seeing as this would involve leaving Rumia alone in my house, but she's only after me, not my things. I hope. Getting Koishi back to those qualified to keep an eye on her is much more important in my books simply because she's the greater of two threats right at the moment. I roll my eyes as I note that it's a relative thing and that of the two Koishi actually isn't out to kill me.

"What are you rolling your eyes for?" Letty picks up on this in very short order even as she puts the satori on her shoulder.

"I'm just thinking about how absurd this is." I shrug before giving a small smile, then make ready to head back out. "On the one hand, I could probably get Reimu in here to reseal Rumia, but that would leave Koishi free to do as she pleases. If I choose to deal with Koishi, then that lets Rumia off the hook since I don't think that she'll stay here and wait for me to come back with the required help."

"That sounds like a tough call. ...But why spare Rumia then? She's the one out for your blood." Letty brings up an excellent point as she follows me back to the door, and it's said in a curious tone rather than an overly concerned one.

"Simple. Call me naive, but I don't think that Rumia wants to kill me straight off the bat, even if I lose to her sometime. Besides, I'm gearing up to make it so I can deal with her. Koishi... Not so much, but mostly because I don't understand how she works." Before I forget about it, I decide to leave Marisa a note stating what happened, where I'll be going, and that she can stay here for the time being. And to call for Reimu and/or Yukari in case Rumia's still out of it. After that I rejoin Letty at the doorway. "Shall we?"

With that, we leave my house and start making the trip back underground. ...I note that it's already lunch time and given the trip we're making, the odds are very good that we won't get there until about dinnertime. Which means not only does my body not have a fresh supply of food to convert to energy, I'm going to have to take one of two painful routes into a place that Koishi wants me to go back to. One, I go in through the Hakurei path, or two, I go in through the Moriya path. Neither seem particularly appealing since while the former is closer, it means we'll probably have to have a shootout with the people Marisa annoyed earlier. The latter is annoying because it means we'll be in sight with an unconscious girl on Letty's shoulder that much longer, and while the inhabitants of the Moryia shrine would be willing to help (I hope), there would be a nosy tengu getting into the middle of it at the very least, and quite possibly some kind of misunderstanding.

"What are you thinking about?" Letty's stopped and come back to see why I've stopped. A perfectly normal reaction to a normal thought process. I note that Koishi seems to have stirred a bit, but she settled down a moment later so I may have a bit more time than I thought.

"Where we should get in at. The route closest to the Hakurei shrine would be faster, but it's longer and I can't really support you to my satisfaction since I'm no duelist and my stamina is still dissapointingly lacking. Moriya shrine's entrance would be better since it leads directly to Chireiden, but we'd attract attention from all manners of unwanted sources." And by telling Letty this, perhaps she can help me reach a logical conclusion. Endurance, or dignity? ...Hah, the last one's a joke for me.

[X]Endurance
[X]Dignity (Or lack thereof)
[X]Write-in
>>No. 1858
[X]Dignity (Or lack thereof)
He has proven to have the aletic abilities of a crippled turtle. I bet silver against gold that he'd pass out at the longer route.
>>No. 1859
[X]Dignity (Or lack thereof)

Less trouble even when Aya catches wind of this and writes some bullshit story about Ivan and Letty kidnapping Koishi.
>>No. 1860
[X]Dignity (Or lack thereof)
>>No. 1861
[X] Dignity (Or lack thereof)

We can try to keep it. We likely will fail, but we can dream.
>>No. 1862
[X]Endurance

TIME TO TRAIN HARD!
>>No. 1863
[X] Dignity (Or lack thereof)
>>No. 1864
[X]Dignity (Or lack thereof)
>>No. 1867
Letty gives me a once over before speaking, though she turns her head away in order to keep her expression hidden. "Perhaps it would be best if we took the Moyria path, as it would be less taxing on you." ...I'm guessing she has no faith in my ability to fight with danmaku for extended periods. Quite frankly I think she's right. Danmaku is my weakest point so far, and my abilities in rule-less fighting amount to merely surviving with wounds of various degree, which will do us no good. ...It's degrading, but I'd rather keep the two of us relatively safe rather than gamble our safety on my limited battle abilities. Plus, losing sight of Koishi would be nothing short of disastrous as I'm quite certain that she would not knock herself out a second time, or even leave her eyes open should I attempt the same thing on her.

"I agree. I would only be a liability if we went down the longer path." I feel what little dignity I have turn to dust, but what can I do? In past fights, I could barely stand against Rumia, so a mob of fairies should be all it takes to bring me down in rule-less engagement. There's still the possibility of being attacked here, but given that it's the dead of winter we should barely be attacked at all.

"...I'm sorry." Letty suddenly apologizes as I get into formation with her, and she seems to be doing that because she picked up on my own lack of enthusiasm for admitting my own weakness as an untrained human.

"It's nothing you should apologize for. It really is better if I'm not forced into a situation that's beyond my ability, especially since I keep pushing the limits every time I do." Let's see, the last time I went up against Rumia before she went EX on my ass, I had to sear a flesh wound shut and almost got eaten. ...I did land some decent blows on her though, so perhaps I have some potential. This isn't really the time to be thinking such things so I focus on flying for the time being.

"It was still the wrong thing to do. Admitting that I have no faith in you would make it harder for you to have confidence in yourself, and for that I am sorry." Letty still doesn't make eye contact, but she does sound genuine.

"Well, I do have some points to draw on if I ever need the boost, so don't worry about it. Being honest is better than lying to make me feel better." After all, I may not have won before, but I didn't lose either and that's what counts in a life or death situation.

Conversation drifts away as the scenery begins to change into the river that comes down from Youkai Mountain. Everything is exactly as it was last time, save for the hole Nitori made the last time we were here. That's refrozen.

And of course, a certain nosy tengu just couldn't keep out of this.

Aya drops in right in front of us with a wide smile on her face. "Ivan! Glad to see you're alright!" She briefly tackle hugs me, spinning me around once before launching herself a few feet away and sitting as though she were in a chair and had her feet up on a table. ...And for some reason that pose annoys the hell out of me. "But I have to ask, what're you doing with Koishi? I didn't think you were into that kind of thing." Despite her words, she's not pulling her pen and pad out so maybe she's not here to embarrass me. "Also, nice to see you and Letty are getting along so well.""

I shrug and roll my eyes as the question is posed. "That's simple. She decided that I should be Satori's boyfriend and followed me home. I knocked her out with some help, so now we're bringing her back to Chireiden." It's certainly annoying being held up like this, but if I can get Aya off my back about it then we should be in the clear.

"Oh~ Is that it?" Aya folds her arms and raises her eyebrow in surprise. "Sheesh, keep picking women up like this and you're going to get hurt." It's just teasing. I hope. "Still, this isn't story material so I won't write about it, but I will tell you that Koishi is more than a little off."

"I'm already well aware of that." I wave my hand dismissively at that little bit of info, mostly because it's something I already know.

"Are you aware that she switches what kind of 'off'?" Aya tilts her head a little bit to the side as she asks that, and she must have picked up on my confusion because she answers before I can even open my mouth. "For some reason, she's got multiple levels of off." She also catches onto the fact that we need to get going, so she flies alongside us to continue talking. "I'm guessing you dealt with her 'Id' mode, but she also has a 'Super Ego' mode where she's almost the exact opposite, and her normal mode where she's a balance of the two."

"That's certainly odd. What happened to cause that?" I ask out of curiosity, and also to see if I could glean some insight into what makes each mode tick and perhaps how to induce one mode over another. I note that Letty hasn't spoken at all either, but Aya leaves no room to jump in by default, so when you get in, it's because she wants you in.

"Apparently it has to do with that third eye of hers, and the fact that she closed it, but even I'm sketchy on the details since Reimu didn't stick around long enough to let me interview her." Aya shrugs with some level of indifference on the subject, as though she's trying not to care about it too much. It's not working terribly well though. "Still, it's gotta be a hassle rushing off to return a stray. Want me to take care of it?"

"I assume I'll owe you a favor?" I can't help but be a little suspicious about this, since I still don't know what she's do if given half a chance.

"Yup. Fair's fair right? I'll return Koishi for you, and you let me see what you're doing. Someone like you has to be working on something interesting." Aya's got her priorities in order, and I get the feeling she'd keep her end of the bargain, it's just... How far in do I want to let her?

[X]Let her take care of it. It's important that we build up trust in one another if we're really going to work together to solve Letty's mystery.
[X]Decline her offer. This is something I should do for myself, I think.
>>No. 1868
[X]Let her take care of it. It's important that we build up trust in one another if we're really going to work together to solve Letty's mystery.

Aya's help is always nice.
>>No. 1869
[X]Let her take care of it. It's important that we build up trust in one another if we're really going to work together to solve Letty's mystery.

This does seem like a good deal. This honest Aya is honest.
>>No. 1870
[x]Let her take care of it. It's important that we build up trust in one another if we're really going to work together to solve Letty's mystery.
>>No. 1871
[X]Let her take care of it. It's important that we build up trust in one another if we're really going to work together to solve Letty's mystery.
>>No. 1872
[X]Let her take care of it. It's important that we build up trust in one another if we're really going to work together to solve Letty's mystery.
Surprisingly honest and fair deal.
>>No. 1873
>>1872

Since my house is still under repair and rennovation, Aya's invited me to stay at her home for the time being while the Kappa are busy with their work. This has led to some rather awkward moments, even more so now that I can't escape the crow long enough to deal with the odd letter. Momiji doesn't mind my staying here, but seems to be under the mistaken impression that Aya's brought me here soley to seduce me. Both Aya and I ignore that idea, though I get the feeling it's crossed the crow's mind at least once.

"Surprisingly?!" Aya reads that part of the letter alound in an annoyed tone while once again sitting on my lap and resting her feet on my table. Personally, I couldn't care less about the contents since she's carelressly leaving scuff marks on my table, but at this point, what can you do. "What do you mean surprisingly honest? I'll have you know that I haven't lied once in this whole story!"

"That one's probably referring to your other incarnations that aren't so clear cut and honest. There's no reason to get so offended over it." I can't help but roll my already tired eyes as I try to get the crow to stop taking offense to something so simple. I can't really think of why she'd take such high levels of offense to it, especially when it's from one person and not say, several dozen.

"There's plenty of reason to get offended! This is an insult to my pride, an implied slander to my good name-" Aya turns around to face me without ever getting off, meaning she's grinding the fabric of her panties against my pants. Given that I was already a little turned on by her, my body finally decides to display this, which in turn made Aya's eyes go wide as I unwillingly prod her. "Ky-EYAAAAAAAH!" She then launches herself clear off me and straight into the roof, leaving an Aya-shaped indent where she impacted. "I mean it! I've been a good, honest girl, so please don't do that again Yukari!" And in a complete departure from the norm, Aya's crying as she begs the absent gap youkai to leave her be, and for the first time I understand that she might have been understating what Yukari did to her to make her more honest.

"Aya!" Still, I can't very well leave her be when she's in a blind panic, so I take flight in order to pry her out of the indent. "Aya, are you okay?" I slide my hands behind her back and between the roof to pry her off it and pull her into my arms. "Look at me!"

Aya's eyes are clamped shut in a desperate attempt to not see whatever her mind has been conditioned to see, and apparently body contact with me only makes it worse as she stops screaming and instead convulse in series of sobs, hiccups, and the odd begging for forgiveness. "No... I-I've *hic* been a good girl... Stop touching *hic* me..." And my eyes go wide with abject horror as I recall exactly what was in those images she showed me. It didn't occur to me that this might have been some form of extended torture to her that left a massive emotional scar. It's almost painful to see this energetic, outgoing girl reduced to a snivling wreck because of a memory and an accidental trigger.

Still, she's making the assumption that I'm Yukari, so maybe... It's crude, but I don't see any other immediate way to deal with this. I take my shirt off, then put Aya's nose right next to my armpit. It's a rather disgusting tactic since I haven't bathed in a couple days, but the stink should snap her out of it by convincing her that it's me she's dealing with, and not a gap youkai.

The effect is immediate, thankfully, as she reels away almost instantly. "Oh, YUCK! When's the last time you've bathed?" She pinches her nose shut and waves the air in front of her away to make it perfectly clear that she thinks I need a bath. It doesn't take long for her to look me over, feel her face, and put two and two together. "Er... Aheheheh... I guess the secret's out." She laughs sheepisly to try and laugh it off, but my expression's dead serious. "I thought I'd be over that enough to play with you, but I guess not."

"Aya. What did she do to you." It's about time I figured out precisely what happened so I can do something about it.

...

"Alright, I'll leave it to you then." Not only will this save me incredibly valuable time, but openly building up trust is going to make things easier later. I have no problems building up trust in Aya simply because she's been completely honest with me, if not a bit overly so. "I assume you have some means of keeping her knocked out?"

Aya takes a moment to relieve Letty of her burden, then opens a belt pocket to reveal a rag soaked with... "I think someone like you should be able to tell what this is, and what it's good for." Aya looks waaaaaaaay too cheerful at the concept of using chloroform on someone, even if it may be necessary. She slips the cloth onto Koishi's face for a few moments, and given that the satori struggles for a few seconds, I'm suddenly glad I accepted Aya's help. Who knows what would have happened if we were caught off guard? Aya then carefully puts the cloth back in its pouch then gives me a smile and a wink. "I'll swing by when I'm done, which oughta give you juuuuuust enough time to get back home before I get there."

...And with that, Aya becomes a rapidly shrinking dot on the horizon. Almost.

The whole thing left me with a worried expression on my face, not so much for Aya as it is for [i]myself[i]. "I half wanted to ask why she's carrying chloroform in the first place, but I'm too afraid of the possible answer to ask." I shake my head as I turn around and head for home, too shaken to consider the possibility that Aya wasn't the only one watching.

"It was a shock to me as well, but perhaps it's best not to dwell on such things right at the moment." Letty stays close to me, and takes my hand in hers in an attempt to calm my nerves just a little.

---
>>No. 1874
Good call on the chloroform thing. It;s better to not ask questions of which you'll regret knowing the answers.


>>1873
Well, it's true that this Aya has been a model girl while keeping her cheerfulness... until now. I take back my words but I wonder what the hell did that old hag did to our crow Journa
>>No. 1875
"I'm glad we ran into Aya though, it would have been quite a hassle if we had to take Koishi all the way back down to Chireiden." The most I can come up with is some absent-minded small talk, but it helps pass the time while we make our way back home.

"It is. ...Though I wonder why you're on friendly terms with her to begin with. The few times I met Aya and read her paper made me think that she's not really the type you should get involved with." Letty brings up a point that I could easily disprove with a disapproving look of her own, but something tells me that Aya would prefer it if I kept that sort of thing secret so it doesn't get out any further than it has.

"Let's just say she showed me some very convincing evidence as to why she's trustworthy, and that she trusts me no to go telling everyone about it." Letty's expression is both one of worry and scrutiny, yet I can't go telling her something so thoroughly embarrassing, so I hold my ground. "...Sorry, but I want to stay in her good books for now."

Letty sighs as she seems to admit defeat for now. "I suppose if you're not going to talk about it, you're not going to say anything. Just be wary of her, okay?" Just to add to her point, she squeezes my hand lightly. Why do I feel guilty over something that's not even my fault?

"I don't plan on dropping my guard, but there's a limit as to how many fronts I can fight on at once." Let's see, there's Rumia, potentially Jack, possibly Koishi... Not too big a list, but they're some big-ticket entities that can make fighting them hell, especially when I already had trouble with Rumia in her normal form. Adding an angry tengu to the list would be tantamount to suicide.

Letty gives me a bright smile as she moves in just a bit closer, and I can't help but examine every inch of pale skin on her face. ...How did I wind up attracting the attention of someone so beautiful? "Then you should count on your friends to help fight where you can't."

...Something about that is just so cheesy to the point that I wind up laughing. Letty looks a bit confused as to why I'm laughing at her, so I force myself to stop a little earlier than I wanted to answer her. "Sorry, it's just that sounded like something from a book where the heroes beat the villains through the power of friendship. It's something I never put much stock in personally, but thank you regardless. It wound up meaning a lot."

...

The trip back home felt like it took less time than the trip going out, or perhaps it was my lightened mood that made it feel that way. Regardless, when we touch down in front of my house I find that there are some obvious signs of recent entry. Thankfully they're in the form of footprints instead of a knocked down door, though I find myself almost knocked down when it swings outward suddenly. ...Since when could it do that anyway? "Ivan!" Marisa calls out to me as I'm falling, though the reason I stop is actually because of a pair of mechanical arms that extend outward from behind the witch to catch me. "Thanks Nitori!" She looks behind her to thank the blue-haired kappa girl standing behind her, and Nitori is also smiling.

"No problem! I'm just glad these work after the little upgrade I gave 'em not too long ago!" ...Wait, she didn't have any confidence in her invention? "Glad to see you're doing okay Ivan, I wanted to see what you wanted my help with since you seemed so interesting. Marisa was saying you wanted to make some kind of orbital cannon, and went out to gather gems to do it. You're really a high roller, aren't ya? I saw the huge sack and can't help but wonder if you want to shoot out the sun or something!" She sets me upright even as she's chatting my ear off, though she completely forgets to let me go so I wind up with a Marisa on me. The kappa drags us both all the way to the living room, then handily deposits us both on the couch while Letty comes in from behind. ...It seems the kappa had enough time to pre-carve all the gemstones into perfect shapes, and she even tosses me one that's about the perfect size to go onto a ring. "Oh yeah, this one won't do, but I'm sure you've got a girl to confess too!"

Erk...

Aside from that... What should these orbital cannons be?
[X]Elemental storage. Soak up what's already present, then release it later.
[X]Self-sufficient external weapons. I can't afford to rely on things that might not even be there.
[X]Extensions of myself. I might not be all that strong, but a little boost never goes astray...
[X]Write-in (get creative folks.)
>>No. 1876
[X]Self-sufficient external weapons. I can't afford to rely on things that might not even be there.
>>No. 1877
[X]Multi-purpose focusing array. Different effects depending on configuration. Need a shield, put them in Barrier Mode. Want more powerful shots, Amp Lens. Multiple shots or from an unexpected angle, Refraction Grid. And so forth.


Only idea for a write-in I can think of that wouldn't be directly covered in one of the other options. I got the idea from Alice's dolls in IaMP/SWR/Hisou, where they form her block, and she can channel attacks through them in some of her moves.

Essentially an adaptability thing, so he doesn't get bogged down in one mode of fighting. He's not powerful enough to go like Marisa throwing Master Sparks around or huge patterns. Not skilled or experienced enough at 'true' danmaku yet to go for speed or precision. So being able to potentially out-think an opponent would be best.
>>No. 1878
[X]Multi-purpose focusing array. Different effects depending on configuration. Need a shield, put them in Barrier Mode. Want more powerful shots, Amp Lens. Multiple shots or from an unexpected angle, Refraction Grid. And so forth.

Yeah, this sounds awesome.
>>No. 1879
File 128065038484.png - (644.72KB, 800x947, 6023715dbc4d7049b718b205549d43e9.png) [iqdb]
1879
>>1877
Not bad, not bad at all! Vague and ambiguous skills are usually the most effective! Ample array of uses and an open door for any deus ex machina. Also, in case you haven't noticed, by amplifying the natural skills of an elemental magician (or alchemist, as the case may be) he could increase his element-absorbing ability, like the first stock option says.
Making a cake and eating it is always the best way to do things~
>>No. 1880
>>1878
>>1879

Glad you like it, though it'll have to be seen where the votes go in the end.

Oh, and the names of the various modes were just to give a general idea for each one, and should (and likely will) be redone as needed, possibly for thematic purposes.
>>No. 1881
[X]Multi-purpose focusing array. Different effects depending on configuration. Need a shield, put them in Barrier Mode. Want more powerful shots, Amp Lens. Multiple shots or from an unexpected angle, Refraction Grid. And so forth.

I approve.
>>No. 1882
[X]Multi-purpose focusing array. Different effects depending on configuration. Need a shield, put them in Barrier Mode. Want more powerful shots, Amp Lens. Multiple shots or from an unexpected angle, Refraction Grid. And so forth.
>>No. 1883
[X]Multi-purpose focusing array. Different effects depending on configuration. Need a shield, put them in Barrier Mode. Want more powerful shots, Amp Lens. Multiple shots or from an unexpected angle, Refraction Grid. And so forth.

Oh, and yeah...

[X] Where is Rumia?

Aren't forgetting the little damsel in distress(*coughcough*) Letty tied up earlier, folks? >_>
>>No. 1884
EDIT: Aren't *we* forgetting-

Urgh. Pardon my crappy grammar. -_-
>>No. 1885
[X]Multi-purpose focusing array. Different effects depending on configuration. Need a shield, put them in Barrier Mode. Want more powerful shots, Amp Lens. Multiple shots or from an unexpected angle, Refraction Grid. And so forth.

This will do

>>1883
>>1884

> >_>

>-_-

stop that
>>No. 1886
[X]Multi-purpose focusing array. Different effects depending on configuration. Need a shield, put them in Barrier Mode. Want more powerful shots, Amp Lens. Multiple shots or from an unexpected angle, Refraction Grid. And so forth.

This is probably either going to weigh a lot or be beyond Ivan's current skill. Which is fine because he likes having to kill himself to finish projects.
>>No. 1887
>>1886
We shouldn't be encouraging that tendency though.
>>No. 1888
[X]Multi-purpose focusing array. Different effects depending on configuration. Need a shield, put them in Barrier Mode. Want more powerful shots, Amp Lens. Multiple shots or from an unexpected angle, Refraction Grid. And so forth.

jesus
>>No. 1889
[X]Multi-purpose focusing array. Different effects depending on configuration. Need a shield, put them in Barrier Mode. Want more powerful shots, Amp Lens. Multiple shots or from an unexpected angle, Refraction Grid. And so forth.

It goes without saying that said array should be self sufficient, at the very least give the stones a levitation ability.
>>No. 1891
[X]Multi-purpose focusing array. Different effects depending on configuration. Need a shield, put them in Barrier Mode. Want more powerful shots, Amp Lens. Multiple shots or from an unexpected angle, Refraction Grid. And so forth.

It goes without saying that said array should be self sufficient, at the very least give the stones a levitation ability.
>>No. 1892
[X]Multi-purpose focusing array. Different effects depending on configuration. Need a shield, put them in Barrier Mode. Want more powerful shots, Amp Lens. Multiple shots or from an unexpected angle, Refraction Grid. And so forth.

Awesomeness is needed. The we can go out and rape Rumia with it. If you know what I mean.
>>No. 1893
Somehow Nitori managed to stop talking long enough for me to actually get some words in. I have a basic idea in my head, but I get the feeling that this will end up being more complicated that I think. "On the most basic level, I want to be able to reconfigure what these will be used for for any given purpose. Sort of like a Swiss Army Knife, but in cannon form." I start to sketch down some of the ideas I have, but one of the most prominent is a sort of a 'Reconfiguration Drone' setup. It uses a crystal as a battery/core, another for the lens, and a rewritable rune surface that changes according to what I need at the time. Things like refraction lenses, defensive shields, offensive cannons are all on the menu, and they change shape into what would make the most sense for the given configuration. "It's a jack of all trades deal, but I like keeping my options open."

"Heh, never were one for straight up power, were you?" Marisa chuckles as she looks over the designs. "Still, it's a good thing you decided to share this with us, otherwise these would have blown up on you for sure. Just look at how you've got the mode change set up! These'd break apart in maybe six uses if they didn't detonate first." She then takes a piece of paper for herself and starts to scribble down a magic circle that looks like it could be reconfigured into any number of meanings without much effort. "See, something like this would work a lot better. It'd mean your cannons wouldn't look so flashy, but this symbol would be nice and stable. Plus it'd let you reconfigure on the fly if you made it so they go like this." She then scribbles down a rough design. It's clear that she hasn't put too much thought into the back of it, but the front consists of a shell that's made up of a number of free-floating circles that look like they'd be capable of seperating and relocking at will.

"Who says it can't look good too? You just gotta be able to fit the circle onto it, right? So pick a spot and I can figure something out to make it work!" Nitori seems more than happy to pitch in her own ideas, and she manages to surprise me by placing a model of her idea on the table. "Size doesn't matter too much does it? You're only looking at a few reconfigurations. Or if you are, you can use multiple circles to do the job." She helpfully points out a possibility that I don't think Marisa had considered. Perhaps...

"Maybe if I didn't use circles, but runes? If applied correctly you can make them state what you want quite clearly, and the possible reconfiguration method would let you change where you'd have to stick them." I start to sketch down my idea even as I speak, detailing a possible chassis-based mode change. "Putting a magic circle in front just screams 'I'm a weak point, come destroy me!' Putting that kind of thing where it's not so obvious would be better." Something then comes to mind. "And if runes were used, there might not be a need for the whole rotating wheel deal. Maybe you could apply power only to the runes you wanted to use?"

Marisa shrugs as she thinks it over. "Yeah, but that'd be just as big a weak point as a magic circle. It probably would be better not to stick that sort of thing within easy reach though, so maybe use the forward shell arrangement, but stick everything on the underside of it?" She keeps sketching her ideas out as she talks, and it's obvious she's coming up with more than just that one idea and form.

"Who says it's got to be visible at all? You could write them in the gem casing and it wouldn't matter so long as you gave it proper shielding. Runes are pretty forgiving that way, unless I really got it wrong." Nitori brings up yet another possible idea. There's this silly little thing where if you were to damage a rune/magic circle heavily enough it would either cease to function, have its function changed, or explode outright. Given my luck, it's probably going to be that last one, and it will probably be a really big explosion that lands me back in Eientei for the next few days. Sticking it where the enemy would have to destroy the cannon anyway just to get at it might be an idea as explosions tend to not take all that long to go off... Ugh, why am I considering this? These are supposed to be useful for as long as I can keep repairing them, not to use them as bombs.

"Are you nuts? Even with proper shielding, if you went for a rune type that activates when power is applied and stuck it next to a power source, you'd never be able to shut them down! Trust me, I've tried that sort of thing before." Marisa rolls her eyes as she recalls an incident that might not have been so different from my own screw-ups. "You'd make it permanently confused as to what it's supposed to do, and it'd either shut down or blow up. I don't know about you, but I'm kinda tired of Ivan almost killing himself all the time."

"Second layer of shielding then? They'd be heavier, but if they're floating around on their own that sort of thing won't be an issue to begin with." Nitori then proceeds to come up with a blueprint for an orbital cannon that looks rather high-tech, almost to the point where it's more like something out of science fiction rather than anything sensible. Yet even I can tell it's something well thought out and more than capable of working. "Plus, this design would give you all sorts of awesome things! They could form barriers at a moments notice, bounce danmaku, suck up elements for later and to mitigate attacks, and you could even turn it into a really awesome cannon! Plus, it'll call for seven since they'll use a hectogon shaped shield and you need enough to cover your whole body, and you could redirect them to guard against anything in any way you want! Plus it can be upgraded and given all sorts of modular equipment! It's perfect!"

"So, you're going to get started on this straigh away while Nitori's still here? I'd be willing to pitch in too if you want." Marisa kind of surprises me with such a hitch free offer, but I figure I should hear the rest of it. "You just gotta make me lunch first, I'm kinda hungry."

[X]You know what they say, the more the merrier. ...And less likely to blow himself up.
[X]Letty gave you insight before, maybe working on something like this might trigger something else?
[X]...Check the door before you forget.
>>No. 1894
[X]You know what they say, the more the merrier. ...And less likely to blow himself up.
[X]...Check the door before you forget.

And with this we dont need too much power at once, we can keep upgrading the modular system with new toys....
>>No. 1895
[X]Letty gave you insight before, maybe working on something like this might trigger something else?
[X]...Check the door before you forget.
Memories!
>>No. 1896
[X]...Check the door before you forget.
>>No. 1898
[X]You know what they say, the more the merrier. ...And less likely to blow himself up.
[X]Letty gave you insight before, maybe working on something like this might trigger something else?
[X]...Check the door before you forget.

Wall me.
>>No. 1899
[X]You know what they say, the more the merrier. ...And less likely to blow himself up.
[X]Letty gave you insight before, maybe working on something like this might trigger something else?
[X]...Check the door before you forget.
>>No. 1900
[X]Letty gave you insight before, maybe working on something like this might trigger something else?
-[X]...Check the door before you forget.

hmm...
>>No. 1901
[x]>>1899
>>No. 1902
[X]You know what they say, the more the merrier. ...And less likely to blow himself up.
[X]...Check the door before you forget.
>>No. 1903
[X]You know what they say, the more the merrier. ...And less likely to blow himself up.
[X]...Check the door before you forget.
>>No. 1904
[X]Letty gave you insight before, maybe working on something like this might trigger something else?
[X]...Check the door before you forget.
>>No. 1905
[x]You know what they say, the more the merrier. ...And less likely to blow himself up.
[x]Letty gave you insight before, maybe working on something like this might trigger something else?
[x]...Check the door before you forget.
>>No. 1906
[should]You know what they say, the more the merrier. ...And less likely to blow himself up.
[be]Letty gave you insight before, maybe working on something like this might trigger something else?
[obvious]...Check the door before you forget.

"The more the merrier" should apply to Letty as well.
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