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File 126526372364.png - (545.85KB, 450x464, Letty.png) [iqdb]
501No. 501
...

Careful...

Careful...

Ah, that's it. Mokou hasn't woken up yet so I'll have to keep being nice and quiet if I want to make it out with my intended prize.

Oh, this probably doesn't make any sense to you does it? Of course not, you were dropped right in the middle without so much as an introduction, so I'll try to explain as I go.

My name? Not important. In fact, I'd like to keep this short if at all possible since one wrong move could mean a nice third-degree burn and another trip to Eientei. Yes, again. I'm an alchemist you see, and I'm quite tired of none of my clothing keeping out the cold for more than fifteen minutes. Even my thickest clothes, the ones modified for warmth are insufficient in this wretched cold! But in the process I recall one Mokou Fujiwara, a woman that has the powers of a phoenix. Surely she could help me!

...If only it were that easy. You see, I have nothing that really interests her, and the item I've deemed most likely to succeed, the one I need in a bad sort of way made her treat me like some kind of creepy stalker. I need just one strand of her hair to work with, and I have acquired one in the past. In fact, more than one. Many more. So why do I sneak up on this firey woman seeking more?

For me, alchemy is a very imprecise art when it comes to making something you actually wanted to make. Most of my results had to be scrapped because they ignited themselves, threatened to inflict hyperthermia on me, incinerated themselves... The usual. And I have to admit I don't enjoy the total pain inflicted on me by Mokou. All six third-degree burns, all twenty-four second degree burns, and all one-hundred and nine first degree burns. All necessitating a trip to Eientei, either by my own crippled at the moment hand or Mokou taking pity on me and taking me there herself.

In fact, I've probably visited the clinic far more than any other villager, but that's to be expected in my line of work. Kind of like the sorry man who invented gunpowder, except my inventions are used for things other than senseless violence. Even if explosions are fun to watch.

One strand... Gently... Yoink! One more strand for my latest-

"You never get tired of this do you?" Mokou turns to face me with a rather bored expression.

"Aw crap." Next thing I know I'm running as though death itself were chasing me. Of course if you were being chased by an angry pyromaniac and you didn't have the power to fight said maniac you'd run like hell too.

"If you sit real still I'll only singe ya!" Mokou tosses a small fireball at me, which blasts the snow in front of me. Did I mention it's early winter?

"Your version of 'singe' is greatly understated!" My gloved hands fumble for a bottle I know will stop her in her tracks, but I grab the bottled drakness instead... Well, beggars can't be choosers and this beggar's about to get roasted! I undo the stopper just enough to get it undone... Only for a fireball to impact my back, which happened to incinerate the clothing in the process, and add to my burn collection...

"A little too slow this time." The thmp thmp thmp sound of Mokou walking through the snowfall grows ever so louder as she gets closer. She clicks her tongue in annoyance, but not at me. "Overdid it again this time. Guess I gotta haul your ass to Eientei before that becomes permanent."

...

Sigh...

I just want some defense against winter...

---

Just to put it to a vote:
Shall I introduce myself?
[X]Sure!
-[X]Choose something though.
[X]No thanks.

This is an idea I've been sitting on for a while in order to work the kinks out. Kind of a nice touch of irony since this is a winter oriented CYOA in a green board.
Expand all images
>>No. 503
[X]Sure!
-[X]Choose something though.

Seems like a good start.
>>No. 504
Just to let you know, '[X]Choose something though' is meant to be 'pick a name for the alchemist'. Choosing '[X]Sure!' means he'll introduce himself without imput.
>>No. 505
[X]Sure!
>>No. 506
I feel Mokou pick me up so she can sling me over her shoulder fireman-style, then I see that the snowy ground is moving away. Not that it means anything other than Mokou is taking me to Eientei for treatment. So while Mokou zips through the snow-laden bamboo forest I will take the time to tell you my name, and perhaps a bit more about my profession.

My name is Ivan. Why only my given name and not my surname? I had a bit of fallout with my family when I left to start my business, something about burning the family barn down. That was because said barn was in dire disrepair and wasn't used by anyone except the bravest of the schoolchildren, who played some of their games there and myself, who found it to be a nearly ideal place to preform my experiments in creating a magic-based heating element. My curiosity was sparked one day during a visit to Kourindou when I had noticed that the shop was in fact quite cozy and warm dispite the crisp autumn air that chilled many a house, so after finding a beginner's guide to alchemy I began to aquire the necissary materials required to emulate said heating element. Obviously someone in their mid-teens has not taken the needed lumps to understand just how dangerous alchemy can be or how careful you have to be, so I ignored all the warnings I received on the matter and experimented in the barn. Obviously since I stated that it burned down, obviously something happened.

That's easy enough to answer. I was creating what would eventually be refined into sealed fire, which when placed in the proper container could keep the whole house at a comfortable sixty-five degrees farenheit, and misjudged how hot the prototype material would get. It melted through the glass container and set the whole place on fire in a matter of seconds. Thankfully nobody was in that building other than myself, but the barn was as good as gone. I was forbidden from ever doing alchemy again and in the eyes of my parents, for very good reason. Naturally that didn't stop me. I continued to experiment in secret until my mother discovered the bottled water I had stuffed into a orange-sized orb of glass and smashed it against the wall in a fit of rage, most likely due to the fact that I had completely disregarded their orders and continued what would be my profession.

What happened when dear ol' mother broke the bottled water? Apparently the windows were broken and the door to my room snapped off its hinges, and thoroughly soaked everything that's mine as well as inflicting considerable water damage to the house. I was held responsible by my parents and everything I owned that wasn't destroyed by my mother's hissy fit was sold to help pay for the needed repairs. I helped restore the house, but once I made my way outside afterwards I found that the door was slammed shut behind me, and locked. I took that as my cue that I was no longer welcome in my own home and found myself in a bit of a bind since I used up the money I had to help pay for the damages in the belief that this could become water under the bridge. Obviously not.

Alchemy had to be put on hold until I could find a place to live and funds to replace everything I had lost. Surprisingly I found that many of the other villagers thought that my parents had overreacted and that their actions were a bit to extreme since I had given everything I had to help repair my home, and as such I had little trouble in finding a roof over my head and food to eat. Miss Kameshirasawa took me in for the time being, and I had taken it upon myself to work hard to repay her kindness, often in the form to taking care of the smaller chores for her as well as giving her some of my earnings as payment despite her refusing such things. Though perhaps the most surprising, or maybe the least, is that it was the catalyst for meeting Miss Kirasame who found me to be rather interesting once she discovered I was the primary reason the partial destruction of my home had occured.

---

Not yet voting time...
>>No. 507
I seem to be rambling about my past when I said I'd talk about my profession aren't I? Well that's more- "GAAAAAAAH!"

"Tewi, when I asked you to check to see if he's awake, I did not mean for you to use your mallet on the burn area." Eirin stated this in a less than amused tone while snatching said mallet away from the diminutive delinquent. "Reisen, did you get the salve?"

"Yes master. Umm, do you want me to get Tewi away from here?" Reisen walked in while holding a jar of burn salve, though having been on the receiving end of a few of the doctor's medicines I have to assume it's more than just burn salve.

"Sheesh, I try to help and this is what I get?" Tewi tries to play the victim for a few seconds before she notices that nobody's buying it. "It was worth a shot."

"Shoo." Eirin then shoves the diminutive rabbit out the door and shuts it properly this time. "It's good to see you're still alive at least."

"I'm guessing it's bad enough to make the typical man lose his lunch." I'm stuck relying on the good doctor to relay my condition to me since I'm laying face down on a table.

"Enough to make a typical man queasy at the very least. Just what did you do to annoy Mokou to the point where she'd attack you like this?" While I can't see what Eirin's doing I can hear her unscrewing the lid of the jar Reisen brought in, and the sound of the moon bunny putting on a pair of gloves.

"I needed fresh ingredients." The doctor will know exactly what I'm talking about, and I'm proven right when she flicks the wound. "Please don't do that."

"I keep telling you that I'd be more than happy to help you with your projects if it means you don't wind up in the ER anywhere near as often." She brings up another good point.

"I'd rather not accidentally make part of Eientei explode." I end up shuddering when the first of the cool salve is applied to the burn area, but force myself to relax as it's gently worked in.

"The offer's always open you know. It wouldn't hurt to learn from someone with experience." Eirin's skilled hands relay the extent of the damage to me, and it's not exactly pretty with all the burnt flesh and scorching.

"Perhaps. Thank you for doing this though." Heck, it's the least I can do for the doctor and nurse who have put up with my carelessness for so long.

"It's hardly necessary. It gives me an excuse to work on an improved human-safe burn salve." Eirin continues to work for the next few minutes until she's satisfied, then ceases to work on the wound.

"So I'm a guinea pig." I tilt my head just enough for the doctor to see my mock annoyed expression.

"Guinea pig is such an ugly term. I prefer 'test subject'." Eirin and I both know that they refer to the exact same thing. It's a running joke between us. "I need to get that wound wrapped up, and I'd prefer it if you stay here for at least today. Humans don't walk off that kind of damage so easily."

[X]Listen to the doctor for once.
[X]I really need to get home...
[X]Write-in
>>No. 508
[x] Listen to the doctor for once.

I hope we don't become a yukkuri this time.
>>No. 509
[X]Listen to the doctor for once.
>>No. 510
[X]Listen to the doctor for once.
>>No. 511
>>508
And suddenly, without warning Eirin's experiment became clear! Poor Ivan's body melted away leaving naught but his head, which swelled to give it an idiotic appearance! His eyes glazed over as Reisen stood in shock of what had just happened while the doctor herself merely showed a sadistic smile...

Okay, enough of that foolery.

My mind is rather conflicted about what to do next. I really am in no condition to travel great distances with this huge burn on my back, but I'm somewhat forgetful when it comes to locking the door of my house when I set out to acquire material. It comes down to 'Do I want to ensure my own safety', or 'Do I want to ensure that I don't have an uninvited guest?' I try to sit up and it becomes clear that I really should listen to the doctor just this one time.

"Oh, very well..." Despite the doctor's medicine I'm still in a fairly considerable amount of pain, and I get the feeling even a slow walk would be torturous. "I'll stay for one night, but that's it."

"Good boy. Reisen, if you could prepare a room please?" Eirin knows she's won this argument and intends to make it obvious.

"Yes master. Oh, the roll of bandages is on the counter in case you were wondering." Reisen points out the object she set out only minutes ago before walking off.

"Thank you, and let the princess know that we have a guest." The doctor picks up said roll and pulls off the loose end. "I didn't expect you to stick around willingly." At which point she begins to dress the wound.

"It was either that or be left at winter's mercy." And now all I can do is wait for Eirin to finish with her task, and that may take a few minutes.

"You're still in that much pain huh?" The doctor gets it right on the first guess, much to my annoyance. Though her skilled hands have been over my body enough to tell when I'm not being honest about my condition.

"...Yes." It kills my dignity a little to know that Eirin can read me like a book, but it's counterbalanced by the fact that she's a rather attractive individual. Out of my league thanks to her immortality, but that doesn't stop me from enjoying the moment. "I think the next thing I'm going to synthesize an automatic lock for my door."

"Worried that Marisa's going to invade while you're away?" Funny thing about Eirin's physical methods is that she knows exactly how to avoid making the patient more uncomfortable than he or she already is, yet her conversation topics veer into such territory.

"To be honest, the forest witch is the least of my worries. I'm more worried about certain kinds of youkai getting into my house while I'm away." Another one of my quirks that probably doesn't make much sense to you, but I hope that you'll understand why I'm concerned over my home being violated with a little explanation.

My house is within the village, as are most others, but it's one of the only ones on the edge of the town. This is because my experiments occasionally take a disastrous turn and as a result could do much more damage to the entire town if it weren't away from it. This does make me an easier target for feral youkai, or at least those who can withstand repeated elemental explosions. In winter one could argue that this is exceptionally dangerous due to the snow women that appear. Said snow women are supposedly the spirits of women lost to winter's cold embrace, at which point they begin to wander the land in order to pursue their agendas which are as varied as the spirits themselves.

The ones I'm most concerned with are the ones that attempt to steal body heat and are able to withstand warm temperatures indefinitely. Which is kind of ironic when you think about it, because the human body's internal temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, well above the melting point of water. They're supposed to melt when exposed to temperatures greater than thirty-two degrees Fahrenheit yet absorb body heat that is more than three times that limit. I never understood that and stopped trying, focusing my efforts on keeping them out should the need ever arise.

"You haven't fallen asleep on me again have you?" Eirin pokes the dressed wound to get my attention. Not enough to inflict major pain but more than enough to get my attention. "I didn't know I was that boring."

"I'm just organizing my thoughts for when I commit them to paper later. It has nothing to do with your entertainment value." I note that the doctor has moved to the chair in the process while I shift myself to where I can put my- Oh, that's right. "If it's not too much trouble..."

"I thought ahead and asked the princess to craft some spare clothes."

---
>>No. 512
That bit of information surprised me to say the least. "Your princess crafts clothes?"

"Kaguya and I have lived a long time you know. It's rather presumptuous of you to assume she hasn't learned a trade in that time, even if it was out of sheer boredom." Eirin hands me a shirt identical to the one Mokou torched, and I'm left in awe at how exact the reproduction is. "Needless to say she's gotten quite good at her hobby. Good enough to sell her work in the village along with my medicine."

"I guess the rumors of your princess being a NEET were wrong." I slip it on and immediately notice a difference: It's actually more comfortable.

"She just likes to cultivate that image. She does spend most of her time on the computer and doesn't socialize outside of Eientei very often, but she's actually quite skilled at several crafts." Eirin gets up from her position and checks the bandages one more time before taking a step toward the door. "For example, the bandages on your wound were hand crafted by Kaguya."

"I guess having all the time in existence can be beneficial when you want to learn a craft." I follow the doctor out into the hallway, then out of the clinic itself since there isn't any more reason to be there.

Eirin's smile turned bitter for a moment, but she caught herself before I could get much of a look. "I wouldn't recommend it for anyone." Not that she could keep it out of her tone...

"I apologize if I touched a sore spot there, but to change the subject a bit..." I began to speak but found it rather difficult to actually get my thoughts out.

[X]"I'm actually curious about Kaguya now. Do you think I could meet her?"
[X]Time to shelve my pride... "Could I have you assist me with something?"
[X]"Is there anything interesting to do around here?"
[X]Write-in

---

Yes, write-ins are accepted. If you don't like the options, make your own! Just keep it sane unless the situation calls for it.
>>No. 513
[X]"I'm actually curious about Kaguya now. Do you think I could meet her?"

If we become friends with Kaguya, we can have her help get hair from Mokou. Though it's sad how Ivan thinks Rinnosuke's house is heated through Alchemy.
>>No. 518
[X]"I'm actually curious about Kaguya now. Do you think I could meet her?"
>>No. 522
[X]"Is there anything interesting to do around here?"

Inspiration is 99% boredom!
>>No. 525
"The more I hear about your princess the more interested I am in meeting her. Is it alright if I do so?" I finally come to the conclusion that the only way to learn the truth would be to meet the princess myself.

"It would be more than alright. In fact, I was just heading out to meet you." That unfamiliar voice must belong to princess Kaguya, and upon turning around I'm met with a rather unusual sight. All the pictures the Bunbunmaru showed depicted Kaguya in a pink and red dress that covered her feet, yet here she wears a pink sweatshirt with a normal rabbit's face embroidered on the front along with a pair of blue jeans. I do notice that she also has a pair of sweatpants on since they stick out just beyond said jeans. A pair of heavy socks and a pair of bunny slippers finishes the outfit. "So you must be Ivan. Eirin's expressed her frustration about your methods more than once."

"Princess, not in front of the guest..." Eirin apparently did not want that particular bit of info to be known to me.

"Relax Eirin, I'm sure he's picked up on how you want to apprentice him." Suddenly I get the feeling that Kaguya is merely pressing the doctor's buttons at the moment. "It's good to see I was able to guess your size. It's comfortable isn't it?"

"Yes, more so than what I had on previously." I think I'll answer her questions with the bare minimum for now since I doubt she's exhausted her supply of subjects.

"Good, good, I was afraid my depth perception was finally failing. Too bad I'm locked in perfect health, huh?" Kaguya then grabs me by the hand and starts leading me off someplace. "This is no place to hold a conversation you know! I think it'd be more appropriate to sit in front of a nice roaring fire, don't you?"

"Wait, princess!" Eirin actually had to run to catch up. "Don't you think this is a bit much? Besides, what if that scheming Tengu sneaks in while you're acting so..."

"So me? I'm not worried. Nobody would brave this blizzard, not even Aya." Kaguya all but kicks down the door and pulls me in to a table that happens to be in front of a large fire, and to my surprise Mokou happens to be seated there! "Mokoooooou!~"

"I guess you got sucked into staying too huh?" Mokou decides to ignore Kaguya for the moment and adresses me while shuffling a deck of cards.

"My body made my brain listen to reason for once." I take a seat next to Mokou while Kaguya occupies the seat opposite the pheonix. "And now I can't leave since it's a blizzard and I haven't finished that pheonix jacket yet. Or the matching pants."

"Is that why you keep yanking Mokou's hair?" Kaguya looks at the cards she was dealt while asking her question. "I didn't think you could gather enough to weave a jacket."

"He's talking about alchemy you ditz. Now set two cards in the dealer's pile so we can get going." Mokou sets two of her six cards next to a board with pegs in it. I think this game is called Rummy but I don't quite remember. What I can tell you is that the board is longer than it is wide and has three tracks side by side, and each track has one hundred and twenty holes in it. In place of the ninety marker is a large 'S', which stands for Skunk. If you lose by thirty points or more you're considered 'skunked' by the opponent.

"That makes more sense. I assume this would involve creating a liquid to treat the cloth with, or are you doing something else?" Kaugya sets down two cards of her own before lifting up a few cards from the deck, at which point Mokou pulled the top card from the bottom cut and placed it on the cards Kaguya set back down face-up. "Nine."

"I'm currently trying to infuse the cloth with the properties of a pheonix directly rather than trying to apply a mixture. I'm trying to go for a more permanent solution than a temporary enhancement." It seems the two are neck and neck in this race so far.

"Fifteen-two." Mokou moves her back piece two spaces ahead of her front one. "Except you seem to screw it up on a routine basis. I'm still laughing at that jacket that explodes when you put it on, and regenerates when you take it off."

"Twenty-five." Kaguya lays down a ten next, but since it doesn't amount to anything she can't move. "Really? Eirin never mentioned that one."

"That's because I didn't know. Did you really make an exploding jacket?" Eirin takes a seat next to Kaguya and looks me straight in the eyes, while I feel quite embarrassed at having that particular faliure announced to her.

"Sure did. Hell, I stole it from him while he was recovering at Keine's and slipped it into Kaguya's closet during the night." Damned pheonix. So that's where that one went! "Thirty-one for two." And moved her piece ahead two spaces.

"Huh, I wondered why that silver jacket kept blowing up on me. It certainly kept me warm though." Kaguya seems completely unphazed at the revelation that she was intentionally given a harmful object. "Seven."

"I took a photo of your dumb expression too. That was priceless. And I was rolling on the floor laughing when you kept putting it back on." Mokou had a rather sadistic smile on her face as she recounted that particular memory. "Thirteen."

"That actually was funny in hindsight. Almost as funny as shaving you bald during the night." Kaguya layed down her sole remaining card. "Twenty."

"Come to think of it you never did tell me what you did with all that hair." Mokou layed down her last card as well. "Twenty-nine and last card." She then moved her peg one more space forward.

"And I never will~" Kaguya sweeps up her hand and lays it out for all to see. "Lets see, fifteen-two, fifteen-four, and a run of four for eight." The face-up card on the deck is an eight by the way.

"Wait a minute... That's what you used to embroider that rabbit!" Mokou looks somewhat annoyed now that she's figured out what Kaguya did. "Fifteen-two, fifteen-four, fifteen-six, and triples for twelve."

"And I love this sweatshirt all the more since it has a bit of you in it." Kaguya takes Mokou's spent hand and puts her own hands on the cards.

"You're fucking creepy." Mokou pulls a long stick of pastry out of a box and starts sucking on the chocolate-covered end before revealing her 'kitty'. "Nothing but trash."

"That is one way to keep warm, but I'm guessing a full outfit would cause hyperthermia." Now might be a good time to break up the conversation before things get ugly. I've heard about the confrontations of Mokou and Kaguya and have no interest in seeing it up close and personal.

"It does get a bit too hot, even in a blizzard. I am curious if you'll manage to create a finished product that doesn't harm or kill you." Kaguya shuffles the cards and deals out six each, then they both discard two, and Mokou cuts for a five of clubs. They're both at the S line, but I get the feeling this will be over in the next turn. "Go."

"Three." Mokou seems a bit happier now that the conversation has drifted away from her.

"Eight." Kaguya's pretty confident about this...

"Ten."

"Fifteen-two." Kaguya places her peg two spots forward...

"Twenty-two."

"Twenty-seven."

"...Go." Mokou looks infurated at this point, probably from Kaguya's revealed hand. "Nine."

Kaguya sets her peg one more space forward... "Nineteen and last card." ...and jumps her own peg one more time.

"Trash..."

"Jack of clubs and four fives means this hand is worth twenty-five points. About one short..." Kaguya sweeps her 'kitty' into her hands... "Pair of aces for two! Looks like you got skunked this time."

Mokou applies her hand to her face in frustration. I wonder if there's some kind of penalty game involved in getting skunked or not? "Would you like us to vacate the room princess?" Eirin speaks up first, and I note rabbits have appeared next to Mokou.

"There's no reason for either of you to leave. I'm going to have my fun with Mokou in my room~" Kaguya gets up from her seat and motions for the rabbits to grab Mokou. The small rabbits comply and drag the pheonix girl out of the room. "I know I'm being rude, but I'm going to take an hour. Feel free to explore Eientei in the meantime, and if you get lost or just need a refresher on where things are, just ask one of the rabbits." With that, the door closes behind her.

"So what do you plan on doing?" Eirin seems to be mildly amused by all this.

[X]"I'm going to work on that jacket. Did you see where that strand of hair went?"
[X]Go explore for a bit. Maybe I won't get bored.
[X]Ask Eirin what that was about.
[X]Maybe it'll be possible to hold a normal conversation with Reisen...
[X]Write-in
>>No. 526
File 126550314370.jpg - (23.13KB, 480x272, ded43_tmp.jpg) [iqdb]
526
[X]"I'm going to work on that jacket. Did you see where that strand of hair went?"

Kinda monster hunter-ish don't you think? Gathering hair for materials, I mean. Is Mokou a Lunastra or something? Hahahaha
>>No. 528
[X]Maybe it'll be possible to hold a normal conversation with Reisen...

Why not meet the bunny?
>>No. 529
[X]Maybe it'll be possible to hold a normal conversation with Reisen...

Might as well meet everyone while we're there.
>>No. 530
[X]Maybe it'll be possible to hold a normal conversation with Reisen...

Be a people person.
>>No. 531
>>526
I've never played Monster Hunter, so I wouldn't know.

---

"Eirin, I think I'm going to track down your assistant and talk to her for a bit." I'm actually curious as to whether or not I'll be able to hold a normal conversation with the moon bunny without some kind of wacky hijinks interfering.

"I have no objections. I'll be at the indoor archery range if you need me." With that Eirin walks out one of the doors to the far left of the fireplace.

Now that there's no one to talk to or impede my progress... Okay, I hope there's no one to impede my progress I go back the way I came so I can keep to mostly familiar territory. I almost immediately regret leaving that nice warm room now that I'm in a fairly cold hallway but I'm not turning back over something trivial like the cold!

...Okay, that was pretty unconvincing wasn't it? I am serious about walking around to locate Reisen though, and as such start by locating the kitchen since it's one of the numerous places she frequents. Poor girl gets saddled with most of the work thanks to Tewi slacking off and the main rabbit force being unreliable about doing their chores at best. I can't help but wonder if Eirin ever has to order her to take a break.

These halls are longer than anything I've previously seen, much longer than Eientei itself now that I think about it. Another point of interest is that I've only encountered the odd male earth rabbit so far, which is odd because the halls are usually occupied by at least a few and of an even split between gender. Do the earth rabbits take the threat of the snow woman seriously? Or is it my imagination?

"Whatcha lookin' for?" A small male earth rabbit bounds over to me and tugs on my pant leg.

"Hmm? I'm actually looking for Reisen. Do you know where she is?" I in turn acknowledge the rabbit.

"You won't find her in the outer sections, that's for sure. Mother Tewi instructed us to keep her occupied in the inner areas and for us male rabbits to take over for her in the outer sections." The rabbit bounds ahead of me and turns around. "But I'm scared. The temperature dropped a few degrees since you and master Eirin passed through here, so if you take me with you I'll show you where she is."

Rabbits are prey animals so it only makes sense that they'd want to flee danger, and I need a guide since I don't know any area outside the clinic and the halls leading to it all that well. "That sounds reasonable. I'm guessing the temperature drop is a forced one?"

"It is. We earth rabbits are good at telling when sudden forced changes occur, and this blizzard is denfinitely forced." With that it starts hopping back toward the room with the fireplace, then opens the door. I am routinely amazed at how they're able to turn a handle without changing into their humanoid forms. "Much better." He then hops along toward the same door Eirin went through earlier, and while it's noticably colder in the hallway it's actually warmer than it was the other direction.

"Central heating?" My first thought is perhaps they've purchased some Sealed Fire in order to heat their mansion, but dismiss the thought almost immediately. My stock is almost always sold out due to the time, effort, and materials required to properly synthesize a orb of Sealed Fire.

"You oughta recognize it when you see it. Reisen's through a couple more doors." He then hops through a couple more doors, rooms, and hallways before coming to a stop outside of a janitor closet. He opens it without hesitation to reveal a bound and gagged Reisen. "Ehh, Tewi told us to keep her out of the outer sections. She didn't specify how."

"I hope this was a last resort rather that a first pick." I move next to the moon bunny and begin untying the rope binding her legs.

"Of course! We tried keeping her occupied by making a mess in the inner areas, dealing with the work in the outer areas, having her spend time with us... But she's still bent on checking on our work." The rabbit stands on his hind legs and shrugged. "So we tied her up until she cools down."

Finished. The gag's undone, along with the wrist restraints. "Are you okay?"

"Bleh... Yes, I'm fine." Reisen rubs her wrists to get the circulation going, then stands up to get off her rear. "As for you..." She then glares at the small earth rabbit.

"Eh heh heh... Well, I helped ya find her so seeyalaterbye!" The rabbit inched over to the door before bounding off faster than the moon bunny can lunge at him.

"The things I have to put up with sometimes." Reisen finishes dusting off her mini-skirt and suit before turning to me. "May I ask what you're doing here?"

"I just wanted to talk to you, that's all." I step out of the janitor's closet with Reisen directly behind me.

"Oh! Uhh... Wouldn't master or the princess make for better conversation partners?" It's kind of cute how uncertain she looks when someone shows interest in her.

"I already spoke with Kaguya a little, then she ran off with Mokou. Odds are to do something embarrassing to her. Eirin decided to go to the indoor archery range when I stated that I wanted to speak to you." Of course I don't really know where there's something to do...

Reisen merely stays silent for a minute. "Would you like me to show you around?"

[X]"How can I refuse a lovely lady?"
[X]"If I may make a request, what is there to do around here?"
[X]"Just finding a spot to sit and chat is perfectly acceptable."
[X]I'm probably going to feel bad about this later, but fluster the poor bunny.
[X]Write-in
>>No. 533
[X]"How can I refuse a lovely lady?"
>>No. 534
[X]"How can I refuse a lovely lady?"
>>No. 535
[X]"How can I refuse a lovely lady?"
>>No. 536
[X]"How can I refuse a lovely lady? Don't answer that, it's not like you'd know. But, yes, show me around if that makes you happy"
>>No. 537
"How can I refuse a lovely lady?" If only I had a rose... I shelve those thoughts for now since they are ultimately irrelevant to the current situation. Romancing the bunny isn't at the forefront of my thoughts anyway.

However, I do get the desired effect in the form of Reisen's newly formed blush. She really isn't used to getting complemented like this is she? "Then follow me please..." She begins walking in a direction I'm unfamiliar with, further into the depths of the house of eternity with me hot on her tail. ...Not really, but I couldn't resist making that joke.

These hallways really do seem endless. An endless stretch of wood hallway with an infinite number of decorative sliding and western doors, all of which have their own paths to take. You can never reach their respective ends, but that doesn't stop one from trying. I can't help but wonder if this is some kind of private joke between the resident immortals, or some kind of bitter metaphor. "Reisen, do all these doors eventually connect?"

"Hmm?" The moon bunny's ears perk up once my voice reaches them. She stops in her tracks in order to face me without possibly crashing into something, which is considerate considering that there are more than a few other bunnies hopping about. "There aren't any dead ends within Eientei, so everything is connected. I find it both convenient in the fact that a wrong turn doesn't mean you have to turn back, but annoying in how easy it can be to get lost at times." Her ears twitch again when she hears me chuckle. "Did I say something funny?"

"No, it's just me overthinking things again and getting a laugh out of it." So Eientei itself is one big jab at immortality. Or is it a warning? Who knows, seeing as I don't know who built this place to begin with. "Please, continue."

Her ear twitched just a bit more in response. She knows I'm not telling her everything, but she's polite enough not to pry. "Very well. This guest room is the one that has been prepared for you, and the bathroom is across the way." She turns to me and gestures to the door on my left, then to my right before turning back around. "I'll show you where the kitchen is next."

"It's certainly appreciated Reisen. I'd probably have gotten hopelessly lost if I didn't have you here to guide me. I mean that too." I once again fall in line with Reisen's steps as we walk this endless hall. Well, sort of endless since it does come to a T intersection after a little walking. Reisen takes a right turn and I follow closely in order to not lose sight of her. Last thing I need is to get lost.

She's been awfully quiet after that comment. I wonder if she's just to embarrassed to speak? What are you thinking little moon bunny? "...Left turn. I did it again..." She shakes her head before turning around to head back the way she came. "I'm sorry, I led us down the wrong path by accident." She then passes me, at which point I turn around and follow her once more.

"It's not a big deal." Walking in step with Reisen through another hallway... I'm torn between amusement and chewing out someone for making such an annoying architectural joke. "Is anything being prepared in the kitchen?"

"Come to think of it, it's pretty close to lunch." Come on, you can figure it bunny girl. She halts momentarily as it dawns on her, then promptly smacks her forehead. "Duh, I can just smell my way there. When did I turn into such an airhead?" She strides forward with a newfound determination while I pick up the pace to keep up.

"I'm guessing you got exposed to some fumes this morning."

"No worse than usual. Certainly not enough to make me forget something simple like that. I think." Poor Reisen.

[X]Let Reisen lead the way there.
[X]I think I hear someone coming this way at a running pace.
[X]A faint resounding twang? Must be close to where Eirin is.
[X]Write-in
>>No. 539
[X]A faint resounding twang? Must be close to where Eirin is.
ARCHER
>>No. 540
[X]Let Reisen lead the way there.
>>No. 541
[X]I think I hear someone coming this way at a running pace.

You should get ready.
>>No. 542
[X]A faint resounding twang? Must be close to where Eirin is.
>>No. 545
[X]Let Reisen lead the way there.
>>No. 548
I hear the faint twang of an arrow being fired so we must be fairly close to Eirin's indoor archery range. I find myself in a bit of a dilemma, because I would like to continue having the bunny guide me and go see what the good doctor is up to. I obviously can't do both at once so I'll have to leave it up to chance to decide for me.

Though I can't quite shake the feeling something, or someone is running this way at a rather frantic pace. Given how said footsteps are getting louder I'd have to assume-

"GET OUTTA THE WAY!" I find myself being forced to the floor face-first by Mokou, who I only recognize from the sound of her voice, who then proceeds to bounce off my back and continue running down the hallway at top speed before diving into a side door. I caught naught but the breifest of glimpses but I'm pretty sure Mokou had some kind of frilly pink and red outfit on along with some kind of white tail, not unlike a cat's.

"Ivan, is there anything I can do?" Reisen squats down next to me while I let the pain subside some. It's nice to know she's bright enough to forego the usual 'are you alright?' which would be painfully obvious that I am in fact not alright.

"Just give me a minute..." My back still hurts like hell, but like the show this must go on. I could really use some painkillers though.

"I think I should take you to see master for some kind of painkiller." Reisen ultimately allows me to use her arm to get back up, then her body as a crutch until I feel good enough to walk on my own. Until then we'll move at a slower pace. "You've got some poor luck to get that burn wound slammed twice in one day." She then leads me to a door just past the one Mokou ran through. The next room looks to be some kind of game room, complete with a billiards table that could double as a majong table if the cover is any indication. Another twang, much louder than before. "Ah, master should be just through this door." She knocks twice, then opens the door once she hears Eirin shout 'range clear'!

Wow. When I heard indoor archery range I did not expect something the size of a long, yet fairly narrow field. Eirin approaches from the far end, which must be at least one-hundred and fifty yards out. She picks up the pace when she sees that I'm having to use Reisen to support myself. "What happened? Usually people recover from injuries within Eientei, not suffer new ones."

"Mokou knocked me to the floor when she was running through the hallway. I'm guessing she was running from Kaguya." I then shift my weight back to where I can stand without using Reisen to support myself, and wince when I do. I can walk but it'll mean being in considerably more pain. However, some shouting can be heard from the other end of the field as Mokou tries to put more distance between herself and Kaugya. The latter of the two happens to be keeping pace despite the fact that the former is easily the more physically fit, albiet dressed rather ridiculously.

"I see..." The doctor facepalms when she sees that peculiar sight before turning back to me. "We should get you something to take the edge off the pain, though you really should be resting right now." Then she could have argued against letting me run off all on my own to locate Reisen. Then again, I doubt she could have predicted that the moon bunny was locked in a janitor's closet, or that Mokou would use such a violent method of getting past me. "Reisen, take Ivan to his guest bedroom and I'll be there in a few minutes with the painkillers and lunch."

"Yes master." Reisen responds to her master's instructions, then proceeds to pick me up bridal style. I'm not in the mood to complain about it since it takes the pressure of my back, but this is undignified and reminds me once again that a youkai has no trouble with a typical human. The part that really infuriates me is that I just happen to be a typical human with some skill at creating some unweildly one time use bottled elements to defend myself with, among other things. And as my attempt to flee Mokou earlier today reminds me, I can barely do that much. Had that been a feral youkai I would have been far worse off than I am.

I don't pay much attention to my surroundings until Reisen sets me down on the guest bed. One of Eientei's little quirks happens to be the presence of western-style beds rather than the traditional futon that the villagers, like myself, typically use. "Thank you Reisen, that saved quite a bit of time and effort." The least I can do is thank her for it.

"You did get me out of that closet not too long ago so carrying wasn't a big deal. You're pretty light too now that I think about it, and humans aren't exactly what I'd call light." She does sit her fluffy butt on the bed as she speaks to me, and she's even careful enough to avoid sitting on me. "I apologize if it's none of my business but how well do you eat?"

I raise one of my eyebrows and look elsewhere. I make a fair bit of money off the sealed fire and sealed ice, the former being a convenient heater and the latter being a convenient method of keeping food cold, along with the odd bits other people buy but most of what I make goes into my craft and some of the resulting structural repair. I still manage to keep a nice supply of foodstuffs in the house, but sometimes I get so engrossed in my work I forget to eat. "Two full meals a day on average, less if I get fully absorbed in my work."

"It sounds like you and master have yet another thing in common. Your ignoring of your body's needs." Reisen tilts her head down and her ears slump forward as well. I'm guessing she's had to bodily drag Eirin away from her work more than once. Heh heh, I can imagine Eirin clinging to her desk with an iron grip even after starving herself and depriving herself of sleep as Reisen and Kaguya both try to drag her away.

The smell of warm food immediately catches my attention, the smell announcing the arrival of Eirin, an end to the pain, and a full stomach. A lovely combination don't you think? "It's good to see you two getting along so well. Ivan, you should take the pills after you eat, an active digestion will speed up the process." She sets the tray where I can easily get to it and occupies a chair not too far from the bed. "I really do wonder why you don't let me help you. You could save yourself a lot of pain in the long run if you'd be willing to work with me."

I make a point of swallowing first before I answer since it's rude to talk with one's mouth full. "Eirin, think about it. What's the big difference between you and I?"

"The fact that I have over a thousand more years of experience than you? The fact that I can work non-stop despite Reisen's objections? The fact that people expect great things of me and minorly practical things of you?" She's rattling off a list now! It doesn't help that they're all valid points...

"Okay, those are all true... Maybe I should have said 'similarity' since we both hate taking the easy way out." I'm half done already? I did skip breakfast by accident so I guess it's only natural that I eat with a little gusto.

"Except you're still experimenting. Even I can't produce instant success from nothing so there's no easy way out seeing as I have no pre-existing data to go by." Eirin then shoots down my usual arguement without even resorting to the benefits of working alongside the brain of the moon. Not that she ever does mind you.

"But you're a genius! What would take me weeks, if not months to figure out would take you mere hours. It's a silly answer but working with you would take all the fun out of this." Now that I'm done I pop the pill in my mouth and swallow. I suspect Eirin's given me more that just a painkiller but...

"Master, that wasn't a painkiller was it?" Reisen looks over my sleeping form as she asks Eirin that one little question.

"It was a sleeping pill. A rather strong one at that." The doctor got up from her chair and retrieved the tray before making her way to the door. "Given Ivan's track record, the only way his body will heal is if he's not moving around. A sleeping pill makes the most sense out of the avalible options."

"And you wonder why he doesn't want to work with you." Reisen gets up as well and follows her master out of the room.

Ugh... I open my eyes and look at the clock on the side table. I can't read it in this gloom so I rummage around in my pants for a bottled light and almost immediately curse as a brilliant light floods the room. My next brilliant move is to cover part of it with the blanket so the offensive light becomes more tolerable. "Three AM..."

[X]Test your back. If you're good to go get back home.
[X]See about finding the kitchen, you're hungry.
[X]This isn't worth it. Go back to sleep.
[X]You know, I really need to go to the bathroom. And a bath would go a long way towards letting me wake up properly.
[X]Write-in
>>No. 549
[X]This isn't worth it. Go back to sleep.
>>No. 550
[X]See about finding the kitchen, you're hungry.
>>No. 551
[X]You know, I really need to go to the bathroom. And a bath would go a long way towards letting me wake up properly.

Bath. Option.
>>No. 552
[X]This isn't worth it. Go back to sleep.
Staying up until three am is one thing, waking up is another.
>>No. 553
[X]You know, I really need to go to the bathroom. And a bath would go a long way to letting me wake up properly.

A bath is very soothing. Just, you know, Ivan, don't DROWN.
>>No. 554
[X]This isn't worth it. Go back to sleep.
>>No. 556
[X]You know, I really need to go to the bathroom. And a bath would go a long way towards letting me wake up properly.
>>No. 557
This is one of the best places to drown in.
>>No. 559
[X]This isn't worth it. Go back to sleep.
>>No. 560
[x]You know, I really need to go to the bathroom. And a bath would go a long way towards letting me wake up properly.
>>No. 561
I stare at that clock for a good minute or so before putting the bottled light in a thin sack. Thin enough to make the light more tolerable in this detestable gloom but not so thick as to render its light-giving qualities useless. Once again I am presented with a problem: I would very much like to say that getting up is not worth it and fall back asleep, but there's the fact that my body is reminding me that it does in fact need to discharge its waste. Bathroom it is then.

Light-source in hand and slippers on foot I make my way to the bathroom just opposite the room I'm occupying, completely disregarding the fact that I don't have a spare set of clothes, or that I am very close to falling back asleep. I open the door without knocking, then I set my light source on the counter next to the sink. A few minutes later and I've fufilled the first of my body's demands. I then go about drawing a bath while using the sink to form a pool of cold water for me to dunk my head in so I can avoid falling asleep in the bath and drowning. I do have to wonder how much brain damage it would take for me to think that bathing while in a half-asleep state could ever be anything but lunacy. A couple dunkings later and I allow the water to drain from the sink, at which point I test the water. Lukewarm. Just what I need... I do have a method of fixing that.

Fishing around in my pants eventually nets me a bottled fire, which should heat this lukewarm water nicely. Of course, this reminds me that I do in fact have clothes on and that trying to leave Eientei with soggy clothes in this weather is downright suicidal. I take off my clothes, fold them neatly and place them off to one side, turn back to the lightly steaming tub of water and note that a rabbit is doing the backstroke in the tub. Complete with a haircap to cover its ears.

"Too bad it's not mating season, otherwise I might be tempted to jump ya." The vouyeristic rabbit clings to the side of the tub while treading water, and even though it's not in its humanoid form I can tell it's female, and that it's looking at a rather indecent place with interest.

Without a second thought I pick up the rabbit, wrap it up in a towel so tightly that it can't move, then stuff it under the sink along with the other towels. She could get out if she really wanted, but I am in no mood to deal with such foolery at a ridiculously early hour in the morning. With that out of the way I skim the few white hairs off the surface of the tub and slide on in. The feeling of soaking wet cloth only moments later tells me that I forgot to take the wrappings off, that I still have a significant burn wound on my back, and that I should move that bottled fire before I accidentaly set it off since the last thing I need is a geyser of fire flash-boiling the bath while I'm in it. As such I move it out of the bath and off to the side where it's not likely to damage anything. I then set about removing the wrappings, noting that they're pretty much ruined anyways, roll them back up as best I can before squeezing the water out of it and setting it on the floor. I take a moment to feel my back myself and wince as my hand moves over the rough patch of burnt flesh that used to be skin and muscle.

"Ya didn't have ta stuff me in there you know." The female rabbit's humanoid form happens to have hair matching her rabbit form's fur, red eyes, light skin, and a simple white dress. "Yeah, that was outta bounds, but I'm bettin' ya didn't think ta grab any spare clothes did ya?" She then steps over to the folded clothes and takes a whiff. "Nope, definitely forgot. Good thing I'm here ta fix that then, huh?" And she's out the door before I can object or say anything.

Given that it's nice and quiet now, having that rabbit girl rush out isn't such a bad thing. Maybe I can relax properly now. Huh, a bar of soap. Clearly this is a western-style bath where you're allowed to clean yourself in the tub, which is a good thing considering that I started out sleep-addled and would have knocked myself out had I had to clean myself off beforehand. The process is quick enough, more so because I have to avoid scrubbing my back, and soon enough I'm clean. On top of that the bottled fire has heated the whole room to a toasty temperature so getting out is downright painless. It's kind of annoying how this series of events was ultimately one fluke after another, but I don't care right now. I'm clean, awake, and ready to get the hell out of dodge so I can check up on my house. I take out a towel that I had not used for restraining the bunny so I can dry myself off without applying fine rabbit fur to my skin. I also note that there's a fresh thing of wrappings and a fresh change of clothes, all of which suitable for moving around in the snowy enviroment outside Eientei. A few minutes later and I'm ready to go.

[X]Now, about breakfast...
[X]The sooner I leave the sooner I can make certain whether or not someone's run off with my stuff.
[X]It's still four AM. Do I really want to be awake right now?
[X]I'm half-asleep again, hungry, and in some pain. Time to work on that jacket.
[X]Write-in
>>No. 562
[X]It's still four AM. Do I really want to be awake right now?
>>No. 563
Still injured, might as well rest up.
[x]It's still four AM. Do I really want to be awake right now?
>>No. 564
[X]I'm half-asleep again, hungry, and in some pain. Time to work on that jacket.

You're awake, you might as well.
>>No. 565
[X]I'm half-asleep again, hungry, and in some pain. Time to work on that jacket.
Inspiration will hit you today!
>>No. 566
[x] have him wander around the house to find the kitchen, run into a sleepy, like-minded Reisen
>>No. 567
[X]It's still four AM. Do I really want to be awake right now?
>>No. 568
>[X]I'm half-asleep again, hungry, and in some pain. Time to work on that jacket.
Perfect conditions for blowing yourself up... again.

[X]It's still four AM. Do I really want to be awake right now?
>>No. 569
I consider trying to work on that jacket but decide against it for multiple reasons, such as my being half-asleep, sore, and hungry. ...That and I don't feel like having it blow up in my face again so I gather up the bottled light and bottled fire, stuff the latter of the two in the pant pocket and use the former to light the hallways. The temperature change between the toasty bathroom and the hallway just outside is the equivalent of getting slapped in the face with an ice block. This encourages me to cover the distance between the bathroom to the guest bedroom in record time, and for me to pull out a little stand so I can have the bottled fire heat the room while I cover the light up.

Once that's done I look at the clock again to confirm the time, and it's just after four AM. It'd be an almost perfect to slip out of Eientei before anyone notices but I'm really in no mood to try it when I'd possibly fall asleep in the snow before I ever reach my house. So I get under the covers and fall asleep once more.

The next time I open my eyes I notice that the sheets have gotten heavier during the night. Much too heavy, even if they got soaked. The only logical conclusion is that someone is on the bed with me. A quick turn of the head and the sight of numerous earth rabbits sleeping on the sheets confirms my suspicion. There's enough of them to leave very little of the actual sheet clear, and they're nestled up against me and their own brethren in order to to help heat themselves up. Of course such a task is made easier by the bottled fire that I set up on the bedstand to heat the room while I sleep.

Normally getting up from such a position would be difficult but I have no issues with just dumping the rabbits to the side in order to get out of bed. The ones I do displace quickly take over the previously occupied space while I gather up what few things have been placed around the room, and before I know it I'm out of the guest room. The problem now comes down to 'where is the kitchen' since the good doctor saw fit to give me a sleeping pill rather than a painkiller, which resulted in me missing dinner. It's eight in the morning so I have to assume that finding the kitchen in this place would be as simple as following one's nose.

I am not disappointed by my senses since I find my way to the kitchen, and by extension, breakfast with little effort on my part. I do find it somewhat surprising that Kaguya is preparing breakfast and by the looks of it preparing something that looks pretty good.

"You're finally up huh? I hope you don't mind omlettes." Kaguya certainly has an interesting use for eggs if the frothy mix in the bowl is any indication. The chopped up vegetables, meat, and grated cheese confuse me somewhat though since I'm unfamiliar with this particular dish. The princess catches on to this once she looks at me. "You don't know what this is?"

"I'm afraid not, other than it's an egg dish. Though that's so readily apparent that I'd have to be at a fairy's level of intelligence to miss that part." I am curious as to how one prepares this particular dish since it looks pretty easy. "As far as 'finally' goes I actually woke up at three AM this morning. I decided to take care of what my body needed and almost immediately crashed back onto the bed."

"You might want to be careful about how you phrase that, someone might turn it into a joke." And with no small amount of grace Kaguya slides the omlette off the pan, tosses it into the air and manages to land it on a plate. "Here. It's bad manners to let a guest go hungry in one's own home, so I have to make up for you missing dinner last night."

I have to admit, this both looks good and tastes good. I only find out about the latter once I get some utensils and sit down to eat it. "You really do surprise me at every turn. You're a skilled seamstress, you're active enough to chase after someone who I know for a fact is extremely fit for outdoor living, and on top of that you're a good cook."

Kaguya went to work on making the next omlette and seems to be quite happy now. "I never liked being the useless little princess who lives in the castle, even less so once Eirin gave up everything to live with me. Plus, just being a NEET would be boring. It's much more fun to cultivate the image rather than be the image, as I'm sure you can attest to."

"You do seem to get your kicks from smacking people over the head with the truth." And she's still getting her kicks from surprising me with her myriad of talents.

[X]Perhaps I should take some time to talk with Kaguya? She seems fairly interesting.
[X]Go see about giving Eirin some form of payment. She did ensure your continued survival after all.
[X]I wonder if I could help Reisen out at all...
[X]I've been here far too long as it is. Bid your farewells and head home.
[X]Write-in
>>No. 570
[X]Perhaps I should take some time to talk with Kaguya? She seems fairly interesting.
>>No. 571
[X]Perhaps I should take some time to talk with Kaguya? She seems fairly interesting.

Making friends with Kaguya is the best idea in terms of getting Mokou's hair. That and perhaps asking her about that shirt she made with Mokou's hair. But that classic exploding jacket bit was rather priceless.
>>No. 572
[X]Perhaps I should take some time to talk with Kaguya? She seems fairly interesting.
Well, she is
Talented Kaguya is a new thing here. Err, no offense.
>>No. 573
[X]I wonder if I could help Reisen out at all...

We'll visit Kaguya later when we're not half near dead.
>>No. 574
[X]Perhaps I should take some time to talk with Kaguya? She seems fairly interesting.
>>No. 575
[ø]Perhaps I should take some time to talk with Kaguya? She seems fairly interesting.
I hope the OP image has more relevance besides matching the season that this story takes place in!
>>No. 576
"I have to ask, why did you embroider that sweatshirt with Mokou's hair?" You know, I don't really feel like going anywhere just yet. The princess' talents have caught my attention and her mannerisms are anything but what I expected.

"That? Partly to creep Mokou out, partly to keep myself nice and warm during the winter." Kaguya tops the uncooked whipped eggs with her choice of ingredients, then keeps a watchful eye over them so it doesn't burn. "Though I'm curious as to how you managed to make a full jacket with just one strand. One would think that you couldn't get enough out of it to treat a full jacket."

"It took a while to nail it down, and I'm still having to tweak the formula to get it to the point where the results won't be useless or lethal." The nice thing about egg dishes is that they don't take long to eat. I get up from my chosen seat and take a moment to wash the plate off.

"True. Though if you need more you can ask me, I still have plenty from when I shaved Mokou bald." And a perfect flip from Kaugya as she folds the omlette in half. I have to guess that it took quite a few tries before she got good enough to do this all without any apparent effort. "Not to change subjects again, but you seem rather anxious to leave Eientei."

"Is it that obvious?" Kaguya nods at my statement and I sigh in turn. "I am a little worried about what state my home will be in if I don't return fairly soon, but I figure that taking some time to talk to someone so interesting wouldn't hurt."

"You are welcome to return anytime you wish you know, I don't mind the company and I'm sure Eirin would like it more if you didn't always come here in such critical conditions." Once again she slides it off the pan and onto a plate in one go.

"That would be appreciated, though I get the feeling Mokou wouldn't like that too much." I do sit back down regardless since at this point if anything was missing I'd have to start tracking down suspects.

"Oh? Is she some kind of friend?" Kaguya sits down and guesses at something that isn't terribly obvious. "I thought the only one she really considered a friend was Keine."

"Only in the very loosest sense of the term. She'll tolerate my presence so long as I don't test her patience, and I happen to do just that on a routine basis." I get the feeling that the phoenix girl has gotten used to my being around her and would probably wonder why I suddenly stopped bothering her should I spend more time here at Eientei. I can't gauge if she'd really care or not, but she does see fit to invade my home from time to time just to talk.

"Mokou doesn't open up to too many people. If she's willing to tolerate you she must like you to a degree." Come to think of it, Kaguya must have learned a fair bit about Mokou through the years if they've fought on a regular basis.

"It's a violent sort of friendship then."

"That just comes with the territory I think." Kaguya eats faster than I do... I don't think she's going to stop surprising me until I've gotten used to her pulling some new oddity out of the blue. "I should go track down Eirin and Reisen so I can make breakfast for them too if they haven't already."

[X]Offer to help with her search.
[X]It's about time I took my leave.
[X]Write-in
>>No. 577
[X]It's about time I took my leave.
MY HOUSE
MY HOUSE
MY HOUSE IS ON FIRE
WE NEED NO WATER
LET THE ICE FAIRY BURN
BURN, ICE FAIRY, BURN
>>No. 578
[X]It's about time I took my leave.

>>577
wat
>>No. 579
File 126600562438.png - (109.16KB, 400x400, CirnoShock.png) [iqdb]
579
>>577


[x]Offer to help with her search.
Let's at least say goodbye and let Eirin pitch her offer one more time before we head home.
>>No. 580
[X]It's about time I took my leave.
>>No. 581
[X]Offer to help with her search

Don't be rude. At least don't forget to say goodbye.
>>No. 582
[X]Offer to help with her search.

Always thank your hosts before leaving. Even if they drugged you.
>>No. 583
[equis] Offer to help with her search.
>>No. 584
I'm a little torn on what to do next, but it would be rude to leave without saying goodbye at the very least. "Kaguya, I think I'll help you look for them."

"It's hardly necissary for you to do so, but I won't complain about the company." Now that Kaguya's done she washes her dish and puts it away, then walks out of the kitchen with me not too far behind her. "Come to think of it, I've never quite understood why you always refuse help from Eirin. It's clear that she sees your talent and she's the most qualified to teach you about your hobby."

"She never tells you why?" If Eirin relays stories about me to Kaguya then why wouldn't she tell the princess about my reasons?

"She has, I just happen to find your reasons rather silly. That lead me to wonder what possible reasons you would have for not doing something that would be beneficial to you." I don't like where Kaguya is taking this conversation, but that glint in her eye tells me she won't leave the subject be until she chooses to change it. "I think it's one of a few things. Either you want to become a respected alchemist without having to be associated with Eirin, you're afraid of her, or maybe you're afraid of what she'll do to her favorite little student~" Okay, now she's just having a laugh at my expense. Sure she's hiding it with her sleeve, but I can hear her and her eyes betray her as well.

"I don't fear Eirin. You are right about me wanting to become respected without Eirin's help. Everyone would treat it as though it were a given that I'd become great if I did." Kaguya's still laughing at me, but now she's practically doubled over!

"S-s-haha-rry... Pfft... That's such a silly reason. Maybe you just enjoy getting blown up." I note that Kaguya's now floating since I decided to try walking ahead without her. I also don't like that smile of hers. It's evil. "I wonder if Eirin has any skimpy lengeire..."

"What are you up to?" Despite all this I see the end of our conversation in the form of Eirin's clinic. I'm hoping the good doctor is just beyond those doors.

"Me? Why would I be up to something? I couldn't possibly want to see how funny it would be if I had you become Eirin's apprentice only to have her wear a sexy outfit and come on to you on the first day. And your response wouldn't be funny at all!" Kaguya's got such a shit-eating smile on right now. At least until she sees that I'm not amused. "Aww, come on, it's a joke. I wouldn't force your hand or Eirin's for such a thing." Kaguya then took on a thoughtful look for a moment. "Maybe if it were Mokou..."

I turn to the clinic door while Kaguya continues to drift on ahead for a full minute before realising I've stopped. Of course, I'm already through the door before she even gets to the entrance, at which point I'm greeted to the sight of Eirin at a workstation, Reisen fast asleep on the keyboard of a computer, and a worrying number of coffee stains on the work surface and floor. "Uhh... Eirin?" I'm quite certain announcing myself is a mistake, but my concern wins out over my survival instincts. That's going to get me killed someday.

"That was a jerk thing to do Ivan! I-! Uh... Whoa..." Kaguya's backpedaling? From Eirin? Why the hell am I not bolting for the hills? "You didn't go on a coffee binge again did you?"

"What gives you that idea?" Eirin then attempts to down a full cup of coffee in one go, which doesn't work too well since more spills out of her mouth than she actually swallows. "I needed a boost for another hour before I go to bed."

"Eirin, it's eight AM. You started on this at seven PM yesterday." Kaguya's carefully floating over to the coffee maker in order to unplug it, and I'm finally backing away instead of standing there like an idiot.

"Did I?" Eirin then looks at her wrist as though there's supposed to be a watch there. I'm guessing Eirin doesn't do too terribly well when pulling all-nighters. "Strange, I thought it was just one hour but it's really eleven! I suppose I should let Reisen off for the night."

Kaguya carefully unplugs the coffee maker and floats back over to me while Eirin shifts the moon bunny aside in order to save a half-finished report and about two dozen pages filled with nothing but the letter G. "Anyway, I came to let you know that I'm making breakfast this morning and you really should come and eat."

"I already have breakfast planned out." Why is she looking at me with those sleep-deprived eyes? "I've been saving this bit for a while now, this little taste of home." This is getting creepy. She can't mean me can she?

I never get to find out since Kaguya lands a knockout punch on Eirin before the doctor can get her hands on me. "I was hoping she wouldn't do that... I apologize on her behalf, it's just that thanks to your time in the kitchen you smell vaguely like Eirin's favorite food and in her caffinated, sleep deprived state she imagined that you were said food. Heh, caffine never agrees with her, especially not when she tests medication on herself."

"Is there anything I can do to help?" I'm not sure I should so much as go near Eirin right now, but I could move Reisen to a bed or something...

"That would require you to go near Eirin." Kaguya then lifts both the doctor and Reisen up and floats off with them. "I hate to shoo away a guest, but could you leave for now? At least for the day. I'll make sure to tell them that you said goodbye before leaving."

"Okay. I apologize that I couldn't do more to help." I follow Kaguya at a distance for a bit, just until I finish talking.

"It's nothing you should feel bad about. In fact, I should be thanking you for distracting Eirin long enough for me to unplug her coffee machine and to knock her out. You made that incident pass faster than it usually would have." With that, she says goodbye and floats further down the hallway. I try to follow only to find that I'm not really going anywhere. That's that then.

I step outside and almost immediately miss being in the much warmer mansion, even more so because the snow is up to my knees now and it's still snowing.

[X]A lone bottled fire should last long enough to melt me a path to the village.
[X]Just trudge through it. The less I disturb nature the less it will disturb me back.
[X]Write-in
>>No. 585
[X]A lone bottled fire should last long enough to melt me a path to the village.
>>No. 586
[X]Just trudge through it. The less I disturb nature the less it will disturb me back.

Save the bottled fire for later.
>>No. 587
[X]Just trudge through it. The less I disturb nature the less it will disturb me back.

Don't need to be attracting would be predators.
>>No. 588
{X} A lone bottled fire should last long enough to melt me a path to the village.
>>No. 589
[X]Just trudge through it. The less I disturb nature the less it will disturb me back.

Don't risk breaking the bottle and starting a forest fire.
>>No. 590
[X]Just trudge through it. The less I disturb nature the less it will disturb me back.
>>No. 591
Did I mention that I don't enjoy the cold? I suppose I did, which is why I'm once again at odds with my own mind about how to approach this unpleasant scenario. On the one hand I could just melt a path back to the village and potentially earn the ire of one of the snow-loving beings, which with my luck are certain to be around, or to trudge through it, which would make the trip unnecissarily exhausting, possibly soak my pants thanks to the bottled fire heating them, and set myself up for potential ambush.

...Screw it. I start trudging through the snow while quietly hoping that my radiant heat wouldn't wake up anything unpleasant. Thanks to Tewi and her extended family almost all the predator youkai that previously made their home within the Bamboo Forest of the Lost have met some rather gruesome ends thanks to the manipulation of luck and a few ingenious traps. The ones along the main path have long since been diffused so potential patients won't find themselves worse off than they were before they tried to make the trip. Good news when the snow is as bad as it is since nobody would be able to tell where they are.

Getting off that subject, I'm now out of the bamboo forest and am on the path that connects it to the village. At least I hope so, though it doesn't matter too much since the village is in sight and I'm nowhere near the Forest of Magic. That forest is almost the exact opposite of the Bamboo Forest in the fact that many feral youkai inhabit it, and the fact that the forest itself seems to be alive in places. It's also one of the primary reasons the Hakurei Shrine doesn't get many followers as the path leading to it cuts right through the middle of it and said path isn't very well kept. The witch of the forest Marisa Kirisame makes her home within the forest as well, which probably explains a few things about her.

My house is in sight, and I can practically feel the cozy warmth I long to return to. Best of all, no sign of Keine! That little comment deseeves a little explenation since it probably doesn't make sense as to why I wouldn't want to see the schoolmarm right now. Basically Keine chews both me and Mokou out whenever I antagonise the pheonix girl and the pheonix girl lands me in the hospital for it. She'll go on about how I shouldn't annoy Mokou so much, how I'm completely irresponsible, ectetera, ectcetera... I know she means well but it's annoying, not to mention that she occasionally uses her rightly feared headbutt on me.

I walk on up to the door and turn the handle to see whether it's locked or not. ...And it's not. I open the door and walk inside, savoring the warmth while readying one of my bottled elements just in case Marisa's here to swipe ingredients or some bold youkai is lying in wait for me. I slip out of my shoes in order to walk on the wooden floor more stealthily, and creep towards my sitting room.

"Hello Ivan." I cringe when I hear Keine's voice... She's sitting on my chair with an annoyed look on her face.

"I'm both glad it's only you, and somewhat scared that you bypassed my locks." The first thing I do is take off my soaked pants and hang them up to dry next to my large Sealed Fire. I'll explain the difference between bottled and sealed once the were-hakutaku has left the building, which shouldn't take too long since she dislikes it when I start undressing in front of her.

"Nice try. I'm not going to leave just because you're taking your clothes off." Keine looks impassive, but this is mostly because I've used this tactic to fluster her out of the house before. As a result she is much better at masking her embarrassment. "Take your shirt off."

"The full moon isn't due for another couple days Keine." The jacket Kaguya made for me happens to be somewhat wet, and my shirt even less so, but I take it all off in order to dry it and to appease the village guardian.

"I wouldn't be here if it were even the day of the full moon, you know how I am then. I just want to check your blast wound." Keine then gets up in order to close the distance between us, and I happen to dread that since it means she's going to deliver some cranial pain more often than not. "Also, your door was unlocked before I got here. You probably forgot to make sure it's locked again." I'm mildly surprised that she's only checking the bandages.

"I was hoping it was you since all that would mean is that I'd have to change the locks." I wince as she applies pressure to various places on my back. "Not so rough..."

"Even the most durable locks couldn't keep me out if I really wanted to get in." She's finally done with her impromptu inspection, at which point she stands before me with a frown. "Did Eirin clear you to leave or did you sneak out again?"

"She was mixing caffine and medicine at the time. Kaguya requested that I leave since Eirin came dangerously close to commiting cannabalism." I seriously consider taking off my boxers, but I have dignity.

Keine sighed upon hearing this, and her palm met her face. "Kaguya doesn't have Eirin's level of medical experience. Had a youkai attacked you would have been killed for sure." I never understand why she plays that card when I come back from Eientei.

"I wouldn't have tried coming home had I been stuck at Marisa's house, or at least asked for a lift." I don't really want to have this conversation right now...

"At least get some rest. If you don't, I'll be glad to give you a sedative." Only a minor lecture this time? Is hell as snowed over as Gensokyo?

A minor thump, not unlike the sound of a person hitting the floor too hard. And it's on the next floor up. "Great. Looks like resting will have to wait."

[X]Head upstairs, but be cautious about it. Who knows what's up there.
[X]Head upstairs with all haste. If it's Marisa stealing my stuff I'll only have a few moments to incapacitate her.
[X]Request that Keine go upstairs since she's insisting that I rest. Not like I really need it.
[X]Ignore it and get some fresh clothes.

If you pick option one or two:
[X]Have Keine accompany you.
[X]Tell her to stay put and hope she listens for once.

[X]Write-in
>>No. 592
[X]Head upstairs with all haste. If it's Marisa stealing my stuff I'll only have a few moments to incapacitate her.
[X]Have Keine accompany you.
>>No. 593
[x]Head upstairs with all haste. If it's Marisa stealing my stuff I'll only have a few moments to incapacitate her.
[x]Have Keine accompany you.

Quickly now.
>>No. 594
[x]Head upstairs with all haste. If it's Marisa stealing my stuff I'll only have a few moments to incapacitate her.
[x]Have Keine accompany you.
>>No. 595
[x]Head upstairs with all haste. If it's Marisa stealing my stuff I'll only have a few moments to incapacitate her.
[x]Have Keine accompany you.

I doubt she'd approve of theft any more than Ivan's deluded stupid stunts. It's rather charming how deluded Ivan is about outsider technology, and how he mistakes it for alchemy.
>>No. 596
[x]Head upstairs with all haste. If it's Marisa stealing my stuff I'll only have a few moments to incapacitate her.
[X]Tell her to stay put and hope she listens for once.

bitch let's rock
>>No. 597
[x]Head upstairs with all haste. If it's Marisa stealing my stuff I'll only have a few moments to incapacitate her.
[x]Have Keine accompany you.
Let's rock her shit outta here
>>No. 598
[x]Head upstairs with all haste. If it's Marisa stealing my stuff I'll only have a few moments to incapacitate her.
[x]Have Keine accompany you.
>>No. 599
"Keine, would you accompany me upstairs? I seem to have a witch infestation." I don't waste any time in grabbing a bottled light out of my pant's pocket while requesting Keine's assistance. Why light? Well, fire would likely incinerate, darkness wouldn't do enough to stop her, and wind would erode her into a fine bloody paste. I don't like it when Marisa suddenly decides to swipe stuff from me but I don't want to kill her for it.

"How do you know?" Despite her asking that Keine is still quick enough to follow me up the stairs, though I think she's a little confused.

"Today's the third day of the week. She always tries to steal from me on the third day of the week." I'm not being particularly quiet about this seeing as I'm thundering up the stairs, but even if the witch bolts she'll still wait just long enough for me to throw the door open before taunting me and flying off. There are alternatives, such as having Keine carry me since flying is almost completely silent or sneaking up the stairs... I think I need to start having these second thoughts first.

Regardless, I make it to my bedroom door and toss the bottled light in with enough force to shatter the glass encasing it before closing the door, causing a blinding light to erupt from my room for a second or two. I open the door back up to see if it worked, and to my surprise the usual evidence that Marisa's been around is strangely absent. The books are all lined up on the shelves properly, the materials haven't budged... In fact, the only thing out of place is the book on the floor and the woman sprawled on said floor.

"Keine, who is that?" I can't help but ask since I'm unfamiliar with this woman. Though from a closer inspection I see that she's wearing a blue and white outfit and matching cap along with a pin in the shape of the alchemical symbol for silver, has lavender hair, pale skin, and a generous body that doesn't go overboard. "I'd certainly remember someone like her."

"Her? That's Letty Whiterock-ze!" Marisa appeared next to Keine sometime during my observations and is holding a chilled, half eaten persimmon in her hand. While I'm glad that's all she's gotten her grubby little mitts on I'm still running low on those...

"So you did break in." Keine places a hand on the Marisa's shoulder once she notices the witches presence. Obviously she intends to talk to her, possibly accompanied by a headbutt.

"The door was unlocked when I got here, so it's more like I just walked in." Marisa then pulled her broom out of whatever tear in reality she stuffs it in and brushes off Keine's hand. "Nice boxers-ze, betcha you're gonna get cold here in a minute though. Nice to see your physique hasn't changed."

"Just where do you think you're going?" Then I find myself standing between the witch and my window, which in retrospect is a really stupid move that I would not recommend. The only reason I do it is because I lack common sense.

"Out-ze. All I did was swipe a persimmon, all your stuff's untouched and I'm pretty sure you won't try and get this one fruit back." She pushes her way past me with her usual swagger and opens the window, at which point she chucks her broom out. As usual it's hovering right at the edge of the witch's jumping ability but risk never stopped her before. I do make a point of carefully swiping the half-eaten fruit out of her hand as she passes by, which throws her off balance and forces her broom to correct for Marisa's new landing spot. She's still smiling though...

"And there she goes, off into the horizon. Why is it the one time I get here fast enough for the bottled light to have an effect the one time she decides to raid my refrigerator?" The witch is gone, and I shut the window before the room gets any colder. The next order of business is getting Letty onto a bed so she won't be sore when she wakes up, and the next after that is finding out why she decided to break into my house.

"You two have an interesting relationship. Anyways, all I really came here to do was chew you out for being so stupid again. Now I'm going to wait for Mokou, unless you want my help for something." That's probably because I have an unknown in the house and she'd rather not find out she's hostile after leaving.

Ask her to stay?
[X]I could use the company.
[X]I should be fine.

What to do?
[X]Draw a nice hot bath. Getting soaked in ice water is never good for one's flesh.
[X]Just get some dry clothes and wait for this strange woman to wake up.
[X]Make absolutely sure you don't have to make a trip to Marisa's little house anytime soon.
[X]I'm too far behind my own schedule, get cracking on the next attempt at the jacket.
[X]Write-in
>>No. 600
[x]Head upstairs with all haste. If it's Marisa stealing my stuff I'll only have a few moments to incapacitate her.
[x]Have Keine accompany you.
>>No. 601
[X]I could use the company.
[X]Draw a nice hot bath. Getting soaked in ice water is never good for one's flesh.

Why the hell is Letty sprawled on the floor there?
>>No. 602
>>601
Booty call?

[X] I should be fine.
[X] Just get some dry clothes and wait for this strange woman to wake up.
>>No. 603
[X]I could use the company.
[X]Just get some dry clothes and wait for this strange woman to wake up.

Asking Keine to stay as a safety precaution. Since she might stay, no point in having her wait while bathing. Any chewing out can get taken care of immediately.
>>No. 604
>>601
Dammit, I forgot to list Bottled Light's effect.

Sigh, since I forgot to mention that in story I may as well list the current set of elements and their effects:
Light: If uncorked it provides a blinding stream of light for a few minutes, if thrown it will detonate and render most beings unconscious.
Fire: If uncorked it acts as a flamethrower for a couple minutes, if thrown it acts as an incindiary grenade and will usually inflicts a strong burn on the opponent.
Darkness: If uncorked it shoots forth a stream of darkness that cannot be seen through, if thrown it creates an instant cloud that blinds most creatures.
Wind: If uncorked it shoots out a high speed blast of wind that erodes the victim, when thrown it creates an explosive pressure wave to deal damage.
>>No. 605
[X]I could use the company.
[X]Draw a nice hot bath. Getting soaked in ice water is never good for one's flesh.

Looks like Ivan's worries about yuki-onna are now justified.
>>No. 606
[ø]I could use the company.
[ø]Draw a nice hot bath. Getting soaked in ice water is never good for one's flesh.
Letty~
>>No. 607
[X]I could use the company.
[X]Draw a nice hot bath. Getting soaked in ice water is never good for one's flesh.

About time everyone's larged hitboxed touhou appears. She was in the OP pic after all.
>>No. 608
[X]I could use the company.
[X]Draw a nice hot bath. Getting soaked in ice water is never good for one's flesh.
>>No. 609
"Keine, could you stay here for a while? I could use the company." I consider just tossing some clothes on so I can sit with this strange woman until she wakes up, but there's the small problem of my legs feeling awfully numb. The only logical course of action is to take a warm bath to put some much needed heat back in my flesh since I can't imagine that an amuptation would be any good.

"Not if all you're going to do is run off to blow yourself up again." Keine's accusation and withering glare is off base this time, but it's justified in the fact that I usually don't give my body sufficient time to recover before going into some manner of dangerous experiment once more.

"Actually, I plan to take a warm bath and to make myself decent before my unexpected guest wakes up." I grab a fresh change of clothes from my dresser as I say that. I figure Keine's reaction to my uncharacteristically good sense should be amusing at the very least.

"Did Eirin beat some common sense into that thick skull of yours?" The schoolmarm then graces me with a small smile, though her body language says that she'd love nothing more than to finish the job. Personal experience backs my claim.

"I've always had common sense, I just chose to listen to it this time." Now that everything in the immediate future has been settled I walk out of my room and into my bathroom, then set my clothes down next to the sink so I can operate my bathtub more effectively.

The interesting thing about this bathtub is the fact that one doesn't need to haul in bucket after bucket in needless toil in order to clean one's self or to simply soak and reflect on the day. This is made possible thanks to a botched experiment of mine that sucks ambient moisture out of the air in order to fill itself with clean water for later use. The reason I say it's a botched experiment was because I originally intended it to soak up ambient magic energy for my experiments, and wrote the incorrect formula on the magic circle I had placed the bottle on. It started siphoning ambient moisture, and sat in a closet for months until I grew tired of hauling in buckets of water whenever I wanted to take a bath. In a stroke of common sense I placed the bottle upside-down on the roof and undid the stopper to see how much it had absorbed in the time between its creation and my opening it. To my surprise and delight it held roughly twenty gallons of pure water within a small modified space. And yes, part of the formula stated that the bottle would remain light regardless of weight. This prompted me to create a setup that would allow me to use it however I wish. A little etching to increase the surface area of the bottle made it soak up atmospheric moisture at a faster rate and I had a holding tank!

The top two-thirds of the bottle is situated above the roof in order to give it as much room to soak up moisture as possible while the bottom third is supported by a specially designed steel cage just in case the alchemical formula should fail, and a durable valve within the neck of the bottle makes it possible to control the flow. A hose connects the neck of the bottle to a switch station that determines where the water will flow to next, then another switch station near the halfway point between the bottle and the destination point redirects the water down one of two hoses that is either surrounded by a special varient of sealed fire or sealed ice to heat or cool the water before it reaches the destination. Hence why it's possible for me to have running water in my home. I do confess that I have to monitor my use very carefully since while the water siphoning bottle has an unquenchable thirst, it does take time to reach capacity. More so when it's arid, less when it's humid.

And while I was distracting you with all that I warmed myself up, got dried off and dressed, and am now headed back to my room to take the next step in dealing with the unconscious woman on my bed.

Except she's no longer unconscious. She's sitting upright against my wall and seems to be ignoring Keine for the most part.

[X]Start by introducing yourself.
[X]Skip to the part where Letty tells me why she's in my house.
-[X]Maybe toss in an apology for nailing her with what amounts to a magic grenade. That was meant for Marisa after all.
[X]At first her skin was pale, now it looks like her delicate skin has taken on a tone more fitting for a sunburn, find out why.
[X]Just kick her out, this isn't open house day.
[X]Write-in
>>No. 610
[x] Start by introducing yourself.
-[x] Toss in an apology for nailing her with what amounts to a magic grenade. That was meant for Marisa after all.
[x] At first her skin was pale, now it looks like her delicate skin has taken on a tone more fitting for a sunburn, find out why.
>>No. 611
[X] Start by introducing yourself.
-[X] Toss in an apology for nailing her with what amounts to a magic grenade. That was meant for Marisa after all.
[X] At first her skin was pale, now it looks like her delicate skin has taken on a tone more fitting for a sunburn, find out why.
>>No. 612
[x] Start by introducing yourself.
-[x] Toss in an apology for nailing her with what amounts to a magic grenade. That was meant for Marisa after all.
[x] At first her skin was pale, now it looks like her delicate skin has taken on a tone more fitting for a sunburn, find out why.
Sound.
>>No. 613
[x] Start by introducing yourself.
-[x] Toss in an apology for nailing her with what amounts to a magic grenade. That was meant for Marisa after all.
[x] At first her skin was pale, now it looks like her delicate skin has taken on a tone more fitting for a sunburn, find out why.
>>No. 614
[X] Start by introducing yourself.
-[X] Toss in an apology for nailing her with what amounts to a magic grenade. That was meant for Marisa after all.
[X] At first her skin was pale, now it looks like her delicate skin has taken on a tone more fitting for a sunburn, find out why.

Works for me~!
>>No. 615
[x] Start by introducing yourself.
-[x] Toss in an apology for nailing her with what amounts to a magic grenade. That was meant for Marisa after all.
[x] At first her skin was pale, now it looks like her delicate skin has taken on a tone more fitting for a sunburn, find out why.
>>No. 616
I approach Letty and stand within view of her, at which point she looks up at me. "Greetings Letty, I am Ivan. I do apologize for hitting you with that explosive earlier but I thought you were someone else that required such tactics to deal with."

"That's alright, I shouldn't have walked in here without permission." Letty seems to be straining herself right at the moment, but I can't imagine why that would be. It's true her delicate-looking skin has taken an angry red hue but it's been cloudy for the last week, not to mention that sunburns don't occur instantaneously within the shaded areas of a bedroom.

"Might I ask why your skin has broken out in a rash like that? I wasn't aware I allowed any allergens to persist." I note that Keine is more or less keeping herself avalible without interfering in the conversation. It's rather considerate for her to do so since aside from knowing this woman's name I don't know who or what Letty is.

"Oh? I'm just a little too warm, that's all. I'll be fine once I've had time outside to cool off. Unless you'd be willing to do me a favor to make this awful heat go away sooner." I'm rather leery about just giving in to someone's random requests but I am partially responsible for her current condition.

"What would I need to do?" Again with the lack of self-preservation. At least I'm not thinking with the smaller of my two heads or this could get ugly.

"Hold still." Letty slides off the bed and stumbles her way to me, so much so that I have to catch her before she falls. Is she really that ill? She does regain her balance and stands at her tallest height, which happens to be just a shade shorter than I am. She puts her arms around me in order to press her body against mine, and I feel like I'm starting to sweat. Looking at me with those beautiful eyes she considers me for a second, then closes the distance between her lips and mine.

"Mmmmph?!" I can do nothing more than let out a surprised, yet muffled yell as the warmth pours in from Letty. It's incredibly difficult not to enjoy something like this but something seems off about it as I unconsciously close my eyes and lean into her. Once she pulls away I see that she's blushing as though this were something embarrassing, while it clicks in my head as to what she is. "You... You're..."

"A Yuki-Onna, or snow woman. I apologize for using you like that but when I get too warm I get weak and can barely move. I admit it's better than melting like most others would, though it still feels awful when my body acts more like jelly than the flesh and blood it's supposed to be." She is walking like a normal person now. It does make sense for her to be a snow woman now that I think about it. She's unnaturaly pale, has a perfect body, and her charm and scent made me want to cuddle with her at the very least. "I do have another favor to ask of you."

"And what would that be?" I'm a little leery of letting her get close again, since I may very well lose control and do something untoward to this woman. That, of course, requires that she wouldn't want it to begin with.

"May I borrow the book I was reading earlier? It's become rather important to me." She picks up the book in question, and I can see it's a hand-written copy of my original alchemical equations. Do I dare let this woman borrow something so valueable?

[X]No. In fact, get her to leave as soon as possible.
[X]She can't borrow it per say, but she is more than welcome to read it here.
[X]Allow her to borrow it, but ask her why she would want it, and how to contact her in case I need it.
[X]Allow her to borrow it, it's just a copy of the original anyway.
[X]Write-in
>>No. 617
[X]"Not to be rude but I can't help but ask why has my book become important? Considering it's a copy of my research notes I would at least like to know what it would be used for before simply allowing some one else I hardly know well enough to experiment around with."

rather wordy compared to what I had in mind but the feelings are there.
>>No. 621
[X]She can't borrow it per say, but she is more than welcome to read it here.
a hand-written copy of original alchemical equations? The only one of its type? Hell no! What happens if it gets wet, frozen, lost or something like that?
Besides, it's a perfect excuse for those two to remain together a bit longer.
>>No. 622
[X] She can't borrow it per say, but she is more than welcome to read it here.

There's no way to be sure Letty will return it before winter ends. I've got an idea of what she wants it for; if I'm right, Ivan wouldn't need to worry about when she returns the book, but it's better to be safe than sorry.
>>No. 623
[x] She can't borrow it per say, but she is more than welcome to read it here.
[x] Perhaps you could be of assistance in whatever she's trying to accomplish with it? Those are your formulas after all.
[x] Inquire about yuki-onna in general, that ability could be useful in one of your own projects.

I was tempted to add "[] Offer to let her borrow some sealed ice while she's here," but her method of staying cool seems far more fun sexy sensible.
>>No. 625
[x] She can't borrow it per say, but she is more than welcome to read it here.
[x] Perhaps you could be of assistance in whatever she's trying to accomplish with it? Those are your formulas after all.
[x] Inquire about yuki-onna in general, that ability could be useful in one of your own projects.
>>No. 626
[x] She can't borrow it per say, but she is more than welcome to read it here.
[x] Perhaps you could be of assistance in whatever she's trying to accomplish with it? Those are your formulas after all.
[x] Inquire about yuki-onna in general, that ability could be useful in one of your own projects. And you've heard some misconceptions about them.

Nice improvement. High time that Letty got some love (especially since AD scrapped his first Taste the Rainbow run)
>>No. 627
[x] She can't borrow it per say, but she is more than welcome to read it here.
[x] Perhaps you could be of assistance in whatever she's trying to accomplish with it? Those are your formulas after all.
[x] Inquire about yuki-onna in general, that ability could be useful in one of your own projects.
>>No. 628
[X]She can't borrow it per say, but she is more than welcome to read it here.

Why leave? You're just arrived here!
>>No. 629
"I apologize, but I can't allow you to borrow it. This isn't a library and that's a copy of a one of a kind book just in case a certain magpie-like friend of mine tries to make off with it." Ah, there we go. Thinking with my brain feels so much better than letting baseless feelings get in the way. Not that they aren't going to anyways...

"I see... In that case I'll-" Letty slides off the bed as she speaks, but I hold up a hand to stop her.

"I'm not finished. While you can't borrow it per say, you are free to read it within this house. I can't really turn down a fellow alchemist." I hope I'm not mistaken about my decision just now...

"Really? Thank you! I'd like to take some time to read it before I leave." Letty then picks up the book she wanted and walks out of the room in a considerably happier mood.

"You see a bit of yourself in her, don't you?" Keine almost made me jump when she spoke up. I'm not used to the schoolmarm being this quiet since she's usually rather talkative.

"Maybe I do. Snow women typically don't have a home to go back to, unless I'm mistaken. I am going to try to keep physical contact to a minimum though. While I am willing to extend my hospitality to her, I'm not ready to trust her explicitly." I take up my bed in order to talk to Keine more.

"You do realise Mokou's not going to be happy when she finds out." Keine surprises me again with that little bit. Why would Mokou-? No, Mokou must have been frozen by snow women in the past since she would be seen as an affront to winter itself as well as competition for the hearts of young men since those young men are supposed to be a way out of their frozen bonds. I can't help but feel that Mokou and Letty meeting within my house is inevitable since the snow woman seems to possess an interest in alchemy and Mokou is another person who enjoys intruding on my free time every now and again.

"I suppose that bridge will be burned down or frozen over when I get to it since I can't just kick Letty out now that I've given her permisson to visit." I can't help but think that I've taken a step towards something much deeper than I thought, but I'm in no mood for baseless speculation. Especially when it would do nothing but make me paranoid.

"That you will." Keine finally gets up and stretches a little, which demonstrates her flexibility. Once she's done she heads for the door of my bedroom and pauses only to say one more thing. "I'm going to go talk to Mokou. I'm sure you can handle this without me."

Then Keine walks out of my room, then out of my house to track down her firey friend. I on the other hand am left at odds about what I should do next. It's such a miserable day out so I don't really want to leave my home... I could check around to see if Marisa really hasn't stolen anything. There's always the possibility she slipped something under her hat or in the underside of her dress before I got here.

That's it. I have to check on it. I step over to the now empty bookstand where I keep my copy book and slide the stand aside. Once that's done I open a compartment in the back and...

It's not there. Marisa must have the original and hell if I'm going to get it back without storming out as soon as possible to retrieve it. The last thing I need is for that to get carelessly dumped in one of her junk piles. Just the thought makes me seethe!

[X]Calm down, I'm supposed to be resting today. Humans don't recover from this kind of injury overnight.
[X]Head out, and only bring the bare minimum to get there and back safely.
[X]This means war. Arm yourself to the teeth and do what you should have done in the first place.
>>No. 630
>"You do realize Mokou's not going to be happy when she finds out."

Unless Keine's suddenly the type to tease or make jokes rather knowingly...

OH GOD DAMN IT MOKOU WHY MUST YOU BE SO TSUNDERE NOW!?

Ah well...

[X]This means war. Arm yourself to the teeth and do what you should have done in the first place.

There's a limit to how much some one is willing to let shit hit the fan enough before getting pissed off beyond rational thinking...

In before it turns out Marisa's innocent and we fucked up big time
>>No. 631
File 126646956961.jpg - (325.46KB, 800x800, LETTYLETTY.jpg) [iqdb]
631
>Thinking with my brain feels so much better than letting baseless feelings get in the way. Not that they aren't going to anyways...

[X]Calm down, I'm supposed to be resting today. Humans don't recover from this kind of injury overnight.

Besides, you've got Letty.

*Letty!*
>>No. 632
[X]This means war. Arm yourself to the teeth and do what you should have done in the first place.

Hoping the snow woman decides to tag along...
>>No. 633
[x]calm down/rest/etc.
>>No. 634
[x] See if the snow woman is open to conversation while you rest and let your burns heal.
>>No. 635
[X] Calm down, I'm supposed to be resting today. Humans don't recover from this kind of injury overnight.

Just because you're resting doesn't mean you can't plan how to get the book back tomorrow.
>>No. 636
[x] This means war. Arm yourself to the teeth and do what you should have done in the first place.
>>No. 637
[X]This means war. Arm yourself to the teeth and do what you should have done in the first place.
>>No. 638
[X]This means war. Arm yourself to the teeth and do what you should have done in the first place.
-[X] Ask for Letty's assistance.
Bitch's going down
>>No. 639
[X]This means war. Arm yourself to the teeth and do what you should have done in the first place.

He's got the meta-game down, go for it!
>>No. 640
[X]Calm down, I'm supposed to be resting today. Humans don't recover from this kind of injury overnight.
-[x] Talk with Letty while she's there.

I'd rather not be hasty, and we never did get too much into the other choices (Asking her what she wanted with the book and about her kind)
>>No. 641
Calm down, deep breaths. She couldn't have possibly discovered this spot could she? ...Haha, fat chance. She's the only one who would have the conviction to look through all my hiding spots to find something she wants, and I know that I haven't moved the book recently because I intentionally keep the book locked up in a box and coat the area with a fine layer of flour. Knowing Marisa she'd just blow away the flour to throw me off even more.

I put on some heavier clothing and begin loading up on whatever bottled elements I can carry since regular magic is too unwieldy for me, then I walk out of my room and down the stairs. I note that Letty isn't paying attention to her surroundings, which is good since I don't really need any more attention drawn to me that I already will. It's a simple matter to leave the house after that, and even simpler to start melting the path back into view.

I uncork a bottled fire and watch the controlled flame melt the snow down as I walk, which is good because the last thing I need is to get soaked again without a change of clothes. I'd rather not leave myself to Marisa's mercy or have to ask Alice to come up with a fresh change of clothes for me on such incredibly short notice. Sure I may attract a hungry youkai but even if I can't use magic I can still beat them up through less gentle means. Even then I shouldn't have too much to worry about since the sun's up.

The path leading into the forest is just as snow-laden as the rest of Gensokyo and as a result is not exempt from my torch. One of the small things about the paths around here is that there are some that lead off into odd places or go into cleverly designed traps, but I know better. The one that leads to Marisa's house is about a third of the way into the forest and crosses the night sparrow's food cart, not that it'll be open in such miserable weather but I'm keeping an eye out for it anyways so I don't torch it by accident.

"Hey! What do you think you're doing you stupid human?" Well, it was either the ice fairy or the grue, and the former is the easier to deal with since she isn't out for human flesh. "Stop melting the snow!"

"I'm in a rush, I can't fly, and I don't want to get soaked again. Besides, it's still snowing and my path will have been covered up by the time I get back." I don't really feel like dealing with the ice fairy but I may not have a choice if she doesn't back down fairly soon.

"That's not the point! It's people like you that want miss Letty gone, and I don't want that!" The ice fairy is standing off to the side since even she's not dumb enough to stand in the middle of a blazing stream of magic fire. This does make it easier to continue unobstructed since she's not trying to restrain me. "You're not listening to me!"

"As I said, I'm in a hurry." I know it's a dick thing to do but I really need that book back since it contains every alchemical equation since I started this, and as a result there are many failed equations within its pages. If that witch messes up and thinks they're just variants... Well, I hope she's as tough as a youkai if she tries it before I retrieve the book.

"Fine then! I challenge you to a danmaku duel!" Now she's in the way, but this time she's actively dissipating the stream. Wait, what?! Since when could she do that? "I win, you stop melting the snow. If you win I won't do anything to stop you!"

[X]Well, bottled light could technically count as danmaku since it's entirely non-lethal...
[X]Just blow her away.
[X]Trudge through the snow the rest of the way, it's not worth getting beat up by an ice fairy.
[X]Agree, but only if it's melee danmaku. It's about the only way I'll stand a chance in a fair fight...
[X]Come up with some kind of compromise.
>>No. 642
hmm.

[X]Come up with some kind of compromise.
-[X]Okay okay, I will stop melting the snow if you can help me. Rather than me melting the snow and chasing away your friend Letty unintentionally, key word here, can you help me with your danmaku? In my rage I find myself rather unprepared for some one else who could possibly be the strongest in Gensokyo in terms of Danmaku.
--[x]It also would help if you could part the snow in my path so I won't get sick as easily please..?
>>No. 644
[x] Come up with some kind of compromise.
-[x] "How about this? I'll stop melting the snow if you can help me get to Marisa's faster. That way everyone's happy."
-[x] If she proves stubborn, try playing to her ego.
-[x] Last resort: Well, bottled light could technically count as danmaku since it's entirely non-lethal...
>>No. 645
[X]Come up with some kind of compromise.
-[X]Okay okay, I will stop melting the snow if you can help me. Rather than me melting the snow and chasing away your friend Letty unintentionally, key word here, can you help me with your danmaku? In my rage I find myself rather unprepared for some one else who could possibly be the strongest in Gensokyo in terms of Danmaku.
--[x]It also would help if you could part the snow in my path so I won't get sick as easily please..?
Since you guys didn't recruited Letty, we'll go with Cirno instead. We really need some distraction if we're about to grab out things and high tail out of there alive.
>>No. 646
[X]Come up with some kind of compromise.
-[X]Okay okay, I will stop melting the snow if you can help me. Rather than me melting the snow and chasing away your friend Letty unintentionally, key word here, can you please help me with your Danmaku? In my rage of losing a precious item I find myself rather unprepared for some one else who not only stole it but could possibly be the strongest in Gensokyo in terms of Danmaku.
--[x]It also would help if you could part the snow in my path so I won't get sick as easily...
Please..?

Less enemies made the better, besides making friends with those who manipulate the cold ought to have some awesome benefits. Or at least mutual associates if "friends" is pushing his luck..
>>No. 647
[X]Come up with some kind of compromise.
-[X]Okay okay, I will stop melting the snow if you can help me. Rather than me melting the snow and chasing away your friend Letty unintentionally, key word here, can you help me with your danmaku? In my rage I find myself rather unprepared for some one else who could possibly be the strongest in Gensokyo in terms of Danmaku.
--[x]It also would help if you could part the snow in my path so I won't get sick as easily please..?
>>No. 648
[X]Come up with some kind of compromise.
-[X]"Okay okay, I will stop melting the snow if you can help me. Rather than me melting the snow and chasing away your friend Letty unintentionally, key word here, can you please help me with your Danmaku? In my rage of losing a precious item I find myself rather unprepared for some one else who not only stole it but could possibly be the strongest in Gensokyo in terms of Danmaku."
--[x]"It also would help if you could part the snow in my path so I won't get sick as easily...
Please..? "
--[x]"I've met her, seems quite nice from what I've seen. She's around my house at the moment"

I'd figure we show Cirno we know Letty some as to convince her to help us.
>>No. 649
"Okay, okay. I'll stop melting the snow, but could we come up with a compromise instead?" I cap what's left of the bottled fire since Cirno is rendering it useless anyway, but it should also serve a dual purpose in making me look more open to another idea. As much as I'd rather not have to admit it, danmaku is not my strong point...

"So long as it doesn't involve melting any more of the snow, I'm fine with it." That actually sounded reasonable... I've encountered Cirno in the past and she's usually more child-like than this.

"As I said, I'm in a hurry because the black and white witch of the forest made off with something important and-" I start making my case but am cut off almost immediately.

"You decided to come out in a rush to retrieve it before it got lost in her house somewhere. I got that part, I'm just saying that I don't like you melting all the snow. You do look like you're willing to compromise so I'll point something out: First, Marisa's house is that way." The ice fairy points off to my left. "Second, you have the means to clear a path without being overly destructive about it. Think with a different element."

Okay, this isn't the Cirno I've dealt with in the past at all. Though she must be referring to the bottled wind... I point the small round bottle's neck at the direction she pointed in and uncorked it while bracing myself for the force that would be exerted on me. I almost fall over backwards, but manage to stay upright while the powerful blast of wind carves a path through the snow. Once it's done I bottle up the empty bottle and stuff it back in my pants.

"See, this way you'll have cover and that witch won't expect this." Cirno seems perfectly happy with the results, though something does seem rather off about her. "Too stunned to speak huh? You shouldn't underestimate the strongest!" She then takes off while laughing at my surprised expression, though I can't help but note that there's a peculiar eggplant-colored umbrella in the air as well...

---
>>No. 650
---

The path I just got done blasting is clear save for a thin layer of slush on the bottom and the occasional drift that developed on the side of some tree, so I begin to walk down that path. My suspicions about Cirno playing a prank on me are squashed in short order since I can see a snow covered house from my current position, and that it's Marisa's. How do I know it's hers? For starters, she lives in what is essentially a two-story cottage with various objects littering the yard, while Alice lives in a more Victorian-style home that could be passed off as an oversized doll house if one felt like bending the truth.

The windows on the side facing me are all covered in snow which conveniently obscures my approach. Toss in the fact that Marisa is nowhere to be seen and I might be able to just walk on in. After that it'll be down to negotiating with her or finding a clever way to knock her out since she outclasses me both physically and magic-wise. The former of the two is apparently from one of the times she experimented on herself, granting her enhanced physical strength in the process. Quite honestly it's not much, but it does give her an unexpected edge against her opponents or any human who thinks they're going to strong-arm her.

Wow, I haven't startled the witch. That's a first. I won't lose out on this opportunity on purpose, so I take advantage of it and step up to the front door. It's not even locked... Her mistake. I open the door as quietly as possible before slipping inside and closing it. Her shoes are next to the door as well, which makes no sense since she's smart enough to lock the door on her own home consistantly.

Something is very, very wrong here.

I pull out a bottled darkness and approach the door to her living room with the utmost caution before whipping around and uncorking in Marisa's invisible face.

"Ackpth! Turn that thing off-ze!" Marisa had been employing optic camo in order to avoid being seen, but it does nothing to dampen the sounds. "How'd you even know I was here?"

"Spies don't go 'zeh-zeh-zeh' under their breath when they sneak up on something. Plus your breathing wasn't what I'd call silent." I cork the bottle back up and stow it for now. The cloud produced will remain for several minutes and it's outright obscuring the entryway so if I need to pull something during an escape that would be the place to do so. "I do wonder why you were about to attack me ass-first though."

"'Cause nobody expects it! Everybody expects me to spark 'em, but that's not so good up close." Marisa knows I'm not buying it and rolls her eyes. "Okay, you got me. I figure my rear would be easier on ya than a point-blank spark since you're still hurt and I'd feel bad if I made it even worse. Happy?"

"I wonder if Higan just got snowed in as badly as we are." It is a very rare thing for Marisa to admit to the truth once she's told a lie, rare enough that the city of the dead has a better chance of having a freak white-out.

"Gotta crack jokes about me don't ya? I have to admit you had me fooled for a bit. I thought Aya decided to prank me, but when there wasn't any follow up I guessed it was you." She then flipped up the front of her dress after turning away and procured my book from its folds, then tossed it back to me. I think Marisa may very well recieve a visit from the yama soon in regards to Hell freezing over. "I really didn't think you'd go through all the trouble to get here. This must mean a lot to ya if you're willing to brave your most hated season while hurt."

"It is to me as your broom is to you. Steal it again and I'll hold your broom hostage." I happen to be dead serious about this even though I'm smiling. I do wonder where all that blazing fury went though. Maybe Cirno put that out when she surprised me like that.

"Heh, I dare ya. Anyway, you going to stay for a bit?" Marisa hangs her hat up and marks a calendar with some kind of symbol, probably to act as a reminder.

[X]Stay, I don't want to trudge through that again.
[X]Leave. As nice as her offer is I don't really feel like dealing with her.
[X]Leave, I need to get back to Letty. ...What?
>>No. 651
[X]Leave, I need to get back to Letty. ...What?

It's rude to leave our guest, and wasn't part of our plan showing Cirno that we knew Letty?
>>No. 652
>I haven't startled the witch
Heh.
>Marisa hangs her hat up and marks a calendar with some kind of symbol, probably to act as a reminder.
Mmh? This part called my atention. I wonder...

[X]Leave, I need to get back to Letty. ...What?
-[X]"Sorry, not today. I have a guest to entertain and a promise to keep. I'll hold on to the invitation though... I still need to find out how you manage to copy spells from other mages"
>>No. 653
[X] Leave, I need to get back to Letty. ...What?

I don't think that was Cirno, probably Nue looking like her.
>>No. 654
[X]Leave, I need to get back to Letty. ...What?
-[X]"Sorry, not today. I have a guest to entertain and a promise to keep. I'll hold on to the invitation though."
>>No. 655
[x] Leave, I need to get back to Letty. ...What?
>>No. 656
>>653
Might be, but I'd think Nue'd have better things than being out in the snowy cold, helping someone out of the blue. Ivan seems to be of the chronic run in type; most folks that give him trouble are those that he knows already.
>>No. 657
[X]Leave, I need to get back to Letty. ...What?
-[X]"Sorry, not today. I have a guest to entertain and a promise to keep. I'll hold on to the invitation though... I still need to find out how you manage to copy spells from other mages"
>>No. 658
[X]Leave, I need to get back to Letty. ...What?
-[X]"Sorry, not today. I have a guest to entertain and a promise to keep. I'll hold on to the invitation though... I still need to find out how you manage to copy spells from other mages"

works for me~!
>>No. 659
[X]Leave, I need to get back to Letty. ...What?
-[X]"Sorry, not today. I have a guest to entertain and a promise to keep. I'll hold on to the invitation though... I still need to find out how you manage to copy spells from other mages"

By the way, it was Kogasa, not Nue, thanks to this little line right here...

> She then takes off while laughing at my surprised expression, though I can't help but note that there's a peculiar eggplant-colored umbrella in the air as well...
>>No. 660
[X]Leave, I need to get back to Letty. ...What?
-[X]"Sorry, not today. I have a guest to entertain and a promise to keep. I'll hold on to the invitation though... I still need to find out how you manage to copy spells from other mages"
>>No. 661
>>659
Kogasa? Who else might pop into this story? Next thing, we'd see Youmu!
>>No. 662
>>659
and Nue is often found hanging out with Kogasa [citation needed]
>>No. 663
>>662
Kogasa was the midboss for Nue's stage, and they share vaguely similar themes as youkai. That's all. There's nothing that explicitly states any relation between them in canon.

On the other hand, that's more than enough info to make it into fanon. After all, IIRC the Nine Squad had even less canon behind it when that got started, and now it's practically a given when it comes to character relations.
>>No. 664
"Probably not. As much as I might like to not have to go back out in this weather I do have a guest at my house that I ran out on once I found out you stole my book." I'm quietly hoping Marisa doesn't put two and two together until after I leave or else I may find that she'll never let me live down having Letty as a guest at my home. Then if Marisa takes it too far that crow will take it even further and make some sensational falsified story out of it, even if Letty is little more than a guest at my home.

Though I can't help but think some outside force is going to try its best to make Letty and I into lovers.

"Hang on, let me give ya a ride home. It's the least I can do after makin' ya do all that right after getting out of the hospital." And by 'ride' Marisa means a ride on her broom, which is remarkably uncomfortable to ride for extended periods of time. She makes up for this by being fast in transit so she doesn't have to sit on it as long, but she can't really do that with me since there's a very good chance I'd just fall off. "Got it! Don't look so worried, I'm not gonna let you fall off-ze."

"And upon hearing that I instead become worried that you're going to pull some silly stunt just to freak me out." I roll my eyes at the witch before stepping outside into the cold. Another thing I dislike about winter is the fact that moving from a nice warm building to the outside is the equilivant of getting slapped in the face with a fish.

"Geeze, keep talkin' like that and you'll make people think you're as boring as Alice-ze. Heck, I bet you'd get along great because you're both so dull!" Marisa follows suit not too long after and demonstrates her above average hearing by continuing our conversation even when I didn't expect her to. She then mounts her broom and motions for me to do the same. "C'mon, this isn't gonna hurt."

"On second thought, maybe I'll walk." The sudden change of mind was partially due to Marisa's commentary, though more because I don't really want her finding out I have Letty for a guest. I do wonder why my thought processes keep going back to her. It's not like me to get hung up over someone I barely know.

"Ohhhhh, no ya don't-ze! You've got somethin' on your mind and since you aren't sharin' it with me you want to keep it hidden! Can't have little things like secrets between friends right?" A soft crunch sound of feet landing on snow is all the warning I get before the black and white witch launches me into the air with her broom. She then proceeds to fly up alongside me and force me in front of her, which presents the tiny problem of our difference in height. I'm taller than Marisa by a fair margin which means she has obscured her own view. Regardless of any of that she shoots off in the direction of my house without being able to see where she's going.

"How in the world do you know where you're going?!" I have to shout over the wind in order to make myself heard, and I happen to be panicking right about now. I mean, I'm only traveling at some insane speed with an equally insane witch, albiet of the cute variety, who races tengu on a routine basis across a feral youkai infested section of the forest with lots of hard trees that would make for a very sudden stop should I fall off. This wouldn't bother me nearly as much if Marisa were in front where she could see!

"I make this trip often enough to where I could do it blindfolded! Havin' your hide in the way is no big deal!" Marisa on the other hand is thoroughly enjoying herself, both because of the ride and because of my reaction. She's still steering in the right direction so I'm guessing she has some kind of workaround to this perdicament.

The harrowing ride is reaching its climax given that my house is now in view. The problem is that Marisa herself shows no sign of slowing down whatsoever, and I really don't need a hole in my house when it's still early winter! "Slow down, you're going to plough through my house!"

"Stop worryin'! I'll bring us down safely!" Marisa has chosen to more or less disregard what I just asked of her, instead picking up speed as we get closer. She's using one arm to hold me in place so I can't just jump off onto the closest snow covered pile of hay I can spot while the other guides the broom down further. And suddenly I'm practically launched off as the broom screeches to a halt just outside my door, and the only reason I'm fine is because I landed in a large pile of snow. "See? You're just fine!"

"When I get out of this you will pay!" And now I'm stuck digging my way out of said snow pile, once again getting my pants partially soaked, but unlike my return trip from Eientei I'm about fifty feet from my door which means I might not have to change. I do know why she's done this. She knows I'll lock her out if she allows me to disembark normally and get inside first, so in order to see who my guest is she's calculated a way to safely delay me so she can slip inside before I can shut her out.

Lo and behold, by the time I get inside my own home I find a series of wet footprints leading into my sitting room. I don't really feel like blowing up my own home so I simply take my shoes off and watch for the wet shoeprints left by that inconsiderate witch while bracing for whatever teasing may come.

"Eheheheh... I think I'm going to leave now." Marisa then hurries past me with a 'Oh shi- time to bolt' sort of look. So that means she must have seen Letty, but why would she simply up and leave like that? I doubt a cold shoulder would make her decide to leave...

I step into my sitting room only to see that Letty is just sitting back down from doing something. "Oh, I didn't know you had left."

"I apologize for simply running off like that, but Marisa stole something of great importance and I needed to retrieve it straight away." I start taking off my jacket and hang it back up next to the large sealed fire I use to heat my house so it can dry off before I use it again. My pants aren't nearly as bad so I just keep them on. Once I've done all I felt I needed to, I start looking around my home for a new place to hide my alchemy journal...

Afterwards...
[X]Talk with Letty for a bit.
-[X]Make mention of the fact that you didn't mind her kiss earlier...
-[X]Ask about her species in general in order to clear up misconceptions and perhaps glean some insight.
[X]It's a bit early, but I am hungry after all that.
[X]Screw it, try to take a nap on the couch.
[X]Perhaps inspiration will hit me today. Work on that jacket.
[X]Write-in
>>No. 665
[X]Talk with Letty for a bit.
-[X]Make mention of the fact that you didn't mind her kiss earlier...
-[X]Ask about her species in general in order to clear up misconceptions and perhaps glean some insight.
>>No. 666
[X] Talk with Letty for a bit.
-[X] Make mention of the fact that you didn't mind her kiss earlier...
-[X] Ask about her species in general in order to clear up misconceptions and perhaps glean some insight.

Now why would Marisa be scared of a Stage 1 boss?
>>No. 667
>>666
First look at the number.

And second, Letty in PCB was holding back against the heroines. In the strongest part of winter, she's at her full strength. And it's said that Marisa hates the cold, so Letty might be her worse nightmare.

[X]Talk with Letty for a bit.
-[X]Make mention of the fact that you didn't mind her kiss earlier...
-[X]Ask about her species in general in order to clear up misconceptions and perhaps glean some insight.

Letty~
>>No. 668
[X] Talk with Letty for a bit.
-[X] Make mention of the fact that you didn't mind her kiss earlier...
-[X] Ask about her species in general in order to clear up misconceptions and perhaps glean some insight.
-[x] Ask what the hell made Marisa high tail out of there so fast.
>>No. 671
[X] Talk with Letty for a bit.
-[X] Ask about her species in general in order to clear up misconceptions and perhaps glean some insight.
-[ø] Ask her about how much alchemy she knows.
[X]It's a bit early, but I am hungry after all that.
[X]Perhaps inspiration will hit me today. Work on that jacket.
>>No. 672
[X] Talk with Letty for a bit.
-[X] Ask about her species in general in order to clear up misconceptions and perhaps glean some insight.
-[x] Ask what the hell made Marisa high tail out of there so fast.
>>No. 674
[X] Talk with Letty for a bit.
-[X] Make mention of the fact that you didn't mind her kiss earlier...
-[X] Ask about her species in general in order to clear up misconceptions and perhaps glean some insight.
-[x] Ask what the hell made Marisa high tail out of there so fast.
-[x] Ask her about how much alchemy she knew in the first place.
[X]It's a bit early, but I am hungry after all that.
[X]Perhaps inspiration will hit me today. Work on that jacket.
>>No. 676
>>670
Have you considered it's less flirting that reassuring her that we didn't mind that kiss from the stand point of having our privacy invaded? She could be feeling a bit guilty over that.

Also if that part wasn't a part of the character's personality, it wouldn't have been an existing choice, i.e. NOT A WRITE IN.

Can't you just take it easy like the rest of us, since SLDT generally runs an easy-going ship.
>>No. 677
>>676
>Have you considered it's less flirting that reassuring her that we didn't mind that kiss from the stand point of having our privacy invaded? She could be feeling a bit guilty over that.
Maybe it's me, but I still think the way that option is worded makes it sound otherwise. That said...

>Also if that part wasn't a part of the character's personality, it wouldn't have been an existing choice, i.e. NOT A WRITE IN.

>Can't you just take it easy like the rest of us, since SLDT generally runs an easy-going ship.
I feel rather silly for having missed this, and apologize for making such an uninformed argument. Deleting my previous post on account of grumpiness, lack of reading skills, and generally not contributing to the thread.

For now I'll just wait to see where this goes and, as you suggested, take it easy.
>>No. 678
Maybe it's because I don't meet new people very often, or perhaps because I just feel talkative right now, but I find myself struck with the urge to talk with the snow woman. Her heat transfer properties are quite astounding and would perhaps prove useful in future experiments. Then there's the fact that she sent Marisa running with her tail between her legs, which is very difficult if not downright impossible for most people to do. Well, save Keine, but she's kind of a special case no matter how you slice it.

"Do you mind if I talk with you for a bit? The more I observe you the more interesting you are." I take a seat almost opposite Letty so I can keep eye contact with her once I make it.

"Not at all. What do you want to talk about?" Letty bookmarks the page she was on and sets it aside so she can give her full attention to the conversation at hand.

"That kiss earlier for starters. Yes, I already know it was out of necessity and I'm perfectly fine with that. What I'm really curious about is your ability to transfer heat between one body to another via physical contact. I always thought it was a one-way thing from victim to snow woman." While it's true I got some physical pleasure out of that kiss, I'm far more interested in Letty herself right now since she's a treasure trove of new information, and the means to break down old misconceptions while gleaning some insight into her species.

Letty looks somewhat taken aback by how quickly I dismissed her invasion of my personal space earlier, and perhaps somewhat surprised at the fact that I changed gears so quickly. "Normally we snow women steal body heat from men, but there are times where we have stored so much within our bodies that we have to get rid of it somehow. It just so happens that one of the less intamite methods of stealing warmth is also perfectly acceptable for letting it flow away. That feeling of warmth that crept through you when I kissed you was a perfect example of how it works." She then placed her hands on her lap. A small sign that she's willing to see this through until I'm satisfied.

"A little unfortunate since I don't have any data to go by, but I imagine you'll face that situation more than once during your stay. In such cases I'd be-" I pause to think about what I'm going to say next, but come to the conclusion that anything I'd say could come off as lecherous, a desperate plea to be loved, or some sappy comment that wouldn't be out of place in a confession. As such I smash my previous thought line to itty-bitty pieces and start on a new one. After all, one does not sell himself out to the first beauty who kisses him in an exotic way. "...There's really no way to make that sound like anything other than a desire to be kissed by you again for the physical enjoyment rather than for the intulectual gains I could get out of it."

"I assume that those gains would have to do with some kind of experiment of yours?" Perhaps it's because we're getting close to the topic of alchemy that Letty is growing more interested in the conversation. I find that to be a good sign as well since the more I can find out about her the more likely it is for me to stumble into some new usable idea. Like some kind of heat siphon for use in those intolerable summer days, or a temperature managment system! The houses around here don't really have much in the way of insulation to keep out the heat in summer and the cold in winter, so it'd be a good thing to develop some kind of special insulation! Assuming those kappa haven't done so yet, but they're way up in the Youkai Mountain and their services aren't cheap... Good news for someone lik myself who might want to get his foot in the door.

---
>>No. 679
This story has become one of my favorites since Letty appeared. And she seems to be a woman after Ivan's own heart.
>>No. 680
---

"It is indeed something for my experiments, albeit one that will occur later. I'm also curious about your ability. What is it exactly?" It has been a good long while since I had someone to talk with about alchemy, so excuse my excited mood.

"The simple manipulation of cold. I primarily use it to freeze things as well as transfer heat." A simple answer for a dizzyingly complex ability! Does Letty even know what kind of gold mine she's sitting on? The manipulation of cold is so vague to the point where you could even say it could be the manipulation of energy, or perhaps the lack of it! Think of the uses! "Perhaps it's my imagination, but are you drooling?"

That forced me to snap to attention and check my mouth only to find that there's nothing there. I guess I was going into a long-winded internal monologue for a minute there. "I don't think I am. I don't feel anything there either. On a different subject, just what did you do to make Marisa turn tail and run like that? It's no exaggeration to say that even the scarlet devil can't keep her away, and that makes it all the more interesting." I should endeavor to keep my thought process in check from now on as to not be rude thinking up a myriad of possibilities while talking to someone else.

Though Letty actually laughs at my statement, though it's a soft one that like so many other women she tries to hide but fails miserably at because her eyes betray her. I never quite got why they do that. "We only just met you know. I can't go telling you all my secrets, now can I?" So I suppose I'll just have to spend more time around her. Unless that's exactly what she wants... Hmph, why would a woman I barely know be gunning for my heart already? That's just silly and only happens in cheesy romance novels. Though the mere fact that I thought of it might mean that somewhere deep in my mind I'm actually not against the idea, but that part needs to shut up so I can think straight.

[X]I only just started this conversation, perhaps there's something I forgot to ask but should. (specify)
[X]Since she's here already and it's around noon, perhaps invite her to stay for lunch? Or maybe see if any eateries are open?
[X]Now I'm all excited from this. I should really work on that jacket while I'm still on a creative high.
>>No. 681
[X]Use my sudden inspiration to make notes like a madman. However, working right now would be a waste when that golden mine of info is sitting around.
[X]Since she's here already and it's around noon, perhaps invite her to stay for lunch? Or maybe see if any eateries are open?
-[X] Remember to comment about my jacket and ask her for some input on the matter.
>>No. 682
[X]Since she's here already and it's around noon, perhaps invite her to stay for lunch? Or maybe see if any eateries are open?

Invite her for lunch, sod the jacket.
>>No. 683
[X]Since she's here already and it's around noon, perhaps invite her to stay for lunch? Or maybe see if any eateries are open?
-[x] Talk about prospective projects while eating. She has to be look into something; perhaps I could help.

Yes Ivan, fall for the lovely snow lady.
>>No. 684
[x] Use my sudden inspiration to make notes like a madman. However, working right now would be a waste when that goldmine of information is sitting around.
[x] Since she's here already and it's around noon, perhaps invite her to stay for lunch? Or maybe see if any eateries are open?
-[x] Remember to comment on my jacket and ask her for some input on the matter.
>>No. 685
[X]Since she's here already and it's around noon, perhaps invite her to stay for lunch? Or maybe see if any eateries are open?
-[x] Talk about prospective projects while eating. She has to be look into something; perhaps I could help.
>>No. 686
"I suppose that's true. Everyone has their little secrets." After that, I happen to remember that it's a little past noon so it's about time for me to get some lunch. Though it would be rude not to at least offer Letty lunch as well since she's a welcome guest here. "Now that I think about it, would you like to accompany me out to lunch?"

"Now how do I know that this is just an innocent invitation and not an attempt to glean some kind of secret from me?" Letty's making a joke at my expense, though she rises from her seat regardless. "I wouldn't mind, though one usually reserves inviting a woman out for lunch for when they are a bit closer."

"In my case it's more along the lines of that it would be rude to eat without making sure my guest has been taken care of. Any other possible meanings would be from others looking too far into it." Still, I'm not properly dressed for going out into the cold once again. I happen to either be a bit too lazy right now to make my own lunch, or just crave something that I do not have. It is a convenient excuse to keep talking to the snow woman since I have not exhausted all my questions just yet. My most pressing one is why she would want to look through my research notes. I have a hard time believing that someone such as herself could have easy access to materials or a lab of some kind.

"I suppose I won't push the issue then. I assume we're heading out of the house?" Duh, of course Letty wouldn't be bothered by the cold. She gets up from her seat and proceeds to wait in the hallway that leads to my front door. "I'll be waiting outside then." And proceeds to walk out.

I take a few minutes to ensure that I have clean, dry clothes to endure the cold in and step outside where the snow woman has been patiently waiting. "Shall we go?"

"Lead the way." With Letty taking up the rear we set off in search of some kind of cafe or something. The snow is still annoying to have to trudge through but the snow woman takes it upon herself to part it just enough to where there's a clear path into the village.

"Though I am curious as to what you'd need to look at my copy for. Do you have any ongoing projects where another alchemist's insight would help?" And now to try and get my most pressing question answered.

"Not really. It felt nostalgic once I started reading it, so I was reading it further to try and recall why I felt that way." That's not really what I expected from Letty, but then again I didn't know what to expect. If I recall correctly snow women are the souls of women claimed by winter's cold embrace... It's possible she may have been an alchemist herself if she was one of the many victims.

---
>>No. 687
>If I recall correctly snow women are the souls of women claimed by winter's cold embrace... It's possible she may have been an alchemist herself if she was one of the many victims.
The plot thickens!
>>No. 688
---

"That is interesting in itself, both in your interest in alchemy and in your desire to remember. I think I'll leave that subject be for now and focus on something a bit more immediate, such as lunch." It's not really my concern as to whether or not the snow woman was an alchemist or not, but then again I don't have to preform the myriad of experiments that I do. As such I'm probably going to go down that path, struggle to get away for a little bit, realize it's useless because of how attached I might have become by that point, then once again head down that route willingly.

I could probably make a killing off a novelization.

"True, no need to worry about something that might not even matter." I really do wonder if Letty is intentionally piquing my curiosity or not. If she is she's remarkably skilled at doing it in an offhand manner to where it looks like she's not aware.

"Hmm... I hadn't thought about this too much..." 'This' being where do we go for lunch? Normally I'd go give Mokou business since her yakitori is that good but I then remember that Keine told me that Mokou wouldn't be happy about Letty being around. I'm inclined to take her advice so that takes off one possible stop by default. Mystia's stand didn't look like it was open either, which is to be expected since she can't get fresh stock anywhere near as easily and as a result is closed far more often in the winter. I refuse to mooch off anyone else either...

"About where to go for lunch? You're rather spontaneous at times aren't you?" Letty on the other hand finds this amusing, which is mildly annoying since I'm more or less making a fool out of myself right now.

"I don't think I'd be as well off as I am if I were anything else. Aside from resilient, stubborn, and focused that is. Too much so at times." The tavern is out too since there was a minor incident involving my casting magic while drunk... I'm not particularly fond of noodles... The local bakery doubles as a deli so getting something good there should be relatively easy. Come to think of it, why didn't I think of that first? It's a rather obvious eatery. I start walking in the direction of the bakery with Letty in tow, and the trip takes little time at all. I note that I'm getting some surprised looks and that the snow woman herself either seems indifferent, uncomfortable, or giving others the cold shoulder. I suppose I should try to steer clear of Yuuka then since that might be only slightly less disastrous as meeting Mokou right now.

"I wouldn't know too much about that since I haven't been around you for that long, though I think I can attest to the stubbornness." And yet she's perfectly willing to talk to me. I haven't heard much of anything about Letty in the past and have not met her prior to this so I wouldn't know why she sees fit to talk to me.

...Oh hell, I'd know those long silver locks anywhere. It looks like she's heading away from us with Keine to go somewhere, which is good since I don't want to deal with that yet. Once we're in the bakery itself we're completely out of sight, and from there it'll be a simple matter to order what we want.

---
>>No. 689
I wonder what kind of lunchmeat Letty likes (No Cold Cut puns, guys)
>>No. 690
---

I find myself rather nervous by this point as a few people have turned to look at us and a few more have gone so far as to start whispering. I seriously hope that crow isn't anywhere near here, otherwise this will be known all over Gensokyo by this afternoon at the earliest and tomorrow at the latest. Letty, on the other hand, isn't bothered by the other villagers in the slightest. I kind of envy her ability to just shrug all that off without a second thought... I suppose I'll just ask her how she stands this sort of thing later and focus on eating now. Well, if a certain ice fairy hadn't come along.

"Miss Letty, miss Letty!" Cirno, lacking any subtlety whatsoever tries to cling to Letty's shoulders from behind, and manages it fairly well for a little bit before falling off. "Whatcha doin' in here? Are you dating this human? I thought you couldn't stand the heat!"

"Slow down Cirno. I'll answer all your questions in due time, just be patient for me. Please?" Letty then gives Cirno an affectionate hair ruffle, and I note that my hopes of this remaining out of the crow's tabloid has just disintegrated. Standing no more than ten feet away from me is one Aya Shameimaru, who has her notebook and her pen out, and is wearing a surprised expression that quickly turns to excitement.

I do hate publicity...

[X]See about having Cirno join the group. I'd hate to crush that childish glee...
[X]See what it would take for Aya to keep this out of her paper.
[X]Just vacate the building asap, preferably after lunch assuming the crow doesn't ambush us for an interview.
-[X]And think of a location for once. This aimless wandering won't do any good.
>>No. 691
[X]See about having Cirno join the group. I'd hate to crush that childish glee...
[X]See what it would take for Aya to keep this out of her paper.

I wonder if Aya has anything better to do than stalk a humble Alchemist.
>>No. 692
[x]See about having Cirno join the group. I'd hate to crush that childish glee...
[x]See what it would take for Aya to keep this out of her paper.

Can't really run away, she'll find him. Also, seeing what it would take to keep the story out of the paper may be pointless, but it's worth a shot.
>>No. 693
[X]See about having Cirno join the group. I'd hate to crush that childish glee...
[X]See what it would take for Aya to keep this out of her paper.
>>No. 694
[X]See about having Cirno join the group. I'd hate to crush that childish glee...
[X]See what it would take for Aya to keep this out of her paper.

Works for me~!
>>No. 695
[X]See about having Cirno join the group. I'd hate to crush that childish glee...
[X]See what it would take for Aya to keep this out of her paper.
>>No. 696
[X]See about having Cirno join the group. I'd hate to crush that childish glee...
[X]See what it would take for Aya to keep this out of her paper.
>>No. 697
[X]See about having Cirno join the group. I'd hate to crush that childish glee...
[X]See what it would take for Aya to keep this out of her paper.

Is it me or does Aya have the ability to be a nuisance EVERY SINGLE TICKING MOMENT
>>No. 698
[X]See about having Cirno join the group. I'd hate to crush that childish glee...
[X]See what it would take for Aya to keep this out of her paper.

>>697

For me, that spot is reserved for the various Bastard!Yukari's on the website.
>>No. 699
>>697
She's just being Aya; folks do seem to hate her unfairly.

There's worse characters on this site (Fell's Sanae, EXNine's Yukari. The latter you don't mix up with SLDT's Yukari in AoS. AoS Yukari is love)
>>No. 700
Perhaps it's because of her energetic glee, or because of the apparent mother/daughter bond that these two share, but I feel myself wanting to allow Cirno to come with us. "Letty, you can invite Cirno along if you'd like."

"You wouldn't mind?" Letty seems to be surprised at me once again, but nowhere near as surprised as I am at myself. Here I am, an alchemist who despises winter and favors warmth, becoming friends with someone who is practically the harbinger of winter and inviting along an ice element fairy! Just what is wrong with me?

"Not at all. From the sounds of it she doesn't spend anywhere near as much time with you as she'd like, and I am cutting into that time." Regardless, I've already committed to this so I can't back out of it now. Besides, it might be kind of fun to have her along, especially in the unlikely event she turns out to be just as smart as she was this morning. Pfft, even I don't believe that.

"Hey, you look kinda familiar..." Cirno then floats on over to me in order to get a better look. "I think I met you this morning didn't I? I don't remember." I guess her moment of intelligence was dependant on the umbrella. Perhaps I should catch it sometime to see what it is, as it is now officially far too interesting to leave be.

"I should think you would remember more than that." I roll my eyes at the child-like fairy in front of me, more so because she seems to have the memory span of a small insect.

"Oh yeah, you beat up Rumia once when she tried to eat you!" I resist the urge to facepalm. She is correct though, I did have to repel Rumia within the last month before the snow started. It wound up being a fairly spectacular display since the spellcard rules were conveniently forgotten, and we both took some lumps from it as a result. We both walked away from it in one piece though, so I won as far as I'm concerned. "She's been looking for a rematch by the way."

"Just what I need. Another run-in with that little man-eater." I really do facepalm this time out of annoyance. This means I'll probably need an escort of some kind should I decide to donate to Reimu or bug Marisa for some reason since the odds will be tilted more in her favor this time thanks to the waist-deep snow and her flight capabilities. Though I immediately remember a certain crow taking notes about this earlier... "Excuse me for a minute will you?"

I get up from my seat in order to close the distance between the crow tengu and myself. A rather silly notion since she could easily get away if she so chose, but it seems she wants to talk to me since she's just looking at me with a confident grin on her face. "More than you can afford." She guesses the next question that's about to pop out of my mouth with annoying speed. "But if you're here to tell me what the deal is with you and Letty, that might change what gets printed."

"You really love blackmail, don't you." That wasn't even a rhetorical question. Judging from how others curse her name I assume Aya really likes spouting half-truths and lies, so I'm rather conflicted as to what to tell her should I have no avenue for escape.

"Sometimes it's the only way to get the story. I promised to report the truth and nothing but the truth from now on so please answer my questions." It's only there for a brief moment, but Aya's grin faltered for a moment when she mentioned the word 'promise'. "If you do, I'll show you proof of my sincerity on the matter, even if it is beyond embarrassing." That last bit, the one concerning embarrassment, was spoken so quietly that I had trouble hearing it from my relatively close distance.

[X]Proof first, then explain what Letty's doing here with you. It may be your one chance to keep weird rumors from flying around.
[X]No dice, I wouldn't trust this crow any further than I could throw her.
>>No. 701
[X]Proof first, then explain what Letty's doing here with you. It may be your one chance to keep weird rumors from flying around.

I'll give her a chance, that and Letty is the worse person to make angry in the winter, more so for birdish Youkai.
>>No. 702
[X] Proof first, then explain what Letty's doing here with you. It may be your one chance to keep weird rumors from flying around.
>>No. 703
[X]Proof first, then explain what Letty's doing here with you. It may be your one chance to keep weird rumors from flying around.

Going by Pokemon logic, ICE types are super effective against FLYING types.

Letty is ICE, Aya is FLYING.

Do the math. (Answer isn't 9)
>>No. 704
>>703
In Touhoumon, Letty's Ice/Rock; yeah either way she's super effective against Aya (Normal/Flying)
>>No. 705
[X] Proof first, then explain what Letty's doing here with you. It may be your one chance to keep weird rumors from flying around.

Works for me~!
>>No. 706
[X] Proof first, then explain what Letty's doing here with you. It may be your one chance to keep weird rumors from flying around.
>>No. 707
[X]Proof first, then explain what Letty's doing here with you. It may be your one chance to keep weird rumors from flying around.
>>No. 708
Distract her with Proof while you are readying a Easy Amnesia needle. When she loses attention to you poke her slightly with the needle.

Problem solved
>>No. 709
"Alright then, proof first and then I'll tell you." I still feel as though this may very well be a mistake, but there's just enough evidence that she might be telling the truth. Plus I'm rather curious as to who or what would cause such an abrupt change in her usual mannerisms.

"Then I'll need to borrow you for a moment." Aya pockets her pen and notepad and leads me out of the building, then takes me up to the roof which happens to be fairly slick right now thanks to the small film of water that has formed beneath the snow. As a result she's still holding me up so I don't slide off. "Maybe this spot isn't so good..."

In the time I blink to when I next open my eyes I find myself standing on a flat structure well away from prying eyes. On top of that it's flat so I won't slip and fall by accident. "So..."

"Just look at these." Aya then hands me a few photographs and a copy of her most recent paper...

I look them both over and confirm that the paper is indeed telling the straight truth, but the photos look like something more suited for an indecent publication. "So what's the story behind these?" I hold up the photos and have them snatched away almost immediately. The tengu on the other hand starts whispering it into my ear and my eyes widen in shock and disbelief. "That's..."

"Unbelievable. I know, but those photos are proof of what happened to me and why I'm more careful about what I print. And since I don't want a repeat performance, contrary to popular belief, I'd really like to know the truth behind why Letty has gotten all friendly with you." Now the photos have been safely tucked away and her pen and pad taken back out.

"Simple, she walked into my house while I wasn't home and started reading one of my alchemy books. I couldn't let her borrow it, but I allowed her to read it at my home. The fact that we're out in public together is little more than my being a good host." To my surprise, Aya's pen did not once meet the surface of her paper during that short bit.

"That's all?" She seems rather dumbfounded by that.

"That's all." I wonder if this means that there won't be a story in there after all.

"That's not interesting in the slightest. Not on the surface at least, but you wouldn't know." And now she's trying to drop a hint that she may very well know more about this than she's letting on. "I miiiiight tell you more about it later if things pick up, but for now I think I'll just put you back where I found you."

Now I'm back at the bakery with Aya nowhere in sight. That was annoying to say the least.

---
>>No. 710
Sounds like someone had enough with Aya and made her the subject of some pictures.
>>No. 711
bullet dodged
>>No. 713
I am somewhat happy with how this has turned out since this means Aya will keep this out of her paper for now, though I really should invent brain bleach somewhere down the line. I didn't even know you could stretch that part that wide... Ugh, I really hate male hormones sometimes. They always make things more difficult since your body tries to tilt you more in the direction of reproduction and will forcibly make memories of the opposite sex in the nude, in compromising positions, or being assaulted by tentacles out of a tear in space that has cute little red ribbons affixed to each end more easily remembered while simple alchemical equations are shoved aside. I think I need to either dunk my head or my nether reigon in a bucket of ice water. Maybe both.

"There you are." I don't even pay attention to Letty walking up behind me and jump as a result. "I apologize for startling you, I was simply checking to see where you were since you vanished after confronting Aya."

"No need to apologize for that, I'm just getting my thoughts in order so I can work on something to induce selective amnesia. Anyway, Aya wanted me to tell her why you were being friendly towards me." Slowly but surely my mind is winning out on this matter, proved when it becomes easier to think properly. Such as Letty being a guest rather than being an object of desire, though I just can't shake the feeling that my view is going to change in my body's favor at some point. The last thing I want to do is fall for someone simply because of what she looks like rather than what she is...

"Did she try to sweet talk you into saying whatever she wants? Your face is all red, and that's usually a sign of arousal since it's far too cold to be because of the heat." Whether that's Letty becoming angry with me, the tengu, or because she genuinly doesn't want me to become some kind of victim is up in the air, but I really hope it's scenario number two. "You really shouldn't let a tengu like her anywhere near you, especially if certain old habits haven't died."

"Actually, I just asked her for the proof she said would convince me that she's telling the truth. That consists of this paper..." I hand the copy of the Bunbunmaru to her before almost spitting out the next few details. I do notice Cirno and figure that Letty probably wouldn't want her hearing what I'd have to say next. As such I step closer and tell it to her in an undertone that's at the bare minimum of what a normal person could hear. And if the color in the snow woman's cheeks is any indication, she most definitely heard me. "And a matching photo should be rolled up in there."

"Oh my..." Letty finds the one picture Aya didn't swipe back and stares at it with wide eyes before rolling it back up in the paper. "I'm actually more surprised that it took this long for someone to give her a taste of her own medicine. Invading people's lives, their private moments and then spouting utter lies or violating it in a perverse fashion..."

"Hey, what's this about that crow? Something happened to her?" Cirno happens to be drawn to our conversation with child-like curiosity, even going so far as to try and take the paper for herself. "Come on, let me see!"

"Maybe when you're older, Cirno." Letty seems to be a bit odd there. Not in her tone, or facial expression, but rather that there's some slim chance that the fairy she's talking to is actually older than her and does not appreciate the patronizing.

"Aw, come on, I'm old enough for anything!" That doesn't stop the little ice fairy from trying to yank the paper out of my hand. It's fruitless any way you look at it since the strength of a typical fairy is actually lower than that of a typical human.

Letty then gives me a look that seems to say 'I understand'. I really hope that translates to: 'I understand why you'd want to selectively suppress those memories. After all you're a man who values the mind over the body' instead of any number of misinterpretations.

[X]We should get back now that lunch is done.
[X]This is the first time I've been out of the house for something other than shopping or deliveries. Perhaps it wouldn't be so bad to see what's going on in town...
[X]Ask Letty if there's anything she wants to do. Just make a note to avoid Mokou should you see her.
>>No. 714
[X]Ask Letty if there's anything she wants to do. Just make a note to avoid Mokou should you see her.

You said it how it is, you know. Be polite!
>>No. 715
[x]We should get back now that lunch is done.

Best idea, considering Letty can get back to what she really wanted to do (the book) and it lowers the chances of having further run ins with people willing to propagate rumors.
>>No. 716
[X]Ask Letty if there's anything she wants to do. Just make a note to avoid Mokou should you see her.

She's the guest, so let's see what she wants to do, if she wants to go back to the house, that's okay too.
>>No. 717
[x] Ask Letty if there's anything she wants to do. Just make a note to avoid Mokou should you see her.
>>No. 718
You're in town might as well do some work such as replenishing supplies so that you don't waste time and energy to make the trip again.

If nothing else go back.

Note: Then again you can just go to town later on your own to pick up something that you forgot, get caught in a snowstorm... ???... Profit?
>>No. 719
>>718
>Note: Then again you can just go to town later on your own to pick up something that you forgot, get caught in a snowstorm... ???... Profit?

Sounds like a bad bet to me, and I like taking crazy bets.
>>No. 720
Ain't it? It would be cliche though unless he died in the snowstorm and the story ended early.

But then again everything these days are cliche so...
>>No. 721
[X]This is the first time I've been out of the house for something other than shopping or deliveries. Perhaps it wouldn't be so bad to see what's going on in town...
EXPLORATION
>>No. 722
I don't see why he's quite so worried about falling for a non-human, since it won't be the first time that it's happened nor will it be the last.
>>No. 723
[X]Ask Letty if there's anything she wants to do. Just make a note to avoid Mokou should you see her.
>>No. 724
[X]Ask Letty if there's anything she wants to do. Just make a note to avoid Mokou should you see her.
>>No. 725
[X]Ask Letty if there's anything she wants to do. Just make a note to avoid Mokou should you see her.

This should do.
>>No. 726
Hmm, this is a good opportunity to see what's going on in the village even if I'm not terribly interested in the latest rumors or the politics of this village. Or I could just go home and ignore all that in favor of staying someplace warm and perhaps stop procrastinating. Or I could continue to be a good host and let Letty decide what to do. So I turn to the snow woman before speaking. "Is there anything you'd like to do?"

"Within the village? Not particularly. The people here always make me feel more than a little unwelcome." Letty does give others the cold shoulder, but I note that she's also getting a fair few dirty looks from the townsfolk. I suppose that some youkai just aren't as readily accepted as others, or perhaps it's because people view the snow woman as malevolent. "If you don't mind I would like to spend time with Cirno."

"Oh? Certainly, don't let me stop you from spending time with family." Personally I don't have much interest in leaving the village and heading out into the forest or going anywhere near the lake since it's easy to get lost in the former and the latter spells doom for any male human that goes near it, usually by some stroke of insanity that causes them to jump into it and drown. I have my doubts as to whether that's really because of spontaneous insanity since no one's ever around to see it.

"I would like it if you came as well. You make for much better company than most humans." Of course Letty has to invite me along. Some god must really not like seeing me upright and walking if all it takes to get invited somewhere I don't really want to go is worrying about the possible doom that would follow. And Rumia is one of Cirno's friends isn't she? Going means I might have to deal with her, and I'm not sure I could pull off another underhanded stunt to get away like I did last time.

"I wouldn't mind." A bald-faced lie, but hopefully that means Letty would be willing to help out in case of an emergency. ...I haven't even known this woman for more than a couple hours and I'm already placing my life in her hands. Am I really thinking with my brain, or am I trying to make her feel less hated by humans?

Cirno simply looks between us and shrugs. I don't think she really cares one way or the other whether I come along or not. I was half hoping she'd object to this instead of being apathetic in her decision...

"Really? Then let's depart." This does make her a bit happier than before. In fact, this smile looks genuine... Was she merely putting on an act before? Or was she hiding her displeasure towards being around the village? This person continues to be nothing short of interesting. Of course, she does stop flying away once she realizes I haven't taken off with her... "What's wrong?"

"I can't fly. I never learned how." One of those little things that I never bothered with, along with fast-casting magic. I probably could fly if I really wanted to, but it would take on the order of at least two minutes to focus the energy and it would be nothing short of completely exhausting.

"You could have just said so." She then drifts back down and grabs onto my arm, then takes off once more with me alongside her. Cirno's right along with us and takes a moment to give me a questioning look as though to question my sanity, though I don't respond. I have to admit that the view is quite a bit better from up here even if things are snowed over. A blanket of white covers almost everything and almost makes it look like a blank sheet of paper. I think I understand why some people enjoy flying so much.

Aside from it providing a better view, flying also happens to be more convenient since we don't have to bother with the forest and it's less civil inhabitants or be bogged down by the snow that slipped in between the trees. I'm still a little apprehensive at going anywhere near the lake, but worst comes to worst I can find a way to escape.

Cirno spots a small group of people and darts down almost immediately while Letty takes a slower approach. I look down and see the pink-haired night sparrow trying to crack a hole in the lake ice so she can fish, the green-haired nightbug wrapped up in a blanket to keep her warmth from being swept away by the cold, and... My stomach feels like it just dropped away when I see the blond grue looking up at me with cheery smile and equally cheery wave. Her form doesn't bother me, nor does her desire to eat me, but rather the sense that there's something more sinister locked up in that body and that it's targeted me and me alone for getting away and dealing her real harm. I should explain that bit a little. You see, the last time we met Rumia had just been knocked away and her ribbon was loosened just enough to let me see her eyes. Not the childish orbs of red, but more mature eyes that sent a jolt down my spine. It was temporary it seems, but I don't think I'll ever drop my guard against this one.

"Is something the matter?" Letty simply hangs in the air once she sees my reaction. This is both a good thing and a bad thing since it keeps me from preforming a preemptive strike against Rumia our of reflex, but bad since I can't really move without dropping about twenty feet onto the snow below.

I'm about to open my mouth to respond when someone throws a snowball at my face, and obviously that doesn't help the whole talking bit at all. I use my spare hand to wipe away the snow before answering. "I'm just a bit nervous, that's all."

---
>>No. 727
---

"I see." Letty followed my gaze to the grue responsible for the snowball and descended to the ground anyway. "Don't worry, I doubt they'd do anything to you unless you gave them good reason."

[X]Respond to the snowball in kind.
[X]See if you can't strike up a conversation with the green-haired girl.
[X]Mystia is usually a good conversationalist.
[X]Just stick with Letty. I don't feel comfortable with this group.
>>No. 728
[X]Respond to the snowball in kind.
-[X] Overwhelm their defenses with an all out attack.
>>No. 729
[x] Respond to the snowball in kind.
-[x] Overwhelm their defenses with an all out attack.

Pow.
>>No. 730
[X]See if you can't strike up a conversation with the green-haired girl.

We have something in common with Wriggle: we hate the cold.
>>No. 731
[X]See if you can't strike up a conversation with the green-haired girl.

Rather intrigued with her being out in the cold with the others rather than finding a much more, hospitable place to be staying warm at.
>>No. 732
[X] See if you can't strike up a conversation with the green-haired girl.

>..the [lake] spells doom for any male human that goes near it, usually by some stroke of insanity that causes them to jump into it and drown.
"Enough is ENOUGH! I have had it with this goddamned lake on these goddamned plains!"
>>No. 733
[x] Respond to the snowball in kind.
-[x] Overwhelm their defenses with an all out attack
-[x] Consider bottling a flurry of snowballs in the future for this very purpose.
>>No. 735
[x] Respond to the snowball in kind.
-[x] Overwhelm their defenses with an all out attack
-[x] Consider bottling a flurry of snowballs in the future for this very purpose.

Dont forget bottling a snow fort as well.
>>No. 736
[X] See if you can't strike up a conversation with the green-haired girl.

Commiserate with our fellow hater of the cold.
>>No. 737
Are you guys sure that getting into a massive snowball fight is a great idea, considering how I doubt Ivan's dressed for such a thing, that and how he hates the snow and cold in the first place.

On another note, I think Wriggle would make a cute little sister figure if not someone who'd love the jacket we're trying to invent.
>>No. 738
[X]See if you can't strike up a conversation with the green-haired girl.
>>No. 739
[x] Consider bottling a flurry of snowballs in the future for this very purpose.
[ø] See if you can't strike up a conversation with the green-haired girl.
>>No. 740
"I suppose I'll trust you on that." I briefly consider retaliating against the grue for her frosty assault, but think better of it. I'm neither prepared for such an engagement nor am I dressed for it. The last thing I need is to land my sorry rear end in Eientei so soon, seeing as Eirin would never let me live it down.

Out of the current group the green-haired girl catches my interest the most since she's currently bundled up against the cold rather than playing in the snow with the others. Thanks to the two antenna poking out of her hair I'd have to assume she's some kind of insect youkai, though that fails to explain why she'd be out here instead of holing herself up someplace warm until spring arrives. ...Speaking of which, I really should get started on a danmaku repelling umbrella. I don't want to spend another spring nursing magic induced sores when I could be admiring the cherry blossoms.

"So you're the alchemist Mystia talks about every so often." I didn't expect the girl to speak first, but that saves me the trouble of breaking the ice with her. Yes, that was horrible. You don't need to tell me. "The name's Wriggle."

"I am Ivan, and I see at least a little of my reputation precedes me. It's also nice to make your acquaintance Wriggle." I bow respectfully since the insect youkai has not deemed it worthwhile to let any of the cold air in. "Pardon me for being nosy so soon, but why are you out here?"

"Why am I out here in the cold instead of a nice warm burrow? Easy. That one-" Wriggle points at Cirno through her blanket. The ice fairy is oblivious to this. "Decided that I needed to come out no matter what this winter so I can meet her mother figure. She used her power to make my burrow even colder than the outside so I didn't have much of a choice."

"She seems rather impulsive." I cringe at the thought. I knew the fairy could manipulate cold, but I didn't know how extensive that ability could get. There has been a theory that she actually controls the lack of energy and can force things down to absolute zero instantly, but it too childish to actually see that potential. Or perhaps she does know about it and is merely unable to use it for some reason. I do make a point of fishing out a bottled fire and showing it to Wriggle. "If you'd like, I could let you hang onto this for a while. Just don't undo the stopper or you'll find yourself warmer than you'd like."

"That's one of your bottled fire things isn't it?" She does accept it, and treats it as though it were much more delicate than it is. Not that I can blame her, since I accidentally stored one in a back pocket once... "Haaaah... Much better. I might have to get some cash together so I can buy the safer version. I really don't feel comfortable holding what amounts to a fireball in a bottle."

"I don't blame you in the slightest. They might be my best means of defense, but even the bottled darkness will hurt if you let it blow up on you." I note that there really isn't anyplace for me to sit that won't result in my pants getting soaked through, which just adds to my exasperation that I would agree to this outing to begin with. I'm ill prepared, ill dressed, and on top of that I'm near the lake! I know I've said it already, but I still feel anxiety about it.

"You don't know how to preform danmaku? I guess that's why Rumia was acting the way she was. She got beaten up by someone who didn't hold back. Or rather, didn't know how." Wriggle is a little off base with her assumtion, but not by much.

"It's not that I don't know how, it's just that it's so slow that I'd have to know when I'd be attacked about five minutes in advance. I'd be dead before I could get a single bullet off, let alone a pattern capable of deterring youkai." Five minutes is a bit of an exaggeration, but it gets the point across. Magic is just too slow right now.

"You might want to get someone to train you then. You're pretty much a free meal if you can't preform danmaku." And Wriggle reminds me of something I had been meaning to do but never thought necessary. After all, I only make involuntary visits to Eientei and voluntary visits to the Bamboo Forest of the Lost on my own. There are my infrequent trips to Marisa's house and the Hakurei Shrine... Maybe that should be on my to do list. "Come to think of it, I saw Letty carrying you. Do you even know how to fly?"

"I do, but again it's inefficient to do so since I wouldn't be the one doing the flying." It basically involves calling on wind magic to hoist myself through the air and that's neither precise or an efficient use of my energy.

"How have you managed to avoid getting eaten?" Now she's just shocked at this little revelation.

"Just lucky I guess." Luck, plus the fact that I'm not afraid to hurt myself to win. A few bruises are nothing compared to being torn apart after all.

[X]Perhaps I should turn the conversation's direction elsewhere... (specify)
[X]Go see what Mystia's doing.
[X]Head back to Letty for now.
[X]Write-in
>>No. 741
[X]Go see what Mystia's doing.
>>No. 742
[X]Go see what Mystia's doing.

Sounds good, then we can get back to Letty.
>>No. 743
[O] Go see what Mystia's doing.

Wriggle, you're so cute~
>>No. 744
{X} Go see what Mystia's doing.
>>No. 746
[x]Go see what Mystia's doing.
>>No. 748
Go to Chicken
>>No. 749
"Thank you for your time." A simple farewell should suffice in this situation. While talking to the nightbug is fairly pleasant in and of itself, the subject matter leaves something to be desired. After all, who wants to be reminded of their own inadequacies?

"You don't have to thank someone for that. Something like letting someone warm up with an item that belongs to them, that's worth thanking." So is she saying that she doesn't mind talking to me? Or is it an indirect reinforcement to her gratitude? Regardless, she seems to have made her acknowledgment of my farewell clear so I set off in the direction of the night sparrow.

Said night sparrow is currently floating over the ice without standing on it, though the reason for that seems fairly obvious once I get closer. Since she's floating over a hole in the ice I can assume she's lost her fishing tools or perhaps the ice pick she used to punch a hole in the ice. Either way it's probably lost until spring, if it's in any recoverable state. "Ah... Stupid fish!" Mystia herself seems about ready to shoot danmaku down the hole but also seems to know that such an act would be futile.

"What seems to be the matter?" I'm a little leery of stepping onto the ice since I could swear I can hear it groan. Not 'groan' in the sense of a human voice but rather the groan of the ice as it is strained to the breaking point. It's something I'm familiar with to the point to where I can pick it out fairly easily.

"Ivan~! I wouldn't go stepping out here, there's something under there that's been stealing my tools while I'm not looking~!" Mystia speaks in her usual singing tone. One of the interesting things about her is that unless there is some kind of exception she always speaks in song, and despite what you may think it doesn't inflict night blindness unless she really wants it to. "But what would a fish want with fishing tools~?"

"Predator fish perhaps?" It's a silly mental image and an even sillier joke. I do note that Mystia has decided to fly back to shore with a defeated look on her face and I can't blame her in the slightest.

"I have no idea~ Stranger things have happened~." Mystia floats down to the edge of the lake and lands near me. We then make a point of getting further away from the lakes edge so whatever's down there won't have the advantage should it prove hostile. I'm sure that's not what's on the night sparrow's mind, but it's what I'm taking into consideration. "Not that it's much of a problem since the tools themselves are fairly cheap~ It's just that I've had those for a long time~."

"Now I feel bad since there's nothing I can do to help." I actually do. Mystia happens to be a good person who doesn't really deserve this bit of misfortune.

"The thought is nice~ But I'd prefer that you didn't~ It's bad to lose good customers over such things~." Which I think translates to: 'I think you'd get yourself killed even if you could help and I'd prefer that that didn't happen.' I know Mystia doesn't mean anything insulting by that but it's still irritating. "Really~ It's nothing to lose sleep over~ My tools have a tendency to show back up after a while anyway~. I don't think this is what you wanted to talk about~ Is there something on your mind~?"

Is there something I want to talk about?
[X]Yes. (specify)
[X]No. (Specify alternate action)
>>No. 751
[X]No
-[X] Throw yourself to that fucking lake, use one of your bottled fires to create a distraction and use the cover to retrieve mystia tools. Then, get out, do a backflip, open the door, get on the floor, everybody walk the dinosaur.
>>No. 752
[X]No
-[X] Throw yourself to that fucking lake, use one of your bottled fires to create a distraction and use the cover to retrieve Mystia tools. Then, get out, do a backflip, open the door, get on the floor, everybody walk the dinosaur.

Fuck yes. What did you swear!?
>>No. 753
>>751
>>752

Main character + THAT LAKE + Winter= 9999% Fatality rate.

[X]Yes.
-[x] "I just wanted to see how you were doing, and if this is where you catch your Lamprey"
-[x] "Perhaps there's a water Youkai wanting you not to catch her food?"
-[x] "I'm amazed that the lake doesn't freeze over completely in the winter considering how cold it usually is"
>>No. 754
[X]Yes.
-[x] "I just wanted to see how you were doing, and if this is where you catch your Lamprey"
-[x] "Perhaps there's a water Youkai wanting you not to catch her food?"
-[x] "I'm amazed that the lake doesn't freeze over completely in the winter considering how cold it usually is"

That other vote is retarded because is smells of "lolrandom" and "fishing for a bad end".
>>No. 755
[X]Yes.
-[x] "I just wanted to see how you were doing, and if this is where you catch your Lamprey"
-[x] "Perhaps there's a water Youkai wanting you not to catch her food?"
-[x] "I'm amazed that the lake doesn't freeze over completely in the winter considering how cold it usually is"
>>No. 756
[X]Yes.
-[x] "I just wanted to see how you were doing, and if this is where you catch your Lamprey"
-[x] "Perhaps there's a water Youkai wanting you not to catch her food?"
-[x] "I'm amazed that the lake doesn't freeze over completely in the winter considering how cold it usually is"
>>No. 757
[X]Yes.
-[x] "I just wanted to see how you were doing, and if this is where you catch your Lamprey"
-[x] "Perhaps there's a water Youkai wanting you not to catch her food?"
-[x] "I'm amazed that the lake doesn't freeze over completely in the winter considering how cold it usually is"

works for me~!
>>No. 758
"Actually, there is. I wanted to ask how you were doing and if this is where you usually catch your lamprey in the winter." Dohoho, I seem to have asked my question in the form of a statement! I do have to wonder why she chooses to fish here instead of in the river, but I have to admit that I don't know much about eels.

"Me~? I've been fine~. Youkai aren't fragile like humans after all~." I really have to wonder if some youkai actively enjoy lording their durability over my head. Or maybe it's just the night sparrow being comfortable enough around me to feel that she can poke fun at my lack of self-preservation. "The river's lamprey are harder to catch in winter~, so I'm trying my luck out here~. You saw how well that went~."

"Maybe there's a youkai under the ice that doesn't want you stealing her food." Of course, all I have are rumors to go by since I make a point to avoid the lake whenever possible.

"It's possible~. Personally I think it was just looking for a way to lure humans in and didn't want to bother with me~, which is why I told you to stay off the ice~." Mystia basically sates my curiosity without even knowing it.

"So there is something under there." It's a rather off-handed comment to be sure, but it will either be enough to get Mystia to reinforce that it's a bad idea to go anywhere near there or she'll just keep quiet about that one particular subject. Though I am curious about what kind of youkai would actively prevent Mystia from hunting in its territory. Heh, perhaps it's a lamprey youkai? "Now that I think about it, the lake hasn't frozen over in its entirety has it? I'm rather surprised since it's as cold as it is."

"You can blame the giant catfish for that one~. For some reason it doesn't like having the lake totally frozen over so it'll crash through the surface every once in a while~." Mystia points out the giant catfish that just broke the surface of another part of the frozen lake, which then tossed the loose chunks of sheet ice onto other parts of the lake. It would be rather astounding if it was doing that to create thicker sheet ice in areas for some obscure use.

"You don't think that ate your equipment...?" It's a little far out but if this were an intelligent catfish it would most certainly see a benefit to depriving the night sparrow of her fishing equipment, more so if it feeds on the same food source she's trying to catch for herself.

"I hadn't really thought about it~. I don't see what takes my equipment but since I usually get it back I assume it just doesn't want me fishing here~. If those go eaten I think I wouldn't see them again~." Mystia doesn't seem that interested in the cause of her tools being stolen so long as she gets them back. It's a little out of my ability to help her with that so I'll stay out of it unless she asks for help. "You surprised me when you came out here with Letty though~. I thought you hated the cold~."

"I don't have an answer for that. Mostly because I haven't thought of one." I admit I am a little conflicted right at the moment. There is no doubt that I don't like winter in the slightest, yet I invite a snow-woman into my home and am now out in the cold with her and her daughter figure. I really do wonder if I'm going mad here, or if my perception is changing ever so slowly.

Mystia simply smiles at my answer as though it were something amusing. I on the other hand roll my eyes as we go back to the main group.

[X]I feel a little out of place here. Perhaps it's time to go.
[X]Talking is fine and all, but what does this group do for fun?
[X]See if any of them can instruct you in magic, preferably faster casting.
[X]Observe the catfish for a while.
>>No. 759
[X]Talking is fine and all, but what does this group do for fun?

I don't think animal Youkai are the best folks to ask for magic advice, since it's more natural to them. If we could talk to Alice or Patchouli (People who have studied magic) that might be better. Marisa's style is hard to replicate I'd imagine.
>>No. 760
[x]Observe the catfish for a while.

That catfish...
>>No. 761
[X] Talking is fine and all, but what does this group do for fun?

>>760
At least it's not the giant rainbow trout that announces its sexual orientation.
>>No. 762
[X]Observe the catfish for a while.

I wonder...

>>761
Hey, if it was, Yukari would be staying as far away from it as physically possible. It nearly killed her for gods sake!
>>No. 763
Rainbow trout that announces its sexual orientation?
Did I miss something?

Also Ivan should totally make bottled lightning.
>>No. 764
>>763
Meet Primeus: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydjn7FoDsRI

And his creator's reaction to the giant catfish: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHZ2hbEfWnY
>>No. 765
[X]Talking is fine and all, but what does this group do for fun?
>>No. 766
[x]Talking is fine and all, but what does this group do for fun?
>>No. 767
[X]Talking is fine and all, but what does this group do for fun?
>>No. 768
[X]Waiting is fine and all, but what's anon to do for updates?
>>No. 769
I seriously consider just watching the catfish for a while since I'm quite certain something will happen. On the other hand I'm already bored and do not wish to wait for something that may never happen, so I opt out of fish-watching in favor of asking another question.

"You know, talking is fine and all but what does this group do for fun?" It's mostly directed at the night-sparrow since she seems to be the brains of the group, or at least shares the position of smartest with the nightbug.

"When it's this cold out~? Usually we duel each other with danmaku~ That doesn't really work out for you since you can't join in~." The night sparrow can't have said all there is to be said, but I'm almost certain that anything else would entail being exposed to the cold even more than I already have.

"Aw, come on! There's snowball fights, ice skating, pranking people...!" Cirno chooses to jump into the conversation right about then with a number of activities that would either force me to leave sooner or cause me major embarrassment. "And why can't he join in playing danmaku?"

"He can't use danmaku. He can't fly either." Rumia floated over with absolute silence as she too joins in on the conversation. She shoots me a cheerful predatory glare before continuing. "The only reason he's even alive is because he's sneaky and a little suicidal."

"Taking a minor concussion instead of a fatal claw wound was the preferred option in my book." I'm not amused by the grue in the slightest, nor am I particularly comfortable with how close she's getting since I'm almost certain that she'll try something.

"Say what you want, how you got away was just underhanded~. I loved it~. Real prey is so hard to find these days." Again with that look. The one that just solidifies the fact that I am little more than a fun toy for her to play with until she gets serious and kills me. "Human prey who can actually get away..."

"Rumia, that's enough." Thankfully Letty steps in and keeps the grue from getting any closer than she already had. You know, if this means I don't have to worry about Rumia attacking I may hang around Letty more.

"Aww, you're no fun Letty." Rumia truly does creep me out with the way she speaks sometimes. One moment she's a cheerful child and the next she speaks with the grace and reserve of a full-grown woman. "Iiiivaaaan~, I'll play with you later~." She then floats off in a sphere of darkness, only to run into the first tree she comes across. For all the threat she poses she certainly has her clumsy moments.

"She really has it out for you~." Mystia looks on in the direction her friend had left in with a concerned look on her face. "Ivan, Rumia never stops pursuing a human who's escaped her save one or two exceptions~, please be careful from here on out~."

"I've been very careful. It's just that trouble usually finds me regardless." I make a point to re-shuffle my bottled elements to where I can quickly pull out whatever I'll need for the hypothetical encounter with the grue. Better to be seen as paranoid and be right than careless and unprepared.

"Rumia really oughta learn to let go. She's way too hung up on one person." And Cirno misses the whole point of why Rumia is basically stalking me. I don't know what the fairy is thinking but I get the impression I would either look at her as though she were brain damaged, laugh until my knees buckled, or simply palm my own face. "But y'know, I bet I could teach you danmaku!" That is indeed facepalm-worthy.

"I'm sure you could dear, but I don't think Ivan can stay out here too much longer." Letty raises a valid point: How long have I been out here? The bottled fire is keeping the cold down to a dull roar but the magical explosive doesn't cover everything. Of course, now that I think about it I start to feel it. "Perhaps it's time for me to help you get back home so you don't run into Rumia along the way."

[X]I'll be fine for a bit longer.
[X]Who am I kidding exactly? I'm not dressed for this and I don't think anyone would appreciate it if I started a bonfire with the forest.
-[X]Just head back home.
-[X]Request to be dropped off within the village but not at my home.
-[X]Someplace else? (specify)
>>No. 771
[x]Who am I kidding exactly? I'm not dressed for this and I don't think anyone would appreciate it if I started a bonfire with the forest.
-[x]Just head back home.

We've been putting it off long enough. It's time to put in some actual work on the jacket and see if the day's events haven't sparked any inspiration.
>>No. 773
[X]Who am I kidding exactly? I'm not dressed for this and I don't think anyone would appreciate it if I started a bonfire with the forest.
-[X]Just head back home.
>>No. 774
[x]Who am I kidding exactly? I'm not dressed for this and I don't think anyone would appreciate it if I started a bonfire with the forest.
-[x]Just head back home.

If we could run into Marisa or Patchouli, then we might try asking them for some lessons, those two having the most normal danmaku education. Sakuya might be perhaps a better choice.

I wonder what'll happen next at home.
>>No. 775
[x]Who am I kidding exactly? I'm not dressed for this and I don't think anyone would appreciate it if I started a bonfire with the forest.
-[x]Just head back home.

Got to have some sense of preserving thyself.
>>No. 776
[x]Who am I kidding exactly? I'm not dressed for this and I don't think anyone would appreciate it if I started a bonfire with the forest.
-[x]Just head back home.
>>No. 777
[x]Who am I kidding exactly? I'm not dressed for this and I don't think anyone would appreciate it if I started a bonfire with the forest.
-[x]Just head back home.
>>No. 779
Right. Who am I trying to kid? I can't stay out here too much longer seeing as I'm not dressed for this, and I don't think using the forest as a temporary heat source would end well in the slightest. Especially not with the residents sitting and standing not so far away. "I think I'll take you up on that offer Letty."

"Hmmmm..." Cirno looks mildly dissapointed with my answer, but I doubt very seriously that she could do much of anything in terms of teaching.

"Alright then. I'll drop Ivan off at his home, then I'll be right back." Letty squats down in front of Cirno for a moment. "Is that okay with you?" A soft smile accompanies this, and it's enough to melt the most frozen of hearts. That's the impression I get anyway.

"Fine..." Cirno looks away from Letty and it's clear she's not going to voice any more complaints on the matter.

"Then let's get going." The snow woman makes her way over to me and gently grabs hold of my arm, though she doesn't take off just yet. Why that is actually takes a few moments to register...

"Ah, farewell for now!" I use my free hand to wave at the others, who in turn wave back save for Wriggle.

"Wait! Don't you want this back?" 'That' being in reference to the bottled fire I gave the nightbug. She still hasn't moved from her spot, though she has stood up.

"It's fine, I can make those relatively easily." That and she looks like she could get more use out of it than I could.

"Now we're ready to go." Letty makes herself known once again before she pulls me into the air alongside her. This time it's at a slightly slower pace so I don't get disoriented or anything, though it's not really needed. I don't complain since it means I get a better view of the part where the ground leaves us and we take flight. "I think you made a good impression on Wriggle." Though her gentle voice is still enough to snap me out of my absent minded state.

"We simply had something in common, and sometimes that's all it takes." Pfff, like that really worked with the vast majority of the people I've managed to make friends with. Save for Marisa that is, though she's an entirely different story. I do refrain from stating that the nightbug and I were able to break the ice so easily thanks to our mutual dislike of the cold, seeing as I don't want to offend an ice elemental.

"That's good to hear. I'm glad that you're able to get along with some youkai so well." I think Letty wasn't originally going to add in 'some', but thought better of it when the darkness youkai came to mind. In truth I think that my being able to talk to Wriggle on such civil terms had more to do with the fact that she's one of the more civil youkai. "Shall I drop you off at your house, or should I let you off someplace else?"

"At my house is fine. And thank you." It's in one's best interest to be polite, though I think it's more than just obligation that fuels my desire to be nice to this woman. The fact that there's more to her than what you could ever get at first glance has much to do with it I think, and the fact that she may have been an alchemist at one point or another is simply even more incentive to solve her mystery.

"It's no trouble at all." And now she's using that gentle voice on me... If I keep this up I may end up attracted to her, which would be incredibly soon and more fueled by my male hormones rather than genuine interest in her as a person. I dare someone to prove me wrong on the matter.

I haven't been paying attention to the scenery at all, and as such am a little surprised by the fact that my feet have once more touched solid ground. The snow woman releases her grip on me and takes a step back before giving a polite bow.

"Thank you for your hospitality and understanding. No one has done that for me before... Good bye for now." Letty then seems to fall into the snow, leaving no evidence of her ever having been standing five feet away from my house. Once again I'm rather surprised, though it makes sense that she can't use that to transport someone human without severe repercussions.

I get the feeling that I'll be seeing a lot more of her in the future.

[X]I've procrastinated long enough. Time to work on that jacket.
[X]Surviving the elements won't matter if I can't survive the grue. Work on some new bottled elements.
[X]Perhaps I should intrude on the witch of the forest once more, this time to ask her to teach me danmaku.
[X]Some kind of weapon would not go awry, though I don't want to handle something simple.
[X]Check the nearest window, I think there's some kind of note there.
>>No. 780
[X]Check the nearest window, I think there's some kind of note there.
[X]I've procrastinated long enough. Time to work on that jacket.

Plot hook?

>"It's no trouble at all." And now she's using that gentle voice on me... If I keep this up I may end up attracted to her, which would be incredibly soon and more fueled by my male hormones rather than genuine interest in her as a person. I dare someone to prove me wrong on the matter.

Why not both? /Idort.jpg

>I get the feeling that I'll be seeing a lot more of her in the future.

And that's not a bad thing at all.
>>No. 781
[x]Check the nearest window, I think there's some kind of note there.
[x]I've procrastinated long enough. Time to work on that jacket.
>>No. 782
[X]Check the nearest window, I think there's some kind of note there.
[X]I've procrastinated long enough. Time to work on that jacket.
>>No. 783
[x]Check the nearest window, I think there's some kind of note there.
[x]I've procrastinated long enough. Time to work on that jacket.

If anything, future trips outside during the winter will no doubt be more tolerable with a functioning thermal jacket.
>>No. 784
>>783
I think the route to the working Jacket won't be so much Mokou's hair, but Letty's power. Perhaps a super heat absorbent jacket.
>>No. 785
[x]Check the nearest window, I think there's some kind of note there.
[x]I've procrastinated long enough. Time to work on that jacket.
>>No. 786
>>784

That wouldn't help much in the cold, since it'd absorb our heat as well.
>>No. 787
>>786
I mean a jacket that could be left by the fireplace to charge up warmth; though the inner side of the jacket would have to be insulated magically to prevent a similar effect on Ivan while he still feels the warmth.
>>No. 798
Then that would be ridiculously hot.
If it takes heat from a fire place then you are going to get burned.

Rather than that one should create a material that has microscopic holes in it that automatically shrinks or 'closes off' to prevent the passage of air at extreme temps (high and low). Of course it would be a very good insulator to prevent heat from conducting through the material and into open space.

When the outside is cold, holes shrink, trapping body heat inside.
Hot outside: holes open to let excess KE from molecules out.

As long as his body isn't freezing, this jacket will keep him warm.
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