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File 148030846453.png - (637.74KB, 720x900, Back in business.png) [iqdb]
27257 No. 27257
Previous Thread: >>27001

[X] Leave Sumi alone

I feel like I'm looking at something that I'm not supposed to be looking at. What I'm seeing Sumi involved in here would at least be frowned on if not outright against the rules of the Lunar military, but I know that's never stopped her before. Sumi's rap sheet was already massive before she joined our unit, and even though she's calmed down some recently, she's still the type of person to do whatever she wants regardless of the consequences. Apparently what she wants right now, or at least last night when she fell asleep, is to cuddle with some tsukumogami girl that she just met.

The door didn't make much noise when I opened it up a minute ago, but I still find myself trying to swing it closed as slowly and quietly as possible as I back out of the room. I'm not going to be the one that bothers the two of them. Even though I know that all of us rabbits need to get up and get going, and there's no guarantee that Sumi will wake up on her own anytime soon, I'm willing to do her this favor. I... Might also be a little bit embarrassed to get involved in this kind of stuff, but that's not the point. This is Sumi's business the mix of curiosity and awkwardness that I'm feeling now isn't enough to make me butt in.

Okay, anyway, that's three out of four of us safe and accounted for. The only remaining rabbit is Yuzuki. If she's awake, then it's much more likely that she'll find us rather than us finding her. In fact I can probably check on that now. I take a moment to do the standard arm-waving Yuzuki summoning motion, but don't see or hear anything in response after a bit of waiting. Either she's still asleep or she's out of the range that her powers will show her. I don't know how big the place we're in right now is, but I guess it could be large and unfamiliar enough for Yuzuki to not notice me.

Come to think of it, I haven't really considered much about where we actually are right now. The whole description that I've thought up is 'some kind of old house or mansion thing that is a bit less Japanese than expected', which doesn't really narrow anything down. I walk a bit further down the hallway. Maybe if I could manage a quick look outs-ow ow ow.

No, don't give up on this, I just need a glance for some information and then I can be done. There are even curtains next to the window, so I can shut the horrible pain bringing not nice light off afterward. Okay. When I look outside I can see... Some more generic Gensokyo wooded landscape. Not really sure what else I expected to be honest. Oh wait, but there's the mountain! So if I use my limited knowledge of Gensokyo geography and judge based off of the angle that I'm looking at... Uh. I don't think we went all that far from the meeting location probably?

It feels like something is attempting to gouge my eyes out from the inside of my head right now. I don't know how somebody would have gotten in there, but I really wish they would pick a less painful way of getting out. Ugh, I think that's enough looking outside for now. I quickly close the curtains with a groan of relief and slump over to think about things a bit. We're not in the big lakeside mansion, if that were the case then I would have been able to see the lake itself outside. We must be in another building that I don't know about. Did something like that exist? I guess it's possible. I don't think that myself or any of the others went out all that far in this direction while we were still gathering information under stealth. I'm sure there's still a ton of stuff that we don't know about.

In any case, it shouldn't be hard to navigate back to camp from here once I've gathered everybody and everything up. Or at least it should be easy after we actually get out of the building. From what I could tell, I seem to be on the second floor, and this place seems reasonably nice, so it wouldn't surprise me if there's a lot of rooms left to look through. I guess that just means that I have to get started.

I walk back down the hallway again, poking my head into the bathroom. Yup, that's pretty much what I expected. Chiyo's leaned over the toilet, with Ringo holding her ears and hair back so they don't droop down into the water. I... Don't really want to get close enough to see whatever mess is being made in the bowl. When I hear Chiyo give another cough and some suspicious plopping sounds follow, I realize I don't really want to be anywhere close to this right now. Especially if the noises end up giving Kagerou or Wakasagihime a rude awakening.

I make a few vague hand gestures to catch Ringo's attention. I'm trying to tell her that I'm gonna keep looking around while she handles things here, but we don't really have any kind of sign language like that worked out. She still nods at me once after noticing though, so I'm just going to assume that we're on a good enough wavelength that she gets my intent. We've been together long enough that that's probably fair to say. I still give her one more point downward at the end. We'll probably want to meet up downstairs unless we're going to be leaving out of a window.

So with that taken care of there's more snooping around to do. Well, that's probably a bad way to put it, but it's at least honest. Let's see here...

Another bedroom, just like the other two. Seems a bit better taken care of in relative terms but it's still a bit messy in more absolute ones.

Some kind of reading room or mini-library? It looks like most of the bookshelves are dusty, unorganized, and in questionable repair, but there's at least a small armchair in the corner that's comfy enough for Raiko to be sleeping in. She's missing the jacket for her suit, and seems to have gained a some kind of hat that I forget the name of, but is otherwise fine. I'll leave her alone.

Another bedroom, possibly the master bedroom just going by the larger bed and furniture? It looks nicer than all the other ones, but the dust seems to suggest that it's used much less.

A kind of wardrobe room, I guess. It's full of nothing but clothes, mostly on racks and hangers, but some unceremoniously scattered onto the ground. I'm already dressed, so I won't bother changing again, but it probably would have been better if I found this place first. I could have taken something that looks like nobody would mind instead of something out of a room that was obviously in use. Oh well. I'll give it back.

And it continues on like that until I finally reach a staircase that leads down. I see a couple more of the youkai from last night in a couple of the rooms, but don't find any of the things that I'm actually looking for. In general, it looks like the party moved to this place (wherever this is) last night for some reason (whatever that is), and broke off into groups as they continued partying (for however long).

So yeah, still some blanks to fill in, but it's a work in progress.

Walking down the stairs turns out to be a little bit tricky. Around the middle of the staircase it looks like a part of the banister and a couple of steps somehow collapsed or got crushed or something. It's not too difficult to navigate right now, but I kind of wonder how drunk me managed. Maybe I just flew or something. Regardless, I make it down safely, but not as easily as it should have been.

This means that I'm now in what I'd guess is the foyer. The windows (which are of course not covered, but at least not facing east) show that I'm near the outside at least, so that's the front door. If I didn't have a bunch more things to do, I could easily just fly back to camp and sleep off this terrible feeling in my everywhere. Too bad I'm too busy though. Right now there are multiple different hallways that I could randomly wander down and search through, but I don't really have... Okay, I definitely just heard some kind of crashing coming from my left. That's probably a good enough place to start.

I head down the hall that I had heard the sound coming from, and it surprisingly doesn't end with a bunch of doorways. Instead, it opens up into some kind of ballroom, or at least most of one. I don't think that part of the ceiling is supposed to be collapsed like that. The rubble gets in the way of using about half the room, and the low quality replacement ceiling kind of hurts the overall mood. It seems fine otherwise, if a little messy and filled with instruments and other assorted junk. It probably looked really classy in its time.

And in the middle of the room, surrounded by various instruments and awkwardly picking up a cymbal stand from the ground is Kogasa. She looks a bit more disheveled than most of the other youkai that I've seen this morning, and seems to be scrambling a bit. Well, I can at least help her out, since she seems to be searching for something.

"Hey Kogasa," I call out from the entrance, holding her umbrella out. "I think I found..."

She's over to me and wrenching the umbrella out of my hand before I can even finish talking.

Kogasa hugs the umbrella against herself tightly. The thing's expression changes slightly, although I'm not that good at reading something with just an eye and a mouth. I guess it looks a bit happier? "Oh my gooooosh..." Kogasa whines out before heaving a huge sigh of what I assume is relief.

"Um," I stammer a bit. I'm just a little bit surprised at how quickly and desperately she moved toward me. It was a little bit frightening actually. "You're welcome?"

"Ah!" Kogasa only remembers that I'm here when I make a noise. When she looks back at me though, her smile is a bit too happy and genuine for me to feel annoyed. "Thanks for helping me get back together Seiran. I was really worried for a bit there."

"R-right... I uh, found that thing when I woke up and thought you might be missing it," I explain simply. There should be more explanation than that but I can't remember it so I'd have to make it up. "I guess I was right."

"Yup! I'm a karakasa obake, so this is me, but this," She holds her umbrella out and spins it so that it's facing me. "Is also me. Separating me from me isn't good for me. I can't fly and am cut off from a lot of my magic when both of me aren't together."

That's... Something of an explanation I guess. I don't know which me is which from how she said it, but whatever. I don't really need to understand how other youkai work. The explanation probably just boils down to 'it's magic' anyway. "So I found that in place of where my mallet should have been, did we like, swap last night or something?" I guess.

Kogasa considers it for a moment. "Hmm... I don't remember last night. You made me drink too much," Er, was I being that forceful about it? I don't remember. I think it's kind of fair though. I only started drinking in the first place because of Kogasa's special cupcakes putting a bunch of spiciness in my mouth. "But yeah, when I woke up I had your hammer thing."

Oh good, that means I don't have to keep searching through random rooms for it. "Great, where is it?"

"I left it in the kitchen," Kogasa answers with a simple smile. I'm surprised she didn't carry it around like I did with her umbrella. I would think that she'd be used to doing that.

I turn to walk to the kitchen, but then I remember that I don't know where that is and turn back to Kogasa. "Well can we go get it?" I suggest. "I'd really like to have it back."

Kogasa has a look of realization and suddenly looks sympathetic and a little worried for me. "Oh, is that also you too?"

"No, nothing like that," I assure her. It's just a normal mallet. Not magically connected to me at all. "It's more like a... Security type thing. Holding onto it makes me feel calmer and more in control of... Things," I explain vaguely. In truth, I had happened to stumble on it being useful for controlling my powers by chance. Keeping it around helped me remember that I was always at least somewhat in command of some part of my powers, even during... Worse times. "I've also had it for a really long time, so if we could go get it now..."

"Sure! Come with me!" Kogasa happily agrees before moving past me, smiling and twirling her umbrella just a bit. She leads me out of the ballroom and down a hallway to the right, deeper into the house.

We come to a stop in the entrance of a surprisingly modern looking kitchen. I would say, compared to the rest of the house, this place is probably the most well kept room I've seen so far. I also doubt that most of these electronics like the refrigerator and microwave are things that came standard with the house. They were probably added when the house got electricity.

There are two girls both manning a stove with their backs turned to Kogasa and I. I wasn't really introduced to either of them that I can remember, but I know they were at the meeting too. They're the ones that look a lot like Lunasa but with different color schemes.

The one with the light blue hair and pink clothes notices us first, turning her head and calling out in a sing-song voice. "Good morning~!"

"Gah," The shorter brunette next to her recoils at having someone yelling so close to her head. "Merlin, could you not be so loud?" She hisses.

"It's fine," The first girl, Merlin I suppose, assures her happily. "You shouldn't let a hangover get you down Lyrica! Just power through! We can do it!"

"Yeah yeah..." Okay so, Lyrica and Merlin. I can remember that easily enough. Lyrica turns around to look at Kogasa and I. "Oh, glad you found what you were looking for Kogasa, and you're... Seiran, right? We didn't talk much last night, but good to see you up." She says, sounding pleasant enough but a bit subdued. I appreciate it a bit more than the other girl being so loud at least.

"Good morning," I mumble out as Kogasa happily skips over to the large dining table. She apparently stored my mallet on one of the chairs while she was out looking. I follow along and meet her halfway, happy to feel the familiar wooden handle again when she hands it back to me. It's a surprising relief to tension that I was only vaguely aware of.

"Lyrica and Merlin were making breakfast!" Kogasa tells me happily. "You want some?" I don't think she's allowed to make that offer for them. Although when I look, Lyrica gives me a shrug and Merlin gives me a warm smile, so they seem to be fine with it. I am rather hungry, I don't even remember if I ate anything last night, and it might not be a bad idea to get some more information while taking care of that.

[ ] Sure
- [ ] Where are we?
- [ ] Have you seen Yuzuki?
- [ ] What happened last night?
- [ ] Who is Suika? Where did she go?
- [ ] Does that drinking stuff always happen at meetings?
- [ ] Do you have anything that would help with a hangover?
- [ ] (I'm too curious to not be nosy) Can you tell me about Yatsuhashi and Sumi?
- [ ] Something else...
[ ] I actually need to get going soon, so I'll skip breakfast
202posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
>> No. 27463
[x] Ask to meet back up with Ringo and Sumi at the plant
>> No. 27464
File 148886588597.jpg - (510.99KB, 717x1000, Where should we go.jpg) [iqdb]
27464
[X] Ask to meet back up with Ringo and Sumi at the plant

That question actually feels really hard to answer. Ordinarily yeah, of course I would want Ringo to come along. Like she just said a moment ago, the two of us have been close for some really long period of time. I don't know the exact amount but that isn't really important. The important thing is that Ringo is my best friend and I almost always want her to be around. This just might be a situation that falls outside of that almost always qualifier.

To be honest, I already feel like I haven't been repaying Yamame's kindness properly. For pretty much the whole evening I've been a nervous, stuttering mess. Even if she acts like it's okay and it doesn't bother her, I still think she'd be happier to be guiding someone that could keep up with her socially. In most social situations, my normal answer is to bring Ringo in. She can handle that kind of stuff better than I can. That isn't going to work here. If anything, it would be rude. For whatever reason, Yamame asked me out specifically, and I decided that I wanted to give it a chance. Even if I'm being awkward, my nervousness about dating isn't going to get better if all I do is hide behind Ringo.

"I think we should maybe plan on meeting back up later," I answer. It comes out sounding kind of unsure, but that's more due to not knowing how to phrase it properly than not knowing what I want to happen. I want to spend a bit more time with just me and Yamame, but I don't want Ringo or Sumi to be upset. I guess they could be though, I did lie to them and try to sneak around on my own.

"O-oh okay. Um, yeah sure," Ringo seems slightly caught off guard, but looks like she's trying not to show it. It's easy for me to notice though, Ringo never stutters. "So like somewhere else in the city or...?"

"Well, I was more thinking it'd be back at the plant," I feel kind of awful about this because Ringo doesn't seem to be happy about my answer, and I'm not sure if I have a way to make it better. Might as well try still I guess. "I mean, that makes sense right? It's somewhere that all three of us can find our way to easily. It also means we don't have to worry about meeting back up at a specific time, we can just head back when we're done for the night."

Ringo purses her lips for a moment, glancing off to the side before quickly getting back to a more normal expression. Yup, makes sense. Can't argue with that," She nods a few times, but doesn't really look at me. "Then I guess I'll keep Sumi on a leash for a while and keep looking around. We'll see you later, okay?" Then, as an afterthought. "Also, uh, try to keep safe and stuff, alright?"

I'm a little more concerned about them than I think they need to be about me. Yamame is going to be guiding me, so I'm sure we won't end up anywhere dangerous. "Same to you," I answer back casually. "See you later Ringo."

"Right," Ringo gives a softer than normal smile before turning back toward Sumi, who has been watching the exchange with an increasingly sour look on her face. "Come on, let's see if we can scrounge up some money somewhere or something," Ringo sounds a little halfhearted as she starts walking back the way she and Sumi originally came.

Sumi gives me a small wave of her hand before following along with Ringo. "God fucking daaaamn. I still cannot fucking believe you," She groans. If Ringo responds to that, I don't hear it. She's already far enough away that whispers or maybe even soft talking would be inaudible from this distance. Actually, doesn't it seem like she's walking a little bit faster than normal?

Yamame and I watch my friends leave in silence for a bit. "So," Yamame starts after they are definitely out of earshot. "They seemed um..."

I don't really blame Yamame for not finishing her sentence. That was probably a pretty weird first impression. Well, let's be a little fair here. "Ringo was acting a little unusual, so I wouldn't judge her based off that," I explain. I don't know how much it will matter or how much Ringo and Yamame will actually meet, but I'd still rather that Yamame not have a negative impression of my best friend. "Although I admit that Sumi was pretty much completely normal. It's amazing how much stuff she can say that goes over my head given how direct she is. It can be a little tough to deal with her, but I'm used to it by now."

"Hmmm," Yamame accepts my words without too much comment. "Are you sure that you should just let them go like that though? It's not really my place to say but..." She trails off, looking in the general direction that Ringo and Sumi are walking. "Well, I guess you know them better than I do," She finally decides.

That's definitely true, although I kind of get what Yamame is trying to say. Ringo's behavior is definitely still bothering me a little bit. I need to talk to her later and ask what the problem is I think. I kind of expected her to be upset at me for lying and going off on my own, but it seemed a little more complicated than that. Actually, now that I think about it, wasn't I planning to talk to Sumi about the thing between her and Yuzuki at some point too? Ugh, this day never ends.

Not that I'm in a hurry to get away from Yamame, of course.

"So anyway," When it seems like I'm getting lost in my thoughts and worries, I'm interrupted by Yamame continuing the conversation. She takes a few steps away from me, toward the center of the street. Traffic here is still relatively light, and there don't appear to be any vehicles aside from the occasional cart, so she's not really in the way standing out like this. "Before you noticed those two, we were talking about places to go. Or rather I was asking you if you had any preference."

Oh yeah, now that we're alone together again, it's time to get back to the actual date thing. "R-right," Unfortunately, even if she asks me for a preference I don't really know what the options available are. Considering that I'm broke, there probably aren't too many of them either. Oh, that's something to bring up. "Well, I still don't have any money, and I'd prefer to not have you pay for both of us the whole time, so um..."

Yamame laughs, starting to walk down the street and beckoning me to follow. I don't know where we're going yet but I guess it should be fine. "I don't mind spending a little more you know. You're definitely worth more than just the price of some tea," She assures me.

"Well..." I get what she's saying, even if it is a little embarrassing. I'm well aware that going out and having fun usually requires spending at least some money.

"I can see that it makes you uncomfortable though, so we can keep it simple this time," It doesn't exactly make her wrong, but it seems that a lot of things actually make me uncomfortable. In fact, having it pointed out how uncomfortable I am is making me a little uncomfortable too. Guh, I'm going to get stuck in a discomfort spiral or something. "I don't mind, by the way. You already explained yourself, and I understand," Yamame assures me, which makes me feel a little bit relieved. I move up a little bit so that I can walk beside Yamame instead of behind her. "Plus, and forgive me if it makes me sound like a sadist or something, your awkwardness really is cute to me. I know that you're honestly trying, and it's kind of refreshing when most people down here are all about keeping up false or exaggerated bravado."

I feel myself squirm slightly at the compliment. She keeps calling me cute! It's not like I don't think that I am, it's just weird when other people say it out loud. I'm blushing again, aren't I? Quick, deflect before she notices! There should be something I can bring up. Oh, I know! "What's a sadist?" She said that word, but I don't think I've ever heard it before.

Yamame giggles slightly as we continue walking toward a more densely populated area. I don't get it. Did she think I was joking? I silently wait for her to finish laughing, and when she does, she notices that I'm not laughing too. "Err, you really don't...?" I just look at her curiously, which causes her stride to break as we stop and stare at each other. Oh? Now she's the one that looks a little embarrassed. I feel like I just accomplished some kind of minor victory here. Yay? "Hmm. Well you don't really have to worry about it. Let's just keep walking, I've got an idea on where to go, and we can talk along the way, alright?" Well, she was the one that stopped first.

-

We continue on through the city in a similar manner to before. Walking along, I get to hear stories and tidbits of info from Yamame about random places that we pass. We mostly stick to the main roads, occasionally having to cross a short bridge over one of the rivers. I've kinda lost my sense of where we are relative to where we've been, but I'd guess that we're heading into both larger and older parts of the city just by the architecture. At the very least it's a more popular part of it. We actually have to avoid running into people here. Not that I find that to be all that difficult. I have lived in a big city before after all.

"Anyway," Yamame continues after a while. We're a little bit slower, and have to stick a little bit closer together, but it's not so bad that we can't keep making conversation. "You asked that question about what sadist means earlier, and that does bring up something I wanted to ask about," But she's not going to tell me what it means, is she? Why do people keep doing this to me? I would know what more of these weird words mean if people would just tell me about them! "I don't want to be rude, but I have to know. How are you so pure?"

"W-what?" The question surprises me enough that I bump shoulders with some slimy looking youkai. Like, literally slimy. Eww, what is that goop? No, that's not the important thing here. "Pure?" If anything, I'm not pure at all. Earth is pretty impure, and I've been down here for months. I've been gradually breaking more and more rules, and it's not like I put a lot of thought and effort into all the rules for what is pure and what isn't back home. I just did what I thought was best. Any lunarian that really looked into it would probably find plenty of impurities in me.

"Yeah, I mean, at first I thought you might have just been ignoring my obvious come-ons because you weren't interested, since I wasn't really trying to be subtle. I was shocked when you just directly asked me if I was hitting on you like you genuinely weren't sure. I didn't expect that somebody would miss subtext and innuendo so easily. It's especially surprising now in hindsight with how your friend Sumi acts," Urgh. Well I'm just not used to it and... I'm blushing again, but for a different reason this time. Well at least my circulatory system is getting a good workout today, having to keep bringing all this blood up to my face. "I mean, don't get me wrong. It's actually completely adorable, and I really do like it. I'm just amazed that someone like you actually exists. There can't be that many people from the surface that are like you, right?"

That's probably true. No, actually it's definitely true. There are only six moon rabbits that I know of on Earth, and none of the others are like me. The others all have their quirks and I have mine. I think mine are the most normal, but I'm admittedly biased in that. "I can't really explain why or how I am this way," I say after a short pause to think about it. At least I can't explain it in an appropriately vague way that is. "I just had a different set of experiences than most people, and now I am the way that I am," That's about as honest and vague as I can get on such short notice anyway.

Yamame nods thoughtfully as we pull into a more open town square type of area. I wonder if this is the same area that Sanae told me to meet up with Ringo and Sumi in originally. I don't see any statue, so I guess not. "Well, I don't know everything about above ground, but there must be a lot to it if it can make people like you just as well as some of the other surfacers I've met," Yamame says with a sigh. Well, it can't exactly do that, but whatever. I'm not going to point that out. "It must be really amazing up there. To be honest, the small area and centralized society down here kind of hurts the diversity. I'm not saying I dislike the people or the city down here, it's just that a lot of them do end up a little samey."

Oh yeah, I can relate to this. It's just like in the capital back home. In fact, the Moon might actually be worse considering all of the rabbits being connected by telepathy. There's definitely a lot of groupthink going on a lot of the time. "I kinda get what you're talking about, yeah."

"But it's not a big deal, just one of my own issues with this place. Not a big deal," Yamame shrugs, coming to a stop near the center of the square. It's awfully crowded here, isn't it? "You just moved down here, and I want you to have a good time, so I shouldn't be talking crap about the city. We should be having fun. Speaking of which, what do you think of this?" Yamame holds her arms out to either side, pointing to both sides of the square. I can't look both ways at once, so I pick the right.

Along the side of the plaza, set up in front of the various buildings and stands, are a large selection of different wooden booths. I can't exactly tell what each one is, but I can at least see that they're all either stalls or shops of some kind or another. The specifics are a bit hard to see, given that most of them have some kind of crowd of tons of different youkai in front of them. Still, I think I know what this is.

"Is this some kind of festival for something?" I ask, probably unnecessarily. We didn't have parties very often back home, but that doesn't mean I'm unfamiliar with the idea.

"Not exactly," Yamame says, lowering her arms back down and smiling happily at me before she begins looking around herself. I wonder if she has something she wants to do here. "Well, it is a festival, but there isn't any real reason behind it. I've said before that the whole capital is in a perpetual state of party, right? Well this is just another part of it. The group that runs this place generally moves location every few days, but they're always set up somewhere in the city."

"Uh huh..."

"It tends to be a bit more popular with kids, so they've kinda marketed toward that niche by keeping things relatively tame compared to other parts of the city," Hm, I have noticed a lot of smaller youkai around, not to mention there seems to be less drinking in general. That's not to say that there isn't any going on of course. There are definitely some oni sitting around drinking and laughing, but it really does seem a bit more subdued than I expected. Heck, I was probably more rowdy at the party last night than the people here are being. That's kind of embarrassing to think about. "That's not really my reasoning for coming here though. I mostly chose it because things are generally pretty cheap, so you don't have to feel bad about doing whatever you want, okay? Let's just have some fun."

I look over the festival some more. I guess I could see myself doing some of this stuff. It might be interesting to do some window shopping, although I don't know if I would ask Yamame to buy something for me. I also see a couple of games that I could try. I'm pretty sure that's a shooting gallery over there, and I might not be suited for it, but it looks like I already have the right kind of hammer for that test of strength thing.

"But hey, if you think it's lame, I'm perfectly open to going somewhere else," Yamame adds. "This was just a random idea of mine."

[ ] Spend some time at the festival (Choose 2-3)
- [ ] Let's look around the shops for a souvenir, maybe one of the other rabbits would appreciate it.
- [ ] A shooting gallery sounds like it should be easy. I am trained for this.
- [ ] If I already have a hammer, I might as well try the test of strength.
- [ ] I haven't eaten in a while. Maybe festival food will be good.
- [ ] Is that a petting zoo? What kind of animals would they even have down here?
- [ ] There's a corner over there that seems to be dedicated to just music and dance. Let's look at that.
- [ ] Let's just sit and do some people watching. We can talk while we do it.
[ ] Leave the festival
- [ ] Maybe we could go somewhere more mature?
- [ ] I'd like to see Yamame's house actually, although that means leaving the city again.
- [ ] I'm still pretty clean, but I don't know when I might get another chance to go to hot springs.
- [ ] Somewhere else (Write-in)

>>27458
>Yameme
See, it's not just me. I had to wait 3 threads but I'm finally vindicated.
>> No. 27465
- [X] Let's just sit and do some people watching. We can talk while we do it.
>> No. 27466
[x] Spend some time at the festival (Choose 2-3)
- [x] Let's look around the shops for a souvenir, maybe one of the other rabbits would appreciate it.
- [x] A shooting gallery sounds like it should be easy. I am trained for this.
- [x] If I already have a hammer, I might as well try the test of strength.

A festival like this seems good enough for our purr protagonist.

And, of course, the answer to the Ringo problem is to tak her on a date too, ASAP.
>> No. 27467
[X] Spend some time at the festival (Choose 2-3)
- [X] A shooting gallery sounds like it should be easy. I am trained for this.
- [X] Let's just sit and do some people watching. We can talk while we do it.

Seiran is going to have to confront Ringo about this later.
>> No. 27469
[x] Spend some time at the festival (Choose 2-3)
- [x] A shooting gallery sounds like it should be easy. I am trained for this.
- [x] If I already have a hammer, I might as well try the test of strength.

We don't have money to buy a souvenir but if we win something we can give it to Ringo to really twist the knife.
>> No. 27470
[X] Spend some time at the festival (Choose 2-3)
- [X] A shooting gallery sounds like it should be easy. I am trained for this.
- [X] Let's just sit and do some people watching. We can talk while we do it.

Spiderbutt, Spiderbutt...
>> No. 27471
[X] Spend some time at the festival
- [X] Let's look around the shops for a souvenir, maybe one of the other rabbits would appreciate it.
- [X] Is that a petting zoo? What kind of animals would they even have down here?
- [X] Let's just sit and do some people watching. We can talk while we do it.

Aaw, I like this Yamame. Initially I kind of felt like we were pursuing the silky ass just because it was the only hint of romance we got in this story, but now I can see this working out...provided we can get past the Ringo situation.
>> No. 27472
[x] Spend some time at the festival (Choose 2-3)
- [x] Let's look around the shops for a souvenir, maybe one of the other rabbits would appreciate it.
- [x] A shooting gallery sounds like it should be easy. I am trained for this.
- [x] If I already have a hammer, I might as well try the test of strength.

>>27469
I second this idea.
>> No. 27473
[x] Spend some time at the festival (Choose 2-3)
- [x] A shooting gallery sounds like it should be easy. I am trained for this.
- [x] If I already have a hammer, I might as well try the test of strength.
- [x] Let's just sit and do some people watching. We can talk while we do it.

Festivals are always cool.
>> No. 27474
You know, I was already aware that I'm developing a problem of making my updates too long, so I probably should have limited the choices to 2 instead of 3. Whoops.

Tomorrow.
>> No. 27475
File 148920760249.jpg - (146.53KB, 1097x887, Surprise skills.jpg) [iqdb]
27475
-------
[X] A shooting gallery sounds like it should be easy. I am trained for this.
[X] If I already have a hammer, I might as well try the test of strength.
[X] Let's just sit and do some people watching. We can talk while we do it.
-------

No, I'm not really in a hurry to leave. We just got here, and it's not like I have a better idea on places to go. Yamame's the one showing me around, and if she had the random idea to come here, I'm fine with it. I'm not exactly sure what all is here yet, but I don't see a reason not to have a look around. Worst comes to worst, I can just let Yamame do whatever she wants.

Speaking of that. "Is there anything in particular that you want to do here?" Maybe she'll say something that we're both interested in and we can go from there.

Yamame looks around for a moment, not locking on to anything specific before she turns back to me. "Kind of, or at least I'd be able to find something since we're here. I don't have anything pressing though. I'd rather let you take the lead if anything catches your eye."

Okay, sure I guess. Let me see. It looks like there are quite a few different shops for buying merchandise here, but honestly I'm a little more interested in the games. While it might be neat to do some window shopping and look over what each stall has to offer, I'm still broke. Yes, Yamame has pointed out that she's okay with spending a little more money, but it's still a little embarrassing. The game stalls probably cost less, should be fun in their own right, and have their own set of winnable prizes if things go well. Those are good justifiable reasons to ask Yamame to help pay for them, right?

I'm still going to say that it's a little embarrassing though.

Well, I guess since she asked, something did in fact catch my eye earlier. I turn my head to look toward the shooting gallery again. I've been practicing how to shoot for decades, so I could probably do pretty well in a game like that. I will admit that it's been a while since I've been to a range and practiced properly though. There hasn't been any need to shoot stuff down here, and not all of the mare bases had the option available. I could end up being a little bit rusty, but I don't know if that will matter much. Muscle memory is hard to forget, plus it's just a festival game. It's not going to measure up to lunarian military training. At least I hope not.

Before I answer, Yamame has already followed my gaze toward the stall in question. "Hm?" She makes a small surprised noise once she gets a clear look. There's still a bit of a crowd after all, you can't perfectly see everything going on. "You're interested in that kind of game? That's a little unexpected."

I know I probably shouldn't mention the years of experience and practice. It's not exactly about me not wanting to shatter whatever (apparently adorably pure) mental image she has of me, but that information isn't really possible to disentangle from the rest of the classified being-from-the-Moon stuff. Vague awkwardness it is. The old standby. "Well, kinda? I just thought it might be interesting. We don't have to do it if you don't want to."

Yamame looks at the stall again, then back at me. She stares into my face for a moment, looking a little skeptical. "Hmmm... You don't look like you want to give up on it to me. I think you're more excited about the idea than you're letting on. I can see that look in your eyes. Behind your harmless appearance is some kind of stone cold killer just waiting for a chance to strike!" Wait, really? Okay, I know that I'm not in the best control of my face sometimes, but I don't know how I would even look like that at all! "Heheha! I'm just kidding," Yamame laughs at my distress. Oh, good. She wasn't serious. "Come on, let's go give it a try,"

We move across the square. Occasionally we have to dodge a few people, but it's not so dense that moving is much of a problem. Once we reach the stall, we settle into waiting in line. Well, it's more like we are the line right now, because there's only one person in front of us, and he's currently playing. I'm perfectly okay with waiting though. It gives me a bit of time to figure out how the game actually works.

I can't see what kind of gun is being used, but I can see the targets that need to get hit. They look like discs made of some kind of light stone hanging on a much larger wooden column. Whenever a target is hit, they're designed to fall off and land on the ground. Isn't that a little wasteful? Some of them are actually breaking. I guess it's not my problem. Anyway, the wooden base column appears to be suspended from the ceiling of the booth, which lets it move around and increase the difficulty in hitting the targets as the game goes on. I don't know exactly how the mechanics up in the ceiling work out, but it's actually a little impressive if they're presumably doing it without electricity. As Yamame and I watch, I see that the column is easily able to rotate, swing, and move closer or further away from the front counter. I guess that's how they customize the difficulty.

The youkai in front of us (I don't know Earth animals very well, but he has a head of one. It's not a cow, but it's similar, right? I can't remember what it's called.) finishes up soon enough. It looks like you only get a certain number of shots to clear out as many targets as you can. He got quite a few while the pillar wasn't moving around, but didn't have enough shots left to get much done once the thing began swinging. He sets the gun down on the counter with an annoyed noise, leaving without even taking a prize. Did he not earn one or did he not care?

"Evening ladies!" The man behind the counter greets us so enthusiastically that his tongue extends out of his mouth. Actually it might just be really long now that I look at him. The heavily red tinted, weirdly clammy looking skin kind of makes it obvious he's some kind of youkai. That's probably a good default assumption of anyone down here really. "If you're looking for a game of skill and dexterity you've come to the right place. Which one of you will be taking on the challenge?"

"Seiran will!" Yamame meets the youkai's enthusiasm in kind and gives me a slight push forward. It's just hard enough that I almost run into the counter, but I stumble to a stop before embarrassing myself. Um, hi mister youkai. Now that I think of it, it's been a while since I've had to deal with a male. It's not a big deal I guess, it's just weird how much more we've been running into girls compared to guys. "But I'm paying, so how exactly does this work?" Yamame asks, stepping up next to me.

"You pay up front for a certain number of shots. We set up eight targets per ten shots. There's no limit to how many shots you can buy, and you get a prize depending on how many targets you hit."

"Hmm," Yamame nods before facing me. "So how confident are you Seiran?"

How confident am I? In most situations it wouldn't be very confident, but since we're dealing with shooting... Wait, what the heck is this thing? Is this the gun I'm going to have to use? Well I was feeling pretty good about this game until I tried picking this thing up. The term 'improvised' is probably the nicest way to put it. This whole thing is basically four parts. The main body is just a pistol shaped hunk of (admittedly well carved) rock. There's a small steel tube secured on top, which is clearly the barrel, and the other two parts appear to be some kind of metal scraps, twisted around the body to act as a hammer and a simple trigger holding it back. I can kinda see how this is supposed to work but...

"Um, can I have one test shot before I decide?" I ask awkwardly. Well, at least he doesn't seem annoyed by the request. Instead, the youkai pulls out what looks like a tiny ball bearing and gestures to hand him the gun. I do so somewhat gingerly, and he shows me how to load it. You just stick the ammo in the barrel, one at a time. Hmm, single shot and muzzle loaded, so the time between shots is going to be pretty long. It'll be hard to get into a groove. I'll have to adjust and get comfortable for each shot. That might or might not be a problem depending on how accurate it is.

Once the pistol is loaded, the stall attendant hands it back to me. Okay, even if it doesn't look like anything special, I know for a fact that this thing is loaded now. Need to be careful. Trigger discipline and all that. I experimentally try aiming down the top. There obviously aren't any sights, but this works okay I guess. Hmm, there's no safety either. I really will want to be careful here if I'm going to have to reload between each shot. This may be a bit of a slow process if I want to get it right...

There's a high pitched pinging noise when I finish aiming and fire. That's from the bullet hitting the target I was aiming at, the pistol itself is rather quiet. Hmm, well, it's surprisingly accurate and has very little recoil. The trigger pull is also extremely low. I kinda wonder how this thing actually works. I don't think there's much in the way of mechanics built into the rock part, so I'd have to guess some magic is involved. Probably something simple to keep you from having to insert gunpowder or an equivalent as well as the ammunition. Maybe the hammer activates a small enchantment to cause an ignition or something? If they're going to go that far though, why not just have the gun fire danmaku? Not that I'm complaining exactly. Even if it's low tech, this feels more authentic and familiar to me, so-

"Seiran, hello?" Yamame's voice suddenly interrupts my thoughts. "You okay there?"

"Huh?!" I jerk up suddenly, but manage not to drop the pistol in surprise. Oh, I've just been sitting here silently staring at this thing for a while, haven't I? I hope I haven't been ignoring too much of whatever Yamame or the stall attendant have said to me. "Err, I'm fine. I was just thinking," I mumble. Yeah, good job not looking like a weirdo there.

"You looked like you were getting into it," Yamame says with a small laugh. It sounds more like she's trying to play off my behavior than anything, but I can appreciate that.

"Yeah kinda..." I don't really dislike guns, and I'm a pretty good shot, so I guess it's fair to say that I was getting into it. I did ask to do this after all. I want to try and have some fun with it.

"It was a good shot for a first timer," The youkai says cheerfully, taking a step back to pick the target up off the ground. "Of course, the game gets harder as you go, so you won't always have an easy shot like that," He hangs the target back on the central column and turns back to Yamame and I. "You ready to really give the game a spin? Just give me a number of rounds and it's off you'll go."

Well, all the issues I've already found with this pistol aside, it was accurate enough. Even if the targets are all the way at the back of the stall, this should still be much easier than some of the shots I had to make back home. "How many targets do I have to hit to get any prize I want?"

"You can get any prize you want when you hit thirty-two targets," That doesn't sound like very many, but I guess if they raised the number it'd take a long time to have to load and fire every shot. "For beginners like yourself I'd normally suggest you start off with fifty or sixty tries."

"Forty shots is fine," That even gives me eight extra shots. I probably won't land absolutely every shot perfectly, but eight extra shots is way more than I should need.

"You sure? Like I said, the game gets tougher as it goes on, you can buy extra shots. If you're really gunning for something specific, it might be nice to have some insurance, right?" I'm choosing to ignore that pun.

"No, forty is plenty."

-

Once Yamame's paid for my shots and I've gone through a couple, the unfamiliarity with this pistol quickly stops being a factor. I settle into a mechanical routine of loading, pulling the hammer back, aiming, firing, hearing the ping, and repeating. The stall attendant spends most of the time dramatically attempting to play up the difficulty of what I'm doing, although I'm not sure if it's to try and throw me off or to impress Yamame. If it's the former then it doesn't work, but the latter definitely does. I gradually get used to hearing Yamame's sounds of amazement or encouragement as I go through the motions. It might be a tiny bit distracting, but it really does feel good to have somebody cheering me on.

I hit the thirty-second target on my thirty-fourth shot. I'm going to blame the two missed shots on rustiness. Even if the targets were both spinning around and swaying at the end there, they were still way closer than most of the targets I would have had to hit in drills back home.

"And we have a winner!" Although he seems pretty surprised, the stall attendant doesn't seem bothered with how easily I won. He's happily ringing a bell and calling attention to my victory, which is just a little bit embarrassing. "Veeeerry impressive little lady. Go ahead and pick your prize."

Oh right, the prizes. Honestly I was just playing this game for the game itself, and have barely even looked at what exactly I can get now that I've won. The attendant points me over to the bigger prizes and lets me look them over. Hm, I guess even if I can't find something I'm interested in, there must be something her that somebody I know will appreciate.

-------
[ ] There's no shortage of cheap looking jewelry available. Maybe I can find something worthwhile though.
[ ] They just have a keg of some kind of alcohol as a prize?... Well, maybe it wouldn't hurt to have that on hand for any kind of special occasion coming up...
[ ] A well cut, oddly geometrically patterned crystal of some kind. It's multicolored and quite pretty, although I don't know what you would use it for other than some kind of paper weight.
[ ] A small set of wooden drums. Obviously meant to be played by hand. Probably not the highest quality instrument ever, but should be fun to play with for a bit.
[ ] Are those fireworks? Can you even safely set off fireworks underground? Would the oni even care about safety?
[ ] A discount coupon for any of the area's hot springs. 10% off per person for a party of up to 5. Makes a special note that the offer does not include extra booze.
[ ] A less well carved copy of the gun I was just using. I know that this thing isn't strong enough to really injure anyone down here, but just handing out guns like this strikes me as a little irresponsible.
[ ] I'll dig around some more maybe I can find... Wait, what is this thing? (Write in, be reasonable, it's just a dumb carnival game)
-------

-
>> No. 27476
File 148920767212.jpg - (285.54KB, 548x1000, Definitely interested.jpg) [iqdb]
27476
"So, got any other secret talents?" Yamame asks happily as we walk in a random direction through the square. Yamame's been in a good (or more accurately, even better) mood ever since we left the shooting gallery. Honestly it's making me feel pretty happy too, considering that she's happy about me.

"N-not really," I mumble so bashfully and quietly that I'm not really sure if Yamame hears me over the ambient noise of all the festival goers. Actually, I'm still not completely sure how to explain my proficiency in firearms, but Yamame thankfully isn't asking for any specifics about that. Probably better to just move on from it. "Well, I'm pretty good at making mochi too. Or at least Ringo and the others seem to like it a lot."

"Shooting guns and making mochi?" Yamame laughs out loud. "How multifaceted. I'm one lucky girl, aren't I? I managed to catch somebody like you before anyone else could."

I feel myself blushing a little bit again, even though I know this is just more good natured teasing. "I'm not so great at much else, so I dunno about that," I say, trying to keep her from saying more embarrassing things.

"Hm, that reminds me though. There's that game over there where you could try putting one of your much more obvious character traits to use," Yamame gestures over toward the test of strength game. I did notice that earlier. "If you're okay with the idea anyway. If you'd rather not use your security blanket for something like that then it's fine."

Yamame quickly starts giggling at me while I try not to look embarrassed over the security blanket thing again. Does she really never get tired of teasing me? It's not like she's saying anything mean, it's just that I'm really easily embarrassed right now. Ugh, fine. Moving on then. "I was thinking about trying that, but I'm not particularly strong. You'll probably be throwing your money away if we pay to try that thing out."

"Money doesn't have any value unless you're spending it anyway," I feel like there's something irresponsibly wrong about that statement, but I can't put an argument against it into words before Yamame starts walking away. "Come on, let's go!" Well... Fine I guess.

The test of strength game (which I guess turns out to be called a high striker? Kind of a simple name but okay) is actually pretty popular. It doesn't take much thought to understand why though, given where we are. Oni are more than eager to smash a mallet down on a lever, sending the puck up far enough to ring the bell. The line here is much longer than the shooting gallery, but aside from Yamame and I, it's all oni. This gets us a few curious looks, but it's not like anyone makes us leave. It's more like they're just curious why we're bothering. Hey, it's not like it's a hard game. We're allowed to try it out. Isn't it boring just watching oni after oni go up there and win?

Yes, from the time that Yamame and I get in line to this point, where we're the next on deck, nobody fails to hit the bell. I guess that's normal for oni though, as most of the patrons look less excited at their victory and more like they feel like they're obligated to win, so they were expecting to hit the bell all along. Maybe it's a pride thing. Kind of ruins the fun if you already know you're going to succeed though, doesn't it? Actually, I knew I was going to win at the shooting gallery, so I guess I can't talk.

"Nothin' unexpected, just a straight forward game to separate the men from the boys," The man tending this stall is obviously an oni. He's a little bit scrawny compared to most of the ones I've been seeing, and also possibly sober. A pretty big change of pace. "Err, or the youkai ladies from the youkai girlies?" He says, sounding slightly unsure. I guess he doesn't get a lot of female patrons? You'd think the oni ladies would still be into this type of thing. "Of course, not that you're any less of a lady if you can't hit the thing hard enough," He clarifies, well I guess I'm not the only one tripping over my words today.

"Nice save," Yamame says casually. I'm not really bothered by what the oni said, and she doesn't look like she is either. Instead, she just moves on by motioning toward me. "It's fine that Seiran's got her own mallet though, right?"

"Hmm?" The oni looks curious. People bringing their own mallets probably isn't a normal occurance. There's a perfectly good one already sitting right next to the machine that you have to hit. Mine is a little bit longer, but also somewhat thinner. Not sure whether that would make it advantageous to use or not. Well, since he's looking, I hold my mallet out for him to look at. I'm not going to let him take it, but he can obviously look it over if he wants. "Sure thing, looks fine to me!"

Yamame pays the man and tells me that I can go ahead. I get three tries to hit it hard enough to make the bell ring. Okay, this isn't that much different than pounding mochi. Well, it's supposed to be one all or nothing swing instead of a marathon of regular swings, but at least the motion is pretty much the same. Just need to think of it like that. "HMPH!"

Umm.

Oh.

So despite my embarrassingly unladylike grunt of effort, the puck didn't even go a tenth of the way up. It didn't even reach the notch in the tower labelled 'weenie'.

In fact it barely even moved.

... This is awkward.

...

... There are way too many people around, don't you think?

"Um!" Yamame hurriedly cuts in by talking to the oni in charge of the game. "Maybe you forgot to set it down to youkai level?" She suggests. "I'm pretty sure that it's still set for oni strength."

There's a sudden look of embarrassed realization on the oni's face. "D'oh! You're right about that one!" He hurries over behind the machine and starts messing with it. "Sorry bout that!"

Okay, okay. I don't really have to be embarrassed then. I still am a little bit, but there's a perfectly reasonable explanation for why I accomplished so little. The few people that were watching are laughing it off. I should just laugh it off too. Ha. ha. ha. It's fine. This is fine.

Why does it feel like tonight has just been a quest to collect as many different types of embarrassment as possible? I wouldn't have signed up for that of my own free will you know.

Once I've settled down a little bit, I line myself back up and take another swing. There we go, that's kinda better. This time it went up to just about half way. That spot is labelled 'Average Joe', whatever that means.

"Though it should be average Joesephine for this one, right? Josephina maybe?" The oni sounds amused. My name is Seiran you know...

Putting that aside, I take a couple more tries, but I don't really get much higher. I refine my swing (as much as that can be done in a game like this) but still only barely break three fifths of the way up by the third one. All I can pick up is that there's a decent amount of importance in accurately hitting the middle of the lever, but my arms can't make up for the lack of strength.

"It's fine Seiran," Yamame quickly assures me once I've finished. "I wouldn't do much better."

"Are you gonna try next then?" I ask. Unlike the shooting gallery, we haven't won yet. She'd probably have more fun doing something instead of just watching, right?

"Sure!" Yamame jumps over to the machine, reaching out for the mallet that isn't mine, but suddenly stops. "Err... Actually..." She glances back at me, suddenly unsure.

"What's the matter?" I don't want any more turns if that's what she's worried about. Although it seems more like she's looking "Oh, you can use mine if you want," I say, holding out my own mallet toward her.

"It's not that it's um," Yamame pauses again, looking back and forth between the two mallets. "Well, I guess that would probably be better..." She decides, but it seems like a weak decision. I don't really get what the problem is, so I can't exactly help her.

Yamame wipes her hands off on her dress a few times before gingerly taking my mallet from me. I don't mind lending it out for a short amount of time, you know? Yamame looks at me with a somewhat complicated expression, like she's concerned about something, before quickly snapping out of it. She goes right back to her usual attitude. "Alright, here I go!"

-

Yamame's swings go just a tiny bit higher than mine, which I'm a little surprised about given that I'm the one with the military training. Granted, I haven't exactly kept up on my workouts after we got out of basic, but still. The only reason I can think of for that is her construction working job keeping her more fit than me. I guess it's also possible that spider youkai are just naturally stronger than Moon rabbits as well. Not that I have a way of knowing that. Whatever. My ego is fine with it. I'm a girl. I'm allowed to be delicate. I know that she's a girl too, but that's not the point. Anyway, neither of us won, so we move on.

After we finish up at the test of strength game, Yamame tells me to find a bench somewhere and wait for her. Okay, that's not completely true. What actually happens is that she says she wants to pick up some food, but I decline, so then she tells me to wait around for her. I still feel a little too guilty about asking her to spend money on me. She obviously doesn't think it's a big deal, but coming from a place of being as poor as I am right now, it still feels like a big deal.

So I find a place to sit down off to the side of the festivities. It's not exactly quiet here, but it's out of the way enough that I can relax a little. Being surrounded by so many unfamiliar youkai all of the sudden was a little nerve wracking at first, I'll admit, but I feel like I've dealt with it pretty well. I just have to remind myself that everyone down here is a normal (more or less) person trying to live their life and have a good time at a festival. I can even ignore the "what kind of youkai is that" question that keeps coming to mind by answering with a default of "who cares". I know that they won't bother me or even pay me any mind if I don't do the same to them. I can just focus on me and Yamame.

Speaking of my spiderdate (hey I thought it pretty naturally there), she's coming back toward me carrying a plate of some kind of food. "I'd ask if you want some, but you don't eat meat soooo," She trails off as she plops down next to me. Hm, I don't know enough about dead Earth animals to identify what kind of meat that is. For being the roasted carcass of what was once a living thing, it looks surprisingly appetizing, but that's all I got.

"I'm fine. It gives me a chance to relax for a little bit," Actually, I haven't eaten in a while, but I'll live. I already turned her down on getting me more things, and I'm not going back on that just because her food smells surprisingly delicious. Seriously, I don't even eat meat, why does it smell so good?

I choose to distract myself by looking around some more. We're kind of far away from it, but I have noticed that the large group dancing and playing music off in the far corner has been steadily growing through the night. More people are joining in, and it seems like more instruments are being added as well. It's very heavy on drums, but it doesn't sound too bad. I can at least understand why so many people seem to be over there dancing. Combine the consistent rythm with the generally happy atmosphere, add in a generous amount of alcohol for a lot of the people involved... Sounds like an okay recipe for a good time to me.

"You feel like joining in?" Yamame suddenly asks between bites. I jerk my attention back to her, hoping that she doesn't think I'm ignoring her. She doesn't look bothered at all, even though she obviously knows where I was looking.

Right, anyway, her question. "I can't really dance," I think I tried some last night, but that was drunk me. It's practically a different person. "And no, that's not an invitation to try and teach me."

"Poo, you're no fun," Yamame pouts, for a moment, but can't keep it up for very long. "Just kidding of course. Although I know for sure that I would like to see you shaking it a little bit, and I'm hoping you're thinking the same thing about me~" She adds with a laugh once she's finished.

"R-right," I'm definitely trying NOT to think about that actually. Definitely inappropriate. Definitely not thinking about that. Definitely not blushing. Definitely not thinking about that a lot and definitely not blushing a lot.

While I'm busy not doing any of those things, my thoughts are interrupted by a familiar pinging sound. I jerk my head over to the sound's source, not because I want to change the subject or anything, I'm just curious. I quickly remember what that sound means though. Hopefully whoever that is is having fun with the shooting gallery. I know I did. I haven't gotten a chance to show off like that in years, and even back when I could, there were others that were an even better shot than I am.

Since I'm thinking about it though, there is something that I thought was kinda weird about that game. The test of strength one too. Even though we lost, we lost fairly. "I was kind of expecting the games to be more rigged against us," I mention, still staring in the general direction of the shooting range.

"Nah," Yamame counters simply, wait is that it? Oh, she's taking another bite. I'll wait for her to finish and stare at her curiously until she continues. "That's one of the big upsides of being in a city of oni. Cheaters and liars don't last long with oni around to punish them. Even if a place looks shady, it's pretty likely to still be on the up and up."

"Doesn't that make it harder for them to make a profit?" The games weren't exactly expensive, at least from my concept of Earth money, and the prizes weren't terrible.

"I can't really answer that one. I'm gonna guess that it does, but they've been in this business for years and haven't stopped yet," Yamame shrugs like she hasn't put a lot of thought into the economics of oni festivals. Actually, I don't know why I'm trying to either. "The games are just something extra anyway. Like most everything else around here, most of their money is probably made on booze sales."

I glance around and look at some of the oni spread throughout the area. With how they seem to outnumber pretty much all the other youkai down here combined, I can see how antagonizing them might hurt profits even more than just structuring your games and pricing with the assumption that they'll be able to win. It's kind of weird when you think about it actually. The oni basically rule this city by virtue of being powerful and there being a lot of them around, but it doesn't seem like they put any effort into it. This whole place is basically a functioning anarchy that only holds itself together by the oni being too drunk and generally good natured to take advantage of the weaker youkai. It's like some kind of order made out of chaos. That feels completely foreign to me as someone from the Moon.

While I don't have any evidence to say it's not working, I still feel like I need to ask a question. "Do they really need to drink that much?" Couldn't they get more done while sober?

Yamame chuckles at that. "You just haven't been around them enough. There's not much point to asking the oni why they do the things they do. You can't stop them, so your options are generally to either go along with it or ignore it," She explains, finishing up her food once she's done. "I figured that you're probably part of the people who would do the latter. Although you keep surprising me tonight, so maybe you're more into the kind of stuff that the Oni like than I thought."

Pretty sure that somebody from the Moon (who is supposed to be pure) being anything like the oni would be big problem for everyone. I'd be a bit more upset about that, but Ringo saying 'Command isn't watching, we can do what we want' quickly pops into my head. Whatever. I'm having a good time right now, and I'm not hurting anything. Who cares if I'm following any kind of Moon purity guidelines. "You're probably right for the most part anyway. I'm closer to your earlier impression than an oni."

"Hm, so you're a innocent little cutie with a hidden wild youkai side?" Yamame asks curiously. "I'd like to try and get more of that out of you too," She snickers.

Wait, I think I know this one. She said that I miss these a lot usually, but I think I caught it this time. "Is that one of those innuendos?"

"Kind of!" Yamame laughs, standing up from her spot on the bench. "I'm partially joking, but I am completely serious in that I'm even more interested in you than when we first met. It feels like there's a lot more to you that I really would like to learn about," Well I don't know how much more of me I should actually let her know about, but I understand the sentiment. It's actually really nice too. "You're going to be in the area for at least a few more days, right?"

"Y-yeah," Wait, is she...?

"Then hopefully you'll have some more nights open for me," She's actually asking me for another date after this one.

... I did it.

I dated successfully.

I did it!

I'm forcing myself to not jump up excitedly, but I'm also confused about something. "Wait, does that mean we're ending it here for tonight?"

"Not necessarily. It's just that it has been a few hours. I don't have the best idea of what time it is on the surface, but it's probably late by now," Oh, right. Kanako did warn me that losing track of time is easy down here. I have no idea what time it is either now that Yamame mentions it. I'm kind of tired physically, but the realization that I'm actually doing an okay job at this dating thing is giving me a big mental second wind. "It's up to you, we can keep going if you want."

Hm, I know I want to be up somewhat early tomorrow morning, so calling it at this point would probably be more responsible. I am tempted to be a little selfish though as well, but that could end up bad if some kind of complication comes up.

[ ] Continue the date
- [ ] Let's wander around the city some more
- [ ] Let's spend some more time at the festival
- [ ] I'd still like to see Yamame's house
[ ] End the date for tonight
- [ ] I can walk Yamame home first
- [ ] I might need Yamame to help me get back to the right tunnel

why do I do this to myself

Well, the next update will probably be shorter. It might actually be objectively short if certain things are voted for. That could be nice too.
>> No. 27477
[X] A small set of wooden drums. Obviously meant to be played by hand. Probably not the highest quality instrument ever, but should be fun to play with for a bit.

Music is always a good choice!

[X] End the date for tonight
- [X] I might need Yamame to help me get back to the right tunnel

Responsible bunny is responsible.
>> No. 27478
[ ] They just have a keg of some kind of alcohol as a prize?... Well, maybe it wouldn't hurt to have that on hand for any kind of special occasion coming up...


[ ] End the date for tonight
- [ ] I can walk Yamame home first
>> No. 27479
[x] A less well carved copy of the gun I was just using. I know that this thing isn't strong enough to really injure anyone down here, but just handing out guns like this strikes me as a little irresponsible.
[x] End the date for tonight
- [x] I might need Yamame to help me get back to the right tunnel
>> No. 27480
File 148921254965.jpg - (31.75KB, 450x450, bc.jpg) [iqdb]
27480
[x] A 20 inch chime that doesn't seem to have been touched for years.
[x] End the date for tonight
- [x] I can walk Yamame home first
A complete gentlewoman
>> No. 27481
[X] A discount coupon for any of the area's hot springs. 10% off per person for a party of up to 5. Makes a special note that the offer does not include extra booze.

[x] End the date for tonight
- [x] I can walk Yamame home first
>> No. 27482
[X] A well cut, oddly geometrically patterned crystal of some kind. It's multicolored and quite pretty, although I don't know what you would use it for other than some kind of paper weight.
[X] Continue the date
- [X] I'd still like to see Yamame's house

Date success!
>> No. 27483
[X] A discount coupon for any of the area's hot springs. 10% off per person for a party of up to 5. Makes a special note that the offer does not include extra booze.
[X] Continue the date
- [X] I'd still like to see Yamame's house

Time for a hot springs episode.

> I dated successfully.
Papyrus would be proud.
>> No. 27484
[X] A discount coupon for any of the area's hot springs. 10% off per person for a party of up to 5. Makes a special note that the offer does not include extra booze.
[X] Continue the date
- [X] I'd still like to see Yamame's house

Screw it, if we're choosing to ignore our pals we may as well go all the way.
>> No. 27485
...fuck it. >>27479 here, changing vote to:

[x] A discount coupon for any of the area's hot springs. 10% off per person for a party of up to 5. Makes a special note that the offer does not include extra booze.
[x] End the date for tonight
- [x] I might need Yamame to help me get back to the right tunnel
>> No. 27486
[X] A discount coupon for any of the area's hot springs. 10% off per person for a party of up to 5. Makes a special note that the offer does not include extra booze.
[X] Continue the date
- [X] I'd still like to see Yamame's house
>> No. 27487
[x] A discount coupon for any of the area's hot springs. 10% off per person for a party of up to 5. Makes a special note that the offer does not include extra booze.
[x] End the date for tonight
- [x] I might need Yamame to help me get back to the right tunnel

I feel like if we keep going we'll go too far, by which I mean time/distance wise and won't make it back until way too late.
>> No. 27488
So the votes worked out a little strangely here. There's 6 for ending the date and 4 for continuing it, but the ending the date votes are split 3 to 3 on walking Yamame home vs having her guide Seiran back. So we're in a weird spot where the majority is for ending the date but neither option within that has the majority. I can't hit all three things, so unless the numbers for the votes change, I'm thinking I will do the walking Yamame home thing but also include some stuff at her home as well. That covers two out of three options, and Seiran will still plan to end the date soon.

Here I am again opting into writing more. Oops.
>> No. 27489
[x] A discount coupon for any of the area's hot springs. 10% off per person for a party of up to 5. Makes a special note that the offer does not include extra booze.
[x] End the date for tonight
- [x] I might need Yamame to help me get back to the right tunnel

Here have a tiebreaker.
>> No. 27490
File 148946582470.jpg - (221.40KB, 850x1133, How will it end.jpg) [iqdb]
27490
>>27489
That works

[X] A discount coupon for any of the area's hot springs. 10% off per person for a party of up to 5. Makes a special note that the offer does not include extra booze.
[X] End the date for tonight
- [X] I might need Yamame to help me get back to the right tunnel

There is definitely at least a bit of temptation to just keep going, I'm not going to pretend there isn't. I mean, come on! Most of the other rabbits aren't always responsible, so why does that mean that I have to make up for their shortcomings? I'm having fun right now. Stressful kind of confusing fun where I have no idea what I'm supposed to be doing or what I'm supposed to be saying, but fun nonetheless.

But still, I know deep down that I need to reign it in. Losing track of time is a real concern. I already only have a vague sense of how many hours it's been since I left the plant, and it could get worse. I don't want to stay out for so long that I'm not any good for whatever mission related stuff we need to do tomorrow. If it were anything other than having to work on getting ourselves back to the Moon, then maybe I could see the temptation winning out, but for now, no. I'll be responsible and cautious.

"I guess you're right," I admit. My reluctance isn't at all faked. In fact, it takes me a second to realize I'm vocalizing it. "I wasn't really paying much attention to the time. That could be a problem because I might need to get up early tomorrow. Getting back to where I'm staying is probably for the best."

If Yamame is unhappy about me saying to end the date, she doesn't show it. Instead, she just seems to want to help me with my own disappointment. Hey, there's no rush," She assures me. "My schedule's pretty clear, so we should be able to meet up again soon. Actually, it's probably better that we haven't blown through everything there is to do in the city in one night. Even if it would've been a hell of a night, it would leave me without material for later."

"R-right," Considering she's the one that's always answering the 'where should we go' question, that's a fair point. Although at least I have something of my own now. When I won that shooting gallery game earlier, a lot of different things caught my eye. In the end though, I decided that instead of having some cheap little souvenir, I would try and set up for an experience that everyone in the unit could share. I'm not sure what the plan is or how I'm going to get the money for a trip to the hot springs, but it just seemed like too good of a deal to pass up. Ten percent off per person for up to five people! I've got that many friends, and I'm sure they'll all enjoy it. Although if I include Yamame along with us, then that would put us past the max size, wouldn't it? Hmm, I'm not sure if that would mean we don't get the group rate at all, or just that having her with us doesn't increase it past fifty percent. Well, I can worry about that later I guess.

"I don't exactly know what my schedule is going to be like after this," I say cautiously. Even making time for the hot springs is up in the air. "It's actually possible that I don't get a chance to come visit again," Although given how Kanako seems to be taking charge of the operation, I think getting more free time is definitely on the table if she runs out of stuff for us to do. Especially if her scientists are doing most of the really hard stuff.

"Because you're only here for a few days, right?" Yamame recalls. "That's no biggie, we could always plan on hooking up after that if you're short term busy."

"That might be a little..." Completely impossible? Urgh, why does suddenly having that thought come to mind make my stomach turn?

Yamame easily catches my hesitation, but obviously doesn't know the full scope of the problem. "I could also come visit you up top if you decide not to stay down here," She suggests, trying to sound helpful. "I would actually love a reason to head above ground. With you sweetening the deal? Sounds like it'd be a great day to me."

She's flirting with me again. I'm really going to have to get used to that. "W-well," I stutter out without thinking. You'd have to go pretty far above ground to get to where us rabbits are planning on going. Yeah, no. I can't say that. "Maybe. I don't know how everything is going to work out," I finish vaguely.

"Gotcha," I feel a little guilty about how easily she accepts my vague nonanswer. "I just hope you can keep me posted on it."

"I'll try," It has the caveat of being followed by 'as much as my own mission will let me', but I really am being as honest as I can. I don't want to just disappear completely after one night, it's just that it might be out of my control. Ugh, this whole thing just leaves a bad feeling in my gut. Can we move on? "But um, a-anyway, if we're not going to go anywhere else, can I ask you for one more little thing?"

"Oh, Seiran!" This forces me to look back up at Yamame's face. What is she so happy sounding about? "I'm definitely open to kissing on the first date, maybe even a little more, but I didn't think you'd be so bold!" She gushes excitedly.

"Wh-wh-wha-" No, that's not what I-! Kissing is-! B-but um...

Yamame suddenly breaks out laughing. "I'm kidding, I'm kidding!" She's actually doubled over from laughing so hard. A frustrated groaning sound comes out of my mouth. That wasn't a nice joke to make you know. "I do really love the look on your face right now though," She adds with a wink. "So what did you need?"

It takes me a little bit to calm my heart rate and my stammering mouth down, but I eventually get myself back under control. Once I'm better, I start explaining what I had originally wanted to say before Yamame decided to throw me for a loop. "I still don't exactly know my way around the caverns here all that well. If we just split up right now, I'm a little concerned about getting lost on my way back. Could you show me which way I should go?" I ask, then think better of it. "Or at least some of it so I can figure out the rest of the way on my own?"

"Sure!" Yamame looks more than happy to help. That's not too surprising, considering she's already been showing me around all evening. This is just an extension on that. Yamame casts a slow glance around the square, looking around as if she's already planning a route. "Err, where are we going?" She asks after a moment, probably realizing there's no route to plan without a destination in mind.

That's a bit difficult. "Um," I don't know if I should mention the plant or not. Even if she knows where it is, revealing the association with Kanako may be a bit too much information. Wait, I know! "Like maybe just the tunnel that leads toward the Palace of the Earth Spirits?" I suggest. Sanae pointed out how to get there from the plant, so I should be able to do it the other way around as well.

Yamame looks surprised at that. Did I say something weird without knowing? "Ohh, is that where you're staying? That's pretty rare," Rare but not unheard of I hope? "You on some official business or something?"

That's a little bit too close to the truth I think. "No no no," I wave my hands around, hopefully not too frantically. "The place I'm staying is just kinda close by there so um..."

Yamame looks even more curious for a moment, thinking things over. Please don't ask. Please don't ask. Please don't ask... "Well, okay," She finally shrugs. Yes! "I'll help you out. I don't really go through that area much, but I know the way, more or less."

"Hopefully a little more than less?" I ask, standing up from my seat to join her. It doesn't really matter what she says though, beggars can't be choosers.

"Hehe, don't worry, I've got you."

-

The two of us head through the city, down paths that I might recognize if I hadn't flown over them the first time. I'm just guessing at that actually. Realistically there would be no way that I could handle finding my way back on foot, although maybe I could have muddled through it by flying. Kind of a moot point though, Yamame knows the way, so I just have to follow along. It's a nice chance to squeeze just a little bit more time together with her, which is rather nice. Really this whole evening has been... I don't know what words to use. Let's just call it new and exciting.

Of course I know I was a nervous wreck for most of the date, but I'm always kind of like that. I get anxious and nervous and a bunch of other panicky things. That's how I've been for a long time. At least in this situation it was less because of actual danger and more because of embarrassment. It kind of sucks that my nervousness never actually prevents the bad things from happening though. Maybe I should worry less about things like that. Or maybe not. The self consciousness and anxiety may actually help keep me from being careless like certain other rabbits at certain times. That's something I bring to the group that the others don't so much.

The other rabbits... Speaking of them, I'm going to have to deal with their reactions to this too, aren't I? When we met up with them, Ringo and Sumi could obviously tell that I was on a date with Yamame. I have no confidence in Sumi to keep that from the other two as well, so there's a very good chance that word will have spread to everyone by the time I get back. That... I was kind of hoping to avoid it, but things just got out of hand too quickly. I'm definitely not going to blame Yamame for it though.

So let me think, Chiyo probably won't care about the situation. She's generally neutral about this kind of stuff, although she might tease me a bit. If I think about it, hadn't she already noticed something unusual with me and Yamame when she first saw me caught up in Yamame's arms? It's hard to tell. Chiyo doesn't talk enough to easily get a read on everything that she thinks. A part of me worries about her because of that, but another part of me is okay to let her do what she wants.

Yuzuki probably won't say much about it, although I don't think she'll like the idea. She's usually staunchly against inappropriate conduct like dating and the like. With how she's become in recent years though, she's at least been able to distinguish what is and is not her business. Most of the time anyway. She'll probably leave me alone, in fact, she probably won't really want to talk about it even if I bring it up. That's probably just an issue of her and her hangups though.

The bigger issue really is the two that actually saw me. They had reactions that weren't exactly what I expected. I'm not actually sure what exactly I did expect, but it wasn't that at least. Sumi was confused and surprised. She clearly said that the Yamame thing came out of nowhere, which I guess is true for her. She had never met Yamame, I had never talked about Yamame directly to her, and for all she knew Yamame was just another one of the miscellaneous youkai that we met while wandering Gensokyo. I guess I can kinda see why she would be surprised, but I'm still weirded out by how she seemed to get upset with Ringo right after that. Sumi getting angry at people is nothing new, but still...

Ringo... Ringo seemed lost and unsure of what to say as soon as the truth of the situation came out. That's completely different from what I'm used to when talking to her. She always knows what to say, and nothing bothers her. That's the normal Ringo. Or at least it has been for however many years that I've known her. Hm, I'm vaguely reminded of something Ringo said earlier. Stuff about how all five of us are finding out new things about ourselves and changing because of that. Maybe this is just a situation that Ringo wasn't expecting to have happen on the Moon and she's not equipped to deal with it now. I don't know why that would be though.

"Hey, you okay there?" Yamame's face suddenly enters my vision as she leans around in front of me. We're still just walking along through the city's streets, but I guess I had been spacing out and thinking about a lot of stuff.

"Huh? Oh, yeah," I mutter. Yamame hasn't been trying so hard to give out a bunch of interesting tidbits about every place we pass now, so either she doesn't have any or she's just giving me my some time to think. "It's been kind of a long day for me, sorry," Argh, that sounded lame.

"Yeah, I know what that's like," Yamame returns to facing forward, looking up thoughtfully at the... Well, I guess it wouldn't be the sky here, it'd be the ceiling. It's too dark to see all the way up there though. "Still, I hope I capped it off nicely for you. I had fun tonight."

And of course there's Yamame herself. I can't just spend time thinking about the other rabbits. I do have to put some thought into my situation with her as well. To be honest, the main reasons I agreed to this dating thing were curiosity and a feeling of wanting to at least give Yamame a chance. She had enough courage to ask me out (something I definitely wouldn't be able to do to a complete stranger) and was willing to put time aside to show me a good time. I wanted to enjoy that hospitality while also getting a little bit of experience about what all of this relationship stuff is all about. It didn't have that much to do with Yamame personally, as mean as that is to say. After tonight though, that's not quite the same thing.

Yes, as weird as it is to think about because I normally try to avoid these kinds of thoughts, I do find Yamame to be physically attractive. Very much so.

Yes, I think that the teasing, as embarrassing as it is, really is all done in good fun. When I'm confused or embarrassed about something she says, Yamame's happy reactions perk me up enough to make it really easy to laugh everything off.

And yes, I really really appreciate the way that Yamame seems to know when and when not to ask more about a subject. She's been able to tread a line of being curious about me and wanting to know more while also avoiding any subjects or information that would make me uncomfortable to talk about.

I glance over at Yamame, who catches my gaze after a moment and smiles back. I sheepishly look away. Yes, all of that stuff is true. But then...

No, I don't know how I'd be able to manage a relationship where I can't be honest about who I am and where I came from.

No, I don't know if it's worth it to cause confusion and strange reactions in my long standing friends just because I want to try casually dating.

And no, I don't know how a relationship like this would ever work out long term, considering that I have to get back to the Moon in a handful of days.

That's a lot of things that I don't know. Do I really need all of that when I'm already going to be stressed and busy and I have no idea what I'm doing? When wasting time could have the end effect of getting me killed? I just... Don't know.

"We need to float up a little bit. It should be that tunnel up there."

"Huhwah?" Oh, I got lost in my thoughts again. Yamame's pointing up slightly with her finger. Oh right, when Sanae first showed me how to get to the capital, we came out from a tunnel slightly above the ground floor, didn't we. Looking up at where Yamame's indicating, yeah, I'm pretty confident that this is the same place. "Oh," Yamame giggles a little bit at my delayed reaction, then lifts off slowly and floats up to the entrance to the tunnel. I follow along, still feeling my thoughts buzzing a bit too much.

The city still looks much the same as it had however many hours ago when I first visited, but that doesn't mean it isn't pretty. When Yamame and I touch down, I can't help but look out at the scenery for a little bit. Sparkling, warm lights. Muffled sounds of people having a good time. It's all so different and interesting. That I got to see even the small portion that I did tonight is really... I don't know. Special?

"Sooo..." Yamame says, her shoulder just barely not touching my own as we both look over the city. "See you again soon?" She asks hopefully, turning her head toward me. When I also turn to meet her though, I feel something weird. There's more to that question than just a yes or no answer, isn't there? There's some kind of desire plain on her face that-

Oh.

I know what she's thinking might happen. She just teased me about it recently, so the idea is fresh in my head too. Maybe not the 'and a little more', but the first part...

Can I do that?

Should I do that?

Am I ready to do that?

I'm... I don't know about a lot of things, but...

[ ] Be bold. Go for it.
[ ] I don't know. Maybe next time.
[ ] It's just... That's too much.

This update felt short but then I looked and it was over 3k words again? I blame Seiran's internal monologue being so easy for me to write now that I've done it for a year.
>> No. 27491
[X] Be bold. Go for it.

Grab a handful of that spiderbutt and go for the gold!
>> No. 27492
[x] Be bold. Go for it.
>> No. 27493
[x] Be bold. Go for it.

We don't need another Paran.
>> No. 27494
[x] I don't know. Maybe next time.

A kiss is a promise you probably won't be able to keep.
>> No. 27495
[X] I don't know. Maybe next time.

You shouldn't make promises you can't keep.
>> No. 27496
[X] Be bold. Go for it.

Don't let this opportunity pass you by.
>> No. 27497
[ ] Be bold. Go for it.
>> No. 27498
[X] Be bold. Go for it.

Poor Ringo. I regret nothing.
>> No. 27499
today, we found love. I'll be damned if we just let this pass by. JUST DO IT!
[X] Be bold. Go for it.
>> No. 27500
File 148972533378.jpg - (196.09KB, 850x1133, This did not last.jpg) [iqdb]
27500
[X] Be bold. Go for it.

I barely stop myself from looking away. My eyes aren't trying to go in any particular direction other than away from Yamame anyway. It's stupid. Yamame is looking directly into my eyes, and yes, it's embarrassing, but no, that doesn't mean I should look away.

This is... Kinda dumb actually. I'm doing something irresponsible and dumb by pretending this will ever work out long term, aren't I? Even if there were a possible way that I could think of to keep this relationship from falling apart, there'd be no promise that I could make it happen. For goodness' sake, me even being alive ten days from now is questionable! Despite that, here I am just getting caught up in weird feelings and my own expectations about what's supposed to happen on dates. I don't have to go along with that if I don't want to. I could just leave now. Just say 'see you later' and walk away, but...

I want to do this.

She's only looking at me right now. Not at the gorgeous view around us, just at me. Yamame, who has been leading me around all evening, is telling me with just her expression to decide for myself on this part. She doesn't exactly look expectant. There's just a tiny bit of hopefulness in her face, but that's it.

She's not forcing me into anything is the point here. She has to know that I'm awkward and nervous. She has to know that I've never done this before. She has to know that if she just took the lead and did the thing that I'm thinking of doing, I would let her. It would actually get this whole situation over with much quicker and easier than leaving it up to me. She has to know that too, doesn't she? She's not doing that though. She's just waiting. Why? What is she worried about? It shouldn't be the same things that I'm worried about I don't think.

Could it be that she's not sure what my reaction would be? I know that I would go along with it (how am I so calm about thinking that aaaaaaaaa), but that doesn't mean that she does. I've spent a lot more time thinking about things tonight than I have on vocalizing them. Maybe yamame doesn't realize that I really have had a good time. What if, in her mind, I've only been continuing the date out of politeness? If I haven't been clear about how glad I am that I came out here with her, then maybe I've given her mixed signals. Have I been giving any signals? I don't know. If I were doing the wrong thing, which is probably the case, it's my job to clear things up, isn't it? That... Sounds right. As for making it happen though, well I know what should be done, I'm just nervous about actually doing it.

Of course, it's also possible that I could be wrong about all of that. I'm new to this after all.

...

Still better to try it than to do nothing I guess.

Yamame jumps slightly when I reach up and put a hand on each of her shoulders. We've just been silently staring at each other for I'm not exactly sure how long, so I the sudden feeling of me touching her was unexpected. Actually, we've barely had any physical contact all night, now that I think about it. Too late to take it back though. I know she realizes what I'm doing. Even if she looks surprised, it's not the actions so much as the person taking them. She said earlier that she didn't expect me to be so bold right? Well, she doesn't know me perfectly yet.

Yamame is mostly correct in her assessments of me, aside from this one thing. For right now, I'm going to be bold. Just a little bit.

A-am I going to be able to do this right? My first instinct is to just jerk forward enough to bring our lips together, so I start doing that, but hesitate a tiny bit. Yamame's eyes are closed now, should I close mine? How do I hold my head so our noses don't hit each other? Are they supposed to hit each other? How long is this supposed to last? I haven't looked around at all, what if people see us? Would anyone care? Does my breath still smell like peach tea? It probably does. That's good, right?

...

Ah, screw it.

...

No, yeah, this feels correct.

I guess I would describe it as light. It's much less intense than I expected from everything I had heard before, but still really nice. Yamame's lips are really soft. When I touch them with my own it kinda makes me feel floaty. Even with my heart beating so fast I'm still weirdly calm about it. Yes, I'm nervous and anxious and all that, but I'm also relieved and excited and a bunch of other stuff too. It's like the flood of random emotions is too mixed up for any one feeling in particular to cause a problem. Instead I just feel this light sense of contented happiness.

And I really like it.

My grip on Yamame's shoulders gets a little tighter while I feel something tug at me, pulling my mouth closer to Yamame's. She's-wh-whoa.

mm.

Oh!

...

I really really like it.

When I start to feel a bit light headed, I realize I haven't been paying attention to breathing at all, so my body hasn't been doing it. Pretty sure that's not something that's supposed to just stop happening, but I guess I really was that distracted. Kissing Yamame is... Really really good.

I (sadly) break the contact between our lips, just a little bit. We're still close enough together that I can hear Yamame's breath, coming out just a little bit less rough than my own. She's looking at me with a coy smile, blushing much less than I am, but still enough to be visible. Oh hey, her arms are wrapped around my waist with her hands folded just above my tail. I guess that's what the pulling was from. She put her arms around me and brought me closer, to make the kiss a bit more intense. I'm definitely not going to complain about that part. "You really are full of surprises," Ah! Her voice tickles a little bit when it's so close to my face.

Oh, right, she said something. It's really hard to think about much right now. Well, anything other than the kissing that is. "Y-you were the one who mentioned it."

"But that doesn't mean I expected you to actually do it!" She sounds more amused than anything else. "I said I was joking, you know?"

"I still did it," And I liked it. I liked it a lot. I don't have any basis for comparison, but Yamame must be a really good kisser, right? That's why I'm all happy and floaty and why it's hard to think about most not kissing things. I am still listening to her though. "Er, you weren't joking that you were okay with that, right?"

"I'm more than okay with it!" Yamame gushes, moving forward to-Ah! Hey, I wasn't prepared for that one at all! Instead of making it last, Yamame leaves the kiss as a quick peck before separating us. She doesn't move into position to look directly at me again, this time she moves her head off to the side a little bit and pulls me close into a hug. "Well... there is one thing but..." She mumbles softly. "No. Never mind. Of course I'm okay with it."

A part of me is a little bit concerned about whatever Yamame just decided to bring up, but maybe I shouldn't say anything. Yamame knew when not to press a subject with me, and I think this is a time to return the favor. Hopefully. Instead, I wrap my arms around Yamame's shoulders, reciprocating her hug. It might not quite be a kiss, but I do like hugs too. They're really nice, and I probably don't get them as often as I'd like. Sometimes Ringo would hug me, but it was usually to calm me down or reassure me. This is different. Not just because Ringo is shorter while Yamame and I are pretty much the same height either.

We hold each other for a while, not moving or saying anything. Obviously I can't actually see Yamame's face, so I can't really guess at what she's feeling. I'm hoping it's similar to my own thoughts of 'this is nice' though. After a few silent minutes, she finally says something. "Hmm, you'll come back later, right?" She asks. It's surprisingly quiet. "Even if you have second thoughts and change your mind about us, that's fine. Or if you're too busy in the next few days and it takes a while, that's fine too. Just as long as you come back at least once. Okay?"

Huh. She sounds kind of worried for some reason. This seems like something that's important to her, although I can't guess exactly why. Well, I've already made the decision to try and make this work, so coming back is already something I was planning on doing. This is an easy answer to give. "Okay. I promise."

Urk! Yamame squeezes me tightly against herself for a moment, then let's go. Her arms unwrap from around me, so I do the same. Once we're both disentangled, Yamame hops back quickly. Her expression looks the same as I'm used to, even though there was obviously a bit more significance to what she just asked me. "Great!" Her tone sounds normal again too. "Well, you still have to get back to your friends, so I'll let you get going. I had a lot of fun tonight Seiran, thanks a lot for coming and finding me."

"R-right," Honestly I kinda want to go back to hugging, and even more honestly I want to kiss her again, but the moment has obviously passed. I guess I really do have to go back now. I glance down the tunnel that leads deeper underground, away from the city. I'm not looking forward to it that much. Oh wait, before I go. "So for next time I can come around, I should just come by and do the same thing again? Find a web and yell to you?" That was kind of embarrassing, but if it works for Yamame, I guess it can work for me.

Yamame smiles wide at me again. Eep! Even though I've seen her do it tons of time already, for some reason this one really makes my heart jump a little. She's really pretty, isn't she? "That should probably work. I'm around most of the time, although our sleep schedules might not be the same..." Oh yeah, given how difficult it is to keep track of time down here, I guess that might become a concern if Yamame is on a non-twenty-four hour cycle. "Nah, whatever. I'll make time, and we'll figure it out," She decides. It's good that one of us is confident I suppose.

"Okay, um, thanks a lot for everything Yamame," I kinda want to say that I had a good time tonight, but Yamame already said that. I don't want to seem like I'm just repeating her.

"Not a problem," Yamame smoothly assures me, backing up a little more. "Like I said, you're worth it," She adds, lifting off the ground and floating away slowly. She waves at me as she lowers herself back down to the city's streets. "Take care on your way back. See you later!"

"Same to you!" Although she almost definitely doesn't need the well wishes as much as I do. "Bye!"

Yamame keeps waving for a while longer, right up until she lands on the ground floor of the city. After that, she starts walking back toward her home. I guess that means that I should get going too. I take a deep breath and turn toward the much less inviting direction. Alright.

-

The nervousness I feel about going back alone is surprisingly tame. In fact, I hardly notice it the entire trip. I'm a bit preoccupied with thoughts about various things. Various Yamame related things mostly. My relationship with Yamame, hugging Yamame, kissing Yamame. All of that stuff is absolutely stuck in my mind. Not that I want to get it out of my head really. It puts me in a good mood. If flying wasn't faster and more practical, I could imagine myself merrily walking the whole way back. Maybe even skipping a bit if that wasn't so cheesy and embarrassing.

Anyway, the trip back goes pretty much without incident. I head through the outer city shanty-town thing with only a few curious glances. Nobody stops or bothers me. Once I get further, I'm able to use my new light spell (even though I just cast it a few hours ago, it still takes a couple tries to remember how it all works) to head through the dark parts of the cavern. After that, I reach the security gate for the plant. I ring the buzzer like the security guard said while Sanae and I were coming out, and that gets the oni's attention immediately. He does a quick check to confirm who I am, then lets me back into the plant itself.

He also makes a comment that I have a look on my face like something good happened to me. Apparently I look much happier this time around. That's definitely true, but I'm still a little bothered that even strangers are calling me out over not having control of my face. Maybe I should work on that. Although Yamame seemed to think it was cute, so maybe not. We'll see.

The plant itself is still completely empty as I head down through it. That's not exactly surprising though. It's definitely night time by now, even though I don't know the exact hour. The only person up and around is probably Ruukoto, and she could be anywhere. Whatever, just gives me more time for myself and the Yamame thoughts.

By the time I make it back to the main intersection of the plant, I'm in such a good mood that I catch myself giggling out loud. Yeesh, okay, I should probably calm it down a little bit. Don't want to look too giddy when I have to go talk to the other...

Right, the other rabbits.

Ringo.

It might not be that big of a deal actually. Maybe Ringo and Sumi had such a good time out tonight that they both got over their weird moods and everything will be back to normal when I head up the stairs to the dorms. I'm not going to hold my breath on that happening, but it's possible. Everything could work out nicely for me for once. That could happen.

... I'm not fooling myself at all.

I walk up the dorm stairs and reach the common area. The lights here are still on, although I don't know if that means that people are still around or if these lights are just always kept on. It seems like the latter would be a waste of energy, although we are in a nuclear fusion power plant. Maybe keeping a couple bulbs lit isn't much of a big deal.

"Welcome back," I jump slightly at Yuzuki's voice. I hadn't seen her immediately, but that's because she's off in the dining corner. Actually, it looks like she's reading something. That's kind of unusual. Normally she'd be able to read all the information in a book without having manually open and turn the pages. I wonder why she's bothering now.

Curiosity aside, I'm not quite sure what to say here. I take the time to get from the stairwell to the dining table in order to get my thoughts in order. "Hey, ummm. Are Ringo and Sumi back yet?" I ask hopefully. That's probably the most important thing to make sure of first. If they're out drinking or something that could be a huge problem.

Yuzuki sighs and looks up from her book. "What happened?" She questions. It sounds a bit accusing like that, and I'm pretty sure it's not just me having a guilty conscience.

"Err..." How do I answer that? Do I have to answer that when Yuzuki didn't answer my question first? That doesn't seem fair. "A lot of stuff," I answer vaguely. I don't really want to go into specifics on anything I don't have to, but I can't know how much I have to talk about until I know the situation right now.

Yuzuki gives me an unimpressed look and shuts her book before continuing. "Yes, they're both back and in the rooms that we were given. They both came back at the same time, then split off into separate rooms without a word to me or Chiyo, although Chiyo was already asleep by that point. Sumi appears to have been doing some light exercise and a lot of sitting around thinking, while Ringo... Well, suffice it to say that Ringo has locked herself in her room and is very uncharacteristically upset about something. She wouldn't answer the door when I tried to talk to her either."

Oh no. So Ringo's still upset, apparently enough that she's locked her door and won't come out of the room or talk to anyone. Sumi's status is questionable, but I at least know that the two of them didn't have that fantastic of a time out there tonight. Chiyo is asleep in another room, while Yuzuki is out here giving me a look that suggests I really need to start talking.

I know I have to do something here. Even if I wanted to try and ignore the situation (that I caused), all three of our available rooms have someone in them now. Originally I was hoping I could get a room to myself so that my powers wouldn't be an issue, but that's definitely not happening now. I'm going to have to talk to somebody and figure out how to resolve this situation.

[ ] Try to talk to Ringo. Maybe she'll answer the door if it's me.
[ ] Sumi was with Ringo the whole evening, and might be in a better mood to talk.
[ ] Maybe Yuzuki will have some advice if she hears about the situation.
[ ] I... Can't deal with this. I'll just sleep in the common area and hope I don't bother anyone.
>> No. 27501
[x] Try to talk to Ringo. Maybe she'll answer the door if it's me.

Maybe hearing about how great the date was will cheer her up!
>> No. 27502
[X] Try to talk to Ringo. Maybe she'll answer the door if it's me.
>> No. 27503
>>27501
You're evil

[X] Sumi was with Ringo the whole evening, and might be in a better mood to talk.

Sumi might be direct enough to give Seiran some insight into what the problem is. I'm very happy that Seiran had a good date, our naive gay bunny is doing well for herself.
>> No. 27504
[x] Try to talk to Ringo. Maybe she'll answer the door if it's me.

Come on Ringo, spit it out!
>> No. 27505
[X] Sumi was with Ringo the whole evening, and might be in a better mood to talk.

It's probably better that Seiran understands exactly why Ringo is so upset first.
>> No. 27506
>>27501
Yes.

[x] Try to talk to Ringo. Maybe she'll answer the door if it's me.
>> No. 27507
[X] Sumi was with Ringo the whole evening, and might be in a better mood to talk.

We will talk with Ringo after getting more info. Doesn't matter if she's sleeping, we'll just wait on her

bed.
>> No. 27508
[X] Sumi was with Ringo the whole evening, and might be in a better mood to talk.

Let's not rush in blindly, time is plenty a cure for whatever issues Ringo's currently having. That, and Sumi will tell us exactly what's up, because she's Sumi.
>> No. 27509
[X] Sumi was with Ringo the whole evening, and might be in a better mood to talk.

YES! Spiderbutt GET!
>> No. 27510
[X] Sumi was with Ringo the whole evening, and might be in a better mood to talk.

Talking to Ringo immediately feel like a "there's no brakes on this trainwreck"-option. Not that that might not be fun too, but eh.
>> No. 27512
>>27509

[X] Sumi was with Ringo the whole evening, and might be in a better mood to talk.

This option leads to spiderbutt? Huh..I guess I'll give this story a read and see what it's all about.
>> No. 27513
[x] Try to talk to Ringo. Maybe she'll answer the door if it's me.

"Ringo, did Sumi's SeiRingo ship actually have some merit to it on your side?"
>> No. 27515
Next thread: >>27514
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