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File 149292175672.png - (2.02MB, 1382x725, attired rabbit.png) [iqdb]
27619 No. 27619
Someone once told you that all paths eventually take you where you're really going. Not that that's very helpful right at this moment. At least, not in a practical sense.

As far as your eye can see, you’re surrounded by bamboo.

This isn’t really a problem in the daylight if you keep to the edge of the forest. People in the village harvest shoots there all the time. You, however, are in way deeper than that. It’s gotten considerably darker, too. You’re pretty sure it’s become nighttime somewhere along the way. And a thought keeps coming up. A stupid but persistent one: if the bamboo forest were alive you’d be stuck somewhere deep in its bowels. You still hope to see the moon, eventually. That would dispel some of the near-total darkness. Wishful thinking at its best.

You hold back a sigh. A lot of youkai prefer to come out at night. Therefore, It’s more likely that you’ll get eaten up whole any time soon. This previously-unseen monster would, naturally enough, have an impossibly large mouth and be full of deadly teeth. That’s just the way things tend to go for innocent humans around these parts. Ain’t no sugar-coating it.

Still, it’s still too early to panic. You got into this mess knowing fully about the risks. But you couldn’t help it. You saw her in the market, peddling her wares, and spent most of the day working up the courage to talk to her. And when you finally did, you could only stammer out a request for medicine. You handed her a few coins and lost your nerve to say anything else. you barely stammered a request for medicine and handed over a few coins. Still, though, there was reason to hope – when your eyes made contact, a funny sensation spread throughout your body. It was warm and comforting, like napping under the shade of a tree on a sunny afternoon. Made you feel stupidly carefree.

You held on to that and slowly built up your courage again. Problem was, by the time you had the perfect line, she had already packed up and left. By chance you spied her off in the distance, walking in the direction of the bamboo forest. Without thinking, you followed, not quite being able to clear the village crowds before she had disappeared. Once in the forest, you caught glimpses of her here and there. Even called out a few times to no avail. The rough terrain and her head start made it feel like catching up was impossible.

And so you got lost. Eventually you stopped catching glimpses of her and everything got dark. Thus your current predicament.

What to do? You can’t go back. You don’t know which way is back anyhow. And it’s not like you’re giving up on her just yet. You fancied her, even if she was a youkai. A rabbit youkai like her couldn’t possibly be dangerous. Quite the opposite: you were sure she was lovely. Both on the outside and the inside. Anyone who offered up medicine to the village couldn’t be a bad person.

Not that your friends would understand. They’d make fun of you. But what did they know about true love? They could spend the rest of their lives settling for the plain-looking girls of the village. You, on the other hand, would not settle for anything but the most sublime.

Enough thinking! You can’t afford to spend any more time lost in your thoughts. If you don’t make up your mind now, it feels like you’ll never find her again.

[] Keep pressing on in the last direction you saw her going.
[] Call out for help, maybe someone will hear you.
[] Try to stay quiet and look for some way to get your bearings.
Expand all images
>> No. 27620
[X] Try to stay quiet and look for some way to get your bearings.

The moon would at least cast a directional shadow, if it appears, that is.
>> No. 27621
[X] Keep pressing on in the last direction you saw her going.

I'd rather press on than stay still. a moving target is harder to hit.
>> No. 27622
[X] Keep pressing on in the last direction you saw her going.
>> No. 27623
[X] Try to stay quiet and look for some way to get your bearings.

Seems a little pretentious to go after a girl just because she's special or abnormal in what she is compared to regular humans.
>> No. 27624
Oh this person got whammied by her eyes, rip guy.
>> No. 27625
[X] Try to stay quiet and look for some way to get your bearings.

Is this finally Reisen route ?
>> No. 27626
[X] Try to stay quiet and look for some way to get your bearings.

I know you want to tap dat bunnybutt, but safety comes first.
>> No. 27627
[x] Try to get your bearings.
[x] Keep pressing on in the last direction you saw her going.
[x] Bluff and keep calm. The unseen threat is the deadliest.

That, or start trying to serenade her.
>> No. 27628
[] Call out for help, maybe someone will hear you.

The Tewi option never gets old.
>> No. 27629
>>27624
When we get there they'll be like "oh yeah this happens like once a week, just take two of these and go home."
>> No. 27630
Granny always said that the smartest thing to do if you were ever lost and alone in the dark would be to be as careful as possible. Too many villagers got eaten up by those nasty, filthy youkai, she said. Didn’t want her precious grandson to end up like ‘em. But then again, she never once set foot outside of the village. And grandpa used to trade with the tengu. Take a week or so to go to the farthest reaches of Gensokyo with his wares. So maybe she was just jealous of them stealing away her husband for so long. After all, you had heard the lurid tales of promiscuous youkai who looked like innocent young women and seduced men and stole their souls. And your friends insisted that they stalked the village in disguise, looking for victims... but that was neither here nor there.

Point was that there was some wisdom to Granny’s words.

There was a certain level of noise that was unavoidable – your snapping twigs and rustling of leaves – but you were sure that you could otherwise be pretty stealthy. So, what next? Getting to the high ground. Somewhere where the terrain would make more sense. You look around and stumble in the dark some but find a direction where the forest floor seems to slope up subtly. So you follow it. All the while keeping as quiet as a poor lost human could reasonably be.

Your patience pays off. Just a little. Over by a babbling brook (or maybe it’s more of a creek? Hard to tell in the dark) you find your first clearing. It’s not much of a clearing but it’s enough so that there’s actual openings in the bamboo canopy. As if on cue, the moon breaks from behind clouds, providing you with some much needed light. Lucky that it’s nearly full too, it’s much brighter that way.

You wash your face with some of the cool water from the brook. It’s almost summer and so the nights have gotten warmer as a result. Your chase through the forest made you sweat more than you realized. It makes you wish you had unnatural powers like some of those youkai did – flying through the air would make you get your bearings right away. Still, if you could figure out which stars are which, you can at least know your heading.

But before you can recall the orienteering lessons you got as a young boy, something else draws your attention. It’s subtle at first. Something low-pitched like a groan or maybe a growl, barely inaudible. But then comes the rustling. And the shaking. A cluster of bamboo stems and their busy parts are all shaking not even a stone throw’s distance from you. Even with the pale moonlight you can’t see what’s causing all the commotion. It’s a leafy thicket. You’d have to go in to see what’s going on. Only thing that’s for sure is that the shaking is intensifying.

It’s a worrisome development, for reasons your grandma would be keen to point out.

Obviously, there's only only one thing to do in a scenario like this.

[] Pick up a stick and poke the rustling spot.
[] Call out and hope it’s not a hungry youkai.
[] Run away!

>>27628
>>27625
Guys, if you don't mind, please don't sage votes. It's way easier to monitor activity on the site through the front page than it is to go through all the different boards. The sooner I know there are votes, the sooner I can decide whether or not to update. Thanks.

Aiming for a fastish update schedule. And we're just now starting to cook with gas.
>> No. 27632
[] Call out and hope it’s not a hungry youkai.
>> No. 27633
[x] Call out and hope it’s not a hungry youkai.
>> No. 27634
[X] Call out and hope it’s not a hungry youkai.
>> No. 27635
[x] Call out and hope it’s not a hungry youkai.
>> No. 27636
[X] Pick up a stick and poke the rustling spot.

Totally safe.
>> No. 27637
[X] Pick up a stick and BASH the rustling spot.

IT'S THE LAW OF THE JUNGLE BABY
>> No. 27638
[x] Call out and ask for directions.
>> No. 27639
[X] Run away!

How is this not the leading option here?
>> No. 27640
File 149307507233.png - (783.87KB, 900x1440, not safe for my heart.png) [iqdb]
27640
“Oh hey,” you call out weakly, trying not to startle whoever is in there. “Is someone there?”

There’s no reply. The rustling intensifies for a moment. And then stops altogether.

“Hello-?” you say a little more firmly, taking a step closer to the source of the disturbance.

Still nothing.

“I’m not going to hurt you,” you say, just in case it’s another frightened human who has lost his way. And if it’s not… well, it’s still a disarming gesture. Probably.

You cross your arms, waiting for a reply. Maybe they’ve gone? No more rustling at all. All you can hear is the soft whispers of the breeze across the bamboo above you.

In the time it takes you to draw another breath, you find yourself suddenly staring up at the sky. You wince, feeling the pain of being knocked back flat on your butt. And then, the realization that someone is grabbing on to you. Their weight pressing down violently on your chest and legs.

“Hey, what do you think you’re doing?!” you exclaim, frowning at whoever it is that’s tackled you.

A pair of red eyes star back at you, brightly reflecting the moonlight. “What do you think you’re doing?” she asks, long nails running down softly, but provocatively down your neck.

“Seeing if there was anyone else around,” you reply, frowning even harder and meeting her eyes with your own gaze. It’s important that she know that surprise tackles are not acceptable in the middle of the woods. “So are you always this rude?”

“I could ask the same of you,” the girl asks, grinning and showing off a few pointy teeth. Not as many as you thought a youkai would have. “Spying on a girl is completely unacceptable.”

“Spying?” you try to shove her off, but she growls and pins your arms down with preternatural strength. Her nails dig into your forearms, hurting you slightly. You realize that you won’t win in a contest of strength. “I was just minding my own business in these woods,” you tell her calmly, feeling that maybe you should be panicking harder than you should be. Granny would want you to, after all. “You were doing all that rustling and moving around. Hard to ignore. So I called out and announced myself as is appropriate.”

“I don’t believe you,” she says, raising a very skeptical eyebrow. “Would you have me believe that just the moment I’m adjusting my clothes is the one that you decide to make your presence known?”

“Yup, dunno what else to say,” you attempt a shrug. Doesn’t go to well with you on your back and with your arms pinned. “So, are you going to eat me or what? I’d rather you let me go if it’s all the same to you.”

“No, I’m not going to eat you,” she says, frowning. Her animal-like ears droop some, as if unconsciously, “are all you villagers this stoic?”

“Well, panickin’ ain’t going to do me any good,” you tell her, “you clearly could rip me apart if you wanted. So, really, this all I can do.”

“Hm...” she closes her eyes and smiles, “I guess you have a point. Still, you have to admit it’s not a typical response.”

“Maybe,” you try to shrug again, to similar results, “only other thing that comes to mind is trying to flatter you. Call you pretty and all, see if I can catch you off guard. But I’m already in love with another youkai, so maybe things would get messy if the truth ever got out.”

She laughs and shakes her head. More importantly, lets go of your arms. You're not sure she believes you entirely, especially the part about being in love with someone else. You flashed her your most honest look, but that's probably not enough to dismiss all doubts right away. She keeps her body on your legs and torso, keeping you from sitting or standing up. “You might have had some luck with that,” she says, “I’m not exactly vain or anything, but I admit that I’m a bit self-conscious about my appearance. We all have our weak points.”

She relaxes and finally gets off you, extending a hand to help you up. You take it and are pulled up with a strength unbecoming such slender arms. She wipes the dirt off her long dress and adjusts the brooch that sits near her neck.

“Don’t I know you from somewhere?” you ask. A girl with long, auburn hair isn’t that rare… but you can’t help but feel that you’ve seen her face somewhere before. In the village, probably. Without the ears and the teeth, obviously. Still someone's cousin? A festival? You can't quite figure it out.

“Nope! Don’t think so!” she replies hastily, pulling at the edges of her sleeves. The motion is entirely unsubtle and draws your eyes to whatever it is she’s hiding. The thing about the pale moonlight is that it's hard to see up someone's sleeve at the best of times. Let alone when their wrists have retreated into their clothes.

“Hm...” you pause for a second, thinking of what to say next. Stories about encountering youkai in the wild usually end in bloodshed and tragedy. Staring at a strong, yet evasive youkai girl after she tackles you for a misunderstanding isn’t exactly standard fare. Though if you squint just right, she looks like a regular ol’ girl.

[] What kind of youkai is she, anyhow? You don’t know much about them.
[] You don’t know if she’ll believe you anymore but, for whatever it's worth, you do think she’s pretty.
[] It keeps on bugging you that she looks somehow familiar. Gotta prod more.
>> No. 27641
[X] It keeps on bugging you that she looks somehow familiar. Gotta prod more.

Go for the throat.
>> No. 27642
[X] It keeps on bugging you that she looks somehow familiar. Gotta prod more.

This is probably a bad idea, but now I'm curious.
>> No. 27644
[X] What kind of youkai is she, anyhow? You don’t know much about them.
>> No. 27645
[x] It keeps on bugging you that she looks somehow familiar. Gotta prod more.

Got a feeling bringing up the werewolf subject would only annoy her even more.
>> No. 27647
[x] You don’t know if she’ll believe you anymore but, for whatever it's worth, you do think she’s pretty.

I have to go for the obvious bait choice.
>> No. 27649
[x] It keeps on bugging you that she looks somehow familiar. Gotta prod more.
>> No. 27650
[x] It keeps on bugging you that she looks somehow familiar. Gotta prod more.
>> No. 27652
[X] It keeps on bugging you that she looks somehow familiar. Gotta prod more.
[X] You don’t know if she’ll believe you anymore but, for whatever it's worth, you do think she’s pretty.

If only one choice is allowed then remove the second.
>> No. 27657
[X] You don’t know if she’ll believe you anymore but, for whatever it's worth, you do think she’s pretty.

Not sure if being pushy is the best choice.
>> No. 27659
File 149316652242.jpg - (155.28KB, 450x425, smug woof.jpg) [iqdb]
27659
“Didn’t I see you at a wedding last year?” you ask.

“No,” she says firmly, any playfulness rapidly gone from her face.

“The harvest festival?” you ask again. A white dress seems about right, you reason.

“Definitely not,” she answers dourly, the lack of amusement growing more intense. Any more and it looks like she’s liable to maul you.

Regardless, you ask again, “a bar then? Restaurant? Just messing around the village?

“No, no and no!” she huffs, more upset than a normal person would be when faced with inane questions. But it’s not like you have a clear idea of why exactly she’s so… unambiguous in her answers. Sure, stupid questions don’t deserve much of an answer, but they don’t deserve sharp rebukes either. You get the feeling that if she hadn’t just helped you up from the ground, she’d happily have you pinned to the ground.

“I’m pretty sure I know you from somewhere,” you tell her. Though it’s equal parts a declaration as it is a question. There’s nothing more solid that you can use against her. It’s all conjecture and spotty memory.

“I don’t know you and you don’t know me, got it?” she clarifies with all the patience of a parent brandishing a belt in one hand. It’s clear to you that any more prodding will lead to physical discomfort. At best.

It’s the end of the subject and you’re not too sure where to go next. “So...” you trail off, pretending you have something insightful to add.

“…I’m not going to hurt you, if that’s what you’re wondering,” she says a sly smile manifesting itself on her lips. “Go on, you’re free to leave. If you’re not here for the performance later, you should just go back to your village.”

“Performance?” you ask.

“Need to know only,” she grins, her fangs a ready reminder that you could be killed at any moment. “Go on then, shoo.”

“I’m not a dog,” you tell her, thinking quietly, kinda unlike you. Somehow you suspect that the comparison would not flatter her much. Though there’s a part of you that would gladly pet her and run your fingers around the back of her head, scratching those big ears of hers. She’d probably enjoy it, too.

“Well, you’re not welcome in these woods,” she tells you, “humans aren’t supposed to be mucking around outside of the village at this hour.”

“I’ve got somewhere I have to be,’” you tell her, “you can’t keep me away from her.”

“And who is ‘her’?” she asks, a very smug look on her face. Whatever antipathy she may have shown earlier is replaced with idle curiosity.

“My one and true love,” you tell her, without missing a single beat. “Like I said earlier, I’m in love with a youkai.”

“Right, right,” she nods, as if it was something she should have kept in mind. “And who is this youkai?” she asks, like she doesn’t quite fully believe you,”someone who spends a lot of time in the village?”

“No, not really,” you answer. “She’s more of a an occasional presence. Every two weeks or so, for a single day. Sells medicine to us. Cute face, kind heart.”

“I’m sure,” she says, a clear level of sarcasm poisoning her tone. Reminds you a little of your friends’ reactions when everyone is sharing their tall tales full of alternative facts and wishful thinking.

You shrug, “well if you’re not going to eat me, I think I’ll just be on my way.” You don’t need her insinuating things about your beautiful youkai rabbit. If she doesn’t get it, she just loses out.

“You’re going to keep wandering all by yourself through the woods?” she asks. Her tone does not really convey concern, it’s more akin to bemusement. If you were in her position, you’d probably feel the same way. Not like you’re the very model of self-reliance or anything. Not by a long shot.

“I have to find her,” you tell her, “I feel like I’m pretty close.”

“No, not really,” she says, “at this rate you’ll die here before you find anyone else.”

[] Appeal to her decency and ask her to help you find the way.
[] You don’t need any help to find your one true love.
[] Pat her on the head, she’s a good wolf-like girl despite all the posturing.
>> No. 27660
[x] Pat her on the head, she’s a good wolf-like girl despite all the posturing.

>smug woof

send help
>> No. 27661
[X] Appeal to her decency and ask her to help you find the way.

Is it bad that I agree with what Kagerou is saying?
>> No. 27662
[x] Pat her on the head, she’s a good wolf-like girl despite all the posturing.

We're gonna get mauled for this, but we're going to the hospital anyway, so we'll be fine.
>> No. 27663
[X] Pat her on the head, she’s a good wolf-like girl despite all the posturing.

It'll be fucking worth it.
>> No. 27667
[x] Pat her on the head, she’s a good wolf-like girl despite all the posturing.

Sure.
>> No. 27669
Always bet on awoo
>> No. 27670
[x] Pat her on the head, she’s a good wolf-like girl despite all the posturing.

Can we just give up on the sex bunny and go for an awoo instead?
>> No. 27671
[x] Pat her on the head, she’s a good wolf-like girl despite all the posturing.

I forsee no danger.
>> No. 27672
[x] Appeal to her decency and ask her to help you find the way.
[x] Pat her on the head, she’s a good wolf-like girl despite all the posturing.
>> No. 27673
“More importantly...” you trail off. Crossing your arms, you try to get your thoughts organized. She follows your movements with a raised eyebrow, seemingly curious about what you’re going to say next. Probably that whole dying soon if you keep at it business. “It’s a pretty nice evening out, isn’t it? Not too cold or not too hot. I was worried the temperature would drop a lot.”

“What are you, stupid?” she sighs, both her shoulders and ears drooping. “Who cares about the temperature? Go back home.”

“Didn’t we meet during the winter?” you ask, “I was walking to my grandma’s house one day and I thought that someone was following me through the snow. Pretty sneaky-like, could have been a youkai like you.”

“Again with this?” she looks cross, her lips joining tightly together in displeasure. “No, we haven’t met before, stop asking.”

“Somehow I don’t believe it,” you tell her, with another shrug, “I guess it’ll come back to me some other time.”

“I’ll be looking forward to it,” she says with no uncertain sarcasm. And, just like that, a little smirk forms on her lips. “Come on now, little boys like you ought to just give up and home. I’m going to be going my own way now, you’re on your own.”

She motions like she’s about to leave, giving a half-hearted goodbye with a wave of a hand. Her long, sharp and crimson nails look like they could poke a hole through solid barrel. It’s a gesture that’s no doubt calculated for maximum intimidation, in order to get you to finally leave.

“Hold up,” you stop her.

“What?” she frowns, “if this is about how you think you’ve seen me before, I swear that I’ll...” she opts to finish her sentence with a mixture of an unintelligible (curse?) word and a growl.

You smile at her. Without any hesitation you reach out towards her. It doesn’t seem like she was expecting the move, as she could have swatted down your arm at any moment. You pat her on the head, telling her, “you’re a good person. You were nice enough to talk to me and warn me because you care if I get hurt.”

Youkai have pretty soft hair, you find yourself thinking as you try not to muss up her hair too bad. Whether she's a youkai or not, a woman’s hair is her life. Another nugget of wisdom you’ve learned from your granny. So, yeah, it’d be pretty rude of you to mess her hairdo up. There’s a temptation to stroke her hard, maybe just behind the ears, and make a real mess of things. Would be overkill for a first encounter. You’re not some kind of monster. It’s harder still to brush aside the impulse to say “good girl” and tell her she’s special.

There seems to be some confusion in her eyes about just what is going on. Confusion that quickly becomes realization. And then a range of emotions show in her eyes. The one that she eventually settles upon isn’t the one that you would have preferred. Without even hesitating, she grabs your hand by the wrist and forcibly removes it from her head. She then hold on tight and, without ever breaking eye contact with you, bites down on it. Hard.

“Ow,” is what you would have liked to have said. But what comes out is a string of expletives, both real and made up on the spot. It hurts way more than you thought was possible, like her teeth specifically targeted all the nerves in your hand. What’s more, in the instant after she withdraws her teeth, blood begins to gush out at a alarming rate.

There’s tears in your eyes before you know it. An involuntary reaction to shooting pain.

“Weirdo,” she says quietly but firmly. Evidently not proud of what she’s done but she’s playing it like it was a necessary evil. Her carmine eyes follow the same-colored blood that’s now dripping onto the forest floor. It feels like she wants to ask if you’re going to do anything about it, but doesn’t want to encourage you to interact with her any further.

[] The medicine your true love sold you will fix everything
[] Bite her back to see how she likes it
[] Wipe away the tears and ignore the wound completely
>> No. 27674
[x] The medicine your true love sold you will fix everything
>> No. 27675
[X] Wipe away the tears and ignore the wound completely.
-[X] Laughs and bit her farewell.
>> No. 27676
[X] The medicine your true love sold you will fix everything

How has this man lived so long without dying yet.
>> No. 27677
[X] Wipe away the tears and ignore the wound completely
-[x] Walk away awkwardly
This guy is something else.
>> No. 27678
[X] Wipe away the tears and ignore the wound completely.
-[X] Laughs and bid her farewell.
>> No. 27679
[] The medicine your true love sold you will fix everything

Delusion station.
>> No. 27680
[x] The medicine your true love sold you will fix everything

Let's hope this isn't some of Eirin's more "experimental" medicine.
>> No. 27681
[x] The medicine your true love sold you will fix everything
>> No. 27682
File 149331359642.jpg - (88.56KB, 1200x1200, saved.jpg) [iqdb]
27682
I'll be writing now, instead of later, because there's a good chance I'll be busy. It's near the full amount of votes I've been getting, anyhow. With the same amount logical consistency that anon is renowned for.
>> No. 27683
File 149331749079.jpg - (331.58KB, 1004x1665, loup.jpg) [iqdb]
27683
It’s with some glee that you remember that you have a little something that should take care of your problem. You smile at her because of the supreme confidence that you and your hand will be alright. The smile seems to confuse her, and her eyes widen some as she looks hard at your face. Trying to figure out why you aren’t whimpering or filled with anger, no doubt.

Yeah, you ought to be somewhat angry. She bit your left hand, your dominant hand. As someone who often has to fill out ledgers and write, it’s a complete pain to work with your other hand. Smudges are the least of your concern, that said, the actual pain of cramped fingers because they’re not used to the work is much worse. It’s enough of a bother to reach into your pockets with your right hand right now. But it’s worth it.

You eye the little pouch that you bought with some expectation. For the moment, the girl’s curiosity seems to match your own. She follows your every move silently, her eyes fixed on your clumsy attempts to carefully undo the little knot at the top of the cloth. When you finally get it open, you discover that the contents are a little white powder. Innocuous enough, but the proof of your love’s infinite compassion for all living things. It feels like any problem in the world can be fixed by the medicine’s application.

There is some question as to how to apply the powder. Rub on wound, ingest directly, mix with something else like a liquid? You’re not too sure about that. Nor are you really sure about the required dose. Well, doesn’t really matter, you reason. There is no way possible that there’s a wrong way to take in her love.

So you pinch a bit of the powder between your fingers and then apply it directly to the wound. The blood flow isn’t particularly wild but it’s steady enough that by now little droplets of blood are starting to roll off the tips of your fingers. The powder mixes with the blood, becoming something like a paste. Or maybe sludge, given its viscosity. It has no immediate effects and you happily apply some more to where the youkai bit you.

Just in case you haven’t quite figured it out. You also swallow some of the powder. It has an acrid taste, like ash or coal and almost immediately bonds with your saliva. It’s hard to swallow as it begins to stick to the inner walls of your mouth and throat. Eventually, with enough saliva and determination, you manage to get a reasonable amount of the stuff down.

That just leaves you with a little bit more of the medicine in the pouch, which you decide to keep in case you need more later.

“I’ll be fine,” you tell the girl who has been watching you silently all of this while. “I forgive you because you gave me a chance to try something my love made.”

“So is that some sort of miracle powder?” she asks, eyeing your still-bleeding hand.

“It must be,” you answer.

“...you don’t know what it does but took it anyways?” there’s disbelief written all over her face. You can’t blame her. She doesn’t know what true love is. That trust you instinctively feel. In a way, you pity her, because you can’t share your feelings with her.

“It must be good for me, otherwise she wouldn’t have given it to me,” you share your logic. It’s not hard to understand.

Her ears droop more, becoming almost entirely flat. She scratches her cheek lightly as if trying to think of something else to say. But she can’t think of anything and sighs. She grabs your hand again and brings it to her mouth. Instead of biting it again, she forcefully turns it so the back is towards her lips. And then licks it. Her tongue moves methodically up and down your hand, lapping up any excess blood and leaving behind a slick coating of saliva. She turns your hand and does the same for your palm. She even kisses the tips of your fingertips, sucking up the stray drops about to fall. Your hand is moist all over by the time she lets go.

“Press where the biggest hole is with your fingers,” she says, grabbing your other hand with some force. Your fingertips start to feel sticky when pressing against the mix of residue blood, saliva and flesh. “Until it stops bleeding keep the pressure on.”

“Um, okay,” you say dumbly, not sure what’s brought on what you assume is an act of kindness from her perspective. She lets go and rubs a finger on her blood-stained lips. She then smacks them. When she senses that that’s not enough to get rid of your blood, she passes her equally-stained tongue over them, spreading a thin and shiny coating of saliva. At last, with some frustration she wipes her mouth with one of those long sleeves of hers.

“You’re going to die out here,” she says finally. Her ears perk up and her features harden as certainty dominates her expression.

“I’ll be fine-” you start to tell her again.

“You’re going to die out here,” she repeats with some finality, interrupting you, “unless I change my plans for the evening. So you’re coming with me.”

“Oh, but it’s okay,” you tell her, “I don’t want to put you out or anything.”

“This isn’t a discussion,” she says, grabbing onto your shoulder. Her long nails begin to dig into your flesh through your clothes. It’s an implicit threat of violence if you dare to refuse her kindness. “You’re coming with me. Now.”

There’s nothing else to do but let her chaperon you. You were right, she is a good girl. For her to be so concerned about a stranger, especially a human stranger, is touching.

“What?” her expression refuses to soften, and suspicion is dead-set in her tone.

[] You are glad to have made a nice and kind friend like her
[] With her help, you’ll be seeing your true love again in no time
[] You’ve always wanted to go on an adventure with a youkai
>> No. 27684
[x] You are glad to have made a nice and kind friend like her
Let's positive thinking!
>> No. 27685
[x] You are glad to have made a nice and kind friend like her

Anything else would be taking Kagerou's kindness for granted, so let's go with this.
>> No. 27686
[X] You are glad to have made a nice and kind friend like her

He would die without her, no question.
>> No. 27687
[X] You are glad to have made a nice and kind friend like her

We're...

We're not gonna' build a harem of concerned nannies, are we?
>> No. 27688
[X] With her help, you’ll be seeing your true love again in no time
>> No. 27689
[X] You are glad to have made a nice and kind friend like her

Nothing like a tiny bit of bloodloss to help make good decisions.
>> No. 27690
[X] You are glad to have made a nice and kind friend like her

Wouldn't it be funny if Reisen turned out to be a massive cunt?
>> No. 27691
>>27690
And the MC, in his delusions, assumed that she's being ultra-kind or something.
>> No. 27692
[x] You are glad to have made a nice and kind friend like her
>> No. 27693
>>27687
Do it.

[X] You are glad to have made a nice and kind friend like her
>> No. 27695
“You’re really nice,” you tell her, the smile firm and warm on your face. The second best thing to happen you that day was, no doubt, meeting her. “I’m glad we’re friends.”

“We've just met.” It seems that she’s unimpressed and looks just about ready to roll her big red eyes. Such a kidder, this one.

“Yeah, but you’re being kind. You’re going to help me out now. Isn’t that level of solidarity normal in a friendship?”

“I guess,” she frowns, failing to think up a better response. Her arms cross for a brief moment and she seems to think. But if there’s anything that comes to her mind, she chooses not to share it. Instead engaging in further conversation, she urges you to follow her. Adopting a tone that smacks of self-confidence, she leads you back into the bamboo maze and remarks, “come on, we’re wasting time.

You follow, chuffed that your relationship is going so well. It’s all that you can talk about, really. She doesn’t really share much about herself, but it’s okay, you fill in the silence by talking about how much it means to you that there’s good people like her around in the world.

There’s moments that she fires back, acting annoyed. But you know it’s all just an act, a way to make it seem that she’s keeping a modest distance. There’s the whole human-youkai cultural divide between you. It must be fear of setting down on the wrong course without getting to know you better first that keeps her from betraying much in the way of genuine emotion. First day together, so it’s baby steps all the way. It’s something she points out at one point, stating in response to your optimistic comments, “I bit your hand. That isn’t exactly something close friends do to one another.”

“That’s not really a big deal,” you reply, “friends fight sometimes too. But it makes their bonds grow closer once they move past it. I once got into a fistfight with one of my dearest friends when I was in school. Once we patched things up, we’ve been like brothers for the last ten years. Since you’re taking me along, holding my hand, I think that the groundwork is in place for great things to come from our friendship.”

“I’m just holding your hand because you’d get lost otherwise,” she growls, tugging on your unhurt hand as if to tell you that you should hurry up. For a while she’s been crashing through the foliage without hesitation. It’s loud, tiresome work to clear a path. It seems that she’s gotten a little tired of it. Her hand has gotten sweaty.

And so has yours. More than that, your entire body has all of a sudden started feeling hot. It’s a kind of weird heat, though, one that feels white-hot in the depths of your stomach and is spreading all across your body in waves. It numbs your muscles so that all the trudging you're doing through underbrush feels about as tiring as breathing. You can’t say that you feel good but you can’t say that it feels bad either. Most of your sensory awareness of the world kind of just melts away.

You hope that you won’t start sweating too much. It simply wouldn’t do to meet your true love with your brow slick with sweat and a body odor that could instantly curdle milk.

You stop by another clearing. This one is artificial as it gets. Bamboo grows quickly so any sort of space that’s got such a clear round edge to it has to be constant work to keep perfect. In the center of this perfect space is a lone cottage. It’s not much to look at – made from wood brought from somewhere else and with a likely one or two small rooms inside. A wisp of smoke is coming from the back and lights flicker through a small window. There’s someone home.

“There,” she lets go of your hand and looks at you, “knock on the door. You’ll be able to go back home afterwards.”

“Eh?” you look at her quizzically. The heat in your stomach has worked its up to your head. Thinking about things is a little hard at the moment. Your more complex thoughts keep getting… interrupted? There’s a lot that you can and do think about. Most of which has little to do with the thought that precedes it.

“I can’t keep babysitting you all night, I have other things to do,” is her cold follow up. She points to the cabin with her chin, motioning for you to go up to the door and knock.

[] Go on ahead, she’s done enough.
[] Hold her hand tightly so she doesn’t leave.
>> No. 27696
[X] Go on ahead, she’s done enough.

We don't want to bother our friend, right?
>> No. 27697
[X] Go on ahead, she’s done enough.

Either way, I feel something bad's about to happen, so may as well not be impetulant to the awoo.
>> No. 27699
[x] Go on ahead, she’s done enough.

Don't forget the entire point of coming to the forest.
>> No. 27700
[x] Go on ahead, she’s done enough.
[x] Promise to come back and deepen our friendship.

Such a kind act shouldn't go without recompense. We can come back with some rib-eye steaks or treats for the doggy.
>> No. 27701
[x] Go on ahead, she’s done enough.
[x] Promise to come back and deepen our friendship.
>> No. 27703
[x] Go on ahead, she’s done enough.
[x] Promise to come back and deepen our friendship.
>> No. 27704
>>27697
Uh-oh. We, uh, just got bit by a werewolf and just rolled with it. The panic we should have had never happened.
[X] WHAT PHASE OF THE MOON IS IT.
>> No. 27705
[x] Go on ahead, she’s done enough.
[x] Promise to come back and deepen our friendship.
>> No. 27706
[x] Hold her hand tightly so she doesn’t leave.
Pls don't go. Do want awoo
>> No. 27707
[x] Go on ahead, she’s done enough.
>> No. 27709
[X] Go on ahead, she’s done enough.
>> No. 27710
[x] Go on ahead, she’s done enough.
[x] Promise to come back and deepen our friendship.

I get the feeling this won't be the last of her.
>> No. 27711
[x] Go on ahead, she’s done enough.
[x] Promise to come back and deepen our friendship.

>>27704
MOTHERFUCKER. We're in for some shit, aren't we?
>> No. 27712
There’s a few words that you blurt out. They’re sincere but maybe not quite coherent thoughts. The warm numbness in your head is responsible for that.

Your thoughts are coherent enough for you to do as you’re asking without complaining, though. So you cross the distance to the cottage and to its simple wooden door. There’s no knocker or anything. Or a lock by the looks of it. Still, it’d be rude to just barge in.

You take a final look back towards your companion before knocking. She’s nowhere to be seen. Whatever she had to do tonight was probably real urgent. That’s a reasonable interpretation. And so, after mouthing a final silent goodbye, you rap on the door.

The smell of food lingers in the air, now that you pay attention. It’s nothing too distinct, no pungent spices that dominate the fragrance. Maybe roasted vegetables or some sort of mild stew. Earthy and simple. Kinda like the cottage itself. Pretty amusing connection, you think to yourself.

There’s a smile on your face when the door opens. A young girl with long, pale hair answers the door. She studies you silently, her eyes scanning from head to toe. “Um, hullo,” you greet her, finding that she’s not exactly too keen on speaking first.

The girl crosses her arms. Though she is somewhat smaller in stature and definitely more delicate-looking that you are, she has a surprising amount of presence. More than you see yourself having normally. Maybe she’s not used to talking to people either? It’s not that you think she’s unfriendly, that’d be rude to assume, but it’s fair to say that she is not about to engage you in the inane pleasantries typical of human interaction.

“Hey, nice home, looks cozy,” you say, blurting out thoughts at forefront of your mind. Anything else requires too much effort. And from what you can see from the intimate lighting behind her, it’s probably a fair assumption. “I was told to come here, I’m looking for help since I got a bit lost in these woods.”

“...yeah?” she asks, looking around to see if you’re alone.

“My friend is gone, sadly. Was a nice youkai with cute ears and brown hair. Long red nails and scary te – well that’s not important. She’s a good friend. I’m a human, though,” you say, “pretty normal guy.”

“...” she stares at you, her face betraying no emotion. If there’s any curiosity about her, she hides it well.

You’d love to explain it all to her in much more detail. Maybe over a cup of tea. Or cold water. Something. Whatever gets rid of the urky feeling that’s come all over you. The heat is sultry, disabling most of your systems. Though you can’t really feel your legs, you “know” they in the process of giving up on providing support. As the girl stands before you, you drop to your knees.

“Absolutely… normal...” you say quietly, feeling like it’s too much effort to even look up at the girl. Idly, you think to yourself, strange to see a girl wearing trousers.

She finally moves, to do something. Or maybe say something. You’re not too sure. There’s a whole different thing going on with you. Something hot, different than the feeling in your head works its way up your stomach and your throat. Bitter, sweet, white and red, it then erupts out of your mouth. And onto the floor and her shoes. And some onto your hands, instinctively placed to brace yourself. It really hurts; the feeling is that your insides are all trying to crowd through your mouth at once.

It’s not long after that the heat wave gets to be a little too much. It’s like staying too long in a hot spring: the result is that you are completely lightheaded. A second wave of brackish liquid comes out of your mouth, hurting just as bad. You slump onto your side and close your eyes. There’s nothing else you could possibly do.

Except apologize. Granted, when you come to. Whenever that is. Feels like it’s going to take a while. But it’s the last coherent thought you remember...

[] Flowers are key
[] Sweets are better
[] Nothing beats a heartfelt poem
>> No. 27713
[X] Nothing beats a heartfelt poem
>> No. 27714
[x] Nothing beats a heartfelt poem
>> No. 27715
[x] Nothing beats a heartfelt poem

This guy is fucking dying.
>> No. 27716
[x] Sweets are better

I much prefer chocolate to bad poetry.
>> No. 27717
[X] Flowers are key

Wow, he should really seek help. Psychiatric help.
>> No. 27718
[x] Sweets are better

Any chance of the midnight boombox antics we failed to get in the last Reisen route?
>> No. 27719
[X] Sweets are better

Through the stomach we shall go!
>> No. 27720
[x] Nothing beats a heartfelt poem

Only he can pull this off without dying of embarrasment
>> No. 27721
[x] Nothing beats a heartfelt poem
>> No. 27722
[x] Nothing beats a heartfelt poem
>> No. 27723
[x] Nothing beats a heartfelt poem

So this is what it's like to become a werewolf for the first time, eh? Oh dear.
>> No. 27725
File 149350124317.png - (1.04MB, 857x1604, a bird with a fag.png) [iqdb]
27725
It’s a morning like any other. The steady soft sound of rain provides a comfortable cushion for your return to reality. You groan, stifle a yawn and slowly open your eyes. A somewhat unfamiliar ceiling looms above you. The cottage. The memory of your arrival is still fresh. So fresh that you can remember the exact sensations that dominated your body before you passed out.

You sit up. Not hurriedly, mind, but with enough urgency so that it shows that you want to make sense of what followed your collapse. It’s then that your sense of smell decides to return; the damp scent of wet earth from outside is mixed in with the subtle smells of a kettleful of herbal infusions somewhere. It’s a relaxing combination, much better than the smell of sick and blood which had filled your nostrils just before you lost consciousness.

There’s a candle lit on a simple dresser next to you. Next to the bed. The simple straw bed that you’re lying on. It crunches reassuringly as you shift your weight and look around. The cottage is sparse, save for a stove, a pair of chairs, the bed and the dresser, there’s only a few hooks on the walls with some clothes pegged to them and not much else. It’s cozy and lived-in but by no means what you’d call a proper home.

It’s on one of those chairs, facing one of the windows on the front of the house, that your host is minding her own business. She sits with her legs against the wall, the rest of the chair tipped back precariously at an unstable angle. If she stopped pushing off suddenly, she’d no doubt fall clear off the wooden chair.

There’s a reserved look about her, like she doesn’t quite connect to the world around her. With the noise you’ve made, you’re certain she’s noticed that you’re awake. Yet she doesn’t so much as glance in your direction, instead looking out at the falling rain outside. The lethargic look is what would probably suit you better, given the circumstances of your arrival.

“Good morning,” you greet her, trying not to sound either too apologetic or overly eager. Either seems out contrary to the mood. “Thank you for taking me in,” you add with a smile, nothing that your left hand has also been bandaged. It’s been at least a few hours. With an overcast sky limiting the light outside, it’s hard to tell, but you think it’s very early morning still.

“...” it feels like she acknowledges your presence without looking at you. She leans back further in her chair and raises her arms behind her head, providing a makeshift headrest.

“Like I said, I was lost and I needed a bit of help,” you tell her, trying to form some sort of connection, “I’m Moroboshi, just your average villager.”

“...Fujiwara,” she says, adding nothing else.

“Well, Ms. Fujiwara, thanks again, I feel that I owe you my life.”

“...”

You clear your throat, and do your best to say the words engraved in your memory, “it may not be much, but I feel it’s appropriate…”

“Enough,” she interrupts your recitation before the end of the stanza, “you won’t please me with either waka or kanshi.”

“Oh, but… alright,” you slump your shoulders, feeling a little dejected. You thought for sure that the a poem by the princess would do the trick.

“Lie still, before you empty what remains of your insides on my floor again.”

“I feel fine now,” you say, feeling very embarrassed, “it won’t happen again.” None of that heat or those wonky feelings that assailed you last night are at all present. In other words, you’re as fine as you’ve ever felt.

“...” she doesn’t say anything else. Instead, she rocks her chair back and forth some and then flicks a strand of her long hair off of her face.

[] Lie in bed quietly. Let the shame sink in.
[] You need her help, tell her about your mission.
[] Imposing any more would be rude, leave and be on your way.
>> No. 27726
[X] Lie in bed quietly. Let the shame sink in.

SHAME.
>> No. 27727
Shame? This MC? U sure m8?

[X] Imposing any more would be rude, leave and be on your way.
>> No. 27728
[X] Lie in bed quietly. Let the shame sink in.

Wouldn't be much point in coming here if we were to just leave so soon.
>> No. 27729
[x] You need her help, tell her about your mission.

He's never been very secretive about his goal. And Mokou knows where Reisen lives, going alone would be stupid.
>> No. 27730
[x] You need her help, tell her about your mission.
>> No. 27731
[x] Imposing any more would be rude, leave and be on your way.
>> No. 27732
[X] Lie in bed quietly. Let the shame sink in.

I wanna see what kind of initiative Mokou shows.
>> No. 27733
[x] Imposing any more would be rude, leave and be on your way.
>> No. 27734
It's been over a day, and there doesn't seem to be much in the way of additional activity. It's probably safe to say that waiting for more votes is futile. I will flip a coin to break the tie and write.
>> No. 27735
It easier to relax, to reflect and survive the silence inside of Fujiwara’s home with your thoughts elsewhere. The alternative is to succumb to the cheek-brightening shame of having inconvenienced a stranger in such a spectacular manner. You did enough of that, agonizing about the fact that she had to clean the sick you spewed all over her floor and then move you to a bed. Showing up somewhere unexpectedly, looking for help for something selfish was something you felt would be frowned upon in the best of times in polite society.

The steady rainfall outside provides a convenient focus for your thoughts. Late spring showers provide the already-blooming flowers and abundant grasses with more than enough water to keep on growing for a while yet. In the village, farmers would be thankful for extra water for the warm-season crops as long as the downpour isn’t too excessive. Floods around this time of year are rare enough but, if they happen, they can wash away topsoil and sometimes the still-growing plants.

“Drink,” Fujiwara commands, ripping you away from your thoughts about crops and rain and gruffly shoving a leather canteen in front of your face. You were so resigned to looking up and letting your mind wander that you didn’t even hear her move.

“Thanks,” you grab the canteen and help yourself to a drink. Fujiwara returns to her chair casually, not bothering to watch if you follow through with her order. You’re pretty thirsty. No doubt all the vomiting you did last night has something to do with it. Though you pace yourself, drinking only tiny sips, you manage to finish off all the water within what you think is a half hour.

And then it’s back to silence and meditation. Mainly in the form of staring at the ceiling and listening to the rain. This once again ends in another interruption.

“Eat,” she commands again, this time around shoving small bowl in front of you. You nod and take it, once again watching her return to her chair silently. It contains some rice and a pickled bamboo shoot along with a pair of chopsticks. You eat it gladly, finding that your hunger is easily stimulated by the sight of food. You eat with such relish that you start to question whether or not you were even sick to begin with.

After you finish eating, you place the bowl next to the empty canteen on the small dresser with the candle on it. Then you sigh and sit up fully once and for all. It registers no response from your host, who continues to stare out her window silently. Emboldened by her massive indifference, you eventually find the rest of your strength and stand up. This elicits no further response, which in turn, makes you take a few steps closer. And grab a chair. You place it next to hers and join her in staring out the window.

“The ceiling got boring,” you say quietly, feeling that you ought to justify yourself as pointless as it may be. As expected, there’s not much excitement going on outside either. A grey sky, light rain and green bamboo as far as the eye can see. The real benefits to sitting by the window is that a steady current of air makes its way past you, seemingly taking away any lingering feelings of illness that may have had.

Some time passes. It’s hard to say how much. Everything seems so unchanging, so static. By your reckoning, it’s at least an hour of rain watching before she speaks up. It just as easily could have been only a few minutes. “More water?” she asks.

“Not yet,” you reply. Neither of you looks at the other, continuing your aimless vigil of the world beyond.

“...”

“...”

“...”

“...”

The complete lack of temporal awareness does strange things to you. As ridiculous as it may sound, just sitting there, an arm’s length from Fujiwara, gives you a sense of companionship. Camaraderie. Peace, even. It may be speculation from an idle mind, but it seems like it’s possible that she feels the same way. It’s something that would be ruined by any other complications.

So it’s somewhat surprising that she breaks the silence again. “Are you afraid of dying?” she asks, her head tilting slightly in your direction.

It’s a question that takes you aback. Her tone isn’t hostile or dark or anything, she simply put the question forward as casually as one would ask about liking a type of food or color. If you were to ask her to repeat it or clarify what she meant, you feel that she would pretend as if she had never asked it in the first place. And you’d go back to the silence.

[] Sure, but probably no more than the average person.
[] You’ve never really thought about it.
[] No, it doesn’t worry you at all.
>> No. 27736
[X] I'm afraid of dying before I meet the love of my life. After that, I think I won't be afraid.

If write-ins are not allowed, then I vote for:
[X] No, it doesn’t worry you at all.
>> No. 27737
>>27736
I'm not against write-ins per se but I'd rather avoid them if possible because it can make tallying votes messy. Just saying what you'd like to happen in a comment is enough. If it's appropriate and people want it, I'll try to have it in there.

That said, your write in is more of the first choice than the third. And also the kind of thing the protagonist would just say anyhow based on previous things and choices made.
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