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9221No. 9221hidewatchexpandquickreply
This has taken far too long. I offer a wall as an apology

--------------------

[ ] Regardless of your enmity, Yukari was a worthy opponent. You must at least show her the respect that is due to the valiant dead.


You're just too tired right now. You feel like telling Marisa to go away, or simply to collapse on the ground. Your head sinks as the twin demands of worry and weariness exact their price from your tired limbs.

Yet not even your state of exhaustion can make you ignore the sudden irritation of small but insistent prodding to the side of your head. You turn to confront it, and are met with the perfetly sculpted head of Shanghai. The red-dressed doll regards you with concern evident from her elaborately painted features. She lands on your shoulder, reaches up and pats your head, as if comforting a child. Somehow this sensation feels extremely relaxing, awakening a soft, warm feeling within your chest.

And where there is a doll, there must be a master. Out of the corner of your eye you see the blue-red puppetmaker kneeling down beside you.

"Hello Sigurd, nice to see you again." You turn your head to meet Alice's warm smile. Her cheerful expression is quickly replaced by a concerned look as she sees your tired expression and ashen features. The dollmaker sighs softly and pulls a small napkin out of some hidden pocket in her dress.

"You look terrible though." She shakes her head as she starts wiping the grime, soot and ash off your face. You feel slightly taken aback by this sudden gesture of kindness. Maybe you have become too used to dark and intense emotions of late? In comparison this is but a small thing, yet you feel grateful from the depths of your heart.

"Aye, fair dollmaker. Fierce was the clash-of-spears, deadly the dance of spells." You calmly speak in reply. "Fire flared, stars sparkled this day. Steel and sorcery clashed, wielded by worthy warriors, we who fought beneath the gaze of Odin." Alice smiles slightly at your words and tucks away the napkin into her dress. The dollmaker eyes you critically for a few seconds, then she sighs softly, produces a clean napkin and con
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>>No. 28026
set your countenance and your will, upon those portals of soul! cringing spirit flees, but cannot escape its gaze, and is twice judged; the face of battle measures, exposes weakness; doubt, fear, sets upon itself; that beholding moment, that pierces mind, steals strength, locks limb; let the hoary eye of north channel odins consuming fury, his command, and despair!
>>No. 28027
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28027
>>28026
I don't know who you are, but I will find you and I will kill you. You bumped an old excellent story that has been dead for five years, just to shitpost. For that, I will give you no quarter.
>>No. 28029
>>28027

Eh, technically it's only been dead for a year and a half and Norseman has come back from longer, Necroanon just voted in the wrong thread.

You've still got a point though. Oh well, at least I got a good reaction pic out of this. Thanks for that, by the way.


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26421No. 26421hidewatchexpandquickreply
Previous: >>25129

-

I was past the point of no return.

Marisa entrusted herself to me wholly and, for better or worse, it was my responsibility to deal with her. Even though the turn of events were still hard to explain or rationalize it was still my actions that had directly led to them. As I silently held her closer I couldn't justify what I was about to do as something that was wholly outside of my control. Events bigger than me shaped my reality only partially, I always had the choice of dealing with them in different ways. Even if I couldn't change things I could at least perceive them differently. Little consolation that it was.

But that, too, was a pointless thought.

The impropriety of the situation wasn't lost on me. I didn't let any one emotion win out in the jumble that was my heart as I silently kissed Marisa on the forehead. She looked at me expectantly, the mere promise of my touch enough to make her breath quicken. The passion was physical, driven by need and lust rather than any emotional entanglement. This made things both easier and harder to rationalize. Her body pressed close to mine, greedily seeking my attention and affection.

I pressed back at her. My hands moved down from her neckline and hovered toward her chest. Modesty was one of the first casualties in the scenario, along with any hopes of detached reasoning, and Marisa cooed softly as I unfastened what little remained of her clothes. The feedback she gave me guided my actions. Every twitch and throb was a direct result of a caress or grope. Aural response accompanied the tactile output; Moans, groans and quiet panting all escaped her lips.

Though the objective was to help her I couldn't help but feel a good as well. The mostly naked girl gave herself wholly to me and entrusted her body to my care. Feeling her modest but girlish chest was outright fun – a gentle pinch of an erect nipple was enough to cause Marisa to let out the sweetest of cries. She was shamelessly lacking any composure and that emboldened me to make the most of t
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>>No. 27620
>>27619
We can always hope that she doesn't catch on. I mean, she is pretty arrogant, who knows, she might just let it pass.
>>No. 27624
>>27619
Doubtful, she knows that Arc thinks something is up. Being up front about it takes courage and audacity, this option will not squander the good will that Arc has built up with Mima. This is going to be fun.
>>No. 27626
>>27624
That's not the case for me, rather she's letting Arc do as he wishes because she feels he's not a threat, but rather an aide. Going up and asking her would likely play our hand for no gain.


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26829No. 26829hidewatchexpandquickreply
Part 1: >>26223
Part 2: >>26539

[-h-] …Do as she says. What can you do that she wouldn't simply shrug off, or worse?

------------

Quietly, you stare at the form of the girl lying on the ground in a pool of rapidly expanding blood. Her breath hitches as she sucks in air, her damaged lungs unable to suck in enough air to satisfy her desire. The urge to disobey Wriggle’s orders is strong, stronger than anything you've felt in quite a while. With Mystia's ruined body in front of you, so close and so fragile, your instincts and morals scream at you to run and comfort her.

As great as the desire is, though, you know that you cannot follow through with it. Wriggle is much stronger than you, and is quite insistent as to what you do now. You have no idea how she might react if you go out of your way to even so much as comfort the girl. So, you slowly fold your wings down and follow after the girl.

Walking down the steps, you realize that the walls were not entirely featureless. Either due to her presence or with some as of now unknown magic, Wriggle had summoned or lit braziers that now line the walls. At the level you are at now, the walls seem to be made of actual stonework. The moment you descend below them, though, the walls turn back into the rough rock that you are familiar with.

The whole time that you follow her, though, you curl your hands at the sight of her neck. How easy it would seem to be to just leap forward and cut it open, letting the blood spill out of that pretty little neck of hers… However, you stop yourself from giving into that anger. After seeing what she had done to Mystia, what could you do that would even have a chance at being effective?

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>>No. 27164
>>27159 Not that it's an excuse, but sentiments of hopelessness, "fuck Alice", "fuck the world" fueled the vote. Quite appropriate in-character, too.
>>No. 27166
Part Four: 27165
>>No. 27179
>>27166
Of all the times to not have a password. Proper link is >>27165


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26123No. 26123hidewatchexpandquickreply
[x] Defend the youkai

"Marisa, calm down! She didn't hurt me." I step closer to the magician, trying to put myself between her and the youkai.

"I-I'll just take my leave of you guys.." The spider starts to creep back up her thread.

"Wait, please." Alice's calm demeanor diffuses the situation. "I don't ask you to prove your innocence, but if you could help us for a moment, I'm sure my friend over here will abandon her 'blast first ask questions later' attitude. Is that acceptable?"

Everyone in the room nods all at the same time, as though puppets on strings. The doll master is certainly an interesting woman in more ways than one. She clears her throat before continuing.

"I won't ask for much. Do you know anything about a beast or the earthquakes around here?"

The spider puts a hand to her chin. "I don't know about a beast, but the quakes have been coming from some fighting in the tunnels. Apparently some of the underground's more rowdy inhabitants have been challenging some newcomer. I can walk you to the Ancient City if you like. They'll be able to give you more information."

We agree, and follow her through winding tunnels. The pace is slow and the atmosphere is that of a hostage situation. Marisa seems tense down here. I wonder what has someone so carefree so worried? Alice on the other hand is cool and collected. Her face isn't smiling, but her mannerisms are as polite as ever. On the way, the spider introduces herself as Yamame Kurodani. We all trade names with her as well, but the air isn't exactly amiable. She doesn't seem as nervous around me though, so I approach her.
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>>No. 26761
Tick tock, you bum.
>>No. 26956
[X] Ask yugi out to dinner.
>>No. 26958
>>26956
>Forest LA action
Oh, don't start that again.


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26539No. 26539hidewatchexpandquickreply
Part 1: >>26223

[-y-] I don't know what I am. Part human. Part bird. Part doll. None of them. All of them. Less yet more. To define myself, to attempt to encapsulate my entire being in such few, superficial words is a fool's venture, for none of us are merely the sum of our parts. If nothing else, then I will accept but this - I know not what I am, save that I am I.

------------

Taking her words to heed, you glance down at yourself, and the hands that are by your side. One that is still clawed and wicked, glinting in the light that leaks through the trees. The other is wooden and dull, not reflecting any light at all.

One part of it is alien, and one feels natural. Yet, at the same time, both are wrong. They are not your hands. This is not your body. You did not choose this. Instead, this was chosen for you. This is not how you want to be. This is the life you are forced to take and endure.

Then again, how is that any different from what you have always been? Your life before this was dull and dreary. It may have been safe, giving you enough money to keep a roof over your head while saving up for a rainy day and your retirement decades from now, but was it truly a life for you? Were you truly alive back then?

That life was not the one you wanted, either. Idly, you drift back to your own childhood, of what you wanted to be so long ago. What so desperately you wished to be real was not, and so you found yourself drifting on a path to mediocrity. It was not the path that you desired and aspired to, but it was the one you were forced to walk.

And now it comes down to a decision. Two paths that you can walk. You can succumb to the beast that you are now, to the primal urges to rip and tear guts large and small. All the same, you hear the song in your throat telling you that is not the only option. An embrace of the elements could be sought out, if only you so asked them to take you in.
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>>No. 26827
>>26826
I doubt attempting to barter her a piece of a broken watering can which we found in her own garden will help much, no matter how shiny it is.
>>No. 26828
The shiny thing that you found was a red herring. No more, and no less. It will prove to be shiny enough to distract Okuu, but you hardly have a reason to use it anymore, now do you?
>>No. 26834
Part Three: >>26829


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26223No. 26223hidewatchexpandquickreply
One of the many travails of life is how tedious it is. When one is young, they dream of their future life, and how great it will be. One believes that they will soon reach out and touch the stars, as if they were points of light just inches beyond his grasp. Fantasy is behind every nook and cranny, with legendary creatures hiding just out of sight.

As time begins to take its toll, one starts to realize that reality does not coincide with fantasies. There are no monsters that hide under one's bed. There are no fairies that dance among the trees, giggling as they watch the giant humans that ignore them. Stars are not just beyond one's reach; they are instead untouchable. Even as high as one can jump, he will never lay a finger upon them.

Realizations like that must be accepted, in order to grow. When one becomes a man, they must put away those things that are childish. Dreams and hopes are all well and good, but will dreams end up sustaining one? Will hope keep one's body warm when the shivering cold of the long night approaches? Worst of all, if one does keep those beliefs, one larger question looms.

If those hopes and dreams come true, are they something wonderful? Or are they, instead, just the opposite?

Such is life. Such is the life that everyone must accede to. Such is the life that you have agreed to. Where once you were a vivacious child, jumping and bouncing hither and thither in your joy, you are now just one of many. A face that is hardly different than any other in the crowd.

Where you once had your dreams, you now have tedium. Gray cubicles in a larger gray room are all that you know. Instead of touching stars, you now touch the keys on a board, writing documents that never seem to end. All of it done just so you can make it to the end of another week, and to start all over when you reach the next.

The contact you have with those like you is sparse, merely enough to survive the long days. Even if these are faces that you have seen for years, they are faces that you know no more than the names of. They could potentially become friends, maybe even something closer. However, you fear the ch
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>>No. 26537
[X] You don't know what you are. You may be part a bird, you may be part a doll, but you are neither and both. You are more. Accept it

Even if you're not a human/bird/doll thing that doesn't make you less than one or something... I don't know where I was going with that.
>>No. 26538
[X] I don't know what I am. Part human. Part bird. Part doll. None of them. All of them. Less yet more. To define myself, to attempt to encapsulate my entire being in such few, superficial words is a fool's venture, for none of us are merely the sum of our parts. If nothing else, then I will accept but this - I know not what I am, save that I am what I am, and that's all that I am.
>>No. 26540
Part Two: >>26539


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24655No. 24655hidewatchexpandquickreply
Previous Thread >>23522
Chapter 3

I apologize for the delay as I had to contend with work and a mind that just wouldn't focus.

-----
[X] I’d be honored to visit soon.
[X] Mother would be happy to hear that.

After thinking about it a little, I figure it’d be an honor. “I would be honored to visit your house, and I believe that my Mother would be happy to hear you’re coming over for dinner.” Happy, however, may be something of an understatement.

Wriggle smiles in response. “Sounds great! Could we head over to your house now? I wanted to look at some books with you while we still had time.” That actually reminds me of the book store in the area, though I don’t go to it much. My family already owns just about everything worth reading, and whenever something new is written Father ends up buying it.

“Sure, though I’m not sure if my parents are home or not at the moment.” Judging from the sun, it’s about the 16th or 17th hour of the day. Still, she takes my hand in hers and practically drags me home.

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>>No. 26632
>>26592

So, Saint's Row style shenanigans?
>>No. 26642
>>26632
I would say it'd be more akin to human trafficking among other mafia style activities. Nor are the people there particularly affable.
>>No. 26869
>>26706


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25129No. 25129hidewatchexpandquickreply
Previous >>23859
-


I poured through a few documents, trying to maybe find anything relevant buried within the text. A surprisingly common cause for any misfortune was the actions of a rogue magician. A witch, in the bad children-eating sense. Hexes and curses and spells with the power of dominion over others were the more common agents. But their elaboration and execution varied as wildly as the types of casters described. Most significantly, Alice did not seem to have any books that actually explained that sort of magic. It was natural, I felt. She had no interest in that sort of magic or doing others harm. At least not in such indirect ways.

A lot of the text was, well, of dubious quality. Some of it read like hearsay and baseless rumor. Particularly any reference to love potions. They always contained either mythical items, required a strangely unsound ritual or simply could not produce the intended effect. From what I could see, of the last category, you were lucky if you ended up only vomiting violently. Death was certain for the drinker for a lot of other formulas. It was so striking that I thought that it was maybe purposefully hazardous. So as to discourage any would-be fool and punish anyone who actually went through with it. Alice did not care about material luxury nor whimsical folly like using magic to alter someone's feelings. If there was anything to the idea, I wasn't going to find it in those books.

The most consistent cause for memory loss was, sadly enough, a curse. That didn't give me much to go on since curses were not 'hard' magic. They often involved spirits and things that went outside the normal scope of energy and powers. There was usually an external force, besides the caster, that kept the effects continuous. That was the distinction between a more direct spell that drained energy and a curse that sapped vitality. Still, it probably wasn't a curse. Usually marks appeared on the victim's body, quite prominently. One text equivalenced that curious side effect to a way for the hexer to brag and show off.
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>>No. 26252
[x] She's on her own

Something about this does not feel right. Do not take advantage of her.
>>No. 26253
[x] She's on her own

So this is why she wanted him to be next to Marisa when she wakes up? Alright, let's not.

Also what kind of choices are these? Aren't they a bit biased? All I read is:

[] Help your friend, like a true man and hero
[] Leave her alone to rot, you selfish prick.
>>No. 26261
>>26253
You lack sufficient cynicism. The first choice can clearly be read as: "[] Take advantage of an extremely vulnerable friend."

Seriously though, what other choices would there be in this situation?

And, uh, maybe updates very soon depending on how full my plate is.


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25526No. 25526hidewatchexpandquickreply
Thread 2! Hey, I'm alive!
I know a lot of people were ragging on me for dropping my other story, but I came out and said I would. This one went on break because of some personal life problems. I'm still here.
Also I feel like people may have deleted their votes for the last choice or something (besides the votespam) but I'll write with what the votes say now.

-----------------------------------------------

"I don't know." I respond quietly. "This story is so vaguely written. It is more of a legend than a historical account. I can't glean much from it. The people seemed to like him, but it doesn't say what he did. Sure, he killed some youkai, but did he kill ones that were a major threat? Or did he kill them just because he could?"

Keine smiles. "This is a part of interpreting history. Often times people only have a vague story written about them. Sometimes they seem great, other times, not so great. However.." She gives a small smile.

"This is just one account. There are other was to understand something. For example, this story is recent enough that some people may still be telling it and may know something about it. So, for your first assignment in my class, I'd like you to find out as much as you can. You are free to use any resources you can find, and you have until next week to report to me with your new opinion on the hero and his story."

She stands, and bows.

"Class dismissed." Keine gives a cute giggle while looking me in the eye. Class of one dismissed, huh? I suppose it is time to meet up with Marisa..
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>>No. 26114
[x] Defend the youkai. She didn't harm me yet.

That and Yamame is one of the nicer ones (I believe her profile more than biased documents)
>>No. 26115
[x] Defend the youkai. She didn't harm me yet.

Seriously, she wasn't threatening us or anything.
>>No. 26119
[x] Defend the youkai. She didn't harm me yet.


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22904No. 22904hidewatchexpandquickreply
Well, whatever. What happens in the beast's lair is none of your concern, as long as you and your human are safe. And since his offering seems to have appeased the beast itself, even put the both of you in its favour, you see no reason to go wandering. The sound repeats, slightly louder this time, almost insistent, and you just ignore it. The subsequent silence is almost petulant.

However, it is quickly broken by the return of the red-white. She sets down a small tray and pours tea for the three of you. Taking a place at the other side of the table, she relaxes quickly - or at least appears to. She settles onto one elbow.

"So. What do you want?" She cuts right to the chase. Your human doesn't answer immediately, instead electing to take a drink from his tea. He looks down at it curiously, and speaks.

"You know, if you use the smaller, lighter leaves, you get a much better flavour." He laughs at her expression. "Now, now, don't make that face. I had to make do with weed tea for a few years, myself. It's admittedly a bit of an acquired taste, but you learn a few tricks after a while." Curiously, you pick up your own cup and take a sniff. It's certainly a strong-smelling sort of tea. However, it's all you can do to keep from spitting it out when you taste it. It's really terrible. You make a face, and set the tea down. He continues, "But yes, I did come for more than to just give you money."

"Of course. What's your problem? A particularly troublesome youkai?" She slides her eyes over to you for the barest second. "Or maybe not. So? What is it?" She manages to somehow sound just as impatient as she does laid back. Taking a sip from her own cup, she looks as miraculously unperturbed by the taste as your human. ...Maybe it's just a human thing. Speaking of humans, yours is pulling that rectangle from earlier out. And a little stick. The terrible creature across the table simply looks slightly curious.

"Tell me a story."

“…Excuse me?” She’s surprised. Off balance.

“A story. You resolved all those
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>>No. 25650
[x] Attack the rabbits from behind.

Pincer attacks work wonders, and who cares about rabbits? We have to save our Human, and reach Hiosu Tensoku Giant Mima.
>>No. 25841
hahahah what?

[X] Attack the rabbits from behind.
>>No. 25934
[X] Attack the rabbits from behind.

We have the advantage of surprise. No one knows we're here. If we're fast enough, we can break through and escape before anyone registers we were even present in the first place.


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