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File 127241976255.jpg - (164.22KB, 1600x1064, thisisasquaredog.jpg) [iqdb]
[x] People.

“Where are there a lot of people? I want to see a whole bunch of them.”

“People?” She asks, bending down to slip on her shoes as well. “Sure, it's a weekday morning. There'll be plenty.”

“Weekday?” You ask, never having come across the term before.

“Instead of a weekend,” She says, “But I guess you don't worry about those things, do you?”

You shake your head, still not getting it. “Nope. I'm curious though~”

“Right,” She says, cracking open the door that leads to the inside, so that you can go down and outside. “Basically we work on weekdays, while weekends are more of a break.”

You nod. “So everyone's working today?”

“Not everyone,” She says, shrugging. “I mean, there's people without jobs, or people who took the day off. Strange youkai pretending to be humans too, I guess.”

Oh, that makes sense. Kind of. You'll ask more later, after you get back. A human wouldn't be asking all this stuff, because they don't need to. And you're pretending to be a normal human right now. Not a youkai that's pretending to be a human.

She takes you in the reverse path that you followed yesterday. Into the tiny room, then down, then out of the building. It's kind of obvious that she's a little nervous. Shouldn't she be pretending to be normal, too? Well, maybe pointing it out wouldn't be normal, so you don't.

Outside's a lot more noisy than it was yesterday. A bit more smelly. There's a whole bunch more cars on the road part, and a whole bunch more people on the sidewalk part. Little people, big people, all kinds. All wearing strange clothes. It's really strange here. They all look kind of... weak, too. It's strange.

Strange. But it's not bad to see it. You follow behind Renko, who seems to be going somewhere in particular. After a little while, she stops. It looks like she wants to go forward, but there's a whole bunch of people in the way.

She notices your curious look, and shrugs. You want to ask, but... right. You can ask later. If you were a human you would know why all the other humans just stopped right here and...

Oh. Now they're moving again. But it looks like you're walking across the road...?

This is a hard game.

Renko turns to you after a little bit. “I figure I'll get some shopping taken care of while we're out,” She says, “I don't think we've got enough food to feed everyone. You guys certainly weren't expected.”

Shopping? Food? Right, don't ask. You nod, and grin.

A little ways further down this side of the road road for humans, you see someone. A lady, wearing a nice red coat, and a... dog? Yeah, you think that's what it is. It's all tied up and stuff, and it looks like it's leading her around. Funny. You'll ask about that when you're pretending to be a human who isn't pretending to be another human. She's going really slow (and the dog is really tiny and kind of square), so it's not long before you and Renko pass her.

You look at the dog as you pass, and it looks at you.

And it gets angry. Well, not really. It's trying to pretend to be angry to scare you, you think, but it's not very good at it. It's too tiny and cute.

The lady that's being dragged gives the dog a tug. It looks at her, and back to you. Barking, growling a little.

“I'm so sorry,” The lady apologizes, trying to calm the dog down. It doesn't seem interested, though, and keeps barking. “What's gotten into you today?” She asks the dog, almost like she's expecting an answer.

It keeps barking.

Renko motions for you to follow. Oh, right. You stopped to watch. You wave to the woman and the dog (who keeps barking), and keep moving. And after a little while, you look back. It's still watching.

The store isn't much further. You want to yell out about how huge it is, but... most humans would know that, right? So you just yell out on the inside. It's huge. You could fit all the stores in the human village in this one, you think. There's people walking around, looking at things, talking to other humans...

Most of this stuff doesn't look like food. It's all weird and colorful, but you don't think you can eat most of it. But there's definitely food here somewhere, because you can smell it. Weird.

… as you walk, something catches your eye. This place has rows of stuff, and you have to go down the rows to get things in them. But... this thing was on the end. And since you're following Renko, you almost miss it.

Almost. You can't help but go back and look at it.

It looks exciting, whatever it is. There's a drawing of a man on front, but it's really funny looking. His hair's a solid piece, and a solid color. And there's a lot of colors around him; red, yellow, red, yellow. Like rays shooting off of his head. And he kind of looks like he's in pain, but maybe not?

… oh, where'd Rekno go? You take a quick look down the aisle, but she's not there.

[ ] Find her. And bring this with you.
[ ] Find her.
[ ] Let her find you.
A lame title, but it's less lame than a not title. Maybe.
[x] Let her find you.
[Q] Let her find you.
[x] Let her find you.
[X] Let her find you.

I think of Corgis as more of a rectangle, but that's because I see them more from the top than the front.
[X] Let her find you.

>His hair's a solid piece, and a solid color. And there's a lot of colors around him; red, yellow, red, yellow. Like rays shooting off of his head. And he kind of looks like he's in pain, but maybe not?
I feel like I should recognize this, somehow.
[x] Let her find you.
Ronald McDonald.
That's what I thought at first, but Phobe probably would have commented on the fact that his skin is bright white.
Nothing today. Resume tomorrow. Etc.

... I'm going to try making this a normal thing for a while, I think. I think it might help my writing, because I'll have a lot longer to toy with the scene in my head before I write. Maybe I'll try to do double updates on the weekend or something to make up for it.

Sorry if the story is starting to slow down too much. But, I want to at least try this and see how it goes.
Thinking things through instead of making things up as you go is always better.
And if you slow down maybe you could make bigger updates.
I am all for it.
[x] Let her find you.

>His hair's a solid piece, and a solid color. And there's a lot of colors around him; red, yellow, red, yellow. Like rays shooting off of his head. And he kind of looks like he's in pain, but maybe not?
This is going to bug me to no end. Now I'll have to search for this next time I go shopping... I suppose the cereal isle would be the best place to begin a search for colorful packaging.

>and the dog is really tiny and kind of square
Friggin' Japan and their friggin' watermelon-shaped dogs.
>Friggin' Japan and their friggin' watermelon-shaped dogs.
But Corgis are from Wales.
>His hair's a solid piece, and a solid color. And there's a lot of colors around him; red, yellow, red, yellow. Like rays shooting off of his head.
Maybe it's Advice Dog.

No, seriously, though. The cereal aisle might not help if it's a Japanese product, since it sounds like something they'd have on a package.
Plus, a Japanese game face is hard to distinguish from a got-kicked-in-the-nuts face, so who knows.

>watermelon-shaped dogs
In Japan the watermelons are square, so the square dogs are watermlon-shaped.
[x] Let her find you.

Well, she can find you if she wants. It's easier to find someone if they don't move, so you decide to stay put.

There's a lot of interesting stuff here besides that... well, whatever it is. Down a little further is another thing that's similar, but it got blue and yellow instead of red and yellow. And the guy on the front looks more happy than the one on the red-yellow one.

The people walking by, well, they aren't as interesting as what you saw outside. Most of them seem like kind of boring humans; there's a few of these in the human village, too. Just kind of doing stuff. Nothing exciting, though, and it shows on their faces.


You turn around. Renko's back.

“Try to stick close, all right?”

You nod, and then look back to the red-yellow thing. “I had to see what this was, though.”

“Habenaro crackers,” She offers, taking a quick look at the package. “Do you like spicy stuff?”

You shake your head, still not sure how that could be food. “Is it really spicy?”


Oh. That might explain the guy, then. Maybe he ate some of them. Not the rays shooting off of his head, though... although you can understand the red.

“I've only got a bit more to get,” Renko says, motioning to her basket of stuff. There's a lot of vegetables in it, and not so much colorful stuff. “So let's get it.”

Again, you nod. You don't want that thing if it's spicy. You can leave it there.

A few more vegetables, a few more other things that look kind of boring, some rice. You wonder why she's avoiding all the colorful stuff? Maybe it's not as good. Lots of maybes today. You'll be glad when you can ask things again.

After all the food is gathered up, you both go to the front of the store. There's more rows, but the people on one side of the row all seem to be wearing the same things. And it looks like you pay them, so... they must be assistants. You wonder where the owner is? He's usually the one that takes the money, even if there are assistants.

Renko “pays” by using some sort of card on a machine. At this point, you're just standing by and watching. The assistant lady says thanks for the business, and says that she likes your hat. You do, too, but you also like the one you're wearing.

The walk back is uneventful. Less cars and a little less people, you think (because you still can't count them all), and no dogs.

It's all too soon before you can see that building with all the houses in it. Although, looking up, something seems a little weird.

You were hoping you could see what square or three were the ones you could look out of. There's a small shelf on the outside of the big squares, because you guess the open up and you can go outside in the middle of the air. But, there's one that sticks out. It looks like there's a big brown ball on the end of it, hanging between the bars.

Kind of like a nest?

[ ] Point it out.
[ ] Check it out, when you get back upstairs.
[ ] Call out, and see if Mystia can hear you~
I had the thought of splitting up my work into two days, but it will take a little while to get my ass into gear, so to speak. It would probably lead to longer updates once I make it a routine.
Please don't look too hard. I'll be fairly freaked out if you find something I made up in a real store somewhere.
[x] Check it out, when you get back upstairs.
I hope this has a tell Renko option in it.
[x] Check it out, when you get back upstairs.

It's best not to make a scene; though Mystia seems to have done that already.
[X] Call out, and see if Mystia can hear you~

Might as well.
[X] Point it out.

Someone dangling from the fire escape?
[X] Point it out.

Insect hive?
[x] Point it out.

Let the question-asking recommence.
File 127262664337.jpg - (46.39KB, 404x407, mageres.jpg) [iqdb]
[x] Point it out.
[x] Point it out.

[x] Point it out.

File 12726874022.jpg - (123.34KB, 404x407, the_other_box.jpg) [iqdb]
[x] Point it out.

You point at the brownish blob. Humans don't look up that often, so if you don't Renko might miss it. “What's that?”

Renko looks. And the she stops, and looks harder. And then she starts moving again, a bit faster than before. “... ugh. Whatever it is, it wasn't there yesterday.”

“Oh, it's something strange?”

She gives you a nod, but not much else. So fast. You've almost got to run a little to keep up with her fast walking. Into the box you both go.

Renko seems a little... agitated, so you decide it's best to not say too much at the moment. No need.

“That's not something you did, right?” Renko asks, as the elevator nears the place it's supposed to go.

You shake your head. “I don't think so.”

“It's pretty suspicious, so I thought I'd ask,” She says, sighing. “It better be something easy to get rid of, at least.”

The elevator opens, and she does her fast walk thing towards her apartment. You follow. Inside and – oh right, take off the shoes. But you're not sure how to get these off. Renko doesn't seem to want to wait for you this time, and, after slipping hers off she makes for that door leading to the outside.

You have to wait. Humans get kind of angry when people walk around inside with shoes on. Renko was too fast at taking hers off to watch, but you did see her give the string a tug. Which part, though? You try the loops first, but that doesn't work. Now there's just a knot. But, you can undo that, and...

“Need help?”

Renko's back, looking a little more complicated. Kind of agitated, but kind of... amused? Well, it's not something deadly, then.

In either case, you shake your head. “Only one more. What is it?”

“A nest,” She says, “Looks like your friend decided to sleep outside last night.”

You nod. That makes sense. “Oh, she made one?”

“She's a pretty sound sleeper, isn't she?” Renko continues, “Think you could wake her up? I'd do it, but waking up a sleeping youkai sounds like a really stupid idea. Even if she says she doesn't eat people.”

Wake her up? “Can't she sleep?”

“Not in a nest on the porch,” Renko adds, frowning. “Seriously. I hope the landlord doesn't drop by today...”

After getting your other shoe off, you go out on to the porch to see what she means.

Definitely a nest, with Mystia curled up tightly inside. You can see how you would miss it from the inside, though; the door leading out there is actually a window, but you can't see the whole thing from inside the house. The corner that she's in is kind of hidden.


There's no response.

“I already tried that,” Renko says from behind you, still halfway inside the house. “Anything else seemed a little dangerous.”

You've never been woken up before, so you don't know how true that is for all youkai. Wriggle does get pretty grumpy if you wake her up, though. Mystia? You're not sure. She's not asleep if you go find her a while after you wake up, so you've never done it on accident.

[ ] We really can't let her sleep?
[ ] Try being louder.
[ ] Try a ranged attack.
[ ] Try shaking her a bit.
[X] Try a ranged attack.

This may spark up things.
[X] Try shaking her a bit.
[X] Try a ranged attack.
[x] Try shaking her a bit.
No need to get brutal.
[X] Try shaking her a bit.
[X] Try a ranged attack.
[f] Try shaking her a bit.
So is the nest just made from blankets or something? It'd be hard to get enough twigs up there without someone noticing.
[Q] Try shaking her a bit.
[x] Try shaking her a bit.
[x] Try a ranged attack.

Sleep on the roof next time, Mystia.
[Å] Try shaking her a bit.
[x] Try snaking her a bit.
[x] Try a ranged attack
[x] Try shaking her a bit.

Hmm. Maybe she'll feel it if you go up and shake her? You think you've seen people do that before, where they walk up and shake someone to wake them up.

You creep closer, crunching on some of the extra twigs that seem to have fallen off. It's a good feeling, breaking them with your feet; one thing you miss already. It's so... clean, here, and if you've got to wear shoes everywhere you'll never be able to do it.

The nest itself looks a lot like her old one. Smaller, you think, since she had to fit it on the balcony thing. You certainly couldn't fit in this one with her. So peaceful. Waking her up almost seems wrong.

Either way, you reach over the edge. The nest is really solid, enough that you can feel the twigs poking into your jacket (which you haven't gotten off yet) and up into your chest a little. You wonder where she got all these? It's not like there's a lot of trees around here.

Shake shake.


Shake shake.

“Hey, wake up~”

She lets out some kind of sighgroan and brushes off your hands, rolling over and away in the process.


This might be kind of tough. You start shaking her a bit harder, with longer pushes and pulls. Another sighgroan, but she can't roll any further.

“Wake up~”

“Mmm... stop...”

Oh, a word. She must be getting closer to waking up. More rolling.


She pushes your hands off with a bit more skill this time. Less sleepiness in her movements. Hmm. Maybe something else? You give her a poke right near the base of one of her wings. You remember that being a sensitive spot.

That did it. A flinch, as she arches her back forward to get away from your finger. A cry of surprise, too. She sits up rather quickly, and turns around... claws out. Whoa. You've only seen those twice before; she usually keeps them put away. Well, you're you so you don't think she'll use them. You smile. Success!


Mystia looks around, a sort of wild look in her eyes. It's like she's really a bird bird and not a youkai bird. It's not long before it goes away... and her face goes a little red.

“A-ah... 'morning,” She finally says, sounding rather sleepy still. Her eyes wander towards Renko, and she frowns a little bit. “Oh, haha... this was a bad idea, wasn't it...”

You hear Renko sigh. “Yeah. Next time you get the urge to build a huge nest on our porch, could you ask first?”

Mystia gives her a firm nod. “Sorry. I didn't want to wake you up.”

“Don't worry about it,” Renko says, taking a step out on to the porch. “Although, we do have to get rid of it. It's pretty obvious from the street.”

You give her a curious look. Was it? She didn't even notice until you pointed it out...

Mystia... doesn't look too happy about that. This is not her morning. “R... really...”


[ ] When she says “get rid of it”, what does she have in mind?
[ ] Couldn't you just move it inside?
[ ] Couldn't you just move it someplace less obvious?
Forgot to mention this time, but I laughed.
[X] Couldn't you just move it inside?
{X} Couldn't you just move it someplace less obvious?
[X] Couldn't you just move it inside?
[x] Couldn't you just move it inside?
[x] Couldn't you just move it inside?
-[x] Promise to help clean up afterwards, if needed.
[X] Maybe you could try to hide it?
[x] Couldn't you just move it someplace less obvious?
[x] Couldn't you just move it inside?

You know I don't exactly see Mystia as a nest user, but it makes for a cute picture.
[x] Couldn't you just move it inside?
[Q] Couldn't you just move it inside?
[x] Couldn't you just move it someplace less obvious?

Like >>20923 said, the roof sounds good.
[ ] When she says “get rid of it”, what does she have in mind?
[x] Couldn't you just move it inside?

“Can't we just put it inside?” You ask, “Then no one can see it.”

You look towards Renko, and so does Mystia.

“I, uh... do you really need it?” Renko asks, scratching the back of her head. “I mean, if it's just a comfort thing... ”

Mystia sighs. “I tried sleeping in that bed you rolled out, but I couldn't do it. So I made this.” She lets out a yawn. “It took a while.”

“Want to try again?” Renko asks, “You look like you'd be able to sleep just about anywhere.”

Mystia gives a nod. “We should move it, first...”

“To the inside?” You ask again, still not having gotten an answer to the first time you asked. It'll be kind of hard to fit it through the door, but you think you can do it.

Renko takes a look at the nest. Then back to the door. Then she takes a step or two out, and looks over the edge of the balcony at something. “Yeah, I guess that's better than what I was thinking.”


“Never mind.”

You're curious, but not too curious. So you never mind.

There's a lot of movement, as you all get into a position where this is easier. Mysta's got to get out of the nest, first. Then Renko's got to realize that she should be inside, since you two can get it. Then, you've got to realize that it won't fit going in like that... you need to turn it sideways. The nest is very solid, though, and eventually you do manage to get it through the door. Then, the hall, and the other door, and down into the room.

It does fit, and not a whole lot of stuff falls off in the process. Perfect. Mission accomplished.

Mystia decided to try using your futon at Renko's request, and you... aren't sure what to do. With Renko going back to work, and Mary sleeping... it's going to be kind of boring if you have to sit around inside this place all day when it's so nice outside. Maybe.

[ ] Try to figure out Math. It sounded kind of complicated last night, but maybe you can help?
[ ] Well, you don't have to sit around inside. Not if you're sneaky...
[ ] There must be some kind of box that you can play with.
[ ] Something else (write-in).
[x] Well, you don't have to sit around inside. Not if you're sneaky...
There is a whole world out there to explore. Clothes and the such should be fine, we just need to make sure to not follow any strange men.
[x] There must be some kind of box that you can play with.
>[ ] There must be some kind of box that you can play with.
As adorable as Phobe would be pretending to fly to the moon or something in a cardboard box...

[X] Try to figure out Math. It sounded kind of complicated last night, but maybe you can help?

More time with Big Sister Renko~
[X] Try to figure out Math. It sounded kind of complicated last night, but maybe you can help?
I think box is referring to a computer or TV.

[X] Try to figure out Math. It sounded kind of complicated last night, but maybe you can help?

But Math is first step toward enlightenment.
{X} Try to figure out Math. It sounded kind of complicated last night, but maybe you can help?
[x] Try to figure out Math. It sounded kind of complicated last night, but maybe you can help?
[x] Try to figure out Math. It sounded kind of complicated last night, but maybe you can help?
[x] Try to figure out Math. It sounded kind of complicated last night, but maybe you can help?
I am going to push this update back a day, and update on Sunday as well. I just got a new monitor to replace my really old one, and the last thing I want to do is type on it.
[x] Try to figure out Math. It sounded kind of complicated last night, but maybe you can help?

But everyone seems to want to keep you around instead of letting you go outside, so maybe you'll stick around here. Still, though... you've got to find something to do.

Maybe you could help Renko out? Work goes faster if you do it together, usually. The work looked pretty complicated yesterday, but... maybe you can help, anyway.

You head back out into the living room area, and see that Renko's already hard at work. She's scribbling away furiously with that pencil of hers; much more serious than she was being last night. Either she's ignoring you or she didn't notice you, but in either case she doesn't look up. So, you take a seat on one edge of the table.

She glances over, and then back down. “What's up?”

“I wanna help~”

She laughs. “Sure. Are you any good with differential equations?”

You give her a blank look. “What's that?”

“Yeah, I didn't think so. It's not something you'd run across in Gensokyo, I don't think.”

She tries explaining it, but you don't really understand most of it. Math's supposed to be about putting things together or taking them apart, not trying to figure out how much velocity is passing over a shovel. Or something. Way complicated, but there's a lot of pictures.

It's kind of fun to watch her work, because she kind of mumbles to herself when she does. You've really got to figure out how read some time. The pictures would probably make sense if you could understand the words, and then you'd be a lot better off.

Eventually, she comes to a stop. A complete stop, right in the middle of a picture.

“Hmm? What is it?”

“This one's tough,” She says, reaching for a nearby book. “How am I supposed to get that from this?”

This kind of thing goes on for a while. Work, work, pause. Look at something. Work work work pause. Work work work...

This isn't as fun as you thought it might be.

*beep beep beep beep*

“What's that?”

*beep beep beep beep*

“Sounds like Mary's alarm clock,” Renko answers, taking a peek up from the book that she's paused on currently.

*beep beep beep b---*

Then, just as suddenly, it stops.

And then, a few minutes later, Mary appears. At least, you think it's Mary. She seems really... different.

“'Morning,” Renko says, as Mary shuffles her way into the kitchen. If Mystia looked tired earlier, Mary looks like she hasn't slept in a week.


Renko laughs, and turns to you. “See what I mean about her not being a morning person?”

You nod. You don't remember where she ever said that, but... you can see where she'd sleep for a long time if you let her.

There's a bit of clanking, and crinkling, and other things from the kitchen. Food. Breakfast. Something tasty?

Not really. She comes back with a few flat, bread looking things. Then she sits down on the other side of the table and starts munching away, eyes closed.

[ ] This place needs some excitement. (Write-in, see note)
[ ] Just... watch.

I cannot come up with any ideas for the immediate part of the day. If you can give me something I can run with, do a write-in... otherwise I am going to fast forward. Sorry. My creativity has been kind of shot lately.
>There's a bit of clanking, and crinkling, and other things from the kitchen. Food. Breakfast. Something tasty?
>Not really. She comes back with a few flat, bread looking things. Then she sits down on the other side of the table and starts munching away, eyes closed.

[x] This place needs some excitement. Maybe cook something?

Phobe cooking/trying to make breakfast which will end in some hilarious way while the others help or join in.
Sounds exciting enough.
[Q] This place needs some excitement. Maybe try to cook something?

Key word 'try'.
[x] This place needs some excitement. Maybe cook something?

Today's secret ingredient is... whatever is in their kitchen! Allez cuisine!
[ ] This place needs some excitement. Maybe try to cook something?
[x] This place needs some excitement. Maybe try to cook something?
[x] Maybe get Mystia to help?
[x] This place needs some excitement. Maybe try to cook something?
[x] Maybe get Mystia to help?
[x] This place needs some excitement. Maybe try to cook something?
[x] Maybe get Mystia to help?
I guess I lied. Update monday.
[x] This place needs some excitement. Maybe try to cook something?

“That doesn't look very good,” You say, taking a look over the table at Mary. “What is it?”

“Toast,” Renko says, shrugging. Mary gives a vague nod, but doesn't respond beyond that.

This is boring. Boring breakfast for a boring morning. That toast stuff looks like it's make you go back to sleep. Watching the math is making you kind of go back to sleep. Mystia's already back to sleep. Boring. You should fix this. But how?

Math... you can't get rid of that. It's boring work for one person, and Renko keeps saying it needs to be done. Mystia? Well, waking her up might just make her cranky, or sleepy. Neither are very fun.

The breakfast... hmm. The breakfast. Hmm, hmm~

You stand up, and head into the kitchen. Looking back towards the living room, you can see Renko giving you a curious look.

“That breakfast is too boring,” You say, “I'm going to make something better!”

“Whoa, hold on,” Renko calls out, sounding a little alarmed, “Have you ever even used an electric stove before?”

You give a proud nod. “Twice! Wait... does it count if I watched it get used?”

Renko shakes her head. “Nope. I'm going to have to ask you to back away from the stove.”

You shake your head, and then begin looking around the kitchen. You don't recognize anything immediately as cookable. With Mystia's stand, she's got a lot of the stuff hanging around... oh? Right. If you have electricity you keep things in the fridge. That big box is a fridge. Has to be. It's made of that bumpy metal stuff. You open up the door, and are greeted by a bit of coldness. Right. You can do this. “It's not hard. And you guys need some exciting breakfast.”

“Why's that?”

“Because that boring breakfast is making you both boring.”

Renko laughs. “Hey Mary, do you think you could eat more? She seems pretty set on making something.”

You don't hear a response, but Renko gives a nod to the silent Mary. Then, she gets up and begins to head towards the kitchen. “What did you have in mind?” She asks. Then, answering your curious look, she continues. “I'm just watching to make sure you don't burn the apartment down. Don't mind me.”

Burn the apartment down? Why would you do that?

… this fridge is kind of confusing, to be honest. You don't really know what all these things are. Renko can help. But you've got to think of something good that you've had...

[ ] Curry. Is there any left from yesterday?
[ ] You had an om... omlette once. It was pretty good.
[ ] … or maybe you could try making something new?
>this fridge is kind of confusing, to be honest. You don't really know what all these things are.
One step after the other. Information first.

[x] Investigate the Fridge.

Can't think of something at the moment.
[X] You had an om... omelette once. It was pretty good.

Phobe is a CYOA protagonist, after all. Besides, omelettes are awesome.
[X] … or maybe you could try making something new?

Forge ahead, bold little youkai! Create a new dish that will make your name go down in history as a great innovator!
[x] You had an om... omlette once. It was pretty good.

It's cooking.
It's cooking.
It's still cooking.
It's burning?
It's burning!
It's still burning!
[X] … or maybe you could try making something new?

I dont think Mystia will like the fact that we made an omelette.
[x] … or maybe you could try making something new?

Something New. Sounds exciting!
[X] Pancakes. Maybe there's some fruit you can put in them?

I doubt Mystia would make a fuss. The eggs you get from the market are unfertilized. She can't call it murder if there's no chick to hatch in the first place.
But she wouldnt know that since gensokyo eggs would be all free range and therefore fertilized.

But it dosnt look like it will win so this is moot anyway.
[X] … or maybe you could try making something new?
[Q] You had an om... omlette once. It was pretty good.

Omlettes are delicious. And pretty simple. Yum~
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Not sure if the vote has been called, but:

[c] You had an om... omelette once. It was pretty good.

Mmmmm, omelette~
[x] You had an om... omelette once. It was pretty good.
It always ends in omelettes in CYOAs doesn't it. It's like the mouthbreathing neckbeards that live here don't know any other foods.

They see me trollin', they hatin'.
People love rehashing the same old memes and complaining about either something being the same old or something not following their precious cliches.

I just like omelets, man.
File 127368582029.jpg - (43.00KB, 440x400, omelette_man.jpg) [iqdb]

Not to mention omelettes are incredibly flexible

The following link contains over one hundred sixty-nine variations alone.

[x] You had an om... omlette once. It was pretty good.
[ ] … or maybe you could try making something new?

Normally, you don't eat breakfast. Sometimes you see something tasty and want to eat it, or sometimes you stop by someone's house and they're eating something tasty, so you eat some of that. You think back. There was that... omelette thing you had once. Something Marisa cooked for breakfast (but it was really lunch time).


What was in it? Lots of things, but you remember Marisa saying that it's good because you can put a lot of different stuff in it. You only need eggs. Looking around in here, you don't really see any... lots of boxes, though. Maybe they're in some of those?

Renko gets a bit closer as you dig around, taking peeks into the huge number of square things in here. When you take a look back to confirm, she flashes you a sort of... smug, you think. A smug grin. Oh, so that's the game, now. You go back to looking, after giving her one right back. You could just ask, but that would be like losing.


And, finally, you do find the box with the eggs. You pull it out of the fridge, place it on the counter, and go back to looking for other things. What kinds of things would go good in it? You found some rice. It's kind of boring, but it might work. Soup, no good. Some of these brown thing? Why not? Oh, and some of these vegetables, too. And some of this...

“You're going to put that all in?” Renko finally asks, after your pile on the counter starts to get big enough that you're having a hard time pushing it all back. “I guess I don't mind, but that's going to be one huge omelette.”

...maybe she's right. That's almost enough stuff. But even with all that stuff in it, it might be boring. Big doesn't mean exciting. You need something...

[ ] Sour.
[ ] Sweet.
[ ] Spicy.
[ ] Spioureet.
[ ] Write-in.
[x] Spicy.
[x] Sweet.

sweet omelette, my favorite.
[X] Spioureet.

My favorite flavor.
[x] Spicy

Spicy eggs, heck yes.
[X] Spioureet.

screw going with just one, combining is where it's at.
[x] Spicy

Hot sauce and eggs were made for each other.
[x] Spioureet.
Chefcook Phobe's recommendation for the day.
[ ] Spioureet.

Iron Chef Phobe is cooking. Please wait warmly.
[x] Spicy

Phobe wants it exciting, after all.
[P] Spioureet.

My kind of flavor.
[x] Spioureet.

Phobe is made of sugar and spice and sour cream at a discount price.
[x] Bitter

The right choice.
{X} Spioureet.
[x] Spioureet.


You think back to some of the sauces that Mystia has used, since those are always exciting. Sweet, sour, and spicy are the main ones you remember as exciting. They had other names, too, but that's what they really were.

Turning back to the fridge, you give things another quick look over. Nothing in there really looks like anything, since it's all in boxes. You look to Renko, and then back. Hmm. You wonder if you should ask. Actually trying to find something specific in here...

“Need something?”

You nod. It's more exciting if it's a surprise, but you guess you can ask since she's watching anyway. “I need something spicy, sweet, and sour.”

“It's going in the omelette, right?”

Again, you nod. “That'll make it exciting.”

Renko grins. “Hah. I see what you're doing now.”

“It has to be a surprise,” You say, “That way, it's more exciting.”

It's definitely more exciting when you don't know if something is going to be spicy before you bite into it.

“Got it,” Renko says, nodding. “Hmm...”

She reaches up, into some of the boxes in the kitchen that you can't get to. Cabinets. The ones that aren't cold. And then she comes up with some things that... aren't boxes. Tubes. One of them, you can tell, is spicy; it's very red. Lots of red with red stuff inside. Definitely spicy. The other is kind of greenish, and you're not sure what's inside.

“You'll want to mix this in with the egg,” She says, pointing to the green thing, “Not too much, though. And you can put this stuff in like normal. I'm not sure what we could put in that's sweet, though...”

We? “I want to put it in.”

“What you can put in,” She corrects, “Hmm. Actually, this stuff might be good if you put it over the top.”

And with that, she opens the fridge and pulls out another tube-like thing. Looks kind of spicy. She does something to the top.

“Here, hold out your finger.”

You do. She turns the tube upside down, squeezes a bit, and... you've got a small red dot on your finger.

“Try it.”

You bring it to your mouth. It's... hmm. Sweet, but it's a thick kind of sweet. Good, though. Not too exciting, but more than if it wasn't there.

“You think I should put it on the top?” You ask, taking the bottle from her and placing it on the counter.

“Yeah,” She says, nodding, taking a look more at the ingredients than you. Like she's trying to figure something out.

You need something to stand on, now. You can see what you're supposed to mess with on the stove, but actually reaching up there is... well, you've got to get on your toes. And it might be hard to cook like that.

“Is there a box I can stand on?”

There has to be one, somewhere. It seems like there's a box for everything out here.

Renko nods. “Yeah. You can use the one from the bathroom.”

Ah, that's right... you saw that last night. It's not exactly a box, but it's kind of boxy. You go and get it.

Better. Now you need a pan... oh, no you don't. Renko's already got one. She's got one of those flat things, too.

“Thought you might need this.”

You nod, placing it on the stove. There's six knobs to turn... hmm. Oh! Right. You have to put some oil in first. There's some of that in reach, though.

You reach for the knob on the far right, and look back to Renko. She gives you a nod. You give it a half turn... you're not really sure, but half way should be good. It wasn't sizzling when Marisa was cooking, if you remember right... and things sizzle when they get really hot.

Eggs, eggs... ah, you need something else. A bowl and a stick. Looking through a few of the cabinets, you find them. Not hard. The eggs look like they might be hard to open at first, but it's actually really simple. You just poke through them with your fingernail and pull the two parts away. One, two, three, four...

“Ah... where do I put these?”

You don't eat the shells. Marisa just tossed them out the window when she made them. But the window is kind of far away, and you don't think that's the right thing to do out here. And you don't want to hang on to them.

“Throw 'em in the trash.”

Another box. You toss them in there and keep going.

Now, you mix this stuff. You find some sticks, and get to mixing until it turns yellow all around.

Then, pour...

The yellow mixture starts to bubble a bit, looking all weird.

Right. Now you wait a little bit, and then you put the other stuff in. How long, though? There was something about... no, you can't remember now. Hmm.

[ ] Nothing bad will happen if you put them in now... you don't think.
[ ] Renko would know. You don't want to mess this up.
[ ] Maybe if you wait a bit, you'll remember.
[Q] Renko would know. You don't want to mess this up.

I'm cautious, sue me.
[x] Renko would know. You don't want to mess this up.
goddamn, this is getting cuter and deadlier per update.
Phobe's exciting Omelette surprise. I would eat it.
[X] Nothing bad will happen if you put them in now... you don't think.

Phobe's clearly got a bit of an independent streak; let's indulge it for once. Besides, it's really pretty hard to screw up an omelette.
[X] Nothing bad will happen if you put them in now... you don't think.
[x] Renko would know. You don't want to mess this up.
[X] Renko would know. You don't want to mess this up.

I'd rather not risk messing it up.
[X] Nothing bad will happen if you put them in now... you don't think.
The nice thing about omelettes is that they start to smell burned long before they're actually ruined, at most you have to scrape a little bit of burned covering off.
[x] Nothing bad will happen if you put them in now... you don't think.

Only thing that can really be hurt by putting it in early is cheese, and I don't recall seeing any among the ingredients she pulled out.
[x] Nothing bad will happen if you ask Renko now...

Just a double-checking sort of thing.
{X} Nothing bad will happen if you put them in now... you don't think.
[x] Nothing bad will happen if you put them in now... you don't think.

Well... it all has to cook, right? And it can't cook unless you throw it in the pan.

You reach over and grab one of the boxes, crack open the top, and dump a bit of it in. Only a bit, though... because you can see that Renko was right about it being huge. You want to fit everything in, but that would overflow the pan you think. So you'll just use a bit. Open, dump, set aside. Open, dump, set aside.

After you've got a bit of everything from the boxes in, it's time to add the exciting things from the tubes. You smile a little at that; it's kind of funny how the normal stuff goes in boxes, while the exciting stuff goes in tubes. Because tubes are a bit more exciting than boxes anyway.

… you take the red tube into your hands, and... look at it. How do you get this open, even? The top doesn't pull off (at least you don't think it's supposed to so you don't pull too hard), but that's the only thing you can see. There's a tab on the top of the top, but that doesn't do anything. An indent, too, but... oh! That one actually does something.

You glance over your shoulder to take a look at Renko, just to make sure that you're not doing something really wrong.

She gives you a thumbs up. “You're doing pretty well for someone who's never done this before.”

You smile, nod, and go back to the bubbling yellow thing. Although it's full of a lot of other stuff now.

The top of the cylinder has little holes in it, so you can just sprinkle a little bit of red out at a time. You give it a shake. Then another. Then another, another another... and soon, it looks really exciting. There's a whole lot of red speckles mixed in with the other colors now, sitting over the top. It's pretty obvious that it's spicy, but this is an omelette so you can't see that when it's done.

The sour stuff... it's a liquid, so you sprinkle a bit of it around on the pile of stuff kind of like a sauce. You try a bit, too; pretty sour. Kind of fruity, too, but not like any kind you've had before. Hmm. You wonder if you can even get this stuff in gensokyo?

The sweet stuff is last, but Renko said that would be best over the top. So now you... wait, you guess.

… although you're not really sure when it's done.

“Hey... how do I know when it's finished?” You decide to ask, turning around. She already thinks your doing pretty well, so you guess that asking now is probably ok. “I forgot that part.”

“Oh, that's pretty easy. Just wait until it's not really runny anymore.”

Runny? You lift the pan a little, and... oh, that's what she means. It looks like a lot of the yellow stuff is starting to turn solid, but there's still some on the top that's liquid.

You watch intently, jiggling the pan every once in a while. Burned food is bad, if you remember right. Not that anyone cooks burned food for you, but you remember hearing that a few times. So you need to watch this. Stare...

One more jiggle, and only the ingredients shift a bit.

“Oh, is it done?” You ask Renko, causing her to come over and take a look. “I don't think it's runny anymore.”

Renko takes the plastic thing she handed you before, and pokes at it a bit. “Looks like it. And this doesn't look all that bad, either. Nice job.”

You nod. “That's 'cause it's an omelette.”

That's what Marisa said, anyway. It's hard to make a bad omelette unless you're being really weird with the stuff you put in.

Renko laughs a little. “I guess that's true. I can't say I was expecting you to be able to make one, though. It's probably pretty tough to make one over a fire...”

You just smile at that. “I can do a lot of cool things~”

Not so much out here, but that's true in general.

You turn off the stove (this part is important), and set the pan off to the side. Renko's already gotten a plate for you to put it on.

“Do you want me to fold it?” She asks, “That's the hardest part, really.”

Ah... Marisa said that, too. But it didn't really look that hard.

“Why's that?”

Renko shrugs. “You only get one shot at it.”

One shot.

[ ] Take it.
[ ] It'd be a shame to ruin it now.
So, uh, I made this omelette for breakfast this morning. I wasn't really measuring anything but I could recreate it sometime with measurements if people really want me to.

I threw a bit of lime juice in with the egg mixture before I put it in the pan. For the stuff in the middle I used some leftover fried rice I made, green onions, and some garlic (fuck yeah garlic). Then I covered the whole thing in cayanne pepper. After it was on the plate, I topped it off with some hoisin sauce (which for whatever reason I thought was more red than it is) before eating.
[Q] Take it.

It's no good if you can't finish it yourself. It's like having your brother shoot the last ship in Space Invaders.
[X] Take it.
[x] Take it.

One shot, one kill.
[x] Take it.
Either Victory or defeat.
[X] Take it.

How's the taste, by the way?
[x] Take it.
Well, thanks a lot. Now I have to go get some Chinese.

That sounds really, really good.
Oh, and

[x] Take it
[x] and LOVE IT.
[x] Take it.

It'll only be more exciting when you succeed, if that's true.

You focus, as hard as you can. Things slow down a bit when you do that, so this way it's easier. You wonder if Renko realizes she's slow--- right, focus.

The omlette starts to slide as you tilt the pan. You've got to... kind of fold it with the pan, while it's still sliding out. This part you remember paying a lot of attention to. Marisa was pretty dramatic about the whole thing.

Slide... and... fold!


The egg disk slides out, and, when it's almost half-way slid, you bring the pan across the place. Perfect. Well, maybe not; it's a little more folded over on the top than the bottom. But it's pretty close. Only a little stuff fell out. Renko's excited, at least.

“Why's that hard?” You ash, honestly curious. “You just have to watch it.”

Renko gives a delayed nod. “Haha, yeah. That's right. It's still takes a bit of practice, though... well, usually.”

That doesn't really help matters much, but... whatever. You set the pan back on the stove, and the plate on the counter. “But don't we need more than one plate?”

Renko nods, reaching up to dig around in another box. This time, you see which one. “I'm not going to eat too much,” She says, coming up with three small plates. “Something tells me Mystia won't be up for a while.”

You nod. “I still want to save her a little, though~. Oh, the sauce.”

Right, the sauce. You proceed to cover most of the omelette with a good layer of it.

Renko heads out first, and you follow... Mary's at least got her eyes open now.

“Good dreams?” Renko asks, taking a look at the laptop before bending down to clear a spot for the food. The table's been mostly consumed by her paper.

Mary gives a nod. “Uh huh.”

… that's all?

“What were they?” You ask, curious.

“Um... I'll tell you in a bit,” She answers, not looking away from the screen.

Renko notices your frown, you guess, because she gives a better answer. “She likes to write it all down before she forgets.”


The omelette goes down, and the plates go down, and all should be good. Renko breaks off a piece with her chopsticks, and takes the first bite. Her face... it definitely looks exciting. After a few moments, it tries to return to normal.

“Haa... this is pretty good!” Renko says, taking another small piece off. “I wish I hadn't eaten, now.”

Mary isn't eating, though. She's barely paying attention, clacking away at her computer. You wonder how long she's going to be?

[ ] Not much longer. Because you're going to help her eat it.
[ ] Well, it doesn't matter. You want to eat some now~
[ ] Well, it doesn't matter. You can wait a bit.
Oh yeah, this update was to get me back out of sync with my busier days. Next one won't be tomorrow but the day after, as per usual.

Not bad. I would make it again.
[Q] Not much longer. Because you're going to help her eat it.

Force feeding delicious omelet.
[x] Not much longer. Because you're going to help her eat it.
[x] Not much longer. Because you're going to help her eat it.
The story gets cuter. Now one of the two needs to feed her...
[X] Not much longer. Because you're going to help her eat it.

Huh, I guess I should try it myself one of these days, then.
[x] Not much longer. Because you're going to help her eat it.

But only if this is the "feed her" one, not the "eat hers" one
[x] Not much longer. Because you're going to help her eat it.
Indeed, I this is the "have her it" not "it yourself and gloat".
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>Indeed, I this is the "have her it" not "it yourself and gloat".
Possibly trying to say this?

>Indeed, I think this should be "let her have it" not "have it yourself and gloat".
[x] Not much longer. Because you're going to help her eat it.

… you have an idea. It seems she's going to be too boring to eat the breakfast on her own, so you'll need to help. An exciting delivery method for the exciting egg. You take a look over to Mary, then back. Then over again... hmm, hmm~

Renko raises an eyebrow at you, probably sensing that something is up. You just grin. There's nothing she can do about it now, and explaining it would ruin it. She'll just have to watch.

You stab a piece of the egg with the fork, and break it off. You'll have to do this with a little stealth. Placing the egg on your plate, you start to slide over a little in Mary's direction.

She's definitely not paying attention. If you leaned just a bit over, you could rest your head on her shoulder... and you doubt she's look up then, either. Dreams aren't that interesting. And they're definitely not more interesting than this.


You ready your attack. Just need to wait for her to respond...

… but she doesn't, even after you wait fir a little bit.

“Are you awake~?”

She gives you a nod and continues clacking away. Not even a 'Uh huh' or anything. You give her a light poke in the arm.

She laughs a little while trying to swat you away. “I'm almost done, ho---mmmph!”

Success! You see an opening, and take it. Your strike flies true – the fork, and the egg, both end up right in her mouth. And with just a little flick of the fork, you managed to leave the egg there and return the fork egg-less.

Renko seems to find this all hilarious, while Mary seems to be kind of in shock. She looks at you with confusion, chews a bit, and... ahaha, yep! That's one exciting omelette. You'll have to eat some next~

“Oh! Ohhhh, it's spicy! Water!”

You laugh, too. Perfect. Mary gets up and heads for the kitchen, faster than a normal awake person would. This is just what she needed.

“That was great,” Renko says, still laughing inbetween phrases. “Maybe a little mean, but... haha.”

You nod, laughing with Renko's laughing while you go to take a bite of your own. “Maybe a little mean. But it was more exciting, be--- OH! HOT!”


You make a dash for the kitchen, too, where you see Mary standing next to the sink gulping down water. She seems even more surprised than before to see you come running in, move your stool, and stick your head under the water to get a drink. Ahh~

Mary eventually cracks up, too, after listening to Renko's laughter for a bit. After you've had your fill, you get your head out of the sink.

You look at Mary, and she looks at you. “That was horrible,” She giggles, reaching her cup in for another fill. Right. You should have gotten one of those... too late now, though. “Really. What was that for?”

[ ] Come clean.
[ ] You can milk this a bit further.
[x] Come clean.
Make puppy eyes.
[x] Come clean.

Mary has low tolerance for spicy stuff I take it.
[x] You can milk this a bit further.
Nonononono, let's not quit while we're ahead. God damn Phobe is out moeing youkai moe at this rate.
[Q] You can milk this a bit further.
[x] Come clean.
[x] You can milk this a bit further.
[X] You can milk this a bit further.

Well, we can.
[x] You can milk this a bit further.
[x] You can milk this a bit further.

Milk would not be a bad idea, actually.
Nothing tonight. I will write tomorrow and probably Sunday.
[x] You can milk this a bit further.
[x] You can milk this a bit further.

Well, you could just say that she's was being boring. But that would be boring.

You just laugh. “I can't tell you~”

“What?” She asks, “Why not?”

“It's a secret. I can't tell you~”

And with that, you hop off your stool and head back for the living room.. Maybe that wasn't more exciting, but it was more interesting. For her. Secrets are always fun, because you don't know what they are.

In either case, you take a seat real quick. Renko's still chuckling a bit.

“Good, huh?”

You laugh. “If you really like spicy things.”

Taking a look down at the omelette, it looks like it's about half gone. You've only had one bite, and so has Mary... “Oh, so you like spicy things?”

Renko nods. “I would have eaten that whole thing if you had made it earlier. I'll have to make it again sometime.”

A few seconds later, Mary emerges from the kitchen, water still in hand.

“Did I miss something?” She asks Renko, after taking a seat back at her computer. You just grin.

“I can't tell you,” Renko says, laughing. “It's a secret. You'll have to ask Phobe.”

You grin a bit wider. Oh, good. It looks like Renko's going to help you out, too.

Mary seems... kind of bothered, but amused at the same time. “Were you trying to kill me off with that deadly omelette or something?”

You shake your head laugh. “Nope. Try again~”

“Hmm... did you just mess it up really bad?”

Shake, shake. “No~”

“This is tough. Was Renko in on it?”

Oh, that is tough. “Only kinda.”

“It was her idea,” Renko adds, nodding. “I just helped a bit.”

“Aahh... haha, was it some kind of joke, then?”

Shake, shake. “Nooo~”

“Hum.” She seems to be thinking hard about this. Good. “Am I ever going to guess it?”

Oh... that's a tough one, too. But there's a pretty obvious answer. “I don't think so~”

Mary sighs. “I'll admit defeat. What was it?”

“Aw. You sure?”

She nods. “It's too early for me to be any good at a game like this.”

“Maybe you should eat some more, then.”

A few more ideas fly through her brain; at least, that's what it looks like. “Was it supposed to wake me up?”

“Getting closer~”

Mary laughs. “Get me to do something besides typing?”

“Oh! You got it,” you say, a little surprised. “Was that hint too big?”

“I think so,” Renko says, nodding sagely. “You made it sound like it was coffee or something.”


“It's a bit stronger than coffee,” Mary says, laughing. “I thought I was going to die.”

“Really, it's that bad? You're such a wimp, Mary.”

Mary just shrugs it off. “So, did you come up with the ingredients? Or is Phobe just really good at cooking?”

“Ehh... I just suggested a few things,” Renko says, slouching back a bit. “Phobe's pretty good at raiding our fridge, it seems.”

You give a proud nod. “You just have to smell it to see if it's tasty.”

“I'm surprised they even have omelettes in gensokyo,” Renko continues. “But I guess they do.”

“But people end up there from time to time,” Mary points out, “So maybe a cook wandered in or something.”

“Huh. I bet you could make a pretty good living selling weird foods to people,” Renko admits, laughing. “Maybe I should go there and start a business.”

Mary laughs. “Maybe.” Then, looking down at the computer screen, she frowns a bit. “Ah... I think I forgot something.”

“Hm?” You ask, moving around the table to look. It's still at the same place it was before.

“Part of the dream,” She says, “I forgot the end.”

“Oh. That's ok,” You say, nodding “I always do that.”

“Ugh. I think it was important, though...”

[ ] But it's just a dream, so it's not important.
[ ] Maybe you could help.
[c] Maybe you could help.

I just can't help it. Phobe being helpful is a good thing to see, isn't it?
[x] Maybe you could help.

helpful youkai
{X} Maybe you could help.
[Q] Maybe you could help.
[x] Maybe you could help.
Maybe she could cuddle up to her when she sleeps. That could work.
[x] Maybe you could help.
[x] Maybe you could help.

And IIIIII helped!
[x] Maybe you could help.
[x] Maybe you could help.

Well, if it's important... you wonder if you could help? Random words make you remember stuff like that sometimes, so you decide to try a few.

“Tree. Water. Egg. Um... snow.”

Both of them give you kind of an odd look. “Oh,” You laugh, “I'm trying to help. Random words make you remember things sometimes, right?”

Mary thinks that over for a second, and then nods. “I guess that's true, isn't it?”

“Maybe you could read back through what you've already got,” Renko says, shrugging. She's still eyeing that omelette pretty heavily. “I dunno.”

Mary gives that a nod, too, and shifts her eyes back to her computer. You continue.

“Hole. Music? Juice. Stick.”

“Ah... that's it!”


She nods, smiling. “Yeah,” clack clack clack, “Hey, Renko. That's a museum across the street from that construction site, isn't it?”

“Huh? Yeah, I think so. Why?”

She nods, and goes back to clacking. “Isn't there some kind of traveling collection coming by soon? A bunch of old religious artifacts?”

“Oh... yeah, that's next week, I think,” She says, “Haha. I almost forgot. What about it?”

Mary just keeps clacking away, not bothering to answer. You're not really sure what a museum is, or why a stick would be important, or any of that kind of stuff. And you can't eat any more of that omelette. Hmm.

“So, why a stick?”

Clack clack clack. You look to Renko, who shrugs.

“She gets like this sometimes.”

It seems like she's spent most of the morning like this. “Just sometimes?”

Renko laughs at that, and stands up. She must have noticed your curious look, because she answers before you ask. “I'm a bit thirsty. I was going to take care of that mess in the kitchen, too.” She takes the omelette plate, too. “And I think we can put this away for now. It won't be too bad if we warm it up later.”

“Oh,” You say, taking a look over to Mary. You sigh a little. Well, it was exciting for a while, at least. “Can I help with that?”

Renko shrugs. “We've got a dish washer, but sure.”

You get up too, taking one last look at Mary. Hmm. Well, maybe she'll get better after she's done with all that typing.

The clean up is really easy. You put the stool back that you got, and, by the time you get back, most of everything has disappeared into the dish washer. And that's that. Very easy. A lot easier than the kind of stuff Mystia has to do.

Returning to the living room, you notice that the clacking has stopped. Mary gives you both a warm smile. “All done. And it looks like I might be right, too.”

“About what?” Renko asks again, settling back down on her side of the table. The books that got brushed away return to where they were before, as she starts up her work again.

“The museum. I was walking around it last night, and there was something there. And old gohei,” She says, that distant look in her eyes. What? When did she go outside? You thought she went to sleep? “And it looks like the collection got shipped out two days ago from the last place it was at.”

Renko nods. “You probably heard about that somewhere. So why's this thing important?”

A bit of a frown forms on her face at Renko's statement, but she doesn't go any further with it. “Because it's from Gensokyo.”

“Huh? How do you know that?”

“Just trust me, ok?”

Renko sighs a bit. “Sure. I can believe it, I guess. I mean, I'm looking at something else that came from Gensokyo right now.” She gives you a nod before continuing. “Why's that important, though?”

“Well,” Mary says, “I think it's doing something funny to the border. You know? Like how a piece of paper won't stop two magnets from coming together.”

Renko stops shuffling the papers and books around for a second. “Huh. Well. That, uh... certainly sounds dangerous,” She says, “But I guess I could buy it. So you're saying Phobe here is another magnet?”

Now your really confused. “I'm not a magnet... I think.”

“I think you'd be more like metal in general,” Mary says, nodding. “I'm not sure, but you said that there was something weird sticking through the tree, right?”

You nod. “I don't think I'm metal either, though.”

Mary laughs. “Like metal, not actually metal. Anyway, there was a hole there. Maybe just a small one, but...”

“... but you could squeeze through if the pull was strong enough. Or the paper would rip a bit,” Renko finishes, nodding like some sort of sage. “Yeah. That would make sense. Doesn't really help them get back, though. ”

Mary sighs. “Yeah, I'm still working on that part.”

“You should probably get going,” Renko says, suddenly. “We can worry about it after you get back.”

Mary takes a quick glance down at her computer, looking a bit flustered. “Oh... you're right. I don't want to miss the bus again.”

“You're going somewhere?” You ask, finally finding something that you can latch on to.

“I've got class,” Mary says, “so I'll be gone for a few hours.”

Hours. You don't want to stay here for hours if Renko is just going to work.

“Can I go?”

Mary shakes her head. “Someone would definitely notice.”

Ugh. You think about arguing, but you don't think it would work. They both seem to want to keep you inside. So you just nod, and sigh a little.

“Don't look so down,” Mary says, frowning a little. “We can do something fun when I get back, ok?”

That's still a long time, but you give another nod. You wonder what you could do.

[ ] Write-in.
[ ] Continue.
Same deal as before. I'm running low on ideas, so if you don't have anything you want to do (via a write-in) I'm going to skip ahead a few hours.
[Q] Continue.

Timeskips are acceptable, I suppose.
[X] Explore the apartment. You still haven't seen Mary and Renko's room, have you?
[x] Explore the apartment. You still haven't seen Mary and Renko's room, have you?
I kinda like this idea. Go around and look, touch, the things that you have no idea what they are supposed to be.
And it would be cute.
[X] Explore the apartment. You still haven't seen Mary and Renko's room, have you?
[X] Explore the apartment. You still haven't seen Mary and Renko's room, have you?
[c] Explore the apartment. You still haven't seen Mary and Renko's room, have you?

Explorer Phobe time?
[x] Explore the apartment. You still haven't seen Mary and Renko's room, have you?
[x] Explore the apartment. You still haven't seen Mary and Renko's room, have you?
[x] Then explore the building.
[x] Then the block.
[x] Then the world.
Take over the whole world with your moe.
[x] Explore the apartment. You still haven't seen Mary and Renko's room, have you?

You watch as Mary gives you another affirming nod before heading out into that huge world that you're not allowed into. Well... you guess you could look around this place a bit more, if you're going to be stuck here for a while. You got the quick version last night, but the figure-it-out yourself version is always more fun.

Renko gives you a quick glance, but doesn't say anything more as you stand up. Hmm. You've already got the kitchen pretty well figured out, and this room... so maybe you'll head down the hall.

First, you pass the closed room that Mystia's in. You didn't check it out that much last night because you were pretty tired, but it seems kind of uninteresting. Then, the bathroom. This is kinda not that interesting either. Then, the room that Mary/Renko use.

… oh. You were in here yesterday, but it was only for a little bit.

The room is almost split into two halves, even though there's nothing real that's splitting them. One side's a lot neater, less colorful, while the other side is a bit more random. And... that computer was Mary's, so Mary's side must be the more colorful one. At least, that's how it feels.

You decide to check out Renko's side in a bit more detail, first. She's the more mysterious one of the two, at least to you; you can imagine there being some cool secrets over here. Maybe some secret human things, like she was joking about last night? Again, you can imagine it.

First, the desk. There's a pretty big box on it; a thin one, kind of like that TV that they've got. You decide not to touch it. Beneath the desk is an even more mysterious box – it looks kind of heavy. Metal, maybe, but it's got some weird coating on it. A few silver circles on the front, too. Hmm. Well, maybe you'll come back to that.

Next to the probably TV, there's a few books. Kind of boring. You continue on, and then... something catches your eye.

There's another box. You think that it's probably one of those boxes that humans put clothes in; however, that's not the important bit. The important part is what's on top. There's a rock... no, a piece of metal. And it's just floating there, above another piece of metal.

Floating is fine. You see people doing that all the time. But floating metal? What? Metal doesn't even float in water. Floating in air is just really strange. You run your hand under it a few times. No... it's really just floating there.

[ ] This demands an explanation. You'll have to come up with one.
[ ] This demands an explanation. You're sure Renko will have one.
Probably an update tomorrow, since I need to get this thing back out of sync with my busy days.
[c] This demands an explanation. You'll have to come up with one.
-- [c] Ask Renko if that doesn't work.

Indulge the curiosity, Phobe. I assume the thing is a magnet?
[x] This demands an explanation. You'll have to come up with one.
[x] This demands an explanation. You'll have to come up with one.
[x] Fuckin' metal
-[x] How does it work?
Fuckin' Magnets!
[x] This demands an explanation. You'll have to come up with one.
[Q] This demands an explanation. You'll have to come up with one.

How do they work?
[x] This demands an explanation. You'll have to come up with one.
Guess not. I'll continue tomorrow
[x] This demands an explanation. You'll have to come up with one.

Nothing above it, either. Or beside it. What? How?

You wrap your hand around the whole thing, and give a tug. There's a weird feeling, like something trying to hold it, but it does come free.

And really, it looks like a normal piece of metal. Ah... wait, maybe you broke it? Uh oh. No, wait. Maybe it only floats over there? You place it back close to where it was. It almost seems to get sucked into something – tugged out of your hand by someone, but only gently. And again, it's floating.


So weird. How does it work? It's... huh. You can move it out of that spot, and it doesn't float. But if you move it back, it does.

Maybe it's just the spot? Maybe the metal isn't the special thing. But... hmm. What else can you try?

You pull out some of the money in your pocket. One coin. However, it doesn't float in that spot. Argh... something else? The coin is kind of flat compared to the metal thing floating there. But, looking around, you don't see anything else that's round, metal, and easy to get to.

There's some metal balls, five of them, hanging from some kind of string on a rack, though. The balls are a little smaller, and they're attached to those strings, but... this should work, right? Hmm.


These metal balls seem to float, too. So what gives? There's a bump below the spot where things float... oh. Oh! Maybe it's the bump? It doesn't really look like anything special. Just some random plastic thing that humans seem to like a lot.

“Ah... hahaha.”

You can move the bump, and the metal goes with it.

So, it's the bump. A magic bump that makes round metal float. You try a few more things, but metal balls are the only things you can get to do that.

Really cool. You wonder what kind of magic does that? It's pretty neat.

Well, mystery solved. That's kind of it for the interesting stuff over here, though. Some clothes, a few more books, those balls, some kind of multi-colored cube... time to check out Mary's side, you think.

Over here, even the layout is interesting. Lots of weird things just lying around for you to look at. There's a big empty spot on her desk (where the computer goes) with things around it. All the books look the same, which seems kind of strange until you open them. One is completely empty; it's just white. No writing or anything. Another is just drawings. You can make out what looks like trees, or buildings, oh, the moon... lots of stuff in this one. Maybe these are drawings? There's always a little bit of writing at the top or the bottom, too, but most of the paper is taken up with these things. It's really neat~

A lot of these books are the normal type, too. Well, sort of – a lot of them have kind of weird looking humans on them. Neat looking, but... still pretty weird. Stuff to write with. Some neat smelling dry flowers.

But... unless you start digging around in the boxes, you think that's all. And you've found that digging around in boxes when you don't ask first makes some people kind of angry.

[ ] Write-in.
[ ] Continue.
Same deal as before.
[Q] Continue.

Don't spoil your hospitality.
[c] Continue.

Oh, so it isn't a magnet, but what is it? I know the stuff, I just forget its name. Somebody please enlighten me.
File 127501326740.png - (92.85KB, 800x814, notsogigantictager.png) [iqdb]

I believe the term is Volttech.
Waiting half a day for a write in.
[x] Continue.
[x] Continue

As funny as I'd think getting Phobe to somehow wear a bra as a hat is, I'd think it'd be out of character.
[x] Continue.
Actually it was, but apparently my sleep deprived self doesn't understand how magnets work, either. Pretend that part with second balls floating didn't happen.
[x] Continue.
[x] Continue.

It was fun while it lasted, you guess. You wonder what you could do now?

A quick walk back out to the living room shows that Renko's still hard at work with that math stuff. Boring. But, you guess, maybe you could keep watching. For a little while, at least.

You take a seat. Renko gives you a nod as you do, and goes back to work. Ahhh. So boring. You rest your head on the table; it's easier than holding it up when things are this boring.

Hmm. Well, it's a little less boring if you close your eyes. That pencil is making kind of a funny sound. Scritch scritch scritch. And if you do this, you can pretend things. Like that you're back someplace that isn't so boring. Oh, but... Mary did say you could do something fun when she got back. Something outside, you hope? Maybe another walk somewhere.

Ah, if it's a walk... you wonder what kind of people there are? Like before, probably. But maybe the clothes and stuff change as the day gets later. Wouldn't that be neat? Maybe you could even go to a different store, or the village protector's house. Do they even have those out here? You're trying to picture Keine in some of the weird clothes, but it's not working too well. Huh. Maybe there's some crazy other things that you've never seen. All these tall pillars can't be house groups. What's a Museum?

… mmm, it's fun to think of things that it could be. Some kind of shrine? Something else? mm...

“... hey, Phobe.”

You swat away one of those weird mole things. They're cute, but annoying when you're... wait a second.

“Good morning. It's still morning, right?”

“Come on. You know I can only do that at night. … the clock says you've still got a few minutes, though.”

Oh! Right, you're still out here. Not outside outside, but inside the house in the outside. And that first one and two were Mary, while the third was Renko. You sit up. Right. You had your head on this table, and then... fell asleep? That's weird. Maybe it was just that boring.

“Oh, she's awake~”

Mystia, too. She's sitting across the table from you, with a quarter of an omelette in front of her. Wait. Wasn't it only half gone? Oh. Haha.

“Was it exciting?” You ask, looking first to her and then the omelette.

Mystia nods. “Really exciting.”

Most of the math seems to be gone from the table, too. There's a stack of books in the corner, but the paper upon paper isn't there anymore.

“It's done?”

Renko gives you a nod. “Yeah. If you were that bored, though, you should have said something,” She laughs, “Seriously. I'm sure I could have found something for you to do.”

You frown a little. But you did say something. Maybe not right before you went to sleep, though...

“So, are you ready to do something fun?” Mary asks, a smile forming on her face. You give a really fast nod. Perfect. “I'm still not sure what we should do yet, though,” Mary admits, “Maybe the park? We could even stop by that construction site on the way there.”

Renko shrugs. “How about the museum? Something tells me these two would really like modern history stuff.”

“Oh, that's good, too,” Mary nods. “Or maybe we could take them over to the shopping district?”

Renko frowns a bit at that. “Sure, if you're buying. But I guess it would be kind of a shame if we ended up getting them home before they even got a souvenir.”

You take a look over to Mystia, who seems almost as confused at all this as you are.

“Any ideas?” Mary asks, turning once more to you. “Hear anything you like?”

[ ] Park? First ideas are always the best.
[ ] Museum, maybe. It sounded kind of important earlier.
[ ] Shopping when someone else is paying? Sounds great~
[ ] Is there anything like (write-in) around?
[x] Park? First ideas are always the best.

We should try to find Wriggle and Rumia
All of them include stopping by the construction site, if that was not clear.
[X] Shopping when someone else is paying? Sounds great~

[Q] Shopping when someone else is paying? Sounds great~
[x] Shopping when someone else is paying? Sounds great~

Get something that's unique to outside.
[x] Shopping when someone else is paying? Sounds great~
Shopping~, shopping~.
I figured that those two might be by the park since it's the most like home.
[x] Shopping when someone else is paying? Sounds great~
[x] Park? First ideas are always the best.
Watch the couples.
[x] Park? First ideas are always the best.

I gasped in glee when I saw this post. I love that song so much.
[x] Shopping when someone else is paying? Sounds great~


Renko sighs. “I was afraid you were going to say that.”

“Hah... really?” Mary asks, “Shopping?”

You nod. Mystia seems to think about it for a moment, and then nods as well. “That might be nice. There's probably some really neat stuff at an outside world market.”

Renko nods. “You've got no idea.”

Ah, you're getting excited just thinking about it. Kourindou is the best shop back in gensokyo; it's hard to imagine every shop selling stuff like that. “So, when are we going?” You ask, standing up. “I'm ready~”

“Well, we'll need to do something about your wings,” Renko says, turning towards Mystia. “Can you move them down at all?”

“Ah...” Mystia frowns a bit. “Like this?”

The wings droop a bit. She usually sits with them folded up behind her, but they always stick out a bit. You know? You can usually seem them peeking out from behind her shoulders. But, when she lets them droop down, they almost hide behind her.

“Ah... that's not uncomfortable, right?” Mary asks, taking a look at the new pose. “Unless you're not thinking what I am, Renko.”

Renko shrugs. “Maybe. I was thinking we could put a coat over them.”

Mystia shakes her head in either case. “Not really. It just feels kind of weird.”

“If you're sure,” Renko nods, “You're going to have to keep them like that for a few hours.”

Mystia nods. “Its ok~”

“Well then,” Mary nods, smiling. “You're ready, right, Renko?”

“Yeah,” She says, motioning to the pile of books in the corner. Or rather the pile of papers on top of the pile of books. “I'll drop this stuff off on the way home. I've got to have it in by five.”

Oh man. “So, we can go?”

“Looks like it.” Then, grinning a bit, she adds, “Unless you don't want to, Phobe?”

You give a vigorous shake of your head. “Let's go already~”

No one else argues.

You head over to the door, and get on your gear from last time. Shoes – jacket – hat. Mystia ends up in one of Mary's old jackets, since, according to Renko, Mystia's jacket is too weird (most humans don't have big holes in the back of theirs.). Mary and Renko get on their normal stuff, and, after Renko packs up her papers in a bag, you all take off.

“I guess we'll have to take the bus, huh?” Renko asks Mary as you two get out of the big pillar, “I'm pretty sure there's a stop over by that construction site, so we can swing through on the way there. Or at least scope it out.”

Mary nods. “That sounds good. I hope those other two are OK.”

You do, too. And Mystia. Neither of you need to say it, but that's fine.

… and, just then, there's some kind of jingling. Music, maybe? It's really weird sounding, though. Renko reaches into her pocket and comes up with yet another box, splitting it and putting it to her ear.

“Hello? Oh, hey! I was wondering if you'd call. Where are you at? … eh, how about the street address?” A pause. “All right. Just stay there for a few minutes, we'll be right there. Yeah. Bye.”

The box gets folded up, and placed back in her pocket. “Guess we don't need to swing by the construction site. They're over near the sushi bar on 76th.”

“They?” Mary asks, “Oh, you mean...”

“Yeah,” Renko nods, laughing. “Sounds like that one's never used a phone before, though.”

Ah, that one? “Wriggle?” That's weird. Why's she awake right now, anyway?

Another nod. “Yeah.”

Mystia breathes a sigh of relief. “Oh, that's good. Was Rumia there, too?”

Yet another nod. “Looks like they're just fine. That's a relief. I was half expecting a call from some policeman...”

A slight detour. Instead of turning here, you go straight... and then turn a different way. And then straight. And then a different way. Even the walking paths are boxes here; you can't go straight from one place to another, you've got to walk around different boxes to get there. It's really strange.

Then, after rounding one last corner... you see a person you recognize sitting on a bench, watching the street. Two of them, actually.

You can't help but run over to them.

“Hey guys~”

Wriggle looks up, somewhat surprised. But then she laughs. “What happened to you? Did they turn you into a human while I wasn't looking?”

You're a little confused, but then you realize where she's looking. Oh. Your hat. “Haha, kinda~”



“You're both ok, right?”

Mystia seems to have run a little, too.

Wriggle shrugs. “I guess so. This place is really messed up, though.” She gives a look up to Renko and Mary, who are only a little further behind. “Seriously.”

“Stinky, too~” Rumia adds, “And so hard.”

Wriggle gives another nod. “Yeah.”

Both those are right, though. “Stinky and hard,” You agree, “But there's a lot of really cool stuff, too.”

“I'll take your word for it,” Wriggle says, shrugging. “These guys been treating you ok?”

She motions back to Renko and Mary when she asks that. Renko gives a laugh. “I think we made them a little bored.”

You nod. “A little bored. But they're pretty neat.”

Mystia nods in agreement. “And their beds are really weird. But we had fun talking about a whole lot of stuff~”

“Haha. Say, did you two ever figure out how to get us back?” Wriggle asks, again looking back up to the other two, “Because it's really suck to find out you were just kidding when you said you might be able to. I'd like to get out of here.”

Renko laughs, and scratches the back of her head. “Ahah, well... we're working on it, you know?”

Wriggle frowns. “So no, then.”

“That's not true,” Mary says, “I think I get it now. I just didn't want to say it because I wasn't sure.”

“Come on, Mary,” Renko says, “It's better to get stuff like that out in the open.”

Mary gives a nod. “Well, that thing I said earlier. I think that it might let you get back into gensokyo if you're holding it.”

“The magnet gohei or whatever?” Renko asks.

“Yeah. I think it might suck you in if you get close enough to a hole in the border.”

“But... ah, crap,” Renko says, “We can't just go take it.”

Wriggle laughs. “I've got no idea what they're talking about. Do you, Phobe?”

You shake your head, but then pause. “Well, maybe a little. But I still don't get it.”

“Basically, someone brought something to town that does weird things to the border,” Renko says, shrugging. “But there's no other way, Mary?”

“Hmm. Well, not unless you want to wait until you get spirited away some day,” Mary says, “I think. But that might never happen...”

That... you don't want to never go back.

“Can't we just give it back when we're done?” You ask, “That would be ok, right?”

“I think it might go through with you,” Mary says, “So no.”

“Look, I'm not going to pull a museum heist to get you all...”

You give Renko a sad look. If you need it, you need it. The humans probably need it less than you.

“... gah.”

Renko sighs. “Well, I guess it might be OK if you guys stole it and I had nothing to do with it,” She says, “Having you stuck out here forever would be cruel.”

“So, we've got a way back, then.” Wriggle says, standing up. Rumia, like some kind of trained dog, does the same. Huh... another weird thing. She's usually not paying much attention. “Let's take it. I just want to go home and have a nap.”

[ ] But... shopping.
[ ] That's fine, if you can get Renko to give you something~
[ ] That's fine, if you can get Mary to give you something~
Allow me to explain.

I have run out of things to do with this story, almost. So I am going to wrap up the rest of what I had in mind in a few updates, and be done. This was never intended to be some huge thing, anyway. It's just going to be a thread or two shorter than I had originally planned.

I hope you won't hate me for this, but I think that it needs to be done so I am going to do it. So, sorry if it feels like I'm cheating you out of half a story or something. But I think it is for the best. For me, and for you (assuming you will still be here in a month or two, and assuming you still pick up my stories).

But, yeah. That is the plan. It's also the plan to make these the best updates ever, so maybe that will give you some comfort.
[Q] But... shopping.

This was expected to be pretty short from the beginning. Don't feel bad~
[x] But... shopping.
-[x] Ask Mary or Renko to get Wriggle and Rumia something nice to eat.
[x] But... shopping.
It's okay. You don't need to feel bad about it. Just give it some open end so that you can pick it up again.
[x] But... shopping.
-[x] Ask Mary or Renko to get Wriggle and Rumia something nice to eat.
Those two deserve to get something nice to eat after all this. Oh, and it's perfectly fine klay, pretty certain you said at the beginning that it would be shortish.
[X] But... shopping.
- [X] Ask Mary or Renko to get Wriggle and Rumia something nice to eat.

Ignoring the fact that Mary or Renko are something nice to eat for Rumia.

So will you be starting SCIENCE! Round 2 back up when this finishes?


Sorry, that was rude, wasn't it? Rude but most likely entirely appropriate.

Unless he has a hidden energy tank or twin brother, I'm pretty sure he won't be starting something up again right after this.

I didn't mean EXACTLY after this finishes. But like a month or two after.
Unless I'm suddenly struck with inspiration (It's certainly possible - I hate how unpredictable that stuff is), I don't think so. There are two things bouncing around my head right now, and it's more likely that one of those will be written next. After a month or three of downtime.

Since I forgot to mention this in the last post, updates may take a little longer than usual. I am going to be writing the same amount as I usually do, but yeah.
I am not dead.

I am just having difficulty writing. Expect something tomorrow.
Well, I guess I didn't technically lie.

I am done with this. Sitting around for three hours only to make a paragraph makes the next one even harder, until it snowballs into something terrible. It's starting to get to me. I was going to say that this is going on an indefinite hiatus, but that would be a lie. I have no intention of coming back to this.

I did promise an ending, though, so here it is. Basically, the ending was what you'd expect. A decent meal, with the shopping going as planned. Mystia picks up a cookbook, Wriggle a... trinket of some kind, Rumia gets something else, and Phobe another hat to add to her collection. Something like Renko's, although a bit different in design and a dark red.

The museum heist goes almost as planned (may write this bit as a short later), and our little youkai get back without a hitch. Cue open-ended thing so that I can continue on with something else.

All the other stuff I said before is still valid. I'll be back in a few months with something else - I'm not sure if it will be more Phobe (I do have a few ideas left here. I just choose a poor one for this story) or something else completely different yet, but I will be back.

So, sorry for dropping this on such a low note. But I feel it's what I need to do.
>I have no intention of coming back to this.
Well. Damn. Thank you for writing this. Even if you had few readers near the end i really did enjoy reading it.
While I am disappointed to hear this, I understand. It was fun to read, but you shouldn't push yourself if it isn't fun to write. I'll be looking forward to your next work.

It does suck a little that /forest/ is dead now. It'll come back to life someday.
That's a damn shame, man. I'm really sorry to hear that.

I look forward to reading whatever you might write in the future, though.
>All the other stuff I said before is still valid. I'll be back in a few months with something else - I'm not sure if it will be more Phobe (I do have a few ideas left here. I just choose a poor one for this story) or something else completely different yet, but I will be back.

Phobe I think has established herself a place among the handful of original characterizations worthy enough to drive a story in their own right.

Whatever you choose write about, you will have readers.

/r/ Phobe fanart dump
I was wondering when this would happen.
more importantly though, will we get an epilogue scene maybe we can visit Kourindou with our new outside knowledge

failing that can we at least know what our new hat looks like?
I'm so going to miss Phobe after this ;_; well, it can't be helped if it's your decision, right?

Take care of yourself, sir. We'll meet again in a few months, that I hope.
I could probably write that. I'll give it a shot, but who knows when it'll be done. Check back in a week or two.
Or three, I guess.



Finally, I've gotten all the work taken care of for today. Assuming neither of those two show up, that should be it. Everything's been cleaned, which took a bit longer than normal. I've been putting that one off for far too long. All the merchandise dusted, the floors swept, the dishes done. Now all that's left is to find a good book, sit down, and enjoy the rest of the day. As much as one can enjoy a winter day. Although, I must say, this new heater is very nice.

'Introduction to Algorithms'. A bit complex, maybe, but it should be interesting.

I take my usual seat near the entrance, in the “laz-y-boy” chair that managed to find it's way into my shop a few years ago. Very comfortable. It's not like I'm expecting any customers this late in the day, but, well...it's not unheard of.

Chapter 1. The first ---

*thunk thunk thunk*

Sigh. Maybe if I don't answer, they'll go away? But that idea vanishes as the door slides open anyway, a few seconds later.

“I think he'll take it.”

“Well, even if he doesn't, I know he'll take this.”

“Maybe this, too~?”


I continue reading. If they want something, they can ask. And they will. I'm pretty sure I recognize those voices.

“Hey, is that a good book?”

I look up.

… and I can't say that that's what I expected to see.

“See~? I told you~?”

It's Phobe, as expected. When these four come in, she's the one who usually does the talking. Very polite, for a Gensokyo resident. Very curious. Definitely not the worse customers I have.

But, it always gives me a little shock when I see someone change up their appearance so drastically. In gensokyo, most people settle on one or two things that they like, and stick with it. I can't say I'm any different. But this...

“He does look surprised,” the bug-youkai Wriggle adds, stifling a laugh. I feel like this is all part of some big joke. “Well, as surprised as I can imagine him looking.”

“Ah... I'm always amazed when someone comes in wearing something I didn't expect.” I say, defending myself. “Especially if it's something like that. You didn't get that here, I know that much.”

A red coat, and a red velvet fedora. Definitely not something made locally. And usually, if it's something not made locally, I'm the one that sold it to them. But not this. I don't recognize this at all. It's not something that's gone through this shop. Perhaps someone slipped through the border, and had an unfortunate accident?

Phobe shakes her head. “Nope. We went on a trip~”


“Long story short,” Wriggle adds in, taking a step forward, “We ended up in the outside world for a few days. And we've got a few things we thought you might want.”

“A-ah... and do you have my spices still?” The night sparrow, Mystia adds, taking a step forward from the back of the group. “Sorry I wasn't here on the normal day.”

That's a few mysteries all wrapped up at once, then. Mystia's one of my regular customers for the strange spices that come through here from time to time. It's by no means a regular supply, but it seems to be working for her.

“Hum...” I say, getting out of my chair. At least they're buying something. That's more than I can say for a lot of my 'customers'. “Let's head up front, then. This isn't a place to do buisness.”

I head forward, while they scatter and form into a line behind me. I chuckle a little to myself. They're definitely a strange bunch. Even Rumia seems to be with them this time. She's the only one that isn't always here.

“Let's see what you've got, then,” I ask, taking my usual spot behind the counter. They take their usual spot up front, and begin raiding their pockets. It also seems like they've set a few things in front of the counter, because they're reaching down and coming up with items I've never seen before.

In the end, the total is 2 keychains, a pair of shoes, a few candy wrappers, a package of double A batteries, and... huh. That should definitely not be here.

“I got that right, too~” Phobe grins, turning around to face Wriggle. “Look at his face.”

“You said it was worth a lot, not that it'd surprise him,” Wriggle responds, “So you're not right yet.”

I clear my throat. No. Definitely not something that should be here.

“...where did you get this?” I ask, “May I hold it?”

Phobe gives me a nod. “It came from the outside. I think it's a magnet or something? I don't really get it it... but we used it to get back.”

I pick up the gohei, and confirm my suspicions. It's very old. Old enough that, even if it weren't all that special, it would be special for just lasting this long. Worthless to most, but beyond value to a select few. I wonder if... she... knows about this. It seems like something that she'd care about.

“I can't pay you for these,” I say, setting the candy wrappers and the gohei off to the side. Obviously, the plastic sheets are fairly worthless. But maybe it will make up for how much this is worth. “But I can trade for all of it. Go find something you'd like.”

“I'll just sell them,” Wriggle says, nodding towards the key chains. “The batteries, too. I mean, if you're not going to offer me some really low amount for them.”

I had considered it, but not for long. “No, these are fairly popular,” I say, taking another look at the deformed characters on them. Characters, all from stories in the outside world. “I wouldn't doubt it if they're gone within a week. The same goes for the batteries. I can never keep those in stock...”

Many of the gadgets I get require power to run. Electrical power. Definitely my strongest seller.

“So, I can pick something out?” Phobe asks, taking a glance towards the gohei. “How much?”

“Find something you like,” I say, “and I'll tell you if it's not too much. You, too,” I add, nodding to Rumia. Both girls give me a smile and head further in, while Wriggle and Mystia stick around up front.

Normally I'd go and make sure they don't break anything, but I figure that maybe a bit of multi-tasking is in order.

I name off a price for the keychains and batteries, reaching behind the counter and counting out that much. “Sound fair?”

Wriggle gives me a shrug back. “Yeah, I guess.”

After handing the money over, I nod towards Mystia. “I've got your package in the back. Let's go get it before those two return, shall we?”

We don't make it, in either case. By the time we're done, they've already made it back.

“Oh, there he is,” Phobe says, after finally noticing our return. “Is this good?”

I return to my place behind the counter. A... book? And a bunch of full candy wrappers. Mostly foreign candy, it looks like. The last bit is obviously Rumia's choice – she seems to get that every time she comes here.

“It's math, right?” Phobe asks you, taking another glance at the book.

I nod. Can she even read? Well, no matter. “I can't say I understand it, but it's a modern math textbook.”

“So, is this a good trade?”

I do feel a little guilty about such an uneven, but I accept. “Come back in a few days, and I'll give you both a bonus,” I say, nodding. I'm sure I can find something valuable that they'd want by then. Something I wouldn't mind parting with, either.


“So, we're done?” Wriggle asks, taking a quick look around. She receives nods from everyone there. “Great. Let's get something good to eat.”

Mystia gives a warm nod. “Definitely. There's some interesting spices in here this week...”

I watch them go, taking their goods with them. And then, after hiding the gohei in the back with more of my non-display items, I sink back down into my chair. Yes. Where was I? Chapter 1...
Oh god, it's Carmen Sandiego Phobe. That's awesome.
Oh god, Phobe~
This concept is worth a story all on its own.
>Carmen Sandiego Phobe
fucking fund it
File 127840306796.jpg - (232.26KB, 1053x1067, phobesandiego.jpg) [iqdb]
That's awesome.
You're awesome.
Remember the "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?" game show? Remember the acapella theme song? It's now playing in your head, manually.
I really want to print this out, laminate it and make a bookmark out of it.

Fucking saved.
I heartily approve.
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