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File 129643414582.jpg - (325.98KB, 710x842, NorGlaWriggle.jpg) [iqdb]
22517 No. 22517
This is a tale of a young Gensokyo native and how he ends up witnessing various events in the course of knowing everybody's favorite bug-girl.

Select character archetype; this determines the MC's personality and preferred choices. A name would also be preferred, but not required. Voting ends late tomorrow.

I'm also taking suggestions for the title.

-------

[ ]Hotblooded -- A talented novice hunter and fighter, his aptitude in other areas is not notable at all. Despite his dimness, his confidence gives him a sort of charisma smarter folks might lack.

Life story: Orphaned by a youkai, an older hunter and his wife took him and raised him as their own. Under their roof he learned how to hunt and kill, and he has just started to work with other novices. He's a bit perplexed by the soft stance his "father" has in regards to non-feral youkai. Also, his father discourages acting recklessly for glory and profit, something his personality predisposes him to do. He has a fondness for tales of heroes, which caused his reckless streak.


Stats:
Combat: A (Melee based)
Intelligence (picking up on things): D (A in regards to combat)
Knowledge (Information on things): C (A in regards to combat and hunting)
Charisma: B

-------

[ ]Methodical -- A perpetually bored jack of all trades. His personality is terribly blunt but can give effective arguements. Reasonably knowledgable about many things but he's best at thinking on his feet. His style of combat uses various things as he doesn't excel in one area.

Life story: Son of a merchant family, he decides to create a small business of his own while in school. He does various odd-jobs, some of them questionable. He tries to deal with things in an efficient manner, preferring to use tricks to get the drop on things rather than trying to crush them with brute force. School is little more than a bother to him. Speaks bluntly but isn't that bad of a guy underneath his hard shell as folks like Rinnosuke and Keine can see.

Stats:
Combat: C (if using raw power) or B (if fighting in a clever way and trying to outwit his opponent)
Intelligence: A
Knowledge: B
Charisma: D

-------

[ ]Scholarly but kind -- A historian in-training and versed in beginner's magic. A kind but awkward young man who knows much for his age. His humble, earnest personality has a certain charm to it. In terms of stats, he's a typical mage. His knowledge of the world is rather vast for his age and he has a decent amount of intelligence to complement it. His only problem is his lack of real-world experience.

Life story: His father is an aide to the Hiedas, as a result he grew up around books and developed a strong sense of empathy, but wound up shy. He now is an apprentice scribe to the family and works with Akuu and Keine at times. He still goes to school in the meanwhile as to finish his normal education. He soon found an beginner magic book as he learned some very basic magic and got some danmaku self-defense lessions from Keine. He quickly dismisses any notion of him being remotely on par with Marisa.

Stats:
Combat:C (magic)
Intelligence: B
Knowledge: A
Charisma: B

-------

[ ]Bard -- Frail, inept when it comes to fighting, but very good talking his way out of things. His knowledge and intellect are respectable.

Life story: Growing up he grew to like music and wanted to make it his life, this clashed his with parents who insisted upon a more productive life. He refused and soon left home, taking his possessions with him. He was prepared for a rough stretch but his personality was found to be quite charming. He found this out when he convinced the Matron of the village's Inn to let him stay in small room with paid meals on the condition he played music in the dining hall. While flirtatous, he only does so as a result of the inspiration attractive women give him.

Stats:
Combat: F (Very spoony)
Intelligence: B
Knowledge: B
Charisma: A

If anyone has any questions, go ahead and ask.
Expand all images
>> No. 22518
[bbbbb]Methodical

Color me skeptical.
>> No. 22519
[x] Bard

A song I shall sing to thee.
>> No. 22520
[X] Methodical

Well, who knows. It could be pretty interesting.
>> No. 22521
[X] Methodical

Or

[X] Scholarly

The Bard thing is done to death.
>> No. 22522
[%] Scholar.

Man, what is it with stories and asking for names these days?

Remember when the only way to know what protagonist you were talking about was some mashed together anonymous contraction?

I do. Those were the good old days.
>> No. 22523
[X]Scholarly but kind

Do want. And that picture is ohgod cute.
>> No. 22526
[x]Scholarly but kind

Seems to be the most interesting of the options, so why not.
>> No. 22527
>>22522
I was going to name the character something of my choosing, but I thought it might be a good idea to give the readers some input on that front. Ultimately it's up to you; if you want him to have some name I put together, it's fine by me. It is a CYOA after all.
>> No. 22530
[x] Bard
>> No. 22532
[x] Methodical

I'm sick of silver-tongued protagonists.
>> No. 22535
[x] Scholarly but kind.

Best anon for our dearest bug.
>> No. 22537
[Q] Scholarly but kind

This looks nice.
>> No. 22539
[x] Spoony Bard
>> No. 22542
Scholarly wins, and his name will be Yukikaki Kojima. I should have the update ready by Saturday at the absolute latest, but I'm sure I'll finish it sooner.
>> No. 22559
I've completed the update and sent it to my proofreader. Expect the update in a few days at the latest.
>> No. 22560
>>22559

Hooray!
>> No. 22574
File 12968157841.jpg - (101.88KB, 500x700, Keine.jpg) [iqdb]
22574
There are many untold tales in history relating to small events. Though they are forgotten, they are no less important to the people who lived through them. -Keine Kamishirasawa

CHOCKCHOCKCHOCK

Must be time to get up, then... The wind-up alarm clock Mother brought from that strange woman in the white coat never fails to wake me up.

My room used to be a basement study until Father converted it to a bedroom. Its furnishings are rather humble: a simple futon, a few bookcases lined with my favorite books, a large lamp stand next to a plain desk and chair, and a small candle holder that usually sits on the desk. The bathroom upstairs and the storeroom – where we keep candles and lamp fuel – are easy to get to, and if I need to move quietly I can. My home is on the large side while retaining its modesty – a testament to my family’s history as scholars.

A boy moves quickly out of bed. His eyes are fully alert and awake, and he moves with a mundane purpose. As he hops quickly up a set of stairs into a hallway with an adjoining bathroom, his nose picks up the scent of breakfast being prepared. Fish, from the smell of it.

-----

"How's this... higher school faring for you, Yuki?" Mother asks. This is the first year that Miss Keine is teaching older students, and Mother worries about things like this quite a lot.

My mother is a plain but pretty woman who carries an intelligent air. Black hair streams down just past her shoulders and a pair of soft black eyes look kindly out from her soft face. A very normal woman in appearance, but not in mentality. She’s as much a scholar as my father. Like most mothers, she tends to dote on me a great deal.

"It's going well, Mother. I'm enjoying the new material she’s teaching us. Has Father left for the Hieda residence?"

"Yes, he has. It turns out that the latest discoveries detail some of Myouren's life. I would have gone with him, but I wanted to make sure you ate well before you left for school." It’s funny: even though my room is basically a study area with a bed in the center of it, she still treats me like a kid.

"Then that’ll be something to look forward to! Are you still studying outsiders, Mother?" Ever since outsider appearances picked up, she’s been very interested in them.

"Yes, and they're going as well as can be expected. How’s breakfast, Yuki?" Of course it’s good; Mother is a fairly talented chef, and she knows it. I won't pry, but she’s trying to avoid something.

"It’s good, mother. As always." I finish my breakfast as I leave for school.

-----

The schoolhouse is humble inside and out. It’s a simple two story build, with the classroom on the first floor. The classroom itself is clean without seeming sterile, with chalk by the blackboard and desks lined up in orderly rows and columns. My desk is in the second row from the front.

Sit down, get out materials, and wait patiently. I’m first, as usual. Some of the other students are filling in slowly, taking their seats and getting ready for the day’s lessons. Miss Keine should be along any moment, now – ah, and here she is.

Miss Keine, despite her humble roles as Teacher and Village Guardian, is a very lovely woman. A modest blue dress does little to conceal the fact that she has an incredible figure, and her long locks of silver-blue hair and compelling red eyes give her a certain exotic mystique. She’s also able to wear that particular hat and still manage to give off a dignified aura rather than look absurd. She is strict but kind and very knowledgeable about history. I see the strict side less than others. That might be due to my good behavior and high grades.

I don’t think there is any man whose heart wouldn’t react to the sight of her. Naturally, many guys enrolled just to ogle her. Very few of us actually respect her as a person and for her knowledge and capabilities.


"In light of what has happened with Sunohara, today's lesson will be on the dangers of romancing Youkai. I know you're all about to be at that age where you start to notice members of the opposite sex, and many a time have I seen a Youkai catch a student’s eye.” Wait. Something happened to Takami? He might be a bit abrasive, but his humor helps perk up the class.

"What happened to him, Miss Keine?" I ask. Hopefully nothing too serious.

Her expression turns neutral as she answers.

"It turned out that he was dating a certain Night Sparrow... whom he offended rather severely in a very short time period. It is a miracle that his injuries are not more severe."

She fidgets for a short moment before continuing.

"I will say, though, that his family is lucky he has an older brother, or else there might have been some issues regarding the continued existence of their lineage." Why would – oh. Sounds painful, but all things considered it's still getting off lightly.

-----

"It’s a known fact that a very high number of female humanoid Youkai are attractive. Some of them may even look frail and helpless. They’re not; despite their appearances, they can fend off experienced hunters. And this applies to the youngest ones. The older ones, while perhaps even more attractive and kind-looking, can easily lay the village’s best hunting party to waste. They are also sensitive about certain things. For example, never mention chicken or eggs in front of a bird-based Youkai. Treat them as you would someone of a higher position. Treating a female Youkai like a mere animal is practically begging to die a horrible death.”

Keine continues the lecture with a tone of the utmost severity, drawing detailed – and occasionally graphic – diagrams of what not to do around Youkai and the potential consequences. Only toward the end does she begin to soften up, and now her chalk scratches and clicks against the blackboard as she jots down a summary of her main points.

“Most importantly, you must remember these two things when dealing with all Youkai, both male and female. First, never forget their roots or their strength. Even the weakest are very powerful, and the strongest are practically godlike. Secondly, remember that despite how human they appear to be their thinking may be vastly different from yours; it may be more primal and instinctual. At the same time, they also feel many of the same emotions as you, which can complicate things even further.

“I know everyone's stances on this matter except yours, Kojima." Gulp. I haven’t given this too much thought before. Been too busy reading, probably. Guess that means I’ll have to think on the fly, then. Take a deep breath, and—

"Youkai, Human? Does it make a difference? Wouldn’t love be the most important thing in such a situation? That and consideration should make anything possible." Mother and Father have always emphasized consideration for all things in life – maybe that applies here as well.

[b]Keine smiles as she replies, and her eyes gleam with approval.


"How insightful of you. Some would call such a view naïve, but I call it… pleasantly optimistic." Interesting. I didn’t expect her to be so happy about it.

The boy at the front of the class realizes with a start that all eyes are upon him. A few of the students seem to be holding back snide smirks, while some regard him with polite interest.

Oh dear... I seem to have ended up as the center of attention. How embarrassing.

Keine looks up to address the rest of the class, the soft smile still lingering on her lips.

"That's it for today. Remember what I have taught and you shall avoid Sunohara's fate."

-----

The Hieda residence is particularly grand in its size and appearance, truly befitting the status and importance of the family. Inside are various rooms filled with scrolls, desks, and a few calendars. The one in the entryway reads the 15th day of the 8th month of the year 117.

Two weeks since Lady Akyuu's 8th birthday. I feel this date is important, but I’m not sure why.

"Young Master Kojima, you're as timely as always." Ah, Shinobu.

Shinobu’s the maid I usually end up running into at the residence. She’s overly polite, humble, and kind – but at the same time it feels as if she’s... guarding herself somehow. Her maid outfit makes it hard to tell too much about her figure, but like most of the girls in the village she is rather pretty. Her eyes and hair are brown, which means she might be related to some of the first outsiders to show up. Her habit of calling me “Young Master” is both a little flattering and embarrassing.

"I was instructed to tell you that you could choose to assist one of your parents or Lady Akyuu herself."

Yuki’s eyes widen ever so slightly in interest, and his expression brightens a bit.

"Oh? May I ask what area Lady Akyuu will be covering today?" It’d be quite an honor to work with the Child of Miare, this being my first chance to do so.

"She is reviewing the records of various humanoid Youkai for a book she's working on." Interesting, perhaps she knows about the bird Youkai that attacked Sunohara… "So, Young Master Kojima, what will your choice be?"

Right... let's see....

[x] "If she's willing to grant me that honor, I cannot refuse." (Look into Youkai with Lady Akyuu)
[x] "I'm curious as to what Father found." (Look up long lost scrolls with Father)
[x] "Mother mentioned something about outsiders. I would like to see what is exactly involved." (Help Mother on her studies)

Don't fret too much on this choice, since you won't be passing up anything too big either way.
>> No. 22575
[x] "If she's willing to grant me that honor, I cannot refuse." (Look into Youkai with Lady Akyuu)

What the fuck are you doing with the format? Giant blocks of bold, smaller italicized thoughts. It makes it all very unappealing.

>It turned out that he was dating a certain Night Sparrow...
I mad as hell. My waifu would never date a pathetic human piece of shit.
>> No. 22576
Use bold less. It's a bit annoying.

[x] "Mother mentioned something about outsiders. I would like to see what is exactly involved." (Help Mother on her studies)

Outsider appearances increasing? We should be prepared in case one shows up.
>> No. 22577
Yes, I agree with what the other anons are saying and I ask that you refrain from using italicized and bolds.

Not only does it look uneven where there are parts of this update is in bold, italicized and normal font, it is a slight strain on the eyes.

Though...

[x] "Mother mentioned something about outsiders. I would like to see what is exactly involved." (Help Mother on her studies)

is an interesting choice... Perhaps we might meet an outsider. Who knows what they might know.
>> No. 22578
[x] "I'm curious as to what Father found." (Look up long lost scrolls with Father)

Works for me~!

>parts of this update is in bold, italicized and normal font
>Giant blocks of bold, smaller italicized thoughts

DOESN'T WORK FOR ME!
>> No. 22579
File 129682492891.jpg - (20.01KB, 229x247, PLOT.jpg) [iqdb]
22579
>It’d be quite an honor to work with the Child of Miare, this being my first chance to do so.
>perhaps she knows about the bird Youkai that attacked Sunohara

Come on, guys.

[x] "If she's willing to grant me that honor, I cannot refuse." (Look into Youkai with Lady Akyuu)
>> No. 22580
>>22579
I didn't vote for that because it's really creepy to read about people before meeting them. Feels stalkerish.
>> No. 22581
[X] "If she's willing to grant me that honour, I cannot refuse." (Look into Youkai with Lady Akyuu)

Well, we could at least show some general interest in learning about things that could kill you with a look.
>> No. 22582
How can I better handle actions and retrospective descriptions then? I'm willing to take any suggestions.
>> No. 22583
[x] "If she's willing to grant me that honor, I cannot refuse." (Look into Youkai with Lady Akyuu)

If it's not dialogue, just type it. Every other decent story on the board has managed to do the same.
>> No. 22588
>>22582
You seem to be trying to use every type of narration at the same time, all mashed together randomly with special formatting. It's very awkward to read.

Try to stay with the main character's point of view whenever possible. Use clearly separated scenes or sections when you need to switch to another character's perspective or a third-person narrative.
>> No. 22589
>>22588
Would that apply to flashback descriptions as well? I've been thinking on ways of mixing in actions without having it devolve into "s/he did that" but the descriptions of folks he already knows is proving trickier.
>> No. 22592
[x] "If she's willing to grant me that honor, I cannot refuse." (Look into Youkai with Lady Akyuu)

Can't refuse a lovely lady.
>> No. 22595
[x] "If she's willing to grant me that honor, I cannot refuse." (Look into Youkai with Lady Akyuu)
>> No. 22596
Vote's called for Akyuu. I should have an update ready by Tuesday night at the absolute latest.
>> No. 22597
>>22578
I like it...
>>22575
I mad as well!
>>22577
He's just making different narrative styles more apparent and easy to follow. I know it's a pain but think how much of a pain it would be without it.
Sage for pointless rant
>> No. 22598
>>22597
He could try, like. Not using multiple narrative styles. Or something.

And it seems unfair to read a story that explicitly says it intends to set the main character up with Wriggle, then get annoyed when other characters are involved with humans.
>> No. 22599
>>22598
But Wriggle isn't mai waifu. I don't give a shit if she shacks up with some human.
>> No. 22600
>>22597
>>22598
It was an ill-fated experiment on how to fit in certain things.

As for Mystia? It's not the first time someone started dating someone who then turned out to be someone unpleasant.
>> No. 22601
>>22600
Yeah, Mystia seems nice until you realize she cares about her job more than you.
>> No. 22602
>>22601
I think he was talking about the guy. I assume he tried to rape her or something.
>> No. 22603
>>22602
Wha... hell no what? Didn't you read the thing about not mentioning chicks and eggs in front of bird youkai? How do you think raping a youkai would even fly if even the weakest are several times stronger than humans.
>> No. 22604
>>22603
Preparation. Whether it's Eirin's rape drugs or magic-sealing crystals, with enough preparation anyone can rape any youkai.
>> No. 22605
>>22604
And you would do that to your girlfried who you're probably going to score with anyway...? It MIGHT maybe be possible but even then it's not really an option. Even more so because said girlfried would rip your throat out the second she got free. Or her friends.
>> No. 22607
>>22603
>How do you think raping a youkai would even fly if even the weakest are several times stronger than humans.
I think he'd get his dick ripped off, which is apparently what happened.
>"I will say, though, that his family is lucky he has an older brother, or else there might have been some issues regarding the continued existence of their lineage."

Something's getting lost here. In >>22602 I was saying that >>22600 "someone unpleasant" was probably referring to the guy who was dating Mystia, not Mystia herself. >>22601 seemed to have it backwards.

>>22605
Are you an idiot or have you really not heard of "date rape"?
>> No. 22608
>>22607
Stop it.
>> No. 22609
>>22603
Sunohara, in an attempt at taking things to the next step, made a remark involving "Egg laying machine" and "unlike most chicken, having more legs than breasts". At which point, she got pissed and attacked him. In short, he was the unpleasant one.

As for the place in the timeline, there's a reason why I mentioned the date. One year before EoSD exactly.
>> No. 22616
>>22609
>One year before EoSD
I smell timeskips.
>> No. 22617
>>22616
Honestly, there may be some slight ones, but nothing into or past the Scarlet Mist incident. I do plan on shorts after the story detailing what happens with the two during the various incidents though.

As for the update, it's in the proofreading stage so it should be up by tomorrow night or Wednesday morning.
>> No. 22624
Waiting warmly~
>> No. 22635
File 129723245149.jpg - (257.43KB, 688x688, ChibiAkyuu.jpg) [iqdb]
22635
"If she's willing to grant me that honor, I cannot refuse." Being allowed to work with her directly is a sign of distinction among the village’s scholars. Mother and Father are among the honored few. And the topic is quite interesting, as I will find out more on how deal with them in the future.

“This way please, then.” Whew, she left out the “Young Master Kojima” bit. I’m not even sure why I should get this nervous; I talked with her last week at her birthday party. And she’s just an eight year old girl... one that seems to be as wise as someone ten times her age. “Young Master Kojima, we’ve arrived. I suggest that you just relax, as that would be something Lady Akyuu would insist on.” Take a deep breath, and here goes nothing.

-----

I still have a hard time believing Lady Akyuu would have a room like this. This room makes my parents’ study look like a chair in a closet. “You never do change do you, Yuki? Or would you prefer Young Master Kojima instead?” There goes Lady Akyuu, being so casual.

“Lady Akyuu, you shouldn’t be so casual! I’m just a-“

“You’re just the latest in the line of the most prominent scholars in this village, correct? I’m aware of my position and if I want to call a family friend by his nickname, I shall.” Leave it to her to use her ‘commanding’ tone of voice. I keep on forgetting that due to our families, we’ve known each other for most of her life. “Now that we’ve got that out of the way, we can focus on the task at hand. Wasn’t a similar Youkai involved in a recent incident?” She slides me a page with what appears to be a bird girl... Mystia Lorelei. If the drawing’s accurate she’s cute but those nails are no joke.

I can only dread and imagine what Takami said to provoke such a reaction. I read the details and they state (in bold): DO NOT MAKE BIRD, CHICKEN, AND/OR EGG JOKES IN HER PRESENCE. Could he really be that foolish? Then again, I remember him talking about trying to snuggle himself in Miss Yakumo’s tails; probably a good thing we managed to talk him out of doing that. “I’m not someone to say something mean, but... man, Takami is really stupid if he actually did that.”

“If that is the case, one can only hope he learned something. You’ll notice a few incomplete sheets as I’ve only been able to get slight bits about those Youkai.” She then points out a sheet with a rough outline of a person with antennae, pants and a cape. “My family has been gathering reports on this one for several years, but nothing conclusive. But most state that those that show him/her and insects respect are allowed to pass without harm. My suspicion is that this Youkai is a girl; although she wears pants, I know of one other woman that does the same.” She must mean Keine’s friend, Miss Fujiwara. “There was also a report that someone once called her a boy... and ended up running for his life from a swarm of bees. He survived, but not with his dignity intact.” Ouch.

“I didn’t think you had good information on the whole Yakumo family.” I remark as I look over the files. The one I see in the village is the Lady of Borders’ servant and is the most even headed of the bunch. “What’s with the warnings about Miss Yakumo’s familiar?” I’d have thought that her familiar would be better behaved.

Akyuu shakes her head cutely. “For all her virtues, Ran has a terrible soft spot for Chen and spoils her greatly. As a result she’s like many young Youkai, eager to play pranks or attack humans. It’s unlikely you’ll see her around the village, as Keine dealt with her some time in the past. I’ve heard that she loiters elsewhere these days.” I remember seeing Miss Keine headbutt a few people, and even just looking at it hurt.

“I have brought lunch for you and your guest, Lady Akyuu.” Ah, Shinobu’s here with some rice balls and some tea. “Do remember to clear away any documents before eating; it would be terrible if something got on them,” she advises as she leaves.

These really are good; I’m almost tempted to say better than homemade. “So tell me, Yuki, what girls do you have your eye on? I know it’s not any of the girls in the village. Maybe your tastes run even more exotic... such as Keine, Shinobu... or even me!”

“Pfft!” She even had the nerve to do a fake gasp before the last part!

“Sorry about that, but it’s rather odd that you haven’t really gone after a girl.” Isn’t that the truth; leave it to her to notice something like that.

“Yes, it is odd, and it bugs me as much as if not more than you. I’m just focusing on my work and taking things as they come.” What is there to do after all? Running around in a panic only leads to disaster. I wonder if she knows why some guys risk their lives going after Youkai girls... “Um... do you have any idea as to why some guys seem crazy about Youkai girls?” I’m getting nervous again.

“It’s easy to say looks are the reason, but Youkai have a different way of seeing things than humans and this difference may appeal to some. Some Youkai are wise despite their youthful appearances. But sometimes in the end, it’s love at first meeting, pure and simple. I’ll tell you this, Yuki: Love is a thing that causes people to take risks that they normally wouldn’t. Perhaps one day you might find out why yourself. After all, if anyone’s suited to romancing a Youkai it’s you.” I’m going to try not to dwell on that. We look over and discuss a few more files, such as a Youkai of darkness that seems more adorable than dangerous. Things go pretty quietly for the rest of the afternoon.

“Well, that’s it for today. I’ll try to see about enlisting a hunter or traveler to gather information. I would have tried the Hakurei Miko, but her prices are just unreasonable.” She muttered that last bit.

“I suppose it’s time to go, then. Be well, Lady Akyuu, and thank you once again for offering me a chance to work with you.”

“Any time, Yuki.”

Well, that was certainly enlightening. I should probably find Shinobu and ask how Mother and Father are doing with their tasks.

“They seem very busy still. I was instructed to tell you that they will not be done until around eight and that you should have something to eat before then.” It’s about five now, so I should probably get going.

-----

It seems that I have the rest of the day open. I could go home and try to improve my magic studies, maybe look over today’s paper. I could also wander about some and try to find a classmate. Or I could check in and see how Takami’s doing. I’m still slightly concerned about him, despite how foolishly he acted...

Hm, I guess I’ll—

[x]Wander some and socialize with friends.
[x]Check on Takami.
[x]Go home, read and think.

Each choice offers a different piece of insight.

>>22624
Seeing small posts like that has a good feeling; thanks.
>> No. 22636
[x]Check on Takami.

If we get him to tag along, he can make the MC look better in comparison.
>> No. 22637
[x]Check on Takami.

Good to check on things of immediate concern.

Or something.
>> No. 22638
[x] Wander some and socialize with friends.

Stupidity is contagious. I've also been wondering if the four character types at the beginning corresponded to four different students in Keine's classroom. Would Takami have been the hot-blooded one?
>> No. 22640
[x]Check on Takami.

I like this kid. He's bold, if not a little reckless. I can't fault him for the way he acts, cause who doesn't want to snuggle in Ran's tails.
>> No. 22641
[X]Check on Takami.

Have to make sure our foil doesn't go down before we even started.
>> No. 22642
>>22636
>>22640
>>22641
I think you're misreading the situation with Takami. Think about why he wasn't in class today and what happened to him. I'd rather not see a misconception get out of hand. And I don't want any readers disappointing themselves either.

>>22638
That's very observant of you, but Takami's his own character, not one of the four.
>> No. 22643
[x]Go home, read and think.

I'm very interested in reading the newspaper.
>> No. 22644
>>22642
Well...okay, I suppose the sight would've been quite unnerving to look at. Changing >>22641 to:
[X]Wander some and socialise with friends.
>> No. 22645
> Not only does it look uneven where there are parts of this update is in bold, italicized and normal font, it is a slight strain on the eyes.

I must be really strange, I quite liked the effect.
>> No. 22646
>>22645
Me too damn it!
>> No. 22651
[X]Wander some and socialize with friends.

>>22646
Same here, but the current style still works.
>> No. 22652
>>22645
>>22646
>>22651
Nice to hear some folks liked that, but in the end it's best this way as this style is easier used in my plans for future stories.

Also the votes are tied at the moment between Takami and wandering. Voting will be called at 6:20am site time.
>> No. 22653
[x] Wander some and socialize with friends.

>>22636
Hanging out with that douche would not reflect well on our character.
>> No. 22654
Socializing it is! Update will be up by monday at the absolute latest and friday the earliest.
>> No. 22704
[x]Wander some and socialize with friends.

Some fresh air would be nice, and I’m sure one of the guys has an idea of if he’s taking visitors or not. Miss Keine said Takami will be... mostly all right; I doubt she’d be wrong about something like this. Now I just need to figure out where they might be hanging out; I suppose I could try the Inn as Kamui lives there and the woman that runs the place doesn’t usually have an issue with him having a get-together every now and then. Good guy, but he’s way too into his art, spouting stuff like “Every lovely woman is my muse!” and “Kamui is the name of my soul!” I guess I have a bit of walking ahead of me.

-----

If the age gap between Akyuu and myself was smaller, I might have found myself in an enviable position, as it seems that each ‘Child of Miare’ ends up being very beautiful. Even now with her delicate features, purple hair and that flower headpiece, she’s certainly quite cute if that’s even the right word. Then again, she’d tease me even worse and in frustrating ways.

“Hey, Yuki, you’re about to walk into a wall!” Ah! Kazuma was right; I was so deep in thought I almost walked into it. “Come inside! Kamui got us Prismriver tickets!” He doesn’t have to drag me in so hard by my collar!

-----

Ginji and Kamui were sitting at a table. “Hey, it’s the man of the day. I’m impressed with that line you pulled in class. Sit down and take a load off.” Kamui hands me a ticket as I sit down. “Since we organize most of their concerts, I was able to twist their arm for a few tickets. And with any luck I’ll be able to play some music for them." With how much the inn mistress likes him, the whole thing went quick and easy for sure. I’ve heard about the Prismrivers, but I’ve usually been too busy with other things to look into them. But if this is an outing with the guys, I suppose I could spare a day off to go. “The concert’s in a few days, with them arriving tomorrow.”

“Thanks, but has anyone checked on Takami? I’d think he’d be excited about this.” I remember him stating his intense admiration of Merlin’s chest and Lunasa’s behind. Can’t really blame him, since the rest of us agree.

“He said he wasn’t interested. The guy’s shocked by everything, and a certain dumbass asked him if he could go after that Youkai girl. And he told us this: ‘If you find that special someone, don’t you ever throw that away for a cheap laugh, thrill, or anything.’” That’s Ginji for you: brutally blunt but always correct. Hard to tell he’s a merchant’s son. “I never thought the idiot would get such a wake up call.”

“Isn’t that wrong, asking someone if you could go after the girl that maimed them? I thought it was only Takami and me that made those blunders.” Figures Kazuma wouldn’t figure out the complexities of the love triangle that existed between those three. Guy can take down a feral Youkai pretty well for his age, but, sadly, brains don’t tend to be his strong suit.

“I admit it was a tactless move, but everyone but you could see we both liked her, Kazuma. He begged me to help her though what he did. Takami will live, but not the guy we once knew. He said he’s been thinking more than he ever had and it shows. Let’s change topics to something more pleasant: The Prismrivers! Or, precisely, which one is your favorite!” I really wonder if Kamui will ever settle down.

“Oh, that’s easy! Merlin! She’s always cheerful, and she seems real nice. Oh yeah, and her boobs are about as big as Miss Keine’s!” Clear-cut and predictable. She might be more his pace anyways. “What about you, Ginji?”

“Me? I’d say Lunasa. She strikes me as a kindred spirit, and she’s cute in her own way. And don’t pretend you guys don’t know about her ass. She has a nice handful, too. What’s your answer, Mr. Genji?” This is getting kind of embarrassing now. Ever since Ginji read the tale of Genji, he calls Kamui that after the mythical ladies’ man, Hikaru Genji. Who else would intentionally raise a girl to be his ideal woman?

Kamui finishes his tea as he responds, “Honestly? I can’t decide! Each has their own charm, even Lyrica! Lunasa’s sensible, Merlin’s bubbly, and Lyrica is an adventurous sort that’s willing to improve. That's a great thing to be in music, and imagine how it would be for other things! What do you think, Yuki?” I know they don’t mean ill, but something has to be said.

“I like them all as they each have their nice traits, though I do favor Lyrica a bit. But guys, you shouldn’t get too deep into any kind of objectifying. I think that’s what Takami was trying to tell us. He went too far and paid dearly for it.” I get up and look at the clock; it’s about 7pm. I take a few deep breaths. “Sorry about that, but today it just struck a nerve. I want to do a bit of reading before dinner, and I’m sure the rest of you have things to do.”

“Feh. You’ve made both points clear. Hey, Kazuma, don’t forget that you have something to help me with.” That’s right Ginji has Kazuma helping with the more manual labor tasks.

“Yeah, I know. I’m pretty well stocked on things so I’ll get to it at around 10 tomorrow morning. And I’m sorry for my part in things; if Dad heard about it, he’d give me hell. I mean, just the other day he frightened some guy who called the Tengu reporter, and I think her name was Aya, ‘a choice piece of ass.’ I thought he was going to kill him, that’s how angry Dad was.” Mr. Yaguu is mostly a kind old man, but he’s also among the most experienced and strongest hunters despite his age.

“I say Yuki, that personality of yours is more of help dealing with ladies than you realize. I’m sorry for starting this mess. Today’s been something alright; first finding out how Takami got himself maimed, and then his sudden change of heart.” I hate when people start apologizing; it really makes me feel like I’ve overreacted.

“It’s alright, good luck with, well, everything.” Dealing with Mystia won’t be easy after what has happened. But this isn’t the first tense situation he’s defused vocally.

“Well, every little bit helps, even on top of what that lucky rabbit gave me. Go ahead and go; I’ve got some practice ahead anyways.” Kamui insists he ran into a rabbit Youkai girl once and she blessed him with luck. At times, its efficacy has been questionable.

-----

Returning home, I sit down and look through the paper. Let’s see here. There’s Takami’s incident, the Prismriver’s upcoming concert. Wow, even bits about Mother and Father. It looks like they have an interview coming up soon. There’s even a dedication to Mr. Yaguu? I’m not even going to dwell on the implications of this.

Now that I’m done with the paper, time to look through the magic book I got, “Basic Elemental Magic” by a P.K. Chalmers. I’ve more or less gotten down the blind/stun and fireball spells, so now it’s time for... water. “Compared to the other elements, Water is both easier and harder to control. One can easily manifest such magic with nearby water sources but turning it into an offensive force takes considerable work and effort. First step to using such a magic is to gather a small but local water source as to reduce any possible mess.” Sounds simple enough... wait a minute, there’s a footnote here. It says: “Someone once had the bright idea of practicing on a lake. They got caught up in moving larger and larger volumes of water, so much so that they ended up flooding the nearby area.” It looks like this might be a bit tricky at first. Still, if I can do a basic fireball then I should get this down in no time. I flip through the book a bit; oddly enough, some of the text is unreadable and accompanied by the message, “Parts of this book cannot be read without the proper magical power. This is to prevent readers from getting in over their heads.” Well, I suppose that’s useful... What time is it? 7:55? Mother and Father should be home soon. I should probably clean myself up a bit.

-----

Mother and Father come in just as I get to the door, and Mother is carrying a covered plate of some kind. “The outsider I interviewed was so impressed that he gave us a free platter of, ah, what was it he called it? ‘Bar-be-que beef?’ Anyway, he was apparently invited here because the Lady of Borders was impressed by his cooking. It’s the only way to explain how his whole farm got moved here. He also mentioned rules she gave him in regards to his cows.” Mother might have found a good clue on to the mystery of mass outsider arrivals.

This is pretty good. This isn’t the first time I had a meal with beef, but this is definitely something new. “Father, did you uncover anything interesting today?” Agh. Good though it may be, this is definitely messy food.

“I found a few pages, but I’m having difficulty telling if they are truth or fiction. Myouren was an exceptional man indeed, but some of what I read sounds outlandish, to say the least. According to what I found, he fought masters of the sword to a standstill and was even teleported to Makai, where he apparently fought every single monster feared by man and emerged victorious. At this rate, I’m uncovering either a long awaited historical record or one of the first tales to embellish a hero to unimaginable levels. How was it working with Lady Akyuu?”

“It went well; I learned some useful information about some of the more well-known Youkai. That and I found out that Takami was maimed by his girlfriend.”

Father nods. “We found out when Keine stopped by to inform Lady Akyuu of it. I hoped for his foolish streak to end, but never like this.” Father has always tried to gently get Takami to stop his stunts, and I guess we all knew his luck would run out someday.

-----

As we’re putting the dishes away, Mother says, “When Lady Akyuu heard the news about Takami, she decided to give you a couple days off. She also mentioned something about a concert that you might want to go to.” Well, that was nice of her. Guess I shouldn’t be too surprised about her hearing of the concert, either; she’s always seemed to have a reliable network of information.

-----

I didn’t think I’d pass out as soon as I got in bed. I do my usual routine and find a note saying “Left for work already, enjoy your time off!” It’s in Mother’s handwriting. I would say I didn’t need it, but with all that happened, some time to relax wouldn’t hurt. Miss Keine won’t be having a higher education class until a couple of days after the concert. And the guys are busy, especially Kamui. I guess I’ll do some walking, but where to...

[x] See if Mr. Yaguu has some time to talk
[x] Look out for anyone interesting in the village today
[x] Try a bit of magic practice.
[x] Spend time rereading that series of books with the unconventional wizard.

Chapter 0 will only be 2-3 more posts. I couldn’t find a fitting picture of 4 guys, so I just went without one.
>> No. 22705
[x] Try a bit of magic practice.

Lyrica is indeed the best Prismriver. Good taste.
>> No. 22708
[x] Spend time rereading that series of books with the unconventional wizard.

If this is a reference to that terrible story over in /th/, I want no part of it and you should thus consider this a vote for

[x] See if Mr. Yaguu has some time to talk
>> No. 22711
[x] Try a bit of magic practice.

Magic grindin' gaems.
>> No. 22713
File 129771623732.png - (38.36KB, 227x285, guess who~.png) [iqdb]
22713
[x] Spend time rereading that series of books with the unconventional wizard.

This seems amusing.
>> No. 22714
[x] Look out for anyone interesting in the village today
Come on guys! Interesting people
>> No. 22717
[x] Look out for anyone interesting in the village today.

Socializing might give us more information than practicing from books.

As a question to the author, do you have a timeframe in mind before our introduction to Wriggle? Taking too long will cause anon to lose interest.
>> No. 22718
[x] Look out for anyone interesting in the village today.

Interesting people can always help lead to interesting situations.
>> No. 22719
>>22705
They all have their different charms, most of them explained in the update. All three have some very nice artists.

>>22708
Oh okay. You should try looking through the update for other references I sneaked in.

>>22717
Early in chapter 1 I'd say. Chapter 0 only has 1-3 more posts to go. I don't want this chapter to drag on too long either. I'm looking forward to that as well.

Votes will be called in about two hours.
>> No. 22720
>>22719
Come now, did you really think I missed the references to Ancient Gensokyo? And though it has been some time and my memory is fuzzy, I believe P.K. Chalmers is the name that Owen gave Patchy in Fairy Tale, right?
>> No. 22722
>>22720
Actually I think it was Patricia Chalmers, the P.K. was something I came up with. Good eye!

Interesting people wins, update will be up by Wed, barring any delays.
>> No. 22731
File 129791868843.png - (517.00KB, 800x1000, Kurumi.png) [iqdb]
22731
Update's been held back by things I can't control. It should be ready by tomorrow night barring anything else. I apologize for any disappointment incurred.

But to try to make up for it, I'm giving you a picture of someone mentioned in the next update or two and an outtake.

”Oh yeah, I heard a bird youkai talking about a chin-chin” Lady Kotohime... I am at a loss for words. It's clear why I didn't go with this.

I'm as upset by this as you are. But next week may see an increase in updates as my proofreader's more available then.
>> No. 22739
> Owen gave Patchy in Fairy Tale.

Tepes wrote Fairy Tale
>> No. 22741
>>22739
You might want to read this >>/gensokyo/6253
>> No. 22743
>>22741
Oh hey thanks! I never noticed that
>> No. 22751
File 129818143289.png - (1.61MB, 1280x1200, THJointVenture.png) [iqdb]
22751
Votes will be called after 24 hours or after a decisive majority is reached.

-----

[x] Look out for anyone interesting in the village today.


Looking for interesting people in the village is usually relaxing. With the upcoming concert, I’d imagine people from other villages would be coming today to get the best rooms and seats. First, though, I should do something about food – there should be some apples in the icebox.

-----

I only have an idea of how many small villages are around in Gensokyo; I do know that this one is the largest, however. What a beautifully clear blue sky. It really makes this a good day to be out and about. I think the main crossroads would be the best place to look.

-----

There are plenty of people, but no one interest -- Wait! It’s that woman in the white coat! “Miss, Miss!” I try calling out as I run out to her.

“It’s Rikako Asakura, young man. And what business do you have with me?” Doesn’t seem too friendly, but she’s pretty attractive. I get the feeling Ginji’d like her personality.

“My mother bought an alarm clock from you some time ago, and I wanted to thank you for making it. It has never failed to wake me up on time.”

“You’re welcome. Do you know any shops in the village that’d sell stuff like that? Technology, and that sort of thing?” Ginji and his parents would leap at the chance to sell something like that, and I think I remember him messing around with some sort of device one time. He might like the reference.

“Well, the largest shop and the one next to it sell similar goods. I’m sure one of them will gladly sell your things. At the shop called the Sliver Guild, say Yukikaki Kojima referred you and the shopkeeper will definitely speak to you.” I almost forgot how Ginji has Kazuma working at the desk at times, just so he can avoid dealing with people.

“I’ll look into that after I finish my other business. I’d stay and talk more, but that Kappa’s going to run off if I wait any longer. I do not want three months of search down the drain.” Despite her hurried tone, she’s smiling a bit.

-----

It’s been a few minutes since Miss Asakura came by. I heard she was involved in an incident with a crashed ship, not sure how that ended. I should ask the next time I run into someone involved. Let’s see... I heard there was Asakura, Lady Kotohime, a couple of ghosts, an outsider, and of course those two, M-

“Yuki Kojima, right?” Hm? Who could that be? “It’s been a while since I saw you last, maybe three or four years ago.” How peculiar; it’s Marisa, just as I was thinking about her. Very strange indeed.

“Yeah it has, Marisa.” One might say Marisa’s been sort of a childhood friend of mine. “I hope you’ve been remembering to return whatever books you look at to their owners.” I also remember how many times she almost left with one of our books in her hands. Needless to say, we probably wouldn’t have seen it again.

“I was just going to borrow that book, that’s all! And it’s been pretty dull so I decided to come and see if there are any interesting bounties posted. I’d thought putting together a place in the forest would be fun, but it really wasn’t. And what about you? I thought you’d be at work, or something... This wouldn’t have anything to do with that nutcase losing his sausage, would it?” She seems to have changed the purple outfit she was wearing in the newspaper photos for a black and white one. The colors suit her nicely.

“Yeah, my mother thinks I should relax after hearing the full case. I don’t think he’ll be the same ever again. On that note, try to be careful when you’re out hunting bounties and such, alright? I’d hate to have something bad happen to another friend.” She does get mixed up in the same stuff as the Hakurei Shrine Maiden does, but unlike the Shrine Maiden she’s just a normal human. “Also, whatever happened with that spaceship? I ran into Miss Asakura a while ago, and it’s been bothering me ever since.”

“Oh, that? There was a hell of a lot of fighting, and during the confusion that science nut snuck in and got taken care of pretty quickly. Soon as that happened, Reimu lost all interest in the whole deal. I think she came back a few months later, and started wandering around. And to think I almost beat Reimu back then. Aaanyway... I’d love to hang around and boast, but I don’t want Keine or Pa finding me. They’re both real pains in my ass. Nice to see you again, Yuki. Maybe we’ll bump into each other again sometime.”

-----

Back to the main crossroads, and here comes Lady Kotohime. Wonder what she’s in such a hurry about. “Have you seen a Black-White witch anywhere? I got a report from the Sunohara resident about how she left with some books.” Ah, so she’s acting like a policewoman now. Marisa must have... been acting like her good old self. “Also, would you happen to know where I can get tickets to the Prismriver concert?” Lady Kotohime is a bit of a... special case, but nobody really minds her much since she’s likable and a member of the nobility.

“Well, I saw Marisa take off for somewhere on her broom, but knowing her she’s probably going so fast that there’s really no point in trying to keep up. And as far as I know the inn is in charge of Prismriver tickets.”

“Oh well, the family gave her permission to borrow them anyways. Sorry about what happened to the son; he was always amusing. Thank you, and have a nice day!” Classic Lady Kotohime without a doubt. Well, there she goes; hopefully she’ll help cheer him up some. That’s three people now. It’s funny how you’ll find yourself bumping into random people if you hang around the main crossroads for long enough.

-----

I’m glad I decided to take this walk; the flow of interesting people stopped after Lady Kotohime ran off. It’s a nice day anyway, and it never hurts to take a look at the scen—

“—oof!”

Woops; it looks like I zoned out a bit and walked into somebody. A tall, soft somebody with long red hair and a green and yellow outfit. “I’m sorry, miss, I wasn’t paying attention, and—”

“Don’t worry about it, stuff happens. Hm… You didn’t see any blonde girls with wings acting up last night, did you?” Nope, not even at the inn.

A blonde woman in a white dress and hat steps out from behind her tall companion. “Lady Orange, if you were worried about Miss Kurumi, then why did you let her go out last night?” They’re talking about a blonde winged woman named Kurumi? Kamui might have an idea.

“Luize, she’d have been insufferable if she had had to wear her sunproof garb. You know how vain she’s gotten since that young man paid her that one, single compliment. Her fondness of younger men really does not help things.” I think they forgot about me; maybe if I back away slowly...

“Oh, sorry about ignoring you; we were just concerned over a friend of ours that’s gotten rather... out of hand as of late. I am Luize, a visitor to your land, and this is Lady Orange, Guardian and leader of the village of Kurama.” Very polite, but the way she says visitor is rather odd. Most outsiders don’t refer to themselves as such.

“Very nice to meet you, Miss Luize. I’m Yukikaki Kojima, a junior scholar. I hope you enjoy your stay in our village.” Well, I suppose I need to work on inconspicuous retreats. Went rather well though; and I suppose I certainly chose a nice day to go looking for folks.

“We ought to head to that inn and make sure Kurumi didn’t do anything too... extreme.” Lady Orange takes Miss Luize by the hand and starts to head in the direction of the inn. “Nice meeting you, Mr. Kojima.”

-----

Well, there’s something completely different: Miss Asakura riding in a basket on a small metal vehicle driven by a young woman with dark brown hair. And it looks like they’re headed towards Ginji’s shop. Looks as if I might be able to follow up on some of the things I’ve been hearing about. After some lunch, I think I’ll...

[x] Go over to Ginji’s shop; I’m curious how he’d like my referral.
[x] Go over to the inn; I wonder what Kamui knows about things there.


You’ll hear a general summary of what happened with the other choice later, so you won’t miss much either way.
>> No. 22755
[x] Go over to Ginji’s shop; I’m curious how he’d like my referral.

Kamui is the bard, right? Fuck that guy.
>> No. 22759
Editfag here. The delay on this update was completely my fault; to briefly summarize what happened, I pretty much suck at reliability. Regardless, I hope that you, the readers, enjoy this update and all future ones. Again, sorry about the delay.
>> No. 22764
[x] Go over to the inn; I wonder what Kamui knows about things there.
>> No. 22765
I do not know what happened, but the lack of votes is rather shocking. I think a large part of it is that I updated right after the Hunter's Dream guy did and my update got buried in the wake. Or whatever holiday might involved. Ultimately, my timing could have been MUCH better. I was hoping by now I'd be working on the next update.

So for this update, the first to three will win.
>> No. 22766
[x] Go over to Ginji’s shop; I’m curious how he’d like my referral.

I can only tell you that I didn't vote because I didn't care enough to. Perhaps its the large cast of poorly fleshed out OC's, or maybe it's the almost script-like writing, but this story is a boring chore to read and I'm not fairly involved in where it's going. Voting for shop option just to get the ball rolling.
>> No. 22767
[x] Go over to Ginji’s shop; I’m curious how he’d like my referral.

This referral is important. We have no time to waste on other, trivial things. This is a matter of business. And business always comes first.
>> No. 22768
Going to Ginji's it is, I'll start work on the update right away. Hopefully my proofreader will be available by the time I finish.

>>22755
Indeed he is, but mind telling me what is the cause of your grudge against him? Just curious, that's all. I won't lie, he might get on some folks' nerves. Had he been chosen, this exact issue would have come up a few times.

>>22766
I'm sorry to hear that, but thank you for the vote anyways as it'll help things progress. This is merely a world building/introduction chapter after all.

But I will keep your remarks in mind next time I talk with my proofreader and other folks I have looking over my posts.

>>22767
Reminds me of Business and Bullets; it's a nice little story.
>> No. 22792
I wish I had gotten here before the voting ended, but I just wanted to say this.

PC-98 characters. PC-98 characters everywhere.
>> No. 22793
Update finished, but waiting on proofreader. When he told me he'd have next week off, I kinda thought "Hey, I can do more updates then".

>>22792
Yeah... sorry I left you out, but I was in a hurry to get some progress going, but with my proofreader disappearing again, I would have been better off just leaving the vote open until later.

But if it's any consolation, you don't lose much either way. More just a preference.

But I kinda have them appear partially due to fanservice to the fans and to show that unlike some I acknowledge that part of the series and how they're connected to the windows era.

Just to remind you, I may sometimes update on weekends unlike most so keep an eye out Also, look below "Hunter's Dream" in case you don't use the "Watched Threads" list.
>> No. 22802
Go pester someone on IRC; proofreaders idle there occasionally.
>> No. 22811
>>22793

I'll proof for you if your proofer is missing, just contact me on IRC.
>> No. 22812
>>22811
I'll consider it if this keeps up. To be honest, he's more like an editor than proofreader. The next time I see him, I'm definitely telling him to do his edits at a public library as most have computers w/ both word processing and internet at least.

I was originally going to include this with the update but I figured I might as well post it now. Would you readers like for me to end chapter 0 in one mega post or split it up into two updates with an extra choice?

[ ]One Big chapter ending update (Quicker)
[ ]Two smaller updates (A chance to observe something, possibly catch another cameo)

I'll have this open for a few days.
>> No. 22813
[X] Two smaller updates.

This is prefered. I'll also proofread/edit on IRC for you.
>> No. 22814
File 129865846252.jpg - (116.58KB, 760x1000, Kurumi2.jpg) [iqdb]
22814
Thanks goes to EZMode for editing this update. Also the sub vote I started is still ongoing, but will be called when the votes are.

>>22813
I might take you up on that offer one of these days. I'm glad to hear that I have other options, some of them reading this at that!

-----

[x] Go over to Ginji’s shop; I’m curious how he’d like my referral.

I think it’s better to go over to Ginji’s as things might sound a bit too crazy at the Inn. I’m also curious about how my referral would go over with him. I didn’t exactly ask him before hand. But what to do for lunch? I look in my coin bag to see how much I have. Good, enough to easily get something from a near by food stand in the merchant area.

-----

Let’s see, there some typical drink stands, fish stands, rice stands. That’s typical fare for the area, nothing particularly exotic but easily accessible. Seems to be more people here than usual, due to the concert I think. Wait; is that Miss Fujiwara’s stand? Asides from being Miss Keine’s friend, she does make some good Yakitori. She doesn’t speak much though. I’m close enough so I can smell it.

“I’d like 5 skewers, please,” I order as I put the money on the counter. Sure, most get a few but I’m especially hungry today. Now that I think about it, being a hunter is a good profession for Kazuma as when he gets hungry, he’d easily eat enough for four people or so. If he slays a feral large enough, it might kept him fed for a week.

“Here you are," she says, returning with a plate. "You here looking for the strange visitors?” That’s the first time I’ve heard her say more than three words. “Not everyday where someone goes driving a damned tank through the village.” Tank!? Is that what that small vehicle is called? I finish eating, this is really good stuff.

“Good as always, Miss Fujiwara,” I praise, leaving my plate on the counter before I leave. As much as I’d like to find out how she knows about that, that would be prying too much. That and I get the feeling I wouldn’t like what I’d find. That’s something of a risk in my occupation, as you can find some information that is unflattering to those in power. Now to finally get to Ginji’s place. Compared to his family’s shop which is pretty large for a shop/residence, Ginji’s is rather modest. Unlike his family, he deals in services and technological devices. There’s that small... tank outside of it

-----

Ginji's shop looks like your typical small shop, but with various mechanical things laying around around, being among his chief products. A few chairs stand against a wall beside the service desk so customers can sit and talk while waiting. What I see when I came in was something unexpected: Ginji talking with both Miss Asakura and that tank girl... and looking slightly friendly for once! That and Kazuma trying to make sense of what they’re talking about.

“Do you know what they’re talking about, Yuki?” Kazuma asks when he notices me.

“Sorry I don’t, Kazuma. I’m only good with historical knowledge, not much about technology. I don’t even understand how my alarm clock works!” It’s true, not too many people have such knowledge of those things. It’s usually the Kappa, Mr. Rinnosuke, and I guess Ginji and those two that know something about the stuff.

“So you finally show yourself, Yuki. I... thanks for the referral,” Ginji says to me once he was aware of my arrival. This is weird, seeing him like this. “I mean it, this’ll get some stuff in my shop faster and net more customers.” If Kamui was around, he’d be having a field day with this. He goes back to talking with Miss Asakura as the tank girl notices me.

“So you’re the one who told Sour Specs about the shop. I’m Rika, Nice to meet ya. So how’d you like Alexander out front? I know it’s small but it’s great for getting around. I’d have seriously improved its firepower, but I don’t want that shrine maiden getting angry again. I’m working on my ultimate masterpiece, Evil Eye Omega!” Wow... Rika sure loves tanks. She continues talking but I don’t understand the details. Poor Kazuma, it looks like his eyes are starting to glaze over. I think mine are too...

“Rika, stop already; they don’t understand technology that well. You two, oh ahead and leave. Go bug that spoony twit or something, I’ll handle things from here,” Ginji says to us. I take Kazuma and start to leave.

“Sorry about that!” Rika says to us as we leave. All in all, it’s a good feeling to have made a friend’s day brighter. Off to the Inn then.

-----

As we walk, Kazuma looks deep in thought. Wow, Miss Orange is outside the inn.

“Miss Orange, is there something a matter?” I ask. I hope it isn’t too serious. Kazuma perks up upon noticing her.

“Just news of Kurumi and a new friend of hers basically being themselves. News is spreading out and attracting just about every young man in the village,” she says as Kazuma rushes in gleefully. “Well that’s boys for you. If you’re going in there, be careful you don’t suffocate.” What did she mean by that? I take a few deep breaths before heading in.

-----

What the.... there’s about every guy from class here, all of them with dopey smiles on their faces. There’s Kamui, but why does he have a box of money? “What’s going on here? And where did Kazuma run off too?” I hope he knows. Usually the Inn's main room has a makeshift stage and numerous tables and chairs. It's used for village meetings or Kamui's performances. But most of the chairs are filled with guys.

“He’s looking for the two vampire babes that insist on shoving the faces of any guy around our age in their chests,” Kamui laughs, rattling the box, “and this is to compensate Matron for the trouble of having so many folks here.”

“Vampires!? Are you sure this is a good idea?” I ask nervously. Vampires are said to be pretty strong after all. I remember the shrine maiden making a sort of agreement with them that keeps the peace. Kamui looks aside at something.

“Incoming, Yuki. Have fun and don’t worry, I’ll tell them to stop after a bit,” he says. Not a good sign, not when he has that overly charming smile on his face. Then I feel my head engulfed by softness.

“My, my, it looks like we’ve found the cutest of the bunch, Kurumi!” I hear from the left side. I think I lucked out as I can still breathe in-between these clothed breasts. Left is moderate but still nice and I guess on the right is Kurumi.

“The last guy was pretty cute when he asked us to do it again. He did compliment your face paint, Elis,” a voice from the right says. This is really soft, and I can’t find much to complain about. It wasn’t long before they let me go and I get a nice look at them.

Kurumi and Elis wear the similar outfits, but with some key differences. Kurumi’s skirt is blue, and she’s the taller of the two, wearing a white ribbon in her hair slightly off-center. She wears suspenders over her shirt, which emphasizes a bust that’s about on par with Miss Keine and Merlin... if not a bit bigger. Despite being the taller and curvier one of the two, she seems rather innocent. Elis is shorter, has a red skirt, a vest over her shirt and a red bow in her hair. Her most distinctive feature is the face paint she has on. Despite her shorter height and more normal build, has a bit of a sly look about her, making her look like the vain one.

“Kurumi, we should be getting some more sleep before the performance tonight. We can always flirt with cute boys later,” Elis yawns as she speaks. Kamui was definitely right about vampire women being among the most attractive.

“But what are we going to do with all these boys? They haven’t left yet,” Kurumi responds, yawning in such a fashion that’s cute yet shows off her figure.

“We’ll clear them out,” Kamui reappears with Kazuma by his side. “and if push comes to shove Kazuma here can easily hold his own. So you can rest assured fair maidens that they’ll be cleared out quickly.” As Kamui speaks, Kazuma makes rounds asking folks to leave. “I must say the tales of vampires being lovely are certainly an understatement,” Kamui adds. Elis giggles before she responds.

“I’m not a vampire, but a visitor just like Luize. Something you’d call a devil or demon. I’m something of a night person as well. But thank you for the compliment, I’m sure you’ve heard tales of women like me being just as attractive as vampire women.” She certainly has a point.

“Well that’s certainly true,” I comment, “both species are listed in historical documents as having beguiling beauty. No offense of course.” I went and did that again, saying something out of the blue. This is going to be embarrassing.

“Why would we be offended by such a sweet boy?” Kurumi asks, before turning her attention elsewhere. “Oh yeah, Thank you very much Kamui for arranging this,” she says as her and Elis kiss him on the cheeks. This doesn’t go unnoticed by the crowd acting up... and shit, there goes Kazuma into the fray. Soon after, Lady Orange rushes in to help ease things up. By the time the dust settles, the crowd’s outside and the two girls are in their rooms.

“I really should keep a better eye on those two. If I didn’t step in, chaos would have broken out,” Lady Orange remarks as she heads back to the room.

“Well that was unexpected stuff happening. I’ll handle the paperwork to Ginji,” Kamui says, payying Kazuma on the shoulder. Kazuma leaves as Kamui turns to me “Yuki we should talk in private for a bit.” He then leads me to his room.

-----

Kamui’s room as one could expect, various pictures of women are around, his guitar in the corner along with some music books. It’s modest in size, but cozy.

“What do you want to talk about?” I ask as we take seats. I’m rather surprised he did this, but then again, he’s the guy I’d consider my best friend. Sure he’s quirky, but quick to help me out.

“I think somethings eating at you. That and last night you didn’t sound exactly enthused about the discussion. Not to mention the slight tension in the air between us. I just want to air things out before they get too bad.” Tch... He’s right, and about things I didn’t want to admit to even myself. I hesitate for a few seconds before answering.

“It’s not as if I don’t like the sisters, it’s just that I haven’t gotten real feelings for anyone. No heart pounding moments, or any of the stuff associated of it. It gets to me at times.”

“Well for everyone, it’s different,” Kamui responds, “I mean Kazuma fell for Merlin pretty easy while Ginji’s merely interested. You’re basically saving yourself trouble as it is, so just go with the flow until something does happen. I’ve seen my fair share of such matters. But I think you’re going with the flow already so that’s a moot point.” That does help ease some of my worries. “Anything else you want to vent out while we’re here?” I drink from the glass of water he prepared before I reply.

“Honestly I seriously envy your confidence in taking such risks. It makes me feel rather inadequate sticking to my safe job path.”

“But it’s what you love right?” he queries, “that’s what truly matters. I only take such risks because well, I’m something of a reckless fool obsessed with my passions. If I just stuck at home, I’d have a safe sure shot future running the small shop. But it wasn’t for me. Since I picked up that guitar from Kourin’s shop, I felt music was my life. I’ll tell you that you’re shaping up to be a fine scholar. Not sure if you knew this, but your father’s part of the council that has meetings whenever something comes up. And from what I see, he’s the perfect picture of clear headed thinking. Not to say everyone there doesn’t mean well, it’s just that without your father around, things would go off track. So cheer up, Yuki, I’m sure you’ll meet that special girl someday and it that happens, I’ll help you every step of the way!” Heh... he really does have a way with words.

“Thanks, that really does help. Sorry for dragging down your day,” I answer, as he was having such a nice day. He chuckles at the comment.

“Helping a friend isn’t dragging my day down, not since I have two more beauties to play for tonight! I feel like I’m doing to do my very best tonight! Here’s a free pass in case you want to come. I doubt those two would be interested. I know Ginji wouldn’t but I think Kazuma would be busy and if he wasn’t, he might start an unwanted ruckus.” I chuckle in turn at the remark about Kazuma.

“He’s not a typical hunter, doing both that and helping Ginji.” Most hunters, especially junior ones are content to train or take it easy between hunts.

“I guess it’s mainly due to Ginji being his best friend,” Kamui replies , “that and it’d give him something to fall back on during a difficult season. I heard Ginji helps him get the best price for his kills. Their jobs have great synergy with one another. I’ve got to finish practicing for tonight. I’ll let you make up your own mind on what to do.” He readies his guitar for practice as I leave.

-----

Whew, what a day. I’ll check back home and then do a few things. Before I could start walking, Ginji comes up with a bit of smirk on his face.

“So how did the rest of the day go, Ginji?” I ask.

“It went pretty well, looks like business is about to pick up in the future,” Ginji replies, “I was curious what the hell happened at the Inn, I heard things got rather rowdy in there.” That’s putting it lightly for sure.

“Well... it turns out a couple of visitors felt flirting aggressively with a bunch of 15 year olds and when they thanked Kamui, some of them acted up. Honestly if it wasn’t for Lady Orange’s help, a terrible mess would have been made. Not sure if you’d have enjoyed it as much as chatting with the two Rikas. I know it takes more than pretty faces and sizable busts to get your attention” I reply, knowing that’s the truth.

“You took the words out of my mouth, Yuki. Kazuma certainly had fun; he had a massive grin when he came back. Then again simple wares work best for simple folks, and Kazuma is such a person. I was also coming by to see about if I could get a free pass. I... kinda told those two that the singer is pretty good. But they were asking about night time entertainment.” Try not to laugh at him being out of his element, it’s not nice and he runs faster than me.

“I’d be surprised if they didn’t hear about it, the fact the Prismrivers are staying there tonight is pretty big news and he’s intent on outdoing himself tonight. I get the feeling that it’s something of an event tonight. Not sure if I’m going or not, I’ve had quite a day already,” I answer.

“If you want my advice, go. Even I think it’s worth dragging my ass there and he bugs me,” Ginji says as he leaves. It’s true, he takes Kamui’s eccentricities the worst out of the three of us.

After I go home, eat dinner and checking with mother and father, I’ll -

[ ] “Go to the Inn; music is pretty relaxing. Looks to be one of those moments of destiny”
[ ] “Stay home and do something else relaxing; Destiny can knock on my door some other day.”

I know some folks don’t like Kamui much, but you did pick the nicest of the bunch. If you picked differently, many events would have played out differently instead.
>> No. 22815
[x] “Stay home and do something else relaxing; Destiny can knock on my door some other day.”

Time to take it easy. We've been running around talking to people all day. I think at this point we deserve to finally kick back and read before going to sleep.
>> No. 22816
[x] “Stay home and do something else relaxing; Destiny can knock on my door some other day.”

If Destiny means Wriggle, yeah, I'd prefer her knocking on the door.
>> No. 22817
[x] “Stay home and do something else relaxing; Destiny can knock on my door some other day.”
>> No. 22818
[X] “Go to the Inn; music is pretty relaxing. It looks to be one of those moments of destiny.”

Come on, anon, loosen up. This could be fun!
>> No. 22819
>>22815

[v] “Stay home and do something else relaxing; Destiny can knock on my door some other day.”
>> No. 22820
[x] “Go to the Inn; music is pretty relaxing. Looks to be one of those moments of destiny”
Why are people not picking this?
>> No. 22821
Staying at home it is!

I must say I'm a bit disappointed that Inn choice didn't win, but oh well. I'd have needed to figure out the music part if it did win so in a way it works out.

Since you basically chose to read, I'm going to try to get a special treat for the next update. It should be up by Wednesday at the latest.

And the countdown until chapter 1: 2 posts as determined by the few votes I did get on that count.
>> No. 22822
>>22821
Don't give choices if you're going to be disappointed when one doesn't win. Just write that choice.
>> No. 22823
>>22822
That'd be railroading and I believe in giving readers a choice. Sure I have my preferences and expectations, but in the end it's up to the reader. I'll just keep my mouth shut next time.
>> No. 22824
>>22823
Suggestion: in this thread, just talk about your story. If you're delaying an update because you have personal trouble, it's fine, but don't speak about how you expected this choice or this choice to win.

Sage because useless.
>> No. 22827
I'm about done with my update, but due to how late it is, I'll post it later tomorrow. Thank you for your patience.

I apologize for my remarks; it wasn't my intent to belittle your choices but more along the lines of banter.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.
>> No. 22828
Sorry about the wait; after this vote is the end of this chapter and the start of the next.

[x] “Stay home and do something else relaxing; Destiny can knock on my door some other day.”

The more I think on it, the more tiring the day seems. It was fun sure, but I think I’d rather stay home, relax and read. Sorry, but with his luck he’d have too much fun himself to dwell much on it. I’m sure he’ll play whatever new songs again some other day. Let’s see what’s going on at home.

-----

When I arrive in the house, I notice my parents eating dinner, with a plate set out for me as well. As I ate, I noticed my parents were dressed up nicer than usual. “Is there something special going on tonight?” I ask, knowing they don’t dress up like that for just anything. I don’t recall any meetings or gatherings of key figures.

“We were thinking about going to the performance at the Inn,” Father sheepishly scratches his head and answers, “The Inn Mistress spread the word that tonight’s performance was going to be special. We were actually waiting to see what you were going to do before finally deciding. I would imagine it’d be awkward going to the same place as your parents.” I’m not surprised as Ginji said of her, since despite her grandmotherly appearance, she’s incredibly business savvy.

“I’ve had a pretty lively day so I figured I’d just stay home and read,” I answer. Reading some adventures of Aleron Dresden sounds like a good way to end the night. In the last book, he took down a dragon after flying a burning airship into it and afterwards found a Gnomish Bow with a scope on it. It’s called a “Sand Hawk” and fire massive arrows. My thoughts while eating were interrupted by Mother and Father leaving.

“Yuki, clean up before going to bed, alright?” Mother asks as she leaves. All right, time to prepare some tea and crackers and then reading “Stay at the Azure Demon Manor” It will be great to read in father’s comfortable chair. If I start heating the water now, it’ll be done by the time I do everything else.

-----

Now I’m ready to read. Let’s see... He arrives and soon deals with a small water spirit. Heh, he remarks he doesn’t like fairies, then again after what happened a few volumes back, who’d blame him? Ooooh, a shapely teacher with an odd taste for headwear, Wait why does that sound so familiar? Well Aleron seems to have charmed her as they head over to a vampire’s manor. A Goddess is there? Now this is interesting.

Am I reading this right? Her hat came to life as some cosmic horror? Is that so terrible it makes him panic? I’m sure he has a plan for it, summon giant eagles, magic missile spam or just a huge fireball. Good he drew it into a wide open space and... SUMMON BIGGER FISH? That’s a whale, not a fish! That’s so awesome and ridiculous that I might as well say it’s awediculous or ridicusome but that’d be butchering the Japanese language. I try reading again when I hear some noise outside; it’s too early for someone to get drunk at the Inn’s bar. I should see what it’s about as I can’t read with it going on.

-----

Mister Yaguu?! What is he doing out there like that? This isn’t like him, he’s always so dignified and composed, not ranting drunkenly. I run out and try to get him inside so he doesn’t do something embarrassing.

“Sir, please come in before you do something you regret” I say to him as I help him inside. At least he’s not resisting.

-----

“What happened today, Sir? It isn’t like you to lose your composure?” I ask him. This is worse than Takami’s change of mood. I knew his wife died some years back when Kazuma was only 7, but this is the first time I’ve seen him like this. Mr. Yaguu drinks some tea prior to answering.

“That damn Oracle. That skinny bastard’s up to no good and he’s going to hurt her,” with the rest going into mutters. I believe I have just blundered into a love triangle. His mutters stop as he says “Aya deserves better than that skinny bastard!” The Tengu reporter!? “Don’t worry your brain out over it, you just worry about your own life. But let me tell you this: If you have feelings for a girl, act on them no matter what people say. I’m going home now, thanks for stopping me from making an ass out of myself” he adds as he leaves. If Mother finds out about this, she’ll give him hell and insist on even more days off. She really does worry too much.

It’s back to reading then, hopefully relaxing enough to fall asleep soon after. Funny I’d thought he’d get along with the vampire’s witch friend since they’re both magic users, but he seems a better match for the teacher. In the end Aleron makes this area his home and saved that swordsgirl. Yawn... time to go to sleep.

-----

Weird dream I’m having, seeing two girls talk, one is in a maid outfit and the other has angel wings. I heard that the Shrine maiden and Marisa went into a dream world, but don’t know what came of it.

“Big sis, did you finish the dream of HERS? I don’t want her getting mad and going after us.” The maid speaks up. Who is this person they’re taking about and why does she sound so scary?

“Yeah Mugu, now to fix up the other dreams before someone- Never mind, we have that kid here” The winged sister says, noticing me. Let’s hope this doesn’t end badly for me.

“Don’t worry kid, you’re just here because of a screw up, just hold on while we get you something suitable” Okay then... this has to be the oddest dream I’ve ever had. “Well this is what we could make do with on short notice so try to enjoy it.” Those words are the last ones I hear before I end up seemingly passing out.

-----

This is weird... I’m in some kind of strange school with everyone in matching clothes, like they're in uniforms. In fact, everyone I know and saw in the last day or two is in class, with Miss Asakura, Miss Orange and Miss Keine as the teachers. There’s this cute green haired girl I keep seeing and somehow I really want to talk to her, but stuff keeps on coming up, including this big overly brawny guy pushing me around. Now he’s challenging me to a fight, what am I- Oh wait this is a dream. And I know what just to use on him.

“Go ahead little stick man, give me your best shot with that puny meter stick” the brute says. Right go through the battle menu, pick out my spell and-

“SHOOPUS DA WOOPUS, SUMMON BIGGER FISH!” I call out the main incantation as I slam the stick down. It’s not soon after that, a massive shadow fell over the brute as the whale made its impact.

“DESTROYED!” What the hell? That voice came out of nowhere! Now to find that girl, there has to be a reason why I’m seeing her in this dream. This should be-

Pesky timing, but I do hear the winged sister shout “CONFOUND IT ALL, YAKUMO!” right before I wake up.

-----

This is going to be a pain, trying to figure out what that dream meant. Right, today’s the day of the concert. I better get ready as I’m sure someone will come asking for me and I have to be ready for anything!

-----

I come into the dinning room to see my mother preparing a plate of fish.

“Morning Yuki, Ginji stopped by and he said to meet him by the crossroads when you were ready. Those Prismrivers are certainly popular with the young people,” she says.

“How was last night?” I sit down as I ask, “I hope things went alright.” I’m certainly not telling her about Mr. Yaguu’s outburst. I should think of what to get for the day, a book or two in case I’m stuck waiting, my coin bag just in case. That old picnic rug in my room would be handy for this.

“Kamui performed very nicely. I would certainly be surprised if he was awake by now. I can see why outsiders would consider musicians so popular.” Mother answers with an uncharacteristic giggle. Why would he sleep in? He wasn’t that busy last night. I finish eating as Mother hands me a bunch of wrapped up rice balls and a bottle of water. “There now you can enjoy the day without worry!” She adds as she finishes cleaning up. Alright, time to get ready which shouldn’t be long at all!

-----

Getting those supplies doesn’t take long, though I had to pack my bag carefully as to avoid ruining the riceballs. And Ginji should be easy to notice at the crossroads. There he is... weird I’d though Kazuma would be with him.

“Where are Kazuma and Kamui? I’d thought they’d be up and ready as well” I ask in spite of what my mother said.

“I have Kazuma gathering the needed supplies tonight from folks I dealt with yesterday. I’m talking both for our gathering and the concert as the Inn Mistress had a last minute job early yesterday. Kamui’s sleeping in, as I ran into some girl with a star on her face that explained things. Damn crazy tale about how he has two girls interested in him and wanting to help him with that bird youkai. I’m amazed he turned down their ...strong advances in light of pursuing Mystia. I’m actually starting to believe that bullshit about the white hare blessing him.” AH... wow I’m impressed to as well... I’m not sure if anyone could have resisted such temptation. But it’s typical of him to consider going after all three if possible.

“What about Miss Rika and Miss Asakura? Didn’t you spend time with them last night?” I ask as I’m curious what he’ll say, maybe I’ll catch him off guard again.

“It was just a purely friendly gathering with the second task of showing them around. Nothing more than that!” He answers. He does have it rather hard as I’m sure his parents are pressuring him to find a charming girl to make up for his lack of it. Some of it might be his business image. I guess in the end, even guys like Ginji have their problems. “Due to various changes of plan, I’m going to need your help on a few things. Mainly seeing about picking up some picnic rugs from Kourin’s store and reminding Kamui about what’s going on. The spoony bastard can explain things better than I did.”

“What about food? I was thinking perhaps negotiating with Miss Fujiwara for a nice supply,” I ask, after all her yakitori is something only found here. I really want to find out what’s going on with Kamui as what I heard might be taking his recklessness to a new extreme.

“Kazuma’s already taking care of that. I mention food and he has twenty different suggestions. If you have any objections to the tasks, go and tell me now so I can figure out ways around them. I don’t want your mother thinking I’m a slave driver,” Ginji says. I can only dread what my mother did to give him that idea, but those sound like simple tasks. I’m definitely checking in with Kamui. In regards with checking at Kourin’s shop...

[ ] I’ll check it out, shouldn’t be that far from the Inn area.
[ ] I’ll pass, instead I’ll try to claim an area for everyone.
>> No. 22829
[x] I’ll pass, instead I’ll try to claim an area for everyone.

Tone down the references a bit, damn. And
>But it’s typical of him to consider going after all three if possible.
is why I dislike Kamui.
>> No. 22830
[x] I’ll check it out, shouldn’t be that far from the Inn area.

Ditto on the references. We don't need a reminder every other update that you read that lolrandumb story. At the very least, try and make it subtle.
>> No. 22831
[x] I’ll pass, instead I’ll try to claim an area for everyone.

Also work on your transitions a bit; it was hard to follow what was occuring.
>> No. 22832
[x] I’ll check it out, shouldn’t be that far from the Inn area.
>Tone down the references
Yup
>> No. 22833
[x] I’ll pass, instead I’ll try to claim an area for everyone.
>> No. 22834
[X] I’ll check it out, shouldn’t be that far from the Inn area.

We need to reign in our horndog friend.
>> No. 22835
>>22834
He's going to the Inn to check on him anyways, regardless of what's chosen.

Also it's a tie so if it's not broken in 3 hours, then the next post in the hour after that wins. If nothing comes up, I'll just randomly decide on one via triple coin flip.
>> No. 22836
[x] I’ll check it out, shouldn’t be that far from the Inn area.
>> No. 22837
Going to Rinnosuke's shop it is; update should be up later today or tomorrow and the first post of chapter 1 sometime after that.
>> No. 22841
File 129958064763.jpg - (952.26KB, 929x800, ThreeSisters.jpg) [iqdb]
22841
I'll start on Chapter 1's first post later tomorrow.

Edit: Did a bit of last minute fixing up. Also trying out a new proofreader.

[x] I’ll check it out, shouldn’t be that far from the Inn area.

“I’ll do both tasks as they’re in a straight path. I’ll look into somehow claiming a spot before the concert starts” I answer. This should be easy enough as well... Kourin isn’t that good of a business man. There are all kinds of theories regarding why he runs that shop, such as him actually being very rich but having nothing better to do with his time or being some kind of bandit. What I do know is that he used to work with Marisa’s father, but quit soon after Marisa ran off. He’s the go to guy for anything unusual or interesting though he insists on hanging on to certain things. He's similar to Marisa in that regard.

Ginji replies, “I’ll see what I can do after I’m done here. You can try getting Spoony to cover that task, seeing as how it won’t interfere with his precious flirting.” I really want to find out what the whole story about last night. I proceed to walk towards the Inn.

-----

Things are certainly lively with folks preparing for the concert in the nearby area. I notice Miss Orange acting as if she has a headache. “Miss Orange, is there something the matter?” I ask, hoping to perhaps help her.

She laughs and answers, “Nothing too serious, just dealing with what Kurumi and her friend ended up doing. They certainly fell hard for your friend, hard to blame them when the guy sings songs inspired by them. I can tell this isn’t going to be an easy or quiet night, not with those jealous guys out and about.” That isn’t good, if it’s like yesterday, not even Kazuma could hold off that many. “Don’t worry about it, I’ll be around to help out.” She adds, apparently noticing the worry on my face. I’ve really got to warn him about that.

-----

I go up to Kamui’s room and knock on his door. “It’s Yuki, today’s the day of the concert!” I announce. I hear a bit of noise as the door opens to reveal Kamui with some bathing stuff.

“Yeah I’m up, I’m just waiting for the main bath to be open. Those two are using it at the moment. It seems vampires have some difficulty bathing due to that running water business.” he responds. "I’m surprised you didn’t try to take a bath with them."

“Hey! I’m not pressing my luck, and that’d be going a bit too fast. I’m aware of the risks I’m taking with this, and I’m sure Ginji had his say about it.” he adds after catching my reaction.

I ask, “Just what is the full story with that? If you’re not careful, you’ll make Mystia even angrier and unlike Takami, you’ll probably die in the process.” Kamui may have that white hare’s luck, but he’s pretty frail, even compared to me.

“I wouldn’t try such a thing, except for a piece of advice Miss Tewi gave me. I feel such a thing is possible and it would help with Mystia. This isn’t the first gamble I took in my life. I’ll explain more when everyone meets up as I’m sure they want to know as well. The sisters were certainly impressed with my performance, giving our group VIP status, and Lyrica’s attention.” He answers in a serious tone which lightens up near the end.

Oh! The warning! “Kamui, there’s some guys that aren’t happy with your luck, and if Lyrica gets involved, you might end in a mess you can’t talk your way out of.” Some of the sisters’ fans are insane and/or stupid. They would most certainly react badly to such news.

He merely laughs, “The fans would cancel each other out. But on to other things; have you seen a young blonde haired girl with a blue ribbon? Elis and Luize are trying to look for her. Her name is Alice, and she's the daughter of some big wig in Makai. She apparently ran off after the Shrine maiden and her group.” I am seriously debating who’s more reckless: Kamui or Kazuma.

Let’s see... nothing of that description. “Sorry, haven’t spotted her but I’ll keep my eyes open. I’ve got to go to Kourin’s to pick up some things. Once you’re ready, think you can claim a good spot?” I ask putting down the rug I was carrying, as it is rather heavy.

“I’ll handle that so you can just leave that rug here.” Kamui responds. That’s two things down and one to go. I leave the Inn quickly as I go down the path to Kourin’s shop.

-----

Walking the path, I’m reminded of how fortunate that the shop is in the ‘safe’ area of the forest. It isn’t long before I see the shop, surrounded by various bits of junk. I check to see if it’s open; sure it’s usually open but it never hurts to check. It is, hopefully I’ll find what I’m looking for.

I'm surprised by what I see inside: Miss Keine talking with Kourin; I never knew that she knew him. I guess I’ll try to find something while waiting until they’re done talking. There are some things that look like towel/blanket hybrids, and one has a picture of some kind of living dried fruit that’s wearing a type of glasses with dark lenses. I’ve never even heard of a fruit youkai before and I wonder if Lady Akyu has.

“Interested in those seaside towels? Or are you pondering the existence of fruit youkai as I often do on a boring day?” Kourin says, breaking my thoughts. “If you’re interested in them, I’m willing to let them go at a price. I must say even thinking on the notion of such beings is maddening” Okay... I don’t dwell on such things for that long.

Miss Keine shakes her head as she answers, “Just take those towels Yukikaki; I’ll pay for them. I’m going to need to talk to him about over-thinking a towel decoration.” I take them and put them under my arms. I think this should be enough for our expanded group.

“Thanks for the deal, Miss Keine and Kourin! I’ll be going now” I’m going to be making a hasty exit as I think I interrupted something.

As I head towards the exit, I hear Kourin shout, “My name isn’t Kourin, no matter what Marisa tells you!” That certainly is true as she’s the one who told us about their past before she ran off. I kinda feel sorry for him as I think she told everyone my age that.

-----

As I walk back I see Rika (I think) coming up in her tank. She stops and gestures to the seated basket in back. “Gin-gin asked me to pick you up from the shop so here I am! It’s not everyday that someone gets to ride in Alexander!” She explains. Gin-gin? Oh, I know Ginji isn’t going to like that. I guess I am curious about what it’d be like taking a ride in it.

“Why not?” I answer as I get in and make sure my bag’s shut. The ride’s on the bumpy side but pretty comfortable. The trip is pretty short with the tank’s speed, where I see Ginji, Kazuma and Kamui talking. I hop out and go over to them. I make it over in time for Ginji to say “That has to be the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard in my life.” I can only imagine Kamui’s going into the details about his idea.

“Ah, there you are! I was just telling those two about what Miss Tewi told me. She said that getting more than one girl is possible. It's a matter of the brain being clever and the heart being brave and pure.” Kamui explains. Is he serious? Takami angered Mystia and was lucky to survive. Kazuma may be brave, but he’s never been this reckless.

Kazuma scratches his head as he remarks, “If I get a girl like Merlin that’s good enough for me. It’s easier that way as there’s less to worry about and more time for one girl.” That is a terribly good point.

“Well I’m certainly impressed by that remark. Though... I can’t say I don’t understand his thinking; two humans are less risky than three youkai.” Ginji answers. Oh yeah, I should tell them about the towels.

“I got some more stuff to lay down on the ground.” I point to the towels, including the one with the fruit youkai on it. We go about preparing things, putting down the towels. “Where’s everyone else and the other stuff?”

“The stuff won’t get here until before the concert and the girls are doing other things, except for Rika. We were here to set up the spot and hear the spoony dumbass out.” Ginji answers.

I notice Kazuma looking horrified at the fruit youkai towel as Kamui speaks up. “Don’t worry it’s just something from the outside world where that being was made to sell dried fruit. I’ve seen a few outsiders at the inn and one of them had a similar kind of towel. Man, I can only imagine how many heads that towel messed with before getting here.” The outside must be a terribly twisted place if such beings are imagined.

Before I can think any further about the towel, my stomach reminds me it's almost lunchtime. Miss Fujiwara’s flavorful yakitori comes to mind, and I decide it’s time to have some of that lunch.

-----

As I eat, I notice Kazuma looking out, and Kamui doing a bit of practice. Rika and Ginji are talking, and she's trying to feed him some strange thing. “Don’t worry, it’s really good, Gin-gin.” To my shock he didn’t seem to mind as he takes a bite and enjoys it. The moment was interrupted by Kamui butting in.

“Gin-gin? Oh my, that’s just too funny!” Kamui remarks as he chuckles, and within arm’s reach of Ginji, too.

But before anything else can happen, Kazuma drags Kamui away, saying “You have no right to talk that way about him! He’s having a hard enough time dealing with his nature without you making fun of him!” I'm not surprised; one can make fun of Kazuma to his face all they like, but do that with his friends, especially Ginji, he gets mad.

I finish eating half of my riceballs and open up my book as Miss Orange and Luize come up. Miss Orange notices the towel and remarks “I never thought I’d see something with a California Raisin on it. I remember Kurumi being freaked out when I showed her a figure I found of one of them.” I suspect those innocent ‘raisins’ are perhaps the most terrifying thing to hit Gensokyo. “Elis is off trying to help Kurumi try on a more flattering daytime outfit. I must say you four are pretty good at team projects.” she adds.

I turn back to my magic book, and see what it has to say on wind magic. “Wind and Wood elements are closely related and as such, one might accidently invoke the latter when in a forested area. Trying to intentionally invoke a higher element is a unwise move as a multitude of things could go wrong.” It seems pretty easy, even compared to water as there’s always air to use. I decide to look up these higher elements “Wood, Metal, Sun, Moon. These elements are greater than the 4 core ones and one has to master the basics before trying to use them. But despite their difficulty, great power lies within that few can resist.” Miss Chalmers sure seems to know her elemental magic. I really ought to practice in the next day or two. I’ve put it off for long enough.

My reading gets interrupted by someone asking “How is this, Yuki?” I look up to notice it’s Kurumi wearing a silky blue cloak over her that’s rather flattering, making her look mysterious. I also notice that a few hours have flown by and that Miss Asakura and Elis had arrived.

“If you ask me, I think you come off as rather mysterious in an attractive way.” I reply as she seems to smile and go skipping back to Kamui and Elis. I did remember Miss Orange’s remark about how she didn’t like her old outfit. I look around and notice the plates of food and mini iceboxes around. All the people seem to have gathered; the performers will be coming up soon. I decide this is a good time to finish my lunch and get comfortable for the show that’s about to begin.

-----

It’s dusk by the time the concert starts and I notice on the stage the sisters are wearing different outfits from the usual but wear their usual hats.

“Welcome to our concert everyone, I hope you will enjoy yourselves! Now for the introductions! I’m the Middle sister Merlin, mistress of the phantom trumpet that’s taken the blood of many a Jazz trumpeter!” she announces. The only way I can see that happen is bad dental care. Merlin is the most audaciously dressed, wearing a pink bikini and a small pink skirt.

“Next is my older sister Lunasa, Mistress of a phantom violin that puts even a Stradivarius to shame!” Merlin announces while pointing to Lunasa, who’s wearing a sleeveless dress with a light skirt. Lunasa’s very cute when she blushes, like she is now due to the attention she’s getting.

“Last but not least is my cute younger sister Lyrica, who plays phantom keyboard that a famed artist made. Its sounds are so unearthly it could never sell in a normal store.” Merlin announces as she now points to Lyrica who is wearing a light red sundress. Lyrica winks in response to the attention... possibly towards Kamui specifically.

-----

The concert was amazing, the various songs brought out different emotions, high and low. I was so entranced by the performance I didn’t notice anything else other than the occasional food and drink. And to think I get to meet them next.

Kamui stops my daydreaming as he remarks “Pretty amazing right? Well, it seems only Kurumi and Elis felt like going with us. Rika already put the stuff away at Ginji’s place. Leave it to Merlin to get the bulk of the attention.” He then helps me up as he leads me and the others to the back stage area.

-----

Lyrica greets Kamui, “So how was your first concert? I hope it’s everything you’ve been expecting. Your friends are certainly like you described them, at least as far as those two are concerned. Now, your best friend just looks he had a life changing experience.” I’ve heard a few things about how she’s rather sly and worldly, which seems true. Lyrica turns to Lunasa and asks “Where’s the other guest, Luna? I’d think it’d be nice of her to meet a fellow musician”

Lunasa answers, interrupting a chat that she was having with Ginji. “She had to take her own route to get here. And Merlin, try to behave yourself!” I look over to find her hugging Kazuma, and I'm not sure who’s smiling more.

“But sister, he’s a nice guy and understands me well. He’s honest on top of that.” Merlin responds. I take a few moments to collect myself so I can pay attention better.

"It’s nice, but-" “Hey Yuki, cheer up! I’m sure Cupid will find you!” Lyrica interrupts me as she talks with Kamui, Kurumi and Elis. “Hey Luna, what was that guest’s name again?” She asks Lunasa.

“I believe her name was Mystia. A night sparrow at that-” Lunasa answers. Right at that moment, none other than the night sparrow herself enters the room, lowering a veil of silence over everyone. I can only hope nothing too bad happens.

Mystia breaks the silence first. “Why do you have those filthy friends of that filthy human male here?! I was hoping to forget what he said... ugh.” Mystia says, obviously upset. “To go out with a seemingly nice human, only for him to make an advance in such a disgusting manner. Comparing me to a piece of meat! Do you humans have any idea how much that hurt!?” I tense up. I’m not sure what we’d do if she attacks.

“I can’t speak for that person, but the people Kurumi and me met are certainly nice, certainly not the type to be near suicidal.” Elis speaks.

Mystia is quick to answer, “Sure they’re nice now, but they’ll get you alone and think you’re some sort of sex toy!” Well that didn’t- wait, why are you standing up, Kamui!? What the hell, you should stay away from her, not get near her!

He walks up to her and kneels as he starts talking “Few people even approve of what he did. Still, I apologize for not stopping his foolish insensitivity and for whatever pain you suffered. I’m sure my words may ring hollow, but I do care for you, enough to turn down the advances of those two. My hope is that you open your heart again someday.” Mystia steps back with tears in her eyes as he continues: “Now that we’ve met again, I have no intention of running or hiding from anything that comes about by my inaction. My three friends here have nothing to do with this mess.” The ability to face death for one’s convictions; hard to say if that’s courage or insanity. Regardless, Kamui has proven that he’s such a guy.

She’s silent for a while before responding. “I’ll try, but I want you to prove your words to be true. If those two or Miss Lyrica want to be with you, they can go ahead. If your words prove false, I’m sure one of them will bring swift punishment upon you. I wish I chose you, Kamui..." She turns to the Prismrivers. "I’ll come back after they’re done. I can’t quite be around them just yet,” she says as she leaves.

I collapse on my butt as the tension is released. “Are you nuts, Kamui? She could have killed you!” I shout.

Kamui calmly responds, “Didn’t you feel the pain in her words? I had to do something about it, seeing as how I indirectly had a role in it.” Before anything else could happen, Merlin starts playing a melody on her trumpet “Come on, cheer up! He fixed things so let’s just resume where we were!” she says. Heh, I feel better already. I look around to find Ginji and Lunasa having some laughs.

“Look at those two; guess the phrase simple pleasures for simple folks were right” Ginji remarks, looking at Merlin and Kazuma, who act as if nothing happened at all.

“Yeah, but I think it’s for the best. I do worry about someone trying to take advantage of her. She isn’t stupid, but her awareness of her surroundings isn’t her strong suit.” Lunasa responds. She quickly blushes and adds “And don’t think for a moment that I’m just going to fall over for you like my sisters!”

Ginji blushes as he responds, “I wasn’t expecting you to! I just wanted to try talking, that’s all! After all, a sensible woman such as yourself must have her pick of guys!” I start laughing at the absurdity of that conversation.

Recovering, I go over to where Kamui is talking with Lyrica. “You alright? You looked as if you were about to faint when that happened” Lyrica asks me.

“I’m fine, and would you three try to keep an eye on him so he doesn’t do anything else stupid” I ask, turning to include Kurumi and Elis.

“Sure, though that girl was presumptuous thinking I’d go falling into his arms that quickly. I am more interested in seeing where it goes before I consider anything. The last last thing he needs is some berserk fans down his throat." Lyrica answers. Turning to the two winged girls and I, she continues "but I hope you’re enjoying yourself with this and the concert." The two girls nod in response.

“Honestly, it’s pretty great and exciting, though I feel kind of bad for not being as into it as my friends” I answer honestly.

“Well, I’ll try to wrap things up as I’m sure you all could use a nice rest. We also owe Mystia some time as well.” Lyrica replies. I go over to sit down and gether my thoughts somewhat as she goes about trying to end the whole meeting. The sisters then work on some booklets they have, I guess autographing them.

“Here you guys go, try to keep them safe as one day they’ll be collectables!” Lyrica remarks as she hands each of us a booklet. She adds, “Kamui, don’t get yourself killed; your friends worry about you,” as we leave.

-----

As we're leaving, we each open up our booklets. “Something a matter?” Kamui asks the two winged girls, who are blushing deeply. I can only speculate what the cause is.

“Merlin gave some... interesting advice to the both of us, especially Kurumi.” Elis answers as they open their booklets for him to read, causing him to blush. He goes up to Kazuma and remarks, “You’re going to be in for a wild time with Merlin.”

“Oh? She gave me the code to send messages to her home. Her sisters added their own comments, such as Lyrica warning me not to get suffocated by Merlin.” Kazuma answers.

Ginji replies, “So did Lunasa. I guess she might need a sympathetic ear. Though Lyrica didn’t need to make that smartass remark about my social life.”

“So Yuki, what does your booklet say?” Kamui asks. I look inside and, in addition to all three sisters’ autographs, the messages range from telling me to not to worry about things so much (Lunasa), wishing me luck finding a cute girl (Lyrica), and to cheer up (Merlin, who added a smiley face to it). I show him as he chuckles, adding “Well, I’m sure you’ll have time to rest and get back into your routine as I doubt anything too exciting will be happening for a while.”

We then go our separate ways, heading to our respective residences. I quickly get ready for bed and put my stuff away as I end up passing out. I hope tomorrow’s more normal.

Little did I know that what happened the next day would change so many things in the end, especially my life.

Chapter 0 End.
>> No. 22842
That advice. Is Tewi setting him up for a fall?
>> No. 22843
Mary Sues in Gensokyo: The story.

Nothing seems to go wrong for these guys. Especially Kamui. He meets Tewi, receives some luck, and suddenly he has the balls to make thirty different youkai woman fall for him easy.

You've wonderfully told of a world where romancing a youkai girl is supposed to be a dangerous game of attraction with Takami and Mystia, but instead, you show us your main OC's meeting up and wooing them every other half day, instantly resolving any of the previous tension you have built.

It's strange that these four powerless humans can have that sort of effect on centuries old man-eating monsters. Oh well, it seems like we aren't exactly far into the story, so feel free to ignore me.

You aren't going to make another thread, are you? The proper thing to do would be continuing right here until auto-sage.
>> No. 22844
>>22843
Well I'll just say things will be shaken up and that your criticism will be taken into consideration as I will try to point out certain things in the future.

And with the way things are in /forest/ I might do just that for the time being until MikoSpark, Norseman and/or the Hunter's dream writer come back.
>> No. 22856
Tewi's a troll, and the Prismrivers seem to be fanonical flirts. Also, Kamui's charisma is A, not S, so of course we'll have plenty of opportunities to laugh at the mistakes each of our friends make.
>> No. 22885
it's currently the 7th month not the 8th and I've been slowly working on the update. It should be done by tomorrow. I apologize dearly for the delay.
>> No. 22891
File 130015830019.jpg - (115.71KB, 600x600, KeineAndAkyuu.jpg) [iqdb]
22891
Here is it at long last!

-----

Ugh... as I wake up, I try to remember what part of yesterday was real and what part wasn’t. A nice bath should clear the fog out. I gather my clothes and towel, though that disturbing 'raisin' towel still lingers in my memory.. I’m lucky I didn’t have a nightmare about that being.

-----

After the bath, I get dressed and head towards the living room, only to find a small gathering of people at it. Father, Mr. Yaguu, Miss Keine, and Lady Akyuu are all seated. Anxious, I ask “Is there something going on? It's unusual to see a meeting here.”

Father is the first to speak up, “We were having a small meeting about the sudden deposit of outsiders in the village. The older hunters are gathering them up so we can do a headcount. That will make it easier for the Hakurei shrine maiden to send home those who wish to return.”

Mr. Yaguu speaks up next; “Also, Lord Kaiba is doing that fool’s errand again, posting a bounty on the Lady of Flowers’ head." Wasn't Lord Kaiba a rich noble? "When will he ever learn that it is impossible for mere hunters to slay her? It was hard enough for the current Shrine Maiden to make a peace agreement with her. It's a good thing that youkai understands the few fools that try their luck do not represent the village as a whole."

I decide to ask a question, “Why does Lord Kaiba want her dead? From what I read, she keeps to herself in her own area. Also, what if some of these outsiders get mixed up into this?” I had heard about Kaiba's vendetta, but never found out the details.

Mr. Yaguu responds “Greed, pure and simple. I’ve done my best to instruct all the hunters to ignore such a deal, especially my son, Kazuma. Hopefully that girl he mentioned will keep him from engaging in such foolishness. Though, despite this, some hunters always go out and die- DAMN! If those outsiders get mixed up, things might escalate! I’ve got to warn the hunters!” Standing up, he runs out the room.

Father sighs, and announces “I guess that ends this meeting then. We’ll have to gather up the rest for another one.” as he gets up.

Mother adds “I guess I should get ready to do my part as well. Oh, don’t worry Yuki, Keine will stick around to make breakfast for you and Lady Akyuu.” She too departs and Miss Keine goes to the kitchen.

While we wait, I turn to Lady Akyuu and ask “La- er, Akyuu, mind if I ask what you know of a 'white hare' and the Prismriver sisters?” I barely catch myself in time, remembering she prefers to be addressed more causally. “My friends seem to have gotten mixed up with the Prismrivers, and Kamui was also mixed up with the hare. I’m also worried about how Kamui will fare in his current situation.”

“Heh, I saw his performance, rather impressive. I’d be more surprised if no girls got damp in certain places as a result.” Lady Akyuu responds. What does she mean by “damp in certain places?” She continues “I’ll look up some detailed information on the sisters and get some copies for you. After all, anything for a childhood friend! As for the general youkai/human matter, I can explain right now. Youkai don’t waste time starting a relationship as they know how short a human’s life is. Depending on gender, they are either quick to anger or quick to make untoward advances, the latter being done by male youkai. Incidents of male youkai with human females are rarely heard of, as the youkai are generally at fault; with female youkai, the opposite is true. A sentient humanoid youkai can generally be considered like a human, but with much stronger instincts and considerable might to act on them. Most prefer to live in remote areas for various reasons. Keine and Hayato know more about them than me.” Hayato is Mr. Yaguu’s first name, so I’ll try asking him sometime.

“Thank you, I never knew that about male youkai. I’ll try to be careful around them and will be sure to warn my friends,” I reply. The struggle between reason and instinct isn’t something I would envy.

Lady Akyuu resumes her explanation “There's one more thing: the 'white hare' Kamui was talking about is the earth rabbit Tewi Inaba. I’m going to tell you a secret on how to deal with Lady Tewi: give her true respect. Do that, and you will be blessed and get some bits of wisdom. I will warn you though, she doesn’t go into fine details with those bits.”

"Why is that kept a secret? It doesn't seem particularly difficult." Lady Akyuu takes a breath as she adds, “It’s a secret because people will try flattering her, and she’ll notice and retaliate. Just the thought of her pranks is enough to terrify some people.” So, respect her well, and don’t try any trickery. Got it. "Alright. Thanks for the advice, and I'll be sure to pick up those Prismriver files sometime in the future."

At this moment, Keine walks in with a mix of fish and salad. “I hope you haven’t been telling him anything that should be kept secret.” For some reason, I suspect that’s not something I’d want to get into.

Lady Akyuu smiles as she answers “Me? I’m just an eight year old girl!” Keine and I both look at her in disbelief. Miss Keine stands up to get the cups of tea. During the wait, Lady Akyuu turns to me and adds “A woman’s secrets are best found out on your own." What is this, coming from a supposed 8 year old?!

Keine comes back with the tea as she speaks. “Sorry, but I have to attend to my tasks now. Yukikaki, keep an eye on Lady Akyuu for me; that’s your job for the day, at least until her parents finish their business,” as she hurries out the door.

Akyuu smiles as she announces, “I know what we can do! You can introduce me to your friends!”

"I thought you already knew most of them, though."

“I want to see where they work to size up the situation better! So, which way is Ginji’s shop? I’ve always been curious about what kind of wares are sold there.” As she starts walking out of the house, I feel that this is going to be another exciting day.

-----

The walk to the shop was uneventful, other than the herding of outsiders off in the distance. We enter the shop to find Ginji glance up from some paper work he was working on. “Oh, hey. I’m just finishing the paperwork regarding the addition of those two to the payroll. It’s a real pain negotiating with my parents for the extra money needed.” He says as he returns to the papers.

I faintly remember his parents pressuring him to find a ‘good partner’, though I suspect it’s marriage instead of business related, as even mentioning it puts Genji in a foul mood. “Where are Rika and Miss Asakura?” I ask.

He continues his paperwork as he answers, “At another meeting with the Kappa; Rikako had some good ideas of how to improve that tank of Rika’s, and I guess it impressed the Kappa.”

Lady Akyuu giggles as she remarks “I’m sure Rika misses her Gin-gin.” Ginji motions freeze as she adds “It’s just my information network; I wish you good luck with everything!”

Trying to diffuse the situation, I ask “Is Kazuma off working somewhere?”, knowing that if he was he wouldn’t be able to stop by the shop.

Ginji slowly returns to his work as he answers “He’s off surveying the safe area in the forest to better help any unwary outsiders. It wouldn’t surprise me if he did a bit of hunting on the side. Now, is there anything else you care to ask? If not, how about you go bug Kamui, as I dislike being interrupted by anyone other than paying customers.” Lady Akyuu seems to have ticked him off... I think it’s time to go, Ginji can get rather irritable when people disrupt his work.

I start to leave when Lady Akyuu remarks “My apologies then, I wish you the best of luck with those two and that cute blonde girl you met recently!” before hurredly exiting the shop. I follow quickly, knowing how Genji will react to the remark.

-----

By the time we stop running, we're already halfway to the Inn. In between breaths, I ask “Why did you have to make that remark?”, guessing that it was probably some kind of snooping.

“It’d be incomplete if I did otherwise, and it’s fun toying with people’s heads. I’m sure seeing those two talk will be fun,” she answers, giggling. “Knowing his situation, I think I’ll just drop off a copy of Lunasa’s files as an apology. I can also consider ii practice for an upcoming project of mine,” she adds as she resumes walking, with me following. Well, one friend visited, two to go. I hope .

-----

It doesn't take long to reach the inn. Walking inside, we spot Kamui in the main room, practicing a bit. Kamui notices us, and pauses to greet us. “Got stuck with watching over the lady, huh?” he asks.

Unphased, Lady Akyuu responds “Indeed he did. I had meant to meet you in order to praise your performance a couple of nights back; it was certainly impressive, with credit going in part to the sisters and those two girls. Where are they? I’d find it odd that they’re not around.”

Kamui responds, “Kurumi went back home for a bit, while Elis joined her friend Luize to look for someone named Alice, as she was sighted around the village area. I guess you want to know the details of whatever Yuki’s been saying...” Kamui tells her of everything that happened involving Mystia, including what happened yesterday after the concert.

Lady Akyu nods thoughtfully and says “Sounds just like Mystia, but the good news is that all you have to do is clear up this matter. I must praise your resolve as I doubt most men could have resisted such an offer. I’d be careful as you will have to contend with some jealous cowards. In the history, there’s a tale of man that fought 200 men just because they were jealous that he had a nice youkai wife.” What kind of man was he to be able to do that!? That has to be quite a tale in and of itself!

At this moment the inn matron notices, and hurries to get a plate of snacks. “Here you are, Lady Akyuu. I’m sorry about the delay.” the inn matron speaks as she puts down the plate.

“Not at all, I didn't come here expecting to be waited on hand and foot, though I am thankful for the offering.” Lady Akyuu responds as the Inn Mistress returns to her position.

We ate and chatted for a bit before Kazuma suddenly entered, carrying a map. “There you are! I’ve been running all over the village to find you; I found something you might like.” He places the map on the table and points to an area close to the path to Kourin’s shop. “It’s a perfect clearing and it’s in the safe area. I figured you’d want to know about it since it looks like a great reading spot.” It would be nice to have a reading spot that is outdoors. I memorize the path as best as I can, so as soon as I’m done with Miss Akyuu, I’ll pick up my books, update my map, and try it out. I’ve still got time left today; it's only about noon.

Meanwhile, Lady Akyuu starts talking to Kazuma. “You're Hayato Yaguu’s son right? If so, I must ask: did Merlin’s sisters give you any trouble last night?”. Today must be meddling day for her as she’s certainly doing a fine job of it.

“To answer both questions, yes and no; I don't think any of them were glaring at me. Ah! That reminds me, I’ve got to write that first letter.” Kazuma responds.

Akyuu merely replies, “Congratulations then, but don’t do anything that would cause her to worry.” I think she added that last bit due to what Mr. Yaguu said in the meeting this morning. I guess Merlin's sisters must be protective, as she does seem to be rather trusting. Honestly, out of my friends, I worry least about Kazuma as he’s only with one girl, and they're quite well matched for each other, too.

Just to be sure, I better ask Kazuma about the bounty on the Flower Youkai. “I hope you don’t have it in your head to take on that bounty on the Flower Demon.”

“Hey, I’m not that stupid! I can’t even begin to think of taking her on when I haven’t tried any C-ranked bounties yet. Dad says all the very best hunters could converge on her place and she’d still wipe them out with ease.” Kazuma replies in a panic. “I also heard she’s as beautiful as she is strong. I can't think of any man who would be brave enough to court her though, as even I’M scared of her.” He's right; it may be easy for an open-minded and rather brave man to overlook typical youkai quirks, but no one has enough power to possibly take on an Oni or a Tengu.

I pat his shoulder and reply, “Good, as I think that’s what causing all the trouble, is the mix of a bunch of outsiders being brought here and that stupid bounty.” I remember in the past a few folks trying the last time with only one body coming back in a smaller box.

My thoughts were interrupted by the arrival of Lord Hieda. “Sorry about that, but this morning’s events required even our attention.” Turning to Lady Akyuu, he asks “You didn’t make any trouble while Yuki was watching you, right?” I guess that’s a perk of our two families being close, as he sees me as more of a friend than a mere assistant in training.

I answer, “She behaved herself mostly, but there was a minor issue with Ginji” I know Ginji wouldn’t hold Lady Akyuu's comment against her, and that everyone knows that he tends to overreact a bit when personal matters are involved. Not all parents are as laid back as Mr. Yaguu, or mother and father. Ginji’s family, the Miyamotos, pride themselves on being successful in business, and always emphasize business talents when finding a spouse.

Kazuma scratches his head, “Oh yeah, I should be getting back to the base with my map,” he says as he gathers his things and dashes out the door.

“Goodbye, Yuki. I hope you have a nice day, and thank you for the walk!” Lady Akyuu says as she leaves with her father. I need to get going myself, so I turn to leave the inn. "I'll see you later, Kamui." I plan on returning home to get some fruit, my map, and my magic book, and then exploring the route Kazuma showed me.

-----

After gathering everything, I walk the path marked on my map and find it leads to a mostly natural clearing with a stump in the middle. I sit down, open the book back to the wind magic section and try my hand at doing a bit of it. With the slight breeze blowing through here, it’s easy to make a leaf go flying whichever way I like.

Trying to learn wind magic brings back memories of learning how to cast a fireball spell. Mainly, it took a great deal of effort and some pain to learn, only to later find out I should have started on water or wind magic. The fireball is still useful in emergencies, as blasting a youkai in the face generally buys one time to escape. I also attempted to learn a stun/disable spell; it wasn’t as hard, excluding the one time I accidentally aimed it at myself. Certainly wasn’t fun being blind and deaf for ten minutes.

Refocusing on my efforts, I move up to trying to make a small wind blade, cutting the leaf in question. The first few tries are decent, cutting the leaf. I try again and manage to manifest three blades, converging together into a clash which ends up pulverizing the leaf. It won’t take too long before I can try mustering a single normal-sized one. Next time I come here, I should also bring water here to-

“Ahhhh!”

Wait, that’s a girl’s voice! I check my map and it sounds like she might be just outside the safe area. I pick up my stuff and rush over to where I think I heard the sound.

-----

I recognize this road, it leads to a small clearing by a stream; the hunters use it as a rest spot. I approach it; I heard her voice come from that general area. What’s a girl doing out here? Very few travelers stop here and even solo hunters remain on their guard. If she is under attack, I can just stun it then escape with her. I can’t just run away with a clean conscious. I should...

[ ] ...Call her attention to see if I’m just overreacting. (Try talking from your position)
[ ] ...Rush in, with a stun/disable spell at the ready as she might be getting attacked.

Yep, the moment of truth everyone’s been waiting for, but please don’t overthink this as there isn’t much to gain or lose with this choice.
>> No. 22892
[X] ...call to get her attention to see if I’m just overreacting.

A trade off between alerting attacking youkai, or ruining the day of some small girl. Hmm.
>> No. 22893
[x] ...Rush in, with a stun/disable spell at the ready as she might be getting attacked.

All the cool kids rush into situations and shoot first. You want to be cool, don't you?
>> No. 22894
[x] ...Rush in, with a stun/disable spell at the ready as she might be getting attacked.

Can't lose the element of surprise. Since we are so weak, that shit is crucial. Then again, we're a bumbling untrained human, so any youkai worth their salt definitely heard us coming.
>> No. 22899
[x] ...Rush in, with a stun/disable spell at the ready as she might be getting attacked.
Oh yeah.
>I’d be more surprised if no girls got damp in certain places as a result.” Lady Akyuu responds.
Hwha? Brain freezed here
>> No. 22903
[x] ...Call her attention to see if I’m just overreacting.
>> No. 22919
I will try to have the update ready by the weekend at the latest.
>> No. 22945
File 130048845377.jpg - (266.58KB, 532x770, She is about this size.jpg) [iqdb]
22945
Sorry if this is short, the next one will be longer. This was proofread by something of a special guest, many thanks goes to him.

[x] ...Rush in, with a stun/disable spell at the ready as she might be getting attacked.

Right, I open my book to the page with wind magic as I leap into action through the near by bush, but what I saw was... something stunning.

A girl that looks about to be my age, legs are pretty cute, past a hairless... oh my.

Oh my indeed.

This was not just a girl, but a NAKED girl; I’ve seen a few such girls in those Tengu Porn books Kamui has, but the real thing is just so much... more. There were some slim hips and a cute behind, above which is a soft flat stomach. Passing that my eyes were quickly drawn to a pair of breasts, real honest-to-gods breasts! They weren't very big, maybe just enough to fill a hand each but I guessed they would be pretty wonderful and soft handfuls to take hold of.

My heart’s racing... A very cute face with bluish green eyes, green hair that’s short enough to be a male’s but looks lovely on her... and antennae.... ANTENNAE!? She’s a youkai... but a cute one at that. And she just noticed me! Quick,quick what should I do!

[x] Can’t look away...
[x] Compose yourself and apologize and leave while you still have some dignity! (Warning: has a chance of failing and resulting in the bottom choice)
[x] IMSORRYIMSORRYIMSORRYYOUREREALLYCUTEIMSORRYIMSORRYPLEASEDONTEATMEIMSORAAHHHHH!!!! (Panic, Apologize, and RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!)

You’re still safe, and won’t start off on a bad foot, just a maybe awkward one.
>> No. 22946
[x] Turn around. Now.
[x] Compose yourself and apologize and leave while you still have some dignity! (Warning: has a chance of failing and resulting in the bottom choice)

I'm tempted to cut straight to the OH SHIT option, but I figure he at least deserves a chance at his dignity.
>> No. 22947
[x] Compose yourself and apologize and leave while you still have some dignity!
>> No. 22950
>>22948
Oh shit, you're right!

Changing >>22946 to
[x] Cast that stun spell!
>> No. 22951
>>22948
>>22950
I'm sorry, but I'm not accepting write-ins. I apologize for not warning you sooner. But I may in the future accept write-ins on a quality basis, signified by a "[ ](Write-in)" option.
>> No. 22952
>>22951
Deleted, in that case. It's not like the vote was meant to be entirely serious.

[x] Can’t look away...
Fortune favors the bold! She'll be so flummoxed over our serious gaze that she'll be the one apologizing, as if she did something wrong. I just want some more description of this "mysterious" young ladies assets.
>> No. 22953
Incorrect password~

[x] IMSORRYIMSORRYIMSORRYYOUREREALLYCUTEIMSORRYIMSORRYPLEASEDONTEATMEIMSORAAHHHHH!!!! (Panic, Apologize, and RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!)

I'll settle for making the vote a three-way tie.
>> No. 22961
[x] Can’t look away...
>> No. 22964
[x] Can’t look away...
[x] Compose yourself and apologize and leave while you still have some dignity! (Warning: has a chance of failing and resulting in the bottom choice)
[x] IMSORRYIMSORRYIMSORRYYOUREREALLYCUTEIMSORRYIMSORRYPLEASEDONTEATMEIMSORAAHHHHH!!!! (Panic, Apologize, and RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!)
Ok I brought it down to two
>> No. 22977
[x] Compose yourself and apologize and leave while you still have some dignity! (Warning: has a chance of failing and resulting in the bottom choice)

Keep it together, man!
>> No. 22983
[x] Can’t look away...
>> No. 22990
[x] Compose yourself and apologize and leave while you still have some dignity! (Warning: has a chance of failing and resulting in PANIC.)

We may as well make an effort. We'll probably end up face-down in the creek with a pissed-off Wriggle kneeling on our backs.

And who casts spells right from the book, anyways? Jack Vance called; get your shit together young man.
>> No. 22991
>>22990
Fuck Vancian magic forever. This kid has the right idea.
>> No. 22992
File 130059542811.png - (142.42KB, 682x387, varrasuvis rape face.png) [iqdb]
22992
>>22991
>Fuck Vancian magic forever

It requires a rather high "just-as-planned" factor, 'tis true.
>> No. 22993
>>22992
Carrying your spellbooks around and having them open to the correct page has an even larger just as planned factor.
>> No. 22996
Between "Can't look away" and Composing oneself.

If it's not broken in a hour, I'll determine the winning vote though some method.
>> No. 22997
>>22993

Standing around like a prat with a book in your hands is a gigantic pain in the ass, true, but if it frees you from a limited number of spells-per-day you have to lock-in beforehand, it might be worth it.
>> No. 22999
>>22997
I just realized that a major advance in wizardry was made to avoid looking like a prat.

This feels wrong.

And hey, someone break that tie.
>> No. 23003
[x] Compose yourself and apologize and leave while you still have some dignity! (Warning: has a chance of failing and resulting in PANIC.)
>> No. 23005
Composing one's self wins. Again I warn you, it may not succeed.

>Magic discussion.

Magic in my gensokyo is more akin to a jRPG, basically knowing spells and casting them out of a pool of magic/mana points. Many novices and some moderately experienced wizards keep their spellbooks around to aid in casting, the more experienced ones using them as a focus. That's why Yukikaki had his book ready, to assist in casting the spell quickly and surely.
>> No. 23021
>>22999
Don't you mean ALL major advances in wizardry were to avoid looking like a prat?
>> No. 23052
I'm still working on it, but having three days of work is certainly making it difficult. I will have something by the weekend.
>> No. 23053
>>23021
I bet the discovery of wizardry wasn't.

Probably.
>> No. 23066
File 13011181842.jpg - (114.98KB, 713x950, WrigglesHat.jpg) [iqdb]
23066
>Compose check... succeeded!

[x] Compose yourself and apologize and leave while you still have some dignity!

Okay... focus, calm down. Turn around so you don’t end up thinking of... NO! “Ah... I apologize for intruding, I thought someone was in trouble... I’ll be going now.” I say as I pick up my book and walk out with as much dignity as I could muster - not very much.

Right after I leave I hear her say “Um... apology accepted.” That’s a relief. So far so good as I follow the path away from that spot.

-----

By the time I get back to the village the sun’s started its descent. I think I’ll go home and just relax as much as possible. Now that I think about it, her voice sounded pretty cute. My heart is still racing and my face must be flushed. I don’t know how I’m even going to remotely face her again - what am I even thinking about?! I think I’ll go to the Inn first and ask Kamui for help. Oh, the Inn’s only a short distance away.

I enter, and it doesn't take long to get over to Kamui’s room. I open the door and see Kamui talking with Elis. Looking up, she remarks “Let me get some water, as I’m sure you’ll want to talk about boy stuff,” as she leaves the room.

Kamui turns to me. “Something happened, didn’t it? You’re as red as Mokou’s pants!” Is my face really that red? I try to tell him what happened as naturally as I can. He nods his head knowingly. “It’s starting to sound like love has found you. It’s unlike you to react this much to things like this. Like last night, or that time Keine spilled water all over herself. Well, it sounds like you met a particularly nice and reasonable girl; Mysty would have hurt you in that situation out of instinct.”

"Oh, I believe that. Even in the best of times, she is still very much a youkai. Still, isn't that rather harsh to say about someone you like?” I’m curious how he’ll respond. What I was told today sounds a bit tricky: treat them as people yet remember their real nature.

Kamui gets a rare serious look as he replies, “She is a youkai and such reactions are to be expected. I know some people, like Ginji, think I’m a naïve fool, but I am not. I know about all the possible risks. In relationships, you gotta take the bad with the good, regardless of what species your loved one is. I’ve been looking into these matters as of late.” I’m dumbfounded by his insight.

"It’s really hard to tell what you’ll do next."

“Hey! I would think you’d have more faith in me than that. But, let’s get back to the heart of the matter. If this bug girl is the one I’m thinking of, then I’m sure Mysty knows her. And if you ran into her by Kourin’s, then he would have an idea if that's her turf or not. Mysty has the other side of the forest as her turf, since she prefers the roadside.” In slight exasperation, he adds “Although, if this girl is interested, she’ll come find you sooner than you’ll find her.”

At this time Elis comes back with a couple of glasses. “Sorry about the delay, but Kurumi came back and she had to put away some things,” she explains. I take a glass and drink it; there's nothing like some cold water to help calm the mind. I decide to get up and continue on my way.

"Thank you. I think I'll be leaving now."

“Oh you don’t have to go!”

“I know, but I’m done here and I’d rather not impose any more than I have.” I answer shortly before I leave. Kamui’s going to have a tricky road ahead of him and I’d rather not get in the way. I should return home and see what’s going on.

-----

Walking home doesn’t take long and I find my parents sitting at the table; the rather serious looks on their faces snap me out of my haze. “Did something happen?” I ask since I honestly forgot the finer details of the meeting this morning, other than the part about the outsiders.

Father responds, “One outsider wasn’t at the last headcount, and it was revealed he took up that offer of a sword and equipment, only saying that 'This is where I’ll find my answer.' Thankfully, we have yet to hear any reports of conflict at Lady Kazami’s area.”

Mother adds, “I had a chance to interview him. His name was something like Art-hur and he was a nice young man, but he seemed lost. I hope he makes it okay; it’s not everyday that a young man like him comes along.” He sounds interesting; I certainly hope he didn’t go about Lord Kaiba's fool’s errand.

“So, what happened today that got you flustered like that?” Father asks. He must have noticed my face. I might as well tell them as they’ll find out sooner or later.

“After Lord Hieda picked up Lady Akyuu, I went over to a reading spot Kazuma told me about and got some magic practice in. After a while I was interrupted by a yell, which I checked out. And, well... Iendedupdashingintoacutebutnakedyoukaigirltakingabath!” I answered, blurting out the last part in embarrassment.

Father’s serious look gives way to a smirk as he chuckles. “Sounds like you’ve had quite a day. My youth wasn’t as interesting, that is certain. If you’ve fallen for her, I fear what simplicity your life had will be gone.” Father, while serious when needed, is given to comical moods outside of those moments.

Mother in contrast has a dark look on her face. “I have to meet her...” she remarks as she starts muttering. I fear it’s her over-protectiveness acting up. It’s touching but a bit embarrassing at my age. Father goes over to her and motions for me to go to my room, presumably while he talks with Mother. I depart from the dining room rather quickly as I know when to make a quick exit.

-----

I read another book in my collection, one about a valiant if egotistical knight named Buront. Kazuma recommended this book to me, saying “If you like grand tales, this might fit your taste.” I continue reading about his adventures and in spite of his arrogance, he puts defending his allies and the innocent first. Wow... I didn’t think he was that strong with just his fists. Terrible things happen when his rage goes “mach.” In all those battles he proved to be the backbone of his group; a knight forged from an ingot of iron is certainly nothing to take lightly. I almost reach the part with King Behemoth when mother calls for dinner.

-----

Everyone was quiet at the table, my father and I wary of provoking some sort of mood shift in Mother. She eventually breaks the silence. “Yuki, I was informed that school would be tomorrow and you can resume work soon after.” That’s some relieving news, as it’s a chance at normalcy after all this excitement. “But I hope you apologized to that girl for the incident,” she adds. I nod my head several times.

“And she accepted it shortly after I left that clearing,” I answer as I resume eating dinner, some tuna in a weird mix of things called a “tuna Salad”. I can tell there’s tuna, lettuce, onions, and some sort of egg product. “Mother, where did you learn how to make this?” I ask innocently.

“Oh, one of the outsiders taught me when I interviewed her. She wondered about the food here and she started listing various things that could be made with them. I never knew eggs could be used to make this... mayo-nase. I shared with her some of the things that are commonly made here as well,” Mother answers. That’s a good sign that this latest bunch won’t cause trouble. We finish dinner soon after and I say good night to Mother and Father before going to bed. Today seems to have worn me out; hopefully I’ll have a good rest.

-----

Weird... I’m dreaming that I’m sailing the ocean with a crew under Kamui on the S.S.Mystia. Trying to keep track of what's happening is a bit hard. A new crew member is introduced, and it's Her. There's a party which resulted in her getting drunk and dense... and we ended up in a room and...

CHONK CHONK!

My alarm goes off, waking me up. That was a... weird dream. I’m hoping school will go normally. Better get ready now.

-----

After getting ready and eating the breakfast Mother made, I head off to school. I think Father and Mother are both still busy with all those outsiders. I wonder how Miss Keine was able to resume classes.

-----

“Today we have a few new members in the class...” Miss Keine explains, pointing out some of the outsiders in the classroom. I notice a few people taking this as their cue to slack off. That is, until Miss Keine reacts to something. “What is a tank doing here?!” Everyone turns to find Rika sitting in what appears to be something that has a desk on top of it.

“Oh, I wanted to see what it was like, so I brought my desktop tank. It’s really small and harmless.” Rika answers. This makes me wonder... just how many tanks does she have? I know there’s two more, Alexander and that “Evil Eye Omega.”

Miss Keine responds, “Just don’t blow anything up, please. Now for the discussion on human/youkai relationships...” Oh, this lesson again. Well, I might as well read ahead in my magic book while I have the chance.

I start reading about earth magic. It sounds pretty difficult as it’s not easily moldable like the other three elements, though it does state that it’s among the strongest magics against anything landbound. I'm interrupted when Keine shouts “Class dismissed! Your parents will be notified of the next date for class.”

I look around to notice just about everyone is leaving. I get up to leave when Miss Keine says, “Someone was looking for you, Yukikaki. She’s right over there.” She points to a person with a cabbie (as I heard they’re called) cap. The girl removes it revealing two antenna. It’s her!

Out of reflex I drop to my knees as I apologize. “I am really sorry about that, it was not my intention to intrude upon your modesty!” I hear Miss Keine chuckle.

“I already accepted it and the guardian vouched for you. I’m curious about what happened, since most don’t see me as a girl.” She then mumbles a bit, and a hint of red appears on her face. “I want your honest opinion of what went through your head,” she states, trying to take a stern pose that comes off as cute instead.

I take a few deep breaths as I answer, “Honestly? I thought that you were really cute, I mean even compared to say the Prismrivers or Miss Lorelei- I’ll shut up before I say something stupid.” Had I kept on talking I most certainly would have complimented her eyes, or something else.

She has a shocked, blushing reaction. “Even compared to Mysty? Are you telling the truth? Sorry... it’s just that she seems to overshadow me and I’m not willing to cram myself in a dress just to get attention,” she responds, flustered. “I’m Wriggle K. Nightbug, lady of insects, but I have no role in that incident that happened,” she states resolutely. What incident is she talking about?

“I was being honest, and that’s a very cute name, Lady Wriggle.” I say that as a nod towards her ability with insects. Now her name is going to be in my head for a while.

“Just call me Wriggle, I’m not nearly to the point of deserving that title. I hope that we’ll have more chances to talk, seeing that you’re the first human that didn’t go drooly over Mysty.” She responds in a flustered tone.

Miss Keine steps in as she answers Wriggle, “I see no problem as long as you mean him no harm OR heartbreak. And if what you said about the incident over at farmer’s place was true, I’ll try to see about getting the bounty lifted.”

Wriggle takes a few steps back and responds, “I’ve tried to make them give the food back, but they ate most of it by the time they got to me. Humans have the oddest repulsion to insects on their food. I’ll try to see about gathering some honey as a peace offering.” It must not be easy dealing with insects.

Just as I'm about to reply, a boy comes to the door of the school. He shouts, “There’s a big scene at the gate! Everyone’s gathering around there!” Miss Keine rushes after the boy... should I continue talking or not?

[x] Stay and talk, this is an unexpected chance. Wriggle~
[x] Excuse myself and go see what’s going on. Such scenes aren’t common, even around here.

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

I’m thinking about titling this "In The Forest, A Dancing Light".
>> No. 23067
File 130112008734.png - (319.63KB, 900x800, 8282739.png) [iqdb]
23067
[x] Excuse myself and go see what’s going on. Such scenes aren’t common, even around here.

No ask Wriggle to come option? And fuck Buront.
>> No. 23068
[x] Stay and talk, this is an unexpected chance. Wriggle~
-[x] What incident with the farmers?
>> No. 23069
>>23067
Well, I'll just say that chances are high that she'd come along anyways. Just that the attention would be more towards the scene than anything else.

I apologize for not making things clearer.
>> No. 23070
>>23069
Awesome. Wriggle can wait, scene now.

As for the title, I think simply Dancing Lights would be better. Concise, and anyone looking at the story can tell it's in /forest/ without stating that in the title.
>> No. 23071
[x] Excuse myself and go see what’s going on. Such scenes aren’t common, even around here.
>> No. 23072
[x] Go see what’s going on. Such scenes aren’t common, even around here.
-[x] Ask her to come along
>> No. 23073
[x] Stay and talk, this is an unexpected chance. Wriggle~
-[x] What incident with the farmers?
>> No. 23074
"Miss Keine responds, “Just don’t blow anything up, please. Now for the discussion on human/youkai relationships...” Oh, this lesson again."

I wonder how many times Keine has to teach this lesson a month.

[x] Stay and talk, this is an unexpected chance. Wriggle~
>> No. 23076
[x] Stay and talk, this is an unexpected chance. Wriggle~
>> No. 23077
It's currently a tie, and if it's not decided within the next 1-2 hours, I'll flip a coin to decide it. Either way, the sub vote will be included.
>> No. 23079
Staying and talking wins, I'll get the update up by late monday, tuesday most likely.
>> No. 23088
File 130147385256.jpg - (486.53KB, 1103x1128, chibiwrigglekick.jpg) [iqdb]
23088
[x] Stay and talk, this is an unexpected chance. Wriggle~
-[x]Ask about the farm incident


Well I can always ask someone else about the scene later, this is a possibly rare chance. “I’d rather stay and talk some more, I’ll just find out about it anyways and well... I'm not sure when I’d get a chance at this,” I remark.

Wriggle cutely giggles, “I wouldn’t worry about that, as I’m interested in talking as well. What do you do in the village? I’m only aware of Mysty’s singing human friend and the various hunters,” she then asks.

“Scholar in training, though it shouldn’t be too long before I’m a full blown one,” I answer. Not everyday where I get a chance to represent humanity.

She replies, “I mainly wander, read and fend for myself most days. I’m grateful to Mother for teaching me to read. It’s something I can take pride in as most young youkai can’t even read a simple book,” with a smile on her face.

“Maybe we should compare book collections sometime. I’ve been wondering about that farm incident as this is the first I’ve heard it,” I reply. If it was a popular bounty, Kazuma would have remarked on it.

She rubs her temples as she answers. “That? Well a bunch of ants I use for scouting decided to raid a noble’s food supply after I had them look over it. Then the guy puts a C ranked bounty on me assuming I did it. Not as if he lacks food, being associated with 3 whole farms. If I seriously raided his food, your village would have enough food to have feasts for a week.” She fidgets as she adds, “I’ve been trying to improve my behavior, as it’s more the heroic thing to do- like Kamen Rider...” blushing afterwards.

Heh, I guess she has a hero figure to look up to. I answer, “Sounds interesting, sounds like something from the outside world. I can’t say there’s something like that but I do enjoy reading some book series, mostly fantasy stuff. I guess that’s why I decided to take up magic, not to attack anyone though!” I hope she doesn’t get the wrong idea.

“Kamen Rider? He’s a true ally of justice! He even has an insect motif! I’ve been practicing some of my kicks after reading one of the comics about him. One day, I’d like to punish some greedy fool with one of them. I’ll try to bring one of the comics next time. The shop by the clearing might have the comics as well. I take it you were about to do something to ‘save’ me when it happened. The intent is certainly nice but if anything, I’d be saving you. I have nothing to fear from ferals, even without Mother’s blessing.” She answers gleefully. I guess if this keeps up I’ll meet her mother. I won’t worry about that now.

I reply, “I guess I’ll try looking there sometime, might be a nice change of pace from fantasy.” If someone saw me now I think they’d see a grin on my face.

She looks out the window and gets up. “Sorry, but I just remembered Mother wanted me over for dinner. But it was definitely very nice talking and I’ll definitely come by sometime. Bye!” She says as she runs out the door. She is cute when she’s flustered... among ot- NO DON’T THINK BACK ON THAT!

My thoughts were interrupted by someone speaking. “She is pretty cute, and it seems things went well. Did you take a few pages out of my book?” Kamui’s the one talking.

I try answering, “It was nothing fancy, and we just talked about books! Honest!” Talk about being caught off guard.

Kamui calmly answers, “Glad to hear that, now your worry’s solved and your life’s going to get complicated. I originally stepped out about hearing the scene but when I heard that you stuck around to talk to someone, I decided to see what was going on. That and I am sure that the Inn’ll be talking about it later on. You should check back at home as it’s been a couple of hours since class ended. I heard Miss Akyuu dropped something off at home” as he walks out. Oh yeah, those files she left! I leave as well, spotting Miss Keine waiting outside the door, giving a kind nod.

-----

I come home to find dinner already ready. “I put those files in your room like Lady Akyuu requested,” Mother says, as she notices my slight confusion.

I sit down to eat as Father asks, “So did you hear the news? That Arthur returned from Lady Kazama’s place. From what your mother told me, he managed to reach a peaceable agreement.” It makes me wonder what kind of man this Arthur is to do such a thing and for an outsider at that. Most outsiders fare poorly when up against any youkai, even a feral cat youkai.

Mother adds, “He came by to tell me he was safe and he said that Lady Kazama isn’t as bad as she’s made out to be. I remember the files on her saying she’s very passive unless provoked. So did you meet that young lady again?” Leave it to mother to get to the heart of the matter.

“Yeah... and we just talked some... she also likes books,” I answer nervously. Hopefully Mother won’t get in one of her moods. I just see her smile instead, that’s good... I hope.

Father interrupts, “That’s good to hear, she’d fit into the family pretty well then. I remember when I was like that... I was only seventeen...” as he goes on into a tale of his youth, mainly when he met mother at the public section of the Hieda mansion and how they talked about history. It’s something I’ve heard countless times in my life. He finishes as he adds, “Tomorrow’s another day at the mansion and I hope you look over some of the Myouren stuff with me.” That isn’t such a bad idea, male bonding over possibly grossly exaggerated tales of a man. The talk is then about regular stuff.
-----

Dinner is soon finished as everyone goes their separate ways. I go down to my room and do a bit or early preparation in case she comes by, putting in my bag a few of my favorite books. I should ask Shinobu how she’s been doing next time I see her. I decide to go to bed early after setting my alarm. Not having much luck falling asleep, due to thoughts of Wriggle, such as incidentally getting drenched in a rain- Oh no! I’m not going there! Last thing I need is... that being ‘fully charged’ at this time!

I decide to look through the files in bed until sleep claims me. Let’s see Merlin’s “Rather naive girl, slow but explosive temper and absolutely no inhibitions.” ......Oh Wow... Kazama’s going to be in for a surprise. For Lunasa, it reads, “Very sensible but prone to pessimism and bluntness, possibly tsundere. She’s the real brains of the sisters.” Makes sense to me. For Lyrica’s, it reads “Cute but very worldly, she takes relationships at her pace and as one might suspect, adventurous in her life in general. She is more than what her petite appearance suggests.” I wonder if Kamui’d enjoy someone not so easily charmed. I put them away as I find myself passing out quickly.

-----

Next day I wake up, not remembering much of my dream, other than hanging around a snake guy who gets stuck in skirts. I get ready for the day as I go upstairs for breakfast.

-----

I find Mother and Father there due to how early I woke up. We eat and talk a bit with Father. He’s usually the first one to leave and the last to come home. I finish eating myself as I soon leave myself. Mother’s usually the first to come home and the last to leave.

Walking over to the mansion, I decide to take a leisurely pace and enjoying the morning air. I should decide what I’ll do when I get there, that saves everyone some time. I think I’ll...

[x] spend some time with Father and finding out just how exaggerate these tales seem.
[x] work with Mother, possibly find out more about that outsider as well as others.
[x] Work with Lady Akyuu, might as well tell her what happened before she pries it out of me. That and I can help Wriggle’s article end on a good note.
>> No. 23089
[X] Work with Lady Akyuu, might as well tell her what happened before she pries it out of me. That and I can help Wriggle’s article end on a good note.

We had a nice chat with Wriggle, something people do not have often apparently. Might as well talk about that with Akyu and possibly daydream some more to her amusement.
>> No. 23090
[x] work with Mother, possibly find out more about that outsider as well as others.

I wanna know more about the guy that faced down Yuuka.
>> No. 23091
[x] Work with Mother, possibly find out more about that outsider as well as others.

>>23090
Me too. He's bound to be pretty interesting. As an aside, I'm wondering if any person in this entire story would disapprove of a human and youkai relationship. So far, everyone is completely down with the idea.
>> No. 23096
[x] Work with Lady Akyuu, might as well tell her what happened before she pries it out of me. That and I can help Wriggle’s article end on a good note.
Alright if I can't decide what to vote for I'll make it a tie
>> No. 23097
>>23070
True but the whole title has a sort of poetic romantic feel.

>>23074
She only did it again due to the massinve influx of outsiders that arrived. And if anyone's prone to getting killed pissing off a youkai girl, it'd be an outsider.

>>23091
You'll see in due time, most folks Yuki knows are open minded, who to say most would be that way.
>> No. 23099
[x] Work with Lady Akyuu; I might as well tell her what happened before she pries it out of me. I can help Wriggle’s article end on a good note.
>> No. 23101
[x] Work with Lady Akyuu, might as well tell her what happened before she pries it out of me. That and I can help Wriggle’s article end on a good note.
>> No. 23105
Working with Akyuu wins. I'll have something ready by the weekend at latest.
>> No. 23116
File 13018169867.jpg - (89.58KB, 573x600, PMiSS_wriggle.jpg) [iqdb]
23116
[x] Work with Lady Akyuu, might as well tell her what happened before she pries it out of me. I can help Wriggle’s article end on a good note.

Working with Akyuu it is. I head into the mansion and when Shinobu shows up, I say “I’d like to work with Lady Akyuu again!” This feels rather empowering.

She smiles as she responds, “Young Master Kojima must feel awfully confident today. I’ll take you there right away since Lady Akyuu is expecting you.” She then leads me to Lady Akyuu’s room.

Shinobu drops me off, then leaves to attend to her duties. Lady Akyuu looks up and says “Good morning, Yuki. Did you have a nice day yesterday?” She greets me with one of her smiles, the ‘I know something but I’ll take a while to get the point’ smile. I decide to tell her everything that happened since I last saw her, figuring she’d get it out of me one way or another.

-----

“That sounds about right; she must be cute indeed if you’re reacting like that,” Akyuu remarks, giggling. She soon stops as she adds, “Seriously, I’m happy and I’m sure you’ll make it work out. Here, I got a drawing of her for my book.” She hands me Wriggle’s file, which now contains a drawing. It’s obviously done by a rather skilled artist, and somehow they got a good glance at her. The drawing is quite accurate, capturing the shape of her cape and features of her face well. It also seems the information in her article isn’t too out of line, though there are some segments that need correcting.

“That’s a pretty good drawing. How did they capture her image so well?”

“Oh, I have my ways; maybe one day you’ll find them out,” Akyuu answers teasingly as she updates the information. She adds, “I’m also working on an alternate file in case that creepy Oracle asks me for it. He strikes me as creepy and Uncle Hayato also isn’t very amused." Mr. Yaguu mentioned the Oracle, too, and my parents called the man eccentric. I wonder what sort of person he is?

Lady Akyuu breaks me out of my thoughts. "So were those files useful? I’m sure it must have been an eye opener,” as she finishes updating Wriggle's article.

-----

Other than the talk about Wriggle, the day goes pretty normally, at least until Lady Akyuu jokes, “Did you know your parents are imagining the cute little bug-grandkids they’ll be getting? I do know for a fact your mother has a ladybug plush, but that’s supposed to be a secret.”

"Then why are you telling me? More importantly, what do you mean they're already imagining?!" Lady Akyuu merely giggles.

Oh yeah. “At any rate, what do you know of that commotion yesterday? I’m trying to find out about it since I was busy with other things,” I ask. She’ll easily figure out that I was with Wriggle when it happened.

She giggles as she answers, “I’ve only heard that an outsider made the trek to Yuuka's field just to check something out, and returned successfully. I can only speculate on how he behaved for Yuuka, since she not only spared him, but basically blessed him as a ‘knight’, using exactly that term. You didn't hear about this because you were talking with the lovely lady of insects, right?” I nod. She adds, “Try asking around; I'm sure that your friends have their own bits of information.”

I have one last question before I leave, one that recently struck me. “How am I doing as a scholar, Lady Akyuu? I’m curious with all that’s happened so far. Sometimes I think I’ve been a bit too laid back.”

She answers, “I think you’re doing quite well so far. As for your schedule, your parents had the idea that you should enjoy your youth while you can. You still have a few more years before needing to seriously commit to the job.” She suddenly leans over and hugs me. Her voice takes on a more serious note as she says, “In my memories, I’ve seen many people your age struggling a bit before settling into their careers. I want you to be content with what you choose.” She releases me, and I can't help but wonder if her statement had a double meaning. “You’re done for the day, but I must warn you that if word gets out to the wrong people that you have feelings for a youkai, some folks may get... uncivil.” She adds as she nudges me out of the door.

I spot a clock in the hallway; it says it's about 3:30 pm. I bump into Shinobu who helps lead me out. Before I go out, she speaks to me, “I’m sorry to have overheard the last piece of your conversation, but if you run into trouble, run here and someone will help you. It’d be terrible if something were to happen to one of the young mistress’ friends. I do hope that you have a nice day, Young Master Kojima.”

-----

Outside, I think about who I’ll visit...

[x] I wonder if Kamui found anything or ran into trouble.
[x] I’m sure Mr. Yaguu has seen the outsider and I’m curious about what he said a couple nights back.
[x] Ginji’s shop has a bunch of people around, maybe I’ll ask there.
>> No. 23117
[x] I’m sure Mr. Yaguu has seen the outsider and I’m curious about what he said a couple nights back.

Yaguu, father of Kazuma the hunter, probably knows the most about this outsider and his journey.
>> No. 23122
[x] I’m sure Mr. Yaguu has seen the outsider and I’m curious about what he said a couple nights back.

Works for me~
>> No. 23123
[x] I’m sure Mr. Yaguu has seen the outsider and I’m curious about what he said a couple nights back.
>> No. 23124
[x] I wonder if Kamui found anything or ran into trouble.
>> No. 23125
[x] I’m sure Mr. Yaguu has seen the outsider and I’m curious about what he said a couple nights back.
>> No. 23128
[x] I’m sure Mr. Yaguu has seen the outsider and I’m curious about what he said a couple nights back.

>I can only speculate on how he behaved for Yuuka, since she not only spared him, but basically blessed him as a ‘knight’, using exactly that term.
I am curious as well. Yuuka sure must have found him... interesting.
>> No. 23129
Update should be up in the next few days at latest.
>> No. 23136
>>23129

Hooray!
>> No. 23170
File 130224782662.jpg - (83.97KB, 400x400, Merlin.jpg) [iqdb]
23170
[x] I’m sure Mr. Yaguu has seen the outsider and I’m curious about what he said a couple nights back.

-----

Right, to Mr.Yaguu’s place it is. I walk over to the Hunter’s section of the village. Compared to other areas, the houses are more simple and utilitarian. I pass by Kazuma’s place, marked by a “Yaguu (Younger)” on the door, but it doesn’t seem he’s home. I continue on to a bigger house that looks closer to a fortress than most of the others here: Mr. Yaguu’s house. I knock on the door, and he soon answers it.

“Oh, Yukikaki, what brings you out here?” He asks.

"Hello, Mr. Yaguu. Did you run into that outsider yesterday? I wasn't able to see what happened, and wondered if you could tell me."

“Come in, then, and we’ll talk,” He says as he leads me inside.

-----

In contrast to the outside, the rooms look as if they belonged in a normal house. We soon enter the dining area, which looks very homely; it must be due to the influence of his late wife. Mr. Yaguu begins explaining, “He came by to test his skill with a sword. The surprising thing was that his style was effective, yet unorthodox. He even admitted that it’s unrefined and that he mainly learned most of his moves from watching and hearing about them. It was clear while we were sparring that he was adapting to my style, but his personality was very humble and respectful."

"We talked some after the spar, and he revealed that the meeting with the Lady of Flowers ended with both of them becoming fond of the other." Just how did he impress Yuuka Kazami of all people? I doubt someone like her would be impressed easily by a human. That’s something to think about. "This prompted a rather violent response from a few guys, but he managed to disarm them quite nicely. It’s more impressive than it sounds; besides myself, only one or two individuals have dealt with humanoids in combat.”

"I see. Thank you for telling me this." Oh! Maybe I could ask him about his earlier words while I'm here. “Sir, I’m curious about your earlier statement, that if one fell for a youkai girl that they should do everything to pursue them. I ask mainly due to recent events, as I seem to have feelings for one.”

He chuckles as he answers, “That? I said that from previous experience. When I was Kazama’s age, I was much like him. I was brash, headstrong, and pretty skilled at my craft for my age. I was out hunting in the forest by the mountain when I heard a splash. I ran to check it out like an overeager fool and found a girl accidentally slipped in the river. She introduced herself as Aya - yes, the tengu reporter - and despite... certain things, she was comfortable enough to talk. We got along quite well, but were both restrained by the rules of our cultures. Back then, a young man couldn’t even voice his fascination with a youkai girl without catching hell for it. So we both ignored those feelings, remaining friends. I still have some regrets despite what happened." I hope I never end up in some absurd love triangle like Mr. Yaguu has. "I don’t want anyone else to end up in such a state. Now, how did you meet this girl?”

I explain the story with Wriggle, and he bursts out laughing. “I might have expected that out of Kazuma, but you?! Ah, I apologize, but consider yourself lucky that you walked in on a more reasonable girl than not. Still, if you’re serious about those feelings, don’t let anything stop you,” he adds.

The moment is interrupted as the door opens loudly, Kazuma standing there and looking as if he came from a fight. “What happened at the lodge?” Mr. Yaguu asks. I’m curious too, as Kazuma doesn’t start fights at all.

Kazuma, despite the bruises and busted lip, scratches his head sheepishly as he answers, “Some of the guys heard my musings about Merlin and took offense for various reasons: some were youkai-haters, some were jealous, and a few were just insane fans. That last bunch was the one that got in the most licks against me. I think I was fighting about 3-4 guys at a time. It devolved into a massive free for all when someone called Merlin a ghost cow sl..."

Kazuma's face contorts, and he visibly cringes. "I can’t say it. I certainly lost it after hearing that and when I came to, everyone else was out cold and the place was a wreck. I’m sorry about that and I’ll take any punishment that comes my way.” He sits down as the apparent weight of his actions and the toll of the fight catch up to him. He starts writing a list of names.

Mr. Yaguu replies, “Indeed... Well, I was thinking of banning you all from turning in bounties, but in wake of the damage caused, I’ll merely issue an order to collect 90% of your bounties from you. As Head Hunter, I’m terribly disappointed in your actions, but as a father, I couldn’t be prouder. It's better to stand up for your beliefs no matter what than to sit idly by out of fear.” It must not be easy being both a father and supervisor to Kazuma. In my case, I’m merely a coworker with my parents, with only a difference in seniority.

-----

I say my goodbyes to Mr. Yaguu as I leave the house with Kazuma, who’s recovered enough to walk. “I’m going over to Ginji’s to see how he’s doing, and to tell him I won’t be available to help today,” Kazuma remarks.

I think I have time in the day to visit one or two more places before having to go home. Then again, it might just be better to go home and study my book some more. Maybe it's just due to Kazuma's fight, but I’m starting to get the feeling that things are going to get turbulent.

[ ] Head home and study; I should also ask Mother or Father about the specifics of what I’ve heard.
[ ] Go somewhere
-[ ] Check in on Kamui, I’m a bit worried about what might happen to him.
-[ ] Go with Kazuma to Ginji’s. I should see how much the rumor line has picked up about me and Wriggle, and might find out more about the outsider.
>> No. 23171
File 13022646701.jpg - (1.47MB, 1600x1435, d0bc53ca5b07c28c1964499778f46600.jpg) [iqdb]
23171
[c] Go somewhere:
-[c] Go with Kazuma to Ginji’s. I should see how much the rumor line has picked up about me and Wriggle, and might find out more about the outsider.

Posting picture, since I'm curious about Yuuka's role in this story.
>> No. 23172
[x] Go somewhere:
-[x] Go with Kazuma to Ginji’s. I should see how much the rumor line has picked up about me and Wriggle, and might find out more about the outsider.

That outsider is the real protagonist here~
>> No. 23173
[x] Go somewhere:
-[x] Go with Kazuma to Ginji’s. I should see how much the rumor line has picked up about me and Wriggle, and might find out more about the outsider.

>>23172
He certainly sounds like the hero of a story. We still haven't gotten the details of how he survived his Yuuka encounter either.
>> No. 23176
[c] Go somewhere:
-[c] Go with Kazuma to Ginji’s. I should see how much the rumor line has picked up about me and Wriggle, and might find out more about the outsider.

>>23173
It doesn't really bother me that we are on the sideline for once. A nice refreshing little change, but how long will it last?
>> No. 23177
[x] Go somewhere:
-[x] Go with Kazuma to Ginji’s. I should see how much the rumor line has picked up about me and Wriggle, and might find out more about the outsider.

>>23170
>Someone called Merlin a ghost cow sl...
;_;
>> No. 23183
-[x] Go with Kazuma to Ginji’s. I should see how much the rumor line has picked up about me and Wriggle, and might find out more about the outsider.
>> No. 23186
To Ginji's it is. There's a reason for the blurb at the beginning for chapter 0.

>>23177
Let's just say whoever said that did not get off lightly in the fight. Not when that person was incidentally slammed through a large table
>> No. 23191
File 130249733629.jpg - (86.73KB, 545x800, WhatMrYaguuSawAya.jpg) [iqdb]
23191
I'm wrapping up my update so it should be up by tomorrow at the latest. I hope no one's disappointed with my speed.

But there's a particular Aya pic to tide the wait.
>> No. 23207
Pardon the mess folks as I ran into some difficulties with the internet today. No suitable picture for the update though.

[x] Go somewhere:
-[x] Go with Kazuma to Ginji’s. I should see how much the rumor line has picked up about me and Wriggle, and might find out more about the outsider.

-----

I figure going to Ginji’s would be best, as he’s probably heard something about what was going on. I'm also nearby Kazuma, in case he passes out. It’s hard to tell how much of a beating he took in that fight, but trying to walk it off seems like something he would do. The hunter and merchant areas really contrast each other; the merchant housing seems much flashier compared to most other houses. Ginji’s shop stands out because it actually lacks most of flashy stuff, so I pick it out easily when it's within sight.

-----

“What the hell happened, Kazuma? You look like shit.” Ginji remarks as soon as he sees us. Hard to blame him as even though he won that fight, he has the injuries to show for it.

Kazuma sits down as he explains, “Some folks took offense at how I talked about Merlin, and a fight started. When some asshole insulted her, I lost it and by the time I came to it seemed like I'd laid waste to everything. And I saw that the insulter was smashed through a big table. On that note, do think you can find a deal on repairs? I’m trying to do my part in paying the cost of the damages.”

Ginji stands up and gets out his first aid kit. “You have to learn that you’re not as tough as you think you are. Really, I'd rather not wake up one day and hear that Merlin was crying due to you getting yourself killed!” He says as he bandages up the few cuts on Kazuma’s face. He turns to me and adds, “So, what brings you here, Yuki? Were you that worried about Kazuma falling on his face?”

I respond, “That was part of it, but honestly I also wanted to see if you’ve got any information about two things. Namely, if you've heard of any rumors stating I have feelings for a youkai, or if you know anything about that outsider that came back from Yuuka’s.” Information gathering is among his services; I hope he won’t charge me too much for it.

Ginji responds, “About the first thing: nothing really, everyone else was too distracted by the outsider’s entrance. But I can’t promise your luck will hold for other meetings. If things with Lunasa progress more, I’m going to have to make sure that I have something on me to deal with such people.” I think he got sidetracked and starting talking about his own problems.

Kazuma remarks, “There are some real crazy people, obsessed with keeping humans “pure”. They’re the ones you’ve got to look out for; I remember those folks were the ones that got in the worst blows on me.” I don't envy Kazuma for running into those people; if I attract their ire, I know I'll have a tougher time than he did.

Ginji resumes, “About the Outsider? I heard him answering some questions and he apparently only talked with Yuuka. He also came by the shop later looking for an alarm clock. I wasn’t amused at how he remarked on being in love, but I managed to talk to him about what the outside is like. He managed to inform me on fashion, what tools are used, and how things like blonde and red hair aren’t so unusual.”

Kazama replies, “I heard from dad that the outsider managed to hold up against him in combat skill.” I wonder what Kamui knows about this outsider? I'm starting to think I'm the only one out of the loop.

I see Ginji take out an unusual box and speak into it. “Hey Rika, think you can make a side stop to pick up Kamui? He’s needed for a meeting, and tell Rikako that she doesn’t need to hurry back.” Despite how much he tries to deny it, the fact that he likes those two is pretty obvious. Not that I’d ever say that to his face, though. Turning to me, he asks, “Let me guess, you don’t know a thing due to talking to that new girl yesterday, right?”

I weakly chuckle, “That’s right... as a matter of fact, it’s the girl I ran into the day before. I was reading and heard a noise and when I checked it out, I ended up seeing a girl... a naked girl. I apologized, and when she came by the school yesterday she was interested in talking. Turns out she’s something of a book reader too,” I nervously explain.

“Well good for you; I won’t pry anymore than that, I know why one might want to keep their business to themselves,” Ginji remarks. Only those who know him fully understand the bit about not prying into his business.

Kazuma adds, “What does she look like... I mean, if you don’t mind answering,” suddenly mindful of what Ginji said. I don’t have a problem answering the basics, so I answer, “She has green hair, is rather slim, cute, and her name is Wriggle.” I get the suspicion that Kazuma might be one of those people who would mistake her for a boy.

Kazuma’s face lights up as he replies, “Like that boy in class yesterday?” At that moment both Ginji and I put our palms against our foreheads. “Oh I’m sorry! Really am, I’m sure I was just too stupid to notice!” Kazuma apologizes upon noticing the reaction. I can’t exactly blame him for that...

An awkward silence descends, but is suddenly lifted when Kamui comes in. “Yo Ginji, you rang? That cute girlfriend of yours mentioned running a few other errands. I certainly hope you’re not a slave driver!” he remarks upon entering. Leave it to him to take over the flow of the conversation.

Ginji slams his hands down as he shouts “Girlfriend?! What kind of nonsense is that!? And don’t you dare.... AUUUGH!” I hope he learns to get over his issues; it’s unhealthy to react like that.

Kamui coolly replies “It’s clear to everyone here... except maybe Kazuma, that you like those two in addition to Lunasa. Good taste all around, Gin. But seriously, what did you need me for?”

I reply, “We were talking about that outsider that showed up yesterday; Mr. Yaguu mentioned how skilled he is with a sword and Ginji talked about his knowledge of the outside.”

Ginji and Kazuma relay what they know to Kamui, who then replies, “I tried talking to him as he seemed to be someone who was true to his convictions. Learned some pretty interesting stuff, as it seems he impressed the ever-lovely Lady of Flowers with his unerring determination. He went to see her about something, remarking that if his hopes proved false he’d die, and that he would accept this warrior’s death. His philosophy is pretty intense for such a soft spoken guy. But it impressed her apparently; then again, people are usually prone to begging for their lives when the reaper’s scythe comes close. He even praised me for my determination in spite of my fraility.” What kind of man praises such recklessness?! Then again, stepping onto Lady Yuuka’s turf is basically suicidal yet he did so anyways. Kamui continues, “Oh yeah he said his name was Arthur; cool name I’d have to say. I think I have a book of tales about a king with the same name.” I remember I was the one to give him the book about King... so THAT'S how you pronounce his name!

I reply, “I think my mother spoke to him before he went off, she was rather impressed. It’s rather astounding to think that an outsider went about doing something like that."

Kamui remarks, “We should keep an ear out for him, as this is fodder for a grand tale and some nice songs. But hey, Yuki, did you tell them about Wriggle yet?” I nod. “Let me guess, Kazuma thought she was boy at first, right? Seriously, Kazuma, you need to sharpen your senses to look beyond the obvious." Kamui glances at Kazuma's bruises and adds, "And what happened to you, anyways? Did you finally make a remark about our lovely teacher's figure in front of her?”

Ginji answers, “He talked about Merlin and pissed off some people, including some crazies. You’re the one who really has to be careful, Kamui, as you’d draw rage from both the youkai-haters and the jealous folks even before Lyrica comes into the picture.” Good point indeed; out of all of us, Kamui is in the deepest hole.

Kamui chuckles and answers, “Oh those crazies; such an obsession with having their goddesses stay pure is quite selfish when the ladies themselves desire otherwise. On the bright side, it’s unlikely they’ll ever continue their family lines. And I’ve been thinking on what to do in cases like that. You remember about the scuffle that broke out at the Inn a few days back? If Orange hadn’t stepped in, it would have been a total mess, and that was caused by those two merely kissing me. But from what’s been said of Arthur, he’s the last guy that has to worry as he’d just kick their asses. That, or Yuuka’ll splatter them herself.” That is very possible as one might interpret her violent reactions to people as a way of protecting her flowers, which are like children to her.

I think on this some to see what my past lessons have taught me... AH! “I believe our seemingly good luck is due to how youthful most of the girls are, or at least act. None of them seem to be “Elder” status.” It does make sense as the older they are, the harder they are to impress.

Kamui nods, “Makes sense, the sisters don’t seem to act too old and I get the impression that Elis and Kurumi are very youthful of their kind. An older vampire would try to dominate their spouse. She told me the older ones are terribly bossy sorts.” I’ve already read that vampires were always power-hungry... which is why Kurumi was such a surprise. “Speaking of the lovely vampire, she’s due to wake up any moment so I’ll have to get going now.” Kamui says as he leaves.

"Guys, I think I should also start heading home now; I have to do some studying and talk with my parents about things. Kazuma, please try not to over do it,” I announce.

Ginji responds, “I’ll see to that; if anything, make sure Kamui doesn’t get himself strung up as I can’t be bothered to watch him as well!” I wonder if those two will ever get along, as Ginji’s easily irked by Kamui’s antics and Kamui is in turn fond of irking him. I suspect Kamui just wants him to be honest with himself.

Kazuma adds, “Hey, introduce us to Wriggle when you can. It looks like I'll be stuck with desk work for the next day or two. I’ll heal up nicely, though I wish Merlin could nurse me back to health.” From what I saw, I wouldn’t doubt Merlin's sincerity, but the matter of whether she’d over do it or not would need to be addressed. I wave goodbye to Ginji and Kazuma as I head home.

-----

Arriving home, I see my father having a uncharacteristic look of dejection on him face. “Father, did something happen at work today?” He isn’t quick to be dejected or like his profession less than completely.

“It’s those Myouren documents I was researching; the latest scroll was half destroyed and what was revealed can’t be published due to the implications. Worst of all, I couldn’t confirm the findings as true or not,” Father answers.

“Implications of what? I wasn’t aware that this land’s history could be so sensitive.” I’m aware of how the outside world deals with some of its history... so much so that it gets to the point where it’s hard to tell what is true or not. Here, history is for the most part truthful with slight variations caused by the personality of the historians.

Father answers, “You’ve heard of the princess of the netherworld right?” I nod, I know how she was put in charge of the area after a tragic life, something father promised to let me visit when I reach full adulthood. “The matter involves her and it’s something she may find quite damning. So for her sake, I can’t even publish the findings as a tale. It also mentions someone by the same name as the spirit that hangs around the shrine. With how unreliable it is, publishing what I’ve uncovered would do far more harm than good. There will be times where you have to cover up some history from the public for the greater good, but remember that you must never do so to the point where the original meaning is lost.”

I answer, hoping to cheer him up, “Why not try looking into Arthur’s case? He has the makings of a potential legend! What greater thing can a historian wish for than the chance to chronicle a legend in the making?” I surprised myself with that train of thought, but the notion is pretty exciting to me as well. Maybe it's just because I think whatever event brought him here also caused my meeting with Wriggle. If that's the case, I’m somewhat grateful to him.

Father chuckles as he responds, “Thanks, and you may be right about him; I’ll try asking Lady Akyuu to use her information network to pick up anything of note. I’m sure you might have asked around yourself about him. Your mother’s making dinner right now, we can talk about it over dinner. You should wash up now.” I’ll do that as Mother always said “cleanliness is a key to good health.”

-----

At dinner, while we were eating, I was telling them about what I heard, “And I heard from Mr. Yaguu that he did well in some sparring. It’s not common for outsiders to be in such good shape or skilled with a sword,” I say.

Father chuckles, “Indeed, that’s why we were so worried when Arthur wasn’t there as he might have gone off to get himself killed like some others in the past.”

Mother remarks, “That Wriggle certainly has boosted your confidence; don’t think I didn’t notice the worried expression you had. I must wonder where you got that rather gloomy nature from...” She does have a bit of a good point.

“Now now, I was like that once before starting my job. Being a young adult isn’t an easy time. Gloominess in youth is often a sign of greater intelligence and wisdom as it’s thinking more on things that cause gloom.” Father answers. That might explain it and it gives insight on how I might turn out. It wouldn’t be bad at all as Father these days is very content and rather wise.

-----

Dinner goes as normal the rest of the way as I soon head down to my room to relax and study. I find a note on my bed saying school’s tomorrow in Miss Keine’s handwriting with the extra bit saying “Hopefully not repeating anything” referring to yesterday. I hope Wriggle drops by soon.

To think Mr. Yaguu had a story like my own... and if the Oracle breaks her heart... it won’t end well for him. It would be how Kazuma reacted but on a far scarier scale, something I don't want to dwell on. I open my my magic book and incidentally opened one on proficiencies.

“Despite being able to learn the elements, many people are shown to have certain proficiencies towards certain elements and as a result many focused on them as they were better able to utilize those preferred elements better than others. With wind magic, it is rather easy to tell by the incidental invocations of wood element spells. But one should keep an eye out for an element that’s particularly easy to use compared to others,” The book reads. I bookmark it as I feel myself starting to get sleepy...

-----

I wake up the next day and get ready to go quickly. I check my bags for the extra books I want to show Wriggle. I get upstairs to find mother and father gone and a plate of breakfast. I eat it while thinking of what I might do with my day. Oh yeah, I should keep an eye out for that Alice. After I finish, I leave for school.

-----

I got here early, just as I planned. I get out my school book as I look over some material when I heard “Surprise.” I look up to find Wriggle sitting next to me in her disguise. “School is a novel experience and it’ll help me be as educated as mother. That and it’ll be something I can hold over Mysty. I was thinking that after this, we can talk in that clearing, is that okay?” She asks.

Ah...

[ ] “Sure, that’s a good spot to go as I have no other plans. (No shame in going somewhere with a friend, right?)”
-[ ] “But would you like to meet my friends first?”
[ ] “It might be better to go covertly, my friends have ran into some trouble as a result of being friendly with non-humans.”
>> No. 23208
[x] “It might be better to go covertly, my friends have ran into some trouble as a result of being friendly with non-humans.”

Those silly crazies, trying to keep humanity free from the wiles of blood-thirsty monsters. I cannot possibly fathom just where they are coming from with this strange and far out logic. They're clearly insane bigots.
>> No. 23215
[x] “It might be better to go covertly, my friends have ran into some trouble as a result of being friendly with non-humans.”
>> No. 23226
[x] “Sure, that’s a good spot to go as I have no other plans. (No shame in going somewhere with a friend, right?)”
-[x] “But would you like to meet my friends first?”

Secrecy makes for boring conflicts... I'd rather just beat the shit out of anyone who disapproves.
>> No. 23229
[X] “It might be better to go covertly, my friends have ran into some trouble as a result of being friendly with non-humans.”

>>23226
No, it would not fit our character to randomly beat up on people. We are a squishy wizard, we beam-spam the shit out of people. But first of all we try to avoid conflict.
>> No. 23230
>>23229
Beamspam the shit out of them, then. I really don't care as long as we don't spend the rest of the damn story trying to hide that we like Wriggle.
>> No. 23232
>>23230
We'll definitely spend a large portion of it hiding. If you somehow didn't notice, there are factions of youkai-haters out there who will give us shit if they find out about our love.
>> No. 23233
>>23232
Let them give us shit. We aren't some fragile little being that must be protected. Even if we do lose a fight, it'll be way more interesting than going out of our way to avoid one.

but since paranoia is going to win (again), I'll point out that moonlit trysts have their charm too
>> No. 23235
>>23233
I agree with you, but discretion is the better part of valor here. Our rendezvous with Wriggle will be noticed in time, and we can deal with the Srs business in a suitably awesome manner then. But for now, maybe we should keep it quiet and light-hearted.
>> No. 23239
>>23230
>>23232
It's really up to the reader how Yukikaki handles it. Though if you intend on being open with it, you should be prepared for what may come.

But >>23229 is right, Yuki isn't exactly one to charge into a fight or do it well. The spells he's learned at the start are mainly to buy time to escape. He's far better at using his knowledge to avoid fights.
>> No. 23241
[x] “It might be better to go covertly, my friends have ran into some trouble as a result of being friendly with non-humans.”
>> No. 23244
[x] “Sure, that’s a good spot to go. (No shame in going somewhere with a friend, right?)”
-[x] “But would you like to meet my friends first?”

The "as I have no other plans" bit can be misconstrued to mean that we'd value time with Wriggle less than time doing other stuff. Let's avoid this cheesy possibility, yes?
>> No. 23246
>>23244
You mean something cliched out of a Harem anime? Fear not as I HATE those stupid cliches. If it's a stupid cliche from harem anime, then I'll do what I can to avoid it.
>> No. 23253
[x] “Sure, that’s a good spot to go as I have no other plans. (No shame in going somewhere with a friend, right?)”
-[x] “But would you like to meet my friends first?”
>> No. 23255
It's more like a very real result from oversensitive girls who read between the lines too much.
>> No. 23265
Going covertly wins. I'll try to have something up late thursday/early friday.
>> No. 23326
>>23265

Hooray!
>> No. 23328
>>23326
I'm trying to work on it as we speak. I apologize for the delay.
>> No. 23336
I'm putting the finishing touches on it and I'll try to have it up within a few hours. I apologize for the delay, been sidetracked with the Ten Desires demo and SRW Z2 coming out.
>> No. 23339
File 130333879271.jpg - (1.12MB, 2000x2670, Fantasy Comic In Question.jpg) [iqdb]
23339
Proofreader delays this time. I'll try to have the start of chapter 2 up sometime next week as work will keep be rather busy over the rest of the week.

-----

[x] “It might be better to go covertly, my friends have run into some trouble as a result of being friendly with non-humans.”

-----

I think it would be for the best to go covertly at this point, as it wouldn't be good to risk a fight here. I answer, “It might be better to go covertly, my friends have run into some trouble as a result of being friendly with non-humans. I just don’t want to cause excessive trouble.” I hope she isn’t too upset.

Wriggle nods and replies, “I understand your concerns, as I know some humans aren’t as understanding as others. And that adds on top of crimes people think I’ve committed against them. I think the best course would be for me to leave first while you do something... say, talk with the teacher for a bit, then leave and we’ll meet at the shop near the clearing,” as she starts smiling at the end. What a warm smile it is.

I answer, “Thanks, though one of these days I’ll try introducing you to my friends. And your smile is really cute.” I freeze. Did I just say that out loud?! She merely responds by blushing as she starts reading the book she's holding. Too cute... oh! Here comes everyone else; I better focus on the class!

-----

Keine's lesson today is on the main professions of Gensokyo. Focusing is hard... and for once, it’s not due to Miss Keine. My attention keeps wandering to Wriggle and what I'll talk about after school. Still, I better concentrate: the main professions were Farmers, which were rather simple folk, though it’s not unusual for someone from the family to try to move up in the world. Then there’s Hunters, who bring food into and protect the village. They're mostly not bad people, but some are prone to ignorance and brutish behavior. She proceeds to the Merchants, who honestly seem to vary in my experience, though some are just greedy. Ginji’s parents seem to approach their business more as a test of skill than as a way to make money. They're nice people, despite his father’s blunt manner. Finally there’s the scholars, of whom my family is second only to the Hiedas.

Keine then remarks on the Nobility which participate in the town council meetings. Although many bring up valid issues the others wouldn’t, a few occasionally try to press their own agendas. Among those few is Lord Kaiba; if he was as competent as he was persistent, the village would be in trouble. His greed outmatches any of the village’s merchants.

She then proceeds into subject matter meant for the outsiders, mainly covering the finer details natives would have picked up by now and opportunities for jobs. Most jobs are for the merchants with a few for the farmers. Ha, I feel sorry for whoever takes Lord Kaiba’s jobs; everyone in the village knows he demands hard work for not so great pay. Most natives know better, but with the outsiders, well... that’s the way things are for most folks, with Arthur being an extremely notable exception.

Class soon ends and most of the people leave, including Wriggle. I stand and head over to Miss Keine’s desk, asking “Did you hear about what happened yesterday? Someone got into a fight over the matter of liking a non-human.”

She answers, “Yes, I have. I was starting to prepare some notes on that subject in case situations such as yours increase. Speaking of which, I’d have thought you would have gone with her out the door, but I get the feeling you’re trying to avoid trouble. Make sure to tell your friends to be careful as well; the fact that all of you like non-humans isn’t as secret as you would think.” If she knows... then we should be cautious.

“I understand, Miss Keine. Are you sensing some uneasy times ahead? I feel like trouble is going to come to bear.” I ask. I remember Father remarking once that if one knows enough history, they’ll be able to read the present to predict the future. He said this during his project on chronicling the infamous lord of bandits who plagued the land about 30-40 years back. What happened to him is a mystery, as nothing was said of him being slain or arrested. He just vanished, never to be heard of again.

She answers, “I would like to say no, but with the sudden influx of outsiders on this large a scale, trouble is certain. That outsider will have a part to play; men such as Arthur do not lay idle at times like this. Now ,don’t say a word about this to anyone, as I don’t want to cause a panic.” She gently starts pushing me out the door. “You shouldn’t keep Miss Nightbug waiting now.”

-----

I try to walk calmly on my way to Kourindou, the shop near the clearing, to avoid giving hints about my intentions. Once I’m sure I’m out of eyesight, I make a dash towards the shop. I hope I didn’t keep her waiting too long for me.

I get there to see Wriggle (without her hat) waiting outside the door. “Sorry to keep you waiting, the chat got a bit long but it was for a good reason. I was sharing some important information.”

She shakes her head and answers, “Don’t worry about it; I used the time to count the money I’ve gathered up. Mind if we do some shopping before we go?”

I answer, “Sure, I was in a rush the last time I stopped by,” as we enter. We start looking around the store when Kourin appears at his desk. “Oh, it’s you two, go ahead and look around.” He knows I pay on purchase, so I guess Wriggle does, too.

She points me over to a pile of stuff. “I couldn’t find any more Kamen Rider issues, but I found a huge pile of these. These seem rather dark but pretty cool,” as she shows me a cover with a big red, white, and yellow ‘doll’ on the cover. “What do you think, Yuki?”

I take a look at an issue and it seems to be about said ‘doll’ taking on overgrown monsters. One page shows the ‘doll’ in its red form with its cape swirling around, firing beams everywhere. I suddenly imagine Wriggle doing something like that and I burst out laughing. I compose myself quickly as I answer, “It's a nice change of pace from my usual stuff, but this page here made me think of how you might be able to attack like that. It would be rather impressive.”

Wriggle pouts a little, saying “If you think it would be impressive, then why were you laughing so hard?!”

“Ah, if you came down out of nowhere like that, I’d certainly be scared.” Still, at the same time it would be hilarious. I turn and ask Kourin, “How much are these issues?” There seems to be a large pile of them here; it's rather staggering to see practically a whole collection.

He answers, “For the whole pile? 1,000 Yen. I keep on finding them by the shop. I think it must be a sign of the collection getting rare out in the outside world. One of the Kappa got another pile along with some other stuff when they stopped by yesterday. Oh, has that towel caused any problems yet?” From what I can tell Ginji hangs it up at his shop, maybe as a conversation piece? I ought to ask him about that next time I see him.

I respond, “One of my friends has it and they don’t seem to be too affected by it. We’ll consider your price for the collection. It is pretty cheap, but I'm not sure how we’re to move all these issues.”

“I have ways of moving stuff,” Wriggle responds as we continue looking around elsewhere. I stumble upon a few books, even finding some more volumes of that fantasy comic series I was reading. Kourin usually charges 300 yen per volume, and there’s 4 volumes; that's very affordable as I usually get 20,000 yen a week. Lady Akyuu is very generous, though she says she's just paying a few raises in advance.

We go up to the desk and put down the combined payment. Suddenly, I notice a swarm of bugs flying into the store with...nets? “Uh, Wriggle, is that what you were talking about?” I ask.

She smiles with pride as she answers, “Yes, they’re pretty strong flyers and I had them move a few things before. I hope mother’s servant remembers to feed them well.” I'm amazed at how insects can team up to move such things. I knew she could control them to work togehter before now, but seeing it first hand is something else.

Kourin takes the money and remarks, “You must be pretty friendly, holding hands like that.” I quickly realize we were doing just that... and her hand is soft. She reacts by tightening her hold slightly, though not enough to hurt. She also turns her head away and blushes in a very cute way. He adds, “Hmmm. Good luck, though, as I doubt you'll have it easy.” I wonder if he knows from experience; it’s a rather well known fact that he’s a mix of human and youkai. I would have inquired more but it would be very rude to do so. We leave the store with my books, and I see those rather large flies carry off Wriggle’s purchase.

-----

We head over to the clearing as I take out my other books. Wriggle asks, “What’s appealing about fantasy tales? I’m curious about your reasons.” I know she likes Kamen Rider due to the heroics.

I answer, “Honestly, it’s the sense of adventure in them. I know I won’t really leave the village and explore, so I do so vicariously. Also, the lands mentioned in these stories are so much different than Gensokyo. Heavily armored warriors, flashy and versatile magic, and creatures that are unseen even here.” I notice her looking through the first volume of the wizard story.

She remarks, “Not bad but the whole shapely teacher character is rather cliché... ah, sorry about that. I’m just irked by the whole ‘women must have curves’ notion.” She seems rather stressed by this.

I respond, “I wouldn’t worry about that, since you being yourself is perfectly fine. I can understand where you’re coming from though; I’m not exactly the ideal picture of manliness myself. That’s why I usually favor stories with heroes that aren’t so brawny and are more intelligent.” I hope that helps.

She smiles and replies, “I was just venting... but thanks for kind words. I’m curious about that magic book you have and what you do with what’s in it.”

I answer while causing a slight gust, “I study magic as a way of self-defense and as a hobby. The two spells I have learned are mainly for buying time for an escape: a fire ball and a stun spell that uses light and sound. I've practiced hard to make the latter work really well, due to how I accidently cast it on myself once.” This causes her to giggle. I decide to do a bit more showing off for her, whipping leaves around in a miniature whirlwind and trying to maneuver a few of them to follow precise motions.

Her face lights up, and she replies, “I’m sure you’ll be a good wizard some day, and I’m glad to hear you’re not misusing your skill. There have been a few folks who learned magic and tried to blow things up in this forest. That was one of the few times where Mysty and I teamed up to drive them off. I certainly wasn’t going to have some human cause havoc on my turf.” I guess home will always be home regardless of where you live.

She then reads the comic I was checking out, remarking, “This is pretty nice too, though the main character reminds me of someone whom mother was talking about. I think he’s coming by early today.”

We read the comic together, not saying much, just enjoying our time when she notices the sun’s position. “Oh! I’ve got to go now if I want to meet who mother was talking about... but I had a nice time today,” she says with a blush and a smile. She then surprises me with hug. I return the hug, and she smiles. We stay there for a few moments before she lets go and leaves, waving good bye.

“See you later, Wriggle!” As soon as she's gone, I start packing up the books. I should be getting back the village now, but my mind is preoccupied with what just happened. I've been hugged by mother before, but for some reason this one felt different. Warmer.

-----

Shortly after returning to the village I run into Father. “Ah, hello Yuki. I was feeling restless so I decided to take a walk and do some of the shopping. How did things go today with the Firefly Princess?” How did he know about that?!

I answer, “It went well; I guess she enjoyed it. But Father, how did you know I was spending time with her?” I don’t think anyone noticed my plan...

He laughs and starts walking as he answers, “I didn’t. I made a guess based on your blush and you just confirmed it. I’m about to pick up something for dinner, maybe a plate of pork that outsider shop sells.” Odd... father doesn’t seem too phased about about my interest in a youkai though most parents would certainly object.

“Father... why is it that you and Mother approve of Wriggle?”

Father answers, “Most parents object out of fear and lack of knowledge of Youkai. In contrast, we know well about them and how they’re not all hostile man-eaters. The last thing we want for you is to be constrained by old prejudices. After I heard Hayato’s story a few years back, we decided that we’d do what we can to allow you to fully choose your own path. To be honest, it sounds like she’s the sweetest girl. Good thing, too; if you ended up with a girl your mother didn’t approve of, well...” I could only hope that Mother’s overprotective tendencies wouldn’t go that far, but I’m sure she’d like Wriggle. Ah, there’s the stand. The strong smell of food coming off of it quells the rest of our conversation.

-----

The time at the shop ended up being pretty uneventful. We reach home, and find a note in Mother’s handwriting: “I was invited by Mrs. Miyamoto to a discussion among mothers; I may be a while so don’t starve waiting for me. P.S. - If Yuki brings over Wriggle, come and get me as soon as possible.” Oy, Mother... oh yeah, Mrs. Miyamoto is Ginji’s mother. I wonder what the meeting is about. Well, Father and I might as well finish the preparing the rest of the food.

As we eat, we talk about various little things until I ask, “What do you think about Kazuma’s incident from yesterday? And just how widely known is Mr. Yaguu’s past affection towards Aya?”

Father answers, “Kazuma’s reaction doesn’t surprise me as he’s similar to Hayato in many ways. Many people know about his past feelings but refuse to comment out of politeness... and in a few cases fear. I’ll just say that someone said the wrong thing about the reporter and Hayato almost killed him in a furious rage. Someday I’ll fill you in on the details. Rage is both a blessing and a curse; it can allow you to go towards a goal with unfathomed might, but blind you to all else. You should also brace yourself for the times ahead as they’ll be shaky.”

“I know Father, I can read the signs. Although, did something happen that prompted you to say that?” While I pay attention to warning signs, Father usually knows about other factors.

He frowns a bit, answering “Some of the outsiders have run off, taking some supplies. I don't think it's merely due to the recklessness typical of newcomers, but you shouldn’t worry about the big picture just yet. Just be prepared for whatever might come your way.”

By this time we have finished our meal, so me and father go our own ways. I decide to get ready for bed and read the new issues of the fantasy comic.

-----

As I read about Parn’s latest adventures, my thoughts return more and more to Wriggle’s hug. The only way I could describe it was ‘wonderful.’ I also think about what might be going on right now in the village: the birth of a new legend.

Still. Whatever the times, whatever the obstacles, I won’t give up on Wriggle.



Chapter 1 End.
>> No. 23341
>Still. Whatever the times, whatever the obstacles, I won’t give up on Wriggle.

It must have hit him hard. Kind of makes me wonder if he goes a bit too far there without knowing her that good. Still, time to support him in his quest for love.
>> No. 23342
>>23341
My intention was more to show determination in the face of adversity, not so much reckless tunnel vision.
>> No. 23343
>said the wrong thing about the reporter and Hayato almost killed him in a furious rage

I notice that a lot of your characters are very empathetic and will fly into a furious rage at the slightest provocation. I eagerly look forward to the next instant of this.

On a more serious note, I also got the impression that Yukimura or whatever his name is, is moving way too damn fast. He barely knows Wriggle, and he already acts like they are secret lovers. This is further enforced by the supporting cast, who magically know of this implicit relationship and are completely okay with it, and act as if the two are already together. It's odd, and not very realistic for a young boy in love.
>> No. 23373
I'm still alive, though I've run into some difficulty with the update. I'm trying my best to have it up on the weekend if not sooner.
>> No. 23374
>>23373
>I'm still alive, though I've run into some difficulty with the update. I'm trying my best to have it up on the weekend if not sooner.

Hooray!
>> No. 23389
File 130431436467.gif - (26.55KB, 381x350, ThisTeamIsCanon.gif) [iqdb]
23389
Good news: I got the update done and I must say it's bigger than I expected.
Bad news: Won't be up until sometime tomorrow due to a lack of proofreader.

But here's a picture of the 'Tech Trio' in action.
>> No. 23396
File 130447205848.jpg - (308.64KB, 796x668, 2 out of 5 is not bad.jpg) [iqdb]
23396
When I wake up, I quickly get cleaned up and dressed, curious about what the day will bring. I enter the dining room and find mother and father eating breakfast, with a third plate already laid out. Father’s reading the latest paper while Mother appears distressed. “Is something the matter, Mother?”

She answers, “I am just amazed by how stubborn Ginji’s parents are about this. Whatever tradition they want isn’t worth making such a division in the family.” It seems that Ginji certainly isn’t budging on the matter, either.

Father remarks, still reading, “This won’t last long; prolonging this is only asking for scandal. If they’re not careful, their pride may end up leading to their ruin. I’ll try talking to them as cold hard facts usually carry more weight than emotions.” He sighs. “This sort of thing is why we never tried to force you into a relationship, Yuki.” I remember how he said that the important thing is that I’m happy. Still, how many situations similar to Ginji's did he learn about before coming to that conclusion?

Mother’s expression brightens upon hearing that. “That’s right! It should be up to the person themselves who they choose, not their parents. How are things going with Wriggle, Yuki?” Leave it to her to change subjects. I also think her imagination may be getting the better of her.

I force a smile and say, “We’re just friends at the moment, nothing more.” I hope she just leaves it at that. It’s almost like she’s grown to adore the notion of having a cute antennae-bearing daughter in law. Geh, what if she's already thinking of the possibility of grandkids?! Stuff that is just way too early for my taste!

Sure enough, mother answers, “For now, I presume. You really shouldn’t lie to me, as you were never good at it. Still, I guess it’s good that you’re not rushing things, even if it means having to wait.” How true... for the both of us. She does make a good point about me hiding my feelings from people poorly.

We finish off breakfast, and Father remarks, “Lady Akyuu has given you the next two days off. You've worked for the last 8 days, so you could really use a break. Hey, you should ask Takami how much money he donated to get Lady Kotohime’s attention!” It figures he wouldn’t believe how nice she is, or maybe he's just poking fun at me.

“I think it’s more due to how she finds him a very interesting and amusing guy. It's widely known that her sense of humor is quirky, though I never expected her to take such an interest in him.” I wonder just how much she's helped Takami out. I'm actually a little concerned; things don't usually go well for those in whom she develops too much of an interest. Still, I doubt that will stop her from doing as she pleases.

I leave the house after cleaning up my breakfast.

-----

I decide to check in on Kamui, and I'm halfway to the inn when I see Wriggle (with hat) run up. “Is something going on?” It’s not like her to come running up like this.

As she catches her breath, she answers, “When Miss Kurumi stopped by Mother’s I heard something about a big get together with your friends, so I was heading over there. It was rather embarrassing, because she then praised me on ‘finding a cute guy’ right in front of mother. I guess this means sooner or later you’ll get to meet her.”

“Alright, I'll look forward to it. For now, though, let’s go to the inn and see what Kamui’s up to. It's annoying that his actions caused you to be embarrassed in front of your mother; I'm sorry he's caused you trouble. This gathering had better be good.”

She nods, and we start walking. “It’s too late for apologies, although I was worried about how mother would react. Thankfully she wasn’t upset that I was being friendly with a human. Your friend sounds terribly impulsive though, seeing as how you didn't know about this.” I get the feeling that Wriggle would be a girl Kamui could never charm.

I merely reply, “Wriggle, you might find that to be an understatement,” chuckling at the end. Kamui and I may be best friends, but that doesn’t mean I don’t consider him crazy for what he does. It isn’t long before we get to the inn.

-----

When we arrive, we see a rather large table with Kamui, Kurumi, and Takami seated around it. “May I ask where everyone else is?”

Takami answers in a neutral tone, “Koto and Mystia are talking in private about something. I’m amazed at how forgiving Koto is about the whole thing... I half expected her to place a large bounty on Mystia, but instead, she made some strange remark about things being even.” Wriggle seemed to give him a dirty look as he continues, “That’s why I tried to talk Koto out to doing something like that... Mystia was in the right.”

Kamui adds, “They’re on somewhat friendly terms though Tak-“ before Takami glares at him. I guess he must still feel guilty over it by that reaction.

Kurumi remarks, “Elis went off to inform the others and to see about setting up a surprise for Ginji and Kazuma. It’ll be nice to chat with Merlin once the Prismrivers get here. I didn’t have much time when I was delivering that message. Not with the way the clouds were gathering.” Vampires do have problems with the rain. She then turns to Wriggle as she adds, “Definitely got yourself a cute one, little sis!” That’s quite an embarrassing thing to say; I'm probably blushing just as much as Wriggle is.

Kamui chuckles and responds, “Hey, ease up on her; if she’s anything like Yuki, too much of that talk will have her blushing beet red.” I can’t exactly deny that...

Soon Lady Kotohime and Mystia return, though Mystia seems a bit shaken up about something. “I’m going to get everyone some water,” Lady Kotohime says as she leaves the room.

Kamui asks, “Something the matter, Mysty?” How would talking with Lady Kotohime have this kind of effect?

Mystia replies, “I was just nervous about what Miss Kotohime would say. She just wanted to thank me for my mercy, though.” That’s pretty strange... but so is Lady Kotohime.

“So, Mysty, does this mean that we won’t hear you bragging about how you've attracted yet another guy?” Wriggle suddenly asks with a surprising amount of venom in her voice.

Mystia responds with a bit of a pout, “Hey! Don’t talk about things like that! It’s not like- Wriggle...heh. I guess that’s as much of a helpful effort as I’d expect from you,” calming down near the end.

I'm about to ask Wriggle why she did that before she responds, “We know each other, but we're not exactly on the friendliest of terms. The last few guys I was even remotely interested in were more or less stolen by her, and even before that there several territorial disputes. That’s all I’ll say for the sake of civility.” I get the feeling something must have went wrong. I'd expect her relationship with Mystia to be similar to Kamui and I if what she said was the whole truth.

“Maybe we should let our rivalry go for now.... we each have our own clearly defined turfs, and our own guys that aren’t easily swayed.” Why are you refering to us like pieces of furniture? “You really have nothing to worry about, as out of that overinflated town guardian, the prismrivers, and your ‘sister’, you're the one that has the most effect on him,” Mystia answers.

Kurumi giggles and adds, “That is rather impressive, considering where his head was some time back. I guess size doesn’t matter.”

“Please don't say things that will be misunderstood, Kurumi.”

Wriggle pout again as Lady Kotohime comes back with some water. Takami remarks, “Anyways, I was worried for a bit that they’d start fighting. The last thing I need is anymore close encounters with Mystia’s claws.” I try not to chuckle at that, and notice everyone other than Lady Kotohime is also repressing some sort of reaction. She makes no effort to suppress her feelings and ends up giggling out loud.

Kurumi asks, “Miss Kotohime... could I ask why you’re so fond of him? With all I’ve heard...” She must be referring Takami's injury.

Kotohime smiles as she answers, “He’s an amusing and energetic guy, and I hope that I can help return him to his old self while avoiding anything risky. There has to be some higher form of healing or medicine around here and I’ll find it.” Everyone is stunned speechless in the face of Lady Kotohime’s sheer audacity and devotion. I didn't even know she felt the way about him; I thought she was only helping him out. Even Takami’s blushing, but he's still smiling about it. From what I’ve heard of her, she will find a way, as not much of anything can dissuade her from her goals. This is the first time I've seen her serious about something, instead of acting like a policewoman.

We continue talking about various things for a while, and eventually lapse into an awkward silence. Thankfully, it's broken when Ginji, Rika, Miss Asakura, and Kazuma come into the room.

Kamui, demonstrating his usual tact about such things, asks, “So how does it feel to get that load of confessing off your chest? Wow, I might have had my suspicions, but Rikako really- Never mind.” Everyone's eyes are on those two. They’re wearing dresses for once: Rika’s in a cute sundress that looks as if it was always on her. Miss Asakura’s well... it’s a more elegent dress that highlights I would dare think, an attractive figure. I stop blatantly staring lest I start to worry Wriggle.

Ginji responds, “It actually feels nice, though when I told them what happened, Rikako had to get a crowbar to pry Rika off of me.” I remember Rika would sometimes act quite affectionate.

“If Big Rika wanted to hug him, she could have just asked,” Rika adds. Big Rika... all things considered, that’s actually a rather fitting name. Rika notices Wriggle and turns to greet her. “You must be Wriggle. Gin-gin’s friend Kazuma mentioned you. Best of luck to the both of you; it’s obvious that you two like each other!” Well, she's certainly blunt.

“I see, was it that obvious?” I ask. I was trying to do my best to hide that.

Miss Asakura adds, “She is correct in saying your ability to hide your feelings is particularly lacking. Rumors about you and that hat wearing girl are spreading about, but given your position in the village and how new she is, it is to be expected. I'll be among those to wish you luck on things; gratitude being one reason among others.” I realize both Wriggle and I are slowly inching under a table. I hope they find something else to talk about; it's embarrassing for them to keep bearing their attention on us.

That moment arrives when Merlin bounces into the inn (in more ways than one I must admit). “Hello everyone! Surprise!” Her sisters follow in behind her. I notice all three are in rather normal dresses. Merlin’s is sleeveless with a rather snug top, while Lunasa’s and Lyrica’s were more modest and sporty respectively. She proceeds to go and sit on Kazuma’s lap.

“Don’t you have any restraint!?” Lunasa says, scowling. I must say, Merlin, you take being affectionate to a whole new level.

Lyrica responds, “She’s been worried ever since she got that letter from him, so it's fine. She’s not hurting anyone. Well, maybe accidentally suffocating, but that’s about it.” She notices Wriggle and I hunched over the table and adds, “Well, you certainly did well for yourself.” As she walks over and sits down, she adds, “Don’t worry, I’ll try to keep things from focusing on you too much.” I notice Elis sit near Kurumi on Kamui’s part of the table; it’s amazing how well Mystia’s getting along with them.

-----

The conversation ends up about various small topics, and several other people were embarrassed as well.

Takami leans over and remarks, “Seems your girlfriend and Lyrica are getting along pretty well,” pointing to them. He hasn't said very much so far; he's probably just enjoying the atmosphere instead of trying to interrupt anything.

Wriggle asks Lyrica, “I’ve been wondering... what’s so good about that impulsive and overeager guy?” while pointing at Kamui.

Lyrica responds, “Human ambition is something interesting to watch, and he’s a nice guy in spite of his quirks. I guess that’s a pretty cold thing to say about Yuki’s best friend... but I wouldn’t be surprised if he thought the same thing at times.” Both look at me and giggle a bit.

“Sorry about that, but it’s true isn’t it? Kamui doesn't seem to plan his actions very often.”

I respond, “Oh, I wasn’t upset, just surprised that you thought so, too.”

Wriggle nods. “Lyrica was also helping me out on dealing with...‘bigger’ women. I know it’s silly, but I still get irritated around them.” She scratches her cheek and glances away. I guess she must have a hard time dealing with that.

The talking continues for quite some time, the hours blending together as everyone enjoys their time. Wriggle quietly asks, “Could we leave? I’m getting a bit uneasy about this.”

“Okay, I guess.” I can’t blame her as there is certainly a lot of activity.

“You can ask Kurumi to explain later.” I nod my head as we sneak out of the inn, and head towards the clearing after leaving.

-----

Once we arrive, I catch my breath as Wriggle asks “I’m sure today raised some questions, and you've probably had some in the past as well. What is it that you’d like to talk about?” Looking at the sky, there doesn’t seem to be much time before it's dark, so I won't have time for a long discussion.

(Pick two)
[x] Talk more about our families.
[x] Talk about our friends, basically earlier today.
-[x] Specifically Kamui and Mystia.
[x] Talk about us and what’s to come.
>> No. 23397
[x] Talk more about our families.
[x] Talk about us and what’s to come.
>> No. 23398
[x] Talk about our friends, basically earlier today.
-[x] Specifically Kamui and Mystia.
[x] Talk about us and what’s to come.
Well, why not. Two interesting themes.
>> No. 23399
[x] Talk about our friends, basically earlier today.
[x] Talk more about our families.

Keep it simple. Trying to talk about our relationship at this point would be creepy as fuck. It's like a guy talking about marriage after the first date.
>> No. 23400
>>23399
It's more in response to the rumors/people noticing them than the relationship itself.
>> No. 23401
[x] Talk more about our families.
[x] Talk about our friends, basically earlier today.
-[x] Specifically Kamui and Mystia.
I want to meet Mother
>> No. 23408
[x] Talk more about our families.
[x] Talk about our friends, basically earlier today.
-[x] Specifically about Kamui and Mystia.

I'm not sure if we have time, but it would be nice to enjoy a sunset with Wriggle.
>> No. 23411
>>23396
>I hope that I can help return him to his old self while avoiding anything risky.

Kotohime wants to help Takami get his nether regions back? That's rather odd, and brings her motivation into question.
>> No. 23413
>>23411

Maybe she's one of those people who doesn't believe castrating a child is a reasonable punishment for making a joke?

Weird, I know.
>> No. 23414
>>23413
I forget, but what was the joke?
>> No. 23415
Family and Friends (mixed) it is. I'll try to have it up by the weekend or so.

>>23411
>>23413
Maybe, Maybe not. You'll find out for sure by the end of this.

>>23414
Takami made a few chicken jokes in a crude attempt to seduce Mystia.
>> No. 23417
>>23415

Hooray!
>> No. 23432
File 130500364912.jpg - (210.30KB, 535x640, af9dc785c48c05e714be3504855ff50b.jpg) [iqdb]
23432
>>23415
I like where this is going.
>> No. 23434
I'm alive and about to put the finishing touches on the update when I get home from work. I should have it up later tonight or tomorrow.
>> No. 23435
>>23434

Hooray!
>> No. 23438
File 130514631238.png - (172.62KB, 593x805, Update Spoilers.png) [iqdb]
23438
“Wriggle, I've heard you mention your mother several times and you call Kurumi your big sister. I’d like to find out more about them, and I’d also be willing to tell you about my family, if you're curious.”

“That sounds nice. Could you start first?” She replies.

I nod, and begin. “My family isn’t that large; it's just me, Mother, and Father. My mother, Kasumi, is kind and supportive, but she can be overly protective and sometimes exhibits other quirks.” I'll try to avoid telling her about mother's fantasies. “My father, Shin, is also kind, but he has a weird sense of humor. Still, there isn’t much in life that can upset him. I have no siblings, though I have a couple of childhood friends other than those you've already met. One of them is Lady Akyuu, whom I’ve known since she was born. She’s an odd mix of adult and child in personality, so sometimes she acts like an older sister instead of a little one.” I take a break to catch my breath.

Wriggle smiles and says, “They sound like rather nice people.”

“They are. The other friend of mine is Marisa Kirisame, a headstrong and confident magic user with a habit of ‘borrowing’ things for extended periods of time. I think she’s going to start resolving incidents. You wouldn’t want to provoke her; anyone able to keep up with the Hakurei shrine maiden is not someone a youkai wants to run into.” I sigh, reminiscing about Marisa's boisterous personality and the numerous troubles she's gotten herself into, and the few occasions I got caught up with them.

“I think Mother mentioned something about Marisa.” She smiles, trying to cheer me up. “Hey, would you like to hear about my family now?”

Composing myself, I answer, ”Yes, I am rather curious, if it's alright with you.”

“Alright. Well, you’ve already met Kurumi, so aside from her there’s Lily White. While older than me, she often acts pretty childish, and she loves spring a lot.” Hers must be some family to have both a vampire and the spring fairy to be in it. Just what is a youkai's concept of “family?” She continues, “We also see Mother’s gate keeper, Elly, as something of a big sister figure since she’s seen many things and acts quite mature. Although, when Mother’s around, she tends to act more like a kid. As for mother herself...” A worried expression comes over her face, and she turns and looks me in the eyes. “You might have heard of her already but... promise me that you won’t overreact when I tell you.”

“If she raised you so well, I have no worries. Please continue,” I answer. I swear I heard the name Elly before... but when?

Wriggle resumes, “My Mother is... Yuuka Kazami.”

Well. That would explain where I've heard the name Elly before. I must have quite the stunned expression on my face, as Wriggle turns away from me and glances at the ground. “That’s what the K in my name stands for. I know she has something of a reputation, but she isn’t really that bad. She just really hates intruders, and people who hurt her children. To her, that naturally includes all of the flowers. Her general opinion of humans is low, but she does like speaking to a few. I know she’s willing to talk to the Hakurei shrine maiden.” So she doesn’t hate humans completely.

“I...I see.” I do my best to regain my composure; it would be very rude to keep dwelling on her mother's identity.

She looks up at me again, probably relieved that I didn't overreact. “Umm, could you tell me a bit more about your friends? I have an impression of Kamui, but I don’t know much about the others and don't want to assume anything.”

“Of course. Kazuma is generally a good loyal guy, and while not exactly a genius, he's a pretty capable fighter. He usually tends to let Ginji do the thinking in any joint project. He’s ultimately a guy of simple tastes.” I notice Wriggle has a slightly unamused look on her face.

She responds, “I would agree; I’m sure that’s why he took such an interest in Merlin. Now that I think about it, it makes sense that Lyrica would have advice on dealing with what we discussed. You know, he reminds me of this ice fairy I once met, though only in terms of brightness and ambition. She was pretty overconfident last time I saw her, but she is a fairy after all, even if she is quite powerful. I lost to her a few times in the past.” That means she’d be more than a match for most humans, though I don’t think she’d do so well against Hakurei and Marisa.

Before the topic is further sidetracked, I continue, “Ginji is a blunt but honest guy. He has no problem with Kazuma, but only tolerates Kamui. I'd say he’s actually the natural leader type as he can devise plans quite quickly. The fact that he's wound up liking three girls is accidental and has caused him some anguish. I hope he sorts out his situation soon.”

She responds, “I believe that Ginji is sincere in his feelings, but I agree with you that he should make a decision as soon as possible.”

I nod. “You've probably heard about Takami, too. He's actually a pretty good guy when he doesn’t blindly follow his impulse to be funny.”

“I do feel somewhat bad for Takami. He shouldn’t have made that joke in front of Mysty, but she's also at fault for overreacting. Still, her situation is a little funny, having to choose between such people.” She's probably referring to Kamui, so I should probably go into more detail about him.

“Kamui really isn’t that bad. Sure, he’s reckless and impulsive, but he’s not the type of guy to lie about his feelings. I consider him my best friend, even though I envy his confidence at times. If a few things were different, I get the feeling we might have wound up as rivals, like you and Mystia.” I can easily see some parallels between us.

She sighs and responds, “I’m considering burying the hatchet with her, but for a while we did compete over many things. I guess holding grudges over things in the past is pretty stupid.” She takes a breath before resuming, “We sure do have some weird friends.” Upon hearing that, I can’t help myself and break out in laughter. Wriggle gives me an odd look, but a grin creeps over her face and she soon joins in.

I notice the sun’s position in the sky, painting a colorful sunset. Realizing that it’s getting late, I say “I’ve got to get going now. I hope you enjoyed today.”

She stand up and replies, “It was pretty nice, even if the party was somewhat embarrassing. Please be careful heading home, Yuki.” As she turns down a path to head towards her home, I leave down the path back to the village.

-----

I come home to find dinner already made and set out. Father looks up as I enter and says, “I guess you had a good day then; mind telling us about it?” What should I disclose...

[x] Just the bare basics; I'm not sure how they’d react to Lady Kotohime’s romantic interest in Takami and Miss Yuuka being Wriggle’s mother.
[x] I should reveal everything as they’ll find out sooner or later.
[x] Just...
(Choose one)
-[x] ...talking about Lady Kotohime would be good as it’s not quite as worrisome.
-[x] ...talking about Wriggle’s mother would be better as it’s far more relevant than what Lady Kotohime's personal interests are.

As always, comments would be welcome.
>> No. 23439
[x] I should reveal everything as they’ll find out sooner or later.
Let's not make a big deal out of this
>> No. 23440
[x] Just the bare basics; I'm not sure how they’d react to Lady Kotohime’s romantic interest in Takami and Miss Yuuka being Wriggle’s mother.

Downplay it. While we have a fantastic relationship with mom and pops, we don't need to divulge everything about our life to them.

>That’s what the K in my name stands for.
>Wriggle Nightbug

Okay, sure.
>> No. 23441
>>23440

Read >>23066 where it has her giving her name.

>“I’m Wriggle K. Nightbug, lady of insects, but I have no role in that incident that happened,”
>> No. 23442
[x] Just the bare basics; I'm not sure how they’d react to Lady Kotohime’s romantic interest in Takami and Miss Yuuka being Wriggle’s mother.

Who tells everything your parents.
>> No. 23443
[x] Just the bare basics; I'm not sure how they’d react to Lady Kotohime’s romantic interest in Takami and Miss Yuuka being Wriggle’s mother.

>>23440
I'm sure we can chalk it up to fanonical deviation.
>> No. 23445
[x] I should reveal everything as they’ll find out sooner or later.
>> No. 23446
Keeping quiet on the big details it is. I'll try to have something up by the weekend or so.
>> No. 23449
It should be up in the next day or so. I apologize for the delay. Busy days at work, nights short of sleep, etc.
>> No. 23450
>>23449

Hooray!
>> No. 23451
[x] Just the bare basics; I'm not sure how they’d react to Lady Kotohime’s romantic
interest in Takami and Miss Yuuka being Wriggle’s mother.

I think I should keep quiet on the matters regarding Kotohime and Takami. “I just hung out with my friends. Some other folks we knew stopped by during the gathering, so it got pretty crazy.” I hope my response doesn’t warrant any additional inquiry; I still have to find a way to tell them about Lady Yuuka before she comes knocking on the door.

“Well, that's good to hear. Did that youkai girl, Wriggle, show up at all?” asks Mother. I guess it's natural that she'd be interested in that.

“Y-yeah, she showed up as well. I was able to introduce her to my friends.”

Mother sighs. “Well, it's nice to have some good news around here. Your father heard some very troubling things today.”

Father nods and speaks up. “Various sources have reported that some buildings are being made; some of them resembling fortresses. I don't have any idea what their motives are, but I've asked the sources to keep an eye on them for the time being, in case the builders try to make a move on the village.”

“That is rather worrying, especially if you wonder where the manpower came from.”

Mother responds, “Do you think Arthur is involved somehow?” From what I’ve heard, he doesn’t seem to be that type to do something like this.

Father says, “I doubt it; last I heard he’d taken to exploring Gensokyo, providing help to whoever needed it. There have been a few other rumors circulating about that.” I guess this means the buildings are due to the influx of outsiders we had a few weeks back. I hope the repercussions from their efforts won’t be too terrible.

Dinner continues as normal until someone knocks on the door. Father gets up to answer it, and comes back with a stern look on his face. “Dear, a meeting has been called and we both need to go. If they're arranging it at this time it must be serious.” He adds, “Yuki, don’t wait up for us. I think this’ll be a long night,” in one of his rare, serious tones. I guess I’ll have a very quiet night then. Mother and Father hastily finish their dinner as they go about preparing for the meeting.

-----

After dinner is finished, I help clean up. Some say it’s strictly a woman’s task, but my family has always had an openminded opinion about such things. I remember Father talking about when he had to clean up after himself shortly before meeting Mother. Also, such skills are useful whenever something like this occurs on short-notice. I see Mother and Father off, then leave and go down to my room to relax before going to sleep.

That was certainly a shock, finding out about Wriggle’s family ties. I wonder how Kurumi would act if she found out I was the guy Wriggle likes... heh, I guess if all things go well Kamui and I will end up as brothers, of a sort. I wonder how Wriggle deals with having a ‘sister’ like that? I know she’s uneasy around shapelier women. I think I better check with some of the guys tomorrow. Yawn... time for some sleep.

-----

Wow... that was a weird dream. It seemed like something right out of my books. Clearing the sleep from my eyes, I get dressed and head upstairs to make breakfast. I find a note on the table from my parents saying they’re in yet another meeting. It has to be related to those building being made... well, I might as well decide on what I’ll do today...

[ ] Check with Kazuma; he might have noticed something strange.
[ ] I’m sure Ginji's heard some rumors.
[ ] Stop by Kamui’s. Aside from this fortress business, I owe him a bit of lecture for embarrassing Wriggle and me yesterday. I could also ask more about Kurumi and Yuuka.

Sorry about the small size of the update and how long it took.
>> No. 23452
[x] Stop by Kamui’s. Aside from this fortress business, I owe him a bit of lecture for embarrassing Wriggle and me yesterday. I could also ask more about Kurumi and Yuuka.
>> No. 23453
[x] Check with Kazuma; he might have noticed something strange.

Even after all this time, the only OC I can recognize is Kamui and I don't really like that guy, so I'm voting for one of the other OC, in hopes of better remembering which one he is.
>> No. 23454
[x] Check with Kazuma; he might have noticed something strange.

>>23453
Kazuma's the fighter, interested in Merlin, and Ginji is the brainiac who was evicted from his home after announcing he liked the Rikas (plural).
>> No. 23455
[x] Check with Kazuma; he might have noticed something strange.
>> No. 23456
Going to Kazuma's wins. I'll try to have it up by the weekend or so.
>> No. 23475
Sorry about the delay but among other things, I was called in to work Saturday and had a rough day Monday. I'll try to get it up by Wednesday if not sooner.
>> No. 23476
>>23475

Hooray!
>> No. 23483
File 130637530559.jpg - (179.61KB, 660x809, update spoilers 2.jpg) [iqdb]
23483
[x] Check with Kazuma; he might have noticed something strange.

I think Kazuma would have a better idea, there are not too many people able to build such things. It’s usually left up to the hunters and carpenters, more so as it’s a popular second occupation for a hunter. I pack in my magic book just in case I run into trouble, though I really hope I don’t. I haven’t quite perfected that wind ball spell. I’ll take a few apples as to have something to eat on the way there. I can’t shake this uneasiness I’m starting to feel...

-----

Fortunately, getting to Kazuma’s was very uneventful. I knock; he soon answers. “You better come in, Yuki,” he says in a very rare serious tone.

Inside he speaks, “You’re here about the fortress stuff, right? Ever since Arthur arrived, some of the hunters had been absent at the headcounts before each big hunt. At first we thought it was just laziness, but in light of this, it’s worrying. And some others have started to get restless... particularly some of the ones who were involved in that fight. This area isn’t exactly safe for anyone I know. I’ve gotten glares at the last few headcounts; they think I don’t notice, but any decent hunter can notice being viewed with hostility.” Man, I didn’t think those forts would have this kind of effect on people.

I answer, “Yeah, and it’s just as I suspected. What are you going to do about this grudge? I doubt you can merely just beat them up.” Brute force got him into this mess in the first place.

“I just pick out the strongest one and kick his ass one on one big time. Most hunter groups usually have a leader that’s stronger than most. When that person gets beaten decisively, then you’ve basically beaten the group. I’ve been prepping myself for the day. For the last few weeks I’ve been having a feeling as if I was being watched. I’ve been meaning to look into it, but I keep on forgetting,” Kazuma responds. How typical, but with the big problem it’d be pretty easy to overlook something like this. He adds, “I was about to cook some breakfast when you came knocking by. Hope you don’t mind flame-broiled boar meat,” as he goes to the back of his place, where I think there’s a makeshift stove. Trying out hunter food would be an interesting experience, and I guess I’ll share some of my remaining apples.

It doesn’t take long for Kazuma to finish bringing out two plates with a lump of meat on it. “It may not be as classy as what you usually eat, but Dad taught me well enough to have it taste good,” he remarks as he brings out what I recognize as two forks and two rather large knives. He starts eating; I tentatively try a bit of this. This is pretty good, and it’s pretty easy to chew and cut. We finish pretty quickly.

As I take out the apples, I say, “That was pretty good. I might have to talk Mother into buying some and seeing what she does with it.” Kazuma doesn’t waste any time eating it, hunters really do have quite the appetite. “We might want to check with the others about this,” I add.

Kazuma replies, “That’s a good idea as they both have their ways of getting information, though, Kamui’s likely listening in on that meeting that’s going on.” Yeah, the village is fond of having meetings in the Inn. He adds, “It wouldn’t be a good idea to let you leave alone in this area anyways. If I’m with you, they might think twice about doing anything.” I’m certainly glad about that as I’m not sure if I’d be prepared for something like that. Kazuma proceeds to put on his full gear, including his sword; are things getting that serious?

-----

We walk towards Ginji’s shop first as to tell him what’s going on. Right when we get to the end of the hunter’s section, we hear a mocking voice. “Well, well. If it isn’t two monster-loving brats. It was pretty pathetic of the skinny one to try to hide it when he did such a terrible job of hiding it. Every hunter knows that vermin girl has green hair, which isn’t seen in the village normally.” Sh-.... they know about her... It is that group Kazuma was talking about, with only the biggest one standing out. He must be the leader.

Kazuma speaks up, “I’m the one you have the beef with; leave him out of it.” He’s trying to buy me time to go to the meeting and inform Mr. Yaguu of this. That, and I suspect that he can’t fight as well when he’s worried about someone on the battlefield.

The biggest one answers, “We don’t like anyone getting too cozy with those monsters and with what’s been happening, we don’t have to put up with it anymore. The small one can run if he likes, but I doubt either of you care to have a death on your conscience.” As he speaks, one of them pulls out what appears to be a girl in tengu-ish garb like Miss Shameimaru’s, but her hat and skirt are purple and she has her hair done up in twintails. Bastards. That’s the only word I can think of. The big hunter resumes, “Our terms are simple: You two fight us and if you win, we’ll let you all go. If you lose? Well we’d get ourselves fodder for a return to the good old days, and we can blame that vermin girl as well.”

That.... that... bastard! I faintly notice my hands taking out my book and turning to that page. Focus, concentrate the wind energy into a ball..... and release! I fire it at the leader’s face. It dawns upon me that I not only mustered up that wind ball, but that it was rather sizable. It’s evident as the ball smashes into his face with considerable force, messing up his nose and knocking out a few teeth. A small wave of dizziness passes over me. Tch... I guess that took more out of me than I thought...

The leader recovers, muttering, “You... little...” I notice Kazuma getting infront of me in a fighting position as the other hunters advance; they’re unarmed but it’s still rather dangerous.

“Just worry about recovering, I can hold them off.” Kazuma says as he steps forward to take on the first few. I think I can muster up a few stun spells... this is pretty embarrassing. Come on... Kazuma’s dealing with them as well as he can... wait there’s a few coming at his flank. I quickly dash into position to cast a stun spell. I’m glad I’ve improved my control over it as to affect only those I mean to affect. The fighting continues as my stun spell only buys time. Once I master that wind ball spell, I’d be able to definitely knock out humans. Kazuma’s knocked a few out, but with each knockout, the toll he’s taking is becoming apparent... the leader’s using the rest to soften Kazuma up!

“It’d be too much to expect Yaguu’s kid to go down that easily... and that stick knowing some magic is a surprise.... and busting up my nose up. But I’ve decided to change my mind.” He puffs up a bit at his magnanimity. “I’ll let you two go if you refuse to say a thing about the fact we’re about to join that syndicate with this tengu brat as our ticket,” the leader says.

Kazuma replies, “How about I shove that order up your ass. Like hell I’m just going let that happen! It’ll be over my dead body!” This isn’t good... either way it’s bad news for us... what are we going to do.

“Assaulting Yaggy’s kid and selling off a tengu, and the little scallop at that? What makes you think you’d get away with that?” a voice says from above as a strong gust kicks up. “When I strike, get her out of here, alright?” the voice adds, female sounding at that. We look up to see the voice belonging to Miss Shameimaru.

The leader asks, “What do you think you’re going to do about-OOFF” as a massive gust sends him flying a few feet. The hunter holding the younger tengu lets go as Kazuma somehow manages to dash over, knocking him down and getting her back. Moving his body like that must hurt with all the beatings he took in the fight.

Miss Shameimaru remarks, “You two did pretty good in that fight, but just leave it to me now. One of you at least should get to the Inn and the other should take Hatate someplace safe. If she had more experience she wouldn't have gotten caught like she did.” Right. We should split up as one of us should get to Ginji’s, which I’m sure is safe. We need to tell him what happened and someone should go to the Inn.

I say to Kazuma...

[ ] “Hurry up to the Inn, Kazuma. I’m sure you can get patched up there and Hatate can help explain what happened. I can handle the trip to Ginji’s by myself.”
[ ] “I’ll go the Inn as I can get there faster. You should head over to Ginji’s as I’m sure you won’t run into much trouble there.”

As for why Hatate was in the area, that will be revealed in the next update
>> No. 23484
[x] “I’ll go the Inn as I can get there faster. You should head over to Ginji’s as I’m sure you won’t run into much trouble there.”

Shit is about to get sicknasty. You don't fuck with a member of the Tengu without incurring the wrath of their full military might. It's safe to say we can expect some mega serious business down the line.

Also, what the fuck is going on with Arthur? I thought he was supposed to be a pretty cool guy, but he's building weird ass fortresses and, presumably, preaching anti-youkai shit; what the fuck is going on here? We need to head to that Inn with haste and get some answers.
>> No. 23485
[x] “I’ll go the Inn as I can get there faster. You should head over to Ginji’s as I’m sure you won’t run into much trouble there.”
>> No. 23486
[x] “Hurry up to the Inn, Kazuma. I’m sure you can get patched up there and Hatate can help explain what happened. I can handle the trip to Ginji’s by myself.”

better to have the physical fighter watch after Hatate since he'll be able to react faster.
>> No. 23487
[x] “I’ll go the Inn as I can get there faster. You should head over to Ginji’s as I’m sure you won’t run into much trouble there.”
>> No. 23495
[x] “Hurry up to the Inn, Kazuma. I’m sure you can get patched up there and Hatate can help explain what happened. I can handle the trip to Ginji’s by myself.”
>> No. 23496
[c] “I’ll go the Inn as I can get there faster. You should head over to Ginji’s as I’m sure you won’t run into much trouble there.”
>> No. 23497
Yuki going to the inn wins, update will be in a new thread. If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask.
>> No. 23523
Here: >>23522
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