"Marisa, calm down! She didn't hurt me." I step closer to the magician, trying to put myself between her and the youkai.
"I-I'll just take my leave of you guys.." The spider starts to creep back up her thread.
"Wait, please." Alice's calm demeanor diffuses the situation. "I don't ask you to prove your innocence, but if you could help us for a moment, I'm sure my friend over here will abandon her 'blast first ask questions later' attitude. Is that acceptable?"
Everyone in the room nods all at the same time, as though puppets on strings. The doll master is certainly an interesting woman in more ways than one. She clears her throat before continuing.
"I won't ask for much. Do you know anything about a beast or the earthquakes around here?"
The spider puts a hand to her chin. "I don't know about a beast, but the quakes have been coming from some fighting in the tunnels. Apparently some of the underground's more rowdy inhabitants have been challenging some newcomer. I can walk you to the Ancient City if you like. They'll be able to give you more information."
We agree, and follow her through winding tunnels. The pace is slow and the atmosphere is that of a hostage situation. Marisa seems tense down here. I wonder what has someone so carefree so worried? Alice on the other hand is cool and collected. Her face isn't smiling, but her mannerisms are as polite as ever. On the way, the spider introduces herself as Yamame Kurodani. We all trade names with her as well, but the air isn't exactly amiable. She doesn't seem as nervous around me though, so I approach her.
"I'm sorry about this." I whisper when I think Marisa isn't able to hear. "I've dragged you into this."
She gives a slight smile as we continue through a tunnel. "Not at all. You are the one that saved me. I've fought that magician before, and I'd rather not repeat the experience. Besides, I'm the one who appeared before you, and I know most humans aren't willing to trust youkai." She pauses and turns to everyone, speaking more clearly. "We're almost there. Just a bit longer. It takes longer on foot than if you climb or fly, but this way is a bit less dangerous." Then she turns back to me. "So, why did you do it? Why did you save me?"
 Youkai or not, she deserved a chance to explain herself.  Tease her and say its because she is cute.  Write in.
Write in strongly encouraged. I didn't want to force it so I put in generic choices, but I'd like to see some creativity, even if it is just a rewording of a current choice.
Well, maybe I gave the write-in with the wrong girl. Seems there isn't much interest in pursuing something more personal with Yamame. That's fine though, poor old Matsuo was starting to sound clingy with every girl he's ever laid eyes on.
There wasn't much variation in the votes, and the wording isn't too big a deal, so I just picked one. ------------------------------------
"Well..." I start, pondering this a bit myself. "You hadn't done anything. I couldn't just stand back and do nothing when you were being threatened like that."
Yamame gives me a sweet smile as her response, and as I smile back, a hand grasps my shoulder.
"Don't get too close." Marisa says with a complicated expression, her sentiment trapped somewhere between distrust, worry, and...perhaps a tinge of jealousy? No, it couldn't be..
"We're here!" Announces the spider suddenly, and her voice echoes across a gigantic cavern. The usual darkness of the tunnels is kept at bay by hanging laterns, and a sprawling cityscape lies a small hike down a cliff face. Luckily there is an easy man-made...or youkai-made path leading down the short overlook we're standing on, but to see this place from such an altitude is a wonder. As we descend into the streets of the city, I can get a better impression of the inhabitants.
The lanterns and laughter in the distance appear to suggest a festive atmosphere, but holes in the sides of the buildings and stone debris in the streets say something else entirely. Is this place safe and kind? Or rowdy and dangerous?
As if in response to my question, something goes flying through one of the stone walls of the building near us. That something is a humanoid, being flung with great force through the air until he collides painfully with a stalagmite across the street.
The man is beaten and bloody, and clearly a bit monstrous. A youkai, and a big one. If upright, he'd tower over me and anyone I know. His arms are like tree trunks. What kind of monster could have possibly thrown such a being?
Stepping out of the newly made exit in the side of the wall is a woman, tall and masculine, with long blonde hair down to her waist. Despite her tall and tone frame, she is also somehow feminine. A single red horn emerges from her forehead, and in her left hand she holds a sake dish, which she takes a sip from before stepping forward with a laugh.
"Try again another time, it was certainly fun!"
Her opponent smiles at her, and picks himself up without much trouble. He limps away, but not looking unhappy. What exactly are the rules like down here?
"Ah, its you!" She waves to our group, and everyone looks a bit confused as to who she means. "Marisa, right? I never forget a fun fight!"
Marisa gives a grin as the tall woman approaches. "Seems like you've brought a fresh batch of suitors this time!" She looks us over for a moment with kind, laughing eyes. "Here for a brawl? Danmaku in your case, of course!"
"Hmm...depends on if you can tell me something about the earthquakes above ground lately or not, Yuugi." Marisa says, but her smile betrays her feelings. She too seems itching for a rematch.
"Oh ho ho~! Well, I am curious about that myself. They say there is a brawler around here who rivals me. They say this guy is insanely strong in a fight! I've been looking all over for him, so it sounds like we are seeking the same person." The horned woman seems to study each of us in turn. "Maybe I know a bit more than that, but...you'll have to earn that information!"
"Oh, and how do we do that?" Alice asks, clearly annoyed with the carefree woman. They seem to be polar opposites in personality. "I'd rather not get into a fight without good reason."
Yuugi seems a bit annoyed with this answer, but she quickly recovers. "Alright, then. Impress me. Each of you gets one shot to do something interesting."
We turn to each other and huddle up.
"I want to go home.." Yamame complains. "Aren't I done here?"
"I don't like abiding by the requests of such a rowdy person, but if it helps us learn something, I'll do it." Alice chimes in.
"I don't mind fighting her. I can entertain her.." Marisa says with a grin. They all turn to me. I guess our best bet is..
 Marisa. Blast away to your heart's content.  Alice. Maybe your dolls can impress somehow?  Yamame. Surely a spider has some tricks?  Write in what you'd like Matsuo to attempt.
Trying to make the choices more interesting instead of just "this will earn favor with the girl I like".
While I was going to say Marisa at first, note that Yuugi wants to be impressed. And I'd say that Alice is probably the one she is least familiar with, and as such has the largest chance of actually accomplishing the objective.
All assuming that this is not simply a case where whoever we pick gains affection points, and they win out anyways.
That she did. But first impressions are the most important, so I stand by my reasoning.
Besides, since that's the case, it'll give the chance to build up to Marisa's Magic Time. Put the most impressive by way of being different first, put the weakest candidate in the middle, and put the most visually impressive at the end.