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File 135546328564.jpg - (35.80KB, 455x361, you should know what this is.jpg) [iqdb]
26829 No. 26829
Part 1: >>26223
Part 2: >>26539

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Good. At least you can be trained…" Wriggle herself barely turns your head back as she leads you through the dark room once more, turning back towards the entrance to the lower burrows. "Or are you merely seething in anger at the sight? I wonder if perhaps you have something that is contagious."

"That would not be incorrect. The second. Not the others." Even if you cannot do anything with your hands, you might as well continue to let your feelings be known with your mouth. "Why would you do such a thing against her? She has done nothing to warrant such a thing."

"Little pet…" Wriggle pauses for a moment as she descends the slope to her rooms. "Did you not notice how she struck her Master? Your Master? How am I supposed to respond to such a thing? After all, after you hurt me with that awful noise the other night…"

"And proceeded to beat me for it." You can't help but to snarl at the girl, even as she turns around. "And then you went off to Margatroid's house…"

Wriggle nods idly as she reaches the bottom of the ramp. "Indeed I did. I had to send a message. I wanted her to fix you, not create a way to harm me in the process…" You see her own fists clench as she hisses, "I should have been more specific in my request. But at least now she knows my displeasure."

Now you start to worry. Margatroid you know can take care of herself… But what of the dolls? What of Amsterdam? Was she injured in the attack? "…What did you end up doing?"

"I told you what I did. I ate them out of house and home." She shoots you a vicious smile as she leads you down a side passageway, and not through the closet that you are used to traversing. "Well, I along with several others that I summoned to assist me. Wood is not the most pleasing of meals, but it is an acceptable substitute."

Still, that does not answer your internal questions. That means that she well could have eaten the dolls… However, you have the feeling she would have laughed at the thought of consuming one of the girl's servants. Odd enough, she still makes no mention of Alice. Even though you are itching to know, you decide that it is best not to offer any additional information. "I… I see. Are you not worried that she will do the same to you? Or at least try to assault your home and try to return the favor?"

"It is your home as well, pet." Shrugging, she pushes open the door to her room, before waiting for you to enter in front of her. "But Margatroid is not like that. She is unusually controlled for an elder Youkai. Very calculating. She will know that it is foolish to attack me inside my own home. And rock tunnels are much more difficult to take down than wood." She seems quite assured of herself. Perhaps she indeed doesn't know of Alice…

No reason to shatter her illusions. Glancing around the room, and remembering to cover yourself as best that you can, you raise an eyebrow at Wriggle. "So, what is it that you plan on showing me?"

A wicked grin shines on her lips as she closes the door. Passing by you, she climbs on top of the bed and begins to peel away the layers. Again and again she does such a thing, tossing the covers away. After a few minutes of staring, she points down at the ground. "I have decided that it is time for you to understand my true power… And how useless it is. Perhaps if I shatter that human mind of yours, you will finally understand…"

Looking over the logs which form the frame of the bed, you see something unusual under it all. A trapdoor. Or, more accurately, a stone plate that Wriggle removes with her fingers. Setting it to the side, she slips in. Granted, you could try and leave now, but why would you want to risk her wrath?

Falling inside, your find yourself landing on something soft. You can't help but wonder if it is because Wriggle is clumsy enough to need such a thing, or if she simply desires it. Considering how the only part of the dungeon that does not have a stone floor is her bedroom…

You are interrupted in thought as you step on something that seems organic. Bending down, you see a small vine trailing across the ground. As you follow its trail, you spot a small stem rising up from the ground. An odd purple flower grows out of it, one whose name that you cannot recall. "Is this…"

Standing there lost in thought, you realize that Wriggle's footsteps have faded far off into the distance. Stepping forward, you continue to follow her through the secret passageway.

As you do, though, the darkness grows deeper and deeper. Your eyes cannot compensate, but as you follow her farther forward, and farther down, you realize that you cannot see anything at all. When you stretch your arms out to reach for the wall, you realize that you can find nothing. Total darkness surrounds you, and Wriggle has stopped speaking.

[ ] Is this thing she wants to show you darkness? There's already plenty of that. Point out that this is just more of the same, as far as you know.
[ ] Oh, you get it. She just wants to make sure you can't get away this time. Ask her about whether this is her standard raping procedure.
[ ] Stay silent. You're not playing games… If she wants to show you something, she will damn well do it eventually.
Expand all images
>> No. 26830
[z] Could you elaborate on how far psychologically gone long-time Youkai like Yuuka and Margatroid are? Is there anything substantial to them that we'd call human?

As you can see, Margatroid is relatively young by Youkai years. Being only approximately 150 human years old, she still remembers her humanity. However, considering all that she has lost, she cast it aside.

She has come to understand how they work. The deals that they make, and how a simple word grants one power over another, should she exercise it. As such, she has taken to her role with cold precision.


In her case, though, as she was once a human, she still remembered all of that. And how one could simply be good, and how one could be loved. Having lost all of those that loved her, though, she had given up on her humanity. At least until you accidentally hit her with a feedback loop from your I AM I vote.

However, you assume that those such as Wriggle, Yuuka, Alice and Medicine were once human. They are not, and have never been. They imitate humanity, just as humanity imitates them. A Youkai in here can be completely normal, sounding nice and kind as anything else. But a complete lack of what one might call morals does not hinder them, and they have a completely unfettered hold on their own powers.

In Alice's case, she was a normal sounding child to Margaret, and was able to charm her with her enthusiasm. However, when she wanted someone to stay with her forever, she received her wish.

In Wriggle's case, she is a small time Youkai that has managed to grasp a place in her world, and is very reluctant to give it up. Hence why she lashes out at every opportunity, more than a normal Youkai would. She only understands strength of arms, so that is what she uses. More to the point, she is highly embarrassed that her magic is weak enough to have to rely on an outside tool to do most of the work for her. She is not reluctant to take advantage of such a thing, though.

Yuuka was once a major Youkai until she was killed, but had become fat and lazy. She used her servants to insure her protection, as her power was so great that none (that you will meet in this story) could match against her.

To summarize: Youkai are haughty, Youkai are brutal, and Youkai are as their forms suggest. They may act human, and may even trick others into thinking that they can show deep emotions. Love. Empathy. Contentedness. Youkai, however, can easily fly off the handle, and are perfectly willing to do whatever to accomplish their goals.
>> No. 26831
[X] Stay silent. There is no point in speaking. If you can see nothing in here, it is because Wriggle intends it so. If you can no longer hear her footsteps, it is because she intends it so. Even if this might just be one big game to her, you're not playing around.
-[X] She said that she would show you her true power? Shatter your mind? Then prepare yourself. This is the land of illusion, where reside things no human was ever meant to know. But you aren't truly human any more, are you? Turn your mind inwards. Prepare yourself.
>> No. 26832
[X] Stay silent. There is no point in speaking. If you can see nothing in here, it is because Wriggle intends it so. If you can no longer hear her footsteps, it is because she intends it so. Even if this might just be one big game to her, you're not playing around.
-[X] She said that she would show you her true power? Shatter your mind? Then prepare yourself. This is the land of illusion, where reside things no human was ever meant to know. But you aren't truly human any more, are you? Turn your mind inwards. Prepare yourself.

If we make a taunt or a false procramation right now, we will only weaken our mental and verbal position once something really happens. If we are tough enough to shrug even that off, then there is no harm in taunting her after the fact, when things are *definitely* over.

As for now, trust your mind and thoughts, but not your senses.
>> No. 26833
[X] Stay silent. There is no point in speaking. If you can see nothing in here, it is because Wriggle intends it so. If you can no longer hear her footsteps, it is because she intends it so. Even if this might just be one big game to her, you're not playing around.
-[X] She said that she would show you her true power? Shatter your mind? Then prepare yourself. This is the land of illusion, where reside things no human was ever meant to know. But you aren't truly human any more, are you? Turn your mind inwards. Prepare yourself.
>> No. 26835
File 135550839846.jpg - (255.41KB, 947x1023, this is the best I could find.jpg) [iqdb]
26835
[-i-] Stay silent. There is no point in speaking. If you can see nothing in here, it is because Wriggle intends it so. If you can no longer hear her footsteps, it is because she intends it so. Even if this might just be one big game to her, you're not playing around.
-[-i-] She said that she would show you her true power? Shatter your mind? Then prepare yourself. This is the land of illusion, where reside things no human was ever meant to know. But you aren't truly human any more, are you? Turn your mind inwards. Prepare yourself.

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

Biting your lip, you wait for what it is that Wriggle wishes to show you. She must be testing you once again. That, or she is merely playing. The monster of a girl wishes for a reaction from you. She wants you to do something that will only prove to amuse her even further than she has been already.

You will not give her that satisfaction. This game that she is playing… It is no game to you. As much as you wish you could simply shrug your shoulders and roll the dice, not caring one whit about whether you will end up surviving the night or not, you cannot allow yourself to do that. There are people counting on you for this… There are those counting on you to be strong.

After all, this is but an illusion. Everything here is an illusion… Nothing is real. So, you permit yourself to disbelieve whatever it is that she shows. Whatever she shows you will be false… You are prepared for anything, be it the monstrosity that Wriggle revealed herself to be the prior night, or something even more terrible.

However, you are not prepared for the sight that appears before you.

A small light blooms above you, shining upon an object scant inches from your face. Green and supple it is, the soft skin of a plant. Various sprouts extend away from the object, small leaves and flowers blooming upon it as if spring had just arrived.

This was no mere stem before you, though. Encased in the large vine, as large around as your wingspan is long, is the body of someone. A girl. Her face is contorted in a silent scream, lips spread wide to reveal a mouth that has no throat to lead to. Empty eyes are open wide, no pupils or irises to appear even the slightest bit human.

Your mind can't help but reel at the sight of this girl, fused from the torso up to the vine. It appears as if she's trying to escape, but the plant will not let her leave its grasp. Hair flows wildly away from it, but each strand is connected to the vine as the root digs into the dirt.

The girl looks like she may have been a beauty, although your brain scantly even bothers to think about that. Instead, you try to cope at something that may have once been human, save for the pointed ears that connect to the plant. Green skin connected to green hair connected to a green stem.

"Beautiful, isn't she?" Wriggle's voice echoes over the air, her actual form nowhere to be found. "She was always such a fine pet… But she never did obey. She always resisted at every step. Every single one… Such fire. Even you do not share such a characteristic…"

Out of the darkness, Wriggle emerges from behind the behind. Oddly still in the same form as always, she walks up next to the girl and strokes her green cheek. "I could not break her… Such a sad thing. She loved her sister more than she loved me…"

Your eyes widen as you stare at the remains of the girl. So this… This thing used to be Aya? "That's hardly surprising… You don't exactly inspire love with how you treat others."

Wriggle doesn't respond as she continues to stroke the girl's face. "Really? I thought I love my pets very well. I care for you. I provide food and shelter for you… All I ask in return is that you do everything that I tell you to do."

"Really? You seem to enjoy beating your pets more than you do caring for them." As much as you know you should keep your temper, you can't help but let the words slip out.

"With such disobedient pets, how can I not punish them?" She finally turns to face you, an odd look on her face as she attempts to smile and frown at the same time. "Even your little friend Mystia used to be such an obedient girl… How do you think I got to Aya here? She proved resistant to my methods…" Patting the head of the girl trapped inside the plant, Wriggle backs away from her. "But a little birdsong, and she went quite mad, I do say. That's how I got to her sister, too."

Still, you watch the remains of Aya, even as Wriggle backs away. As you do, you can't help but to notice a small pulse in the plant as it moves just slightly. Something is alive within it… Something alive and growing. "But why did you do this to her… Why did you turn her into a plant?"

"Oh, I didn't, little pet… I didn't turn her into anything. I merely feasted on her corpse the moment she proved too far gone to be interesting…" A delirious grin came over the monster's face as she recalls memories long past. "She was as delicious as I had imagined. Every part… Thighs, breasts, wings… Even that sweet and tender neck…"

After licking her lips for a few minutes, Wriggle finally turns her back on you. "However, her soul was still mine, even if her body was gone. And when I fertilized the plant, she grew into it. Just like all of the others…"

"Others…?" Your question trails off before you can form a coherent thought as light floods the chamber. The vine Aya is embedded within may be large, but it is nothing compared to the dozens of lines before you, each one a monstrous vine twisting and turning in the rocky cavern. Every single one ties into a central stem that rises high into the ceiling.

You ignore the plant stem that is as large as a tree trunk. Instead, your eyes are drawn to the other faces that are bulging out of the plant, as if they are tumors. Dozens upon dozens of faces stare out into the abyss, their bodies trying to escape from their verdurous tomb. Their numbers tower above you for many stories, and you cannot even count how many there are. "So… So many. How…"

"Do you think that my pets have been few? You should not be so surprised, pet… I have had many. And each of them in turn proved to be unsatisfactory in some way…" Wriggle just shakes her head, before she begins to float into the air.

You can't think of anything to say as you stare at the flowering plant along with its vines. All of these people… Wriggle claims that their souls have been taken, and each one of them is kept here. You can't help but to wonder if that makes them all alive, somehow. Could Aya see you standing here in front of her, staring dimwittedly at the corpses framed in foliage?

As Wriggle rises, you find your eyes being drawn to the center stalk. This one is larger than any other, and might put the largest of trees to shame at its girth. Near the top, many stories above you, there is one more body… One last corpse.

This one is different than the others. Unlike Aya, she still has a normal shade of skin, pale at the lack of sunlight. Her body is bare from the waist up, a heaving bosom exposed to all that may gaze upon it. By now you are so distracted that you do not even register the sight.

Wriggle herself floats up to the body, sitting next to it on a leaf large enough to cover a city block. "This… this is my greatest accomplishment. An elder Youkai, one whom I consumed and destroyed. However, soulless though she may be… She is still too strong to be killed in such a way." Laughing softly, she reaches out and squeezes one of the corpse's breasts. "Instead… I decided to use her. And she has been such a useful thing."

You wince as something sticky and yellow comes spurting out of the corpse, which Wriggle captures with her spare hand. "Such a sweet nectar… And so much power. But even after centuries, I still do not approach what she was…" Pouring the sticky liquid into her mouth, she wipes the majority off while grinning at you, making you wince even more.

"But I can feel it growing stronger with every one of my pets bringing her new life… Such a wonderful fate, isn't it? Even in their death, they still serve their master loyally…" Chuckling softly, she squeezes another spurt of nectar out, and offers it to you. "Why don't you have a taste, little pet… Maybe then you won't fight me so much…"

[ ] …You don't see a good way out of this. Take her up on it.
[ ] You have no earthly idea what that would do. Turn her down.
[ ] Tell her where to stuff it. Torturing all of these people for eternity… Sick bitch.
>> No. 26836
[x] No. If I'm going to become anything like you, or Margatroid, or anything else- if I have to be a Youkai to survive here, then I'll do it on my own. It'd be worthless to me, otherwise.
>> No. 26837
[x] No. If I'm going to become anything like you, or Margatroid, or anything else- if I have to be a Youkai to survive here, then I'll do it on my own. It'd be worthless to me, otherwise.
>> No. 26839
[x] No. If I'm going to become anything like you, or Margatroid, or anything else- if I have to be a Youkai to survive here, then I'll do it on my own. It'd be worthless to me, otherwise.
>> No. 26841
Was about to go with the verbose "no" over the default (keeping the talking going seems to work well), but: what if this is necessary?

Wriggle definitely isn't lying, and though there are probably consequences, direct control isn't likely. The yes choice "…You don't see a good way out of this." thus yes. The focus is on doing it for fear of punishment.

We need power, allies and information. Doing something "on your own strength" is mostly a human ideology. Even though we said I AM I, most choices have understandably but undoubtedly leaned in this direction. Consider what horror Mystia et. al. went through, saying no for this reason is childish. While one-liners are great for verbal riposte's, we really need to get our act together to get out of here. Since we aren't going to be seeing nearly all the clues and aids that are present in this story, extraordinary action is going to be needed to compensate. An escape plan is not going to construct itself.

The problem with that line of power, for all foreseeable we will not overcome Wriggle in a straight up battle. Wriggle operate on power, even one as relatively simple as her, will not give you enough power to truly threaten her unless she's a shounen anime baddy. What use is power, then? The roles of power and information are rather switched. Information is the primary currency of this story, whereas power may play a key role in a very few critical situations.

In general, don't be as overtly rebellious, unyielding, and brittle as Aya, keep Wriggle amused, don't shirk away from staining your hands , and mostly importantly, never lose sight or turn away from the ultimate goal.

Long monologue over.

Now after what Wriggle did, Magatroid is probably pretty pissed at us, we can expect no favours here. After getting caught upstairs, any further exploring is going to be really fucking hard. Our options for discovery dwindle. About the garden and the sunflowers, while we went through the trouble of getting caught there, we might as well ask that to her. Anything else?

[] Accept, calculated risk. Don't show abnormal amounts of thought, can act like it's a concession. It's pretty much is, anyways.
[] (Later, after you drink:) I saw another gigantic flower the attic, Master. Is that your work as well?

Please not have updated already.
No really, you update blindingly fast. One of the only authors who can justify f5ing the thread several times a day.

>> No. 26842
The problem is, mostly, that sampling the nectar might remove our ability to even considering escape. It is likely an addictive substance, being raw power- power is addictive, after all. If she really wants us to take some, she'll probably just force it down our throat.

For now, we need to turn it down. Having a reason- a compulsion- to come back down here is... An awful idea.
>> No. 26845
>>26842 Ah, overlooked that. Dang sunflower seeds. Prior sentiments still apply.

>>26841 Changing vote to:
[x] No. If I'm going to become anything like you, or Margatroid, or anything else- if I have to be a Youkai to survive here, then I'll do it on my own. It'd be worthless to me, otherwise.
[x] I saw another gigantic flower the attic, Master. Is that your work as well?
>> No. 26846
File 135554614526.jpg - (23.43KB, 250x260, these are not happy times.jpg) [iqdb]
26846
[-j-] No. If I'm going to become anything like you, or Margatroid, or anything else- if I have to be a Youkai to survive here, then I'll do it on my own. It'd be worthless to me, otherwise.

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

Narrowing your eyes at her, you barely even have to consider your options. You may not know exactly who you are now, especially after all of these transformations, but you damn well aren't going to risk losing what hold you have upon your own will. "I won't, Wriggle. I won't do such a thing…"

Wriggle merely raises an eyebrow in response. "You will not? Such a response… And why won't you take a such a thing, when I am offering it to you, without requiring anything in return?"

"There is always a price… There is always a price." Sighing, you cross your arms over your chest, unwittingly exposing yourself as your wings copy them. "There is something you're not telling me about the nectar. Something that would harm me if I were to take it… Besides, even if I do become something like you, I do not want to do it on those terms."

Wriggle merely chuckles as she takes the nectar to her own mouth, slurping it down greedily. "You don't say. You think that I would allow you to do such a thing."

"It hardly matters what you allow. I am merely stating my intentions." As your glare meets her gaze, more amused than anything, you can't help but to let another snarl pass your lips. "If I plan to become a Youkai… If I have to do such a thing to survive here, I am going to do it the way I desire. If I didn't do such a thing, I would be less than a puppet of yours."

Wriggle floats in front of you before setting gently on the ground. Part of you wants to take a step back at the sight of the power that is glowing softly in her eyes. The shine is nearly powerful enough to lighten the room on its own.
"You may be no puppet, but you are my pet. You serve only my will…" Her fingers lightly trail along your cheek, and you shiver at the power that exists below them.

To your horror, you begin to feel that same liquid begin to spread through your body from her touch. Your vision becomes cloudy as your eyes lock on the girl. However, your legs begin to carry you away. "What do you think you are doing? Here? Why are you doing this?"

"Because I can. And because you owe me one… And I shan't be as gentle as the first time." The feeling begins to spread down your throat and over your entire body, and you find it hard to focus on anything save Wriggle.

"But… But the dead…"

"They are not truly dead, pet. They can watch us. They can watch me as I begin to claim yet another of my pets." Grinning widely, she easily catches up to you and pushes you over, causing you to land on your backside. You pay no attention to the pain, though, as your vision narrows further, and you can only see brilliant green eyes. "The nectar may not give me much power in the long run… But for the short term? It is more than enough to do this for me."

Her face begins to lower towards yours as you see something begin to shift. "And now… Now for me to start the job. You will be loyal to me, pet. Be it through pleasure or pain. Either way, it will happen."

You know no more as your vision fades to white.

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

Aching muscles and bruised skin welcome you back to consciousness as your eyes try to find focus upon the room before you. However, it is a hard road to hoe, as your body simply throbs too much to focus immediately.

However, the bright and shifting colors on what you assume are the walls begin to clue you in on where you have ended up. Shifting in place, you can't help but to moan in pain as your damaged legs slowly allow you to sit up.

Bringing a clawed hand to your head, you slowly begin to massage your temples as you figure out what has just happened to you. In the process, your hand crosses a multitude of cuts across your face, as if something large had tried to eat your face off.

"Wait a second… I'm in Wriggle's room… Right?" Glancing about, you begin to recognize the moss carpet and multicolored tapestries that line the wall. Fortunately, though, there is no Wriggle in sight to do anything more to you.

However, you struggle to remember what she did do to you. Glancing down, you try to examine the rest of yourself that is hurting. A good amount of your skin appears to have been rubbed raw, especially around your crotch…

"No. She didn't… She didn't…" Your memory is foggy, and fortunately you can't remember much of anything. But you still remember the monster climbing on top of you. You can guess what happens after that. "Fuck. Fuck no. She didn't… She didn't do that to me…"

Clenching your hands, you try to resist the urge to curl up into a ball and think about what just happened to you. You try not to think at how you were just used and abused by that girl… On top of that, she apparently has left you alone, so that you can concentrate on that alone. Frankly… You don't know what to do.

[ ] Just curl up into a ball and cry. You were just raped.
[ ] Pull it together and look around. Maybe something was here.
-[ ] Specify where to look
[ ] Go find Mystia. Maybe she has gotten better by now.
[ ] Search out Tokiko. Even if she wants the same thing for you.
[ ] Head to the surface… Try and call for one of the dolls.
[ ] Sing to the dolls. Maybe they will respond.
[ ] …Why do anything? Maybe if you are aware, it wouldn't be so bad…
-[ ] After all, she only hurts you because your a bad pet. Maybe a good pet would enjoy it?

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

>>26841
Again with assuming… Whose house did Wriggle attack again? Kinda surprised no one has brought up anything about Yuuka. Or that little thing I dropped about Medicine, though.
>> No. 26847
>>26846

Noticed both of those things, actually! I would have said something about Yuuka, but we weren't really a good position to do anything about her. I like how Medicine's still standing guard over Yuuka, in her own way.

Also.

[X] Take stock of yourself. Has anything else changed?
[X] Pull it together and look around. Maybe something was here.
-[X] Anything that might tell you something about her.

On the bright side, maaaybe we won't have to worry so much about Tokiko's deal now?

Oh God, there it is again, that feeling that I'm an awful, awful person.
>> No. 26848
[X] Take stock of yourself. Has anything else changed?
[X] Pull it together and look around. Maybe something was here.
-[X] Anything that might tell you something about her.

This is a good enough course of action for now.
>> No. 26849
[X] Take stock of yourself. Has anything else changed?
[X] Pull it together and look around. Maybe something was here.
-[X] Anything that might tell you something about her.

Well that could have gone better. At least he's not dead.
>> No. 26850
File 135558795152.jpg - (294.96KB, 1200x801, pretty colors.jpg) [iqdb]
26850
[-k-] Take stock of yourself. Has anything else changed?
[-k-] Pull it together and look around. Maybe something was here.
-[-k-] Anything that might tell you something about her.

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

Right. You should just try and continue onwards. That girl might have used and abused you, but you can continue onwards. You can put aside this injustice and focus on a way to hopefully make her pay for the crimes committed against you.

It is a long, slow process, though. Your mind doesn't want to comprehend what has just happened to it. Even the barest thought of what had just happened makes you want to spill what is left of your earlier meal all over the floor. So, instead of trying to remember and accept it, you push it out of the side of your head. You will make sense of it later. For now… For now you will continue onwards as best that you can.

Ever so slowly, you push your way off of the bed, wincing as your muscles do their best to support your weight. At the very least, your feet appear to not be in that bad of a shape, so you are able to slowly walk across the carpet of moss that coats the room.

As you do so, your mind stares at the mess of colors that surround you. You have no idea why Wriggle is fond of such maddening tapestries that cover every single square inch of the wall with their maddening designs, but just staring at one spot for a long while makes your head hurt even more. Looking around, you cannot find anything else that has changed since you came. Even the doors look the same as they always have, not that you've paid close attention to them in the past.

So, instead, you begin to search around the premises. "Maybe she's hidden something behind these walls? Why else would she have so many of these up…" Starting from the back of the room when facing the exit, you slowly circle around, checking under each and every one. "Nothing. Just stone walls…"

Once halfway down the first wall, though, you come across something interesting. Your wooden hand, which by now has a few noticeable scratches on the back of it, pulls away yet another tapestry to reveal a small tunnel. It is much too small for you to walk through, being only about two-thirds your full height. "Odd… What would she need another secret passage for?"

[ ] Go up the passage.
[ ] Keep looking.
[ ] Stop looking, and go into the room with all of the dressers to check something there.

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

>>26847
Medicine isn't doing that. We're far enough in, though, that you'll probably never see her.
Also, be thankful for Tokiko's deal. If you hadn't taken it, things would be much worse right now.
>> No. 26851
[X] Take stock of yourself. Has anything else changed?
[X] Pull it together and look around. Maybe something was here.
-[X] Anything that might tell you something about her.

How dead is Yuuka and/or Medi?

If this death can be reversed it could be something worth looking at.
>> No. 26852
>>26851
A little bit late, there. Also, are you should it would be a good idea to do such a thing? Especially considering that one of those isn't dead.
>> No. 26853
>>26850
>maddening colors

They probably make more sense when shifted into the ultraviolet spectrum. You know, bug and all that. Either that or I'm overthinking things, and they're supposed to be all "Wriggle ftaghn!"


>Also, be thankful for Tokiko's deal. If you hadn't taken it, things would be much worse right now.

>She bites her lip, looking away. "As long as you make the deal with I, you would not be capable of making said deal with another. It is your choice. Or rather, your choice to choose, or allow another to choose for you."

Assuming that's the relevant line, I can think of two main possibilities. The first is that Wriggle wants our seed for some reason (which now that I think about it, makes more and more sense, given that we're the only male mentioned within the current context so far). Icky, but I can't see how her bearing a child (Children? Larvae?) with our genes would qualify as "much worse".

The second possibility? You know how some insects inject eggs into prey, which eat through and hatch out of the prey? Think "chestburster" and you probably have an idea of what I'm imagining. The deal didn't say which of the two parents had to bear the child, after all... which is probably what saved us, if this second scenario was true.

No vote yet: I've forgotten if there was something we wanted to check from the first time we were here. If there wasn't anything pressing, I'd say to go through the passag- wait. What if she went that way?

On second thoughts, let's keep looking if we don't want to go back to the dressers. At least if we're caught in the dresser room, we have the legitimate excuse of needing clothing, and if we're caught here we can fake just having woken up.
>> No. 26854
[X] Go up the passage.

Investigation!
>> No. 26856
[X] Remember to as Tokiko where the passage leads at another time.
-[X] Keep looking.
>> No. 26857
[-l-] Keep looking.

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

Well, there is no reason why you must immediately take this other passageway. You have no knowledge of where it leads… What if it merely takes you into another situation similar to your previous one? For that matter, what if it takes you straight to Wriggle? You don't want to risk that. So, instead, you keep searching through the tapestries.

As you do, you can't help but to admire them. Even if they are hard to look at, their threads seemingly shifting under your eyes as you gaze upon them, it is quite the interesting sight. Hardly what you would have thought from her, considering her penchant for destroying furniture and keeping trophies of those she has defeated. Considering what she created her bed out of, though, you have to wonder what exactly it is that she likes about it.

Still, there is no time to waste. Searching along the left side of the room proves fruitless, as there lies nothing behind those walls. Only the solid rock looms before you, dark and imposing as always. You cannot find anything else, even a source of light to illuminate this room. Giving it up, you move on to the other side of the room, skipping a door to the side and the door to the closet.

Passing a third door, you peel aside the tapestries again and again, finding nothing before you. As you look around, though, you feel the tapestry give way before your hands. Pushing them to the side, yet another secret passage appears before your eyes. "…What is Wriggle up to that she needs other passageways to go through?"

Shrugging your shoulders, you let the cloth drop back into where it once was. Glancing back around the room, you cross your arms as you decide what to do. "Should I stay or should I go…"

[ ] Go through the first secret passageway.
[ ] Go through the first door.
[ ] Go through the dresser room door.
[ ] Go through the third door.
[ ] Go through the second secret passageway.
[ ] Stay here and get ready for your master. Slave.

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

That long for a vote? And ya picked the one short response… Ah well. More tomorrow.
>> No. 26859
[x] Go through the first secret passageway.
Do the harder one first. Or are they both the same size?
>> No. 26860
[x] Go through the second secret passageway.

Do not want to risk getting stuck
>> No. 26861
[x] Go through the first secret passageway.

One thing at a time.
>> No. 26862
File 135567969870.jpg - (295.68KB, 2000x6000, it is either this or a tunnel pic.jpg) [iqdb]
26862
[-m-] Go through the first secret passageway.

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

"Might as well go through the first one." You have a vague idea where two of the doors go, and you are sure where the middle one goes, but you have no idea where these secret passages lead. Turning around, you slowly pad all the way across to the tunnel opposite you, brushing aside the tapestries when you reach it.

Looking at it for a few seconds, you sigh and fall to your knees. "The other one is just barely larger. Just need to be careful…" Your legs protest as they bear your entire weight, and you can't help but to hope that this stays carpeted for a good while. Taking one last glance back at the door, making sure Wriggle hasn't come through at the last second, you crawl all of the way into the tunnel.

The tapestry falls into place once your wings and bare bottom finally make it through the entrance. In doing so, you notice the sudden dip in light, what with most of it being blocked out by the fabric. "Slow and steady… If I can't see anything, might as well let my hands… hand do the job instead."

Awkwardly, you began to slowly crawl forward through the dim tunnel, making sure to lead with your clawed hand the entire time. As many benefits that the wooden hand gives you, an improved sense of touch is hardly one of them. Fortunately, it was still bright enough that you could barely see in the dark crags of the rock.

After a short time crawling along, you came to a dead end. Or rather, you thought it was one. Carefully examining the surrounding rock allows you to find another tunnel, slightly above you. Pulling yourself up and into it, you begin to crawl along some more.

The entire time you continue moving, your wings protest your confinement in the stone passageways. Even though you feel as if they are fine, at the same time they resent being denied the opportunity to spread out. "Almost like I'm becoming claustrophobic… But it's not quite the same."

Pushing it out of your mind, you blink as you come to another dead end. "Really? This seems rather pointless…" Even though it is much harder now, with almost no light making its way through the various tunnels, you manage to determine that there is no other passageway at the end of the tunnel. "This has to lead somewhere…"

Backing up slowly, wincing at every movement as your skin scrapes upon the harder rock surface, you eventually feel something with your wooden hand. Or rather, your hand does not find anything to guide you as you slowly back up through the tunnel. "So, another tunnel… Let's keep going."

As you travel down the next tunnel, your hand falls upon something soft and long. "What is this… It feels like…" Color drains from your face as you recognize the velvet object under your hand. "A plant… Does that flower grow even out here?" Pushing it out of your mind, you keep sneaking along until you find yourself at the end of the tunnel. This time, you see that there is a passageway to the left and to the right.

After exploring, though, you realize that those two tunnels are dead ends. "Great. There is nowhere left to go. Why would she build something like this? There's no point to it…" Even though she doesn't need a reason to do anything, even this much seems out of character.

Not to mention that your back is aching, your legs are hurting, and your reproductive organs are so raw that they still feel like you've been dragging them along the rock as well. Good thing that you never could be called well endowed. "Might as well just make my way back… Just take a second to stretch…"

When you lean back up so that your back is straight, though, you realize that you shouldn't be able to do such a thing. "The tunnel wasn't that short…” Raising a hand to your face, you begin to feel around for the tunnel proper. Instead of finding solid rock, you find that you are in yet another hole. The only difference from earlier is that this tunnel leads vertically, compared to the others.

"…Is this the only one? Or should I just go ahead and try this? If this leads up, where exactly will it take me…"

[ ] Go up this one. Adventure, ho!
[ ] Try and see if there are any others, and take whichever one strikes your fancy.
[ ] Just sit alone in the dark. No one can find you here.
[ ] Go back and await your master. You know you want to.
>> No. 26863
[X] Go up this one. Adventure, ho!

Adventure!
>> No. 26864
>[ ] Stay here and get ready for your master. Slave.
>[ ] Just sit alone in the dark. No one can find you here.
>[ ] Go back and await your master. You know you want to.

Oh dear. Nope. Nopenopenope

Where's the option to head back and try the other one, anyway?
>> No. 26865
>>26864
If you feel that there is a better option, you may always write one in.
>> No. 26868
[X] Go up this one. Adventure, ho!
>> No. 26870
[x] Adventure time! Come on, grab your friends. We'll go to very- distant lands~o/"
>> No. 26871
Now remembering that "curious and unusual deaths" episode where some guy died trying to enter a sloped tunnel.
[X] Go up this one. Adventure, ho!
He got stuck. By his ribs. A team couldn't pull him out. His body is still there.
>> No. 26872
File 135570715817.jpg - (196.13KB, 595x842, i thought of the idea before finding the pic!.jpg) [iqdb]
26872
[-n-] Go up this one. Adventure, ho!

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

"Not going to find anything just by standing around here. And going back is just going to be counterproductive. So, up I go." Shrugging, you grip both of the sides of the small tunnel above you. "How in the world am I going to do this? I'm no athlete, I'm just a typist."

You don't even take a moment to start laughing. Not like such a thing matters anymore. You're not a just a human. You don't even know what you are, aside from just being yourself. So, without further delay, you dig your claw into the rock and begin pulling yourself up.

This is the first time that the limitations of your wooden hand have truly become apparent. Unlike your claw, it cannot make its own support by slicing open the stone under its fingers. Instead, you have to settle for gripping the extrusions in the tunnel as best as you can.

Again, you have to ignore your instincts crying out to get out of this tunnel. They want to get away from this all, so that you can get out and spread your wings and fly away. Finally pulling your feet into the tunnel, you do your best to shut them out. "Who knows where this goes… Maybe this will take me out of here."

The thought does not thrill you as much as you had imagined it would. If this leads you to an escape, that means that you would have left Mystia and Tokiko behind. Even if the dolls would help you, perhaps, would Margatroid go out of her way to assist you in freeing them?

Shaking off such rhetorical questions, you turn instead to your climbing. Your current action quickly changes upon reaching the top of your tunnel, and your hand scrapes along a stone surface. "That was fast… Is this the end? Or is it just a cover to hide the entrance?" Acting on a hunch, you brace yourself with your feet and your right hand before pushing up on the rock.

Nothing happens at first, but within a few seconds the stone shifts slightly. A large circular slab of rock lifts off of the ground. Quickly sliding it out of its slot, you push the manhole-like piece of rock to the side.

You sigh in relief as light touches your face once more, and you soon reach out to begin hauling you up from the hole in the ground. Once you are sitting on solid earth once more, your wings automatically spread out as if they have a life of their own.

Not resisting their actions in the slightest, you also stretch out while taking a glance around the room you are in. Looking about, you see that you are in a small and relatively dark little cell of a room, which still makes you strain your eyes. The luminosity may be greater up here than it was when you were in the hole, but it is still abnormally low. However, there are no other distinguishing marks in this room that you see at first glance.

No others, that is, until you bother to look down.

Lying there before you on a pile of straw while using a book for a pillow was Tokiko. Oddly enough, the girl seems to be lying perfectly still, an odd thing considering how much of an active personality that she seems to have. Considering her reverence for books, though, you cannot imagine why she would be sleeping upon one. "…Perhaps she hopes that to learn through osmosis…"

Chuckling, you wonder what you should do here. You probably do need to figure out what to do, but at the same time she seems so peaceful. Even if she is barely any more girlish than Wriggle, her just lying there seems… Cute. "Bah, why am I thinking such things…"

[ ] Let her be. At least one of you needs not face reality at the moment.
[ ] Wake her up. There is stuff that needs to be done.
-[ ] Think of a plan to escape. You do have one, right? (If you pick this, think of a plan)
-[ ] Perhaps now would be a good time for reading, now that no one else needs you?
-[ ] Bedtop sports for indoor types Can you even get it up in its current state?
[ ] Go and find Wriggle. Maybe you can do something to impress her?
>> No. 26874
[ ] Bedtop sports for indoor types I totally could.
[X] Wake her up. Ask her where the heck it is that you followed this secret passage to. Is this her room or something?
-[X] You should probably get back soon so Wriggle (hopefully) won't know you were gone, but there's still a little time if she wants to talk about anything.
>> No. 26876
Guh, I'd vote, but I really wish I could have more time to think up a way outta this joint.

Maybe if the vote's still open later on today.
>> No. 26879
>>26876
Well, I'm not going to be around for a few hours, so you got a bit of time. Sides, this gives me a little while to catch up on other projects. Even if I could call it early, I'd hate to flip a coin on this choice.
>> No. 26880
[x] Wake her up. There is stuff that needs to be done.
-[x] Think of a plan to escape.
--[x] Go over what we know: Wriggle can be distracted if there's something sufficiently pressing that demands her attention or if something were to, say, burn through the fertilizer keeping Yuuka going.
--[x] It's unlikely that sealing the tunnel would do much to keep her down. She'll definitely pursue once she realizes something's wrong, however. If possible, Wriggle might be distracted by drawing her out of the burrow, perhaps by use of the Dolls- though that would be... Cruel. Afterwards, the garden can be set alight.
---Wriggle knows her tunnels, so trying to escape through them is slightly ridiculous and would only slow the group down. So to resolve this, Okuu needs to be dealt with. The scythe and dagger are useful for this bit- she's far enough gone that using them might qualify as a release rather than a punishment.
----[x] Escape through the front and GTFO, possibly to see what the heck happened with Margatroid and to help with that end of things. Keep the scythe and the dagger on hand, as well as whatever else might prove useful against Youkai. If Wriggle appears, defeat is almost certain, but going down without a fight is shameful.
>> No. 26881
>>26880
How does Wriggle knowing her tunnels well enough to prevent escape lead directly to killing Okuu? Another thing that is there simply to slow her down?
>> No. 26882
Seems like a three way tie, but I'll go with >>26874

[X] Wake her up. Ask her where the heck it is that you followed this secret passage to. Is this her room or something?
-[X] You should probably get back soon so Wriggle (hopefully) won't know you were gone, but there's still a little time if she wants to talk about anything.
>> No. 26883
>>26881

Well, it's mostly that caves tend to be cramped and dark. The chance for an ambush is uncomfortably high. Being cramped reduces speed that we might be able to travel through them. Furthermore, Okuu appears to be loyal to Wriggle, so disposing of her or slipping by her unnoticed is optimal.

Besides, I've done some reading. Fae like Wriggle are most powerful in their own territory. So it's best to avoid being in that territory for as long as possible.
>> No. 26886
[x] Wake her up. There is stuff that needs to be done.
-[x] Think of a plan to escape.
--[x] Go over what we know: Wriggle can be distracted if there's something sufficiently pressing that demands her attention or if something were to, say, burn through the fertilizer keeping Yuuka going.
--[x] It's unlikely that sealing the tunnel would do much to keep her down. She'll definitely pursue once she realizes something's wrong, however. If possible, Wriggle might be distracted by drawing her out of the burrow, perhaps by use of the Dolls- though that would be... Cruel. Afterwards, the garden can be set alight.
---Wriggle knows her tunnels, so trying to escape through them is slightly ridiculous and would only slow the group down. So to resolve this, Okuu needs to be dealt with. The scythe and dagger are useful for this bit- she's far enough gone that using them might qualify as a release rather than a punishment.
----[x] Escape through the front and GTFO, possibly to see what the heck happened with Margatroid and to help with that end of things. Keep the scythe and the dagger on hand, as well as whatever else might prove useful against Youkai. If Wriggle appears, defeat is almost certain, but going down without a fight is shameful.
>> No. 26887
This plan is rather unwise sounding in how it leaves Wriggle alive. The odds of her finding us are great, where as finding a way to simply kill her would nullify that risk.

[X] Wake her up. Ask her where the heck it is that you followed this secret passage to. Is this her room or something?
-[X] You should probably get back soon so Wriggle (hopefully) won't know you were gone, but there's still a little time if she wants to talk about anything.
>> No. 26888
[x] Wake her up. Ask her where the heck it is that you followed this secret passage to. Is this her room or something?
-[x] You should probably get back soon so Wriggle (hopefully) won't know you were gone, but there's still a little time if she wants to talk about anything.

Neither pondering grand arson nor reading books with Tannis Tokiko in the nude sound like good ideas, so I'll go with this.
>> No. 26889
File 135581739616.jpg - (197.49KB, 850x1133, here is one path.jpg) [iqdb]
26889
[-o-] Wake her up. Ask her where the heck it is that you followed this secret passage to. Is this her room or something?
-[-o-] You should probably get back soon so Wriggle (hopefully) won't know you were gone, but there's still a little time if she wants to talk about anything.

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

No time like the present to get everything sorted out. The more pertinent question is finding out where exactly you are, and why Tokiko is sleeping here. You have to raise another question if she has access to her chambers and didn't think to share them… Then again, she did say that she knew the secret passages around here.

"I wonder if you were waiting, or if this was just some coincidence." Sighing, you kneel down next to her and place a clawed hand on her shoulder. "Tokiko, wake up. I need to talk to you."

The girl just swats your hand away with the wing upon her head before rolling on her side. "…Oh, heavens no, I couldn't do anything with you in such a manner. Your planks are speckled with so many knots. You know that I would never stoop so low as to go with one made from wood so high in the tree…"

"…Right." You really don't want to what she is dreaming about, as it would probably involve some sort of furniture among other lewd acts. "Well, might take a bit more to wake her up." Shaking her shoulder, you watch her face for any recognition of the world at large.

After about fifteen seconds or so, the ibis' eyes finally blink open. Red orbs stare out into the night until they finally find you "Ah, Garçon. So glad of you to join us. Here, please, can you go fetch me another pair of clogs? These ones are much too lumpy, and full of knots."

Staring at the hand that was clenching thin air in front of your face, you can't help but to stare at her silently for a few seconds. "Tokiko, you're not asleep anymore. You're not handing me any type of shoe."

"How can you say that I am not dreaming? Here I have an incredible helper kneeling in front of me in the nude, ready to assist me however I may." Pausing, you can't help but blush as she studies your form in the dark. "Although, it is not quite what I had expected. My dreams when I was cognizant had one believe that it would be at least thrice that size."

Pointedly covering yourself with your wings, you glare at her. "Enough of that, Tokiko. I've much to ask you."

"Really? Well, I've much to ask you. For one, why are my various feathered fans no longer here? I was expecting the elephants to continue to cool my visage for quite a while. And where is my jar of pickled anemones? I need something to whet my appetite."

"Tokiko—"

"And why are you not turning the pages of my book? Please, proceed to do so. As that tackle seems to be quite incapable of reeling in any fish larger than a crappy, please proceed to use it to turn the pages. Just do not flourish it too much, or I may become distracted from that which I am attempting to peruse."

Well, you're not getting any clearer response from the girl, who still seems to be lost in her dreamland. Might as well go for broke, and make sure to convey something that could get her attention. "I've just come from Wriggle, Tokiko. She… she took advantage of me…"

As you find yourself biting your tongue, not wanting to say exactly what had happened to you, Tokiko herself seems to finally catch her wandering tongue. "That wasn't what I had expected. I don't have those thoughts intrude into my… My dreams…" Her breath hitches in her throat as her headwing begins to twitch. "Oh no… I had wondered when she came earlier…"

Peering at her, you try to guide the sane train of thought from the insane girl. "What did she come to do?"

"She informed me that I was to continue in my current job keeping up the depository, as the newly acquired personnel was to be repurposed. Honestly, she knows nothing of efficiency. It's why this place is half the mess it is, you know. Hardly goes by a few weeks without nipping some new hire or the other in the bud…"

You don't want to think about that kind of turnaround, as that would mean that your own life expectancy is quite short. "What did she say I was supposed to be doing now?"

"Nothing was said. However, she had a very smug look on her face. Quite like how my bookcase looks at my two ceiling chairs after a rowdy session, so I can quite well guess what she had done." Her eyes dart to the side as her headwing actually moves down to cover them. "Of course, I had hoped that such evidence simply turned out to be misleading. Far be it from me to ignore what my nose smells, but one could almost allow a foolish sentiment such as hope rise up in their stomach."

Nodding idly, your own wings droop. "Right… So, she permanently has reassigned me to be her… her toy?" You begin to feel a bit of bile rise up in your throat at the thought. "At least before I had a chance, could plan. But if I'm stuck down there waiting for her, what can I do?"

Your wings begin to close around your body as you try to take it in. "I'm pretty much dead, aren't I? Once she gets bored with me, she will just toss me to the side and tear me up. No chance of getting out again… And in the meantime, she will just… just…"

Arms encircle you as you continue to shut yourself in, not wanting to admit what had been done to you, if it was the last thing you ever do. Your body flinches away immediately, your heart jumping into your throat as you do, but the clawed hands hold stead on your back as the girl pulls your head to her shoulder. "Shh… Calm down. Just take a deep breath."

Nodding, you just push your head into her shoulder as you continue to shake in place. You can't accept it. That isn't what happened to you. That could not be what had just been done to you. And to think, it was going to happen again and again until you get out, if ever you get out.

And if you die, you'd be in a worse position. Stuck in that plant for who knows how long, fueling Wriggle as she grows stronger and stronger… "I just… What do I do? How do we get out of this?"

Tokiko does not answer for a few moments, during which you feel a feathered wing touch the top of your head. "Perhaps it might be best to cut it off at the source. But enough for now. Just calm down, or I shall have to administer my personal favorite antidote for those on the verge of hyperventilation."

Nodding slightly, you lean back, staring at her as you wrap your arms about yourself. "Probably gonna kill myself for asking this, but what would that be? I wouldn't think you'd have any pills all of the way down here."

"I don't. I prefer a headbutt applied directly to the forehead. Much more efficient, and it is oh so satisfying." Shrugging, Tokiko looks off. "Put that aside. You'll probably need therapy to get over that. Then again, they tell me that I need therapy, but they also say that you don't need blood to have a bloody good time. I respectfully disagree."

As off-kilter her words may be, you do your best to nod and do as she says. You won't gain anything by continuing to hyperventilate. You can deal with what did not happen down there later. "Well, if you say so…" Glancing back down at the secret tunnel, you ask one question that is on your mind. "Just… Why are you sleeping in a room that is connected to Wriggle's? Isn't that…"

"Foolhardy? Quite. That is why I prefer to spend all of my time in the depository. It is rare that I sleep in here." The girl begins to pick at her claws, still continuing to watch you in spite of her time wasting activity. "All of the quarters of Wriggle's pets are connected to her own. They are hardly used anymore, though, as she is confident enough in her own power to contain them within her bedroom."

"So, are you saying that she used to come up here and do her business with her…"

Tokiko nods, before glancing towards door. "Of course. That way, those that she attempts to use are unaware the first time, and she can slip away without them ever knowing." Not spotting anything unusual, she glances back. "However, she is quite arrogant, and forgets that there are others that have mastered such basics that include crawling, hand eye coordination, and toilet training."

Considering how Wriggle divests herself of any waste, you might have to counter Tokiko on that last point. "So, that means that anyone could get in there, and Wriggle would not be expecting it."

"If she is as arrogant as I have supposed? Yes, then she would be, thanks to my none-too-large intellect. However, she would see any attack coming from another direction from a mile away."

"So we would need… a distraction…" Your mind pales at the thought. "Don't tell me that I need to…"

Tokiko looks away, wrapping her own wings around herself in an attempt to cloak herself. "As much as it pains me to ask this of you… Yes."

[ ] No. Hell no. Not in a million years.
[ ] No no no no no no no no no no NO!
[ ] Is… Is there any other way? Maybe if we stab her, or light her on fire…
[ ] …If it's the only way… Are you sure this will work?
[ ] Maybe I can please her this time, instead of whatever she put in me.
>> No. 26890
[x] Stop panicking. Do what needs to be done. If it makes you feel better, you can freak out AFTER you're out of trouble. Besides, either take this opportunity as a valuable distraction, or be forced by Wriggle for no gain anyway. Which is better?
[x] Ask Tokiko how she'll attempt to kill Wriggle.
[x] Bring up the cold iron blades with her once again, as well as Mystia's story about it's ineffectiveness: Clarify the effcacy of such a weapon on Wriggle, and where or how much damage we would have to inflict to make it lethal.
[x] Make sure Mystia is in on the attack plan as well. Whether she wants to take the risk of participating is her choice, but the more directions they can attack from, the better.
[x]You'll likely be naked and hence have nowhere obvious to store the knife. Find a sheath for it and hope wriggle doesn't do cavity searc- Nah just kidding. This would be an ultimate last resort.

If time permits,

[x] Bring up the flower and ask for Tokiko's insight on it, especially about what the nectar might do to people who consume them.
>> No. 26891
[x] Stop panicking. Do what needs to be done. If it makes you feel better, you can freak out AFTER you're out of trouble. Besides, either take this opportunity as a valuable distraction, or be forced by Wriggle for no gain anyway. Which is better?
[x] Ask Tokiko how she'll attempt to kill Wriggle.
[x] Bring up the cold iron blades with her once again, as well as Mystia's story about it's ineffectiveness: Clarify the effcacy of such a weapon on Wriggle, and where or how much damage we would have to inflict to make it lethal.
[x] Make sure Mystia is in on the attack plan as well. Whether she wants to take the risk of participating is her choice, but the more directions they can attack from, the better.
[x]You'll likely be naked and hence have nowhere obvious to store the knife. Find a sheath for it and hope wriggle doesn't do cavity searc- Nah just kidding. This would be an ultimate last resort.

If time permits,
[x] Bring up the flower and ask for Tokiko's insight on it, especially about what the nectar might do to people who consume them. State that Wriggle offered you a drink, before having her way with you, and ask if she had done this before.
>> No. 26892
[x] Stop panicking. Do what needs to be done. If it makes you feel better, you can freak out AFTER you're out of trouble. Besides, either take this opportunity as a valuable distraction, or be forced by Wriggle for no gain anyway. Which is better?
[x] Ask Tokiko how she'll attempt to kill Wriggle.
[x] Bring up the cold iron blades with her once again, as well as Mystia's story about it's ineffectiveness: Clarify the effcacy of such a weapon on Wriggle, and where or how much damage we would have to inflict to make it lethal.
[x] Make sure Mystia is in on the attack plan as well. Whether she wants to take the risk of participating is her choice, but the more directions they can attack from, the better.
[x]You'll likely be naked and hence have nowhere obvious to store the knife. Find a sheath for it and hope wriggle doesn't do cavity searc- Nah just kidding. This would be an ultimate last resort.

If time permits,

[x] Bring up the flower and ask for Tokiko's insight on it, especially about what the nectar might do to people who consume them.
>> No. 26893
[-p-] Wall of text >>26890

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

"…I don't like this. But I don't think I'm going to have a choice, will I?" Considering that Wriggle is going to have her way with you sooner or later, you might as well get some benefit out of it. There will always be time to freak out later.

At least Tokiko seems ready enough to spur along further discussion away from the distracting act that is up to you to perform. "It seems like it would be quite unlikely to occur. There are a few things that she allows input into. Whether you will be allowed to decline further interaction is one of those. Also, you would not be allowed to chose what type of scone that she consumes. The bitch."

"Focus, Tokiko… We have to worry about more than her preference in pastries. How do you think that you'll kill Wriggle? As far as I know, such a thing would be impossible considering what we have at hand."

"Not impossible, nearly difficult." Sighing, Tokiko walks over to the door, peering out the door to make sure that none are nearby. "We must be quick. Don't need her finding you up here with me once again. As much as I would enjoy making her jealous, that may not be the best for your continued health." Turning back around, her hands curl up before she falls to the ground, quickly snatching up her book. "Instead, we must completely remove her from the possibility of following after us."

Nodding, you fall to the floor as well, letting your wings curl around you. "But you have yet to say how it would occur." Glancing at the door yourself, you lower your voice until it is but a whisper. "Mystia told me how that Aya once plunged that knife into Wriggle's chest, and that it hardly did anything. Even if you did use that scythe, would it do anything?"

"Quite." A superior smirk crosses her face as the ibis crosses your arms. "I have been practicing with the scythe while Wriggle has been busy. Such an ungainly weapon. Perhaps I should have asked the sparrow for help. She used to do such a thing, don't you know?"

Blinking, you shake your head. "Now that I think of it, I don't know much of what she used to be… Or you for that matter." However, there is one person whose memories that are quite vividly clear in your mind, if you bother to concentrate upon them.

Tokiko breaks you out of any musing that you were about to descend into. "Have you asked? However, you would not probably be interested in such a thing. After all, I would hate to tell you how I treated those previous lovers that I have had once upon a time. A great deal of them ended up inside the woodchopper, and then fueled my stove afterwards."

Hopefully she was talking about wooden pieces of furniture, instead of something else. However, this was getting of subject once again, so you do your best to ignore that line of thought. "Right. Well, anyway, are you sure that you can use that thing? And what good would it do against her?"

"Well, there are many things. I would prefer decapitation or dismemberment. Immolation would work as well. Although, personally, I prefer defenestration. However, I do not have anything that would allow me to do such a thing."

If she is so sure, at least you've got that going for you. "So, you are sure that it is going to work."

"As sure as I am that a hog will feed upon her slop once I have done my job. Of course, the only real problem in my plan is that I must find a hog…" Tokiko actually begins stroking her chin, considering that quite deeply. "Perhaps we might find some nearby… However, it might be quite difficult."

"I will take that into consideration." Shrugging, you glance back at the hole. "We really should tell Mystia. It would help if she was in on the attempt."

Tokiko meets your eyes, but then just shrugs. "Perhaps. However, I will pass along what I deem is necessary. I am unsure whether she has the necessary gumption in order to participate in such an attempt. Especially if it would require her to meet such a foe that prefer a horrid flower such as the geranium. Might break her mind in order to comprehend it."

[ ] I trust Mystia. You should too.
[ ] …Nothing would be hurt by telling her, right?
[ ] Better to just do this, the two of us.
>> No. 26894
[X] …Nothing would be hurt by telling her, right? Well, nothing involving the plan, anyways. You're sure that some form of microscopic life-form will perish in the act of telli- Dear lord, is Tokiko's way of getting side-tracked by the most innane things contagious?
>> No. 26895
[x] Mystia directly defied Wriggle for my sake, knowing the pain she would endure for it. She can be trusted with this. At the very least, it wouldn't hurt: It would still be her call if she wants to risk anything.

Much better than the above rambling vote. It's almost like you forgot Mystia ate a wing (in a sense, almost literally; Ick) to save us.
>> No. 26896
[x] Mystia directly defied Wriggle for my sake, knowing the pain she would endure for it. She can be trusted with this. At the very least, it wouldn't hurt: It would still be her call if she wants to risk anything.

Yeah, I like this one.
>> No. 26897
File 135594702426.jpg - (365.85KB, 644x900, a spoonful of reality?.jpg) [iqdb]
26897
[-q-] Mystia directly defied Wriggle for my sake, knowing the pain she would endure for it. She can be trusted with this. At the very least, it wouldn't hurt: It would still be her call if she wants to risk anything.

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

Narrowing your eyes at the girl, you lean forward and hiss at her. "Listen, Tokiko. Mystia directly defied Wriggle just so that I wool escape relatively unharmed. She knew what was coming, and still she ate her punishment…" Sighing, you look away, wondering if she was even still alive, or if she was reduced to being a tiny sparrow once more. "We can trust her with this."

"Really, now. And what great act did she perform to save your hide? Taking a slap on the wrist so that you wouldn't have to?"

"This really isn't the time for it, Tokiko. Mystia was told to either sing to me, or Wriggle would rip her wings out of her sockets." You note with some grim satisfaction that Tokiko's eyes widen with surprise at your words. "She chose to have her wings ripped out, and actually struck Wriggle…" Shivering, you glance down at your stomach, covering it with your hands as you do. "Who then proceeded to jam one of said wings into her belly."

The ibis is silent for a few seconds as she watches you closely. "Perhaps… Perhaps I was but mistaken a bit. I suppose it does have to occur once upon a while. I am hardly perfect, after all. To assume otherwise would be foolhardy to the highest degree, similar to assuming that no pig can ever fly without the assistance of flatulent powered lifting devices."

"…Sometimes I wonder how much of that is your insanity, or if that's some mask you wear." Shrugging it off, you give her a firm look. "So, you are going to trust the plan with Mystia? If she doesn't want to join, she need not. She needs to have the choice, though. Isn't that the big deal for you, anyway?"

Grumbling slightly, the bird nods, her headwing fluttering over her eyes to cover them. "Yes, yes, I'll share it with her… Maybe she could give me a few pointers on how to swing the farming tool."

"Good." Grinning suddenly, you can't help but resist giving the girl a little dig. "Now, who's the stupid birdie now, hrm?"

"You are. If you had come with me this morning, you would not have put that girl through such misery. Although, it was an effective measure of determining her trustworthiness…" An intrigued look crosses her face as she studies you for a bit longer. "Perhaps there is a bit more cunning in you than I had expected."

"Then you've misjudged me." Turning about, you approach the hole from whence you came. "She is a friend, if I dare to call her as such. Not merely an asset. Perhaps you might dare to learn the difference, if that is all that you can see among us." Giving her one more hard look, you begin to climb down the hole. "After all, you were hardly interested in myself until you figured out that I could read those books. So, in essence, what separates me from Mystia in that regard? I am more useful?"

To her credit, the ibis does not look away. However, she does flinch in the darkness from the words you speak at her. "That is a good portion of it, yes. I can use someone like you. However, when I said I couldn't read that… I meant that I could not understand anything. Wriggle plucked my reading comprehension from my mind just as assuredly as if she had plucked my eyes from my skull with a rusty spoon before feasting on them."

"Which leaves us in the same place. I'm just useful because I am literate, and because I have access to her." Shaking your head, you fold your wings up as best you can before stepping into the hole. Once your legs are completely inside it, you brace yourself and look at the girl. "Can I trust that you'll be there, before it goes too far?"

"…I will. …And stupid birdi— Lucas?" Stopping, you watch the girl as she glances away. "Close relationships are nice to have, but is it worth the sting when they… They fail?"

You tilt your head to the side, before shrugging. "Better. Typically, humans react better to kind words than cold dismissal." Considering that you managed to break through Margatroid's cold exterior, even a little… You have to feel encouraged by your words. The only things worth treating as assets or obstacles are the things truly alien. "And I'd like to think of myself as one of them. Then again… That's not a problem for you, is it?"

Shrugging it off, you slip down into the rock. "I'll see you soon then, Tokiko. Either we'll finish this, or we'll be dead." Once down into the dark of the tunnel, you keep sliding until you reach the floor. Above you, you see a face covered by a red wing look down at you. The ibis opens her mouth for a moment, before shaking her head and pushing the lid back over the entrance.

Trapped in the deep darkness once more, you let out a long-suffering sigh. "Well, what to do now, besides wait?"

[ ] Stay in here, and get some peace and quiet. You can just tell Wriggle that you were bored waiting, and decided to lie in here.
[ ] Go back into the bedroom and rest. Best to be properly healed before she comes back, right?
[ ] Go and look around Wriggle's storages for anything that might be helpful. And clothes. It is a bit drafty.
>> No. 26898
[X] Go and look around Wriggle's storages for anything that might be helpful. And clothes. It is a bit drafty.

Eh, might as well do something while waiting.
>> No. 26899
[X] Go and look around Wriggle's storages for anything that might be helpful. And clothes. It is a bit drafty.

Productivity. And we have a legitimate reason to be there. Not so in her secret tunnels.
>> No. 26900
[X] Go and look around Wriggle's storages for anything that might be helpful. And clothes. It is a bit drafty.
>> No. 26901
[-r-] Go and look around Wriggle's storage for anything that might be helpful. And clothes. It is a bit drafty.

Storages… Heh. I hate it when I do that.

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

Well, the last thing that you want to do is get caught in these tunnels. You do not fancy learning how Wriggle might react to you sneaking around where you should not quite be. So, instead, you crawl through the tunnels as quickly as you can, dragging your naked form over the beaten rock tunnels that surround you.

It doesn't take very longer for you to see the back of the tapestry covered with many colors. Sighing slightly in relief, you edge closer to it, prepared to leap back into the wide room and enjoy the open air. Before you get close, though, you manage to stop yourself. There is the slightest chance that Wriggle could be there, after all. And her spotting you exiting the tunnel would be just as bad as her finding you inside of it.

Peeking out from below its tassels, you let out a small chuckle once you see that there is no one inside the room. "Looks like I got lucky… Better get out of here before anything else happens.

It takes you very little time to do that, leaving you standing around awkwardly in the room. Sitting on the edge of the logs, you wonder if you should just sit here. Such a prospect does not thrill you in the slightest, though. Sitting around in the room waiting until that girl shows up? Hell, you don't know how long that would even be! So, instead, you move into the next room, aiming to find something to do. "Not to mention some clothes… That might be nice."

No more than a few seconds pass as you open the door into the next room, before looking around. "No one is around here… So, it doesn't look too bad. Maybe just nip a few clothes from one of the dressers…" After taking a moment, you realize that there were no clothes in them, and that Wriggle had removed them from one of the chests instead. "Don't want to make that mistake again."

It takes only a few minutes to open one of the chests and dig something out that you can use. While the clothing is quite eclectic, you realize that these are all remnants of what Wriggle's pets have worn in the past… You shiver at the thought of how those others have died, but considering you've already worn those clothes before…

After finding you suitable clothing and a good pair of boots, you idly look at everything surrounding you. "Well, I could go ahead and head back…" Still, though, should you take the chance and search some more?"

[ ] Head back to the room and wait for Wriggle. You want to be prepared.
[ ] Inspect something else in the room.
-[ ] Check the dressers on the right side.
-[ ] Check the dressers on the left side.
-[ ] Check the chests on the right side.
-[ ] Check the chests on the left side.
-[ ] Check the vanities on the right side.
-[ ] Check the vanities on the left side.
[ ] Forget it, and go somewhere else.
>> No. 26902
[X] You would have no knowledge of being reasigned to the bedroom as of yet, so you might as well make use of this so as to leave the room. Use this supposed lack as a get out of jail free card, if need be.
>> No. 26903
[X] Inspect something else in the room.
-[X] Check the chests on the right side.

There's gotta be something in here. Some kind of clue we can use.
>> No. 26904
>>26902

Actually, we got promoted to "bed warmer" if I recall.
>> No. 26905
[x] Inspect something else in the room.
-[x] Check the chests on the right side.
>> No. 26906
>>26904

Except we havent been told this yet. We just woke up after wriggle had used us with no further instructions: So far as he knows, he should return to his normal duties. As long as Tokiko doesn't spoil things by letting slip to wriggle that she'd passed on knowledge of our new role anyway.
>> No. 26907
[-s-] Inspect something else in the room.
-[-s-] Check the chests on the right side.

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

Shrugging your shoulders, you go straight back to the series of chest to your right. "There has to be something in here, isn't there?" Considering that you would have probably missed something, you proceed to dig through each of them in series.

Fortunately, Wriggle doesn't seem to be very fond of folding her own clothes, so you don't need to worry too much about ensuring that there are no wrinkles that might expose your snooping. Shirts and pants are tossed from side to side as you dig around the innards of the various chests.

As you continue to search, you come up with nothing more but additional articles of clothing. Granted, you could start peeling apart the paper that covers the bottom of the chests, but there is nothing that indicates a secret compartment. Knocking your claws on the bottom and sides, you hear no hollow echoes, but only the solid thunk of wood.

"That's a bust… But I suppose that is eliminated. And I don't hear Wriggle yet…" At least on the bright side, you found quite an eclectic collection of socks. Some of which did not even smell.

[ ] Head back to the room and wait for Wriggle. You want to be prepared.
[ ] Inspect something else in the room.
-[ ] Check the dressers on the right side.
-[ ] Check the dressers on the left side.
-[ ] Check the chests on the right side.
-[ ] Check the chests on the left side.
-[ ] Check the vanities on the right side.
-[ ] Check the vanities on the left side.
[ ] Forget it, and go somewhere else.

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

Forgot the strikeout earlier. I would have said something if you picked something you already had searched.
>> No. 26908
[X] Inspect something else in the room.
-[X] Check the vanities on the right side.

Might as well keep looking.
>> No. 26910
[X] Inspect something else in the room.
-[X] Check the vanities on the right side.
>> No. 26911
[-t-] Inspect something else in the room.
-[-t-] Check the chests on the right side.

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

Well, you're not having any luck with checking the chests, so you move on to the next obvious feature in the room. Quickly shuffling over, your wings idly twitching in anticipation of finding something, you walk up to what you at best term a vanity of some sort.

At least, it appeared to be one. The wood on this one was noticeably beaten compared to the dressers, and the frame for where a mirror used to lie was cracked. This one certainly had seen better days. "I suppose this one was probably damaged in one of Wriggle's fight…" Although you couldn't tell just by looking at it, but you could easily imagine a body being thrown into the busted piece of furniture by Wriggle.

Shrugging it off, you begin to pull open the drawers. "Let's see what she has in here…" Once the drawer is open, though, your stomach drops. "Nothing… That's a first. Maybe that means that one of these has something inside." Emboldened by the thought, you begin to pull open each one in turn. The top drawers contain nothing. The ones under them contain nothing. The ones beneath them have nothing in them. And the one long drawer on the bottom also has nothing in it.

"Well dammit. There has to be something in here…" Dropping onto your knees, you look throughout the innards of the drawer. You nearly pull a few of the drawers off of their tracks in order to check and see if there is anything hidden on the inside. The bottom of the top board, the inside of the back and the sides, and the top of the bottom are all searched. Yet… There is nothing… "Nothing at all."

[ ] Head back to the room and wait for Wriggle. You want to be prepared.
[ ] Inspect something else in the room.
-[ ] Check the dressers on the right side.
-[ ] Check the dressers on the left side.
-[ ] Check the chests on the right side.
-[ ] Check the chests on the left side.
-[ ] Check the vanities on the right side.
-[ ] Check the vanities on the left side.
[ ] Forget it, and go somewhere else.
>> No. 26912
For some reason, I feel like Wriggle will be arriving quite soon.

[X] Head back to the room and wait for Wriggle. You want to be prepared.
>> No. 26913
[X] Head back to the room and wait for Wriggle. You want to be prepared.
I agree. We were lucky Wriggle didn't see us doing something that suspicious (and deliberate).
>> No. 26914
File 135607598185.gif - (23.06KB, 310x440, sooner or later i suppose.gif) [iqdb]
26914
[-u-] Head back to the room and wait for Wriggle. You want to be prepared.

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

"Best to just let sleeping murderous insects lie." Standing up, you make sure that every drawer is fastened back in its proper slot, and that there is nothing even one inch out of place. "Not that she'd probably notice, giving her attention span, but who knows?"

Shrugging it off, you glance around the room, wishing you had the chance to do something else. "Well, it's best not to worry about it. Even if there is something down here that could help me, what good would it be at this point in time?" You know you have a plan, just as you know that Wriggle is weak in a few ways. If you can take advantage of that hubris, perhaps you can get out of here in one piece. If you found something now and tried to change everything up, it could all go wrong.

Not that the current plan doesn't have a lot of places that could go wrong as well. However, you would rather do this with some method to the madness instead of succumbing to this. You are no mere beast, after all. You can scheme, you can think, and you are not bound to the myriad emotions that course through you.

So, instead, you turn away from it all. Slipping back through the doorway, your boots sink into the soft moss below them. "Now it is time to play the waiting game… The time to wait for her to come to her prey." The analogy may not be very kind to anything sophisticated left within you, but you are her prey. You merely hope that the others close the noose that encroaches upon the overzealous insect.

"…Alright, maybe I shouldn't think metaphors for any longer. I know what I mean." Sighing, you massage your head as you sit down upon the logs, staring at the door. "Funny. My mind may be able to read that alien script and withstand being turned into a bird, and yet it still hurts when I commit such a linguistic felony."

Leaning your head back, you banish the thoughts from your mind. "Still, just need to wait for her to show up. Which will be any minute now…" Seconds tick by, and you eventually quiet enough that you can hear the whirring of your music box with every breath that you take. The wood that you are sitting on creaks after a few minutes, the old logs thick and sturdy.

Still, she doesn't come. "…Any minute now…" While you can say that you were looking forward to getting this over with, the wait is proving to be quite unnerving. Your eyes begin to dart from side to side, taking in each door in turn. Wooden fingertips and keratin claws tap on the border of the bed as you continue to wait, your feet aimlessly tapping to a nonexistent tune.

After a few more minutes, you realize that you are nearly shaking. "Ok, Lucas, just calm down. We'll get here… We'll distract her, and then everything will be over and done with. There won't be any of… any of that." The thought sends shivers down your spines, and you feel the urge to curl up once again.

However, you manage to hold out. "Alright, just need to know how to play the game. Can't be sniveling… Have to be antagonistic." You feel your claws dig into the board, and you snap your other hand over to hold onto it. "Control the emotions long enough. Dammit, why am I acting like this now? I can't afford to freak out… not now."

Any further reflection is halted as a monster knocks down the door, and you find your mind shrinking at the sight of it. Horrible feelings, it pincers, squeezing your neck, holding you down. The legs gripping your body, bruising your flesh. The hard carapace that pressed against your soft skin, trapping your most private of parts, and squeezes the pain the humiliation you want to throw up you need to throw up.

A few seconds later, you force your mind to understand the monster before you. It is real, it is horrid, but it is Wriggle just as she normally is. There is nothing monstrous except for the twin antennae sprouting from her head. Still, even if you glance at her round face, green eyes shining with mirth at the sight before her, you see nothing but a pair of jaws to hold your head firm as she molests you with everything she could.

Just being in the same room as her makes you feel dirty. Before you can give into your impulses or completely overcome them, the monster speaks at you. "So, it seems that you've been up and about, my pet… Although, you don't need to wear those clothes anymore. You won't need them."

Your hands immediately grab at your shirt, causing Wriggle to laugh at you. "D-don't need to take away, either. Felt cold… Felt exposed…"

"Little pet, don't you know? Everything about you is exposed…" Even as she speaks, she walks closer to you, her eyes boring into yours, the silent laughter nearly drowning out her words. "Everything is mine to take. So, tell me, why did you not lay beneath the blankets and keep them warm for me?"

[ ] "I wanted clothes… And I went to get them." The basics.
[ ] "Those blankets are scratchy… Didn't want to be on them." Lie.
[ ] "Just… Just wanted to look good for Master…" Appeasement.
[ ] "Because cold sheets are awesome." Bluff.
[ ] "I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry…" Apologize.
[ ] "Fuck you." Invectives.
>> No. 26915
[X] "I wanted clothes… And I went to get them." The basics.

Best to stick to the basics.
>> No. 26916
[X] "I wanted clothes… And I went to get them." The basics.

Fundamentals people.
>> No. 26917
>>26915

[x] "You never said I had to stay. I needed clothes (or thought I did), and got them." Defensive.
>> No. 26918
[-v-] "I wanted clothes… And I went to get them." The basics.

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

"I wanted clothes." Shrugging your shoulders, you look away from her and look over the shoulders of the girl. "I felt naked without them. Therefore, I went to get them where I knew I would find them." No need to try and distract yourself or her with tales of what you didn't do. Just keep everything simple, and answer her questions as shortly as you can.

To that point, Wriggle looks slightly disappointed. "Is that all? Nothing more than that?" Sighing, the girl comes even closer, causing each and every one of your feathers to stand on end. "And here I thought I might come across you trying to escape. Wandering out of my rooms and making your way back to the storage… That's where I was waiting."

Now you can't help but wonder what she hoped to achieve by setting up such a scheme. Was she hoping you would screw something up, and would get to punish you? Something seems to tell you that such a thing was exactly what she planned. "I just didn't feel like it… Didn't feel like doing anything after…"

"Oh, don't tell me it is that easy to break you." A warm hand touches your arm, and you immediately recoil away from her. "Just a little persuasion with my body, and your mind falls apart?" Taking another step forward, she grabs your other arm, and you immediately try to pull it away. "Acting like a scared little animal, aren't you?"

Looking back in those horrible eyes, you do your best to pull it out. "I am no animal. You are the one, not me…"

"I am? Then why are you trying to resist me? Why do you act like something so weak, shrinking away? I imagine that if I tried to tell you to do anything, you'd perform it without question." An evil grin grows across her face as she places a hand on your chest. "Now, sit down."

Your mind tells you to ignore her, to prove her wrong. However, your subconscious wants nothing to do with her. Retreating from her, you fall back on the bed, and you immediately begin to crawl back. "You…" However, words fail you as she breaks out in laughter, and you merely settle for fixing her with a scowl.

"Oh dear, and here I thought you would be fun… Maybe I underestimated you." Strolling around her bed, she continues to smile at you. "I do wonder, though, why you haven't done anything. Such an unruly pet you have been this entire time. Do you mean to imply that you stayed in here the entire time, waiting for me to return? How… boring."

Even though you dearly wish to cause her to lose any interest in further trying to assault you, you need to have her do that in order for the plan to go through. So, with great reluctance, you force yourself to move towards Wriggle, answering her question.

[ ] "I was. Just patiently waiting for my Master, once dressed."
[ ] "I left earlier, but I couldn't find anyone, so I came back here…"
[ ] "I found Tokiko and talked to her, but she convinced me to come back."
[ ] "I found Mystia and talked to her, but she convinced me to come back."
[ ] "I went back down to search for the nectar… But I couldn't manage to reach it."

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

Remember your objective here, everyone.
>> No. 26919
So, distract her?
>> No. 26920
>>26919
That sounds like it would indeed be optimal.
>> No. 26921
To be honest, I don't really know which choice would satisfy her AND keep the others out of trouble as well as throw any suspicion off of them.

Wait, that gives me an idea...

[x] I went looking for Mystia to check on her, but couldn't find her before coming back.

Looking for Mystia would be completely in character for us: A touch of defiance she expects, but nothing overtly so that would upset her.
>> No. 26922
[x] I went looking for Mystia to check on her, but couldn't find her before coming back.

I'm just worried that she'll be able to sense that Lucas met Tokiko.
>> No. 26923
[x] I went looking for Mystia to check on her, but couldn't find her before coming back.
>> No. 26925
File 135632611232.jpg - (89.91KB, 750x633, you are starting to make me wonder.jpg) [iqdb]
26925
[-w-] "I went looking for Mystia to check on her, but couldn't find her before coming back."

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

"Simple. I… I went searching for Mystia." You hear a low chitter echo across the room as you do explain yourself, and your foe your eyes to meet hers. "I searched everywhere I could, but I was unable to find her, no matter where I went."

"Now, did you do such a thing?" Grinning widely, Wriggle moves closer to you. "I wonder if you had. That would be such a thing to try and distract me. Not wanting to admit how you wanted to stay down here, waiting for me to come and join you?"

Gulping, you automatically back away from her. "I did go up there!" Eyes darting around, you do your best to make something up off the top of your head. "Well, I know that she wasn't in any of the rooms near the depository. She wasn't in the dark room or the dining room or the kitchen… I figured it was enough, so it was best to get back down here…"

Wriggle stares at you for a moment, her green eyes piercing into your soul. "So you say. So you say. But why are you so scared…?" You just wait as she continues to study you, and one hand creeps up to grab your cheek. Her smile widens as you recoil from her again, but she grips you tightly enough that you can't pull away. "Just recoiling from my presence? Pity… I thought you would prefer to be with me now…"

"Considering that you just want to torment me? That's about the last thing I would want to be…" You twitch as she leans close enough that her antennae lightly twitch over your forehead, lightly tickling you. "And what are you planning to do?"

The monster just laughs softly in your face. "What do you think? I've got you in a perfect position. You may not be as lovely a number as Aya was, and even Hatate's face was fairer than yours, but it is plenty enough for me. Your reaction is good enough…" Still, she does trail off as she stares at you. "I'm just am utterly confused as to why you've resisted so long. Am I not a wonderful Master for you?"

Glaring back at her, you can't help but wonder where she is going with that. "Well, considering that you enjoy tormenting those that are merely doing their best to survive? What you did to Mystia… Not to mention what you've done to the others and myself."

Wriggle actually manages to pout as she continues to examine you. "You know that bad pets like you must be punished… Why can't you all simply understand that, and listen to your Master when I want you to?"

A sigh passes your lips as you close your eyes, no longer wishing to have to look at her. "You keep assuming that we are mere animals. You force us to serve you because you enjoy watching us crawl around in the dirt, begging for the slightest amount of leniency from you."

The hand around your face clenches harder and harder until you open your eyes once more. "That is what your kind are worth. You had no life before, when I brought you here. By doing this, I have given you purpose. This is what you will do for the rest of your life… So why do you resist?"

"…I don't understand this about you, Wriggle. You seem to say at some times that I should do what you say, and at other times you revel in when I disobey you. You're so inconsistent. How can I know what to do? What can I do, when whatever I could do seems destined to inconvenience or offend you in some manner or form?"

Green eyes stare at you, unsure how to answer. "Because I don't understand why you are so resistant! Her pets were completely compliant, never bothering to say a word. I try to do that here. Even then, though…" Her eyes trail off and look above you as she pulls away. "That damned sparrow was compliant, but she always ran away. I couldn't stand the sight of it. Why does she hate me so?"

"How many times have you hit her, Wriggle?" You can't help but to relax just a little bit as she leans away from you, and your breath comes out just a little bit more easily. "How many times have you injured her? Even an animal wouldn't react well to such a thing."

"It is not her position to question! She should know better than to do such a thing." Growling softly, her eyes finally snap down as they burn brightly. "You shouldn't either. Just accept. It will be so much easier if you mere do as pets did…"

You feel a hand grab your neck, with Wriggle applying pressure gently. At the very least, she allows you to breathe yet, so at the least she is not quite aiming to kill you. "So, little pet, if I am so terrible, would you at least act like it? Where are the screams now? Why have you stopped struggling to get away?"

"Why should I?" You shake your head as the girl continues to watch you. "You can overpower me easily, so it's hardly like I could force myself away. Not to mention you can easily control my mind, and send me into that… that…" You can hardly speak what had happened, instead putting it to the side. "I don't have a choice. So there is no point in resisting."

"But there is no point in acting either, is there?" The girl almost seems defeated for a second. "Very well. I will just take what I can get, and see if I can get, then. At least when I had my excretions in your brain, you were hardly a dead fish. Much more interesting than that damn crow…"

"Shaking your head, you look back at the girl. "You know, this whole thing is a travesty." Even as you begin to see her face change, and your skin begins to crawl, you try to think of what to do or say.

[ ] Comment on how lonely it must be, for her to not have any that think like her.
[ ] Wonder on how it must feel for one weak to emulate those that are strong, and fail so miserably at the same time.
[ ] Just lie back and think of England the others. They will be here soon.
[ ] Actively engage her, as disgusting as the thought is. If she is thoroughly distracted, they will have a clean shot.

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

Well, that took a lot longer than I expected. I suppose everyone is busy this time of year. Will try and get at least one more out tomorrow, so you have something to read in the upcoming hubbub.
>> No. 26927
(X) Comment ....
>> No. 26928
[x] Comment on how hypocritical she is being. Were she in our place, she would hardly expect to submit so easily. Were one born as a pet, perhaps they might behave as she supposed. Each of her current "pets", however, have had their own lives before; meager as she would believe them to be, these lives were their own, and not for others to take.

I may not have it perfectly, but I'm getting this vote in so that >>26926 doesn't win. The lack of resistance can be more suspicious than resistance itself. Also, futile as it might be, maybe we can make her see some semblance of reason.
>> No. 26929
[X] Say that in that case, you'll show her how a pet would act if only she were nicer. Actively engage her, as disgusting as the thought is. If she is thoroughly distracted, they will have a clean shot.
>> No. 26930
Actively engaging her would beg the question: why is he suddenly scared, or why is he doing this depending on whether Wriggle thinks it's involuntary or intentional. We don't want Wriggle asking questions to herself. Out of the "comment" options, the write-in is more in-line with our style, we might have an easier and more predictable time there.

[x] Comment on how hypocritical she is being. Were she in our place, she would hardly expect to submit so easily. Were one born as a pet, perhaps they might behave as she supposed. Each of her current "pets", however, have had their own lives before; meager as she would believe them to be, these lives were their own, and not for others to take.
>> No. 26942
File 135641725676.jpg - (815.62KB, 800x1000, creepy enough for you?.jpg) [iqdb]
26942
[-x-] Comment on how hypocritical she is being. Were she in our place, she would hardly expect to submit so easily. Were one born as a pet, perhaps they might behave as she supposed. Each of her current "pets", however, have had their own lives before; meager as she would believe them to be, these lives were their own, and not for others to take.

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

Well, not that you'll ever willingly go into that monster's arms. Not the way that she is acting, and not likely in a million years more. Still, the girl seems determined to do something with you in order to sate her wounded pride. So instead of giving in or just letting you have your way, you open your mouth to shoot a few defiant words at her. "You are aware of how much of a hypocrite that you're being right now. Right?"

Green eyes blaze as she chitters her teeth, the mandibles starting to spring out wide from her face. "What is that, pet? Are you trying to anger me once again?"

"Hardly insinuating. I'm merely pointing out a fact. If it injures your pride so much to anger you, you have even thinner skin than I thought." You automatically shiver as a hairy carapace of an arm snakes around you, squeezing tight. "Would you do the same if it were you that was forced to be the pet of another?"

That statement is enough to rile her temper, causing her to rare back. "I'd do whatever I could to get out! Who would dare try to take me as a little pet… That wouldn't be possible. I would never allow such a thing to happen!"

"That still doesn't tell me what you would do if you were in my position." Sighing, you try and push the girl away, actually succeeding ever so slightly. "You're just avoiding the question."

"I don't have to tell you anything!" Slamming you back down on the bed, her hands shift to grab your head, fixing it so that you have no choice but to stare at her. "Stupid pet. Who do you think you are? You're just supposed to do what I say, not the other way around!"

"Then why do you let me get away with avoiding what you say, if it merely amuses you?" Snorting, you accept her silent challenge and stare those burning eyes down. "I'm just asking you a simple question Wriggle. It is one that you are quite capable of answering… Just tell me, what would you do, Master?"

She snarls in your face, but still her own expression falls. "I would kill whomever stood in my way and escape my confinement. But you misunderstand something, pet. I am a proper Youkai… I am majestic. I am beautiful. I am strong… You are just a stupid little human with wings."

"Right. Because what you did counts as keeping us human." Sighing greatly, you pointedly look away. "I don't know what I am anymore, but I do know that I am still myself. I have not lost my personality, even though my body has been twisted beyond recognition." Finally, you look back at her. "Most of it by your hand, Wriggle. Either by force or by fiat… You've done this all to me."

"And you prefer yourself the way you were before? At least now, you have some redeeming features, pet…" Turning her head, she glares at the wooden hand on the end of your left arm. "Even though there have been some setbacks otherwise."

"That is my fault there. Although, I do enjoy the capacity to manipulate objects without stabbing or crushing what I am handling." The girl merely glares harder in return. "It is all you, though. You can change the body, but you cannot change the mind."

"…So I cannot." Clucking her tongue, she softly chitters once more and leans closer to you, eliminating the space that you had created between your bodies. "Even I couldn't tempt you with the nectar… Pity. You'd probably try to usurp me if you took a drink, so it'd probably be for the best." Snapping her teeth, she begins to shift again. "However, I am going to go ahead and have my fun right now. Physical persuasion may work where gentle arguments have not yet."

Well, you could hardly call being clobbered and watching others be ripped apart gentle in the slightest, but Wriggle seems to have a way of thinking beyond your own. Lowering her head onto your neck, you feel mandibles reach around and grip the skin a bit firmer than probably would be safe. Small torrents of blood begin to pour down your neck as she begins to suck something out of you.

Vaguely, you can make out something over her shoulder. There is a glint of metal flashing in the light that comes from nowhere. You know what it is, but you prevent yourself from relaxing. Wriggle would probably feel suspicious if you began to enjoy it without those odd chemicals being secreted into your head.

Right?

[ ] Stay still, and trust in her aim. Even if your bodies are entangled, it's best to not let Wriggle have a chance to react.
[ ] Lean back, giving her a clean target. That way, she won't have to worry about hitting you.
[ ] Warn Wriggle. You think that there is something in there that you can still redeem… If only you have more time.
>> No. 26943
[ ] Stay still, and trust in her aim. Even if your bodies are entangled, it's best to not let Wriggle have a chance to react.

Because while Wriggle may be redeemable on some level, it's doubtful that we'd ever be able to do it now. Not when the plan's already in motion. It'd mean Tokiko getting killed.

At this point, we need to realize that we can't save everything, or everyone. We can't save Wriggle and Tokiko, both, at this point- not without doing something spectacular.

And besides, she did kind of do horrible things to so many people thus far. And if everything goes as planned, maybe we should say something later about how we're doing exactly as she is.

And that a human mind, a good deal of planning, and a bit of good fortune and willpower can be as beautiful and powerful as any Youkai on her level.
>> No. 26944
[x] Lean back, giving her a clean target. That way, she won't have to worry about hitting you.

As long as she sees us as beneath her, nothing will change. We also can't risk our allies hesitating: The first strike is the most important. Time for a little (hopefully) poetic justice.
>> No. 26945
And also what >>26943 said, although I hold by my vote about removing hesitation from the equation.
>> No. 26947
[x] Lean back, giving her a clean target. That way, she won't have to worry about hitting you. Cower while you do so, so as to make it seem as if you are doing so out of fear of what she's... doing.
>> No. 26949
[X] Stay still, and trust in her aim. Even if your bodies are entangled, it's best to not let Wriggle have a chance to react.

I get the feeling this will all go horribly wrong.
>> No. 26950
[X] Stay still, and trust in her aim. Even if your bodies are entangled, it's best to not let Wriggle have a chance to react.

Wriggle seems pained by our mechanical voice... if things go south, can we use that to stun her?
>> No. 26951
If we stay put:
-least chance of Wriggle noticing
-a clean shot might not be possible
-Tokiko might take the shot anyways and kill us both (with the highest degree of certainty out of all cases)
-She might hesitate or take a non-lethal swing. Wriggle would be wounded but alive.

We lean back:
-Wriggle notices Tokiko as she approaches and stops her cold. Would it be possible to use our scream at that moment? I don't know what effect it would have on Tokiko, but it'd be worth a shot.

Those things aside with a scythe, I think Tokiko could get a clean hit off if we stayed still. However, if we are right below Wriggle, she couldn't swing the scythe vertically overhead. A round slicing swing would be the only option. That would lower the lethalness (that scythe sounded large enough to benefit from such a maneuver).

Wait, reread. Tokiko is right there. Damn. Let us stay put. If we die with Wriggle, then the two of them go free. Getting a non-lethal but serious blow on Wriggle is preferable to risking her noticing before suffering any damage. Furthermore, if we stay still, this communicates our intentions better to Tokiko ie. lower risk of miscommunication.

[X] Stay still, and trust in her aim. Even if your bodies are entangled, it's best to not let Wriggle have a chance to react.
>> No. 26952
>>26951 here
adding to my vote
[x] Scream right after the first blow lands

Use everything at our disposal.
>> No. 26953
>>26944 here. The thing is, Tokiko and/or Mystia are behind Wriggle: She'd have to actually turn around to notice them. I don't really think that leaning away, particularly in the context >>26947 proposes, will give Wriggle any reason to turn. The first strike, however, MUST be as damaging as possible: We don't know if we'll get a chance for a second if the first blow isn't doing enough damage due to holding back, given how she shrugged off a knife to the heart.

The idea about using the voice to attack wriggle is a good one, but consider from >>26593 that Mystia and Tokiko mught also be affected by it. I'd like to ammend it as follows and append that to my above vote:

[x] If Wriggle seems to be getting the upper hand in the fight, scream using the mechanical voice to throw her off balance.

Doing so indiscriminately could cause friendly fire incidents, and we don't wanna take out our allies if we have the upper hand.
>> No. 26954
>>26953
My thought or hope is that the voice, having a stunning effect, will have less effect on Tokiko, who is pre-focused on an objective, than Wriggle, who is trying to parse the situation and should be experiencing sensory overload. If we wait to judge the situation, it probably will be too late. Wriggle has already shown that she can act in spite of the effects once the surprise wears off.
>> No. 26957
File 135649794196.jpg - (470.03KB, 1000x1399, ding dong.jpg) [iqdb]
26957
[-y-] Stay still, and trust in her aim. Even if your bodies are entangled, it's best to not let Wriggle have a chance to react.

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

Best to stay nice and calm. What's done will be done soon enough, and there's no chance of you stopping it. Even if she misses with the blade and takes your life as well, you know that you will be content, as they will be free as the wind itself. That is one sacrifice that you can accept. So even as you feel yourself being drained further and further, feelers violating your body and causing your very skin to crawl, you smile gently as you close your eyes.

The wait for action was not long at all.

Sound rather than sight is what clues you into the attack that is starting. The wet chop of metal meeting flesh, easily slicing through it as if it were but melted marmalade, rings in your ears as the monster still. Warm blood splatters over your face as the blade passes in front of you, its wicked edge shining brightly, even through the blood.

Looking down, you see that your neck and chest are now covered with blood. The thick liquid has already begun to sink inside of it, leaving your shirt drenched and turning darker by the minute. You can hardly breathe as the still air in the room grows heavier and heavier.

The silence is shattered when you feel the weight pressing into your neck slowly shift away. The green hair of the girl begins to roll to your left, the head to which it is attached sliding off of its neck and to the left. You barely manage to clench your eyes when you see blood spurting out from the arteries in her severed neck.

Still you are speechless as the blood covers your face, as you dare not try and breathe through the thick liquid. At the same time, you dare not move, as you are afraid that such an attack was unable to do true and lasting damage to the girl. If she can shrug off a knife to the heart, you cannot be sure that even decapitation is enough to stop her.

Even if you are afraid to move, it does not mean that others are yet still. The body that is on top of you suddenly moves, and your heart jumps into your throat. It soon is evident enough that the body of the monster is not moving on its own. Rather, it is being drug off of the bed, leaving you facing a sparrow with purple eyes. "It doesn't look too bad. Odd blade on this one, but it isn't too odd. Be glad that Tokiko decided to let me use it. Otherwise, you might be missing part of a lung, Lucas."

A huff echoes across the room, as a three-winged ibis appears next to the sparrow. "Poppycock, I do declare. Just because I am not a semiliterate podunk of a girl who knows more about tending to food and crops than the better things in life…"

"And this semiliterate girl also was able to use a scythe that is much larger than what I am used to perform such a job. You nearly cut your own wing off earlier, swinging it about as you were…" Mystia shivers at the memory, and you cannot help but to cringe along with her. "…Good thing you actually asked me to come. Now, how about we get him off, so he's not lying in a pool of blood?"

"Of course. Why did you have to distract me with the simple drudgery of arguing with a lesser intellect?" Huffing, the girl reaches down with one clawed hand, clasping your own. On the other side, Mystia reaches down and grabs your wooden hand, and they both haul you to your feet.

Thankful to reach solid ground once more, you back away from the bed, staring at the body. "…Thanks, but are we sure that she is dead? That seems much too easy."

"Perhaps. However, such a conundrum can easily be addressed by the repeated application of pointy objects." Holding her hand out, Tokiko motions for the scythe again. The sparrow does not even attempt to relinquish it, instead gripping the scythe even more tightly. "Mystia, please, hand me the scythe. I would like to stab the clicking head of our master somewhere between the eyebrows and her leftmost nostril hair."

"…Right." Rolling her eyes, Mystia shakes her head. "And are you going to go cackling with glee once it is in your hands again, waving it wildly as you trash those that you pretend are her?"

"…Maybe…" Tokiko cannot meet the sparrow's eyes, but starts to explain exactly why she should be allowed to do as she pleases. "Consider, however, that laughter is extremely soothing to the one performing the act, as being in a good mood both improves one's well-being and—"

The scythe that is held in front of her face cuts off the ibis. "Take it. I've had enough of your poppycock." A faint smirk graces her face as she watches Tokiko's reaction. Unable to turn Mystia's offer down without saving face, the ibis grabs the scythe and twirls it in the air.

You don't even react as you hear a wet thunk moments later. You do react, though, as the body of Wriggle lurches upwards on its own, facing towards the head that is skewered on the end of the stick. Ignoring you and Mystia, it begins trotting towards Tokiko, its skin crawling as the flapping remnants of its neck begin to shift.

Something black and slimy begins to grow out of the top of the girl's neck, the familiar carapace of its insectan arms rapidly emerging from within. "Crap… Seems like it isn't gonna be easy." Ignoring the quick glance from Mystia, you leap forward, doing your best to grab the arms and pin them down, not allowing the carcass of your master to attack Tokiko.

However, you are easily flung away by the strength that Wriggle has always possessed. Slamming against the wall, you groan as your back protests in pain from the abuse. You can do little more but to look up as the corpse bum-rushes her, preparing to impact the ibis with flailing arms aplenty.

Tokiko does have the presence of mind to register the fact that a corpse is attacking her. Halting her desecration of Wriggle's skull, she wildly swings the scythe at the corpse, easily slicing through the middle. Wriggle's head goes flying as her carcass is bisected, the top being completely severed from the bottom.

"No, it isn't going to be that easy…" Running forward, Mystia pulls out a rather familiar knife before kneeling before the upper body. "I've had to do this way too often…" The knife easily slices into the shoulder of the girl, but Mystia begins to grunt as she saws down into the hard bone underneath. It holds up for a few dozen seconds, but it too gives way to the iron knife. Not moments after, the left arm of the corpse falls away, flopping onto the ground.

She quickly gets to work on the rest of the body. The pain having died down, you begin to approach the mess again, staring futilely with Tokiko as Mystia dismembers her corpse. "What are we going to do about this? If she's already healing that fast, there's not much that we can do to prevent her from recovering."

"I would not call it healing. Such a word implies that she is returning to her previous state. Instead, she looks rather better than she did previously. Draining all the blood does wonders for her complexion."

Snorting softly, you kneel beside Mystia, who begins to speak without prompt. "We just need to… Need to do something to destroy her as thoroughly as we can. Maybe then can we finish this… Finally finish this for good." As she speaks, you watch as the detached limbs begin to crawl too each other. Fortunately, there twitching is much more hesitant than the earlier attempt by the carcass at revenge.

[ ] What do you do with the (still moving) body?

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

I was worried there for a second. I wondered if I should have reminded anyone that Elly's blade is reversed. I'm sure that you all did remember that, though.
>> No. 26959
We kill her like we kill a vampire.

[x] Remove the heart, cut off the head, draw and quarter the body, salt the wounds, burn the wounds, then set the whole thing on fire. Place the ashes in three different jugs, set the jugs on fire again, and then bury them at three different crossroads.

[x] Or, if failing that, dismember, drain her blood completely, and then set her on fire. The stove in the kitchen should suffice.
>> No. 26960
[x] >>26959, but with a few additions:

[x]Attempt to drown the body parts as well. (probably won't work, but, eh, what the heck, right?)
[x]If possible, when burning the body, chip off part of the scythe blade, or failing that, toss the knife in. Hopefully melting down the blade and mixing it with her remains will hurt her.
[x] While you do whatever you need to do, CALL FOR MARGATROID through the dolls. If anyone here knows how to keep one of those things down, it's her.
[x]Giant can of bug spray
>> No. 26961
We should also start thinking of what to ask, as the next update is the [Z] update.
>> No. 26962
Oh, are we going the crazy-paranoid adventurer route for this? In that case, I'd like to add some things to the combined votes:
[X] Work quickly. There's no telling when Wriggle will revive.
[X] Make sure you have proper protective gear, including gloves, goggles, waterproof or otherwise disposable clothing and breathing apparatus.
[X] Heat knife until partially melted.
[X] Dissect the body
-[X] Remove the heart, cut off the head, draw and quarter the body.
--[X] Bleed out all her blood, evaporate and burn the blood, wash with the most corrosive liquid you can find in a silver container, repeat evaporation, toss container with burnt remnants into a fire, heat until the container melts, mix in some of the partially-melted knife-metal, mix, allow to cool, break cooled metal in halves (or more if possible), then prepare to bury at different locations under different conditions.
--[X] (Simultaneously to the body) Salt the wounds, burn the wounds, strip off and dice all the flesh, grind the diced flesh and the bones into dust, dissolve in corrosive liquid, evaporate, scrape off the residue, toss the container with the residue that could not be scraped off into the fire, then set the remaining residue on fire. Place the ashes in three different jars with some of the partially-melted knife metal mixed in, individually set each of the jars on fire again, place remains in silver containers filled and mixed with corrosive liquid and partially melted knife-metal, melt the lids so the containers are sealed shut and then prepare to bury them at three different crossroads.
[x] While you do whatever you need to do, call for Margatroid through the dolls. If anyone here knows how to keep one of those things down, it's her. Hopefully she'll be able to spot any steps you've missed out, and if you're doing it completely wrongly, hopefully your current measures will hold her long enough for Margatroid to arrive with reinforcements.

You can never be too careful. Personally, I feel even this is somewhat insufficient, though I can't pin down anything else we should do.
>> No. 26963
>>26960 Here. I also forgot this:

[x] Tell Tokiko about that flower, and what Wriggle was doing with it. Particularly the part about eating the nectar. It might be linked to her ability to, er, pull herself together.
>> No. 26964
>>26962
This + burn her wicked garden down.
>> No. 26965
As it is valid...

Burn down her secret wicked garden?
-[ ] Yes
-[ ] No
>> No. 26966
>>26965

Tough choice. Could the souls within be saved? Is it possible to hold off this choice until we can talk things over with Tokiko, and maybe Margatroid if she gets here fast enough?
>> No. 26967
>>26966
Of course. I just thought it would be noteworthy to point out, as it is a choice you will have to make, sooner or later.
>> No. 26969
File 135658140748.jpg - (83.86KB, 550x745, welp what now.jpg) [iqdb]
26969
[-z-] Remove the heart, cut off the head, draw and quarter the body, salt the wounds, burn the wounds, then set the whole thing on fire. Place the ashes in three different jugs, set the jugs on fire again, and then bury them at three different crossroads.
[-z-] Or, if failing that, dismember, drain her blood completely, and then set her on fire. The stove in the kitchen should suffice.
[-z-] Melt iron from the blade or scythe and merge with the ashes
[-z-] While you do whatever you need to do, call for Margatroid through the dolls. If anyone here knows how to keep one of those things down, it's her. Hopefully she'll be able to spot any steps you've missed out, and if you're doing it completely wrongly, hopefully your current measures will hold her long enough for Margatroid to arrive with reinforcements.

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

First things first. You need to do as much as you can to ensure that the body does not get a chance to recombine. "It's not regenerating nearly as fast as it was earlier. Or at least, it's not twitching as much. The smaller that we cut it, the longer we have to make sure that it's damaged."

"Inaccurate. We can only cut her so many times. We would have to take turns in defiling her corpse in order to ensure that it isn't allowed to restore itself. Far be it for me to revel in such an action for too long." Tokiko looks at you, shooting a wicked grin. "I would make sure to limit myself to an hourly quota of evil laughter."

"Hush." Rolling your eyes, you look at Wriggle's quivering remains again. "But she does have a point. We need to get out of here. We can't do that if we have to continue chopping Wriggle up." Rubbing your chin, you snap your fingers together, failing to make any actual noise. "Think we could burn her?"

Beside you, Mystia slowly nods. "That could work… Come on. Let's get her up to the kitchen." Reaching down, she picks up a few of Wriggle's wriggling limbs before heading towards the door. Tokiko takes the head and one of the legs, leaving you to take the body.

Pointedly looking away from her wounds or the exposed flesh of the one who called herself your Master, you follow Mystia and Tokiko up the halls for what is hopefully the last time. "So, what else should we do about this? Anything else to make sure she is dead?"

Mystia shrugs, glancing back at you for a second before answering. "No idea. Maybe we could salt the wounds, and make sure they are burned completely? If she's ash, she can't come back." Sighing, she shakes her head. "I don't know how you keep one of these Youkai dead."

"One way is to just eat them." You shiver as your memories flash back to the flower that grew underneath Wriggle's chambers. "But even then, they grow back in some other form. Something that could possibly be even more alien…"

Tokiko's eyes immediately flash as she stares at you. At the same time, Mystia also raises an eyebrow, curious as to what you mean. "You know more than you say, Lucas. Did you see something down there that caused you to experience insanity? Dementia? Possibly diarrhea?"

"No… But it was something crazy." Shivering, you decide to explain as you keep walking. Before you can speak, you spot Wriggle's head in Tokiko's arms. The eyes still have a spark of life, and they stare at you. She knows that you betrayed her… She knows what they all did to her. Mouthing something with pale lips, the head tries today something. However, you cannot help to watch it, and instead turn away. "Can you please hide the head, Tokiko? That's starting to bother me."

The ibis shoots you an odd look, before doing as you ask. Once it is clear, you finally begin to speak. "Down below Wriggle's room… She had a chamber where she kept the source of her power." Gulping, you shake your head. "There was once a Youkai that lived here, before Wriggle. At least, she lived somewhere nearby. Wriggle attacked her when she had the chance, and managed to kill all her pets and consume her."

For her part, Mystia manages to wince. Tokiko hardly reacts to the statement. "Interesting. Have wondered why she maintained such a large number of books and other various collected stores, when she obviously had no care for any of it."

"It wasn't hers. None of it was." Shivering again, the three of you pass into the dark room, and you slow down in order to make your way through the rubble. "However… Mystia, do you remember the flower?" The girl freezes for a second before moving once again. "Exactly… I think I found the root of the flower. Or at least, the Youkai that lived here before was eaten by Wriggle, shat out, and grew into the flower that is here."

The sparrow seems incapable speaking once entering the brighter room of the dining hall. Her mouth opens and closes randomly, and eventually she just shuts her mouth and face forward. Tokiko, however, has no compunctions of inquiring. "What flower is this that you speak of? Did you go and manage to pick something and hand them to the sparrow, angering Wriggle more?"

"No, Tokiko." Sighing, you shoot her another look. "We found the sunflower. I am sure you know what that means."

The ibis' eyes widen, before nodding slowly. "Yes… Yes, I do." At least she seems to realize what that means. You don't get the chance to continue explaining, though, until you arrive at the kitchen.

Once inside, Mystia dumps the limbs that she carries to the side, before hustling over to the fire pits. Kneeling down beside the nearest one, she begins to work the little magic that she knows. "So, are we even sure that this will work? I don't want to face her again… Who knows what kind of things she will do to hurt us…" The girl’s wings begin to twitch as she works harder, her concentration faltering.

Dumping your own grisly cargo to the side, you walk over to her and grab her quivering shoulder. "Don't worry… That's why we're doing this. We'll do the most to make sure that she doesn't come back."

"I hope so." The small voice that replies is enough to tell you that she doesn't quite trust that such a thing will come to pass. Considering what you've seen, it is quite obvious that the Youkai healing herself is not out of the question. "If only we knew somehow to make sure she stays down."

"…I think I know someone that knows, that's for sure." Suddenly turning to the door, you brush by the other two. "Get the fire going and do your best to cut her up. I'm going to call for someone who might be able to help."

Both of the birds turn back to look at you. The red headwing of the ibis flickers back and forth as she speaks. "Someone else? I hope you're not talking about Okuu. She is the only one that is yet alive in this dungeon."

"…No she is not. And you have to remember, I know a few besides us that have wings." Raising your wooden hand, you make a point of tapping your throat. "There are some others that are in our situation, too. But since I don't know how you'll react to the voice…"

"Best not to risk impairing us, I understand." Nodding to him, she turns about. "However, perhaps you can let myself hear the full tenor of your voice later on. In that case, I might be able to see the secrets that I yet am unable to discern from the universal weave."

Mystia rolls her eyes as she turns back to her work. "Whatever you say, Ibis. Just be… be careful, Lucas. I don't know if we can trust her."

"I do. If we can't… well, best to know straight up." Sighing to yourself, you duck out of the room, closing the door behind you. "Now, how do I do this again…"

Concentrating your mind, you feel for the metal that is in your throat. It has been quite a while since you've done as such, especially in a situation that you need not use it. However, the feeling of gears grinding begins to remind you, and you feel something click inside your head. As the metal strips plink every point on the brass drum, it comes out of your mouth, echoing over the room. "Ḿarg̡at͢r͘o͘i̷d̡, ca̡ń ̕ỳou ̸hea̵r me?͘ ̢I͡ nee̛d͏ ͢yơu to̧ ҉c̀ơm͞è.̷"

There is no initial response that you hear coming over the air. The dining hall is still as flames flicker in the braziers surrounding you, casting shadows over the walls. You eye each and every one of them, fully expecting something to come out and attack you when you least expect it.

After a few minutes, you hear a small voice in your head. "Margatroid is busy right now, friend. Do you really need her there? …I think I can manage to get away, if you need anything."

[ ] Amsterdam, I take it? Is Margatroid still angry with us, then?
[ ] Tell her she needs to come now. Wriggle has been… disposed of.
[ ] You can come. We just need some help with a little problem.
[ ] (insert your own)
>> No. 26970
[x] Tell her she needs to come now. Wriggle has been… disposed of.
Let's get down to business, err... chop chop.

Regarding author's reply near the start of this thread:
>>>>26841
Again with assuming… Whose house did Wriggle attack again?

Honestly, I have no idea what the author referring to. Wriggle ate out *Margatroid* out of a house, right? The reasoning back there was that Margatroid would be pissed off that we "shouted" at Wriggle and caused that.

Optimistically her ire towards Wriggle supersedes any annoyances towards us. We could really use her advice right now on how to ensure Wriggle stays dead, and about the giant plant.
>> No. 26972
[ ] Amsterdam? I'm glad to hear you're alright. Wriggle mentioned that she'd done something to the house. Is Margatroid still angry with us, then?
[ ] We need her help. Wriggle is... Probably dead, and we need to know how to finish it. I know that sounds awful, but the things she's done couldn't just be overlooked.
>> No. 26973
[x] Amsterdam? I'm glad to hear you're alright. Wriggle mentioned that she'd done something to the house. Is Margatroid angry with us?
[X] We need her help. It's important. We've tried to kill Wriggle, and succeeded somewhat... but we need to make sure she stays dead. Could you do what you could to get her attention? If Margatroid really can't make it over, can you help us relay messages instead about how to make sure she stays down?
>> No. 26974
>>26970
The thing is, is Margatroid truly the Master of her own abode?
>> No. 26975
[-a-] Amsterdam? I'm glad to hear you're alright. Wriggle mentioned that she'd done something to the house. Is Margatroid still angry with us, then?
[-a-] We need her help. Wriggle is... Probably dead, and we need to know how to finish it. I know that sounds awful, but the things she's done couldn't just be overlooked.

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

Sighing in relief at receiving a response, you idly nod even though you know that she cannot see you. Still, though, you can't help but begin with the pleasantries. "Am̶s͞t̡e͜rd̛am̴? I'm͝ ̡g͟l̀a̕d t̡o̸ hea̷r thát y͘o̷u̴'͝re͏ ̴alri͟g͏ht̀.͜ ҉I had͜ b͜e͘en wo͘r͏ri͜ęd͏…̕" Breaking off, you wait for any reply that she may have. Receiving none, you continue to speak to her. "W̧rigg̸le had̶ ̨me̵n̡ţi҉o͠neḑ t͡ha͞t sh͡e h̷ad ̨d́one͜ s͜o͘m͞et͢hi͜ng̸ ͡to ̀th̢e̴ hous̴e.̧ …̶Ar͞é y͝o͠u͡ o͡k?҉ I̸s̡ ̵Mar̨gatr͟oid sti̷l͘l angr̴y͡ ̕w̷i̛th̛ ͘uś, t̸he͠n̴?̀"

There is another pause as you wait for an answer to drift back from the doll. "We are fine… The dolls are fine. Margatroid isn't any more annoyed than usual, but Master…" The voice trails off before speaking again, the quiet alto barely reaching the depths of your mind. "She has decided to have her retribution for someone destroying her house and getting her favorite skirts wet. Oh, and her cookies were burnt in the mayhem."

"…Ŕi̕g̕ht͟.̵ ͘We̵ ̛ar̀e͏ de͟al̀i͝n͢g̷ w͘ith͟ a̢ ͟ch͢i̷ldl͏ike ̴Y̴o͏u͘k̢a̛i." Rubbing your head carefully, you can't help but wonder if it would be easier or harder to deal with one like Tokiko instead. "W͢h̡a͟t ́i̢s͜ ͞sh҉e̶ ͜goi҉ng̕ ͝to͞ do͏?"

"She will be coming with a present for Wriggle… One that will revisit the damage done to her house to your Master's body."

Pausing to think about that, you focus upon a flickering flame, and stare into its depths. "We͠l͟l͜, t͢hat̶ m͜ight b̶e̵ ͟a ṕr͞o̡ble͢m. ̛ Wriggle i͜s҉… w͘ell, s̕he ̕i̵s pr͘obab͝ly d̸ead.͏ ́We͜ ju̶s̕t ͘dǫn̵'̢t͟ k̕n͘ow how̡ ̷t̴o͏ ̸dis͟pose ҉of ͘thȩ body҉.̀"

The other end is completely silent for a few seconds, and you can imagine how the girl is shaking in disbelief… "She is? Oh… Well, that is… That is good. Does that mean, you are… free?" Her voice begins to speak faster and faster as Amsterdam realizes what exactly that you and the others had managed to do. "Does that mean you're coming for us too? If you move fast enough, I don't think she will expect anything coming."

There is no doubt as to which she Amsterdam is referring to. All the same, you can't help but smile at the enthusiasm. "I ̷dìd͏ not-̕p͟r͢omise th͠at, d͢i̴d͞n't Í?̧ W̨è ̵h̡av͟ȩ t̵o ̶t̨a̢k͏e ̕c͡a͟re ҉of̵ ̶Wr͘i̵gg͢l҉e̷ f̷irst,̴ ͝t͟hou҉g̷h.͠ I͟f ẃe ͝d̷o̷n'͜t̷ dó th̶at͜,͠ ̶and̕ ̶s͞h̛e ̷doe͏s s̴o͠m̶eţhin͟g̴ ͝to c͠o͠me҉ ̷bąçk ͜tò li͟fe, it͟ wi͢l͜l ͜a̛l͞l ҉be f̛ơr ͡na͞u̷g̛h͏t͏."

"I understand." Even though the voice sounds quite disappointed, you know that she understands that you have to take everything one step at a time. It would be very nice to go rushing off to take care of that, but do you really want a very angry Wriggle chasing you down to who knows where? "I'm not sure of what to do. Just put her in as many pieces as you can, and separate them as far as you can. But I don't know if even that would be enough…"

"Woul͏d ͜b҉ur̡n͟ín̵g ҉hel̕p̵?̵ ͏Or̡ ̷mixing ͢t͢he͠ a̶s҉hes ̡w͠i͢th̛ ir̶on҉?" However, this is why you wanted Margatroid to come. If she could help, this would be much easier. "C̸a̴n M̢ar̨g͝a͡t͠ro҉id ̴c̵om̧e̛? ̶ ͞Tḩer̛e̴'̷s̴ ͡m͠or̡e ̨ẃȩ ̛need͢ to̢ ̛a̶s͢k he͜r͜."

The voice is quiet for a little while, but Amsterdam does eventually respond. "Either of those should help, I think." The doll's voice pauses, quivering in uncertainty. "However, she is… she is doing something that the Master directly instructed her. If she breaks ranks, Alice will know that something is going on." Well, if you care about rescuing any of them as well, or at least attempting to, you know you shouldn't do that. Unless you can think of some way that they could play it off as her instructions…

[ ] Ask her to tell Margatroid it is of upmost importance that she come.
[ ] Can she try and get into contact, at least for a bit? Surely that wouldn't ire Alice.
[ ] Don't worry about it. You'll just have to make do with the burning.

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

I don't remember if I've said this before, but Amsterdam (and the rest of the dolls) need more pics. Oh, and Z question is available.
>> No. 26976
Note: This question only applies if it can be answered with a decent amount of time before voting is called.

[z]What measures should we take regarding Wriggle's still moving body and any of her possessions (any amulets of resurrection she just happens to have lying around, that flower...) that will prevent both her resurrection AND recovery, unless a clause can be put in place to allow either of those circumstances to occur only with our explicit approval?

Anon, feel free to psycho paranoid rules lawyer this vote. Just remember that it has to remain as a single question.

Witholding vote for story until this is answered.
>> No. 26978
[x]make do with ironing Wriggle.
We just made a power-vacuum, destroyed our primary defense against other monsters, and upset the balance of power. The consequences aren't going to be isolated to just Wriggle's nest, and I would be surprised if Alice or another monster didn't try to take us along with the house full of supernatural artifacts (and a wicked garden). Now would probably be the best time to think about long-term survival plans, and the z question should reflect that.
>> No. 26979
>>26976

Until she stops twitching entirely, I'm not ruling out her being able to resurrect from whatever we put her through. The last thing we want is to find out the hard way that Wriggle can regenerate from a single charred portion given time (I'm thinking along the lines of how Aruceid regenerated from Shiki's first attack, even though she was unable to pull herself together). Any worry about being caught in the crossfire of a power struggle would be moot then.

...I probably shouldn't be giving the GM writefag ideas.

Come to think of it, Wriggle went down easily enough when she was distracted. Who's to say we can't do the same for any new ursurper? To that end, however, I'm modifying my previous [z] question as follows:

[z]What measures should we take regarding Youkai (including Wriggle and Alice) and any of their possessions (any amulets of resurrection she just happens to have lying around, that flower...) to ensure that when wounded or "killed", they are unable to undergo resurrection AND recovery, unless a clause can be put in place to allow either of those circumstances to occur only with our explicit approval?
>> No. 26981
Safest option would be to wait it out until Margatroid is available. We only need her advice, so maybe Amsterdam can relay? Alice is on her way though, and we don't want to get in her way when that happens.

I see Alice letting Wriggle comeback to life, just to beat the hell out of her. We need to stay close enough to monitor the status of Wriggle while avoiding preferably avoiding Alice. That might be impossible, and Alice might be just as a threat to ours lives and freedom as Wriggle.

[x] Ask if we can get in contact with Margatroid, relayed through Amsterdam.
-[x]Summarize the situation(including that Alice is coming, the plant, etc.)
-[x]Ask her how to dispose of Wriggle
-[x]Ask about the bodies in the plant thing.
-[x]Ask for any suggestions about handling Alice
--[x] If we are able to get the info and assuredly kill Wriggle, book it out of there, taking the sunflower exit, since Alice will probably enter through the front.

[x]If Margatroid is not reachable, ask when Amsterdam when she would be?
I believe the range on doll communication was unlimited. If it's not, tell Amerstam our questions and send for a reply as soon as possible.

If no immediate communication is possible:
-[x]make do with ironing Wriggle.
-[x]Hide when Alice comes (this plan sucks)

Oh boy, we are really dialing 0 for the operator here.


Well, I'll withhold this vote until the Z questions gets answered. That being said, shouldn't we be asking the Z question about Alice, more so than dealing with Wriggle? We've already seen how close we came to becoming her toys, and she is not in a good mood. If someone could phrase such a question, I'd put my vote on it.
>> No. 26982
So, are we going to go with the idea that >>26979 had?
>> No. 26983
>>26982
>>26981 here
Alright, sure.
>> No. 26984
[z]What measures should we take regarding Youkai (including Wriggle and Alice) and any of their possessions (any amulets of resurrection she just happens to have lying around, that flower...) to ensure that when wounded or "killed", they are unable to undergo resurrection AND recovery, unless a clause can be put in place to allow either of those circumstances to occur only with our explicit approval?

Well, the simple answer is to find their true name and invoke it correctly. I'm sure you know what that means. But let's look at the practical answers… There is no other way that you could possibly control them.

You could of course attempt to manipulate Alice by her emotions. It depends on how much of her emotions are that of a child, and how much they are of a Youkai… And if you can keep her from angering too much.

However, burning her corpse should work, so long as not anything is left of her. Mind you, you might have to work to get the iron to go, but those fires are hot enough to melt it. It won't do anything else except make it harder for anyone to get the ashes and resurrect her, though.

As for any possessions, the sunflower is only an instrument of change. Its powers are unspecific, and it depends on how it is used to change. But there are no other toys that Wriggle has that should raise her from the dead. Alice… Well, she's harder to kill anyways.

After all, how can you kill the elements themselves, without separating their spirit from their form?
>> No. 26985
>invoke it

As in, lovecraftian invoke?

[x] "Don't worry about it. We'll just have to make do with burning her."
[x] "But could you keep us informed on what Alice has planned, and when she's coming over?"
[x]PURGE THE UNCLEAN WITH FIRE
[x]...Carefully. Very carefully. Make sure every part, hair, and fingertip (and nail) is accounted for before we chuck them into the furnace.
[x] Don't forget the blood. Wipe it up then burn it and the rags as well.
[x] Stow the ashes in a sturdy, non leaky container.
>> No. 26986
File 135671211169.jpg - (507.41KB, 700x683, still want more of amsterdam.jpg) [iqdb]
26986
Votes are still a bit disparate, and am waiting for consolidation.

In the meantime, here is a Tokiko to enjoy.
>> No. 26987
Paranoia a-go-go, baby!


[x] "Don't worry about it. We'll just have to make do with burning her."
[x] "But could you keep us informed on what Alice has planned, and when she's coming over?"
[x]PURGE THE UNCLEAN WITH FIRE
[x]...Carefully. Very carefully. Make sure every part, hair, and fingertip (and nail) is accounted for before we chuck them into the furnace.
[x] Don't forget the blood. Wipe it up then burn it and the rags as well.
[x] Stow the ashes in a sturdy, non leaky container.

Also, do we want to burn down the Yuuka Garden? I almost feel like we should, before Alice shows up. Or we can at least try to collapse that part of the tunnels. She's not really all that... Alive, anymore, anyway.

Maybe by burning Yuuka down, we'll allow for her to be reborn someday, too? Hm.
>> No. 26988
File 135672927520.jpg - (358.90KB, 1500x937, close enough right?.jpg) [iqdb]
26988
[-b-] "Don't worry about it. We'll just have to make do with burning her."
[-b-] "But could you keep us informed on what Alice has planned, and when she's coming over?"
[-b-] PURGE THE UNCLEAN WITH FIRE
[-b-]…Carefully. Very carefully. Make sure every part, hair, and fingertip (and nail) is accounted for before we chuck them into the furnace.
[-b-] Don't forget the blood. Wipe it up then burn it and the rags as well.
[-b-] Stow the ashes in a sturdy, non leaky container.

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

It's not worth it. As useful as having Margatroid coming over and giving you some advice or assistance in figuring out what it is that you need to do with everything, you have to turn the thought away. "D͘on̡'̨ţ ̧wor̛ry͘ ͟ab̧oút it̛,̡ ̶Am͡şte̶r̢d͢a͟m̢. We'll͢ j͟ust̕ ha͝v͏e ҉t͜o͟ ma͝ke to̧ w̨ith͘ bu̡rn̵i̸ng͟ ẁh͞at'̡s left̴ ̡of her͏ bod͏y."

The voice doesn't reply at first, seconds ticking by as you wait for her to answer. Eventually, the apologetic alto answers you. "That would probably be best. Just make sure to be thorough." The doll pauses for a moment, before asking you, "Should I warn you if anything begins to move? You'll have to be listening to hear me, but it'd be all I can do from here."

"Tha̡t wo̸úl̡d ̴b͞e̴ b̀e̵s͠t̢." Sighing, you turn away from where you stand and head back to the door. You do your best to keep any disappointment out of your voice, as it is hardly Amsterdam's fault for not being able to do anything. "T͟ha̧nk̛ y͝ou, A̧m͡s҉ter̸d̴a͘m͏.̕ ͢ ̨Hop͢e͡f̶ull͞y͜,҉ we'l̢l̀ get ̵o̷ut͢ ͡o̡f ̸t̸h̸i̶s…"

"I hope so too. Goodbye for now, friend."

Shaking your head, you head back to the door while forcing away the sound of the grinding gears once more. You are disappointed that there is nothing more that you can do in order to change your fortunes, but you'll just do what you can. After all, that's what you've done the whole time.

Inside the door, you find that you nearly have to shield your eyes from the burning flames in front of you. Tokiko and Mystia both have taken to the grisly work of chopping up the body, rendering Wriggle into many small pieces. The largest that is left is her head, whose eyes still flicker around, lazily looking and silently mouthing at nothingness.

Shivering at the sight, you clear your throat and speak to them. "W̡e͝l̵l̴,͞ ̶I ҉go̴t—̕" The two immediately drop what they are doing, hands clasping over their ears to protect themselves from the pain. "Sorry… It's hard to keep under control. But there is bad news, and there is bad news… Mostly bad news, though."

"That is to be expected. However, do restrain that voice. It did not accomplish what I had thought it might. However, that may be due to lack of preparation upon my part." The ibis spins around, shooting you a weak glare. "Shouldn't we proceed with such experimentation later, when we are not at verge of being desiccated by a vengeful, ugly master for stew?"

"That is the general idea, yes." Shrugging, you glance at Mystia, who is now purposefully avoiding looking at you, as she is busy chopping up the remains of the girl. "You alright over there? You're quiet right now…"

"Not much that is needed to say. The sooner we're out of here, the sooner we can be free… and the better of a chance that she can't find us." She finally turns around, worried eyes glancing at you. "Plus… That voice reminded me of my own there, for a moment. Had a few bad flashbacks."

"I bet you did, sparrow. Little crow that's haunting you, waiting to feed upon the remnants of your guilty heart?" Tokiko narrows her eyes, spinning around to glare at her.

Before she can get on a big spiel, you cut her off. "Enough, Tokiko. She won't do anything against us. So stop trying to goad her into an argument." Shooting her your own glare, you turn back towards Mystia. "So, is the fire ready to go? Not much smaller that you can make the pieces…"

"It pretty much is. We just need to start putting the pieces in." Grabbing a few pieces of body, she approaches the fire pit. "But you never told us what the problem is."

"Right… Well, it's about the Master of Margatroid…" Both of the birds snap their eyes to you, listening intently. "I don't remember if I told you, but her name is Alice… And I just spoke with one of the dolls. She is going to be coming, and it's probably going to be soon." Drooping your own wings, you glance at the fire, nearly snorting at the feeling of déjà vu that runs through you. "She's coming to revisit Wriggle for destroying part of her home."

For her own part, Mystia just shakes her head and turns back to the fire, dumping everything onto a stone platform atop the fire. The ibis was much more vocal in her reaction. "As we are considered her property, that means that she might ask us to recompense the damages. I would hate to be taken for a prize myself. The splinters would probably be horrible."

You can't help but to snort at her words. "This coming from the girl who had a great deal of companionship with a bookcase?"

"A well-endowed bookcase, mind you." Clucking her tongue, she turns back and grabs her own pile of body parts. "However, I do not want a piece of wood having its way with me. I much prefer it the other way around."

"That's enough. At this rate, you'll give Mystia a conniption." The sparrow had retreated during the conversation, hand curling as her mouth turns in disgust. "But we should watch out, and foremost, we should hurry." Pausing, you glance around, eventually finding a few scrap rags. "First, we need to make sure that there is not anything left of her. Burn whatever we can. Hair, blood… make sure it all gets in there."

Not waiting for an answer, you begin to wipe up all the blood you can see. From the discolored skin on the carcass, you have the feeling that it had all been drawn out. The block of stone that she had been using as a chopping board was also covered with blood, much of it sticking and falling away.

Even though you know it is a futile effort, you do your best to soak all of it up. She could have hairs that have fallen off anywhere… Plus, you don't know if she could have something like a shed carapace lying around. "Considering I don't even know what she was supposed to be…"

"Did you say something?" Glancing back at you, Mystia carries the last portion of her corpse over and tosses it on the stone pan. "Or are you just talking to yourself?"

"…The latter." Shivering, you hope that is the case. Who else would you be talking to? At the very least, you hope that there aren't any voices in your head to answer. "Just doing what I can to clean up. Not that it's going to be easy…" Taking the bloody rags, you toss them onto the fire, before looking down at your hands. Wishing that you had a sink to wash your hands in, you look around for any fount of water.

Noticing the motion, Mystia points to the side of the room, away from the fire. "There's a washbasin over there… I don't know if the water is fresh, but it shouldn't matter that much."

"Better than her blood… I can't exactly burn my hands, so I have to make do with this." Granted, if the basin is removable, you can pour it onto the pan. A fire that large will not go out with water, even if it was a normal one.

Fortunately, the basin does prove to be detachable. Taking it with you once your hands are clean, you toss it on top of the pile and watch it evaporate away. Moments later, a bloody apron joins it, and you just watch as everything catches on fire.

"…Wait a moment. It's not burning." While not so obvious with the pieces of flesh, you can see that her head is not turning to black char. Even though you want to look away, fully expecting it to disintegrate before your eyes, you instead watch as it lights on fire but remains the same. "Why isn't it burning?"

The two other birds glance at each other, before shrugging. "Could be that what's trying to resurrect her is keeping her from burning quickly. Maybe if we give it some time…"

You automatically shake your head, finally tearing your eyes away from the sight. "Time isn't something that we have much of. What with Alice coming, plus deciding what to do with the garden… I don't know what we should do."

Tokiko's eyes turn back to the fire, being the only one not quite put off by the sight. "We could leave it. What do we owe some Youkai locked in eternal torment? There's no indication that she's even alive. And we don't want it on our tails, either…"

"Well, it's not just the Youkai…" Shrugging, you avert your eyes from the others. "Every single pet of hers is down there, having served as fertilizer to keep the flower growing stronger and stronger. Their souls have become part of it." You begin to shake as you remember the sight of that one girl, eternally screaming out in pain. "They are locked inside, never being free to pass over into… the other side, I suppose."

"…Well, that changes things." The ibis just shrugs and flaps her wings, shaking her head as she does. "I don't know. If it takes this long to burn her, would that flower you spoke of even burn? It will take hours for Wriggle… And do we even have enough time?"

"I don't know. I don't know…"

[ ] Take the time, and destroy as much as you can. Don't let Alice have it.
[ ] Light it on fire and wait for Wriggle to burn up. Then leave.
[ ] Make sure Wriggle is burning, and get out then.
[ ] Go now. Don't look back.

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

>>26987
Are you sure you want to do that?
>> No. 26989
> "W̡e͝l̵l̴,͞ ̶I ҉go̴t—̕" The two immediately drop what they are doing, hands clasping over their ears to protect themselves from the pain.

Wow, that was a strong reaction. Heavens know, thank god we didn't shout back then.
>> No. 26990
[x] Make sure Wriggle is burning, and get out then.

I know how this works.
>> No. 26993
>>26989

Ugh. Difficult, difficult. But if we want any chance of helping those dolls, then we should probably try to eliminate as many of Alice's potential advantages as we can.

Didn't Tokiko say something about a back door?

[x] Light it on fire and wait for Wriggle to burn up. Then leave.
[x] Take Tokiko's Back Door
>> No. 26994
>>26990

What do you mean?

Hmmm. I'm wondering if there was a way we could appease Alice. If that were possible, I doubt we'd be in much danger of takeover from her AS LONG AS WE KEPT OUT BLOODY TRAPS SHUT WHEN WE NEEDED TO (See: Wanna play an unknown game, when in the last story this situation happened in with a similar psycho child, we ended up goring out our own eye?).

Sorry. Anyway, compare how Alice acquired her victims as compared to Wriggle: Margatroid had to give a confirmation to play, as did we: Wriggle simply took what she wanted. Would imply that Alice would not take us if we were to appease her anger?

I'm tempted to hand Wriggles still twitching remains over to Alice and point out (or lie) that she can still feel whatever Alice wants to do to her. The main thing stopping me is paranoia that Alice would reserrect Wriggle to do whatever she wants with.
>> No. 26995
I see three vaguely reasonable courses of action.

1. Alice wants Wriggle. We have Wriggle. Trade Wriggle to Alice for something we can use to keep ourselves safe from Wriggle, like Wriggle's true name or a promise to give Wriggle to Margatroid for safe disposal within a week's time or something.

Pros: Alice doesn't get the flower. We can analyze the flower -- maybe free its trapped souls, maybe use it as a weapon against Alice later, maybe just destroy it safely. We have a base of operations.
Cons: Risky, because Alice. Kicks the can down the road, as far as Margatroid and Amsterdam are concerned. We'd have to defend the house against other youkai in the interim.

2. Leave Wriggle burning, possibly with her head intact enough for Alice to know that it's Wriggle, possibly just with a note. Head to Margatroid and Amsterdam, and try to free them (by breaking a macguffin or whatever) while Alice is distracted.

Pros: We're nowhere near Alice at any point. Frees everyone, if it works.
Cons: There's no guarantee that there's any way to free them except through Alice. Alice might get the flower and/or absorb Wriggle, making her even stronger.

3. Burn or mostly-burn Wriggle. Use her as bait for Alice anyway. Feed Alice to the flower.

Pros: Probably separates Alice's spirit from her form. Makes killing her possible.
Cons: Astonishingly risky, because Alice. No idea how to do it. If Wriggle's connection to the flower isn't severed, this could revive Wriggle. If it is severed, or doesn't exist in the way I think it does, it could revive Yuuka.

4. Run away now and forget about Amsterda No. ಠ_ಠ

... currently I am leaning towards [+] the third option, despite all the cons. Note that 1 and 3 could also involve feeding Wriggle['s remains] to the flower later.
>> No. 26996
>>26994
If we don't make sure Wriggle burns she won't die and will return at the worst possible moment.
>> No. 26998
File 135685443997.jpg - (1.13MB, 800x1129, cue jeopardy theme.jpg) [iqdb]
26998
Very interesting plans that everyone is discussing. At the very least, Lucas would be living in interesting times, some more interesting than others. I'm going to be fairly busy tomorrow, but would appreciate it if some headway was made with the vote. As it is, there is one burn Wriggle and leave, one for burn the garden and Wriggle while leaving ASAP, and another (maybe?) for using Wriggle as bait.

Granted, I could just take the indecisiveness as a vote in and of itself, or I could leave it to the dice to determine what the choice will be. Your call.

So as not to be biased, here is a Mystia to help you think things over.
>> No. 26999
[x] Light it on fire and wait for Wriggle to burn up. Then leave.

And I mean leave FAST.
>> No. 27000
[x] Take the indecisiveness as a vote.

If applicable, of course.
>> No. 27001
>>27000
I hadn't intended it to actually be a choice... But sure, if it tickles you fancy.
>> No. 27002
[x] Wait for Wriggle to burn up. Then leave.

I'm a bit torn on what to do with the flower and the garden, so I guess we should leave it intact for now. Better to still have it available and be able to burn it later, if necessary.
>> No. 27003
thought I posted this 4 hours ago

> Burn or mostly-burn Wriggle. Use her as bait for Alice anyway. Feed Alice to the flower.
How does one physically feed Alice to the flower? You need to kill the victim, and then feed their soul to the tree.

>"I merely feasted on her corpse the moment she proved too far gone to be interesting…"
>However, her soul was still mine, even if her body was gone. And when I fertilized the plant, she grew into it. Just like all of the others…"

>"This… this is my greatest accomplishment. An elder Youkai, one whom I consumed and destroyed.

Destroying Alice first? That's going to be nigh impossible...
>> No. 27004
File 135697804967.jpg - (42.39KB, 447x713, just watching.jpg) [iqdb]
27004
[-c-] Take the indecisiveness as a vote.

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

"…I don't know." Leaning against the side of a nearby wall. "We need to make sure that Wriggle is destroyed as thoroughly as we can. But that is the easy part. What should we do about the flower? …I just don't know."

The other two birds just glance at each other for a moment. The sparrow eventually shrugs, before sitting up on the nearby countertop. "Well, we should just leave it alone. We don't understand it, so we could mess something up a lot."

"As much as I hate to do so, I'd agree." Tokiko walks to the other side of the room, leaning against the far wall. "As intriguing the possibility is of roasting the flower along with some marshmallows as we watch the merry flames dance, that would not be the wisest of decisions." Pausing, she flicks her headwing to and fro. "That, and I do not believe that we have any marshmallows."

"Considering I have no idea what you're talking about, I doubt it." Mystia sighs, and stares at the burning fire. "Fortunately, this fire never goes out. She'll burn sooner or later. But until then, we should just sit here."

Nodding along, you glance at the two. "That would be best. But once it's done, we get out of here. We don't want to wait for Alice to arrive before us."

The other two return your nod, and an uneasy silence settles in over the room. You merely watch the fire as it merrily pops and burns, Wriggle's skin slowly turning to black ash. Watching it is nearly hypnotic, and you can't help but wonder if the fire is growing stronger the more it consumes the monster.

Minutes tick by slowly, and the other two eventually settle into the lazy viewing of the fire. Mystia wraps her wings about her, her eyes drooping slightly in the warmth of the room. Across from her, the ibis seems more entranced by the fire, staring at it with empty eyes and mouthing silent words.

As you watch it yourself, you can't help but wonder what is going to happen soon. Whether or not you'll be able to appease Alice. Whether or not you'll be able to make it out alive with all of the others. Will you even be able to go back to the real world? Not to mention the others. You can't imagine how long they've been here… Is there anyone still waiting for them? If they are anything like you, they were probably alone before they were taken. Just like you.

All of this waiting… You can't stand it. Why are you here, waiting for her to come? Is there anything you can do besides sit here and wait? Even if it is just to calm the nerves of the others, wouldn't that be better than merely sitting and waiting?

[ ] Nudge Mystia to the side. Ask her what she used to do.
[ ] Snap Tokiko out of her deal. Talk to her about what she did.
[ ] Leave them watching the fire. Go look for something.
-[ ] (what?)
[ ] Just go and burn the flower.
[ ] (Something else?)
>> No. 27006
[x] Grab Mystia and Tokiko, and if she doesn't put up too much resistance, Utsuho. Leave the nest, and travel directly away from whatever direction it is to Alice's place. Travel non-stop for 12 hours (flying). Then, using the distance traveled as the the diameter of a circle, follow either arc back to the nest (for an addition 18 hours.) By then Alice should have arrived, finished with her business, have left, and maybe also leave enough for us to use.
>> No. 27008
>>27006 Good thinking. Another option would be to fly mostly upwards as high as possible while keeping the entrance of the burrow in sight. Hover/glide around until you see Alice leave.
>> No. 27009
Heh. Well, alright.
>> No. 27010
[x] Nudge Mystia to the side. Ask her what she used to do.
>> No. 27011
[x] Nudge Mystia to the side. Ask her what she used to do.

Might as well talk while we wait.
>> No. 27012
File 135709190652.jpg - (112.89KB, 800x600, i just like this pic.jpg) [iqdb]
27012
[-d-] Nudge Mystia to the side. Ask her what she used to do.

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

Not much that you can do at the moment. After all, you need to make sure that Wriggle continues to burn. So, instead, you decide to take one of the few options to keep you from going completely insane with the wait. Walking over to Mystia, you hop on the shelf next to her, folding your own wings down so not to whap her in the side.

The sparrow doesn't initially respond, still lulling to the side as she dozes. Not quite snoring, Mystia instead is breathing out quiet little notes. It makes you smile just a little, seeing how at peace she is.

After a few moments, she seems to realize that there is someone next to her. The girl blinks her eyes as she comes back to reality, spotting you next to her. "Hey there, Lucas… She gone yet?"

Glancing back at the fire, you see the remains of the monster there. "Not quite. Still looks like there is plenty of time until she burns up." Sighing, you lean back, looking at the ceiling. "Still just waiting… Probably going to be a few hours at this rate."

"Yeah. Hopefully, at least. Unless we that other Youkai come and try and do something…" The girl glances back at the fire before looking back at you. "So, have you heard anything from that one you were talking to?"

You pause for just a moment, listening to see if the dolls voice carries over. Just as you expected, though, there was nothing to be heard. "Not yet. Amsterdam is the only one that I know that would try and talk to me that way. Margatroid herself hasn't spoken to me like that."

"Amsterdam…" Testing the name for a moment, Mystia snorts. "Funny name. What's it supposed to mean?"

"From the sound of it, it wasn't a name she was allowed to pick." Glancing at Mystia, you shrug. The name is odd enough, but not enough to draw too much attention. "From what I can tell, she was named after a city in the Netherlands. Considering what little I know of their Master, I wouldn't be surprised if she picked names off of a map that she found."

"I suppose. Barely know of a place called the Netherlands. Not with the traders or anything. …Were they involved in Formosa?"

Scratching your head, you try to recall where in the world that could have been. Not succeeding, you eventually just shrug it off. "Not sure where that would be. The Dutch are still in Europe. They don't have any major possessions outside of Europe that I know of…"

The bird shrugs, looking back away from you. "That sounds odd. Last I knew, they were a major colonizing power… But I could be wrong. It's been a long time since I've even bothered to think on those things." Sighing, the sparrow's hands curl up, clenching into fists. "Been a long time since I've had enough to think on the outside… The real world has been but a dream."

Biting your own lip, you glance at her. While it might not be best to ask her age, you are curious as to what she used to be. After all, for how much you've known each other, you don't know what she used to do. "What is it that you used to be? Back in the real word, at least. I'm curious as to what you used to do?"

Mystia stills at your question as she thinks on it for a moment. "I'm not sure that I should say… It's been a long time. If we do escape, I'd like to make a new start, and not go back to that. Besides, my family probably was eager for the chance to cast me out."

"…You were a loner as well, then?" Nodding in sympathy, you scoot up a bit so that you are sitting next to her. "I can understand that. Just constant work for me, and not much of a life outside of that. As for family… I don't have much contact with them anymore. If they even remember that I am alive…"

The sparrow turns to you, before patting you on your wooden hand. "At least they do not hate you outright. Mine… Mine were quite unhappy that I did not take a husband. Thought I was a drain on the family. Not quite a stain on their honor… But it was something that they did not wish to speak of."

"Must be a different time, then. I know that most people now would hardly be ashamed if their daughter didn't marry. Merely disappointed."

"Indeed…" Mystia just looks away. "Different time. Especially since I was turned into some sort of monster that they speak of in Aki Prefecture… A damn night sparrow that drives those who listen to its song insane." As she speaks, her wings begin to droop as her face falls. "Turned me into a monster…"

Shaking your head, you put one of your hands on her shoulder. "You're not a monster, Mystia. It doesn't matter what you've been turned into. It merely matters what is inside of you. Whatever makes you you is what determines whether a person is a monster."

She stares away, before turning to you with an odd, quirky smile on her face. "Whatever is on the inside? Then tell me… With what I did to Aya, what does that make me?"

To that, you don't really have much of an answer. That is something that you probably won't be getting an answer to very soon. So, instead, you just look awkwardly into the distance across the room, thinking of something to say.

Nothing comes as the silence drags out, with the sparrow's wings fluttering from side to side. Eventually, she herself gets tired of the quiet, and begins to speak on her own. "I suppose it might be nice to go and see home once again. If not for home, if just to see the familiar land instead of these dreary tunnels…" Shrugging, she folds her wings back around her. "I wonder if it's spring. Nagasaki is usually quite beautiful that time of year."

At that, you yourself freeze. If she is from there, of all places… Wouldn't she know what happened? Given the sound of it, she might have been around for much longer than you would have expected.

[ ] Go ahead and point out what happened. It's not as if staying quiet will change anything.
[ ] Don't bother. If you escape, you can tell her then. Don't drain any expectations she'd have.
>> No. 27013
[X] Don't bother. If you escape, you can tell her then. Don't drain any expectations she'd have.

Keep her hope up. Once we escape, chances are we'll all have to pitch in to make it in the real world. But now really isn't the time. Escape, then explanations, then adaptation.

Actually, I wonder where this story will head. Does it end once we escape Gensokyo? Or does it continue as we try to adapt to the outside world again? (Like a group of changelings).
>> No. 27014
File 135709410152.jpg - (47.89KB, 550x413, nagasaki.jpg) [iqdb]
27014
[x] Dont bother because the attached image is what Nagasaki looks like today. On such a densely populated island like Japan they really couldn't afford to not rebuild.
>> No. 27015
>>27013
It's over once you escape Gensokyo. I intend this to be a relatively short story. That, and I don't want this to drag out. If I do have another, I'd rather plan out something proper instead of completely winging this.

>>27014
Yes, I did bother to look up Nagasaki proper. I'm just pointing out that if [insert city here] was completely wiped out, even if it was rebuilt, it would not be the same. Besides, consider what might linger behind in a world where magic is real.
>> No. 27017
Middle road!

[x] Explain that the world's really changed a lot since she's been gone. Talk about some of the crazy technology they've got out there, but also some of the awful things people have done (or have been forced to do) with that technology. Including Nagasaki.
>> No. 27018
[ ] Don't bother. If you escape, you can tell her then. Don't drain any expectations she'd have.
No need to make things cloudier just this moment...
>> No. 27019
[X] Ask her what the technological level was in her time, and tell her in vague terms how much the world has changed since. Don't go into detail about Nagasaki.
>> No. 27020
>>27014
Unless this writefag's rendition of Gensokyo takes place not long after the fact.
>> No. 27021
[X] talk about our home.

If she is really as old as she seems time will have done more then the bomb.
>> No. 27028
File 135749410849.png - (0.99MB, 905x800, and this one too.png) [iqdb]
27028
[-e-] Don't bother. If you escape, you can tell her then. Don't drain any expectations she'd have.
-[-e-] Mention that the world has changed a lot in the intervening time.

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

Sighing, you try to banish the thought from your mind. It may have been nearly forty years ago by your knowledge, but it's still something that has always been on everyone's minds. The thought of anyone who didn't know, especially a former resident, is something nearly mind-boggling.

Glancing back at the girl, you just respond with minced words. There's no reason to crush her hopes… After all, it had been long enough that many she knew would have died off naturally. Would she even be prepared for such a drastic change, though? "Just remember, it sounds like you've been here a long… a long time. Things might have changed on the outside."

The sparrow turns her head to look at you. "I… I can imagine. The only thing wrong is that time flows differently here. Has it been a hundred years? Or has it been only a hundred days?" Shrugging, she settles into her seat on the counter. "Maybe I'm worrying too much. We can't do anything to change what has happened. Just make the best of our situation."

"Agreed." You turn to stare at the fire some more, continuing to watch as Wriggle burns. The girl is finally beginning to char around the edges, but even then it is not that much. "Hopefully it won't take much longer… We need to get out soon."

The sparrow makes no reply while the two of you watch her crackle and pop. A grim smile comes over your face as you realize that there is nothing regenerating of the girl. There is nothing that will let her come back to life, as far as you know. "With luck, we'll not have to worry about her for a long while… If ever."

"Would be best. Egress from the burrows would be facilitated by that reaction by her." Glancing up, you finally see that Tokiko has broken her trance. "However, that is something that will merely have to wait until we confirm further what has happened."

Blinking idly, you just stare at the girl that is across the flames. "Err… Tokiko? Are you alright? You're speaking oddly… Well, more oddly than normal, at the least."

The ibis tilts her head to the side, completely ignoring the dozing sparrow. A favor that was reciprocated with all due grace. "Hardly off. Just merely interesting. Considering possibilities that may be coming up. Also, I have to admit I am curious as to what she may taste like. Like an insect, perhaps? Or would it be more like the lamb that her sleeping face professed?"

"…Right." Lamb, your arse. "Roger that. Just don't try and eat her. We don't want you to turn into her. Or have little version of her bursting out of your spleen."

"Indeed. I am quite fond of that organ." Seemingly satisfied with your argument, she slumps again to stare into the fire. Seeing that Mystia has quieted down, you don't want to bother her. So, you slip off of the counter and head over to where Tokiko is standing.

The three-winged girl doesn't acknowledge you for a few seconds. Just as suddenly as not, though, she snaps her head about to stare at you. "Are you bored as well? Understandable. While flames are enchanting, I profess they are not nearly as interesting as when one has a brain the size of a few peas."

Wondering if this was a good idea or not, you idly nod. "I suppose. I just want to do something. Standing around waiting like this is not helping us at all." Looking back at the flames, you amend your statement. "Of course, if we get discombobulated while waiting, it will end up hurting us when we do have to leave."

"Perhaps." Tokiko eyes you for a few seconds, red eyes judging you. "Then, if we do have a few spare moments, perhaps we could engage upon our agreed upon earlier deal? We seem to have at least a little bit of time to spare, and I assure you that I have practice. This will take no longer than necessary."

It takes you a few moments to realize what she is referring to before a blush crosses over your face. "We really don't have to now, do we? There's plenty of time afterwards…"

"And yet there is no guarantee whether you will make it out. Therefore, I wouldn't mind having your end of the bargain deposited within. However, you need not bother with the envelopes. Such a thing would only impede progress."

Shaking your head in disbelief, you catch a small frown forming on Mystia's face. "Still, that seems much too risky. We should be ready to go at a moments notice. I don't want to be caught with my pants down when Alice gets here."

"When has that stopped you before?" Grinning widely, she grabs your shirt. "Remember, Lucas, a deal is a deal… You promised me, after all. Are you going to break that promise?"

"…Friend. She is coming. Margatroid is done…"

[ ] Fine. But quickly. I don't want Mystia to see us.
[ ] No, not now. We need to get out. But where?
[ ] Yes, I do. Just shut up and help us get out.

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

Sorry about the wait. Flooring is quite a pain to install.
>> No. 27029
>Are you going to break that promise?

Uh. Yeah. How about we NEVER break any oaths we make? I don't get the feeling that such things go unpunished, given the emphasis on agreements made in this land.

[x]No, not now. I just got word that Alice is on the way. We need to get out. But where?
[x]Query Amsterdam (and Margatroid, if possible) for whatever details they can give. Especially regarding Alice's plans.
[x]After recieving whatever information is provided, consider whether scribbling a quick note to Alice regarding Wriggle's location would be wise, or would backfire horrendously.
>> No. 27030
[x]No, not now. I just got word that Alice is on the way. We need to get out. But where?
[x]Query Amsterdam (and Margatroid, if possible) for whatever details they can give. Especially regarding Alice's plans.

i like this part of the write-in
Escape does need to be on the forefront of our minds, reminding Tokiko of this while also mentioning that we may not have enough time is a good idea. Also, it will buy us some time to explain the deal to Mystia. However... we should not go back on the deal, it would make a rather... bad example
>> No. 27039
[-f-]No, not now. I just got word that Alice is on the way. We need to get out. But where?
[-f-]Query Amsterdam (and Margatroid, if possible) for whatever details they can give. Especially regarding Alice's plans.

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

Thank goodness you've got some reason to get out of that argument. The deal weighs on you just as much now as it did then, and you'd rather not tick off the ibis any more than you have. "Not now, Tokiko. We can speak of this later. I just heard from Amsterdam that the other Youkai is coming."

The other bird blinked for a few moments before crossing her arms. "Really now? That seems mightily convenient. Are you sure you're not just making anything up to get out of the deal?"

Rolling your eyes, you head back to the door. "Hardly. I would think that leaving this damned hole in the ground would have a higher priority than other things, anyways."

"And what if you don't end up making it out of here? I would like to have our deal be fulfilled before the chance of you being either eviscerated or incinerated occurs."

Opening the door, you look back and give the girl a firm look. "Tokiko, enough. You'll have your deal done, but once we are in the clear. I'd like to try and make it out of here in one piece and with my sanity intact. That is something that won't happen unless you calm down, and let me get a hold of Amsterdam to ensure we have the best chance to escape as possible."

Turning about, you meet Mystia's eyes for a second as she watches the two of you argue. She offers a small smile and a shrug, before sliding onto her feet. Not wanting to wait any longer, you close the door behind you before opening your mouth. "Amst͘er͟d̡am͡, ̡can ̡y̕ou̢ he͝a͟r͞ ͘m̕e? ͟ ͏A̷ŕe ҉y̵ǫu ̀s͞u̧r̸e̛ ҉sh͢è i͝s̶ ́comi҉n̷g̵ no҉w͏?́"

Silence greets you in the dining hall once more. After a few more seconds, the doll does answer in the low alto trill. "Quite sure, friend… She has already left. Took Margatroid along with her… Shanghai and Hourai are coming with her as well." The voices pauses, and from the fidgety words you can tell she is nervously glancing back and forth. "I am here with the others, although Kyoto is wanting to sneak out and follow along."

Nodding idly, you scratch your head. "Sò, s̕he'͜s̷ ̛o̧n͟ t́h͟e̶ w̵a̕y.̕ ̡ H͞o̸w ̢lon͏g̵ w̛oul͏d th͝a͏t͢…҉" Pausing, you mentally retrace the steps you took to and from the house earlier in the day. "Ìt̷ wou̸l̛d ͏take̴ ͜a̡bo̢u͘t t͏èn̵ t̛o̶ f̢if̵teen̸ ͢m͏inutes ̛fr͜om̨ t̵he t҉ime͠ ̷s̛he ̢l̶eft,̸ ̡aţ ̵b̧est?"

"It isn't that simple, friend." You stomach drops at the grave tone of her voice. "The land itself changes, although the Youkai are the only one who understand the how and the why. It will take Alice as long as she wants to get to the burrow."

"Which means she could be here right now…" Glancing back at the door, you begin to walk towards it. "S̴o̴ ̨we ͘h͘a͏v̶ȩ t͞o̶ l̴e͟a̡ve̢ ǹoẁ."

"Just remember what she is like. She will take her time until she is bored…" The voice of the doll disappears for a moment, before reappearing once more. "I can try and follow t hem. There isn't much that I can do, but at the least I could perhaps provide some sort of distraction…"

Pausing, you glance down at the ground. You can't stay here any longer. The only question is where you can go to get out, and if you'll be able to make it in time. Fortunately, at least Alice will not be at her strongest all the way from her home…

[ ] Plan on where/when to escape.
&
[ ] What to do about Amsterdams's offer?

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

Oh, and try and keep the answers concise, please. If they're too long, I'll lop off random answers and use what remains.
>> No. 27041
[X] Reject the offer. You would rather she not risk herself.
>> No. 27042
[X] Leave now, by the back door. Tokiko knows of another way out, doesn't she?
[X] Reject the offer. You would rather she not risk herself.
>> No. 27043
Huh. Tokiko's pretty set on this, isn't she? I'm not sure if we should be flattered, or disturbed.
>> No. 27045
>>27043
It might help to remember the reason as to why she is so obsessed with it.

Also, gonna wait for more votes.
>> No. 27046
[X] Leave now, by the back door. Tokiko knows of another way out, doesn't she?
[X] Reject the offer. You would rather she not risk herself.

I'm just hoping that things get better for the group.
>> No. 27047
[-g-] Leave now, by the back door. Tokiko knows of another way out, doesn't she?
[-g-] Reject the offer. You would rather she not risk herself.

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

Shaking your head to yourself, you mentally wave off the offer. "No t͢ha̷nks҉,̛ A̕m͘s̴t́e҉rdam̶. Jus͠t ̕s͡t̶a̵y ͝s͘af̛e. I̸ ͘dơn̶'t̛ ͏wan͘t̡ ̨yo̧u͘ ̨to̶ ͏ri͜s̶k yoursel̸f͏…̴" Glancing back at the entrance to the kitchen, you nod to yourself as a plan comes to mind. "I t̕hin̨k͡ I̸ ̶h̕a̷ve͜ ą w͜ay͟ ́to͢ g̷et̷ ̶out of ́he͟r̛e. ̀ ͟T̀ake ca̵re ̕of ͢you̢rs̨éļf,́ alri̢g̛ht?"

The doll does not reply immediately, and trepidation tinges her voice as she finally does. "If you say so, friend. I will attempt to keep any of the others from joining her… Just remember my words." At that, the voice disappeared, and you heard no more from her.

"Well, this is great…" Steeling your shoulders, you march back towards the door and throw it open. There are things that need to be done, and they need to be done quickly. If not, there'd be no point in trying to sneak around. Hopefully Tokiko was hardly exaggerating when she spoke of another way out of this dank burrow.

Inside, both of the other birds snap their heads up to look at you, curious as to what you are doing. However, you ignore them for a moment, instead striding over to where the scythe and the knife are yet laying. Taking the latter in the hand while hoisting the former over your shoulder, you glance at the other two. "We're leaving now. Alice will be here soon enough, but there is no telling how soon that will be."

"So, your little wooden friend is being friendly? How fortunate you are to maintain relationships with others such as that." Tokiko shoots you another odd look, a faraway glance in her eyes. "Fortunately, it shouldn't take us long to make our way out the main exit. Two minutes at most as long as we commence with the running and cease discussion."

Rubbing your head, you disregard her opinion as you fix her with a closer look. "Too bad that we're not going that way. You mentioned once that it was the shortest path out, which implies that there are other ways out of here. Can you tell me where they are?"

The headwing twitches from side to side as Tokiko's eyes fall to the floor. "Supposition is what I presume you refer to. I merely said that I know of some secret passages, and that I know of some other ways out of here. Once does not necessarily lead to the other, though."

Frowning, you resist the urge to rub your head. "Right. But that still means there are other ways out. So if you could perhaps clarify…"

"Simple. I know of a few places that are close to the surface, and that our claws are sharp enough to cut through them. However, the rock would probably take a full day to carve through, without the assistance of another. Considering that you have one claw to spare, I estimate that such an endeavor would take… about seventeen hours, depending upon hydration."

"Right." Pausing, you glance to Mystia, then at the door. "We don't have that kind of time…" Pausing for a second, you think of something else that would perhaps work. "If… If stone takes that long, how about wood? That tree should be easier to dig through."

The headwing flips to the side before she nods. "That sounds like it would work faster. However, cutting through the wood will take some time. I am not sure, as I have treasured everything that is wooden back in the depository. I am unable to say how long such an effort will take."

"Well, it's either that, or we walk straight out of the door." Shrugging, you glance at the doorway towards the main entrance. "Neither is a good one. Tokiko, are you sure…"

"If there was a good way out of here, I would have taken it ages ago. If there is one thing that Wriggle was, it was that she was observant about the state of the burrow. She would have noticed my tampering, and would have immediately proceeded to dismember a good portion of me." Pausing, the ibis shrugs. "That, and the will was lacking then. I did much prefer the simpler cognitive functions, as you might recall."

"Indeed, I do."

[ ] Try and dig out of the tree. Only option that takes you around.
[ ] Sneak out the front door. Alice might not yet be here.
>> No. 27048
>>27045

You mean our ability to read those strange books, and her hope that it would rub off on any offspring. Hmmm...
>> No. 27049
I wonder how possible it would be for us to head up to the branches and shatter the glass with our voice... Probably not. It would likely be quite thick, and we wouldn't have a chance of going unnoticed.
>> No. 27050
>>27049
The thing is... Is it glass? And does your voice work in such a manner in the first place?

And not to be too picky, but I do need votes to write.
>> No. 27051
Man, where have all the voters gone? I could swear this used to have more readers, did we all get paralysed with fear or something?

[x]Sneak out the front door. Alice might not yet be here.
[x]Don't forget the weapons. (They may not kill elementals, but I'm willing to bet they hurt nontheless.)
>> No. 27052
University started up again. Kind of makes it difficult to gather the thoughts enough to vote for something that can have the sort of repercussions our ST has revealed

It's a very good thing, these repercussions! Don't get me wrong. They just make me take my time with voting.

[x] Try to dig out of the tree, because we've seen what our claw can do to things like wood before. It is pretty nasty.
>> No. 27053
>>27051
>>27052
That, and I did post sporadically for a week there, instead of the faster update schedule. I don't mind too much, as I understand that some of these decisions require thinking. I'm just eager to move along.
>> No. 27054
>>27052

If Wriggle fortified the "open air" areas, don't you think she would have done something to the wooden walls too?
>> No. 27055
Well, ya'll need to choose, one way or the other. Tiebreaker(s) requested.
>> No. 27056
[x]Sneak out the front door. Alice might not yet be here.
[x]Don't forget the weapons. (They may not kill elementals, but I'm willing to bet they hurt nontheless.)

Breaking the tie
>> No. 27057
Called then, before it ties back up.
>> No. 27058
File 135813676521.jpg - (270.78KB, 1000x1242, of course it is safe.jpg) [iqdb]
27058
[-h-]Sneak out the front door. Alice might not yet be here.
[-h-]Don't forget the weapons. (They may not kill elementals, but I'm willing to bet they hurt nontheless.)

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

There's only one choice that makes sense in light of that. "Well, we're going out the front door. There's no way that we can guarantee that we'll get out the other way. At least the main entrance is a plan." Gripping the handle of the scythe, you hold open the door. "Come on. Let's move."

The other two nod, not bothering to respond with any verbal spar or rejoinder and instead following directions quietly. Sighing in relief at the lack of any sort of argument, you lead them up to the staircase that is the way to the exit. Before you go up, you stop and look at the two. "Wait a second. You know how to use the scythe, right?"

"Not one that large… But I have experience using tools like that." Nodding at her answer, you hand the larger weapon over to her. She blinks for a second, not quite taking it. "What are you doing that for? If you're the one in charge…"

"If I am, then I'm giving it to you since you're the one used to it. If I’m not, you still take it. I don't care as to who uses it, as long as the one who does make use of it is also competent. At the very least, you are that."

Without any more reservations, she takes the scythe and hoists it over her shoulder. You would almost say that it looks comical when she holds it, but you've not enough humor to be amused by your current situation. Without waiting any more, you take the knife out and hand it to Tokiko, who accepts it without a question.

Mystia almost raises her voice in objection, but you cut her off before heading up the stairs. "I need to be the least threatening if I want to try and get Alice to talk to us. And Tokiko is more used to this form anyways… She could probably take her out faster than I."

"Possibly. But in a fight or flight situation, you would react with the instincts required to take out the threat. Unless said threat is actually not that threatening, such as a stick of ham. After all, ham is not threatening; it is merely delicious."

"…Right." If that was her attempt at humor, this one was rather poor. "Let's just keep going, and slowly. Maybe she's not here…" For one final time the three of you fall silent as you sneak into the throne room, peeking around the doorframe and looking inside to see what is there.

Fortunately, there is nothing. No Alice, no Margatroid, and no dolls. Edging out, your eyes dart to the shadows, looking for anything that might hint at danger. There is no human or Youkai that is prepared to end your life.

It is with great trepidation that you approach the exit. Under your breath, you can't help but to mutter, "It can't be this easy…" The soles of your shoes pad gently across the floor as you approach the light. Trepidation feeling your body, you take the last few steps out of the burrow and towards potential freedom.

However, your heart drops at the sight. It couldn't be that easy.

In the small clearing surrounding the entrance to the burrow was an odd looking package that almost looked like a present, but it was not wrapped in any sort of paper. With a latch on the top and bow also attached, you can't help but wonder what was inside. "So, this is what Margatroid was working on…"

Looking between you and the box, Mystia knits her forehead. "So, if she just left this here for Wriggle, can we just go on? No reason to stick around…"

You do not bother to answer, instead carefully looking around the entire clearing. While you can't hear anything or see anything, there is a rather familiar presence nearby. "Incorrect… There is someone here. She wants to see a show…"

[ ] Give her one. Open the present, somehow.
[ ] This isn't showbiz. Leave them here.
[ ] Call them out. If you're playing, it's by your terms.

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

If you can't tell, we're reaching endgame.
>> No. 27059
[X] This isn't showbiz. Leave them here.

We should have learned by now that you never, ever, ever do anything that a youkai could possibly spin as consent.
>> No. 27063
[X] This isn't showbiz. Leave them here.

Well said.
>> No. 27065
Going to wait another day. Even though I expect the vote to remain the same, I'd rather wait for others to vote first, just in case anything changes.

Of course, now that I've said that, we're going to get a tie when I check back. Tempting fate and all that.
>> No. 27066
[X] This isn't showbiz. Leave them here.

I agree with the previously stated. This should also help avoid a possible tie.
>> No. 27067
[X] This isn't showbiz. Leave them here.
>> No. 27068
File 135838728317.jpg - (253.57KB, 936x1224, i wouldnt quite call it wonderland.jpg) [iqdb]
27068
[-i-] This isn't showbiz. Leave them here.

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

"Well, last I checked, we weren't performers." Not even letting out a small laugh of amusement or derision, you pass by the box and continue walking onward. "Come on you two; we need to get moving."

Both of the other birds immediately follow behind you, their hands curling about the handles of their weapons as they follow at your side. The ibis' eyes dart through the trees, something apparently bothering her. "I can hear something; it's scraping the leaves. It's not natural in the slightest…" For once she does not immediately digress, instead, gulping and looking about.

"She should let us by. We aren't the targets of her ire, after all." Frowning to yourself, you continue to expect the girl to appear before you. But there is nothing that you can hear. There isn't even any wind to rustle the leaves. Of course, such a thing is all the more worrying, if Tokiko can hear them moving.

Still, you keep on walking with the others. You don't have any particular destination that you are heading. Hopefully if you keep walking forward, you will eventually come to the edge of this infernal forest. You can figure out what to do from there.

None of what you pass is familiar to you, though. There is no path on the ground before you; no indication as to which way you may be headed. At best, you can merely hope that you continue to walk in the same direction the entire time.

After a few more minutes of walking, you come to a clearing in the trees. Again, though, your heart drops. "…How can we be back where we started? I know that we were walking in a straight line."

"This forest is obviously magical in some regard. Considering the creatures who live here…" Tokiko looks at the box for a moment before turning around, her hand on the knife. "That, or a Youkai is making sure that we do not leave until she has what she came for."

At her words, a giggle echoes across the clearing, causing you to spin around. "Little birdie flappin' all about the forest, isn't he? Got two other pretty birdies… But why aren't they flyin' away? I thought birdies liked to fly…"

Glancing around at the trees, you narrow your eyes. "Alice, we just want to go on. Do you have to keep us here?"

"I don't have to… But I want to play!" Slipping out of the space in front of you, the little girl leans on the tree. "I was planning on havin' so much fun with the little buggie. You know what I mean? I could lead her around by the nose and give her leaves to eat and then dry and press her into my book…"

"This is Alice?" You hear the small murmurs of disbelief as Mystia relaxes, staring at the girl. "Hard to believe…"

"It is. Trust me." Shooting her a look, you turn back to the little Youkai. "Wriggle can't come out and play now, Alice. She's had an… accident. She fell into a fire pit, and is quite badly burnt." Among other things, but you're not going to go into further detail when you have the choice.

The girl just stands there for a moment before her eyes start to tear up. "B-but I wanted ta play…" After a few more seconds, she turns around, yelling, "Maggie! I want to play with her…"

Appearing from nowhere was the cool visage of Margatroid. Placing her hand on the shoulder of the child, she keeps a grim face as Alice hugs her tightly. While both of the other birds recoil at the sight of the more familiar Youkai, you seek out her eyes instead. They stare you down, the formerly still and dark depths actually showing some sign of life.

However, Margatroid turns away from you, looking down at the little Youkai. "Maybe some other time then, Alice. You did try and show up unannounced. Don't you hate it when you have guests that show up like that?"

"Only if they are supposed to show up on time! A surprise is the best type of surprise!" The girl sniffs for a few seconds, before pounding on Margatroid's stomach. "Find me someone else to play with me! I wanna give Wriggle her present…"

"I am sure that you can just come back another time, Alice. Wriggle will be better, sooner or later."

"But by then the present will go bad…" A little bit passes while the girl sniffs, before she suddenly stops. "Wait… Birdie is Wriggle's doll, isn't he? Maybe he will play with me instead!"

Holding up my hands, I back away slowly, glancing at the others. "No thanks, Alice. Isn't that present supposed to be for Wriggle? Then you should wait and give it to her when she is… better." Granted, you wouldn't know how to get Margatroid out, but there is nothing to gain by playing any games with her.

"Aww, but I want you to play now! It doesn't matter who gets it. You belong to Wriggle, so you can have the present just as much." Clapping her hands, the girl comes bounding up to you, intent on grabbing your hand.

Again, you back away from her, or at least you intend to. Instead, you find to your consternation that you cannot move away from her. Grunting softly, you pull at your feet in an attempt to move away. Yet, instead, you are rooted in place. The little Youkai walks up and grabs your hand with her tiny one, before giving you an innocent grin. "You said you would play earlier, so now we are going to play!"

Mystia grabs your arm as she starts to pull you forward. "Wait a second. He may have said he wanted to play earlier, but that was then. He doesn't want to play anymore, though! So just let us go on…"

"No! He said he would, so he will. Won't you, birdie?" The voice washes over your body, and you realize that you have no choice but to. You had agreed to her once, and now she was calling it in.

After a few moments in the standoff, Tokiko grabs Mystia's arm. "Let him go, Mystia. He made a deal… Somehow. He has to live up to it."

Mystia shoots a glare at the girl. "That's the same thing that you did to him, isn't it? You made a deal with him, and now you're forcing him to keep it, even if he doesn't want to?"

"Whether he wants to now is neither here nor there. A deal is a deal… If a sheep agrees to eat with a lion, do not be surprised if it is not the main course."

"…Right." The sparrow stares at the ibis for a few seconds before letting go. "I hate this… I really hate this."

The girl doesn't even consider this as she pulls you along towards the box. "Come here, birdie! I want you to open it. It's a new doll that I'm givin’ to you! We can both play with it…" As she leads you to the box, standing you beside it, you hesitantly reach out for it the ribbons that are holding it together.

[ ] Open the box
[ ] …Maybe there is another game she would like to play?
[ ] Just say no!
[ ] Obligatory Write-in Option

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

And here's another for you to agonize over. Remember, the faster I get votes, the faster I can write.
>> No. 27069
[x] Open the box

A deal is a deal, after all. I'm kind of curious, admittedly.

(Of course, I do have a plan if this all goes tits up)
>> No. 27070
[x] Open the box from far away using your wooden hand.

I'm not too sure if this will work, but it's better than having the present blow up directly in Lucas's face. I might be wrong though.
>> No. 27071
I want to make some kind of argument that it would be rude to give Wriggle a doll that someone else has already played with, but I can't think of the words, or an alternative to pacify Alice with. Barring any good write-ins, I guess the only thing we can do now is
[X] Tell Mystia and Tokiko to go on first; you'll catch up with them later.
[X] Tell Alice that you can only play with her for a short while, because the three of you do really have somewhere to be soon. That is, away from here.
[X] Open the box.
>> No. 27072
>>27070

[x] Open the box from far away using your wooden hand.

Unless we can specify another game... don't take option two. I don't wanna play the "Disembowel the two birds behind me and feast on their intestines while they lie there conscious watching in horror" game.
>> No. 27073
>>27072
Well, write-ins are still allowed, so if you do desire to volunteer your own game...

Also, do you really think I'd do something that simplistic? Now, if there was a window nearby, defenestration might be an option.
>> No. 27074
I'm not sure what to think on opening the box from a distance. On the one hand, it might piss her off that we're not trusting her and appreciating her gift. On the other hand, she might just find it funny.

Anyone else think we should just suggest something to play that will take long as hell to give Tokiko and Mystia time to escape like some bedtop sports for indoor types, or a full 20-level D&D campaign, or Monopoly?
>> No. 27075
If we're suggesting that we play another game, WORD IT PROPERLY. For example: "Alice, how about we play X instead?" is fine. "Alice, why not play another game? X sounds good" is most definitely not, and will only result in another "eyeball gouge chair escape" scenario.
>> No. 27076
>>27075
Why?
>> No. 27077
[x] Open the box from far away using your wooden hand.

>>27075
Still butthurt from ASSM after all these years? How... tender, you must be.
>> No. 27078
[-j-] Open the box from far away using your wooden hand.

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

Glancing at the box that is standing just feet from you, you lower your hand. The girl to your side shoots you a disappointed pout, her tiny voice singing in your ear. "You not goin' to open up the present? Is it… Is it not good enough for you?"

Feeling something resonate within you, you glance back at the little Youkai. "I just thought I'd open it differently, that's all." A grimace covers your face as you reach for the wooden hand stuck on the end of your left arm. As you do, your eyes dart towards Margatroid once again.

Even now, you have to wonder whose side she is on. You thought you knew after you melded with her, but considering that she worked on a new present, whatever that may be… Well, you don't know. After a few moments in which she merely glances away, you look down at your hand and grab the wrist. One swift yank later, and the hand was off of your arm.

You can't help but be a little creeped out as you watch the digits wiggle in front of your face. Even detached it followed the commands of your mind, each finger curling and straightening out as you desired.

Alice giggled at the sight of it, nearly grabbing it out of the sky. "Oh, I see, I see! You want to open it as a doll! I see…" She almost reaches out to grab your hand, but you manage to pull it away in time.

"You've got that right, Alice." Best take advantage of her gullibility while she's acting like this. Setting your hand down on the ground, you try to walk it over to the box in order to open it.

However, you realize that it's not nearly as easy to walk your hand across the ground as you had imagined. While it may be alive, there is no magic to hold it aloft as you walk with two fingers. To even stay up, you have to use your thumb. The range of motion is too little to make a difference.

At the same time, you'd never make it up the side of the box. The whole package comes up to your chest, so if you ever got the hand over to it, it would be impossible to actually climb up.

You don't know how good of a thing it is that you have an overeager Youkai that wants to help. Giggling to herself, she runs up to the package, picking up your hand as you go. "I'll help you there, birdie! Just leave it to me!" Placing your hand on the box, you watch as she holds it up to the bow. "Here, just close the hand. I'll help you open!"

It is harder and harder to believe what the girl is, but you do as is directed by the girl after casting a worried look at the other two birds. They both remain standing behind you, watching the girl intensely. Without wanting to stress the Youkai anymore, you clench your left hand and let her do the work.

With one sudden motion, Alice pulls the ribbon apart using your hand, casting it to the floor. "Good! Now, open the rest of it!" Turning around, she offers your hand back. "You're a silly birdie, you know that? That wouldn't have worked…"

[ ] Take it back and open it yourself. Jump on in.
-[ ] Motion to the others to get away, even if Alice doesn't like it.
-[ ] Don't bother, as you want to keep the Youkai placid.
[ ] Tell Alice she should open it. It looked like she had fun.
-[ ] Run as soon as she does. You've technically opened it up, haven't you?
-[ ] That back is just asking for a knife to be sunken into it. Put her out of her misery.
>> No. 27080
>>27076

The first, if declined, leaves no room for her to twist things. The second lets her say yes to the first part but reject a second, leaving us stuck with whatever unknown game she wants to play.

>>27077

It's not butthurt. It's reasonable caution: I'd like to think anon is smart enough to learn from the past. The recent past, if nothing else, seeing how they blew it the first time a similar choice came up in this story.
>> No. 27081
[X] Take it back and open it yourself. Jump on in.
-[X] Glance at the others and make some kind of subtle movement of the head to indicate that they should quietly leave without you.

I really have no idea how we're going to get out of this, barring the present really being a simple present. If we refuse to open it, we're just about certain to die. If we open it, we might die or we might live. Might as well open it.
>> No. 27082
Same choice. There's basically nothing else we can feasibly do at this point.

Also I'm morbidly curious to what's in that box.
>> No. 27083
>I'll help you there, birdie! Just leave it to me!" Placing your hand on the box, you watch as she holds it up to the bow. "Here, just close the hand. I'll help you open!"

Is it worth trying to spin this statement as a deal on her part to open the present, which she would be obligated to follow through? She said she'd help open it: She never said she'd stop halfway.
>> No. 27084
[x] Take it back and open it yourself. Jump on in.
-[x] Don't bother motioning to the others to get away, as you want to keep the Youkai placid.

>>27083
Not worth it.
>> No. 27089
[X]"After we play with it today, I can leave, right?"
[X] Take it back and open it yourself. Jump on in.
-[X] Glance at the others and make some kind of subtle movement of the head to indicate that they should quietly leave without you.
>> No. 27090
Was curious to see if anyone would take that idea and run with it. Oh well. Called and writing.
>> No. 27091
File 135872783832.png - (460.71KB, 600x725, luftra ecifircas.png) [iqdb]
27091
[-k-] Take it back and open it yourself. Jump on in.
-[-k-] Glance at the others and make some kind of subtle movement of the head to indicate that they should quietly leave without you.

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

Gritting your teeth, you step forward and reclaim your hand from the small Youkai. "…Thanks." It takes but a moment to pop it back onto the wooden joint, although you can see the two birds wince at the wooden snap. "I suppose I don't have much of a choice, do I?"

"Nope! My present needs to be opened! An if Wriggle isn't here, you have to open it!" Alice turns back and smiles at you before taking a few steps away. "Go ahead little birdie! I'm waitin'…"

If you weren't suspicious enough already, you now had alarms blaring in your head. As much as you wish you could do something about them, though, there is no helping the predicament you are in. Sucking everything up, you approach the box and peel away the paper.

Staring at the wooden container inside, you allow your hands to grip it while searching for the joints. As you feel around, your eyes turn up, looking for the others. Your eyes meet each of theirs, and you stare at them for a few seconds. Mystia makes a move to step closer, but you shake your head at her. Jerking it to the side, you wait for them to start moving away from it before continuing to examine the package.

Sooner than you would have preferred, you find a crease in the wooden box. Not caring that your claws would damage it, you stick them in it and begin to lift it up, revealing the contents that are within.

The white porcelain of the doll is oddly familiar, especially in how pale it is. It certainly looks different than even Amsterdam does. She looks more like Margatroid to your own inexperienced eyes, with the only difference being that the Youkai actually has skin.

Glancing back at Alice, who just has a little grin on her face, you sigh and lower your hands into the box. Holding the large doll under its arms, you lift it into the air, revealing a familiar face and an even more familiar pair of brown pigtails. "…H-Hatate?"

Out of the corner of your eye, you can see Margatroid move. But it is not she that answers. "Her name is Vienna! I thought it'd be nice… I've always wanted a doll named that. Too bad that she isn't golden… She'd be just like their musical hall!" Giggling, she approaches you and pulls on your sleeve. "She is pretty, isn't she? I did a lot to make her nice and pretty and quiet…"

Glancing back at the girl, you wince at the words. No longer does the brash crow have a mouth with which to shout you down… Or for that matter, a nose to breathe through, or ears to hear with. All that is left is solid shell of porcelain. Even the eyes are but glass. You had imagined where the girl might be getting her dolls, but to see the results up close and personal…

"Yes, M-M-Master?" The doll's head turns to the side, the former crow glancing at Alice with those dead eyes. "Did… D-D-D-Did you s-s-say s-s-something…?"

"Yes I did! Good girl…" Patting the doll on the head, she hugs Hatate to her chest. "And you're awake, too. Do you want to play with the birdie over here?"

Before Hatate answers, you round on the little girl. As much as caution warrants you to be quiet, your indignation is becoming too great to ignore. Even if it is for a girl that took every moment she had to shout you down for insulting her master. "Now, what do you think you're doing? As much as that girl was twisted, is this something ok to do?"

"Why wouldn't it be? She was so unhappy. She was practically bawling!" Still, the smile did not leave Alice's face. "So, I made it so she can't cry anymore. And she can just play with me and the others… Especially since we lost London the other day."

Your hands curl as you think about that. The name is familiar, but the face eludes your memory. "Indeed. Did she…"

"Oh, nothin' too bad. Just had most of her body shattered. If she was alive, such a thing would hurt so much. But she's just a dolly!" Giggling, she placed a hand on Hatate's back. "Which is why I brought Vienna here for Wriggle to play with. If she wanted so bad to play that she'd eat me out of my house, I thought she'd like her own doll."

"…That's rather… altruistic." At the least, she doesn't seem to be very incensed at you. The reverse, still, can hardly be said to be true. You fumble over a few words as you try to speak your mind, part wanting to shout her down, and part wanting to continue to string her along.

However, Alice cuts over your half-thought rejoinders. "Isn't that right, Vienna? You want to play now, don't you?"

The doll immediately responds to the word, her face perking up and her eyes looking out. "P-P-Play, yes… C-C-Can do." The doll immediately stills, and you feel something begin to tick.

You look between the Hatate and Alice before slowly backing away from the two, dread starting to fill you. "Alice, what did you just do? Don't tell me…"

"Oh, she's just goin' to play! Like that beast played with my home!" The smile grows even wider, and you feel the air begin to chill about you. "Don't run away, I'm just about to have fun."

However, at this point you are ignoring the girl. Backing away slowly, you hear the ticking growing louder and louder. Eventually you turn straight around, looking at Mystia and Tokiko as they stand watching. "Get down! Something is about to happen here!"

Fortunately both of them are on the edge of the clearing and on the edge of their seats. Not even arguing what you say, they turn and start to make their way through the forest. You try and follow them into the trees, but you are at least a hundred feet behind them.

All the time, the ticking is counting down in your ears, growing faster and faster. As you come within twenty feet of the two, the ticking becomes a scream, and all three of you fall to your knees. Even the box in your throat is not even to keep out the horrid, shrill sound.

Forcing your head up, you glance back at the clearing, looking to see if any of the girls are chasing. There is no Alice that is in sight. Neither is Margatroid, or any doll that might have come with them.

The only thing is a bright, white light.
>> No. 27092
File 135872790983.jpg - (136.39KB, 1200x1800, feather.jpg) [iqdb]
27092
Fire fills your entire essence as you fall back to the leaf-strewn ground below you. Flames lick at ever inch of your body, torturing your soul just as much as it burns your flesh. If you could hear, your screams would be echoing loudly across the forest. If you could feel, you would hear the hoarseness of your throat as you yell.

There is nothing more that you can sense, though, than the flames that attempt to wipe away your being.

Wings draw themselves in close about your body, trying to protect you from the torment that you are experiencing. Nothing does any good though. As much as you are trying to stem the bite of the flames, it does not stop or falter. It burns through your limbs and chest and down into your heart and mind.

After a short eternity, you feel the clanking of gears turning in your body. Some sort of magic that you are unaware of is pushing back the flames. That little music box is singing out loud, protecting you from the wave of magic as it attempts to cook you with its power.

Eventually, the light gives out, and you find your eyes slowly adjusting to the relatively dim forest floor.

A groan passes a lip as you try to brace yourself on the ground. Your muscles eventually do respond, even though they sorely don't want to. Squinting in order to see what is before you, you notice that your wooden hand is free of any detritus, while your clawed hand is cracked and peeling.

A cursory glance shows that the rest of your skin is in just as bad of a shape. However, you don't let that bother you too much. Pushing through the pain, you glance around, trying to find the other two.

Instead, you find the blue dress of Margatroid hunched over something, her arms wrapped around someone protectively. Initially, you think that Alice had to take cover from the blast. The purple wings that flap moments later, though, change your mind.

"Wait… Where's Tokiko… I don't see…" Crawling towards where they stood moments before, you glance around for the red-winged girl. "Tokiko? Where…" The words die in your mouth as your hand finds a familiar boot connected to a charred leg. All of it connected to a familiar body in a purple dress.

A body that is lying perfectly still.

[ ] She… She's just asleep, right? Tokiko, wake up…
[ ] No. Maggie, help me here! We need to help her regenerate.
[ ] …Alice… Alice did this. Alice will die.
>> No. 27093
[x] No. Maggie, help me here! We need to help her regenerate.

Fuck.
>> No. 27094
[x] No. Maggie, help me here! We need to help her regenerate.
>> No. 27095
[x] No. Maggie, help me here! We need to help her regenerate.

If beasts like us are so weak to elemental magic, I wonder what sort of weakness they possess? Nothing can be absolutely powerful after all.
>> No. 27096
>>27095
Tell me, then, why a bullet is so effective at killing a human.
>> No. 27097
[-l-] No. Maggie, help me here! We need to help her regenerate.

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

Digging your hands into the ground, you try your best to crawl towards Tokiko. Even with all your strength, it is slow going. Much too slow for your taste. You need to get there faster, just so you know that she isn't… Isn't…

You can't even think it at this point. Maybe she just got off like you did, but was knocked out. You can't tell in the slightest. But after a few excruciating minutes, you finally drag yourself up to her side.

The sight before you is as bad as you had feared. Tokiko looked like she had been cooked alive by that wave. And she hadn't anything to protect herself, either. For a moment, you hesitate, not wanting to reach out and place your hands upon the girl. She looks like she might collapse into dust if you so much as touch her.

However, you put the fear aside. If that happens, she can't be saved. If you sit idly by… You shake the thought off and lay hands on her chest, feeling for any signs of life.

"…S-She's not moving."

Staring at her, you try to search for some answer. Some way to keep her alive. "…I won't accept this. I won't" Looking around, you see Margatroid standing besides Mystia, talking quietly to the sparrow. By the earnest words that you can barely hear from so far away, you can tell Mystia is both confused at what has happened and frightened that a Youkai is so close.

As much as you want to let her calm down and not see what happened, you have to get Margatroid's attention. Besides, Mystia is a strong girl; she'll be able to take this. "Maggie! Get over here! I need help with…" Your voice fails you as you try to explain, but it is enough to attract the attention of the Youkai.

Margatroid snaps her head to face you, her own face falling as she sees the charred body. "I see. I don't think that there is much that can be done for her."

"I don't care. We just… We need to jumpstart her regeneration. At least make it so that she starts to heal. The magic will take care of the rest." Or at least, you hope it will.

As Margatroid smoothly stands up and strides over, you see Mystia's head finally jerk your way. "The… The ibis? What happened to her?" Her eyes turn to you, taking in the charred and blistered skin, causing her to wince even further. "And what…"

"Took the full force of the blast. Somehow I survived. Tokiko, though…" It's obvious enough that you don't need to explain it. As you hear two sets of feet rustle the leaves, you lean back over the girl, trying to do something. "…Need to get her heart started, don't I? I have no idea how to do that, though…"

In the middle of your introspection, Margatroid kneels by the side of Tokiko, across from you. Warm eyes glance at you before she places a hand on the girl's neck. Immediately, she shakes her head. "There is nothing that is ticking inside of her. Not even a little. I am afraid that she is…"

"No, don't say it, Maggie. Don't say it." Growling softly, you press into her chest with a quick thump, memories of the outside coming back. "We just need to get her heart restarted. Get her breathing. Something…"

Placing both of your hands on her chest, you begin to thrust down. You have no idea what it is that you are doing, but you can't just sit here. "Are you just going to sit there and watch me? Help! Do something!"

The blonde girl just looks to the side for a moment as you continue to work Tokiko. After a few minutes, though, she places a lukewarm hand on your arm. "Just… Lucas, accept the reality. She's gone. You can't change that."

"Maybe I can't, Margaret, but that doesn't mean I have to accept this!" Growling, you continue your work. "I didn't accept anything from Wriggle, and I sure as hell ain't gonna accept anything from Alice! Especially this!" Your eyes blaze as you face her down. "I sure as hell know what I still am! Who I am! Just because you gave up and forgot your old self doesn't mean I have to as well!" With that, you turned back to your work, trying to do something to help Tokiko.

Margatroid doesn't wince visibly from your spiel, but she doesn't respond for a minute or so. Eventually she just looks up, staring at you. "What do you expect me to do? Turn her into a doll like the others? Heal her wounds? I can't do that if she's dead. If she were still alive, that might be different…"

You clench your teeth before looking at the normally stoic girl. "Then do as I am doing. There's something that I might be able to do to help…" Relinquishing your place on the girl's chest, you shift yourself and look at her head. "Not that I have any clue what I'm doing…"

Reaching down, you gently open her mouth, wincing as you see her skin split even more from the slight motion. Still, you ignore it, instead preparing yourself for the job at hand. You wait for Margatroid to quit thumping Tokiko's chest before leaning down to breathe in her mouth.

You ignore the charred flesh as you attempt to breathe life back into her, not that anything works at first. Once you lean back up, you glance back at Margatroid, who just seems to be watching you, somewhat shocked. "Well, what are you waiting for? Keep doing it!" Again, the Youkai does as you ask, beating on the ibis' chest. Repeating your actions, seconds tick by into minutes, and there is not change.

You stare at the body of the girl, shaking your head. "It can't just be like that. Not that easy…" Snarling, you beat your fists on the ground beside you. "So close… We were almost gone…"

[ ] She's gone. Accept it.
[ ] No, you can still do something! Try harder.
[ ] ALICE. MU-

"So, that's how it is." Turning your head, you see Mystia standing there behind you. She is watching the events in front of her with the oddest gleam in her eye, along with a small smile on her face. "That's how it is. But have you thought where Alice is?"

You shake your head automatically. There's no knowing where the little Youkai might be. She should have caught up by now, but was she waiting? Watching? Something else? Mystia seems to take your confusion in stride. "I didn't think so. That's… That's not good."

Her smile widens as she turns around. "You stay here and keep working. I'll go and make sure she is too busy to bother you. That way you can get your ibis out of here. Maybe she'll live, then." Hoisting the scythe on her shoulder, she turns to walk off, heading back to the clearing that is so close, and yet so far.

[ ] "Wait. Don't throw yourself away for this. We can't lose both of you. I can't."
[ ] "Mystia… thanks."
-[ ] Kiss Mystia
-[ ] Don't
>> No. 27098
Oh dear, I fear Mystia may have gotten the wrong idea.

But, you know, there's something about this. To give up on a (more or less) innocent life is patently unacceptable, especially considering it's someone who we still owe a favor to. Death may be a fact of life, but to give up is antithetical to everything we've done so far. Lucas didn't go through every hurdle to come away half-handed.

We may not want romance with the little Ibis, but she fought hard to survive, too. It's in Lucas' hands, now.

She can't die until we fulfill our end of the bargain, can she?

[ ] No, you can still do something! Try harder.

[ ] "Wait. Don't throw yourself away for this. We can't lose both of you. I can't."

Aaaand, why not

[ ] Kiss Mystia
>> No. 27100
>>27098
Sorry to be a spoilsport, but the last choice is quite binary. You can choose one or the other. No choosing to kiss her if you're telling her to stay.

Granted, this doesn't apply if someone thinks of the most supreme writein of them all, but otherwise...
>> No. 27101
[x] She's gone. Accept it.

You can't save everyone.


[x] "Wait. Don't throw yourself away for this. We can't lose both of you. I can't."

But have have to save who we can.

Damn.
>> No. 27102
[ ] No, you can still do something! Try harder.

[ ] "Wait. Don't throw yourself away for this. We can't lose both of you. I can't."

We owe it to both of them, wrong impressions be damned.
>> No. 27103
[x] "Wait. Don't throw yourself away for this. We can't lose both of you. I can't."
>> No. 27104
[X] Getting Tokiko away won't make a difference. Where would you bring her? If you can't bring her back here... then she's gone.
-[X] And you won't let Mystia go off on her own to die either. You can't lose anyone else. You can't lose her.
--[X] Can't she think of something - anything - that can help? Aren't Youkai supposed to have some kind of powers? Could we heal her? Move her into a new body?
---[X] Maggie! What was it that saved you from the blast? It was something she did - you know it. Could it help Tokiko too, somehow?
----[X] KEEP TRYING, DAMMIT. YOU'RE NOT GOING TO LET THIS HAPPEN WHEN YOU WERE ALL. SO. CLOSE.

Desperately grasping at straws time.

-----[X] Wait. Where did Alice go?
>> No. 27105
>>27104
Do you really want to know the answer to that last question?
>> No. 27107
[x] "Wait. Don't throw yourself away for this. We can't lose both of you. I can't."
[x] No, you can still do something! Try harder.
-[x] When you fell into your I AM I trance, Margatroid forced her mind into yours to save you. Can we do something similar to Tokiko, since we possess a beast component that Margatroid does not?
>> No. 27114
[X] "Wait. Don't throw yourself away for this. We can't lose both of you. I can't."

So, being attuned to the dolls grants immunity to whatever Alice had set up? With Alice being able to shield Mystia and us being able to partly negate the blast for ourselves.
>> No. 27120
File 13589767299.jpg - (261.27KB, 642x864, if only it were this happy.jpg) [iqdb]
27120
[-m-] "Wait. Don't throw yourself away for this. We can't lose both of you. I can't."
[-m-] No, you can still do something! Try harder.

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

"Wait!" Your voice is shaking badly by this point. Mystia has it wrong, so wrong, and yet she's willing to throw herself away? Last you remember, she disliked the ibis rather much. You can't help but to wonder why she would give up her life in order for you to have the chance of saving Tokiko.

Not that you can think on it for long. Mystia turns her head back, facing you with shining eyes. "What for? You've already made your choice. And Alice needs to—"

"Alice be damned!" Thrice damned, as far as you are concerned, but that is the harshest of words that you're willing to use with the sparrow in earshot. "If this doesn't work, you'll just be throwing yourself away for nothing! We can't lose you, Mystia…" You look down at Tokiko's body and then back at Mystia. "I can't lose you. Not now, when we're so close."

"…You're sure? I thought that with her…" She trails off as you shake her head. "Then why?"

"I'm trying to save her life. There's still time after…" Well, you still don't want to say it, but it is quite obvious. "Well, She can still be saved. I know it. We're just not trying hard enough!"

Turning away from the sparrow, whom you feel settle in beside you, you look back at Tokiko. "Damn it… Isn't there something that we can do?" You turn your eyes up to Margatroid. "Isn't there something that you can do here? You're supposed to be a Youkai… Don't you have some sort of power?"

Margatroid turns her eyes away from you, looking at the ground. "You don't understand just how much of our power is tied to illusion, do you? And how much stronger you have to be to pierce that veil. Once again, you assume…" She turns her head back at you. "Although, you aren't wrong to. It just doesn't help that any powers I did have were fading."

As if things could get any worse. "What did you mean by that? Last I checked, you were able to make this hand feel like my own. Couldn't you do something? Even if it is turning her ion a doll…"

"It's your fault, you know. You reminded me of what it is like to be human." Her lips quirk up in a sardonic little smile. "I lost my humanity long ago, and became one of them. And by showing me what it was like, even advertently…" She looks down, curling her fingers. "It is taking me all that I can to keep my fingers from fading back into wood."

Once again you can't help but to sigh. "Great. Just… Just great." You look back into the swirling rainbow of her eyes, gritting your teeth. "So, tell me, what is it that you can do? I won't accept—"

"M-M-Maggie?"

All three of you stiffen and slowly turn towards the small, shocked voice. Standing next to a tree was Alice, whose eyes were wide and staring at Margatroid. "M-Maggie? W-what are you doing here? With them?"

For once Margatroid seems to be at a loss for words. The girl stutters for a moment before shaking her head. "I am trying to help them. Lucas here is my friend…"

That seemed to be the wrong thing to say to Alice. The girl tears up once more, stomping her foot on the ground. "No! You said you'd be my friend forever, Maggie! Don't you remember? You said you'd come play with me… You can come with me, and never have to worry again. Not with stupid birdies that belong to stupider buggies!"

Margatroid shakes her head. "No, Alice, I haven't broken that promise. I'm just helping my friend. The one that you hurt…"

"You built that for me! You hurt them! I just wanted to break them, like they broke my stuff!" Stamping her foot even more loudly, Alice continues to shout Margatroid down. "Bad Maggie! You know that dolls should listen to me! Dolls do not do what they want to! They should listen to their owner!"

Margatroid just shakes her head. "I wasn't a doll when I first came with you, Alice. It was easy to do that at first, but it just isn't—"

"No! No No No No NO!" The girl just shakes her head. "I keep on losing my toys! If you gonna be a bad doll, the good doll will break you!" Sucking in air, she lets out a might bellow. "Shanghai!"

Oddly enough, the entire clearing is silent for a few seconds, nothing happening at all. The only warning that you get is the soft tussle of leaves before metal impacts wood.

Margatroid's eyes widen in shock as she looks down, staring at a lance that has pierced her chest, right where a heart would lie in a human's body. Jerking her wooden hands up, she feels about the wound. "Oh… Oh my." Just as suddenly, her face fades back into a painted dolls before her eyes roll up in her head and she collapses like a marionette whose strings have been cut.

Behind her floated one more doll with blonde hair and blue eyes. She eyed the body of Margatroid, now laying atop Tokiko, before floating over towards Alice. The young little girl smiled happily before rubbing the top of Shanghai's head. "Good girl. Good girl. See? All dolls should be like that… If only they would listen, we could play forever…"

However, you are ignoring the Youkai this point, instead kneeling beside Margatroid. But even now you doubt you can do anything to help the wooden girl. She lies just as still as Tokiko, a painted face and dead glass eyes the only thing you see when you look at her.

Mystia is nearly shaking by this point, but it's hard to tell whether it is out of anger or fear. Her fingers curl about the scythe's handle, wicked talons scratching the finish. You are not too far behind her, barely managing to make it to you feet once more, staring down Alice over the bodies of two that you would have liked to called friends.

[ ] Alice… Just… Say something.
[ ] Get out of here. You can't do anything else. Just save yourself and Mystia while you can.
[ ] Tokiko is dead. Margatroid is dead. This has gone on long enough. RIP. AND. TEAR.
[ ] Write-in for grasping at straws.
>> No. 27121
Well fuck.

To summarize, we're alone in a hostile land, with very limited power, no way home, no known way to reverse the transformations upon us, two of our allies and friends dead, and one psychopathic childlike Youkai who may still call in the debt to play with her if she deems it to be unfinished, turning us into a doll so she can play with us.

Welp.

[x] RIP AND TEAR RIP AND TEAR YOUR GUTS
>> No. 27122
Well. Write in time. /No/ clue if it'll gain traction, but.

[x] Mystia, move out of the way.

[x] There may only be a small fragment of it, a small, insignificant remnant, but we have consumed the power of an ancient Youkai indeed.
[x] Find it, find everything- turn suffering and rage into power, honed by a will that once declared 'I' at the confluence of two powers beyond imagination.

[x] A voice is no longer broken, a man is no longer a beast, nor a doll, nor a man. If there's any a time to prove it, now is that time.

[x] Sing the song of the Future- Write fate anew. Fuse the path of man, nature and beast, and roar towards tomorrow.
>> No. 27123
>>27122
...interesting. I wouldn't be opposed to this, but I have to wonder if it'll actually do anything. After all, remember what the genre has always been...
>> No. 27124
>>27123
Changeling /is/ pretty dark, yeah. But we know our voice can do stuff, and we know it's not just a doll's voice.

I'm hedging my bets that maybe, just maybe, we can make use of it now, when everything else looks like it's straight screwed.

Because if we run, Alice will probably come and kill us for taking Margatroid away, so really, we're left with little choice- and I'm not sure RIP AND TEAR is much better of an idea. So instead, channel that RIP AND TEAR into the voice, and try and unravel the strings that make up the Youkai called Alice.

Or something like that. Lucas is not a beast, and he's not an elemental, but he's definitely something. Maybe that something will pull our asses out of the fire.
>> No. 27127
Interesting vote there... I'm quite curious if it will win. Not going to veto it, if that is what you desire.

Some of your word choices made me think of how the SDM is in this setting. As if there was a situation that could be worse than the current one...
>> No. 27128
[x] >>27122
>> No. 27129
[x] Mystia, move out of the way.

[x] There may only be a small fragment of it, a small, insignificant remnant, but we have consumed the power of an ancient Youkai indeed.
[x] Find it, find everything- turn suffering and rage into power, honed by a will that once declared 'I' at the confluence of two powers beyond imagination.

[x] A voice is no longer broken, a man is no longer a beast, nor a doll, nor a man. If there's any a time to prove it, now is that time.

[x] Sing the song of the Future- Write fate anew. Fuse the path of man, nature and beast, and roar towards tomorrow.

We have to try! Hopefully before Mystia does something bad for everyone involved.
>> No. 27131
>>27127

Just out of curiosity, after we manage to find an end that doesn't end in death and/or fates worse than it, will there be a 2nd run in a different place? Being kidnapped by Sakuya to be Remi's bloodbag, for example.
>> No. 27132
>>27131
Debating it. I've already got other stuff going on, so it may or may not happen. If it did, it would be with a different character, though.

However, why do you assume that Sakuya works for Remilia in this world? After all, a Toreador and a Malkavian are strong, but against one of the Fairest who is the epitome of Time's Beauty? And who has an amoral mage that studies lesser fae for her own amusement?

You know, just sayin'
>> No. 27134
File 135925452358.jpg - (1.35MB, 960x1550, just a piece of junk.jpg) [iqdb]
27134
[-n-] Mystia, move out of the way.

[-n-] There may only be a small fragment of it, a small, insignificant remnant, but we have consumed the power of an ancient Youkai indeed.
[-n-] Find it, find everything- turn suffering and rage into power, honed by a will that once declared 'I' at the confluence of two powers beyond imagination.
[-n-] A voice is no longer broken, a man is no longer a beast, nor a doll, nor a man. If there's any a time to prove it, now is that time.
[-n-] Sing the song of the Future- Write fate anew. Fuse the path of man, nature and beast, and roar towards tomorrow.

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

"Mystia…" Glancing at the sparrow, you shoot her the most meaningful look that you can. "Move out of the way. Now." As much as you hate giving her an order like that, now is not the time for half hearted efforts.

Fortunately, she follows your command without question, getting out of the way and letting you have a clear line of sight to Alice. You grit your teeth as you place your mismatched hands on the ground and force yourself to your feet. Fortunately, the little Youkai is too busy congratulating her doll to pay attention to her.

So, you take advantage of the small time that you have left. Breathing out slowly, you focus on yourself. The low, deep power that you touched once upon a time. You feel your feathers shift against each other as your wings automatically spread themselves, and you let yourself fall.

The noise of the music box grinding in your throat inundates your mind, the shrill notes echoing off the vast expanses. The words that you had tried to make sense of before coming floating back, lines moving upon lines as they expand into dimensions indescribable. The heart beats, and the scene shifts. After another beat, it shifts again. Ever changing. Always constant change.

You know not what it is that you are trying to attempt to do. So, instead, you let your emotions guide you. The suffering that you were put through at the hands of the monster of a girl. The torment, the rape that you are thankful you no longer remember. You were free of it, until this little girl decides she wishes to play.

There has been enough playing around. This will end, and it will end now. The beast in you roars as it beats fists upon its chest, its talons sharp and ready to pry away the life of the one that had stolen friends and potential mates. It demands compensation in blood.

Music clinks back at the beast, and for a moment they wage war, shouts of fury and mechanical song fight against each other. This is a fight you have already won, though. You can control those two parts of yourself. For they are not separate, but instead they are the same.

Your heart beats again, and the two voices sing in unison. Again it beats, and the sound grows. It is enough that it overwhelms the sound of the beating, the constant thrum that keeps the others in time.

The raucous chorus begins to prove too divergent. As every bar passes in time unheard of, you realize that the power is cooing with a cost. The illusion that you wish to banish, and the fate you wish to write anew can both be accomplished. It is something within your power.

The only thing you have to do is give up what makes you a man.

The heartbeat grows more distant as the voices go wildly out of control. With nothing to conduct them, they grow louder and stronger. The symbols begin to glow in front of you as everything starts to make a beautiful line.

However, the concert in your soul is interrupted as someone both cold and warm grabs the rampaging instruments. They drag them back down, quietening them until they both march to the beat once more. For a moment you try to search for the source, but it is gone the moment they are under control once more.

Now, you turn your attention to Alice. There was one old line that Maggie had mentioned, once upon a time. This land being a land of illusion, a land of mystique. A land of dreams. Focusing your emotions once again, you bring forth the song once more, and aim to rip the illusion that is Alice away. Letting your consciousness rise from the depths it had sunk to, you open your mouth.

One single brown note flows out.

A moment later, you open your eyes, hardly shocked to see the hint of something behind every nook and cranny. However, it is only there so long as you look for it. The moment you look again, Alice is there before you, her hands clapped over her ears as something leaks out of her nose.

"What… What… Meanie! What did you do…" For a moment she seems to shimmer, before fully regaining her existence. "That… That hurt!" She bawls up her eyes for a second, before glaring at you. "Shanghai!"

Whatever you had done was not enough. On top of that, you had the oddest feeling in your left arm, nearly causing you to look down. However, you're able to prevent yourself from doing such a thing. Instead you turn your head to look for the doll in question, who is now bearing down at you with murder on her face.

Seeing that the girl was intent on tearing you to pieces, you did not hold back as she acted. The doll comes at you with the lance, but you are able to sidestep it, even if it does graze your wings. An indignant grunt echoes in the clearing as you try to ignore the painful burning sensation.

Not holding on any longer, you lash out with your claw, reaching for the hands of the little doll. Shanghai flits out of your way, smacking the side of your head with the lance. You spin around, swiping at the doll with your left hand while trying to follow up with the right.

The doll is too fast for you, though. You can't catch up to her… So instead, an idea comes to mind. Swiping at her once more to chase her away, you pause just long enough for Shanghai to get a good bearing on you. The doll shoots you another glare and proceeds to charge straight at you. You slip to the side as she rushes by, and you lash out with your claw, skewering the doll on your fingertips.

Shanghai's glass eyes stare at you for a moment before her body falls limps in your hand. Sighing, you cast the body to the side as you turn back to Alice. "Was that enough? Or are you going to kill me as well?"

The girl nearly turns red as she puffs out her cheeks. "You… You… Shanghai… You broke my dolly. Just like you took my other dolly." A dangerous glint shines in her eyes as she starts to walk forward towards you. "Not enough…"

Fortunately, the girl seems to be moving a bit slower, and you doubt she suddenly slam you to the side. Even so, you still take another step back, glancing around for Mystia. However, you can't find her in your quick searches. "I suppose we'll have to end this then…"

[ ] Wait for her to blink, and then strike.
[ ] Try what you did before once again. See if it will have any further effect.
[ ] …Is Mystia planning something?
>> No. 27135
[X] Sorry, Mystia. Looks like you won't be able to escape with her after all. That's two promises you've failed to keep now. It's a pity. After all that's happened, you wouldn't blame her for running and leaving you. But... if she is still around, if she can still hear your voice right now... Would she do you the honor of a duet?

This can only lead to a Bad End, but I want to see it happen at least once.
>> No. 27136
Are we sure Shangai isn't filled with gunpowder? Well, if that the case, wouldn't we be dead already?
>> No. 27137
[X] Sorry, Mystia. Looks like you won't be able to escape with her after all. That's two promises you've failed to keep now. It's a pity. After all that's happened, you wouldn't blame her for running and leaving you. But... if she is still around, if she can still hear your voice right now... Would she do you the honor of a duet?

That is just... beautiful.
>> No. 27138
Well... If you want a bad end... I suppose I can do that.
>> No. 27139
[X] Sorry, Mystia. Looks like you won't be able to escape with her after all. That's two promises you've failed to keep now. It's a pity. After all that's happened, you wouldn't blame her for running and leaving you. But... if she is still around, if she can still hear your voice right now... Would she do you the honor of a duet?

Best choice. I don't care that it's setting off 50 death flags! This needs to happen!
>> No. 27140
[x] Wait for her to blink, and then strike.

We already disrupted her. She's vulnerable enough to kill. And stop voting for an obvious bad end, you retards.
>> No. 27141
File 135933496038.jpg - (286.80KB, 1000x675, i hope you enjoyed that you bastards.jpg) [iqdb]
27141
[-o-] Sorry, Mystia. Looks like you won't be able to escape with her after all. That's two promises you've failed to keep now. It's a pity. After all that's happened, you wouldn't blame her for running and leaving you. But... if she is still around, if she can still hear your voice right now... Would she do you the honor of a duet?

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

As you stare down the tiny Youkai, you feel a small smile spread across your face. You know you've failed. You know that there is no realistic way out of this. Especially as even if you escape from Alice, you'd be alone with Mystia… You'd have no way home. You know of no way to get out of here.

The thought is horrible. And yet, at the same time, it is redeeming. You've failed so much. You've broken a promise with Tokiko… And with Mystia. There's no escaping now. For even if you did, their ghosts would haunt you until the day your mourners mourn.

"So, that's how it is." Alice can barely hear you, so quietly you speak. The smile grows wider, and you can't help but to start laughing as your voice grows into a shout. "I'm sorry, Mystia. Looks like we both aren't going to get out." With that smile on your face, you spread your arms out. "Another promise that I seem to have broken. If you're not there, I understand. Run as far away as you can."

The Youkai in front of you ignores your speech, instead marching closer. As you blink again, you can see the cracks in her visage. Instead of nothing, you see something start to leak out. However, unlike Wriggle, her wrath is not quick and executed. It is bubbling up slowly… Far too slowly.

That grin widening on your face, you look high into the trees. "If you can still hear me… If you are still watching me, right here, right now…" Taking a breath, you shed the last bit of trepidation that you are holding onto. "Would you do me the honor of a duet?"

There is no answer as Alice marches closer, her eyes beginning to shine. You have no more time to wait, so you close your eyes again and beg the voices within you to sing once more. The gears turn once more in your throat as the voice flows once more, and the brown notes leave your throat.

Once more, you see Alice wince as she instinctively covers her ears. However the girl merely growls as the cracks widen just slightly, and she marches towards you once more. Whatever it is that you are doing is not enough, but you no longer care. If this is the way you're going to go out, you might as well make sure that she suffers for it.

A moment passes by, and you hear another voice begin to sing in the forest. As it does, you feel your smile soften at the sweet notes. The soft soprano trills in your ears, even if it is rather mournful.

At the same time, though, your eyesight begins to dim. Darkness encroaches upon you from every angle, and your vision begins to dim. The girl in front of you also seems to be suffering from the same effect, as her hands immediately shoot to her eyes. "Can't see… What's this, what are you doin'? Stupid… No playin'… Playtime is over…"

Crazy ideas come to your mind as you smile down at the little girl. Stopping your song for a moment, you lash forward with your hands and pull her small body close. As the darkness surrounds you, you whisper quietly into her ear. "Just listen to the sweet melody… Then we can both drift away."

The girl struggles, and you would be surprised that she is unable to break your grasp if not for the fact that you no longer cared. Singing into her ear as well, the brown and sweet notes clash with each other, forming harmony that is filled with the devil's notes.

Under your arms, she twists and turns as you caress the cracks on her wrists. They split asunder, and you feel magic leaking out. The girl only fights harder, a little worm on the end of her hook.

After a moment, you feel your mouth start to water. It has been quite a while since you have fed, after all… And here is a worm that is just within your reach. Part of you still remembers that you want to kill her, but you want to make her suffer. Lifting back the hair, you sniff the back of her throat. Sharp teeth gnash together as you can just imagine sinking them into her flesh.

A few seconds later, you bite down.

Something cold and gooey drips down your face, tasting just as candy might. One giant candy worm that you've caught, and one that is rushing through your throat and down into your stomach. Greedily lapping it all up, you wait before biting down on the head of the worm, popping the hard rock in your jaws.

The meal may be a bit odd, as you've never known a worm to have so many hard parts. As you spit out another piece that is much too tough to be from a word, you realize that it is not such a thing. It must be a little rat that you have found. After all, she treated you like a rat, so she must be one.

Although you wonder how she could be a rat if she wasn't wearing pants. Maybe rats wear dresses and mice wear pants. You're not too sure on that.

A little while later, you realize that this is no fun. Sure, she is dead and happy in your gullet, but that sweet liquid is not sating your hunger. Instead, you instead require more to sate the empty hole within you.

Dropping the rat’s body to the side, you lick your claws clean as you turn around, sniffing. As you do, you smell something nicely burnt somewhere nearby. Falling on your hands and knees, you begin to feel around for whatever it is that is around you. Scattering the liquid that is still lingering on you, you finally grasp the burnt flesh of another piece of meat that shifts under your claw.

"…Good smelling birdie…" This time, you no longer hesitate. Baring your teeth, you open them up once more and you lower your head, feasting upon the proffered meal.

MAD END
>> No. 27142
Damn I suspected such a thing would happen but just shocked at reading it.
>> No. 27143
Huh. Not exactly what I was expecting, but still totally worth it.

Alright, serious voting time.

[X] Try what you did before once again. See if it will have any further effect.
-[X] As she falters in reaction, strike.

Unless we intend to use this opportunity to rewind things, of course...
>> No. 27144
[X] Try what you did before once again. See if it will have any further effect.
-[X] As she falters in reaction, strike.

It's got the best chance of working
>> No. 27145
>>27143
That is an option. But you all need to discuss it yourselves. I'll be the arbiter as to how far you can go back.
>> No. 27146
[x] …Is Mystia planning something?

What's she up to?
>> No. 27147
[x] Try what you did before once again. See if it will have any further effect.
-[x] As she falters in reaction, strike.

>>27142
>>27143
So why'd you vote for it then?
>> No. 27149
Who knows. But I'm going to wait until tomorrow to update here. For two reasons: one, it will give you some time to discuss whether or not you want to go back.

The other reason is in the name to the previous picture.
>> No. 27151
Those are *literal* cracks in her visage, huh.

[ ] …Is Mystia planning something?
-[] In the case that Mystia jumps and strikes, sing a note an instant before she reaches Alice.

If Mystia does have something to offer but needs some more time, the other choices don't get her the chance to move. If she doesn't have anything, or her plan is simply to jump in when when Alice is distracted fighting us, then we can try creating an opening with our voice at that moment. This is wishful thinking, but it would be despicable if Mystia had something but we forced her hand.


>[ ] Alice… Just… Say something.
>[ ] Get out of here. You can't do anything else. Just save yourself and Mystia while you can.
>[ ] Tokiko is dead. Margatroid is dead. This has gone on long enough. RIP. AND. TEAR

and

>[ ] She's gone. Accept it.
>[ ] No, you can still do something! Try harder.
>[ ] ALICE. MU-

Are these trios of choices not representative of doll, human, and beast?
>> No. 27152
Well, I'll get around to updating sometime tonight. I guess you all have your minds made up.

Since you went looking for a bad end, though, you're getting knocked all the way back to zero. Note that there is no zero in the alphabet.
>> No. 27153
File 135951779183.jpg - (91.59KB, 1024x768, i almost let this end poorly.jpg) [iqdb]
27153
[-0-] Try what you did before once again. See if it will have any further effect.
-[-0-] As she falters in reaction, strike.

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

As you speak, you open your mouth back up and quickly descend to the depths you had just found yourself in. You know it's better to use something that you know works instead of trying to strike out. Even if Shanghai and Margatroid went down with a single hit, you don't know if the same would apply to Alice.

Still, you keep your eyes open as she approaches you, brown notes leaving your throat the entire time. Alice's visage seems to crack when you blink, but then a second later she seems fine.

The look on her face is quite dreadful. Even as the box in your throat grinds out as many notes as it can, the girl hardly slows down. Alice's wrath merely grows as she approaches you, her face red and her eyes starting to glow. After every single beat she twitches, but she still comes closer to you.

As the tense seconds pass, your hands start to twitch. You desire to strike, but you are afraid. She might see it coming, and block it somehow with that magic of hers. Hesitating is all that you do as you watch her, merely continuing to sing as she fights through your song.

Finally, after one step too many, she blinks. One note proves too devilish, and her being crack further. Taking advantage of that, you finally strike forward with your claws.

You can barely hold back your surprise as they easily slice the skin of the girl open. As they do, something sticky begins to leak out. It feels a bit like blood on your claws, but at the same time it is thicker. Fuller. There is a dense magic that lingers on top of it. It calls out to you, begging to be placed back inside someone."

However, you try to turn your mind from that. Instead, you send your other hand forward, grabbing her so that she can't move. With the wooden hand holding Alice still, your claw strikes again and again, attempting to deal a lethal blow.

Curiously, she falters much more easily than Wriggle does. The life starts to vanish from her eyes as her life spills on your chest. However, she still looks up at you, an insane smile on her childish face. "Silly birdie… Still not enough." At that, she places one hand on your chest before closing her eyes.

The lifeblood ignites, burning you once more with a hellish fire that the earlier attack could not compare with. At the center, where she placed her palm against your ruined body, there is an explosion that throws you across the forest. Your head slams into a tree, causing starts to appear in your eyes. The last thing you see as your body is consumed is the sight of Alice slumping to the ground and a form planting something on it before dashing towards you.

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

Visions dance in your pained head as consciousness eventually returns. The beat within you is slow, but still regular. The song and the ticking of the music box are both under control, neither one lashing out and attempting to consume all.

Groggily, you pry your eyes open in an attempt to see what is about you. Fortunately, the light in the room is dim, and your eyes do not hurt too much as they take in the sight before you.

Not that there is much to see. It is merely a threadbare room made of wood, with but one window that has the shades pulled down. A few shelves surround you, but all are completely bare. Turning it away, you look down at yourself to see if you are still alive.

There is no evidence of the fires that consumed you what felt like a few minutes ago. Your skin is just as it always has been, with not a single scar tissue in sight. Of course, that only applies to what still is skin.

Apparently, your entire left arm, and a good portion of the left side of your body, are no longer your own. Instead, they are made of the same familiar wood that your hand also is. At this point, you are no longer shocked at what has happened to your body. It may still be yours, but it is no longer what you are used to.

Instead, you just lay there, waiting for someone to come. You've no longer the energy to protest, nor the energy to do much else but lay there. The minutes slowly tick by, and you find yourself nearly drifting off again.

Eventually, someone opens the door and comes through. However, there are no footsteps as they approach you. Instead, a girl with red hair alights on your wooden shoulder, before turning down to face you. "I see you are awake, friend. It is good that you are. I had begun to wonder."

"…Amsterdam?"

[ ] Why am I here?
[ ] When was I brought in?
[ ] …What happened to Alice?
[ ] How did I get like this…?
[ ] Where is everyone?
[ ] …Who… Who made it?
>> No. 27154
[X] …Who… Who made it?
First thing on his mind.
>> No. 27155
[x] …Who… Who made it?
I'd be worried too.
>> No. 27156
[x] …Who… Who made it?
>> No. 27157
File 135952715676.jpg - (150.31KB, 850x637, we really do need more pics for the other dolls.jpg) [iqdb]
27157
[-0-] …Who… Who made it?

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

Blinking up at her, you force your tired throat to speak. "Who… Who made it?"

The girl looks at you with those dead yes before she glances away. "I don't know how she did it, but that girl… The sparrow? She was dragging two bodies as best as she could. You were one of them."

Only two… So someone did die. "Wait. If she was bothering with taking another, does that mean…" Someone might be alive. Either that, or she just couldn't leave somebody behind. "Who?"

"The other bird is who she brought." Amsterdam spun her head all of the way around, looking out the side of the room. "She's currently sleeping. It will be a while before she can wake up, though. She was in a worse state than you."

Your mind flickers back to the image of Tokiko lying flat on the ground and charred to a crisp. "I don't know how she could have survived. She was in such terrible shape… And I couldn't resuscitate her, no matter how hard I tried…"

"…That seems to be due to Margatroid." Amsterdam looks at you for one moment before turning away, her hair hiding her face. "The sparrow asked me to pass on something. Margatroid spoke as if she wished she could tell you herself… But her injuries were hardly as life-ending as you had thought."

Sighing, you lay back on the bed, staring at the ceiling. As you attempt a response, your lips quirk upwards. "I suppose that I assumed once again? Go figure that she'd try to prove me wrong, even in death…"

Mentally, you hear a wet giggle, but the doll is silent for a few moments more. "Something along those lines, I suppose. Even if we are more fragile, it would take more than that to kill her." She looks down, her alto nearly sinking into a tenor. "However, she was happy. She finally could leave this all behind… And there was someone that needed the spark of life more than her."

Whatever joviality had arisen within you quickly vanishes. "So, she gave up her own life? Why would she do that? If she was finally free…"

"She couldn't go back. If you two had not touched each other's minds, she wouldn't have done such a thing. However, since she was reminded of what she was beforehand… She wished to move on. Maybe then she would find her own peace." For a fleeting moment something sparkles in the doll's eyes, but it immediately vanishes. "Besides, she says that part of her lives on, does it not?"

"…Heh." Those memories that you swore you would never be able to forget, and yet promptly did? "I suppose so… Although it is hard to find them now. I don't know if I can remember."

The doll tilts her head to the side. "You will. Once you allow your mind to be free… I imagine that you will remember. The doll shakes her head. "Still, I wish she would have. I didn't even get to say goodbye."

For a few moments you watch the doll, raising an eyebrow. "I never thought you'd have been fond of her. Last I checked, she was ordering you around like all of the others."

"…There is still some things you don't know." The doll wrings her hands before looking back up at you. "Most of all—"

Anything further is interrupted by a piercing scream that causes your vision to dim. Whatever lethargy you feel is immediately banished as you sit up, spinning to your feet as you head towards the door. "Hold that. That was Mystia right there. Where did you keep her?"

Amsterdam shivers at the glare you are sending your way, although she still manages to speak. "She should be in the room just down the hall. She was going to keep watch over the other bird."

"Well, it looks like someone else showed up." Barely waiting any longer for Amsterdam, you open the door and pauses only enough for her to get in front and start heading down the hall. Following her, you curl your claw into a fist, hoping that Mystia is alright.

Amsterdam barely is able to pull the door open by the time you get there, but you hear her gasp mentally as you turn the corner into the room. Laying sprawled in a chair is Mystia, her body covered with blood and a hand clapped to her mouth. Blood runs through her fingers as she glances at you weakly, her eyes eventually turning up into her head.

In her neck is something very familiar to you. A cleaver similar to the one that cut your hand, if not the very one itself, is imbedded in it, apparently in an attempt to cut her head off. After a moment, the cleaver jerks back as a figure appears behind Mystia.

"Kyoto!" Amsterdam glares as angrily as her impassive face allows before floating towards the doll. "What did you think you were doing? Why'd you do that to the bird?"

The doll's eyes dance with glee as she answers. "She was talking to Mamaw's dinner over there about Mamaw being killed! That's so silly, but she should know better than to lie. Mamaw hates that when I do it, so I thought I'd help and cut out bird's lying tongue!" The doll looks down and shakes her head. "But bird tried to hit me, so I decided I'd make Mamaw two dinners instead!" At that, she lifts the hatchet, about to bring it down once more.

[ ] Talk her out of it. She's just like a child, so she can be reasoned with.
[ ] You no longer care. Do whatever it takes to stop her from hurting Mystia.
>> No. 27158
>[ ] Talk her out of it. She's just like a child, so she can be reasoned with.
Alice.

[x] You no longer care. Do whatever it takes to stop her from hurting Mystia.
>> No. 27159
[x] Do whatever it takes to stop her from hurting Mystia.

I really don't like that "I don't care" part of the vote. And good job on setting us to 0 permanently, thrill seekers.
>> No. 27160
[X] Attempt to talk her out of it. She's just like a child, so she can be reasoned with.
-[X] There are, of course, times when only force is sufficient to deal with a child. She forces your hand if proves reluctant to listen to reason.
>> No. 27161
[X] Attempt to talk her out of it. She's just like a child, so she can be reasoned with.
-[X] There are, of course, times when only force is sufficient to deal with a child. She forces your hand if proves reluctant to listen to reason.
>> No. 27162
[X] Attempt to talk her out of it. She's just like a child, so she can be reasoned with.
-[X] There are, of course, times when only force is sufficient to deal with a child. She forces your hand if proves reluctant to listen to reason.
>> No. 27163
File 13595828742.jpg - (541.50KB, 680x637, do I need a reason?.jpg) [iqdb]
27163
...Called. Update sometime soon.

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