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File 14123225978.jpg - (65.88KB, 500x387, 究極!リグルキック.jpg) [iqdb]
28489 No. 28489
Previous Thread: >>26706

Sorry about the delay, folks.

[x] Try some flying and see Gensokyo from above, maybe we might catch a sunset.

I think some flying exercise would be a good idea, not to mention viewing the sunset together would be romantic. "I was thinking about practicing some flying and letting you take me to a few places," I say. Wriggle's seen more of Gensokyo beyond the village than I have, so I’ll let her take the lead.

"Alright! I'll be sure to watch in case you get tired since you haven’t flown this far before. I can think of a few spots… but I'm avoiding the lake in case that ice fairy feels like picking a fight again. One of these days, she's going to provoke something she can't beat, though I doubt that's slow her down much" Wriggle says. I follow her as she rises up into the air.

The land beyond the village spreads out as we go higher: I can see the misty lake and that mansion near the shore, though I don't know how to feel about that shade of red. "…Let’s head somewhere else," Wriggle says. "That color gives me a bad feeling." I nod, and she turns to head towards the shrine.

As we get closer, we turn away from it and fly over the forest. I notice the run down mansion that serves as the Prismriver sisters' home. "How can they live there?" Wriggle asks.

"They're poltergeists, so the things that would usually bother you or me don’t affect them that much. If anything it's more of a defensive measure to keep visitors away. They have less to worry about than most flesh and blood creatures."

"I think I'll try to drop by and see if I can talk any termites out of the place. If it's infested, then it won’t take long before the place is uninhabitable even for them," Wriggle answers. I practice coming to a stop and maneuvering around until she returns. "We should head back towards the village as I think it's too late to try checking out the gate."

I nod in agreement, and we start heading back towards the village. On the way I notice the ship Miss Okazaki and Miss Chiyuri arrived in. "Wriggle, I’d like to introduce you to two people I met a while back." I tell her a bit about them as we descend, though I avoid sensitive topics.

-----

We land to find Miss Okazaki looking over some additions to the ship - as we get closer I see that they’re some of the guns that Ginji showed me in the shop the other day. "Well, this would keep us pretty safe, but Rika really overdesigned- Oh, hello. It's Yuki, right? Ah, you brought your girlfriend with you! Just wait right here, I’ve got to get something real quick," she says hurriedly before running off inside the ship.

Before I can respond to her greeting, Miss Chiyuri walks up... along with another Miss Chiyuri. The first notices the look of confusion on my face and glances at the other, saying, "Don't worry about it, the fact that there's two of me is a fluke."

The second adds, "It's not every day that you get to meet an alternate you from another world."

As I try to figure out what’s going on, Wriggle turns towards me and says, "Yuki, please don't think too much about it, you'll just hurt your head." She might be right… this really is too strange, even for Gensokyo.

Miss Okazaki comes back with that scanner from before and waves it over both me and Wriggle. "Aha, thought so! Her pheromones are definitely all over you! Good job snagging such a cutie, Yuki!" Wriggle blushes heavily.

I can feel my face heating up, but still manage to say, "Miss Yumemi Okazaki, this is Wriggle Nightbug."

Wriggle quickly nods in response. "T-thanks for the compliment."

"Oh don’t mention it. Can’t say I’m surprised; I still remember you two made the front page of that paper during the festival! Ah, these two are both Chiyuri Kitashirakawa," Miss Okazaki responds. She then adds, "Hey Yuki, why do you call me Miss, anyways?"

"Because you're a teacher and it wouldn't feel right otherwise," I respond.

“Huh, you really are straight-laced… hmmm.” Miss Okazaki closes her eyes for a moment, thinking. "…Wriggle, I think it’s best if you come inside the ship for a moment, so we can talk." That’s… rather sudden, and kind of an odd request.

"What!? Why?" Wriggle asks.

"Just a bit of girl talk. He’s kind of dense, so you’ll need it. I’m also guessing someone gave you bad advice recently, judging from the amount of shouting that came from your house the other day," Miss Okazaki remarks. Wriggle's eyes widen as Miss Okazaki continues, "Don't worry, we know what we’re talking about. Yuki, why don’t you go talk to Tomoya? He should be arriving any moment now." She sweeps Wriggle away with her into the ship, leaving me outside and alone by the time I realize what’s happened.

Nothing I can do about it now, I guess. I wait a bit, and after a while I see Tomoya approaching and carrying a box of what appears to be swords wrapped in cloth.

"Oh, hey, wasn't expecting you, Yuki. I'd thought you'd be doing something with the ladybug!" he says.

I reply, "I was, but Miss Okazaki pulled her inside to talk about… certain things." I cough and try to change the subject. "I was surprised though, finding out there's two of the same person. I wonder why only Chiyuri has a second version of herself?"

Tomoyo shrugs. "Beats me. I’m just glad I get along well with them, if you catch my meaning." Ah, so he’s – AH. "I’ve taken the lessons learned by my brother to heart; I don’t plan on messing things up as bad as he did."

"That’s, uh, great. Nice going." I really don't think I could handle twin Wriggles.

"So why’d Okazaki want to talk with Wriggle anyway? I'd heard some yelling from Kazami's place a few days ago, and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t her doing the yelling. Must’ve been the ladybug or the impish vampire…"

Well…

[ ] "Wriggle was yelling then, but it'd be rude to talk about it." (Affirm but protect your privacy)
[ ] "Well, there was a mix-up of advice that backfired…" (Be vague)
[ ] "Wriggle was given some bad advice that ruined the moment." (Tactful)
[ ] "Bad sex advice straight out of a shoddy doujin." (Be blunt; he’ll probably try to get it out of me anyways)
103posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
>> No. 29109
File 145594644612.jpg - (74.31KB, 800x800, TheHungryAvatar.jpg) [iqdb]
29109
[x] Ask Lady Akyuu about it while we're here.

"Akyuu, I want to know what happened. I think you’re the only one I could easily ask about such a matter." I turn to Wriggle. "I feel like this might be upleasant, so if you want to-"

She interrupts me, "I'm staying right here - you read enough depressing stuff as it is. It’s no good to keep it all to yourself!"

Lady Akyuu motions us to sit down before pulling out an old folder. She skims through it before beginning to talk. "Not sure how much you've heard, but the Yaguus were traditionally very dedicated youkai hunters, uncompromising to the extreme. At some point, that devotion got twisted into baseless hatred: this is what Hayato's father was like, though Hayato himself had his mind changed when he met the lovely Aya Shameimaru.

"His father didn't take his son’s change in heart well when it came time to pass down the title of head. I’ve mentioned before that Hayato bested his father in a duel, but it enraged him so much that he marched straight to Youkai mountain after recovering - vowing to attack any Tengu he came across. Some rookie guards ran into him, and the only reason they escaped with their lives was that Lord Tenma's daughter saw the battle. She tried her best to calm him, but in the end she had to strike him down. It’s a wonder that an incident didn't occur after all that – they returned his body to be buried in the cemetery, and it’s rarely talked about anymore. It's noted here that she found it tragic that such a thing happened." I didn't think things would go that far… though I'm curious about Lady Tenma now.

"…What's Lady Tenma like? If you know her, I mean. She sounds rather reasonable for a Tengu; a lot of the ones I’ve seen wouldn’t have tried talking after all that," Wriggle asks.

"I did meet her once as she as investigating my connections to Tengu ninjas." Oh wow, them again? "She's quite reasonable for being in a position practically equal to a princess. I'm not sure how involved she is in Tengu politics, but I imagine she’d be all for humans and youkai getting along, a lot like you, Yuki. The rest of those old fools can't do much about her – can’t strip the title from Lord Tenma's daughter after all! Honestly, Tengu conservatives are more stubborn than the ones in the village. I’ve heard Lord Tenma himself is more in the middle. It must be hard for him to keep both sides in check," Lady Akyuu answers. She notices the look on my face, asking "What's the matter Yuki?"

I answer, "Each story I hear of Gensokyo’s past seems to be a tragedy. I can’t help but wonder what that historical society would really like to find that out. But knowing about it helps in preventing future ones." Wriggle slips her hand into mine to show her support.

"Well you two should go and enjoy yourselves. Now that I think about it, harvest time and the harvest festival are coming up, so things will be getting rather busy in a few days. I imagine that you and your friends, among others, will graduate from school. When next spring comes Keine will add a new class to replace yours," Lady Akyuu responds.

We get up and I thank Lady Akyuu. "Thank you for answering our questions."

"No need to thank me, I got as much out of this as you two did; I’ll keep a few ideas in mind for the future. For all we know Seo's going to make a name of himself someday, though Tewi's the best about noticing promising people," she adds as we leave.

Shinobu shows us the way out, following us to the gate. "Have a nice day, Master Yuki and Lady Wriggle," she says before bowing. We leave and start heading home – by the time we get there dinner should be ready.

-----

At dinner I tell Mother and Father about running into Seo and his family, but leaving out the visit to Akyuu afterwards. Mother responds, "I remember when he went missing, yes! I went along hoping to run into the bucket girl again, but I heard she ran into Hayato instead. I'd like to think that helped things out. If the underground wasn’t off-limits, we could see just how much is true about youkai down there."

"It’s been a long time since the exile. I’m sure life down there has changed at least a little by now. It’s definitely too great of a risk to go see for ourselves right now, though," Father adds.

"I hope offering to let Seo drop by wasn't too excessive," I say, realizing I might have overdone it.

Mother smiles and shakes her head. "Not at all; it'll be nice to have him visit." That's a relief, and the rest of dinner goes on normally with some small talk. We clear our plates afterwards and Wriggle and I head down to my room.

After getting ready for bed, Wriggle climbs in with and says, "Yuki, if something’s on your mind you know you can talk to me, right? Poking around about the past and hearing about all that depressing stuff isn’t good if you keep it to yourself." She tightens her arms around me to emphasize her point. I nod in response, pulling her closer until we fall asleep.

-----

The sunlight hitting my face lets me know it's morning. I start getting ready quickly since there’ll be a lot of work to get done over the next few days.

When I get upstairs I notice Shizuha sitting at the table and talking to Wriggle, while Father's reading the paper as usual. Wriggle looks up and smiles. "Shizuha stopped by; she said she wants my help with something!" I nod and sit down to eat breakfast. I guess I'll have some time to myself today then.

Glancing at Father’s paper, I see the front page reads "Local Youkai takes a bite out of crime," with a picture of a rather familiar black ball. I can only imagine that some Syndicate member made the mistake of assuming she was harmless. "Father, did you read the front page article already? Did it have any details?"

"Well someone was running from Arthur a day or two back and bumped into Rumia. After she was finished she mentioned feeling very sick afterwards – something unusual must be going on with the Syndicate," He answers. Sounds about right if with what I've heard about them is right, plus young youkai tend to have rather sensitive stomachs. I still remember Wriggle talking about how sweets from Outside affected her.

I finish eating and wave goodbye to Wriggle and Shizuha as I head out the door. I double-check that I brought all my stuff with me, including my spell book so I can do some practice later today. First though, I’ll go find Lady Inaba and see what she thinks about Seo having 'potential.' Yep, time to go.

-----

In hindsight I should have thought harder about how I’m going to find her. The village is busier than usual today, so wandering around probably won’t get me anywhere. I could ask Lady Akyuu, but I get the feeling she's busy.

[ ] Ask around the village about ways to do it
[ ] Ask Miss Mokou as she seems familiar with the forest.
[ ] Ask Kamui as he seems to have ran into her a few times in the past.
[-] Call out for her I think that'd just invite trouble.
[ ] Hope that Lady Akyuu isn't busy and try asking her.
[ ] Just practice magic try getting better advice tomorrow.

Pic actually references this: http://yugioh.wikia.com/wiki/The_Wicked_Avatar
>> No. 29111
[X] Ask Miss Mokou as she seems familiar with the forest.
>> No. 29112
[X] Ask Miss Mokou as she seems familiar with the forest.

I have a feeling that Tewi knows when people are looking for her, even if they don't know them selves.
>> No. 29116
[x] Hope that Lady Akyuu isn't busy and try asking her.

Any excuse for an Akyuu.
>> No. 29117
[x] Ask Kamui as he seems to have ran into her a few times in the past.
>> No. 29118
[ ] Hope that Lady Akyuu isn't busy and try asking her.
Good luck, have fun, don't die etc
>> No. 29119
[x] Hope that Lady Akyuu isn't busy and try asking her.

Help me, Hieda!
>> No. 29120
Well either be a change or soemone else yeah it's needed. I can't really mix the two.
>> No. 29121
[x] Hope that Lady Akyuu isn't busy and try asking her.
>> No. 29122
>>29121 breaks it. Will try to get it done in two weeks.
>> No. 29165
Just been through a busy stretch in life

but with my vacation starting and no other plans, I should be able to catch up some.
>> No. 29177
Like work after coming back. And a tip for any new writer: MMOs and writing don't mix that well.

That being said, I haven't given up, I'm still working on it when I get the chance.
>> No. 29210
File 146363319616.jpg - (109.52KB, 846x1184, LikeThisButRabbitSized.jpg) [iqdb]
29210
[x] Hope that Lady Akyuu isn't busy and try asking her.

Lady Akyuu should know where Wriggle is, so I really hope she won't mind me asking her. I'm glad I have nothing else planned today, as I get the feeling I'm about to be sucked into some extra work.

-----

Shinobu greets me at the door as I approach. "Good morning, Master Yuki." I’m still getting used to how warm her greetings are now.

"Good morning, Shinobu. Is Akyuu in need of a helping hand?" I figure it'll convince Shinobu to let me in, not to mention hopefully make up for disrupting whatever she's doing.

She answers, "I'm sure she'd welcome your assistance. I've been helping her with the more physical tasks, such as reaching the high bookshelves." She leads me to the estate's library, where I see Lady Akyuu leafing through some books.

She looks up after noticing us. "I hope you're prepared to help as this is one of the few times I have to perform my duty without question. As Her honor Eiki, rather than that boo- er, boat lady." I am not sure what she meant by that, but if it was important she'd tell me.

"Of course, I wouldn't have interrupted you unless I felt I had no other option," I answer.

She rests her head on her hand and asks, "Let me guess, you’re looking for Wriggle? She's just spending some time with friends, right?"

"Ah, that’s right. How did you know that?" I would normally assume they have some sort of power, but with Lady Akyuu, it's usually something far more mundane.

"Because the Leaf Goddess was asking directions to your house and I pointed her in the right direction, Master Yuki. I will be going over again to adjust the lunch plans," Shinobu answers with a warm smile. I'm still getting used to her shift in attitude.

She leaves as I sit down to help Lady Akyuu. "Yuki, could you look over these entries to see if there's any obvious problems? I'll finish up more entries in the meantime," she asks.

I nod: this doesn't turn to be too hard, the facts are right, though I have to make a few edits to remove some of the snider remarks. Though with Hermits and the exception of Miss Kasen, I'd just add a note saying NOT to question her status. I put the original entries aside just in case she has some other use planned for them, but these aren't going in any easily accessible records if I can help it.

Then I get to the Oracle's profile... well, it just says "drunk" now, which is an improvement over what it was before, I suppose. "Akyuu, could I ask you not to remark on his fondness of liquor, even if it is true?"

"Sure sure, just save that copy somewhere, I think that was some of my best material," she answers without skipping a beat. Everything else goes without note until Shinobu brings us lunch.

Akyuu sighs and stretches her arms back. "Good job Yuki! Thanks to you, there's been some real progress. So, what did you need help with?" she asks.

I respond, "I was trying to find Lady Inaba as there were some things I wanted to ask her about."

"Hmm, I see. Out of curiosity, what would you have done if you couldn’t find me? I'm curious since outright calling for her would never end well - that just gets you attacked by Tengu ninjas. Wait, she didn't tell you to go looking for her, right?" she asks, looking concerned.

I shake my head. "Not at all, it sounds like she only does that to people she really doesn't like and last I checked, I was in her good graces. But my other ideas were asking around the village, or going to Kamui or Miss Fujiwara."

She starts writing something down, responding, "Good, I know you try to show her respect. Some people treat her like a kid or young youkai, which is one of the worst things you can do. As for your approach, asking around would get her attention since she has ears in many places, listening for certain things. You'd be on that list for sure, considering how much she loves flattering treatment. I don’t think talking to Mokou would have helped: Keine's headbutts are very painful and she certainly wouldn’t let Mokou of the hook if she found out her favorite student was let into the forest unsupervised." She finishes writing and hands the note to Shinobu, who arrives with some food. I figure it's a way to contact Lady Tewi.

"Here is your lunches," Shinobu announces, taking the note with her as she leaves.

Lady Akyuu thanks her and adds, "Shinobu, could you also prepare some salad and sake for a guest?" Shinobu nods and leaves.

Lunch is good as I expected, though I begin to get anxious about when Lady Inaba will arrive. I wonder i- "Hey Yukikaki, how can I help today? Or were you curious about old stories again? Good timing either way!" She managed to sneak in unnoticed, even while wearing some sort of white suit and pink shirt. Though, unlike the pictures I've seen, she seems to be missing a tie.

I respond, "I wanted to ask you about what sort of people you think are 'promising,' though I wouldn't mind a story too if you're willing."

"Well to start, you. The fact you're trying to stop the cycle of revenge between youkai and humans is no secret to anyone. It's something no amount of raw power's going to solve, but that's no different from normal: men with pens and knowledge can do what men with weapons and might cannot. Speaking of, Arthur also has potential for greatness, though I worry about him." I feel she means the burden of being a hero. She continues, "And then we have the Fujisaki kid who gets along with various youkai. I don’t think he'll live an ordinary life so long as he possesses such an ability. The first step towards being extraordinary is being willing to leave the ordinary. I can imagine a girl was involved, right?"

I pause and think about what Seo mentioned before replying "I think so as he remembers a 'Miss Yams' fondly"

Lady Tewi laughs, "'Yams'? Hah! If that's who I think it is, she might be one of the oldest reasons around!"

Lady Akyuu's been staring at Tewi's suit for a while now, and finally speaks up. "Pardon me, but may I ask why you're wearing such clothes?"

"Well, I heard that this is what Yakuza wear these days. Definitely a change from back before the Great Barrier. This morning I wondered if the group I founded is doing alright, so I put this on for old time’s sake. That doll user, Alice, is a real talented seamstress – I even got away with paying in information!" I've read of such groups, mostly how they're associated with crime, but a few stories cast them in a nice light. "So! As far as stories go, I have an interesting tail of how Yukari Yakumo once caused a pretty big fuss, one that none of your history books have recorded."

[ ] Ask Lady Tewi to tell a story
- [ ] Her involvement with Yakuza
- [ ] Full story behind the Tengu and the Bamboo forest
- [ ] The story with Lady Yakumo
>> No. 29211
[X] Ask Lady Tewi to tell a story
- [X] The story with Lady Yakumo

She wants to tell it, and it's not likely you'd hear it any other way.
>> No. 29212
>I have an interesting tail of how Yukari Yakumo
Either that's an idiom I haven't heard of, or you meant 'tale'

Either way
[X] Ask Lady Tewi to tell a story
-[X] The story with Lady Yakumo
>> No. 29213
[z] Ask Lady Tewi to tell a story
- [z] Full story behind the Tengu and the Bamboo forest

>>29212
Pretty sure it's skipped by spellcheck.
>> No. 29214
[6] Ask Lady Tewi to tell a story
- [6] The story with Lady Yakumo
>> No. 29215
>>29210
[ ] Ask Lady Tewi to tell a story
- [ ] Her involvement with Yakuza
Something's fishy here m8
>> No. 29216
[c] Ask Lady Tewi to tell a story
- [c] Her involvement with Yakuza

This should be interesting.
>> No. 29221
[X] Ask Lady Tewi to tell a story
-[X] The story with Lady Yakumo

I still think she is going to make something up though.
>> No. 29226
>>29210
[x] Ask Lady Tewi to tell a story.
-[x] The story with Lady Yakumo.

This should be fun.
>> No. 29228
The Yukari story wins, though I might add in something extra. I'll try to start writing this week but realistically, sometime after this week.
>> No. 29335
I'm alive and workign on it one way or another
>> No. 29447
Yep, and I'm going to try to get in contact with my proofer to start the next step.
>> No. 29448
File 147521526454.jpg - (5.67KB, 224x183, CloseEnough.jpg) [iqdb]
29448
[x] Ask Lady Tewi to tell a story.
-[x] The story with Lady Yakumo.
-[x] Her involvement with Yakuza (maybe)

Hearing that bit about not in the history books, I decide to ask for clarification. "May I ask what you mean by that? While we don't have as many books since the sealing, there's still plenty covering the bulk of Japan's past. My father in particular is a fan of both the warring states era and the Meiji Revolution."

Lady Tewi merely claps. "I should have known better, but this makes it simpler; ever wonder why Mitsuhide Akechi betrayed Nobunaga? I know that's a big question among historians." Shinobu leaves the room, likely to prepare lunch for Lady Tewi since she arrived late.

"Please tell us, Lady Inaba!" Lady Akyuu asks. She looks just as interested as I am.

Tewi leans back and starts talking. "It’s a well-kept secret that during the warring states era a number of youkai were involved in minor roles, mostly to ensure a favorable outcome for themselves or the area that would ultimately become Gensokyo. Yukari in particular was taken with Shigen Takeda, though he never ended up relying on her, preferring to win things with his own abilities. He would have accomplished a lot, if he hadn’t been killed. Yes, killed! Ieyasu Tokugawa's ninja did him in, and so I decided to throw in with them, figuring he would be the one to win. He wasn't terribly happy about following that order from Nobunaga; quite the contrast as he actually hated working with youkai. I heard he even affiliated himself with the Jesuits to gain better insight on fighting them.

"Shigen's son wasn't exactly as bright, even going so far as to disregard Yukari's advice. Things did not end well, which leads me back to Mitsuhide Akechi: everyone wonders why he turned against Nobunaga. It’s true that all the suggested reasons played their part, but what pushed him over the line was an encounter with Yukari. I was there to see what he was up to, and Yukari had disguised herself as a misfortunate yet attractive woman. She pleaded with Mitsuhide to do something about Nobunaga, even going so far as to offer herself to him. He didn't accept the offer; always was a virtuous sort, but he still began to plot the overthrow of Oda Nobunaga. He accomplished it with his own abilities, but he wasn't able to sway the rest of Nobunaga's forces. I admit that I told Tokugawa to not do that, but on the basis that Yukari was using him. I was able to set up a nice little act between Ieyasu and Mitsuhide in Osaka, though the latter admits an actual escape was plausible."

It’s amazing to hear Tewi claim that she and Yukari were so involved during that period in history. She continues, "Before you ask, there was a reason we let Nobunaga die. He had to, for youkai to have a future. I found out later that though Yukari had planned on leaving Mitsuhide to die as well, she was touched by his kindness and instead made him a new identity, Tenkai." The name is familiar, he was a samurai who defended various villages from Youkai. I'd wondered how a samurai would be able to gain such holy power, and now I know.

There’s a muffled clink as Shinobu returns and sets Lady Tewi's food and drink before her. "Were youkai involved much in the dwindling days of the era?" Lady Akyuu asks.

Lady Tewi answers, "Not so much, most ultimately wound up preparing for the creation of Gensokyo and I had very little more to teach Ieyasu. I did advise him to treat Hideyoshi's family well when he won even though some of his advisors didn't quite appreciate that. I believe everyone didn't want a second Nobunaga, even if he ruled in peace. I found out later that Yukari tried to help Yukimura Sanada, but he refused. Even when I told Yukari to bring whoever she favored away with her, she didn't have much luck persuading him. In the end, we negotiated things for Gensokyo while he was allowed to rule without any interference. I do remember those times rather nicely as Ieyasu was like an uncle. Oh, one last thing about the era: the various armies had to deal with a particular youkai claiming remote areas as her turf. After she annihilated a few units, they tried their best to avoid her instead. That's how she got the title 'Sleeping Terror'" Wait, I’ve heard that before; it refers to- My gods, Lady Yuuka! I'm not going to worry myself over it now as I'd imagine I'd find out eventually.

Lady Tewi pauses to start eating, and takes a drink as well. "Hmmm~ Nice of you to pour me some of your warmed sake, Akyuu! The salad’s as well made as always, too," she remarks. I’m not surprised; it sounds like Lady Akyuu invites her over fairly often.

After Tewi finishes eating, she begins the next story. "All that actually leads nicely into the other story I mentioned. After Ieyasu started ruling and putting things in place, I noticed that some areas had trouble brewing for the citizens. I made use of some of the ronin and gamblers in the area, figuring that it would stop some from making trouble while creating a force that could oppose others. Recruiting went easy after I demonstrated my ability; rigging dice games isn't the nicest option but it sure beats squeezing money from people trying to make a living. Instead we only asked for food or some other service, offsetting expenses. I never did expect such a policy to result in people giving more than that out of gratitude."

Lady Akyuu takes advantage of the pause to ask, "What about how modern Yakuza are more self-serving, or force new members to cut off their pinkies?" I think I'll have to look that up as that goes farther than the stories I'd read about.

Lady Tewi shrugs and responds, "Well, it started when one of the guys blundered but he resolved most of it before the group got involved. He was so distraught he did it to himself, citing he'd be less able to strike out on his own. But word of our deeds and fortune spread throughout Japan and some other groups started to get ideas of their own to do something similar, some of which were more selfish and underhanded. From what I gathered before Gensokyo was sealed, both sorts of groups were present, including my own. One thing that the various groups agreed on is never to wage a gang war as even the winner ends up in bad shape. Of course there’s still indirect combat like tipping off the police - it's similar to how I command the rabbits; when the other side is absolutely stronger, trickery is the way to go."

"With all due respect, I heard the mix of colors you're wearing isn't normal for modern Yakuza," Lady Akyuu remarks.

Lady Tewi shrugs, responding, "This is what I like and my group is a bit unconventional; where else would you see rabbit tattoos?"

"This is proving to be pretty interesting. Thanks again for stopping by today Yuki. This was your day off though, so you can go enjoy yourself now. There’ll be enough work to do tomorrow!"

I nod and thank Lady Akyuu and Tewi, leaving after giving my farewells.

-----

Going home, I think about getting some lunch before planning what to do next when I notice Wriggle and her friends are all seated in the dining room, having a meeting of some kind. Mystia, Lady Shizuha, Yumemi, and Rika are all here – it's surprising to see Rika since I don't think she knew Wriggle that well, but I should leave them to their business. I turn to leave when Wriggle calls my name.

I go over surprised, curious what she wanted. "It's good you came by as Shizuha's planning on doing something for her boyfriend and wasn't sure about his feelings." I’m not sure what I could do to help as I have no idea what sort of relationship she has. Although… wait, since she's a goddess, couldn’t she determine if he had faith in her? and if she can sense faith, then his feelings should be easy as it'd be particularly strong faith coming in. Sort of like how the Moriya shrine goddess took a human husband.

"When you're with him, do you feel any faith coming in? I believe if his feelings are true you'd be able to sense his feelings," I respond. Shizuha seems to stares at me a bit before nodding slightly, causing Mystia to groan and bury her forehead in her arms.

Shizuha blushes, replying, "Thank you for reminding me of that. With this I feel more confident about what I'm planning!" I'm a bit curious, but I know better than to pry into someone else's love life.

Soon after that the conversation wound down, and everyone starts leaving. I take the chance to remark, "I wasn't expecting to see Rika with the group."

Shizuha replies, "She invited herself, and I figured someone with her confidence wouldn't hurt. But where did you get the idea to try and sense his faith? I was actually hoping for something like advice on how to deal with guys, coming from someone who likes a… slender girl," she replies.

I sit down before replying, "I doubted that I could've said anything useful, so I tried to remember something that could be useful pertaining to gods. Sometimes there's that to consider when solving a problem." Shizuha nods and thanks me again before leaving.

Once everyone leaves, Wriggle comes over and sits beside me. "What are you planning to do?"

I answer, "I was thinking of getting some reading in now since I have a bunch of work tomorrow. It's inescapable, despite how lax Lady Akyuu's been. It's important to get some things done before winter rolls in. Most days aren't so bad but sometimes it gets real cold or snowy."

"It'd be my first time seeing the village in the winter. I've seen it snow from mother's place before, but it just doesn't feel the same. Could I read with you?" She asks.

I answer, "Sure, just let me get the books," and I head upstairs.

-----

That was a blur between that night and today, mainly relaxing and cuddling… followed by work in the morning. I make enough headway that I have time to eat a nice lunch outside with Wriggle. Wished today was sunnier, though.

"Are you sure it's okay to eat on the roof?" Wriggle asks.

I answer, "Yeah, the roof of the Heida residence is pretty tough. Lady Akyuu mentioned something about Lady Yakumo using it a few times." I open up the prepared lunch for the both of us while Wriggle stares at the village spread around us.

"The harvest festival's gonna be so fun. Look, you can see Shizuha's handy work already!" Wriggle smiles as she points out some of the color changed leaves, with thickest concentration around the mountain. I can only assume the Tengu are fans of hers.

I respond, "We should tell her how nice it looks next time we see her." I manage to balance the box carefully so it doesn't go sliding down the tiles. Shinobu’s meals are delicious as usual, and we end up eating without saying too much. I start to pack everything back up - after the last bit of work, I'll res-

!!

My chest seizes. What was that!? It's the same tightness I feel when using magic, but for me to feel it from something else… this must be strong enough to get the attention of anyone with even a marginal sense of power.

Wriggle shakes me out of my stun shouting, "Yuki, look!" Off in the distance, a glaring pillar of light is shooting into the sky. That must be the source, but I can tell little else. I once read a book on legendary weapons that described something similar, but I'm too far away to know for sure.

I can barely make out a purple figure flying nearby – maybe Lady Yakumo. Soon after a crow darts through the air into Lady Akyuu's room. Seeing the bird, I'm reminded that Arthur relied on them for sending messages, and that he's been looking for something in the forest for the past few days. That blast must signal Arthur's struggle has met another turn, and with it will come major changes to the village and everyone around him.

Chapter 3 End.

-----

Yeah, I wish I could have a great excuse but all sorts of stuff happened, including some game stuff. I'm going to try to put together a follow-up update far quicker than this, and I'm confident in saying this as there's no summer nuttiness or such.

I'll also admit that I added the yakuza thing because I wanted to show that sometimes other characters had their own ideas and actions. I also undersold the option, and I'll try to do better on that front in the future.

Hopefully I still have readers after all this, but as I figure, every misstep is a new lesson… mostly.

I'm also going to get started on the next /at/ short with Lunasa as well.
>> No. 29579
Sorry about the delay and not saying anything but the holidays have caused me to be rather busy for a time.

I have finished the update, all that's left is proofing and I'll start work on the Lunasa short very soon.

And Chapter 4 will be the final chapter.
>> No. 29584
File 148160465521.jpg - (72.65KB, 618x900, ElisMagicTime.jpg) [iqdb]
29584
Whatever happened that day caused a huge uproar: Lady Ran was seen around the forest more often, and various Tengu flew down from the mountain in the days after. Once things settled back down again, I couldn't help but wonder what had occurred. So, I tried visiting Lady Akyuu to see if she knows what's going on.

-----

After Shinobu walks me to her room, I sit down and ask, "Have you heard anything about what's happened?"

Lady Akyuu shakes her head. "Sorry Yuki, no such luck, as even I can't get much out of Aya or my usual contacts. The only thing I know is that a weapon of considerable note was utilized. I've been gathering what notes I could, particularly out of the book you returned yesterday. I think I've managed to narrow it down to some sort of holy weapon… it'd be much easier to identify if Kourindou wasn't closed half the time."

I'm trying to remember any other hints as to what happened but Arthur's name pops up. "Do you think Arthur found whatever weapon he was looking for?" I ask.

She quickly replies "Without a doubt, it's probably part of the reason everyone is being so secretive, the other being the sword was something Yukari brought into Gensokyo. I've been coming up with ideas about why she gapped in more people and things than usual lately: she's bored and wanted some outsider to play adventurer. In a sense, she got her wish in perhaps the worst way with the Syndicate being around. Arthur's definitely got her attention by now."

I remember why his name was in my head! When he and Lady Yuuka stopped by my house to talk with my parents, he mentioned that he was looking for something. I wonder why he felt he needed to find something like that? Lady Akyuu speaks up, "I have been also looking mentions of an incident long ago between Makai and the underground, though the records are pretty faint. One book claims Higan got involved, so I'll have to remember to ask Elis about that. But Yuki, try not to worry so much about things like this or you'll make Wriggle worry too much! You should enjoy your time outside before it becomes too cold to!" I leave after saying goodbye as otherwise she will try to push me outside herself. I'd rather not risk her overdoing things.

-----

As I leave to go look for Wriggle I hear Ginji's voice – he seems unusually cheerful. "Hey Yuki! There you are!" He even has a smile on his face… not something I see often, though I've been guilty of similar in the past.

I reply, "Ginji, what's going on? You look pretty happy considering all that's happened."

"Kamui's holding a meet-up at the Inn and I decided to go look for you," he answers. Wait… did he just refer to Kamui without insulting him or using obscenity? Genji notices my surprise "I solved some problems recently so I'm in a really good mood, enough so to even put up with him. The fact that being nice scares him shitless is a nice bonus. Don't tell him, okay?" Ah, that seems more normal. I won't pry into what brought this mood on, so I nod and follow him to the inn.

-----

Once everyone gets seated, Kamui speaks up, "I figure this would be a nice thing now that things have slowed down for Yuki and some others, even Ginji's… usual mood."

"I'm doing great, not sure why you'd find it so unusual. Friends are nice to each other, right?," Ginji replies, causing Kamui to grow pale.

Kazuma interrupts, "So Yuki, what's going on? Did you find out what that big beam of light was?"

I shake my head. "Sorry. Whatever it is, it's big enough that everyone, including the Tengu, are keeping things hush-hush. Not even Lady Akyuu knows for sure what's going on, though she has her guesses. We're pretty sure that it's not a bad omen. I'd like to look into it more, but for now she seems more interested in some sort of incident with Makai and Higan long ago."

Ginji adds, "That sounds about right for her, but I'm still more curious about what's going on right now." Yeah, he is on good terms with Arthur so he'd have an idea what's going on.

Kamui appears to have recovered from the fright as he remarks, "I spotted Lady Kotohime in some sort of Outsider outfit with greenish paint on her face going towards the Bamboo forest, likely to find that rumored healer. I'm sure she'll do it, logic is no obstacle to her. Thank gods that Takami's not screwing this chance up."

"This farmer guy I know got blessed by the Harvest goddess," Kazuma blurts. There's a pause as we all look at him before he resumes, "What? I mean Kamui mentioned gods, right?" Both Ginji and Kamui shrug.

Kamui asks, "Was it that guy with a small farm, saying he puts his heart and soul into his produce? If so, good for him. Personally I don't see how anyone could be happy farming, but to each his own."

Kazuma nods. "Yeah that's him alright. Dad wants me to help prepare for winter, so I have to learn from the experts on the subject." I think there's something he's not mentioning, but knowing him it's something personal to the expert. I can't help but to wonder why he's keeping it secret; it can't be having feelings for a youkai as that's something we all have in common.

"Oh!" Kamui snaps his fingers as he remembers something. "So Akyuu's interested in Makai? That's good timing, Elis was trying to remember a few things herself. Maybe she could help you and Akyuu out. If it's interesting, pass me the details later, yeah?"

I nod, and the conversation steers towards talk of the festival, and about how everyone is helping out in some way and has plans to enjoy their time. After a while Ginji remarks, "Yuki, tell Wriggle that if she's looking for a job to do, everyone will need help setting up for the festival. Just saying, in case she's interested - I've seen her helping around town here and there. She's at least comparable to Kazuma's dad despite being a fraction of his size. But don't worry too much about the fall festival stuff. Rather, I think I know why the little dragon lady decided to put more money into it." He slightly shakes his head after he finishes. Now I'm curious as well.

"Well, I won't keep you guys here any longer," Kamui says. "I don't know if you guys had any plans of your own. I've got to set up for tonight anyways." I have a couple options at the moment: could try to see if I can talk to Elis now, or I could head home and hope to run into Wriggle. While I'm curious about that expert Kazuma mentioned, I feel that trying to ask him about that wouldn't get me anywhere.

[ ] Ask Kamui if Elis will be back soon.
[ ] Go home and relax; hopefully Wriggle'll be back soon.
>> No. 29585
[x] Ask Kamui if Elis will be back soon.
While more Wriggle would be nice, it doesn't really do anything for us.
>> No. 29586
[X] Go home and relax; hopefully Wriggle will be back soon.

We should tell Kamui what we know first, so he can pass it on to Elis.
From there it's best if we don't worry about it, lest we'll needlessly worry Wriggle
>> No. 29587
[X] Go home and relax; hopefully Wriggle will be back soon.
>> No. 29588
[x] Go home and relax; hopefully Wriggle'll be back soon.
>> No. 29589
[x] Go home and relax; hopefully Wriggle'll be back soon.
>> No. 29605
[x] Go home and grab your spellbook, then find Wriggle.
[x] Go to the forest and investigate things for yourself.
We've done literally nothing but hear other people talk about their grand exploits for an entire in-story year. We're trained in magic, we have a strong youkai for a companion, so let's go satisfy our curiosity.
>> No. 29606
[X] Go home and relax; hopefully Wriggle will be back soon.
>> No. 29607
Wriggle time it is.

I was working on the GInji/Lunasa thing when the holidays blindsided me. I'll try to get back to work this week. Though if people would prefer the update to that, please say so.

>>29605
The main reason there's not trips outside the village is the Syndicate and Yuki isn't quite that strong yet. In due time they will be visiting all sorts of places (that's an actual spoiler, read at your own risk)
>> No. 29755
And trying to work on things.
>> No. 29939
Though I didn't say anything sooner because I haven't had much luck. I'm not giving up.
>> No. 30291
Since the last update while I made some progress towards the regular update, my apartment building lost its net, complicating things. I'm hopeful that it'll be back up this week. It's a situation that would drive some people crazy.
>> No. 30497
Just a matter of finding my proofer.
>> No. 30553
File 151208568835.webm - (81.63KB, A perfect way to celebrate the update.webm) [iqdb]
30553
[x] Go home and relax; hopefully Wriggle'll be back soon

"Hey Kamui, think Elis could find some time in the next day or two to have that talk?" I ask him as I know I'll have some time during that period.

He answers, "Sure, but don't forget. I don't want her getting all prepared and excited for nothing. I'd ask if you'd stay but I'm sure you have Wriggle on your mind like you should. I gotta finish setting up here and I don't want to keep you." He starts to set up the stage, which I take it as my cue to go home.

-----

I arrive home to find a note with mother's handwriting: she and father are at some meeting so I should go ahead and have a nice little dinner with Wriggle. As I start to prep food to cook I try to figure when to go see Elis - tomorrow sounds good as long as nothing pops up as I don't have anything planned. I've helped Mother in the kitchen enough times to know how to prepare a meal.

Once the water is set to boil I go and pick up the book on legendary swords, reading it while waiting. …Geez, I wonder how much havoc this Darksword could wreak if it were to fall into Gensokyo. The narrative is a bit rough; if I were the book's author I bet I could rewrite this better.

"Yuki?" I turn as Wriggle leans through the door. "Sorry to interrupt your reading, but could you help me prepare dinner?" She's carrying a western cookbook and some bags, probably of ingredients. I guess she did some side jobs before coming home.

I place my bookmark and set down the book. "Sure, I already started the water. I was just reading to kill the time," I answer as we go to the kitchen.

-----

"I take it you had a good day today?" I ask while measuring out the noodles to boil.

Wriggle nods as she dices some meat, "Yep! Managed to get a couple of nice side jobs, so I decided to try cooking something myself. I heard about some new kind of dish called 'beef stroganoff' and wanted to give it a try. Hmmm, looks like we might have some leftovers… ah, how was your day? Did Akyuu know anything about what happened with that beam of light?"

"Nope, though from the sheer secrecy, she suspects it's something related to Arthur and some weapon Yukari hid in Gensokyo. I wanted to investigate, but she wants me to look more into an old incident in Makai, so I asked Elis to stop by sometime in the next day or two. I also hung out with the guys - Ginji said he'd like you to help out getting ready for the festival. He really doesn't hire anyone but the best for his jobs." I check the pot while talking; it really wouldn't do if I messed this up.

It seems Wriggle has the same idea as she answers, "Hmm, maybe. Let's finish cooking first, then come back to this. The recipe sounded kind of tricky to follow." It doesn't take too much longer until we're able to finish it.

-----

The flavor of the meat is very different, but good. I wonder what language 'stroganoff' comes from? Wriggle speaks up after taking a few bites. "Back to the previous subject, I'll think about helping Kamui. I don't think I'll be too buy on the days before the festival. How is it, Yuki? I think we did pretty well for our first attempt."

I stop eating for a bit so I can reply, "It's definitely good, definitely something new. I wonder what else is in that cookbook you followed." I've only had a few examples of western cooking, mainly at Tex's place.

"We'll see, though from what I can tell some of the stuff used isn't exactly cheap in the village, so it can't be an everyday thing. But I'm glad you like it!" We continue to talk about various topics while eating the rest of the meal.

-----

After cleaning up, we decide to relax in the living room, gazing at the slight color changing in the leaves. "Shizuha did say something about starting work, oh and she actually found herself a boyfriend! She told me he's an artist that likes doing autumn stuff. According to her, we're to thank for it," she remarks.

I reply, "I think it's the example we set being an interspecies couple, but as far as I'm concerned, you're just Wriggle." Not getting hung up on such things is usually best for cases like this.

She inches closer, responding, "As pretty as it is, I could do without the chilly weather and the cold winds, but now we'll help keep each other warm." I notice her smiling at the last part.

I take hold of her hand, replying "Yeah, I'm looking forward to it. It's better than just burying myself in blankets." We should get used to this as come winter this'll be one of our options as the usual hang out spot in the forest is too hard to reach through the snow.

"True, as long as you don't sleep like a bear! Is there anything you'd really need to get up for during that time of year?" she asks.

I try to think of what else there is to do in winter. "Just the occasional visit to Lady Akyuu's and sometimes dropping by the Inn. But they never expect me early in the winter. She dislikes cold mornings and Kamui's prone to sleeping in normally."

"He won't be alone; both Mysty and Kurumi are similar, particularly in the winter," Wriggle says. I would imagine he wouldn't mind such a thing; realistically he might end up too warm. She nods as things settled into a quiet period, which ends with her getting up, suggesting "If we're to have a bath, we should start preparing now before it gets too dark."

-----

Setting it up was easy with help of the magic I knew, not that anything advanced was required. After we washed up, we relaxed in the bath only to find ourselves nearly nodding off. "I guess you were really busy today," I say once we get and start drying off.

She answers, "Well I had to redirect a rather large group today. I can guess why you're tired though: a bit of magic usage, and from worrying too much about that beam of light." I can't say she's wrong there.

We finish and get ready for bed, and once we settle under the covers we both fall asleep in an instant.

-----

I woke up rather refreshed and, for the first time, before Wriggle does. She's still embracing me, and I remember thanks to Kamui that leaving a girl to wake up in bed alone is a bad thing. The notion seems western in origin, but he assured me that the sentiment is much appreciated everywhere. I think I'll just focus on the interview today and not worry about things beyond me.

It isn't long before Wriggle wakes up, asking "I must have really overdid it if you woke up before me. What are you going to today, Yuki?" Well I hope she's going to relax.

"Interview Elis about more Makai stuff and a related incident, but other than that, take it easy," I respond.

She perks up, responding, "I want to come with; I've never seen an incident and it'd be taking it easy for me as well." We then get dressed and ready for breakfast and the day.

-----

At the table Mother sets up the plates, remarking, "I hope you two slept well; you were already in bed by the time we got back."

"Yeah, I did" I answer, keeping the details to myself as I resume eating.

Wriggle adds, after a few bites, "I'm going to take it easy and go along with Yuki and Akyuu to an interview today."

Mother's face lights up, "That's a wonderful idea! That'll make break up the usual routine at work." Hopefully I'll be somewhere else when this happens. Father just shrugs, but I think I see a smile from what the paper doesn't cover.

Breakfast goes by quickly after that.

-----

Once outside, we head over to the gate as to do a bit of watching and telling Wriggle what I learned before about Makai and what I'm going to be asking about.

"Makai certainly sounds rough outside of its towns," Wriggle remarks.

But before I could respond, she gets my attention towards the gate where Arthur and Alice are coming in. I notice two things different about Arthur. One he has a sort of gauntlet on his left arm, and an blue scabbard hanging on his belt.

He notices us as he comes over and greets us, "This is good timing as Alice was looking for you. I'd like to talk but I have some business to take care of." He leaves quickly, and Alice watches him go with a worried look on her face.

It doesn't take her long to recompose herself. "I was going to look for you as I want you to stop by my house in the forest so I can ask more about your magic studies and what you study. I have the next two days off so try to do it in that time frame."

Before I could think to ask, Wriggle beats me to it, "Why are you making a separate place in the forest?" With Lady Yuuka willing to let her stay, it isn't like she lacks housing.

"I want to study magic in peace and quiet, among other things. There is something about the forest and I'm curious about how I might make use of it. Building a house with dolls isn't that hard, barring a certain fussy one," Alice answers, with Hourai making herself known on the last sentence.

Hourai quickly pulls out a piece of paper with, "I'm the foredoll. But it's not fair to compare me to mass production dolls who only obey."

Thinking on it, Alice may be able to have her own perspective on makai. Might be a good idea to arrange something even if it's not today.

[ ] Ask Alice to tag along on the interview and hear her side.
[ ] Try to find a way to ask her about something another day.
>> No. 30556
[x] Ask Alice to tag along on the interview and hear her side.

Not dead? Hooray!
>> No. 30570
[X] Try to find a way to ask her about something another day.

A conversation better suited for when we visit her
>> No. 30582
[z] Ask Alice to tag along on the interview and hear her side.
>> No. 30590
Vote called writing starts sunday. And my proofer will get on my case if I start slacking so it should be quicker.
>> No. 30832
Not dead but I clearly underestimated how busy things were mixed with some sickness.

That being said things will get better and I will try to improve my update rate.
>> No. 30961
>>30832
Any news Oracle? Just to know.
>> No. 30993
>>30961
ran into a bunch of other stuff; in large part work related but I haven't given up and I'm hoping this week will be good to finish at least my main update if not also the Lunasa short.

Not sure how much my word's worth, but sorry for the silence.
>> No. 31159
It's finished and I sent it to my proofer. I'm going to try to finish the Ginji/Lunasa short during this period as to try to compensate for the stupidly long wait... assuming someone is still reading this.
>> No. 31161
File 153954931237.jpg - (1.34MB, 1024x1449, A normal photoshoot.jpg) [iqdb]
31161
[x] Ask Alice to tag along on the interview and hear her side.

As a fellow ex-resident of Makai, being able to hear Alice’s side of Elis’s stories would be a nice addition to the history book Lady Akyuu and I are writing. "Miss Alice, would you want to come with us to an interview with Elis? I needed to ask her about an old incident in Makai, and your input would be invaluable."

She holds her head for a moment before answering, "…Alright. I do not have anything really better to do at the moment, plus I'm worried about what that girl might tell you. She's not really a liar but she does tend to fill in the gaps with her own ideas."

After thanking Alice we walk towards Kady Akyuu’s house, and I talk about the first interview we had with Elis on the way (Note: from >>26143 ). "That's about all I remember from the first time I talked to her."

Alice shakes her head, and Wriggle asks, "Was she wrong?" I hope not, but it's hard to tell.

"She's quite right about everything; Mother is just that sort of person, though… no, never mind. But I know exactly what she was talking about. Hard to talk about Yumeko and the lawless zones without bringing up such things. Now that I think about it, I wonder how Aunt Pan's doing," she answers with a mildly worried look. An aunt!? I don't remember hearing about a second goddess of Makai...

Wriggle responds, "You have an aunt? From what I heard from Mother, Lady Shinki had no visitors."

"It's a guest that Mother picked up after an incident a long time ago, though she didn't tell me much about it. But according to Aunt Pan, she has a daughter at home that she said I was similar to, though she only mentioned a nickname, Little Paru. Mother oddly insisted on not asking where her home was with her only answer being 'Until the time's right,'" Alice answers. I'm tempted to ask more, but we've reached the Inn so we head inside.

-----

We wait at a table for Elis to greet us, but as soon as she comes down the stairs Alice has already run over to her, presumably to straighten out their notes. After a few moments they both take a seat with Elis starting first. "Ya want to know more about Makai’s lawless zones, huh? Sure thing – ever since Lady Shinki set them up so that demons could be demons, a number of demon lords made niche zones in it for them to control. Ten, formerly eleven, of the strongest guys around each set up a little fiefdom and army to fight amongst each other as much as they want! There’s more to it than just the usual posturing of ambitious demons though; they think that whoever's most impressive will get a shot at courting Lady Shinki," She explains.

Alice, after doing that hand to the forehead gesture, takes over, "I wasn't alive at the time but I can guess that they've all already tried to woe her, and she was too nice when rejecting them so now they have ideas like this. Fortunately they've entered a sort of stalemate which isn't likely to break any time soon. It'd take some outside force to disrupt their fighting."

Wait, formerly eleven? "You mentioned something about the number going from eleven to ten. Did something happen, and how bad was it?" Wriggle nods in agreement, also interested.

Elis responds after a bit of silence, "That, huh. Well, some time ago, before Alice arrived, one of them was bored of fighting inside the little playground that Shinki made, so he decided to try and seize territory elsewhere: in Old Hell, or as as it's also known in Gensokyo, the underground region where Oni and other troublesome youkai were put. From what I heard, that lord and his army struck at the outskirts of the area first to try to gain a foothold to take on the main city and the Oni. It would have been pretty awful for those living there, if not for the fact both the Enforcer and one of Higan's retired reapers were called in to deal with it. There weren't very many survivors, especially not the demon lord who started the shole thing. His few surviving underlings were too cowed to really fight again. I did hear from a friend that one of the reapers was called 'firey haired death,' who could invoke some terrible end with a wave of her hand." She sighs. "Even so, there were a few innocent casualties, including one woman who was terribly wounded. Lady Shinki, feeling guilty about the whole thing, cared for the woman herself and let her stay as a guest in the castle. Any time she left, the Enforcer would accompany her."

"Aunt Pam! So that was the incident Mother didn't want to talk about," Alice exclaims in sudden realization. "I'm not sure if she'll ever have a chance to return home, as even with Arthur undoing the seal to Makai, I get the feeling Mother's not too eager to risk Reimu's attention so soon."

The underground, huh... Elis did get it right and it's pretty well sealed from our end. "I'm curious, what happened to the path from Makai to there? And why did Higan intervene?" I ask, hoping to find out something more. Lady Akyuu is familiar with many of Higan's dealings, so more notes on the matter could be helpful for her.

Elis shrugs, answering, "Something about how Old Hell still had something that they didn't want falling into the wrong hands. As far as the path connecting it to Makai, that was completely sealed to prevent any further incidents. Even the normal portal to the current hell has increased in security. Demons have always worked in Hell, so there's always been a path connecting it to Makai. Anything else to ask?"

After thinking on it some, I find nothing that comes to mind. "Not at the moment, but I or another servant of Lady Akyuu's will definitely stop by if something else comes up."

"Cool! I got nothing else story-wise on the top my head so I'll let you guys go. I'm sure Lady Alice has something to do anyways," Elis stands and returns to her room while we likewise leave the Inn.

-----

As we walk, I can't help but notice Alice looks a bit sad. "Um, is there something wrong?" I ask.

"I'm starting to realize just how implusive it was for me to run away, but I feel I can't just go home, especially not now," she answers. After a bit of walking, she asks, "Could you two stay with me for a bit? I feel your presence would be helpful... I can even treat you to lunch, or something. Please?"

I look to Wriggle, who smiles and replies, "I'm not sure about Yuki but I'll be happy to come along, you're sort of a sister to me at this point." That decides it, and I nod in agreement. I had no other plans or meetings at the moment, and I'm curious why Alice wants our company now when she hasn't before.

"Why a sister? I'd only thought that Arthur and maybe that lughead saw me that way, but-" Alice mumbles, before Wriggle cuts in.

"He's with Mother and I'm certain that she's warmed up to you by now. Besides, it isn't that unusual for different youkai to treat others like family. I mean, Lily's a spring fairy and Kurumi's a vampire, but we still all get along. I'm just saying don't be afraid to come to others," Wriggle explains.

We resume walking, following Alice's lead, which appears to be headed in the direction of the Ramen place ran by Mister Nanabi. I think she was whispering something to herself, but I can't make it out.

-----

Yeah, I'm going to cut it off here and do the second part soon after this gets posted. I'm not even going to try to make promises beyond that I will continue on this.
>> No. 31170
Well, it's good you're still at it. Good luck hanging in there.
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